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My mother has just sort of stopped seeing my son

(21 Posts)
Myrobalanna Wed 24-Aug-16 14:59:12

I have a rather odd relationship with my mother, in that she left the family when I was young and though superficially we always made a decent fist of it, she had one or two too many abusive moments and so phone contact cut down to every couple of months or so.

When my son was born she was anxious to be a good grandmother and really seemed to be enjoying it. She was generous and travelled to see us (as we did to see her). Now my son is 12 and she almost never makes contact with us. Last Christmas she tried to give him a small cuddly toy as his present. He has finished primary school and moved up to secondary school: not a word from her. No attempt to see him over the long holiday. He has an email address and a phone number which she knows, so she could send him a quick text or email, but doesn't.

It is a strange relationship, and we don't miss her (we feel relieved for ourselves) but what is going on? I feel quite disgusted with her. (She can't know that as we haven't talked about this subject at all.)

Naicehamshop Wed 24-Aug-16 15:31:02

Could there be some problems with crossed wires? Is she expecting you to get in contact with her, and is trying not to interfere or impose?
Just clutching at straws really as it seems very odd....have you considered the possibility that she may have some mental health issues?
You may have to just accept that she doesn't really want to be part of your lives and let it go, but I feel for you and your son.

Themoleisdead Wed 24-Aug-16 15:34:55

How old were you when she left? Is there a connection?

Myrobalanna Wed 24-Aug-16 15:40:49

Thanks Naiceham, yes I have - she is an odd person - but tbh I thought she was quite devoted to the idea of being a good grandmother. I do not mind for DH and I as we aren't missing her. Thus far DS hasn't noticed but in fact she hasn't seen him in 14 months and has spoken to him about 3 times.

Themoleisdead both her children were under 10 when she left. It is possible yes that there is a connection on some level.

I know I can get in touch with her, but I do wonder at this point 'what for?' She has another husband and a step family so isn't alone.

kate33 Wed 24-Aug-16 15:43:02

I don't understand people like your Mum. Or my Dad for that matter - a man who has manipulated his relationship with me and now his grandchildren so that he only sees us once a year ( usually on Christmas Eve or Christmas Day) despite living 10 minutes away. I can only send you love and understanding op, who knows why they act this way. I do know I have spent years wondering and dealing with the heartache but at some point you have to say no more. Create your own family of friends. Stop contacting her. She doesn't deserve you or your son. Sorry to be harsh, your post touched a nerve.

Tootsiepops Wed 24-Aug-16 15:50:18

Things like this just break my heart.

My dad was estranged from his mother for various reasons - she, too was odd. I didn't miss her really as had another set of doting grandparents.

What does upset me though is that my own mum died very suddenly in April only four months after her first grandchild (my daughter) was born. My mum was and would have continued to be an amazing gran and I'm so sorry and heart sore she isn't getting that chance when there are grandmothers out there who don't seem that bothered with their grandchildren.

Themoleisdead Wed 24-Aug-16 15:52:17

I agree with kate leave her to it. As a parent I find it very difficult to understand this lack of connection but it sounds liike history is repeating itself and also as if her absence is of no,loss to you and your DS.

Myrobalanna Wed 24-Aug-16 15:58:16

hugs Kate33, it's incomprehensible really. I've come to terms with her not caring much about her children, best to just get on with things as you say!

Myrobalanna Wed 24-Aug-16 15:58:44

Tootsiepops that is hard. You must miss her terribly.

Myrobalanna Wed 24-Aug-16 16:00:05

Themoleisdead, history is repeating itself: her own mother is a totally absent grandparent and great-grandparent, with us. Apparently with all her other grandchildren, she's fine. I don't pretend to understand!

Cary2012 Wed 24-Aug-16 16:06:08

OP, this is horrible for your DS.

I wonder though if your mum struggles with older kids. He's a year or two older than when she walked out (unforgivable) and she bought your DS a gift much suited to a much younger child. Perhaps she doesn't know how to be with older kids, because she only copes and has experience with younger ones?

Just a thought, but am shaking my head at a woman who can do this to her own kids, then her grandchild.

You sound a great mum, your DS won't be bothered. Her loss, twice over. Silly, silly woman.

Themoleisdead Wed 24-Aug-16 16:10:19

Well you are obviously breaking the pattern - I think that makes it harder in a way. My parents both come from deeply disfunctional backgrounds and have in turn caused DB and I a lot of heartache. I know My mother is jealous of the relationship I have with my DC but hasn't made the connection between her poor parenting and our poor relationship. Keep doing the best for your son and be glad that you've broken the cycle.

Myrobalanna Tue 30-Aug-16 10:48:46

I've just found an answerphone message from the weekend. Says she'll be in touch via my mobile. Nothing. No texts or anything.

I feel like I should just contact her because tbh though I don't want to talk to her, neither do I want to have it hanging over me that we're not talking, if that makes sense!

AttilaTheMeerkat Tue 30-Aug-16 11:09:30

I would not make contact with your mother. No good will come of it and you could end up further emotionally hurt.

Its not you, its her and its not your fault she is like this. You did not make her this way, her own parents did that lot of damage to her. BTW what if anything do you know about her own childhood and family of origin?. That often has clues.

You had a dysfunctional relationship with her as a child too; she has not fundamentally altered in terms of personality. She made the choice to walk out on you all for her own reasons many years ago.

Myrobalanna Tue 30-Aug-16 13:24:49

Don't worry Attila, there's no way I blame myself and she doesn't damage me so much as make me think 'what a waste of time this all is' - anyway that's moot as quite possibly she agrees and is equally not bothered!
I do wonder how the interest in her grandchild has just fizzled out. He's such a love.

Myrobalanna Wed 31-Aug-16 11:30:06

Well, she just rang me (first time since June). Told me at length about her new nannying job, my cousins' children, etc. Finally asked about ds and we spent a couple of minutes on him (at the end of a thirty minute conversation) before she turned things back to her new job. She's not seen him in over a year but feels confident that he's 'a joy'.

So no drama, just...nothing much.

tribpot Wed 31-Aug-16 11:37:25

My FIL is like this. He does odd things like sends us a Christmas card saying "to the both of you" (both of you being being me and DH, I assume, unless it's DH and DS, his actual relatives? I have no idea as it goes straight in the bin). He sometimes seems to like to see ds although this is always instigated by my MIL who is a model grandma (they are long divorced). When we do see him he doesn't talk to or about ds at all, really - it's all very strange.

I let it just wash over me really - ds doesn't care or notice. The advantage of having divorced parents is we are awash with grandparents so bugger 'em, basically.

My own dad is even more absent - it winds up my mum and my aunt (his brother's wife) but I point out the kids couldn't care less so what's the harm? He's the one losing out.

Myrobalanna Wed 31-Aug-16 11:42:52

Yeah tribpot, same here - step grandparents are brilliant, so make up for her.

I think one reason I'm so disgusted is that she always told me my dad messed her around when she wanted to see us. He said she didn't ask him to arrange contact very often and he'd have to prompt her about birthdays etc. I doubted this could be the case...but clearly it was! She's such an arse.

iknowimcoming Wed 31-Aug-16 12:07:06

I automatically rolled my eyes at the mention of her nannying job I'm afraid! I've been nc with my mother for about 5 years partly because of her disinterest in my dc. She made a massive fuss when I was pregnant saying she was going to give up work and smoking and take care of the baby so I could go back to work etc etc but barely visited and she also lives 5 mins away. She is only interested in herself. My two brothers still see her and she did exactly the same when sil was pg with my dn and now hardly sees her. My db informs me that she is now a foster carer, words fail me ....

PepsiPenguin Wed 31-Aug-16 12:08:06

I think it is very difficult when you are a loving, kind person and you are treated like this by someone who although you have had limited contact with treats you in a way that feels alien to you.

I dealt with this from my biological father and i see DC go through this from their biological mother (left when 6mts, sees them once every 18mts)

I find the very hardest thing to come to terms with is that there are two beautiful little people in mix who haven't done anything wrong at all and we (DP and I) can't as loving, kind people get our heads around why someone can on the face of it be so very cold and uncaring. We are dealing with a narcissist though so it may be different from your mother but I think the concept is the same, it feels so allien as its not how you would ever act in a million years.

It's a very difficult thing to accept that someone doesn't really care, and that you can't persuade them to care.

We have to deal with DC "mother" what's worse is DC have to deal with her too (she hurts them so badly, we just pick up the pieces every time) it's a hard decision but I think if you can accept it, you would be better letting go of that relationship. My father died suddenly at 50, I spent years as a child trying to make him love me, as a young woman I still couldn't get my head around it - he was just selfish, having a child was never going to change him, when he died I was sad for the loss of the man I hoped he would turn into, I was relieved in a sense not to exhaust myself trying anymore - it's a very hard decision.

It is all very sad, that such nice people can be treated in this way. Really feel for you flowers

Myrobalanna Thu 01-Sep-16 09:39:32

Thought I was more or less ok but then told dh last night about the phone call and cried. I can't get over how proud she was of getting this job and how her previous employer was falling over herself to give my mother a glowing reference.
She failed to be able to take care - or to want to take care - of her own children! It's so crass to tell me all about how she does it so well and for money and status.
I read a lot on here about toxic parents, narcissistic mothers and breathtaking acts of manipulation. My mother isn't like that - she places no demands on me or my time. She's like an empty space that occasionally fills itself with something distasteful, that's all.

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