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Does it matter if you don't like your mother?(10 Posts)
Just that really. My mum never been physically or nakedly emotionally abusive to me, but any relationship has to be on her terms. I've increasingly realised that I just don't like her, but am worried that's unfair and when she dies, I'll regret not ever having a normal mother/daughter relationship with her. When I was a kid it was OK-ish, though she favoured my younger siblings. As soon as I hit puberty, that was it, she was disappointed in everything I've ever done since, and I'm now in my 40's. She spends a couple of afternoons a week with my kids, so it would be unfair on all of them to do anything dramatic like go NC, but they're now being replaced in her affections by her younger grandkids. I guess that noticing that, plus my eldest now being the age I was when the relationship with my mum was permanently broken, it's bringing a lot of these feelings to the surface. I'm scared I'll lose her forever too.
What do you think - should I make an effort with her or accept my feelings and live with the consequences?
I would go very low (if not no) contact with her especially as her withdrawal of affections is now going to hurt your DC. It's hardly unfair of you to protect them from someone who pretends to love them and then emotionally abandons them when someone better (i.e. younger and weaker) comes along.
I did not limit my DS's contact with my mum, even knowing deep-down how nasty she could be, and some of their interactions were incredibly damaging for him. I feel so guilty now that I didn't cut her out of our lives much earlier.
Hmmm, thanks pocket I feared that might be the answer.
And sorry to hear about your mum saying hurtful things to your son. You were doing what you thought best for him at the time.
I would accept your feelings, its no point in trying to make further efforts with a person i.e. your mother who is clearly not bothered unless she has you again dancing to her tune. She probably has trained you well to serve her and you put your own feelings and self last.
Its not your fault that your mother is the ways she is; you did not cause her to act that way. Its also not your fault that you have not been able to have a "normal" mother/daughter relationship with her; she is simply not built that way.
She favoured your younger sister when you were a child (she probably still does). People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles; she was/is golden child and you were/are the scapegoat. Children of scapegoats are often scapegoated by their toxic grandparent as well; this type of stuff can and does go down the generations. She was not a good parent to you and she is not a good grandparent figure to your children. How does she actually interact with your children or is there no real interaction?.
The cycle has stopped with you because you know this treatment of you and in turn them is completely and utterly wrong.
You need to have firm and consistent boundaries re your mother and it actually would not be unfair for you to go low contact or even following on from that eventually no contact. She has NEVER for one second considered your feelings in all this.
I would curtail all her visits to your home now particularly as she is now replacing your children with younger grandchildren in her affections.
I would also consider posting on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread because you will get support there too along with reading "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward.
If she cannot behave decently with you she gets to see none of you. Bad behaviour should never be at all rewarded even though she may well rage at you, develop some previously unknown health problem or scare or turn on the waterworks. Tears from people like your mother are more often than not done for manipulation.
I would see how she goes with your kids, see if she repeats the pattern.
If she does the contact will lessen anyway and you'll know she hasn't changed.
The main thing is to get over the feelings from the past, with therapy if necessary, and move on.
It really doesn't matter what your mother thinks of you now or then. And it's perfectly ok not to like her.
Thanks Atilla & Twinkle I didn't think this was Stately home-worthy, but maybe it is, I want to say all the things that people regularly say on this board - it's not that bad, she's not a monster etc etc. It is very very subtle, and if I raised any of this with her, or started to withdraw the kids from her there would be few tangible examples to offer that are large enough to mention, and they'd all be denied anyway.
She's always spent a 2 afternoons a week with the kids so I can work. I'm very grateful for this, though it does come with a side order of martyrdom. As far as I'm aware, she's good with them (even takes them to stately homes!), my eldest is very perceptive and can see through her. Thinking she's moving on to younger grandkids could be projection rather than reality.
Sounds a bit similar to me.
I now think she's on the autistic spectrum, although I can say that she is much 'better behaved' now than years ago.
In the same situation re: grandkids she spends time with (on her terms but it's still convenient babysitting when we don't have much alternative) so we aren't going to NC. But I have to limit my time with her.
and have a good moan to DP when she's wound me up (quite often)
There isn't malice on her part she is just tactless, rigid, a very stereotypical 'grumpy old woman'.
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