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Mother figure ignores me...

(21 Posts)
Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 14:41:37

As the title says. I never grew up with my birth mother instead I was brought up for the majority of my life by an extended family member lets call her my aunt. She has 4 children of her own but has two favourites out of the 4, I've always fluttered around in the background. Anyway to cut a long story short, I'm an adult now live with dh and dc. She never initiates contact with we but seems quite happy to be contacted, she never visits or takes any interest in dc. I've never broached the subject with her but she sometimes says my house is too far for her ( I live about an hour away by public transport) her other son who she visits every week lives 2 hours away by public transport she collects his son from school one day during the week.
If asked she has babysat a few times but often makes excuses at first then comes back the next day with an answer. For this reason I never ask. (Dh does, if he wants to go out as a couple) she refers to herself as a mum and grandma to us but I don't feel lives up to the role. For the past 2 months l have limited contact as Ive started to realise it was only me who made contact or visited. She hasn't called but after 3 weeks text to say she notices I'm ignoring her, responded saying I'm not ignoring you- I haven't seen any missed called. To which she replied am I ok and say hello to dc. Since then nothing.
I know eventually I have to speak to her about my concerns but I feel really hurt that she hasn't used this opportunity to initiate some kind of contact, other than two texts.

Am I being over sensitive due to the abandonment issues I suffer from early childhood? Am I expecting too much from a woman who has no obligations to me? Should I continue NC ?where do I go from here?
I noticed she treats her grandchildren different from my dc and I don't want my dc growing up feeling how I felt.... Shunned and constantly vying for someone's affection.
Advice please

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 15-Nov-15 15:03:30

No you are not being at all over sensitive.

If you have not done so I would consider talking to a therapist about this matter too. You need to find someone though who has NO bias about keeping families together.

This woman was not a good parent figure to you and is basically a crap example of a grandparent figure to your children.

I would maintain the no contact and ignore any attempts from her to make contact too. She is also treating your children very differently from her other grandchildren; this is yet another good reason not to maintain or broach contact now.

As for speaking to her in the future about your concerns I would not waste my breath on her. She does not want to know. It is NOT repeat NOT your fault she is the ways she is.

I also think a lot of adults in your life have let you down and abjectly so.

Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 15:37:21

Thank you Attila. I think I'm so used to being treated indifferently that I just get on with it- but when it comes to my dc I will not have her treated such a way by anyone.

Twinklestein Sun 15-Nov-15 18:32:22

It's difficult and I understand that it must be painful but I guess ultimately
you're not one of her birth children. She obviously loves you but her other children come first, maybe unconsciously. You're her niece not her daughter. It was big of her to take you in, perhaps it's asking too much to expect her to see you as one of her own. She's just a normal flawed human being.

I would focus on feeling grateful that she took you in but not expecting too much from her now.

springydaffs Sun 15-Nov-15 19:40:58

I can't agree with twinklestein. If you're going to do a job, do it properly.

I'm so sorry op. It's easy to say it's not you - TRUE OF COURSE - but a mighty hard job to get over rejection and, well, plain neglect and indifference.

Ime of similar it just eats away at you, sooo painful flowers


Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 19:47:28

Yes I'm looking into couselling... Well relationship counselling at the moment as I think these feelings of neglect/ abandonment have spilled over into my relationships, but perhaps I need individual counselling also.

Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 19:50:17

Twinkle, I sometimes think that way which is why I've accepted this treatment for so long, but It hurts imaging my dc vying for affection from someone who doesn't care like I've done for 23 years.

springydaffs Sun 15-Nov-15 20:14:35


Twinklestein Sun 15-Nov-15 20:17:48

She didn't take on the job as mother though, she took on the job of an aunt or family member who took in someone else's child.

In an ideal world she would have taken on the role of ideal mother too, but the reality is, she did not.

Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 20:20:34

To add... Dd doesn't have genuine affection towards her like she does mil, I think it's partly because she doesn't see her often and when she does she doesn't take an active interest in her. Which I why when she babysits we make sure we put dd to bed first. If I'm at her house and I need to get something from the car dd refuses to stay and will cry or follow me- i felt like I was forcing my dd to like her, eg calling her to let dd speak to her and it became uncomfortable to me as wasn't a natural relationship but a forced one. If it wasn't for dd I could carry on the relationship as it is/ has been, but I feel quite strongly about dd not growing up with the same experiences I did. Which is why I'm trying to change/ end any unhealthy relationships in my life.
I wanted other perspectives on if I'm being to sensitive after all she didn't give birth to me so doesn't necessarily have any obligations towards me ( not that the person who did has any either)

Twinklestein Sun 15-Nov-15 20:33:18

It sounds like dd has one good granny in her life. She doesn't really need more than that, although there are a number of older people who would like to be adopted as a granny if you wanted another one.

I would accept that you find this all justly painful. I'd keep in touch with her but let communication find its own level, stop trying to fit her into mother/granny mould, which she's obviously not willing or able to do.

It's a shame she can't go the whole hog in the mother role, but it was good of her to bring you up and I would honour her for that without expecting anything from her now.

Workinprogress2015 Sun 15-Nov-15 20:37:53

Twinkle,Thank you.

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Sun 15-Nov-15 21:11:21

Unfortunately our family don't always act the way we wish they would - it's probably more hurtful for you because you are aware that she treats her birth children differently.

In honesty though, it sounds like you have a very similar relationship with her to how I am with my mother. Yes sometimes I wish that she was more like the ideal mother but I'd rather have the relationship we do have than nothing at all.

What has helped me though is realising that the distance between us reflects her problems, not faults in me.

springydaffs Mon 16-Nov-15 03:19:59

I know a woman who is doing this, has taken in a kid (6) and it is blatantly obvious she has no intention of loving her, just doing the obvious. It is agony to watch, I feel like reporting it - but what can you do??

I simply can't agree it was 'good' of her. It was horrible of her to give just the basic care without engaging her heart.

Absolutely agree it's her stuff. Still not great for you, though.

RueDesTroisFreres Mon 16-Nov-15 07:45:22

I agree with springy.

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Mon 16-Nov-15 08:04:43

I also agree with springdaffs.

And the woman did take on the mother role:

she refers to herself as a mum and grandma to us but I don't feel lives up to the role. (from OP).

So she's perfectly happy to get the credit, but not do the "work" - like so many Disney dads and narc parents with which this board is all too familiar!

If you take on a job, you do it properly. I don't think OP need be grateful for anything, frankly.

Workinprogress2015 Mon 16-Nov-15 10:44:58

To give a little more info (without outing myself) she took me from another country when I was primary school age with the intention of giving me a 'better life' Which to an extent was true, this country offered me a lot of better opportunities but I believe I took those opportunities she wasn't supportive at all. When I decided I wanted to go to university I asked her if I could put her name on the means tested form for the student loan ( not sure how it works now but at the time you needed a parent or guardian to sign. She refused because she wasn't sure what implications it would have on her, I had to work part time and pay for my course and pay her 'rent' which became near impossible and I had to drop out of university after a year. We had a good relationship until my birth mother started making contact when i was a teenager, she resented the fact that when my bm didn't want to know me she took on the responsibility and now all of a sudden bm wants to take man interest, that was when she started making life hard for me an my teenage years at home was awful. I remember when I was around 17/18 and there was a house party and all my friends were going, they were all staying at one girl's house but I wasn't allowed she wanted me home. We all got a cab and dropped me off first, I had my own key but she left her key in the door so my key wouldn't be able to open the door, I pressed the bell and knocked for about an hour until I fell asleep on the doorstep ( it was winter) she opened the door around 3 hours later and I went straight to my room under the covets because I was so cold. Her room was close to the door so I'm sure she heard and the fact she left her key in the door shows she was being malicious.

A few days later I was sleeping it was around 3 in the morning and she starting banging on my bedroom door like crazy person, I asked what's wrong and she said that's what it felt like the other night when I was banging down the door. I was so angry I put my coat on and left, to go where I don't know but I was fed up with all her games and being evil to me for no reason, she followed me and begged me to come back, after walking half a mile in my pyjamas I went back.

It's only from reading the stately homes thread that I realised that I was emotionally abused throughout my teenage years. She always spoke bad about me to her friends on the phone, but now gladly takes credit for my accomplishments because from the outside it looks like she saved me. When in reality her taking me on was more about her than it was about giving me a better life, she wanted to show people how good of. Person she is to do that.

Twinklestein Mon 16-Nov-15 11:23:19

If she was actively emotionally abusive then you don't owe her anything at all.

springydaffs Mon 16-Nov-15 15:46:07

Fucking evil bitch!

God, op, get into therapy. Just you. You have enough to be getting on with what this psycho did to you. She sounds like a narc.

(Not projecting, had nothing like this myself, nowhere close. Just VERY ANGRY on your behalf)

PreemptiveSalvageEngineer Mon 16-Nov-15 16:30:19

The door banging was just plain evil. And I'd bet the mortgage there were loads more examples, smaller and less easy to define/describe.

Man, this fred has been triggering. I think I'm going to head over to the Stately Homes Fred. >sadface<

OneFlewOverTheDodosNest Mon 16-Nov-15 23:09:19

I take back everything in my previous post advising caution - this woman sounds truly vile. I'm so sorry you were treated so badly OP, you don't owe this woman the time of day.

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