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To want to tell her how I feel, no holds barred?(46 Posts)
Apologies for the long post. The really, really long post. But, if you're here and ready for a ride, buckle up.
I've never had a great relationship with my mother. My DF passed away when I was young and it became obvious that he'd protected me from my mother's mental health problems for years.. pretty much straight after he passed, what was my family home became a party house- pretty much every night, every day- drugs, alcohol, you name it. She'd always tell me how much she hates me, that I'll never be like my sister, and would constantly tell me that I'm fat, ugly, whatnot. We weren't allowed to eat in the house, and would have to sit and watch her gorge on tens of pounds of chocolate and sweets, then throw them back up again. I'd have to hide food, or over-eat whilst at school/friend's houses just so I wouldn't need to eat at home. There were many days where she'd be drunk and high, would beat me senseless and then I'd walk the couple of miles it took to get to school because I wouldn't be allowed money for the bus. It's just how life was. Social services were involved but, as per, they were pretty useless. There'd be times where I'd be dealing with paramedics or the police at the house at 5AM because one of us had woken up to find my mother had self harmed, or threatened to kill us. She was placed in mental health facilities numerous times, and I'd walk there from school to see her, then walk home and carry on with school work whilst my brother and sister carried on using the house like a party venue.
I had to grow up pretty quick, and focused on my education. I had nobody backing me, but myself, so yeah, I guess I'm proud of myself for that. Got a job whilst in school, put myself through university twice and now work in the medical field.
I met my (now) DH when I was 18. He supported me through absolutely everything, despite my family being so completely unsupportive. We accidentally got pregnant (medication unknowingly negated our birth control) and miscarried at 4 months. My mother was nowhere to be seen, but called the day after to tell me how she lost three before she had me, so it's 'not that bad'. The day before I left for university, I was beaten by my sister, had my hair ripped out and then had an abusive phonecall from my mother, who called me everything you can imagine- and told me that I'm 'a snobby, spoilt bitch who needs to remember where she came from'. I moved to university with a black eye.
My mother had no interest in my being in university until my final year, where I attended a family funeral and on the way there, she asked what I was studying. She then went on to tell everyone at the funeral that she was so proud of her daughter, who is going to be an English teacher- note, that's not what I told her I was studying for.
Fast forward, and my (then) boyfriend proposed. All of a sudden, my mother wants to be supportive and a part of our lives. Now, my MIL is just a phenomenal woman. She knows what I've been through, and she's seen the cuts, bruises and trauma I've been subjected to, and still she advised me to give my mother a chance so I could at least say that I'd tried. So, I did. Lord knows, I tried everything. I hated my mother during my teenage years because I didn't understand what was going on, but as I've grown older I've understood her story (abusive childhood) and experienced mental health myself, so I get that it's not all her fault. Believe me, I get it.
So, we had an engagement party. She called and said her family had asked if they were invited, so I said sure, why not? This involved her mother, brothers, sisters and their children.. dozens of them. I had some of them messaging me in the run up to the party, telling me they couldn't wait to see us etc., and I felt good about that. Then none of them came. Not a single one.
A family member passed away and my (then) fiancé and I went to the funeral. None of my mother's family even knew his name. My mother's mother then asked when she would be getting her invitation to our wedding, which was in 5 months time, at that time. My mother sat there all 'yeah, when is she getting her invite?'. We talked privately about how I had already made it clear that as none of them had bothered, and didn't even know my husband-to-be's name still, they weren't invited. Case closed.
I got married last year and initially I didn't want my mother there, but things seemed okay for a while, she promised me she wasn't using drugs of any kind anymore, and it felt nice to have some sort of not-negative (I wouldn't exactly say positive) relationship with her. The day after my wedding, she put up a post on social media. Whilst on my honeymoon, one of her brothers went on a rampage on it. Called me out for being a disgusting being, that my mother's mother had a 'right' to be at her granddaughter's wedding. I got called everything you can thing of, from A to Z, to C**T in messages from him, where he also told me that should he ever see me again, I'd be physically assaulted. He blocked me before I even had a chance to defend myself. I called my mother up and asked her to remove the post. She told me that it was my wedding, I was right to choose who I wanted there etc., but refused to remove the post. She then told me that she's got cancer but didn't want to ruin my wedding, which is why she hadn't told me before.
I got a job at the local hospital just after we returned from our honeymoon. Now, we're a year past our wedding. My mother only calls to ask 'have you lost any weight yet?' Or 'are you pregnant yet? I can't wait for you to have a baby, he'll be nanny's boy', or to ask me to chase up appointments/doctors for her cancer. Other than that, she doesn't answer my calls or tell me anything. She doesn't want me at appointments, but wants me to get her them. However, she calls my sister and tells her everything, whilst also telling her that she's not allowed to tell me anything. She asks my sister to go with her (knowing that she can't due to personal reasons).
A couple of weeks back, I had a random, completely unexpected phonecall from her on a Tuesday night, when my husband was at work, where she decided to outright tell me that I was a horrible person as a child, and that she hopes my child doesn't turn out like I did. I don't know what I did, either then or now, to deserve that, but I put the phone down and cried for hours. I couldn't even tell my husband when he returned home.
She called again a couple of days later, and asked if she had bought me a gift when I started university. I said no and asked why. She said she wanted to get my sister a gift as she'd just started university. It upset me that I got a black eye and a load of abuse for going, yet my sister gets flowers and gifts. But, hey ho.
The day before our anniversary, she put up another post on social media- with my wedding photos- and noticed there was a comment on the post, but I couldn't see it. Now, I know it's a complete invasion of privacy, but my mother told me her password for social media because she needed help with it at one point. I logged in, as her, and saw that it was her brother- the one who threatened me last year. He'd put laughing faces all over the post, which I don't understand as I don't get what he'd be getting out of that, but whatever. I thought I'd check in her messages to see if she'd said anything to him- again, I do get that I crossed a boundary by reading her messages, but I wanted to know if she'd stuck up for me, for once. She hadn't. However, there were a number of messages to one of her sisters, apologising for them not being invited to my wedding- further calling me spoilt, hard work and a couple of other colourful things. I just logged out and cried. And cried again.
I haven't said anything to her. I've already cried too much over everything, and I'm not confrontational so don't know how to approach her to tell her that I've seen everything. On top of that, I'm pretty unwell at the moment. I was rushed to hospital two weeks ago and am finding out in the next few days if I need to have surgery. I had a missed call from my mother just on Saturday, so called her back. No answer. Called her again on Sunday morning- no answer. She called me on Sunday afternoon, and we managed to talk for 16 minutes on the phone. I think that's the most she's managed to talk to me in a year. I told her that I'm unwell and awaiting possible surgery, and she was surprisingly motherly- asking if there's anything she can do to help, that she hopes I'm okay and that she's here if I need her at all. Weirdly, it felt like I had a mother for those 16 minutes and I forgot all about how angry I was with her. My husband and I had food with my MIL and DIL, who asked how my mother is doing- despite how much my mother hates them for being so kind to me, they still concern themselves with her welfare and do what they can to support me building a relationship of some sort with her. It felt so good to be able to say for the first time in over a year, that we'd had a good phonecall that afternoon. It made me feel genuine happiness.
THEN. I'm on some strong painkillers that knock me out, so fell asleep for four hours yesterday afternoon. I woke up to 4 missed calls and a message from her asking if I'm OK. I called her back and apologised and said I'd been sleeping. She laughed and said no, I'm at my friends! I said no, 'I' was sleeping? She then asked why I'd called her in the morning and I said I hadn't. She said she had a missed call, and I said that I'd called her the previous morning. She asked why, and I reminded her that we'd spoke that afternoon. She didn't remember. None of it.
I had a phonecall from my sister this evening, who told me my mother had given her permission to use her social media (my sister doesn't have it) to contact my mother's friend about a furniture sale. She said she opened their messages and saw my mother has been taking drugs with this woman, which is the friend she was with during our 16 minute call. Turns out, she was high and that's why she couldn't remember our phonecall. Chances are that she was high when I got that horrid phonecall the other week, too.
I'm so, so incredibly angry. After everything, the fact that she couldn't remember that phonecall is the one thing that's pushed me over the edge, which makes me feel so utterly pathetic. I have so much pent up anger that I feel like I need to just let it all out at her. But if I were to do that, as always I'd be the 'spoilt, horrible bitch' that I'm constantly made out to be by her and her family. Honestly, I don't even know why I'm posting this here.. I guess I just needed somewhere to put it all before I break down.
My dear, please just get on with your life, your husband etc and never speak to these people again ( your mum, your sister, your uncle, block them all and any one connected to them). Why do you think it's ok to have been treated this way? And what pleasure or value or benefit are they bringing to your life? I hope you get angry and then I hope you cut them off and never look back, I'm certain you'll be a lot happier as a result.
I agree that you need to go non-contact with the whole bloody lot of them. I have never heard of so much toxicity within one family. To say that they have let you down over the years seems like the world's greatest understatement.
@arcof I've got rid of everyone from her side, from all platforms, and have NC with any of them. I'm struggling to cope with the idea that if I go NC with her, she'll either self harm (and everyone will say it's my fault) or I'll get the usual 'your mother has cancer, you need to make the most of what time she has left' speech.
I know it's not okay to be treated this way. I hate that I haven't yet said anything about it all, because it's truly bringing me down.
@eatsleepread honestly, this isn't the half of it. My husband refers to me as 'the black sheep of the family' because he doesn't see how I'm the way I am. I've got a really positive outlook on things despite what I've been through, I treat people with respect despite never being given any before I met him. He tells me I should be proud to be nothing like them and sometimes it makes me proud, but other times makes me feel a real sadness.
My goodness what a difficult time you've been through. You should be damn proud you didn't turn out anything like her!
I've had a similar situation, with my heroin addicted sister. She's almost 50 now and I've been through the wringer with her - including trying to adopt her last child who she neglected. That was turned down mostly due to the fact I was childless at the time, my physical health and that she threatened you set fire to the social work building and my house if I ever got custody and "hunt her down" - meaning me.
She then turned up at my door after I had my baby (she didn't know I was pregnant and only found out I gave birth through a third party) and asked to see her. I finally told her no, that I'll never forgive her and not to contact me again and closed the door in her face. I've been no contact for about 3 years now and every now and again she sends me a message on some new profile she's made and I just ignore it and delete.
The anxiety I lost when I removed her from my life was unreal. I stopped having tightness in my chest, i stopped feeling like I was was walking on eggshells in case she turned up. I can finally go days without thinking about her.
My final relief will be when she dies. Then I know I'll be safe. There's a lot of things that happened that are similar to your scenarios and the only advice I can can give is to say your peace, then block her, and everyone who has anything to do with her.
Get her out of your life, now, before you have children.
You'll go through mourning once you have taken the step, but then trust me in saying that life will only get easier without that dark cloud.
@Marshmallow91 You've been through it all, too.. and I'm so sorry for that.
I've always said that my children will never be a part of her life, but she doesn't seem to get that. She doesn't understand that I am her child, and my child will not be hers. She's had ample opportunities to be a mother and should I have children, it will not be another chance for her. I will protect my children from her, just as my father did for me.
I'm so glad you've found relief. I hope I can be as strong as you one day soon, because I don't know how much more my heart can take.
dear op . i honestly wouldnt bother to have any confrontation , or bother trying to tell her how you feel ,its just pointless , she sounds like she would be incapable of understanding it ,taking it in , she is an abusive mother and if she hasnt realised her failings by now then you telling her isnt going to have any impact i doubt , when she is nice to you now and then of course you feel hopeful as you want her to be the mother you really want her to be ,but its just clutching at straws ,.. as she can only do this when she feels to before reverting to form
as others have said for the sake of your health i think you just need to cut them all out , change your phone nos , social media , just nothing at all . conentrate on your life and that alone , its tragic to have to drop your entire family ,but they are just making you ill , speak to your doctor to maybe get referred for counsellling , you are angry but i think only a counseller will be the one to help you do something with that anger , telling your mother how you feel will just make you more angry and upset because shes just going to turn it back on you , you need proper help to be able to let it go . personally i feel pity for her . her appalling behaviour has more or less cost her a daughter
The problem with drug addicts, and alcohol addiction is the person becomes totally untrustworthy. You cant believe what they say from one moment to the next, but that uncertainty leaves you in a constant state of flux. Its impossible to move forward when you dont know what tomorrow will bring.
I have drug addicts in the family and work with mentally unwell/drug dependent people through my job.
I went NC with my druggie side of the family and the relief you get from just knowing you wont spend the rest of your days second guessing both yours and their every move is unexpected but welcome.
It isnt easy, especially knowing your mum has cancer. But is she your mum? Or just the person who gave birth to you?
You need to grieve. You are living on the perpetual hope that you will have a mother who loves you and treats you well "motherly". You are afraid of the reality of not having a mother, a real one. I have gone through this for different reasons too. I think it's primal.
But here's the thing. Accepting the reality of not having a mother is painful, but it's nowhere near as painful, or as relentless as what you're living through in this cycle of hoping, giving her chances and then being horrifically let down.
Your inlaws are well meaning. But you do not need to give your mother another chance. Not a single one ever. She's not going to change and even if she radically did, you'd still not need to give her a chance. She would need to come repeatedly apologising and demonstrating that she's changed over and extended period, whilst asking nothing at all from you in order to begin to win any trust. By extended period I'm thinking at least a year if not more. Because the only thing you know will happen if you give her chances is you get hurt.
That she was abused can indeed underscore her behaviour but to a point. You were abused too - you still are - and you don't behave like this. She's nice to your sister. So - and this is awful but important to understand- to a certain extent she's making a choice here.
That's her choice though. It has nothing to do with you, it's not a reflection on your worth as a human being. That's a tricky one becuse we often want our parents to be proud of us and that feeds us feeling good about ourselves. When we have a parent who isn't proud of us, it can feel like we're valueless. All if actually says is that they're incompetent humans.
As for her harming/killing herself, look, you're going to get blamed whatever happens. It'll be your fault she has cancer, or if she dies from it that'll be your fault. If you're in her life and she self harms that'll be your fault and if you're not in it, it'll be your fault. You're running on FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) and it's harming you.
I'd suggest looking at the resources ont the stately homes thread. Susan Forward has a book about Toxic Parents and another Why Some Mother's Cant Love (something like that - its been years since I read it).
You might find it helpful to get support in all this from a counsellor because it's seriously hard. You need to adjust your compass from True North bring your need/hope for love from your mother to your own well-being.
Your life can get so much better and you can feel so much better. Honestly. They are going to say hurtful things, but fuck, they always have anyway and look at what you've achieved while they were abusing you! You are an incredibly strong person and while I think it's unfair that you should ever have had to become that strong, you are and you can use that strength to get on with your life without a single one of them, the woman who gave birth to you included.
One thing though. It will help if your inlaws don't push you into feeling guilty for not keeping contact with your mother. You need to speak to DH and then together (or him alone) explain that the situation is breaking you. I'm betting that they don't know about all these calls, FB comments and how much you're hurting. People who have decent relationships simply can't imaging the depth of pain involved. They also have a fairy tale view of "mother" and how we "always should try". They're wrong here - and anyway you have tried. You need them to back off because they're going to end up straining your relationship with them and it sounds like a decent one.
I recommend that you write it all out, in letter form, to her and then BURN it.
Never send it to her - she won't acknowledge or accept any of it. But by writing it down as though you were going to send it to her, you can send it out into the universe and out of your head.
You'll never get what you want from her. She doesn't have the capacity, sadly. Sounds like your siblings and her siblings and family are also lost causes, so stay well clear of them too.
Are you sure she has cancer? it's a well known ploy for emotional abusers to use the "cancer card", or "heart problems" is the other favourite, to bring you back into line if you look like you're escaping their net.
Even if she does genuinely have it, you can't do anything to make it better. She needs proper treatment and self-care - your input will have no impact on her either way, as she's got no true care for you.
I'm so sad to read everything you've been through but in all honesty your best bet is to just cut them all off without a backward glance, as staying in contact is just putting yourself through more punishment.
for you - I'm glad you have a lovely DH and his family behind you.
Hey there, @daretodenim. I cried reading that. You've put a lot into perspective there. I guess I'd never really looked at it from a perspective of what I've achieved whilst being abused, and what I could achieve if I break away from it all. Thank you for that.
I read what I originally posted and I think I've made my in laws sound pushy by accident- they aren't forceful at all, I think they just see that when inget that rare moment it makes my heart genuinely happy, and they want that for me. Hell, my MIL stood in for my own mother when I miscarried- that's strangely the day I knew I'd marry my husband. He said he had to leave the hospital room, and I didn't understand until he told me that I need a mum and He'll give me his. Honestly, I truly believe that without him, and his family, I'd be long gone.
I know that I'm capable of surviving, rather thriving, without her. I can see that I'm stuck in a repetitive cycle of hope, opportunity and grief on loop nowadays, but I'm so scared of going it alone. Even though I'm already alone. I know I sound dull, but it's so hard to explain.
I don’t think you will ever be happy with her in your life. You need to cut all ties. And well done for turning your awful life around and breaking the cycle. You should be very proud of yourself 💐
I am so sorry it all sounds awful. I hope now you have gotten it all out you can draw a line in the sand. You seem to have a lovely husband and lovely parents in'laws...you have clearly tried very hard with your own family. Please give yourself permission to go no contact with your biological family and let your chosen family love you like they seem to want to. Spend your time with people who are kind to you and appreciate you - life is too short. We can't choose the families we are born into - but we can choose the families we spend time with.
I have rtft and my heart breaks for you. You deserve a proper mother, but you have to understand that your mother is never going to be that. She deliberately plays you and your dsis off against each other, doesn’t defend you to her awful relatives and still consistently mistreats you.
I completely agree with a pp, it doesn’t matter what you do, they will always blame you, but please believe me when I tell you that none of this is or ever has been your fault. You have created a wonderful life for yourself, you have a lovely dh and supportive mil, you have a great education and career and you have done all of this completely on your own. Your dm brings nothing good to your life, and she doesn’t care about anyone but herself. She makes that perfectly clear with every interaction. Please stop letting her do this to you. She will never be the mother you deserve because she only cares about herself.
OP there is so much love and hurt in these posts. The fact that you have managed to achieve what you have, and still be so loving, with that background is a testament to your amazing nature and your incredible resilience. I’m glad you’re proud of yourself, and you should be.
I’m not just going to tell you to go no contact because even though I think it could help, I know it’s not as easy as that. You feel a lot of responsibility to fix this relationship. But it seems to me that you’re still doing all the work to try and fix it, and not being met anywhere by your family.
Have you ever had counselling or therapy? I think it might help. Ideally you want to move to a point where any relationship you have (including no relationship if that’s what you want) is completely on your terms without any of the fear, obligation and guilt you currently feel.
Whatever happens, I hope that you’re able to heal from the trauma they put you through. You deserve to be happy and calm and free from this toxic burden
@NocturnalRanting you have been through so much abuse in your life from those that are supposed to love you and keep you safe. I'm so sorry for that. For you to remain so strong, reflective and positive, and achieve everything you have despite that abuse is amazing. They are not going to change, however much you may hope they will. You have to walk away, to keep yourself physically, mentally and emotionally safe. They are just going to break you eventually. Each glimmer of hope they give you with a non-negative interaction is just part of the abusive cycle and designed to make the hits be felt even harder.
You are not alone though. Your DH and his family sound wonderful. They are your family now. Enjoy their warmth and positivity and feel no guilt turning your back on the toxicity of your relatives (not family - real family doesn't treat each other that way).
Good luck and stay strong.
Breaking out of any pattern is incredibly hard - even when that pattern hurts you. What an extraordinary woman you are! How on earth you found the strength to go to uni whilst dealing with that level of abuse is astonishing. I don’t think you have any idea how impressive and powerful you really are.
With abusive people you will always have good days. There will always be moments when they are in a good mood and it all feels worthwhile and you hope that this is the real them at last. Sadly the real them is the weak, selfish, cruel addict. You are their scapegoat. You are the person who escaped. You are the one who has shown that actually they could have done better, because you did, and they want you punished for making them see that.
It’s time to close that door so you can begin to heal. Your mother isn’t a mother to you, she’s a woman who let you down time and again. Her having cancer is irrelevant. It’s not monstrous to say “enough” and move on with your life. You will never be free from the abuse until you make the decision to free yourself.
It can be hard to know they will never see your decision as fair or justified. They will always see you as unreasonable and you can’t change that.
You do not need the good opinion of people who would violently abuse and neglect a child. Those people’s views are worth nothing.
You have tried, now you can walk away knowing the effort that you made. Accept that they won’t agree with that, but that it is your opinion that matters, not there’s.
I’m going to say it again, you are an impressive, powerful, strong woman to have not just survived your upbringing, but to have thrived. Don’t waste that on them, give your energy to those who deserve it.
I think the time has passed to tell your mother how you feel. Your posts detail incidents where it would be highly unlikely your mother didn't realise how you felt, and at worst enjoys tjis, or at best id's disinterested.
Your extended family seem to enjoy goading you and mocking you, and your mother is aware of, and so complicit in tjis.
If I was in your shoes, I would now go no contact. There is nothing enriching or helpful in your relationship with your mother, you need to look forward and make a happy and stable future for yourself.
Wow OP your DH is amazing. Your MIL sounds wonderful.
It doesn't sound dull at all. It's totally normal - very human in fact. When we're young children we will die if we don't have the adults in our life taking care of us. Human babies can't survive alone. We're born with a need for our parents. But that need isn't just for food, it's for emotional nourishment too. Look at the results of the horrific experiments carried out on monkeys who were given no emotional nourishment, or the children in Romanian orphanages (or don't!). So your father apparently gave you enough/protected you early on. After his death though your emotional nourishment stopped. Your primal need for it from your "caregiver" continues - and this is totally normal, most adults are happy to hear their parents are/were proud of them for example. But it's no longer a survival necessity when we're adults. In situations with inadequate parents, we need to recognise that this is something stemming from our past, is totally normal, but is no longer helpful. It usually undermines our survival as adults too!
It's SO hard. Really. But on the other side, those of us who have had to do it have been trained for it most of our lives by the very people we need to do it with.
It's easy to write all these things, but it's not a switch that can get flipped on or off. It's hard, but really, it's not harder than what you've been though plus, the payoff is something you truly can't imagine.
As an example: my mother's birthday is towards the end of June. I had not realised that every single June since I was about 13, I was stressed as hell. I was stressed I'd get her the wrong gift (because of an incident getting her the wrong gift). However, it wasn't until I was mid 30s that I discovered this. It was so normal that only when I didn't have to get a gift any more did I discover what it was like to live in June and not be stressed!! If you'd asked me whether I was stressed in June I'd have looked at you strangely!
You have done so well to overcome such a horrific early life and have shown yourself to be strong. Now you need to be strong again and walk away from this toxic woman. Whatever she does, whatever happens, NONE of it is your fault. You now have a wonderful caring family and I think you should just accept that the family you were born into are never going to change so forget them and live your life without any of them. As a pp said, your mother has never been a mother to you and has let you down time and time again - you owe her nothing.
You sound incredibly strong for surviving all of that and making a good life for yourself - you are amazing. Your 'family' don't deserve you - please do yourself one further strong act and cut them out. I have a DD and thinking of how you have been treated is heartbreaking.
Go no contact. Your family are abusive and nuts and you need to remove them from your life. And never tell them you’re pregnant as your kids do not need them ever...they are despicable.
You've already acknowledged that if you have children you won't want her around them. That's absolutely the right decision. Her kind of poison has already harmed one generation, you cannot allow her to do it to another.
So go NC now, while there are no children. It'll be a lot harder once you're expecting or worse, the baby is here and she's already forcing her way in.
Cut her out now, while she's more likely to leave you alone. She's already shown how badly she treats you, so she'll think she's punishing you by not making contact, not realising what a blessing that is.
It sounds like your DH's family have welcomed you with open arms. This is the universe giving you a family worthy of you. Get rid of the trash.
I'm sorry you've been through this OP.
By all means, tell your mum how you feel to get it all off your chest. I have a fraught relationship with my own mum and eventually in my 30s after having kids, I told her how she'd made me feel. It didn't change her behaviour at all. But it made me feel better for expressing my feelings at least.
It's hard to let go of the hope and idea of what your mum should be or could be. But there is a point where you accept that mum you want and need doesn't exist and you have to let go of it.
You are already the blacksheep and cast as the trouble maker, what harm could expressing your feelings make to your standing in the family? On the otherwise, having gone low contact with my own family now, no one has really noticed I've dropped off the radar which says it all to me really.