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Guilt over avoiding contact with my mum

(9 Posts)
BumDNC Thu 05-Jan-17 22:58:09

The longer it goes on the worse I feel but the easier it gets to go longer periods without contact. I avoid my dad mostly and never feel guilty about it at all. I do a phone call and duty visit a few times a year to get it over with but that's easy as he lives far away.

I don't feel close to my parents I feel burdened by them. They are divorced but similar in opposing ways - sounds odd but as they age, they both seem to continue to use me to listen to their stories of bad health and woe. It's boring. They don't bring much positive to my life.

I had a complicated abusive childhood, I don't forgive either of them for their part in it. They expect me to. Dad does not want to discuss it or minimises his part (the worst part) but mother actually seems to revel in it - discussing in detail as if she too, suffered along side me hmm

As I said, as they age their only conversations are about bad things - ill health and repetitive stories about people from work I don't know.

But I do feel some residual guilt. I know my mother is very lonely and misses me terribly. I also feel unwillingly guilty for the fact I find her so boring and annoying. She lives nearby and I should visit more. My kids find her dull and irritating as well (worry they get this from me but they are teens now) and complain if I make them go there.

I kind of wish I felt differently, that I could want to visit and chat on the phone. She used to be very clingy but detachment has improved this. She makes the effort once a week to try to contact me and I always brush her off 'yeah I will see if I am busy' then forget about her.

Writing this I am not sure if I am a giant bitch or just that our relationship is too badly damaged. I would feel upset if something happened to her.

I suppose I want a better relationship but I don't know how to make one. Time I spent with her I can't wait to leave! Anyone in the same boat? How did it improve?

Yoksha Fri 06-Jan-17 06:29:27

Hi there DNC,

Didn't want to read & run. This being Mn you'll receive advice that will go through the spectrum of dynamics. All good in the sum of its parts because you'll get a rounded out view of " how " you should proceed.

I'm going to watch this thread because I am having similar difficulties with a friendship that's 30yrs old & has run its course. I'm trying to detach without ghosting.

As I progress through adult life I've learnt a few things from Mn that has enabled me to change how I deal with people in an emotionally healthier fashion.

1. People treat you the way you allow them.

2. Set healthy boundaries & enforce them. Have a few stock phrases to help you. Rinse & repeat as required.

3. Life's too short for enduring shit. Just because they're family, doesn't mean you have to " put up with it ". Guilt, unless you've done someething awful is a futile. Refuse to
indulge yourself.

4. Read "Finding Your Own North Star " by Martha Beck. The first 2 chapters motivated me to change my outlook on myself.

It's a journey OP, and it begins with one step.

FatalKittehCharms Fri 06-Jan-17 06:44:45

The longer it goes on the worse I feel but the easier it gets to go longer periods without contact. I avoid my dad mostly and never feel guilty about it at all. I do a phone call and duty visit a few times a year to get it over with but that's easy as he lives far away.

Hi OP, hoping you get good advice soon, but just wanted to say that you do not have any duty to these people who were abusive to you and who seem to have either dismissed what they did to you or are revelling in recalling what they did and talking about it as if they had watched it in a movie instead of inflicting it on you.

You have nothing to feel guilty about. They should be feeling guilty, not you.

I would not increase the visits/calls, in fact, if they are making you feel bad, I would reduce them.

pklme Fri 06-Jan-17 06:52:39

Hi, I'm assessing a relationship at the moment too. I have decided to work out what kind of person I am and what kind of person I want to be. What does that look like? Do that regardless of the wishes of the other person.
In your case I would think something like, I don't want to be someone who completely ignores her DPs and leaves them lonely. I can manage some contact without being emotionally damaged by them, right, I'll take DM or DF out for lunch once a month, with a different DC each time. That's it, no more.

pklme Fri 06-Jan-17 06:54:12

Or, just because reading it back that is a bit one sided, I am a strong and independent person who owes them nothing, I will not see or speak to them.

Or I owe them nothing but they are old and vulnerable. I will see them once every three months.

BumDNC Fri 06-Jan-17 08:52:53

Thanks for your advice.
I think I can pinpoint the actual source of this and it's certainly anger and it's killed a lot of feelings I ever had in the FOG, now it has turned to polite indifference. I mean I am not rude to them. I so would love to ghost them but it's morally wrong so I don't.

I do not fit into their ideal shape and mould of daughter. I never have done and they never stop trying to force my compliance by using guilt. Their entire concept is around the fact that parents deserve unconditional love and respect no matter what - they had to give it to their parents and so do I hmm I also owe them for my childhood where I was expensive and difficult. I know my mother loves me in her own way but I feel like I am trapped in a relationship I don't want

Yoksha Fri 06-Jan-17 10:51:48

When a parent uses you " owe me "! My initial comment is " I didn't ask to be born". I had an awful narcissistic mother & not once did she use that worm on me. Sheesh!

ScruffbagsRUs Fri 06-Jan-17 18:29:09

You had no choice in being born. When a woman chooses to bring DC into the world, it's her duty (as well as the DC's father) to see to the DC's physical, mental and emotional needs as much as possible. Being expensive and difficult is an aside. It could be said that any child is expensive and difficult at times, but as parents, we brought them into the world, so it's our job to make sure they get what they need regardless of cost.

EvaSthlm Sat 07-Jan-17 18:01:05

You know, it's not your job to be the 'perfect daughter', you've already done your part in that when you grew up. Some people are just terrible in using guilt to force other people to do what they want, they will fake a heart attack if necessary. It's not your fault your childhood was expensive, and now you don't owe them anything, it's not like having a mortgage on your house and having to repay it. Read this book by John Cleese, "Families and how to survive them".

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