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Cutting off my mother - but what about my DS?

(84 Posts)
borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 07:37:35

I have had a difficult relationship with my mother since my Dad left when I was 11. She is a 'strong character' at best. We argued constantly through my teenagers years and this would get violent - she would often hit me during an argument, and once had her hands round my throat saying she was going to 'fucking kill' me. All this seemed fairly normal to be honest, my parents had always argued. Plates would get smashed (by my mother). She apparently hit my dad on their honeymoon.

I realised it wasn't normal when my first boyfriend noticed bruises all over my arms. By then I was practically at university and was able to largely cut her off. Throughout this period (age 12 to 19) my mum had periods of depression. When I was 12 she told me she was suicidal. It was just me and her living together and I was scared to leave the house incase she was dead when I came back. When I was at university she once rang and said if I didn't come home, she was going to kill herself. So I came home.

I kept my distance from her for years after I left uni. Occasionally we would row and I would receive 10-15 page sides of A4 letters describing in great detail what a terrible person I was. She has fallen out permanently with her brother and her best friend of 20 years. Her mother wrote her out of her will and asked her son to write to me when she died and encourage me to get back in touch with my father. There is noone left brave enough to stand up to my mum.

But then my husband left me when my son was born. My mother swooped in and took over. She did everything she could to help - childcare to ironing. The problem is that I really just wanted to get a cleaner (she thinks it's wrong to get a cleaner) and get a childminder ('why would you ask anyone but me'). So of course I was stuck - if I asked her to back off a bit, she would get very upset and write me another letter. If I let her get on with it, she would critique every aspect of my life on a daily basis, my food, my clothes, finances, my parenting, my cleaning, my sex life (my boyfriend lived an hour a way and she said I 'went a long way for a shag').

This all came to a head when she said she never wanted to see me or DS ever again. She wrote me an 18 page letter telling me that I was so self-absorbed, that I hadn't noticed she was 'hour by hour trying not to tie herself to the rafters'. Then she changed her mind and I agreed for her to pick my DS up after school 2 nights a week. He adores her and her him. I was scared of what she would do if I said no in any case.

So now this brings me to today (thanks if you are still with me!) and I have an opportunity to move away with work. If I tell her she will go nuts, and likely move to be near us. What I really want to do is upsticks and leave, never to have contact with her again. But that would mean her not seeing my DS. I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to save him from the pressure she brings (she has written to me saying that DS helps her 'cope with feelings of despair'). This is the woman who wrote to me and said 'when you enrage me I feel perfectly comfortable giving you my rage' and 'when you see (what I do) as interference and not love, I want to hurt you back'. But she is his grandmother.

What would you do? I am terrified of her.

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 07:41:31

Move away. Your DS will cope. I know he adores her right now but in a new home with new friends at a new school he'll have far too much to occupy him than to keep thinking about granny. You'll feel calmer the further away from her you get. There is no obligation on your part except to give your small family (you and DS) the best life possible. What can she actually 'do' except fire off more poisonous letters or blow hot air?

Good luck with your new job and new environment. A fresh start sounds long overdue

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 07:44:12

"she will go nuts, and likely move to be near us. "

If she moves to be near you, she's on your turf as it were. This puts you in the position of power. BTW, as she sounds unbalanced, have you ever considered asking her GP to call round and do a mental health assessment?

MonstersDontCry Wed 17-Jul-13 07:47:54

Completely agree with cogito. You need a fresh start and this is the perfect chance. Another might not come again. if she sends you another one of her letters, just rip it up. You dont need to read about what a terrible person you are, because you aren't. Good luck to you and your DS. smile

chicaguapa Wed 17-Jul-13 07:48:53

I think you also have to consider the effect that your dysfunctional relationship with your DM will have on your DS, now and in the future.

FWIW I cut ties with my dad over 2 years ago and DC (now 11 & 8) have only asked about him once. hmm

Are you thinking of leaving without telling her where you're going so she can't move to be nearby?

Retrofairy Wed 17-Jul-13 07:49:39

Oh gosh OP absolutely take the job and dont give her your new address. She is probably far more dependent on your ds than he is on her and ultimately as he gets older the pressure will be bad for him and he will become more aware of her undermining you. From an outside view its a no brainer.

Katisha Wed 17-Jul-13 07:56:01

Suicide threats are a very good way of controlling someone. Next time you get one, you must send the police round.
And if she DOES try and go through with it ( which I doubt because she's been controlling you for years with threats) then IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT.

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 07:56:13

Thank you.

Yes chica I am. I am worried I will move and she will just come too. It will never end otherwise. My friend once took my DS to rugby as he'd had a sleep over with her DS - my mum found out at school and my friend called me at work very upset because my my mum 'turned on her' and had been 'down her throat' in the playground trying to find out why I'd missed it, who I was with and that she'd never missed anything. If I pour milk in DSs cup, she will go back to the fridge and top it up a millilitre because 'every millimetre counts'. It feels like the film 'hand that rocks the cradle' film sometimes.

Coro Wed 17-Jul-13 07:57:43

My Mum has issues that have made life did difficult for me and Ds. We had a massive row and have not had contact now for 8 months. It's been so much better. I was worried about my Ds having no contact but it turned out he was rather scared by her erratic behaviour too. My ds is 9& we're doing much better without her often counter productive help.

Be brave and make a fresh start. It's daunting but much calmer and more pro active on the other side. smile Be strong.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 17-Jul-13 08:01:02

You need to protect yourself and your DS and moving is probably the best way to do that. Has she had any mental health support all this time? I would go to your GP and tell them all this and ask for advice on how she can be supported - ie not by you.

LillyofWinchester Wed 17-Jul-13 08:01:17

I think moving and not cutting ties is the best thing to do all round. The only reason to tell her would be for your DS but I think you'd be protecting him from her in the long run. If she could attack you like that physically and emotionally she's likely to do the same to him as he grows up, or at best manipulate him and involve him in these games.

I appreciate cutting her out like this would be a huge step - many people would have cut ties with her long ago for the behaviour you describe, I really think it would be worth you seeing a councillor at the same time to work through some of this stuff and to make you confident in your decision.

LillyofWinchester Wed 17-Jul-13 08:03:43

Sorry, that first sentence is suppose to read: cutting ties. Ignore the 'not'

Meringue33 Wed 17-Jul-13 08:21:58

She hit you? She could hit him.

Some parents should never have any access at all to their grandchildren; your mother is a prime example.

You did not cause your mother to be the way she is; her own family birth did that lot of damage to her. What if anything do you know about her own childhood?.

If she is too toxic for you to deal with she is also too toxic for your vulnerable and defenceless child to have any form of contact with.
Many children now adults who were raised by such toxic and damaged people often have FOG - fear, obligation, guilt with regards to the parent.

See this as a new start, move away and do not give her a forwarding address. Take some power back. Counselling for your own self would be a very good idea.

I would also read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as well as posting on the thread on here entitled "well we took you to Stately Homes".

Toxic stuff like this does seep down the generations; you have and remain profoundly affected by your mother's dysfunctional behaviours and she is not above doing the same damage to your child also.

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 08:42:46

The most critical point is that you know her behaviour does affect your DS, and he has now voiced his own fears.
I think you should make the move, as you obviously are ready to go 'no contact'

It is never an easy step, carrying its own load of angst to deal with, but for me (and many iothers) it is absolutely the best thing we ever did.
I suspect this will also be the case for you.

Go!! and make a new, free, and happier life for yourself smile

Treague Wed 17-Jul-13 08:49:05

She will visit all this on your ds, as soon as she feels you are not taking it from her.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Wed 17-Jul-13 08:53:30

She sounds really disturbed and also, not a nice person at all. The violence and nastiness is not normal, and it must have had a huge effect on you growing up.

And for her to sail back into your life and completely take it over when you needed help is awful... She sounds disgusting and you must be very unhappy living like this.

Your son would benefit from a nice grandma in his life, but he doesn't have one of those, and all those toxic behaviours will effect him even if he's not showing it currently. Even if she keeps up non violent / non nasty behaviour towards him, her reliance on him is not healthy, and the way she treats you is deeply distrubing and will effect him no mayter how you try abd shield him. She will either try and get him to victimise you too, utterly soul destroying for you and teaching him very bad lessons about relationships... Or she ll turn on him too.

I can imagine how easy it is to feel you shouldn't break a bond between him and his grandma... But the bond isn't a functional one, and you have every right to step in and protect your son from future harm. Feel strong about that, it's you being a good mum, don't feel guilty.

Would you be able to completely cut off contact as you moved? She sounds like she won't take no for an answer so it would be better for you to disengage completely. Would that be possible?

LifeofPo Wed 17-Jul-13 08:54:30

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TalkativeJim Wed 17-Jul-13 08:54:40

Please protect your child.

Move away and just don't give her your address.

As your DS gets older, she will feed off him in the way she has and does with you. It's poisonous and hugely damaging.

Quite seriously, if I were in your position, I would take the job, arrange housing, find a way of keeping her from your home during the time the movers are in, and leave behind a letter saying that you want no further contact, you have kept all her letters and will use them as evidence to get a restraining order should she track you down.

I speak as someone who has cut ties with some very dysfunctional close family members for the sake of my children and the health of our family unit - I could cope with them until my children came along; I don't want my children to have to learn how to, because the act of having to learn that is damage in itself.

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 09:32:09

Snazzy - she hasn't had mental health support. It's hard to explain but she is bloody scary and intimidating, also very intelligent and articulate. If I asked her GP to assess her would probably hold it together while being assessed, and then do something terrible to take revenge on me. When my dad left she took a permanent marker and wrote a letter to him on his front door. She recently phoned the police because her neighbours treated their side of her fence (she had agreed to it years before). I'm worried she would do something to my house, or phone social services and make a false accusation.

Doublelife - I would really like to go, and write a letter after I have gone. My friend says you can pay removal firms to do it all for you, so you can literally go and leave them to it. Does anyone know if that's true?

Attila - she says she had a cruel mother. My grandma adored me and was lovely to me. But then my son would say the same about her. So I don't know what to believe.

My son on the whole is a very good boy - but a couple of times she has told me when I pick him up that he has been naughty (I do believe her) and so she 'savaged' him and wanted to tell me in case he talked about it. By this she means getting up in your face and shouting. This is what I worry would become more common if I moved away and she had him for longer periods, especially as he gets older and finds his own voice.

dontgowadingin Wed 17-Jul-13 09:48:17

Wow you could be talking about my own mother. I know how you feel.

Me and my DB finally took the desion to walk away from ours.

Once my on my brothers 16th birthday he opened his bed room door after hearing rustling and found my 'dm' trying to Hang her self. It was all for show.

We would usually have an episode at Xmas,important birthdays . She was violent, a bully, piss head , tried it on with 2 of my boyfriends.

Nothing we could have ever done could have changed her and we had to walk away. I couldn't have her mess/ life emotional blackmail spilling in to my dd life.

You need to leave.

C4ro Wed 17-Jul-13 09:49:57

That's quite a pressure on your young son- to both be responsible for keeping grannies despair at bay whilst having to suck up the odd "savaging"...

I don't think this a healthy sort of grandparent I'd want anywhere near my son. I'd certainly move but I'm not sure how much of a flit-in-the-night it needs to be. Would she really move to be near you?

ShimmeringInTheSun Wed 17-Jul-13 10:03:33

It isn't your son's responsibility to help your mother 'cope with her feelings of despair'. He's a child, and needs protecting by you from the abuse your mother is constantly dishing out , otherwise, it will spiral down the generations....believe me, I know this only too well.

Move house, don't give details of your new home/life, and live happy and well.

One more piece of advice. If you do leave it for the removals to pack up your things after you've already left, make absolutely sure that they are fully aware, that on no account must they give out any details of your new /location to anyone, no matter what sob story/reasons they give.

Same goes for your neighbours, friends etc - don't tell them where you're going....and make sure that your new details are not displayed on the public electoral roll.....same goes for the 192 online directory.....make sure your details are not added to that.

Hugs for you, I hope you make it.

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 10:06:13

don'tgowadingin - yes Christmas and birthdays, even my wedding day. Last year I planned to buy her tickets for Paris for her Christmas present - I bought her a Paris guide book from DS as something to open when I told her about the rest of the present. Then last minute she wrote and said she couldn't subject herself to Christmas morning at mine, so I gave her the wrapped book on its own. I never got to tell her about the tickets (she refused to speak to me on Christmas Day). We came back from a post-Christmas holiday and my DS found the present on the doorstep with a letter explaining that me giving such a gift was bad for my soul. A book may have been disappointing, but that felt a little over the top.

TheFallenNinja Wed 17-Jul-13 10:08:56

A biological link is no reason to continue this. Move, don't tell her. Get on with your life.

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 10:17:18

Does anyone legally know where I stand? Any solicitors out there? If she did try to get contact through the courts, would all this be enough? Because if it isn't and she gets contact after I move away after taking legal steps, she'll make me pay for what I did.

CalamityKate Wed 17-Jul-13 10:18:25

You know your son has had to endure this woman "savaging" him and yet you still allow him to see her?!

Wow. She's done a good job on you, hasn't she?

Move. Don't tell her where to. Tell your son she died. He'll get over it as kids do get over GPs dying.

Good luck smile

myBOYSareBONKERS Wed 17-Jul-13 10:21:33

Oh my God - she sounds horrific and I don't say that often.

You must must must protect yourself and your child from her.

What possible benefit will your son have in continuing a relationship with her?

She may be "nice" at the moment to him but one day she WILL turn on him and he may not be big enough to fend off her blows. Social Services would hold a VERY dim view on that and would see it that you knowingly subjected him to it.

Please please please do the right thing and cut her out of your lives. You have an amazing opportunity to move away and I really think you need to seize it with both hands.

Packing company's will do everything for you but you MUST make sure you cover your tracks so she doesn't get your new address from others eg your sons current school or by phoning up and pretending to be you.

Is she going away for a few days? Could you time the move into then?

I am actually worried for you and really hope you do all you can to get away

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 10:34:40

myboys- I am worried about the physical move. I have sold my house (in a day!) and found another to buy yesterday, so all moving very quickly could conceivably move over the summer when she is not seeing him and could keep it quiet. But the speed (it has taken just a week to get this far) is making me wobble a bit, hence posting.

But I worry about actually getting out of the house without her knowing. I live three streets away. My best friend did joke that now would be a great time to buy her the tickets for Paris wink.

Msbluebozooka Wed 17-Jul-13 10:45:03

Oh borrowedlight i feel so sorry for you hun, your mum is ill. You do need to move the sooner the better for your DS sake he will get over it. if you stay around her she will damage his little mind.
Does she have any friends who you could speak to about her ways. You could always contact her by a PO box if you feel really guilty might just sink in then that she is actually a mental case !

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 10:48:37

It is understandable that you are a bit wobbly if this has come at you so quickly. Congratulations on such a speedy sale.
I would proceed with caution, and not do or say anything until you have exchanged contracts on your sale as things could get very awkward if it then fell through and, for whatever reason, you had to keep the house for any time.

That said are going NC, and its hard. No-one ever said its easy, its just better than the alternative! You are probably going to feel scared, and worried at a variety of points. Keep posting and talking, because that is the best way to access what you really feel beneath the 'conditioned' fears.

It will be OK. Personally, I think your friends suggestion has a lot of merit!! Otherwise......even if she finds out, the only person who can give her the address is you!! And you won't.
I wouldn't actually even give your son the name of the town you are going to. Just in case she tried to pry it from him (although tbh I wouldn't give her a single opportunity for 1-on-1 time)

Stay strong OP. For someone standing at the lip of this choice, you sound very 'together'. smile

There is no absolute legal entitlement for grandparents to have access to children but they can apply to the courts for a contact order.
This explains it in brief.

Given that you could easily argue the case for emotional abuse, I wouldn't be too concerned ....but check with a solicitor.

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 10:52:41

Msblue - she does have friends but she doesn't see them often. But her best friend whom she saw more regularly fell out with her. I bumped into her and she said that she just can't take anymore and that my mum is just so hurtful. She said she can't face the argument in trying to sort it out because my mum is so good in arguments. She is the last person who would have been strong enough to reason with my mum. Everyone else has given up. That's why i worry about what she will do after I go - there will be no one to talk her down.

Pilgit Wed 17-Jul-13 10:54:55

She sounds like severe long term mental health issues. You can do nothing about it. You are protecting your ds and teaching him depression is no excuse for this. She sounds like she thinks she's staring in her own private soap!

Yes removal firms can move and pack everything. We did this with 7 week old and 3 year old. Money well spent.

Her life is not your responsibility. Fwiw I understand where she is coming from. I have mh issues and can see the skewed sense of reality she has going on in her head. Not an excuse for her actions.

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 11:10:07

borrowedlight " That's why i worry about what she will do after I go - there will be no one to talk her down "

As I said, these feelings are very normal (at least for people in very abnormal relationships with toxic parents). You will go through a real roller coaster, and guilt will form part of that. Many many people who make the move benefit greatly from both counselling and ADs after the break. It really really helps, because however much we know that the situation is/was wrong, our reactions to everything are still skewed by years of 'training'.

No contact will happen when you go past the point at which your worry over the abuser and their reactions is outweighed by your need to protect yourself and your child.

It sounded to me as though you have reached that point.

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Wed 17-Jul-13 12:57:53

OP, you've said you are 'terrified of her'. I would get this fear logged somewhere. Contact the non-emergency police and explain the situation. They will have seen this kind of situation, where a person has been ground down by a family member and is scared of them, before. Ask them what can be done in your new location to protect yourself from being followed or harassed.

All these letters she has sent you, have you kept any? Those might be useful evidence if she ever did try and go to court. But there will also be people like her former best friend who could back up your accounts of her behaviour over the years. It might be worth keeping in touch with the friend by email, but not giving her your new address - not suggesting that she couldn't be trusted, but if she just doesn't have it there is no way she can give it to your mum under pressure, or for your mum to find it out by snooping.

PedantMarina Wed 17-Jul-13 13:21:54

I don't have a lot of experience of this, but I have heard, several times on other threads, that the child has the right to see the GPs, but the GPs do not have rights to see the child.

Hope this helps.

And best of luck - have a better life!

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 13:24:00

I do have some letters - from the last two years, 28 pages worth. I dug them out because she denied having said she was suicidal, and I knew she had put it in writing. Re-reading them all in the cold light of day, the same week I bumped into her friend, is what sparked the move.

But the hitting as me as a teen I can't prove - she admits it and says it was normal behaviour, that everyone did it. She says she can't remember the hands round the throat incident, but added that she would have only done it if I had deserved it. But it would be her word against mine if she denied it publicly.

I should add, I was a grade A student at school, lots of nice friends, hardworking, no drugs, no alcohol, I have had a job since the age of 14, so I wasn't that terrible I don't think - arguments would be about how long it took to do my hair (fair enough probably), teenage stuff.

DontmindifIdo Wed 17-Jul-13 13:24:43

Do you think your mum actually needs talking down, or is her threats of suicide a way of keeping you and others in their place? IME (although limited) most people who are really suicidal don't give multiple people chances to save them. That she makes a drama out of it might mean more likely that she's playing on your fear that she'll do it, rather than intending to kill herself .

Agree keep all the letters you have or recieve from her as evidence, also are you still in contact with your Dad? Would he be prepared to explain her violent nature if it came to court?

You are allowed to move away and start your own life. In your circumstances, then just going sounds like a good plan. Agree, don't let her have 1-1 time with your DS now and limit what you tell your DS. Be careful about who you give your new address too, and make sure they know that no matter what you don't want your mum to have the address, if she claims that she needs to send you something or give you a message etc, prime your friend to say she'll e-mail you to get you to contact your mother. (makes it easier for them)

You can get removal firms who will just move you (they aren't cheap and they literally move everything, my friend found they had individually wrapped the bottles she had in her recycling box for her and moved them to the new house, make sure you do a clear out first!), google should give you details of ones in your area.

Good luck.

chicaguapa Wed 17-Jul-13 14:02:56

I would leave the house the day before the removals turn up and then you won't be around when your mum sees them and starts to question where they are going. I would also consider giving them a false address in case they let slip where you are moving to, then telling them the real address when they have left. Perhaps if you explained the circumstances to the removal company, they would be happy for you to confirm the new address when they have finished packing and have driven away.

Also maybe you could set up a forwarding address somewhere nowhere near you that you redirect post from. Then no-one need know your new address, except friends who come to visit and can be absolutely trusted with that information. Would Women's Aid be able to advise you on that? There are lots of women who are hiding from abusive husbands, I'm sure they'd tell you how to hide from an abusive mother.

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 14:12:27

I really think the Paris tickets are the safest plan.
It may sound harsh, but actually its the best solution given the posters position.
I am hyper cautious though as in my experience, this level of toxicity carries an almost feral sixth sense for someone breaking the shackles "rules". Perhaps we just exude a vibe, even when we think we are being ultra secretive.

Owllady Wed 17-Jul-13 14:17:26

Okay. I will start by saying my parents used to smack me too, I think it was quite normal in those days (I was born in the 70s) BUT you have said she hit you to the point of bruises and that is in no way normal and sounds far more than smacking - not that i am justifying smacking, it just sounds a lot worse from the language you have used.

the control, the letters - so abnormal

I would, if you can, move away and find a counselor and never contact her again. The reason i have suggested a counselor is because when you have been controlled and abused by a parent it's very difficult to change your responses and behaviour yourself - I found anyway. I found myself constantly questioning myself and feeling guilty and counselling gave me coping mechanisms with being able to deal with it all iykwim. I am estranged from my dad - 11 yrs- my children never even ask about him - I find it quite bizarre!

borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 14:58:07

Yes owllady definitely not just smacking, well, not what I call smacking. It was repeated hits on my upper body. I once had a bruise the shape of her hand on my arm and often had bruises all over my arms from fending her off. I remember once telling her to stop hitting me, so she grabbed her bedroom door and smashed it repeatedly on the chest of drawers behind it - she only fixed the hole in the door last year. Did anyone else experience this? Was this normal? I was not just a little kid getting a sharp tap on the bum, I was a teenager - but I wouldn't say I was being beaten up either.

Owllady Wed 17-Jul-13 15:04:34

no, it isn't normal at all. It sounds like she has really quite serious anger issues sad

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 16:13:54

Anger issues? I think the correct medical term is 'batshit crazy woman'. hmm Someone else has pointed out that grandparents have no legal rights over grandchildren. If she did follow you to another city and carry on in the same vein I'm sure the police would be interested.

Owllady Wed 17-Jul-13 16:20:10

well quite, I was trying to be polite blush

CogitoErgoSometimes Wed 17-Jul-13 16:23:25

I'm at the age where I'm looking at 'polite' in the rear view mirror... blush

cocolepew Wed 17-Jul-13 16:29:45

But you were beaten up, she repeatedly hit you.
I agree with the poster who said to find out if it's possible to keep your new address from the movers until they are loaded and ready to go. Obviously one person in the office will need to know but I wouldn't want it written down anywhere and left on the lorry in case she saw it.

Go and don't look back.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 17-Jul-13 16:45:36

Oh my goodness.

Move, cut contact. The treatment you describe is appalling. You say you feel guilty about severing her relationship with your DS, and yet you also say that she admits to "savaging" him at times when he is in her care.

You need to get away from her.
He needs to be kept away from her.

You do NOT have to remain in contact with anyone you do not want to be. You do not need to tell her you are leaving, or give her your address. And if she gets wind of you moving and confronts her about, you do not need to back down. You are perfectly entitled to say, to her face, "DM, I am moving and I am not telling you where." Repeat as necessary. Your choices are your own; you don't even need to bother explaining or defending them ('s not like she would be swayed by any arguments, or respect your boundaries if you ask her, is it, right? So you don't need to explain or beg. You just present her with a fait accompli.)

HotDAMNlifeisgood Wed 17-Jul-13 16:46:13

and confronts *you about it

redwellybluewelly Wed 17-Jul-13 16:47:00

I'm at the age where I'm looking at 'polite' in the rear view mirror I'm sorry OP but this tickled me

OP yanbu to want to move fast but you need to get your.mother out of town the day you move . We've gone NC with my mother partly to protect my DCs from her volatile nature and also show them I have some self respect.

Go and enjoy life

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 17-Jul-13 17:58:25

Hi OP.

Once you've moved, you'll find the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 a great help, particularly the anti-stalking provisions. There are firms who will charge you an arm and a leg, but it's possible to do the legwork yourself and start court action reasonably cheaply (£00s rather than £000s). That's for the civil injunction; also the CPS has a good section on the criminal offences:


Katisha Wed 17-Jul-13 18:15:31

You need to a) move b) get some counselling to help you come to terms with your decision to cut contact.

Don't imagine that talking reasonably or giving her yet another chance will make any difference - she does not inhabit the same reality as everyone else. She truly believes her own version of events and therefore is not open to reason. Nobody can "talk her down".

I honestly think that you should not leave DS in her care as she obviously has massive anger problems and sooner or later will use him to control you in some way. She may not be able to stop herself harming him either.

Go and don't look back. For DSs sake if not your own.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 18:52:20

I've read some terrible stories on here and talked to people who've had terrible experiences and I can honestly say this is one of the worst I've read. I can see why you're terrified of her as she sounds violent and mentally unstable.

Please get yourself and your son away from this dreadful woman and don't look back.

WRT your comments about talking her down - I know this is an awful thing to say but really, if she did kill herself, would it actually be so bad?

chicaguapa Wed 17-Jul-13 22:09:40

Good luck OP. It sounds like this is your chance to get away and build up some positive relationships for you and your DS. I hope it works out for you and you manage to hide where you are. I think you need to do everything you can to keep your whereabouts secret because if you do a midnight flit and she finds out where you are, it'll be twice as hard to do it again.

WafflyVersatile Wed 17-Jul-13 22:30:22

Your DS is not a mental health facilitation device. She needs a therapist or counsellor to help her cope with her feelings of despair and to stop relying on your son.

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 23:14:54

OP - you have had a lot to absorb here, and suspect you may be reeling a bit from all the input.
I hope you manage a reasonable nights sleep in the knowledge that, without exception, you have found care & support for your decision from every person here.
Its not real life backup, but at least you know there are a whole mass of women cheering you on smile

Stay safe, and do please let us know how you are. flowers

kennyp Wed 17-Jul-13 23:32:55

she sounds just like my mother, and father, neither of whom have any contact with my kids whatsoever.

a therapist said to me to draw up a list - pros and cons of children seeing their grandparent/s. there were no pros at all. best thing i ever did (i moved over 80 miles away from my parents and it is the best thing i have ever done although therapy has helped enormously).

good luck. put yourself first. take it slowly. (my mother used to ring from a railway station telling me she was going to jump. i should have got her a train timetable).

kalidanger Wed 17-Jul-13 23:41:32

I agree you should move and go NC but I can't imagine you could count on her not finding you... You can't genuinely disappear from everyone, can you?

You mother could bump into a friend of yours and, while being ostensibly very pleasant, gain info such as "Oh yes, Borrowed loves her new job at X. The house is in a lovely area too etc etc"

Uselessly, I don't have a solution but I think it's something to consider.

learnasyougo Wed 17-Jul-13 23:48:37

she sounds like a case of borderline personality disorder (google this and see if it fits).

She will cause a lot of damage to your DS if you don't get him away from her. It's neither your place nor even within your power to fix her or protect her from herself.

You sound very calm and clear-headed about it, despite your wobbles. A move with your job sound like an ideal opportunity for you.

bumpertobumper Thu 18-Jul-13 00:23:19

what are your ex ILs like? does your DS have a good relationship with them? if not currently, would it be possible?
just asking because you want him to have a grand parent, and you haven't mentioned your father.
good luck with the move etc!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 18-Jul-13 01:18:14

You are being so brave grasping at this chance to get away, not at all surprised you feeling overwhelmed abs terrifying... It is very scary getting away from an abuser.

When I read what your mother is like, it reminds me of some of the worst abusive husband threads on mumsnet... Would it help to think of her like this? Except worse cos she's done this to you since you were a child, and she was supposed to be your caregiver, your protector, your mum sad

I think it's really important you get away from her, and doing a flit is a very sensible idea. Keep strong.

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 07:21:19

Thank you so much everyone. I feel stronger that no one is saying it's normal. I did go and see a therapist last week as a one off, I just wanted to tell it all as I figured they've probably heard it all and worse before, and then I asked at the end, "would another reasonable person feel like I do, or would they just suck it up because it's normal?". It was good to hear her reaction. I just feel I need permission to go NC.

The therapist also said I should write a letter to my father. He was a good man and I would like him to have a relationship with my son if nothing else. That would be impossible at the moment with my mum.

No contact with ILs or EXH I'm afraid - their choice. I did get a phone call about 2 months ago from his new wife (whom he left me for) who says she is a victim of domestic violence and hoped I would verify that I'd had similar experience to her. And I did. But I didn't recognise it as abuse. I need to work on my boundaries - it was shocking to hear her say stuff that had also happened to me, and she'd phoned the police!

So, onwards lovely ladies. The good thing about learning to tread on eggshells is you are able to get on with most people - I have a wide circle of friends smile. Yesterday I got DS a school place. So it's all going very smoothly so far, which makes it feel right.

I'll post again when anything exciting or awful happens. I will keep this thread and read it when I get wobbly x

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:53

Sorry, hope the friends comment didn't sound smug. I just meant that I do have support, and it makes it easier knowing the new life isn't entirely new x

kalidanger Thu 18-Jul-13 08:13:16

Smug?? Nonsense! You're great, and everyone else knows it. Listen to them grin

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 18-Jul-13 09:38:24

Excellent progress. I would also say that while it can't have been nice being left for this other woman, if she's been the victim of domestic abuse I am glad she's recognised it and left, and I'm also glad that you are realising this was abuse so that you know it in future. It sounds to me as though your experiences with your mum have conditioned you to have a very high threshold for considering something 'abusive' - good that you're rethinking that now.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 10:10:12

Smug nothing! the fact that you have a really good support network (and a personality which will help you make new friends easily in your new home) is about the best news I could have heard for you grin
I guess one of the upsides of ending up as well-trained people readers is that we tend to get along with most (the other side of the whole "people pleasing" thing ...not so good! but I'm still working on that!).
Its funny the things you learn. My therapist told me that I read the tiniest nuances of expression because it was my only way of trying to stay safe, as a small child.

Worth reiterating that you should make sure you keep everything that relates to any threat she has ever made ( can't see a court ever granting unsupervised contact given that you can strongly evidence suicide threats ) and don't lose it in the move! (or more likely the strong desire to burn it as part of the walking away process!)

Anyway. Enough with the past. You are doing brilliantly!!! A whole new life awaits you. There is always a 'down' patch because, however odd it may be, losing the abuser leaves a weird kind of void because they frame our normality for so very long, but I am sure many others will concur in saying that the freedom of knowing you are finally safe is precious beyond price.

Good luck. x

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 03:46:55

ipsissimayou were right. I told her today on the phone that she won't be able to see DS this holiday as between holiday clubs and holidays we were busy all summer.

She came to my house and demamded to see DS. She then barged into my house and assaulted me. She had her hand on my throat. I asked her to leave. She refused. I had to call the police. They've spent 2 hours with me and said they are going to arrest her. I feel sick.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 04:29:50

Oh gosh - how awful for you but hopefully this will make you feel 100% sure that cutting her off is the ONLY way forward.

Please go ahead and let the police charge her. Don't back down and drop the charges - no matter what guilty tricks your mother tries.

Look at this as another opportunity to cut her out of your lives forever.

Bedtime1 Sat 20-Jul-13 05:37:20

So sorry borrowed light. How are you feeling ?

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 05:50:44

Tired, shocked and scared tbh. Yesterday was a very normal day and this escalated from nowhere. I'm scared of what she will do to get her revenge for me calling the police. But she wouldn't leave my house and I asked her repeatedly. I didn't know what she was going to do next.

Kahlua4me Sat 20-Jul-13 06:01:55

Well done you for finding the strength to call the police.
As myboys said, that is awful but may help to clear your thoughts and show you that the only way forward is to stop all contact.
Is there anyway you can move to the new area sooner. Rent a house maybe? Then at least you are away from her.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:46:19

Keep all doors locked and don't open them to her at all.

Has school finished? If not put in writing that under NO circumstances that she is allowed near your son.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:48:49

This may also be enough to get a restraining order for her. Speak to the police about that - explain to them how you fear for your and you son's safety.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 06:56:03

Definitely get some sort of restraining order. Then if she turns up again straight onto the police again.go completely no contact from now on.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 06:56:24

Definitely get some sort of restraining order. Then if she turns up again straight onto the police again.go completely no contact from now on.

Oscalito Sat 20-Jul-13 08:14:36

Oh you poor thing. Well done for calling the police. I don't have anything to add apart from to agree with others that you should run and never look back (easy to say I know). Your DS will be safer without her in his life, she will only get worse.

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Sat 20-Jul-13 09:23:04

Well done for calling police - standing up to her in this way is the first step to freedom.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 13:22:26

Oh, I am so sorry this has happened, before you could make the move ......I certainly did not want to be "right" sad

It seems that you were very right to feel that no contact is the only real option for you.
Do, please listen to the advice here and get a restraining order if you can....and absolutely ensure that school is fully aware.
When is the move?

I wonder if you could go to stay with friends until moving day? ...and just give the keys to the movers. It costs for them to totally pack you from an "just as you left it" state ....but they will certainly do it, and this could be the safest possible option.

Please please take care.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 17:02:30

borrowedlight ....are you OK. Worrying about you - and it just occurred to me to wonder if anyone close to you knows what is going on?

If not, then could you bring yourself to tell a couple of your closest friends? I really think that in situations of this kind, it's important to have backup at the end of a short phone line.....if you possibly can.

I'm a dil of pil like your mother, and although it took me alot of time thinking it through, i saw it best to keep my dc away from them.
Dh still doesn't agree and i know it must be immensly hard for him but in cases of gps like these, your children are best kept away.

Holding your hand and hoping you have someone close that understands and you can talk with as having toxic parents can be quite isolating, it is for me and i'm just a dil, must be even worse for you.

I can tell you now it won't be easy, dh is constantly telling me mil isn't happy about nc and she does pressurize me for contact and i did relent once. But the 10m we were non contact me & the children felt like a breath of fresh air had been casted upon us.
Just waiting now for dh to realise i'm doing the best for his children.

Just read your latest post opshock
Good on you for phoning the police, how frightening, i hope you are ok?
Her behaviour shows exactly why you are doing the right thing, she is unhinged, so sorry you are going through this sad

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 19:03:05

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Ipsissima Sat 20-Jul-13 19:11:54

Hang on in there! when is the moving date?
As I said earlier - can you go to stay with friends? ( preferably out of the area (you should be able to get ' special/compassionate ' leave in this sort of circumstance ... and am guessing you may be close to finishing anyway ?)

You really need to tell someone, anyway! as a safety measure, but if you can just get away now, please do it.
I know this is very scary. I am PM'ing you

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