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Anyone else have broken off all contact with their mother, and know that it is the right choice, but at heart still feels absolutely gutted about it

(19 Posts)
GetOrfMoiLand Thu 14-Jul-11 14:27:20

I haven't spoken to my mother for 18 months. I have posted about it at length on MN, but to be concise she never raised me, left me with my abusive gran, I got to know her at 16 and the relationship was always an uphill struggle. She kicked off when I asked who my father was (I still don't know for certain who it is), said that the day of my birth was the worst day of her life, having me made her want to kill herself. Always criticising, always self obsessed, and a drug addict to boot. After a cosmic row in autumn 2009 I have not spoken to her since.

I don't obsess about it every day but feel gutted that she doesn't want to know. She will not admit that she has ever done anything wrong - she is a professional victim - and is angry with me and wants an apology for my not having contact with her (according to my brother).

I wrote a letter to her 3 weeks ago saying what she had done which had hurt me so much. It wasn't an angry letter - just stated the case as I see it. I recognise that she has issue and I have sympathy.

Anyway she hasn't written back, or anything. She is still in close contact with my dd (who knows I wrote the letter) and she has said nothing to her, or my brother, or my aunty (whom I am very close to).

I think I will just have to recognise that she genuinely doesn't care. And that's fine actually, it doesn't keep me awake at night, I am very lucky in that I have a lovely MIL, and most of the time I don't think about it.

But sometimes I just wish I had a mum. Wouldn't it be lovely to go out to lunch with a loving mother? Just a tint bit of me feels very wistful about that.

RogerMelly Thu 14-Jul-11 14:41:31

Have you had any kind of counselling about this? I became estranged from one of parents (they are divorced) following a traumatic period in our family life. MY parent blamed me for almost everything and our relationship had been strained for some time and afterwards, after some therapy, I realised that it had been emtionally abusive towards me for years. I had psychodynamic pyschotherapy but I had with a student, they are usually a very experience counsellor in their last year of pyschotherapy qualifications, so I only paid a fraction of her usual costs (in this case it wasjust the hire of the room for the session) It helped me no end and I am not sure I could have got past it all without my therapists input. I felt guilt and I blamed myself for everything.

It wont help me telling you this, but you are not the person in the wrong here, she is. She hasbeen an addict (I am not sure if she is or not anymore) but her actions will be selfish and her line of thought selfish too. She seems very much the poor me type, but none of this is your fault, and unluckily we can't choose our family or our parents sad I know it would be nice to go out for lunch with a LOVING mother, but not yours. You are hankering after a relationship with someone that has never existed and never will but for me, I didn';t realise this until having some therapy. I would really recommend it if you can face it.

I am sorry you are so sad x

Awomancalledhorse Thu 14-Jul-11 14:57:39

GetOrfMoiLand, I haven't spoken to my mother in 2 years. She disagreed with me marrying DH (he's not 'rich' enough) & it was the final straw.
Your mum sounds alot like mine; blaming me for being born & ruining her life, drug addict (well ex in my mums case), self obsessed & has bipolar (like me!). My mum has always had anorexia, I developed it when I was 10 recovered at 13 and spent the next 3 years struggling with weight gain, made all the more easier by her calling me fat. I moved out when I was 16 & haven't lived with her since then (I'm now 23).

Like your mum, mine is The Victim, and although I am ok with her not speaking to me (I have aspergers so am not the best at understanding relationships!).
I am slightly miffed that she bitches to my Nana (only person in my family I speak to still) that I don't bother talking to her (mother has my phone number & address, she could always phone/write if she were that bothered).

Like you I have a lovely MIL, which 'makes up' for not having a mum, but I do find myself sometimes feeling a little annoyed that MIL still puts her children first (even though they're both in their 30's/have their own lives), whereas mine wouldn't piss on me if I were on fire.
It makes me wonder how much of my problems/social set backs are due to having such a poor quality parent.

I can't recommend counselling, as I've never found it helped me very much (I had counselling every week from about 10-17), I don't really know what to recommend or how to fix how you're feeling, but I'm sorry you are so affected.
If I ever feel affected by my (lack of) relationship with my mother, speaking with DH does help, even though he doesn't really 'get' it, can you speak to anyone in RL about it?
I do try and look at the positives of a shit upbringing; I'm more independent/have more common sense than DH/people I know who have good parents, I know no matter how much I fuck up my children will always have a better mum than I did.

Ormirian Thu 14-Jul-11 15:04:09

How can mothers treat their daughters like that? I just don't understand sad FWIW I might well go out for lunch with a 'loving' mother but it is always a slightly strained relationship - I think my mum is too damaged by her own childhood to be entirely relaxed or relaxing company. But she is loving and proud of me.

I don;t know the answer to your question getorf - but I can't help thinking that she doesn't deserve your interest or thoughts though.

HarlotOTara Thu 14-Jul-11 15:12:35

Well I don't see my father, do see my mother but not much and there is a massive elephant in the room ie. my father abused me and my mother knows but has chosen to stay with him. It makes it very hard to have a relationship with her and she was emotionally and physically abusive when I was young (a triple whammy of abuse). From what I have learnt this sort of set up is common in dysfunctional and abusive families.

I really feel I have no family apart from that which I have made with my dh who is an only child with both parents dead. I feel real sadness and know I have missed something when I see other people with their parents. I am coming to realise that it will never change although my view on it all is changing but yes it is painful especially around Christmas.

Dontbugmemalone Thu 14-Jul-11 15:23:12

I haven't seen my 'mother' since 2008 and we were last in contact 2 years ago.
I don't really want to go into detail but I reached a point where I simply had had enough.
I think that it's one of the hardest things I have ever done but I know deep down that not having a toxic person in my life is the best thing for me.

I feel very envious of my DH sometimes because he has such a strong family and is close to his mother. I think about the same thing as you OP, going to lunch with a loving mother.

It is a very tough decision to make and it's important to remember the reasons behind it.
I always remind myself to avoid the mistakes my mother made and it pushes me to be the best parent I can be.

MizzyTizzy Thu 14-Jul-11 15:37:35

I'm NC with my whole FOO, siblings and parents....complete NC for roughly 7 months and planning to keep it that way forever.

I feel as though I should feel gutted for not having truly loving and altruistic parents....but I don't feel gutted.

I don't know any other parents than the ones I have got...to have NC gives me with nothing more than a huge sense of relief. I waited along time for NC.

Even though I see Mothers and Daughters lunching together or shopping, I have no desire to do the same...for all I know their meeting for that day is a false a pretence as mine used to be.

I dunno maybe I'm in denial...or maybe I've just accepted of my situation...who knows only time will tell I suppose.

NotJustKangaskhan Thu 14-Jul-11 16:06:28

I know the feeling as well. I haven't seen my mum since 2003 (before I had any of my kids), and stopped talking to her a few years ago after realizing all our occasional calls were were her asking me about something, and then her telling me why what I'm doing isn't right. I had to cut her off for my own mental well-being as well as fears that she would want to talk to the kids and pass on her bile to them. We had very sporadic emails after I announced the birth of my 3rd in 2009 to my grandfather (her father). She stopped nit picking everything, but without that didn't really have much to say and didn't really care to find out what was going on in my life so the emails stopped.

I do sometimes wish I had my mum. There are so many things I see other women doing with their mums and I know I'll never get that. She's missed so many of my milestones - marriage, kids, graduation, everything - and part of me feels I missed out to. But I missed out on having, as Mizzy put it, loving, altruistic parents and my life is better without her than it would be if I tried to keep pretending she should be there and being repeatedly disappointed.

brainhurtsandconfused Thu 14-Jul-11 17:39:12

I can totally relate. It's not my mum that I miss as such as she was never a mum in the true sense but more the idea of a mum. To have someone to share things with, somebody fighting your corner or just offering a helping hand in times of need and of course the sadness for the dc.

sixkids Thu 14-Jul-11 20:43:20

I cut off contact with my mum when i was 15,im 39 now,it was hard for a few years and we live close,2mins away from eachother but it was the right decision,i still sometimes feel deep sadness at not having a mum but she was never going to be the mum i wanted or needed so i mourn for something i never had to begin with,your decision is the right one for you.

cheekydino Thu 14-Jul-11 21:03:58

I can echo sixkids - I haven't seen my mum since I was 15 (I'm now in my 30s) and know that it was completely the right thing to do. It does make me sad, especially when I had my son, but I was sad for something that being in touch with her certainly wouldn't have given me - support and unconditional love. Friends and my dh have filled the gap and when she tried to get in touch recently to let me know how much she was suffering from not getting to know her grandson, I ignored her, despite pressure from some people to let her back in. Sometimes you have to put yourself first and do what is best for your sanity. I'm a big believer in the need for people you have relationships with (family or friends) to be positive influences in your life - if they bring you more pain than joy then they are probably not worth it.

The fact that she has ignored your letter says it all - she has no understanding about what you need from her (presumably an apology and acknowledgement that she knows she has hurt you?) and probably never will. My mum was the same - always thinking about what she needed from me and not on what mothering I might have needed.

I hope you manage to move on and find strength from the parts of your family who love you and support you - focus on them and not on what she can't provide. You sound lovely and incredibly tolerant - just because your mum doesn't tell you you are an amazing person doesn't mean you aren't!

BiscuitNibbler Thu 14-Jul-11 21:26:13

I cut all contact with my mother for 3 years. At first it was like a weight had been lifted off my shoulders, I physically felt taller. I then went through a grieving process for the lack of mother I should have had, not her.

We are now back in contact following a relative's death and subsequent family pressure, however in many many ways I wish we weren't, and I know I would be happier if we had stayed estranged because she is never going to be what I want in a mother and therefore is a constant disappointment. Her presence in my life is a daily reminder of the fact that I have a mother who I can't trust. I feel guilty for writing that but it is the absolute truth.

And like all good dysfunctional families we never discuss the fact that there is a huge amount wrong and we never refer to the previous estrangement.

GetOrfMoiLand Thu 14-Jul-11 21:34:24

Oh dear this thread has made me cry. Not really for myself, I came to terms with my mother and the fact that I need to give up on her some time ago, so I don't know why I wrote the letter and thought it would make any difference. I bloody knew she wouldn't respond anyway.

Such sad stories on here and I am so sorry for all of you sad.

I hope and pray to god that I am a good mother to my daughter. My worst fear is that I turn into my mother and let dd down. I am rather uptight (in a Monica Geller kind of way grin) and am worried that one day it will slip over into narcissist mode. I have to be vigilant I think - I don't want to be like her.

Thanks everybody for your kind words smile. It's grim isn't it. I loathe mothers day <grim smile> and birthdays - always think of my mother all day. However I make up for it at christmas - I go completely bananas and love the whole thing. I never spent Chrstmas with my mother anyway so don't associate it with her.

flatbellyfella Thu 14-Jul-11 22:23:34

My heart goes out to all of you ,,I was
Lucky having a loving and caring mum
Until her death but her memory lives on,
Unfortunately I have 2 good friends
That have been estranged all their adult
Life from their mothers, one was
Due to the mother knowing and doing
Nothing about sexual abuse from her
father all through childhood years .
My other friends mother left the family
home to live as a lesbian and snatched
Her from school as an 8 year old child
and kept her away from her brothers
and sister until she broke out and made
her way back to the family home, her
mother then told this 8 year old distraught
child she wanted nothing more to do with
her .As you can imagine the mental
pain this young lady has suffered,I tried
to be an intermediary for her,speaking
To her mother to try to get them to speak
to each other, the mother was willing
To speak if daughter called, but sadly
My friend could not bring herself
to forgive her mother and call her
On the phone, and still has issues
over it.0

BumptiousandBustly Fri 15-Jul-11 08:21:49

I also recently cut all contact with my mother, and like another poster said, feel lighter and taller for it.

That doesn't mean its always easy and I too am grieving for the mother I never had.

However, not having to deal with all the crap/guilt/stress. Not having to worry when the phone rings that it might be her. is wonderful

Not feeling let down all the time, (every time I lowered my expectations, she managed to let me down even more).

All that feels so much better - its all such a relief.

Its only been about a month, but if I ever even think about future contact with her, i remember that she really thinks that this is all my fault, and is in total denial about the emotional abuse I suffered as a child from her and my step father and I really don't want to even try and have a conversation with her.

I also recognize that however much healing I do, she won't, as she can't. So I just don't see how we can have a relationship again, without her telling me that she was a brilliant mother and its all my fault (and me apologizing for it all), and I am not prepared to do that.

Also - she differentiates massively between my two children, so that is an extra incentive to stay away from her, as I am not having her hurt them too.

hiddenhome Fri 15-Jul-11 22:00:54

I haven't seen my mother for over 12 years now and I know it was the best thing I could ever have done because she was extremely abusive, manipulative and plain evil tbh.

I do miss having a mother, but it's no use pretending that she was anything other than a monster and I'm so lucky to be free from her.

It is difficult to deal with sometimes, but I just remember what she was like and it reminds me that I made the right decision.

You might like to seek counselling as it does help to talk about things.

thermosflask Fri 15-Jul-11 23:12:21

I cut ties with both parents over 5 years ago. I've got used to it now but I felt a lot of anger and grief for a long time.

Although it was my dad who actually abused me (mentally, verbally, emotionally), it's my mother I feel more hatred towards because she saw what was happening and did nothing to protect me. She even wrote a letter to me recently talking about how sorry she was for being a coward when I was a child and not standing up for herself more. (My dad was also abusive towards her.) She was/is so wrapped up in herself and sees herself as the victim but not me.
I still feel grief for the mother I wanted and needed but never had. It's so hard to come to terms with the fact that I will never have something that I really, really need.

tb Sun 17-Jul-11 20:52:53

Getorf - it's weird isn't it? However truly horrid and loathsome they've been to us, we all go through phases of 'I want my mummy'. I know I do, and I'm sure that I'm not alone.

We (dh and I) sold our house in '92 and went to live with my 'd'm, as she was apparently on her last legs financially, physically etc. Despite her house (the one I grew up in) being a large victorian semi, there wasn't really room for us and she introduced us as her 'new tenants'. During the 6 months we lived under siege in the attics, she never stopped asking dh how much equity we had realised from the sale of our house. 6 months later, we left, mail redirected and an ex-directory phone no, and after her writing me a letter - left on the hall table, in which she told me that she no longer knew me (nor did she wish to).

Her first target had been exams I was doing for work - I failed them, was made redundant (breach of contract), and this had a very negative knock-on effect, her next would have been our marriage. The week before we left, she left a partially-completed will form on the morning room sideboard to try and bring me to heel.

I have only spoken to her twice since. The first time was about 10 years later after I'd written a confrontation letter, and she didn't bother to reply. When I rang her, apparently I written 4 pages of lies - wtf? The next time I rang her was in desperation to try and find out more details of something that happened before I could talk - dd had done something that had triggered flashbacks. She wanted to know why I was asking her confused

So..... it's 'no contact'. She will be 96 next month, has survived pneumonia, and is visited twice a year by one of my father's nephews, who's wife thinks I should be looking after her, and has put her name on various articles of furniture etc. Weird, before my cousin asked me if I still saw her, the last time he'd bothered to make the journey was for my df's funeral in 1987!

TheArmadillo Sun 17-Jul-11 21:23:35

Daughters of narcissitic mothers (DONM) is a very good site for information on dealing with this kind of stuff.

The fear of turning into your own mother is a very common one. My therapist suggested I spend a day trying to act like my mother - to say what she would say, to react to things as she would (in your head if its too bad out loud - I have small children and was worried about the affect on them). It's surprising how hard it is to force yourself to do those things, how fundamentally wrong it felt and how much it went against my own nature.

The DONM site goes into detail about FLEAS - behaviours you can 'catch' from a Narc parent but that they don't make you a Narc.

I broke off contact with all of them. It breaks my heart but its not missing them, its missing the family I never really had. I have no contact with any family member - not aunts/uncles/cousins either. It upsets me that if I died tomorrow my children would never know about my life before i was 15yo. No photos, no funny stories, nothing.

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