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So upset I don't have a mother in the traditional sense.

(63 Posts)
sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 11:50:38

Don't know where to start this but I got a bit upset this weekend and I know I shouldn't have as its the way it is.

We (DP and our 4 DC) went to visit my brother, his DS turned one last week and we couldn't go to hs party as my mother would have been there and it would have been too much to bear.

I haven't seen or spoken to my mother in 4 years. She has always been emotionally abusive with me, my brother is the golden child always has been. In her words I was an independent madam who didn't need her and I have always made her feel as if she was beneath me even as a child. The EA escalated and I had to move out when I was 19. We has quite a distant relationship until about 4 years ago I thought "why am I making any effort when she doesn't?" she has said and done loads of nasty things over the years. If I phoned her, the whole conversation would be about her and her woes, she deliberately tries to make me feel bad. In all the years she could never pay me a compliment or say anything nice about me. She is very resentful of me and the fact I went to uni although to everyone else she is so proud of me, the first one in our family to go to uni etc, she made out we had the perfect mother/daughter relationship. She also told me she never felt welcome in my house although her gifts and money always were, (much of the time I told her to keep any gifts as she would moan about how hard up she was).

I just stop making any effort then got a few letters from her which I replied to basically telling her all this but again nothing was her fault, everything mine. I gave up I the end, returned any gifts she sent etc.

She is totally misogynistic in that men are better than women, she has told me that you at only a real woman if you have a son and that all men want a son and DP would leave me if I couldn't give him one. DD1 she was happy about 1st grandchild and all that, DD2 she couldn't have cared less about and DD3 I was crazy to have (told me it was for the best I have a mc whilst mcing). I could write all day about the things she has said to me.

So now I visit my brother to hear about how much of a doting grandma she is and it hurts, I knew my brothers DC would always have taken precedence over mine but she has my nephew over one night a week to give them a break, childminds whilst SIL works etc (even though she's told me a woman's place is in the home and your DH would leave you if your earned more than him).

The thing is I don't want her in my or the DCs lives, we are all better off for her not being in our lives but I want a mother like what she is being to my nephew. My MIL was lovely but she's dead now so my DCs only have one GP my Dad, DP and I are in our own with four DC (I had the hallowed boy fourth time around she's never saw him) and its hard.

Ive had counselling as I've suffered from depression, anxiety and have very low self esteem, I know she probably has NPD, I know this is common between mothers and daughters, one black sheep, one golden child. But it still bloody hurts, I get angry at myself for allowing her to annoy me but then think "why me" TBH I was a great daughter never a minutes worry, went to uni, good job etc.

Thank you if you have read this far.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 12:26:06

Hi sweet what a horrible situation to be in. How she can't see how biased her treatment of you and your DB is, is beyond me. I don't think you're going to be able to change her attitude tho'. It sounds very bigotted and narrow-minded. I think sometimes we just have to accept that people can't live up to our expectations and let them go. It sounds as if she causes your family so much grief, it doesn't seem worth it. I think it may be worth discussing this with your DB and explaining how hard it is to hear about her behaviour and maybe he and his DP can avoid talking about her when you're there as you don't want it to affect your relationship with DB/DP and the children. Then surround yourself with family members and friends who will treat you and your DC fairly and lovingly.

sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 12:33:16

Thank you, to be fair I think DB and SIL do ration it but it's hard for them as she's so in their lives IYSWIM.

Her reasoning for the different treatment was that I was the clever one who didnt need her whereas my DB was a "bit slow" and allow her to do everything for him. I also have different values and opinions than her I.e. benefit fraud is wrong, women are equal to men.

It makes me so angry when she's falling over to look after my nephew yet couldn't get out her bed to answer the phone after DD3 was born and then couldn't be bothered visiting her for 2 weeks afterwards all because she was yet another girl.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 12:43:42

Tbh it sounds to me like there could be some misplaced envy there (or some other psychological issues I couldn't begin to fathom confused). You sound like a balanced, intelligent woman and I wonder whether she wishes she had managed her own life better. Taking her resentment out on you could be a symptom...

Mayisout Mon 05-Nov-12 12:47:13

raskolnikov 's advice is sound.

Your DM is probably like that due to her upbringing. And not because of you.

My DM was a lovely mother by any standards......... but I did realise when I had my DDs that DSs and DGSs are way and above her favourites.

Once I'd realised this (didn't notice it as a child) many things slotted into place. As I was grown up with my own DCs I could just ignore it but she would make little comments about eg my female cousin 'she was v spoiled' where as she 'always had a soft spot' for my male cousin (bit of a waster!) and did the same with GCs.

My DM did not get on too well with her DM but had a close relationship with her DF, and was the second born DD - so I presume she saw men as the best thing and resented older sister a bit and hence her attitude.

What I am saying is if you can work out what has made her like this it is less hurtful.

Also my DCs weren't close to any GPs due to distance etc and haven't missed out a bit imo.

And DB can care for 'doting granny' in her old age.

sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 13:17:36

Yes you are both right my mother was the last of 6 children, an "accident" my gran doted on the two boys more I think than the 4 girls. She now has this perception that the ideal family is one of each and anything less than this is not right (seriously).

But coming from the family I have I am a stickler for not having favourites and would never dream of treating any of my DC differently because of gender.

She used to tell anyone that would listen that I would never make her a granny as I was too selfish and only DB would give her grandchildren.

Lottapianos Mon 05-Nov-12 13:28:35

My heart goes out to you sweetkitty. I have a very similar situation with my mother - idolises my brother and boys in general, my sis and I were always second best, emotional abuse, expects me to do 100% of the work in our relationship, very jealous of me and the life I am living. My father shares lots of these traits so I have it from both sides.

I have often said to my DP that I feel like I don't have any parents in an emotional sense, just two black holes where they should be. It feels hurtful because it is. It's the most painful thing I have ever experienced. I think it's really important to try to let go and to realise that she will never ever change, she will never be the mother that you deserve. You have been very brave with setting healthy boundaries for yourself and keeping her at a long distance from you and your DCs. This alone proves that you are nothing like her - you are putting the needs of your children first, which is something that she could never do for you.

I see a psychotherapist and boy it's gruelling but it's helping, I feel that I'm moving very slowly towards the light. I have been extremely emotional in the last few weeks - I spent yesterday afternoon sobbing and had horrible nightmares last night after speaking to my parents on the phone. I'm feeling things that I have kept a very tight lid on for years and years but I know I have to go through it in order to come out the other side.

Please keep posting - there are lots of us on here who have been through similar and there is always someone available for hand-holding or advice if you need it. You're doing brilliantly OP so you should feel very proud of yourself smile

sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 13:33:48

Thank you lottapianos, your post means a lot and made my cry. I've been around these boards a while now and know its not just me that has these issues.

I feel it most for the DCs, especially the older ones, DD1 is 8 and is noticing a lot now, I've said nothing to her about my mother, she can remember her a bit but she's has deduced everything by herself, she says "your mum isn't very nice, she like Uncle X better than you" she's also picked up on my mother providing nephews childcare. They also notice friends going to their Grans etc whilst we have none.

Usually I'm ok ish about it but every now and again I get angry and upset.

expatinscotland Mon 05-Nov-12 13:34:16

I remember reading about her over the years, SK. She is very warped and damaged. This is so hurtful to you and I'm sorry she's like this.

Lottapianos Mon 05-Nov-12 13:59:27

'Usually I'm ok ish about it but every now and again I get angry and upset'

It feels so horrible and can feel very scary but I find the best thing to do is to let it out if you can. Allow yourself to feel angry and acknowledge exactly what it is that is making you feel angry. Allow yourself space and time to cry when you need it.

'They also notice friends going to their Grans etc whilst we have none'

That is really sad for your DCs sad But you know that you made the right choice - you are protecting them from a toxic relationship that they do not need in their lives. Your DD is obviously a smart little cookie smile

I remember hearing a recovering alcoholic on the radio talking about how hard is when he passes a pub on a hot sunny day and sees people quaffing lovely big glasses of cold white wine and having a lovely time. When he feels any temptation, he reminds himself that that lovely time is not the reality of drinking for him. Whenever I feel sad about not having a warm close loving relationship with my parents, I remind myself that that is just not the reality of family for me. It's still really sad and really hurtful, but it helps me to face up to how things really are, instead of being stuck wishing how they could/should be.

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 14:26:42

I think one of the difficulties is that you would like them to share the joys of the family with you and that, underneath, they would probably like to do so too, but so many obstacles (including pride) stand in the way. I would love my kids to have close relationships with their 2 remaining GPs but they rarely see them (the GPs show v little interest generally), whereas the 2 they have lost made such an effort and obviously cared a great deal. Also the quality of relationships between the generations is interesting - looking at friends and wider family, there is a huge range of experience.

ohthehumanity Mon 05-Nov-12 14:34:07

I'm in a very similar situation too both with (ahem) dear mother and MIL. I know I'm not alone. I love my DD to bits. Take pride sweetkitty that you're doing things your way HTH

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Nov-12 14:44:48

Your mother is using nephew as narc supply and that will in the end harm him (and his own wider family); you are so much better off being well out of this unhealthy dysfunction.

My MIL also thinks that men are better than women and that all women are a threat. She is also narcissistic in terms of personality.

Its not you its her. Whatever you have achieved is never good enough for such personality damaged women. Her own birth family did that lot of damage to her, you have done nothing to cause her to act as she does.

If you have never done so, would take a look at the website entitled "Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers". A good book for you to read too would be "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina Brown.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 05-Nov-12 14:46:34

To my mind anyway, it is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist. Any person who has a narcissist for a mother, father or both parents has my profound sympathies because the damage they deliver forth is both widespread and far reaching.

Lottapianos Mon 05-Nov-12 15:04:12

'To my mind anyway, it is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist'

I found that so shocking the first time I read it but actually, it does seem to be true sad They are so caught up in their own needs and desires and can't take anyone else into account, so there is no 'give and take' and no mutual support, which is just part and parcel of healthy relationships.

sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 15:32:42

Thanks again yes I've been on that website Daughters of Narc mothers and so much of it rang true.

Everything is always about her, how she can't sleep for worrying, everytime I phoned her she was ill, she had food poisoning every week, she even told everyone she was having a cancer scare as she had googled her symptoms and one of the indications was cancer.

I actually wouldn't allow her to look after my DC and yes the rational part of me thinks I'm better off out of it and I pity my SIL and nephew. I don't miss her, I miss having a Mum sad

raskolnikov Mon 05-Nov-12 15:38:49

sad
Focus on your lovely DCs and show them how a Mum should be.

Sunnywithachanceofshowers Mon 05-Nov-12 15:41:21

I'm so sorry SK.

My father treats my DSis and I very differently - he's far more of a father to her than he is to me. Mostly I'm okay about it, but every now and then it bites me in the arse.

expatinscotland Mon 05-Nov-12 15:44:19

Sounds like she's a martyr as well as a narc. angry

Lottapianos Mon 05-Nov-12 16:02:45

'I don't miss her, I miss having a Mum'

Ditto. I haven't seen my parents for 8 months but I honestly don't miss them. I just miss the idea of what having loving parents would be. It's a real loss and needs to be grieved sad

LittleAbruzzenBear Mon 05-Nov-12 16:10:38

Sorry Sweet sad. If it makes you feel any better we stopped seeing DH's parents since May, too long to go into, but DH's situation is the reverse where he is first-born, treated like crap from the age of two when his darling sister was born. I have only been on here for six months or so, but I think a lot of MNers are very kind and sympathetic to these situations whereas in RL people don't understand how you can cut parents out of your life. Ignore those people and focus on yourself and your lovely family.

HissyByName Mon 05-Nov-12 16:32:38

It's crap isn't it? Have you read Toxic Parents? I'm considering buying it myself, both for me and my boyfriend. We've got a matching pair of mothers!sad

sweetkitty Mon 05-Nov-12 16:39:03

Hissy - a matching pair of mothers would be tough, my MIL whilst not perfect was lovely, she died suddenly 3 1/2 years ago.

It's hard people with normal mothers look at you funny when you tell them you haven't see your mother in 4 years.

FreeTimeWahey Mon 05-Nov-12 16:39:59

Sweetkitty and lotsapianos and everyone, normally I just lurk but I had to reply to this thread as it so affected me- that I'm not alone in really missing having a mum.

My actual mother SO preferred my brother it was almost funny! It was only when I became a mum myself that I realised how strangely she raised me.
I love my Dd1 so much that I realised it was odd that she didn't seem to care for me at all! sad Weird, I was her Dd1 and always tried to please her but she just doted on my brother; who was often selfish and rude to her. But she thinks 'men are better than women' and apparently allowed to behave badly.

I had some counselling a while ago and it really helped. And I am proud of the simple fact that I really love all my DC.

I still feel odd explaining my non-relationship with my mum with others with more normal mums. I feel they just can't understand. And I really miss a grandma figure in our lives as my lovely lovely MIL has died.

No mother is perfect but I feel the positive to come out of this is I really feel more free now than I did as a child and was constantly trying to get some warmth from her. I feel sorry for the little girl I used to be who just wanted affection from her mum! Our family is sowe much happier without her.
I feel its good to let this out with others who understand so if anyone wants to PM me about this we could share more about it.

AllDirections Mon 05-Nov-12 16:43:03

I have a similar story and I haven't seen my mother in years. Every so often I get a pang of sadness but usually it's fine because I just don't think about it.

BUT in your situation OP I would be really upset. It's one thing your DM being like this but it's so much worse when it's in your face, like when you went to see your DB.

I agree with everyone who has said that they don't miss their mother but they miss having a mother.

Looks like we could do with a few new ones around here smile

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