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To think some are so bloody mean about their parents?

(107 Posts)
Tittypulumpcious Wed 17-Jul-13 18:43:08

Not all parents are amazing, but they are all human! I am not talking about those who abuse their kids in many ways. I mean the run of the mill 'normal' parent who does what they feel is the best for their kids bring them up they in turn become adults their parents get older and then they slate their parents for talking too much, repeating themselves, being particular about things the list goes on.

Maybe I am sensitive because my mum has been ill for almost 10 years and I have missed out on so many mother daughter things, she might be my mum but she's a person first with her own issues and foibles.

I saw a woman today laughing with her friends because her mum was on the phone clearly boring her so she put her phone on the table until she thought she might have finished.

I'm sure everyone has a reason for doing/saying whatever but my guess is when their parent is no longer here those things that irritated them might be some of the things they miss. Just pisses me off when I see someone disrespecting someone they say they love in this way.

Rant over!

NewGirlInTown Wed 17-Jul-13 18:45:20

I totally agree with you. Some of the things I read on here make me wince. I adored and respected both of my parents. I know how lucky I am.

Groovee Uruguay Wed 17-Jul-13 18:46:16

Well I popped into see my parents today and my alcoholic mother was pished as a fart and not even aware I was there.

chocoluvva Wed 17-Jul-13 18:47:59

I sympathise. A friend was complaining about her mum a few months after my mum died.

I used to go on about how funny, witty and wise my mum was, often quoting her. She could be irritating of course, but I feel very lucky to have had her for a mum and I told her and other people too. So not everyone is ungrateful for their mum smile

MadeOfStarDust Wed 17-Jul-13 18:51:06

Some people have not experienced the horror that is a parent who does not show ANY respect for their adult child.

ClaraOswald Wed 17-Jul-13 18:52:13

The only thing that is certain though, your own experiences are colouring your views.

What's not to say that had you had a "normal mother-daughter relationship" not marred by her ill health that you wouldn't be one of those people yourself?

Equally, do you never complain about your mother? I don't know anyone who doesn't have a moan about a parent/grandparent every now and then. If you don't you must be a saint. If you do, don't you think it's a bit off to be criticising anyone else?

thegreylady Wed 17-Jul-13 18:53:08

Or indeed the adult child who shows no love or respect for his/her parents.

MadeOfStarDust Wed 17-Jul-13 18:56:01

Or indeed the adult child who shows no love or respect for his/her parents.

some of us learn by the example shown to us over a lifetime of "nurture"

McFluffy Wed 17-Jul-13 18:56:52

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Lozzy21 Wed 17-Jul-13 18:58:02

As someone who lost my own lovely mum 4 years ago,I too find it difficult to hear friends disrespecting their own mums & thinking to myself "you don't know how lucky you are to have her still with you'...

It's a tricky one because I know I was very lucky with mine...she was such a kind,loving woman who gave me support throughout but then,I know not everyone has this relationship!

Agree though that unless we're talking about child abuse,abandoment etc...your mum is still your mum & deserves your love & respect

Mapal Wed 17-Jul-13 18:59:12

This irritates me. When my friend's mum died he said I should renew my relationship with my dad since I was lucky to still have him. But just because he's alive doesn't mean he's worth my attention. He's a waste of space and ruined my childhood, I'm not going to let him carry on ruining my life. I'm not lucky he's still alive, I'm unlucky that I NEVER had a proper dad.

morethanpotatoprints Wed 17-Jul-13 19:00:03

This makes me mad too. I used to hate being at school gates and hearing a gp say their dc had told them off due to something they had done regarding their grandchildren when providing free childcare shock.
I heard the parent complain about it next day and was so close to decking her.
My mum died years ago and before this we lived too far away. I never had free childcare and never said bad things about my mum or Dad. It is disgusting imo

LynetteScavo England Wed 17-Jul-13 19:00:52

My mum always made it very clear to me she is my parent, not my friend, and even to some extent a person.

She would never be upset in front of me, or even ill. (I have know her to be ill 3 times in 40 years.)

I have a different relationship with my DC.

TVTonight Wed 17-Jul-13 19:01:28

But becoming old doesn't excuse an adult from good manners nor grant them forgiveness for shittiness they inflicted on their children?

Of course children, including adult ones, should be kind, generous, compassionate ... All the qualities that parents take time to instil - or not.

LynetteScavo England Wed 17-Jul-13 19:03:20

I don't' think I've ever said anything mean about my father. I've probably never said anything nice, though.

When he died, I felt nothing. Maybe some relief.

IslaValargeone Wed 17-Jul-13 19:03:21

Bearing in mind the parent/child relationship is usually the fundamental lynchpin of a person's formative years and a 'normal' relationship is taken for granted;I don't think you can underestimate how tragic and soul destroying it can be if you haven't had that.
If I had the relationship where my mother bored me and I could laugh with my friends about putting the phone down, I'd feel quite fortunate tbh.
I have Groovee's mother issues amongst others.

Pawprint Wed 17-Jul-13 19:05:08

I love my parents. They love me to bits and would (and have) do anything to me. That said, my dad has an explosive temper and my mum has racist views that make my blood boil. Both of them have been manipulative in the past. My mother thought nothing of slapping my face if I did anything to annoy her. I once accidentally knocked some bird seed over (God help anyone who messed up her perfectly pristine house) and I got a wallop across the face that set my ears ringing for days. She never showed remorse or apologised.

Looking back, I realise that both parents suffered severe depression. They were not perfect parents. I am not a perfect parent. I am lucky to have them but they are not always easy people.

I dont see a problem with people complaining about parents. Parents also complain about children.

i was complaining about my mum the other day after she rang me at 9 o'clock wanting me to talk her through using a new laptop she had got. She didn't even know how to turn it on yet expected me to know when she couldn't even tell me the make/model off it.

Nearly 2 hours I was on the phone about this stupid laptop and than in the end she says 'oh, I might as well wait til you come down'. I feel I had the right to complain to a friend about that!

NobodyPutsTomArcherInTheCorner Wed 17-Jul-13 19:07:08

Yabu. Your own experience can't possibly be the same as everyone else's.

Tee2072 Wed 17-Jul-13 19:09:28

Not all parents deserve respect, which needs to be earned, never mind love.

And they don't have to obvious abusers for that to be true.

My mom did not abuse me. I have very little respect for her though.

filee777 Wed 17-Jul-13 19:13:19

My parents ignored a likely personality disorder (with diagnosis) and allowed me to be beaten senseless by my brother daily, ignoring it to the point that they buggered off to Las Vegas when I was 12 for 2 weeks leaving me alone with him. All because it didn't fit into their perfect ideals to have a messed up son and daughter.

Being a parent does not automatically make you brilliant.

NotYoMomma Wed 17-Jul-13 19:43:58

I ADORE my mother but when sheis telling me I still need a cardigan in this weather or else I will 'catch the arthritis' then she deserves a huge eyeroll!

Nanny0gg England Wed 17-Jul-13 19:45:15

But the OP is talking about run-of-the-mill, 'normal' parents.
Not the abusing, neglectful ones.

She's talking about those small, unthinking comments, that if the parent heard, would probably upset them greatly.

Not some of the horrific attitudes some of you endured.

And I agree with her.

SaucyJack Wed 17-Jul-13 19:55:54

Some people are boring on the phone to well beyond the point of rudeness tho. My mother included. I've put the phone down on her moaning plenty of times, never mind eye rolling.

And I don't feel guilty in the slightest.

SarahStrattonIsBackForJustABit Wed 17-Jul-13 20:30:38

Meh, just be grateful you had the luxury of decent parents. I'd love to have parents who love me, and I could love back. Or parents who love my beloved daughters. Or even parents who actually wanted to babysit, or spend time with them

I don't. I have no respect, or love for them. How could I possibly respect or love someone who made it so obvious for all of my life that I wasn't someone worth bothering about. Particularly hurtful when you have a younger sister who has grow up to be a spoilt, aggressive, self obsessed nightmare because she was the be all and end all of the family.

Be happy for yourself, be grateful you have such a lovely parent. But don't judge those of us who have nothing good to say about their parents.

WandaDoff Wed 17-Jul-13 20:37:12

I don't like it when people disrespect their parents or treat them badly.

Obviously, all situations are different, & I wouldn't interfere, but my parents are dead now & I wish they weren't.

Tee2072 Wed 17-Jul-13 23:44:47


cory Wed 17-Jul-13 23:59:20

ThisReallyIsNotSPNopeNotAtAll Wed 17-Jul-13 19:05:41
"I dont see a problem with people complaining about parents. Parents also complain about children."

This is very, very true. Think of all the unthinking comments we make about our children here on MN, some of which would probably hurt them deeply. And we never know that they won't die before us. Or that they won't be terribly cut up when we die. Doesn't stop MNers from going on at great length about how boring and irritating their children are.

You can love someone and find them annoying.

Really have you never moaned at your oh for something stupid although you still love him.

Never adored a friend but rolled your eyes when they start going on about some minor tale of woe?

You will make yourself miserable if you spend your life looking at what others have and getting irritated because they don't appreciated it.

Every family dynamic is different and what you take to be a needless insult is, quite possibly, a reation to something deeper that you aren't privvy to.

TigerSwallowTail Thu 18-Jul-13 00:40:07

I disagree, my own mother has no respect for me and takes great pleasure in trying to make me miserable. I may sometimes sound mean when talking about her but it's nothing compared to the things she has said and done to me. My father has passed away so I know what it feels like to miss out on having a parent around and I see where you're coming from, but every situation and parental dynamic is different, yabu.

aldiwhore Thu 18-Jul-13 00:48:16

Some of my parents choices had a massive negative impact on me.

I will never paste over those cracks, or flower the truth.

However, I aslo acknowledge that they did what was best for the whole family at the time and hindsight is a wonderful thing.

Oh my folks absolutely do my head in at times, my mum in particular can with one word, bring out the unreasonable bitch in me, she has a gift for it.

But through all that, I know they are human, they didn't always 'get' me, but they've always always loved me, they've always done what they thought was best, and they never started down a path they knew would hurt either me or my siblings.


Those who've had nothing but shit ANBU either, so I think it's a case of live and let live.

MrsMook Thu 18-Jul-13 01:06:27

I think I've experienced a broad spectrum of parental relationships within my complicated family. My mother has a complex range of issues, some of which concern me. She's said some blooming hurtful things, usually she's just got no empathy for anyone else and blurts out something inconsiderate and inappropriate. I keep contact with her low for my well being. Sometimes I question the way I act with her but always come back to the fact that I have good relationships with the rest of the family, and hers are poor. I think that's more telling about her than me.

Fortunately I have postive parental relations with the grandparents who raised me as a daughter. I know what it's like to miss a parent as my "dad" died when I was a child. The fear of losing a parent can't make me fabricate something that isn't. If something happened to my mother, I would acknowledge and miss the positive things she has done for me, and lament that things weren't better.

She's not a terrible or abusive person. I understand why she is like she is. I'm just not very good at putting up with her and sometimes a good rant is needed to preserve my own sanity.

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 01:23:39

my mum is like chocolate - I love both, but too much of either makes me feel sick and gives me a headache.

AaDB Thu 18-Jul-13 07:34:05

I think you should count yourself lucky for the relationship you had.

I don't have the relationship I wanted. I agree that my parents are human. I can forgive their lack of interest. I will not jump into a dutiful dd role or endure their Disney version of childhood events. The foundation of our relationship was built by them in my childhood. I am responsible for how I engage with them as an adult and I can't forget. They have taught me how not to be a parent and I can honestly day I am doing my best. They cannot IMO.

That said, I am direct. I would not take a long chatty phone call when socializing. If if isn't convenient to chat, I say so; I wouldn't roll my eyes or put the phone on the table.

You are fortunate in your relationship. You have no idea what the situation with others cannot judge. You can judge bad manners and passive aggressive behavior.

bettycocker Thu 18-Jul-13 08:22:20

You can take the piss out of them in a bantering way. I do it with my folks and I'm under no illusions that they don't do the same with me. In fact, we also do it to each other's faces!

One of my parents has a life long mental illness and the other has had physical health problems for much of their life. I didn't have the happiest of childhood, but they were just trying to do their best. They are both intelligent, educated individuals who encouraged me to read, learn and be creative.

Tailtwister Thu 18-Jul-13 08:37:58

I suppose it depends on the relationship you have with your parents. You see a snapshot of someone on the phone to their mother, but that doesn't really tell you anything. Not everyone has a good relationship with their parents for whatever reason.

Also, why is there so much whinging here about GP's helping care for their GC? It's not 'free childcare', it's a family helping each other out. It smacks of jealousy to me. My parents don't help with our children, but if we lived closer I'm sure they would. The fact that we don't have that help doesn't send me into a frenzy of jealous rage!

DeWe Thu 18-Jul-13 09:46:40

I love my parents very much. But there are certain things that drive me crazy. I don't need to know what each member of the bowls club said before and after their turn, nor details of exactly how many lengths they did at swimming and why. Rolling my eyes while on the phone is my way of getting rid of the frustration without taking it out on the parents.

Mostly on here people are venting. Often venting so they won't blow up in rl causing hurt. Sometimes they're looking for a solution that they can ease the situation. That's because they love their parents, not because they hate them.

If you find that sort of thread hard, don't read it. People can't be expected to think "oh someone on here doesn't have a mum/dad/uncle/car/own house... so I can't vent.

Personally my older dc have no cousins their own age, dd1 is nearly 6 years older than her oldest cousin. I feel very jealous when I hear of people going out with a train of cousins playing together, all of similar ages and great friends. I would never expect someone to feel that they couldn't complain about a situation which had arisen with cousins because of me.

FriskyHenderson Thu 18-Jul-13 10:00:54

I spoke to my mother yesterday and she thought I was my three year old son. Even after I pointed out I wasn't.

Aw isn't that sad.

Well no, it's what happens when you abuse prescription drugs, codeine and alcohol for years, then go on to emotionally abuse your children. They stop caring and hang up, knowing you won't remember it anyway.

LittleprincessinGOLDrocks England Thu 18-Jul-13 10:08:08

My Mum passed away quiet a few years ago, and I miss her terribly and would give anything to have her back. It did used to grate on me when friends moaned about their mothers, but I came to realise that not everyone has a good relationship with their mothers. It made me more thankful for every minute I had shared with her.

As for my father, he has burned nearly every bridge in our relationship. In fact my friend has told me I should cut all ties with him, based on how my father has treated me since my mum died. He gives me no emotional support, he hasn't seen me in over 18 months. I get an email once a month where he brags about how much time (and money) he is spending with his girlfriends children and grandchildren. Yet he has only met my DS 3 times in his whole life.It hurts and it feels like he is rubbing salt in to the wounds.
He lied and cheated his own children out of our inheritance which my mum had left us. He didn't need the money (we are struggling) but took it out of greed.
He was violent with my mum for many years.
My Granddad (my dads father) has stopped all contact with him due to the emotional neglect and abuse he suffered when living with his son.
So yes I do moan about my dad a lot. I am lucky I have my Granddad to turn to and I don't moan about him ever.

gotthemoononastick Thu 18-Jul-13 10:18:05

I think because I am older it is an almost unheard of thing to disrespect your Mother.I would never have spoken to or even judged my Mother as my daughter speaks to me.We do have a much healthier and more open relationship and I love her ability to think for herself.

I still am very uncomfortable about questioning anything my Mother did,though.Luckily ,with the years come understanding and acceptance and peace.

Twattybollocks Thu 18-Jul-13 10:34:46

I love my mother, we are very close. I do however roll my eyes and do the "yes mum, no mum" routine sometimes when on the phone when she goes off on one about why I'm still bf dd (not quite 6 months) and that I need to lose some weight and tart myself up a bit so I can get a new man (separated from husband about 2 months ago, we may get back together)
It doesn't mean I'm nasty to her or that I love her any less, its just a mum thing that she does that I put up with because I can't be arsed arguing, so listen, nod, smile and do it my way.

grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 11:12:45

YABU because you've no idea what that woman's mum is like. She could be awful.

I have no respect for my Mum (I realise you'll think me mean). For as long as I can remember she has told me I ruined her life by being born, regularly tells me I can't or won't be able to do whatever it is that day that she deems me incapable of. I often ignore her on the phone, she can call up to 56 times on one day 75% of the time she's so drunk she's incoherent. She rarely remembers anyway. From the age of 10 I dealt with all appointments and official stuff because if my Dad wasn't there I was the only one capable of remaining sober. I sometimes laugh if she calls when I'm in public eg supermarket. It's not because I find her funny but due to sheer embarrassment

OrmirianResurgam Thu 18-Jul-13 11:30:46

Well I think putting the phone down on the table while she is still talking and making a joke of it to your friends is unbeleivably disrespectful. If you don't want to talk to her tell her you are busy and you'll ring back later. Either do or don't speak to her, but don't mock for a cheap laugh.

If the woman in question had a truly abusive mother why the hell does she call her or accept her calls.

Most of us have parents who we find tedious or irritating at times. I don't feel the need to mock them to my friends. I might well have a rant to let off steam, but that isn't the same.

grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 11:48:42

Cutting someone off isn't actually that easy even when to someone on the outside it's the easiest thing to do. There's the pressure that they are your parent, the fact the leave you with zero self confidence. Look how many people on this thread have said you shouldn't question your mum or must respect her.

In my case I have to answer the phone or she keeps ringing. If I still don't I end up dealing with the police when she calls to say she's killing herself. So answering the phone actually minimises my guilt and humiliation.

Btw I'm not the woman described in the OP. Another legacy my mum has left me is the inability to have friends.

gotthemoononastick Thu 18-Jul-13 12:06:06

Ormirian has said it perfectly!!

YouTheCat Thu 18-Jul-13 12:12:30

Respect is a two way thing.

My parents have been dead for years. I will always miss them.

But I'm not going to project my pretty wonderful experience of my parents onto someone else who might have utterly awful parents.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 12:23:09

Am excluding anything approaching abusive/toxic/narc parenting, because the OP specifically ruled it out of her comment.
So, having made that clear ...the remaining mothers will always irritate at some point. Its in the contract!! Just in the same way that teenagers can drive you crackers and push some limits, and we deal with it because we love them. That is the point, however, when it becomes a 2-way street and we start to irritate them!

None of us are perfect. Real family love (excepting the aforementioned narcs/toxics etc) is not about being faultless, or blind to faults, but all about loving people despite their faults.
Can any one of us put our hands up and say we have never been irritated by our parent? not once?
Equally, we have to accept that if we are not annoying our kids over some issues today ....then we certainly will have done by the time they hit 30!

Its about give and take.
(and talking issues through before irritation becomes destructive)

Whothefuckfarted Thu 18-Jul-13 12:30:28

My mum has always been a drinker. In many ways she failed me as a parent. If i'm honest I actually don't have much respect for her. I feel sorry for what she's had to go through in her life but still..

I've put the phone down on her many times. One time I owed her some money, i'd just crashed my car and as a result lost my job due to no transport. She said I'd better fucking get that money to her no matter what, even if I had to sell my body for it.

Nice eh?


grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 12:32:01

For all the OP knows the woman's mum could have been abusive so she can't judge properly.

pooquickly Thu 18-Jul-13 12:43:56

YABU. I had a lovely father, who is no longer alive, but not everyone's relationship with their parent is like that. You can't possibly know what the mother who was on the other side of the phone is like or how she has treated her daughter in the past, for her daughter to be so disrespectful.

juule Thu 18-Jul-13 12:49:29

"Being a parent does not automatically make you brilliant."

Exactly. But sometimes it seems their children expect brilliance.
Parents are human too, you know wink

ZingWidge Thu 18-Jul-13 12:53:33

I agree. (unrealistic) expectations are at the root of a lot of happiness

I'm reminded daily of this.

good post, thanks

ChippingInHopHopHop Thu 18-Jul-13 12:54:27

Why do people light an emotional fuse like this - then fuck off?

yamsareyammy Thu 18-Jul-13 13:06:23

Both parents and children are on a spectrum of niceness if you ask me. Works both way.

But I take your point about that little things can irritate, but you miss the person when they are gone.

Worth remembering.

Yabu, having got a dh who has toxic parents of whom one beat him as a kid, treat him differently now an adult compared to his siblings, shout abuse and obscenities at my dc and ruin every celebration they can by being demanding and trying to take centre stage (be queen bee if you like) and then after going nc ruin the last chance the have seeing the gc by repeating said behaviour then no why should adults complain about people who quite simply only share blood. Some people are born to people who don't care a single knotch for that child, child or adult.

Some give their parents a hard time because quite simple their parents aren't worth the time or day.
You can't choose your parents, but it doesn't mean you have to be stuck with them forever just because their blood runs through their veins.

yamsareyammy Thu 18-Jul-13 13:07:17

Chipping, I think they unleash more than they expected!
Or are busy.


Tittypulumpcious Thu 18-Jul-13 13:14:36

No I'm not being unreasonable! I clearly stated in my op I was not referring to those who have have been subjects of abuse of any kind.

I didn't have 'an ideal childhood' far from it but I have enough respect for my parents that if they do ever irritate I keep it to myself not tell all and sundry how dull they are just because they've told them the same story for the 4th time! Helps if people read not skim.

grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 13:23:22

Do you know jule and zing it had taken me until recently to start to think my unhappiness wasn't 100% my fault. Now I see I had been right the first time as obviously I had unrealistic expectations. I guess it's a shame for my mum and I deserve all I got due to my unrealistic expectations.

martini84 Thu 18-Jul-13 13:26:20

Op i know where you are coming from. I lost my dad when i was 20 and my mum passed away 2 years ago. I know i was fortunate to have good parents and i miss them dearly. Neither of them had a chance to mmet my young baby. My mum was quite ill when my older dc were small but i always made sure she saw them weekly.
Hearing people moan about granparent who provide free childcare for giving pfb a biscuit or other trivial thing is upsetting.
Obv feel sad too for those with abusive parents.

Tee2072 Thu 18-Jul-13 14:26:51

Yes. You are being unreasonable.

As I said, I wasn't abused. That doesn't mean my mother was any good at being a mother. She doesn't have my respect because she doesn't deserve my respect.

Respect has to be earned. You don't automatically get it because your old or a parent or even run a country.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 18-Jul-13 14:42:25

I do understand what you mean. Mine are fantastic, really, really lovely. However, my DPs mother is absolutely VILE to her, abusive and rude sometimes in public but mostly in private. My DP has been the "adult" in the relationship since her abusive father died when she was 13. Anyone that didn't know the background and saw my Mil acting as sweet and vulnerable as you like in front of others would have no idea what she was actually like in private. It has given me a totally different perspective on what some people's parents are actually like. Now, I try not to judge, you never know what has happened. Not every parent of an adult child is lovely just because they are old.

Cherriesarelovely Thu 18-Jul-13 14:45:11

Exactly, Tee, my Dp's father was a hugely wealthy, powerful, well connected man in the country where she was brought up. He was also a Dr so everytime he beat the living daylights out of her he patched her up. Disgusting man. He was the life and soul of the party to everyone else.

Lottapianos Thu 18-Jul-13 14:56:41

'If the woman in question had a truly abusive mother why the hell does she call her or accept her calls.'

People who have grown up in 'normal' families have absolutely no idea whatsoever of what it's like to have grown up in an abusive family. And to a certain extent, that's fine - how could you have an idea of something that is so far removed from what your experience of family is. However, things are not black and white when it comes to relationships....

I'm quite sure that everyone outside my family would describe my parents as the most wonderful, loving, self-sacrificing people you could ask for. The truth is that their emotional abuse has left a legacy that has meant I have extreme difficulty trusting people, have had alcohol abuse problems and have seriously considered both self-harm and suicide. I've been diagnosed with severe depression and anxiety and am still (through weekly psychotherapy) trying to find out who I am and what our relationship actually is. And yet I'm seeing them both next weekend. I'm simulataneously looking forward to it and absolutely dreading it. I felt emotionally on the floor all last weekend just thinking about seeing them and fully expect to feel the same for a few days after seeing them - it is like a traumatic event that needs preparation and recovery time. And yet it would be harder to not see them at all while they are visiting.

Abuse victims don't all behave in the same way, nor should they/we.

yamsareyammy Thu 18-Jul-13 15:17:50

Trouble is, op, that your op is too general.
I think that in the example you mentioned, that particular parent obviously does go on and on and on.
And probably the DD has heard it all many times before.
And she didnt cut her mum off, just let her talk and talk and talk. Which maybe her mum needed to do.
And if I was with friends, I may have grinned, particularly with friends I know well, as they know her too.

quesadilla Thu 18-Jul-13 15:30:49

I don't know... I think its a bit more complicated than that OP.

I have two parents who in the scheme of parenting were good, loving parents. They were certainly never abusive or neglectful in any recognised sense. They loved me and my sister. They made significant sacrifices for us and basically have always been there for us. Etc etc.

But in both cases -- particularly with my mum -- there were certain elements of their behaviour which have damaged me in certain ways and for which I have intermittently needed therapy for and which remain an issue for me now.

My mum is very loving in certain ways but is also extremely passive aggressive and totally phobic about being remotely honest about anything in life and, in desperate desire to avoid conflict -- or even mild disagreement -- has a desire to paper over things to the extent that it led to lying, both to herself and to her family.

She is totally incapable of having a straight, direct conversation about anything that really matters in life or how she feels about things, so she basically didn't give me any guidance on any of the most important things children need to know about (money, love and sex in particular, all of which she refused point blank to discuss.) She was so scared of dealing with her own feelings about these things that she refused to acknowledge her children's' desire to talk about them in their own lives.

Does this mean I don't forgive her and can't understand her motivations? no, of course not. Its very obvious she had significant unresolved issues from her own life. Does this mean I'm not allowed to occasionally feel resentful and to want to talk about this and sometimes complain about it? I don't see why....

I would never be deliberately disrespectful to her (either to her face or behind her back) or take advantage of her and I love her. But I do reserve the right to talk to people -- either in real life or on the internet (as long as its anonymous) about her parenting of me and how its affected me.

chandellina Thu 18-Jul-13 16:16:22

They gave you life, fed you and wiped your bum. No matter how bad they went on to be that should count for something IMO.

You see it all the time, people talking about their toxic parents, with zero sense that their own children may someday think the same of them

flippinada Thu 18-Jul-13 16:25:06


If you don't understand what it's like to have a toxic parent then thank your lucky stars and enjoy your happy, normal family.

Don't criticise other people for daring to talk about it.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 16:25:42

chandellina, this so beyond the pale that......
Have my first ever biscuit

Lottapianos Thu 18-Jul-13 16:29:30

'They gave you life, fed you and wiped your bum'

Oh and they probably 'loved' you too - the great Get Out of Jail free card for all toxic/inadequate parents!

chandellina, you have no idea what you are talking about, that much is clear. So please take your rotten judgemental views somewhere else and indulge in your victim blaming with like minded folk. Or stick around and open your mind and you might learn a thing or two about how to empathise with people who have had different experiences to you.

SarahStrattonIsBackForJustABit Thu 18-Jul-13 16:32:01

I know my children won't. I love them unconditionally, and they love me unconditionally. Plus, my childhood left me with one simple ambition in life: to be the best mother I could possibly be. And, thanks to my beloved XPILs, I have achieved that. I may be many things, good and bad, but I know I'm a good parent, who does their very best for her children.

People who've had decent childhoods have no right, no right to judge those of us who haven't and have little, or no love/respect for our parents. You've not walked in our shoes, and you cannot even begin to imagine what it is like to grow up in a family that is, for you, devoid of love, time, attention. So treasure what you have, look back fondly on those times spent playing with your parents, when your parents sat and read to you, simply spent time with you, and remember that not all of us were as lucky as you.

Yeah cheers Mum, you let your husband batter me, you lied to me every single day, you kept my dad away from me, you told me you never wanted me, told me I was useless and messed up the only good thing I ever did when my son died, you slagged my husband and I off to my friend when we were in hospital with our dying daughter, you told me the fact 2 of my children were dead proved karma catches up on people because I was awful in my teenaged years, you made me shoplift sanitry towels because you were too busy buying cigarettes, you would be so nice when the police used to take me home the countless times I ran away then hit me and starve me the minute the police were gone, you allowed, hell encouraged, me to have boyfriends in their mid 20s when I was in my early teens..... the list is fucking endless.

But hey, you wiped my arse for a couple of years so all is forgiven. hmm

Lottapianos Thu 18-Jul-13 16:45:03

MissyMoo sad So horrendous. I hope you're managing to process what happened and to live a good life for yourself.

grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 16:49:35

chandelina my Mum doesn't love my I can assure you of that. She tells me often enough.

As for having no sense of what my children may come to think of me I have every sense. I live in fear every day of becoming like my mother I sometime cry myself to sleep at night when I feel I have not lived up to standards of a proper mother.

However I tell my DC I love them at least once a day, usually more often. I've never told them should never have been born and never will. I never touch alcohol so my children never have and never will have to apologise for my drunken behaviour, put me to bed or be the adult of the house before even hitting puberty. I praise them when they achieve something or put in effort rather than telling them they are too stupid or incompetent to bother trying. I never tell them they deserve to be bullied. I keep the house clean and stocked with food so they can invite friends back.

In my worst nightmare they will come to hate me but NEVER EVER will they view me as being the same as my Mum. No matter WTF you think.

grumpyoldbat Thu 18-Jul-13 16:51:38

sad missy

I am now Lotta thanks to MN who found my Dad after 28 years. Finding him has let me make sense of a lot of my childhood so I'm in a very fortunate position now.

Thank you thanks

LostLion Thu 18-Jul-13 17:11:11

The parent-child relationship is long and complicated. Those "little" things that irritate someone could have deep roots - little resentments that swell over time.

I think parents push your buttons better than anyone because they help create them - even the best parents.

Chandella you have obviously never met a toxic parent, either that or you are blind to the fact that not all parents love their kids

Tee2072 Thu 18-Jul-13 18:00:47

Have a {{{hug}}} Missy. So glad MN could help.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 19:02:05

Missy ... I had not made the connection between the name and the "lost father" thread!!
Wow, reading your back story here just makes that whole thing so much more amazing, and am so pleased that it has brought you some peace smile

yabu, I don't judge, as you don't know what that persons been through and why they are like that to their parents

KittyVonCatsworth Thu 18-Jul-13 19:10:18

I'm mean about my mother because:
She was a truly truly awful mother during infancy years
She was an even worse mother during teenage years
She turned me against my father
She made cruel jokes when I had an abortion (medical reasons)
She neglected my brother when he was sectioned due to schizophrenia
She's narcissistic
She cruelly disregarded my feelings when my grandfather died
She takes credit for my daughter where she's had no influence

Do I need to go on?

She a cunt. That's my personal reason why I'm mean to my mother. Actually, I'm not mean, I've just culled the selfish cunt out of my life.

Happy that others lives were charmed, IMO, but don't criticise others. Sadly, I've tried over the years, but fuck it, she's a cunt and I don't want tat in my life.,

LifeIsSoDifferent Thu 18-Jul-13 19:12:17

What you saw the women on the phone do was mean but not every situation is like that. I love my mum and we get along great but I've still moaned about her. It's human nature, we all get annoyed or annoy someone, moan a little and move on,

Bloody hell, there are so many sad posts here flowers As others have said, unless you've experienced truly awful parenting Chandellina, you can't, or shouldn't, judge.

I'm mean hmm about my parents, as my dad beat the crap out of me, while my mum stood by, smirking. That's only one example of the years of abuse those vile people put me through.

hazeyjane Thu 18-Jul-13 19:29:02

They gave you life, fed you and wiped your bum. No matter how bad they went on to be that should count for something IMO.

You see it all the time, people talking about their toxic parents, with zero sense that their own children may someday think the same of them


hazeyjane Thu 18-Jul-13 19:29:53

Oh, by the way, that means

Big Stinking Pile Of Horseshit.

Caff2 Thu 18-Jul-13 19:52:01

It all depends. There were difficulties in my childhood. My father's deciding to take me to be a crofter on the Isle of Skye when I was nine and he was in the midst of a manic depressive crash, for example, was...interesting. (I won't out myself by saying what my father does for a living, but suffice to say, crofting is not in his skill set grin.

However. My parents, despite being "emotionally abusive" according to what I've read on here, have been my rocks and my most unconditional supporters, and yes, on occasion, constructive critics, and I love them dearly. Because, despite the issues that went on when my siblings and I were children, they always loved us, and told us so, and we believed them, because they didn't just say it, they showed us in so many ways.

It's complex. But I love my mum and dad, although I could do a Philip Larkin and say they fucked us up. I expect my children could say we fucked them up a bit too, when they're grown. But as long as there hasn't been hatred, disinterest or lack of demonstrable love, then I think, on balance, I agree with the OP.

Thank you so much thanks

This thread is actually heartbreaking, there are so many awful stories on here.

It has really made me count my blessings (and I am counting being an MNer as a huge blessing, its changed my life) thanks

I hope everyone on here finds their own way to come to terms with their pasts and move forward towards a positive and happy future.

Frizzbonce Thu 18-Jul-13 20:03:24

Grumpyoldbat I'm so sorry. What a horrible, damaging childhood. But you seem to have broken the link with your own children and made them feel loved and secure - despite this.

littlemisssarcastic Thu 18-Jul-13 20:29:13

They gave you life, fed you and wiped your bum. No matter how bad they went on to be that should count for something IMO.

You see it all the time, people talking about their toxic parents, with zero sense that their own children may someday think the same of them

My mother did give me life, yet relished telling me that she told the midwife to take me away because she didn't want another girl. (Am I supposed to understand a statement like that?)
My mother did feed me, it was her way of showing she cared, she invested so much emotion in food and so long as I ate every morsel on the plate and showed huge amounts of appreciation, she felt appreciated, yet if I literally couldn't eat another forkful, I'd feel like I had to hide my plate, feed it to the dog, or spread it out so it didn't look like I'd left much. It was like eating love on a plate. If I threw any away, it was like I was throwing my mothers love away.
I'm sure my mother wiped my bum, yes, although I don't remember it because from 18 months old, we were toilet trained. There were to be no dirty girls in our house.
All of that means something to me. I would rather be here alive than not be here at all.
That doesn't wipe out the beatings she gave us, nor the excuses she made for her husband when he beat us, or the humiliation, the crushing realisation that no matter what we did, it was never quite good enough.
It doesn't wipe out the fact that she put men before her DC our whole lives, even leaving us to scream in fear while she got her jollies in the next room.
It doesn't wipe out the snide bitchy comments she made about our appearance and the sexual innuendo's she made if she thought we looked like 'sluts'.
My mother spent our childhood telling anyone who would listen what a terribly hard life she had, how hard she worked, how her DC didn't appreciate her enough, and we grew up smothered in a thick sense of guilt, always wanting to do more to please her, yet it was never ever enough, and we learnt to worry ourselves sick over what people thought of us, because of course, if anyone didn't like us, it mattered, it reflected on mother and it was our fault.

Upon getting divorced and becoming older, my mother found it harder and harder to use sex to attract a man, so she began undermining my parenting of DS, openly berating me for any discipline I attempted to bestow upon DS.
I grew up wanting to please my mother and wanting DS to be happy where I wasn't. Not a particularly good combination.
Once DS was 16, mother whispered spiteful poison into his ears, told him he was surplus to my requirements, offered him a place to stay without my permission or knowledge and when I had my 2nd child, my mother moved in for the kill. She waited on DS hand and foot, treated him like a king no surprises there then and I quickly became the evil parent, while mother became the saint in his eyes.
DS moved out, into my mothers, where she continues to wipe his arse see to his every need, encourages him to rely on her for everything, and since DS is HFA, he cannot see beyond the here and now and see what lies behind her motives, which I believe are partly down to jealousy that she never had a son.
She looks upon DS as the son she never had and indulges his every whim.
This is a contributory factor imo to DS racking up more and more convictions, because mother just keeps on bailing him out, he learns nothing, and lo and behold, now my son has cut me off.
Mother's two pennies worth is to advise me to forget DS and isolate myself and my other DC from him which is exactly what she has been trying to do for years.

I went into a card shop today to buy my youngest a birthday card. It is my sons birthday soon too. When I saw the birthday cards for 'sons', I felt my throat closing up, and I had to put my sunglasses on in the shop, and I didn't know whether to buy him a card or not, because I don't want to push him further away and any attempts by me to connect with him will be seen by DS, as well as my mother as proof that I am the manipulative person my mother has always told him I am. I bought a card, but I have no idea whether to send it or not because my son has cut me off. I am effectively a parent of 1 DC now.

All I can do is wait and hope he contacts me. I cannot explain how I feel to DS. He will tell me I am using the emotional sympathy crap to make him do something he doesn't want to do.

Yes, it has gone full circle apart from the fact that I still speak to the old crow. Perhaps I am one of those toxic parents too.

Tittypulumpcious Thu 18-Jul-13 20:33:26

It was never ever my intention to cause such an emotive thread and I apologise for any feelings this has brought up for people.

maddening Thu 18-Jul-13 20:37:59

yabu - they're all just human witH their own foibles etc (both the parents and their offspring) - humans take the piss out of each other, argue, get impatient with each other, dislike things about each other all alongside having lovely relationships with each other - whether those relationships are friendships or family (or both) - it's part of being human.

Tee2072 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:18:53

Oh bullshit titty. You've been nothing but evocative this whole thread.

I hope you're enjoying whatever pleasure it's bringing you.

financialwizard Thu 18-Jul-13 21:35:41

Depends on the parent. My Mum is toxic, and my Dad and Nan her enabler. I find it extremely difficult to talk to my Mum, so in reality I would probably not talk to my Mum at all if I could possibly help it, but if she had been a loving nurturing parent I think I would be respectful of her.

Nanny0gg England Thu 18-Jul-13 21:42:06


I am really sorry for those of you that have really suffered at the hands of your parents, but if you actually read the OP you would see (especially as this is AIBU) that she wasn't talking about those sorts of parents!

She was talking about your average 'normal' day-to-day parent that you love, but because they drive you dotty sometimes it seems okay to be pretty rude about them.

Not the spiteful, toxic abusers that so many on here are now discussing.

Tittypulumpcious Thu 18-Jul-13 21:50:11

Spot on Nanny0gg thank you. I don't get pleasure out of anyones pain and my OP clearly states that I was not talking about the abusive parents.

Tee2072 Thu 18-Jul-13 21:51:29

And most people would consider my mother completely normal. Everyone adores her, Nanny.

Except her children.

You don't have to be abusive or 'not normal' to be a bad parent.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 23:12:24

I think it was another poster that really set the cat among the pigeons, OP. My first reply acknowledged that you were excluding abusive parenting, however threads of this kind will always generate strong opinions from those of us who continually fight he legacies of our pasts.

ithaka Thu 18-Jul-13 23:23:00

My mum wasn't abusive to us - she was a lovely mum. But she did have a very public affair & leave my dad in the middle of my exams, meaning I now have an ex alcoholic, unpleasant stepfather in my life. So I reckon I am 'allowed' to moan, even though I haven't been abused.

quesadilla Thu 18-Jul-13 23:26:36

Missy, everyone else, very sorry you have had to go through these things.

Jubelteen Thu 18-Jul-13 23:44:48

Oh dear OP, you're getting a bit of a bashing when you made it quite clear that you weren't talking about abusive parents. I agree with you, it's disrespectful to mock your elderly parents. My DM lives alone, I live a long distance away, so contact is mainly by phone. I might be the only person she had spoken to that day, and she tells me all her 'news', what she ate that day, what she enjoyed on TV etc in minute detail. It makes me sad that she is often lonely. I wouldn't dream of moaning about her. She wasn't always a perfect Mum but did her best.
Also sad that so many people here are so damaged by their experiences with abusive/toxic parents. OP didn't intend to light an 'emotional fuse' as suggested.

grumpyoldbat Fri 19-Jul-13 00:15:09

I think people are trying to point out that the OP has no way of knowing if the Mum in question was abusive.

AaDB Fri 19-Jul-13 12:44:24

I wasn't abused and I'm sure a lot of people wouldn't want to label themselves that way. We were neglected at times. Our parents can't expect to have a Disney relationship now; they didn't put the foundation work in.

Jubelteen Fri 19-Jul-13 14:01:25

AaDB but don't you think most people were a bit neglected at times? I can think of loads of things my parents did that would probably be classed as neglect these days, and I've not been a model Mum myself 100% of the time. I don't think there's any such thing as a Disney relationship, unless it's fake, e.g. perfect families on FB. It's not nice to mock your parents, if they merit having a relationship with, it should be civil.

flippinada Fri 19-Jul-13 15:01:02

Not being a "model mum" (who thinks of themselves like that anyway?) is a long way away from being neglectful. There's a whole spectrum of behaviour inbetween.

SarahStrattonIsBackForJustABit Fri 19-Jul-13 15:56:57

Plus, the neglect/abuse/etc is really obvious when it's only aimed at one child in the family. The scapegoat/golden child scenario is hideously damaging.

grumpyoldbat Fri 19-Jul-13 17:03:55

jubel more than one person has explained why some people continue to have some sort of relationship with parents who don't really deserve it. Do you really think all of the bad parents described on here deserve to be treated with utmost respect?

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