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The Great Escape

(735 Posts)
GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 07:24:59

I thought I would start a new thread, for anyone who might be interested in listening to my waffling on about my struggles with a difficult, overbearing mother. Thank you to whoever it was who suggested the thread title! I've changed my name for something a bit more positive.
previous thread here:

Jux Tue 12-Feb-13 12:17:09

TBH, good, most mums wouldn't be phoning more than once a week. Take the positive view that Donkeys suggests. She knows I'm busy, everything is fine or I'd have heard, she's taking a step back.

If you feel positive then you get more work done!

Herrena Tue 12-Feb-13 22:32:08

I agree with Donkey's suggestion - engage in a bit of CBT and try to think positive things so you don't end up guilting yourself on her behalf smile

GoodtoBetter Tue 12-Feb-13 22:45:30

good point, don't really need guilting by proxy!
I have a sore throat and a headache today (sooooo run about running on empty) so I'm going to bed. i think I'll text tomorrow and arrange to see her on Saturday...too busy this week.

Herrena Tue 12-Feb-13 23:21:51

I don't know if I've said this before Good, but I really recommend a daily dose of multivitamins + iron. The iron's the important bit - not only do you need it for oxygen carrying but it is necessary in order for your body to mount a strong immune response against any microbial challengers. Microbes also use it to enhance their virulence, so chances are that you'll feel worse briefly and then much better (because generally, in otherwise healthy adults, the immune system wins).

I studied this subject for some years so can assure you that it's not some cod health advice from the bowels of the internet. Plus it has always worked for me wink Hope it helps!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:05:14

Thanks, Herrena, will try to get some. I know I'm just run down. DS has been sleeping til about 8am lately, which is helping. (DD almost always has to be woken, but DS has always been an early riser, took months to train him to wait for his groclock at 7am).
Have just texted M to say I'll pop in tomorrow or Friday with the stepladder for her. Explained I'd had reports to write and translation. Said we'd go to the framer's on Saturday and the txt back says "yes, need ladder. Can't leave much til Sunday". Not sure what that means as it's hard to tell in a text but knowing her it's a minor guilt trip...I need a stepladder and you haven't brought it back. So I've said if I have time I'll drop it off on my way to nursery.
Going to try and get a couple of hours work done now.

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:08:12

No response to that last text. I do think she's weird.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 10:13:51

She made her point about the stepladder - job done in her book. No scope for pleasant chit chat or enquiries about you or family.

Luckily you don't have to justify your daily life or give reasons for arranging visits when it suits you .

Snow here (Scotland). Not unseasonal but last lash of winter one hopes.

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 10:22:29

I just think she's weird that we can have a nice time on Sat and she says she had a nice time and then it's radio silence and then a very short business-like text as if she's annoyed. I just don't know how to read her at all. It's like it's all normal-ish at the weekend when we see her and then nothing. I sort of feel I never quite know what's going on. I'm over analysing I know, it doesn't matter and I should just step back and be grateful for the nice time at the weekend. Will go and do some work.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 10:32:42

Keeps you on pins I'm afraid until you tune out. Good luck with work.

Jux Wed 13-Feb-13 11:17:34

Your penultimate sentence is absolutely spot on.

it doesn't matter, and I should just step back

That, a thousand times. smile

Herrena Wed 13-Feb-13 17:08:15

she says she had a nice time and then it's radio silence and then a very short business-like text as if she's annoyed.

My mother used to do this. My sister and I conferred and came to the conclusion that initially, our M did enjoy herself on outings and said so honestly. During the subsequent period where she was alone, however, she had plenty of time to analyse everything we had/hadn't said or done and to get pissed off about it. She has this toxic alien mindset where she NEEDS to find something to resent us for and we are then kept guessing as to what it actually is. All terribly exhausting and frustrating until we decided that frankly we just didn't give a shit anymore.

She stopped doing it then hmm

But as you say, it doesn't really matter and you should indeed step back smile

Homebird8 Wed 13-Feb-13 18:50:26

She can't go upstairs, but she can climb a ladder? Please don't rearrange your life around this. You are busy, and not well. You've already suggested going over twice in the next three days. Her manipulations are not your problem. I doubt she'll help in any way with your translation!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:09:06

Well, I decided it suited me better to drop the stepladder of today on my way to get DD. The comment about needing it before Sunday was that the handyman is coming on Monday to paint the lounge. There was a bit of lip trembling and guilting about how she'll manage to move the furniture but I ignored breezily. I invited her for lunch, expecting her to say no and she accepted so we went to pick up the kids and back to my house.

It's almost like there's a black cloud over her house. If I'm in her house it's all "can't manage" type digs, we leave and her mood brightens and we go somewhere and she has a lovely time. Maybe it's habit or it reminds her of what's she's lost...

She was very taken with our house, said she thought it was lovely and really liked the bedrooms and lounge. Said she thought it was much more the kind of house I wanted (meaning me) and was just a shame it was rented and I couldn't buy it. I felt it was better to get a visit over with on a work day as it's time limited as I go to work, so dropped her home (btw she walked to the house via the nursery and the school....oh and she went to the hypermarket yday and did a food shop).

She said she felt much better having seen what a lovely place it was and that we were happy and the children had lovely bedrooms.

She pretty much totally ignored DH though, he was quite offended (as you would be)

She's been here now, so that's done...won't push it anymore, she knows where I am..will mostly see her alone or with kids I think.
Going to see her with kids at the weekend. Plan is to now settle into a midweek coffee with me maybe and a visit with kids once a week. No more.

Got the day off work tomorrow so going to have a good go at the translation in the morning and get an earlier night than usual.

Herrena that description is spot on and I'm loving the "toxic alien mindset" will think of M as like this now:
toxic alien

Dozer Wed 13-Feb-13 23:27:00

You sound so on top of it all, breezily seeing through and handling all tactics! It's good that your M is at least making some effort to be positive, at times anyway.

Your poor H must be relieved he doesn't have to live with her anymore!

GoodtoBetter Wed 13-Feb-13 23:28:26

That's what I said to him! I don't always feel on top of it, but it is so much clearer since we left and the contact has been reduced.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 13-Feb-13 23:34:04

Interesting the 'black cloud' image. Just as long as it stays over her place not your new home!

Tbh am a bit boggled at M's continued rudeness towards your DH. She can like or dislike who she wants obviously but when she slights DH in his and your home (rented or not), I think she's presuming a lot on his good nature.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 09:20:13

When we came in DS was terribly excited about showing her the house and was pulling her up the stairs, but DH was right there and she didn't say anything. Then at the dinner table she talked to me but never addressed DH at all. It doesn't come across as she's angry with him particularly, it's just as if he isn't there at all sad. So, will be limiting time he has to endure her as it's not fair on him. I don't mind taking kids to see her for an hour or so at the weekends as we do the same with PILs and I don't mind poppig over myself when kids are at school during the week, but now we've done the hurdle or her coming to see the house I think that's that box ticked, no need to have her over here much at all. Does that sound fair?

2rebecca Thu 14-Feb-13 11:02:30

Maybe she just doesn't like texting. I don't and although I use texts quite alot to communicate with my kids and ex all our texts tend to be short and to the point. To me text isn't a waffly chatty medium, that's what talking is for. Stop trying to guess what she may have meant and just take her texts at face value.
Does your husband actually talk to your mum? If he chatted to her she couldn't ignore him. If time with your mum means your husband isn't welcome then I'd limit that and if she queries it mention that she ignores your husband. It sounds as though in general she is doing OK though. If your husband tried to make conversation with your mum and she was rude I would pull her up on that not just ignore it.
If he said nothing to her and she said nothing to him then they're just as bad as each other, and as he was the host the onus was actually on him to initiate conversation with his guest.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 14-Feb-13 11:12:59

Hope you are feeling better today Good, multivitamins as Herrena suggested might give you a much-needed boost?

Your M has seen where you live and however you divide your time between family domestic life, in-laws and work, the great thing is you can achieve a reasonable balance, as long as any outside force doesn't demand an excess of your energy.

In my book, blanking somebody is as rude as being overtly unpleasant, I appreciate there is only so much you can address at one time though.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 11:26:54

She's just texted to say she's made some cake and would I like to pick some up or she could pop it over to nursery when I'm picking DD up. So, I've texted back that sounds lovely and will pop in and pick it up on my way into nursery and put her other curtains up for her (will only take 5 mins). So, am going to take all that at face value as something normal and positive and friendly and not analyse it. I think it's only been 3 weeks since we moved and we all (DM, me and DH) need to find our new level and settle a bit and in the mean time I'm trying to be bright and breezy and friendly and set the tone.

GoodtoBetter Thu 14-Feb-13 11:28:59

Donkeys I'm feeling a bit better, although I've got a little cold sore which is annoying. Got some zovirax though. I'm not going to work today as DH has a wsidom tooth extraction and work have given me a (paid!!!) day as it's in the afternoon and have no childcare at short notice.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Thu 14-Feb-13 11:32:37

Glad you feel better, (minus cold sore, zovirax is good isn't it). Enjoy cake smile.

Herrena Thu 14-Feb-13 12:37:44

I like the alien picture grin whatever works! Maybe print it out and put a picture of it on the fridge or something - if you can find her funny rather than exasperating then she loses power over you.

I imagine your DH doesn't really want to speak to her! Did he say much other than hello? I could understand him being reticent and her not talking to him much in that case. If she ignores him when he deliberately tries to have a conversation with her then yes, I agree that is rude.

I don't think you need to dwell on that now though - bigger fish to fry and all that!

GoodtoBetter Sat 16-Feb-13 21:57:19

Went round on Thursday to pick up cake and had a nice chat (10 mins). She said she'd made it as DH was having a wisdom tooth out and I had to drop him to the dental hospital and pick him up (hence day off work) and she thought tea time might be bit fraught or rushed. So, all v thoughtful.
Then today DCs and I took her into town to get some bits she wanted from the Chinese supermarket. Also planned to take DCs to Clarks, but they no longer do kids' shoes bastards. Had a really nice morning. No nonsense. The only slight thing was she said she was a lot more mobile at the moment as she's been moving all this furniture for the decorator to come in and so has been taking a lot of pain meds. I said something like, being more mobile helps in general as well and she said sadly "you really do think I was just being lazy all those years, don't you". I said, no..that hadn't been how I'd meant it at all. And I didn't. I think she just got into that mindset where she didn't do anything or go anywhere so it seemed like such a huge thing to do anything iyswim...almost verging on agoraphobia sort of..although she wasn't.
She said at one point she really really enjoyed coming out with us and doing things. She did add that although I sad she interefered she'd always tried to do just the opposite, but I ignored and said I was really pleased she was having a lovely time coming out with us (DD helped me out by having a tantrum over a biscuit just then so that cut awkward conversation short grin).
That's 3 nice visits in a row. I'm very pleased how well M is responding to my toddler taming techniques. grin

2rebecca Sat 16-Feb-13 23:17:49

That's good, but it seems a shame you're spending Sunday with your mother and kids not husband and kids.
On weekends I'd try and do family stuff and invite her along sometimes but make it clear you and your husband are the family unit, not you and her.
Fair enough if your husband has no desire to see her and has stuff he wants to get on with, but your kids need to start getting used to doing family stuff with mum and dad not mum and granny.

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