My mother told me she didn't want me because I was a girl
One of my first memories is being told by my mother that I was a failed abortion.
I was just three years old when she explained that she’d tried to end her pregnancy with me but the doctors refused to give her the abortion due to her mental health.
She told me I was everything she didn’t want in a child – a girl.
She never said why she wanted only boys but, looking back now, I suspect it was because she sees all other women and girls as a threat for male attention. She has always been open about this.
Growing up, she would regularly tell me how fat and ugly I was and scream at me for the slightest of reasons, things that had nothing to do with me. Because she’d have to be up at 6am for work, or there were crumbs on the kitchen side, or I was ‘in the way and ruined her life’.
One of her favourite things to do was to walk me around children’s clothes shops, pointing out all the pretty dresses I was ‘too fat to wear’.
As I followed her around the aisles, I was filled with a burning shame, convinced there was something terribly wrong with me.
My mum could always afford designer clothes, and weekends away, while my clothes had holes in and I lived off Weetabix and toast.
As I got older and, realising her attitude towards me wasn’t right, I began to stick up for myself, she’d tell me she hated me, and nobody would ever want me.
I’ve always known my dad but he would disappear for years at a time and she would regularly tell me that it was no wonder he didn’t want me. My other family were aware of how she treated me to a degree but, scared of her temper, they wouldn’t intervene.
I swore from a young age that I would cut all contact from her when I was an adult – but as a kid, I had no choice but to grin and bear it. I had no one around to protect or shield me from her.
By the time I was a teenager, my mum demanded I pay rent and even then, I wasn’t allowed in the living room if she was there. I was told I could only have showers – baths were absolutely forbidden.
One of her favourite things to do was to walk me around children’s clothes shops, pointing out all the pretty dresses I was ‘too fat to wear’
She had a revolving door of men, frequent ‘new partners’ who she openly told me were her priority. She’d allow them to verbally abuse me, calling me ‘fatty’. As I got older, one particular partner would walk around the house naked and tell me I ‘would get it’. Ignoring the threat, my mother simply told me to shut my bedroom door if I didn’t like it.
I moved out, aged 20, when she physically assaulted me.
She’d found a bag of condoms in my bedroom drawer and charged at me in a fit of rage. Screaming I was a whore, she slapped me until I eventually managed to push her off me.
As I ran out of the house, she shouted after me that I’d be back within a week. But I wasn’t. I never went back.
Determined to show I could live without her, I lived in a hostel before eventually getting my own place. Both times, though, she managed to find out where I was living and turned up at my door, intimidating me and threatening to make allegations about me to adult social services.
I felt cornered, as if I couldn’t get away from her.
Then, when I fell pregnant in the early 2010s, she changed. Suddenly, I was allowed an opinion, she stopped screaming at me whenever I tried to speak and she bought the baby clothes and bedding. She even took me out for food – something she’d never done before.
My then-partner was of the opinion that ‘you only have mother’ and he wanted me to give her another chance.
However, once my son was born, she quickly turned on me again. She met my child once, and all she wanted to talk about was how flat my belly was after giving birth.
I can’t really explain her behaviour. Maybe she thought I would see her for the awful mother she was now that I had my own baby. Maybe she just couldn’t bear to see me happy.
A few days later, I missed a phone call from her. Then she text, saying if I didn’t call her by a set time and date, she’d report me missing to the police and call social services.
I told her if she did that, she would never hear from me again, but she followed through with her threat.
What then followed was a year of weekly phone calls from social services, telling me my mother had called with ‘concerns’. I tried to explain she was being vindictive and wasting their time, but they said that as she was saying she had child protection concerns, they’d still have to accept her ringing.
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It only stopped when I moved out of the city, without letting her know my new address and blocking her number and her profiles on social media.
To this day, she tries to pass on letters via mutual friends. I never read them or respond in any way. To be honest, I rarely think of her at all. I knew from a very young age that I didn’t like this woman and have never had that love for her the way other people do for their mothers.
I genuinely feel nothing when it comes to her.
I have since gone on to have two more children – all boys, the children she wished she had instead of me – who wouldn’t know who my mother is if she passed them in the street.
My little boys have significant additional needs so they’ve never asked me about her. As a result, there’s no awkward questions or explaining I need to do at least for now.
When or if they do ask, I will just tell them that, sadly, my mummy wasn’t a nice person and she was very unkind to me and I decided I would protect them from that.
I would never allow them to go through what I had to.
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