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Horrible negative comments from family

(56 Posts)
TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 08:12:56

I've namechanged but some of you may recognise some of this as it's nothing new. I just need to get it out and get some advice or even just some hairstroking because it's making me feel utterly wretched.

My mother and my sister seem to think they can just say anything they like to me, and they seem to rejoice in saying the most awful things.

What's kicked it off today for me is that I was away seeing friends this weekend, my mum phoned last night and did a 'how are the poor children' concerned question, I said, 'they're fine, had a lovely weekend with DH, did lots of fun stuff, I had a lovely weekend too, thanks for asking, it's a shame my friends live so far away and I can't see them more often'.

My mum repiled with, 'yes, you can't just abandon your family like that for a whole weekend again, especially on a Bank Holiday. It's not fair on anybody'.


She was then really dismissive of anything else I said, just kept repeating that it was a terrible thing to have done, and I got off the phone and just cried.

I am around my children pretty much 24/7, by the way, I work from home and rarely have nights out (maybe three times a year). Not that I shoudl need to justify it, of course, but it was such an unfair and spiteful thing to say.

I was given a gift while I was away, something very beautiful and personal that my incredibly talented friend had made for me, and my sister phoned to tell me she didn't like it. Nothing else, just 'I saw the photo of it on FB and I have to say I really dont' like it'.

Well, no, you dont' 'have to say' that at all. No one has to say they dont' like something. I defended it, and myself, but then again got off the phone and just sobbed.

It's fairly constant. 'Your wallpaper's peeling there', 'Ooooh that's a hideous spot', 'Have you lost weight, you look really gaunt', 'You've put weight on, you need to diet'.

Then there's the more things like how I parent, or it's no surprise DD has the issues she has, or 'funny' jokes about my house being a candidate for How Clean Is Your House.

Whenever I decorate or move furniture around or put up a new picture, they come to my house and slag it off. It's like a complusion. When I decorated my bathroom my mum SNORTED at me and said, 'what's the point, you won't keep it tidy'. My house is fine and normal by the way, both Mum and sister live in minimalist white boxes.

I would never say anything negative to either of them. My sister is actually quite needy in that respect and takes criticism terribly: my mum once mentioned that she looked a bit porky and she went on a crash diet and lost two stone straight away. Mum never usually makes digs like that to her, it was a one off and she hasn't repeated it.

My mum has an awful relationship with her Dad, and is always telling me about the horrible digs and nasty things he says, she just doesn't seem to make the connection between that and how she treats me.

Any time I've brought any of this up, it's laughed off. I'm accused of beingt oversensitive and that they 'only say things out of concern' or that 'Oh it's just what I'm like, ignore me'.

I am just completely out of energy for it. I don't know how to process what they say, because it DOES get to me, and I do take it to heart despite knowing I shouldn't.

Cutting them out is not an option, they both live a few doors away and
the benefits of having them in our lives still, just, outweigh the nasty digs. But I am exhausted and so sad.

Thanks for reading, I know this is a bit epic.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 08-May-13 08:18:12

You need to harden your shell and think of a few withering put-downs. My best friend has a mine of them and I use them frequently. smile

My favourite one is 'did you just come round/call me/text me to have a go about my weight/decor/social life or was there some other reason?'

If they 'only say it out of concern'..... 'do us all a favour and keep your concerns to yourself in future'

If its 'just what I'm like, ignore me'.... 'don't worry, that's my default response to the rubbish you come out with'

Be prepared. Get nastier. Dig back. Enjoy the ride!!!

DeckSwabber Wed 08-May-13 08:20:13

How horrible for you. I'd be upset too.

Have you tried challenging them at all?

I think you need to learn to ignore. You can't change others or how they speak to you, but you can change the way you react to it. My mum was similar, when I told her I had bought my wedding dress the only question was, what size is it? ...oh you will never fit into that hmm
Anything negative now is met with " that's a shame nevermind " repeated like a broken record, she is a lot better now she thinks I don't give a shit.
Have you thought about councilling or even an assertiveness course to help you deal with it?.

musickeepsmesane Wed 08-May-13 08:24:12

[tea] flowers You need to go on the attack. Give them a taste of their own medicine. As well as using all the responses Cogito says. If you are lucky they will start to leave you alone. I would start by slagging of their white boxes and take it from there. Breeze in for a cuppa, take a jumper out of your back "It is always so cold and soulless in here"......etc

musickeepsmesane Wed 08-May-13 08:24:35

bag - not back

Ragwort Wed 08-May-13 08:27:10

Agree with Sparkly - you won't be able to change how they speak to you, so you will need to change how you deal with their comments, what about makin 'jokey' comments back? Ie: when she mentioned you shouldn't go away for a bank holiday w/e, say something like 'I had a great time, next time it will be a whole week' and then change the subject. As Sparkley says, they may stop commenting once they realise you aren't reacting in the way they hope.

BlissfullyIgnorant Wed 08-May-13 08:36:12

To add to Cogito, you could also end the convo by saying "Anyway, I HAVE to say I've decided you shouldn't come here any more because you really don't like my home, my taste in clothes/music/decor/anything or my company. Oh, and by the way, DH is OUR children's father, not a live in babysitter and he can have them to himself for a weekend any time he wants." Turn it around and start laughing at them - in front of them.

I have a MIL and an ex-mother, both of whom are similarly quite nasty in their own ways so I have every sympathy for you! Here's your mantra: 'I don't need your shit.'

The ex-mother is not dead - I cut her out if my life because of the way she treated me and because of the detrimental effect she had on my marriage and my relationship with my newborn DD. She was the first person EVER to slap DS and actively encouraged us to do it too hmm he was 2.

Machli Wed 08-May-13 08:36:41

Mum: "You really shouldn't have gone away like that"

You "what?! Ha ha ha, don't be so ridiculous, ha ha ha!

Sister: "I have to say I don't like it"

You: "why does not surprise me? <<smirk>> refuse to elaborate, leave her thinking its her own questionable taste that's the issue.

Them: you need to lose/put on weight.

You: <<bored tone>> "no I do not. Cup of tea?"

Them: you house is a mess.

You <<bored tone>> "no it isn't"

Do you see? They sound thoroughly awful. Me? I'd restrict contact with them. Nasty pieces of work. You need to get harder though. Don't even need to be nasty. Just lots of bored or firm don't be ridiculous responses.

Headagainstwall Wed 08-May-13 11:35:47

I have a sister that does this. Me & my husband make a joke of it now. Before she comes round we guess which thing in our house she'll slag off and we take bets. It means I'm delighted when she criticises my cutlery/rugs/new anything as I guessed it. DH is rubbish at the game tho occasionally gets the odd thing grin

I think you just have to not care. Hard, I know. But you've challenged it and got nowhere.

If you don't want to cut them out of your life altogether then you need to emotionally disengage. Do not defend yourself as then they know they've wound you up - take a leaf out of the teenager's book and learn MEH or WHATEVER - accompanied with a dismissive shrug - maddening smile

Alternatively you can say 'that's just your opinion' then shrug and smile.

Basically IGNORE IGNORE IGNORE - they will stop when you don't react. It helps to challenge them in your head with a phrase like 'this is rubbish' whenever the nastiness starts. That stops you giving any value to their words - it takes practice but you can learn to let their negative comments just roll off you like water from a duck's back.

Charbon Wed 08-May-13 12:38:24

All of the advice about your interactions with your mother and sister is very sound, but I'm interested in the effect it has had on you and your own attitudes to women.

What you're describing are women who fundamentally dislike other women and find any opportunity to criticise them. If you've grown up in that environment and are in such close proximity to women who think like that, how have you protected yourself from those influences?

Are you self-aware enough to check some of your own attitudes towards other women when you find yourself competing or finding fault?

It's almost impossible for some of this not to have rubbed off on you in some way and it's a very common family dynamic between mothers and female siblings. The women who cope best with it are those who realise the potential for similar outlooks and behaviour in themselves and to constantly check their thinking and attitudes.

Have a good think about this. Your knee-jerk response might be to brush this off and point out that you have good friendships with other women, but it's unusual when there is a default set like this in childhood for it not to have had an effect on your own attitudes and this is actually the only thing you can control yourself, along with your responses to your mother and sister.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 08-May-13 13:01:14

Fight fire with fire if you can't ignore or laugh it off.

What advantages of living so close outweigh them being obnoxious? Is this a life-long routine or fairly recent, what if they turn on DD as she grows up?

How does DH regard this carry-on, presumably he agreed to live in such close proximity to please you?

TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 13:28:01

I'll come back to your lovely posts in a minute, thank you. I woudl just like some persepctive on this latest development and how it's made me feel, if that's ok?

Briefly, I am a childminder and look after my nieces, this has been generally lovely but not without its issues as obviously my sister can be highly critical of me. I've recently applied for other jobs and am now through to the final interview stages.

My other sister (who I get on very well with) is registering as a CM and we worked out my future finances based on her looking after DS2 (toddler), she also said she woudl happily take over with my nieces, all at the same reduced rate I have looked after DNs for.

Other sister came round this morning and said she was worried about looking after all the children, over the weekend Mum and sister have obviously hammered home that it's too much for her, I thought she was just wobbling and we were looking for solutions (preschool hours, different days etc).

Then my sister phoned at lunchtime to say 'they' (her, mum, other sister) had decided I needed to use a different Cm as she needed to use our sister and having all three DC woudl be too much for her. Yet again I'm afraid to say I burst into tears, this time on the phone.

I am always ALWAYS the one to be cast aside, the one who doesn't matter, the one who can sort herself out.

I've actually vomited because I feel so sick and shaky, this changes everything with my new job and probably makes it unviable (I will be on a training wage for a few months at least). My sister earns 40k, she doesn't 'need' family help, and she has had the benefit of it for the past three years, I suppose I just thought it was my turn. How stupid was I?

Charbon, your points are very interesting and the truth is I don't know. I am my own worst critic and I think I'm a good friend to my friends, I'm certainly always very positive and complimentary with them, and I don't really engage in competitiveness, at least not so I realise.

TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 13:29:42

I did say to my sister, 'why do I have to find another CM, why is that the default? Why can't you?' and she said 'because I want to use Dsis'.

BlueberryHill Wed 08-May-13 13:29:53

It sounds awful, I bet your mother and sister don't have many female friends, and the ones they do, they will always be bitching with.

Agree with everyone else and change your response to it, treat it as a game. I love Headagainstawall's suggestion and I may use that in the future.

I deal with these type of comments by imagining that I'm playing baseball and every snide comment that comes my way I hit it for six out of the stadium, I have a comeback for each comment even if it isn't that smart but I don't let them get one over on me. It helps my mindset (comments are from SIL) in that I don't feel like a victim when I meet her, it has helped the relationship, I don't get as many shit comments as I used to.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 08-May-13 13:34:30

Twofour, can you lean very heavily on the sis you get on with, tell her that your job depends on her looking after DC at reduced rate, and ask her to put you first for a change? As it stands, your other sis' want is trumping yours, and by the sound of it, she can afford a non-family CM and you can't. It's 'nice sis' that you need on side here - will she stand by you?

BlueberryHill Wed 08-May-13 13:36:15

They sound like bullies who are used to controlling your and your other sister, I don't know how to deal this with but I think that you saying. "Why do I need to find another CM?" Is a good start, talk to the nice sister and try to talk her round, look at other CM. If you are on a training wage at first, look at what happens after the first few months, do the calcs based on that.

Try to become dependant on your family for help, even paid CM as they are using it to control you.

Don't let them stop you doing your chosen career, in the long run it will be better for you. How old are your children, will they benefit from the 15 hours in the future?

BlueberryHill Wed 08-May-13 13:37:02

Oops, should be a NOT in the sentence about being dependant on your family.

MTSCostcoChickenFan Wed 08-May-13 13:37:30

I have an aunt like that. 2 minutes in I would just 'wake up' from my revelry and go "what was that? I was just thinking what to cook for dinner". Or I would just laugh when she was mid sentence. "Sorry, I just thought of something funny. What was that you was saying?"

It didn't make the problem (or the aunt) go away but instead of coming away steaming I had the happy consolation of having made fun of my aunt.

Lottapianos Wed 08-May-13 13:38:52

Loads of sympathy for you OP. Sounds very much like my family. Lots of judging, ridiculing, negativity, put downs, being told I'm 'too sensitive' and that I should just 'ignore' things. It's infuriating and really upsetting. It really does sound like this is 100% their problem and not yours. How would you feel if a friend told you that their mum or sister was treating them in this way? I find it easier to be kind to other people than myself sometimes and it helps to externalise it!

I can also relate to your feelings of always being the one to have to give in, and your physical reactions of feeling tearful, sick and shaky. This is horribly hurtful stuff and I would imagine it makes you feel extremely angry but unsure of what to do with those feelings. You are entitled to feel upset, there is no 'right' way to feel about this.

I do agree with other posters who suggested disengaging from them emotionally. The problem is that these are close family members, not noisy neighbours, so disengaging takes a huge amount of energy and time. Would you consider visiting a counsellor or therapist? I see a therapist weekly and it's incredibly painful but it's helping me so much to get to the root of the problems with my family and to stop blaming myself.

I'm sorry you're going through this - keep posting smile

TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 13:39:27

I think so, maybe. But I don't know if I want to put pressure on her, because she will no doubt get pressure from our other sister too and that will be horrible.

I'm tending to think 'fuck em' and we'll just scrape by for a few months and get in debt.

I need to talk to DH when he gets in. I feel a bit like the rug has been pulled from under me at the moment.

Oh, the other added snippet was that they all think I lied about the trains this weekend in order to stay away another night, I came back monday instead of Sunday as originally planned because the journey time was halved from eight hours to four. Apparently that's a lie as 'everyone knows trains run the same on a bank holiday Monday as they do on a Sunday'. No one bothered getting their facts right, they all just assumed I lied to get an extra day of jollying. For fuck's sake.

TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 13:41:06

Lots of x-posts. smile

Thank you so much for all your posts, it really helps just to talk it through, DH is brilliant at this but he's at work.

BlueberryHill Wed 08-May-13 13:42:27

To which the response is, "Yes, you found me out, good wheeze whilst it lasted". Don't let them get to you, what they think is worth shit, don't give it headroom.

They are pulling you around emotionally.

BlueberryHill Wed 08-May-13 13:43:57

Oh and "fuck 'em", is the right response every time.

schobe Wed 08-May-13 13:47:35

"the benefits of having them in our lives still, just, outweigh the nasty digs."

I'm just not sure about this. I do remember other threads about them and I'm very glad you won't be CM to your nieces soon, but I would imagine your relationship with them is something you're worried about if you distance yourself a bit?

It may be a good thing if your DS is with a different CM. I can just imagine all the times your CM Dsis would be pressured into letting you down in favour of something your Dsis has demanded for her kids. It would just be another channel through which to control you and belittle you.

kittyfishersknickers2 Wed 08-May-13 13:48:25

This is a really immature response but it works excellently.

Whenever someone says something ridiculous, just reply 'nyeh nyeh nyeh-nyeh nyeeeh' in the exact tone and rhythm they've just used in their sentence. It is really irritating to the other person and implies clearly that you think they're a fuckwit without you even having to say it. And yes, I got this trick from Kevin in 'We Need To Talk About Kevin'.

Alternatively, sarcasm is always a winner: 'Oh my God, you don't like my sofa? SHIT THE BED, I am so glad I am aware of this vital piece of information. I'll put it on freecycle this afternoon'. And then sort of snigger a bit to yourself.

Or if they say something personally insulting to you, just immediately pick on the most negative aspect of their appearance in return (this takes nerve).

People like this are just bullies, and the most effective way to get them to stop is to return the offensive. They are doing it to feel superior to you and this is the way to stop them.

I personally would just not bother having contact with them. Why should you have to put up with this kind of shit?

fuzzywuzzy Wed 08-May-13 13:49:09

Pull strings with your nicer sister, cry at her and tell her you can't afford as much as witch sister clearly can.

I'd also stop taking care of witch sisters kids as of now on the grounds you have to find your own childcare which clearly will take time.

Make sure you have back up childcare for your children as I'm not entirely convinced your nice sister has the stamina to hold off your mother and other sisters influence.

How old are your children, if school aged, can you make an arrangement with another school mum to drop off kids in the mroning and she picks up in the evening?

After school clubs/nursery?

Any friends who will help out?

I'd totally cut mother and other sister out.

don't let them in your house, screen phone calls and dont answer them. If they ask shrug and be vague and dont apologise about anything.
I do that, if the person I dont want to speak with finds me anyway and demands to knwo why I wasnt answering my phone I reply, I didn't want to answer my phone/I was busy etc.

Stop caring what they think, put yourself first and decide what you want and then go for it, they don't care about riding roughshod over you and yours, screw them.

MadBusLady Wed 08-May-13 13:53:28

"You're being over-sensitive" gives me the rage.

The correct response is "No, my responses are normal, I know this because nobody else in the world except you two makes me 'over-sensitive'. You're both just fucking horrible and need to take a look at yourselves."

Or as much of that as you can manage. smile I don't know what else to suggest really. The trouble with doing the sarcastic etc replies is that they sound like they could out-nasty anyone.

TwoFourSixOhOne Wed 08-May-13 13:56:36

I've just worked out the figures based on my CM friend having DS2 instead , she was already going to have my older two before and after school and I'm fairly confident she'll have space. It works out to leave us £500 for food, petrol, fun, instead of the already tight £700 it would have been. But, do you know what? That's a fortune, and will be worth it to not have them all involved.

Otherwise I'm just swapping the stresses of CMing for family for the stresses of hving a family CM. Plus it means only one drop off/pick up.

See, a problem shared is indeed a problem halved. Thanks so much thanks

Charbon Wed 08-May-13 13:57:01

Personally, I would strongly discourage your own children having too much exposure to these attitudes, so if you and your partner can find an alternative childcare option, I'd recommend it.

I'd also encourage you to project a few years on and think about how younger women in the family will experience this. Your own daughters and daughter-in-laws. Your sons and their views about women. Your children's experience of sibling relationships and mother-daughter dynamics.

Distance and self-containment is really the best option, even if total detachment is not desired. Plus lots of counter-influences and attitudes from other adults such as your nuclear family friends, godparents etc.

MadBusLady Wed 08-May-13 14:04:54

Another low-effort thing, you could start sweetly saying "Sorry, I can't remember" when they start questioning you about your activities, because then they haven't got anything to get their teeth into. It'll obviously be a ridiculous lie, but what are they going to do?

Smellslikecatspee Wed 08-May-13 14:07:13

For a start what the fuck is it to do with them where you go and what you do????

Your children were safe and happy with their Dad. I mean fair enough if you'd pulled some randomer in off the street and said you'd be gone and hour and came home 4 days later. . . .

You really need to disengage from these people.

If at all possible don't use any family for your childcare, no offence to your nice sister, but the others will poke and niggle and still find fault.

You'll be constantly stressed and you don't need that in a new job.

And then as nicely as possible you need to toughen up a bit flowers they pick on you because you get upset and give in. I dont mean to blame you, they shouldnt treat you like this but they do.

You have 3 choices, carry on, cut them off or start pushing back.

You sound like a nice person, you don't have to be mean with it. Just be busy when they call, dont invite them around for a while and if they're the type that just turn up, well carry on what ever you were doing or remember somewhere you need to be.

Or play 'insult' bingo, its always good for the soul. . .

What Charbon wrote in her earlier post to you.

This is really about power and control - your sister has become a carbon copy of her own toxic mother.

These people are toxic and the only way forward for you ultimately is to stop taking part in their sick toxic power games. They know very well what buttons to press, they enjoy doing so. You really need to disengage both mentally and physically. This dynamic as well has likely been going on for years; you keep coming back in the forlorn hopes they will change. Such people do not change.

Note too that these people have never apologised for their actions nor even take any responsibility for same.

You need to adopt a different tack now because what you have tried to date has not worked.

RabbitsarenotHares Wed 08-May-13 14:51:25

Sounds like my family, OP. My counsellor was horrified when I told her about a recent incident with my mother. I'd just come back from a holiday abroad during which I'd met up with a penfriend I've had for the last two years. It was the first time we'd met face to face and I was telling my young god-daughter how much my penfriend had enjoyed meeting me. My mother turned to my gd and said "Well there must be something very much wrong with her then!". This confused my gd who loves me to bits, and upset me (not the first time she's said things like that), and for once I pulled my mother up on it. In response she got upset, and told me she "didn't mean it". So why say it?????

Over the years she's constantly told me that any bloke who wanted me would have to be mad, and that my future spouse doesn't know how lucky he currently is having not met me yet. She criticises my weight, but would never dare say anything to my sister (who is obese, I'm not even overweight). As a teenager she'd tell me I smelt when my period was on (I didn't) and then moan that I changed my ST so often. Any pet I've had since moving out from hers she's told me I shouldn't get as I couldn't look after it (despite having grown up with animals, and being more than capable). I could go on.

My sister is different, but similar. She wants my friends, and when they refuse to co-operate she slags them off. My mother is allowed to give me nothing of hers, my sister has to have it. She throws tantrums when she doesn't get her own way (she's in her 40s, not a toddler).

So, I have no advice, but know what you're going through. I'll be reading this thread for help.

Cabrinha Wed 08-May-13 15:05:58

You can't change them, so you have to change your response to them. The poster who mentioned having a bet in what they'll criticise? This REALLY works! I'm actually disappointed now if my dad doesn't lead with a criticism!
It gets easier the more you actively practise it - but you have to stop caring what they say /think.
Well done on the CM!

Lavenderhoney Wed 08-May-13 15:33:33

Your dh must be a saint! - have you thought of moving, as having them in your lives doesn't sound much benefit. Having family close is great if they are nice, not so if they are destructive emotionally. Personally I would look at moving, or a plan to, just to gain some distance and have the ability to have friends round without fear of judgement and to have some privacy to raise your family and conduct your life with your dh as you see fit.

Great you have a solution for your dc- I wouldn't discuss it with them as its just ammunition for them. In fact, anything you do is judged and discussed at your and your dh detriment. You have to stop telling them your business, and reduce time with them.

It's no good thinking they are going to suddenly be the extended family you wish for, and sacrifice you, your dh and your dc on the altar of family ties. I did it for years and have broken free some years ago now. I feel sad occasionally, but the memories keep me strong.

My dsis used to be like this, to some extent, and always gave a little laugh "no" and a smirk when I said " did you mean to be so rude?" So I just skipped that bit and went straight to " what a horrible thing to say! I have to go now, I can see it won't end well"

And my dm and df - bit of straight talking " if you speak to me like that again you won't see me again. So please keep quiet if you can't be pleasant- I'd rather you cancelled than invited your vitriol into my house"

But of huffing and exchanging glances then they were ok. If they had left in high dudgeon that would have been ok too.

Then I made tea and discussed the gardensmile

Salbertina Wed 08-May-13 16:29:22

Feel for you, Op. its tough going but i really agree with Chardon about looking to yourself first- only one you can change! And be super-vigilant of own behaviour w other women, with dc etc etc . It tends to be intergenerational ("they were fucked up in their turn" and all that) so worth trying to break the cycle- as I'm sure you are! Am similar with v difficult dm and copycat golden dsis...aargh. Am Trying to move away from labelling them toxic as they're also the creatures of their upbringing. Sigh.
Good luck!

AdoraBell Wed 08-May-13 16:49:37

I haven't read your other threads, but it seems to me that there is no real benefit to continuing with these relationships, never mind benefits that outway the stress. Plus, your DS will be better off with another CM simply because he will not witness the person who looks after him while Mummy works slagging his mum off and causing her distress.

What does DH feel about the situation with your mother and sister? You mentioned getting into debt while on your starting salary, would that be life changing debt or a manageable amount? Talk it over with DH, find an unrelated CM and look at the numbers. You may need a CM, but you don't need these people.

Lavenderhoney Wed 08-May-13 19:48:00

I also suggest, if you can, to sort out the finances and arrange your life whilst not remembering and saying" omg what will they say/ do when they find out"

They are taking up too much headspace iyswim, and it helps to put the awful comments away, so they don't upset you and distract you from normal conversations with your dh and other friends - it's just practice.

It helped me, as dh was supportive but felt going over things endlessly wasnt helping. It's ok to vent on here thoughsmile

Hissy Wed 08-May-13 19:56:22

My love, you (and your CM sister) sound like you are in an abusive relationship with your other sister and your DM.

Make it your goal in life to end the current over involvement in your life, and ultimately? MOVE away.

These people are VILE. Narcissists by the sounds of it tbh

DrHolmes Wed 08-May-13 20:30:29

Sounds like they are jealous of you and put you down to make themselves feel better.

Why would you need to lie about an extra night away? They are idiots and think they caught you out when infact they know nothing.

I would distance myself if I were you. You don't need them but they need you to make themselves feel good.
I got angry for you when you wrote about your sister saying she wanted to use your other sister for CM meaning you can't. I'd have said "tough shit!"

Could you just ask your nice sister to do your CM for when you are on the lower wage for a wee while and then agree to get another? Tell your nice sister to prove your nasty sister and mother wrong.

thermalsinapril Wed 08-May-13 20:35:20

For ideas on how to stand up for yourself without getting drawn into the negative stuff, I'd recommend an assertiveness book such as "A Woman in Your Own Right" by Anne Dickson.

cjel Wed 08-May-13 21:04:16

Sooo pleased you've decide to go elswher for childcare hopefully the start of becoming moe independant from them Be proactive more and you'll find you aren't etting so stressed by them because you are not having so much to do witht he. Time to look after youself now!!!

That's a great decision to go with the other childminder. Well done you. I'm sorry that your DM and DSis's have been cruel and heartless.

Limelight Wed 08-May-13 22:44:37

OP you're getting great advice so I'm not going to butt in. Just wanted to say have you read Persuasion? I suspect you'd find some synergies in the Eliot family.

Probably completely inappropriate but it's been my overwhelming feeling as I read your thread.

And you know, fuck'em. You're clearly dead nice and they are massive twatfaces.

topsyandturvy Thu 09-May-13 10:00:10

I know this is no help with your dreadful family, but have you looked into child tax credit or whatever it is called, the payment which helps to offset the cost of childcare? Also many/most employers used to offer the inland revenue scheme (is it still going?) where you have money deducted from your gross salary which is used net against child minding costs, which basically reduces your bill by around 20%. Maybe someone with more up to date info could post for you as I havent used these things for a couple of years

topsyandturvy Thu 09-May-13 10:00:43

also I think you should nurture your relationship with your nice sister, this will make you feel good about yourself and more secure in who you are

Salbertina Thu 09-May-13 10:03:48

Topsy- thats excellent advice oh for my own "nice sister", just got the one jealous, narcissistic version

Think earlier post was suggesting employer childcare vouchers.

DontmindifIdo Thu 09-May-13 10:20:16

i would stop offering information about my life and start cutting them out, being too busy for them (and feel free to drop bitch sister in it for childcard ASAP)

Otherwise, think in advance what they are going to pick on and think of ways to turn it round as an insult, so you going away for a weekend from your mum could have been dealt with a "really, would Dad not have coped looking after us for a few days so you could have a break? Wow, I didn't really remember him being a shit father, it's so great how DH is with the children, he's a proper partner. I do feel sorry for the sort of woman who've married a man who thinks having children means a woman should give up her own life. It's so sad as well that so many woman have nothing else in their lives than work and kids, they tend to be bitter and dull."

Your decoration, don't tell them about it, don't show them, if they do come round and see it, and insult say "well gosh we do have different tastes, I'd hate to live in a house that's all plain, it just seems like people with houses that lack personality have rubbish personalities themselves. Your house is quite plain isn't it?"

But generally, just cut them out. Be unavailable see nice sister, screen calls for bitch sister and mother, send texts if you see you've got a voicemail.

DontmindifIdo Thu 09-May-13 10:20:59

oh yes and check childcare vouchers for both you and DH claiming them.

lottieandmia Thu 09-May-13 10:29:03

I haven't read the whole thread but it sounds like you have a toxic family. My parents are the same, and I really sympathise.

I spent years trying to work out why they were behaving the way they did and it was a total waste of my time. Remember that with people like this - it is not about you, it is about THEM and their insecurities and what toxic parents do is to use their children as a dumping ground for all their unresolved issues in their lives.

As others have said, you have to try to get to a place where you no longer care what they say or what they think. It is the only way. You will not be able to change them, but you can change the way you react.

It is easier said than done - I think I've managed to get some distance via therapy.

Squitten Thu 09-May-13 10:35:05

Well done for finding a solution to the childcare issues. MUCH better not to have to deal with these people.

You know you don't have to accept all this from them. I know other people have suggested ways to be clever and get your own back but there is another way. Just hang up the phone. Every time your family say something nasty, just put the phone down. You are not obliged to explain yourself, you're not obliged to tolerate it. Just refuse to listen to it.

I suspect that trying to change their attitudes will be an utterly draining waste of time for you and how many more days are you going to waste in tears? Just hang up or walk away as soon as the rubbish starts.

This doesn't have to be your life.

TwoFourSixOhOne Thu 09-May-13 10:45:33

As ever, thanks so much for all the fab advice. We are planning to use childcare vouchers, one of the issues was that the training wage minus childcare vouchers woudl take me under minimum wage (which means they can't offer them) but my sister was going to charge me less to compensate.

I've made my mind up to use outside childcare now, we won't starve and it'll be worth it to minimise my family's influence on things.

I remember years ago, when we bought a dining room table without going through the usual round of picking one out with everyone's input (seriously). I found it so hard to do, my instincts were all to check with Mum that it was ok. Things are a lot better since then.

DH is very good at telling them off, my mum adores him and will let him tell her to butt out.

We need to move to a bigger house soon and it's unlikely to be in the same road, I think we are going to look at the villages, and move far enough away that they can't pop in unannounced and judge my life.

My sister (toxic one) said yesterday that Mum finds it hard because I live very differently from her. I'm a 33 yo mother of three fgs. Not a teenager.

My sister did everything right, after a blip in her teens, she got a good job straight of of school, met her DH, bought a house, had DC. My life has travelled other paths (I was kicked out 15 which may have something to do with it...) but I have done well for myself in the last seven years or so and now live an incredibly 'normal' life, married, mortgage, middle class pursuits (IYSWIM). Mum can't let go of the image of me as fucked up so she feels entitled to 'guide' me constantly. It's exhausting.

Sorry for brain dump, this is all very helpful thanks

smilingthroughgrittedteeth Thu 09-May-13 10:59:28

My grandmother is like this,

My mum cut her out a long time ago, she will be polite to her at family occasions but that's the extent of their relationship, she is also quite happy to tell her to stop being rude and keep her opinions to herself.

My uncle also refuses to have anything to do with her and won't even come to a family party if she's going to be there.

My aunt sees her once a week and it always ends in tears, she's actually my nans favourite so doesn't get as many insults as everyone else but she's a really sensitive person and the slightest criticism upsets her, she's too nice to cut her out or give as good as she gets unfortunately.

I used to just ignore her and reply to everything she said with "if you say so" but I've been really unwell in the past year and have just discovered that I may have a problem with my kidneys, it's made me less tolerant with her and last time I spoke to her she spent 25mins shouting at me for not ringing her after I'd had surgery to tell her how I was. I hung up on her and refused to talk to her for 3 weeks, dp answered the phone and just told her straight that I have enough crap to deal with and until she apologized I didn't want to speak to her, she apologized last week so I am talking to her again but she now knows that if she carries on I will cut her out forever.

You sound like my lovely aunt op, if your not willing to cut them out of your life then you need to start being more assertive with them, cut them off mid sentence with a cheery "enough criticism for today thanks" and change the subject, just shrug and say "I suppose your allowed an opinion" or just let them rant on whilst you stare above their heads thinking about something else then when their finished walk towards the kitchen and say "are you done because Im going to put the kettle on I was just thinking I could do with a cup of tea, what was it you were saying I think I drifted off for a bit"

I think your doing the right thing using your cm friend instead of your sister

DontmindifIdo Thu 09-May-13 12:01:59

I do think that limiting their access to your life (so not doing their childcare, not using others for childcare), not telling them about things going on in your life, if you're going away or buying a new sofa or redoing your bathroom, or changing jobs etc will help.

It's hard to not tell 'difficult' parents things when you've been trained to seek their approval (I know, been there) but it does really help. Limiting information and limiting access to you. I only present stuff to my mum and dad as 'done deal' because they would always have an opinion, and even if it was something they would approve of, I realised by including them in discussions beforehand gave them the impression they had a right to make the choice (not just influence my choice, for them to make it and me to be told anything else was wrong). So making the right choice was also wrong because it made them think what they thought matters more than what I wanted and that by involving them, and that I still needed them to 'help' me make decisions.

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