Dear Stanley, I do not know all of the facts nor do I know her version of the events but based on what you wrote, what your mother did to you was wrong and I would consider it a form of child abuse. However, I’d like to add in one caveat. I have worked with individuals who were severely mentally ill but were unable to recognize it. They would experience psychosis to the point where they’d engage in bizarre, uncontrollable or dangerous behavior. They’d subsequently have to be committed to a hospital against their will by their families. If asked, these individuals would adamantly deny that they had a psychotic episode and they’d express anger at their family members for putting them in the hospital. It’s almost as if they had no memory of the psychotic event or were oblivious to the fact that it had happened. From their perspective, they were fine one minute and the next they were forced in a hospital for “no reason.” I am not saying that this was what happened to you. That is probably not what you experienced. What I am saying is that though it’s unlikely in your situation it has been the case for other individuals.
Based on your version of events, it seems that instead of trying to find ways to discipline you your mother found it easier to commit you to a hospital. I am not clear if she was doing this as a form of punishment or if she was unable to punish you herself and out of desperation took you to a hospital. I am also curious about whether your mother only did this to you. How did she treat your brother? How did she discipline him?
You asked if what happened to you was your fault. I respond to that question with a resounding no. Even if you were misbehaving and out of desperation your mom had you committed to a hospital it’s not your fault. You were a child and she is an adult. Children need love, guidance, attention, discipline, and much more. If she needed help with parenting or discipline then she could have sought outside assistance or counseling for you, herself or the family. There are other ways to handle a misbehaving child (you may not have even been misbehaving) that does not involve having the child involuntarily committed or placed in a group home. There may be reasons to explain her behavior but there are no valid excuses for it. What she did to you was wrong and unfortunately you suffered greatly for it. You’re left with the burden of physical and emotional scars.
It may be for the better that you and she are not in contact. You did not say why the split occurred but perhaps the space will give you a chance to heal. Don’t let the past dictate your future. What happened to you was unfortunate but as an adult you now have the power to positively affect the direction of your life. I hope you are able recover from you physical and psychological wounds and live a happy and productive life. I wish you luck and thank you for writing.