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Horrible night, feel really down(33 Posts)
My DH and I got married on Christmas Day, and he left me last year for another woman so today was really hard for me.
I moved in with my Mum a few weeks ago because I couldn't afford to keep up the house payments since the divorce and went with Mum and Dad to a party at our family's house tonight.
My DS is 10 and is autistic and gets quite agitated in crowds of people and when they were playing charades he was fidgeting a lot and making some noise and generally being over excited and I asked him to calm down but he was finding it hard. He was sitting next to my Mum and she ended up really shouting at him which upset him so he left the room and wouldn't come back in and just played on his own.
Mum came over to me and said in front of everyone that I'd caused it because I wasn't controlling him properly and wasn't paying attention and she said it was my fault he was sitting in the hallway and she felt sorry for him. She blabbered on about how she never let her kids behave like that socially and acts like it's not even relevant that he's autistic.
I really was trying to control him but you can't get an autistic kid to behave by telling them off, they get stressed in social situations. I felt really humiliated and went home.
Then lost my cool and shouted at Mum and told her it was a really hard day for me and I didn't need her being nasty and she told me she wasn't discussing it any further.
I just feel so awful. My husband hated me, my Mum made me out to be a bad parent in front of the family and I just feel like a complete loser.
Am crying in my bedroom right now, wishing finances hadn't forced me to move in with them. Just want to run away from life. I just feel like everyone hates me and I try so hard to just do well and it's never good enough
So sorry, that sounds really difficult. Remember that this is temporary, it won't be like this forever and you are doing the best you can in really tough circumstances. It sounds as if your mum was lacking empathy there. People can get stressed over Christmas and are not always at their most understanding. for you - you're doing a great job and the best you can for your ds.
Your mum sounds horrible actually.
She shouted at your DS in public and then to try and gloss over the fact that she had fucked up by doing that, decided to humiliate you.
Is she always like this or is this an aberration?
Cry, sleep, wake up feeling a little better. You know what your boy needs, the rest of them don't. Even if they think you're doing it wrong, so what? You are the expert on your own child.
99% of the time she's lovely, but she does have a tendency to get angry and nasty towards me if my DS plays up. I think she finds it really embarrassing and so she takes it out on me.
She can also be really insensitive about my DH leaving me and won't let me talk about it or show that I am sad so I feel really put upon to pretend to be happy.
She is kind and nice and does stuff with us and is good to my DS but she doesn't really want to talk emotions or anything like that. She's never been one for that sort of thing, she just says stuff like "you can do better" or whatever.
My DS asked her to not tell me off again because it wasn't my fault and she said to him "when my children were your age darling I controlled them, it's not YOUR fault it's your Mum's she was playing with her phone instead of watching you".
I just felt so humiliated because I have already come home with my tail between my legs with everyone knowing DH left me (he left me by sending an email out of nowhere to say he was in love with someone else) and to have my parenting criticised was just too much and I could barely bite back the tears.
She does have a tendency to do that sort of thing quite a lot I suppose, but other than that she's a good Mum and I feel even more shit for shouting at her.
im really sorry but your mum has just undermined and humiliated you, first in front of your family and then in front of your son.
Plus emotional neglect, plus its a trigger day, plus trying to raise an autistic boy without any support. No wonder you're feelimg shit. x
She's a cheeky mare. But that's not a problem for now, as you need the accommodation. After you've slept, work out some strategies for damage limitation.
She will give me the silent treatment for days because I shouted at her, and she'll tell my sister I shouted at her which will start an argument with my sister....sigh....i just felt like I wanted a bit of peace and support over Christmas and somehow I'm in the middle of an argument. Wish I'd just kept silent!
Frankly if she's as awful as she sounds, I'd welcome the silent treatment. You are doing brilliantly in a very hard situation - one your mother (I imagine) has never had to face and with which I doubt if she could cope half as well as you do. Stick it out bloody (you really need a new name), I will get better and it will be your efforts that made it so.
She's a good Mum, a great Mum most of the time but she can be a bit insensitive and doesn't really get autism.
Bloody, I have an autistic ds, and I get all the same shit from my (mostly) lovely mum. She just doesn't get autism. A lot of people don't.
I feel so sorry for your situation. I hope you can move out soon. If I was in your shoes I be tempted to sit down with her tomorrow and tell her how devastated and humiliated you feel by her criticism of your parenting. I'd also contact one of the autism charities and ask if there are some leaflets about behaviour management which you could read with your mum - it might help.
Try, if you can, to work out longer term strategies that will be good for you. EG counselling if you need it, can get for free etc etc to help you and your self esteem. Your dh has obviously knocked your confidence and it is understandable you feel bad, but it is not necessary for this to be the case forever. Try and get some help for this.
You say he hated you, I have no idea what happened in your relationship. Maybe he did not hate you at all but the pressures of parenting a child with autism was not something he could handle and he ended up having an affair to escape it. I could have it all wrong. But if what I have described is the case then it really is not your fault.
I was going to say "Have an honest chat with your mum in a nice way, explain how frustrated you feel and try and see if you can connect on a deeper level through this (IMHO)." The I saw you had said ... is kind and nice and does stuff with us and is good to my DS but she doesn't really want to talk emotions or anything like that. She's never been one for that sort of thing, she just says stuff like "you can do better" or whatever.
So maybe talking it through is no good.
You presumably both love your ds and want what is best for him and she is presumably trying her best but is making mistakes. Maybe she was embarrassed at the party and has in turn embarrassed you. That's basically what you said ... 99% of the time she's lovely, but she does have a tendency to get angry and nasty towards me if my DS plays up. I think she finds it really embarrassing and so she takes it out on me.
So if you can, I would just try and move on from this. Try and avoid situations where you and your mum will come into conflict.
She is human and makes mistakes. We all do. Try and minimise this if your mum doesn't want to talk it out. If she says stuff about you not controlling him properly to his face I would quietly explain to ds when your mum is not around that grandma doesn't really understand what you (DS) find challenging but YOU (his mum) do and you are in tune with his needs etc. Grandma loves him etc and does her best and try and help him to see that your mum and you have different options and actually this is not his problem to deal with it is just you and your mum talking etc.
I'd also be thinking about my long term plans re work, home etc and what could work what might help etc.
Be nice to you, take control of what you can.
If you mum is giving you a place to stay and is 99% of the time supportive I would cut her some slack, say I was upset on Christmas Day (for obvious reasons) and move on if you can IMHO.
Try and enjoy a relaxing time over the Christmas and work out what will make your situation better. You are not someone to hate you sound empathetic, loving and courageous. Find your inner strength through this and move on. All the best.
Can you and your mum go to any support and information style events together for parenting with autism? Or some sort of social thing where your mum can be around others with autism to see it is not just your ds because of you, but all autistic kids because of autism?
Thanks you all. Great suggestions, but honestly, there's no point talking to her. Today her stance will be to:
a) not talk to me
b) suck up to DS all day
c) ring round various family members to tell them how awful I am.
Even if a medical doctor came in here and told her DS can't help behaving like that she'd STILL say it was my fault because she gets ideas in her head and won't drop them.
I'll just stay in my room, ride it out and she'll act like nothing ever happened in a few days.
I just didn't need the additional criticism or humiliation right now, but I don't think she'll ever understand me, she never has. Dad understands at least, and he thinks she was a dick to me. He'll be the only person because he understands DS and he knows how hard it is on me.
Sorry for the morose post last night. I sometimes feel completely alone.
I really feel for you, I have a non verbal asd 4yo and it is so hard, I'm a single parent too.
Luckily for me my family understand that my lo isn't being naughty when he gets upset or agitated around people, in fact yesterday we went to my mums and lo took the iPad and went upstairs for some peace as there was too much going on and he couldn't cope.
I think it is disgusting that your dm blames you for his behaviour, tbh I wouldn't speak to her, if she wants to give you the silent treatment let her, could your df speak to her about it, he sounds as though he understands just how difficult it is for you. And to not even make allowances for Christmas day being painful due to it being your wedding anniversary? I'm sorry but she sounds heartless.
I would do everything possible to find yourself somewhere else to live, then when your not dependent on your parents help I would give your mum literature from autism charity explaining how autism affects people, if she refuses to listen I really would consider going nc with her, she is very ignorant to believe his behaviour is caused by you.
Wishing you all the luck in the world, and I hope you find somewhere for you and ds to live soon .
And to add, calling family members to say how awful you are sounds abusive to me.
She handled that really badly. You know what she said was utter rubbish. If your DSis wades in just say to her your mum doesn't get autism and while you appreciate her and dad letting you move in, you've had to cope on a daily basis with this so you know a lot more about it than she gives you credit for!
Glad your dad is on the right wavelength.
Your DS defended you that must have made your heart sing.
I think it's really bad advice to minimise her horrible behaviour tbh.
So she doesn't know much about autism. Well neither do I, but then I haven't got an autistic child or grandchild. If either of my children does have an autistic child, then I'll bloody well find out about it so that I can support them all as best I can.
This woman's behaviour is horrible, really horrible and it sounds like it's not a one-off, it's part of a persistent pattern.
I think maybe minimising it because you have no choice atm what with living in her house etc., might be one way of getting through this but long term, I don't think minimisation is an option because it's better to face up to stuff like this. Honesty and kindness is better than denial and pretending that emotional cruelty is not that big a deal. Especially when you have an autistic child who needs clear signals about what's what in the world.
I hope you're feeling better today.
I agree with Basil when they say ,.. I think maybe minimising it because you have no choice atm what with living in her house etc., might be one way of getting through this but long term, I don't think minimisation is an option because it's better to face up to stuff like this. Honesty and kindness is better than denial and pretending that emotional cruelty is not that big a deal. Especially when you have an autistic child who needs clear signals about what's what in the world.
I really think focus on the big picture, get back on your feet, free of dependency on your parents and then you can tackle her odd behaviour. I think she is ignorant of the facts because maybe on one level she wants it to be true that this is 'just bad parenting' rather than believing she has a grandson who has a real 'problem'. She is maybe in denial.
Can I ask if you ex pays for his child (is your son his child or was your son from a previous relationship and does his dad pay?) and if not, why not? And also what help can you get from state etc so you are not dependant on your mum.
Shes nice when it's all going her way but as soon as it isn't, she gets abusive. It sounds like you have no choice but to live with her but I would protect your son and yourself from her nastiness by limiting your exposure to her, which includes situations that are a catalyst for her nastiness.
Her behaviour goes far beyond not understanding, she's mean and spiteful and it appears your family enables her by either not standing up to her (your dad) or participating in her nastiness (your sister).
I'm sorry your H was such a shit but your parents house is a roof over your head and not a place for emotional support. Harness your understandable hurt at your mum's awful behaviour and use it as a catalyst to finding alternative accommodation.
PS any relatives worth their salt will know autism is a problem and will know it is not you! My friend had to take her autistic son out of school and home school. I think lots of people are just ignorant about autism but in your mum's case I do thin kit is wilful ignorance! Bless you
Glad your Dad gets it.
if you can, and it's really hard, when your sister or anyone else wants a row with you over it - stay calm. Try to think of them as a difficult customer or something, not as someone you have a long history with.
Try using phrases like "This isn't something I want to discuss with you, it's between mum and me" and walk away if she keeps on going. Even if you want to scream inside, try to keep calm. If you don't manage it one time, then therés always the next time to practise! Can you actually talk it over with your dad (in a calm way, trying to work it out, rather than a critical-of-mum way?) would that help?
Your mum sucking up to your DS is pretty difficult to deal with but again, keeping yoru calm helps.
And as you clearly know, work on moving out!
My mum has undermined me in front of my DCs once before. I told her very sharply to fuck off. Not my finest moment really but there you go.
Your mum may be great a lot of the time but that comment was totally below the belt and she needs to be told that it was unacceptable and never to repeat it or indeed anything similar.
I think your mum feels like you are beholden to her and so she can call the shots.
You don't NEED the accommodation. You are a single mum with a disabled child who has been abandoned by your spouse. Get help regarding alternative housing. I am not an expert on social housing issues but you can't be expected to live forever on the charity of relatives.
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