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How do you recover from a bad mother/daughter relationship?

(21 Posts)
cremeeggsbenedict Mon 16-May-11 11:57:04

I am in bits at the moment because my rocky relationship with my mother has just hit another bump. If I'm honest, it's barely anything, she invited her brother into our family home (having said she wouldn't after he sent me a whole load of abusive emails) and I don't even live there anymore. I feel as though, like everything that happens she makes it my fault (abusive emails were as a result of me inviting him to a Christmas party) and that by being upset that she has welcomed him back into the fold I am being unreasonable. I really don't know what to do about it, it seems that whatever I do (such as host above mentioned Christmas party)I am in the wrong and am ostracised/pushed out for, but my younger sister can steal, lie, cheat, get fired and her behaviour is explained as other people's - usually my - fault and excused.

Is there anyway to stop feeling so undervalued/invalidated? Can I have a relationship going forward? I don't know what to do at the moment.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 16-May-11 12:29:28

My guess is as well that this has ben going on now for a long time.

You may want to read the "Stately Homes" thread and post on there too.
Many people do underplay what has happened to them and don't think it so bad, I think what has happened to you is actually a big deal.

Would suggest you read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward if you have not already done so. This would be a good starting point for you.
Cousnelling for your own self solely is something that you may want to consider as well. BACP have a list of counsellors and do not cost the earth.

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; there is certainly the "golden child" and the "scapegoat" going on here.

You do not have to seek their approval any more - have you considered cutting them out of your lives completely?. Your mother will not and will never be the mother you want her to be and I daresay your life would be far more calm without any of these people in it. You do not have to be a part of their game anymore.

Your mother and family have made you out to be the scapegoat for their ills, it is not your fault they are this way and you have certainly not made them like this. You are certainly not responsible for your sister's actions - she is.

turdass Mon 16-May-11 13:25:49

There is a bok called 'When you and your mother can't be friends' which is supposed to be good. It will be on Amazon.

I don't get on with my mother and, frankly, I care not a fig. I am too old now to be bothered. She has been a consistently shite mother since I was a baby and now I am 40 so it's too late to get anything good form our relationship. Like you, there are 'good' children and 'bad' children in our family, no matter what the actual truth of the situation is.

Just avoid her and concentrate on the positive relationships in your life. it may also help you to get some counselling.

turdass Mon 16-May-11 13:26:15

Ha ha, obviously that should read 'book'.

LonelyLinda Mon 16-May-11 13:29:45

Hello there, I am currently attempting to cut my mother out of my life for a second time. I actually feel a lot happier without her in my life because as Attila has put so well 'she is not and will never be the mother I want her to be' and life is a lot less stressful with her not in it at all.

Helltotheno Mon 16-May-11 14:12:49

I second all the good advice above. I've not cut my mother out of my life because I do want her to have a relationship with her grandchildren (to whom she shows a better face), but I carefully control the relationship, ie how often we see each other, what we speak about etc. I'd say because of that our relationship is superficial but mostly it's civil.
I also have a sibling who basically isn't in my life any more and really it's quite a relief....

I think society tries to make us buy into the whole 'blook is thicker than water' thing and feel guilty about not conforming to that but it's such a load of rubbish when you think about it. Just because we're born into a setup doesn't mean we're going to be very close to all the people involved.
OP take control of the situation yourself. Only expose yourself to them as much as you can tolerate and if that's very little, so be it. In relation to the emails, just block senders if necessary, and don't feel you have to take calls from them either.

mossi Mon 16-May-11 14:31:13

You don't mention your age, but for me, I stopped feeling the hurt from it around my early forties. It became suddenly obvious that it wasn't me at fault. I'm now able to recognise that she did do some nice things, but also some dreadful things that are really inexcusable. Like Hellto, I keep contact time limited. I also pull her up, every time she says something upsetting now, with the result that she now treads on eggshells around me. Not ideal, but civil is preferable to continual criticism. I also limit the information I give her about my life. That gives her less opportunity to run me down. I also screen calls and don't answer when I don't feel able to deal with her. It's as if you need to restate the terms of what's acceptable to you. One of the things that helps me is also to avoid family gatherings and see family members separately.

BarbieGrows Mon 16-May-11 15:06:21

I don't understand - "she invited her brother into our family home - and I don't even live there any more".
If your uncle sends you abuse emails it's between you and him. If he sees your mother, that's between him and her.
Abusive emails a result of you inviting him to a Christmas party? Whose party was it?
You need to pick apart exactly what's happening here.
One of the best things I did was to start texting multiple family members at once. That way they all know who had said what to whom. It's soooo easy to tell one person one thing, another another and very quickly you've got a family feud.
Don't get dragged into stuff that happens when you're not there. I see so many mothers play their kids off against each other, but I also see insecure siblings do the same thing to each other as they are all desperate for Mum's attention and love.
I wouldn't cut her off but I would try and calm the situation down.

bigbumum Mon 16-May-11 15:10:13

Cut off all ties, seriously, its like a weight has been lifted ime.

cremeeggsbenedict Mon 16-May-11 15:51:56

Thanks for the advice! I've been considering cutting her out of my life for some time now, but haven't yet found a way to do it without feeling tremendous guilt. I am aware that is because of the very twisted nature of our relationship, though I fear that it's the only way forward for me.

I've ordered the book you suggested turdass and will sort out getting a new counsellor as I didn't really get the point of my last one (she used to just look at me and not say anything).

Barbiegrows - I was cross because when all the abusive emails were sent they were copied to my mother and her stepmother, and were listing all my shortcomings, which must have come from my mother as I haven't had anything to do with her brother in years, and had very limited contact with him growing up. I invited him to my home for a Christmas get together which resulted in him spewing bile from a great height and getting my family involved. That he is now welcome in the home I grew up in (where I'm really rejected) baffles me. How can an invitation to a party result in abuse, which results in the abuser being accepted and me being scapegoated again?

BarbieGrows Mon 16-May-11 17:31:00

Sounds like there's another generation of abuse going on between your Mum and her siblings. I find it very unusual for an uncle to have issues with his niece - what is that about?

lol about counsellors! Someone should write a book called 'Why Do Counsellors Do That?'

Wales1709 Tue 31-Oct-17 20:01:20

I hope you can help. Here goes. Where do I begin...
I was never confident growing up. Dad worked abroad. Him and my mum split when I was 13. I was never close to my sister who is 6 years older. I was overweight and battled with this. My mum met my step dad when I was 14 and lived her own life. Never been close to him. . I was practically raised by my nan. At 21 I met the father of my children. First bloke who took notice of me. He was horrid, mentally and physically abused me for the 14 years I stayed with him. When I met him my mum and step dad hated him and threw me out. I had nobody. Didn’t speak to my mum for 2 years. I moved abroad to Africa where my dad was (who also hated my husband). I gave birth to my eldest boy alone in a stinking hospital and almost lost him. I pined for my mother and rang her begging for a reconciliation. In no uncertain terms she said we could resume contact but she had her own life and didn’t need me in it. I have carried this with me forever. I went on to have my other son in two years, a desperate need to have children. I never loved their father. We moved back to uk when Luke was 2 and Sean a baby. I had a 3rd child in 2004 Meg. I dont regret the marriage as I have amazing kids who I am so close to. I love them so much it hurts. In 2006 I saw the light, lost weight, turned heads and left the marriage. I had told my mum I wanted to leave years previously and her response despite knowing about the abuse both physical and mental was to stick it out. My parents leant me money so I could keep the house as it was the only way. They are extremely wealthy. A legal agreement was drawn up. In 2008 I met my partner who I love deeply. We are so happy. He is in the army and we will get wed in 2019.
I have sold the house and paid my parents. My mum said they weren’t going to charge me interest and were proud of this! My mum has never helped me with the children, school runs, weekends. She is a very selfish woman and gets worse daily. She is 73 and thinks she is gorgeous. She never compliments me or my beautiful 13 year old daughter. I see it so clearly and she is a clone of my sister who is equally as horrid and nasty. I sometimes cringe at what comes out of her mouth. She is a racist, homophobic, you name it. My problem is this. She wants to be part of my life now. She suffocates me. We have tried a relationship but my step father can be so nasty to my partner without realising it. We don’t enjoy their company. We feel under constant pressure to see them. After two glasses of wine they are sexually inappropriate and embarrassing. My partner now detests them. They don’t know this. I don’t want to fall out with them. I am happy to see my mum once a week for a chat but it’s never enough! My sister lives in France, step brothers live away. They have no friends and xmas day is just them! My mother won’t mention my wedding and she knows I am moving to the north east of England in two years time. When I do turn on my mum she has tantrums and I think would cut me off again which I don’t want. They constantly argue in their marriage and I wonder if it is some sort of karma? They have it all, health and wealth but are miserable. She counts my daughters present of £35 in change and is usually short by £8 Then says meg has more than any grand child and is very spoilt (she isn’t) . My children can’t stand her or them. I have never been so happy with my partner and children but this pressure is killing me. There is no point in saying why my partner can’t stand them as it would be a nightmare. I just feel she wants to know now as her life is lonely and my children are grown so need no care. Once she watched the kids for me to go to Spain with Jamie for 4 nights (my best friend watched them for two). I rang and she was screaming down the phone crying that she had her own life. My kids have always been so well behaved and I have raised them amazingly. My sister is also loaded and has treated me so badly over the years, looked down on me. The funny thing is her eldest daughter has gone off the rails with drugs etc. My mother has asked me to invite her to the wedding as she wants to save face (the only time she mentioned it). I said no as I haven’t spoken to her for 6 years! Jamie has just had a back operation. He has been very down. I mentioned this to my mum and she said I have two years until the wedding so to call it off! I am so depressed as I see what Jamie sees, she is vile but I just don’t want to fall out. I don’t want to socialise with them. I just want to see my mum and I do go away with her once or twice a year. It’s weird but I don’t want to fall out. I can’t keep making excuses when they ask to call down etc. I have to make the children call her. She is getting more demanding by the day! It get numerous calls. I am trying to train her and speak twice weekly. I work and my mum retired when she was 45. I am 46 and am not wealthy but financially ok. My mum tells me I am old and never compliments me although I am no longer overweight. I will not care for my mother when she is frail and old as she never helped me with my 3 children. They helped me financially as it was easy to and they didn’t even want the money back quickly as they are high tax payers.
Help! I know you all probably think this should be clear cut but it’s not. I don’t want more bad feeling in my life. I constantly lie about my whereabouts so as to prevent visits etc as she can be so nasty...
Wendy x

Sent from my iPhone

Yogagirl123 Tue 31-Oct-17 20:22:57

I am NC with my mum, and have been for many years, I don’t have any regrets whatsoever. It’s not a decision to be taken lightly, but there comes a time when you see the light.

Wales1709 Tue 31-Oct-17 20:32:46

Thanks... I know it’s what I should do but I just can’t... Jamie doesn’t get it either ... f

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Wed 01-Nov-17 05:55:25

Hi Wales you have revived a zombie thread
You might want to start a new one so people don't just skim read your post and reply to the OP without noticing.

TammyswansonTwo Wed 01-Nov-17 07:45:15

I had a really messed up relationship with my mother. She was not supportive when I was abused by my father (her exH), she completely minimised it. When my stepdad beat the shit out of me, she took him back. She constantly put men before her kids. She trivialised my health issues - mental health as a teenager, physical health as an adult. Every time another relatively small incident would happen, it would bring up all the hurt and pain and I would end up reverting to a hurt 14 year old. It was not a healthy dynamic. It all came to a head when I dropped my entire life to support her in something she explicitly asked me to do after her husband horribly abused her. Within a few days I caught her conspiring with him to get rid of me and fly him out to her instead. At that point I told her to get fucked and I didn't want to see her any more.

A few months after that she was diagnosed with cancer. I dropped everything to support her. I let everything go. She apologised profusely for not being mor supportive through my illness and surgeries. In her final 18 months we developed a very close relationship which I'm very glad about as if she had died suddenly when we were NC I am not sure how I would have coped with that.

When I was a teenager a counsellor said to me that my mum would never change - so either I could accept her for who she was and stop letting her behaviour hurt me, or I could walk away and know that things wouldn't have gotten better. I remember being angry - I wanted this person to tell me that she would change and things would get better, but she was right.

So now when people ask this question,'I ask them if their loved ones behaviour would be tolerable if you stopped expecting it to change, and how you'd feel if they died while you weren't speaking. I have been NC with my dad for 20 years, and I couldn't give less of a shit if he died (or is already dead). His behaviour was not forgivable but that wasn't the case with my mum and I'm glad I had the opportunity to get closer to her before she died.

I hope you can navigate this in the way that's least painful to you. Have you spoken to her about why you're so hurt? I'm assuming you have and that things don't change - maybe that is your answer.

TammyswansonTwo Wed 01-Nov-17 07:45:50

Ah crap, sorry 1 half asleep: didn't realise it was an old thread.

DancesWithOtters Wed 01-Nov-17 07:53:28

So you have your own home away from DM, to which you invited your DB causing him to send abusive emails?

Then your DM welcomed him into her own home?

I'm a bit lost. What were the emails about? Must be a back story.

DancesWithOtters Wed 01-Nov-17 07:54:14

Argh fecking ZOMBIE!!!!!!

Wales1709 Wed 01-Nov-17 08:33:17

Ahh thanks. All new to me. Have started a new thread!

springydaffs Wed 01-Nov-17 09:24:22

Wales, you gotta stop posting all the names of your family!

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