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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families

(1000 Posts)

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It's January 2013, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.


Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/angry/hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/lifetime experiences of being hurt/angry etc by our parents? behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn?t have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/or current parental contact has left you feeling damaged falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts:

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect you feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defenses that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety will undoubtedly us it during confrontation to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behavior. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offenses against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behavior. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get," or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ....

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realize that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

Follow up to pages first thread:

I?m sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don?t claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support.

Happy Posting (smithfield posting as therealsmithfield)

I have cut and pasted this because I think it is fab. Just in case anyone misses the link.

More helpful links:

Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Pete Walker

Some books:

Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 14:18:08

Thanks mome.
Here's to a new thread and a new year!

forgetmenots Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:04

Thanks for the new thread smile lets hope it takes longer to fill this one smile

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:14:34

I'd like to join this thread if I can. I'm quite glad I found relationships and that it's not just about that with your partner.

Sometimes I wonder if it depends which angle I'm looking at my family from, two sides to every story.

I believe my df and possibly my dm to be alcoholics. My df would say he isn't because he doesn't need a drink the minute he wakes up, and because he can stop drinking for days if he chooses. My dm would say she isn't because she only drinks 2-3 cans a night, and because she drinks less than my df and is in control.

I still have a relationship with my parents, a really good one at times, probably a different one to what I think is the norm.

The worst thing I remember from being a young child was being very poor and hearing my parents argue and fret about money. They got married and had my brother and sister really young, they never worked consistently, and I'm told my dad had a breakdown around the time I was born. He always liked a drink, they'd both before I was born been involved in petty crime, df had been in prison. Then they'd turned to God and I was supposed to be their 'new start', to do things differently. It wasn't until I was around 5 that I noticed my dads idea of discipline was to shout, well bellow and smack, all the time. But I guess maybe that's just the way it was in those days.

I remember being at school and feeling really embarrassed that my dad didn't work, and pretending he was a mechanic. I remember feeling sad that we didn't go on holidays, or even a day out, ever, not so much as a swimming trip or to the cinema. I remember when I was about 6 or 7 my dad whacking my 16 year old sister around the face and telling her if she didn't want to live by his rules she could go, and she did. Shortly afterwards she became pregnant, and I remember the atmosphere in the house, and my dad crying and getting worse. I knew he had depression but didn't really understand what it was.

I remember my df going to see a doctor about his depression, then coming home and saying he couldnt' get better because of 'us lot', how could he get better with my brother and I around arguing, being cheeky. And how he should never have had us. Wasn't cut out to be a father, and all his kids are 'mental'. He still says things to this day to my dm like 'it's no wonder all our kids are mental with you'.

I remember he was really negative, if I bought a drawing home from school my dm would praise it and tell me it was beautiful and I could be an artist. Then my df would shoot it down and say it was crap and my dm was giving me false hope.

At some point my df started spending most of his time in his bedroom listening to music or watching his tv, he blamed me for this, said he couldn't live in his own house because of me. I could never quite understand why as all I wanted was for us to be a happy family. He promised us once we could go on holiday to a caravan, that we would all go and get new clothes I was so excited, I think because when I was a child I always believed that one day things would change and we'd be normal. Then he changed his mind and said what would be the point as my brother and I would just ruin it arguing anyway and that was that.

I know my parents were always borrowing money, a tenner here and there, they'd make little lists with the things they needed and on the top was always fag, then cans, then bread, milk etc. And we'd go over to my aunts to borrow some. Then one time they all fell out probably because she wouldn't borrow to them and my dad told me they all had aids. I had no idea what Aids was but do remember asking my aunt if she really had it and getting told off.

One thing that really sticks out in my mind was when I was about 10, I must have been cheeky to my dm and he started whacking me around the head over and over until my ears were ringing. I actually realy despise him for that almost out of everything. I can't imagine ever being in the frame of mind of a grown man whacking a little girl round the head. I always think what if I'd fell, what if he'd caused a head injury?

Money got better when my df started getting DLA, he was diagnosed with depression and agrophobia, we started having nice things then, but I think around that time his drinking got worse. It went from him having 4 cans each night to having 8 and staying up until the early hours 3-4am. I was blamed for this because he said he and my dm didn't get any time to themselves so they had to stay up after we'd gone to bed.

His drinking got really bad when I was about 18 and had started work, my brother and I would have to be up for work and dm and df would often keep us awake all night arguing or loudly drunk talking over the blaring tv at 2 and 3 in the morning. We'd get up to beer cans and full ashtrays every morning. If you dared say anything he'd walk around pissed bellowing 'it's myyyy house, myyy house I tell you, I'll do what I fucking well like, and if you don't like it, fuck the neighbours, fuck you all he'd scream. He'd go on two to three day binges and bring random people back to the house.

He also suffered a massive heart attack around that time but it didn't stop him at all.

It wasn't long after that I left to be with my now ex who turned out to be violent, to be fair my dad tried to persuade me to leave him as despite his ways I know he cared in his own way. My dad even threatened my ex in a drunken stupor, although not the right way I think he didn't want me ending up like him and my dm.

When I became pregnant I remember going to see my parents and my df went ballistic, screaming at me to have an abortion. Then of course going off and getting drunk, I can't remember at exactly what point and I doubt he even remembers but he screamed at me that I was a bitch, a stupid bitch. He was going to kill my ex, smash his hands to pieces with a hammer. We didn't speak for months after that.

I probably could have easily had nothing to do with him really, but he is my df, I feel sorry for him in many ways as I know he's led a miserable life, had a horrible childhood himself. When his depression and drinking got really bad he didn't even bother to wash most of the time.

After my ds was born he did change a lot, he still drinks, possibly more than ever, but of course I don't have to be around it anymore. But his attitudes have changed a bit, he's apologised, said he wishes he'd done it all differently. If I was to ever even raise my voice to ds let alone smack him he'd be horrified.

He actually tells me he's proud of me now, he buys us all beautiful presents things he never would have before.

And my dm is still the long suffering wife, I guess.

I could tell a different story, the times we all played monopoly, or scrabble, the fact that despite it all we were always clean and fed, always taken to school. But I find it hard to remember many good times as I feel as though I spent a lot of my childhood and teens in floods of tears wishing I had a different family.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:22:41

Probably should have added my dm and df still to this day even though all of us have long left home, drink to excess and stay up until the early hours, and it's well known that they don't rise before midday. Df still goes on binges although they are getting shorter as his body just can't take it anymore, and then dm has to switch off and unplug all of the phones so he doesn't get woken up.

One thing I'm glad of is that it's made me despise drink. Apart from my party days in my late teens I don't touch a drop now. I know some people have a drink and enjoy it without taking it too far. But when you've watched your df vomit all over the sofa, fall down the stairs, found him lying in the street, gone through there fear of worrying he'll get beaten up or worse it's enough to put you off for life.

My df alwasy said it's the 'devils brew' despite his love of it. He knows it's contributed to ruining his life.

PrincessFionne Fri 04-Jan-13 15:32:08

thanks for preempting end of last thread and linking this mome

Just read thro the last page of the last thread, and just can't believe the level of awfulness. I spent so many years not noticing it, and then hearing others tell their tales on here and it sounds so sad. The 'its all about them', the 'competing'! (they've done it better, had it worse, and certainly spend all their energy telling their story of you to alienate the world against you, yep, tick, tick, tick).

What strength and resisilience you have shown to keep your lives on track - knowing you are doing the right thing despite all the continual bad press from narcs.

Keep it up ladies smile


trustissues75 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:38:43

Wow sparkly - that's a whole lot of hurt to deal with. I'm really sorry you've gone through that.

It never really goes away, I think. For me it's left me questioning everything. I always second guess myself and question my own judgement. I have a hard time separating what's abusive from what's not abusive.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:56:24

Thank you, I haven't read much of the other thread I was just looking back on it but it's so long.

Basically I'm the same, I do struggle to know sometimes what's normal. Unfortunately I've goen on to ahve tw bad relationships, both totally different, but I'm sure a lot of it stems from my upbringing.

My sister has followed a similiar pattern to me really although she left a lot younger. Bad relationships, she's moved on so much now though, really improved her life, happily married too. My brother sadly seems to be following the exact same pattern, it's soul destroying to watch. I don't think he sees it like that though. I just have a relationship from afar now and don't get too involved. Sometimes I dream about moving far away so I don't have to watch them getting older and killing themselves even more.

I have bettered myself too though, while I've still got work to do I'm in a reasonable job with some opportunities to progress. I manage my money well, have to, I'd go bonkers living on the edge all the time. I spoil ds rotten with cuddles and praise. I want him to feel that no matter what he is loved and wanted and valued.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:29

That was supposed to say my brother is following the same pattern as my parents, a carbon copy almost.

Midwife99 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:10:47

Hi all - just marking my spot!!hope you all have a very happy & peaceful new year!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Fri 04-Jan-13 16:20:14

I hear you sparklyjumper, DM was an alcoholic, not DF thank goodness but he was always so busy working two jobs to try and support us while maintaining DMs drinking.

It is like having two different childhoods, one that was brilliant and the other that was horrible. Sorry to hear about your brother.

fresh Fri 04-Jan-13 16:31:12

There are so many painful stories coming out here, I'm shock at what's been done to us all.

Sparkly how strong must you be to have come out of that childhood and made it out the other side. In all of us there is a person who knows that we were treated badly despite all the bullshit we've been fed that it was all our fault. Hang on to that person ladies, she's right.

Noddy that must have been a massive shock. Is there any opportunity for you to be in touch with him if you want to?

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Fri 04-Jan-13 19:07:14

Watching Queen Victoria's Children. Does anybody recognise their own mother in Victoria's attitude and actions?

HappyNewHissy Fri 04-Jan-13 21:05:09

EVening! glad to have the new thread! I'll read back and pop by later.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 04-Jan-13 21:12:29

Marking placesmile

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 22:01:42

Noddy. Hope you are ok? What a shock for you!
Been reading through my university stuff and hyperventilating - hope I am not being idiotic thinking I can do this...sad

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 22:36:39

I'd like to join this thread. Have already posted on the other post-stately homes thread re counselling I hope to start this year. I have been lurking on these threads for a long time, the first time I realised I wasn't the only one I bawled tears if relief that it's not in my head. I've read toxic parents and have been nc with ds and dm since September. DF left dm two years ago and I've no idea where he is : ( .
Someone said up thread , it's when you have your children the scales fall from your eyes. I remember newborn dd crying non stop with colic, I couldn't put her down or she would be in more pain, I had to take her to the toilet with me, still in a lot of pain from her birth myself , just looking at my beautiful little girl wondering how the hell anybody could do what they did to me, how this tiny little thing who needed me and Dh ,could ever turn into a hated person to be hit and spoken to like I was. I couldn't then imagine being my how my dm was and I certainly can't now.
I have so many things in my head, some don't make sense some are hazy memories, not quite all the pieces are together.
Since the birth of dd I've had to open all the hurt and pain up to Dh, to ensure dm never got my precious dd unsupervised ever. I just couldn't bare for her to be exposed to what I was. Before this I hadn't let on to the extent of how my childhood was affecting me.

That's one thing to come from this, I will always protect and love dd with all my heart, I hope she gets to adulthood with happy fun memories of her childhood with me and Dh.

Dm has really shown her true colours recently, I have been slowly withdrawing and I think she realised that she had nothing more to lose, so reverted to type, though she just gave me the catalyst to go nc with her and diss.prior to this Dh would often struggle to see my pov, or rationalise her actions eg, perhaps she had a bad day.

DSis is my mothers golden child and often does her dirty work, after going nc I received numerous phone calls on my landline, I have recorded these on my mobile phone. I play them back to myself when I feel low to remind myself that I don't want dd around these people. The last phone call she tells me I'll be a lonely old cow, nobody likes me anyway, they are just all talking about me behind my back as I'm a weirdo ,Nice. She rings my husband after this and tells him she's worried I have Pnd! No bloody wonder if I did!

There are so many silly things. On dds birthday I had washed her nappies and pegged them on the line. All the Los who were invited for dds birthday were in and out of the back door, you could see the nappies drying. DSis was so scathing, saying how convenient it was I had done a nappy wash that day, just trying to show off my kid was in cloth. I started using cloth as we are skint, she knows that. Everyone was commenting on the funky patterns of the nappies, all she could do was go on about me doing it for attention, wtf!? Why would my washing line cause so much angst to her?

Does anyone else get flashbacks? If I pull my brush too quick through my hair I am transported back to being a five or six year old, at school, I remember we had I think - hazy- gone to the wrong classroom and had to walk to a different part of the school. All the children were in their classrooms, we must've been late to start with. Probably what had annoyed dm.
I remember being pulled by my hair through a corridor which was where the toilets and water fountain were. We walked through the next part which was outside and exposed, dm stopped. We got to my new classroom which was a kind of portakabin. Dm told me, you know why you're in this class and not miss xxx, ( the one we'd just come from) it's because you're thick. I'm sure she was holding me against the pegs in the cloakroom. She just went, leaving me to go in the classroom myself alone. I can't even imagine doing that ,let alone the rest of it.

Every time I change a dirty nappy and smell it I remember my dm potty training dbro. Smacking and beating him every time he missed the potty. He was born in November and this was the summer holidays, he must've been, what, 21 months? He had real problems and would often soil himself, if I could smell he'd done it my heart would sink as I knew she would check his bottom and beat the hell into him. I remember dm would put his soiled pants in the wash and it would make our clothes smell too. Dsis would be given free reign to shout at Dbro and tell him it was his fault for shitting himself. Thise were the words she used, 7/8 years old! Dm would join in, nothing to do with the fact she should have cleaned the washing machine, or washed clothes separately that were shitty, oh no, she wasonly his mother after all. I vividly remember him peeing in the kitchen not made it to the potty I the bathroom, my mother whacked and whacked and whacked, I remember him crying and being flung on the potty. I can't see dbro in this memory now, I see my dd and wonder how the fuck she did this. Bitch. confused

This one literally comes back to me daily when dd has a dirty nappy, can't stop thinking of it, they couldn't have been far in age I think. Ironicly after 7 years, I mean 7 fucking years of dbro doing this, she takes him to the dr and it turns out he has a medical problem! Best mother ever then, informing the school, making sure he gets plenty of time to use the toilet, he got permission to use the staff one so he didn't get teased! No matter she'd beaten him for years and let her golden girl bully him about it.

Thank you for reading my semi rant there, that was long! grin Very cathartic thoughsmile

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 22:45:44

Muma...I am sorry that your childhood was so hard, and for your poor brother
I agree it's not until you have kids yourself that it really hits home...

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 22:50:48

Yy to drink sparklyjumper, Dh often asks if I fancy inviting friends over for drinks when dd is in bed. Too many nights listening to my parents getting more pissed, music volume going up and up and up, parents Turing in each other, turning on me in the wee hours. Waking up to beer cans and full ashtrays everywhere. Then off to sit my gCse exams for the day. Has put me off. I remember my father taking my quilt off me as a lay in bed. So I had to freeze all night, no ch. Another time he rounded me out if bed to ask if dm had ever hit me. I didn't answer, he kept on and took my silence as admission ( was true anyway, I thought it was a twisted trick, he and her often hit, threw me downstairs, punched p, kicked, spat at me, I don't get why he was asking tbh ) he then proceeded to punch dm in the face time and time again for her hitting me. She turned on me blaming me. If I'd said no, he'd have beaten me for being a liar. Dm just kept on about work the next day. No matter I'd just been hauled from bed to witness this and she had two other kids in their rooms. She wouldn't speak to me for months. It's only recently I can see how fucked up this is.

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 23:01:18

Thank you badvoc, it's all very raw as I have been burying it until I fell pregnant and all of a sudden I had dd and all these shitty memories, flashbacks to deal with, on top of the daily crap from sis and dm. I've seen you in the old thread, you should be so proud for enrolling at uni, I'm sure you will manage very well, you seem very intelligent and articulate from your posts on these threads smile

Sunnywithshowers Fri 04-Jan-13 23:07:46

Hello all

Another newbie here. A thread I was reading earlier has made me remember things. I've lurked on this thread from time to time.

DM and DF divorced when me and DSis were about 7. I think he was EA.
Mum married DSF who was violent and abusive. He is father of my DBro.
DF knew about the violence, instead of doing anything about it he threatened DM to get us put into care. He prefers my DSis to me and it's as obvious now as when I was a kid.

I was a parentified child, used as DM's confidante at a young age, know WAY too much about DM's marriages, second 'mum' to DBro at young age.

I went on to have abusive relationships - no surprise - but am in a (happy) 2nd marriage. I've done a lot of work on myself - psychotherapy, counselling - and am trying to kick my reliance on booze and food. I have good relationships with my siblings and have established boundaries with DM - she doesn't overstep these days. DF and I are 'distant'.

I'm feeling a bit blah tonight, hence my post.

Hungrymuma that's awful. Just reading all of that and Sparkly's posts has made me shock As someone else said, to come out the otherside of that, shows what strong people you are. Please talk on here as much as you need to.

Badvoc = You can do it! OU are flexible and if you're struggling you can call them and perhaps switch to a longer course or similar.

Welcome Sunny. That must have been very difficult for you. It's not appropriate to confide like that in small children sad

Sunnywithshowers Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:12

Thanks MomeRaths (great name BTW smile) I don't think about it a lot, but every now and then I want to rant my head off about it.

jessjessjess Sat 05-Jan-13 01:51:19

Just found the new thread, hope everyone is okay, bit behind but will try to catch up.

Sparkly I'm sorry you went through that. Years ago I stumbled on a diary or letter of my mum's which said my dad had said we - his family - made him suicidal. In "real life" I have only ever told DH about this.

Welcome, hugs and sorry to everyone sense joining. Hungry it sounds like you may have PTSD? Just a thought, it's maybe the explanation for the flashbacks.

I want to thank you all for helping me through a really shitty break - my Xmas was ok but I had just started to have a load of memories come back and was feeling so lost and lonely.

The thing I find hard is my father is not a pantomime villain or even that bad so it's hard to think it's not all in my head.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 02:19:13

Theveryhungrymama-i'm so sorry you & your dbro had such a horrific upbringing, there are no wordssad
I don't exactly know what happened to dh growing up, all i do know is that he was beaten toosad.
And upon reading your post i'm wondering too whether flashbacks is what my dh suffers from as when mil or fil contact him, sometimes even sil his mood changes instantly and he almost looks scaredsad

Like you mama, sil1 has always been the golden child and now dh has gone partial contact, if mil cannot get hold of him she uses sil1 to do the dirty work for her.

I thought dh was coming along leaps & bounds since telling mil where to go at christmas, but i've found out he's been contacting sil1 through fb.
So i'm guessing it's only so long before sil1 sets him back againsad
And the worst part is, the whole family have been harping on about pil seeing dc (they & i are nc) and also about why i won't allow sil1 to see my dcshock, well off course i won't, they have another thing coming!

Even now the unwrapped dcs presents are being used as a bargaining tool by ils, ive told dh i'd rather go out and get dc & extra present myself than take anything from them, especially at the cost of seeing any of that evil family!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 05-Jan-13 11:32:02

The fact they're holding on to your DCs christmas presents and using them as a bargaining tool says it all really. Really blatant manipulation attempt, well done for not caving!

Midwife99 Sat 05-Jan-13 11:57:13

Yes mine have withheld the DCs Christmas presents too. Bloody appalling isn't it?

HappyNewHissy Sat 05-Jan-13 12:05:27

I posted my dSis presents to DS back to her, same day.

She is the most treacherous of the lot. My DS had way too many gifts anyway, I ended up holding some back for next year/Easter or sommat.

No one will ever hold me to ransom again. A guilt trip sparks off on my Twatometer, and I dig my heels in and that's that. The fact that they react spurs me on tbh.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 12:35:59

I just don't get why they bothered even buying them in the first place tbh and i'm rather pissed of as i bought for all the family!!!
Dh took all their gifts to them on christmas eve and arrived back with just his own presents, none for dc of anyone of the ils.

So basically i shouldn't have wasted my time trapsing around the shops, spending money that could have been better spent, especially seeing as we aren't that well off at the moment!
I will know next year not to bother, if dh wants to, he can sort it all out and buy gifts because i'm not interested.

It makes me laugh how they are all willing to accept our gifts without seeing dc but not the other way round. Toxic & money grabbing

noddyholder Sat 05-Jan-13 14:35:56

Thanks everyone. I am shocked as I have seen more pics last night and today of us with his extended family on beaches holidays etc looking very happy having fun bla bla I just had no idea. I could get in touch but not sure I want to. I don't want to have to deal with 'another' situation atm iygwim My mother still talks about him like he is the devil and never stops slagging him off. She cut my sister out of her life and has said she will never forgive her for seeing him. My sister said he is a very sweet bloke just lives in a little cottage with his cat grows veg etc quite solitary. He just couldn't live with her she was very volatile and so he left but he saw us for about 8 years from time to time and then she stopped all contact and he moved abroad.

financialwizard Sat 05-Jan-13 15:20:53

Just wanted to check in and welcome all the new posters. You have all been through horrendous things, and I really feel for you all.

sparklyjumper Sat 05-Jan-13 16:44:26

To some of you who had clearly abusive parents, were your parents ever nice and loving, were there good times? Do you think that they actually thought they were doing the right thing or knew exactly what they were doing?

My parents especially my df actually thought they were doing a good job. Like my df actually thought putting me down was going to be some sort of reverse psychology or like he was teaching me to be realistic. He used to call me 'woolworths fodder'. But they could and were a lot of the time very loving and caring. But the atmosphere, sometimes you could cut it with a knife. Sunday mornings dm would sit and watch kids programmes with me and let me get the cushions off the sofa to make a den. Then you'd hear df stomping around upstairs and we'd have to turn over and tidy up as he'd normally be in one of his 'moods' and wouldn't tolerate kids tv, then noone would speak, we'd all sit round in silence. Ha currently curled up on the sofa with ds, the duvet and Ben 10, and noone can stop me.

Do they also ever flatly deny things happened? Like df will still point blank deny things ever happened or say I was too young to remember and I must have dreamt it, luckily dm has the memory of an elephant like me so I know I didn't.

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 16:50:31

Yes sparkly.
My mum denies stuff happened or says she can't remember or that they "did their best"
Sound familiar?

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 16:51:36

Noddy...don't let your mum keep you from building a relationship with your f if that's what you want

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 16:55:14

Hi sparkly

My parents were loving at times, particularly my mother and stepfather. My mum is remorseful for what we went through as kids, but doesn't understand why some of what she did was wrong e.g. confiding in me when I was young.
Even now she occasionally describes me as her 'best friend' which makes me feel a bit blah.

But I have mostly forgiven her for the past. We had a huge row a couple of years ago - she made a joke about me at 11 that touched a nerve, and I ended up shouting that my childhood at that stage was shit. Mum minimises memories in her head to protect herself, and I find it massively frustrating and disrespectful. But she is loving and supportive of me.

My stepfather and I don't talk about his violence, but he did apologise in the past (and meant it). He would do anything for me and has been more supportive and loving than my dad. He hasn't been violent for many years which is a massive relief.

I'm lucky that I'm close to my siblings so I have people around me who were there and validate my memories, if you see what I mean.

Dad has mostly been absent from my life. I have a couple of memories of my early childhood which are good. I think he wants to be more involved with my life but doesn't know how, but I don't know if I can be arsed. I'm 41 and I haven't yet forgiven him for the ways he's rejected me.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 05-Jan-13 17:31:36

MIL denies stuff she's done/said to DH and SIL1. Or she'll tell them that it's 'their interpretation'. It's part of the abusers script, along side ''it was your fault, you pushed me too far'' and ''you were always a problem child''.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 18:09:33

My mils favourite catchphrase is "what did i do son?". That's all she ever says in response to things she's done in the past or recently.
And fils is "i hate you for doing X"

Midwife99 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:57

That's the confusing thing isn't it? Of course they weren't all bad. I remember my mum spending alot of her time driving me to/from dance classes & competitions & endlessly making my costumes. I remember always having nice clothes & shoes & toys. But ... It's as if as soon as I got to about 9 or 10 my childhood was over & it was as if they thought thank god she's grown up - let's get on with our lives!!!

financialwizard Sat 05-Jan-13 22:26:41

My Mum was exceptionally cold and distant. She did not physical contact either, and as I grew up Dad covered things up (like accidentally breaking something) so I didn't get in trouble as opposed to being honest and stopping her from screaming obscenities or hitting me.

Any time anything bad happened to me it was more to do with how it made her feel than what had happened to me. When I was raped she was devastated by the shame of it and told anyone who would listen that she was very stressed that I had to have an HIV test. Like it was a picnic for me! When my exh beat me and controlled me she was glad that I got out of the situation but only because she could play the martyr again and mother my DS.

The good times with my Mum are few and far between and all I can really remember is her throwing money at the problem me to make it go away.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:34

My best mate killed herself in 2005. My DM and my DSis were a pain (especially DM) as it became all about them and their feelings.

PrincessFionne Sat 05-Jan-13 23:26:07

words fail

Theveryhungrymuma Sat 05-Jan-13 23:51:37

Evening all, thanks everyone for the welcomes and thank you for the acknowledgement of my childhood. People really don't believe me if I've been brave enough to mention it. It's good to know I'm not a fantasist or prone to exaggeration as dm would have me think!

Jessjessjess- just did a quick google of PTSD, I was under the impression that only military people suffered it. I seem to meet a lot of the diagnostic criteria, I will try and get to the doctors I think, thank you smile

Pumpkins that could well be what is happening to your husband. When I went reduced contact I noticed every time I saw them, spoke to them it was some overriding feeling of gloom was taking over before the flashbacks started. Much like how the Dementors are described in the Harry potter books. My whole self would change, Instantly. How awful your inlaws are playing games with your Dcs presents. I hope that your dc are ok and not upset of their gps selfish actions?

Sparkly- good question, one I've been mulling over myself a lot lately. I think DF loved me deep down, dm no. Dm always knew what she was doing, always covering her tracks, I ironically remember good times when I went to museums or stately homes, DF was very good at that. Dm never bothered really, I never went to dance or brownies or anything that I wanted to, iyswim, as though dm couldn't care less. I remember no affection, cuddles or anything from either of them. Although I remember an incident as a teen where we had been in the garden all day or out with friends perhaps, I , in hindsight probably had mild sunstroke, sickness, chills, shaking etc I was in the bathroom being sick, dizzy disorientated, dm came in and glanced at me surronded by sick and walked out huffing. DF found me later and was attentive and kind to me for a change, could obviously see I was I'll. little things like that stick in my mind that dm really didn't care about her actions, I was an inconvenience. I deserved it in her eyes I think.

Yes to denial too. I was made redundant a few years ago, feeling very down and struggling to get work. A part time role came up in the off licence where dm works, I asked her to get me an application form. Answer was I don't want you working with me. Dh remembers this. Dsis finds herself needing a job and lands herself a role with dm. Of course now there have been a few mat leave/ sick cover roles going, dm and dsis informed me that they could have the baby while I worked... Uh don't think so! I asked dm why dsis could work with her and not me? Never happened in dms eyes, she always supports and helps her kids. Of course I'm now a stay at home mum, but laziest cow in the world for not going to work there when dsis and dm could have my dd and have offered, but i just win't listen and am selfish. of course I mess about volunteering, but that's not a proper job you see. Although its a shop in the same sense they work in. Gah.

Theveryhungrymuma Sat 05-Jan-13 23:56:39

Midwife I do remember my dm with school costumes etc too, she was actually very good at things like that. The cynic In me wonders if it was because dm would get lots of attention for her marvellous creations and prove to everyone she was a good mum? A bit all for show iyswim. I doubt she ever did a reading book with me in my life, but would pour over these costumes for what seemed like months, she'd bring them in the car and do them on her lap by hand while DF drove. Credit where it's due I suppose.

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:08:17

Sunny I'm sorry to hear of your friend, must have been tough having you dm being a pain in the arse while you were grieving. Xxx

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 00:40:35

Sorry to hear about your friend sunnysad
It's astonishing how the toxics make everything about them, even at tragic times like that.

Dh seems a lot better in himself since having his phone switched of and to my knowledge has only once contacted sil1 over the internet & text our niece happy birthday.
Checked his phone tonight like always, to keep tabs on what ils might be sending and turns out he has a voicemail of niece, she says how she misses him & that she'll see him soonsad, this bit i do find hard.
Felt so sorry for her, and started to think about having them over when low and behold at the end of the message i can hear sil1 coaxing her-can this family stoop any lowersad, now using my nieces to guiltrip us.

I generally thought my nieces missed us and ive been told about how the younger one has been crying...i do miss the girls but seeing them goes hand in hand with seeing sil1.

Problem is, it isn't as simple as me just arranging them to come round as sil1 will harp on about pil and how we stopped them seeing dc & mil & mil that....and my nieces often have headlice and urine smelling clothes, i just can't bear to see them like it.
It's such a hard situation, mil harped on to dh over xmas asking why i don't allow nieces & dc see eachothershock, it's obvious and even for a toxic woman like her, she knows sil1s dc are unkempt, why ask!

All this toxicness yet none of my ils have reported or helped sil1 with parenting problems, not one and it shocks me to the core they don't seem to care about those girls eithersad. I was close to reporting sil1 to ss last year as the kids came to mine in urine smelling clothing, crawling with headlice and the two middle ones wet and poo themselves at 9 & 14, yet continued to sit on my sofa and say nothing, not only that but they act strangley too and also mess themselves at school. When they left i picked the phone up and dh stopped me and still does now.
I've told him if i ever hear or see my nieces in such a state again i'm reporting it as i have a feeling something isn't rightsad.

I miss my nieces ever so much, but what do i do

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:41:58

Sorry to hog the thread, just wanted to pick up on something princess says up thread about competing. Dm is a classic for this, either better than me, she has a first class degree and brings it up nearly every time I see her. Eg- 'I'm thinking if of studying part time when dd starts school', her, 'well I've got a first class degree.' Uh ok, would you like to know what course, or?

Another time before DF and I were watching Bruno, the movie. I am in my 20s by this point, not as odd as it sounds , lol! DF says I think he is German, you can tell by the dots on his name, what are they called, I say an umlaut I think. Dm comes out with, 'you might know what the dots are called, but you don't know what an acronym is!' Just randomly, like that. an acronym! I say of course I do, she gets me to tell her what i think it is, I say NASA for eg. She says I'm wrong , and acronym is 'Like polish ( furniture polish) and Polish(people from poland)'she will not let up until me Dh and DF tell her she's right. Just had to prove she was smarter than me banging in about her bloody degree in the process! So pleased she was when Dh eventually agreed with her

Or there's the other way, dm neglects to send Dh and I an anniversary card. I use this to illustrate how little she thinks of me, ie she could have bought the card at work and posted it en route home, she has to pass my house. In response to this I got, I have sen which makes it difficult to remember dates, you have a warm house, my house is cold and damp and I have to work all the time, you don't and anyway why should I bother with your wedding. You don't know what it's like living in a cold house ( err I do, I lived there too once!) wtf did her cold house have to do with my wedding anniversary? angry

Anyone else's make ridiculous sweeping generalisations?dms bank account was emptied once, spent in Debenhams on a handbag, it was the thieving fucking Nigerians apparently. They are all at it. I asked her if that's what they told her at The bank. Dm carries on about how all Nigerians are thieves. All single mothers are lazy scroungers, no excuse for them not to work, they sit on their arses all day getting handouts apparently. Dms friend is a single dad, unemployed. ' you can't blame him really, he's got the lo to look after' ahhhhhhh. Ok.

Sorry for the hungryMuma hijack!

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:52:24

Pumpkins, not sure what to say, could you arrange for dn's to go out for the day with you and your family? You could arrange for sil to have them ready for you to collect and bring back? Then you would see the girls but not sil? Maybe treat them to some body sprays and smellies and things while you're out so that they have access to things like that, especially the 14 yo. Doesn't sound like sil bothers much that way. Might be very embarrassing for them if they smell at schoolhmm

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 01:06:31

That's a nice idea hungry, i shall see about getting in touch with bil.
I'm sure he'd let me take the girls out, well i hope he does anyway.
It's my dd birthday soon, maybe i could arrange an outing.
Only problem is, is what state they turn up to my house in.
If i didn't have 4dc of my own i'd have more time to help them iyswim.
Maybe they could have a nice bath at mine and borrow some of my dcs clothes if the worst comes to the worst. I know sil won't like it but those girls deserve a break!

Badvoc Sun 06-Jan-13 09:38:35

I would be ringing ss pumpkin.
Noone has to find out it was you

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:48:42

Pumpkin - aren't your nieces' teacher concerned? You could contact the school nurse in the first instance if you're afraid of social services involvement.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 10:08:18

I'm assuming the school have done nothing as when the girls soil themselves they are sent home to sil1 to get clean.
I do wonder though, surely the school couldn't just ignore it? They have had medical tests, inwhich nothing was found to be wrong with their bladders or bowels.

I just worry for them, as it isn't normal behaviour. Spoke to dh about seeing them last night, but he doesn't have much to say about it, speaking about it seems to have worked up dh into a mood again....
Fgs i wish he would grow some balls sometimes, if this was my sister i'd be telling her to pull her self together, find out whats going on with her kids and take better care of them & threaten to report her!
He just sits back and says nothing & does nothing. But it was ok for him to try and pressure me about seeing ils at christmas, when this situation is more important & needs to be discussed he cba...

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 10:19:20

I think you need to completely back off then Pumpkin. They're not your problem & if you want to go NC with his family that needs to include seeing nieces & talking about them if you don't want conflict with DH. The school clearly are aware so leave it to them to raise any concerns. You can't interfere.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 10:32:38

I know you are right Midwife, just find it hard thats all.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 11:08:44

I understand pumpkin I would find it really difficult to back off from those poor girls too.

sunny so sorry to hear of your friend, and your Mum's reaction.

I don't think I am ever going to get my head round the way my Mum is.

NewPatchesForOld Sun 06-Jan-13 12:19:12

Need to vent...again. You may remember that M was in hospital with gallstones...I was asked to go and pick her up, then told no, then berated by sil etc...well I am even more confused now as M said in a text (only in reply to one from me enquiring as to how she was) 'I think I am at the end of this virus now'...WTF???I was told it was gallstones.
She then rang me and proceeded to rant about how was she expected to answer all my questions when she was in hospital when both hands were attached to drips? To which I calmly reminded her that I had been texting my brother who had told me to 'text HER' when I said I couldn't stay overnight. She glossed over this one, of course she would have nothing said against golden boy.
Then she went on about how the male nurse had abused her...shouted at her apparently (in a full ward hmm ), when she asked for gaviscon for her heartburn he had said 'oh really, do you think we get it in just for you? You're not having any' hmm, went 'ballistic' when she wet the bed (he took an hour to bring her a commode), shouted at her 'look what you've done to the bed', and if she called him he said 'what do you want now?'. I don't believe a word of it. When my DF was ill after a serious operation years ago, a male nurse very nicely asked us to go and get a coffee while he took bloods...she had a fit, called him an effing faggot, have to be a poof to do a woman's job blah blah...I was mortified and had to apologise to him on her behalf. So I know she takes an instant dislike to male nurses, and to make matters worse he 'was a bloody foreigner' (her words not mine)...she is a homophobic racist.

I had to bite my tongue, I really did, because I was about to say stuff I couldn't take back.

Luckily my house is really old, and the signal is notoriously bad...'sorry...can't hear you, you're breaking up...bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrr'.

Sick of it.

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 13:10:15

Yes very hard but you'll always end up being the bad guy no matter what.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 13:37:30

Midwife-very true, i will be made out to be the bad guy no matter what, as i am at the moment-hence the guiltripping through voicemails to dh.
Sil1 cannot get her own way, so uses her children instead, my dd has just had a message on moshi monsters from one of the nieces asking & begging to see usshock, she has dislexia and it happens to be spelt correctlyhmm, is there anyway inwhich sil1 won't stoopsad
Any normal family would be pulling together to see that those girls are cared for, but not my ils. Mil is too interested in her dislike of my nc!
Oh well i must let it go, theres nothing i can do.

Patches-If none of it is true, what a rancid thing for your dm to make up!
It's sounds rather conspicious that she has since stated she was getting over a virus when indeed she was supposed have gallstonesblushshock

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 06-Jan-13 19:20:21

patches your mother sounds delightful shock

In the old thread I said that DH had sent a text to MIL calling her out on her behaviour toward SIL1. We've had a reply. It's just a load of excuses that she's under a lot of stress and that's why she behaved the way she did, coupled with trying to make out that we're the abusive ones (not telling her we were meeting up was abusive).

Her re-telling of the incident is absolutely nothing like what actually happened and she misses out the key bit which is her truly awful behaviour towards SIL1.

SIL1 still hasn't received an apology and MIL barely acknowledges what she did was wrong at all and excuses her actions on the grounds that MIL is under so much stress and has nobody to turn to for help.

DH hasn't even bothered to reply to that grin

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 20:08:12

pumpkin report them, poor girls, surely the school pupil services are involved through teachers feedback to them??? what an awful state to have to live in, and extremely abusive! I am not surprised this is distressing you, I wouldn't let anyone stop me from trying to protect them, I wonder what your DH motives would be for that tbh

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:09

'You were such an awful child, don't you remember how difficult you made my life' and 'DS is just punishing you for being a horrid child'. 'You can't possibly do that, you're incapable'.

Only spoke to her today for the first time in a week. I want to bin it completely but don't have the courage. Oh, and why does everything she has/buys have to be better than mine, even if she doesn't need it?

'You were such an awful child' that one is rolled out every family get together at my house, all my brothers join in, agreeing with my Mum sad

Sunnywithshowers Sun 06-Jan-13 21:36:53

Thanks for all the comments about my friend. Her mum was a hugely toxic, damaging alcoholic. She howled at the funeral and all I wanted to do was smack her. I knew way too much about her.

She died of the booze a few months later. I didn't go to the funeral.

sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 21:42:16

I can never understand how parents can have favourites and exclude on or favour one over the others. I don't think my parents have ever really done that, although I do get a lot of resentment from my dsis for having a better life than she and my db had. Although only better in comparison.

I could probably write a thread for my own dm about her dm. I won't say too much about that but she did a few years ago tell my aunt 'if she'd known how she was going to turn out she'd have had her aborted'. This was after she'd given up two day a week to go round and clean for her, take her shopping, but said she couldn't manage anymore as she had a job and a young son too, and to ask one of her other 8 children.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 22:26:42

Not just me then mome

I am an only child so don't get the 'ganging up' but my Dad and Nan still enable her. She is such an energy sucker. Someone mentioned up thread 'dementer' that is exactly how I would describe my Mothers way too.

I think my Mum uses it to excuse the way I was treated as a baby. I was left screaming, locked in a bathroom in my cot, as apparently, all I did was cry. I stopped breathing one day though and has to be resuscitated sad

I wish she'd never told me that gem. It upsets me a lot, as I've said on a previous thread.

Her view of me continued from that point on as being the 'difficult' one. Trouble is when you're treated that way by your parents, the other siblings do start to join in. I'm still not treated equally as an adult by any of them angry


sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:57

I'm suddenly feeling terribly guilty for writing about dm and df, because I know that they feel guilty iyswim?

This evening dm made me a trifle to cheer me up as was ill yesterday and other stuff. My dm went outside for a cigge and df was complaining that he was freezing as she'd left the door open. Told me 'I have to put up with this all the time'. I joked, and I was joking that it's because of all the times he made us sit there in Jan with the windows open and wouldn't allow the heating on or for me to even use a blanket as he'd say I was making the room look untidy, and dm shouted in 'ye it is'. He immediately looked down and said he believes what goes around comes around and now as dm is having hot flushes he's constantly freezing. I could see he actually felt like a right arsehole and I had to reassure him I was joking and the pasts the past.

I'm reading other threads and posts about awful GPs and thinking how loving towards ds they both are and how df sets ds up on his laptop everytime to let him play, and how happy they always are to see him. This is obviously why I maintain a relationship but makes me feel guilty about my anger over the past. Does that make sense?

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 22:56:55

Patches - they'll make up "illnesses" to get sympathy so that they can behave as badly as they like. On Christmas eve 3 years ago my mother repeatedly phoned me & the neighbour & rang an ambulance saying she was haemorrhaging from her "bottin" (the word bottom is too rude!) Back story my father was in hospital with pneumonia. The ambulance took her in despite no evidence & nurses & doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. She refused to go home but rang me insisting I travel over in serious snow leaving my 5 month old baby & family to go to Tesco's to get their shopping in so they had food & booze to come home to & she had left me a list in the kitchen (good planning eh?!!) I got to the house, picked up the list & trudged round Tesco's, spent £150 & took it back & when I opened the fridge, freezer & cupboards they were full to bursting. The neighbour hammered on the door to complain that she's gone shopping for her the day before too & she was sick of my parents putting on them (her own husband is a double amputee). I was bloody furious. It took me 2 hours to get home 12 miles. She refused to leave hospital for 3 days & the woman who reckons she can't walk more than 5 yards somehow managed to get herself over to the other side of the hospital to my father's ward day & night until they banned her because he was so ill. The neighbour told me there was never any blood - she had gone round straight away.

Guilt Sparkly is part of the F.O.G we talk about on here. It is ok to struggle with the painful bits of your past with them and to talk about it on here, does that make sense?

I'm terribly tired and off to bed in a sec x

sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 23:10:19

Yes, just re-reading the intro bit and it sums it up actually. About if my experience wasn't as bad as x, y, z.

Yep bed, back to school/work reality tomorrow sad

OnwardBound Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:32

theveryhungrymuma I just wanted to say your first post almost made me cry and I had such a lump in my throat reading it.

I am so sorry for the hurt, shame and distress that you and your little brother suffered at the hands of your mother. I have a 22 month old DS and I am absolutely horrified that anyone could treat a potty training baby this way sad

I hope you both are finding some joy and peace as adults now.


HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:13:56

A minor one here... But as is always the way, leaves a really shit taste in my mouth, but seems so low grade, that to react or bring it up would be met with denial firstly, then dismissed.

I need to get my head around this.

DS(7) had a birthday recently, DM wanted to do him a tea, picking him up from school until I got home from work.

I got there gone 6, he's in clothes that are so tight (skinny jeans, boy is not a willow) they were too small. All of the stuff was, scratchy cardy too. I've never had him in a cardy, he doesn't suit them, but that's by the by. These were her gift to him. She'd bought his age group, and tight cut too, despite knowing he's one of tallest/biggest kids in his year.

She'd mentioned to me previously about the clothes and how she was worried if they'd fit, she sounded doubtful even then.

So we got him home, he changed into pjs, bed time, nothing else said. Clothes have not been worn since. I got him a stack of clothes anyway for bday/Christmas. (size 10-11 mostly)

DS tells me tonight that she gave hime the present, told him to try them on. He siad to her that they were too tight, and could he change out of then. He asked 3 times apparently, she told him she'd be upset if he did. sad

Emotional blackmail, wasn't it?

I'll eBay the buggers. (clothes, not DM... But that's a thought...)

I felt like shit! His birthday was supposed to be nice, instead she kept him waiting for tea until I got there, 3 hours! (ffs, not even a sandwich! I was expecting just to have the cake with them!) and then made him keep on clothes that are too tight, and clearly so.

How do I deal with this? My son was made to feel shit. Again. sad

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:14:15

you feel what you feel, you had it hard and cruel, its definitely their guilt not yours. If they are caring and considerate aware now, but trying to make up, well thats good, but it doesn't take away that they did treat you awfully and you suffered as a result. Hopefully genuine care now will helpyou to recover from the pains of the past. (I can't imagine how my P's could ever ever change from who they very much are, its far too deep) - very like your story midwife (your DM behaving as if she'd been rejected by everyone and had to desperately gather some attention for herself).

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 23:15:27

Fgs, checked dhs phone tonight and mil has asked him whether fil can drop the xmas presents off (the ones she didn't seem to want to let dc have for xmas as a bargaining tool into fooling a reunion with nc dc)
Wtaf-Why didn't she let them have them at xmas if it was that important to her. What a witch!
She will no dc are due back at school tomorrow so decides to cause trouble by worrying i & dh about fil turning upconfused, the man is scary & has a strong temper, he also hates me for nc of dc.
Bloody great all i need is him turning up at my door ranting and raving.

I have no interest in the presents, couldn't give a flying f*.
Do we answer the text or not?

I wouldn't reply but I also would try to either be out tomorrow or look like I was out. But that maybe the wrong way to deal with it sad

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:20:38

To cap it all, I'm spending ALL day with her tomorrow... In a car... sad

How on earth do I keep a lid on this?

Gah! I hate them! They do just about enough to harm, but so low level you're denied the opportunity to pull them up on it.

Makes me feel powerless.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 06-Jan-13 23:22:22

If you didn't answer the text, is he likely to turn up anyway?

forgetmenots Sun 06-Jan-13 23:24:57

Don't reply, and don't answer the door pumpkin, it's horrible and hard but you have to maintain the boundary, they are pushing it.

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:25:14

Sorry for bulldozing...

I'd ignore the text from MIL and go out too. There's no point in giving them what they want which is a confrontation and a chance to tell everyone how in the wrong you are, and woe are them.

IF anyone ever says anything (and let's face it, you'll not going to bring it up) you simply say, "what text? Argh, DH phone not 100%... <shrug>"

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:25:24

x with yours hissy - postings above for sparkly , but having just read yours Hissy would be led by your DS personally. I would probably talk to him emphasising GP is an adult and would be sily to get upset about some clothes that could be changed, but important that he is not uncomfortable, embarrassed as a child by anyone and under those circumstances just too bad if someone upset (its ahard one to do that young, but invaluable to them learning how to get their needs met, and if someone won't 'allow' it, just do it anyway, and how wrong it was to 'not allow'). I've had to do that, as they learn early about social graces and being polite, but I have had to explain that those rules don't apply when others expect wrong, inappropriate or too much.... Hopefully your son will feel better about that, knowing you support and he has some control back with your backing?

As for leaving him waiting for food, depends on how much you think they will listen to you? If she would then I would say to at least give a snack if she picks him up from school another time, if she doesn't agree then she can't do it (crazy tho, ain't it?)

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:28:40

Don't answer the text or the door pumpkin. He can leave the gifts on the doorstep if he wants !!

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:30:01

no, NC, no presents i'd say Pumpkin ignore text and don't answer door. They are forcing themselves into your lives without any respect for you/DC

I would have to say something hissy but I'd spend half the night in bed trying to figure out exactly how and what to say.

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:37:45

Thanks Fi.

I said to him I was sorry he felt uncomfortable, and that he'd felt bad. I said that it was ridiculous, and I gave him a hug, and said thanks for telling me.

The clothes she bought in Europe, so not easy to change, and now they are worn, and strained so obviously so, I'd not be able to take them to a benetton store here to try to swap for larger size.

Why Not get enormous clothes? At least you know they'll fit eventually??? smile

This is not the only event, there have been lies about his toilet habits too. Stuff that I really can't fathom. sad

I will have to limit the times he's there without me, won't I? sad

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:45:07

I know MomeRaths, that's what it looks I'll have to do.

DS will be with us. So not much chance of a convo tbh. I'll see what boyf has to say (equally blessed in the parent department...)

At the end of the day, we'll be fine, ds will be fine, but I'll learn from this and set clear boundaries in future.

Tomorrow is about my GM, and me/DS seeing her. We're not sure how much longer we'll have her.

I'll find a way to make the DM thing right, it'll go on the groaning list of crap stuff she's doing. It's adding up nicely. But I'm not reacting to any of it. Yet.

I lived in DV situation for 10 years. I wanted out for at least 3. I had to bide my time.

I can bide some more. Mwuhahahaha! smile

ArseBandit Mon 07-Jan-13 05:26:07

Had my Aunty (lovely, level-headed, DMs sister)txt me to ask me to ring my GF (DMs 92yo father) so he could thank me for his bday card. He was tearing up when I called, which set me off too. DM has been round his quite a lot crying, telling him how heartbroken she is, that she's done nothing wrong, that I'm lying and splitting up the family etc. It's greatly upsetting him and I'm angry she's involved him as I know he worries, and at his age he doesn't need it. She has only gone to him to try and emotionally blackmail me, knowing I don't want him upset and thinking that would force an apology out of me. Had a good chat to him and tried to explain my side. He told me he knows my nature and that I'm not a nasty person, and there have been times that he's wondered about my mother's version of things. We had a 40deg day here last week and he doesn't handle the hot weather well at all. Said he was surprised that she never rang to ask if he was ok (evidence of her self-absorption, she is his only child and bangs on about how much she cares for everyone else, does everything for her elderly relatives etc). He conceded that it's hard to accept that his daughter may not be as nice and hard done by as she is making out. I told him in a perfect world I wouldn't like to be falling out with my family but nothing is going to change unless she gets some help and sees that she has to start taking responsibility for her own actions instead of acting like the victim in everything. I can't engage with her because she is too irrational. It's nice that now I've keep quiet for long enough and not played into my mothers smear campaigns, or tried to argue my side that some of my family members are realising that somethings not adding up and are actually seeking me out to find out my side of the story.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 07-Jan-13 07:44:29

ArseBandit-It's awful how the toxics try to pull in the whole family, especially when it involves the vunerable, like your gfsad, i'm glad he is now seeing your side of things.

We have decided not to answer the text, it will only fuel pils behaviour.
If they turn up, i shall not answer the door.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 10:22:23

Column by Tanya Byron in today's Times saying that a reader shouldn't go NC with her narc mum and enabler father because (paraphrase) narcissism is a mental illness and therefore should be treated with empathy. I subscribe to the Times online and will comment!

And where does Tanya get this expert pov from? I'd refer her to some of the books in the OP to educate her. Grrrr angry

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Mon 07-Jan-13 12:50:52

Is it even possible to empathise with a narcissist?

''why yes, I am vastly inferior to you and therefore it's only right and proper that you manipulate and bully me in to complying with you every wish''.

You just can't, for your own sanity, for your own protection you have to reject the narcissists world view and make sure you have good boundaries in place to stop them screwing up your life for their own benefit.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 13:34:52

I normally find her views very sensible, but she's way off beam on this one.

BiddyPop Mon 07-Jan-13 14:40:16

Hi all, between the general busyness, and being away for a week, Christmas meant I didn't get online.

It wasn't as bad as it might have been. But I had a few things thought out in advance - and I put on my makeup everyday that I was going to see my DM or have to talk on the phone to her - as my shield to bounce away all the negativity. Seems daft, but it meant I had taken a concious decision not to put up with her sh*t.

There were still moments over the hols though. Like her completely omitting 1 DSis's BF from plans for a major family holiday next year (to celebrate their 40th anniversary), whereas others were included as a matter of fact despite being persona non grata. All very odd. Apparently her meds aren't working right either (of course not - when you eat half a tray of the large box of chocs that DSis got as a present - and you a diabetic!!).

But we mostly ignored it, dealt with things our own way (just got up and cooked for DD at her dinnertime rather than waiting until 8 or 9 to be fed -adults can wait, DD needs to eat), went out for long walks with the siblings, went off for a family swim one morning....

DM has put me in the middle between herself and her DSis though - they are falling out and it's hard being stuck between them. I also really don't think DM realises just what sort of person she has shown herself to be to ALL the siblings this year, and that it won't be too many more years before she herself is dependent on us for care and comfort (especially if she keeps ignoring medical advice like she does - but then again, she IS a nurse so she DOES know what she's doing hmm).

I didn't challenge her on anything though - I still don't know what fSIL got as her present (she's as odd as DM and brought her presents away to open in her own mammy's house) so I am assuming that I can still go ahead with my wedding present for DBro. And as we just went and did what we needed to, rather than challenging her on when things would be done around us, she actually didn't have any reason to give out. Although she did also spend a LOT of time sulking watching tv in her room and resting as she was "ill".

PrincessFionne Mon 07-Jan-13 15:12:08

no, thats right, pander to the NARC no matter how much it damages the DC (of whatever age!), as the NARC's bullying ways are far more important to understand than the damage caused to the children by them, right?

PrincessFionne Mon 07-Jan-13 15:18:51

Biddypop have to say some of the 'nurses' I've come across couldn't be more cruel or less caring (highlighted because they're supposed to be in a caring profession, I've had nurses taking the mick out of the way I am walking because of a trapped nerve in the neck and in excruciating pain, yes, very funny, I was sooo shocked). Isn't it an attraction to these types to be ' caring' for others (polishing their halos for being such great people) and yet deny care routinely? Or go into something to do with care because they feel people will be caring for them somehow? I don't think that's explained v. well :/ anyone know what I mean? Fi

I have not read all the article as I don't subscribe to the Times. However, I have read a small part of it.

Is there any possibility of someone PMing me with the artcile?.

This person who wrote in would have been better off reading these "Stately Homes" pages instead.

Note to Tanya - it is not possible to empathise with a narcissist and besides which such people have no empathy whatsoever. Think too is she well off beam if she has suggested anything at all along the lines of well try to keep the relationship with the narc mother and your enabler of a father going.

I would go as far to say that it is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and any attempts made to do so are severely rebuffed (poor DH but if he has told me that he was going to try and salvage something from the wreakage of a narc relationship I would have told him immediately to not waste his time).

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 15:34:34

I agree I don;t think narcissists have relationships. My mum has no contact with her 2 brothers,fell out with both parents before they died,no family contact (extended) at all apart from one niece who has now had enough too! My sister and I are NC and my 2 brothers still have contact but she only emails.She has her own bedroom and has for about 25 years and will only watch tv etc alone. Her dp accepts all of this. EMpathy they don't do because as soon as they hear a problem from someone they go into competition/poor me mode Very frustrating.

Badvoc Mon 07-Jan-13 15:35:15

I went to see my parents yesterday.
Walked into the house and my dad starts talking to me as if nothing had happened.
I asked about their hospital appts (which is the main reason I went) and dads endoscopy was ok. Still waiting bloods results. Mums clot is huge and she needs a bypass or she may lose her leg.
She then says "if I have the op"
Bangs head on wall.
Told them I am still hurt, angry and upset over what happened on Xmas day, That i don't expect them to understand but that's how I feel.
I will take the dc to see them 1 x per week but other than that will keep my distance.
I actually feel better about things today.
I think they know they have pushed me too far this time.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 17:04:19

Attila have pm'd you with the article.

hoppyscotch Mon 07-Jan-13 20:55:45

Hello StatelyHomers. I've been following this thread for a while now and have name changed for this, incase I'm outed elsewhere. I'm afraid it's a bit long, but wanted to give the (current) story straight up.

My mother is toxic and she is definitely narcissistic, although not as badly as she could be, so I've found out. She was abusive when I was younger (again, could have been worse, but was bad enough for me) and I have previously had and am currently having therapy for it (since the birth of DS I can barely look at her, I'm so disgusted with her).

So, for the past 17 years, since I was 17, she has been talking about her death. It started with the type of coffin she wanted, then progressed to me handstitching a patchwork quilt with her, a nice 'mother-daughter activity'..for her shroud!! It progressed onto sorting out the paperwork for after her death - will, living will, listing bank accounts etc. Now, I know it's INCREDIBLY responsible to do that, to save others (me and DB) from a potential nightmare. The thing is that I have never, ever been active in these discussions. At the beginning, when I was still living at home, I'd duck and dive the discussions. Later I said, politely and gently, that I didn't want to discuss these things, and following that being ignored, I bluntly said I wasn't interested, she should sort it out with her lawyer. At all stages of the paperwork discussions (a good 10 years) I have said I was thankful for her doing it, alongside, later saying I didn't want to hear it any more.

So, over the past 4 years, when I've been extremely clear and sometimes rather blunt about the fact that I do not want to hear any more talk about this, she has basically ignored me. We live in different countries (thank goodness grin) and I saw her in the autumn. She said, "I know you don't like talking about this, but.." and just continued on about her will and the rest. I didn't feel like an argument, the subsequent sulk and pregnant pause where I'm supposed to apologise (and never do), so said nothing (and I mean not a word), looked disinterested and didn't really listen to what she said.

She came to ours for Christmas and stayed a few extra days to look after our cat while we were away. I KNEW she would be up to something, but I couldn't figure out what. I came home today to a note on my dining table. It turns out, that "..because she has no partner, or close family.." (the 'partner' line has been on repeat since I was about 12: poor her, she's all alone..) she had left a copy of all the documents with me, and sending a copy of them to my brother.

I am FURIOUS. I feel completely disrespected. She knows I don't want them, she has an executor (I previously declined to do it, in part because I didn't want these documents ahead of time - which I'd said, very clearly) and I feel she has been absolutely underhand in leaving them.

Of course, my thoughts about this (according to her I'm too repressed, death is a part of life, we should be more open about it), are completely inconsequential to her. I can only liken this to a semi-bridezilla planning her wedding and ignoring the pleas of the people around her, because it's 'her day'.

I have no idea what to do though. I want to email her and tell her a whole load of things I can't retract later, but will undoubtedly elicit a 'poor me, you just attack me' response and DH thinks I should just say nothing. I also thought about sending her back the documents with a note along the lines of "We seem to have misunderstood each other, I do not want these documents, so am returning them."

Is there any point though?

I'm also very near going NC with her, but know I won't just yet. I have been cutting down contact over a long time and have decided to further restrict it - including to my DS, which I've been trying hard not to do - because it's not good for my health.

Oh, and I should add: she has never had a life threatening illness, or the possibility of one. This is coming from someone who is and has been perfectly healthy (well, physically!!). If she'd had a serious illness, I would have been much more sympathetic and actively helped - at least for the first few years!

I'd say nothing and shred them. But I shall await the others points of view with interest. It's very difficult.

fresh Tue 08-Jan-13 07:46:13

Hoppyscotch, I think you've proved beyond doubt that your mum does not accept that you have views which should be respected. The will is a symptom of that so in some ways what you do about the actual document is irrelevant. It's how you react to the fact that you are not heard. Narcissists do not hear other people; she won't change.
I might be wrong, but are you using the will as a final straw to justify going NC? You don't need to justify it to anyone. And trying to explain it to her is pointless. This is one of the circles of madness we're in when dealing with a narc. Going NC is terrifying because we are finally making a decision for ourselves without putting the narc's needs first, and we've learnt from an early age how 'dangerous' this can be. Work on it with yr therapist, putting yourself at the centre of the discussion rather than your Mum. Keep posting, lots of support here.

3ismylot Tue 08-Jan-13 10:50:32

Hi all
I have been doing a lot of reading of this thread and have read the toxic parents book and now know that my Mum is a classic Narc and my Dad is an enabler.
Its hard to describe how they made my childhood so bad but I know that many of you will understand that feeling! I have an older Brother who has always been the golden child even though he was an arsehole to them for most of his childhood, But I dont seem to fit the scapegoat roll Im more just there when they want /need something and forgotten the rest of the time!

I have been finding things really hard the last couple of years and knew that it was all going to come to a head sooner or later and I finally snapped just before Christmas and before I knew it I had sent an email telling them how shit they had made my childhood and that I was sick of my brother being treated so well while I was sidelined (this was before I read the book) so as was to be expected I got a lot of bile back about how I am ungrateful and hurtful and they have always treated us equally and that I am causing them much hurt blah blah blah
I tried to reason with them (shallow laugh!) and gave examples of how differently we were treated but just got back loads more about how I havent got a problem with them its with my brother and that I am jealous and that this is terrible for them etc etc

She then came round christmas eve with gifts for the kids (DH answered the door) and started ranting at him that I am nasty and he is just as bad for allowing me to behave like this! but my behaviour wouldnt stop her giving gifts to her grandchildren and left (Gifts are still wrapped and in the garage) the funny thing is that alot of what kicked the starting arguement off was that she hasnt been bothering with my kids for weeks yet has time for my brothers newborn!

I replied to her email stating my case again in the hope she might actually get it this time (more shallow laughter!) and after 2 weeks finally got a reply this morning basically saying that DH and I have "used" her and "run her ragged" and that I am jealous of my brother and they always did their best for me blah blah blah and if I am adult enough to go over and sort it out we can! she also tried to guilt me for tracing my real mother a few years back (me and bro are adopted and not real bro and sis)

I sent one back that was assertive and a bit sarky (having now read the book) saying that just because she didnt remember it the way I did doesnt mean that it didnt happen and that I have no desire to sort things out until they admit that life wasnt rosy like they say!
And I also told her that she had no right to make me feel guilty for having questions about my real Mother and that if she hadnt of spent my entire life reminding me I was adopted (would introduce me as her adopted daughter to strangers! or if they said we looked a like would say "dont know how she is adopted!") maybe I wouldnt have had those questions that needed answering blush

My husband also wants me to drop the bombshell that my brother abused me as a child and I think that if I get more bile off them I may!

I am ready to go NC and cant see a way back from this at all so I dont see why I should hold on to the family secrets anymore!

Sorry its so long but I kinda needed to get it off my chest to people who understand how shit these feelings are

NewPatchesForOld Tue 08-Jan-13 11:44:13

Hoppyscotch..I can so relate to your M not listening to your views. This would sound so trivial to anyone but a SHer, but I'm sure you will all understand this.

When growing up the house was like a showhome, not that we had a lot, but it was always pristine, we weren't allowed to lay on the settee only sit up, if we washed up the dishes she would take them all out and do them again etc...If you dropped a crumb on the floor she had caught it before it had hit the floor. When I used to go over with my own DC she would put sheets all over the furniture...chairs, settees etc before she would allow them in the room.

I was determined that I wouldn't be like that, so I have a much more relaxed approach. I am in no means dirty, but my house is comfy and warm and's a home. the kids are relaxed here, not scared to curl up on the settee, or drop something on the floor.

Now comes the not listening part...

When she comes up here, she cleans my house and it infuriates me. I actually feel really insulted. I have fallen out with her while she's been here because she just won't leave MY house alone. For instance, if my mug has a tea stain in it (I drink a lot of tea...a nod to my Irish ancestry!) she will start rummaging through my cupboards for soap powder to soak it in. I hate it when she does that because the cup tastes of soap for weeks. I have told her to leave my cup alone but then as soon as I am out of the room she will do it anyway. She empties my kitchen bin when it's only half costs me a fortune in bin liners. She will take my washing out of the washing machine when I've told her to leave it alone. She will strip my windows of stuff so she can clean the window sills. She'll mop the goes on and on. Most people say 'oh I'd love my mother to clean for me' but it's not an act of kindness on her part, it's her belief that I am not clean enough for her. Even if I were a slovenly slattern it's MY house and I feel massively insulted that she does not stop. When I have lost my temper with her and shouted at her to please just stop cleaning (she does it constantly) she has told me to get lost!!!

By the time she leaves I am reaching for the reduces me to tears. I am just completely unheard as far as she's concerned.

We'll be out shopping and she'll buy kitchen roll..(I tell her I don't use it and don't want it but she buys it anyway), dish cloths (I use sponges), toilet cleaner, bleach (I hate the stuff)...she says it's for her to take home and when I say I know damn well it's not she gets mad that I am accusing her of lying, then puts it all in my cupboards anyway!

I'm getting worked up just typing this.

NewPatchesForOld Tue 08-Jan-13 11:47:31 a way I am envious of you that you have found the courage to lay it all out there...I still cannot do that. But I am so sorry you are yet another victim of narcissistic parents.

ANother thought/memory that came to mind just then...I can remember as kids we used to have ice on the inside of our bedroom windows, and would breathe vapour when we woke up the house was so cold...and yet my mother had an electric blanket! We didn't. And re the cleaning thing...she only does it in my house, never my brothers.

ifso Tue 08-Jan-13 12:50:10

just wanted to say, newpatches, I am another one with a Narc mother who many many times since I had DC would clean my home obsessively and rearrange things if she got the chance. It is crazy behaviour. Luckily I made it clear about seven times for her to stop - by saying DH's mother doesnt come here and clean the house - and this was the only thing that made her stop.

so bizarre.

and to Hoppyscotch - ignore ignore ignore all the morbid plans for death from your mother - it is difficult, but my enabler father has revealed all his plans for will/burial plots on a daily basis every time I have visited this year. I ignore, say how wonderful, and change the subject. Not easy though, but just think of it as her little silly obsession. awful behaviour though, you have my support.

and - doesnt anyone edit Tanya Byron's column anymore? Totally strange advice to empathise with a narc parent - they dont have any emotional skills, therefore using emotional skills such as empathy simply does not work

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 12:59:46

NewPatches I remember the ice on the inside too! 70s childhood! I was in the extension, 3 external walls, flat roof, no CH. I did have lots of blankets though, so it wasn't part of a bad bit of my life. I agree the leccy blanket issue with your mother and not you was shite. You do have a right to be sad about that.

I wouldn't have been allowed one as I wet the bed til about 9. sad

That cleaning thing is pointed. Are your brothers married? Can you arrange to meet her in a neutral place? I'd not have someone in my house that did that to me.

So I spent the day with Mother yesterday. It went OK, and I didn't talk about the clothes, it'd be too easy for her to wriggle out of.

I did however remind her why I am NC with SisDear, and explained at length that it's unfair of her or her H to pressure me to do anything else. That I could have forgiven SisDear the actual abandonment/plotting/lying etc, but it was the bringing the whole subject up, out of nowhere and telling me that she HAD ignored my plaintive cries for a hand hold, on purpose, and with that smug grin on her face. She did that to wound, there is no other way of looking at it. Believe me I have tried, it's cost HUNDREDS in therapy sessions. I told Mum that it was THAT final lunge of the knife that means that I could never have anything more to do with her.

A Friend would be cut off for less than this. A 'friend' is someone who owes you nothing really. A sibling is someone we need to be able to hold to a higher account. If it's unacceptable for me to cut her off, it's MORE unacceptable for her to have done it in the first place. Therefore such cruelty for whatever reason is WORSE and LESS tolerable than if perpetrated by someone we just know, as opposed to someone with whom we share blood.

I asked Mum what SisDear wanted to achieve by telling me just how mean she was, clearly she has no respect for me, she possibly resents me, hates me or perhaps ponders that I am so weak that she could do this to me, TELL me that she had done it so that there was NO kindness of the benefit of the doubt, and I would just say 'OK' and life would go on as it did before.

How weak was I supposed to be? How much more was I supposedly expected to take? what would come NEXT?

I also pointed out that her H reminding me of my depression in years past, or telling me that I too had done things to SisDear is totally incorrect and that he really does know nothing. I have never, ever done anything to SisDear to hurt her. The only thing I have done is ignore her and refuse to have any contact with her since the full weight of what she did to me hit home. I'm entitled to that withdrawal.

I reminded her that SisDear's actions were hers alone, that for now, i am not blaming her for the decisions of her daughter. I said to her that it's HER actions from now on that she can take responsibility for, her treatment of me from now on that she has power over.

I said that while I am clearly the scapegoat my family's story, I am actually the HERO in mine.

She seemed to get it. I felt better for saying it, even if ultimately it goes nowhere.

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 13:12:13

Hoppy I too say ignore the plans. File them away in the loft or something.

Never mention them to your DM, IF she brings them up, say something vague like, 'Oh vaguely remember seeing something, didn't have time to look at it though'

Or if lots of time passes, completely forget them.

WRT people telling others that they have to stay with people that harm them for whatever reason.

No-one has to stay with anyone for any reason. We have a duty to ourselves first and foremost. Just because someone has a mental illness (and a NARC is not mentally ILL, they are psychologically damaged, there is a MASSIVE difference) doesn't mean that anyone has to put up with it.

I remember getting into a spat on MN with someone who said that they as the female had anger issues in the past, and had made their H and DC life difficult. I had said that anyone with anger issues and taking them out on those they live with, their DW/H and or Kids are not suitable to be with.

She raved at me (kinda proving my point) saying should my H have left me then, I told her YES. he ought to have done, to save himself the damage of her abuse and his DC. I said that had he taken that step, perhaps she would have sought help sooner and it would have been easier to have broken the routine of her abuse. I did however tell her that it was great that she was working on it, and not to give up as she WAS worth more than ranting and hurting others.

There is NO Excuse for inflicting suffering on others, there is NO reason why ANYONE should ever put up with this. Everyone on this earth is worth better than that.

If people treat us like this, we DO have the right to say STOP. WE really do.

They won't stop if we don't insist they do.

Much love and strength to those that need it! ((((liberal hugs))))

fresh Tue 08-Jan-13 13:33:44

Re: Tanya Byron's column - I posted a reply saying the things we all know on here. There have been a couple of very ill-informed responses but I also posted a link to the DONM website and the Susan Forward Toxic Parents book. I didn't link to this thread as I wanted to keep it safe. Just hope the links are useful to someone. I shan't go back and argue our case as (just like with narc parents!) I won't be heard!! It would be nice to think that Tania Byron would think twice about what she wrote, but I doubt she reads comments on her articles.
Meanwhile I'm struggling with a possible upcoming meeting with my sister, who cut off contact with me when Mum died, but sent a card just before Christmas asking if I wanted to meet up. I took a couple of weeks thinking about it and have emailed back saying when I'm around. But I'm losing too much energy worrying about being able to say what I want - usually when she hears things she doesn't like she gets very angry in order to frighten people into backing off. (Hmm. that sounds familiar). I know I need to stand up to that in order to say what I need to say, but ... well I'm sure you get it. And anyway she hasn't come back to me; probably making me wait as punishment for my not replying to her immediately. Sigh.

Badvoc Tue 08-Jan-13 13:36:56

Can't see me seeing my siblings for some time...but that's not unusual and am not concerned about it either.
My parents...well, thats more mother needs a major operation and - worst case scenario - could lose her leg sad an upside is that she now MUST give up smoking.

noddyholder Tue 08-Jan-13 14:23:09

I lived in a pristine house too nightmare we had to clean top to bottom daily. Apparently I was left standing in the garden because i had hung the clothes 'wrong' I don't remember but my sister does me being sent back out repeatedly. last time i saw her face to face she spent over 2 hours telling dp and I that being retired made her think of death and that when she looked at my step dad she wondered who he was and said she didn't really know him (he is lovely but bullied) So embarrassing with dp there. he was mortified but she has no boundaries and treats him like she treats me

PrincessFionne Tue 08-Jan-13 14:31:41

I would think that after all that resistance from you directly to her (you have told her you absolutely don't want them!) you could in good conscience just throw them, bin them, burn them, or whatever, or lodge your copies of it with your Dbro also, so he knows. Whether you choose to tell her you've done that or not, I guess depends on whether you can ignore the 'poor me' diatribe that will follow <throws hands in air!>

If I were in that situation, and absolutely didn't want them, her giving them to me would make me post them back (she obviously had thought already that you wouldn't take them off her if she was direct and honest with you, and IMO she will keep doing it until you do that).

Badvoc losing limbs doesn't always result in stopping smoking! I know, bonkers, but the two don't collide atall. People with cancer continue to smoke, and might even smoke more. Just depends on the way the individual takes it. Just better not to get your hopes up, but if she does quit, then a bonus!

Cheeers to you Hissy for asserting yourself to your Mum, and I think the only reason your Dsis owned up to deliberately wounding you so, was simply that she's nasty and it fulfils her needs in some way to do that, its not about you. Oh, and yeah, the leccy blanket - I also wet the bed but was given one (maybe the threat of electrocuting myself in the night would be sufficient to stop me wetting the bed, I dunno!) ha!

Fi ((hugs to all))

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 16:30:31

Thanks Fi, I got it that sis didn't get enough from just being nasty without me knowing, she needed to know that I knew she'd done it.

I saw that it was all about her. Knew that I hadn't 'deserved' it. I was utterly blindsided by it.

She was really shouty with me too after my OD. I thought that was out of concern <tut>. Now I see it differently. Now all the 'WTF?' Moments look a lot different, and they paint a really ugly picture of her.

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 16:43:57

Oh prikness, sweetie, you wouldn't have been electrocuted, the wires are insulated. LOL, imagine electric blanket manufacterers would have gone out of business with being sued.

Hope all holding up.

HappyNewHissy Tue 08-Jan-13 16:54:16

in the 70's?.... if the blanket were old it'd have been from the 60s.... I'd not risk that....

Or was I being lied to? confused

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 17:07:01

It could have been ignorance and one of those coincidental events where not allowing it erred on the side of caution.

It's something the manufacturers have always had to take into consideration due to bed wetting being such a common problem.

Yes, no central heating here either, and identify with frost on inside of windows. Anyone else have a loo outside? Horrid, cold, dark and who knows what spiders lurked there.

Badvoc Tue 08-Jan-13 17:49:50

Dontfeed...yep. Til I was 12 or thereabouts.
Was grim in winter!

financialwizard Tue 08-Jan-13 18:10:55

I lived in a pristine house too, and was terrified to breath in the wrong direction in case I blew a carpet fibre out of place! If Mum comes here she also scrubs my house to within an inch of its life even if DH and I have been doing the housework that morning. We are not lazy when it comes to cleaning either, but my Mum has a passion for dettol which makes me want to vomit due to the smell (must be a childhood thing).

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 18:50:44

I also get rearranging furniture. No mater how often I tell her to leave it alone she will rearrange and then I'm left to sort it all back out again. Why can't she understand this is not her home and she's making decisions on lifestyle which are none of her business.

Also she'll wash clothes I've hung out for an event/evening. It's not that I don't have anything else to wear but I already decided on accessories etc. and she just does whatever she likes.

ifso Tue 08-Jan-13 20:02:35

it's about boundaries - all the stuff about them behaving like that in your homes, they have no respect for boundaries, or understanding of boundaries

simple as that

I could write a list of behaviour in the past from DM which I have only just this year learned to ignore and stop letting it upset me:
- slopping dinner on plates every evening after school...dinners mince mostly. To this day I cannot touch mince
-picking petty fights with my older sister i was about 10 she was 13 when it started these fights would escalate into physical violence from both her and father most evenings (i had awful flashback last year of him pushing sister up against our posh french doors in the living room) Horrific. Such behaviour from them continued until we all left home at 18. we have no desire to live domestically with DM again, and if we have to visit, we make sure to keep our stay at most 3 days, durimg which time DM will cram as much awful behaviour as possible, just for a reaction
- freezing cold house
-obsessive cleaning rota which we had to adhere to growing up
- dishes had to be washed immediately after dinner - immediately - no sitting together chatting about the day while our food digested. Then usually an argument would start, directed at my sister. How were we ever supposed to have had time to do homework or concentrate I have no idea but sis, myself and younger brother all have degrees and good jobs.

sorry for lo post but just so remarkable how so many of us here have had similar domestic experiences in childhood

determined never to repeat same with our own precious DCs

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Tue 08-Jan-13 20:21:38

Talking of all these toxics, it's odd isn't it how they are so extreme with the way their homes are/were.
Some toxics like pp have said are extreme with cleanliness & tidying whereas my pil are the other side of
the scale.

There house, especially their kitchen is a tip: crocery, dirty & clean all over the counters, newspapers piled up everywhere. All surfaces dirty, bread left open, crumbs, dirt and rubbish strewn on the floor, bin overflowing.
Before non contact it was like walking into an episode of "how clean is your house" - the bedrooms just as bad, mil & fil had separate rooms in a simular state to their kitchen.
The bathroom was the only tidyish place in the houseshock
Like your parents, pil used to come round and stamp their excessiveness onto our home by dumping their wrappers on the floor, leaving their cups on the floor to be knocked over by kids, knocking my throws of the sofa, leaving chicken bones on side of sofaangry, it used to be very frustfrating!!!
I'm so glad i don't have to put up with it anymoregrin

PrincessFionne Tue 08-Jan-13 21:56:02

I felt very 'at home' transported back to the childhood hell hole! with the talk of spotless, tidyness. Felt we should float over carpets - mine would run her finger along things, tell my bro's how dirty I was and would be horrified to see my house now (but DC love) we tidy when we lose stuff, we sit and chat at the table during/after dinner, sometimes eating on trays watching films, etc. Make mess all over the floor and clear up after, ooops sometimes the next day!!! <sharp intake of breath> Everything spotless, and cleaning and tidying, moving my stuff about, checking nosing through bills, going into bedrooms - why? as it would drive her nuts! no boundaries, not my home atall, just an extension of hers - she would tell me the stuff she'd found in my bro's house, and how much debt he had and she'd found dirty knickers and oh gawd! it was just awful to hear that stuff you don't wanna hear about your family, but then can't tell them you know as its so embarrassing on all fronts. Despicables.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 08-Jan-13 21:58:55

Weird. MIL does the whole cleaning things. She always checks the microwave to see if that's clean and if it isn't, she'll give that a wipe over. Same with the window sill. She's even unpegged washing and re-hung it the 'correct way'.

Her house is always very tidy and very cold. This time of year if we visit, we don't even bother taking our coats off in the house.

The odd time we've eaten there with our small children, any little bits that are dropped on the floor have to be picked up straight away. If it were my house I'd tell my guests (even family) not to bother and I'll hoover after. I thought that was just MIL being careful with her heating, and being a neat freak - but it seems pretty common, at least amongst the people here.

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 22:15:18

It's as if they are playing with a life size dolls house isn't it.

Ironically our place is positively gleaming but I can't take any credit for that, we have a wonderful woman comes in for us, I just reap the benefits. But it feels different, you know, it still feels like a home, it's ok if we ruffle cushions. I can't describe what I mean.

forgetmenots Tue 08-Jan-13 22:21:08

My MIL is a neat freak too. Once FIL came over and he had been told to report back on the cleanliness of our house. We had tidied for him coming to avoid any problems. I had been stupid enough though to have a cuppa before he arrived. An hour after he left, the phone rang. Cue a two hour screaming phone call from MIL about how we have 'disrespected' FIL by not having our house in a fit state for him to visit... And listing as her only evidence of this 'you had two mugs in your drying rack!' shock

ifso Tue 08-Jan-13 22:22:36

ironically, the tidiness was clearly no guarantee of a happy home, more often a major sign of frustration/depression

but still no excuse for making our only place of shelter as kids a living war zone

ifso Tue 08-Jan-13 22:24:33

and for the Narc of course, it was essential in maintaining the image of perfection/perfect tidy home = wonderful perfect person

this in essence is the whole purpose of living for a Natc - how they are perceived by others is crucial to their being, often to the detriment of their children. It really baffles me though.

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 22:29:14

forget shock

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 23:04:03

ifso OMG, can identify with frustrated and depressed. I really don't want to take drugs though, I was having body psychotherapy before I moved here and it was really helpful.

forgetmenots Tue 08-Jan-13 23:21:09

Haha dontfeedthetroll, as my Californian friend would say, 'I know, RIGHT?'

I can laugh about it now but at the time it was a genuinely bewildering moment!

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Tue 08-Jan-13 23:30:41

Do you mnetters of Toxic parents ever find yourself spending lots of money on material things you don't need for that short-term 'fix' you get from shopping??
I ask this as i'm started to realise the reasons behind dhs past spending habit problems ( we were in a lot of debt due to him buying things) which has luckily been paid off, but my dh admited to me tonight he feels as though he slipping back into 'wanting' things again. I find it odd that each time there is an outburst or to-do with ils he insists he needs all this expensive stuff ie: ipads, ipods, tvs, gadgets etc.

I think he uses the 'thrill' of buying things as a way to get through it iyswim. Problem is, it's short lived & doesn't really make him happy in the long run, not to mention are finances don't afford it.

I'm worried that he seems to be reverting back, its almost like he wants a second childhoodsad

I find it hard, because a: i don't wants us spiraling into debt again & b: the long & short of it, it won't make him happy, although when he is buying items, for that split second he's happy.

It all affects people in different ways, but this was one thing i was hoping wasn't regressingsad
My toxic inlaws through their behaviour have caused so many problems in our relationship, its unbelievable.
I really do hate the pil for what life they gave himsad

forgetmenots Tue 08-Jan-13 23:35:51

Pumpkin my DH is the opposite. He won't buy anything for himself. PILs were decent with anything financial or material when he was growing up, but gifts or anything like that came at a price. So, he seems to be a bit unaware that now there aren't strings attached to treating himself.

It took me a while to figure this one out, but when I bought him a gift for his birthday (a special one, so I saved for ages), I think the third thing out of his mouth after 'wow' and 'thank you' was 'I'll do all your ironing' which I thought was funny, but he genuinely thought he owed me something. sad

he does still do lots of ironing, though grin

dontfeedthetroll Tue 08-Jan-13 23:39:24

pumpkin oh yes and I believe you have nailed why. I think it's something similar to a sort of nesting thing. It seems to me closely related to hoarding. I do it too and he likely already knows it's a 'fix' because it only feels a momentary rush usually followed by a slump so you need another 'fix' and all the while knowing you don't want or need this stuff and even it won't work. A kind of expensive interpretation of a blankie.

Since he agrees with you about not amassing more debt I wonder (I've never tried this) but what if there was a limit on what he could spend and he put the rest in your keeping? I don't know, that likely won't be a long term thing, it's not at all material for me, it's something much, much deeper and infinitely more primal. It's not the stuff, it's not the money, something else.

Not much help but yes, I understand. Totally get it.

Emandlu Tue 08-Jan-13 23:46:29

I'm the opposite too, more like dontfeedthetroll's husband. I once caught myself deliberating over whether I could justify spending £1.50 on a mug for myself. I was stood looking at these mugs in Asda for about 20 minutes while I dithered and worried about spending money on myself.

I am always amazed when people buy me presents. I was moved to tears (and still cry thinking about it) when dh did me a Christmas stocking one year that wasn't full of tat, but had stuff in I actually wanted. It's stupid, but

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Tue 08-Jan-13 23:57:40

I tried giving him a limit last time, but he kept on continuesly for more & more until he amounted £4000 in debt.
It's hard to stop him once he has started, he buys one thing, gets bored within a few days & then wants more, its a visious cycle that repeats itself.
I've tried agreeing on cheaper things, but that doesn't give him the 'fix' he needs iyswim.

Between 2010-2012 he has had every type of ds & psp you can think off but he hardly plays on them. They are just stacked up with all the other things he has collectedshock

We were supposed to be off to buy our dd a phone for her bday tomorrow, but dh has more or less told me if he enters the shop he will want a new phone tooshock

I keep on at him to get counselling, but he isn't listening. He needs to look at the big picture as to why he behaves like this instead of throwing money at it iyswim.
His parents are the root of all his problems and i'm hoping he realises this soon as he cannot go on letting them get to him.
I don't think the constant harrasment between sil, mil & aunt around xmas has helped...

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Wed 09-Jan-13 00:00:22

And dontfeedthetroll, i think the 'comfortblanket' explanation is spot on. He sees these items as a protective barrier to the real problems he faces

hoppyscotch Wed 09-Jan-13 07:17:10

I'm agree that sending it back would be the only way to finally stop it - probably. It does give her the "last word" though, in a way. Not sending it, however, would rob her of that and that would feel rather good!

I wasn't here yesterday because she had done something else to rile me (less than the will thing, but it piled up) so I emailed saying exactly what I thought. Two hours later I got an email back starting (I kid you not), "It doesn't seem to matter what I do or how hard I try to make an effective communication with you or to be of some help, it isn't good enough or helpful." Spot on to the script!!

It made me laugh and decide that there is ZERO point in tackling her about anything else.

hoppyscotch Wed 09-Jan-13 07:26:44

Sorry, meant to say sending it back gives her the last word, because some time in the future, could be in five years time, could be next year, she'll bring up how ungrateful I am etc because I sent it back.

Btw, until I first read this thread and the daughters of narc mothers link, I had NO idea that it wasn't normal (or nice) for parents (mothers in my case) to call their children ungrateful.

And Fresh I'm not using the will as a pretext for NC, I'm only staying very, very minimally in touch with her for the sake of my brother. She's done enough other things to warrant it though.

3ismylot Wed 09-Jan-13 07:40:09

Its funny I had forgotten about the cleaning thing but you have all reminded me about it and I have been nodding through all your posts as I remember it too! She is still the same now but has given up trying to clean my home thank goodness!

I got another email yesterday saying she felt sorry for me and that she had a lot of shit to deal with in the past but she just got on with it. She also couldnt believe that I had said I wasnt jealous of my Brother and that I hated him instead and she obviously didnt know the "real" me!

So I flipped and told her that I knew she had a lot of shit to deal with as I was the one who always had to pick up the pieces! I also told her that the reason I hate my brother is because he used to abuse me and that I wasnt going to hold onto the family guilt anymore.

DH and I were talking and taking bets on the reply (gotta laugh or I will cry!) I will either be accused of lying or she will somehow find a way of minimising his actions and blaming me!

I am completely ready for NC now though and I am so thankful for this thread for pointing me to the right resources so that I can understand that the problem is hers and that I can let go of all this guilt.
Have a docs appointment next week and want to come off my ADs and have a some more counselling to help.

financialwizard Wed 09-Jan-13 08:29:11

Just reading through the last few posts shocks me. My Mum also used to do the 'white glove test'. Not so much now because my husband would go nuts and she would not want to upset him.

The buying of things - I am also of the 'don't buy anything for myself' group because everything my Mother has ever given me always came with an unpleasant condition.

I had to speak to her yesterday, unfortunately, and she said that we didn't get along because 'you are too much like your father'. Although he has enabled her behaviour I actually feel a bit sorry for him because she is a complete bitch to him too. Everything her way or he also gets the long silent sulks. It is my Dad that is stopping me going completely NC at the moment but tbh I am unsure how much longer I can cope with her. Even my 11 year old son is asking me why I put up with it. That has got to be a bad sign.

NewPatchesForOld Wed 09-Jan-13 09:24:40

My kids have asked me that fact they hate it when she's coming for a visit because it stresses the whole household. She likes to think that she is this big matriarchal figure, and that the gc adore her but the truth is they don't. She makes life too complicated for them.

I remember on her last memorable visit when she ruined my birthday, we were all eating dinner and DP turned up late, so I dished his up and he sat down at the table to join us. M got up and started washing up, even though we were all still eating. She waited til DP had just finished and sat down at the table again, just as he got up (we had all finished then). Then DS got up to go to the other room as he had been waiting for this particular programme to come on. She waited til there was silence and then said at the top of her voice 'What's wrong? Do I smell or something? As soon as I sit down everyone fecking leaves'. She had been the one to leave the table while everyone was still eating!!!
When I know she's coming up I go on a mad cleaning spree...the kids hate it, they say I am like a woman possessed! But the truth of the matter is, no matter how clean the house is she will always find fault and clean it again. No word of a lie, if someone is drinking tea and they go to put the cup down she will take it from them before it's hit the table, even if it's still got tea in it! It's washed up before you even realise it's gone.

It's no coincidence that she does not speak to ANY of her siblings...some have died without her having made peace with them, and the others have NC at all with her. One of her sisters lives at the other end of the same road but they haven't seen each other for years. Another brother (who was my favourite uncle) lives about 3 miles away and they too haven't spoken for years (but they all stay in touch with each other) and I recently found him on facebook. I told my mum and she 'forbade' me from contacting him!

Was anyone else not allowed friends in the house when they were small?

3ismylot Wed 09-Jan-13 09:37:00

wow this thread really makes you realise things that werent right in childhood!

Newpatches My Mum only has contact with one out of 4 siblings and that is pretty much once a year contact, I remember my Nan's funeral where my Mum used the eulogy to have a go at her siblings for the lack of help they gave after my Nan's stroke (although she actually loved it as she could play the martyr some more) and then proceeded to pull out Nan's self written will at the wake to hurt her Brother as he had been left nothing!s a child but did feel uncomfortable having them there as she would always embarrass me or put me down in front of them sad

I wasnt exactly banned from having friends round a

3ismylot Wed 09-Jan-13 09:38:13

sorry try that again!

wow this thread really makes you realise things that werent right in childhood!

Newpatches My Mum only has contact with one out of 4 siblings and that is pretty much once a year contact, I remember my Nan's funeral where my Mum used the eulogy to have a go at her siblings for the lack of help they gave after my Nan's stroke (although she actually loved it as she could play the martyr some more) and then proceeded to pull out Nan's self written will at the wake to hurt her Brother as he had been left nothing!

I wasnt exactly banned from having friends round as a child but did feel uncomfortable having them there as she would always embarrass me or put me down in front of them

Unfortunatlyanxious Wed 09-Jan-13 10:31:59

I'm posting here in the hope that it gives me some kind of relief even though I should possibly post in the mental health section. I am unsure so advice on that welcomed.

I was abused as a child in every way, emotionally, physically and sexually. I have for some reason only just started to process this in my head and it is totally overwhelming. I have been to see my GP and have been given meds and am awaiting a counselling appointment. The suppressed memories are coming back and I am struggling to cope. I can barely eat and have in a week lost about half a stone. I managed to eat a whole dinner last night but found myself over the toilet bowl within half an hour heaving, I did manage to keep it down but it was a struggle. I do not want to be sick, I do want to eat but find it very hard at the moment. I am taking a multi vitamin.

My Mothers behaviour was evil, she did nothing to protect me and she physically and emotionally abused me herself. I am a Mum and do everything to protect my dc why didn't she? All she worried about was her relationship with my stepfather when I told her.


If you have not already looked at this website I would suggest you call this organisation asap, have linked them below.

It was not your fault this happened to you.

Your mother and stepfather utterly failed you; like some women she put her man before her child for her own selfish reasons. She was complicit in the abuse of you.

NewPatchesForOld Wed 09-Jan-13 11:02:07

I was never allowed friends around. Never had a birthday party, never had sleepovers and was never allowed to sleepover at friends' houses either. I can remember once when I was small a friend came to play; we were only allowed in the garden and this friend wanted to go to the loo. My mum wouldn't let her in the house for the toilet and made her go all the way home - the other end of a long street! We were only about 7, if that. She never came back to play after that.
Even as a teenager it was weird. I used to date a guy from work and he would give me a lift home after work. One day we were sitting in the car outside the house, and he had his arm along the back of my seat and were chatting and thing I heard the window catch rattling...I ignored it and it got louder. I looked over and my mother was furious, at the window, banging on it and rattling it to make me come in. I ignored it again and she opened it and yelled at me to come in NOW. I was 19 at the time. And mortified.

Another time, when I was about 13, my best friend was a black guy and we used to walk part way home together and then he would carry on to his house and me to mine. Anyway, one day we were so engrossed in our conversation that we walked all the way to my house together. When we realised we laughed, he got on his bike and cycled off and I went in, only to be greeted with a smack across the face for being seen with a n***er!!!!! What would the neighbours think etc etc. I was beside myself with fury, racism never even entered my head and yet here I was being assaulted for being seen with a black lad.

Jesus, so so so messed up.

Unfortunately...your story is so DD2 came to me when she was only 3 and told me something, and it never crossed my mind to disbelieve her. Without hesitation I got the police involved. Please take all the help you can get, and never ever take blame or responsibility for it. Your parents failed you, THEY failed, not you.

ifso Wed 09-Jan-13 11:42:25

UA - have you tried any 'grounding' techniques when the flashbacks come? It is something to try - if you google grounding techniques it will offer better explanation. Basically, if you are getting overwhelmed by the memories, like how you can't eat - stop, take 5 deep breaths, close your eyes, picture yourself as a strong tree rooted to the ground. You are in control, that person can never hurt you again. Put your armour on. Stand up striaght and strong to it. You let the memory pass away, float down a stream and out to seam never to return again

using such techniques really helped me deal with horrific flashbacks so seeing my sister get physically attacked by my parents in our home most evenings. I felt powerless then. But I have power now to clear those memories and deal with them now. It has taken much practice of reminding myself that I am doing ok, that my life is going forwards and never backwards to those times.

I wish you well, take it easy today and be kind to yourself. If you can eat little bit of toast and a cup of tea each day for a few days to start with, then gradually build up your appetite? I find taking a long walk by myself once a day really clears my mind and helps my body rest properly at night. I also had to take a small dose of antidepressant too - ask your GP as it really can make such a difference and helped me to move forwards in spite of the bad flashbacks


ifso Wed 09-Jan-13 11:43:09

I meant - let the memory float out to sea, not out to seam, sorry

PrincessFionne Wed 09-Jan-13 13:03:17

Hoppy just a quick one... you will never be able to control the nasty stuff she says about you, just stick to making your point, and if you don't want it get rid of it, but sending it back to her will be the only way she'll know you mean it and further attempts will be pointless to give it back. but yes, she will slate you for that and continue to for lots of other stuff, you will never control that. That does seem to be the way of the narc, as she has to tell people continually how hard she tries and she can't do anything right in your eyes, that you are so hard on her, blah blah blah, etc. etc.

PrincessFionne Wed 09-Jan-13 13:17:50

take care UA ((Hugs)) - these flashbacks are a hell of a thing to deal with, and will start off very intense, but will calm down and are a completely 'normal' reaction to the experiences you have had. Good advice given already, have a preaceful and quiet time while you have to process everything but it will change and you will go through the process of cleaning it all out, which is basically what your brain is finally doing for you, let it all wash away and let it out. Keep posting everything you feel you need to on here, there's lot of support for you here and hopefully you will find in other places also. ((more hugs)). Fi

dontfeedthetroll Wed 09-Jan-13 13:55:22

unfortunatelyanxious much empathy. If you are anything like the rest of us the last thing you want right now is chivviing up, I second the napac website and also ifso excellent suggestions of grounding techniques.
A quick one for in the moment is to stampt your feet on the ground, say your name, where you are and tell yourself you are having a flashback and you are not in that situation now. Repeat and repeat. It's hard, unimaginably hard for anyone who hasn't been there.

financialwizard Wed 09-Jan-13 15:15:15

UA you have had some good advice, far better than I could give but I did want to give you a (hug) and wish you well.

New I was also not allowed friends in the house, and had to go out or go in the garage to 'play'. If my bedroom was not immaculate Mum used to hit me with a wooden spoon (Dad was not around at the time due to his job). I used to cycle to my Nan's for some solace, but now see it was my Granddad above all that was the one who didn't tolerate Mum's behaviour. She used to say he was rubbish with children, but with hindsight I can see that he was just not an enabler to her.

Unfortunatlyanxious Wed 09-Jan-13 16:32:32

Thank you for replying, I did have a look at the site but did find it very upsetting so could not really manage to look properly. My DH is home today but away tomorrow so I am going to try and give their help line a call tomorrow.

My DC are older, one has left home and the other is at senior school. I have never done anything to my dc but I always wonder could I do it, any of it. I have only ever discussed this with one person who I used to work with who was abused by her grandfather and she admitted to feeling the same. She went to work elsewhere soon after and we said we would keep in touch we didn't I just think we both felt so uncomfortable revealing that part of ourselves.

I went on to have two very abusive long term relationships as a young woman. The one that was 10 years long was very destructive and incredibly violent.

ifso Wed 09-Jan-13 16:55:37

keep talking on here UA, it helped me so much a few months ago, and made me get all my thoughts out of my head, as I needed validation of some sort that I wasnt just imagining the flashbacks

people here and on other threads helped so much

be kind to yourself and it is ok to want to have a slow easy day every now and then - it took me ages to stop feeling guilty about just sitting and looking out a window, which was actually a very peaceful thing for me to do

it is ok for you to be kind to you - sounds like you have put others first for a long timel in relationships or regarding upbringing. It's just time now to help you for a change.

I take small steps to comfort myself, in silly simple ways - setting a nice table for dinner, cooking something I would like, putting nice music on, taking my time in the evenings to just potter. It calms me, and reassures that our home is a place of peace.

Keep posting whenever you can - and great idea of yours to ring the helpline tomorrow. Clearly stuff is deciding to bubble up to the surface, and like PrincessFionne said, let it all come, dont be afraid, it is cleaning and cleansing for your mind to have to process it.

Unfortunatlyanxious Wed 09-Jan-13 17:13:44

My worst fear is that I could be a bad person, I have felt there is something bad about me all my life. I used to wish I would find out I was adopted when I was little and that my real parents would get me. I used to wish the nice lady across the road would take me to live at her house.

When I met my DH I could not bear his Mum, okay she has said a couple of things that are not good but my real problem was she tried to mother me and I had never been mothered properly in my entire life. I could not deal with it at all. I can never accept a compliment, I realised when I met my sisters new bf a few months ago that I introduced myself as the Unattractive boring sister.

I think as well as the actual issues now they have started they don't seem to be able to stop. It is like a torrent, like a floodgate has been opened.

I will try the techniques to cope with the flashbacks.

I appreciate people posting. I am aware this is one of the hardest places to post on MN, I am a name changer. I have been on MN for years but have tended to stick to the lighthearted threads. I have wanted to come on to this thread many times but did not have the courage. I feel bad about name changing but have written about which city I live in and my job under my regular name. Sorry.

PrincessFionne Wed 09-Jan-13 17:35:39

UA this is how children feel when people are 'bad' to them, they turn it in on themselves that they are unworthy and bad, or even evil to have this kind of treatment in life. I also wanted to find out I was adopted or would somehow be able to go to another family sad

Children that are loved and comforted in their distress are given worthyness and feel love and it fills them up. Your experience has left you possibly really disliking yourself or worse.

Use your inner voice to tell yourself kind things. If you hear it saying 'I should be working harder', 'I'm not worthy/deserving', or whatever your inner voice tells you, when you catch it saying things that do not help you, think of a kinder thing to say to yourself, keep doing it will change your self talk and it will help you to comfort and love yourself. ((big hugs for difficult times)) xx Fi

PrincessFionne Wed 09-Jan-13 18:04:44

UA it is imperative that you feel safe now, and do things to protect yourself; it doesn't matter to us that you have name changed, really the least of your concerns right now. Its you that matters and your helping yourself however you can to get through, everyone understands that (and don't bother with the ones that don't!) wink ((more hugs)) xx Fi

NewPatchesForOld Wed 09-Jan-13 19:04:54

UA...I have no words of advice to give you except to keep coming on here, you must not let this fester within you, there will always be someone on here to listen and hand hold and never judge.

It's not you who's bad, really it's not. I do wonder whether it's me sometimes...did I bring it on myself? But that is fading, largely because of this thread and the knowledge that other people have been through the same and look at them...all lovely, kind people...if they weren't they wouldn't give a flying fig.

Keep talking.


Unfortunatlyanxious Wed 09-Jan-13 19:06:20

Thank you Fi, I really appreciate the admission though I feel very sad for you that you also wanted a different family. Also that people feel they are bad/ evil. I certainly don't love myself and the whole not deserving thing makes sense. I had a bit of a melt down the night before I got married because I didn't think I deserved it, I hid it very well. I am guessing the years of hiding it all have taken their toll.

Thanks again to all for the support it means a lot to me especially as you have your own issues to deal with x

financialwizard Wed 09-Jan-13 19:41:35

It seems to be another common denominator of being a child of toxic parents.

dontfeedthetroll Wed 09-Jan-13 19:47:35

UA you know what I see on here whenever I visit, I see a pond covered in lotus flowers. I love lotus flowers, pure and beautiful. You know how lotus flowers grow, from deep down in the dark mud, they reach for the sun and open their petals to please our senses. Out of mud comes utter, breathtaking beauty.

It's not your mud but, like us, that's where your roots are. I don't see the roots, I see your petals and they are stunning. You are opening to the sun and that is a growth process and growth is painful but you have the courage and strength for it without a shadow of a doubt.

My warmest thoughts to all you lotus flowers.

jessjessjess Wed 09-Jan-13 19:50:27

It wasn't cleanliness in our house, so much as weird, OCD worries and foibles, like having to turn plugs off at the socket, not being allowed to bounce a ball against an outside wall with no windows, having to close all doors.

Did anyone else lack privacy? The airing cupboard was in my bedroom and people just used to come in - any attempt to make them use some kind of system or, you know, knock failed miserably, but I always thought that was just middle-class whingeing until my therapist had a complete cow over it and said, no, it really is shit for a teenager to have no privacy. Though it still feels like middle-class whingeing.

Hoppyscotch I would also say nothing and shred them. Also, fucking hell, I just saw this: "I had NO idea that it wasn't normal (or nice) for parents (mothers in my case) to call their children ungrateful." Fuck, I had no idea that wasn't normal or nice.

There it goes again - another thing I had thought was just normal. In my case it was my dad: "You should be more grateful." "You should try being more grateful." That, and how I should be more respectful.

Patches people who say "I'd love my mother to clean for me" imagine it being done in the way they would want! I think your home sounds perfect, btw.

Sparkly a belated reply. Yes, there were good times too and yes I think my parents genuinely didn't realise they were being shit. It has made it very hard to acknowledge the need for therapy (my therapist told me this week that I was "bursting at the seams", while I was still there trying to say I wasn't sure if I really had anything to complain about).

Pumpkin I think your DH really does need professional help. I'm sorry you are going through this.

Unfortunatlyanxious I'm so sorry these awful things happened to you and glad you are on the list for counselling. I would second the recommendation of looking at NAPAC, also Samaritans are on 116123 and are very good at listening. I do wonder if you may have PTSD, which I mentioned to someone else upthread as well. Your fears about being a bad person are very normal in people who have endured what you have, but are also unfounded. It's not your fault this happened to you. Don't ever apologise for namechanging, that's not something to be sorry for!

It's weird, I wrote down all these memories over the break and when the therapist was reading through them there were a couple of points were he kind of did an intake of breath and went "Ah shit," in reaction, and the things that made him do that were things I thought were super trivial. I don't know which way is up any more.

I would kill for a different family. I have had a birthday since I last posted; DF phoned me and then talked about himself for 15 minutes. I kind of zoned out and participated as an observer, not a participant, and I was just thinking: have you ever listened to yourself?

Am rambling sorry. Everything is suddenly bothering me at the moment, not managing to squash it down any more.

financialwizard Wed 09-Jan-13 20:00:28

dont that is a beautiful analogy.

jessjessjess Wed 09-Jan-13 20:01:52

Fucking hell. I just found this page:

See that list of examples? Just said yes to almost all of them. And there I was questioning the validity of how I felt. Feels really ugly to see it like that.

PrincessFionne Wed 09-Jan-13 21:27:05

sorry to hear Jess although it can be overwhelming its good that you can't squash it down anymore lots of stages to go through, not least of which is the self-comforting and finding peace and quiet, in amongst the flashbacks, realisations, angers and sadnesses. Really good you found validity.

What a beautiful analogy dont - very touching x


3ismylot Thu 10-Jan-13 07:34:40

I thought I was feeling better because I had stood up for myself but I am stuck in a horrible limbo right now sad
I am worried about what their next move is going to be! Its been 24 hours since I told them about my brother abusing me as a child and I have had no reply so I am no worried about what will happen sad

Can I just say to those that as a child wished they were adopted it isnt a relief to find out you are not biologically connected to these toxic and narc people infact its worse as these people supposedly wanted children so much that they "went through hell to get them" and then treated me like crap and messed up my head! Then when you trace your biological mother she is lovely but there are no feelings for her because she is a stranger and even worse you feel jealous of how close and happy your half brother and sister are to eachother and to her and that kills you even more sad

jessjessjess Thu 10-Jan-13 10:05:14

3ismylot I'm so sorry to hear this. That kind of limbo must be a hard place to be.

PrincessFionne Thu 10-Jan-13 11:23:43

oh 3ismylot sad it is a childish wish only, one thats based on nothing other than being desperate to get out, or that somehow your real mother will come and sweep you away and rescue you from it all - unfortunately we know thats rarely the case the stuff of fairtytales, and so sad. Its hard but whats important is what happened you, not their reaction; you can't rely on their reaction being anything but dismissive or denial or minimising, or even nasty. Their reaction doesn't matter, but how you look after yourself does, its good that you have told them, but if they've been awful to you all your childhood not sure this will change anything, as awful as it is. take care xx Fi

3ismylot Thu 10-Jan-13 11:30:19

Thanks PrincessFionne I know that I shouldnt be thinking about them and should concentrate on myself but I just cant help feel that the silence is a build up to something big sad

I understand the fairytale as I did used to wish that my real Mum would turn up and rescue me sad

I am feeling the need to make a big change to my life but not sure what but then I cant help having those old feelings of useless and thinking I cant do anything sad

NewPatchesForOld Thu 10-Jan-13 11:53:57

dontfeedthetroll...I have been planning to have a tattoo put on my lower back for years, and am waiting to find someone with enough artistic skill to draw it perfectly for me. It shows a pair of hands in a cupping position (me) holding 3 lotus flowers (my dc)...the symbolism being that I am holding and protecting these 3 beautiful pure flowers which have grown out of murky, stagnant beginnings (my ex was pure evil but despite this they have grown into 3 beautiful people in their own rights). The hands also represent the fact that I have done what my own mother didn't do for me...that is nurture and protect.
Lotus flowers are a very powerful symbol.

jess...what sets my place apart from my mother's is that mine is a home, whereas hers is a house.

So...the latest in the toxic behaviour is that she is now ignoring me completely. I text her yesterday to ask how she was feeling and if her day had been any better (she said she was slowly on the mend) and she didn't even bother to reply. Nothing. Her game plan now is to force me into keep texting/calling until she deems it right to reply. If I don't (which I won't) she will call in a few days or weeks saying that for all I know she could have been dead, no one cares about her blah blah...SO much game playing. It is exhausting me.

Theveryhungrymuma Thu 10-Jan-13 12:25:45

I've just come back from my second failed driving test, so disappointed. Wish I could shake off the horrible feeling of never being good enough or just an utter failure at life. I'm angry today, perhaps if I wasn't crippled with self loathing and hate I would have more confidence in myself, actually believe good things happen to me. I know I'm an adult now and need to do things for myself, but that little voice is telling me 'how could someone like you think you could have a car. '
All I could think about coming home was dm and dsis ( if they knew id sat my test ) taking the piss out of me imagining what they'd say. They are taking over my life, still.

financialwizard Thu 10-Jan-13 13:30:35

Aww thevery you are worthy of anything you set your heart on, and you will get. I know it is easy for me to say but with practise comes confidence and you will get there.

My mother called today. A friend of hers died late last night and she was crying. Mainly about how her friends are all leaving her. Nevermind that they are in their 70's and had cancer/leukaemia. I don't know how to deal with it tbh. I just don't have the strength to support her. She does have Dad so I am hoping I won't get lent on.

She also said that an Estate Agent called to put her house on the market. So after all of Christmas saying she wasn't going to put the house on the market and move up here she now is. I feel totally gutted.


Think your narcissist mother was using you as supply again.

Have you got called display on your phone?. I would install that if you have not already got this service.

Not all that surprised either to read that she was making it all about her; don't think she was very upset for the deceased person at all. It was all about her again.

Re your Dad I would not feel too sorry for him as he has and continues her to enable her to the hilt. All toxic narcissistic mothers need a willing enabler to help them and your Dad fits the bill here nicely. He being weak acts out of self preservation and want of a quiet life; he failed utterly to protect you fully from her as a child and still fails you as an adult.

Hopefully they won't sell their house anytime soon; market is pretty much stagnant at present.

Think your son is also very perceptive and wise beyond his years.


Sorry to read about you failing your driving test again.

I would advise you to get back behind the wheel asap, it will give you more confidence. That is what happened with me, I just needed more time and confidence.

Badvoc Thu 10-Jan-13 15:06:23

Muma...ALL the best people pass third time, you know! smile
Sorry you didn't pas this time, but don't let it get you down too much, get back in ASAP as Attila says.

Midwife99 Thu 10-Jan-13 15:32:50

Me me me - I'm a third timer!!!smile

PrincessFionne Thu 10-Jan-13 15:54:59

here here, Badvoc.. I second that or should I say 'third' that! Don't let this time put you off another; they also have their quotas to consider wink

I have heard the death of others describedin these terms also Wizard - difficult to believe people are SOOO SOOO into themselves, that its more about them than the person dying! shock


Badvoc Thu 10-Jan-13 17:07:56

Told ya! It's a well known scientific fact <nods sagely>

Mumfun Thu 10-Jan-13 17:52:49

Yay third timer too! The best!

financialwizard Thu 10-Jan-13 18:10:25

Fi it really beggars belief. Although I feel like I shouldn't expect anything less from her.

Attila they live in a desired area, so I am keeping my fingers firmly crossed that it takes ages to sell but they are sought after houses due to school catchment sad

NewPatchesForOld Thu 10-Jan-13 20:45:28

Well, despite me saying I wouldn't ask again, I text her and asked for the second time how she was. She has ignored me again, but when dd text her (prior to my second text) she replied to her! I feel like screaming, these mind games blighted my childhood and still affect me now. Sick sick sick.

PrincessFionne Thu 10-Jan-13 21:54:16

Oh patches you have texted and showed concern, I think thats really all you can do, once should be enough, but twice shows you want to make sure its got there, in case first was mislaid etc. You can't do any more. Its a horrible thing to accept, being ignored. It reinforces how painful it was to be ignored as a child, next time send you text if you feel you really need to, but then don't expect any response and leave her to her bloody-mindedness and misery! She's wanting to punish you and its working, get on with your own good things and ignore it. take care xx

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Thu 10-Jan-13 22:06:22

it's ridiculous how childish she's being, and all for the sake of feeling a tiny bit of power of you. Well patches, at least you can now with clear conscience go about your daily life and not send any further enquiries. Also, I'd take this all as evidence that she is feeling much better.

NewPatchesForOld Thu 10-Jan-13 22:31:10

Well she finally replied, saying she'd been asleep (and yet she had replied to dd during that time), said she was still very sick, and was too weak to care whether they took her back into hospital or not. Last week she was threatening suicide if they tried! When I tried asking her about what was wrong exactly (virus? Gallstones? ) she said she was going to other words 'conversation is over'.

HappyNewHissy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:20:01

Give it up Patches, you can do no more. You're now iin danger of banging your own head against the same old wall.

That would then make it kind of your fault you get hurt...

My therapist once told me 'Wtf did you expect?'

I was aghast! But she was right!

'WTF did you expect? She's always bailed on you, so why are you so bloody shocked that she's done what she always does?' 'More fool you!'

That day was Tough Love Therapy Day that day apparently...

HappyNewHissy Thu 10-Jan-13 23:21:41

wine.. So forgive any bluntness... smile

NewPatchesForOld Thu 10-Jan-13 23:58:15

Bluntness and honesty is always appreciated hissy, and to be honest I am starting to become numb to the whole thing. I can't go to see her, my dc are both in the middle of is doing gcse's and the other a levels. I wasn't wanted when I wanted to go down so I'm not going to disrupt the DC lives for that bs. I don't live local to her, it's a80 mile round trip. And I won't sit there and listen to her threats of suicide...I had all that with my narc ex h.
I will sleep with a clear conscience, I can do no more.

ArseBandit Fri 11-Jan-13 05:06:29

I had my father call me the other day to find out "What we could do to resolve this crap and get the family back together" I told him it's not that simple and took him out for a coffee to talk yesterday. He was worried someone might've seen us together and reported back to mum. In his words, she is making life miserable for everyone at home, is utterly consumed with the fact that I am not engaging with her bullshit, and is terribly sad, refusing to get over it and act like an adult. I told him I'm not sitting down and having a discussion with her. There's no point in trying to have a rational conversation with someone who is irrational. Even if Dad was there to act as a mediator, she would just blow up if he was seen to be anything other than 100% "on her side". I asked him didn't he see how ridiculous is was that she was so obsessed with everyone "being on her side" and that everyone had to acquiesce to her or endure her being an insufferable bitch?

HappyNewHissy Fri 11-Jan-13 07:09:18

ArseB, you see this is what annoys me! You are NOT the person he should be speaking with.

I wasn't the person my mum or her H shoud have come to talk at.

We didn't do this on a whim. The only person that could sort this out is your mother.

You've chosen NOT to have people treat you like crap. Your mother could choose not to treat everyone like crap.

Tell your dad and any other poor bugger in her toxic cloud of shite that you made a decision not to be insulted/criticised/disrespected/manipulated/abused, and that they ALL can decide to do the same, for themselves.

No going back ArseBandit, not unless you get a full apology, she takes responsibility, and never does it again.

Porker squadron, cleared for take-off

ArseBandit Fri 11-Jan-13 10:07:36

LOL Happy precisely! Mum doesn't do apologies. Only non apologies- :"Sorry I'm not the sort of mother that you want", "Sorry I'm not worthy of being in your life" "Sorry for whatever I'm supposed to have done". My dad just seems defeated. Speaking to my cousins etc it seems they all think she's losing touch more than just a bit. But it's always everyone else's fault. She doesn't have a lot of self awareness; only self-pity. I told dad that the last time she came here, if she was really wanting to sort things out and not just expect an apology from me, then she might've started with, "You're obviously upset with me and I want to try to understand why and see what I can do make it up to you." Instead she stood at my front door with a cats-arse face, arms folded and blurted out "Well, I just wanted to tell you in person that your father and I are no longer, and our family is no longer." -her and dad have NOT split up by the way. I think she just likes having drama. An adult can accept that sometimes not everyone likes them, but to be so consumed and obsessed by it and not even attempt to rectify the problem and instead just try to drag everyone else into it is just immature. Makes me wonder what happened to her when she was young to have stunted her emotional maturity at about 15yo.

forgetmenots Fri 11-Jan-13 10:38:25

Your dad sounds like my FIL arsebandit (great name btw) smile Sadly your mother sounds like my MIL, too...

He occasionally meets up with DH on the pretence of mediation but it always comes out that he has been sent by MIL. DH kind of wishes they could meet up (even in secret) because he misses him, but FIL will not do anything that MIL hasn't sanctioned. This doesn't stop him of course asking DH to exclude me from things, because that's 'not the same' confused.

Are you sure your mother hasn't put him up to these visits? Sorry if that's a difficult question but its quite unusual ime for enablers to do anything against the narc's wishes. Be careful, if that's not too dramatic.

forgetmenots Fri 11-Jan-13 10:39:13

And I second everything happynewhissy said. Naturally smile

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 11-Jan-13 11:09:23

Arsebandit- much like my mil everyone circles around her and does as she says, almost like a matriach & because i won't allow her behaviour she tells however many people she can, that she is hard done by and "what did i do wrong" arrrrggghh...
Condering she has slagged me off to half the family and did not give me a christmas card or a gift i found it rather odd yesterday when dh got a text saying that mil had bought me a card & gift for my birthday and if i want it, its at her househmm, i'm guessing this is another bargaining tool for me to allow contact between i & dc!-well i'm not falling for it & tbh i'm not very partial to ill gotten gifts.

Unfortunatlyanxious Fri 11-Jan-13 11:15:31

Hello all I'm back after a very difficult couple of days, think lots of crying. I took your advice and contacted NAPAC, they were very helpful and I am amazed how much I could open up to a stranger.

I have also had my appointment for counselling come, I was pretty amazed at how quickly it arrived but I guess they think I am quite ill or at risk or something.

NAPAC explained how the memory blanks work in my memory, we all forget things sometimes but I have memories that are distressing and then what I can only describe as total darkness like pulling a shutter down, they explained it is a self protection thing. They said I have had some kind of breakdown.

I hope that once I have started to pick apart the shocking mess that appears to be my head that I will be able to help others on here. I feel like Im on the start of a rather petrifying journey but one that has to be travelled.

I am signed off work and do get sick pay, part of me can't ever imagine just going back to a regular life of work shopping and going out to lunch, just the mundane stuff even like cleaning the loo.

Thanks again and I'm sorry for your own troubles and pain

ArseBandit Fri 11-Jan-13 11:26:05

Thanks ladies- no, forgetmenots Mum had no idea dad was meeting up with me-that's why he was worried someone might have seen him with me lol. My mother does that too with presents. She had a bday present for DH and instead of organise to come out and visit (months back), she was like, "Oh sorry we missed DHs bday the other week, my life has been so busy blah blah blah, you guys should come over here for tea and to get his present." Always chasing after her!

financialwizard Fri 11-Jan-13 15:08:40

Sod that.

Anything I, or DH accept from my Mother has a very hefty price to pay and I am beginning to doubt whether my sanity can take it.

noddyholder Fri 11-Jan-13 15:09:18

My mum does that with presents too

financialwizard Fri 11-Jan-13 15:09:42

Pressed send by mistake.

Why do they do this? Will we ever know or is it best not to wonder?

noddyholder Fri 11-Jan-13 15:12:12

ArseB everything you say resonates with me x

arseb one of my mum's phrases if my dad sided with me was "it's always you and her against me"

NewPatchesForOld Fri 11-Jan-13 16:53:13

Aaarrgghh...the presents thing...YES! I get that too. And there is always such a f**king drama over it too. I get the phone call...'what shall I get such and such for their birthday?'...I reply 'I don't know, I'm struggling myself this year'...and then I'm hounded every day. I feel like screaming 'use your own f**king imagination, I have to'. And then if I don't supply her with a specific idea, AND reserve it online at Argos for her, then it'll be a tenner in a card with a sigh and 'well no one told me what to get'. It's all so easy for her...I'm surprised she doesn't ask me to go pay for it, pick it up and wrap it for her too.
Or...I will mention something which I really really want to buy for one of the kids and she will then buy it and tell me afterwards, and make out like it was her idea!!!

And then of course it's 'well I have no way of getting the gift to you, you'll have to come and get it' 80 mile round trip after which my nerves will be shattered completely.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 11-Jan-13 17:22:17

Arrrrgggghhh had the phonecall to my landline, dh answered and it was mil wishing me happy birthday, with yet more ill intentions it seems.
Dh said mil sounded down & dreary, not to mention miserable.
Why fucking phone him to wish me a happy birthday when she doesn't actually mean it!!!
She also happened to mention why dhs phone has stopped workinggrin, he lied and said its playing upgrin

Dh is now miserable for my birthday too, thanks for ruining my birthday you toxic mil from hell. I'm guessing more was said than ive been told aboutsad and to top it of sil has now just emailed him.

That family ruin every celebration thay isn't about them, i don't know why today would be different.
Same every year, they have ruined two of my dcs homecomings when born, my last birthday, my mothers birthdy, my 2yo birthday, mothers day, fathers day, christmas to a certain degree and my birthday.
Thats it ive had enough, i'm buying the toxic inlaws book tonight!

NewPatchesForOld Fri 11-Jan-13 18:05:41

pumpkin it seems a theme, as my mother ruins every family occasion too. It becomes all about her, she has to be begged to attend and if she's not then my God you know about it. It's DS's 16th next month and no way is she coming anywhere near us.
It was DD's 18th last year, and she went on and on about not wanting to go as exH would be there, how she wouldn't be civil to him etc...then she spent the evening sucking up to him, cuddling him and announcing loudly (in front of DP) that she misses exH!

NewPatchesForOld Fri 11-Jan-13 18:06:21

Oh, and Happy Birthday wine thanks

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 11-Jan-13 18:54:06

Thankyou Newpatchessmile, these toxics are all self self self!

CanIRingTheBell Sat 12-Jan-13 13:21:00

Hi, can I join you all?

As a child, I felt that my parents were somehow 'different' to other parents. Not as easy going, very easily annoyed, not as loving, strange attitudes. I have a younger sister who was the golden child and was very much favoured, and I was just in the way. My father worked long hours in London so I rarely saw him. He didn't have a brilliant upbringing himself and was cold towards me, and lost his temper very easily. My mother was very up and down with her mood swings; one day she'd be 'normal' with me, the next screaming and shouting at me and saying she wished I was dead. She also has/had a knack of making herself into the victim. I remember once she was drying her hair and I (was about 7 or 8 at the time) walked into her room and tripped over her hairdryer lead, and the plug came out of the socket, and she started screaming and crying hysterically. It was a complete accident yet of course then my father came running up the stairs to see what wrongdoing I'd done now, and then smacked me.

They also both used to sulk with me, for perceived wrongdoings, for days, sometimes weeks on end. They got so easily offended, and both seem to have a persecution complex. They'd say all the time I was in a bad mood, when I wasn't, and then sulk with me. Even now, in their sixties, they are convinced everyone is out to get them, and have complete feuds with people, even us if they perceive that we've wronged them in any way. And it's all always been done so passive aggressively; there's no open and honest talking, just sulking, my mum screaming and crying hysterically, them blanking us and saying things to the children. At the moment they are in a bad mood with us as we chose to spend Xmas at home with our children, and this led to a massive scene my mother created at my house the day before xmas eve. There is also no laughing or joking with my mother; once I made a joke about a haircut I had as a child and she went beserk at me.

I've been having therapy for some years, having had very very low self worth and thinking I was awful, as my parents constantly told me how horrible I was and how evil, nasty etc. And I now know it wasn't me with the problem, it was them. Now I have DCs, my mum seems to delight in treating them in a similar way, but then at the same time undermining me. She is not interested in anything about the kids that I tell her, only her experiences with them. I think when she has the kids she pretends I don't exist.

I hope it's ok if I keep popping onto this thread as I remember various things from my childhood, as it's just too much to write down in one go

NewPatchesForOld Sat 12-Jan-13 13:53:44

CanIring...pop in as much as you will see all of us doing that, we'll post something and then 'oh and another thing' as we remember other stuff.

My mother always has and still does the ignoring thing. I can distinctly remember being sat at the kitchen table while she dished up dinner and her saying 'newpatches, tell your father his dinner's ready'...he would be sitting there next to me. He was an enabler though, and would just say to me 'newpatches, could you tell your mother thankyou very much' and this would go on for days, sometimes weeks. He would deal with it in a passive sort of way (which I now realise was him being an enabler) but she would be absolutely venomous. Then the ignoring would be heaped on one of was always one in favour, 2 out of favour. The one in favour (usually my brother) would be treated like royalty and the other 2 would be treated like dirt, and ignored for ages. Now my dad isn't around anymore it's worse, because she doesn't have him to ignore.

She also tries to inflict the same behaviour on my DCs, but unlike me they have great self confidence and won't stand for it. My youngest is only 8, and as a result she will not get close to my mother. In fact she clings to me whenever she is here. Then of course my mother will make comments about 'what is wrong with that child, she's very stand offish'...she's not, only with her.

You've come to the right place, we all understand here!

jessjessjess Sat 12-Jan-13 15:36:22

My mother has made me so angry I can barely type. She keeps telling me you can't change people (er, you can change how you react to them and your expectations of whether they change themselves) and has told me that at least I was out of the house lots when I was a teenager. I asked if she ever considered she kept the wrong person out of the house.

She said some other bloody selfish things to me, this was yesterday, still shaking with anger and sorrow and I don't know what.

NewPatchesForOld Sat 12-Jan-13 16:08:45

Jess, I do know that feeling of being so angry, in my case at least it's a lot to do with the injustice, the frustration, the inability to make myself heard. What a shitty thing to say to you. Has she ever questioned why you were out of the house so much?

My mother distorts the past so much. For instance, she says none of her children left home till they got married so we must have been sister left when she was 14! She went to live with her best friends family.

Luckily (or unluckily) I have a fantastic memory.

I'm sorry you feel bad Jess.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 12-Jan-13 16:22:05

Oh jessjess i think my dh feels like that sometimes!
These toxics don't have any opinion other than their own, and if you try to tell them something different they will just get on the defensive of them being right and you being wrongconfused

It must get tiring, i'm tired of toxics and i'm just the dil.
It wears me thin, listening to dh taking crap on the phone of "woe is me, woe is me"...even on my birthday the woman cannot help herself!

I'm nc and propose to keep it that way but unfortunetly dh isn't quite there yet so from time to time i hear him get the phonecalls etc and i just think "tell her to shut up", but he just nods and listens. The family are a nightmare

jessjessjess Sat 12-Jan-13 17:15:56

Patches she knows why I was out of the house lots and seems to think it was a good solution.

She makes every conversation about her feelings and / or my dads. Never mine.

cheddarcheeselover Sun 13-Jan-13 01:44:25

hello, I've been directed here after writing the op of this thread -
I'm feeling very lost and confused atm.

ArseBandit Sun 13-Jan-13 04:47:46

Hi Cheddar! I was following your thread and was hoping you'd come over here. Sometimes people on AIBU don't really understand what it's like to deal with toxic parents! xx

fresh Sun 13-Jan-13 08:54:19

Hi Cheddar, I've read your other thread. You sound like a great Mum who 's doing fantastically at NOT turning into your Mum. I thought it was interesting that the responses you got were unanimous that she's in the wrong.. It's an eye opener that those 'on the outside' just think her sort of behaviour is bonkers. Normal healthy people do not behave like this!

You'll get lots of support here. Welcome!

Midwife99 Sun 13-Jan-13 10:38:38

Another email from my parents with 2 approaches - first section from mum pleading with me & feeling sorry for herself. Second section from dad ranting & raving & telling me off because he paid my rent when I was at Uni & gave me £500 to go to USA on work placement (which I then blew on a car apparently!!) Actually I used it to live on & pay rent until I got my first month's wages! Money was always forthcoming but anyway - why would I want to visit anyone who is telling me off for having feeling even now?!!

HappyNewHissy Sun 13-Jan-13 10:58:12

Welcome Cheddar! Glad you made it!

I think you have a good thread on AIBU, no eejits urging you to try harder, be a better person etc, as can often happen there!

Here you won't need to explain yourself, you can just share thoughts, ask questions and test theories as they come to you. We'll all do our best to offer perspctives and suggestions as to how to navigate all this mess.

Midwife, your parents are just laughable really, aren't they? :D

Smile and wave boys, smile and wave! (watched the end of Madagascar this morning!) smile

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 13-Jan-13 11:12:30

Midwife-Funny how they bring up your past 'mistakes' (all fabrication!) yet they continue to make mistakes as old people!

Cheddar-I read your thread and i'm with you, in that you shouldn't read whats in the letter or send it back.
Don't give her anymore power, ignore all her poison.

Midwife99 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:16:48

Hi cheddar - I read most of your other thread - what did you do with the letter in the end? I'm dying to know what vitriol she wrote smile but of course hope that you just sent it back unopened. How very dare she send you a letter but refuse to allow you to reply to the bollocks content!!

Midwife99 Sun 13-Jan-13 12:21:50

Yes I'm just dying to go visit them - mother grabbing at me & sobbing "but we love you" & father angry & saying "we didn't do anything wrong - you are ungrateful & selfish". I guess I'm being passive aggressive like cheddar's mother by refusing to discuss my "accusations" with them but I just replied "I'm sorry that you don't understand how I feel". I really don't know what they want from me!

buildingmycorestrength Sun 13-Jan-13 14:04:37

Hi all. My dad has just announced that he is getting married. Again. Third time lucky, I guess.

Feel shitty. Another sign of how little he cares for us. And how weird he is...another rather older woman he has known for only a few months, like his second marriage.

Plus bad medical news makes for a bad day. Feel pretty low.

I was a little breezy and amused by the marriage news at first, but should have known it would truly affect me.

Am trying my CBT techniques, but having trouble figuring out what Im feeling/thinking.

Hello all.

I used to post here last year.

My New Years resolution was to try and lay a few ghosts to rest in relation to my parents behaviour. However, I am struggling.

Just got off the phone from my mother, she called me whilst I am at a soft play with my DC's. All it takes is just one call from her to totally ruin my day.

I can't go no contact, as the fall out would be catastrophic. So how do I make myself immune to her behaviour? How do I stop it from hurting?

I am sick that she gets to play the child in our relationship. Sick that she doesn't have to take responsibility for what she says or what she does. Sick that she decides what being a good mother/grandparent is. And so sick of her never, ever taking my feelings into account and expecting me to just take everything. She has never, ever put me first.

fresh Sun 13-Jan-13 16:06:52

Hi Midnight. Sorry you're struggling; you're very clear about what's happening for you. Can you say more about why the fallout from NC would be catastrophic? We're taught very young that questioning the central lie (that their needs must come before everyone else's) will result in some unspecified disaster. It's this threat that keeps us in line, for years.

If you did go NC, it would undoubtedly be painful. But it is survivable. Only you know when you've reached the tipping point.

financialwizard Sun 13-Jan-13 16:26:17

Cheddar I am so glad you have posted here after reading through your Aibu. Feel free to post away, as a pp has already said we all tend to pop in and out as and when required.

It just occurred to me that I did actually go NC for a while 14 years ago because I wanted to do something my parents didn't want me to. I wish I was strong enough to do it now.

financialwizard Sun 13-Jan-13 16:28:25

Midnight I feel things would be close to catastrophic if I went NC too, but am wondering if short term pain would equal long term gain iyswim.

forgetmenots Sun 13-Jan-13 17:27:05

Can I ask about the NC fallout being catastrophic? I understand it, because we have been there and we're still dealing with the fallout from our decision. But you will only be exposed to any fallout if you pick up the phone/answer the door/open emails/open mail. It's difficult to even think in this way but necessary if you're even considering NC.

HappyNewHissy Sun 13-Jan-13 17:43:02

Midnight, the fear you feel is a CHILD'S fear, it's not real, it's irrational.

We all know what it feels like, but she has no right to hold your life to ransom.

Take a break.

You were at Hell on Earth SoftPlay, you could have let that go to voicemail, and IFyou felt like calling her, then you have to accept and understand that she WILL upset you.

No-one has that right.

Stop taking calls - rename her contact to DO NOT ANSWER. Call her back when you have 5 mins and say that you can't be long etc etc and ring off as soon as you can, or as soon as you hear her start up. Bloody mobile networks are SO unreliable sometimes... <whistles innocently> wink

forgetmenots Sun 13-Jan-13 17:56:19

Hissy isn't it AWFUL when emails somehow go to your spam filter too? These little glitches are very frustrating for ranty narcissists trying to contact grin

HappyNewHissy Sun 13-Jan-13 18:11:55


Shocking forgetmenots, happens all too frequently so I hear....

My Abusive Ex used to despair at the unreliability of the mobile phone service when we lived abroad... It seemed that the signal was particularly bad between our phones...


<taps nose>

I suppose if I went NC, I know it would totally break everything. Like all Narc's, she would just become the victim. Also she often threatens that she will become 'ill' if you disagree/voice an opinion etc. I've had that hanging over me all my life.

Also the DC's would miss out on GP's. DH's family live 300 miles away and are fairly disinterested. I have no other family whatsoever, so I worry the DC's will be isolated. Although on the flip side I do worry about her behaviour around the DC's. Nothing sinister, but just the drip, drip, drip of a Narc. DS is 3 and yet when she see's him she has to constantly point out what she has bought him. (mainly cheap crap) So it's, "Oh, are they the socks that Nanny bought you?" or "Are they the sweets Nanny bought you?". Yeah, you bought a pair of socks. Big deal. You nearly managed to sabotage his 3rd birthday party last month though.

What a great 'Nanny' you are.

Sorry, I am so angry.

Hissy, I think your ideas are really useful. I need to learn to not treat her phone calls like anyone else's. She will try to hurt/manipulate me etc. So I need to try for damage limitation. I suppose I am still in that place where I still hold out for a conversation with her where she becomes the Mother I always wanted...

PrincessFionne Sun 13-Jan-13 22:07:06

CHRIST!!!! I never heard that before! Where did that come from fresh?

We're taught very young that questioning the central lie (that their needs must come before everyone else's) will result in some unspecified disaster. It's this threat that keeps us in line, for years.

I did; I got married so that I could legitimately leave home although I was in love and not just using the guy, but he did use me, as a punch bag (I knew that anything else would be received as rejection by her).

But then later, when all the sulks and nastiness and demands and blames came to a peak, I was frozen from reacting by the thought that she would have a nervous breakdown. When it got so bad that I thought I couldn't cope anymore then I acted and went completely NC. SHE HAD A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN.

Another revelation, a truth found only here, there doesn't seem to be anyone else understands. take that as a positive, not negative! it was so bad, its not now that I hear this stuff and have these recognitions fom others here.

Sorry I cannot stop to give offers of suport to others right now, I have been reading, and welcome all the new posters to keep posting. Fi

The biggest lasting legacy my father has left me, is this paranoia about no one liking me, just tolerating me. That I'm not a likeable person and that I'm dull.

I began a new job in October and I work closely with 3 women, two a lot younger than me and I cannot shake the fact that I'm convinced they do not like me and talk about me behind my back. It's this niggling feeling and it won't go. It's awful. I'm dreading work tomorrow. I don't know how to shift it. I've tried logic.

I read the link the other day and I do half of those things as an adult now, at least. It's such a lasting legacy. Will I ever be free of it?

I have trouble making friends anyway. I prefer my own company but then I get lonely sometimes. The effort of making and retaining friendships is exhausting.

It doesn't help that I was bullied all through School, as well as my Dads verbal and physical abuse at home and of course Mum enabling it and also speaking negative things over me.

I sometimes catch myself doing similar with my DCs and hate myself for it and then go off and cry. I try so hard to be different but it's so hard. I know I'm nothing like them. I apologise to my DCs for starters and use time outs. But I suppose it's all linked to my self loathing. I can never see the positives in me. The glass is always half empty when I look at the world as well.

I don't know why I'm typing this. Think I need a good cry sad

Sorry it was Jess's link on the 9th I was referring to. It covers a list of behaviour or problems we can struggle with after, due to their abuse.

Bedtime1 Mon 14-Jan-13 04:52:22

Feeling a bit sad.

Does anybody ever feel like what you have been through with your family affects your relationship with your husband or partner or is this just me? I feel I am a Bit needy and nothing he says ever makes me feel better. I think is my relationship in trouble or is it past feelings with my family spoiling things. One thing is for sure. I don't feel I have any support from my parents and sisters. No one to turn to. It's a lonely life sometimes. I feel angry that I don't have my mum to turn to as I never know what her 'agenda' is. I can't trust her. I just feel like if I had my parents and siblings to turn to then I would be happier. Maybe I'm looking for them to make me feel happier, even if they were loving I'd feel the same but somehow I feel my anger is all linked to my family, unless it's just an excuse and really I'm depressed.

One of the harderst things I'm struggling to come to terms with is my mum has put all the efforts in to destroy my relationship with my younger sister, she still lives at home and I am so resentful. There's nothing I can do. She fills her head with crap, whenever she feels like it. Shes always played us off against one another, mainly me and older sister and older sister is quite jealous and some of that is because of mum and she's doing the same with my younger sister. I'm so bitter about it. Due to her being so much younger I was like a mother figure to her growing up and it doesn't seem fair. When it comes down to it she's already admitted that if I fall out with her then it will effect my relationship with my little sister because ' she will know what's happened " I said how will she know if you don't say anything she says " well she will see" I think it's more of a threat really as I know she will tell her things. It's just bullying really.

My sister is rude to me, stroppy and generally mean. She behaves like my mum really. I just think why, why after all I have been nice, loving etc then I'm left with this. All I want is to have a caring positive friendship with her.

I'm left so insecure, self worth shot at and feel a needy person, who doesn't think anybody likes me. Worry so much. I feel like leaving my marriage and being on my own as as much as he tries to understand he will never feel this pain or understand it properly. He gets on with his family. If I'm on my own I wont have to ruin anyone else's life because I am a needy pathetic mess. I don't know how much attention off my husband I should get or does that sound stupid too.

Also I am worried I am like my mother. Sometimes when I say things it feels like its my mum not me. All the things I didn't want her to be I am becoming. Bitter, sometimes envious. Angry.
Thanks for your time.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 14-Jan-13 06:48:51

Sorry you are going through this bedtimesad
The honest answer is yes us dhs & dws of toxic's children do feel the tension caused by the family's behaviour.

My dh comes from a family of narcs, and sometimes he will be withdrawn & depressed, i do find it frustrating as he puts up with so much shit from them, yet treats me like crap after them contacting him, ie swearing, shouting, sulking, shouting at dc, the depression etc.

Although i don't know what it feels like to be him, all i have is sympathy because i know they treat him so badly & play mind games with him, when all he wants is approval & love from them.

Leaving him, however hard it sometimes is wouldn't happen as i love him and can see that his behaviour is a result of the way he has been parented & the further we get down the line, progress has been made. He isn't ready for nc yet, but i know it's only a matter of time before this happens.
So far he has already stopped visiting them as often, he only sees them about once every 3 months now & answering the phone/texts to them is minimal.

Don't leave your dh, it's what your parents will want!
If he loves you he will help you through this, please don't feel alone, talk to him and tell him how they are making you feel.
I thinking talking is always a good thing.

Bedtime1 Mon 14-Jan-13 08:05:11

Thanks pumpkin, I've had hardly any sleep. Me and husband had argument last night. Thing is even the slightest negative comment I take it personally. It hits me really hard, real rejection and I find it hard to drop it. Makes me s insecure.

I don't have many people around me, my family that are generally play mind games with mum as ringleader/ in middle of the drama. I wonder wether it's the insecurity because of my family that makes me react so badly in even small crossed words. Does your husband ever say he's leaving because I do. I have this urge to just go, I get so down. I sometimes shut down too and act emotionally cold like as though I don't care about him. It's like a defence mechanism.

I hate it that my family just take the piss out of me. I give and give obviously never enough then they make me feel bad. I Don't give the same anymore like I've withdrawn a bit, but then I'm left feeling not a nice person for withdrawing from them.
I'm also worried I have some of there traits too. I don't know if I'll ever be happy. I just can't seem to be happy no matter what I have.

My young sister doesn't seem to care and it breaks my heart.

Bedtime1 Mon 14-Jan-13 08:07:19

I feel like mum and dad don't care at all. I just want them too. There never there for me.

fresh Mon 14-Jan-13 10:10:33

PrincessFi I don't know where it came from, probably out of my therapy but it may have been somewhere in 'Trapped in the Mirror' which I read a few years ago. Recognising that central lie was my lightbulb moment. Therapy allowed me to realise that the way I was treated was wrong, and it wasn't my fault, I didn't deserve it, no child does. It took a long time to process that but from there I was able to treat it as a lie, and that my 'truth' is different.
As children, we need to know our mothers are there to protect us. When they use that trust to get what they want - "I'll leave/die (it's all the same to a small child) unless you make me happy" it gets hard-wired. We invest a lot in trying to please her, so that she will stay, and maybe even love us. On some level we know it's wrong, but it's so ingrained that we can find sophisticated ways around it. Hence "but she's my mother", "It's easier just to give in" "But she's old", "But they took me to stately homes"(sorry, couldn't resist).

Siblings collude unless they've done the work in therapy too - why would they not, they're still living on the basis that unless they toe the line, catastrophe occurs. Bedtime this sounds like your siblings - does it help to know that you're just further along in your recovery than they are? That you can see the truth but they're too scared to, and so they're still desperately trying to get your mother's approval by being her stormtroopers?

I still find I'm expecting someone to judge me, and I transfer that onto lots of people who are probably just as confused about life as I am. It still holds me back. And some days I still believe I am what my sisters used to accuse me of: lazy, shallow, selfish, vain, pointless. But actually I'm just a human: fallible, trying to do my best, not always succeeding. Just living, really.

Blimey, sorry, don't know where that lot came from. I'll go and lie down!

My problems have been going on for many years, sought counselling about 5 years ago. My mother is cold, distant, mocking, unable to show affection, blah blah blah.

My counsellor suggested more communication which I have worked on as she always makes vague plans and then either cancels or just doesnt show.

Last year she said she was spending Boxing Day with us and then upped and left. This year I confirmed (big communication) that she was def with us on Boxing Day. Boxing Day morning I said I was cooking salmon for lunch. Her reply "I wont be here, I am meeting people in the pub for lunch". I didnt mask my disappointment like I normally would as I am fed up with her. She had her stuff by the front door at 10am so I suggested she leave as she was all ready to go. More or less shoved her out the door.

I have spoken to her once briefly since then, we have exchanged Christmas thank you letters but I am fed up with her toxicity.

She has quite a complex personality, she doesnt seem to like anyone, is constantly bitchy about anyone and everyone. She isnt interested in our company. She seems to look down at everyone. She has never told me she loves me (I am 45 and I am still waiting).

Whether or not she gets pleasure from her treatment of me I have no idea.

So now the guilt has set in as it is about time I rang her but I really dont want to (she is 81 and fit and healthy).

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 10:34:21

thank you Fresh its really striking how reading other posts trigger more memories; this one just now was when I was told to get out (at 17) but because I did my mother took to her bed for days on end taking drugs and being the receiver of everyone's concern and sympathies because I had been so cruel and awful to her (this is where I might possibly have got the idea she'd have a NB if I went NC), I was still trying to call her and it make me ill staying away feeling that it was all my fault. I lost everything then. Was there a specific therapy you would recommend for this? (as I think its difficult to find recognition of this syndrome).

There may be something in there for you bedtime - the everyone rallying around her whilst she drips evil into their [siblings/family] ears about me and how awful I am. It is the way for all in this situation it seems, sadly. Yes I reckon you (and I) probably have got depressed or developed some unheathly strategies along the way, but you are the one (and I) worrying about our own part in this and trying to seek change, understand and move on - as I understand it, they don't! take care.


NewPatchesForOld Mon 14-Jan-13 10:56:23

Fi...and your post has brought back another memory for me too! My dad used to go and visit his family periodically, but mum never spoke to any of them (shock) and hated him going. One time he asked me to go with him bribed me as my grandmother was in a nursing home and he didn't like going alone. As he was letting me drive (it was quite a long way) I agreed. Mother went mad, wouldn't speak to either of us, and when we got back she was paraletic (she doesn't drink) passing out and incontinent!!! All because she didn't want us visiting his own mother (my grandmother who incidentally was in her 90s and had Alzheimer's!) All attention back on her as Dad had to carry her upstairs, clean her up, and put her to bed. I remember even then, as I was about 19, how pathetic that was, and how controlling and to be honest it disgusted me and still does.

I had therapy a few years ago as training for my own job (I'm a hypnotherapist) and during the course of that therapy I kept recalling being a little girl and being afraid of the bathroom my mind I could see it but couldn't open it. Eventually my mind allowed me to go through and I recalled seeing her laying in the bath with the water all red - she had cut her wrists and it was left to her little daughter to find her. I questioned this memory until I covertly looked at her wrists and noticed a scar on each!

Jeez...(starts rocking backwards and forwards)...

buildingmycorestrength Mon 14-Jan-13 11:18:23

Sounds like those are trauma memories, some of the things people have been posting.

I had PTSD and learned to recognise when I was reliving a trauma. The memories are quite different than normal memories, very vivid and multifaceted.

There are specific methods for dealing with those that are more useful than just talking it out. Saved my life.

Midwife99 Mon 14-Jan-13 12:18:05

Fuck! Patches! That poor little girl that you were! angry

fresh Mon 14-Jan-13 12:21:49

PrincessFi I don't have a specific recommendation. I just sat in a chair and talked for 50 minutes each week for the best part of 4 years, until we worked it out. I don't think my therapist ever even gave my mum a label, she just worked on the basis that I had been badly treated and helped me start my recovery. It wasn't CBT and there was no hypnosis, it was just a long (but life-saving) process!

dontfeedthetroll Mon 14-Jan-13 12:44:00

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

CaptChaos Mon 14-Jan-13 13:16:42

Have been reading the thread and older ones and sniffling about how similar so much of this is to my childhood. Not ready to post yet, but wanted to thank you all for showing me that I'm not alone, also for letting my DH see that I'm not.

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 14:48:12

DftT I'm not sure I understand atall what you are saying here, if I can be so brave? What is it that you call 'hit and run'?

... and I claimed 'some expertise' to someone who was being quite helpful, can you expand?

I am thinking you might be saying that what i'm experiencing are delusions, and I am disordered and I have to look at my own behaviours rather than the traumas I suffered in the past? Have I read that right?


fresh Mon 14-Jan-13 14:57:02

Dontfeed I think that's a very ill-advised post. Telling another poster that they are deluded and have unacceptable habits is out of line when you don't know them or their situation. You can't extrapolate from what people post here, there isn't the space for every person to give every single detail of their lives and so you can't know their situation fully. This is a safe, supportive place and needs to stay that way.

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 14:57:59

... and why the Pri k ness?

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 15:01:11

I am also concerned that a qualified psychoanalyst would think it professional to suggest such a diagnosis in this way. A better way might have been to enquire whether I actually 'ran' away after discovering what each different therapy had to offer, as that would seem fairly key, if I am understanding your assertions correctly here.

OnwardBound Mon 14-Jan-13 16:03:28

I am imagining 'newly' qualified myself...?

I would hope an experienced psychotherapist wouldn't attempt to diagnose and treat an individual on the basis of a post on an anonymous forum.

And then attempt to deliver this 'support' in such a direct and open way, being as it is readily accessible to anyone reading this thread.

And lastly, but very importantly, particularly when they have not entered into a therapeutic contract with the person in which they are engaging, ie the person is not their client, they are not in a confidential safe environment and the support was not asked for.

DFTT I would suggest you discuss this with your supervisor and perhaps ask for your post to be deleted.

dontfeedthetroll Mon 14-Jan-13 16:11:47

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

OnwardBound Mon 14-Jan-13 16:47:28

TBF DFTT it was a little difficult to get what you have just said from your original post...

But perhaps it is safer for us to talk about our own experience here? It is very difficult for any of us to comment on each other's experience/emotional state/psychological coping style with any certainty within the context of this forum. And so many of us have had our experiences translated for us within our toxic family in a not entirely helpful, or completely unhelpful way.

So you have noted that traits can be learned from within your disordered family?

I would agree with this in my experience. I know that, prior to therapy, I was often controlling, short-tempered, oversensitive and somewhat narcissistic in my relationships.

I did think this was 'just how I was' [after all I had heard enough in my FOO how much trouble I caused and how difficult I was].

However what I discovered in therapy was just how much of this was learnt behaviour from FOO, also a defence mechanism against feeling like rubbish.

I believe I am a different person now, fundamentally. But it was a slow and long process of therapy over many years with a gentle and kind therapist that ultimately did the trick. She effectively 're-parented' me [as she put it].

It is not a process which can be replicated on a forum such as this imo.

NewPatchesForOld Mon 14-Jan-13 17:20:12

Don'tfeedthetroll may I make an observation? One line from your last post stood out...

I have been working up to sharing something very difficult I am going through and was hoping for honesty if I did but don’t feel safe now as I feel it will be misjudged. Can this thread have changed so much

This is exactly the kind of line my (and many others toxic parents) would say - is that what you meant by picking up certain traits from a disordered parent? It's a genuine observation; it just jumped out at me from the whole post.

Salbertina Mon 14-Jan-13 17:45:07

Onward bound, hear hear!

We all have a duty imvho to examine our own adult behaviour, with appropriate support, so as to avoid/reduce likelihood of inflicting similar narcissistic behaviours from our birth families onto our own dc/dp.
However, this forum thread is not the place for others to challenge, however well-qualified, thats for face-to-face therapy,, again with support.

Very occasionally i have wondered about "the other side of the story" as i challenge my own self also SO much. However, it is not my place to comment like that. Who am i, a (supportive) stranger to presume to know about the RL situation faced by a poster???

Many of us need to let it all out sometimes- the vitriol, the anger, the sadness, the loss... and thats not going to be pretty...

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 17:49:25

I know there are some very vulnerable here, and in some ways I would include myself in that. To suggest this DFtT, or state in the way you have, to someone who is not sure of what was done to them, or to think it might be all 'a delusion' or series of, would be a tragedy (I think thats what you are suggesting, but you haven't confirmed). It did take me years and years of working this stuff out to realise what had happened to me was completely abnormal, and some that post here are still trying to establish this point for themselves, so what a dangerous thing to say, when the poster is in no position whatsoever to provide support after posting such an unprofessional opinion. This surely crosses fundamental rules around practicing as a psychotherapist.

dontfeedthetroll Mon 14-Jan-13 17:54:02

New That is an excellent observation and yes, exactly the sort of thing I was talking about except my FOO don't say things like that so there is no echo there for me but that you picked it out from my post since it was something you experienced is exactly the sort of thing I was talking about but not so eloquently or with your brevity.
It has been close to the surface of my mind when I'm on this thread and each time I think 'do I write it now' and can't bring myself to and I feel in this case it was simply reflecting the disappointment I felt at being attacked by so many, assumptions and accusations. Those things rather felt more like my FOO. I accept my attempt at trying to soften what I was saying totally missed the mark and perhaps it would have benefited from straight talk rather than pussyfooting but I don't feel I was given the benefit of the doubt or any clarity gained from me before what seemed like a little group jumped on it.
That was what led to the sense of unsafeness and reconsideration to share. I'm sure no one here has to go too far to recall how cornered it felt when more than one person was accusing and belittling to remember how jumbled our thoughts become when we're triggered.
Excellent observation though.

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 18:02:21

I feel that its important to share how I've noticed that you lay the fault here, not with your posting, but clearly that wasn't received , which would be making it our [collective] responsibility then for having misinterpreted your post? You stand by your supposition that it was ok to try to say what you were trying to say?

I would really still appreciate why you refer to me as pri k ness


PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 18:11:12

I would appreciate a respectful response direct on here please to my post, as your postings has been directed at everyone else's response so far (whilst mine remain unanswered ignored so far you have taken up others points and commended then for their insights and valuable observations, but I have asked you direct questions as a result of your posting, and yet you do not respond?!?!


PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 18:22:34

you are very understanding how about we have all ' misinterpreted ' and then directly head off to say how you are now triggered and needing support, which is fine of itself, but this is actually about me and the posting you made about me, and how any of us would be ill advised to act on it?!?! Fi

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 18:24:08

I hope you are able to see that your last posting was all about you, instead and you are feeling?

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 18:24:55

ooops! that should have said 'all about you instead, and how you are feeling?

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 20:01:16

You asked for questions, I asked you and had no reply. In that posting you called me something pretty awful, I queried, no answer.

I don't belong to a 'little group' as you put it, and I cannot control the thoughts and feelings of others on here.

Your OP also made reference to something else too. A post that you had remembered and didn't seem to be happy about? Mixed with what followed it, plus the name you used for me, all add up to me needing to hear your explanation please.

I've not had any apology only silence and the suggestion that maybe I might prevent you bringing your vulnerabilities to the thread. I really struggle to believe that anyone here was intending to do that when they responded to yours in the ways that they did, and I certainly wasn't; I was only checking with you what you'd said and looking for clarification after the, what I can only describe now, as 'odd collection of words' were set out in that posting.


Can we take this discussion off thread now?

I know I'm new to stately homes but I wouldn't want new people to be put off joining, if they see all the recent posts. It needs to be a safe place for vulnerable people to share.

buildingmycorestrength how are you?

I don't think anyone responded to your last post. I wasn't in the right frame of mind yesterday to do so myself x

dontfeedthetroll Mon 14-Jan-13 20:22:27

I have asked you direct questions as a result of your posting, and yet you do not respond?!?!

I responded to you here,

Oh dear, not my intention at all. This is rather triggering actually, reminds me of my FOO. There is a lot of assumption here. I reread my post and can understand how it has been misinterpreted. I didn’t have much time and attempted to make an observation as gently as I could but clearly that wasn’t received.
It was intended in the spirit I have received similar observations in the 5 years this thread has been going, for contemplation only. It would be very ill advised indeed to act on anything said on a public forum from strangers.
I’ll attempt to clarify. It seems characteristic of children of the abused to pick up certain traits from their disordered parents. An unskilled therapist will assume it’s the disorder itself but someone with insight will be able to tell the difference. If you have never had to wrestle with a trait learned in the disordered family that is absolutely fantastic and will make recovery infinitely easier but most people who come from disordered families do have some similar traits which can be ironed out. I trust that makes things clearer. If not I would appreciate further questions for you to gain clarity before jumping to conclusions. It’s terribly wounding to be so quickly and harshly judged, takes me right back to childhood.
These threads have always been supportive, but that support sometimes has come from having to face some truths which are not pleasant, after all if all we wanted was confirmation of how wonderful it all was there are other, less honest places to receive that.
I agree that it would not be professional to make a diagnosis from such little information, which is why none was made. I also notice posters not reading my original post and commenting but using respondents comments which contain assumptions as though what they say is fact. I changed careers a couple of years ago and mention it solely to support the observation in case it seemed to come from left field. I am not here in a professional capacity. I have been working up to sharing something very difficult I am going through and was hoping for honesty if I did but don’t feel safe now as I feel it will be misjudged. Can this thread have changed so much.

Since more than just you addressed me my response had to be inclusive.

I would really still appreciate why you refer to me as pri k ness

English is not my first language but as I understand it this truncation is a diminutive, since I very much understood what I was trying to convey was exceptionally sensitive I thought using the diminutive would soften it (and we all know how that turned out……..) and you would understand that I was coming from a place of identity, I have had to wrestle those demons too. I sense this is not welcome and also, clearly it was way off the mark. In hindsight it might even have conveyed better had I not mentioned my former profession but that too was meant to soften it, I thought it would sound a little better if I could back it up not just randomly say it.

Your subsequent posts were rhetorical, I found they either cherry picked from my post or were attacks. I’m not making a judgement on that just saying there was no response to be made.

I might prevent you bringing your vulnerabilities to the thread. Good heavens no, absolutely not You are not responsible for my feelings. No, no, no, that is not what I said. Don’t think that for a moment. But it is true I am feeling attacked from many quarters, had the conversation been between you and I it would have felt different, more equal and no, you are not responsible for other posters but the whole pack thing is very unsettling when it’s oneself on the end of it. In truth I feel very rattled by it but I’m just trying to sort everything out and don’t want to disappear without resolution. I’m sure you can understand how unsafe that does feel and why I won’t be sharing but I never laid blame anywhere.

I just came back to see if there were any more original observations or questions as I did not want to leave the thread upset. That certainly wasn’t my intention and I will never post again when I cannot read my posts back before sending.

Salbertina Mon 14-Jan-13 20:26:21

Ok,i think we need to start a new stately thread now...

Yes, the thread is getting de-railed sad This isn't the spirit of stately homes.

Please can you both resolve this off thread by pm? Or both walk away until you cool off? sad

Midwife99 Mon 14-Jan-13 21:16:44

Yes let's start a new thread. Posters on here have enough to cope with without having to read this!!!!

I read the first post in this thread and sat with my mouth agape. Every one of those retorts has come from my mother's mouth. Even now, 3500miles away she is making my life a misery.

Why can't I have the strength to just cut her off?

fresh Mon 14-Jan-13 21:31:45

But many come here as it is the Stately Homes thread. Can I support this particular issue being resolved off thread. DTFF, I apologise if I upset you by calling you on your post. Fi, I wanted to show you support.

We are all feeling vulnerable having been attacked in various ways by our families. Let's remember that we do all support each other and hear each other. I find the thread incredibly helpful, even if it's painful and prickly at times.

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 21:40:02

for my part I am very sorry and would hate to think I had taken any part in derailing.. please don't on my account. You have not upset me atall fresh I just wanted to query the 3 points made in the posting as I had been called that before and Laughed Out Loud at on another posting made to me under the name prikness by DFtT

Sorry all for my part in responding to this, really sorry, and I am truly upset to have caused any hurts to any fellow Stately Homers Fi

forgetmenots Mon 14-Jan-13 21:45:49

Blottedcopybook - it's a scary, big moment, that penny dropping. Have a look at some of the links in the first post, too.

It's not about you not having strength. You have already put up with so much more than most. It's about rewriting some of the myths you've been told since you were small. There's plenty of help available here whenever you want to share.

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 21:47:13

please don't on my account meaning... remove the thread, or start another.

and to DFtT would hate to think also of you feeling the need to leave the support on here due to being upset over this, if you really felt that you could always NC and share the important stuff that you want to work through on here, as it would seem a shame to not have this valuable resource for yourself? Fi

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 21:48:59

DFtT please do PM if you wanted to

PrincessFionne Mon 14-Jan-13 22:09:57

Blotted I thought it took enormous strength to cut mine off, but also maybe it was more the distressing point it had got to. I don't believe anyone here that has done it has found it anything but a lengthy and difficult separation to make, but nodding with fmnots about 'rewriting the myths' as now realise it was far more about being really aware of what was happening (which the myths cloud so very well), but you sound to be starting that journey of looking at those myths now. I wish you luck for your journey Fi

Midwife99 Mon 14-Jan-13 22:17:32

Blotted - I think - like in abusive relationships with men - you suddenly reach the brick wall, your limit, the THAT'S ENOUGH!! moment. One day, quite unexpectedly you will snap over a relatively small issue & go NC & the adrenaline & anger will carry you forward. My moment was my mother hassling me to go & shampoo their carpets over a 2 week period when I have 4 kids, work as a midwife, was going through a marriage breakdown & when I asked her why she didn't ask my brother (single, no kids, works in an office mon-fri 9-5) she said "oh no, I couldn't ask him - he's SO busy & works SO hard!" SNAP!! No contact since!!

PrincessFionne Tue 15-Jan-13 01:02:15

FWIW 2ndhandRose I believe you have absolutely done the right thing, and need to battle away the guilt by telling it this was not a one-off, but years of her treating you in this thoughtless and unloving way. she has obviously caused you years of strife, and you come to this point, unsurprisingly - try to wash away the guilt, it is not your friend here and has no place here. You acted to protect yourself from the pain of being with her. I gave up waiting for any acts or professing of 'love', as it just couldn't be seen and was certainly never heard (actions speak way way louder than words anyway, and love is an action that people can see and feel and so is hate). I hope you feel stronger from your actions and have resolve to keep protecting yourself.

The PTSD livid memories that you mention corestrength I had meant to ask you what these techniques were that you accessed? Sorry, sad that you have relived these memories.

.. and captchaos keep lurkin, very welcome when you feel ready


orchidee Tue 15-Jan-13 01:30:09

Advice for a new poster on this thread please...

Background-a few years ago I had a lightbulb moment that my mum has narc tendencies, and since having a baby myself, memories/things from my own childhood keep bubbling up to the surface.

It's the typical story, no-one outside the family home would believe me.

I've reached a point where I'm maybe setting limits better with her, and don't wish to go nc. I also don't see any point in having the frank discussion that seems to be suggested in this thread's opening post. If I buy Susan Forward's book, or any other, is that what they suggest? What I want is to sort things out in my head and move forward, it ideally without talking to her about it. Just behaving differently or whatever, but no discussions. Any advice?

fresh Tue 15-Jan-13 09:51:21

Susan Forward's book, and others, don't give hard and fast rules. They do give examples of narc behaviour so you can identify it and put better boundaries in place. The more you recognise, the more you can protect yourself against.

You're right that there's no point in discussing it, but some narcs have well-developed antennae for when they're being managed, and may try to provoke a reaction. Again, the more you recognise...etc.

And even if a book did advise you to go nc, it's still up to you to do what feels right. Lots of help on here. The first book I read is 'Trapped in the Mirror' by Susan Colomb. A bit OTT in places but it clarified lots of things for me.

Welcome, by the way smile

orchidee Tue 15-Jan-13 10:16:32

Thanks fresh, I feel I'd bensuggestions.rom doing something but not sure if thats counselling or a diy approach. I appreciate any sugges

orchidee Tue 15-Jan-13 10:22:33

No idea what happened there... That should be: I feel I'd benefit from doing something but not sure if that's counseling or a diy approach. I appreciate any suggestions.

Unfortunatlyanxious Tue 15-Jan-13 10:48:41

I came to the thread a few days ago but have not been on for a bit, thanks to all for support I received.

I don't want to trigger anything for people but it has become very possibly apparent that the blackouts and faintings I had as a child were caused by extreme anxiety. I awoke in hospital more than once.

I was investigated for epilepsy and it was negative but I was put on meds anyway. It has been helpful to talk about this, via a domestic violence charity. I just wonder if anyone else has heard about this. I hope this question was ok to ask.

fresh Tue 15-Jan-13 12:15:54

Orchidee - I think you have to do what feels comfortable for you. There isn't a formula, and reading and therapy/counselling aren't mutually exclusive. Personally, I felt that short-term CBT type counselling wasn't going to help me as my own issues were deep-seated. The very act of thinking through what you want can be therapeutic in itself as it gets you in touch with your needs rather than your mother's!

If you want some short-term managing strategies for specific things she does, this is probably the place to ask as we've all learnt some great ways of keeping boundaries in place. If you want to understand the dynamic in more depth so you can build resilience, I'd do some reading first and then see if that leads you towards seeking some external help or not.

I'm tentatively poking my head into the thread...

Over the past few months I've become increasingly aware of how messed up my mother is towards me, and it's making me increasingly angry. She is extremely emotionally needy. She infantalises me - patronising me, including in fornt of my own friends and my partner - in order, I believe, to try and make me feel like I am still a child. She is forever trying to convince me that I need her and that I "wouldn't cope" without her, which is not true. She is also queen of martyring herself - at 17 when crying and admitting my depression to her, she said "What have I done to make you so sad?". Everything revolves around her. My sister and I are expected to jump at her call; everything is an obligation, she never asks, and if you can't/don't do what she wants she'll try to guilt trip you into it, no matter what the reason is.

DP and I are getting married in August and I'm trying to start asserting myself to stop her from doing this but it's really tough going. Beacause of this, if I'm talking to someone and I feel patronised I get disproportionately upset and frustrated, even if the person was doing no such thing. My dad was always very dismissive of me, he felt my feelings didn't matter, so I have the same extreme reaction to feeling dismissed and can project that too. I feel like with everyone I meet I'm trying desperately to please them because with my mum, if I don't she makes me feel like I'm a terrible person (when really I just dont have time to paint her toenails for her hmm) and with my dad, I'm trying to please him so that he validates me. Actually I gave up on my dad many years ago, but that's still ingrained into me - I constantly seek validation from others and feel like I'm not good enough without that assertation, because that's how I felt as a child.

I feel like I'm just at the beginning of trying to unpick this whole mess so hopefully being here will help. It's just impacted me so negatively in how I deal with life. I am normally a confident, assertive person with a positive outlook and self-confidence, but tiny things can take me straight back to childhood and mean my reactions to things are skewed.

I've realised that I grew up feeling constantly not good enough and trying desperately to please my parents (mostly failing) - to please my mother by making her feel needed, to please my father and be 'right' for him if could. Now, I still struggle with feeling not good enough and like everyone is just tolerating me, like my dad did.

Hoping someone has some advice for me but mostly I'm just happy to be here and to be working towards untangling myself from this mess smile I'm thinking of having CBT - does anyone know if that migth work for me...?

Hello, by the way! smile

PrincessFionne Tue 15-Jan-13 14:11:03

hello sunshine&freedome what lovely optimistic words! and that you are 'happy to be here'. I know CBT was mentioned ^ thread by fresh - who also talked about various approaches to tackle the different sides of this struggle.

I hope you find lots of info and support here. welcome

fresh Tue 15-Jan-13 14:47:51

Hi sunshineandfreedom. I recognise so well some of what you describe, especially the disproportionate response to others when you feel criticised or patronised. I used to do this because it was easier than directing anger where it should have gone (because (a) that was too scary and (b) it wouldn't have done any good).

It's a mess, isn't it? Personally I think CBT won't do the trick on a permanent basis. I think the situation we're in can throw up some quite big things, starting with grieving properly for not having the childhood we should have had. To start with though, you can try to put some boundaries in place. I found it helpful to think of a person I knew who was very 'sorted' and imagine how they would react if someone treated them as my mum treated me.

Hold on to your confidence and assertion, and revel in it as it means there's part of you that hasn't been stamped on. The child in you needs to catch up, and for that to happen she needs nurturing. Start with small steps and things will become clearer. Is your DP supportive?

foxy6 Tue 15-Jan-13 15:08:07

hi all just found this thread and am hoping to join for some advice. I'm lucky and had a relative normal and good childhood, but unfortunately dh did not, and that's where I'm looking for advice.
a bit of background dh has told me bits about his childhood and basically his parents were abusive emotionally, always putting him down telling him he was worthless. they were physically abusive and neglecting. dh never had much as a child but they always managed to go out drinking and to bingo. I have been told how dutiful dh was waiting for his mum outside bingo to walk her home, but the reality was he was hopeing she might have some thing for him as bingo came before food. he didnt get much any chritmas presents from the age of 12 unrolled after he met me at 19, them he had a shirt. ( it had been brought Hu a friend of dh mum for her son and didn't fit him ). dh tells of being beaten by hisum and dad when young. friends have told how they all chipped together for a cake and party one year for his brithday as he never had anything. he has tryed confronting then about his childhood and gets the denial. what he is saying is lies . he has fallen out with them and didn't talk to them for a year after on Christmas they didn't get the dc's anything as they weren't seeing them Christmas day and didn't feel they needed to and spent all their money going out instead. luckly dc's were little then and didn't notice.
well fast forward to now dh's dad passed away last year from cancer he had been unwell for about a year but it was less than 2 weeks from diagnose to death. on his dads side he mellowed with age went out less and became a better father being supportive and caring. well after he passed away dh mum stayed with us we helped her sort put finances as she didn't have a clue. then her brother passed away not long after so she had a tough year. he brother left het some money and this is where the probles come from. we are struggling I work dh is unemployed ( made redundant and no luck getting a new job ) dh has asked to borrow money yesterday only £10/£20 and she said she couldn't as she doesn't have much money telling us she only gets x when we know different plus all the money in bank from her brother. u can see dh's point of view as he sold his bike to pay for christams presents when she could have helped but watched us struggle. she then phoned last night after argument with dh telling dc's that she won't be seeing them again, so upset dc's go over to see her. she tells them she can't do it anymore she doesn't have money and tells them we owed dh dad 2000 and his uncle 1000hmm not that I see what that has to do with her money, but its not our falt they passed away before we had a chance to pay it all back. I understand its her money and what she chooses to do with it is up to her ,but dh just gets anoyed by her selfishness. I just understand that she is q very selfish woman and if I don't expect anything then when I don't get it I'm not disapointed.
any advice on how to support dh he is saying he doesn't want to see her and her the same, but without dh she won't have anyone but her friends ( who she does seem to think more off mind). and with dh having lost his dad I don't feel he is ready to lose his mum aswell. when angery dh says things he later regrets. the dc's are upset and want me to try sort things between them and I really don't know what to do. if it wasn't for the dc's being upset I would just support dh, but since there grandad died they have become closer with their nan and don't know of the harness dh had in childhood so are upset by this. any advice would be helpful thanks

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 15-Jan-13 15:13:04

orchidee re: your question on whether it is necessary to have a showdown. No, it isn't. In the sense that such a showdown will not change the narc parent in any way. The usefulness of having such a confrontation, IMO, is as an act in which the adult child asserts independence and voices his or her feelings. In other words, if it is beneficial for you, do it, but if you feel you can achieve emotional detachment without a confrontation, more power to you!


The first question I would ask here is how old are your DC?.

Your DH has every right to cut contact with his mother if he wants to; she has and continues to utterly fail him as a parent. If she has treated him so abysmally she does not deserve to have him in her life at all.


You may find the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers helpful. That amongst many things talks about low contact and no contact.

You did not make your mother this way, her own birth family unleashed that lot of damage onto her.

To my mind though it is not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist (I have N ILs) because to them the only opinion that matters is their own.

Also what HOTDAMN wrote earlier in its entireity.

foxy6 Tue 15-Jan-13 15:42:05

dc's are 16, 15, 13, 9 and 5. and it is mostly because off them I'm unsure what to do? I supported dh when he broke contact for a year and decided to change his surname and 3 of the dc,s makes then it just the kids reactions I know she is playing the sympathy card with them. trying to make out the dh is in the wrong .

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Tue 15-Jan-13 16:25:54

I'm dil like you Foxy, my dh has narc ils which i have had to cut contact with & dcs too as mil & fil were affecting my dc with their behaviour aswell as insulting them & treating my dh like crap infront of them.

I made the decision to go nc, dh wasn't happy about, but he has realised i won't put up with them around our dc any longer.

Your dh is doing what is right for him, do you really want mil in your lifes again? Really?
Support him in whatever he feels is best.
In regards to the children i would go with what you feel is best, the eldest one is possibly old enough to decide on whether she wants to see her nanna or not but keep the young ones protected as much as you can as she doesn't sound like a very positive influence to children.

foxy6 Tue 15-Jan-13 21:39:44

well dc,s 1 and 3 have been to see nan this evening who isn't that upset and would like to borrow a saw. obviously doesn't realise she has upset dh again. I suppose as long as older dc's are happy to visit nan and she doesn't say too much to upset them i'll just look after dh.
thanks all xxx

jessjessjess Wed 16-Jan-13 02:42:36

Smiling wryly at those saying there's nothing theoretically stopping people from going NC: I live on the same bus route into town as my parents and don't drive! Not about to move, as we live in a lovely village (they don't live in the same one) and have a great social/support network here - not going to lose that, no way.

Right now I do a sort of limited/minimal contact. It could be better/worse.

Sunshine I'm the same except my mum is the one who dismisses my feelings (still does it) and I know what you mean about seeking validation and tiny things sending you back to childhood.

orchidee confrontation can do a lot of harm if you don't get the response you want. My best advice is to read some of the recommended books; talk to others in the same boat; and seriously consider therapy because that can help sort things out in your head and learn to behave differently.

MomeRaths I have the same fear about people not liking me, thinking I'm on borrowed time with everyone, etc. I'm sorry you are feeling so rough right now and I'm sorry if the link has made you feel cruddy.

Bedtime1 I'm sorry to hear about what's happened with your sister; it's so unfair. I'm sorry, too, that you feel so low. Just remember it's not your decision whether he should be in a relationship with you, that's up to him. Please try to recognise the way you feel about your relationship as a resulting effect of what you have suffered and not an objective truth.

You're not pathetic, FYI.

PrincessFi that's so interesting about the idea of the central lie. My therapist said you don't realise it's all wrong at the time because it's like taking the evolutionary step of moving onto land and only then looking back and comparing the land with the water.

SecondhandRose sorry to hear about what you're going through. Do you think your counsellor's approach is the right one?

Patches that's an awful memory to have, I'm so sorry.

OnwardBound I like the concept of therapists 're-parenting' and kind of hope that might be something I can get from mine (have only just started in Dec).

The link helped to provide validation iyswim? To see a lot of my issues are a result of my upbringing.

Going no contact can be hard. There was a lot of fear, obligation and guilt. Luckily I never run the risk of bumping into Dad. Thank God, it would terrify me. He's such an angry man. My life is easier now I no longer see him.

PrincessFionne Wed 16-Jan-13 08:51:37

onward I wondered if you minded sharing whether this was a specific type of therapy that you had - but onl an ask if you would mind sharing that, as I wouldnon't expect you to necessarily be happy to, which I'd understand of couse. Its sounded brilliant and I didnt know such a thing existed. Fi

3ismylot Wed 16-Jan-13 09:41:32

Hi all so sorry to see more people in need of this thread sad
Also reading posts makes you realise just how much we all went through as kids and its heartbreaking sad

Well its been 8 days since I last emailed my parents and told them about my Brother abusing me and I have recieved nothing, no emails, no phonecalls and no visits so I guess that shows how much they care! I expect I am either being called a liar or they are ignoring it and brushing it under the carpet!

One thing is for sure though and that is that I am definately going NC with them and my Brother and even these last few weeks without them has felt better, I realised just how on edge I used to be waiting for her to turn up (most days without warning!)
I am seeing the doctor tomorrow and going to ask for a referral to some counselling as I just cant afford to go private at the moment but know I need someone to help me work through things.

fresh Wed 16-Jan-13 11:23:41

Fi I don't think that the therapy onward mentioned has a name. She says herself it was a long slow process with a kind therapist, and it was the same for me. A good therapist will provide their client with a safe place, where they're heard, where they are treated as a person with the right to live their life as they choose, and where they're helped to understand how early influences affect them now and how to change them if they're not helpful. Sorry, that was a very inelegant sentence but it can't be expressed in a word or a phrase. For some of us there is no substitute for the long, slow, sometimes painful but ultimately life saving process of therapy.

fresh Wed 16-Jan-13 11:29:47

And it took years to admit that, by the way, during which time I tried very hard to find something external to mend myself with. Without wishing to sound like a Hallmark card, in the end the cure came from within me - it just needed someone else's help to find it.

Dear me, I sound like a soap opera. I'll get my coat.

PrincessFionne Wed 16-Jan-13 13:27:21

yes jess that does explain the sense of normality a kid gets from growing up with it without anything to actually measure it against (water - land), but the central lie was something new to me, but like most things I knew it to be true deep down, as the central lie was the thing that froze me to inaction, the thing that stopped me going NC - it was the threat of the damage 'I would do to them [her] which would be my fault and everyone would blame me for, the guilt hinge (like saying if you do that I will commit suicide like the awful instance of the poster recently). Mine was that NC would result in NB, but it actually did (from what I heard at a distance filtered out to me), but I knew I had to be strong enough to not take the responsibility for that that she would have tried to give me to me directly or to any that would listen! Fi

CaptChaos Wed 16-Jan-13 15:10:29

I have read some of the posts on this thread, and had several epiphanies. Although what happened to me wasn't as extreme as has happened to some of you, so please forgive me for being self-indulgent.

I have known for a long time that my mother wasn't like other people's. Normal mothers don't have golden children that they spoil, while leaving the other one high and dry. My DB is the golden child, the running joke is that he hates the summertime as he has to get up so early because the sun shines out of his ass, except it isn't funny. I would come home with cups and certificates which were left on the side, DB would come home with a good mark on a piece of work and it was shown to everyone as an example of just how wonderful and clever and perfect he was. I gave up on school aged about 13, not only did would it have made no difference if I had been made president of the universe, but I was being viciously bullied at school, so stopped trying. Being bullied was apparently my fault as well, because I am a miserable little bitch. (according to mother)

My DF had the temerity to leave when I was 6yo. It was my fault he left (ATM), if I hadn't been such a difficult child, he would have stayed. She stopped any form of contact, letters and cards were returned unopened, because she had done such a good hatchet job with my DB, that DF sending letters, cards or trying to see him at school would have made her a liar, and the only liar was me.(ATM)

I spent years believing that this was all I was worth. My DGP's were my oasis, they seemed to value me.

Fast forward a few years, 2 seriously abusive relationships later, with 2DS, my GP's died. Shortly after my DGM died I had a complete breakdown and attempted suicide, mother refused to have both boys, would only have the older (older DS is the golden child, ds2 is this generation's scapegoat), so in order for me to get treatment, both had to go into foster care. I was lucky, I got offered DBT, which seems to have helped a lot of my disordered thinking about myself, and to have changed some of the scripts she wrote for me. I still have terrible physical symptoms whenever I have to see her though, my SiL was cast in her mold as well.

Even now, reading this thread and it's predecessors, I have got new insights. She is all over my DV ExP, buys him stuff, has him to the house etc, this sounds like it's normal for people like her. I just wish I could get past the whole self-blame thing, most days I can, but not when she has been in touch. My DF died in September, and she made it about her, even now I am not allowed to grieve, unless she can be there to watch. I feel like the last person in my family who cared about me has gone. DH is as supportive as he can be, but his childhood was very normal, and he doesn't really get it despite how she slags me off to him, telling him not to believe a word I say, because I lie all the time (ATM). Sometimes I wonder if I actually do lie all the time, and my childhood memories are all false, does that ring bells for anyone? Sorry this was so long and sad. I'm usually quite a happy person really smile

Hi Captain,

I have taken something from the beginning of this thread if you have not already read it:-

"One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/angry/hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/lifetime experiences of being hurt/angry etc by our parents? behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn?t have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/or current parental contact has left you feeling damaged falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth".

To my mind (and I write as someone who has narc ILs. The narc BIL cut us off thankfully when we did not do his bidding) what happened to you was as extreme as has happened to others on here; never ever try and downplay your own experiences.

Your mother (and she is not worthy of being called such a thing) is a narcissist to my mind; such damaged women often have a scapegoat and golden child and they take great pride in doing so.

It is not possible to my mind to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist as they are too damaged and make everything all about them. It is not your fault she is like this but what you can certainly do is further protect you and by turn your children (who she is using as narc supply primarily) from her malign influences.

You may want to read the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers as well as I think that could well help you.

You may find the above link also helpful.

The decision to go NC was made by the narc BIL as we did not do his bidding but its got him out of our lives and considering the way he is now, that is a good thing.

OnwardBound Wed 16-Jan-13 15:35:58

Princess Fi the type of therapy I had was called psychodynamic therapy.

It's central aim is helping you to understand your past and how it relates to your present and future.

So there is quite a bit of focus on childhood experiences and your family of origin.

The first therapist I had was not quite right for me. I think she came from a very Freudian place in that she presented me with a 'blank screen' and if I asked her a question she would turn it back to me "I wonder why you are asking that" for example. Which is perfectly legitimate and professional question to ask but I just wasn't ready for this non-engagement. I found it confusing and disturbing. I felt a bit left to flounder really.

However my second therapist was Jungian [not that the theory really matters but I had done a bit of reading on Jung and was very interested in myths and fairystories and the collective unconscious so was drawn to her]. This therapist was warm and gentle but most importantly gave me the sense that she was really interested in me, held me in mind and cared about how I felt. I didn't really have this experience in my FOO with two narcissistically wounded parents so her approach was like water to someone who has been dehydrated for a long long time.

Ultimately I think the most important thing is the relationship you build up with your therapist in the therapy and this gives you a place of safety in which to explore your emotions and issues.

It absolutely was a lifesaver for me.

forgetmenots Wed 16-Jan-13 15:53:50

Completely agree with Attila, I have narc ILs too - and I often feel guilty for having a functional family, and that as an in law my experience is obviously much less than those here dealing with parents. But it strikes me that this is a safe place to share and no one can judge how bad things are or cast doubt. You think you're being self indulgent because you have been trained to think that expressing your own feelings is self-indulgent. It isn't.

What do you feel you would like to do next, Captain?

CaptChaos Wed 16-Jan-13 16:14:20

Thank you for the link Attila I have skimmed through some of it, but the invalidation page was scarily similar. Do you think they have a script somewhere? 'How to screw up your children'?

Forget you should never feel guilty for having a functional family, if I hadn't met my DH, I might never have seen what one looked like, and therefore might have continued to believe that mine was normal.

I have tried before to go NC with my mother, but she always finds a way back, it's also not appropriate for the next couple of months. My DS1 is getting married soon, and if I go NC I will ruin everything for them. However, after that, I am determined to go NC with my poisonous SiL, I will miss my brother terribly, but he will know where I am if he wants to see me. I am going to need support to go NC with my mother, the guilt will, if past experience counts, be crippling. My Dh and I have talked about it, and he will support my choice, but I think I am going to try and get my GP to refer me to a therapist.

We are planning to emigrate when DS2 has finished school, so NC will be a lot easier then, but I don't think I can cope with this for another 4 years iyswim, so something has to give before that.

HI Captain

In answer to your first question yes I think they do. None of what you have written re your narcissistic mother has surprised me in the least; it reads very similarly to others who also have the misfortune to have narcs as parents.

FOG - fear,obligation and guilt are three legacies that toxic people leave their children now adults. You seem to be very much still in the FOG with regards to your mother.

BTW how does she worm her way back in?. Such people often use guilt trips to get their victim to comply; also they still want narc supply from you. Never forget that the only people who only bother with narcs now are those who have received special training at their damaged hands.

Certainly take the issue re NC at your own pace.

Glad to read that you have a supportive H; he will help you also.

Re seeing the GP about a therapist, you may well have to wait an age to see someone and counselling on the NHS can be limited to only a few sessions. Instead I would suggest you contact BACP and see if there is someone in your area you can see. Also this can be achieved far sooner.

A book I would recommend you read is "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown.

NewPatchesForOld Wed 16-Jan-13 17:27:04

CaptChaos...the golden child...such a common thing among us. My brother is the golden child, so much so that it's sickening. He is married with 3 kids, and my mother hates his wife with a passion. Every time something goes wrong in his family it is always the wife's fault, or the kids' fault...they are 'putting on him', or using's always 'poor newpatches bro, he's so sweet he buys everything she says' or 'poor newpatches bro, he's too nice to say no'...are you kidding me? He's a 48 year old man with a mind of his own ffs.
My df died some years ago, and I used to visit his grave 3 times a week and bring flowers. If my mother went up, and there was a bunch of flowers which I hadn't brought up she would practically jump up and down with joy, squealing 'oh, your brother must have brought them, isn't he wonderful'...never mentioning the fact that I had been 3 times a week, every week.
Now it's even worse - she's ill and for reasons mentioned earlier in the thread I haven't been to see her (80 mile round trip), kids doing exams, youngest is only 8 so can't leave them overnight etc...and brother is sooooo fantastic now, the knight in shining armour, and I am the bad one. I've always been looked down on by her and my brother...the 'poor relation', the single mum, divorcee...I am sick of it.
She openly admits she hates women, and has always said she would rather have had 10 boys than 1 girl. Nice thing to say to your daughter eh?

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 16-Jan-13 18:57:10

So I've just had to explain to DH that a nice person is not someone who only behaves acceptably to you when you're pandering to them and not doing anything that cause them the slightest bit of discomfort, and has screaming meltdowns when pandering ceases or your wishes do not conform with theirs.

It's difficult because I can see he's starting to slip in to ''she's not all that bad and it's only sometimes that she's difficult'' and I don't know how much I should be challenging him on that. It feels like I'm the one keeping the heat up so to speak by not forgetting her past hideous behaviour, or her dishonesty over the house (and the fact she doesn't give a crap about her legal obligations as landlord).

New patches I have 4 brothers. My Mum openly admits she prefers boys, that they are easier as babies and children sad That I was so difficult etc. It's so painful.

My twin brother was the golden child and his behaviour is shocking but he can do no wrong in their eyes. It's horrid.

PrincessFionne Wed 16-Jan-13 19:07:41

Ive never heard of that Onward it sounds like food for the pain in the soul, sooo soothing (ooops.. like you said about water for the dehydrated!), golden, and you helpfully explained FOO to me which I kept seeing and didn't understand. smile Thank you for setting that out here. I think since coming here, and on other threads I have found the validity that I read others searching for and finding, and it is like coming home (a particularly odd comparison to draw I think?!) but to find a place where stuff makes sense. I have discovered from an EA thread so much about the yoyoing of my now finished relationship and the cruel damaging patterns which would send me reeling, and the same here. I recognise this also for you capt and hope that you find validity here in recognising but not making judgements about the pain you felt or the wrongs endured.

.. and I wondered about DBT, but I think I've just realised that might be a typo, thats its maybe CBT; sorry to point it out if it was!

and thank you fresh for the reply, I think it crossed with mine so i only just saw it.

orchidee Wed 16-Jan-13 19:09:32

Hello again. Thanks for your responses.

One more question:
Does anyone else feel like their position as the golden child or scapegoat was just a temporary thing? Or that you were at times one then the other?

<outs self as golden child> hmm
<also outs self as scapegoat> smile

jessjessjess Wed 16-Jan-13 19:26:03

Re therapy: I haven't a clue what approach mine is as it seems to be a mix. Currently I talk; he makes observations, tells me new ways to think about what I've said and asks a few gentle questions.

When he's not reassuring me for the millionth time that it's not nothing, it's okay to be there and/or he's not pissed off with me.

fresh Wed 16-Jan-13 19:48:12

orchidee I was golden child to mum (as long as I played the game). Hence I am scapegoat for my sisters who, now that she's died, are taking the opportunity to express (yet again) their resentment of me.

If only being golden child had been as fabulous as they think, it might just have been worth it.

orchidee Wed 16-Jan-13 20:04:43

fresh I could have written your post, albeit with minor changes (mum still alive, brothers rather than sisters).

I was the youngest by a large margin and suspect I dethroned the eldest sibling when I was born. Mum thought it hilarious that he tried to give me away to a local shopkeeper. My mum clearly didn't like the fact that I grew up. By teenage years, she regularly ignored me for random or imagined slights, often for months at a time. This once coincided with a birthday, which was ignored too. She would have seemed the perfect mum to outsiders though. That's one thing I find very difficult, the fact that others don't or wouldn't believe it.

orchidee Wed 16-Jan-13 20:09:29

It was only recently that I realised I had no emotional parenting, and no parenting at all as a teenager.

Although I wish I'd had my lightbulb moment as a young adult, and I do feel I've fallen far short of my potential in many areas, given that I largely brought myself up I think I've not done too badly.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 16-Jan-13 21:46:56

She would have seemed the perfect mum to outsiders though. That's one thing I find very difficult, the fact that others don't or wouldn't believe it.

I think this is quite common amongst abusive people, they appear charming and likeable to everyone else that it' difficult for others to believe anything bad said about them.

By any chance, did you have to emotionally parent your mum, orchidee?

fresh Wed 16-Jan-13 23:03:10

orchidee you sound pretty sorted to me. Yes, we do have to bring ourselves up. It's not a straight line process, that's for sure.

jessjessjess Wed 16-Jan-13 23:25:02

Something I'm finding weirdly helpful at the moment: as well as therapy I'm seeing an osteopath on a Groupon deal and an NHS stop smoking counsellor.

So I regularly see 3 authority figures who all listen when I say how I am (indeed when I talk full stop). Part of me thinks it's pathetic that I'm thriving on the attention in this way; part of me thinks it's good if it's positive and nurturing.

jessjessjess Wed 16-Jan-13 23:25:38

Just read my post back. It makes me really sad that I am looking to my bloody osteopath to fill an emotional gap.

orchidee Wed 16-Jan-13 23:40:08

Although I wish I'd had my lightbulb moment as a young adult, and I do feel I've fallen far short of my potential in many areas, given that I largely brought myself up I think I've not done too badly.

Hmm reading this back, the tone isn't right but hopefully it's understood. After reading a bit about narc behaviour, I can see how my work, friendships and rationships have been affected.

*poster fresh Wed 16-Jan-13 23:03:10
orchidee you sound pretty sorted to me. Yes, we do have to bring ourselves up. It's not a straight line process, that's for sure.*
Fuck yeah! Oh and thanks smile

jess I think I know what you mean. It sounds like you've found some decent healthcare people with a respectful approach.

FairyFi Wed 16-Jan-13 23:42:50

Fresh I really liked your last post, so get your coat off and come sit down! Its true that is can only be found within its just getting the right guide to lead you there. - thats obviously not now your last post! you've been too busy for me to keep up with

Wanted to thank for public support fresh and I know others found this difficult, but as result couldn't bear to use that nn anymore (wasn't that keen on it) so this is NN she bravely whispered to fellow SHers

...and I';m the same way round as you orchidee re the golden child, it was no fun atall for me either. So we can see how weirdly different things seem from the outside, and inpsiring to hear you acknowlege to yourself of a job well done for bringing yourself up.

I think the most important one is the one that helps you move forward Jess thats something to be very excited about (whether its better bones!, healthier lungs and attitude to physical self, or the emo positive changes) ALL GOOD!


FairyFi Wed 16-Jan-13 23:44:23

ooo - confusing typo - should read ' its true that IT [cure] can only be found withing...'

FairyFi Wed 16-Jan-13 23:47:36

oh!!!! 'within' obviously

orchidee Wed 16-Jan-13 23:48:43

Just to add to my last post:

Friendships- affected by seeing my mum being critical to everyone and gossip behind backs. And thinking that was normal. Having very high expectations and being inflexible about them and being disappointed that expectations were too high, which was like a rejection.

Relationships- the usual, being trained to accept crap etc etc. Not interested in nice guys. Loved the unavailable bastard types. I used to joke that I wasn't interested in anyone who'd want me. But meant it.

Anyone else?

GlitteryShitandDanglyBaubles Thu 17-Jan-13 00:13:02

Hello all Stately Homers (D'oh!) old and new.

I just want to mention, as this is in my thoughts right now, basic neglect by bonkers abusive parents.

My mother had dentures from the age of 18. She used to feed me an awful diet (awful even for the 1980's!) and I never brushed my teeth, I didn't even own a toothbrush. By the age of 6 I was in agony with toothache, and all but 4 of my teeth were rotted away. My mother is a healthcare professional, by the way. hmm Finally she took me to the dentist, as I was complaining all the time about the pain, etc. I had to have all of my teeth removed apart from 4 in my lower jaw. Then I just had to wait for my adult teeth to come in. It was a major operation, I vomitted blood after, reacted badly to the general anaesthetic. I still stick to eating soft non crunchy foods to this day and I'm 35!

My mother hated taking me to the dentist because they 'looked at her like she was a murderer.' And one of the dental team told me that I would understand better what had happened when I had children of my own and looked after their dental hygiene - my mother was angry at this!

So. In my 20's I was a heroin and methadone addict. This means that again when I met my now dh 12 years ago, I had hardy any teeth left! He has paid a fortune for me to have them fixed, I now basically have almost a full mouth full of dental implants. And three of my crowns popped out yesterday, so on the left of my lower jaw I have 2 'bare' implants, so nothing to chew with! I feel like an old crone! I know that my mother would not and doesn't not give a shit, and does not see anything wrong with what she did. Neither did I, for years. But now I get it.

So I would call that a big failure in her duty of care. My dd is 6 and has not fillings so there mum you bitch.

Anyone else have similar?

I also have severe life long phobia of dentists, and have to fork out for special sedation at every appointment. Grrr... <gnashes what few teeth she has left, sob!>

FairyFi Thu 17-Jan-13 00:25:25

I did always mistake lust for good looking guys as being what it was all about (never talked through with anyone or realised thats just a physical reaction and might not relate to the actual person atall! doh!) So when I got that I tried to go for the seeminly charming, funny guy and wasn't that physically attractive - turned out he was passive /agg and got into boomerang, he professed to care but was about as warm and caring of my upsets and real concerns as cuddling a bloody fridge at night. The cold used to seep across the bedsheets- sex made me cry at the end - yep I was clueless.

I actually didn't realise how critical my NSDM was, as she never really talked to me, but I did get fed to me the criticisms about me, through family. Did your mum have any friends orchidee? wold she have very high expectations of you - and that felt like a rejection? you were disappointed about them?

FairyFi Thu 17-Jan-13 00:39:04

your poor mother baubles having to face those awful dentists looking at her like that! - bitch, and v. angry on your behalf at her for causing you so much pain and damage - completely unsurprised tha tyou have a phobia, but so glad you did get it that she did such wrong (and just saw you had called her bitch, well done I reckon!) you have made it so different fo ryours and are justly proud of that. what an inspiration!

yeah, pain of all sorts completely ignored, pain causing vomiting, extreme major mirgraines with projectile vomiting, not to mention the emo stuff. you not alone baubles

GlitteryShitandDanglyBaubles Thu 17-Jan-13 12:47:27

Thanks FairyFi.

I remember in my counselling sessions my therapist encouraging me to imagine saying whatever I wanted to my mother and I squeaked in the tiniest voice 'I don't think you are very nice.' grin But now I can say bitch bitch bitch and dont feel too much of a bad daughter for it.

I recognise what several of you are saying about accepting crap / abusive relationships and marriages as the norm, almost like we 'deserve' them. I have had one very dodgy partner with a similar history to mine, after 5 years of drugs hell I left him as he inched closer and closer to hitting me and pimping me out for drugs money. The twat. hmm

My dh now is lovely though. He has had a very happy loving childhood and he often reminds me how odd mine was by contrast. It's taken him about 8 years to really get it though. I don't think I opened up much about it to him before though - I just couldn't.

How do the rest of you deal with discussing this stuff in rl? Do you? Or don't you? Do you feel that other 'normal' (sorry!) people won't understand?

fresh Thu 17-Jan-13 13:28:36

I tend not to be specific, but I will point out to a friend if they're being subjected to narc behaviour, and I have dumped a 'friend' because they were being classic narc with me (I made sure she knew why though). I'm so sensitive to it now that I ought to have a 'narc police' badge made.

DH gets it. He's furious on my behalf but too polite to take on my family. Although given what went on recently I think if he'd come face to face with any of them he might well have said a few choice things.

But mostly I keep it out of rl. I find that therapeutic, it denies my narc family a voice in a way.

baubles your post re: teeth is so sad. My mother wasn't nearly as bad as yours but teeth/dental hygeine is clearly an issue with abusive mothers. My ma's teeth are v dark/discoloured, she hates them. But as children we were never made to clean our teeth, I clearly remember, aged about 9 or 10, scraping 'gunk' off them with a fingernail! I am now obsessed with dental hygeine, bleach my teeth etc.

As for discussing abuse in RL, I agree with you it's v difficult. My mother & my 1st husband had an affair (this was over 3 decades ago, my mum was still married to my dad at the time - I married v young) & I find it almost impossible to speak about. Partly because I have a fear of not being believed - it's so bloody Eastenders isn't it.

I told my (2nd) DH many years ago but we've never been able to address it since. Two close girlfriends know & they're brilliant about it. I recently had counselling - even my lovely counsellor was shocked.

My mother, btw, has re-invented herself as a matriarch who always did her best for her kids. She's pretty convincing actually. But inside I will never ever forgive her for the betrayal - not only of me but also my dad (even though my dad and I have been estranged for years) & younger sibs. She put her own greedy sexual desires before her responsibilities as a parent. And that's shit isn't it. angry

CaptChaos Thu 17-Jan-13 14:36:15

Fairy The therapy was DBT (Dialectical Behaviour Therapy) I was diagnosed as having BPD (I've since been re-diagnosed as having chronic depression btw). Despite not being BPD, the mindfulness techniques it teaches are really useful in bringing my emotional mind and logical mind together so that I am more able to judge things accurately. Given that I have always been told that I am a liar and a terrible person, being able to assess things mindfully is a revelation! My mother, of course, tells everyone that I am bi-polar, and that that is why I am the terrible person I am.... because I am psychotic hmm

Baubles How awful! I have a real 'thing' about teeth. I had the same tooth brush for about 5 years, by the time I 'lost' it, the bristles were flat and my teeth were orange. Eventually, my DGM took me to a dentist who sorted them out for me, I ended up having braces because my adult teeth weren't in the correct positions. I had to have an operation on my mouth. My mother dropped me off at Guy's hospital foyer and left me there, I was 14 and terrified.
No wonder you're terrified of dentists, the few times you saw them they hurt you!

I have discussed some things with people in Rl, but when their jaws drop and they start looking ill, I stop. It sounds like something from those 'tell all' child abuse books, something that happens to other people, not to friends.... iyswim?

Perfect My mother also had an affair with one of my ex boyfriends (we were together when it started, he dumped me for her, she dumped him soon after, not so much fun when you can't see the pain). She propositioned DH a couple of weeks after we married, he was terrified!

Baubles I find few people understand tbh. It took my ExH seeing it, to believe it sad

God CaptChaos that's awful!

I know exactly what you mean about it sounding like something from a child abuse book!

My mother is obsessed with said books. Funny that. angry

All we can do is make sure the next generation are not treated like this! X

violetsrblue Thu 17-Jan-13 17:02:33

I have had a lot of problems with my teeth over the years - have only got about half my teeth and have got top and bottom dentures. Have a memory of being in pain with toothache day after day in school and knowing that no-one gave a shit.

I'm wondering if anyone could advise me, absolutely no worries if not. I have been going low contact with family for just over a year, which is working well for me. I saw them at Christmas and felt pretty much ok, by using certain techniques to stay ok. But a week ago I got a text from my sil, thus: Dear violets, was good to see you over Christmas. A lot of water has flowed under the old proverbial bridge these last few years but starting to feel like everyone is coming through for better times ahead hopefully, happy new year.

I'm fuming and I haven't replied. I just don't want to go there! I'm tangled up now again in difficult feelings about them and I was getting good at emotional detachment. It's especially weird because it was her (late) h who abused me in childhood (my bro), and my niece (her daughter) who was pretty vile to me about it a few years ago.

My (grown up) son is very close to them all so that complicates it.

Oh Violet that must've been upset and brought back some horrid feelings. I'd try to not respond personally.


jessjessjess Fri 18-Jan-13 03:56:39

Re teeth, I was from a "nice" middle class family and apparently was well provided for.

And I was 28 when a dentist pointed out that I wasn't brushing my teeth correctly. Hadn't been taught or supervised properly as a kid, as an adult nobody guessed I was brushing badly until then.

I have had some teeth out due to recurring issues and currently have a big gap where a molar had to come out.

This week I came across a list of emotional and physical symptoms of trauma.

I have all of them.

Not sure why it took me until now to twig. After my childhood and teen years and seven years with an abusive partner it was probably inevitable.

Violets that text sucks, I would not reply. Any further communication is unlikely to make you feel anything but worse. You don't have to answer to her!

Violets I agree with jess.

Please please just ignore the text. Having her and her daughter in your life can be of no benefit to you at all. Sometimes you just have to be brutal to find any kind of peace. Cut them out - your son is an adult, let him have his own relationship with them.

Does your son know the history? Could you talk to him about your feelings? You must look after your own mental well-being.

I am no expert, I only speak from the experience of cutting my father out of my life about 10 years ago. It worked for me, v liberating as no more tense anticipation and painful analysis of every contact. I knew it was finally over, and that I had taken control not him.

I hope you can find that kind of peace - don't wait as long as I did!

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 18-Jan-13 08:09:00

I agree with not answering the text.
Replying to things like this, just fuels their toxic behaviour and gives them means to control you.

Mil has text dh this week asking for him to go & fix something, we ignored it and have heard no more from hersmile

violetsrblue Fri 18-Jan-13 16:15:04

Thanks to everyone for advising me about the text. My instinct was to just ignore it, and I'm going to carry on doing that. I'll probaby see her at Easter but hopefully not the niece who lives abroad.
They all gather at Christmas and Easter (and other times) and my son and his family join them. I've spent the last few years hopping around on the edge not knowing how much to join in. (He does also come and see me in my space).
It felt better this year because I felt I knew why I was there - I wanted to spend as much time as possible with son and co. and also have felt warmer towards two sisters.
The sil seems to have taken this as meaning that all is well and that is far from the truth. Oh shit, can I not just have the bits I want? Fuck! I'm for now, I'm ignoring. Thanks again for advice. x

FairyFi Fri 18-Jan-13 22:38:47

such a lovely feeling pumpkin ! very encouraging

She's done a hell of a lot of assuming in that text based on very little apart from your quiet presence?!?! Her lookout to delude herself. I think you've done good FWIW. so yep, you managed to get the bits you wanted, just ignore like you are.

FairyFi Fri 18-Jan-13 22:39:40

bugger! I keep forgetting names; the 2nd bit was for you violets

NewPatchesForOld Sun 20-Jan-13 14:27:03

Hi all, and apologies for not name checking.

As you know the ongoing saga with my mother's illness was norovirus, then gastroenteritis, then gall stones...she was in hospital, she wasn't in hospital...and against my better judgement (but in keeping with the lifelong conditioning of guilt) I have text her every day to ask how she is. Her replies have been short and snippy..'getting better' or 'very sick'...I would then ask her 'in what way? Are you eating/drinking ok? Sleeping? Have you seen a dr?' which there would be no reply. My texts have obviously been irritating her. So after another text being ignored I decided to leave it until she contacted me. looks like I'll be waiting a long time as my last text to her was on 16th, and it's now 20th and she hasn't bothered, whereas I was texting her every day. I have no idea if she's well, ill, in hospital...golden boy brother won't let me know...I'm actually feeling really shitty about life at the moment. I am weaning myself off antidepressants slowly (was on them for anxiety due to abusive exH) and that, coupled with the dysfunctional relationships that are laughingly grouped together as 'family', is making me feel really really low.

Violets that text must have really hacked you sil (who I haven't spoken to for years) suddently took it upon herself to start giving me orders about my mother when she needed to come home from hospital, telling me I HAD to go and pick her up (80 mile round trip as opposed to her neing 5 mins away from M) and yet the night before had told me not to bother driving down as there was nothing I could do that my brother and her couldn't do! I was furious at the interference. Have you still manage dto ignore it?

Baubles wrt the teeth being teeth were always looked after but it did trigger another memory of when I was only about 7ish, and was walking along a know the red brick ones with kind of wavy lines on them? I slipped,one leg went one side and one went the other and I ripped my leg open just below the knee on the inside leg. The gash was about 6 inches long and gaping. Do you know I was never taken to the hospital? It was never stitched. She is a hospital phobic (among SO many other things) so rather than gritting her teeth and taking me, or getting someone else to take me, she left it to heal. As a result I have a mahoosive scar on my leg, still about 6 inches long and 2 inches wide. I mean, wtf???

Anyway, hope you are all keeping warm and safe in the snow.


FairyFi Sun 20-Jan-13 15:24:30

oh oh oh oh patches oh oh -(these replace all the swear words I'm actually saying) just, well, I don't know what to say.

I really like the way you say the group of dysfunctional relationships laughingly grouped together as family thats a really healthy view of it. don't let the b'stards grind you down (which is ironically one of my aggressive father's most stock phrases?!?!?) - only once in my life did he ever phone me when I'd managed to make it obvious, in a mirror like way to him, what he'd done to me the last time i saw him, as he called himself one. That was our last conversation. Its tough, but its better [for me] than trying to live with it, realising I would always be the one at fault, etc. Keep going and good luck with the AD's take it easy.

forgetmenots Sun 20-Jan-13 15:29:16

That is a great phrase indeed patches. Writing it down!

NewPatchesForOld Sun 20-Jan-13 17:14:39

Have decided to forego the weaning off anti depressants for now. I felt so ill earlier - I felt like I was about to have a full blown panic attack, had the headache from hell, dizzy and the kids couldn't breathe without me shouting at them. I think perhaps the time isn't quite right for me to come off them.

It's nice to see the thread has slowed down a bit...hopefully because everybody is having an easier time of it?

violetsrblue Mon 21-Jan-13 10:00:56

Thanks fairyfi and patches - yes still ignoring the text, and that seems to be getting easier with time. X

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 21-Jan-13 10:51:00

It' s nice to see that this thread isn't filling up as the last onesmile
I'm assuming that most of you are having a better time of it, well I do hope so.
Sorry to hear you are still getting cheap of your mother patches, I do hope things get better soon or die down least.

So far so good for dh, he' s phoned his mother once, he seemed off with me after but I told him to snap out of it. Just glad it has only been one phone call rather than lots iyswimgrin
We have had texts from her about fixing something and about her electric going off!- both probably ways to get him over there, well he hasn't fallen for it thankfully. I'm sure fil can deal with it like most other able bodied adults.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 21-Jan-13 13:21:32

Here's a question I don't know how to answer, so I'm setting it to you, panel of Stately Homers:

What, if anything, do I (you) want from my (your) dysfunctional parents?

I am in a position where the ball is in my court to ask my parents for what I want from them, and I don't know what that is.

I have been NC with my parents for close to a year. It's great, but I think I would look/feel like less of a freak if I entered a phase of emotionally detached low contact with them. I am strong enough for this emotionally, after a lot of work.

Enabler Dad sent me a Christmas card, which was not as useless as his last attempts at contact. It basically just said: we don't want to lose another daughter, so let bygones be bygones. No acknowledgement of my feelings, or of their poor behaviour, of course. He's basically asking for everything to be shoved under the carpet, and for service to resume as before.

Obviously these are not terms I am interested in, but what terms do I want to bargain for? I'm beyond asking them for respect, or for acknowledgement of my feelings and of their poor parenting, since they are too dysfunctional to face this.

Frankly, I'm happy not having them in my life. The only thing I don't like is the high-drama aspect of being NC from my parents. I understand who they are, and expect nothing from them anymore. Is there a way of ending NC without committing to anything, iyswim? Basically, since they cannot be good parents or people I can have a meaningful relationship with, the only thing I feel like telling them is "Oh fine, send me e-mails and pretend to the world and to yourselves that you have a relationship with your daughter if you feel like it, but I won't be coming over or hosting you for any visits, and I don't feel like fielding any phone calls from you."

Which might as well be NC. It boils down to the fact that I just can't be bothered with them anymore.


forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 13:32:41

HotDAMN, it strikes me that even if you know you're not committing to anything, with many of these people it's all or nothing - if you're in their orbit then you might as well be joined to them, part of them - my worry would be that if you resume contact then all of your energy will go into maintaining your boundary while they chip away at it.

It seems to me that you're most worried about outward perceptions of that relationship, which I completely understand, but honestly it's no one else's business. You are reducing drama, not creating it, by going NC.

A lot of this will no doubt be projection on my part so feel free to disregard anything irrelevant. I've been through a lot of these feelings with DH though and I think they are common for children from toxic families.

"I have been NC with my parents for close to a year. It's great, but I think I would look/feel like less of a freak if I entered a phase of emotionally detached low contact with them".

Why do you think that; you're not a freak at all. If you're happy to remain NC then remain so.

Societal conventions put pressure on people to have relationships with their parents but when they are clearly not up to the job it is more than OK to my mind to cease all contact. Why go back for yet more abuse?. Such people do not change and your Dad's recent attempt re let bygones be bygones to my mind puts the onus back on you. Again there is no apology nor acknowledgement of their wrong actions.

Also your parents seemingly have lost contact with one daughter already; they won't change and will not accept any responsibility for their actions.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jan-13 13:39:09

I still find it hard that my parents never even sent my ds a xmas card and he is totally innocent in all this. I still struggle with not having my say. My mother is telling anyone who will listen about what i said in an email and how awful it was (it wasn't) but she has showed it to no one I have showed several people mine and hers and they are shocked at hers! I understand that low level contact makes you less of a freak but my sister and I know that once my mum cuts someone out thats it so we have no choice. It is still affecting me every day that she is lying and doing the poor me act without giving people the facts

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 21-Jan-13 14:59:31

All good points, forgetmenots and Attila.

I share your view that NC is in fact less drama in this case, and I know I'm not a freak. However, outside perception is important to me (I want to appear mature and not have "red flag" planted on my forehead as I get back on the dating scene, really).

I also want to feel inwardly that I am able to handle my parents in a mature way. As in, able to handle their inadequacies and rise above it. I feel like the past year has been me going through a much-needed phase of detaching from my parents that I should have done as a teenager, if I had been born in a healthy family, and that now I am ready to enter into the mature adult phase of my life in terms of how I relate to my parents.

Also your parents seemingly have lost contact with one daughter already; they won't change and will not accept any responsibility for their actions.

One of my sisters died in childhood; that's what my Dad was referring to. My other surviving sister, btw, while being totally enmeshed with my parents emotionally, has chosen to move across the ocean, and has not come home for Christmas for the past 10 years. She tells them it's because it's tricky and expensive to travel at Christmas time, but really it's because she prefers to spend Christmas with our saner relatives on the other side of the pond. My parents are oblivious about this.

FairyFi Mon 21-Jan-13 15:09:50

I don't know how to answer what you want HotDAMN but I do think that bygones are not actually bygones, they are now and forever sadly.

Bygones are where people lose it, get rude, apologise or not, the parties won't get over it and then time goes by, etc.. so then parties can agree to let bygones be bygones.

I wonder if it is realistic to have a short-form of contact without any high drama? I experience high-drama 2nd hand via other family members that have made attempts to contact us, and they have actually then had a glimpse of the screwyness of it all for themselves. Now I don't have any sense of the high-drama because all the things said to others, relayed to me, just don't have any effect really, and there is a lot of distance.

I have considered the same, many, many times, but now I just don't feel the need to have a superficial link to them that would be meaningless and I can't see a way of having a relationship. I often feel if I could 'manage' the relationship better (as in handle the dynamic), it could work on that level, but once again what for exactly?

I only felt 'freaky' about not having family when I felt it was my fault, but realised that people don't blame you for having violent/abusive parents, and then I didn't feel freaky.

So in answer to your question... I don't want anything from them; I kinda think if I did, it wouldn't matter anyway as it never did. what do you want, apart from not to feel freakish about saying I don't see my parents?

forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 15:41:49

I'm sorry about your sister HotDAMN. If this isn't too intensely personal a question, has that loss often been blamed as the source for the subsequent behaviour? (Similar but not as tragic experience here). Please ignore question if it's too sensitive.

I know what you mean, it is about showing the world normality but also proving to yourself you can rise above it. It makes sense and I don't want to dissuade you from that if you would find it empowering but I really would be worried that it is based on the old notion that somehow this all 'isn't that bad'. People who have endured violence or sexual abuse would not be expected to have the 'maturity' to deal with it. You may feel yourself this is different and no one can judge that, but question it to be sure you aren't just falling into the old preconceptions of what families are supposed to do.

Fairy raises a good question - what for? If it is genuinely for your own self worth and you feel strong enough that you can put up with it, or even go NC again if it doesn't work, you alone can decide. I would be very clear from the get go, though, because what you could be inadvertently teaching them is that you will always be persuaded to stop NC, even after a year. It could make any future attempt twice as difficult.

FWIW I think being NC isn't something many can do as a teenager effectively when you're dealing with growing up - I think it's only in the maturity of adulthood you can make these difficult choices and understand fully the consequences. We are about to have to deal with extended family seeing into our own dysfunctional relationships at the moment and, yes, I worry about being judged or dismissed (as does DH). But none of them have walked that road, and it has been hell.

Good luck HotDAMN whatever you choose to do. thanks

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 21-Jan-13 15:44:27

I just don't feel the need to have a superficial link to them that would be meaningless and I can't see a way of having a relationship. I often feel if I could 'manage' the relationship better (as in handle the dynamic), it could work on that level, but once again what for exactly?

My feelings exactly.

what do you want, apart from not to feel freakish about saying I don't see my parents?

Well, that, and also to be able to be on nodding terms at events like my cousin's wedding this year, and the inevitable weddings and funerals to come.

forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 15:48:15

The events thing is really, really tough. I'll give you that one. That plays on my mind.

Anyone managed to have a not-really-engaging-but-not-causing-a-scene relationship with family that has allowed funerals, weddings etc to pass smoothly? Could be good advice for us all!

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 21-Jan-13 15:49:36

has that loss often been blamed as the source for the subsequent behaviour?

No, not as such. My own interpretation is that my mother dislikes me because I was a toddler when my sister was ill/dying, and she just couldn't cope with toddler behaviour at that difficult time. She still brings up my behaviour at the age of 3 (when my sister died) as "proof" that I am "bad" to this day.

I think she was a troubled person with narcissistic traits well before my sister's death. In terms of her relationship with me, though, my sister's death may have aggravated her tendencies.

forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 16:07:30

Understood, completely. I have no doubt she will always have been troubled and narcissistic (I'm sure I read somewhere that it is highly unlikely it is ever brought on by events) - in our situation a childhood trauma has been used as an excuse for why things are so hard, and any boundary is 'uncaring'. Really didn't mean to pry. I find what you are saying about bringing up childhood behaviour interesting and useful though, thanks.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jan-13 16:11:51

In my case the events thing will have more effect on her tbh as myself and my sister and my dp and ds will always get invited to things rather than her. She goes to nothing not even her dh mums funeral in the summer let him go alone with their son who had never even met them and he is 30!

fresh Mon 21-Jan-13 16:35:55

HotDamn I think choosing not to have abusive people in your life is dealing with them in a mature way.

You want to 'handle their inadequacies and rise above it'. Are you sure that's your voice? I can hear a batsqueak of 'it wasn't that bad so I should be able to move on'. BTW, I get it, I'm not pointing fingers.

And who would see a red flag? You don't have to tell anyone you're dating what your relationship with your parents is. You don't have to explain to anyone. You can say they're dead until you know whether your date gets it enough for you to explain without being judged.

As for events, that's a really tough one. We don't do 'talking about things' and so it was all just carefully stage managed so that nothing needed to be faced. I'm culpable in that. But then, 'talking about it' would have achieved nothing so..back round the circle I go..

NC is great in many ways, but because it's unusual there is always the pressure to go back. Which makes it a lonely place when you feel like a freak. Price we pay for not having the narcs in our lives.

I hope this hasn't come across as too tough. I do get it.

noddyholder Mon 21-Jan-13 16:48:39

I am finding the telling people tough going. It was ok up to xmas as everyone me inc probably thought she would apologise and make things right but she didn't and now people keep asking me about it. Thankfully my sister is with me. And we have had a fair few people from our childhood come out of the closet in support but I am cross with them for not intervening Confused smile

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 21-Jan-13 16:52:00

No, not too tough at all.

And you're right about the batsqueak. I would have a hard time calling their behaviour towards me abusive. As I see it, they are in an abusive marriage of their own that I don't want to witness anymore (since I modeled my relationship choices on theirs and ended up with a husband who made me fear for my life), and they treated me with a combination of neglect, contempt, along with lavish gifts and trips to Stately Homes.

I still don't know what I want to do, and I know that I'm happy with the current NC, so I guess I'll just carry on with it for the time being.

forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 17:28:35

Noddy that must have been really tough sad
I hope you have more interventions to come.

FairyFi Mon 21-Jan-13 18:09:29

I found the 'what about family' questions difficult, but its true enough when I tell people I just don't have any family atall around here. It is true, I don't. They are not my family - we are related - (goes back to the comment about a series of dysfunctional relationships being described as family).

Also, one of the major things about having any contact is having to face/deal with the feelings of being spoken about so badly - just as a result of barely interacting.

going NC somehow felt like I couldn't cope with those bad things being said, but it made no difference actually, and was less (well, out of earshot, as I imagine my name was probably thrown down in the dirt spat on and trampled completely), because I didn't have to hear it, but I could well imagine, but then the people that care would know that its not just you (me), or even you (me) atall. I went from zero family to maybe under 10 in the last 10 yrs, as some take me for me, and not for what she/he say I am.

My baby stopped breathing went blue and was resuscitated and rushed into scbu at hours old, I knew nothing of prognosis - testing for meningitis, scans, lines in, emergency situation. Xray showed pnuemonia; weren't sure for days which way it would go. 'They' marched into hospital and 'he' proceeded to get angry at me o/side the scbu unit about how awful I was to not phone them, and how dare I leave 'her' to get in such a mess worrying about what was happening. We've been trying to phone you; how dare you not call us - meanwhile I just listened, in tears and had no words, was already on the floor emotionally and I couldn't tell them (at only one day later!), whether my baby would live or die! - but they didn't ask!!!! She was resentful of the baby through my pregnancy, vile to me, and excluded me wherever possible, and was then resentful after the baby arrived. This, and more besides, very shortly led to NC.

and my FW of an Ex holds this up as some sort of badge of honour and example of what a 'jolly decent bloke he is' that he supported me in my decision to go NC! and had a jolly good time toasting getting drunk with his mates the birth of his child (whilst still baby prognosis still unknown and in scbu)

So now, I find it impossible to see how the same scenario would ever turn out any different.

NC doesn't make any difference to the freaky things they will tell people about you, but when you are not having contact others will wonder what there is to keep going on about as there are no longer any 'incidents of awful daughter' to tell everyone.

and have had to do funerals since that. Just nodded and carried on, which later was a huge scene (apparently), but not at the funeral thankfully. Maybe there will be weddings, but I have been excluded from any family function so other than funeral which I cannot be excluded from, it hasn't come up.

For me all the effort was a continual attempt to say 'but I'm not horrible, I'm ok! - whilst still half or fully believing that it was ALL my fault' If they were decent people they wouldn't vent their spleens to others, but would try to sensitively approach you to try to come to a place of peace together (don't make me laugh!)

I know that sounds a lot like a lot of ME post, but it was the best way I could think to show some of the ways that have helped me, that might be of use here. so although I am NC I would still nod at events, and not be rude (I don't have the energy for all those dramatics, or indeed feel the need to justify myself to them, or in front of others) but certainly been there.

sorry for the long post!

forgetmenots Mon 21-Jan-13 18:15:32

Fairy that is shocking. I hope your little one is okay.

You have done the right thing but I get the feeling you don't need me to tell you that!

I think my ILs see any contact as validation, any reply as an open invite, which is why I would be so, so cautious about any resuming contact. Your non-family are the poorer for you, this has been really useful, thanks for sharing it (if that's not too un-MN!)

FairyFi Mon 21-Jan-13 18:45:37

ha ha! Fmnots no, you're right, I really did know it was time Little one continued to be in and out of hospital, which I don't think I coped with terribly well, but felt I was gonna crack in two trying to cope with the attacks/withdrawals from her/them, all at the same time aswell... but I did have to be pushed to the limit it seems before cracking the relationship rather than me, but I had the baby to do it for (don't know what else would have made me do it as I was so under the dominion)

When I nodded [at the funeral] it was taken as an invite to jump in with both feet by her, but I [somehow] managed to say ' hello, but I cannot say more', or 'I have to go' now (as I say, huge fallout over that very minimal statement, as in I heard about how much I'd try to upset her at a funeral when she was so upset, blah blah blah - but I always upset her in any situation its my job ) shock

... and thank you for the validation, and the unMN sentiments, appreciated smile

fresh Mon 21-Jan-13 18:49:29

Fi I am shock for you. Sometimes all we can do is keep putting one foot in front of the other and then after a while we notice we've moved further away from the crap. Day at a time stuff (omigod it's the Hallmark card again).

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 21-Jan-13 19:00:53

It's so hard isn't it, but going nc was a positive step for me, although at times i feel compelled to change my mind.
Like today for instance, my dc is upset as she wants to see her cousin at her birthday do, and is quite upset she can't. I can't say yes to her as i know seeing my neices will start up contact with my sil of whom i prefer to keep nc with as she is a go-between with mil & dh and likes to cause trouble at every corner.
I nearly invited one of the older ones, but i daredn't as i don't want to go back there iyswim, it causes too much trouble with dh.
He wants kids to see their cousins, but he so blind to the problems it causes regarding his mental health and general mood.

It's awful when you are forced to cut-off so many people and at times i feel guilt especially to the children i no longer see, but nc is for the best.

FairyFi Mon 21-Jan-13 21:00:30

I didnt have that problem as I was completely excluded from anything where she was, so choice taken away. I know there will be times ahead when there will be clashes (as in both there at same event) or further exclusions. It does make it easier when they are puppeteers for as many family members as 'they' are! (but sad about our lack of involvement - but I suspected this wld be the case).

For you to walk that very tricky path (you and your Hallmark Cards fresh, me and my paths ) is complex and draining Pumpkin as every decision has to be made with implications of fallout in mind! grrr. and harder too when you're doing it for your DH mental health sake - its so awful sad

I think I forgot to say that I always upset him too. I am such a darned nuisance messing up everyone's lives all the time!

YY to ^thread talk of needing to be a good age (beyond teenager years, and I would say well beyond) of maturity emotionally before equipped to go NC. When pushed out at 17 I wasn't ready and couldn't cope with the rejection atall, plus I think it might take longer to grow up emotionally with narcs??

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 00:20:32

I have just been told about this thread and would like to join..
Firstly I have had yet another argument with my parents bt this time is different I have my new baby to add into the mix and I cannot let him have the same sort of life I have had.
I have had years of mental abuse off my parents who drink a lot and everytime I thibk right that's it I get upset about everythung and want my parents in my life even tho I no there no good.
How can I learn to leave the past behind me and move on.

Welcome choc. I am only an occasional poster here but often lurk, there is a huge amount of good advice from others. Many seem to have experience of parents who drink heavily.

A new baby makes everything 'matter' so much more. Your own mental health is vital for a happy baby. You must put YOU first, I wish I'd had the confidence to do that when mine were little.

CBT v useful for dealing with the past in my experience - is this a possibility do you think? Surprisingly short wait for NHS treatment I found. it's not a miracle cure but it can help - you have to learn to realise that your parent's behaviour is NOT your fault.

Good luck with whatever you decide. Keep watching the thread, you are not alone.

Most importantly - enjoy your baby!

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 08:57:06

welcome Choc and welcome to the world choc'lette Having a baby was definitely what pushed me to action (see above). I did loads and loads of yo-yoing (as you describe) before thinking the damage was too bad to keep going. You talk of leaving the past, but you say that this is the present - are you meaning your parents [being the past]?

Reading these posts may help you see a lot that you recognise and can give clarity. Enjoy your baby and you together. Fi

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 10:41:37

Iv spoken to my hv and she thinks I should speak to a councoler.I hardly slept lastnight i just trying to convince myself this will pass.I'm worried to go out because of my parents who make storys up about me.I don't know how to get on with my life.

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 10:50:41

Oh sorry yeah meanin my parents as the past and everything iv gone through buy it always comes flooding back to me n I can't keep on letting them hurt me.Especially now I have a baby.

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 11:09:15

Its too easy to say ignore, but a learning to reject everything they say as their twisted bias, without your best interests at heart. this is what is so difficult to understand, confusing and painful, why would they? thats what happens again and again. I cannot trust mine with any information atall, but it took me endless years of trusting them and having that trust continually abused before I really 'got it' - bit slow on the uptake I reckon ;)

choc I think your hv's advice is good - could she arrange for you to see a counsellor? Even if there are no instant solutions, just to have somebody listening while you verbalise about the past can be very very helpful. You will be believed, I promise, and not judged.

If you're having trouble getting put of the house, have you thought about contacting the charity HomeStart? Your hv can arrange this or you can self-refer. Then you can have an experienced mother coming into your home once a week to give a hand, help you get out, even just chat if that's what you want. Got to be worth a try.

Let us know how you get on - you are NOT alone I promise you! x

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 13:31:18

I rang my hv again today she is goin to arrange for A counciler.My bf said today that I am the same as my parents that I act jus like them that is why his freinds and family dont like me.How can I change this?

That doesn't sound very supportive behaviour from your bf.

Can you ask him to be more specific i.e. give solid examples of what he actually means by you 'acting just like them'? Having been treated badly by your parents I find it hard to believe that you would 'act just like them'.

You are vulnerable at the moment - you need support, help, encouragement, somebody who can back up your choices for your child as being the right ones - not somebody who criticises and belittles your behaviour. He is just reinforcing the negative behaviour & attitudes of your parents by the sound of it - completely unhelpful.

Hope you get to see a counsellor soon.

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 14:10:47

good news that you have arrangements in place to talk to a counsellor, its a really good start - make sure that you feel comfortable with him/her when you meet and that are really getting something from the sessions, ask for a different one if not.

shock at bf when you have new baby and such family difficulties to manage.

lots of support available from lovely people that understand on here. keep posting Choc

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Tue 22-Jan-13 14:28:02

Welcome chocolatesmile
Sorry you are having such a rough time of it, especially with a newbaby.
Your do should be supporting you through this, his behaviour will not be helping you.
Talk to him about the way they make you feel, that should stop his insults.
I get frustrated with my dh in regards to him walked over by pil, but I know it isn't his fault he was born into that family so I support him in any way possible.

Only you can decide on what contact or how much contact to have.
New births are always a source of the toxics worsening behaviour as they like to take a hold when you are at your most vulnerable.
Try to enjoy being a new mum for now, ignore as much as you can.
congratulations thanks

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 14:37:55

Why do I have theses sad feelings ov loss when my parents have brought me nothing but misserie.I know that my relationship with them is not ryt.I only live round the corner from them so I now worry about bumping into them and walking past them

Am so sorry to hear how upset you are. The good thing is that help is on it's way - just read what FairyFi said re: counselling and I agree strongly with that.

Also, toxic people act up around the birth of a new baby as they are momentarily knocked out of the spotlight and they struggle with that.

It is perfectly normal to have feelings of loss, even over painful, negative relationships. It will take time to re-adjust and come to terms with the past and the possibility of a future that doesn't include them. Don't rush, don't let anybody else make the decisions for you. You and your baby are the most important things now - simple as! Good luck, and please keep posting - there is a lot of support for you here. x

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 16:04:20

its good that you recognise your relationship with your parents is not right Choc but as a child you love (?) [look to, bond with, and attach] to your parents, this is a difficult thing to sever.

Sometimes circumstances make it easier (like babies and needing to put them and yourself first suddenly after years of putting parents first). Other times an event will cause the blow out, sometimes a small thing that just pushes you over the edge with them. Sounds like you've really had enough tho sad take care

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 18:05:53

Also, toxic people act up around the birth of a new baby as they are momentarily knocked out of the spotlight and they struggle with that. perfect didn't realise that was standard! makes sense completely tho - unbeleeeeevable!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Tue 22-Jan-13 18:43:54

choc that was a really cruel thing for your boyfriend to say to you. Does he routinely put you down like that?

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 19:02:42

Well he says he has had enuff of me being upset by my parents.Spoke to him before and told him how I really feel and he listened bt he does find it hard that I can't just 'forget about it' I wish I could.He says he will support me more.

IncogKNEEto Tue 22-Jan-13 19:57:41

Hi all,

Sorry, I am more of a lurker than a poster, and haven't replied to anyone else's posts, just can't add anything as insightful or helpful as others above.

I am still struggling with my (lack of) relationship with my mother. I have been NC since the end of October and I feel so much, calmer and relaxed, even happy at times!

I did take the DC over to see her on the 27th Dec, but this was due to guilt over depriving the Dc of a grandmother, I find this especially hard as I (and DC) have been NC with MIL for about 18 months as well.

She has just text me asking if the dc can go over to hers a week on Saturday, and that they can even stay the night if they want to, and that she will come and collect them on the bus, and I don't know what to do hmm

She still phones dd1 (who is 12) on her mobile occasionally and I feel in a really difficult position, and don't know whether to stop contact between them or not?

DD1 already has plans to see her Dad next weekend, so I could just text back, saying we already have plans, but for some reason, unknown to me, feel guilty about this! In an ideal world I and the dc would all be NC, and she would just go away.

Sorry to be so me me me, I was doing so well, hadn't even thought about her for days, but then I get a text, and I feel sick, anxious, worried and annoyed all at once. She has also text DD1 to ask if she's got a bad signal as she tried to phone her and it went to voicemail (this was within about 10 minutes of me not answering her text) I feel got at and that she is using DD, but what if it is me that is wrong?

Midwife99 Tue 22-Jan-13 20:00:04

Spot on notquiteperfect. I've already written in my original post about my father's behaviour around the time of DD4's birth. Coincidence? Not likely!!

IncogKNEEto Tue 22-Jan-13 20:03:39

Perfect I agree, that is spot on, although I find my mother manages to amke almost any 'big' or special occasion all about her, and how badly everyone treats her...

Choco welcome, I'm sorry that you have to be here, but I have found this thread a lifeline and a real source of comfort, validation and helpful advice.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 22-Jan-13 20:20:00

I find my mother manages to amke almost any 'big' or special occasion all about her, and how badly everyone treats her...

That is an excellent description of my own mother, Incogkneeto. Made me chuckle.

forgetmenots Tue 22-Jan-13 20:23:39

I often wonder if my MIL is a secret bigamist because she clearly has a lot of children on this board... smile

In all seriousness it is unreal how close the 'script' is for these people, this thread is such an eye opener. Horrible to see how common this is and perversely good to know you're not alone.

IncogKNEEto Tue 22-Jan-13 20:30:58

Yes Hotdamn, since realising that (when my db got married and the main (only with her) topic of conversation and conflict was the fact that my mother had been asked to move rooms.

We were staying in a beautiful country cottages, db and dsil had booked the whole place for both sides of the family to stay for the whole week, it was amazing and it was almost ruined before it was started because the wedding was a surprise event and all my mother blathered on about was how unfair it was that just because she was on her own it meant that she was pushed around and no-one cared about her feelings...yawn

I try to see the humour in the pettiness, otherwise I'll go insane...

IncogKNEEto Tue 22-Jan-13 20:49:32

Have just sent a text reply 'We already have plans.' Does that sound rude to you? Would rather have not had the text in the first place, have no desire to reply...but feel too rude to totally ignore. Stupid but already over-analysing it sad

Oh no, phone just beeped with an incoming message, wish she'd leave me alone.

'What about the next weekend then the 9th?' Arrggh.

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 21:30:22

Thank u all today.I'm hoping that I can sleep tonight knowing that it is possible to offload on here and not feel like I'm goin crackers and knowing I can talk about things on here :-)

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 21:32:00

if you not happy for it, might be best to say, he can't come for sleepovers. My dbro, although never went NC he still always saw them, with his DC, but he never let them stay over until they were over 10 I think, and then they didn't really want to for more than the occasional night and then it stopped. I guess it depends if you can manage any potential conflict. I know that mine drove a wedge between them and their mother. She was always texting phoning siding with them against their mother and she was right in the middle of the mess when they separated and sadly divorced. A big mess and she was at the centre of the argument between them.
Say you'll think about it, while you think about it Incog no rush to reply now, or atall? - as you are NC with her? Do others maintain contact for the GC?

Worried your bf being a bit tough on you choco - how can have had enuff of you being upset; he should be very concerned that you are upset, do you think? This is your issue and why does it annoy it (sorry, thats how it sounds). take care

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 21:33:15

ha ha FMNots ! Its a bit weird all these similarities! altho it makes absolute sense too

FairyFi Tue 22-Jan-13 21:34:31

thats good to hear Choco you are welcome to keep coming and offloading, and excellent news that you not feeling 'crackers' Really hope you and your baby have good sleep tonight. Sweet dreams smile

chocoholic89 Tue 22-Jan-13 23:19:29

FI I no it is a bit harsh he should be helping me.He says he going to support me more.I am hoping I'm going out tomo even if its only to Asda to get few bits but I'm anxious at just the thought were I live every1 knows my parents so I worry about what stories they have made up.They have done it before it really upsets me that I'm scared to go out but that's the first step off moving on.I just hope I dont bump into them.

Bedtime1 Wed 23-Jan-13 05:56:59

Thanks for all the kind messages.

Life still isn't easy. Had a big fall out with mum and younger sister last week and I'm beginning to think that I've had enough of seeing/ seaming to her . She lies and manipulates every conversation. Anything you say she twists, if she's in the wrong she wont take responsibility and won't even apologise she just manages to turn it all round on to me and then I end up getting the blame and her trying to make me feel guilty. I've had enough of her doing this all the time then she lies to younger sister about what' gone on and then younger sister has a go at me and tells me I'm horrible and joins in with the only word I can think of is bullying me like mum does. Mum is then the victim and I'm told how wonderful she is and the best mum in the world. It makes me angry that my sister treats me like shit when it's not even me. So anyway I've basically had enough.

I don't see a way of solving this situation as I love sister but she's thinks mum is fantastic and doesnt see anything, which makes me think is it my fault or am I going loopy but then I remember everyone who doesn't speak to her etc in the family. It gets to me how my sister never has any understanding of my side. Mums always right. It's never her. I get really annoyed that I've been the loving genuine ones, honest no liar and then my sister doesn't care about my side at all. Or my pain. No its always whose the victim and me and older sister in wrong. I don't think everyone else in family can all be the nasty ones .

FairyFi Wed 23-Jan-13 08:00:48

please try not to worry and enjoy your trip out, even it is 'only to Asda', but it sounds like it doesn't really matter where right now, but its big enough that you are going to any outting right now, so good for you! really good for you! Be ready to just ignore what 'people' say and not hear the rubbish. do your trip, get what you need and congralate yourself for doing it. I'm glad that your b/f has committed to supporting, really good. what a difference a day makes.

Let us know how you get on - even if you do bump into them, make whatever excuses you need to get the baby back or appt, or whatever but stay out of their way and concentrate on you feeling good being out, thats far more important now isn't it? take care.

FairyFi Wed 23-Jan-13 08:05:07

sorry for no namecheck - this ^ for Choc

sorry for tough times for you bedtime that does sound rough sad but I am glad you've had enough of it, you see it for what it is and it sounds pretty ugly! good that you have others in your family that would be understanding and probably validate what you feel then?

IncogKNEEto Wed 23-Jan-13 08:37:54

Good luck with your trip to Asda Choc, you will feel so pleased with yourself when you get home with your stuff, glad that your bf is supporting you, it's always easier when someone's got your back smile

That sounds hard bedtime, you sound like you have put up with a lot to try and keep a relationship with your sister, and it must be hard if she still lives at home. I am still in contact with DB, he still is in contact with our mother, but we just don't discuss her. We did have an initial chat, both explaining our reasons for C/NC and then agreed to respect each others position and not discuss.

Fi I seem to forget that I don't have to reply at all to texts from her, I think I must still be caught up in the fog. You're right of course, if it was anyone else I'd ignore, but have been well trained over the past four decades! I sent a reply saying we were busy then too and almost immediately got another text, which I haven't even read yet, I hate that she can reduce me to this pathetic, scared child at the press of a few buttons sad

IncogKNEEto Wed 23-Jan-13 09:16:59

Have just read the last text, not as bad as I thought it would be, but still made me cross. 'When can I see them then. I know they want to see me.'

I am not answering it.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 23-Jan-13 09:24:56

I agree that's the best response, Incog.

IncogKNEEto Wed 23-Jan-13 10:53:28

Thanks hotdamn, this is hard isn't it? They just seem to know which buttons to press to get to you! I need to remember that I can't change her behaviour, just how I react to it.

Bedtime1 Wed 23-Jan-13 16:10:43


A lot of the time I don't feel validated in my opinions.
It makes me very angry when young sister Starts joining in with my mum. She even talks like mum.
Mum doesn't see her brother much, think last time was 2 years ago, he's only one left on her side. I don't see him, he doesn't want to be involved with us. My cousin got married and we never got an invite and apparntley it was because he was worried him and mum would have an argument at the wedding .

Don't know about any of you but do any of your mums have a problem with your dads/ partners side. She fell out with dads side and Apparantley told him he couldn't see his mum then he wasn't aloud to see his sister . I think he saw them in secret, this didnt happen until we weRe about 11 as I used to see my gran a bit before that. After that I didn't see her much at all.
Mum and dad are divorced now but when she got new partners the same pattern happened. Thy weren't aloud to see parents after a while.

FairyFi Wed 23-Jan-13 19:29:20

I think its the lack of validation bedtime thats so crippling, and so enabling when finding places like this where you get it, finally!

I really enjoyed my ExH family, although DPs separated, all could get on and were just relaxed and respected boundaries and contributed just generally speaking everyone made an effort to the joint experience of all. Last Ex pretty dysfunctional family, lots of back stabbing, ranting on about ptrn of years ago, undermining each other and difficult to avoid being caught in the middle of long standing rows, and quite inappropriate behaviour too. Tis a minefield and too easy for everyone to try to pass the buck frankly to the nearest one prepared to take it!

chocoholic89 Wed 23-Jan-13 20:20:09

Well I went Asda really didn't like it kept on being on edge I didn't take my time just got what I needed then went straight home.I hate the fact that I was scared to go out incase I bump into them bt there still affecting me when there out of my life :-(

FairyFi Wed 23-Jan-13 22:01:01

yay!!!! great news! You didn't like it, but you did it anyway Choc , v. impressed!

They are not out of your life until you have mentally 'put' them out. Which means ignoring them and not caring or worrying about their latest set of stories nasty lies . Ignore it all and be the person you want to get back to being.

chocoholic89 Wed 23-Jan-13 22:20:50

Yeah that is what I have to do..its going to be hard but I have no choice I don't want my baby being brought up around arguments and crap n cant keep on bringing me down I have to be the mum I always wanted.

choc well done! You did it!

Now you need to do it again - could you manage going out for a short trip today? It's like getting into a cold sea - you need to keep going/jumping in to learn that you CAN do it. And you CAN because you proved that to yourself yesterday.

Glad that the bf is being more supportive. Keep reminding yourself that you & your baby are the most important people, nobody else's needs/feelings even come close right now.

Good luck - let us know if you manage to get out today, or even tomorrow if you want to lie low for a bit. smile


In answer to your earlier question I think your mother is using your 12 year old to get back at you. She is being very manipulative here contacting her when she cannot get a hold of you on the phone. 12 year old is too yoiung to realise she is too being manipulated.

Toxic parents like your mother make for being toxic grandparents as well; its still all about her and what she wants. No mention of any apology to you for her behaviours. Supposedly "deprieving" your DD of someone like that anyway in her life will do her a big favour.

(My ILs are shite both as parents to their two now grown up offspring and as grandparents to boot).

And if your mother keeps phoning you, block her number!. NC means that - no contact in any form.

All the above is all too easy for me to say but she has really trained you well to respond to her hence your own feelings of guilt (FOG is a legacy that such toxic people leave their now adult children) and I think you are still caught up in the FOG. Your mother still pushes any boundaries you care to set and you broke a boundary of your own when out of guilt you took the children to see your mother at Christmas time. That was probably in hindsight not one of your better ideas as it gave her a way in.

Do you think your mother feels guilty about how you were treated in your childhood, I would state that she does not.

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 10:32:48

Not feelings too good today I feel a little drained..I kno I have to pass this then things will get better had people knocking at my door at 12 lastnight can only b my parents. :-(

NewPatchesForOld Thu 24-Jan-13 10:49:16

Hi everyone

Well, the illness thing continues. She did text me out of the blue to tell me she was feeling a bit better as she had finally been given some medication so I text her several times yesterday and this morning to check she was still feeling reply. I tried said her mobile was switched off. So I rang her home phone and she answered, said her mobile was broken, in pieces and she was waiting for my not-so-dear brother to come around and fix it...then she cut the conversation short, said she needed to go and she would call me back in a few minutes. That was 2 hours ago and haven't heard from her. Now...I have a problem with this because a) if her phone was broken why didn't she call me from her landline to tell me that, knowing I would be worrying and b) the only way I can see that her mobile would be in pieces is if she threw it in temper, which at the age of 80 something is pathetic and ridiculous and brings about feelings from my childhood (Like when she threw my plant at the wall because I got her birthday wrong).

It's having a profound effect on me this time around, and I don't know why. I feel very down, and low. She hasn't once asked how I am, or the dc are. Why can I just not do this? Not contact her, not care? Not feel guilty?


NewPatchesForOld Thu 24-Jan-13 10:49:51

Choco your parents were knocking on your door at midnight??????

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Thu 24-Jan-13 11:24:35

shockMy lord your parents came midnight?!

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 12:09:31

Yep I didn't go.very respectable ov them isn't it.I was nursing my 14 week old baby in my bedroom.They make me want to screeeem.

WhitePeacock Thu 24-Jan-13 13:02:13

Patches I think your mum is enjoying fucking you about and playing you, like a nasty little child, because you care. How about sending her a text to her landline (so it'll be read in a weird disembodied voice and freak her out grin) saying "You know where I am - I'll leave it to you to call when you want to." ?

Choc my mum behaved like a wretch when my DD was born too and it made me feel so furious and sad that she would do so when I most needed support. I feel so cross for you. You're doing brilliantly. Just wish I could come and be your mum and look after you and take you to Asda!

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 14:10:44

U know I'd hate for when my boy grew up to feel the way I do about my parents its awful. I feel a wreck :-(

FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 15:00:07

You did well to ignore them last night, but IME it does take a lot of getting use to doing that, so try not to be hard on yourself, it did make me feel very bad for a while and 'a wreck'.

You carried on feeding your boy, and are trying to make life better for him by recognising their behaviours - big step to making his life different to yours.

Can't believe they would just turn up on your door at 12 o/c at night, and worse still expect someone to answer! Only an emergency would justify this, but then their 'emergencies' are just on another planet really. Within days of sharing the news with mine that my marriage was over (I was devastated, wreck, trying to know what to do next, you get the picture), she turned up at some ridiculous hour of the night, saying she'd left my F! I had to take her in for the night. Ran around setting everything up for her, being supportive, worried, weirded out by it all, and then she just up and went home again?!?!?! but when I called round (in daylight, at an agreed time) to let them know my marriage was over, she simply said, 'oh well, didn't realise anything was wrong' not discussed again.

I was just as upset by all that as for my marriage,etc, when in fact they should have been loving and tried to support, help me, not turn it into being about them again, like yours are doing. Noone turns up on someones door late at night anyway, but when you have a new baby?!!!!

Stick with it Choc you're doing good; plan some enjoyable stuff for your family (YOU, baby and bf) and have some good times together. Keep going x

FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 15:10:00

love your idea peacock leaving a text message on landline - is there something particular about those words 'i'll leave you to call' - those were my last words after a huge 'discussion' (me having walked miles with new baby to try to resolve latest huff episode, being ignored for some perceived misdoing, and finally said she needed to take responsibility for the relationship too, instead of expecting me to do all the work and take responsibility so she can blame me if its not right for her - all the while she's lying in bed 'ill' but couldn't explain how - I'm stood up trying to feed crying baby, pacing to and fro desperately searching for how to put it right!? She never called. Told me I'd rejected her by having the baby - its very sad, but I realised there's nothing I could do about it and I couldn't be her mother any more as it was tearing me in two learning to be a mother myself aswell to very poorly baby.

FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 15:20:12

I hate that she pressured me to be supporting her when I was desperate for help and asked her for that, she brought friends of hers over to visit and made lunch (which I'd suggested I'd really appreciate and a way of us doing something together whilst I was so floored with everything). She talked to her friends, told me the baby needed changing and questioned the way I was managing that, told me I was better off bottle feeding and why was I so 'determined' and 'stubborn' about bf. She made me sandwiches with ingredients I'd never liked so I couldn't eat them, I was starving, tired and bf and she then walzed out and left me a huge mess to clear up in the kitchen. I just sat down and cried then ate the slices of bread without the fillings for 'my lunch' - pah.

Stay away from them Choc its seems impossible for them to cheer us up, make us feel better about ourselves, support us, or anything positive, basically 'give' sad

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:28:19

Oh when I came home from hospital baby wasn't latching on correctly and my milk wasn't threw.They was telling me to giv my baby a bottle because he was 'starving!' And a bottle never did m any harm! My milk came through and he is has doubled his birth weight.

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 15:31:36

Sorry to hear about your marriage..I know what u mean about support its always was one sided :-(

FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 15:47:45


FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 15:53:43

the smile was for your success on the post before your last. thanks too. I hope you can feel a bit encouraged about what you are doing, and to try not feel guilty?

chocoholic89 Thu 24-Jan-13 16:29:02

Yeah I know that by me having no contact with them makes me less stressed and problems betweem m and my bf will go away.Sometimes I get lonley and that's when I miss them..but I cannot put my mind on what I miss because all I remember growing up is bad memorys.I jus gotta remember this will pass.

NewPatchesForOld Thu 24-Jan-13 17:30:23

FairyFi your story made me think of another occasion - when I was having my miscarriage, and was amidst all the abuse from exH I asked my mum in desperation before to fly over to Germany with me (where I lived at the time) to collect as much of my stuff as I could carry and bring it back to uk with us before exH got back from holiday and stopped me.
Now bear in mind I was miscarrying (haemorrhaging), distraught and ill. We flew to Germany, and when we got to the flat I broke down and cried, feeling so very very sick, and trying to decide what I could rescue of mine and the DC...know what she did? She took off her t shirt, stripped down to her bra, and went and sat on the balcony effing sunbathing!!!! She even took 2 dining chairs outside so she could sit on one and put her feet upon the other! We were flying back the same day, and she left me to do it all myself, hysterically crying and heavily bleeding while she sunbathed??? She actually said to me 'ah, this is looovely'!

Peacock love your idea! I may just do that!

Well, it was 9.30 this morning when I spoke to her and she said she'd call me's now 5.30 and I've heard nothing. I know what her excuse will be 'oh my mobile was broken and I don't have your number'...well she could have taken it off 1471, or asked my brother for it...there really is no excuse. DP just called and knew there was something wrong and asked me what it was but I can't explain it...I just feel so bloody shitty because of it all.

I really need to get a grip.


FairyFi Thu 24-Jan-13 18:03:44

Patches appalling story in the midst of your trying to escape FW ex too sad and miscarry sad sorry to hear.

I'd forgotten til hearing that: I was with mine and I was driving when I started to miscarry, the first few stabs of pain went right through me and I had to pull over, no flicker of concern from her as I sat there gasping (I think she might even have looked at me, or said something, like I was having amdrams). Eventually I just wanted to