Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
What are your thoughts on this situation? I am so confused. Looooooooong!!(59 Posts)
I have no idea what is going on, so I am asking you for your thoughts. Sometimes it is easier when you are on the outside of a situation, right?
Not sure where to start, and don't want this to be too long, so bear with me?
DS and I always had a good relationship, despite my mother undermining my parenting constantly.
I brought him up as a single parent. When he was in his teens, I met someone, and straightaway, my mother vowed to do all she could to split my partner and me up, she criticised everything my partner did, and everything he didn't do.
Despite this, my partner and I continued seeing each other.
After a few weeks, my mother got together with my sister and phoned DS's school without telling me, and made some serious
completely unfounded allegations about my partner, which almost had DS removed from my care.
From their perspective, they said they honestly thought they were protecting DS and could see
through a crystal ball that DP was no good for me. Mother told me that she was in full support of my sister reporting their concerns as if they were fact when indeed they weren't because she truly believed DS would be sent to live with her, something she has always appeared to want but has never admitted, so maybe not, just one of my many confusions as to whether she is actually telling the truth or not.
Anyhow, luckily the school made an evaluation and against all protocol made the decision not to contact CP, and sent DS home after school as usual.
Since then, things were very strained between myself, mother and sister.
From that point onwards, DS discovered that he could play me and my mother off against each other. If I set a punishment, DS would wait until he was alone in the house, ring my mother and mother would drive over while I was out, pick DS up and take him back to her house for a few days.
I repeatedly asked mother not to do this, until I was blue in the face, but she said she couldn't bear to see DS upset, and was giving me a break.
I told her I didn't need a bloody break, I needed her to stay out of it, but she said she couldn't sit by and do nothing when DS rang her needing her help
I had to work and couldn't physically force DS to accompany me everywhere when I wasn't at work, so this pattern continued, despite my protests.
I was getting more and more frustrated and annoyed with the complete lack of support from my mother, who incidentally thought she was being a great GM by supporting her GS, and it did get to the point where although I tried not to, I was walking on eggshells to some extent around DS because of course the slightest upset, and off he'd go again.
Things came to a head when DS was 16, (old enough to leave home).
I had had enough of this complete lack of respect from DS AND my mother for me, and I honestly believed DS would not enjoy living with mother full time, I had lived with her myself.
So I made it clear to DS, since mother just wasn't taking any notice of anything I asked wrt this situation, that the next time he asked mother to pick him up so he could disappear for a few days, he could stay at hers, and it was not on for him to keep ping ponging back and forth as and when it suited him to avoid doing anything he didn't like.
I told him he could visit as much as he liked, but I was not prepared to be manipulated like this any longer and if he disappeared without asking again, I would take it that he had made the choice to live with my mother full time.
Sounds like a sensible reaction from you. How long has he been gone for? He may not think you mean it, or may not know what living with your mother full time would be like.
I'm sorry this has happened to you. Your mother sounds pathologically manipulative and unfortunately your DS is too young to realise he's being conned. All he's seeing is that gran lets him do what he wants whereas Mum - because you have standards - is the bad guy. It's entirely selfish on his part but, as I say, he's to young to see past the end of his nose.
At 16 (and I stand to be corrected) I don't think you have any legal way of getting your DS back to live with you. All you can do is reassure your DS that you still love him and that if he ever wanted to live back with you again, you wouldn't hold this decision against him. Someone as controlling as your DM can't keep the act up for long.
Very stressful but I think he has to find out what he's opted for.
That's desperately sad for you. However, the point is, you anticipate he won't find it all it's cracked up to be isn't it? One assumes, then, he will be back.
It all sounds very strange and harrowing for you but I think you have probably done the right thing.
Things became very tense after DS went, he refused to speak to me. I later discovered that my mother and my sister had spent all the time since I had met DP telling DS he was in the way now I had DP, that DP had no right to ask DS anything or even speak to DP if DS didn't want to speak.
They told DS I didn't need or want him anymore, because I had DP. I didn't know they had told DS this, and he wouldn't tell me either.
For 6 months, DS was very very distant.
During this time, I became pg and asked DS to come home, then my sister wrote me a letter saying that families cannot be blended, that it would be easier for ME if I left DS with my mother because I had a new baby to think of now and DP.
Eventually things improved between DS and I, and he would come over and visit. I do think he had begun to believe that he was surplus to my requirements, but I did everything I could to make him feel he was still a part of my family despite what he may have been told. I left his bedroom untouched, and despite only having a 2 bed house, I refused to allow my younger DC to be moved into the other bedroom, because that was DS's bedroom and was ready for him when he decided to be at home permanently. I constantly told him I love him, that there was always a place here for him, that I wanted him to come home eventually, but I didn't want a repeat of what had happened last time.
I had very little idea of what had gone on at mothers, only what mother told me.
After 2 years, he came home.
Mother was bereft!! She was absolutely devastated, I mean, I've never seen someone so devastated before in my life. Even though it transpired that it hadn't been working between them for a while, she couldn't cope with DS leaving her.
She told me that when DS first moved in with her, she bought him alcohol from the supermarket and gave him money to go out in the town, she said she had done everything for him, cooking him breakfast every morning, doing all of his picking up and he hadn't had to lift a finger, and how did he repay her kindness? She said DS was lazy, went out drinking every night, had begun smoking, treated her like shit, invited strangers into her home, and told her they were sleeping the night, so she felt she had to barricade herself in her bedroom all night with a phone for company. That was only some of it.
I asked her why she hadn't challenged DS on these things, and why she had let him go drinking, since he was still underage. She could only say she could only talk
nag to DS, what more could she do. I did offer a few suggestions, such as not give him the money to go out, refuse to allow strange people to sleep over, but she said they refused to leave. I explained she could have called the police, but of course, it came down to the same old, same old, she didn't want to upset DS by putting her foot down on anything.
Be back with more in a min, thank you if you have got this for, but need to make a cup of tea.
So the original story was a few years ago? I do hope you've quietly dropped all contact with your DM and DSis now. They almost ruined your life and your DS's life with their interference.
I'm glad you have your DS back. How is your relationship now?
Where is your DF in all this? My sincerest apologies if I upset you with that question, but I think it's very relevant.
It would seem your mother reaped her rewards then...
I hope this tale has a very happy ending for you and your son!
Also, DS's father. Why is he not on the scene?
No judgement here, but it helps me to understand the backdrop.
If you're doing installments, can you say at the start of each post that there's more to come? Otherwise you'll use people's time making suggestions for past events, and they may run out of time for the bit you'd like to really discuss now!
Your family though - bloody hell! They found awful, poor you.
I remember reading your story some time ago.
I think it serves as a warning to all people with toxic parents to get them the fuck out of their lives before they do irreversible damage. Why didn't you by the way? Not blaming, just wondering.
Im glad your son is home now. Does he realise how manipulative your mum is and that she told him constant lies?
DS promised me he would not go back and forth to GM's when he was annoyed/upset and that he would talk to me. In fact, he insisted that he wanted nothing more to do with my mother. He said she had logged into his facebook, facebook friended many of his friends, rung some of them, gone through his bank statements and accused him of spending all of his money on alcohol. He said he didn't trust her at all. He also told my mother this, but she denied it, even though I know she did, because she told me how much he had withdrawn from the bank and I found her on his facebook one day. She also told me she had rung his friends crying, because she was so worried about him because he wouldn't tell her what he was doing or where he was going.
My mother had a habit of firing question after question at him, and even though I pointed this out to her when DS was not there, she still did it as soon as he showed up, while he was still living with her.
DS returned home, and asked me to go to a parents consultation at college with him, which I did. He said he was behind with his work. When we went, the tutors told me DS was wasting his time there, that he had been turning up to college every morning 'wasted'. I assumed he had been drunk, or suffering the after effects the following morning and asked my mother if she knew about this, but she denied all knowledge and said she had driven him to college every morning and never noticed he was drunk or hungover.
I later discovered DS had been taking mephedrone, and he told me he thought he had become addicted to it.
DS worked hard to catch up at college, and kicked the drug habit. He eventually passed his course.
DS had anxiety problems and severe depression, he was suicidal. He was also suffering from hallucinations when he was triyng to sleep. He had never been like this before, and I did the only thing I could, I persuaded him to go to the drs and get some help, which he did.
When he came back, my mother began dropping in to mine many times a week, she rang DS, rang his friends and poured her heart out to them. She has since denied she did this and continues to deny it.
DS would disappear to his room when she came round. Mother was extremely persistent in trying to get through to DS.
I had split with my partner by then, and DS seemed to prefer it being just me and him, although he wasn't too keen on my younger DC.
I worked hard to get DS to take responsibility for himself, I expected him to help in the house, to clear up his own mess and to arrange his own dr's appointments. He did all of this because he had to.
A year later, he left again to go back to my mothers. He found my younger DC difficult to live with, and my mother said he could stay there at the weekends, but of course, from the word go, he went and stayed permanently. I was concerned that all of the hard work into putting right the wrongs would be undone and asked my mother to ensure he continued to help in the house, contribute to the general running of the house because he desperately needed life skills if he was ever to live on his own, they would make his life easier. Of course, from day one, she just reverted back to how she had always been, letting his friends stay over, asking him for nothing, making his bed, treating him like a king.
She insisted on doing everything for him, even washing his hair for him FFS. I told her she wasn't doing him any favours, and that I found it odd behaviour tbh, but she said he worked all day and she didn't
she is a pensioner and that was the way she was, she does the housework and has a meal on the table for the man and he works.
I did try to point out that DS was not financially supporting her though, but whatever I said fell on deaf ears.
So it went back how it had been, DS began drinking again, letting friends stay over and when I tried to intervene, mother would scream at me to leave DS alone, that I could not tell him to buck his ideas up in her home
even though she was complaining constantly at how rude, lazy and disrespectful he was because apparently I was disrespecting her home by telling him off.
After a year, he ping ponged back here again having fallen out with my mother again. I told DS this had to be the last time.
Mother was devastated again and told me she wished I would not put a roof over DS's head, she said she wanted to be the only person he had to go to, because she wanted to see him come crawling to her and have the satisfaction of saying No, after he had hurt her so much. She said she had felt threatened by DS and his friends and she would never let a man hurt her like that ever again.
She was talking about DS like they had been in a husband/wife relationship.
Almost a year passed, DS was now 21. One day we had an argument, and I asked DS to go for a walk, and think about how disrespectfully he was speaking to me, and to come back when he had thought about it.
He returned a few hours later with a van he had borrowed and proceeded to move his things out, no warning, no nothing. I was upset but held the door open while he loaded the van.
Mother was here when he turned up with the van and although he didn't go to mothers, she was as surprised as I was that he was going, she then did everything she could to find out where DS had gone, she offered help with anything he needed, was as nice as pie to him, and told him if he told her where he was, she would take in his washing and ironing for him. She invited him over for dinner a few days a week, and was always offering to drop things off to wherever DS was living.
Sorry, I am doing instalments and there is more to come. I appreciate you all bearing with me.
Just to answer a few questions, DS's father left when I was pregnant and contact with him has been very few and far between. DS and his father are uncannily similar in a lot of ways but they do not get on and have not seen each other for years now AFAIC.
My parents are divorced and my mother has had 2 DV marriages, but she is divorced and does not have a partner now.
Back in a minute with the next part. Sorry for breaking it up into parts, I thought it might be easier than reading it in one chunk, but yes, there is more to come.
Waiting patiently until you have finished...
Is there an actual question? It must be taking you an age to type all of this out... could you precis the background and cut to the chase? <not patient>
DS would disappear to his room when she came round. Mother was extremely persistent in trying to get through to DS.
Why why why why why why why did you let this happen? Let this toxic control freak head fuck woman keep coming to your house? Poor lad must have felt completely torn and in the middle of both of you. It doesn't even really matter that she is the toxic one, he must not have known who to believe and where to go.
Not sure what to make of this. Just massively feel sorry for your poor son
Why on earth did you allow your mother to have any contact with you or your son when he returned home and had got himself back on track?!!!
All parents need to protect their children against people like that
Your mother sounds evil - what a shame you couldn't have got an injunction or something when your son was young, to stop her coming round and taking him home. Easy said in hindsight though.
Once DS had moved out again, no one knew where he was, but mother persisted in hunting him down. She began turning up at his workplace, he had managed to keep where he worked a secret from her for this very reason until then, but the van he borrowed was from his workplace and she put 2+2 together and went there on the off chance. DS works with the public btw.
Mother eventually discovered that DS was living with a much older workmate in another town. He was getting a lift to and from work with this workmate, so it seemed convenient for DS. I thought it would be good for DS to live there, because he would have to look after himself IYSWIM.
Mother came to my house, telling me she had visited and that she had asked DS for a key to the house he was living in so she could
snoop tidy up for him, wait in for parcels if need be and do his washing.
DS refused to give her a key but let her sit there and wait for parcels while he was at work on a few occasions.
Obviously, I knew DS would find some aspects of house sharing tough, such as having to organise himself and look after himself, but I thought that would be good for him, he would be proud of himself for being independent. I also told mother this was good for him.
I did not know at that point that mother had begun taking his washing in for him, arranging his appointments, and cooking for him 4 times a week. DS told me he went to mothers for Sunday roast, and I was cooking dinner for him twice a week. On the other day, he either had to cook for himself, or he went to my sisters. Also during this time, DS passed his driving test, and wanted a car. I advised DS to save up. I told mother that we were about to go headlong into winter, that to get to work, DS has to travel down many winding country lanes, and if he saved towards a car, not only would it prevent him from spending so much on alcohol, but winter would be over before he had a car. I was worried about him driving on icy lanes with no driving experience.
Mother agreed with me, and said she was worried too, nevertheless, without telling me, she lent him the money to buy and insure a car he had seen and wanted to buy.
Of course, neither my sister nor my mother mentioned that they were feeding him, washing his clothes, ironing his clothes, arranging his appointments, so I thought he was doing most of it himself, until he became ill with severe diarrhoea, and mother offered to wash all of his shitty pants for him, since she had been doing all of his other washing since he had moved out of mine. Now although he did have severe diarrhoea, he insisted on going to work and drove his car into a ditch when he passed out on the way.
He stayed with this workmate for about 9 months, until April this year, when he phoned me to ask me for some help wrt moving his stuff.
He said he needed to move out asap, and when I asked why, he said the man he was living with was ok, but he embellished stories and had got DS into trouble at work.
I asked him where he was going, and he said.....yes, you guessed it...back to mothers, because according to DS, I have no room for him, now that I have let my younger DC move into his old room. (Well how long was I supposed to wait, I waited 3 years.)
More to come
Still waiting for the confusion part - but btw your mother is an absolute twat to have let your DS walk all over her like that, she has done her best to ruin him.
I had a feeling you were going to say your mother had been in DV relationships and that DS's father had disappeared.
Your mum has stepped into the classic role of confusing boundaries with abuse and trying to undo the mistakes of her parenting with her grandchildren.
Two DV relationships have led her to believe that the best way to show genuine unconditional love is never to raise your voice or instil any sorts of discipline at all. She equates saying "no" with abuse. At the same time, a young, troubled person's need to be 'fixed' and 'looked after' really plays in with the psychology that played a part in her being abused in the first place by her previous partners. She is trying to relive the past with a better outcome but my making exactly the same sorts of mistakes. Unfortunately for all of you, when you create that abuser-shaped hole with a troubled teenager around, it's almost inevitable that they will fall into it and completely dysfunctional behaviour will follow as a result.
The sad thing is, your mother's actions may be well-intentioned rather than malicious, even though they are incredibly destructive.
Were there elements of abuse and control in your relationship with your recent X? Ironically, women like your mother are often quite good at spotting red flags in their daughter's relationships, even while excusing the flags in their own.
Whatever your mother's intentions, she's done a lot of harm. You need to decide what to do about it. The fact that you're aware of all this but have repeatedly allowed her back into your life suggests to me that you aren't yet ready to cut her off. I won't judge you for that. It's a hell of a lot harder to cut off family than it is an X, however much it may be the healthier thing to do. Just understand that the same reasoning is why your mum keeps doing everything for your DS, who has already learned how to play the victim to get what he needs.
If you really want to try to solve this, I would actually recommend family counselling. You can't change your mum, and even if you did cut her off, you can't stop your DS from going there. You could all do with some help to start relating to each other in healthy ways that encourage personal responsibility and boundaries, and family counselling can help with that. It's not a panacea and your situation sounds horribly complicated and too ingrained for a quick fix, but it's a start.
A few weeks after DS moved back in with mother, he suddenly began being really nasty to me, whenever I spoke, he swore at me, and when I asked him why he was upset with me, he refused to tell me.
He answered every request to talk to me about what was annoying him with 'If you don't know, I am not telling you.'
I honestly do not know what I am supposed to have done, and apparently, no one else knows why DS suddenly hates me. I have apologised to DS for actions or words I do not know I have said or done, and I have left him alone for a while to cool down as well as asking him, nothing has got us speaking.
Mother claims not to know and has told me to leave DS alone and not speak to him.
Once when I tried asking him what was wrong, he assaulted me in front of my mother and my younger DC. At this point, I completely withdrew, I reported him for assault, and after mother discovered I had reported the assault, she said it was my own fault for provoking DS, and that she didn't provoke him so he wouldn't do it to her, she said DS had told her that if he hadn't assaulted me, he would have hit me harder, but you would have like that wouldn't you said my mother. I cut him, my mother and my sister off after that.
The police later phoned me and told me my mother and DS have corroborated their stories to the police and as such, the police cannot pass the case onto the CPS. My mother lied to the police, and said no assault took place.
One of DS's friends who lives a stones throw from me has knocked on my door to tell me that DS has lost his driving licence to drink related offences, but has now passed his test again, and that he has been charged with various serious offences but my mother lies for him, this friend says my mother and DS are getting on well.
This friend also claims not to know why DS has cut me off completely. He wont tell anyone, apart from to say it was something to do with his childhood, yet he has never mentioned any problems in his childhood before.
My mother has texted me a few times to ask me to see her, but on the basis that I go when DS is at work, because she doesn't want to upset him by letting me in her house when he doesn't want to see me there.
I haven't replied.
I have spent my whole bloody life listening to my mother telling me how selfish I am, how rubbish I am, laughing at me, telling me to kill myself when I have been depressed, and I shunned other people because of how obviously awful I am, no wonder no one likes me or wants to spend time with me. I have phoned DS, but he hangs up, and I have texted him but there is never a reply.
I am now suffering from chest pains intermittently, palpitations, chronic anxiety and am severely depressed because I have no one but my younger DC, and I have an appointment with the Dr next week. I do not wish I was dead. I wish instead I had never been born.
DS, my mother and my sister are all happily playing happy families and after trying to please them all in some way, I couldn't please them all, so I have ended up pleasing none of them, and now I am all alone in this world.
I have no friends, I do not make friends easily because inside I do not believe I am worthy of friends.
I am struggling to get out of the door.
I do not know why DS has cut me out of his life without talking to me about why, but how can I blame my mother and my sister when I only have my own skewed view to go on? Maybe they really don't know why DS has cut me off? Maybe they have tried to persuade DS to talk to me?
Maybe I am putting too much blame on my mother, when she really has only done her best?
Can you make sense of any of this please?