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Toxic mother strikes again and this time I've had enough. Cutting off contact.

(43 Posts)
VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 14:52:50

I've had a lifetime of putting up with a toxic, negative, chipping away at me mother.

I could give many examples of how nasty she is - when she told me to have an abortion as I was living in sin rather than been married, the physical violence towards me and db when we were kids, the nearly constant put downs at every opportunity. My brother has only recently started speaking to her after 4 or 5 years of not doing so after she was nasty to him and his wife.

Just over a year ago she was very nasty to my dh in our house and flounced out saying she'd never come back. We didn't invite her round for a year but at Xmas did invite her back. She barely speaks to dh and makes it very clear she doesn't like him. She slags me and dh off to dd and dd comes back and tells me "Grandma has said this about you, etc". DD's first memory in life is sitting on the sofa next to my dad and my mum came and threw a bucket of water at my dad!

So we went to see her today - she lives 25 mins away. Normally see her a couple of times a month and get constant snarky remarks about how I don't see her enough, etc.

So me and dd go over today. Mum tells dd to try on one of my mum's new coats as she doesn't want it. I politely say dd wouldn't wear it as she's 12 and likes to pick her own stuff. It was like something you'd see in the back of a newspaper supplement though I didn't say that! Mum had a go at me and told me to stop giving dd "rude smirks" as it "isn't grown up". I had smiled at dd as I said it but didn't consider it to be a smirk and politely told my mum so.

We sit down and mum starts having a go at dd "I can see you haven't brushed your hair today". I tell mum she has brushed her hair, she may have missed a bit at the back but she has brushed it. Mum starts going on about how awful it looks as its really tousled at the back. I ask her if she'd make such remarks to a friend of hers. Normally I'd ignore this sort of shit.

Well she really didn't like that. Told me that we're family so she needs to talk to us like this and that she "has serious concerns over dd's welfare". Mmmm, really? Just over badly brushed hair???? Then she has a go at me saying that although dd should be able to brush her hair better I'm equally at fault "why are you letting her leave the house like that".

I told dd to get her boots on and we left.

I'm not planning on going back. I feel awful, she is my mother, etc. But I get no pleasure from a relationship with her - just guilt and nastiness. I'm fed up with putting up with it becasuse she's my mother. She falls out with everyone - she only manages to keep friends a short while before they have a major fall out. Of course its always the other person, never her fault. hmm

I feel like changing my phone number and email address so she can't contact me anymore.

HansieMom Sat 09-Feb-13 15:02:10

Well, I do not think this is a hanging offense, but I think you did just the right thing. You did not let her get away with what she said, and you cut the visit short. Maybe next time the visit can last longer before it gets to the leaving stage, say, twenty minutes?

Its really like the last straw. To some it may seem minor. But after years of this shit somethings gotta give.

You are doing the right thing. I had cut my mum out but stupidly went back. Shes worse than ever and I want to do it again but DD1 wouldnt understand.

DameFanny Sat 09-Feb-13 15:14:03

You're setting an excellent example to your dd of not having to put up with rudeness from anyone - well done.

But do make sure dd knows it not because she hadn't brushed her hair properly or anything like that? Children can take responsibility and feel guilty for all sorts of things and not tell you.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:11

"Put your boots on, we're leaving!" grin Good for you. Like so many difficult relationships it's often something small and 'silly' that breaks the camels back.

Have you seen the Stately Homes thread? smile

BookWormery Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:42

Good in you OP

CreepyLittleBat Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:44

I get it. There's no need for you or dd to put up wth this, it'll confuse dd at best and could damage her self esteem. I would say if you previously avoided her for a year, there's nothing to stop you doing it again. She clearly learned nothing from that loss of contact - if she had, she wouldn't be so blatantly vile.

BookWormery Sat 09-Feb-13 15:19:56


VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 15:40:18

Yes, I must talk to dd and make sure she realises its not her fault. Thanks for that, hadn't crossed my mind.

We kept contact for the year when she didn't come to our house, just at hers or in town.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 16:53:17

I've had a text;

"can't you see its dd I'm worried about"

She doesn't stop and just doesn't see it. She's still trying to make me feel guilty/like a neglectful parent, etc just because dd's hair wasn't perfect.

And in my mum's eyes she will be 100% right, dd is being neglected by me, I'm a shit parent who won't accept her helpful crtiicism, etc. I feel like I want to shake my fucking mother.

Zara1984 Sat 09-Feb-13 16:58:20

Well done Viva! Keep strong and stick to your guns. I cut contact with my toxic parents 4 years ago and it was the best thing I ever did. I now live in peace and happiness!

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 17:59:26

Zara, how did your parents handle it when you cut contact? Dd they try to contact you?

EyesCrossedLegsAkimbo Sat 09-Feb-13 18:39:08

Block her number to your mobile, you don't need to see crap like that.

goodenuffmum Sat 09-Feb-13 19:09:23

This could be my story, except that my toxic mother threatened to report me to social services after my ds was told off for a situation that she created (she woke my then 5 year up at 5a.m. To keep her company and of course he was a wee devil later in the day angry

I told her to leave my house and as she flounced off she called me a bitch and that I was jealous of her and should "get a life". grin

For years she manipulated me and sucked me dry both emotionally and financially. I was so angry at how she was turning her venom on my dc with her barbed comments (allegedly said for our own good!) that I finally found my bottom line. My dc. I couldn't stand up to her for myself but I could for my dc.

There then following radio silence for almost a year. It was bliss. Then she started to text that she missed her gc...not me though!

The best way for me to cope with my toxic mother is to
-screen calls, replying in carefully neutral text messages
-limit visits to once a month lasting 60 mins
-totally ignore her venomous attacks on her "friends" and various family members
-give her radio silence if she makes a negative comment about me or my dc

I have realised that she will never change, or take responsibility for her behaviour because she lacks the insight needed. Therefore, I have to protect my family from her.

I do get twinges of regret, but it is more about not having the ideal mother in my life to go shopping and gossip with. To have that she would need to have empathy and understanding, not something my mum will ever have.

You have given your mum opportunities to modify her behaviour and she didnt take it.

Good luck xx

flippinada Sat 09-Feb-13 19:41:14

Viva I get it. And I know you didn't ask if you are being U but you arent. BU that is.

With these people, I think it's; the constant drip drip drip of poison and you can tolerate it for, I don't know 50 times but the 51st that's it..even if it seems like a small thing.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Sat 09-Feb-13 20:23:06

No it's not DD she's "worried" about, it's a way of giving you a good kicking under cover of feigning interest and concern in her grand-daughter. Quite a low trick but luckily you're wise to it and did just the right thing.

Viva, I know you didnt ask me, but when I cut contact my family didnt contact me at all. But then lied and said they did when I got back in touch. I know for a fact they didnt.

Ofcourse it was all my fault though. Never theirs. My mum is worse than ever now because she is teaching me a lesson as usual.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 21:09:26

Donkeys - you're totally right. Her message is all about having a pop at me. Nobody in their right mind would be worried about dd's welfare. I can promise you there's nothing I'm not telling you on that score. She's fed, clean, loved, I do homework with her, she has more material stuff than is good for her. She's the most uneglected kid ever.

I have a different parenting style from my mum and am much more laid back. I will insist dd brushes her hair properly if she's off to school or we're going out for dinner, etc. I don't helicopter parent her though, and I did tell ehr to brush her hair and saw her sat doing it. Just didn't notice she hadn't done the back.

DomesticGodess, I'm sorry your mum is still being awful to you. sad

She told DD1 she looked like a pig. And then told me about it like it was the most normal thing in the world.

DP thinks shes a total loon and leaves her house in disbelief everytime. The time she force fed him carrots was the worst.

Honestly, if she wasnt my mother I would be doing time now.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 21:24:32

She force fed your dp carrots? shock

I'm now torn between ignoring her text or replying telling her that she isn't concerned for my dd at all. But that she's a nasty, negative person and if she honestlylf believes she's in the right then she has mental health issues.

I'm sure she's currently ringing one of her two remaining friends giving them her side of the story. As they'll oly hear her version they're bound to agree with how awful I am.

I'm going to see my dad tomorrow. They're divorced, at least he'll sympathise.

TheFallenNinja Sat 09-Feb-13 21:30:31

I had one of these mothers. Real piece of work, generally followed up one of her vitriolic comments with, "it's only the truth" or "I speak as I find". A real long term campaign of this was on the cards.

The last words I said to her were, I'm going now, I won't be back.

Nearly 30 years now and frankly, she sucked my brothers life out of him, did the same to my dad and pretty much most of her family and friends.

These people do not change, they cannot be reasoned with and only exist to heap misery on others. There is no salvation for them. Frankly I found the first year difficult and of course family tried to play the its your mother card.

If I saw her now I would walk away again.

VivaLeBeaver Sat 09-Feb-13 21:38:03

The funny thing is that her mother was exactly the same. Manipulative, controlling, negative and nasty. Not so much with me, but with mum and my aunt.

My mum hated her, used to slag her off no end to me and said she only visited a couple of times a year due to a sense of duty. She can't see that she's exactly the same.

She's definitely got worse as she's got older. Sometimes I wonder if I should make allowances as she's nearly 70yo and maybe she's just losing the plot a bit. But I don't think she is, she's very active, drives, holds down a voluntary job. More importantly she can be very charming when she wants to be. So she can obviously control her vile behaviour.

She's fallen out with every neighbour she's lived next to, she's left every job on majorly bad terms after falling out with the boss. It's always them, never her.

I agree. She will not be reasoned with so you should honestly save yourself the bother. Ignore the text.

FWIW I confronted mine. Not on purpose, it kind of spilled out. The gist of the conversation was me telling her facts (ie not just my perception) and her telling me I was lying. "Anything else you have to say about me." was the line of choice. And at the end she said "I dont see the issue. Why would I change when I am not at fault."

Ignore ignore ignore.

Yes. My mum spends her life moaning about the way people treat her. Then treats me that way.

It has to be a recognisable condition. There are too many mothers with too many similarities for it not to be. Mine doesnt really fit the bill for NPD. But I am convinced its something diagnosable.

Homebird8 Sat 09-Feb-13 21:48:53

Good for you Viva. I've heard similar. My DSs feet were dirty and school would report me to SS for neglect. They were running round the garden barefoot all afternoon. As yet they haven't learned to hover.

Then we moved to NZ where kids don't have to wear shoes in school. Only to arrive and leave in. wink

Rise above, and distance yourself. 12,000 miles did it for me or would have if DM hadn't died first.

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