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AIBU to have visions of whacking my mother?

(28 Posts)
Janecc Sun 29-May-16 20:42:30

Mother is a narcissist. I'm the scapegoat, brothers golden child. So obviously being the matriarch she knows more than me, is better than me in every way and I am bad in every way. DD and I are staying with her - I know I know, she's a better grandma to DD (7) than she ever was mother to me. Anyway I asked DD for at least the third time to do something and DD then got stroppy and said I was 'sooo bossy'. Mother piped up that I'd smack her for talking like that and then there was a no she won't, will you mummy. I then said I wouldn't as I don't smack. Mother then started going on about how damaging the naughty step is and how shutting children in their bedrooms is cruel and how smacking is so much better. Psychologists say so. This was specially designed to provoke me as I did use the step but not overly used or rigid super nanny style when DD was 3 - 4 as DD is a wilful child. And this argument will have been one she kept in her pocket to use as a weapon against me given the opportunity. Anyway as soon as dd was older we did sticker charts then consequences for the last few years. My childhood was more emotionally abusive and brothers childhood was more physically abusive. He was regularly hit with wooden spoon by mother, father left a hand print bruise on his leg when he was 6/7, dog thrashed in front of us - me 3, brother 5. Father deceased in my teenage years so cannot be held accountable.
Posting in AIBU to get traffic. Does anyone have any info or stories to tell about naughty step vs smacking and shut in room? We don't use go to room time out as a punishment as when tried it proved traumatic and damaging for DD. I have done time in instead a couple of times when DD was in a destructive 6/7 yr old tantrum. And yes I really do have a lot of anger toward mother. A lot of that is because she is constantly trying to provoke me and find buttons to push because she's unhappy and wants me as her adversary - a good fight to make her feel better and tell me that I'm the crazy one. Basically she's passing her anger to me to hold so she doesn't have to. I'm steaming angry now.

RosieandJim89 Sun 29-May-16 20:51:34

I don't shut in the room because I don't want bedroom to = fear/punishment and naughty step doesn't work for us either.
My mum hit us quite a bit when I was young and I never really recovered. Everytime she reached over me I would duck or cower expecting a smack. She kicked me in the back, hit my head against the dishwasher and hit me round the head with a hairbrush. These are just the accounts that I remember the most and I can honestly say that after experiencing what I did, if anyone ever hit my child, they would be lucky to ever see them again.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 20:53:51

Rosie that sounds awful. Thank you for sharing. Mother threatened to smack DD. It didn't go down well with me so I think she's trying to prove me wrong and start a fight.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 20:57:11

God sorry I'm still trying to process what you said. How could a parent do that?!

MaisieDotes Sun 29-May-16 21:00:49

Similar to rosie I got hit quite a lot by my mother and to this day I tense up when she comes near me.

I find avoiding my mother as much as possible works great. I don't mean to be flippant as I have had to stay with her at times over the years (single parent for 10yrs) but the last time I did so she ended up hitting me again, even though I was in my mid-30s at the time.

So now I try to keep her at arm's length, in every way.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 21:03:48

Maisie shock * mid 30's* think last time mother hit me I was around 18 - whacked across face with back of hand. Yes I try to stay away, hide in the bedroom or go to another room.

monkeytree Sun 29-May-16 21:20:54


Yes my father was physically abusive at times really, really hard smacking around the head, in the back etc. Also emotionally abusive too. My mother was just vacant a lot of the time and showed little affection. This has resulted in me having a policy of not smacking. Eldest DD is 9 now, things are confiscated from her as punishment I.e no computer games for a week etc. I don't believe that smacking works , it can get out of hand and escalate. I was probably weak with setting boundaries for dd1 due to all the abuse/neglect I suffered as a child and i do regret not setting boundaries for her earlier instead of just wanting her to like me. DD1 is easily frustrated and flies off the handle quickly, I ask her then to leave the room and count to 10 to calm down, she does that herself now. I am sorry you are having a difficult time. I am currently estranged from both of my parents (they are divorced now). It's awful to say I don't really miss them, I miss what I should have had. I think this type of abuse can get handed down from generation to generation unless it is consciously stopped somewhere along the line. My mother and father really didn't see they were doing (or did) anything wrong. I have had terrible issues with my mother for years, I have no memories of spending time with her as a child, I ended up becoming a parent to her in some ways in the end and she will still be the 'victim' in all of this. My parents certainly never changed, it is unlikely (but not impossible) that your mother will.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 21:53:35

That sounds really tough monkeytree - poor little you. I'm glad you've found a way to deal with them. Thank you for your empathy. I, too was concerned about being too permissive, which is why I did the step punishment for a while. A friend and I both parented our children the same. Just DD just said (during my mothers diatribe about smacking) that she hated the step, which made me feel really bad. We do try and do our best. And I know my best is a lot better. I am resolved mother will never change. I still miss what could have been. I'm actually angry with myself for falling for this crap again and frustrated/angry I still want her to be the ideal mother. This is helping.

fusionconfusion Sun 29-May-16 22:03:57

My father never hit us, my mother sometimes did. My father was however an extremely emotionally abusive alcoholic and my mother was just very stressed and abused and sometimes lost her temper. I have a very good relationship with my mother now and I really have a lot of compassion for the pain she was in and how she made bad choices she regretted from time to time. My father and I are non-contact as he remains very difficult with no personal boundaries and makes very damaging comments about all aspects of my life, which are often sexualised.

I don't think you can really extrapolate that easily from another person's life what the meaning of events is in your own. I know what is true of my experience - and it will be very different to others' experience, because it's not so much the form of a behaviour that is often most damaging but the function. Behaviours that really invalidate a child's humanity are the most damaging - this might be someone hitting, but it might not... and it's also about rupture and repair. While my mother did lose her temper and hit me she always let me know very soon after and without seeking for me to comfort her that she was wrong and shouldn't have done it. My father on the other hand minimised absolutely horrendously abusive behaviour.

There's a thread in Relationships called "You can't communicate with batshit" about these difficult relationships with toxic parents if you'd like to join?

Different approaches work for different children (i'm not including smacking in that!) - my DD is very stubborn and when she was younger star chart type approaches didn't work for her, so we did use the naughty step when necessary. I'm sure if you asked her she'd say she didn't like it very much either but it helped her to learn.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 22:16:05

Thanks for the heads up about the thread. Need to get away from mother beforehand. I will look at it later in the week. Yes, you've got something there - punishment in relation to damage to the child. Well I suppose I already said it but without computing. My brother threatens to smack his son and he said hitting did no him damage. Weeeell none that he's admitting anyway but his self esteem issues are a no brainer. I'm really pleased you got rid of father and can be there with your mother.

pearlylum Sun 29-May-16 22:16:22

OP move out.
If you are old enough to reproduce then you are old enough to support your offspring.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 22:18:58

Noted Statisitcally. That's why I did the step when she was 3-4, she wasn't interested in sticker charts.

Janecc Sun 29-May-16 22:20:26

pearly oh god no sorry if it read like that I meant for the weekend - I think I'd be taking advice from lady Macbeth otherwise.

pearlylum Sun 29-May-16 22:23:35

Ok -just a note, I don't punish.
I would never punish my OH, dogs, the elderly, or children.

Janecc Mon 30-May-16 05:07:35

How do you get your children to listen then Pearly? I sometimes take stuff away as a consequence - child psychologist we know told us to do that. I took the iPad away from her for an afternoon the last time - must be at least a month ago.... And she missed Pony Club once when she was really mean to me. It's a 20 minute drive so after being hit I was feeling wobbly. She gets frustrated with me sometimes as well because I'm ill and can't do stuff other mummies can do so if she's tired she can be pretty nasty/shove me around and try and control me. It doesn't happen often as we talk a lot. She's lovely most of the time. Both her dad and I are strong characters so she is too.

LazySusan11 Mon 30-May-16 06:06:23

My mother never smacked us she just used to tell my db and I to wait until our father got home, we'd apologise to mum and everything would be fine until dad got home and she would tell him that I/we (usually me) had done x y and z and then I would hear him fling the door open and stomping towards my room where he would smack me hard. I was terrified of my dad and I hated my mum.

My mum is now very ill though still finds the energy to tell me what a bad child I was. I once told her that as a young child the responsibly lay with my parents not me, she didn't speak to me for 3 months it was tough as I was brought up never to say bad things about my parents so I felt I couldn't talk to anyone in rl as I felt so guilty.

Eventually I opened up to my dh and after many many tears realised that my parents as much as I love them are toxic and so I applied some boundaries, I see my parents a few times a month due to my mums condition but if either of them start to push my boundaries I leave and I give them some distance. I no longer listen to my mum and take her word as gospel I'm a grown woman and I have my own ideas.

Finally I think they both get that I will no longer be manipulated and I won't engage in any negative talk. Personally I would put some distance between you if you can. My mum is human and has made mistakes but they are her responsibility not mine she made her choices I just don't have to be a part of her circus flowers

pearlylum Mon 30-May-16 06:21:45

How do you get your children to listen then Pearly?

Communication is a two way process.

Janecc Mon 30-May-16 06:43:39

Thanks for the link Pearly I will get the book.

Thank you Susan sounds a bit like my home life as well the wait til your father comes home. Yes, mother goaded my behaviour. She would drag the brush through my hair if she was in a mood and it would hurt, Id complain then she'd get snippy. As I got older I started name calling - she taught me by calling me awful names from a young age but I used different words so it would go 'bitch' "that's one weeks pocket money gone" 'Cow' "that's two weeks". We once got to 5 weeks before I stopped. She's very toxic. No no no never do I want to be that mother. I see her every couple of months now. Everything I do is wrong. I am much more emotionally distant. I have just come off a 6 week course of antibiotics so I'm physically down, which impacts on the usually emotionally robust me. Thank you for the flowers flowers

LaContessaDiPlump Mon 30-May-16 06:49:47

I used to have actual dreams (as an adult) of beating my mother up. They were very satisfying.

I think naughty step beats actual hitting by a country mile - I use it on my kids and have only hit DS1 once in 5 years (kicked me in the face with shoes on at point-blank range and I lost it). They've turned out ok so far and don't seem to hate me. Your mother is plain wrong IMO.

pearlylum Mon 30-May-16 06:56:42

* She would drag the brush through my hair if she was in a mood and it would hurt,*

That sounds familiar!

My mother was a smacker. Right up to when I was a teenager.
I vowed never to hit my kids.
I have never punished them either. They are very well behaved children, I have high standards of behaviour. They respect themselves and others.

Janecc Mon 30-May-16 07:04:56

Yes and I imagine that's just the tip of the iceberg for you too. sad She just really pushed a button last night. Feeling really down antibiotics make me feel like that anyway. I only stopped 2 days ago. DD is mainly very respectful too, it must be hard to have an ill mummy.

1sttimemama1986 Mon 30-May-16 07:13:03

Hi OP, the behavioural management strategies, time outs, reward charts you've said you use and looking into others suggested all sound very appropriate to me. My profession involves working with children and their families and when it comes to smacking the reasons against in my view are; like someone else has said it can easily escalate, FYI if a mark is left on the child this is a criminal offence, the emotionally abusive impact like many have openly shared shows how significant this is even from your own experiences, poor role modelling - any issues with your child shoving , hitting etc is not going to be resolved if this is what you show her is acceptable way to respond. Be strong, trust yourself and if you can find it in yourself to create a safe emotional distance from your mother she is not being supportive it's not fair on you xxx

Janecc Mon 30-May-16 07:14:28

Thanks lacomtessa I want to get a big bit of wood with some nails attached at one end and go to whack. I expect it's something I saw in a horror movie. I don't like these feelings. Don't remember a dream of ever having done that. Like that you got satisfaction though. ;) Yes mother is wrong it's just another shitty attempt to undermine my far superior parenting skills - to hers I mean. I did Google some stuff about the step and time out in the bedroom some articles were saying how damaging this can be. I think probably over use of the step is the key - they were talking about using it lots and children get the impression they are bad, not just the behaviour. Because of course noooo I didn't get that I was bad through my treatment, I got that my presence on earth was an insult to mankind.

Janecc Mon 30-May-16 07:29:28

Thanks 1sttime. I'm crying now. Yes. I know this. All of this. It's the emotions. I knew this would be a difficult one but would be even worse "bad daughter" if I didn't come. Her husband she met when I was 18/19 and married shortly thereafter is now unable to talk/move/eat (tube fed and communicates by spelling out words on a sheet) in a care home so I have to bring DD down to see her grandpa. I also am expected to think of him as my father even though I met him as an adult and my real dad died when I just turned 16. He's a lovely man. I'm just not allowed to voice that I could possibly not have the same feelings for him. It's so oppressive here. Don't touch the computer. Do X like this y like that. Anything out of place or put where it could possibly inconvenience her just by its presence is commented on. The list of rules is endless. I'm almost afraid to breathe. And being ill has taken me back a big step emotionally. I have chronic fatigue syndrome (ME) and have really been struggling to go on these past few days. I just want my illness to end. I know I will get better soon but when? I've been going down hill since before Easter. That's why she's getting to me. In a better state I'd be laughing it off.

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