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the whole thing is a mess(26 Posts)
Relationships with all my family members are a mess and Im sick of getting the blame.
My mums sister told me I was no longer her niece just before xmas 2011. This was because my mum had stopped speaking to her for that whole year but never told her why. So when it came to xmas I tried (my mum knew I was doing so) to fix it. Instead of having a calm discussion, my aunt blew up in my face. Days of sreaming down the phone at me, leaving xmas presents on my doorstep, screaming at me in the driveway etc.
Then the two of them made up but I never got an apology and they pushed me out. But my aunt still wanted DD1 to go round for sleepovers while she "gave me time until I could speak to her again."
Then my mum refused to acknowledge my engagement or pregnancy, stopped calling me, ignored me if I brought up the wedding.
In may I had had enough and stopped trying to call my mum. Stopped going to the weekly dinner (I told her I was busy, didnt just not show up) and basically cut them out of my life.
I was pregnant until nov and it really got me down. I started to see that my mum has always been toxic and the way she favours my brother really gets to me. The fact that DD1 missed them really tore my heart apart.
Two days after DD2 was born I text my mum letting her know. DP encouraged me to as I was waking in the night crying about it. So they came round and now we are slowly speaking again. DD1 goes for sleepovers etc. My brother isnt speaking to me, but tbh I dont care. Hes a self centered arse anyway.
Today I saw my aunt in town, I was driving and she was walking. I waved. Then my mum was round this evening and I mentioned that I had waved.
So she starts into a whole rant "Are you going to go and see her? Shes been texting you all summer, she thinks you arent talking to her." etc etc.
Why cant they see how upset I was and still am about the hurtful things last year? I know its been a year and I should get over it. But Im so sick of them always blaming me when all I try to do is be nice and get on with everyone. But yet they still find me in the wrong. If she thought I wasnt speaking to her did she think why? Would she ever think of apologising and not cutting me out?
So now I have to go see her as if I was in the wrong and sit there feeling guilty even though I know its not me. If I say anything will she just blow up like last year? Then I will be worst in the world again.
OP, your last post really rang a bell with me, I have a friend who could have written that post word for word.
The point I wanted to make is that my friend is now 48, and has been battling with this all her life. Only now has she made some moves to cut contact with her mother and is starting to seek help in the form of books and websites such as those recommended above.
<< I want them in my life.>>
Why? What do they add?
Are you sure its them you want in your life (the real them) or are you saying you want them to be the loving, caring, supportive people they should be?
If they start to treat your children badly (they may not, they may just poison them against you instead) what would you tell them? That it is OK for someone to treat them badly? That you should keep seeing someone that hurts you? That it is OK to treat the people who love you badly?
I do appreciate that it is hard for you to disengage -FOG again - but for the love of heaven please don't let these people damage your children. Protect them until you are able to protect yourself.
I don't think it matters how hard you TRY and make your Mother see things from your point of view, you never will. Therefore every time you try, you'll just end up upset and / or angry.
The same with trying to get her to accept any type of blame - whether it's you stopping contact or whether it's not, you will get the blame regardless as certain people are unable to accept any type of criticism at all.
Therefore all you really can do is do what makes you happy - once you've accepted that your Mother will never change, will always blame you for things that aren't your fault and try and control you, the only choice is whether you have her in your life or not.
You sound like a good and kind person - cutting toxic people out of your life isn't a nasty thing to do, it's a kindness to yourself.
If you don't feel you can do it cold turkey, perhaps not talk to her for, say 2 weeks, then see if you can increase it day by day? Maybe keep a diary as to how you feel after not speaking to her and see if you find that you're calmer and happier the longer the no contact continues?
I would think your Dad is the bystander who has acted and continues to act out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; yours is the scapegoat and you are the scapegoat for all their inherent ills. To your credit you realise that your Dad enables your mother.
Re your comment:-
""See I did let them lose touch (it wasnt hard) but I still got the blame."
That happened because they are unwilling to give up your assigned role to them as scapegoat; you cannot reason with such people and they cannot be reasoned with. Toxic people like your birth family unit do not play by the "normal" rules governing familial relations.
Do read the books that have been recommended to you; it will give you more insight into the power and control strategies such people use against their victim. Counselling is worth considering as well; BACP are good and do not charge the earth. Re counsellors though they are like shoes, you need to find someone that fits.
These people like your family do not apologise and will never take any responsibility for their actions. They are more than happy to blame you for all their inherent ills.
AS for your DD your role here is also to protect her from such malign influences; she will see how you are treated by them and you have already seen how such toxic crap filters down the generations. It can stop with you and you can protect your DD from all their dysfunction as well.
Have a look too as the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages; there are also some good resources at the beginning of that thread as well.
IME realising that you are the scapegoat in a toxic family is a very lonely and devastating thing.
It seems clear from what you have posted that this is the case in your family.
Your brother (as is often the case in such a situation) is the Golden Child, which seems a better position but has it's own drawbacks.
Your choice is to continue as things are: they won't change, they are getting what they need from the current situation. You are the emotional valve in the family, when they have a problem ,it will be dumped on you.
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Or you can choose differently. You can stop looking to them for approval/love/validation/support/concern. They will never be the family you want and deserve.
It is because you are the most sane, emotionally intelligent and empathetic person in the family that you have become the scapegoat.
Choose to give that love and affection that they have spurned from you, to yourself first and then your own new family.
It will be hard for a while, but eventually if you keep your boundaries strong, they will lessen their dumping on you. But they wont change.
Let alone yourself, I think you need to evaluate whether it is wise for your DD to be in contact with these awful people - let alone yourself.
I would see your GP. Ask for a long appointment and tell them everything. You sound very depressed - hardly surprising!
You can't change other people only yourself. You might find this helpful too.
I think you need to face facts that they aren't going to change. The only person you can control is yourself and you need to stop setting yourself up for failure.
I used to do it all the time, I'd say to my mum something exciting or happy that was going to happen and she'd come back with something nasty and drag me back down again. She couldn't bear to see other people happy. Eventually (after 37 years!) I finally worked out that she wasn't pleased for me and stopped telling her anything. It meant I wasn't constantly being knocked back down.
The book I recommended really helped me open my eyes to my parents appalling behaviour.
Just had a huge row with my mum.
Ofcourse everything I said was dismissed. Everything I said was hurting me "wasnt meant that way" or "is nonsense."
Basically she ended up saying that the way she does things is right in her eyes and thats just the way she does it.
I can like it or lump it in other words.
Ofcourse my brother is a fucking saint and can do no wrong. I on the other hand am the worst in the world and I am to blame for it all.
She kept saying "is there anything else you want to say about me?" playing the martyr.
It is possible to manage them better, to set boundaries etc. Leave a message for your Aunt "I can do the last Saturday each month, let me know if one of those suits you" then leave her to call you back and take some responsibility.
Your Mum makes an unpleasant comment call her up on it.
If they are being unreasoable pack your stuff and leave.
State "I'm not listening to you place the blame wrongly on me, speak to you when you're ready to treat me as an equal" hang up.
This could be the sort of thing counselling could help you with.
I will look those books up Robot, thanks
I can see that they will never support me.
I tried to say to my mum last night that maybe my aunt should arrange things with me instead of it always being up to me and all I got was "she thinks you are busy, you need to call her."
What utter tripe. I dont work. She works shifts and has three kids who are all different ages at different schools. How on earth am I busier than that!
I know there are no solutions unless I cut them out. I just wanted to have a moan about it and get it out of my head!
I cant afford counselling and tbh I dont think it would help. I love my family. I want them in my life. Its the hurt I cant deal with
But counselling doesn't have to be about cutting them out if it's not what you want - it can help you learn how to deal with them better - you could speak to your GP about a referral to a counsellor (who should be free)
Alternatively, Lots of people on here recommend "Toxic Parents" as a good book. My recommendation is a book called "If You Had Controlling Parents: How to Make Peace with Your Past and Take Your Place in the World" by Dan Neuharth - it was an eye opener and set me on the road to my recovery
" I love my family. I want them in my life. Its the hurt I cant deal with.
You are all totally right. I know that. I just feel really fragile and I just want them to support me. "
You love the idea of your family, they will never support you.
REally sorry to be honest with you. Counselling may help you stand up to them and change the dynamics, could be as simple as "I'm not doing all the running around, if you want to see me give me a call and we'll sort something out" repeat ad nauseum.
My dad is a bit more mellow but he enables my mum. They are a unit. We are grown up but they still have the united front so I cant talk to him.
Im 25 and she still tries to punish and scold me in really subtle manipulative ways. She was punishing me for getting pregnant by sulking and refusing to talk about it.
See I did let them lose touch (it wasnt hard) but I still got the blame.
Im not sure I have the strength to do it again. DD1 loves my parents. I dont want her to be without family. But I know that they could be toxic to her when shes older.
I cant afford counselling and tbh I dont think it would help. I love my family. I want them in my life. Its the hurt I cant deal with.
You are all totally right. I know that. I just feel really fragile and I just want them to support me.
I forgot to ask where your dad stands in all this - can you talk to him?
I would book yourself in for counselling to help you and then let them lose touch with you. You need to develop a back bone when it comes to them, to overcome the FOG and get to a point where you are completely disinterested in them.
It's their loss not yours, you will feel liberated.
We cant go away due to DPs huge (but lovely) family. The venue is booked and half paid by PILs so its happening. I did consider just doing it low key and leaving them out of it but I had to compromise with DP and PILs.
I am the first grandchild/niece. So Im not sure if that makes a difference. But its basically that they are all rude and bitchy people who can never be reasoned with. So I either deal with it or get blamed for losing touch.
I think they will be on best behaviour on the day tbh. They will be "on show" for DPs family.
Sweetheart you don't HAVE to do anything
Random is right you are the family scapegoat - no amount of trying to be nice and do the right thing will change them. They are all toxic people who you are unfortunate enough to be related to. You though, have emotional intelligence and my counsellor told me that that is one of the most wonderful qualities you can possess. Worry about your own little family and none of these others.
Think about having some counselling, it helped me enormously
I'm just worried they will spoil the actual day for you as well as afterwards.
Honestly truly, I would go away and get married and not invite any of them. Say you couldn't afford it and then walk away from them.
You seem to be the scape goat for your entire family?
I know I shouldnt but my mum has always been great at a guilt trip.
Then theres my dads family. They are so toxic my parents dont speak to them any longer. But I did until last year.
My dads sister is intolerable. Shes vile. The things she says are so hurtful and demeaning, and if you stand up to her you "have issues" or "need to get a sense of humour."
She poisons my GM against everyone. Bitches about us so much my GM starts to believe that we all are the way my aunt makes out. Then there will be snippy comments from GM and that really hurts because shes so lovely deep down. She just cant see through her daughter.
Now my mum is telling me I hsve to invite GM to the wedding which is fair enough because I do. But that will be another case of me taking the blame for not going round, even though I was made to feel really unwelcome when I was there, and my GM drove past my old house everyday so why didnt she come see me? Why is it always upto me to keep in touch with family when I never get invited to anything or asked round. I have to phone and invite myself then go round, to be made to feel like an inconvenience. But if I dont do it Im the one at fault.
The whole family is driving me insane and the wedding is in July. So they will all be there smiling away and then it will all go back to the same old shit after. Only worse because my dads sister will bitch about every detail and how I looked fat in my dress and how my husband is ugly/too fat/weird or whatever.
Thankyou if you have got this far. I just needed to write that all down. Any views are appreciated.
Honestly they're toxic keep them both at arms length!
You know they're behaviour was wrong and unreasonable so why do you feel guilty?
FOG perhaps - Fear Obligation Guilt, the weapons toxic people use.
Thats really long, sorry
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