Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
navigating N / C with a close family member.(5 Posts)
I could do with some advice.. .
I've very very recently cut my mother off. I know some on MN from upon this but without detailing too much why, she has done despicable things, damaging her children because she is selfish and careless. She has done some unforgivable things and I recently reached a point where I could no longer keep brushing them under the rug and keeping up pretences so she can save face.
My siblings however do continue contact.. we all have small children. One in particular has lots of contact with her. Geographically we live very close to, which makes things tricky I think too.
We are expecting our second next month.
How do I navigate this? My dc knows of her grandma, but has no real relationship with her (I tried.. she doesn't bother.. blessing in disguise really!) But as she gets older (she's just starting school) she will become more aware that her cousins see grandma and she doesn't.
I also don't intend to directly inform her of my dc birth, but of course she will learn from my siblings.
I do not wish to be spiteful, although she sure as hell deserves it. I do not want anyone to see me as the bad guy. It's taken me years to get the courage to cut her off for fear of siblings siding. But I simply do not trust her and do not want her in my family's life.
I'm also terrified that my dd will grow up and go through difficult teen years and seek out her grandma. I don't want to have to tell her of the awful things that happened (S/abuse) but I also don't know how else to explain to her - especially right now in an age appropriate way- why she doesn't see her. Thankfully my husbands family are incredible and are heavily involved so she's got extended family who love her, and ofc my siblings.
What do I do when/if she sends birthday cards or gifts? Or tries to contact me or them.. or when I have Dc2? How do I keep n/c without being a bitch? She is blocked from contacting me or my husband via phone or social media but as I say, lives close and sees my siblings regularly.
Any thoughts gratefully recieved. It's all very new/raw/confusing. My husbands family are normal. . He had a wonderful childhood and finds this very difficult and I sometimes feel I have to explain or justify myself even though he has no respect for her.. I guess the idea of cutting your mother off feels so extreme and hard for him to deal with.
Move? Don't mean to be flippant. We moved and tension immediately alleviated.
Our situation is different as we live further away (and it's my MIL) but:
She did visit, or more often stalked us (would visit the area for the weekend and spy on our house without contacting us until she left for home). We did have instances of her trying to enter the house without knocking (it was locked thank god) and we had arguments on the doorstep.
She made a campaign of informing people that we were 'evil' (neighbours, vicar, her GP/Health visitors, social services). Luckily, no-one believed her.
She does send cards/gifts. (we're a long way down the line and DH has very limited contact with her - Me and DD have none) I bin them, DH bins them, DD is a lot older now (a teen, and has no interest in spending time with old people ) knows our reasons and accepts them.
Expect her to use relatives to mine for information, maybe lay out ground rules with your siblings about what type of info you don't want her knowing about.
I think the key is No Contact. Don't get drawn into things, don't answer messages, don't return stuff. Nothing. Once they grasp that it doesn't get a response from you it dies off (kind of, 14 years of NC and I still got a bloody 'special DIL' birthday card).
If your mother sends anything it must not acknowledged by you in any way, shape or form. Infact I would bring all items sent from her to the charity shop, any items from your mother must be disposed of and certainly not at all kept.
Do with DC2 as you have with your eldest child, keep this child away from your mother as well.
I would also consider moving if at all feasible; physical and well as mental distance is desirable.
One or more of your siblings may be used by mother as "flying monkeys"; they may put pressure on you to make up with mother or some such nonsense. They may try and use your DH. Ignore and go no contact with any such people who attempt such stunts, they are not acting in your best interests and only theirs.
I have found these excerpts from Anna Valerious who was raised in a narcissistic family structure helpful so hopefully these will help you as well:-
"You are the parent. You get to make these decisions without apology or excessive justification. You can assure your child that you are making a wise and loving decision for them as well as yourself. I am not going to script what you should say because you are the only one who knows your children, but you must convey that this isn't up for negotiation. This is not a decision that the child gets to make. Yes, children usually love their grandparents. Children are often quite indiscriminate in their love which is why they need parents to guide them. Not every person is safe to have around and this is a good time to teach that important life lesson. The more matter-of-fact you are, the more matter-of-fact your children will be. When we act hysterical, they will usually reflect our hysteria. If you act anxious, they will act anxious. If you appear unsure, they will push. Model the reaction and attitude you want your children to adopt.
Do not operate from a fearful mindset. Don't be afraid of your children's possible, or actual, reactions. Don't be afraid that you are depriving them of something important by cutting off a set of grandparents. You are only "depriving" them of bad things. Reassure yourself with that truth. Family is not everything. Blood is not binding. You are escaping the Mob Family. What should connect us is how we treat each other with love and respect. This is always a good lesson to teach our little ones. If any part of you is unsure of your decision then, for Pete's sake, don't show it. Your resoluteness will go a long way toward reassuring your children that you are acting in everyone's best interest. If your children know that you love them, they are going to feel reassured that this decision is also based in your love for them. They will find an added sense of security to know that you, as their parent, are willing to protect them even at the cost of your relationship with your own parent(s). Rather than being fearful, see the plentiful opportunities in this. You are protecting your children from someone whom you've experienced as being abusive; you are reassuring your children that you are in charge and are watchful for their best interests (creates deep sense of security); you can teach healthy family values which include that family doesn't get a pass for abusive behavior; you can strengthen and reinforce the healthy relationships in your extended family. Kids are less likely to feel like there is a void in their life if you fill it with good things".
Posting too on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread is a good idea.
Join the discussion
Please login first.