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I keep treating my mum really badly

(10 Posts)
nnnamechange Wed 22-Jun-11 21:02:23

I'm a regular-ish poster but needed to name change. This is just the safest place to unload.

This morning I was on the phone to my mum. I had to take my van off the road a year ago when it went wrong and I couldn't afford to fix it; it felt like a relief at the time as I can't afford to run a vehicle. Mum had offered that her partner's friend would fix it for me so I could sell it and pay back the cost of the repairs as it's worth a lot more as a runner so he's taken it away to fix. The night before he came to pick it up, she phoned and said that I could have her partner's daughter's old car, that I could owe Mum the money. I said 'no' as I really can't afford to run it and didn't want to owe her and she offered to pay the insurance for me, she pointed out how happy DS would be if I had a car again and how I'd be able to get him to hospital appointments without spending 1 hour each way on the bus and I fell for it instead of just saying 'no'.

This morning, Mum started telling me that there's someone who's interested in buying the van. I said that I don't want to sell it - I'd rather sell the car as it's unsuitable for 1/2 the things I need to do with it (try shifting 1/2 ton of horse manure in a supermini) and keeping the van makes economic sense and then I just went off into this huge stupid rant about how much I hate the bloody car. I always end up whinging and unloading things on my mum even at the best of times and it's just not fair. Poor Mum hung up and now isn't speaking to me.

I feel completely hopeless; I've ended up financially dependent on my parents at 36 and I feel humiliated. I spent the whole of my early 20s training and getting into a super-competitive career (I supported myself, but never had much money), there was a brief moment of glory when it came together and I had a prestigious and well-paid job in my late 20s until my depression caught up with me and I couldn't cope with the hypocrisy and politics of it. I quit and tried to do a PhD, dropped out after a year and finally got a badly paid job as an unqualified classroom assistant that I could actually cope with, but I always supported myself.

At 30 and with (hindsight) a very unsuitable partner we decided that we'd like a child. DS came along and I haven't worked since. XP and I split when he was a baby and I get just the CSA-determined £5pw from him. DS has special needs and I felt that I had to make it my highest priority to get him into a school that would be able to help him. I owned my previous house outright (due to my granny leaving me some money and the brief but well-paid job) but moved to a more expensive area for the school. My Mum offered to guarantee my mortgage (although I could have had a flat instead without a mortgage) so that DS would have somewhere nicer to live. I've also retrained so I should be able to get a reasonable job that would easily cover the mortgage.

But I've wound up living on benefits: DS is so difficult to handle I can't get official childcare for him and there are no jobs about, I'm also feeling so lousy that I don't think I could work in anything demanding at the moment but I'd have to do something demanding to pay for the (cash-in-hand 1-2-1) childcare that DS needs to enable me to work. At times I feel so overwhelmed by the demands of DS and his various appointments that I can't imagine being able to hold down any job. The problem is that the benefits don't cover a mortgage, so my Dad gives me £150 per month, despite the fact we fell out with one another a few months ago and don't speak so I feel worse still about taking his money.

I've just been sent on a parenting course, forcibly, by DS's school who clearly think I'm a bad parent. I haven't had sex in nearly six years - my track record with relationships is horrible and I feel very lonely indeed. I do have some good friends and my mum who think I'm a capable parent, but I hate not having a partner or the possibility of any more children.

Every aspect of my life is turning out badly, I'm a complete f* up and being so persistently horrible and childish that I've pushed Mum too far feels like the last straw.

pickgo Wed 22-Jun-11 23:13:04

Woooah Namechange - you'er sooo hard on yourself. Just hold your horses there and think about all the things you have achieved.
You've dumped a no good partner.
You've retrained.
You've sorted a car and home
and most of all you've dedicated yourself to looking after your DS.

I can understand your discomfort about taking money from parents (it sounds like they're desperate to support you), but now you've committed to things that depend on that income I think you'll need to continue, but that doesn't preclude having a plan to get in to a better position long-term.

Is part-time work a feasible option while DS is at school? If you do 16 hours or more you'd get Tax Credit.

WRT to your mum - first thing sounds like an apology visit is in order and then a proper chat.

Perhaps also it might be an idea to see your GP and have a chat about how you are feeling? You sound like it's all getting on top of you... and perhaps the school have recognized this and that's why they've gone down the route of parenting class. BTW in what way did they force you to go on it?

nnnamechange Thu 23-Jun-11 10:46:21

I can't find a part-time job, it's an area with high unemployment at the best of times - there's nothing that fits within school hours as there are so many mums fighting over those jobs and very few come up. I hope things will get better as the recession eases.

I can't visit my mum without arranging it first - she's 200 miles away so I have to sort it out over the phone if she'll speak to me.

I know I'm depressed - it's been a long-term problem and I can get by with an undemanding job and just myself to look after or just looking after DS and me but no work as mostly it's only short crunches and the rest bearable. But the combination of looking after DS, me and working looks like too much. Usually I manage my mood by running, but I've had a foot injury and haven't been able to run for months. What I want is therapy to untangle my head properly, but all the GP can give me is antidepressants; perhaps I should just take them until I can run again.

I've been quite open with the school - that I have financial problems, can't get any childcare for DS and I'm finding the situation frustrating, so that's probably been a contributory factor. Mostly it's that DS's behaviour is atrocious and he doesn't have a dx so they're assuming it's bad parenting. They just told me I had to 'engage' or they wouldn't be able to help DS and then told me I was doing this course, so I sit there listening to someone telling me to 'look after yourself as a parent' that I need time off from child-care, adult company etc etc, but no help with getting any of that. The woman who's running it asked everyone else except me 'Why are you here?' because she knows that I'll say 'because I was told I had to'. I wish they'd just talk to me straight.

2ddornot2dd Thu 23-Jun-11 12:00:45

I can't give you any advice, but didn't want you to go unanswered. I hope everything takes a turn for the better soon

Make it clear to her your mum how special she is in your and DS's life, and how upset you are at upsetting her, maybe even show her this, and take it from there.

Flisspaps Thu 23-Jun-11 12:12:12

You've achieved a lot. Don't think that you've fucked up. You have done everything possible in order to do the best for your DS. That's a bloody good thing. Your Mum and friends think you're capable, the school won't see the whole picture.

Ring your Mum - say you're sorry, and that you didn't mean to upset her. From time to time we all moan and/or unload on our parents - it's normal.

However - if in the future your Mum offers something that you don't want (like the car) then be firm - as you've said, you didn't want the car but she talked you into it and now she's offended because you hate it and it's impractical. Did she hang up because you were going OTT on a rant, or because she had offered you this amazing car and you're terribly ungrateful and she's put out and How Dare You? (IYSWIM)?

Just because your parents help you out, doesn't mean that you are duty bound to agree to every suggestion. I'm assuming you haven't asked her to help to find someone to sell the van to if you want to keep it, yet she's found someone who would like to buy it? Offer to give her the car back if you can't afford to run it, then she can sell it and get her money back. smile

Then stop beating yourself up.

malinkey Thu 23-Jun-11 12:26:17

Are you sure you can't get some kind of therapy through your GP? I think they're meant to encourage more counselling type stuff for depression these days and they should be able to refer you somewhere else. My local surgery refers people for a free 12 week course of counselling.

nnnamechange Thu 23-Jun-11 13:02:40

Flisspaps - it's the combination of me going OTT on a rant and me being ungrateful for her getting me the car I think. I often unload on her - whenever things go wrong which is horribly often ATM rather than just from time to time. When I talk to my best friend it's a reciprocal deal - she'll phone me in tears too and we always make one another laugh by the end. With my mum it's like a one-way street - I ring her and act like moany teenager and she acts like a professional counsellor, she listens but never gives an opinion. It's obviously draining for her and I hate myself for being so childish.

ThisIsANiceCage Thu 23-Jun-11 13:08:06

Not quite with it today and haven't read properly, so please excuse if this is way off.

How about a nice card to your mum, saying something like, "Thank you, I appreciate you so much" , even if you have some real fixing to do on top of that?

pickgo Sat 25-Jun-11 01:54:40

I don't think it's childish to need to let off steam in your circumstances. You're doing your best in hard circs.

Somewhere in this you've got to find a bit of give, somewhere you can make progress.

I'd suggest that you go to your GP and really RANT. LET RIP until they agree to refer you to counselling. You will have to join the waiting list but at least you will know it's in the pipeline.

Next I'd suggest joining something, anything in fact that gets you with some adults in the day while DS is at school. If that could be some potentially work-related type of volunteering all the better. It might help with getting a job long-term.

One to do now, is to find some holiday clubs that DS can go to in school holidays, before they start to loom on the horizon.

And last suggestion, get mum down to yours. Have a day or two with her and talk to her to straighten out latest rant. Then bugger off for at least 5 days (to her house if nowhere better on offer) and have a break.

Re exercise, could you get a tape for toning etc that doesn't involve foot too much?

buzzsore Sat 25-Jun-11 12:15:33

Is there anyway you could sell up and move to a smaller property that is more affordable and possibly easier to run? Like a flat as you initially wanted but were talked out of? I think your parents are doing their best, but they're giving you the help they think you need rather than what you actually need.

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