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My toxic mother and my teenage daughter - advice needed pls(43 Posts)
(EDIT: I finally got to the end and realised this is very long, sorry )
It's been a while since I've been here. You look all different and newy!
I left a couple of years ago for RL as I was addicted to MN!
Anyway, I've come to a stumbling block in my life wrt my mother and I don't have anyone I can:
a) trust to be brutally honest with me
b) offer advice without emotion
...then I remembered you folks can be trusted to do both :D
I apologise in advance if this reads a little all over the place, I'm cutting a very long story short...
My relationship with my mother has never been great. She has always relied on emotional blackmail to keep me in my place. A couple of years ago I wrote her a letter which basically said I would no longer allow her to control me the way she had been, that I loved her but could not continue to live my life under her cloud. She didn't talk to me for weeks but the upshot is, we talk now, exchange niceties and general chat.
More recently she has slipped back into her old ways and I can feel her grip getting tighter. She's back to guilt-tripping, aggressive outbursts and all that other emotional crap. Grand, I leave her to it. I don't rise to her, I don't become confrontational. I listen, tell her clearly I feel differently about whatever the topic is and she hangs up abruptly without saying anything (The telephone way to say 'fuck you' without actually saying it!)
Through counselling (I just can't spell that word!), soul-searching, rearing my own child and the support of my DH I have learned how to cope with her. It still upsets me in the moment but I can let it go quite quickly now.
I'm finally at the problem...yay!
She started it on my child! DD is 15yo. She's my one and only so anything I know about teens is based on her. I have no other examples or 'typical' teens to reference so what I'm asking you folks is... Do I need to protect my child from my mother or am I completely over-reacting and perhaps my mother was right?
When dd gets a call from my mother she entertains her for a very short time (she's busy being a teenager!) so my mother takes the hump and gets on to me about it. I say "she's just a kid, she hardly talks to me because she's too busy snap-chatting or FBing or whatever other crap they do on their phones. She's not being dismissive, she's just got a teenage brain which has far more pressing things to do than answer a million questions and have half hour long conversations with grown-ups" My mother then slates me for raising a child with no manners.
I have to say at this point that
a) DD is one of the most polite girls you could meet
b) DD was bullied terribly for years and is soft as shit
c) DD is hyper-emotional and feels bad for sometimes breathing the same air as others
Mum says, all the time, how I need to toughen her up. She's too polite. She's too nice etc but then for the first time last night she tore strips off her and me (verbalised to me not DD) because when she rang DD, DD told her she was eating and she'd have to go as her food was going to go cold. My mother did the same thing she's always done to me, hung up!
DD got upset and I told her not to worry about it. She said she'd text, which she did and said "sorry Granny, my food was going to go cold. Love you x".
The response was "aw, ye know what DD, don't worry about it. I'll talk to you some other time. You enjoy talking to your friends"
That right there BOILED MY PISS! (which is why I need your help/advice)
She then rang me and told me DD was very mean and basically told her to fuck off. I was in the room when DD was talking to her and I know for sure she was pleasant and chirpy so I said as much to my mother. I defended her being a normal teen and told my mother to relax about it. She went into a rant, I stayed calm, said we would have to agree to disagree and she ...yep, hung up!
Two minutes later she's ringing again. I ignore. A voicemail appears so I ask DH to listen as I can't bear to here her shouting. I ask what she said and he says "she now understands it wasn't off the grass DD licked it" and some other shite.
Ten minutes later FB is full of 'I'm all alone', 'nobody knows my pain', 'nobody loves me' type quotes. <<<head explodes>>>
My question is ... am I being a bitch, a bad mother for making excuses, a shit daughter for pulling back?
Or, seriously, do I need to protect my DD from the emotional blackmail I was subjected to growing up and into adulthood?
Please be very honest. I can take a bashing and thanks in advance
She sounds like!e my poison dwarf (pet name for my mother!)
I've been very low contact since Christmas when she got pissed, spent an hour tearing me apart then started on my (then) 4 year old. I'd already decided to stop taking her crap and put my 'line' in place, she crossed it was told her behaviour was unacceptable and we left.
I made the decision to pull right back. Went from phoning every week to monthly for a few months then stopped phoning. It's been 3 months since I last spoke to her (and my dad, who is unfortunately her enabler and too cowed to do much) and she's pretty much left us alone, apart from a suspiciously high number of visits from my brothers, not easy as we live 150 miles from them, we've been left alone. I'm sad but I will not allow her to treat my daughter the way she treats me.
Protect your daughter. I won't pretend it doesn't hurt. I'm greaving my relationship with my family, dad especially, but my baby is my priority and she means more than they ever could!
Thanks so much for replying
Fair play to you for taking that stance, it is not an easy thing to do by any means!
I'm really trying to find the courage to do the same for good and I think last night was the final straw for me.
It just hurts so much because I feel consumed with guilt as she's divorced and living alone and she's my mother. Truth be told, I would never speak to her if she wasn't. The guilt of just writing that hurts so much. I just know hurting my child is not an option so I'm going to have to do it, cut contact.
I'm all over the place and rambling, sorry.
Thanks again for sharing and advising, much appreciated
I have a soft emotional 16 year old who would find type of behaviour very upsetting.
My mother was also quite toxic, I would protect your DD from the worst of her outbursts, maybe you could discuss putting the phone on speaker for all her calls so your DD can hear you dealing with her negativities in a positive light and you can support DD when you hear what is said to her.
It becomes a lesson if you like with not taking her shit.
P.S my mother now has dementia and is really quite lovely... Strange.
She sounds VERY like my mother! And unfortunately as another poster has said, my dad has always been too weak to sort her out.
I've gone down to virtually no contact with my mother because of this, and the relief I felt when I made that decision was incredible. It was a hard thing to do, but she'd assaulted me and I realised that I wasn't going to take any more. I've not heard from her for 3 months until a couple of days ago when she rang to tell me that my dad is dying. I knew this (he's in a dementia home) and yet she still had a go at me for not saying "Good Morning" properly My dad will probably pass away in the next few days, and all I can think about is what the funeral will be like, with her there glowering at me, and that's if she tells me when or where it will be?
If you decide to go no contact then you will feel many emotions. Probably some guilt, because she's your mum, but also a great weight lifted off your shoulders. I felt literally lighter, and even though she pops into my head probably on a daily basis it's getting less and less.
There will probably be people who disapprove of going no contact, but they're not the ones in your shoes. I've come across several people who will say "oh but she's old" "she must be very lonely" "she's your mum" but none of those are a good excuse/valid reason for nasty behaviour. Don't put up with it for you and your daughter's sakes. You deserve better than having to put up with her moody behaviour.
She is a narc mum.. We have one of them .. Best get rid !
not sure if my internet is slow or MN.
Need to read, brb
Good god, she is beyond unreasonable, you can't expose your DD to that. Tell your M (not DM!) that she is completely U and then go NC. No hesitation.
It just hurts so much because I feel consumed with guilt as she's divorced and living alone and she's my mother.
But remember that living alone doesn't have to mean loneliness. Plenty of people live alone and spend lots of time with friends and family members where they are welcomed with open arms. and you know why they are welcomed with open arms? Because they are pleasant and nice to their friends and family members.
Your mum has a choice. If she chooses to be nice to people she can have positive meaningful relationships with them. If she chooses to be nasty and self-involved then she sacrifices the meaningful relationships. That's her choice and you can't - and shouldn't - allow her to have her cake and eat it.
Aw folks, thank you all so much. My gut is telling me NC but my heart is breaking because as much as she hurts me, I love her. I know it needs to be done though so I'm not backing away from it just not looking forward to the emotional tsunami that'll hit.
Girlandboy, I'm sorry to read about your Dad. Wishing you peace and comfort xx
I like that idea SAHG. I'd just worry that what's said can't be unsaid or unheard. I'm also afraid that my feelings towards her will interfere, wrongly, with DD's relationship with her so I'd like to allow contact. I could warn her to keep the conversation light but she'd probably say something horrible just to prove she doesn't have to listen to me.
It's all kinds of fucked up!
Thanks for all your posts. Really do appreciate them
SAHG, have just reread your comment - I see what you're saying, missed it first time round (brain fried!) It would be a good lesson for DD for sure but I'm not sure I even want to continue dealing with/defending myself/DD/DH/coping with it all!
The bottom line with it all in all honesty is I don't want to have her in my life, as ANON said, if she can't be civil (thanks Anon, makes perfect sense) BUT the guilt feels like a physical entity residing heavily in my chest, it's horrible.
I'm on anti-ds but slowly weaning and taking back my life (lots of other issues) and at the moment I feel she's holding me back but because I'm as soft as DD, I find it hard to be assertive and not allow my guilt and other emotions rule my life.
Fuck. I'm going to do it <<<actually shaking>>>
Thanks for the kick in the bum everyone. I needed it.
Have a good day
You don't need a kick in the bum, you need a hug.
You will feel awful, but in time it will pass.
I felt the same, virtually no contact for about 6 months but I did the "duty visit" for Christmas. It was bloody awful, she was a nightmare and as I left her house I said to my DH "I am NEVER going in that f***ing house ever again" and I almost floated home.
You WILL feel better. Don't live YOUR life around HER moods.
Have a hug xx
Thanks GaB x
Funny how we can gain courage, self-belief just by reading someone elses story isn't it? Thanks again for sharing
Can I suggest you block her comments on fb? You don't need that kind of PA shit to make you feel bad. Nor does your dd. I'm racking my brains to see why she is divorced and lonely .
May I suggest very low contact as a goal because then you are dealing with the here and now as opposed to the future. She most definitely deserves a back seat for a long while.
No contact is the way to go, or very low contact. I think we put up with it but when they start to pick on our chidren we have to protect.
These types of parent thrive on drama and don't care who they upset in their missión. They use people.
You sound like a lovely and caring mama with a wonderful DD, well done. Keep strong.
Crying now, thanks you guys! x
I hovered over the block button there for about five minutes, couldn't do it I'm so afraid of hurting her. She's talked of suicide a few time (albiet years ago) She's also a recovering alcoholic who 'could be driven to drink' any moment apparently (sceptical, assume just another guilt-trip).
I'm going to do it now. I feel sick to my stomach.
(side note: "I'm racking my brains to see why she is divorced and lonely hmm" made me lol :D)
I don't understand what this means.
* I ask what she said and he says "she now understands it wasn't off the grass DD licked it" and some other shite.
I ask what she said and he says "she now understands it wasn't off the grass DD licked it" and some other shite.
I understand why you are afraid of hurting her, but think for a minute. She doesn't give a monkeys about hurting you. All she thinks about is herself. In some ways, she wants to hurt you. Why else would she keep doing it?
Must be an Irish thing :D
It means she thinks DD is rude and unmannerly because I am. She got her poor manners from me. So it wasn't off the ground she got it but from her mother!
Just another insult.
I'm so afraid of hurting her but she's not afraid of hurting you or your daughter! And try not to heed her threats to you about her alcholism etc. She shouldn't be using emotional blackmail.
And as for the blocking on FB. You can still just alter your settings that doesn't exactly block her but stops her seeing your posts, or you can click next to her name and "hide all comments from this person" then you won't see what she writes on her feed.
She's so confusing though... She'll ring me, call me baby, tell me how great I am, I'm a wonderful mother, best thing that ever happened to her, loves me infinitely yet at the drop of a hat she turns into a monster.
She's done some very hurtful things that I would never forgive others for but because she's also supported me during difficult times in my life (never worried about holding me to ransom for them I might add!) I just feel like I'll destroy her.
I grew up listening to psycho babble that I didn't understand. "I'm a recovering alcoholic", "you'll drive me to drink", "I need to think of the child the parent and the adult within", "God grant me the serenity...", "I won't let anyone live rent free in my head" "I'm a product of my own dysfunctional family". Those are just a few but it makes me sad that she feels so sad yet it infuriates me that she can be so horrible to me.
I specifically remember "fuck you and fuck your love". That still feels like a knife in my heart even though we've shared good times since then.
I feel like I'm boring you all now. Really, thank you xx
I did it, unfriended on FB. No going back now. She'll never forgive me for that.
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