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How can I help my mum?

(4 Posts)
ballinacup Wed 08-May-13 15:52:18

My mum has unquestionably shit taste in men. She married my dad at 16, had me six months later, closely followed by my two younger brothers. My dad was, and is, a shit. Well, I assume he still is, none of us have had any contact with him for years. He was violent to her and me, verbally and emotionally abusive as well. But she loved him, he was her childhood sweetheart which meant she put up with his bullshit until I was fourteen and told her if she didn't leave, I was.

Then she met her second husband. Also a prick of the highest order. He got drunk one night, when she'd just found out she was pregnant with my youngest brother, and beat her up. I jumped in and ended up getting knocked unconscious by him. Two months later, she married him. He left her when my youngest brother was 18 months old and has managed to ensure he pays the bare minimum of child support (I suspect his buddies at the Citizens Advice Bureau where he works have helped him with every possible loophole).

When my youngest brother was five, she met husband number three. He could be a bit of a know it all, but seemed like a really nice guy underneath the bravado. She supported him both emotionally and financially through some really tough times, including when he was out of work. Eighteen months ago, he got a great new job, she was so proud of him and everything seemed like it was finally working out for her.

He started to change, however, and became obsessed with 'his money'. He would constantly demand to know where 'his £XX had gone' throughout the year and couldn't seem to get his head around the fact that his wages, along with hers, had gone to pay the bills and keep a roof over their heads. He began to throw temper tantrums and would declare he was leaving if he didn't get his own way, ususally returning with the item he had decided he 'deserved'. The last time this happened, I was very ill in hospital with pre eclampsia. He had not received the X-Box he wanted for christmas so took off with all of the money out of their joint account and my mum's car, leaving her with no way to get to the hospital and no money to support herself and my then-7-year-old brother. He returned a week later with the fucking X-box, begged forgiveness and was allowed back home.

Last weekend, they were moving into a new house. On the Saturday morning, they had a blazing row and he left, after again shouting about 'his money'. He sent her a smug text a few hours later telling her to try and use her bank card - he'd gone to the bank, cleared it of money and cancelled her card. On a bank holiday. When she has a nine year old and was mid house move. He has been making noises about wanting a Range Rover over the past few weeks and suspect this latest hissy fit may be connected.

Me, my partner and my two older brothers somehow managed to do the house move in our hatchbacks (step dad has a van that they were using - obviously we couldn't hire a replacement over bank holiday weekend). Now my mum has rang the tax credits and has discovered she is going to be majorly skint. I don't know what to do to help her, she just keeps saying she's going to kill herself/wants to be dead.

I know this is long and thank you so much if you've got to the end. If anyone has any pragmatic, sensible advice on how I can help her, I would be so grateful because, frankly, I just want to hide from the whole situation.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 08-May-13 16:28:34

You cannot help anyone like your mother who perhaps ultimately only wants to use you as a sounding board.

I would not be so concerned about your mother so much as the 9 year old who is unfortunate enough to be in the midst of such an awful situation.

She should have had counselling years back to establish exactly why she chooses men so badly (this often goes back to childhood, any idea what that was like) but for whatever reasons has chosen not to except to blunder through relationships looking for happiness in men. It was never going to work out for her.

Leafmould Wed 08-May-13 16:32:56

What a nightmare, and how stressful for you. I really haven't got any useful advice, but didn't want to leave your message unanswered. It seems that you are able to see clearly the pattern your mum has, which is good, however she needs to see it herself. There is a great list, which has been linked on here called something like how to spot a loser, and it's brief enough to be easily read and understood by anyone... It might be a good starting point for further reading.

I will link it onto here for you.

Leafmould Wed 08-May-13 16:41:05

identifying losers

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