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Mother Invites ExH for lunch....(81 Posts)
My Mother informed me yesterday that she has spoken to ExDP and invited him to a family pre-Christmas lunch next Sunday and that he has accepted.
She did not even ask me if it was convenient for me to go, just took the assumption that we will be there. She said that it would be nice for them (which means her and my Dad) for us to have a Christmas lunch with myself, ExDP and our DD.
She knows that I am currently going to Relate on my own to find solutions to me and ExDP's issues, not to find ways to get back together as the relationship is over, but just for advice and direction with regard to how to deal with certain issues like assertiveness on my part and establishing boundaries. ExDP is quite a strong character and is often putting me down and bossing me about and I wanted to regain a bit more control in our relationship for the sake of our DD. My Mum knows this and I have also confided in her about his sometimes bullying behaviour towards me.
The counselling I have been receiving at Relate have delved into all of my relationships including with my parents and this has let me "see the light" and I now believe my mum has always behaved in a very emotionally abusive way, particularly using gas lighting tactics. Always telling me things have not happened when they definitely had, minimising and invalidating my feelings to things that a normal person would be expected to feel strongly about etc. I am now someone who does not have masses of confidence and second guessing myself is a bit issue in that.
Therefore, with regard to her inviting ExDP to lunch without discussing it with me in light of the stuff I've told her, am I being unreasonable to feel betrayed by her? I have always felt like I can't trust her, particularly with doing right by me. She said that she wants to do it for my DD, that it would be nice for her (as ExDP is going away to his family for Christmas and won't be with us) to have a "pretend Christmas" (she is only 13months btw so won't really know what's going on). To be honest I think me and ExDP probably would of done something like this anyway, just the 3 of us.
I'm just interested what others would think if your mum invited an Ex partner for lunch like this. I have such little faith in my own thoughts and feelings I don't know what is reasonable if that makes sense?
She's trying the "let's just forget all the unpleasantness happened" tack. She's not used to you standing up for yourself so she's changed game plan in an attempt to get back into her position of power. You'll probably get the nice/nasty cycle for a while, with added "You're making a big fuss over nothing", "Why are you being so cruel?" plus the occasional "Your father doesn't understand why you're being like this". She may go as far as a made-up health scare.
Fear, obligation and guilt. That's what she's used to keep you dancing to her tune your whole life. It's up to you if you want to carry on with that dance.
It is this type of thing though that just drives me mad. When she pretends that nothing has happened - is this a form of gaslighting? The text message had a tone suggesting firstly that nothing was wrong between us and secondly that we were due to go round tomorrow anyway, like it was a gentle reminder.
I've had such a shit week, this whole lunch thing and coming to terms with my mum being such a cow and not really seeing it before. I have always blamed myself for everything.
By asking me AGAIN she has totally undermined my feelings IMO. She has not acknowledged that I am upset or that I have a reason to be upset. I made it clear that I am not going tomorrow, but she thought this morning that it would be worth giving it another go? I am so pissed off right now!
Don't get pissed off. Breezily and calmly assertive is much more effective.
Your bullying parents were the model you carried forward into yuor own adult relationship so am not at all surprised to read that you had a relationship with a bullying man.
Many children now adults of such toxic parenting carry around FOG with them -this is an acronym for fear, obligation, guilt.
Your mother's behaviour is typical toxic parent behaviour and your Dad likely goes along with her out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. He is a weak bystander alongside her.
You are standing up to her and are making great strides. This is progress indeed but you may well start waivering and doubting yourself again re her. That is normal. Just keep reasserting yourself and your own boundaries with regards to her.
Would also suggest you read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as well as posting on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread. All that you have written of your mother is typical of such toxic people.
Your mother will never be the kind and loving mother you so desparately want her to be I am sorry to say. You did not make her that way; her own birth family did that lot of harm to her.
You are doing fine. Frankly if your DM has selective memory that's her problem.
It doesn't feel like freedom from maternal interference yet because your instinct is to mend and repair, deferring to her. It is absolutely reasonable for you to stand up for yourself. You're a mum now, your DD is little and helpless, you are her protector and teacher. But do you honestly see yourself controlling your DC in 20 years' time and beyond, dictating what she does, throwing paddies when she finds her own way, trusts her own judgment?
It's all part of the power play and when you start to realise what's happening you will go through the grieving process. You are grieving for the mum you deserve but haven't got.
I'm currently on anger. And bargaining doesn't work on narcs. Working my desperate way to acceptance.
My advice is that to us and to people who understand complain and cry as much as you need. To your mum you need to be calm, firm, non committal and talk about the weather. Unfortunately all personal conversations are for someone else. It's sad but necessary. And your dad can't be the one because he is on your mothers side and can't be trusted to keep a secret. That's what enablers do.
I understand what you are going through as do many here. I'm sorry. X
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