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Help for DM and my Toxic Grandmother

(15 Posts)
NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 09:40:24

Hi there, I'm looking for a book that would fit me and my mums situation. My grandmother is the one who is toxic, controlling and its causing us a lot of pain. I'm currently dosed up to the eyeballs with AD's and she is breaking down bit by bit.

She isn't physically abusive, not drug related (for DMs childhood) just incredibly nasty, possibly narc and no one in the family can bear to spend any time with her, but its not possible to go NC. My uncle has had therapy to deal with his childhood which hasn't worked. I won't go into more details but these problems are just getting worse, no sign of anything getting better for all of us. Im currently on the waiting list for therapy, will prob go private.

I know that there are a few fab books out there. Can any of you suggest one that would be good for us to read? My mum is of the mindset that she is a horrible person for hating her mother, i've told her about MN and how she should join to try and help her with this, I know so many of you have been helped by this forum.

We're at a bit of a loss and cracking under the weight of my GMs presence.

Weegiemum Tue 23-Apr-13 09:43:44

It was my mum who I had the problem with (I'm no contact now).

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward and When You And Your Mother Can't Be Friends by Victoria Segunda were both excellent.

Maybe someone else will be able to suggest something on the Grandparents thing.

Best of luck x

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 23-Apr-13 09:50:38

Of course it's possible to go NC. There are going to be obstacles, yes, but you always have a choice who you associate with.

I recommend the same 2 books as Weegiemum.

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 10:02:09

I was hoping it may be possible to just share the book, sort of transfer the methods of coping from parent to grandchild iykwim.

I suffer from an anxiety disorder, health related. From a very early age I was fully informed about cancer (in all forms) and pretty much every horrible disease around. I had my first panic attack when I was 6. I thought I had cancer. I remember sobbing in bed after the attack, i was so scared.

I can't cross a road without having to do breathing exercises. I was told nearly every time we went out to touch a car, feel how hard the car is, now imagine that car travelling very fast and hitting you, how broken my body would be

I can't even go to the toilet without a spate of worry as apparently if i push too hard (tmi sorry) i will have a brain aneurism (sp sorry)

I am petrified every time i get into a car

I am basically confined to home. I can't take the kids out to the nearby park or even to the shops for fear I'll drop dead and they'll be alone outside without me.

This is all because of my GM. I could go on, but this would be a very long post.

I am at the max dosage of my ADs and i seem to be coping a little better.

My DM does not have the same problems as I do, she gets put down, mocked, ridiculed, berated, GM hates my DDad and will never waste an opportunity to bitch about him to me or DM. DM is basically controlled to an awful extent, has been threatened with "being cut out of the will" is second best to DUncle who hates GM but is still in contact. Its very complicated. Shes a matriarch who's power is lessening. She pours spite on me when I'm in her presence because I'm learning to put her in the background if that makes sense.

A big birthday of GMs is coming up, big family do. I want to help DM (and me) as much as possible as its going to be hell

If surrounded by friends or people she wants to impress, GM likes to show off. She shows off by being incredibly disgusting towards me and DM. Examples: she showed off by slapping me across the face in front of my "wealthy" (thats important to her) great aunt then another time fully went for (physically attacked) my DM in front of my uncle and aunt for absolutely no reason. Some trifle like going out for a meal instead of staying in.

She comes across as a frail old lady, but I truly believe she's evil. A good church going, helps others in need (fellow congregation members in hospital) but I need to help me and DM break away. It will be impossible to go NC. But... is it wrong to hope that someone dies? This is how I feel, and I am ashamed but I can't help it.

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 10:40:07

Its not possible to go NC. Well I mean it would be. But its not something my DM would ever be able to do. The only thing she can do is make herself stronger to it. I would go NC but don't because of the repercussions on my DM

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 10:41:00

I suppose I'm waiting for her to do something really awful. Its been a little while since she has done something I have hated her for (despite background) so feel NC would just come out of the blue

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 11:09:23

GM has just phoned, all lovely, happy. Quite a nice phonecall if I wasn't on the defensive through the whole call. And now my heads messed up again. I start to wonder if I've imagined the whole thing. Then I think, no, too much has happened, she's done too much for it to be just me going mad.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 23-Apr-13 14:10:49

I suppose I'm waiting for her to do something really awful. [...] feel NC would just come out of the blue.

There's no permission needed to go NC. No threshold of awful behaviour for the toxic person to cross. It'll come "out of the blue" for your GM if/whenever you go NC, because such people never accept that their behaviour has consequences: they absolve themselves of all wrong, however big or small. Just your own decision is needed in order to change how and how much you deal with her, and this can come whenever you want, and for whatever reason you want.

Why are you going to help organise a big Bday for this person? What do YOU want to do?

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 14:14:33

I think if I went nc, it would mean nothing for me but the storm would hit my DM who even if she desperately wanted to would never go NC. I see my GM maybe once or twice a month if i'm unlucky (in a diff town), DM sees her few times a week.

KatyTheCleaningLady Tue 23-Apr-13 15:05:49

That's your mother's choice. You do what is right for you. Period.

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 17:49:49

I do understand, I think once my DM is a bit moire confident, able to hold her own i'll be able to go NC but for now, is there any other way i can handle this, go ahead without NC right at the moment. I just need to be able to cope.

Whenever I have to see her, I have panic attacks (much stronger than the ones i usually have) for about a week before the day.

JustinBsMum Tue 23-Apr-13 18:38:37

How old are you all? 'once my DM is a bit more confident' errr, from what you say she is only going to get less confident and miserable the longer she spends time with GM.

If GM is still fit I would say this is the time to start stepping back because when she is really old and frail and can't look after herself it will be harder to stay away.

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 18:43:44

I'm in my late 20's, married with 2 children. I manage to keep a distance from my GM at most times, but obv things that she has done during my life have seriously affected me. DM is coming up to 50. GM is 80 this year, constantly has things "wrong" with her. One recent thing was she thought she had diabetes, and was quite upset when the tests showed that she didn't. She will never be fit and healthy. We're already at the frail part (in GMs mind) even though she's pretty sprightly for 80.

JustinBsMum Tue 23-Apr-13 21:18:13

GM could live into her 90s, and will probably become worse rather than better to deal with.

You could really do with some counseling for your problems. Can you ask your GP? if you repeat what you've said here in your OP I'm sure they will feel that you need some support, and taking AD long term isn't the best thing for you.

For your DM to stand up to GM she needs to be prepared to take the flack eg GM telling family that DM is cruel to her, telling nurse/GP that DM is cruel to her etc . But, imv, you only have one life, and DM could be wasting a lot of hers in distress over GM, she needs to make up her mind to look after herself first, but easier said than done.

NeverTooManyCats Tue 23-Apr-13 22:50:00

I'm on the waiting list to see a psychotherapist so it is in the works. It is a lot easier said than done. DM is the only family nearby. uncle moved a few hundred miles away as soon as he could. Im considering seeing if DM would go to counselling as well as I think it would benefit her.

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