I lived with my mum and she was NOT perfect. She wasn't a brilliant parent either, but one of the issues I'm trying to understand is why she wasn't a great parent. She could be a real bully, when she wanted. She was also into corporal punishment BIG TIME, although this seemed to lessen with my younger brothers. Perhaps she realised what I realised when I was seven: hitting kids does not punish them or teach them ANYTHING. It just makes them angry and if they get angry enough, they will hate you. End of story.
Mum put a roof over my head, cooked my meals, clothed me, took us on holidays, helped me hugely with my education - but did not hug me.
I'm trying to understand, timid person that she was by nature, how much of the anger she displayed towards me came as a result of what the alienator did. I don't remember EVER having any anger towards her before my parents split up, nor even immediately after they split up. At first, though I was confused by all the changes, I didn't blame anyone. I wasn't angry at anyone.
My relationship with my mother changed when my male parent came back into our lives during the first year after their divorce (there were legitimate reasons for his absence of a few months: we had been living abroad and he needed to sell the house etc). All of a sudden, the floor dropped out from under me.
I trusted her. I loved her. I was quite happy living with her and her parents while she tried to get our lives sorted out. I remember this period of time. It was weird and changing but I took it in my stride. I was with family who loved me. I lived with Grandma! How great is that?! I loved it!
And then he came back to our country and the nastiness began. My memories of that period have emotions and underlying feelings attached to them, and whenever I think of his return to our country and to our lives, I feel uncomfortable and negative and sad. I was sent off for weekends with this man who I hardly knew anymore. I kept telling him my sister's characteristics as if he was a stranger. "She always does that", I'd say. I could barely rememeber him, and yet he'd been gone no more than a year. I feel odd right now, typing about this, because, to be honest, I've rarely analyzed this period of my life before. I think there's some anger there, in me, for her letting us go off with a complete stranger, four hours away in the car, to a town we did not know and the home of an uncle we had no memories of. I feel pain and sadness. A knot in my stomach. We had no control of anything! Shunted off with this guy who, surely, if I loved him or had any good memories of him, I would not have forgotten in the first place?! Just to show how long it was that we'd been away from him, he kept everything in our home and would not let us or our mother have a single thing from it, other than the clothes we had returned to the country wearing/carrying in our suitcases. He would not even let us have our toys - he held them hostage at his home. As such, by the time we saw him again, and by the time our mother had been legally coerced into letting us visit him, I had forgotten about all my toys. I just realised this recently. I have seen photos of myself as a small child with teddy bears that I must have loved - but by the time I was reunited with them, I'd forgotten them. That's so sad. I had no bond with any possessions I had grown up with.
He kept my toys from me to punish our mother, to force her to go back to him. Even things she'd owned all her life - he never gave them back to her. He considered everything from her previous life and their life together his property and kept (still keeps) everything.
Unrelated though this has been on my mind for a while: I spent my whole life trying to be mummy's little girl again, like I was before the alienation started, but always failed because he told me she had never loved me in the first place. Everything I ever did was to gain her approval and make her love me, because I completely believed that she didn't - because he told me that. This is not the end of this subject but I'm feeling a huge, distressing lump in my throat right now I'll stop for today.