Louise - posted on 01/02/2014 ( no moms have responded yet )
I am really hoping that someone can give me some advice, I am not sure where to turn at the moment. I apologise in advance if this is long; I don't want to bore anyone, but I need to tell the full story so that everyone understands my situation.
I have a very bad, volatile relationship with my mother. I had a childhood that was dominated by 'fear'. My mother is a very strict disciplinarian, I learnt very early-on not to step-out-of line. Consequently I was a very well behaved and timid child.
However, even when I was attempting to remain invisible and not do anything to make her angry, I seemed I was never really adept at pleasing her and I still got hit and shouted/screamed at until my ears hurt. Nothing was ever good enough for my mother, whatever I did or tried to do, it never pleased her. I was terrified of her as a child and this has remained into adulthood.
She has been physically violent to me as an adult, though she is clever and makes sure she never leaves any marks, she pulls my hair, slaps me just hard enough to hurt but not leave a proper mark or pushes me around. She was violent once when I was 7/8 months pregnant. At that time I lived with her and I grabbed my bag and phone & went to the council. I was housed in B&B accomodation for a week until she rung the council and told them I was being dramatic and I was not in any danger. I had no choice other than to go back. I did not involve the police [I wish I had now]
She always wants her own way and is never, ever wrong. She is so manipulative, I have almost an unwritten set of rules and if I dare to voice my opinions or 'break' one of the rules, it is almost like a tornado going off and all hell breaks lose which leaves me in a state and her seemingly not giving a damn. She has never shown any remorse or guilt and she never shows any affection or tells me she loves me.
I have a Son aged almost 4 years now. He is my World, I love him to pieces. When I discovered I was pregnant I was so happy and determined to be a good mother, everything she was not. The pregnancy was a result of a fling and the father made it clear he was not interested from the outset. He is not named on the Birth Cert.
When I gave birth, my controlling, manipulative mother took over, she critisized me at every opportunity and undermined everything I did for my Son. With raging hormones and no support [no siblings & other relatives and no friends to help on a regular basis] I continually felt like a horrendous mother and very inadequate.
On a few occasions when I tried to be assertive and tell her not to interfere, a war would ensue which resulted in her shouting, screaming and swearing in front of my Son. When she refused to leave my home, I would be forced to call the police. However, not only is she VERY manipulative, she is also very clever, devious and a fantastic actress. Therefore when the Police turned-up she would put on an Oscar winning act of how I am a neurotic, over dramatic, hormonal mother and I am the one in the wrong so no action is ever taken.
Eventually I sought the courage to tell her to get lost and if she could not behave properly she would not see my Son. She was an absolute nightmare - almost to the point of stalking me - she would follow me and drive past my house all the time as well as sending her friends round to check-up on me all the time. I became a nervous wreck, constantly looking over my shoulder and frightened of what she would do next.
She then made 2 anon referrals to social services stating that I was abusing and neglecting my Son. Social services did an assessment, found my Son was well cared for and had a clear bond with me and closed the case.
At this time, I was struggling financially as my maternity leave had ended so I got a part time job. I initially put my Son into a nursery, but it was a nightmare juggling everything single handed. My mother wormed her way back in at this time and I foolishly and really stupidly believed she had learned her lesson.
I allowed her to see my Son again and for a short while, things went well, it meant I could work without worrying about childcare issues. also the huge childcare issues had meant it was barely worth me working in the first place.
Although far from ideal, allowing my mother to look after my son whilst I worked was a good solution for a while.
However, the devious cow had an ulterior motive and started increasing the time she had my son - she would say she was taking him out for the day, or away to a holiday park or play-centre/park for the night.
Eventually it got to the position where she had him full-time and controlled everything and once again undermined everything I did/said or any choices I made about my Son.
Back in July 2013, I received a shock telephone call from soc services stating that they had received an anon referral that someone had seen my mother bundle my son into the car shouting and screaming at him like a mad woman. He appeared to be frightened and was crying "I want Mummy".
They initiated an investigation and my mother was furious, she accused me of making the referral and counter-acted by telling soc services that I had abused my Son [again]
I was completely distraught and in a state, my confidence levels at an all time low, I felt miserable, worthless and suicidal not to mention a really crap mother. I felt as though I had let my son down leaving him in a situation where he was potentially at risk and sure as heck did not get any cuddles or love.
At this time and for the last 6 months I had to take a step-back from my mother, stopping all correspondence with her including calls, texts and emails. This was at the recommendation of my counsellor/phychologist whom I have been seeing since August 2013 when I did attempt suicide - which was a VERY foolish thing to do and did not help at all especially when soc services found-out.
Social services assessed me, my mother and my son and have concluded that my son is fine and safe in her care. This is despite me telling them again and again what she is like. They won't listen and it is SO frustrating. If I was a woman experiencing this type of treatment from a male partner, it would be looked on differently and classed as domestic abuse, but because she is my mother and APPEARS to be a nice person, she gets-away with it time and time again.
I have unsupervised twice weekly contact with my Son. I now carry a recorder/dictaphone during all my contact sessions to protect against any further malicious allegations. When I have contact, handover occurs on her doorstep and last week she had a face like thunder. Following a comment from me, she went off on one like a mad woman again and slammed the door on me. She then proceeded to hurl the most vile abuse at me shouting and screaming and calling me names. Fortunately all of this was recorded so at last I had my evidence.
I played the recording of the entire incident to the social worker and she stated that if my mother cannot behave properly she is not fit to have my son, she proceeded to say that I behaved well and maturely in the circumstances whereas my mother did not. She was not impressed that this all took place in front of my son. Finally I feel that she is believing what I have told her all along.
The HUGE downside of this is that social services are having a 'legal meeting' to establish what to do about the situation and my son. They have mentioned the possibility of temp foster care with a view to returning to me within 12 months. I am in between a rock and a hard place and I don't know what to do; leave him with her where he possibly gets 'abused' with her viciousness or push for foster care where he will be with strangers.
I have written a 14 page document to social services telling them of my experiences - I find it easier to articulate my feelings on paper, but I am SO unsure whether to send it or not as it is very strongly written and I feel it would push them to the option of foster care rather than leaving him with her.
In addition, my mother is currently pursing a private court action for a residence order [court date 14th January] which I am going to contest, however the legal fees are going to cost a fortune which I REALLY can not afford so I am prob going to have to go into debt to afford. My Son is SO worth it, but I am severely struggling financially already. Representing myself against her solicitor is not an option and unless Soc services take 'care' proceedings I am not entitled to legal aid. It is a dreadful situation to be in and it's making me ill with worry and stress. As the date gets closer, I am becoming a nervous wreck and so anxious that I am starting to have anxiety attacks again.
I have a solicitor's appointment next week and I currently await the decision of soc services - but they are so slow and not helpful at all.
Any help or advice would be sooooo much appreciated because I can't think straight and I am a mess again.
Thank you all so much in advance, your help is so much appreciated.