Want to cut contact with my parents?(19 Posts)
My mum is so hurtful, and I think it may be toxic but I'm unsure.
Very long story as short as I can make it.
Not loving when I was a child, never said they loved me or were proud or anything really.
Since I've been an adult no better and I'm finding it harder to cope with.
My current situation is that I am a single parent to 4 children. My life is very difficult and I've had 6 years of particularly hard times. My ex was abusive with MH problems, left me when I was 8 months pregnant and I've been doing everything alone for 4 years.
One of my children had a serious breakdown at aged 14 causing her to be hospitalised for her, and my safety in a secure unit for 15 months. I got evicted due to not being able to pay the rent after giving birth and husband leaving never to be seen again.
So my parents who live in a large bungalow with 3 spare rooms plus a camper van turned a blind eye, while we got put into a refuge then awful B&B, went on holiday and didn't support me in anyway and I don't mean financially I mean emotionally or physically by coming over to help out with the baby or maybe washing up etc.
This aside, my mum criticised everything I do. She says why have you done this, that or something else. We don't like your sons hair long, isn't he annoying, why didn't you do this, why have you got that car, you can't even drive very well, you needed to do things this way and you wouldn't have got in this mess, why have you said such and such...
The list goes on. Just constant cristism and negatives for years. Never once had she said you've don't a good job there or you look nice or a single thing that could be seen as positive or encouraging just mean and critical comments. She doesn't like my son and says he's too noisy, naughty, annoying, loud and that he can't come to her house if he doesn't behave or even once that she would smack him. It makes me so sad as he hasn't got any other family and was rejected by his dad so I feel horrible that his grandparents don't seem to like him either.
They don't ask how my daughter is.
They have never in my 20 years of being a parent babysat or had my kids sleep over.
They never call me on the phone, my mum just sends me stroppy text messages periodically
She gets annoyed that I havnt called her or visited when I'm struggling to keep on top of my life and all I have on my plate as it is, they are retired and either on holiday constantly or watching tv so I feel she should be more understanding that it would be nice if she called me rather than not going so and moaning that I havnt made any effort.
The final straw came last week when I wrote a long and heartfelt Facebook post in support of MH week talking about my daughter in the hope of spreading awareness. I tried really hard to write it in a sensitive and well thought out way yet she still got annoyed about it and sent me a curt and annoyed text message about it.
I'd like to stop contact with my parents because they hurt and upset me all the time and actually have done for years. I think my mum in particular is unkind, spiteful and quite mean. I'm 44 and still feel anxious and hurt by her, if they are visiting (2/3 times a year) I get so worked up and dread it.
Is it really horrible of me to not want to see or speak to them anymore? I feel so much calmer and better when I'm not in contact and the moment she text messages me I feel sick. I don't know if I'm being horrible or not? Its her birthday and then Christmas coming up, maybe I should just suck it up!? If anyone has made it to the end of this ramble thanks you and any advice would be gratefully received.
You aren't being horrible. They are. You have every right to go NC.
Wow OP you've really had a tough time and it certainly sounds as though they are part of the problem and not part of the solution. I definitely think you need a break from them for a defined period at first. Maybe a month and then you can reassess your feelings and see if there is any upside at all to resuming contact. Do you have any support in real life? Your parents aren't going to change anytime soon so I think you have to put yourself first here as no-one else is likely to. Sending sounds like you're doing an amazing job in difficult circumstances.
Thank you both for being so kind, I was half expecting to be shouted at for being mean. I think I've been put down so long from them, then my ex I still think I'm a horrible person because after being told it for so long you start to believe it hence my having to ask here and check if is reasonable that I am thinking of going NC
I would suggest you avoid confrontation by just quietly 'fading out'. You can change your FB settings so she doesn't see most of what you post, and block her number from your phone so you don't get her texts. Honestly it sounds like you have enough on your plate without coping with them as well. Hope things improve for you soon
Did you know its typical of an unhappy childhood that you are unsure if it is unhappy, or toxic, or even abusive? That you are prepared to blame yourself and dont know if you are being unreasonable?
Happy, secure, loved children are in no doubt.
You dont sound like you are being unreasonable. Take a break and see how that works out for you. You might also ask your GP is theres any counselling and support available
jellibelli I didn't know that no.
I think if i ignore her she will just send me increasingly angry text messages, oddly with a x on the end?
If I'm going to go through with NC I'll have to tell her and explain why but I'll feel really guilty if I do this especially because it's Christmas. But I just don't want to see them and feel those feelings of hurt and anxiety anymore
I would just block her on facebook and your phone and get on with your life. It doesn't sound like have anything remotely positive to contribute so don't feel guilty.
Block her phone number. It doesn't sound like having her in your life brings anything positive, so why should you have to live with a stream of negativity from her rude messages? It sounds like you've had a really tough life and parents who won't help you out at your lowest point are owed nothing.
She doesn't have the automatic right to be in your life, and if you don't want her in it, then that's what you should do. Good luck and best wishes to you
NC can be confusing because psychologically we are hard wired to our parents, no matter if they are good or poor at parenting so it's no wonder that you are in two minds. In addition the last 4 years must have been very tough for you, but you have survived despite the extreme difficulties. With your folks I think you need to decide if they add anything positive to your life and if they do, is it worth hanging on for in balance to all the negativity. If the relationship is toxic then let it fizzle out or say your bit to them as if to give them a chance to change. If they do great but if not, they have made your decision for you. You might also consider what sort of example is being set for your children with the toxic relationship with your mum. That it is OK to be treated really badly and still come back from more. its not easy (I'm in a similar position to you) but if someone's company affects you so negatively then I think it's time to move on from that person for your own happiness as well as that of your children.
Thank you. I don't think they do add anything positive to my life no. If I don't see or hear from them anymore I don't think it will be any different from how because I can't think of anything good or positive they bring to my life. But maybe I don't to theirs? My mum seems angry I'm not the one to make the effort in seeing them or keeping contact but surely she must realise how much I have on? I work 6 different part time jobs just to pay the rent and put food on the table. One time when they came over i was eating from food bank charity and food parcels from my local church but they've never even brought me or the kids so much as a loaf of bread. Do I sound really entitled here?
No, you don't sound entitled, you sound like you've had a really hard time and your parents sound weird. I can't believe they didn't support you. I know we only have your side of the story, but TBH, I think you should go NC. They don't enrich your life or support you or even seem to like you much. Block them but I would send a final message telling them what you said in your OP.
Yanbu, your parents sound dreadful and you should go NC
I'm so sorry what a tough thing to deal with. I agree with the fading out idea. If she sends an angry text asking why you haven't been in touch, I would be inclined to reply with 'I'm up to my eyeballs with the kids etc, I have no support, and you are not helping with these remarks.'
I don't think I'd have the guts to completely cut them out, but you could definitely do without the stress they are adding.
Do you have any siblings?
I have had rough times of skintness due to divorce / job changes.
My parents have helped me out, financially and emotionally. It's just what you do.
You sound like you feel that by expecting that you are some sort of layabout / spoiled child.
It's just not like that....who is there for us when everything has gone to shit, matters. We all need help sometimes and parents are parents whatever their age. Or not. As the case is here.
Don't feel bad for thinking they could have done more....they could have!!!
iremember thank you. I think I'm just not sure what is normal or not in respect of what other parents do because I've never had it.
I THINK they should have supported me more, well at all but I guess because they've always been a bit rubbish and not interested I've just accepted it and adjusted my thoughts. I'm not very good with confrontation so I just let things go rather than stick up for myself and then feel guilty after.
If it were not her birthday and Christmas I think I'm definitely ready to tell her I'd like to be left alone and not get anymore stroppy messages. I know 100% if I confront her and call her on her behaviour, even politely she will get angry rather than ever accept any fault.
She has never said sorry for anything ever so I don't think she has it in her vocabulary.
hanban I do have one sister who I asked for help and support from when my daughter got so unwell initially. She came over a few times but the fizzled out and I havnt seen her for 2 years now. I actually don't think people can cope with severe mental health disabilities and don't know what to say or do when it's long term. I understand it gets boring after 6 months when someone is still unwell and people, be it family or friends run out of steam but you'd think close family would at least try. They just don't seem to have any empathy in general, just anger and bitterness towards everyone but I don't know why.
OP just wanted to send and say how strong you must be for surviving a very tough time with very little support.
I have similar issues with my parents, my mum can't really be bothered with me unless it's in her interests. I don't have much to do with her now. It's taken a long time to realise what supportive, loving parents are like and that's mainly due to my in laws.
To get some perspective, put yourself in your parents shoes, i.e. Lots of time, comfortable life and imagine one of your own children were going through similar to you. What would you do for them? I'm guessing it would be anything needed.
It might be worth having a look at the stately homes thread in relationships, lots of advice there on toxic parents. It's helped me a lot.
Just wanted to add that you absolutely do not have to have people in your life that treat you so badly. Even if they were your parents. Being a parent is a massive responsibility not a right to destroy your child's self esteem for your own self centered reasons.
Your children are already benefitting from having you as a parent, it's crap that their Dad and GPs are awful but at least you are in a position to show them how a loving parent can be.
Thank you sleepyhay and everyone who commented I really do appreciate it
Look after yourself and your children first xxx I did two years of NC with my father. I felt guilty for a lot of it, but in the end I met up with him again on my own terms and have managed to build an adult relationship with him.
It has taken time, but I won't let him dictate my life any more.
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