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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families(998 Posts)
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It's March 2013, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.
Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.
Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.
This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)
So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.
One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;
'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/angry/hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/lifetime experiences of being hurt/angry etc by our parents? behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'
Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.
Some on here have been emotionally abused and/or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn't have to be any) they fall into.
NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing up, how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/ or current parental contact, has left you feeling damaged falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.
You might also find the following links and information useful, if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.
'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.
I started with this book and found it really useful.
Here are some excerpts:
"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect you feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defenses that they have always used, only more so.
Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.
Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:
"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety will undoubtedly use it during confrontation to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.
YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".
"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behavior. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offenses against them.
YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me when I was a child".
"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.
YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me to make a better relationship."
"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties without invalidating your own.
YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"
"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behavior. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get," or "nothing was ever enough for you."
YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ...."
"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realize that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.
YOUR RESPONSE: "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."
Personality Disorders definition
More helpful links:
Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child
"I'm sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don't claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support."
Happy Posting (smithfield posting as therealsmithfield)
Thanks for replies- food for thought.
DS1 and I have been struck down with a virus (his temp hovered below 40 all night- turns out to be tonsillitis). So I won't be posting for a bit.
Rose-hope you and your son are feeling better soon
<waves to all from bed> thanks Dontstep
rose bad stuff going round at mo it seems! DD had temp hovering over 102 for 12 hrs last week, followed by week of illness.
Hopeyou are both feeling better v, soon.
Hi everyone. Apologies for not reading through past threads and so perhaps stomping on an ongoing conversation. I lost Mum a year ago and am now PG with DC1. Mum wasn't affectionate or loving through my childhood as I recall it and ghere are certainly deep issues I carry due to my childhood but I don't know if she was toxic per-se. I do have a bunch of baggage though and really want to work out how to be a great Mum to my DC and not repeat patterns.
Any advice about where to start without spanking £££ on counselling?
Hi everyone thanks for the new thread midwife.
No time to read all or post as should be on school run!
welcome here remembering I am sorry to hear of the loss of your mum, especially as you are recognising issues
you've certainly come to a good place for learning and exploring, and validations, sharing and loads around that here. I have found this place more helpful than any other place I've been before because its concentrated 'toxic talk', its specialist in that sense and totally focussed on this issue. You might find reading through the threads will give you a great sense of recognitions? I do not know where you can get free councelling; actually do docs offer 6 weeks free by referral? That might be a good place to start. It might be a bit tough going during pregnancy? Others will be along I'm sure to offer support ... keep posting xx
hi remembering, this is a good place to post. Just talk and write it all out. It really helps to gather your thoughts rather than have them rambling around your head. Good to make steps on this before you have your baby too. I think many of us found that having our own DC has been a major trigger back to our own childhoods and now we are questioning lots of things that just weren't right or correct or fair or kind or safe for us as children or teenagers.
Lots of questions, lots of insecurities, lots of whys and confusion is common amongst so many of us. The good thing from acknowledging our past is that we know how to parent so much BETTER than they did back then. Our futures are brighter than our pasts because we are conscious of how to do it better, and what NOT to do. So that gives us something to look forward to I think.
I know for me, my days are easier in spite of the painful memories, if I focus on my home, making it the safe nurturing place it should be, and if I am kind to myself - if I don't want to do something, like visit someone, or attend something, or explain myself to someone, I don't have to. Not making sense there, but I feel often that yes I seek approval EVERYWHERE from anyone, and try to please others before myself. Each day I try not to do that now, when I actually remember to that is.
Sorry long post. Again.
Btw Hissy - thanks for a brilliant idea - I asked my sister if I should email the identical email that my sis received plus my identical email direct to mother, then sis said, well possibly that is what mother would want us to do. To keep the drama going on and on.
But I still want to rumble her about her lack of empathy or compassion in not taking my feelings into account, and effectively blanking what I wrote with a duplicate 'sermon' which made no sense whatsoever.
And yes, I would like to choose an alternative form of forgiveness, if such a thing exists. But I think it's such a dense area - at what point are we to 'forgive' someone like her who has been so violent?
If she were a criminal, who was convicted of assault, would I still be able to forgive her? Well, actually maybe, as I would know that her punishment had been properly given, that she was in prison for doing what she did.
but as it is, it is so hard to forgive her as she is still doing her thing, acting like she is the perfect community member, perfect grandmother, perfect everything, and worst of all, she thinks she already has been forgiven for everything she ever did to my sister. What a bloody mess.
i had another flashback too of when I was about 7 and my brother was around 7 weeks old - she had laid him on her bed, he was screaming hysterically, uncontrollable screaming. I went in, and said he's crying, pick him up! And she calmly as anything said oh that's what babies do, and continued to TIDY HER WARDROBE. As though none of us were there.
oldtoys, are you or your sister Christians?
If so, well it says in Luke17:3-4 - to forgive if they repent. Has your mother repented? A person who has genuinely repented will realise that some wounds take time to heal and they'll give you the space you need, and they'll work to earn your trust again. They won't push you to just get over it and won't ever say things like ''well God has forgiven me therefore so should you'' because that's just manipulative.
In the last thread, somebody posted a really good essay on forgiveness in these situations, but then it was deleted - maybe somebody has a link to it. It was great, I'll try and find it.
My MIL sounds very like your mother, down to the Bible verses being thrown around.
Marking my place on the new thread.
SmellsLikeTeenStrop - well her sense of forgiveness is your latter statement, that God has forgiven her, therefore so should we.
She has never apologised, never offered to make amends, never suggested how best she can help us heal - as she clearly believes she was entitled to use that form of 'discipline'. So I'm finding difficulty at the moment in complete forgiveness and what that will mean in the real world, having to deal with her. Do I just block out the memories? Even though they still cause so much pain? Do I just think of other things when a memory comes? Do I fake a relationship with her, if I am supposed to have forgiven her? How can my behaviour be true to myself yet living a lie in my 'good' pleasing behaviour to my mother?
She didnt' consider it assault, or violence, or abuse - but although these are just words to her, these words are never spoken in relation to what happened. Except, unless I am imagining it, yes it was abuse - because it started when my sister was 13, and ended only when she left the house to go to uni at 18. So 6 years, 365 days in a year approx 1000 odd days of it.
So her way of looking at it, is that we should respect her as our mother, otherwise, bad things will happen to us - ie, a family friend died, and mother told us she hadnt spoken to her mother for 6 years and now look what happened. What a terrible thing to say. I told DH about her comment earlier last week when she emailed as I hadn't answered phone for days, she 'thought I had had a car accident....silly me'. He wasn't impressed with her.
Sorry I'm rambling on
that should say approx 2000 days of it
Oldtoys I think you are talking of two things here, forgiveness on the one hand, and how you manage your feelings towards her.
the forgiveness thing totally lies with her, as everyon'es been saying, fo rher to demonstrate repentence and ask for forgiveness, so totally her responsibility. This would show huge things in terms of being aware of what she's done, that is were her fault, and tha she was truly sorry, and wantedyou to know that - all of us here I think know this is nt the case tho! sadly!
the other bit, is managing your own rfeelings as a result of their actions. Mine have never asked for forgiveness, but I don't want to 'carry' anger and hatred, resentmetn and blame and all those negative things (which I felt I shouldn't carry if I was a good forgiving person! - my views have changed!). I got out being angry, went NC grieved all the pains and loss of parenting, and although not sure whether I still feel scared of the male parent, I know that I would not want to get revenge in any way, or be nasty even if they said hello, or feel the need to 'do' anything towards a relationship int he future. Just come to a place of little feeling now towards them. They are jsut some people, this hasn't come from forgiveness of them IYSWIM, going back to the original point, but only from me sorting through my feelings, without the knowlegdge and validation I've received since signposted to this thread!
I don't think its truly a situation where foregiveness is applicable based on that and the knowledge of the narc condition! So I am not ever expecting to be asked for forgiveness
Guilt trips - frankly dispicable - the blaming, all part of the horrible cruel game.
ooo .. long post! but thats my take on it, and I'm not tied in knots anymore trying t find a way or have emotions running around... I do sometimes get flashbacks which can be very upsetting and take me by surprise, causing some upwelling! Still just catch my self getting caught up iwth the whole 'lack of pretend family' if that makes sense? - that i don't miss them but do very much miss what families are supposed to represent oh well
Hello everyone. I joined very late on the last thread. Thank you for all helping me to get started on dealing with this. Just marking my place.
Toxic parents don't repent!
Oldtoys, sorry for all the things you have experienced. Don't bloke the memories. This will make you ill. Try and feel the emotions from your childhood. This will help heal the pain. Repression results in headaches, backache, skin allergies, stomach aches etc. As Alice Miller says "the body never lies".
Thanks for the welcomes. I will try to get my thoughts a little straight and post some of it soon
Oh oldtoys, I can see how difficult this all is, what books have you read so far?
I grew up going to Church and I still do from time to time but a modern, very different one, to my childhood one. I do find her over spiritualisation and attributing everything to the enemy or God and bad things happening, as well as, as I've said, justifying her abusive behaviour through it, deeply disturbing. I really do. It's not normal. She is narcisstic and self absorbed.
You have every right to go no contact for some time, you don't have to play happily families or brush it all under the carpet. The guilt and obligation can be over whelming but keep talking and make the right decision for you, for your peace and emotional well being here and for your family.
I have read some good books on forgiveness but personally imo if they're abusive, you can try and let go of the past, have counselling etc but to truly heal and stay healed and whole, it is far far healthier to not see them any more or have some distance at the very least and new boundaries. As she'll just hurt you again and again. So you'll never truly feel able to move on. Does that make sense?
wow. yes. You make such perfect sense - thank you FairyFi Don'tstep, I can't thank you enough for giving me such clarity on it all today.
I was in a confusing mess all day until I read your latest posts.
I now know that is why I feel such peace when I am physically AWAY from her literally hundreds of miles, 4 hours drive away, and why I feel unable to eat or sleep when I have to visit her house. (Unschoolmum completely links to your theory on the body never telling a lie etc)
The religious stuff is verging on insanity, I can see that now, it is very very disturbing. And doesn't even make sense - her 'sermon' emails contradict everything.
Low low contact feels like the most simple & right thing to do.For self protection too.
I can't thank you all enough for giving me space to talk here, and replying with such logical advice. Really, I am overwhelmed. Thank you. I am feeling more content now. Able to think a lot clearer and to shift my focus to more positive things going on in my life other than her.
Yes true the body never lies. Close proximity or physical contact with my parents makes me feel nauseous & I start pulling my hair out - something I used to do when I was a teenager.
Oh god, yes!
At Xmas when things were really bad I was in bed with the most horrendous migraine for 3 days!
They actually make me ill!
I am all for forgiveness if the person truly repents their behaviour...but few ever really do ime.
My siblings would be genuinely shocked to know how much I resent them.
The idea that I should have been treated any other way is just not one that occurs to them.
I see my parents on my terms now.
And I like it that way.
I see my siblings very rarely anyway, so no loss there. I do wish I saw more of my nephews and niece, but maybe that will come as they get older....
My eldest nephew loves it here. After the last party here he told my sister that "I love auntie badvocs house, it's full of beautiful people"
I think he means that we play with him, and have fun. Not that we should be adorning the pages if vogue!
What books has everyone read and which did you find best and why? Has anyone done work on improving their psychological boundaries or boundary strength? This is my next focus.
Toxic parents by Susan forward helped me.
It made me see that even though I wasn't sexually abused, or anything awful like that, the patently I recieved was "inadequate".
It did help me,knowing I wasn't the only one, too.
daughter of narcissus - only just started reading.. I have heard its good and an enjoyable read, but I think its very boring so far - purely because I couldn't be less interested in the intricacies of how life was supposed to be lived by the rich and famous and the social expectations and niceties, unnecessary and uninteresting 'bulk' to my mind (you know, how servants were employed, how being a winter resident was so important or not, how awful and boring it was to be in this 'class') that could be too soon a judgement, I am still hopeful of some real grist, and less of the lives of the rich and famous as I don't really have an appetite for that.
Boundaries are my biggest challenge right now, but I have put a lot in place, just don't know where the lines lie on many things.
I'm pleased to see a book review here unschool xx
well I'm reading 'Quiet - the power of introverts in a world that can't stop talking' by Susan Cain
Not directly related to the narc mother etc but helps me immensely as I was always told by her to be more sociable, etc etc when all I wanted was to be left alone to read etc as spending time alone gave me immense peace in a very chaotic stressful household back then.
This book is giving me the justification I need to be who I am, and not listen to that critical voice telling me I'm 'too quiet'
Going to read the Toxic Parents one next.
OT- also a fan, did you see her TED talk?
I like Children of the Self-absorbed also transactional analysis is good re boundary-building. Less keen on Toxic Parents and Alice Miller, found too full-on for my situation but i know lots on here have found helpful.
oldtoys I also read a huge amount growing up, it was my escape from living up in such a cold home.
I am in a dilemma at the moment. My mother has agreed to have my DS (2) once a week at the same time as my little niece. He loves playing with her and seems happy when I leave, but when I rang this afternoon to arrange to pick him up he was crying in the background, very upset.
She brought him home immediately and he had a dirty nappy (as in soiled, not just wet). When I picked him up last time he also had a dirty nappy, and I am beginning to think she doesn't change him (and that was possibly why she was so keen to bring him over; usually I pick him up).
I think she knew I wasn't happy, as tonight she called twice, always a danger sign of her trying to 'regain control', the second time I didn't answer but she left a message saying she wanted to buy him a little car and was that OK.
What I want to say to her is I don't mind about the car, do it if you like, but please if he's got a dirty nappy either change it immediately or ring me and I will do it. I know she thinks I should have toilet trained him by now and perhaps this is how she does it - simply doesn't bother to change nappies or let them be uncomfortable past a certain age. I wonder if she was like that with me.
The other thing is we were out for dinner last week and DS walked away and she offered to go and get him; he was lying on the carpet and she dragged him up by the arm and escorted him back to the table. He had a look on his face that was hard to describe, kind of shocked obedience. She can be very rough, I never like her touching me/getting too close and I'm sure this is due to the way she treated me as a child.
I also know that she will quite happily leave him to sit and cry, and simply ignore him at times. He also never gets a nap there so comes home exhausted.
I am thinking of making the day she looks after him a half day, as he loves seeing his cousin.
It would cause a huge drama were I to pull out of the arrangement altogether, and he would miss out on playing with his cousin. But am I ignoring warning bells here? I simply don't trust the woman.
Sorry for the ramble. I can't sleep for worry that I am exposing him to harm and needed to offload!
ws interested in the TA book that you mentioned Salbertina as I'm into boundary building right now... is it just called TA? Considering CBT too as a tool to repatterning
Tangerine- only you know whether she should look after your child. If you're feeling uncomfortable though really think about why. If you're feeling it, he will too, and he doesn't have the language to tell you why. Could you not mention the dirty nappy situation? Not feeling like you can is as much of an issue as the nappy.
I was once in a shop with my then toddler ds and mother, he was trying to test her and I caught her about to smack him. Will never forget her face as she looked up and saw me measuring her up. I would've straight put her on her arse!
tangerine go with your instincts, rely on yourself to know best, your DC your call totally, too bad if any don't like it... not their DC so not their decision. We can't be cowards about this, regardless of potential 'huge drama' its better to have that than your DC suffer? You have seen her rough handling and neglect, so much so that you are now not sleeping.
Wet nappies for hours don't really pose a problem but dirty ones do for them, on many levels, it is unhygenic and neglectful of her, plus you know she smacks, even though I guess shes knows you wouldn't agree with that?
I think you have all the ticks necessary here. xx
TF, you know what you have to do. You child is. Not being looked after properly.
Feign a tummy bug or something, then a 'not himself' and feverish. Then say tbh, you happy to leave things the way they are, with you. And then get the cousin's mum to do a playdate if that works for you.
You have to make the right choice for your child. He's suffering, and only you can stop that.
My DS is 7, and a forced change of clothes that were too small was enough to put me off letting my DM having DS too often.
Just say you want to change the arrangement to half days. You do not need to explain or apologise. You're his Mum and an adult. Trust your gut. Don't be afraid and if she reacts badly, feel free to withdraw all visits there without you and arrange more play dates separately with his cousin. Her reaction will say it all.
The fact you're awake worrying, is a sign as others have said x
I would call her on it. State that his nappy needs changing when dirty or he will get a sore bottom. If she mentions he should be potty trained by now, just shut her down. He's your son, you'll know when he's ready. She's had her chance, it's your turn, your son.
Firm boundaries are needed. It's that or she sees him less.
It's scary though, when you start to assert yourself x
Thanks for all the input. I also brought it up with a newish RL friend today and am feeling more confident about dealing with it now. It's so new for me to discuss my mother as anything other than a Living Saint with others, to really be honest about her true nature, and it's so good to know I'm not imagining things, which is how she would see it. She actually pretends not to notice that he's got a dirty nappy a lot of the time, which is how she gets away with it to herself and [she assumes] to me.
I think I'll keep the morning play as he does love seeing his cousin, but perhaps pick him up early afternoon so he has a sleep and isn't around her for long enough that she starts getting irritable/bored and misbehaving. [that makes her sound like the child, which she is ]
I am also going to take over a stack of nappies & wipes and make it clear to her that if she doesn't want to change him to call me and I will come early and do it.
She was always neglectful with our physical wellbeing. My DH is often amazed at how much physical discomfort I will put up with - being wet, cold etc - because I am used to it not being seen as an issue.
It's totally scary when you start to assert yourself! It is so not allowed in my family, to ever stand up to Mum. She simply cannot handle it, my two older sisters are the same.
Oopla that is fortunate you caught your mother in the act. I can imagine the expression too. Like a naughty child.
Hissy that is so odd that your mother would put your child in too-small clothes. It's this weird inability to respect/look after that is so hard to fathom isn't it?
Anyway the next worry on my list is how to give birth and get home from the hospital without her finding out for as long as possible. she behaved atrociously when my DS was born and I am keen for her to know nothing about this birth so she can't ruin it. But will save that for another time!
thanks again all. It's a shame we all have these parents but it helps to know I'm not alone.
They were birthday clothes, bought in his year size. He's always been enormous, so it was never going to fit.
When he asked to change, repeatedly, she told him it'd make her very upset if he did change out of them. Skinny jeans too, even if they'd have been the correct size, they'd have looked crap.
He's 7, he can tell me the idiotic stuff she does, and I can do something about it. Your baby can't tell you. He cries and screams to tell HER he's in distress, but, as she did with you, ignoring him, making him suffer is rewarding for her. Gives her a sense of control, and will make her victim pathetically grateful for any accidental kindness she shows.
Stop putting your fear of her before your son's comfort/wellbeing. Please. She neglected you, badly, and now she's doing it to your baby.
Don't ever feel bad for standing up for your children.
My DS didn't even START potty training until after his 3rd birthday.
Have you told your H what your M does to his son? Could HE not make an executive ruling, and take the fallout, if you are too fearful of her to do this?
I know how scared you feel, but please take a moment to realise that the amount of fear is irrational, as it's your childhood fear.
We're all with you, we all want you to be strong, and not let your mum abuse and neglect your child.
TF good plan. .. shame for you about birth plans tho (as they don't normally include parents!)
yy normally a prime time for serious narc behaviours! so well done for preempting that. Good luck with successful plan.
I got smacked very hard, and beaten (if I didn't run fast enough!), maybe they would blame their upbringing, buy I've never smacked. I remember MIL smacking (didin't witness it) took DC back to her and made her apologise to DC, was shaking with grrrr....
Fairy- while you're on, there are lots of TA books- "Introduction to TA" is a good one, also old classics such as "I'm okay, you're ok" HTH
hissy that is very familiar, the 'I'm going to be very upset if you do that' message.
I remember my mother knitted my DS a tiny red cardigan when he was a newborn and still all curled up, and I couldn't 'unstraighten' him to put him in it (very stiff, tight knitting) and she was upset and had a go at me that he'd never worn it. It was too small, end of story. I remember thinking, I couldn't care less whether he wears it or not, which was a new rebellion.
It was in those early days of feeling utterly shell shocked and totally absorbed with trying to 'tune into' my DS that I first started to see how irrational and selfish she was.
You're right, I know you're right. I don't know if she smacks but I've seen her handling him roughly, I could tell from his cry that she had hurt him. She's a naturally violent person, always has been, even her language is violent.
My DH will back me up. When I saw her for who she was after I had DS he said, 'oh, right from the first time I met her I wondered how someone could be so icy cold.'
He never told me because he's too polite...
I do think a morning play is OK as he sticks to his cousin like glue and she is older, four, so she couldn't' do anything to him in front of her and get away with it. But I am going to pick him up after lunch. This arrangement will only go for a year as then she goes to school and there's no chance my mother will have DS on his own, too much effort for her, plus I wouldn't feel comfortable.
FairyFi that is awful. Well done for making your MIL apologise. I was smacked too, more physically overpowered by her and she'd seem to lose all control, but I have never smacked my DS (well he's only 2 so I can't be too smug) and I hope I never will. What do they think it teaches, it's been proven again and again to be ineffective. Crap parenting, I think.
thanks Sal will look it up on-line - although I have to say again how unbelievably helpful this forum TA is!
TF the awful thing was with the smack, DD (pre-school) came to 'us' as parents and said 'granny smacked me' looking all confused and upset, her NSDF remained motionless, whilst I started shaking! His NSDM smacked her and I looked to him and said, well? .... absolute silence.... not even a look, nothing.
FairyFi Bizarre. Used to relying on silence and denial, no doubt. At least with your DD a smack is so far out of her understanding of normal behaviour that she comes to you immediately and reports it.
The sad thing is, they smack to feel power but there's nothing to make a child lose respect faster in my experience, you might fear them but you no longer trust or even really like them
Tangerine, my Dad once looked after my daughter when she was a baby. I returned at 7pm and my Dad told me she did something in her nappy at lunch. She had poo in her nappy for 7 hours and her skin was almost bleeding. This was before I understood how toxic my parents were. I never said anything to my Dad and even allowed him to look after her again. The same man pinned my son down when he was 4 and beat him for playing with the cutlery. At the time, I couldn't go with my instincts because I was so enmeshed with them. You seem more aware than I was then.
Sorry Fairy, I was also smacked and caned as a child. My parents deny it!
glad you're changing arrangements to have your son only with his cousin in the mornins Tangerine. Small steps, but you must be strong and assertive with her, even if you feel like you're dishonouring your mother or being disrespectful
the thing with these types of mothers is that they THRIVE on the power and control over you, even when you're an adult. And for some reason, we LET them.
it is hard to break the dependency on a mother figure, regardless of how nasty she has been.
But it's time to change - you have a new future with your own little family, and a massive duty of care to put your son first, who cares about your mother's reaction? Maybe it's about time she started to get a response from you. Maybe it's time?
And YY to getting your DH involved in speaking up as your protector - he doesn't need to have an argument, he can just answer calls for you, or answer her questions or you can say oh I don't know, you'll have to ask DH. Especially if you have a newborn due soon, you need your nest protected!!
oh and the one and only time mother looked after DS when he was 18mths we had to go to a wedding, we returned late that night to find her sitting up on our bed, holding DS in a blanket, saying he just wouldn't sleep, I'm so exhausted.
Never mind the fact that she's had kids of her own, she didn't have to be sitting straight up at 1am?
Then next day, DS was able to tell me in his own little way 'Granny smack hand'. I was
I am proud of myself that I have NEVER left them with her since. Hard, as yes I'd love more chances to do normal things like that so I could go out more with DH etc, but it's not worth it. So we do nice things during the daytime instead, like lunches out with the kids, or visits. And it's just as nice as we don't have the stress of having her involved. She just seems to add a bitter tang to everything.
first time out after baby, when baby was about 3 months, stayed at MILs so we went out and she, and her partner, babysitting.
Only went to a pub 10 min drive away. I was nervous leaving baby, had mobile on and ready for any calls. However, although I saw a signal when I went into the pub, there clearly wasn't one whilst I was there. As I started to leave a succession of messages arrived with my baby crying and crying in the background. MIL partner was calling and relaying that baby wouldn't stop crying, etc.. please come home.. probably 4 or 5 messages!!!! I was desperate to get back, finally got back and could hear her from outside the house
I couldn't have been more flabbergasted to see her left, propped up at one end of the sofa ON HER OWN!!! Her bright red teary face broke straight into a smile when she saw me, and MIL said something along the lines of what a little 'sly one she was' that there had been nothing wrong all that time, as she sat there still jumping with the left-over from all the sobbing. OMG How you could sit a screaming baby on the sofa on its own and call it, basically , devious!??????
Sorry, just another memory, but they are coming thick and fast.
oh gawd thats just appalling neglect unschool and OT the 'smack hand' - they are like a race of aliens to me right now... so far from whats right, caring and 'normal'!!!!
hadn't realised quite how toxi mil is?!! well happy to say 'ex' mil! what a bitch!!! very grrrrr...
Never mind the fact that she's had kids of her own, she didn't have to be sitting straight up at 1am?
What, and miss out on the opportunity to be a martyr?
Sorry for everyone whose baby were cruelly treated.
I need some reassurance today. I've just come out of a two day headache following a letter sent to each of my kids from their grandmother. The letters are okay. In fact, she even tells my son she is proud of him and how she missed the time they spent in the park together. So the re-enmeshment messages start going through my head i.e. maybe she is not so bad, perhaps it's just my Dad. But then I remembered the email I got from BOTH of them recently telling me I was a failure as a mother, my son was horrible and they would only be leaving money in their will to my daughter. I also have a letter from her telling me I am a bad mother, know it all, jealous, ruined my children and that she must protect my brother from me. The headaches began shortly after I read the letters to the kids. I think my headaches are mainly anger related. I think it is anger that she is such a hypocrite. The funny thing is when I read the letter to my son he just replied Bullshit". He doesnt suffer fools! I did smash up something she gave me at the bottom of the garden expressing how I feel (not too loud because of neighbours!) which alleviated the pain a little but I feel so frustrated that I have done so much work on myself and still get these headaches and migraines.
oldtoys you speak a lot of sense. I know I need to stand up to her more. I have recently, really lost my temper and told her what i think of her, it's easy when I am furious.
What I have more trouble with is being calmly direct and assertive. I have trouble looking her in the eye, I have trouble speaking directly to her. I know it's irrational, but she is so authoritarian, so hard. And I know that whatever I say I will pay for later, with a comment or some other manipulation or slander behind my back. I can't win with her, because she will always stoop lower and play mind games with me for example ringing me later that night and asking me if I want her to buy DS a car. Of course I do, because it would make him happy, but it means being grateful to her when I know she won't change his nappy and care for him on a much more basic level. It's head wrecking....
PS and good on you for not letting your mum have your kids anymore. i think it's going to get to that point with me, but we don't have any other support here really. I am working on finding more support/giving more support within friendships with other mums, a more reciprocal agreement that has the added benefit of giving my DS familiar friends.
Fairy Fi I know how that feels! I tried to leave my mum with DS to have dinner with DH recently. They walked down the street and he was literally leaning out of his pram sideways, crying his eyes out, and she was totally ignoring him. Of course I stayed with him, i couldn't bear to see him so upset but she wasn't fazed. It's bizarre isn't it? Just the complete lack of maternal instinct, for want of a better word. It wasn't as if she was deliberately ignoring him, she just didn't see what she could do that would make it better.
unschoolmum glad your headache has passed. I'm not surprised you felt so unwell, how crazy to send an email being so nasty about your son and you and then another saying how much she misses him. I know it's frustrating to think you haven't made progress but you have. I read somewhere of thinking of these things like a spiral, you through the same emotions again but you're still moving forward. Look after yourself.
tough this morning, just a quick visit to send support to all in the face of all the crazies! and thanks for validations from my posts, they mean a lot. These things that they all do the same, or don't do! the same... and yes, getting that reciprocal support can make all the difference but such efforts involved to get to that point, very worthwhile to do xx
I've just wigged out on FB. My mother posted some crappy BNP propaganda share thingy and I called her out on it. Then my (estranged) father, who divorced my mother years ago, joined in. I have had dad on FB as a way of keeping in touch with him, as we'll often go years without him calling. I've posted elsewhere about the nastiness I get from his wife on FB.
Anyway, I've deleted the whole lot of them. Mum, dad, stepdad, unpleasant stepmother and her nicer daughters, a stepsister I haven't spoken with in 10 years...
I keep crying because I know that I don't like my father - I've loved him for years but he really, really is this unpleasant person who I can't respect and barely love any more. He's ignored me for years, and only really pays attention when I do something that makes him angry. Which has been the story of my life. I'm meant to be doing an essay but am in tears.
Lately I've been angry about my childhood, and have just started reading Toxic Parents. It confirms what I've felt about what I went through.
Sorry for mega-post, thanks for being here.
well done sunny for tough decisions, sounds horrible . Maybe the grieving for leaving them behind starts now? No apologies please! Or we'll all have to start
Thanks FairyFi. I will speak with my mum again (I love her, and know she doesn't want to hurt me). But dad? I think he's been lost to me since I was a child. Time to let him go I think.
Grieving - it is that Fairyfi. That is how i feel this week. Heavy, emotional & could cry at any second. Taking another simple day today, spending nice afternoon with dcs who kerp me very busy and preoccupied.
But yes tangerine you said headwrecking, it is that.
Be kind to yourselves today. We are all making progress no matter how small. Cutting ties is hard. But would mean peace calm and a clearer future for many of us.
It does feel like grieving doesn't it? But i don't grieve for my lost relationship with my dad, i grieve for the kind of 'normal' relationship i never had with him. I get upset when i see friends on fb posting pics of family meals. Espec xmas. All the pics of happy families. Pics i'll never have. I'd love to have a massive xmas with all the family over, eating, laughing, playing board games but i grieve for the fact that that will never happen. I get jealous of other people's relationships with their parents.
I still miss that marrisab but know that I couldn't hve had that with them . and this is better than living that life just to spend xmas with painful company playing games and saying we were 'with' people, which somehow it feels there is pressure to.
take care OT I have come to realise now thatall these things pass and we move on.. rest as much as you can and go easy. take care xx
sunny it sounds like you made a good choice
Fairy, Oldtoys and Marrisab I agree that it is grieving. Susan Forward talks about this in her book Toxic Parents. She suggest having a funeral to mourn the loss of our fantasy for a good family. I was thinking about having a little 'service' myself for this.
I haven't been on here for a good while, which can only be a good thing!
Will read through on how you are all getting on shortly, this thread is already filling up fast and even more so soon as mothers day is fast approaching!
Some of you may know the background surrounding my ils, others may not.
So far i still remain estranged from my pil & sil and dh sees very little of them. Of late we have grown closer without pil causing trouble in our life's, which is really good as we have been through a lot in the last few weeks, money troubles & i have recently had a miscarriage
Today my mums mammagram came back abnormal and it has really threw me, obviously i'm very worried and want to try my best to support my mother until we find out the results. But of course mil is on the phone to dh tonight pressuring him to ask me to bring our dc to her house on mothering Sunday.
I don't need mils shit right now and are estranged, why on earth does she think i want to spend the day with her after all she has done? Why pressurise my dh when she knows i'll say know, to cause trouble that's what and at the moment i really do not need this fgs.
last year on mothers day there was a disturbance involving fil threating behaviour at our home, i even have the thread to remind me of it! Why do these people start crap at times when its most unwanted?
I can only hope my dh doesn't go into his depressive ways now, as i can't deal with that on top of everything else. It will only be so long before he starts begging me to go to his mothers with him-i wont give in, i don't want those people back in my life, their toxic poison leaking out all over us.
oh my dc finally got their presents of pil a few weeks ago, were alrite but stank of mould where they had stored them so long near back door apparently. Bargaining tools obviously got too much for them to store.
mil had even bought me a bracelet, the exact same plastic one i received last year and my dd by a diff relationship got noticably less than other dc-nothing changes there then ....
will start reading through some of your posts x
have only a minute did a skim read pumpkin so sorry to hear of mc for you, thats really tough.
What a load to handle with your dms news too time for DH to step up, and I really hope he does for you. sending you wishes for strength through all this lovely. xx
Pumpkin I am so sorry to hear your mc , your posts always resonate with me.
Can I venture a response to something you said?
You said 'why on earth does she think I want to spend the day with her after all she has done?'
She doesn't. She doesn't care whether you want to spend the day with her. It hasn't entered her head. She also doesn't think she has done anything wrong. She believes she is entitled to this, and you are obliged to comply. Nothing more and nothing less. You're making the very natural mistake of imagining she is sane and not a narcissist.
She thinks what she is doing is asking her son to visit with their grandchildren. She is so utterly self absorbed that this supply is seen as non negotiable, and won't consider any other circumstance.
Her treatment of your dd is a disgrace but again it is all about her - detach from her and don't ascribe feelings to her that she isn't capable of.
I really hope given what you've Ben through your DH understands this time. X
A marriage guidance counsellor once said something useful to DH & I regarding wider family interference. That we two & the children are our family. The others in the extended family are outside the little bubble around us that we should see as a shield.
I'm sorry to hear about your miscarriage pumpkin
I'm slightly anxious about Mother's day. I didn't buy mum a card, and as she lives abroad she wouldn't get it in time if I did buy one. And I'm still bloody furious with her about the BNP thing. Gah.
Thankyou everyone, so far dh is very understanding and seems somewhat unaffected today . Fingers crossed mothers day is lovely for us all and not blighted by these toxic people!
You are right there forgetmenot, for a min i forget they are narcissists, when really of course pil care for no-one but themselves!
I wont let them ruin my day this year, i will rise above it x
Good for you pumpkin, glad to hear your DH is getting stronger too - it's not easy is it!
I'm still barely speaking to mum so for mothers day i got her a plant and a grandma card and will let the kids give her them. That way it's not come directly from me iyswim. God knows what i'll do come fathers day as nc with father.
How true, Midwife. Strangely enough, years and years ago, when we got on ok, my Dad told me that 'when he left home and got married, that was his family. No-one else'. His parents were fucked up too, but it hasn't stopped him going the same way.
I sent my granny a M. Day card. Mainly because she's 90-odd and I feel bad, even though she has been a bitch to me. Think I've just created flack - will have to unplug the phone before the 'thanks for the card BUT' call. sigh Didn't send one to my mother. Felt so sad in Tesco looking at all the cards with their messages to loving, caring mums.
send my mum a mother day card and also sent her a letter saying we are moving 4 hours away!
I sent a plain card that doesn't say she's amazing etc just happy Mother's Day. No gift sent. Just a card.
I didn't send a card (she's in Spain, I forgot to do it early enough blah blah) and will call her. I'll probably get the 'nobody sent me a card' pity party. Or she'll moan about our FB row...
I cried too at the cards I would have sent in the past, and now can't because they are a total sham.
I got the most understated, non-descript one I could find.
No 'friends for life' cards for me. My REAL friends, (an M N friends) treat me far better!
So, Happy MothersNet Day to us all! You really ARE the support I need, the ally, the one who is there.
To you all!
Sent mil a card thanking her for all her support and for being fab. M isn't getting one, we stopped speaking only recently and I can't bear the hypocrisy.
My little darlings have made them at school and I can't wait for the morning
I'm ignoring Mother's Day completely!! DH & I agree that I am the "only mother" in our family
Fortunately for me, my mother dislikes Mothers Day with a passion so have never bought anything for her for this day. Even if she did like it at all, I would have to think twice about buying her a card at all and actually would not nowadays do so.
Would like to wish you all a very Happy Mothers Day
Hi, I'm new, haven't posted on this thread before. I don't know if this is the right place. I really hope you can help me. I so want to have a better relationship with my mum, but I don't know how. I'm sorry this is long!
I feel like I'm the wrong daughter for her (there's just me and my brother). She would love for us to be best friends, and would love for me to share things with her. I would like to make her happy, but I seem to be completely unable to talk to her in the way she wants. Honestly, I have an almost physical reaction to her being around. I feel stressed and tense, and snap at the slightest thing. I don't know what's wrong with me! I'm in my early 30s, for goodness sakes. I feel awful that I can't be even normal with her, let alone the best friend she wants.
There are a couple of reasons I can think of why it's difficult for me to share things with her. When I was a child, she used to sit in my room for what felt like hours and talk about things I had done wrong. This was her form of discipline, but all I remember is screaming and crying for some space. I have a recurring dream still about hotels with no locks on the doors, showers with no curtains. I'm just running around trying to find some privacy and never managing it. A little while ago mum started letting herself in to my house when she came over, and I freaked out about it and asked her not to do it. I felt mean and unreasonable.
The other thing is that she talks pretty much non-stop. I'm your classic introvert, so it's a bit draining, but I also know that she talks about me to others. Quite often people we both know say to me 'your mum said this was going on with you, are you ok?' I had a really bad patch with DH a couple of years ago and she told lots of people. We're both Christians, and I'm sure she honestly thinks it is "sharing for prayer", but I guess it's natural for me then to be reluctant to say anything?!
I know that she can't change how she dealt with me as a child, and she can't change who she is (ie v talkative!). I haven't mentioned anything to her because I don't want to upset her. But I don't know how to change and adapt myself to be able to respond/react better, and to "honour my parents" which I really want to do. Please help
It is not your fault your mother is this way; her own birth family did that lot of damage to her. She is neither the mother you wanted her or desperately want her to be - and will never be either. All you can do is change how you react to her and to my mind this relationship is beyond any sort of salvaging. She's done you too much damage and has not apologised for her actions let alone take responsibility for same. You cannot rescue such a relationship by yourself; the other person has to want to put the work in and your mother will not be prepared to do that. She likely thinks she has not done anything wrong.
You were not put on this earth to be her best friend; that's the worst thing a mother can be to her daughter in my view. Its not your job to make her happy; what she has done is made herself dependent on you so you feel responsible and thus in an unhealthy state of codependency for her happiness and well being. Simply put, you are not.
Her methods of discipling you could be classed as mentally abusive. She was supposed to guide you and protect you, not harangue you in your room for seemingly hours on end listening to an imagined list of your own supposed wrongdoings. You were a child. She failed you then utterly as well.
You do not mention your Dad - is he still in your life?.
There are thus good reasons no doubt why you do not want to share and for you to be best friends. You cannot do or be either with such an emotionally damaged person; she will drain you dry and has constantly denied your rights to privacy. Small wonder you have that recurrent dream, she is not allowing you the right to be your own person now.
She oversteps the mark every time with you and disregards your very being. She has gossiped about you to other people. What was her response when you understandably asked her not to enter your home when she came over?. Did she turn on the charm, waterworks or get angry?.
She perhaps did a mix of all three. What she did not do and has likely never done is apologise nor take any real responsibility for her actions.
What does your H think of her?.
You probably are very much in the FOG state with regards to her - fear, obligation, guilt.
How does your mother treat your brother in comparison to you?. Is he held up by her to be somehow better, the golden child?. What sort of relationship if any does he have with her?.
I would consider seeing a counsellor re your dysfunctional family background as this could help you further. It will be a long, painful and drawn out process but talking with someone may well help you in your own life. BACP are good and do not charge the earth. Also read the resources at the start of this thread if you have not already done so.
Hi sufficient hi all
There are boundary issues there with her sufficient. She expects SO much of you and emotionally disrespects you and suffocates you.
Keep talking here, get it out of your head so steps forward to keep you strong can be made. You want to honour her as your mother? Difficult, but low contact is the ONLY solution, where YOU dictate when you see her, your answers to her are not full of guilt or fear. If you have kids of your own, you already have a new future to focus on. Your mum had her chance and blew it. Low contact. Will make your life better - stay in control, change the locks if need be! Switch off phone, say it is wonky like I did. Protect yourself from this emotional bullet thrower.
LOVE your comment midwife99 that the only mother in your house is you. Tomorrow is a special day for us as a unit. Not HER. Sister has not sent anything, I sent a plain card. No plants etc. No need. Simple as that.
Attila, oldtoys, thank you for your thoughts. Wow. Quite a lot of what you say rings true. My mum has never apologised, and perhaps doesn't think she has done anything wrong. I never noticed this before, but I say sorry to my children all the time (I have a temper and can be a bit shouty), and it was only then that I realised my mum never did. I thought it was a generation thing I guess.
It's funny but the only people who have relationship issues with my mum are those close to her. My dad is quite distant from her (which is partly why she wants such a close relationship with me maybe) but they are still together, and my brother feels the same kind of suffocation and babying (no one has ever had to lift a finger at home. I try to help out now but mum never asks anyone to do anything). DB would have less pressure on him being a boy perhaps. DH thinks my reaction is entirely reasonable!
Anyone outside our close family thinks mum is the best thing ever - hospitable, generous, good listener, kind, do anything for anyone. And she is all those things, and it's never really made sense to me why we aren't closer. I'm not sure about fear, and I think that I do have some kind of obligation in a 5th commandment kind of way, but full of guilt, yes, that is me after every interaction!
When I asked her to ring the doorbell rather than let herself in she was surprised and a bit sad, but didn't say anything and hasn't done it since. I don't want to think that things are as extreme as you have suggested, although I really appreciate your posts. It does feel good to be talking about it. I don't talk to anyone in RL (apart from DH) as we live so close that almost everyone I know knows her too.
I found the book by Cloud and Townsend on Boundaries very good. I think that's the biggest issue as oldtoys said. But there are an awful lot of resources mentioned in the OP and it would be worth looking at them, as you start this journey of unpacking your past.
It's not unreasonable to need more space or for her to not tell other people about your private life.
When I read Anne Dickson's book on assertiveness I had a revelation, as I am a people pleaser by nature and have trouble saying no or standing up for myself, I think I'm always in the wrong. But that book taught me a lot of strategies for dealing with strong characters and realising my needs/ wants weren't unreasonable.
Don't let fear or obligation cloud the issue. Her behaviour was unreasonable. You need firm boundaries.
You can honour her without being her best friend! When you leave home you cleve to your new husband. The apron strings have been cut now. She should have women of her own age she is friends with IMO.
It talks in Alice Miller's book called the body never lies about how your body rebels against the 4th commandment when you're upbringing has been abusive and how profoundly it can affect you inside. You can honour and love her from a distance if you wish. There's nothing wrong with that. Far better than making yourself agitated or worse by giving in to her demands all the time.
Hoping some of this makes sense. Too tired.
sufficient I could have written your second paragraph:
" I feel like I'm the wrong daughter for her (there's just me and my brother). She would love for us to be best friends, and would love for me to share things with her. I would like to make her happy, but I seem to be completely unable to talk to her in the way she wants. Honestly, I have an almost physical reaction to her being around. I feel stressed and tense, and snap at the slightest thing. I don't know what's wrong with me! I'm in my early 30s, for goodness sakes. I feel awful that I can't be even normal with her, let alone the best friend she wants."
That is exactly my relationship with my mum.
She also was fond of beating me for hours. If I answered back, she would have a go at my dad for not doing anything about it and he would smack me til she pulled him away then have another go at him for going too far. She would sympathise with me afterwards but say I'd brought it on myself.
It was mothering Sunday that brought me here today.
Mum said she didn't want anything off us because we obviously don't care about her.
Db and I have been more vocal about her manipulation and selfishness of late. Db barely sees her though I have to as I can't afford other childcare (i have put very strict rules in place which she sometimes sticks to).
The fact is, though, she says this every year and every year we both spend more time and money finding her the "perfect" gift. This year, we've both had enough and are taking her at her word. The day after we let her know, she phones us both and asked us to come to lunch today because my ds wanted us all to be together. He didn't. When I called her on it, she said it was for his sake and she was sure he would want us to be together. Db has refused but my cousin is there today and I would like to see him so I'm going. Already dreading it and didn't sleep well.
I hate the person I am when she's around. I try to honour what she has done for me without forgetting everything else but...
Happy Mothers Day everyone! Remember - Fear Obligation Guilt!!
Sorry - berating not beating - it wasn't as bad as that!
Abusive people generally are often very plausible to those in the outside world.
Am I surprised that the only ones who have problems with her are those closest to her - not a bit of it. Its often the case.
Your reactions are very reasonable; your mother should not gossip about you and/or march into your home unannounced. She is also trampling over any boundaries that are also too low on your part, these need to be raised a lot higher than they are currently. I didn't think she would apologise for that action either i.e entering your home as she did and she did not. She was not sorry. I think you were personally brought up to primarily people please others.
Religion is important to you and rightly so but would urge you not to use that as a stick to beat your own self with. Her actions towards you were and remain unchristian. You would not tolerate that from a friend; family are no different.
I see also that your Dad is quite distant from her but they are still together (this is also because he gets what he wants from their relationship); he has also played a role here in your birth family's overall dysfunction and he also did not you fully from your mothers outbursts. He is therefore culpable as well.
How close do you live to your mother; perhaps moving house would be an option for you to consider.
Do keep posting here; this will also help you unravel things.
So I have not sent her a card, I called her on friday and told her I have not dent a card and happy mothrrs day early and that I hope she has a nice day with her other three children.
Im now angry because she is and was a crap mum and doesnt deserve the phone call I give her. This women let me get beaten up and adused, told me I was an unfit mum and she was taking my baby.
Hi sufficient - religion can sometimes be used as an excuse for abuse sadly. My in laws are "pillars of the community" - bell ringers, active church members, flower arrangers, WI president, Freemasons etc. They used to drag my DH out of bed & harangue (?sp) him for hours until he fainted for "showing them up & letting them down" in some way. They said it was their religious duty to make him see the error of his ways. He was in primary school at the time.
Man made religion is not the same as spirituality & goodness necessarily.
I had PND at the time and all I got from her was virbal abuse. No help or support.
Golden childs wife gets it and its all hearts love and her giving free childcare. The differece how she treated me and sil is so blantent it hurts more.
I got called mad, unfit to have children, swearn at, phone calls just to tell me how bad I was and all this when I was already feeling like taking my own life
Being family does not give you the right to treat people like shit and expect to still be family.
Mum I hate you, you will never change, you will never be a better mum and you have been a disappointment to me. You will never get that time back and I will never forget what you did to me and you should be ashamed of yourself. There is no exsuce for the way you treated me and my brother differently and still do. We dont talk because of the way you raised us, its your fault. You could have stopped it but you didnt. You are the unfit mother you are not fit to be called that by me. You are lucky I let you see my children at all and there will be a day when you fuck up again and you will not see or hear from me or my family again because you just cant change who you are. Your are an aduser and I see you
Hi AirofHope - I can understand your anger. I hope you find some peace & acceptance. For me that came after I went NC. I don't have strong feelings now because they can't hurt or manipulate me anymore. My life is my own.
Midwife- thats so encouraging to hear, glad NC has given you peace of mind. Not quite worked for me- decided to send carefully worded card thanking her for being good mum when i was v young. Of course, the clue's in what I'm not saying- how v controlling and invalidating shes been ever since but i chose not to say so. Am starting to feel quite powerful in our relationship for the first time ever
Air- good for you letting it all out! Sounds classic scapegoat/golden child situation. You have power now you have realised this, if that helps. Keep posting, lots of support on here.
AirofHope, I'm sorry to hear your story . You've been very strong and it's good that you can vent like that. You said something very wise which I think should be a mantra for everyone on this thread:
Being family does not give you the right to treat people like shit and expect to still be family.
Hellesbells I feel like you've agreed to go due to a lot of manipulation and guilt today. Please leave if she's being awful. You can arrange to see your cousin separately another time x
wishing you all your own Happy Mother's Days.
powerful words air well said. y yy
If its of any help, I use to feel guilt at missing out all the things, like today, when I would take the opportunity to send cards, flowers, etc. Mostly I would feel for her pain that she has 3 children but will only get from 2 (and actually they would frequently forget anyway
but that wouldn't really 'matter' ) I would feel that I was actively hurting her each time I did this. I don't now.I am a long tie NC now, but the distance is what makes all the different to disconnecting from the harm that relationship was causing me.
One thing that was very obvious to me, was her 'right' to be in my private life, in my room, taking my things giving them to others, sometimes taking siblings precious things and giving them to me! horrible! Marching into my house, demanding keys! and the awful slagging offs behind my back is extremely damaging to other relationships with me, young neices etc.
I think lifetimes will be gone before anyone else really sees how its been for me, especially as siblings have stuck with them, giving them excuses similar to gulf war syndrome basically but I also have to understand that not everyone goes NC of course, and thats their choice. thisis mine.
warm wishes to all xx
fairyfi hi, you mention 'gulf war syndrome' - well my doctor told me last year I had post traumatic stress disorder from what I saw back then and couldnt stop
anyhow. today has been super so far within my own house, just us, lovely food DH cooking etc cuddles with DC. But DH has asked 'are you phoning her' I said I may send a text.
feeling sick now. i have already sent the card earlier in the week which I know will have arrived. Do I really honestly have to hear her voice too? i know she'll be sitting at home waiting to see which one of her children 'bothers' to phone her
Don't call. It's the fog making you feel conflicted x
thank you thank you you are right
I feel she will REALLY get the message if I dont call
Plus I would only be back to square one, people pleasing because its Mothers Day, not because there is any true sentiment attached to my actions of phonong her.
I would have to hear her voice, answer loaded questions about my siblings, answer questions about when we would next visit...and I would NOT be able to handle that
so i will prob tell DH i tried calling but no one answered
reading 'Asserting Yourself - A Practical Guide For Positive Change' by Sharon Bower/Gordon Bower. V helpful right now re the doing what you feel is right, not what you think others expect of you etc It is exhausting trying to please others all the time it really is
I quote: ' one of your basic human rights is self defence, when your rights are breing stepped on. When being exploited and mistreated by a Downer, it is your basic right to object and to change that exploitative relationship. Of course your legitimate rebellion may cause the exploiter some discomfort!'
Just tell him the truth. Your mother your choice.
I've told him he cant tell me to phone her & he apologised, as he knows the situation
not too bad at dm's after all. she did her usual bit of weirdness about being the one who has to answer the door if anyone from my cousin's family come to the house, made a couple of sarcky comments about db but, calmly, I stuck up for him . assigned everyone else but her jobs after dinner - except herself and started quizing me when I left - wanting to know why and what I would be doing. otherwise though, she was like a normal human being. hurrah!
to you all... Hope the day has been ok. I've had a lovely time of NC. xx
Happy Mothers Day everyone. I've been NC with my mother since July. Still NC now. No regrets
Well, the wedding was amazingly fine.
DV ExP has no power over me anymore, and was far more uncomfortable about everything than I was. I was very proud of myself for rising above his usual shenanigans. Vile Sil was far too busy being vile to my poor DB, because he hadn't checked to see what the menu was for my DN's as they eat a very restricted diet, no fruit, no veg, nothing that doesn't come in breadcrumbs from what I could tell. She tried to start on me, but I just smiled and nodded and asked DB if the girls might eat some of the bits and bobs we had picked up along the way. Chaos saved the day a bit!
Mother was fine all day, a couple of catty remarks about how I have wasted my life etc to start with, but I just looked at her and said that we weren't there to discuss that, and she (luckily) left it. Later on, she got a bottle of champagne and glasses enough for her, DB and Sil, and pointedly none for DH and me, but that just made me giggle. I don't drink, DH isn't keen on champers so what was the point?
At the end of the evening, which was quite early as I've had tonsillitis/flu/yuk for the week, mother grabbed hold of one of our friends who had come to the evening do and said 'Why does she hate me?' WTAF? I have nothing to say on the subject, as there would be no point, but.... Instead of sitting with us and huffing all bloody night, why didn't she go and sit with ExP and his family, like she wanted to and leave me alone? ARGH!
Apart from that and strangely coloured bridesmaids, the wedding was lovely. V proud of my boys, who were both smart as carrots!
Hi...hoping for some survival techniques and just general handholding. My parents (mainly mother) are VERY controlling. I had a couple of years peace (almost) when they moved continents so it wasn't as easy for dm to get in touch with me. But whenever she did phone I had to answer...god forbid I'm busy or something ! Anyway I've gone and done a pretty stupid thing in ignorance and desperation (dh, I and our 3 dc were skint!)...i@ve given in to their constant nagging and we've moved to the 'other' continent to work for them, we're currently livig with them (have been for 3 months now)...and it is KILLING me...and my poor dc are having a lot targeted towards them too re behaviour, loudness etc etc etc. So they now have total control of not only me but my whole family - help!!!
We were promised good pay, own house/car etc as part of the 'normal' package you would receive in this country. However, we arrived and of course none of that has happened (I'm so cross with myself for being so naive!!!) We're living with them (until there's free £ to find us an apartment or whatever...) no car, very minimal pay for here which is 'just' covering food and travel expenses. We have no savings or means to get away (they are aware of this).
Quickly going insane, losing myself, feel like I'm dying actually (sorry I know that sounds melodramatic!)...but this is really damaging all of the good I feel happened when thet weren't so close.
That's awful makingmama. I'm off to work in a minute. Read the links in the op as they're full of advice.
I think you need to borrow money if you have to, ask to stay with someone in the UK as you move back until you find your feet. Anything other than remain there But I know life isn't that simple.
That's horrendous! If it was any other employer, you could do them for breach of contract and leave, but it sounds like you're stuck. Can you make a long and a medium term plan for getting out, so that you'll be able to see an end in sight? Even if it takes a long time, at least you won't feel like it's for ever. What would happen if you confronted them?
just terrible foryou all makingm Don't be hard on yourself, for the longest time we naturally assume that things will be ok, optimistic that 'this' will be different now, or somehow she'll realise/stop.
Sounds horrific to be holed up with them! no it doesn't sound melodramatic, i think it makes absolute sense that you can only be 'dead' in that sense when around her, as she is the only one allowed to be 'alive'! because its all about her. I'd be tempted to call her on every single thing she does, or arm the children by backing them each time she attempts side swipes or direct hits... this might make her just ignore you, which would be one thing to hope for ! but it might jeopardise your situation there?
The best tools and techniques are those that make you very clear in yourself of who you are, and what a lovely person you are, and going about your business as if she is not there, she will make this nigh on impossible, but it is your chance to survive her. Do your own stuff, with your DC and DH. Get out as much as possible. Sideline her from your activities, and sortof go NC but whilst together.
Focus on the end goal to get out, all the time. Write things up clearly, every abuse. Totting the money, keeping track of hours etc. By writing it down (you can use here as your journal to keep writing it out) you can remain clear about her part, and be yourself unembroiled in it. Also the clearer you can see her for what she is, the better your mental health with fare!
I was forced to live with mine... very short term, it was trly horrendous, she was even stealing my belongings! I found some very expensive things that I thought I had lost and had to prove they were mine, but I did eventually and got them back... beyond help I tell you, really. AFter a lifetime of washing she managed to ruin loads of clothes in the wash, taking over and doing stuff that I didn't want her to. Taking my washing! eeeuuw! Back to no privacy, etc. just awful.
I really feel for you... just keep coming back to offload, it will keep you sane... xx
Hi, I'm new to this thread. A friend of mine is a single mum and is having problems with her family. Recently she has been going to counselling having realised that her childhood was not 'ok'. She is currently at the position where she hasn't spoken to her mum or dad for a few months, but finally had the conversation about it all and why they do not seem to bother with her child (but boast about the brilliant grandparents they are to their grandchild) as they came back to her telling her how upset her mum was that she hadn't received a Mother's Day card from her.
The result of all this is that they blame her for their behaviour, because of her lack of communication over the past few months this has caused them to take a step back from her child. they claim to have made all the effort for making the relationship work and are terribly upset at what has happened. And in some bizarre turn of events it's apparently up to my friend to make up with them.
To be honest I can't believe what I'm hearing and find it difficult how to advise her further. I don't really understand their behaviour. Is this sort of toxic behaviour really common? Apparently they also claim that any of the ill feelings she has towards them is due to her misinterpretations of them.
yes all this denial and turning the blame back on her is traditionally whats to be expected wth toxic parents.
This is how you know their toxicity. Regular parents will find it uncomfortable but want to listen to upsets caused, take responsibility for their part and want to apologise and move forward together. Not so the toxic parents.
Have a good read of the thread here, it should give you a fair understanding of their behaviour, you may feel more equipped to support, but also the links are well worth investigating and maybe pointing her to. I think its probably more worth her while looking through this stuff now, if she feels it would help her and she wants to pursue this for herself. she could well recognise some of the tactics and get some validations for herself, which are the way out of the FOG that might be keeping her there.
best wishes ... do keep posting xx
Makingm i feel for you, i really do. I went on a 1 week holiday with my parents and it was horrific. You weren't being nieve. Even the most horrible person, you would expect, would honor tgeir promises when you've moved your whole family to another country for them! That is not unreasonable. I would try and sit down with them, and try and get them to commit to a time scale for when things such as the house will happen. You have my sympathies x
Please may I have a quick rant? NC since last October; no Christmas cards or presents, birthday cards, phone calls, emails, text messages. I am a lot happier, a lot more relaxed, able to concentrate on DC and DH and my life.
From my parents this morning, a text, wishing our dog a happy birthday WTF?! I've just deleted the number off the phone in a rage and now I'm overwhelmed with the usual FOG. Two steps forwards, three steps back. Grrrrrrr. Thanks for listening
well done for going NC... stupid text, predictable and pathetic!
Stick to your guns, ignore stupid text, stay wrong, not for no reason did you go through everything to go NC, this is just an example to prove to you why you did it! Just a little reminder of what a good decision you made is all
Welcome here.. keep posting xx
oops... stay strong! not 'wrong' of course!
Thanks everyone great advice fairyfo, I'm definitely going to try and keep a diary.
I can get so confused sometimes and start to think it's actually all just me and I must be really screwed up making her be the way she is etc? She can come across as SO lovely to people, even to me. She goes on ALL of the time about how amazing she is, how generous she is and kind and thoughtful etc etc...it's very confusing.
When I had much less contact I could see it all so clearly. I had psychotherapy sessions who said I need to keep a healthy distance and learn to say no to them etc as they sounded so controlling. They can never see that they're in the wrong...ever.
Just really hoping we get our own place soon. If this doesn't happen we have flights for hols back to uk in july - i expect we'll just have to somehow work somthing out then to stay...not easy as have no one who can put us up etc.
Hello ladies. I have been lurking for a while but as narc mum is coming back on my radar I really would appreciate your support
Bloody narc mum went nc with me 18 months ago after I explained that I couldn't have the big society wedding she wanted after all but me and dp (of 11 years with a 2 year old too) simply wanted to be married with no fanfare. We are not showy people, I don't even have parties for my birthday, I was finishing a PhD and bringing up ds plus we don't have our own home - a 20 grand wedding could be a deposit... Well she went mad because I was taking her day away. More reasons were that she was making the day hers - she organised the top table with her new boyf on it, would invite then fall out with people and uninvite them, was taking the credit for paying for it when in fact was going thirds, and acting all funny about paying for stuff and unable even to sort out her accommodation. It was awful and with a whole year still to go I was crying over it! So we cancelled.
It is so complicated but basically my mum is also a problem drinker and so rude when she is drunk. She would have horrified my new in laws, and offended me. But she is posh so thinks she is ok. Bah.
I fell dramatically from the golden girl status and was kicked out of the family. I think she thought I would relent and go back crawling and still have that wedding. Deluded. I have never stood up to her before but like so many of you, having a child changed what I could put up with.
After no Xmas cards apart from to ds and a phonecall a year ago saying she was sorry but... (Then blamed us) my younger brother has emailed us all basically saying me and my mum should make up now.
I can't go back. I tried to go back and she ignored my emails and would put the phone down on me. It hurt so so.much. counselling showed me that she was very controlling and helped.me be strong. But I feel the fog now, so strongly. I feel like a bitch, a ruiner of families, selfish and petty. But since I made some peace with her silence I have stopped hating myself.
I don't have depressive episodes and feel stronger in.myself than I ever have with her as my 'mum'. I can't go back, can I?
Ah hell. Help?! Sorry to offload
Fairy, Hugh and making - gosh I can identify with your feelings so much. I hope you are all ok.
good to offload Wilde keep it coming! resist the fog with every breathe in your body! You might ask her 'who's day is it?' - but she'd only says 'hers' and think she's right! Bah indeed! Doing ok here thanks, NC is the best way, but its a struggle having no family, but in reality they're not family anyway in that sense. Whoa!.. no going back
y y Making such a lovely lady, so caring, kind thoughtful --back-stabbing, lying, ignorant, deceitful, neglectful......* [my narcM]
Hi everyone, I've been reading this page for a while and keep putting off coming to terms with my own mum but trying to ignore it means I'm thinking about it more than I want to.
I bought the book but can't face reading it yet.
Through pregnancy, (DD is 6.5 months now) my mum was very unsupportive and tried to treat me like I was a child (I'm 39) she said when I was 8.5 mths pregnant that even though I was pregnant, she could still smack me. She also brought up problems that I had produced when I was a child and couldn't wait to see how I will cope with a naughty child of my own. I had to remind her that one incident she mentioned which was not attending 6th form college was because I was bullied. I have to also tell you at 8.5 months pregnant i was scared of childbirth and also my LO was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate and so all I wanted from people was support and love.
When it was diagnosed I told my mum and she shrugged it off and said its amazing what make up can do and that was just hare lip. I was so sad as I was advised about feeding issues, speech etc and how my LO would find life that little bit harder with operations etc, I just felt vulnerable for me and LO.
During the very last few weeks of pregnancy (went over by 2.5 weeks) I was told by a mutual friend that my mum was feeling left out and that I should involved her more. I was dumbstruck as I had been ignoring her (and have done so many times) but she made my pregnancy about her again. My mum apparently wanted to look after my LO and she was telling all the family and friends that I wouldn't let her and so I had a few family members come and talk to me about it and that my mum was the most important person to me. This all made me sadder and I have not cried so much in my life. It still makes me sad.
When I confronted her (by email) about all this and how she'd upset me, she went on about what a terrible mother she is etc, I ignored it as I wanted no discussion on her. Then after our daughter was born, I tried to talk to her and she said that she was so hurt about how I had acted whilst I was pregnant.
I have so many stories about how she is toxic as she is a very competitive person and bullied us during childhood, she would always put me in my place e.g. say to everyone at a meal time that my sister is lovely and I was a different story and very capricious. This is partly because I try to not let her always dictate to me what to think, feel etc but my dad and sister never step out of line or say anything to disrupt my mum's dictatorship.
Sorry I meant to post a short post here but ended in a ramble.
What do you think I should do next? I want to ignore more but she has developed a rather bad back and can't walk and there's no way with a 6.5 month baby and a 2 mile drive I am going over to help, my sister isn't either. But she is making me feel guilty about never visiting.
Whilst I was going through the pregnancy I really felt like my mum was dead to me, a bit harsh but I do feel I am unable to emotionally connect with her or want to help.
Thanks for listening.
want to NC now to CuthbertDibbleGrub !!!
this sounds horribly familiar Love I think you did the right thing, but she's not going to make it any easier for you or let you get off lightly and just walk off! CB makes it all come to a head as you rightly focus on your baby and the big hurdles of childbirth and newborn to navigate, esp where there are additional complications to face (which I am sorry you have all had to deal with, mine was all in crisis so I understand the extra needed to manage medical complications). They shouted at me in the hosp. because phone calls weren't timely (well won't go into that .. but you get the idea).
I actually gave her more time than the DC father! Choosing the pram, and big items, but I was still rejecting her! She scorned me drawing attention tothe baby moving. Do you know, noone wanted to feel my baby move during my pregnancy. there are some horrendously uncaring and cold people in the world, but she's the number 1. It caused me awful pain, but no more... going NC was the right thing. Also know that she has all sorts of medical stuff (and always did, pooooor pooor her) going on, but no, she has to manage that without me, I can't be abused and be,not only nice to her, but support her in her difficulties, not when its so damaging to me.
Welcome newcomers... sad that you have to share this stuff, but its so good to offload! Keep posting and reading... its helped me enormously xx
y y Making such a lovely lady, so caring, kind thoughtful
back-stabbing, lying, ignorant, deceitful, neglectful...... [my narcM]
and this was to HughPughBarneyMcGrew I want to NC now to CuthbertDibbleGrub !!!
Thank you for listening to my rant . It really is the theme of them being completely self absorbed isn't it. Funnily enough my mum caused huge family drama when I was in late pregnancy with ds which caused me to nearly fall out with my siblings - on her behalf! She always gets others to do her dirty work, used to be me but now looks like it is poor db.
Dm would also say to everyone how she adored her grandson but would let us down if we asked her to babysit (she once turned.up.late and drunk and when.I called her up on it the next day she made me feel.guilty for bringing it up).
They do.nothing and want all the credit while we feel like crap for questioning them. How does that even happen?! Why do we not just dump.them? Why does being nc feel like hard work, like quitting some kind of horrid addiction?!
My mother planned and chose every detail for our small wedding (they paid for it) even down to the music...we wanted 1 song which was 'our song', but we weren't allowed!!
Thanks FairyFi - I've just seen your post! I'd rather be Windy Miller but its gone! Hello and 'hang-on-in-there' to everyone else.
Wilde- lots of your last post resonates with me. The 'show' of being a grandparent without any effort put in. Mum has also done the distraction technique whenever we've been celebrating something, my 30th she created the most insane drama that meant I spent the whole evening with her, listening to her woes, being a shoulder to cry on.
I'm finding NC hard. It's only been a couple of weeks. I don't miss anything specific just starting to think about what I could've had I guess.
Does anyone else seem to gravitate towards other role models in life? How do you 'replace' that gap?
Also wondering about physically absent parents in the toxic sense, I've never properly allowed myself to think about the effect that's had. Susan forwards book obv just deals with the parents who were there no matter how loosely you apply the term!
oopla I went thru a period of something akin to grief after staying nc with my mum. For about six months I just couldn't come to terms with what I just didn't have. I wanted to know why I didn't have it, why couldn't my mum love me, if she doesn't love me - who will?! It rocked my foundations.
Then I had a miscarriage and knew I could.never have told.my mum about it without her taking my grief for herself. But because she wasn't in my life I didn't have the guilt or fretting overkeeping such a secret... And all I felt about losing my lo were mine, all mine, to feel. Then I started to feel good about nc. My life was my own.
So it is a process, really. It isn't ah! I don't talk to you so I must feel better. It is complex and multi dimensional and has its own stresses. But one day something will.happen that makes you realise how light you feel without the burden of the toxic parent
Am gutted tho personally at how swiftly my brothers call for me to make up with dm set me back today tho. After 18 months nc that fog tied me.up in knots. Sigh.
Am interested in your thoughts on the absent toxic parent... I went very low contact with my largely absent dad after years of me going to visit him and looking after his needs and he just gave me nothing. Was emotionally absent. I slipped out of his life with him barely noticing until I had ds. Never thought of him as toxic tho, just a twat
Wilde-you've been so brave, awful that your siblings are intervening in this way. Perhaps they're taking some of the flack you were before you went nc.
Tomorrow another day, hope you're feeling brighter about things.
Thanks for sharing your experience directly after you cut contact. Really poignant that such a sad time for you gave you the greatest insight.
I need to vent and say I feel sh:: and cant get through to a happy place this week at all. Been feeling like this sunde mothers day ad it's now thurs. am already on antidepressants. Just had to tell someone how heavy i feel thanks all
That was meant to say 'since Sunday'
Old toys - I'm just walking home from an appointment so can't reply properly but hand holding here. Xx
ha ha hughpugh re windymiller yy
oldtoysgood for venting ... Are you feeling guilty? or missing her? bad for not calling? I felt heavy and I'm trying to remember why, I think it was grieving the enormity and loss (as in severing a connection /bond to 'mother figure') is this what's happening? I know that I cried a lot (especially after a drink)
It gots lots and lots better for me if that gives you some hope? hand-holding here too. Well done and hang on in there xxx
Can I just ask where the "but we took you to stately homes" comes in - was this a mother's defense for her poor behaviour?!
I only just came across this thread, wish I had seen it before when I was first working through my own issues with my mum! Well it's ongoing really, we still have regular problems, but I deal with them better now. Things got better for me after I had counselling a few years ago, & even better still since I had my daughter 2 years ago.
Every single day I do the opposite with my dd to all the things my mum did with me growing up, she basically lived her life through me, & still tries to. Extremely controlling, insecure, a martyr, emotional blackmail etc. Everything was always about keeping up appearances - going to private school, speaking well, dressing & behaving well, pushing & pushing for me to do every single extra curricular activity & being a high achiever. When I eventually had a breakdown aged 18 & left University, she then also took to her bed with her own state of depression because I was "ruining my life" & also not doing what she wanted, & she wouldn't speak to me for weeks even though I had moved back home into the same house! I don't think I'll ever really forgive her for that rejection.
My relationship with my dd is so natural, the best relationship I have ever had in my life, I feel so lucky to have it, but sad that it wasn't like that between me & my mum. I just want my dd to feel loved & valued for who she is, not what she does at school, hobbies, the way she looks, the keeping up with the Jones's etc.
Welcome along beabea
Your relationship with your dd sounds lovely.
Beabea81 - everything you've said in your post is exactly how my life has been...and still is to an extent. Very difficult...and it's only when I had a couple of years with them too far away to be so involved inmy life that I realised how not normal it is!
Hello everybody, I'm just cottoning onto the fact that my control freak mil has many toxic traits, mainly lying, emotional manipulation (well attempts I'm immune ). She helps my Sil out with childcare and my nephew said to my dd that he'd prefer to come to our house more while his mums working but it upsets nanny if he doesn't go to her house and she looks really upset when he next sees her. I've been onto her games for years and like I said I'm Immune but the more research I do the more typical toxic boxes she ticks.
Mainly she tries to control others using a mix of emotional blackmail (woe is me etc), lies comments on everyone's situations with fake concern then says " it's nothing to do with me" despite spending the last 2 hours banging on about it. She's just really laughably transparent but when she's messing with my nephew it's not funny, she says things in front of him that she shouldn't about his absent father, seems like she's trying to force issues into his head "arw he's really depressed Auntie Bootsy" then in a huge stage whisper "it's because he's not seen his Dad since Christmas" wtaf?. "Perhaps he'll open up to you Auntie Bootsy" then huge show of clutching nephew to her bussom and hair ruffling "it'll be ok lad, everything will work out in the end you'll see, don't worry" .
She makes my blood boil, how dare she fuck with him like this. To my credit I ignore her amateur dramatics and just tell nephew what a fun day where going to have, where we're going and what we're doing today etc take him by the hand. I most certainly would not instigate a conversation with my nephew to her bidding, if he confided in me of his own accord then that's fine but I wouldn't repeat anything to granny, I'd be telling his mum if I had any concerns.
She does that whole denying thing too if dh or Sil remind her of something from their childhood that reflects her in a less than perfect light, cue fake sad face and "I did my best".
Argh! Was just wondering if anybody could provide me with a few other toxic traits and examples for me to observe mil for. Am I correct in thinking that when dealing with somebody toxic there is no reasoning with the unreasonable?
Thanks in advance
welcome Beabea, sorry to hear you've suffered so, but your eyes look to be very wide open! you clearly state all the classics!
I think the 'Stately Homes' thing comes from them doing what they want basically, as in to the o/s world they were giving your everything
you ungrateful little fuckers whilst actually they were only actually doing what they wanted to do and the kids hated it, all of it. I made up my own as I hadn't heard any other interpretations, but I guess it could be book? Its also their 'poor me' voice, of 'look at all the things we did for you, gave you....' in denial of the abuses, and saying instead, and you are so cruel to blame us and try to hurt us.
welcome Bootsy well recognised... correct [no reasoning with the unreasonable] .... stay in your boots and stick doggedly to your own path (she will hate you and start whispering campaigns against you, and all the rest but you are self-confessed immune, so who GaF!
warm wishes to all today ignoring the Narcs. xx
Hi all, I'm an occasional poster on this thread and really need some help right now....
Brief history - have been depressed on and off for years. I'm in recovery from emotional abuse in my childhood (both parents are narcs) and a violent relationship about 9 years ago. I see a psychotherapist weekly and have done for nearly 3 years. GP diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety and November and have been on ADs (20mg paroxetine) since - have mostly been feeling quite level since then, had terrible panic attacks and overwhelming anger before then.
This week has been hard because of Mother's Day bringing up unpleasant thoughts and because I'm due to visit family next week. It all came to a head last night - I had a panic attack last night and sobbed for hours, felt almost hysterical with grief and emotional pain. I have had thoughts of self-harm in the past, but this time I was actually thinking of which particular knife I would use and where exactly I would cut myself. I kept thinking over and over again 'I don't want to do this any more, I want it to stop'. I could imagine that the act of cutting would help to release some of the anger and pain I was feeling.
I'm 95% sure that I wasn't actually going to go through with it but it has scared me a lot. Today I feel very tired and quite low but I can cope with it and don't feel like I'm in such acute pain. I have taken my pills as usual today. I'm petrified of unravelling completely and ending up in hospital. My DP has been very supportive and I will speak to my therapist about this next week. I guess I just need some hand-holding in the meantime.
Thanks for reading
beabea you totally describe my mum! She channelled herself thru me and only one am I vaguely getting to know who I am. Hope you are ok. The.bloody wedding fiasco meant I had to stand up to her in the end or cry thru my (her) big bloody day so she did me a favour. Tho the rejection does hurt like hell and like you say with your mum, how she expects me to get over it and act like nothing happened I don't know. Well, actually. She expects me to apologise to her. Haha! Sorry mummy please love me. No way.
lotta you poor thing (hugs). Am so sorry to hear of your anxiety and panic attacks. Please don't self harm. I started that during a teenage breakdown and it is like an addiction so please don't go there. Hopefully the counselling will help you find healthier ways of dealing with your pain. Please come here to offload and work thru your feelings with us too, as much as you need to. The shit does tend to hit the fan before you feel better when working thru this kind of pain.
Very scarey.. but you say you feel calm now, the storm is over, but you are scared of more?
The acute pain I feel fades after just such an complete letting go of it all - the letting go can be so unnerving and scarey though, you wonder whether you will come back. Its quite a shocking experience and very good that you came and posted it all here.
I haven't had panic attacks, but I have had the complete melt-downs you spoke of, the overwhelming outpouring of wailings and rocking and letting go, but that does let it go. Was it the thought or struggles of getting through mothers day? or the thoughts of seeing them next week. The act of cutting is an extreme version of what you actually did, 'release some of the anger and pain'.
In extreme circumstances I've had scarey thoughts too, but they are thoughts. We also have some weird erotic fantasies but don't [hopefully] carry them out!
Have you improved dramatically since seeing your psychotherapist? Have you made significant changes in your life that you can feel improves things greatly during this time. I mean like suddenly really seeing things differently, shifting perspectives and therefore acting and feeling differently as a result?
What plan are you working to with the psych? Is it reviewed every 6-8 weeks to chart progression, and plan ahead?
Its great that you have support if its the right support that brings change, otherwise it can even be detrimental to you struggling on trying to get to change and it not happening. I hopeeverything is going well, but just one to consider in the greater scheme of things.
tbh coming here was the best thing ever to get understanding of this specific dynamic and to get understanding, feel just normal! i'm sure I'm not, but happier that I feel I might be a little bit more! ;)
I have seen psych's, didn't do as much as coming here for really grasping wtf was going on. I did act on things which made it better, but its getting the sense of it all and acknowledging the pains, feeling the angers and sharing it where it all makes sense.
I seems, from what you say at this point, that seeing your family could be harmful to you, especiall as you mention that as part and parcel of the panic attack, etc.
please keep posting and feel welcome.. sending you warm wishes for some calm and peace to recover. xx
Thank you Wilde and Fairy
I do feel calmer today - still very sad but not out of control and I've been at work and functioning fine all day. I agree that you have to go through the pain, you have to let it out in order to feel better but the process is hell sometimes!
I am very scared of my feelings, particularly anger, which I have tons of. My parents being narcs, I was brought up to feel that my feelings were wrong if they differed to theirs, and that I was not entited to have feelings or opinions of my own. When I'm really distressed, I have difficulty staying with my own pain and instead find myself thinking 'oh my gosh, has my mum ever felt like this? Maybe I did something to make her feel this way'. My therapist says I have difficulties seeing myself as a separate person from my parents - she's absolutely right but it's a terrifying thought because it sounds so extreme.
Psychotherapy is helping massively - it's the best thing I've ever done but also the most painful. Sometimes I'm doing ok, and am in touch with the pain, and feel my confidence coming back and the guilt getting less and less. Then other times, like now, the guilt seems crippling. I am so very angry at my parents, I feel real rage towards them, but I'm scared by those feelings because deep down I feel they are wrong. I know it's all to do with the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) and reminding myself about FOG helps me to keep it in perspective. Talking to people who understand is so important to me.
I will only be seeing my parents for one evening - I'll be staying with my sister the rest of the time who I get along ok with. My DP will be with me too and I feel like he's my shield when I'm around them! I do find it traumatic seeing them - I am often anxious and sad before seeing them, and again a few days after seeing them, but when I actually see them I adopt my calm, self-contained persona, which is like a suit of armour. I feel like Don Draper in Mad Men! So calm, confident, able on the surface but hollow and empty and scared and unbearably sad beneath.
This thread is such a source of support to lots of us, thank you
Lotta I think you are very brave I went to two counselling sessions and had to stop because it was too difficult.
I wasn't allowed my own feelings either. My mum would talk over me at best or tell me to shut up and withdraw her love at worst. The feeling of being shut down again and again and utterly invalidated as a person can make one feel insanely angry. And I really mean insane
You do exist, you are important, we will hear you
'The feeling of being shut down again and again and utterly invalidated as a person can make one feel insanely angry. And I really mean insane '
Yes yes yes to this!
Thank you so much for your support Wilde
Very good to hear the therappy is helping you... It might help to read some of the threads about, especially about FOG... I am surprised you would go to work and not rest after such a big 'fallout' from it all. Oh! I just read you know all about that already! ha! good good.
Very good to have a shield metaphorical or real! If it is so traumatic? is it more traumatic to not go? have a think about how you can best protect yourself rfrom them causing more damage and pain?
Its time to let you out, safely and not keep locking you away in deference to their prioritising themselves. you are important, and in this scenario your health takes precedence as your lovely DH recognises.
take care xx
how do you get rid of your anger? Pianos Wilde ? Just looking for tips on how we get rid of ours! ;) xx
yy lots of validity here and thats what they've always denied, tis crazy-making!
I tend to internalise it - I feel loads of guilt and blame myself for not being good enough, letting everyone down etc. The thoughts of self-harm are an extension of that I think. I really struggle to express anger in a healthy way. I snap a lot at my poor DP and feel angry with him for stuff that's not his fault
My therapist has suggested pummeling the hell out of a pillow or cushion - I have done that when I was a teenager but not for a long time.
i just realised how much I walk/walked to release anger (now I know why I always walk so fast!).
OH Pianos its so damaging isn't it, all that anger inwards. I've tried recently to shout - you know like when you stub your toe (I used to do that quietly!)
all trained into me by being completely ignored for any ills/injuries, of which there were many!
If you have an abusive partner, there's this amazing organisation that know about the abuser's tactics and the survivors reactions and fallout, better than they do themselves it seems. I wish there was an organisation like this for SH'ers ... maybe there is ... well at least there's books. I think a very good one I heard on here, simply called the 'children of toxic parents', or something like?'
Really good you are making such progress with the therapist.
I have been lurking on this thread, I don't feel strong enough to post my own stuff yet, BUT
Lottapianos ( not sure how to tag you in this thread) I was so concerned when I read about your feelings and Paroxetine (also known as Seroxat ).
When I was on that I had some of those feelings and it has been associated with more than one serious self harm episode in the UK.
I urge you to consider going back to your GP as a matter of urgency, it may not be the right AD for you. There are many others that might suit you better.
Please do go back to the doctor and describe your feelings as you have here.
I held back from posting this, When I read your post earlier today. I thought as I hadn't posted on this thread I had better keep quiet, twelve or so hours later I think I should say what I thought then.
Seroxat is a powerful ( and useful) drug, but it doesnt suit everyone.
Thank you for your post Skinidin I have had these thoughts of self harm before I took Paroxetine and they have been much less frequent since I started the pills 3 months ago. However I will bear what you say in mind and monitor the situation over the next couple of weeks
I did not post without thinking deeply about it.
Please, please talk to your GP.
The medication could be intensifying these negative thoughts.
Does mumsnets do hugs ?????
Have them anyway ....
fairy my anger has dissipated since I stopped having my mum in my life, realised that she is a narc and let myself be me more. I have only had the self harm feelings of impotent rage, humiliation and frustration once since she left my life which has been.such an eye opener.
When she was in my life I thought my depressive episodes, self harming, drinking and disordered eating were part of me, I was damaged and just a shit person. Now I know she triggered all of this! She hates fat, is a problem drinker and hides herself away with depression when life gets too much. (then I would take over parenting for her).
I can't believe now that before she left my life I thought she was amazing. I thought she was kind, damaged, needed looking after by me. I would do anything and everything for her approval and happiness. Now I see that she is damaged but I cannot help her or be anywhere near her for my own.mental health. She never knew about my own issues btw - I was completely neutral around her. I was strong for her.
lotta you have really opened my eyes. Objectively from.reading your post it is clear that if your feelings are invalidated or rubbished throughout your childhood you will learn to stop communicating them to those who hurt you.
I never realised this and always thought I was just a very cold person. If there was a death in the family or other tragedy I would shut down and be very calm. Only much later would I start to feel things which by then would come out as stress symptoms (anxiety and panic attacks). However, not having my mum around any more, when I miscarried I noticed that I grieved straight away and had so.many feelings. It felt so healthy and normal. I was allowed to feel because she wasn't there sapping all of me or playing some kind of pain oneupmanship!
As for validity I have to say my son validates me with unconditional love that I never take for granted. He is a joy. Whoever he is, he is wanted loved and never, ever shut down! I ask his feelings about things all the time and take him very seriously.
Hi. I've not posted on here before, but I really need some help.
My mother is a narcissistic mother. Everything is about her etc.
seven years ago I had cancer. The treatment was awful, but not as bad as anything mother has had, apparently. Cancer is nothing compared to her suffering. I was at my worst over Xmas, she didn't phone for two weeks, just went on holiday. As a result I finally stood up to her and told her to get lost.
No contact until last year. I started to feel sorry for her (yes, I know) and have met her every few months somewhere neutral.
Last time I saw her she burst into tears and said how she missed her grandchildren, she's old, she's ill, it's cruel etc. I caved in, and she and husband are coming tomorrow. I am absolutely dreading it.
Now, as far as I am concerned this does not mean normal service has been resumed. I am not going to be guilt tripped into going over every holiday etc. However, I know my mum and she is bound to say " I wondered if you'd all like to come over for Easter?" Or whatever. How do I say no to her without looking sulky ( that's what used to happen). How do I keep her at arms length and not let her overwhelm me again?
I'm so sorry this is long but I am desperate.
mocking that must have been awful for you. Your mum let you down when you needed her most
Now she is back and from your post you sound frightened, railroaded and like she is pushing your boundaries back further and further. You say you caved in - this means something is happening you don't actually want to happen. You also say you won't let her guilt trip you but the illness and grandkids line is clearly guilt tripping and your response has been one of obligation not one of choice. You say you won't let her guilt trip you into further visits but then worry about being sulky if you say no.
If you want to say no, say no. Stand tall and be proud to assert yourself. If you don't want her over tomorrow, cancel. Don't listen to her! She is not a benign oldlady but has been very cruel to you. You matter, your feelings and anxiety over this matters and you can stand up to her your use of the word 'sulky' is very interesting - it sounds like a word a parent could use to denigrate a child's attempt at self assertion. Don't apply this cruelty to yourself!
Have you read about the fog. It is a killer to us children of toxic.parents and you are right in it. Only you can dig yourself out but we are here to provide support.
Good luck and I hope you are ok.
Thank you Rumpus. No I haven't heard about the fog, is there a link or something?
Mocking, if she asks you to come for Easter or anything else really, can you just say you already have plans?
You're right, of course I can. I just get in a flap as she starts asking for details; what plans, who with? She then does the "I'm old and don't see you very often" trick. She's done it for years and I still can't stand up to her without feeling churlish.
Mocking that sounds like a horrible situation for you. FOG is fear, obligation and guilt - 3 things you are conditioned to feel by emotionally abusive parents. Agree with other posters that you need to put your own needs first, but that's a skill you have to learn after so many years of being dominated and bullied. Psychotherapy is helping me hugely with this, is it something you would be interested in?
Skinidin thank you so much for your posts and your hugs, I love hugs!
mocking we are all on here because we get in a flap when our parents knock on our doors that there is the fog. Have a shufty at some of the resources listed at the beginning of the thread they might help you?
Maybe a more experienced stately homes poster can help you with tactics to deal with your mum. Tbh I can't think much beyond just saying you don't want to meet up and just staying schtum when she guilt trips you. Stay quiet, ride it out. And have a happy easter
Thank you for all your help and advice. I will look at all the resources and read some more of the thread. I will keep you informed about tomorrow.
Good luck today mocking.
I woke to a message from my mum today, first contact for nearly a year! She wants to go on holiday and come back with us all.together as a family again. For my brothers sake. How lovely.
I told her not likely. Not for my brother... Not for me... That she cannot ostracise her child like that and just expect me to forget it. That I wont be manipulated and pitted against my siblings any more. That I hate the way she treats my chronically ill sister and I won't be party to it any more. That I begged her not to disown me and she ignored me.
And I feel sooooooo good . She wanted me to say I would go back so she could.go on her holiday for a few months light of heart. Ha ha mother dear! She will choke on my honesty. She really will. I am not in the fog! I will not be her punchbag! I am.not afraid of her . (well I am a bit...hehe).
I would like to cuddle this thread and posters for existing and helping me feel less alone and stronger. Thank you.
Hi, can I join please. I have a thread here
Very welcome all newcomers.. sorry your situations make it necessary.
lots of useful links above, especially about FOG! and typical narc behaviours, which explain so oo much, and then each contributors own experiences are all so obviously similar and suddenly stuff clearly belongs to them and we are able to detach from it more.
huge ((((hugs))) to you all xx
mocking I hope you are okay, sorry to hear about your terrible mother and your illness.
wilde well done! I'll try and borrow some of your strength
I feel I had quite a crap childhood emotionally, not close to my mother at all then or now. Please could I ask whether you think the following example would be classified as quite emotionally hurtful? I've never told anyone in RL.
My mother would do things such as not bother to take an interest in what I was doing, playing etc. She had no time for me but seemed to have more for her other children. She would call me to watch my younger baby sister when I was aged 5 or so. If I didn't want to, she would threaten to give her away. I distinctly remember her shouting at me and getting the phone, starting to dial numbers 'to ask if they would take my sister away' then I would cry and agree to help. I have barely any memories of my mum spending time with me, she always insists I was a very independent child from birth
Anyway, just wondered what you thought
Good grief that's awful Waterfall! My DD is 5 and I'd never ever do that! Manipulating and blackmailing a child like that! She's lucky you were such a loving child that you didn't call her bluff or say 'go on then'. Tbh I'm speechless at her.
Waterfall, my parents used to do things like that too. Its horrible.
Marking place again, as this thread has disappeared from threads im on for some reason.
Good news my mums results were all good, she doesn't have breast cancer . And thinks seem to be quite on the Pil front, until today mil phoned the landline and dh looked less than pleased with the conversation they had, all seemed very odd, and mil hung on up on him for no reason...
She obviously ain't happy about something, i don't know exactly what the conversation was about, but it was definitely one sided re mil as dh was saying "no" to almost everything she said. I will ask him later what the conversation entailed, as got mum round at present.
Bet its some sort of bribe to get us to allow them access to the children...well that will not be happening!
((hugs)) to all of you that have narc parents\pil and i totally sympathise with all of you on here, its not easy constantly having to battle these people continually even when you least expect it.
Turns out mil was hen-pecking dh into allowing my kids round her house to do an Easter egg hunt, fgs she is delusional. Non contact with dc for 6m and she expects me to allow my dc round her home , talk about expecting running before walking!
After everything that family put us all through she still lives in cloud coo koo land ignoring everything that has been said to her.
Lets hope dh stays on my side for this, as it wouldn't be in my children's best interest & sending them round there will never be an option.
Ok I really really am going to need help here, Im about to completely sabotage the relationship between my mother and I, and Ive already just cut off the poor excuse for a relationship with my 'partner'.
I really need to get this out, about my mum. Ive been bottling it up for years. The thing is, my mum had a horrific up bringing, truly awful and in comparisson Im pretty sure she thinks my upbringing was faultless.
Also I need to know if I have a problem with alcohol or not.
I have a 2 yo old who's still bf. because of this reason and the fact that he has special needs, I rarely drink. But during a family gathering I may get a little pissed - today for example, I drank a bottle of wine over 5-6 hours.
I know, I know I shouldnt drink that much because Im bf but I have no life. im stuck in doors and cannot go out because my youngest wakes so much as a symptom of his SN, my life utterly utterly revolves around his SN which arent the usual AS or whatnot but Im not willing to go into for want of staying anon.
So when we have a gathering like this, its the ONLY social time I have so I drink. Its twice a year, Christmas and march time.
My mum clearly had a problem with my drinking today (you may agree. Ive just emailed her because Im laying here awake wondering why she had a problem. If she denies it then so be it, although it was very obvious 'raised eye brows' eyes at my glass look, but if she doesnt, I will let rip.
Except I think Id best let rip here first.
First of all, yes I still bf and yes I should never drink but my son has certain specific needs in such a way that my WHOLE FUCKING LIFE has changed since he was born, I dont care because he's perfect. What I do care about is those who judge me who have no god damn idea what it is like being in my shoes.
Namely my Mum who bf my older brother until he was 2, who woke every 2 hours until she stopped so would give him phenegarn and her and Dad would go down the pub. It wouldnt happen often, but it did happen, something she totally denies doing. I was 12 years old and looking after him - I remember CLEARLY.
I DID used to have a drinking problem before my eldest was born. Or rather, I had a terrible anxiety problem which I remedied with alcohol. Thankfully I havent suffered with anxiety since I got help when it when I got pregnant with him (because I couldnt drink when pregnant ofc).
When growing up my mum could be lovely. But she could be an evil bastard when she wanted to be. My parents divorced when I was 16. Both parents, individually blamed me for their split and at the same time both used me as a shoulder to cry on. My mum had a 5 year long affair, so Im not sure I deserved the blame.
In fact an affair she continued after, he used to come to out houe, he'd turn up at the door, they'd go upstairs come down 15 minutes later he'd walk out the house and my mum had cum over her chest. Which she'd giggle about.
Im sat there thinking, Im 16, do I really need to see this? My baby brother (6) asleep in bed, my older brother (19) moved away both blissfully unaware of any affair or why they split.
I speak to my mum relatively regularly but in over 2 years shes called my phone twice. Its always me contacting her.
I stopped once, a month or so passed and she text me. Big whoop, I had a young baby at the time. Most of my friends with babies would speak to their mum on a weekly basis.
And I used to but my mum has been seemingly slowly 'cutting me off' the last 2-3 years.
I fucking HATE the fact she's judged me today from her high and mightly 'do no wrong' spot. Because shes done a LOT wrong. And I fucking hate her for i sometimes.
Hi Wossit well done for letting some of it out here, and welcome to here, to the place of insights, understandings and change!
I'm sorry your mum has been so awful. She honestly sounds like a child (regardless of her own background) and has treated you apallingly. As the girl you seem to have been made mum whilst she carried on behaving like a totally inappropriate child.
yep, she has some pretty huge misdemeanors stacked against her. I think a bottle of wine is 8 glasses of wine, which is less than 2 glasses of wine per hour over the timeframe you mention. That seems pretty moderate to me, especially as the only time you do this is TWICE a year!!! No, no drinking problem. You have a hell of a lot to cope with having struggled in a poor relationship during this time and come to the decision and ended it. You have a lot going on.
I guess you might have become very use to being the one that takes care of everything, but you really can't take care of her. I guess if she's not taking the time to call, there's no reason you need be responsible for the calling.
The other thing is, without making excuses for her, if she's an alcoholic and was heavily drinking whilst you were young, I doubt she'll really remember much, but certainly has a pretty cast-iron excuse for not even if she does.
Do you want to go on calling her to stay in touch? or did youcontinue because of the 'big whoop' after abstaining for a month?
by the sounds of it, she has already pretty much sabotaged the relationship, I don't htinkyou have, I think you've have tried to keep it going, but by stepping back and waiting for her to call isn't sabotage, I think calling it that is a reflection of how very responsible you are feeling for the relationship and its flaws, when she is not, and absolutely should be!
It really can be pretty much hell stuck indoors with DCs especially once dinner time routine kicks in and you're then effectively 'locked in' - apart from if you are your mother it seems!
I've got a child that I've had to nurse through emergencies from birth, and the sleeping was always incredibly hard, nearly wrecked me completely, especially when you're on your own with it as I was too (kicked out abusive ex here).
I'm glad you came here.. read and you'll see how familiar many stories of terrible childhood and adult relationships with parents are. I havent seen mine for many years, went NC went eldest child very small, because it was just unbearable to be responsible for everything all the time.
Please keep posting, and I hope you managed to have some good sleep last night Wossit take care xx
btw I've no idea about the drinking and bf effects?! I remember drinking half a glas of champagne after birth of first babe and the projectile poo after!
however, I did use to express off the milk after any drinks and throw it.
I always remember being terrified of what my mum would say from a very young age,never told her anything because if it differed from her point of view it would be rubbished and she was very good at making you feel about an inch high. My sister and I once had a discussion about what would happen if she got ill/unable to look after herself(had long-term health problems) if her dh wasn't around and we both agreed that she would not being come to live with either of us under any circumstances, sounds harsh but she would have taken over within hours of moving in
Hi, sorry to jump in like this again. I explained some of the problems my friend was having with her parents. (on page 5) and received some fab advice. My friend has asked if i could ask some more questions on here as its been useful for her to hear some advice from people she doesn't know.
basically, after some conversation with her parents they have dismissed all the situations she presented to them of cases where they have been uninvolved etc. They have gone on about how much their daughter has upset them. In the end my friend told her parents its up to them to decide how much involvement they want with their grandchild and its ok if they choose to be uninvolved if that's what they want. Unfortunately her parents have not taken this well accusing her of being ungrateful as they had lent her some money to put towards a house (which they had a solicitor draw up contracts for ) anyway, she has just texted saying her parents have contacted her saying they want their money back now (even though contract they made is not up yet) and have set the condition that if she agrees to this as well as a contract they have drawn up, then they will try harder with their grandson.
she is horrified at how they are dealing with this and does not know what to do. Obviously she does not want to sign a contract before they will see their grandchild as whats the point in forcing her parents to see her child? And surely the love you show your grandchild shouldnt br contractual? but she does not know what to say to them. She didn't expect this sort of behaviour from them.
any help would be much appreciated.
Sorry to hear she didn't get the responses she hoped for and needed to hear, as they have been left out and turned the blame away from them straight back to her. Very sad for her .
I think its not so unexpected sadly in this world of narc/toxic parents. It is yes hugely shocking and unbelievable way to carry on, over GC that they are supposed to just love unconditionally, but now want to literally hold to ransom!
Your poor friend, an awful reality to have to face. I would just sign the contract as agreed before DC don't ever come into it. They will try to put the dc in the middle continually as leverage.
Im sorry that they seem to be proving themselves
Thank you fairy, I have sent your message to my friend and she has found it hugely comforting to hear, they are treating her like a business. They have told her to only contact them by phone or facetoface now if she wants to sort this out with them. On top of this, they have told her that her behaviour towards them is unacceptable and they are only giving her another chance as she is their daughter.
I feel sad for her.
Any ideas how she can move this forward?
Hi wossit- lots of your post resonates with me, hope you feel a bit of a weight off for posting and unloading. I Really wouldn't worry about the wine, sounds really moderate and from what I've read very very small amounts of alcohol will enter your milk, given the length of time you drank over is unlikely to have still been in your system.
You sound like you are working really hard to look after your dc, thats what separates us from THEM!
I'm going to a screening appointment today for counselling, feeling a bit nervous. I need to make sure I get help to move on so I can concentrate on my beautiful family. Have a lovely day everyone, hope the suns shining for you
good luck for screening today OOpla I'm sure you are concentrating on your beautiful family, I hope the counselling will help you.
Lost I wouldn't do phone or face, i'd stick to written, so everyone can clearly see and you can't get caught in the FOG & confusion. Especially important to have it written because of the contract involved here!
They sound appalling (only giving another chance cos her daughter! gah!!awful people!)
To protect her position she is probably better off emailing or writing a letter (keeping photocopy) of her intent and understanding of the undertaking of the loaned money, and repayment, as I think? this will form the basis of a contract in the absence of one (should she [DM] decide to do things differently --make it up to suit herself and do a bit of blackmailing here and there--) The DM would have to challenge the basis of this by replying directly to it. If she doesn't and it remains the only written evidence, then its the only written evidence of your understanding and she has disputed it?!
However, there's a lot more going on for your friend, and I hope she feels she could come here herself and find it very helpful to deal with all the other stuff going on. good wishes x
Thanks Fi- it went well I think. She confirmed that I am having panic attacks (wasn't really sure stupid as that sounds) and recommended counselling & CBT. Felt really reassuring to hear someone say "gosh oopla that's awful" think the wait times are killer but there's no rush. Will carry on with my hippy woo methods in the meantime, and of course coming here.
Thankyou to everyone who posts here, I wouldn't have had the courage to say out loud the things I've said today without you
Thank you Fi, update from friend is that parents will not respond to the questions they ask, they are accusing her of using her child and she has told them that if they think that sorting out the money will make any changes in their relationship then they've made their position clear, to which they've told her if that's the case she is choosing to have no more contact with her parents.
I've advised her to repeat what she has said that its up to her parents if they want to see their grandchild and to ask them again why they have treated their grandchild so badly. If she gets no answers then make it clear that its her parents that have chosen and then get on with it.
Is it a good idea to send their email convo to family/friends if they ask what's been going on, obv my friend will get the bad end of the stick whilst the parents will act like victims, so if they start on her is it a good idea for full transparency? Also we are thinking great grandparents who will be affected but will certainly just think its my friends fault with the stories they are told. We've discussed this at length but obviously are without the wider wider perspective.
Thanks, I'll ask her if she feels comfortable to come here herself to talk.
hi lost it doesn't sound good atall, what a shame. does your friend want them to see her DC? as thats her choice really, and then to offer it, in writing, but if they are treating the GC badly, they definitly should not see.
She needs to decide what she is happy with really, and what she feels is ok for the DC to be exposed to, but they will not be any differnt as GP than as Ps. There is reading on the links above I think regarding GPs, either that or someoneposted very good advice about GPs ad their continuing toxic effects to the DGC.
There's no pressure for her to post here, just think it good for her to hear her words by writing it, and receiving her own responses; when she's comfortable.
yy to keep on saying things out loud Oopla Many things said on hear never been heard by anyone before, and validates for saying out there in rl too. Keep going with the courage... wonderful xx
oopla good for you am.glad you are being looked after and feel you are moving forward slowly slowly.
waterfall gosh your story brought a memory back of my mum threatening then actually pretending to.call the police on me saying they were going to take.me away because I was such an awful.child. I was 7! Has made me feel very sad.
My sis has confided in me that she is cutting ties with.my mum slowly and that as a woman of.nearly 30 she feels it is time to stand up for herself more am.so proud as she was the scapegoat in our family. Have sent her the daughters of narcs website link as I think she might be ready to start rationalizing some of the shit we went thru.
This thread is amazing, it has empowered me and thru me, even my sis
Am.so sad to hear the new stories. I hope talking and sharing helps you come to terms with your toxic influences.
the empowerment of this thread is truly amazing and just to celebrate that alone...
Hi, tbh it sounds very much like she's at the point where if they don't want to be involved they can't expect her to be the 'running around them' daughter. They have expected her in the past to 'choose' them and allow them to exclude their Grandchild which they have done in the past by encouraging her to go to family events without her child as child is apparently not family.
The conversation started with her noting the things she wasn't pleased with and offering them the option to be as involved as they like. Which they then turned it to, pay us back now and give us back everything we have given you in the past which they say was only loaned to her now and if you want us involved with GC and agree to proposals regarding taking GC out.
What a lot of utter bastards there are out there. Unfortunately even if you offer them what you think would make them happy, they throw it back in your face. Seems they don't want to be OFFERED something, they want to TAKE IT!
I don't suppose there's any chance of borrowing the money from elsewhere to pay them off is there lost?
While I'm here, I'd like to hide a small rant on this page.
I am a performer. Much to m & f's disgust. They have been internet stalking me again and have found out about a gig tomorrow. f sent an agressive message on the event's Facebook page (for all the public to see) I marked it as 'harassment' to FB, but now am crapping myself that they'll turn up and freak me out by sitting there making faces/remarks/upsetting the children. I haven't seen them since Summer. I like it that way. They are a shower of bastards. Instead of looking forward to this, I am all shaky.
Hugs to you all ((()))
Imagine if you could take bad parents to court and sue for doing an utterly rubbish job.
I keep thinking about that line in the Lord's Prayer "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" I'm not churchy tbh, I hope I can forgive one day. If only because I don't need to carry this forever with me.
That's the worst, isn't it? Having this stuff constantly in your head. And really, it's all someone else's shit, because if they had any self awareness, they'd be the ones spending their time analysing it all and having therapy!
Oopla it is only their job to 'have' forgiveness, after acknowledging and repenting (tbh hell might freeze over?)
It is hoped we will not hot emotions that hurt us (get the anger out, etc), they cannot 'expect' forgiveness (mind you, they've done nothing to forgive?)
It doesn't always stay in your head, distance makesthe feelings go cold.
CLB appalling the internet stalking.... I've had to do 'performances' with the 'less than friendly' in the audience.... I am always talking to the one person I remember having the time of their life and being wow'd by the performance (F the rest tbh) Its the people that love it that you are there to perform to, enjoy them as they enjoy you hun xx
LADIES, I NEED YOUR HELP PLEASE!
I am currently going through the process of cutting my mother off until she can speak to me honestly about my childhood and my perceived abuse as she denies it and has 'had enough of me and my accusations' apparently . The fact that she made me believe all through my childhood that there was something wrong with me and that I was crazy (my nickname in the family was 'Psycho') is all in the past and I should move on and live my life according to her.
That I have never been able to keep a job, make friends or achieve anything is down to my 'choices' and nothing to do with my upbringing. I do have 4 gorgeous DC and a DH but I am not a 'success' as I don't have a big house, flash car or a career unlike my siblings and as we were all raised the same, and as I was the 'most intelligent one' it must be down to me .
I had never really explored my childhood and hailed my mother as a saint until I started therapy for my extreme anxiety and panic attacks.
They started 7 years ago with a much wanted move abroad which ended in me being so 'ill' that I was terrified that I would go crazy without realising it and I was scared of being alone with my children, I am talking petrified! So we had to come back as DH's work visa meant he had to work away from home for weeks at a time and I would constantly be calling him begging him to come home. We lost all our money in the process as we could not sell our house out there and came back here with nothing. No one helped us, in fact they delighted in it (siblings). We stayed with my mother and stepfather for a while but it was awful, we were treated like naughty children who'd been reckless and my stepfather wanted us out. I still did not see the blindingly obvious though.
The panic attacks/anxiety continued after we came back and still persist to this day. I had been to a few therapists and talked about my childhood but I disagreed that my childhood was a factor until last year when I found a therapist I trusted and the 'fog' lifted finally.
My mother was truly awful to me as a kid. I used to think I must have been adopted because I felt like such an outsider in my own family. I used to wish I would die in the night so my mother would find me dead in the morning and perhaps feel sorry for what she was doing to me. I have always felt different to everyone else, like everyone else deserved to be happy and I did not, always lonely. I had no idea until recently that that was not a normal way to feel.
Problem is my mother was dosed up on Valium for most of my childhood and seems to honestly remember nothing. My father was violent and an alcoholic and they divorced when I was 6 and he disappeared completely (I have met him as an adult and he is a total loser), my stepfather replaced him immediately (he is her enabler). I have a lot of self doubt about whether my mother did damage me so badly. One minute, I know it and it all makes sense and I can feel peace that she is the nutter not me. The next, I wonder if I imagined it all and then feel enormous guilt for blaming her when it is actually ME who's the nutter.
I am really struggling with this as I thought getting to the root of my problems would 'heal' me and it does not seem to be working! I also had a very traumatic neonatal death of my DC2 and I have always put my 'neurotic tendencies' down to that and the move abroad, then losing all our money and therefore, security. Although in truth, I have always lived in fear, even back in my late teens, I was afraid to sleep at night as I was convinced someone would break in and murder me, not burgle, kill. That led me me losing my job, flat and boyfriend as I would have to sit up all night and sleep in the day. This was just after I left home. I never sought help after DC2's death as I thought I deserved it, how fucked up is that.
I do worry that my therapist is leading me down the wrong path, although it feels right. Arrgh! This is so difficult. I am so desperate to stop being paralysed by fear and I thought cutting my mother own and facing down my fear of her would help me break free. Why do I feel like I have made a massive mistake?
Well done for getting through all that!
Thank you Fi, that's a good strategy. There are going to be four of my friends in the front row, so will do it for them.
Slowly I'm so sorry to hear what a terrible time you've had, but am actually awed by you coming through it all and having a happy marriage and four children! That is no small achievement. How long have you been having therapy? As I think it's one of those things that feels worse before it feels better. It doesn't sound like you've made a mistake to me. xx
well done you lovely for 'getting through all that', and very welcome here with such terrible experiences.
It is the most difficult of times when you are so affected by it all, but wonder what it is that is affecting you? (the therapist taking you down a wrong path).
I think you have all the validation you need 'wish I would die in the night', 'mother on valium... father alchoholic.. divorced at 6 [after probably horrendous scarey fighting]... but some time here listening to others similar and disimilar but equally painful struggles will help... and keep posting your own stuff for lots of supportive feedback.
I am so sorry. Its good to get peace (be away from the blame and FOG and overwhelming fear).
I do have a sense of that one. I spent my life terrified, had night terrors and all sorts.
very welcome here... others will be along also i'm sure to greet xx
slowly from what you say about your childhood you do have cause to be stressed by it. I dont think that with.anything as emotionally.complex.as this you just wake up after a eureka moment and feel cleansed. The self doubt that kept you compliant all your life and the fact that for most of it you thought your mum was amazing mean you will keep getting fogged.
But slowly slowly the blame will shift from.you to her in.your mind and you will start to feel.stronger. in a way we have to rebuild ourselves to being completely new people who have the confidence to assert ourselves and think ourselves worthy people, in a way that well adjusted people take for granted.
FWIW I do think your counsellor is leading you down the right path. It is a hard one and you are doing it! That is amazingly strong. Keep talking chuck.
I am feeling a bit low today and was unexpectedly drawn here.
I have an uncontrollable urge to post but i don't know what to say.
I know exactly how you all feel but i am totally unable to put my own situation/feelings into words.
After going through the adoption assement (and having my childhood broken down into minute details) and going on an adoption course last year, i realise that my childhood wasn't what i thought it was.
I can't find the words i need to describe it and how i feel as a result of it and am getting upset trying to, so if it's ok i'd just like to hang around for a bit.
Hello Flossy, you are very welcome here, to post or not
I was talking with another lady this morning about how distant and disconnected she felt about how awful her situation really was, that could see herself telling people that she'd had her jaw broken and the people around her were shocked/visibly upset/appalled, etc. and yet she didn't feel anything or know how to explain any of it.
Just saying, it can take sometime of sitting on the edge of something looking in before feeling like you can really grapple with it.
We're all really just at different stages of grappling, IYGWIM?
thanks for sharing what you have.. come again when you're ready in the meantime reading others 'stuff' should help with some more clarity for you, and I am really sorry that your childhood experience has meant that you have to live with these sadnesses (that does change).
take care x
CreepyLittleBat Thank you. I have been having therapy with my current counsellor for 5 months. Really can't afford anymore. I do sometimes feel that I HAVE achieved a lot. My marriage has had it's ups and downs, more down now as DH does not know how to deal with it and the fact that I have always dragged him up and down the country to visit with 'those people' as I was so desperate to fit in. No one visited us though unless they had to go to London (as we live just outside) . DH's childhood was materially very poor but rich in love and emotion so the complete opposite of mine and he has not got a clue, the poor bloke. His parents cry when they see him out of happiness fgs and have only positive tales to tell about him. I thought I was doing such a crap job of parenting my 4 DC as they don't listen, talk back to me and are not afraid of me! Of course now I know they are supposed to be like that!
FairyFi yes, my constant panic and terror has made me realise have scared I have been. I did see some terrible domestic violence as a small DC (I developed a stutter at the age of 4 after speaking perfectly before that) and I think my fear is a remembered fear constantly playing on a loop in head.
WildeRumpus Thank you. I keep having glimpses of the real me and that gives me hope. I need to focus on that.
Flossy I am so sorry. It hits you like a ton of bricks doesn't it? I was so much in denial, it felt like it had happened to someone, not me, surely! It is so hard to get it straight in your head, takes a lot of time and I'm not halfway there yet. Writing it down does help though.
Thank you FairyFi!
The strange thing is that i can read someone elses post and it hits the nail on the head but then i still can't put it into my own words.
I think there's a part of me that still feels really conflicted about it all. I haven't suffered abuse in what my interpretation of that word is. I know my parents love me, took care of me and were affectionate but it's the emotional stuff. The effects of all that feels like it's suffocating me. Sadness is a perfect description. It is always lingering in the background even when i'm feeling happy (if that makes any sense)
Yes, SlowlyWakingUp it does. I had already come to the relisation that it wasn't all in my imagination but the lasting effects of it all hit me massively a year ago on the course.
(The course was an adoption course to help us better understand why our kids were the way they were, but to do that the first 2 days were about looking at ourselves to understand why we were the way we were)
I want to repair the damage and break free of this cloud that seems to hang over me and causes me to question my feelings constantly, but most of all i want to learn to have better friendships by not being drawn to people who are emotionally shut off so that i don't have to give any of myself.
Huge congrats to you all for making great strides in making sense of it all, and yourselves. I am here because you are all so inspirational.
you are obviously beautiful kind lady flossy and deserve absolutely to be surrounded by beautifl kind souls too xx [lovely thing to say ^there]
Thank you FairyFi. Bless you xxx
flossy sorry to hear about the stuff you are going through. I find it hard to put my feelings and experiences into words too. I wonder how anyone can understand unless I tell them the whole story. I worry that if I tell people who haven't experienced neglect or abuse, that they will think I am mad or attention seeking. But in this forum, people understand without you having to say everything. We have all been through stuff and understand how hurtful our experiences are. We don't have to 'prove' how upsetting our experiences are. I find a great deal of empathy here which helps me through my day to day anxieties.
slowly your story sounds so awful. Have you read Toxic Parents? I keep suggesting it here but I found it really helpful after that I read Children of the Self Absorbed which has really helped me heal my wounds.
Well, after our 'disagreement' on Tuesday in which I told my mother than I would not speak to her until she was able to listen to me/talk to me about my childhood calmly adult to adult, I received a package from her yesterday containing all the photo's she must have had of my DCs, me, DH and Mothers Day/Birthday cards etc I had sent her in the past. What really made me raise my eyebrows (see, no emotion left there) is that she sent back cards the DC had made her and all their photo's.
What a complete bitch. So she's decided that since I disagree with her and refuse to back down on how bad I was made to feel as a kid, she's decided that me AND my DC, her grandchildren, don't exist! She was never a hands on grandparent and has only seen them once in last year, forgot their birthdays as well but that is pretty low isn't it?
I have also had an email this morning from my real father (who walked away when I was 6/7, never paid child support and whom I did not have any contact with until I was 38, since then just sporadic emails) telling me that I need 'professional help' as I have not accepted his denials of being a drunk and my clear memories (and my brother's) of him attacking my mother mean I have been completely brainwashed. I told him that when I was a teenager especially, I had a fantasy that he would turn up and 'rescue' me from my mother and it turns out that my image of him as a father WAS just a fantasy. He has decided I am vile in bringing this up and he has closed the book on it, it is nothing to do with me anyway.
He has brought up his 2nd wife's 2 children and gave his step daughter away at her wedding last year (I was not invited) and could not understand why I was not interested in hearing about it, came into a large lump sum of money soon after buggering off but could not 'afford' a solicitor to arrange access, when I brought up 'unsavoury' stuff after the 1st and last time we met, he also returned the very few photo's he had of me as a kid.
I have come to the conclusion that I have had the misfortune to have been born to TWO narcs! I really must be a 'miracle' as my counsellor has told me I am!
Sorry, spelling, grammar, punctuation crap.
Apologies in advance for rambling. I am so glad this thread is here but does anyone else feel like they are neglecting getting on with their lives whilst devoting time and head space to dealing with this? I have so much I want to do but I feel like I'm stuck while I go through this 'process'. I know I have to go through it if I want to function to the best my ability (don't think I ever have) but it feels like such a waste of time going around in circles and coming to the same conclusion AGAIN but not being able to put it to 'bed' once and for all!
I totally agree. I haven't posted much lately because I have
mostly put it to bed & don't want to deal with it anymore. I know it's a bit passive aggressive to cut contact against someone else's will but tough!!
slowly you're parents sound terrible. Narcs always blame their children - we were difficult, they did their best, we need help not them etc. Don't listen - just stay focused. I go through extreme periods of self absorbtion but I think the more work I do on myself the better/happier I become as a person.
Slowly that's just awful that he sent back the DC's pictures & cards too, really designed to upset you that one.
Stay strong x
First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.
Do you feel able to now detach Slowly & get on with your life without wasting energy on them?
One evening I realised that I could win a Nobel prize and that still my Mother would be disappointed with me.
Took a huge weight off my mind and has made everything much easier since.
Just marking my place (pardon the cliche) ive been told that i should come here, dont have time to read thorugh just yet
Hello, and welcome Lucyellen'smum have a read through some time...it's quite a head fuck when you start realising quite how weird your parents are and that you don't have o put up with it. Scary stuff.
I've been on this thread briefly and had my own thread all about my narcissitic/engulfing/guilt tripping mother here. We lived with her for 3 years, it all got too much and we moved out 2 months ago. I've been going lower contact since (once a week with kids for an hour or so and maybe I see her once midweek on my own for an hour or so).
I'm now on holiday for a week and DB is flying in (to stay with her, she has more room...no issues, he's been a great support) on Tuesday. I've been feeling the old GUILT today because I would normally see her with kids today but I decided as I was on hols and we're seeing her with DB on Tuesday, that we'd have a non DM weekend.
It's DS' 5th bday on Tuesday and we're going out for lunch with DM and DB. DM seems to favour DS over DD (22mo) which I find difficult. So, to assuage my guilt about not visiting today as we normally would I texted today to say I had some cheese she'd asked me to pick up and I'd bring it on Tuesday cos we were out for the day tomorrow. She texts back "cheese not urgent when do I get to wrap DS' remote control car?". This is a present DS is asked for but it's been decided that I would buy it and DB will give me the money so he can give DS a present but not have to bring a bulky present on the plane when he's only got hand luggage. So I texted back, "I'll wrap it and hide it in the car so DB can give it to him when we (DS and me) pick Db up from the airport, it's from DB, isn't it". But it's annoyed me. Taking over again, spoiling DS again. If I told anyone in RL they'd think I was ungrateful. Why do I still feel this need to contact her, this guilt if I don't? She NEVER contacts me. I'm glad she wound me up though in a text as now it's reminded me again to back off a bit.
Talkinpeace - snap, if I won a Nobel prize, or married Prince William (that would be my mum's ideal), she would still find something to focus on to criticise - usually my appearance, even though I was a model in my 20's, it's never good enough. There will always be something, right?
Slowly - that's awful I'm so sorry you've had to deal with your mum sending you all the pictures & everything back. She clearly wants a reaction from you = her way of asserting control again. I know what you mean about not wanting to give head space & time to thinking about / dealing with it all, but I'm always trying to make sense of it, & feel like I need to even though I don't want to!
As you can probably tell I'm going through a bad patch with my mum. Put the phone down on her this morning. Sometimes she wants to see me, DD & my DH regularly & play happy families, whilst still being toxic. Other times she sulks & rejects us. She made DH feel so miserable about himself the other week because he didn't fancy a steam train trip with my Dad & my brother, they invited him along with them but he's more of a footy fan & declined as it would mean taking a day's holiday & traveling 2 hours each way. Well mum lost the plot, made him feel like he'd let the whole family down (my family that is, not even his own!) & how could he possibly not want to go on a steam train - what was wrong with him?! I stuck up for DH & my dad did too, so did my brother when my mum phoned him to create drama & complain about my DH. But she won't stop banging on about it, she gets these weird obsessions about these perfect family images, she keeps bringing it up & poor DH who has his own toxic mother issues & is having CBT, had 3 sleepless nights over it all feeling like a huge disappointment to the family.
She can't bear not controlling everything, so next she played the victim to regain some control. Everyone is against her, we're all so mean & ungrateful, she is such a martyr etc. I was ill for a couple of days last Monday & did the unthinkable of not making my usual phone call to tell her what my plans were for the week - she sulks if she doesn't know exactly what I'm doing. When I did then phone her on Wednesday night to say shall I pop round as usual on Thursday with DD to see her & my Dad, she was v short with me because I hadn't phoned here earlier in the week, & when I said I'd been ill she said well so was she & anyway she had a friend coming to visit her on Thursday - I could come round if I really wanted, but she wouldn't be able to devote much time to me or DD - her 2 year old grandchild! I said ok no problem, feeling a bit miffed as we always go see them on a Thurs & you know how they make you feel that rejection, but also relieved I wouldn't have to go & endure any toxic comments, behaviour etc or her poor me routine.
She knew I had a hen do to go to Friday night & Saturday, but left me a voicemail with her usual response when God forbid I don't pick up - "you never answer your phone! when you get TIME could you phone me back please!". I was v busy with the hen do so only phoned her back this morning - so again, v short & terse with me - then said how disappointed her & her friend were that I hadn't taken DD round to see them on Thursday! Totally denied what she'd said about not being able to spend time with us that day, said I imagined things & was oversensitive, take everything the wrong way & she can never do anything right - all because I dared to stand up to her. She said not to bother coming round for our usual visit to them this afternoon as it was "too cold" outside = the usual rejection & sulking after I've not done as I'm told or have stood up to her. I just put the phone down. My beautiful DD was looking at me, a bit worried & confused by this conversation I was having, & DH heard my raised voice so came into the room. I don't want this behaviour rubbing off on my DD, I hate what it's done to me & am so desperate not to expose her to it. When I saw her taking it all in & looking worried, I just said I had to go & hung up. DD immediately cuddled & kissed me & she KNEW something was wrong, she said "mummy better" & I had to bite my lips not to cry in front of her.
Now I know I won't hear from my mum for days, & if / when she does make the first phone call, she will play the wounded victim again.
OMG reading back on your Mothers Day comments - I always go & choose a really soppy card with hundreds of verses about how amazing she is - because if she doesn't get one like that she acts all disappointed & gets upset! Next year maybe I'll be brave enough to get a plain & simple card. She also complained this year not to get a Grandmother card from my DD. Usually she expects & asks to be taken to a posh restaurant for lunch on Mothers Day, but this year she was ill with food poisoning ironically!! Sorry for the rant, I'm just having a bad day, & sorry for any spelling mistakes, got to sign off as DD has just woken up! Stay strong ladies, we all help each other xx
I knew Prince Edward when I was at school - all my men have been downhill from there
Mothers day card - I get silly blank ones and write a personal comment. It seems to work better.
Communication : I've become a big fan of email followed up with a short phone call every three to four weeks. More than that and she and I start to fight. I know why my Dad let her divorce him!
Hi everyone, I got a bit confused over where the latest Stately Homes thread was lurking, is this the right one? I've been reading with interest for a while as I have a fairly toxic & a definite Narc mother.
I just don't know where to start really. She has engulfed me since I was born, my older brother has been more the golden child, & me the scapegoat, although she does alternate these roles depending on how she's feeling & which of us has said or done something to displease her!
I'm just so tired of it all now at the age of 32, & with my precious 2 year old DD in the world now who I want to protect.
She has made me dependent on her in some ways, which I hate, my parents only live 10 mins away & over the years I've relied on them for financial help & also physical help at times due to my health problems. I can't avoid seeing her as they live so close by, since our last fall out over the phone on Sunday, we haven't spoken & it's a stand off til one of us makes the first move. So I feel a big dark cloud looming over me at the moment.
I know I can't change her, but how do I start changing the way I deal with her when we live so close & she's part of my weekly life? I almost feel like I have to start playing a new role, seeing her as the child & me as the mature grown up? Then trying not to take the bait & doing what my dad has always told me to do - ignore her, lol!
Only got a minute bea but I would advise your first step is to do nothing and not make the first move. use this opportunity of a fight to lay down your new ground rules. It's what worked with my narc/engulfing mother ultimately and helped me get a bit away from the FOG. I had a long thread about it, she sounds quite similar to mine in some ways...making me dependent, engulfing then stropping off and me always running after her to make it up.
Bea we're in a similar situation. My mum and dad both live 5 mins away. I actually moved to be near them!!! I must be mad! I havn't spoken to my dad for a month now. Still barely speakibg to mum. I rely on them for help with childcare alot and they mess me about. I wish i could afford childcare so i didn't have to ask them. My dad is now quite ill and i've been blamed for that. My brother too is the golden child and i have been written out of their will. My advice is to go and ask your doctor for councilling. I have taken this step to try abd seperate out my feelings and dependency issues surrounding my parents. I think we have to find a way to break free and not seek there approval anymore. Or thats my issues anyway.
'I am so glad this thread is here but does anyone else feel like they are neglecting getting on with their lives whilst devoting time and head space to dealing with this?'
Oh dear god - YES! I've just got back from a long weekend with sister, parents (for only one evening as couldn't cope with any more) and brother that I willingly went on and paid for
like an idiot and got nothing but hurtful comments, lack of interest in me and DP's lives, the usual awfulness.
I feel like I spend so much time thinking about them all and what they said, or didn't say, or did, or didn't do and re-living past incidences where they said hurtful things but I wasn't allowed any time or space to process it there and then so I'm carrying it around with me every day. I am so angry at them and also angry at them for taking up so much bloody space in my head.
How nice it would be to spend a weekend with family and to come away feeling that you'd had a nice time! Or even just feeling nothing much at all! Instead, I feel like I'm exhausted from it all and am desperate to talk it over with my therapist tonight
saps so much energy and time from our own direction in life Pianos but then it is worth allowing ourselves the time to move on properly, because this is huge! and takes a lot of work to get clarity and feel good about ourselves through it.
Yes I have pangs of guilt still but then something happens to strengthen my resolve. Eg H & I have been separated since last May. His birthday on Friday. Card arrives here (he doesn't live here) in post. I recognised the handwriting so opened it. Capital letters throughout on a crazy slant - TO JOHNATHAN (sp!) HAPPY BIRTHDAY FROM
ALAN AND MYSELF XXX
1. Who is myself?
2. Why can't you spell his name or my DD's name?
3. WE ARE SEPARATED!!! I TOLD YOU LAST MAY!!
The details of my life are unimportant obviously!!
All of that Midwife, and why? do they still send one???!!!
Have posted under mental health issues as well. This is pretty complicated and I meant to post before regarding ongoing issues, I didn't and now it seems to have hit a crisis point. It is regarding my brother. I will summarise otherwise this will become epic.
He has had this pattern of behaviour since his late teens.
Stage 1. He will get a new job/move to a new city/a course of study. Everything will be rosy. He is successful, clever, sociable, talented and so on. Life is great for him. This can last for a few months sometimes years. He is a lovely person to be around. Sensible, kind, loyal etc.
Stage 2. Something happens. Not sure what. Things start to unravel. He makes mistakes at work e,g is persistantly late, goes from being an exemplary employee to being disciplined. Becomes anxious, depressed, stressed. Displays paranoid behaviour and OCD tendancies. Is hard to be around as constantly wants to over old ground regarding our dysfunctional family. Very negative and it is very draining.
Stage 3. Impulsive behaviour begins. Spending money he doesn't have. He usually gets into huge amounts of debt at this point. Compulsive eating as well. I think he displays signs of mania. Heavy involvement in a political or social cause. Can become hugely irresponsible and selfish, doesn't seem to care about other people's feelings. At this point he can become unpleasant to be around and quite demanding emotionally. Says things he regrets at a later stage. Can be very combative and offends people.
Stage 4. Has a mini breakdown. Becomes inconsolable, may require medical help.
I have seen it coming for a while now. Every other time I have been the 'supportive' sibling, the shoulder to cry on. This time I have been trying to disengage myself simply because I don't have the emotional resources to deal with it. I have my own children now and I can't have him taking up headspace and my emotional energy. I have done it for years. I have worried about him, offered practical and emotional help and so on, but this time round I feel differently. Almost angry that he wants to drag me into his dysfunction and despair.
I was in the process of trying to emotionally disengage as the same pattern is happening except this time he has a wife and children. I feel he should take responsibility but he is letting his wife down continually with his haphazard behaviour. She cannot deal with it having empathy issues herself - potentially ASD.
This morning he was sobbing on the phone to me. I've never heard or seen him so distressed and bereft. She has told him to leave. I told him to pack a bag and come and stay with my family for Easter.
He has insisted my mother come over as well - I have posted about her before on this thread, not expecting a cross reference or anything! Am dreading her involvement as well due to her passive aggressive and impatient attitude towards him.
Have I done the right thing? I am dreading having them both here but I can't NOT help him at this point. Any advice??
You are very torn; on one hand you feel you can't not help him but on the other you don't want to give him any more of your own headspace. I think you need to give him a wide berth as of now.
I would not have either he or your mother over to stay tbh. Tell him it is no longer possible for them to visit. What you are doing by having him and your mother in your home is continuing to enable and that is an easy trap to fall into. Its not helping anyone least of all your own self (and you have your own family unit now and they need to come first, they also need you more that your brother does) and enabling just gives you a false sense of control.
You cannot help anyone who does not want to be helped and besides which he does not want your help. What you have tried to date has basically not worked and it will be no different this time around either.
Do you think he is manic depressive?. He certainly needs help with his mental health issues but you cannot get sucked in again. He has to want to help his own self, you cannot make them seek help if they do not want it. He is being selfish here by using you as his crutch.
Thank you Attila for your response. I have gone ahead and had him come down to see me. Mainly because I was so horrified with how distressed he was and was genuinely worried he might harm himself if left on his own.
Thing is, he is seeking help. This time round for the first time ever he has gone to the doctors and been given ADS, he also has counselling and was referred to see a psychiatrist who dismissed him straightaway and said he doesn't have bipolar/manic depression.
Bloody sure he has as our father is definitely diagnosed with it and is also a classic narc. Brother's behaviour in terms of mood swings seem typical of bipolar but has been told repeatedly he doesnt have it.
Anyway - it seems his marriage has broken down now and is a casualty of his behaviour. I don't really know what to do but offer him tea and a place to stay for a few days.
I am sorry to hear of his and your struggles to cope with him Nickname.
I think he sounds to be putting enormous efforts into being all the things he can (good job, having his social life and being successful, and kindnesses, which he genuinely is), but it sounds like the pressure of being all these things whilst covering up the huge damaging experiences he has encountered growing up in the dysfunctional unit, are just too enormous.
He sounds desperately distraught and doesn't know how to cope, hence the complete meltdowns when his energies drop. He is talking and talking and talking about the same stuff because he's completely stuck and doesn't know how to go about making things right, but, its true he has to find his own way out of this. He's trying to be 'normal' ... do 'normal' things, live a life that he really doesn't understand because of his pain underneath.
he really would benefit from being able to research and read about this stuff for himself. Realising the crap that I went through and the effect its had on me (which is different for everyone), has really made me a lot stronger and more self-reliant. Bad parenting has denied him some fundamental strengths within himself, the recognition and love and reassurance he needed.
You know him best, by the sounds of it, but I get the sense he wants to blow the whole thing apart over easter, as he is insisting that your mother be there? I think he deserves that right with his mother, but in your home is not the place, your family have a right to enjoy peace, this will be scarey for the DCs!
Maybe there is another place he could stay, so he could visit, or you visit him and stil have those face to faces with your mother?
You don't need to be involved, but if you want to be its important that you are involved on a level that is good for you and your family.
Exposure to the experiences on here provides validation, and may be the kind of thing he needs to help him feel validated. I think to be fair to him he needs to know that your help is only what you can offer, not necessarily what he needs, only he knows that, but that you can help him find it, whatever it is, if you want to?
He needs to know your boundaries and respect them, it will be helpful for him, if difficult. He needs a lot of support, and much more than you can give him. You cannot resolve this for him and have made it clear that you want to stop trying. Its an awful situation, but he can't make it everyone else's situation. He can make it hers if some of this lies at her door, which I strongly suspect most does. My ramblings! I hope there might be something here to help?
ooops nickname x-posted!
It does sound like he's trying to do it differently! Has your father ever done this?
If your father is this way, then his son won't have had anything from either parent.
Thank goodness he is now getting some really support and facing this. Its an extremely difficult journey, but I'd say he's been traumatised and deeply affected by the lack of any nurturing /love/indulgence in his life.
Thank you FairyFi for your post. I think you are spot on. He really does try hard when he is in a good place but it is the crushing inevitability of it all that drains away my energy.
Also, it is somewhat one-sided. He has gone home now but we have spent the last few days together talking and talking, him being distressed and then feeling a bit more positive.
I wonder if I am being massively selfish and should suck it up to be there for him.
please don't view 'selfish' as a negative, recognition, and protection of your own needs (selfish) is a good thing asyou have to be mum and partner, and that takes most of your energy, and you want to give to that. Being selfish for yourself, does actually give yourself more to give IYGWIM?!
he needs to tackle them and come to his own understandings, because they won't give him what he needs, but at least he will have seen that. I hope that hthe counsellor he sees wil be one who understands abuse properly and won't try to get him to 'understand' them, as he already sounds as if it is destroying his life.
It sounds to me like you really have been there for him, but it might be best to tell him your thoughts around it, so that you can offer him help and want to support but he will need to do this himself. He has to find ways, and he can ask you to help him in that, but Easter is a time he would probably have to face being alone, and he needs to face being alone with it, and you could call him at cetain times just to say hi and stay in touch but that you cannot give over all your family time again?
He could come and stay, but join in, put his other stuff aside. I know when peoople need help it can't be during 'allotted' times, but this problem is a long ongoing one, and isn't the same as an emergency cropping up... this is ongoing and he needs to really start getting to grips with this pain. Its horrible and distressing for him, but so is going on the way he is.
He's been unable to properly mature by the sounds of it, and is still very lost. Try asking him to stick to a bi-weekly evening visit or something? So he feels supported and has 'time' to moan and off-load, but you have your life, and he his? Up to you how you help or don't help, but your offers are helping change the bandages really, its him that has to face the sores underneath of course.
take care xx
Haven't posted here for a long time, that's a good thing. Dh has finally taken a stand now with his family and doesn't seem to be sucking up to their every whim, its lovely and peaceful here most of the time now and me and dh haven't argued in a long while
Me backing off and leaving him to it, rather than insulting his parents behaviour seems to have made him realise we are a family, not them. I think before i must have been fuelling the situation by harping on about how his mother/father shouldn't do this or that. A dignified silence when the pil play up is what's best, wished id realised this a long while ago!!!-would have saved a lot of rows.
Anyway fast forward to Easter and on Thurs mil harassed dh over the phone re, a little Easter egg hunt she organises every year for dc:Knowing full well me & dc are non-contact
Dh did get a bit depressed for a few days but due to me not saying anything about the matter has now perked up. I suppose he doesn't feel so 'in the middle' anymore as there is nothing to argue over.
I think in his heart he knows his parents are off a toxic influence & are not good people but i do think he finds seasonal times of year quite sad as he knows there isn't going to be any more family gatherings between me them and dc and his mother although toxic does get very upset she cannot see them. Tbh i nearly got sucked in again through guilt, you know how it is.
Although they have so many bad points, i will sometimes sit there and think about the dc missing out on family occasions & not having that set of gps, but then i come down to earth realising that it wont work as so many times i have forgave only for them to mess it up.
So god knows the guilt dh must feel, i think i understand now how children of narcs feel so hard pressed to please their parents and due to wanting to be loved unconditionally, will seek what unfortunately they can never have
That's great to hear Pumpkin.
My Dads belated birthday celebration is approaching and I'm waiting for the guilt tripping to begin...
Hi, I have been off the thread for a while as life took over and my dysfunctional family took a back seat, but wanted to ask your opinions...
Short version of back story...Mother is narc, very difficult childhood, the whole guilt/criticism/brother is golden boy/I'm a disappointment thing. I wrote over new year that she had been ill, turned out it was gallstones, I was messed about by brother and sil etc etc.
So, life has been really difficult lately, with lots of personal problems involving violent ex turning up, and I have to be really 'kind' to myself and not have any added pressures as I will have a meltdown if I take anything else on (police have been involved, and it's been a really scary time).
My aunt died last week. I used to be close to her but haven't seen her for years and years as my M fell out with her and they haven't spoken for at least 10 years despite living really close to each other (walking distance). I had a text from M saying that numbers were needed for funeral. Now, both my older DC have revision days during the holidays for GCSE and A levels and one of those days falls on the day of the funeral. So it means I have no one to look after DD2, and no way am I taking her to a cremation, there has been enough sadness and trauma lately in her life. On top of that it is an 80 mile round trip, my car is playing up and tbh I just don't want to see my brother, or his wife for the way they treated me when M was ill. And actually I don't think I am up to the stress of dealing with M right now. there is also another aunt going who is a total cow, and always makes snide remarks about my weight when I see her.
I sent M a text saying I couldn't go for the reason above. I then received a text from her intended for my brother, saying 'apparently' my DC have to go into school/college for revision - it is clear that M and brother have been discussing me, and no doubt slagging me off for not going. They won't believe that DC have these revision days as it's the easter holidays.
I have sent one back stating that yes...they DO have these days and that they can't afford to miss them, but I know I will now be the worst daughter in the world (again) for not going to the funeral. I can say goodbye to my aunt from here. But I really can't face dealing with toxic people. Am I wrong not to go?
I find it all so hypocritical too, seeing as they didn't even speak to each other for years.
No it's not wrong at all. Take that guilt off your shoulders now x
I'll reply better once the kids are in bed.
I've read your post again. You've said it all really. She is a hypocrite.
It's perfectly ok not to go. Try not to think or care what they say. Easier said than done though.
Patches sorry that life has been difficult for you recently.
I agree with dontstep you have nothing to feel guilty about, you have a genuine reason to not go to the funeral, and as you say you can say goodbye to your Aunt in your own way.
pumpkin I too haven't been on here for a while.
I think the sit back and let their behaviour speak for itself approach is a really good one, and is one I try to follow with MIL/DH, as pointing out MIL's bad behaviour only made DH feel more guilty and defensive. We are a much better family 'team' now, if that makes sense?
All had been quiet here as regards to my mother, bar one text asking if I wanted a piece of furniture back as she wanted rid of it. I managed to get a friend to collect it for me so maintaining NC.
I have had a long text this morning though, saying she wants to meet up with me on neutral ground to 'talk', either with or without DH & DC, as she feels it's wrong for us not to communicate at all.
I don't want to go, I have nothing to say to her and can't see any point to meeting up. I feel guilty though, which is making me feel bad.
I know she has only contacted me because one of my friend's exP phoned her last night trying to cause trouble (he is a vindictive abusive man, who has succeeded in separating my friend from me as a source of support).
I am also struggling as he has been saying horrible things about my friend to anyone who'll listen, and apparently has reported me to SS and the police (not sure what for tbh!) Also he knows about me being NC with my mother, so did it purely to cause trouble.
I have been very worried about my friend as he is emotionally, physically and sexually abusive to her, they have been together for a long while, and she was getting on so well having kicked him out a few weeks ago, but she has let him come back and now because he knows she has told me what he's done (he read her messages) she is keeping me away too.
I don't think I can do anymore to help her, I need to take care of me and my family, but I feel awful that she's back in that situation and I can't help I also feel cross because she must have given him my mother's number, knowing what he was going to do. He rang DH too yesterday to tell him to keep me away as I was upsetting her
Just when i thought things were going well, dh has been badgered into going to mils to pick up Easter eggs for dc tomorrow, great!!! As per im expecting the usual mood that follows after a visit, wonderful, just wonderful.
At Christmas she used the presents as a hold over dh, now the Easter eggs.
If she was that bothered about the dc having them, why not order them to our address online fgs or failing that drop them to the door.
I had a mc in February, and due to that me and dh have to decided to add to our family. Tomorrow is the day when im most fertile and if he comes home from there in a toxic cloud there's no chance in conceiving this month.
I'm probably blowing things out of proportion, but im fed up with that family always ruining everything for us.
Thanks for the assurances that I'm not being bad by not going.
What really galls me is that she is obviously discussing me with brother - the same brother who removed me from facebook after I couldn't leave my 8 year old dd to drive all the way to the hospital and stay overnight (which isn't allowed anyway?) when he lives 5 minutes away from it. The same brother who refused to give me updates on mother's condition despite being sat at her bedside in the hospital. The same brother who's wife spoke to me like s**t, and barked orders at me about picking Mother up NOW, when it is at least an hour's drive for me to get there, AND my mother telling me at the same time not to bother picking her up, she'd rather wait for golden boy!
I'm going to tell her when the opportunity arises to please not discuss anything with my brother concerning me or my family, and that if she continues to do so I will share none of our news with her either as she can't be trusted to show any loyalty at all towards me. She usually sends DC money for Easter, not a lot but enough for them to buy an egg each. She's never missed an easter. But this year nada, zilch, squat. But you can bet brother's kids got some.
Makes me sick.
And WHY oh WHY do I still, at the age of 44, get worked up by her, and him? I should be able to stick my fingers up at the lot of them and say 'f**k the lot of you'.
Goodtobetter - I had a read of your journey, well done on making the break away from your tm, v brave, i will be following your progress!
I just think it is so sad that our parents couldn't see fit to put their children first, in the right way i mean, not the award winning best child way so many narcs do - I feel a bit cheated by my mum.
Marissa - you sound in a similar situation to me with the childcare help, I HATE having to ask for help from her. She always chalks it up to either use against me or to prove what a wonderful martyr gm she is!
Yep I did have some counseling a few years ago which was a big help at the time. But I feel the time is right for some more now, becoming a mother myself has really shocked me seeing the ways my mum has hurt me so much over the years x
Hi ladies I have been lingering here but wanted to know if I can ask a bit of advice.
For the last few months I have been humouring my mother, I am pregnant and it will be her first grandchild. My mother and I never had a good relationship, her and my father always fought in front of us and our home was a constant stop for domestic violence by local police. She would kick my dad out or she leave and forget to tell my father I was still at the house (day later he come back to a 4-6 year old me left alone). At the age of 16 I was out the door, moved abroad to the UK a few years later for uni and only the last few years kept in touch when my mother was going for cancer and stomach problems treatment. I looked after her for a while back "home" and since then she has been overdosing on pain/anxiety medicine since her all clear (10 years for the cancer and 4 years for the stomach problems).
Where it leaves us is a constant on again, off again relationship where I speak with her but she flips moments later making me feel guilty we do not have a relationship. I hate to say it but I have no love for her, she always has the family on egg shells as she needs to be the centre of attention and she is constantly doped up on medications she abuses.
I am having a baby in 2 months and my whole pregnancy has been 10-20 texts a day from her, the occasional blow up conversation that I am not letting her in my baby's (pregnancy) life and just when I think its been resolved as I go quite for a few days and let her calm down it just springs up again. She keeps buying baby things but constantly saying "what do you need" instead of getting gifts. I keep saying we dont need anything but then packages arrive and a massive amount of phone calls and texts come as well.
They plan on coming over when the baby is born but as these blow ups happen again and again part of me just cant take the stress anymore. I am finding it so hard to just disappear from the situation as I want them to be grandparents but my mothers actions make me so uncomfortable.
Hi not posted for wile jus had lot on stresssss still goin strong with the nc with parents even if they do see me in street and say hello? Like nothing ever happend Grrrrr I jus walk on by :-(
hello Grapes welcome here, if you've been lurking for any time you might have found solace in seeing how other's are treated this way, especially upon the advent of impending baby arrival, as narc Mother gets to feeling pushed out, unwanted
not centre of attention
The intensity of it all sounds very stressful? especially at a time of needing calm and no stress hormones! If you have the last couple of months to go, this is usually the time of nesting and withdrawing a bit more
My NarcM (and her high emotional demands) completely took centre stage around my first pregnancy and birth. all the things I remember about that time had her and her 'upsets' or bleats about 'rejection', or 'what to buy', etc. but she far worse than just terrible support, she actively defiled everything. just disgusting.
I would highly recommend gathering all the support you can around you to ensure you have peace and quiet and lovely nurturing times just you baby/pregnancy, and your DP/H. A good mum understands how important that space and this time is for a new mum, and can still proffer gifts, but without demands attached. That would have been the preferred route for me, to avoid the car crash that ensued around my first pregancy/birth.
Do keep posting, and sending you happy calm thoughts for you and your baby xxx
keep walking Choc chin up I hope you are coping ok amidst all the stresses. xxx
Grapes this all sounds very familiar. My mother also bought me loads of things when I had my first baby, to the point where I felt a bit sidelined. It would have been so much nicer if she'd just flicked me a bit of cash (I know that sounds greedy but she's loaded) instead of bringing me mountains of stuff and hand-me-downs and hand knitted/handmade things that I am still swamped by.
If she is making you uncomfortable now is the time to start setting some new boundaries. In particular, work out how long she wants to come for and try and reduce it as much as you can if you feel she won't be supportive. Set up a room you can retreat to and put a lock on it if necessary (stupidly we gave my mum our bedroom when she came to stay and that meant her constantly walking into the living room when I was trying to sleep and waking me up).
Also get your partner on board - get them to manage her, make some of the calls etc e.g. even letting them know about the baby being born if you think she will stress you (my mum yelled at me for not phoning earlier, which really spoilt the post-delivery euphoria ). And practice not responding to every text, call etc. She needs to learn that it's not all about her anymore, she had her baby, this is your turn.
Also, if you can, try and get as much time as you can before she descends after the birth. That will give you time to get to know your baby, gain confidence, and establish breastfeeding, if that's what you're planning, etc before she comes in and starts 'commenting'. Even lie about the due date if you need to! I am having a second baby in October and I''ve already pushed the due date back by a couple of weeks to alleviate the stalking that will ensue as the birth gets closer.
You will get stronger when your baby is born. You realise that nothing is more important than looking after your baby and yourself. It's such a precious time, those first few hours and weeks, it's so important to have that time to yourself.
Good luck. It's such a special time.
FairyFi sounds like you had a similar birth experience to me, re. your narc mother.
It's such an eye-opener, isn't it?
Dh has gone to mils & fil as requested by her only to get there and have his dad breathing down his neck about me not allowing them to see dc!
He has gone round there because they wanted him to collect the Easter eggs that mil has bought dc.
I could this morning that he was reluctant to go, you could sense the fear in him.
He said he was unsure about going, blaming the weather, but i know that's not what its about.
I told him he is a grown man and if he doesn't feel up to seeing them, he does not have to go. I said he isn't answerable to anyone as he is a grown man capable of saying no and making his own decisions.
He went saying he has to see them at some point as they have the eggs
im not one bit bothered about fucking eggs
He has now text me saying he isn't going to walk out as he is there for his mum not dad.
The thing is she would have lead fil up to it, probably sobbing about how she doesn't see gc anymore.
Lets not forget mil is the one who caused nc with children, although fil played a major part too.
I feel sad that he feels he needs to put up with this. I'm just hoping he doesn't come home begging for me to allow contact and harp on about mil being sad. I know he loves his parents, but i cannot allow them near my dc as they are toxic, manipulative and fil is just abusive.
Really not going to be a good evening, as dh will feel in piggy in the middle with me & them as he loves us all yet i will not allow contact with dc and he thinks it will make his life easier if i give in. It wont though as so many times i have given them chance after chance only to end up back at square one with my dc hurt in the process.
Also started getting mil phoning my landline at gone 10pm, of course i am not at liberty to answer as we have caller ID. Why would she phone my home, like i would talk to her!
The thing is i emailed her a while back explaining that contact with gc could one day go ahead if she does as i asked ie, slowly introducing her back into children's lifes by photos, phone calls and letters and if i think she has changed based on those then a meeting would be arranged. But she just emailed me back saying that she hasn't done anything wrong etc. Fast forward 6m she hasn't tried anything ive asked but constantly harasses dh about seeing dc.
They don't listen to anything anyone says.
yes tangerine even to the being shouted at afterwards re: not being phoned, her worrying, how dare I, she got scarey violent father on the case too (all this in the corridor outside the IT unit within 48 hrs of birthing! fucking tossers, call the police there's a mad(wo)man about)
pumpkin I do hope things are ok between you and DH, they are SOOO destructive. NarcM drove such a wedge between my sibling's family members, they are all apart now .
Hi folks. Just wondering if I can join?
I know my experience isn't nearly as horrid as some of the others I have read about, but I was wondering if any of you good people can help shed some light on my situation.
I rarely go round to see my mum and dad because they have been to our house once over the last 2 years. DS and DD had their birthdays recently and DM and DF didn't even ring to wish them a happy birthday. DM and DF don't ring to find out how the DC are, yet if I don't tell them when the DC are ill, they go ballistic.
We're expected to go round there or phone DP's yet, they don't make any effort to return the calls or visits. I'm not joking when I say this but my MIL was very ill with pancreatic cancer, which my parents knew about. Not once did they ring or ask about how she was. When my beloved MIL died, a part of me died as well. That part was the lovely idea that I had actually found a mother-figure who acted like a decent, loving mum.
My own parents didn't know she had died until a few days before the funeral, yet they had the f***ing cheek go mad because they weren't told. TBH, I didn't want to tell them until after the funeral, but I decided to be the bigger person and invite them. DH was incredulous about their lack of concern and I really don't blame him. in fact, I wish I hadn't told them until after we got DMIL's ashes back from the crem.
I've tried speaking to my parents about their lack of effort and TBH, if I didn't contact them, they wouldn't know what was happening with us or the DC. Any of us could peg it and my parents wouldn't know until a notice was put in the local rag.
Sorry about the essay folks, but I'm angry, frustrated, perplexed and sad about my family's lack of concern and interest. So much so that I think I'll leave it and not ring them if they can't make the effort.
The stupid thing is that I used to defend my family when DMIL kept saying they were hopeless. I look back and see that she was right.
What would you good lot do?
..... support you Chiggers
Support you in your ceasing efforts on their behalf (as no doubt your MIL would have done, bless her) support you to ignore their bleatings and bemoaning their lot, support you through the loss of your MIL and through her illness. I am really sorry for the loss of a very special [mother figure] lady in your life. Hopefully she has gone knowing that she has made the difference to you seeing what they are [not] giving you.
Many of us have NC, and I felt it was the only way to go with everything crazy going on around me.
Welcome here, sounds like you are getting a very rough deal with hugely Narc Mother. Her response to you will give you everything you need to know.
take care xx
Thanks Fairy . Your post brought a tear to my eye. The problem is that my younger DB was throwing the usual "Mum and dad went without to make sure we were fed" etc, etc. DB was throwing that about as if he was making mum and dad out to be martyrs, but I don't see the 'going without' as something a selfless parent does IYSWIM, I see going without to ensure the DC's needs are met as a fundamental duty of a parent, not an exception to the rule IYSWIM. As for throwing that in the air, he may as well tell me that mum and dad changed our nappies and that also makes them a martyrs.
Will be back later, got to pop out and grab a few groceries.
Back again. My beloved MIL showed me what a decent mum would do. Yes we irritated each other, but we got together and had a good laugh about it . I sat down with my MIL and told her that I would miss her when she had gone, to which she replied "I'll be keeping a close eye on you, you little madame" . I think she was referring to my mischievous nature .
Now that she's gone, I have to contend with parents who don't make any effort, expect us to do all the running to their house and then give us a bollocking if we didn't ring and tell them about the kids.
Dad isn't so bad, but mum is a PITA for that. An example would be, when DS was in nursery 4yrs ago he came down with Scarlet Fever. I took him to the GP, got AB's and was told not to take him out for at least 5 days, but we could let him into the back yard after 3 days.
I knew mum would have wanted to know, and although I didn't have the credit on my mobile to ring her (Had 27p and needed 33p to make a call, but would have been cut off as soon as the other person answered), but had enough for 2 texts. I text DSIL and dad as I knew they'd be seeing mum today, DSIL got the text and told mum about it.
Next thing I know, mum phones me and gives me a bollocking, for not calling her, even though I had text SIL, to tell mum that I couldn't ring mum, because I didn't have enough credit. So, I tell mum that I'm not staying on the phone to get a load of verbal abuse in my ear and cancelled the call.
This just one thing in a series of events where I've done what I can, yet I can't do wrong for doing right.
DB rang me about mum having raised CA125 levels. He's making out that she already has cancer, yet he doesn't seem to realise that cirrhosis, ovarian cysts and some other conditions can be responsible for those raised levels. Mum is a heavy drinker, so I wouldn't be surprised if her drinking over the years has caused those elevated levels. Mum's 2 oldest DC were sent to live with their dad, as ordered by the family court, and although she had plenty of opportunities to get in contact with them, she didn't bother. At my maternal gran's funeral, my step/half DB's gave mum their address and phone numbers and were jsut short of begging her to get in touch, but again, she never bothered to contact them. Instead she just drank. If that was me and my DC were sent to live with DH, I'd be fighting tooth and nail for access, at the least. Believe me, I had
It makes me angry to hear mum professing to love my our DC, yet she makes absolutely no effort. Best stop talking about her or I'll want to go round to her house (5mins walk from ours) and give her a few home truths. Meh, the worst that'll happen is she'll throw me out of the house and never speak to me again, in which case I'll be enjoying the peace and quiet .
Dh got back from pil at 3 this afternoon. He was in an ok mood, was quite surprised. Although it turned out fils rant was about me not allowing them contact with the children. I don't know quite what he said dh will not disclose exact information about what was said. I'm assuming he said he hates me, bla bla, oh well i hate him so that makes us both
Mil bought my dc all an egg, but i did find it odd my eldest (from previous rel) got a different egg ti the others. I cant say whether she meant to give her different to cause trouble or simply didn't think. Due to previous history its hard not to speculate.
Mil also bought me an egg, as well as dh. Not sure whether she is being nice or its a guilt trip.
As the evening has gone on i have had dh ask me to relent and allow her contact, "she's getting old", "she wont do it again" mantra.
Told him at present i don't feel ready to allow it
You know Pumpkin, sometimes it's better to stay on the sidelines to see how they actually act as per their normal. Sometimes I don't think we see their behaviour because it's fundamentally too close to us, so we are 'blind' to it until we take a step back and see their behaviour as others see it IYSWIM. I hope I'm making sense.
Hi all. I'm new to this thread but I'm currently in the middle of cutting out my Toxic Mother. I'll try to keep it short but I've been reading through a lot of the threads for the last few days and some almost rings identical to her. I wouldn't even know where to start to be honest with you and I'm still trying to get things clear in my head. She always causes Drama and I always end up being guilt tripped into allowing her back in my life. Anyway it started up again last month when my dd got rushed to hospital and she refused to take ds for me, she wasn't busy or had a prior appointment she literally just didnt want to ended up fetching BIL out of work to have ds...then culminated in her putting on a public show in the middle of a town centre this week at me for the most trivial of things, I felt treated like an extremely naughty child. All this was done in front of my DC's. She stormed off in a huff upsetting the DC's as she didn't even be bothered to say goodbye to them. Then I got a text the next morning as if nothing had ever happened I left an EA relationship the other year (thanks for your support MN'ers throught that by the way it was invaluable) and as my best Friend rightly pointed out. she has no right to demean me in that manner anymore than the Ex always did. I replied to the text and told her she can't expect to behave in such a manner and then carry on as if nothing happened. That what she said hurt me and that I need some space from her. I had a barrage of texts yesterday ranging from "ok im sorry" to "what am i meant to have done wrong"
erm? if you don't know what you did wrong what exactly were you apologising for?. She's fallen out with everyone and only has a handful of tolerating friends left. I've ignored all the texts and not giving her the attention she wanted. Am I overeacting or have I done the right thing?
thats horrible Misspixietrix and I guess if she's not prepared to talk about whats gone on or feel any remorse for treating you like a child in the middle of town! It does seem a bit pointless to continue doesn't it?
Especially if you are noticing similar behaviours in the posts here, to hers. I am sorry that you been having to suffer toxicity from your mother. Have a read of the links above to the traits of the narc mother amongst other very helpful info. Keep reading and posting it will all help with your clarity.
Hello marking place on my thread. It's good to be here!
Hi folks, hope you're finding some peaceful moments during the holidays x
Hello to new posters, keep posting, it really helps work things through x
I'm about 2 months NC with my horrid mum and it feels great I'm pretty amazed we haven't bumped into each other as she lives and works quite close by. My only waver had been my 3 y/o ds mentioning that he wishes she'd come and visit us again soon. I feel a bit like a bad guy but the benefits to my self esteem and general mental health have to be put first. I'm a much better mummy without the spectre of her hanging over me.
Anyway, better go separate some warring siblings! Have fun stately homers, speak soon xx
Can I just ask. I've told my Mum that I'm not coming to the jolly this weekend to celebrate Dad turning 70 but she seems to have forgotten and wants me to come along and play happy families. I do not want to be rude, or feel like I have to drag up the past, or feel the need to justify myself or lie about why I won't be there. So what do I say by e-mail (reply to hers) to remind her I'm not coming.
Just to re-cap my Dad is a Narc, disowned me a year ago after threatening me and now my whole family just want to brush it under the carpet because, well you know, it's Dad it's just who he is?!?! It was a difficult relationship anyway, as I'm the scapegoat, he rules the roost with intimidation, mood swings and anger outbursts. He smacked my son at 18 months and always speaks badly of him and my parenting. I have no wish to go or pretend that everything is fine. Life is so much easier now I no longer see him.
oopla I have similar problems with my DC's they adore her, and unfortunately bumped into her in the local Tesco yesterday, cue awkwardness as DC's ran up to Grandma and I was barely acknowledged, just confirms I'm right to do what I'm doing.
stupid me thought she'd be grown up enough to apologise but none was forthcoming. I've had a few texts from her which were meant for her friends slagging me off so i've promptly blocked her number.
DontstepontheMomeRaths I'd say send an e-mail reiterating what you have already told her. Sounds like she's trying to pressure you into it tbh ~
Just wanted to say hi. My first time on Mumsnet and with this particular forum I feel like I've just uncovered a gold mine! ;-)
Nice to be here!
Welcome new ladies - that it feels right to be here, but at the same time, it is a lifesaver!
MomeRaths I'd say something like 'gentle reminder, re: previous email declining invite' - actually I'd say nothing! As its already been said, i'd just ignore it. I have this kind of thing from my FW of an ex, he can't let go and just keeps emailing repeating stuff I've already answered, I spent years allowing him the excuse of 'he's not well'! has faulty memory', and a whole list of other excuses
crap still fighting it, but best response is non, nobody needs to keep repeating to be heard when its probably gonna be used as an opportunity to pull you into an argument. If she didn't remember receiving it, her problem, you sent it. Really sorry to hear your Dad's aggression to all
glad you're enjoying your peace Oopla thats very cool
good strong actions Pixie
also hope all managing to grab some peace and enjoyment of holidays xxx
I'm another one who is new to this thread and I'm still a bit unsure if I really belong here because my experience isn't anywhere near as bad as some of the things I've read in here. I recently started a thread about my mums moods and another poster suggested that I come in here as it might be of interest and it has been, but I'm till not truly sure if I should be here so I will give a bit of backstory.
My relationship with my mum now is actually very good and I'd say we get on well about 90% of the time but for my entire life I feel that we all as a family have been at the mercy of her "moods". She has always been a very moody person and if she is in one we all know about it because she manages to drag everyone else down with her. I'm not even sure if she realises she's doing it but I can remember being a kid and coming home from school and wondering what mood she'd be in that day. If she was in a good mood it was fine and she'd be laughing and joking and asking if we'd had a good day etc but if she was in a bad mood we'd be barely acknowledged, get one word answers, grunts or sometimes even the silent treatment. She'd be huffing and puffing and slamming doors as well. Her moods can change in an instant over the most ridiculous things that would go over anyone else's head. You ask her what's wrong and you just get a "nothing" response when obviously something is wrong. I'm sure you get the jist.
My mum is also one of these people who HAS to to be right at all times and all costs and if you tell her she's wrong or disagree with her she either shouts or screams or flies into an almighty sulk that can last hours on end. I suppose this would also count as a mood really, but I now realise that lot of the problems I have as an adult stem from this. Even now I find it very difficult to stand up for myself because when I was growing up I wasn't allowed to stand up for myself, if I tried to I'd be told by mum to either "shut up" or I'd be belittled and put down. The same thing would happen if I tried to air an opinion that was different to hers, so now I'm often terrified of airing an opinion in case I offend someone. Even now if I disagree with her on something I'm accused of being "argumentative". As far she's concerned I should have the same opinions and beliefs as she does.
She cannot laugh at herself and she cannot take a joke. I remember one time we all went out for the day and she fell over (she didn't hurt herself) and we all fell about laughing and that sent her into a sulky mood. My dad has been henpecked for years and is now suddenly starting to stand up to her. I witnessed an incident at Xmas where he snapped and said something along the lines of "I'm sick of you always making me do what you want to do, you always have to get your own way" and she burst isn't tears and stormed out.
Finally, and I know I'm waffling she always has to be in control of every situation. If we all go out for a family meal and go somewhere other than where she wants to go she will sulk and then sit there pushing her food about the plate, complaining that its not very hot or not cooked properly and complaining about the service and most of the time there's nothing wrong with any of it all. She's just pissed off that we dared to overule her and so she has to try to validate the fact that she is always right by trying to make out that our choice wasn't very good.
There is so much more I could include, stuff that went out when I was very young but is be here all day. I think her behaviour is manipulative and passive aggressive and I've had to have counselling to try and put my issues right. She will never ever admit that she's wrong or is in the wrong and hates apologising so there is no point in ever challenging her, she's not a narcissist I don't think but has serious control issues.
can she stay in the background when its 'your' occasion, like a birthday? or hosting a dinner, etc.
She's sounding like a narc to me.
If you look at the list above, and you were to ask those questions, her answers to you would reveal all, but you already reflect them in your post.
that you have suffered under her rule, to the extent of being scared to challenge, me too... but the difference is, we acknowledge our ishoos, and try to do something about it.
Her behaviour is ridiculous and she has terribly high and mighty ideas about herself.
I hope your counselling is going well for you and helping a lot. xx
Hi i jump in and out of here a lot. I post when i need advice or things get too much i hope thats ok?
Its my birthday tomoro and i have started having nightmears again. I think its cos my xfamily might contact me/i remember all the bad stuff.
So my nightmare;
Im back home at my parents, my xbrother and sister call me a bad mother. My son is at school and they lock the boors so i cant get out to pick my son up after school leaving him waiting alone. They then tell me this makes me a bad parent for not picking him up even tho its them that locked me in. I get that horrid frustrated desprate feeling and hit my sister and attack her (i got hit by them as a child but i never hit back. Xbrother is 6 y older than me sister is 16 year older than me)
Im fighting to prove im a good mum but i know they will never believe me no matter what i do or say and it makes me feel.bad and frustrated.
Its true and thats why its a nightmare. They all set me up just to knock me down. And i keep letting them.....
Its true that this is the way they act not that they have stopped me getting son.
FairyFi, she's not really an attention seeker if that's why you mean? If there's a family gathering like a wedding or something she's quite happy to so in the background, to the outside world she seems like a really wonderful person and in many ways she is. But she absolutely always has to be right and always has to be in control of every situation she's in. I remember years ago ago we went to my cousins hen weekend and she basically took over the whole thing when we got there. It was organised by the chief bridesmaid and there was a lot of us and we all basically wanted to break off into little groups and do our own thing then meet up at night, but she tried to dictate what everyone should do. Of course no one listened to her and then she moaned the whole weekend that she hated the place and wished she'd never come. If there is a group situation she will try and take over because she is always right in her mind.
I don't think my mums childhood was especially happy. She's never ever said that but its based on stories I've heard from her and her siblings. They were always fed and clothed and always clean but I don't think there was much love from my Nan. She wasn't very maternal from what I can remember and was a very difficult woman at the best of times.
I stoped calling my mum before easter because they said me and the kids couldnt go there for a few days at easter because they needed a break from kids as they had my xnrothers baby there overnight. They havent seen my kids for five months
I had to explain to my 4 year old why they didnt want to see him and it broke my heart
I think im reacting because their shittyness has affected my children and i wanted to protect them and i failed them. I have not talked to any of them after that as the only true way to protect my children is to cut contact.
i have a mother like this,but the worst thing is that i recognise myself in some of these posts
particulary CelticPixie's ....
UseHerName, sorry if my posts have brought back bad memories for you. The strange thing is I do have many happy childhood memories, mainly from times when my mum wasn't in "one". She was and still is a good mother in many ways but I also think that she expects everyone to be happy when she is happy and miserable when she is miserable. She still is a moody cow, however I no longer indulge her when she is in "one". Obviously its easier now I no longer live with her but if I go around and she's got a face like smacked arse I don't ask why or whats wrong anymore I just completely ignore it and go and talk to my dad instead. I refuse to be dragged down by her any longer.
I've suffered anxiety my entire life. I had my first panic attack at eight! Eight years old FFS! A kid of that age should NOT be having panic attacks, but I was. Frequently. I had them at night in bed, I had them at school. I was often physically sick with them. Doctors were involved but no one realised that they were panic attacks. This was the early 90's and no one back then realised that kids could suffer with mental health problems as well. It was a mystery for years but now I know these were almost certainly panic attacks.
gah! sorry Celtic to single you out - your posts articulated very well what my mother is like, and unfortunately, the way I can be too at times. So sometimes I'm not sure if it's me or her is the narc...
It's great that you feel able to no longer indulge her! I'd call that a result
Theres a world of difference Use in one who acknowledges they have issues and wants it to be different and seeks help and makes changes, to the one who never sees, refuses to acknowledge, take responsibility, deny, etc.
We all get a skewed view of things growing up with them, but choose to do it differently or look inside ourselves to make things different. No such thing as perfect mum, we get it wrong and we get it right, but its not all about us, that makes it a lot different!
Celtic it is huge that you move on past her sulks, and don't feel drawn into them any more.
Hope repeated dreams means you are 'stuck' yourself in this mindset. It is you that is actually trapped emotionally by their reactions to your mothering. I hope that makes sense?
I had another thread going about my decision last week to finally break contact with my mum, dad and sister after I was insulted on my birthday for pointing out something utterly insensitive and frankly, weird that they did. Its been coming for a long time and I have finally had enough.
I have been anxious that they would turn up unexpectedly for some kind of show down as although I had planned to just quietly phase myself out of contact, they phoned up and tried to tell me off, I turned it back around and told them off and was then deluged with the usual how dare you upset everyone texts, all of which I have ignored.
They'd stopped messaging and calling by Friday (I was blocking and ignoring all calls from them) and they did not show up at my house this weekend for a shouting match, as I had been dreading and we had a very pleasant sat/sun as a result.
Then late last night I got a text saying we WILL be coming over next sunday at ten, followed by some kisses.
Not sure what this is all about, whether they are expecting an apology from me, because they won't get one or whether they intend to try to humiliate me again in front of my DH and DCs.
Or they may just pretend that nothing has happened.
The problem is that 10am on any day is no good for us (I have an ED and that is my lunch hour!)
I don't want to text them as they will see it as a victory (oh look we got through to her finally!) but at the same time, letting them have their say, however fucking stupid it is, may be the only way to get rid of them.
I've been having nightmares and I don't think I can carry the anxiety of this all week...I was so scared of them turning up on Saturday morning that I spent most of the day with the door locked and the curtains shut and just stayed in the garden where no one could see us.
What do I do? Just pretend to be nice and get rid of them as quickly as possible? I don't care what they think of me anymore, I just want these horrible people out of my life.
Write a letter saying that you have made plans for Sunday.
You're a grown woman and don't have to do as you're told by them. I'm not sure what ED means, are you Working that day? If not plan something fun for you and your DC's and try to enjoy the day xx
Just go out or don't answer the door. The bullying tactics didn't work do now they're doing the denial & carry on as we wish tactic although you can be sure if you let them in they're start sniping soon enough!!
Make it obvious you are ignoring them. You stick to your ED routine, its more important than them!
I heartily agree to the going out suggestion, or the staying in if that suits YOU better . they can hammer on the doors and windows, none shall pass!
Who in their right mind tells you they are coming over at 10 on Sunday! and expects that to happen/be ok!
I would err on the side of ignoring any and all demands and respond only to reasonable requests, reward the good behaviour just like the children they are (sorry, thats an insult to wonderful children).
Room for another?
I'm not sure if my family is bad enough for me to deserve a place here,
Partly because they arent terrible people in fact most outsiders think they are wonderful it's just me the black sheep that can't seem to gel with them. DH recently asked me if I thought they were really good people, because that's what I believe or because that's what they have told me? It was a bit of an eye opener.
The 'old history ' both my parents came from alcoholic families, we were often surrounded by drunks many of whom would become verbally abusive/aggressive.
My father for the first 18 years of my life was a binge drinker, at least 2-3 times of year he would mentally flip into 'bad' daddy he could be seriously scary threatening, basically he never ( that I witnessed) hit mum but would threaten to murder her. Once she came into sleep beside us, in the shadows I could see my dad with a knife. If I hadn't got up I'm certain he would have stabbed her, I was about 10 years old, I got up due to vomitting with anxiety. I realise now I was an anxious kid, I rarely left the house because I knew my dad wouldn't hurt her in front of me.
At about 14 the last major episode my mum ran out of the house leaving me with him, this time he did turn on me but I managed to escape the house too. Ive never reslly got over my mum abandoning me that night but feel selfish she was frightened.
By 16 I had a serious stomach ulcer no one can understand why I developed one so younge.
I know that all sounds very sordid but 90% of my childhood was good, we did lots of fun things and I do believe the loved me.
Fast forward to adulthood I left home at 18 omg the relief of being free and truly able to relax is wonderful.
Over that last few years things have been fine between us, my dad no longer drinks we pretend the bad stuff didn't happen.
A few months back I lost my first DC in the 2nd trimester at the same time cracks started appearing again possibily because I was being assertive and indeendent DH and I need our space to grieve together.
One of the most hurtful comments I got was from my father, telling me to hurry up and make a new baby my niece really wants a baby in the family (my parents WORSHIP my niece and nephew to an unhealthy degree IMO) my DS wasn't even dead yet! We knew that he had no hope but still!
My sister gave it all " family" are so important BS promised to visit even made a date but then never showed up.
My parents came to visit this weekend with Dsister ( the first time since DS died) and her kids they were horrified and launched in a tirade when they realised I wasnt going to visit my cousins newborn son ( my DS due date isn't far off) that it's to painful for me . A family argument erupts, frankly I was no better than them and lost my temper too and kicked them all out the house and told them I no longer wanted anything to do with them.
Oddly I feel calm, less tense but where do I go from here?
I have no family other than DH now and I'm just starting to realise that I really do have issues steaming from my family.
It taken me 12 years to admit my stomach ulcer was born out of stress ad anxiety!
I'm so sorry to hear about the loss of your DS and the insensitivity of your family. Your childhood sounds extremely frightening at times. You absolutely do belong on here. Keep talking if it helps and visit some of the links in the Original Post.
I would try to give yourself space and time to deal with everything as you start to unravel your past. I wouldn't try to initiate contact with your family right now or try and fix things (which you may have no urge to do right now but sometimes the guilt and obligation can make us start to feel we should) and if they do want to see you, you can opt to ask for space or chose to not respond and go no contact entirely, if you feel that's right for you.
I haven't spoken to my Dad in over a year now and I've never felt such peace and calm. For me NC was completely right. Each of us on here has chosen our own path to freedom and we all try and advise when we can x
Soundwave can you go away for the weekend? I wouldn't reply either. How are you feeling tonight?
dontstep thank you. Yes it was frightening, until I posted I don't think I really ever admitted it. Partly because my mum would sometimes cry that she hadn't been the best mother, that was my que to insists that everything was fine I started to believe it.
My sister on the other hand claims to remember nothing ( she did spend every moment she could out of the house) I'd envy her but I suspect she is lying to herself too.
I absolutely will give it time to decide if the relationship can be fixed, DH has told me to view it as an opportunity to re draw boundaries on my own terms.
I did actually a few years ago cut out all my extended family die to their antics (as did my parents and my sister) I have only recently got back in contact with my cousin. So I know how hard it cam be being truly estranged from family.
One of my reasons for space, I have to admit I'm not all that nice a person around them too, I'm probably too defensive and quick to loose my temper. I'm not like this with other people just them so I need to work on myself too.
I deleted them from FB so they could not comment on my profile, I was worried friends would see something and judge me.
I won't change phone numbers if they do call I will ask for space.
I live about 45 mins away so unlikely to bump into the on the street.
I've got a feeling they will leave me alone for a month or so then thy will probably ask of I'm ready to apologise.
Yes the old 'ready to apologise' I've had that.
I think I certainly excused in my head, my upbringing for many years and now I'm reading books and unpicking it all, so much is coming to the surface. I'm reading Children of the Self Absorbed at the moment. It can make me quite tearful.
Have you blocked them on fb as well, so they cannot read anything you type on mutual friends walls?
I have read lots of the thread and can only offer sympathy and admiration to those of you who have managed to somehow deal with your toxic families. i'm looking for some guidance on my Dad - I'll try to be brief! He and my Mum married too young, they were wholly unsuited but remained married for twenty years and had me and my brother. Dad was emotionally abusive to my mum and ruined her self esteem and she gave up her career for him. when they divorced, they both handled it badly, drank loads and were really quite unpleasant to be around. Fast forward twenty years, my Mum has sorted herself out and doesn't drink - I get on with her great. my dad remarried and I struggled to accept my step mum at first, and probably said some quite hurtful things to and about her (about ten years ago). I also don't like visiting them because they drink A LOT and I don't like drinking that much. I have, however, apologised repeatedly for that and really went out my way to make her and her family feel included in my wedding.
My dad has become more and more detached from my brother and me, and I have made enormous efforts to stay in touch, see him and bite my tongue about lots of things that have really upset me. He has now taken umbrage at a very minor thing my Mum has done and said he is not coming to my brother's wedding because my step mum isn't invited (reasonably so, IMO because her and my brother have an even worse relationship and she simply doens't like my brother or his fiancee).
I just feel it is the last straw and that he really doesn't give a flying f&*^ about me or my brother. My DD was in hospital recently - didn't even bother to ask about her. He claims the internet is rubbish where they are staying (different country), but my step mum is always on facebook, so clearly untrue.
Those of you who have decided to cut contact with a parent, have you found it easier mentally, or do you wish you still had some contact, however infrequently? I want to just cut him out completely, but am scared and sad to, because I know i will never see him again.
I cut my Dad out completely and I have no wish for any contact at all. I feel so much peace now. But it's not for everyone and everyone reaches a stage of NC at a different time, if it's right for them. I wasn't scared about not seeing him again, I was more scared about how awful he'd be next time I saw him, if I didn't go NC. Seeing him used to make me ill, I'd have horrendous headaches and vomiting after a visit.
I think in your situation, after all the trying you have done to have a decent relationship I'd be hurting and angry. But he doesn't sound at all pleasant, having some space and processing your past may help you to see clearer what is right for you. I'm not sure the relationship with him is rewarding for you in anyway shape or form. Just painful
Thank you, don'tstep. you're right, I'm not getting anything positive out of the relationship at the moment. I think it's harder because he was actually quite a good Dad to us when we were little and I am just so sad and angry that it seems to mean so little to him under the influence of my step mother. He is very money oriented, as is she, and I don't think he understands that I don't care about his money, I want some time with him. ideally on his own, but that also seems an impossiblity - they are attached at the hip. I'll have a ponder!
dontstop no I don't block forgot you could do that, will go do now!
haggis I totally get why you hate being around drunk people, I do too can't be around anyone having a drink it puts me right on edge.
Haggis I think it's definitely easier mentally NC. Everyone's different of course but I think it just frees up energy that's frankly wasted on the wrong people.
My dad cut me out of his life as soon as he could- I've had periods when I've thought I'd be the bigger person and try to reinstate things but it just caused so much pain. I tell myself these days that he's not worth my time and it so much easier to live with.
Your stepmum sounds really childish, I hope you and your brother can move on without them x
LittleBairn so sorry for your loss.
Momeraths The problem with going out for the weekend is that we don't have enough money to fill up the car this week, or I would just pack up and head for the seaside for the day, as it is money is tight and we have already booked our one day trip for the year (thanks Tesco vouchers!) but it's not until august.
My mum has treated me like scum since I was about 11, and my dad used to stick up for me, but over the last few years she has just worn him away and he obviously finds it easier to believe every lie that she peddles him, and she does lie. They hate my husband, have no time for my kids and 5 years ago when I was desperately ill, they basically told me to go and fuck myself because I was causing them grief.
Its always the same, last month DS1 was in hospital and when my mum found out she started comparing suspected septicaemia and kidney failure to an ear infection she had once and how terrible that had been for her... I mean WHAT? (he is okay now btw it was HSP so he just needs to be watched for a while just in case)
The point is I have waited for them to change or at least to understand since I started to recover and even when they uninvited us halfway through a family bbq because they " didn't have enough food for you and your kids" I still kept going back. I realise that I probably wanted validation for my status as a worthless piece of crap because I didn't know that I deserved to be anything else.
But then this year so far, they forgot DS1s birthday and then tried to convince me I had the wrong date, shouted at me for not getting the brake fluid changed at my DHs car service (eh?) and then allowed my sister to call me bitch on my birthday for no other reason than that she didn't want to talk to me and didn't like it when I innocently asked her why.
So for the first time in years I felt absolutely lifted, light as a feather and not burdened at all when I told them where they could bloody well go.
I am nervous that they will upset my routines mostly. I have an eating disorder although I am at a healthy weight I do get upset over food and have a very rigid diet and exercise plan. I was also diagnosed with depression and OCD and I get very nervous if I think some one is going to come crashing in on my routines. DH and my DCs are all very happy to fit in around me but my family literally do not believe that such conditions exist.
To them I'm doing it on purpose to spite them or because I think I'm special.
I feel a bit calmer today and DH and I have talked and decided that we will let my parents come over on Sunday and have their say and pretend to listen, just be superficial and then get rid of them as we believe if they think everything's all right, they will go away and I can get on with ignoring them, they wouldn't be doing this if I hadn't said anything, they never make an effort to see us, we do all the leg work usually.
I actually think they will pretend nothing happened but the kids will be here so if they do start a shouting match I will ask them to leave, like wise if they expect an apology, they won't get one.
Hi Soundwave and everyone else
All sounds very familiar!
As to lots of the posts on here!
I'm new on here. Have had a read of quite a few posts. I really have had no contact with my family. My sister was recently visiting from abroad and as usual expected me to go out of my way to fit into HER plans. Havent seen her for a couple of years. I stood up for myself and didn't end up seeing her in the end. I can't express how happy I am and how proud of myself and relieved that I ended up not seeing her!!!
I haven't seen my mother since January, my dad since last summer and my brothers for a couple of years. I'm recovering really from all the pain they've caused me in the past and Im changing every day, gaining more and more respect for myself and self-esteem. It's been great and long overdue! Got such a busy life now with 2 small children, career ambitions and a residency-related court case on my hands. The way all my family members talk to me was and is really intolerable and gets more so every day! It's incredible how shaky I've been with the prospect of spending time in my sister's company! And thank god Im starting to change my ways and not give in to her bullying.
Thanks for all your posts guys, they've helped me lots!
That's really great to heat singlemama. I have to say, I've started to feel the same way since I went NC and I am not bullied/ emotionally blackmailed into contact anymore. But it took me a long time to reach this point and not give in through the FOG.
"I actually think they will pretend nothing happened but the kids will be here so if they do start a shouting match I will ask them to leave, like wise if they expect an apology, they won't get one."
I think that approach is a good one soundwave.
My Mum now wants to brush it all under the carpet and pretend Dad didn't threaten me. She tried to persuade me to attend his 70th birthday do on Saturday, even though he's disowned me, hasn't spoken to me in over a year etc and said that it would've been a diluted first meeting. I think she truly (as usual) wants to pretend it didn't happen. They've always been good at that but he'll just do it again.
Thanks for that msg DSOTMR. I have to check out what this fog is although I reckon it was what I was experiencing yesterday and so many times before when I've wanted to just put my head in my hands.
I've been around the block a few times and now thanks to an amazing counsellor for past 2 years, am stopping the repeating patterns. It has been a really tough two years and I think, due to my ex & this ongoing court case, it'll be a hard period for another while yet but Im looking forward to the light at the end of the tunnel and some glimpses of it in the meanwhile :-)
It's very sad though that some of us have to go so long people pleasing before we can actually start thinking of our own needs & wants!
Fear Obligation Guilt (FOG)
Oh wow that's great. So true!
I'm so glad I happened upon this thread.
morning to you all
I haven't posted for a few months (I'm the one with the religious nut mother who kept a stick behind the sofa and used it daily on my poor older sister - I saw it but couldn't stop her grrrr)
Anyhow, I had to visit GP yesterday to get repeat prescription for AntiD and I had been told that I had to come and see him as it had been several months since being prescribed.
So we had a chat, I explained while my sister has chosen zero contact, I feel that I still have to go Low contact, to try and maintain some level of civility - I know FOG - but just seeeing Maggie Thatchers funeral made me think but what if she dies, how will we all feel? Guilt? What?
Anyway, GP understood that in effect I was BLOCKING the emotiions again, and said this was actually a very DANGEROUS course of action, bevause while I may THINK I have managed it, my anger issues with my mother may manifest themselves in other ways in daily life - ie getting angry while driving, if car in front is too slow etc etc
I am just so confused and a bit upset that he didnt see my decision to keep going on a low contact level as the best course of action, rather it would be more damaging.
I guess deep down I know he is right. But I wanted more than that from him - see how I see validation in figures of authority???!!!
Thanks for listening, had to get that out.
that was meant to say SEEK validation from authority figures
oh and she left a voicemail last night AND an email saying
- your landline must be off the hook because it is sounding/showing an engaged tone now for a good while, you don't want to be running up huge phone bills do you?!
She is like a stalker, seriously.
Acutally, my DH was ringing me from abroad. I emailed her with one line to tell her that.
BTW I have given up ever ringing her, and when she rings, she was ringing up to 65 times, I never picked up. Cannot bear to hear her voice. She always manages to throw in some hurtful statement. I just don't answer anymore. If I have to speak, I make sure the DCs spend most of the time talking to her, not me!
I meant - she was ringing and ringing, in one call the phone would ring out 65 or so times. Like she was yelling - you WILL pick up the PHONE!!!!! YOU WILLL!!!! I WILL KEEP LETTING IT RING UNTIL YOU PICK IT UP!!!
We don't live in a 43 room mansion where we may not HEAR the phone FFS!
DH thinks we all need group family counselling. LOL. PMSL at that suggestion. Can imagine how that would go. Bloody waste of time and money. Even doctor agreed that she isn't listening to my voice, and never will...
But maybe if you went and she agreed to come, it would give you the validation you need from an 'authority figure' that she really isn't listening and things will never change. And maybe it might just make her stop and think.
I have written a letter to my Dad essentially saying I love him and want to see him, but that I feel he does not make an effort to see me etc and that he knows where I am if he wants to contact me. I said I would write to him at Christmas to let him know how his grandchildren are. I am unfriending him and all step relatives on facebook, so he can't have the easy option of checking on there anymore.
Thank you to the person who said I wasn't getting anything positive from the relationship with my Dad anymore - it was like a lightbulb going off! Hopefully I can now stop constantly thinking about him and our relationship and just enjoy life again, having actually said all the things I am ranting at him in my head.
It was me Haggis that said that. That sounds like a big step but I felt a bit better once I'd done a similar thing as I suddenly felt more in control, rather than like it just happened to me iyswim?
Oldtoys I think your GP sounds very caring and they're right as you continue to have to deal with your toxic parent it won't be easy at all. I couldn't imagine having my phone ring that much.
Maybe you're not at all like me but what the GP said rang true for me. Whilst I continued to deal with my Dad the feelings would churn within me and come out in other ways. I cried and shouted at my kids too quickly It affected me profoundly having contact with him. I'm a much calmer and nicer Mum now I no longer see him or speak to him. And feel much better within myself. I feel free.
On the other hand I ought to have stopped contact with both parents but I opted for low level with my Mum. I couldn't bring myself to severe contact with both. It's a very tricky decision and you have to do what feels right for you and in the right timing x
Low contact didn't work for me. It just encouraged them to bully me even more to accept that my version of my childhood was incorrect & that I am the bad guy to withdraw.
I am still the bad guy to go no contact & they're still trying to make me visit (why?) but I just ignore.
thanks dontstep& midwife
I can see where he ( the GP) is coming from,but the way he said it implied that I would become a narky parent...I emailed him yesterday, (he is open to emails and encourages it) saying I was most confused by his suggestion that my way to handle my mother would only mean more frustration in my family life as a mother.
no reply, not expecting one, as perhaps I shouldnt have sent it
But I fully never intend to parent our kids the way I was parented. Ever! Like that poster says, we do hugs, we do second chances, we dont do yelling, we do chilled out etc etc in our home
I am feeling ALL over the place this week. Want to feel ok again.
midwife - i can fully see what you mean, as I think I know deep down that low contact allows my mother to THINK she is best buddies with me...she is anything but. I never ring her, never visit. That is progress for me.
plus just wondering if anyone else felt the Margaret Thatcher funeral reminded them of their narc mother, if you have one? Mine is like a very similar hybrid of her...but less direct, more riddles in her conversation that you could imagine, but the whole powerful female thing is ever present,under a guise of oh I'm just a gentle pillar of the community.
who used to batter my poor sister every evening during the week.
yes. honest, respectable, law abiding mother werent you?
sorry, I'm a bit eugh today with it all
I'm just wondering does anyone have any experience of this? When I have tried to reduce contact or have talked about withdrawing contact my family think I aml having a breakdown. They are so expert at diminishing my feelings and making me feel I'm actually sick and they are fine that I have questioned this myself. I mean withdrawing from family is a sign of a breakdown. Has anyone else ever wondered if they are actually a bit not well? Then I feel cross I am being manipulated like this and think well if I were having a breakdown how come I hold down a demanding career, look after my children well, have good friends and relationships elsewhere and good relationship with dp and basicsally do not feel depressed, perhaps a little anxious at times. Does anyone else second guess themselves?
hi appletarts, i think that sounds like the FOG, anyone else on here have any suggestions?
You are clearly NOT having a breakdown, this sounds like their way of pulling you down, as they can see that you are successful at work, have a beautiful family, and good relationships etc. Those are areas of life that many people can't handle, and you sound completely accomplished to me
ignore them. ignore ignore ignore
if it helps, both my brother & myself NEVER divulge any emotional content to other family members now
it's just not worth it.
any communication is like chatting to a hairdresser: weather, the garden, the house, DCs school etc etc
i think it's a protective thing
BTW I've had 2 magnum almond icecreams & 4 choc digestives, plus a large Cabernet, feel infinitely better.
My parents have made me second guess myself, doubt my parenting abilities and my self esteem. Visits used to always leave me after with a sense of failure.
I now tell them very little. Stick to innocuous subjects like oldtoys says only. I tell my Mum nothing and limit contact with her and do not see my Dad at all.
Do what feels right for you, screen phone calls or end them after a short while, keep busy and limit contact if that works best for you and claim ignorance on anything they say. Just say I'm not sure what you mean? I'm busy etc. Or I answer a question with a question, like 'why do you ask?' That often throws them as they shouldn't have been asking such a thing. If that makes sense? I think it's about boundaries as well.
Yes don't talk about withdrawing or share anything like that. Just slowly get more busy and less available and adjust boundaries. That may work better?
Appletarts you are now having a breakdown! It is indeed FOG!!
Plus gas lighting by the sounds of it!!
What's gaslighting?? They always say this, oh that since I had kids I had a breakdown but really since I had kids I want to protect my family. I have honestly at times wondered am I having a breakdown, why can't I just go along with it all anymore but actually I think it's cos I got more healthy not less healthy. I think when someone has a breakdown they can't really function in their lives so why do they say this to me when I am clearly functioning. Yes I feel huge FOG.
do you have any physical distance from them Apple? I mean, different towns to live in
also sounds like theyre reeling from your change of focus from them now to your own family, which is how it should be, you become a mother, things change! Your own family and life becomes double important, and one has less time for others outside that circle,
they sound jealous and left out. But in no way should you feel guilty! Dont listen to them. Does your DH know what theyre like?
plus, rambling here, it's bloody rude to tell someone theyre having a breakdown. That is unkind!
Most of family is in another country so it works ok except they like to come to major life events or big celebrations and bring all their agendas with them. Sister lives in next big city and is very controlling and vicious frankly. The contact works that they all stay with her and then descend upon me for new year, kids b.days things like that. Sis says she wants relationship but does her very best to destroy it and play games with my kids, long long story with her. Basically there was very definite emotional abuse, and some physical, there's no grey areas on that. But they're argument is it wasn't that bad and we should all put past behind and get on. My point is everyones behavior is still the same so it is still the same and for that reason I want out.
Just popping in to say a big THANK YOU!!!! I stumbled upon you guys by chance and reading your experiences made me realise finally that the reason I do not have a good relationship with my matriarcal and control freak of a mother isn't down to me - she definitely has narcissistical tendencies.
The scales have definitely fallen from my eyes! Looking back over my life so far I can see that every major life event - births, marriage, deaths have been about her, I will not bore you with my stories - you probably know them already.
Whilst this has made me sad and in a way I am now grieving for what might have been, I now feel empowered to move forwards and break the cycle with my family if I can.
Knoledge is power!
it's amazing Meery how many of us here have similar experiences
apple, there are boundary issues with all of them, and your wanting out is a sure sign of fight or flight, that they are not behaving in your best interests. stating the obvious there. it is bloody hard disconnecting. bloody hard. it messes with your mind, they think something is wrong, go on and on and when confronted deny everything that happened
it is frustrating
only thing that keeps me going is pulling my focus to creating happy times with my own DCs and planning future with DH
thing I cant get my head around is that when my DD grows up, to teenage years let's say, that how I could behave towards her the way my mother behaved in our home. I just dont get how you could treat someone so badly who you have birthed, raised etc
But oldtoys you will not behave towards your DD the way your mother treated you. You must promise yourself that you will break the cycle. I agree that there is no logical justification for the way some mothers behave, we have to accept that is this part of their make up and do our utmost not to adopt the same traits.
OH MY GOD. I have been gaslighted by my family my entire life, especially controlling sister. I finally know I am right. Thank you MN!
thanks Meery, I know I could never ever parent my DD the way mother parented us. I just couldnt. She was out of control.
In my post above I meant I couldnt understand how I could treat my DD the way my sister was treated. I just couldnt do it.
And then this makes me realise how very out of order my childhood home was, regarding discipline. It was all SO wrong. So does my mother 'deserve' happy times with my family now? NO. Implementing this NO is somewhat more difficult by way of trying to establish zero contact.
and even now I'm questioning my actions in emailing the GP to question his advice. I have ishoos with authority figures I think
Been meaning to post on here, my mother was/is a toxic parent, a narcissist etc, it all spiralled out of control a couple of years ago - i'd long since moved away but she was a carer for my grandfather and wouldn't let anyone else help. Her behaviour when I was pregnant a couple of years ago was appalling, violence to my grandfather, trying to make my OH lie to me. Telling me my grandfather was dying so id immediately drive 3 hours up there only to find out he was fine and for her to have a massive go at me.
Anyhow - a year ago, she was sectioned under the mental health act, as a very last resort, after months of working with the local mental services and the crisis teams. I took over my grandfathers affairs until he died in October.
A year later she has assumed that we're all going on holiday together, i was dreading this, i find it stressful to spend 2 hours in her company - yet it hadn't occurred to me to say no, because im used to the emotional blackmail and still remember being scared of the rages.
We put our parents on pedestals and find it hard to accept their faults don't we?
Coming by after a long absence as I just got a voice message from my mother (I'm NC with her right now), asking me when I'm going to 'stop being distant'. My heart rate went from about 80 to 140 as soon as I heard her voice. I guess I didn't realize I was so scared of her.
We've been NC for almost a year. (Our last email exchange was not nice - my dad called me 'disgusting', said the abuse was my fault (but that there wasn't any abuse), and she said she couldn't 'be abused by her children any more' and didn't want to deal with me until I had changed.
We've been NC for almost a year, and now, on her anniversary and right before her birthday, she calls, sobbing, and blaming me for everything.
Ahem. Anyway, the TL;DR (warning,
I'm so sorry and so glad you guys are here. No one should go through this crap, but I'm glad I'm not alone. I'm so glad to have access to this little community. I hope we all get peace, and soon.
Thanks, I will. And you too.
hi thunder - sounds like she is suddenly realising that she has significant dates in her life, the birthday, anniversary, and how BAD IT LOOKS to others that her daughter isnt there to share it - that is all the narcs care about, how things look to others, which is how the abuse is covered up so well by their apparently wonderful actions and behaviour in the community, in schools, in local shops, with friends, neighbour. but then behind closed dooors theyre a different person.
it's similar here, there is a massive anniversary coming up this summer, but sister wont be there, we've already booked our holiday for that time and brother wont be there either. Ouch. will LOOK terrible. But i dont care anymore!
Reading all this, I feel so much for all of you, I can feel your courage.
I could do with a bit of help at the moment, I am really struggling. Sorry to butt in but maybe my questions could help other people too?
The things I am struggling with:
What do you do with the grief and loss, once you admit what was going on? Mine is enormous and I don't seem to be able to manage it. My drug of choice is work but that doesn't work all the time.
The other thing is about patterns. I didn't matter to my parents. I don't think they even really understood that I existed as a separate person. Now I am an adult - with a few really excellent exceptions - I don't seem to matter to anyone either, at work or at home. I feel like a spoilt baby wanting attention (that's what I was called - 'Oh Fridge, you just want people to be all over you'/or when I was in deep distress, the parent would copy my voice/movements to make fun of me). Am I? It's really hard to work out whether I am treated badly because I don't matter - because my parents were right.
Actually this is shit.
Yes, Oldtoys, I think you got it in one there.
Fridge - I believe every child deserves love and attention, you and me and the others on this thread included. I learned early that my needs came far down the list of my parents priorities, and it sounds like you did too. We were trained to think that it was fine, because we were less important than whatever else happened to be ranked higher than us on the list (in my case, tinkering with cars, or drinking). I am still terribly angry and sad about it all. Sometimes I just want my mummy the way my friends have theirs.
I went for counseling when I started to realize I couldn't do this on my own, and though it was very expensive it really helped. It's also helped for me to start to be honest about it with my friends and my husband. I started to talk about stuff with them, instead of lying. It was scary but I'm glad I did it. I get a lot of strength from them. I hope you find something that works for you.
Fridge - one more thing. I agree. It is shit. It's such total shit. We were children when those patterns were made. We deserved better then, and we deserve better now. (offers hugs)
hi fridge - yes it is grief and loss, at least you have come this far, to realise that. Now be gentle with yourself. It is crucial. Dont do their job for them by beating yourself up. Build yourself up to go forwards as a stronger woman, who doesnt need to stand for any more shit from them. It is hard though to think this way, when all we want are parents we can trust, parents to share life with, parents to believe. And parents who should have believed us and respected our emotions as children and teenagers, not mimicked us, or minimised our fears or worries. I dont know how to get a hig from mum anymore, so I have to get cuddles from DH or my kids more when I'm feeling so crap. It helps to focus on your own family and to see that you are doing it so differently to how your parents raised you. Keep thinking forwards and also taking one day at a time really helps. Keep talking here too, let it out.
also sounds like you are trying to find your voice and to be heard? I had that too. Fed up feeling ignored
Hi Thunder and Toys - you are frightening me. I mean in a good way. You really do know what it's like, don't you?
It's very hard to find people that know what it's like.
I am so so sorry for you all (I mean as someone who knows what it is like). With holding affection when you need it - it's such an awful form of cruelty
Sometimes I just want my mummy the way my friends have theirs.
Yes, that's it - the wanting, and then being ashamed of it, because you're grown up, old enough to be someone else's mummy.
Finding my voice - it's frightening. It feels as if the same scenario is repeated over and over again, at work, at home. Managers, even some friendships - it's like I keep finding my 'cruel parents' all over again - I don't know how to take care of myself. I am reasonably intelligent/competent but think I'm about to have to leave another job because of another pattern emerging.
(Thunder I have a partner and try to talk to them about it, I know they love me but also they don't understand, at bad times it feels as if they treat me in the same way - with contempt and indifference)
I don't know how you look after yourself. Are there phrases/strategies? Books?
Thank you all.
Fridge - I couldn't have done it without counseling. I was in a downward spiral and very close to suicide. Now that I've got a decent foundation to work from, I've done a lot of reading (Toxic Parents really was a gem. I'm reading After the Tears now, which is a very interesting look at how the traits that are harming us now actually protected us then - very eye opening for me. It's helping me respect my habits rather than loathe them, which is actually helping me change them.)
Self care stuff? Well, I try to walk to and from work, because I'm bad at getting exercise, and that's supposed to really help depression. I've also really shifted my social group so I've got more real friends and less 'case load'. It wasn't easy and I feel like I've abandoned some friends who might need a shoulder to cry on, but I can also see how they're not changing and it's not good for me to be around them. I also take time for walks, or for sitting with a cup of tea, or for reading. But this is all new for me. When I was at my worst it was a triumph just to take a multivitamin in the morning and some days it just didn't happen. Baby steps. I think every step, even just wanting to be happy, is a win.
good post thunder - fridge, regarding self care, I find that I am only conscious of this in the last year,
I will take time to cleanse my skin morning and night, to shower each day is such a boost for me, yes getting out of bed is such a struggle, but into the shower, a strong coffee and off I go.
Like thunder said, simply taking TIME for ME to sit - read, watch Holby, watch a cooking programme, or read a magazine - WITHOUT FEELING LAZY!!!!! AS grwoing up we were never entitled to just SIT...always criticised for sitting on the sofa!!!!
so now, that makes me happy. just being.
and walking - each day - walk for 30 mins. It makes a huge difference.
and taking time to think about eatijg well, cooking, taking time to think of me. it's not a crime to be selfish I tell myself :-)
also, sounds like there may be transferal of parents to your authority figures at work? I used to do that, I had no voice at work and was too subservient iyswim Authority figures, even hairdressers make me behave differently. Weird. Like I dont exist as a person with a voice, because someone else is making the decisions.
These are all really good ideas, thank you.
I know it will sound pathetic but I didn't actually know what you meant by 'self care'. The 'time for me' thing - yes, I have realised recently that most of my time is spent trying to atone for being inadequate - even my 'hobbies'...
The work /relationships thing is hard. I need help to recognise how I am attracting the same situations. So far I've just blamed it on myself not being 'good enough' (and a lot of people would agree)
Hi Stately Homers. I was on the thread a few months ago and wanted to come back and say thanks to the people who supported me, if any of you are still around.
I've come very close to having a complete breakdown recently, as I finally started to see my childhood for what it was. My mother was emotionally abusive and neglectful. She's got a really prestigious job and nobody would ever suspect her of it and that annoys the heck out of me. And my dad was... I can't write it.
I've got a lot of problems, including an eating disorder. I've also got a very supportive husband and a very good therapist. I've pretty much stopped talking to my parents, but my mum keeps sending me random stuff in the post. She texts me when she gets back from trips away saying things like: "We're home safely!" Great! I DON'T CARE.
Last time I saw her, she came to my house, told me how lovely it was that my cat had such a nice, safe home to grow up in (what, like I didn't have!) and then I offered her a cup of tea and she said: "I'll make it," and proceeded to go into MY kitchen and make a cup of tea for herself without offering me one.
I don't actually exist as a complete person in my family. Anyway. I'm sorry for the rant. I actually came here to thank those of you who helped support me when the levee started to break.
p.s. the cup of tea thing is exactly the kind of thing that only SHers would get, I'm sure.
Hi Jess, I hope you're starting to recover now. Indifference will eventually be yours I hope as that's the ultimate result I think. It certainly is for me. There is NOTHING they can do or say to bother me in the slightest now. Yes I get the cup of tea thing! Totally!
Thanks midwife. Hope you are doing okay.
Oldtoys I so remember the "lazing around" issues when growing up. When we were secondary school age my parents both worked full time. My mother worked 10 til 6, so we didn't see her in the mornings before going to school, and were back before her in the evenings. That hour or so after school was not for crashing out watching children's TV but for setting the fire, hoovering up and general housework and for getting tea ready. Woe betide us if we were caught out skiving! We got very adept at looking busy when we heard her key in the lock
i get the 'tea' thing too Jess, completely understand. In fact, mine would go as far as snooping through bills, letters if left on the kitchen counter, under the guise of 'I'm just helping you tidy up!'
I have learned to use my voice - telling her to leave it - I dont rifle through her things, nor does my mother in law rifle through our things or tidy up or rearrange ornaments or tidy kitchen cupboards when she visits, so nor should you mother!
they are an absolute ludicrous species
Yes Midwife - I think if we can find a level of indifference in our attitude to them, then THAT is success and progress for us. I'm trying hard with repeating the mantra 'I dont give a sh**'
and repeat..Lots of helpful things quotes advice on Pinterest too by the way, I find it's a great way of clearing my mind and helping me escape by looking at pretty things for a while
meery - more or less household skivvies for your mother then. Rings a bell here too. Ridiculous moodswings from her at mealtimes, always a stress. And no sooner than we finished our last bite than we were ordered to do the washing up. No lingering at the table, having a chat about our day, or any worries etc Hell no!
Thankfully my home now is the opposite - dishes can wait! I need to listen to my kids every day amd let them know I listen to them. I never felt listened to And consequently in friendships now, I wonder why on earth anyone would want to hear anything I've got to say. Much easier in my own company, or spending quiet times with a handful of close friends
I have been seeing a good friend who doesn't know my background and for some reason I've felt compelled to talk about my childhood. Drips and drabs of it anyway. I have quite a strong aversion to talking about it though which leaves me sort of stuck being pulled both ways..
My dad was ... Is ... A very angry anxious man. My mum is dependant and self absorbed. My dad quite strongly fits the profile of someone with borderline -swinging back and forth between love and hate, for example. He was violent, blaming and emotionally quite cruel. I was quite afraid of him. I still had flashbacks of incidents from when I was little until I was nearly 30. All mum cared about was making sure we hid the problems as she was scared that he'd lose his job if anyo e found out.
I've had a lot of therapy and I am far better than I was but now suddenly I am feeling very vulnerable.
I've been lurking on here for a while, but I had a major 'trigger' event a few weeks ago and have been a mess ever since.
I really don't know where to begin, I always knew that my childhood, or at least the latter part of it was not normal and that I wasn't happy. I planned, meticulously to take my own life at 15 but stopped short. The thought that it would've been my brother, then 8 who found me and that I'd be leaving him behind was enough, but I had a massive breakdown anyway. Not that it was dealt with, or for that matter noticed. Despite dropping a couple of stone and self harming including pulling hair out.
I was treated as a skivvy, constantly criticised and nothing I did was ever quite good enough or good enough at all, but they'd both still happily take credit if someone outside praised me.
From 12 I had to pick my brother up from my GPs house, walk him home, help him with his homework, cook dinner for 4 of us. I also had to either wash or dry up, make my own packed lunch, clean my bedroom twice a week and the bathroom, thoroughly every other day, walk the dog twice a day, iron my own school uniform and in school holidays, look after my brother, at home, with no company or budget for entertainment. I had no choice in any of this and wasn't even thanked let alone given pocket money. My brother has never had to do any of this. Ever.
I got a job as a waitress when I was 16 (post GSCEs) and worked from 7pm-2/3 am for £2.50 per hour cash in hand on a Friday & Saturday night. From that point I was expected to buy my own toiletries, sanitary products and most of my clothes. We weren't poor, although neither parent is well educated both always worked. They owned their own home, car and we had UK holidays (lived in Northern Ireland).
The first, real, stand out thing that made me wake up and realise that I didn't have a good life was the day I went to collect my A level results. I'd done well at GCSE and was initially predicted AAB at A level. However I think that the grind at home and work got to me and I was too tired to focus on revision. I dabbled in speed and found out that despite what I'd been brought up to think, I was actually attractive to the opposite sex and became fairly promiscuous (this became much, much worse later). Anyway, I knew full well that I'd done badly in my exams and warned my parents, who of course didn't listen.
I ended up getting a C, D And N. I was devastated and when I came back to the car and told them, they sat stoney faced at first and then asked me what I was going to do. I was distraught and genuinely didn't know. They told me to get out of the car and go and get it sorted. They then drove off. It was 15 years ago, so pre mobile phones. I didn't have my purse, house keys, jacket or anything and my school was 8 miles from my home. I was a complete state and after I resolved to get a clearing place as far from home as I could (Plymouth in the end) I called my lovely auntie who rescued me. A few weeks later I moved to Uni and only visit briefly since.
3 years ago I had my dd and the relationship improved slightly as I realised how hard being a mum was. It has dipped again since as memories have emerged and I can't conceive of how I could've been treated the way I was as I couldn't imagine doing it to either of my DC.
My Dad is by no means perfect, they are both spoiled (DM was youngest of 10 and spoiled rigid, DF was the only boy of 4 and idolised by his mother), but I've always been closer to him. I know that I make excuses for him in a way that I don't with mum.
My parents love my DC very much, although I already recognise that the relationship isn't quite, 'normal' either, but I put it down to only seeing them for a few days at a time a few times a year. They were visiting a couple of weeks ago for my DS's first birthday. An innocuous comment I made with no malice at all about DB still living at home caused an almighty screaming match, entirely one sided as I struggled to remain composed in front of my poor DC and DM called me nasty, vindictive and controlling (ironic really as that is precisely what I now see her to be). She stormed off upstairs and I took the kids to feed the ducks, pretending all was ok.
I've just distanced myself from her since then. My DH is incredibly supportive and sees it for what it is. She hasn't said sorry, but is trying to carry on as if it never happened. I'm not prepared to do that.
Bottom line is I'm feeling really really worried at the minute. I'm so terrified that I'll be the same with my DC and end up destroying my relationship with my beautiful little girl and boy.
So sorry it's so long and this, of course isn't the half of it.
...ooh & i was once actually told that i should be grateful as I had a great childhood, what with us being National Trust members (those bloody stately homes!)
You've done the right thing distancing yourselves from your hideous parents. They treated you like a slave and withheld emotional support when you needed it.
You will NOT be the same with your DC because you are a person with a lot of self-awareness and intelligence who wants something different for her children. You're not like them! That's part of why they treated you so badly. The hijacking of your ds's birthday is classic - how dare he be the centre of attention and not them? My grim parents did this to my son too. They had us dancing attendance on them every special occasion and launched a load of vitriol on us when we started to break away.
I know you're under loads of stress and it distorts everything, but you sound like a lovely person and a great mum who has built a life for herself in spite of an awful childhood. That's something to be proud of.
Hello stately homers, can I join in please?
I am a survivor of abuse too. No contact for years. Still get very upset about it but have done loads of work and generally pretty stable. Recently been doing self esteem work which has been wonderful. Sort of the last hurdle really, to address some of my insecure behaviours. So things are good.
But I got a phone all from surrogate mother to say my father has been in touch about some money someone has willed and I have a share. I am upset. I said yes please to the money, but felt like they'd be saying yeah yeah, she wants the money.....
Some of my friend say who cares what they think?
I agreed on Tuesday. By Friday my abusive mother had sent one of two cheques to the address of my surrogate mother, including a card.
It said about who the money was from and then she thinks of me, she is sorry she wasn't a better mother, she hopes I am doing really well, she can't go back and undo the past but if I want to come back I am always welcome.
When I think of her, I think of what she used to say to me before sexually assaulting me.
I have been quite thrown by this. I hate proximity to them. I feel like saying fuck you, and fuck your money.
But I need a few things and it would come in handy. But I feel it shows me in a bad light to accept money.
One of my mates was excellent. We shouted fuck them a few times to each other, he said to tell them to put the money in an account and I don't even say thank you.
When I got home I talked to my boyfriend about it and he concluded that I think the note didnt cover an adequate apology and what I actually want is for them to acknowledge the severity of what happened to me as part of their family.
So I thought, ok maybe I'll write to her and give both barrels in a not to show I'm fucked up kind of way.
Now I can't be arsed as been through it so many times in my head.
Yet I am still in bed mulling it over.
Also got to consider if they die and I didn't make it up with them. My boyfriends father died and he says I don't understand what actual death of a parent is like, which I appreciate although to me they died when I left seven years ago.
Thoth you folks would understand and help me hash it out a bit please xxx
Hi something - welcome to our group of amazing survivors!
Re the cheques - have they withheld the second cheque? Is this bribery to make you get in touch?
The money is yours from another relative not them so accepting it does not mean you have to thank them. Take the money, burn the letter.
Why should you see them again?
Hi Midwife. The second cheque should come soon. It is actually a substantial amount from what my father said, but won't count chickens yet.... I don't think they are with holding no. I don't know if they expect me to come back.... I just guess the whole thing pd me off..... I shall be glad when surrogate parents have moved house as that is the last link for my father to get through to me......thanks for your reply x nice to know someone's out there. What doesn't kill you eh? Have a nice Saturday xx
Babiesinsling- I had a strikingly similar experience, really struck a chord what you've written.
Do you find it really hard to relax and enjoy yourself? After years of responsibility I wasn't ready for I feel very boxed in a lot of the time.
Am only about 2 months into NC but already feeling heaps better. If you ever need someone to listen, feel free to pm me x
I had a dream about being forced to see my parents last night - weird eh?
One thing I'm struggling with - my DD aged 9 keeps asking why we haven't seen them & when we will. I just say oh they're ill all the time (they are) & not up to visits but I feel guilty. Then I wish they would die so I don't have to deal with it anymore which in turns make feel even more guilty!! Sigh!!
Does your daughter know why you don't see them? Is it ever going to change? If not, maybe language of her understanding? X
Oopla thank youit's strangely comforting to know that I'm not alone, or mad, or over analysing completely.
Yes, I do find it extremely difficult to relax, ever. It's something I need to work at. I set standards for myself at an I achievable level. I'm constantly second guessing people & if I get a positive response, I'm looking for negative subtext too. So the combination of things means I'm never 'off'. On honeymoon I had an elderly Malay masseuse tell me I was the tensest person she'd ever massaged
I hope you gain confidence & stay strong. I'm currently swaying, feeling guilty for not contacting. I go back & forth. DH is helping me.
creepylittlebat thank you. I've been nervous about posting but I knew that people would be supportive. The self centred behaviour is a real kicker. One birthday (an adult one) they were visiting and we went to the seaside, a nice place, not cheap. They fussed that £6 pp was too expensive for fish & chips so I had to pay, for it all, with my birthday cash (DH refunded me at the next cashpoint), she moaned that it was cold even though I'd advised to bring a jacket (July, but you know, windy at coast...) & I do mean moaned & moaned. We were saving fora house deposit, so DH bought me a really nice bottle of wine (£15) & took me out for a meal. I had one very small glass of wine before we went out. When we got back there was 1cm of wine left in the bottle. There was other ordinary wine open, but she had to drink that one. DH challenged her, she slurred that she should've had a present as she gave birth & did the hard work I can't imagine being like that with my DCs.
Anyhow. Thank you for reading & being here. One day at a time.
Thank you babies -you too x Sounds like you have a lovely DH on side though
Midwife- Maybe just lay out a few carefully chosen facts and let DD come to her own understanding. My DD (also 9) asked why she's never met my dad, I said that he went away when I was very small and although he lives nearby he doesn't want to see me. She replied that he doesn't sound like a very nice man and who would ignore their little girl. Used this opportunity to say that although DD's dad and I are not together anymore he still very much loves her and spends as much time as he can with her.
Just hunted this thread down after seeing an old one.
Just got a call from my mother, diverted it, got a message. 'Hello Zeena, calling to catch up, I haven't heard from you.'
Well I haven't heard from you either! And I don't really want to. My heart rate has gone up and I feel anxious. God I hate it.
Anyway, had to tell someone. Admitting my anxiety seems to help. Will now read the new thread.
I've been so good at hiding my issues with them that she doesn't know anything so will think what to say. My eldest DS doesn't mention them & my DS2 saw them last autumn because he was staying near them & my M told him I'm not talking to them because they asked me to shampoo their carpets when I was busy at work.
zeena do you regularly have the guilt trip re contact & want to s ream that phones work both ways! ? I do. In fact I'm currently 2 weeks I. To my latest bout if no contact & they go on holiday tomorrow. I'm feeling extremely anxious as I don't know whether to expect a call & I'm bracing for the why haven't you called, we love seeing the kids on skype interrogation. Well let me see, 'the las time we spoke you stood in my 3 year old's bedroom shrieking that I was nasty & vindictive, you have not said sorry' is what I need to say. I don't know if ill have the guts.
I may divert the call too. How do they do it eh?
Can you believe that my mum had the bare faced cheek to accuse me of "whinging" yesterday?! This coming from someone who, if whinging was an Olympic event she'd win the gold medal.
I so had to to hold my tongue. I wanted to scream, "yes because you never whinge do you?". No you only do it everyday, however I know that if I had said that we'd have be subjected to another long sulk. Funnily enough she'd spend most of the afternoon doing nothing but whinging about the arthritis in her hand plying up. All we go was "oooh ow, me hand. Oooh ow me hand". In the end I snapped at her to just take a pain killer if it was that bad.
I don't think I mentioned this in my first post, but my mum has never cuddled, kissed or hugged either me or my brother in our lives. I've never suffered from a lack of love because my dad is very tactile and is always hugging us, but I find it odd how a mother can't show her children affection. I'm always hugging my DD's FFS. What the hell is wrong with her? Miserable cow.
Sorry rant over.
2 weeks of going nc for the first time with my xfamily. I have not talked to any of them.
Two weeks ago i called my mum the only one i talk to and said i was short on mortage by £80 and my xfather shouted he would not help cos he has.bills to pay too. He spent £200 on wellies to walk the dog but didnt offer any money to stop his dd and gc going homeless.
The shocking relisation of my father not giving a fuck about us being on the street is horrable. (I got the money for mortage and its fine but they dont know that)
He shouted over my mother to get rid of my phone if i needed money. I only ever phoned my mum so now no phone calls.
I was ment to take dn 8yo on holiday but i told my sister i cant afford it so its off (i can afford it but i want to cut all contact with them)
The total lack of care for me from my xfamily is truly heartbreaking even tho they are all total shits.
I have wanted to call my mum but stopped myself by thinking I could be on the street with my 17 month old dd and they would not give us a room in there 3 bed house or give me £10 towards rent.
I really want to txt him that i will get rid of my phone so dont call me and to tell him he is a emotionally, phyisacally and verbaly abusive man that does not beserve a family or children but i dont want to waste my free txt on him.
The never call me, come see me, they belted me as a child and negelected me as a child and told me my birth was an accident and they never wanted me. My mum told me im out of sight out of mind. I was in hospital and ill and they never came to see me or help with childcare.
I have had it. I will not shout or tanturm or try to point out they are wrong and curel. I will slip way and forget them just like they did to me.
I can never imagen treating my children like that. I can never not care about my children the way they dont care about me.
The worse tjing is i have told my mum what i think she knows i think she is a shit mother and still she does not change and never will.
Hello everyone. I have posted before about my decision to go NC with toxic family after an incident earlier this month. May have been small but it was the thing that finally made me decide I had had enough anyway, they didn't seem to get the message and had been bombarding me with texts that are pretty much denying any wrong doing and asking when I was coming over.
That was about the extent of their effort and it has thankfully tapered off.
But just this very morning, after a trying few hours of DS1 playing up spectacularly on top of everything, out of the blue I get 3 long messages from my SIL who we have not heard of or seen since she moved away without saying goodbye 2 years ago!
It was a sales pitch touting custom for her new bloody job!!
Needless to say I was .
I asked her not to text again (succinct and not sweary) and it has set her off big time. I've turned my phone off and I am resorting to buying a new SIM as soon as I can get to the shops.
I am literally shaking with rage at her attitude.
Once again, its all our fault, we never make the effort. She lives several hours drive away making it nearly impossible for us to visit (petrol is a limited resource in our house) and has bragged on bloody FB about visiting our home town several times, each time we knew nothing about it and she never phoned or stopped by. She didn't even notice when DH and I unfriended her because of her inane instagram/food fetish and the fact that if she replied to a post it was usually to insult my DH.
And not in a good natured big brother kid sister way either.
When she lived here she had a pattern of behaviour that would involve no contact for several months and then she would fall out with her boyfriend or have some kind of crisis of conscience about family and come around, stir things up, then disappear again.
My husband was the primary carer of his sick mum for 8 years and we eventually got evicted from the family home of 25 years to pay for care home bills at the end.
SIL knows all of this and still thinks that she is hard done by.
Sorry to rant but I am sick of people trying to squash my pride with their opinions about what I should and shouldn't be doing with my marriage, work, kids etc. Especially from people who have none of those things themselves.
It has occurred to me that a lot of the trouble started to ramp up when my MH issues worsened, almost as if all the toxic people in my life were jealous of the fact that I was getting some attention, with intensive visits to hospitals and therapy and the like.
In fact I am so confused by the reaction of all of them I'm starting to wonder if I am the problem.
What are the odds? Narcs on both sides of the family? Please tell me I haven't done something to wrong these people...I don't know what to do anymore. I'm about to bloody well give up.
Getting a new SIM is a good posative move so is telling SIL where you stand.
I think when you feel confused having space to get your head together is a good thing.
Also no its not you its them.
Family is ment to help not make things worse. You should be able to tell them what you need without fear of being verbaly attacted.
Saw my Mother yesterday. She brought up Dad again and I feel so frustrated, she literally brushes it all under the carpet and seems to have forgotten everything he's done. To her it's so simple; play happy families and pretend nothing happened. But nothing's changed. He would be awful, as usual to my kids if I saw him, negative, say horrid things, get angry etc. Life is so much better now I no longer see him. She is so co dependant on him. She basically said I'd see her more if I went to hers and saw Dad too and then she mentioned it to DD. Which made me very cross. I'm doing this to protect them from him, as well as for me. He's a bad tempered bully. Something she normalised years ago. It's not normal to threaten your children...
bumping for mrskenyon.
just need an outlet to tell my story, any comments appreciated.
i cant really see a way forward, they cant seem to treat me like they would a normal person, if i am with husband, they are lovely, if alone, they treat me like cr**. i simply dont understand.
looking back at childhood, there is so much i dont understand - why was my father so violent to me, eg smashing my head against walls, hitting me too hard, i was petrified of him, i was always the black sheep of the family, everything was my fault, my sister was holier than thou - to their face. they let me go out with a 17 yr old when i was 12, and a 21 yr old when i was 15, who beat me up, fractured ribs, smashed head etc.
i just thought violence was how you resovled things, cos that was how my father had treated me. where was my mothjer in all this???? where was she????
luckily for me i got out of the abusive relationship, went to uni, have had a lovely life, two precious children, finally got to anger management myself, as i am determined not to pass on this horrific temper to my children. my father never took responsibility... it was only when i had my children, that the memories of my fathers violence resurfaced. i called him on it, he said he didnt' remember. i still forgave hjim, over and over, he walked me down the aisle, we continued normal family relations.
but last couple years, when i see them, afew times a year, there have been two huge arguments, they treat me with no respect, its just awful
so right now, there is a sort of estrangement, if i am honest, i think that is being true to me, to let go of them, and their weird detachment from me. but it causes such pain in my heart, how can it be that me, i, am estranged from my parents? i have always wanted a close loving relationship with them, wld love to be able to call mum every day to talk to her, she is not interested in that at all/...
my husband says to be here, now, celebrate my family, my life, let them go, but i just cant quite do that, feel so much greif inside my heart.
sorry for so many words, thank you for reading...
So much rings a bell with your post Mrskenyon. My Father is a bully. I am treated completely differently from my 4 other siblings. I was always the scapegoat and my Mum never stopped my Dad from verbally or physically abusing me in anger and rage.
I went NC with him a year ago. Unfortunately I still try and see my Mum but it's not easy.
My Mum isn't interested in me really. She see's me once every 6-8 weeks and spends all her time talking about her and Dad and guilt tripping me into recommencing contact and bringing up the past.
I used to try and arrange things for us to do together, I longed for the Mum/ Daughter relationships others had, but she'd either agree but then never get back to me on a time or just show complete disinterest in my suggestion to meet and do something nice.
I try not to think about my Dad as sometimes I begin to well up with tears. It shouldn't be like this.
I've had an e-mail from my Mum this morning telling me what Dad did wasn't that bad and how some Fathers do a lot worse.
I'm speechless. Threatening me and his constant insidious criticism of my parenting, striking my son when only 18 months, telling him he was just like his father, telling me I need to smack them more, being this angry cloud who controlled the whole room and everyone trod on egg shells is normal apparently.
Oh and it's not very Christian. Protecting myself and having boundaries isn't Christian apparently.
I've never said anything unkind to him, I just stopped seeing him as I found it so stressful.
Her e-mail has affected my whole morning from the moment I read it, I've wanted to cry and I've shouted at the kids This is exactly why I went NC and see Mum rarely. She always brings up Dad. Despite asking her not to. I'm so upset. One e-mail and I'm a wreck.
Goodness knows what the parents at soft play thought, as I spent so long writing her a reply on my phone and not watching my kids. I shouldn't have but I had to respond and state my position firmly. I shouldn't have replied at all
Poor DS who I think is Aspergers, his assessment isn't until the end of May got really agitated as he picked on my stress levels.
Oh did I tell you that Mum said if he'd known about DS struggles perhaps he wouldn't have behaved the way he did. Oh so it's ok to hit a small child if they're NT is it? Mind boggles.
But there's no way their 45 year marriage would've survived if she didn't enable him. She's part of this.
Your mother has certainly enabled him for her own selfish reasons and she gets what she wants from their own dysfunctional relationship.
I'd cut all contact with them as of now tbh.
I can understand why you replied but doing so could just give them further ammo to be used against you. Be prepared for more minimising on her part and a backlash.
I would keep your children away from the pair of them, they do not deserve to be a part of their lives and would likely not bring anything at all positive into their lives.
She'll come back with tears and all 'poor me'. That's what she does. And she always brings up what I was like as a teen. Always.
I was having a nice day, been to the cinema, then soft play. Her e-mail completely threw me.
It began as she's disappeared off my Facebook friends list. I hadn't noticed. She'd added a blocked e-mail address to her profile (her joint e-mail with Dad), so fb blocked her. Of course it would. I wouldn't want e-mail notifications going to a joint e-mail he reads that mention me. I wasn't sure what e-mail he used so I put in his personal and joint one. This was a year ago. To make sure he was blocked. But the issue with Mum has only just cropped up. So I had e-mails accusing me of unfriending her and how she needs me They then reverted to how what Dad did wasn't that bad and surely it was more stressful trying to avoid him on fb.
What planet does she live on?
I didn't want to stop contact with her as well but I said in my e-mail that she's alienating me further. You maybe right but I'm not sure I could cope with NC with both and my 4 brothers recriminations if I did They all think I'm unreasonable already for a whole year of not seeing him, despite his awful e-mails and texts physically threatening me. They're all in on it. I hate this
Yes the poor me e-mail arrived at almost midnight, it's quite spectacular and very very long. I'm amazed at how she can link her upbringing difficulties to why it's ok for Dad to threaten me. It's like she didn't read a thing I said and has rewritten what happened.
Apparently she has to chose between him and me. I'm not grasping this tbh. She shouldn't have to, she should be free to visit me if she wants anytime.
Their marriage is codependant and I do sometimes wonder if he passed away what would happen. I hope she'd have a sudden raging social life. Anyway, I'm undecided how to respond, if at all. All I want to say is that this isn't about her, it's about me.
I think you have started on that road already MrsKenyon. I am that you have had to suffer them all your life, but it sounds like you are already making that move emotionally, even though you haven't said the words to them yet. I never did say any words.
The grief that you have started to be aware of, was huge for me, but it has put the necessary emotional distance between us.
I think your DH has a good attitude towards the situation, but it isn't so easy to follow that thread. This is huge step for you, but you know what will be the right thing for you. You talk of there being nothing in your relationship but pain.
Keep strong, and know this is about their abuses, and their responsibility, there is nothing to blame you for. You are taking responsibiilty for your life and self. take care xxx
An air of hope - your childhood sounds bad however why did you ask your parents to give you money for your rent?
To others it's very hard the wondering when they are going to ring or what they are going to say, making you feel nervous.
I have fallen out with my dad. It's been like this for months. In contact then no contact. I am starting to think that if I speak to him or meet up then I am enabling him to treat me like crap. He is a bully- snide digs but it's more than that and more than banter. He actually is cruel, that's why I think he is a bully. It's hard to see sometimes as I question myself wether I'm too sensitive, I also go down the route of thinking not everyone's perfect, people have their off days, people are grumpy somedays, people have banter or little digs, am I just too sensitive. Then I think no this is more than that. It's cruel and I guess I am making excuses for him. How much are you willing to put up with from people? Eg what is acceptable to have a relationship with any person in your life and what isn't? I always wonder where the boundaries are because no one can be nice all the time and if I went down the route of expecting people to be nice all the time then that would mean I would have no one.
What do you think just wondering? I mean we all say nasty things sometimes. I'm just trying to get this straight in my mind, possibly because I've had so much crap for so long I'm not sure how people should treat me. Does this make any sense to anyone?
I do know though dad goes to next level as everytime I speak or see him he starts an argument. I know now I shouldn't engage and walk away or put the phone down. However I am starting to feel should I give him that chance to have a go?
I'd ask you if he adds anything positive to your life?
He knows the digs upset you I think but keeps persisting on doing them. Someone who deliberately upsets you consistently, is not a loving Father. And it's damaging for your self esteem and confidence.
It's hard to see the wood from the trees and I think we're all guilty of minimising it at times, as sometimes it's easier than an argument.
I think if your r/s with your dad was good you would be able to say to him that some things were this serious for you and making you have such doubts about your rs overall bedtime that he would be upset by that. Very much so. A normal reaction would be to acknowledge he does that, be upset that he'd hurt you, and want to make it better. However, if he's using your personal traits against you, i.e. finding particular things about you that he can hurt you with to undermine you, or say things to goad you, that is abusive. The telling thing is in his reaction really. Have a look at the links above, normal people actually listen to what their loved ones tell them, especially if its something upsetting.
He is goading you from the sounds of it, to give him an opportunity to get angry at you? Some just won't ever give up and its their sole purpose in life to get others upset and get their kicks from that.
I have siblings that put up with my abusive father, but they can control themselves and manage to behave like that to certain others. Normally keeping their abuses for the 'chosen' ones. However, thats not always the case, some are just plain obnoxious all the time!
this but they can control themselves and manage to behave like that to certain others should read
but they [abusive parents] can control themselves and manage to behave like that [pleasantly] to certain others
still not sure that makes sense! My abusive father, for instance, is charm and grace to the last to the rest of the world, and I'm not sure he treats my siblings the way he lies to me and goads me continually.
thankyou for your kind responses..
just feeling so much grief, so much pain around it all
keep having the urge to call them, to make contact, cant bear the reality... i know deep down that speaking with them never meets my need, they are so often harsh, rude, critical etc... yet i also know there are lovely moments too...
they have been away on holiday, while they were away i felt such peace, life gently flowed , ssince my sister told me they returned, so has my anxiety, sense of loss and being rejected... even tho i should be rejecting them.
they have NO photos of me as a baby. mum once told me she wished she had never had children. how stark is that, to tell me that....
i want their respect, their friendship, they support and love...
i feel like a drifting boat suddenly, no anchor of family, its as if they are dead, but i know they are not/..
how do i move on from this sad place? how do i simply let it all be.....
I wish I had the right words to say. I'm so sorry.
Sometimes I think what I didn't have I work three times harder to provide for my family.
I'm sorry they didn't give you what you needed. You deserve that mum and dad.
Remember that feeling of life flowing, that is your right. That's where you want to be. Let them go. Let it be xxx
thankyou for replies, its all so exhausting
it feels like i have been in denial for decades
so suddenly i am facing the reality
thinking about changing my surname, still carry my parents name,
its time to let that go, any suggestions of beautiful surnamesa ppreciated!!!!!
Despite being divorced, I kept my married name, as I preferred it.
I feel like my whole family are in denial still. They all minimise my parents failures and my Fathers narcissistic behaviour. The longer I am NC with him, the more astonished I am that they all excuse it. They're all culpable and I refuse to be part of his drama triangle anymore and be the scape goat.
You're sounding stronger today. It's so hard.
I have good days and bad days about it all. I wish my family could be what I long for. It's painful. Sometimes when my DD asks why we cannot go to Grandma's house I have to fight the tears, that my own Father loves me so little and that my Mum allows him to treat me so badly.
Hi, badic summary of my situation...
Mum is a narcissist. Had 30 years of abuse, lies and emotional blackmail eg countless suicide threats and tantrums if doesn't get her own way. Things have got much worse the last few months and have had enough of the drama.
Sent mum a letter saying no phone calls or visits until she learns to behave better, though she never will.
Dad is a complete enabler. He phones and tries to leave messages eg whaat exactly has my mum lied about? Does not seem to believe me about the lies (even tho he has caughht her out many times telling lies, and my two siblings have both stated her lies are a major issue.
My sister has also cut contact for similar reasons.
I only withdrew contact yesterday and know it was the right thing to do. However, I am still very upset, and even tho dad's actions don't surprise me, they hurt. I know he contributes to the problem, but he does try to so the right thing and i love him very much.
I want to remain on good terms if possible with dad but how do i handle the situation. If i list all the lies etc she only comes back with denial/ excuses for each one, as gone over all these issues many times before. But if i refuse to back up my accusations with specific examples, it looks like i am just making sweeping statements and it is me that is lying. So how do i handle this?
Also anybody have any tips on getting through the first few days/ weeks of almost no contact (ie only letters/ emails with mum at mo, tho intend to go fully no contat when the time is right for me).
Sorry for posting and not responding to others. Having a very very hard few days. Have sort of gone almost NC, basically not making any effort to contact them. My mum occasionally texts me. My dad hasn't bothered to get in touch at all.
I need to ask a question which is going to sound ridiculous but I don't know where else to ask. Is scrambled eggs, bread and butter a good enough dinner for a child of about 9 or 10? It's just my mum sometimes used to go away for work and I have memories of my dad not really feeding me properly - she left stuff and it was like this family joke that he didn't bother making it. But I would have wanted the stuff she left and not been able to say so. I don't feel able to ask anywhere else on the board.
I have disordered eating as an adult and don't tend to bother making proper food for myself if I'm in on my own, but will eat whatever DH cooks. I'm only just realising why. My therapist says I need to matter more to myself and expect to matter more and I just think: but I didn't matter to my parents. I nearly drowned once and my mum was completely unphased. She let me go in the sea when it was choppy even though I couldn't swim. Got stuck on the wooden thing between sections of the beach. Lifeguard pulled me out. Nobody ever believes me when I say she didn't seem bothered. They insist she must have been in shock. People who live in this lovely la la land where parents would never hurt their children.
I have read the other posts but feel like I have nothing useful to say to anyone. I'm sorry. It's not pathetic that this is all bothering me now, is it? Am I supposed to be over it now I'm an adult?
Keep strong, all of you. You're better than your parents.
I sometimes give mine a boiled egg and soldiers. My DD loves that for tea. I tend to offer that if I know she's eaten plenty over the day. Does that make sense? Eggs are great for a quick meal and good for you.
Sorry I wasn't clear at all. I meant is that enough if you haven't had much over the rest of the day. Like if you haven't had breakfast. I don't remember it being enough.
I'm not making sense, sorry.
Jess I do get where you're coming from. I think that it is ok to offer my DC something light eg beans on toast or sandwiches for a meal providing that they have had or are going to have a more substantial and nutritious meal as well that day. It sounds like this wasn't the case for you?
I'm no expert but I do believe that children learn food habits from their families and if you were taught from an early age that a good diet was not important it comes as no surprise that you have an unsatisfactory relationship with food.
Marking my place back here, after having a positively silent 10 m, im now starting up contact again with mil. Wish me luck, because i need it!
Sorry to see some familiar names here, still struggling with the Toxic Ones. Wondering whether i have made a complete boob by starting up contact today, have a thread on this and will be updating it later with how the reunion went!
Why cant life be simple, and people be nice, instead of narcissicistic?
Mil has already committed one faux paux by deciding to bring my niece, so again the other granchildren come before my dc even after zero contact for 10m, lovely ay? I won't hold out any hope she has changed and i am only having one last ditch attempt for dhs sake. Dreading the dull tones of "poor me....." Zzzz. What have i let myself in for, especially now being 7wks pregnant aswell.
Fil isn't allowed contact, but will be dropping off mil and niece, if he starts at my door, the whole lot of them can forget it, as i don't want to know!
ps congrats on your pg :-). Hope today goes ok for you. Keep strong.
Is anybody experienced with narcissistic mothers that I could pm a text message I received? If I post it I will out myself but I'm not sure whether to reply or not
Pumpkin I replied on your other thread but just wanted to say congratulations on your pregnancy
Thankyou meery and forgetmenots
Congratulations, pumpkin, thats wonderful.
Anyone else on mothers day today? Posted a thread so wont bore you with it all but toxic ma has hit hard (how little does she realise !) trying to disempower her and focus on my little family. A few hugs from dc have helped
And worried, if in doubt, DONT send- do a draft- let it all out, will make you feel better. A silent letter. But read, keep for another day, you could always send in future.
JessI have only ever done something like beans on toast (which is a healthy meal, as beans are so good for you, on wholewheat bread), as a fallback, or quick top up when lunch was full 'dinner'.
Other than that its only ever a lunch snack. Scrambled eggs probably more like breakfast than lunch or dinner, as nothing other than protein.
MrsKenyon I'm very at your grieving, that feeling like they are dead, is what happened to me. Its not that they're dead of course, its the huge releasing of the emotions and connections with them, the things that keept you tied to them, despite their abuses. Often it can be very hard to release yourself from such a relationship, esp the Narc one, where you either have to remain childlike, or become motherlike so the bond is huge, and you are not 'allowed' to separate and become an adult. The grieving is the disconnecting, the letting go of it all, and you will recover, aand it will not be the end, but you will see without the FOG once you have grieved.
happy for you to PM me worried
congratulations Pumpkin! what lovely news Don't let HER know! Keep away from HER during pregnancy. Good luck with your endeavours. xx
Jess I use to have a terrible relationship with food, my attitude to it was all about negative emo, so my eating habits were terrible. I couldn't seem to come to a place of a steady relationship with it.
My childhood meals were things to be endured, I developed only hatred for food, no love. The only good experiences I picked up were at others houses, where [massive] efforts were put into food selection and preparation (or so it seemed to me). Children were involved in choices! All very strange. I just hated everything that food represented to me at home.
I now have a reallly good relationship with food. Eating mostly very healthily, sometimes a bit lazy (bowl of cereal, if alone!), but don't consider beans on toast or scrambled eggs bad meals, in the right place they are part of a healthy diet, and try to avoid processed stuff. But get DC involved often in cooking and 'what s for dinner'? the whole process. Surviving on breakfast or lunch type food for dinner too tho is very unbalanced meal provision.
Pumpkin - congrats on your pg.
Fairy - thanks, really the issue was that my mum left stuff for dinner and my dad didn't bother making it but did easy quick stuff which wasn't enough given I didn't really eat breakfast. And I wanted the stuff my mum left but complain about not being given it. Or about what I was given.
Salbertina - Mother's Day is difficult. Are you in the USA then?
your father was being neglectful in putting himself above your nutritional needs, and then being denied the voice to have your feelings heard.
Oh i shant be letting her know Fairy. Not told a soul except for sis and dh so far. Very difficult as i have midwife coming to my home tuesday!
I'm not planning on telling the ils until i'm the size of Narnia, and even then i will conceal it for as long as poss. I definetly won't be going back to the days of them taking over my life, like they did with my previous babies. Oh i remember how awful it was, they were all over us towards the end of my pregnancies and when babies were first born until the novelty wore off a few weeks later when the other grandkids were more important once again.
I'm not silly, if dh thinks yesterday will be a green light to weekly interogation by them, it won't be happening. So far no further meetings have been made, and when a meeting is arranged i will not be tripping into weekly visits. Im thinking monthly at the most-dh will not like this but that is the best i can stomach as i know rationally their behaviour isn't going to change realistically.
Sorry to hear you are having trouble on mothers day in your area S, it's one of the most frought days here in my family, except ours is in March.
ha ha! very funny, also very good! you know the ways of the wise to these narcs...
millymollymandy I hope you find some peace in going no contact. sometimes its the only thing left to save your sanity.
My DM is a very selfish, negative, jealous woman. I think I am going to go NC despite it making me feel incredibly guilty.
I had a hysterectomy in March and had no contact from her at all until weeks after the operation. My aunty had one last week and Mum was all over her like a rash.
Its incredibly hurtful to be unwanted and I feel guilty but just can't take the emotional hurt each time I speak to her. enough is enough. finally!
I'm new to this thread, but have had ongoing probs with over intrusive, strange behaviour from my mother for years. I'm managing the relationship ok at the moment, but they are coming to visit me this month (about a 5 hour journey). Typically, she won't discuss actual dates and plans until the last second, but from speaking to my dad I think she is planning to spend some time here alone without him. I rally don't want this as she can sometimes 'crash' out and spend the entire time in bed, not communicating until its time to go home. I hate it as it reminds me a lot of the unpredictability of her behaviour in my childhood. So I need some strength to call her, get arrangements sorted out, and explain she can only stay as long as my father is here.......
Fairy I have sent a PM. Thank you
Thanks Kiwi for your kind words - only been a few days for me, but I just felt a bit like you really. It is more painful to have contact with her and just not worth it. Typically my mum does not care that i decided not to speak to her, though she is enjoying the drama... Showing letter to everyone etc. Dad however is very upset and that DOES make me feel guilty. But at the same time, he is a grown man and I have made it clear that i love him and still want to see him etc. but so far he says he couldn't possibly see me unless mum came too. So that feels a bit like he is taking her side and rejecting me. I do however think that things will get better with time. Will have to wait and see...
Hi everyone, was wondering if I could join too?
My first thread is here Should-I-give-up-long-and-sensitive-sorry
I'm coming to terms with the fact that my mother is a narcissistic mother and reading this thread has really helped me see that her behavior is not ok
Ooops thats link didn't work
Oh but deliakate i so recognise that behaviour. Your dm does not have to behave with the courtesy that a normal houseguest does as she's not a normal guest but "family". And as for taking to her bed that's a useful ploy for when things aren't going to her liking.......
Arghh my last post was a real case of speaking too soon. Dm phoned this eve, which is fine as we are ok with each other despite her narc tendencies, to say that she was visiting the UK next week and would love to see us. So i now feel obliged for sake of dc to rearrange weekend around her. If i don't I'll just feel guilty at keeping them away from granny. She is so bloody frustrating.
Welcome callmedaughter - definitely have a look at the opening post and the links there, you'll find it helpful. Not sure if I've read your thread so I'm off for a nosey...
Sorry everyone I need a rant-
My dad isn't talking to me now. All because he refuses to take his diabetes medication and change his lifestyle.
It's driving me mad, he's my dad. I don't want him to get ill, if he doesn't sort this he could die.
I talk to him and he lies about what he's doing- "oh my diet is perfect" (really...you had 3 portions of cake and a chocolate bar yesterday!) and that "he was always fine before he had all these tablets" (no, you weren't! And these tablets are meant to stop your condition getting worse!)
It's exactly the same as it was when I was a child only instead of my mum being on the receiving end of the sulking and blackmail its me.
I can't describe how I feel- I'm torn between anger that he doesn't consider the impact of his decisions on his family but I am also sad that he could become very ill.
Ugggh been low/no contact with parents for a year now. Been pressured by them the whole time to see me & the kids. So reluctantly agreed by text on sunday they could come to a meal for 2 of my DC's special birthdays at the end of July. So Monday morning missed calls start from mother & voicemails asking me to contact her urgently to tell her if DS wants deodorant (?!!!) for his birthday & what (the wrong DD) wants for hers? Wrong child mother. And no DS won't want a can of deodorant for his 21st birthday!!!
Oh and it's over 2 months away!
Loads of sympathy paintyourbox My dad is supposed to be on low-sugar and low-fat diet but is in total denial about the state of his diet. Thinks he eats really healthily and talks about this at length but has the sweetest tooth known to man and indulges it regularly.
He is highly toxic so I have been working on disengaging emotionally and rarely see him. My advice would be to leave your dad to manage his own diet as well or as badly as he wants to. I know that's really hurtful because you don't want him to get ill but it's his decision and he's not listening to you anyway! Sympathies though - it's so frustrating.
If there's any spare sympathy going my mother is off her MH meds, not in crisis - but a marked difference
Bumping this thread as there have been a lot of new toxic parent threads in relationships recently where posters have been pointed here.
SimLondon - how is your mother behaving now she is of the meds? Is she still off them?
Midwife - are you sure about having your parents for the tea? Sounds like nothing had changed, how self-absorbed
I'm now due dc1 any day. ILs still don't know as far as I am aware - we have also moved house without sharing those details so there can't be any unpleasant doorstep scenes. DH is still NC and since we moved has been a different person, completely bursting with energy and excitement about the baby (before there was always the MIL shaped cloud)...
I feel pity towards her and her miserable, angry life. But I am also determined my child will not be drawn into it and used as an emotional punchbag like DH was.
PS I do like it when this thread drops off as I hope it means no one is having an awful time, but just want anyone who needs it to find it
It's going to be out, my DH there as well as adult children so there can be no sobbing or woe is me hopefully. However, it will be about their ill health & hot flushes & huffing & puffing!
Good to hear midwife - get your stock responses planned
Paintyourbox - my toxics are a nightmare with medical stuff so I really sympathise.
Hugs to everyone else.
Those threads about having a good relationship with your mum/dad almost pushed me over the edge, stupidly read one and ended up calling a crisis line.
completely relate to that jess - it's one of the problems DH and I had - in another life I would be posting exclusively on those threads and he would be here. Actually, though, over time I think seeing a positive functioning family almost helped him see the dysfunction in his own (I really don't mean that to sound smug or patronising at all, but he was very much trapped in the FOG and didn't see an alternative way of being).
I'm so sorry for you it's led to a crisis moment. Can you use it somehow to think about how it might affect your relationships? What was it that really pressed the button? I hope you're feeling much better now
and I hope it wasn't my post that did the damage
Forgetmenots, it wasn't any one post - it all just brought home to me what I have never had and will never have. It IS good to see what a more functional family is like and you don't sound smug at all!
Good luck forgetmenots! I'm sure it wi be so lovely to just be in your little love nest with your family & new baby!
Hi to everyone old and new
I've been away for a bit doing ok, 3 months NC with family. Been exercising more to try help with the panic attacks. Seems to be working
Rang helpline for families of offenders this morning and it really really helped.
It's really disorientating when families normalise bad even evil behaviour.
Keep your chins up stately homers, and keep talking you're not mad, they are xx
Been drawn to this thread from another thread on relationships, hello everyone, thank you for pointing me here!
I just read through some of the stock responses above and think they're very useful. One that is missed out in my case is my parents always tell me that i am "making it up to get attention."
What is the answer you use in response to that?
Jess - that's so hard, we are all in our families through accidents of birth and nothing else. Took a while for my DH certainly to understand he didn't deserve this, just as I didn't deserve my family, it is just one of those things. It sounds like you were pretty decisive though in getting a bit of help when you felt crap - good on you
Midwife - thanks can't wait to meet dc1, and the move has felt like a weight lifted - no more scanning the mail, checking the street for cars that aren't normally there, keeping blinds closed... Hadn't realised quite how deeply the siege mentality had taken hold, but now feel really free. There are guilt issues for DH of course, but his focus on DC is overriding that.
Oopla - what a positive post I found exercise the best tonic for panic, I suffered quite intensely during a period of illness and a bit of power walking at first did me wonders.
Hi kayfish. What are they accusing you of making up (with apologies as I may have already read your thread and not made the link)?
Sorry you've had to come here, but I'm sure you'll find it useful
Hi forgetmenots I've been walking too yes, evening time so by the time I hit bed I'm too tired to start worrying. Great stuff.
Kayfish- maybe the best thing could be to let go of the need for them to believe you. Some people just never change. It's very freeing to end the wrangles by stepping back altogether.
Just popped in to say hi. It's been one and a half weeks since I went no contact with my mum. It was not an easy decision and it has been on my mind a lot, but I know it will get easier and fully believev it is the right thingng for me in the long run.
Hi millymollymandy, I think i remember your thread. It isn't easy, you're right. Take a bit of time if you can bear it, read some of the stuff and links in the OP here, and some of the other stories - you are not alone, this is much more common than anyone lets on.
Kayfish we will definitely believe you here, I'm sorry if my question sounded harsh, just trying to give better advice
what if I wasn't making it up! Would you now be capable of empathy, or acknowledgement at least?
I bet they wouldn't shift from the position of you 'making it up'! Kayfish At which point how can a relationship continue if you are judged on 'its all lies'???
strength to you MMM it is tough, bet then so much better too! Why isn't life just straightforward hmmph!
FMN for your amazing little bundle of [secret] joy, and huge hurrahs for DH transformation, life better all round... how wonderful when baby comes to have your nest so well feathered
I just recently experienced high levels of panic, which caused my brain to do this weird 'life flashing in front of my eyes' thing. It was like a roll of film, or comic strips racing past my eyes, and every now and then it would pause on an image (representative of particular episodes/ppl in my life past and present) - I thought for a moment, am I dying?
Thanks fairyfi. The transformation all round has been pretty amazing and can't wait now to start a new family story that isn't the nightmarish one DH thought was normal. This little one has such a determined dad because of the toxicity, I try to see that as the only positive from the whole sorry tale. I'm sure for everyone here they will be wonderful partners and parents as a result.
AF said something very profound on another thread I'm sure she wouldn't mind me paraphrasing here: often those with functioning families stay in bad relationships or develop unhealthy dependencies on people as they are used to having their needs met - there can in some cases be a strength in those who have no expectation of this thanks to a to it family, in that they will always be able to take care of their own needs.
I thought this was pretty profound and when people do manage to tap into this strength it could be pretty powerful for them. Very, very difficult to break those thought patterns so deeply held though.
FairyFi I used to have that as part of panic attacks, along with the palpitations and hyperventilation. Have you had cbt or similar? Also would second Oopla's comments above, it sounds trite but exercise helps - an I found best of all being able to put headphones in and imagine I was somewhere else entirely was lovely
'Thanks to a toxic family' - damn phone
very interesting point FMN as I have heard many say that they had happy family lives as children, and found themselves deeply entrenched in toxic relationships as adults. Seems to work both ways, it really does. Its commonly linked abusive c'hoods with abusive adult relations/victim, etc. which muddies the responsibility of the abuser/survivor.
I don't know if I have panic attacks, maybe I am then? I have been diagnosed with PTSD and awaiting referral for EDMR which I have heard it highly effective. I think the exercise comment is a very valid one and I have truly done and doing, certainly plenty of power(ish) walking. I am going to get some music q'd up for another time, that 'sounds' just perfect .. thanks
how you are getting on SimLondon? Is your mother ok?
I have no knowledge of PTSD fairyfi other than I have heard how awful it is - not sure if panic attacks are part of that package. I'm sure some will say escapism is a cop out but I found it rather calming and at the time it was all the I could do to remember to breathe and put one foot in front of the other... Hope the referral helps.
escapism is definitely good! especially when its good fun, an excellent antidote balanced with the facing too tho.. thanks
I have noticed while reading this thread that many Stately Homers only became aware of toxic mothers when they had their first child, and the mother behaved badly around the time of the birth (jealous, overbearing etc).
Just wondering if anyone did anything differently the second time around? I ask because I'm going to be having my second in about 4.5 months and am feeling anxious about 'managing' my mother at this time. Ideally she won't know I'm in labour and I could present the baby to her on the way home from hospital, and not have her visit me in hospital at all, but it's going to be tricky.
Would love to know if others have been in this position and how it all turned out....
Strange you should say that tangerine although i'm the dil of toxic pil. Although i have a dd from a previous relationship, i only noticed pil toxicity upon being near the end of my pregnancy & birth of my 1st child by dh. The sheer obsession over wanting my unborn child to be a boy was the 1st glimpse into their behaviours, as the fixation of a boy keeping their surname was of upmost importance to them. Of course when baby came to be a girl, they were less than extactic but still wanted to take over re her homecoming.
Infact late pregnancy with my subsequent children was always clouded by their over presence and odd behaviour re desperatly wanting a grandboy, although they treat dh (their son) like absolute shit.
When me & sil both had dds, there was a constant ask of us getting pregnant again to produce a grandson, and after recieving scan pictures with the words girl underneath fil wasnt afraid to show his dissapointment, infact he through dd3 crib into the boot in a temper after a trip to the shop after the scan!
I am not telling them i'm pregnant this time round, dh & i are sworn to secrecy. Im rather plumptious anyway so hoping i can hide my bump, not that i plan on seeing them again as dh has been a grump since the reunion. I won't be repeating it.
Yes pumpkin it's the intrusiveness that's so difficult isn't it - in your case whether or not you deliver the 'right' sex for them.
good work not even telling them you're pregnant.
I think once I get past the first few weeks I'll be able to handle my mother better, but it's when I'm in labour/just given birth that I want to have her at a distance. Luckily my DH will hopefully be better able to handle her this time but he's very soft and easily manipulated by her (she's shameless) but at the same time I need to be careful not to dump on him too much as he's got delicate health at the moment and can't be too stressed.
It's tricky. She becomes quite stalkerish around hospitals, drama etc, wanting to know all the intimate details (her first question last time was, 'so do you have stitches?' and will think nothing of turning up in the labour room as soon as the baby is born whether i want her there or not. Of course I can avoid that by just not telling her the baby's born until I am ready to. I just don't want her calling me constantly during labour and last time I had a very long stop and start labour so if that happens again it's going to be hard to keep her at bay, especially as I'll need to find somewhere for my DS.
last week I was quite ill. i needed help to get stuff done around the house. i employ a cleaner because my sisters are ever soo messy.
Our Parents have always been quite abusive and I've never been the favorite---in fact I've always been seen as the worst of them. Brother has always been the golden child--even through his drug addictions; setting a car on fire because he didn't like it anymore and wanted a 'newer' one. (Despite the car he burned only being 6 months old).
Because our parents are controlling, my two younger sisters moved in with me--with the understanding that I would pay for their UNI and they would pay me back once they started working. Only problem is, both also have toxic tendencies and over the weekend the Sister1 who is almost finished with exams decided to take my laptop from my lap and throw it on the floor, then rip my glasses off my face and throw them across the room. I'm 12 weeks pregnant with baby no.2. I just don't feel like this should happen to me in my house. She did these things because she thought I called her an 'asshole' because she said she wouldn't help clean the kitchen. I didn't in fact, call her an asshole.
Days before, our youngest sister caused a massive fight over not changing the television to a programme that could be watched by everyone. (DS who is 4 was in the room and was definitely not interested in 'yes to the dress').
Youngest sister is totally out of control, posing for x-rated pictures in the hopes of making close friends; unfortunately she was not happy with the idea of the pictures being widely viewed so now feels taken advantage of the photographer doesn't care.
I just want to die sometimes...I really like my life when it comes to everyone except my immediate family. I love my son, I even love my husband. I can't handle my sisters. They do help when they feel like it, but they don't feel like it often enough.
On the other hand, if they had been left at home, only one of the sisters would have been offered higher education and the other (youngest sister) would have been encouraged to find someone.
Queen that sounds very stressful. I don't understand why they have to be living with you. You've got your own babies to look after, why do you have to take care of them?
Are they working at all? Sounds like they need to be contributing right now rather than some promise to pay you back once they start working.
Not to mention cutting out the aggressive behaviour and tantrums - time to have a firm chat with them and tell them that they either act like adults or leave, you don't need any added stress with another baby on the way.
they have no where else to go--which is why they are with me. If they lived at home our parents would financially control them. Being in my house helps...they've both decided to go to UNI and worked quite hard to get there so I have offered to help.
As far as working, the one who is finishing uni this week will start working and contributing and the youngest will contribute as soon as she starts working in the summer. They both do try to help out, but it's their attitudes I cannot stand.
When I have asked them to leave, they both get super violent and aggressive and tell me I have no right to kick them out unless I financially support their new homes. I just can't do that.
pumpkin - hope all is well with LO and I'm (genuinely) sorry to hear things have been going wrong with PILs already, know you meant only kindness by seeing them again.
But Queen, you know that you DO have a right to kick them out and NO obligation to support them, right?
You know that they are taking the piss with their behaviour. They are ruining what sounds like a happy and functioning family - you, your DH and DS.
Maybe I'm being overly harsh on them here but as much as I think you have been so lovely taking your sisters in - they are fundamentally not your responsibility. You need to lay it out for them. If they are violent you phone the police and you have them ejected. I feel so sorry for you hen you have met them with nothing but generosity but you owe this to your family (the three of you).
Thankyou forgetmenots, it's not so much it has gone wrong (haven't seem them since reunion), it's dh he seems off with me a tad-The same as he was last time ils were putting pressure on him. He has told me he hasn't had any contact from them, but unfortunetly he has form for lying about texts/phonecalls.
I do not believe for one minute mil is happy, as we haven't seen her since so i assume there has been some sort of phonecall from her, that has put him under the fog again.
I did originally say, if the reunion went well they'd be further meetings but due to finding out im pregnant i told him for now i cant cope with it.
I feel this way--but then I feel like without me they really have no one else.
Queen they could rely on themselves? That's what adults do, and if they are at uni then they are adults.
If you don't want to kick them out then fair enough, but if you are supporting them you have a right to be treated with respect, especially in your own home.
Violence and aggression is not on. I would seriously think about doing what forgetmenots suggests and calling the police if they become violent again. Even if you don't get them kicked out they need to realise how bad their behaviour is, and calling the police and getting them around will get that message across to them.
You really don't need to put up with violence and aggression in your own home. They sound like manipulative toxic bullies.
pumpkin - I wouldn't be surprised if he's hiding something especially as you're pregnant he won't want to worry you (this is exactly what my DH would have said, in that situation). It is such a struggle to deal with and I think you have done the right thing drawing a line while you're pregnant, you could do without the extra stress I bet .
queen - this is because you are a nice person trying to do a wonderful and giving thing. Something that should be valued and appreciated. Currently this is not only being taken for granted but it's being abused, actually. The fact that they are making you feel like you want to die sometimes, when everything else is so good is worrying. If the shoe was on the other foot and someone's DH had his violent family staying with his wife and child we would all be telling her to get them thrown out or leave with the child, I'm afraid I feel the same with this if they are not willing to change their behaviour towards you. I worry that you are unable to assert yourself with them, and I wonder how your DS and DH feel when they see you being attacked. You don't deserve any of that. I agree with everything tangerine has said.
Oh Queen, your sisters sound like a nightmare! Poor you
Is there not a way they could move out and give you some space?
Or maybe they could reside with your parents as they aren't much better than them, quite frankly
You have your own family to look after, it must be awful to have such a burden placed on you, not to mention their ungratefullness and voilence
No, I can't--they can't do anything on their own either.
Parents live far far away.
I really want to ask them to leave-- I really really do. As horrible as they can be, they do help with DS who has ASD. They do love him; they love DH and me too. They have never been horrible to DS or DH. With me it's quite different.
Growing up I was always picked on and used as the reason everything went wrong. (Brother became addicted to cocaine was my fault---when he broke his arm; again it was my fault)...Everything is my fault.
As soon as I left home my parents have wanted someone to replace the blame on. I don't want them in that spot; they are young and wouldn't be able to handle any of it. They can be very very rude and selfish; often times I hide from them for days because it makes me soo sad. On the other hand, both are on Anti-depressants and are having counselling to help sort themselves out. I do hope the three of us (sisters) can have a happy ending. I really do, I would LOVE a happy family.
Queen - I can understand you feeling protective of your sisters and you are doing a great thing. However, it does sound like you need to put some boundaries in place, for your own future happiness.
So to those who have gone none contact, how long was it before you were able to just put it all behind you and enjoy life? I have been no contact for 2 weeks with my mum. I fully believe it is the best thing for me and wish i had done it sooner. But i am so used to wasting head space on family dramas that I am finding it hard to just switch off. Any tips? I have found myself reading everything i can eg online on personality disorders etc... Think I'm being a bit obsessive with it actually.
Also, I have been gradually realising over the past few weeks that my dad isn't quite the hero I always painted him as. I haven't been completely honest about how much abuse he saw etc. He has never been deliberately cruel and i love him, but I have said for years that mum hid most of her ways from him. Whilst it is true she saved some of her worse stuff for when he was at work, dad saw most of what was going on but chose not to see it, in order to have less hassle from mum. He chose an easy life over the emotional welfare of his children and chose to ignore the emotional damage that caused. That is not right. I have no wish to confront him and am happy to continue contact but I find it strange that I have almost rewritten huge chunks of my childhood in order to paint him as some sort of white knight.
And now, I don't want to cut contact with dad, and mum bullies him dreadfully the last few years. If I cut contact he would be genuinely hurt and my siblings wouldn't understand either and i do love them very much - they are good, kind people. But, dad has refused to see me a couple of times unless mum is there too. Over the last few months things have been really difficult and we have all pulled together to help dad. We would all do anything for him. Yet he cannot say the same back. It's more like, I would do anything for you kids, as long as it does not cause any upset/ inconvenience to your mum.
Also, it has made me question lots of other 'facts' from my childhood. Are me and my siblings really as close as I always claim, or is it a bit more one-sided than I told myself.
And lots of silly things, but if you go no contact with one parent and they live with the other, who you want to keep contact with, do you send christmas/ anniversary cards/ gifts to both of them/ one only (seems a bit petty to me tho), or neither of them? Lots of silly things like this kep going round my head, sorry if this message sounds a bit jumbled or stupid.
good god queen - you are not responsible for your adult sisters lives. They need a good strong talking too, with DH too if needed, and told that if they don't treat you with a bit of respect they will find their arses out on the kerb.
This is not good behaviour for your child to be witnessing and not normal.
Your parents are the screw ups not you so stop feeling responsible - you really do owe your DH and kids this much.
really feel for you in this situation but maybe they need a bit of a shock to wake up to how much you actually do for them.
It is an ongoing process I think milly.
What I would say is that you are not the only one making choices here. If putting up with your mother's abuse is a precondition of being part of the family, that's a condition that your father and/or your siblings have agreed to. They should be able to see you independently so that none of the later awkward questions really arise. If they decide they can't, though, I'm afraid I believe that to be their choice and one which, although very hurtful, would show you that keeping up the facade of family is more important than actually being in one (if you see what I mean). This is what happened to my DH, he now sees neither of his parents or his siblings, because his father and siblings are too heavily invested in maintaining a pretence - in any functioning family a cup of tea between siblings or father and child wouldn't have to run through mum - but she really is omnipotent to them
I have no back bone. On the one hand, what you all are saying is totally correct and resonates with how I want things to work in my home.
On the other hand though, these two have left our home country to go NC with our parents...all three of us. I went NC almost 7 years ago. Sister 1 moved in with me 4 years ago and sister 2 has moved in with me 2 years ago.
Youngest sister agreed to pose for pornographic pictures in an attempt to make friends (she is vulnerable and easily taken advantage of); i just can't stop worrying. If she is willing to pose for pornography for a chance at 'friendship' I don't know what else she is willing to do. Both girls suffer from severe lack of self confidence. (the only reason I am constantly worried about this is because--never in a million years would I have thought this was an acceptable way of forming a friendship)
one is far more vindictive than the other and is a bit more prone to aggressiveness--but if they are threatened with the streets, I'm pretty sure they will embrace it with a rebellious rage. If my parents find out about younger sisters latest introduction to the 'arts' I'm not sure how they will treat her; most likely taunt her over her decisions...a few years ago this sister was in a situation where a friend tried to rape her. Instead of comforting her, our parents made fun of her for being such an easy 'target' and for 'encouraging' him. My parents do know better, but by being assholes they can control more when they have killed someones confidence enough.
At that point, I won't care anymore and who knows what will happen to them; because I will have given up on them and as they are adults I know I won't be able to sympathise. I can only sympathise now because they are here and at least pretend to make an effort.
Sister 2 is also currently getting over an alcohol addiction.
**what I meant to say was*
if it comes to a point where I do have to show my sisters to the door and ask them to leave my life; I know I will feel absolved because I will have done everything I could have done for them.
I would just leave them to their devices; but I truly know that if left to themselves they will only go back home to parents eventually and things will never get better for them.
Just marking my place. I'm off camping for half term.
I had an altercation with my Mum a couple of weeks ago when she tried to minimise what Dad had done to me and for the first time in 13 months I saw Dad for 5 mins yesterday. Very strange indeed. I'm worried Mum will now think everything is all better and we can go back to playing happy families but he hasn't apologised and he cannot change anyway. So no apology would be enough.
Mum has lent me her car as mine is unwell. I almost feel I'm using her and that she will think I only contact her when I need something but I really need her help. Very conflicted feelings.
Sorry I'm not keeping up right now.
Needed. Not need.
Just a rant to remind me never to bother again.
Well as you know we had the reunion with mil over two weeks ago, since then i have the moods from dh.
He was starting to be happy again, and now sil keeps hassling him over and over, i wasn't sure what about but when i hear him on the phone i can tell he is being hassled.
Anyway fast forward to today, she's harping on about dh doing her garden tomorrow-the fucking garden she & bil have allowed to grow so much out of control they cant cope with it and want dhs helps. Ffs i have told dh i don't want him doing her garden until he has finished ours and to tell her to get on with it herself. What is she inempt, considering her and bil do not work why on earth haven't they found time to tackle it their selfs.
So sil sends niece her with mil for the reunion knowing full well the focus was to be on my dc, and now she thinks she has the green light to get an unpaid skivvy out of dh.
Hello. I've been reading here for almost a year, so lovely not to feel so.alone and thought that your stories, counselling and supportive DH all helped me be stronger.
I recently wrote to my parents to explain how much their drinking drinking and attendant physical and verbal abuse had impacted my life and some of the danger i had been in as a result. i asked them never to offer my DCs alcohol and to stop drinking if they were looking after them.
They've shared the letter with my db who is furious with me and claims I'm making it up, now my DM gets to show me sympathy that he has overreacted, it's all noise and bullshit I know and all to avoid the elephant in the drawing room but this weekend i feel like I've gone mad, doubting my memories, feeling like an ungrateful bitch.
I am mildly bipolar and I feel a real depression coming on. I feel weighed down with regret and sadness at all the years wasted being afraid and hiding the shame and self loathing. I have every appearance of success and achievement yet I want anyone else's reality but my own. It's too much to carry and I feel so so alone.
Thank you for reading, I'm not sure how to stop the train.
Marion reading your post has made me feel very angry on your behalf. I'm so sorry.
I think going no contact makes things easier but not everyone feels it's right for them.
I'd enforce firm boundaries and do not allow your brother to shout at you at all. Close the door on him. Hang up the phone. Simply say you won't be spoken to like that.
Try and step out of the drama triangle your parents have initiated. Refuse to be part of it.
Do you have a counsellor or close friend to support you at this difficult time?
Marion it's exactly what they always do. Deny anything happened & say you're making it up. If they had ever actually accepted their behaviour was wrong they wouldn't have done it in the first place. Accepting that they'll never change or for that matter apologise is a big step to you moving forward. Whether as a result you go NC like many of us is a big possibility. Don't give them any more power to hurt you.
Just another note for me to again not bother, this time regarding sil1& my neices. A whole month ago when i organised the get together with mil i had also organised a get together with sil to a activity centre so the kids could play. Sil asked what ages could go there, when i said 2-12, she complained that nc 14 & 15yo couldn't go, but tbh i didnt expect the elders to want to come as they are teens so said how about the local park. Never got an answer, so assumed we wouldn't be meeting-until today she is now hassling dh over said meeting. Ffs why wait a whole month to say your bovvverd. I said to dh i cba as if she was intent on seeing it through she would have got back to me a month ago when i asked. Dh now isn't happy and won't show me the texts she has sent. So now i have moody dh to contend with over the half term-lovely thanks sil.
I swear that bitch knows how to cause trouble.
Thank you both dontstep and midwife for your swift and kind replies. You have made me feel so much better knowing that I'm not alone and that others are facing the same things with such wisdom and fortitude.
I read an interesting remark (here?) about holding onto the anger - do I not want to let go because it means they've got away with it? Because it defines me?
I want to get to a quiet place where I can be at peace. For those who've done so, is NC the way forward?
It seems at once terrifying, ungrateful and incredibly attractive.
The mechanics could be challenging as we all work for a family business and live in the same area.
But then I read all the hurt and complicated postings and resolve to remove myself.
Thank you for your kindness, this is a remarkable series if threads and has helped me more than I can say. You are all brave and generous people.
it seems NarcM cannot accept anyone in the family coming to see me. Her brother now refuses to come to the UK to see anyone as a result of it all .... so now I discover why I had no family once I NC with her.
So Fairy, would it be usual for Narc family to enlist/recruit others to stick up for them?
Is your mother seeking sympathy from this family member or does he feel the situation is unjust and you need to be punished?
Hope I've understood correctly.
Is the anything you can/want to do about preventing your case or is that a waste of time?
I'm facing similar family polarisation and its really knocked me sideways.
Oh I think I misunderstood, sorry. He doesn't want anything to do with his UK family over this?
Forgive me I'm not thinking straight at the moment!
I personally try to let go of anger Marion as it affects me in every part of my life. But NC was right for me. Very odd seeing my Dad briefly last week for the first time in over a year. I have no plans to see him again though, it was just circumstances.
Fairy your uncle makes his own decisions, for his own reasons.
If he's not big enough to see his family, for whatever reason, it's his decision, and shrieks volumes about HIM, no-one else.
he's told me he could jump on a plane tomorrow, anytime, but for all the hysterics it would cause, so yeah, he doesn't bother any more.... it caused a huge row last time DA & DU snuck out to secret meeting with me... he's had years of being 'chaperoned' around not being free to do anything he wanted, and funnily enough, his DM was the same with him/others too when they visited.
... and hissy, he is the only member of family that is asking after us and doing things for us. Bully father is dying and they don't want to upset 'her' as she's struggling with this right now, which I can understand.
Its VERY common to bow to their will in this way due to the 'upset' and drama it will cause 'her'
He left all this behind years ago, when we were young. ... He's said that as bad as his life was, he wouldn't want to have been me
I have no anger at them, I am sad, but only a little about the way this went.
so Marion NC was the way forward for me, and has been the only way forward, I went through grieving, and there was a lot of anger in that too, especially at the times when I felt I 'needed' the support I 'deserved' and was horribly resentful, etc.... but going through all that years ago cleanses the soul. I know that I love them, but know that they will always try to punish (funnily enough I have a FW ex who cannot let go either! and continually wants to punish) and I can't change that and cannot find a way to be around them, just not strong enough to continually take that kind of toxicity. What a waste and sad loss, but I still look back and know I did the right thing (if thats any help?) I hope that you find the best way for you in your FOG right now.
yeah pretty much Marion, he does speak to DD often about the situation with the FW ex and talk her through coping with a FW like him as a father, and is very supportive to us (out of all the family), but has revealed the extent to which it was impossible to make visits. Just recently another family member was over and they, despite wanting to come, couldn't!! Said to her 'I want to visit Fi' she told her very clearly what a huge problem that would be (guilt tripping over huge emotional distress for NarcM if that were to happen).
Well Fairy, given all that, I think he's made the decision for himself, that the stress is not worth it. And by the sounds of it, it's understandable. Could you go and see HIM?
I meant for you NOT to blame yourself, as I know the default is for us to do that.
One day, you'll be free of her shadow. It's such a waste of a family isn't it? To allow one person to poison the lives of so many.
I hope there IS a hell sometimes, cos in some cases, it'd have been really justified.
Please can anyone help me find a positive way to look at something my Dad said. I went NC 3 months ago. During our last conversations I pleaded with him to help me resolve our relationship by not being constantly vile about me and my DH to my face and even worse behind our backs (which he did even on the day of my mother's funeral in December).
He replied "Well Windingdown, if I have to measure my words and be nice to you all the time I might as well pay someone to do my garden and housework." That's all he thought of me isn't it? I was the woman who was there to do his chores and be treated like dirt. I try to be rational, but what a shockingly awful thing to say?. It really hurts me. Will it fade or is there an easier way to put this behind me? Thank you.
so far away is beyond my reach sadly. i was hoping I hadn't blamed myself in there, did I?
There is that massive 'core truth' that someone wisely spoke of many threads back that binds us to them. Huge emotional blackmail, like having a gun to your head, anyone going NC must feel that? and takes great strength to walk away, as it goes against 'nice' peoples nature to inflict pain, knowing the emotional fallout it will cause (or suicide attempts etc).
He's could be accused of being 'weak', but I don't expect anyone to do what I've done, and I won't hold it against him. If he stayed anywhere else she wouldn't probably have anything to do with him. its a big fuck up mess. He's taken the passive approach.
I dont' think I'd be beholden to someone else's emotional blackmail another time, but within families its a real hard one to fight.
Winding I don't think you were asking him to 'measure' his words atall, just not be vile anymore, and his responsibility to do what he will/won't about that, but sounds like he won't . Hurts do stop hurting when you let yourself feel it so you can move you. There's no easy side-stepping, face it, it was a dreadful thing to say, and I think loaded with everything thats gone before for you also? It will naturally shift from in front of you, to within you and then behind you... I'm sorry. If you wanted to be sure you could double-check that he'd rather say that to you than actually comply with your request and notice that he is hurting you in the way you told him he is? take care xx
I don't want to be free of her, she's my mother and I love her, I don't hate her, don't wish her any harm, I just know now that I can't be around her, it would cause her too much pain, and I won't get any pleasure from that. As that is actually the core truth, that it all causes them pain, for which they have to blame everyone else and absolutely refuse to take it back when acceptance of passed blame is refused!
when they cause us no more pain it is because we are truly ourselves again and cannot be rock by them any more, because our own belief in ourselves is strong enough to realise they cannot accept us, not the other way around. xxx
Yeah Hissy a hell, but it's her hell, I don't want to be the 'trigger' for that, but I'll no longer be somehow less important than her, I have tried and tried to help her, but cannot of course. I was nursing very ill baby and crying and still trying to help her; its important to know its her road to travel and being blunt with ppl can be the only way to make them realise, and not even then...
Yes Fairy, you are so right to say it was loaded with years of stuff that has gone before. I'd not thought before, but when he had it in his power to help me he just ignored the hurt he causes and heaped on more pain. How clearly you made me see that. Your words on the process of recovering have been a great help to me.
My mother has shown me time and time again that I do not matter to her, that my feelings are my own problems.
She has shown me that it's a different story with just about anyone and everyone in her life. they come first.
When someone in our life is mean, hurts us and works to make our lives sad, then we have a right to live free of that.
My mother thinks she loves me, but that is not love. I can't love someone who wishes me harm, or who watches while others perpetrate it.
Her loss. I will only mourn the fact that I never had a decent mother, and never will, the day she dies. I will feel freer, as I will not have my hopes that one day she will see how things ought to be.
No-one has the right to be emotional terrorists in our lives.
They won't change until they know we mean business. When my mother moves house later this year, I will stop bothering with her. I'm not going to confront her, no point, she will do what she has already done, denial, minimisation and blame.
i think she is making a MASSIVE mistake, but you know what? HER look out. She's abandoned ME in the past, many times, sided against me and actively worked to make my terrible former life continue. I'm out.
I admire your tenacity though FairyFi. I really hope you get something out out of it, you certainly deserve to.
no... Hissy... noone has that right to emotional terrorism. I don't see my mother, not for more than a decade, will not see her.... I live that part of my life in peace, as she will continue to do everything she always has, but she won't like me, and thats fine, because I'm not the person I was then.. and she won't like this person that doesn't hang around, bother to argue, listen to the toxicity, and she will feel the pain of that. I know enough to realise that.
The toxicity they pour continually is awful and I'm sorry to hear yours Hissy... I'm glad you are doing what you need...
My tenacity to what? I'm not sure what you mean... xx
I'm thinking of going NC with my toxic mother, and by extension my enabling father and golden child sister.
It's been building for a while, since I moved close to her again after years overseas.
My cousin has been very ill. I was getting to know her when I first came back and always really cared for her. Then she became ill and my mother, who never saw her when she was well, was suddenly up at the hospital constantly. She has a ghoulish side and seems to enjoy the drama of intensive care wards, hospitals etc, it's something that's been very apparent over the years with her.
Anyway my cousin has been getting steadily worse and yesterday I woke up to a text saying 'I"m at the hospital, xxxxx has died. Will speak soon.'
I just can't believe she didn't even bother to call. Like I was not important, just someone who needed to be told for practical reasons, like I never gave a shit about my cousin. I wasn't at the deathbed (my mother went home, but then went back to the hospital when my cousin had died, god knows why, you think she'd give the family some space, they aren't particularly close) and I wasn't at the hospital all the time, but I still think I deserved more than a text message.
I am so sad for my cousin. She was a wonderful mother to a beautiful boy and she won't get to see him grow up now, nor will he have her love anymore.
I just don't think I'll be able to forgive my mum this time. She's always been icy cold and totally insensitive but this has really thrown me.
How do you do it??
Oscalito, no immediate advice. Just didn't want to read and run. So sorry for your loss. Please give yourself the time and space to grieve without giving headspace to your Dm.
Oscalito. I'm so sorry.
I began NC by phoning my Mum and explaining why. I was wracked with guilt at the time. I asked for space but she didn't respect my request and within a fortnight pretended I'd never had that conversation with her. I needed space from my Dad more than anything but her a little too.
It's evolved over time and I've continually had to reinforce boundaries but you get there in the end and it's worth it.
Thanks Meery. It's so hard not to give headspace to my mother... a constant battle. I'm thinking with NC it might be easier.
Don'tstep yes I was thinking of telling my dad, rather than her. I'm due a baby soon and she behaved so badly last time, I don't want her anywhere near me when I have a newborn. Why is it worth it? It just seems easier to suffer them than go through the drama of NC, but she's becoming worse as I challenge/standup to her and it can't really go on like this, it affects my mood too much and I need to be happy for my family (and myself of course).
I hope you are ok Hissy?
Hi Oscilato Im sorry to hear your pain with your mum (in title only it seems )
Some ppl are insensitive! but when its your mum, and the icy cold, lack of empathy you speak clearly of... well sometimes NC does seem the only way.
Important with your impending precious occasion that you choose the best thing, even temporarily to get you the special closeness during this time, without the trampling all over your boundaries. xx
Am I right in thinking it's weird to send someone a text about a family death? At 2am? Instead of a gentle phone call in the morning. It was just so cold and abrupt.
But I don't know if I'm being oversensitive or she's being insensitive (story of my life....).
being distrusting of our own flags that whats happening is wrong and feels bad is very common I think. If someone makes you feel good, they are good... if they make you feel bad, they are bad?
I don't think I could call someone at that time in the night with that sort of information, that would be more about me needing attention than letting the person know because they needed to know, as noone NEEDS to know by being woken up by a text!
I guess the only circumstances would be if you were on alert that someone was getting close to the end and you wanted to know so that you could be there at the end..
... but you are right, because it isn't this 'one-off' incident that feels so bad is it? Its the context of her, that she's always being like this. If you had a lovely supportive close (but normal with the ups and downs) relationship, ths would be considered very insensitive but also out of character, and you would wonder about her 'state' in it all... Whereas its just another example of how she is?
Yes. You articulate it really well, thanks for taking the time to reply. You're right, about trusting your flags. It's often a gut feeling about people/behaviour rather than anything you can pinpoint, isn't it?
I suppose if she'd called me earlier on - they knew she was fading that evening - then at least I would have known and been prepared. I wouldn't have gone up as I know there were a lot of people there and I am a 'remember them as they were' person.
It was just so awful to get a text out of the blue, with no warning that the end was even close, saying she had died. She could have just called me in the morning, it was as if she was saying, you won't care, but here's the information just so you know.
Anyway I'm just going to leave it for now and not say anything, it's such a sad time and my poor cousin isn't even here to hug her son, so I am going to hug mine and remember our lovely conversations instead.
oscalito it's the drama they get off on I think. Like they have the inside track on something. I've seen it before and it's a hideous thing.
Normal people would just call in the morning, not be all Breaking News about it. Dare I even ask how long she waited after the death? Sorry, I know that's a hideous question, but one that occurred to me and already gives me a sense of discomfort.
FairyFi, i'm ok, thanks for asking. Wrestling with the whole fucked up family/life thing atm.
I wish I knew more normal people, cos atm I feel outnumbered. I'm not like them, I can't believe how they live, behave,and treat me tbh, it's a different set of rules.
If your first child told you that her sister had dragged up something from a very dark period of her life, and made damned sure with obvious glee, that she knew she'd been deliberately ignored, when all that was needed was a text to say nothing in particular, a hand hold. If that hurt your DD so badly that she had to cut her out of her life, wouldn't you ask DD2 wtf she had done and why?
No. Apparently not. You'd ignore it all, repeatedly expect DD1 to sweep it all away, for the family's sake, and effectively just STFU about it.
My sister gets invited to this that and the other, and then, would I like to attend? Er no thanks.
Would you like to come to a party for someone who shrieks at you, swears at you and your child when he feels like he can, and has never had any manners towards me since? Just because you, DM married him? Erm, again, no.
So i'm the one on the outside, have nobody in my life, and I know it's the right thing to do, but OMG it feels so shit, so lonely. I'm in a sodding village, no friends within miles, so not even sodding playdates. I feel like I fucked it all up, and my DS is in this shit with me.
oh Hissy it completely sounds so shit and fucked up, absolutely... and a very lonely place to be ... on the outside of it. Its such a rough ride.
I guess its important to know that you have realised it is they who are the fuck ups, right? You know that, you speak that clearly and you are better on the outside of it, and if they maintain an expectation that you would hang around to be shouted at (with your DC)! Yes, I agree, they should be sadly mistaken.
The next bit is rebuilding, starting small, and growing the new circle of people around you, that circle of ppl right now might be here, where you get others that understand the shit that goes around! and sometimes thats works as being all you need whilst things settle inside, before making some small steps out there, in your village, with any kind of kids activity for instance.
Being alone, doesn't always mean being lonely, its growing into your space and moving away from the things you know and believe to be wrong. Its so isolating, but the dysfunctional family dynamic desperately need their support too right? (don't think by saying this I'm condoning it though, as in, they should have support, cos they absolutely shouldn't) but this is the only thing that they can hang onto and if they side with you, doesn't it mean somehow accepting that its dysfunctional and therefore they are wrong too? Each person has to make their own progress towards it or not.... I know each person in my er what I call er 'family' all deal with it differently.
<hand-holding> hun xxx
Please hang onto the fact that you would still be enjoying the greater family circle if they hadn't been so abusive towards you, so absolutely NO, you didn't fuck it up, you got you and your DS out, because you want your lives to be different to that, better, far better.
... keep posting and drawing strength, and making some fun for you and your DS, as all this is now in your control and power to make your lives better, and you will... take care xxx
I just wish, somehow that it hadn't come to this. I wish I was still ignorant to it all.
I've agonised for hours of therapy sessions, days, months and pretty much a year now, and I just wish I could find some way of it not having happened.
Does that make sense?
My ex was abusive, when he left the whole can of neglectful worms got opened.
Makes me feel as monumentally stupid as I did the day he left sometimes.
Feeling sorry for myself today. Will hope to snap back out of it at some point.
Hissy she wouldn't have waited long. TBH I don't even know why she was there. She went back to the hospital in the early hours after my cousin had died. I can't understand that - she was dead. But it's my mother to a T.
God your family sounds like mine, especially the convenient assumption that bad behaviour just gets quietly ignored. How old is your DS? I have a feeling that once they start school it all gets easier as the pressure to provide social activities, playdates etc eases off a bit. I am hoping anyway. The early years are lonely at times, I find.
It's strange how being shouted at in front of your child can be a deal breaker. It must be a shock to the abuser, to suddenly realise they've gone too far. You've done the right thing.
These stories are shocking, as ever I always think I can no longer be surprised by bad parental behaviour. Trust me when I say I'm from a happy, functioning birth family and I'm genuinely aghast for you - I know that people like me don't generally understand (it's my ILs wot have done it!) but if they heard the truth you would have a lot more support.
Oscalito I'm so sorry for your loss. Is there something you can do privately, non-dramatically, to mark your cousin and your bond? It might help to have that moment that your mother cannot intrude on.
Good idea forget me nots. I am having a quiet few days at home being with my DS. She was so sick and I am glad she's not suffering anymore. My mother did ring today wanting to add me to the family death notice, I said we were going to do our own notice, but she's added me to hers anyway. Typical of her to simply ignore what I want, especially when it's a boundary around my independent life away from her control. But yes I am going to take it quietly for a while and not see them at all.
thanks for your support. x
no snapping out required hun... ((hugs)) for the roller-coaster big dip right now, be kind to yourself ... I'm being battered by teens at the mo so have to run! but wanted to say hang on in there, stay with it, sending you lots of warmth and strengths and thinking of you... xxx
Thinking of you for your loss Oscalito.. a way to mark it for yourself sounds lovely xxx
Funny oscelito, I moved back near mother after years abroad too!
I'm NC with my sister, obviously, and my dad too. He set the tone with criticism, DM never challenged any of his shit. Only she married an even lesser man, who thinks he can talk to me like crap.
Again, she let's him. One minute he's supportive of me, the next he's chipping in that there are 2 sides.
At times I want to confront the sister, write and tell her what for and why, but I know it'll only be twisted out of all recognition to the truth. Won't change anything either.
I 'met' an OP on here once, she was me but a few years back, and a little less trapped. I didn't know her, owed her nothing, and in fact having her reminders of what my life had been like, thousands of miles from home, abused and trapped indoors for weeks on end. I cried and cried. For us both.
I kept emailing her, every day until she came home.
All this before I was told that Sis had deliberately ignored my texts for virtual company. I could have died thinking she was busy, but it wasn't enough of a feed for her. She had to see me when she brought me up to speed.
I can't ever forgive that level of cruelty. I won't have that near me or my DS. We've had our fill of crap humans.
Is it just me that struggles to get why if i'm not the one in the wrong, how come i'm outnumbered? How come i'm alone.
I thought i'd found someone to share my life, with similar parents, but after a year he said he saw no future, and so I had to end it. I get that we were together 'for a reason' but for a moment there I thought I had it all.
I know what'll come next will be better, but my god i'm having to dig deep for that faith atm.
Oscalito, huge hugs for you, this stuff, the notice now on top must be hard. Do your own notice. Bigger than hers too! ;-)
Hello everyone, I'm new to these threads. I read a few of the early ones but got a bit daunted by the size of them, and some of the stories made mine pale into comparison.
However, after 5 months of NC with my parents, I have had my very own 'stately homes' moment and I could do with splurging on here a bit, if that's ok.
My mum hasn't attempted much in the way of contact, a few bulk emails to me and my sisters pretending nothing has happened, not addressing me or making any mention of it, a few short individual emails doing things like suggesting if I couldn't bear to see them then maybe DH could take my children to see them instead (as if that's going to happen!)
The period of NC began after I tried to explain some of the things she does and says that upset me, and she batted each one away with various excuses (you're imagining it, I didn't mean it like that, you're over-sensitive, you only remember the bad things...) and I realised she would never want to listen to how I felt.
I've ignored all her emails, so she has finally decided to have her say. She sent an email yesterday that was one section detailing how awful she has felt, and one section giving the results of the 'introspection' I had 'forced on' her.
The results of the introspection is a list of all the ways she was a wonderful mother and all the ways I was a disappointment as a daughter (under the guise of 'I tried to understand when you did xyz...').
My favourite bits were when she explained how after weeks of 'beating herself up over my accusations and behaviour' she was comforted by her friends telling her she was not a mother from hell, and the sign off, where she claims they still love me, but are finding it very hard to like me at the moment.
What baffles me is that she seems to think this email is a step towards resolution (she says 'I do not want to accept the situation as unresolvable) but if you were in a situation where someone had removed themselves from you but you wanted to see them again, wouldn't you, you know, be nice to them?? I know that's a ridiculous question, she wouldn't ever see it like that. As far as she's concerned, I'm punishing her for crimes she didn't commit. She called it a 'stand off' like we're both in period of high tension, waiting for the other to break first. She doesn't realise I'm not contacting her because I simply don't want to see her. I'm happier without her, and getting on with a less stressful and calmer and more stable life.
I'm torn on how to respond to her. I know there's no point in addressing what she says in her email (most of it is irrelevant to what I said before NC), but she's so clearly got the wrong end of the stick it feels like a cruelty to not let her know what my situation is.
I could continue to ignore, but she will probably ramp it up, now that she's broken the 'stand off'. It'd be great if I could give her a quick one liner that would convince her there's no point in railing at me and she should probably just leave me alone.
Not sure how to wrap up this mammoth post, so will just leave it there I think.
I think you said it, this: I'm not contacting her because I simply don't want to see her. I'm happier without her, and getting on with a less stressful and calmer and more stable life.
no stand-off, no more battles, its over!
sorry to post and run.. you are doing everything you need, keep going xxx
What Fairyfi wrote.
Re this part of your comment:-
"I'm torn on how to respond to her. I know there's no point in addressing what she says in her email (most of it is irrelevant to what I said before NC), but she's so clearly got the wrong end of the stick it feels like a cruelty to not let her know what my situation is".
You feel like that because you are at heart kind and reasonable. Your mother however is not and never has been. It would not be like that at all and I would not respond at all. Your mother perhaps knows she has done many wrongs but does not give a toss about you and the damage she has done to you. She like all toxic people never apologise nor take any responsibility for their actions. She is too emotionally damaged and self absorbed in her own self to realise any differently and would not get it in any case. Do not respond at all. Any e-mails she sends you should go automatically to spam.
Thanks FairyFi and Attila. I know I need to block her emails now. I'd been kind of waiting for this one though, just to see what she had to say. But it's entirely as I expected, so I guess it's time to set it up.
You say it's a cruelty not to let her know your position. She already knows your position all too well - she just doesn't care about it, she only cares about her position. If you respond, she'll just come back with some other attempt to manipulate your feelings. Stick with the NC Bisley, it sounds to me like you need peace from her, so block her and enjoy that peace.
It sounds like she's trying to pull you back into line, saying 'stop this drama, look at all the things you've done to me, you're lucky I'm prepared to make this effort, especially as my friends tell me how fabulous I am'.
it's very manipulative. If you are happier without her and your life is calmer then I see no reason to change things. Once she's back in your life you may find yourself being punished for daring to challenge her and you'll be back to square one.
it's hard but well done for being brave enough to go NC.
<nodding vigorously> to Atilla you have said your piece, but she will continue to see it the way she wants to see it, you don't have to keep trying to make her see it your way, if she won't? So you can let go, but I totally get what you mean in your want to do that.
*bisley *DO NOT respond. She is following the narc script to a t.. How dare you ignore her after all she has tone for you? Nevermind she is prepared to forgive your thoughtlessness yada yada yada........
I would keep the email though so if ever you feel a nc wobble coming on you have a solid reminder of what you've escaped from.
I agree with others when they say that you shouldn't bother replying. She will never understand/ care about your position. I recently went NC with my mum and sent her a letter saying why. She responded with a letter that showed no understanding of the situation and was more focused on manipulating me/ showing HER veresion of the truth. I sm glad that your life is happier without her in it - keep it that way
I feel really angry and upset tonight! Now I'm the bad guy.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Can I say I feel hatred towards my mum at the moment maybe I'm the one that's losing it. As she said tonight " your not well bedtime" " your thinking isn't normal "
TheDrugs: welcome, if that's the right thing to say. To pursue a sport professionally takes an awful lot of dedication, determination and belief. All of these things you will need in bagfuls to help you through all this. But imagine, when you have resolved this situation to a point where you're more in control, you'll have all that gumption and more to throw back into your sport!
Keep talking, have you tried looking for a therapist? It'd really helps.
Bedtime what's up chuck? What's happened? Wanna talk about it?
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
thats a horrible thing to say to you bedtime, just because she feels threatened. Who says that shit! Jeeeez
I'm genuinely pleased to hear that you have found such strength from this thread, in the validation of the emptiness and abuse you have had to grow up with hun. You are so young to have already gone through the grieving of the loss of them and now maintaining so well low NC to get what YOU need from this awful situation. I am also amazed at how well you clearly separate out the money from the emotional, as one musn't ever muddy the other.
You have been so brave to let this all out. Let out whatever you want, whatever you feel is helpful to write.
I am really sorry to learn of your emptiness, but you are evidently one strong lass with a huge determination to succeed, not because of, but in spite of, your parenting experience.
take your time... writing all this out, whilst being very cathartic to help you process, also brings a lot up for you too emotionally in reviewing it... there's no rush with this...
Well done for your amazing focus on your sport, keep at it.. xxxx
ooops... forgot to namecheck that - TheDrugs
btw.. the money thing is incredibly common too, it was harder for me to let go because of financial dependence too, it felt like guilt money to me and I had to stop taking it, but looking back I wish I'd thought like you, that they owe me and at least they can do something to help! as long as you are not being emotionally blackmailed over it! take care xx
Sorry I haven't come back till now but sadly I've spent my night arguing with my mother in between this crying and feeling angry and sad. I have got drawn into things with her again and I've had enough. I have put up with a lot. I find it so hard to think of losing my parents. It makes me feel so sick and uneasy. I'm not strong enough to deal with this. I don't want to be alone. I'm scared. I don't want to have no family. I Can't erase the thought of my mum giving birth to me as a tiny baby. In my mind the image and thoughts are of such a special bond that cannot be broken, sadly it's fallen short of that from my mum but that's what I want a bond like that. What have I done not to have that? I am punishing myself.
If I don't see/ speak to her then that's my young sister gone. I mean shes funny with me all the time anyway. She shows no Care or love to me. Ruthless in ways. Im sad about that
the argument was about usual things She's basically telling me off for not seeing her, making me feel bad , calling me awful using really dramatic language to say how wretched I have been. Also she has had 4 medical emergencies in the last two weeks but then she has form for exaggerating everything. Generally it's just a cold or noting at all. Tonight she rings to tell me the doctor said he can't find what's wrong with her so she has to have other tests and a full blood count as she says. She's made it sound really serious then she goes on to say " I've told you bedtime life is short" on one of her texts it is very long basically about how it's awful I don't see her and that " she will be dead soon" she says really strong things like this.
My mother exaggerates so much about her health I never know when she is telling the truth and would feel bad if she ever had anything serious but then how am I supposed to know what's true or not anymore when it comes to her. This is the whole problem she lies a lot so I find it hard to be sympathetic like she wants me to be.
I tried to open up to her. I don't normally as she has form for using my weaknesses against me. I tried to say why I'm hurt and about the past but also about the present but she just wouldn't listen, she kept changing the subject or making it about her. Eg she changed the subject to criticising me about spending to much time with my husband. I don't see how that has anything to do with talking About why I'm hurt. I end up getting annoyed with her as I feel she's dismissing what I say so my voice becomes more stern then she says " I can't talk to you when you speak like this bedtime, it's not a way to communicate" she doesn't ever see that I might sound angry or stern because I'm hurt and actually cut me some slack and just listen to me. She wants me to tell her why I don't see her much and had a big rant at me for this so then I'm trying to explain how I feel then she goes and does the things I've said above, then says " I'm not listening to this I'm going now" making out like I'm silly.
She knows I'm upset when she hung up. Then sent me silly face messages to my mobile and passing off things. I feel as though she thinks my pain is one big joke. She says I'm being silly and makes out I'm not thinking normally and I'm not well. I suffer from bad anxiety she know this, it's very hard. So when she says I'm not well it plays on this as I already feel like life is hard to cope with.
I feel such intense anger towards her sometimes that I think well is she right am I not well, I think it's not normal for me to feel such anger. I question myself. Am I overreacting. All I want is for her to listen to me! I think that's why I get so angry. Listen to my feelings and acknowledge that I am hurt .
She works with offenders then compares me to them and says she's a model citizen and that in basically must be me thats bonkers to think of her in a bad way and then in other messages says " I know your scared" I mean scared. What is that all about scared of what?
It's as though she wants me to be scared. I also feel she goads me a lot.
I feel I got dragged into her crap again. I just get dragged back in then she grinds me down. That's what it feels like anyway.
The drugs don't work - you sound lovely. I get what you mean about having the " material things" but I felt like you emotionally they did not care much. I always felt desperately lonely as a child. I still get that now. From being about 8 i have suffered with anxiety and had low self worth and confidence. I get scared of ending up alone do you? I think this is what keeps me going back and putting up with things.
Also just referring back to the "material things". With this in mind I felt like my parents wanted to keep up with everyone ( the jonses) so a lot of this was motivated by competitiveness. Do you feel that was the same?
So yes they throw back at me that I'm a spoilt brat. ( because they fed and clothed me) and I get the who do you think you are line.
Even though over the years she has said we were all mistakes and also makes us feel bad for being born because " she had to give up her freedom and life for us" if it wasn't for her having babies so young she says she would never have had an affair when I was 16. That's because she didn't live her youth Apparantley. I mean what a thing to ever tell us. She also says the reason her brother doesn't see her is because of me.
That's because when I was 14 I wrote a letter to her real dad who shed never met asking if he would meet up with her. I did this for her because my mother constantly cried to me about her dad. So I thought I was doing something nice. She then says that's the reason her brother doesn't speak to her because I wrote a letter to her real dad. Yes I was a bit unfriendly in it too because of what mum told me but I was only 14 and naive and believed the things she said which now looking back were probably exaggerated.
Also that comes to my next point that she always told us things from being young children that really wernt for kids to know . Adult things.
I was hit with the slipper as a young child. Probably from about 7 and slapped etc. mum used to do it and dad. Sometimes she would get him to do it. I find that hard now thinking how could you hit a child with a slipper. I had OCD from 8 and anxiety. I didn't like my life a lot. I wonder how much this is from my home life or is it normal for perhaps teenagers to not be happy
Thanks hissy, fairy fe and drugs don't work. Your all great.
bedtime there is nothing USUAL about those arguments.
I think your mother is either a Narc or has an untreated personality disorder.
I'm no expert, but she sounds just like the ex of a friend of mine. Even down to the career choice!
You can't win, don't even try to win the game.
You have no choice but to distance yourself.
She rants? You hang up. Every. Single. Time.
It's a bit PA, but it gives you the sense of control back.
Stop making yourself available for her to abuse you, love.
You're not alone, you have your H. Make HIS family your own, if they are kind.
Bedtime, I agree with Hissy, these arguements are not normal, and it isn't you! Your mum definately sounds like a narc - she sounds very similar to my mum. I can also identify with the anger as I used to feel the same rage over my mum. I think it is the combination of disrespect and not being able to have your views listened to, and being made to feel that you are the one that has been crazy! It is an expression of the sheer frustration you have been feeling.
I also think that Hissys idea of hanging up when she rants will help you take some control back. Take are and keep posting
I think everything you suffer Bedtime (and *Thedrugs) is as a direct result of being rejected out of hand by her, being continually put down, and blamed.. Its soooo important that you see that, and hold onto it hun.
Not only that, but that now your life is your own, and you no longer have to accept any of that complete B/S, because thats all it is, and you know you can see it as that. Its just the wretched self-doubts and anxieties creeping in (again the results of everything you've been through).
It would make you one strange and abnormal person if you took all of this and weren't affected by it, to at least the degree you say you are!
Be kind to yourself now hun, reprogramme the stuff 'she says' in your head, to being absolutely worthy, and instead of allowing her to say 'you're a mistake' you can replace that one straight away with 'I'm the best thing that ever happened to you, and you screwed it up', 'I was your opportunity to make something of your life, and you screwed it up' 'us babies were the most precious things you ever had, and you screwed it up'
... because that, lovelies, is actually the truth, live each day by it, going to bed each night, knowing it. You were and are gorgeous marvellous and wonderful babies and adults, but she has iron clad dark glasses welded to her face, with mirrors inside, so will only ever see herself. This is not your fault, and she has no right to take that out on you.
Look to yourself now to see the amazing things inside you. Do things for yourself each day. Truly know the lovely things that you are inside, affirm to yourself all the great things you have done for yourself and others. Know these things to be true, and work hard against her to dispel the self-doubt that she tries to plant - shields up (as Sheldon would say). warm wishes for your journeys Fi x
Thanks all for the replies. I haven't hardly slept a wink. I think that's the worst I doubt myself all the time is it me. Am I taking things too seriously . Am I too sensitive. Even now I'm thinking the bit about when i said we were taking her youth away I think was I over dramatic. I mean she hasn't said sentiments like this for a long time and it wasn't direct , it was more subtle tones, but that's what I took from it.
She tells me all the time my thinkings not right. I feel like I'm going crazy sometimes. I mean I do get defensive a lot even with other people as I never know what they are going to say to me or wether what people say is a dig like mum does. When I call her up on something that I thought was a dig she says things like don't be silly. I would never hurt you. Then I question myself thinking maybe I've got it wrong.
I mean she said to me a few weeks ago " oh you'll be a lady of leisure soon" in my mind I thought that was a dig but am I wrong? That's the thing questioning wether things are or aren't a dig. She said oh don't be daft all women my age of 50 and over say things like this. But the context seemed to not fit, she's not really a joker type.
She sounds very strange, bedtime. Possibly she is simply unable to read your signals, that you are upset, unable to be a caring and sympathetic person. It's just beyond her. Look after yourself - go to bed and rest, turn off the phone so she can't text you (or ask her not to call anymore), take a break. She'll get out of your head again eventually, but it is overwhelming when they push your buttons and you just have to try and stay calm in the face of someone who is behaving very badly. Even harder when it's your own mother.
My mother and the golden child sister have been exhausting this week, as they always are around anything involving birth or death. My cousin is dead and they seem to be almost revelling in all the drama. The latest is my sister ringing me yesterday and telling me that my mother is in charge of all food so I have to run my ideas for things to bring to the wake past her, and secondly that because it's her daughter's birthday on the day of the funeral she is going to bring a birthday cake to the wake and everyone will sing happy birthday. Apparently my cousin 'would have loved it'. I think it's fucking bonkers, but what do I know?
Ps bedtime my mother never said we took her youth away, but she did used to say 'If this all gets too much and I have to choose between my children and my husband I will choose my husband.'
I mean, what is that supposed to mean, exactly?
Oh dear god Oscelito! The birthday cake?
I'd be making a quiet call to the cousin's family yo get them to veto that one, there and then.
It HAS to be all about them huh? Shocking!
A birthday cake at a wake, talk about self indulgent!!!
Apparently my cousin's sister (my other cousin) said it was OK and my cousin (the one whose wake it is) would be happy. My sister can be slightly overbearing though and obviously my cousin is devastated having just lost her sister and probably not thinking too clearly.
But yes, I thought I would mention it here as other Stately Homers may well find bleak comfort in the nuttiness of my family.
Oh Oscalito!! A birthday cake at a wake is bad enough but forcing everyone to sing Happy fucking Birthday?!! Priceless!
I'm sorry I just had to laugh!
Glad it made someone laugh midwife. I'm going to be cringing. And pregnant so stone cold sober too.
Oh no so you can't even get bladdered to ease the pain! Ugghh!
oscalito you're going to have to distance yourself from your dm and dsis as regards catering. I can just see you getting stuck with having to make mounds of egg sandwiches or providing some exorbitant dish i.e. end up doing the stuff dm doesn't want to.
And as for the cake, either practise your bemused aren't they loopy face or use that moment to disappear for a pg loo trip.
Meery DM is in meek mode at present as I've been complaining loudly about the text message she sent me at 2am to tell me my cousin had died.
Normally I wouldn't have complained, it would just be a subtle way of making me feel irrelevant that no one else would have found out about, but thanks to MN I am now pointing out her inappropriate behaviour any chance I get.
So I told her what I was making and she has said fine. She won't eat any of it though, and will go on and on about how
unbelievably amazingly delicious Golden Child's offerings are, though. I will be sending DH to scoff my dishes, though. Two can play this game .
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I'm sorry to jump on this thread like this, I just feel confused I guess. And guilty. I've been reading your posts and can relate to many.
Today, as I was talking to my mum on Skype, I realised I feel emotionally cold towards my family (mum, dad and sisters). The last 12+months have been difficult, ever since DH and I announced we were expecting our first child (DS). I was depressed during pregnancy and as much as I would not want to point fingers, a lot of it had to do with how my family reacted and how they've treated me since (and obviously how I failed to deal with it all). Their comments made me feel like I did not deserve to be pregnant with DS, I felt like a failure, like an evil person. I felt lonely, and still do. Even with DH and DS and other family and friends. I'm so demanding to be wanting and needing love and support from my parents and sisters.
I had PND, could not bond with my baby, my relationship with DH suffered (both of these are now good) but I still feel emotionless towards my parents and sisters, like there is no bond. I care for them, as you would care about another human being, someone you sort of know, but I don't miss them (we don't live close). As I'm still on ML and money is tight, they've offered to pay for our travel to go see them. My head and heart are screaming 'no, don't go!' but I don't want to influence our DS's relationship with my parents and sisters.
When we look at photos and there are some with my mum or dad, I have to leave the room. It's upsetting, not to the point of crying, but still upsetting. I look at them and think, who are these people??
I did not grow up in violent, abusive home. My dad was away a lot (work) and my mum never had time for me. I was a shy, odd (looking and behaviour wise) child and was made fun of a lot by other kids and my sisters.
I fear that I'm going to be a cold mother, just like my mum is and my DS is always going to feel he's not getting enough love and cuddles from me.
There, I just needed to tell someone. I talk to my DH about this a lot so he must be getting sick of it by now.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
I would echo what TheDrugsDontWork has written.
You are not going to be like your mother because you have enough insight to realise that your own treatment of yourself as a child was wrong and you would never do that to your own child.
Listen to your heart and head re not going to your parents.
I would also say that if your parents are too toxic for you to deal with, then they are certainly too toxic for your child to have any form of contact with. Your role here as parents is to protect him from such malign influences; he needs both decent and positive role models in his life.
Parenting is very different when we have our eyes open like you Sandra
I'm really glad if anything helps thedrugs - that was a spot on text response! Perhaps I sound sorted thanks.... knowing and feeling tho v. different things! The distanced perspective makes all the difference doesn't it, so much easier to see the wood for the trees for others? and why NC works so beautifully... do keep posting, the best medicine being validation and support through this 'parent disease'...
Hello, I wondered if I can join this thread please? I read a lot a while ago but thought 'hey, my parents aren't THAT bad' but since telling them how I feel their words & actions have shown me my instincts were right & my relationship with them isn't 'normal' at all. Psychological, emotional abuse from my Mum, the one person in the world you're supposed to be able to rely on, and my father let it happen. I will not repeat it with my beautiful children. As I'm in the process of going NC I thought I might need your support as I'm worried there'll be a backlash when Mum realises what's happening. Am actually in quite a good place at the moment as feel I've come a long way in the last few years but I am aware that that can change so quickly with contact from them and I want to be strong. This thread has been amazing, to find other people who understand & have been through similar helps (although I wish none of us had obviously). Most of my friends have parents who are kind, who love them and so have no idea how it feels when you realise your Mum doesn't like you, doesn't love you & doesn't treat you nicely. Whenever they are in my life things are disrupted, contemplating life without them feels calm & peaceful (though I struggle with the guilt) but it has been their choice all along to treat me like this & to continue when I asked them to change, I am happy that I've done all I can with my Mum (not so sure about Dad yet but think in my heart know he's not going to change & go against my Mum). Just hope I can continue to put the past where it belongs & continue looking forward to a happy, wonderful life. So many of the things I've read on here are familiar & you've inspired me that I can get through this. Just have to remember I am not the problem (as I've been told all my life). Good luck to everyone else dealing with this.
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Hello TheDrugs, thank you for your kind words. I've been reading your posts and agree it really does help to 'talk' and get it out rather than have everything going round in your head. I'm sorry I don't feel qualified to answer your question about whether your father is a narc as I'm still wrestling with that one about my Mum, but am sure some others on here will be able to answer. I do know however that the treatment you describe from both your parents is just plain wrong and inexcusable, you sound like you're on the right path to be an incredibly sorted person and I send you my very best wishes that life is great for you from now on.
Oh thedrugsdontwork your father sounds very abusive. You poor thing. I remember having therapy as similar to you my father 'went off' me around the time I turned 9 or 10 and she said very matter-of-factly yes this happens sometimes with daddy's girls because the relationship becomes sexualised. I was but I think there was an element of that, he was never able to comfortably let go, and it sounds like your father was similar, calling you bee sting lips, giving you no privacy in the shower etc.
Your story is very similiar to mine but the strange thing is reading yours I can see without a doubt you did absolutely nothing wrong, you were a child and in a very dependent situation, whereas when I look at my own situation I feel guilty, selfish, all the words they use on me. It just goes to show how people take on all the horrible names they are called and start to believe them, when in fact they have done nothing wrong. I need to start believing that and so do you!
It's interesting that your mother also calls you selfish. My mother has always said I'm selfish, hard, amoral etc but weirdly when I look at her now she is describing herself. She is selfish and manipulative to a breathtaking degree, it is as if there is something missing, or as if she never got past a childlike stage. Like your mother mine will also spend a huge amount of money on herself, clothes etc, but only buy the meanest cheapest things for her kids. She recently bought my DS a very cheap polyester duvet and a really ugly cover. She's wealthy, too, though you'd never know it. I took them back and got a refund , but for herself she'll spend hundreds on a t-shirt, for example.
I am starting to think it will be easier to see much less of them. There is no reasoning with her, no changing her. I don't get any back up from my old family - one sister is the golden child and won't listen to any criticism, one is on anti-depressants that are very effective, so simply doesn't get upset by her anymore, and my father just goes along with her for the sake of an easy life, he would never ever take my side.
I know they will think I am being spiteful as they won't see my DS, but it's tough. She was so overbearing when I had him, I really don't want her anywhere near me when I am in that vulnerable state after giving birth, so it's almost as if I am fighting with them now to get some distance and privacy for the birth. It feels sad but good as well, I know it's what I want.
Butterfly swan good luck to you with NC. Tell us how it goes, I am contemplating it myself, I know exactly what you mean about how your life is less disrupted without your parents. My dad is OK and can behave normally these days, but my mother is just so unhinged and getting worse as she ages, she needs constant attention and validation and you cannot ever have a normal conversation with her, it's always me me me, anything you say she has to top with a better story about herself, she boasts constantly, tells the same stories again and again, and constantly compares my DS to the golden child's children (who if you ask me really haven't benefited at all from being treated like the second coming of christ). All of that would probably be OK except she has times that are totally unpredictable when she will be icy cold, sulky, distant, rude and seem incredibly furious but won't say a word, and I simply cannot bear her when she's like that (it will also be at the worst times, eg when I'm meeting them for my birthday dinner). Her moods always ruled our house growing up, sometimes she would also become violent, and I won't have it affecting me anymore.
anyway enough from me also. sending you all normality and enjoyable days, with no nutty family-of-origin behaviour!
Your parents actually sound very similar to each other in that they're both abusive and not above using power and control methods to get what they want. I would think your mother is definitely narcissistic in terms of personality and your father is a bullying drunkard.
God only knows what their own childhoods were like, pound to a penny that featured abuse throughout as well. It is NOT repeat NOT your fault they are this way.
I would keep looking for an English speaking therapist where you live.
BTW I'd cancel the flower order for her birthday and keep the flowers for yourself instead. They do not deserve you at all in their lives.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
How "benevolent" of her not in allowing you to choose somewhere you've always wanted to go to. Do not let her spoil your choice.
Use the holiday as a line in the sand; do not let her upset you by potentially spoiling somewhere that you've always wanted to visit to boot. You can go off and do your own thing of a day and perhaps only meet up in the evening if she starts on you. Have clear and set boundaries and stick to them to the letter. Such women are masters of, "come closer so I can hurt you again". Hence be very careful.
Not at all surprised to read that your Dad's childhood was abusive, of course it did him harm. He is stupid for stating otherwise but denial is a powerful force after all. As for your mother, one or both of her parents likely made her the centre of their universe.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Hi Oscalito, I plan to keep reading and will post if NC triggers my Mum off as I suspect it will when she realises what's going on. I may need support from people who understand. Something you said to TheDrugsDon'tWork gave me a lightbulb moment (thank you, I've had a lot when reading here!) to help me understand my father, I was a Daddy's girl when I was little & now have an explanation for why that all changed when I was older, I've puzzled over that one.
TheDrugsDontWork you've had great advice from Oscalito & Attila here, I hope it helps you deal with everything, I'm in awe that you've realised at a much younger age than I was that 'normal' family life was not what I experienced, I struggled for years being made to feel like I was the problem & am so pleased I've realised now, particularly so I don't pass it on to my wonderful children, think of all those years ahead of you you have to be happy!
Just a thought but you DO have a choice about whether to go away with your mother (even if you make a last minute excuse about being ill) you don't HAVE to go. If you do go keep those boundaries firmly in place, I hope you have a lovely birthday.
Im having a quiet read of all this whilst avoiding dm who's staying this weekend. Taking lots of deep breaths and smiling and nodding a lot. God that woman lives in a parallel universe.
Everything that comes out of her mouth makes her out to be a good guy either yours truly the baddy in it all. Nothing really malicious but enough to keep me on shells. Eg "you didn't reply to my ansa msg" (that's because you didn't leave one dm), or on seeing some chocs that dmil had bought dc " id buy you chocolate but mummy told me not too" (bollox scuse language)
Seems petty but is so wearing.....ah well best go back and find out what else I've done wrong.
Mil is now asking when her next visit will be, hard to know what to say to dh in all honesty. In truth she didn't actually do anything bad whilst here last time, but dhs moods after the even led me to believe otherwise.
For now i'm making excuses to dh that the stress will do me no good, i'm 10 weeks pregnant! For now i have told him i cannot even contemplate seeing her until after my scan (not that i am telling any of them) just don't need the stress after my mc in feb. Read through all your stories everyone and it has given me an insight into what my dh may or may not have suffered due to his parents.
He doesn't speak much about his childhood and very rarely talks about it. If i ask him questions, i often get "i can't remember", all i know is that fil beat him, but how or how bad i'll never know. Feel sad he can't talk to me. All i know is that when he has been in contact via phone or text he goes downhill moodwise for days and sometimes weeks. After the first visit with mil, dh seemed to enjoy the day but afterwards seemed distant and moody for atleast a week, almost snappy even.
Even seeing his parents, i'm assuming brings memories for him, so getting back into contact didn't really work tbh. So now sil & mil are on the sideline waiting anxiously for visiting, but don't think i can bare the stress to watch dh cope with it.
Well after going nc with mum, dad phoned for first time tonight... For three minutes, which was just so he could hand the phone over to mum. I calmly said "no, i made myself clear before." Dad: "ok bye."
So guess he has made himself clear. He obviously hasn't even missed me enough to chat. Before this i used to phone every week and we would chat for at least an hour most times. He obviously does not care at all about our relationship. He just wants to sweep it all under the carpet and carry on as normal... That is not going to happen. I have started feeling much happier the last week. My life is much much happier without mum, and if that is how little dad cares, then i am better without him too. Strange, but i thought i would feel more upset than this - i used to adore my dad. I feel offended by the lack of care/ value they place on me, but sad? No, not sad as such.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Drugs - hope you are ok! I think that if you are that worried about your previous posts then maybe you should ask for them to be taken down. Hard to say if you are overreacting to the photos, but I can relate to some of your post.
I went from a daddys girl to not really wanting to be around him in my teens. i felt very uncomfortable around him, frequently felt he was letching/ looking at my boobs, found explicit porn mags on several occasions where he knew i would find them. He never did anything (i think) though i did wonder whether something had happened and i had suppressed it or something, but i doubt it. Actually i hadnt even remembered any of this until reading your post and haven't told anybody any of that. Funny how you can block certain memories for years. Is it normal to feel creeped out by your father in your teens? I always put it down to hormones/ becoming aware of changes in your body etc.
Pumpkin - i agree with Drugs reply. But also want to share some of why I don't always want to talk about every little thing with my husband. He is very supportive and i share most stuff with him. However, every visit/ phonecall with my mum would have its own drama.
I love the fact that the rest of my life/ my marriage is warm, safe and happy. Often (unless i really need to talk about the latest problem), it is precisely because i value my husband so much that i don't want to share all the stupid little things with him. Sometimes it feels as though my mum has poisoned my childhood and all aspects of my life, and i just want to keep some of the good parts untainted. I want to keep my marriage mum-free as much as possible. I'm probably not explaining it very well, but maybe he doesn't talk to you about his family because he enjoys the normal, loving environment that you provide.
Meery - i hope your weekend with dm wasn't too awful
Butterfly - i also realised exactly how wrong things were with my mum after finding mn a couple of months ago. It was also the catalyst for me reading about narcs and deciding to go no contact.
Hi TheDrugs sorry, I'm really not sure about deleting your posts in case of being identified by your parents, I hope mine can't identify me either (but then we shouldn't be scared of telling the truth about what's happened to us at their hands), hopefully someone will be along to help with that soon but I didn't want you to be panicking alone.
I'm sure you're not over reacting though, one of the legacies our messed up parents have given us is to question & doubt our instincts & leave us not knowing what's 'normal'. FWIW I think finding your father watching porn in his office during the day is not normal, surely he would know you were around? Taking photos of you in your bikini doesn't seem right to me either. Hopefully some more experienced posters will offer their help & wisdom soon, take care.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Thanks milly. We survived but im really sad that our relationship is such that im glad to see the back of her rather than be sad she's gone.
I just hate the things she says to the dc especially when im out of sight. For example, They adore her and asked why she didn't visit more often. She told them it was because i didn't let her. How could anyone say such a thing to a child? I may find her difficult company and prefer not to see her but i would never deliberately worry the dc with it.
I chickened out of calling her on this one. I regret not doing so.
Hi thedrugs - I am sorry that my comments have triggered unsettling feelings for you. It was something I worked out in the safety of a therapy room and I probably should be a little more careful about blurting insights like that out online as they have the potential to be upsetting, especially if the person reading them doesn't have RL support as I did.
I think for me there came a point with my mother - when she came to stay for an extended period of time without my father, who seems to 'contain' her, when I simply had to talk to someone, and I found myself a good therapist. It also coincided with a chat with someone at a work lunch about the value of psychotherapy and I decided I was worth the money and time. It changed my life.
Having a child has definitely brought up a lot of stuff again but I think that is normal.
Anyway I just wanted to say don't panic, get the posts removed if you would feel happier but keep posting here if you find it helpful.
apologies to anyone else if that comment was unsettling/upsetting. it's a big one, but my therapist was very matter of fact when she said it. I think the relationship becoming sexualised or even just changing is normal, but some fathers handle it very badly or become very uncomfortable and that is where the problems start.
Hi all. I just wanted to say hi.
I'm sorry that I'm not capable of sharing much at the moment (I'm hopelessly confused about it all), but I wanted to just share a little solidarity with you all.
Hi all. I'm a long time lurker on this thread and one of the many people who have found it a sanity saver. Some of it has made me feel uncomfortable and terribly sad or just . Thank you so much for sharing your memories and wisdom. It's helped me through a very difficult winter and has encouraged me to start counselling, which I can feel is changing my life.
Not ready to really participate yet, also because I keep thinking that I didn't have it as bad as most others on here, but I'll keep reading. x
More mil nonsense, my dds birthday is coming up soon, so mil wants to buy her shoes-fair enough, no problem with that but she has phoned dh 4 days in a row about what size feet she is, she has been told a size 5, and today mil had said to dh that dd feet can't possibly be that small as her other grandaughters feet are a size bigger and she is a year younger so she is insisting on buying her a larger pair. I despair i really do, it's almost like christmas 2011 when she bought the kids pjs that were 3 sizes too big and insisted they pose for photos next to their nieces who had perfect sized pjs on.
Sorry for rambling but getting sick of my kids getting treated like second best all the time.
Even when mentioning my dd birthday, she has to bring the other grandkids into it. Dh doesn't even notice
Oh pumpkinsweetie my mother does that kind of thing too. Maddening. At least she is insisting on buying a size too big. I would just say, fine, get what you want and at least she will grow into them. But make sure you are clear with her about the size so she knows it's her fault. And when she tries them on and they're too big just say, oh well, we'll put them aside for when they fit. Then pack them away and refuse to engage further.
More madness at my end. My mother rang me to see if I'm going to my cousin's viewing tomorrow. I said, no, I'd prefer to remember her as she was and it's probably best to give the family some space isn't it, seeing as her sister wouldn't have even seen her yet (she flew over after she died). Of course my mother refuses to even take that hint - give those poor people some effing space you ghoulish woman - and says, 'oh well just do as you think best.'
Then she tells me that our family dog was sick all day yesterday and today they finally decided to take him to the vet to have him put down and she rang me tonight to tell me he's gone. I could have said goodbye....! But I'm glad he's gone, the poor dog was so neglected. Our last conversation went like this:
'The dog's looking well isn't he' [dog lying on lawn in sun, not dragging back legs around, so looking fairly normal for once]
'No he looks terrible. I can't believe you still haven't taken him to the vet, it's cruel.'
[mum puts hand on her heart and puts on pathetic voice] 'Oh you shouldn't say things like that. Don't tell me I'm cruel....'
'I didn't say you were cruel, I said it's cruel not to give an animal medical treatment when it clearly needs some.'
And then to top it all off my toxic sister is flying in for the funeral. Oh, god, give me strength. The family of my cousin (siblings and dad) have now said they will handle all the food (were probably feeling a bit pushed around, I suspect, but my sister is still going to have a birthday cake for her daughter at the wake.
this so outs me to anyone who knows me. I may NC soon.....
Sorry to hear about your family dog oscalato
The birthday cake at the wake sounds so "me me me", gosh it seems they have forgot it's a funeral they are going to and not an actual birthday party!
It's sad there seems so many of these toxics out there, but good to know we aren't alone i suppose. Until mn i thought my ils were the only ones and that maybe i should put up with their behaviour, but now i know different.
Exactly. They must wonder why their previously docile daughters and DIL's suddenly adopt a take-no-shit attitude. I find it very very helpful to blab on here and have people tell me my DM and sisters are being bonkers. It is reassuring because they have zero insight into their behaviour.
It's also interesting that so much of the puzzling/slightly odd behaviour could be put down to being a bit thoughtless or insensitive eg getting your kids clothes that are too big for them. But when you hear it from others and it chimes with your own experiences and intuition you somehow know it's not accidental. Previously to MN i would have assumed I was being either oversensitive, overcritical or paranoid.
It's funny (well, not 'funny') about pets, isn't it.
After the divorce, dad had custody of the dog. Mum the children. Several years later, he went away for a year, so had the dog put down. No discussion, no questions. My mum would have taken her like a shot. It's true she (the dog) was elderly and arthritic, but Mum would have been prepared to deal with the vets and medicate when he wouldn't.
Similar story with our pet chickens when we were children. One day he slaughtered them and served them up for lunch, laughing hysterically (mid-meal) when he told us, and then getting cross that we were upset.
It sort of says a lot about his character. All things, including people and animals, are worth his time only as long as he's getting something out of them. Then they're completely disposable.
OK, so apparently I can share the pet stuff. That's a start at any rate.
I'm sorry you lost your pet, Oscalato.
Huge sympathies about the MIL, Pumpkin. It's almost as though she simply cannot comprehend that any people might be different than her perceived opinion of what people 'should' be like. Strange. One of the best things about people is the variety.
That is horrible about the chickens Fog. And about the dog. how spiteful, and how sad for your mother if she would have taken the dog anyway. I don't understand people who think dogs are disposable, which is why I don't have one, too much of a commitment.
Oddly I have another recollection of my mother that's very disturbing to do with animals. I rescued a little bird once, as children do, and put it safely in an egg box. Anyway our old dog got to it and it died.
But did my mother simply say, oh, the bird has died, shall we bury it?
No. She leaned right down into my face as if to watch my expression and said "The dog ate the little bird". And put lots of emphasis on the word ate, as if she was relishing that detail. It is a bit like your dad gathering you all for a meal and then telling you halfway through it's your beloved pets. Sadistic.
Uggh. And yes, sharing the pet stuff is a start. Well done. And thanks for your sympathies about my dog.
pumpkinsweetie My mum does stuff like that too. There's a whole load of back story involving her implying dd1's fussy eating was leading to malnutrition and stunting her growth. She has always been concerned about her being 'so small', and can't seem to accept that she isn't in age appropriate clothes, i.e. she wears size 3-4 when she's 4 (!) she should clearly be in 4-5 by now. When we were looking for a winter coat for dd1 she insisted in making her try on a size 4-5, even though she had already tried on a 3-4 and it was on the big size. Ludicrous behaviour.
Strangely, dd1's eating has improved hugely since I haven't had mum pouring poison into my ear about it.
And as I suspected, my mum has ramped up the attempts to force me into contact. I'm fielding daily phonecalls from her now. They are staying near me while they have some work done on the house and mum has left messages basically threatening that she will keep trying until they go. The tone of voice is definitely anger and threatening, if there was the slightest bit of humility or concern for me I might (^might^) be swayed, but there isn't, just anger that I'm defying her.
The latest message is that they're going back home, but there's been so much going wrong with the work and dad isn't handling it well and he's 'not looking too good', and she doesn't want me to 'regret not seeing him before... they go back'. I can just hear her wanting to pretend he's at death's door just to emotionally blackmail me, but pulls herself back from it because (I imagine) it's simply not true. She rang off with 'Show some compassion daughter!'. Or at least I think that was the end of the message, I deleted it at that point. I'm just waiting for the strength to delete the messages without listening to them.
Oh god, I just remembered being left alone in the house when I was young (maybe 8/9) and one of my older sisters' gerbils choosing that time to die. I was sitting at the door waiting for them all to get back, absolutely distraught, and was