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"But we took you to Statley Homes" Dysfunctional Families Thread

(819 Posts)
Snowdropfairy Thu 31-Mar-11 14:04:18

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
November 2010

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 13:39:52

Hi again, do you mind if I butt in quickly here? I need to tell someone, and there isn't anybody else. I've just realised my father purposely tried to kill me - that means he probably tried at other times, too, but this one incident has just come together in my mind. After a playground accident when I was about nine, the school sent me home (by myself!) with a bump on my head that was so big I could see it by looking up; I'd been unconscious for about 15 minutes, as far as I know.

My dad came into my room to find out what had happened. I didn't know, obv, so he banged my head against the wall - hard, several times. This was masked as frustration, which is bad enough. But he was in the services; his knowledge of injuries was extensive. I think he wanted to see if it would kill me.

My mother claims to have no knowledge of the incident, even though she was standing outside my door with a cup of tea angry

No fucking wonder I have self-worth issues, is it? angry angry

kaosandkisses Mon 09-May-11 13:39:59

Hips- I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for your mother to help you. Bs king off and getting on with your life is the only way if she's really toxic.
I've got to a place where I know how to have a rship with my mum based mostly on her rship with my kids (she's good with them), we also have q a good text rship! We just don't do well in the same room together! I've not bothered going over old stuff with her as I don't think it'll help. I suspect your mother would either deny or blame so really how would that serve you? Protect yourself. Good luck.

Hips- I think I've read that thread and I'll go double check now. Thank you.

CatTiger - I have had counselling but haven't ever raised the brother stuff. Have talked about my mum & feeling like I'm stunted by her and that did help get me to a place where I realised I don't have to feel guilty ALL THE TIME about her. I will look into going again though as I think I'm in a weird place which is really effecting my marriage. DH is a wonderful guy and yet I'm feeling bitchy all the time.

Have I missed anyone out? I don't want to hijack this thread. I hope you're all ok today x

kaosandkisses Mon 09-May-11 13:42:33

Garlic we posted at the same time. I'm flabbergasted at what happened to you. Are memories popping up randomly for you? Do you have space to deal with this stuff? I'm so sorry that happened. X

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 13:46:57

Thanks smile Have done a lot of therapy but much of my past is a blank, so the dots don't often join up! Was listening to something on the radio about head injuries, and suddenly realised what he was doing. He's dead now, fortunately.

I'll try and catch up with your posts once I've stomped around for a bit, resloving my feelings wink

kaosandkisses Mon 09-May-11 13:52:35

Please don't worry about my shit right now, I'm here to listen to you if u need an ear. I'm fine. I didn't have that in my childhood. Shit, that makes me fucking cry that he could do that to you. Do you think his military experiences caused his abusive behaviour or was he born a nutcase? I'm sorry you didn't have a proper father x

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 14:16:47

Nice of you, kaos, but fgs don't come over all "mine wasn't that bad!" The shit leaves the damage, whatever it smells of ...

His own childhood was peppered with horrors & deceit. He told me some of it when we were both much older; that is, if what he told me was true - he didn't tell anybody else those stories. My sister was very close to our paternal GM, and we've managed to add up enough of their tales to guess he was telling the truth. He was a psychopath - my amateur diagnosis but, the more Mum tells me about him, the firmer it becomes. She's bananas, too.

Some people join the uniformed services for the opportunity to inflict suffering.

Right! Am going to hammer some stuff into walls! grin

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 14:29:18

Oh Garlic, that's horrific.

If there can be an upside, it's that you are in a place now where your subconcious KNOWS that you can deal with this now.

Hammer away!

kaosandkisses Mon 09-May-11 14:31:11

And if I may:-
STOP! Hammertime.

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 14:35:06

There are no "worse than's" here Kaos, because everyone is at a different stage. EVERYONE, thinks that their stuff isn't as bad when they first post here, absolutely everyone. It's part of the damage.

It is that bad/ was that bad, for all of us. We didn't deserve any of it.

There's a lot of stuff that starts to emerge when the mind is ready. It's so hard.

Will do a proper catch up.

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 14:58:10

How lovely to hear from you, thisis smile Hope you will do a catchup!

Just as I hit post, a massive thunderstorm broke out right overhead. It went dark & pelted hail. I felt like a character in a psychological thriller! (And found out my conservatory leaks.)

kaosandkisses Mon 09-May-11 15:29:22

Be interested to know how you stop yourselves becoming toxic towards your own kids. I think I'm a pretty good mum but find myself raging at times (my mum did that) and think Jesus get a grip. I'm trying hard to be consistent but often go to bed feeling guilty.
Love the image of the thunderstorm.
Note that I'm ignoring the advice to not trivialise my stuff.....!

HerHissyness Mon 09-May-11 15:43:29

<hugs garlic>

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 16:19:40

Hips, I am NC with all my family. In my case I don't believe that there would be any point whatsoever in explaining. The facts, as they see them, are that they are perfect and I am evil and I have conned therapists, doctors and social workers, because I am evil and fool people like that.

It would be like trying to explain to Colonel Gaddafi that he might, just might, be handling things in not perhaps the best way possible. They are loonies, but dangerous ones, and I am now more important, as is my own personal road to recovering my personality and self worth. I don't want to be the underfed loveless little urchin, hiding from the world anymore.

I think that that journey is the key to the parenting thing too Kaos. As I discovered and reparented my own lost child, I developed much greater empathy and patience for my dc's.

I am dealing with HUUUUUUUUUUGE abandonement issues, but doing it well, I am keeping track of every single trigger and working it out logically, and loving myself through each one. I am allowed to be very angry, and I am allowed to cry. I am allowed to feel. 'Cos I'm in charge of me now.

DH's therapist is ace, he is getting more assertive, more supportive, more loving, and patient too. Because we both understand, and have strategies inplace in real time. It's been dead hard, but it's working.

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 16:20:53 ARE a charachter in a psychological thriller, trouble is, we can't turn it off and go away can we?


garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 17:14:52

Kaos, there's a bit near the beginning of Bradshaw's "Homecoming" where he asks you to observe small children - how full of trust, wonder and naivete they are. Following his advice, I went around looking at kids from this point of view - how lovely, innocent and fragile they are. I smiled at them, laughed when they did funny things, shared their wonder and made sure I was worth their trust (I also comforted a few grizzling sprogs, whose parents were being unsympathetic - luckily, nobody smacked me one!)

Because we weren't given this softness when we were little, we expect children to be tougher & more grown-up than they are. Practising the new eyes & open heart with children, now we are adults, helps to put it back in us smile

The next bit (the long, hard part) is learning to treat your own childhood self that way. It's worth it: the rage ends. When I 'rage' these days, it's deliberate - I'm in control, because there's nothing more to fear from myself. That looks a bit weirdy, sorry! Somebody else can probably explain it better <looks hopeful>.

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 18:08:12

Garlic, you put that beautifully. smile

The John Bradshaw book has opened my eyes to "The Wonderchild". Children are ace, they just do what moves them, they sing, or make strange noises, they laugh at everything, they are curious about everything, they are a bit like the Paul Whitehouse character that says...."i'nt life brilliant" .

That's what got abused, battered, humiliated and neglected out of us, 'till we didn't know who we were anymore, and didn't know we were allowed to be amazed by the world. Because we were too busy hiding and protecting ourselves from the fear and hurt.

Since DH has been in therapy, he has started to notice the world, being entranced by a barn owl we saw, amazed by the way a fox was moving through a field, he's even growing stuff from seed!!!!!!!!! Sometimes there are flashes of this wonderchild in the adults around us too.

I use the phrase, "soft and gentle" a lot with my dc's vecause that how we should be with each other. People matter, they are valuable and precious, and should be treated as such.

As I have done with my family, we, as adults, have the freedom to walk away from those who do not treat us well, and play with those who are fun and make us feel nice.

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 19:28:28

thisis, I remember you being all excited about purple grin ... so I thought I'd tell you I've just bought loads of turquoise paint and turquoise clothes! It reminds me of sea and sky.

It won't suit me, I'm too shapeless for such a 'hard' colour. But what the hell, it makes me feel happy.

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 19:35:06

sorry, I meant to tell you how MASSIVELY impressed & inspired I am by you and DH making this 'voyage' together. I didn't think you could do it ... am very happy to be wrong smile x

thisishowifeel Mon 09-May-11 20:10:02

My front room is really quite purple now, so I can spill my shiraz and no one will know smile My bedroom is varying shades of purple too.

I think you will look completely beautiful, I always think of sea and sky colours as being fluid and soft. And anyway, happiness can wear any colour. smile smile

I am amazed by what we have achieved. I never thought of myself as a lucky person, but I think that the therapists we have had individually have been amazing, and that is our luck!. I think that discovering boundaries, and forcing him to face his truth, (or lose this family) have been stunningly difficult. It still is, we are so very hurt, but we love each other very, very much indeed, so the motivation is there.

I read on here about people not being able to change. Brenda asked me if I thought that I had changed, and I had, so I said yes. But I had the balls to draw the line and mean it. I was totally prepared to go it alone. He knew that.

He sent me an email which finally told the truth, and it wasn't pretty, and it all made perfect sense. It answered all the stuff I couldn't understand.

I think he was very vulnerable and needy, and subsequently caught a HUUUUUGE dose of fleas from my "mother". She is so manipulative, he must have wondered which way was up. He just wanted to belong to a family. I think we all identify with that desperate longing, so do I! But not that one, not now I am princess Bluebell. smile

I am totally aware that we are an exception to the rule, and that it may all go horribly wrong, but there is a warmth and genuine love that I have never experienced ever in my life, and that means from me too, if that makes sense. We have so much more in common than we ever knew.....funny how people can recognise this on such a subliminal level, it's astonishing!

garlicbutter Mon 09-May-11 22:04:39

Yeah, I think our common damage was what brought me together with my exes - the "mystery connection", you know? I also think those relationships were abusive because of refusal to acknowledge what was going on underneath the attraction. I'm not blameless, but they were in complete denial about the truth of their families. I used to joke about it - and so did our friends: it is amazing what people pick up unconsciously!

I still maintain that the most valuable gift of therapy is learning to HEAR what people are saying (and what we ourselves say).

Never thought about the red wine spills! Brilliant move grin

thisishowifeel Wed 11-May-11 23:00:33

I am feeling very. very bad and scared.

I am feeling very abandoned. H working away and not answering texts or calls this evening. I am sooo very frightened. It may be that he is asleep, or that he is out partying and getting off with better women than me, and laughing at me with his nasty friends/colleagues whatever they are.

He has pretended to be having a shit time....but I know he's having a's the lying. I've left a message telling him not to bother coming home.

Please will someone hold me up?

ManicPanic Wed 11-May-11 23:08:26

Sorry to hear that thisis

Take a deep breath and tell yourself 'It's okay'

thisishowifeel Wed 11-May-11 23:10:33

But it's not ok...I feel horrid I'm falling and I don't know if or when I'm going to land.

I'm triggered left right and fucking centre.

Thankyou Manic

ManicPanic Wed 11-May-11 23:42:58

It is okay. You feel bad as you are being triggered, not because there is a real risk or threat to you (in the flight or fight sense)

It will be okay
If he is an arse, you will be glad to see the back of him in time
If not then he will have a decent explanation and will comfort you

It may be helpful for you to put both of your feet on the ground, imagine all the solid rock beneath your feet, miles and miles and miles of it, cool and safe, right down into the centre of the earth, solid and dependable and always there, and you can feel your connection with it anytime just by putting your feet on the ground wherever you are. This really helps me when I am bricking it but I am a bit of a lentil weaver in some ways.

Deep breaths and put the kettle on

thisishowifeel Thu 12-May-11 06:06:57

thank you manic.

He's made out he's having a crap time to make me feel better, but it doesn't work, because I know it's not true.

What little sleep I did get was full of naghtmares of my family destroying my life and laughing at me

Is there ever going to be an end to this?

LittleBlueBoat Thu 12-May-11 07:39:56

Thisishowifeel ((((hugs))))

Did he txt you back yet?

I'm here if you want to talk

LittleBlueBoat Thu 12-May-11 07:47:44

Garlic i'm sorry your Father tried to hurt/kill you.

My mum tried to drowned me in the sea and neglected me and i fell throw the banisters to the hall floor and she scolded me on a kettle and the fire. I have to think she had PND to be ok, its just as likly that she was angry/raging and took it out on me as i was there and may be she thought it was my fault!

I will never ask her so i will never know.

Thisishowifeel i too any evil, deluded and nasty if i believe what my exfamily tell me. Luckly i'm a logical person and relised i'm not that bad.

After i confronted my mum over ss involved due to my xbrother hitting me, she called me a lier and that i was making it up. They will never accespt responisbility.

thisishowifeel Thu 12-May-11 07:56:25

He was asleep and only got them this morning. So now I feel double crap.

I really want to get some help for this ptsd and abandonement stuff. It's the fact that it's all gone now, that my subconscious is starting to let it out. But it's too hard on my own. sad

That free falling feeling is utterly terrifying.

Thanks for the solid ground reminder really helped. When you're in the middle of a freefall, ploughing through Pete Walker isn't very realistic. sad

Hello LBB thanks for the hugs, I'm sorry your family are so horrible to you.

LittleBlueBoat Thu 12-May-11 08:22:50

Thisishowifeel thanks but its ok they are all twats - i'm not and i will be ok.

I used to feel the freefalling every time i felt unsure of my DH love for me or when i thought that our relationship was threatened. Most of it was in my head and i had trouble seeing it for what it was. The anti-depressents help me to think logicaly about it now so its a bit better. There are still times when i get very worked up about things and most of the time its not his fault confused

DH is very patient with me at times and always reasures me but i have explained where it comes from, i think he can see how messed up my xfamily has made me and knows i need extra reassurance all the time grin

LittleBlueBoat Thu 12-May-11 08:30:44

I'm not ok and i'm not a great person. Yeasterday my 2yo was playing up and i pushed him away and he went back and ploped on his bum and cryied. I instandly felt bad and hugged him said sorry but thats what my mum did to me.

Its not a pearenting technque i want to ever use again. Mayby i'm no better than my xmum?

HelloOutThere Thu 12-May-11 08:37:53

You hugged and said sorry, that says it all. Dont beat yourself up about things he wont even remember 5 mins later because you put it right as soon as you could xx

RubberDuck Thu 12-May-11 09:14:18

Saying sorry is hugely important and is what makes you different. Being able to analyze and aware of your parenting, what's good and healthy and what isn't is hugely important and is what makes you different. Being able to listen to feedback from your children (at 2 years old = crying), assess whether it's fair and change accordingly is hugely important and is what makes you different.

You don't have to be a perfect mother, you can be a good enough mother. You are not your mother.

thisishowifeel Thu 12-May-11 09:37:11

I have booked myself in for some more therapy in the morning.

ChiddelyPie Thu 12-May-11 09:54:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

MizzyWizzyDizzy Thu 12-May-11 13:05:39

Arrrghhh! This too shall pass...

...but for now...I have just well and truly had my buttons pushed.

Received a birthday card from parents, for one of my DC's.

After the last birthday card episode have learnt to open them before exposing kids to the 'messages' inside.

Now, the latest card has an even stronger guilt trip inside than the others... it says nothing at all about missing the DC or wanting to spend time with them. It says a lot about me preventing contact between GP's and GC' your mother is being very nasty by not bringing you to visit us. There is no mention of them getting off their arses to come and see DC or meeting in a halfway neutral place, it's all about me not running about like a blue arse twat trying to keep them happy.

The DC involved is coming up to their teen years.

All DC's know I am no contact and in an age appropriate way, why I am no contact. They know I did not send a mothers day card this year, first year ever - and that I have no intention of seeing my parents again - ever.

My DC's do not have a close relationship with their GP's but they do know who they are and had what you would call a 'chit chat' relationship with them. I have never left GP's and DC's alone together so am sure the relationship is just in depth convo's to be had.

I can't send the card back, I have no address for my parents. If I bin it without showing DC then I am doing the same as my parents did with me when they fell out with relatives ie DC will wonder what he did wrong to not get a card. (Tbh I wish they hadn't sent the damned card would be easier to deal with than this guff!) Also, if I bin the card....I will know I am lying to my DC when I say there wasn't a card and I don't think I can out and out lie to them...if I tell them there was a card and I binned it they will ask what was on it and can they see for themselves. confused

I think my best option is to show my DC the card and encourage discussion about what is inside it, before their actual birthday...therefore ensuring their actual birthday will be a happy day and not one of emotional guilt tripping.

How would you handle this guys??

PS...When my sis' did this crap during my first year of NC, I sent the cards back, the kids were 5 years younger then so it easier to gloss over the lack of cards, not got that option this time really.....I don't think??

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 12-May-11 13:43:38


The card will only have as much power as you allow it to have. I would ignore the thing actually and shred it. It was sent to spite you, for having the gall in their eyes to stand up to these people finally. Going through the children to get back at their child is a standard tactic employed by such toxic people. If you have not already done so read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward.

Ignore, ignore, ignore such nonsense.

Re your comment:-
"If I bin it without showing DC then I am doing the same as my parents did with me when they fell out with relatives ie DC will wonder what he did wrong to not get a card.

I think that worry of yours is completely unfounded actually

(Tbh I wish they hadn't sent the damned card would be easier to deal with than this guff!)


"Also, if I bin the card....I will know I am lying to my DC when I say there wasn't a card and I don't think I can out and out lie to them...if I tell them there was a card and I binned it they will ask what was on it and can they see for themselves".

Don't just bin it, shred it!. I'd be more than happy to shred such a thing, how dare your parents pull such a stunt in the first place. Toxic parents more often than not become toxic grandparents as well. I'd be bloody cross with the pair of them, how dare they try and involve your children in such a way. They don't really give a monkeys about their grandchildren either if they write such toxic stuff in a birthday card.

Do you think your DC in question would actually wonder why there is no card from your parents given the sort of relationship they have?. Coming up to the teen years this young person hardly has any sort of relationship with their toxic grandparents (thankfully), why should this child be subjected to their innane toxic witterings?.

MizzyWizzyDizzy Thu 12-May-11 14:08:05

Attila...I have read 'Toxic Parents' was very good and applicable to me...but didn't offer coping strategies for times like this...very good as a validation tool though.

Now you have said it, I do realise what the sensible choice is - and that is to shred.

I was shaking with anger at the thought of my parents feeling as though they have the absolute right to use my DC's in such a just proves they have no caring for my DC's as they could have messed up his birthday, on purpose, just to make their point and have a pop at me.

I then made a few phone calls to some supportive friends and have come to the conclusion all this episode has really done is show that there is and never will be any change in their toxicity.

Actually, the reference you make to my DC wondering about not getting a card is a good one....I have already warned him that GP's may not send a card due to punishing me because I won't do as I am told any no card perhaps wouldn't be a great surprise...maybe it got lost in the post?? GP's have already stopped sending the monetary gifts as not sending a card is a natural progression I suppose.

I think I feel the need to show DC the card so that he can understand how they 'play the game' thus allowing him to protect himself in the future.

I am so very, very sacred my DC's will end being as screwy as me if they get involved with my children are ill equipped to deal with this type of nonsense...gawd even I feel ill equipped at the mo and I have over 40 years of experience to draw on!

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 12-May-11 15:08:44


Many children now adults of toxic parents have FOG (fear, obligation, guilt). Any one or a combination of all three may be still with you. You will not end up like your parents because you have what they have never had - insight and proper empathy. Your parents are an abject example of how not to behave; would continue to surround yourself and your family with emotionally healthy people.

You're doing great; do not let this card derail any your progress made. Do not give it that power.

Shred it, you'll feel a lot better for doing so. Would do exactly the same with any other cards you receive from them.

It is entirely up to you but I would think twice about showing your son this card. You're already said to him that there may not be a card anyway. He may not even wonder why there is no card from them anyway given the way you have been treated by them. The card after all was not sent with him in mind, it was sent by them to get back at you for "disobeying" them and going no contact. You want no further relationship with them at all; they are even trying to get around that by going through the children. They don't give a monkeys about their grandson; if they truly did they would not have written such things in it.

I hope he and you enjoy his birthday. Don't let this card guilt trip you or trip you up. Its a trap.

droves Thu 12-May-11 16:41:05

Shred the card .

Sending a toxic message to the dc when they are a teen <teens are all over the place anyway> , is an especially vile thing to do imo.

The teenager , as a species can be be a stroppy hormonal creature anyway , and is best delt with by means of kind words and can be lured from bedroom almost always with food or money.

The attempted poisioning of their fragile hormonal minds is horrid thing to do. It will stay with them into adulthood. Keep that vile message from them at all cost. The last thing you would want is your DC to become the "mouthpiece" for the toxics .Which is of course the point of the toxics writing the vile mesage in the first place...sort of brainwashing by post ?.

The first time you parent your teen with disapline (grounding for naughtyness or refusing to let them go to an all night party ect) you would be finding the teen REPEATING THE TOXIC VILENESS. This would really hurt you...but DC wouldnt really know what they have said iykwim?.
The result would be the same though ...the toxics would still be able to "get at" you by using your child as their weapon.

How dare they !!! angry .

IMO it is always better to have the dc go NC with you . After all look at how badly they have treated you , and whats to stop them doing the same to the dc ? Or from using them to get at you. sad

MizzyWizzyDizzy Thu 12-May-11 16:44:21

grin Thank you Attila for being my voice of reason today.

I think you are right with your FOGiness comment.

Me at the minute...

I am fearful of my parents on really base level - scared they will knock the door and enforce a confrontation - and fear of them twisting my DC's against me as they have with the rest of the family, both lately and in times past. I also feel guilty at depriving my son of what should be a nice birthday card.

Yes, I know this is not my guilt to carry, it is theirs, they have done this, not me - but I was well trained. wink

The reality is the card is nasty, mean, vindictive and designed to cause nothing but angst within my chosen family. The fear I feel is again them pushing me to assume an instinctive hyper vigilant protection mode both towards myself and my children...again they taught me well.

As for obligation.......this does NOT apply.

So what have I done with the card...faff all!

I am going to sit on it and chat to DH later as he is also involved...but ultimately I will make the decision.

After I have decided what to do...then either way the card is getting shredded/burnt. I don't want to waste any more time on this than absolutely necessary...I just need to feel sure that which ever choice I make is done with clear, logical, now thinking...and not made through my foggy eyes of the past.

Thanks again Attila. x


Just had hypothetical convo' with all DC's at once - bit of a family discussion - about what they would like me to do with any birthday cards if received any...they said...

They all want me to 'vet' the cards.

If the card is OK (no comments) give it to them.

If the card has comments...put it in the burning pile...hide it away so they can't see it.

but...they all want to know if they have a card.

They all also said if the card had any money in it to tell them...but to put it towards a cinema trip or takeaway for everyone to share.

Still dunno what I am going to do...but more food for thought.

droves Thu 12-May-11 16:46:01

Actually i recomend shredding anypost that has taletale postmarks/handwriting . If you "know" its from them , dont even give them the respect of opening it.

Then you wont feel guilty for stopping cards ect.
You will simply have shreadded junk mail .

Thats all it is really ...just junk.

MizzyWizzyDizzy Thu 12-May-11 16:50:59

X posted droves....thank you for your input too....I feel a unanimous shredding is the order of the day!

This is our first year of complete NC with my parents.....the first year is always the hardest I think...once the 'rules' of engagement are set then they are easy to follow...sorting out the 'rules' is a bloomin' minefield at first though.

Been through this with my sister, it just seemed so much more straightforward with her than my parents.

MyHipsHurt Thu 12-May-11 17:15:31

Just wanted to say MWD that's a lovely gesture from your DC of wanting everyone to share the money and have a treat smile I would be very proud of my kids if they'd said that. I would also be comforted by their reaction to the question as well, that's a great response from all of them.

BTW I'd definitely shred it without a second thought.

Bear1984 Thu 12-May-11 20:55:46

Hope you don't mind me posting. I posted a thread a while ago and I had put a post on here linking to that here.

Since telling my mum what she has done to piss me off, I have had very little contact with her. She kept trying to get in touch with me asking what was wrong, what had she done, blah blah blah, all of which I had already told her, but as always, she never acknowledged it at the time.

My DD had her Holy Communion. I didn't stop my mum and sister from coming (I have cut all contact with my sister) as I had already invited her before I had a go at her and DD knew she was coming, so figured I'd see her maximum 20 minutes. Well I was wrong. They ended up sitting next to us because the staff pointed them in our direction, then mum tagged along to lunch, and drove me bloody mad! She kept hugging me and burst into tears as well. She always hugs me thinking that's what will make things better. Nope not at all.

Sorry, starting to get angry just typing this out. She then contacted me again saying she wanted to have DD this weekend and to call and speak to her. I said no.

I know in her head, that because I was nice to her at DD's HC, that things are okay, but I wasn't going to cause a scene at my DD's HC! I'm just annoyed now, and know I have to retell her I'm angry at her and I don't want her involved in any of our lives!

MizzyWizzyDizzy Fri 13-May-11 17:56:39

Ok update time...

I discussed the card with DH and showed it to him....after he'd finished eff and jeffing all over the place, about the nerve of them trying to spoil his sons birthday, the audacity of them trying to turn his DC's against their own mother and his effing wife (<--- that's me!), he was of the opinion that under no circumstances should the DC see the card.


He also didn't think it was right to lie and say there was no card as it could come back and bite us on the bum later (if they were younger and had never had contact with GP's it would be different), but if the DC's realise we had lied to them sometime in the future, it could affect our whole relationship.

DH said it would be a good idea to keep the card as proof of what went on should the DC's want contact with the GP's later. I thought this was a good idea also, as it won't be long before my DC's are classed as adults and able to make contact with GP's if they so choose. Forewarned is forearmed so to speak.


Whilst chit chatting in the kitchen about what birthday DC was getting or not for his birthday, the time was right to approach the card issue. I ended up basically doing what the DC's suggested during our discussion last night.

I have told birthday boy there was a card but due to the comments in it, it has been put away, but should they ever doubt what went on in years to come, then they will be free to read it when they are ready.

The response was...."Ok Mum....who's first on the Wii ?"...and they ran off to the lounge bickering as usual!

All that angst from me and they couldn't give a flying fig! grin

Any further cards will be dealt with like this from now on....tbh I have a feeling next year my parents will stop trying...they are too proud to keep this up for long, especially when not getting an ego feeding reply.

Any post direct from them to myself or DH will remain unopened and be burnt.

The landline number was changed last night by DH (he's had enough) - caller ID though useful didn't actually stop the calls - and mobile numbers all changed today ...none of my family now have any telephone contact numbers for any of us.

So here we are...ready for birthday celebrations and happy as Larry....have a good weekend everyone. grin

RubberDuck Fri 13-May-11 18:27:36

You handled that so well, Mizzy. I'm really impressed smile I'm taking notes, because while my mother is a) abroad and b) in a nice cycle, I'm expecting an almighty row when she realises it hasn't worked to get me back to towing the line.

Really not sure how to handle correspondence (particularly email) aimed at the kids, but I think the idea of filing it for future reference is a very good one.

legallyblond Fri 13-May-11 19:10:26

Hi all

I hope you don't ming me posting here.

I posted on an earlier version of this thread about a year ago as I was pregnant with DD (now 7 months - she is WONDERFUL!!!) and wanted to ask your advice about contact with her grandfather, my DH's father.

I expect most people have changed but I think some of you who responded so kindly and helpfully last time are still here, so I thought I'd update.

DH's father was sexually abusive towards DH and DH's sisters. DH recognises and acknowledges this but the rest of the family turned and continue to turn a blind eye. The abuse was not anything as full on as sex, but involved touching inappropriately and DH generally had a feeling of the sexual and something being very wrong (and accordingly, being very frightened) from a tiny, tiny age (e.g. frightened to share a bed with his dad age 6 in case his dad took his pants off....). DH's mum (parents now divorced) continues to say that DH is mistaken about all this and his sisters both say "its not that big a deal... ". Dh thinks it is but has continued to have a relationship with his dad.

Anyway, while I was pregnant, we were in a real quandry as to whether DH's father should be allowed any pysical contact at all with the baby.

You wise ladies pretty much all said that no physical contact was a good idea and, ideally, no contact at all. At the time, DH and I both felt this was too "cruel".

So, cut to now.... you were all totally right and thank you so much for your wise words! Deaf-ish ears at the time but really, thank you.

We allowed DH's father to visit and hold DD when she was a few days old. DH felt so uncomfortable about it and felt that his father was not being appropriate etc, that we have since decided that his father should have no contact at all with DD. This has been confirmed by the fact that DH has now experienced fatherhood and as a result cannot beleive that his father should have acted the way he did. DH experiencing healthy fatherhood has confirmed to him how unhealthy his father was! DH's father reacted in an extraordinary way to DH's decision - he tried to be sexually inappropriate with DH again!!! DH is 29!!! As a result, DH has decided that he would like no further contact with his father as he feels that the constant anxiety about his father's reaction to not being allowed to see DD is, in fact, another way that his father is able to have control over him.

So..... in short. Thank you all and you were right... it just took us (DH in particular) a while to get there!!!

MizzyWizzyDizzy Fri 13-May-11 19:42:33

Thanks for your support.* RubberDuck*...only time will tell if I've got it right....but I hope I have. x

Hi MyHipsHurt...tbh I am proud of my DC's...but when they stay stuff - like sharing the money - I puff up looking fit to burst! blush

Glad your family were able to achieve the no contact you wanted legallyblond...under your circumstances I would think it a particularly huge relief.

Oh a PS to the update...

DH has hidden the card...I have no idea where it is and I know no amount of pleading from me will get him to give it to me for 'brooding' purposes - so for all intense and purpose it is gone for good.

PPS I couldn't shred...I have no shredder...we are once a year incinerators in our house. wink

LittleBlueBoat Sat 14-May-11 12:01:30

MWD I'm really impressed with the way you handled that as a family.

Legallyblond i'm glad you have found a solution that works for you smile

My brother is 6 years older than me and he used to beat me up and throw my friends out of our house and all manner of horrible things to me when I was growing up. It got so bad that ss got involved and my dad had to tell him that he would throw my xbrother out of the house if it carried on as he did not want sis involved with our family and that my xbrother was 18 and was a man and should act like it. We have never got on. We have not talked for over 10 years. He will not talk to my husband as he is disabled and he has ignored my son and he does not want anything to do with my family. I just don’t want to know him or his family as well.

Last night my sister called me about my xbrother and his wife. Last week they had their first child: a boy called Evan. His Wife has PND and the doctor came out to see her and my sister told me that his wife has not stopped crying all week and that she was having trouble breastfeeding. His wife is 7 years younger than him. My sister wanted me to call her as she is younger than me, I have breastfeed for 2 years and I also have PND. She thinks it would be better if I talked to her as I’m closer to her age and she is struggling.

I said no I will not do that and I do not want anything to do with them and I will never see their child and that I do not consider them my family and I do not have to help her.

When I was ill and going through hell my xbrother and his wife were laughing at me to the rest of the family and was like serve you right for having a baby with a disabled man angry. They did not want to help me and were mean about it.

Now they are going through the same thing it’s not so funny anymore and I could help his wife but I will not as they do not deserve my help. If it was a strange I would help straight away but not them. I feel mean now for feeling like that. Today is my 4th wedding anniversary and I should be happy but instead I feel like the evil, mean person my xfamily think I am.

droves Sun 15-May-11 11:57:39

littleblueboat . :-) Firstly you are not evil ,mean person.

You have been hurt and let down by these people and as a result do not want any contact with them.
There is nothing wrong with wanting to protect yourself from further pain.

Toxics never quite get what theyve done until it happens to them.

Its called KARMA !.

Cant help but notice the timing of the contact hmm
<trying to ruin your mood , i suspect>

Stick the fingers to them and enjoy your wedding anniversary !
congratulations on being married 4 years ! hope you and mr lbb have a nice time today ! .

MyHipsHurt Sun 15-May-11 15:43:35

LBB, you do not owe your xbrother or wife anything. You are not responsible for her having problems. It is not for you to solve and it is certainly not your responsibility. You said exactly the right thing. There is other help out there that she can access - that's what health visitors are for.

Unfortunately this is the way that toxic families work, they are only interested when it's about them.

You are feeling bad about this because you are a nice person, but please try not to think about them anymore; you cut them out of your life for very very good reasons, which I totally understand. You are not there to be picked up and put down when it suits them, you are worth far more than that.

Hope you had a great anniversary and look forward to the future with your own little family - the one that actually matters. Stay strong.

LittleBlueBoat Sun 15-May-11 19:06:22

Thanks for the replies.

I was scared to look on here as i thought everyone would say that i was being mean and i should help. I felt so bad writing my other post.

They just mess so much with my head that i dont know which way is up sometimes.

Thank you for the support

Also yep i had a good day even if i did feel crapy about this grin

Also think its great timing hmm

MizzyWizzyDizzy Tue 17-May-11 17:15:24

Hi Guys...I hope everyone is doing Ok. x

I'm just posting to say Thank You all those I have spoken to and all those who posted before us. I have read all the Stately Homes threads and the posters before me have had just as much impact as the ones I have spoken are a genuinely fab' bunch of ladies.

It seems it's time for me to get on with the next part of my life...I think I may be 'done' with it all. Yay!

I had no phone calls or texts over the birthday weekend...but did get caught out by an email....and calmly pushed the delete button without a second angst, no guilt just a sigh at them still trying to 'poke' a reaction from me. Then set up the email to delete any future emails without me ever seeing anything.

My Uncle also showed his support for me by surprise visiting on my DC's birthday. I think he stepped in to make up for my parents 'card'...he made my DC's birthday complete. As for showed me more validation than any words could achieve. I needed someone close to it all to believe my 'story' be my friend and he was there, unasked and so very much appreciated.

I think this is a good as it gets for me, I really don't think I care about my FOO any longer, I don't hate or love them, they just were an event that is now over - I think I have finally emotionally detached completely.

It's an odd feeling not having any parents or siblings as such, but not one I dislike at all - it feels very calm somehow.

I now regard myself as totally separate from them and I like it....the email I think was my personal defining moment of me realising that I am only effected by them if I allow myself to be.

I am in control of me and they can only influence me if I allow them to...if I don't allow it they can't hurt me any more.

So for now I shall be withdrawing from this thread and am going to grab my life with both hands...whether it be good or will be all mine of my own making.

No doubt I will have blips...but am hoping I am finally strong enough to deal with them and hopefully move on as quickly as the blips came.

Good Luck to you all. xx

LittleBlueBoat Tue 17-May-11 20:16:05

Good luck and best wishes for the future xx

bumblemuff Wed 18-May-11 19:01:26

Hello, I am brand new and was so pleased to have found this thread! I haven't ever been sexually or physically abused, but I think my mum manipulates me and puts her own issues on to me. She can have a very viscious tongue (which she hides from my dad) and dad will support her all the way. She is currently not speaking to me (last two weeks) because I stood up to her 'poor me-ness'. My parents had arranged a holiday and me and my brother were going to take them and pick them up. I spoke outloud that maybe my kids couldn't stay as it was term time, but yes go ahead and book and we will arrange the favour. Apparently doing a 'favour' was the wrong word and I have hurt them. I am fed up with the knowledge that they are retired and hang on to every word my brother and i say. I have told them i am on anti-depressants and don't need the aggro, but apparently mum doesn't want to make up with me, but for the sake of my children. Sorry, I realise I'm not making much sense but they haven't contacted me in two weeks and my heart is breaking... but my head is saying this emotional blackmail needs to stop! Any advice very welcomed x

sungirltan Thu 19-May-11 18:39:41

hey all - i dip in and out of the bwtytsh thread but not been around for a while. posting my dilemma here as advised to on my own thread and looking for perspectives please x

i have been estranged from my dad for 3 years (this time). i find his behaviour past and present unacceptable and i decided i just wanted an ordinary life without his drama all the time. as a child i witnessed horrific dv and experienced years of emotional abuse. my parents split wheni was 7 and eventually i lived with my dm full time. growing up with just my dm was a happy time and we are the best of friends now and live close. i have tried on and off for years to have a relationship with my dad but he always upsets me eventually and i decide i've had enough and cut contact. duirng this 3 year period i got married and had dd and graduated from my 2nd degree. he knows none of these details and afaik no one else in my family has told him.

i have had a letter from him inviting me to a family meal for his 90th birthday the saturday after next with him, my 2 half sisters (his previous marraige), their 4 grown up kids and his 3 great grandchildren plus repsective partners. we have never had a proper family get together ever before. also in the letter was the usual hysterical provocation about the past, how he cant understand why i dont speak to him and a big ramble about an alleged affair my mum had 30 years ago before i was even born. i was so angry i threw the letter accross the room. the letter also states he is suffering from leukemia. this must sound terribly cold but he is nearly 90 and death by some means is very inevitable and has been for some time so the diagnosis doesnt upset me that much. could be worse.

i am in a huge quandry about whether to go to this meal. i would like to see my family but the chances of huge scenes are very high as he loves an audience. i do feel that these issues are between he and i and mayb e its not fair on everyeone if i do go. i cant take dh as he's working (been waiting to go on a job for weeks and it leaves 2 days before the meal, cant risk pulling out as its a long contract but im ok with that), cant take dd and i could only go if i can get babysitter (quite likely as mum or a friend would have her). feel terified of going but wonder if i willregert not going? if that makes sense?

please help

droves Fri 20-May-11 13:37:40

SGT , Why bring up an alleged affair ? I took it to be an excuse for his bad behaviour toward you <as in you might not be his >. WRETCHID MAN !.

He may indeed have lukemia , and if true i am very sorry to here that . Its horrid and noone deserves to suffer cancer.

But i would try and find out via the half-siblings if he actually is ill.
Sorry to be so blunt , but its a classic toxic behaviour to invent or exagerate and illness to regain contact /hold over a victim.

I think you are under no obligation to this man , who quite frankly ,at 90 , knows hes not got long left. Perhaps he wants to die guilt free ,from what hes done and thinks if you visit , he has your forgiveness.

Only you can decide if you want to allow that or not.

Do what you need to for you .

<your mum sounds fab btw>

sungirltan Fri 20-May-11 21:10:41

droves - thanks for your reply - my mum is indeed fab smile
i assume he brongs it up because he is jealous and resentful toward my mum for leaving - clearly the beating and destitution weren't quite enough!

i think the cancer is true as have had conformation of other health issues in the past. he doesnt lie as such, he's just completely inappropriate and laways had been.

i suppose i still feel beholden, i dunno why, i just do sad

GrownUpNow Sun 22-May-11 20:54:50

I don't understand why my mum uses anger and fear as a parenting tool for young children, especially considering how badly it worked on her own children.

There's me with all manner of mental health problems, scared of everything, my brother who cares about no one but himself but is absolutely desperate for acceptance, and my sister who is the most balanced of us, but hardly leaves the house and definitely has anxiety issues. Just kind of points to it not working, eh.

She then also doesn't respect my choice to not use anger and fear to discourage bad behaviour. She talks to me like I am stupid and am going to raise hooligans. Asks me how I can expect her to know the behaviour is wrong if I don't show her anger and shout. Tells me accepting part responsibility for the fact that she managed to get to the stuff is like saying the behaviour is acceptable. In front of me behaves in a manner towards my DD that I find childish and unacceptable, shouting and making DD cry by displaying aggressive behaviour, cancelling the day out of fun, storming off saying she can't handle how I am choosing to deal with it, then coming back saying she can't spoil my day out and completely pretending my DD isn't there, to the point of telling her don't bother smiling at me you cheeky little girl just don't look at me and then blaming me for her not being able to connect with her because I won't let her express herself. This moodiness then continued throughout the day, it took almost an hour for her to react to my DD in any positive way, and she was touchy with all of her behaviour (she's two for goodness sake, I don't let her away with it, but some of it is normal and needs ignoring), and even started to get angry with me at points, like when I wanted to cuddle my DD as she fell off a spacehopper and cracked her forehead. The passive aggressive comforting my mum was doing wasn't making me feel comfortable, blaming DD's bad behaviour for the injury and using it as an opportunity to tell her off, and I said to her when she tried to stop me taking her "she's my daughter, let me cuddle her" and I could see the rage in her eyes.

I am voting with my feet, choosing not to visit or actually saying "actually I don't like dealing with it like that, I'll do it this way instead" or pointing out things I find unacceptable. I am just struggling so much to find this woman that I love dearly in my mum. I think she is worse because her mental health is suffering, she is definitely overworking herself and is stressed, but it's no excuse really, because she did it when she was younger too and you can't use stress as an excuse for a lifetime of abusive behaviour. She tried her best, she had a hard start, and she was married to a drunk who abused her, I'm breaking the cycle now, it won't continue down the family line with me, but I do just want my mum too. Can they ever be any different or do we have to accept them as they are?

fingersandthumbs Thu 26-May-11 14:47:08

Hello all. I've recently joined this site and have spent the last few days reading these threads and I'm hoping that you can help me make some sense out of the following. I warn you now that this is going to be long and perhaps a little disjointed so apologies in advance. I'm not even sure if this is really an issue or not having read a little of the "stately homes" thread but I'm hoping someone can perhaps offer an explanation/way forward.

Up until extremely recently, and by that I mean the past few weeks, I thought that my childhood and upbringing was "normal." However, I am in a relatively new relationship (8 months) and my partner has made me think about my relationship with my parents in a different way.

My partner thinks that occasionally I am disrespectful to him. There have been a couple of times that he has spoken to me about this and it has degenerated into a row as I become very defensive and upset trying to justify what I have said that he felt was disrespectful. We have recently had a long discussion about this, tears, nearly breaking up but both wanting to find a way forward. I can understand he doesn't want to be in a relationship where he doesn't feel respected but and here's the crux - I am not always aware that I have been disrespectful, not listened to him until he has had to point it out.

During our discussion he mentioned how he felt that some of my lack of awareness may be down to my upbringing - he had noticed what he felt where oddness, strangeness in my relationship with my parents. The most notable he said was one afternoon when my partner, son and myself were having tea with my mum and dad at their house and my dad commented to my partner that he was surprised he was still around with my mum commenting that my partner was "too good for me."

It's not something I had ever really thought about before. We are/were a normal family. My parents are now retired but whilst we were growing up (eldest of 3) they were self made, successful (status, wealth, outward trappings of success) professionals with their own business. They worked long hours for the benefit of us children. I was always aware that I had what many would consider being a privileged upbringing - private school, large house, ponies.
I was also acutely aware that my brother, middle child, was more favoured than either my sister or I was. He was the one who had a full scholarship, was a naturally gifted both music and academically and was I suppose the golden child, could do no wrong.

To be fair to my brother he never lorded this over my sister and myself, he was and is generous, kind, reasonable etc. But, I always felt that I was being compared to him. I was academically bright as well, top of my class but only gained a half scholarship - I was constantly reminded of how much my education was costing my parents compared to his - and despite my brother being in the school year below me he ended up taking his maths and further maths o levels at the same time as me. So when results time came the focus was on how wonderfully clever he was to be taking O levels a year early. It felt like my achievements were not acknowledged.

In fact looking back and trying to analyse how I felt growing up I think I constantly felt as though I wasn't good enough, as though I was a let down to my parents. It didn't matter what I did, it was never going to be good enough or as good as what my brother did. I can remember wanting reassurance from them that what I was doing was ok, academically, socially but not getting this and I suppose at the time just accepting this was how it was. Ironically, when that reassurance has been given to me at school, university or at work I have had a great deal of trouble in accepting the compliment, passing of my ideas as others or trying to play down the role I have played.
There is so much more now I’m starting to think about, the physical and verbal abuse my mother tolerated from my father for many years as he went through cycles of depression and paranoia, and how that was never acknowledged. The verbal abuse I would get for trying to stick up for my mum or my sister or deflect the anger and how it would spill over into occasional physical abuse that my mum pretended never happened and how I must have been mistaken. In fact looking back, I also don’t remember any hugs, kisses, I love you being given, nothing demonstrative.

My partner thinks that perhaps I’m still trying to win my parents approval so their comments that he is not good enough for me are subconsciously making me push him away so that they are proved to be correct – so that I can win their approval, show that yet again they are right. He is right, I am very defensive and try to justify what I have said or done by wanting him to see it from my point of view

I’m not sure what to think at the moment – I know I want to try and make it work with my partner but need help, advice as to where to go from here.

Counselling is not an option we are able to afford at the moment, in fact not sure that it would help. I need to find a way to work out how to get my thoughts out in a competent way. At the moment they are such a jumble.

Sorry this is so long, congratulations if you have made it to the end. Any thought, ides, practical help?

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 30-May-11 15:04:38

Hi Fingersandthumbs. If counselling is too expensive, maybe a cheaper alternative could be one or more self-help books? There are a lot of them around (with titles such as Toxic Parents, Healing the child within, Healing your emotional self, etc.)

I can't recommend any personally yet, as I am only embarking on that venture myself. But browsing in a bookstore, or Amazon's "look inside" feature could give you an idea of which book has the right style and content to suit you.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 07-Jun-11 16:15:33

I can't stand my parents! Warning, this is going to be a brain dump.

Mom is clearly NPD; you all know the drill (playing the martyr, making everything about her, using putdowns, public blaming and shaming, ... the works). But it's my Dad I am angry at now, and I'm trying to work out why.


- is ruled by fear.

- only holds opinions he's heard from a Figure of Authority (the radio, my Mom, the government, his schoolteachers long-dead, etc).

- will change any previously-held view immediately if a Figure of Authority says so, without question.

- actually whimpers and cries if things do not go exactly as planned, even really trivial things. For example, in the past week, he cried when the bathroom was latched from the inside and he was trying to get in, or when the parking meter wouldn't read my Mom's bank card.

- that's another one: my Mom has newly denied him the right to have his own bank cards, god knows why, so now only she has them, and he has to ask her for cash. God, can't the man see how he is being abused!

I've just left an abusive relationship 4 months ago. It lasted 12 years. I was in just as much denial as my Dad has been during his 40-year marriage to my Mom, so part of my anger is clearly linked to the anger I feel at myself for being so blind. But it's more than that: I remember being really frustrated with my Dad already when I was around 11 years old, and trying to explain why to my Uncle (the only nurturing adult in my life, and who I rarely saw, unfortunately). The only thing I could say at 11 was: "He's so useless!". And he was, and is. Was completely uninvolved in raising us kids. The only time I ever spent any "bonding" time with him was ONE evening, when I sat down on the couch next to him while he was watching the rugby. He didn't talk to me. However, he would and still will slobber and goo over the children of other people, though.

And I'm just boiling with this unexplained anger today. It feels like this: "Fuck the NPD parent who trained me for abuse, but really, fuck the passive co-dependent parent too!"

The language is strong, I know. I do realise that neither parent ever acted malignantly, and that they were only doing what they knew. But today I am angry.

Neither parent can hear a single word I say. They have been living with me for these four months as I was severely depressed, scared for my life, and unable to function. This was good of them, I know. But now I'm back on my feet and feeling really, really invaded. They only left when I bought them train tickets back to their home. They keep talking about visiting me constantly. They left their slippers and bathrobes in my house and cheerfully talk about my house as their "second home". I am very freaked out. I am filled with dread that one or other or both will expect to come live with me now to help them in their old age, and I really, really, cannot stand to be near either of them. Too much baggage: I can only see their shortcomings, and see through the way they treat me and how they instilled lack of self-esteem in me, and I just want as much distance from them as possible.

Unfortunately, I don't want to go No Contact because of other family members who I do not want to lose (sister, aunt and uncle). But how do you lay down distancing boundaries with people who cannot hear a word you say?

Whew. Thanks for the venting space. I feel slightly better now.

Fimbo Tue 07-Jun-11 16:31:46

My parents are narcisstic. My father is the enabler. Neither sexually abused me. In fact they drone on about how much they love me.

I have been emotionally abused by them for the whole of my life (I am 43). It grinds me down. A recent example:-

On Saturday we returned from 8 days holiday. Prior to the holiday, dh was away until the day we were leaving, so I had to run around buying, preparing, packing and organsing all the general things that goes with going away. I also work every lunchtime for 1 hr. I also live in a village with not much in the way of shops, don't drive and have 2 children at 2 different schools. It was my mother's birthday on the Wednesday before we returned home on the Friday. I simply did not have the time to buy a gift before we went away, I have never ever forgotten a gift for anything be it Christmas, birthday, mother's day etc. I thought it would be ok to send a belated gift.

I checked the phone on return and my parents had called the night before. I called them immediately before doing anything else. Straight into a "where is your mother's gift" scenerio from my father. Not did you have a nice holiday etc etc. I said I didn't have time and hadn't sent anything yet but would do. "But it was her birthday on Wednesday" was the response. Repeated I had been busy, eventually he asked about the holiday but was not really that interested. I ended up doing and interflora same day delivery service of flowers that day. Mother phones me back deleted. By this time I am beyond angry and cut the call short. I normally have to phone every Sunday at 9am but didn't do it this week. Haven't heard anything else from them.

I am just so at the end of my tether with it all and feel I could just tell them to f off.

Fimbo Tue 07-Jun-11 16:32:50

Returned home on Saturday not Friday to be clear!

I thought a grown up could wait a few days for a birthday gift but clearly not.

Fimbo Tue 07-Jun-11 16:35:10

Oh dear I really must preview my mother was delighted not deleted mores the pity.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 07-Jun-11 16:54:44

Hi Fimbo

Fellow 43 year old heresmile.

I would read the website entitled "Daughters of narcissistic mothers" to begin with as it may help you.

I recognise the bystander/enabler role that your father is playing; these weak men often act out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.
You do realise of course that whatever you do or don't do is never enough for these people. They both have no empathy for others and love to them is something that they have chosen not to do. They have made the terrible choice not to love.

You do not need their approval anymore and it is okay not to seek it although this is something that is sought by you. They will not and never will be the kindly parents you want them to be.

Have you considered actually going no contact with them or is that a step too far currently?. I would give it some thought anyway as such parents are also likely to make toxic grandparents towards your children as well and use them to get back at you.

Do not call them this Sunday either; you owe these people nothing even though they brought you into the world. That is the sum total of what they have done, they entirely abidicated their responsibility towards you after that and made you their narc supply.

Can you learn to drive also?.

Fimbo Tue 07-Jun-11 17:10:30

Hi Attilla,
Thanks for the message. My parents think they love me deeply. All I feel I am is a punchbag for everything wrong with their lives. They are resentful of my wonderful pil and hate anytime we or indeed the dc spend with them. I have had mouthfuls of abuse in earlier years about moving closer to my pil (we moved about 10 miles from my pil and about 20 miles from them). They get cross about the fact that when we go back home (we now live in England and they are in Scotland) we stay with my pil. Dh put his foot down there after one too many upset. Now I get "what will people think, of you not staying with us" and "your mother wants to cook for you". They have no bed for ds and expected him to sleep on a makeshift one on a landing. Everytime I try and explain I am "making excuses".

I am plucking up courage to learn to drive. I think they have drilled it into me for so long about how useless I am that most things that everyone else takes for granted, scares me.

I would dearly love to cut contact but some stupid sense of guilt prevents me. As sad as it seems as dh says the only time I will be truly free is when they are dead.

RubberDuck Tue 07-Jun-11 18:32:23

Much love to you all.

I totally get the anger, ItsMeandMy - the only way I can explain it to myself is part of a grieving process when you realise that the parent you deserve and thought existed never did. I've gone through the whole set: anger, denial, etc and back again. Just not quite reached acceptance yet smile

Guys, I found a really good book last week. It's not really for dealing with narcissistic people but is about how to deal with difficult people and many of the conversation and argument techniques are helpful and I can see me using them as part of my diffusion shield against my mother when she's out for a fight. The writing style is a little arrogant at times and I wish it had a bit more advice on dealing with "dementors" (his description of this personality type scarily fits narcs!), but if you can get past that I think there's a lot of practical value: Water Off A Duck's Back

RubberDuck Tue 07-Jun-11 18:47:26

Fimbo, I think one piece of advice is don't try to explain. No is a complete sentence. I find this particularly helpful as my mother will try to put subtle guilt - "You never ring me." for example with a hurt tone of voice, which my automatic response is to go on the apologetic and defensive. I've started to realise how often I jump to her tune.

So I could either say "I'm sorry you feel I don't phone you enough" then completely carry on the conversation without explanation and put the emphasis on their feeling that you don't rather than acknowledging directly that you don't. Or, using one of the techniques that was mentioned in the book I just linked to, you can focus on the loaded word "never". "Never? Do you really mean never?" - emphasis is important as they have a strong need to portray themselves as being reasonable people and you're giving them the opportunity to correct themselves back to being reasonable. It also turns a question on them, putting them back on the defensive and gives you time to breathe and think.

RubberDuck Tue 07-Jun-11 18:54:50

Something else I'm really trying hard to do is remember that no-one else can make you feel anything unless you give them permission. It's really hard because being a child of a narc, you've been trained from birth to be manipulated into feeling whatever they want you to feel: guilt, fear, responsibility.

On the flip side, I have to finally accept that nothing I can do will change the way THEY feel without their permission either. So trying to argue my side of things and get them to see is a total waste of my effort and only going to serve to upset myself more.

I don't want to go no contact, for various reasons, not least that I'm an only child. But I can go no emotional contact. That's my plan.

droves Tue 14-Jun-11 13:07:13

sad .... bad day today ...its been some time since i felt this bad.

Ive been having nightmares again , and have had difficult memories resurfacing.
Most of my childhood is a big black hole ...i just cant remember most of it , what i do remember is not good.

I recently made contact over facebook with my cousin. She was my best friend when i was little and we stayed a couple of streets away from each other. I spent a lot of time at her house.

I remembered this ....sad

Her mum , my aunt <dads brothers wife> was cutting my toenails one day ...i was neglected so they were dirty and overgrown . My aunt painted my toes ... pink nailpolish . <still love pink toes >.

As she painted , she asked me why i didnt let mummy paint my toes ?.

It sort of came out that mummy didnt cut my nails or paint toes , that all she did was shout and hit me...sad.

I told her that i was frightened of my mother.

My aunt and uncle asked her if i could stay over at their house ...a sort of sleepover with my cousin..

Then they asked is i could go live with them for good.

Bless them they tried to help me !!!!!

She <ex-mother> refused , i got hit again for "telling lies about her" , and we were told we were not allowed to speak to our cousins or our aunt and uncle again.

She also started saying that my uncle <dads brother> had made a pass at her .

He didnt ..i was there . He asked if i could go live with them, very gently saying he and my aunt could see that she was very stressed and under a lot of pressure .
That they were only looking to help her and support her and us kids as my father had done yet another disapearing act.
He gave her a cuddle and told her they would help her anyway they could .

Within weeks we had moved 60 miles away , near to my mothers family.

I keep crying , because i remembered someone tried to help me. Someone cared enough to try.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 14-Jun-11 13:50:34

Your aunt and uncle sound lovely, droves. They tried to help you because you're worth it.

Your mother couldn't completely see that you deserved respect and love because of her own issues. I hope you care about yourself now as much as your aunt and uncle did back then.

quiddity Wed 15-Jun-11 01:43:04

"I really, really, cannot stand to be near either of them. Too much baggage: I can only see their shortcomings, and see through the way they treat me and how they instilled lack of self-esteem in me"
yy that's me and my "mother." It's horrible. It makes me feel so childish. I wish I could detach and think of her as an old woman who has nothing to do with me and no influence over my life but I turn into a furious 13-year-old whenever she's in the vicinity.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 15-Jun-11 07:47:43

It's interesting that you say you feel 13 when you're around your mother, quiddity. I have recently been mulling the theory that part of what I am going through now is delayed adolescence.

Here's my theory: adolescents reject their parents because they need to test their independence, to start asserting their individuality and ability to live as independent stb young adults. As the co-dependent child of a narcissist, I never did that: my job was to be "perfect" and provide my Mom with narcissistic supply, so asserting individuality and independence was out of the question. Now that I'm coming out of the fog, I want to assert my individuality. Part of that means rejecting my parents, as adolescents do.

Of course, I have further reasons for rejecting my parents: their parenting caused me psychological harm, which tinges the distancing-to-gain-independence with a lot more emotion. And as an adult, distancing from my parents cannot be done the way an adolescent does it: I either need to do it with a lot of diplomacy and maturity, or go No Contact. I won't be allowed adolescent outbursts (then again, I never would have been even as a child). I suppose I should say: as a mature adult I don't want to have any adolescent outbursts and would prefer to act with tact and maturity.

But I really do want to cut the cord somehow. About 15 years too late! And that, for me, means limiting contact, and rising above the N bait when contact happens. So, trying not to give in to the pissed-off 13 year old within. Maybe it could help to see "rising above it" as a way to keep your own self-respect, and not as submitting to N madness?

RubberDuck Sun 03-Jul-11 10:22:38

Sigh. I knew four months no contact was too good to be true. My grandmother has just called. My mother has the flu and is feeling very low. My grandmother knows "we haven't been getting on lately" but could I or the dses give my mother a call.

I said yes and thanks for letting me know, but now... ugh. I haven't gone no contact and telephone does work both ways so is rather low that she's dragged my grandmother into this. There's no reason why I shouldn't call her, but I don't like being guilted into it. On the other hand not calling her now I've said I will looks petty.

Thought about letting one of the dses call her rather than me having to, but then if she is in manipulative mode then she's just going to drag them into it too isn't she?

Argh. Would love some advice on the best approach to this.

MyHipsHurt Sun 03-Jul-11 10:40:00

Hi Rubberduck - that's a difficult one, but howabout sending a 'get well' card from all of you, maybe saying that when she's feeling a lot better and up to having a chat then you could talk on the phone then? I know from bitter experience that talking to an 'ill' narc is an emotional minefield best avoided, they pull all your strings and you feel even more unable to stand up to them because they are ill and they use that to their best advantage. Good luck x

RubberDuck Sun 03-Jul-11 14:26:05

The kids are writing her emails with their news and to hope she gets better soon. It feels like a bit of a cop out, though sad

samhaircin Mon 04-Jul-11 17:11:55

Hi everyone, I feel almost embarrased posting on this thread considering what some of you have been through. The thread title attracted me through the thread as it reminded me that my parents do something nice, then something not so nice, but use the nice thing to show how nice they are and to justify any bad/dysfunctional behaviour.

I was just reading the thread yesterday morning and started thinking well at least my parents are not as bad as so many others, and they are not so bad now that I am an adult (though this is partly because I limit contact, keep an emotional distance from them, repress myself when I am around them and don't say what I am really thinking, and so on). Anyway as if to contradict any cuddly feelings I was having about my parents then my mother said something really nasty to me which has shocked me. I just feel I have to write it down somewhere as it has upset me and this seemed like a good place.

She had a bad weekend and clearly was lashing out verbally (she was always like this growing up, but obviously as a child a person is much more vulnerable to it, and living with them as a child it is difficult to get away from it). She caught me totally of-guard this time though.

Anyway to get to the point (finally!). A close relative of mine had her partner cheat on them and the relationship ended. This has obviously been very stressful. My mother said she keeps hearing of people now who have had affairs since then. Then somewhere in the conversation said that she was thinking of me and my ex-boyfriend. I thought, that is nice, she is thinking of how difficult the break-up was for me and how dissapointed I am about it. Ha, stupid me. No, she said she wondered if I had broken up this mans (my ex's) marriage!!! So basically she was accusing me of having and affair and being a home-wrecker.

I had made sure this mans marriage was definitely over before getting involved with this person. This was partly was I did not want to be with someone who was still really in love with someone else, and also if the marriage could be worked on I would be inclined to let a person try to work it out if they could. I would definitely never had an affair as I would not want to hurt anyone. I am as quiet as a mouse and try to always to the right thing and not hurt peple, even if I suffer for it myself. My mother knows this about me, even gives out to me for it sometimes! Unless of course I am being careful about her feelings.

As it turns out my latest boyfriends ex-wife was abusive and this is why the relationship had ended. His ex had aggreed to the seperation in the end. But apparently she didn't want him, but didn't want anyone else to have him. She went ballistic then when he told her he was going out with me and caused him all sorts of problems. She was erratic in when she allowed him to see the children, and did some crazy bunny-boiling-type stuff, only worse! Eventually he ended it with me as he couldn't take the stress anymore. I was very upset as he was really nice and I thought we might end up together in the long-run.

My mother doesn't know all the details of what had happened but knew some of it, enough to know that his ex was maybe not the nicest person in the world. She also knew my boyfriend and knew he was a nice person. I just can't quite believe that she said something so nasty. Nasty about him and me. I felt the relationship I had with this man was special and it was as if she was trying to sully it.

Funnily enough, in reading up about verbal abuse and abusive relationships, trying to understand my (ex) boyfriends situation, I started to wonder if my parents, especially my mother, had been verbally abusive to me when I was growing up. Maybe not as bad as many people's parents, but a lot of the signs of verbal abuse that I read about were things that they did to me growing up.

I had noticed that my boyfriend was behaving in much the same way as I had growing up (and I still do to some extent though I am overcoming it). Though I am very laid back and low maintenance as a girlfriend, he was very jumpy if he thought he might have done something wrong, seemed really worried about saying the wrong thing, put me first all the time but almost to an unhealthy degree, really low self-esteem, feeling not good enough, feeling some responsibility for his ex's crazy behaviour (as I would have felt for my parents behaviour), afraid to criticize his ex, and if he said something mildly criticial of her would say, "well I am not perfect" (as if he had to be perfect to be treated with any respect).

Sorry for the length of this, I just had to vent as I am so angry. On the plus side it made me feel vindicated in keeping my distance.

samhaircin Mon 04-Jul-11 17:16:58

PS, I should clarify, my ex-boyfriend was not living with his ex when we started going out. I was not on the scene until after they were seperated

littletreesmum Mon 04-Jul-11 22:35:15

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 05-Jul-11 07:35:14

samhaircin I'm sure your story resonates with a lot of people; it does for me. No apologising for yourself here! smile

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Tue 05-Jul-11 07:45:10

I had a pretty successful convo yesterday. Not with either of my parents (that'll never happen hmm ) but with my sister. She is as tortured as I am, if not even more so, with a sense of low self-worth.

I've been going to therapy and doing a lot of reading and soul-searching as the result of the breakup of my abusive marriage. Thanks to that I have found out that my mother -- along with half my family -- is NPD and instilled low self-esteem in me through neglect and put-downs. My sister has never looked at it that way yet, and I was biting my tongue since I didn't want to impose my discoveries on her; better to let her come to her own conclusions etc.

But yesterday I could hold my tongue no longer and it all came out, about how DM is abusive and NPD. My sister was great! She not only accepted the things I said even though they were new and shocking to her, but she did this awesome thing: I was being angry about the fact that our mother will never recognise any wrong she has done, and so my sister spontaneously and formally acknowledged for me that, indeed, our mother had done damaging things to me.

It felt great. It's not the same as DM acknowledging the hurt, but since that will never happen, it felt great that someone who was around at the time understands and acknowledged what I felt. I feel better able to let go my anger at my parents now. My sister is wonderful.

TeachMySelfBalance Tue 26-Jul-11 13:47:06

We have been a quiet bunch...I hope everyone is doing well.
I would like your opinions-set me straight if 'bullshit' meter went off and I would like to validate it -or not.

This concerns my (suspected) NPD lovely Middle Sister. We have not seen each other in over 3 years and only have superficial contact for birthday/Christmas gifts.

She called me to tell me that she has breast cancer.

I gave her what empathy I could, "how awful, that's terrible news..."

It has been confirmed, tests done, etc. Caught very very early Stage 1 mass measure only 6 mm.

She said the doctors said it wasn't the heredity kind, so that's good.

Then she said that her doctor said that she'd never be able to take estrogen or HRT in the future...and then
Middle Sister emphasized that this was not caused by 'the pill'.

Middle Sister has been on the pill since she was 13. She was one of those that had irregular periods and she was put on the pill to regulate it. She never went off it-despite never having had an intimate relationship (a tanget) and has thus never had a child.

She is 51 years old, doing math; she has been on the pill for 38 years.

It is just hard for me to believe that her being on the pill for so long had nothing to do with it.

Just so you know, I won't say anything to her about it. I know better for she will reflexively dismiss anything I say or opine...and I wouldn't want to spark her 'narcissistic rage' at a stressful time for her.

TeachMySelfBalance Tue 26-Jul-11 14:00:36

I am happy for you that you have a sister that understands. I have a sister that 'gets it' too-my oldest sister.
They are our 'enlightened witness(es)'.

It is very soothing to the soul to know you have someone on your side, isn't it?

What are you reading? I'm reading John Bradshaw's Homecoming-though taking a break for a while.

garlicbutter Tue 26-Jul-11 14:01:46

Don't do it, TMSB. It's just another way of blaming the victim for her illness.

In any case, the pill doesn't "cause" breast cancer. There's a correlation between pill use and the cancer, but taking the pill doesn't mean you will get it. She's been getting her prescription from the doctor and I'm sure she's been adequately monitored. It would be very wrong to try and allocate blame for what, really, is shit luck. I hope they've caught it early and she makes an easy recovery.

Going back to your earlier post about your other sister - yes, that's still happening to me! More rarely now, since I only see them once or twice a year, but it did last weekend. Isn't it narvellous?! smile

garlicbutter Tue 26-Jul-11 14:03:50

Oops, I mixed up your post with Puppy's. I'm sorry!

I have to post VERY quickly these days, I've got a time limiter on Mumsnet (can't believ how much more work I'm managing to do in a day now blush )

garlicbutter Tue 26-Jul-11 14:04:59

Oh, well done for tackling Homecoming smile Very wise to take it at a manageable pace. x

TeachMySelfBalance Tue 26-Jul-11 14:18:25

Thanks for your reply, Garlicbutter.

Yes, thank you, you are right. I said I wouldn't say anything to her about it and I won't. Policy of emotional disconnect. I was just wondering if my thinking was off base or not-thanks for letting me know.

I do not know her gp history, however, I do know her personality trait of second guessing professionals. If a gp suggested that she go off them, I can clearly see MSister insisting to stay on them. I don't know if she'd change doctors or not to persue it.

Just needed a mini-vent.

garlicbutter Tue 26-Jul-11 22:07:24

<mutters 'there but for the grace of ...'>

Can't check me lumps, I've had so many out my boobs are full of scar tissue!

Congrats on the emotional disconnect. I felt funny talking with my N sister at the weekend. We get along the same as always (which shows how illusory my "close" feelings towards her were) but now I have an undercurrent of thoughts about some choices she's made, which I find reprehensible. I kept worrying about whether I was forcing myself into cognitive dissonance - but decided to re-label it good manners wink

TeachMySelfBalance Wed 27-Jul-11 14:56:10

I may be silent as usual, but for significantly different reasons as well, Garlic.
Silence of detachment rather than silence of numbness. That is a kind of Catch 22 for me in that I am still silent for all this healing work. confused

Did you have a lumbectomy(s), GarlicButter?

M44 Wed 27-Jul-11 15:10:08

Haven't posted here for a long time. Praying I haven't opened a can of worms. SO much pressure has been put on me to let my dd go and stay with her cousin of the same age. Cousin of same age is very different to my dd although they get on really well....cousin dresses far too old for her age and wears masses of make up and I don't want dd influneced by that. They want her for a week and I know there will be probing into her lifestyle/family values etc and they will put down anything that she says positive to her own life. My parents would be involved too and I can't bear to think of their influence either. I have said no and fumbled my way through excuses and I know mother will ring later demanding to know why she is not going to stay.
I am so close to blowing my head off at them about their controlling, judemental, small minded inconsiderate and derogatory way they treat me and my husband and my children.
Please reassure me I have done the right thing- just dreading the tirade of questions from mother later. I will probably let the phone run onto answerphone.....
Thinking of you all....

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Wed 27-Jul-11 15:22:54

TeachMySelfBalance I'm reading Toxic Parents by Susan Forward. Also websites like Out of the Fog, Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers, ... Sounds like you and garlicbutter would both recommend Homecoming so I'll look into that too, although this point I already have a stack of recently purchased post-abuse self-help books a foot high; might be a bit ambitious to add more volumes to it.

Oh, garlic what time limiter are you using? I want one too! I was thinking today of starting a thread about how to curb a MN addiction... which I thankfully realised would be self-defeating.

TeachMySelfBalance Wed 27-Jul-11 15:33:23

Imho, you are doing the right thing.
Does your dd want to go? It might be more tricky if she does; but if not-then maybe "she doesn't want to go and you are not going to make her" might be worth considering.

You recognize the degradations and it is good to set boundaries...and an excellent example for your dd to learn about boundaries too. You are not being too sensitive, it is they who are being insensitive.

Do they live very far away? If not, perhaps offer a more limited exposure visit and then offer your dd a private debriefing afterwards.

Velvetunderground Wed 27-Jul-11 15:56:00

Hi Everyone i hope you are all doing well.

Teach - i don't think it matters how she got ill, she just is. I hope she will be fine but it does not change the person she is just cos she is ill. So i would still be a bit guarded with her / superfical if she was my sister. Sorry. All hoping the minirant is good for you smile

M44 - you have done the right thing. How you explain it to your family is up to you. Eigher tell the truth or lie but if you do not want her going then that is for good reason and is right for you.

I have taken my son to see my kind of ex-family 2 times this year but i got them to take the dog out of the house and only stayed overnight so son only saw them for 5 hours and i was there to supportives everything and i had an agreement with DH to leave if they did anything i didn't like. With the reallity that they could lose contact with their grandson and me they were all on their best behaviour but i still will never let them have my children on their own. If they say anything negative i challenge it and correct them to teach my son who understands what is right and wrong. So contact is on my terms and always will be. My children my rules and i know what my family is like as i lived thru it.

To be fair its really good to see how posative and happy my son is compared to my sisters children who have their influence all the time. I'm so porud of my son and happy that he can grow and change in a space free from all their shit.

garlicbutter Wed 27-Jul-11 16:54:04

TMSB, I'm prone to cysts and have had loads of the things removed. You can't be sure, before surgery, whether one's malignant so I'm afraid I've become rather blase about lumps. Breast x-rays show up the scar tissue so I don't bother with them any more. I guess I just have to hope I'll notice if any of my 'lumps' start acting strangely, then make a fuss to get an ultrasound!

Puppy, I'm using Leech Block for Firefox ... though am now circumventing it by using IE! Just for this post, I promise myself ... blush

M44 and Velvet, of course you have the right to refuse a visit without explaining your choice. Lying's probably easier, though, with all the FOG and stuff. I do think there's value in teaching DCs to recognise and reject abusive or dysfunctional behaviours - you didn't say how old DD is, M44, but most kids can handle it from about 8yo onwards, ime. A whole week might be a bit overwhelming, even for a clued-up child, so maybe consider a few short visits instead? It's entirely your call, mind you; not mine or your mother's!

M44 Wed 27-Jul-11 17:33:47

Thank you- dd is 10 and brother lives 2 hours away. SHe desperately wants to go. To be fair the cousins get on very well together- it is the adult influence I worry about. I have spun a cover story - which is true. Just trying to distance myself. Still processing parents/brothers behaviour at my birthday do. DH and I had to remove ourselves to the garden to avoid exploding at them. You wouldn't have had a clue it was a celebration for me!

TeachMySelfBalance Wed 27-Jul-11 17:54:47

Lost post...grrrr.
Thanks Velvet
"but it does not change the person she is just cos she is ill."
It is nice to hear someone say that. I sometimes have trouble expressing my feelings/finding the right words. blush She does grate on me...

M44-I think you are doing the right thing with your dd. Especially if the cousins are boys, I'd want to keep a close eye on things like Velvet's strategy.

GarlicButter-Sorry you've had to have so many procedures. Waiting for results before worrying is a true talent. My only 'scare' was for an ultrasound after abnormal mammogram (3rd abnormal + redos) <ouch emoticon> I am glad you have had nothing malignant.

Thanks for the Leech Block tip...doubt I could get Dd1 to selfimpose on facebook though. <stirring black pot for ideas> grin

garlicbutter Wed 27-Jul-11 20:10:31

I'm sorry I didn't say that, too, TMSB. Shitty people are just as shitty (or worse) when they're sick, old or frail. It would be wrong to blame her for her illness, but that doesn't mean you suddenly have to start putting up with her dramas.

Repeat mammograms. Ouch indeed!

Velvetunderground Fri 29-Jul-11 20:37:00

Hay everyone,

I'm going to give mumsnet a break for a bit and get ready for the avral of my new baby. I just wanted to say a very big thank you to everyone on this and the passed threads for giving me so much good advice, good books to read and the support i needed to get thru the night when i thought that i couldn't.

Having PND after my first child and rasing all the horrible obscen shit my family put me thru growing up and learning to look after and love my child would have been so much harder if you had of all been there to help.

You are all great strong people on this thread and each and every one of you has showen how strong we really can be and how it was done to us but it is not who we are.

I would like to thank itsgraceagain, manicpanic, mummyhunny, Teachyourselfbalance and everyone else on this thread for helping me when i really really needed it.

You have all shown me so much and helped me get to a better place. So from me and my children - thank you xx

All my other usernames were, findingthepath, snowdropfairy and littleblueboat (they are all mesmile)

I wish everyone happiness and love for the future.

Take care of yourselves xx

Velvetunderground Fri 29-Jul-11 20:38:24

*if you had all not been there to help me.

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