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The Great Escape

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

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

ThreeTomatoes Fri 18-Jan-13 08:10:23

Love it - the thread name and your new NN! grin

boschy Fri 18-Jan-13 08:14:32

theme tune is playing in my head now! grin

NettleTea Fri 18-Jan-13 08:22:05

good title and very positive name xxx
have fun at IKEA

Herrena Fri 18-Jan-13 08:31:16

Glad you like it grin excellent new NN by the way!

DoodlesNoodles Fri 18-Jan-13 09:28:37

Great title, great name change. smile

Have fun at ikea

asks the impossible

pictish Fri 18-Jan-13 09:32:25

Great title! I will be following you onto this thread too. It has been an amazing journey! xx

pictish Fri 18-Jan-13 09:32:51

Just saw your new NN. Love it!

lizzypuffs Fri 18-Jan-13 10:06:46

Very positive name change and I love the title!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 18-Jan-13 10:40:59

thanks Like the name change!

Emandlu Fri 18-Jan-13 12:05:23

I've been following your progress on the other thread, I have been quite aghast at your mothers behaviour.

I love the new nickname and wish you the best for your new place!

Aussiebean Fri 18-Jan-13 12:15:15

A great name and a great title. Start as you mean to go forward. All positive.

Hissy Fri 18-Jan-13 14:09:19


Love the NN!

The email is all about the drama. Your DB is well able to diffuse it, if it suits him to wait, then he can wait. All he need do is say, no rush. It'd be daft to sell a house now in Spain, perhaps in a year or so's time, things there may have improved a bit. It could be rented out over the summer to help with upkeep.

Don't get dragged into anything, stay cool, focus on the freedom ahead, not the turmoil you are leaving.

Jux Fri 18-Jan-13 16:15:45

Yeah, splendid NN and splendid thread title grin Lovely to see you being more positive and upbeat.

That IKEA song is running through my head now, it made me laugh and dd actually snorted from across the room at the first chorus! (We have 3 bookcases called Billy blush but we also have 3 from Argos which are a better size, half the price, but not quite so sturdy so nuts to you Ikea!).

Anniegetyourgun Fri 18-Jan-13 16:27:24

I beg to differ. I got cheap bedroom furniture from Argos when I first moved in here and it's quite nasty. Later I eked it out with an IKEA chest of drawers which was massively better quality at very little more expense. Mind you bookcases may be a different kettle of... books.

ThreeTomatoes Fri 18-Jan-13 16:41:09

Yeah I agree that IKEA's units are much better quality, sturdier etc, than Argos. At least of the units i've ever bought.

Jux Fri 18-Jan-13 17:06:45

We've only had them all a few months, so I bow to your superior experience! The Argos ones are not so deep which is better for us. The proof will be when we have to dismantle them and put them up again - the cheap ones will fall apart and the Billies won't. <whispers: they're still a bit too deep though>

GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 19:13:09

Been one of those days...had a meeting in the morning and went to the wrong building and was 15 mins late. Arrived puffing and red in the face from having to run walk really fast to get to the right place. Was supposed to have choir practice after, which is a new thing I'm doing...had the first one while DM did a runner and loved it...but had to miss it because a guy was supposed to be coming to quote for removals. The bastard never turned up or even rang to cancel.

Ended up going with another one who can only do Friday and it looks like it's going to cost more than I'd hoped. Going to try to box up as much as poss this weekend before he comes to do the final estimate o Monday and try to reduce the cost a bit that way. Spent the afternoon marking and writing reports.

DS had a total freaking meltdown tantrum this afternoon so we decided to go to ikea to have a quick look at the bed I need to order for him (DM reneged on the offer of letting me take the stacking beds in DS' room, but is probably better that way). Overtired-not-quite-five-year-old + ikea = fucking nightmare.
Got nothing useful done except eat hotdogs. Going to make a big list and go back tomorrow first thing when it's quieter.

Period on it's way and got backache. At the moment there really aren't enough hours in the day.

ThreeTomatoes Fri 18-Jan-13 19:17:27

Oh dear. Some days are like that aren't they ! It sounds like one of those bad dreams where you don't quite manage to get anything done!

Don't forget moving house is the second most stressful thing one can do in one's life, at the best of times, let alone under your circumstances. Every time I've moved house I've come down with a bad cold and even had to end up taking time off sick. Look after yourself, and just keep repeating that it'll be over soon.

And I sympathise re IKEA, i've had the exact same experience with a little one!!

Gotta laugh though at "Got nothing useful done except eat hotdogs." grin

Have you called the non turning up removal man? Just to check he wasn't "cancelled" on your behalf?

GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 19:47:28

No, she doesn't know who I called. The man was just fucking useless.

tribpot Fri 18-Jan-13 19:53:24

Doubtful the removal man would speak English well enough for newly-named GoodToBetter's mum to have cancelled him, Glaikit. Possible but more likely just flakey.

Hope you manage to get a bit of peace and quiet this weekend.

Dozer Fri 18-Jan-13 19:58:58

Not long to go, all the moving hassle (sympathy) will be well worth it.

Was just thinking out loud, sorry GoodtoBetter, I've been following your thread but not posted before. You have come on so much since you began.

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 06:46:25

OMFG I'm so so tired and so so much to do.

tribpot Sat 19-Jan-13 08:04:43

GoodtoBetter, as you've got the keys to the flat, you could start taking stuff over and dumping it all in one room to sort out after? (Not an easy game if it involves then having too much furniture in another room and having to move everything around like that game of sliding squares where there's only one free space!)

What I did when I moved here, as it was only a mile from my previous house, was I got friends to help me pack up portable stuff - clothes, books, kitchen stuff, DVDs, etc etc and then got the removal firm to just take the furniture.

Here you don't have a deadline to get everything out, as even your mum isn't going to sell off anything you've left after 24 Jan! But I would assume you don't want to have the conversation with her about whether you can leave some bits to pick up over the next few days. Is there anywhere else you could store stuff that you're not going to need immediately?

More importantly, you have to rest - moving house is a marathon, not a sprint.

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 08:43:55

Hi tribpot yy to everything you say. It's more the sorting out really. Have found 3 boxes and friend is going to sort out some more so will start trying to ferry stuff over this weekend. Off to ikea now with 2 small children in tow, one of whom is in a BAD mood. Wish me luck.

Followed your other thread and I'm really excited for you, this new flat sounds as though it's going to be a fresh start and a whole new phase in your lives together!

Anniegetyourgun Sat 19-Jan-13 14:35:44

I can't help feeling your DS will improve greatly once he doesn't have an extra "parent" to play off against the other two.

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 14:57:14

Went to ikea...was a bit stressful with both kids but OK. Got DS' bed and wardrobe coming on Monday and bought him one of these lights for his bedroom and one of these leaf canopies you can see in the picture I think..only 10 euros.
My friend offered me a table and chairs over xmas so hopefully that offer still stands.
Told DS before we went to ikea that we were going to live in a new house next week but that granny was going to stay in her house and he seemed absolutely fine and really excited about it. Took him to the new house before ikea and showed him his bedroom (the biggest room) and he loved the rooftop with the views. Then said we had to go and buy him a new bed for the new house. He seemed quite upset we weren't moving that day! When we came back he burst in and said excitedly to DM "I've got a new house!" and proceeded to tell her all about it. To her credit she was very upbeat about it. He's invited her over on Monday! Ha ha ha!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 19-Jan-13 15:05:26

Out of the mouths of babes... This could all work out so well for her. It is definitely going to make a big improvement to DH and DC's lives. You are so close, bravo, GoodToBetter!!

tribpot Sat 19-Jan-13 15:12:55

<snort> at ds - absolute classic. Well done that boy!

Love the Ikea stuff, particularly the lamp. My ds has one of these as his bedside lamp - an unexpected blessing when we thought we were going to have a powercut a couple of nights ago and ds was very worried about waking up in the dark, til we pointed out ghosty has his own battery.

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 15:36:41

Yes, DH and I were laughing silently in the kitchen! She's still a bit obsessed with things that aren't urgent. Like, she asked us to clean all the aircon filters before we go and wanted me to get her 2 baskets and 2 small trays from ikea, but it was just too mad with a buggy, DC, trolley, bag, flat trolley and anyway, I've said again and again I'll take her over there on a week day morning the week after next and she can leaisurely fill the car boot. It's not like she NEEDS 2 baskets and 2 small trays before Friday.
Waiting for DD to finish her nap and then we have to go and buy a phone handset and a heater or two.
Have ferried over some stuff and thrown out some stuff. Would like to prune organise the DC's plastic tat toys but need them to be in bed or it'll be "nooooo, I love that, noooo, not that one!" etc. Better for it just to "disappear".

Jux Sat 19-Jan-13 17:24:04

Can't she order them online? Anything I've got from Ikea has been delivered through online orders.

Glad ds is excited.

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 18:58:43

Nope, no online ordering have to go, pay and then you can subcontract a transport company to deliver it.
Got the phone handset and a halogen heater and a convection heater. Need to do some more boxing up and so on but having a little rest, will see if I can be arsed later.

Jux Sat 19-Jan-13 19:01:32

No online ordering??????? shock Bummer! Not really sensible to order in England and have it delivered from here, is it? grin

MinnieBar Sat 19-Jan-13 19:22:53

Oooh we have one of those lights for DD2 too Trib! I had completely forgotten it has a battery, duh…

Another glad to see the NC. Onwards and upwards!

Great new thread.

Look after yourself, simple things like take some multi vits and use some handcream for example. You are under a lot of pressure and house moving is so stressful.

Good luck with the move

GoodtoBetter Sat 19-Jan-13 21:32:57

Well, went through the DC's toy box (well, the one in the lounge..there are actually about 3 dotted around the house) and have managed to throw out a good sized bag of plastic tat. Still plenty more shit, but need a break tonight. Will do more sorting tmrw.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 20-Jan-13 00:03:47

Shall need a skip for our junk next time we move, well done for "losing" old toys Going.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 20-Jan-13 00:05:15

Sorry talking while typing, I meant, GoodtoBetter!

justaboutchilledout Sun 20-Jan-13 00:06:26

moving house is hell, I am impressed you are so upbeat!

GoodtoBetter Sun 20-Jan-13 06:49:28

Going to try to get a suitcase together now with summer clothes so that can be dropped off today.
She does a bit of lip wobbling from time to time and seems obsessed with small irrelevant things that aren't cleaning the aircon filters...DH did it yday. She claims it's because she has terrible anxiety but I think it's partly true and partly a guilt trip. Is difficult now cos it's a limbo, will be better once we move cos she'll have to get on with it, which will give her an impetus (or she'll lie in bed feeling sorry for herself)...but then that's up to her. Sorry, that maybe sounds a bit harsh but I'm past caring.
Still haven't worked out the limits, i.e when to say we'll see her and the kids can see her. Need to think about that and specify days straight away. so, if we move Friday maybe say I'll pop over Sunday morning and she can come for Lunch Wednesday or something. Don't want to offer too much as I also want her to force her to stand on her own two feet but don't want her wailing she's been abandoned either and doing a big sulk. I have got the excuse that I've got shitloads to do at work and in the house and changing addresses etc int he mornings and then I'm out all afternoon. Any suggestions? Especially those with experience of toxic parents. I'm on another thread atm which says there can be no boundaries with toxic parents...but NC isn't feasible in this situation.

tribpot Sun 20-Jan-13 08:41:52

She won't lie in bed feeling sorry for herself, this is the woman who buggered off at a moment's notice to somewhere 90 mins drive away. She wants you to think she might fall apart. And btw, I would definitely stop repeating your offer to go to Ikea. Once is enough. You're letting her have power back every time you make it obvious you will run round after her - remember what we said (I think) on the other thread about this only superficially appearing to be a nice thing to do. It's not an effective management strategy.

I think the danger of having too many arrangements in place for when you've gone (as well as being exhausting) is that she'll then have something definite to try and subvert. It doesn't actually matter if she goes around saying she's been abandoned, and she might do that whatever you do - she could be saying it already. Don't think you can win the publicity war with her, she has far more time to devote to that than you do.

Why not say you'll come down on Sunday morning and you'll decide together then what day is best for lunch in the week, with the caveat that you may have to see how things go with house move admin on Monday.

2rebecca Sun 20-Jan-13 12:55:02

I agree with tribpot. The point of this move is that you start arranging your life around what is best for you and your husband and kids, not trying to please your mother all the time. She will moan regardless. If you haven't worked out the limits yet then give yourself time and don't feel pressurised into arranging anything.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 20-Jan-13 16:52:37

You're not moving to the moon, she knows that. Stick with Sunday morning, say that between work and moving and uproar you can't promise a fixed date. Quite reasonable under the circumstances and not a bit of abandonment.

If she offers to take care of DS and DD while you're up to your necks in moving, will you take her up on it or think of alternatives? It could be genuine helpfulness or They only use me when it suits them. Don't get caught out.

If you suggest a date or two what's the betting she'll bounce it right back or use it as reason to complain.

Jux Sun 20-Jan-13 17:17:49

I'd be a bit non-commital until for the first few weeks, as you really have to get your house sorted, your work done, and your settled. I know that's not really too helpful, but really you don't know how things will be, nor how long it will take to get everything sorted.

She'll almost certainly moan about it, anyway, so don't be definite at all. Pop in on Sunday if you reckon you'll be able to. Don't commit to anything else atm.

GoodtoBetter Sun 20-Jan-13 18:57:04

Yes, I think I'll say I'll pop over with the dc on Sunday, maybe go out for a coffee etc. Will have an excuse to leave on Sunday as we always go to PILs for lunch. Think I'll leave it then, she's got my number and will let her get on with things for a little while.
Feeling physically a bit crap today...sore gums and a coldsore/ulcer thing right in the corner of my mouth and feel like I could sleep for a week. Oh, and my period.
Got a HUGE list of things to do. DS' bed coming tomorrow and man coming for final removals estimate and confirmation at 10am. Then, I need to go back to ikea as friend has changed her mind about the table + chairs and also I need to get some curtain poles and have a look at basic curtains as there's a big archway into the lounge and if we can rig up some cheap curtains it means we won't have to heat the entire house when we're sitting in the lounge. DH is on DIY duty all day: fitting lights, waiting for furniture and building it, more cleaning, sorting out phone/net extension, washing line on roof etc.
Need to plan my classes now and then try to do some more packing.
I have been a VERY shouty parent has been one of those days. I'm sure DM has been chortling to herself or tutting about my crapness. Will be sooooo glad to stop feeling judged all the time. Nearly there.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 20-Jan-13 19:22:56

From the distance of years you might look back at your childhood and regard it as idyllic with no shouty parents. It is hard not to feel criticised when observed at close quarters.

If that person has their own hugely disproportionate high self-regard to begin with, you'll fall short of the high bar they set you whatever you do.

Thought of you on another thread this afternoon, see you have also responded - I always admire posters who share experience and advice.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sun 20-Jan-13 19:26:43

(Not saying that MNers in the same boat who don't feel ready to add their voice to others' similar threads are in any way deficient in sympathy, obviously).

BattlingFanjos Sun 20-Jan-13 22:27:20

Good (love the name change grin i have now read both threads (took forever!!!) and although i have no bloody idea who you are i am so proud and impressed! Good luck with the move, its all good from here grin i hope you're proud of yourself and when you get a chance, go back and read the thread and just see how far you've come. It really is amazing, good for you grin xxx

goonyagoodthing Mon 21-Jan-13 09:31:57

Goodtobetter - I come on here every morning especially to check how you are doing and I'd say there are loads more doing the same! You are doing so well, and I never have advice to post but I just want you to know that I am still rooting for you. You are probably feeling so crap because you are run down from the stress of it all, but it will be all worth it in the end when you are all happier (your mother included).

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 10:35:44

Thanks, it's nice to know people are rooting for us. The removals man came and OMFG!! €750 it's so expensive. When we moved in here 3 or so years ago it was about half what he quoted! But, then we were moving bit by bit for about 3 weeks and I haven't been able to do that here. The bits I could logistically move myself in the timeframe wouldn't really make much of a dent in the price and it'd have to be me physically doing a lot of it as DH is doing the DIY stuff in the morning and with DCs in the afternoon. I reckon I'm going to look at the larger picture, pay for it out of savings and at least it'll be easier on us o the day. Not telling DM as I'm sure she'd just crow over me and my stupidity for not being more organised or start guilting me..."you're so desperate to get away from me you'll pay €750 for removals" which misses the point, but you know what I mean.
Still trying to prune as much as poss and organise stuff a bit for the big day but going to stop worrying about actually physically shifting the stuff.
Need to go back to ikea tomorrow to get curtain rails and curtains and table and chairs.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 11:02:17

..."you're so desperate to get away from me you'll pay €750 for removals"


It's a pain isn't it but physically it's so exhausting and I assume for that sum he'll be insured in case anything is damaged or broken?

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 11:19:04

yy and it'll be quick and they'll leave it all in the right place

NettleTea Mon 21-Jan-13 11:29:42

and you can pass the job and responsibility over to someone else and not have to do it yourself. Thats worth the money given what you have been through to get to this stage

2rebecca Mon 21-Jan-13 12:28:43

If your husband is unemployed could he not hire a van for a couple of days and get one of his relatives to help him? Can the DIY stuff not wait, maybe MIL could help babysit. It seems alot of money but if you think you can afford it and your husband and his family can't do the removal then fine.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 12:52:08

Trouble is 2rebecca I suspect OP won't want to ask DM that favour right now otherwise I'd say yes good idea. Plus, having strangers in to do the job might help DM refrain from creating any emotionally charged scenes. DH isn't flavour of the month with DM so perhaps as well for him to busy himself at the new place.

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 12:57:53

The DIY he's doing is connecting light fittings (here they leave cables sticking out of the walls etc) waiting in for white goods, building DS' bed, cleaning etc. We don't have any family that could help with a move and DM can't babysit and it's not really feasible to do it with a 5 yr old and 20 mo in tow. Also, I work in the afternoons and need the mornings to plan classes and atm am writing reports, correcting exams etc. There isn't really any way for us to do the move ourselves. Some things are just expensive.
Latest dig this morning is that she's nagging me to get in touch with the lawyer to change her will, because I'm obviously such a cow that if she died in the night I'd make off with the equity in this house and rob my poor Db blind. hmm

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 13:04:11

Hope you feel duly chastened GoodToBetter (NOT).

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 13:37:20

More silent weeping at the dinner table.

Oh dear! Is it too upsetting for her to sit with you? Perhaps she should sit on her own until you move wink

Or simple ask loudly " do you not like your lunch? There is no need to cry about it, grab a sandwich"

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 13:52:07

I don't know..I didn't ask. I've been really busy this morning and the removals man came and then I was out so she's probably feeling sad that we're going and probably thinks I'm ignoring her. Then, when DS came home he was throwing a sprinkler around and was told not to, threw it again and smashed it. I told him (not angrily btw) to go and say sorry to her (it was her sprinkler). She was all "it doesn't matter" but obviously thought I/DH was being a right cruel bastard telling him off. So it maybe "my poor little GC" that made her cry.

Jux Mon 21-Jan-13 14:55:20

If she wants to talk to her lawyer, about her Will, then she really needs to do it herself. You know she's only going on about it to wind you up, so ignore.

Moving is a nightmare. Mum got a packing service when she sold up and moved into our house, and it really does make a difference, well worth it imo. Count the boxes going out and make sure it's the same number going in, though. wink

pippop1 Mon 21-Jan-13 15:25:07

It does seem to truly beyond belief that you should have to contact her lawyer so that she can change her own will (presumably away from being for your benefit at all)!

If her lawyer doesn't speak good enough English to make an appointment with then it's not the right lawyer for her as she won't be able to explain her wishes. Is it either pure laziness (lifting the phone to make an appointment) or just another opportunity to rub in how she thinks you are treating her.

Either way, If she wants to do it let her get on with it herself!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 21-Jan-13 15:26:17

DS may just be acting up because that's the age he is, or he could be sensing tension and just making his mark. Either way, maybe no bad thing you'll all be in a different situation very soon.

tribpot Mon 21-Jan-13 17:15:19

I think I would be saying "I'm afraid that with the move and my job and family, I have too much on to be making your lawyer arrangements as well, I'll probably be able to schedule some time to do that in late Feb" and if that creates a problem for her - tough bloody banana. The only urgency is in her head and to maximise the pressure on you, to remind you that by leaving you are upsetting the unbelievably complex arrangements around inheritance. Who cares! The arrangements need to be looked at in a more objective light anyway - in good time.

The removal costs are high, but the situation doesn't sound like it would be tolerable if you moved at a slower pace and a lower cost. When you can't take any time out from work to get it done you really need to throw some money at the problem.

Hissy Mon 21-Jan-13 20:52:36

Oh ignore the will, it's another guilt trip.

GoodtoBetter Mon 21-Jan-13 22:31:03

I told her I couldn't do it until at least next week. Checked with the lawyer and she said I just need to tell her when and she'll book an appointment with the notary, so I'll leave it until I can be arsed have some time.
DS' bed arrived today at lunchtime so he went with DH to let the delivery men in. DH said DS was skipping down the street on the way home, so excited about his new bed and new house. smile

Aussiebean Tue 22-Jan-13 00:56:41

I think that is a task that can be easily forgotten about, considering how much you have to do.
I so love the fact she is trying to make you call the lawyer so she can change the will against you.

GoodtoBetter Tue 22-Jan-13 06:42:27

I don't mind the changes she wants to make (I will inherit half her estate when she dies, instead of this house to me and DB to get the flat and all other money), I don't really care..have never cared about any of it. I don't even mind taking her down to the notary to do it. What I mind is the idea that it's urgent. I mind that because the implication is that it's urgent because if she dropped dead tomorrow I can't be trusted not to just make off with the house (as it stands the house would be solely in my name) and disinherit DB. That's what I find offensive.

Hissy Tue 22-Jan-13 07:20:48

It's just to distract you from the move, to Fuck with your excitement.

She's playing the dying Mother card, just to take the edge off your positive, happy, healthy life event.

Just let it go into dots. Don't call a lawyer for her, she can do that herself. You're still mothering her, and you have to stop that. Give her the number, her will, her urgency. Your life.

I'd tell her to stfu tbh.

Roll on move day.

Hissy Tue 22-Jan-13 07:25:26

Why not do some fake silent and dry weeping at the table at the thought of your mother dying?

Imagine the fallout!

She is pathetic. She's acting worse than a toddler.

Please detach some more, you don't need this emotional blackmail.

Remember who and what she is. Remember what she was trying to do with your H, your marriage. Remember how she's also trying to get your B to side with her too.

Cool, ice calm. She did this. She made this impossible to live with.

tribpot Tue 22-Jan-13 07:45:25

Yes, plus she is making it All About the Inheritance again. It's a weapon of control and to remind you of the need to run round after your brother (even though he's not asking you to) as well as your mother.

If your brother was that bothered about equalising the inheritance arrangements he could as you to sort out the lawyer.

2rebecca Tue 22-Jan-13 08:28:07

If she's able to drive 90 minutes down the road via the bank she is capable of picking up the phone to contact a lawyer and driving the presumably shorter distance to see her. If she wants to do this let her, there is no point you moving out if you are both going to keep regarding her as incapable of doing this sort of stuff as you'll spend all your spare time looking after her. If she thinks it's urgent let her get on with it, it isn't your issue to sort out, it's hers, you prioritise your stuff. I would have just given her the phone number. It isn't a physically arduous task phoning the solicitor and as a beneficiary you shouldn't be involved in it.

tribpot Tue 22-Jan-13 08:56:23

2rebecca - one of her other control mechanisms is not speaking the language.

GoodtoBetter Tue 22-Jan-13 09:56:08

Her Spanish isn't that bad...intermediate ish. She's just got used to not having to bother. This morning it was all tears and she doesn't know what food we're taking so can't grocery shop. I said we're leaving all the food. She says you can't order fresh stuff online like meat so I showed her the page on the site. Told her she can have free delivery from fruit shop in village if she spenfs ten euro. She says "but I'd have to walk there". I ignored that and left her in tears...told her I had to go out. Fruit shop in in front of the pharmacy btw where she walked before.

tribpot Tue 22-Jan-13 10:15:32

Oh really, GoodtoBetter? When she said she couldn't converse with the lady who could come in to do some housekeeping I figured she was at the level of point-and-grin (and hope for the best). In that case why on earth does she need you to make the appointment?!

There's nothing else you can do whilst she brings out every sob story in her arsenal. This too shall pass.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 10:27:52

May I quote ThreeTomatoes from your last thread,
Choose a mantra that's appropriate to respond to most things she might say to you, like "That's your choice," or "Fine," and don't deviate or get into discussion or defend yourself or whatever

I asked last week if DM spoke Spanish, I think what tribpot said is right, it's practically a control mechanism not bothering to use what she does know. (Not forgetting that we often understand more of what is said than we can speak).

Meant to ask, how is your back Good, (another reason to employ someone else to do heavy lifting on removal day!), how are the headaches?

tribpot Tue 22-Jan-13 12:01:02

Btw, I do like the idea of doing some silent weeping at the thought of her death. Very amusing to imagine doing although obviously the reality would be somewhat different.

ThreeTomatoes Tue 22-Jan-13 12:31:26

<<preens>> at being quoted! smile

God, she's so pathetic isn't she!! It's all a ruse to pile the guilt on, glad you're not rising to it. As Hissy said, stay icy calm, keep to your mantra, get out of there.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 12:35:07

Praise where due, TT smile

Herrena Tue 22-Jan-13 12:58:53

I think pretty much anything she says from here on out will be another attempt to guilt you. As others have said, don't think for a moment that she actually cares about the 'problems' she's describing! It's all control, control, control.

The mantra suggestion is a very very good one!

AutumnDreams Tue 22-Jan-13 13:30:58

Well done on the "The Great Escape" Herrena. Absolutely perfect.

I think you will have to be extra vigilant now as you won`t actually be there to challenge the drama she will undoubtedly tell you she is facing daily, once you`ve left. She won`t be giving up, just adjusting her levels of control to fit the new circumstances. For this reason, you might be better off not making any definite arrangements re visiting for the first few weeks, until you see how things are going. You are close enough to just pop in with the children, using the fact that you have so much to do to not be around too much. Suggest lunch, or a shopping trip. If you make firm arrangements, on a weekly basis, and have to cancel for any reason, it`s another stick for her to beat you with.

Jux Tue 22-Jan-13 14:55:54

Exactly. No definite, regular arrangements for the moment; your life is in flux and you need to wait for it to settle. Pop in when passing if you've time, but nothing regualar.

She will up the ante, so stay strong.

pippop1 Tue 22-Jan-13 15:41:23

Might it be an idea to meet up in a cafe/restaurant when you first see her after you've moved out? Neutral ground would be less contentious.

GoodtoBetter Tue 22-Jan-13 23:21:00

I think I'll say I'll bring the the kids over on Sunday and we'll pop out to a garden centre with them. It'll only be an hour or two as we have the excuse that we have to go to the PILs for lunch. I think then I'll let things slide a bit as I just have soooooo much work it's unbelievable.
The translation seems to be going ahead, I'm just waiting for a Word version of it and then he wants some pages (it's a book) to see how it looks with the embedded graphics, so I'll need to do some (God knows how) in the next day or two. Then the move, have reports to finish for work, then more exams to correct and reports to write through Feb, and all the running around changing addresses with traffic, social security, tax etc (always has to be done in person here).
I got a reply from my boss about the vague possibility of an academy in my village, said he'd look into it and that "the seeds of the idea had been sown" so I e mailed back and reiterated that I'm interested in promotion either in any new academies in my village or elsewhere.
Going to have to go to bed in a minute. Knackered. Spent the morning at ikea as discovered I didn't have part of DS' bed and got the table/chairs ad found some curtains. Then work and admin after work. Glad we're paying for full on removals after all because there really just aren't enough hours in the day.

Aussiebean Tue 22-Jan-13 23:42:47

Sounds like all is on the up and up. In a way your hubby not having work will lesson the burden a little will all the little things moving entails.

Fingers and toes crossed for the translation and academy jobs. And I think you are doing a great job in disengaging from her irrational expectations.

Remember, you had over 30 yrs (I'm guessing) of training and its a VERY hard idea to firstly acknowledge and then actually do something about. My brother is 43, and despite my other brother and I trying to explain how our mother was he has only just got it in the last year or two. And he is still a little stuck under her thumb. Especially financially. What you are doing is incredibly hard and you are doing it with dignity and determination.

Am actually a little jealous.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 23-Jan-13 00:00:53

It's certainly a hectic month Good but looking into my crystal ball I see calm waters ahead, that big cloud overhead will disappear and your family will thrive.

PS Aussiebean hope I'm not out of line saying so but you did overcome your toxic mum, you have plenty to be proud of yourself for.

Aussiebean Wed 23-Jan-13 01:59:57

Thank you donkey. I am certainly trying. I am slowly coming out of being angry at her. The 'how dare she do this to me her daughter' but I still find I get emotionally effected by her. I have dealt with that by having very little to do with her. I tell her nothing, share nothing with her and she helps that by asking nothing about me. For example I am getting married in April. She hasn't once asked about the wedding in any shape or form. Hasn't even congratulated my fiancé. But she did send a very soppy card to my in laws about how happy she was to have him in her family and how proud of him they must be. But nothing to us. Had to think very hard about actually inviting her but the fall out to my brothers would be huge.

I also refuse to be alone with her so my fiancé will always come with me. She is her nastiest when there is no one around.

Ideally I would like to be able to have a superficial relationship. To be able to be in the same room and not be afraid that she will start in. because if she does it will be her problem, not mine.

I admire how well the op is doing and hope that one day I will be able to be detached and she won't have anymore control over my feelings.

GoodtoBetter Wed 23-Jan-13 06:40:48

You're very kind, Aussie, thank you. I find the only way I can cope with it is to detach, otherwise it's all histrionics and upset. And funnily enough she's started to calm down a bit if I don't respond. For example, yesterday she was going on about shopping for food...what was there in the way of supermarkets in the village (how unbelievable is it that she doesn't even know?? Shows how much she's just removed herself from everything except sitting watching Sky and whingeing) and I said there was a supermarket opposite DS' school. ..."ooh that's a long walk". I said, it's 5 mins. She says, "but I walk with a stick, I can't carry anything much" so I said drive to the other supermarket 10 mins away or shop online and she starts, "stop going on and on about shop online, you're like a broken record". I said something like well that's the answer to the question, don't ask if you don't want to hear the answer. Because, it's true. If she wants heavy stuff and doesn't want to carry it, then she can order it. Funnily enough...heavy stuff like a 6 pack of milk that she famously managed to carry to the car and get down to the flat. hmm But I digress...she stormed off and, where in the past I'd have gone after her and apologised and smoohted things over I carried on making the lunch. Had been making tea, so took her in a cup and she said she was "sorry but it really annoys me when you go on about online shopping". I said nothing (I would have justified myself before) and things were calmer later.
For whoever it was who asked (sorry I can't remember) I haven't had any headaches just recently and my back's OK but I am so so so tired. The excitement is getting to DS and he's been waking earlier and earlier (6.25 today) and then is "challenging" during the day.
Oh yes, yesterday some art prints DM had ordered arrived and she was showing me (they're very nice) she was saying she'd ordered them as she didn't want the place looking like "an empty warehouse" once we move but now she was worried she'd ordered too many and would never get them all framed and (through breaking voice and sobs) "it's keeping me awake at night with anxiety". That's designed to guilt me again (you'll give me nervous breakdown/I suffer from depression etc). I said brightly "oh well, bit by bit" grin
I have to plan my classes for today and tomorrow and I have some more things to try to pack up today and DH is still building ikea furniture and sorting out stuff at the house. Tomorrow I have my day off from work to run around like a blue arsed fly and then it's the big day on Friday! I've actually done an online order myself, going to have it delivered on Friday so we have some food and basics like soap, toilet paper etc.

ThreeTomatoes Wed 23-Jan-13 07:09:12

Gosh you do have a crazy time ahead! Don't forget you can put off non-urgent things if you need to, unpacking of some of the stuff, even some of the furniture building? And - yes- seeing your mum!! When moving day comes, tell her you are going to be run off your feet for a couple of weeks so probably can't see her.

Well done with the detaching! It takes a lot of willpower not to get sucked in, I can totally see that.

CheerfulYank Wed 23-Jan-13 07:19:29

Sooo proud of you smile

It's such a process, I am learning to disengage from my toxic brother after he lived with us for three years. My personal mantra is "I love you, but it's not my problem."

You're going to feel amazing when you get in your new place!

Hissy Wed 23-Jan-13 07:26:32

<singy songy voice> you're engaging again!

She's full of it, you need to say nothing, ignore.

BUT don't be afraid of bring it to ahead if she forces you to acknowledge her comment, you simply deliver a monologue. If she attempts to interrupt you tell her that you've all heard enough of her poison and now it's time to take her medicine.

"You got yourself to the flat and lived, you lugged milk and lived. You still had the energy to snipe and chip away, so clearly you had ample capacity left. You have made it impossible for us to stay a moment longer. I know who and what you are, I know what you were trying to do, and it won't happen. You can turn on the tears, you can write a pack of lies to DB, but bottom line is that he rumbled you before I did."

IF you want any kind of relationship with me and my family going forward, you treat ALL of us with the respect we deserve, or you go home to the UK. You're well able to strop and storm, well able to scheme, manipulate and insult, you can put all of that energy into shopping on or offline, walking and running errands. You did this mum. No-one else, you."

Then you turn and leave.

It's not something there is no way back from, but it's a hard line in the sand. All you do then is repeat the line about your family deserving respect.

Hold HER over an emotional barrel.

GoodtoBetter Wed 23-Jan-13 07:29:21

Just passed her in the hallway upstairs and she says hello but with a look like I-have-ruined-her-life-and-she-might-as-well-kill-herself-now-and-save-herself-a-lifetime-of-loneliness (I've had 37 years of training on these looks). She's always the victim. Nothing is ever her fault, she never takes any responsibility for anything, it's always what's been done to her, crosses she has to bear, suffering she has to endure. I can't wait to get away from that face.

Herrena Wed 23-Jan-13 07:53:04

The 'look' analysis would sound daft to most people (I say this from personal experience of trying to descibe it to friends) but I know exactly what you mean! I think that it becomes second nature to over-analyse when you're lumbered blessed with this sort of relative.

It is very very irritating but guess what? You don't have to live with it anymore!!

And thanks Autumn grin

MusicalEndorphins Wed 23-Jan-13 07:54:01

You are doing so great. Since you are so busy and doing so much, and you mentioned you and your dh having bleeding gums and you having a cold sore, and you also mentioned lack of veggies in your dh's cooking, maybe knock the veggies up a notch? I also suggest you all take some Vitamin C tablets, and perhaps a multiple vitamin every day?
<mothers the world>

I wouldn't tell your mother this, as you want her to at least attempt walking to the store 5 minutes away, but when you do your veggie fruit shop, you could pick up a few things for her and drop them off.

Herrena Wed 23-Jan-13 08:00:25

Ooh, I just thought of something really funny to me anyway. Do you remember those tiny cassette players people used to have? It would be hilarious if every time she makes a PA or 'poor me' comment, you click a button and then tiny violins start playing grin

Just picture that image every time she starts in (or pick another image that amuses you) and then you won't be as annoyed because you'll be distracted by the silliness. Might be worth a punt anyway....

tribpot Wed 23-Jan-13 08:00:30

It's a very sad way for her to live. I'm not suggesting you should have sympathy with her, GoodtoBetter, because sympathy doesn't help you right now. But I find it incomprehensible that someone would effectively choose to live without joy; lots of people would kill to have her situation in life, and yet she wants solely to control through guilt and obligation. What a waste.

The best thing you can do, of course, is to limit your exposure to her passive-aggression and toxicity. And particularly limit your children's ability to become pawns in her games as they grow older.

AutumnDreams Wed 23-Jan-13 10:15:54

click a button and then tiny violins would start playing.......That would be wonderful Herrena, but wouldn`t she need a sense of humour transplant for that, otherwise cue faux heart attack?

lots of people would kill to have her situation in life.........ME, ME, ME, I`ve said it a dozen times before, Tribpot. She doesn`t know she`s born, daft woman.

Good, you have amazed me at how far you`ve come in such a short time. Once you are all settled, things are going to really start to come together for your little family.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 23-Jan-13 10:48:54

Oh well, bit by bit Epic response!!

Yy looks and tone. My DM excelled at this. Reproachful, victimised.
Once asked,"Why didn't you say you were waiting for X/ expecting Y?" Answer: I shouldn't have to say.

No of course not, I should carry this all in my head 24/7, 6th sense optional.

"I love you but it's not my problem" why oh why did I never think of that mantra!

Not surprised you feel pushed to the limit energy wise Good. Some tension's gone but MusicalEndorphins' idea of a vitamin boost could help.

GoodtoBetter Wed 23-Jan-13 11:47:26

yy to ·"I shouldn't have to say" they learn these phrases at manipulative victim school or what?

tribpot Wed 23-Jan-13 13:12:48

I'd missed the bit where she is being kept up nights with the anxiety over, er, some pictures. That sounds very, very difficult not to laugh at.

'Bit by bit' is a classic response, and better than my suggestion, would have been 'I know - I have so much to get done as well, busy busy busy!' and then rushing away.

what was there in the way of supermarkets in the village (how unbelievable is it that she doesn't even know??)

She does know. She wanted you to be forced through the pantomime of the conversation that then took place, with you offering multiple solutions to her problem as if it was somehow your job. The words themselves are not important, it's the emotion she wants to manipulate. Hence why her stories don't often make sense / contradict each other. Keep detaching!

Herrena Wed 23-Jan-13 13:16:17

"I love you but it's not my problem" Love it!

I have recently been using the sentence 'Oh well, it's your life, not mine' when my mum/dad/sister all reject perfectly valid suggestions for improving whatever crap situation they're been grumbling about (and which they normally seem to want me to fix, without any further discomfort on their part).

They do not like this statement, oh dear me no.

But that's not my problem, is it? grin

ThreeTomatoes Wed 23-Jan-13 14:00:28

It's really hard to feel sympathy for her though, because how do you know what she really feels, given that so much of it is an act and manipulation etc!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 23-Jan-13 18:04:12

Good luck with blue-arsed-fly Thursday, Good.

On with the motley!

GoodtoBetter Wed 23-Jan-13 22:26:17

I still struggle with feelings of guilt. I am looking forward to leaving but I do have flashes of feeling bad about leaving her on her own and I worry a bit about her being lonely or sad. I have to remind myself that under normal circumstances she would have lived alone for years, that it's not normal for us all to have lived together (especially as I never really wanted to do it). I have to remind myself that any time it comes up in conversation, people totally take it for granted that we would "want our own space" and never question for a moment that it is unusual to want that. I've spent so long feeling it's my job to make her happy, that I have to go along with things, putting her first, I lost sight of what was normal.
DS was a right little bugger at lunch (over excited about the move and over tired and got a bit hyper) and ended up in a time out, there was much howling, wailing and general 4.10 yr old nonsense before he calmed down. DH said DS was as good s gold all afternoon, but that he heard DM asking him "what were you crying about? What was the matter? I expect she thought it was handled badly. It wasn't btw. This weekend I'm going to try to read the whole 2 threads again.
DH was saying he thinks she currently has 3 settings...with me: weepy, with DH: angry and with DS: super fun Gran. I think if she was really on the verge of breakdown she wouldn't be able to pull off angry and supergran with the other 2.

boschy Wed 23-Jan-13 22:35:52

Keep going GTB, you just need to get out and I would guess that now it's so imminent it might seem a bit overwhelming? You're doing the right thing.

issey6cats Wed 23-Jan-13 22:42:40

just wanted to say i have lurked on both threads and all the best for your move tommorow hope it all goes smoothly

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:01

Better to accept that you are feeling something than deny it, but is it guilt. Could you put a different name to it, think of it as concern, touched by regret for the past and current strife. Looking ahead, you and your DH and DCs are going to enjoy a kind of freedom. Meanwhile M is not far away. She won't be alone all the time, arguably yes she'll be living on her own but she needn't be isolated.

Whatever I put here it won't wave a magic wand and stop you brooding occasionally but it's been a lot to think about and you've made giant steps.

DH is right isn't he. Clever technique manipulating those around her.

tribpot Wed 23-Jan-13 22:47:31

If you look at it this way, there is a much higher chance of you being able to maintain a cordial relationship with your mum if you aren't living in each other's pockets than if you are. You aren't abandoning her, you're just clarifying your boundaries. Remember your whole life cannot be about obligation to other people. You matter too.

justaboutchilledout Wed 23-Jan-13 23:41:28

If you look at it this way, there is a much higher chance of you being able to maintain a cordial relationship with your mum if you aren't living in each other's pockets than if you are. You aren't abandoning her, you're just clarifying your boundaries.

I'm sure this is true.

Jux Thu 24-Jan-13 08:25:44

Hope it all goes well today. Good luck.

Apparentlychilled Thu 24-Jan-13 09:11:46

Hi Good, I'm a long time lurker on both your threads, and I'll be thinking of you today with the move. Hang in there- it will all be done soon and you'll be in your new home so soon! Good luck!

2rebecca Thu 24-Jan-13 09:57:04

I think when you're on your own you'll particularly notice the benefits with your son, in that you won't be both expecting someone to criticise all your parenting decisions. I think you will miss the childcare she has provided though and your son will miss her as to him she has been superfun gran. It's a shame she couldn't have put on a super fun mum face for you sometimes, it's obviously an option she could have chosen but bizarrely preferred weepy.
Moving away will make you all have to learn new ways of interacting with each other and may make her able to stop using the weepy persona as much.

lizzypuffs Thu 24-Jan-13 10:14:03

Good luck with the move today. The start of a better phase in your life!

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 12:15:16

Move is actually tomorrow. I booked today off work when I thought we could get the movers in today but nobody was available. I don't work tomorrow, so running around madly clearing ready for removal men tomorrow. M is in a foul mood, but that's no surprise. She was weepy earlier, asking if she should make more marmelade and whether I'd eat it. I said make it only if you want to make it. She got all upset saying that wasn't what she was asking, I said I didn't understand WHAT she was asking and to make it if she wanted to, that I didn't mind either way. She got all upset and siad there was no point speaking to me. Now she's back to angry, tight lipped, cold answers. Can I empty the dyson before I leave "because she finds it very difficult" etc etc.
rebecca she doesn't actually do any childcare really, she reads him stories or he plays in her room while she watches tv...she hasn't looked after either of them on her own since we moved in.
yday she said she missed me..I didn't know what to say..I do too, I miss that we used to have a better relationship and I'd like to spend time with her, but on my terms. I just said "it'll be better once we leave".
Have to go and get DD in a min. Still need to organise tools under the stairs and kitchen equipment, will have to wait til kids in bed. Then movers here by 9am and once it's all out I'll need to go round with the hoover.
Sore throat today.

Herrena Thu 24-Jan-13 12:24:00

"I said I didn't understand WHAT she was asking and to make it if she wanted to, that I didn't mind either way. She got all upset and siad there was no point speaking to me."

But you're MEANT to mind, Good, your world is meant to revolve around her every action! She can't cope with not being the centre of your emotional universe, which is obviously ridiculous as you've got a husband and kids. It would be pretty odd if she were the centre of your world even if you were single FFS.

Deep breaths - it will all be ok. And take some paracetamol and have a hot drink for that sore throat!

2rebecca Thu 24-Jan-13 12:37:44

Making marmelade requires more physical effort and dexterity than emptying a dyson, mine is very light and easy to empty. I presume she just needs to be shown which catches to release. The fussing over marmelade the day before you move sounds mad, of course you don't care if she makes it or not.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 12:51:06

Dyson is a dyson animal, she knows how to do it, she's just tying to make out (again) that she's incapable of living alone and that I am a heartless cow for leaving.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 12:51:35

yy the marmelade took her hours and hours.

AutumnDreams Thu 24-Jan-13 13:49:10

The tears and claims of missing you etc are much harder to handle than her anger.......and I`ll bet she knows this too. It`s not normal for one woman to permanently have three seperate MO`s with different members of one little family. She`s a player, and I personally think you`ll see the strong woman she actually is in the coming months......although she`ll try to hide the fact.

Will be thinking of you - with envy! - tomorrow. Good luck.

boschy Thu 24-Jan-13 13:51:08

just keep thinking "this time tomorrow we will be free"!

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 13:55:09

Do you know what...i keep thinking of the rooftop at the new house and the views it has over the coutryside, i imagine myself up there in the wind taking a great big breath of fresh air, literally and metaphorically.
Today at lunch she said it would take a long time to get settled and not to worry about coming over until we were ready. I said "OK".

smornintime Thu 24-Jan-13 14:11:08

Today at lunch she said it would take a long time to get settled and not to worry about coming over until we were ready. I said "OK".

Call that bluff!!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 24-Jan-13 17:20:38

DB will probably get chapter and verse on perfidious GoodToBetter but within 8 weeks she'll hint you had all outstayed your welcome and it was all her idea and has worked out rather marvellously.

tribpot Thu 24-Jan-13 19:36:21

Not, I suspect, unless there is some way that the move can be made to benefit the DB under the terms of the Blessed and All-Encompassing Inheritance.

Btw "don't worry about coming over" means "I will start to complain you haven't been over" - personally I'd breeze by half an hour before you're due for lunch at the PIL purely to piss on her chips smile

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 20:19:49

Totally agree tribpot it's to see how long I'll leave it and then she can play the abandoned card. I will pop over with children or invite her out with children on Sunday with the excuse of seeing PILs for lunch so as not to stay too long. She's very calm...will see what tomorrow brings.
Have muuuuuuch more kitchen stuff than I thought, glad I'm paying through the nose for them to pack it and take it all away or I'd be here forever.
Last night in this house. Feels weird...exciting but weird.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 21:16:55

She's been giving me stuff (passive aggressively all day, choking back sobs..."it's yours, I don't want it")
She said something about not knowing whether something was mine or hers and said through sobs "too many years together"...i.e we were so happy but you ruined it all and abandoned me for no reason. DH just said "she really doesn't understand why we're leaving, even now, does she?"
She's opened a bottle of wine now so I'm going to go to bed in a bit, because, as DB says "she can get really dodgy on the vino" and I'm not in the mood for a fight.


Just because she giving you 'stuff' and making you feel guilty, but you don't have to take it.

She is going to step up the pace of her passive aggressive behaviour tonight/tomorrow because you have not backed down at point and doesn't understand why you have not just jumped back in the box she created for you.

Try to have a good night sleep, and good luck for your move.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 21:30:35

I think the best plan is to go to bed quite soon and just keep to my "Ok", "fine" mantra tomorrow.

tribpot Thu 24-Jan-13 21:34:08

Er, how long have you been living together? Isn't it about two or three years??

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 21:35:31

3 years I think...DS was 20 mo and is now about to turn 5 in March

Aussiebean Thu 24-Jan-13 21:43:20

A few years a go my brothers, mum, sis in law and I had a family mediation. And attempt to air out our issues. We thought if we were open and got a chance to diciuss our issues and work on a solution then thing would be better. This was post realising that she was narc and incapable so my no difference what so ever but I was able to tell her that I didn't trust her.

And the weight that I didn't even know was there was gone from my shoulders. It was a very freeing moment.

That what I think will happen with you G2B. When most of the important unpacking is done, and you can take the night off and you sit with your husband and have a glass of wine with the two babies sleeping - there will be this incredible lift of weight and freedom.

It's a wonderful feeling. Good luck with the move.

Herrena Thu 24-Jan-13 21:46:40

If I were you I'd get DH to come up to bed at the same time as me. Try not to let her catch you on your own or you might get a full-on offensive of guilt-tripping. I'd also be worried that she might follow you up to your room and corner you try to reel you back in when you're alone and vulnerable, hence the suggestion that DH comes too.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 21:50:36

DH is having a shower, so once he's finished I'll go up. She's moving (her) stuff around in the kitchen atm.

GoodtoBetter Thu 24-Jan-13 21:52:52

She's just come in all stroppy saying I've taken the wrong saucepans..that I've left her the better quality ones and taken the crappier ones (I can't tell the difference), so I think that's my cue to go to bed before I get any more shite thrown my way.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 24-Jan-13 22:00:57

Sweet dreams of new surroundings.

Jux Thu 24-Jan-13 22:10:43

Oh no GtoB! How very dare you have the temerity to take the crappier saucepans? I am shock

moajab Thu 24-Jan-13 23:27:03

Yes, very mean. She was so looking forward to moaning to everyone about how you took all the best stuff. grin

Good luck with the move tomorrow!

boschy Fri 25-Jan-13 08:11:09

Today's the day! all the best.

WingDefence Fri 25-Jan-13 08:21:19

Hi GoodtoBetter - I've been lurking but not posting as others have much better advice than I could ever offer. But I just wanted to wish you the very best of luck for the move today! brew

GoodtoBetter Fri 25-Jan-13 08:25:32

Movers are here packing it all up. Glad we paid for packing, there's no way we could have done it all in the timeframe. Have been a couple of passive aggressive digs this morning but otherwise calm. Kids have gone to school and nursery now so that makes things easier. Once the lorry's gone will need to clean through before I leave but DH will be here so hopefully won't be too much nonsense from her.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 25-Jan-13 08:31:03

Best wishes for a smooth transfer. Now that the day is here you'll be almost too busy to take in digs or p.a. BS.

Herrena Fri 25-Jan-13 08:31:19

Good luck with today - moving is stressful enough without all the added drama! Make sure you've got a bottle of wine in for this evening smile

Good luck! Hope you have some wine in to toast your new home tonight! We have a saying in Scotland "Lang may yer lum reek" literally means long may your chimney smoke, I doubt you have a chimney in Spain, but I hope you and your family enjoy you new home and freedom.

TheGoatThatGotAway Fri 25-Jan-13 09:38:32

Delurking to say a massive congratulations for getting as far as today smile You are amazing! I hope the move goes really smoothly. Probably wise to steel yourself for some kind of reaction from her, but enjoy that rooftop fresh air too! Thinking of you.

kasbah72 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:41:43

Another lurker who didn't feel she had anything valuable to add to the brilliant advice you were getting but who is cheering from the sidelines!! I hope you make great use of that view tonight when you are in your new place as a little family. Yay!

kasbah72 Fri 25-Jan-13 12:43:47

Another lurker who didn't feel she had anything valuable to add to the brilliant advice you were getting but who is cheering from the sidelines!! I hope you make great use of that view tonight when you are in your new place as a little family. Yay!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 25-Jan-13 13:05:50

We can have a housewarming-in-spirit, Good. All this genuine goodwill from posters and lurkers alike, nice wave of encouragement smile

AutumnDreams Fri 25-Jan-13 14:22:47

You got there!!!!!

Le deseo toda la felicidad que se merecen, en su nuevo hogar.

pictish Fri 25-Jan-13 14:35:22

Welcome to your new home GTB! grin

What a big day for you! All the very best of luck and love in your new house. May peace and harmony reign over you all. xxxx

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 25-Jan-13 15:46:07

Seem to remember an old custom used to be for an onlooker to throw in an old shoe after you & DH as you walk in?

Anyway I'm sure you will have good fortune and feel very settled and happy, best wishes to the 4 of you.

Congratulations on your new, improved life OP smile

goonyagoodthing Fri 25-Jan-13 17:39:15

Well done on the move Goodtobetter, heres to the start of your new life wine. Hope you have the champers on ice for all the MNr's who will come for the housewarming!

lizzypuffs Fri 25-Jan-13 18:10:29

Congratulations on the move g2b. Well done on managing all the stress etc! Have a large glass (bottle? ) of vino tonight. You deserve it.

Jux Fri 25-Jan-13 18:12:53

wine Friday night Celebration wine

Walkacrossthesand Fri 25-Jan-13 18:19:36

You did it! Well done to you & DH - and cheers! wine

TheGoatThatGotAway Fri 25-Jan-13 18:22:13

Thinking of you and wishing you a happy weekend in your new home. Cheers! wine

MushroomSoup Fri 25-Jan-13 18:37:51

Wishing you health, wealth and happiness in your new home.

Hissy Fri 25-Jan-13 18:51:17

Well done lovely lady!

wishing you all the best for you and your super family in your new HOME!

Well done you! You have come so far!

ThreeTomatoes Fri 25-Jan-13 18:59:18

Adding my good wishes and well done! It's been amazing following you through such a crazy period in your life, you've been fantastic. i hope you're having a well deserved peaceful evening in your new home! smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 25-Jan-13 19:06:41

wine time "Lovely place you have here, Good".

justaboutchilledout Fri 25-Jan-13 19:13:06

Well done!

NettleTea Fri 25-Jan-13 19:13:15

Well done and enjoy the peace and blossoming a new house will bring you all xxx

tribpot Fri 25-Jan-13 19:45:25

Enjoy your new home!

GoodtoBetter Fri 25-Jan-13 20:18:23 Welcome to your new home

thegreylady Fri 25-Jan-13 20:21:37


GoodtoBetter Fri 25-Jan-13 20:22:21

Thanks for all the good wishes and thanks to Herrena for the card, I was really touched, honestly. <<sob>>. I've checked in on my phone a couple of times and been amazed to see how many people have been cheering us on.
Well, the move took ALL DAY. They arrived at 830 and packed and packed and packed for hours and hours. I really didn't realise we had that much stuff! We'd moved as much as we could before but there was just endless amounts and DM kept giving me more and more. The first lorry load went to the house at about 130 and we picked the kids up from school and went for a quick lunch. Then DH stayed at the house with them and I cleaned and cleaned, hoovering, mopping etc. That house has never been so clean. DM got quite weepy once it was really underway, fussing over rugs and things. I told her at one point to leave it alone and go and make me a cup of tea! Then, once it had all gone and I'd cleaned everything DH and I moved her bed back into the main bedroom with her bedsides etc and I made the bed up for her. She started saying she would have to sleep in a single cos she reckons she can't put the double quilt cover on. I said if necessary I'd come over once a week and change it for her, which I suppose I shouldn't..but I don't mind doing that once a week, it takes 5 mins and she can see the kids.
she kept saying I'm sorry and hugged me twice and said she didn't want us to not be close. I was calm and said I'd take her to the garden centre with the kids on sunday if she wanted.
When I got Dh to help me with the beds my friend took the dcs to the library as otherwise they'd be running up and down the stairs while we tried to shift a massive bed. Dm seemed really upset by that and I felt a bit bad, but the stairgates had gone by then and it was just easier all round. Then she was saying, X (dear friend) must think I'm awful, you must have told her awful things about me. I just denied everything.
When I left she was sobbing and I do feel bad, nobody likes that, do they? we are. The kids were excited but OK, managed to find bedding, pjs, teddies and give them a bath and get them to bed without much fuss. DH has gone out to get us a pizza. No wine, but I did have wine at lunch. My back is FUCKING AGONY but it'll be OK.
The house looks's very cold in the lounge as it's quite large and open plan and open into the stairwell, so well have to get the curtains up sharpish to close it off and make it more heatable. (No central heating here).
Haven't been up on the roof at all as it's been pissing it down all day and there's thick fog, but forecast is better will have my moment up on the roof soon!
Have loads of work to do this weekend…have to do some of that translation for Monday and plan classes and finish reports. It’s not over because with people like my DM it’s never over…but at least now maybe we can have some better boundaries. I still, if I’m honest sometimes feel maybe I have done a cruel thing and been unkind..I still wobble…but as dear friend said…she’ll have to sink or swim now and eve if she flounders a bit at first, she’ll be fine.
And so will we.

GlaikitCheiftanOThePuddinRace Fri 25-Jan-13 20:41:57

Woo hoo <pops cork on champers> grin

WingDefence Fri 25-Jan-13 20:47:34

Oh wonderful - massive congratulations and well done on taking back your life grin

footballmum Fri 25-Jan-13 20:47:36

Another long time lurker but just wanted to say it takes a strong person to break free of the patterns of a lifetime and you've done it. There may still be tough times ahead but remember this moment and the strength it took to get to it. Raising a ��to you and your family. Here's hoping your new home is full of love and laughter xxx

footballmum Fri 25-Jan-13 20:48:23

Oops! Realising the limitations of the iPhone app!! That was supposed to be a glass of red wine!!

Arithmeticulous Fri 25-Jan-13 20:49:59

Well done grin

goonyagoodthing Fri 25-Jan-13 21:01:22

A lovely update and how far you have come from when you posted your very first post. Sending best wishes to yourself, your lovely little family and your mother x

Wow! Congrats,have now delurked...many hours reading and willing you on.

Every happiness in your new home smile

Herrena Fri 25-Jan-13 22:10:33

it takes a strong person to break free of the patterns of a lifetime and you've done it.


You have done the right thing for yourself and your family - and for your DM too, if she could only see it.

Congratulations on your new home wine

2rebecca Fri 25-Jan-13 22:14:15

Gad the move has gone well. You haven't done a bad thing, you tried living with her and it didn't work, most of us wouldn't have even tried. She is capable of living on her own and the relationship may be better in the future, it certainly can't be much worse with her arguing with your husband and weeping whenever she saw you. If she'd enjoyed you all living together you wouldn't have left, but it sounds as though she was always crying so she may be happier now or in a month or so when she gets used to things. Time for her to do more stuff and meet more people.

Jux Fri 25-Jan-13 22:53:02


What you have done is giving your relationship with your mum its best shot. If you'd stayed your relationship with her would just have deteriorated, your marriage would have suffered badly and your children would be caught in the middle.

Now, you can look forward to a good and strong marriage that isn't being constantly undermined every instant that you're all at home, so happy kids, and a better relationship with your mum even if it might never be easy. But who knows? This way could be the making of her; it's up to her now.

Sleep well in your new home.

MusicalEndorphins Fri 25-Jan-13 23:15:59

Home sweet home! smile

Aussiebean Fri 25-Jan-13 23:52:12

Yay. Welcome to your new home. thanks

ThreeTomatoes Sat 26-Jan-13 00:17:31

Yes really really don't feel bad, not many couples with kids live with their mums for heaven's sake? I have the best parents ever but I wouldn't want to live with them, it would drive me nuts! I'm sure they realise that, too, and understand it, no resentment there. I stayed there when dd was born (I was a lone parent) for the first 7 weeks, that was enough for me and they were keen to see me all set up independent and confident in my own flat. It really is all your mum's problem, GoodtoBetter.

Quick question - did you actually used to change her bedsheets every week?!

MinnieBar Sat 26-Jan-13 08:26:10

Yay! It's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life for you-ooo-ooo… and MN is feeling good!

smornintime Sat 26-Jan-13 08:39:24

Hope you get your moment on the roof smile

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 08:40:54

Amazing misty sunrise from the roof this morning! smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 26-Jan-13 09:58:50

One might say it's a new dawn, it's a new day, it's a new life and you're ... Well you know the tune wink

Another long time lurker here. Welcome to the first day of the rest of your new life. You have earned the pleasure of that sunrise and all the good things, big and small, that will follow. Enjoy thanks

tribpot Sat 26-Jan-13 11:34:57

Fab - you'll have to take a pic for us, GoodtoBetter!

Herrena Sat 26-Jan-13 12:08:32

Yes, please show us a picture so we can be very jealous happy for you!

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 12:08:35

Did think of that but mobile and camera were downstairs...will try tmrw. Still worrying a bit bout M but hard to break habits of a lifetime I suppose.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 26-Jan-13 12:12:39

It will seem raw regarding your mum but think things will calm and settle. She needs time to adjust.

Were DCs excited waking up and seeing new home?

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 13:51:54

Passed her in the car earlier (she didn't see us) looked like she was coming back from the supermarket. So, she's obviously not lying around weeping in her pjs all day. She'll probably be really angry for a bit, but if she does I'll just be very busy, at least now I can avoid bad moods. I said I'd pop over with children tomorrow morning, so we'll see how that goes.

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 21:03:39

Not sure how much to push the tomorrow thing. I said I'd take kids over tomorrow when we moved yesterday and she said yes she'd like that. I have texted but she hasn't replied and may not have her phone on but I really don't want to phone. Shall I text again tomorrow or ring tomorrow or ring now or just leave it? Don't really know how all this works.

Arithmeticulous Sat 26-Jan-13 21:12:11

I'd leave it completely or just breeze in like nothing happened - I'm presuming she's deliberately ignoring you, possibly wanting you to think she's heartbroken and not coping- not realising you saw her at the shops.

Coming from the perspective that whatever you do will be wrong - what do you want to do - not see her tomorrow at all, spend all morning with her, or nip in on your way past?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 26-Jan-13 21:14:47

Just go over tomorrow as discussed don't chase her. Had you intended postponing or cancelling, yes it would be polite to phone with advance notice. If she's out tomorrow or looks astonished "I wasn't expecting you, you should have rung" just say not to worry, you'd talked about it but it was a fairly loose arrangement, another time. Don't explain, do NOT apologise. If communication gets brought up don't feel you have to adhere to some new regime - your time's your own, she has your mobile number.

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 21:18:45

Erm..I don't know really. I'd like to know she's OK, but then she obviously is if she's been out in the car. I suppose I want her to be happy on her own and have a normal mother-daughter about what we've both been up to, her come and see the house and be admiring and no recriminations, guilt tripping, pathetic behaviour.... but that's highly unlikely right now.
She may not have seen the msg as she often doesn't have the mobile switched on, but by the same token she could have called or texted me ad the she'd have seen the msg. I don't want to ring as I don't want a load of bollocks or an awkward conversation.
I might ring cheerily tomorrow.....

GoodtoBetter Sat 26-Jan-13 21:19:43

x-posted with Donkeys. ah, you're all so sensible!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 26-Jan-13 21:23:15

Easy when it's someone else's situation 'cos you're not in the middle of it.

Herrena Sat 26-Jan-13 21:38:05

I imagine she has seen your message and is deliberately ignoring it because she's sulking. The best thing is to just turn up, as Donkeys said.

Don't send another text because that implies you're worrying about her. Not that you worrying about her is a bad thing, but she will seize upon it and try to make you feel worse, which she shouldn't do. It's better for her to feel outraged at your perceived lack of interest rather than triumphant at having got her power back. Sorry but I think those are the only two emotional options you can choose from - she does not respond like normal people, after all.

As for a normal mother-daughter relationship.... well, it takes two to form one of those and you both have very different ideas on how to go about it. Your ideas are definitely closer to the norm than hers! Maybe she will adapt to the new world order, it is possible. There will probably be some initial resistance though, be warned!

Hope you're enjoying settling in smile

ThreeTomatoes Sat 26-Jan-13 21:42:16

Yep she's going to play these sorts of games, GoodtoBetter, ignoring your messages, or if you haven't rung her for a day or two piling on the guilt trips about that too. You're going to have to be so calm and matter of fact and unemotional about it all. But at least you have some space now!

tribpot Sat 26-Jan-13 21:50:23

Yup - just breeze in. To do anything else just gives her an opening.

Now, much more importantly - don't forget that photo smile

GoodtoBetter Sun 27-Jan-13 06:18:00

Well, 4 hours later she responded to my text with "OK". Don't know whether she didn't see it til then, although why she'd look at her mobile at midnight I'm not sure.

Aussiebean Sun 27-Jan-13 06:27:00

It's a game. Can't let her know my feelings so will pretend I'm not interested.

Bit like dating. smile don't ring her for 3 days. Don't reply straight away to a text blah blah.

All you can do is laugh. Hopefully.

Apparentlychilled Sun 27-Jan-13 06:51:46

Good - so glad move went well and that you had a lovely sunrise fr your first morning there.

It's SO understandable to want a normal mother - daughter relationship, but yy to comments above about her wanting to guilt trip you for 'daring' to move out. I'd opt for breezy superficial chat for now- maybe in time she'll be able to stop playing games so much (though there's no guarantee of that), and you can have a more normal relationship, but for now, the priority is to build your boundaries, enjoy your new home and keep her at arm's length.

Good luck with the visit today!

GoodtoBetter Sun 27-Jan-13 08:38:10

"Daring to move out" yy I still have remind myself I haven't done a terrible thing. Still expect people to be horrified and say "you did WHAT?...that poor abandoned woman...what a selfish daughter!". Have to remember it's only her thinking like that. Also need to remembrr that her moping isn't my problem....she has to choose to be happy. All easier said than done though..

Hissy Sun 27-Jan-13 09:08:17

you see? don't panic, text as you would do, but not more than once, no call to check.

if she doesn't reply to confirm, don't go. when she pulls you up, say that it wasn't confirmed, so you assumed she was busy.

tribpot Sun 27-Jan-13 10:13:46

<cough cough> photo </cough cough>

I would just turn up today for a brief visit as previously mentioned. Not sure what was in your text that she replied 'OK' to, but I wouldn't overthink it. The whole point of moving out was to avoid spending every waking moment being dictated by her wishes and moods smile

pictish Sun 27-Jan-13 10:16:59

BTG - your mother is making you responsible for her emotional wellbeing atm, and it's really very manipulative of her. She is a grown up and her happiness and ability to cope are her own responsibility. The same applies to all of us.
It is grossly unfair of her to put the weight of her wellbeing on your shoulders, and you are quite within your rights to refuse to carry the burden. It is not your burden and she is capable of carrying it alone. Do not let her diminish your life, to build up her own.

Continue to be breezy and pleasant, and willing to help out within the normal parameters, as well do with our loved ones, but otherwise detach.

Well, 4 hours later she responded to my text with "OK". Don't know whether she didn't see it til then, although why she'd look at her mobile at midnight I'm not sure.

I realise it will be very difficult for you to quell the habits of a lifetime, but start by not obsessing over how and why she does things. Leave her to it. You cannot hope to second guess her...and if she has even the slightest inkling that you are trying to, she will grasp that and exploit it to her own has become her habit, and really, the whole twisted dynamic of your relationship.

You have to take control and make this relationship a mutually respectful one. That starts by you being proud that have done the right thing by prioritising your dh and kids, rather than your clingy, destructive and selfish mother. Kiss goodbye to your old relationship habits now, and make new healthy ones.
She cannot control the way you think. xx

TheGoatThatGotAway Sun 27-Jan-13 10:44:23

Great post, pictish. It is so, so difficult to step out of those ingrained dynamics, but the bottom line is that they bring no true benefit to anyone. Whatever the roots of your mum's manipulative neediness, GTB, you will never be able to satisfy it, no matter how far you bend and contort yourself and compromise the health of your own family life. She is barking up the wrong tree.

Hope today turns out to be nice. You are phenomenal!

GoodtoBetter Sun 27-Jan-13 19:26:51

pictish and goats some bits from your posts really resonated:

Whatever the roots of your mum's manipulative neediness, GTB, you will never be able to satisfy it, no matter how far you bend and contort yourself and compromise the health of your own family life. Nothing I did was ever enough. A while ago (before DD, now 20 mo was born) I'd sit in her lounge and watch TV, there was a while when I'd use the laptop and MN or read the news online. After a while she had a big emotional upset and one of her complaints was that I sat in the same room but on the laptop, rather than watch TV with her. She "felt lonelier than when she had lived alone" eh???? Nevermind the weirdness that she thought it was OK that I watched TV with her and DH sat upstairs on the computer of an evening. He got into that habit when she injured herself and came to live with us for about 6 months in our house before we sold it and moved in to hers. He says he got fed up because there was only one lounger there so she'd sit in it with us and if we watched (DH and I) something in Spanish she'd get bored and start talking to me and he couldn't hear the TV or it'd be in English and he couldn't understand so he preferred just to use the PC. I look back and can't really believe how unhealthy and odd it all was.

Also this: *your mother is making you responsible for her emotional wellbeing atm, and it's really very manipulative of her. She is a grown up and her happiness and ability to cope are her own responsibility. The same applies to all of us.
It is grossly unfair of her to put the weight of her wellbeing on your shoulders, and you are quite within your rights to refuse to carry the burden. It is not your burden and she is capable of carrying it alone. Do not let her diminish your life, to build up her own* this is what she has done my whole life - make me responsible for her happiness.

and I totally agree with the idea that the relationship has a "twisted dynamic".

So, today I went over with dcs and she was on the verge of tears the whole time. Mentioned she was taking a lot of codeine. Asked me to lift the dyson upstairs and pick up the cotton buds she'd dropped in the bathroom "but couldn't bend to pick up". Did that and saw she'd moved a single bed in one room and put sheets on it and another and put away all the bedding I hadn't had time to and put up some ornaments on shelves. I said I'd said I'd do that for her on Monday and she said she couldn't live "in a barn".

Then we went out for coffee and to a garden centre and she was saying she'll have to put her pension (not sure which one) into the UK account again as since the talk of referendums the rate has dropped and she's losing money on bringing it out and converting it to €. I ignored but the pretext is then that she can't afford to pay for help.

Asked me to lift a 6 pack of milk out of the car as said it was too heavy for her. Although apparently she managed it when she went to the flat. I mentioned we'd done an online order and it was very easy. (It's really hard atm to try to find neutral things to talk about...everything seems liable to create a PA retort). Said she'd have to have a look as "she can't cope"..i.e she can't manage to shop for herself..she'll starve to death etc etc.

Dropped her home and she said bye to dcs through tears and was clearly sobbing when she went in. I'll be over there briefly tomorrow as the workman's going over and I want to ask him for some help with something.

I know she's finding it hard, but much drama.

GoodtoBetter Sun 27-Jan-13 19:42:22

Ah yes, gave her the number of cleaning woman and she said she can't have anyone in yet as the house isn't fit for it...i.e it's too much like a barn...the decoration isn't up to it. She doesn't want anyone in while the house is like that. WTAF???????????

The house is as it was before, the only difference is there's one empty bedroom and 2 bedrooms with just beds.

GoodtoBetter Sun 27-Jan-13 19:51:54

oh yes and....she was crying and saying she'd have to try and set up the electric blanket on a timer as "I'm really struggling getting into a cold bed". I said, just go up during the afternoon and put it on the 12 hour setting. She looked like I'd suggested she dance round the market naked and said "but I can't go up the stairs an extra time, I'm trying not to go upstairs more than once" so I just dropped it as it's all guilting bollocks. This is the woman who used to go up and turn heaters on and then go up again and read DS a story and can drive to the flat after walking to the pharmacy and then the bank.

Herrena Sun 27-Jan-13 20:06:20

As long as you know it's all guilting bollocks Good, that is the main thing. Don't lose sight of that fact!

pictish Sun 27-Jan-13 20:22:09

Ignore ignore ignore. Smile and say 'ok then'.

Honestly it is not normal for a mother to expect to be babied by her child. What a pain in the arse she is.

lizzypuffs Sun 27-Jan-13 20:38:59

I know its very hard for you but at least you are seeing everything she is doing clearly and that she is trying to manipulate your emotions. Continue to disengage.

ThreeTomatoes Mon 28-Jan-13 01:24:51

God I really hope you keep your visits to her few & far between and as short as possible! I can't believe you went back so soon, TBH, you were well within your rights to say "We're going to be really busy getting sorted in the new house for the next couple of weeks, i'll ring you on Xday". Still, visit 1 over with. Keep to your mantras!

I hope you're enjoying the peace & quiet in your own home though?

justaboutchilledout Mon 28-Jan-13 01:52:40

Can't go up the stairs an extra time?

Dear lord.

2rebecca Mon 28-Jan-13 09:38:47

The crying sounds quite distressing for the children and I'd be telling her if she cries again when you take the kids that it's too distressing for them to see her upset and that you'll visit alone until she has got used to the new living arrangements and is happy to see them. I would be limiting visiting to a couple of times a week to let her adjust.
She needs to adjust her shopping for living alone as well. if she can't carry a 6 pint container of milk then she doesn't buy a 6 pint container of milk, she buys smaller ones. That's what people living alone who have difficulty carrying stuff do. Or order online and get it delivered as you suggested. Resist the temptation to keep doing stuff for her. if you had never moved in with her she'd be doing all this already. You'd only been with her for 3 years.
Don't try and solve nonproblems like the electric blanket for her.
She's in a "yes but" state of mind currently when every solution you propose to her problems will be met by a "yes but" answer like the cleaner as to why your solution won't work. The answer to this is to let her work out her own solutions and not try and run her life for her.

tribpot Mon 28-Jan-13 09:55:22

I know she's finding it hard, but much drama.

What she's finding hard is that you're not dancing to her tune. You KNOW she can deal with the blanket, the milk, that the house is fine for a cleaner.

And the answer to the timer to turn the blanket on thing was 'yes, that's a good idea'. Let's assume for a minute she actually does have a problem getting up and down the stairs (I know this is bollocks). A timer is a good way of using technology to solve a physical problem. Good for her. I'd get her a couple more timers when you're next going over so she has plenty!

GoodtoBetter Mon 28-Jan-13 10:15:36

So, popped over this morning with DH as the workman was there sorting out the leaky pipe from before we moved and DH wanted to ask him about some ironwork to go on the roof for the washing line. There was mould (crap damp houses) in the main bedroom, which we'd bleached on moving day and I'd said we'd come back and paint the stain and move the other bed for her.
So, put a lick of paint on and she'd asked me to move a bookcase to another room (I see she managed to empty it herself and move some large containers of paint downstairs). She's sleeping in a single bed at the front of the house and did at least say it was much warmer than the bedroom (with 3 exterior walls, so cold) she had been in. She was fussing though about the window and whether she should have it redone as there's some damp (but not mould) around the built in blind. i just did the "OK, whatever" routine.
But this, sleeping in the other room, not the main bedroom with the en's just to punish me, honestly it is. The main bedroom is much nicer. It's just to say "I can't sleep in there, I'm too pathetic to change the bedding".
So, left once I'd done all that and now am not contacting at all until at least the weekend as I have a LOT of work to do and I think she needs, like you said rebecca to sort out her own little routines etc. She knows my number.
The milk thing is nonsense I agree. If I were her I would order all the heavy things online (and anything else I fancied) and then drive to the supermarket 10 mins away for fruit, or have it delivered from the fruitshop in the village. (They are very fond of DS and when we went away for a week in May she did go there and told them she was DS' granny and they were very friendly, so she could have some human contact that way.
In the market next to the pharmacy there's a fishmongers and a butcher.
But, that wouldn't be any fun because it wouldn't involved guilt tripping and she might actually enjoy it all.
trib I took a photo today, just for to work out how to upload it! smile

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 28-Jan-13 10:22:51

Regressing to weepiness, go-slow, limited physical activity, what next - near paralysis? She should be ashamed of herself. Like a spoilt child, competing for attention when a younger one needs extra time, extra help. That is quite a lot of energy being put into acting helpless.

GoodtoBetter Mon 28-Jan-13 10:27:32

Well, "near-paralysis" was how she got me to move in in the first place, remember?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 28-Jan-13 10:32:37

Quite. Well, keep on doing what you're doing, stay in contact and be brisk and bright. Priority job is to get your new home shipshape and work on track.

MusicalEndorphins Mon 28-Jan-13 13:48:24

Your mother is making her life harder than it need be.
She can pick things up from the floor herself with a grabber. There are different ones. There links are from a UK site as I can't read Spanish, but I am sure you can buy them anywhere really.
dustpan-long handled
[[ rollators, She could do her shopping with it, also bring laundry to and fro with it]

Regarding the bedroom, maybe ask her if she would like you to put the single bed in the nicer bedroom? Or is the bedroom she is in the warmest one anyways? Who knows, but remember to get her to write a list of things she needs help with.
I don't know what a 6 pack of milk is, but does it weigh more than 10 pounds?

Stay strong, remember you have not done anything wrong at all! You were there for her for a long time, and you still are, as she is not totally unable to do anything. I think you said she quit doing her PT exercises, so she is not putting in an effort to be strong and independent.
I agree with telling her to not cry in front of the children. (You would think this is something an adult would know not to do!)
I am really happy for you, your dh and dc, that you have your own little home, and your freedom.
Your mother needs some woman friends her own age, and I hope she will meet some, it will do her the world of good to have someone to sit and have a coffee with at that cafe you mention, or even at her kitchen table. Maybe she'll see how lucky she is to have you if she gets to know some other women, because not all daughters and son il's would be such a godsend as you have been to her these past years.
Keep smiling!

MusicalEndorphins Mon 28-Jan-13 13:50:29

Oops, sorry, link fail!

MusicalEndorphins Mon 28-Jan-13 13:59:49

Is this a milk 6 pack?
If so, tell her not to be so dumb as to pick it up. Unless she has super strong arms (doesn't sound like it) she will be straining her back as it is over 10 pounds.
If she must buy it like that, tell her to split the packaging and carry 3 at a time.

GoodtoBetter Mon 28-Jan-13 14:22:45

Yes a pack of 6 one litre bricks of uht. She can order it online along with othet heavy stuff but that provides no guilting opportunities....

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 14:32:15

MusicalEndorphins Admirably helpful post there, really, but you are making a fundamental mistake here... you applied logic, common sense and normalness to someone who is not in possession of any of them.

What G2B needs is to fail to react to anything.

Giving the links, researching bits and bobs, making suggestions is getting sucked right back in again.

G2B, you mother has adopted the hair shirt technique.

If she wants to be in a crappier bedroom - her choice.
If she chooses to not put the electric blanket on when she's always done it before - her choice
a sudden inability to carry 6 cartons of milk when she managed PERFECTLY well only a week or 2 ago - her choice
Washing/ironing/walking/talking whatever - her choice

I agree that you have the strongly worded 'STOP the whining/tears' conversation with her, as it's just pathetic. she has NO business guilt tripping ANY of you. You need to go in hard on this and state that you will only pop in when YOU need to, and without the kids if she is unable to behave herself in a proper sane adult manner.

Don't forget: HER behaviour made sharing a house IMPOSSIBLE. Her undermining of you, your DH, her manipulation of YOUR DS, her ignoring your DD, her pick and mix approach to coping or not coping, her emails full of shite to your DB, all of that. She wanted to rip your marriage to pieces, to have your H leave you all so that she could get you as her dogs body all to herself.

SHE did this.

She won't accept this, ever, as for someone to behave like that, to be this nasty would mean that SHE is nasty, wrong and that she is reaping what she has sown.

From the sounds of it, she has never taken responsibility for ANYTHING, not her words, deeds, actions, mistakes out and out WRONGS.

Why would she start now? seriously?

If you expect that she will always be this way, that nothing will ever change, that you will ALWAYS be the one in the wrong in her eyes, then you will be able to detach, move on from this, heal and perhaps even have a fairly OK relationship with her, as you will be managing your expectations and only asking/expecting what she is capable of doing.

If you are expecting her to one day wake up and be nice, to learn from all this, to be the mother you so deserved, you are going to be bitterly disappointed.

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 14:37:31

I meant to add a smiley there to MusicalEndophines, certainly didn't want to come across snippy or critical! blush

smile <- there it is! grin

Hissy Mon 28-Jan-13 14:47:06

G2B, your mum will NEVER see how lucky she is to have what she has, people like her are so fundamentally unhappy that they are never happy with anything they have, they want more and more and more. They are literally insatiable.

She would not have stopped when she ripped your family to pieces, she would have continued on to destroy you and your self-esteem.

She does really sound narcissistic, you can't win with them.

I think you could really benefit from the Toxic Parents/Daughters of the Self Absorbed/narcissistic etc books. That and regular therapy with a specifically experienced counsellor.

this stuff is hard stuff, it goes to our very core. You are not out of the woods yet. You need distance and detachment.

MusicalEndorphins Mon 28-Jan-13 15:38:47

That's ok Hissy, I wasn't feeling you were snippy. smile

Jux Mon 28-Jan-13 16:10:17

My MIL was so desperate to be the centre of attention that she'd make things up to worry about; utter nonsense, she once spent 6 weeks worrying that someone had stolen her jewellery but somehow or other couldn't manage to actually look in her bedroom to see if it was still there. We were over there once when she started talking about it, and I offered to go and look with her but was very definitely turned down.

That's your mum, I'm afraid, except she's not a worrier, she just likes to have things to be miserable about. Some people are only happy when they're unhappy.

GoodtoBetter Mon 28-Jan-13 22:40:51

reading...but have to go to bed. Some very insightful posts, will try and respond tomorrow.
Thanks everyone.

Aussiebean Tue 29-Jan-13 05:20:53

Maybe when she turns down your suggestion to her perceived problem should be.

Ok. Your choice.

Then change the subject. Puts the responsibility back on her and ends your responsibility.

WingDefence Tue 29-Jan-13 10:58:18

Hope you slept okay last night Good and the apartment is everything you hoped for smile

I agree with not contacting her until the weekend. Even in a 'normal', healthy mother-daughter relationship, you don't have to be in each other's pockets all the time and it really can't be doing your DC much good seeing her in this state each time sad

GoodtoBetter Tue 29-Jan-13 12:24:56

Really really tired today and have a SORE throat but finally got the go ahead on the translation job, so really pleased. I probably should have quoted higher, but after tax I should come out with 2700 € for the month's work, about double a month's teaching. Then, hopefully I'll do the other 2 similar sized books. Also got a small job from an old client (100€) which I've almost finished for tomorrow.
I will get the Toxic Parents book from Amazon I think. I'm still finding it hard to detach as much as I should...find myself still worrying a bit or feeling I should contact her or check on her (I haven't) have to remind myself that if we had a normal relationship contact once a week would be quite often.
DS said on his 1st morning here he'd had a dream about M that she was sad we were in the new house, but there's been nothing like that since and he seems to have adjusted well.
I remembered a thing from before. She used to imply that DH somehow favoured DD over DS (not true)..daddy's girl and all that but I think it was what I've read about "projecting" that actually she was favouring DS over DD so saw the opposite in DH...or something <<crap amateur psychologist emoticon>>
There are other things I've been mulling over but I think of them when I'm not able to post and then instantly forget them....only so much room in my brain atm.

AutumnDreams Tue 29-Jan-13 12:41:12

For now, Good perhaps you need to switch off all the over thinking, and concentrate on your work, and fully enjoying your new home. You have come a helluva long way, in a very short time, and you know you will never go back to how you were. That is the only thing that matters right now. As long as you stick to your boundaries, do what you feel is right FOR YOU about visiting, then just put it all to bed for a few weeks. You know that your mother is going to be fine, and you are on the doorstep if she really did need you. Give yourself a break now love.

Dozer Tue 29-Jan-13 12:47:25

Congratulations on the new home! Glad work going well, but sorry your M is being a pain. Think you should try to rest and look after yourself, moving, work, the stress etc has been a lot, you need some TLC!

ThreeTomatoes Tue 29-Jan-13 12:48:02

Glad things are going well G2B. Wow re DS and his dream, just goes to show doesn't it!! Kids pick up on a lot more than we give them credit for.

Totally agree about the projection, as she favours DS she would probably perceive favouritism of DD/be jealous on DS's behalf etc. It's nonsense of course.

Nothing wrong with things churning over in your mind, obv let it happen (there's bound to be tons) but don't worry about analysing it all and thinking too deeply until you're ready or really want or need to.

How's your DH? Is he happy to be out of there?

GoodtoBetter Tue 29-Jan-13 14:28:34

Yes DH much happier. He's doing most of the house stuff as I don't have min am either teaching translating or sleeping. A while ago he started smoking again in secret and I found out and he said he was really down and stressed about lack of work and being useless but i think the whole situation with his mil didn't help. He stopped again. having so much work is good ...stops me thinking too much. have to go to work is will check later xxx

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 29-Jan-13 16:24:02

That is wonderful news about translation work, what great timing, congrats.
Am sure DH can relax iyswim even though actually busy.

GoodtoBetter Tue 29-Jan-13 22:53:35

Argh is it possible to die from tiredness?

Jux Tue 29-Jan-13 23:42:10

Well done re translation!

Thongs will get easier so don't push yourself beyond immediate stuff. Prioritise fiendishly!

Jux Tue 29-Jan-13 23:43:28

Things, of course.

Jux Tue 29-Jan-13 23:45:06

Oh, and at the moment a lot of things can be "good enough" so don't get too hung up.

Aussiebean Wed 30-Jan-13 06:23:58

When things have settled and you have the head space have a look at the stately homes thread.

They talk about being in the FOG. Fear, Obligation and Guilt.

It's the different ways a toxic keep you in their thrall.

Well done on the translation job. Yay!

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 09:34:34

What I'm struggling with at the moment a little (I don't mean I'm thinking about it all the time or crying or anything) is guilt. I have to fight the habit to get in touch and check on her. I feel I should be in contact with her daily, I suppose because I have been living with her and had her being so dependant on me for years, it feels weird not to be "caretaking" or solving some problem or other for her or doing something to try to cheer her up....
It feels really odd, I have to keep reminding myself that she can and needs to find her own way a little. I can almost hear her voice complaining that she hasn't spoken to anyone since we left (except of course she has, the workman was in on Monday and yesterday and I was there on Monday and she was supposedly going to the supermarket and the post office). As if, people don't live alone and speak only to shop assistants except for family at the weekends. As if she can't ring DB for a chat for example.
I struggle with the idea that it's OK to wait for her to contact me...that it's to up to me to make the running all the time, that I have a job, other work, children and a house to organise. I know she's sitting there brooding about how I haven't got in touch in 48 hours and thinking it's up to me to do it. I wonder how long she'd leave it if I just didn't get in touch....

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 09:35:34

that it's not up to me to make the running.

TheGoatThatGotAway Wed 30-Jan-13 09:52:35

Yes, it goes against the grain, no wonder it is hard. It is ok that it doesn't come naturally, and good that you're aware of how your mind is working. My goodness, you've had such upheaval (of every kind), it's a wonder you can even manage a coherent thought. She will be fine, and if she wants to ring, she can ring. And, just to point out, you're doing really well even to have managed 48 hours. You don't have to be perfect at this yet wink

pictish Wed 30-Jan-13 10:08:24

It's totally understandable GTB.

She has spent a long time manipulating you into running her life for her, and in fact, she feels quite entitled to do so, so she will be outraged that you have seen fit to rebel against her carefully crafted regime. She is relying on you feeling guilty because she has made you responsible for her.
She WILL blame you for not getting in touch. She WILL hold you to ransom over her lonliness. It is going to be a good while yet before she accepts that she needs to be self sufficient....and that's if she ever does.

No matter. You are working towards getting to the stage where you can affectionately and good humouredly think of your mum as a demanding pain in the arse, and be able to roll your eyes and snort at her shennanigans from your own house.

Not many of us baby our mums, few of us ring to make sure they're ok every day. Most of us regard our parents as adults and get on with our own is NORMAL.

It will come to you through force of habit. Stay strong. xxxx

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 10:11:48

Before she came out here I used to ring her once a week.

WingDefence Wed 30-Jan-13 10:30:33

You said it yourself Good - "I have a job, other work, children and a house to organise". You've just moved house, with two children, trying to get work done and find more work. This is a massive life event in itself and look how far you've come since your original post.

Your primary concern must be your own DC, then DH and then yourself. After all that, think of your mum but that still doesn't necessarily mean you have to contact her.

WingDefence Wed 30-Jan-13 10:31:42

Sorry. Should probably have put "yourself" before DH (and possibly DC?!). Regardless, your own family come before your not-so-D-M.

lizzypuffs Wed 30-Jan-13 10:32:56

Its very very difficult to change your mindset. It wont happen overnight but will evolve over time. If you only rang her once a week before she came to Spain at least you have a benchmark to compare to. That's good. She managed then. She can manage now.

You are doing brilliantly considering everything that you're doing and have just done.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 30-Jan-13 10:37:04

Better to wait until you have time for a nice chat perhaps than a daily 'duty call' of 2 minutes and a rushed "Okay Mum got to dash" which ime only winds them up more. It doesn't come easy to stop old ingrained habits. This is a period of reacclimatisation. That way you call on impulse for genuine reasons not because you envisage a tyrant logging your lack of contact and docking you filial brownie points.

2rebecca Wed 30-Jan-13 11:05:51

My dad lives alone in his mid 70s. He rings me as often as I ring him and we are usually in contact on the phone once or twice a week, plus emails now and then. Since my mum died he has made an effort to go to education classes and join things and learn to use the computer. I suspect your mum may choose to return to the UK in the long run. She has to try living independantly here first but don't try and influence her either way. Communication is as much her responsibility as yours. She has a phone she can pick up if she wants to talk to you.
Stop thinking about what she may or may not be feeling, that's her business not yours. It's up to her to cheer herself up and decide for herself how she wants to live her life.
You should just phone her when you want to for a chat, although I'd keep phone calls reletively short and fairly frequent initially, but probably not daily as then there can be a daily phone call expectation although alot of women do phone their relatives daily.
She still has your brother to phone as well. Does she not have any other relatives eg siblings she can phone, friends from the UK?

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 11:33:18

Right now I don't want to phone her because it won't be a chat, she'll either be cold and angry or pathetic and cry and try to make me feel guilty about moving out.

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 11:36:36

Our relationship has become so warped and the moving out she took so badly i'm not even sure what is reasonable to do i terms of contact. I think in the long run a phone call every few days, a visit once a week or even 2 short visits is plenty. I'm not sure I trust my instincts on hwo to play it at first and how much to let her do the running or how much to set the pace myself and in which dirction. Quite apart from the fact that I don't have a minute when I'm not supposed to be working or sleeping right now.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 30-Jan-13 11:58:51

Living within driving distance of mum, a small posy of flowers left on the doorstep or a balloon with a message from grandchild attached to it sometimes did more than a contrived phone call or meeting face to face.

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 12:04:13

I was there for about an hour doing stuff upstairs for her on Monday and on Sunday went out with her and the dcs for about 2 hours. My thoughts were that I would leave any contact til Friday as she knows I have a lot of work apart from the move (although she doesn't know about the translation). Also dcs are at school/nursery til lunchtime and then I'm am work so no chance for her to see them with me til Friday pm.
Don't know whether I should text or phone before then or leave it up to her. I want to be fair and friendly but am not sure what's reasonable really any more or what my boundaries should be.

TheGoatThatGotAway Wed 30-Jan-13 12:06:20

What would it achieve to get in touch before Friday? (Genuine question.)

Aussiebean Wed 30-Jan-13 12:07:13

One of the last times I talked to my mum she complained that my brother never brought the kids over go see her. I told her to ring up and offer to take the kids.

Her response was ... 'I shouldn't have to beg'

They come up with the stupidest things some times. When you go over take your DH with you. She will not start in on you in front of him. She will wait til she has you alone. She might do the little comment thing in which case say to her 'you could have called.'

The probl is when you are out of the situation it is so easy to say what you want but when your in it it's hard to remember. And then it is so irrational you can't anticipate it.

You are doing so well though. And you should do what's right for you.

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 12:12:11

Good question Goat...nothing really, I expect she'll just try and guilt me. She said herself a day or so before we moved that we'd be very busy and not to worry getting in touch for a bit. She could phone or text me, she could ask how things are going with the move or how the dcs are. She hasn't.
Aussie, that is EXACTLY the kind of thing my mother would say and has said.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 30-Jan-13 12:12:32

The thing is, you are genuinely rushed off your feet! You could have the best relationship ever and still be pushed for time, so absolutely prioritise and M can wait.

TheGoatThatGotAway Wed 30-Jan-13 12:16:36

Right. smile And I don't think ringing today will prevent her from guilting you about one thing or another on Friday anyway...

Walkacrossthesand Wed 30-Jan-13 12:16:41

I'm in my 50s and my youngest DC is 18, I anticipate she'll be leaving home one way or another over the next year or so and I see it as 100% my responsibility to build a life that doesn't depend on my adult DCs for company. Your DM managed it before she lived with you, and she can manage it again - but she won't if she remains dependent on you for 'company'. It's different if a parent is truly frail, but even then the adult DCs have to make do with supporting from a distance, helping set up local support, etc. Keeping your distance while new habits are established is actually in her best interests! and that's without the toxic elements you are having to deal with

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 12:18:16

Well, exactly. This morning I took the DCs to school/nursery, came home and planned classes, finished the small translation (which took longer than expected) and hung out washing and put another load on. DH has been shopping, mended a leak in the kitchen, batch cooked for 3 days and put up the line pole on the roof. I have been trying to concentrate on the big translation but can't get my brain in gear, so I'm going to put some make up on and take the dog for a quick walk. Then at 3 I have to drive to work, will be back at 10, when I'll have to start i correcting exams and doing more translation. Then I'll go to bed and get up and do the same all over tomorrow.

AutumnDreams Wed 30-Jan-13 12:24:08

You really don`t need this additional stress, with all that you have going on. Friday would be quite soon enough to drop in, given that you were just there on Monday. Whatever you do decide, please don`t make any firm days or times. You won`t always want/be able to keep to them, and that will be another stick for her to beat you with. Anything you do decide to do, texting, calling, will quickly be seen as something she expects, so be very careful you don`t set any precedents that you don`t want to keep up with. Once things have settled down, you can have a re-think.

I do understand the guilt, albeit very misplaced. It`s learned behaviour, and it`s going to be very hard to unlearn. Just remember that whatever you do, your mother probably still won`t be happy, so you might just as well do what suits you and your family. Having come this far, you really can`t allow her an inch.

lizzypuffs Wed 30-Jan-13 12:48:13

I think you need to take the view that you will probably be damned if you do and damned if you dont.

So maybe just focus on getting your work done, the house and family for the moment and then when you get a bit of time and if you want to, then get in contact.

Herrena Wed 30-Jan-13 13:31:08

Look Good, you don't have to justify your lack of contact to us by explaining how busy you are. Even if you weren't busy, it would be perfectly reasonable to expect her to make an effort once in a while!!

Doubtless she will guilt you whatever you do, so you might as well please yourself.

About 'Her response was ... 'I shouldn't have to beg'. You say your DM has said things like this? That is your cue to force a laugh and say 'It's not begging mum, it's having a normal conversation!'. And then if when she starts crying, pretend not to notice, continue to be breezy and leave the room or building as soon as you can. Do not hug/kiss goodbye as that makes the pretence harder to maintain and she might get you in a deathgrip and literally cry on your shoulder, which is hard to escape from without being a complete callous bastard.

You probably think I'm being harsh (hell, I am) but some people will suck you dry if you let them.

Jux Wed 30-Jan-13 13:57:55

Normal: phone once a week, visit once a month. Aim for that!

ThreeTomatoes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:02:10

Agree, damned if you do damned if you don't, so do what it is you can handle.

Everyone's different obviously wrt their relationship to their parents, proximity etc, I have a friend who talks to her mum on the phone every day albeit briefly, and sees her parents every week, whereas I see my parents maybe once a month and don't speak on the phone very often unless one or other of us has something specific to ring about. As I think i've said before, I've got wonderful parents, we're really close and I love spending time with them, it's just that I've got plenty else to spend my spare time doing, and wouldn't want yet another commitment calved out of my spare time! That goes for my parents, friends, anybody, or any set activity even!grin Let alone for a toxic mother who will only be giving you grief (i.e. FOG) every time...

So, a visit once a week & maybe a quick call to confirm the visit, to me seems AMPLE! I wouldn't even want to do that often grinwink

ThreeTomatoes Wed 30-Jan-13 14:02:44

oh ,yes, even better, what Jux said!

Herrena Wed 30-Jan-13 14:25:47

I think visiting once or twice a week sounds good initially; since you lived together it might be a bit of a wrench for her to see your DS less frequently than that. You can wean her onto less frequent visits after a while smile

What Jux describes does sound normal, but since you're living in such a small place and so close to each other you will surely cross paths occasionally!

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 21:54:13

Gah. Went to pick DD up at lunchtime and was pushing her in the buggy to collect DS from school and got wheel caught going down a kerb. Buggy tipped right over, throwing DD onto the ground face down, still strapped in, and me on top of her. I couldn't get up for a minute and all I could see was the buggy on top of her and her screaming. Horrible. People came running and helped us up, DD's mouth full of blood, but turned out just to be that she'd bitten her own tongue on both sides. Someone went and got a glass of water and someone else helped me with the buggy, everyone was so kind. DD was fine after about 5 mins and has been eating normally and everything, but it all left me a bit shaky. I have a huge egg sized bruise on my shin.
Not a peep from DM. She's not asked about the move or the dcs, so is probably sulking or wallowing. Will text tomorrow or Friday and suggest popping over with dcs Friday afternoon.
Tired and overwhelmed today.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 22:07:17

G2B, you're fishing for DM approval. Stop it. Oit's not going to haoppen, she'll only ever seek to undermine and guilt you. If she needed you, she'd call.

Leave it until next week, have a weekend without her casting her pall. you need space from her, you need to heal.

Break this hideous addiction

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 22:10:18

Sorry to hear about DD, I had similar happen in a shopping centre, it was awful.

Mind you, getting bollocked by my abusive ex for being late (due to calming of crying, bleeding child) was worse sad

Thank god I'm free of him. Now your turn to wriggle free of your oppressor. smile

Doha Wed 30-Jan-13 22:11:10

Oh poor DD and poor you GoodtoBetter--you really are having a time of it.

I think you need time out from all the stress, leave your DM be for the rest of the week, let her contact you.
Stop feeling guilty, you are and have been a good daughter and she is luck to have you BUT you need to look after yourself and have a break from all the drama.

Doha Wed 30-Jan-13 22:12:03

haha x-post with Hissy

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 22:12:11

You're right, always are. Can't quite believe I'm "allowed" to just not contact her all week. Not sure what I think might happen if I don't contact her. FOG again.

Herrena Wed 30-Jan-13 22:26:47

Not surprised that you're shaken! We get out the habit of falling over as we grow up, so we don't recover as fast as little kids do (that's my amateur psychologist theory anyway).

Hissy is bang on the money. However, I think you'd probably fret a lot if you left it that long! She needs to be weaned off constant contact and you need to wean yourself off providing it, IMO. I'd recommend texting tomorrow (ONCE) and then turning up on Friday. Make some excuse to not see her at the weekend, you do need a break!

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 22:35:45


Tomorrow is too soon, there does need to be some cold turkey here. You and your family need space. You need time away from her and if you keep calling, texting, she'll get at you.

Tomorrow is Thursday. Leave it until after the weekend. Go see the inlaws, get the house straight, sit in your pants and fo naff all, if that's what youa want to do.

Calling her, making plans to see her this week will allow some of her poison to seep in.

Please, if not for you, for the man who's had to put up with so much cruelty? For H? Please give him the weekend without her. He's more than earned it.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 22:39:48

It seems to me that you are still holding out for her to become the normal loving mother you want her to be...

You know that's never going to happen right? Stop putting yourself in situations where she's going to hurt you by letting you down, stip lining up to take more pain, more manipulation, more anguish.

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 22:52:10

She'll never be what I want her to be, no..because I want her to respect my DH and my independence and she can't seem to see that I am no longer about 12, that I have other people to look after, a family of my own. She STILL doesn't get that, it's STILL all about her, how SHE'S feeling...hence the sulking and wallowing.
I wasn't planning to go to visit with DH btw...just me and the DCs.
I keep reminding myself that she still hasn't phoned me.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:00:21

Pour that energy into your H, don't trot off to her, choose to stay with him.

A normal parent would wish you well, would be excited about your new home, would be pleased for you.

She's punishing you. For living. Wtaf?

Didn't she punish your dad by ignoring him?

I'm sorry G2B, I know how utterly painful this is, I've been there, it's excruciating.

Please be a family this weekend, no visits. Just a breather.

tribpot Wed 30-Jan-13 23:02:07

What a horribly scary experience with dd, GoodToBetter. Thank goodness she's okay sad

Perhaps you should contrast your relationship with your PILs with your relationship with your mother. I imagine if you'd said to them last weekend "I'm really sorry, we can't manage to pop round this Sunday" the sky wouldn't have fallen down. You don't feel that obsessive need with them to be pleasing them and thinking about their needs all the time. You enjoy each other's company.

Hissy Wed 30-Jan-13 23:04:09

"she can't seem to see that I am no longer about 12, that I have other people to look after, a family of my own."

Oh she got it alright.

She tried to tear it all to pieces. She wanted your H to leave, she's tried to manipulate your son, and she ignores your DD. Oh and she's tried to get your db on her side too.

If you keep getting sucked back in by the Fear, Obligation and Guilt, you'll never see the truth.

That's what she wants.

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 23:05:42

she used to say to my dad that everythig that came out of his mouth was a lie (and tbf he was an alcoholic and so, in the way addicts do he'd say any old bollocks to protect his primary relatioship: alcohol). She used to say that if he kept on lying there would come a day when there would be no point talking to him any more. Eventually she did stop talking to him altogether but she didn't actually get him out of the house (v acrimonious divorce) for some time after that.
It's funny because it feels a bit like that with her now...she keeps on and on guilting me and it gets to the point when there's no point talking because everything is just another chance to prove me an awful daughter and make me see the error of my ways and how badly I'm treating her.

Jux Wed 30-Jan-13 23:08:19

Glad all's well after the fall.

No, please don't pop in yet. Cold turkey is hard, but worth it, and it has the best chance of benefitting you both. If anything has actually happened to her, you'd have heard.

So, she is choosing not to contact you, not because she's so busy, but because she is punishing you again. Don't let her. The reason you are where you are now, is to learn new patterns, to concentrate on your dh and children, to protect them from her, and most of all to protect yourself. It isn't easy to change the habits of a lifetime, so it will be an effort to stop yourself worrying and to stop feeling guilty, but the harder you try now, the greater the pay-off in the end.

Always tell yourself that if she seriously needed help from you she'd have been in touch; as she hasn't been in touch, she has not seriously needed you. I suspect she is assuming that you will cave in very soon. See if you can make it a few days longer before you do.

It will get easier with time.

(I actually got on really well with my parents, and we would all have lunch every Sunday, but didn't phone at all unless there was something which couldn't wait. When we moved 7 years ago, we asked mum if she'd like to live with us - dad died years ago - so we ended up living together for about 5 years, until she died. DH adored her. She wasn't a manipulative woman though, was quite humble in a knew-what-she-was-worth-but-didn't-need-to-push-it sort of way, intelligent, cultured, funny, and fair. So, when I say phone once a week and visit once a month, this is observation of other's relationships with parents, and not reflective of my own.)

GoodtoBetter Wed 30-Jan-13 23:09:20

Yes, at one point before she stormed off to the flat I said in exasperation something like, "what do you want, me to divorce DH or something" (not meaning it of course) thinking she'd say "Oh God, of course not..I just mean...." and she sort of smirked and said something like.."that's up to you"...I remember thinking, God, she reaaaaalllly hates him.

WingDefence Wed 30-Jan-13 23:15:17

Hi Good. As usual, others have far, far better advice than I could ever hope to give. But I agree on Hissy's point regarding your DH - it's time to give him some of your time.

What would going to see DM with the DCs and without him say to him anyway? That she still comes first? That you are still tied to her apron strings? We read threads on here where the H and MIL cannot let go of each other and even though the OP and MIL have an awful relationship, the H still insists on spending hard-earned family time with the MIL. If I were in that situation, I'd feel like my OH still puts me second to someone who is actively nasty to me and I'd worry about the state my H would come back in, what lies my MIL would have been peddling about me etc etc.

It's your first proper weekend as a family in your new pad! You don't have to see her. She will be fine.

You do need to break this. Goodness knows, you have been as strong as a rock to get this far! Do it for your DH, do it for your DC and you are also doing it for yourself.

Herrena Wed 30-Jan-13 23:25:24

Christ Good, that is a scary realisation. Thank goodness you're not living with her anymore - way to pin your colours to the mast and none-too-subtly choose a side!

What would going to see DM with the DCs and without him say to him anyway? That she still comes first? That's a good point.

I guess if you're going to establish a new world order now is the time to do it, as everyone else has said. You'll have to steel yourself not to give in to your programming though!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 30-Jan-13 23:39:38

Poor Good what a shock with DD glad she wasn't hurt beyond biting tongue (still must have been painful).

Again like before moving house, I think emotions are running high, you're running hard to keep still and getting out of old patterns feels exhausting and frankly yet more stress.

Don't upset yourself by denying yourself contact but the reason you got together with DH was to start a new life together. The DCs came along and you are a family. Will 48 more hours of you putting your family first really damage the healthy uncontrolling bond you should have with a parent?

ThreeTomatoes Thu 31-Jan-13 07:14:58

Yes I agree with the others who say keep this weekend as precious family time together. I mean, really, what difference would it make to your relationship with your DM? Whether or not you see her it's going to be FOGgy wink. This way, you get a weekend to relax. You've just moved house, reasonable friends & family would totally understand you'd want to keep this weekend to yourselves, whereas your DM would guilt-trip you for choosing any time for your family instead of her!

TheGoatThatGotAway Thu 31-Jan-13 08:35:58

Really sorry to hear about your fall, Good. How horrible. I hope your DD is ok this morning.

I'm going to go against the tide and remind you that you're free to do whatever the hell you like with regards getting in touch with your mum. If you're finding yourself agitated by not being the one to take the initiative, you're free to ring. (I don't think you're under any illusions about what will come of it.) If you'd like to experiment with leaving it for a while longer (which will feel weird, I know, but is perfectly ok and normal) and keep the weekend for the four of you, that's fine too. You are the boss of you smile. (Personally, I would recommend a very long sleep.)

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 09:28:29

DD seems absolutely fine, thank goodness. I've got a really sore right leg, where I think I braced myself against the fall..the whole thigh aches. and I have this monstrous egg sized lump on my shin which is slowly going black and purple.
I've got a cold and a wheezy cough and a cold sore, which I think is all just general rundown-ness.
I haven't decided what to do about DM. I think I need to do my level best to break old habits and stop feeling this worry about not contacting. I keep reminding myself that she could ring me, to ask how we are, how the dcs she professes to love so much are. DH says, and I think he's right, that she hasn't phoned because she's angry and she's waiting for me to crack first so she can reassert control.
She will see it as up to me to phone her. Her attitude will be that I abandoned her and I need to make amends and that I am being a bad daughter leaving her to "cope" alone.
So, I'm going to go against my instincts and not contact her for a little while longer. Since this blew up MN has helped me "go against my instincts" and eahc time it's been the right thing to do, so I'm going to give it a go. I'm not promising I'll get past about Sunday...I think it would be reasonable for her to see the dcs then..but I'm going to try holding off til then If she contacts me and is not guilting then I'll respond in a friendly way. But she won't. This is the woman who can ignore people for YEARS.

2rebecca Thu 31-Jan-13 09:53:40

Who contacted who before she came to live with you? If it was fairly equal then it's easy to reply if she moans that she could have phoned you like she used to. I think phoning on Saturday to arrange a time for her to see the kids on Sunday sounds fine for someone who has had a busy week. Since you moved you have seen her twice whilst she has done nothing (not that you want her just popping in). She has to get used to normal communication again where she phones you as often as you phone her. I presume that's what happens with your brother.

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 10:02:29

She never phones DB. She e mails him occasionally and he used to FB me and ask if we wanted to skype. I'd set it up and say hi but then leave it to her because I found it easier to FB msg him than have a 3 way conversation.
When she lived in the UK I'd phone generally, once a week.
When she came here but before we lived together DH was working so I'd quite often go to hers for lunch and then go to work. Then, when DS was born I was on ML and she would come up for lunch sometimes or we'd visit. Then I went back to work and she was to look after DS in the afternoons but DH lost his job a wk before I went back but she insisted she still wanted to come up, and tbh that's where the rot set it, as it gave her free rein to dominate DH and push him out.

AutumnDreams Thu 31-Jan-13 11:01:11

So sorry you are suffering as a result of the fall. You do sound on the verge of a bloody breakdown very run down. Eat well, rest when you can, and avoid the source of it all until you are just a little bit stronger, both physically and emotionally

When you visit, nothing in her attitude will have really changed. In fact she will probably crank it all up a bit, so give yourself some more recovery time, before stepping into the lions den again. Bit dramatic I suppose.....or is it?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 31-Jan-13 11:01:23

Reminds of someone close to me; I realised as I grew up that carrying a grudge or resentment forever isn't actually strength (of character or resolve), it's weakness. It's not just standing up for oneself when making unreasonable demands or expecting people to live up to impossible standards - it's pretty well trampling over others to make sure you get what you want. It's easier to play the poor-old-me card and act all wronged than give in, 'lose face' momentarily and say you know what, you're right, I'm being unfair.

In your shoes I'd leave it 'til Saturday to call or text suggesting a Sunday get together but as TheGoatTGA said, of course it's up to you.

Arithmeticulous Thu 31-Jan-13 11:06:23

I'd leave it to the weekend - and then I'd give yourself a week or two 'off' from worrying or seeing her at all. You have been so strong and together, and so much has changed - the adrenaline has been keeping you going but it sounds like you've almost run out of 'back-up' and need a rest - a bloody hard won rest though wink

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 11:11:14

You all help strengthen my resolve. You're right nothing will have changed. It'll be the same weeping or she'll have moved back into anger. My new plan is leave it until at least Saturday and then I think text and offer the same as last week...pop out with her and dcs to garden centre/park/coffee then PILs are coming for lunch.

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 11:12:51

I need some time for this translation anyway...I need to be doing about 2000 words on it everyday. (That's on top of 4 days week teaching and all the other stuff)

WingDefence Thu 31-Jan-13 11:44:36

Would DH consider going with you? To give a united front? After what you said about her pretty much wanting to split you both up, him coming along and being a reassuring presence for you and the DCs, as well as showing him that you actually want him there and she isn't coming between you, could be a good thing?

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 12:11:45

I have no perspective on this obviously..but is it not odd that she hasn't rung? In a normal realtionship (i.e not one where she tries to use guilt to control me and is angry I want my own life and expect her to look after herself), is it not weird not to contact me since Monday? Or am I just too used to living on top of each other?

TheGoatThatGotAway Thu 31-Jan-13 12:59:27

Oh, Good, so many things are odd about her. I'm so sorry she's not a mum who offers her help while you get settled in (and gives it, willingly and cheerfully, and with no strings attached) and then gets on happily with doing her own thing while you do yours. Isn't that the kind of mum we'd all like to have (and be)? If you're angry with her for ignoring you, that's absolutely justified, and part of the long and arduous process of coming to terms with all the crap you've been through with her. Again, so sorry she is like this. sad

You've been through so much recently, I'm amazed you're still on your feet. Please look after yourself and get as much rest as you can for now. FWIW I agree that it would be a good thing to take your DH with you at the weekend.

Thinking of you X

ThreeTomatoes Thu 31-Jan-13 13:37:10

It's hard to look at it from the perspective of 'normal'. Cos if it was me & my mum, I probably would have texted her (probably not rung given the lack of time you have), but without having to worry about a fall-out and without having to lay down boundaries. I can imagine texting a simple "We're in, it's so nice!" and a couple of days later "This weekend i'd better keep free but maybe get together the weekend after?" for e.g. Yours is a different kettle of fish altogether, sending any sort of text seems a risk. Also, if my mum had said "Don't worry about coming over for a while, you need to settle in," she would have meant it and I'd be able to trust that it was fine to leave her to it for a week or two, whereas in your case you know that she'll have 'forgotten' she ever said that. I think it's the right decision to text on sat about seeing her sun, if that's what you can manage.

ThreeTomatoes Thu 31-Jan-13 13:38:38

oh and PS, if i hadn't texted my mum by a few days after moving out, yes she probably would text me saying something like "Hope the move went well!"

boschy Thu 31-Jan-13 14:19:35

GTB I've not posted much, but I just wanted to say how well you are doing, and how much you need to concentrate on you, your DH and your DC.

It just occurred to me that it might be better for the DC NOT to see Granny this weekend? if she is likely to get over-emotional etc it is not something your or DH woudl want them to see I think?

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 14:29:05

It's like a game of chicken.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 31-Jan-13 15:00:35

A game of chicken, that's it exactly. As a rule of thumb if you take it that she's right you're wrong, that's probably the sum of it.

You: Oh hi mum! (Daringly) I was wondering why you haven't been in touch? Is your phone working okay now?
Her: Why's it up to me? I've got my own life you know, etc etc. I can't be expected to run after you all the time, etc. It's all right for you. you've got DH and the DCs, I have to fend for myself, etc.


You: Hello Mum, how's it going?
Her: (Weak voice) Well I'm glad you finally asked, I've had XYZ go wrong and it's been terrible, I don't know how I managed all on my own.
You: Oh dear why didn't you say?
Her: (Forgets weak voice, extreme irritation) Well I shouldn't have to ask should I, etc etc. I could have been lying there unconscious all week and no-one would have known, etc etc.

I may have her completely wrong. It's a shame but to some extent it's like teaching DCs consequences: when we play nicely, things go all right and playmates remember and are glad to include you and ask you to join in again.

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 16:32:40

You: Hello Mum, how's it going?
Her: (Weak voice) Well I'm glad you finally asked, I've had XYZ go wrong and it's been terrible, I don't know how I managed all on my own.
You: Oh dear why didn't you say?
Her: (Forgets weak voice, extreme irritation) Well I shouldn't have to ask should I, etc etc. I could have been lying there unconscious all week and no-one would have known, etc etc.

^^This is is exactly how it would go..almost word for word.

tribpot Thu 31-Jan-13 17:11:39

Keep fighting your instincts, GoodtoBetter! You've been trained into a dysfunctional relationship and this is how you break the habit.

If you want to go over on Sunday - then do so, but given the amount of you have on, it makes a lot more sense to stay at base, recuperate and get on with stuff. 2000 words a day <wince>.

slambang Thu 31-Jan-13 17:35:11

Can I go against the consensus here and suggest that you do phone her?
For why?

1. It is probably 'normal' to ring your mum every few days/ midweek if she's old, alone and lonely. I'm not suggesting anything you do here will be taken as 'normal' by your mum. She's not normal. But you want to create a new normality yourself, so I'd start a pattern that you feel is reasonable contact. (e.g. a visit Sunday and a call midweek).

2. You are clearly worrying about her. Fair enough. You're not actually sure what she can really do and where she is genuinely going to struggle because she's over-played her maladies so much. She may actually be struggling with some things on her own and you will be left feeling guilty again if she gets cold, hungry (or whatever).

If it was me I'd ring. Keep it brief. Respond casually to all emotional manipulation just like you were doing. Suggest that you'll help on Sunday if there's anything that sounds genuine.

You: Hello Mum, how's it going?
Her: (Weak voice) Well I'm glad you finally asked, I've had XYZ go wrong and it's been terrible, I don't know how I managed all on my own.
You: Oh? I'll take a look at XYZ when I'm next round.
Her: (Forgets weak voice, extreme irritation) Well I shouldn't have to ask should I, etc etc. I could have been lying there unconscious all week and no-one would have known, etc etc.
You: Mmm. Anyway mum, I was just calling to say hi. Perhaps I'll see you on Sunday.
Her: Weep Moan
You: Never mind. Gotta go. Bye mum!

Point is - would it help you feel better?

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 19:22:39

Maybe you're right slambang...I don't know any more.

Aussiebean Thu 31-Jan-13 20:13:57

My mum has not called me at all in the last year. Not even for my birthday. ( which is usually the only time she does). She sent a cheque for my birthday as a contribution to my wedding ( something both my brothers decided to remind her about as she gave them money and spent year telling people she put money away for my wedding. But didn't actually give it to me without their pushing.) so I had to call her on my birthday to thank her.

I wouldn't worry about NORMAL. In your case there is no normal. And to be honest, everyone who does like and has a great relationship with their parents spend differing degrees of time with them anyway.

So stop fretting about trying to maintain normal. (Btw that is hard and also unfair that you don't have that)

Your mother has a condition (for want of a better word) and you need to work around it in a way that YOU can handle. As long as you and your family come first you can see her everyday, or once a month or only on holidays.

It really is up to you. And if you try something now and it doesn't work you can always change it. Now you are going in with eyes wide open. If she takes liberties you take a few weeks off. This is an ongoing process. You may make mistakes. Bit it doesn't matter because now you know the effect and take action quickly.

Hope that makes sense.

ThreeTomatoes Thu 31-Jan-13 21:37:18

slambang your example of the phonecall sounds perfect going forward, but I still think this week G2B is better off steering clear.

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 22:00:03

I've decided to go back to my original plan and I'm going to pop in briefly tomorrow with the children. I said when I was leaving that I was only 5 mins away and she'd still see the dcs and I want to be above board iyswim. I'll have an xit plan if there's any nonsense. I sort of want to lead by example if that makes sense. I want to be honest and upfront and reasonable and give her the chance to make this work by accepting my friendship and the offer of (an albeit changed) relationship.
If there's a whole load of nonsense I'll back off a bit and see if I can train her a bit like a wayward toddler with calm clear boundaries.
I'm sure you'll all pile in with dire warnings
My text just said
"Had exams and translation. Was thinking of popping over with dcs tomorrow?"
And her response was "that would be nice".
Will see how we go.

2rebecca Thu 31-Jan-13 22:03:22

Her response was sensible anyway. Briefly popping in may help if you'll worry. I would hope with the children she won't get weepy and emotional, if she does I'd leave quickly and visit her without them next time as crying and having scenes in front of them isn't in their best interests.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 31-Jan-13 22:39:06

All sounds quite calm and rational! So do you feel better? Catch your breath and try and relax. Hope you get a good sleep tonight. Tomorrow is another day, you know you don't need to stand for getting pushed around or manipulated, chin up we are cheering you on.

GoodtoBetter Thu 31-Jan-13 22:54:21

Aye, well I'm not jumping with joy or excitement but I feel it's the right thing to do. If she behaves badly I'll leave and back off for a bit but I want to give her the chance to....I don't calm down and behave like an adult.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 31-Jan-13 23:03:30

Often we are apprehensive and it turns out we feel fortified just by preparing for every eventuality and feeling better able to make our own choices. New month tomorrow, look where you were on 1st January!

MusicalEndorphins Fri 01-Feb-13 03:49:46

GTB, I agree with you. There is no reason to suddenly become cold hearted or "punish" her. You can always leave/hang up if she "acts up".
I have heard that being recommended many times to discourage negative behavior. She will eventually realize that you like being around her when she is civilized, but not when she isn't.
She has been indulged for a long time, and may need baby steps to learn to do for herself. As you may need baby steps to let go of the guilt.
Although, you have already taken a giant leap forward! smile

tribpot Fri 01-Feb-13 07:44:03

MusicalEndorphins has captured the essence of why you moving out was so essential to your family relationships: You can always leave/hang up if she "acts up".

You have a choice now. It feels liberating even from here!

Now, back to the photo. Could I DM you to explain your options for uploading it? grin

ThreeTomatoes Fri 01-Feb-13 08:20:21

Sounds good.

WingDefence Fri 01-Feb-13 08:29:39

At the end of the day Good, if not contacting her was really getting you and making you even more stressed when you've got everything else on your plate, then it has to be good for you.

You've done so brilliantly in extracting yourself and your family from that awful situation when you were living with her and if you can set out the relationship with her on your terms, then that's the way to go. brew

I'm guessing your DH doesn't mind you going without him?

GoodtoBetter Fri 01-Feb-13 14:21:25

Going over in about an hour and a half...wish me luck!

Hissy Fri 01-Feb-13 14:26:06

I think your period of not contacting was perhaps good enough for now, do what you think is right, from a logical perspective.

learn to read yourself, are you reacting out of fear or repercussions?, or are you reacting out of it being the right and best thing to do?

be conscious of your thoughts, deeds, actions and words. Allocate time to your mother, like you would any other task. Get what you need to done, but the rest of your time needs to be spent in things that ADD to your life.

Hissy Fri 01-Feb-13 14:27:08

Hope your visit goes well, but be strong and as soon as she starts on the emotional heartstrings, or crying, say nothing more and leave. It's not right for her to behave like that.

Treat her tantrums like you would any other child's.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 01-Feb-13 14:29:25

Good luck, act normally breezy and be upbeat.

Herrena Fri 01-Feb-13 15:14:18

Good luck, act normally breezy and be upbeat. and * as soon as she starts on the emotional heartstrings, or crying, say nothing more and leave*.

Both of these^^!!

Oh, and try to keep it short (one cup of tea rather than two, sort of thing). If she starts crying because you're leaving do not cave in and stay for a bit longer, you will only be rewarding her poor behaviour.

AutumnDreams Fri 01-Feb-13 15:41:19

I hope the visit goes calmly, with no histrionics. Not least because you really can`t allow your children to witness any. From your own point of view, the very fact that you have taken over the reins, and are in complete control should make things easier from now on. You have your own little haven, and a loving husband to run to, if you need to leg it!

If you didn`t feel some sadness, and yes, perhaps even a touch of guilt, you wouldn`t be the good person you are. No decent person likes to witness another`s unhappiness, even when it`s brought on by their own actions. You can afford to be the bigger person, now that you have changed the rules.

GoodtoBetter Fri 01-Feb-13 16:04:31

ok, off to see her now..will update later. xx

Jux Fri 01-Feb-13 16:15:04

Good luck.

GoodtoBetter Fri 01-Feb-13 19:22:50

Well, that was amazingly fine actually.

Went over at about 5.15 (me and the kids). She was making soup and was quite normal and chatty. She's got the same chesty cough and sore throat thing as me but is hoarser than me so we were chatting about that. She's been to lidl a 20 min drive away(shock!) and bought some really nice lamps she was showing me. She also went to the hypermarket this morning apparently (the big one 15 ins away). No complaints about back pain etc and in fact went upstairs twice in the course of the visit hmm, she was also walking well.

I suggested we go for a coffee so we went to the bar 5 mins walk away and sat outside (the weather's v nice) and saw the funfair opposite and threw out her rubbish bag.

She only made a brief comment about the pension exchange rate dropping but not in a guilting kind of way..more just conversational. She mentioned she wanted some new curtains but didn't want to spend loads as she "didn't know if she was staying long term" but again, it wasn't the kind of tone she'd have used before. I just ignored again. She was saying she didn't like the big bedroom without pictures and her prints have arrived so I said we could take them down to the framers some time. I've said I'll take her to ikea on Tuesday as she wants stuff but the journey (you have to go on the motorway and then come back a different way) freaks her out. I don't mind.

I will put Norton on the pc for her, so I've made it clear I'm around for reasonable friendliness. I've said she should come for lunch one day and see the new place, so all very friendly.

When we were leaving and she was saying goodbye at the gate she was clearly fighting back tears, but I do understand that. I think to be fair she made a real effort and I was careful to be v friendly and chatty. Fingers crossed. She said at one point she hadn't tried online shopping as she didn't know if she needed enough in one go to justify it and I was explaining you could do it once a month for heavy things for example and to her credit she said "but I went to the hypermarket and it got me out of the house and I spoke to 3 people", maybe that's a backhanded dig (I have noone to talk to all day), but I took it as a positive. She needs to get out and have a bit of a life. Glad I went over today. I think I'm going to aim for a weekend visit and a weekday visit for now and see how we go.

I've been invited out for tapas with some friends but I'm knackered so I'm going to be really boring, eat porridge, do some translation and go to bed early. I've been unable to stop my brain whirring after work lately and I'm not asleep til about 1am and then DS is up at 7 and I'm shattered.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 01-Feb-13 19:34:56

All sounded blissfully reasonable. Put your feet up tonight Good smile.

goonyagoodthing Fri 01-Feb-13 22:01:35

What a brilliant, positive update. Onwards and upwards for all of you from here.

tribpot Fri 01-Feb-13 22:07:42

Excellent update. It's good that even when you think a comment might have been a dig you are relaxed enough to err on the side of thinking it was meant harmlessly.

Very important that you get enough sleep, can DH give you some downtime tomorrow to catch up? If your brain is whirring and you're struggling to wind down, make sure you prioritise some wind-down activities for the good of your health! Fave piece of music or a relaxation CD?

Jux Sat 02-Feb-13 01:25:03

That is excellent, G2B! How very positive. Long may it last!

Aussiebean Sat 02-Feb-13 12:19:37

I am glad that went well yay. Lets hope it continues while being prepared in case it doesn't.

GoodtoBetter Sat 02-Feb-13 14:15:15

Argh, remind me never to go to ikea with 2 under fives on a Saturday again! I have been a shouty sweary mother today. Didn't even manage to get what I went for. Grr.

tribpot Sat 02-Feb-13 15:07:32

Ikea on a Saturday is torture.
Ikea with kids is torture.

Ikea with is inhuman! Could they not have stayed with DH?

GoodtoBetter Sat 02-Feb-13 15:23:34

He came with me, we all went. It was to have a good look at wardrobes. I thought if we were there early it might not be too bad, but we left late and then they were hungry and then by the time we'd walked all the way thru to wardrobes they were going a bit mental. The queue to ask was mahoosive so we got some other bits, picked up a special wardrobe catalogue and left.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 02-Feb-13 15:30:08

Next time one parent has bite to eat with DCs in cafe and the other makes enquiries and picks up small items? <veteran of IKEA> What am I saying - it's all pants if they're in the wrong mood wink.

MusicalEndorphins Sat 02-Feb-13 16:02:59

What a great report GTB! I just knew if she was on her own she would do more. (Sort of like me when the internet is down.)
Hope you recover from your Ikea trip and the cough/cold soon. Remember to put vitamins on your shopping list! <hands GTB an orange>

GoodtoBetter Sun 03-Feb-13 15:56:00

DD and DS are off school and nursery tomorrow as it's a local holiday (I still have to work in the afternoon as I work elsewhere) so have texted to see if we can go and visit her.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 09:09:57

Hope you enjoy the morning off.

GoodtoBetter Mon 04-Feb-13 22:36:35

So, we went over and she was a bit back to pathetic. Not too bad but not as good as last time. I've got what I think is bronchitis or something similar: started as a sore throat, then cough and burning wheezing tight chest. She said when we were over last that she'd had similar but with more of a sore throat.
She was saying today she'd had a terrible night with this unbearable sore throat and she'd got "really frightened" in the night, that she "might need a doctor". This annoys me because it's back to the old, I can't live alone, I'm frightened on my own. I just said that I had wondered about the doctor for myself but that from Dr. Google's diagnosis it was probably viral so they'd just say fluids, cough medicine and rest, but that if she felt she needed a doctor the by all means she should go.
It also annoys me because she's aware I have the same thing but never says, "oh, how on earth are you managing with being ill, working, translating, looking after small children?". Nope, just all about how she's frightened she might need a doctor for a sore throat in the night.
I put the Norton on her pc as I had said I would and suggested going for coffee to get out of the house. She said yes as she "didn't feel up to being alone" we went out. She's walking well without the stick and we went round to a cafe and stopped in a cheapy shop on the way. Before we moved out she'd claimed she couldn't walk that far and if she had been forced persuaded she'd have hobbled along with a stick or holding on to me.
It's all still all about HER. All the time.
I'm taking her to ikea tomorrow morning as I think DS will be off school tomorrow with the same thing as me, so it'll be a bit of a lost morning anyway in work terms. Then I'm not having any more visits etc until the weekend cos I just have too much to do and I'm not up to it. This weekend is my big exam correcting and report writing weekend and I have to try to do some translation too. And I don't like this patheticness from her...need to pull back a bit.

GoodtoBetter Mon 04-Feb-13 22:47:40

Oh, that was a bit garbled. I meant, I was disappointed she was trying to push the poor me buttons again and annoyed that she never asked me how I was, even though I've been unwell too.
I'm just feeling unwell and stressed with how much work I have and annoyed with myself for letting her get to me and agreeing to go to ikea, I should put my foot down, it just seemed easier to take her and then it's done and I'll be "very busy" for a week.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:03

Tonorrow being Tuesday, if you do see her that is quite ample regarding visits this week and hardly skimping on effort particularly bearing in mind your state of health, DCs, DH, new home and work!

Re: health, a person might be forgiven for considering it better for both of you to avoid contact this week precisely so you don't swap germs...

By the way is she likely to come over to your place? Don't want her thinking you are escaping DH's clutches or acting like a homing pigeon in visiting the old place.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 22:53:35

Just saw your last post. You have undertaken tons these past 6 weeks and achieved loads. Try not to feel beaten down. Of course some sympathy and maternal concern would sugar the pill but shrug it off, you're doing a fine job of carving out a new life phase, don't get drawn into competitive tiredness/ill health.

Aussiebean Tue 05-Feb-13 07:40:27

You know. If you get worse it is ok to cancel and put it off to next week. You would not hate a friend if they had to cancel on you due to illness.

That is fine. And if its not then she needs to deal.

WingDefence Tue 05-Feb-13 08:04:41

You're ill and you need to rest - I wouldn't see her again and go to Ikea again but that's just my completely unprofessional judgment blush

Jux Tue 05-Feb-13 08:11:57

Agree with WingDefence. You're ill and you need rest. As there are things you can't not do - work, childcare - you need to cancel things which are avoidable, like going to Ikea.

If you don't rest you'll get worse and then you'll wind up unable to do anything.

AutumnDreams Tue 05-Feb-13 09:38:03

Do I sense a slight feeling of disappointment there Good? You had that little bit of hope, somewhere deep down inside, that perhaps she might begin to change, and start thinking of others. It aint gonna happen is it, and the more you pander to her, the more frustrated you will get with her behaviour, all over again. This in turn will affect your health.

Leave her be now for at least a week/ten days. Send the odd text, and don`t hang about waiting for a reply. If she wants to play silly buggers, let her. Concentrate on your family, your work, and getting yourself back to full health. You have done all you can, and have been a great daughter in bloody awful circumstances. You truly could NOT have done more. Believe it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Feb-13 09:40:45

In the great scheme of things you've only been gone 5 minutes, if the default setting is Lean On Good then I'm not surprised there's been a wobble from her.

goonyagoodthing Tue 05-Feb-13 10:22:48

Not much useful advice here, but am still keeping an eye and full of pride and admiration at how you are doing and how far you have come. Try to concentrate on the positives - you are in a much stronger position than say three months ago, did you ever think you would get this far?

Also if you don't mind me saying, would you consider doing a personal development course? Now I am absolutely not saying you need to "develop your personality" in any way, but I did one and found that it thought me to react to people differently, so as not to allow their actions to have such an affect on me. It sort of helped me "switch off" when the shit starts.

Keep up the good work anyway, and get well soon.

Herrena Tue 05-Feb-13 12:55:08

You have done all you can, and have been a great daughter in bloody awful circumstances. You truly could NOT have done more. Believe it.

This is a valuable statement Good, but I'll bet that you can't bring yourself to think it's true. If your M clearly still isn't happy, that must surely mean that you weren't good enough. I think we can all tell you with some confidence that you could push yourself to absolute breaking point and be hospitalised as a result of trying to meet her needs and it STILL wouldn't be enough. It never ever will be.

Therefore, you should prioritise your own needs. She sure as hell won't.

I agree that you sound a little disappointed, which is totally understandable. Try and use that disappointment to reset your expectations a bit, so you're not as disappointed if when she acts like this again.

Oh and YY to this: By the way is she likely to come over to your place? Don't want her thinking you are escaping DH's clutches or acting like a homing pigeon in visiting the old place.

GoodtoBetter Tue 05-Feb-13 22:40:37

Well, I went to ikea. DS was off school with the same cough thing as me, so I decided to take him with me. She was thrilled to see DS and that meant the trip was lighter somehow. She took the directions I'd jotted down for her and followed them so she could go herself another time. There was one little pathetic dig, which was that she said she'd really like to get over her fear of the ikea drive as "it would be something to do, the days are so long". voice cracking as she said it. She did at least say she'd enjoyed herself and it was v kind when I was busy and not very well. I said I'd be in touch in a bit, but explained I had to mark exams this week. I got some curtains for DS and DD's rooms and felt that I'd ticked another thing off the list.
I have invited her over about 3 times but she makes an excuse each time ad I haven't pushed it. I think it's a combination of she feels embarrassed/guilty in front of DH and it will really drive it home, what's she's done.
I soooo enjoy coming back here, it's like my little sanctuary. I still need to work on being less of a perfectionist and worrying less about how other people (particularly DM) feel, but moving out gives me that extra breathing space I didn't have before.
Tonight I'm doing some teaching admin and then tomorrow I've got all morning to crack on with the translation before work and the same on Thursday, it's work but I can do it sitting on the sofa drinking tea at least.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 08:09:37

smile at 'sanctuary' - just what a home should be. Complete with new curtains for the DCs!

Eventually you'll be able to take your foot off the pedal so to speak, you've packed a lot into the new year already.

Hope you feel better today Good.

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 08:14:11

That sounds good, Good! One dig in a whole Ikea trip? And she appreciated that you were ill, and busy, and said it was kind. Is that a thank you hovering around her?! Is she making an effort? It looks like it to me, and hooray for that. She wouldn't have done it if you were still living there, would she?

So Hurrah for both of you! And thanks for you.

I'm so glad you're enjoying your new home. How's dh?

Look after yourself. Sofa-work is lovely, isn't it.

GoodtoBetter Wed 06-Feb-13 08:47:54

I'd forgotten what it's like to have your own place, isn't that sad? I'd forgotten how it feels to live in my own house (it's rented but ykwim) and not my mother's. It's nothing big, just feeling like there's nobody I have to ask permission to paint a wall and nobody's going to express an opinion on it, I can just do it. If the kids are being noisy, it's just me it bothers, I don't have to worry about annoying her (not that she ever complained about that, but it still limits you). i can go out and not have someone wondering what time I'll be back, if I change my mind and decide to stay out and have lunch out I don't have to feel guilty about telling her to find her own lunch...ridiculous things like that. And I/we chose the house.
It's like a weight lifts when I've been with her (even if she's trying hard) and I drive away towards this house.
I think she is trying hard and I think it is good for her to have to. She did thank me for taking her to ikea and we had a nice time. I'm hoping to build experiences like that gradually to kind of build a habit of nice times. i am using DS as a bit o a shield atm because she behaves better when he's there, but I think that's ok as long as she's being ok when he/they are there. When she was moaning about being ill and afraid of being alone at night I said to take ibruprofen and she said yday it had helped lot. She can be quite a hypochondriac.
DH is well, much more relaxed without overbearing MIL watching his every move. He does all the shopping and cooking (and most of the cleaning) and today he's making his version of chickpea stew He rigged up DS' ikea leaf canopy, which DS luuuurves.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 09:08:22

Yum recipe thanks!

It's like a weight lifts when I've been with her (even if she's trying hard) and I drive away towards this house

I expect DH feels that way too. I'm so glad you made the leap. I deliberately didn't allude to your DM in my previous post, I wanted to focus on you. Of course she's a huge part of your life still but not the dominating factor.

Btw I can understand why you took DS, he was off school anyway, but I admit I thought uhuh, taking DS; obviously his grandmother loves him, I wonder, had DD been off instead, would that 'lucky charm' have worked? Sorry not raining on your parade. I'm not phrasing very well what I'm trying to express.

I'm very pleased you had a better day yesterday with DM and let's hope that as you say, building better experiences smooth the way forward.

WingDefence Wed 06-Feb-13 09:46:45

Glad the trip didn't wipe you out too much Good. And I agree, that recipe looks delicious smile

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 12:45:10

I don't think taking ds is a problem at all. Getting into the habit of having nice times is a brilliant way of doing things, and if ds helps with that - as long as he's not suffering, which he clearly isn't - is uncontentious; he needs to see his grandma, and it's good for him to see her behaving more normally. Quids in. All good.

Chickpea stew sounds lovely. I wonder if I can persuade dh and dd. Hmmmm...

ThreeTomatoes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:02:34

I wonder if now that you're gone and she's realised that none of her ploys worked to stop you, she's let go a little bit of the power that she thought she had? Not to say the manipulation won't be back, but for now to me it feels like she's admitted defeat, iykwim.

So glad you're enjoying your house! And, can I marry your DH?! grin

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 14:47:49

ThreeTomatoes! Brazen!! grin

Herrena Wed 06-Feb-13 15:34:56

I'll tell you a secret, Good: after I had got married to DH, I realised (with a mixture of guilt and relief) that NEVER AGAIN would I have to stay in a house alone with my mother.

I was really happy when I first had this realisation but also blush that it made me happy at all.... and now I have 2 DSs so we will never have to be alone together ever again!

You manage the best you can. We all do smile

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 19:47:57

ThreeTomatoes, like biding her time?

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 19:49:16

Good, it is so nice to come home, to a loving family, your own stuff where you want it to be, things how you have chosen them, your own patch of turf. Enjoy wine

GoodtoBetter Fri 08-Feb-13 22:13:21

I'm still working on uploading a photo of the sunrise..grin have to download it from phone. Was hanging out the washing today and watched 2 big Vs of geese flying overhead, honking away, with the mountains in the distance behind them, gorgeous! Had coffee with friend today and was telling her how much I'm enjoying having our own space.
M phoned today (first time she's made contact since we left...always been me to ring or text). Haven't seen her since Tuesday ikea trip. She was asking how to get anitbiotic eye drops as she's got conjunctivitis, so said I'd pop some round (that I'd bought before for DD but hardly used). She was quite chatty about stuff and it was all quite normal. Dropped the drops round on our way out to a kids party and all OK, although she still does the welling up thing when we leave..but I still think she is giving it a go.
Went to ikea today (yes, I know..glutton for punishment!) and ordered a wardrobe. It's coming tomorrow, so we can finally get clothes out of bags and put them somewhere. I'm going to take DCs out while they deliver and leave DH to do a bit of cleaning/sorting/DIYing/cooking and will take M to park with us. Mentioned it today and she was keen.
She's funny (weird, not ha ha)..she was saying today that she'd bought all these pictures which needed framing and then she'd thought she shouldn't have if she was going back to the UK. But, she realised she couldn't afford more than a 2 bed small bungalow and she couldn't drive there (but can here? hmm) so she was better staying for now as she'd be "worse off" there. No mention of that she'd miss us...
Today I'm having a day off (sort of). Have finished a little translation but other than that have done ikea-ing, coffee and kids party. Back to reports and book translation tomorrow when kids are in bed.

Herrena Fri 08-Feb-13 22:19:30

I bet when she mentions a possible return to UK she's hoping that you'll say something like 'Oh but you can't go, the DCs would miss you.' She's craving affirmation that she is important IMO, which may be why the utterances don't make much sense. Also if she said she'd miss you then she would be making herself vulnerable and losing face, which obviously mustn't happen hmm

Just keep nodding and saying 'ah, right' or whatever it is you're doing. Don't feed her!

Glad you are having a day off even if it is only a sort-of one smile

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Feb-13 14:45:05

Went with the DCs today and took her out for coffee and cake and then to a park we go to quite often, but she's never been in. It was a glorious day and we had a nice time and she said what a lovely park it was and how it was nice enough just to come and sit in, even if you didn't have kids. Had nice neutral chats about stuff in the news and she said she'd had a lovely time. Said I'd pop over in the week with the stepladder I accidentally took with me in the move and some other bits and will go over with dcs next Saturday. All very positive.
I have a wardrobe!!!! woohoo! Can now get all my clothes out of bin bags and pick up from floor! Next mission (for DH) is to put some pictures up and sort out enormous documents box into files.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 14:50:06

Sounds nice and normal to me! Just think; you could have spent today having passive aggressive marmalade made at you instead grin

Jux Sat 09-Feb-13 15:21:20

It's going really well, isn't it? I'm so pleased for you, for you all.

Hooray for wardrobes! I haven't got one as there was a room kitted out for clothes - done by the previous owner - but dh appropriated it immediately as somewhere he could put his guitars and lutes, mandolins, percussive stuff, etc etc etc! <Jux remembers a woman who chucked her dh's favourite guitar out of the window>

AutumnDreams Sat 09-Feb-13 16:03:24

It`s lovely to hear you describe your new life Good. With luck - a lot of it! - your mum is slowly starting to accept that her life is pretty great too. Whilst you were all there, she had no reason to do much for herself, or even to get out of the house. She is so lucky, and maybe now she will start to realise it.

I`m in Spain myself very soon - Cadiz - and looking at the temperatures, I can`t wait!

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Feb-13 20:39:25

Just think; you could have spent today having passive aggressive marmalade made at you instead I have been chortling about that all afternoon kali grin.
I look back and can't believe the shit I put up with for so long or how well it's all gone and how quickly things have calmed down. It was possibly the most stressful time of my life but it has been the best thing I ever did. I feel more confident, calmer and just...happier. It's so nice not to carry someone else's burden and issues all the time. It's so nice not to worry about her all the time - her reactions, moods, health etc.
I think it's been good for her too. I'm sure she'd much rather we lived there, but she does things now she didn't before because otherwise she doesn't see us. I used to ask her to come out for coffee/to the park etc and she'd say she couldn't manage it, she was ill or in too much pain. Today she wore a TENS machine and walked more stiffly, but didn't complain at all. She seemed to really like the park and sitting in the sun watching the DCs, she'd never have done that before. I didn't notice any fighting back of tears at drop off time either. Maybe she's working out that I meant what I said, I'm not abandoning her, she'll see me a couple of times a week and the gcs at least once a week and there's a nice life to be had here, albeit a different one to before. One can but hope.
DB will be here for a week at the end of March, so that'll be some company too. It's DS' 5th birthday when he's here so we'll all go out for lunch and probably a picnic. I think my plan of building a new relationship through making a habit of good, happy healthy time out together is working. It's a bit like toddler training, I need to be kind and firm and she comes round mostly and sees it's not worth her while not engaging on my terms.
Today I am proud of myself.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Feb-13 20:43:40

Oooh Autumn I'm not far from Cadiz....hope that doesn't out me to anyone. Are you going to see any of Carnaval? DD had to go in costume to nursery on Friday, so we recycled the Halloween pumpkin outfit. So did most parents, lots of witches, ghouls etc...the crisis meant people don't want to spend much.
Weather is glorious, up to mid 20s during the day, but cold cold cold at night.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 09-Feb-13 20:56:18

wine for you and am raising a glass to your family settling into your new home.

Roll on March and DB's visit, by which time let's hope your M has got used to your new living arrangements. So glad you are feeling calmer and happier!

ThreeTomatoes Sat 09-Feb-13 21:01:55

It all sounds brilliant, G2B. You are right to be proud of yourself -you've dealt with it all in absolutely the right way and looks like you're now reaping the benefits! smile Let's hope this continues - there's bound to be some bumps in the road but you know how to react now so I'm sure it'll be easily handled!

Jux Sat 09-Feb-13 21:20:28

Send your bro an email so he knows how well it's going.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 21:33:23

Ah, your post is like a breath of fresh air smile I've lurked in your threads (I know that always seems weird) but couldn't contribute as my DM is lovely and it's hard to imagine for me but i could empathise.

Now will you please sort that picture out?? If I went to the park today in east London I'd've been shivering under a slate grey sky and whipped by freezing sleet. I have a throwaway email address you could send it to, from your throwaway email address aand I could post it on a blog I keep for nothing but posting random pictures?

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Feb-13 22:39:03

OK, photo should be visible now. Not brilliant as sunsets/rises never quite work, do they? Always darker than you think.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 23:02:20

Crap, can't check it in my phone. Be back tomorrow smile

Aussiebean Sun 10-Feb-13 01:05:12

I'm so have, if jealous of this new life you have Good. Sounds like everything is coming together for you and your little family.

Long may it continue. grin

Aussiebean Sun 10-Feb-13 01:05:38

Sorry smile

I am so happy for you.

MusicalEndorphins Sun 10-Feb-13 06:14:30

Picture of the sunset is very pretty. It is so great at how quickly you are able to reset your mother daughter relationship. You sound so relaxed compared to just one week ago! Cheers! wine

kalidanger Sun 10-Feb-13 10:15:26

That pic is wonderful wine

How is DH?

kalidanger Sun 10-Feb-13 10:19:09

I've put an east London sunrise on mine, if you miss that kind of thing grinhmm

Jux Sun 10-Feb-13 10:21:00

Envy envy envy. Lovely pic.

WingDefence Sun 10-Feb-13 13:20:36

That's a lovely pic smile If you have a sunrise/set setting on your camera that can help with those shots (don't ask me how!)?

GoodtoBetter Mon 11-Feb-13 23:25:56

Nah, can't find a sunrise or sunset setting on the phone. Just finishing some more reports off, hence being on the laptop late. Got tomorrow morning free to translate, woop de do! Then work 4-10. God, I'll be glad to get this translation done, atm I work from about 10am til 130, break for lunch, set off for teaching at 3 and teach til 10 tehn home and work til around 1am.
Not heard from or contacted Dm since nice Sat morning in the park. i do think it's odd she doesn't get touch. I would if I were her....a text here and there.

tribpot Mon 11-Feb-13 23:34:07

I know it'll be worth it when the job is done but this is way too much for you to have on your plate, GoodtoBetter.

Remember not to try and ascribe normal behaviour to your mum. What you would do (or any reasonable person) is not how she will react. The point is still how you are feeling - and your update from Sunday says it all.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 11-Feb-13 23:39:12

Hi Good you sound busy but composed. Your DM knows if she wairs long enough you'll always make the first move. Tues eve or Wed morning would be early enough for one of you to drop the other a text. Perhaps she recalled you are up to your eyes in language work so didn't want to interrupt you.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 11-Feb-13 23:39:44

Waits not wairs!

kalidanger Tue 12-Feb-13 07:40:00

I guess a routine of texting in Weds to arrange a visit to the park/shops on Sun might work? Looks like you're going to have to suck up making the first move but a routine seems regular and 'fair'.

'busy but composed' is a great phrase smile

GoodtoBetter Tue 12-Feb-13 08:58:48

"busy but composed", I'm OK but in the mornings I do feel a bit like I might die from tiredness. Once I've had a shower and got dressed I feel a bit better, but I think I possibly have bitten off a bit more than I can chew this month. I may need a week's extension on the book, which I don't want to ask for unless I have to, but there are limits.
I hadn't thought that she doesn't call because she thinks I'm busy, but I'm not sure it's that. head space for that today. I'll text her tomorrow about taking her to get the pictures framed on Saturday.
Going to try and get some work done this morning, will check back in a little bit (find it best to work in short bursts of an hour or so and then stop for 5 mins). DS slept til 8.20 yesterday (he's always the first up) and 7.50 today, so that was something.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 12-Feb-13 09:17:08

<Gentle nudge> It might not be the reason she doesn't call, but if you can channel your thoughts into thinking,

Mum's not been in contact, well that's actually pretty thoughtful of her, given how I'm so busy, rather than,
Oh dear, Mum's not in touch, I'd have texted or rung if I were her, how strange, {sub-text: wonder is everything all right, is she mad at me? Should I make the first move?} etc.

It gives you head space for all the other stuff.

WingDefence Tue 12-Feb-13 11:20:51

Good, imagine how you'd be with all this fantastic work if you were still living with your DM and all the head-fuckery that situation gave. If you've got no head space now, it would have been unbearable then.

Hopw you have a productive day I should be but am procrastinating on MN


Jux Tue 12-Feb-13 12:17:09

TBH, good, most mums wouldn't be phoning more than once a week. Take the positive view that Donkeys suggests. She knows I'm busy, everything is fine or I'd have heard, she's taking a step back.

If you feel positive then you get more work done!

Herrena Tue 12-Feb-13 22:32:08

I agree with Donkey's suggestion - engage in a bit of CBT and try to think positive things so you don't end up guilting yourself on her behalf smile

GoodtoBetter Tue 12-Feb-13 22:45:30

good point, don't really need guilting by proxy!
I have a sore throat and a headache today (sooooo run about running on empty) so I'm going to bed. i think I'll text tomorrow and arrange to see her on Saturday...too busy this week.

Herrena Tue 12-Feb-13 23:21:51

I don't know if I've said this before Good, but I really recommend a daily dose of multivitamins + iron. The iron's the important bit - not only do you need it for oxygen carrying but it is necessary in order for your body to mount a strong immune response against any microbial challengers. Microbes also use it to enhance their virulence, so chances are that you'll feel worse briefly and then much better (because generally, in otherwise healthy adults, the immune system wins).

I studied this subject for some years so can assure you that it's not some cod health advice from the bowels of the internet. Plus it has always worked for me wink Hope it helps!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:05:14

Thanks, Herrena, will try to get some. I know I'm just run down. DS has been sleeping til about 8am lately, which is helping. (DD almost always has to be woken, but DS has always been an early riser, took months to train him to wait for his groclock at 7am).
Have just texted M to say I'll pop in tomorrow or Friday with the stepladder for her. Explained I'd had reports to write and translation. Said we'd go to the framer's on Saturday and the txt back says "yes, need ladder. Can't leave much til Sunday". Not sure what that means as it's hard to tell in a text but knowing her it's a minor guilt trip...I need a stepladder and you haven't brought it back. So I've said if I have time I'll drop it off on my way to nursery.
Going to try and get a couple of hours work done now.

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:08:12

No response to that last text. I do think she's weird.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 10:13:51

She made her point about the stepladder - job done in her book. No scope for pleasant chit chat or enquiries about you or family.

Luckily you don't have to justify your daily life or give reasons for arranging visits when it suits you .

Snow here (Scotland). Not unseasonal but last lash of winter one hopes.

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:22:29

I just think she's weird that we can have a nice time on Sat and she says she had a nice time and then it's radio silence and then a very short business-like text as if she's annoyed. I just don't know how to read her at all. It's like it's all normal-ish at the weekend when we see her and then nothing. I sort of feel I never quite know what's going on. I'm over analysing I know, it doesn't matter and I should just step back and be grateful for the nice time at the weekend. Will go and do some work.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 10:32:42

Keeps you on pins I'm afraid until you tune out. Good luck with work.

Jux Wed 13-Feb-13 11:17:34

Your penultimate sentence is absolutely spot on.

it doesn't matter, and I should just step back

That, a thousand times. smile

Herrena Wed 13-Feb-13 17:08:15

she says she had a nice time and then it's radio silence and then a very short business-like text as if she's annoyed.

My mother used to do this. My sister and I conferred and came to the conclusion that initially, our M did enjoy herself on outings and said so honestly. During the subsequent period where she was alone, however, she had plenty of time to analyse everything we had/hadn't said or done and to get pissed off about it. She has this toxic alien mindset where she NEEDS to find something to resent us for and we are then kept guessing as to what it actually is. All terribly exhausting and frustrating until we decided that frankly we just didn't give a shit anymore.

She stopped doing it then hmm

But as you say, it doesn't really matter and you should indeed step back smile

Homebird8 Wed 13-Feb-13 18:50:26

She can't go upstairs, but she can climb a ladder? Please don't rearrange your life around this. You are busy, and not well. You've already suggested going over twice in the next three days. Her manipulations are not your problem. I doubt she'll help in any way with your translation!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:09:06

Well, I decided it suited me better to drop the stepladder of today on my way to get DD. The comment about needing it before Sunday was that the handyman is coming on Monday to paint the lounge. There was a bit of lip trembling and guilting about how she'll manage to move the furniture but I ignored breezily. I invited her for lunch, expecting her to say no and she accepted so we went to pick up the kids and back to my house.

It's almost like there's a black cloud over her house. If I'm in her house it's all "can't manage" type digs, we leave and her mood brightens and we go somewhere and she has a lovely time. Maybe it's habit or it reminds her of what's she's lost...

She was very taken with our house, said she thought it was lovely and really liked the bedrooms and lounge. Said she thought it was much more the kind of house I wanted (meaning me) and was just a shame it was rented and I couldn't buy it. I felt it was better to get a visit over with on a work day as it's time limited as I go to work, so dropped her home (btw she walked to the house via the nursery and the school....oh and she went to the hypermarket yday and did a food shop).

She said she felt much better having seen what a lovely place it was and that we were happy and the children had lovely bedrooms.

She pretty much totally ignored DH though, he was quite offended (as you would be)

She's been here now, so that's done...won't push it anymore, she knows where I am..will mostly see her alone or with kids I think.
Going to see her with kids at the weekend. Plan is to now settle into a midweek coffee with me maybe and a visit with kids once a week. No more.

Got the day off work tomorrow so going to have a good go at the translation in the morning and get an earlier night than usual.

Herrena that description is spot on and I'm loving the "toxic alien mindset" will think of M as like this now:
toxic alien

Dozer Wed 13-Feb-13 23:27:00

You sound so on top of it all, breezily seeing through and handling all tactics! It's good that your M is at least making some effort to be positive, at times anyway.

Your poor H must be relieved he doesn't have to live with her anymore!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:28:26

That's what I said to him! I don't always feel on top of it, but it is so much clearer since we left and the contact has been reduced.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 23:34:04

Interesting the 'black cloud' image. Just as long as it stays over her place not your new home!

Tbh am a bit boggled at M's continued rudeness towards your DH. She can like or dislike who she wants obviously but when she slights DH in his and your home (rented or not), I think she's presuming a lot on his good nature.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 09:20:13

When we came in DS was terribly excited about showing her the house and was pulling her up the stairs, but DH was right there and she didn't say anything. Then at the dinner table she talked to me but never addressed DH at all. It doesn't come across as she's angry with him particularly, it's just as if he isn't there at all sad. So, will be limiting time he has to endure her as it's not fair on him. I don't mind taking kids to see her for an hour or so at the weekends as we do the same with PILs and I don't mind poppig over myself when kids are at school during the week, but now we've done the hurdle or her coming to see the house I think that's that box ticked, no need to have her over here much at all. Does that sound fair?

2rebecca Thu 14-Feb-13 11:02:30

Maybe she just doesn't like texting. I don't and although I use texts quite alot to communicate with my kids and ex all our texts tend to be short and to the point. To me text isn't a waffly chatty medium, that's what talking is for. Stop trying to guess what she may have meant and just take her texts at face value.
Does your husband actually talk to your mum? If he chatted to her she couldn't ignore him. If time with your mum means your husband isn't welcome then I'd limit that and if she queries it mention that she ignores your husband. It sounds as though in general she is doing OK though. If your husband tried to make conversation with your mum and she was rude I would pull her up on that not just ignore it.
If he said nothing to her and she said nothing to him then they're just as bad as each other, and as he was the host the onus was actually on him to initiate conversation with his guest.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 14-Feb-13 11:12:59

Hope you are feeling better today Good, multivitamins as Herrena suggested might give you a much-needed boost?

Your M has seen where you live and however you divide your time between family domestic life, in-laws and work, the great thing is you can achieve a reasonable balance, as long as any outside force doesn't demand an excess of your energy.

In my book, blanking somebody is as rude as being overtly unpleasant, I appreciate there is only so much you can address at one time though.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 11:26:54

She's just texted to say she's made some cake and would I like to pick some up or she could pop it over to nursery when I'm picking DD up. So, I've texted back that sounds lovely and will pop in and pick it up on my way into nursery and put her other curtains up for her (will only take 5 mins). So, am going to take all that at face value as something normal and positive and friendly and not analyse it. I think it's only been 3 weeks since we moved and we all (DM, me and DH) need to find our new level and settle a bit and in the mean time I'm trying to be bright and breezy and friendly and set the tone.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:59

Donkeys I'm feeling a bit better, although I've got a little cold sore which is annoying. Got some zovirax though. I'm not going to work today as DH has a wsidom tooth extraction and work have given me a (paid!!!) day as it's in the afternoon and have no childcare at short notice.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 14-Feb-13 11:32:37

Glad you feel better, (minus cold sore, zovirax is good isn't it). Enjoy cake smile.

Herrena Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:44

I like the alien picture grin whatever works! Maybe print it out and put a picture of it on the fridge or something - if you can find her funny rather than exasperating then she loses power over you.

I imagine your DH doesn't really want to speak to her! Did he say much other than hello? I could understand him being reticent and her not talking to him much in that case. If she ignores him when he deliberately tries to have a conversation with her then yes, I agree that is rude.

I don't think you need to dwell on that now though - bigger fish to fry and all that!

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 21:57:19

Went round on Thursday to pick up cake and had a nice chat (10 mins). She said she'd made it as DH was having a wisdom tooth out and I had to drop him to the dental hospital and pick him up (hence day off work) and she thought tea time might be bit fraught or rushed. So, all v thoughtful.
Then today DCs and I took her into town to get some bits she wanted from the Chinese supermarket. Also planned to take DCs to Clarks, but they no longer do kids' shoes bastards. Had a really nice morning. No nonsense. The only slight thing was she said she was a lot more mobile at the moment as she's been moving all this furniture for the decorator to come in and so has been taking a lot of pain meds. I said something like, being more mobile helps in general as well and she said sadly "you really do think I was just being lazy all those years, don't you". I said, no..that hadn't been how I'd meant it at all. And I didn't. I think she just got into that mindset where she didn't do anything or go anywhere so it seemed like such a huge thing to do anything iyswim...almost verging on agoraphobia sort of..although she wasn't.
She said at one point she really really enjoyed coming out with us and doing things. She did add that although I sad she interefered she'd always tried to do just the opposite, but I ignored and said I was really pleased she was having a lovely time coming out with us (DD helped me out by having a tantrum over a biscuit just then so that cut awkward conversation short grin).
That's 3 nice visits in a row. I'm very pleased how well M is responding to my toddler taming techniques. grin

2rebecca Sat 16-Feb-13 23:17:49

That's good, but it seems a shame you're spending Sunday with your mother and kids not husband and kids.
On weekends I'd try and do family stuff and invite her along sometimes but make it clear you and your husband are the family unit, not you and her.
Fair enough if your husband has no desire to see her and has stuff he wants to get on with, but your kids need to start getting used to doing family stuff with mum and dad not mum and granny.

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 23:26:52

It's not set in stone, we might not see her next weekend. Also to be fair, the kids are at school and nursery all morning and I work 3pm til 10pm Mon to Thurs, so the only time she can realistically see the kids without asking DH to take them while I'm at work is on a Friday afternoon or at the weekends. We see the PILs for lunch every Sunday.

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 23:28:17

It doesn't always suit to see her on a Friday afternoon, hence visiting this Saturday morning while DH did the lunch and had the house to himself for a bit.

2rebecca Sun 17-Feb-13 08:35:27

If it suits you then fine, I'd hate to visit relatives, mine or my husbands every weekend but it sounds as though you enjoy that and are both more extended family orientated and less sports and activity orientated than we are. We both work as well so need weekends to chill a bit. Now the kids are older Sunday is usually a late brunch and then sporting stuff/ gardening/ kids do homework or their sporting stuff or doing stuff round house or go out for the day. Visiting someone every Sunday for lunch would make me feel I had no Sunday left.

GoodtoBetter Sun 17-Feb-13 08:57:45

I don't mind...means no cooking and get a take home tortilla in typical Spanish MIL styleee and kids like it.

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 12:00:30

Grr. Saw her this morning and she was complaining about an estimate she's had for painting the exterior of the house and regrouting the patio. She thinks it's a lot of money ad she said "I'm not like you and DH, i don't have money in the bank". Iirc she has about 20 or 30 grand in the bank and has a pension double what I earn and doesn't have 2 children and owns her own house. We were on our way out to the framer's, where she spent 500 fucking euros on picture frames. But apparently she's "got no money in the bank and can pay to paint the outside walls" and I "have money in the bank".

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Feb-13 12:02:19

obviously she does have 2 children blush I meant 2 dependent children.

Herrena Fri 22-Feb-13 13:33:06

Heh heh. If it's any consolation Good, pensioners can sometimes be a bit blinkered about the level of their income (IME anyway). My MIL has a pension which is considerably higher than my DH's salary and she constantly goes on about how frugal she has to be just after having spent hundreds of quid on flowers

So maybe this is only 50% 'have a go at Good' and the rest is made up of 'unreasonable expectations of income'. Let's give her the benefit of the doubt here grin

How are you doing anyway? Are you feeling any better?

GoodtoBetter Sun 24-Feb-13 22:31:28

Hi Herrena,

Yes, my body has obviously decided it has no choice but to work as it isn't going to get a rest anyway and I'm feeling a little less run down. Finished exams and reports at work so now only a massive translation and a fulltime job to contend with, minus the admin on top. Also, been going back to bed for an hour at the weekends and leaving DH to give DS his breakfast (DD is a sleepy wee monkey and capable of having a longer lie in then me grin) before staggering downstairs to a nice cup of tea and toast and jam.

Saw DM today, went to the park for an hour with her and the DCs and sat in the sun while they played. Was very nice. She was cheerier and had been to ikea herself, so that was positive. She's calmed down about the estimate and thought of a way round it that is more sensible and suits her better.

It wasn't the spending money that annoyed me, it was this implication that she's so fecking hard done by and I'm swanning around living the life of luxury on my "money in the bank", while she scrapes by on a meagre pension, when the truth is she has thousands in the bank (whether she wants to spend them or not is not the issue), a large house she owns outright, one person to feed and clothe and an income of around 2000 euros a month. Whereas I have an income of around 1200 euros a month (but only for 9 months a year, the other months I have to claim the dole) to feed a family of four, (with very little prospect of promotion and DH with no signs of work) pay 425 a month rent and will probably have to slowly eat away at my savings, and then we'll be renting on an income of 1200 a month with no safety net. And I HAD a house which I sold (Duh) to look after her, DB has a property, DM has and I'm the one who's been proper shafted.
But, I digress.

She asked why we hadn't been down to the flat recently and insisted I take a set of keys, said we should make the most of it before it's sold. Haven't decided what to do on that one just yet.

Still really really really enjoying living away from her. Can't believe I put up with it for so long. I look back and feel like I was sort of squashed down by it all. Feel so much lighter here, emotionally, physically. Love it.

GoodtoBetter Mon 25-Feb-13 14:22:44

A month today that we escaped! smile

Are you sure. I'm sure it was only last week or is time just flying by again.

You sound so much more relaxed and happy (and is your DH I expect). Even if you are busy with family and work.

Jux Mon 25-Feb-13 21:19:39

A whole month! Fantastic!

GoodtoBetter Tue 26-Feb-13 10:09:23

Yes, so busy I'm starting to fantasise about being a housewife! I'm so looking forward to getting this translation finished so I can have the mornings free again to pootle around while the kids are at school, drinking tea and doing a bit of laundry/tidying, even though I'd still have to work in the afternoons. Right now is just mad cos I work all morning, have lunch then work til 10pm then come home and work til around 1am.
Only another 12000 words to go...better get cracking. xx

2rebecca Tue 26-Feb-13 13:37:19

Glad things are going well. I'd have thought the reason you haven't been to your brother's flat is obvious "er, have you forgotten that I've just moved house mum and am really busy at the moment?"
Weekends in holiday cottages are for people with time on their hands, all that packing and travelling back and forth can be quite stressfull.
She's the one who has time to visit the holiday flat. If she can't be bothered why should you? It's not your problem, only go if you think it will enhance your life, to me it sounds like an unnecessary hassle at the moment.

WingDefence Wed 27-Feb-13 14:38:47

Hi Good - I'm so glad to see your updates! Hope the translation is going well today... I'm also in the middle of getting a major piece of work finished but had to pop back on here and see how you were doing.

I can't believe it's been a month since you moved - I'm so glad you can see the difference. I hope it's made a difference to your DH and DCs as well?

Take care smile

Herrena Wed 27-Feb-13 15:19:38

I would smile politely and thank her for the keys but not even consider going. It'll probably end up just being another stick to beat you with since people like your DM don't really ever give things away without an ulterior motive (even if it's 'only' that she wants you to be mildly indebted to her). If you did go then she could whinge to your DB about how you won't live in her house with her but her holiday home is good enough for you, oh yes. Not that such whinging need affect you necessarily, but it would annoy me if I knew of it.

If she asks why you haven't gone, just say you're really busy/DD has become dramatically carsick or something. If possible, don't make it an obstacle which she has the power to fix.

tribpot Sun 03-Mar-13 22:21:25

Hope all's going well.

GoodtoBetter Mon 04-Mar-13 09:17:53

Hello tribpot. Thanks for asking after us. Things are going well, will be finishing the giant translation job this week, thank goodness as I am so tired of it. It was too much to take on really but I couldn't turn the money down if there was any way I could possibly do it. I have 3000 words left, which I'm hoping to more or less do this morning (won't get it all done) and then have to trawl back through it all over the course of the week. Hopefully I'll get the other two books to do, but need a little break first because it's just too much working full time and trying to squeeze in translating a book on top of that.
It was a bank holiday weekend this week, so no work/school Thursday, Friday, and it was DH's birthday on the Friday. We went out for a meal on Friday using a meal voucher work gave me for Christmas. Friend babysat, was the first time out since before I got pg with DD I think (she's nearly 2).
Saw DM on the Thursday briefly and it came up that it was DH's birthday the next day. She said nothing, no "wish him happy birthday" etc. Nada. Saw her again briefly yesterday and she asked "how the birthday had gone" and that was it. I think she sees him as responsible for what's happened. I think she saw him as an irritating obstacle before and now she actively dislikes/resents him. But she's stupid because it just limits the time she sees me/DCs if we always see her without him, iyswim.
Also, have been noticing her favouritism of DS again. Went to a mediaeval market (artesan stuff) yday with her and DCs as DH was feeling under the weather. She bought DS a wooden sword and then a harmonica and never mentioned DD. DD was v interested in a little xylophone (DM watching her play with it) and it wasn't until I said I thought I would get it for her as DS had had 2 things that she said she would buy it. I don't mean she should buy them stuff, but I don't think you should buy for one and not the other. She likes DD, but it's like DD is a friend's granddaughter...very cute and all, but...yeah..whatever. But DS, well the sun just shines out of DS, she's always thinking about him, what he'd like, etc. I thought it was because DS is nearly 5 and talks etc, can do stuff but nothing changes and DD will be 2 in May. DM fussed and fussed when DS was a baby about him being read to, (ex teacher) and bought huge amounts of books for him. She's never ONCE asked about DD and stories. And there was the thing about saying before we moved that DH favoured DD (which he doesn't, at all), which I think was her projecting. When we dropped DM off, she did what she always does. The kids are in the back and she's in the front passenger seat, she gets out, blows a kiss to DD and then walks round the car (DD's in the seat behind her), opens DS' door and gives him a kiss. No kiss for DD. DD blows kisses and waves and looks a bit confused. When we see MIL, on the other hand she opens DD's door and kisses her and then does the same with DS, or vice versa.
I might say to DM next time that DD wants a kiss too, cos I don't like it. So glad we moved out, some seriously weird stuff goes on in my DM's head.

tribpot Sat 09-Mar-13 18:56:01

GoodToBetter, just popping by to check all is still okay.

Hopefully the giant translation job is done, what a task that's been.

Bizarre behaviour with regards to your ds and dd. She truly wants to play golden child/scapegoat doesn't she? Highly damaging for your children.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 19:23:54

Yes, I think DS is definitely the Golden Child and although DD is too little right now, i think she will definitely be the scapegoat later. At the moment it's more just that she's very cute and all that, but...well...meh..whatever in comparison to DS who can do no wrong and who she is always thinking about, planning for etc, etc. What worries me is that "the Golden Child can be encouraged, either overtly or tacitly, by the Narcissistic Mother, to bully the Scapegoat which adds to the friction". The DCs are lovely together now at 5 and almost 2, so close and affectionate, I'd hate her to start undermining their relationship.
I'm finishing the translation this weekend, can't wait to have a bit of free time. The only thing that's bothering me slightly is that Easter's coming up and DB is visiting for a week. I'm really looking forward to seeing DB but DM worried me a little by something she said the other day. Would appreciate some advice, I might even start a thread, but there's so much backstory I'm not sure it's worth it?

DB arrives on the Tues, which is DS' birthday. I'm going to pick DB up from the airport at about 1pm, with DS coming with me to see the planes and collect his uncle on his birthday (he's v excited about this). Then, the plan has always been (because DB booked flights early, long before all this kicked off and we moved out) that we would all (DCs, DB, DH, DM and me) go out for lunch. Fine. So, saw DM yday and she was saying we could go out for a lunch on another day. OK, fair enough..DB's here for a week. But then she starts saying she'd get a joint of meat in and as I don't have an oven, we'd eat at her house and it's do two days and then something else about another meal for another day...sounds like she thinks we're all having lunch together every day DB is here. Obviously when we all lived together we ate together every day, but there's no way I want to spend every lunch time with her! On my holiday! (I have the week off). I was so surprised I didn't really say anything. DH was utterly horrified by the idea, and rightly so as she will basically ignore him and then bitch to DB behind DH's back that DH doesn't speak to her at the table.
I had a fucking horrible Christmas with all this going on, so there's no way I'm spending all my easter week with her, but I don't want to provoke a war either. I'm not putting DH through seeing her more than necessary either.
I spoke to DH and suggested we do the birthday meal and possibly one other meal and the rest of the time be magically "busy" visiting friends, going out for the day, etc etc. The difficult thing is I do want to see DB and have a chance to chat to him and see him a bit, but would rather not have to factor DM into the equation.
What I used to do was that she would do her virtually housebound routine and I'd get DB to come to the park with us and see him without her that way. Since we've moved out I've tended to see her on "organised outings" like the park etc as I find it less oppressive and laden with awkward significance than sitting in the house we used to live in. I worry now if I say we're going to the park, she'll say she'll come too. Also want to show DB the new house, but not sure how to do it without her self inviting or being rude by clearly not inviting, iyswim?
Think I'll try skyping DB next week and see what he thinks....

Goodness that was long!

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 19:25:36

Sorry, I meant DM was suggesting 2 lunches out, the birthday and another day and then all these mels at her house.

I agree with you. I wouldn't be putting your DH in position of not feeling welcome.

I think it a good idea to see your db alone. Maybe he can come to lunch and see your new home and stay for lunch one day.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 20:20:48

what do you think to the being "busy" tack or am I being a coward?

AutumnDreams Sat 09-Mar-13 20:52:46

Lovely to hear from you Good!

I don`t think you`re being a coward at all. Just someone who has been through the eye of a needle in recent months, and now wants some peace.

To be totally honest though, I feel that you will need to have strong words with her in the very near future. She still seems to think she can control you and your family, albeit in a different way now. Ostracising your husband, and the father of her grandchildren in this way is completely wrong, and maybe she should be told. He has put up with so much from her.

Her behaviour towards your little one though is the really worrying thing, and that needs to be dealt with before she creates a serious rift between your children.

For now, take the easiest way out - lie! - until you feel strong enough to deal with her again. Try to get time out with your brother in whatever way you can, without her being there. In the long run though, I don`t think you will ever allow her to cause problems again.

Enjoy your holidays with your lovely little family.

tribpot Sat 09-Mar-13 20:54:39

It's a massively awkward situation, isn't it? Taking the nearest analogy I can, my brother lives in the same city as my mum (we are about 90 miles away) and although I have visited and been to see only one or other of them, normally we would all get together. If we were going for a week, though, we wouldn't hang out all day every day as it would get too oppressive.

You could put a very definite line in the sand and invite your DB to your house on his own, but this would be difficult to pass off as anything other than a deliberate snub to your mum.

I'd pretend you haven't heard the thing about the joint of meat - why not say you think it'd be great if you all went out to eat as planned (actually have your bro say this) so no-one has the cooking and then one lunch at your mum's and one lunch at yours. After all, you don't live together now.

Presumably you'll want to do something that includes your in-laws as well?

But then I would definitely say that you do have plans already - visiting friends and maybe a day trip out for the kids to enjoy. If she acts like you're being incredibly rude to have planned this during your brother's visit you can then have him say he is quite happy for you not to be living in each other's pockets and that the kids need to enjoy the holidays.

Having some alone time with him could be very tricky, though. Unless he makes a point of coming down to see you every morning - for a coffee maybe - so that she feels she has to protest about all the time being spent at your house smile

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 21:14:36

I don't want to actively snub her, no because I just want a bit of peace and I can't cope with having another holiday ruined by having a huge fall out. But I am very conscious not to let DH feel she's more important and I don't want him to have to spend any more time in her company than is absolutely necessary to prevent ww3. I can tell the very idea of being in the same room as her depresses him. I think he'd rather do pretty much anything than be in a social situation with her, and he's put up with so much shite from her over the years, it's not fair.
I think next year I might do a birthday party for DS or something, even if DB's here, to try to diffuse the situation a bit..i.e she can come to the kiddie party but there'll be lots of people there to diffuse any unpleasantness and not so much pressure on DH to "chat over dinner". Can't get out of the meal this year on DS' birthday without it being a MAJOR snub/insult though.
I think we'll do the meal out on the birthday as planned and maybe one other meal and then just be busy the other days at lunchtime, I can pop over an afternoon instead for an hour, so DH isn't involved if he doesn't want to be. Maybe invite DB to watch easter processions as she won't want to do that much walking/standing around...and then just have a quick look and sneak to the park, or invite DB to come and do something quite active like kicking football around, so she won't be interested......or go on long walks with DC and DH and DB......

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 21:16:37

And yes, awkward is the word. It's like..I know she doesn't really understand what happened to end up with us moving out and she's sort of tried to ask me, but I avoid it, because..well...where do I start? This is a bit similar...why don't you want to come over every day for lunch...well......

tribpot Sat 09-Mar-13 22:14:19

Understandable, but I think this is why AutumnDreams is right. At some point it won't be possible just to push this under the carpet any more; you may need simply to pick the moment that's best for you to have it all out.

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Mar-13 23:06:10

I know...words will have to be had at some point, but not just now.

Lavenderhoney Sun 10-Mar-13 06:10:01

I've been a lurker and impressed with yousmile just had to say you probably need to control the week with your db - do the lunch as planned and say the dc are excited about it. Skype your db so he can think of ways to see you as well.

Will he have a car or bike? Plan the activities you want with the dc, then arrange them round it iyswim. If she expects your db to spend every waking moment with her she might be in for a shock- you did mention he was quite firm with her? Best to talk it through with him so you have an idea of how to react to any drama. Good idea re walks ending with a picnic she can come to at the park maybe? But let him drive it too- he might want to see his flat? Would he spend a couple of nights at yours, even on the sofa?

She won't like it, but it's right you see him alone. She will think you are discussing hersmile my dm wouldnt let me see my siblings alone and refused to give me their contact numbers " I'll tell them- what do you want to say?"

Email and Facebook are the devil to hersmile

2rebecca Sun 10-Mar-13 10:11:07

I think the answer to why you don't want to come over every day for lunch is easy "because you and my husband don't get on and I moved out so we aren't living in each other's pockets any more. This is part of me moving away mum, I have lunch at my house now. I want to spend some time with my husband during the holidays".
Things generally sound as though they are going well. In the general scheme of life not going to her house for lunch every day isn't a big thing. Don't build it into a big thing in your head just because she builds it into one in hers.
You don't live with her anymore and you and your husband now decide when you eat with her. The plan of inviting your brother round to do some active stuff with you sounds fine. It sounds as though she builds mountains out of molehills, you don't have to let her worries be your worries. Enjoy seeing your brother but do it on your terms.

GoodtoBetter Sun 10-Mar-13 20:08:13

Finished the translation! Whoop whoop! Yes, rebecca I should probably just say that, I know I'm skirting round things and avoiding confrontation but I feel like life's been so crazy for so many months now. I just want to have a moment to catch my breath so to speak.

tribpot Sun 10-Mar-13 20:45:37

Well done GoodToBetter! What a huge achievement!

2rebecca Sun 10-Mar-13 20:57:51


GoodtoBetter Sun 10-Mar-13 21:06:33

57,316 words and teaching and marking exams and writing reports and moving house has nearly killed me, but I did it! Going to enjoy having mornings free for a while! Plan for tomorrow is dyeing hair and sorting out wayward eyebrows and then slobbing on sofa with tea and biscuits...bliss!

tribpot Sun 10-Mar-13 21:13:31

Dyeing your hair just to lie on the sofa seems like it's the wrong way round somehow grin

GoodtoBetter Sun 10-Mar-13 21:20:57

It's a maintenace thing, trib I am sooooooo grey at the mo!

MusicalEndorphins Mon 11-Mar-13 01:37:12

GTB, perhaps phone your DB before he departs for Spain and suggest that he suggest, during the birthday lunch, that "the guys" get together for a beer one day. The beer can be at your place so you and your dh can talk to your brother without her around, but she doesn't need to know that until afterwards, that they decided they may as well just stay at your new apt. rather than go somewhere.

GoodtoBetter Mon 11-Mar-13 09:04:03

Yes, going to skype DB this week and have a chat about it all.
On other subjects...remember all the hand wringing and wailing about how she was an invalid and couldn't manage before we moved? Well, in the nearly 2 months since we moved she's been doing all her shopping herself (not online), has emptied the lounge of furniture, had it redecorated and moved all the furniture back and hasn't needed a cleaner (and I go round there and it's not dirty).

WingDefence Mon 11-Mar-13 09:50:24

Hi GTB - good to hear that you all seem to be moving on ie your mum's also regaining some independence from all this.

I can't really offer much advice about the situation with your DB's visit but just saying that you would like to spend some time one-on-one with him should be understandable? Or for DB to spend some quality time with his niece and nephew?

Hope you have a great day pampering yourself smile

tribpot Mon 11-Mar-13 17:37:13

She does better than me! Glad she's not pulling out all the stops to pretend to be more helpless.

Skygirls Mon 11-Mar-13 22:11:08

I've been lurking and I have to say you are one incredibly brave lady, G2B . The strength and courage you've shown in these last few months, standing up to your manipulative DM is amazing.
No person has the right to take over someone's life like your DM did to you, even if they are your mum.
Bravo to you! I'll bet that you are an inspiration to other mners who may be in a similar situation.
Keep up with the strength and I'm wishing you and your DH and DCs all the very best for a happy future.

You know, you could write a book about your past trials. smile

GoodtoBetter Mon 11-Mar-13 22:31:13

Aw, thanks sky blush, but I'd never have done it without MN. It was the MNers who helped me see it for what it was, the manipulations, the FOG. And I really was in the FOG Fear, Obligation and Guilt. I was terrified at the beginning, I really was...not sure of what, but I was. I remember someone on MN saying, way back in September on my 1st thread that although I didn't want to hear it, the only answer was to move out, that I might want to hear it then, but it would come to that one day or another. I remember, I can't. But sure enough, they were right.
So thank you MN, you really saved me and you continue to support me and buoy me up. Thank you. flowers

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Mar-13 22:57:37

It's me again. I hope nobody minds me wittering on. It helps me to write things down. All is well. Saw DM today and we had a perfectly nice time, she showed me the new pictures she had framed and I admired them and then we went out for a coffee in her car and I helped her do her tyre pressures. She brought up the Easter week by saying: "I mentioned you coming over here for a meal, but you didn't seem very keen". So, I just said that we were hoping to have some days out and she said she totally understood and perhaps DB would like to go too. So, all good.
Skyped DB and had a bit of a chat and explained I didn't want to be rude to her, but didn't want to be in each other's pockets and wanted some time with DB without her and he said he'd make sure we got that. So all good. Gorgeous weather at casa G2B..loving the rooftop!

tribpot Thu 14-Mar-13 23:56:42

All good, GoodtoBetter! A much more 'normal' conversation.

Skygirls Thu 14-Mar-13 23:58:08

Great news G2B. Have a fantastic Easter hols and hope things continue to be better for you.

That's good G2B, sounds like you and your brother are singing from the same hymn sheet.

P.S. would you be so kind as to send some sun and warmer weather please. So fed up with cold snowy showers grin.

Have a good Easter.

Jux Fri 15-Mar-13 08:47:33

Excellent, G2B. That all sounds so normal! Perhaps you and your mum can have a good relationship...

AutumnDreams Fri 15-Mar-13 15:34:53

I`m so happy for you Good. You are getting the life you deserve. With luck, your mum is finally appreciating what a fabulous life she has too. I truly envy her living where she the nicest possible way of course!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 15-Mar-13 15:42:08

Hi there,

Felt it was time I'd take a step back, (was worried I'd project own personal memories and feelings) but have lurked and sent positive vibes!

Keep on keeping on Good thanks great to see you on here handling things well, everything's so much brighter than a few weeks' ago, well done.

Herrena Fri 15-Mar-13 15:49:49

Umm... sorry to be the voice of doom GB, but that sounds a bit too good to be true. I've had reasonable-sounding conversations with my M before and later on found out that she'd been berating me to my sister/father/aunt for being so terrible. Obviously I hope she is being genuine, but....hmm. Don't be too hopeful, is all I'm saying.

GoodtoBetter Fri 15-Mar-13 16:06:50

Don't worry....not counting chickens. Fully expecting her to slag me off all week to DB.

WingDefence Fri 15-Mar-13 16:44:12

I'm glad you and DB are coming from at it similarly and he understands everything you're saying. Then if she does slag you off all week he'll know not to listen (which I think he's already proved, juding by what you've said before on here).

Herrena Sat 16-Mar-13 10:07:43

Glad to hear you're not expecting too much! I don't want to be gloomy. It's just that people like this have form for saying one (reasonable) thing and then warping it into something completely different during their long solitary hours of brooding on all the ways the world has treated them unfairly not that I've thought about this too much oh dear me no

And apologies for referring to you as GB rather than G2B - mixing up my threads!

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Mar-13 20:33:47

Yes, DH said that before we moved out when it was all going crazy. He said she's sitting there brooding on it, swirling it all round and round in her warped mind, cos she'd say things that had never happened or deny other things.
Don't worry about the GB thing, I've been following her threads too.

Herrenamakesagreatwelshcake Fri 22-Mar-13 14:12:53

Hey Good, how are things going? Hope you're been doing as little as possible wink

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-Mar-13 19:55:31

Hello Herrena, (oooh I LOVE welshcakes, been many a year since I had one). Life pootling along. Had last day at work today til the 1st April! Woohoo, a week off! DB flying in on Tuesday (DS' birthday) and we're going for a meal with DM, but no other firm plans with DM. Going to be vague and just pop in a couple of times. Weather forecast not great so will just take things as they come, refuse to get into a whole series of planned, awkward meals. Tuesday and that's all. Might go an see DH's lovely extended family tomorrow and perhaps a day in the mountains if we get any good weather. Going to sleep as much as poss and try to see DB without DM around. Generally chilling out a bit.
Most recent annoyance with Dm was this week. She bought DS a camera for his birthday. A proper Canon digital that costs (v much reduced on Black Friday on Amazon) about 70 quid, although I can't remember now, maybe it was less...but at least 50. I think it's a bit ridiculous for a 5 year old, but hey ho. I mentioned I had a toy kitchen put away for DD's birthday which is in in May and DM said "Oh, I don't know what to get or where to buy for DD, perhaps if I gave the money you could choose?", which is fine I suppose but I still think it's a bit crap when she puts so much effort into DS' presents. Anyway, seeing as she spent at least 50 quid on DS, I'm thinking I'm going to get DD the lovely toy piano she fell in love with in Imaginarium, but that's a bit steep for us to shell out on. If there's any fuss about price I'll just look all innocent and say "oh, but I thought you'd want to spend the same on them both".
Still loving living away from her and can't believe I did it for so long. Just thinking about it makes me feel squashed down iykwim. And there was always this undertone that we were so lucky to live in her "big house" and that we'd never cope financially without her, but what it boiled down to was a bedroom she felt she could complain about the tidiness of, the kids' bedrooms that I couldn't decorate without her say so or cat's bum mouth and a lounge she had to walk through to the patio. So, no privacy/independence/space.
So lovely to not have to factor her in to everything, listen to her whinging about everything, criticising everything, never knowing when she'd be depressed or moaning about being ill, or in a strop about something. Just basically feeling like an adult again. Happy sigh....!

GoodtoBetter Mon 25-Mar-13 19:48:26

So, out with the old bird and db (and Dh and the kids obviously) for lunch tomorrow. wish me luck!

Jux Mon 25-Mar-13 22:04:48

Have a great time with your bro. Good luck for tomorrow.

So glad you're about to get some rest, too!

GoodtoBetter Tue 26-Mar-13 15:23:01

Meal was OK, a bit strained but not too bad and she didn't ignore DH too badly. Had a good chat with DB on the way back from the airport and then left him at DM's house while I popped over to see my friend as she she had a present for DS. As we were leaving the restaurant after the meal later, DB said the minute I'd dropped him off she'd started the bitching but that he'd cut her straight off and said he didn't want to hear it. Which is just as I predicted she would do, sweetness and light "in public" and then let rip with him in the hope he'd back her up.
DB is going to have a nap as he had to get up early for his flight but then pop over to DS' little birthday tea (his best friend is coming over for cake). so we can have more of a chat then. All this helps me when I feel guilty about not seeing her over a weekend for example.

AutumnDreams Tue 26-Mar-13 19:31:15

You sound as if you are able to pre-empt every move DM makes now Good, which will make things a little easier to handle. What saddens me so much is the way she tries to set sibling against sibling. I truly cannot understand how any mother can do that. As you know, I have two adult sons, and it`s one of the greatest joys in the world for me, seeing what great friends they are. Knowing that if I have done nothing else, I have encouraged this. Fortunately, you and DB are fully aware of her behaviour, and will not let her win. You must be sure, though, that she isn`t allowed to repeat this pattern with your two little ones. Make her aware that you don`t like how she treats one differently to the other. It`s a shame, but you really are never going to be able to fully let your guard down around her are you? Still, it`s much easier to do from a safe distance. You sound so much happier.

What`s the weather like at present? I`m off to Malaga soon, so hoping for some much needed sun, although my love of Andalusia will see me through regardless. Enjoy the rest of your holidays.x.

GoodtoBetter Tue 26-Mar-13 20:05:39

I'm sorry to say the weather is shit atm Autumn. It's rain everyday, a quick peek of sun, maybe not. it's not that cold really, but drizzly, which obviously is deeply distressing for Spaniards this week as it's Semana Santa and hardly any of the processions are able to go out. They can't if there's any possibility it might rain, cos they can't get the floats (that's such a crap word for how beautiful they are) wet as they are so old and precious.
DB didn't make it to the birthday tea in the end. I texted Dm after a bit but she said he was asleep and she'd asked if he wanted waking before he went up but he said he'd set an alarm, so he obviously slept through it or decided he was too knackered. It was fine as DS had his little friend here for tea, but I swear to God she was clearly enjoying it, that DB wasn't coming round. If I relayed our conversation to anyone else they'd say I was imaging it, but I'm not. DB gets what I mean, as you all do. Sometimes I doubt myself and feel maybe I'm being harsh, but then she does things like bitch about me the first chance she gets and I have to remember sadly that she's not my friend, that it's all about her. You hit the nail on the head Autumn when you said I can't let my guard down around her.
I still haven't outright said anything about the favouritism as I'm not sure how to broach it, but it may come to a head around DD's birthday in May.

MadonnaKebab Tue 26-Mar-13 21:16:19

It's been great to catch up with your thread and read how far you've come
Well done!
But I'd like ask a question about the flat that's being sold
Do I remember correctly that it was bought with money left to you & DB ?
So isn't it up to you two whether its sold or rented or done up before selling later?
And who gets the money?

GoodtoBetter Tue 26-Mar-13 21:33:14

DB and I inherited about 50,000pounds each when our father died. Dm's idea was that DB would fritter it away (which he probably would have tbf) so why not pool it and buy a holiday home as an investment. She then added to it and we bought the flat for about 160,000 EUROS (not pounds). In the meantime I had bought my house with a mortgage and she loaned me the shortfall of about 50,000. So, i had a property in my name, with a mortgage and so the flat was put in his name. Still a bit wonky obviously as it meant he had a flat in his name with no mortgage, whereas I had a mortgage to pay (not that I cared, but anyway). So the idea was that if I needed a hand, she would help me out a bit financially. Then I sold my house (at a loss) to move in with her and look after her. I was left with about 50,000 pounds in the bank and she changed her will so I would inherit her house outright on her death.
But now it's left that DB has a flat that will almost certainly be worth more than 50,000 pounds and she wants to save up to help him buy another property when he's sold that one. and wants to changer her will so he gets half her house too (which he's welcome to btw). It's all complicated and another way to control and manipulate us.

Herrenamakesagreatwelshcake Tue 26-Mar-13 21:33:54

Sorry I didn't get back here in a timely fashion Good! I'm glad you have been taking the opportunity to chill out.

Also very glad that your DB is shutting DM down in a firm fashion - it annoys me slightly that (IME) men have more success with this tactic than women do! I'll bet she is enjoying the potential for drama. You've got her number though wink

Herrenamakesagreatwelshcake Tue 26-Mar-13 21:35:25

Whoops, x-posted.

Just avoid all the financial stuff would be my advice - far too dense a thicket to push through.