LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Abused by mother, father and stepfather

Editor’s note: Lovefraud received the following story from a reader whom we’ll call “Margo.”

My abusers were my mother and father. It began when I was about fifteen. My mother and father never really got on, would hardly speak to each other. Father went to work, came home and stared at the television all of the time. The only interest he had was making his own beer and wine, he was often drunk. He had no friends and lost his temper often. He never spoke to my sister or myself as if we were humans. He would either ignore us or tell us off.

When I was fifteen he found out my mother was seeing another man on the side. She had not been seeing him long and he meant nothing to her. I think she was bored with being stuck in the house on her own all day and being ignored evenings and weekends. She had no friends either. Father never took her out anywhere. He didn’t drive. His world was his television, his drinking and his shouting and bullying.

When he found out about this other man he threw my mother out. She took my sister who was eleven and myself fifteen with her. Yet she had nowhere to go and no money. She immediately latched onto the man she had been having a casual fling with. He lived in a rented room and could barely read and write, he was much older than her.

For a while we lived in his car. Then at his sister’s small rented place.

Eventually they started to buy a very small house together. But he did not know that she had been ringing my dad and meeting up with him secretly begging him to take her back. Not because she loved him, she did not love him or the other man, but he had more money and a much nicer bigger house.

So as he would not take her back she made the most of it with this new man. She had often told me things along the lines of that all women need a man, every woman needs a man to take care of her.

She looked upon a single woman as inferior to one with a man.

I would take my younger sister to visit my father once a week and he was always totally drunk. He could never be bothered to come to see us. He told us that he had found a lady friend and was moving a long way away with her and would marry her. But he made it clear that he never ever wanted to see us again, hear from us again, or for us to know his new phone number or address or come to the wedding.

New man made advances

I made the most of life with mother and this new man – Chris.

He seemed nice enough until he started buying me boxes of chocolates and naughty underwear and trying to give it to me sneakily telling me not to tell my mum. Then he would pay my sister to go out and try to get me into bed telling me he loved me. He was by now engaged to my mother and planning their wedding day and about twenty years older than her. I would fend off his advances and there was an atmosphere. No I could not tell my mother. She was cold and self serving and I knew she would shout at me and throw me out.

And I had nowhere to go.

I left school with no education and tried to get a job so that I could leave him. But it would not pay enough.

Mother started to show her true colours towards me. She was always expecting me to do the housework, me to run the errands, me to pay for everything. And she spoke to me as though I was a turd on her shoe. She was nice to my sister.

She started to bring much older men home, married men. Introducing them to me. I found out that she had told them that if they paid her thousands of pounds she would let them come around and say hello to me and spend time with me. A decent normal mother would be warning her 16 year old daughter to avoid married men and men three times her age. I asked her why she was doing this and her answer was that she wanted to buy a nice caravan and needed the money for that! One of the guys wanted to take nude photos of me, she was all for it. I said no.

Mother and Chris had a lot of young students as lodgers as they were near a college. Every one of the young students was female and all of them left in a hurry, one of them told my mother it was because of Chris trying to molest her all the time. Mother’s response was to shout and rave at the poor young girl and call her names. She never said anything to Chris.

I met a man and got engaged and left home. Moving into a place a few miles away. Chris continued to pester me for sex, he would turn up on my doorstep nagging me. He said he could not understand why I said no. Just because he was very old and marrying my mother soon! According to him he was only asking me for sex, what was the big deal.

Buying a house

The house I had started to buy cost £12,500. It was badly run down and desperately needed new windows, new carpets, decorating etc. I was struggling to pay the mortgage and only able to by working sixteen hours a day seven days a week and taking in lodgers. Yet mum would keep coming to me nagging me for thousands of pounds.

She would not visit me I had to visit her and before a visit she always told me that I must bring her flowers, chocolates and presents or I could not go. She knew I was skint and she knew I worked very long hours to pay the bills.

My sister married a man who had lots of money. They moved into a huge house about twenty miles from me. They bought a boat, a timeshare and a flashy car. She did not have to work and was a lady of leisure. My mother rang me and told me she had decided that I must go around to my sister’s house every week to clean it for her.

As though I was Cinderella, just a scivvy. She had plenty of time to clean her own house and she had plenty of money to pay a cleaner.

If I went around there I would have been spending money I cannot afford to get there and back and taking time off of work I could not afford. I was by now a qualified therapist and trying to build up my practice. I would not have been interested in working as a cleaner if it was just around the corner and paid.

Mother’s fiancee arrested

The police came to see my mother telling her that her husband to be, Chris, had molested and tried to rape a girl of eight. He had to go to court and was found guilty and fined. She paid his fine. She continued to plan to marry him because it was that or being single, although she was only about forty then.

Mother cottoned on to how Chris was pestering me for sex and refused to speak to me. She cut me out of her life and then decided to move a long way away with him. Off they went. It was as though it was all my fault that he had been pestering me and he had done nothing wrong.

Even after the moved a long way away Chris would try to phone me nagging me to let him talk sexy to me on the phone. Nagging me to move down to where they were. He said she was always dominating him and bullying him and he hated her, if I moved nearer to them she could bully me instead and he could have sex with me.

For decades they lived a long way away and we did not speak much.

Mother never bothered to come to visit me even though she had a car and lots of time. I was struggling with money and had to work seven days a week and had no car. Everything that had happened up to then became too much for me and I had a breakdown. I was at home but unable to function or work or do anything. Just sitting there in my dressing gown crying all of the time, unable to sleep or eat. She knew this but never once did she ask me how I was or come to see me.

Then Chris died.

My dad popped up. His second wife was ill and he was upset. He came to visit me. He told me that he had decided that he would never bother to visit me again as when I had given him a cup of tea he did not like the milk I used. He started to demand that I go to visit him every day. He never once said sorry for years of no Christmas cards, no birthday cards, not a phone call, nothing. He talked as if I was put on this earth to serve him. I refused. He said if I did not serve him and visit him every day and always be available to him he would stop speaking to me. I said fine. And we stopped speaking.

Mum wants to talk

For the first time in decades mum wanted to talk to me. She rang me to say he had died and demanded I go to the funeral. She knew that I had to work seven days a week, she knew I had no money and she knew I had no car. She also knew I had a lot of pets to take care of and nobody to do it for me if I went. She said that it worried her that if I did not go people would talk about why not, and get suspicious about Chris.

Now she was widowed she would travel all over the place on her own, by coach or train, visiting various penfriends, even going abroad to visit them. But she never came to visit me. I was much nearer than some of them. If I asked why she would say OH NO. DAUGHTERS SHOULD VISIT THEIR MOTHER. I SHOULD NEVER HAVE TO VISIT YOU. Likewise she should never phone me it should always be me that phones her. She started nagging me to visits her and being nasty about it when I pointed out I don’t drive, I work seven days a week, I have the pets to take care of. She waved all of this aside because if she wanted something that was all that mattered. It was not that she wanted to see me, it was that she wanted to make demands and have me obey orders.

She nagged me to promise her that when she gets older and has a struggle she can move in with me. I said no. Why on earth not, she said? I am your mother. No, I said. But it is a big house. So what, I said.

Then she arranged to visits me by coach for a few hours. I was gob smacked. This was totally unlike her. But when she got here she said to me she had only come to see if I was ill. Because unless I look pale and pasty and am ill I have no excuse for not going to see her when it suits her and she spent the whole time castigating me for not going to see her.

When she was here she complained because my dogs barked at her. She said that if I tell my dogs she is my mother and the most important person in the World they would be more respectful and realise they should never bark at her. They bark at anyone they do not know and they had never seen her before. She said that if I was tired then knowing she is visiting and her presence should cure me of all tiredness and all illness. I should be so pleased she is coming that any illness or tiredness just disappears.

She remarked on how lucky I was to have such a nice big house now. I reminded her it was because I had studied and worked hard and saved. She waved all of that aside and said it must have been because a man gave me the money.

Dad has died. I refused to go to his funeral. Mother is now nearly eighty. She has dementia. She has trouble with walking and shouts at me when I ring her. She always wants more and more and always criticises everything I say and do. Going on and on about how I should be grateful she gave birth to me and how I owe her.

So I am taking a step back. I phone her a lot less. I go to visit her a lot less. If she starts on me I say oi. Don’t talk to me like that. Just as I would with anyone else. She is not going to insult me or make demands simply because she is my mother. That is all one sided.


13 Comments on "LETTER TO LOVEFRAUD: Abused by mother, father and stepfather"

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  1. Margo – what a sad, sad story. I agree with your decision to have minimal contact with your mother. She was certainly never there for you.

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    • Margo says:

      Thank you Donna. Of course I condensed the story, there was a lot more I could have said as it went on for decades and to a certain extent still goes on today.

      When I was young I trained and studied hard and became a therapist. I ended up with celebrity clients, offers of television and radio work and dozens of staff. I had arrived and I was at least earning good money. I believe that because of what happened to me I could understand my clients better.

      Yes I have minimal contact with my mother. I do care about her and ring her and sometimes visit her but I will not pander to her nor obey her orders, which really annoys her.

      It costs us a days wages to travel to go and see her – for the petrol. And when you get there she begrudges you a sandwich.
      Most of what she says is criticisms and some of it makes no sense maybe because of her ongoing dementia.

      I will help her from a distance. For example, she has a lot of pains in her legs. So I told her about a new patch she can buy that you stick onto your leg to stop the pain or at least lessen it. She started on about how I should go and get it for her and make sure she has these patches – in other words I am the one going to the shop, spending my money on them, and driving all the way to her to get them to her. So I said no way. You get them. You are lucky I told you about them.
      I have always put my foot down with her, I have never allowed her to boss me around, and it infuriates her.
      But if you go back to when my business was new and I was struggling to pay the bills if I had took a lot of time off of work to go and clean for my sister and such I would have ended up with no house and no money to pay bills.
      The last time I spoke to her I was telling her that my partner is worried because he is not getting much work coming in now.
      She went on and on about how he should try harder to get work and everyone has to work full time so why shouldnt he.
      Well she has not worked since she was about forty and her horrible second husband Chris stopped working when he was fifty
      so I do not see why my partner, who is sixty and has worked very hard all his life, should feel that he has to work full time now. She has double standards.
      I pointed out that because my business had done well I had been able to retire at the age of forty. She snorted down the phone at me in her mardy snidey voice she only uses when talking to me and said I was very lucky I was able to retire at forty. Not lucky I said. I worked days evenings and weekends and set up a business and made it work. That is not luck. She then snorted and got all snidey as if to say I was imagining that I had done that, and I was making it all up!
      She loves the idea that a man came along and gave me nearly £1,500,000! She will not understand/accept that I am a self made millionairess through my own efforts. I can prove that I have done well in business because I now own five houses and a lot of investments but she still talks as if I must be imaginging it or making it up. Yet she has asked me to allow her to come and live here because it is such a huge house. But you have to be careful what you tell her because everything is about her. She will be thinking about it and then say well in that case if you are retired and dont have to work you should come and see me a lot more. She has never been very smart or had much common sense. She would expect me to go and get a job as a cleaner or a barmaid when I can earn a lot more than that doing therapy if I wanted to work again. She doesnt grasp those things. My partner is a qualified engineer who had his own business, he is very knowledgeable and well educated.
      Yet she says he should go around cutting peoples grass and be grateful for it!
      Which would be totally wasting his skills and education, is boring and pays far less than he can get. He would find it demeaning. Because she had no education and worked as a cleaner and her husband had none and could barely read and write she thinks everyone else should look at work in the same way.

      I have one very good friend , unfortunately she moved away, so our contact is emails now. And my partner who knows all about this. I am very wary about getting close to people because as well as my past I am now well healed financially and most of the women in the area I have met have been like my mother, a lot older than me and thinking that becuase I am younger and healthier I should go round theirs to do their housework or get their shopping or cut their toe nails. Or nagging me for a job or money or always going on about how lucky I am my house is bigger and nicer than theirs. I have nothing in common with them and it would be all one sided. I have had so much of my mother, father and stepfather wanting me as a convenience for money, sex, chores or whatever, that I instantly spit feathers if I meet a stranger who tries to treat me the same way.

      For example. I met a lady at the church. I had never seen her before. She started to tell me all about her awful marraige and how she was desperate to get a divorce. She then said she would come around to my house and tell me the whole story on thursday evening because she longed to tell someone the whole thing. I said well no, I am looking for friends in the area.
      But people to go out with and relax with and have a laugh with.
      I did not bother to tell her that my clients pay me to see me and tell me all their problems. And they make an appointment at a time that suits me as well as them. She said oh no I dont want more friends, I have dozens and dozens of friends already, I just wanted eto come and tell you all my problems.

      Then there was another lady I met, much older than me, who told me she expected me to go and visit her while she was laid up because of a new hip replacement, because she gets lonely and cannot drive, and then when her hip is ok again she will be out ande about seeing her family and friends. I was just going to be a convenience while she was housebound. We had nothing in common and she was about forty years older than me anyway. But she seemed to assume that because I was retired, not married and younger I would become a convenience to her.
      Another similar old lady expected me to go and clean out her fridge, change her bed and cut her dogs toe nails, then take her to the shops. I didnt retire so that I could become an unpaid skivvy. If I wanted to work I would be far better off doing what I trained and studied for and getting paid.

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  2. Stargazer says:

    Dear Margo, you have been dealt a very harsh hand in life. I, too, was abused by my stepfather, abandoned by my father, and had my mother look the other way. I will say I am soon to be 55 and still uncover new memories of times in my life when I was depressed, ashamed, and hopeless but had no resources to deal with those feelings. I always thought that because the sexual abuse was covert (I was never actually raped), that the effect on me was very minimal. Boy was I wrong. I really had no idea of the shame, anger, and sadness I have carried around due to the narcissism of all my parents and all the hell I lived in. I sense you are much younger than I am and perhaps just beginning to deal with the mess you were left with. My best advice to you besides surrounding yourself with the kindest most caring people you can find is that when you feel bad, dark, and hopeless, this feeling is NOT you, though it is a normal response to the trauma you’ve been through. It’s not who you are and not how you are meant to feel. That shame belongs to those who have hurt you. You can release all of it, and as you do, it will become part of your life story that isn’t completely written yet. You have a story to tell the world and many truly great gifts to give as a result. Also, there are truly decent people out there and love all around us (I believe) just for the asking and being willing to receive. My very best to you, dear. Our stories are so similar I had to write and give you a virtual hug.


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    • Margo says:

      Hi stargazer. I am about the same age as you. My story unfolds over decades. I am a qualified therapist who has helped a lot of people in similar situations. But you are right, we have to look to the future. I sometimes read people’s stories about their awful abuse and I can see that they cannot move on, they get no happiness from the present and they have no hopes for the future, this is all wrong and very sad. Nobody can take our hope away, it is our choice of if we give it away freely. But you will understand when I say that when you are not loved by parents you get a chip on your shoulder where you feel unloveable and unworthy. Then when you meet someone you try too hard to please them or worry about losing them, as though they are far more worthy than you. This makes relationships difficult and can lead to their destruction.

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      • Stargazer says:

        Margo, so sorry I made the assumption about your age! I can totally relate to the chip on the shoulder. I carried one until I was about 47. I made a conscious effort to forgive my mother at that time and was finally able to shake off the chip I had that weighed me down my entire life. I had already forgiven my stepfather years before, but my mother was the hardest to forgive, and I didn’t think I ever could or would. It was a relief, and though I still loved her, I never saw her again after that. I’m okay with that decision, even though she died a few years ago. For me, forgiveness didn’t mean that I wanted to or had to have anything to do with my parents.

        That horrible feeling of unworthiness and shame from the sexual abuse has felt so all-encompassing that it makes me feel like I want to die. But I’m grateful when it comes up because then it can’t control me anymore. Not knowing what else to do with the despair, I give it to the light. I ask for help from all the ascended masters and archangels (I don’t know who most of them are, but I call on the ones I know). I ask them to take the pain away. It’s the best I know how to do, and it seems to help. You are so right – that feeling – buried deep inside for so many years – has hampered my efforts at healthy relationships. It has held me back from so much for so long. But I’m in the process of releasing it so it can’t hurt me anymore. As long as I don’t reflect on how old I am and how many lost years I had being depressed, I’m okay. If I start thinking about those things, I go down a rabbit hole that is hard to get out of. Aside from releasing repressed feelings from my childhood, I have to work very diligently with my mind to stay focused in the present moment and not get lost in story of all the horrors of my life. I am constantly choosing life. The alternative is too depressing.

        I find that like you say, most people don’t understand. But it no longer matters to me, because I don’t feel the need for them to understand. I know I am not like them and I have things to offer from my experiences that they don’t. I’m okay being different.

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        • Margo says:

          Hi there, Thanks for the comment. I totally identify with all you say and wish you the very best. YOu are right when you say you know you are not like them, you are better than them because you are more sensitive, more thoughtful, deeper and more intuitive, but the downside teo it is that you feel more and sometimes feel more pain or negative feelings. Perhaps we could swap email addresses and chat more that way? Just an idea.

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  3. Picking up the pieces... says:

    Stargazer is correct.
    You are very strong to have been able to put up with all of this, and at the same time kept your own sanity intact by slowly and hardworking making your own future bright!
    I don´t know if you can see it yourself yet, but reading your story really shows that you are really a “winner” after the hell you have gone through, and sooner or later someone is going to tell you just how fantastic you are, and then all doors will open for you to the joys of life that you truly have deserved!
    Respect! And I am sure that I speak for all of us here…
    Be blessed!

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    • Margo says:

      The worst thing about all of this is when you try to talk to someone who doesnt understand and they say oh no mothers dont do things like that and insinuate or say that you must be making it up or getting it all wrong. Or that you should tell your mother that she is upsetting you by calliing you names and criticising you and bossing you around and then she will realise and stop. So naive. It is because it hurts they do it, they dont need to be told it hurts. I have also had well meaning idiots tell me that I should forgive my mother and be a great daughter to her and let her move in and become her carer. Totally oblivious to how that would affect me and how I would feel as though somehow no matter how horrible she is she deserves everything and the best. If we were talking about an old lady who I was not related to they would say run a mile.
      I treat people according to how they treat me. If they are rude to me I am rude to them. I dont treat them with kid glovesd and do what they ask simply because it makes them happy. The more you try to please others then less pleasure you get.

      I met a lovely man about eighteen months ago, he is now my partner. He is good enough to offer to take me to see my mother – who lives a long way away – he has also offered to go and get her and bring her here for a few days and take her back again.

      I had an argument with mother a few months ago when he offered to go and get her and fetch her her for a few days. This would have cost him a lot of time amd money and it would have been a very long drive for him. I pointed out to mother that as he was good enough to spend hours driving to get her he would be thirsty and hungry when he arrived and would need a cup of coffee and a sandwich and a rest before he drives back. Oh no she said. He can have a coffee but he is not having a sandwich.
      Why not I asked. Because, she said, I am too old and not well enough to prepare food. ??? She lives alone and prepares all of her own food. It was her being mean and trying to be the queen bee and her way of diminishing him and dominating him and being superior to him. So I said no if you dont make him a sandwich when he gets there he wont bother to come.
      A few hours after she had arrived here we were chatting and she was telling me about the delicious stew amd cakes she prepares for herself. Some might say it is only a sandwich but it is the principle. I was not going to have her using him like that and disrespecting him like that.

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  4. Canuck says:

    My mother, father and stepmother beat me up without provocation. Both parents when I was a child, and stepmother when I could have fought back but it was both cowards, my father and stepmother two on one going at me.

    Has been one of the most difficult hings to admit because people look at you as if you are the problem therefore one carries a lot of shame as if you did something to deserve it. One still questions what it is about oneself to bring on the hate. Yes makes one feel unlovable and unworthy for a very long time. Even Wilding commented that if one parent does not love you there is something wrong with the parent but when it is both then the fault lies within you.

    As for unworthy, very much has been denied because all was about them. When other kids were thinking of what they wanted to be when they grew up I was worrying about their adult problems too much to seriously even consider what would happen to me growing up.

    Neglect of dental hygiene because according to my mother I bit a dentist. She never took me to a dentist unless I was too young to remember at the time. Being a people pleaser all my life it was not in my character to bite strangers. No toys in Canada and no Christmas, I played with buttons. The old bike I found was taken away from me and disposed of. A dog was even taken away from my own home backyard and killed, when I was a working adult at work. Father visited employers and got me fired.

    I never had a birthday party, graduation (went back as a mature student) yearbook entry or boyfriend. It was as if the adults were jealous of anything or anyone that could make my life richer. My father was certainly all his life because he sabatoged my achievements if he was not aware at the time of self improvement to stop me. As a child I was not allowed friends or time outside. Inside I was not to do the precious dishes in case clumsy me would break them because false attributes were hung on me. Damned if I did and damned if I didn’t, I was bullied, raged on and beat. I was never clumsy and would have loved to have been involved in sports and other childhood activities.

    Birth rites denied when it is all about the narcissistic parents. Being in their presence leads to nothing and goes nowhere except oppression and rot. If I would not have had some breaks from them I know social skills would be nill. I had to teach myself so much that should come naturally, self care for example. Normal skills took copying from others my age to become habit. Yet my parents were seeing dentists and had fine teeth, implants when the time came. I was a nusiance underfoot when trying to learn from them.

    I wore boys shoes to school because ‘they lasted longer’ and we were not poor. When I realize how little of the baby bonus went in my direction it saddens me to think of children today who may be neglected and brought into this world for the free government handouts and subsidised housing. I see it because to get a townhouse instead of a studio apartment one needs to have children.

    I never had children and no longer live in such an environment (my parents did not either (owned rental property) because that would not have been up to ‘their’ standards. But they trird to kill my spirit so I would be homeless because in their minds and teaching that was my standard.

    Their neglect was blamed on me when questioned – I never bit a dentist but so many similiar lies which had those who questioned looming at me crosseyed and patronising from that point on.

    I do not know if I believe in Satan but I have lived with clever evil and believe education is right up there with the importance of climate change so that non of God’s creatures ever feel unlovable again.

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  5. Canuck says:

    Should anyone believe my parents were looking out for me and therefore kept me close, that is incorrect. Other than the old bike I found in the barn, which might have me playing with the neighbour’s kids, the above incidents happened after we lived on the farm where our closest neighbor was a mile away. There I missed grade 2 because I was plowing fields with a wooden block under my foot. Was pitching silo and baling hay and multiple other chores that could be seen as dangerous for an unsupervised child, which proved me not to be clumsy. I was good enough to be a field hand but when we moved to the city I was not to touch their material things.

    In the city I was a selfish nuisance. Funny how at the time I could not see the hypocrisy, I was undeserving and had no right to that which the adults were entitled to.

    The sleeping prophet, Edgar Cacey, states that a time of peace shall come where the welfare of children and our fellow human beings shall replace the values of this society. His predictions have been right on so far and the turbalance now is supposed to get a lot worse before we learn to love one another.

    Edgar Casey also talks about reincarnation. Perhaps we are living with the evil now so our souls can learn. Another prediction of his is that the souls of the evil ones shall not be able to reincarnate for a thousand years. Look it up….

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  6. Canuck – what a nightmare. I am so sorry for what you have endured. I hope you have escaped them.

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