There were precious few constants in my childhood, but one constant was my father bad mouthing my mother to me every chance he got and no topic was off limits no subject out of bounds, he was ruthless. Sometimes my stepmother would join in and they would tag team me. Oh, were those some special nights.
You know I had the chance at a normal life. After my father cajoled my mother into forfeiting her right to retain custody of my sister and myself, he moved us 289 miles away so that our mother couldn’t even see us and if he had just left it at that and never brought her name up again I may have left if at that as well and never brought her up either. Well that didn’t happen. He never let an opportunity pass without telling me what a horrible person she was. Bad mother, bad wife, bad cook, bad housekeeper, just bad person in general. She cheated on him, the house was ALWAYS a pigsty, she couldn’t cook, us kids were always FILTHY and all she cared about was herself.(all lies by the way)
I never did understand why he didn’t just stop talking about her altogether once he moved us out-of-state. It would’ve been out of sight out of mind but no he had to talk about her incessantly for 12 years, basically ensuring that I would have a really messed up life.
By messed up I mean, I have chronic gastritis, ulcers, depression, anxiety, and migraines. I have always chewed my fingernails down to nubs and was such a nervous child that I couldn’t even make and keep friends. And even though I never said anything about it to my father (I was always too afraid to) I always wanted to ask him when he was in the middle of one of his rants “Dad, was if my fault that you beat my mother up? NO? Well then why do you keep bring her up to me? Why do you keep telling me things that I am quite sure are none of my business and that I really don’t care about”? But I never did and now that he has passed and I’m old, it’s too late.
Divorced parents everywhere, please don’t bad mouth your ex’s to your children. It’s not your children’s fault that your divorced and it will must screw up their life, make retched their destiny and cause them to resent you for it.
A Screwed Up Resentful Offspring With a Retched Destiny