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Should I introduce my DCs to my longstanding NC mother?

(34 Posts)
freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 09:54:12

Would very much appreciate some MN wisdom in this parenting question.

I am soon to return to my home country after being gone 10 years. I have been completely NC with my mother since I left, and had gone NC about 2 years beforehand, with very little in the decade prior. Basically I'm 42 and haven't had anything to do with her by choice since I was 21, and the few times I have been forced to deal with her have been purely administrative (obtaining docs for visas, dealing with family members' illnesses or funerals, her wanting to borrow money/have me go guarantor for her on a house rental (I declined), that sort of thing).

The reason I went NC is that she was an enabler to significant abuse of my brothers and me, abandoned all of us at some point, and into our adulthood was parasitic and manipulative. Only one of my 4 remaining siblings keeps in touch with her. She does, however, come across to outsiders as perfectly nice, if eccentric and slightly odd.

She is now well into her 70s and living in residential care. She may have had a stroke, but this is not confirmed. Now I'm going back with my DH and two young children. My 4 yo DD asks regularly about "mummy's mummy". I have explained things by saying she is not very well and can't really understand things, but DD really wants to meet her. DH himself is curious to put a "form to the demon" so to speak. My stomach rolls in revulsion and also fear at the thought of seeing her - she has done so much damage to her children that I naturally want her nowhere near mine. WWYD? I don't think that she has any power to harm them anymore, but need to know whether any good could come of it. DH thinks I should have regrets for things I've done rather than not, but I'm just not sure.

All help/comments appreciated.

FantasticButtocks Fri 05-Feb-16 09:56:49

She was not good enough for you. She will not be good enough for your DCs either, so NO, don't bring her into their lives, who would benefit from this?

CocoChanel22 Fri 05-Feb-16 09:59:12

I completely agree with what the above poster said!

FantasticButtocks Fri 05-Feb-16 09:59:34

Your instinct not to let her near your dc's is perfectly good and valid. your stomach is telling you the answer to your question.

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 10:00:39

Very succinctly put buttocks. They're curious, naturally. And she is the only grandparent left, as both DH's (lovely) parents passed before I met him and my father died 25ish years ago. I myself am trying to figure out what good would come of it, but feel blinded by anger/fear.

OnceAMeerNotAlwaysAMeer Fri 05-Feb-16 10:05:01

I don't think -you're- ready for this.

In a way it would be nice for your children and husband to meet her ... once ... even if it's only to put a face to the demon.

But you describe her as 'parasitic and manipulative' and while people occasionally change, manipulation works for the manipulator and very few give it up.

If you really wanted to you could ask your Low Contact sibling if she's changed.

But saying it again, I don't think you're ready to see her again.

BlondeOnATreadmill Fri 05-Feb-16 10:08:09

Don't do it.

The reason I went NC is that she was an enabler to significant abuse of my brothers and me, abandoned all of us at some point, and into our adulthood was parasitic and manipulative

Why the hell would you expose your DC to an abuser?

I think you'd be utterly bonkers.

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 10:09:00

Thank you meer. You are right, I'm not ready. But if it's the right thing to do I'd do it anyway, as time may well be limited.

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 10:13:00

Blonde she was criminally neglectful to us as children and allowed others to abuse; my children would never be in any danger from her as she would never have care of them or even be alone with them.

MoominPie22 Fri 05-Feb-16 10:15:49

I also agree with posters above...surely the only reason you´re considering this is because your OH and daughter are curious? But imo, this is insufficient reason to renew contact with someone who´s done you and your siblings permanant damage.

She deserves no compassion or consideration just because she´s getting old and frail and it all happened a long time ago.

Do you think Jimmy Saville´s victims would have took pity on him had he been around to stand trial and go to prison a frail old man? Do you think all the poor kids that were tortured and abused by Catholic nuns and priests would look compassionately on the pensioners they are now, for ruining their lives? And what about survivers of the Holocaust and people who were held in concentration camps and suffered more than anyone can know?

When we see these people who are responsible for heinous crimes from many years ago ( i.e Nazi war criminals ) and they are so infirm and look like they wouldn´t harm a fly and have no strength in them any longer, do we acquire ammnesia due to time fading our memories? Cos they look so pitiful don´t they?

Well that elderly, frail looking person may not have the physical strength now, but they sure as hell are just as wicked, twisted and inherently BAD as they were when they were actively abusing innocent kids/people and gaining pleasure from it!

Your mother needs to be held to account for what she personally did or sat back and allowed to happen to you. She deserves no sympathy or compassion.

Keeptrudging Fri 05-Feb-16 10:24:01

No, she doesn't deserve the chance to meet them. You have done well to free yourself from her, it will open old wounds to see your children with her. When they are older, you can explain to them why, and they will understand. My father was abusive, and I would never have let my children be anywhere near him, he was a poisonous man. Be proud of yourself that your children will never have to go through what you had to. flowers

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 10:29:00

Moomin I completely agree. It isn't about compassion or forgiveness for her - I've decided and reviewed my decision many times that she doesn't deserve it - but rather responding to my DD's request. But she is 4, and doesn't understand the implications, so I think I'll discuss further with my DH. If he can identify any value - apart from satisfaction of curiosity - then I'll rethink but I'm very glad that my position has been supported here.

Joysmum Fri 05-Feb-16 10:31:01

Of course DH is curious but also if he lives and respects you he'll know you've not gone NC on a whim.

Has he actually said he wants you all to meet her again? The reason I ask is because when we are NC we can sometimes project our doubts as being the feelings of others when that simply isn't true.

When my DD at an early age asked about my GPs whom I'm no contact with, I told her they aren't nice people and I didn't want to be friends with them. That was enough.

TooDamnSarky Fri 05-Feb-16 10:35:28

I can't think of a single reason that this would be a good thing to have done.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 05-Feb-16 10:36:58

Whether she would have the opportunity to abuse your children or not is entirely irrelevant. That you would even consider it is making me angry. Not with you, it's my own shit resurfacing.

She dies not deserve to know your children, your children deserve better than her.

What possible benefit could there be to your children?

MoominPie22 Fri 05-Feb-16 10:38:34

It´s funny ( not Haha! ), I´ve got a 4yr old daughter and been NC with my ex-mother for approx 3yrs. But because I never speak of her ( cos to me she is dead and doesn´t exist ), my daughter doesn´t speak about her either.

So I´m just curious how come you daughter is asking about her....you must have obv been acknowledging her existence for her to be aware of your mother?

I guess different people deal with things differently tho. For me, going NC was never gonna be a temp thing that we re-evaluate in several yrs time, it was very much a permanent thing. And when it comes up in conversation with others I just say that I have no mother, and leave it at that. I don´t see any point keeping someone´s memory alive when you´ve gone NC when they are, to all intents and purposes, dead to you.

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 10:42:08

Folkgirl this is where I'm showing my soft underbelly too. - I feel like I'm missing something, that there may be a good reason to do it that I just don't recognise because my radar on normal stuff is very wonky. But this/she isn't normal, that is the whole problem. So I am actually better able to understand the ramifications than DH would be, I guess.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 05-Feb-16 10:50:30

I don't think you need to 'discuss' with your husband actually. Why would you resume contact on his say so?

Don't rethink. If your husband is pushing for this then he clearly has no understanding of what you have been through.

This is your decision and your decision alone. You've had no contact with this person forihalf of your life.

Put it this way, my exh knows my mother. He is still a huge source of support for me because he doesn't want me to ever feel that I have to contact her again.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 05-Feb-16 10:58:31

You are missing something. Your children are missing something. I am missing something and my children are too.

But that is not going to be found in your mother. Or mine.

I cut contact with mine on 4 years ago. I'd been trying since my early 20s but my grandma was her "flying monkey" and it never worked. It might have if I'd understood the dynamics better!

I feel the loss of a mother every day.

It has impacted on every single aspect of my life from early childhood to now.

But resuming contact would not correct that. If would only open old and create new wounds.

Joysmum Fri 05-Feb-16 10:58:56

So has your DH asked you to resume contact?

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 11:22:26

Silk I feel this too. I actually became angrier with her the closer I became to being a mother myself and now, as a mother, I miss having one of my own and am even more disbelieving of what she did than ever before.

My DD has just naturally always wanted to know where I came from. She sees herself in me and her dad and wonders about our origins. I know she won't find anything of herself or me in my mother but that in itself may be a reason to do it, if she was older. Not as a very young child though.

DH is curious but would never want me to do it if it was wrong for me, or us. It is entirely my decision.

Another shitty thing to go through thanks to the demonic bitch who spawned me.

freshstart4us Fri 05-Feb-16 11:24:12

Sorry Folk not Silk, typo fail!

winkywinkola Fri 05-Feb-16 12:04:18

I wouldn't. There is nothing positive that can come out of this.

Your dd and dh are curious. It's not a good enough reason to meet her.

It sounds like she has caused you much hurt and damage.

Keep up the good work by protecting yourself and your dd from your mother.

Your mother is the only person who would derive some satisfaction from this meeting.

ThisIsStillFolkGirl Fri 05-Feb-16 12:07:33

In the kindest way, your daughter only asks about her because she has been made real to her by someone. Children that age are naturally curious, but also egocentric. She'd have been satisfied with. "Mummy doesn't have a mummy anymore".

Mine both knew my mother and I haven't had to provide my daughter with a reason beyond "she isn't a very nice person and we don't want not very nice people in our lives". They both accept that I no longer have a mother and they no longer have a grandmother.

She was an inadequate mother with disordered thinking and inadequate boundaries. When I discovered she had knowingly put my children at risk too, that was enough for me.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 05-Feb-16 12:12:06

No, no and no again. No good will come of introducing her to your children.

I thought your DH had come from an emotionally healthy family but his reasoning here is really and truly flawed (perhaps because of his memories of his own nice parents. Some people really cannot comprehend that family members can behave in ways like your mother has done).

There is NO good reason for any of you to meet your mother now.

A good rule of thumb here is that if a parent was too difficult/toxic for you to deal with, it will be the same deal for your both vulnerable and defenceless children. You need to continue to protect your children from such malign influences.

You are the parent. You're older and therefore more experienced which is the point of being the parent. The child is dependent on your good sense and protective wisdom. You're smarter than your child; use that to your advantage (such as using the distraction method). You are the final authority. This is not a negotiable issue. Your DD doesn't get to decide on this one because they lack the understanding, wisdom, experience and good sense that, hopefully, you have. So don't look like you're unsure or open to quibble. You'll undermine yourself if you look anything but firm and resolved on it. Use your advantages as parent to smooth the effects of the cut-off. Over time this will all quiet down. Kids tend to accept what is. It will happen more quickly if you follow the above advice.

Most of all, do not operate from a fearful mindset. Don't be afraid of your children's possible, or actual, reactions. Don't be afraid that you are depriving them of something important by cutting off a set of grandparents. You are only "depriving" them of bad things. Reassure yourself with that truth. Family is not everything. Blood is not binding. You are escaping the Mob Family. What should connect us is how we treat each other with love and respect. This is always a good lesson to teach our little ones. If any part of you is unsure of your decision then, for Pete's sake, don't show it. Your resoluteness will go a long way toward reassuring your children that you are acting in everyone's best interest. If your children know that you love them, they are going to feel reassured that this decision is also based in your love for them. They will find an added sense of security to know that you, as their parent, are willing to protect them even at the cost of your relationship with your own parent(s). Rather than being fearful, see the plentiful opportunities in this. You are protecting your children from someone whom you've experienced as being abusive; you are reassuring your children that you are in charge and are watchful for their best interests (creates deep sense of security); you can teach healthy family values which include that family doesn't get a pass for abusive behaviour; you can strengthen and reinforce the healthy relationships in your extended family. Kids are less likely to feel like there is a void in their life if you fill it with good things.

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