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Therapist wants me to see my mum but I don't want to.(162 Posts)
I am v low contact with my mum and have been for a year when my brain finally broke over her being complicit in the childhood abuse at the hands of my stepdad, and her also not being there for me even after the stepdad left the scene, and various times of exploding at me because I wouldn't do what she wanted and trying to manipulate me.
Life has been much better without her around but she adores my ds so she has him once a month for the afternoon. She has pushed for more than that but I've said no.
And the reason for that is boththat I don't want her emotional fuckwittage messing with my head anymore (I have a lot of resulting mental health problems) and also that every time I am confronted with her at my door it really affects me. For the week prior I feel really down and low. Yesterday I felt so down I wanted to cry all day and felt so irritable that it was unbearable and I was desperate to self harm. (But won't, I am a responsible parent). I had to take a Valium to calm down. My dh always offers to do the handover at the front door but my therapist encourages me to be strong and face her, which I've always done until now, but it makes me feel so horribly anxious and upset for days before and after, I just don't know if it's worth it?! My therapist keeps saying that this will become easier with time but it hasn't at all, and actually this pick up will be even more awkward as my mum blew up at me the other week because I said no to her bringing ds' presents round at his bedtime. I offered her loads of other options but she was really arsey and rude and told me it was very upsetting and other bullshit to try and manipulate me. I stood my ground but it was so shit and made me really angry. And now I'm supposed to face her tomorrow after that and everything else? I don't want to. And dh won't be at home tomorrow as a buffer/ support either.
I should just say that this is the one thing I disagree with the therapist about, she has absolutely changed my life and gave me the courage and conviction that walking away from mum was the right thing to do. I'm just not sure I should keep subjecting myself to this. What do you think?
How about saying to the therapist "Actually, I have decided I don't want to and it feels great as a decision"
Sounds to me like what you are doing now isn't working for you - so something needs to change.
Whether it's stopping all contact, handing over to your husband, or pushing ahead with seeing her (would she go to a meeting with you and your therapist?) is up to you.
I believe the saying is, the definition of insanity is doing the same thing but expecting different results. You aren't happy, so change something.
she has gone way beyond the point where you owe her anything.
You're allowed to disagree with your therapist. She's just a person. It's your life.
I was in therapy for 5 years. My therapist never told me what to do. It wasn't that kind of relationship. I find it a bit dodgy that your therapist is being so directive. If she suggested something I didn't like, we just discussed alternatives. There's always more than one way to manage a situation...
Don't do it. And stop the visits altogether. She was a terrible mother. She doesn't deserve the chance to be a good grandmother. YOU deserve to be happy and free.
1. Change therapist and get one who understands toxic parents and won't encourage you to put yourself in damaging situations
2. I didn't quite understand your op about handovers, but if you are allowing your dc time alone with her, you need to stop that ASAP. They will slowly become a replacement for you and you won't be able to protect them.
3. Go the the stately homes thread and have a good read as well as look at the links on the fist page. You will find a lot of support from others who know what you have been through and won't be so stupid as encourage you to spend time with your abuser.
Has she explained why she wants you to see your mum?
Sounds like you need a new therapist. Your therapist should be in an understanding supportive role not trying to keep pushing on to you something you don't want to do. Sadly, your mother is never going to change, you can't influence that at all but what you can do is influence how you react to her. If that means no contact, then you go no contact. Just because the 'therapist's' view is to stand your ground and hope to God it gets better this doesn't mean it's the correct advice.
Tell your therapist that's not what you think is a good idea. Ask her to explain the purpose. Those may all be good reasons but explain right now you clearly aren't ready - getting extremely upset for days.
If therapist keeps pushing on this get new therapist.
Chocolate, you dont have to do what your therapist suggests. Every bone in your body is telling you not to see your mum so don't.
Should your son see his granny? I think it would be difficult to stop it now. How would you explain it to him?
Can you make sure from now on in that you only arrange the handover on days when your husband is around? That nothing else takes precedent on the day she has your son.
And yes, like another poster it struck me that your therapist was pushing you to do this and I wonder if you've been seeing her for some time that the lines have blurred a bit.
Agree with 4 on this, the current set up isn't working and I really don't get why you are maintaining contact. Yes, I know you said it's because of your son but, it really sounds like you waiting for her to be different and every time she isn't or pushes boundaries it takes its toll on your MH.
The suggestion of your therapist is probably to shake you out of a situation that isn't working for you and to either accept that this is who she is or to walk away.
Great posts above just to agree. Some therapists (most?) simply don't understand toxic parents and will not be appropriate because they can't or won't engage with the reality that some people are 100% broken and won't change, will not ever be reasonable or behave like a rational adult.
You do not have to spend any time with this woman and you do not have to let her spend time with your DC.
I agree that there is a huge risk in allowing her unsupervised contact with DC. You do not have to permit this. Many many families don't. It's simply taboo so not talked about openly.
By going fully nc you remove all doubt and risk from the equation, all opportunity for further stress and damage. It sounds like that might be the best course of action. You do not owe this woman anything and can go nc with a clear conscience.
Just because your therapist is a therapist doesn't make them automatically right about everything. You're allowed to say no.
Is there a friend who can do the handover if DH can't? Others are right though, you need to consider if the contact should continue at all. Your Mum adoring ds is not a good enough reason for her seeing him if there's a risk of harm to you or him involved.
Change therapist and get one who understands toxic parents and won't encourage you to put yourself in damaging situations
This - as Aussiebean suggests.
Your therapist is not there to tell you what you should or shouldn't be doing (unless you intend e.g. to kill yourself or someone else). S/he is there to help you get things into proportion, come to terms with the things that are eating away at you (often subconsciously), so you can get a clearer perspective on your life and make better more informed decisions, aware of the biases and prejudices which are skewing your judgement and/or making you vulnerable.
Only you can make decisions regarding your life - and it is very unprofessional of any therapist to give instructions other than the type which help you develop confidence in your own capabilities (for example, if you have a fear of heights which stops you getting your dream job as a steeplejack, a therapist may suggest ways to overcome this and give "homework" that will gradually help you to overcome your phobia.
Personal relationships, however, are something only you can decide on - and it seems that you have good reasons for wanting not to contact your mother, and to limit her influence on your child.
Your choice. Not the therapist's.
Good therapists don't tell you what to do. Find a new one.
In your situation I'm afraid ds wouldn't be seeing granny at all. She didn't keep you safe, she doesn't get to play happy families and see ds alone. You don't owe her.
I think what's hurting you is that your child is with this woman who caused you so much pain. You don't have to see her.
Think about what would make you feel best - if that's nc then do it. Your responsibility is to you and your son. Not your mother
Your therapist is majorly overstepping the boundaries of her role if she's telling you what she thinks you should do.
If it makes you feel bad, don't do it. Easy.
Therapists are meant to guide and support you, not make you do things that cause you pain.
And if I were you I'd stop your mother seeing your child, too. If she abused you, she'll abuse your child as well. Don't let that happen.
I think you should change your therapist
Thank you thank you thank you for your v helpful replies.
I think for all the therapists good points she sometimes does press upon me what she thinks I should do, and me not having great self esteem/ inner strength ends up agreeing when my insides are screaming no. And also cos she helped get me to this major point of separating myself I guess, I feel like she might know best but it doesn't mean she knows best about everything. She is telling me that I'm strong and I can handle this etc, but in all honesty I can't and I fucking dread when she is coming to have ds. It's so awkward at the front door and she looks so sad that we're not all fake and superficial like we were before. She sent me a text after the last visit saying 'I'm very very sad that we don't have the relationship we used to' which I replied to saying that I never wanted anything to be how it is, I am just respecting my feelings. Mum often looks on the verge of tears when she comes to the door. The whole thing is so fraught with emotion. And for all my therapist's trying to install me with strength it's a shitty thing to go through and an emotional rollercoaster before and after, with me struggling to stave off a panic attack.
Ds doesn't mention grandma unless he hasn't seen her for ages. But for 99% of the time she goes unmentioned. I think it's because she is just a jokey fun presence for him and he already has that with us and his friends so there isn't much special there iyswim.
I think part of the reason I still do these afternoons is guilt and knowing that she already thinks I'm an arsehole for cutting her off/ not letting her see ds when she wants etc. She will never be able to face that it's her fault. And for some weird reason I still fear her judgement and her slagging me off.
I had a therapist that had a bee in her bonnet about an element of my life that she would not let go, I left her services when she would not move past it regardless of how many times I said no.
Your therapist does not know best about you or your life. She is not being a good therapist. As up there - you need to find a better therapist who understands about toxic parents. It's great that you know what's right for you. Keep listening to yourself!
And it's true that it doesn't sit right with me my precious boy going off with the person who ruined my life for a jolly afternoon of bowling or whatever. She is all gooey over him but she doesn't make decisions that are right for him- gives him sweets when she knows they give him heartburn, gets him way too hyped up and once she smacked his legs in a supermarket which I was horrified by. I know she'd never do that again but fuck me it never leaves my mind.
And then I think am I being out of order? Cos she does spoil him and has dropped everything for his hospital appointments etc but even so...
In case you are wondering about doing this...
I decided before my dc was born that they will NEVER spend time alone with my mum. I also NEVER spend time alone with her on the VERY rare occasions I do see her. (Family events) she has complained about this. But I don't care. She is not complaining that she misses me, or missing out on her gc, she is complaining because I am refusing to be her narc supply. Oh well. After years of torture I have dropped the rope.
She does have contact with my dbs kids. Though that wouldn't be for long. In half an hour alone with them she had my dn in tears telling her that what she likes is dumb and that she enjoys struggling to read for attention. My sil was so mad, And they are both slowly dropping contact.
You are not alone in having to make these decisions and we know it's hard. But you will get there.
Agree about the therapist shouldn't be telling me or pushing me on what to do. So thank you for reinforcing that. I had decided to lessen the appointments anyway as it costs £££.
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