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Not on speaking terms with attention seeking mother(14 Posts)
THis is my first post so please be gentle with me!
My mother and I are currently not speaking since my mother stormed out of a restaurant on my birthday in september. She was doing her normal attention seeking saying that she'd get the bus home knowing full well that everyone would try and talk her out of it. I'd gone to the toilet and when I got back there she was centre of attention. My SIL said for me to tell her that she couldn't get the bus as it wasn't safe to go walking in town on her own. I just said that she's saying that to get everyone's attention as she's done it in the past. So she grabbed her stuff together and stormed out of the restaurant saying she's not putting up with this.
It was also a birthday meal for my 7 year old as it's his birthday the week after and my neice's daughter who shares a birthday with me. I'd also hired a limo (tacky I know and felt a right berk in it!!) for the night for everyone for a treat for my 2 boys (other is 9) as we'd moved house this March due to divorce and obviously it's been hard for the boys having their parents in different houses.
My mother knew this because she'd made a comment 'I bet that cost a pretty penny' when she saw the limo, so I explained that it was a treat for the boys and for me as I don't normally do anything on my birthday, and that I wanted to spoil them a bit.
A bit of background. My mother is very needy and I've been looking after her since she divorced my dad over 20 years ago. ie taking her shopping, on holiday, having her staying with me for 3 weeks when she had an operation on her feet. taking her to any appointments etc. Just normal things that you would do for your mother. btw she's healthy and has no mobility issues - just thinks she should be taken care of because she's an OAP.
She makes up illnesses and injuries to get attention. For instance, she'll say she's hurt her foot and be limping and then when thinks no one is looking walks OK. Everything is about her, ie I had a miscarriage years ago and she turned it all about herself because she'd had one 40 years before. Going on and on to me about how awful it was for her. No sympaphy for me. I just had to go on about it.
If we have any diagreement she sulks for a while, then sends me a letter telling me what a terrible person I am. If I still don't get in touch with her she'll then phone up crying on the phone.
So, if you're still reading thanks!, this time I totally pissed off with her. So didn't hear from her for a bit after my birthday, then her letter arrived, so I posted it back unopened.
Haven't heard anything else since then but today cards have arrived in the post for the boys which I want to return to her as it wasn't just my birthday she tried to ruin but it was the boys treat as well. I'm fuming that she thinks that she can just send cards to them as ignore me as she'll be playing the victim as usual. I feel that if I don't send them back I'm just reinforcing her opinion that I'm the bad guy.
So anyone have any thoughts. Thanks
I think you would be wrong tointercept your sons' post. Surely thebest way of enforcing your position on her selfishness is to ignore it. So phone her up and thank her for the cards for the boys and ask if she wants you to give thm to them now or wait tik Chritmas day.
You might want to open the cards to see if there is anything nasty about you written on them (I remember someone else had this problem). If not it would probably be ok to give them the cards (for their sake not hers), and this would buy you time to rethink this whole relationship with your mother. Some people go no contact with parents. I don't know whether you would consider that, but there might be ways of distancing yourself without going totally no contact if you prefer that.
I don't know if you have ever read or posted in the "Stately homes" thread but a lot of people there have similar experiences.
Personally I wouldn't ring to thank her for the cards or anything. Better not to feed the bad behaviour by giving it attention.
Hi, thanks for both your replies. I wouldn't phone her simply because she'd see it as getting attention. And to be honest it's been pleasant these last few months not having to deal with her. With the cards I really feel that she getting away with upsetting them if she thinks that she can just send a card and everything is OK. My 9 year old was quite upset when she stormed out of the restaurant and wouldn't go to bed when we got home until we'd heard from my SIL that she'd got home OK.
I havn't seen the "Stately homes" thread but will have a look.
I'm sorry, but on reading your post, I think you were a bit over the top to her in the restaurant, and probably embarrassed her. It was you who caused a scene, all she was doing was saying she was getting a bus, you could have dealt with things in a much more mature way.
Granted there is a history and you obviously don't put up with her attention seeking but being snippy with her in front of people really isn't nice. You could have just said, don't be daft you can't get a bus and moved the conversation on to something else.
As for the current situation, I would give the boys their cards. Obviously if there is anything out of sorts in them that needs addressing, worry about that then.
I don't agree that I embarrassed her. Being centre of attention is what she wanted. She always does this bacause she knows that nobody would want her to get a bus. She already had everyone at the table trying to talk her out of it so she was centre of attention. Me saying the same thing would just have fed her. I've been in this situation before. She'd have an hospital appointment and hint and then I'd offer to take her, she'd keep refusing until I stop offering and then she say Yes you can take me.
I faced the card issue from toxic grandparents earlier in the year, they were birthday cards and we have done this process three times so far - 3 DC's = 3 poison card opportunites.
I chose to open the cards to 'vet' the contents, good job I did they were full of emotional blackmail towards my children and put downs towards me.
I then told the children they had received cards with guilt trip messages and nasties towards me written in them. I then asked them if they wanted the cards anyway, all 3 DC's are aware of my parental issues, all 3 DC's told me to bin/burn the cards.
I accepted this and although I have not binned/burnt the cards, DH has put the cards away/hidden them as 'evidence' of what I faced, should I ever need to defend my actions to the DC's.
For background info' - I have NOT had any contact with my parents since 21 Dec' 2010...I have ignored all contact attempts from them, so my course of action above maybe a bit too 'final' for your circumstances.
I think telling the restaurant that your DM was attention-seeking was OTT and more than a little bit bitter - you should have just said, "Oh, didn't I say? I've booked and paid for a taxi for you, my treat" (or just change the subject, "what shall we have for desert?") in a non-confrontational way to end all discussion of buses -- however I accept there was a lot of history that led to that point. It sounds like you've reached a point where you resent any discussion that focusses on DM, whether it's justified or not.
I think, at this stage, you either need to accept that this is what DM is like and let her get on with it, or, if you can't hack that on a day-to-day basis, stop seeing her and don't let her blackmail over that get to you. The worst thing you can do is stew over it, as she's then getting what she wants.
As a Stately Homer myself, I can say that this is exactly the kind of behaviour I got from my mother.
It is a nightmare.
Please come to Stately Homes where there is much understanding of parents such as this.
Oh forgot to say I am a lapsed Stately Homer too....a very active member last Xmas/early new year though!
Another Stately Homer here.
Jules, do open the cards to make sure they are not full of emotional blackmail or poisonous words. Your boys should be protected from her toxic influence.
Enjoy the breather you're having while your mother is "not speaking" to you. It won't last - she's going to miss all the perks she got from you ferrying her around and paying attention to her, and find some way to try and reel you back in (...but try to make you grovel for the priviledge, no doubt )
Don't phone her or otherwise contact her: she chose to storm out on you, after all. Let her enjoy the consequences of her behaviour. Maybe you'll realise you like it and make the absence of contact permanent. Or at least be in a stronger position to keep her antics in check if she knows that she risks losing her favourite source of narcissistic supply again.
I don't agree that the OP's reaction was over the top, in fact I admire her for her honest candor in the situation. If more people spoke like this to attention seekers they would stop what they are doing pretty quickly. Admitedly it was probably said in a moment of frustration, but that doesn't mean it wasn't true.
I can picture the scene totally myself as I have some attention seeking relatives and it is cringefully embarrasing when they start this sort of nonsense. I usually try to ignore it so as not to feed the beast, but the situation does not always allow for this course of action.
My mum makes up storys and lies all the time. I am sick and tired of her. I have spent most of my life doing things for her. She is very selfish. We had a big argument and she wished that my two daughters will get cancer. The evil witch
Bridha this thread is 5 years old. Why not start up a new one if you are having problems?
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