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.
My mother is so horrible to me :((157 Posts)
Would this be a reason to go no contact with her?
I suffer from horrific migraines, she seems to get very annoyed with me when I have one. Anyway, I agreed to look after my young nephew this afternoon and she said she'd come with me for the first couple of hours to help, because I felt so ill from a migraine today. (Didn't want to let my sister down)
It kept getting worse, I have severe nausea with them, and she was getting more angry towards me the more ill I felt. She said some horrible things:
"YOU want to work with children? The state of you?"
"You've spoilt today now by being like this"
"You're actually a nightmare to be around"
"I wont ever arrange anything with you again as you cant be reliable"
"You do realise you'll never work with children because of the way you are?"
I started crying and she got even more angry! I had to leave, felt my head was going to explode. I've let my nephew down but wasn't in a fit state to care for him. The head pain has eased a bit now I've taken painkillers but still feel so sick.
I've really had enough of her, she picks on me every time I see her, she doesn't like my son and he refuses to speak to her now. It felt like she kicked me where it would hurt, its my dream to work with children and I have bad depression and anxiety at the moment so her comments crushed me.
Thinking NC now, just needed to express what had happened tbh ,thanks for reading.
She sounds very unkind and cruel, I'm surprised you have to ask about going NC, I'd have done it a long time ago if this is representative of how she is
I always think going NC sounds very stressful in itself. She sounds really horrible and if this is usual for her I would certainly go very, very low contact.
It must be hard to accept but she's not likely to change so you either try not to be upset by her nastiness (very hard) or only see her when there is no alternative such as family events. Do you have any supportive family?
I've attempted to, a few times over the years but she always apologises and brings up her own problems and says she doesn't think before speaking. Its so spiteful to hurt your own child the way she does.
Yes matilda got support in my family for the most part. You're right, low contact is more realistic, just Christmas and the kids birthdays maybe. My self esteem is already on the floor, don't need extra emotional battering!
I've had a considerable amount of Psychotherapy for problems relating to mother/step mother (yes, I have two!!! ;-)) problems, and I now have "low contact". Life has improved considerably as has my self esteem. Go the low contact route! Good luck
I can't imagine why any loving parent would talk to their child like that, ever, let alone when they were clearly ill and in distress.
It's not OK, and it's not your fault.
Sorry to hear that bernie. Has the therapy helped you? Can't imagine having two to deal with
Narp Thank you , I always do feel it's my fault somehow, but its not normal to want to put your children down, she has to take the consequence of it now. She does it all the time. I will ignore it mostly, but today combined with the migraine I had to leave. She actually doesn't like me very much.
She is incredibly horrible and unsupportive.
Obviously she has never suffered a severe migraine, she probably thought you just had a bit of a headache! I know how awful they are and her comments are hideous. It's not your fault.
Definitely go NC, you don't need people like that bringing you down. She's probably a bit part of the reason you are depressed and anxious.
If you go no contact with her, it will probably improve your depression. Being criticised all the time does cause anxiety.
She's criticised me all my life, when I was younger she'd blame me for everything that happened, even her knocking a drink over, trivial things like that.
As an adult I now apologise to everybody for everything, even when they've wronged me! I'm also an extreme people - pleaser and feel responsible for other's happiness. Its a shame as she can be great in some ways, but has a very nasty side which I'm not able to cope with being on the receiving end of anymore.
When going NC though, it must be stressful for family members caught in the middle! I'm just thinking because there's reasons I need to speak to and see my mum over the next week and not sure if its the fair to ask other people to pass messages etc. Guess I'll just see what happens.
Your mother was not a good parent to you and is not a good grandparent role model to your children either.
FOG (fear, obligation and guilt) are but three of many damaging legacies left to such people like your good self. I also note without much surprise that you are a people pleaser; your mother's done that lot of damage to you as well.
I think you have every right to be no contact with her now or low contact (low contact often leads to no contact anyway as the toxic parent often refuses to accept the new boundaries being laid down by their adult child).
Re your point made re family members being supposedly caught in the middle, some of them actually become "flying monkeys" i.e. trying to get you two back together for their own reasons (saying such trite comments like you only have one mum) rather than act in your best interests. Also unlike your relatives, you've had a lifetime of such conditioning at your toxic mother's hands and not surprisingly you have had enough.
I would also read and post on the "well we took you to stately homes" thread on these pages. I would also read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward.
MakeThem oh yes psychotherapy really helped. Like you I apologised for everything and was a people pleaser. I am now more aware of these aspects of my personality and as a result this has reduced. It also helps you see that your mother's behaviour is not your fault and that they have the problems, not you. This gives you the courage to act.
Attila is quite right saying, low contact often leads to no contact, this is true in my step mother's case.
Bernie that's positive that you worked through it with psychotherapy, was that private? I'm currently seeing an nhs counsellor but we're barely scratching the surface and haven't even covered my issues with my parents!
Thanks for that info Attila that is helpful to know. I've read the first couple of pages of the Stately homes thread, found it fascinating and will find some time later to work through it.
Well my mum has sent me some not very nice emails today, she denied saying the things I wrote in my OP, she said she was just exasperated with me as I've made such a mess if my life, and that she was trying to help! I told her exact quotes and she said I was imagining it. Now I'm questioning myself even though I can remember it clearly
When I said I don't want to see or speak to her unless absolutely necessary she sent a very nasty email back saying fine with me, you're a drama queen and always have been and how dare I accuse her of being cruel. She also said how could I 'turn' like this after all she's done for me and that I'm ungrateful.
I feel quite sad about it tbh
It's not you Cake, it's her. The accusing you of 'turning' against her is part of the narc mothers script. My own DM accuses me of exactly the same when I politely pull her up on her behaviour. Stately Homes thread and the book Attila recommends will open your eyes to this. LC followed by NC is the way forward but first you have to learn not to feel guilty (as she has taught you all your life). It's a journey I'm on too. Good luck OP, you sound lovely.
' Well my mum has sent me some not very nice emails today, she denied saying the things I wrote in my OP, she said she was just exasperated with me as I've made such a mess if my life, and that she was trying to help! I told her exact quotes and she said I was imagining it. Now I'm questioning myself even though I can remember it clearly confused.'
She's 'gaslighting' you OP. Look it up.
That's awful MakeThem, I'm sorry she's behaving this way, but it's not your fault. I know it's difficult to remember this, but it is the truth.
Yes the psychotherapy was private and, quite honestly, I could probably have bought a new car with the amount I spent! However I was suffering from clinical depression at the time and couldn't carry on in the state I was in, so tried psychotherapy to see if that would help (had tried other ways of getting better, but this was the one that worked for me).
I had a number of problems that "needed sorting", but the main underlying issues were family problems. It took about six months of therapy for me to feel ok again, and I have gone from strength to strength since then (have been depression and medication free for two years now!).
It will take time but is definately worth it in the end. Be kind to yourself
re your comment:-
"Well my mum has sent me some not very nice emails today, she denied saying the things I wrote in my OP, she said she was just exasperated with me as I've made such a mess if my life, and that she was trying to help! I told her exact quotes and she said I was imagining it. Now I'm questioning myself even though I can remember it clearly".
Its not you, its her. She is trying to gaslight you here. This is all part of the overall toxic parent script such people follow. Also she is projecting her own behaviours onto you. Such people really never apologise nor accept any responsibility for her actions; that is certainly happening her with regards to your mother.
I would seriously consider blocking her e-mail address from your account or if you cannot bring yourself to do that as yet, at least simply forward all her e-mails to the trash folder without reading.
It is NOT your fault she is the way she is; look at her own family background as that could give you clues. Her own family of origin did this lot of damage to her.
Again its not you, its her.
Thanks personaltinsel that's v kind of you
I never thought of her as a narc before, is this typical behaviour then? I'm def going to get the book recommended, sounds eye opening.
Oh I'm sorry you're going through it too, not nice at all. The guilt - my god yes! Is this usual too then of having a mother who is like this? Sorry I seem naive I've just never known anyone with a mum like mine and never been able to explain what she does and why.
Fear, obligation and guilt are but three of many damaging legacies left by such people to their now adult children.
Guilt in particular is par for the course with a mother like yours; they are adept at making the adult child feel guilty (for no good reason). If anyone should feel guilt it is her but she will never feel guilty or ever admit any wrongdoing with regards to you.
Do read the book recommend and look at the Stately Homes thread when you can.
Thanks so much for the replies. I feel like I've had a light bulb moment. As she's my mum, I've always taken and taken her nastiness and swallowed it, despite it hurting. I've managed to let it wash over me many times and genuinely known its about her, not me. This time felt different thought - I hate to say this but it felt like she was enjoying seeing me get more and more upset. I felt like she was revelling in it. Can a mother really do that though??
Oh I forgot, in one of the emails she also accused me of faking the migraine! Attila, good idea about blocking the email address I will do that. Why I feel sad is she has had a dysfunctional upbringing herself and possible abuse..she wont talk about it though.
The psychotherapy sounds fantastic Bernie, so glad it worked for you as I know it often doesn't. It takes a lot out of you personally too to commit to therapy like that, you should be proud of yourself.
Tinsel, gaslighting yes she's done it for years. Not just to me, but she does save the cruellest insults for me. Its like emotional abuse I guess, just glad I don't treat my son how she treated me. I'm glad as DS seems to recognise appropriate behaviour and knew she was toxic so he decided a year ago to go NC with her and is much happier for it.
Thanks again for replies, its helped loads.
Cake yes I'd say your DM does sound narc from what you've said, if not then definitely dysfunctional. Can you imagine treating your own DC in the way she treats you, vile put downs, rude emails etc?
I don't know how many parents are like this but the ones that are all seem to come out with the same lines. It's all about projecting their own unhappiness onto someone else and is rooted, as Attila says, in their own childhoods. Was your DM treated badly as a child? What is her relationship like with her own mother?
You're not being naive - you have learned growing up there your DM's treatment of you is ' normal'. I found that it wasn't until I had my own DC that I realised how dysfunctional my own upbringing had been, and how responsible it was for my own anxiety issues. You say you are anxious and depressed - I bet it's down to your DM's lifelong treatment of you.
If I were you OP I'd go as LC with her as you can bear at the moment while you work through your issues.
The guilt - remember you are not responsible for her happiness, only for your own and your DC. It's a tough one but you must keep repeating this to yourself.
I have 70 years of this and can really relate, especially the spilled drink. If she left a cup on the floor and we kicked it over she screamed at us for being careless. If the reverse we got screamed at for not putting it on the table
I often wonder if MN had been around when I was younger, Whether I would have had the courage to go NC with her. As it was I spent most of my childhood in fear, and most of my adulthood in guilt. I am still there for her, i am the only one left who makes an effort.
One of the saddest things I've ever seen was a woman in her late sixties recounting her latest fortifications encounter with her mother ( now thankfully no longer with us). She was literally petrified by this evil woman who had undermined her throughout her life. Don't be her.
I wonder if you need to be emailing and announcing your decision to go Low Contact. Just be dignified and fade into the shadows. Allow yourself to accept her inability to be nice to you ( if you can) and ignore. Easy to say, I know, but by emailing this decision you are simply opening fresh channels to be abused and ridiculed. Silence is stronger .
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, watch threads, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now »
Already registered? Log in with:
Please login first.