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Help- going nc with mother . Do I let the dcs see her?

(16 Posts)
simplesusan Mon 17-Aug-15 12:52:04

Hi there.
After deliberating I think it is best if I go no with my mother.

She came round to my house and I tried to be so friendly and pleasant towards her but yet again she flared up desperate to pick a fight and ended up shouting at myself and dp. Then storming out of my house with her screaming that I sit on my fat arse all day?! Because I am on holiday from work and refused to discuss what I had been doing that day ( purely to avoid giving her amunition to begin another argument with me).

She is so argumentative and opinionated about everything, absolutely everything. She finds fault with anyone and everything.

She went to her sisters and tried slagging me off to her. Her sister told her to stop interfering in my life and stop expressing an opinion about everything.
As her sister did not agree with her my mum then stormed out of her house without saying goodbye.

A close friend of mine has spoken to her previously explaining how wrong it is of her to constantly criticise my ex h In front of our dcs. My mum agreed that she must stop it but never does.

Now I'm thinking I have no choice but to cut her out of my life completely but what do I do about my dcs?

They are 18 16 and 13.

I have in the past left them and my mother to their own devices but now I am worried that she will poison them.
Not necessarily against me as such but I feel she will do her upmost to slag off my dp to them , their father and probably me as well although at the moment I feel like screaming I don't give a fucking toss what she says about me.

I hope this doesn't sound awful but she is vile.

Nobody is safe from her criticism. She says horrible nasty spiteful things. Asking prying questions and then using this knowledge to try and rip you to pieces.

Anyone got any tips on dealing with this?

I am hurting deep inside too as I long for a normal happy family and God alone knows what I gave done to deserve this.

Lottapianos Mon 17-Aug-15 12:59:56

Well she certainly does sound vile and I can completely understand why you're considering no contact. You don't need someone like this in your life. Being your mother doesn't make her immune from basic standards of being civil and reasonable. I completely understand your hurt - I'm going through a particularly acute phase myself. I'm very low contact with my emotionally abusive parents and I feel the loss of a 'normal' family, where people get along reasonably well and are mostly glad they have each other in their lives.

You did nothing to deserve this by the way. Nothing. Its her choice to behave in this way.

Now, with everything you describe about her behaviour, do you really think its a good idea to expose your children to someone like this? You say yourself that no-one is safe from her criticism. As Attila is fond of saying on here, 'if she's too toxic for you to handle, then she is most definitely too toxic for your children'. I know how hard it is to give up on the fantasy of having some kind of 'normal' family set-up, even if its just between your children and their granny, but honestly, this sounds way too grim for them to handle. The 18 year old can make his / her own mind up I suppose but I wouldn't be encouraging the 16 and 13 year old to have any contact with her at all.

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this. It hurts so badly.

simplesusan Mon 17-Aug-15 13:15:15

Thank you lotta.

It must be very hard for people with nice parents to understand how depressing it is to be In This position.

What brought it home to me was my dp telling me that he could see traits of her in me. That has scared me tbh as I really do not want to be like her.

It is hard to broach the subject with my dcs as I dont want to criticise their grandma but I tjink I need to establish that she can't do whatever and say whatever she feels like with them.

Electrolux Mon 17-Aug-15 13:19:31

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Floralnomad Mon 17-Aug-15 13:24:26

I think at those ages you need to explain your reasons for going NC with your dc and then let them decide how they move forward . I'm NC with my MIL ( have been for 17 yrs) , originally ny DH took the dc over to visit but as they've got older they've made their own choices and the eldest no longer sees her (22) and the younger(16) visits briefly about 2/3 times a year .

Lottapianos Mon 17-Aug-15 13:38:52

Yes, I'm terrified of turning out like my mother too. It's part of the reason I don't have children. My DP once jokingly said that something I said reminded him of her and I yelled at him 'don't say that!!!'.

The thing is, we were raised by these women and grew up around them so it would be surprising if there were no similarities at all. However, similarities do not mean that you are destined to become that person. I am not my mother, and you are not your mother - we are our own women who have choices about how we behave. That's a very comforting thing to remember.

TodaysNameChange Mon 17-Aug-15 13:53:27

Sorry, not advice. But a story. (Male half of a marriage here.)

After an incident culminating in an assault (on me), my DW decided to go NC with her DM.

At the time, our DS was 17 abnd living at home. We felt it would have been impossible and counter-productive to suggest how he might want to continue. If we had suggested he stay away, it would have become forbidden fruit as well as playing into the narrative MiL would have spun about me.

So we made our reasons clear to him, and left him to make his own mind up. Which meant he pretty soon was back in contact. More upsettingly (but unsurprisingly) despite our assurances that it was his decision, and all we asked was to know if he was in contact or not - he felt he had to lie to us (again sad).

At which point MiL had the floor to herself. It's hardly any surprise that DS (whose behaviour was already appalling) became 10x worse.

Of course, with the scales fallen from our eyes, it's patently obvious that every contact we have with DS (sadly getting fewer and fewer) is being relayed back to MiL. The only crumb of solace we can gather is that whilst DS tells us "DM often asks after you", we have never once asked after DM. Even as various assorted family members mysteriously started "getting cancer".

In our case, the NC was a culmination of what we now (thanks to MN, counselling, and freedom) realise was an 18+ year campaign waged against me, and by extension my DW. Because it was so deep rooted DS has been deeply - possibly permanently - poisoned. MiL worked very hard to ensure he had no respect for me (and therefore for my DW - after all, if she chose a loser like me, she can't be worth much respect). This means that dealing with DS has become terribly problematic.

I really hope everything works out for you as you wish.

simplesusan Mon 17-Aug-15 14:18:08

Thanks for all the replies. Looks as though it is going to be tough.

Todaysnamechange I can see my mother doing the same as your mil if I'm honest so am thinking a restriction on her seeing the younger dcs may be needed.
Luckily they are aware of her behaviour at times as she has done it in front of them.

TodaysNameChange Mon 17-Aug-15 14:54:30

Hi again OP.

As you think things through, you will, sadly, realise how impossible the situation is. None of your DC is young enough that you can have the level of control you need to continue. They are all capable - and able - to have contact with people without your knowing. So any attempt to "ban" them from seeing your DM is impossible to enforce.

Add to that the lure of disobeying you (teenage rebellion).

Then add to that the fact that if your DM is anywhere near as toxic as my MiL proved to be, they may have been priming your DC against you for this very day. They may even have told your DC that you'd stop them seeing her (whilst playing the martyr). We discovered this when we made it clear to DS we weren't stopping him see his DGP (he told us he was sure we would). However, he carried on as if we had forbade it (by sneaking around and lying about it).

Currently, we have a shit relationship with DS. sad sad. I can only see it improving when (or if sad) he finds his own mind. This may be harder to do than you'd think, since MiL can (and we are sure already has) headed off any girlfriends he may have who start to realise the truth.

saw this:

how wrong it is of her to constantly criticise my ex h In front of our dcs.

that's nothing. MiL would happily tell me what a crap dad I was in front of DS (and DW). Often. Enough that I believed it.

One day, I might write the whole saga down, as best I can, starting days after DS was born, and coming up to date. Until then, it's going to be random postings on MN when things chime with me.

Once again, all the best. The only saving grace is NC with you DM will be bliss, and you will start to feel a lot clear-headed. But be prepared to deal with others who are still fooled by the mask. Be very very careful what you tell them, as it will get back to your DM (especially if you make a point of "don't tell DM"). In our case, the narrative is that DW is being controlled by me (smiles to self at the idea) and therefore her behaviour is because of me.

As already alluded, also be prepared for a lot of "illnesses" to start developing in your family - from our experience, cancer seems popular.

Oh, there's one other saving grace of going NC. It has put you in charge. For the first time in many years. It's a situation your DM will not like. Only you can make sure it continues. I write this, knowing that MiL recently emailed DW with a "I realise ... say goodbye one last time ..." which managed to be as insulting (not that MiL would have realised) as needy. For us, it has confirmed that NC was the only way forward, no matter how much it's cost us.

Quite bluntly, our marriage would not have survived.

Sorry, derailing thread. I'm not posting anymore here, so apologies if I appear rude not answering.

One last thing (apologies for shouting) NONE OF THIS IS YOUR FAULT.

AYearofMinorMiracles Mon 17-Aug-15 15:05:38

Can I ask has she always been like this?

She sounds similar to my late Mum - a nightmare to be around. Sadly, my Mum wasn't always like this: a negative vortex wanting the impossible but a series of awful life events and the menopause and bingo - the relative from hell, sometimes.

I think working that out has meant I have been able to recently embrace my inner Mum - I do resemble her - duh, obviously: genetics and nurture but not her negativity. I try to use her darkside as a guide. So, I do diet to be happy with my body. I refuse to do the passive-aggressive stuff or put up with it from others and I try to see all the positives in my life and other people.

As for your children, well, if she wasn't your Mum, would you let them spend time with her? It is that simple. They are your children to protect even from your Mum if need be.

Take care. It sounds like the rest of your life and support network is good.

schlong Mon 17-Aug-15 15:11:16

Reading your posts Todays have brought home to me how lucky we were that our Ds was still a baby when me and dh went NC with his toxic m. One of the reason was to prevent her getting her claws into him and poisoning him against us. Got goose bumps reading that. I really feel for you and your dw. If only you'd got her out of your lives sooner. Op sounds like your m is overtly toxic and they'll see through her.

simplesusan Mon 17-Aug-15 18:36:41

Hi there . She has always been very negative although I think she has got worse the older she has become.

I feel very uncomfortable when she is here worse when other people are here especially dp or my friends as she cannot hold her tongue.

She seems to be spoiling for a fight.
It's so not on that she will play the dcs against me.
Yes she will probably put ideas into the dcs head.
My 18 year old has told me some of the things she has said about me and dp but all I can hope is that they see the truth.

I am going to do my best to limit the amount of time my dcs spend with her and as they get older they may not see her as much.
She does override me which is totally wrong and I have toy do that I am their mother, in a non aggressive way , and shat I say goes.

loveyoutothemoon Mon 17-Aug-15 18:44:54

If your children aren't already aware, tell them what's she's like and then let them decide for themselves.

Smilingforth Mon 17-Aug-15 19:01:09

Loveyoutothemoon is right. If they know then it's best to talk to them

AYearofMinorMiracles Tue 18-Aug-15 07:17:18

It sounds obvious but why not engineer having your Mum round when your friends aren't there? Set boundaries: so not Friday evening, come Sunday instead.

My Mum was definitely worse when there were other people - she played to the audience and at least, dominated the conversation and at worst, made people uncomfortable or was downright difficult and unpleasant.

Like your Mum, she seemed to be ever ready to fight and criticized constantly. Confrontation didn't work. I tried to see her with as few people around as possible.

Can you explain her to your children - that she has always been negative and critical? Is there a reason? I think my Mum felt unloved and unloveable. Does she have a good side? Does she love your DCs even in a limited way?

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 18-Aug-15 08:03:53

Do not have your mother in your home ever again. She uses your home to mark her own territory.

I often say this; if the parent is too toxic/difficult for you to deal with its the same for your both vulnerable and defenceless children. She was not a good parent to you and is a poor example of a grandparent to your children.

Many adult children of toxic parents feel torn between their parents’ (and society’s) expectation that grandparents will have access to their grandkids, and their own unfortunate first hand knowledge that their parents are emotionally/physically/sexually abusive, or just plain too difficult to have any kind of healthy relationship with.

The children’s parents may allow the grandparents to begin a relationship with their children, hoping that things will be different this time, that their parents have really changed, and that their children will be emotionally and physically safer than they themselves were.

Unfortunately, this is rarely the case, because most abusive people have mental disorders of one kind or another, and many of these disorders are lifelong and not highly treatable. (Others are lifelong and treatable; however, many people never seek the necessary help.)

The well-intentioned parent ends up feeling mortified for having done more harm than good by hoping things would somehow be different — instead of having a child who simply never knew their grandparents and who was never mistreated, they have an abused child who is now also being torn apart by the grief involved in having to sever a lifelong relationship with the unhealthy people they are very attached to.

She will not behave any better with them than she has done with you; infact such people often use the children to get back at the offspring (look at Todays post for instance; that is a classic example of narcissist stealing the heart and mind of the child). This as Lotta also rightly points out is way too grim for you all to handle.

If she cannot behave at all decently then she gets to see none of you. People like your mother ignore or ride roughshod over any boundaries you care to set; boundary setting is a hard task when it comes to people like your mother.

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