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Parents split for 13 years, apparently I shouldn't see my dad out of respect for my mum... WTF?(16 Posts)
Backstory: My mother and father were extremely unhappy in their relationship throughout my childhood, they split when I was 7, mother fled to her sisters across the other side of the country claiming that he would never see me again unless they stayed together. Dad agreed for the sake of me, continued on unhappily ever after until I was 14.
Came home from school with my mum one day, dad had packed up, was leaving for a woman he'd met at work and that was that. My mother went mental, however initially let me see my dad on the proviso I was not to see the OW under any circumstances. She then found out they were expecting a baby, and contact was cut. I was told she would disown me if I saw him, the full emotional blackmail story.
I started to see my dad behind her back because I wanted to, but didn't tell her, I was 15, I didn't have much of a backbone. As time went by, I just negated to tell her, because I didn't want world war three over something that is frankly, not her fucking business! She's got form for being pretty spiteful and holding a long term grudge - she hasn't spoken to one of her sisters for over 20 years because of a minor insult (they didn't even speak at their other sisters funeral about 10 years ago). There's been other equal acts of behaviour throughout my life, usually ending in threats to kill herself such as I when DP and I moved into our first flat, and when I was apparently excluding her from helping us to move into our first bought house because DP's parents had travelled up to help us too - apparently this was unacceptable to her?
So cut to this evening when she rings me to say she's been Facebook stalking OW (who's now married to my dad and so, is therefore my step mum, and have a 12 yr old son together who is thus, my brother!) and knows I've been seeing them, and that she no longer has anything to live for as they've taken everything from her. She's started sending me texts saying how much I've hurt her, how it's disgusting that I've sent her a message to say happy birthday "mum" from me, my brother and my DP etc etc etc.
I'm not throwing it in her face, I'm not asking her to sit with them at a dinner party, I just want her to stop manipulating me and emotionally blackmailing me, and let me live my life.
So, I finally ask. I am being unreasonable to expect my mum to grow a pair and accept that I, as an adult can choose to see whoever I want, whenever I want?
Am I really such a horrible person for seeing my father? Or is my mum in fact, a narcissistic piece of work as I have suspected for quite a substantial portion of my life?
I'm so sorry this is so long... 13 years of repressed anger have just spilled out like typed verbal diarrhoea :-(
If your mum's life has been ruined she should look in the mirror to see the culprit.
It sounds as though it's going to get very unpleasant though
"I'm sorry you feel that way, Mum. I choose to see Dad, DBro, and OW because it's important to me to have a relationship with them. If you choose not to see them, that is your choice to make and I respect that. However I would also ask you to respect the choices I make for my own self."
No, you are not horrible for wanting to see whoever you want to see, and yes, your mother is being difficult. She will probably continue to be difficult, so focus on following your own heart and your own needs, and not being swayed by her manipulation.
She is a sad and unhappy woman, and is unfortunately acting out in an unhealthy way. You can't stop her, but you can stay respectful of your own choices, and of her, by letting her be who she chooses to be.
Tell her he may have stopped being her husband, but he hasn't stopped being your father. Your relationship with your father and step family is not up for discussion.
She won't ever accept that fact as she is mentally unwell.
If you have serious concerns about her committing suiside call the police. Otherwise ignore her. This is all part of her dramatic real life show that she is the star of.
My mother was similar and I've been NC for 15 years. Before that she had numerous 'hanging' attempts but she never went the whole way. Funnily enough since me and db went NC she hasn't made one attempt.
Don't feed her drama. You are an adult who is in control of her own life
I texted her this as soon as the insults started flying:
" I love you, but I'm 27 years old, and if I want to see my dad for whatever reason then that's my business and my decision. I've kept this from you because I knew you'd never understand why I could let go of my demons and move on. If you still want me in your life, then you can let me know. If you don't, well then that's your decision. I don't expect you to ever fully accept this, because that's your cross to bear, but I do expect you to let me live my life and enjoy it. I will not be in the shadow of anyone anymore, nor will I be a doormat. I am too ill right now to see you face to face and let you verbally abuse me. Orangesox X "
I have not responded to her threats and abuse since - I do not feel she is not a risk to herself (worked in mental health for many years before my present nursing role).
I'm awaiting test results to tell me if I have a condition that can be operated on, or if it can't be fixed and I will more than likely lose my career, and my independence eventually. She is aware of this, but has made every step of my illness about her (surprise surprise), I can't deal with her drama llama behaviour.
Thank you all for your kind words and support - it's hard to express this all to people in real life because she's such an effective liar and manipulator.
I get it.
Step back and stop replying unless the messages a reasonable. If she threatens to harm herself, don't respond but call the police and report it.
Look after yourself and your family. And step away from the crazy.
Firstly I'm sorry your dm is like this.
However, doing it behind her back may have been a bad judgement, but nonetheless that's where things are.
As a divorced dm myself, I think her priorities should be your happiness and not hers. Your df has moved on, as you have, and rightly so. Your dm just needs to come to terms with it.
I completely get it as well. My mother took no responsibility for her awful relationship with my dad, just used my sister and I as emotional toilets / marriage counsellors since I was about 11 She's still with my dad but I rarely see either of them - I couldn't cope with being drawn into their drama any more.
Your mother is an adult and needs to take responsibility for her own happiness. It is not down to you to make her happy. She is being totally unreasonable. Well done for standing up to her - I know its really not easy.
Feeling quite fragile today. Thankfully I'm on annual leave today so I've got time to initially process what's happened and then return to work with my professional face on. Thank you for asking chocolatteaddict1
She's gone to ground and is trying to lure me in with silence after telling me that she's has to speak to me, has to make me understand how I've hurt her so much... I don't need to be told. If she needs to speak to someone about it, then it should be a professional, not me.
I have no doubt that this is going to be some of the hardest weeks and months of my life. I'm supposed to be getting married in October - I don't even feel like we can go ahead with it at this time because no matter what I do, it'll be the wrong thing to do in someone's eyes and she'll try to ruin our day :-(
I've excluded my dad from the important moments of my life like my graduation etc to save her feelings for too long, I don't think I can do it anymore... Actually, I fail to see why I should do it anymore?
I'm so sorry you are unwell and having to go through this as well. Please get some professional counselling and step away from guilt concerning your mother. She can only wreck your wedding if you allow her to. Establish some boundaries and stick to them.
If you work within the NHS you may be able to access counselling via OH. I hope your father and fiancé will also be there for you. You mum has big issues and will be unlikely to change on the basis of an email from you. She will regard it as yet another act of betrayal yada yada. Best let her get on with it and you get on with living a happier and more balanced life than she as managed.
Best wishes to you.
Well... You shouldn't do it if you don't want to. This is your life now.
I had to go NC with my mother because i felt she was leeching all the joy out of my life. I was emotionally drained being involved in her drama all the time, she really impacted negatively on my life.
This silent buisness is all part of the game (which you know it is) so don't play it. Focus on you and those that bring joy to your life.
It's really tough but you have to start protecting your own state of mind
I can understand why you are angry with your mum. However your father's behaviour and his lover's behaviour are appalling. All the adults are. Your mum has obviously never recovered from the terrible behaviour of your father. But please don't forget your mum is now behaving badly but your father did as well.
Thank you Matilda - I actually work in OH as a nurse specialist, so I've been in touch with our counselling service this morning so I don't have a rapid spiral into the depression I've had on and off since my parents seperated. I'm incredibly grateful to have the ability access counselling at my fingertips, it's been my lifeline for nearly all of my adult life.
Ultimately I know that it's not my fault and I need to step away from the guilt - she's just very good at laying it on thick. My father and step family, my fiancé and my soon to be inlaws are all amazing, they've supported me through this for so many years and I suppose for them it'll be satisfying to see me stand up to her at last, I don't think I could've done it without them!
'If she needs to speak to someone about it, then it should be a professional, not me'
Absolutely right OP. This is not something you should be expected to deal with.
Well done for taking steps towards counselling. It will be a painful process but you're in pain right now anyway. Seeking professional support was definitely the beginning of moving towards the light and starting to slowly let go of the guilt. Good luck and take care of yourself. Feeling wobbly and fragile is completely normal and to be expected. This stuff hurts
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