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A little vent re relative s possible manipulation - to let it out and make me feel better !

(30 Posts)
ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:07:40

My dear dad passed away 3 years ago and I struggle to manage the relationship with my step mum whose lengthy mental illness controlled how the family did things .eg don't say - whAtever - as it might upset her .
She has always been very self focused - for eg when she travels on trains she books a porter to get her overnight case off on the train for her saying she can't lift it - simply not true .
It is her b day in the summer and she has said to my brother and I - no pressure , but I can't be on my own .
She goes out every day of the week except one so is not isolated , goes on trips all the time , nice hotels .in fact she told the bus trip if they didn't pick her up door to door - when there is a car park - which they told her - and its 5 min drive away .
I do understand that she wants family around and if I actually liked or felt neutral about her of course I wd do it .
However, as I know her to be a self absorbed self centred person I'm struggling to do it and also don't want her to set a precedent !! I find it hard to fake things .have had to do so for my dad many years .
Anyone else have similar issues and do you have any tips to keep the old blood pressure down .!
It's a 5 hr rerun trip - maybe just focus on fact that will see my brother !

Oysterbabe Wed 10-Feb-16 10:11:09

What's a 5 hour return trip? What are you being asked to do? I don't understand.

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:14:54

I'm being asked to take her out for a meal .
She lives 2.5 hour drive away .
Return trip -same day .5 hours driving .

Nanny0gg Wed 10-Feb-16 10:18:45

Has she family of her own?

Must admit, my relationship with SM didn't survive a year after my DF's death.

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:21:02

Yes my half brother .
She has relatives in the street also and is quite demanding of their time .
She has I think also told lies to get attention .

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:23:36

I really love my step bro tho and feel v sorry for him too which is why I feel I should go - to support him .
Annoying tho as she thinks all things orbit round her - but it would help me to manage if I focused on that .
It feels like a charade .
How did you sever links ?

Runningupthathill82 Wed 10-Feb-16 10:24:24

It's one day. Why not take her out for her birthday? If it's in the summer and you're not going to see her until then, it's not going to be THAT onerous a task surely.
Just sounds like you don't like her much.

timeKeepingOnMars Wed 10-Feb-16 10:25:17

Does she drive - has she not thought through the times?

MIL did this she doesn't drive wanted me to do hour and half drive and pick her up and come down to us - so 3 hours for me and kids. Then she'd stop under a hour then I'd drive her back - so another hour and half then we'd come home - so 6 hours driving and being in car for me and kids.

So couldn't grasp that because she didn't want to from her point of view it was only just over an hour - so wasn't adding even her journey time up.

I went with that doesn't work for us again and again.

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:26:02

He has been very much affected by her .
To the extent that he can not risk having children as he can't risk his fear of how things may pan out - he assocites childhood with anxiety .

timeKeepingOnMars Wed 10-Feb-16 10:27:00

Could you stop overnight and find something in local area you could do the next day ? So split the travelling time up and do something you can look forward to?

Nanny0gg Wed 10-Feb-16 10:27:04

Very easily. We had a row so I stopped contacting her.

Were you brought up by her? I wasn't, and I didn't consider her children my step-siblings. So that probably made it easier.

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:27:21

That's a good phrase .

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:28:38

Also time yes we have thought of the next day thing .good tactic . I'm not staying in the house tho .

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:29:18

Spot on - I don't like her at all .

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:29:55

Yes unfortunately .
Terrible .

timeKeepingOnMars Wed 10-Feb-16 10:32:49

No stopping at house - means you get more freedom to do what you want grin.

Plus you wouldn't want to put them out and it's all booked now - if stopping else where is an issue for them.

Look for local b&B, travel lodge/premier Inn or last min booking sites - we got a lovely hotel scoping out new area to live in through them. Even non touristy places have somewhere to stay - and if there a bit of travel to it well that cuts down the time to spend with them.

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 10:36:58

Good thinking !
Plan to minimise stress .

givemushypeasachance Wed 10-Feb-16 10:48:52

So has she just said "no pressure but I can't be on my own" and the driving up to hers to take her out for a meal suggestion has developed from there, or has she expressly asked you to come up and take her out for a meal?

Does she actively enjoy your company? Because you clearly don't enjoy hers! So just from an outsider perspective, it seems bizarre that she would want you to come up and take her out for a meal if you're not particularly close. If she has other family and friends nearby wouldn't she prefer to do something with them on her birthday?

Gobbolino6 Wed 10-Feb-16 10:53:05

Urgh. It'd be different if you'd suggested it or she'd just asked, but the 'no pressure, but I can't be on my own ' is ridiculous. I'd still go, though, because I'm a doormat.

timeKeepingOnMars Wed 10-Feb-16 10:58:12

"no pressure but I can't be on my own" - could mean tell me now if you are coming so I can make alternative plans with other people or it could be passive aggressive you have to come as I can't be on my own.

Depends on the person and tone.

Anyway ginorwine seems to want to go more for her brother than Step-mum though just saying sorry but no is an option in either case if she really can't face it.

ElderlyKoreanLady Wed 10-Feb-16 11:06:39

Not really sure what the dilemma is? She's said she can't be allone on her birthday. She has far closer family nearby. It's a 5 hour round trip. You don't like her. Why not just respond, "I'm sure you won't be, you have X around the corner and Y nearby. Hope you have a lovely day. We'd come to see you but it's a 5 hour drive and we've got too much on to stay overnight."

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 12:16:31

She wants people around her ie who she regards as her children .my brother lives even further away . Relatives in street are cousins .
B day not till summer - she book us in advance .i did think about saying other rels but she want her son n me .she is aware that I have issues with her I think but it's unspoken .i tried to hide it for my d f sake when he was here and now it's hard but I think she wants to cling to the pretence for what she gets out of it , the image etc " my children are going to come " etc .she is tolerated in the street for her me me behevoir and from loyalty to df .
She has said she is never going to give up on me which suggests she is aware of issues but I guess the payoff of the pretence if worth it for her .

ginorwine Wed 10-Feb-16 12:23:39

I wish I cd say that . Maybe I can but need to practice .
Have had years of huge huge fuss , refusal to eat etc if doesn't get own way .
My brother never never tells her anything about himself that is less than superficial - in his words it's not worth it as she makes it about herself , gets v stressed , says she is ill etc .
She is manipulative .she hS lied to relatives to get attention .for eg once she told rels that I was refusing to take her to hospital to visit df - she hasn't asked me . I was upstairs when she rang the relative who has a long term illness - they came round , angry with me.she caught out .

justmyview Wed 10-Feb-16 12:45:17

You say your stepmum has a lengthy history of mental illness. If her challenging behaviour arises from her illness, then perhaps YABU although it is difficult to be on the receiving end

cozietoesie Wed 10-Feb-16 12:48:46

What has she done in previous years!

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