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What would you do if your family did this?

(42 Posts)
snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 13:32:19

In dec I had to have a major operation on my heart, it was a long time coming and was pretty serious stuff. I was terrified of dying during the surgery and leaving my children alone in the world, I can not tell you what it took to go through with the operation in the first place, but I had no choice.

My mum was here to look after my 2 dc aged 7&9, due to the seriousness of my operation my dh was allowed to stay with me over night. My mum does nothing at all to help with childcare usually, and does not even baby sit, when she comes to see us she tends to just do so for company more than to help, she does nothing to support us and never really has done, so this was a first. My dc were at school all day, so she only had to get make them tea and put them to bed, and they are such good little girls, they were so happy she was staying and so helpful. On the last night she said was tired and went home, and my dh had to come home and look after dc.

That night, which was unlucky in the timing, I developed a very serious potentially life threatening complication, and was very very seriously ill in hospital. My dh pleaded with my parents to come back on the phone (they live an hour away) or to come to the hospital as I was in a very bad way. My parents told dh they were too tired to come. The shock was pretty immense that they did not come, throughout my time in hospital I expected them to come but they never did, and furthermore they did not even call or even text me to see if I came through it, they just went completely silent. This to me is beyond my understanding, if this was my child I would move heaven and earth to be there with them.

Since that date they have not called, texted or even sent a card and have not done so since my surgery. My sister (who lives in hk and is 7 mths pregnant ) is as shocked as I am, she said that my mums reason was that was she was 'stressed' and 'tired' and thought I would be angry with her if she called???!!!!! It is so unbelievable, it is so hurtful as to make my dh and I incredulous listening to the 'reason'. It has hurt me so much my mum didn't care enough to even send a single text.....

I am so stunned and so hurt, that when I desperately needed my parents they were not there. They still have not called or texted me, and I just find this utterly unforgivable. How could they be so unkind? And given what has just happened to me, I just can't get over it.

Even if a neighbour or friend at school had gone through such a serious operation I would have offered help and support, by way of text or other means. How can my own parents do this to me?

My dh whom was looking after me (with such love and care it has to be said, thank god for him) has now gone back to work, he faced losing his job otherwise, leaving with me 2 dc and a very difficult situation of trying to look after my children in my condition, I am finding it very hard to do the basics because the restrictions post surgery. I feel completely abandoned by my family (my dh parents are dead, so we are without any other family) we have lots of friends but there is only so much you can ask and for so long. I am devastated. I feel like I have lost my parents in all of this. I just can not bring myself to forgive them for ignoring me when I needed them most, for turning their back on their grand children and for being so uncaring.

It is mothers day in a few weekends, and I just can not bring myself to send my mum a card, although we have been so close all of my life, I can now see this has always been on her terms....what would you do? Not just about mothers day but about the whole situation?
I feel honestly like my heart is breaking with the pain of nearly losing my life and leaving my children here without a mother, and losing my own mum in the process. I don't know where else to turn.

Thank you for reading my post.

hesterton Mon 22-Feb-16 13:37:12

You need to talk to her. The fact that she's scared you'll be cross shows she knows she was wrong. Whatever was going on for her then, and we can have no idea what it was, she has behaved very badly. She needs to explain why and talk it through with you. She needs to be told without aggression but with total honesty how she made you feel. And you need to listen to what was going on for her through that awful, frightening time.

I'm very glad you're better now.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 13:39:07

I can't bring myself to call her Hesterton, I just feel so hurt. Why should I call her when she has done this to me?
I know it may sound childish, but I feel SHE should be calling me...

potoftea Mon 22-Feb-16 13:49:56

Firstly as regards needing help...your friends will probably be happy to help, especially as its short term while you recover. So if you could ask for a commitment from them, something like if 5 friends agreed to take the DC to and from school, they'd each only be doing one day, for a few weeks. Its a reasonable ask.
The bigger issue of course us how to get over knowing that at the worst point in your life, your parents let you down. I've no ides whether you can get over that, its changed your relationship forever, and rocked your trust in them.
I would write a letter to them saying what you said in your post above, not asking for anything, or accusing them, just stating how you feel. And let them reply how they want. Then you'll have said what you need to without getting too emotional or being argued with, and sometimes just being heard can be quiet healing.

Adgefox Mon 22-Feb-16 13:57:11

Your mother sounds a bit self centred to me. She has done just enough so she can let friends and family know she stepped in to save the day by looking after your dc's but has not gone the extra mile to make you feel safe, loved or that she put you first. It sounds as though it is all about her.

Once you know this and accept it for what it is you can see she knows no better really. You do. You have loving dc's and a loving husband and sound as though you would move heaven and earth for them.

It's just the way it is. Get well soon and sending you warm thoughts for a speedy recovery. Brave lady.

hesterton Mon 22-Feb-16 13:58:22

Don't approach her yet then - you need to be an a slightly detached place when you do. She is digging a big hole for herself by staying away. Whatever her reasoning, it feels like shes got herself into a great big old messy place on this one. Perhaps some space and time will clarify to you how best to move yourself forward.

In the meantime my heart goes out to you - you must be feeling so very hurt.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 14:14:29

That is a good idea re the letter, I am going to give it a go. At least get my feelings off my chest. I admit I tend to always keep the peace and keep quiet on my feelings in the past, so having to confront them with this was a real stumbling block. I also waited wondering when they would do the right thing....hoping they would...thank you both for your post.

Borninthe60s Mon 22-Feb-16 14:16:59

Write a letter, then sit on it for 48 hours, then re write it and let DH check it before you send. Tell her how you feel and ask her if she can explain things to you as you are upset and confused. Maybe she has things going on you're not aware of and that's why she felt so tired and unable to cope and went home.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 14:27:18

adgefox, i love your name!!

Do you know I think I have had rose tinted glasses for years, because everything IS all about her, I just didn't realise it before. The surgery and recovery has forced me to reflect on everything. When you grow up in a environment you know no better...but when faced with has exposed everyone (my friends, my family, everyone) for who they are, and how much they care. Unintentionally it has had huge consequences. I had no idea this would happen, but it seems to have opened the biggest pandora box. Most of my friends have been amazing, and my dh and dc. I am so grateful for those things that are so important and positive for me.

I never batted an eyelid when she capitalised on my health problems to her friends and sister during my childhood, gossiping essentially looking back which always made me feel compromised, nor when she told me it was worse for her than me when I spent years in hospital as a child.
I look back now and wonder how I had this vision of her as the perfect mother, which now seems to be propaganda and brain washing rather than based on fact.
I have never expected them to do more than they wanted to, when my children were in hospital at various times, they didn't come and visit saying they didn't want to catch any bugs (they are not frail, elderly or infirm) I have over and over again overlooked things when it comes to their help or a lack of, but this one is staring me down...I feel forced to face this now and unable to keep the peace any longer.
I am sure she is enjoying this no end, telling all of her friends about my health problems and what happened to me, it is a currency to her rather than the serious heartbreaking situation it is for me. My life is not a soap opera, fodder for her to be more interesting, it is my life, she hasn't even the decency to help or pick up the phone, but is happy to tell anyone that will listen how bad it has been for her no doubt. At some point she will run out of fodder and call me for an update, I am not sure I ever want to give her one.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 14:43:18

Borninthe 60s, good advice thank you, and I definitely probably won't send them the first version, which would take me down to their level without a doubt! smile My dh is a very reasoned man of sound judgement so good idea for a proof reading before sending the letter...

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 22-Feb-16 14:48:39

I'm guessing she didn't call or text you at the time because if you were that I'll you'd be unable to text, read or talk. And never called your dh as she wanted to leave his phone line free. If there was something she needed to know he would ring. I can't comment on the rest as I don't know what's been said between you all. Just offering a different view here.

RosaDiazepam Mon 22-Feb-16 15:03:07

I disagree Tigger you don't not ask your very sick adult daughter how she is in case the phone line is busy confused
Just a she seems to have 'enjoyed' your illness throughout your childhood, is she somehow (subconsciously?) annoyed you've had it 'fixed'?

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Mon 22-Feb-16 15:16:57

I just can't fathom how they could not come straight back when they received that phonecall from your DH, nor can I fathom how or why they have not been in touch at all since confused.

I would also find this utterly unforgivable, and would tell them so, before cutting them off completely. You're a far better person than me if you can get past this and forge any kind of relationship with them in the future. Sounds like you've got some great friends and your DH is a good 'un. They're your 'family' flowers.

Buzzardbird Mon 22-Feb-16 15:19:45

I feel your pain, I have just had 2 operations and didn't even get an offer of watching children. Nothing. Thank God for my wonderful friends.

I'm pretty sure the rest of the family will have heard about how this affected her too.

I try not to miss what I obviously didn't have.

I hope you are on the road to recovery. flowers

DrGoogleWillSeeYouNow Mon 22-Feb-16 15:20:25

Really Tigger? The last her parents heard from the OP/her DH was that she had developed a very serious potentially life threatening complication, and was very very seriously ill in hospital and they've not once been in touch since because they're not sure if the OP can read a text and they want to keep her DH's phone line free. Okaaaaayyy confused.

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 22-Feb-16 15:21:34

That's not what I said, Rosa. I said that they may assume the DH would want to keep his line free in case of calls from the hospital.
I would have been there, but I'm just offering an alternative view of why they didn't ring at the time.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 15:26:23

So why didn't they babysit the girls when they were begged to?

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 15:26:45

That was to Tigger.

ImperialBlether Mon 22-Feb-16 15:28:27

OP, how does she have news about you now? From your sister or from Facebook? I wouldn't have her on FB if I were you; it's a cheap way for her of finding out what's going on.

I think it's unforgiveable, frankly. Your parents have let you down, your husband down and their grandchildren down. I wouldn't want anything more to do with them.

Tiggeryoubastard Mon 22-Feb-16 15:34:23

I don't know. I'm not them. I was just offering an alernative viewpoint as when my son was once rushed into hospital we asked people not to keep ringing the housephone in case I needed to ring dh, who was home with the others (pre mobile).

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:36:44

Thank you all for every point of view posted here. At least I know it is not me being unreasonable and expecting too much (In my heart of heart I know this is not the case) but given I have been on morphine etc for a while, I wanted to sound out others that were completely neutral...maybe there IS something I haven't considered...

Trigger thank you for providing a counter post, it is important to me to try and think WHY this has happened...but I think a text or a card would not have been too much to ask these last few months. You are completely right I could not have replied to any texts or answered a call during that crucial 48 hours, but my dh would have longed for some help and some support in those dark hours that were horrendous for him, and since...why not then? It doesn't explain the huge silence since. I value your post, because any reason is worth considering.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:39:40

Drgoogle thank you for your post and your support. I don't think you know how much it means to me. I feel really fragile at the moment, and knowing that others would not put up with this either makes me feel better.
My dh says exactly your words, WE are your family and you don't need anything or anyone else, and I know just what he means but it still hurts as much as I try not to let it get to me. It does anyway. I loved my parents very much, but this is too much even for me.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:44:14

Imperial, I am not on FB thank goodness I am terrible with all things technical. The only access my parents have to info is via my sister whom has sworn to me she will not talk to them about me under any circumstances. I do trust my sister to keep her word. Initially I believe they were finding out from her (Why not just call us!! I don't get it) but once i was out of the woods and she stopped talking, now they have no idea what is going on, and don't appear to care very much. My sister is at a complete loss as to why this has happened but does remind me that they were never that great to begin with ...she wonders if my parents are having some kind of joint breakdown, but I think she is just making excuses to be honest.

Allgunsblazing Mon 22-Feb-16 15:45:10

I am a mother. How, just how can you not go and see your child after a big op? Hell, you'd do it for a friend, nevermind one's child.
Nah. OP, I would be civil but not initiate any contact.

snowflake25 Mon 22-Feb-16 15:48:32

Buzzard, this has happened to you too.
You know the pain.
It is horrible.
I am so sorry this happened to you as well. It is even worse if they didn't even offer to look after your dc. It makes you feel vulnerable to always ask friends, when family really should be there for you, do you feel that?

How are you now? Are you getting better?
It has to be the hardest thing being a parent with young children with serious medical issues, it is downright frightening at times.

It feels like a carving knife when I see grandparents with their grandchildren clearly adoring their time together, and loving those little ones so much. I don't feel I have ever had that either, but I do miss it, more than anything I would LOVE that for my little ones.

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