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Controlling parents try to stop me having any kind of social life / do anything

(34 Posts)
lottieandmia Mon 23-Jan-17 01:26:46

I hope this doesn't become a huge ramble. Basically, I'm a lone parent of three. My oldest child is severely disabled and I myself have AS so I don't like socialising much anyway and it takes a lot of effort for me to do it. Although once I have I sometimes enjoy it iyswim.

When my older two girls are with their father (every other weekend) I usually just crash out. This weekend I had wanted to go out on Saturday. This is highly unusual. The last time I went out on a weekend was March 2016. I asked my mum if she would mind looking after dd3 for me, who is nearly 8 and she got really annoyed about it. Now, I know it is her weekend too but usually she wants to do something with dd3 on a Saturday. But just because I said I wanted to go out, she had to be difficult and unkind about it.

Today, dd2 said that my mother had been bad mouthing me in front of her and dd2 saying she bets I was going on a date or something and saying nasty things about me. I feel that she wants me to be lonely and miserable for the rest of my life. A couple of weeks ago I met a friend for lunch while the children were at school and I had to hide it from her because I knew she would be nasty about it. Likewise, if I'm on the phone to a friend she shouts at me to get off the phone (my phone, my phone bill etc!)

So my question is, do any of you have this problem? I just don't understand why she never wants me to do anything.

ControlledAdultChild Mon 23-Jan-17 06:43:03


I'm in a very similar situation. My mum doesn't want me to go out either. She is very controlling. I wanted to go to the theatre and they agreed to babysit so I bought a ticket. Then she said I could only go if I took DD. I explained that I just wanted to go by myself. I don't have any friends I could ask to go with me.

She kept saying if it was innocent I would take DD. So I can't go. I can't find anyone who babysits locally, because I don't know anyone, and if I could, my mum forbids me from having anyone in my house. I live 1.5 hours from the town so the costs of a babysitter would soon add up too as 3 hours would have to be added on to the time of whatever I was doing.

I have told her how upset I am about having no social life but she thinks I should stay in doing housework all the time. I regularly visit a relative who is also very controlling and because of this my mum thinks that is an active social life.

In the past when I have tried to make some friends and met up with them my mum has contacted them to check they were really with me which is very embarrassing and has resulted in them dropping me.

I've no advice for you, I'm afraid. It is horrible to go through this. I know nobody owes me babysitting, but they lured me to live near them when my marriage broke up, saying that I would be able to join things and meet people.

My mum likes to tell me in great detail what her friend's children and grandchildren are up to. Everything from their holidays to home furnishings to what they went to see at the cinema. Her face lights up with excitement when she is telling me all this. I find that almost more upsetting than anything because she isn't interested in anything I tell her, and actively tries to prevent me doing anything.

I can't even go for a walk with the children without her say so. We ran off one day in July and went for a walk in the country. She told us she had called the police because she was so worried about where we were. I had said we would be out, but not where. The children hadn't been for a walk for so long that it wasn't a success and they don't want to go again. It used to be something they enjoyed doing.


Cherrysoup Mon 23-Jan-17 06:47:14

Do both of you posters live with your parents? Is there any way you could move away? This sounds like you're virtually prisoners! It's horrific. What happens if you don't tell your parents where you're going?

cherrycrumblecustard Mon 23-Jan-17 06:51:38

That is horrendous, both of you shock flowers

It sounds like for controlled her mum is keeping her prisoner?

hesterton Mon 23-Jan-17 06:57:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Manumission Mon 23-Jan-17 07:03:31

This is awful. Both of you. What's the source of their control? Money?

ExplodingCarrots Mon 23-Jan-17 07:08:58

I haven't got any advice Op but just wanted to say that you're not alone flowersMy poor MIL experiences the same with her mother. Her whole life controlled and judged. She was widowed at a young age with 2 small children and hasn't been 'allowed' a relationship since then. Every time someone came along, her mother would get involved and this new person would be chased away. MIL has given up and will be alone forever now. She even gets agro for going out for a meal with a friend. She gets grief for not socialising but when she decides to do something she's still in the wrong. It's all awful to watch.

Believeitornot Mon 23-Jan-17 07:13:21

Can you take steps to find a carer for your dd3 who you'd eventually be able to trust to babysit? Basically take steps to try and build independent without your mother. That's the only way you can manage it.

lottieandmia Mon 23-Jan-17 07:14:26

Goodness, Controlled! I'm sorry to hear you go through this as well - I had no idea I'm not the only one. I don't live with my parents but they do live very near.

I just know that when my own daughter's have children I will want to help them. My mum has also asked for my friend's phone number if I'm out with someone. Its so embarrassing apart from anything else.

lottieandmia Mon 23-Jan-17 07:17:10

Believe - you're right. I don't really know who to ask though. I'm quite isolated in a way because I have AS. While I was out on Saturday my mum phoned me to say 'what time are you coming back, exactly?' And then afterwards my daughter texted me to say sorry she is being like this to you!

Believeitornot Mon 23-Jan-17 07:21:31

I don't know enough about AS - could you ask on here about coping mechanisms and how people would tackle this situation?

Is there a charity or network in the area who can help you find some help?

lottieandmia Mon 23-Jan-17 07:56:16

Well, I guess it would be fair to say that my AS doesn't impact upon my ability to look after my children but it does mean that I tend not to have many friends because I don't know how to keep friendships going.

I suppose the answer is perhaps to find a nanny who could occasionally look after dd3 if I do want to go out anywhere. My mum will also actively try to stop me having relationships and if I do find someone she's rude to them etc, it's a nightmare.

picklemepopcorn Mon 23-Jan-17 08:02:13

You are in an awful situation, what a shame!
I am not excusing your parents in any way, but their behaviour may have grown out of overprotectiveness. When you have a child (or partner!) with additional needs, you get in the habit if being more involved, more supportive than others would be. That really easily turns into over protective and controlling. I think that is partly why families are allocated social workers, to ensure that doesn't happen.
I hope you find a way to disentangle them from your life, so you can do what you want a bit more!

Manumission Mon 23-Jan-17 08:07:58

I think sometimes people who thrive on manipulation do zoom in on aspies, whether they know about AS or not.

In fact, any kind of straightforwardness or disinclination to join in with mind games seems to be a red flag to people who like the games.

First of all, you need to ask yourself what would happen if you started saying "No" to unreasonable demands.

overthehillandroundthemountain Mon 23-Jan-17 08:09:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Manumission Mon 23-Jan-17 08:12:37

I suppose the answer is perhaps to find a nanny who could occasionally look after dd3 if I do want to go out anywhere. My mum will also actively try to stop me having relationships and if I do find someone she's rude to them etc, it's a nightmare.

So your practical problem is that you rely on her for something and that thing is childcare?

I'd sort that first. Once you don't need her she loses her leverage.

contrary13 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:06:54

*"I think sometimes people who thrive on manipulation do zoom in on aspies, whether they know about AS or not.
In fact, any kind of straightforwardness or disinclination to join in with mind games seems to be a red flag to people who like the games."*

This. Above.

My mother is also incredibly controlling. As I've read through the posts above, I've found myself nodding and thinking "Yep, she's done that... and that... and that..." - but when I've challenged her about it, she claims that she and my father "Are only trying to help..." Which is intended to cut me down to size and encourage me to get back into my box. In the last year, an awful lot has happened that has made me take several large steps away from my parents - for the sake of my children.

But be aware, that if you don't do something whilst your children are still young... you may find yourself with a controlling child to contend with, too.

My DD (20) has watched my mother belittle, and deliberately hurt me emotionally/financially throughout the years. She's listened to her badmouthing me/my son, she's heard her call me things like "whore", and "crazy", and "a bad mother who thinks only of herself" (that last one when I refused to have my DD back in my home after she knocked me unconscious, ran off not knowing if I was dead or alive, and left her 12 year old brother to deal with it all... the police told her to stay with my parents when they released her from custody, except my mother wanted to go out for the day to a market, so out came the emotional manipulations, the physical intimidation, the threats, the sneering, the "get back in your box where I can keep you" behaviours). She's also observed how my mother treats my father. Literally stopping him from having his own social life (although she doesn't have one of her own, oddly enough... she's always on the edge of things, and has no friends) and from seeing his friends. So my daughter has learned all of her behaviour from her grandmother.

Last weekend, I happened to mention in passing to my daughter that I'd been speaking to an old school friend (male) who has been invited to a mutual friend's significant birthday party - as have I and my son. Old school friend said that because it's a huge distance for him to drive (he lives in Wales, the party is in Hampshire), he is going to book a hotel room and stop over.

"Well, you're not going to the party!" my daughter announced. Which... as it stands right now... DS and I are. Not my fault her behaviour towards me/him has resulted in her being shunned by my friends (mutual friend's husband has actually said to me that if my daughter hadn't assaulted me so violently, and been badmouthing me on social media for having her arrested ever since, she would have been invited). And then: "[Old School Friend] is really skeevy, and he's been after you for years, and you're not allowed to see him!"

Old School Friend is, actually, not skeevy in the slightest, is not "after" me in any way, shape, or form, and is going through a very rough time of it of late. He's also DD's godfather. And I've known him long enough for us to regard one another as siblings, rather than "fanciable".

The rebellious part of me, the part which prevented me from simply doing everything my mother wanted me to just because she'd ordered me to, wants to go to the party with DS, agree for him to be looked after overnight by Mutual Friend's babysitter (her children are going to be retiring from the party at 9pm, and she's encouraged me to let DS go with them just so that I can have some "me" time, rather than "mum" time!) and then... spend the night (platonically) in Old School Friend's hotel room (which, again, he's already offered. There are two beds, incidentally, and he says that all of my friends think I need a bloomin' good night out after everything that I've had to deal with, daughter-wise, over the last year!). But the part of me that simply longs for a quiet life, suggests that I do as I'm told yet again, by a 20 year old who thinks she has the right to tell me not to date. I've been single for the last 11 years, pretty much. The last time a bloke was interested... DD told me that I wasn't allowed to see him, and if I did, she'd tell my mother. So I let the Quiet Life part of me put an end to that possible dalliance.

What I'm trying to say now, is please learn from my experience. Don't do as I did and inadvertantly allow your children to watch and learn how to treat you, from someone who patently neither likes, nor respects you. Because they will mirror it.

Atenco Mon 23-Jan-17 10:33:51

Gosh, now there are three people in impossible situations with mothers.

What the chances of moving away? Getting au pairs for babysitting or a housemate?

Maybe you three could form a support group amongst yourselves and include anyone else that comes along.

jellyontheplate89 Mon 23-Jan-17 10:52:43

My DPS Are like this. They have no friends they do not go out and socialise never have done. All they do is moan at each other and expect me to be the same as them. I no longer live with them and never go out ( last time I went out was 2011 ) even then it got cut short. Constantly phoning or texting to see how the DC are what they have been like/eaten/slept like each and every day, some say it would be nice to have their parents interested in their grandkids like this but it's not coming from a good place. I often get referred to "Harry potter" because I wasn't allowed to go out as a kid / growing up and never did the same thing as anyone else I might as well off been looked in the cupboard under the stairs. I have been single 5 years. I tried to start a relationship with a lovely guy a few years ago and all they did was cancel babysitting last minute ( on purpose) or call me all the way through the date asking me to hurry up, poor guy gave up after a while because they just wouldn't leave me to it. They will never have both children either as they think if I stay at my house alone I must be with a man (not true) is it wrong to want a bit off me time? I have no friends either I have social anxiety and depression which DPS now about and apparently it's "all made up and I'm attention seeking" sorry for the life story just wanted you to know you're not alone I have tried talking to my DPS but I've only got it thrown back in my face and the issue swept under the carpet like everything else. Hope you can escape OP it really is horrid flowers

lottieandmia Mon 23-Jan-17 14:00:52

It's so frustrating isn't it? Actually I'm kind of relieved that I'm not the only one. But I feel for all of you. My mum will also do,things like agree to babysit 1-2 weeks before the event. Then on the actual evening when I'm getting ready to go she starts shouting at me and telling me I shouldn't be going.

user1479305498 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:08:40

at this point my usual upsetness at having nothing to do with my mother turns into a massive sigh of relief. I think unfortunately you are dealing with very unhappy people themselves who have nothing better to focus on. Personally I would move away if at all possible at a suitable time , find yourself a reliable babysitter or if you can afford it and had the room, get a live in au pair--This is no way to live--any of you!!

jeaux90 Mon 23-Jan-17 14:08:55

OP do you work? Do you have your own home? I would definitely be drawing some boundaries with your mum.

If you can afford to, get a baby sitter on the rare occasion you go out. You don't have to pick up the phone or answer text messages if you don't want to nor do you have to provide her contact details of anyone you are going out with.

If you feel up to it tell your mother that you are entitled to some freedom and that the constant calling about where you are and with whom has to stop.

Sorry but I think this is controlling and abusive.

Isetan Mon 23-Jan-17 14:20:41

Your mother's behaviour isn't about you, it's all on her and there's nothing you can do to change it, it's her responsibility. However, it is your responsibility and within your power, to limit your exposure and that of your children, to her abusive and controlling behaviour. Boundaries, boundaries, boundaries and in future do not rely on her for babysitting. Having her babysit is convenient but the price you pay, is her abusing you and abusing your child as a means to abusing you and IMHO that's way too high.

preparedtobeshotdown Mon 23-Jan-17 14:25:42

Oh God sounds like my family. And my husbands at that. Growing up in did most of the child acre and house chores. When I was a teenage I got a part time job on top of school children care nd helping elderly grandparents. On the rare occasions I was invited out. I say rare as I was never allowed to go so friends stopped inviting me, they stopped me going. But when they heard about the invitation they would say you should go, you never go out. Then on the day someone had to be ill so I wasn't allowed to go. I was emotionally manipulated that my last year if gcses ended in me having depression. I moved out at 18 with a full time job. Didn't go to uni so I didn't have to come home at the holidays.

I went no contact for a while but g parents passed away so had to be in contact.

Recently went no contact again. I am now married with 2 kids. They never visit. Think dh is stopping get me from seeing them. Which is not true. I have always said they are welcome. I don't drive and dh works 7 days a week so I can't get there. But they always have an excuse not to come. They have only seen dc2 2 times in 2.5 years. I told her recently that we might be moving up north. Might
Not definite and she said I was selfish and horrible and I can't stop her seeing the kids. Which is a joke because she doesn't see them anyway. Then Sister joined in texting me horrible messages etc. Blaming dh when he hasn't done anything but look after us and picked me up when they broke me. I am now no contact and so happy. They suggested I stay here and dh commute every week resulting in only seeing him every 2 weeks so that they could still visit me once a year.... I finally told her to find off and blocked her

preparedtobeshotdown Mon 23-Jan-17 14:27:11

Looks like it's become a new norm doesn't it. Crazy selfish parents

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