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What should I do about my mum? Very long sorry!

(8 Posts)
HugeSigh Mon 11-Feb-13 12:23:48

HotDAMN - thank you so much for your reply.

I'm slowly reading through the Stately homes thread. I've looked at the Toxic Parents book and will order that.

On paper leaving my children with her so crazy. It won't happen again.

The FOG thing seems true. I do feel those things and understanding that will hopefully be the key to moving on.

I don't know if I will ever be able to completely cut her out but I will be making big steps to limiting our time with her from now on.

It's helped a bit to get this down. I might keep listing things here. It all seems so much clearer once it's written. Like when it's black and white it's clearly crazy and I can't deny it.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 11-Feb-13 11:55:26

You are entitled to have fun, by the way. You deserve to go out and have fun! It's just a question of finding safer childcare options.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Mon 11-Feb-13 11:52:45

I keep thinking I should cut her out.

But she'd have no one. The guilt is the only thing stopping me walking away for good.

Your instinct is right: you need to keep her at arm's length, as she is an emotional vampire who will only suck you dry, and then berate you for not having anything left to give her.

You need to work on your misplaced feelings of guilt. It is normal for people raised with such a parent to be lost in FOG - Fear, Obligation, and Guilt. All of that is learned behaviour, that she instilled in you in order to better use you. Shed the guilt, and you will be able to see clearly how to protect yourself, how to set limits.

Absolutely no way should she move in with you. And although it will go against all of your training, you are going to have to be explicit and firm about this. You can't "hope" that such a person will get the hint and choose not to bother you. She doesn't care about your feelings: only her own.

The only person who can protect you is you. You must find the strength to do it. Her issues are hers and only hers to handle, including coping with the fact that people choose to walk away from her. Not your responsibility. Your only responsibility is to yourself, and your DC. And leaving your DC in the care of a narcissist and addict is doing them no favours.

Please read the first post in the "Stately Homes" thread for resources that will be useful to you - books and websites for adult children of dysfunctional parents.

HugeSigh Mon 11-Feb-13 10:31:45

Thanks CatelynStark (love the name!)

I will try and see her doctor.

I do limit the time she sees the kids. I guess I just felt it would be ok if they were in bed. I put DS down before I went and DD was only meant to be up 30 minutes. I'm so cross with myself over this it will never happen again. I feel so angry that I put my need for some rare fun over their best interests.

I have disengaged and zone most of it out but that's led to me being her main target for it I think. She knows I will sit and listen and rarely call bullshit.

HugeSigh Mon 11-Feb-13 10:26:17

Thanks WordyBird.

We have normalised it and now trying to step back and look properly I'm stunned we've put up with so much.

We've taught our kids to think Nanny is forgetful - she forgot she promised you that toy etc.

That's just the way she is and we expect it from her.

I should try and talk to her doctor.

She obviously has no confidence in herself so always invented these stories to make herself seem great. (she was a psychic working with police to find dead bodies, she was a white witch etc)

Gosh it seems crazy now!

Her sister was similar - we've grown up with so much it seems normal now.

I've spent the last few months trying to convince her she needs to go to a day centre etc but a few years ago she caused chaos at one when she told people she was having an affair with one of the carers. But it would be good for her to get out more. She just sits at home infront of the TV all day. She's only just turned 60!

CatelynStark Mon 11-Feb-13 10:22:23

Oh you poor thing - I agree you need to get some medical advice. Can you go to your mum's doctor?

I know how hard it is as a lone parent but definitely don't ask her to babysit again. I would try to limit the contact she had with my children.

I understand why you feel you can't stop contact - I'm in a similar situation with my mum. What you can try to do is to disengage as much as you can and let her drone on without really listening. That works a bit for me.

I guess you can't change your mum but you can change how you react to her. Sorry I haven't got any wise words.

wordyBird Mon 11-Feb-13 10:11:08

My thoughts are to talk to a doctor, and tell them some of this. Also tell the doctor that without your care she'll be alone.

She sounds mentally unwell, at least, and it doesn't sound as if she's had any treatment. She can't take care of herself if she can't do simple budgeting, and she's certainly not fit to babysit anyone.

When someone is disordered/ill (with anything ) in a family, most of us get used to saying 'oh that's just how they are', ie normalising it, and trying to cope, when in fact it's not normal at all and not always possible to cope.

Take care of yourself first HugeSigh.

HugeSigh Mon 11-Feb-13 09:56:42

I've name changed as I'm not overly comfortable talking about my mum and the issues we've had.

I don't even know where to start with this so sorry if it's long and disjointed.

Firstly, there are 5 of us. I am the middle child and historically the least confrontational with her. I am the one she offloads to and it's largely due to my nod and pat mentality that allows her to spout anything without being questioned. But honestly, I can't take anymore.

My mum is a liar. MY whole life she's lied about anything and everything. With any given conversation over half will be bullshit. And it's not always big things. It's silly things like a neighbour gave her some cake or that she went for a walk and it rained but only in the very small area she was in ie - a certain road (but it's been sunny all day long...)

Most of this rubbish is designed to foster sympathy. She has no life. She has no friends - not one. She has no contact with her many siblings because they have all cut her off due to her lies.

To complicate matters she is disabled. She has a neurological condition that means she will get steadily worse and she will play on this. Telling us she can't walk to the shop without falling but she somehow managed to repaint the kitchen up a step ladder and all.

It's exhausting.

So much of my childhood was marred by this. She told us she had cancer a few weeks before my exams - she didn't but I was absolutely terrified and stressed and could hardly focus on studying. No surprise that I failed most of them. She was quite elaborate - going out on a specific day, returning home by taxi only to lay on the couch all day clutching a bowl. I know she was sick. I emptied bowls for her. But she was spotted shopping one week - came up with a story about being too scared to continue treatment (scaring us into thinking she's just going to die then...) and the following week scans showed the chemo had worked and she was cured - hallelujah.

She was married three times but no one stuck around once they figured her out. She dragged various guys through our lives and we were ignored during the honeymoon period. She stole and married my 16 year old sisters boyfriend. Those years were not fun!

My youngest brother lives with her. He is planning to move out in a few months. She's gotten wind of this and has ramped up the 'everyone hates me' crap.

My eldest brother and sister have all but shut her out. My brother has serious mental health and addiction issues which he attributes in part to her and his up bringing.

I am a single parent and as such, have no partner to concentrate on so have to support her as far as she's concerned. She is talking of moving in when my brother goes...

This weekend has been a major trigger for me. She has been bad for a week or so. My brother got a tax rebate - she snooped and found out. She is terrible with money. On benefits/DLA and constantly broke because she refuses to budget. She eats nothing but cake and crap and shops obsessively in charity shops for toys and clothes for the grandkids. All aimed at needing to be seen as a wonderful nanny and so very generous. But none of us want it. We all ask her not to. She'll blow a fortnights money in 4 days then cry to us all week that she has no bread or milk or painkillers. She takes codiene based painkillers 4 hourly throughout the day. A very clear addiction but refuses it. Uses her conditon as an excuse (it's not known to cause pain - we've spoken with her neurologist but she won't have it)

This is so long I'm sorry but now I've started I'm thinking of everything that's wrong and I don't want to drip feed. It seems unbelievable enough without me adding stuff as we go along!

But this weekend she babysat for me. I have not been out in 6 months, it was a family members birthday. She got through the door and sobbed that she's seen no one all week, they all hate her, my 23 year old brother never does anything with her - all he does is work nights, sleep all day then see his girlfriend and friends. So just your average young guy then... She then started talking about threatening letters shes been getting - firstly printed off ones but she burns them all straight away. She was heavily implying it was my older brother (one with MH/addiction issues). I didn't bite...she eventually just outright said it was him. I pointed out he has no printer. Suddenly they were hand written but photocopied to hide his handwriting (what??). All crap obviously. All designed for maximum sympathy and to push us apart as we've all been getting a bit close as siblings recently which she always feels jealous of.

Anyway, the point eventually is that her lies are getting worse. They are changing from the usual rubbish to vindictive spiteful things.

She is saying that one of my brothers is hurting his son. He NEVER would. She just wants something to complain about but he's the best one of the lot of us so can't find anything! THis type of thing could ruin him if SS got told.

She is saying one of us is threatening to harm her via these letters. That could do damage to my already fragile and paranoid brother. If he knew that, he would obsess that we believe her and push him further back with his recent progress.

Last night I found out she kept my 12yo DD up late talking about my dad.My dad and I have a distant relationship but my DD adores her grandad. My mum can't stand this so she set out to tell DD all about their crazy marriage and how he hated me as a child, favoured my brother etc etc. Very nasty stuff that a 12 year old doesn't need to know.

Now I feel awful for having her here. I think we've become so numb to it that I just think it'll be fine. I don't knwo why I ever agreed to her babysitting. I feel like I've put my kids at harm and failed them. All because I wanted a night out for a change.

It's such a mess.

I keep thinking I should cut her out.

But she'd have no one. The guilt is the only thing stopping me walking away for good.

I just think it's too late to sit her down and say "no more bullshit" It's so ingrained. What other choice do I have?

I'm so sorry this is so long. I just need to get it out.

I wish someone would tell me what to do. I know you can't but my head hurts from thinking about this.

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