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Going 'No contact'

(31 Posts)
PineappleToast Sun 14-Aug-16 11:09:27

I've name-changed for this, as a) it's a sensitive subject and b) very identifying.

Back-story: My DM have always had an odd relationship, and I have my suspicions that she has narcissistic personality disorder. We're also about as different as it's possible to be.

It's her birthday today, and I completely forgot. I felt awful about this when I realised it was too late - it's too far to pop down for a visit, and I've put a card and present in the post.

This morning, I've had an email from her saying "you really don't care do you? I realise how little I mean". This was at 9; I was planning on calling the afternoon.

So as not to drip-feed, this is a woman who:
a) Covered-up a sexual assault whilst on holiday (not rape, but still traumatising - I was 10), and provided zero support afterwards.
b) Attempted to blackmail me away from moving to London post-Uni ("your Nan will die with worry if you move").
c) Didn't ask me how I was during pregnancy, and doesn't ask how DGS is now - he was sick whilst on FaceTime last week, and she hasn't been in contact to check he's okay.
d) Threw a massive strop about my wedding being in a 'pub' (a naice pub though wink) and then demanded that I spend the evening before my wedding cooking a large family meal (they had to travel) for everyone.

My argument would be that she doesn't seem to have any care or consideration for me... I'd also like to point out that I call her twice a week for a chat. In the seven years since I left home, she has never called me for a chat.

AIBU to cut contact? It feels like the final straw - a complete lack of recognition for how she's behaved. I know it's not an eye for an eye situation, but I'm astounded by the message.

Or should I just suck it up, send an extra large bouquet, and see if the past can be overwritten?

Thanks for getting this far. It's been very cathartic (for me, at least).

user1466795981 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:33:34

I can so relate do SO much of this - is your mum my mum OP? So much of it I can relate to -' conveniently'sweeping things under the carpet - very traumatic things which have serious impact. I have drawn the same conclusion in my case - narcissistic personality. So difficult to advise as families can be similar yet so different. My advice would be - be true to yourself x

Sorry posted above too soon

user1466795981 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:35:41

I can also relate to blackmail and little interest in pregnancy/grandchildren

user1466795981 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:36:26

OP sounds like you've done well in life in spite of obstacles x

Amelie10 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:38:49

Yanbu to want to cut contact. Seems like she adds no value to your or your ds life whatsoever. She's not a good 'mother'. Seems like she is more an obligation rather than someone you genuinely need in your life. After reading point 1, it's no question you should have little to do with her.

GiddyOnZackHunt Sun 14-Aug-16 12:43:22

You can suck it up today but there will be a next time.
You can supress your feelings this time but it's a one way street.
It is ok to say "I'm done trying" and walk away.

larrygrylls Sun 14-Aug-16 12:48:43

I am so against this. Adults sometimes need to suck up difficult parents. It is perfectly possible to have firm boundaries and stick to them without going no contact. If a parent tries to guilt trip, you just clearly explain that they are being unfair and, if they persist, terminate the conversation.

Of course, if the boundaries are not respected, then you may have to consider no contact. However suddenly cutting a parent off must be incredibly hurtful.

user1466795981 Sun 14-Aug-16 12:56:38

Thing is I think when parents 'guilt trip' especially at a young age, it makes a person more likely to be 'guilt tripped' by 'all and sundry' - because they've been 'hard wired' - making these people more likely to be prone to bullying, humiliation , and then depression and feelings of hopelessness. I know I'm going off the strict topic of the thread here but just making the point.

BodsAuntieFlo Sun 14-Aug-16 13:02:51


Larry. Go to the above link and have a read. Go and tell all the people on that thread how much they hurt their parents by going no contact. Frankly, I couldn't have cared less how hurt my mother was when I cut her out of my life. My life was much richer without her in it thank you very much.

larrygrylls Sun 14-Aug-16 13:10:15

I am not going to read a whole thread, thanks. My own mother was difficult in many ways.

I am glad your life was 'richer' for cutting your mother out. However, for many of us, two wrongs don't make a right and family is not just there to enrich us, it is also an obligation. My mother is now dead and I am so pleased I persevered with her and did not take the easy way out, regardless of how she sometimes made me feel.

SwearyGodmother Sun 14-Aug-16 13:11:45

Larry - you speak as someone who probably has a parent who respects your boundaries. Plenty of us have parents who ride roughshod over any limit or boundary we set.

Pineapple you sound like you're in a very trying relationship and you wouldn't put up with this kind of behaviour from anyone who wasn't a parent. I really feel for you. You are, of course, completely within your rights to cut contact and take some time to heal. You can stay no contact in the future, or reintroduce whatever level of contact suits you. Whatever is best for you and your family has to be at the forefront of your mind. If a relationship with your mother causes you distress maybe a time out is sensible? If you feel guilt about going NC maybe treat it as a temporary situation that you can revisit in a few weeks/months/millennia.

BodsAuntieFlo Sun 14-Aug-16 13:15:03

I am so pleased I persevered with her and did not take the easy way out

I didn't see it as an 'easy way out' and I doubt others who have taken the difficult decision to cut a parent out found it 'easy' either. Perhaps you should think before you type from behind your anonymous little screen.

Maybe if you read the thread you'd see why some people are forced into going no contact.

iPost Sun 14-Aug-16 13:20:44

The only person who needs to be convinced that your reasons are good enough, is you.

It's not a perfect solution. But then, there aren't usually any perfect solutions going. Most of us would prefer something less drastic, that would allow for wounds to heal and something healthier, more loving going forward. But if that's not on the table, no amount of wishing and hoping will make it a reality.

Estrangment has its limitations. It can can shield you from collecting new emotional cuts & bruises. It stops people torpedoing your life with their designed drama and crisis. It gives you a break from walking on egg shells and tap dancing through a minefield on a daily basis.

What it can't do is take away the hurt that this is not the parental/sibling realtionship you want, need, or yearn for. But then... being in their life doesn't do much in that regard either. There's only so much pretending "this is normal" a person can do.

I was estranged from my father for more than 30 years. My mother and brother, around up a decade and a half. I'd give anything for it to have been a different way. But that depended on their choices and priorities being aligned with my own. Or at least in the same general ball park. Never was going to happen.

I chose, and choose the pain of estrangement over the greater pain of non-estrangement. My reasons are good enough for me. And that's who has to be satisfied, because I'm the one lumping around the loss, the disappointment and wishing it were different. Cos it sucks. It really fucking sucks.

Waltermittythesequel Sun 14-Aug-16 13:20:57

Larry, how dare you belittle people's experiences of abusive parents.

There is a world of difference between difficult and a narcissistic abuser.

You are either breathtakingly obtuse or a bit of a twat. Which is it?

larrygrylls Sun 14-Aug-16 13:28:04

We are all typing anonymously. I am replying to the op. I have as much right to post an opinion as anyone else, especially as the op did sctually ask!

MissElizaBennettsBookmark Sun 14-Aug-16 13:35:25

Ignore larry who is clearly talking out of their Arse.


Just the first reason would be enough for me.

Have a read of 'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

CancellyMcChequeface Sun 14-Aug-16 13:40:43

YANBU. I went NC with my mother a few years ago and getting some distance from her and her behaviour has done me tremendous good from a psychological perspective. There's a world of difference between parents who are sometimes difficult and insensitive, and the type of thing you're talking about it.

My mother has said 'you'll be sorry when I'm dead' to me so many times in my life that I eventually realised that no, I won't be. Which is sad, yes, but it's also evidence of irretrievable breakdown. Sometimes, trying to maintain any relationship does more damage than ending it, and the parent-child relationship isn't a special case where this never happens.

OP, I'd suggest at least trying it. There's no rule that says if you go NC you have to stick to it for the rest of your (or her) life, but if you don't try it, you'll never know if it would make things better for you or not.

Waltermittythesequel Sun 14-Aug-16 13:47:11

What does posting anonymously have to do with it?

If you weren't strong enough to stand up for yourself and not accepted ill treatment then that's unfortunate but don't paint it as something wonderful and saintly.

OP, everyone has the right to live their lives without abuse.

Just because someone is related to you, doesn't mean she is a good or healthy person to have in your life.

Champers4Pampers Sun 14-Aug-16 14:05:15

Your post sounds like my mothers relationship with my grandmother. Even at the age of 51my granny still has some sort of hold over my mum. I wish mum had gone NC years ago, granny adds nothing to our lives and she's caused so many arguments I've lost count.
I think the hardest step would be making the decision, you'll probably feel so much lighter afterwards.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sun 14-Aug-16 14:35:53

Sometimes you just have to accept that there is no happy ending and make a decision about what is the least awful situation. Is it more painful to see her and have to cope with her behaviour, or to have nothing to do with her?

PineappleToast Sun 14-Aug-16 14:38:32

Thank you to everyone who has responded, it is much appreciated.

I feel like going NC is inevitable, it's just a case of timing. I know it's a horrible thing to do to someone, and it is by no means an easy decision. Easy would be continuing as we are, I think. But I'm not sure that's the best thing to do for myself/DS - she has voiced disappointment that he isn't a girl and genuinely messaged me with 'what a shame, have to have a girl next time'.

ZippyNeedsFeeding Sun 14-Aug-16 15:25:52

she has voiced disappointment that he isn't a girl and genuinely messaged me with 'what a shame, have to have a girl next time'.
For this alone, she'd be gone from my life forever.

FuckFaceMagee Sun 14-Aug-16 15:30:48

Do you want a relationship with her? If you do, then make an effort. If you don't, then don't.

Chippednailvarnishing Sun 14-Aug-16 15:38:02

I am so against this. Adults sometimes need to suck up difficult parents

Err, no actually they don't, it's this type of crap that keeps people in abusive relationships.

Pippin8 Sun 14-Aug-16 15:50:11

I cut my mother off one Mother's Day after she sent me a vile text. I never planned it, I had bought a 50p card but was dreading taking it & kept putting it off. Eventually at 9pm she text me saying 'thanks, youve made it obvious that you despise me, after all I've done for you'. It was very ott, but actually it was true, I realised I did despise her.

I didn't reply & went NC, I have seen & spoken to her a handful of times since, funerals etc. But only when I couldn't get out of it & only on my terms. It's the best thing I ever did, I think my mental health would have suffered if I'd carried on putting up with her crap.

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