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"But we took you to stately homes!!!" - Survivors of Dysfunctional Families

(962 Posts)
AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-Oct-14 18:19:26

(New thread as previous one is full).

It's October 2014, and the Stately Home is still open to visitors.

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012
January 2013
March 2013
August 2013
December 2013
February 2014
April 2014

Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/ siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/ angry/ hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/ lifetime experiences of being hurt/ angry etc by our parents behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/ or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn't have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing up, how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/ or current parental contact, has left you feeling damaged, falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful, if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts:

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect your feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defences that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, will undoubtedly use it during confrontation, to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behaviour. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof, the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offences against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me, when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me, to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties, without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behaviour. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get" or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ...."

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realise that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

More helpful links:

Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Pete Walker

Some books:

Homecoming
Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child

This final quote is from smithfield posting as therealsmithfield:

"I'm sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don't claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support."

Happy Posting

Hissy Thu 23-Oct-14 19:25:10

ooh, already? thanks Attilla!

GoodtoBetter Thu 23-Oct-14 19:28:25

Thanks Attila. I was sorry to hear about your FIL, not because I give a rat's arse about him, he sounds horrible, but I'm sorry if this stirs up all kinds of crap for your poor DH to deal with. I hope he's OK and you can support him.

As far as my crap family goes. I haven't replied to any winged monkeys yet although my fingers physically ache from restraining myself.

cloggal Thu 23-Oct-14 20:01:17

what can we actually do about toxic people,in the end?

We've gone NC pretty successfully. Moved house, the works. And yesterday a belated birthday card drops through the door. As if they are just letting us know they know where we are. We are right back to square one, flinching every time a car passes the house. They have us back in a state of anxiety.

The full story is too long, I've been on several previous threads asking for advice - but seriously, when it's old people sending pathetic-sounding, wheedling messages, turning up uninvited, posting 'gifts', what can you actually, properly do? There were no direct threats of violence made. I'm sure I read somewhere that if an average person could reasonably tolerate it, it wasn't legally considered harassment. How can this even be? What if the people making the contact are not 'average'? What if they are seasoned, abusive manipulators? Why isn't it enough to say 'I don't want to have contact with this person, they must now leave me alone'?

Our approach has just been to never, ever respond. But they're not going to quit, are they? I can't see the police taking this at all seriously. We just want (need) them to stop. Sorry if this is really angry, and self-indulgent, I don't even need a reply -I'm just so exhausted with this shit and I can't believe there's no simple way of ending it.

TaleTastic Thu 23-Oct-14 20:01:53

Hope you dont mind me joining, I was directed this way after my thread went a bit AIBU

Essentially the problem is I'm left out of family occasions because of a health condition which can make it difficult for me to eat out. They don't seem to care that I'm not there or how this might make me feel. After three years I'm getting a bit fed up tbh and very hurt that nobody appears to give a shit.

If I say something, I will be at fault and it will be an argument. If I suck it up (again) it will just keep happening. I want them to see my point if view but I'm realising it's unlikely...

DontstepontheMomeRaths Thu 23-Oct-14 21:38:51

Thanks Attilla it's so busy I'm not keeping up.

Do you want me to add all the links? I have a template here?

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 23-Oct-14 21:42:48

Yes please re adding the links, that would be helpful.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Thu 23-Oct-14 21:44:01

It was more important to get the new thread up to support those who needed it and your great advice.

Give me 2 ticks and I'll add it in.

DontstepontheMomeRaths Thu 23-Oct-14 22:01:07

The thread opener with links:

Forerunning threads:
December 2007
March 2008
August 2008
February 2009
May 2009
January 2010
April 2010
August 2010
March 2011
November 2011
January 2012
November 2012
January 2013
March 2013
August 2013
December 2013
February 2014
April 2014
July 2014

Welcome to the Stately Homes Thread.

This is a long running thread which was originally started up by 'pages' see original thread here (December 2007)

So this thread originates from that thread and has become a safe haven for Adult children of abusive families.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/ siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/ angry/ hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/ lifetime experiences of being hurt/ angry etc by our parents behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

Most new posters generally start off their posts by saying; but it wasn't that bad for me or my experience wasn't as awful as x,y or z's.

Some on here have been emotionally abused and/ or physically abused. Some are not sure what category (there doesn't have to be any) they fall into.

NONE of that matters. What matters is how 'YOU' felt growing up, how 'YOU' feel now and a chance to talk about how and why those childhood experiences and/ or current parental contact, has left you feeling damaged, falling apart from the inside out and stumbling around trying to find your sense of self-worth.

You might also find the following links and information useful, if you have come this far and are still not sure whether you belong here or not.

'Toxic Parents' by Susan Forward.

I started with this book and found it really useful.

Here are some excerpts:

"Once you get going, most toxic parents will counterattack. After all, if they had the capacity to listen, to hear, to be reasonable, to respect your feelings, and to promote your independence, they wouldn't be toxic parents. They will probably perceive your words as treacherous personal assaults. They will tend to fall back on the same tactics and defences that they have always used, only more so.

Remember, the important thing is not their reaction but your response. If you can stand fast in the face of your parents' fury, accusations, threats and guilt-peddling, you will experience your finest hour.

Here are some typical parental reactions to confrontation:

"It never happened". Parents who have used denial to avoid their own feelings of inadequacy or anxiety, will undoubtedly use it during confrontation, to promote their version of reality. They'll insist that your allegations never happened, or that you're exaggerating. They won't remember, or they will accuse you of lying.

YOUR RESPONSE: Just because you don't remember, doesn't mean it didn't happen".

"It was your fault." Toxic parents are almost never willing to accept responsibility for their destructive behaviour. Instead, they will blame you. They will say that you were bad, or that you were difficult. They will claim that they did the best that they could but that you always created problems for them. They will say that you drove them crazy. They will offer as proof, the fact that everybody in the family knew what a problem you were. They will offer up a laundry list of your alleged offences against them.

YOUR RESPONSE: "You can keep trying to make this my fault, but I'm not going to accept the responsibility for what you did to me, when I was a child".

"I said I was sorry what more do you want?" Some parents may acknowledge a few of the things that you say but be unwilling to do anything about it.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate your apology, but that is just a beginning. If you're truly sorry, you'll work through this with me, to make a better relationship."

"We did the best we could." Some parents will remind you of how tough they had it while you were growing up and how hard they struggled. They will say such things as "You'll never understand what I was going through," or "I did the best I could". This particular style of response will often stir up a lot of sympathy and compassion for your parents. This is understandable, but it makes it difficult for you to remain focused on what you need to say in your confrontation. The temptation is for you once again to put their needs ahead of your own. It is important that you be able to acknowledge their difficulties, without invalidating your own.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I understand that you had a hard time, and I'm sure that you didn't hurt me on purpose, but I need you to understand that the way you dealt with your problems really did hurt me"

"Look what we did for you." Many parents will attempt to counter your assertions by recalling the wonderful times you had as a child and the loving moments you and they shared. By focusing on the good things, they can avoid looking at the darker side of their behaviour. Parents will typically remind you of gifts they gave you, places they took you, sacrifices they made for you, and thoughtful things they did. They will say things like, "this is the thanks we get" or "nothing was ever enough for you."

YOUR RESPONSE: "I appreciate those things very much, but they didn't make up for ...."

"How can you do this to me?" Some parents act like martyrs. They'll collapse into tears, wring their hands, and express shock and disbelief at your "cruelty". They will act as if your confrontation has victimized them. They will accuse you of hurting them, or disappointing them. They will complain that they don't need this, they have enough problems. They will tell you that they are not strong enough or healthy enough to take this, that the heartache will kill them. Some of their sadness will, of course, be genuine. It is sad for parents to face their own shortcomings, to realise that they have caused their children significant pain. But their sadness can also be manipulative and controlling. It is their way of using guilt to try to make you back down from the confrontation.

YOUR RESPONSE: "I'm sorry you're upset. I'm sorry you're hurt. But I'm not willing to give up on this. I've been hurting for a long time, too."

Helpful Websites

Alice Miller

Personality Disorders definition

More helpful links:

Daughters of narcissistic mothers
Out of the FOG
You carry the cure in your own heart
Help for adult children of child abuse
Pete Walker

Some books:

Homecoming
Will I ever be good enough?
If you had controlling parents
When you and your mother can't be friends
Children of the self-absorbed
Recovery of your inner child

This final quote is from smithfield posting as therealsmithfield:

"I'm sure the other posters will be along shortly to add anything they feel I have left out. I personally don't claim to be sorted but I will say my head has become a helluva lot straighter since I started posting here. You will receive a lot of wisdom but above all else the insights and advice given will 'always' be delivered with warmth and support."

GoodtoBetter Thu 23-Oct-14 22:18:53

OK, I think I'm finally geting a grip. Thanks for telling to hold off until I'd calmed down. Have had a good think and on balance think it's best to ignore this nonsense, it's not even been sent to me after all. I have asked DBro though to NOT say to uncle that he agrees to forward it to me (they don't know he has already). If he's going to tell them he doesn't want to get involved then he can't also agree to send me this crap, it just makes him a winged monkey too. If they want to speak to me they can write to me themselves.

<channels kick-ass swan>

Pippin8 Thu 23-Oct-14 22:21:07

I've posted on the last thread. I've been NC with my mother for 2.5 years now. She works for a charity & was doing a session at DS2's school on weds & collared him to ask him for tea on Saturday. It's just like her, all oh look at me I'm such a great grandma. In reality, she never contacts him, she doesn't even know what he likes to eat, he gets birthday & xmas cards with money in posted & that's it. He is 15 so is free to make his own mind up, but I wish she'd just piss off.

I guess I'm just saying even though I'm NC she still has the power to affect my life.

HumptyDumptyBumpty Thu 23-Oct-14 22:27:42

Thanks for letting me know about the new thread mome.

Attila I'm also sorry (for you and your DH) to hear that, I hope you are okay.

cloggal that sounds awful. How sinister and controlling. Are you okay?

good I think that's v sensible. I have to be honest and say I wondered if your DBro was going a bit winged monkey from your earlier posts - I think he's trying to be everything to everyone?

Not much to report here. Have my M,s birthday coming up, and pressure from my DF to send her a card. I don't want to. Not sure what I'll do, but I think I'll ignore. It's not a big birthday anyway.

pumpkinsweetie Thu 23-Oct-14 22:31:20

Marking place, as Christmas is approaching I doubt I will miss a year without an il saga...

cloggal Thu 23-Oct-14 22:55:24

thanks humpty, flowers for being so kind and sorry for the rant. We are okay. Just thought we'd managed it, thought it was over...

I'd say to you in return for your kindness to me, anything you're doing under duress, you probably shouldn't do in these situations. Being firm in your own decisions is key. good luck.

GoodtoBetter Fri 24-Oct-14 11:34:34

Hi cloggal and humpty. I think I remember your previous threads, cloggal. I'm so sorry they are still bothering you. How far did you move?

I spoke to Dbro about how the e mails from winged monkey uncle make me angry because it's people making up lies about me and it's not fair. He was saying basically that is doesn't matter what they think, if they don't belive me it's not worth me getting upset about. Then, I was having coffee this morning in a bar and the sugar packet had this little quote (supposedly from Einstein) on it:
Worry more about your conscience than your reputation, because your conscience is you, it's your problem. Your reputation is what other think of you and what others think of you is their problem.
I thought it was quite apt!
I'll talk to the therapist about it, but I know really I have to ignore it and detach. Still winds me up though. Dbro has told uncle he doesn't want to get involved and has agreed not to forward any more e mails to me. I think he was surprised how much it upset me, after all he's further down the line in this and he's not in the firing line or living 5 mins away from DM. I did want to hear things like this at first, but I've passed that point now...I don't want to hear it. WHich I suppose is progress in itself.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Oct-14 11:56:59

My thanks thanks again to everyone for all their best wishes. DH is okay as far as it goes, I think he has an awful lot of stuff to process but we talk it all through. I have stated to him that his dad could have done an awful lot more but did not (channels J Kyle here). He agrees. This is one of the many problems with dysfunctional families, they make an already hard process even more bloody difficult. MIL is an emotionless cold fish and does her officious "I'm in charge" thang and BIL does not talk to us!.

Its half term next week and we're going to Spain for a few days so that will be good for us all. Am very glad we booked all that a few weeks back as well.

Here's another quote for you GoodtoBetter

"It is much easier to make good men wise than to make bad men good." Henry Fielding, 1749

Indeed, detach and ignore is the way forward. Channel your kick ass swan!!.

GoodtoBetter Fri 24-Oct-14 12:03:19

Where in Spain are you going Attila? Hope you have a lovely, relaxing break. xx

ifuknow Fri 24-Oct-14 13:31:37

Thanks for the link to this lovely new thread, no more scrolling on the phone - for now.
Enjoy your break in Spain Attilla you're spot on about dysfunctional families making a hard process more difficult.
They also suck the joy out of what should be a happy occasion too, such as Christmas.

GoodtoBetter Fri 24-Oct-14 16:06:55

Have done the whole writing our a response to rip up but it's not helpingsad still really want to send it. Going to hold out till therapy on tues. Why is it a bad idea to respond?

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 24-Oct-14 16:24:14

I would really urge you not to send any sort of communication even though you so want to. Doing that will be seen by them as a reward thus opening you up to be bothered even more!. You are still to your mother her narcissistic supply.

Your words will be used against you and twisted so that it is all your fault, toxic people always want the last word.

This is from Lightshouse:-

"In the simplest of terms, there’s nothing toxic people like more than:

1. Getting their way,
or
2. Causing a fight.

Toxic people like to accuse, tantrum, manipulate and smear their way to either one of the above or the other. Their out-of-control emotions and self-centeredness make the blame game and the smear campaign two of their favourite tactics for keeping you engaged with them so they can feed off you.

Upset a toxic person, and they’ll be shooting infuriating drama-baits your way and just waiting for you to bite the hook. And they know just what to say to keep you tossing and turning at night, just trying to think of some way – any way – that you can stop them once and for all and make sure the truth about who you are prevails. But if you’re wise, you won’t bother.

Because the only way to win with a toxic person is not to play.

And until you accept that fact, you’re anybody’s sucker. All it will take is one bloated accusation, one lie, or one insinuation about you, and you’ll forever be the toxic person’s most treasured source of satisfying fun and games. If you don’t know how to leave the bait alone and find another, quieter, more indirect route back toward being left alone, you never will be.

Abusive people know that as long as they can set and keep their hooks in you, you are stuck being there for them to use and abuse – to feed on. When they want to, abusive people will say and do whatever it takes to keep you glued painfully to them and their world, because if you are stuck to them, they will always have you handy for whatever emotionally abusive purpose they want.

You may need to cut contact altogether if you are in an entrenched personal relationship, and if so, you may get hoovered and manipulated into staying connected. This is often easily done by deliberately upsetting you so much that the urge to call or contact them just to have your say will be intense, because the lies or other distortions being propagated are so hurtful. Don’t fall for it. Just ignore the whole thing, walk away and wipe your hands. There is no winning such battles. The greatest reward is freedom from the toxicity, which only comes with your non-involvement.

Of course, if there is a legal matter or similar to attend to, by all means, defend yourself appropriately. Non-communication isn’t the same thing as being a legal or occupational doormat. However, responding personally to the drama baits and the manipulations designed to tempt you into fighting back is a reward for toxic people, so wherever logistically possible, let the lies, accusations or other nastiness go completely unresponded to.

The sooner you do, the sooner it will start to become quiet, which, given certain toxic types, can take long enough without additional delays being thrown in. Don’t tell yourself you have to reply — learn to recognize your refusal to respond for what it really is — a sign that it will be over as quickly as possible because you knew how to ignore drama-baiting and send the toxic person looking for a better target.

So when you find yourself invited into an ugly tug-of-war with a toxic person, simply drop the rope immediately, walk away and LEAVE IT BE FOREVER. Because the simple fact of the matter is, toxic people can’t have a tug-of-war with you if there’s nobody holding on at the other end".

Hissy Fri 24-Oct-14 16:51:35

DON'T SENT IT GOOD!!!

GoodtoBetter Fri 24-Oct-14 17:35:00

Thank you Attila and Hissy. I know you are right and that extract from Attila is SPOT ON. I will hang. It's just really hard. sad The urge to respond is so strong. But I'll sit on my hands some more. wink

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Fri 24-Oct-14 20:03:21

Hi Good , I don't know if you saw my post towards the end of the last thread:

I completely understand why you want to reply to your uncle, to set the record straight, but no good will come of it. You thought previously that he might be reasonable and prepared to see both sides of the argument, and so you sent the factual record of the behaviour which led to the NC. Having read that, he is still completely under your M's influence and on her side. Therefore any rant from you now would just be more evidence (to him) of how unreasonable you are being. Ask your brother to stop forwarding any more like this; it's not helping you

You want to send it because you are being unfairly accused of being the bad person here, and you want to defend yourself. Of course you do! But they will never see it like this, no matter how many times you explain it. Then you would only feel worse.

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Fri 24-Oct-14 20:06:21

Or what Attila posted, which puts it 10 times better!

GoodtoBetter Fri 24-Oct-14 20:12:48

Yes, I did read what you said and it was very perceptive. It's this painting me as the bad person, as if it's what I have done to HER. It's so unfair, so unjust. But it's true, there isn't any point writing back, it'll just be twisted. I mean, if he reckons as long as she's not a serial murderer then I should suck anything and everything up and stop casuing "unnecessary hurt", really...what's the point. It's annoyed me that he's gone through my brother as well. Say it to me face, you coward! I'm really disappointed in my uncle. And hoping my cousins (the children of the sister my mother hates) don't pile in as well.

financialwizard Sat 25-Oct-14 22:12:17

Ahhhhhhhhhh. My mother is a toxic mess. Now she has manipulated my 13 year old into spying on us and took great delight in recounting his disatisfaction at my parenting choice. He is 13. If he misbehaves he knows there will be a sanction. Chuff off Mother. You're not welcome.

Rant over. Feel a bit better

GoodtoBetter Sun 26-Oct-14 09:22:59

That doesn't sound good, financial. How much contact are you in with your mother? Can you reduce it further?

I had a dream last night that my uncle understood and thought my mother was mad too. Quite disappointed to wake up and remember he's been monkeyed. sad

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Sun 26-Oct-14 12:58:53

Hi TaleTastic and welcome, it's good to see you over here. Hope you're doing OK, I think some posters might have inadvertently missed your post in the general thread swap-over flurry!

I'm not actually that regular on here (as the regular regulars know!) but pop in from time to time.

I do think your family absolutely "meet the criteria" as it were for you being on here... And yes, your thread did go a bit AIBU, didn't it. Well done, anyway, for taking that step and coming on here! Brave of you. smile

Good sorry I missed the end of the old thread but I gather your uncle's sided with your mother big time... So sorry to hear but unfortunately I can't say I'm surprised, most people just do not want to know, do not want to see the truth. They're just too cowardly.

And no, don't try and exonerate yourself to him. The only person who really, really needs to believe in you is you. Save your energies for deprogramming yourself from all their toxic mindfuckery!

And a general hello to all, wishing everyone strength!

GoodtoBetter Sun 26-Oct-14 13:28:58

Hi, TalkingintheDaaaark (think I've got the wrong number of a's smile). Yes, my uncle e mailed my brother asking him to intercede (why he couldn't e mail me I don't know, I left it all quite open) and said it wasn't as if my mother was a serial murderer or anything and that I was causing "unneccessary hurt" to her anf my own DC by "cutting a grandmother off from her GC". Still soooooooooooooooooooooooooooo tempted to write back and give him what for but have promised myself I will at least talk to the therapist about it first on Tuesday. But it's really really really got under my skin, which is part of why I should ignore it, but it's hard.

GoodtoBetter Sun 26-Oct-14 13:29:53

WelcomeTaleTastic I read your thread but didn't post, your family sound like the Stately Homes type. I'm sure you'll get great advice and support here. Welcome. xx

cloggal Sun 26-Oct-14 15:21:25

Just caught up on the last thread, hope your DH is okay, Attila, I dread the day that happens to my DH. Feel for you both.

Thanks goodtobetter, we didn't move that far but thought out of sight, out of mind with no forwarding address was enough. We've decided just not to respond. It's worked well enough so far. I think you should do the same if you can. We have had our fair share of disappointments where well meaning and not so well meaning family members are concerned, I know how hard it is when you want to clear your name, put the record straight, convince people you're not being monstrous... But you know you're not, and it's not them who would have to live with the results of resumed contact after all. Sending strength flowers

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Sun 26-Oct-14 22:36:27

Good well obviously your uncle couldn't write directly to you because you are a Big Bad Wolf Daughter who has heartlessly cast aside her Poor Tiny Victim Mother and as such must be approached with caution and circumvention...

Sorry, it must be very disappointing, I know you'd hoped for better from him. That dream sounds very poignant. How we long for recognition and understanding. Hope Tuesday's session brings you some clarity.

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Sun 26-Oct-14 22:37:14

Far too many aaaaaa's in my seasonal name, btw!!!

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Sun 26-Oct-14 22:39:27

My version, not yours, I mean! Dios mio, I'll stop now!

GoodtoBetter Mon 27-Oct-14 06:48:24

smile

financialwizard Mon 27-Oct-14 08:51:38

GoodtoBetter

I can definitely go lower contact and son came home telling me he has had enough of her crap. Will see what happens.

Meerka Mon 27-Oct-14 09:05:22

atilla I caught up and saw the news about your FIL. Very hard time for your husband, I hope that you and he will manage this difficult time alright.

Hello to everyone

talking I saw a sentance in a post of yours that really resonated ... "being a second class citizen in your home". It does bloody awful things to your self-esteem doesn't it. Still struggling with that all these years on.

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Mon 27-Oct-14 10:25:46

I know, Meerka, it's the gift that keeps on giving, isn't it... I think some things you just have to keep on working at, you heal one layer and then there's another. The old onion analogy.

Often I've found that making positive changes actually brings up more layers to be dealt with. Which can come as a bit of a shock. I guess I just try to accept that this is an ongoing thing, a work in progress, which doesn't necessarily go in a straight line, but moves in the right direction overall.

<old lag emoticon>

Meerka Mon 27-Oct-14 13:08:51

yes! exactly, you reconstruct one bit into a better,healthier shape and then realise there's so much more. So many more layers.

<joins her in the toxic parent prison cell>

mutternutter Tue 28-Oct-14 06:37:55

Marking my place. Will update when get time

TalkingintheDaaaaaaark Tue 28-Oct-14 09:09:40

<passes the snout to Meerka>

Stupidhead Tue 28-Oct-14 09:21:49

Thank goodness I've found you lovely people who own my sanity again! Place marking for when I get pre-crimbo panics, much love to you all x

Auntlinny Tue 28-Oct-14 09:48:25

Do you think that there are different levels of toxicity? is it something that can be turned on and off? Are my shitty feelings around my mother about something to do with her or am I simply over sensitive? Most of the time i just don't know .... she is pretty controlling and very much likes having her own way. But what I really hate is the fact that she can be tetchy and mean spirited for no reason and she just loves to throw the past at me and things that I apparently said and did as a child (not that I remember). I have not had any contact with her for three months since she called on my child's birthday and was really snotty for no good reason. One of her favourite lines regarding my kids is 'Don't keep them from me" ... like I deliberately connive to stop contact to hurt her, when in fact I just want to avoid the endlessly negative conversations. Last Christmas she didn't send my 7 year old kids (her only grandchildren) a single thing - not a card, nothing - but blames me, because I hadn't phoned her. She made the first few months of my kids' life a misery, with endless negativity about my choices (she didn't agree with breastfeeding, for example, nor did she like me going back to work when they were 18 months and she described my lovely nanny as weird in front of her) and comments around how she never had help and so I shouldn't expect any from her, alongside accusations that I was unreasonable for not allowing the kids to stay overnight at her house alone (they were 6 weeks old and breastfed for fucks sake!).
I am an only child and I now live on the other side of the world, but she still manages to make me feel bad. My Dad died a few years ago - he was a lovely guy, but very controlled by her and supported her for a quiet life, I think.
Sorry if this sounds confused. I am confused and this is my first time on this thread, although i have been following for a while. I know that these are classic lines , but my experiences don't compare to some of the really sad stories on this thread and i feel like a bit of an imposter.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 28-Oct-14 10:44:42

AuntLinny

Welcome.

One thing you will never hear on this thread is that your abuse or experience was not that bad. You will never have your feelings minimised the way they were when you were a child, or now that you are an adult. To coin the phrase of a much respected past poster Ally90;

'Nobody can judge how sad your childhood made you, even if you wrote a novel on it, only you know that. I can well imagine any of us saying some of the seemingly trivial things our parents/ siblings did to us to many of our real life acquaintances and them not understanding why we were upset/ angry/ hurt etc. And that is why this thread is here. It's a safe place to vent our true feelings, validate our childhood/ lifetime experiences of being hurt/ angry etc by our parents behaviour and to get support for dealing with family in the here and now.'

I don't think toxicity is turned on and off as such; such unreasonable people like your mother have never been emotionally healthy at all. People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; your late father was a bystander and her enabler who acted out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. Your mother is controlling and you are the scapegoat for all her inherent ills. It is NOT your fault she is the way she is; her own family of origin did that lot of damage to her.

You are not being over sensitive at all; your mother's actions are all those of a toxic parent along with her responses. I would have a look at the resources on the post dated 23-10-14 by DontstepontheMomeRaths. Toxic Parents written by Susan Forward is a good starting point for you and I would suggest you read that publication.

FOG - fear, obligation and guilt are but three of many damaging legacies left by such people to their now adult offspring. That is likely why you feel bad, she's made you feel bad because she blamed you for her own past problems.

You seem to have put physical distance between you and your mother; now you need to put more mental distance between you and she as well. She was not a good parent to you and is certainly not a decent kind grandparent figure to your children. They would get nothing positive from this relationship either. You need to grieve for the nice relationship you should have had but did not have at all through no fault of your own.

Remain no contact with her and bar her from all means of communication; no contact is precisely that. You would not have tolerated any of that from a friend, your mother is no different honestly.

GoodtoBetter Tue 28-Oct-14 12:27:43

Welcome AuntLinny I see Attila has given you some great advice. I would definitely recommend reading the links at the beginning of the thread.
Just had a session with the therapist and talked all about my uncle and I feel much better and glad I didn't respond. This week I am to concentrate on thinking about me and my needs and what thinking of my self and being selfish means, how to put my self first. Also to try to have a little break from the constant thinking about DM and try to shut her off a bit mentally and think about what makes me happy, enjoy my family, etc and then report back.
Off to work this afternoon, which should help clear my mind a bit too.

Hope everyone is alright, thanks for the message Meerka. xxx

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Tue 28-Oct-14 14:51:44

Good I'm so pleased that you have overcome the desire to respond to your uncle. Your "homework" for the week sounds very positive too; I hope you find it more enjoyable and less stressful.

Auntlinny Do you have twins? Or (yikes) triplets or more? Your experiences with your mother sound really upsetting to me. Just when you needed a mother's love and help the most, she chose that time to hurt and undermine you. It sounds like you are doing the right thing by keeping her away from your kids and you shouldn't let her guilt-trip you into feeling bad about that. Easier said than done, admittedly.

Attila How goes it with your DH and ILs? I hope you are both coping.

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Tue 28-Oct-14 15:13:49

cloggal ^ what can we actually do about toxic people,in the end^
Sorry, I haven’t seen your previous threads. What you describe is really sinister but, as you say, the authorities are highly unlikely to take it seriously. You are not being self-indulgent! (Or, if you are, then this is the place where it is completely allowed.)

Not responding is definitely the best response, because that way they aren’t getting any feedback. I’m surprised that they are still at it as the received wisdom seems to be that eventually they will switch their attentions somewhere more rewarding. That makes me wonder - are they able to triangulate at all (is that the right term? I’m still new to this) by getting other friends or family members to report back to them on you? I mean, how else would they have found out your new address? Do you have a spy in your camp? Do you use social media – could someone be reporting back on your Facebook entries or similar? If they are still feeding off the scraps, as it were, then you need to find a way to turn off the supply.

TaleTastic That sounds so miserable for you. I would have expected your mother to try her best to accommodate your needs but for her to deliberately spike your food with gluten is horrible. You don’t sound as if you want to give up on them completely, so is there any way you can make some restaurant suggestions (ideally give them a choice of several) before the next family occasion is planned? Or arrange something yourself and invite them? Of course, that runs the risk of nobody turning up but at least then you know what you’re dealing with. Is there one relative you are closer to than the others, whom you might try first?

Did you have problems with them before you got ill? Have you always been the scapegoated “difficult child” or is it all down to the illness?

financialwizard Interesting name; can you magic my finances please? Is it your 13-y-o who was spying on you for his gran who has now “had enough of her crap”? If so, that sounds promising and it really does seem as if you, as a family, need to reduce contact with her.

cloggal Tue 28-Oct-14 15:38:01

Thanks thebride. We've wracked our brain about how they got the address, definitely would want to cut off any supply of information - but I think the reward they are getting is pity: telling others how hard done by they are and that they will courageously keep trying to 'heal the rift', i.e. Harass and bully us into submission. They'll keep going, martyring themselves in the process. I just wish you could simply and legally state that you wish no contact with someone and have that respected and your right protected.

Reading the stories on here always reminds me of how bad things were (before NC) and is actually galvanising in itself if that doesn't make me sound like too much of a vampire leeching off others' stories. I never have great advice to offer because I feel I'm still learning and getting to grips with it all. Thanks so much for yours thebride, you've confirmed my own gut feeling but it's hard to trust that alone at times. flowers

Pippin8 Tue 28-Oct-14 16:43:17

I'm starting to worry that my toxic mother is trying to worm her way back in. I posted last week saying how she had seen DS2 at school & invited him for dinner on Saturday. Well he's 15 so made his own mind up to go. He came back spouting all this crap about how much my family all miss me & care about me.

Since then he keeps dropping in similarities between toxic mother and I. Like how we have got the same ornament or how she didn't like the same person on x factor that I didn't. It's like he's trying to make me think that we have things in common.

Last night he showed DH something on his iPad & up popped a message from her. It's like she's always there. She's just come into some money aswell so I'm worried she'll start trying to buy his affection.

What can I do? I don't want him near her, but I can't say that or ban him from seeing her. I posted on the old thread how she's already stole DS1 away, so understandably I'm worried.

roundandround51 Tue 28-Oct-14 17:17:55

I dont feel ready to post a lot of detail but a question for those of you who have gone through this, if you were raised to be scared of displeasing your Mother, how do you ensure that you raise your (temperamentally similar to you) DD to not have that same fear?

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Tue 28-Oct-14 18:35:35

Pippin I'm so sorry to see that your M has started on your younger son. I don't have any good advice but my heart goes out to you. IIRC you said your older DS (whom she "stole") has been allowed through her lack of discipline to drop out of education / work and not do anything? (Or have I got that wrong?)

Would it get through to your younger DS at all to talk about how his big brother is making a mess of his life right now through his gran's involvement in his life? Or is it just a case of he's in the middle of that typical teenage "I hate my parents, they don't understand me" phase and nothing you can say will get through to him? Does he see DS1 often?

I understand that you don't want to criticise her overmuch (especially as she is no doubt portraying herself as the victim in all this) and I can't really see what you can do. You can't insist he goes NC with her as that will most likely have the opposite effect. I guess the innoculation technique is the only one that might have a chance - point out to him clearly what she is doing and what she is likely to do next?

round Do you mean how do you raise your DD to not fear you , or to not fear your own M (her GM)?

Pippin8 Tue 28-Oct-14 20:27:46

Bride you are correct, she did all that plus much more. DS1 used to come here or the 3 of us would go out together. DH has no relationship at all now with DS1 & mine is dwindling as we'll arrange to meet & he lets me down every time. He is drifting away & I feel I cant do anything, he only really responds if money is involved. I refuse to buy a relationship with him though.

DS2 is more than aware of the mess both her & his brother have caused & how selfish they both are & how it's torn the family apart. He's quite a studious sensible boy, but sees mother condoning & even rewarding bad behaviour. This includes turning a blind eye to drug & alcohol use. Then sitting in A&E as the doting grandma & making a 101 excuses when it all comes to a head.

This comes natural to her as she's done it for my brother & sister for years. She thrives on the drama & being the saviour iyswim.
DS2 knows all of this, but she's very manipulative & will say it's what good mums do, being their for their kids no matter what.

thebrideishighbutimholdingon Tue 28-Oct-14 20:38:54

I know very little about these things so this might be a stupid suggestion, but is there any point speaking to a school counsellor or safeguarding officer about it? Given the drugs & alcohol risk, I mean, and see if they will give him some friendly advice. This may not apply to your DS2 but sometimes teenagers will listen to a 3rd party more readily than a parent. There again, it might make things worse. I'm sorry, I'm not being any use at all, but I do empathise hugely with your anguish.

Iforgottotellyou Wed 29-Oct-14 14:38:56

Please can I ask for your advice on here - I messaged a while ago about finally falling out with my enabling mother, I can't remember what I put now, but in a nutshell my toxic sister had a go at me completely unprovoked (been nc with her for around 15/20 yrs). Mother made it seem like it was my drama when I reacted to it so decided enough is enough and put phone down on my mum.
Today i have received a parcel for my children from her, for Halloween. This is from someone who has never given my children a gift on time (if at all), for ten years!! And she's now managed to post something 2 days early. Normally she will tell them she had bought chocolates for them for Halloween, but as she hadn't seen us she ate them!
Question being, I've heard nothing from her since she basically chose my sister over me a couple of weeks ago. I have no intention of speaking to her. What do I do with the parcel? It's for my children, not me. Do I just give it to them so they feel like she cares for once? She has hand made things for them, so gone completely to town compared to their usual treatment.
Obviously knows she's in the wrong with me.

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 15:10:19

Give the presents away, don't acknowledge it, don't reply and don't engage with them.

this is a tactic, it's not real. don't fall for it.

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 15:10:54

one more thing - a gift is a gift. a 'gift' given for a purpose, to manipulate or point score ISN'T

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 15:11:46

one more one more thing - don't speak to someone you are NC with again, don't react, don't discuss it with your mother and never ever reply

GoodtoBetter Wed 29-Oct-14 16:45:05

I'd agree with Hissy. If you're NC, then give the present away, no reply, nada.
I'm having a good day, managing not to dwell too much. Got some good financial news today that means we may yet have a celebratory holiday when the witch emigrates.
Off to watch small son do karate.
Love to everyone, hope you're all having a good day. xx

Iforgottotellyou Wed 29-Oct-14 16:45:06

Hi, thanks Hissy. I have no problem with not replying myself, but feel my children are stuck in the middle, and to withhold the gift makes me as bad as her. They think she is great as it's all they've known, so they are used to her not bothering much.thlhmm

Meerka Wed 29-Oct-14 17:14:15

Agreed, give the 'gift' away. She's proved whom she is. This isn't a real gift, it's a tactic.

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 20:34:29

give the gift to someone else/charity shop. no acknowledgement.

was it left on doorstep, or posted?

you didn't get a thing. got it?

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 29-Oct-14 20:38:23

Hi I'm new <waves>

My mother is the issue. Long history of abuse/lying/being a dick in general.

Called her the other day to begrudgingly let her know I had passed my MSc with a distinction. Her reply 'well you're just a slow learner' followed by laughter hmm I don't get her at all!

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 29-Oct-14 20:38:40

New to the thread btw, not new to MN

Meerka Wed 29-Oct-14 20:46:34

bloody hell, that sounds weird hmm

big congrats from this direction though, that's a great achievement =)

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 21:37:55

Puds hello!

perhaps your dm didn't understand the work distinction? did she think you meant some kind of delay or something.

time to crack out the 'did you mean to be so fucking ridiculous?'

bloody well done cleverPUDS! xx

HumptyDumptyBumpty Wed 29-Oct-14 22:27:17

Congrats from me too, puds. Ignore your mother, she's being awful.

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Wed 29-Oct-14 22:43:21

Thank you smile

Hissy she said the same when I got a first class honours for my undergrad. I just don't get it confused

Hissy Wed 29-Oct-14 23:01:39

stop engaging with her puds she's not worth your breath.

mutternutter Thu 30-Oct-14 06:49:43

Hi all. For those who don't know I live with DM who is a nightmare. Df and my dh dead. No sorrys for dh please he and DM could have been twins.
Anyway I was about to leave to a property I just bought when I collapsed with a breakdown. Had to stop work-self employed and just been turned down for benefit. D's was getting FSM as they processed claim but probably have to pay it back now. Skint,racking up debt as house stands empty.
Not sure if did right thing but took a load of cash from what was left of dh cash. It was my emergency fund but this is I think. Need to sort house and benefits. Got as coming next week.
DM still screaming being nasty. Realize now I am doing more and more sorting dm problems. Don't want to do it but sibblings abroad. If she falls everyone will call me won't they? New house only mile away.
She gets on my nerves alot now. Forgot to say house needs renovation and deemed dangerous due to electrics.

Meerka Thu 30-Oct-14 07:50:47

mutter I think you need to detach from her and plan how to deal with everyone else.

YOU are more important here. YOU have to look after yourself and if you had a breakdown, your reserves are empty and stretched far too far. you don't need your mother's nastiness ... you'll find you recover much better without her.

Can you plan to get the electrics done and then move into the house, renovated or not? I've done it myself - it's awful living in a house with no roof, no internal walls and only cold water in the winter, but it's still a SHIT LOAD better than living with a screaming harpy who's got their claws into you. (im sorry, ive forgotten if you have children, living in a building site with them might not be possible :/ )

GoodtoBetter Thu 30-Oct-14 11:27:13

Mutter, is there any way you can get the house at least safe enough to live in, even if not all sorted? Can you use the cash you mentioned from dh? I really think you need to get away from your mother even if you effectively camp in the new place. sad

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE Thu 30-Oct-14 11:33:47

You're right there Hissy

GoodtoBetter Thu 30-Oct-14 11:38:24

I'm having a funny day. Felt great yday and very"up" but feel a bit...I don't know...emotional I suppose. I guess that's to be expected. Dm house sale looks to be going thru and at a fast pace. She had booked to go to NI at the end of November and note it looks like she'll have sold and won't need to cone back. Which is good, but bloody hell she didn't look back, did she? But I'm going to hold on to the positives. Spoke to Dbro last night which was great. Told him I don't want any of the utility bills for the flat in my name and I'm worried note he'll be annoyed with me. But it's because it isn't my flat and I think it would be better in the long run if everything for his flat is in his name and also I don't want to have to deal with my mother to change it (currently bills are in her name) also don't want tax office noticing and paying close attention to my accounts. Still feel bad tho which is ridiculous. All part of my not putting myself first complex that the therapist talked about last session. Have said I'll help Dbro short it all out, just don't want it in my name. He sends happy enough, it's just me being fretful.
Was also nominated fir secret Santa and was so touched I nearly cried. Tried to nominate someone else but have missed the date. sad
Maybe part of it is pmt, feel so up and down lately. It's normal, right?

Meerka Thu 30-Oct-14 12:00:45

It is normal yes, good. It's a hard thing to separate from so close a relationship as a mother even when the relationship is healthy. Yours was so entwined that it's even harder. A much bitterer taste left behind than if it was a normal separation.

If it's any help at a guess, she does miss you at some level but she's so far gone along the manipulation and control line, the helpless/dominating traits are so strong that she can't speak it or talk reasonably ... which is the whole problem ofc.

Your bro does sound very sensible!

Isn't hte Secret Santa lovely ... I was nominated last year during the HG preg and I was moving into the sepsis at exactly this time, a year ago yesterday I had the CVS test that got infected. I was so touched (and surprised, I'd never heard of it). We were so very, very lucky the baby survived. The Secret Santa gave me a lift for weeks after, that someone had been so kind. MN'ers are lovely smile

GoodtoBetter Thu 30-Oct-14 12:16:27

This place is brilliant. There is so much support, in so many guises. I don't know what I would have done without MN.
I know really it's totally logical to put it all in my brother's name and I don't mind sorting out the logistics, I just still feel guilty. Ridiculous. I know he doesn't mind really. It's part of what I need to work through. My homework this week is thinking carefully about boundaries and putting ME first.

I expect she does miss us, especially the DC. Therapist said that in a way he felt sorry for her as it must be a very lonely, miserable life she leads, and I totally understand that. But he agreed with me that I must have my line in the sand. It's not even a hard line to cross, all she has to do is apologise. I'm not asking much, apologise and we can have (very controlled and low level) contact. But she won't/can't. Dbro told me she's said to him in an e mail that she knows what happened in August, and basically alluded to the fact that she knows he told me all about her ranting about me. But she doesn't/can't see that therefore SHE is in the wrong. It's his fault for telling me and my fault for not putting up with it.
It also means I will not initiate contact. She knows what she did and she's not sorry.

DS was asking again about her and seemed confused, was saying why don't we go on Saturday and you can say sorry mummy. I said it wasn't me who needed to say sorry, and then distracted with the fact that we're out for the day with his cousins on Saturday, (thanks for the extract advising that, Attila) but it's hard not to feel bad for them.

I'm so glad I changed my hours this year, this stuff is all such heavy going emotionally, if I were still doing my old hours I think I'd have had a nervous breakdwon by now.

Are you OK Meerka, anniversaries of hard times can stir stuff up? How is the little babba now?

Meerka Thu 30-Oct-14 14:37:05

I -am- ok thanks smile the Squeak is beginning to teeth so he's not quite his normal wide-smiled self but he's adorable. We're working on the idea of 'sleeping through the night!!" at the moment. It's one he hasn't quite got yet.

Since the short break away the family thing has weighed less heavily on me. The sadness around various unpleasant or uninterested families is crossing my mind only 3-4 times a day instead being pretty well constant. It's a bit of a relief. I know it will take longer for the post-preg family longing to subside, but it's a good start. Being away seemed to help.

I am so grateful for lovely Mother in law. It's not the same as your own family, but her, my aunt and the other half-sister are solid islands that I can at least look at and think "these are good family".

Meerka Thu 30-Oct-14 14:37:36

Hope everyone else is surviving ok-as-possible.

GoodtoBetter Sat 01-Nov-14 20:59:14

I'm doing OK, but find it's all swirling around my head A LOT at the moment. I just keep coming back to this:
My mother would rather leave the country and never see me or my children again than say sorry for hurting me.
It just blows my mind. It upsets me obviously, but more than anything I just can't really believe it, I just feel so shocked by it.

HumptyDumptyBumpty Sat 01-Nov-14 22:45:16

Good sympathy hug. It's such a hard thing to come to terms with. You're being so strong, and your brother sounds lovely (I think I mixed him up with your uncle when I said he was growing wings!)

I emailed my Dad tonight - it's M's birthday next week. I laid out how she's treated me, my DH and DD, and why I won't be contacting her (he thought I should). One of the hardest things I said was that I was starting to accept that she chose her paedophile of a father over me (didn't believe that he abused me, then when she decided she did, continued to see him and talk about him to me, despite me asking her not to, and publicly grieved his death in front of me, asking for my support). It's a very very heartbreaking thing. I hope you find peace with it.

Meerka I'm so glad your wee one is okay, and isn't he lucky to have you for a mum? thanks

GoodtoBetter Sun 02-Nov-14 10:02:08

Thanks, Humpty. That must have been a very hard letter to write. Are you completely NC with her now? How did he react, have you heard back from him?

Couldn't get to sleep for ages last night. It seems worse this week, the churning mind, worse than it was last week. Just can't stop thinking about it, and this week was supposed to be my week of not thinking about it so much. I think it's because she just seems so desperate to get away from me. MIL was saying yday, "She'll get in touch before she goes, you'll see" and I know she won't, which made me sad. I don't want her to get in touch but it makes me so sad that she won't, iyswim.

Does it settle eventually? Will it be easier once she's gone, or harder? I just feel so up and down at the moment. I feel really angry when I think back over it all and so sad as well. I seem to swing between being really fucking angry at her, disbelieving of the way she's behaved and then feeling maybe I've over reacted (even though I know I haven't). But I can't see any way back to even minimal contact, I really can't. I thin k I'm premenstrual atm, which isn't helping.

I read through her e mails to me again and there isn't any apology at all, the closest she gets is asking what she's done wrong. Maybe I was wrong not to spell it out. See, there I go again...up and down. it's all so tiring, I just feel so tired all the time. People keep saying I'm strong, but I don't feel it.

Sorry to be so gloomy. Will take the kids out in the sunshine for a bit. Need to try and switch my brain off for a bit.

Hope everyone is OK, is half term in the UK?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 02-Nov-14 12:33:14

GoodtoBetter

I think it will be easier for you, at least I hope so, once your mother goes back to the UK. Indeed she would rather walk away from you all than apologise because she needs to be right all the bloody time. Her behaviour is typical of narcissists. I would not maintain any sort of contact with her now, her behaviour anyway is beyond the pale and has been now for some considerable time.

Half term here has now finished so their next break will be the Christmas one.

(P.S our trip to Spain was lovely and not a Christmas card in sight either!!. Muchas Gracias!).

Meerka Sun 02-Nov-14 12:50:44

It does hurt, good. there's no way of escaping it. You and she were entwined for so many years, she did a lot for you bringing you up and you did a lot for her later on, which she kind of subtly arranged it so that you did.

All that unhealthy over-involvement is now gone. It's left a huge change, a huge hole like a giant gap's been torn in a sticky spidersweb.

It does weigh on yoru mind, especially when you want a loving relationship with a loving mother.

All I can say is that over time it also does get easier. It does fade to some degree or you become more used to it and you also re-direct your attention a bit to the strength of the loving bonds with husband and sons (or son-and-daughter).

It may take some time though. Your therapist will help to some degree, do talk to him about how it is ringing round and around in yoru head.

humpty do you think you'll get a reply from your father?

GoodtoBetter Sun 02-Nov-14 15:10:28

Thanks Meerka and Attila it's always worse first thing in the morning and last thing at night. Just have to keep going until she leaves and then hopefully it will settle down a bit.

Meerka Sun 02-Nov-14 15:40:11

Yes or in the middle of the night

Keep half an eye on the possibility of depression. You might be just fine, but thoughts gnawing away at you for a long time like this can trigger a bit of the Glums.

GoodtoBetter Sun 02-Nov-14 15:50:09

I am very conscious of that as she spent most of my life telling me all about her depression, so I know a lot about the signs. It feels like all the shit that has gone on is weighing really heavily at the moment but I will keep an eye out.

The anger in a way is easier than the sadness, although it's not great either. I suppose at the moment I have it hanging over me that she's leaving (from what I understand) in a couple of weeks, will she just slip away without a word, will I get some contact? Once that's over then I'll have a bit more distance.

Also, I journal a lot between sessions but the recommendation was to experiment with not journalling (or at least not about her) in an attempt to try and have a little mental break, but maybe it helps me?
We've had a nice morning and a nice lunch and now watching Barbie, the Nutcracker with DS. Feel a little less sorry for myself.

I'm glad you feel better after a holiday, it can really help to get away for a bit, the physical distance from the everyday can help a lot. When we went to Holland just as this kicked off it really helped me. Unfortunately we can't get away atm. Maybe a day out next weekend.

fillie Sun 02-Nov-14 16:45:43

Found you again, lost the thread for a bit! Just catching up now. smile

Hissy Sun 02-Nov-14 17:27:09

Good this bit's going to be hard. you just have to let events take their course.

it will hurt, but it's her choice to be like this. three little words would go a long way to her resolving this, but she'd rather not. nothing you can do.

i'm sorry, this is so hurtful.

GoodtoBetter Sun 02-Nov-14 20:06:52

You're right, Hissy, Attila and Meerka. Thanks. I feel a lot better already, had a good chat with DH this afternoon and the cloud's lifted since this morning. The kids are off school tomorrow as Saturday was a holiday and i don't have work tomorrow so we've decided we're going to go to one of the mountain villages we like and have a jamon serrano breakfast and look at the castle.
Will be so nice to have a peaceful Christmas without worrying about bumping into her.

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 08:24:48

How is everyone doing? filly, attila pippin, bride, iforgot, puds, mutter ... sorry to everyone I didn't mention!

Taletastic Mon 03-Nov-14 09:31:59

Hi - thank you for the welcome at the beginning of the thread and sorry for the delay. I was hoping to be able to resolve the situation myself but it's not looking possible.

The problem is I'm being excluded from family celebrations - birthdays etc. I have coeliac disease which can make eating out tricky and not everywhere caters for it. My family, for the third year running arranged dinner somewhere I can't eat. It all feels a bit childish but I'm hurt they are excluding me.

Yesterday I discovered they have arranged my dads birthday meal and nobody had told me about it. I got a text from their friends a few weeks ago saying see you there, except I didn't know anything had been arranged.

I feel irrationally upset about it all. They deny doing it deliberately yet it keeps happening. I know that if it was someone else in the family, it wouldn't even be an issue but Iy feels like I have to get upset to even be heard. I'm then written off as being hysterical, in the wrong and they all feel justified that I'm the unreasonable one - can anybody please help me make sense of things? I can spend every year feeling like crap.

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 10:56:22

I saw your thread. It sounds like you've been labelled as the difficult one and worse than that, that they are actively trying to sabotage you.

It is shocking that your mother deliberately fed you gluten after you were diagnosed when you were pregnant

It sounds like they are slowly but actually rather deliberately setting you adrift from the family. Regularly not letting you know where they are eating; deliberately choosing places you can't eat even when you offer a list of places that you can; blaming you for not being there and then calling you hysterical.

These are not the actions of a loving family. I'm very sorry, but they are the actions of people who don't want you there and want you to be the scapegoat.

Harsh but I just can't see any other explanation. I'm sorry.

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 10:57:33

By the way you are absolutely right to take care of your own health as your first priority. That's right and normal and the way it should be. Their thing of "well you should eat where we eat even if it makes you ill" is wrong.

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 11:04:31

coughs triple post sorry but I just wanted to say again - it's shocking that she fed you gluten food deliberately when you were pregnant.

GoodtoBetter Mon 03-Nov-14 20:14:43

She deliberately gave you gluten when pregnant when she knew you'd been diagnosed as coeliac? That's really awful. sad What did she say about it?

Taletastic Mon 03-Nov-14 20:29:35

Thanks, I do feel as though I'm being cast adrift.

The gluten incident happened at Christmas a few years ago when I was first diagnosed. I brought my own food as I don't expect people to cater for me. I arrived to lots of comments about me being ridiculous and 'taking it a bit far'.

I'm not sure if I was purposefully glutened or she just ignored my contamination advice but the ultimately she didn't believe me and thought I was being difficult. She was very irritated I wouldn't eat her food and kept going on about it, then I was ill at dinner....

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 20:36:22

Tale have you always been the scapegoat?

They really don't sound like any sort of friends at all. Or to put it another way, if the individuals who are your family were just friends instead - well, you'd be getting the message pretty quick that they don't care about you.

Taletastic Mon 03-Nov-14 20:48:26

To be honest the coeliac thing is just the latest in a long line of this sort of behaviour.

When I was pregnant she used to call me to ask if DH had left me yet as I looked so awful apparently. When I asked her to open a window in the car when she was smoking as I had awful morning sickness, she would deliberately close it.

They came to visit when DS was three days old and kept going on and on about how huge my stomach looked and did I think it would ever go down as they had never seen anything it like. I had to ask her to stop taking photos of me in the end, which she ignored as she wanted to show people.

They came back a few days later and she flipped when I asked her to wait before holding DD as she stank of fags. She stormed off and sat in the car for the rest of the visit crying about how she was so depressed and how crap her life was. I spent an hour hobbling between the house and the car with DS, stitches, making tea for everyone. It was shit.

Meerka Mon 03-Nov-14 20:55:44

When I was pregnant she used to call me to ask if DH had left me yet as I looked so awful apparently. When I asked her to open a window in the car when she was smoking as I had awful morning sickness, she would deliberately close it.

jaw dropped

Good god, tale

Im sorry, usually I take the view that some people want to retain contact with their families and that's their choice.

But in your case I'm afraid that the best thing you can do for yourself in spades is to cut contact.

She is not a friend. She's acting like a bloody enemy.

It is a very very hard thing to cut contact with family but in your case, I think you need to consider the prospect. The main difficulty in the way is your (everyone's!) craving for a loving, nurturing mother. It's clear that you long for that. I think you need to step back and take a long long look at the reality of the family you have, not the one you want.

Maybe make a written list of what you think a family should be, how a loving mother would act in a given situation. Then write down what yours would do. leave the list for 3 days then come back to it and read it with fresh eyes.

Taletastic Mon 03-Nov-14 20:58:37

Ok Ive just looked up scapegoating and yep - that's me! To be fair, they have been awful to my sister too over the years but not really in the same scale.

My sister and I were always really close but recently it feels as though she becoming part if it all. At points I think she is even driving it.

Taletastic Mon 03-Nov-14 21:13:27

Do you really think there is no hope then? She was awful to me when I had PND and we didn't speak for a year, then I thought things improved. She can be nice obviously but she's an alcoholic and I'm worried she might die soon. I'm not sure how I would feel if I didn't get to say goodbye.

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