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parents think it's all my fault...

(69 Posts)
inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 10:58:48

i am in the middle of a huge row with my parents. in brief - i was not a terrible teenager (no drink/drug/police etc incidents), but i wasn't particularly lovely to my parents either. my relationship with my dad became very difficult; i feel that i had very little of an actual relationship with him at all (no emotional input or interest in my (selfish, frivolous teenage) world). we are now at a point where i recognise that i need to let the abandonment i felt - and still feel, if i'm honest - and the subsequent resentment go if we are to have any kind of relationship. when i bring it up with my parents, their attitude is "we did our best" and "you'll understand how parents fuck up their kids when you're older". they refuse to admit any responsibility, and think that the only "problem" they have is with the fact that i have a problem with them.
aibu to want them to communicate properly with me about this, and to find the inference that it is all my fault that our relationship is poor, and therefore my responsibility to fix offensive?
constructive replies please. i am fresh from a 4 hour character assassination session with them yesterday and am raw. (also waiting to hear from my dh, who is about to speak to my dad, who is "worried about my mental health" (resorting to calling me mad), so very nervy).

Snorbs Tue 31-May-11 11:06:30

YANBU to want them to communicate properly with you, but that doesn't mean that they will. Some people just can't. That leaves you with the choice to either stick with the resentment, or to realise that their flaws extend not just to their parenting but also their ability to take responsibility for their choices.

holyShmoley Tue 31-May-11 11:07:52

have you been on the relationships board? There is a 'Stately Homes' thread, and that's where you need to be.

In short, they are toxic, and you need to get them out of your life.

MonstaMunch Tue 31-May-11 11:08:23

all teenagers are hard work, i certainly was and so were my kids

thats just a phase of life

move on, get over it. You sound like you are contemplating your navel a bit too much

inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 11:10:23

thanks for pointing me somewhere else. new to this mn thing...

inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 11:17:10

monsta, it's more that i feel our relationship is stuck at that phase. i was hard work and so is my stepdaughter. but i recognise that it's my responsibility to ensure we have a relationship rather than just existing in the same space, and that i have sole responsibility for fixing it. i can sort my own attitude out (am looking into counselling), but that's all.

AllThreeWays Tue 31-May-11 11:17:35

I agree with MonstaMunch parents aren't perfect, it doesn't sound like they were awful from your post, just not very good at it.
Forgive and move on, you can only help yourself, what if they weren't there to talk to about this, would you be crippled by your feelings for life?

Of course they may be more to this than you are saying but it is still true that only you can make you well

hugeleyoutnumbered Tue 31-May-11 11:19:52

It sounds as if this is something you may have to resolve without them.

I had an interesting relationship with my mum, which resulted in me being thrown out at midnight when I was 18. my mom always insisted that I had moved out, as you do at midnight, in the end I put it to rest, it took 'til I was about 21 to have a decent relationship with her, even then was firey, arguments tended to be my fault, I would always have to appologise make the first move etc.

I moved back home with my family,( I know it was destined to fail) mum's suggestion, it last five terrible weeks and we were evicted, literaly given two weeks notice to get out, but we got over it, we were just much better living apart it was a terrible time but we made our peace, she died in 09 and I still miss her

So my advice would be to leave it alone. you are not going to get any appologies and trying to get them has resulted in today, the fact they are getting defensive means that you have a point, I feel for you but don't have any real advice. how are you feeling now?

inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 11:31:52

thanks for your story hugely. i'm feeling pretty terrible.
all3, i think it would be something i'd learn to live with tbh. my main problem is the fact that i'm held responsible for it all; that they think it's up to me to fix.

MmeLindor. Tue 31-May-11 11:34:53

I don't know if relationships can be 'fixed' as such.

And aren't all teenagers hard work, some more, some less?

I think that you have to let it go, and stop trying to fix it. Concentrate on now, not the past.

Do they bring it up, or do you? Perhaps they feel that you are constantly blaming them for the bad relationship.

DoMeDon Tue 31-May-11 11:44:32

They keep saying they did their best as that is what they did. You cannot make them talk to you about the issues from your childhood. You cannot amke them change their attitude. Stop trying to change what you cannot - acceptance is the key to contentment. Accept they did their best, accept it hurt you and be proud you will do a better job with your DSD.

FWIW it doesn't sound like a 'Staely Homes' thread problem, they sound like people getting it wrong rather than deliberatley fucking you up.

Counselling will be great for you and help you immensely. You can learn to deal with them better. Learn to process the hurt you feel. Stop focussing on them and concentrate on you.

monstermissy Tue 31-May-11 11:44:40

My friend once brought up all the issues she had with her parents over the years in an attempt to sort out her head etc her mum cried alot and was very upset that she held on to all these negetive feelings over the years, they generally were good parents and she has a good relationship with them.

I tend to think as parents all we do is what we think is best at the time so for your child to come back at you with all the not so great stuff you did when they are grown adults is i think is unfair. As an adult its up to them to move on, get over it and wait for the day their kids to it to them. Parents are human beings not super human beings.

hugeleyoutnumbered Tue 31-May-11 11:46:09

am with mmelindor, you can't fix this, you think you are right and they disagree. you simply have to let it go, talking about it with them is making the situation worse, focus on the fact that your past has made you who you are today, without your history you simply wouldn't be you, that has got me through. next time it comes up, just say you want to leave the past where it is and enjoy your relationship for what it is now

inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 11:50:12

lindor, they bring it up. they came down yesterday to "try to sort things out". i have let it go since i was a teenager; my dad has told me many times recently how shallow and unsatisfactory he finds our relationship. that's because i've been trying to keep the peace - be myself now - but that's not good enough either. i get told i am at fault for not "letting them in".
background - my brother had a heroin addiction in his teens, which has never really been dealt with or properly addressed. (he's fine now.) my parents have just learnt to live with it and are happy to have any kind of relationship with him. i feel that i am copping a lot of blame that needs to come out, but isn't necessarily anything to do with me.

ratspeaker Tue 31-May-11 11:51:34

You and your parents seem to be stuck in the past, going over and over the same ground
Teenagers are difficult, its the nature of the beast
But they grow into adults and the relationship should change along with it, on both sides

Part of that is accepting they will not take responsibility, will not apologise.

Another is you don't have to sit and have a 4hour "character assassination session".
You are adult now. Get up and leave.

You are no longer a child who needs to be told when they are wrong.
Your parents need to accept that.
If not dont let them try and control you.

ratspeaker Tue 31-May-11 11:55:09

x post with you inanna12

Sounds like your parents should let things be.
It takes 2 sides to make a relationship
If they start making you feel uncomfortable ask them to leave

You ar eunder no obligation to " let them in " to your life, emotions or home

Part of being a parent to adult children is letting them live their own lives

holyShmoley Tue 31-May-11 11:55:09

'leave the past'
OP was on the wrong end of a 4 hour character assassination. Even if they disagree, no person with a shred of decency would do that to their own child.

Maybe they were doing their best, but that doesn't mean she has to say it was good or even ok, and they are still being crap parents.

inanna12 Tue 31-May-11 11:59:14

thank you, domedon.
i know you are all right about letting it go. i simply don't know how to do that, so i think i do need counselling.
it would all be much easier to deal with if i weren't being blamed for such strange stuff. the fact that i told my mum to throw my old clothes out when she realised i wasn't moving home after uni is apparently "unkind". my dad "didn't even get to walk me down the aisle" (i married in a registry office, 10 years ago, and my dad never mentioned a desire to be more involved than he was). "don't even get me started on how you treated my mother", my dad said yesterday. i saw her once in 10 years before she died 5 years ago = was a child when i had any kind of relationship with her.

NulliusInVerba Tue 31-May-11 12:01:54

Ok your last post says alot more about this situation.

Your OP states that you were "not a terrible teenager" because there were no drink drug police etc.

Then you mention your brother was a herion addict in his teens.

So is this more about sibling rivalry? Did he get more attention / forgiveness?

Do you feel like he was the "bad" teenager but you are getting the grief?

ratspeaker Tue 31-May-11 12:06:57

inanna12 The more you say the more weird they sound
It looks like they pour over events in the past to twist it and throw it up against you

Rather toxic

Councelling may be a good idea

As will distancing yourself from them

As I said you are under no obligation to let them into your life, emotions or home.
And they have no right to demand that

DoMeDon Tue 31-May-11 12:07:31

Have you considered offering them a counselling session with you if they are so concerned with addressing 'your' behaviour. Seems like they need to accept you were just a child. They would probably get a wake up call from it.

My Dad tells me about my 'behaviour' all the time - mine was excusable as I was the child, his not so much. He will NEVER see that. I let him be, he is a good enough man and father and a wonderful grandfather.

Niecie Tue 31-May-11 12:08:30

How old are you inanna12? I was just wondering how long ago your teenage years were. Is there any particular reason why this has come up now?

I have a terrible relationship with my father and he is never going to accept that he is anything but perfect as a father and he doesn't get why we don't get on. There is no point in rehashing this stuff over and over again. I think you need to let it lie and live more in the present. Avoid them if it is too much and don't put yourself through a character assassination. You don't have to!

Tbh, I agree with you about it being your responsibility to keep the relationship going with your DSD - teens are a pain in the butt they are still children and young - if restraint is needed and bridges need to get built it should come from the parents. They should know from their own experience that it is phase that won't last and should be the ones to reconcile things, not continue to treat you like you are a teenager. But some parents just can't manage that and it that is the case then it is time to cut yourself off from them.

greygirl Tue 31-May-11 12:10:29

i think you need to let this go somehow. get a cunsellor to talk it through with, explain to you husband all about how it makes you feel, but detach yourself from them. you aren't 15 anymore, when they start a character assination 'and you didn't do this and don't come like that with me young lady..etc etc' just say 'that was in the past, i am sorry for the grief it caused you, i can't change it'.
it might work - just grit your teeth and remember they are not responsible for what you do now.

mum765 Tue 31-May-11 12:10:48

I have similar issues with my parents. I did try and bring it up a few years ago but have realised over time that they just aren't capable of discussing it rationally, taking any responsiblity, or apologising. It's taken me a very long time to come to terms with it but at some point I had to just draw a line. They are never going to be the people I want/wanted them to be. Somehow as I got older it just became clearer. At times they were cruel and neglectful. But it's not my fault, it's just the way they were. All I can do is treat my dc a lot better than I was treated.

greygirl Tue 31-May-11 12:10:48

counsellor!!!!

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