To wish my mum could just be kind(87 Posts)
I'm here for a vent. It's been a rough week.
I have a weird relationship with my mum. I say weird, I mean horrible.
Back story, to not drip feed: I'm adopted. Never met my bmum, did find her but flipped out totally (no idea why really, primal wound they call it I think - the hurt the baby feels when separated from the bmum). Anyway, I couldn't handle any contact so that's that.
My adoptive mum, until I had children myself, has got slowly more and more spiteful, or maybe I just started noticing it when I realised how I felt about my DCs
She minimises everything I am worried about, I don't mean in a 'it'll be fine, sweetheart, come on, I'm with you' I mean in a 'what on earth did you go to the doctor about ....... How strange. I wouldn't bother a doctor with that (suspected melsnoma under a nail which had to be removed to clear it). Breast lumps 'well, you do panic so, always so dramatic'
I struggled to get pregnant, had several early miscarriages which according to her weren't real miscarriages as I was barely pregnant. When we finally got pregnant in one conversation (after being finally given the OK on twin 1 having miscarried twin 2) she asked why should she be happy as she would never see the child (she lives 500 miles away and I had told her we wouldn't be moving near her when the baby was born).
She didn't come to mine and DHs wedding - she used their dog being ill as an excuse but later said it was actually because she thought he was just after a passport (he's from overseas).
My brother can do no wrong. She's done her best to make sure we barely talk even though he says he loves me. He rarely contacts me and his wife doesn't like me, or st least hadn't tried to get to know me - my mum says she thinks I'm a yuppy career woman. I've only met her about 5 times.
I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety last year and she asked me what I was depressed about, I tried to explain it wasn't like that but she just said I didn't know what depression was etc.
These are just snapshots of thousands of little spiteful digs and backhanded put downs.
I know this is toxic, and I did try NC for sbout 6 months but it was awful and I felt like an orphan.
But I just can't seem to stop letting myself get sucked in and letting her hurt me over and over. I'm so very sad for the mum I've never had. I feel rejected twice. I'm nearly 50 and it's so raw, had another conversation tonight, we're trying to sell our house, estate agent (Tepilo) utter shit and it's just rubbish. Smack - she always sold houses easily because everyone said her houses looked so lovely - ergo mine doesn't?
I'm rambling, I'm so sad. I'm going back to the doctors, I just went this pain to go away :-(
How do you you react to these snipes?
Seriously have a think about how she gets away with it
You need to start repeating what she says back so she hears herself
From what you say ... she doesn't exactly explain herself very well and leaves conversations hanging so you fret over what she said V what you think she means
Either that or you tell her way too much
She doesn't leave it ganging - for instance, my wedding, she was very clear on why she didn't come, she actual,y said.
Tonight, when she made the house comment, I said 'oh right, so our house doesn't look nice?' She mumbled a bit and then just went on to say how good she is at selling houses. As our gripe is at Tepilo not generating any viewings, it was just pointless.
I've not explained or expressed myself well. I feel like if I did let it go I wouldn't be able to stop. I think we have had boundary issues in the past (prob caused by my being her ear when I was growing up and my dad was being a bastard).
I'm just utterly fed up with it feeling like she's a bitchy friend trying to one-up me or put me down. And fed up means I feel just so sad it doesn't feel like a mum.
She sounds emotionally abusive. You need to protect yourself from it somehow, perhaps reducing or cutting off contact with her? It is very hard, but unfortunately you can't change who people are and your well-being is the most important thing. My mother has been like this all her life (she's now in her 70s). I've hardly spoken to her for the last 25 years because I decided I needed to focus on my kids and my family, rather than be forever reacting to her nastiness. Even when people (such as my stepdad and siblings) have spoken to her about it, she just slips back to being nasty, as if she can't help herself. The final straw was after I'd just had a late termination due to abnormalities in the baby and was completely devastated, I spoke to her, obviously needing some comfort (which I'd hardly ever go to her for) and she said 'well, you have too many children anyway, it's the best thing that could have happened. God knows why you're upset.' (I had 3 DC at the time). I had to accept at that point that she could never be the sort of mother I wanted her to be. There was no big drama, I just quietly stopped speaking to her and let contact slide.
I hate to say this but I think ultimately if you want to stop the pain, you will have to walk away, deal with your depression and not return to her until you are stronger yourself. If you do want a relationship with her, you may find that she never changes (some people don't) and all you can do is change the way you react to her. I recently decided to cut some toxic people out of my life, I don't like it and feel quite upset but I know that it is the best thing in the long term as they are not good people. Good luck and I am really sorry that you have had to experience this
I'm annoyed with myself more than anything, scott
After being NC for several months after a 90 minute tirade from her over the phone (which was in retaliation for us leaving a holiday near her early - because we were in a tent on a fucking cliff in bloody storms - they have no room for us to stay) I got back in touch as it just felt awful.
I'd had counselling in the meantime and basically everything was OK if we just talked neutral shit, weather, kids silliness etc. But stupidly it's drifted into more meaningful stuff and telling her things that are going on and here we go again.
I'm not sure what's triggered this episode - we didn't go for Christmas there (DH was working most of it and again she has no room), I got a promotion just before Christmas, we got a puppy...I dunno. I've done something that's pissed her off because she gets more snippy then. When I told her we were getting a pup her first words were 'you do know a dogs not just for Christmas' as if I were someone who didn't care for pets. I didn't phone her for a week and she obvs realised she had upset me because then there's lots of texts asking for pics of my 'gorgeous little new baby'
I just need to wind it back in, phone as little as possible and talk about the fucking weather.
Should've been more witty! I'm really struggling here, feeling very low, I'm not a troll I'm just needing some sympathetic or empathetic ears.
I was going to say that it may not be anything personal and some people just suffer from foot-in-mouth syndrome but it seems like she's not the same with your brother?
Is she jealous maybe? You mentioned your sil thinking you're a 'yuppy career woman'.
I would cut off all contact. You have your own family now and her presence in your life isn't even neutral - it's actually causing you harm.
Thanks bum, I just needed to let it out to some anonymous people, must be a quiet night 😥
I know how you feel OP. My dad seems simply unable to generate any interest in me in any way. He just doesn't give a toss. I've decided to let contact drop as well. Its too hurtful.
Is your brother also adopted? Was she like this before you decided to find your birth mother?
She sounds like she has a compulsive need to make you feel like shit. Does she have any redeeming qualities? Does she bring anything good to your life?
Some parent never grow with you and just think they own you.
You could try asking her outright? I've found that's the best policy.
I have a toxic mother and didn't notice how toxic she was until I had my own dc.
I came across an old diary entry where I was in tears because she wouldn't let me pick up my newborn when crying!!
All her parenting advice was cruel and heartless and she actually hit my 3 y.o when she was in a bad mood.
I have low contact now and wish I had done it earlier. I don't update her or talk to her and we just meet up for a meal in a pub once a year with all the family.
First I had to grieve for a mother I never had. Coming to terms with the fact my mother would never be the kind, loving mother I wanted in life was the hardest part.
So I mourned for 3 years and now I accept it and instead focus all my energy on being the kind and loving mother I wished I had to my own dc!
I even take them out on what I call 'granny days out' where I can spoil them knowing that their real granny never once wanted to take them anywhere even when we were in contact.
As no contact is extreme we found low contact (once a year where there are no opportunities for her to talk to me on my own) works well as the dc get to see her, exchange pleasantries and we can all act the part for a couple of hours!
Please take care and remove toxic peope from your life. I have blossomed since doing so and am much happier as a result.
How very difficult it all sounds. I'm so sorry that you have a mother who is so unkind. You deserve a loving mother who takes time to support you. I think you'll have to find a way to reduce your level of intimacy so that her power to hurt you is reduced. It's really sad that this is required and I'm truly sorry that she seems so determined not to show you the care that you deserve. I would focus on the people in your life who do show you love and kindness and lessen your focus on her. This is much easier said than done, I know. You could also allow yourself to grieve your losses. Your post has really touched me, I'm impressed with your fortitude.
Yes, my brother is also adopted. Different adoption completely, but he has no curiosity at all - in fact he hates yo even think it.
Things did get worse when I to,d them I'd found my bmum. It was becoming a mum myself that really raised my urge to know my roots tbh. When I eventually to,d my aparents verbally it was all 'you do what you need to do' but slowly the digs got worse, she told me they could never trust me for going behind their backs etc etc.
If I challenge her on what she says, as in confront her she either denies ever saying it, or I need to sort myself out or if I really push it (I don't any more) there's tears, phone slammed down and then when I call back I get a lecture from my dad and a repeat of what a ...,...this, that, whatever it is that day.
I know know know it's toxic, but letting go completely seems beyond me and I just feel like I wasn't good enough for either mum 🙁
You poor thing OP, she sounds so hard to deal with.
I just feel like I wasn't good enough for either mum
No. Just no. You sound lovely. None of your kids are EVER going to be saying that about you, are they? You will make damn sure of that. Maybe turn that thought around. Maybe neither mum was good enough for you.
"I just feel like I wasn't good enough for either mum 🙁"
Whereas I feel that your mum isn't good enough for you!
Your birth mum - you were born in the late 1960s? If she was a single woman, she'd have been under a great deal of pressure to give you up. May have believed that it was best for you too, rather than raise you in the stigma of being illegitimate that existed then .
Your adoptive mum - well she frankly sounds inadequate. It's interesting that one of her digs is about you being a career woman. I'm betting she wasn't. There's a type of person who seems to feel that if their child doesn't follow in their footsteps, then that child is criticising the parent's choices. Mad, but apparently quite common.
The fault does not lie with you OP - it very firmly rests with your bitter mum.
She sounds horrid and toxic as hell. Someone on MN (in the stately homes thread) recommended the site 'captain awkward' for setting boundaries. Do try it, it's helpful.
The fact that you recognise that your bmum and your adopted mum are not lovely, kind, caring women is a very good thing op!
It means that you are not like them and so you must not beat yourself up about that but you should celebrate that!
You sound emotionally intelligent which is not what your adopted mum is.
Your dc are very lucky to have you as their mummy
It's strange how she'd commit herself to the kindness of adopting a baby all of those years ago, to now be pushing that grown up baby away.
Maybe that's what it is, does she feel that you abandoned her when you moved or that you were rejecting her as a mother when you started to look for your birth mother?
A lot of what you've said sounds to me like she's trying to hurt you because she is bitter about something.
I'm not making excuses for her (Her behaviour is wrong on every level) but I think there may be something deeper involved, I don't think she woke up one day and decided to start being spiteful to you for no reason, maybe she is hurting over something.
You really only have 2 choices - You try to get to the real root of her disdain towards you or you cut ties with her. I think it would be really sad for you both to lose contact but if not being in touch is less painful than having her in your life then it's the better option.
You sound like a really nice lady and I hope you find some resolution/closure somehow, good luck!
Oh OP you sound very down. I think you need to readjust your relationship and take back her power over you. You are an accomplished grown up woman she should not be making you feel like a little girl.
There is no need to go NC if that is not what you want. But take a step back. Stop telling her things - if she using mobile, text her about the weather. Send her photographs of things like puppy on a walk etc. It's contact but its not personal. Keep the phone calls brief. Phone her and say, just a quickie as I have a visitor coming, just going out etc. Say you have to go after five minutes. If she asks about the house sale, dismiss it and said 'I don't want to talk about that' or laugh and say 'don't bring that up'. Keep it light and don't let her goad you.
How did you get on with the counselling? Did you discuss coping mechanisms. Is it something you could pursue in that future?
Good luck OP
I'm adopted, too. Many adopted children have abandonment issues. I did, and my adoptive parents were wonderful. What you're experiencing on that account is, imho, pretty normal.
I know you said you've been to counseling, but perhaps it might help you to seek a counselor that has experience in adopted children's issues.
I'd also suggest going NC with your toxic mother. At least until you've had some counseling to help you deal with her.
Suchalovelyday I am so sorry you are going through this.
I just wanted to say I am a mum too, a birth mum to a dd aged 12 and a mum by adoption to a 6 year old boy.
I am sorry your adoptive mum minimizes everything you are worried about.
I am sorry about the fertility issues and miscarriages, “…which according to her weren't real miscarriages as I was barely pregnant.” How can anyone be barely pregnant! You are either pregnant or you are not!
“When we finally got pregnant …she asked why should she be happy as she would never see the child (she lives 500 miles away and I had told her we wouldn't be moving near her when the baby was born).”
She sounds like she is desperately trying to bolster herself up at your expense, “She mumbled a bit and then just went on to say how good she is at selling houses.”
She sounds very bitter and self absorbed. She clearly has the power to hurt you. I really think you really need some counselling and assertiveness training to stop her barbed comments getting into you.
Great post Capitol.
Suchalovelyday, I agree with Capitol. Are you still married? Roughly how old is your child now? Can you focus on any things in your life that you like or love, home, work, whatever?
I am sorry you struggled with the idea of meeting your birth mum. You said “I couldn't handle any contact so that's that.” I think you may want to consider being open to the prospect of this in the future.
You may like to get in touch with an organisation that can supply details of counsellors etc, so you can work through the issues relation to your adoption.
I am sure you know that children are adopted for such a wide variety of reasons. I have no idea what the reason was with your birth mum but might she have been under pressure to give you up for adoption, were you taken into care because she could not care for you? You do not need to tell us, but do you yourself know the details.
Whatever the reason it does not mean she did not love you, she may well have done so even if she chose not to parent you.
This organisation may be able to help you, do you know of it?
She's emotionally abusive. Go no contact with her again and tell her why.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.