Good Mom, I struggle with distrust and her indirect betrayal

Roland

Confident
Something I've been thinking about is my relationship with my Mom. I love her dearly, and she's amazing. My dad was abusive. When I was three, he molested me for the first time. I woke up in the middle of the night and had shat myself, I woke my parents up. My Mom had just given birth to my sister, so she asked my dad to take care of me. He begrudgingly got up, complaining about it, and put me in the shower to wash me, and during that process of "washing" molested me.

My Mom homeschooled me, and I'm dyslexic and dyscalculic (either that, or childhood trauma and ptsd impaired my learning abilities. She traumatized me because sometimes it was "I'll help you, I know you're trying your best, let's go over it together" and sometimes it was "You knew this yesterday, you don't apply yourself, why don't you practice saying 'welcome to Walmart since you won't be able to make it past 3rd grade". She once threatened that she'd 'give me the belt' for bad grades (but never did).

My dad had a lot of rage, and he would look for things to fight about (it was always silly shit, like someone closing the door 'incorrectly' or the windows being left open with the air on). My Mom met that with the same amount of anger because he would provoke her until she got mad. My dad hit us with a belt for any type of crime, and it had little to do with our actions and more.

My Mom's parenting style was more reasonable and more connected to our behavior and more with the intent to teach us and less with the intent to 'dispel rage energy'. But nonetheless, she too yelled at us, hit us with a belt, etc, she just also came up with other discipline measures that made more sense.

When my sister got a bruise on her ass from my dad, my Mom put down a hard rule of 'no more belt or else'. My dad is stupid, but smart enough to know when my Mom isn't playing. So he never used a belt again, and neither did she. Somewhere along the line, she realized excessive negative attention, just makes kids act out more, so she stopped yelling and started a much healthier version of parenting. My dad never changed.

Years later, when I was a teenager, I told my Mom that I was remembering the abuse, and I couldn't handle it anymore. She helped me move out to live with a friend, and a year later she divorced him. When I told her about that specific memory of being molested in the shower, she said she was laying in bed, doubting whether I was safe. Some part of her knew what was happening, but she didn't get out of bed to check.

Now I have no contact with my dad, because he is the same ass person, and never changed. I live with my Mom. Our relationship is great, she's not like she used to be. But I can't justify the person I knew her to be when I was a child to the person I know her to be now. She gets offended when she realized that I don't really trust her. But tbh I can't. I love her dearly, but at the end of the day, she traumatized me too, I have flashbacks that involve her, and she intervened way too late. She allowed my dad to sexually harass me in front of her and other people. She didn't get out of bed, she turned a blind eye. She allowed him to yell at me for no reason and hit me with a belt. She, even herself, hit me with a belt.

Although we have a great relationship now, I don't want to talk to her about it, because she was in a toxic marriage with my dad for twenty years, and she knows damn well that she should have done something different to protect us. So bringing it up is just rubbing it in her face. Bringing up the fact that she traumatized me in school, won't change anything. Telling her that she's one of the demons in my flashbacks, would make her feel awful, and I know she doesn't deserve shit. She has really softened and has become a great person.

Does anyone else have this problem? How do you deal with trauma from a good person? It's easier with my dad because he is a bad person, he is completely cut out of my life. My Mom is good, but she made many mistakes in the past, that she no longer makes. Because of the damage I have, I don't feel comfortable relying on her or trusting her, even though she is now trustworthy and reliable.
 

Movingforward10

MyPTSD Pro
Do you have a therapist?
These internal battles are really challenging.

Sounds like your mum has taken responsibility for what she did, but there is also a limit to that. I've. Guilt and defensiveness now get in the way of fully hearing about the impact she had/has on you? I'm saying that not to criticise her, but that's how it reads. It must be incredibly hard to fully and totally hear and respond to the pain she caused you, so it is understandable she wants it all to be fine now.
But it is also totally understandable that you have things to work through given you had no safety or limited safety from her, and your dad, growing up.

Sometimes it's about healing a relationship through how we hold things. If that relationship has it's limits, we need to work through our trauma separate from them and within ourselves. If that makes sense.

You say you don't trust her. What does that mean to you? What is it that you don't trust? And what is it that you need from her in terms of trust? Because you're an adult now (I'm assuming!) and I wonder if this sense of trust and what you need is something child you is saying. Or what this means for you.

Maybe you are still angry and there is anger and grief and sadness to work through about your mum. All valid and understandable feelings.
 

Roland

Confident
Do you have a therapist?
These internal battles are really challenging.

Sounds like your mum has taken responsibility for what she did, but there is also a limit to that. I've. Guilt and defensiveness now get in the way of fully hearing about the impact she had/has on you? I'm saying that not to criticise her, but that's how it reads. It must be incredibly hard to fully and totally hear and respond to the pain she caused you, so it is understandable she wants it all to be fine now.
But it is also totally understandable that you have things to work through given you had no safety or limited safety from her, and your dad, growing up.

Sometimes it's about healing a relationship through how we hold things. If that relationship has it's limits, we need to work through our trauma separate from them and within ourselves. If that makes sense.

You say you don't trust her. What does that mean to you? What is it that you don't trust? And what is it that you need from her in terms of trust? Because you're an adult now (I'm assuming!) and I wonder if this sense of trust and what you need is something child you is saying. Or what this means for you.

Maybe you are still angry and there is anger and grief and sadness to work through about your mum. All valid and understandable feelings.
I don't have a therapist.

Yeah, she takes responsibility, but she prefers to believe that I'm better than I am. It hurts her to know I'm f*cked up.

I think you're definitely right about needing to work through to separate from her, because she has a lot of shit to work through too.

As far as trust, you're probably right that it's actually my inner child (hard to identify in the moment though). For example, if she gives me advice on something, and I don't agree with it, I assume she doesn't know what's good for me or doesn't understand. Sometimes, there's a part of me that thinks she's going to flip out, get mad, or take away my privacy. But yes I am an adult so that doesn't make sense.
 

Rorster93

Confident
I don't have any answers but I am reading and listening. I agree that it might be the inner child that does not trust. Trust to me is a feeling that comes and goes. Some moments I trust, other moments I distrust. I'm not sure if that is relevant to how you're feeling though.
 

Roland

Confident
Thank you
I don't have any answers but I am reading and listening. I agree that it might be the inner child that does not trust. Trust to me is a feeling that comes and goes. Some moments I trust, other moments I distrust. I'm not sure if that is relevant to how you're feeling though.
 
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