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My mother’s trauma is mine?



Well-known member
Feb 10, 2019
New york
TLDR; My mother was diagnosed with multiple mental illnesses such as bipolar disorder and ptsd, depression and I’m not sure what else. Sometimes her trauma feels like it was mine. Have you ever felt like this with a parent?

I grew up witnessing my mom self-destruct. She was/is(?) addicted to heroin, has been in a methadone clinic for perhaps 18 years. I am only 22. Although she thought she was hiding it from me when I was a child, I saw drug paraphernalia all the time: needles, hot spoons, little baggies. She would share drugs with her cousin, who at the time was like a father to me in that he cared for me where my own father didn’t.

I suspect that they had some kind of incestual relationship. I would often find her passed out and I would try to pry her eyelids open because I didn’t know how to get her to wake up, and I needed things. Care, love, food. I eventually just cooked for myself but the other stuff I did not know how to do. I would get sick very often as a child. I started having panic attacks early on. Lots of things went wrong. I was self harming by age 11 or so.

When I showed her my injuries one time, she said be careful and left me to my own devices. Many times she was more like a friend than a mom, and sometimes she would get unbearably angry and hurl insults, acting like a child. I felt like I had to parent her at times, educate her.

Somewhere in my adolescence she revealed to me all her past traumas. She was molested as a child, sexually abused by adult men and other children. She entered a “relationship” with a 30 year old man when she was 14, and had her first child by him—my older sister. My sister has never met her father. My mom attempted suicide somewhere before or after this.

When she was older, about 18 or so, she met another much older man and had a child with him. My older brother. This man she met was a child molester and an abuser. He once beat her so severely the doctors said if he had hit her once more her spine would have been broken. He molested my older sister. My mother, once she found that out, found a gun to kill him with. She didn’t do it in the end, because my sister (even being just a child) reasoned with her not to.

She was taken and raped once by a man who had been killing women. She ran, clothing in tatters, to be left wandering the road hoping a car would come by to help her.

Cause of that she developed severe ptsd and for a while could not leave the house because she saw him everywhere, once almost got into an altercation with a stranger that she thought was him.

I was born after all of this. I only witnessed her self-destructing in a bitter, angry way. Everybody was an enemy to her sometimes. She was belligerent when she was sober and “loving” and “strange” when she was high and I learned to hate her, but still love her, needed her so much as her child. For years in my adolescence I was cold to her and she would call me a bitch. I would belittle her intelligence because it was the only way I knew I could get at her, by “talking back”. But even then I mostly just kept to myself and brooded, self harmed, escaped into fantasy worlds.

I have not experienced sexual abuse, at least I don’t think so. Sometimes I suspect it, but I wonder if I am just ruminating over her traumas.

What is your experience?
Last edited by a moderator:


Nov 7, 2018
it sounds as if you are just affected by growing up in that environment and being neglected rather than her traumas


New member
May 19, 2019
United Kingdom
I myself have experienced some of the same things. My mother was also addicted to heroin during my childhood and this began after she met my younger sisters dad. Often, her and my step dad at the time would do their drugs in the bedroom and would never explain why we couldn't go into their room. Our house was raided many times for drugs, something I myself witnessed. She struggled with post natal depression after having my sister which became worse when her boyfriend went to prison. When I was around 10, life became what you'd think of as 'normal' until I was 18 when my 13 year old sister found burnt foil and other paraphernalia in the house which led to me finding a needle cap. I left the home but came back in the December after what had happened was cleared up but by then id found out she had been diagnosed with Bipolar which made sense as often in childhood she'd be overly happy one minute then shouting and crying for no reason the next, this also happened when she was using. She also often left me alone in the home and wouldn't say where she was going saying 'she'd be back in an hour' but she wouldn't get home until at least 3 hours later, one time it took me to call her having a panic attack cos I thought someone had been in the house to get her home on one of these occasions where she would 'be back in an hour'. Now we still aren't in contact because of her issues. She is the type of person who can easily manipulate a person to make them feel sorry for her but this has led to her losing family and being left to fend for herself for the first time in her life