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The Great Escape

(719 Posts)
GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 07:24:59

I thought I would start a new thread, for anyone who might be interested in listening to my waffling on about my struggles with a difficult, overbearing mother. Thank you to whoever it was who suggested the thread title! I've changed my name for something a bit more positive.
previous thread here:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1565077-My-mother-hates-my-husband-long

Aussiebean Sun 31-Mar-13 10:39:31

I understand what you mean. My brothers and I are out of the will favour of her 6 grandchildren. (Just so you know 3 of those grandchildren don't actually exist, she has decided we will have 2 and only 2 each)

She has also made both my brothers executives of the will. But not me. It just brings back to me that she doesn't trust me. She has decided how many children I am going to have but I am not to be trusted to follow her instructions when she is gone.

She can do what she wants with the money, but the attempt at control is awful.

GoodtoBetter Sun 31-Mar-13 15:32:02

That's awful Aussie. It's hard to explain why it upsets me without sounding all graspy about money. I'm not interested in the money, I am offended by the way it's used as a weapon and a way to insult me/imply unpleasant things about me to DB.
I'm not sure I should admit this, you'll all think I'm so weak willed and will wonder why DH hasn't divorced me long ago.....When I bought my house she persuaded my to draw up a will where everything was left to DS and future children as opposed to DH. Her argument was that if I died DH might remarry and have more children and DS' inheritance would be split with his half siblings. I did it as I could sort of see her logic, but I felt really uncomfortable about it and DH wasn't impressed. God, that sounds so bad written down. I don't have much to leave any more as the house is sold but I think I should change it to what I would have done without interference from her.
Also, I was looking through photos from a few years back when I had longer hair and remembered that she basically bullied me into having my hair cut. She said it looked crap (I used to wear it up a lot or let it dry naturally as it's wavy). I said I liked it and didn't have tie to fuss over it, DS was under a year I think and she said that was an excuse and I made no effort with my appearance. I went for a walk and cried, but I felt she must be right, why would my own mother be that cruel if it weren't true...so the next time I went to the hairdresser's I had it cut into a bob which involved straightening it each time I washed it. I've kept that style since, but I just think my relationship with her has been SO FUCKING WEIRD for so long.....
sorry...waffling...

GoodtoBetter Sun 31-Mar-13 15:46:57

And in talking to DB, it emerges that when he was being difficult as a teen and I was away at uni she used to say to him that she would put him in care, because she couldn't cope with him. She also used to say, I remember this "One day I woke up and all the love I'd had for your father was gone, because of the way he treated me, if you go on like this, one day I will wake up and I won't love you any more". Or, "Each thing you do like this is another nail in the coffin of my love for you". And she famously once told him she should never have had him, which he has never let her forget. She's apologised for that one since, but there are some things that can't be left unsaid. She would do that, withdraw affection or threaten to withdraw it and it was terrifying and I think that fear is what has got me where I am/have been until now.
I worry about repeating patterns with DS. I worry that I'm inconsistent and shout too much and maybe he feels I withdraw affection in anger. I don't think so, but I do worry about whether I am like her in my parenting without realising it.

HerrenaHandbasket Sun 31-Mar-13 15:58:02

To be fair G2B, no-one feels that affectionate when they're pissed off. The key is to not let the resentment persist past its normal point, as narcs tend to do. A normal person will calm down, come out of the bedroom and say 'Alright, let's agree to not let this happen again, ok?' or something like that and give a hug and then DC will know that the situation is resolved and mummy still loves them. Narcs will never do this.

I think as long as you've got self-knowledge then you are one step ahead of the game.

GoodtoBetter Sun 31-Mar-13 22:08:08

I guess you're right. I always make a point of not holding a grudge, whereas DM can have things go on for weeeeeeeeks (our defining row went on for 6 weeks til we moved out) and is the master of throwing things back in your face and lines such as "actions speak louder than words" if you apologise for something (usually when it's not even your fault.) She'll never agree to draw a lie uder things if it means she has to stop harping on about being right.

AutumnDreams Sun 31-Mar-13 22:40:48

I don`t honestly think you have any need to worry about your parenting Good. You are too aware of how you have suffered, and will make damn sure your children don`t, in that way. Also, your H does not sound like he would stand back and enable you. I do, however, think that your mother will continue the pattern with them, if you don`t stop her. You have said that she is already treating them differently. As they get older, she may well use the promise of money to control them, in the same way she is doing with you and your brother. It`s her MO after all. I agree with you, by the way, that you should change your will back in your husband`s favour, I imagine he was quite hurt by that, and deserves more respect don`t you think?

Thanks for the gorgeous pics of Fiesta, by the way. I`ve been drooling over them. I was in Cadiz during one of those times a few years ago, and it was wonderful. Oh, and guess who was staying in the next apartment?......Little Tom Cruise. He was there making the film, Knight and Day. The next time I went there was a little silver plaque outside, saying that he stayed there. Nowt about Autumn staying there though!

tribpot Mon 01-Apr-13 13:25:24

How terrible, Autumn, you should write to the tourist board in Cadiz and put them straight. I once stayed in a hotel in Amsterdam right after George Clooney - bet no-one remembers that now either grin

Your mother sounds like she has been unbearably cruel to your brother in the past - perhaps part of her obsession with his share of the inheritance is a lame attempt to make up for that?

Whatever the reason, though, I agree that you are too mindful of the behaviour to repeat it with your own children. Shouting is not the same as withdrawing affection. In fact, withdrawing affection is a cold, prolonged punishment rather than a short, hot one like shouting. (Not that I'm advocating shouting of course, but god knows we all do it from time to time!)

You absolutely should change your own will back - it's reasonable to leave the money in trust to your children but in a way that you and DH both consider fair. And grow your hair! Why the hell not?!

Btw on the inheritance - I don't think she actually doesn't trust you, she just wants you to feel bad. You're assuming that her actions relate to a logical thought pattern, but they don't and never have. It's just point scoring.

AutumnDreams Mon 01-Apr-13 14:36:22

Nah, I`ll take me own little plaque, and put it next to it Trib....."Autumn wuzz ere."

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 09:39:12

DB off home today. Will miss him.

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 12:11:01

Rant alert.....

So, went for breakfast with DB (his last day) and DM. We were talking about IDS and 53pounds a week and she managed to get references to when things were bad living with my dad and got all teary. Subtext: Look at all i did for you G2B and how you repay me! Abandoning me in my last years!! DB says they happened to be talking about it the other day and she didn't get all teary...o, she saves that for me, because she wants me to hear the subtext.
Then started about the dentist, wants an appointment but needs a first appt of the day as she "can't sit for long in the waiting room" with her bad back. So we walk over to make an appt and she's all "tell her (receptionist) why I need a first appt, tell her, explain why I can't sit, tell her" on and on. I didn't. Just said did she have any appts that were the first of

Then, as we leave she manages to engineer it outside the dentist the way she stands, blocking DB so he has to hear:
"G2B I know you're very busy but when can you sort my will out?" I said it's just a matter of making an appt but I was moving and then she has only mentioned it once when I was working all hours on the book (she wants me to take her).

I was THAT far fom saying "what's the big hurry? Worried I'll steal his money and run off if you die?" or fuck off and do it yourself you manipulative old bag. Sometimes I feel bad and think I'm being harsh and then she does that and basically spends THE WHOLE morning pulling manipulative woe is me, little old lady i can't manage, big bad daughter neglecting me shit and it drives me mad.

Came home and had a mad cleaning frenzy to calm down

But it's hurtful. Maybe I'm being over sensitive, it's her will and she can do what she likes and yes, atm it's wrong to leave me the house, but she started this when we were rowing and it was all about cutting me out and I still feel it's being used to hurt me.

I will make an appointment for next week and take her down and she can do what she likes with her will so she can't keep using it against me, but I'm fucked if I'm going in and sitting in front of the notary while it's all being read out. I'll take her and explain what she wants done and sit in the side office. I'm also changing mine in favour of DH and get him to do the same (not that he's got much to leave me but YKWIM.

And breathe.

CleopatrasAsp Tue 02-Apr-13 12:55:33

Don't make an appointment, if she wants to change her will she can effing well do it herself the manipulative old baggage. Please, don't make the appointment or you wil be colluding in your own mistreatment. I don't know how you stand her, she is a nasty piece of work.

2rebecca Tue 02-Apr-13 13:56:38

Why do you have to take her down? Why didn't you just say "I've given you the number mum, why don't you phone up make a convenient time and just go, I don't see why you need to involve me?"
I really don't get why she wants you to arrange this appointment. She has to get used to doing stuff herself.
Why did you go to the dentist with her as well?

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 14:22:23

The dentist we had to walk past on the way home from coffee with DB. The will I am going to make her an appt and drop her down there and then it's done and that's an end to it.

CleopatrasAsp Tue 02-Apr-13 20:20:00

Are you trying to prove to an invisible jury that you're fair and decent? You really don't have to do this you know. You are letting her manipulate you into doing something that disadvantages you and makes her feel like she got one over on you - that she can still control you to some degree. The fact that she made a point of trying to put you on the spot about it in front of your brother should tell you everything. This woman has messed with your head so much that you don't seem to recognise this.

Someone who gets you to cut your hair and write your own husband out of your will is deeply manipulative and controlling. She will never change. You've been amazing in getting out of her clutches but you can't give her an inch or she will be controlling you from afar. She can't get to the solicitors? Tough shit!

digerd Tue 02-Apr-13 20:55:29

She is an incredibly clever manipulative woman. I have none of her <evil>skills.
However, I see what she means about you leaving everything to your DCs.
In many continental countries the children are the legal heirs not the spouses, and spouses accept it.. It does protect the blood line children's inheritances.
I think I might have mentioned that in your last Thread? Or one you posted on?

I admire the way you are dealing with your DM. She really is a 'challenge.'

Jux Tue 02-Apr-13 21:43:25

You know she can make the appointment herself and she can get herself there, G2B. You don't need to anything but give her the number again. Please don't start getting sucked in again. She is quite capable of saying that you will have said something to the receptionist or solicitor when making the appt for her, or something.

Step back again.

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 22:42:59

You are letting her manipulate you into doing something that disadvantages you and makes her feel like she got one over on you - that she can still control you to some degree. The fact that she made a point of trying to put you on the spot about it in front of your brother should tell you everything. This woman has messed with your head so much that you don't seem to recognise this.

To clarify, the changes she wants to make do not involve disinheriting me. As it stands I inherit her house on her death, with other monies to DB, this was because I was living with her and DB has the flat. Now she wants to split everything of hers btw DB and me. That's fine. I don't want her to leave me the house. She can do what she likes with any of it. But, yes I do see that the way she did it (in front of DB) is nasty.

Are you trying to prove to an invisible jury that you're fair and decent? You really don't have to do this you know. Yes, probably. More specifically I suppose I'm trying to prove it to her. After she had that go at me when DD was tiny and called me dirty and said she would be ashamed for anyone to visit the house it was so dirty. I remember thinking that there would never be so much as a hair on the floor and I would never ever give her the chance to call me dirty again. I should really stop trying to prove her wrong about me.

*I see what she means about you leaving everything to your DCs.
In many continental countries the children are the legal heirs not the spouses, and spouses accept it.. It does protect the blood line children's inheritances.* I do sort of see her point, as I said before...one of the reasons I did it, but, taken along with everything else it is more DH bashing. Sidelining him, excluding him, writing him out of history, cutting him out of our family narrative.

I was going to make the appoitment I suppose because it's easy to do and if I say "get there yourself" she'll create merry hell and not do it and whinge and moan and complain and make me out to be terrible to DB and there'll be dig afer dig and she'll still have the whole will stick to beat me with and nag me about. So, I was thinking I would just ask the lawyer (friend of a friend) to get an appoitment with the notary for next week, drop DM down and tell her I'm busy but will pick her up when she's finished and then it's down and I've removed her power on that one and it's done. Then if there's any further changes I'll just say, look here's the e mail, sort it out yourself.

tribpot Tue 02-Apr-13 22:45:13

If you think she won't find another way to manipulate you after the will is altered, you don't know her well enough yet! She still has her ultimate weapon, the grandchildren. Plus she has plenty of opportunities for health scares and so on.

This game doesn't end unless you stop playing it. You are far more hurt about this than she is; it gives her all the power. Make sure you have a good few days off from seeing her now your bro has left - I think it will give you a clearer perspective.

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 22:47:21

I know she'll manipulate me in other ways but I can relatively easily lay the will one to rest.

GoodtoBetter Tue 02-Apr-13 22:48:02

How can I ever fully stop playing the game without going NC?

tribpot Tue 02-Apr-13 23:12:37

I think you have to disengage. She wants you to make the appointment - just keep repeating 'you've got the number, just give them a call'. She wants you to be hurt she's changing the will, just keep repeating 'it's your money, it's entirely up to you'. Giving in to make it stop is only ever a short-term win.

It will make contact with her strained, certainly. But that's up to her.

Jux Tue 02-Apr-13 23:48:19

Ah! Jump through this hoop, small child. And lo! Here's another one, and another. And another (repeat ad nauseam).

CleopatrasAsp Wed 03-Apr-13 00:14:14

Good I think you've done amazingly well in having moved out, I can only imagine the courage it took to live with her during the time between when you decided to move and the actual day that you moved, I really do take my hat off to you for that. I say this because I don't want you to think I am being harsh in my posts.

The truth is you don't know what she will do when she rewrites her will. She says she is going to split everything equally but do you really trust her to do the right thing? Even if you don't want a penny from her (I wouldn't either) it's the fact that she's trying to get you to take part in her rewriting her will when there is absolutely no need that is so weird and controlling. She is getting off on it in some way which is reason enough to not get involved.

If she wants to do it, let her get on with it by herself, it will teach her that you aren't her PA or general dogsbody and that if she wants to play silly buggers she can do so on her own. Otherwise, as Jux says she will find something else for you to do next week.....and the week after that.........and the week after that.

I don't know how you can deal with her without going NC as I would have gone NC years ago - I speak from experience, I have no contact with my own mother and I am so much happier for it. My guess is that you will keep trying to be reasonable but that in the end you will come to realise that it takes two to be reasonable and make a relationship work. Your mother is incapable of that, she wants to dominate and control you. The fact that you've removed some of her power doesn't mean she will reflect on that and change her ways it only means that she will keep fighting to regain at least some of what she has lost, it's all she knows.

Aussiebean Wed 03-Apr-13 08:10:20

People who have been able to emotionally detach from their toxics seem to treat them a little like adult toddlers.

They have strict boundaries and when the parent over step that boundary they withdraw for a while.

So for example, if its a Saturday and they are seeing them Wednesday as well, and if they over step that boundary on Saturday they cut the visit short and cancel the next visit.

It's not permanent, but the don't engage and boundaries are firm.

I do t know if this will work for you. I am too emotional so I just avoid which is easy to do 4 hour flight away. My brother who lives closer and the most able at dealing with mother says he stays emotionally distant and while he includes her he doesn't really engage.

He also said about once a year, the guilt gets him and he makes more of an effort and within a very short time she teaches him that they was a mistake so he goes back to the old ways.

You are in new territory now, so there is going to be a little trail and error to get to a point that works for you. Not her, you!

GoodtoBetter Wed 03-Apr-13 09:17:09

if its a Saturday and they are seeing them Wednesday as well, and if they over step that boundary on Saturday they cut the visit short and cancel the next visit. I do try to do that as much as possible. I'm not seeing her for a few days because I feel I need a bit of space. I am really tired today and yesterday, despite having been on holiday for the past week and I think it's because I've found the week DB was here quite stressful.

My brother who lives closer and the most able at dealing with mother says he stays emotionally distant and while he includes her he doesn't really engage. He also said about once a year, the guilt gets him and he makes more of an effort and within a very short time she teaches him that they was a mistake so he goes back to the old ways. I totally get this. I often start to feel a bit guilty and then she does something outrageous and I remember why we moved out and I have to step back a bit.

I do get what you're all saying about the will, but it's easy enough to organise and then it's done, whereas if I say she has to organise it herself and get there herself it will just be so much hassle. I think it might be easier to just make the appt, drop her down and then it's done. Sorry, I know you're probably all tearing your hair out.

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