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Aibu to be upset over something that happened 20 years ago?

(38 Posts)
Glittered Wed 17-Aug-16 08:18:55

so basically when I was 14 my mom and dad split up, my mom left me with my dad. She moved into a place of her own then 6 months later she moved in with a friend....a male work friend...then 1 year after that they married.
I've always wanted to believe in some magical fairy tale world where my mom loved me and really wanted to be with me but her and my dad weren't happy and she had to leave and this marriage just happened by chance. Through my life I've always put my mom on some pedestal by seeking her advice and approvel and just wanting a normal mom/daughter relationship with her where we go shopping or for lunch etc. she's always had a high flying job and work always came first for her. Iv always had 'oh sorry I'm too busy I've got a meeting to prepare for etc' or I'd just phone to say hi and the call would last 5 mins if that as she always had to go coz she's busy or dogs need feeding.
Now the man she married and is still married to is a complete nob! He has black moods where he won't speak to my mom for 3 months at a time and it's just a horrible atmosphere. Yet she's mad about him, it's embarrassing really she's like a 12 yr old at a take that concert.
For the record my dad isn't a bad person and certainly never treated my mom how that dickhead does, my dads just a bit well...boring but has always been a constant in my life, always been there for me. My dad is now happily married again and I love that he found happiness again.
My mom on the other hand is not happy, she's 60 now, I think she drinks a lot, she obsesses over my step dad and tells people what to do all the time and gets pissed off when they won't do as she says.
So anyway fast forward I now have 2 dds of my own, oldest is 4 and youngest 3 months. I don't know if it's a hormonal thing or what but since I had dd2 I can't help but be angry that my mom left me at 14 yrs old for another man. I couldn't and wouldn't ever leave mine for anything! Now I have kids she suddenly wants to do all the mom/daughter stuff I've always craved but I'm over it. I'm focused on my girls and feel she can go lie in the bed she made. Of course I realise she had an affair but she would swear blind she didn't. I just feel pissed at her. Dp says I should let sleeping dogs lie but this plays on my mind a fair bit. So Aibu?

Amelie10 Wed 17-Aug-16 08:21:55

Yanbu, what she did was abandon her child for a cheap thrill. Off course you have every right to be upset about it after all this time. For me it would be a bit too late to play the doting mother now that her life turned out shit. Your dad sounds lovely.

PovertyPain Wed 17-Aug-16 08:30:07

It sounds like those posters that have friends that treat them as the 'go to friend' when they don't a have a better offer. She isn't the big business woman now and expects you to suddenly become her daughter again. I couldn't forgive her for her past behaviour, especially as it lasted for so long.

junebirthdaygirl Wed 17-Aug-16 08:43:56

It's very regular that when you have children you revisit in your head/ heart stuff that happened to you as a child. All you are saying is very valid and l would advise you to go for counselling as you don't want this stuff to interfere with your good life now with dh and your little ones. You have genuine feelings you need to get out and counselling is good for that. As children wee put our parents on a pedestal as the alternative to them being good parents is them being shit ones, selfish and pretty much only thinking of themselves. Sounds like you did well staying with a good stable dad instead of being brought into the drama that was your dms life. Get to the heart of this in counselling and you will then move on in a very healthy way.

Glittered Wed 17-Aug-16 10:55:20

Thankyou I'm not crazy for feeling this way then.
When I had dd1 I had no idea what I was doing and phoned my mom a lot for advice, she never offered to have her but did give me advice over the phone so I felt dd1 bought us closer and as a result we've had more contact. But along comes dd2 and I'm no longer that nervous first time mom and I don't feel I need any advice. This has made us clash. Example: I'm getting dd2 into bedtime routine, I've got a baby monitor so if she wakes I go up to her. My mom says 'you need to get rid of that' me: 'but then i won't hear her crying' mom: 'you should just shut the door and leave her to it' me 'is that what you did with me?' Mom: 'no of course I didn't but you never cried all the time like that' me 'of course she cries all the time she's 3 fucking months old!' There's me getting angry and she storms off with tears in her eyes and I'm left feeling like the bad one 😡 Another example is dd1 goes swimming and had dance every weekend, we are not pushy and she loves it. My mom tells me children don't need hobbies especially that young and I need to stop being selfish and taking the baby to these places. How is it selfish??? So I said we are ok and I don't need any advice thanks. She stormed off again crying again. I think there's been an obvious change in my attitude since I had dd2 and she doesn't like it. I never thought of counselling but I think yes it would help but where do I go?

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 11:03:12

I'm with your DH. Your parents' marriage broke down 20 years ago. Who was at fault isn't really relevant. They've both moved on and so should you. Stop taking what your DM did to your DF so personally. If she isn't a nice person, let that be the issue, don't pin everything on something she did 20 years ago that you don't agree with. If anything, be grateful that at the time she saw fit to leave you with the man who appears to be the better parent here rather than doggedly taking you with her because society holds mothers to a higher standard.

Glittered Wed 17-Aug-16 11:24:42

I'm not taking what she did to him personally I'm taking what she did to me personally is the previous poster you mom?

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 11:42:28

grin no, I'm not your mum. I suspect I'm actually younger than you! I just don't come across an awful lot in your OP that she did to you. You focus a lot on what she did to your DF, you focus on who she left him for, you focus on who she is as a person, you even say your DM left you for another man. But the actual event wasn't about you, it was about your parents and one of them had to leave. As it happens, you were left with the 'better' parent by the looks of things, rather than having them bow to the social convention of the children staying with the mother. Be angry at her because you don't like who she is, not because 20 years ago she stopped loving your dad and treated him badly. Their split affected you but it wasn't done to you.

Amelie10 Wed 17-Aug-16 11:48:06

If anything, be grateful that at the time she saw fit to leave you with the man who appears to be the better parent here rather than doggedly taking you with her because society holds mothers to a higher standard.

How ridiculous that the op should be grateful for her mum leaving her!

aginghippy Wed 17-Aug-16 11:54:26

YANBU to be upset. She didn't and doesn't treat you well, so it's entirely understandable.

I agree with June that you could benefit from counselling to work through these feelings and move on. Your dp is right, in a way, it would be better to focus on the present, but you aren't ready to do that yet.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 11:55:25

Her mum left her dad. Not her. She's still in her life. Many many children go through their parents splitting up. It's hard for the children, yes, but they do usually come out of it with 2 parents despite one of the parents leaving the family home.

Or are we making the argument that this event was even more horrendously traumatic because the parent leaving the family home was the mother rather than the father?

SuperHeroesForKids Wed 17-Aug-16 11:56:19

Yanbu I had a similar but not exact same upbringing. Some people don't understand why I still speak to my mum and the reason for me is this....

My mum wasn't happy. My dads a lovely person. Mum fell in love with another man. She left.

For me as a mother, I don't understand how she did it but I don't see it as something I need to forgive. She was being selfish but at the same time I wouldn't have wanted my mum and dad to have a miserable marriage to stay together just for me.

It's in the past and it's done. Fwiw my df is happily married and mum is unhappy, single and drinks too much.

I personally don't see the point in going over old wounds and ripping open scars. You're only going to create a sore wound.

You live and learn and move on imo. You can't change the nature of the beast and I think with people you accept them as they are or you remove them from your life.

Best of luck with your DC X

Glittered Wed 17-Aug-16 11:56:46

The split did affect me but also so did the last 20 years where she hasn't any time for me either

EyeSaidTheFly Wed 17-Aug-16 11:57:35

Your mum has treated you like crap. Sorry, OP. The way she left your DF is part of that - not just about her relationship with him. She uses you and you deserve so much more. I also think you should start seeing a therapist about this to help you manage your very well justified pain. Best of luck.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 11:58:56

Precisely what I'm saying she treats you is what matters, not what happened between them when they split.

hownottofuckup Wed 17-Aug-16 12:01:06

You seem to have missed the very pertinent point Gruffalo that OP's mum did leave her as a 14 yr old, seemingly for another man. And the relationship never was easy as OP never felt as though she was a priority.
It's not about her dad at all.

weegiemum Wed 17-Aug-16 12:03:02

My mum left to be with her new man when I was 12. It was awful and for years I've had MH problems related to this event. My Dad was amazing and I refer to him and my lovely stepmum as "my parents". My mother tried, after a few years and especially after I had kids to be a "real" mum but it was far too late, and we've been NC for 10 years now - she isn't interested in her wonderful grandchildren and thats her choice. Its also her loss, because they are genuinely great kids.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 12:08:33

I've not missed a point at all how, I just see things differently. For example, when my parents divorced I didn't see my DF leaving the family home as him leaving me. He left my DM. They couldn't live together because the relationship broke down and he cheated. I got that and I accepted it but that was something he did to DM. I no longer speak to him because he's been shitty since.

There are different ways of seeing these things. It does MN no favours at all when people with differing opinions are regarded as just having missed something.

BoneyBackJefferson Wed 17-Aug-16 12:10:08


"Or are we making the argument that this event was even more horrendously traumatic because the parent leaving the family home was the mother rather than the father?"

The argument as I see it is that the mother has wanted very little to do with the OP all her life and even know when their are small children involved she makes it about her.

LaContessaDiPlump Wed 17-Aug-16 12:13:56

It's normal to view your own upbringing through different eyes once you have your own, I think, especially when aspects of your upbringing were less than ideal. My mother took a savage joy in tearing me down verbally and making me feel like shit, for instance, from a very young age. DS1 is that age now and while I do occasionally WANT to rip him a new one, I imagine his little face crumbling and couldn't do it. It makes me think of her differently, and yes I do judge. My perspective has changed.

Your mum sounds like she feels guilty tbh. She sees you NOT being a twat and she feels bad, which she shows by.... being a twat to you grin aren't people FUN?!

Ignore what you can and focus on your own little family. Her guilt and shit is hers to deal with, not yours thanks

Benedikte2 Wed 17-Aug-16 12:16:00

Your mum's advice sounds to be based on her own need not to feel guilty! Did she provide you with dancing, swimming etc to help your development and confidence -- It seems doubtful.
She may also have left you to cry but you were too young to remember.
It sounds also as if she has limited patience with your DC -- may be fond of them, may like them in principle, esp if your seeking advice made her feel needed, but she basically hasn't changed and can't be bothered with day to day child care.
Try to treat her like just another adult family friend and accept what positives she can bring to your life and limit your contact accordingly because it is causing you pain.
Sounds like she just isn't one of natures instinctive mothers but has some regrets/ guilt about her treatment of you.
Rejection is one of the hardest emotions to cope with and you have done pretty well but perhaps counselling will help now that you've reached this stage in your life. Life events we seem to have "got over" often come back later when something else occurs to reactivate the feeling, sometimes we are not even consciously aware of the connection.
Good Luck

hownottofuckup Wed 17-Aug-16 12:19:09

People obviously read things differently Gruff I read it as being all about her and her mum's relationship. You read it as being all about her mum and dad's. I'm not saying you can't have a different opinion but OP herself has said this is about her relationship with her mum not her parents relationship and that is how it comes across to me.
Her mum did leave her and continued to have a poor relationship with her. I'm not sure what difference it would make whether mum or dad in that situation. The fact it was your father in your situation doesn't appear to have made it any easier for you, a poor relationship with a parent is always difficult which ever parent it might be.

bikerlou Wed 17-Aug-16 12:25:22

Things that happen in your formative years have an enormous effect on you throughout your life.
You can't just pull yourself out of it.
I had a very troubled childhood which has haunted my whole life, I have still got on with my life and achieved a lot but it nags and worries at you in your head, and I found that I really needed professional help with it to keep it all dampened down.
I don't think there is a cure but you can move on.
I'd definitely ask your GP to refer you for therapy.
If you had a bad physical pain you would get it seen to wouldn't you, you wouldn't just put up with it. Mental pain is no difference, it can destroy you if something is not done about it. if it is still troubling you now then it is a problem and you must do something about it.

TheGruffaloMother Wed 17-Aug-16 12:25:34

I read it as being predominantly about what happened 20 years ago, as the thread title tells us. I agree with what people have said about who her mother has been since then but do think the different perspective on that particular event may have been helpful to the OP.

Marmighty Wed 17-Aug-16 12:27:35

Agree that having children causes one to reflect on ones own childhood and parents actions - counselling can be invaluable to get to a point where you no longer feel consumed by anger or regret about things that happened a long time ago.

I've also found that the grandparents generation are desperate to weigh in on bringing up children as a validation that what they did was appropriate - I've found letting it wash over me and responding with a "hmm" to any offered advice/opinions is the best way forward, not to really engage, unless you think they would take your different opinion/new evidence etc. on board. That's easier said than done though!

Ultimately it would probably be good to visualize how you'd like your relationship to be NOW with your mother, and then talk about it with her, if possible. I've found a "I'd like our relationship to be better, how can we make that happen?" conversation to be invaluable, but it has to be without bringing in past recriminations. Perhaps something to aim for after some counselling.

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