Trying not to hate parents(70 Posts)
Well , my mother has just been over and as usual been complaining that I don't go and visit her or my dad who live 10 minutes away. I don't go for several reasons
* my sister in law who lives them will not speak to me properly, make eye contact and there Is an awful atmosphere whenever I go.( my DB told me that when he got married that she disliked me. ( she doesn't even know me )My parents were aware of this years ago but ensured the subject was never raised with her so as not to create tension!!
* my mother is a very highly critical person. Nothing I ever did when I was younger was ever good enough, not the housework, not the ironing,the cooking etc
* I have suffered from depression and an eating disorder during my teenage years and my mum knew but never did anything to help me. I know this because I was drying the dishes once and she said she new I always went upstairs after a meal to vommit.
*my parents were both physically violent towards me when I was younger and I can't bear for my Dd to go and see them, they criticise her, for running in the house when she is an active girl, when she makes a mess( plays toys on the sitting room floor)
I am 30 in stable happy marriage. I am of Asian origin hence my family telling me to be less selfish and visit them every day. Family unit is extremely important to them.
Live your life for you and your own family
Don't hate. Detach.
You are happy, you have your own family. Nod and smile at them, inside detach.
Failing that, have a serious talk with DH about moving (about 300 miles should do it!).
i know 'how it looks to the neighbours' will be important too, as well as not saying uff to your parents. but you have to protect yourself.
currently i'm waiting for another course of counselling - i want to talk about trying not to hate my parents! but tbh, they deserve it. i have sympathy for them as human beings but as my mum and dad they had significant faults!
you could get counselling through the gp. it sometimes helps.
YANBU, they are unlikely to change. Your DD needs to see you being strong and that includes being able to ignore that kind of complaint.
Well you have 2 choices - try to please them knowing full well that nothing you do will ever be good enough and they will make you feel like shit on a regular basis.
Or, keep them at arms length. Don't cut them off exactly but just don't invest your time and energy into a relationship with them.
The latter will most likely make you the happiest.
If family is so important to them maybe they should treat you better.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My parents call me every single day starting with the questions " so your still here then". I'm not exaggerating, it's their sarcasm that I don't go over. In my culture it's very frowned upon to disrespect your parents so I can't tell them what they have put me through, which is why I don't want to see them again.I have to remain in day to day contact with them. Dp has made me go over at times and I've got palpitations when standing outside their door. He has said that I don't know what real stress is.
ongoing counselling can help you cope day to day.
i don't have any answers really but i wish you well. i know how it feels.
Sounds dire. I'd hate that pressure being put on me too. I'd worry about them doing the same to your DD as they did to you. Sad that your DP isn't supportive, but I wonder if he is affected by your family culture.
You need to stand up to them, and it is clear you have worked that out yourself, so go out during the day. Enjoy your life, go to a play group, meet friends for coffee, shop with your DD during the day - don't be available to them. They are going to be critical whatever you do. Also, my dear mum is able to chat for England. So my DB said to get a phone with number screening, so I screen her phone calls and only answer if I want to. (there has never been a problem, she just likes to chat. A lot. She rings my mobile if she has a real issue and I'd answer that). That way, whilst I still feel pressured at her phoning, I can breathe deeply and ignore. Could you do that?
If you don't go and see them they will come to you. Maybe you could agree with your DP 2 regular times a week when you visit your parents together. You then explain to your parents that you have a lot of commitments, but will always make sure that you visit them on those 2 days. Your DP will be there to provide some support. Perhaps they will then get used to that and leave you alone the rest of the time? Also great idea to screen phone calls. Long term, I would think about relocating.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Dromedary- that's what's been happening. They come over now at least twice a week.
I ended up getting diagnosed with Ibs this year and was told it can be stress related. Even going over twice a week is too much to bear. Do u think I'm being dramatic but even when they've called me, my heart rate is up and after they have visited? The thought of visiting gets me anxious too. I wish I could switch of these emotions. I've not been living with them for 6 years so it's not as though I've just moved out. Think I need a good old slap with a wet fish!
OP, I can understand how stressful you find it. Until you can move out of the area, I think you have 2 basic choices:
1) You break contact. Is that what you want to do? Would that lead to worse repercussions|?
2) You try to take control of the situation. If you visit them at fixed times, it will still be stressful, but at least you can prepare for it, and have your DP with you. If you continue as you are at the moment, your parents are liable to drop in to see you without warning, which may be even more stressful, and they will continue to complain about you not visiting them.
But seriously, if you don't want to fall out with them completely, and are finding the situation so stressful, I would be preparing to move some distance away - eg encouraging your DP to start job hunting. You can then reduce visits to very occasional weekends (unpleasant weekends, but one offs), and your parents should be less unhappy with your not visiting often.
Completely and utterly ignore them. The stress and damage to you is not worth it. Be happy with what you have and don't let anyone make you feel like they have. Had exactly the same withy mother in the past. Good luck and happy 2013!
You are not a wet fish, I completely get the culture thing - your dh needs to stop being so dismissive too. I imagine he is from the same culture as you? He should be more sympathetic. You need to get some therapy to learn coping and 'block' mechanisms. It is hard but you need to learn to let their gripes and moans wash over you. Remember - they have NO power over you any more. None. I would seriously think about moving too but if this isn't an option, you need help to harden up and cope with them. You need to get to a stage where their critiscm and shit bounces off you. They cannot hurt you - don't let them grind you down. X
Put yourself (and your DD) first. I know this is difficult and goes against everything you've been taught growing up. But if you are having palpitations at the thought of visiting them, then this IS something that is severely damaging to you, and you have a duty to protect yourself. After all, no-one else will - and certainly not callous people who have a history of disregard for your emotional wellbeing.
It does sound like the ideal for you will be to detach from them emotionally: that way you won't hate them, nor will you be affected by the things they say to you. However, this will be VERY hard to achieve if you are in such frequent contact with them (I have only been able to achieve detachment from my parents by being completely without contact for close to a year...). But it still may be doable.
I recommend you read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward, and any of the other resources listed at the top of the Stately Homes thread on the Relationships board here on Mumsnet.
Parents are a pain in the arse. Treat them like any other adult, if they piss you off stand up to them.
Parents are a pain in the arse. Treat them like any other adult, if they piss you off stand up to them.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I know someone further down the path from you from a high achieving Asian culture that has been criticised, scorned, demeaned, and pursued to remain taking it, her whole life.
Nothing she could do was good enough and in her mothers eyes she owed her existence, and was property.
She took over ownership of the English husband in the end too, as he was amenable to becoming golden boy. This is not only the view of her daughter, Ive witnessed it repeatedly.
She probably didn't mean to be like this to her children, but she is, and culture reinforces the right to behave as she wishes to the ungrateful daughter, No attempt to teach her to treat people differently worked.
Control is everything, and you cannot exert control if you dont have constant contact.
But for those raised with all this surrounded by a different culture full of possibilities and choices, it is torture.
With my friend its turned out very badly for all, and if youre suffering to the level they were then I think it should be taken very seriously.
People here dont always understand how accidently full on abusive some cultural norms are, that even thoughts or possible thoughts are controlled, and if the lethal combination of culture and mother wasn't involved would be shouting at you to get out.
Youre not a wet fish, you've been conditioned to act a certain way. You dont wish your DD to be affected, listen to yourself, you are trying to split yourself into parcels to please and protect. In the end you will realise you cant do that for ever, your personality will shatter trying, better to realise it earlier.
I wonder if theres a culturally based self-help group for those raised with your cultural pressures here?
You may be surprised to find how many from your and other cultures, are quietly doing what is 'not done.'
I'm horrified OP, these people have harmed you, for years, they've threatened your life, and routinely verbally abuse you.
For the sake of your own health, you need to get as much distance as possible from them.
You are being abused. Seriously. They've threatened to kill you in the past, on multiple occasions.
Can Karma Nirvana help? They would have experience and insight. On phone, so attempt to get the like has failed.
Please don't let them do this to you, please get away? The law of the land, AND humanity is on your side.
Oh, and in situations such as this, it's a natural instinct to hate people like this. You have to allow your feelings, so that you can process them, understand them and then let them go.
The anger/hatred if not allowed to be expressed will only turn inwards, it will fuel depression, and potentially cause a very much loved wife and mother to lose the battle. So they'd literally get away with murder then, wouldn't they?
No 'parent' is worth this agony, go public, tell everyone what they do and say, stop covering up their crimes.
Could you ever do what they do to you, to your child?
No, of course you wouldn't/couldn't. You're right, and they are wrong. They have NO right to treat you, or your family, like this.
Get angry, hate them, embrace the feelings you have, you need to, then they will become more manageable over time.
I really feel for you what a terrible situation. If you really feel that you have to still have some contact with them you need to be able to detach emotionally from them and their comments. One thing that really strikes me from your posts is that you are so obviously NOTHING like these people, you sound lovely and that you are giving your daughter the kind of childhood that you so clearly never had the benefit of. Live your life happily with your DH and your daughter and do NOT let these people ruin your life.
I'm staggered that you say they think family unit is so important.
NOTHING you describe indicates people who value family. Nothing. They sound awful. Actually, they sound dangerous.
I'd bloody emigrate. You can settle somewhere else! Be a lot bloody happier.
What if they start on your daughter when they decide she should marry? Threaten to slit her throat?
YOu need to work out a method of giving the appearance of having a close family relationship (so that parents don't lose face) whilst keeping them at arm's length.
Perhaps you could call your sil on her behaviour. Ask her outright why she is avoiding you (you don't know she really dislikes you, and why would she? unless she is jealous that you don't spend time with the parents).
Is there a time of day when you can call but only stay a short time eg before getting DD from school?
Also as suggested above, take DH with you.
And counselling would give you methods of dealing with the stress.
Remember that this situation may not go on forever. Parents will age, become ill (quite likely with their stressful lives) and the harrassment might lessen.
Or you could move away and cut ties.
Take this business of being obliged to respect your parents: do they love and tend to and support their family? That bit about throwing hot (scalding?) tea around is also pretty crazy. Can you see that they are hypocrites, and let go of your guilt about wanting to push back against them?
The throwing a cup of tea incident could also mean your father is lashing out in an argument, rather than being confident enough that his opinion/position is "respected". Probably why they are so critical of you: they want you to feel as though you have to "earn" their praise. Nice.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
My Dh is in a secure job and we have a house in a good area and I have some lovely friends. I have thought about moving away or even abroad but then think why should they force me out. Dd is settled at the local school which is excellent.
The irony of this is that my inlaws are truly lovely. I adore my mother in law who is the sweetest kindest lady ever.
A cultural based self half group sounds like a brilliant idea. How/who can suggest to MNHQ? It is very hard for people not in cultures that expect so much to understand how hard it is.
gimmecakeandcandy - that would be a great idea, having support from others who know cultural differences.
Your parents sound eerily similar to mine.
The control, the violence, the emphasis on family. Only now am I beginning to understand that it is about keeping up appearances within the Asian community. They dont actually care about their kids-you know this all too well.
I am in counselling for the lifetime of abuse I have endured at the hands of both my parents.
I cut my parents out of my life in November 2011 and the world did not end as I had been conditioned to believe. My world is free of their toxicity; I can concentrate on my happiness.
If they dont like it tough. No amount of explanation, pouring out your heart, pleading for their understanding will make the slightest bit of difference; if your parents are anything like mine you exist only to serve them and take every verbal lashing, constant criticism they deign to mete out to you.
Ask yourself if you would allow YOUR daughter to be treated so?
I am assuming your DH is British as you refer to your MIL being a lovely woman? Either way he needs to support you and understand where you are coming from. It never fails to amaze me how some people who have received nothing but love and kindness and support from their parents fail to understand so completely the horror of abusive parents. It is as if because THEY cannot comprehend this reality that it does not exist.
As for your SIL-check out the website www.pakmarriages.com. The explanation for her behaviour is there. Its life a f***ing script that they follow. You are a threat to her and her motives. Simple. She is only looking out for her own needs and probably doesnt give a shiny shit about family, integrity or simple decency.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I do not bloody believe this
I AM NOT EVEN HALF WAY DOWN READING THE ARTICLE IN PAKMARRIAGES. COM. REGARDING SISTER IN LAWS
THIS DESCRIBES EXACTLY TO THE LETTER WHAT HAS BEEN GOING ON IN MY FAMILY AND HOW DSISTER IN LAW TURNED EVERYONE AGAINST ME WITH MONTHS OF BEING MARRIED TO MY BROTHER AND SUBSEQUENTLY WHAT HAS BEEN HAPPENING SINCE.
Op - we need more of this back story? Is the sil writing bout you?
Read the link, it's not that the text is personalised, it's that it's so typical.
I've seen the same mentality from Egyptians.
OP, it may be too late for your DB to see what's going on, but it's another reason for you to get the hell away from your family.
Please talk to your MIL? They'll understand you, and I hope they'll help you.
Its a huge eye opener.
My own SIL is right up there with the worst of them; as fake as they come. Thinks nothing of using people, family, throwing her weight around. Its disgusting.
Knowledge is power. Nothing good can come of sustained contact.
But that article is awful, really appalling. It consistently labels every sister-in-law from Pakistan as a coniving bitch, without exception. It could so easily be used as fodder to bully a new arrival into the family.
I obviously don'r know enough about your personal circumstances, but really truly that is a dire piece of writing.
Yep the article is awful. It has been criticised by those fortunate to have no experience of these issues.
Yes it is very one sided, it makes for very unpleasant reading. But there is a huge element of truth within it. To those unfortunate enough to be trapped within those circumstances, it is a living hell.
There is also useful stuff in that website about avoiding forced marriage, and the possible problems of cousin marriage.
The sister-in-law article doesn't sit well with the rest of the site.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Maybe I read the wrong article? Anyway OP iv struggled alot with the same problem. I can't go non contact but iv made myself very thick skinned around my parents- hardly anything gets to me anymore. I know how powerful that conditioning is, it's easy for others to say non contact but there are many stages between absolutely no contact and costing everyday. But I did move 400 miles away from both sides lol
hi, no advice as such but would strongly second the idea of a cultural self help group as those not brought up in such a community will never ever be able to understand the issues and pressures and all the izzat rubbish.
Posting on this thread, it's made me face up to reality. . It's worse than I thought with sister in law. I'm looking back at times sister in laws friends have made odd negative comments about my Dd and Dh and it's made me think why on earth would they say that.. Now I realise she must be saying stuff to them about my family.
It's random stuff like Dd hits sister in laws children when no adult is looking! Dd is 5 and not cunning. She's a normal child and I've never ever witnessed this. . But sister in laws friends who don't really know my Dd say this. Sister in law is the only link. It's very obvious she will not acknowledge Dd when she sees her, or even say hi. When other guests are in the house she will be very friendly and chatty. It's not me being picky, but it's very obvious.
I've not been sleeping for the past few nights and I actually feel depressed knowing I have family members who I have to see are like this. It's one thing with me someone has an issue with but its worse when they play games with your child. I had to Move back home when heavily pregnant until dd was 2 months old. It was awful. Sister in law must have spoken onega rely spoke to me entire time I was there, my Dm complained to me not waking up early enough to do housework. I had ghost given birth.
I feel fed up right now am in tears and wish I could block all of this out
Being of Asian background I can relate to you about culture, respect, izat etc and totally know where you are coming from, although my parents are nothing like yours my inlaws are. I have therefore cut them off! I came to a point in my life after having my child and continuing to take their crap to say no more! If you can't respect me then get out of my life! I have seen them since!
Sometimes you have to forget about what people might say of think and think of yourself. You sound as if you have a lovely family - your DH, child and inlaws. Embrace that and move on. If you want to continue to see your parents, do so but on your terms. Keep it simple - hi, bye and that's it. Do the minimum and don't feel bad about it!
50shades, I understand what your saying. But in reality I won't be able to stop contact. They live 5 mins across the road and phone daily. . Even if I don't go to theirs, they will come to mine. That's just as stressful. Had a good long chat with Dp.Im truly blessed to have him. He says that we can't stop contact, because we would have to explain why. Not everyone will understand why we can't tell them how they are treating me, but to disown them in my heart and let their words go over my head. In reality how is this done? I am a sensitive person and have a history of anxiety. ( I get palpitations going to their house/ speaking to them). I need to grow up and be more confident emotionally and mentally. I know this. But have no idea how to get there. I used to think of suicide/ running away when I was younger ; this is how bad the abuse was. I locked myself in my bedroom once whilst my father stood outside threatening to cut my throat with a kitchen knife. How do i work on my confidence?
Babybirdz I totally feel for you. I think the fact that you live so close is an issue and it won't be so easy to just disown them. I agree though that you need to work on your confidence - definitely. And I know it's easier said than done to just cut ties. I still have palpitations when I think of my inlaws and anytime my DH suggests I try and 'make up' (it isn't happening) !
Maybe, just a suggestion, you should let the phone go to answering machine on occasions so you are not always available to them. Pretend you are not in when they knock and say later that you were out or busy. Don't always make yourself available to them - what can they do ?!
Do you have any friends locally? A baby/child group you attend or could attend?
You have to stop seeing yourself as the victim (I'm only saying this because I had to do same in respect of inlaws) and seeing yourself as the stronger person. It's your parents loss that they can't treat you like the daughter you deserve to be treated as and that means that there is something wrong with them, not you.
Sorry for any typos etc am typing on an iPhone.
50 shades, Defunatrly I need to stop seeing myself as a victim.Im sure around the time of my period I get more emotional and the past comes back to haunt me even more.
I have made some lovely friends who I regularly meet up with at soft play/ park/ lunch/ dinner at mine. I was always conditioned that friends were no good. Glad I'm changing my ways, better late than never.
Just keep putting yourself, your DH and your child first and you can't go wrong. You can't change the past but you can make your future ... Wishing you all the best.
Thanks to all the posters to all your messages of support. Xx
I will get a number recognising home phone so I don't always pick up.
I will try my best to toughen up, I've never pleased them, so i guess they can criticise me all they want. It's their loss because I was a caring daughter, always polite, did all the housework and always obeyed them.
Not sure if it's worth mentioning but they did harass me for several years to have a forced marriage. I stood my ground then and although it wasn't easy and the abuse escalated I'm glad I did. I did end up having an arranged marriage to a man I approved off and it was the best decision I ever made. I know of others who have gone ahead with forced marriages to live a lifetime if misery. I was a tough cookie at one point in my life. This was without any support. I was completely alone and didn't confide in anyone although my college tutor did pull me to the side one day saying I was loosing weight and wasnt looking quite right. Was everything okay at home? I lied, I was petrified. If I could endure that as a teenager I'm sure I can fight this with the support of my Dh.
My previous post looks contradictory saying I always obeyed them when I didn't obey them when it really mattered!
Babybirdz Wed 02-Jan-13 22:44:50
>>>>> My previous post looks contradictory saying I always obeyed them when I didn't obey them when it really mattered! <<<<
No, what it proves is that you stood up for yourself when it really mattered.
Just purchased a new home phone that displays caller id!
Excellent! You may have to subscribe to the service though with your phone provider. I tell you it's the best subscription I've signed up for! I now have a choice and I choose not to answer calls from my in laws. They leave a message and DH can choose to respond, or not.
sis the way around this is to enlist your husbands help and make it look like he is asserting his authority over you lol,
when your parents call say you have to do something for DH,
if you can tell your parents that DH thinks it is not right that you see them so often and dont see your mil as often, and it is disrespectful and people will think there are issues which is why you dont visit mil, so you can only visit your own mother once a week on sunday afternoons. and he requires you to be back before it is dark as he doesnt want you walking in the dark
and he is telling you to focus on your own house and family, that you spend too much time there etc.
The most important thing is your DH is on your side and will support you in your choices.
Personally I do think you should try and maintain some contact, but you need to do it on your terms.
As for your sister in law, the best way to deal with people like that is to be sickly sweet to them. Always compliment them, take food/clothes.gifts for them (even if regifted tat) etc and give it to her in front of everyone! lol
50 shades- I've just realised. Will get on my provider first thing.
wanted to say one thing- don't think of yourself as a weak person. you describe yourself an anxious. this is how you are because of your parents and upbringing, not a flaw in you that makes you react in a certain way to treatment other people could cope with. bullies and abusers often tell their victims that it's the victim's response that is wrong (they are hypersensitive) not the abusers behaviour.
no one could go through what you have and come through completely unscathed. anxiety is a common problem in those from abusive backgrounds. one of the ways to feel back in control is to get therapy and get back in control of the anxious thoughts and behaviours.
you are not weak to have survived through what you have and not crumpled. you are still standing - this is an achievement and not the sign of someone weak or someone who is overly sensitive compared to ' normal' people.
Nailak- I do completely understand where you're coming from. DM has asked previously if its DH stopping me from going over. Ive always laughed and answered to her saying he is not like that, and she knows that full well. In turn they have pressurised DH in telling me to visit them DAILY!! Yes, DAILY!! Not a chance in hell, unless they want me to have a breakdown.
The responces on this post been a real wake up call for me. I've been thinking for years , I'm wallowing in my own self pity. nothing could be further from the truth.
Nailak- there's more problems in the family than i have even mentioned here. When DB got engaged 5years ago SIL wouldn't speak or make eye contact with me. I thought it must be in my head so made an extra effort with her. Well DB admitted to me that SIL had said to him that she would never accept or like me. After that she plotted and planned incidents in the family which made my DB detest me, then myDf then my DM. Well after years my DM and Df are on the receiving end and completely realise the games she has been playing. DM has often been to my house and explained how SIL has turned DB against them all. But you know what, they refuse to say anything to her.( I refuse to bad mouth her to my DM , I tell DM to confront her)
After all the years of crap I've faced, having my family treat me like shit, partly because of the way they are, partly because SIL was instigating it, they know what the reality is. They have said her parents back in, dare I say it Pakistan are behind her acting this way. The pakmarriage.com article helped me see it too. It's scary how much I could relate to it, I could have written it myself.
What I clearly see now is my parents who are both cowards, who refuse to question her spiteful way.
I don't expect ppl who are not familiar with the culture to fully understand how cunning a person can be and their motives behind it
this thing about community, it is just peer pressure, parents give in to the pressure of their peers while at the same time expecting their kids to not give in to it.
the sis in law thing is a game, in all seriousness i would say just give nice gifts to the kids, and carry on being the person you are.
cant dh have some sort of change of personality where he has realised he has to be an amir(head of household) and cant let his wife and kids run riot or something? lol then he can "stop" you from going?
DH couldn't do that. He's very kind hearted. He would never assert that authority over me even if it was only for show.
Are you with BT. Go online to your account. Enable the 'privacy package'. It's free but includes caller id. If you ask for caller id you'll have to pay.
My friend's PIL behave in a despicable way when they visit his home. He tries to ignore it because you have to be respectful to your elders. And yet their behaviour is beyond rude and is completely based on the idea that they can actually get away with anything becase they are older, wtaf..??
Captain- I'm with talk talk. I know, we are always taught to respect our elders as well as elders are always right but that's sadly not the case.
Same with talk talk. Good luck birdz. Sounds tricky but theres some good ideas here. My Dad used to ring his Mum regularly 10 minutes before her favourite tv programme
Well, so far there's been two missed called from DM that I haven't picked up. Could be more as I've been out with DH!
Don't be tempted to call back!
When you speak to her all you need to say is 'I was busy' - keep details vague. Have you got an answering machine?
She called again stating she phoned me x amount of times today. I kept it vague but did pick up. It looks really obvious now and to be honest I feel crap talking to her being distant with her which I have been for past few days when I've seen her. I am a practising Muslim and kindness to parents is very important. I find myself trying to balance the 2, which is why I end up feeling guilty when she sounds all down. At the end of the day she did give birth to me and raise me and I need to show respect to her, but in turn I need to toughen up and just make do with her criticisms. That's my honest thought.
I understand what you are saying and although I'm not Muslim it is expected that I be kind to my parents, respect them etc - it's a given. In the same way it is expected that I be kind to and respect my children.
Just because you give birth to someone it does not mean that you treat them in a negative, controlling way. Could you make your child feel the way your mother has made you feel?
Work on your self esteem and confidence and in turn you will feel stronger not to allow your mother to make you feel the way you have described.
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