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Suggestions needed for dealing with narc mother please

(62 Posts)
Namechangerlicious Wed 13-Jul-11 12:42:38

Sorry this will be long but don't want to dripfeed...

Background: I feel she abandoned me when i was a child when she gave me the choice of living with another relative without her, or living in squalor with her and a bunch of innapropriate people (her then-friends) a very long way away from home away from everything I'd ever known. She denies this and insists that I didn't want to live with her. I of course wanted to live with her, she was my mum, but she gave me 2 horrible options and I chose the one where I felt safest. The relative I was brought up by says that my mother kept phoning trying to get the relative to talk me into staying there (with the relative), but the relative did not. Mother also denies this.

Fast forward: Now in my 30s, happily married, couple of kids, still living in same area where I was brought up. Four years ago, she called to say she wanted to come and live here and to find her somewhere to rent. I did it. I was excited, after all these years of very infrequent visits i was getting my mum back! She wanted somewhere very close - excellent! I was happy.

She lives a few doors away and at first I spent lots of time with her, helping her lots, feeling for the first time in over 20 years I had a 'real mum' who loved me.

I didn't know about narc parents until i read about them on here and read Toxic Parents book. Then it all became horribly clear.

I have taken a step back from our relationship in recent months as i have realised what she is, and that I've been trying to mould her into the mum I always craved. I realise now that she won't change and it makes me so sad sometimes.

Some examples of her behaviour: when she came with me to try on my wedding dress, she said "yeah it looks alright" in a disinterested voice then went back to reading her magazine. On my wedding day she told me off for something that was beyond my control. She used to call my eldest DD fat and then denied it, even though I heard it. We fell out over this for a few days, her crying down the phone, calling me names etc. This incident has since been glossed over but i and my family haven't been able to forget it. She shouted at me and called me a bitch once (5 yrs ago?) for being a little late to meet her, in front of my DCs and friend.

She is now unemployed, preparing to go bankrupt, has spent years evading tax, has no transport, no friends in this area and tries to get me to do everything for her. The tax thing she has recently had to come clean about - all fine, she just had to give them tax returns for last few years (which I had to do for her!)

The thing is - I have been diagnosed recently with major depression and am being treated. It stems from her but I have not told her that. I am a SAHM and my days are busy. However, she sees fit to drop in unannounced whenever she feels like it, then stays for 2 or 3 hours moaning about how the world owes her a living, getting me to drop everything and do stuff for her. Disrupting my days basically. Several times a week. i dread her coming round. I can't just not answer the door because it's intercom-entry and I can't see the door where the intercom is from inside my home.

Last week was a blessed relief as she was away. I texted her a light-hearted message the day after but she didn't reply at all, but if I don't reply to her texts immediately she gets pissed off. She had asked me to water her pot plants while she was away, but it rained heavily here every single day she was away so I didn't bother to go round there, as I didn't think the plants would need it. Yesterday she came home and immediately texted me to say "I'm home, pot plants all half dead did you not water them x"

Last time she went away, I DID water her plants several times but when she got back she said most of them were dead and accused me of not watering them at all. So this time I just replied with "Didn't think there was any need, we had so much heavy rain every day. Hope you had a nice time away." and I KNOW she will have received that text and then spent the next hour swearing and ranting about me behind my back.

Everything she thinks/says/believes in is correct - anyone with differing opinions is wrong. She drinks a lot sometimes. She's very loud and overbearing/outspoken.

I have told her that we'd like to move out of the area at some point when we can afford to. She said "you're NOT moving out of the county, you can't leave me here on my own!"

I just want her to go away and stay away. I can't tell her because she intimidates me and I'm quite fearful of her reaction. My DCs and DH find her very difficult to deal with, as do certain other family members. Yet she seems to think she's the life and soul and that everyone loves her.

I am certain she will be round mine at some point this week or even today and I need some suggestions on how to deal with her please. i try very hard to keep a smile on my face and let her comments go over my head, to be helpful (because it's sometimes just easier than to explain why i don't want to help) and to keep things lighthearted. But it's so draining and after she leaves i feel angry and stressed out and sweary.

I'm so sorry this was so long and rambling blush

MizzyTizzy Wed 13-Jul-11 13:36:55

I had similar when my parents lived very close...including the popping in unannounced for hours on end.

My tactics in the end were...

Keep the conversation light...I usually had the TV on as a 'tool' for something to talk about...the news was usually a good one...discuss the state of the nation and agree with everything they state is wrong with society.

Ignore all 'hints' at requiring help....such as we need some packing cases for moving - Usually I would offer to find some - in the end I offered solutions involving them looking through yellow pages or whatever. Regular people ask for help in an honest straightforward way if they want help...don't let yourself be manipulated...if Mother wants help make her ask in a proper manner.

I so get the not being able to ignore the door.....my lot never even used to phone or knock the door....just let them selves in via the back door and saunter in shouting "Coooooeeeeee!" Honestly, I couldn't even poop in peace without locking the back door! Anyhow, when she turns up be 'busy' ever so 'busy' be distracted and keep that way....get the hoover out....anything to show you don't have time for inane chit chat.

Finally if all else fails...sell your soul and just agree to everything she says in a non committal way..."oh yes that's terrible..." when hunting for something really important in your cupboard with your back to her.

Disengage...then disengage some more...hth it's a horrible place to be emotionally.

Namechangerlicious Wed 13-Jul-11 14:22:49

MizzyTizzy - "it's a horrible place to be emotionally" - Yes it really is.

She is very manipulative. Also, she seems to have developed a habit of suddenly not knowing how to do things anymore - for example, before she went away last week she asked me to pay her utility bills while she would be away. She was going to give me the payment cards and the cash and wanted them paid at the PayPoint here. I automatically said yes, but then gave myself an almighty pat on the back when I texted her the address of the nearest PayPoint to where she would be staying, lol! Good old Google wink

She also texted me the morning she was leaving to ask if she should turn the TV off at the wall socket hmm Found that one particularly pathetic as she goes away a couple of times a year and has never felt the need to ask me this before. (I'm aware some of these things sound like she might be getting dementia or something - she most definitely is not)

Thanks for your tips on how to handle her. I already do the 'being distracted' thing but she just sits there yapping on and on, making herself a coffee, or just sits there not talking. In the privacy of my own head I'm screaming "what do you want? Why are you actually here?"

You are right that normal people ask for help in a normal manner. And normal people would ask politely and would probably be happy to help you out if you needed it. She doesn't ask for help outright, she hints and moans and whinges and then guilts me into helping her. NEVER says please or thank you. I will wait for her to come right out and ask me nicely in future and I will pull her up on her (lack of) manners. She rarely does anything to help me. She makes promises but I have learnt not to take her promises seriously.

As for not letting her in - she can't actually get into my building if I don't answer the intercom but I have to answer it as we often have deliveries. The one time I DIDN'T answer it, a neighbour let her in, so then she was right outside my door with her finger on the doorbell, repeatedly, until I got so fed up I answered it and said "sorry I was on the loo" grin but also sad

Thank you for replying, it really helps to get it all off my chest and for someone to reply who gets it

MizzyTizzy Wed 13-Jul-11 14:40:31

Namechangerlicious

Oh I sooooo get it I really do!

My DH used to ask if any of them had 'popped in' when he got in from work...I'd say yeah I saw mother/father 4 times today..."Oh..." he'd say..."What did they want?" "I dunno?", I would reply!

As you I never had any idea why they needed to see/talk to me....we would spend an hours visit doing 10 mins of chat!

Another tactic was to have the radio playing in the background...I used to 'tune out' and sing-a-long with the songs to as to remain detached.

I think the trick is to look as if you are giving them due attention but escape to the seaside (or wherever) in your head. I got to the point where half the time I couldn't remember what they were talking about and towards the end of their time living so close (they did eventually move)...I was shocked at them leaving my house...I was so detached I hadn't listened to the "I'm going now", murmurings!

Namechangerlicious Wed 13-Jul-11 19:17:24

Four times a day?! Poor you!! At least mine only comes once or twice and not every day.

I often tune out and then realise I should have been paying attention because she's veered off the original topic and now I don't know what she's on about.

Luckily she didn't come round today, but after a week without her here, I felt almost fear all day that she would turn up.

She still managed to wind me up though! She sent me an arsey text asking why DC1 hadnt replied to her text. DC1 had her phone on silent so didn't know. Anyway, to cut a long story short, DD was summoned down to her house to collect some things. DD got back and told me mother was still blaming me for her plants dying - apparently I should have known the soil in her garden doesn't 'hold' rainwater...hmm

She also gave DD a red top and said "I won't give it to your mum, she only wears dull colours". My lovely DD stuck up for me and told her that red is my favourite colour (true) to which she replied "well I've never seen her wear red!" Hmm...yeah...I have several red tops that she has seen me in, not to mention a red jacket! The top was hideous anyway, DD is going to cut it up to make something with smile

Oh it is good to have a rant on here!!

islawhiter Wed 13-Jul-11 19:31:17

Do you think maybe your mum is punishing you for things in the past, do you think she is a bully, is she bullying you? by monopolising your personal space and personal time? My mum is a bully, and your relationship with your mum rings alarm bells.

Namechangerlicious Wed 13-Jul-11 20:33:20

Hi islawhiter

Sorry to hear your mum is like this too sad

I kind of do think she's a bit of a bully actually. She tried recently to make me think that I had asked her to move back here (I didn't, and told her so). She almost 'boasts' that she came back here to be with me because I was on my own at the time, but then goes on to say how shortly after that I met my DH and now I spend all my time with him (guilt-tripping).

It feels like she punishes me if I don't do what she wants - either by giving me the silent treatment (which is welcome!) or by being arsey with me, or to my DC about me.

She also tells people personal things about me - for example, when I was diagnosed with major depression I told her (shouldn't have done!) and apparently she immediately rang my sister to tell her. My Dsis says that she said it with a kind of 'glee' in her voice as if she was imparting some juicy gossip. I would have told my Dsis anyway but it wasn't for my mother to tell her. It is natural for me to want to tell my mum things that are going on in my life and I do find it difficult not to share my news with her. I do know though, that I need to stop telling her things.

My GP has referred me to a wellbeing service to have 'talking therapy' but my appointment isn't until October, unless they get a cancellation. I really do feel like I need this - I'm finding it so hard to come to terms with the feeling that she abandoned me when I was a child, I'm so bitter about it. I actually feel proper hatred towards her, although I'm aware some of the examples I've given probably seem minor.

Also, since reading 'Toxic Parents' book some other things have come back to me about my childhood which I am bitter about. I wish I could get away from her, she's a nasty piece of work. I wish I had the guts to tell her.

islawhiter Wed 13-Jul-11 20:46:04

You are in between a rock and a hard place' whilst shes your mum there may be a small chance one day she will act the way you want her to be and when you hear about other peoples lovely mums and dads and how special they are you think you shouldnt give up hope, its a horrid feeling, takes you right back to being a little kid, the need never goes away.

Namechangerlicious Thu 14-Jul-11 12:25:20

Oh I have definitely given up all hope that she will ever become the mum I've always wanted/needed. It's become painfully apparent that she will never change.

I've been speaking to the relative who brought me up this morning, and have been told that she really wasn't bothered whether I lived with them or stayed with her, that she was putting pressure on them to keep me. Apparently other family members (not on her side of the family) still to this day can't believe she abandoned me the way she did when I was a child, and say they will never forget it. I didn't know other people had any feelings about it one way or another until this morning.

She has texted me today to ask if she can come this afternoon because she needs my help to apply for a couple of jobs online (she's a complete technophobe). I said yes. I will try the techniques given here and report back later.

Meantime, if anyone else has any tips I'd be really grateful to hear them! She'll be here at 3pm.

The relative that was here this morning had no idea this whole thing had affected me so deeply because I always seem happy. I AM happy on the whole, but some days it really gets me down. I hope I can get to see this therapist soon, I'm desperate.

Namechangerlicious Fri 15-Jul-11 09:38:37

Well it wasn't too bad I suppose (mother's visit).

She brought with her a pair of dirty trousers and put them in my washing machine because she's "not doing another machine wash til next week"...didn't ask if it was OK, just put them straight in the machine. confused

She stayed for nearly 3 hours even though we only had to apply for one job for her online!

When she arrived I made sure I was washing the dishes and so had my back to her. She was chattering on and I was just nodding and saying appropriate agreement words every now and again. I don't think she even noticed.

I kept the radio on and sort of tuned out of what she was moaning about.

At one point it became apparent that she didn't have my dad's new mobile number (they split when I was tiny but get on OK). She made it very obvious that she wanted it, but did not come right out and just ask for it like a normal person would. She kept skirting around it IYSWIM. So I didn't give it to her! She just dropped hint after hint. Why not just ask me for the number?? I would have gladly given it to her! It was very odd.

MizzyTizzy Fri 15-Jul-11 09:53:41

Yay....you survived! wink

Did the techniques help you though...did you feel more of an observer rather than a participant? I hope you did. x

Believe me she wouldn't have noticed that you weren't really there in spirit...why would she...she only wanted to see you to 'dump' her stuff on...including her washing! confused

I did wonder how you were doing yesterday...but know myself that trying to deal with your mother could have been enough 'interaction' for one day....so am glad you posted an update Namechangerlicious.

...and very well done on not rising to the 'hints'...I often used to get caught out...be particularly proud of yourself for this...they are very good at manipulating us into giving our info' we don't want to reveal...but you saw through it! Yay!

Namechangerlicious Fri 15-Jul-11 10:13:11

Ah thanks so much for your post Mizzy it's nice to know someone wondered how I was getting on grin and I hugely appreciate the tips you gave.

And you're right, i didn't update yesterday because I was emotionally wrung out after the talk with my relative in the morning and then the build-up of fear and pep-talking I was giving myself before mother got here. I kept re-reading your first post and then repeating your tips to myself out loud. Then just before she arrived I sat and looked at photos of me, my DH and DCs on our recent holiday (when I felt more at peace than at any time in my life previously) and that made me feel a bit...powerful I suppose.

I did have a bit of a cry in between the relative and the mother's visits and I only slept about 4 hours last night because I was fantasising about writing her a letter and going no contact. I just can't do that yet with her living so very close.

You know what, I AM proud of myself for not giving her my dad's number smile I just really don't understand why she didn't just say "oh he's got a new number has he, can I have it?" I would have given it to her no problem! I wonder why they do things like that.

The job application she came round here to do - it had multiple choice questions where the answers were agree/disagree/strongly agree/blahblah and she blatantly lied on some of them. Eg, "Do you feel you are a warm and loving person?" and she said strongly agree. "Do you enjoy helping/assisting others in times of need?" again she said strongly agree! I was like this hmm haha! "Do you ever tell lies?" she said strongly disagree and I nearly laughed out loud!

I wonder if I'll be graced with her presence again today? I do hope not.

MizzyTizzy Fri 15-Jul-11 10:35:03

You are powerful you know...you've just lost the knack of self belief for a while. x

Crying is good...it lets everything out...I always feel very calm after a good cry...knackered but calm.

I have the fantasy letter writing/conversations too...but know from past confrontations with my parents that whatever I say won't be heard and all it achieves for me is a tense period of anxiety for months before I am brave enough to front-it-out...then more months of worrying what their revenge will be! Madness!

I had to wait for my lot to move before going NC...it would have been totally impractical to consider it with them living next door...I was scared of their judgements as it was...let alone the fallout of purposely upsetting them! shock So I agree biding your time is a good ploy.

As for the 'hints' thing...I think they do it because they don't want to have to ask you at all for anything. I think they feel they are that superior that they should know everything... so that mere thought that you may be better informed than them makes them seeth.

They weren't the first to know the new info' and no way will they allow you to know they want something from you...they have to ask the underling daughter for info'....not on your nelly! grin

I am also so glad you have managed to keep your sense of humour about your mother to...pointing and laughing (although not really the done thing) can be very cathartic and lift the sense of doom and gloom no end.

You do realise that in your mothers head she answered those job app' questions truthfully don't you?! <snigger>

I hope you have a better day today and remain visit free. x

Oh my last and final 'tip' is if it all gets too much then give mothers' ego a quick stroke..."Oh mum you hair looks fab' today." Then let her go on as much as she needs about her fab' hair....it'll kill 20 mins or so whilst you sing-a-long to the radio.

Namechangerlicious Sat 16-Jul-11 12:58:20

Oh for goodness sake, just typed out a long reply and pressed post, only to discover that MN had automatically logged me out and lost my message!

"Underling daughter" is absolutely bang on. She has always seen herself as very superior over me, yet less so with my sister.

As an example, if one of my DC has....a packet of crisps, say, she will tell them they shouldn't have them. I will obviously say yes they can. She'll then launch into how crisps are bad etc etc (they don't have them often!) and I'll say well I'm their mother, if I say they can have crisps then they can. She'll respond with "Well I'm your mother and I out-rank you".

She's done similar today. Texted me to say she'd bought 2 dozen eggs and would we like some? I texted back to say yes please. She said well come and get them then. Now, we had just got in and were drenched, had got dry and put our PJs on to cosy up on the sofa with some lunch as not planning to leave house again today. So I told her that and said we'd come tomorrow or if she wanted to, she'd be welcome to bring them round. She immediately sent a stroppy reply back saying "well maybe I don't want to come out in the rain either!" I just said see you tomorrow then.

hmm

As for pointing and laughing - yes, I only do this inside my own head or to DH when she's not around, but most of the time I can't laugh about it as she winds me up soooo much.

Tuppenyrice Sat 16-Jul-11 20:54:53

Do you mind if I join in? Your posts are so similar to my r/ship with my mother. I just need a place I can let off a bit of steam!
The thing I'm struggling with is why I'm so angry towards my mother. If I reflect on my childhood I can't see too much that was toxic so it's sort of driving me mad - it's creating self doubt for me. Is she toxic or am I just a selfish person?
She helps me out in terms of childcare, is very generous towards us as a family buying clothes & shoes for my DCs. But there is something NOT RIGHT about her!
Definite Narc traits.
I'll be back!

Keep posting ladies x

Namechangerlicious Sat 16-Jul-11 23:18:41

Tuppenyrice you are more than welcome to come here and let off steam - it's what I've been doing after all grin

What sort of things does your mum do that drive you crazy?

About an hour and half after my mum sent me the stroppy text, she turned up at mine with the eggs she'd bought. No mention of the stroppy text. She sat here a good couple of hours just going on and on and on about random stuff I really didn't need to know...

Tuppenyrice Sun 17-Jul-11 22:41:26

She makes me feel as if I should include her in everything I do. If I have a BBQ for friends I can't tell her about it as she will assume she's coming. (she lives v close by. I actually shiver when I think how close your mother is. sad )
She now gets herself invited to my friends' events so I am finding it increasingly hard to escape her. She buys things for my kids that she considers better than those which I've chose eg my 18 month old has soft leather shoes. She buys him some shit nasty Clarke trainers and tells me he needs hard shoes. I googled this shit, he doesn't, he needs soft shoes as still wobbly walker. I can see how on the surface she looks like the world's best grandma but to me it feels suffocatingly critical.

How was your day?

Tuppenyrice Sun 17-Jul-11 22:41:57

Which I've chosen not chose

Aaaargh

MizzyTizzy Mon 18-Jul-11 08:51:08

Well done for sticking your guns re going out in the rain Namechangerlicious...you made your mother come to you rather than her clicking her fingers and there you are.

I know you would rather she hadn't turned up at all...but you did win a minor battle there.

MizzyTizzy Mon 18-Jul-11 08:53:50

Hi Tuppenyrice

My lot never got the concept if me being a 'seperate' individual either...my friends must be their friends also. confused

Also if I went to visit another family member without getting approval first, there was merry hell to pay. My parents just HAD to be in the middle of everything.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 18-Jul-11 09:28:08

Hi all! I'd also like to crash this venting party.

"How to deal with Narc Mom?" is very much on my mind at the moment. I have in the past couple months had my eyes opened about her narc qualities, my Dad's enabling, and how it hurt me then and continues to affect me now (just out of 12-year abusive marriage, which I now see modeled my parents'). Like Tuppenyrice, I now see how much anger I have to release, and that is making dealing with parents v difficult:

- If I continue to deal with them as before, it feels fake and horrible and I don't want to do that anymore. I don't want to play happy families when I am screaming at them inside.

- Confrontation could be disastrous at this point, for me: I am in a very vulnerable spot emotionally (see: end of 12-year abusive marriage), and don't think I could take any of the bile Mom is liable to throw at me if I dare confront her. She would also, at this point, just use my break-up to ignore anything I tell her: "Oh, you're just upset about your divorce so you're taking it out on me!" Grrrr.

- So instead I am ignoring and avoiding them -- eg. yesterday I did not make my dutiful weekly Sunday phonecall -- but avoiding problems doesn't make me feel great either. There's an issue, it needs to be tackled, I just don't know how. And feel afraid, tbh.

So I'm afraid I don't have tips. I'm doing avoidance, but I don't really recommend it. Tuppenyrice, if you haven't already I would recommend reading a book like Susan Forward's "Toxic Parents" in order to help you judge what they did, and how it affected you, and to understand your anger a little more.

The messages above struck a chord since I also have been ignoring oblique requests that aren't directly framed: my Mom wants me to come spend part of the summer with her, but just won't come out and say it. So I'm pretending I don't realise that that's what she wants. However, I can explain why she manipulates requests like this rather than being frank about them: it's fear of rejection. She, like your Mom too I suspect, is a very hurt person with no self-esteem, and rejection hurts like hell to her. So she never makes any request directly in order to avoid ever having it be overtly rejected; it's a dysfunctional coping mechanism. HTH.

poutintrout Mon 18-Jul-11 10:45:03

Hi, can I butt in too? The experiences on here remind me very much of my mother though I am not totally sure that she is a narc as I haven't researched it properly though reading peoples posts here and on other threads I am beginning to think she might be.

I am currently really struggling to deal with my mother but feeling guilty over these feelings of anger and annoyance. She also is a dab hand at making me feel guilty and sorry for her. Up until now I have always acknowledged that she is a deeply flawed character who has behaved very badly over the years but I've tried so hard to get along with her, to push all this stuff to the back of my mind and pretend that all is well and that we have a "normal" relationship. She also likes to gloss over the history and make out that we are very close.

In recent years (the childhood crap aside) I have put up with ruined Christmases, long stays here, numerous pissed & hysterical phone calls, medical "emergencies", being dropped like a hot potato when something/someone better comes up, embarrassing scenes but I think for me the tipping point has been confiding in her about my fertility issues and her using it as an excuse to garner sympathy for herself by either telling everybody she knows despite me asking her to keep it a secret or by sobbing down the phone on me telling me how upsetting it is for her and how she had really hoped to have another grandchild this year & how she can't speak about it and has to get off the phone because she is so upset. She isn't interested in how this is affecting me whatsoever. This has really made me feel very angry, hurt and disappointed in her and realise that she will never change no matter how hard I try to pretend that we have a normal relationship.

I spoke to her for the first time in a month yesterday (she lives a distance away from me thank God for small mercies). She has been ignoring me after she had argued with my sister and I'd defended some of what my sister had said. I thought I'd see how long she'd go without contacting me bearing in mind she usually phones at least once a day. Anyway I finally got the guilts and caved in and wish I hadn't. I just feel so angry again and down. She was a bit off with me and then said she was waiting for me to call her. I now have that familiar angry knot twisting away again which for the last blissful month I hadn't had.

I think that her newish boyfriend is an enabler. He seems to revel in the role of protector and in my mind throws fuel on her stupid preoccupations and ideas that she is being persecuted by everyone & that she is a wonderful person.

I'm sorry that I've rambled on but I can't discuss it with my DP because I feel that it has been talked about to death in our house and because there is no solution it makes him uncomfortable to see me upset.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Mon 18-Jul-11 11:24:03

because there is no solution

The thing is, there are solutions. It's just that none of them are the ideal one would like, I think. And the realistic ones are very hard to do, given the personality of the people concerned, and the fact that they are our parents and so our bond to them is very strong.

As I see it, the solutions are either:

1. Get through to the parent, somehow. They are shocked and accept responsibility, and work on amending their behaviour. Ideal solution. Unlikely to happen.

2. Get through to ourselves, somehow, that they suck at being parents and that that's just the way it is. Then choose one of either:
- 2.a: cut all contact.
- 2.b: minimise contact, and work on olympian calm and detachment when they act in ways that stir our emotions.
- 2.c: have same amount of contact as before, and work on olympian calm and detachment when they act in ways that stir our emotions.

I think I'm aiming for 2.b. But attempting solution 1, at the risk of precipitating 2.a as a result, is an idea I am toying with. I will probably risk it, as I like to be brash and to take action when Something Must Be Done.

MizzyTizzy Mon 18-Jul-11 11:30:51

Well, old habits die hard don't they?!

When my parents lived next door at the merest hint of a garden gate closing or anyone getting anywhere near my doorbell I would close my interenet down/shove paperwork in a drawer and head towards the sink to do dishes and look innocuously 'busy'.

Parents have been living elsewhere for nigh on 7 months. I've just heard the front gate creak...and what did I do...Yup shut you lot down and headed for the sink!!

It was the parcel man with a delivery for next door...nought to with me!

Namechangerlicious Mon 18-Jul-11 11:47:18

Wow lots to reply to, sorry I couldn't get on here yesterday, had a day out smile

Tuppenyrice My mum also makes me feel like I should include her in everything. Me and DH are busy all week (I work from home), DH works on Saturdays and I have to ferry kids here there and everywhere for activities, Sundays are the only day we get to spend as a family and we either have a slob out and relax day, or we go on an outing. If she finds out we've been out, she will guilt-trip me about it because she might have wanted to go there. If your mum gets herself invited to your friends' events, could you have a word with them and ask them not to invite her? I get what you mean about the shoes - my mum also thinks "she knows best" when it comes to the kids! Repeat: "I am their mother, I have researched this and I know what's best for them" or accept the gifts and hide them in a cupboard grin

MizzyTizzy Yes, I'm very glad I won that battle! As you say, she was clicking her fingers and I'm not going to dance to that tune anymore.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow welcome to the vent/rant thread! I too am afraid to tackle the issues outright. Am now reading Toxic Parents for the second time, but this time I'm writing down things that apply to me/my mum and where the lists are near the front of the book I'm writing down examples. I also plan to write her a letter (but not send it - at least, not yet!) I've got therapy coming up in a few months and I want to have everything straight in my head beforehand. Agree avoidance isn't great but if it's what you need to do for now to be able to cope, then it's what you need to do.

Poutintrout Hello and welcome to you too. It's really awful how your mum has behaved wrt your fertility issues. It's as if she's trying to make you feel guilty for it (which you absolutely should not!) Sorry to hear you're feeling angry again after calling her, it's like she was waiting for you to 'come to your senses' and admit you were wrong - that seems like very controlling behaviour to me. If you feel you can't discuss it with your DP, do you think some counselling/therapy might help? I couldn't afford to arrange some for myself so had to go through my GP and am on waiting list. A weird thing to look forward to, but I am! My DH is a very good listener/supporter but he comes from a very loving family and so finds it hard to understand.

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