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To confront (d)m or not?

(15 Posts)
thepixiefrog Tue 14-May-13 16:19:25

Hi, in need of some objective viewpoints regarding critical DM. This is long and probably really petty, but if you can stomach it I'd be really grateful for your feedback.

I have lots of issues with DM, mainly anger towards her for allowing first df, then dsf to abuse me and my siblings physically and emotionally. So, I may be being over sensitive considering how I feel about her.

My dsis and I get on great. We're really open, have a laugh and we're best friends. Last week dsis was a bit grumpy (pms) and irritable. On one particular day ds1(5) was pushing his boundaries as normal and it took a few times of asking to get him to do anything. Dsis kept interjecting and telling ds to do what I'd just asked him, and saying things like "you really need to do what you're mum has told you".

I knew that she was only trying to help and her intentions were the best, but I believe that if Ds sees someone else stepping in every time he challenges me it will undermine my parenting, and that I need to resolve it myself.

I spoke to DM about it later to ask how to approach having a word with dsis. She did not see my point of view at all, and said that I should have been grateful for the assistance as she was when we were little and someone else told us off. This is all fair enough, I can't fault her for having a different opinion. But then she took the opportunity to tell me that if I parented Ds better dsis wouldn't have to step in. She said getting him to do anything 'went on a bit', and I needed to be firmer. I didn't ask for parenting tips, just how to word things with dsis.

I was going to ignore her and let it go. I spoke to dsis and all was fine. I knew it would be because we respect each other and can talk about anything. She understood where I was coming from totally.

It turns out that DM had already spoken to dsis about it. She said (according to sis),

"I think I need to warn you that pixie may be having a word with you about something. She is cross with you for getting involved when she tries to get ds to do things. Of course I didn't say anything about how bloody boring it is listening to her go on and on (said with much eye rolling) but just giving you a heads up".

I'm angry for several reasons. Firstly, because she said I was cross when I really had no bad feelings towards dsis at all. I never expressed any so why would she say this?

Secondly, it's really hard to take parenting advice from someone who stayed with partners who thrashed her dc's, and referred to them as 'cunts' and 'ungrateful bastards' on almost a weekly basis. Her way of getting us to tidy up, brush teeth etc. was to scream and hit us. She was very physically and emotionally intimidating.

Thirdly, why does she have to get involved anyway? I was going to bring it up with dsis myself, I didn't need her to 'help'.

I know she has problems with boundaries, and no respect for me. I am no longer passive and have been pulling her up on her behaviour for about 18 months. She doesn't like it and it causes HUGE fall outs.

Do I confront her or let this go?

Thanks for reading :-)

thepixiefrog Tue 14-May-13 16:33:53


SgtTJCalhoun Tue 14-May-13 16:42:05

For starters, don't discuss anything about your dsis with your Mum. There's nothing I love more than a family gossip but when you've got someone that likes to twist things around and create conflict you can't do that. I know how hard it is to keep to that. I used to feel that the only common ground I could find with my Mum was talking about family members so I would find myself doing it even though I knew it would get back, twisted beyond all recognition.

Creating conflict is the air they breathe for people like this so no matter how much you feel you want to talk to get, you just can't.

purplewithred Tue 14-May-13 16:43:36

What good will come of having a go? There may be good - you establish that you won't let your mum walk over you, or get a chance to tell your mum exactly what you thought of her parenting skills. On the other hand it could just be a tiresome waste of breath and emotional energy. Only you can decide.

SgtTJCalhoun Tue 14-May-13 16:44:26

Oh and my Mum was very physically, emotionally and verbally abusive too. You can't trust someone who has been like this to you and for me it's best to only allow my Mum in my life in a very limited capacity.

KatieScarlett2833 Tue 14-May-13 16:45:57

Why the hell did you tell your mum in the first place?

EldritchCleavage Tue 14-May-13 16:50:23

I'd probably let this one go, because you did broach it with her (doesn't make her misrepresenting you to your sister ok, but it does muddy the waters a bit). However, if she starts putting in her two penn'orth in future when you haven't spoken to her about whatever the issue is, I would tell her VERY firmly not to interfere.

thepixiefrog Tue 14-May-13 17:05:29

Katie, she has never been a vindictive person. Strange views on relationships and how to bring up kids, but never one to stir up trouble. I (naively) just thought she would help me how to word the thing with my dsis. Never again! i'll never involve her in anything again.

Thanks everyone for replying. I'll leave it, and if she does anything similar in the future I'll be better prepared to respkng appropriately at the time.

brass Tue 14-May-13 21:01:27

you created this drama by talking about your sister to her

if she did all those things then why on earth would you imagine she would give you advice about how to talk to your sister?

if you respect your sister so much why talk about the incident with your mum?

Hissy Tue 14-May-13 22:16:07

You see sweety, what you did here was fuck up... you trusted the one person you CAN'T trust.

You gift wrapped a way for her to fuck you over, as she has done all along.

Your mother.

No point in confronting your mother, she has done nothing different to how she always did it. The only one who made a mistake was you (sorry) in thinking she would be any different.

"Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results." - Albert Einstein

What you do now, is learn.

You speak to your sister and calmly explain that you get bored of your own voice telling DS off, and with the greatest respect in the world, don't need an echo. grin

Thank her for supporting you though, cos it sounds like it's coming from a good place.

In future, don't be afraid to speak directly to your sister, you have the intelligence and tact to be able to do so.

Have you ever considered counselling? I had it, to deal with DV, but in the end there were so many horrid family DM/DF/Dsis issues to deal with, the abusive Ex was a doddle in comparison.

thepixiefrog Wed 15-May-13 07:06:53

I know you're all right. At times it is very hard to accept that my DM is never going to be the mother that I crave, and falling into patterns of behaviour that would be normal in most families is never a good idea with her.

For those of you who seem to think that I was bitching about my dsis, it really wasn't like that. I was having trouble figuring out how to approach something diplomatically and I turned to the wrong person for advice. There was nothing nasty or vicious about it.

I have been in therapy for 18 months, Hissy, which has lead to the alteration in my behaviour with my DM that was mentioned in the op.

Hissy Wed 15-May-13 07:28:59

Great news about the therapy, this is a perfect subject to discuss. Coming to terms with the behaviour of our parents is the hardest thing on earth, but you have to set your boundaries in stone, they are NOT allowed to treat you with anything less than respect.

So you made a mistake. You trusted someone who has no history of being trustworthy, but you did it in the hope of her salvation.

Give that up, it's never going to happen, and certainly not if you keep giving her opportunities to do this to you.

Somehow these beings get some kind of emotional hard on by doing this to us.

I know how hard this stuff is, and how much my words may push you, but believe me, it's a lot softer than the way that one of my therapists put it to me! grin she was right though!

Hissy Wed 15-May-13 07:30:30

Do you post on stately Homes? You shoulf! It'd help back up the therapy.

thepixiefrog Wed 15-May-13 08:10:01

Thanks Hissy. I really appreciate your replies. You make so much sense, and normally I keep DM at arms length but I'm very depressed at the moment. I guess I just wanted to be 'mothered' for a moment of madness in my vulnerable state, and gave her the opportunity. Big fat fail!

Thanks for your support.x

Hissy Wed 15-May-13 08:23:44

Did it myself last week... It hurts just a little bit less each time we remind ourselves that they are not the mothers that WE are/will be to our DC.

I wish it was a box that never got opened sometimes, but I'm happy to have learned so much about myself and my own boundaries/strengths too.

Had we lived a life under their illusion, it'd be so harmful for us, and our DC. The truth IS better, no matter how painful we find it.

Have a good day, stay strong, and if you need an ear... Don't think twice!

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