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My mother just made me cry...

(22 Posts)
Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 15:17:23

Feeling a bit shell shocked at the moment. My mother just realy hurt me and i am still trying to process my emotions and why i am feeling so upset by this.

Bit of a lengthy backstory, i have a very close sister, we love and hate each other passionately as only sisters can, but ultimately have a very deep bond and any fights we do have flare up like a firework and are resolved or forgotten about quickly. They can be quite often though, to the dismay of our family and partners and i admit it can be a bit tiresome at times, especially after a few drinks. Guess there is a good dose of sibling rivalry/jealously but all in all we are very close and always have been.

5 years ago I got pregnant for the first time and my dsis thought it would be fun to go through pregnancy together, so got pregnant with baby no2. 

Our babies due dates were eight weeks apart. I remember feeling really unsettled by this at the time as she had problems with early miscarrages in the past which were deeply upsetting for her and i had supported her through each one. I had this terrible fear that she would lose the baby again and it would be very difficult to see me go through the rest of my pregnancy. Time went on and both pregnancys progressed well, it was such a relief as we were out of the danger zone of her previous losses and we started to get really excited about having our twins... smile Talked about names loads, i was unsure about my girls name but had firmly decided to name the little one after my husbands father if it was a boy. 

I then had a stillborn baby girl at 32weeks. We'll never know why, she was perfect, the doctors reckon it was either a clot in the placenta or a chord accident but the death was officially unexplained.

It really fucked me up, i didnt lift my head of the pillow for months and totally shut down. I dont really remember much about that time, but my sister was there for me throughout. i remember her running a bath for me at her house when i left the hospital after giving birth. My milk came in and my breasts were so purple and engorged and i had no baby to feed. She just held my head as the useless milk seeped out into the bathwater and we just cried and cried and cried. 

She went on to have a healthy baby girl.

I pulled myself together and was there when she brought her little girl back from hospital (even though part of me broke again, not because i wanted her baby but because i wanted my baby, i so desperately want my little girl back in my arms and everybody cooing over how beautiful she was). I firmly believe that had our relationship not been so strong i would have fallen apart and missed welcoming my niece into the world.

A year later i got pregnant again (got my bfp on my dd1's birthday, which felt like her way of saying "its now time to move on mummy"). I had a very stressful pregnancy but I went on to have my darling dd2 and although i will always be a bit broken inside she has helped me heal. She is my world.

Life went on and my sister got pregnant again. My mother and i were babysitting her kids while she was in hospital giving birth anxiously waiting for news. We finally got a phonecall late that night and she'd had a little boy, The first boy of the generation and I went from utter elation to horror as she told me his name - my husbands fathers name,  the name i had chosen for my last pregnacy if the baby had been a boy. I felt like she had stabbed me in the heart. She knew it was the name we had chosen. I burst into tears and really struggled with holding in how upset i was when we went to see them in hospital the next day.

We have struggled with discussing this since, she brought it up once when we were drunk and told me she was upset with me because i made her feel bad when she was in the hospital and nearly spoilt her bringing him home. I couldnt talk about it and had to walk away. We havent discussed it since.
A close friend just had a baby boy this weekend and my sister rang and laughed when she told me they had also used the name. This stung a bit, but we dont own the name and was no where near as upset as my sister using it.

I was talking to my mother a minute ago and she also thought it was funny that someone else close had chosen it too.  She openly laughed and her words were "i made such a hoohaa about it when my dsis choose the name". I feel like my mother and sister have had a cruel laugh at me over this. Why dont they understand? This really cut me deep. Why did she laugh at me and take such pleasure in telling me?

How is it funny?

I got off the phone and burst into tears. Not because they had used the name but because they laughed. I am really struggling to get my head around this....

defineme Mon 08-Apr-13 15:23:58

Laughing is cruel.
I do think you are mixing up your natural emotions about your bereavement with the name choice.
You can't have dibs on names, you simply can't-sorry sad
Your dsis has been there for you when it counts and I think this isn't worth losing her over.
However, they're being disrespectful to you by laughing too.
Perhaps they don't know how else to deal with your unexpectedly strong emotions?

Xales Mon 08-Apr-13 15:24:30

I think you need to get a grip. You felt stabbed in the heart over a name hmm

You caused such an issue over a name you upset your sister.

Your mother was laughing on the phone with you. You have not said in the slightest that they laughed with each other and ridiculed you behind your back.

DHtotalnob Mon 08-Apr-13 15:27:21

no advice, but that's crap. Maybe it just illustrates that nobody feels the same bond other than the actual mother and the actual child.

It was thoughtless at the very least. Can you let your mum know how it made you feel? (like in a few days or something)


Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 15:30:16

defineme Yes, i guess so. They are so strong and probably misplaced. I think that is why i have avoided talking to them about it since, deep down i know i can't be this upset about a bloody name. It's a name ffs.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 15:33:26

I know xsales I totally did, it really hurt me. Stupid as it sounds

DHtotalnob Mon 08-Apr-13 15:37:21

yes, it's a name, but it's what it represents to you that you're feeling.

Your mum and sister don't know the impact of 'just a name' still has on you. I think it is worth letting them know how affected you are still, and that certain things are triggers for you, of which the name is one. Hopefully you have the kind of relationship that they will listen and take it on board rather than being defensive - just give it a bit of thought how you let them know.

AllThatGlistens Mon 08-Apr-13 15:38:40

It may have been a little thoughtless but it doesn't sound as though she intentionally set out to hurt you, your sister sounds like she was a good support in what was a horrendously difficult time for you.

But you don't get to own a name, I don't want to be cruel at all, but you didn't have a boy, you had a lovely daughter, so although you may have chosen a particular boys name, it wasn't used because you in fact had a little girl.

Please don't let that interfere in what sounds like an otherwise strong relationship.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 15:41:11

Thanks dhtotalnob I never thought of it as a trigger before and that is exactly what it is. It's my dead babys name and the actual name is irrelevant really.

SirBoobAlot Mon 08-Apr-13 15:43:43

They sound like they are being insensitive. It might be "just" a name to them, but it represents a whole lot more to you, and they should understand that. Can't believe she laughed at you sad

ComtesseDeSpair Mon 08-Apr-13 15:50:17

I can see how in your mother's eyes your reaction would be a hoo-haa: as far as she and your sister are concerned, the only connection of this particular boys' name to your loss is that you would have used it if you'd had a son - which you didn't, you had your lovely DD1. So to them, your upset at the time would have seemed like an over-reaction and a fuss as the name really had nothing to do with your DD1 and your awful loss, especially since it tarnished your sister's joy in her new DS.

It sounds like your family were very supportive and also grieved for your DD1. It doesn't sound like their laughter was cruel or intended to hurt you, more that they've assumed you would also look back at your behaviour after the birth of your sister's DS as an over-reaction caused by your emotions surrounding your bereavement. I have to agree with AllThatGlistens - it would be a shame to let thisirretrievably damage what sound like a very strong relationship. Maybe it would be beneficial for you to talk with your sister and mother and explain that you undeerstand you don't own a name and have no right to be upset because somebody else uses it, but that you made a connection between that name and your DD1 and it was that which upset you and affected your reaction.

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 08-Apr-13 16:12:15

Hi Plum,

I am reduced to ears because this happened to me in similar circumstances. I lost a little girl many years ago and her two middle names were that of her two nans my mum and my now ex's late mother.

Her name was quite unsual and therefore special, we divorced and he re married and went on to have 3 more kids 1ds and 2dd.

His new wife and family and my dh and son were at my sons birthday celebration with 6 of his mates. All in a restaurant and a huge cake on the way. I heard his oldest dd tell my son what her middle name was and I felt like you I had been stabbed through the heart. He had in my eyes re used his mums name, so that it could be carried on in a living child. That was how I felt then and to some small extent now.

The reason I felt/feel this way is because of the shit marriage to him how he treated our then dd and how he has treated our son since.
He never asked me or told me he had re used it, but others would say including my parents its his mums name he can if he wants.
To me this is showing scant regard or respect for my feelings and the way I found out left me no room to grieve or show emotion as I was surrounded by people, I just wanted to go away and puke and cry.

Someone has already said that your grief is mixed up in this, and probably a little bit of how the hell could she do that to me?
The crux is she didnt mean to do it probably, she doesnt have the same feelings for the name you do, and yes no one owns a name.

But the point is and you might be a little like myself, I would have thought twice about using it because thats the way I am, I think about others before myself, but sadly some dont including our own siblings. It doesnt make her wrong, it just makes her different to you, and that will never change.

I am so sorry for your loss, I too remember the breast milk scenario and the utter devastation I felt at the time. If you havnt already please do look in to some counselling, talk to someone who wont use platitudes and judge you for how you feel, i dont think you mum was, but she's sitting on the fence here and she must be in a very difficult position, and whether she did come across as uncaring or not, you might have only felt it was the latter, because you are grieving.

I felt so strongly about what I went through and other things, I trained to be a counsellor, and graduate in 10 weeks, for me it was all about making some sense and use of my past, instead of letting it effect my future.

All the best to you and have a very un mumsnetty hug from me (( ))

bunchofposy Mon 08-Apr-13 16:26:10

I am so sorry for your loss. It must have been so traumatic going through that and it is not surprising that triggers such as this cause you upset still. Though I agree with the other posters that people can't really 'own' names, I agree that it was a bit insensitive for your sister to a name choice you had confided in her (regardless of your sad history). That said there is nothing to stop you also using it if you do have a boy in the future (and nothing she could say either!)

I think the real issue is probably that you haven't properly processed your feelings of grief and until you do that you will probably continue to come across triggers like this, and your family may unwittingly cause them, being so close to you and the situation. I would therefore strongly recommend counselling. My local children's centre does it for free - could you look into that, or contact your GP? I am sure that a bereavement charity would be able to help too.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 16:27:21

Thanks guiltypleasures, i am so sorry you went through something similar. i think the emotions surrounding the death of a baby in this way is so deep, intrenched and complex because you are left with so little from their short time with us. Anything seemingly small to someone else runs deep becuase that is really all we had.

bunchofposy Mon 08-Apr-13 16:33:48

ps I forgot to say in my post that I think it even more insensitive for your mum or sister to laugh at you for being upset, or to bring it up again. Counselling will definitely help - sending you hugs also.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 16:37:34

Thanks bunchofposy

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 08-Apr-13 16:41:31

Hi Plum,

bashed that reply out and hit send without even thinking to be honest, it was quite visceral for me this end.

Youve had one of those happenings in life where there are no answers and probably never will have, thats hard to deal with and will probably continue on in some small way in your life. it's hard for others to empathise when truely they cant, each hurt is individual and all of us have different triggers, that can hide for years then raise their head.

Your post for me was such a trigger for me, but I am aware of the whys and hows and deal with them when they occurr as they will for many years to come. It sounds like you have a personal need to talk and probably to cry, and counselling offers you that safe space to do it
your sister was there when it actually mattered. You could get the ball rolling if you feel the need to clarify to her or your mum what it was all actually about, or you could take this as a sign that there is much to be explored, because triggers are really repressed feelings around grief and loss, they do no good to stay in, and the longer they do the bigger the power they have over you.

these triggers occurr around anniversaries of things that have happened or the expected run up to them,I have experienced these as far ahead as 3 months, as Xmas is a massive one for me.

it does get I wont say better with time but it smooths the edges off considerably, but sometimes it can be like it was yesterday, but the more you are able to talk and reflect the less the emotions become unmanagable.


Guiltypleasures001 Mon 08-Apr-13 16:42:34

laughing can be a defence, especially when you think youve been judged wrongly or harshly.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 16:49:12

Interesting, the anniversary of her birth/death was march...

pigsDOfly Mon 08-Apr-13 16:50:00

I wasn't going to comment on your thread Plumviolet because anything I could say has already been said, but I just had to come back and offer another sympathetic voice.

I wonder if the people who told you had to get a grip etc have ever been though your situation.

Losing a child is devastating and any names you had chosen will have special meaning for you. I think you need to make your DM and DSIS aware of this.

Whilst it's true you don't own a name, you didn't make a 'hoohaa', you were no doubt somewhat taken aback by your DSIS's use of the name and perhaps your reaction seemed a bit over the top to them.

Please don't let this fester and spoil your close relationship with your DSIS and DM.You need to talk to them and explain why this upset you.

Plumviolet Mon 08-Apr-13 16:55:55

Another trigger for me is daffodils, how silly is that? When i see daffodils i remember driving to her funeral and looking at nearly a mile long stretch of daffodils down the side of the road. I remember thinking how could therre be so much beauty in the world and feel such pain.

I put a bunch on her tiny white coffin.

I am going to go now into the garden and have a wee cry.
Thanks everyone. X

Guiltypleasures001 Mon 08-Apr-13 17:42:49

Not silly at all Plum,

Think of it this way, and now for the science bit ( rolls eyes )

if you think of your mind as an ocean the deeper you go down represents the deeper your conscious/unconscious thoughts are, to the point it is so deep that you dont know whats there. But occassionally you are aware of a current or a fish nibbling, this could be said are your instincts, you know when theres something nagging at the back of your mind but your not quite sure what it is.

Sometimes a fish or a wave will surface and hit you when you are least expecting it, this is a trigger. It hits your conscious thoughts and you realise what it is, and then theres the shock if it is something upsetting.

For instance the smell of benson and hedges fags reminds me of a particularly hunky bloke I used to shag date when I was in my teens now honestly that trigger I could have all day grin

These fish or waves tend to go back down to the lower depths again when they have made themselves known or when you/we have acknowledged them and dealt with them. The only way to make them less awful or less impact is to be aware they are there always, and that they are a normal part of our lives. You cant forget them but we can change the balance of power they can sometimes have over us.

crying is a perfect example of that, there is a study that tears of pain/grief and tears of joy/anger are different because one releases toxins the other is just salt might be bollox though


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