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I've just had the worst argument I've ever had with my mother - who is being unreasonable?

(118 Posts)
Fedupwithmymother Mon 08-Nov-10 19:17:28

<Namechanged for this as the DCs know my MN name>

My mother, who is long-widowed, lives quite close to us. She has no friends at all in the whole world. The other two relatives that she has are an aunt and a cousin. She has no contact with the aunt and some sporadic contact with the cousin, who lives 200 miles away. She has had long term issues with mental health - largely depression but severe enough to require psychiatric help.

I am an only child and my mother feels that she has a right to pass comment about every area of my life. Those comments are usually negative and usually expressed either to my husband, my children or both.

These negative comments range from the mild such as finding some reason to dislike my house, television, car etc to the frankly emotionally harmful.

So for instance she will tell DD1 that I don't love her (DD1) as much as I love DD2. She will genuinely say this in front of them. I have no idea why she says this - it's not remotely true and it's incredibly hurtful to me - but imagine the sort of problems this can cause a child? I've already experienced DD1 screaming at me that I don't love her as much as DD2 and I bloody well know where that little gem has come from.

It all came to a head this weekend. We had a friend come to stay. We had a family outing (minus granny but plus a family friend) which was cut short because Granny insisted that DD1 go around to watch some Formula One race thing. DD1 tried to explain that she didn't want to go, but relented. I heard DD1's end of the phone conversation and it sounded like the other end was pure emotional blackmail. We took DD1 around to her Granny's house.

DD1 knew that she had to be back at our house in time for dinner, as we were being joined by the family friend plus two others. I was trying to cook and entertain but had to drop everything to go and pick DD1 up, and DD1 wasn't ready as Granny had suggested making a birthday card for one of DD1's relatives. The birthday card-making suggestion happened exactly 3 minutes before I was due to collect DD1. hmm

DD1 and her Granny tried to make me wait for them but I just couldn't. I had lots of food on the go. I'd already had to be flexible in terms of taking DD1 around and picking her up when that simply wasn't in the plan for the day. So her Granny agreed to bring DD1 back to our house whilst I went back home to attend to the food.

But then Granny didn't bring DD1 back! I waited until just before serving up and called and asked where DD1 was. I was told that 'She'd already eaten' (at Granny's) angry that 'She might as well stay with me because you don't seem to like her very much' angry angry angry and to cap it all 'You're only bothered about entertaining your boyfriend' angry angry] angry angry. I have no boyfriend btw. I have a long-standing husband. The boyfriend she was referring to was the family friend. But she said all this to me on the telephone while DD1 was IN THE ROOM LISTENING.

I just went around and collected DD1 myself, shouted at my mother that she was emotionally abusive and ran.

I haven't shouted at my mother for around 30 years. I've long concluded that the way of dealing with her was just not to engage. I am furious with myself for losing my temper but so much more furious with my mother for her behaviour.

Who is being unreasonable? Me? Her? Or both? And what do I do now?

<Really sorry this is such an epic>

RealityBomb Mon 08-Nov-10 19:19:35

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

moondog Mon 08-Nov-10 19:19:55

Christ, an just amazed you didn't lose it lomg ago.
I owuld have.
She sounds poisonous.

TattyDevine Mon 08-Nov-10 19:20:26

She is.

You need a break from her for a while.

buttonmoon78 Mon 08-Nov-10 19:21:13

YANBU - I can't believe you're thinking you are!

Your mum sounds very lonely. And very toxic. I suggest a much calmer conversation where you tell her that unless she stops her unreasonable behaviour you will have to restrict the amount of time you and your family spend with her.

Good luck!

piratecat Mon 08-Nov-10 19:22:09

well as you said she has mental health issues, and no, you are not to allow yourself to doubt your 'normal' reaction.

She truly is harming your poor children emotionally.

I don't know the way forward, only wanted you to know i had read.

ShowOfHands Mon 08-Nov-10 19:23:33

I'm torn.

Mental health issues? Widowed? No friends?

She's behaving unforgivably yes but by God she must be lonely.

Nothing you can force her into? No clubs or hobbies or groups?

She sounds so very unhappy. sad

It's not fair on you or your dc but it's very sensitive indeed.

Rhinestone Mon 08-Nov-10 19:23:42

She sounds horrible and I don't think your DD1 should be subjected to her.

Manda25 Mon 08-Nov-10 19:24:14

Run like the wind and never look back. I am surprised you didn't lose it ages ago. She sounds evil....and I wouldn't let my kids any where near her.

Rhinestone Mon 08-Nov-10 19:24:56

Sorry - didn't mean to sound unsympathetic to the mental health issues if she's still suffering from them.

But nonetheless, you have to put your DD first.

Marchpane Mon 08-Nov-10 19:24:56

She sounds bonkers. Is it possible she is I'll? I've seen people with some dementia conditions display irrational and antisocial behaviour like this.

Does she have a social worker?

DrNortherner Mon 08-Nov-10 19:26:05

OMG. I have my own issues with my mother but this takes the biscuit.

Google daugters of narsisstic mothers.

classydiva Mon 08-Nov-10 19:26:10

She is being unreasonable, you need to see her psychiatrist with her and tell them what she does.

She is trying to get your daughter away from you, poison her enough so she says she wants to live with Granny.

It's so obvious.

You are going to have to limit contact, say that until she behaves she cannot see your children, that she is emotionally abusing your children and you won't have it.

Sorry but she is.

Children are impressionable and all this can cuase her problems later on.

Your children come first, simple they have to.

LoopyLoops Mon 08-Nov-10 19:26:14

I agree with everyone else. This kind of behaviour really isn't fair, particularly to your daughters.
Explain thoroughly why you are upset, give her the chance to apologise and take it from there.

colditz Mon 08-Nov-10 19:26:28

Disengage. Don't contact her again and don't accept contact from her. She's abusing your daughter.

LoopyLoops Mon 08-Nov-10 19:27:19

How old are your children BTW?

mamalovesmojitos Mon 08-Nov-10 19:27:28

do you really have to ask? she sounds really confused and horrible and like there is something hugely wrong with her emotionally/mentally.

tiredlady Mon 08-Nov-10 19:27:49

She is clearly unreasonable and has been for a long time from what you say. YANBU in any way,shape or form

You really really shouldn't allow your children to be exposed to this kind of behaviour though.
You can't control what nastiness comes out of her mouth, but you can control whether your children hear it or not.

Give her one warning.
Tell her if she EVER spouts crap at your dc again, she will not see them or you again.
Say it and mean it.
It's very damaging for children to be exposed to this.

DrNortherner Mon 08-Nov-10 19:27:52

I don't think telling her to cut contact with her Mother is helpful.

This is her Mum. She has no Dad alive and no siblings. She is not simply going to walk away from her own Mother.

colditz Mon 08-Nov-10 19:28:03

If I were you I would have a little chat with your DDs and explain that nanny is poorly in her head sometimes, which makes her say things that aren't true, and that it's because youlove them both so much that you don't want them to see nanny right now while she is poorly.

mamalovesmojitos Mon 08-Nov-10 19:28:33

agree that she is emotionally abusing your child and will cause huge problems to her emotional development. you need to cut all contact, i really think you do.

Fedupwithmymother Mon 08-Nov-10 19:28:40

I really don't want anything to do with her at all. I'm so so upset about all this. I never cut people off - I really am not the sort of person to flounce and stalk off.

DH on the other hand keeps telling me that I should stick with it and not do anything to damage the relationship.

Which relationship though? There is no relationship for me. And I really don't think that DD1's wellbeing is being enhanced by all this. It's so unhealthy.

When I was very young, my mother told me that her father (my grandfather) loved his sister more than his own family. I'm sure that this isn't true. Absolutely sure, now, but what a horrible thing to say to a small child. This is just the way she operates

colditz Mon 08-Nov-10 19:29:03

Northener, this poisonous old bitch has told a little girl her other doesn't love her.

I'd walk away from her. I'd arrange psychiatric help from afar but she wouldn't be seeing hide nor hair of my children.

mynewme Mon 08-Nov-10 19:29:16

She sounds vile. How awful of her to be so undermining about you as a mother and wife. She has the potential to destroy your relationship with your dd1, then dd2 when she gets hold of her. I would be tempted to not allow her anywhere near your children.
It does sound though, by the fact that your mother had you running back and forth, that you are sometimes quite passive with her? That's not to say you are at fault, I have a similar mother who is very domineering and as a result I was very passive. I just stay away from her now, don't answer the phone and say to dc "you don't see Granny without mummy being there", end of story.

classydiva Mon 08-Nov-10 19:29:33

Im not saying she should cut contact but she should limit the childrens contact, she is emotionally abusing them.

The woman knows what she is doing.

She is lonely, she is looking for a replacement daugther.

Mental health issues do not make you horrible, you have to be a bit that way to start with!

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