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Toxic family, please help

(41 Posts)
Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 02:26:53

I just don't know what to do any more.

I'm a lone parent of three, the oldest has severe disability, the youngest has ADHD and the middle child is very bright /NT. Since July I have had a back injury which looks as if it will need surgery. I've always felt that my parents hate me. My mum screams and shouts at me because of having to help me look after the children. The oldest one is very challenging at times but ive managed to get her into an independent school for children with autism and already I'm seeing improvement (she's 14)

My friend says I just need to get out of the situation by encouraging dd1,to board. This is probably a good idea for her but I'm worried about what I will do and who will collect my other DC. Dd3, the last time I asked for her to be in after school club wandered off. I'm well educated but I've been at home running my daughters ABA program since I was 23 and I'm now 36. I'm bright but how can I start a career now? I'm a qualified spa therapist.

My mum says she tells everyone at her work that I'm a bastard and she wouldn't care if she never saw me again. I don't care what these people think. She is now dragging my other DC into it. They see her attacking me and get upset and say they hate her (I'm sure they don't mean it) these are children of 11 and 7 and she says she'll cut me them out of her will. (Who cares)

If my children were all NT I could have coped alone.

How do I get out of this shit situation?

Longlost10 Sat 10-Sep-16 02:47:24

My mum screams and shouts at me because of having to help me look after the children.

your mum does NOT have to help you look after your children, and clearly can't cope with them, and is clearly in some distress.

Leave her alone.

wayway13 Sat 10-Sep-16 02:55:56

I have no advice or experience to offer but your mum sounds horrid! I'm shocked and so sorry xx

UptownFlunk Sat 10-Sep-16 03:06:20

I think it unlikely the OP is forcing her mother to care for her children Longlost! How about showing some empathy for someone who is clearly having a very difficult time.

OP, you need to find a way of distancing both yourself and your children from your mother, she sounds awful. Have faith in yourself, working will boost your comfidence and make you feel more in control of your life. flowers

DownTownAbbey Sat 10-Sep-16 04:46:26

I have one autistic DS and know that childcare for ASD kids is pretty much nonexistent so have relied very heavily on my DM over the years so I totally get you, OP. If Dd1 can board that could make the world of difference, especially whilst you recover from back surgery. You don't mention the kids father at all, his he any use? What about his parents? flowers

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 08:59:39

Long lost - I agree she doesn't have to help me. However, she's so changeable on a day to day basis that I don't know where I am with her. One day she's all smiles, the next she's telling me I'm evil and the situation is all my fault. It's not my fault I had a disabled child is it? I've done all I can to make sure she gets an appropriate education & my mum is the first to moan if she comes home from anywhere with a bruise.

The back injury I have really is bad. Sometimes I'm crying with the pain of it. The children's dad has been good - he's been having her as much as he can even though he's a workaholic and works Monday to Sunday. Sometimes he will offer to have her and my mum will say no, then later complain which makes no sense. Also a couple of weekends ago the children were all due to go out with their dad and she insisted on taking dd3 somewhere. I pointed out that as this was an opportunity for her to have some time to herself why insist on looking after dd3 that day ?

For years she always wanted to help me with dd1 until suddenly she became more difficult (because she was in an inappropriate school). So since then she clearly doesn't even like her. I've fought the LA to get her into an independent school for children with ASD. Luckily they settled without me having to go to tribunal (again). She has just started there.

My second child is no trouble at all and the one with ADHD has the inattentive kind so she's not in your face she finds it difficult to focus at school. She's now on Ritalin.

A couple of weeks ago my mother actually pushed me over in anger - which is not going to help my back. It has been confirmed that this isn't a muscular problem, it's my spine - slipped disc.

It's a really difficult situation to get out of when I have no siblings or anyone else who can help. And you can't just get a boarding placement for a child overnight. We get 2 nights a month respite from SS.

I think that if my ex husband and I had stayed together we could cope but that's life.

My parents have always been miserable unhappy people since way before I even got married. My mother has been saying for about 25 years that our family is cursed.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:04:11

In any case, the point is that I can't just dump my oldest child anywhere, poor thing. To get a boarding placement it all had to go to panel, etc. I wondered if anyone else had been in the same sort of situation and how they managed their way out of it.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 09:04:46

In any case, the point is that I can't just dump my oldest child anywhere, poor thing. To get a boarding placement it all had to go to panel, etc. I wondered if anyone else had been in the same sort of situation and how they managed their way out of it.

flapjackfairy Sat 10-Sep-16 10:32:01

Would it be an idea to approach social services and ask for help possibly through short term foster care or can they provide emergency respite whilst you sort out your health issues? . I have to say that it is not a healthy situation for your children to be in and some of your mother's behaviour is shocking and this is clearly impacting your kids. I am sure you know that already and you are doing your best in very difficult circumstances . If I was you I would be distancing myself from her once you are back to full health and looking for support elsewhere in the long term (easier said than done I know). I hope you get your back sorted out and that life gets a bit easier for you soon. Look after yourself and best of luck

flapjackfairy Sat 10-Sep-16 10:42:38

Meant to say I am a foster carer and you can request emergency placements even for special needs kids. I am a disability foster carer myself. I know people who have done that and don't think you will have a battle to get them back home social services can be helpful at times like this (although some local authorities better than others) . If you get respite you presumeably have a disability sw so you could sound them out to see what is available on an emergency basis. Best wishes

jeaux90 Sat 10-Sep-16 11:10:48

Firstly big hug. You say your exP is a workaholic but it sounds like you have an amicable situation. Have you told him exactly what is going on? Is there a chance he could take a week off whilst you recover and he take the kids? It sounds like fighting for a boarding place would be a great solution for you and your DD. It would give you the cjmacento start getting back to work. Your mum....honestly if you can get to a situation where you don't need her involved then I would, she sounds like martyrdom is her goal and she is horrid to you. Tell her to piss off and grow up. Xxx

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 11:14:01

Yes we do have a very good social worker - she does all she can for us. I suppose I am afraid for dd to be in permanent care after watching that Winterbourne View program. A placement in a school would worry me less.

Is it actually possible to have a temporary foster placement? I know she won't be able to stay at home forever but I wanted her to be with us as long as possible - she's very attached to me.

I do understand that it must be stressful for my mum because my dad is useless and doesn't lift a finger around the house and never has - she has to do everything. But sometimes life is shit and I don't see how it's my fault. I then spend ages trying to figure out whether I am actually a bad person and I end up upset which is not really helpful for anyone.

jeaux90 Sat 10-Sep-16 11:16:22

She is taking it out on you, you have enough worries so she needs to stop X

flapjackfairy Sat 10-Sep-16 11:33:50

It is not unusual to get requests for short term placements while parents have operations or sometimes just at breaking point and need a break You have nothing to lose by asking and they will not use it as an excuse to take your kids away (unless there are other safeguarding issues). You sound like a great mum (against all odds least of which being your parents treatment of you). Your family is not cursed . Children are a blessing even with special needs and you are not to blame for the circumstances you find yourself in. Stay strong x

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 12:24:41

Thanks for your kind words. Our social worker is very nice so perhaps I could discuss this with her.

My oldest daughter is very complex - when she was little and did ABA she did very well and we could take her on holiday and do normal stuff. But then she went to a generic special school and they just couldn't meet her needs and she developed extreme self harm behaviours and she keeps running water and trying to climb over fences etc. I do feel that now she is in an autism specific school with an individualised program she will become more settled and her psychiatrist agrees. But obviously in the meantime things are hard. And it's unlucky I have a bad back.

Sometimes I wish my ex husband and I had not broken up because we were a good team but the stress of the first tribunal made me obsessed with it (I have AS myself) and I became distant from him and he thought I didn't love him any more.

SeaEagleFeather Sat 10-Sep-16 13:13:59

Your mother pushed you over?

My mum screams and shouts at me because of having to help me look after the children

They see her attacking me and get upset and say they hate her (I'm sure they don't mean it)

At this point, if my children were saying they hated her (don't be so sure they don't mean what they say) and if your mother is being violent to you ... then the next step is to call the police. The children should NOT be being looked after by someone who assaults their mother!!!

I realise this puts you in an incredibly hard position. But if your mother is reported for assault then I imagine the SS will take a lot more notice of what's going on. Because your mother is undermining you and dragging you down, when you already have more than most people ever have to handle. Your chldren hate her. And she is violent.

I do hope you can find appropriate support and help, even if it's hard, because this situation is not working for you or your children. She sounds as if she could be being mean to your children when you're not around too, since it's clear she dislikes at least your oldest, and you too.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 18:55:00

I'm scared of her being taken into emergency care and ending up with someone looking after her that could be miles away. It's an awful prospect. Yes I do agree with you that the situation is really bad for all my children though.

Today, my mum is as nice as pie. The mean sweet cycle is a total head fuck and makes it difficult for me to extract myself from the situation. As I say, this isn't just about my daughter - it's been going on for years before I was a mother myself. She will just suddenly turn.

On a good note, my oldest dd has had one week at her new school and she already seems a lot calmer, a lot easier to communicate with and generally much happier. She used to be my parents favourite grandchild (and leave out the other two - a whole other bad situation) and as soon as her behaviour became more difficult my parents don't seem to care about her any more.

It's really difficult because I'm sure my dad is autistic. He has put combination locks on all the doors upstairs in their house and he won't let my mum know the combinations. I can see why she's unhappy. She's also being abused by him.

Things will never change and I have to find a way out of the situation I know that but it's difficult.

SeaEagleFeather Sat 10-Sep-16 19:51:39

You also have to put your children first now. Her playing favourites is very hurtful. They'll notice and that sort of thing stings, and stays with you.

Toxic Parents by Susan Forward is very well worth a read.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 21:38:36

Yes Toxic Parents is an enlightening read most certainly. I first read it after my mum ignored me and my 2 day old baby for over a week because she'd had an argument with my husband which had nothing to do with me.

Of course I understand that she is a bad influence in my children's lives. The problem with having AS is that it isolates you from other people so you find you don't have anyone to turn to. Perhaps if my dd's new school placement is as successful as it has been so far I will be able to move away and won't need their help. Or at least reduce the help I need.

I know there is no easy solution. I'm just venting.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 21:41:35

The middle child is treated the most dismissively because she's bright and also a very talented artist (she won a very sought after scholarship and her teacher feels her work could one day be famous). Instead of being proud of her, she's called spoilt (she really isn't)

SeaEagleFeather Sat 10-Sep-16 21:41:39

wishing you long distance support lottie. not much practical help but I do hope something breaks your way and things get easier. flowers

Aeroflotgirl Sat 10-Sep-16 21:44:43

I have a dd who has ASD and learning difficulties, your mum is nasty and toxic and seriously I would go N/C with her. Her behaviour does not help you or the situation at all.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 23:01:34

Thank you. I wish I could find a way not to have any involvement with her. I guess I have to believe in myself more. The strangest thing is that she's always the one who suggests I come to live near her.

Lottielou272 Sat 10-Sep-16 23:04:26

I find it hard to actually be angry with her because her own mother was a toxic person who set all of her 6 children against each other. As a result none of them speak to each other as adults. I've made a big effort not to continue this legacy with my own girls.

Aeroflotgirl Sat 10-Sep-16 23:09:32

lottie you don't need her and her one big head fuck. You can do it. She is utterly vile and toxic and neither you of your kids need that. Ask for more help from SS, keep shouting. My dd carer told me that those who shout the loudest, get. You and ex can still work together, are you able to ask him to help out?

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