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Why did she say this?

(58 Posts)
pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:05:58

When I was 11 years old my mother turned to me and said

"You are not and never will be as beautiful as me."

It was completely out of the blue. I don't know how to stop thinking about it.

mammadiggingdeep Mon 26-Aug-13 22:09:36

Really??? I'm so sorry, that's sad sad how's your relationship now? Is it something you could talk about with her?

Suelford Mon 26-Aug-13 22:15:56

That's a weird thing to say to an 11 year old.

Perhaps she saw what a beautiful young woman you were becoming and felt threatened? Or maybe she had very low self-esteem and was trying to reassert herself over a 'safe' target? Or maybe she was feeling bullied in some other area and was taking it out on, again, a safe target? All the possible explanations boil down to it being such an odd thing to say to a child that it's probably best to chalk it up to a moment of madness, unless it was in a pattern of similar behaviour?

HMG83 Mon 26-Aug-13 22:16:26

My mum has said similar over the years. Add that to everything else she has done or does and it's clear my mother is a classic narcissist.

Really sorry your mum said that to you, it's not nice and it's not normal.

DfanjoUnchained Mon 26-Aug-13 22:17:12

Because she is/was a narc

MexicanHat Mon 26-Aug-13 22:19:26

What Suelford said. Obviously felt threatened by you. What an odd thing to say, how sad. I tell my DD that she is beautiful most days.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:21:06

I don't really know about our relationship. I can have a nice time with her and then after she's gone I think about the past and what she has done. I get really upset and angry with myself for having a nice time with her.

I've tried talking to her in the past, not for a long time though. She just laughs, says I make things up and makes me feel really small. Or gets really defensive and accuses everyone of turning against her. DP says I should talk to her, but it wouldn't achieve anything.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 22:27:09

Did she drink, pickled?

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 22:29:06

PS - sorry, hit post too soon.

That sounds to me like the maudlin, self absorbed thoughts of someone who is more than a few sheets to the wind.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:30:54

I've only realised recently that things she did when I was growing up affect the way I am today.

I cannot take more than 10 seconds to get to my young DS when he is crying otherwise I start to panic. I realise this is because I spent hours crying in my bed and nobody coming to calm me. I was so young yet I remember so vividly.

WinkyWinkola Mon 26-Aug-13 22:33:52

Gosh. What a bizarre thing to say to a kid.

It's a shame that an "Aw fuck off you sad, shallow moo," wasn't a possible response.

It's actually normal to hope your dcs are better and do better than you, the parent, in every way. I'd be delighted if I knew my dcs had gone far further than I ever have or could.

It's not normal to compete with your children nor is it normal to focus on their appearance compared to your own.

I'm sorry op. Your mother is completely in the wrong here. You should feel assured of that and perhaps not take much or any of what she says seriously ever.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:39:16

Yes she liked to drink cozie, im not sure how much she drinks nowadays. Everything goes downhill when she's had a drink. She turns everything into negative and argues a lot. She then argues that she's not arguing, she's 'debating'!!

When DS1 was a few months old she got very drunk at a family dinner and turned the music up very loud (a habit of hers). I explained that DS1 was asleep upstairs and I needed to hear if he started crying as she didnt have monitors. She refused after we explained the situation repeatedly. I went upstairs and DS1 was crying sad I was so upset. Shes so bloody selfish.

Aussiebean Mon 26-Aug-13 22:40:29

My mum told me she loved me but didn't like me when I was 13.

Unfortunately there are mothers out there who will say awful things to their children.

I would guess it was jealousy and control

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:43:34

I agree winky, I could never say anything like that to my DSs. I also want them to achieve so, so much whereas with her it always feels like a bit of a competition. She is very self absorbed.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 22:44:05

Then I would put it down to that, pickled. Drink acting on a foolish and self-absorbed mind. You don't have to make allowances for it or even try to understand it because I'm not sure that you can understand a mind in drink taken. Just remember that it would have had nothing to do with you.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:46:56

I don't know aussie she was smiling, she looked completely infatuated with herself.

SoftKittyWarmKitty Mon 26-Aug-13 22:48:16

So sorry, OP. Sounds like you've tried hard to discuss it with her but she either denies it or plays the victim. I doubt whether further discussion would be of any benefit. Was your dad around at the time, or siblings, and if so, what's their take on it?

When I was about 13 and going through a very self conscious and awkward phase, my mum just turned round one day and said, sneeringly, 'You look a right mess'. I was devastated and confused, and to this day I can recall clearly where we were, what I was wearing and how my hair looked. Best thing was, at that age I had no money of my own and therefore had little control over what clothes I was bought to wear, getting my hair cut etc., so there wasn't a lot I could do about how I looked.

She has said other things about my looks since and I very rarely get compliments. However, I know it stems from her own crap childhood where her mother was very unkind and insulting at times.

Luckily my DS tells me I'm beautiful lots, so I'd rather listen to him (even though he's biased smile) and I don't really believe him.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:50:42

I just find it so bloody confusing how anybody can put drink before their childrens welfare! I understand that everything is not so black and white though. She never drank on her own, always with my father. They had a whale of a time.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 22:55:57

My father was around but he had no backbone and just did as she said. It's still like this today.

I'm sorry about your mum softkitty sad I'm sure you're very beautiful!

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 22:56:10

You don't know that for certain though, OP. You just might not have seen things at 11 so she could have been canned to the wide most evenings. All I can judge is that that sounds very like someone who is mentally meandering with you as an incidental.

(Which isn't very pleasant, I grant you, but is better than actually being targeted.)

ImperialBlether Mon 26-Aug-13 22:59:47

Having a whale of a time can often mean proving to the world that you're having a whale of a time, OP.

What she said just shows how jealous she was of you.

Would it help you to reduce the contact you have with her?

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:01:34

I think I've always known it was the drink talking, but I always just see her smirking at me in my head. It hurts that she denies these things ever happened and that I'll never get an apology. I've been thinking about relocating and changing my contact details. Perhaps if I don't see her the flashbacks will stop. They just come out of nowhere and ruin the day. They are probably ruining me.

Yamyoid Mon 26-Aug-13 23:05:33

Do you know about the stately homes thread?

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:08:45

Stately homes? confused

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 23:13:35

My mother came out with gems like this every few years, sometimes publically, and she was even sober sometimes (not always.) It's one of the things I don't miss about her.

It does affect you - I have been seeing a counsellor since she died, because I still find it difficult to deserve more, that anyone will actually love me and want to be with me. I know it on a rational level, but getting to believe it on an emotional level is a work in progress. One that I'm not sure is progressing well, really. I don't know how you stop thinking about it a lot of the time - not at the times it counts, anyway.

Have you tried counselling, pickledbeetroot? May be worth considering.

Yamyoid Mon 26-Aug-13 23:17:26

I haven't been on it myself as fortunately haven't had the need, but there's a support thread for people with toxic parents, known as the stately homes thread. It should come up with a search.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 23:22:06

My own view, pickled is that drunken ramblings do not represent 'in vino veritas' etc. From sadly extensive experience, I've come to believe that booze just scrambles the brain and turns it in on itself.

Nothing to do with the person you are or were, therefore. Although I'd also consider cutting or severely limiting contact with her. And going for counselling if you can.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:24:26

I have days where I know I deserve more and want to desperately show her that, Ebear. Then other days I feel so worthless. I'm constantly up and down and so confused. I have thought about counselling but I just feel like I am an idiot to feel like this and they'd probably roll their eyes at me!!

Thanks yamyoid I will search for it!

EBearhug Mon 26-Aug-13 23:28:10

I really don't think they would roll your eyes at you (and shouldn't be counselling in the first place if they did.) They will be quite used to dealing with this sort of thing. You're not an idiot at all.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:29:46

cozie do you really think cutting contact would help? I have thought about it a lot and have little 'daydreams' of how happy life could be, but then I think about relocating my family and I start doubting the whole thing. I live in a small town, I would have to move away if I was to not see her. Then images pop into my head of her crying to me when I was a child because she was so upset and depressed. And I feel like a cruel hearted bitch.

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 23:33:11

There's the option of severely limiting as well. What would happen if you stayed where you were and stopped initiating all contact with her? How would your family react as well?

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:36:06

Ebear I think I would clam up and feel like a burden. Do counsellors 'get the conversation going'? Sorry I have no clue when it comes to things like this, I feel like a burden when I go to see the doctor when I'm ill! I don't like attention, it's a relief to be able to say some of my feelings on here smile

Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:36:25

The Stately Homes thread is a saviour of many of us with dysfunctional/toxic parents. I havent posted but I read it as it helps me to realise that I was not the problem, despite my mothers assertions.

"Stately Homes" refers to the fact that if you confront a toxic parent they will deny that they were anything less than the perfect parent to you because they did the outwardly nice family things such as days out to stately homes. They dont see that they words hurt us and destroyed our self confidence.

Just reading that thread(s) and knowing that you werent the villain or the bitch or the slut or the competition is so helpful. Just realising that the problem was in her head and not in you takes her power away.

Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:36:38
Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:38:25

Then images pop into my head of her crying to me when I was a child because she was so upset and depressed.

So she put the burder of her "depression" onto you too? No counsellor would roll their eyes at you, they really wouldnt. You have been brainwashed, you really have. I think counselling would be a very good idea.

Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:38:39


pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:43:36

cozie it wouldn't work, they'd make me feel stupid and I would believe I was being stupid. They would say I was being 'a bit dramatic'

They love my DSs so much. I can't trust them with them though. DS1 went to theirs for the day and was recently potty trained, they put a nappy on him so they didnt have to bother taking him to the loo. He came back home and the nappy was dry. Poor DS had held his wee in all day sad Their incompetence to do the simplest things amazes me.

Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:44:53

They risked your childs health for their convenience, that is child abuse and that alone is good enough reason to cut them off.

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:47:51

Thanks for the post and link bogey, the thread sounds like it could help me a lot.

A classic line of my mothers is "what are you talking about? We had a brilliant time, I took you to...". So the thread sounds perfect really!

cozietoesie Mon 26-Aug-13 23:51:04

Right. Then I think you do have to consider cutting contact. I'd go for counselling first though or you're going to be consumed by guilt.

But don't let your DCs go to their house by themselves again. That would be a line in the sand for me.

Bogeyface Mon 26-Aug-13 23:51:31

My mother always goes on about our holidays. She forgets that even they werent the childhood idyll she thinks they were. She forgets the time that her and my dad made my sister and I (sister was 4 at the time) stand in the corner of our hotel room for so long that my sister wet herself as she was too frightened to ask to go to the toilet. I cry remembering that.

How could you do that to a child?

pickledbeetroot Mon 26-Aug-13 23:56:09

It's very daunting bogey because as dysfunctional as it is they are they only family I have sad

I don't really have any close friends, DP tries to help. He doesn't quite get how I put on a happy face around them and can actually be on a high after seeing them. Then the memories come flooding back in and I get very down, he tries his best to understand. He has had words with them many times and has also suggested counselling.

cozietoesie Tue 27-Aug-13 00:01:18

Sorry pickled but in my book, it's better to have no birth family than a family that's screwing you up and over. And in any case, you have your own close family now - your DH and DCs. Don't let the past be visited on them.

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 00:04:09

bogey sad I'm so sorry that happened to you and your sister. I have no idea how anyone could do that to a child, I just cannot begin to comprehend.

My mum makes holidays out to be idyllic as well. She sent me, age 7, and my drunk father out to get some more wine at 11.30pm. In the middle of Spain. I was told to "look after him and not to let him chat to people for too long". I was so bloody scared, the streets were packed. When we, eventually, got back I was sent straight back to bed (having been woken up) and I cried all night and wet myself too. I was ignored. I was scared stiff.

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 00:06:53

cozie your posts are stating facts to me that deep down I already know and that I need to remember. I need to sort my life out before it starts affecting theirs.

Oh god I'm going to bloody cry. But in a good realisation kind of way smile

Bogeyface Tue 27-Aug-13 00:09:33

And yet she was the perfect mother hmm

You need to talk about this with someone unconnected who can help you deal with what you went through. My sister doesnt remember many of things I do as she was younger, but she is now in therapy and quite distant from my parents as she has only now realised how abusive our childhood was. She was the "good one" (believe it or not) who learnt to cope by being everything they wanted. I was the "fuck you" child. I get on far better with them now because I barely had any contact through my thirties when I said "enough", and they respect me far more than they did. They actually seek me out for my thoughts and opinions, help me out without strings attached and are very respectful of my choices because throughout my life I have never ever bent to their will. Eventually, that paid off, but it was a long and painful journey.

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 00:19:39

bogey what you went through and how you have come out the other side is amazing. I wish you and your sister all the best.

I'll look into counselling tomorrow. Hopefully then I can start to plan my happy future smile

cozietoesie Tue 27-Aug-13 00:23:04

Best of luck.

Bogeyface Tue 27-Aug-13 00:23:40

Thank you, I wish you all the best too smile

Even saying to yourself "Enough is enough" can be very empowering, your "voice" has changed throughout this thread alone.

Keep the faith smile

AlfalfaMum Tue 27-Aug-13 00:28:16

It says more about her than it does about you. You know that.

My mum used to say cruel things when I was growing up, she never complimented me, she'd say I was fat and spotty (when I wasn't especially either); and when in my early teens I said the classic "I hate you!", she said she hated me too hmm

QueenofWhispers Tue 27-Aug-13 00:56:36

My mother said this to me too. i must have been around 11 too, I had just started my period (I think it was my second or third of my first period).

She's actually my step mother, but she's raised me since I was two so she's the only mother I have ever known. When she said it though, I just figured, okay you can be as pretty as you want, I'll always have a better personality.

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 06:31:07

Wow alfafa what a comeback shock

You must've been very mature to think that at that age queen. I just remember crying and hiding in my wardrobe!

True thoughts though, it's definitely not hard to have a better personality than my mums. She says having a hard life growing up in a small council house (she's one of nine) has made her a strong and better person. I always think if that's the case, then I'd hate to think how much more cruel and selfish you would've been without that upbringing!

QueenofWhispers Tue 27-Aug-13 08:55:23

I had sustained quite a lot of verbal and mental abuse up till that point, while being the only childcare for my half-siblings from the age of 5. If it wasn't for the fact that I had to watch 3 children under the age of 3 almost full time...I may have become involved with the wrong crowd. Thank goodness for my full time job!

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 09:40:58

That must've been hard queen, your childhood taken away from you. Unluckily for me I did end up in the wrong crowd, but I met DP through that crowd and we are now healthy, happy and the parents of two gorgeous boys. That time of my life is just a big blur, I have no idea what really happened and that's scary. But I'm very lucky to have come out the other side, I hate the thought that if I hadn't of met DP I might still be in that state now.

pickled have a look at this link .

Well done on creating a happy family for yourself!

whycantimoveon Tue 27-Aug-13 12:54:37

Nowhere near as bad as some of the stories on here, but my Mum always used to make me feel ugly, I used to ask her if I was pretty and she used to say 'yes your OK' or 'apart from your nose, your fine I suppose'

She often says in public how afwul a child/teenager I was. She makes it out like a joke, but im 40, could she not just let it go now!

When I split from my H, she said I shouldnt be going out anywhere 'at my age'

I lost loads of weight, went to the gym and have never looked better, she said I was 'too thin and looked silly'

I have really really distanced myself from her now, I hardly ever contact her and I know shes upset as she has told my brothers that she is, but it just depresses me when I speak to her.

So sorry I cant help OP, but I know how you feel ! (sort of!)

pickledbeetroot Tue 27-Aug-13 14:20:34

Thanks for the link unlikely, I'll have a good look later as I busy atm.

whycant funnily enough my mum always used to comment on my nose! There is always something to make a negative comment about hmm

I totally understand how you feel, I get depressed when I speak to my mum too. I'm going to distance myself from her, I'm definitely stopping unsupervised access with my DSs. I get worried she'll be upset, have no idea why as I'm sure she won't be half as upset as she's made me over the years!!

whycantimoveon Tue 27-Aug-13 14:51:56

The thing is I dont think you will ever win, because I now feel guilty about not contacting her much !!

Every now and then I will ring her because I feel sorry for her..

I have serious issues about my nose :-( I am saving for surgery and I will get it done one day!

Just remembered another one she does! my daughter has very long, slim legs, which my Mum has and so do I. When my Mum talks about my daughter, she always goes on about how lovely her legs are and how she should thank her (my Mum) for them! all she has ever said about mine is that they are OK, but 'bandy'!!

I tell my daughter every single day how beautiful she is and will continue to do that for ever and ever!

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