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How can I help my poor mum/resist the urge to rage at my extended family?

(14 Posts)
Everstrong Tue 09-May-17 19:28:03

My mum is one of 5 siblings who have a chequered history of in fighting and bitching behind each others backs. I haven't kept up with any of them over the past few years as the emotional energy required is exhausting- even though I do miss my cousins who I was once close too.

Last weekend one of my cousins got married, my mum found out (through the dreaded social media) that she was the only one of the 5 siblings not invited and has seen pictures of the other 4 all celebrating and talking about what a "great family" they have.

My poor mum is in bits, she hasn't fallen out with any of her siblings (as far as she knows but they have got form for randomly cutting people out) and I am so angry with the way they've treated her it's tempting to comment on FB and ask if my mums invite got lost in the post

They're a pretty toxic bunch so I don't think mum is missing out by not being in their lives but obviously she doesn't see it that way. Any ideas how I can support her and build her up following this?

Isetan Tue 09-May-17 19:44:22

Your mother needs to accept them for who they are and not who she wants them to be. The only thing you can do with drama llamas, is not feed them.

You can't stop her from participating in toxic relationships but I would make it very clear, that you have no interest in being sucked back in to a soap opera.

Aquamarine1029 Tue 09-May-17 22:04:42

If you have the urge, call the sibling whose child got married and ask them directly why your mother wasn't invited and tell them how hurt she is. But for FUCK'S sake, keep all of this off Facebook. Don't be like all the pricks who vent their personal issues on social media. It's so uncouth.

springydaffs Tue 09-May-17 23:29:16

They're never going to change. That's the first thing to get her head around - takes a while to get your head around that.

Then she can decide whether she's prepared to stick around, knowing the kind of thing they do, or to leave. Bloody hurts though, whatever she decides.

(NB i chose to leave my toxic brood. Phew, best thing I ever did. If I listen very very closely, I can still hear them wrangling away at top volume. So glad I'm out of it).

springydaffs Tue 09-May-17 23:30:06

(because they truly are full of shit, from the bottom to the top and out to each side. Endless.)

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Wed 10-May-17 07:52:16

I wonder if one of the ways her family bonds is by turning on / excluding individuals within the group.
It's an oddly common ( and deeply dysfunctional) dynamic. The repercussions of this are that no individual is able to change this because they will become the next victim ( so stepping in on someone elses behalf is a no gain strategy) and that it is tacitly understood, if not spoken about, that at some point the focus of the abuse will move on.
It would therefore be a situation where the only way to 'win' is not to play. But note, this too would exclude your mother from the family. Once you see a pattern like this you can't unsee it, and you can't fix it. You can just not be a part of it.
Hope I'm wrong, suspect I'm not.

Imbroglio Wed 10-May-17 08:03:15

Your poor mum.

Sadly this is probably the opportune moment to cut the ties and move on, when it's obvious what's going on and the human cost.

As for what you can do. ... accept that your mum will be hurting very deeply and acknowledge her feelings. Do something lovely with her to show her she's loved (and plaster that all over Facebook).

lizzyj4 Wed 10-May-17 09:07:51

Agree with 665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast - this is a pattern of relating they have had their whole lives. If you engage with it, you're simply feeding into the drama. By speaking to them, I guess you would be hoping they might see that what they are doing is hurtful not to mention unbelievably childish but they already know that. They're not going to suddenly start behaving like decent human beings.

I agree with PP that the best approach is to cut all ties, unfortunately, both for you and your mum. I really like Imbroglio's idea of doing something lovely with your mum.

Everstrong Thu 11-May-17 20:32:30

Aqua I definitely have the urge to call my aunt and ask her why mum wasn't invited but I won't because it will let them know mum is upset.

Sadly I think you've hit the nail on the head 665. It wasn't long ago that my uncle was the one being excluded but my mum didn't "play along" with my aunts and was perfectly upfront that she was still in contact with her brother. Perhaps my aunts see that as a "slight".

Have sent mum some flowers telling her how grateful I am to have her.

RandomMess Thu 11-May-17 20:41:19

I would make a huge point of telling your Mum that you are very grateful that she is not like them and you treat people fairly and with kindness. Also that she on her own is worth a thousand of your aunts/uncles and you are so happy she has demonstrated the better way to be.

Your poor Mum flowers

user1493759849 Thu 11-May-17 22:13:00

I am SO sorry for you mum. What a fucking vile way to treat her.

TBH, I would send them ALL a message on their facebook page(s) and tell them what a bunch of utter cunts they all are for leaving your mother out, and you hope they all fucking rot in hell. And your mum and you and your dad/siblings etc, all block them and DELETE them from your life.

They obviously don't give a bollocky wank about her, they love to see her hurt and upset, and she will be better off without these cretins.

She has a wonderful daughter for a start. Fuck them, nasty cunts.

As I said, message them all on their facebook pages, and then block them all. They don't deserve any of you guys.

Imbroglio Thu 11-May-17 22:48:35

I wouldn't contact the family. That's probably the drama they want.

Complete indifference is the way to go.

I think you are doing the right thing making a fuss of your mum and letting her know she's important to the people who really matter.

user1493759849 Thu 11-May-17 22:56:52

You're probably right Imbrolio. Ignoring them and cutting off all contact will probably upset them more than anything else.

Why the fuck would they treat this poor woman like this? sad

GoodDayToYou Fri 12-May-17 09:26:38

The good thing is that now you know. I would unfriend them all - no need to see any more of their photos - and suggest your mum does the same. Without social media, you soon find out who your real friends are. Encourage your mum to focus on them.

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