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.
Cut off from parents (part 2)(30 Posts)
I posted on here a couple of weeks ago - thread 'Cut off from parents - feeling anxious / de-railed'
Thank you so much to everyone who commented for their generosity - I read through all of the comments very carefully.
A few days later I decided to take action against the 'main character' in my story - my emotional abusive, intimidating and unruly father. If it wasn't for the people on mumsnet spurring me on, I never would have considered it.
So I wrote him a four page letter outlining his bad behaviour towards me and other family members. I was the first person in decades (perhaps ever?) to confront him as for so long he has just done what suits him - even if it hurts or disappoints others. Unfortunately, he did not like it one bit.
First of all, he reacted with a sweary, abusive, undignified email - threatening to kill himself and say I had ruined his life - very over the topic and crazy. He didn't answer any of the points I raised and starting ranting about my husband's income being more than his (my dad is retired and just does fill in work, my husband is in his 30's, is mid-career and has a mortgage to pay?!). The most shocking part was that he cc'd the email to my husband and both my MIL and FIL (who are very respectable / conservative people). Me and my mum were both mortified. No one responded.
THEN... to follow up (as I predicted in my original post), a couple of days later I received this email (this was last week):
Our Estate at the moment comes to £640,000...
Just to let you know that you half is going to be left to charity..That £320000 you thicko
Would you like it left to
a) Roman Catholic Church
b) Jehovah Witness
c) Church of England
d) Fat bastards wot can't run Society
You had better pray to God me and Mum die before we change our will. O Sorry you don't believe it God do you you Atheist Cow.
Love Dad xx
He didn't CC anyone this time funnily enough. I showed this email to a few relatives and close friends - some of them almost chuckled, they couldn't believe it was real. Unlike my dad, it's not missing out on 'the money' that bothers me, it's the cruel and spiteful language. My husband forwarded it to my mum (as once again he is effectively making financial decisions without her!) but he had confiscated her phone and replied 'f**k off' to my husband from her email account!
My mum (and brother) are stuck down south in their house with him - he's been pacing around ranting and raving - I think he is livid that someone has critisised his actions so he's responding with aggression and with threats about his favourite thing in life - money.
I was chatting to a family member about the whole thing and the topic of my grandad's will (this is on my dad's side, who passed away when I was 16). He told me that he knew I'd been left some money and I said my dad had swiped it and even joked to me about it at the time like the bully that he is. This got me thinking. I went online and ordered a copy of my Grandad's Will from the UK Gov't website. Turns out - shockingly - that me and my brother were supposed to receive 25% each of our Grandad's estate on our 18th birthday - my dad was only supposed to have 50% ! I was disgusted. It's theft.
Please can I ask the kind and bright people on here for the following advice:
- i do want to patch things up with my mum (his 'faciliator' over the years) but it's impossible to see her as she can't do much or go anywhere without my dad. What can I do to keep her around long term? It seems like the only solution is for her to leave my dad - but that decision has to come from her now.
- I've contacted Citizen's Advice about my dad interception mine and my brother's inheritence (from my Grandad, when I was 16). Does anyone know about this type of thing? I don't know the name of the Solicitor that my dad / grandad used at the time.
- I want to know how my dad would have managed to take the money? Surely the Solicitor at the time would have had to safeguard mine and my brother's gifts until we were 18. How did my dad manage to take away the money from us?
- My mum's name was also on my Grandad's Will as a co-executor. I've confronted her about this already and sent her the documents but, her being her, she's said she left it all to my dad. I think she may be on the verge of a breakdown as she's had to deal with my dad firing off two very destructive emails in the past couple of weeks, I don't think she has the mental capacity to deal with this.
- I know my dad (and probably my mum) will say 'you've had the money in other ways'. To my mind, this is very wrong. It's the equivalent of me taking money from my 5 y/o DD's birthday cards and justifying by saying that we pay for her food and lodgings. I also think that if we had been given the money my dad would have got jealous and spiteful and managed to channel it back his way anyway e.g. by putting my rent up. He's very greedy and doesn't like to see others doing well.
Compared with the value of my dad's (parents!) estate (which I'm sure he enjoyed telling me about!), the money that I think my Grandad left to us would have been maybe £1500, could be more, who knows? I'm not doing this to get hold of the money.. I'm pursing this to teach him a lesson. I'm not scared of him any more.
And, to anyone who thought I came across as 'entitled' in my OP - I actually feel liberated by what's happened. Although his behaviour is very cruel and shocking, I feel so much stronger already. My brother is taking the moral high ground too as said he wants to be disinherited too - just to make a point that we don't need his stinking money.
Thank you mumsnet posters for your help so far. I can't believe everything that's happened since my OP. Thanks in advance for practical advice with this too... x
It really depends on what you hope to achieve I suppose. Your dad isn't going to change, nothing you do will achieve that.
If you proceed with trying to get back your inheritance, you might succeed, making yourself feel better, but he won't change.
If you don't go ahead, you might regret it, and he still won't have changed.
I don't think you come across as entitled at all, but do worry that secretly you're hoping that you can 'fix' things, that maybe by showing him a lesson he'll see the error of his ways. He won't.
Whatever you decide to do, just make sure it's what feels right for you, and that you're doing it for you not to try to change your family.
I'm glad your brother is supporting you, that makes all the difference.
I think you have done the right thing bringing this to a head and confronting the person at the centre of it. Its brought about a change in your brother already. Everyone has been tip-toeing about your Dad for too long. I hope someone with some legal knowledge will be along to comment. Well done!
Writing such a letter simply added petrol to the flames that were already there; it gave your dad more than enough ammo to fight you and that is precisely what he has done with your letter. His response to you is precisely what such a toxic and disordered parent would write to what is seen as their "errant" offspring. Not surprised by a single word of it, its very typical of such toxic parents to go on the attack in such circumstances.
I would not bother at all patching things up with your mother; she acts in her own self interest and has her H to consider. She has and continues to choose him over you her children for reasons of self interest. Unless she herself decides to act to leave her H (which won't ever happen) there is precisely nothing you can do to change that. She gets what she wants out of this; that is also why she is in this relationship in the first place.
I would also speak to a Solicitor rather than CAB about the legal side of things as well. CAB will likely tell you to contact such a person in any event.
You cannot change them but you have done one positive thing here and that is to have changed yourself how you react to them. Going forward you need to maintain and further strengthen your boundaries; I think that in the end going no contact with your parents will perhaps be the option that you will likely choose.
Free yourself by cutting yourself free of these people.
How much are your legal fees going to be though? I know it's not about the money but catlady is right, he will never change. Ever.
I'm not a lawyer so have no idea of the legalities but fraud comes to mind. I'd be interested to get him prosecuted for fraud if so.
That second email is beyond vile. It takes a lot to shock me but I am shocked by it ( you may be used to rantings like this though?). Perhaps he sent it when he was pissed - that's the only way I can see how the vicious ravings of a lunatic to his own daughter could have not only been written but sent.
Great your bro is onside - it's certainly not a given in situations like this. It'll be interesting to see what side of the line your mum ends up on - no way of knowing, impossible to gauge. If she is addicted to him, as I asserted on your last thread, then, no, she won't give him up easily, or at all. You may lose them both
I can add nothing that posters before me haven't already said, but just wanted to ask how you are feeling in all this?
I know springy is shocked, I'm not per se. Stunned I suppose at the venom, but people like your father (and enabler mother) will do nothing to maintain the status quo.
I know this stuff hurts like nothing else, can you try and get some therapy to talk this through? It really helped me.
Thanks for your input.
Thanks springydaffs - I remember you gave me some lovely sound advice when I OP'd a couple of weeks ago
Yes I think my dad was drunk when he sent me his ranty first email (where he cc'd my inlaws as an act of sabotage!) and also drunk with the second, vile email above. It is very cruel and hateful language and such a sad thing that he can turn on his daughter like this, but this thing is, my dad has always been a bully and always had this rage bubbling beneath the surface (hence it taking decades for anyone to challenge him!).
It doesn't surprise me that he has gone in to such nasty rage, but it is very hurtful and sad.
It doesn't surprise me that he's gone on to topic on 'inheritance' so quickly too - as everything he does revolves around money...!
Even when I've seen documentaries on TV where someone's child has committed a terrible crime and they're in prison, the parent will still say 'they're still my child'. My dad is displaying so much hate because I wrote him a letter asking him to think about his ongoing behaviour (pinching money off his family, controlling my mum, heavy drinking etc...). Only he would be the sort of person that would hope for someone to die quickly so he could jump in and take their cash. I don't really care and I don' live my life like that... having a sudden windfall just creates problems (as I have seen!).
Springydaffs - I know, I'm a little worried about the legal costs too. I don't have lots of money lying around and I'm on maternity leave, have two young children etc. I'm weighing up 'the principle of it' VS the cost / time / stress of carrying out legal action.
Attila - my parents last visited up at the end of September (normally in the past we've seen each other quite frequently). Although my dad controls access to his cars and all their money, I am inclined to think that my mum could have tried a bit harder to come and visit me for the day - if she is supposedly that desperate to see my two children. I guess that's typical of the sort of indecision of someone in an abusive relationship. She's probably putting off asking him if she can travel to see me....
Thank you for asking me that.
When I take away the outrage, step away from all of the showing people 'look at this email... OMG.. '' etc, or put aside the latest inheritance drama, and also when I strip away the image of him being drunk and in a mad rage... when I step away from all of that, I feel really sad and lost to be quite honest. It hurts my heart. But, as in my OP, I'm used to being let down by my Dad, and in turn, my mum.
A few weeks ago I was having my review meeting at work and my boss, like many people before him said 'you need to be more assertive' and 'sometimes it's like you're apolgising for being alive'. I think that's what living with a father figure who you're entire household are petrified of does. I also think watching my mum for years having to hand over her wages, ask for permission if she needed to buy something or go somewhere in the car... it much have had an impact on me deep down. I do sometimes have a bit of 'flakeyness' in me... I'm hoping that writing that letter to my dad, and at least getting hold of one of the Will documents he was put in charge of is the start of me taking some bold action.
My mum though... i think I need to step away from that one and leave her too it. She phoned my MIL in tears apologising but the next day (according to my brother) she was out on a day trip with my dad (the same day he sent me that awful email above!). Crazy! I've told her all about Section 76 and Cohesive Control. The ball is in her court now...
Yeah, my mum does this. One minute howling like the world has ended, the next... la la. Her usual place, la la.
The way I see it you are shifting things. Things have always been the same way - in his iron, capricious grip - and you're shaking things up. That in, and of, itself is a good thing. It's shifting things for YOU, shaking everything up, loosening the ties that bind. If that's what you get out of this then that's good enough imo - anything else would be a bonus.
Abusers abuse, but allow you no space to be hurt, because if they acknowledge that, or if they perceived their actions to be anything less than deserved in their eyes it would make them awful people and thy am can't have that.
Your mother called your mil to apologise. Did she call you too? Was she mortified that you were treats like this?
I personally think writing the letter was a worthwhile exercise for you. Sending it? Perhaps less so, but it's a huge step forward for you to actually stand up and say something. So in that respect I think it was a good idea.
It won't change anything, but it's good for your personal development to have done this, and that's the only person in all this that matters a jot.
If I were you, I'd take your dad at his word and go nc. Enough. He's blown it and let him do what he wants.
To be honest, I am thinking that on the even if his death, if he were to leave his money to a charity out of spite, given recent legal rulings, I think you might be able to overturn it, now he's provided you with proof of his deliberate actions to deprive you of what he sees as your half.
I'm no contact with my mum through my choice because she's a nasty bit of work. Ive never written to her telling her ŵhy because I know she would erupt like your dad has done. It's all part of the fear and guilt routine.
I get some awful letters from my mum sometimes and I just ignore them.
My dad died a while ago but Was divorced from her anyway. In your case I think your mum will ways side it's your dad, probably through fear. Her only alternative is to stand up to him and she knows how he will react. So you need to be prepared that she may well choose him over you.
I don't know about the legalities of your grandfathers will. I can see why you'd want to persue it to teach him a lesson. Very tempting. But it's likely to cost you money i fees? I guess you could get a free 30 mins with a solicitor but remember they want your business so may not be very impartial in saying whether you have a case or not. It's a shame you can't remember which solicitor your grandad used......were there any other executors apart from your parents? Id be tempted to go to the police to see if you can have him charged with theft but I bet they'd want to see all sorts of legal evidence before they'd do anything. Might be worth enquiring with them though?
thank you - I'll have a look at the article shortly!
yes it was def a worthwhile exercise and has helped hugely with my personal development
His reaction was totally over the top - of course, like the bully and tyrant he is, he didn't reflect on what I said, but went on the rampage. This rage he had (to be able to write that note) was always bubbling beneath the surface - we just all tityoed around him for years.
And that is a good point about my mum. She apologised to MIL for the social embarrassment of cc'ing her in to my dad's nasty note. But she did'n't show me much concern for the hurt / cruel language. I think she still thinks it's better to go along with things when it comes to my dad.
Yea it's looking like NC. Don't really care - feel better already...
I am tempted to pursue it.. i think even my mum doesn't really 'get' what the problem is, as she's never been allowed her own money. It was just her and my dad as Executors. She must have known...
Not only will she have known she will have had to help him do it. And that was a choice she made, same as staying with him now is a choice.
At the moment you are giving the hornets' nest a good old stir - not surprising since you've been stung so many times before. you may be happier though if you move from challenging and fighting them to detatching. Block their communications, give them less headspace and get on with your life. Your mum knows where to find you if she wants to.
I think it was a worthwhile exercise. You have shown your Dad up even more clearly for what he is.
I agree with the others now, that it would be easier for you to completely detach from him.
Regarding your Mum-if she sides with him that is her choice. If she approaches you on her own you could decide how to respond at the time but make clear that any discussion about your Dad or any contact with him is completely off the cards.
PS not sure that she will have actively helped him but suspect that she will have signed whatever he told her to sign and unquestioningly followed his instructions-which in itself isn't good.
Your Dad sounds awful, however you are far too invested in what is their money to do with what they wish.
Its probably best that you do step away but I would have a good think about how money seems to underpin your relationship with your family
....but it isn't their money, some of it was effectively stolen from OP and her brother. Her Father controls everyone through money so it has become a symbol of control in this family.
Yes, sorry, when I said your mum will have helped take your money I really meant what Random has described above. As an Executor she will have had to sign.
Random that amount seems to be £500.
The Father is clearly money obsessed and unpleasant but the OP's focus on money is very pointed.
By all means walk away but stop obsessing about money that is not yours
Well a lot of the stories about my dad do centre around 'money' - but that's not because I'm fixated on the money in itself, it's more that scenarios that happen to involve money bring out the very worst in him. But there is plenty of other stuff I rambled on about in my OP to do with his alcohol abuse and controlling behaviour of my mum. I don't even care that he disinherited me - I had a feeling he'd be straight on this as soon as I challenged his behaviour.
My dad obviously has accumulated a very large pot of savings, which has sent him in to a reckless frenzy over the last few years - and he's become even more self focussed, slovenly and spiteful (rather than enjoying a settled and dignified retirement). Most of this money comes from my mum's mum - and she had said (only verbally) that the money was to be shared with me and my brother, but my dad took it all for himself.
Going back further in time (when I was 16), my Grandad left money to me and my brother (25% each) but my dad took it somehow. There must have been a point in time where both my parents decided not to tell us and pocket the cash. I have an issue with the lack of integrity and selfishness - not because I missed out on 'the money'. My dad's attitude is to hover around and wait for people to die (as he's suggested I might do!), but I'm not like that. I like to think I'm quite a well-rounded person as it goes - I've been to uni, been backpacking around the world, have a nice set of friends, I'm not really in to designer handbags and stuff... I would be happy for at least some of it to go to charity anyway as it happens...
Yes you're right barbarian and randon - NC. My mum can approach me in her own time. Def keeping father well away from my DCs, DH and my inlaws for that matter! My dad's an aggressive, scary alcoholic at the end of the day and I'm just as nervous of him as everyone else. Yes agree - need to stop giving it all so much headspace... I'm sure I'll hear if and when things erupt again...
Well if I'm relaying various nasty things that he's done to me and other family members - because of the way he's wired, I'm afraid the 'M' word is going to come up. Sorry about that.
Wow, you sound like you are in a good place, considering.
I would indeed go NC, you will be sure to get hassled over the GCs, Xmas etc.
The best thing would be to get your brother on board. & let them proverbially, stew in their own juice. Sorry about heaping them together in the same basket but your Mum is sadly an accomplice.
Detach, move on, & love the people who love you !
It's irrelevant the value though, merry, surely? If you discovered someone had stolen - not just "forgotten to give you" but actually deliberately stolen something of yours, would you say "Oh it was only £1500 so never mind"?
Fuck that, I'd be after the thieving bastard if it was £5.
OP I think you've been very brave. Give yourself time and space to have a bit of a wobble too, because as you've acknowledged this behaviour from your dad and mum is not just outrageous and rude and abusive, but also very hurtful. I'm very glad that everyone else in your life is being supportive.
Does anyone know, if you op could go to the police? It's theft here.
Op- I'm.sorry you are going through this but it's only confirmed what you already knew about your dad. Better now than waste years ahead of you under sufference. Just out of interest, have your in-laws said anything?!
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.