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"But we took you to Stately Homes!" Survivors of Dystfunctional Families

(986 Posts)
Meerka Wed 20-May-15 17:33:58

It's May 2015, 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
July 2014
March 2015

Dec 14- March 15

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."

Meerka Wed 20-May-15 17:35:27

Atilla doesn't seem to be around at this moment so I've taken the liberty of posting a new thread. here's the link to the last one.

Hippymama1 Wed 20-May-15 17:43:21

Thank you Meerka... Just marking my place on the new thread.

pocketsaviour Wed 20-May-15 17:54:36

Well done Meerka! brew

GoodtoBetter Wed 20-May-15 17:59:35

Hello,

Gas I did open it carefully and then resealed it. It was a party dress and a card with €20 in, addressed to "My darling G2B's DD" (iyswim), says she loves her and maybe she'd like to get herself something with the money too.
If (continental sized if) she had made any moves to reconcile/apologise/make amends I would be more inclined to believe it, but how can she storm off across the world without saying goodbye and then bleat on about how much she loves them? Well, I know that really, she's such a fucking martyr and history rewriter that she has convinced herself it's all my doing. Just lies if she's challenged. So, the only thing is to ignore. Unfortunately I sent a thank you card for DS' present in March (written by him: Thank you for my present), so will do that, she can write her name in a card, nothing else.
I did that as it felt right but now I wish i hadn't because she is just doing what all narcs do and instead of seeing an olive branch and trying to mae amends she just sees it as weakness on my part and thinks she can side step me and have a relationship with them via me, while ignoring me.
So, we are moving house next month and I won't be giving her my address. Because if she won't even make the tiniest step then this limbo bullshit has to stop. If she won't even make the first step then I'd rather just have NC at all. I think that's easier for the kids too, instead of these presents and declrations of love turning up twice a year but being totally ignored in between.

GoodtoBetter Wed 20-May-15 18:00:21

Oh yes, thanks for the new thread, Meerka. You are a star

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 20-May-15 18:18:50

Thanks for doing that Meerka and you've also managed to put the links in as wellsmile.

You're a star.

Think you are doing the right thing there GoodtoBetter by not intending to give your mother (she is really not worthy of the term) your new address.

GoodtoBetter Wed 20-May-15 18:35:06

Yes, Attilla I think it's the only way. They really are just narc supply, something to martyr herself about. Dbro saw her in Dublin (she travelled down for the day to see him) and he said she asked nothing about us or the kids, didn't even ask him about his own life, just endless monologuing and talking about herself. For four hours.
So that says it all. If it were me, I'd be desperate to find out about them, see photos, anyhting. I don't think we are real to her at all really. Just part of her drama porn.

smellsofsick Wed 20-May-15 18:42:22

Hi. First time posting on the stately homes thread and I'm here on behalf of a friend.
I'll be very brief, I don't know her that well but yesterday she talked to me about her terribly abusive and controlling husband. She's still with him. He controls all her money.

Anyway her childhood was also an abusive one and I'm trying to support her in the tough decisions she has to make.

I believe there are traces of a personality disorder in her DH, starting with narcissism. I wondered if there were any books out there that you may have read that would help her to understand better who he is and what she's dealing with.

Thanks for reading this.

Meerka Wed 20-May-15 20:03:46

Other people may be able to answer better but Lundy Bancroft's book "why does he do that" sounds like a good start. It's very highly recommended and the author has worked with women trapped in bad relationships for a very long time.

Light's House has some bullet points on narcissism.

There is a recently-posted link which is quite interesting too here.

I hope your friend is okay flowers

Booville3 Wed 20-May-15 22:30:07

Like I've said before how sad that this thread just never ends & yet at the same time it brings such comfort knowing you're not alone in these awful situations!! I'm having a particularly down day today I just can to believe my own mother would treat me the way she has/ does!! Not sure if people will remember my previous posts but she is so obsessed with my ds she doesn't see me as a dd at all I think I'm at the point of having to go nc - I just wish I felt more positive about doing it!

PeppermintCrayon Wed 20-May-15 22:31:27

Thanks for the new thread Meerka.

Good I hear you on the idea of not being real to them. My 'family' have an idea of me and never liked the actual me to get in the way of it.

smellslike it's lovely of you to support your friend. Another vote here for Lundy Bancroft.

As your friend's childhood was abusive she has been conditioned to expect abuse. It will be hard to break away from her DH as it effectively means breaking away from everything she knows, all the structures that exist in her psyche. I haven't done it personally but the Freedom Programme is meant to be excellent.

As for me... Last week my therapist told me that he notices constantly how harshly I treat myself, that I am really unkind to myself and I always find reasons to blame myself for things. It reminded me of that saying: be careful how you speak to your children as it will become their inner voice.

I've been NC for long enough now that I feel like they are not quite real but am currently oddly paranoid I'll bump into them (which could happen).

Booville3 Wed 20-May-15 22:38:48

How long have you been nc peppermint? Is this just with your parents or your whole family - siblings etc? That's one of the issues I'm finding hardest knowing my siblings will always side with mum she has a lot of power overall of them even if they can't see it!

IKnitSoIDontKill Wed 20-May-15 23:13:28

Thanks Meerka

I haven't called my mum. But she left me a message saying she needed to talk to me and it was urgent, so dp called. My grandma died. sad

She lived abroad and had severe dementia, so hadn't seen any of us for two years, once it was clear she really had no idea who we were and found us being there really upsetting. So it was expected. But I'm in bits.

The funeral is going to be next week. I don't know what to do re. my parents now. Do I play nice and pretend it's fine? Blanking them at a funeral seems very harsh. And I feel so awful for being so stressed about my own crap when someone just died.

smellsofsick Thu 21-May-15 06:46:24

Meerka and Peppermint, thank you so much. I'm going to talk to her later so I'll tell her your recommendations.

Meerka Thu 21-May-15 08:14:55

Iknit Im sorry about yoru Grandma.

Could it work if you decide to see each parent as a client or customer? Step back and treat them as if you were in professional mode? It's very hard to do in times of emotion like funerals but it can help. You don't need to blank them as such but treating them with a degree of reserve can be helpful.

Another trick is to write on a piece of paper how you want to act - calm, neutral, reserved - and maybe the names of the people you truly love and trust in life and put it in your pocket. Then touch it secretly if / when you start to struggle with them.

GoodtoBetter Thu 21-May-15 08:21:01

Sorry to hear about your Grandma Iknit, I think Meerka's ideas sound like good ones. Be kind to yourself, do wht you can manage. xx

popalot Thu 21-May-15 08:21:17

Someone said to me, what if you just said 'no' to her? I said, (after a long pause because I had never considered that an option before), she would go apeshit and have a massive rant at me and I hate confrontation. And she said, but what if you just walk away? I said, she'd storm out and wouldn't talk to me for a few months. And she said, what's the problem with that?

Have to admit, I haven't tried it yet but if you're wondering whether to go nc for a while, this might be the way to do it. Let her rant and rave and storm off after you've put her straight about something. I can't imagine doing it for real tho, hard enough when she goes on one if I don't do/act as she pleases without resisting!!!

GoodtoBetter Thu 21-May-15 08:34:53

Sounds like my mum, popalot. What produced the current NC for me basically was that: not running round trying to appease her. When she slagged me off to my brother, not answering her phone call and then when she started ranting, not answering e mails and just basically ignoring her. Drove her so mad she stormed off to another country.
I think she was just so amazed at my change in behaviour she didn't know what to do, she tried all her usual tricks and nothing worked.

GoodtoBetter Thu 21-May-15 08:36:32

But it's actually terrifying to do it. You're sooooo conditioed to follow the usual rules, to coax and cajole, to appease, to smooth things over.
It's liberating too though, to basically say "I won't stand for this shit, I deserve more".

Meerka Thu 21-May-15 08:41:09

agreed - it is terrifying and it is liberating.

PeppermintCrayon Thu 21-May-15 09:34:13

Booville I'm NC with my whole family. Parents for about two years. I have one sibling who was supportive of the idea in theory but couldn't handle the reality and kept trying to manipulate me into seeing them. My extended family are all pretty horrendous. So I've ended up making a total break. It can be hard to explain to people as they seem nice but everyone who knew me in childhood has reached with a total lack of surprise that I've gone NC.

Iknit I'm so sorry to hear about your grandma. Can you take someone with you so you don't feel it's you on your own trying to deal with the situation? Would it help if you left right after the service?

popalot those are good questions! And as others have said it is terrifying but liberating.

Booville3 Thu 21-May-15 17:07:55

I don't know whether to reply to mothers most recent to let her know I have no intention of any future contact or whether to just continue to ignore the messages until she gets bored & stops sending them! I still can't accept why she is the way she is with me - she wouldn't dare treat my siblings in the same way but I know now no matter what I do I can't change her so I need to try & move on completely!

Theymakemefeellikeshit Thu 21-May-15 19:49:09

Iknit So sorry about your grandma. i second the suggestion that someone goes with you. I think it needs to be someone who knows what is going on so they understand if you suddenly say stuff this

Booville Inclined to go for the ignore her.

Booville3 Thu 21-May-15 20:27:44

Peppermint you sound very brave!

IKnitSoIDontKill Thu 21-May-15 20:47:46

Thanks all. Dp is coming with me, and has been a great help fielding calls from my mother re funeral arrangements.

We'll be flying out and back the same day (it's about an hours flight) so will be on the same plane as my parents. As we don't drive we'll also have to share a car with them. It will be awful. I think I am just going to keep them at arms length as much as possible, repeat the line 'now isn't the time to talk about this', and drink an inhuman amount of gin.
I am also really scared of flying. sad

Pollyputhekettleon Thu 21-May-15 21:43:07

Hi all,

New to this thread and it's been very helpful in having some lightbulb moments about my family! I've gone to therapy which was good despite the therapist being not the best and am now trying to work things out on my own which is a bit daunting. I'm not very good at trusting what I feel about someone - I convince myself that I'm being over sensitive (as I've been told of course) or too stubborn to listen to 'advice' from them all or too independent or whatever. Too something basically, the something that's wrong with me is conveniently always shifting and hard to pin down...

So one thing I'd like people's advice on is about my Dsis. It is finally sinking in that she really is not very nice, either to me or our DB. She guilt-trips me all the time - my house is too cluttered and it might stress out my dd, I live in the wrong area and that's bad for dd, my car is too small and not safe for dd. It's never ending.

She criticizes me for hoarding - which i absolutely don't do, of making my life revolve around ex-DP, which I don't do - but he minds dd a lot as he only works part-time so I do have to work around that as that arrangement suits us both. When I defended my slightly messy house recently on the basis that I work full time and have a very demanding toddler (among many other things...) I actually got eye-rolling. She offered to pay for a cleaner which is nice but, really, the level of mess doesn't bother me, it doesn't bother dd (she's 3) so why should I solve a problem that we don't have just to make her happy?

I get the patronising praise too. I'm such a good mum - from someone with no kids who tells me what I'm doing wrong for dd all the time, hmm. And how all her friends and her boyfriends family all feel so sorry for me (because of both my idiot exes cheating on me - I really know how to pick them...) It's like I'm supposed to be grateful for that or something? That people I've never even met feel sorry for me?

Anyway she's been putting on major pressure for ages for me to move to live nearer to where she and boyfriend are based, across the city. To make it easier for her to visit dd, because she lives in a nicer area and because her boyfriend's large family (who I've never met) all apparently want to 'adopt me' and she thinks that would be a good support network for me.

I have been working on finding a place, partly because she does love dd and she does help out babysitting and with housework when she's here and it is a long trek for her out to us. Partly because the school setup nearer where she is looked better for dd.

But now I'm thinking that keeping my distance, or getting some distance back, might be much better for me. I like living where i am, I think I have schools etc. sorted. It's more expensive to move where she is and I can't really afford that as a single mum. And I have no interest whatsoever in being adopted by some strangers family. I'm old, I dont need a new family, I manage just fine with dd and she seems to forget that I've already joined and lost two sets of in-law families (not married but long-term relationships) thanks to my nasty cheating exes and I have absolutely no interest in hanging out with someone else's in-laws!!

But dd will be an only child and I'd like her to be close to her cousins - Dsis is planning on having kids in next few years. And I have really no one else around who can babysit or help out at short notice. DD is clingy to me and has only ever been minded by people she knows.

My DM is the original source of this stuff - she is still a pain but she's mellowed a lot with age and she adores dd so she behaves better these days. But it's like as if because of that Dsis has started taking on her role. I feel bad for her because she's so obviously not happy. But.. .she's really mean!! I notice the contrast now because I have two normal, nice, sane female bosses who I talk to and the difference between how they react to things and how my family does is just amazing.

I was always worried that I'd turn into DM but now I'm starting to think my poor Dsis has:-( She's my baby sister and I always tried to protect her from the mess when we were kids. So now I feel awful thinking of keeping her at a distance. I can explain away my decision to stay where I am to her on lots of practical grounds, but deep down I'll know my real reasons and I do feel bad for it.

God this is an essay sorry I never can write short!!

I think I know it would be best for me and dd for me to keep our distance. But the habit of looking for approval dies hard doesn't it?! So what do you all think? Should I stay put or move?

Theymakemefeellikeshit Thu 21-May-15 22:26:02

Pollyputhekettleon Do not move! Fine if the move is your idea but she is manipulating into this and you will not be able to keep any kind of distance. She is becoming your mother already - that won't get better.

If you listened to my mum I am surprised that I have never been on How Clean is Your House and your DS sound the same.

You only live across the city. Not like it is miles away but far enough away when you need it to be.

But the habit of looking for approval dies hard doesn't it? I could live in a mansion and earn a million pound a year and my parents would still be slagging me off

Pollyputhekettleon Thu 21-May-15 23:22:20

Thanks they- you're right. I catch myself sometimes tidying up and I can't work out who I'm doing it for. I feel like there's an invisible camera watching me! Ironically Dsis was always the one with a bedroom like a bomb site but that's all forgotten now apparently. There's always something they need to fix about me. And it's true, there always would be something.

Meerka Fri 22-May-15 09:09:11

Dear sweet god stop your plans for moving now.

Anyway she's been putting on major pressure for ages for me to move to live nearer to where she and boyfriend are based, ..... To make it easier for her to visit dd, because she lives in a nicer area and because her boyfriend's large family (who I've never met) all apparently want to 'adopt me' and she thinks that would be a good support network for me.

Patronizing much?

There's always something they need to fix about me

Some of these things you posted sound nice and helpful on the surface but when you add in the rest, it sounds more like your sister is absolutely dead set on controlling your life and playing sweet-mean for a very long time to come.

Until she backs off and stops trying to control you you are absolutely right to keep your distance. 100%. Believe me, it's not worth living under the control of an apparently-friendly but actually very stifling person.

I'll go further and say that it is essential to keep your distance for another reason: Your daughter.

Your sister is already telling you how to bring her up and everything you're doing wrong (according to her). She wants to foster these strong links with her bf's family (do they want to foster the same links, I wonder? hmm ). But it sounds to me like actually there's a good chance your sister will try to slowly horn in on your daughter and make herself the primary decision-maker in her life.

I think you need to very quietly distance yourself for your own sanity and your daughter's, even though it has to hurt to quietly step away from your little sister that you love. But clearly your instincts are shouting louder and louder at you here. It'd be wise to listen to them, they're there ot protect you.

Pollyputhekettleon Fri 22-May-15 10:28:04

Thanks so much meerka. Yes it's definitely about dd too. I tend to neglect myself martyr mummy style so now I consciously try to separate my needs and hers and balance them in a way that's good for us both. But both dsis and dm are so needy with dd sometimes. Especially dsis- If dd's not in the mood to give her hugs etc she makes a face and half sulks and I find myself explaining about how, you know, she's 3, she's busy doing her thing, but she loves you really... Then dsis rolls her eyes and acts like of course she understands that and I don't need to explain. As if I'm imagining her taking offence but I bloody know I'm not. Why would I?

I think I'm doing ok protecting dd from their nuttiness. I'm almost always there and I shut them down straight away if they ever stray into doing their thing with dd. and I talk to dd about it in private when she notices an odd reaction or a sulk etc and I explain it in 3 year old terms. She's a pretty assertive and empathetic little dote so I think she'll be ok. But yes limited supervised visits is enough for us both and I don't want to spend years making excuses to avoid visiting if she lives nearby, and that's what it would end up being. Need to steel myself now to quietly back my way out of this so is great to get backup that it's not a crazy decision:-).

Pollyputhekettleon Fri 22-May-15 10:34:06

Sorry she doesn't just act like she understands about dd etc, she says she does and that there's no need for me to go on about it etc.

Meerka Fri 22-May-15 10:34:27

no, it's not, not from what you've described.

A good way to decide if people are good to be around or bad is to observe over the course of time if being around them makes you feel more positive or more negative, even drained. That holds even for family, though you do tend to give family more leeway.

I think it's fairly clear that it's both positive and negative iwth your sister because you love her, but that the effort to maintain your own adulthood is too high. By telling you what to do all the time and by criticising you, she's trying to take that adulthood away and make you dependent.

You're a grown woman with a daughter; you've survived a breakup and you're surviving independently. You don't need anyone making you less than that especially someone who is acting in a way that destroys your self-esteem.

Phoenix0x0 Fri 22-May-15 10:46:37

polly I agree don't move. If you do your sis would wear you down.

You sound lovely and very strong...maybe your sister feels threatened by that?

Thank you Meerka for creating this thread and for posting those links.

I looked at the FOG link and then at BPD.....my mother ticks most of the traits of this.

Meerka Fri 22-May-15 12:22:03

The thread is usually posted by one of the regulars who happen to be around =)

The FOG is very interesting isn't it? very powerful too. Hard to break free of though the clarity that comes when you're out of it is lovely. (work in progress for me, that is).

The children of someone with BPD tend to have a very hard time, partly because it can sometimes be a characteristic of BPD to smother a child and impose the parent's reality on the child. Or more succinctly, you're not allowed your own feelings and emotions or thoughts. Hope you are okay, phoenix

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-May-15 14:35:37

Yes, the FOG is so powerful I think because it becomes so ingrained...almost like a part of you. My mother was the smothering type of narc and it coloured my entire life really. (now NC)

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 22-May-15 19:59:21

This will so out me if my friend is reading this but I created this name purely for this thread.

Were talking about disappointment. How we can be disappointed for our DC but this is different to being disappointed in them.

My DD had an awful time at college and didn't do as well as she could have and even before exams over her dead body was she even going to consider uni. I am disappointed for her that she hasn't had the chance to go to uni but wouldn't even say to her I am disappointed for her in case she misundertood. I have always told her i am proud of what she achieved.

My mum who had no idea what my DD had been through said 'I am so disappointed that you aren't going to uni' This means 'disappointed in her'. Still gobsmacked at this comment.

pocketsaviour Fri 22-May-15 21:53:12

theymake Yes, it's an interesting distinction.

I have always been very clear with my son: "I love you and always will, but I don't like your behaviour/choices."

I feel fully justified with that... seeing as he was selling drugs confused Thankfully he saw the light and is on a much better path now!

Iknit I'm sorry about your Grandma. How are you feeling now? When do you have to travel? Although a couple of drinks can make you feel calmer, please don't drink too much as alcohol is a depressant, it always makes me feel even lower.

Welcome polly and let me join the chorus shrieking "For gods sake don't move!!" I would just tell your sis, "I've had a good think about it and decided I'm happier where I am. I love this house and neighbourhood."

I would also work to reduce contact if you can, and never let her have your DD unsupervised. She sounds incredibly manipulative and your DD doesn't have those defence mechanisms yet.

What you said about your sis sulking and pulling faces if your DD doesn't go to her reminds me of something my dad once did. My sister and I were at the kitchen table with him and for some reason we both had our teddies with us (so must have been pretty young.) He pulled a sad face and said "Daddy's sad cos he doesn't have a teddy. Can I have yours?" - to my younger sister. She shook her head and clutched her teddy tighter. I said "Here daddy, you can have mine" and held my beloved panda out to him. He snatched it off me and said "You've lost that now, gullible fool!" and walked off with it. He did shit like that a lot. He said it was to toughen me up. sad

I sometimes worry that it's made me too careful of my things. I'm not very good at sharing.

pocketsaviour Fri 22-May-15 21:54:42

Iknit sorry if that sounded really patronising about drinking... You are an adult and I'm sure you know what's best for you!

GoodtoBetter Fri 22-May-15 21:56:48

Bloody hell pocket! shock what a cunt! and what a fucking weirdo too!!!

Booville3 Fri 22-May-15 22:07:36

There are a lot of awful parents/ relatives out there, I was nc with my mother for about 6 months 4 years ago then contact gradually resumed I am now at the point where I feel nc is the only way forward again but if it happens again it would be indefinitely & there is something stopping me bit sure if it's fear or what I know I feel uncomfortable around her, I know she is obsessed with my eldest ds & not at all interested in my younger two children, I know she often appears to tolerate me - what is holding me back from telling her once & for all I've had enough of her interference of her thinking I should still follow her orders I've run my own home, had 3 dc's & a partner & worked either full or part time in a professional job for 10 years now so why am I still unable to stand up to her???

Booville3 Fri 22-May-15 22:08:56

Pocket what an awful man, makes me very mindful with things I say/ do with my dc's!!

Woozlebear Fri 22-May-15 22:12:43

I'm a long time lurker and occasional poster on older threads.

I don't have the energy at the moment to describe my situation, but the whole not being real to your family thing really chimes with me. I had this exact conversation with dh last night. My parents only care about a fantasy cardboard cut out idea of a daughter. They may as well never have met me.

On a separate note I found out I'm pregnant last week and still haven't told my parents. I'm married and 33- no reason for them to be negative!! But I know that somehow their reaction will spoil everything for me. They will be guaranteed to do one of the following:
Object on the most crazy grounds imaginable
Pretend to be happy but be all tight lipped and fake and weird about it
Make it all about them
Get upset out of jealousy (my mother is now so screwed up she does this openly. She recently told me she cries every time she visits me because she's so envious of my nice life with my nice husband. Yes the life that only became nice after I stopped doing what you wanted me to do. And the nice husband that you spent a year trying to get me to NOT marry. Deranged witch.)

They're literally incapable of having a normal reaction to anything in my life ever. I moved house fgs and my mother got upset because she liked my old house. It was the same area and had no practical impact on her whatsoever. I lived there 2 years and she visited maybe half a dozen times for an hour or so.

So I'm putting off telling them. It's so fucked up.

Booville3 Fri 22-May-15 22:31:05

Woozle do not let her ruin this for you do not! Easy for me to say but I am so bloody sad that I let my mother ruin the same special time in my life, it became all about her - I don't know how many dc's you plan to have - 1/2/3 - the likelihood is you won't have this moment very often in your life if your mum can't share it in a positive way keep her at arms length & bask in the joy of it with you lovely DH & his family (if they are nice)!

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 22-May-15 22:37:31

*I have always been very clear with my son: "I love you and always will, but I don't like your behaviour/choices."

I feel fully justified with that... seeing as he was selling drugs confused Thankfully he saw the light and is on a much better path now!*

My DD is now talking about evening classes. If I had spent the last few years saying how she had ruined her life and how disappointed I was in her I doubt she would be considering going back now.

Pocket Of course that was his justification for doing what he did

Boo makes me very mindful with things I say/ do with my dc's I am very mindful to the point of paranoia. It shouldn't be like that.

pocketsaviour Fri 22-May-15 22:50:45

Absolutely theymake it's all about, at this age, supporting them but not pushing them. Glad your DD is looking into evening classes. I think the college/mainstream school environment can be pretty brutal. I left at 16 and never went back.

No we shouldn't have to be so worried over what we say to our DCs. But I suppose I'd rather be over-concerned and second-guess myself than repeat the mistakes of the past.

One thing I try to do is let go of the mistakes I made with my son. There will always be mistakes. No parent is perfect. The fact that we're all so concerned about getting things wrong is, in itself, a good sign. But beating myself up for those past mistakes is just pointless. I have got better at this over the past few months.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 22-May-15 23:21:59

Woozlebear Congratulations!

Booville3 is right about not letting her ruin it but that is easier said than done! My DD and I still remember every word. I had driven 2 hours to tell them.

Suggest you phone her so you are at home with DH. If mobiles had more common when I was pregnant with 2nd DC I wouldn't even had telephoned I would have text!

Funny though when I was in labour the hospital (I still love that midwife) had to tell her she would not be allowed in if she turned up. All of a sudden she was the caring mother. My labour was not proceeding well and as a few have mentioned in previous posts some parents love the drama

Theymakemefeellikeshit Fri 22-May-15 23:36:46

pocket I am trying to get the balance right of not being too pushy so she doesn't think it means I am disappoineted that she didn't do it 2 years ago and not looking totally uninterested.

I shouldn't be feeling like this

PeppermintCrayon Sat 23-May-15 04:58:07

Thanks boo but I don't feel brave.

pocket it would make sense if you are more insecure about your belongings as a result of that. I'm really sorry he did that.

Woozle it sounds like putting off telling them is the best thing for you right now. Congrats btw!

Right now I just feel pretty awful and grief-filled. I read a post on MN earlier by someone saying how hard it was losing their lovely dad in their early 20s and honestly I would have gnawed my own arm off to give them if if meant they'd swap with me. This might sound ridiculous given I've been NC for a while now but it is only just dawning on me that I don't have any parents and I basically never have done.

Can I just take them back to the shop already please?

Dontunderstand01 Sat 23-May-15 06:46:28

started a thread but was advised to post here... I do love my oarents very much. My mum uses emotional blackmail, and definitely favours my sister but she can be loving and really pull through for me on occasion. Anyhoo... heres my op

I will try to be brief but also not drip feed...I moved away home over 10 years ago. I visit my parents (who are fit, well, wealthy and mobile) at least 4 times a year, sometimes for a weekend, sometimes a week. They recently moved nearer to my Dsis and her kids, in a very expensive part of the uk which we could never afford to live in. I call dm 3 or 4 times per week, text most days. She looos sfter Dsis children for one or two days per week whilst dsis works. Dm is retired, ddad still works.
I often hear from my dm how much she misses me, my son, I often end up feelibg really guilty that I dont see them. But, they don't visit me often, once a year usually for one night. I asked them to visit this half term but they said there was 'no point' as I am going to them in june.
I want to help establish what in my mind are good boundaries/rules to live by, so I can reassure myself I am trying to see them and help them see ds, but also not running myself ragged trying to please them...
we live about 4 hours drive away, have a 1 yr old baby, I work 3 days per week, husband fulltime term time. I think: calling 2/3 times per week, texting several days a week, sending picsof ds regularly, and visiting once every three months as minimum, always either at christmas or just before.
Is this 'good daughter' material , or would you expect more? If I was your dd what would you want/expect? I hope this makes sense... I am feeling frazzled

PeppermintCrayon Sat 23-May-15 06:57:55

Dont I mean this very gently but I can't help wondering why you're focusing on reassuring yourself that you're trying to see them. It sounds a bit like you're actually hurt about them not coming to see you, and maybe paying a bit more attention to DSis. I am understating this a bit as I'm not sure you're ready to hear it.

What are they doing to keep in touch with you? Your DM says she misses you and you feel guilty - but is that really how you're feeling? Might you actually be feeling something else?

I really don't think setting up contact rules is your issue here. I apologise if I'm speaking out of turn. What I will say is that the Stately Homes thread is about negotiating toxic relationships and if you've been invited over here it isn't because people here can necessarily advise you on how to set these rules but because something in your post (the guilt, I suspect) chimed with people here.

I don't know what good daughter material is. But is that the real question, or are you wondering if they are being good parents? How are things when you spend time with them?

Dontunderstand01 Sat 23-May-15 07:22:31

I am frsutrated/angry/disappointed they make very little effort with me. I think I wanted to establish in my mind what a'good' daughter would do, so that I can try and challenge my parents a bit better, so when my mum says she misses me I can say 'well, I came x number of times this last six months. I think that is more than enough and if you want to see ds then you are welcome to visit'.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 23-May-15 07:54:25

I personally think that you are doing more than enough re them already and you are good enough. Do you still seek their approval even now?.

It is they who need to be far more accommodating here but they will not do that for you. You are seen also by them perhaps as being more capable i.e. trusted and therefore left to get on with it.

I also got the distinct impression that your sister has always been more favoured by your parents as well, that probably started in childhood.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 23-May-15 07:56:10

Words are cheap after all, its your mother's actions that count and both parents have failed here with regards to yourself.

How do you yourself get along with your sister, do you and she have any sort of relationship now?. I was wondering too if your sister is far more demanding as well.

Dontunderstand01 Sat 23-May-15 08:39:25

My sis and DM are very similar, both into clothes, shopping, the house has to be decorated just so. They also both did the same job when my mum was working. My dsis is always friendly when I am there but has only been to visit once in 10 years. She contacts me by text but not by phone calls.

my DH tginks my Dsis gets more because she demands/expects it. She went away at half term in feb and easter with her dh, and my parents looked after their kids.

Dontunderstand01 Sat 23-May-15 08:41:00

Peppermint, things are good when I see them for the most part. I have tread softly as my dm is quite emotional. But, they do dote on ds when we are there.

Somermummy1 Sat 23-May-15 09:19:32

Don't- this is all so familiar- the we miss you but can't be bothered to actually come and see you but please can you make the 5 hour round trip to come to us so we can dote on the DCs and not bother even to offer you a coffee

Welcome to the stately homeyou'll find support here - and it's liberating to finally realise it's not us who is always in the wrong!

goldenrose Sat 23-May-15 10:30:32

Hi everyone just checked im after a busy few days, had a sleepless night last night, went out for dinner with a group of friends a long overdue catch up and one of my friends mentioned how she recently bumped into DM and how DM was full of chat about how happy I am and it's great to see me happy and it's all down to my dh and what a lovely man he is ( she barely speaks to him!!) And how glad she is that we moved back closer to her and having me so close so she can call in ( moved last year but nothing to do with DM it was to do with dd and school) I had to sit there and smile and try hid my shock as best as I could, only 2 close friends know that I have LC with my family and the reason why, I got home last night and was so upset sad i know it's just one of her stupid mind games and she knew my friend would tell me what she said, I was sitting there the anger boiling up inside me, I wanted to shout how it's all lies lies lies that my DM didn't even send me a text message for my birthday a few weeks ago, that she ignores my dh and doesn't like him that I haven't even told her im pregnant cos she will just be all negative and upset me, sorry guys for the rant just can't believe how twisted she is, putting on this act for people because that's all it is a act!!

Dontunderstand01 Sat 23-May-15 10:32:44

Thanks somer. Was on the phone to dm just 5 minutes ago. She was moaning there wasn't much to do over the bank hol weekend as dsis has gone away with her kids and dh. I immediately say, 'well if you know you had a long weekend free why didn't you come to us, we'd love to see you'. Her response was a long pause and 'I'm not sure what to do for my birthday...'. I could scream.

GoodtoBetter Sat 23-May-15 11:22:57

That's really hurtful, don't. Have you read Toix Parents and the links at the beginning of the thread? Sound like your sister is perhaps the goldenchild? I don't have any great advice really except that, hard as it is, invariably the one thing that makes you feel better about these sorts of people is withdrawing from them and lowering contact. Life is just easier the less they are in your life.
I'm feeling a bit emotional about stuff today, I know really it's my period. It's due to start and the I've even got the pre-period cramps. DS had a karate championship today which involves bumping into the people who bought my DM's house, that always stirs things a little for me.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Sat 23-May-15 12:53:12

Don't My mum world revolved round my sister and niece and I am sure that is why when they did decided to honour us with a visit you could guarantee that my sister was busy that day. We are never given any more than 48 hours notice and I am sure that is the time my sister is saying to my mum she is busy. My sister used to go round there alot because she had nothing else to do and for this reason only. Now she has a new DH and they are busy doing things together she doesn't go round so often. Still the golden child though

If your mum had visited she would have been able to moan about not having anything to do. My parents did a hell of a babysitting for my sister yet as I have mentioned on here before when I asked I had to drive a 4 hour round trip to take them there. She blames me for the fact that they never wanted to stay because we didn't visit very often.

goldenrose my mum seems to have a competition with her sister to how well the we are all doing. So in front of everyone she looks like the caring mother. If it wasn't for the fact my current and previous employer is/was the butt of their jokes they wouldn't normally be able to tell you where I worked.

Sorry I am ranting a bit!

Basically none of them give a shit about us

mammabmamma Sat 23-May-15 23:23:56

Hi, I'm just wondering if I can join in her? I have a lovely Mum, but not so good Dad and Stepmum.

PeppermintCrayon Sat 23-May-15 23:35:29

Mamma of course - please do post when you're ready.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Sat 23-May-15 23:38:50

The thread is here for all of us. As Peppermint says when you're ready.

StarryAgainstBlack Sun 24-May-15 11:44:22

Hi all. Need a bit of advice, my not seen contacted my Mother for a couple of months just not been making an effort to call or text so as she doesn't there's been no contact. Yesterday she sent 3 cards one got an old friends recent celebration with a cheque , one for dh birthday with a cheque and one saying we should treat ourselves, the kids and dh parents . She seems to have a thing regarding his parents . The old friend gift is weird. The chewue for us is £150 ! I don't want her money I just want a mother who isn't like her but as I know there's mo way she will change I don't challenge her . What to do next ? Return the £150 deffo ? My friend didn't want gifts either . Maybe keep dh chewue as that's the most normal . What's her game ?

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-May-15 13:56:44

I would not acknowledge this in any way, shape or form. Doing that gives her the green light to potentially bother you even more.

Money is often used by people to control their victims, it has not been sent without unwritten condition attached.

Dontunderstand01 Sun 24-May-15 14:50:01

Starry, I would not use the money or cash the cheques. It sounds like the money is being used to try and sweep everything under the carpet.

If you are certain about going no contatc long term then you will just need to ignore her.

In an update on me, I told my dm that myself baby are to be in a national newspaper today... did she buy a copy? Did she heck. Oh well, she can forever wonder what it was about andi will conveniently forget my copy next time I see her. (The news story is something nice, not bad news!)

Dontunderstand01 Sun 24-May-15 14:53:07

Also, theymakefeel.., it is reassuring but sad that there are others in identical situations. I only have one ds but I worry about having a sibling and whether or not they will be treated equally. Its so sad.

mammabmamma Sun 24-May-15 15:41:59

Thank you. I'm not really sure if I should be here though. A lot of people here have much worse parents than me!

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 24-May-15 15:50:04

People often write that on similar when they first post here mammabmamma.

From the initial post on this thread:-
"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".

How do you feel now about your dad and stepmother?.

What's the deal here re them?.

mammabmamma Sun 24-May-15 18:05:58

Thank you. It's so difficult, because it's hard to explain, and any times I've spoken to them about it, they make it seem so trivial and I end up feeling stupid. They go back to telling me that they "put a roof over my head, food in my belly and clothes on my back". And it's true, they did.

I'm angry with them, I'm confused why they have done the things they did, I just can't understand it, I can't fathom doing anything like that to my kids.

It all blew up last November, and after sorting out some money I owed them, I'm NC with them now, although I recently received a 6 page letter from my Step mum, and it's been weighing heavily on my mind since, I keep waking up having screaming nightmares, I'm not sleeping well, I'm having nightmares every night, and it's just affecting me. When I try and explain how I feel, or what happened, it just can't come out right, or doesn't sound right.

Starry I think if I was in your position, I would give the money to a charity in her name, and make sure that a letter thanking her for her kind £150 donation was sent to her address. grin But that's probably jut me!

Theymakemefeellikeshit Sun 24-May-15 18:49:42

Starry I would pass the one cheque on to your friend. She might not want it but it is up to her and at least you can say you passed it on. Are your parents likely to realize that the cheques haven't been cashed? I say this as I don't want to have to confronts my parents so I would be inclined to not bank them. Saying that mine are so anal about balancing the chequebook that ring me up tol tell me that I haven't banked it. Actually mamma suggestion is a good one.

mamma I know that my situation is no where near as bad as others but since coming on here I realize that it is still a problem and no one here judges and at the end of the day of it is a problem for you then it is important. * I can't fathom doing anything like that to my kids.* - we are all saying this

Don'tunderstand I have two DC (DD20 & DS16). My DD sometime says DS is favourite and I am really scared that I may be doing something wrong or is it just a case of I once gave him an extra half a spoon of ice cream. I want to talk to her about it but I don't feel emotionally ready at the moment as I have only recently started posting on here so everything is still quite raw.

mammabmamma Sun 24-May-15 20:45:00

Thank you. I know it was abuse I suffered, but I guess after years of it being played down, I feel like I'm going to be told I'm ridiculous for thinking it's an issue.

I guess there's things where I think "Is this as bad as it seemed/seems or is it not really that bad?" and how on earth do you work out the answers to that yourself?

goldenrose Sun 24-May-15 21:29:47

Hi mamma, I don't know what to say to you, I think with me it was when I went to friends houses or listening to friends talking about their families that something clicked with me that my family were different!! I remember some good times from my childhood but I remember a lot of bad too, crying in my bedroom a lot and I remember sticking up for myself when I was treated unfairly and being told I was being stupid and I remember sitting around the dinner table and being ridulced over something I had done and everyone laughing at me, I posted here before about my diary being read out to the whole family, I gave up keeping a diary because no matter where I hid it my mother or brother would find it!! I'm in my 30's now and only recently I stopped trying to get their approval have been LC since Christmas and have found over the last few months I have thought a lot about my childhood and last few years and it's like a jigsaw puzzle coming together, piece by piece it's dawning on me that what happened wasn't right or normal or I shouldn't have been made feel that by my own family my own flesh and blood, there have been a lot of tears but I'm finally accepting the fact that it was not my fault and I am not going to let them hold me back anymore!! I went from job to job and had abusive relationships I actually was never with out a boyfriend because I needed someone I couldn't be on my own, when I had my dd I thankfully changed it wasn't easy but I finally realised I needed to help myself and became a better person smile

Noshowofmojo Sun 24-May-15 23:05:55

Hello...not sure if I'm in the right place? Does anyone have any advice please on how to remain patient and civil with a parent you don't get on with but have to see/talk to regularly? My mum is 81 nearly, I'm an only child and everyday she manages to make me feel sad and angry but not on purpose. It's all my years of bitterness and resentment that stops me from just being impassive. I get on well with older people and I try to pretend that she's a "client" and I'm a befriending volunteer or something but within two minutes she's got my goat.
Any help would be gratefully received please.

PeppermintCrayon Mon 25-May-15 02:24:10

Noshow you are in the right place to get advice about difficult parents...

I am no-contact with my parents these days. But before that, the thing I found really stressful was that I always ended up becoming this false version of myself around them; I couldn't be my actual self, with feelings and needs, I had to be a kind of cardboard cut-out and that was exhausting.

To advise, it would be really helpful to know some more details. Where are you seeing her? Your home? Hers? Somewhere else? Is it more actual face to face visits, or phone calls? Sorry don't mean to sound like I'm grilling you! Just would help to have a little more info if you want to give it.

I am wondering if you've had any counselling/therapy or if you're just being left alone with all the feelings.

EssexMummy123 Mon 25-May-15 18:39:49

Also, why do you have to see her?

Your post has got me thinking, i am currently attempting LC with my mother and its hard, much harder than NC as I am with my father. My mother has issues with depression, anxiety and probably is bi-polar, she's not all that cooperative with her local CMHT. I'm trying to keep the phone calls to once a month because the FOG as well as the negativity and anxiety just makes me stressed and yet the phone has gone 4/5 times this evening which, so far I'm ignoring. I have no siblings or other family to share with this and i feel guilty for typing this but I just don't want a relationship with her, i'm not sure why i feel the need to be even LC except out of guilt. My partner (who hasn't answered the landline in 4 years in case its' her) thinks i should accept her for who she is but i still can't and the guilt gets to me regularly, but even with all these guilty thoughts flying around its still more peaceful not answering the phone than trying to justify myself re FOG / emotional blackmail.

pocketsaviour Mon 25-May-15 18:52:03

Noshow my sis has been LC with my mum for a few years (I've now gone NC with my mum since Feb and my mum seems to have cut my sis off as a result, crazy woman)

She said what really helped her with phone calls was to put the phone on speaker and have her partner sitting there listening as well as a sort of madness-checker and validator.

Would a similar set-up be feasible for you?

pocketsaviour Mon 25-May-15 19:03:07

goldenrose my mum constantly read my diary. I eventually resorted to writing in Spanish, which at least helped my GCSE results.

Part of my dad's abuse of me was that he would say
"I know you've done something wrong and I have to punish you" (by which he meant a naked beating)
I would say "I haven't done anything Daddy, who said that?"
He would say "I can't reveal my sources but I think you know what I'm talking about."

I was an incredibly well-behaved child (mainly because I was terrified of him hitting me - just the run of the mill daily whacks round the head, not the abuse stuff, which always happened in private.)

He would make me dredge my memory until I came up with something, could be as trivial as "I crossed the road outside the shop instead of walking to the zebra crossing" or "I put my sanitary towel wrapper in the bathroom bin instead of taking it outside to the main bin" (he was really weird about periods, we were never allowed to mention them but he always ramped up the abuse when I was menstruating.)

In this way he made me collude in my own abuse, which was possibly the sickest fucking thing I've ever experienced.

But in addition, it made me feel that I was being watched (and judged, of course) at all times. That I had no secrets, no privacy, because everything was being reported to my dad.

I have a big problem with privacy and boundaries as a result. I am always astonished when someone on MN says in a thread "Why were you checking your DH's phone/emails" - I mean, why wouldn't you? Privacy - what's that?

I know I overshare as a result of this. I find it difficult to understand the difference between public and private.

PeppermintCrayon Tue 26-May-15 08:50:59

Essex what does your partner mean by accepting who she is? If they mean accepting that she makes you feel awful and allowing yourself to properly acknowledge that you don't want to speak to her, I agree. If they mean suck it up and be nice to her, I don't.

Can you turn the ringer off?

Pocket I'm so sorry to hear that.

My privacy was constantly disrupted for reasons that may out me if I explain. I'm now madly precious about my space and my stuff.

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 26-May-15 09:24:37

"My partner (who hasn't answered the landline in 4 years in case its' her) thinks i should accept her for who she is"

Why?.

Sometimes people come out with such guff because their own mother is actually emotionally healthy. Your mother is clearly not. And why on earth should you do that anyway to potentially spare his feelings?.

You do not have that luxury of the above; also it is telling that he has not himself answered the phone in the past 4 years in case it is her so he is being hypocritical here.

SnapCackleFlop Tue 26-May-15 10:43:45

I'd like to join in here please smile if that's ok.
I've been reading the Stately Home boards for so long but have never posted here before.
I'm fairly certain my mum is a narcissist and I saw a counselling psychologist last year for a few times (it was so very expensive it wasn't something I could keep up long term).

I have 2 dcs and my biggest fear is messing them up myself through unresolved stuff and all the constant worry and anxiety.

I've gone very LC over the past couple of years but it hasn't really helped. I feel so anxious when the phone rings and am always waiting for the next catastrophie.

I've read what feels like a million books on the subject of narcissistic parents yet I'm awful at dealing with things and I think all the worry and anxiety and feeling not good enough are signs that I still feel afraid of and subject to my parents.

I'm desparate to change but don't know how.

mammabmamma Tue 26-May-15 17:28:02

SnapCackleflop hi, welcome to the thread, I've not posted much but wanted to say hi :-) I'm afraid I don't really have much advice for you though.

mammabmamma Tue 26-May-15 17:40:29

Thank you GoldenRose didn’t mean to ignore you there. Thanks for your reply, that sounds awful to have to go throug. I never kept a diary, I didn't dare tell anyone.

staffiegirl Tue 26-May-15 20:50:48

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Tue 26-May-15 22:28:20

Pocket I am so sorry. It must have been awful.

Snap Do feel you could go NC? In my situation I know this would cause a huge up roar withing the family and I can't face that. My parents would deny all the incidents and I would be made out to be unreasonable. I am LC without it being obvious because of distance we don't just pop round for afternoon tea.

I never used to say anything about my parents in front of my DC but when my parents decided to honour us with a visit the stress level (or should I say my stress levels) would rocket. I was like a woman possessed screaming like a banshee to get this tidied up and that put away. As my DC have got older they have been on the receiving end of comments and often comment on who the favourite GC is.

Staffie I feel so sorry for you (I don't know how to say it without sounding patronising which I definitely don't mean to be). They have clouded your decision making. And for the ones of us who did have children our parents have made us make a big thing about how we treat our children.

In the past she has said a number of times how her younger brother is the favourite. I am so paranoid about it but never knew if it was her sulking over something. I took my DD out for lunch today and basically said cut the crap do you think he is the favourite. Her only gripe was that when she finished her GCSEs I made her get a job and I didn't for him. I have tried to explain why so I hope she understand the reasons now.

Loveheart0 Wed 27-May-15 01:06:03

A couple of things going round my head recently.

Does anyone feel overwhelmingly defined by their parents? I've been thinking about this a lot, my mum constantly analysed us, decided on our features and referenced them constantly in conversation - like, twice a week. Therefore everything 'bad' we did was proof and we as siblings believed them. Even now my brother will still day to me 'you know [sister] is always like that' with a lot of bitterness, and it's commonly accepted and discussed.
for example - I am oversensitive, overemotional and as a result often so wrapped up in my own issues that I'm selfish/ungrateful (but not deliberately, only because I'm so chaotically emotional, again reinforcing how weak I am). Anything I try to bring up in regards to my mums behaviour is put down to this hmm
my sister is selfish, thoughtless, often flippant/rude (apparently). I just think she can be all of these things but actually would be devastated if she thought she ever hurt someone but would never get credit for this as it would undermine how selfish she apparently is. I also think she's amazing.
It's very limiting and effective for control. How would I ever break out of it because talking about it just reinforces how oversensitive and emotional I am?!?!

Also, does anyone find that their parents have to know everyone, and know them well? It's so undermining and upsetting. I've been NC with my mum for a couple of months now and I can still see her all over facebook liking MIL's photos/DP's statuses. If I were ever to mention finding it inappropriate as they know she's not talking to me, she would be very quick to jump to, 'Oh X and I have a relationship outside of you, we've had loads of discussions about xyz' - making me seem controlling and selfish but also reminding me I'm not the be all and end all. Also reminding me just how ingrained she is in my life.

Finding all of this very difficult. Still NC after a couple of months. We were meant to meet up to talk things over (her instigation in a phone call) and she never turned up hmm. NC just seems inescapable now as I have too many issues with the way that she is and can't articulate them and she'll never accept them. Imagine if she just apologised and wanted to change <wistful>

Loveheart0 Wed 27-May-15 01:08:39

Also just to say I haven't RTFT yet as I'm feeling a bit crap so sorry if I'm gatecrashing in the middle of someone else's conversation (state crashing) <shit joke smiley> overtired

PeppermintCrayon Wed 27-May-15 05:42:50

Snap also wondering if you could see a counsellor, if not possible via your GP then BACP is a good place to start.

I'm awful at dealing with things.

No, you're not. That's an example of your parents in your head, right there, and a really harsh way to talk about yourself. It's difficult dealing with these things, because the situation is difficult and awful. But there isn't a person alive who was born knowing how to cope with toxic parents. Finding it hard, not knowing how to cope, having confusing or complex feelings, all perfectly normal.

Challenging this sort of negative self-talk is important.

Loveheart you aren't gate crashing. It's everyone's conversation and you don't need to RTFT unless you want to. It can be a bit overwhelming at first, posting about this stuff, can't it? But you get enough guilt and obligation out of the toxics, there's no need for the stately home to provide more. Sorry you're feeling crap. Please try to be kind to yourself.

How would I ever break out of it because talking about it just reinforces how oversensitive and emotional I am?!?!

I think this has been used to make you powerless to object to being hurt, and that really sucks, it's absolutely a form of control. And it's a lie, because you are getting upset about things anyone would find upsetting! Try asking yourself: what would I think if someone else felt/reacted this way in this situation?

I strongly suggest blocking your mum on Facebook so you don't have to see her interacting with anyone else, pretending it's all fine and dandy, and making you feel invalidated. Two months isn't long, so it's completely understandable that you are finding it hard, but it won't always feel like it does now.

I'm sorry she didn't turn up, that sounds hurtful, but I also would be wary of offers to do so; I can't help wondering if talking things through means her berating you and telling you how you should feel, rather than listening.

Imagine if she just apologised and wanted to change

I imagine this too. We all do, I think.

GoodtoBetter Wed 27-May-15 09:17:48

Haven't got much time (supposed to be working) but just wanted to agree with pretty much everything peppermint said to love about the crazy making of toxic parents and how 2 months is right there in the shit, intense, horrible emotional bit of NC. It gets a bit easier as time goes on, if nothing else than because it gives you a bit of peace and space to breathe and grow and see the crazy batshittery of your parents for what it is.

<hugs> Hang in there.

NoTechnologicalBreakdown Wed 27-May-15 10:03:14

I haven't posted on here before but Loveheart that just resonates so much. That is exactly how I felt 20 years ago when my parents had their hands on me and it has taken most of those 20 years to get over being ashamed of myself. You are not weak. You are not even over-sensitive, these are the standard insults abusers use to make you think it is all your own fault. You are over-emotional right now because your parents have been playing with your emotions like a kitten with a ball of yarn, possibly since you were born. You have had a shit time.

Take time out. Focus on the fact that they make you unhappy, and stay away from them. It is highly unlikely that they will ever do anything but make you unhappy. If you must keep in touch, keep it minimal.

As Peppermint says we all imagine what it would have been like to have normal loving parents. We don't have them. It is hard to accept. But once you do you can move on with building a new life. They are the problem, not you.

BruceSpringClean Wed 27-May-15 13:27:37

Hi Snap, welcome to the thread - I hope you find it a source of comfort & help.

Also hi Loveheart "Also, does anyone find that their parents have to know everyone, and know them well?" - yes, my mother does this. I've never really figured out why. She's a very intrusive and controlling woman & I try to keep her abilities to intrude on my life to a minimum - for example, she knows next to nothing about my job, and very little about my friends. I've never told her exactly where I work, because I wouldn't put it past her to just turn up there one day and demand to come & watch me do my job! In your situation, I'd block her for a while, just to give you a bit of peace of mind.

I've been brought here today because I've received a letter in the post from my "D"M this morning. As a result of me not phoning her back straight away after a brief phone conversation we had on Monday. (I usually have her number blocked until I feel up to speaking to her - because I find our phone calls pretty draining - she can be a very demanding woman.) I don't know what the letter said because I've burned it. But I'm pretty upset all the same and feeling sad that I haven't got a normal, non-dramatic, interested & caring mother, like other people seem to have. Sometimes I look at other people's mums and wish they were my mum. DP's mum is lovely sad

Meerka Wed 27-May-15 13:37:22

Does anyone feel overwhelmingly defined by their parents? I've been thinking about this a lot, my mum constantly analysed us, decided on our features and referenced them constantly in conversation

my biological mother did this and also said "you're just like me!" a lot.

Since she was an appalling mother it's left me with a deep horror of becoming her. Horror is not too strong a word for it.

My step mother used to tell everyone I was unstable. I was, actually, but it got back to me and hurt a lot. Just because she was right didn't mean she needed to tell everyone that :/

SnapCackleFlop Wed 27-May-15 17:19:45

Thanks so much to you all for your kind welcome smile flowers

StaffieGirl Thank you for your thoughtful comment. I'm so sad that you've decided not to have children because of the way your parents were - ironically I think being able to reflect on things so much means you'd be pretty great. I know things are that simple though.

Theymakemefeellikeshit I think my situation is a bit like yours in that if I went totally NC there would be such a crazy fallout it wouldn't be worth it. In the past if I didn't text/call back in a day or two my mum sent a message saying they would have to contact the police :/

Brucespringclean I know exactly what you mean about looking at other people's mothers and feeling so sad. Totally relate to the draining thing too.

Peppermintcrayon I think you're right and I would really benefit from seeing a counsellor again. The last time it was helpful but I felt so guilty spending the money (it was £75 a session) and it made a real dent in our family finances.

I'd love to find someone really good at dealing with adult children of Narc parents - I can't face having to explain everything or someone not getting it.

Mamabmama thanks for saying hi! I'm glad this board is here though sad it has to exist.

x

PeppermintCrayon Wed 27-May-15 19:25:39

Bruce that does sound upsetting, when my mother sent through her post-sending phase I felt so invaded and intruded upon. I'm sorry you don't have the mother you should have. It's not fair, it's really not.

Meerka that sounds so hurtful. £75 is fairly expensive for counselling, but it depends where in the country you are. There are some low-cost places about. I believe the charity Stand Alone may be able to suggest estrangement-savvy counsellors, but not sure.

PeppermintCrayon Wed 27-May-15 19:27:01

PS I'm sad that you felt guilty spending money on something so important - your emotional wellbeing matters. Just wanted to say that.

GoodtoBetter Wed 27-May-15 19:32:16

I had sessions with a therapist (skype, not in person) at €85 a session which was a bit eye-watering at the time but absolutely worth every single cent and more. He really really got it. And once he felt I was OK to "go it alone" wound the sessions down. I even got in touch again to talk about maybe having another session around poignant aniiversaries and he put me off, said it was too soon since finishing and that I was obviously doing really well. So, not the kind of person to string sessions out at all.
If you can afford it a really good therapist is worth his/her weight in gold.

Theymakemefeellikeshit Wed 27-May-15 22:18:45

Loveheart and Bruce I thank my lucky stars that my parents are not tech savvy enough to be on facebook!

Snap the other reason I stay LC is I would not get the support from my DH. He just doesn't get it. If I hear 'you only have one mother' one more time I may have to kill him.

My mum doesn't ring - her attitude is it is us who should contact her. I e-mail the family week - they can't be bothered to reply.

INickedAName Wed 27-May-15 22:58:59

Is it ok if I sneak in? I posted elsewhere on MN today and I was recommended this thread. I'm trying to get my head around everything and it's very confusing, there's not really anyone I can talk to other than my brother, who is hurting so much so I don't want to make him worry about me. I've already recognised patterns from the post in in this thread alone. I feel stupid for not realsing just how cruel my Dad and his wife are until now. I'm 35 and it's taken me so long to see my Dad for what he was. I'm so sorry for what everyone here has had to go through. Below is what I posted before, I've copied and pasted as I find it draining trying to word it, without me looking selfish. Here goes.

** I've had the rug pulled right from under me over the weekend.
I could write pages and pages I'm so hurt/angry. My brother recieved about half an hours worth of voicemails from my stepbrother at 3am telling him how our dad (he died suddenly three years ago) never gave a shit about my brother and I, he never wanted to visit us when we children, how step mum hated having us at her house, and how he only ever came to see us after being forced. He said I'm a slag, my mother is a slag, my bros wife is a fat bitch, and he's going to knock us all out. He ended the voicemails saying he can prove dad hated us, as dad left him and our half sister 13k each with more to follow and db and I nothing, and it's all my slag of a mothers fault for leaving dad 30 years ago.
My db rang stepmum the next day, who didn't want to listen to voicemails, but she ended up listening to the first, my brother was expecting her to say it's lies but she basically said, yes, your dad was tired from working all week to provide for his family and didn't want to travel (20 mins drive) so just didn't turn up. When my half sister was born he went to put their names on policy, removing db and I, saying only the children who live with him matter. She genuinely can't see why this is upsetting, that we should understand!
I've had it confirmed by the person who witnessed policy, who is neutral and wouldn't lie, my dad actually said we didn't matter, and it's not the money, it's really not, it's looking back my whole life, at my Dad's emotional blackmail, threats of suicide, when I wouldn't do what he wanted me to. He'd always say "after everything I've done for you"" if you loved me". It's having every memory of my Dad taken away, I've not got one single happy memory of him, every memory is him criticising or judging me, but I always thought it was because he loved me, but it appears it was for show. My brother is devastated. He was much closer to them all, my dad would say how proud he was of how he "raised" him, truth is he didn't do a fucking thing, it was all mum. He'd complain about us looking scruffy, but not help mum by paying child support.
I feel worse than I did when dad died, it feels like my whole life has been a lie, I keep seeing the five year old me, sitting on a step, waiting for him to come, and he was asleep on sofa after working so hard for his current "family". Couldn't even be arsed to let mum know he wasn't coming. I've read about narcissism and it fits them all to a T, he didn't see us as individual people, just tools used to control mum further, and somehow he brainwashed his wife and stepson to hate her too. Everything, every single little thing was about them. There are so many incidents I don't even know where to start to unpick them. I feel stupid tbh.
I have so much more respect for my Mum now. As much as Dad hated her, she was there, every single day, she was the one picking us up from the step, going without food herself to feed us, and the million other things she did to pick up his slack. I hate him one second, and then feel guilty for being mad. It's one big mess! **

I feel like I can't talk about it without looking like I'm grabby and want money. I don't, I truly truly don't. I'm working my way through the links and will post more as time goes on but it's so assuring that there is somewhere to talk with others who get it.

Loveheart0 Wed 27-May-15 23:27:44

Thanks everyone. Blocking her on Facebook is a bit confrontational which I'm a bit too scared of still despite NC hmm I'm in a horrible limbo of having things almost clear and the bravery to say it but no contact or opportunity to say it... When she eventually does get in touch I'm worried I will have lost the momentum. I just wish it would be over - either we were back in contact (which I'd like in the long run but I'd need to work out how to deal with her from scratch) or I'd like some confirmation of the NC - a conversation or something, but then I'm overwhelmed thinking there's just so much how would I ever articulate it all. But at the moment I feel like I could get a phone call any minute. Control, I suppose sad
At the moment I'm second guessing everything because I'm not used to no feedback from my mum, double thinking all contact with the sibling who still lives with her as I'm always waiting for the backlash. I support sibling in being their own person (within reason obviously, I'm not taking then out to get tattoos, just being a normal human being) and my mother doesn't like that so every now and then I hear through the grapevine that I only did such and such to spite her when I hadnt even given it a second thought. It's really hard actually, I want to help my sibling as much as possible because I never had support but feel like I can't move.
Thank you for your replies. You really are such lovely people flowers

INicked I'm so sorry, that sounds horrific. You're in the right place. There definitely are people here who understand and I hope you find talking and reading helpful. cake

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