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if anyone else treated me the way my parents do i would have cut them out of my life years ago

(14 Posts)
ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 15:54:34

and I am really fed up pf being made to feel inferier, stupid, useless, childlike and generally like the least inportant person on the planet by them. Ting that is worse is that the more I get made to feel like that the more I try to gain their approval and the more the undermine every decision I ever make.

MamaCross Sun 14-Oct-12 16:06:06

Been there. Counselling helped. The only person who needs to approve your decisions is you. You are an adult and you don't need to tell your parents of your decisions. Try taking a few steps back - reduce contact. They can only make you feel like this if you allow them to. If they make comments that are hurtful/that you wouldn't dream of saying to someone else - call them on it. Don't be confrontational, just a quick "there's no need to be rude" will do. They will learn that you have boundaries and that they are not to overstep them. Affect an air of don't-care-what-they-think and it will help change your feelings when they are like this.

ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 16:15:46

this afternoon I was sat there trying so hard to talk to my dad (about what he has been doing not about myself) who was giving me one word answers, my broether came and my dn's asked if they could have some chocoalte, my dm says if theres any left after this lot pointing to me and dd's. dad then proceeds to chat really enthusiastically with my brother about the traffic somewhere and cruise control, my gran came and mum asked me to move (fair enough gran needs to sit down) so i moved and sat in the far corner and then nobody spoke a single word to me until I decide after finishing my drink that I was leaving.
I am so fed up of it, I got a job offer this week after lookig all year and am really excited, it wasnt even mentioned.

MamaCross Sun 14-Oct-12 16:27:42

Congratulations on your job offer! That's great news and (this will sound silly) I am proud of you.

They are your family, and you can't choose them, but you can choose to spend less time with them and to not be like them with your own children.
It sounds so similar to how my parents are with me. I don't go and visit them any more. They come to me, but they have to check first that I'll be home and they have to give me plenty of warning. Then I pretty much just sit here and listen to them talk about their own stuff and don't mention my own unless asked.
I can feel happy about what's going on with me and talk about that with people who I know genuinely want to hear about it and be happy for me. If I spoke to my parents about such things, it would get ignored, or they would cut me off mid-sentence and start talking to my DC or just change the subject completely. So I just stopped bothering. And I'm happier for it. I have always been an approval-seeker, but no more. As long as I am happy with what I'm doing, that's all that really matters. And if I am happy, then my DH and DC are happy too. Whether my parents are happy with me or not is really of no concern any more, because I'm not a child, and neither are you.

I hope that last sentence doesn't sound harsh! I just mean don't need their approval because you're an adult. I know you want it, I wanted it too because I never ever had it. I've realised that 'want' and 'need' are different things, and that I don't want what they aren't freely willing to give.

ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 16:37:32

smile you are so right, and the more they dont approve of anything I do the harder I ty to get them to and the less respect they seem to have for me.
I cant think of a time when they ahve been encouraging, I put my name down for an allotment when dd2 was little and mum talked me out of it as I wouldnt manage, she tried to talk me out of using proper nappies as I dont realise how hard it will be having a baby. The other day I was explaining why I am tired as I was up half the night chasing a fox out of my garden, her answer was that it was time to get rid of my chickens. They seem to think I am an incapable child despite the fact that I have achieved and succeeded at everything I have tried as an adult.
I know I was a very clumsy and socially awkward child and I think it comes from not wanting me to get hurt.
Also I have tried to bring it up a couple of times and been told that i am being pathetic or too sensitive.
I really have had enough, we had a rather dramatic fall out with dh's parents this summer and I ahve no intention of ever seeing them again. So it probably is me but I am fed up of people who are supposed to love and support me making me feel bad about myself.

MamaCross Sun 14-Oct-12 16:53:55

No, it really ISN'T you. Get that thought out of your head right now. smile
"Too sensitive" - yep, I got that every time I objected to something negative they said about me. But really, is being sensitive a bad thing? It shows we have feelings and that we care about how we are treated.

I might out myself here as this is well known by people who know me, but I have wanted a certain profession since I was very small. My parents talked me out of it, never encouraged me, said I would never make any money out of it, really made me feel like I wasn't good enough. So I didn't do it. I ended up wasting a huge part of my life on crap jobs and crap people. Feeling 'not good enough' for anything.
I'm in that profession now (finally!) and have decided that I am good enough for ME. I'm good enough for the people who support me and I'm good enough for the people who enjoy what I do (and pay money for it). I resent them a bit for never nurturing my passions. My counsellor even went so far as to say it was neglectful of them. Because, while they were talking me out of it, they weren't bothering to guide me towards anything else, so I was in a sort of limbo for most of my adult life. I was always running things past them before I did anything. Which meant they carried on treating me like a child and clearly had no respect for me as an adult.

Keep your chickens if they make you happy. Get an allotment if that makes you happy (I'd love one!) Do this new job well. You know you can do it and succeed like you have with everything else. Don't allow them to talk you out of things you want to do - if you want to do it and succeed, you will make it work.

I have to go now, but I'll check back in later.

ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 17:52:34

I am also chasing my dream job after drifting between jobs that I didnt really like for all my adult life, I have got a job that is a good start to get the experience needed to get into uni. I am so looking forward to doing soething that I wnt to do, a job that is worthwhile. I should find out in the next few days where I am going to be placed and I have to go and get measured for my uniform which is very exciting, dh is over the moon and so proud of me, it would just be nice if anyone else gave a shit rather than seeing me as soeone who is going to fail, fall apart becasue of long shifts, neglect my dc becasue I cant possibly do both etc.
You should be so proud of yourself finally doing what you wanted.
I had a very good childhood and usually have a very close relationship with my mother, when things are getting on top of me I remember all the bad stuff, they havent really done anything bad to me, they just make me feel bad and are always so negative about everything I do, and I have always tried to get my dad to like me but he doesnt.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Oct-12 17:53:38

What MamaCross said.

I can only reiterate its not you, its them. You did not make them that way; their own birth families did that particular lot of damage to them.

It is okay to cut contact completely with such people. They bring nothing positive into your life. You would not let a friend treat you like this, family are truly no different.

If you have never read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward I would do so. It gives more insight into how such dysfunctional families operate. Like many children who are now adults of such toxic parenting, you probably have FOG in spades (fear, obligation, guilt). Those feelings are totally misplaced.

How they have responded to you as well in that they have accused you of being sensitive or pathetic is typical toxic parent type response.

You may also want to read the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages as that also lists some resources at the beginning of that thread. There's an awful lot of people out there who have had the self same ill treatment as you have.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 14-Oct-12 17:56:01


I think both your toxic parents failed you completely and utterly tbh with you.

Doha Sun 14-Oct-12 18:01:31

Keep chasing your dream dita, your DH and MN are proud that you have got your new job and hopefully the start to something great smile.

Your parents are tossers and l wouldn't waste another second on them. Stick with your friends- my favouriye saying is-(and it is very true)

Friends are the family we chose for ourselves.

ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 18:10:13

thank you, you are very kind, think I might have been being a bit of a drama llama but I was so pissed off earlier. think it is time to take a step back though which I do every few months when it gets a bit too much. I struggle to think of reasonable resons not to go and see them and they kind of expect it although I never feel particularly welcome anymore. dd1 has said sh doesnt want to go for diner this week (they sually go for one tea) so that is easier.

MamaCross Sun 14-Oct-12 19:57:13

The thing is Dita, you don't need a reasonable reason not to go and see them. For example, if your mum calls and asks you to come over, you can respond with something like "actually mum, that won't work for me today" and if she asks why you can just say "I've got other plans, it won't work for me today". Those 'other plans' might involve reading a book, catching up on sleep or just arsing around on Mumsnet grin and that's perfectly OK. You don't need to say what those other plans are, because that's no one's business but your own.

Or another example: if you usually go round on a Saturday, just don't go if you don't feel like it. Don't apologise. Just be 'busy with other things today'.

I don't think you are being a "drama llama" at all. You were clearly upset by it and came on here for help/advice or just to rant. Either way, there are others who know what this is like and we are here for you smile

Attila's suggestion re: Toxic Parents is a good one. I've read it and found it really helpful. And it is a parental failure to be negative towards one of your children all the time because that child, into their adult lives, will feel just as you do, constantly stuck in a seemingly never-ending game of trying to please one's parents and it is never going to get you the results you seek. I'm sorry if that's hard to hear - it was for me - but it's true.

ditavonteesed Sun 14-Oct-12 20:08:41

Again you are right, this is one of the things I really struggle with, I decide that I should see a bit less of them for my own sanity and then becasue I cant think of reasons we end up going out for days out and spending a fortune jut so we have an excuse not to go. tis madness. hopefully now I have a job grin (see what I did there) I will be busier anyway.
In my mums defense she has depression and anxiety and has done for a few years. My dad however has never really liked me.

MamaCross Sun 14-Oct-12 22:28:51

Well I have just recently come out the other side of depression which was brought on by constant parental negativity and stress. It was hell for me, and for my DC and DH. I wonder if you could talk to your mum about going for counselling, it may help. If it helps her, the knock-on effect may help you too. It's hard to be positive to others when you're in the midst of depression. Your dad on the other hand...well, some men are just crap at showing their feelings. I'm sure he does love you, you are his daughter after all. I'm not trying to defend his behaviour, but he might be one of those who finds it easier to get along with other men - hence his ignoring you and chatting to your brother. Maybe if you don't see them so often, he might realise what he's missing. I don't know, just thinking out loud really. Sorry not much help. If it's any consolation, I have an older sibling who I love dearly, but if she is in the room when we're with our parents it's as if I don't exist.

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