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It's a Christmas fucking miracle

(17 Posts)
Aramynta Mon 21-Dec-15 09:43:55

I went NC with my birth "mother" and her vile husband in August after they visited and basically destroyed whatever was left of our relationship.

It's a long story, around 25 years long, but part of it is that she left when I was 3, despite my Dad offering to pretty much pay her lifestyle for her so she could stay in the house with me and my DSiblings. Dad then had to travel 2-3 times a year over 300 miles to her so we could see her. She never came to us and barely rand to speak to us, either.

Christmases and birthdays came and went. I have had 6 birthday cards from her in my life. I know, because I kept them. Three of those are from the last three years and only because of my DC's. I have probably had around the same amount of Christmas cards/presents in 25 years, but never in the same year as a birthday card. Every year she would use the same excuse - lost in the post.

Bare in mind I am having counselling because of her shitty behaviour and because her fuck of a husband assaulted me while they stayed.

This Christmas I have received 3x presents for us, cards, money and separate presents for the Children. Two of them are tree decorations, which is significant because I told them WE as a family (Me, DH and kids) buy a pretty and "expensive" tree decoration every year - one also had our names on it, but mine was the name I no longer go by and haven't done for years.

So, as if by magic, or luck, or through some divine miracle, her and that fucking sleazy cunt she married remembered that, actually, I exist. It only took 25 years of completely mind fucking neglect.

I don't know why I am posting really. Perhaps just to sound it out. It just feels so fucked up. There is no doubt that she will play the victim when she doesn't hear anything from me and I will be the worst person.

Sounds like she's trying to extend an olive branch in the way of "stuff." I guess you're supposed to feel like it makes up for all the years of shit. Sorry you've been treated so badly. flowers

AmberFool Mon 21-Dec-15 09:58:19

I would send the presents back OP, don't keep them. Gives her a very clear message.

flowers

pocketsaviour Mon 21-Dec-15 10:05:09

I think I remember your previous thread - are she and her vile husband heavy drinkers?

Don't send the gifts back - they will latch onto this and any form of contact gives them the emotional feed they are looking for.

I would donate the money to charity (preferably one she hates!) and give the gifts to a charity shop. Shred or burn the cards.

The cash is, of course, guilt money. "I know my husband assaulted you but I can't be bothered to protect you and inconvenience myself so here's some cash. All forgiven now, right?"

AndTheBandPlayedOn Mon 21-Dec-15 12:28:45

Yeah, it may be a manipulation. It's not about you. She is making peace with herself about the past.

There may be a context on her end of being seen checking a box of sending gifts in a charade of "happy families". Or not, just guessing.

Dispose of properly as described by pocket.

There is no use in trying to think what she is, or will, think. Her thoughts and thinking processes are not your problem. It is good that you are well out of it-I hope that will make it easier for you to A) laught at this antic, B) dismiss it as easily as yesterday's junk mail, and C) not give it/her any more brain space. (Now that would be a Christmas Miracle fwink )

I can understand that it still stings. Give the little girl deep inside your soul a hug and the loving words she needs to hear a la John Bradshaw (books). Then hug your own dc and give them the words of love and validation too.

Aramynta Mon 21-Dec-15 13:08:33

pocketsaviour they are indeed the heavy drinkers. And you are right about guilt money equalling forgiveness in her mind. To be honest I just want her to respect the fact that our relationship is beyond repair and leave it at that. If anything, she could have sent an apology - but even that isn't going to undo what they both did.

AndTheBand Thank you for your kind words. It is a tick box exercise, too, so she can be seen by other family members to be making an effort to build bridges and I then look like the ungrateful brat hmm

But yes, I need to dismiss this and save my brain space for my own children, and give my inner little girl a huge hug. She certainly deserves it. Will also have a google of John Bradshaw. He sounds like he knows what he is talking about!

At the very least, the wrapping paper and card make excellent kindling for our new woodburner smile

Aramynta Tue 22-Dec-15 01:44:18

Feeling very bitter tonight. Anyone around?

Benzalkonium Tue 22-Dec-15 01:48:31

So sorry to read your experience. How is counselling going?

Aramynta Tue 22-Dec-15 01:55:02

Benzalkonium I honestly don't know. Sometimes I feel like it's going well, and other times, like coming up to Christmas it feels overwhelming. Like I can't make sense of it all.

Benzalkonium Tue 22-Dec-15 01:59:24

Christmas is hard for a lot of people, I think. There's this compulsory happy family bit, and goodwill and forgiveness. Sometimes it feels like its everywhere, you can't escape it, but you can't fit it either.

Has your counsellor talked about how to deal with unwanted thoughts at all?

AndTheBandPlayedOn Tue 22-Dec-15 02:01:45

I'm here-different time zone.

It is hard. Time helps some in a "distance" (elapsed time) fades it kind of way. But, even with counselling, the pain of it doesn't quite go away (in my albeit different experience)...it is just the way it is-crappy normal. fsad

Do you have some distractions planned for yourself?

Benzalkonium Tue 22-Dec-15 02:07:02

Gotta go to sleep now. Hope tomorrow is a bit better.

CheerfulYank Tue 22-Dec-15 02:34:59

Aso a different time zone here.

I think you ought to send it back. I'm sorry for what you've been through.

WizardOfToss Tue 22-Dec-15 03:04:41

Hello and flowers.

Sorry you're going through this. It must be so painful. I know a neglectful mother is so damaging.

Can you/are you working on mothering yourself and getting warm female support? I've got quite a few friends much older than me who are pretty marvellous and fill the gap to a certain extent. It's not the same but it does help.

AndTheBandPlayedOn Tue 22-Dec-15 04:39:16

I think also that ideal Christmas perfection is brainwashed into everyone from birth and that it is hard to change the definition of what a good Christmas can be.

If the Hallmark moments can't happen with your family of origin, then find a way to create your own- for your dh and dc or even just for you. It doesn't have to be extravagant. Last year I bought snowflake glasses for our Christmas table (found them at the dollar store: extra fgrin ). It may sound superficial, but the doing something for yourself is having some control and effect on your own happiness- or at least contentment.

Try making a list about what you do like about Christmas and enjoy/celebrate that. I like the music. I like the window displays and decorations in the shops. And cookies cookies cookies. Oh, and Christmas lights!

Gifts aren't on that list. Gifts can be hard. There are expectations and anticipations that are rarely fulfilled. Gifts can be very contentious/competitive and thus generate/sustain a dysfunctional dynamic of pressurized obligation. I could go on but you get the gist. We do gifts, but I try don't get overly emotionally invested.

I often think of Hercule Poirot's Christmas alone. Others were sad for him, but he said no, he would have a box of Belgium chocolates to himself and a good book...it would be a perfect day!

Have you read/posted any on the "Stately Homes" thread? It is a nice support group for survivors of dysfunctional families.

Inertia Tue 22-Dec-15 09:40:12

Can you just get rid of the whole lot - donate to charity perhaps? Do the rest of the family know what they did so you can explain why you don't want contact?

Personally I would be very tempted to say, if asked, that the parcelmust have got lost in the post.

BewitchedBotheredandBewildered Tue 22-Dec-15 10:42:11

That's a brilliant idea Inertia, perfect justice.

Nothing to add OP, but very sorry you've been through this.

I hope you can focus on your own children and enjoy Christmas.

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