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Cutting off my mother - but what about my DS?

(84 Posts)
borrowedlight Wed 17-Jul-13 07:37:35

I have had a difficult relationship with my mother since my Dad left when I was 11. She is a 'strong character' at best. We argued constantly through my teenagers years and this would get violent - she would often hit me during an argument, and once had her hands round my throat saying she was going to 'fucking kill' me. All this seemed fairly normal to be honest, my parents had always argued. Plates would get smashed (by my mother). She apparently hit my dad on their honeymoon.

I realised it wasn't normal when my first boyfriend noticed bruises all over my arms. By then I was practically at university and was able to largely cut her off. Throughout this period (age 12 to 19) my mum had periods of depression. When I was 12 she told me she was suicidal. It was just me and her living together and I was scared to leave the house incase she was dead when I came back. When I was at university she once rang and said if I didn't come home, she was going to kill herself. So I came home.

I kept my distance from her for years after I left uni. Occasionally we would row and I would receive 10-15 page sides of A4 letters describing in great detail what a terrible person I was. She has fallen out permanently with her brother and her best friend of 20 years. Her mother wrote her out of her will and asked her son to write to me when she died and encourage me to get back in touch with my father. There is noone left brave enough to stand up to my mum.

But then my husband left me when my son was born. My mother swooped in and took over. She did everything she could to help - childcare to ironing. The problem is that I really just wanted to get a cleaner (she thinks it's wrong to get a cleaner) and get a childminder ('why would you ask anyone but me'). So of course I was stuck - if I asked her to back off a bit, she would get very upset and write me another letter. If I let her get on with it, she would critique every aspect of my life on a daily basis, my food, my clothes, finances, my parenting, my cleaning, my sex life (my boyfriend lived an hour a way and she said I 'went a long way for a shag').

This all came to a head when she said she never wanted to see me or DS ever again. She wrote me an 18 page letter telling me that I was so self-absorbed, that I hadn't noticed she was 'hour by hour trying not to tie herself to the rafters'. Then she changed her mind and I agreed for her to pick my DS up after school 2 nights a week. He adores her and her him. I was scared of what she would do if I said no in any case.

So now this brings me to today (thanks if you are still with me!) and I have an opportunity to move away with work. If I tell her she will go nuts, and likely move to be near us. What I really want to do is upsticks and leave, never to have contact with her again. But that would mean her not seeing my DS. I don't know what to do. Part of me wants to save him from the pressure she brings (she has written to me saying that DS helps her 'cope with feelings of despair'). This is the woman who wrote to me and said 'when you enrage me I feel perfectly comfortable giving you my rage' and 'when you see (what I do) as interference and not love, I want to hurt you back'. But she is his grandmother.

What would you do? I am terrified of her.

redwellybluewelly Wed 17-Jul-13 16:47:00

I'm at the age where I'm looking at 'polite' in the rear view mirror I'm sorry OP but this tickled me

OP yanbu to want to move fast but you need to get your.mother out of town the day you move . We've gone NC with my mother partly to protect my DCs from her volatile nature and also show them I have some self respect.

Go and enjoy life

DisgraceToTheYChromosome Wed 17-Jul-13 17:58:25

Hi OP.

Once you've moved, you'll find the Protection from Harassment Act 1997 a great help, particularly the anti-stalking provisions. There are firms who will charge you an arm and a leg, but it's possible to do the legwork yourself and start court action reasonably cheaply (£00s rather than £000s). That's for the civil injunction; also the CPS has a good section on the criminal offences:


Katisha Wed 17-Jul-13 18:15:31

You need to a) move b) get some counselling to help you come to terms with your decision to cut contact.

Don't imagine that talking reasonably or giving her yet another chance will make any difference - she does not inhabit the same reality as everyone else. She truly believes her own version of events and therefore is not open to reason. Nobody can "talk her down".

I honestly think that you should not leave DS in her care as she obviously has massive anger problems and sooner or later will use him to control you in some way. She may not be able to stop herself harming him either.

Go and don't look back. For DSs sake if not your own.

flippinada Wed 17-Jul-13 18:52:20

I've read some terrible stories on here and talked to people who've had terrible experiences and I can honestly say this is one of the worst I've read. I can see why you're terrified of her as she sounds violent and mentally unstable.

Please get yourself and your son away from this dreadful woman and don't look back.

WRT your comments about talking her down - I know this is an awful thing to say but really, if she did kill herself, would it actually be so bad?

chicaguapa Wed 17-Jul-13 22:09:40

Good luck OP. It sounds like this is your chance to get away and build up some positive relationships for you and your DS. I hope it works out for you and you manage to hide where you are. I think you need to do everything you can to keep your whereabouts secret because if you do a midnight flit and she finds out where you are, it'll be twice as hard to do it again.

WafflyVersatile Wed 17-Jul-13 22:30:22

Your DS is not a mental health facilitation device. She needs a therapist or counsellor to help her cope with her feelings of despair and to stop relying on your son.

Ipsissima Wed 17-Jul-13 23:14:54

OP - you have had a lot to absorb here, and suspect you may be reeling a bit from all the input.
I hope you manage a reasonable nights sleep in the knowledge that, without exception, you have found care & support for your decision from every person here.
Its not real life backup, but at least you know there are a whole mass of women cheering you on smile

Stay safe, and do please let us know how you are. flowers

kennyp Wed 17-Jul-13 23:32:55

she sounds just like my mother, and father, neither of whom have any contact with my kids whatsoever.

a therapist said to me to draw up a list - pros and cons of children seeing their grandparent/s. there were no pros at all. best thing i ever did (i moved over 80 miles away from my parents and it is the best thing i have ever done although therapy has helped enormously).

good luck. put yourself first. take it slowly. (my mother used to ring from a railway station telling me she was going to jump. i should have got her a train timetable).

kalidanger Wed 17-Jul-13 23:41:32

I agree you should move and go NC but I can't imagine you could count on her not finding you... You can't genuinely disappear from everyone, can you?

You mother could bump into a friend of yours and, while being ostensibly very pleasant, gain info such as "Oh yes, Borrowed loves her new job at X. The house is in a lovely area too etc etc"

Uselessly, I don't have a solution but I think it's something to consider.

learnasyougo Wed 17-Jul-13 23:48:37

she sounds like a case of borderline personality disorder (google this and see if it fits).

She will cause a lot of damage to your DS if you don't get him away from her. It's neither your place nor even within your power to fix her or protect her from herself.

You sound very calm and clear-headed about it, despite your wobbles. A move with your job sound like an ideal opportunity for you.

bumpertobumper Thu 18-Jul-13 00:23:19

what are your ex ILs like? does your DS have a good relationship with them? if not currently, would it be possible?
just asking because you want him to have a grand parent, and you haven't mentioned your father.
good luck with the move etc!

DoubleLifeIsALifeHalved Thu 18-Jul-13 01:18:14

You are being so brave grasping at this chance to get away, not at all surprised you feeling overwhelmed abs terrifying... It is very scary getting away from an abuser.

When I read what your mother is like, it reminds me of some of the worst abusive husband threads on mumsnet... Would it help to think of her like this? Except worse cos she's done this to you since you were a child, and she was supposed to be your caregiver, your protector, your mum sad

I think it's really important you get away from her, and doing a flit is a very sensible idea. Keep strong.

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 07:21:19

Thank you so much everyone. I feel stronger that no one is saying it's normal. I did go and see a therapist last week as a one off, I just wanted to tell it all as I figured they've probably heard it all and worse before, and then I asked at the end, "would another reasonable person feel like I do, or would they just suck it up because it's normal?". It was good to hear her reaction. I just feel I need permission to go NC.

The therapist also said I should write a letter to my father. He was a good man and I would like him to have a relationship with my son if nothing else. That would be impossible at the moment with my mum.

No contact with ILs or EXH I'm afraid - their choice. I did get a phone call about 2 months ago from his new wife (whom he left me for) who says she is a victim of domestic violence and hoped I would verify that I'd had similar experience to her. And I did. But I didn't recognise it as abuse. I need to work on my boundaries - it was shocking to hear her say stuff that had also happened to me, and she'd phoned the police!

So, onwards lovely ladies. The good thing about learning to tread on eggshells is you are able to get on with most people - I have a wide circle of friends smile. Yesterday I got DS a school place. So it's all going very smoothly so far, which makes it feel right.

I'll post again when anything exciting or awful happens. I will keep this thread and read it when I get wobbly x

borrowedlight Thu 18-Jul-13 08:08:53

Sorry, hope the friends comment didn't sound smug. I just meant that I do have support, and it makes it easier knowing the new life isn't entirely new x

kalidanger Thu 18-Jul-13 08:13:16

Smug?? Nonsense! You're great, and everyone else knows it. Listen to them grin

Snazzyenjoyingsummer Thu 18-Jul-13 09:38:24

Excellent progress. I would also say that while it can't have been nice being left for this other woman, if she's been the victim of domestic abuse I am glad she's recognised it and left, and I'm also glad that you are realising this was abuse so that you know it in future. It sounds to me as though your experiences with your mum have conditioned you to have a very high threshold for considering something 'abusive' - good that you're rethinking that now.

Ipsissima Thu 18-Jul-13 10:10:12

Smug nothing! the fact that you have a really good support network (and a personality which will help you make new friends easily in your new home) is about the best news I could have heard for you grin
I guess one of the upsides of ending up as well-trained people readers is that we tend to get along with most (the other side of the whole "people pleasing" thing ...not so good! but I'm still working on that!).
Its funny the things you learn. My therapist told me that I read the tiniest nuances of expression because it was my only way of trying to stay safe, as a small child.

Worth reiterating that you should make sure you keep everything that relates to any threat she has ever made ( can't see a court ever granting unsupervised contact given that you can strongly evidence suicide threats ) and don't lose it in the move! (or more likely the strong desire to burn it as part of the walking away process!)

Anyway. Enough with the past. You are doing brilliantly!!! A whole new life awaits you. There is always a 'down' patch because, however odd it may be, losing the abuser leaves a weird kind of void because they frame our normality for so very long, but I am sure many others will concur in saying that the freedom of knowing you are finally safe is precious beyond price.

Good luck. x

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 03:46:55

ipsissimayou were right. I told her today on the phone that she won't be able to see DS this holiday as between holiday clubs and holidays we were busy all summer.

She came to my house and demamded to see DS. She then barged into my house and assaulted me. She had her hand on my throat. I asked her to leave. She refused. I had to call the police. They've spent 2 hours with me and said they are going to arrest her. I feel sick.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 04:29:50

Oh gosh - how awful for you but hopefully this will make you feel 100% sure that cutting her off is the ONLY way forward.

Please go ahead and let the police charge her. Don't back down and drop the charges - no matter what guilty tricks your mother tries.

Look at this as another opportunity to cut her out of your lives forever.

Bedtime1 Sat 20-Jul-13 05:37:20

So sorry borrowed light. How are you feeling ?

borrowedlight Sat 20-Jul-13 05:50:44

Tired, shocked and scared tbh. Yesterday was a very normal day and this escalated from nowhere. I'm scared of what she will do to get her revenge for me calling the police. But she wouldn't leave my house and I asked her repeatedly. I didn't know what she was going to do next.

Kahlua4me Sat 20-Jul-13 06:01:55

Well done you for finding the strength to call the police.
As myboys said, that is awful but may help to clear your thoughts and show you that the only way forward is to stop all contact.
Is there anyway you can move to the new area sooner. Rent a house maybe? Then at least you are away from her.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:46:19

Keep all doors locked and don't open them to her at all.

Has school finished? If not put in writing that under NO circumstances that she is allowed near your son.

myBOYSareBONKERS Sat 20-Jul-13 06:48:49

This may also be enough to get a restraining order for her. Speak to the police about that - explain to them how you fear for your and you son's safety.

WafflyVersatile Sat 20-Jul-13 06:56:03

Definitely get some sort of restraining order. Then if she turns up again straight onto the police again.go completely no contact from now on.

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