being undermined by parents

(76 Posts)
smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:28:16

My dd is 10. I have had quite a few issues with her behaviour in the past.
During a fall out with my parents - I managed to get some form of control back.
Speaking to them again, and we are seeing changes in my dd again. Which im willing to accept, if she accepts and respects my rules, and remember that I am the mother.

A few weeks back my dd wanted somw shoes. So we spent 5 hours trailing around shoe shops. She spent most of her time looking everywhere but the shoes. Me, my oh and my other dc were showing her shoes tht she may have liked and she kept saying no.
Needless to say, we got fed up and went home. Shoeless.
Which she then moans to my parents about. As if im a bad person not buying her shoes.
I took her to asda for shool shoes as they were needed. Again she looked everywhere but. In the end i said you picn, or i pick. So she picked some yay!
Then i thought, we would get her a coat.
The same thing happened. If you dont pick, i will. So she picked.
Now its not a bad coat. She is the only one who has problems with it. My point is - you picked it!!

So she has been moaning to my mam and dad again. After repeatedly asking me to buy another.
We have had 3 bdays this month, halloween and preparing for xmas. I have 4 kids.
I dont have the funds to just buy her a coat willy nilly when her current coat is brand new!
We have had huge arguements over her refusal to wear it, and trying to go to school in the freezing cold rain. Which puts across that i wont buy her a coat - as that is her intention.
She made my parents feel sorry for her. So yesterday she came back from grandparents with a new coat.
Which just pissed me right off!

All my arguements, battles and persistence. For what!?
Now i look like the bad one for saying they shouldnt have done that!

Am i being unreasonable here?

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sat 02-Nov-13 11:30:13

Your DPs are being totally unreasonable in undermining you. Id return the coat.

However, at ten, maybe she just cant commit to a decision yet. YWNBU to just get her a practical.coat and a practical pair of shoes.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:32:14

So sorry, but what does YWNBH mean? Lol

MortifiedAnyFuckerAdams Sat 02-Nov-13 11:41:00

YWNBU - you would not be unreasonable

HellsBellsnBucketsofBlood Sat 02-Nov-13 11:42:38

Return the coat to them and tell them that they are undermining you and they need to keep out of it.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:44:49

I would like to say thank you for stating thar you also think my parents are being unreasonable.
I really feel they know what theu are doing.
They used to do this all of the time. When I fell out with them, i told them about it.
I was too weak to say out as they claimed i was ungrateful all of the time. Bypassing the rules i had set out for my children.

It just makes my childreb lose the respect they had for me. Whether this is my parents intention or not, I dont know. Sometimes it seems that way though.

Again, they have me sat here feeling like a bad person, ungrateful and what not. Now ive got my dd feeling that way about me also! Give me strength!!

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:46:20

Ah thank you for clearing that up. And thank you :-)

Jolleigh Sat 02-Nov-13 11:46:28

They're being out of line. I'd ask for the receipt, return it and have a word with them. I don't get why they thought it was ok to do that...

Chippednailvarnish Sat 02-Nov-13 11:47:11

Give the coat back and tell them to mind their own business.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:47:12

I am returning the coat today. I will be frowned upon because of this. Which pisses me off even moren

Chippednailvarnish Sat 02-Nov-13 11:47:43

Your kids, your rules.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 11:48:03

I can see why your parents might have done what they did if they'd only heard your daughter's side of the story (though imo they should have talked to you before going and buying the coat). But I think no, YANBU to put them fully in the picture and say thankyou, but it would be undermining your approach to let your daughter keep the coat they got her.

ghostonthecanvas Sat 02-Nov-13 11:48:23

Yanbu. I agree you should return the coat. Sounds like your dd needs firmer boundaries. Less choices. Which is easy for me to say my teen didn't cry because I wouldn't buy superdry, oh no
Your parents have boundary issues too. Some strong talking is needed.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 11:52:10

Oh my parents knew. I had ranted to them about her behaviour over the coat a few times. My mother stating if it was her child - she wouldnt buy her another one either...

Hmmm ...
Like i say, i seemed to be getting somewhere with dd...until my parents were back on the scene.
I have had strong words with them countless numbers of times.
I am the bad one in all of this, every single time.

maras2 Sat 02-Nov-13 11:53:22

Your parents are out of order and ABVU.However spending 5 hours shopping for shoes ..... ? < faints at the very thought of shopping for anything for 5 hours,especially with a 10 year old > Use the internet.Save shoe leather and frayed tempers.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 11:57:27

Oh sorry, didn't realise that. In that case, your parents are being massively unreasonable. And it sounds as if maybe they need some firm boundaries, as well as your DD wink

Alexandrite Sat 02-Nov-13 12:04:15

If she likes the coat your parents bought wouldn't it be better to take back the unwanted coat for a refund?

Alexandrite Sat 02-Nov-13 12:13:55

There's a great book called Divas and Dictators by Charlie Taylor about managing behaviour. Lots about using praise and reward to encourage good behaviour. He has run a secondary school for excluded children and has turned around really bad behaviour, so knows his stuff.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 12:14:59

I no longer have the reciept. Plus, if i was to take it back. Yes, my dd would get a coat she preferred. But i would be going against everything i had said to her, and put in place. Which i cant afford to do due to her previous behaviour. Plus i told her i might get her a new coat for xmas.
Which i now feel is all linked to my parents undermining tricks that they have ALWAYS done!

My dad has so much as even sat there with his arm around my daughter saying "its alright pet" as i have been telling her off about something.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 12:16:28

What does ABVU mean? Sorry not good with these things lol

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 12:17:12

Ooh are being very unreasonable! Im just slow lol

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 12:21:27

To top it all off. They werent good parents themselves. My mother was a neglectful alcoholic, who doesnt know how to look after herself. My dad was the kind to do anything to keep the peace. Even if that meant 10 year old babysitting their mother while he was at work.

Yet they call me cruella and make me doubt my own parenting skills. Which i personally think are good!
I have nothkng but positive feedback from those around me, my kids (apart from dd) and the schools.

Sorry needed that rant there! Really annoyed by this coat. As im made out to be the bad one in my dds eyes again!

Chippednailvarnish Sat 02-Nov-13 13:05:35

Maybe it's time to step away from them?

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 13:06:54

Wow. I can see why things are so difficult. thanks that's pretty rough.

Could it be time for you to have a very serious discussion and lay things on the line to them? Explain your parenting methods, how you would like them to support you, and be very specific in what behaviours are and are not helpful in their part. Try and keep it all as neutral as possible, not accusatory or argumentative, more "when you do x, the consequence is y (and/or "I end up feeling z"). So I need you to do a instead".

Ensure they know that if they can't do this, it's going to be ultimately very hard for you to keep them in you and your DC 's lives. Awful though that would be.

I am sure they will find this very hard, as you're asking them to change lifelong patterns of behaviour, but there it is. You can't carry on this way.

Sorry if you've already been there and done that, just trying to think what might help!

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 13:07:25

Thats what i have been thinking. Its just hard as again i am made out to be the bad one. Apparently blowing things out of proportion etc. I have been there. My dd believes them over me all of the time.
There is no winning in this one

AmberLeaf Sat 02-Nov-13 13:12:23

Your parents are unreasonable.

I wouldn't blame you if you felt you no longer wanted contact with them.

No way would I spend 5 hours shopping to find something a 10 yr old liked, particularly if that meant dragging the rest of the family around town.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 13:26:12

Yeah, I'm not surprised if your dd favours them, sounds as if she's getting everything she wants out of them!

If things are really this bad and there's absolutely no communicating with them, I'm not sure what to suggest. Cutting them off would be an absolute last resort, but definitely it's not healthy for you all to carry on like this.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 13:44:54

Thank you punt. Sorry i have just noticed your message about explaining things to my parents.
I have been there.
They have always singled my dd out and made her special. So i have been there many times.
I had bought a bike for my sons bday and so the same day they got a bike for dd!
They are terrible for it. But pretend they dont realise what they are doing.

I just dont know why they do it

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 13:49:25

When i did cut them out for my personal reasons behond my childhood. I got some form of control over my daughter. Please bare in mind she isnt oit of control. Just difficult. Which im sure yous can see how and why with the grandparents.
Only now i am trying with them again. It feels as though im back at square one, with them and my dd!

I dont want to cut them out. But as you all state. This is not healthy and so it may have to happen.
Especially considering i seen a huge improvement in my own family during them not being there

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 14:25:27

Well my dd is now in a huff as my dad came to take the coat back. Also to take them over to play with their friends over there.

My mother avoided me, mind you. My dad deliberately dropped her off at home before heading for my house.

I just cant win and feel like a bad person!

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 14:41:05

They are manipulative OP-eg your mother not coming round to "punish" you
You will never win unless you do exactly as they say - this is manipulative behaviour not the behaviour of unconditionally loving parents.
They are also manipulating your DD.

Stop their "game" - step out of it .
I highly recommend Toxic Parents by Susan Forward .

mercibucket Sat 02-Nov-13 14:48:34

I imagine teenage years to be worse! tbh I would reduce contact to a minimum in case she wants to move in with them in a few years time

alcibiades Sat 02-Nov-13 14:51:25

Those people did a pretty poor job of being parents, and now they're doing a pretty poor job of being grandparents. They're not going to change for the better now, no matter how much you talk to them.

Your daughter is 10. Her behaviour improved when you were no-contact with them. When she was back under the influence of those two, her behaviour deteriorated again. Fast-foward just a few years, when she becomes a normal/stroppy teen and testing your rules even more, wanting to make her own decisions even more. If she's still under the influence of people who undermine your authority and pander to her whims and fancies, her behaviour could get far worse.

I think you do need to cut contact again, for your daughter's sake.

RhondaJean Sat 02-Nov-13 15:03:18

This sounds like my parents. I now take my daughters to visit them about once a month for two hours which still inevitably ends up in me being undermined but the contact is so minimal it has no effect.

Can I give you a tip about your daughter?

Three shops. We will find a pair of shoes in here or I will pick them. Not five hours.

Same with coat - and anything else. If she refuses to wear let her rock on. Take the coat into school and give it to the teacher and explain its there but she's refusing it.

Don't pander to her - give her limited choice so she has some control but let her see you will not be taken for a mug.

The above worked with my two! Maybe worth a go.

BlingBang Sat 02-Nov-13 15:03:54

Op - you really need to put your foot down for you, your daughter and your own families sake. No way would I put up this. Continue as you are and it could really harm your relationship and authority with your daughter as well as harm her. I too can see when she hits teens her wanting to stay with your parents.

They shouldn't have bought the coat, your father shouldn't be putting his arm round her when you are telling her off, they shouldn't have bought her the bike. I also wouldn't have danced to my 10 yr kids tune regarding five hour shoe shopping.

OP - you sound unconfident and undermined and your parents are just going to make this worse.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:11:27

Mrs osbourne. Me and my OH have had this talk many times. He gets frustrated as they are my parents and he feels they suck me back in at times. Which used to bring arguements between us.

As much as I understood him, at times I was still livinf with the hope that they didnt mean these things.
When i did confront them last time. They had excuses foe everything.
They used to see a new top on my younger son and say ooh thats nice, did his dad buy that. Indicating that i couldnt possibly have bought it as it is too nice.
They done this at least 3 times a week. Their reason for this was "it was a joke. You are blowing it out of proportion".
They even claimed my reasons for complaining about their behaviour was that my MH had deteriorated and i needed my meds again.
Bare in mind - i only suffer from chronic anxiety and a bit ocd.
I had also had an assessment with a MH worker a few days prior as they made me feel i was going insane.
The MH assessment stated i was very clued up and had made huge improvements and was doing very well without meds.

I also want to state that now my anxiety is at a bare minimum. Being set off at the correct times, rather than over something irrational.

I still have the self doubt - which i feel that is what they prey on. My question is why? What have i done t them that they feel the need to tryand destroy me?

I had to take time out of school to look after my mother. I have curtailed to their every need and expectation of me. I ran away once as a teen when i was getting into trouble at school for my homework not being finished and not being able to see friends because i had to look after an unconscious person every single day.

I even tried in my adult life to go to college. My mother says she would watch my two LOs (at the time) so i could better myself for mine and my kids future.
She got drunk on my enrollment day. I was devastated. t took a lot for me. Especially with my anxiety but i was determined.
I started doing childcare courses that the kids school put on, and my dad kept phoning me during them sayig he needed help with my mam. In the end, i gave up as i missed so much.

Whay have i done to deserve this? I try my best to do the best i can with myself, my kids and others. I am always polite, respectful and take others feelings and needs into consideration. Why cant they just do the same?
My oh says i have done well to get to where i am today. But i still feel like i am the bad one. Even though i can read all of this and see the true picture. They must really must be master manipulators!

hettie Sat 02-Nov-13 15:11:41

Agree with merci... what will happen when she's a teenager and she doesn't like something? She'll just more in with them won't she (which no doubt they'll love).
If it was me I'd move so far away that there would be no chance of this ever happening...

hettie Sat 02-Nov-13 15:16:30

sorry cross post.... Sounds like they will not change and you will end up putting things in your life on hold to "help" them. I'm sorry you blame yourself for their totally unacceptable behaviour. It sounds like your OH might be able to help you say no to all these unreasonable requests and and pull them up on their bad behaviour. TBH it sounds like you're better off not being in touch with them

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:19:52

You haven't done anything they are the ones with the problem.
Whatever you do, no matter how many hoops you jump through to try and please them ,you wont change them.
The only way is to concentrate on your family- your DC must be your priority.
What you posted above was me a few years ago - now I never look back.
Your DP don't have your best interests at heart and it is hard to realise this and it is a grieving process.
What comes out of it though is a stronger, happy, confident person not one who is always on eggshells waiting for the next time "you do something wrong" and their subsequent rejection of you.
Normal, loving parents don't do this.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:20:42

Thank you rhonda and bling for your tips and advice. I think you both have very good pointsm along with many others in this thread. Thank you ll for you help and time. Very much appreciated

BlingBang Sat 02-Nov-13 15:22:07

OP - just read your latest post. This is even more serious and damaging than buying a new coat. You really need to step away for your own health and well being. They will take you down - sounds like they have nothing at all to offer you.

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:22:52

Ps I found it easier to cope by focussing on my parenting not on my parents behaviour.
The knowledge that their toxic behaviour would not be passed down from generation to generation and I was the one who stopped it was very powerful.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:23:30

You are very right mrso. I went through this a few months back.
Now i find myself right back there. After i had got myself so far without them.
The biggest mistake was allowing thm back into my life

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 15:24:40

I suspect that as you distance yourself they will step up the offensive to try and take control .
Stand firm flowers

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:27:38

You are right bling. They have nothing to offer me. They bought a dog to reign me back in as i love animals. Then i became their personal dog trainer. So i taught him to speak haha. Now he yaps at them constantly.
Mrs O. I have been doing that. My other half has been helping me see clearly when my judgement has been clouded.

It is just very hard.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:29:45

They also keep asking me if i want their dog - i recently sadly rehomed mine as i was unable to give her te attention she required.
They also kept tellng me i should never have got a dog in the first place. Yet now they are trying to give me one.
Annoyed my oh as i have trouble saying no to animals.
Knowing it was probably a game of theirs though, i said no.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:30:54

Thank you mrs o. They probably will. I am going to have to gather strength and stand my ground xx

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 15:36:59


Ok. Two things:

1) there is no answer to the question "why". And there's just no point in continuing to look for one. I'd let that one go (much easier said than done, I know).

2) you have done nothing whatsoever to deserve this. This just happened to be the family you got born into. You are not responsible for how your parents conduct their lives, nor can you "fix" them. All you can do is carry on looking after yourself and your own family as best you can. All the best to you.

Clutterbugsmum Sat 02-Nov-13 15:41:57

Do you ever tell your mum the truth. When she makes statements about what she would do if dd was hers. Do you ever say no actually you was to drunk to do anything.

It's sounds like she trying to live your childhood again through you dd.

I think it's time to stop contact again.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 15:49:41

No chutterbug. I dont. We were brought up to be silent about it and pretend it never happens. My oh keeps telling me to, and i want to but a fear wshes over me when the moment arises and i cant seem to do it

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 16:08:29

Thank you punt. I wish i could stop wondering why as i know i will never get the answer. I have tried and was made out to be insane. I fell out with my whole family over it.
I get made out to be the problem child. Even my OH believed what they were saying about how 'bad' i was at first. Thankfully, now he knows me and my personality he knows im nothing like they tried to portray.

I dont know how to not wonder. I also dont know how to stop thinking that maybe one day they will changw and appreciate, respect and accept me for who i am.
Id love to know why my mother especially resents me so much.

FunkyFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 16:36:45

You are not insane. Your posts are articulate and make perfect sense. You are the victim of bad parenting and they are using all their efforts to basically buy your daughter off you.

Stick to your guns.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 17:34:12

Thank you funky!
I am going to stand my ground from now on.
I just wish i could have a normal functioning family. A family that done the normal things, like supporting instead of making things more difficult.

At least I know what not to do with my dc. So far i think im doing a pretty good job. Just need to stop them dragging me down.
I will also do what someone suggested earlier.
Make remarks about my mothers parenting when she comments on mine!

FunkyFucker Sat 02-Nov-13 17:38:47 'you can't talk you spent the whole of my childhood in an alcohol induced wonder you can't remember what the role of a parent is...

That sort of thing.

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 17:40:20

Your mother resents you because you are a good person and specifically a good mother.
She will only be able to see anything from her point of view so you being a good mother will challenge her and she cant ever accept that she was wrong.
We cannot change others - it is futile to try and do so and also not appropriate as they, not us are responsible for their behaviour- although they will have trained you to think its your fault or responsibility.

Keep listening to your OH

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 17:42:04

Have you ever had any counselling to try and help you make sense of your family situation? You mentioned contact with a MH worker further up the thread, but counselling specifically? If not, it might be worth considering. Again, sorry if I'm just retreading old ground!

MrsOsbourne Sat 02-Nov-13 17:42:32

You can have a normal functioning family - your own ! smile
Think of yourself not as their child but as your DC mother.

smallmomma Sat 02-Nov-13 17:49:19

Lol funky. Yeah that sounds like a good one. I can just imagine her disgusted face!
MrsO you have very good points there. That probably is the case, considering it all seems to be based around my dc and any decision which involves my dc!

Punt, I have spoken to cpns about it in the past. They also came to the conclusion that my mother was trying to relive my childhood through my dd.
I think i may need to though.

puntasticusername Sat 02-Nov-13 19:35:17

Yeah, it might be worth looking into. With the caveat that it won't be a magic bullet that will suddenly turn all your family relationships perfect, nor is it likely to give you all the answers you're looking for about why your parents are the way they are and why they treat you the way you do.

However, it should give you some more tools to help handle your own feelings, interact with your parents (assuming you do want to) and move forward more happily with your life.

alcibiades Sat 02-Nov-13 19:41:42

I did wonder whether your parents were subconsciously trying to do it right this time round, but they're not, are they? They're still making wrong and selfish decisions.

You're not a bad person. You are trying to climb out of that pit your parents dumped you in. If AttilaTheMeerkat were here, she'd explain more succinctly that you are in the FOG - Fear, Obligation, Guilt - concerning your parents.

You don't need to feel guilty about going no-contact with them - "but she's your mother!" - so what?, she was a crap mother. You don't have any obligations towards them - they didn't fulfill their obligation to love and care for you properly when you were a child, did they? The only fear that's appropriate is that they might entice your daughter away from you.

Keep talking here for as long as you need. As you can probably tell, there are many of us who had experience of a crappy (or worse) childhood, and that's why we can understand (a) the dysfunctional dynamics of your original family, and (b) how difficult it can be to get free of that.

BlingBang Sat 02-Nov-13 22:35:41

My father was very hard to live with and quite mentally abusive. He just drags you down and sucks the life from you. The only way to deal with him is to detach really. You can try and match him verbally and think you can give as good as you get (and I did for many years) but you don't win - he still manages to get the reaction he wants and poisons everything. I might tackle him head on and not back down but it takes it toll an I'm the one who suffers in the end. The only way I could really deal with it was to detach and not engage with him, take away his power to see you all riled up and upset.

I don't know your parents but they sound toxic and I doubt you will win with them or know peace if you engage with them.

smallmomma Sun 03-Nov-13 13:02:23

I cant thank you all enough for your support on this.
And to think I came here actually feeling quite bad - as if maybe I was in the wrong and i just couldnt see it!
So thank you all for that.
I will keep talking here, as I feel i need it especially with my self doubt.

smallmomma Sun 03-Nov-13 13:15:07

I am also sorry to hear thay a lot of you have gone through a similar thing :-( thank you for sharing your stories xxx

I think you've done a great job! I might have suggested that her grandparents kept the coat until Christmas and gave it to her then, (thus allowing YOU to buy something more "fun") but other than that I would have done exactly the same as you.

ghostonthecanvas Sun 03-Nov-13 15:17:49

You have done so well without your parents. That is what you need to keep saying to yourself. Totally agree you need to stand firm. I would go so far as to say you need to take charge. You put down the rules. They need to follow. If thats too confrontational and if they will use the idea of you being in control to manipulate others, walk away. I too have had a challenging upbringing and you cannot underestimate the power of a simple "fuck the fuck off away from me" which can be surprisingly unconfrontational. is that even a word? and apologies for swearing. Always seems stronger when written

ZombieMojaveWonderer Sun 03-Nov-13 17:37:19

Wow my parents would never do that to me. They always back me up and check with me first before buying them anything. When my mum visits (every week) she brings sweets but she always asks me before they see them whether they have been good and can have them. I am very lucky with my mum to be honest.
In your position though I would certainly return the coat and ask them to check with you in the future.

smallmomma Sun 03-Nov-13 17:57:12

Yeah i think taking charge is a must. But probably the most difficult task as im so submissive.

I too thought parents were supposed to be supportive and caring and not so judgemental. But i guess mine are the opposite.
I am just pleased i dont have that side of them in my personality.

I tried a while ago to be understanding of how they were. I even went as far as saying that i understood they may have had rough or difficult upbringings and if they could tell me if this was part of the reason behind their behaviour i would accept ir and understand.
I got no response, i got defence instead.
My dad says he would write me a letter on hks death bed.
Which i found a little bit over the top.
And a bit hurtful.

I am going to plod along at the minute and see what comes about.
I havent heard from them today. But they want me to watch their dog on the 7th while they go to scotland for the day.
I should have said no but they made me feel guilty.
My mam doesnt cross the doors, you see. My sis wouldnt watch him coz hes too much

smallmomma Sun 03-Nov-13 17:59:48

In fact, on the 7th im going to say what they used to say to me..."you shouldnt have got the dog in the first place".

I bet they will be disgusted. Even though they said it to me whenever i said anything about my dog.

DIYapprentice Sun 03-Nov-13 18:04:15

My dad says he would write me a letter on his death bed

WTF??? What a way to get the last word in!! If he says that again tell him 'don't bother, if you wont' talk to me then I won't read any death bed confessions/recriminations'

Chippednailvarnish Sun 03-Nov-13 18:05:08

You really don't have to plod on with a relationship with them, I think you would do better without them.

smallmomma Sun 03-Nov-13 18:27:09

I know. I cant help but feel bad that they would grow old and may need me and im not there.
I also feel bad on my childrens behalf - not having their grandparents because ive had a falling out with them.

Maybe they arent even worth my thoughts. Sometimes i feel that is the case. But then my soft/guilty side comes about and i cant cope no matter what decision i make

AnandaTimeIn Sun 03-Nov-13 18:54:36

I really would get some counselling to deal with your awful upbringing and to help make you stronger in dealing with your parents now.

They sound horrendous! And you sound lovely (and strong!). Glad OH is seeing it for what it is too.

And yes, do read Toxic Parents.

If you don't get a handle on this now, like PPs say, you are in for a hell of a teenage ride....

puntasticusername Sun 03-Nov-13 18:55:16

Your children "not having their grandparents because you've had a falling out with them" - oh, but it's a tiny bit more than that isn't it! smile

The fact that you continue to feel this bad about things just shows you're a good person yourself.

Definitely keep talking!

ipswichwitch Sun 03-Nov-13 18:58:40

My mam was singled out for the worst of the crappy treatment by her alcoholic mother. Her sisters were treated very badly but mam had the most spiteful behaviour directed at her. She never knew why - never will now gran has died, and frankly I think it's pointless looking for answers. There won't be any real concrete reasons, and your fathers "deathbed letter" is just more bollocks to keep you dangling.

I was always my grans favourite, and she went to great lengths to demonstrate it to the detriment of my brother and cousins. Your DC do not need this in their lives, so you should never feel guilty for not keeping contact going. They do not need the sort of grandparents who will drive a wedge between siblings in such a way. It damaged the relationship between me n my brother.

I wish my mam had done more to detach herself, for her own self preservation. She has zero self confidence, and wound up being the one doing all the caring for her when she got ill, which just made my mam ill too. You need to withdraw, you have nothing to feel guilty for. They have made their bed - let them lie in it. And yes, if they ask you to look after their dog, say no and "we'll you shouldn't have got a dog". Give them what they give you. I wish my mam had been brave enough to do the same.

ghostonthecanvas Sun 03-Nov-13 19:34:51

Some of the happiest most, trouble free days of my life were the years I spent parent free. I got sucked back in occasionally. Things have improved in later years but more because I don't take any crap and my mother has realised that she was fecking usless. They never undermined me in front of the kids though. I hope this thread gives you the extra strength you need. Your kids will be better off not having grandparents that disrespect their mother.

FunkyBoldRibena Sun 03-Nov-13 19:54:33

But they want me to watch their dog on the 7th while they go to scotland for the day

Oh I can't I'm meeting up for the day with my friend Funky.

There you go, perfect excuse.

Don't tell them we are meeting on here of course wink

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