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dont know how to interpret this situation..(44 Posts)
I have just come out of a long emotionally and physically abusive relationship, and also discovered my parents were/are extremely emotionally abusive which is also a shock to the system. I have a 13 month old dc.
I do have a supportive family member (from ex dp's side) but who can also very full on and outspoken and sometimes doesn't quite 'get' the abusiveness thing and tries to be neutral ie. Tells us to stop winding each other up. Feel a bit like a child sometimes. Very controlling but not in a horrible way if you know what I mean? She wants both me and ex oh to be happy and pleaded with me not to call the police when he hit me even though I know I shold have done. But then she says she is on my side and is very encouraging and positive to me.
She likes to organise everyone and be needed and very motherly.
My life has been a nightmare recently, feeling low, lots of horrible rows with ex oh and parents and trying to not blame myself which I have always done all my life. Been on the freedom programme so now I am sticking up for myself I am getting slammed from all directions it seems. Feeling very alone so having her has been invaluable sometimes.
I tried to sort christmas presents out this year but although I did quite well up to a point I ran out of time to sort it out properly for ex oh's side of the family. Now I feel SO guilty as they got me and dc lots of lovely thoughtful presents and, quite frankly, my efforts were crap. I am so disappointed with myself. Normally I make sure it's all sorted or make sure ex oh did it but as we aren't getting on I thought I would let him sort it out but he didn't do a thing.
There was a bit of a row with her and her dh, as omg was I made to feel guilty. The implication was that we should have put more thought into giving to other members of the family as she is now going to have to go home with nothing for her daughters kids and that is so wrong. But I did get her daughter a very nice present.
I know I am rambling but I just feel very confused.
I think she is very controlling, but if that is the case I have no one.
If most of the people around me are abusive, then I am thinking that maybe it IS my problem and that I am the ungrateful selfish bitch that my ex oh and parents tell me I am?
After all I should have sorted these presents out it was the least I could do after what they have done for me! I am lazy and drink too much and am getting fatter and fatter and just loosing the plot to be quite honest I need to get a grip and organise myself and apologise to people.
Trust your gut: this woman makes you feel uncomfortable, invaded and controlled. You are entitled to feel that way, and to reduce her place in your life.
I understand why you feel guilty about the gifts business, but honestly there is NO NEED. He is your ex. You could have gotten all his relatives a big fat nothing, and that would be ok. The woman's guilt trip about "nothing to give her daughter's kids" is just so wrong. Honestly, who needs people who make you feel bad about yourself?
You don't have "no-one", and you don't need her. You are resourceful: you left an abuseive relationship, enrolled in the Freedom Programme, etc. You have a LOT to sort out emotionally (post-mortem of relationship, adjusting your view of your parents,...), and you will get there, with time and thought and hopefully counseling if you can access it.
This business with your ex's relative is part of your process of awakening and change, of becoming aware of who you want in your life and why.
You're doing fine. Trust yourself.
I got as far as 'winding each other up' before I thought this person is bad news! She's not supportive. It's unfortunate that his family are all like that given that your parents are too, but honestly, it's not normal - you shouldn't ever complaint about presents or no presents for so and so, you just don't. I'm sure you were more than generous - I wouldn't give anything to the daughter of and ex-auntie in law!! Find some support in people you aren't related to. x
GoatsdoRoam - thank you so much that has made me feel much better already. The truth is I feel about 12 when I am with her and almost shrink into myself and doubt my abilities. That's not good.
I have a tendency to feel guilty about everything anyway and normally make so much more effort so this treatment is really getting to me. normally she is very kind to me but I was getting silent treatment today even though she said it didn't matter I knew that she was disappointed with me.
It's all just so up and down its like I have woken up, but realising that lots of people around me are like the ones I learnt about on the freedom programme so that makes me doubt myself sometimes.
I know I need to follow my instincts more. Sometimes I am too afraid to admit them. But, in this case I think she doesn't really, genuinely care about me. She wants to keep on my side and push me into happy families with them (even though I won't be with ex oh anymore) because they are scared of loosing their dgc..
I realise now I have always doubted my instincts/judgement, I really want to fix that so that I can stop letting people make me feel guilty.
I did apologise profusely to her but I think that she is pissed off with me now anyway. Actually, no, worse that that, she is disappointed and upset and I hate upsetting people it's the worse thing.
And I worry, for ds's sake that because it am keeping his grandparents at arms length I am being unfair on him.
Actually the more I think about it the more pissed off I get. She kept saying how lovely and considerate and 'easy' my ex oh's sibling and partner and sibling were, immediately after moaning how we hadn't done our bit.
They are really happy and content together, settled, not going through a break up and, yes, seems to do everything perfectly in terms of gifts etc. conducted themselves perfect fully, happy, nice etc. good for them, I hope to be in a place like that one day too soon.
I just felt really cast aside by that comment - that was such a dig and a rejection. And she knows how devastated I have been recently and how unhappy. I've been pouring my heart out to her.
Very bad manners to show you're not happy with a gift - what the hell was she thinking of? She sounds awful.
puddle you sound lovely and you are not being unfair to your DS you are protecting him.
It may make you feel better to hear that I screwed up on Boxing Day when we went over to my DPs for a big family gathering. Somehow I managed to lose a present for my DNiece among 15 I took over. Nobody mentioned it at the time, but the next day I had a discrete enquiry from my DSis as to whether a present had got lost somehow. No blaming, no recriminations or judging, but I still feel awful she missed out. This is normal! And I was careless.
Your relative is not very nice and you should reduce contact if she makes you feel bad.
I think the biggest issue is that when you've been a victim in the past, you struggle to trust your instincts and try not to let that past taint your future.
It's so disorientating and for me, has been one of two biggest influences on my life going forwards as a result of my past.
I swing from 'fuck everyone, I'm going to be hard and not going to be a victim again' to over-compensating and being too soft in case I'm being irrational and bitter.
Not trusting yourself really is hard
Newname - I agree, it is bad manners. I totally get why it's also bad on my part but the point is I am not normally like that i didn't mean to do it and I feel dreadful about it.
Kouign - wow 15 is a lot to think of!! And that's a normal nice reaction from your dsis. Says a lot. Why on earth would you want to make someone you care about feel worse than they already do? And it's definitely normal for one to go amiss by mistake if you've got loads on your plate.
Joys mum - gosh I completely identify with that. I sometimes feel so much more confident about stuff then give me a bit of controversy/confrontation and it all goes to pot.
She sounds awful and very manipulative. She has obviously picked up on your (natural) insecurities and need for "someone" and is exploiting it to the hilt. As hard as it may seem, tell her thanks for her involvement so far but you're feeling stronger and focused now and she
can fuck off resume her position as silent family bystander.
Plus it's the up and down nature of abuse and the very subtle put downs that makes it all the more confusing.
I spend my life feeling confused and ashamed and not knowing what I really think or feel.
Actually, no, worse that that, she is disappointed and upset and I hate upsetting people it's the worse thing.
And it sounds as though she is fully aware of this! Were she kind or even remotely considerate, she would have gone to lengths to ensure you didn't pile guilt upon yourself, not sought to exacerbate your inward negativity.
You say you are alone? There really is one thing worse that being alone and that is being with people who want to cause you harm.
There's a world of difference between aloneness and freedom. Perception is everything
Shakey - thanks for that
You are saying what I didn't want to admit. The amount of times she has told me how fragile/ easily crushed I am...
Also that she is all I have got..
It's said in such a caring nice way but it never makes me feel good.
Procrastina - very insightful thank you
It helps for me to think if I would do the same to someone else if the tables were turned. Definitely not I would be sensitive to their feelings/situation! Especially if I knew deep down they were good people.
never trust anyone who says that they are all you have got......
she sounds like an interfering drama llama who is hooked on being in the middle of it all.
Good point nettletea
Just hate feeling so selfish and inconsiderate.
Today I feel like I need to make a fresh start but the problem is I feel like a selfish inconsiderate bitch who doesn't deserve nice things happening to her. And I don't really have anyone.
I think I am going to send presents and apologise and then just cut myself off
I feel like a selfish inconsiderate bitch who doesn't deserve nice things happening to her.
Whose words are those? When and where did you hear those words before?
I think you are right to cut yourself off. As the relationship with your ex has broken down, your priority is your dc and yourself. It is up to your ex to ensure that your dc keep in contact with his side of the family. Let him organise that.
Focus in you and yours. But be prepared, as soon as she realises that you are pulling away, she will try to reel you back in. You must stand firm. Your gut instinct is right. She is emotionally abusing you too for her own gain. You would be better of on your own.
I really wouldn't send any gifts or do any apologising - it's completely unnecessary (you don't owe them gifts and they were very rude to suggest that you do) and that will just show she has succeeded in manipulating and controlling you again. I would just cut them all out and don't give in to any requests/demands for contact or guilt trips. It's your ex-oh's job to ensure his family have contact on his own time, not yours.
My parents are often calling me selfish and inconsiderate sometimes with the word bitch thrown in, so it's who I feel that I am.
I didn't want to admit it but yes I think that most if her actions are for her own gain, or that of her immediate family. Plus the desire to 'take charge' and fix everything then get accolades for it. i feel so so horrible saying this as she had done so many nice things. i keep thinking that my gut feelings are there because I am poisonous inside and no wonder I am on my own because I don't make enough effort to think of others.
My head feels like a tangled mess.
I know I am a bad person I know I need to pull my finger out and make more effort as everyone else does.
OP I don't believe anyone is wholly perfect or wholly evil. It sounds as though this woman has a driver to Fix things, solve everyone's problems. That has both good and bad sides, and it's ok to see both. Making everything better is probably what got her attention and praise as a child, so that's what she learned to do in order to get recognition.
It sounds as though you've heard messages that you're selfish and inconsiderate. If you think about it, there's probably lots of evidence that you're actually often selfless and thoughtful. But because you heard the opposite in your formative years, you don't really accept that evidence. Your head knows that you are considerate of other people, but there's still a childhood filter which filters it out from reaching your heart. When that happens things like this come out, "I know I am a bad person I know I need to pull my finger out and make more effort as everyone else does". It doesn't make sense, and it's not true, but it's the way you've learned to think in order to make sense of the world. The good thing is, in my opinion, that you can change your thought processes.
But do you think I should get them something in return? I feel a bit engulfed by it all tbh. Since me and ex oh broke up they have got very intense with me but at the same time protecting ex oh even though he is violent and abusive. So it's got very confusing. She is trying to be motherly but I get spoken to like a teenager which annoys me as I am a mother myself. She says he hits me out of temper and frustration. But the books I have been reading about domestic abuse say that it is always about control and nothing to do with anger management issues. But I still struggle with that idea too.
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