For the first three decade of my life it really bothered me that my mother obviously enjoyed calling me spiteful names. It used to get me down and make me feel really bad about myself. I still hate it but the pain no longer lasts so long.
I was quite a bright kid and loved reading. You’d think she’d be pleased but instead she called me ‘a geek’ and ‘weirdo’ and ‘swot.’ It took away all the pride of being top of the class.
It didn’t stop there. If my room was untidy she’d call me ‘a pig.’ Often in front of visitors and my friends. When I told her it was a horrible thing to do and really upset me, she’d give a phony laugh and accuse me of not having a sense of humour. Telling her I didn’t laugh because it wasn’t funny had no effect.
By the time I left home to go to university I had a really low opinion of myself and the things that I was good at counted for nothing.
Over the years I’ve come to realise that the name calling had very little to do with me and lots to do with her. She is a bully and it has been her way of feeling good about herself. It is shocking that she uses me like a punch bag to make herself feel better rather than try to deal with it herself.
Eight years ago I told her that the name calling had to stop or I wouldn’t come and see her. They haven’t so I just pop by around Christmas for a very short while.
I feel guilty but it’s worked for me because I am happier, much more confident and won’t take any rudeness from anyone.
Using derogatory words to put your child down is cruel and demeaning. The person doing the name calling often pretends if is a joke or teasing, but you are right to describe is as bullying. It is also very difficult to dismiss them and they can define us.
Well done for learning how to feel happy, take pride in yourself and refuse to tolerate her rudeness and name-calling. We would, however recommend that you try not to feel guilty as it is certainly not your fault.