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Toxic mother strikes again and this time I've had enough. Cutting off contact.

(43 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 14:52:50

I've had a lifetime of putting up with a toxic, negative, chipping away at me mother.

I could give many examples of how nasty she is - when she told me to have an abortion as I was living in sin rather than been married, the physical violence towards me and db when we were kids, the nearly constant put downs at every opportunity. My brother has only recently started speaking to her after 4 or 5 years of not doing so after she was nasty to him and his wife.

Just over a year ago she was very nasty to my dh in our house and flounced out saying she'd never come back. We didn't invite her round for a year but at Xmas did invite her back. She barely speaks to dh and makes it very clear she doesn't like him. She slags me and dh off to dd and dd comes back and tells me "Grandma has said this about you, etc". DD's first memory in life is sitting on the sofa next to my dad and my mum came and threw a bucket of water at my dad!

So we went to see her today - she lives 25 mins away. Normally see her a couple of times a month and get constant snarky remarks about how I don't see her enough, etc.

So me and dd go over today. Mum tells dd to try on one of my mum's new coats as she doesn't want it. I politely say dd wouldn't wear it as she's 12 and likes to pick her own stuff. It was like something you'd see in the back of a newspaper supplement though I didn't say that! Mum had a go at me and told me to stop giving dd "rude smirks" as it "isn't grown up". I had smiled at dd as I said it but didn't consider it to be a smirk and politely told my mum so.

We sit down and mum starts having a go at dd "I can see you haven't brushed your hair today". I tell mum she has brushed her hair, she may have missed a bit at the back but she has brushed it. Mum starts going on about how awful it looks as its really tousled at the back. I ask her if she'd make such remarks to a friend of hers. Normally I'd ignore this sort of shit.

Well she really didn't like that. Told me that we're family so she needs to talk to us like this and that she "has serious concerns over dd's welfare". Mmmm, really? Just over badly brushed hair???? Then she has a go at me saying that although dd should be able to brush her hair better I'm equally at fault "why are you letting her leave the house like that".

I told dd to get her boots on and we left.

I'm not planning on going back. I feel awful, she is my mother, etc. But I get no pleasure from a relationship with her - just guilt and nastiness. I'm fed up with putting up with it becasuse she's my mother. She falls out with everyone - she only manages to keep friends a short while before they have a major fall out. Of course its always the other person, never her fault. hmm

I feel like changing my phone number and email address so she can't contact me anymore.

MarinaIvy Tue 12-Feb-13 10:27:09

I find it interesting that TM (not DM, of course) is trying to get your DD to assert you're a bad mum in a written format. Possibly trying to gear up to have SS take over?

To this end, as lovely and satisfying as it would be to simply delete her harrassing emails and texts, perhaps it would be more prudent to save them somewhere. You can still set a filter to send her emails directly into that folder, of course. And a diary of your experiences wouldn't go amiss.

Do I also get the impression that TM is able to contact DD directly? What do you intend to do about that?

I don't think you've being unreasonable, btw, and definitely don't think you're being a bad mum - quite the opposite! Keep strong! You and DD are brilliant!

Zara1984 Tue 12-Feb-13 09:05:58

MakesCakes give your DH a high five from me

Viva just delete that email when it arrives, no need to read it. Don't waste your life and your emotions getting upset on that rubbish. Even better, set your mother's email address to go straight to your spam/bin. That's what I did with all my family's email addresses grin

Someone posted some bits from that great toxic grandparents blog earlier. I agree with the "be invulnerable" line. That's what got me through it all.

I always think if it were a boyfriend treating you that way, you wouldn't put up with it (and you'd get a chorus of "leave the bastard!" if you posted on MN), so why put up with it from your family.

You are stronger than you think Viva.

My dh cut his toxic nother off after the birth of our first child. That was his bottom line. Frankly he's never looked back and it's given him the freedom to finally get properly angry about how she treated him and to address some of those issues. It hasn't been easy, but it has been better and our ds can grow up free of that poisonous influence, unlike dh's nephew who, at 5, is already showing signs that he's receiving the same treatment dh got. Poor kid.

Please pm if you want to talk

VivaLeBeaver Mon 11-Feb-13 18:22:14

Zara, thanks for replying. I'm glad that you're happier having gone nc and can look forward with your DS.

It'll be interesting to see hom much my mother tries to contact me. I've had my mobile off today, home phone hasn't rung and surprisingly no email. I'm expecting an email essay detailing my faults.

Zara1984 Mon 11-Feb-13 16:58:55

Sorry it took me so long to reply, Viva. My parents cut of contact first, but tried to rest abolish (by which point I'd realised them not being in my life was awesome). I just took a firm line of "no, sorry, I can't do this anymore. Don't call me." It was very painful and took about a year before they stopped calling (meanwhile, they were calling up PILs, their lives were imploding generally due to their toxic actions). I haven't heard from them since, no idea where they live or their phone number. I do expect they will try to get in touch again as they get older/sick/dying etc.

I did this all to end the toxic cycle before I had children. Now when I have bad thoughts/fears/worries about my parents I just cuddle my baby DS instead.

DH puts it well, he says families are like poker, sometimes you get dealt a shit hand, it's not your fault but there's nothing you can do about it. And no amount of bluff will make that crappy hand any better, so you might as well fold and move on!!

Who knows what the future will bring. People judge me for cutting off contact with my parents (they have nobody else, my siblings are NC with them too, they have isolated themselves from all other friends and family) and think it's strange, and it's painful to explain to people (but I do it anyway, because I believe in being open and I don't want to be like my parents and lie about things). But all I know is I feel happy and free without them.

Midwife I need to join Stately Homes, I'm a lurker but there's so much to put down about my birth family I don't know where to start. My experience mirrors so much of what I read there. My only fear now is how to explain everything to my son when he's older?

Homebird8 Sun 10-Feb-13 23:52:02

Sorry to hyjack Viva.

Wannabe The pancake thing. If she took it as a criticism then that's her wanting to be perfect. This fits with a suspicion of OCPD.

Now, back to Viva. You have to protect DD from not knowing what to do when she is being asked to make possibly untrue statements by her GM. If it were me then the time would have come to NC them even if I didn't NC myself.

Sounds like your DD has all the attention she needs. Especially if she was comfortable enough to spill the beans on what her GM was encouraging her to do.

Midwife99 Sun 10-Feb-13 17:28:00

Oh yes smile

VivaLeBeaver Sun 10-Feb-13 16:39:38

Midwife, thanks. Have just posted on the Stately Homes thread this afternoon!

Midwife99 Sun 10-Feb-13 15:48:53

Not that you haven't had great advice here!!!!

Midwife99 Sun 10-Feb-13 15:42:23

Come join us on the stately homes thread. We understand how something that seems minor to other such as hair nagging is the final straw in a toxic relationship.

shock

Atleast your dad can see it! Sounds like your mum is jealous of your relationship with DD. Almost as if she takes it as a criticism of her because she doesnt have that relationship with you.

My dad enables my mum.

She phoned today. I said "we are just making pancakes" and she replied "Oh!! I was going to make them next week!" As if I had just told her she is a failure for not making pancakes. hmm

DameFanny Sun 10-Feb-13 15:37:44

shock

Well, no more second-guessing yourself then. Enjoy your freedom!

VivaLeBeaver Sun 10-Feb-13 15:21:22

Well I've been to see my dad today. He agrees that mum is bang out of order and shouldn't be making comments like she is doing.

Then it gets worse - dd pipes up that my mum has been telling her to write me a letter or send me an email to tell me that she feels neglected by me and that I don't spend enough time with her. shock

My dad immediatly said that he doesn't know anyone who spends as much time with their dd as I do. I mean she is 12 next month so when we're at home yes she's entertaining herself a lot of the time. She's past the age of doing painting, playdough, monopoly together. Though we do still Minecraft together at times.

But we have lots of days out together - shopping, cinema, swimming, dog walking, bike rides, days out, etc. We do one of the above most weekends. I help her with her homework.

I asked dd if she feels neglected and she said no.

This just strengthens my resolve to cut contact. I can't have her posioning my relationship with dd.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 22:31:23

My mums certainly not the most mentally balanced of people.

She had an affair years ago, told my dad he was free to see other people. Her married man dumped her so she told my dad she wanted to make a go of it again. Dad said no chance. She stabbed him and smashed the house up.

She rang me a cople of years ago absolutely hysterical, sobbing for five mins before she could talk. I thought someone must have died. Turned out she couldn't get the Internet broadband to work. hmm

SqueakyGeek Sat 09-Feb-13 22:15:35

Thanks for posting this op. I had to open the thread cos I had a horrible feeling I might have drink sleep posted last night when I saw the title. I'm so glad I looked cos it meant I don't feel I have to post now.
Our small details are different, but the big picture and the emotions are the same, and I can't post them cos she has a history of Internet stalking to top it all off. But I've had enough now, no more. Fortunately self-imposed distance gives me control.
I am emotionally stunted from blocking this crap out my whole life, and I don't want my dc to end up the same from her constant demands for performance interspersed with disappointed cos your not quite what she wanted (eg someone EXACTLY like her)
Mines pretty much npd to the letter with a side order of hysterical paranoid delusions mental health issues to keep it really interesting.

Just googled Homebird. Thats my mum down to a tee. Unbelievable.

I see similarities to my mother in myself. But I think I have more personal insight and that doesnt describe me.

I once told my mum she was highly strung and she went purple with rage.

Homebird8 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:50:22

Wannabe, I've wondered about OCPD with my DM.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 21:49:38

See on the first page of Relationships there's a thread about whether narcissists know/realise they're narc? There some very affecting posts about them being not quite human. It sounds so bizarre but... Well.

Homebird8 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:48:53

Good for you Viva. I've heard similar. My DSs feet were dirty and school would report me to SS for neglect. They were running round the garden barefoot all afternoon. As yet they haven't learned to hover.

Then we moved to NZ where kids don't have to wear shoes in school. Only to arrive and leave in. wink

Rise above, and distance yourself. 12,000 miles did it for me or would have if DM hadn't died first.

Yes. My mum spends her life moaning about the way people treat her. Then treats me that way.

It has to be a recognisable condition. There are too many mothers with too many similarities for it not to be. Mine doesnt really fit the bill for NPD. But I am convinced its something diagnosable.

I agree. She will not be reasoned with so you should honestly save yourself the bother. Ignore the text.

FWIW I confronted mine. Not on purpose, it kind of spilled out. The gist of the conversation was me telling her facts (ie not just my perception) and her telling me I was lying. "Anything else you have to say about me." was the line of choice. And at the end she said "I dont see the issue. Why would I change when I am not at fault."

Ignore ignore ignore.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 21:38:03

The funny thing is that her mother was exactly the same. Manipulative, controlling, negative and nasty. Not so much with me, but with mum and my aunt.

My mum hated her, used to slag her off no end to me and said she only visited a couple of times a year due to a sense of duty. She can't see that she's exactly the same.

She's definitely got worse as she's got older. Sometimes I wonder if I should make allowances as she's nearly 70yo and maybe she's just losing the plot a bit. But I don't think she is, she's very active, drives, holds down a voluntary job. More importantly she can be very charming when she wants to be. So she can obviously control her vile behaviour.

She's fallen out with every neighbour she's lived next to, she's left every job on majorly bad terms after falling out with the boss. It's always them, never her.

TheFallenNinja Sat 09-Feb-13 21:30:31

I had one of these mothers. Real piece of work, generally followed up one of her vitriolic comments with, "it's only the truth" or "I speak as I find". A real long term campaign of this was on the cards.

The last words I said to her were, I'm going now, I won't be back.

Nearly 30 years now and frankly, she sucked my brothers life out of him, did the same to my dad and pretty much most of her family and friends.

These people do not change, they cannot be reasoned with and only exist to heap misery on others. There is no salvation for them. Frankly I found the first year difficult and of course family tried to play the its your mother card.

If I saw her now I would walk away again.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 21:24:32

She force fed your dp carrots? shock

I'm now torn between ignoring her text or replying telling her that she isn't concerned for my dd at all. But that she's a nasty, negative person and if she honestlylf believes she's in the right then she has mental health issues.

I'm sure she's currently ringing one of her two remaining friends giving them her side of the story. As they'll oly hear her version they're bound to agree with how awful I am.

I'm going to see my dad tomorrow. They're divorced, at least he'll sympathise.

She told DD1 she looked like a pig. And then told me about it like it was the most normal thing in the world.

DP thinks shes a total loon and leaves her house in disbelief everytime. The time she force fed him carrots was the worst.

Honestly, if she wasnt my mother I would be doing time now.

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