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So my mother punched my daughter.....(54 Posts)
Long back story, Mum has always been manipulative and controlling,uses emotional blackmail and guilt trips.
she has an opinion on everything and has no qualms pushing it on other people, she also holds grudges and has managed to alienate all of her friends and family except her own 3 kids (we all sing from the same hymn sheet with regards to her and limit contact to what we find bearable/refuse to play her games)
Since my dad died (14 years ago now) she has become much worse, very negative and bitter, is depressing to be around to be honest, expects her family to step in and be her companions, which none of us can do. (she is not clinically depressed), but I think she expected the family to pander to her, take her on holiday,days out, constantly visit etc, which none of us are willing to do as its always about her and what she wants, if you try to do anything you like or want, she sulks, causes an atmosphere and generally will sabotage the holiday (we tried the first few years after dad died).
Anyway to cut to the chase. My daughter is 23, she's a pretty confident young woman who quickly realised how her nana behaved and would put her foot down and not accept the emotional blackmail and guilt tripping etc. mum found this hard to accept. there are many incidences of them having rows and not talking to each other for days, usually because if my daughter challenges her bulllshit, mum storms off in a strop (honesty its like listening to a 13 year old argue, she is so emotionally immature, you cannot have a adult discussion with her at all, she takes everything personally). but my DD underneath it all does love her nana, she was lovely with her when she was little (when nana still had the control.)
my DD had earnt a bonus at work had it confirmed via email and she had bought festival tickets with it , the day before she was due the bonus,boss withdrew it (for no reason). this has left her skint this month and upset her a lot (because it was unjust).
nana comes to pick her up from work and asks her is she looking forward to the festival. DD replies, not as much as I was because I,m a bit skint now, at this point my mum in a real nasty sneering voice says.
"well its your own fault for spending money before you had even got it, what do you expect".
My DD knows this, there was no need for her nana to rub it in with such venom . So DD turns round and says.
That wasnt very nice nana, you know how upset I was about the bonus and there was no need to be so mean.
This opened the floodgates, with my mum screaming at her in the car, accusing my DD of having an attitude (because she dared to challenge her nasty remark) ranting on about all she had done for her, how she was ungrateful, how she was going to sell her home and move abroad because no one cared, how she could be dead and no one would know, that she was going to leave her house to the dogs trust, just random ravings that were unrelated to the comment. DD could not get a word in edgeways during this tirade, as she would shut her down by saying she couldnt talk as she was driving and that DD would cause a crash if she distracted her.
DD turns round as says "stop the car please nana, I cant talk rationally with you when you are like this and I will walk home" At this point my Mum lashes out and punches her in the face, it took a lot of control on DD,s part not to hit her back.
DD then got angry, tells her nana that if she ever laid a finger on her again she would have no hesitation in future in hitting back. that she has serious emotional problems and should go get counselling and that as far as she was concerned, she no longer had a nana.
So where do we go from here.
OP: Just because she is your mom, does not mean she should be allowed to treat your DD that way, no matter how old her she!
Neither of you should feel guilty for not wanting to be a part of her life. It isn't healthy. It isn't a way to live your live with a family member...not sure when they will snap.
Stand by your DD. Even if she doesn't call the police. Don't call mom and chit chat... it isn't worth the emotional heartbreak one feels, and tries to hide...
Your mother sounds so incredibly, unnervingly like mine. I really think there is nothing you can do but cut her out. You already have limited contact (and it's great that you and your siblings see eye-to-eye on that - sadly not the case with mine) but I think even that is too much.
I think your DD is exactly right that she no longer has a nana. If she doesn't want to report it to the police, that's her choice as an adult, but she should follow through with her statement to your mother that she doesn't want anything more to do with her. I actually think that this will have a greater impact on your mother even than the police would have, as it's cutting off her supply of attention and drama.
I am very glad that my mother has almost no contact with my DC. I have agonised over it for a long time, and occasionally still feel guilty, but it's hearing things like this (oh so familiar from my own relationship with my mother) that confirm to me I'm doing the right thing. It is hard, though.
What a nasty situation OP! All you can do is back your DD completely, including wrt whether or not she wants to involve the police. I can understand why some people are trying to push you into involving the law (and I can't disagree with their reasoning), but I don't think going over your DD's head is the right course of action...and haranguing her until she gives in would be bullying and detrimental to your relationship with your DD.
Perhaps a compromise would be to tell your DD that you would prefer her to report the incident, but would accept a promise that if your mother lays a hand on her again (unlikely if she's NC but not impossible) she will report it at once.
If your DD was punched in the face she likely has bruising or even damage to her nose or cheekbones. How will she explain such injuries to others?. By saying that she walked into a door or fell over.
I have seen at first hand other well meaning but useless relative minimising, enabling or excusing such behaviours and it only makes the disordered person act worse.
This cannot be ignored by your DD no matter how much she wants to ignore it. Why else not want to report it, what are her reasons for not reporting it?.
And yes you have normalised this by also allowing any sort of relationship with your toxic mother. I can only assume that you permitted this because you hoped that your mother would have behaved differently with her in her own childhood than she did with yourself.
Then how will,your mother learn that this behaviour is not only morally but also legally wrong?
I would make the point to your daughter that perhaps the shock of being arrested/cautioned may make her get help?
I understand your reluctance to report to police OP but I wonder if your mother's behaviour might escalate -she might assault a health professional or someone in a shop.
Is there a possibility she may have early onset dementia?
Even though your daughter does not want to pursue this I think you are able to report as a concerned 3rd party.
I want to Badvoc, but shes technically an adult and has expressly said she doesnt want to. I cant over rule her decision on that.
If anyone punched my child I would contact the police.
I have made my DD aware that I have no issues with her if she chooses to go to the police. She knows she has my full support on that. She doesnt want to bother because she feels that it would only be her word against her nan's and nana is very expert at playing the poor old defenceless widow card. I still think she should do it just to send a warning shot across her bows so to speak. But I have to respect her decision as an adult.
She has said she is and will continue to cut all contact with her nana and I fully support her on that. nana is not crossing this threshold.
I am well past the point of being affected emotionally by my mother, I basically emotionally cut contact with her many years ago. I have tolerated her only out of respect for my dad and the fact that she has so little support otherwise.and that she lives so bloody close.
She wasnt a bad grandmother in that she had endless patience with them when they were little, would bake, take them day trips, do crafts etc etc, almost a model grandmother and my dc's adored her . The issue only started when they became teens, once they became independent, it was almost like she became desperate to maintain that close bond and lashed out because she was losing them ( this is pretty much her pattern of behaviour, if she feels she is being snubbed or ignored or generally not being paid attention to she will push people out of her life) but its never her fault of course..
DD is a pretty strong feisty woman and sussed out her nanas behaviour patterns well before I did (took me until 30 ish) and has no problems calling her on her bullshit. Mum thinks she has every right to criticise and voice her opinion and my DD feels she has every right as an adult to challenge her on it. I think thats the issue, she still sees her as a child who should have some respect and not 'answer back', she seems unable to move past the adult parent type dynamic.
I suppose I have normalised her behavior,
How can you even be thinking about having anything to do with your mother after this? She assaulted your daughter.
That is awful your poor dd she really should call the police no o e has the right to hit her.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
As you say she's upped the ante. You don't mention her using physical violence before - is this a completely new development?
You need to make it clear to her that her behaviour is abusive and out of control and that she is very lucky you are not involving the police. A final recommendation for her to seek professional help and then leave it. It is going to be difficult with her living so close but you are going to have to steel yourself for this. Keep calm and tell her that you want nothing more to do with her. She's attacked your own flesh and blood (HER own flesh and blood).
Perhaps you need to write it down in a letter. And this is YOUR letter not your daughters. Make it clear to your daughter that she is not the cause of you taking this action - just that this act was the final straw in a long chain of events. Keep it straightforward and keep a copy.
Stately Homer here - you should find the thread if you look in Relationships.
I am SO SORRY to hear about this. It's very hard to think about cutting her off as you've been conditioned to accept her behaviour and it's not so easy to just up and reject her.
I recommend you talk to your DD about why she doesn't want to go down the road of police - fine if she doesn't want to, not fine if she wants to but feels she shouldn't. I would like to remind everyone that abusers take away power and control from victims and telling survivors of any kind of abuse what they 'must' do can make them feel frightened and shamed.
I would think about changing your approach - don't 'manage' her any more but take more of a no-tolerance approach. If she doesn't apologise, if she doesn't behave reasonably, she doesn't see you. Right now she has too much leeway as she has taken it (not blaming you).
I strongly recommend you read Toxic Parents by Susan Forward.
I also recommend you call the NSPCC switchboard, explain you are an adult calling about yourself and ask to speak to one of their counsellors. They are, in my experience, excellent. It might also be worth considering counselling - not so you can manage her, but so you can deal with how you feel.
Yes. I think the OP needs to step back and try and see this situation is very far away from what one should accept from difficult family members.
But she has been tryingto deal in a sensible way with a situation she grew up with.
None of this is the ops fault.
She is just caught with a horrible family dynamic. It is so incredibly hard to see what is normal for you from the outside.
I agree with Blu
Please can posters stop blaming the OP. Remember she has been brought up by this abusive woman and has also suffered. You only have to read the Stately Homes threads to realise how hard it is for adults who have been brought up by these people.
Op why don't you post on the Stately Home threads? I think you'll get lots of great advice and support there.. I'm not sure where they are, but I'll have a look.
Your DD handled the situation brilliantly. She really has my admiration.
I'd say let her decide where she wants to go from here and support that decision.
It's obvious that your mother is a troubled woman and needs more help than you are qualified to give.
Quint, I think that is an outrageous accusation to level at the OP.
I presume you only allowed your child now an adult to have a relationship with her nan in the first place because you hoped against hope that your mother's behaviour would be better this time around.
I would have to state that if she was and is too toxic for you to deal with, she was too toxic for your child now adult to have any sort of relationship with.
It is indeed very sad that you have brought your daughter up to tolerate and normalize this sort of behaviour - it is abuse. Now all you can do is hope and pray she does not meet a man that will take advantage of this upbringing.
I think you should urge your daughter to report it to the police. At least to take a stand that nobody should have to put up with being assaulted "just because it is family" and "just because X,Y,Z really loves you underneath".
It is unhealthy. It is wrong.
The OP had already suggested the police to her dd, but she has refused. The dd is 23 and is capable of deciding whether she wants to report her Grandmother to the police.
However OP, like everyone else has said you must now cut contact with her. Otherwise you are showing your dd, yet again, that its ok to put up with this behaviour.
If I were you, I'd write her a letter saying you and your family want no contact and that she must got to her dr and get help. Only then will you consider having contact again.
You can't assault people and get away with it just because you are related to them.
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