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Dreading my mum coming back from holiday

(47 Posts)
Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:29:57

I've posted about my mum before. She really turned on me after DD was born and I got married (over 2 years ago now) and things have gone from bad to worse. I have been advised on here before to distance myself from her which I try to do but is hard as I work for her and she looks after my DD twice a week.

My parents have been on holiday for 2 weeks, due back this weekend and its been bliss. I feel guilty admitting to it but things are so much easier and calmer. We've been able to take DD to see my nan and grandad and other family without being made to feel guilty that we havent seen her. I can work without feeling like i'm walking on egg shells. They'll be back in a few says and its all going to go back to the tense crap it was before.

My mum hasnt been right for a while, and takes it all out on me. She has been on ADs but decided before she went away to stop taking them, i think my dad has also encouraged this. I have tried talking to them both saying I think she needs more help for her depression and they have both turned round and said shes fine and i'm the reason shes upset, if we came round to see them for meals etc everything would be fine! The reason we stopped seeing them as much was because they ignore my DH, undermine our parenting and even when we did make effect they still bitched and moaned.

I feel soo bad but i just don't want them to come back from their holiday, All they do is make me feel guilty and I feel isolated from the rest of the family as my parents play the victim to them so they stay away from us. I can't handle this anymore, they just make me out to be unreasonable and can't see it from any other view.

brass Thu 11-Oct-12 11:33:12

I'm sorry but your drama will continue!

You work for her and you let her provide childcare - she has you over a barrel.

The only answer is to extricate yourselves. Be independent.

If you are unwilling to do that nothing is going to change.

Hopeforever Thu 11-Oct-12 11:35:34

Afraid I agree with brass, you need to find another job and alternative child are.

It will be difficult, but you only live once, don't let your parents rule you any longer

StrangeGlue Thu 11-Oct-12 11:41:39

Hey, that's really tough. To be honest I would be looking to put your DD in childcare (cm/nursery/etc) and then you won't be beholden to them. You're not responsible for your mum's moods or making her better.

You might find this book helpful if you think they're controlling ( here ) or there's one about toxic parents by susan forward.

Just remember you aren't responsible for them. Stop kow towing, say when the hurt you and ignore the bitching. Maybe if you stop giving in when they bitch about you they'll stop doing if (if they're only doing it to manipulate you.) and start telling the truth "we're not coming to tea because you ignore DH", "DD is going to a child kinder because you undermine our parenting", "it's interesting that mum told you that is it's not what happened at all".

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 11:42:26

I know thats what I need to do, we are working on it, our DD will get her 15 hrs childcare soon so that will solve that part of the issue. I'm still studying in the work I do so will struggle working somewhere else so i'm hoping to get my final year done and then can make more of a break. Hopefuly all this will be sorted by the summer. If I could have done it sooner I would have done.

Even when we have done that i'm still going to get my dad phoning me up saying how upset mum is, how stressed its getting him and how selfish I am for not going to see them for a few hours every weekend etc etc etc.

If I cut them out I wont get to see the rest of my family as they seem to side with mum for an easy life, I just don't know what to do. I dont want to lose everyone.

Walking on eggshells to me is code for living in fear.

How much of this is actually due to her really being a toxic parent?. Why d'you think you cop all her rubbish, you are not her emotional punchbag. Taking it all out on you primarily is emotionally abusive and these two as well keep upping the ante. I would read Toxic Parents written by Susan Forward; it may well help you.

I would not think your DD gets much if anything from the relationship either and you certainly do not. You need alternative childcare as of now. Your mother is patently not the person to look after her.

Does her GP know that she has stopped taking the ADs?. I would speak to her GP as a matter of course.

You are not and have never been responsible for her and her depressive state; that probably all started within her a long time ago. She also has a willing enabler in your Dad to back her up (such weak men usually act as bystanders out of self preservation and want of a quiet life).

You cannot change them but you can change how you react to them. Problem you have too is that process is going to take time, you seem like you are well in the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) state with regards to both your parents.

I would also suggest you have counselling for your own self solely re your relationship with your dysfunctional parents. BACP are good and do not charge the earth.

"If I cut them out I wont get to see the rest of my family as they seem to side with mum for an easy life"

But would you want such weak mninded souls in your life anyway if that was to happen?. You need life affirming people in your lives.

mampam Thu 11-Oct-12 11:50:22

I used to be the same as you and I used to love it when my mother went on holiday, I felt like it was my holiday too. I had a jobshare with my mum and she was also my main childcare provider (she used to drop off DS when she used to come into work. My first step was to change my job, I started working evenings so that I wouldn't need to rely on her for childcare.

A couple of year down the line I don't have any contact with her at all but that's quite a drastic step but was necessary for me.

I would say you need to take action now as it will only get worse and believe me it will drag you down until you can barely cling on anymore. I know it's hard to break away but little steps at a time could be the key. Could you halve the amount of time your mum is looking after you DD? Perhaps put her into nursery or a childminder for the other half of the time?

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 12:19:47

We just can't afford to put her in childcare yet. We're going to after christmas as she will be 3 so cheaper but doesnt qualify for 15 hrs till after easter and this will be a strech for us, i will have to work an extra day to do this so in effect I get my DD away from her but expose myself to her more.

I know I need to distance myself more its just I also have to be practical in what we can afford.

Attila my DH says the same about my family, he says they haven't bothered to see how I am or ask my side so why should I care about them but I still do. I used to be so close to my family and my granparents adore DD. My mum isnt violent just never know how she takes things. She took a day off work 'sick' the day after i told her DD was going to start nursery after xmas. I don't know if she has told GP if she has stopped taking ADs, I am tempted to contact her GP as I really don't know where to turn

mampam does your mum call you and try to guilt you into seeing her?

Before their holiday my dad was trying to make me feel guilty by saying they could die in an accident/illness etc at any time so basically just stop being silly and do as we say.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 13:56:23

I think you have to look at this differently. It's clear you either can't or don't want to be more independent for whatever reason. So distancing is not an option and you're stuck with the status quo. You can't change them.... but you can change yourself. All of this guilty stuff, the cowering, the wondering what to say for the best and treading on eggshells stops. What you replace it with is some assertiveness. Shout if you have to. Swear ffs! When you are being bullied.... let's not pull punches... that's the behaviour you're describing, you have to stand up to the bully, not run away.

i'm still going to get my dad phoning me up saying how upset mum is, how stressed its getting him and how selfish I am for not going to see them for a few hours every weekend etc etc etc.

"Well if that's how you really feel you can fuck off to the far side of fuck Dad.... bye" Yes?

BessieMcBean Thu 11-Oct-12 14:27:46

Haha (to Cogito's advice), some good advice here, standing up to them is the answer.

However, if you can't face that, you need to decide if you can last out until next summer when you can give up working with 'D'M.

If you start changing your life now (starting new interests and making new friends), book the childcare for next year, and never run to DPs at their command, the change next summer when you stop the work and your DM child minding for you, might not seem so drastic.

Any chance of you moving further away so constant visits can't be expected by them?

Is the depression just a manipulative tool? Not saying DM isn't depressed but ime she and her GP need to fix it, not someone else.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 14:44:18

I do need to be more assertive, its def not a strong point of mine and they always seem to have a way of turning round what I say. cognito thats what DH thinks I should say to them I just haven't got the guts yet.

We have stopped seeing them outside the times I work and they have DD. And I make sure I dont go running to them for anything, to be honest thats what annoys them the most, we are independent and dont need them to bail us out. We have other friends and do a lot so thats not a problem.

We have considered moving, even emigrating, but then feel all our family, DH side as well are here as well as a lot of friends so why should we lose everyone because of how my mum behaves.

I don't know if her depression is a manipulative tool or not. They have told me if we had done x y and z in the 1st year we got married my mum wouldnt have any problems which is all bollocks but thats what they believe. My mum doesn't think she has a problem anymore and my dad is saying the same! ahh!!

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 14:50:54

"I just haven't got the guts yet"

It would save you emigrating, losing your friends and give you peace of mind if you stood up. They're claiming to be 'upset', 'stressed' and blah-di-blah now and you've done nothing whatsoever. Might as well give them something to genuinely carp on about and get your self-respect back, than this current cowardly business where you plan your escape but stick around being all upset and resentful.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 15:19:06

I haven't had the guts to tell them to fuck off but I have talked to them and made them aware of how i'm feeling, though this always gets minimised or ignored as obviously my mums feelings are much more important.

What would you do then cogito? I know stupidly I rely on them as employment and childcare so if I just tell them to fuck off and I never want to see them I will then have no work, no childcare and we wont be able to afford our home. I cant get a new job as no childcare and cant afford to pay it. We aren't entitled to any benefits so I really don't know what to do.

I don't want to be in this situation but i feel i need to plan a way out so i can still feed and have a home for DD.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:04:00

You're not getting it. Stay employed and use them for childcare but don't tolerate any whining and guilt-tripping. You need them for the first two - you haven't any choice in that - but you can say a big firm 'ENOUGH' to the latter. They won't be used to hearing you say it because so far you haven't had the guts... too busy making excuses for them and flapping about getting upset and resentful. But you should listen to your DH and, rephrased in your own words obviously, tell them where to get off when they overstep the mark.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 16:47:38

Ok I see what you're saying but I have been standing up to them and that pisses them off more than anything. And they also think because I've not stood up to them before its all my DH's doing and he's trying to stop me seeing them.

My problem is they don't stop and even though I am making a huge effort to stand up to them and tell them when they say something that upsets me I still can't help feeling guily, doubting myself and getting stressed out by the whole situation.

I thought you were saying just tell them to fuck off and not see them

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 16:54:27

Do you say 'that upsets me' 'that makes me feel bad? Or do you go for a more general 'ffs give it a rest' or similar?

The trouble with bullies... and I'm getting 'emotional bullying' from the way you describe them.... is that if you admit their actions are upsetting or making you feel bad, they perversely see that as validation and a reason to plough on. They can see how you're feeling because that's precisely how they want you to feel. They want you on the back foot so that you are running around after them, trying to keep them happy. If you cut them dead, they can get annoyed but that's about all.

I think you and DH have to present a united front and be far more assertive... bordering on aggressive... than you have been up to now. I think your DH has been waiting for permission to act and will welcome the opportunity. You have to ditch all the guilty feelings, doubt and stress, sharpen your elbows and stick your chin out.

Well it would pee them off because they do not like seeing their conditioned soul i.e you rebelling. They want you back in your box and things to remain as they always have been. Also standing up to them after a lifetime of such conditioning is very hard to do.

I would think about how much her behaviour is actually due to depression and how much is actually due to her being an inadequate parent who likes to take out all her crap on you. Sometimes depression can be as encuse to further abuse others. BTW you did not make her this way, her own family did that damage.

These people will never be reasonable because they are only hearing one voice - theirs. They will never apologise nor take any responsibility for their actions. FOG - fear. obligation, guilt is a side product of such toxic people and you seem to have FOG in spades.

This is all about power and control really, your mother is the driving force behind all this whilst your dad is her willing enabler. Such women always but always need a willing enabler to help them.

You cannot change them but you can change how you react to them.
Counselling would help you with regards to this dysfunctional relationship you have with your parents.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:05:18

Whenever I say anythin about how I feel they dismiss it or make out I'm being silly or overly sensitive or twist it round. I do think my mum enjoys plaing the victim.

My DH hasn't seen them for a few months now, which again they've taken as him being petty and childish rather than because he can't stand how they act and won't tolerate it.

I'm working on being assertive and trying not to let it get to me but I'm finding its easier said than done

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 17:08:41

Like I say, if you mention your feelings, it's another bit of soft underbelly for them to needle. Your DH sounds terrific and, if I were you, I'd follow his lead, think of a few good put downs, and go for it. They already think he's a bad influence and you're a silly little girl.... might as well be hung for a sheep as a lamb.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:15:36

A lot of what you say sounds right atillia, they aren't used to me standing up for myself.

I really don't know how much my mum plays on it and how much is depression. In the past she has cried to my dad who will then guilt me into doing what she wants. We lost my grandmother earlier in the year (dads mum) and my mum was revelling in the attentiom from everyone, it was so cringeworthy and embarassing. She also feels we should centre our lives around her. Even telling me she was the most important person at our wedding!

What I don't get is why she's like it, she had a happy childhood. Her parents are the loveliest people ever, they are very close so don't think there's any issues I don't know about.

Counselling prob would be useful to help me learn to deal with them and not let it get to me, just no idea how to afford it and when I'd have the time

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:15:36

A lot of what you say sounds right atillia, they aren't used to me standing up for myself.

I really don't know how much my mum plays on it and how much is depression. In the past she has cried to my dad who will then guilt me into doing what she wants. We lost my grandmother earlier in the year (dads mum) and my mum was revelling in the attentiom from everyone, it was so cringeworthy and embarassing. She also feels we should centre our lives around her. Even telling me she was the most important person at our wedding!

What I don't get is why she's like it, she had a happy childhood. Her parents are the loveliest people ever, they are very close so don't think there's any issues I don't know about.

Counselling prob would be useful to help me learn to deal with them and not let it get to me, just no idea how to afford it and when I'd have the time

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:41

DH is amazing and has helped me so much. He doesn't care what they think of him anymore, I just wish I could be like that. I feel so bad he has to deal with this rubbish from my parents. His are great, there for us if we need it, never hassle so we are both comfortable around them so see them more.

Lulu1984 Thu 11-Oct-12 17:21:41

DH is amazing and has helped me so much. He doesn't care what they think of him anymore, I just wish I could be like that. I feel so bad he has to deal with this rubbish from my parents. His are great, there for us if we need it, never hassle so we are both comfortable around them so see them more.

CogitoErgoSometimes Thu 11-Oct-12 17:31:13

"What I don't get is why she's like it,"

Because it works. It gets her what she wants.

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