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"But We Took You To Stately Homes!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families

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DontstepontheMomeRaths Fri 04-Jan-13 14:12:43

Thread opener here: smile
You may need to right-click and 'unblock' it after downloading it.

It's January 2013, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012

Please check later posts in this thread for links & quotes. The main thing is: "they did do it to you" - and you can recover.


Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/angry/hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/lifetime experiences of being hurt/angry etc by our parents? behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn?t have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/or current parental contact has left you feeling damaged falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts:

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect you feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defenses that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety will undoubtedly us it during confrontation to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behavior. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offenses against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behavior. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get," or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ....

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realize that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

Follow up to pages first thread:

I?m sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don?t claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support.

Happy Posting (smithfield posting as therealsmithfield)

I have cut and pasted this because I think it is fab. Just in case anyone misses the link.

More helpful links:

Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Pete Walker

Some books:

Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 14:18:08

Thanks mome.
Here's to a new thread and a new year!

forgetmenots Fri 04-Jan-13 15:11:04

Thanks for the new thread smile lets hope it takes longer to fill this one smile

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:14:34

I'd like to join this thread if I can. I'm quite glad I found relationships and that it's not just about that with your partner.

Sometimes I wonder if it depends which angle I'm looking at my family from, two sides to every story.

I believe my df and possibly my dm to be alcoholics. My df would say he isn't because he doesn't need a drink the minute he wakes up, and because he can stop drinking for days if he chooses. My dm would say she isn't because she only drinks 2-3 cans a night, and because she drinks less than my df and is in control.

I still have a relationship with my parents, a really good one at times, probably a different one to what I think is the norm.

The worst thing I remember from being a young child was being very poor and hearing my parents argue and fret about money. They got married and had my brother and sister really young, they never worked consistently, and I'm told my dad had a breakdown around the time I was born. He always liked a drink, they'd both before I was born been involved in petty crime, df had been in prison. Then they'd turned to God and I was supposed to be their 'new start', to do things differently. It wasn't until I was around 5 that I noticed my dads idea of discipline was to shout, well bellow and smack, all the time. But I guess maybe that's just the way it was in those days.

I remember being at school and feeling really embarrassed that my dad didn't work, and pretending he was a mechanic. I remember feeling sad that we didn't go on holidays, or even a day out, ever, not so much as a swimming trip or to the cinema. I remember when I was about 6 or 7 my dad whacking my 16 year old sister around the face and telling her if she didn't want to live by his rules she could go, and she did. Shortly afterwards she became pregnant, and I remember the atmosphere in the house, and my dad crying and getting worse. I knew he had depression but didn't really understand what it was.

I remember my df going to see a doctor about his depression, then coming home and saying he couldnt' get better because of 'us lot', how could he get better with my brother and I around arguing, being cheeky. And how he should never have had us. Wasn't cut out to be a father, and all his kids are 'mental'. He still says things to this day to my dm like 'it's no wonder all our kids are mental with you'.

I remember he was really negative, if I bought a drawing home from school my dm would praise it and tell me it was beautiful and I could be an artist. Then my df would shoot it down and say it was crap and my dm was giving me false hope.

At some point my df started spending most of his time in his bedroom listening to music or watching his tv, he blamed me for this, said he couldn't live in his own house because of me. I could never quite understand why as all I wanted was for us to be a happy family. He promised us once we could go on holiday to a caravan, that we would all go and get new clothes I was so excited, I think because when I was a child I always believed that one day things would change and we'd be normal. Then he changed his mind and said what would be the point as my brother and I would just ruin it arguing anyway and that was that.

I know my parents were always borrowing money, a tenner here and there, they'd make little lists with the things they needed and on the top was always fag, then cans, then bread, milk etc. And we'd go over to my aunts to borrow some. Then one time they all fell out probably because she wouldn't borrow to them and my dad told me they all had aids. I had no idea what Aids was but do remember asking my aunt if she really had it and getting told off.

One thing that really sticks out in my mind was when I was about 10, I must have been cheeky to my dm and he started whacking me around the head over and over until my ears were ringing. I actually realy despise him for that almost out of everything. I can't imagine ever being in the frame of mind of a grown man whacking a little girl round the head. I always think what if I'd fell, what if he'd caused a head injury?

Money got better when my df started getting DLA, he was diagnosed with depression and agrophobia, we started having nice things then, but I think around that time his drinking got worse. It went from him having 4 cans each night to having 8 and staying up until the early hours 3-4am. I was blamed for this because he said he and my dm didn't get any time to themselves so they had to stay up after we'd gone to bed.

His drinking got really bad when I was about 18 and had started work, my brother and I would have to be up for work and dm and df would often keep us awake all night arguing or loudly drunk talking over the blaring tv at 2 and 3 in the morning. We'd get up to beer cans and full ashtrays every morning. If you dared say anything he'd walk around pissed bellowing 'it's myyyy house, myyy house I tell you, I'll do what I fucking well like, and if you don't like it, fuck the neighbours, fuck you all he'd scream. He'd go on two to three day binges and bring random people back to the house.

He also suffered a massive heart attack around that time but it didn't stop him at all.

It wasn't long after that I left to be with my now ex who turned out to be violent, to be fair my dad tried to persuade me to leave him as despite his ways I know he cared in his own way. My dad even threatened my ex in a drunken stupor, although not the right way I think he didn't want me ending up like him and my dm.

When I became pregnant I remember going to see my parents and my df went ballistic, screaming at me to have an abortion. Then of course going off and getting drunk, I can't remember at exactly what point and I doubt he even remembers but he screamed at me that I was a bitch, a stupid bitch. He was going to kill my ex, smash his hands to pieces with a hammer. We didn't speak for months after that.

I probably could have easily had nothing to do with him really, but he is my df, I feel sorry for him in many ways as I know he's led a miserable life, had a horrible childhood himself. When his depression and drinking got really bad he didn't even bother to wash most of the time.

After my ds was born he did change a lot, he still drinks, possibly more than ever, but of course I don't have to be around it anymore. But his attitudes have changed a bit, he's apologised, said he wishes he'd done it all differently. If I was to ever even raise my voice to ds let alone smack him he'd be horrified.

He actually tells me he's proud of me now, he buys us all beautiful presents things he never would have before.

And my dm is still the long suffering wife, I guess.

I could tell a different story, the times we all played monopoly, or scrabble, the fact that despite it all we were always clean and fed, always taken to school. But I find it hard to remember many good times as I feel as though I spent a lot of my childhood and teens in floods of tears wishing I had a different family.

Thanks to anyone who takes the time to read this.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:22:41

Probably should have added my dm and df still to this day even though all of us have long left home, drink to excess and stay up until the early hours, and it's well known that they don't rise before midday. Df still goes on binges although they are getting shorter as his body just can't take it anymore, and then dm has to switch off and unplug all of the phones so he doesn't get woken up.

One thing I'm glad of is that it's made me despise drink. Apart from my party days in my late teens I don't touch a drop now. I know some people have a drink and enjoy it without taking it too far. But when you've watched your df vomit all over the sofa, fall down the stairs, found him lying in the street, gone through there fear of worrying he'll get beaten up or worse it's enough to put you off for life.

My df alwasy said it's the 'devils brew' despite his love of it. He knows it's contributed to ruining his life.

PrincessFionne Fri 04-Jan-13 15:32:08

thanks for preempting end of last thread and linking this mome

Just read thro the last page of the last thread, and just can't believe the level of awfulness. I spent so many years not noticing it, and then hearing others tell their tales on here and it sounds so sad. The 'its all about them', the 'competing'! (they've done it better, had it worse, and certainly spend all their energy telling their story of you to alienate the world against you, yep, tick, tick, tick).

What strength and resisilience you have shown to keep your lives on track - knowing you are doing the right thing despite all the continual bad press from narcs.

Keep it up ladies smile


trustissues75 Fri 04-Jan-13 15:38:43

Wow sparkly - that's a whole lot of hurt to deal with. I'm really sorry you've gone through that.

It never really goes away, I think. For me it's left me questioning everything. I always second guess myself and question my own judgement. I have a hard time separating what's abusive from what's not abusive.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:56:24

Thank you, I haven't read much of the other thread I was just looking back on it but it's so long.

Basically I'm the same, I do struggle to know sometimes what's normal. Unfortunately I've goen on to ahve tw bad relationships, both totally different, but I'm sure a lot of it stems from my upbringing.

My sister has followed a similiar pattern to me really although she left a lot younger. Bad relationships, she's moved on so much now though, really improved her life, happily married too. My brother sadly seems to be following the exact same pattern, it's soul destroying to watch. I don't think he sees it like that though. I just have a relationship from afar now and don't get too involved. Sometimes I dream about moving far away so I don't have to watch them getting older and killing themselves even more.

I have bettered myself too though, while I've still got work to do I'm in a reasonable job with some opportunities to progress. I manage my money well, have to, I'd go bonkers living on the edge all the time. I spoil ds rotten with cuddles and praise. I want him to feel that no matter what he is loved and wanted and valued.

sparklyjumper Fri 04-Jan-13 15:57:29

That was supposed to say my brother is following the same pattern as my parents, a carbon copy almost.

Midwife99 Fri 04-Jan-13 16:10:47

Hi all - just marking my spot!!hope you all have a very happy & peaceful new year!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Fri 04-Jan-13 16:20:14

I hear you sparklyjumper, DM was an alcoholic, not DF thank goodness but he was always so busy working two jobs to try and support us while maintaining DMs drinking.

It is like having two different childhoods, one that was brilliant and the other that was horrible. Sorry to hear about your brother.

fresh Fri 04-Jan-13 16:31:12

There are so many painful stories coming out here, I'm shock at what's been done to us all.

Sparkly how strong must you be to have come out of that childhood and made it out the other side. In all of us there is a person who knows that we were treated badly despite all the bullshit we've been fed that it was all our fault. Hang on to that person ladies, she's right.

Noddy that must have been a massive shock. Is there any opportunity for you to be in touch with him if you want to?

WhenLifeGivesYouLemons Fri 04-Jan-13 19:07:14

Watching Queen Victoria's Children. Does anybody recognise their own mother in Victoria's attitude and actions?

HappyNewHissy Fri 04-Jan-13 21:05:09

EVening! glad to have the new thread! I'll read back and pop by later.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Fri 04-Jan-13 21:12:29

Marking placesmile

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 22:01:42

Noddy. Hope you are ok? What a shock for you!
Been reading through my university stuff and hyperventilating - hope I am not being idiotic thinking I can do this...sad

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 22:36:39

I'd like to join this thread. Have already posted on the other post-stately homes thread re counselling I hope to start this year. I have been lurking on these threads for a long time, the first time I realised I wasn't the only one I bawled tears if relief that it's not in my head. I've read toxic parents and have been nc with ds and dm since September. DF left dm two years ago and I've no idea where he is : ( .
Someone said up thread , it's when you have your children the scales fall from your eyes. I remember newborn dd crying non stop with colic, I couldn't put her down or she would be in more pain, I had to take her to the toilet with me, still in a lot of pain from her birth myself , just looking at my beautiful little girl wondering how the hell anybody could do what they did to me, how this tiny little thing who needed me and Dh ,could ever turn into a hated person to be hit and spoken to like I was. I couldn't then imagine being my how my dm was and I certainly can't now.
I have so many things in my head, some don't make sense some are hazy memories, not quite all the pieces are together.
Since the birth of dd I've had to open all the hurt and pain up to Dh, to ensure dm never got my precious dd unsupervised ever. I just couldn't bare for her to be exposed to what I was. Before this I hadn't let on to the extent of how my childhood was affecting me.

That's one thing to come from this, I will always protect and love dd with all my heart, I hope she gets to adulthood with happy fun memories of her childhood with me and Dh.

Dm has really shown her true colours recently, I have been slowly withdrawing and I think she realised that she had nothing more to lose, so reverted to type, though she just gave me the catalyst to go nc with her and diss.prior to this Dh would often struggle to see my pov, or rationalise her actions eg, perhaps she had a bad day.

DSis is my mothers golden child and often does her dirty work, after going nc I received numerous phone calls on my landline, I have recorded these on my mobile phone. I play them back to myself when I feel low to remind myself that I don't want dd around these people. The last phone call she tells me I'll be a lonely old cow, nobody likes me anyway, they are just all talking about me behind my back as I'm a weirdo ,Nice. She rings my husband after this and tells him she's worried I have Pnd! No bloody wonder if I did!

There are so many silly things. On dds birthday I had washed her nappies and pegged them on the line. All the Los who were invited for dds birthday were in and out of the back door, you could see the nappies drying. DSis was so scathing, saying how convenient it was I had done a nappy wash that day, just trying to show off my kid was in cloth. I started using cloth as we are skint, she knows that. Everyone was commenting on the funky patterns of the nappies, all she could do was go on about me doing it for attention, wtf!? Why would my washing line cause so much angst to her?

Does anyone else get flashbacks? If I pull my brush too quick through my hair I am transported back to being a five or six year old, at school, I remember we had I think - hazy- gone to the wrong classroom and had to walk to a different part of the school. All the children were in their classrooms, we must've been late to start with. Probably what had annoyed dm.
I remember being pulled by my hair through a corridor which was where the toilets and water fountain were. We walked through the next part which was outside and exposed, dm stopped. We got to my new classroom which was a kind of portakabin. Dm told me, you know why you're in this class and not miss xxx, ( the one we'd just come from) it's because you're thick. I'm sure she was holding me against the pegs in the cloakroom. She just went, leaving me to go in the classroom myself alone. I can't even imagine doing that ,let alone the rest of it.

Every time I change a dirty nappy and smell it I remember my dm potty training dbro. Smacking and beating him every time he missed the potty. He was born in November and this was the summer holidays, he must've been, what, 21 months? He had real problems and would often soil himself, if I could smell he'd done it my heart would sink as I knew she would check his bottom and beat the hell into him. I remember dm would put his soiled pants in the wash and it would make our clothes smell too. Dsis would be given free reign to shout at Dbro and tell him it was his fault for shitting himself. Thise were the words she used, 7/8 years old! Dm would join in, nothing to do with the fact she should have cleaned the washing machine, or washed clothes separately that were shitty, oh no, she wasonly his mother after all. I vividly remember him peeing in the kitchen not made it to the potty I the bathroom, my mother whacked and whacked and whacked, I remember him crying and being flung on the potty. I can't see dbro in this memory now, I see my dd and wonder how the fuck she did this. Bitch. confused

This one literally comes back to me daily when dd has a dirty nappy, can't stop thinking of it, they couldn't have been far in age I think. Ironicly after 7 years, I mean 7 fucking years of dbro doing this, she takes him to the dr and it turns out he has a medical problem! Best mother ever then, informing the school, making sure he gets plenty of time to use the toilet, he got permission to use the staff one so he didn't get teased! No matter she'd beaten him for years and let her golden girl bully him about it.

Thank you for reading my semi rant there, that was long! grin Very cathartic thoughsmile

Badvoc Fri 04-Jan-13 22:45:44

Muma...I am sorry that your childhood was so hard, and for your poor brother
I agree it's not until you have kids yourself that it really hits home...

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 22:50:48

Yy to drink sparklyjumper, Dh often asks if I fancy inviting friends over for drinks when dd is in bed. Too many nights listening to my parents getting more pissed, music volume going up and up and up, parents Turing in each other, turning on me in the wee hours. Waking up to beer cans and full ashtrays everywhere. Then off to sit my gCse exams for the day. Has put me off. I remember my father taking my quilt off me as a lay in bed. So I had to freeze all night, no ch. Another time he rounded me out if bed to ask if dm had ever hit me. I didn't answer, he kept on and took my silence as admission ( was true anyway, I thought it was a twisted trick, he and her often hit, threw me downstairs, punched p, kicked, spat at me, I don't get why he was asking tbh ) he then proceeded to punch dm in the face time and time again for her hitting me. She turned on me blaming me. If I'd said no, he'd have beaten me for being a liar. Dm just kept on about work the next day. No matter I'd just been hauled from bed to witness this and she had two other kids in their rooms. She wouldn't speak to me for months. It's only recently I can see how fucked up this is.

Theveryhungrymuma Fri 04-Jan-13 23:01:18

Thank you badvoc, it's all very raw as I have been burying it until I fell pregnant and all of a sudden I had dd and all these shitty memories, flashbacks to deal with, on top of the daily crap from sis and dm. I've seen you in the old thread, you should be so proud for enrolling at uni, I'm sure you will manage very well, you seem very intelligent and articulate from your posts on these threads smile

Sunnywithshowers Fri 04-Jan-13 23:07:46

Hello all

Another newbie here. A thread I was reading earlier has made me remember things. I've lurked on this thread from time to time.

DM and DF divorced when me and DSis were about 7. I think he was EA.
Mum married DSF who was violent and abusive. He is father of my DBro.
DF knew about the violence, instead of doing anything about it he threatened DM to get us put into care. He prefers my DSis to me and it's as obvious now as when I was a kid.

I was a parentified child, used as DM's confidante at a young age, know WAY too much about DM's marriages, second 'mum' to DBro at young age.

I went on to have abusive relationships - no surprise - but am in a (happy) 2nd marriage. I've done a lot of work on myself - psychotherapy, counselling - and am trying to kick my reliance on booze and food. I have good relationships with my siblings and have established boundaries with DM - she doesn't overstep these days. DF and I are 'distant'.

I'm feeling a bit blah tonight, hence my post.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Fri 04-Jan-13 23:08:11

Hungrymuma that's awful. Just reading all of that and Sparkly's posts has made me shock As someone else said, to come out the otherside of that, shows what strong people you are. Please talk on here as much as you need to.

Badvoc = You can do it! OU are flexible and if you're struggling you can call them and perhaps switch to a longer course or similar.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Fri 04-Jan-13 23:10:03

Welcome Sunny. That must have been very difficult for you. It's not appropriate to confide like that in small children sad

Sunnywithshowers Fri 04-Jan-13 23:15:12

Thanks MomeRaths (great name BTW smile) I don't think about it a lot, but every now and then I want to rant my head off about it.

jessjessjess Sat 05-Jan-13 01:51:19

Just found the new thread, hope everyone is okay, bit behind but will try to catch up.

Sparkly I'm sorry you went through that. Years ago I stumbled on a diary or letter of my mum's which said my dad had said we - his family - made him suicidal. In "real life" I have only ever told DH about this.

Welcome, hugs and sorry to everyone sense joining. Hungry it sounds like you may have PTSD? Just a thought, it's maybe the explanation for the flashbacks.

I want to thank you all for helping me through a really shitty break - my Xmas was ok but I had just started to have a load of memories come back and was feeling so lost and lonely.

The thing I find hard is my father is not a pantomime villain or even that bad so it's hard to think it's not all in my head.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 02:19:13

Theveryhungrymama-i'm so sorry you & your dbro had such a horrific upbringing, there are no wordssad
I don't exactly know what happened to dh growing up, all i do know is that he was beaten toosad.
And upon reading your post i'm wondering too whether flashbacks is what my dh suffers from as when mil or fil contact him, sometimes even sil his mood changes instantly and he almost looks scaredsad

Like you mama, sil1 has always been the golden child and now dh has gone partial contact, if mil cannot get hold of him she uses sil1 to do the dirty work for her.

I thought dh was coming along leaps & bounds since telling mil where to go at christmas, but i've found out he's been contacting sil1 through fb.
So i'm guessing it's only so long before sil1 sets him back againsad
And the worst part is, the whole family have been harping on about pil seeing dc (they & i are nc) and also about why i won't allow sil1 to see my dcshock, well off course i won't, they have another thing coming!

Even now the unwrapped dcs presents are being used as a bargaining tool by ils, ive told dh i'd rather go out and get dc & extra present myself than take anything from them, especially at the cost of seeing any of that evil family!

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 05-Jan-13 11:32:02

The fact they're holding on to your DCs christmas presents and using them as a bargaining tool says it all really. Really blatant manipulation attempt, well done for not caving!

Midwife99 Sat 05-Jan-13 11:57:13

Yes mine have withheld the DCs Christmas presents too. Bloody appalling isn't it?

HappyNewHissy Sat 05-Jan-13 12:05:27

I posted my dSis presents to DS back to her, same day.

She is the most treacherous of the lot. My DS had way too many gifts anyway, I ended up holding some back for next year/Easter or sommat.

No one will ever hold me to ransom again. A guilt trip sparks off on my Twatometer, and I dig my heels in and that's that. The fact that they react spurs me on tbh.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 12:35:59

I just don't get why they bothered even buying them in the first place tbh and i'm rather pissed of as i bought for all the family!!!
Dh took all their gifts to them on christmas eve and arrived back with just his own presents, none for dc of anyone of the ils.

So basically i shouldn't have wasted my time trapsing around the shops, spending money that could have been better spent, especially seeing as we aren't that well off at the moment!
I will know next year not to bother, if dh wants to, he can sort it all out and buy gifts because i'm not interested.

It makes me laugh how they are all willing to accept our gifts without seeing dc but not the other way round. Toxic & money grabbing

noddyholder Sat 05-Jan-13 14:35:56

Thanks everyone. I am shocked as I have seen more pics last night and today of us with his extended family on beaches holidays etc looking very happy having fun bla bla I just had no idea. I could get in touch but not sure I want to. I don't want to have to deal with 'another' situation atm iygwim My mother still talks about him like he is the devil and never stops slagging him off. She cut my sister out of her life and has said she will never forgive her for seeing him. My sister said he is a very sweet bloke just lives in a little cottage with his cat grows veg etc quite solitary. He just couldn't live with her she was very volatile and so he left but he saw us for about 8 years from time to time and then she stopped all contact and he moved abroad.

financialwizard Sat 05-Jan-13 15:20:53

Just wanted to check in and welcome all the new posters. You have all been through horrendous things, and I really feel for you all.

sparklyjumper Sat 05-Jan-13 16:44:26

To some of you who had clearly abusive parents, were your parents ever nice and loving, were there good times? Do you think that they actually thought they were doing the right thing or knew exactly what they were doing?

My parents especially my df actually thought they were doing a good job. Like my df actually thought putting me down was going to be some sort of reverse psychology or like he was teaching me to be realistic. He used to call me 'woolworths fodder'. But they could and were a lot of the time very loving and caring. But the atmosphere, sometimes you could cut it with a knife. Sunday mornings dm would sit and watch kids programmes with me and let me get the cushions off the sofa to make a den. Then you'd hear df stomping around upstairs and we'd have to turn over and tidy up as he'd normally be in one of his 'moods' and wouldn't tolerate kids tv, then noone would speak, we'd all sit round in silence. Ha currently curled up on the sofa with ds, the duvet and Ben 10, and noone can stop me.

Do they also ever flatly deny things happened? Like df will still point blank deny things ever happened or say I was too young to remember and I must have dreamt it, luckily dm has the memory of an elephant like me so I know I didn't.

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 16:50:31

Yes sparkly.
My mum denies stuff happened or says she can't remember or that they "did their best"
Sound familiar?

Badvoc Sat 05-Jan-13 16:51:36

Noddy...don't let your mum keep you from building a relationship with your f if that's what you want

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 16:55:14

Hi sparkly

My parents were loving at times, particularly my mother and stepfather. My mum is remorseful for what we went through as kids, but doesn't understand why some of what she did was wrong e.g. confiding in me when I was young.
Even now she occasionally describes me as her 'best friend' which makes me feel a bit blah.

But I have mostly forgiven her for the past. We had a huge row a couple of years ago - she made a joke about me at 11 that touched a nerve, and I ended up shouting that my childhood at that stage was shit. Mum minimises memories in her head to protect herself, and I find it massively frustrating and disrespectful. But she is loving and supportive of me.

My stepfather and I don't talk about his violence, but he did apologise in the past (and meant it). He would do anything for me and has been more supportive and loving than my dad. He hasn't been violent for many years which is a massive relief.

I'm lucky that I'm close to my siblings so I have people around me who were there and validate my memories, if you see what I mean.

Dad has mostly been absent from my life. I have a couple of memories of my early childhood which are good. I think he wants to be more involved with my life but doesn't know how, but I don't know if I can be arsed. I'm 41 and I haven't yet forgiven him for the ways he's rejected me.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sat 05-Jan-13 17:31:36

MIL denies stuff she's done/said to DH and SIL1. Or she'll tell them that it's 'their interpretation'. It's part of the abusers script, along side ''it was your fault, you pushed me too far'' and ''you were always a problem child''.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sat 05-Jan-13 18:09:33

My mils favourite catchphrase is "what did i do son?". That's all she ever says in response to things she's done in the past or recently.
And fils is "i hate you for doing X"

Midwife99 Sat 05-Jan-13 21:41:57

That's the confusing thing isn't it? Of course they weren't all bad. I remember my mum spending alot of her time driving me to/from dance classes & competitions & endlessly making my costumes. I remember always having nice clothes & shoes & toys. But ... It's as if as soon as I got to about 9 or 10 my childhood was over & it was as if they thought thank god she's grown up - let's get on with our lives!!!

financialwizard Sat 05-Jan-13 22:26:41

My Mum was exceptionally cold and distant. She did not physical contact either, and as I grew up Dad covered things up (like accidentally breaking something) so I didn't get in trouble as opposed to being honest and stopping her from screaming obscenities or hitting me.

Any time anything bad happened to me it was more to do with how it made her feel than what had happened to me. When I was raped she was devastated by the shame of it and told anyone who would listen that she was very stressed that I had to have an HIV test. Like it was a picnic for me! When my exh beat me and controlled me she was glad that I got out of the situation but only because she could play the martyr again and mother my DS.

The good times with my Mum are few and far between and all I can really remember is her throwing money at the problem me to make it go away.

Sunnywithshowers Sat 05-Jan-13 22:59:34

My best mate killed herself in 2005. My DM and my DSis were a pain (especially DM) as it became all about them and their feelings.

PrincessFionne Sat 05-Jan-13 23:26:07

words fail

Theveryhungrymuma Sat 05-Jan-13 23:51:37

Evening all, thanks everyone for the welcomes and thank you for the acknowledgement of my childhood. People really don't believe me if I've been brave enough to mention it. It's good to know I'm not a fantasist or prone to exaggeration as dm would have me think!

Jessjessjess- just did a quick google of PTSD, I was under the impression that only military people suffered it. I seem to meet a lot of the diagnostic criteria, I will try and get to the doctors I think, thank you smile

Pumpkins that could well be what is happening to your husband. When I went reduced contact I noticed every time I saw them, spoke to them it was some overriding feeling of gloom was taking over before the flashbacks started. Much like how the Dementors are described in the Harry potter books. My whole self would change, Instantly. How awful your inlaws are playing games with your Dcs presents. I hope that your dc are ok and not upset of their gps selfish actions?

Sparkly- good question, one I've been mulling over myself a lot lately. I think DF loved me deep down, dm no. Dm always knew what she was doing, always covering her tracks, I ironically remember good times when I went to museums or stately homes, DF was very good at that. Dm never bothered really, I never went to dance or brownies or anything that I wanted to, iyswim, as though dm couldn't care less. I remember no affection, cuddles or anything from either of them. Although I remember an incident as a teen where we had been in the garden all day or out with friends perhaps, I , in hindsight probably had mild sunstroke, sickness, chills, shaking etc I was in the bathroom being sick, dizzy disorientated, dm came in and glanced at me surronded by sick and walked out huffing. DF found me later and was attentive and kind to me for a change, could obviously see I was I'll. little things like that stick in my mind that dm really didn't care about her actions, I was an inconvenience. I deserved it in her eyes I think.

Yes to denial too. I was made redundant a few years ago, feeling very down and struggling to get work. A part time role came up in the off licence where dm works, I asked her to get me an application form. Answer was I don't want you working with me. Dh remembers this. Dsis finds herself needing a job and lands herself a role with dm. Of course now there have been a few mat leave/ sick cover roles going, dm and dsis informed me that they could have the baby while I worked... Uh don't think so! I asked dm why dsis could work with her and not me? Never happened in dms eyes, she always supports and helps her kids. Of course I'm now a stay at home mum, but laziest cow in the world for not going to work there when dsis and dm could have my dd and have offered, but i just win't listen and am selfish. of course I mess about volunteering, but that's not a proper job you see. Although its a shop in the same sense they work in. Gah.

Theveryhungrymuma Sat 05-Jan-13 23:56:39

Midwife I do remember my dm with school costumes etc too, she was actually very good at things like that. The cynic In me wonders if it was because dm would get lots of attention for her marvellous creations and prove to everyone she was a good mum? A bit all for show iyswim. I doubt she ever did a reading book with me in my life, but would pour over these costumes for what seemed like months, she'd bring them in the car and do them on her lap by hand while DF drove. Credit where it's due I suppose.

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:08:17

Sunny I'm sorry to hear of your friend, must have been tough having you dm being a pain in the arse while you were grieving. Xxx

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 00:40:35

Sorry to hear about your friend sunnysad
It's astonishing how the toxics make everything about them, even at tragic times like that.

Dh seems a lot better in himself since having his phone switched of and to my knowledge has only once contacted sil1 over the internet & text our niece happy birthday.
Checked his phone tonight like always, to keep tabs on what ils might be sending and turns out he has a voicemail of niece, she says how she misses him & that she'll see him soonsad, this bit i do find hard.
Felt so sorry for her, and started to think about having them over when low and behold at the end of the message i can hear sil1 coaxing her-can this family stoop any lowersad, now using my nieces to guiltrip us.

I generally thought my nieces missed us and ive been told about how the younger one has been crying...i do miss the girls but seeing them goes hand in hand with seeing sil1.

Problem is, it isn't as simple as me just arranging them to come round as sil1 will harp on about pil and how we stopped them seeing dc & mil & mil that....and my nieces often have headlice and urine smelling clothes, i just can't bear to see them like it.
It's such a hard situation, mil harped on to dh over xmas asking why i don't allow nieces & dc see eachothershock, it's obvious and even for a toxic woman like her, she knows sil1s dc are unkempt, why ask!

All this toxicness yet none of my ils have reported or helped sil1 with parenting problems, not one and it shocks me to the core they don't seem to care about those girls eithersad. I was close to reporting sil1 to ss last year as the kids came to mine in urine smelling clothing, crawling with headlice and the two middle ones wet and poo themselves at 9 & 14, yet continued to sit on my sofa and say nothing, not only that but they act strangley too and also mess themselves at school. When they left i picked the phone up and dh stopped me and still does now.
I've told him if i ever hear or see my nieces in such a state again i'm reporting it as i have a feeling something isn't rightsad.

I miss my nieces ever so much, but what do i do

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:41:58

Sorry to hog the thread, just wanted to pick up on something princess says up thread about competing. Dm is a classic for this, either better than me, she has a first class degree and brings it up nearly every time I see her. Eg- 'I'm thinking if of studying part time when dd starts school', her, 'well I've got a first class degree.' Uh ok, would you like to know what course, or?

Another time before DF and I were watching Bruno, the movie. I am in my 20s by this point, not as odd as it sounds , lol! DF says I think he is German, you can tell by the dots on his name, what are they called, I say an umlaut I think. Dm comes out with, 'you might know what the dots are called, but you don't know what an acronym is!' Just randomly, like that. an acronym! I say of course I do, she gets me to tell her what i think it is, I say NASA for eg. She says I'm wrong , and acronym is 'Like polish ( furniture polish) and Polish(people from poland)'she will not let up until me Dh and DF tell her she's right. Just had to prove she was smarter than me banging in about her bloody degree in the process! So pleased she was when Dh eventually agreed with her

Or there's the other way, dm neglects to send Dh and I an anniversary card. I use this to illustrate how little she thinks of me, ie she could have bought the card at work and posted it en route home, she has to pass my house. In response to this I got, I have sen which makes it difficult to remember dates, you have a warm house, my house is cold and damp and I have to work all the time, you don't and anyway why should I bother with your wedding. You don't know what it's like living in a cold house ( err I do, I lived there too once!) wtf did her cold house have to do with my wedding anniversary? angry

Anyone else's make ridiculous sweeping generalisations?dms bank account was emptied once, spent in Debenhams on a handbag, it was the thieving fucking Nigerians apparently. They are all at it. I asked her if that's what they told her at The bank. Dm carries on about how all Nigerians are thieves. All single mothers are lazy scroungers, no excuse for them not to work, they sit on their arses all day getting handouts apparently. Dms friend is a single dad, unemployed. ' you can't blame him really, he's got the lo to look after' ahhhhhhh. Ok.

Sorry for the hungryMuma hijack!

Theveryhungrymuma Sun 06-Jan-13 00:52:24

Pumpkins, not sure what to say, could you arrange for dn's to go out for the day with you and your family? You could arrange for sil to have them ready for you to collect and bring back? Then you would see the girls but not sil? Maybe treat them to some body sprays and smellies and things while you're out so that they have access to things like that, especially the 14 yo. Doesn't sound like sil bothers much that way. Might be very embarrassing for them if they smell at schoolhmm

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 01:06:31

That's a nice idea hungry, i shall see about getting in touch with bil.
I'm sure he'd let me take the girls out, well i hope he does anyway.
It's my dd birthday soon, maybe i could arrange an outing.
Only problem is, is what state they turn up to my house in.
If i didn't have 4dc of my own i'd have more time to help them iyswim.
Maybe they could have a nice bath at mine and borrow some of my dcs clothes if the worst comes to the worst. I know sil won't like it but those girls deserve a break!

Badvoc Sun 06-Jan-13 09:38:35

I would be ringing ss pumpkin.
Noone has to find out it was you

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 09:48:42

Pumpkin - aren't your nieces' teacher concerned? You could contact the school nurse in the first instance if you're afraid of social services involvement.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 10:08:18

I'm assuming the school have done nothing as when the girls soil themselves they are sent home to sil1 to get clean.
I do wonder though, surely the school couldn't just ignore it? They have had medical tests, inwhich nothing was found to be wrong with their bladders or bowels.

I just worry for them, as it isn't normal behaviour. Spoke to dh about seeing them last night, but he doesn't have much to say about it, speaking about it seems to have worked up dh into a mood again....
Fgs i wish he would grow some balls sometimes, if this was my sister i'd be telling her to pull her self together, find out whats going on with her kids and take better care of them & threaten to report her!
He just sits back and says nothing & does nothing. But it was ok for him to try and pressure me about seeing ils at christmas, when this situation is more important & needs to be discussed he cba...

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 10:19:20

I think you need to completely back off then Pumpkin. They're not your problem & if you want to go NC with his family that needs to include seeing nieces & talking about them if you don't want conflict with DH. The school clearly are aware so leave it to them to raise any concerns. You can't interfere.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 10:32:38

I know you are right Midwife, just find it hard thats all.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 11:08:44

I understand pumpkin I would find it really difficult to back off from those poor girls too.

sunny so sorry to hear of your friend, and your Mum's reaction.

I don't think I am ever going to get my head round the way my Mum is.

NewPatchesForOld Sun 06-Jan-13 12:19:12

Need to vent...again. You may remember that M was in hospital with gallstones...I was asked to go and pick her up, then told no, then berated by sil etc...well I am even more confused now as M said in a text (only in reply to one from me enquiring as to how she was) 'I think I am at the end of this virus now'...WTF???I was told it was gallstones.
She then rang me and proceeded to rant about how was she expected to answer all my questions when she was in hospital when both hands were attached to drips? To which I calmly reminded her that I had been texting my brother who had told me to 'text HER' when I said I couldn't stay overnight. She glossed over this one, of course she would have nothing said against golden boy.
Then she went on about how the male nurse had abused her...shouted at her apparently (in a full ward hmm ), when she asked for gaviscon for her heartburn he had said 'oh really, do you think we get it in just for you? You're not having any' hmm, went 'ballistic' when she wet the bed (he took an hour to bring her a commode), shouted at her 'look what you've done to the bed', and if she called him he said 'what do you want now?'. I don't believe a word of it. When my DF was ill after a serious operation years ago, a male nurse very nicely asked us to go and get a coffee while he took bloods...she had a fit, called him an effing faggot, have to be a poof to do a woman's job blah blah...I was mortified and had to apologise to him on her behalf. So I know she takes an instant dislike to male nurses, and to make matters worse he 'was a bloody foreigner' (her words not mine)...she is a homophobic racist.

I had to bite my tongue, I really did, because I was about to say stuff I couldn't take back.

Luckily my house is really old, and the signal is notoriously bad...'sorry...can't hear you, you're breaking up...bbbrrrrrrrrrrrrr'.

Sick of it.

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 13:10:15

Yes very hard but you'll always end up being the bad guy no matter what.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 13:37:30

Midwife-very true, i will be made out to be the bad guy no matter what, as i am at the moment-hence the guiltripping through voicemails to dh.
Sil1 cannot get her own way, so uses her children instead, my dd has just had a message on moshi monsters from one of the nieces asking & begging to see usshock, she has dislexia and it happens to be spelt correctlyhmm, is there anyway inwhich sil1 won't stoopsad
Any normal family would be pulling together to see that those girls are cared for, but not my ils. Mil is too interested in her dislike of my nc!
Oh well i must let it go, theres nothing i can do.

Patches-If none of it is true, what a rancid thing for your dm to make up!
It's sounds rather conspicious that she has since stated she was getting over a virus when indeed she was supposed have gallstonesblushshock

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 06-Jan-13 19:20:21

patches your mother sounds delightful shock

In the old thread I said that DH had sent a text to MIL calling her out on her behaviour toward SIL1. We've had a reply. It's just a load of excuses that she's under a lot of stress and that's why she behaved the way she did, coupled with trying to make out that we're the abusive ones (not telling her we were meeting up was abusive).

Her re-telling of the incident is absolutely nothing like what actually happened and she misses out the key bit which is her truly awful behaviour towards SIL1.

SIL1 still hasn't received an apology and MIL barely acknowledges what she did was wrong at all and excuses her actions on the grounds that MIL is under so much stress and has nobody to turn to for help.

DH hasn't even bothered to reply to that grin

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 20:08:12

pumpkin report them, poor girls, surely the school pupil services are involved through teachers feedback to them??? what an awful state to have to live in, and extremely abusive! I am not surprised this is distressing you, I wouldn't let anyone stop me from trying to protect them, I wonder what your DH motives would be for that tbh

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 20:49:09

'You were such an awful child, don't you remember how difficult you made my life' and 'DS is just punishing you for being a horrid child'. 'You can't possibly do that, you're incapable'.

Only spoke to her today for the first time in a week. I want to bin it completely but don't have the courage. Oh, and why does everything she has/buys have to be better than mine, even if she doesn't need it?

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 21:24:38

'You were such an awful child' that one is rolled out every family get together at my house, all my brothers join in, agreeing with my Mum sad

Sunnywithshowers Sun 06-Jan-13 21:36:53

Thanks for all the comments about my friend. Her mum was a hugely toxic, damaging alcoholic. She howled at the funeral and all I wanted to do was smack her. I knew way too much about her.

She died of the booze a few months later. I didn't go to the funeral.

sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 21:42:16

I can never understand how parents can have favourites and exclude on or favour one over the others. I don't think my parents have ever really done that, although I do get a lot of resentment from my dsis for having a better life than she and my db had. Although only better in comparison.

I could probably write a thread for my own dm about her dm. I won't say too much about that but she did a few years ago tell my aunt 'if she'd known how she was going to turn out she'd have had her aborted'. This was after she'd given up two day a week to go round and clean for her, take her shopping, but said she couldn't manage anymore as she had a job and a young son too, and to ask one of her other 8 children.

financialwizard Sun 06-Jan-13 22:26:42

Not just me then mome

I am an only child so don't get the 'ganging up' but my Dad and Nan still enable her. She is such an energy sucker. Someone mentioned up thread 'dementer' that is exactly how I would describe my Mothers way too.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:07

I think my Mum uses it to excuse the way I was treated as a baby. I was left screaming, locked in a bathroom in my cot, as apparently, all I did was cry. I stopped breathing one day though and has to be resuscitated sad

I wish she'd never told me that gem. It upsets me a lot, as I've said on a previous thread.

Her view of me continued from that point on as being the 'difficult' one. Trouble is when you're treated that way by your parents, the other siblings do start to join in. I'm still not treated equally as an adult by any of them angry

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:47


sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 22:45:57

I'm suddenly feeling terribly guilty for writing about dm and df, because I know that they feel guilty iyswim?

This evening dm made me a trifle to cheer me up as was ill yesterday and other stuff. My dm went outside for a cigge and df was complaining that he was freezing as she'd left the door open. Told me 'I have to put up with this all the time'. I joked, and I was joking that it's because of all the times he made us sit there in Jan with the windows open and wouldn't allow the heating on or for me to even use a blanket as he'd say I was making the room look untidy, and dm shouted in 'ye it is'. He immediately looked down and said he believes what goes around comes around and now as dm is having hot flushes he's constantly freezing. I could see he actually felt like a right arsehole and I had to reassure him I was joking and the pasts the past.

I'm reading other threads and posts about awful GPs and thinking how loving towards ds they both are and how df sets ds up on his laptop everytime to let him play, and how happy they always are to see him. This is obviously why I maintain a relationship but makes me feel guilty about my anger over the past. Does that make sense?

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 22:56:55

Patches - they'll make up "illnesses" to get sympathy so that they can behave as badly as they like. On Christmas eve 3 years ago my mother repeatedly phoned me & the neighbour & rang an ambulance saying she was haemorrhaging from her "bottin" (the word bottom is too rude!) Back story my father was in hospital with pneumonia. The ambulance took her in despite no evidence & nurses & doctors couldn't find anything wrong with her. She refused to go home but rang me insisting I travel over in serious snow leaving my 5 month old baby & family to go to Tesco's to get their shopping in so they had food & booze to come home to & she had left me a list in the kitchen (good planning eh?!!) I got to the house, picked up the list & trudged round Tesco's, spent £150 & took it back & when I opened the fridge, freezer & cupboards they were full to bursting. The neighbour hammered on the door to complain that she's gone shopping for her the day before too & she was sick of my parents putting on them (her own husband is a double amputee). I was bloody furious. It took me 2 hours to get home 12 miles. She refused to leave hospital for 3 days & the woman who reckons she can't walk more than 5 yards somehow managed to get herself over to the other side of the hospital to my father's ward day & night until they banned her because he was so ill. The neighbour told me there was never any blood - she had gone round straight away.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 23:00:05

Guilt Sparkly is part of the F.O.G we talk about on here. It is ok to struggle with the painful bits of your past with them and to talk about it on here, does that make sense?

I'm terribly tired and off to bed in a sec x

sparklyjumper Sun 06-Jan-13 23:10:19

Yes, just re-reading the intro bit and it sums it up actually. About if my experience wasn't as bad as x, y, z.

Yep bed, back to school/work reality tomorrow sad

OnwardBound Sun 06-Jan-13 23:12:32

theveryhungrymuma I just wanted to say your first post almost made me cry and I had such a lump in my throat reading it.

I am so sorry for the hurt, shame and distress that you and your little brother suffered at the hands of your mother. I have a 22 month old DS and I am absolutely horrified that anyone could treat a potty training baby this way sad

I hope you both are finding some joy and peace as adults now.


HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:13:56

A minor one here... But as is always the way, leaves a really shit taste in my mouth, but seems so low grade, that to react or bring it up would be met with denial firstly, then dismissed.

I need to get my head around this.

DS(7) had a birthday recently, DM wanted to do him a tea, picking him up from school until I got home from work.

I got there gone 6, he's in clothes that are so tight (skinny jeans, boy is not a willow) they were too small. All of the stuff was, scratchy cardy too. I've never had him in a cardy, he doesn't suit them, but that's by the by. These were her gift to him. She'd bought his age group, and tight cut too, despite knowing he's one of tallest/biggest kids in his year.

She'd mentioned to me previously about the clothes and how she was worried if they'd fit, she sounded doubtful even then.

So we got him home, he changed into pjs, bed time, nothing else said. Clothes have not been worn since. I got him a stack of clothes anyway for bday/Christmas. (size 10-11 mostly)

DS tells me tonight that she gave hime the present, told him to try them on. He siad to her that they were too tight, and could he change out of then. He asked 3 times apparently, she told him she'd be upset if he did. sad

Emotional blackmail, wasn't it?

I'll eBay the buggers. (clothes, not DM... But that's a thought...)

I felt like shit! His birthday was supposed to be nice, instead she kept him waiting for tea until I got there, 3 hours! (ffs, not even a sandwich! I was expecting just to have the cake with them!) and then made him keep on clothes that are too tight, and clearly so.

How do I deal with this? My son was made to feel shit. Again. sad

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:14:15

you feel what you feel, you had it hard and cruel, its definitely their guilt not yours. If they are caring and considerate aware now, but trying to make up, well thats good, but it doesn't take away that they did treat you awfully and you suffered as a result. Hopefully genuine care now will helpyou to recover from the pains of the past. (I can't imagine how my P's could ever ever change from who they very much are, its far too deep) - very like your story midwife (your DM behaving as if she'd been rejected by everyone and had to desperately gather some attention for herself).

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Sun 06-Jan-13 23:15:27

Fgs, checked dhs phone tonight and mil has asked him whether fil can drop the xmas presents off (the ones she didn't seem to want to let dc have for xmas as a bargaining tool into fooling a reunion with nc dc)
Wtaf-Why didn't she let them have them at xmas if it was that important to her. What a witch!
She will no dc are due back at school tomorrow so decides to cause trouble by worrying i & dh about fil turning upconfused, the man is scary & has a strong temper, he also hates me for nc of dc.
Bloody great all i need is him turning up at my door ranting and raving.

I have no interest in the presents, couldn't give a flying f*.
Do we answer the text or not?

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 23:18:07

I wouldn't reply but I also would try to either be out tomorrow or look like I was out. But that maybe the wrong way to deal with it sad

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:20:38

To cap it all, I'm spending ALL day with her tomorrow... In a car... sad

How on earth do I keep a lid on this?

Gah! I hate them! They do just about enough to harm, but so low level you're denied the opportunity to pull them up on it.

Makes me feel powerless.

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Sun 06-Jan-13 23:22:22

If you didn't answer the text, is he likely to turn up anyway?

forgetmenots Sun 06-Jan-13 23:24:57

Don't reply, and don't answer the door pumpkin, it's horrible and hard but you have to maintain the boundary, they are pushing it.

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:25:14

Sorry for bulldozing...

I'd ignore the text from MIL and go out too. There's no point in giving them what they want which is a confrontation and a chance to tell everyone how in the wrong you are, and woe are them.

IF anyone ever says anything (and let's face it, you'll not going to bring it up) you simply say, "what text? Argh, DH phone not 100%... <shrug>"

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:25:24

x with yours hissy - postings above for sparkly , but having just read yours Hissy would be led by your DS personally. I would probably talk to him emphasising GP is an adult and would be sily to get upset about some clothes that could be changed, but important that he is not uncomfortable, embarrassed as a child by anyone and under those circumstances just too bad if someone upset (its ahard one to do that young, but invaluable to them learning how to get their needs met, and if someone won't 'allow' it, just do it anyway, and how wrong it was to 'not allow'). I've had to do that, as they learn early about social graces and being polite, but I have had to explain that those rules don't apply when others expect wrong, inappropriate or too much.... Hopefully your son will feel better about that, knowing you support and he has some control back with your backing?

As for leaving him waiting for food, depends on how much you think they will listen to you? If she would then I would say to at least give a snack if she picks him up from school another time, if she doesn't agree then she can't do it (crazy tho, ain't it?)

Midwife99 Sun 06-Jan-13 23:28:40

Don't answer the text or the door pumpkin. He can leave the gifts on the doorstep if he wants !!

PrincessFionne Sun 06-Jan-13 23:30:01

no, NC, no presents i'd say Pumpkin ignore text and don't answer door. They are forcing themselves into your lives without any respect for you/DC

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 06-Jan-13 23:30:16

I would have to say something hissy but I'd spend half the night in bed trying to figure out exactly how and what to say.

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:37:45

Thanks Fi.

I said to him I was sorry he felt uncomfortable, and that he'd felt bad. I said that it was ridiculous, and I gave him a hug, and said thanks for telling me.

The clothes she bought in Europe, so not easy to change, and now they are worn, and strained so obviously so, I'd not be able to take them to a benetton store here to try to swap for larger size.

Why Not get enormous clothes? At least you know they'll fit eventually??? smile

This is not the only event, there have been lies about his toilet habits too. Stuff that I really can't fathom. sad

I will have to limit the times he's there without me, won't I? sad

HappyNewHissy Sun 06-Jan-13 23:45:07

I know MomeRaths, that's what it looks I'll have to do.

DS will be with us. So not much chance of a convo tbh. I'll see what boyf has to say (equally blessed in the parent department...)

At the end of the day, we'll be fine, ds will be fine, but I'll learn from this and set clear boundaries in future.

Tomorrow is about my GM, and me/DS seeing her. We're not sure how much longer we'll have her.

I'll find a way to make the DM thing right, it'll go on the groaning list of crap stuff she's doing. It's adding up nicely. But I'm not reacting to any of it. Yet.

I lived in DV situation for 10 years. I wanted out for at least 3. I had to bide my time.

I can bide some more. Mwuhahahaha! smile

ArseBandit Mon 07-Jan-13 05:26:07

Had my Aunty (lovely, level-headed, DMs sister)txt me to ask me to ring my GF (DMs 92yo father) so he could thank me for his bday card. He was tearing up when I called, which set me off too. DM has been round his quite a lot crying, telling him how heartbroken she is, that she's done nothing wrong, that I'm lying and splitting up the family etc. It's greatly upsetting him and I'm angry she's involved him as I know he worries, and at his age he doesn't need it. She has only gone to him to try and emotionally blackmail me, knowing I don't want him upset and thinking that would force an apology out of me. Had a good chat to him and tried to explain my side. He told me he knows my nature and that I'm not a nasty person, and there have been times that he's wondered about my mother's version of things. We had a 40deg day here last week and he doesn't handle the hot weather well at all. Said he was surprised that she never rang to ask if he was ok (evidence of her self-absorption, she is his only child and bangs on about how much she cares for everyone else, does everything for her elderly relatives etc). He conceded that it's hard to accept that his daughter may not be as nice and hard done by as she is making out. I told him in a perfect world I wouldn't like to be falling out with my family but nothing is going to change unless she gets some help and sees that she has to start taking responsibility for her own actions instead of acting like the victim in everything. I can't engage with her because she is too irrational. It's nice that now I've keep quiet for long enough and not played into my mothers smear campaigns, or tried to argue my side that some of my family members are realising that somethings not adding up and are actually seeking me out to find out my side of the story.

pumpkinsweetieMasPudding Mon 07-Jan-13 07:44:29

ArseBandit-It's awful how the toxics try to pull in the whole family, especially when it involves the vunerable, like your gfsad, i'm glad he is now seeing your side of things.

We have decided not to answer the text, it will only fuel pils behaviour.
If they turn up, i shall not answer the door.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 10:22:23

Column by Tanya Byron in today's Times saying that a reader shouldn't go NC with her narc mum and enabler father because (paraphrase) narcissism is a mental illness and therefore should be treated with empathy. I subscribe to the Times online and will comment!

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 07-Jan-13 11:29:42

And where does Tanya get this expert pov from? I'd refer her to some of the books in the OP to educate her. Grrrr angry

SmellsLikeTeenStrop Mon 07-Jan-13 12:50:52

Is it even possible to empathise with a narcissist?

''why yes, I am vastly inferior to you and therefore it's only right and proper that you manipulate and bully me in to complying with you every wish''.

You just can't, for your own sanity, for your own protection you have to reject the narcissists world view and make sure you have good boundaries in place to stop them screwing up your life for their own benefit.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 13:34:52

I normally find her views very sensible, but she's way off beam on this one.

BiddyPop Mon 07-Jan-13 14:40:16

Hi all, between the general busyness, and being away for a week, Christmas meant I didn't get online.

It wasn't as bad as it might have been. But I had a few things thought out in advance - and I put on my makeup everyday that I was going to see my DM or have to talk on the phone to her - as my shield to bounce away all the negativity. Seems daft, but it meant I had taken a concious decision not to put up with her sh*t.

There were still moments over the hols though. Like her completely omitting 1 DSis's BF from plans for a major family holiday next year (to celebrate their 40th anniversary), whereas others were included as a matter of fact despite being persona non grata. All very odd. Apparently her meds aren't working right either (of course not - when you eat half a tray of the large box of chocs that DSis got as a present - and you a diabetic!!).

But we mostly ignored it, dealt with things our own way (just got up and cooked for DD at her dinnertime rather than waiting until 8 or 9 to be fed -adults can wait, DD needs to eat), went out for long walks with the siblings, went off for a family swim one morning....

DM has put me in the middle between herself and her DSis though - they are falling out and it's hard being stuck between them. I also really don't think DM realises just what sort of person she has shown herself to be to ALL the siblings this year, and that it won't be too many more years before she herself is dependent on us for care and comfort (especially if she keeps ignoring medical advice like she does - but then again, she IS a nurse so she DOES know what she's doing hmm).

I didn't challenge her on anything though - I still don't know what fSIL got as her present (she's as odd as DM and brought her presents away to open in her own mammy's house) so I am assuming that I can still go ahead with my wedding present for DBro. And as we just went and did what we needed to, rather than challenging her on when things would be done around us, she actually didn't have any reason to give out. Although she did also spend a LOT of time sulking watching tv in her room and resting as she was "ill".

PrincessFionne Mon 07-Jan-13 15:12:08

no, thats right, pander to the NARC no matter how much it damages the DC (of whatever age!), as the NARC's bullying ways are far more important to understand than the damage caused to the children by them, right?

PrincessFionne Mon 07-Jan-13 15:18:51

Biddypop have to say some of the 'nurses' I've come across couldn't be more cruel or less caring (highlighted because they're supposed to be in a caring profession, I've had nurses taking the mick out of the way I am walking because of a trapped nerve in the neck and in excruciating pain, yes, very funny, I was sooo shocked). Isn't it an attraction to these types to be ' caring' for others (polishing their halos for being such great people) and yet deny care routinely? Or go into something to do with care because they feel people will be caring for them somehow? I don't think that's explained v. well :/ anyone know what I mean? Fi

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Jan-13 15:29:33

I have not read all the article as I don't subscribe to the Times. However, I have read a small part of it.

Is there any possibility of someone PMing me with the artcile?.

This person who wrote in would have been better off reading these "Stately Homes" pages instead.

Note to Tanya - it is not possible to empathise with a narcissist and besides which such people have no empathy whatsoever. Think too is she well off beam if she has suggested anything at all along the lines of well try to keep the relationship with the narc mother and your enabler of a father going.

I would go as far to say that it is not possible to have a relationship with a narcissist and any attempts made to do so are severely rebuffed (poor DH but if he has told me that he was going to try and salvage something from the wreakage of a narc relationship I would have told him immediately to not waste his time).

noddyholder Mon 07-Jan-13 15:34:34

I agree I don;t think narcissists have relationships. My mum has no contact with her 2 brothers,fell out with both parents before they died,no family contact (extended) at all apart from one niece who has now had enough too! My sister and I are NC and my 2 brothers still have contact but she only emails.She has her own bedroom and has for about 25 years and will only watch tv etc alone. Her dp accepts all of this. EMpathy they don't do because as soon as they hear a problem from someone they go into competition/poor me mode Very frustrating.

Badvoc Mon 07-Jan-13 15:35:15

I went to see my parents yesterday.
Walked into the house and my dad starts talking to me as if nothing had happened.
I asked about their hospital appts (which is the main reason I went) and dads endoscopy was ok. Still waiting bloods results. Mums clot is huge and she needs a bypass or she may lose her leg.
She then says "if I have the op"
Bangs head on wall.
Told them I am still hurt, angry and upset over what happened on Xmas day, That i don't expect them to understand but that's how I feel.
I will take the dc to see them 1 x per week but other than that will keep my distance.
I actually feel better about things today.
I think they know they have pushed me too far this time.

fresh Mon 07-Jan-13 17:04:19

Attila have pm'd you with the article.

hoppyscotch Mon 07-Jan-13 20:55:45

Hello StatelyHomers. I've been following this thread for a while now and have name changed for this, incase I'm outed elsewhere. I'm afraid it's a bit long, but wanted to give the (current) story straight up.

My mother is toxic and she is definitely narcissistic, although not as badly as she could be, so I've found out. She was abusive when I was younger (again, could have been worse, but was bad enough for me) and I have previously had and am currently having therapy for it (since the birth of DS I can barely look at her, I'm so disgusted with her).

So, for the past 17 years, since I was 17, she has been talking about her death. It started with the type of coffin she wanted, then progressed to me handstitching a patchwork quilt with her, a nice 'mother-daughter activity'..for her shroud!! It progressed onto sorting out the paperwork for after her death - will, living will, listing bank accounts etc. Now, I know it's INCREDIBLY responsible to do that, to save others (me and DB) from a potential nightmare. The thing is that I have never, ever been active in these discussions. At the beginning, when I was still living at home, I'd duck and dive the discussions. Later I said, politely and gently, that I didn't want to discuss these things, and following that being ignored, I bluntly said I wasn't interested, she should sort it out with her lawyer. At all stages of the paperwork discussions (a good 10 years) I have said I was thankful for her doing it, alongside, later saying I didn't want to hear it any more.

So, over the past 4 years, when I've been extremely clear and sometimes rather blunt about the fact that I do not want to hear any more talk about this, she has basically ignored me. We live in different countries (thank goodness grin) and I saw her in the autumn. She said, "I know you don't like talking about this, but.." and just continued on about her will and the rest. I didn't feel like an argument, the subsequent sulk and pregnant pause where I'm supposed to apologise (and never do), so said nothing (and I mean not a word), looked disinterested and didn't really listen to what she said.

She came to ours for Christmas and stayed a few extra days to look after our cat while we were away. I KNEW she would be up to something, but I couldn't figure out what. I came home today to a note on my dining table. It turns out, that "..because she has no partner, or close family.." (the 'partner' line has been on repeat since I was about 12: poor her, she's all alone..) she had left a copy of all the documents with me, and sending a copy of them to my brother.

I am FURIOUS. I feel completely disrespected. She knows I don't want them, she has an executor (I previously declined to do it, in part because I didn't want these documents ahead of time - which I'd said, very clearly) and I feel she has been absolutely underhand in leaving them.

Of course, my thoughts about this (according to her I'm too repressed, death is a part of life, we should be more open about it), are completely inconsequential to her. I can only liken this to a semi-bridezilla planning her wedding and ignoring the pleas of the people around her, because it's 'her day'.

I have no idea what to do though. I want to email her and tell her a whole load of things I can't retract later, but will undoubtedly elicit a 'poor me, you just attack me' response and DH thinks I should just say nothing. I also thought about sending her back the documents with a note along the lines of "We seem to have misunderstood each other, I do not want these documents, so am returning them."

Is there any point though?

I'm also very near going NC with her, but know I won't just yet. I have been cutting down contact over a long time and have decided to further restrict it - including to my DS, which I've been trying hard not to do - because it's not good for my health.

Oh, and I should add: she has never had a life threatening illness, or the possibility of one. This is coming from someone who is and has been perfectly healthy (well, physically!!). If she'd had a serious illness, I would have been much more sympathetic and actively helped - at least for the first few years!

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