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Cutting off my mother - but what about my DS?

(84 Posts)
borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 07:37:35

I have had a difficult relationship with my mother since my Dad left when I was 11. She is a 'strong character' at best. We argued constantly through my teenagers years and this would get violent - she would often hit me during an argument, and once had her hands round my throat saying she was going to 'fucking kill' me. All this seemed fairly normal to be honest, my parents had always argued. Plates would get smashed (by my mother). She apparently hit my dad on their honeymoon.

I realised it wasn't normal when my first boyfriend noticed bruises all over my arms. By then I was practically at university and was able to largely cut her off. Throughout this period (age 12 to 19) my mum had periods of depression. When I was 12 she told me she was suicidal. It was just me and her living together and I was scared to leave the house incase she was dead when I came back. When I was at university she once rang and said if I didn't come home, she was going to kill herself. So I came home.

I kept my distance from her for years after I left uni. Occasionally we would row and I would receive 10-15 page sides of A4 letters describing in great detail what a terrible person I was. She has fallen out permanently with her brother and her best friend of 20 years. Her mother wrote her out of her will and asked her son to write to me when she died and encourage me to get back in touch with my father. There is noone left brave enough to stand up to my mum.

But then my husband left me when my son was born. My mother swooped in and took over. She did everything she could to help - childcare to ironing. The problem is that I really just wanted to get a cleaner (she thinks it's wrong to get a cleaner) and get a childminder ('why would you ask anyone but me'). So of course I was stuck - if I asked her to back off a bit, she would get very upset and write me another letter. If I let her get on with it, she would critique every aspect of my life on a daily basis, my food, my clothes, finances, my parenting, my cleaning, my sex life (my boyfriend lived an hour a way and she said I 'went a long way for a shag').

This all came to a head when she said she never wanted to see me or DS ever again. She wrote me an 18 page letter telling me that I was so self-absorbed, that I hadn't noticed she was 'hour by hour trying not to tie herself to the rafters'. Then she changed her mind and I agreed for her to pick my DS up after school 2 nights a week. He adores her and her him. I was scared of what she would do if I said no in any case.

So now this brings me to today (thanks if you are still with me!) and I have an opportunity to move away with work. If I tell her she will go nuts, and likely move to be near us. What I really want to do is upsticks and leave, never to have contact with her again. But that would mean her not seeing my DS. I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to save him from the pressure she brings (she has written to me saying that DS helps her 'cope with feelings of despair'). This is the woman who wrote to me and said 'when you enrage me I feel perfectly comfortable giving you my rage' and 'when you see (what I do) as interference and not love, I want to hurt you back'. But she is his grandmother.

What would you do? I am terrified of her.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 19:11:54

Hang on in there! when is the moving date?
As I said earlier - can you go to stay with friends? ( preferably out of the area (you should be able to get ' special/compassionate ' leave in this sort of circumstance ... and am guessing you may be close to finishing anyway ?)

You really need to tell someone, anyway! as a safety measure, but if you can just get away now, please do it.
I know this is very scary. I am PM'ing you

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 19:03:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Just read your latest post opshock
Good on you for phoning the police, how frightening, i hope you are ok?
Her behaviour shows exactly why you are doing the right thing, she is unhinged, so sorry you are going through this sad

I'm a dil of pil like your mother, and although it took me alot of time thinking it through, i saw it best to keep my dc away from them.
Dh still doesn't agree and i know it must be immensly hard for him but in cases of gps like these, your children are best kept away.

Holding your hand and hoping you have someone close that understands and you can talk with as having toxic parents can be quite isolating, it is for me and i'm just a dil, must be even worse for you.

I can tell you now it won't be easy, dh is constantly telling me mil isn't happy about nc and she does pressurize me for contact and i did relent once. But the 10m we were non contact me & the children felt like a breath of fresh air had been casted upon us.
Just waiting now for dh to realise i'm doing the best for his children.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 17:02:30

borrowedlight ....are you OK. Worrying about you - and it just occurred to me to wonder if anyone close to you knows what is going on?

If not, then could you bring yourself to tell a couple of your closest friends? I really think that in situations of this kind, it's important to have backup at the end of a short phone line.....if you possibly can.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 13:22:26

Oh, I am so sorry this has happened, before you could make the move ......I certainly did not want to be "right" sad

It seems that you were very right to feel that no contact is the only real option for you.
Do, please listen to the advice here and get a restraining order if you can....and absolutely ensure that school is fully aware.
When is the move?

I wonder if you could go to stay with friends until moving day? ...and just give the keys to the movers. It costs for them to totally pack you from an "just as you left it" state ....but they will certainly do it, and this could be the safest possible option.

Please please take care.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 20-Jul-13 09:23:04

Well done for calling police - standing up to her in this way is the first step to freedom.

Oscalito Sat 20-Jul-13 08:14:36

Oh you poor thing. Well done for calling the police. I don't have anything to add apart from to agree with others that you should run and never look back (easy to say I know). Your DS will be safer without her in his life, she will only get worse.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 06:56:24

Definitely get some sort of restraining order. Then if she turns up again straight onto the police again.go completely no contact from now on.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 06:56:03

Definitely get some sort of restraining order. Then if she turns up again straight onto the police again.go completely no contact from now on.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:48:49

This may also be enough to get a restraining order for her. Speak to the police about that - explain to them how you fear for your and you son's safety.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:46:19

Keep all doors locked and don't open them to her at all.

Has school finished? If not put in writing that under NO circumstances that she is allowed near your son.

Kahlua4me Sat 20-Jul-13 06:01:55

Well done you for finding the strength to call the police.
As myboys said, that is awful but may help to clear your thoughts and show you that the only way forward is to stop all contact.
Is there anyway you can move to the new area sooner. Rent a house maybe? Then at least you are away from her.

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 05:50:44

Tired, shocked and scared tbh. Yesterday was a very normal day and this escalated from nowhere. I'm scared of what she will do to get her revenge for me calling the police. But she wouldn't leave my house and I asked her repeatedly. I didn't know what she was going to do next.

Bedtime1 Sat 20-Jul-13 05:37:20

So sorry borrowed light. How are you feeling ?

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 04:29:50

Oh gosh - how awful for you but hopefully this will make you feel 100% sure that cutting her off is the ONLY way forward.

Please go ahead and let the police charge her. Don't back down and drop the charges - no matter what guilty tricks your mother tries.

Look at this as another opportunity to cut her out of your lives forever.

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 03:46:55

ipsissimayou were right. I told her today on the phone that she won't be able to see DS this holiday as between holiday clubs and holidays we were busy all summer.

She came to my house and demamded to see DS. She then barged into my house and assaulted me. She had her hand on my throat. I asked her to leave. She refused. I had to call the police. They've spent 2 hours with me and said they are going to arrest her. I feel sick.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 10:10:12

Smug nothing! the fact that you have a really good support network (and a personality which will help you make new friends easily in your new home) is about the best news I could have heard for you grin
I guess one of the upsides of ending up as well-trained people readers is that we tend to get along with most (the other side of the whole "people pleasing" thing ...not so good! but I'm still working on that!).
Its funny the things you learn. My therapist told me that I read the tiniest nuances of expression because it was my only way of trying to stay safe, as a small child.

Worth reiterating that you should make sure you keep everything that relates to any threat she has ever made ( can't see a court ever granting unsupervised contact given that you can strongly evidence suicide threats ) and don't lose it in the move! (or more likely the strong desire to burn it as part of the walking away process!)

Anyway. Enough with the past. You are doing brilliantly!!! A whole new life awaits you. There is always a 'down' patch because, however odd it may be, losing the abuser leaves a weird kind of void because they frame our normality for so very long, but I am sure many others will concur in saying that the freedom of knowing you are finally safe is precious beyond price.

Good luck. x

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 18-Jul-13 09:38:24

Excellent progress. I would also say that while it can't have been nice being left for this other woman, if she's been the victim of domestic abuse I am glad she's recognised it and left, and I'm also glad that you are realising this was abuse so that you know it in future. It sounds to me as though your experiences with your mum have conditioned you to have a very high threshold for considering something 'abusive' - good that you're rethinking that now.

kalidanger Thu 18-Jul-13 08:13:16

Smug?? Nonsense! You're great, and everyone else knows it. Listen to them grin

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:53

Sorry, hope the friends comment didn't sound smug. I just meant that I do have support, and it makes it easier knowing the new life isn't entirely new x

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 07:21:19

Thank you so much everyone. I feel stronger that no one is saying it's normal. I did go and see a therapist last week as a one off, I just wanted to tell it all as I figured they've probably heard it all and worse before, and then I asked at the end, "would another reasonable person feel like I do, or would they just suck it up because it's normal?". It was good to hear her reaction. I just feel I need permission to go NC.

The therapist also said I should write a letter to my father. He was a good man and I would like him to have a relationship with my son if nothing else. That would be impossible at the moment with my mum.

No contact with ILs or EXH I'm afraid - their choice. I did get a phone call about 2 months ago from his new wife (whom he left me for) who says she is a victim of domestic violence and hoped I would verify that I'd had similar experience to her. And I did. But I didn't recognise it as abuse. I need to work on my boundaries - it was shocking to hear her say stuff that had also happened to me, and she'd phoned the police!

So, onwards lovely ladies. The good thing about learning to tread on eggshells is you are able to get on with most people - I have a wide circle of friends smile. Yesterday I got DS a school place. So it's all going very smoothly so far, which makes it feel right.

I'll post again when anything exciting or awful happens. I will keep this thread and read it when I get wobbly x

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 18-Jul-13 01:18:14

You are being so brave grasping at this chance to get away, not at all surprised you feeling overwhelmed abs terrifying... It is very scary getting away from an abuser.

When I read what your mother is like, it reminds me of some of the worst abusive husband threads on mumsnet... Would it help to think of her like this? Except worse cos she's done this to you since you were a child, and she was supposed to be your caregiver, your protector, your mum sad

I think it's really important you get away from her, and doing a flit is a very sensible idea. Keep strong.

bumpertobumper Thu 18-Jul-13 00:23:19

what are your ex ILs like? does your DS have a good relationship with them? if not currently, would it be possible?
just asking because you want him to have a grand parent, and you haven't mentioned your father.
good luck with the move etc!

learnasyougo Wed 17-Jul-13 23:48:37

she sounds like a case of borderline personality disorder (google this and see if it fits).

She will cause a lot of damage to your DS if you don't get him away from her. It's neither your place nor even within your power to fix her or protect her from herself.

You sound very calm and clear-headed about it, despite your wobbles. A move with your job sound like an ideal opportunity for you.

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