toxic mother - any identification?(17 Posts)
Very briefly: (a) my mother had a sexual relationship with my first husband - when I eventually plucked up the courage to discuss it, she said it was done to protect me because I obviously couldn't keep him happy and she didn't want to put me through the pain of a divorce; (b) through lies and manipulation, I KNOW, trying to get me to drink alcohol at a family event (I am an alcoholic in recovery - 5 years sober) (c) accusing my current husband (an angel) of hitting her; (d) my father has just died and overtly lying about stuff to do with the will, why it was drawn up giving more money to my brother, saying dad had made a new one just before he died (which hasn't yet turned up)......... well, basically just lying to me so much. I am so confused; I feel like I am losing my sense of reality and what is true and what is not; I am thinking of cutting off contact with her - but feel such guilt.
Others I am sure will have had similar mothers who can advise you bettet
But You have listed 4 extremely good reasons never to see her again.
How would you deal with a friend who treated you like this?
I can understand guilt, she is your mother but in reality, does she give a shit about anyone other than herself? I mean shagging your husband and blaming you!!
Please Break free and dont worry about your guilt
Why do you feel so guilty? She clearly has no guilt for the hurt she has caused you. Why are you the only one who gets to care and feel horrible?
Bloody hell! Cut her out of your life and go no contact. You wouldn't put up with this from anyone else!!
I would have cut her out of my life after the first incident; she slept with your ex husband?! What?!
Please know you deserve respect and kindness from people in your life as a minimum standard. Her behaviour is neither of these things.
You've had a very raw deal in being the daughter of this woman. What an awful life you must've had. You've been very tolerant, but I don't think she's capable of being a good mum. Don't let her ruin the rest of your life, she doesn't deserve you.
You have no reason to feel guilty. She has, but I'm not sure she will, because she is a toxic person. She may have given birth to you, but once the umbilical cord was cut, you became a separate individual with your own life to live.
Do you think she really was trying to protect you when she slept with your exH, or was she simply trying to make excuses to justify what she had done?
You should go NC immediately and walk away from her. She didn't give a shit about you when she slept with your XH, or when she tried to get you to have a drink. Why should you give a shit about her. As it stands, I'm sure you wouldn't put up with that behaviour from a friend, so why put up with it from your mum? Just because she brought you into the world, it doesn't give her carte blanche to treat you as disrespectfully as she has.
Get rid and move on. It'll be tough, but you can and should do it before your MH suffers even more than it does now.
If she rings, tell her not to and ring the police for advice on harassment. Same if she calls at your door. Tell her that you want no more contact from her and ring the police if she doesn't leave. If she sends presents/cards, send them back. Do not let your DC anywhere near her as she'll likely use them to get at you. No-one has to have a relationship with someone toxic............no matter who they are.
Good luck OP you can do this.
Thank you so much everyone. I should make it clear that the sexual contact wasn't "penetration" just other stuff (but for me it still comes under the same label). I really appreciate everyone's comments - I know I need to make my own mind up about this, but I just wanted some sort of general ground opinion to see if I was completely off-track with my thinking. Obviously not! My wonderful present husband has been SO understanding, but even he is getting fed up of my seemingly ridiculous desire to win her approval. If I don't sort it out I am going to lose him too. I have read that breaking links with your mum is one of the hardest things, because right from birth you are dependent upon pleasing her to get fed and clothed. But I am going to do this............. I have loving friends, a husband, lovely son, etc and I just have to somehow get past this guilt. Of course, I would not put up with any of this behaviour if it was anyone else other than my mum. The other day when I said I couldn't "fix" her, she said that this why she had me and that is what daughter's are meant to do.......... she is obviously "ill". And I will try and feel compassion for her. But the time has come for me to protect myself. I really do appreciate everyone's comments. Thank you. x
So what if it didn't involve penetration! Any sexual contact is off the scale of impropriety and the excuse that you "couldn't keep him happy" is beyond disgraceful. I would not have had anything more to do with her again, ever. Cut this toxic woman out of your life forever. You don't need the approval of a piece of scum. Your husband is right, go NC and never look back, no guilt. She doesn't deserve the title 'Mum', that's too good for her.
Thank you again everyone. Really helped to read answers in black and white. I feel like I am losing my sense of reality - one part of me believes what you all say (and my hubby and son say; and I believe my AA sponsor feels - although they are all too "healthy" to interfere); but the other part of me feels like this is all my fault, as always and that I am a really bad person. It is strange but if I got rid of my husband I could go back and live with mum and maybe she would like me............... how crazy is that. So still trying to hang on here and she hasn't tried to call again yet. Just hurts so much!! x
Have you done any reading?
Had any therapy?
Google 'FOG' Fear Obligation Guilt.
Look on amazon for books about toxic mothers and their daughters and how to over come the guilt.
Just enter 'Toxic mothers' in the search and see which one would suit your situation best.
You don't owe this woman anything.
He is truly appalling.
'but the other part of me feels like this is all my fault, as always and that I am a really bad person.'
And that is the legacy of a toxic parent. You are well trained from an early age to doubt yourself, to put other people (especially the parent) first at all times, to neglect and ignore your own needs and to feel intense guilt for going against any of this. Its highly abusive parenting and not easy to overcome, but it absolutely can be done.
I would think about hellsbells suggestions about reading around this subject, and I could not recommend psychotherapy enough (I've had lots myself). Your mother's behaviour is truly shocking and really quite disturbing to read about. You are absolutely justified in prioritising your own needs and your own sanity here, but its not always as easy as that. You may well benefit from some professional support. In my experience, the guilt doesn't go away, but it becomes much easier to deal with, less frightening and less overwhelming.
Try the stately homes thread as well. The first post has some great stuff that will help.
Thing to remember is that is you really are as bad as your Mother's Says you are, your lovely dh would not have married you. Or would have run away by now. You would not have a stable job as you would have been let go at any possible excuse and you wouldn't have friends.
Don't listen to her. Do some reading and start healing.
OP I've nothing as wise or useful to add really, but I want to say that your mother's behaviour is extreme, and I wouldn't judge you for never speaking to her again. Her behaviour is absolutely appalling. This doesn't make you a bad person - it's a sad fact that some people inflict devastating pain on their own children. I have a friend, the only daughter, who had two brothers that the mother overtly favoured. My friend had good school reports torn up, ditto for artwork etc. It seems to be the case that her mother saw her as a threat, and was in competition with her. Could this be the case for you? Either way, IMO you should cut her out, you can't fix someone like that. You deserve better.
Good grief. A case for NC forever if ever I've seen one.
What a despicable woman.
Why are you hesitating? Each one of the things you list is grounds for telling her to do one!
"I have read that breaking links with your mum is one of the hardest things, because right from birth you are dependent upon pleasing her to get fed and clothed."
Personally I think this sounds like bollocks. Parents are supposed to feed and clothe their children no matter what - if them fulfilling these basic needs was dependent on the child being appealing then a big proportion wouldn't make it through toddlerhood with all the tantrums and sleep deprivation.
Thank you, thank you, thank you. I am reading and getting help. I have made the decision and will stick with it. My sobriety it much too precious to me. It is so great to have everyone's comments - I can return to them time and time again when the going gets tough to remind myself that I am doing the right thing. (You are right about that feeding and clothing the child thing.............. of course) You are all right xx
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