Strange friend/spiteful son(43 Posts)
It feels good to get this off of my chest; basically I've known a friend since NCT antenatal days, basic background is that she's bipolar and there have been loads of strange incidents since our respective nearly 4yos DSs were born because basically she has no idea of 'boundaries'. Her DS is a whiner quite frankly, he's also incredibly spiteful to my DS, which was evidenced on holiday last year when he tried to push him into a swimming pool and down some concrete steps. I argued with her about him and she got upset.
I must confess that although I've tried to be supportive over the last few years I'm at the end of my tether as she tries to 'take over' aspects of my life I struggle with. My DH and family absolutely hate her.
The last straw was recently when she visited, her DS had been a pain all day whilst playing with DS and DH who was off work for the day. I was removing my DS's wet trousers near the open back door when her DS pushed him back and if I hadn't grabbed his arm in time my DS's head would have hit the concrete patio. She didn't really tell her DS off enough in my opinion given the severity of the situation; she never does.
Right, there's a playdate and her DS's party coming up. My DH told me to avoid both. I want to but do you think I should sit down and discuss his behaviour with her in a frank way? My DS's not perfect and may have special needs (currently going through the assessment) but I can't condone these attacks any longer
I have to be blunt. If my husband and family absolutely hated one of my friends and it was perfectly clear why, and I didn't think he was being unreasonable, I'd scale back massively on the friendship. What (on earth) is the point of it?
No. You are not going to get anywhere discussing her child or her parenting. If you don't want to see them anymore just avoid her and the friendship will die.
Tbh, her ds's behavior doesn't sound that bad, from what you have said.
BagofHolly - thanks, I agree. She can be great in many ways but she inspires a whole load of hate.
trying - I agree, it's within the spectrum of normality. He's bitten/has been vicious to mutual friends and at his nursery. I think it's jealousy of my DH as he's got no father in the frame. My DH has always tried to be fair and involve him but he just ends up pulling him off my DS all of the time.
Well, actually I don't think biting at 4 is that normal but I don't think you mentioned that in the op. A few shoves seemed fairly tame compared to what I've seen at ds's preschool lately.
"inspires a whole load of hate." They are your chosen words. She has to go. Doesn't she?
Doesn't sound as if you're getting anything out of this friendship at all! If something doesn't make you happy, get rid, life's too short!
What are you going to lose by being frank? You're at the end of your tether anyway.
Has she ever come close to admitting she struggles with her DS and would be open to advice?
Elizabeth - thanks - it's all about priorities!
trying - no, that's because I thought it was a stage her DS would grow out of, but he hasn't. It's always good to get other parents' perspective though because I'm aware that pre-schoolers are quite a lively bunch. As a mother of only one child I'm trying not to over-react though.
BagofHolly - I know, I'm just being weak and prevaricating. As she's bipolar will this really send her over the edge? She's kind of obsessed, my DH (and others) think that she's got some bizarre hold over me.
If the lad's only 3, how much of his behaviour is normal for that age do you think?
Keeping in mind the can be pains at any age regardless of you parenting style.
Iwish - Yes, the trouble is that when she's nice and not talking about herself ALL the time then she's great. Really helpful too, I've been foolish and have used my own incompetence and let her take over loads of aspects at home. I've only myself to blame.
Agent - yes, true. Myself and DH did raise it on holiday. She became tearful and said that the nursery were backing up the stuff we were saying. She thought that it had a lot to do with his missing father, which is understandable. That's why my DH always makes a huge effort with him but he, despite being a really kind, lovely bloke, finds him impossible to deal with any longer.
Hi I've been in a similar situation - I won't go into details as I don't want to be outed. I wouldn't confront her - I would just say something like, "they don't seem to get on do they, lets just leave it for a while".
You can then keep your distance. IME people are not willing to accept that their dc is at fault and it is more likely to escalate into an argument than do any good.
Do YOU think she's got some sort of a hold over you? And with all due respect to those with bipolar, it's not your responsibility to 'save' her, and tolerate the negativity she's bringing to your life AND that of your husband and child. Or is it?
Mmmm the 'hold' over you sounds weird.
What kinds of things have you let her take over at your house? You mean houseworky kinds of stuff?
this is too weird
unpleasant child & mother who you haven't managed to offload in 4 years
but you seem to have gone on holiday with them
mother taking over stuff in your house
your dh saying leave it fgs
it's a whole crock ain't it
You sound like a really good friend. Probably TOO loyal though.. ???
I have been there too... have stuck around in a destructive friendship for far too long... but when I made the move to extricate myself from the friendship I never looked back, and felt a huge weight off my shoulders. Had a happier DH too! (He would escape to his study when she came round.. )
The 'not having a father in his life' aspect... my 3 siblings and I never had a father in our lives... yet we were good kids. Normal kids. The lad will use this as an excuse (as his mum does) for him getting away with all types of behaviour his whole life - ever the victim.
Mum765 - totally. I'd hope I'd accept if my DS was a pain, but I guess I don't know quite yet. I put my DS on the naughty step the other day whilst he was playing with the other boy because he shoved him fairly hard. She rarely does that!
Bag - I agree, another friend of mine said that people with bipolar try to attribute their characteristics onto others and she's accused me of being so when I'm defo not.
Agent - not housework but DIY stuff, computer queries etc.
cat - yup, it is. Appreciate the straight talking though, I do need a good 'mental' shake at times!
Elizabeth - sometimes I am, sometimes not; I always try to listen to friends but have broken off with past mates because of strange/odd behaviour. I haven't really seen her much over the past few months and I must confess that it's felt good. I even left Facebook for a while which was fairly liberating (gawd I'm sad!)
Yeah, the absent father thing isn't excuse, myself and my two siblings were also brought up partly without a dad because mine died when I was fairly young.
Her son is constantly being nasty to your son but you continue to allow this to happen by engaging with them ... sorry, my family would come first.
cook - yep, that's why I've not seen her much over the last few months. TBH I'd concentrated on how bad she was making ME feel and not enough on how her DS was affecting my DS. Bad of me, I agree that's why I'm trying to sort out the situation once and for all now before I turn into a complete blancmange.
May I ask what her being Bipolar has to do with anything? 'tSome children are nasty little so and sos and some mothers are laxidazy on discipline this is not a symptom of Bipolar nor is not having an idea of boundaries. Fair enough she may be Bipolar but this kind of a behavior is not a result of it (Sorry but there has been alot of negative attitudes towards people who are Bipolar on MN recently and I think threads like this can add to the stigma "people with bipolar try to attribute their characteristics onto others" I don't know where your friend got this information but it is nonsense)
I'm sorry your having trouble with your friend but I wouldn't be so quick to jump on the "It's because she has MH problems" band wagon that goes both ways don't excuse certain behaviors or tip toe around her because of this. Bipolar or not if her son is hurting your son she needs to speak up and discipline him properly. As someone who is Bipolar I would never let that kind of thing go unpunished with my DS, Most us up Bipolar lot are actually fantastic mothers and very emphatic people.
She needs a stern word IMO.
Howling - I totally accept your point about people being bad or neglectful parents, MH issues or not. I agree regarding the empathy thing.
However, I think this woman's bipolar syndrome may be integral in the case of this difficult situation being awful, she displays grandiose (i.e. is a total liar) and demeaning behaviours which I can no longer tolerate. She has also no idea of acceptable boundaries; she deliberately tries to freeze out my DH whenever he's around. There's so much evidence of strange actions - i.e. wanting to attend a mutual friend's child's birthday party when her own had a rather serious contagious disease, turning up at someone's house to deliver something at half ten at night.
I'm in no way trying to knock bipolar people, honestly. It's sometimes difficult for me to separate her MH from an inherited personality flaw. I just don't know.
And you became and remained friends why exactly?
I think I've already answered that one!
Fair enough, anyway, thanks to all for their sage advice.
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