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to return this letter to sender unread?

(301 Posts)
cheddarcheeselover Tue 08-Jan-13 12:16:00

My mother rang yesterday to say she'd sent me a letter, I wouldn't like what was in it, but she didn't want to have an argument and she didn't want to discuss it.
the letter just arrived.
aibu to send it straight back, and when she rings to tell me I'm being childish to tell her she's welcome to talk to me about any problems but I won't be reading her letters?
I predict it's either a criticism of my parenting, weight or housekeeping.
I love my children and treat them very well (too well in her eyes), our house is messy but clean (her's is totally spotless and always has been - we were ignored in order that the house was immaculate) and I am overweight, always have been, but am trying to change that.

nilbyname Tue 08-Jan-13 12:53:21

Send it back, do not engage with such a toxic individual.

Send it back and in big red pen on the reverse write. "You can't hurt me anymore."

itsmineitsmine Tue 08-Jan-13 12:54:32

I think you should send it back unopened. How dare she send you something she knows will upset you then refuse you the right to reply?

I would not read it if she were not prepared to discuss it with me.

DeWe Tue 08-Jan-13 12:56:16

Maybe you should send your own and tell her that you've sent her a letter she won't like and you don't want to discuss.

Reminds me of Mrs. Venus (?) in Monica Edwards story (I think The Hoodwinkers) who hands anonymous letters signed "One Who Knows" straight to the vicar, and asks him if he's read the letter afterwards...

sleepsforwimps2010 Tue 08-Jan-13 13:00:28

this is really difficult, but i think id read it because i know id obssess about what she 'might' of said longer than what was actually said iyswim....
if its vile, you can draft a careful reply; giving your response in a clear non tearful fashion (in a letter),
then if necessary stop is too short! but a clean break with her having made her point and you yours will make it easier to move on.

imogengladhart Tue 08-Jan-13 13:00:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Zalen Tue 08-Jan-13 13:00:54

In a stronger frame of mind it might well be fun to read the letter and have everyone on here help you pick it apart and put together a really good response. But as you say you are balancing on a knife edge at the moment you need to protect yourself.

Just return it unopened so that there is no doubt in your mother's mind about whether or not the letter's been read. I'd just include a note to say that this was the easiest way to ensure no argument and no discussion.

Also second the Argos catalogue and no stamp, or do you have an old phone book lying around?

DamnDeDoubtance Tue 08-Jan-13 13:01:41

My Dhs mum is like this and I get to see firsthand the stress that it causes.

He has a ridiculously stressful job which he takes in his stride but one call from his mum and his stress level goes through the roof. sad

I try to manage the situation as much as I can. We have zero contact with his sister as the relationship was just abusive. We have to have a relationship with his mum as she is elderly and we we feel responsible for her.

They know just which buttons to press don't they.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 08-Jan-13 13:04:37

"who did she think was feeding me?"
Quite. So you know she's a destructive person. The whole idea of sending a letter to someone, telling them they won't like it but that they're not going to be allowed to discuss it with the sender once it has been read; well, it's just a very vicious thing to do. Spike her guns. Send it back unopened, so that she KNOWS you have not, and will not read it. That she cannot control you or your actions. Binning it, she will be convinced you have read it and will, frankly, gloat over the pain she will believe she has caused you.

Do not give her the satisfaction! Send it back!

cheddarcheeselover Tue 08-Jan-13 13:06:14

I really don't feel strong enough for the phone call that will come when she gets it back, but I really want her to know I haven't read it.
I just want a mother who loves me and cares for me. I don't understand how she can be like this, I could never do the things she does to my girls.

Fakebook Tue 08-Jan-13 13:06:37

Send it back. Sounds like you don't need the stress.

TheSkiingGardener Tue 08-Jan-13 13:07:18

Send it back and refuse to participate in her game. Then keep disengaging as much as you can. She is a very unpleasant individual.

nickelbabylyinginamanger Tue 08-Jan-13 13:08:21


I vote that you don't read it but send it straight back to her.

But we do need to know what's in it, so if you could pass it on to a MNer to steam open and read first, then seal t and send it back, we'd really appreciate it.

TheSkiingGardener Tue 08-Jan-13 13:08:37

Then as soon as you answer he phone and realise it is her, say " I am not going to discuss this" and put the phone down.

She is used to having power over you. Refuse it to her.

cheddarcheeselover Tue 08-Jan-13 13:09:24

grin nickel

FoxtrotFoxtrotSierra Tue 08-Jan-13 13:10:32

Can you get caller ID installed so you can avoid her calls whilst she's being like this? My mother got wise to this so now withholds her number - I manage to avoid her and cold callers now grin

Unfortunately your mother will never be someone who loves and cares for you. You are allowed to want one who does, and grieve the lack of her, but you have to find a way to stop hoping she will be a proper mum. Is counselling something you'd contemplate? Talking through your hurt and your feelings about this can help to settle you. The pain becomes less acute and you can stop hoping for change. It may be something you can get on the NHS if you ask your GP, though if you're in south London I can recommend an excellent private one.

DolomitesDonkey Tue 08-Jan-13 13:11:45

For those worried they might "obsess" over un-read prose.

In Autumn 2007 I received 6+ (?) poisonous emails from my sister. I read the first paragraph of the first - realised that it was simply a diatribe so deleted it and the others without reading.

I have never regretted doing so and I've not contacted her since. Except to tell her to fuck off when she told me to get over myself and put the past behind me when my first son was born.

myfirstkitchen Tue 08-Jan-13 13:14:03

Send her a letter about what a horrible mother she was, then write at the end you don't want to discuss this letter and you binned hers without reading - even if you got curious and did read it!

nickelbabylyinginamanger Tue 08-Jan-13 13:14:06

couldn't help it.

but I do agree with those who've said that if you bin it she'll assume you've read it.

the only correct response to her is to return the letter unopened.
she can't rule you like this, you're an adult.

by returning it unopened, you are telling her that you're stronger than that, that you deserve the respect you've never shown her and that she has no power over you.
It can't harm you in any way because you don't know what's in it, and she will know that you don't, so her words have no power

givemeaclue Tue 08-Jan-13 13:18:01

As someone who recently received toxic postcard (therefore not an option not to open it), I would say bin it without opening. Don't send it back just ignore it. If your mum loves cleaning let her come and clean up your new house, otherwise she should keep quiet

ExitPursuedByABear Tue 08-Jan-13 13:21:26

Send it back - but why not include a note saying what you put up there ^ that all you wanted was a mother who would love you and care for you? Or would that stir things up too much?

goodygumdrops Tue 08-Jan-13 13:22:45

Whist i agree that my nosiness would like to know what it says, I do agree you should just send it back unopened to take the power away from her.

Clumsyoaf Tue 08-Jan-13 13:22:59

Dont open it. People can only hurt you if you allow them to. I agree with the poster who said write "you cant hurt me anymore"on the back if it.

amillionyears Tue 08-Jan-13 13:24:16

Bin it.

cheddarcheeselover Tue 08-Jan-13 13:25:01

Her response to that would be that I'm an ungrateful oik - They bought me lots of presents, took us on holidays, cooked every meal from scratch, hand made our christmas crackers....but that doesn't really mean anything if you're not loved.

WhereYouLeftIt Tue 08-Jan-13 13:25:23

" I could never do the things she does to my girls."
Whoah, this sounds baaaad.

"I really don't feel strong enough for the phone call that will come when she gets it back"
Why not just block her completely? E.g BT's 'Choose To Refuse' service, or whatever equivalents are available on your mobile or landline.

She has seriously overstepped the mark with this undiscussable letter crap. Maybe use it positively, to get her out of your life.

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