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Sam's Story: A Personal Account of Generational Abuse and Trauma

The author's name has been changed for the sake of anonymity and protection.

Trigger warnings for mentions of physical and sexual abuse.

The first time I realized something was terribly wrong with my family was when I was 15 years old, and I told a teacher I was self harming and struggling with my mental health. Instead of compassion, and cooperation, my mother reacted with rage, as if I had done something so personally offensive to her that I deserved to be blamed for everything. I remember my mother screaming, "It's all her fault!” at the teacher.

When I got home, instead of allowing me to have a therapist or a professional to talk to, my mother tried to have me forcefully committed to a hospital. She started by grabbing me by my hair and dragging me to my room where she allowed my brother to physically attack me. Once my brother stopped beating me she told me I was crazy and she was going to have me locked up in the psych ward. She then left with my brother to get the car. This gave me a chance to flee. They chased me in the car, and a neighbour saw I was in distress and offered to drive me to a police station. Once I got to the police station, the police offered to take photos of my bruises. I was then taken to an emergency shelter for the night.

The very next day the police came and got me, and told me that I needed to stop running away and said that they were taking me home. I begged them not to. I was then placed at a Children's

Aid Society office. No one knew I was coming. I felt that I was treated with disdain, and when I couldn't secure a place at a friend's or with extended family, I was sent home. I was laughed at when I returned.

The cycle of violence was perpetuated by my mother. She allowed my brother to physically attack me and repeatedly shifted the blame onto me while telling me I was crazy. I remember telling friends how my brother threatened to kill me on a daily basis at that point. He had started stockpiling hunting knives, and had gotten a hold of a gun somehow. My mother ignored me when I reached out for help. She told me he treated me that way because I was crazy. Fast forward to 34 years later; my extended family invalidates me, and uses triangulation and gaslighting to d

ysregulate my mental clarity. If I say someone is mistreating me, I am automatically told things such as, "You're just a difficult person. They're a nice person; you have caused this."

Recently, a superintendent got black out drunk and verbally attacked me, unprovoked. My family blamed me, saying I caused it by saying "peace out" as he swore at me and called me degrading names. The superintendent admitted to having no memory of what he had said to me because he had been drinking. His drinking was a major problem. He had a pattern of aggressive and inappropriate behavior towards others, and was known to instigate physical altercations with male tenants. My family saw it as an opportunity to blame me, and to call me a liar.

The superintendent was at my place to do a pest inspection, and he said he was coming back to do a treatment. I said I wasn't comfortable with him in my place because of his erratic behavior. My family twisted this story into saying that I lied about him being at my place, to get attention. No

such thing happened, but this is just an example of how they twist the narrative to negatively portray my character.

When my mother died, an aunt immediately triangulated my abusive brother into the situation, claiming to me that “everyone thinks you're an angry person, even [redacted] thinks you're angry.” I had no idea who she was referring to and had never met the person she had mentioned. My aunt and my brother suggested that since I mentioned I had hatred or anger for my mom once, that I would likely have an “outburst” at her cremation. They then withheld the details about my mother's cremation to prevent me from attending. When I tried to approach my brother with regards to the information about the cremation, he completely stonewalled me. My aunt deliberately gave me partial details so I could not attend.

When I confronted my aunt on her triangulation she insisted it was a necessary evil because my brother came to her with concerns about how I might behave. She completely denied ever talking to anyone else, even after citing that “everyone” thought I was just an angry person. She told me I was imagining things. She told me not to drag her into my drama. She said, “don't drag your uncle into this.” My uncle had nothing to do with this, and I made no mention of him. It was a veiled threat from her indicating that she would drag my uncle into the situation if I continued disagreeing w

ith how she behaved towards me.

At first I apologized, but then decided to approach her again because of her claims that people had talked about me, and then completely denying it in the next conversation. I told her that saying people have talked about my anger, and then accusing me of imagining things when I mention it, seems like gaslighting. I told her to quit being so disingenuous and just apologize. She went into a rage. She called me crazy, poisonous, and dramatic, stating that I was having a psychotic episode. She brought up how I threatened to disown her if she gave my address to my mother. She swore up and down that she had no idea where my mother lived, knew nothing about her life, and would never lie to me. Funny enough; she approached me and admitted she almost gave my address to my mother without asking me. It was after she lashed out at me over my superintendent. She did this to disrespect my boundaries, and it was meant to trigger an adverse reaction from me.

Instead, I laughed and said, "oh my God I would've disowned you if you did that." She responded with a barely contained rage; she made me promise that I would never actually disown her. I said I wouldn't disown her but she can't expect me to be loyal if she is going to disregard my boundaries and give out my contact information without asking me. I think she accused me of a

nger, because of her own uncomfortable feelings towards her own anger. It felt like she was testing my boundaries and was shocked that I had them. She viewed my boundaries as an offense because she was looking for narcissistic supply; she was looking for drama. Furthermore, she knew my mother was abusive and even called her a narcissist herself. She knew the history, including my sexual abuse history, and the reasons why I went no contact. I was sexually abused by a stepfather between ages 10-13 and he was charged, and the whole situation was reasonably addressed. My mother believed me, and tried to help me adjust in the aftermath. She's not perfect by any means, but she did try.

My aunt, however, tells a completely different story; she accused my mom of lying about the history to her new partner entirely. She claimed she lied to avoid any uncomfortable discussion. She said my mother asked her not to talk about it when she had her new partner over for dinner. My aunt said that she had the charges dropped because she refused to be interviewed by the police. At first I

believed my aunt, and was very angry at my mother for her alleged cowardice. However, seeing how my aunt likes to provoke and lie, I feel the need to view everything she tells me with a grain of salt. It's like she cares more about stirring drama than having consideration towards others. My aunt further told me she did not believe my sorrow in regards to my mother's death, because I admitted that my mother allowed my brother to assault me. She then seemed to insinuate that I was lying about the abuse. She portrayed me as “threatening.” She gloated how she has such a wonderful life and a wonderful husband and friends and I shouldn't be criticising her in any way because I am just pathetic, crazy, and dramatic, and exactly like my mother. I replied to her without reacting to her. I didn't put her down. I asked her to not involve herself in my life like she had, and to just try basic empathy. I explained some timelines surrounding the abuse, and said that my brother and my mother had made terrible choices and had chosen to abuse me. I explained that my brother was not a child when he attacked me, but I was. I further explained that though I may resemble my mother, I am not my mother, and haven't made any of her life choices. I expressed that something was wrong with our family. My aunt further attacked my mental health status, stated she was barring contact and then threatened to have me charged with harassment. My aunt then looped my uncle into the conversation who attacked my ability to remember things correctly by citing that I forgot to get them a Christmas gift one year. It was probably due to the pandemic and my aunt telling me not to buy gifts, or they didn't appreciate the other gifts I had bought them at other times.

I asked them to further bar contact. I then blocked them and changed my phone number.


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