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.
This is quite long, but I would really, really appreciate your time and words of wisdom re this ever mind turning problem of mine.(16 Posts)
I want to write a letter to my DM. Whether it will be accepted for the truth within it, or the words twisted to suit I can only surmise.
The real problem, and the subject of the letter is mainly 'D'Dad, though really I can only refer to him as D from now on as he's definitely NOT dear to me.
I posted on this site (under a different username) re my boy a few years ago . The wonderful posters on that thread kept me just on this side of sanity that night, and since then after observing many other threads, and reading often advice given on the 'Right, listen up everybody' thread, I have stood up for myself with him, moved house to be with my partner, and am finally looking at having a positive future.
Some past background -
Age 13 and after a very minor failing (involving the younger 'golden DB), *D kept me off school the following day, kept me sat at a table whilst he ranted about what a shame and a pity I was, that I was a failure, that I needed to see a psychiatrist. His ranting carried on all day, I was only allowed to leave the table to visit the loo. Result of that is that I've carried a lifelong guilt complex with me about everything..
*He has constantly told me I'm a trouble maker and given the silent treatment which, oddly enough, seems to coincide with things I've done which he disapproved of.
* I married a man he disapproved of. When the 'D'H became violent I went to my parents house for safety. D insisted I return to my marriage , and drove me back to my house and dumped me there, with my baby in my arms; (I believe this was to punish me for NOT marrying a man he DID approve of).
I did eventually leave the exh for good but wouldn't tell D where I was for fear of him making me return to exh again.
*Throughout my life he has referred to me as a failure. A case in point is that when I completed a degree I undertook in my 40's, he got DM to tell me that he wouldn't believe it unless he saw the certificate. The fact that he'd seen the letter informing me of my success 'could have been made up' according to him.
*Because he hated my exh it seems he also hated my child, telling me once that 'if he turns out to be a 'wrong 'un' get rid of him'.
As an adult he locked me in his kitchen and ranted at me (whilst mum stood there saying nothing) about how awful I was to my younger 'D'B, purely I think, because I didn't grovel to him and see rays of golden sunshine emanating from his various orifices. I was told to 'like him, to 'get on with him'' .
*He always uses DM to guilt trip/ lever me into doing what he wants.
These are only a very few of things that have happened over the decades.
Recent background though has finally pushed me into going NC.
It began by wanting a change, to have the main of Christmas day 2014 alone with my partner, then we'd go visit them in the evening. *D was offhand with us all night to the point of rudeness., then when DB and family arrived we were totally ignored.
Then DM had a (major 'O' ) birthday. *D decided to hold a 'surprise' party for her. I offered several times to help organise it with him. He refused me but then ranted at DM that no one would help him sort 'her surprise party' . DM ended up organising her own 'surprise party' (she told me this whilst in tears). I managed to sort out the cake, but he didn't eat any. Afterwards mum told me that as we didn't go back to their place after the 'party' (as D had said DM was tired and needed to go home and rest), it was my fault they'd had to throw the rest of the cake away!
A few months later DP and self visited them where *D gave a mysogynistic, homophobic, racist rant about a person who had recently taken an allotment on the same site as his. I challenged him and saw the rage in his face, but he said nothing as DP was there (he only behaves like this towards DM and self when there are no witnesses) he also thinks he is always right, even though we live in a democratic society and other views are available. DP and I then left.
* A few weeks later I visited again. There was an atmosphere with him talking to me through DM. Then he left to go out for a walk. DM then launched into me re my weight (Said I'm fat), my dress sense (said I'm scruffy), the food I eat (I have allergies but it seems that I make it up), and that 'I used to look really good 20 years ago' (That was before I had a bad accident and developed a condition that affects my mobility in varying degrees).
This more than anything else has hurt me beyond belief. He has shouted at her, made her cry, belittled her in front of others, and gets her to do his dirty work for him for as long as I can remember, but yet as she said to me ^they work as a team .
He set her up yet again to belittle me and she thought it was alright to do that?
I haven't seen them since, though DM did call me a few months later asking if I'd made arrangements to take her out as we'd discussed on my last visit (before her verbal attack on me), but there was no apology, nothing, it was all about her.
My reply was how could I ever share a meal with her again after what she'd said, how could I ever go clothes shopping again knowing her opinion. Everything my D has ever said and done to me is nothing compared to what my DM did. I feel betrayed and lost.
HE IS A TOTAL, UTTER MANIPULATIVE, BULLYING, ABUSIVE, COWARDLY BASTARD AND I LOATHE HIM.
*He's since ignored me on the phone, cutting me off when I call.
I miss my DM, I know she has been conditioned by D to do as she does, but surely, we all have a choice? Just because someone encourages someone to do something, doesn't mean they HAVE to do it, does it?
I want to write to her, to tell her he won't pass the phone to her when I call, I just want to make sense of it all. I cannot just go and visit as D will probably become aggressive and I've no intention of enabling him to ever abuse me in any way again.
I have the total backing of my DP in all this. He listens and supports me in every aspect of my life, and I just don't want to drag my Ds behaviour into our new and wonderful life together.
After all of that my question is a simple one, should I write to her in the hope she will listen and accept my words for what they are, or is she so conditioned that it will only cause further angst for her?
After all, I've moved away and gone NC with him, DM cannot, mainly due to health and age.
I'm an intelligent woman, I have a business, I provided my self and child with a home with no help from anyone, and I would help anyone who needed it. Why will he not accept that actually I was - and still am - a success?
What a rotten mess this all is. My absolute thanks to you for reading and for any advice you may have. ]flowers]
I think you need to question what your hoping the outcome will be
Will DM wake up from a few words of wisdom and leave him? Doubt it.
Will she come and visit you without him? Probably not.
Can you save her - or do you just want to feel you tried?
Where is DB in all this now?
Thanks for your reply Sally.
DM can't visit me as he mobility is very limited now , and rarely did go out without either D or myself. My 'D'B doesn't give a damn about anyone. In the past if he's visited my parents whilst I've been there he hasn't even given me an 'hello' unless I say it first.
To be perfectly honest with my self, I think I have to agree with you. My words won't be perceived as wisdom, but rather as malice - encouraged by comments from D no doubt.
Can I save her you ask? I think not as first she'd need to decide what she needs saving from.
I just want my mum back.
I understand - but is she being prevented from ringing you?
Is there a friend who visits her who could ask her on your behalf?
Can you ask social services for advice?
You are in a difficult position because you obviously care
I don't know about being prevented, but I also don't know if DM is being told when I call (D usually gets to the phone before DM). They have a mobile phone but D keeps possession of it - and my mobile no' is only stored on there, so she won't know it. As it's usually turned off unless he wants to use it when he's out somewhere, I can't use that as a way through.
I forgot to say that DM doesn't have my new LL number, which is one of the reasons why I've tried calling, to give it to her. I moved house after the last episode, and because I was so hurt and angry at both of them at the time, I didn't tell them I was moving.
After much thought of all this, I stick by my guns about D, but I think I can accept DM doing what she does, after all, it's taken me decades to recognise and deal with his rotten behaviour, whilst DM is a product of his manipulation.
DM as far as I can remember has never had friends visit her at home, and of the one she has ever mentioned I have no idea where to find her.
Re social services, I did begin to explore that route, but was told that DM would probably end up being moved out of her home. I can't do that to her.
In many ways you are better off without this "family" and just enjoying your supportive partner.
I can understand that it is hard to be unable to make real contact with your mother; and how hurtful the things she said to you are. How much do you want to make contact with her? Enough to forgive her those unkindnesses? If you wrote to her, would she be able to read it without your father interfering?
Your Dad sounds a total P in the A and does not deserve the name. I am so sorry that your childhood was blighted by this; but commend you for creating a good family unit of your own - it is often hard to do so when your upbringing has been so difficult. Maybe you should write to your Mum and say you are sad about what she said and that you would like to keep a link with her somehow, but not with Dad. If you do not get the response that you need then it may be time to just enjoy your successful family and just keep in contact by sending her an occasional letter.
There are some things that we cannot win and we can waste a whole life flogging a dead horse. There is sometimes something to be said for moving on and concentrating on the good things in your life.
Hello Mishaps and yes, I have to agree that I feel better in so many ways without all of D's negative behaviour. I have spent most of my life in whatever I said or did with the thought 'I wonder what D will say/do?' How ridiculous is that.
I am losing the guilt, I believe more in my self, am literally building a new home and garden with my DP, and am holding on to the thought that we are all responsible for our own actions. Hence my anger at DM even though deep down I hope that she wouldn't have chosen to consciously behave that way towards me.
She will not ever leave him. she loves him, is quite elderly and relies on him for many things. In my head she is his prisoner and, just as I was his 'troublemaker' or his 'sunshine' depending on my perceived (by him) behaviour, I think she is also dependent on how she is treated according to if she 'does as she is told, or not'.
Your advice re writing to DM is sensible, but I dread the silence it may bring.
Your DM has, as you recognise, been totally brainwashed by your D. She will never change. She will never recognise that she has been brainwashed.
The question is - how can you maintain a relationship with her without your D interfering and being abusive towards you, and without him using your DM as his mouthpiece?
You are doing the right thing by going NC with your D. He is an appalling bully and there is no point banging your head against that particular brick wall.
In your shoes I would write to your DM (can you be sure he doesn't open her post though?) giving her my LL number and my mobile number, and explaining that you can no longer visit due to the abuse you receive, but if she wants to continue a relationship with you she can phone you anytime.
And then leave the ball in her court. Brainwashed or not, she still has choices. And her reply, or lack of, will tell you all you need to know about how much SHE values your relationship.
Riding thankyou for your reply.
The question is - how can you maintain a relationship with her without your D interfering and being abusive towards you, and without him using your DM as his mouthpiece ?
I think this is subconsciously the outcome I would hope for, but realistically I fear it's never going to happen. Even when he's made her cry shes turned away so that he doesn't see, then refused to discuss it with me, wouldn't let me talk to him about it. To repeat her words, 'they're a team' .
So, we return to my writing to her. I have thought about him intercepting her mail if he knows its from me. They don't have my address, but do know the area I've moved to, so he would see the postcode and know it's me, as they don't know anyone else here.
However, this week I have an appointment in my home town (theirs too), and I had thought of posting a letter, with the address printed rather than handwritten, from there. It seems underhand, but no other solution has come to me. What do you think?
Is DF never out? Is DM never home alone?
You are not angry enough at your DM.
Yes, she has been abused. That is sad.
When forced to choose between her daughter and her husband, she sacrificed the daughter. Repeatedly. You were her human shield. Could you imagine ever doing that to one of your children?
She has never apologised and never will. You are less important than everyone else in her eyes. Their feelings are more important than yours. She has made this clear to you over and over again.
Perhaps you will have greater peace when you allow yourself to admit the full extent of what she did to you (and would do again given the chance).
You say you want your DM back. That's the fantasy DM you want. The one who protected you. The one who defended you. The one who would never let anyone hurt you. In the past you let yourself pretend she was that person. It's a nice fantasy. You want the fantasy back. I don't blame you.
I've been there and done that. It really is easier when you admit to yourself that she is as bad as him.
They were both made that way somehow. Perhaps she was made by him and he was made by his parents. Doesn't really matter how it happened. They are both bad people now, who both make a habit of hurting you for their own reward. You don't need that in your life, do you?
You don't need to excuse and minimise your DM's behaviour any more. Your post is full of minimisation of her abuse.
Rabbit I read your post and was taken aback, shocked even. I read it again and found it dredged up memories from my early childhood that I didn't want to remember.
I have often wondered why she stood by and did nothing. I thought she was as scared as I was, maybe not. In some of her dealings with me she was quite unkind, and I can not ever remember being hugged, kissed or told I was loved, but I can remember often being told off by her and told I would be punished by my D when he came home.
I was fearful and tried so hard to be a 'good girl' , but it was never going to happen was it.
I left my ex to get my DC away from his cruelties, told him I loved him every day, played with him, read him stories, and had adventures with everything we did together.
I need to take more time to process this, but you're right, they won't apologise, they have never apologised, either of them.
Im in a similar position but my mum is now blind. If I sent a letter he'd have to read it to her
I have to agree with RunRabbit. My mum is loving and kind - but when push comes to shove it is very clear where I stand. Tbh I don't want to work it out any more because the entire thing is such a headfuck: who did what to whom? Who is the villain? etc etc on and on. It just fries your brain.
Have you looked into the whole scapegoat thing? Do study it. It becomes a family system and NOTHING dislodges it.
The one thing that stood out to me was that your thought your letter wouldn't be perceived as 'wisdom' only 'malice'. There is no wisdom on earth you can offer to your parents, their perception is totally different to yours and though you feel stronger and self assured your 'wisdom' as you put it is not their reality. It must be heartbreaking for you but I think if it was me I would write to your mum that you love and miss her and here is your landline number, put it in a brown envelope and type her address on the front so it looks like a normal piece of post, and wait to hear.
I spent a good part of the night awake, and have been for a couple of long walks today already with this. One thing I do know as springydaffs says, my brain IS frying. So I need to resolve this now as I'm struggling with the replaying of everything going around and around in my head, as it has done for months past.
I'm tired of this, I want to live my life in freedom and positivity.
After seeing this morning what Slowdecrease has written it sounds the best thing to do. A simple note, posted with my details, but no explanations as they won't ever be heard, I know that now, and then leave the ball in their court.
There is nothing else to be done.
Thankyou all so much for your kind words and wisdom, you have helped me so much.
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.