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

(1000 Posts)
DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 03-Mar-13 18:27:22

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

It's March 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
January 2013

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 up, 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 use 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

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

"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)

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 15:57:59

thank you thank you you are right

I feel she will REALLY get the message if I dont call

Plus I would only be back to square one, people pleasing because its Mothers Day, not because there is any true sentiment attached to my actions of phonong her.

I would have to hear her voice, answer loaded questions about my siblings, answer questions about when we would next visit...and I would NOT be able to handle that

so i will prob tell DH i tried calling but no one answered confused

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 16:05:29

reading 'Asserting Yourself - A Practical Guide For Positive Change' by Sharon Bower/Gordon Bower. V helpful right now re the doing what you feel is right, not what you think others expect of you etc It is exhausting trying to please others all the time it really is

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 16:09:56

I quote: ' one of your basic human rights is self defence, when your rights are breing stepped on. When being exploited and mistreated by a Downer, it is your basic right to object and to change that exploitative relationship. Of course your legitimate rebellion may cause the exploiter some discomfort!'

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 10-Mar-13 16:58:04

Just tell him the truth. Your mother your choice.

oldtoys Sun 10-Mar-13 17:01:34

I've told him he cant tell me to phone her & he apologised, as he knows the situation

HellesBelles396 Sun 10-Mar-13 17:36:20

not too bad at dm's after all. she did her usual bit of weirdness about being the one who has to answer the door if anyone from my cousin's family come to the house, made a couple of sarcky comments about db but, calmly, I stuck up for him grin. assigned everyone else but her jobs after dinner - except herself and started quizing me when I left - wanting to know why and what I would be doing. otherwise though, she was like a normal human being. hurrah!

FairyFi Sun 10-Mar-13 18:36:09

thanks to you all... Hope the day has been ok. I've had a lovely time of NC. xx

BlackMaryJanes Sun 10-Mar-13 18:54:30

Happy Mothers Day everyone. I've been NC with my mother since July. Still NC now. No regrets smile

CaptChaos Sun 10-Mar-13 18:57:47

Well, the wedding was amazingly fine.

DV ExP has no power over me anymore, and was far more uncomfortable about everything than I was. I was very proud of myself for rising above his usual shenanigans. Vile Sil was far too busy being vile to my poor DB, because he hadn't checked to see what the menu was for my DN's as they eat a very restricted diet, no fruit, no veg, nothing that doesn't come in breadcrumbs from what I could tell. She tried to start on me, but I just smiled and nodded and asked DB if the girls might eat some of the bits and bobs we had picked up along the way. Chaos saved the day a bit!

Mother was fine all day, a couple of catty remarks about how I have wasted my life etc to start with, but I just looked at her and said that we weren't there to discuss that, and she (luckily) left it. Later on, she got a bottle of champagne and glasses enough for her, DB and Sil, and pointedly none for DH and me, but that just made me giggle. I don't drink, DH isn't keen on champers so what was the point?

At the end of the evening, which was quite early as I've had tonsillitis/flu/yuk for the week, mother grabbed hold of one of our friends who had come to the evening do and said 'Why does she hate me?' WTAF? I have nothing to say on the subject, as there would be no point, but.... Instead of sitting with us and huffing all bloody night, why didn't she go and sit with ExP and his family, like she wanted to and leave me alone? ARGH!

Apart from that and strangely coloured bridesmaids, the wedding was lovely. V proud of my boys, who were both smart as carrots! grin

Makingmama Mon 11-Mar-13 03:54:48

Hi...hoping for some survival techniques and just general handholding. My parents (mainly mother) are VERY controlling. I had a couple of years peace (almost) when they moved continents so it wasn't as easy for dm to get in touch with me. But whenever she did phone I had to answer...god forbid I'm busy or something confused! Anyway I've gone and done a pretty stupid thing in ignorance and desperation (dh, I and our 3 dc were skint!)...i@ve given in to their constant nagging and we've moved to the 'other' continent to work for them, we're currently livig with them (have been for 3 months now)...and it is KILLING me...and my poor dc are having a lot targeted towards them too re behaviour, loudness etc etc etc. So they now have total control of not only me but my whole family - help!!!

We were promised good pay, own house/car etc as part of the 'normal' package you would receive in this country. However, we arrived and of course none of that has happened (I'm so cross with myself for being so naive!!!) We're living with them (until there's free £ to find us an apartment or whatever...) no car, very minimal pay for here which is 'just' covering food and travel expenses. We have no savings or means to get away (they are aware of this).

Quickly going insane, losing myself, feel like I'm dying actually (sorry I know that sounds melodramatic!)...but this is really damaging all of the good I feel happened when thet weren't so close.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Mon 11-Mar-13 07:31:32

That's awful makingmama. I'm off to work in a minute. Read the links in the op as they're full of advice.

I think you need to borrow money if you have to, ask to stay with someone in the UK as you move back until you find your feet. Anything other than remain there sad But I know life isn't that simple.

CreepyLittleBat Mon 11-Mar-13 10:21:02

That's horrendous! If it was any other employer, you could do them for breach of contract and leave, but it sounds like you're stuck. Can you make a long and a medium term plan for getting out, so that you'll be able to see an end in sight? Even if it takes a long time, at least you won't feel like it's for ever. What would happen if you confronted them?

FairyFi Mon 11-Mar-13 12:16:31

just terrible foryou all makingm Don't be hard on yourself, for the longest time we naturally assume that things will be ok, optimistic that 'this' will be different now, or somehow she'll realise/stop.

Sounds horrific to be holed up with them! no it doesn't sound melodramatic, i think it makes absolute sense that you can only be 'dead' in that sense when around her, as she is the only one allowed to be 'alive'! because its all about her. I'd be tempted to call her on every single thing she does, or arm the children by backing them each time she attempts side swipes or direct hits... this might make her just ignore you, which would be one thing to hope for ! but it might jeopardise your situation there?

The best tools and techniques are those that make you very clear in yourself of who you are, and what a lovely person you are, and going about your business as if she is not there, she will make this nigh on impossible, but it is your chance to survive her. Do your own stuff, with your DC and DH. Get out as much as possible. Sideline her from your activities, and sortof go NC but whilst together.

Focus on the end goal to get out, all the time. Write things up clearly, every abuse. Totting the money, keeping track of hours etc. By writing it down (you can use here as your journal to keep writing it out) you can remain clear about her part, and be yourself unembroiled in it. Also the clearer you can see her for what she is, the better your mental health with fare!

I was forced to live with mine... very short term, it was trly horrendous, she was even stealing my belongings! I found some very expensive things that I thought I had lost and had to prove they were mine, but I did eventually and got them back... beyond help I tell you, really. AFter a lifetime of washing she managed to ruin loads of clothes in the wash, taking over and doing stuff that I didn't want her to. Taking my washing! eeeuuw! Back to no privacy, etc. just awful.

I really feel for you... just keep coming back to offload, it will keep you sane... xx

Lostfound Tue 12-Mar-13 00:45:35

Hi, I'm new to this thread. A friend of mine is a single mum and is having problems with her family. Recently she has been going to counselling having realised that her childhood was not 'ok'. She is currently at the position where she hasn't spoken to her mum or dad for a few months, but finally had the conversation about it all and why they do not seem to bother with her child (but boast about the brilliant grandparents they are to their grandchild) as they came back to her telling her how upset her mum was that she hadn't received a Mother's Day card from her.
The result of all this is that they blame her for their behaviour, because of her lack of communication over the past few months this has caused them to take a step back from her child. they claim to have made all the effort for making the relationship work and are terribly upset at what has happened. And in some bizarre turn of events it's apparently up to my friend to make up with them.

To be honest I can't believe what I'm hearing and find it difficult how to advise her further. I don't really understand their behaviour. Is this sort of toxic behaviour really common? Apparently they also claim that any of the ill feelings she has towards them is due to her misinterpretations of them.

FairyFi Tue 12-Mar-13 01:17:23

yes all this denial and turning the blame back on her is traditionally whats to be expected wth toxic parents.

This is how you know their toxicity. Regular parents will find it uncomfortable but want to listen to upsets caused, take responsibility for their part and want to apologise and move forward together. Not so the toxic parents.

Have a good read of the thread here, it should give you a fair understanding of their behaviour, you may feel more equipped to support, but also the links are well worth investigating and maybe pointing her to. I think its probably more worth her while looking through this stuff now, if she feels it would help her and she wants to pursue this for herself. she could well recognise some of the tactics and get some validations for herself, which are the way out of the FOG that might be keeping her there.

best wishes ... do keep posting xx

marissab Tue 12-Mar-13 17:30:57

Makingm i feel for you, i really do. I went on a 1 week holiday with my parents and it was horrific. You weren't being nieve. Even the most horrible person, you would expect, would honor tgeir promises when you've moved your whole family to another country for them! That is not unreasonable. I would try and sit down with them, and try and get them to commit to a time scale for when things such as the house will happen. You have my sympathies x

HughPughBarneyMcGrew Wed 13-Mar-13 08:37:04

Please may I have a quick rant? NC since last October; no Christmas cards or presents, birthday cards, phone calls, emails, text messages. I am a lot happier, a lot more relaxed, able to concentrate on DC and DH and my life.

From my parents this morning, a text, wishing our dog a happy birthday hmm WTF?! I've just deleted the number off the phone in a rage and now I'm overwhelmed with the usual FOG. Two steps forwards, three steps back. Grrrrrrr. Thanks for listening smile

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 09:35:33

well done for going NC... stupid text, predictable and pathetic!

Stick to your guns, ignore stupid text, stay wrong, not for no reason did you go through everything to go NC, this is just an example to prove to you why you did it! Just a little reminder of what a good decision you made is all wink

Welcome here.. keep posting xx

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 09:36:34

oops... stay strong! not 'wrong' of course! blush

Makingmama Wed 13-Mar-13 09:57:04

Thanks everyone smile great advice fairyfo, I'm definitely going to try and keep a diary.

I can get so confused sometimes and start to think it's actually all just me and I must be really screwed up making her be the way she is etc? She can come across as SO lovely to people, even to me. She goes on ALL of the time about how amazing she is, how generous she is and kind and thoughtful etc's very confusing.

When I had much less contact I could see it all so clearly. I had psychotherapy sessions who said I need to keep a healthy distance and learn to say no to them etc as they sounded so controlling. They can never see that they're in the wrong...ever.

Just really hoping we get our own place soon. If this doesn't happen we have flights for hols back to uk in july - i expect we'll just have to somehow work somthing out then to stay...not easy as have no one who can put us up etc.

Thanks again.

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 12:34:20

Hello ladies. I have been lurking for a while but as narc mum is coming back on my radar I really would appreciate your support sad

Bloody narc mum went nc with me 18 months ago after I explained that I couldn't have the big society wedding she wanted after all but me and dp (of 11 years with a 2 year old too) simply wanted to be married with no fanfare. We are not showy people, I don't even have parties for my birthday, I was finishing a PhD and bringing up ds plus we don't have our own home - a 20 grand wedding could be a deposit... Well she went mad because I was taking her day away. More reasons were that she was making the day hers - she organised the top table with her new boyf on it, would invite then fall out with people and uninvite them, was taking the credit for paying for it when in fact was going thirds, and acting all funny about paying for stuff and unable even to sort out her accommodation. It was awful and with a whole year still to go I was crying over it! So we cancelled.

It is so complicated but basically my mum is also a problem drinker and so rude when she is drunk. She would have horrified my new in laws, and offended me. But she is posh so thinks she is ok. Bah.

I fell dramatically from the golden girl status and was kicked out of the family. I think she thought I would relent and go back crawling and still have that wedding. Deluded. I have never stood up to her before but like so many of you, having a child changed what I could put up with.

After no Xmas cards apart from to ds and a phonecall a year ago saying she was sorry but... (Then blamed us) my younger brother has emailed us all basically saying me and my mum should make up now.

I can't go back. I tried to go back and she ignored my emails and would put the phone down on me. It hurt so so.much. counselling showed me that she was very controlling and be strong. But I feel the fog now, so strongly. I feel like a bitch, a ruiner of families, selfish and petty. But since I made some peace with her silence I have stopped hating myself.
I don't have depressive episodes and feel stronger in.myself than I ever have with her as my 'mum'. I can't go back, can I?

Ah hell. Help?! Sorry to offload sad

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 12:37:38

Fairy, Hugh and making - gosh I can identify with your feelings so much. I hope you are all ok.

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:08:34

good to offload Wilde keep it coming! wink resist the fog with every breathe in your body! You might ask her 'who's day is it?' - but she'd only says 'hers' and think she's right! Bah indeed! Doing ok here thanks, NC is the best way, but its a struggle having no family, but in reality they're not family anyway in that sense. Whoa!.. no going back wink

y y Making such a lovely lady, so caring, kind thoughtful --back-stabbing, lying, ignorant, deceitful, neglectful......* [my narcM]

Lovemarmite Wed 13-Mar-13 13:08:48

Hi everyone, I've been reading this page for a while and keep putting off coming to terms with my own mum but trying to ignore it means I'm thinking about it more than I want to.
I bought the book but can't face reading it yet.
Through pregnancy, (DD is 6.5 months now) my mum was very unsupportive and tried to treat me like I was a child (I'm 39) she said when I was 8.5 mths pregnant that even though I was pregnant, she could still smack me. She also brought up problems that I had produced when I was a child and couldn't wait to see how I will cope with a naughty child of my own. I had to remind her that one incident she mentioned which was not attending 6th form college was because I was bullied. I have to also tell you at 8.5 months pregnant i was scared of childbirth and also my LO was diagnosed with a cleft lip and palate and so all I wanted from people was support and love.
When it was diagnosed I told my mum and she shrugged it off and said its amazing what make up can do and that was just hare lip. I was so sad as I was advised about feeding issues, speech etc and how my LO would find life that little bit harder with operations etc, I just felt vulnerable for me and LO.
During the very last few weeks of pregnancy (went over by 2.5 weeks) I was told by a mutual friend that my mum was feeling left out and that I should involved her more. I was dumbstruck as I had been ignoring her (and have done so many times) but she made my pregnancy about her again. My mum apparently wanted to look after my LO and she was telling all the family and friends that I wouldn't let her and so I had a few family members come and talk to me about it and that my mum was the most important person to me. This all made me sadder and I have not cried so much in my life. It still makes me sad.
When I confronted her (by email) about all this and how she'd upset me, she went on about what a terrible mother she is etc, I ignored it as I wanted no discussion on her. Then after our daughter was born, I tried to talk to her and she said that she was so hurt about how I had acted whilst I was pregnant.
I have so many stories about how she is toxic as she is a very competitive person and bullied us during childhood, she would always put me in my place e.g. say to everyone at a meal time that my sister is lovely and I was a different story and very capricious. This is partly because I try to not let her always dictate to me what to think, feel etc but my dad and sister never step out of line or say anything to disrupt my mum's dictatorship.
Sorry I meant to post a short post here but ended in a ramble.

What do you think I should do next? I want to ignore more but she has developed a rather bad back and can't walk and there's no way with a 6.5 month baby and a 2 mile drive I am going over to help, my sister isn't either. But she is making me feel guilty about never visiting.
Whilst I was going through the pregnancy I really felt like my mum was dead to me, a bit harsh but I do feel I am unable to emotionally connect with her or want to help.
Thanks for listening.

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:09:04

want to NC now to CuthbertDibbleGrub !!!

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 13:18:31

this sounds horribly familiar Love I think you did the right thing, but she's not going to make it any easier for you or let you get off lightly and just walk off! CB makes it all come to a head as you rightly focus on your baby and the big hurdles of childbirth and newborn to navigate, esp where there are additional complications to face (which I am sorry you have all had to deal with, mine was all in crisis so I understand the extra needed to manage medical complications). They shouted at me in the hosp. because phone calls weren't timely (well won't go into that .. but you get the idea).

I actually gave her more time than the DC father! Choosing the pram, and big items, but I was still rejecting her! She scorned me drawing attention tothe baby moving. Do you know, noone wanted to feel my baby move during my pregnancy. there are some horrendously uncaring and cold people in the world, but she's the number 1. It caused me awful pain, but no more... going NC was the right thing. Also know that she has all sorts of medical stuff (and always did, pooooor pooor her) going on, but no, she has to manage that without me, I can't be abused and be,not only nice to her, but support her in her difficulties, not when its so damaging to me.

Welcome newcomers... sad that you have to share this stuff, but its so good to offload! Keep posting and reading... its helped me enormously xx

FairyFi Wed 13-Mar-13 14:16:35

y y Making such a lovely lady, so caring, kind thoughtful back-stabbing, lying, ignorant, deceitful, neglectful...... [my narcM]

and this was to HughPughBarneyMcGrew I want to NC now to CuthbertDibbleGrub !!!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 14:33:28

Thank you for listening to my rant smile. It really is the theme of them being completely self absorbed isn't it. Funnily enough my mum caused huge family drama when I was in late pregnancy with ds which caused me to nearly fall out with my siblings - on her behalf! She always gets others to do her dirty work, used to be me but now looks like it is poor db.

Dm would also say to everyone how she adored her grandson but would let us down if we asked her to babysit (she once turned.up.late and drunk and when.I called her up on it the next day she made me feel.guilty for bringing it up).

They do.nothing and want all the credit while we feel like crap for questioning them. How does that even happen?! Why do we not just dump.them? Why does being nc feel like hard work, like quitting some kind of horrid addiction?!

Makingmama Wed 13-Mar-13 15:52:17

My mother planned and chose every detail for our small wedding (they paid for it) even down to the music...we wanted 1 song which was 'our song', but we weren't allowed!!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 16:05:20

Oh making! sad

HughPughBarneyMcGrew Wed 13-Mar-13 16:06:56

Thanks FairyFi - I've just seen your post! I'd rather be Windy Miller but its gone! smile Hello and 'hang-on-in-there' to everyone else.

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 19:50:26

Wilde- lots of your last post resonates with me. The 'show' of being a grandparent without any effort put in. Mum has also done the distraction technique whenever we've been celebrating something, my 30th she created the most insane drama that meant I spent the whole evening with her, listening to her woes, being a shoulder to cry on.

I'm finding NC hard. It's only been a couple of weeks. I don't miss anything specific just starting to think about what I could've had I guess.

Does anyone else seem to gravitate towards other role models in life? How do you 'replace' that gap?

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 19:54:15

Also wondering about physically absent parents in the toxic sense, I've never properly allowed myself to think about the effect that's had. Susan forwards book obv just deals with the parents who were there no matter how loosely you apply the term!

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 20:28:52

oopla I went thru a period of something akin to grief after staying nc with my mum. For about six months I just couldn't come to terms with what I just didn't have. I wanted to know why I didn't have it, why couldn't my mum love me, if she doesn't love me - who will?! It rocked my foundations.

Then I had a miscarriage and knew I could.never have mum about it without her taking my grief for herself. But because she wasn't in my life I didn't have the guilt or fretting overkeeping such a secret... And all I felt about losing my lo were mine, all mine, to feel. Then I started to feel good about nc. My life was my own.

So it is a process, really. It isn't ah! I don't talk to you so I must feel better. It is complex and multi dimensional and has its own stresses. But one day something will.happen that makes you realise how light you feel without the burden of the toxic parent smile

Am gutted tho personally at how swiftly my brothers call for me to make up with dm set me back today tho. After 18 months nc that fog tied me.up in knots. Sigh.

WildeRumpus Wed 13-Mar-13 20:37:07

Am interested in your thoughts on the absent toxic parent... I went very low contact with my largely absent dad after years of me going to visit him and looking after his needs and he just gave me nothing. Was emotionally absent. I slipped out of his life with him barely noticing until I had ds. Never thought of him as toxic tho, just a twat smile

Oopla Wed 13-Mar-13 21:26:41

Wilde-you've been so brave, awful that your siblings are intervening in this way. Perhaps they're taking some of the flack you were before you went nc.
Tomorrow another day, hope you're feeling brighter about things.

Thanks for sharing your experience directly after you cut contact. Really poignant that such a sad time for you gave you the greatest insight.

oldtoys Thu 14-Mar-13 17:29:37

I need to vent and say I feel sh::sad and cant get through to a happy place this week at all. Been feeling like this sunde mothers day ad it's now thurs. am already on antidepressants. Just had to tell someone how heavy i feel thanks all

oldtoys Thu 14-Mar-13 17:30:42

That was meant to say 'since Sunday'

Oopla Thu 14-Mar-13 18:30:41

Old toys - I'm just walking home from an appointment so can't reply properly but hand holding here. Xx

FairyFi Thu 14-Mar-13 19:40:01

ha ha grin hughpugh re windymiller yy grin

oldtoysgood for venting ... Are you feeling guilty? or missing her? bad for not calling? I felt heavy and I'm trying to remember why, I think it was grieving the enormity and loss (as in severing a connection /bond to 'mother figure') is this what's happening? I know that I cried a lot (especially after a drink) blush

It gots lots and lots better for me if that gives you some hope? hand-holding here too. Well done and hang on in there xxx

beabea81 Thu 14-Mar-13 22:17:16

Can I just ask where the "but we took you to stately homes" comes in - was this a mother's defense for her poor behaviour?!

I only just came across this thread, wish I had seen it before when I was first working through my own issues with my mum! Well it's ongoing really, we still have regular problems, but I deal with them better now. Things got better for me after I had counselling a few years ago, & even better still since I had my daughter 2 years ago.

Every single day I do the opposite with my dd to all the things my mum did with me growing up, she basically lived her life through me, & still tries to. Extremely controlling, insecure, a martyr, emotional blackmail etc. Everything was always about keeping up appearances - going to private school, speaking well, dressing & behaving well, pushing & pushing for me to do every single extra curricular activity & being a high achiever. When I eventually had a breakdown aged 18 & left University, she then also took to her bed with her own state of depression because I was "ruining my life" & also not doing what she wanted, & she wouldn't speak to me for weeks even though I had moved back home into the same house! I don't think I'll ever really forgive her for that rejection.

My relationship with my dd is so natural, the best relationship I have ever had in my life, I feel so lucky to have it, but sad that it wasn't like that between me & my mum. I just want my dd to feel loved & valued for who she is, not what she does at school, hobbies, the way she looks, the keeping up with the Jones's etc.

Oopla Thu 14-Mar-13 22:58:26

Welcome along beabea smile
Your relationship with your dd sounds lovely.

Makingmama Fri 15-Mar-13 03:05:20

Beabea81 - everything you've said in your post is exactly how my life has been...and still is to an extent. Very difficult...and it's only when I had a couple of years with them too far away to be so involved inmy life that I realised how not normal it is!

bootsycollins Fri 15-Mar-13 10:22:30

Hello everybody, I'm just cottoning onto the fact that my control freak mil has many toxic traits, mainly lying, emotional manipulation (well attempts I'm immune grin). She helps my Sil out with childcare and my nephew said to my dd that he'd prefer to come to our house more while his mums working but it upsets nanny if he doesn't go to her house and she looks really upset when he next sees her. I've been onto her games for years and like I said I'm Immune but the more research I do the more typical toxic boxes she ticks.

Mainly she tries to control others using a mix of emotional blackmail (woe is me etc), lies comments on everyone's situations with fake concern then says " it's nothing to do with me" despite spending the last 2 hours banging on about it. She's just really laughably transparent but when she's messing with my nephew it's not funny, she says things in front of him that she shouldn't about his absent father, seems like she's trying to force issues into his head "arw he's really depressed Auntie Bootsy" then in a huge stage whisper "it's because he's not seen his Dad since Christmas" wtaf?. "Perhaps he'll open up to you Auntie Bootsy" then huge show of clutching nephew to her bussom and hair ruffling "it'll be ok lad, everything will work out in the end you'll see, don't worry" confused.

She makes my blood boil, how dare she fuck with him like this. To my credit I ignore her amateur dramatics and just tell nephew what a fun day where going to have, where we're going and what we're doing today etc take him by the hand. I most certainly would not instigate a conversation with my nephew to her bidding, if he confided in me of his own accord then that's fine but I wouldn't repeat anything to granny, I'd be telling his mum if I had any concerns.

She does that whole denying thing too if dh or Sil remind her of something from their childhood that reflects her in a less than perfect light, cue fake sad face and "I did my best".

Argh! Was just wondering if anybody could provide me with a few other toxic traits and examples for me to observe mil for. Am I correct in thinking that when dealing with somebody toxic there is no reasoning with the unreasonable?

Thanks in advance smile

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 11:44:11

welcome Beabea, sorry to hear you've suffered so, but your eyes look to be very wide open! you clearly state all the classics!

I think the 'Stately Homes' thing comes from them doing what they want basically, as in to the o/s world they were giving your everything you ungrateful little fuckers whilst actually they were only actually doing what they wanted to do and the kids hated it, all of it. I made up my own as I hadn't heard any other interpretations, but I guess it could be book? Its also their 'poor me' voice, of 'look at all the things we did for you, gave you....' in denial of the abuses, and saying instead, and you are so cruel to blame us and try to hurt us.

welcome Bootsy well recognised... correct [no reasoning with the unreasonable] .... stay in your boots and stick doggedly to your own path (she will hate you and start whispering campaigns against you, and all the rest but you are self-confessed immune, so who GaF!

warm wishes to all today ignoring the Narcs. xx

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 12:13:29

Hi all, I'm an occasional poster on this thread and really need some help right now....

Brief history - have been depressed on and off for years. I'm in recovery from emotional abuse in my childhood (both parents are narcs) and a violent relationship about 9 years ago. I see a psychotherapist weekly and have done for nearly 3 years. GP diagnosed me with severe depression and anxiety and November and have been on ADs (20mg paroxetine) since - have mostly been feeling quite level since then, had terrible panic attacks and overwhelming anger before then.

This week has been hard because of Mother's Day bringing up unpleasant thoughts and because I'm due to visit family next week. It all came to a head last night - I had a panic attack last night and sobbed for hours, felt almost hysterical with grief and emotional pain. I have had thoughts of self-harm in the past, but this time I was actually thinking of which particular knife I would use and where exactly I would cut myself. I kept thinking over and over again 'I don't want to do this any more, I want it to stop'. I could imagine that the act of cutting would help to release some of the anger and pain I was feeling.

I'm 95% sure that I wasn't actually going to go through with it but it has scared me a lot. Today I feel very tired and quite low but I can cope with it and don't feel like I'm in such acute pain. I have taken my pills as usual today. I'm petrified of unravelling completely and ending up in hospital. My DP has been very supportive and I will speak to my therapist about this next week. I guess I just need some hand-holding in the meantime.

Thanks for reading

WildeRumpus Fri 15-Mar-13 14:15:32

beabea you totally describe my mum! She channelled herself thru me and only one am I vaguely getting to know who I am. Hope you are ok. The.bloody wedding fiasco meant I had to stand up to her in the end or cry thru my (her) big bloody day so she did me a favour. Tho the rejection does hurt like hell and like you say with your mum, how she expects me to get over it and act like nothing happened I don't know. Well, actually. She expects me to apologise to her. Haha! Sorry mummy please love me. No way.

lotta you poor thing (hugs). Am so sorry to hear of your anxiety and panic attacks. Please don't self harm. I started that during a teenage breakdown and it is like an addiction so please don't go there. Hopefully the counselling will help you find healthier ways of dealing with your pain. Please come here to offload and work thru your feelings with us too, as much as you need to. The shit does tend to hit the fan before you feel better when working thru this kind of pain.

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 14:16:13

oh sad pianos

Very scarey.. but you say you feel calm now, the storm is over, but you are scared of more?

The acute pain I feel fades after just such an complete letting go of it all - the letting go can be so unnerving and scarey though, you wonder whether you will come back. Its quite a shocking experience and very good that you came and posted it all here.

I haven't had panic attacks, but I have had the complete melt-downs you spoke of, the overwhelming outpouring of wailings and rocking and letting go, but that does let it go. Was it the thought or struggles of getting through mothers day? or the thoughts of seeing them next week. The act of cutting is an extreme version of what you actually did, 'release some of the anger and pain'.

In extreme circumstances I've had scarey thoughts too, but they are thoughts. We also have some weird erotic fantasies but don't [hopefully] carry them out!

Have you improved dramatically since seeing your psychotherapist? Have you made significant changes in your life that you can feel improves things greatly during this time. I mean like suddenly really seeing things differently, shifting perspectives and therefore acting and feeling differently as a result?

What plan are you working to with the psych? Is it reviewed every 6-8 weeks to chart progression, and plan ahead?

Its great that you have support if its the right support that brings change, otherwise it can even be detrimental to you struggling on trying to get to change and it not happening. I hopeeverything is going well, but just one to consider in the greater scheme of things.

tbh coming here was the best thing ever to get understanding of this specific dynamic and to get understanding, feel just normal! i'm sure I'm not, but happier that I feel I might be a little bit more! ;)

I have seen psych's, didn't do as much as coming here for really grasping wtf was going on. I did act on things which made it better, but its getting the sense of it all and acknowledging the pains, feeling the angers and sharing it where it all makes sense.

I seems, from what you say at this point, that seeing your family could be harmful to you, especiall as you mention that as part and parcel of the panic attack, etc.

please keep posting and feel welcome.. sending you warm wishes for some calm and peace to recover. xx

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 15:04:42

Thank you Wilde and Fairy

I do feel calmer today - still very sad but not out of control and I've been at work and functioning fine all day. I agree that you have to go through the pain, you have to let it out in order to feel better but the process is hell sometimes!

I am very scared of my feelings, particularly anger, which I have tons of. My parents being narcs, I was brought up to feel that my feelings were wrong if they differed to theirs, and that I was not entited to have feelings or opinions of my own. When I'm really distressed, I have difficulty staying with my own pain and instead find myself thinking 'oh my gosh, has my mum ever felt like this? Maybe I did something to make her feel this way'. My therapist says I have difficulties seeing myself as a separate person from my parents - she's absolutely right but it's a terrifying thought because it sounds so extreme.

Psychotherapy is helping massively - it's the best thing I've ever done but also the most painful. Sometimes I'm doing ok, and am in touch with the pain, and feel my confidence coming back and the guilt getting less and less. Then other times, like now, the guilt seems crippling. I am so very angry at my parents, I feel real rage towards them, but I'm scared by those feelings because deep down I feel they are wrong. I know it's all to do with the FOG (fear, obligation, guilt) and reminding myself about FOG helps me to keep it in perspective. Talking to people who understand is so important to me.

I will only be seeing my parents for one evening - I'll be staying with my sister the rest of the time who I get along ok with. My DP will be with me too and I feel like he's my shield when I'm around them! I do find it traumatic seeing them - I am often anxious and sad before seeing them, and again a few days after seeing them, but when I actually see them I adopt my calm, self-contained persona, which is like a suit of armour. I feel like Don Draper in Mad Men! So calm, confident, able on the surface but hollow and empty and scared and unbearably sad beneath.

This thread is such a source of support to lots of us, thank you smile

WildeRumpus Fri 15-Mar-13 15:40:42

Lotta I think you are very brave smile I went to two counselling sessions and had to stop because it was too difficult.

I wasn't allowed my own feelings either. My mum would talk over me at best or tell me to shut up and withdraw her love at worst. The feeling of being shut down again and again and utterly invalidated as a person can make one feel insanely angry. And I really mean insane sad

You do exist, you are important, we will hear you smile

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 15:47:32

'The feeling of being shut down again and again and utterly invalidated as a person can make one feel insanely angry. And I really mean insane '

Yes yes yes to this!

Thank you so much for your support Wilde

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 16:04:13

Very good to hear the therappy is helping you... It might help to read some of the threads about, especially about FOG... I am surprised you would go to work and not rest after such a big 'fallout' from it all. Oh! I just read you know all about that already! ha! good good.

Very good to have a shield metaphorical or real! If it is so traumatic? is it more traumatic to not go? have a think about how you can best protect yourself rfrom them causing more damage and pain?

Its time to let you out, safely and not keep locking you away in deference to their prioritising themselves. you are important, and in this scenario your health takes precedence as your lovely DH recognises.

take care xx

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 16:44:14

how do you get rid of your anger? Pianos Wilde ? Just looking for tips on how we get rid of ours! ;) xx

yy lots of validity here and thats what they've always denied, tis crazy-making!

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 16:48:16

I tend to internalise it - I feel loads of guilt and blame myself for not being good enough, letting everyone down etc. The thoughts of self-harm are an extension of that I think. I really struggle to express anger in a healthy way. I snap a lot at my poor DP and feel angry with him for stuff that's not his fault sad sad

My therapist has suggested pummeling the hell out of a pillow or cushion - I have done that when I was a teenager but not for a long time.

FairyFi Fri 15-Mar-13 18:53:24

i just realised how much I walk/walked to release anger (now I know why I always walk so fast!).

OH Pianos its so damaging isn't it, all that anger inwards. I've tried recently to shout - you know like when you stub your toe (I used to do that quietly!)

all trained into me by being completely ignored for any ills/injuries, of which there were many! sad

If you have an abusive partner, there's this amazing organisation that know about the abuser's tactics and the survivors reactions and fallout, better than they do themselves it seems. I wish there was an organisation like this for SH'ers ... maybe there is ... well at least there's books. I think a very good one I heard on here, simply called the 'children of toxic parents', or something like?'

Really good you are making such progress with the therapist.

Skinidin Fri 15-Mar-13 22:27:08

I have been lurking on this thread, I don't feel strong enough to post my own stuff yet, BUT
Lottapianos ( not sure how to tag you in this thread) I was so concerned when I read about your feelings and Paroxetine (also known as Seroxat ).

When I was on that I had some of those feelings and it has been associated with more than one serious self harm episode in the UK.

I urge you to consider going back to your GP as a matter of urgency, it may not be the right AD for you. There are many others that might suit you better.

Please do go back to the doctor and describe your feelings as you have here.

I held back from posting this, When I read your post earlier today. I thought as I hadn't posted on this thread I had better keep quiet, twelve or so hours later I think I should say what I thought then.

Seroxat is a powerful ( and useful) drug, but it doesnt suit everyone.

Lottapianos Fri 15-Mar-13 23:57:54

Thank you for your post Skinidin I have had these thoughts of self harm before I took Paroxetine and they have been much less frequent since I started the pills 3 months ago. However I will bear what you say in mind and monitor the situation over the next couple of weeks

Skinidin Sat 16-Mar-13 00:05:50

I did not post without thinking deeply about it.

Please, please talk to your GP.

The medication could be intensifying these negative thoughts.


Does mumsnets do hugs ?????

Have them anyway ....

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 08:43:04

fairy my anger has dissipated since I stopped having my mum in my life, realised that she is a narc and let myself be me more. I have only had the self harm feelings of impotent rage, humiliation and frustration once since she left my life which has been.such an eye opener.

When she was in my life I thought my depressive episodes, self harming, drinking and disordered eating were part of me, I was damaged and just a shit person. Now I know she triggered all of this! She hates fat, is a problem drinker and hides herself away with depression when life gets too much. (then I would take over parenting for her).

I can't believe now that before she left my life I thought she was amazing. I thought she was kind, damaged, needed looking after by me. I would do anything and everything for her approval and happiness. Now I see that she is damaged but I cannot help her or be anywhere near her for my own.mental health. She never knew about my own issues btw - I was completely neutral around her. I was strong for her.

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 08:52:38

lotta you have really opened my eyes. Objectively from.reading your post it is clear that if your feelings are invalidated or rubbished throughout your childhood you will learn to stop communicating them to those who hurt you.

I never realised this and always thought I was just a very cold person. If there was a death in the family or other tragedy I would shut down and be very calm. Only much later would I start to feel things which by then would come out as stress symptoms (anxiety and panic attacks). However, not having my mum around any more, when I miscarried I noticed that I grieved straight away and had so.many feelings. It felt so healthy and normal. I was allowed to feel because she wasn't there sapping all of me or playing some kind of pain oneupmanship!

As for validity I have to say my son validates me with unconditional love that I never take for granted. He is a joy. Whoever he is, he is wanted loved and never, ever shut down! I ask his feelings about things all the time and take him very seriously.

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 09:25:29

Hi. I've not posted on here before, but I really need some help.
My mother is a narcissistic mother. Everything is about her etc.
seven years ago I had cancer. The treatment was awful, but not as bad as anything mother has had, apparently. Cancer is nothing compared to her suffering. I was at my worst over Xmas, she didn't phone for two weeks, just went on holiday. As a result I finally stood up to her and told her to get lost.

No contact until last year. I started to feel sorry for her (yes, I know) and have met her every few months somewhere neutral.
Last time I saw her she burst into tears and said how she missed her grandchildren, she's old, she's ill, it's cruel etc. I caved in, and she and husband are coming tomorrow. I am absolutely dreading it.
Now, as far as I am concerned this does not mean normal service has been resumed. I am not going to be guilt tripped into going over every holiday etc. However, I know my mum and she is bound to say " I wondered if you'd all like to come over for Easter?" Or whatever. How do I say no to her without looking sulky ( that's what used to happen). How do I keep her at arms length and not let her overwhelm me again?
I'm so sorry this is long but I am desperate.

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 10:19:25

mocking that must have been awful for you. Your mum let you down when you needed her most sad

Now she is back and from your post you sound frightened, railroaded and like she is pushing your boundaries back further and further. You say you caved in - this means something is happening you don't actually want to happen. You also say you won't let her guilt trip you but the illness and grandkids line is clearly guilt tripping and your response has been one of obligation not one of choice. You say you won't let her guilt trip you into further visits but then worry about being sulky if you say no.

If you want to say no, say no. Stand tall and be proud to assert yourself. If you don't want her over tomorrow, cancel. Don't listen to her! She is not a benign oldlady but has been very cruel to you. You matter, your feelings and anxiety over this matters and you can stand up to her smile your use of the word 'sulky' is very interesting - it sounds like a word a parent could use to denigrate a child's attempt at self assertion. Don't apply this cruelty to yourself!

Have you read about the fog. It is a killer to us children of toxic.parents and you are right in it. Only you can dig yourself out but we are here to provide support.

Good luck and I hope you are ok.

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 10:29:50

Thank you Rumpus. No I haven't heard about the fog, is there a link or something?

GenevievePettigrew Sat 16-Mar-13 11:13:27

Mocking, if she asks you to come for Easter or anything else really, can you just say you already have plans?

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 12:38:55

You're right, of course I can. I just get in a flap as she starts asking for details; what plans, who with? She then does the "I'm old and don't see you very often" trick. She's done it for years and I still can't stand up to her without feeling churlish.

Lottapianos Sat 16-Mar-13 14:08:19

Mocking that sounds like a horrible situation for you. FOG is fear, obligation and guilt - 3 things you are conditioned to feel by emotionally abusive parents. Agree with other posters that you need to put your own needs first, but that's a skill you have to learn after so many years of being dominated and bullied. Psychotherapy is helping me hugely with this, is it something you would be interested in?
Skinidin thank you so much for your posts and your hugs, I love hugs!

WildeRumpus Sat 16-Mar-13 16:48:17

mocking we are all on here because we get in a flap when our parents knock on our doors sad that there is the fog. Have a shufty at some of the resources listed at the beginning of the thread they might help you?

Maybe a more experienced stately homes poster can help you with tactics to deal with your mum. Tbh I can't think much beyond just saying you don't want to meet up and just staying schtum when she guilt trips you. Stay quiet, ride it out. And have a happy easter smile

Mockingcurl Sat 16-Mar-13 17:53:21

Thank you for all your help and advice. I will look at all the resources and read some more of the thread. I will keep you informed about tomorrow.

WildeRumpus Sun 17-Mar-13 10:05:07

Good luck today mocking.

I woke to a message from my mum today, first contact for nearly a year! She wants to go on holiday and come back with us all.together as a family again. For my brothers sake. How lovely.

I told her not likely. Not for my brother... Not for me... That she cannot ostracise her child like that and just expect me to forget it. That I wont be manipulated and pitted against my siblings any more. That I hate the way she treats my chronically ill sister and I won't be party to it any more. That I begged her not to disown me and she ignored me.

And I feel sooooooo good smile. She wanted me to say I would go back so she could.go on her holiday for a few months light of heart. Ha ha mother dear! She will choke on my honesty. She really will. I am not in the fog! I will not be her punchbag! I am.not afraid of her smile. (well I am a bit...hehe).

I would like to cuddle this thread and posters for existing and helping me feel less alone and stronger. Thank you.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 12:21:39

Hi, can I join please. I have a thread here

FairyFi Sun 17-Mar-13 14:12:35

Very welcome all newcomers.. sorry your situations make it necessary.

lots of useful links above, especially about FOG! and typical narc behaviours, which explain so oo much, and then each contributors own experiences are all so obviously similar and suddenly stuff clearly belongs to them and we are able to detach from it more.

huge ((((hugs))) to you all xx

unschoolmum Sun 17-Mar-13 14:25:27

mocking I hope you are okay, sorry to hear about your terrible mother and your illness.

wilde well done! I'll try and borrow some of your strength

WaterfallsOver Sun 17-Mar-13 17:11:56

Hi all,

I feel I had quite a crap childhood emotionally, not close to my mother at all then or now. Please could I ask whether you think the following example would be classified as quite emotionally hurtful? I've never told anyone in RL.

My mother would do things such as not bother to take an interest in what I was doing, playing etc. She had no time for me but seemed to have more for her other children. She would call me to watch my younger baby sister when I was aged 5 or so. If I didn't want to, she would threaten to give her away. I distinctly remember her shouting at me and getting the phone, starting to dial numbers 'to ask if they would take my sister away' then I would cry and agree to help. I have barely any memories of my mum spending time with me, she always insists I was a very independent child from birth hmm

Anyway, just wondered what you thought smile

DontstepontheMomeRaths Sun 17-Mar-13 17:50:53

Good grief that's awful Waterfall! My DD is 5 and I'd never ever do that! Manipulating and blackmailing a child like that! She's lucky you were such a loving child that you didn't call her bluff or say 'go on then'. Tbh I'm speechless at her.

TrampyPants Sun 17-Mar-13 18:17:42

Waterfall, my parents used to do things like that too. Its horrible. sad

pumpkinsweetie Sun 17-Mar-13 19:10:44

Marking place again, as this thread has disappeared from threads im on for some reason.
Good news my mums results were all good, she doesn't have breast cancer smile. And thinks seem to be quite on the Pil front, until today mil phoned the landline and dh looked less than pleased with the conversation they had, all seemed very odd, and mil hung on up on him for no reason...
She obviously ain't happy about something, i don't know exactly what the conversation was about, but it was definitely one sided re mil as dh was saying "no" to almost everything she said. I will ask him later what the conversation entailed, as got mum round at present.
Bet its some sort of bribe to get us to allow them access to the children...well that will not be happening!

((hugs)) to all of you that have narc parents\pil and i totally sympathise with all of you on here, its not easy constantly having to battle these people continually even when you least expect it.

pumpkinsweetie Sun 17-Mar-13 19:56:23

Turns out mil was hen-pecking dh into allowing my kids round her house to do an Easter egg hunt, fgs she is delusional. Non contact with dc for 6m and she expects me to allow my dc round her home shock, talk about expecting running before walking!
After everything that family put us all through she still lives in cloud coo koo land ignoring everything that has been said to her.
Lets hope dh stays on my side for this, as it wouldn't be in my children's best interest & sending them round there will never be an option.

Wossit Mon 18-Mar-13 00:07:55

Ok I really really am going to need help here, Im about to completely sabotage the relationship between my mother and I, and Ive already just cut off the poor excuse for a relationship with my 'partner'.

I really need to get this out, about my mum. Ive been bottling it up for years. The thing is, my mum had a horrific up bringing, truly awful and in comparisson Im pretty sure she thinks my upbringing was faultless.

Also I need to know if I have a problem with alcohol or not.

I have a 2 yo old who's still bf. because of this reason and the fact that he has special needs, I rarely drink. But during a family gathering I may get a little pissed - today for example, I drank a bottle of wine over 5-6 hours.

I know, I know I shouldnt drink that much because Im bf but I have no life. im stuck in doors and cannot go out because my youngest wakes so much as a symptom of his SN, my life utterly utterly revolves around his SN which arent the usual AS or whatnot but Im not willing to go into for want of staying anon.

So when we have a gathering like this, its the ONLY social time I have so I drink. Its twice a year, Christmas and march time.

My mum clearly had a problem with my drinking today (you may agree. Ive just emailed her because Im laying here awake wondering why she had a problem. If she denies it then so be it, although it was very obvious 'raised eye brows' eyes at my glass look, but if she doesnt, I will let rip.

Except I think Id best let rip here first.

First of all, yes I still bf and yes I should never drink but my son has certain specific needs in such a way that my WHOLE FUCKING LIFE has changed since he was born, I dont care because he's perfect. What I do care about is those who judge me who have no god damn idea what it is like being in my shoes.
Namely my Mum who bf my older brother until he was 2, who woke every 2 hours until she stopped so would give him phenegarn and her and Dad would go down the pub. It wouldnt happen often, but it did happen, something she totally denies doing. I was 12 years old and looking after him - I remember CLEARLY.

I DID used to have a drinking problem before my eldest was born. Or rather, I had a terrible anxiety problem which I remedied with alcohol. Thankfully I havent suffered with anxiety since I got help when it when I got pregnant with him (because I couldnt drink when pregnant ofc).

When growing up my mum could be lovely. But she could be an evil bastard when she wanted to be. My parents divorced when I was 16. Both parents, individually blamed me for their split and at the same time both used me as a shoulder to cry on. My mum had a 5 year long affair, so Im not sure I deserved the blame.

In fact an affair she continued after, he used to come to out houe, he'd turn up at the door, they'd go upstairs come down 15 minutes later he'd walk out the house and my mum had cum over her chest. Which she'd giggle about.

Im sat there thinking, Im 16, do I really need to see this? My baby brother (6) asleep in bed, my older brother (19) moved away both blissfully unaware of any affair or why they split.

I speak to my mum relatively regularly but in over 2 years shes called my phone twice. Its always me contacting her.

I stopped once, a month or so passed and she text me. Big whoop, I had a young baby at the time. Most of my friends with babies would speak to their mum on a weekly basis.

And I used to but my mum has been seemingly slowly 'cutting me off' the last 2-3 years.

I fucking HATE the fact she's judged me today from her high and mightly 'do no wrong' spot. Because shes done a LOT wrong. And I fucking hate her for i sometimes.

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 08:47:50

Hi Wossit well done for letting some of it out here, and welcome to here, to the place of insights, understandings and change!

I'm sorry your mum has been so awful. She honestly sounds like a child (regardless of her own background) and has treated you apallingly. As the girl you seem to have been made mum whilst she carried on behaving like a totally inappropriate child.

yep, she has some pretty huge misdemeanors stacked against her. I think a bottle of wine is 8 glasses of wine, which is less than 2 glasses of wine per hour over the timeframe you mention. That seems pretty moderate to me, especially as the only time you do this is TWICE a year!!! No, no drinking problem. You have a hell of a lot to cope with having struggled in a poor relationship during this time and come to the decision and ended it. You have a lot going on.

I guess you might have become very use to being the one that takes care of everything, but you really can't take care of her. I guess if she's not taking the time to call, there's no reason you need be responsible for the calling.

The other thing is, without making excuses for her, if she's an alcoholic and was heavily drinking whilst you were young, I doubt she'll really remember much, but certainly has a pretty cast-iron excuse for not even if she does.

Do you want to go on calling her to stay in touch? or did youcontinue because of the 'big whoop' after abstaining for a month?

by the sounds of it, she has already pretty much sabotaged the relationship, I don't htinkyou have, I think you've have tried to keep it going, but by stepping back and waiting for her to call isn't sabotage, I think calling it that is a reflection of how very responsible you are feeling for the relationship and its flaws, when she is not, and absolutely should be!

It really can be pretty much hell stuck indoors with DCs especially once dinner time routine kicks in and you're then effectively 'locked in' - apart from if you are your mother it seems!

I've got a child that I've had to nurse through emergencies from birth, and the sleeping was always incredibly hard, nearly wrecked me completely, especially when you're on your own with it as I was too (kicked out abusive ex here).

I'm glad you came here.. read and you'll see how familiar many stories of terrible childhood and adult relationships with parents are. I havent seen mine for many years, went NC went eldest child very small, because it was just unbearable to be responsible for everything all the time.

Please keep posting, and I hope you managed to have some good sleep last night Wossit take care xx

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 08:58:59

btw I've no idea about the drinking and bf effects?! I remember drinking half a glas of champagne after birth of first babe and the projectile poo after!

however, I did use to express off the milk after any drinks and throw it.

hooper02 Mon 18-Mar-13 12:37:25

I always remember being terrified of what my mum would say from a very young age,never told her anything because if it differed from her point of view it would be rubbished and she was very good at making you feel about an inch high. My sister and I once had a discussion about what would happen if she got ill/unable to look after herself(had long-term health problems) if her dh wasn't around and we both agreed that she would not being come to live with either of us under any circumstances, sounds harsh but she would have taken over within hours of moving in

lostfound Mon 18-Mar-13 20:21:30

Hi, sorry to jump in like this again. I explained some of the problems my friend was having with her parents. (on page 5) and received some fab advice. My friend has asked if i could ask some more questions on here as its been useful for her to hear some advice from people she doesn't know.

basically, after some conversation with her parents they have dismissed all the situations she presented to them of cases where they have been uninvolved etc. They have gone on about how much their daughter has upset them. In the end my friend told her parents its up to them to decide how much involvement they want with their grandchild and its ok if they choose to be uninvolved if that's what they want. Unfortunately her parents have not taken this well accusing her of being ungrateful as they had lent her some money to put towards a house (which they had a solicitor draw up contracts for ) anyway, she has just texted saying her parents have contacted her saying they want their money back now (even though contract they made is not up yet) and have set the condition that if she agrees to this as well as a contract they have drawn up, then they will try harder with their grandson.
she is horrified at how they are dealing with this and does not know what to do. Obviously she does not want to sign a contract before they will see their grandchild as whats the point in forcing her parents to see her child? And surely the love you show your grandchild shouldnt br contractual? but she does not know what to say to them. She didn't expect this sort of behaviour from them.

any help would be much appreciated.

FairyFi Mon 18-Mar-13 22:45:24

Hi Lost

Sorry to hear she didn't get the responses she hoped for and needed to hear, as they have been left out and turned the blame away from them straight back to her. Very sad for her sad.

I think its not so unexpected sadly in this world of narc/toxic parents. It is yes hugely shocking and unbelievable way to carry on, over GC that they are supposed to just love unconditionally, but now want to literally hold to ransom!

Your poor friend, an awful reality to have to face. I would just sign the contract as agreed before DC don't ever come into it. They will try to put the dc in the middle continually as leverage.

Im sorry that they seem to be proving themselves sad

lostfound Mon 18-Mar-13 23:35:47

Thank you fairy, I have sent your message to my friend and she has found it hugely comforting to hear, they are treating her like a business. They have told her to only contact them by phone or facetoface now if she wants to sort this out with them. On top of this, they have told her that her behaviour towards them is unacceptable and they are only giving her another chance as she is their daughter.
I feel sad for her.
Any ideas how she can move this forward?

Oopla Tue 19-Mar-13 10:53:20

Hi wossit- lots of your post resonates with me, hope you feel a bit of a weight off for posting and unloading. I Really wouldn't worry about the wine, sounds really moderate and from what I've read very very small amounts of alcohol will enter your milk, given the length of time you drank over is unlikely to have still been in your system.
You sound like you are working really hard to look after your dc, thats what separates us from THEM!

I'm going to a screening appointment today for counselling, feeling a bit nervous. I need to make sure I get help to move on so I can concentrate on my beautiful family. Have a lovely day everyone, hope the suns shining for you smile

FairyFi Tue 19-Mar-13 12:47:46

good luck for screening today OOpla I'm sure you are concentrating on your beautiful family, I hope the counselling will help you.

Lost I wouldn't do phone or face, i'd stick to written, so everyone can clearly see and you can't get caught in the FOG & confusion. Especially important to have it written because of the contract involved here!

They sound appalling (only giving another chance cos her daughter! gah!!awful people!)

To protect her position she is probably better off emailing or writing a letter (keeping photocopy) of her intent and understanding of the undertaking of the loaned money, and repayment, as I think? this will form the basis of a contract in the absence of one (should she [DM] decide to do things differently --make it up to suit herself and do a bit of blackmailing here and there--) The DM would have to challenge the basis of this by replying directly to it. If she doesn't and it remains the only written evidence, then its the only written evidence of your understanding and she has disputed it?!

However, there's a lot more going on for your friend, and I hope she feels she could come here herself and find it very helpful to deal with all the other stuff going on. good wishes x

Oopla Tue 19-Mar-13 17:43:19

Thanks Fi- it went well I think. She confirmed that I am having panic attacks (wasn't really sure stupid as that sounds) and recommended counselling & CBT. Felt really reassuring to hear someone say "gosh oopla that's awful" think the wait times are killer but there's no rush. Will carry on with my hippy woo methods in the meantime, and of course coming here.

Thankyou to everyone who posts here, I wouldn't have had the courage to say out loud the things I've said today without you smile

lostfound Tue 19-Mar-13 21:45:24

Thank you Fi, update from friend is that parents will not respond to the questions they ask, they are accusing her of using her child hmm and she has told them that if they think that sorting out the money will make any changes in their relationship then they've made their position clear, to which they've told her if that's the case she is choosing to have no more contact with her parents.

I've advised her to repeat what she has said that its up to her parents if they want to see their grandchild and to ask them again why they have treated their grandchild so badly. If she gets no answers then make it clear that its her parents that have chosen and then get on with it.

Is it a good idea to send their email convo to family/friends if they ask what's been going on, obv my friend will get the bad end of the stick whilst the parents will act like victims, so if they start on her is it a good idea for full transparency? Also we are thinking great grandparents who will be affected but will certainly just think its my friends fault with the stories they are told. We've discussed this at length but obviously are without the wider wider perspective.

Thanks, I'll ask her if she feels comfortable to come here herself to talk.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 00:31:09

hi lost it doesn't sound good atall, what a shame. does your friend want them to see her DC? as thats her choice really, and then to offer it, in writing, but if they are treating the GC badly, they definitly should not see.

She needs to decide what she is happy with really, and what she feels is ok for the DC to be exposed to, but they will not be any differnt as GP than as Ps. There is reading on the links above I think regarding GPs, either that or someoneposted very good advice about GPs ad their continuing toxic effects to the DGC.

There's no pressure for her to post here, just think it good for her to hear her words by writing it, and receiving her own responses; when she's comfortable.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 00:33:08

yy to keep on saying things out loud Oopla Many things said on hear never been heard by anyone before, and validates for saying out there in rl too. Keep going with the courage... wonderful xx

WildeRumpus Wed 20-Mar-13 10:14:16

oopla good for you am.glad you are being looked after and feel you are moving forward slowly slowly.

waterfall gosh your story brought a memory back of my mum threatening then actually pretending the police on me saying they were going to away because I was such an awful.child. I was 7! Has made me feel very sad.

My sis has confided in me that she is cutting ties mum slowly and that as a woman of.nearly 30 she feels it is time to stand up for herself more smile proud as she was the scapegoat in our family. Have sent her the daughters of narcs website link as I think she might be ready to start rationalizing some of the shit we went thru.

This thread is amazing, it has empowered me and thru me, even my sis smile sad to hear the new stories. I hope talking and sharing helps you come to terms with your toxic influences.

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 13:07:54

the empowerment of this thread is truly amazing and just to celebrate that alone... thanks thanks thanks

lostfound Wed 20-Mar-13 14:33:11

Hi, tbh it sounds very much like she's at the point where if they don't want to be involved they can't expect her to be the 'running around them' daughter. They have expected her in the past to 'choose' them and allow them to exclude their Grandchild which they have done in the past by encouraging her to go to family events without her child as child is apparently not family.

The conversation started with her noting the things she wasn't pleased with and offering them the option to be as involved as they like. Which they then turned it to, pay us back now and give us back everything we have given you in the past which they say was only loaned to her now and if you want us involved with GC and agree to proposals regarding taking GC out.

CreepyLittleBat Wed 20-Mar-13 21:05:55

What a lot of utter bastards there are out there. Unfortunately even if you offer them what you think would make them happy, they throw it back in your face. Seems they don't want to be OFFERED something, they want to TAKE IT!
I don't suppose there's any chance of borrowing the money from elsewhere to pay them off is there lost?

CreepyLittleBat Wed 20-Mar-13 21:10:04

While I'm here, I'd like to hide a small rant on this page.

I am a performer. Much to m & f's disgust. They have been internet stalking me again and have found out about a gig tomorrow. f sent an agressive message on the event's Facebook page (for all the public to see) I marked it as 'harassment' to FB, but now am crapping myself that they'll turn up and freak me out by sitting there making faces/remarks/upsetting the children. I haven't seen them since Summer. I like it that way. They are a shower of bastards. Instead of looking forward to this, I am all shaky. angry

Oopla Wed 20-Mar-13 21:14:12

Hugs to you all ((()))

Imagine if you could take bad parents to court and sue for doing an utterly rubbish job.

I keep thinking about that line in the Lord's Prayer "forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us" I'm not churchy tbh, I hope I can forgive one day. If only because I don't need to carry this forever with me.

CreepyLittleBat Wed 20-Mar-13 21:17:26

That's the worst, isn't it? Having this stuff constantly in your head. And really, it's all someone else's shit, because if they had any self awareness, they'd be the ones spending their time analysing it all and having therapy!

FairyFi Wed 20-Mar-13 21:53:23

Oopla it is only their job to 'have' forgiveness, after acknowledging and repenting (tbh hell might freeze over?)

It is hoped we will not hot emotions that hurt us (get the anger out, etc), they cannot 'expect' forgiveness (mind you, they've done nothing to forgive?) hmm

It doesn't always stay in your head, distance makesthe feelings go cold.

CLB appalling the internet stalking.... I've had to do 'performances' with the 'less than friendly' in the audience.... I am always talking to the one person I remember having the time of their life and being wow'd by the performance (F the rest tbh) Its the people that love it that you are there to perform to, enjoy them as they enjoy you hun xx

SlowlyWakingUp Wed 20-Mar-13 21:56:12


I am currently going through the process of cutting my mother off until she can speak to me honestly about my childhood and my perceived abuse as she denies it and has 'had enough of me and my accusations' apparently hmm. The fact that she made me believe all through my childhood that there was something wrong with me and that I was crazy (my nickname in the family was 'Psycho') is all in the past and I should move on and live my life according to her.

That I have never been able to keep a job, make friends or achieve anything is down to my 'choices' and nothing to do with my upbringing. I do have 4 gorgeous DC and a DH but I am not a 'success' as I don't have a big house, flash car or a career unlike my siblings and as we were all raised the same, and as I was the 'most intelligent one' it must be down to me hmm.

I had never really explored my childhood and hailed my mother as a saint until I started therapy for my extreme anxiety and panic attacks.

They started 7 years ago with a much wanted move abroad which ended in me being so 'ill' that I was terrified that I would go crazy without realising it and I was scared of being alone with my children, I am talking petrified! So we had to come back as DH's work visa meant he had to work away from home for weeks at a time and I would constantly be calling him begging him to come home. We lost all our money in the process as we could not sell our house out there and came back here with nothing. No one helped us, in fact they delighted in it (siblings). We stayed with my mother and stepfather for a while but it was awful, we were treated like naughty children who'd been reckless and my stepfather wanted us out. I still did not see the blindingly obvious though.

The panic attacks/anxiety continued after we came back and still persist to this day. I had been to a few therapists and talked about my childhood but I disagreed that my childhood was a factor until last year when I found a therapist I trusted and the 'fog' lifted finally.

My mother was truly awful to me as a kid. I used to think I must have been adopted because I felt like such an outsider in my own family. I used to wish I would die in the night so my mother would find me dead in the morning and perhaps feel sorry for what she was doing to me. I have always felt different to everyone else, like everyone else deserved to be happy and I did not, always lonely. I had no idea until recently that that was not a normal way to feel.

Problem is my mother was dosed up on Valium for most of my childhood and seems to honestly remember nothing. My father was violent and an alcoholic and they divorced when I was 6 and he disappeared completely (I have met him as an adult and he is a total loser), my stepfather replaced him immediately (he is her enabler). I have a lot of self doubt about whether my mother did damage me so badly. One minute, I know it and it all makes sense and I can feel peace that she is the nutter not me. The next, I wonder if I imagined it all and then feel enormous guilt for blaming her when it is actually ME who's the nutter.

I am really struggling with this as I thought getting to the root of my problems would 'heal' me and it does not seem to be working! I also had a very traumatic neonatal death of my DC2 and I have always put my 'neurotic tendencies' down to that and the move abroad, then losing all our money and therefore, security. Although in truth, I have always lived in fear, even back in my late teens, I was afraid to sleep at night as I was convinced someone would break in and murder me, not burgle, kill. That led me me losing my job, flat and boyfriend as I would have to sit up all night and sleep in the day. This was just after I left home. I never sought help after DC2's death as I thought I deserved it, how fucked up is that.

I do worry that my therapist is leading me down the wrong path, although it feels right. Arrgh! This is so difficult. I am so desperate to stop being paralysed by fear and I thought cutting my mother own and facing down my fear of her would help me break free. Why do I feel like I have made a massive mistake?

Well done for getting through all that!

CreepyLittleBat Wed 20-Mar-13 22:05:33

Thank you Fi, that's a good strategy. There are going to be four of my friends in the front row, so will do it for them.

Slowly I'm so sorry to hear what a terrible time you've had, but am actually awed by you coming through it all and having a happy marriage and four children! That is no small achievement. How long have you been having therapy? As I think it's one of those things that feels worse before it feels better. It doesn't sound like you've made a mistake to me. xx

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