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To be hurt by lack of support from my mother? long post

(83 Posts)
Bluebell66 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:10:51

I lost my DH to lung cancer two years ago. Since then I have had absolutely no support from my mother and she has shown virtually no interest in my two DC who needless to say, have struggled enormously. She was twittering on about her neighbour a couple of days after my DH died, and because I wasn't engaging in the conversation, she said "you don't sound very interested". I had just lost my precious DH, my DC has lost their Dad, I could barely even breathe. How could she expect me to be interested in her neighbour? She told me because I have a house and a car, I should "count my blessings". I said I would rather live in a tent and still have my DH with us. She remains totally obsessed with my sister, who never made any attempt to come and see me, or even pick up the phone and ring me when my DH died. She sent a condolence card in the post. My mother then went on and on for weeks at me asking me if I was going to thank my sister for the card. I said no, I have far more important things to cope with, like just managing to get through the day and feed my DC. I felt I coped really well on the day of the funeral, even though I felt like I was looking down on myself and on another planet, I needed to stay strong for my DC. She told me afterwards I "was funny with them on the day of the funeral". Everyone else told me how proud they were of me, and how strong I was being for my DC. She is utterly self centred and totally obsessed with my sister, who is a complete waste of space. She wrecked her marriage and walked out on her two DSs. Because she now lives in a rented flat, and I "have a house", I am so much better off than her and have so much more. She CHOSE to wreck her marriage and walk out. I would give anything in the world to have my DH back and for my DC to have their Daddy back. But I didn't have a choice. She just doesn't get it, she's so shallow. I have told her how much she's hurt me, but nothing changes. I have pretty much stopped talking to her on the phone as whenever I do, she upsets me. She shows no interest in how I'm doing or in my DC. She just remains obsessed with trivia and my sister. I don't know how to cope with the situation. It's no good talking to my Dad. He has no idea of half the things she's said to me. She's very devious and always does it on the phone or via text, so he doesn't know. He knows what she's like, but he will always back her and defend her. He says she's "the most maternal woman he knows". I'm afraid I beg to differ. I want to detach myself from her completely, but I know that's not possible. Thank you to anybody that manages to get to the end of this rambly post.

RedHelenB Wed 05-Aug-15 10:16:47

If nothing changes then leave it. You can't force people to be different. If it's getting you down then stop engaging and concentrate on your children. What are your dh's parents like?

DipsoHippo Wed 05-Aug-15 10:19:20

I am sorry about your DH. You sound like an amazing Mum, doing her best for her kids, while dealing with the awfulness of your DH's death.

Your own mother sounds like a nightmare. I can't fathom her attitude/comments/self-absorbed way- I really can't. Surely she should be looking out for you, the way you're looking out for your own DC?

When I read about things like this, I sometimes think it's inappropriate for strangers on internet to say "go no contact", because I can't imagine going NC with my own mum. But in this case, I'd have to leave her to her own devices, and do whatever it took to make my (and my kids) life easier.

flowers for you

Nolim Wed 05-Aug-15 10:21:19

I am sorry for your loss op. And yanbu at all.

OTheHugeManatee Wed 05-Aug-15 10:23:14

She sounds horrible. I imagine you might find it very difficult and painful to consider letting your relationship with your mother slip so soon after the death of your DH but from what you say it sounds like the reality is she abandoned you years ago in favour of your feckless Golden Child sister.

flowers for you from me too.

Kewcumber Wed 05-Aug-15 10:26:23

I'm so sorry, thats rubbish.

Your mum doesn't have the empathy or ability to support you at the time you need it most, that must be horrible.

Do you have support from anyone else?

If you can't go no-contact can you at least mentally disengage? Accept that she isn't the mother (or grandmother) that you (and your children) deserve and is never going to be and find support elsewhere.

formerbabe Wed 05-Aug-15 10:28:16

So sorry you lost your husband op flowers

my sister, who never made any attempt to come and see me, or even pick up the phone and ring me when my DH died

This is so so shocking to me. They both sound like they are of no help whatsoever. Do you have supportive friends or other relatives around you?

howtorebuild Wed 05-Aug-15 10:29:02

I am so sorry for your loss.

Comparrison is the thief of joy.

paulapompom Wed 05-Aug-15 10:37:14

Blundell I am so sorry for your loss flowers. I think you sound amazing. I don't know why your mum is like she is, but it is very wrong. Anyone who tells you 'you were funny with us at the funeral' is totally lacking empathy/understanding/a brain!

You haven't mentioned your dad, is he still around?

I hear what your mum is saying about counting your blessings, but I'm sure you do this anyway or your couldn't carry on, and no a house and car will never make up for the loss of your dh.

Both mum and sis sound selfish, self-centred and materialistic, I don't know if you want to go nc, it's a big decision, but I can't see either of them suddenly becoming supportive of you. I'm sorry not to be any help. I would focus on getting support from people who appreciate your situation xx

paulapompom Wed 05-Aug-15 10:39:14

Bluebell* auto correct sorry x

EssexMummy123 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:39:30

she sounds narcissistic, have a read of the stately homes thread in relationships.

ImperialBlether Wed 05-Aug-15 10:43:34

I probably would find it too stressful to go no contact, but I'd certainly withdraw and not see much of her. Both she and your sister sound awful and totally self absorbed. Are you close to your husband's family?

I'm so sorry you lost your poor husband - it sounds as though you had a very happy marriage and you must miss him enormously.


paulapompom Wed 05-Aug-15 10:47:39

Sorry Bluebell, you did mention dad but he sounds little to no help. Yes stately homes thread might give you some help/perspective - it's not you bu - it's them, x

HarlotOTara Wed 05-Aug-15 10:49:31

So sorry for the loss of your husband, I really hope you have other people in your life who can give you support. It is really sad when we can't get support from parents, it hurts so much

SlightlyJaded Wed 05-Aug-15 10:52:25

I am so sorry for your loss OP. And for your DC's loss. Your marriage sounds so full of love and you must hurt so much.

Your mum does sound as though she might be a Narc - her lack lack of empathy is actually way beyond being a bit selfish IMO. I would also recommend the Stately Homes thread. I think you will recognise a lot of your mum and sisters behaviour and it might help you to understand that there is nothing you can ever do to change/please these sorts of people. They are self centred, self absorbed and beyond reasoning with. I expect your DF has been worn down and switched himself off and chooses now only to see her good side as it is the only way he can still love your mum. It's common.

You do need to distance yourself and your DC from them both. Some people chose to write a cathartic letter first explaining why, but I should warn you that 9 times out of 10 the recipient is outraged and does the 'I'm so hurt that you would think so little of me' act, so don't expect an apology but it might make you feel better.

It is hard and you don't have to go completely no contact, but I would certainly very overtly turn down opportunities to meet/talk.

The best thing you can do for yourself and your DC is come to terms with the fact that they are both selfish and you don't need them in your life just because they are blood related. Keep yourself warm and loved with good friends and the DC and the memories of your lovely DH.

A hard hard journey ahead, but you will be much more at peace.

Good luck OP.

AuntyMag10 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:53:52

So sorry about your dh op. I think you sound like a really great mum with trying to do the best for your poor kids. I do think you need to withdraw from your mum and sister. They really sound horrible, completely self absorbed and the last people you should be relying on to support you.
You know what, if people can't be there for you in your worst times then they don't get the good times either. Do you have support from friends at least? X

Bluebell66 Wed 05-Aug-15 10:57:19

Thank you so much everyone, your words and support mean so much to me. I know what you mean Kewcumber about mentally disengaging. I really do try, but I contiinue to hope that one day she will show some concern and compassion, but she never does. Coming to terms with this on top of trying to re-build a life without my DH is soul destroying. I know she'll never change. She is an only child and has been totally cosseted by my Dad her whole life. She has never had to cope with anything major in her life at all. She was just the same when we lost our first baby at 15 weeks into the pregnancy. The following day she told me my roots needed doing! She has no concept of what really matters and what is really important. You're right Paula - she is so materialistic and shallow. She has never been there for me emotionally and over the last six years she has definitely abandoned me totally and focussed on my sister. It really hurts and I'm angry with myself because I don't want it to. I've got enough to deal with. When I had my DC, I made up my mind I was going to be a better mum than she is, and I do feel I've achieved that. My DC are my life, and they know that. We are exceptionally close, but since losing my DH, there's always someone missing, which breaks my heart every day. My mother wouldn't even start to understand that. I want to go NC, because all she does is hurt me, and reject me, over and over again. The only thing that stops me is my Dad. He would be heartbroken, and I can't do that to him, so I feel trapped and helpless. I am already worrying about having to have them here for Christmas Day. My sister never invites them, it's always me, but I just don't think I can do it again this year.

derxa Wed 05-Aug-15 11:10:45

So sorry for your loss. She will never change. I know you think and hope she will but she won't. Your mother has narcissistic tendencies and has no empathy
. Sorry to be blunt. You can't go NC because of your dad.
My dad is the exact same- and I managed to disengage emotionally only recently. Try to think of your mother as a woman you know not someone who will give you emotional comfort. Unfortunately this is a tough tough situation but I wish you strength in your grief and hope you find support from people other than your family.

AuntyMag10 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:13:23

Blue the hope that you are holding out for her to change will totally destroy you because it's who she is, selfish and self absorbed. Be kind to yourself and you don't need to accept this. You sound amazing and I can't imagine how you are coping, but your wellbeing is your priority. Your dm and dsis will never get it, don't waste your precious time giving them the opportunity to change.

catsmother Wed 05-Aug-15 11:14:05

Oh bluebell that's awful to read.

I too have a disinterested and unsupportive mother, who, over many many years has barely given me any kind of support when I've genuinely needed it; be it emotional - which is what I crave most and am most upset by, practical or financial - I don't expect the last two BTW but also, like you, I have a sibling who's a nasty piece of work for all sorts of reasons and who my mother has bent over backwards for to a ridiculous degree, including huge amounts of (free) childcare and 'loans' which are never repaid.

All that is bad enough but thankfully, I have never had to face the trauma of losing someone I love like you have and can only start to imagine how much more shocking and hurtful it is for you - and your children - to be rejected by her even in such extreme circumstances where most normal compassionate people would be desperate to help you however they could and actively watching out for you. The fact she hasn't done this and is trivialising what's happened must really shake you to the core.

I think the overriding notion of 'mothers' in society is that they are caring, nurturing figures. When you have one who isn't it's extremely hard to get your head round and many people in that position will question what's wrong with them first before looking at their mother's failings. It really messes with your self esteem because your mother is supposed to be the constant person in your life who'll always care about you and who you can always turn to. I think if you have siblings who are treated differently your esteem takes even more of a battering as it demonstrates that she is 'at least' capable of showing care, love, support, whatever to someone - as opposed, say, to being completely cold emotionally, which would still be bad but not as bad as feeling you've been singled out for some unknown reason.

Like you going NC isn't something I've managed yet - I guess because you cling on to the hope that 'one day' things might change and/or you might be able to 'get through' somehow. I know I'm deluding myself about that although I have gone NC with the sibling. I do keep a large distance from my mother however - am polite when I need to be - and acknowledge birthdays, Xmas ..... but no longer try to engage her in any sort of emotional chat, or tell her about any worries, or problems I have as I know I'll be rejected (favourite is quite literally making an excuse if on phone within 2 mins to end the call and then I hear nothing, despite having just confided something quite upsetting, for months on end) and it's come to feel as if I'm setting myself up for a fall. My mother will quite happily talk about my sibling (FFS), her neighbours, TV, the weather, and herself and quite frankly I'm not sure I could have a fulfilling relationship with anyone whose interaction with me was limited to more or less those areas so now I only speak to or call her very infrequently - she probably calls me twice a year! Protecting myself by withdrawing doesn't mean I'm 'happy' about the situation - at all - but it's 'better' than subjecting myself - in real time - to the sure and certain knowledge that she doesn't have any interest in me. I know she doesn't of course whether I speak to her or not but somehow having it confirmed yet again just rubs salt in the wound.

Maybe if NC is too much - you might consider doing similar ? ..... pulling right back and not allowing her to rub your face in her indifference (and, quite frankly, shameful lack of compassion given your loss) by giving her the opportunity to say something else rude/tactless/irrelevant/unfair all over again.

I do think there's still quite a taboo over going NC with a parent - it's beyond the comprehension of those who have normal loving relationships. And it's a big step to taken when some people are so ready to judge ... keeping her at arm's length though perhaps wouldn't seem so final and wouldn't be something you'd have to flag to the outside world. You certainly shouldn't feel bad if you do that - you need to conserve your emotional reserves as much as you can, and not waste them on anyone who clearly doesn't give a stuff about you.

saresywaresy2 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:30:29

I am so sorry to hear this. It sounds like you are just about holding it together and for this you should be extremely proud. Just you keep going and keep thinking about your kids, that's all you can do. As for her, horrid old witch that she sounds, your best bet is to accept that she is a horrid old witch and not expect anything from her. I wouldn't have a big row because things are hard enough for you at the moment and it would only make things worse. I can't see that anything positive would come of it. Just accept her failings and be kind to yourself as much as you can. xxxx

Bluebell66 Wed 05-Aug-15 11:41:18

Thank you so much everybody. You are so right about her. catsmother. - We certainly do seem to have a lot in common. I too have gone NC with my sister, but have persevered with my mother. I have now got to the point where it is seriously affecting my health, which under the circumstances, is suffering anyway. I feel that things are going to come to a head and I'm worried that this will cause me even more stress. I pretty much stopped contacting her, phone calls, texts, a couple of months ago, but my Dad spoke to me and asked me to start contacting her again. For his sake, I did. He is still able to control me, even at my age, and I hate myself for letting him. If I'm honest, I'm scared of him. Always have been. Yet again she has kicked me in the teeth, hurt me and let me down. I can't keep doing it. You are so right - if anyone says anything to her, she comes the innocent, hard done by, "I would never speak to anyone like that" attitude. She can turn on the waterworks at the drop of a hat when it suits her., and she's extremely devious, she doesn't say anything when anyone else could hear. They are away this week, and I'm dreading them coming back as I know she'll expect me to ring and they'll expect to see me and DC. This will be at my Dad's instigation, she couldn't care less whether she sees us or not. If she comes here she can't wait to leave, if we go there, she's usually texting my sister or making excuses to leave the room. It doesn't help that they only live 10 minutes away.

Hard as it will be, I think you need to see your parents clearly, and manage your own expectations of them. If you only expect the bare minimum they are capable of, then you won't get hurt over and over again.

My mum is not supportive - she didn't really give a damn when I was bullied in school, and didn't notice how withdrawn or sad I got - and as a result of the bullying going on for all my years at secondary school, I now have depression - but my mother sounds like Florence Nightingale compared to yours.

It does sound as if you have friends around you who are supporting you - and as others have said on here, you are clearly a wonderful mum who is doing an amazing job at an incredibly difficult time.

I am so sorry for your loss, and I hope that MN can carry on being here to help you through this, alongside your r/l friends.

I read somewhere that our real family aren't the people we are related to - they are the people who are there for us, who love us and care for us. So even though your biological family are letting you down, you have loving family there for you, in real life and on here. thanks

BarbarianMum Wed 05-Aug-15 12:17:19

Your parents both sound nasty and disfunctional flowers

You really could just cut them out. Even if you've not got to that point yet, remember that it is possible.

Bluebell66 Wed 05-Aug-15 12:32:04

Thank you SDT, that means the world to me. Your support really is invaluable. I have an amazing friend who has been there throughout everything, but she has her own life and her own family. I don't want to be a burden on her. I feel so sad that not only have my precious DC lost their Dad, they don't even have a loving, supportive family around them, apart from me of course, and I'm struggling with my own grief as well as trying to support them. Our whole world has been turned upside down, and all my mother can think about is my sister. I'm ashamed of her. Like I say Barbarian, for lots of things I would like to cut them out, but I'm really not sure I can, not at the moment anyway.

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