I am fucking HACKED OFF with my DM who has just died.

(41 Posts)
PlumpPartridge Wed 19-Mar-14 22:07:10

Well I am actually more hacked off (unfairly) with the people who've got in touch to express shock and sympathy.

My DM was a teacher (a very good one) for 20-odd years and taught me and a large number of my classmates. She is in touch with more of them on facebook than me and always seemed to have a good relationship with her students. They have all been in touch to tell me how she was their favourite teacher, how she made them believe in themselves, how she was the only one who truly seemed to care about them etc. They have got in touch via PMs a lot so it's not just for public show - they seem to really mean it.

The thing that upsets me is that she was horrible to live with. I was regularly told that I was fat and ugly and useless and that I was a horrible embarrassment. Smacking/hitting were normal when I was little and persisted until I was 15, but by then she'd moved on to wearing me down with a constant stream of criticism. Eventually I lost weight and did well in exams, so she could be proud of me. I also got married and had kids, so they became the light of her life. And now she's dead.

I am answering all these nice messages with a quirked smile and a strained 'thank you, that means a lot' when really I just want to shout 'She was fucking HORRIBLE to me! AND my dad, AND my sister! I'm not imagining it!!' I feel like I'm being gaslighted by the whole world, even though I know I'm not and that she was just completely different with anyone who wasn't in her family sad

I'm also sad she's dead, for some inexplicable reason. She was my mummy, once. She was the centre of my world and she told me I was shit, so I believed it.

I wish things had been different.

roadwalker Wed 19-Mar-14 22:11:52

That sounds really hard
Externally being wonderful but different at home. You must have very mixed feelings about her death

One of my friends had a horrible childhood, he would've been removed by SS if it were now. He always seemed to cope and often laughed about it
All his negative feelings came flooding when his mum died

I think you have hit it with your last sentence, its the loss of what you should have had
I hope you find some peace

LongPieceofString Wed 19-Mar-14 22:14:01

You poor thing. I am sorry for your loss - for the mother you should have had, for the lost chance for her to repair this, for your children losing their grandmother. Take care of yourself xxx

ancientbuchanan Wed 19-Mar-14 22:23:32

I'm so sorry. There's a Scots term for it, a causey do, meaning a dove that sits on the causeway and us lovely to everyone outside the nest, but perks everyone inside.

It's odd, that behaviour, some say driven by insecurity or power, or both. What I do know from friends and relatives is that if you don't have a good relationship with your DM you grieve for it, and even more when she dies.

So you are normal.

And you need to cherish yourself as well as those who also suffered from her. And you need to know that you are loving and lovable and worthy of love no matter what you were told.

I've spent months with my own DM persuading her of this. And that the most important thing she did was to break the cycle of lovelessness, just as I am sure you have. Well done, cherish yourself, let your anger and grief out, and then rest.

ancientbuchanan Wed 19-Mar-14 22:24:16

Doo, not do. Bloody Sassenach predictive phone.

ancientbuchanan Wed 19-Mar-14 22:25:04

And pecks, not perks. Shit.

Kewcumber Wed 19-Mar-14 22:27:02

I'm sorry for your loss (in so many ways). I would be fucking hacked off too.

AskBasil Wed 19-Mar-14 22:31:29

God how clever of the Scots to actually have a recognised term for it. Helps people to recognise what it is.

Sorry OP. It's horrible. When my father died I cried for the father I'd never had, not the one I'd had. It's just not logical at all, I've never missed him for a day and I couldn't stand him, but I still grieved.

Of course you're hacked off. Knowing that she had all this love and kindness and supportiveness and it was all for other people. It's the final act of abuse - that reminder in death, that they could be nice when they wanted, they just never wanted to be nice to you. sad

thanks

mineofuselessinformation Wed 19-Mar-14 22:34:47

Don't pretend - you don't have to. Just don't reply. You have the right to feel how you feel. No-one else has the right to impose their feelings on you.
I'm so sorry, I hope you find peace with all of this in time.

Misfitless Wed 19-Mar-14 22:42:00

So sorry plump.

I haven't been in your situation, but a good friend of mine has, in a way.

Her (very kind and loving) mother died while she was a teenager, but her cold and cruel and emotionally abusive father died a couple of years ago when she was 40.

I think it must be so much more traumatic in a way, having to deal with losing such a parent...not having happy memories to help you through and bring you comfort; instead being forced to deal with it all over again, and having all the hurt brought to the surface.

Having all these tributes being sent to you must make it even more unbearable. I'm so sorry.
thanks

PlumpPartridge Thu 20-Mar-14 07:07:37

A causey do. That's her alright. Is that sort of behaviour more common in Scotland?!

I don't resent the people sending the messages really - they mean well and I do appreciate the kindness which prompted the gesture. I just wish that I had similar memories of my own.It's the disparity that grates, especially since I got the brunt of it ggrowing up and my sister was quite close to her in later years.

Ugh.

mynameisnotmichaelcaine Thu 20-Mar-14 07:14:48

That is so hard. Your feelings sound totally normal to me. Be kind to yourself.

DrankSangriaInThePark Thu 20-Mar-14 07:15:19

flowers

That must be hard to admit as well. That the person so idolised by many was horrible behind closed doors.

Right now, (I am guessing DM has only just died?) you need to just be kind to yourself I think and let any feelings that need to, come.

You will probably start to feel guilty for having these thoughts as well. Don't. Someone's death doesn't make them a saint and erase all the bad stuff.

You were a little girl who should have been praised and loved unconditionally by the one adult who should have had it in her DNA to be that person.

That she didn't, takes some swallowing. Especially as clearly she was a highly thought of teacher to others.

You sound feisty, though, and strong. You came through a toxic parental relationship and have a lovely family of your own. Hang onto that, and learn from your mother. Be a different mother, and in time, maybe you will be able to thank her for teaching you how to be a better one than she ever was.

Bakingnovice Thu 20-Mar-14 07:17:27

Aw plump you've every right to be sad and angry. Not having a mothers love is one of life's biggest losses IMHO. If it hurts too much try and think of some of the not so bad times. Sending you love.

BillyBanter Thu 20-Mar-14 07:18:00

I've not heard the phrase causey doo before but I work for a charity and it's worth remembering that just because someone has ethical stance on some things doesn't mean they don't have character flaws.

I'm sorry for your loss and the incongruencies of that.

PlumpPartridge Thu 20-Mar-14 08:32:46

Be a different mother, and in time, maybe you will be able to thank her for teaching you how to be a better one than she ever was.

Sound advice. I do already try to do this, so I completely agree with you smile

She died on Monday morning. I'd spent the weekend in hospital watching her deteriorate and was relieved, overall.

I know I just sound jealous. I probably am, although I try not to be. It's not fair of me to be angry at anyone but her though.

Jux Thu 20-Mar-14 08:47:23

I'm sorry for your loss, plump, your double-loss.

I realised when mum died that she had never ever been supportive of me, had just left me to sink or swim throughout my life as if she had washed her hands of me when I was little; she had been amazing and wonderful to pretty well everyone else in the bloody world. At another family funeral some years later, one of my favourite cousins said something to me about her, and I plucked up the courage to say not all relationships are as they seem from the outside, to be utterly pooh-poohed and told how marvellous my mother was. I felt abandoned all over again. So, clearly trying to tell people is not worth it.

Time helps. I think counselling would help more.

freezingdrizzle Thu 20-Mar-14 08:49:43

Plump.
I am so sorry for what you are going through. I wanted to share my experience with my mother a bit with you. She is not dead, she is very much alive. But I grew up in a very difficult frightening environment, she was (and is) a depressive anorexic narcissist. Ha. Almost sounds funny when I write it down. My childhood involved so much lying, protecting (of her) & watching her be sweet, kind & utterly charming to our friends and family. Her rage was saved for her children.
She is quite a different woman now, and the most attentive, loving and fun grandmother to my DD you could imagine. And my god it F*cks me off so much. I find it so difficult that she is so wonderful to her. NOT for a minute that I would want her to not be nice to her, but why didn't she treat me like that?
Anyway, I have had a lot of hugely helpful therapy in the last few years. My wonderful therapist talks about how difficult it is for children who never had a proper (unconditionally) loving mother growing up because more often than not no one else realises that they have grown up with such a lack. It is not even a loss for some, as they never had it to start with.

The biggest comfort I get is from my relationship with my DD. I only really began to heal when she was born.

This is what helps me:
The truth is, it is my history. It is me childhood. I can't change it now, and I have every right to grieve for what should have been mine - unconditional love. But I must face each day knowing that I love myself unconditionally and I know how to pass that on. Some days are better than others smile

Sorry I have rambled about myself, and perhaps there is not much you identify with here. But I wanted to offer you some comfort. I am so sorry for your pain.

Kudzugirl Thu 20-Mar-14 08:51:32

Plump

I hated the fact that my Father treated some random off the street better than his own children. I hated the fact that I had to sit and listen to everybody telling me what a lovely man my Father was and all the time I sat there seething wanting to correct them "No he was a git actually- an abusive cruel and callous git".

You have my sympathies and anytime you want to rant, please do PM me. I hear you, I truly do.

flowers.

cardamomginger Thu 20-Mar-14 09:11:41

So so sorry. For all of it.

I had a toxic bitch of a mother who suddenly dropped dead one day. I recognise so many of the things you say you find hard. It was particularly hard having to read/listen to all the lovely things people said about her, in an attempt to comfort me. It's just what people say - they work on the assumption that this is what will help, and this is 'the done thing' following a death.

I had assumed that no one knew what a vile and abusive person she was. Years after her death I found out from her sister that she had been a complete PA NP bitch to her too. That made certain things harder (everyone had talked about 'poor little cardamom' when I was very young, but had done nothing), but it made things easier, as it put a different light on how my aunt and other people had behaved immediately following her death. The nice things they said about my mother were partly to do with wish fulfilment, and grief for what had not been, or what had only been infrequently.

I'm sorry. XXX

Pawprint Thu 20-Mar-14 11:57:17

Sorry to hear that. I had mixed feelings when one of my grandmother's died. She was not cruel, but was very difficult to be around. In all honesty, I just didn't like her much sad

ancientbuchanan Fri 21-Mar-14 09:52:39

I think the Scots can just be more frank/ brutal in how they express things....the English fudge...

My DM grieved all her life and indeed was eaten up all her life about it. But she managed to break the cycle, just as I guess you have done, and love us. It's the hardest and best thing you can possibly do , if you think about it. Abusers have so often been abused themselves. But if you stop it, you are setting yourself and future generations free. And you are increasing the supplies of love, and nothing is more important when the chips are down....

So well done. Comfort yourself with that thought, and know that we salute you.

MrsC1969HJ Sat 22-Mar-14 11:01:22

I am so sorry for your loss and your anger is natural and understandable. I had a similar situation when my Mum died. I fell pregnant outside of marriage with my eldest child, I was 29 though, but my mother was distraught and angry at me as it went against her beliefs of having a child outside of "wedlock" as she put it. So, she ignored me throughout my entire pregnancy, cut me off completely, no calls, nothing. It was awful, you really need your Mum then! When I had my DD, she turned up at the hospital the next day as if nothing had happened so I just let it go, she was an amazing grandmother and adored my daughter. However, she died 4 years later of cancer at only 61 years old. At her funeral somebody approached me and said how excited my Mum had been when I was pregnant, she was so delighted she was going to be a grandmother etc...I was absolutely gutted! I couldn't believe she had done that having cut me off. It floored me and I cried for days about it. In the end, I decided that there was no point in being angry, I couldn't do anything about it and I couldn't talk to her about it. So, I have some understanding of how you feel. It is hard to be so angry with a dead person because it's so difficult to find a way to channel that anger. I hope you find some peace, the problem was hers and she must have had some real issues to have behaved how she did. You will forgive her one day because you are clearly a lovely person.

Snog Sat 22-Mar-14 15:34:17

I am sorry for what you are going through PP. It must be so hard - I know the gaslighting feeling only too well.
My mum is similar, and when she dies I am planning not to attend her funeral because of this. Is this something you would ever consider?
Hearing how wonderful everyone else thinks she is and how lucky I am to have her as a mother would be a bit too much to handle for me.

PlumpPartridge Sun 23-Mar-14 15:04:05

Well, the funeral is tomorrow and I seem to have a place reserved in the limo, so I guess I'd better go grin

Thank you for all the kind words of wisdom and encouragement; it is good to know that other people do get it. My aunt (mum's sister) is being very understanding but I am not sure how far I can push her goodwill.

It's just hard, especially with the influx of visitors whom we apparently have to look after and get the house gleaming for. She was not a tidy person. This house is a sty. My dad won't help. My sister has moved out and doesn't want to help anyway. ARGH.

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