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EA mother but can't quite put finger on it?

(22 Posts)
pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 09:41:04

DB and I are equally fucked with a long history of MH and both living fairly normal lives now on the surface but we struggle especially in our relationships

Our DM is who we believe to be at the root, she can wind both of us (desperately and separately all at different times) to the point we know we behave in ways that aren't proportionate to whatever it is she's done - like one of us goes NC and it starts out from a fairly minor transgression on her behalf which blows up to a big deal because she refuses to acknowledge she's done anything wrong or attacks us and goes for the jugular as she's feeling defensive - so perhaps a big scene shouting match where she shouts about our MH diagnosis in a public place, or that we're damaging our DC

Both DB and myself who aren't close so we don't get involved in each other's business and piggy back off what she's done to the other, recently acknowledged to each other we both feel the same but it's impossible to put our fingers on what happens and why and to explain it to someone else you sound barking

Does anyone have any idea what I'm saying? The only reason I know I'm not just simply imagining things is that it happens with my DB also - a minor thing she does can bring major conflict

Imbroglio Mon 07-Mar-16 11:59:15

Not sure what you are asking here but it sounds awful.

How much contact do you have with her? Could you arrange to see her with your brother so that if it kicks off you can reflect on it together? You may not be very close but it might be helpful to validate your feelings

candykane25 Mon 07-Mar-16 12:02:30

Is it that she can't say sorry and be comfortable with saying she had made a mistake?
If so that is her flaw in her own emotional intelligence and you have control over that.
Sounds awful though.

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 12:35:44

No we live in different parts of the country and lead different lives

I don't think it's simply that she can't say sorry or ever admit she's wrong - there has to be more to it than that

Or she does things that on the face of it are nice yet we are both left feeling really violated or undermined by it - such as sending my DC a parcel with money and cards to get me something for Mother's Day. But my DC aren't old enough to read so I have to read the card to them - while I have gone NC with her due to the most recent outburst she had where in front of my DC she said I was damaging them and my I drove my DH away and keep driving people away from my DC. I went NC over her screaming all this while my DC were present and because quite frankly I was low, had accepted an offer of support from her and then had her screaming all this at me in response to me being irritated by something minor she did and the NC was as I just haven't the energy for the drama.

I blocked her after receiving about 16 texts in a row (without replying all in the same day) continuing the drama and unblocked her to try and form some sort of Mother's Day sorry I can't cope with you but I do love you after feeling bad I hadn't sent a card (because I'd gone NC) and guilty after her sending the parcel for my DC - to find I had another four texts before completing a text message to her. I reiterated I can't cope with communicating but love her - and got yet another 5 messages before blocking her again. One of which suggests she'll be nearby this week and the times she's going to be able to see me and my DC. Yet I'd already gone NC and made it clear again I didn't feel able to cope with communicating with her.

I'm left with my head spinning and then thinking I'm a cow. But my brothers head equally spins - and he feels equally awful after their communications

candykane25 Mon 07-Mar-16 12:40:44

The sending cards thing is very controlling.
And the texts to get what she wants are controlling.
What she wants is more important than what you want.
So not accepting you as an adult in your own right, with rights of your own.
And you have guilt for not having a relationship with your mother.

I'm not trained or qualified, just an MNetter thinking aloud.

RandomMess Mon 07-Mar-16 12:41:58

My Ex-MIL was similar this (thankfully now 15 years deceased) turns out she was a schizophrenic - it's a huge ranged disorder and she had a kind where she knew what she was doing but felt she was entitled to behave however she wanted...

She divided her dc had them falling out with each other on purpose by making up lies etc. Using the grandchildren to rock the boat.

So similar thing periods of NC and then Contact between her and each of her children and each of the children between each other.

Nothing was every truly a gift - the strings appeared at a later date and so on.

All her DC have serious issues some have fared better than others.

TheSilveryPussycat Mon 07-Mar-16 12:47:02

Have a look on the Stately Homes thread, where you will find support from many who have suffered similar.

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 12:50:40

But my DM doesn't do anything that is obviously to make us feel shit, she doesn't set out with the intention of it is what I mean - but she makes us feel shit constantly.

My XH is NC with her even. But if I tell him a scenario that's happened he says I'm at fault - and on the surface in black and white - it really does look like I'm at fault (this is regular)

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 12:58:12

I think she is controlling

But her thing would be - how is it controlling to do something nice for Mother's Day for you and offer you support

And when I try to explain it to other people they will also think sorry but wtf how is your mum offering support and gifts controlling

iknowimcoming Mon 07-Mar-16 13:05:57

Definitely have a look on stately homes thread, very wise people on there!

Also it sounds to me like you feel there should be a really big reason for you to cut contact with this woman and actually there doesn't. If this woman was any other person than your mother I'm sure you wouldn't bother with her, regardless of whether you can out your finger on what she does or not. If you wanted to stop seeing someone just because of the way they cut their fingernails, say, then that's perfectly ok, your life, your choice. You don't have to justify ending a relationship with someone who makes you unhappy, it's self preservation. Why not try telling yourself you'll try it for say three months and see how it goes? You can always go back if you want, but you might surprise yourself, I did!

I've been nc with my dm for nearly five years and yes I still miss the mum I would've liked and sometimes feel guilty that I couldn't have fixed things, but her behaviour is beyond my control and I'm at peace with that now and I wouldn't go back for anything. Just one thing though, nc is NO contact, block her on your Facebook, phone, email etc bin any post without reading it, don't engage at all. HTH thanks

BerylStreep Mon 07-Mar-16 13:07:10

Offering money & cards for the DC to buy you gifts is manipulative. It is a controlling thing dressed up as a nice thing so that you look unhinged by objecting to it. It is controlling because she knows you don't want contact, but this will force you to make contact.

Standard ploy by emotionally manipulative people.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Mar-16 13:11:25

Her actions are about power and control; this is what lies at the heart of abusive behaviour. Toxic people like your mother never apologise nor accept any responsibility for their actions.

You need to block your mother completely from your life and deny her all ways of communicating with you. What she has done could well be deemed as harassment. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, your mother is no different.

She was not a good parent to you and will be a rubbish example of a grandparent to your children. They need to be protected from her malign influences. She has no automatic right in law to see her grandchildren either.

Do not expose your children further to her emotional manipulation by reading to them the contents of her cards. They do not need to hear it. Any items that you receive from her go to the charity shop or are simply disposed of; such "gifts" are never sent without obligation attached to them.

I would suggest you also post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages.

candykane25 Mon 07-Mar-16 13:15:03

It doesn't matter what others think. Or who says who is right and who is wrong.

How does she or the situations she created make you FEEL?

If it feels wrong, it's wrong. That's all you need to know really.

We all know someone who lots of people think is nice as pie and pleasant and charming yet we know they are utter cunts. IME these people get found out by an increasing amount of people as life goes on.
Now I'm not equating this to your mum. But what I mean is don't worry if others don't get it and say your mum isn't doing anything wrong. You know she is. As a op says, it's manipulation.

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 13:22:21

Thanks I'm going to check out the stately homes thread

Iv been NC back and forth with her all my adult life. There's always a way she gets back in and if I'm honest - I want her to. I love her. I miss her. I go through some shit or other and I want my mum to be a mum to me

And she is. Until any criticism.

Like when she phoned up the health visitor because I was ill, DC were ill, had accepted her offer to come and help, then she got ready to take DC out for an activity and I said they are ill so they can't go out.

She told the health visitor I was isolating my DC and she was very concerned about my MH

And then my DG told me I was ruining their Xmas and splitting up the family depriving DC of a loving grandma going NC with her over her simply being concerned

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Mar-16 13:29:18


re your comment:-
"Iv been NC back and forth with her all my adult life. There's always a way she gets back in and if I'm honest - I want her to. I love her. I miss her. I go through some shit or other and I want my mum to be a mum to me"

Like many adult children of such a parent you have FOG in spades. FOG is an acronym for fear, obligation and guilt.

You need to remain no contact with her. No contact is precisely that; there is no communication of any kind to her from you. The level of contact you have had with her has not worked; she has ridden roughshod over you.

Unfortunately she is not the person you still so want her to be; she is not built that way and it is not your fault either that she is the way she is. You do not need her approval, not that she would ever freely give that to you in any case. You did not cause that to happen (her own family of origin did that, I would look more closely at her own childhood). You will in the end have to grieve for the relationship you should have had rather than the one you actually got.

She needs to stay well away from your children; she will damage them in similar ways to how your brother and you were emotionally harmed.

I think it would be an excellent idea to read and post on the Stately Homes thread as well as reading the resources there too.

candykane25 Mon 07-Mar-16 13:30:25

She goes too far. And seems to need a large response from you to pay attention to your feelings.
Fine to offer support. Not fine to go to HV behind your back.
Again, not trusting your judgement.

I was ill and my mum offered to take DD to supermarket with her to give me a break. That is support within boundaries. DM then offered to take DD back to her house and I said no it'll be ok for her to come home. DM said are you sure because you are struggling. I said I am sure. End of conversation.
It's about appropriate response isn't it, and from what you are describing your mum is going beyond appropriate boundaries.
It may well be a MH condition that is undiagnosed. But whatever, you have to do what helps you first.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Mar-16 13:34:27

"Like when she phoned up the health visitor because I was ill, DC were ill, had accepted her offer to come and help, then she got ready to take DC out for an activity and I said they are ill so they can't go out.

She told the health visitor I was isolating my DC and she was very concerned about my MH"

What does that tell you about your mother?. She is certainly not acting in your best interests here is she; she is making up stuff about you for her own ends. Your mother's help is anything but and purely designed to further undermine you.

I hope the HV gave her short shrift. Again your mother is projecting her own issues onto others.

"And then my DG told me I was ruining their Xmas and splitting up the family depriving DC of a loving grandma going NC with her over her simply being concerned"

This DG - who is this person you are referring to?. Whoever it is, he/she should be roundly ignored because again their own interests are being served here. This person may also be a "flying monkey" sent in by your mother or manipulated by her further to do her bidding.

You need to stay well away from these people.

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 13:40:01

Sorry I though DG referred to grandparents

I do genuinely believe my mum actually thought she was doing the right thing contacting the health visitor which leaves me even more confused

Health visitor took her concerns fairly seriously in light of my MH history at the time

pigeonpoo Mon 07-Mar-16 13:45:18

I strongly suspect she has a MH issue herself

But what it is - I don't know

I do know she will never get diagnosed with it though as she'd never consider herself to need any help.

She went to hospital once when we were younger and still bangs on about how she ended up counselling the counsellor and helping the other patients and she'd never have gone to hospital if the dr didn't prescribe her the wrong medication in the first place

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 07-Mar-16 14:03:22

You can only protect your own self ultimately.

Thanks for the clarification re DG - if this person you are referring to is her own mother then she needs to be avoided as well.

Your mother may well have some form of untreated - and infact untreatable - personality disorder. You may never know the truth of the situation. It is still not your fault she is like this, you yourself did not make her this way.

Imbroglio Mon 07-Mar-16 14:40:37

The gift thing happened in my family too. It is hard for outsiders to understand. I've had a few people say how 'wonderful' it is that the person involved obviously wants to make amends, big step forward etc.

BerylStreep Mon 07-Mar-16 15:18:13

It also sounds like your MH issues are something she uses to beat you with, to make you doubt yourself, and to undermine you to family or professionals. I would stay well away.

It's sad that you want her in your life because you want the mum you would hope her to be. Unfortunately she's not that person from the sounds of it.

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