I grew up in a home without unconditional love. It was disguised as love and looked like love and at the time it felt like love, because it was all I knew. I thought the way I was raised was normal. I grew up in a home with physical abuse and emotional abuse. From a very young age, my father treated me like property, he would beat me with a belt for no reason, only to make sure I was doing what he wanted me to do. A lot of people don't understand this, I've had people tell me "well, that's how it was back in my day, that's called discipline!". I'm sorry for the people that don't understand the difference between abusing a child and disciplining a child. I wasn't a bad kid, I didn't do anything that made me need to be disciplined. In fact, I spent a lot of my time hiding in my room, so I could evade the next belt whipping.
I can see it so vividly like it happened just last week. My father would have this psychotic look in his eyes, and he would undo his belt in a split-second, and whip me across my butt until I begged for mercy. It was like he got off on having a small child scream "please stop!". He loved being in control of someone and having them do anything he wanted them to do. This went on all throughout my childhood, but luckily for me, if there was any sexual abuse, I don't remember it.
I didn't have parents who encouraged me to do better, or be better at anything. I was never encouraged to take showers or brush my teeth. I'd go weeks without doing either because my self-esteem was so low. The environment that I lived in beat me into the ground. At the time I didn't realize that it was an abusive environment, I was fooled into thinking I was being loved.
I was essentially a slave for my parents, up until I started thinking for myself and realizing they were being abusive people. My mother helped me handle my finances while I took care of my diabetes. She set up online payments for my medical bills, and she held onto my check book if I ever needed to write a check, which wasn't necessary since all my medical bills and regular bills were electronic. I trusted that she was helping me while I managed diabetes.
I found out that she wrote personal checks to herself, and forged my signature, totaling over $30,000. I never noticed it happening because I trusted her and my attention was elsewhere. I feel like an idiot, because it would have been so easily avoidable if I paid more attention to my money. I learned that my mother and father both had almost every personality trait consistent with being narcissist. I grew up with narcissists for parents, and I was finally able to put a word to their psychotic behavior.
For the past year and a half I've been involved in a lawsuit against my parents. I only told a select few about it. I felt so guilty for suing my own parents, but it was time for me to stand up for myself and show them I am in control, instead of them. All my life they had me backed into a corner cowering from them, and now I had them in a position they couldn't get out of. No matter what opinions anyone has about suing my parents, I knew it was right because I know the hell they put me through all of my life. Going to therapy has taught me they are the reason for my anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I've had nightmares of my own family chasing me with chainsaws and pickaxes, and I've contemplated suicide several times.
While the lawsuit didn't go my way and I couldn't get back any of the money that was stolen from me and I'm struggling in all of this debt, what I got in court that day was priceless. I got to have my own closure. I saw my parents face to face for the first time in over a year after I moved out. My mother was crying her eyes out putting on a show like she really cared about me. My father was irate, he was white knuckling the desk and staring a hole through me. If their weren't security guards there he would have attacked me. But I was in control. If there is one thing a narcissist hates, it's losing control.
When I was talking to my lawyer I told him, "when you speak to my parents, can you just tell them I don't want to hear from them ever again. I want no contact. Forever." When I was standing in front of my parents, my lawyer told them what I want him to say to them. My father being the loose cannon he is, ignores what my lawyer says and says to me "hey, can I just shake your hand?" as if he thinks we're going to patch up our relationship and be alright. He thought I was going to shake his hand after years of torment and neglect. I turned to this vicious tyrant, looked him in his eyes and said "no, I will not shake the hand of a man who abuses his children.". His eyes widened with disbelief, he couldn't comprehend that the small child he used to beat and torment has grown into a man that will not take his shit. My mother, crying her eyes out said "can I please have a hug?", even after stealing thousands of dollars from me, and putting me in crippling debt that will take me the rest of my life to climb out of, she wanted a hug. I turned to her and said "absolutely not".
I struggle with PTSD, anxiety, and depression now. I'm in therapy and doing better. What sucks is that I'm a family oriented person, I hate being alone and having no relatives that I can trust.
Just because you raise a child, it doesn't give you the right to treat them like garbage. And just because you raise a child doesn't mean that child owes you anything. You're nothing more than strangers to me now.