Dear Steph – My Mother hangs out with my violent ex.

Hi, 

Let’s get stuck in…before my husband I was in a relationship with a very violent cretin, who beat me up regularly. One time he ended up in jail for it, due to how bad it was…15yrs on and he still terrifies me…I have frozen on the rare occasions I have seen him..(he’s in jail more than out of it, he’s a burglar to feed his habit)

My Mum lives in part of the city where Travellers live…in a trailer…she has been having said ex round, long story short I’m feeing really betrayed.. AGAIN and let down by Mum AGAIN!

I’m now way too scared to pop round there in case he’s there and I certainly won’t be taking my children to see her!!!

I’m always getting  hurt one way or another by my mum  this letter is literally the tip pf the iceberg 

What do I do about it? X

Rebecca – UK

Dear Rebecca,

I am so sorry to hear that you suffered so much abuse from your ex. I know the long term psychological impact a volatile relationship can have and it sounds as though the abuse you suffered was well beyond the level I myself am familiar with. What’s as upsetting to hear, is that it doesn’t sound as though you’ve had much support from your mum in processing what you’ve endured. You’re not clear in your email on the nature of the relationship your mother has with your ex, but what is clear from is the impact her being in contact with him is having on you. To answer your question ‘what do I do about it?’ I think you need to ask yourself firstly what you want to do about it. If the goal is for your mum to step up and tell your ex to back the fuck off, consider her doing this and whether that would actually lessen the betrayal you feel, and if not, how you would rectify that in the long term. I believe that when it comes to our parents we have ideals that often don’t meet reality. You report you feel let down by your mum again, so this is not the first time she’s betrayed you. Is the reason you are unable to cut her off because of some inherent loyalty that she clearly isn’t capable of reciprocating? In your situation I would want to be having this conversation with my mum, imploring her to understand the impact her repeated betrayals have had on me. As is often the case in these circumstances though, we don’t get the response we anticipate. I understand you may love and want a relationship with your mum and if that’s the case you need to be calling her out on her behaviour. The issue here of course, is that she may not hear you, or offer you the apology and love you crave. Should this be the case my advice would be some trauma counselling, and possibly some radical acceptance work to help you accept an apology you may never receive. It’s a really heartbreaking situation to be in, we frequently base our lives around familial connections and accepting that in your case your mum isn’t able to participate in a reciprocal relationship must be soul crushing, it also might be necessary in order to move on with your life. As for your ex, there is no valid reason to see or speak to him again, I would continue to stay out of his way.

I’m including here some instagram pages you might find relatable and also the British Association for Counselling and Psychotherapy website as this is the best place to start if you one day consider looking for an accredited therapist.

https://www.counselling-directory.org.uk/

I wish you the best of luck.

Steph x