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Living under my Mums shadow, ruining our lives.

(111 Posts)
sugarplumfairy28 Wed 01-Jun-16 07:13:43

Sorry in advance this is most likely to be long winded.

I used to have a very very good relationship with my Mum. She would look after our children 2-3 days a week while I worked full time. If I didn't see her in a day we would call each other.

3 ish years ago DH and I decided we were going to emigrate (rent in Germany). We went to my parents to tell them of our decision. The plan then changed due parents needing to sell their house and wasn't going to be left with enough capital to buy in the UK. Long story short, parents would buy a house (specifically a 2 generation house, very common here) which suited both our needs. DH and I would pay household bills. The house in my inheritance.

So 2 years ago, we came house hunting, we found a house but it didn't meet mine and DH's needs. In the long run it could do, but even in the short term it wasn't good. My parents really wanted the house, and promised that certain things would be done within 2 or 3 months to make it livable. I took them at their word and agreed we would go for this house.

It's hard to explain, the house is 4 story's in total. Cellar, ground floor, 1st floor and 2nd floor which is only part converted. Mum has the cellar and ground floor. The only entrance is on the ground floor. The 1st floor is sort of split in two. There are 2 bedrooms off the landing, and a partition with a door, behind this door is our living room, kitchen, bathroom and one bedroom. This is what we have to live in. The children hate the door and both have expressed feeling isolated being in either of the 2 bedrooms. Last week, I single handily finished installing a kitchen (a gift from my Uncle), we have had work benches and no cupboards for 2 years, Mum actually had a tantrum because it's nicer than hers. The bathroom still isn't finished and is beyond my knowledge to do it, my Dad has given up. I have decorated the living room and all the bedrooms (twice due to a reshuffle) I feel that we have put up with a lot. We had no sink anywhere for 9 months, until one was replaced in the bathroom. The bathroom is mostly covered in bin bags to try and keep it dry. I had no oven or cooking device for 6 months, until my MIL got us a travel oven thing with two hobs on top and have used that for a family of 4.

My Mum has turned into a controlling and manipulative obsessed person. She constantly nags me about paying more than what the bills are, for reasons unknown. She screams and shouts if she doesn't get her way i.e apparently the garden is my problem (despite having no direct access to it) if the grass, which is around a third of an acre, isn't cut, edges and all, we get the slamming of doors, shouting and filthy looks until it is done. They go to bed very early (9pm) and complain endlessly if we are out past that. Mum has told me several times that we can NOT! have any more children, or pets. When DH is at work she talks to me in the horrific way. She completely take the children for granted but Mum actually has a go at the children for 'ignoring' her when my in-laws are over (who the children haven't seen for months). My Mum made a huge huge fuss for my brothers 30th birthday, for mine (in Feb) I literally got nothing, in fact I got a lectre about how it's no big deal, and that when she was 30 it was no big deal, her gift to me was babysitting the night before so DH and I could go to someones housewarming party, I hadn't been out socially since the July before... which was actually a BBQ we hosted and my parents actually offended our guests so much they left.

DH has a 3 hour each way commute and is very tired. Our children are not happy, I think partly because Daddy is basically a weekend Daddy and this constant bad air in the house. We are waiting for a call on a new job for him. We're not in a position to move out due to money, and if we do, I will lose my Dad (who isn't the problem but seems like a beaten down shell of what he used to be) and DD will lose her very special relationship she has with him.

I just need a friend, I feel so bullied and low in general

youshouldcancelthecheque Wed 01-Jun-16 07:38:52

Can you take the DC's away for a few days and work out how to change this situation? You are being buillied, what does your DH say about it?

RunRabbitRunRabbit Wed 01-Jun-16 07:41:21

You feel bullied because you are being bullied.

There is always a way to move out. Even a skanky 1 bed flat near DHs work would be preferable to what you've got now.

You should not stay to protect your dad. That is wrong. You are fooling yourself if you think DD's relationship with your DF is good for your DD. It sounds like your DF is a classic enabler.

Your parents clearly aren't happy either.

Get out asap. There is no other option. Plan your exit now.

FloraFiasco Wed 01-Jun-16 07:51:16

Your Dad is a grown man, you are safe leaving him to fend for himself. You don't have to distance yourself from him and he'd probably be glad of somewhere to visit you away from you mother.

You need to move out. No question. I know you have said it is not financially possible but you need to make it your mission from now onwards to make it financially possible. If you leave the situation as it is soon you will have no relationship at all with your mother and your mental health will suffer (even more than it already is).
Do you have any money in the house or is it purely owned by your parents?

glassgarden Wed 01-Jun-16 08:03:39

It sounds terrible you poor thing😞

You must distance yourself from your mother, obviously find some way to move in the longer term, but in the short term find some way to mentally separate yourself that things she says and does don't affect you

Nannawifeofbaldr Wed 01-Jun-16 08:12:26

Can you really, really not move out? If your DH is working couldn't you rent a small flat somewhere? That would be far better than where you are living now.

I don't quite understand the situation with the house- are your parents are your landlords, they are legally responsible for your bathroom being liveable

Sorry so don't understand what happened to your old home?

You've got to get your kids out from this environment.

Hissy Wed 01-Jun-16 08:14:36

Your dad stands by why you're terrorised by his wife.

He's just as bad as she is in his own way. Make no mistake about that.

Walk away, leave everything behind if you have to, but never ever look back

Don't ever allow her access to your children, she's poisonous and no good will come of contact with her in any form.

sugarplumfairy28 Wed 01-Jun-16 10:47:36

cancelthecheque a few days isn't possible. The last year Mum has managed to bleed my dry and put us in a huge amount of debt, DH and I have managed to sort something out with the bank, but now we have a back log of bills to sort out. DH actually suffers with Rapid Cycling Bipolar Disorder, so although we talk about the situation, I try not to constantly go on about it as it's obviously a huge trigger for him. He isn't happy about any of it, and is waiting for the day to tell her just what he thinks of her behavior. He is stressed at the moment as his job isn't great and he wants out, so is currently glued to his phone waiting for this call about a new job.

Rabbit I guess I feel guilty for taking the kids from a large family, to just the 6 of us, and my uncle who is sort of nearby. She has the relationship with him I never did and I know how much I wanted that. Dad doesn't drive, and where we are is in the sticks, moving may well see an end to all of that for her.

Flora The house is purely owned by them, they did promise that their will would show the house is mine, in the event of anything happening, but it turns out, they haven't made a new will... Any value that is added to the house is because of money that I have put in to renovations.

Nanna If we were to move, it has to be the last time, so I need to be completely and utterly sure of it, where it is etc. It has taken a long time to get the children settled, and after this morning with DD at Kindergarten, it's still not perfect. DS(7) did reception year in the UK, then a year at Kindergarten, and now is nearing the end of his 1st year in German school. His German is amazing although not completely fluent, but it's the people around him that give him the confidence to speak German and not get too frustrated when he can't be understood. Any move, will mean moving school. So where ever we go, when we can get a deposit together and moving costs, has to be for good. We used to rent in the UK, my parents owned a house. They sold the house, but couldn't afford to buy in the UK.

The agreement was, rather than DH and I paying rent, we pay all the household bills, which meant Mum could retire and only Dad would need to work. Having said that though, it is extremely one sided. The house cost 45k€ If I'm paying 250€ of bills a month they would otherwise have to pay themselves, and they live another 30 years, which is entirely possible, as their only in their 50s I'm forking out 90k€ for them... also it's not 250 it's more.

Hissy I think my Dad is also bullied, I spoke to him this morning and he sympathized and said you know I get it in the neck too.

glassgarden Wed 01-Jun-16 10:59:07

It sounds as if they are using you as a pair of cash cows
The promise of inheritance is a carrot being dangled in front of you which will never actually materialize...they will use up the equity in the property and there will be nothing for you to inherit

glassgarden Wed 01-Jun-16 11:02:02

I used to have a very very good relationship with my Mum. She would look after our children 2-3 days a week while I worked full time

I wonder if she now feels that you owe her and this is her way of making sure that you pay her back?
(I'm not suggesting that her behavior is in any way justified!)

Nannawifeofbaldr Wed 01-Jun-16 11:04:21

Sugarplum It sounds difficult and complicated. I'm sorry that you are in this situation.

It can't be good for the children really.

I would advise you to make a plan and stick to it. This situation really doesn't sound sustainable.

blindsider Wed 01-Jun-16 11:05:29

The question that needs to be asked is why in heavens name did you sign up for this totally unsuitable clusterfuck??

UpsiLondoes Wed 01-Jun-16 11:09:12

Right, you need to confront your mum. Improvements tallied up and paid back to you. Threaten to uninstall and sell the kitchen (I believe in Germany kitchen units come with you, so if she kicks off you can suggest to her she calls the police)

PhoenixReisling Wed 01-Jun-16 11:10:33

This is not good for the children, nor your and your husbands mental health.

I understand that you are reluctant to move re: your father, your DC in school. However, what you have described sounds like sheer hell.

As others have said, your father is an enabler and you are the scapegoat. Because she treats you so badly and although she is not pleasant to him....it is to his benefit for you to be around. What I am trying to say is, is that if you weren't then he would get all this behaviour.

You are not a scarifical lamb. This needs to stop.

AndYourBirdCanSing Wed 01-Jun-16 11:11:39

How long would it take you to save up to move back to the UK? Or do you see yourselves staying there? I think I would personally put some distance between you! Try for a fresh start.

Nanny0gg Wed 01-Jun-16 11:12:55

blindsider to what purpose? The OP needs to deal with the Now, not agonise how she got there.

OP it does sound dreadful. Can you put it all on hold though, till your DH's job situation is sorted and then make a plan? Is it not possible to carry on renting if you haven't got a deposit to buy?

It may mean moving more than once, but to get away it may be worth it.

springydaffs Wed 01-Jun-16 11:18:49

goodness, blindsider. I guess you've never made any mistakes? It looked good on paper - very good. OP's mother/parents haven't honoured the deal. It happens!

As hard as it is, no family is better than toxic family. I bore a very toxic family 'for the sake of the children' but that has spectacularly bitten me in the backside further down the line. I wish I had cut loose way back - which was my instinct.

Your boy may have settled at school but the toxicity of your domestic situation will be doing him harm. You need to be settled, not least because of your DH's MH. And yours!

This situation is untenable. If things carry on, not only will you be ground into the dust but your debts will climb. You have to get out.

The kids are relatively young. The longer you leave it, the harder it will be all round.

Anything, anywhere, is better than this. flowers

efeslight Wed 01-Jun-16 11:19:24

Hello sugarplum, are you a German speaking family? Does your mum speak German and have other people to chat with or is she spending all her time obsessing about the house?

springydaffs Wed 01-Jun-16 11:22:03

I also think you may need to involve the law to get some redress. You are paying through the nose, which is crippling you financially and practically (and emotionally!) for a property that was promised but not materialised.

Liiinooo Wed 01-Jun-16 11:32:09

It sounds like the situation is gradually deteriorating so it's probably going to get worse not better.

You say your dad is broken by her and pretty much enabling her but are too close to the situation to see that you are in pretty much the same boat.

It isn't working out , it's too unboundaried , you and the kids aren't happy. Write down in clear bullet points what you need to continue living there (rules re. Privacy, manners, gardening duties, expensesnot attending your social events unless invited). Tell her she has two months to comply with these and if she can't you will be moving out and she can find other tenants. If she can't do it, get out before she inflicts any more unhappiness.

Sod the inheritance - you don't say how old they are, but even if they are in their seventies they could be around for another 25 years. Do you really want your children to have an unhappy childhood and you and your husband to have an unhappy life because she may or may not leave you the house at some point in the future.

I realise this doesn't sound very loving or filial but I think your first duty of care is to your DCs, then your DH. You cannot sacrifice them because your mum used to be nicer.

Liiinooo Wed 01-Jun-16 11:38:12

SUdden thought

- I read somewhere that changes of personality of this sort can be due to ill health. I am not sure if it was Parkinson's or Alzheimer's? I know my own FIL (a lovely, lovely man) got uncharacteristically snappy in the months before his death from a massive stroke. The doctors said it was likely he had undiagnosed mini-strokes before the final one which may have caused his mood swings. Has your mum seen a doctor recently.

clearsommespace Wed 01-Jun-16 12:03:34

Hey Sugarplum, I thought this might be you when I saw the title. Glad to see you have started a thread here. It's a better place for it than the other one (and I was concerned when you didn't come back.)
I don't have anything different to add to previous posters sadly.

sugarplumfairy28 Wed 01-Jun-16 12:30:50

glassgarden She does think we owe her, but actually money, for things that were agreed to be paid as part of buying the house. When I did work here briefly, and she was looking after the children, something we had agreed would happen if finances meant I had to work, she expected me, out and out said, she wanted thank you gifts, flowers, wine, dinner etc etc. I think to her we are cash cows, she refuses to put their bills in mine and DH's names, and demands cash every month. She chooses polices that are in my opinion the most expense with bells on stuff because she's not paying for it.

Nanny I am definitely a plan person, have to have a plan for everything and then a plan B. At the moment with DH's job and the prospect of making things even in the short for the children worse, I just can't see past the end of the day. The deposit I was referring was for renting, it's basically 3 months rent plus fees, so it will need to be saved for. I guess because I feel so uncertain about the consequences and how this is going to affect the 4 of us, I'm finding it so difficult to commit to it.

blindsider it made sense at the time, me and Mum were best friends, we would talk or see eachother every day, going shopping together, and talk about everything. Since we got here, she is just not the same. It was meant to be an equal relationship between 4 adults, and DH and I paying for the bills, was a price (that at the time was a lot cheaper on paper) we were willing to pay for having a security in a house and not having to move every 12 months. Also specific to this house, that my parents would make immediate improvements that would give us physical boundaries in the house. It's just not happened and turned into this living hell.

BirdCanSing This was meant to be our fresh start. I am half German and have always felt more at home here than in the UK. DH doesn't want to be in the UK anymore, and despite this situation, in the long run the children will have better lives. It cost around 10k to get here, with removals etc so in that sense it will be a long time even if we wanted to.

efeslight I'd say collectively were semi German speaking. DH and I can get by, DS is nearly fluent, DD is getting there. DF is fluent. Mum has no interest in learning, my parents have never ever been socialable and just sit around the house stewing. Any opportunity that comes up that requires effort of their part is whinged about, but when DH and I have guests, they gate crash. They openly suggest we go downstairs instead of hiding away - which is something I was told endlessly when at home and had boyfriends or friends over. Mum and Dad have no money, they have a 'mini job' which just about covers their shopping, some months I still have to sub them, and I know there is no way they're ever going to pay me back or spend money on fixing the house. The house money is gone - they spent it all on an over priced car...

Liiinooo Your sudden thought is one that has been plaguing me, my Nan, Mum's mum, died last year from Alzheimer's and her mother had it too. What is going on is not exactly the same as Nan but it does bare similarities, but what's worse is because Nan is so raw and what we've all been through I have no idea, no idea whatsoever how to approach it with Mum. I've dropped hints her memory seems to be getting worse, and just been called a liar. Slightly separate, I am certain it's not her death that has changed Mum. They never really got on, and Mum said she felt sad but not heartbroken or anything more than sad.

sugarplumfairy28 Wed 01-Jun-16 12:33:20

Hi again clearsommespace, my notifications have been all over the place, so trying to stay in one place. Thanks for the tip though.

newname99 Wed 01-Jun-16 12:53:25

If your husband is working can you get a mortgage yourselves and buy close by? There are options and a way forward which you will find f.I think you need to accept your mum is the way she is and not likely to change.

Don't assume your feelings are the same as your children, re being close to relatives, they would prefer happy parents and a house that liveable.

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