Stop blaming me for walking away

When I talk about how toxic the relationship between myself and my mother was, no one seems to take my words for face value, because he or she didn't witness the unprovoked attacks, didn't see the arguments or the tears, because my wounds were not visible and all they witnessed was a "proud grandmother" or the fun days out they think I left to be "cruel" or using my children as weapons. 

You would think I would be congratulated for stepping away from a toxic relationship not be doubted or questioned. 

Even when I explain some of the unforgivable acts she had done, some people still hold on to that belief "but she's your mum" or "you only get one family". They bring up how I should be grateful for the upbringing I had because "it could have been worse", always having clean clothes, a roof over my head or the holidays we went on. As if all of that means she owns me now. 

It took a lot of strength to leave such a toxic environment, taking my children with me. I knew I was doing the right thing! I thought walking away would protect us and in a way it has, but in another way I am still suffering because there are people blaming me. Even though she made my life twice as stressful, twice as hard and emotionally draining. 

I cannot believe there are people - people whom I know, people whom I love, people whom I thought would understand and even people I have never met before - look at me and judge me like I'm a monster. I can not believe there are people who make excuses for her behaviour, acting like she is the victim not having a relationship with my children and acting like she is the victim because this has all been so hard for her. 

I don't want their pity I just want the acknowledgement that what I did was for the best for myself and my impressionable children. Acknowledgement that just because you are related does not mean somebody is entitled to make you feel worthless or inadequate. 

"A true chameleon", "a wolf in sheep's clothing", "volatile" all ways a select few have described my mother after their own personal encounter. She shows multiple faces to the public, but she always shows her true colours in private when either she's alone or a select few (enablers) are in earshot. It's a predicament for anybody who has tried to navigate her sinister side. 

It hurts to know that if I had left an intimate relationship for the same reasons and treatment perhaps I would be applauded instead of criticised.

It's disappointing. 

So stop blaming me for walking away when you should be applauding my strength and courage.