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Suck it up or cut her out?

(55 Posts)
CustardLover Fri 19-May-17 23:09:51

This is such a long story that I can't possibly do justice to it all so I will try and summarise the pertinent points without leaving out anything significant - no drip-feeding intended but it is still really long, sorry!

Essentially my DM and I are just at the end of the line. I love her deeply and dearly but I can't handle her toxicity any more. She has always been troubled; brought us up alone under great stress in the 80s, had huge fallouts with her family and completely antagonistic relationship with my DF (which I don't blame her for) so life has definitely been hard and she is a very negative person - always someone to blame for perfectly normal life setbacks - she has no emotional resilience and flies off the handle - at the bus driver, librarian, shop assistant etc at the drop of a hat.

We have been having an increasingly tense relationship since I was married almost a decade ago (she told me she didn't believe in marriage when I told her we got engaged). The wedding itself was all sorts of wrong - she insisted that the family with whom she had fallen out were invited, was perfectly lovely to them all night (I was delighted, thought it was all resolved) but little did I know that she was storing up all the slights and insults to add to her enemies book and keep her fuelled with vitriol for years.

I have since had DC and she is just utterly crazy now. Nothing is good or right in the world when it comes to them, or more specifically my eldest. (I am a selfish mother. Why did I have children if I was just going to work? My child is too hot / cold / shouldn't wear pull-ups / be in bunks. I don't feed them properly (beans on toast - completely selfish and lazy), their nanny is a drug dealer (she went to Poland once - no, I don't bloody know either) when did I last wash my outside fence? Etc) but all of this, while tedious, can be coped with.

My line has been crossed recently in two ways - firstly, she has massively taken against my youngest DS (3yo). Apparently he is a bully ('walks over' his older brother) - violent, jealous, aggressive, something is wrong with him, he's not normal, he needs proper discipline. What she means is she wants to hit him (she used to hit me with a belt). I am not sanctioning this one tiny bit and it's driving her wild. For the avoidance of doubt, this is literally based on NOTHING - for instance last week the DC were playing tag in the garden, when the youngest 'tagged' (tapped him on the hand and ran off) the elder (they were laughing and playing happily) she literally grabbed the little one, taking his arm out of his socket and screamed in his face that he was violent, naughty and disgusting. Obviously both children started immediately bawling. My DH was home and she then started screaming at him for being an ineffectual parent, in front of the children. I returned home from work soon afterwards and she then started on me and the fact that she 'sees through' my 3yo, that he's crafty and manipulative (cuddles are his cynical modus operandi apparently).

She has now decided that something is wrong with my DH - the second issue. He is a terrible father; he is grooming the younger one to bully the eldest for sport, because he likes to cause trouble (again, to be clear these are happy, close little boys - the eldest isn't a shrinking violet and the youngest isn't a demon) - why is DH so close to his sons? She finds this sinister, she thinks a child should only ever want their mother when sick/hurt and the fact that the boys will go to him when upset makes her think something is 'odd'. If one of the boys has a bruise (and they are little boys so their shins are pretty much always mottled), she suggests that DH has hurt them. She talks with poison and frequently uses horrible words and phrases like neglect and abuse (using pull-ups at night is abuse). Anyway, I could go on forever and this is already too long.

I love her but this is so damaging. My eldest said to his little brother that Grandma doesn't love him and the 3yo said 'I know [sigh]. I am naughty.' She spat on me in front of my children. She's just out of control and I don't want my children exposed to it any more. However she is alone - my DB has moved away because he can't bear it, she is isolated from all of her family and has no friends any more - we are all she has left. I feel so so selfish and weak - I feel like I should have better daughter - she is clearly bitter and lonely and I sometimes think she starts arguments just to have a conversation. I told her yesterday that she can't see us anymore unless she consents to counselling or family mediation and has just received alternatively outraged and heartbroken texts for 24 hours, with regular phone calls and voicemails full of hatred and sorrow. My DH has received just utter nastiness. I don't know what to do next.

LegoCaltrops Fri 19-May-17 23:19:00

If someone else treated your DCs, you, or your DH like that, what would you do? I'm amazed you're still letting her see them, TBH, she sounds extremely difficult to get along with.

CustardLover Fri 19-May-17 23:25:40

I would never allow it. And it's the fact that it's now impacting my DC and they are old enough to understand that i am taking action - if it were my I'm sure I would just keep on arguing/apologising forever. But is there anything I can do? I sincerely believe she has narcissistic personality disorder and is playing out a classic golden child / scapegoat dynamic with my sons and intellectually I know it's unacceptable but is it all or nothing? Do I have to go NC or is there anything I can do? I don't want to lose my mum.

Cleorapter Fri 19-May-17 23:28:17

She is already damaging your children! Cut her out, it is her own fault OP. She needs to learn her actions have consequences.

LegoCaltrops Fri 19-May-17 23:35:00

Children remember random things from astonishingly young ages. Your DCs will not be benefited by her continued manipulation & will likely remember that you didn't protect them from her.

PrettyGoodLife Fri 19-May-17 23:49:56

flowers you are NOT selfish and week! She must take responsibility for her own actions, which are unacceptable and abustive. it sounds bleak but it is NOT your fault. Good luck, stay strong.

dingodon Fri 19-May-17 23:54:45

Based on your experiences, your boundaries are fucked. There is no suck it up cut her out pronto. She should have been cut out a long time ago.

fuzzywuzzy Fri 19-May-17 23:58:47

She sounds mentally unstable to be honest.

My mother started picking on my eldest and lauding my youngest. The first and only time she did it was when I decided enough was enough and cut her out of our lives.

I'm used to her being a bitch to me but it's not acceptable turning on my dc.

I don't regret it for a second. As an adult she made the choice to behave the way she does. As a mother I choose to protect my dc.

CustardLover Sat 20-May-17 00:03:31

I think she is mentally unstable. I am so worried about her now. I know she is an adult but I think the only joy in her life is her grandson (singular). Is there anything I could do to help her? I just really want her to talk to someone, to get all the paranoia and hate out, but I can't force her to go to therapy!

MyDarlingWhatIfYouFly Sat 20-May-17 00:13:42

I feel so sad for you and your youngest DS. Have you told her what they said? Although it sounds like she is not capable of seeing the situation rationally.

Could you visit her alone if you can't bear to leave her isolated?

Either way I think she needs to be kept away from the children until she learns to treat them equally. It sounds like they are very aware of the situation and I feel for your youngest DS.


newdaylight Sat 20-May-17 00:21:22

100% don't let they in her life. And the kids are your priority now. You don't have any responsibilities to make sure she sees them, there's no such thing as grandparent rights, and trying to help her off it nabs get being able to harm your children isn't an option either. My view. However I can imagine it must be son hard to do that when it's your own dm.

Steamgirl Sat 20-May-17 00:23:41

How about limiting contact? It's helpful and much easier than no contact. With your DH's support you could see her yourself but not allow any contact with the rest of your family so that they are protected.

My 'd'm is no longer allowed to visit my home and I visit her once a year for a few days with the dc. It took a long and very frank discussion on the phone to set the base line. When we visit she knows we will leave immediately if she starts misbehaving. In between visits we communicate mostly by email and I give her no news of any substance. Things are much better now.

OverOn Sat 20-May-17 00:31:25

Only she can control how she acts. If she can't act reasonably and nicely to both your DC, then you have the power to protect your sons by not allowing it.

Your sons deserve better than this. Don't let your guilt at being a 'bad' daughter (for letting your mother reap what she's sown), outweigh your DC having a mother that shields them from harm.

MamaOfBabas Sat 20-May-17 00:32:19

I'm so sorry you're going through this. You mum sounds unwell, mentally. Which is awful, but your main priority is to protect your children. I don't think it's fixable unfortunately. My grandmother was a truly evil, poisonous woman... I was told every week that my sister was her favourite, she would put me down, tell me I was stupid and criticise my mum (her own daughter) which as a very sensitive child would upset me, do I'd tell my mum, only for my grandmother to accuse me if causing trouble. Eventually after many warnings, my mum stopped her from seeing us. I was delighted. I was a very insecure person for along time because of my mentally unstable grandmother. The best thing my mum did was to keep away from her. Again, I'm so sorry you're having to go through this.

Carolinethebrave Sat 20-May-17 00:32:57

Good lord, cut her out, no question

ohfourfoxache Sat 20-May-17 00:48:34

Custard, please please don't take this the wrong way, but you've been brainwashed.

It's one thing displaying this vitriol in front of you and dh - you're adults. But she is doing this to your babies. For the love of god, you must protect them. If you don't then I'm sorry to say that you're failing them. I've just shed tears for your 3 year old and I'm just a stranger on the internet; this woman is his grandmother and she isn't just bullying him - it's abuse. You have to protect him.

TBH I don't care that your mother is alone- if she treats people like that then she damned well deserves to be alone. She does not deserve to be around EITHER of your boys.

And as for you? Well, I think you need to get your bum over to the stately homes thread. You have been conditioned your whole life into thinking that this is acceptable, and at a guess you're deep in fear, obligation and guilt. Custard, you don't have to put up with this love - and it would be so much better for your boys if you didn't. Please, you need to protect yourself and your family from her. This isn't your fault, but you now need to rethink your position and realise that what you have been through isn't normal.

I feel for you, I really do thanks

DarklyDreamingDexter Sat 20-May-17 01:05:43

You've got to protect your children. They WILL be damaged by this kind of behaviour. Cut her out no question and don't look back. If you really can't go completely NC, make sure you see her completely alone. Your poor kids, especially the youngest, and your DH don't deserve to be subjected to that kind of poison. Try to sort out some kind of counselling for her if you must, but keep her away from your family at all costs.

mylaststraw Sat 20-May-17 01:07:26

Steamgirl has it right. You need to make it plain her behaviour is totally unacceptable and kick her out/take her home when she oversteps the line. As far as I understand from your posts she's not a bitch to everyone all the time, but doesn't have good impulse control and is fixated on your youngest. She seriously sounds mentally unstable, if she's not willing to get help, cut her out. If you can't do that, meet in a neutral place where she's less likely to kick off, and leave if she starts. She really needs you to show her that her behaviour is unacceptable or she's going to end up bitter and alone.

ohfourfoxache Sat 20-May-17 01:11:18

If you do keep in touch with her, please don't bring your dc into it at all. The awful impact on ds2 is pretty clear, but it will also have an extremely negative impact on your eldest DS.

If you have to see her then you need to do it alone.

ClemDanfango Sat 20-May-17 01:14:26

Your poor darling little boy, she's assaulted him OP and is mentally and emotionally abusing him. You have to put him first! Forget about losing your mum as hard as that must be your little boys well being is far more important, Id try to have her charged with assault if it were me, no one puts there hands on my child like that and gets away with it easily.

user1493630944 Sat 20-May-17 01:15:41

Go NC and block her, she has brought this on herself. It is difficult to imagine reaching any sort of compromise from what you have described. Tell her you are prioritising your DCs and DH and you cannot tolerate her appalling behaviour any more.

peaceout Sat 20-May-17 01:16:01

doesn't have good impulse control
I'm wondering if this could be an early sign of cognitive impairment?

scoobydoo1971 Sat 20-May-17 01:23:48

Your mother sounds like a perfect case of Borderline Personality Disorder. Look it up as a diagnosis, it really fits with much of what you describe. I have a similar relationship with my mother who has the same issues with people, and tries to wedge a bomb between myself and DH. She tries to manipulate the kids, lies about all sorts of crazy stuff and fabricates stories largely centred upon her own need to be centre of the attention.

I strongly suggest that you set up boundaries between yourself, your kids and your mother. She should only be allowed to visit when you are home, and never allowed to discipline the children or reproach you or your husband in front of the kids. If she is unable to keep to the rules then block her out of your life. It is your responsibility to stop history repeating itself and she will ruin your marriage if you let her - in doing so it would be further 'proof' to her that you and your children deserve nothing more than the single parent household she struggled with...classic BPD distorting reality and projecting.

jouu Sat 20-May-17 01:26:52

Your mother has assaulted your son. She's a criminal. You need to protect your children from her.

Go and see her on your own if you must but she can't be allowed near your children again.

I agree your boundaries sound dangerously poor. I strongly urge you to seek professional help for yourself, and to stop pouring energy into your mother who plainly does not want help.

jouu Sat 20-May-17 01:28:11

Your mother has assaulted your son. She's a criminal. You need to protect your children from her.

Go and see her on your own if you must but she can't be allowed near your children again.

I agree your boundaries sound dangerously poor. I strongly urge you to seek professional help for yourself, and to stop pouring energy into your mother who plainly does not want help.

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