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Am I a terrible daughter or is DM being unreasonable...

(58 Posts)
Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:18:24

I'm 54. My mum, bless her, can still make me feel like a wicked child if I don't do whatever it is she'd prefer I did.

My sister is 55 next month. She lives just 1/12 - 2 hrs away from me. I have, in the past travelled miles on special occasions, to celebrate birthdays/christenings/weddings/births etc. My mum has arranged a lunch at a nice restaurant close to where she (and my sister and family) live. I have said that sadly, I can't make it. And, it has begun..... I feel BAD. She has phoned me several times in one day, to talk me round.

My DH and I have had a tough time with sd who has been really very ill. I feel tired and less and less inclined to attend things and slap on a smile and I guess, I've become somewhat reclusive. It doesn't bother me; it allows me to feel settled and cope better with everything we have "on" with sd. Am I being unreasonable? I usually give in and "do as I'm told" but I'd just rather send my sister a lovely card and maybe go see her soon. I love her dearly but I can't do this dinner thing because my mum will sulk and play the martyr, if I don't.

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:20:57

Sorry, should read DS. He's 16, has ASD and crippling 24/7 OCD for which he is heavily medicated yet still manages to self harm and consider suicide.

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Feb-17 22:21:40

Have you given her a clear reason why you aren't coming? You sound quite low. Being reclusive doesn't sound all that healthy.

GreatFuckability Sun 12-Feb-17 22:21:50

Of course you aren't terrible. If you aren't ul to it, you aren't.

Wolfiefan Sun 12-Feb-17 22:22:19

Ah massive x post. Surely you have enough on your plate. Let them sulk.

AJMcF Sun 12-Feb-17 22:25:12

I couldn't read and run. YANBU. Sometimes in life priorities change and it really seems like you need some time to be with your DS.

Could you speak to your sister? Explain and arrange a later date?

DJKKSlider Sun 12-Feb-17 22:25:59

Of course YANBU.

Ring your sister, tell her, wish her happy birthday.
Then if your mum rings, the second she mentions it.. And I do mean the very second.. Simpky say, "I've spoken to sister. Im not coming." If she carries on, just put the phone down.

Phones are great, if someone starts talking about something you don't want to talk about, you can put it down and the conversation ends. grin

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:33:30

The first reason is that ds will be at his dad's that weekend. He sees dad once a month only so, though this is going to sound awful, when DH and I have "our" weekend, it's kind of a big relax/breathe out thing. I'm "off duty" and I/we as a couple, need it. We might go for dinner/meet up with friends ... nothing too energetic 😊 He travels a lot so, that once a month thing is a rarity. And, we have a dog who's an 18 month old and not used to being left.

SpangledShambles Sun 12-Feb-17 22:40:45

Op I sympathise. Your dm should understand and you needn't feel guilty but in the real world she might not and you will, and I think you're justified in making any excuse you see fit to make your life easier. Don't tell her ds is away, just tell her you're having terrible difficulties and he can't be left. You really need your weekend 'off'.

kerryob Sun 12-Feb-17 22:41:34

You've told your dm you're not going, that's it. You need your restbite as it sounds pretty full on for you and your DH. You shouldn't feel guilty for that at all. If your dm brings it up, just say yeah shame we can't make it, hasn't the weather been terrible this week? If she keeps bringing it up just ignore her.

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:42:21

Good grief....as I'm reading my last post, it sounds selfish. We'd be out for around 6/7 hrs round trip at a minimum. I don't want to leave her that long and cannot take her with me.

Also, and I guess this is the real reason, my wider family have issues which frankly, I'm tired of. It brings me down. Whenever we get together it always seems to degenerate into some kind of conflict. I really would rather not. I'm very close to my sister; wish I lived closer, but sadly don't.

INeedNewShoes Sun 12-Feb-17 22:48:13

Your once a month opportunity to relax with your DP is important. If your family who you would be going for lunch with are hard work, then its not the break you need on that weekend.

You're not being 'selfish' by not going for lunch, you are looking after your primary family unit (you, your DP and DS). Its as important for your DS that you get your break when you need it (so that you can recharge to be there for him when he comes back) as it is for you.

SalmonFajitas Sun 12-Feb-17 22:51:30

Of course YANBU. It sounds like your hands are well and truly full and if anything you need the support and understanding of your family not added pressure on your resources. I would completely close the subject to all discussion. You've already explained you can't make it so there's no need for further excuses. "I'm sorry I can't come as I've explained I hope you have a lovely time"

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:52:25

Spangled, I've already said he's with his dad and she said "oh well, what he doesn't know about, he won't miss". That hacked me off too! Besides, it'd have no impact. She believes I should be there.

Genuinely, some friends had asked us when our next available weekend to meet for a pub lunch with our dogs was and it so happens, it's that weekend. I feel shitty because I'd rather do that.

It is not selfish to want the time with your dh that helps the two of you cope as a couple. On the contrary - it is entirely sensible and healthy, IMO.

I understand the guilt trips - but you have every right to prioritise the health and emotional welfare of your own family over a party. It doesn't mean you love your sister any less.

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 22:56:36

I think you're right. I shall try to (pleasantly) stand my ground.

WrongTrouser Sun 12-Feb-17 23:03:39

OP You don't sound in the slightest bit selfish. Tell your DM it's just not possible and you are not discussing it further. Then have a relaxing weekend with DH, your friends and the dogs.

teaandakitkat Sun 12-Feb-17 23:04:33

Sounds like your son is having a really tough time and you and your dh must put such a huge amount into trying to keep him well and healthy.
I'd say your weekend is pretty much essential to your mental health and wellbeing and I would not give it up lightly.
You do what you need to do and don't feel guilty about it at all.

ChrisYoungFuckingRocks Sun 12-Feb-17 23:08:28

I have twins, one of whom has ASD. She's difficult. When I drop them off with their dad for the weekend I breathe a deep sigh of relief. I love them both more than anything on the planet, but I NEED a break from her. I NEED some me time. I fully understand how you feel, and if I was you I would stand my ground and politely but firmly say you won't be going. Surely your sister will understand. flowers

Starlight2345 Sun 12-Feb-17 23:12:40

I am a LP struggling with DS going through diagnosis stage of SN... You really have to take the free time to recharge your batteries.

I really don't see it as selfish merely self preservation.

You need your energy to continue to support DS...Refuse to discuss it .

AnnieNeedsAMacBook Sun 12-Feb-17 23:13:17

Bloody hell, your sister is 55. Not 5, not 105. Not even 60/70/80 etc. I doubt she's that bothered. You sound like you have a good relationship with her, which is nice, hopefully this will help you both endure your mother's meddling.

Your Mum is being as trying as mine is, I'm finding it hard not to explode over something quite major at the moment (too long & boring to go into). I am in my 40's, yet she treats me like I'm a teenager. I have tried explaining that whilst I'll always be 'her child', I'm NOT 'A' child, but that's a concept too far, apparently. I find it very hard to be too straight talking with her since my Dad died (several years ago, not recently) as I know she's dreadfully sad & lonely, but it's bloody hard work. I feel your pain 💐

AnnieNeedsAMacBook Sun 12-Feb-17 23:18:07

Oh... & it goes without saying really, but just in case you need to hear it again you are not being unreasonable not going. You need to relax & recharge. Definitely have the pub lunch with your DH, DDog & friends - but I'd avoid putting the photos on Facebook! 🤣 (My Mum is one of the major reasons I don't do Facebook).

Cherrysoup Sun 12-Feb-17 23:18:23

I've learned to tell my mother no over the years, despite the emotional blackmail. Funnily enough, once I refused to take money from her, she has stopped being so demanding. (Christmas gift was always a silly amount of cash, she's quite well off)

Stick to your guns, OP, don't be guilted into doing anything you don't want to do.

Eliza22 Sun 12-Feb-17 23:19:08

Don't do Facebook, so that's Ok 😊

Pallisers Sun 12-Feb-17 23:19:13

In these low-stakes circumstances, do what suits you. For whatever reason you have. There is actually nothing wrong with that. Your DM has grasped that concept fair and square - she does what suits her and also tries to manipulate you into doing what suits her too. To hell with that. you are old enough to do what you want.

When my dd had similar issues, I was exhausted and absolutely unable to deal with anyone outside work and immediate family who needed me "to perform" on any level - anyone who I had to make an effort with just killed me and I stopped contacting them. The nice ones hung in there until I was better able to be a friend again.

Mind yourself.

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