How my mother's addiction to adultery ruined my marriage
Joanna Beck blames mother for split
Sometimes, when the phone rings, I find myself frozen to the spot, a sick feeling in my stomach as I am instantly transported back to my childhood.
Back then, my mother would shout from the kitchen, rising panic in her voice: 'Don't answer it, there's a good girl!' My stomach would tie itself in knots.
For I full pandora charm bracelets would know it would be one of her many men friends on the other end of the phone.
Later that evening while lying in my bed, and with my father 'out on business', I would hear the muffled sounds of a man's voice coming from the bedroom next door as my mum entertained another of her 'gentleman friends'.
I was perhaps seven or eight too young to understand exactly what they were doing, but old enough to know instinctively that it silver pandora necklace was wrong.
I don't know precisely how many lovers my mother had, but my childhood unfolded against a backdrop of her adulterous affairs, which were played out with flagrant disregard for the presence of her two young children and with my father appearing not to care.
It was bewildering and deeply traumatising for a young girl but even so, I never could have imagined the devastating and long lasting effects witnessing such behaviour would have on me.
'I pushed my own husband away'
Only now, as a mother of two with a broken marriage behind me, have I realised I was so anxious not to repeat my mother's mistakes that I pushed my own husband away.
Still scarred from the end of my marriage, I worry that it will be impossible for me to enjoy another relationship.
It is certainly not the happy ending that many might have assumed was in store for me given my apparently stable middle class childhood.
I was brought up in a detached house in Nottingham, my parents were pillars of the community, and my younger brother and I wanted for nothing.
My mum, Ann, was a well respected pharmacist and staunch a member of the local Women's Institute, while my father, Graham, ran a well regarded local wine shop. They had a fantastic social life, often throwing big parties and dinners for friends.
Yet as I grew up I started to sense that this vision of middle class respectability masked more unsettling undercurrents ones that manifested themselves right before my eyes.
When I was just seven, I came home one day to hear strange laughter in the living room. Flinging open the door, I found my mother on the sofa with her arms wrapped around Bob, the man who lived across the road from us.
They quickly sprang apart when they saw me, with mum casually offering the explanation that she was silver pandora beads 'comforting' Bob because his wife had left him. Even at my young age I thought it was odd, but I didn't feel I couldn't question her.
'After that, Bob was continually at our house'
After that, though, Bob was continually at our house and, while my dad didn't seem bothered, the atmosphere was frequently uncomfortable.
On one occasion, Bob came to Sunday lunch, sitting next to my mother with my father on the other side.
Perched at the other end of the table, my brother and I could only watch as my mother and Bob exchanged flirtatious glances while my dad carried on as if nothing was happening.
Worse, Bob was far from Mum's only 'gentleman friend'. A few months after I had first stumbled across her embracing Bob, I walked into the living room to find her sitting with another man who lived nearby.
They were reading a magazine together, which they quickly folded away when they spotted me, but I had already seen the looks on their faces. It pandora leather bracelet made me feel terribly uncomfortable, although I was too young to understand why.
There were other men in the background, too.
Every time my mother received one of her regular clandestine phone calls, I'd know that before long she would be finding an excuse to go on an errand. She would usually come back flushed and over bright.
For a little girl it was all bewildering. I knew Mum loved my brother and me, but it seemed she put her alternative social life first sometimes at some risk to her children.
When I was nine, Mum told us she was 'popping next door' on an errand. Shortly after she left, my brother fell down the stairs and, terrified he was seriously hurt, I ran to the house next door, only to find she wasn't there at all.
My brother was fine, but the incident fuelled a deep seated anxiety about not being able to find Mum when I needed her.
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