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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:

GoodtoBetter Thu 20-Jun-13 10:29:41

Sorry, that was a bit epic....and maybe nobody's even reading it anyway grin

WingDefence Thu 20-Jun-13 22:25:52

I've still got you on my watching list and funnily enough, I was going to post on her the other day to see how things were.

I'm glad to hear that even when your DM is being her usual self, you're now able to deal with it in a better way. smile

I hope too that your home life is happier all round ie with the children and your DH wine

GoodtoBetter Fri 21-Jun-13 09:26:37

Things are much more relaxed, in so many ways. And if she kicks off I can walk away. I feel free in a way I haven't really since she came out here. Can't believe all the shit I put up with. I'd quite like some professional help with sorting it all out in my head but there's nothing like that available here so i use MN instead grin

How are you getting on with DC2 WingDefence?

Dozer Fri 21-Jun-13 20:05:19

Hiy goodtobetter, glad things are pretty good and that you're still managing the situation with your DM, you've made a lot of positive changes in recent months! Hope the work picks up soon.

Dozer Fri 21-Jun-13 20:07:30

Ooh, please tell us about the swanky big meal out, sounds fab!

GoodtoBetter Sat 22-Jun-13 14:57:15

Twas last night. There's one every year, the company pays for all the staff (and there are quite a lot of us now) to go out somewhere "emblematic" or posh and have a meal. It was at really cool place this year, architecturally interesting, but I'll totally out myself if I link to a picture of it. Great views over the city. The food was nice, but not brilliant int he way that mass catering often isn't. It was fun and nice to get dressed up and go and do something posh.
DCs went to DS' ed of term summer party with DH and were out at that til midnight, so they have the infant equivalent of roaring hangovers today grin. Been to the park to blow away the cobwebs, but it was 40ºC by 1pm so we came home.
DD now snoozing and DS gazing at Spongebob on TV grin.
Have said I'll pop over to see DM with the DCs tmrw....will see what kind of mood she's in.

WingDefence Sun 23-Jun-13 16:02:42

Hope DM's been in a good mood today...

DD is gorgeous. I hated motherhood for the first couple of months with DS but I fell in love with this one from the first minute smile For various reasons but it helps to see the child to come in the baby having one already as opposed to just seeing a small, crying, infathomable baby IYKWIM?

Thanks for asking thanks I daren't ask what the weather is like in Spain at the moment!

GoodtoBetter Sun 23-Jun-13 16:50:50

Yes, I've found my DD easier than DS, but I think it just often is with a 2nd as you sort of know what to do and you can see how they turn into little people instead of just babies IYKWIM?
It is FECKING ROASTING here. We got in the car at 6pm last night and the temperature gauge said 45ºC. OK, it had sat in the sun all day, but even with the aircon on and moving it still said 37º. Afternoons when DD naps consist of TV on for DS to watch cartoons, the fan goes on and we lie around sipping water and watching Tom and Jerry for a couple of hours with the blinds down and the curtains drawn. Got a heat headache today.
DM was fine and in fact she's just phoned to say she's looked out some baking stuff for us to have that she doesn't use (she knows I bake a bit with DS) and we had a nice chat. DS is off school (term finished Friday) for a week before summer school starts so we sid we'd take DM to ikea with us on thursday.

WingDefence Tue 25-Jun-13 15:02:26

You lucky thing with the weather. I know you probably hate it being so hot but just for it to be warm over here would be welcome smile

Hope your IKEA trip with your DM goes well on Thursday.

GoodtoBetter Fri 28-Jun-13 14:55:59

I like the heat in the evening when it's cooled down to about 30ºC and there's a breeze, but doing anything at all (and looking after bored kids) when it's 40ºC is horrible. Next week it's supposed to hit 42ºC. Sigh.

I found out this morning I'm teaching an intensive course for 4 weeks in the mornings. I'm pleased because although I'd got in the headspace of not working and pootling around the house in the mornings, it's another month's salary for what is much easier work than the rest of the year (2 groups instead of 8 and 18 teaching hrs a week instead of 22). It fits in well with DCs nursery and summer school activities and I'll be around in the afternoons. Will only need to claim the dole for a month maximum.

Went to ikea with DM and all OK, but she's been driving me FUCKING NUTS this morning. Went over as prearranged to take her car to the next village to have 4 new tyres put on. Car won't start. Dead battery. So, have to ring insurance and have it jumped started and then take it to mechanic and now can't do tyres until this evening, which isn't convenient really. I was a bit annoyed I'll admit, (it was one of those ARGH mornings, but I wasn't any more annoyed than anyone else would be and only for about 10 minutes)

It was annoying and basically took all morning, but it wasn't that that annoyed me, it was the way she reacted to it all. Starts going on about how now she's too scared to drive in case it breaks down like that as she "couldn't cope". I pointed out that her insurance is all in English and she has a special hotline for foreigners she can ring and do it all in English. "but the mechanic who came out wouldn't speak English" she says smugly. I just ignored her, because that's just bollocks. You don't need an in-depth conversation with the mechanic, he tows your car to a garage and you wait for it to be fixed. She has proved since we moved out that she can manage that type of thing when she wants. her Spanish isn't that bad.

But she can't let it drop. Once the car had been taken to the garage we went for a coffee and she keeps going on about how she shouldn't have renewed the insurance as she's "not safe driving" but she wouldn't know how to go about selling. Then later, mentioning the fruit she'd bought had got bruised in her granny trolley bringing it home from the greengrocer ad says "the shopping is very difficult" so I say helpfully that the supermarket she goes to and the one we sometimes have coffee in both have very nice fruit and she replies "yes, but I'd have to drive there", i.e I can't drive any more. It was a FUCKING FLAT BATTERY!!! why does this have to translate into I am too scared and suddenly physically incapable of driving?????
I ignored and ignored and then when I dropped her off she starts weeping and saying she's sorry about it all, she's such a burden, she should never have come and given me all this trouble.
Why does it always have to be such a drama, everything such a life changing tragedy? Why can't something annoying happen and I'm allowed to grump about it for 10 minutes and that's the end of it? It really really really pisses me off. I am still pissed off. she said I'm really sorry and I told her not to worry, it was a pain in the arse but these things happen and it would get sorted, but she can't just accept that and let it drop, she has to start catatrosphising and making it into this "I'm scared to drive, I'm not safe, I should sell the car, I can't get my shopping, I can't live alone....etc etc" That's not NORMAL, surely?

If I were still living there, she'd take to her bed and have a "depressive incident" about how she can't drive, she hates her life, she's housebound, blah blah blah.

OK, will stop now and go and have some camomile tea......

Aussiebean Fri 28-Jun-13 15:04:58

Unfortunately they lull you into a false sense of security. They play nice for a while then bam.

It's normal and annoying and sometimes even hurtful. But you dealt with it well. And she will pull her head in for the next time.

Where she will do it again. As time goes on you will be able to cope better and you are doing so marvellously up to now anyway.

Doha Fri 28-Jun-13 15:06:42

Forget the camomile tea l would be having a double brandy after that morning wink

GoodtoBetter Fri 28-Jun-13 15:08:47

it's not a normal response, is it?

GoodtoBetter Fri 28-Jun-13 15:19:12

grin Doha

WingDefence Wed 24-Jul-13 13:25:49

Hi there Good smile

How are things going? Has your mum started driving again?!

GoodtoBetter Sat 27-Jul-13 20:11:09

Hi, WingDefence? How's it going with two? Thanks for asking after us. I've been re reading my threads and turning things over in my head a lot again lately, not sure why, nothing particular has happened lately.
She didn't really stop driving after the flat battery it was just her usual nonsense and drama llama crap.
We're off to my brother's flat at the beach next Thursday for two weeks and there's been surprisingly little fuss from her. She says she won't go to the hypermarket while we're away in case the car breaks down as it's 20 mins away as opposed to the supermarket that's 10 minutes away confused but I bet she gets bored and ends up going anyway.
She has a follow up appointment at the hospital in the middle of our holiday but says she's not going. I offered to drive back for the morning and accompany her but she insists there's no point as "she obviously won't improve any further physically now". I think it's because she doesn't want to admit that she's living alone and managing fine and not really in that much pain.
I've finished work for the summer now, as of yesterday. It's good to be finished and I have 3 weeks holiday pay, but then it's the dole for about a month before term starts again. Feel a fool for leaving a good job and starting up a business that failed. Mentioned again to bosses that I was interested in more responsibility but she looked a bit surprised and then said, "oh yes, you mentioned that before" and I know really I'm not even on the radar as far as any promotion goes sad. Not that I want it, I know what the job involves and I don't want that, but I feel sad that I'm never even going to be asked, which is silly. Just feel a bit vulnerable being the breadwinner on such a low wage and not even paid year round. Can't talk to DH too much about it as it makes him feel shit that he hasn't got work and can't find any and obviously can't talk to DM. Just have to remind myself there is money in the bank and I'm doing my best (did 500 euros of translation this month) and hope things will get better financially some day.
Going to see DM tomorrow with the kids, but all has been peaceful lately.
Still enjoying living as a family again and having control over our lives, even if we are poor. I look back and it all seems so odd and so much has happened and I feel a bit like it's beginning to hit me just now, not upset or depressed but it keeps all whirring round in my head and I feel like I want to know why again IYSWIM, why it happened, I don't know....not sure I'm being clear. I think I could probably do with some counselling but that's not going to happen.

Hissy Sun 28-Jul-13 10:20:26

Hey! I saw this bumped and wondered how you were doing too!

As tentative as it is, you're getting through, standing on your own 2 feet! Well done!

As well you know, situation for many out there is dire, so to be keeping your heads above water in this climate is pretty damned good.

As for starting a business that failed? Look around you! These are unprecedented times! Please don't blame yourself. You could try again, when the market's stronger. You'll have learned lots already in the process!

Well done! Really! Well done!

GoodtoBetter Sun 28-Jul-13 16:22:35

Thanks, Hissy. I feel a bit better today about things and am going to enjoy the time off and not fret for the time being. We're managing financially and who knows what will happen in the future. I'm planning to get a qualification in Spanish over the next year or so, which will help either with promotion or translation and we'll just see what comes up.

I saw the mad mother today and we had a nice morning in a country park with a little sort of petting zoo and she said she had a nice time.

I think, sometimes it just hits me a bit, the enormity of it all. It all blew up and we left all in the space of about 3 months and then I had so much work and I think I just pushed through and didn't absorb it and I think slowly it's beginning to hit me that she's not the person I spent all my life thinking she was. And I've sort of lost my mother IYSWIM, because things aren't what I thought they were, she's not on my side and we don't have that closeness any more and won't again. And that's good because it wasn't a healthy closeness, but I suppose it's a bit like a divorce or something. I feel a little sometimes like the rug's been whipped out from under me emotionally and it makes me feel a bit dizzy. Do I make sense?

Things are good, I'm happy and it's like a giant weight has lifted but sometimes things swim to the surface and unsettle me.

I think it will do me good to be away for a whole fortnight as I usually see her for about and hour with DS midweek and a couple of hours with both DCs on a Sunday.

WingDefence Sun 28-Jul-13 20:58:44

Hey Good

It does sound like you need a break and I hope you have a lovely time. It's completely understandable that it has only just hit you (although I'm no psychologist, amateur or otherwise) and perhaps you're grieving for the mother you thought you had? Sorry if me bumping the thread hasn't helped blush

As for life with two, we are getting there thank you! DD is now 17 weeks and DS is brilliant with her. She's just lovely and it's true when they say it's easier second time round isn't it?

Anyway, keep going and the best of luck in everything both with work and at home. thanks

GoodtoBetter Sun 28-Jul-13 21:13:12

No, no, no bumping the thread has been good. I was about to write on it myself but felt perhaps nobody was listening any more blush. I was going to write about the way things have been swooshing round in my head recently because I have been surprised how much it's been on my mind the last week or so. I've reread both threads this week.

She's just rung because she wants me to pick up some milk for her before we go away and I feel myself getting annoyed with the (only ever so slight, but there all the same) PA pathetic little digs about being on her own. Then I feel bad for thinking that. Feel like I need to be on guard with her and it feels like hard work. Myabe I'm surprised that it's still hard work? I don't know.

I feel a bit, sort of in shock that it all happened. Feel a bit like saying to people, "Don't you realise what's happened, how my life has changed?" Feel like I want to talk about it a lot, what happened, what she did, what I know about her now. Like I'm carrying this huge secret around, because most people have no idea that anything has changed in my life at all.

GoodtoBetter Sun 28-Jul-13 21:14:59

and, yes it's so lovely having two. Mine fight like any 5 and 2 yr old do but they love each other so and are such a little team it makes my heart sing to see it.

Hissy Mon 29-Jul-13 07:33:41

Adrenaline can only carry you too far, and the dynamic that you left IS still there, so you will have to KEEP reminding her that she can and must do the best she can for herself.

Gently of course!

Ignore the PA/woe is me comments if you can, call out the most ridiculous.

Yes, you've lost the relationship you thought you had with her, but that was the one that made you and you family miserable and tense.

I think you talking about your feelings is vital! Now you've had the dust settle, got yourselves into a routine etc, it's totally right that you'd want to talk and think about your thoughts/feelings.

WingDefence Mon 29-Jul-13 13:12:52

Yes I guess your life has changed so much but she hasn't changed at all really. So you've put lots of steps in place to make your and your family's lives happier but her behaviour still takes you back a few steps each time, which must be frustrating and wearying too.

But remember what it was like when you all lived together. Even though you still have to put up with her PA ways, the time you are just with your family must be so much more relaxing for you all.

Can you talk all your thoughts through with your brother? Or is there another RL friend you could discuss things with?

GoodtoBetter Mon 29-Jul-13 14:25:53

I spoke to my friend who lives in the village a bit about it last week, but didn't want to go on and on, and she'll be moving abroad in a couple of months. Will really miss her. Saw another friend this morning who knows about it (the only other one who does know boss/friend knows but she's away atm) and touched on it briefly.
Mad mother is a lot better, I think there's been a slight increase in patheticness just this week as we're about to go to the beach for a fortnight. I know she's a bit nervous about us being 90 mins away instead of 2 mins away, so feel a bit bad about getting annoyed, but then remember that it's all ridiculous and that she's, at least in part, reverting to guilt tripping and then I get annoyed again. I find that not engaging and being bright and breezy and just pretending that she is a normal person and we have a normal relationship is the best way to go.

The friend I saw this morning is a friend from work and has a little girl and is in a management role. We were talking about how much she hates it and is desperately trying to get out of it, but needs the money. So, have given myself a good talking to about feeling sad about my prospects within the company. Going to be thankful for what I have and keep on keeping on. We have some money behind us and mostly manage on what I earn plus a bit of translation. I get to see the kids more than a lot of people and we have a nice life.

And I love, love, love not living with her. I love just not having her around (that sounds horribleblush) I love that it isn't HER house. I love not feeling like I should go and chat to her or watch tv with her. I love not having to live with her moods or second guessing what she was thinking about my parenting/what I was spending. I love not maintaining everything super clean all the time so as not to give her the excuse to call me a slattern. Just not having that feeling of someone always watching me as if I were a child. I love not feeling beholden to her, responsible for her and her happiness. Can't believe how much shit I put up with, how it crept up bit by bit. And she wasn't even happy, she was a fucking misery a lot of the time. Can't believe how much headspace she took up. Still does, have to watch that, which why i think the fortnight away will be good for me.

She's got a better life now, although she'd never admit it in a million years.

Hoping to skype DB before we go, he's the only one apart from you lovely vipers who really gets it and who I can say anything to.

I'll be OK ladies. Just felt it all a bit last week. But, I'm happy and I have a lovely happy little family and we'll be OK. I use MN as a kind of counselling because you understand what it's like. I don't know what I'd have done without MN, I think I'd have ended up divorced tbh.

MinnieBar Fri 02-Aug-13 14:22:52

I'm still lurking and keeping this thread on my TIW!

This has actually been one of my favourite threads G2B. I know it's been really hard for you, and that it's not over (and probably never will be 'done') but it's been a real testament to your strength, compassion and determination.

YOU have made a difference to your life, to your family's wellbeing, and to your relationship with your mum. YOU. And not only do you and your DCs and DH have better quality of life, but so does your mum. It's been brilliant to see smile

Keep on keeping on!

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