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Toxic mother not leaving me alone

(30 Posts)
theeverydaydancer Wed 29-Jan-14 15:02:59

I went NC with my parents last September (the BEST decision of my life!).

Every so often my mum sends me a text or even a letter. It might sometimes be something really innocuous (like nothing has happened...) such as a text to say she's come back from holiday. In a letter she sent me she had stated that I had demons and that I should just remember all the good stuff I have in my life i.e. that this NC thing was all my fault, because I'm clearly nuts and have "demons" and not feelings which are helping to protect me... I can't say anything to her which might be taken as "criticism" against her or something which would mean that perhaps she might have to CHANGE the way she interacts with me. She keeps saying that I used to be "nice" and that I'm not anymore and that she wants her old daughter back. (Her "old" daughter was someone who was extremely depressed, borderline alcoholic, change smoking, socially anxious, extremely withdrawn, very underachieving and very very unhappy - her new daughter is none of these things (Ok I still have a long way to go until I am completely happy with the way I am but I am a million times happier and better than what I was back then, and now I actually like myself a lot more...). To me that is not love if she would prefer me to be the old me rather than the new, happier, healthier me.

Talking to her is so frustrating, which is why I gave up and decided to walk away by going NC. She would deny everything - things that had happened, things said, even telling me I don't feel my own feelings! I just can't have a relationship like that anymore, one that is completely devoid of honesty, truth and trust. She refuses to acknowledge any of my feelings. She keeps contacting me thinking that we can just go back to how it always was and I can't do that right now. Her contacting me, even with these innocuous texts always make me feel so angry. She just doesn't listen. Today I got a text from her and I wanted to call her up and tell her that she never listens to me and will she please leave me alone, but I know this would be pointless as I know she won't listen to me telling her she doesn't listen. I'm trying to detach and distance myself.

Do you think she will get the picture eventually? Or will I have to move and change my number at some point...

BumPotato Wed 29-Jan-14 15:08:10

You can block her from your mobile and shred all letters without reading.

I went NC with my abusive and violent narc mother last May...I should have done it years ago.

Good luck.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 29-Jan-14 15:10:17

Your mother is trying to hoover you back in; a common tactic used by such toxic and disordered people. I would block her number from your phone immediately.

Do not respond to anything that she sends you be it a text or a letter. Destroy any letter and do not read it. Deny her what she wants from you - a response because any response will be seen by her as a reward. Then she will contact you even more!.

Some toxic people will let you leave a relationship without caring one bit. They never really cared about you, and if you don’t want to be used and abused anymore, they’re simply on to the next person before you can say, “Bye!”

Others, however…

Others hoover.

The toxic hooverer doesn’t truly care about you either — they just want to keep you around to feed on emotionally, and when you decide to go no contact, they don’t plan on letting you get away that easily.

Many hooverers have traits of borderline, narcissistic, antisocial or histrionic personality disorders. You can click the green & purple buttons to the lower right to find out if that may describe the person hoovering you. People with Dependent Personality Disorder may also hoover.

Hoovering is manipulation to gain control over your choice to distance yourself, and typically takes the following forms:

•Ignoring your requests to break off the relationship and attempting to continue on as if nothing has changed.
•Asking you when you’re going to “get over it” and return to your past actions.
•Sending you a fake apology to give you hope that things have changed.
•Trying to trick you into contact by saying someone needs you, is sick, or in trouble.
•Triangulating with others, communicating things to you through them.
•Saying they’re worried about you, concerned about whether you’re okay, need to know where you are, etc.
•Sending unwanted cards, messages and gifts, sometimes gifts for your children, as they know you are likely to feel guilty about keeping a gift from your kids. Don’t allow this – exposing your children to manipulation is far worse!
•Returning old items you left behind.
•Baiting you with drama games.
•Contacting you about “important” things they “forgot” and suddenly have to tell you.

Don’t Fall for Hoovering Tactics

Attempts to pull you back into a toxic relationship are not valid expressions of caring and concern — they are attempts to regain control over your behaviour. Beware — hoovering attempts are often disguised as caring, loneliness, hurt, desperation, fear, illness, and other things designed to play on your sympathies and pull you back. Abusers know that pulling on heartstrings works very well. (In the case of BPD, it may be simply out-of-control emotions and fear of abandonment more than an attempt to control you per se; however you will likely still feel that you are not being allowed to end a relationship you no longer want).

If your wish to end a relationship is not being honoured, whatever a toxic person thinks will work best on you will be what they try, so when one angle doesn’t work, they will try another, and another, ramping up their efforts until it seems they might never stop. Typically, hoovering DOES stop if the person being hoovered does not fall for the hooverer’s tricks.

The sooner the person being hoovered completely ignores everything and does not respond to anything at all in any way, the sooner the toxic person finally understands that they do not have the control. Some toxic people may still make the occasional attempt on holidays, anniversaries of events, etc. Don’t bite the bait. Simply ignore any attempts.

If you have already made it clear that you do not want a relationship (or if it’s obvious) then DON’T ever contact the person doing the hoovering to tell them to stop again, or how angry you are. That is a reward. They will be thrilled to receive your attention and pleased to know that their efforts have paid off by snagging you, so they’ll be contacting you even more!

If you have told someone you do not want contact, and they continue to bother you, the police can assist you. If you ever feel that someone you are trying to break off a relationship with may be capable of more than simply annoying you mildly, contact your local police for assistance. They are well-accustomed to dealing with skillful manipulators and have many smart ways of handling them, so do not hesitate to ask for help. (And remember, you have nothing to be ashamed about; you’re not the one behaving badly, and the police are there to protect you from abuse.) For more information, visit the Light’s House Harassment Page.

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ThinkFirst Wed 29-Jan-14 15:10:58

Block her number and bin all letters without opening them, don't bother calling her to tell her to stop you'll just be feeding her drama.

RatherBeRiding Wed 29-Jan-14 15:12:57

No. She will never get the point. People like her (narcissistic, possibly personality disorder) never do.

I would either block her number, or change your number, and don't even open the letters. Bin straight away. If you aren't getting any texts, and don't read the letters, the temptation to reply and to get drawn back in again will lessen.

You're doing the right thing.

Lamu Wed 29-Jan-14 15:19:47

YY block or change your number completely. Same with emails too.

I've recently gone NC with my Dm after being harassed incessantly. At one point I was having 15-20 calls a day, which I refused to answer then had multiple emails and texts. When that failed she started on Dp too. I had to threaten to go to the police to report her for it. It was really exhausting. It's thankfully stopped now after changing numbers etc.

theeverydaydancer Thu 30-Jan-14 10:17:51

I think what I find so frustrating is that it feels like she has cut off my tongue and left me totally unable to communicate my feelings. It was like this when she was in my life because she would gaslight, shoot me down and not listen or take on board any of my feelings. In fact she would always say I was wrong, selfish and stupid. Now that she is not in my life, she is still not allowing me to voice my opinion in the form of not wanting to contact her. It is so frustrating. Its like shouting at a brick wall. I have so much anger about this issue. I am so angry that they have given me so much hatred and anger that I have to live with. They won't take any of it back. They won't take responsibility for anything. I want to ring her up and scream down the phone at her but I know it would be pointless. What the hell do I do with all this anger and bitterness. It is just sat inside me, festering. There is no point communicating with my parents because they don't want to know sad

FannyFifer Thu 30-Jan-14 10:21:59

Change your phone number or block hers.
She is trying to draw you in, bin letters without reading.
She only has power if you give her it by reading her shite and contemplating responding.

indigenoustothesofa Thu 30-Jan-14 14:20:48

OP, I can't really give advice as I am in the same situation but just wanted to say you're not alone. I have recently gone NC with my mother for very, very similar reasons. She has treated me appallingly over the course of my life but does not seem to understand (or even try to understand) how her actions have affected me even when I spell it all out in the simplest terms. What she will do, however, is bombard me with messages calling me selfish, blaming everyone else in my life for the problems she caused me even when her reasoning is blatantly illogical, telling me to "get over it" and "stop living in the past" - and then, if I still don't respond, she will ring up my partner, my uncles, my in-laws, etc. and tell them she is committing suicide because of me (she has yet to actually do so despite scores of threats - everyone just ignores them now but she doesn't seem to understand why nobody believes her).

I used to get back in contact with her because I'd feel guilty about the burden it was placing on others in my family who had to deal with her up-scaled histrionics. This time, though, I am going to weather the storm, completely ignore her, and hope that eventually she just stops, because I really can't deal with the bitterness and anger that being in contact with her stirs up in me. I would like to just act as though she doesn't exist. I doubt this will get rid of the feelings entirely, but the only way that's going to happen is if she accepts responsibility and apologises, which she is clearly incapable of. I think I just need to accept that she is deeply dysfunctional in terms of her empathy and personal-relationship skills, and that any communication with her - even if it's completely negative - is actually rewarding her, and will not change her feelings. It is really hard, though, to have to accept that someone who is supposed to care about you deeply is capable of being so completely dismissive.

I hope everything works out for you and you manage to find a way to deal with the anger thanks

theeverydaydancer Sun 02-Feb-14 21:34:39

Yesterday got to a point where I felt like I couldn't just ignore her anymore so I rang her up and told her very straight that I do not want her contacting me at all. I was very calm, assertive etc for which I am proud as I felt I really stood up to her. At the end of the conversation she said "have a nice life".

It all feels quite final now. I feel like I'm suffering a bereavement. I certainly don't want to call her back or anything but it feels much more final now. I suppose it makes me sad because I feel now like I have no family other than my daughter. I don't think my relationship with my brother would survive this, we talked about my going NC over Christmas and although he was diplomatic about it it was clear he didn't approve or really understand what I was doing (he was the golden child, so has a very different relationship with my parents).

I feel a mix of feeling really strong but also sad.

Hissy Sun 02-Feb-14 22:32:56

I'm on my own too now. DS and me.

It was hard, but after the things they all did, I really hadd no choice.

I hope your tactic works. If not, don't hesitate, get the numbers changed immediately.

Bedtime1 Mon 03-Feb-14 06:53:39

I have heard all that too about me not being the daughter I used to be etc its all aload of rubbish and it's spooky how the words sound identical to what you said op. my mum said exactly the same words.
I've tried to get somewhere over and over but it has nt happened yet. As I get the same responses and dramatics. . I don't think op they will ever get it! Even when you think there showing a glimmer of hope they show there true colours soon enough. It doesn't take long.
I think you will never be able to have a deep and meaningful relationship or a normal healthy bond of mother and daughter but you might be able to have some form of friendship but on a very basic level and at a distance with low contact ! I think this is what I'm having to accept. Going there with there dramatics just causes pain and unnecessary stress. I think the relationship with my mother will never be a close one. It's impossible without being hurt
However talk about perhaps gardening which she likes over a cup of tea for an hour at a cafe might work .

theeverydaydancer Thu 06-Feb-14 13:46:21

Following my telephone confrontation with my mother on Sunday, she lasted until Wednesday (ffs!!) before coming back to me. She is claiming that they are having a huge clean out of the house, and that there is loads of stuff there that belongs to me (I know that there isn't really, it is just a ploy to wheedle her way into see me and DD again). I've told her to charity shop everything she doesn't want to keep as there is nothing there that I could imagine needing/wanting. She came back to me today stating "if you want me off your back then you need to come to some sort of arrangement so that I can see (my) DD". To me this smacks of blackmail. I feel extremely uncomfortable about either of my parents seeing my DD, I think they are poison and do not feel comfortable with them spending time with her. I'm so angry that she will not leave me alone.

theeverydaydancer Thu 06-Feb-14 13:53:34

I have responded to her (via email) explaining this is surely blackmail. I stated that I feel very uncomfortable about her seeing my DD at the moment and this kind of behaviour is certainly not helping the situation. In fact, it is justifying why I am doing this in the first place. I will not be blackmailed into DM seeing my daughter with threats that if I don't do this she will not leave me alone.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 06-Feb-14 14:00:09

No she will never get the point as long as she is still alive.

Do not allow yourself to be further hoovered back in. I just knew she would contact you again after that phone call.

You must not respond any more to any e-mail vitriol that she sends. Toxic people like your mother see any response from their victim in this case you as a reward and use that to bother you even more. Read my earlier post on hoovering tactics such disordered people use.

A good rule of thumb here is that if your mother is too toxic/difficult/emotionally abusive for you to deal with, then she is certainly the same for your both vulnerable and defenceless child.

As for your golden child brother either, his also is a role not without price really. Problem is he is too unaware to see that he is also being manipulated.

Miggsie Thu 06-Feb-14 14:01:02

You must not have any contact with your mother - no emails, and definitely don't talk on the phone.
Any response form you will be seen as weakness by her and she will redouble her efforts to see you - this in behavioural terms is an "extinction burst" where her behaviour will escalate to 3 or 4 times its previous level, and yes, harassing you and blackmailing you to see your DD is part of that.

You do not have to justify yourself to her - she is totally in the wrong and a toxic person. You are right, you do not need to speak to her or communicate with her even again. also, you could speak to her for 100 years and she would never ever see your point of view, or even care you had one as she is totally self obsessed.
Have you read the book "children of the self absorbed"? this may help you.

Do not respond to her again, not even email - set up a rule to send her mails straight to the junk folder - she is desperate to control your life and you must be strong and resist her or she will do to your DD what she has done to you - you can't let that happen.

If she turns up at the door, do not let her in and call the police if she starts harassing you.

Do you have a RL friend who can support you through this?

TeenyW123 Thu 06-Feb-14 14:02:26

Now, no more communication.

Detach, block, and get on with your ever improving life. grin

Hissy Thu 06-Feb-14 14:14:20

change the number, and get a new email address, block her from every way of contacting you and keep her the hell away from your DD

Divinity Thu 06-Feb-14 16:08:21

While you are seeing your recent contact as "leave me alone" she is seeing it as attention and so she will ramp up her hovering to get more attention from you.

Stop all contact immediately. Block her number and set up a new email. Did she ever have a key to your house? If she did, change the locks.

The more you contact her the more mind games she will play with you.

You are feeling a bereavement, for the mother you should have had but never got. It's tough so be kind to yourself. You will have days where you feel strong and days when you do not. Over time you will have a lot more strong days so stick with it.

Divinity Thu 06-Feb-14 16:09:14

*hoovering not hovering.

JustBreath Thu 06-Feb-14 16:18:03

Please can someone explain to me what NC means?

TeenyW123 Thu 06-Feb-14 16:19:25

NC - no contact

diamondlizard Thu 06-Feb-14 16:41:18

What is the price for the golden child

What are the cons of being the fav..

oldgrandmama Thu 06-Feb-14 17:00:09

Dear OP, do NOT contact her any more, change all contact numbers, email addresses etc. etc. and please, DON'T let he have contact with your children. She sounds hideously toxic and you don't want your kids exposed to that. Be firm - what's more important to you? Your child/children, or this manipulative, toxic excuse for a 'mother'? No brainer, yes?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 06-Feb-14 18:08:42

It's very common for Narcissistic Mothers to have a Golden Child / Scapegoat dynamic going on.

In short, one child in the family is the Golden Child, and one or more is the Scapegoat.

The Golden Child, as the name suggests, is the best and most wonderful - at least in the eyes of the Narcissistic Mother. It seems to be that the Narcissistic Mother picks the Golden Child to be an extension of herself, onto whom she projects all her own supposed wonderfulness.

The Golden Child can do no wrong. He or she gets given the best of everything - even apartments or houses bought for them. Their most minor achievements are celebrated and held up for admiration.

The Scapegoat on the other hand is, also as the name suggests, the person on whom all the ills of the family are projected. They can do no right. Their major achievements are dismissed. Any money spent on them is the bare minimum and is spent begrudgingly.

Growing up the Scapegoat can understandably feel very jealous of the Golden Child.

This, of course, leads to friction between the children, which suits the Narcissistic Mother. Divide and conquer and all that, and lots of opportunities for Triangulation. Indeed, the Golden Child can be encouraged, either overtly or tacitly, by the Narcissistic Mother, to bully the Scapegoat which adds to the friction.

I'd go so far as to venture that, if you're reading this, you were more likely to have been the Scapegoat than the Golden Child.

This is because, contrary to the way it felt growing up, the Scapegoat is actually the lucky one! (I mrean relatively lucky, of course. No child of a narcissistic mother can be ever described as being lucky.)

The Golden Child can end up very engulfed by the Narcissistic Mother, and her life can end up being emmeshed in hers too. She may well grow without proper boundaries and proper self-identity. She is likely to remain, either forever or for a long time, as a puppet of the Narcissistic Mother

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