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

(1000 Posts)

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

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012
January 2013

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."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

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
Pete Walker

Some books:

Homecoming
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)

Midwife99 Sun 03-Mar-13 18:32:37

Hi y'all xxx

Marking placesmile

Rosehassometoes Sun 03-Mar-13 18:36:37

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.

Oopla Sun 03-Mar-13 18:54:10

Marking, hi grin

Rose-hope you and your son are feeling better soon

Badvoc Sun 03-Mar-13 19:02:47

Hello smile

FairyFi Sun 03-Mar-13 19:21:15

<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.

xxx

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?

IncogKNEEto Mon 04-Mar-13 07:52:47

Hi everyone smile thanks for the new thread midwife.

Welcome remembering.

No time to read all or post as should be on school run!

FairyFi Mon 04-Mar-13 07:56:16

welcome here remembering I am sorry to hear of the loss of your mum, especially as you are recognising issues sad

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

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 11:20:15

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.

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 11:27:55

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.

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 11:29:31

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.

PSYCHO

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Mon 04-Mar-13 12:21:11

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.

marissab Mon 04-Mar-13 12:31:27

Marking my place on the new thread.

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 12:48:03

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

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 12:49:21

that should say approx 2000 days of it

FairyFi Mon 04-Mar-13 13:09:32

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 grin grin

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 sad oh well

xx

YellowOtter Mon 04-Mar-13 13:47:58

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.

Salbertina Mon 04-Mar-13 14:26:57

Me too, YO.

unschoolmum Mon 04-Mar-13 15:12:25

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 thanks

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?

oldtoys Mon 04-Mar-13 17:10:46

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.

Midwife99 Mon 04-Mar-13 17:31:11

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. sad

Badvoc Mon 04-Mar-13 17:39:17

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" smile sad
I think he means that we play with him, and have fun. Not that we should be adorning the pages if vogue!

unschoolmum Tue 05-Mar-13 08:59:55

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.

Badvoc Tue 05-Mar-13 09:03:36

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.

FairyFi Tue 05-Mar-13 09:38:17

daughter of narcissus - only just started reading.. I have heard its good and an enjoyable read, but I think its very boring so far sad - 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

oldtoys Tue 05-Mar-13 10:41:07

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.

Salbertina Tue 05-Mar-13 10:44:31

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.

tangerinefeathers Tue 05-Mar-13 20:44:28

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!

FairyFi Tue 05-Mar-13 21:34:11

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

Oopla Tue 05-Mar-13 23:01:35

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!

FairyFi Tue 05-Mar-13 23:16:07

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

Hissy Tue 05-Mar-13 23:19:29

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

tangerinefeathers Wed 06-Mar-13 04:58:33

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 grin ]

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.

Hissy Wed 06-Mar-13 07:39:22

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.

FairyFi Wed 06-Mar-13 07:46:48

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 angry (didin't witness it) took DC back to her and made her apologise to DC, was shaking with grrrr....

Salbertina Wed 06-Mar-13 08:03:24

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

tangerinefeathers Wed 06-Mar-13 08:06:33

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.

FairyFi Wed 06-Mar-13 08:42:37

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! confused shock His NSDM smacked her and I looked to him and said, well? .... absolute silence.... not even a look, nothing.

tangerinefeathers Wed 06-Mar-13 08:52:37

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 sad

unschoolmum Wed 06-Mar-13 09:18:21

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!

oldtoys Wed 06-Mar-13 09:50:43

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!!

oldtoys Wed 06-Mar-13 09:57:00

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 angry

oldtoys Wed 06-Mar-13 09:58:38

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.

FairyFi Wed 06-Mar-13 14:46:28

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 shock sad 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 sad

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' sad - they are like a race of aliens to me right now... so far from whats right, caring and 'normal'!!!!

FairyFi Wed 06-Mar-13 15:19:16

hadn't realised quite how toxi mil is?!! well happy to say 'ex' mil! what a bitch!!! very grrrrr...

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Wed 06-Mar-13 17:42:38

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? grin

unschoolmum Thu 07-Mar-13 07:57:42

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 doesn’t 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.

tangerinefeathers Thu 07-Mar-13 11:28:54

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....

tangerinefeathers Thu 07-Mar-13 11:38:01

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.

FairyFi Thu 07-Mar-13 12:21:03

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

Sunnywithshowers Thu 07-Mar-13 13:19:15

Hello all

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.

FairyFi Thu 07-Mar-13 13:42:25

well done sunny for tough decisions, sounds horrible sad. Maybe the grieving for leaving them behind starts now? No apologies please! Or we'll all have to start wink

Sunnywithshowers Thu 07-Mar-13 13:57:12

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.

oldtoys Thu 07-Mar-13 14:04:16

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.

marissab Thu 07-Mar-13 17:42:49

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. sad

FairyFi Thu 07-Mar-13 17:48:44

I still miss that marrisab but know that I couldn't hve had that with them sad. 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

unschoolmum Thu 07-Mar-13 18:19:50

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 sad

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

FairyFi Thu 07-Mar-13 21:25:35

have only a minute did a skim read pumpkin so sorry to hear of mc thanks for you, thats really tough. sad

What a load to handle with your dms news too sad time for DH to step up, and I really hope he does for you. sending you wishes for strength through all this lovely. xx

forgetmenots Thu 07-Mar-13 21:47:19

Pumpkin I am so sorry to hear your mc thanks, 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

Midwife99 Fri 08-Mar-13 08:17:14

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.

Sunnywithshowers Fri 08-Mar-13 13:47:26

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 smile. 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

forgetmenots Fri 08-Mar-13 17:28:52

Good for you pumpkin, glad to hear your DH is getting stronger too - it's not easy is it!

marissab Fri 08-Mar-13 19:47:28

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.

unschoolmum Sat 09-Mar-13 11:09:21

pumkin sorry

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.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 09-Mar-13 12:35:07

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...

Hissy Sat 09-Mar-13 13:11:48

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! thanks

Oopla Sat 09-Mar-13 13:26:31

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 grin

Midwife99 Sat 09-Mar-13 16:17:30

I'm ignoring Mother's Day completely!! DH & I agree that I am the "only mother" in our family sad

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 Daythanks

sufficient Sat 09-Mar-13 21:13:06

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 thanks

Hi sufficient,

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.

oldtoys Sat 09-Mar-13 22:17:40

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.

sufficient Sat 09-Mar-13 23:02:09

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.

Thanks again.

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.

HellesBelles396 Sun 10-Mar-13 08:29:38

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...

Midwife99 Sun 10-Mar-13 08:34:00

Happy Mothers Day everyone! Remember - Fear Obligation Guilt!!

HellesBelles396 Sun 10-Mar-13 08:34:50

Sorry - berating not beating - it wasn't as bad as that!

Hi sufficient,

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.

AnAirOfHope Sun 10-Mar-13 09:13:26

Hello

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.

Midwife99 Sun 10-Mar-13 09:18:05

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. sad
Man made religion is not the same as spirituality & goodness necessarily.

AnAirOfHope Sun 10-Mar-13 09:40:58

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 sad

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 angry

Midwife99 Sun 10-Mar-13 10:06:57

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.

Salbertina Sun 10-Mar-13 10:14:02

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 smile

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.

forgetmenots Sun 10-Mar-13 11:14:11

AirofHope, I'm sorry to hear your story sad. 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.

THIS.

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

FairyFi Sun 10-Mar-13 11:22:09

wishing you all your own Happy Mother's Days.

powerful words air well said. y yy

midwife shock sad

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

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 15:40:10

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

Midwife99 Sun 10-Mar-13 15:53:45

Don't call. Enjoy your day. thanks

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 15:57:59

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 confused

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 16:05:29

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

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 16:09:56

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.

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 17:01:34

I've told him he cant tell me to phone her & he apologised, as he knows the situation

HellesBelles396 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:36:20

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 grin. 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!

FairyFi Sun 10-Mar-13 18:36:09

thanks to you all... Hope the day has been ok. I've had a lovely time of NC. xx

BlackMaryJanes Sun 10-Mar-13 18:54:30

Happy Mothers Day everyone. I've been NC with my mother since July. Still NC now. No regrets smile

CaptChaos Sun 10-Mar-13 18:57:47

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! grin

Makingmama Mon 11-Mar-13 03:54:48

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 confused! 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 sad 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?

FairyFi Mon 11-Mar-13 12:16:31

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

Lostfound Tue 12-Mar-13 00:45:35

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.

FairyFi Tue 12-Mar-13 01:17:23

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

marissab Tue 12-Mar-13 17:30:57

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

HughPughBarneyMcGrew Wed 13-Mar-13 08:37:04

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 hmm 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 smile

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 09:35:33

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 wink

Welcome here.. keep posting xx

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 09:36:34

oops... stay strong! not 'wrong' of course! blush

Makingmama Wed 13-Mar-13 09:57:04

Thanks everyone smile 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.

Thanks again.

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 12:34:20

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 sad

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 sad

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 12:37:38

Fairy, Hugh and making - gosh I can identify with your feelings so much. I hope you are all ok.

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:08:34

good to offload Wilde keep it coming! wink 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 wink

y y Making such a lovely lady, so caring, kind thoughtful --back-stabbing, lying, ignorant, deceitful, neglectful......* [my narcM]

Lovemarmite Wed 13-Mar-13 13:08:48

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.

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:09:04

want to NC now to CuthbertDibbleGrub !!!

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:18:31

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

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 14:16:35

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 !!!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 14:33:28

Thank you for listening to my rant smile. 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?!

Makingmama Wed 13-Mar-13 15:52:17

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!!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 16:05:20

Oh making! sad

HughPughBarneyMcGrew Wed 13-Mar-13 16:06:56

Thanks FairyFi - I've just seen your post! I'd rather be Windy Miller but its gone! smile Hello and 'hang-on-in-there' to everyone else.

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 19:50:26

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?

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 19:54:15

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!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 20:28:52

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 smile

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.

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 20:37:07

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 smile

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 21:26:41

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.

oldtoys Thu 14-Mar-13 17:29:37

I need to vent and say I feel sh::sad 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

oldtoys Thu 14-Mar-13 17:30:42

That was meant to say 'since Sunday'

Oopla Thu 14-Mar-13 18:30:41

Old toys - I'm just walking home from an appointment so can't reply properly but hand holding here. Xx

FairyFi Thu 14-Mar-13 19:40:01

ha ha grin hughpugh re windymiller yy grin

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) blush

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

beabea81 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:17:16

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.

Oopla Thu 14-Mar-13 22:58:26

Welcome along beabea smile
Your relationship with your dd sounds lovely.

Makingmama Fri 15-Mar-13 03:05:20

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!

bootsycollins Fri 15-Mar-13 10:22:30

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 grin). 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" confused.

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 smile

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 11:44:11

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

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 12:13:29

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

WildeRumpus Fri 15-Mar-13 14:15:32

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.

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 14:16:13

oh sad pianos

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

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 15:04:42

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 smile

WildeRumpus Fri 15-Mar-13 15:40:42

Lotta I think you are very brave smile 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 sad

You do exist, you are important, we will hear you smile

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 15:47:32

'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

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 16:04:13

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

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 16:44:14

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!

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 16:48:16

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 sad sad

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.

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 18:53:24

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! sad

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.

Skinidin Fri 15-Mar-13 22:27:08

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.

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 23:57:54

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

Skinidin Sat 16-Mar-13 00:05:50

I did not post without thinking deeply about it.

Please, please talk to your GP.

The medication could be intensifying these negative thoughts.

((((Lottapianos)))

Does mumsnets do hugs ?????

Have them anyway ....

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 08:43:04

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.

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 08:52:38

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.

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 09:25:29

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.

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 10:19:25

mocking that must have been awful for you. Your mum let you down when you needed her most sad

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 smile 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.

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 10:29:50

Thank you Rumpus. No I haven't heard about the fog, is there a link or something?

GenevievePettigrew Sat 16-Mar-13 11:13:27

Mocking, if she asks you to come for Easter or anything else really, can you just say you already have plans?

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 12:38:55

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.

Lottapianos Sat 16-Mar-13 14:08:19

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!

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 16:48:17

mocking we are all on here because we get in a flap when our parents knock on our doors sad 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 smile

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 17:53:21

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.

WildeRumpus Sun 17-Mar-13 10:05:07

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 smile. 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 smile. (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.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 12:21:39

Hi, can I join please. I have a thread here

FairyFi Sun 17-Mar-13 14:12:35

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

unschoolmum Sun 17-Mar-13 14:25:27

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

WaterfallsOver Sun 17-Mar-13 17:11:56

Hi all,

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 hmm

Anyway, just wondered what you thought smile

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.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 18:17:42

Waterfall, my parents used to do things like that too. Its horrible. sad

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 smile. 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 shock, 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.

Wossit Mon 18-Mar-13 00:07:55

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.

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 08:47:50

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

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 08:58:59

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.

hooper02 Mon 18-Mar-13 12:37:25

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

lostfound Mon 18-Mar-13 20:21:30

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.

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 22:45:24

Hi Lost

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 sad.

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 sad

lostfound Mon 18-Mar-13 23:35:47

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?

Oopla Tue 19-Mar-13 10:53:20

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 smile

FairyFi Tue 19-Mar-13 12:47:46

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

Oopla Tue 19-Mar-13 17:43:19

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 smile

lostfound Tue 19-Mar-13 21:45:24

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 hmm 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.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 00:31:09

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.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 00:33:08

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

WildeRumpus Wed 20-Mar-13 10:14:16

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 smile 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 smile

Am.so sad to hear the new stories. I hope talking and sharing helps you come to terms with your toxic influences.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 13:07:54

the empowerment of this thread is truly amazing and just to celebrate that alone... thanks thanks thanks

lostfound Wed 20-Mar-13 14:33:11

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. angry

Oopla Wed 20-Mar-13 21:14:12

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!

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 21:53:23

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?) hmm

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

SlowlyWakingUp Wed 20-Mar-13 21:56:12

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 hmm. 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 hmm.

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

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 22:15:11

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

WildeRumpus Thu 21-Mar-13 09:25:04

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.

flossymuldoon Thu 21-Mar-13 12:46:32

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.

FairyFi Thu 21-Mar-13 13:04:53

Hello Flossy, you are very welcome here, to post or not smile

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 smile 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

SlowlyWakingUp Thu 21-Mar-13 13:25:20

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) sad. 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.

flossymuldoon Thu 21-Mar-13 13:46:47

Thank you FairyFi! smile

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)

flossymuldoon Thu 21-Mar-13 14:27:50

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.

FairyFi Thu 21-Mar-13 14:42:14

you are obviously beautiful kind lady flossy and deserve absolutely to be surrounded by beautifl kind souls too xx [lovely thing to say ^there]

flossymuldoon Thu 21-Mar-13 15:24:18

Thank you FairyFi. Bless you xxx

unschoolmum Fri 22-Mar-13 11:08:26

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.

unschoolmum Fri 22-Mar-13 11:15:20

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.

SlowlyWakingUp Fri 22-Mar-13 14:05:01

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!

SlowlyWakingUp Fri 22-Mar-13 14:07:53

Sorry, spelling, grammar, punctuation crap.

SlowlyWakingUp Fri 22-Mar-13 14:29:21

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!

Midwife99 Fri 22-Mar-13 16:50:01

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!!

unschoolmum Fri 22-Mar-13 16:51:04

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.

Oopla Fri 22-Mar-13 17:52:08

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.

Midwife99 Fri 22-Mar-13 18:04:29

Do you feel able to now detach Slowly & get on with your life without wasting energy on them?

Talkinpeace Sat 23-Mar-13 14:01:19

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.

Lucyellensmum95 Sat 23-Mar-13 16:35:36

Just marking my place (pardon the cliche) ive been told that i should come here, dont have time to read thorugh just yet

GoodtoBetter Sun 24-Mar-13 15:22:46

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.

beabea81 Sun 24-Mar-13 16:40:01

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

Talkinpeace Sun 24-Mar-13 16:45:23

beabea
I knew Prince Edward when I was at school - all my men have been downhill from there grin

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!

beabea81 Wed 27-Mar-13 12:12:45

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!

Help please?!

GoodtoBetter Wed 27-Mar-13 12:31:35

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.

marissab Wed 27-Mar-13 13:12:20

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.

Lottapianos Wed 27-Mar-13 15:27:48

'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 smile

FairyFi Thu 28-Mar-13 12:44:41

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.

Midwife99 Thu 28-Mar-13 14:27:44

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!!

FairyFi Thu 28-Mar-13 15:33:52

All of that Midwife, and why? do they still send one???!!!

Midwife99 Thu 28-Mar-13 16:46:20

Who knows????!!!!! hmm

Nodecentnickname Thu 28-Mar-13 16:50:29

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.

Nodecentnickname Fri 29-Mar-13 00:07:08

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.

FairyFi Fri 29-Mar-13 15:45:11

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?

FairyFi Fri 29-Mar-13 15:51:00

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.

Nodecentnickname Sun 31-Mar-13 17:10:34

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.

FairyFi Mon 01-Apr-13 17:16:16

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 smile

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 angry
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 sad

That's great to hear Pumpkin.

My Dads belated birthday celebration is approaching and I'm waiting for the guilt tripping to begin...

NewPatchesForOld Tue 02-Apr-13 14:34:18

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.

IncogKNEEto Wed 03-Apr-13 09:30:02

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.

IncogKNEEto Wed 03-Apr-13 09:53:21

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 sad 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 hmm

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.

NewPatchesForOld Wed 03-Apr-13 12:31:52

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.

NewPatchesForOld Wed 03-Apr-13 12:33:42

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'.

beabea81 Wed 03-Apr-13 14:52:13

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

toomanygrapes Wed 03-Apr-13 15:11:12

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.

chocoholic89 Thu 04-Apr-13 01:01:37

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 :-(

FairyFi Thu 04-Apr-13 10:58:27

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 completely!

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

FairyFi Thu 04-Apr-13 10:59:21

keep walking Choc chin up wink I hope you are coping ok amidst all the stresses. xxx

tangerinefeathers Thu 04-Apr-13 11:21:06

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 angry ). 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. smile

tangerinefeathers Thu 04-Apr-13 11:22:09

FairyFi sounds like you had a similar birth experience to me, re. your narc mother. sad

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.

FairyFi Thu 04-Apr-13 12:20:59

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)

FairyFi Thu 04-Apr-13 12:22:56

sad 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 sad.

Chiggers Thu 04-Apr-13 16:01:31

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.

Here goes:

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?

FairyFi Thu 04-Apr-13 16:17:37

..... 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

Chiggers Thu 04-Apr-13 17:04:29

Thanks Fairy smile. 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.

Chiggers Thu 04-Apr-13 21:50:24

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 grin. 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" grin. I think she was referring to my mischievous nature grin.

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 grin.

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 grin

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

Chiggers Fri 05-Apr-13 14:04:28

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.

Misspixietrix Sun 07-Apr-13 10:09:52

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 confused 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 hmm 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?

FairyFi Sun 07-Apr-13 12:51:11

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.

lucindapie Wed 10-Apr-13 08:48:50

Hello marking place on my thread. It's good to be here!

Oopla Wed 10-Apr-13 10:16:08

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 smile 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.

Misspixietrix Wed 10-Apr-13 16:43:04

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 ~

SingleMama Wed 10-Apr-13 19:42:16

Hi Everyone
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!

FairyFi Wed 10-Apr-13 22:58:43

Welcome new ladies - sad 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. wink Really sorry to hear your Dad's aggression to all shock

glad you're enjoying your peace Oopla smile thats very cool

good strong actions Pixie

also hope all managing to grab some peace and enjoyment of holidays xxx

CelticPixie Fri 12-Apr-13 09:47:38

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.

FairyFi Fri 12-Apr-13 11:12:17

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.

sad 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

AnAirOfHope Fri 12-Apr-13 12:29:59

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.....

AnAirOfHope Fri 12-Apr-13 12:33:00

Its true that this is the way they act not that they have stopped me getting son.

CelticPixie Fri 12-Apr-13 12:34:58

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.

AnAirOfHope Fri 12-Apr-13 12:40:45

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 hmm

I had to explain to my 4 year old why they didnt want to see him and it broke my heart sad

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.

UseHerName Fri 12-Apr-13 14:19:59

i have a mother like this,but the worst thing is that i recognise myself in some of these postssad

UseHerName Fri 12-Apr-13 14:20:37

particulary CelticPixie's ....

CelticPixie Fri 12-Apr-13 16:19:00

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.

UseHerName Fri 12-Apr-13 17:06:49

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 wink

FairyFi Sat 13-Apr-13 13:50:51

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?

Soundwave84 Mon 15-Apr-13 07:18:11

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. hmm
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.

Oopla Mon 15-Apr-13 12:28:44

Go out for the day grin

Oopla Mon 15-Apr-13 12:33:09

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

themidwife Mon 15-Apr-13 12:47:11

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!!

FairyFi Mon 15-Apr-13 13:34:31

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 smile. 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 smile just like the children they are (sorry, thats an insult to wonderful children).

LittleBairn Mon 15-Apr-13 21:05:51

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. hmm

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?

LittleBairn Mon 15-Apr-13 21:52:37

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?

Haggisfish Mon 15-Apr-13 22:57:53

Hello everyone,
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 sad

Haggisfish Mon 15-Apr-13 23:21:46

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!

LittleBairn Mon 15-Apr-13 23:37:36

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.

Oopla Tue 16-Apr-13 08:18:16

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

Soundwave84 Tue 16-Apr-13 14:12:59

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.

SingleMama Tue 16-Apr-13 19:17:28

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.

SingleMama Tue 16-Apr-13 21:04:56

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)

smile

SingleMama Tue 16-Apr-13 21:35:12

Oh wow that's great. So true!
I'm so glad I happened upon this thread.
:-)

oldtoys Thu 18-Apr-13 10:30:49

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.

oldtoys Thu 18-Apr-13 10:31:46

that was meant to say SEEK validation from authority figures

oldtoys Thu 18-Apr-13 10:33:20

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?!

Grrr

She is like a stalker, seriously.

Acutally, my DH was ringing me from abroad. I emailed her with one line to tell her that.

oldtoys Thu 18-Apr-13 10:34:36

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!

oldtoys Thu 18-Apr-13 10:42:00

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!

Aaaaaaaaagh!!!!

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...

Haggisfish Thu 18-Apr-13 11:18:41

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?