Cut off from parents - feeling anxious / de-railed(76 Posts)
Sorry in advance for ramble - but I am so far in to this situation I can no longer so the wood for the trees and I'm getting to the point where I'm worried that choices I am making now will affect things in years to come.
Background is: when growing up, me and my brother were quite anxious children because my dad was very scary and bad-tempered and my mum was afraid of him. My mum was as thin as a rake and had a very nervous / jittery disposition - she still is like this now and it's always irritated me that she would never stick up for herself or me & my brother when growing up. For example, she wasn't allowed her own money, she wasn't allowed to go food shopping by herself, she had controlled access to my dad's cars and she wasn't really allowed to think for herself. My dad was always swilling beer cans, dropping litter in the house and was often nasty. I do have many many good childhood memories, but we were all scared of my dad on some level. My dad also has very funny ways with money, and believes he is very poor - he often displays signs of 'inverted snobbery'.
When I was 16 - I witnessed my dad swipe all of the inheritance that my granddad left. It was the final nail in the coffin with his relationship with his brother - meaning I was never to see my uncle or cousins again. My dad didn't care about that, he was chuffed with himself for getting all of my granddad's estate. He also openly joked to me how he's also swiped the two lots of £500 that was left to me and my brother - and at the time I was too young / deep-down scared to say anything. My mum says nothing, she buries any glimmer of morality she has and goes along with my dad's schemes.
When I was 21 - I was home from university (so yes it's not all bad - they did help me through uni...) and my dad was sat thinking to himself. He raised the topic of my 21st birthday. He said ''would you like to pick out a designer watch for yourself, say, up to the value of £300''. I was quite taken aback by this but said thank you and decided a few weeks later I would quite like a Gucci watch (this was the thing at the time) which happened to be £300. The day came to go and purchase my birthday present. My dad had a sudden attack of emotion (at the thought of parting with his beloved money) and when he saw the watch in the window he said 'I ain't forkin' out for that'. I was dismayed. It wasn't because I was particularly desperate for that watch - it was more disappointment that he cared more about 'cost' than any display of generosity on my 21st birthday. He then spent the next hour stomping around the shopping center hunting for a watch that was less expensive. I walked behind my parents feeling upset and my mum scuttled along next to my dad, looking worried but not saying anything to my dad about his behaviour. And to add to this experience, a few days later, when my mum was icing my birthday cake (so my brother tells me), my dad said 'haha, why don't you put ''no gucci'' on the cake'.
There are many stories like this. Some involving booze, others displaying a complete lack of integrity from my dad and flakeyness from my mum. They usually result in me bickering with my mum for being a wimp (so she essentially gets bullied twice..) - and my dad's behaviour always goes unchallenged, because we're all scared of him (when he gets angry it is terrifying). My brother tends to stay out of it... The one and only time I expressed disapproval of his behaviour he was being rude to my mum and I 'tutted' at him - he chased me out of the house and yelled 'you posh bitch'. I was at university at the time, so I wonder if this choice of words were related to that as he seems to dislike anything related to being upwardly mobile.. he loves money but loves to be a cheap-skate.
When I was 25 - this is where the latest saga begins, which has been going on for 8 years now (I'm now 33) and has now resulted in me not speaking to my parents for the last 2 months.... My mum was an only child and had always promised that when she gained her inheritance from her mother, she would see to it that me and my brother were set up with houses and given a substantial deposit. My mum used to bring this up all the time, right from when I was a teenager and would use the phrasing 'little or no mortgage'. There is nothing that unusual about this, lots of people get help with their mortgage deposits... When I think back though, she never said anything in front of my dad....
My grandma passed away in 2007, leaving behind a property in London and substantial savings - I think an estate of possibly £500k. So plenty to go around as my parents house was paid off years earlier. Straight away, my dad swept in and took control of things.
In the last 7 years, I have watched my dad go mad with all this money - when I say mad, it's like he can't relax or sleep at night because he has too much... he's uprooted my mum and has created a stressful, financially unproductive and lonely living situation for them. He made my mum leave her job because he suddenly had an urge to move to Spain - but it was all done in such a rush I could see that he wasn't really serious - he bought a new car for the 1-way journey, got his dogs chipped and bought ferry tickets. Six weeks later HE changed his mind (too hot in Spain) and they were back. My mum was a bit sheepish but she just goes along with it all. If he's have decided that it was great in Spain, then she would have had to go along with that too - even though she never had any desire to live abroad and was very upset about the whole thing.
As soon as they returned, out of no where, he set about looking for a new house / new life for them in Dorset (they lived in Milton Keynes). It was completely random and I felt that my dad was doing all of these knee-jerk antics because the money was burning a whole in his back pocket... they have now had this house in Dorset for over five years. My mum has often been tearful saying how lonely she is. My dad is also very unsettled there and drives back to Milton Keynes several times a month - for all sorts of reasons (getting his car serviced, going to the dentist, going out getting drunk...?!)... they spent most of their time on the motorway. They often talk of 'sticking it out another year'.. whilst this has been going on, they've also owned two different houses back where they live - which they spend half the time squatting in and the other half trying to rent out - but because my dad is controlling and can't stand people using his stuff, he keeps visiting the tenants (again, another excuse to drive to Milton Keynes on a sometimes weekly basis).. for a long time, I kept pointing out that they money they are making on owning a second property / renting it out, they are actually wasting by trying to live in the property (when it's vacant) and also all of the petrol! He is literally trying to live in two places at once. Both houses are scruffy and dirty. My dad is like an indoor tramp. I try to talk to my mum about their existence (being so unsettled, stressful) but she just blocks me out.
Other than this all being very frustrating to watch, I strongly believe that my dad has set up this new life for them as a way to siphon off all of the money (''I need two houses'') because he doesn't want to share it with his two children, which is what my mum had promised. Aside from the stupid way he has carried on, this is what he has done to me, during this same period:
When I was expecting my first child (in 2010), me and my partner (now husband) decided to purchase our first house. DH's parents approached us and offered to give us £25k, which was very nice. There was no fuss and they were very kind about it. No such offer came from my parents - they suddenly because very hands off about the hole thing. My dad was very wrapped up in all his 'money shuffling' at the time... In the end, I very nervously asked my mum if she'd be willing to contribute £5000 to help with our deposit. She said 'yes' in a nice voice, but then suddenly went quiet and said that i'd better ask my dad. Instead of discussing it with him herself, she scuttled off and left it to me to ask him. I didn't hear anything for a few days and was beginning to feel fretful. In the end I phoned up and my mum quickly handed the phone to my dad (my brother later told me that she ran and hid in another part of the house). I mumbled my request to my dad and I could tell he was absolutely furious at the idea of sharing. It is a very crazy reaction I know - most people would just say 'yes' or 'no' - but he gets very emotional over 'his' money... he was hissing down the phone at me asking when I would be paying it back and then practically hung up. My brother said that after the phone call, he got himself really drunk and yelled at my mum, making her shake and was saying 'she'll wipe us out Rosemary'. They then left me hanging for two months. Although I was terrified and stressed after the phone call, I was also increasingly angry with my mum as she just buried her head in the sand and whenever I spoke to her she wouldn't bring up the topic of the £5k and just whittled on about the weather. In the end, my dad decided to give me the money and presented me with a cheque. Of course, by this point, I didn't want it - after the way they had treated me - upsetting me when I was pregnant, to the point where I was too afraid to visit them and causing me all that embarrassment and worry. I had to swallow my pride and take the money because we'd declared the 'gift' on our mortgage application.
During the time of my pregnancy, my mum slipped me a pack of wet wipes (£1) and they way she went about it, she was almost like 'don't tell your father, wink''. Not to be ungrateful, but I thought it was pathetic. My friends gave me a baby shower and my other family members were very excited (and generous) but I felt like my mum had to damped her excitement because of my dad's philosophy that merriment 'costs money'. He's fixated with the 'cost' of everything, rather than the intrinsic value
This leads on to the next life event that they ruined...
Before having my first child, me and my then DP got engaged. When we went to visit them the next day, I heard my dad say 'i won't buy any alcohol'. Considering my dad likes a drink, I felt he was being a bit of a cheap skate (he likes buying drink for himself perhaps - not sharing it!). It upset me a bit as my DH's family bought champagne when we went to to see them a day or so later. They didn't send a card (perhaps my mum couldn't get sanction for this purchase from my dad?). We left it a year before seriously starting to plan the wedding as my DH was born...
When we did start to arrange our wedding day, we decided to go for a fairly traditional wedding. I know there's a lot to be said for weddings being a waste of money, but I shouldn't feel forced in to feeling like that... everyone is our social circle has similar kind of weddings to the one we were going for (barn conversion, sit down meal for 120 people, speeches, band, lovely dress etc etc), I've been to lots of weddings like this since...
This is how far I got with our wedding:
We booked a venue in Oxfordshire and a photographer
We sent 'save the dates' to our friends
I got beautiful hand made cards created for my bridesmaids as a way of asking them to take part in the wedding
I started going to bridal boutiques to try on dresses.
DH's parents were very excited and proud.
Every time I spoke about the wedding to my mum and dad, they would go all quiet, or change the subject, or make comments as though I had ideas above my station. This was all about a year after the saga with the house deposit, but I pressed on... My mum didn't offer any help at all of show an interest - I think my dad had told her to keep away from it all. I was getting increasingly irritated with her and disgusted with my dad. I text my mum to tell her I'd found my wedding dress and would be going to pick it up. No response.... So I had to take my MIL to pick it up... I tried to press on.. Two weeks later I took my M&D to my inlaws house so I could try on my dress for my mum. Her reaction was utterly bizarre. Instead of gushing and being all happy (maybe that's just how people act in films, I don't know), she was sort of quiet and off. She didn't say much. My MIL was v.miffed. Anyone would think she hated it - but I know she would have been under strict instructions not to get involved in this wedding malarkey - any excitement might result in him having to fork out... That was the last straw... I felt utterly heartbroken. It wasn't just because I'd had to pay for my own dress, it was their entire attitude. Two days later I cancelled the wedding and two weeks later me and my DH (and our 1 y/o DD) jetting off to Barbados and got married in secret. Of course for a few months afterwards I played the 'big weddings are a waste of money' card so as not to loose face - but the truth is, I was livid and humiliated... I'd upset and offended my MIL & FIL, let down my bridesmaids, DH missed out of his stag do... it was a shambled. And my parent's were so thick skinned about it.. .they weren't embarrassed in front of my inlaws and acted 'pleased for us'. We had a wedding reception in the pub (which my dad did pay for) but because I had to sort everything out and they were very hands off (and later my brother said that my dad 'hated' the fact that he had to pay for the reception - which was about a 10th of the cost of the original wedding that my DH would have had to fund!!) - and the most upsetting part was that after my DH made a lovely speech, my dad just stood there and said nothing. He hadn't bothered to prepare anything as he's been viewing houses again all morning (his house buying / moving addiction was still going strong!) -there was an awkward silence, broken by my FIL loudly raising a toast. I felt really disappointed. Also, because they'd been swanning around doing their own thing on the morning of the reception, my MIL had to get me ready - and my mum didn't care that she'd missed out on this either, as she was just following my dad around.. I didn't think she has a clue what's involved in a proper wedding (etiquette / special occasion-wise) - my dad likes her to not know too much about anything I think, as it could lead to 'cost'...
Five years later I am still seething that my mum made me buy my own wedding dress and didn't show any interest when I was planning my wedding - and I hate the fact that she can't grasp the social embarrassment us canning the wedding caused, especially with my inlaws, she just acts oblivious to it all... my dad hasn't given any of it a second thought I don't think.
A bit more recent stuff to follow… so sorry ….. xx
.... All of this has been whirring around my head for years as you can tell (thank you to anyone who is reading! x). It all came to head in the last 12 months, and now I'm not speaking to them which is shocking and awful. This year the following things have happened:
- last December, they sold their 'second' house in Milton Keynes (the one they were using as a sort of squat.. I told them I was glad and said we would visit them more at the sea-side (in Dorset) to save them doing all the driving... yet in the month of January alone, my dad 'popped back' to Milton Keynes seven times (all kinds of silly reasons, he'll even drive 3 hours to do a driving lesson in the town he no longer lives him - so he would barely break even on the travel costs?!).
over the last year, their visits have become more about gallivanting in Milton Keynes rather than anything to do with seeing me, my husband and their granddaughter. On one occasion, my mum even lied to me about their whereabouts.. I've noticed she's becoming more and more odd, snappy, and ''pro'' my dad. When my parents came to visit me, DH and DD one Sunday, my dad turned up steaming drunk.. my mum was a bit embarrassed but just sort of chatters nervously over it... my dad also turned up at my god-mother's house steaming drunk in the middle of the day too (so rude, turning up for a visit drunk?!)... again, my mum just pretends it's not happening - I doubt she even tells my dad he can't do that as it's bad form..
My mum said that they won't be doing that again (trying to live in two places at once!) and that if they ever move back they'd do it properly and sell up once and for all in Dorset (finally some sense...) yet, six months after selling his house, he went and bought another one - this time in the town that I live in! I couldn't believe it. I was expecting another baby at the time (he was born in June and is now 5 months old..!)... it would appear to outsiders that this was a lovely gesture, wanting to move near me to be near his granddaughter and soon-to-be-born grandson. However, during the several months that the move was going through, my parents avoided chatting to me about the house purchase at all costs, it was like they were embarrassed / cagey.. not once did my dad say anything about moving near grandchildren - he said he would 'stick a couple of mattresses down on the floor' / use it as a 'base' - basically somewhere to sleep when he went out with his friends in Milton Keynes (and my mum could tag along)... he also talked about renting it out at some point.. so basically another round of what they'd been doing for the last 3 years. I asked my mum why they sold their last house if they're going to carry on living this existence and she said ''well, I said, if you sell that house, she'll 'av another baby.. but he didn't listen and he said ''i don't care about that''...'.... so my dad's admitted he doesn't care about being near family, he sold a house that was supposedly bought to be near my DD originally when she was born, is planning to live an even worse lifestyle squatting in his own property... and he admitted to my DH that the reason he's buying in the areas that I live in his because he can no longer afford to buy in Milton Keynes as since selling his last 'spare house' there, the prices has crept up even more. In spite of his fixation with money, this didn't seem to bother him!!
I have had so many arguments with my mum about all of this - mainly along the lines of 'you were meant to share that money with me and my brother, but you've given it all to dad to fuck around with... he's making you live a stupid existence and wasting loads of cash... you've embarrassed me blah blah....'' - it's like banging my head against a way - I think my mum just can't process even basic facts about what was said and done, why it might be upsetting for me, or why living like indoor tramps is totally unnecessary for two reasonably wealthy people.
When I was in hospital having my son, my dad text me (they were in Milton Keynes at the time, as per) and said that they could visit, but he'll be going out running with his friends then out for one of their birthdays (a big part of his life is this running club and heavy drinking...). So he was telling me they could come to the hospital to see me / meet their new grandson, but my dad would be turning up muddy and drunk (believe me, he would have no qualms about this) - so I told him not to worry about coming. I felt this was disgraceful. If you are visiting your new grandson for the first time, you should be clean and smart and sober and visiting a new baby for the first time should be a special occasion - not something that is squeezed in around other activities. I was in hospital for a couple of extra days as I was quite poorly. My mum knew this but she didn't bother to offer any help, or call me, or call my husband - she was just following my dad around on his travels... I also am getting to the point where I think she doesn't like seeing me incase I quiz her about their antics and behaviour... I have pressed her about everything that happened around the time my son was born, again, she just buries her head in the sand... lately to the point where she's saying 'shut up, I don't want to hear it...''.
A couple of weeks later we moved house - again, my parents didn't offer any practical help - too wrapped up in their activities. My inlaws gave us £5k to help with moving fees (on top of £20k they had already given us a few years earlier), FIL helped with all of the loading / moving, MIL had me, DD and newborn DS to stay for a few days while the move went on... and then we settled in to our new house.
My parents during this period - didn't offer any practical help with the house move, my dad treated himself to another third car (along with houses, he is also addicted to buying and selling mediocre cars and needs to possess at least three at any given time..) - this time a Mini which cost him £5k (the same amount he'd gone ballistic about sharing with my for a mortgage deposit a few years ago?!) and also, I heard from my god-mother that my dad doesn't approve of our new house - basically because it's detached and he thinks we're poshos.. (even though he the wealthiest person in my family?!)... this really hurt me and DH.
After the move, they still pressed on with their house purchase around the corner from me and keeping it a secret... even MIL said it's like they don't know why they've bought it... my mum hadn't even seen the inside of it, my dad just bought it on a whim (!!).... In the end (about 2 months ago) i text my mum and said 'for god's sake's, what are you doing, don't buy that stupid house'.... I reminded her of all of the flawed reasons my dad had for buying it (not once mentioning grandchildren as a reason to be nearby) and I pointed out how ridiculous it was to once again, try to live in two places at once - this time with my dad being so tight fisted that he's going to make her sleep on a mattress on the floor (?) while he goes off drinking with his mates...
My mum didn't reply. She told my dad. My dad went in to a rage as he isn't used to having his behaviour challenged. In a sulk, he pulled out of the house purchase. My mum is openly telling people 'we've pulled out of the house purchase and it's all her fault''... I've re-iterated everything they've done to me in several emails back and forth with my mum (promised that were made to me before my grandma died, my dad's selfish and greedy behaviour, my wedding etc etc...). Now neither of them are speaking to me. My dad is apparently in a rage with me and my mum is going along with / siding with my dad. We haven't spoken for 2 months.
Apart from the gut-wrenching horror of having no parents, I think I have every reason to cut them off for good and I don't even feel that bad about it, they deserve it, both of them...... however, what I am terribly concerned about is how i will explain this to my children, when they ask about their grandparents (especially DD who is going to notice soon - esp with Christmas on the horizon!)..... will they hate me for being so hard-nosed and rejecting their grandparents from our family?? I feel nervous and edgy about it all. I think also the fear of my dad is so ingrained in me that I feel like I'm in trouble (well i am apparently!) - like, how dare I critisise him! I've given up on my mum now - there's no relationship there - everything I've pointed out to her about how my dad has behaved (right up to thinking it's fine to stroll in to a maternity unit steaming drunk!), she's just batted away... she's nothing to me now tbh. It's all very awful, all of it...
What do you think is best?? It just seems so very jarring to be estranged from one's parents.... I worry about it constantly and it's only been two months. I also need to seriously work on my bitterness re. all of this (esp the wedding dress saga, which I obsess about way too much...). Thank you....
Your dad sounds like an abusive dickhead and your mum an enabling scared little mouse. If it's as bad as you say, anyone who knows them irl will have observed this and know none of the things you are being blamed for is really your fault. People are probably nodding along in agreement but rolling their eyes the moment your parents backs are turned.
They have cut contact with you? Maybe you should just leave it at that. A blessing in disguise? If they try to make up with you, you should consider ignoring the attempt, especially if things have been worse in last few years. Do you have any happy memories of them from last five years?
You need to leave all the bitterness behind you and move on. Counselling would help. You didn't have the wedding you wanted, buying a house was more stressful than you'd anticipated, but you had a good education, got married to lovely dh, have a home, and dc's. And nice pil's you get along with. You have a lot going for you!
Your children won't miss what they've never had/don't remember having. And won't have the bad memories you do.
Your story makes me desperately sad, for your childhood growing up with an abusive father, for your poor mother who has been worn down after decades with an absolute shit of a husband and for the fallout of this man's actions now.
I'm no expert but I would say you are totally right to be NC with them, certainly you need to protect your children from him. You may need to explain that they have not been nice or kind to you so it's better that you don't see them.
Have you had any counselling regarding your upbringing? It would be something worth looking into
I would concentrate on your own family. You have a lovely MIL and FIL. Don't waste your energy. Re your Mother's inheritence, it was not yours to have. Let the bitterness and resentment go. Up to a point my own parents were tight and my inlaws generous. I seemed to recall that I hired my wedding dress myself too. My inlaws bought a pram when my DC were born but my DP just gave me £20 when each DC was born. I had hoped for a cot. My DP and I just agreed that our parents were different. They have both died in the past few years and their stingyness is still a funny memory. The gucci watch though was very cruel. It seems that your poor DM is married to a very domineering man and is from the era that won't leave her marriage. I wish you well in just living your life and surrounding yourself with people who love you. Don't waste another moment on them
thank you so much for your replies and support everyone in this thread. even having strangers just listen and provide some validation feels so helpful, especially as my own mum doesn't want to hear about how I feel any more. Thank you xx
and yes madmother1 - good idea to make stingyness a funny memory, laugh about it rather than dwell on it.. it is embarrassing when you get married and your new family can see what's going on. I do try not to make comparisons but it's hard not to x
That's at the heart of all this isn't it? Your in-laws are amazing and your own parents embarrassingly messed up with a whole bag full of issues. Comparisons are perfectly natural as is feeling sorry for yourself.
You can't change people o/p. You can only change the way you react to them.
That's a really sad story, flighty. Your dad sounds unbalanced and scary.
And I'd be livid about your mum promising the money, too, it was wrong to set up that expectation, when she was powerless (in her own mind) to see it through.
My guess is that your mum would love things to be different and feels she has let you down terribly, but is broken by your dad. I'd be worried about her in your shoes.
But try not to worry about your children. Lots of people don't know their grandparents. Two of mine died before/soon after I was born. One I only met a few times, one we saw regularly when we were small but she got Alzheimer's and visitors upset her. My own children are late teens and have only one surviving grandparent, who also has dementia and barely recognises them (though she is pleased to see them!).
And while it is wonderful to have a lovely granny/grandad it isn't lovely to have one who is unkind and mean and drunk.It is NOT nice for children to see their parents upset and bullied by their grandparents. Its's really upsetting.
I think you are grieving for what might have been (and what should have been), which is perfectly normal.
re your comment:-
"Apart from the gut-wrenching horror of having no parents, I think I have every reason to cut them off for good and I don't even feel that bad about it, they deserve it, both of them...... however, what I am terribly concerned about is how i will explain this to my children, when they ask about their grandparents (especially DD who is going to notice soon - esp with Christmas on the horizon!)..... will they hate me for being so hard-nosed and rejecting their grandparents from our family??"
A percentage of the general population is dysfunctional and/or abusive. That percentage, like everyone else, has children. Then those children grow and have children of their own. The not-so-loving grandparents expect to have a relationship with their grandchildren. The only problem is, they’re not good grandparents.
Your dad is abusive and your mother has acted as his enabler throughout. They were and remain not good parents to you and will do similar emotional harm to your children if they were to have any access at all to your children.
Your children will not hate you at all, you are protecting them from malign influences. 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.
If you have another set of grandparents in the picture then focus on them. It is rare that both sets of grandparents are nasty. Emphasize to your children how much we enjoy being around grandma and grandpa so-and-so (the decent and loving grandparents). Cultivate your children's relationship with the decent, loving grandparents. Teach your children to be grateful for the decent, loving grandparents. Gratitude is a highly effective antidote to loss. Focus them on what they have, not what they don't have. Model that attitude of gratitude.
I can understand your disappointment at your mother's indifference but marrying in secret because she didn't buy your wedding dress, just comes across as petulant, especially considering the support of your MIL.
You're posts seem to focus on the impact money has had on your parental relationship, would financial support/ generosity from your Parents really make up for all the EA shit?
I agree with all the earlier comments. I guess you feel ashamed of them because you think it's somehow a reflection on you? It's not about you. It's about them and their horrible dysfunctional relationship. It sounds like you have been waiting and hoping for them to step up to the plate, which they were/are never going to do. This is a reflection on them and not you. I have no contact with any family members. My children feel sad for me for having such a rubbish family. They know and have seen it. They say I am a great Mum and they are hurt for me about my own rubbish mother. You willl need some help to process all of this. I would look for a psychotherapist. Good that they've done you the favour of going no contact. It won't always hurt as much as it does now.
Firstly, your dad is abusive and will never, ever be a positive influence on your DC, so NC is the best thing you can do for them.
However, I think your financial expectations are too high. And it seems like your expectation of them giving you money is like a red rag to a bull with you dad, so why do you do it? When the offer of a deposit from your parents wasn't forthcoming, you should have left it there and paid for it yourself, I think you antagonised that situation a bit (given that you were well aware of your dad's issues).
You need to live within your own means as an adult. Not take money for house deposit, then the next year want more again for a big flash wedding (which you can't afford if the previous year you needed help with a deposit), and then more again for a deposit to move again.
If you do want some contact with them in future, take money, and all things related, COMPLETELY out of the equation. How they spend their money is their business, it's not yours, you need to get that out of your head and let your bitterness over that go.
thank you all why commented, I have / will reflect on your views thoroughly, it's greatly appreciated No it's not just about the money, it's the emotional stuff too (like thinking it's fine to come to a hospital drunk...)... it's not about 'the money' in itself, it's the incidents surrounding it and my dad's general possessiveness over it / watching him be so reckless with it all..
I am cross with my mum for making promises she was powerless to fulfill.
Yes it is true, perhaps I did have ideas above my station expecting a deposit and then the following year a big wedding... I didn't know how much my IL's were going to give to us as a gift and it made me feel embarrassed that they were so generous (again, it's not about the amount, it was that they were pleased to help...). I wasn't expect the extra bit when we bought our second house either - it was just more the irony of it compared with my dad's outburst...
I don't really care about 'money' or 'designer watches' or 'flash weddings' as we have everything we need materially - it's their overall attitude and outrageous behaviour that I object to and lack of respect when exciting things like birthdays, weddings or new babies come along (yes these things do entail putting your hand in your pocket a bit but that's life...!!)...
it's their overall attitude and outrageous behaviour that I object to and lack of respect when exciting things like birthdays, weddings or new babies come along (yes these things do entail putting your hand in your pocket a bit but that's life...!!)...
I know you probably think I'm picking on you with this point, but.
No, I don't agree. And this is where you need to adjust your expectations. Birthdays, fair enough. But weddings and babies (and multiple house purchases) no. Nobody has to put their hand in their pocket for these bar you and your DP. Some parents do, but certainly not all.
These are things you decided to do, and you should fund yourself. You shouldn't be doing them with the expectation that someone else will pick up the cost. Especially when for your whole life you've known that your dad is not that way inclined.
I get what you are saying flighty. You don't sound grabby to me. It's about having your expectations raised and dashed all the time. Its also about the emotional drain of constantly trying to give them their due as your parents.
thank you @AttilaTheMeerkat, that is very eloquent and sound advice. Be matter of fact and don't be hysterical. Cultivate love and gratitude. I will remember that.
I didn't have high expectations - my mum was always bringing up this idea that she would buy me and my brother houses (which tbh i always thought was a little far fetched, hence being so tentative about asking for £5k) and equally - my dad offered the expensive watch - he brought it up, i would never of dared - then he changed his mind and wasn't even apologetic about it.
As for the wedding thing - I probably was silly to try and plan a big family style bash, I don't see any one else around (in any cultural or class group) trying to ''play down'' their daughter's big day.... :/
I feel like they've cut me off because my dad is fuming at being critisised - as though I have a cheek to raise my list of grievances...
Your mother has been bullied for years. Your Dad is abusive. Is there any way you can have some low contact with your mother without your father's malign influence?
It is not your responsibility OP to rescue your mother who has failed to protect you from your father.
Its far too late to rescue her-she should have got you all out years ago and she couldn't manage it because she was too intimidated.
It isn't your responsibility but if it were possible to have some relationship with her without your Dad would that be worth thinking about?
Its very unlikely that she will stand up to him in any way at this stage.
"Apart from the gut-wrenching horror of having no parents"
OP it sounds like you haven't had 'parents' throughout your life. Your DH, DC and ILs are your family. They're able to prioritise you and are the ones who deserve your love and time. Do what you need to do to overcome and mourn the 'loss' of your parents and protect yourself from future harm
thank you both for bringing up this about my mum. The problem is, she doesn't get it. She's over 60 now and she still thinks it's acceptable that she's not allowed to go food shopping on her own because she went slightly over budget when they first married in 1980... ! She gets all confused and flakey and I end up bickering with her over what actually took place, so we never get to the part where she's apologising for this or that - I find her exasperating.
As I said, over the past year, she's become more and more 'pro' my dad, and seems to blank out his antics - wasting money, drinking heavily, illogical behaviour like driving three hours to go and get his car fixed or getting himself in a muddle buying and selling houses. She's even lying to me because she can't be bothered to listen to me quizzing her. She didn't apologise about the hospital / newborn incident, she just buries her head in the sand. It's got to the point where I'd say me and mum don't really like each other.
Yes my dad is emotionally abusive agressive. And no it's not always related solely to 'money'. One time we were on holiday in Greece and he attacked me with suncream squirted it all over my red dress over something silly (I was 12 at the time), then he got blind drunk and staggered off in to the darkness, then he blamed my mum because he got lost and shouted abuse at her all the way back to England (throughout the coach, plane and train ride home). My mum was terrified and tearful and me and my brother were very anxious. When he sobered up there was no apology. My mum didn't tell him off for behaving like that in front of me and my brother. It's an odd thing, but it was her I resented in that scenario (like all the others) - for being a weak woman. It's probably different for my brother (hence why he doesn't fall out with her like I do....).
and yes I am inclined to think that too poorincash - my IL's and my DH, DC's are my family now...
thank you everyone who has taken the trouble to comment xx
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