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How do you get over not ever having a normal, supportive, loving mother/daughter relationship?

(17 Posts)
bingotrons Tue 14-Oct-08 17:07:00

I understand that counselling may be the key and I haven't gone that road yet. I've kind of accepted that my Mother will never change.

I've confronted her a couple of times in the last couple of years and nothing has changed, she's bitter and full of self pity. She can't see how anyone else might feel, cares only about herself, is totally selfish and nasty to me and I actually hate her a lot of time which is terrible.

As a child I was left alone alot to get on with things, she wasn't very nice to me or caring or positive, supportive, happy, just miserable and deppresive and i think she may have some problems but she's never bothered to get them sorted. I got blamed for anything that went wrong, any accidents my brothers had were my fault, at christmas and birthdays i'd be accused of being ungrateful when i wasn't and then i used to not want presents. i used to just have an unemotional mask in the end and then they all thought i didn't care so ignored me anyway. My dad is a weed, doesn't stand up for himself and they reinforce their ridiculous views between them and become a team horribleness.

Before me she had a still born baby which must have been awful and after me she had my 2 brothers who she loves a lot. She treats them v differently to me and it's so hurtful. My youngest brother understands, he's seen it so I'm pleased I have someone to speak to about it, though I don;t bring it up much. The middle one is a mummy's boy and is kind of similar to her, he agrees with everything she says.

I don't think she bonded with me, i know she hates females and she hates her sister (i don't have any contact with any of my extended family because of this). She is so negative and nasty and I find her sooo difficult to get along with.

The latest sceanario is I'm about to have our 2nd baby, am 37 weeks pregnant and I was hoping that she might help try and help me out this time as I have a toddler too. But she cancelled coming to visit this week with a v weak excuse. I got annoyed and said that I was hoping that she might help this time (no help last time after an emer c-section and husband only 1 wk paternity leave) and her response was 'you didn't help me when you were younger' I had to remind her that I am her child and she is the mother and why should i be expected to help (in that capacity). And then she went on to say I made her life difficult, that i was horrible and all the usual shit she comes out with when i ask for some support or help. It's so upsetting. I was a terrible teenager, but not that bad and surely you are sposed to forgive your children or at least understand what they are going through?

My birthday gets ignored every year despite me making huge efforts for them, making birthday cakes doing 70 mile round trips to their parties, contributing to expensive presents. I could go on....

Just one example of a million sceanarios I've gone through throughout my life, got several more I could be typing for days

I think I need to just accept and move on, I'm fed up of thinking about this and it makes me feel depressed. I've got the toxic parents book and the when you and your mother can't be friends and am just ordering the cycle of abuse one, i really don't want to pass any of this onto my lovely dd i'm so conscious of not that I'm pretty sure i won't but would like some tips from anyone please x

Anyone managed to do what I need to do? It's something I would like to sort out for 2009. Please help me....

yama Tue 14-Oct-08 17:13:28

Sounds awful Bingotrons. No advice as my mother would move in with me given the chance.

Sounds like you are doing all the right things - with your own dd and not letting what she (your dm) is doing change the kind of person you are - generous, caring etc.

more Tue 14-Oct-08 17:22:11

these kind people should be able to help you

blushingm Tue 14-Oct-08 20:57:22

bingotrons your dm sounds very mum like mine only i haven't spoken to her for nearly 7 years - she's never even met her 2 dgc.

she was/is an alcohp;ic but would never admit to it = apparently she's always had it under control

I was left to get on with stuff when i was younger too - making sure uniforms were washed and ironed, making sure me as db were fed etc. she'd go away for work for a week at a time and leave me at 15 and db at 13 home on our own with £5 to cover everything.

i find it easier not to have anything to do with her but i find it incredibly difficult to ask for favours or rely on anyone for even the smallest thing. I trry not to let on to my dcs about my mum (my dsm is great and lovely) as i really don't want to expose then to how hurtful and selfish she can be. it may be the same for you - i see it as she has not earned the priledge of being in my dc lives

sorry if that felt like a hyjack

HappyWoman Tue 14-Oct-08 21:50:38

I too do not have the mother i wish i did.

Although i did not get left alone as such - there was little love and all the normal things that other mums and daughters were doing were missing.

My mum is selfish too.

Unfortunately she is very ill at the moment and i do help out but more out of duty and to rid myself of guilt than out of love.

I have accepted that my mum will never be the person i want her to be and so have already 'grieved' that loss.

Ialso believe that she will never be truely happy - she has a huge chip on her shoulder but i dont really know why. I think it is because i have got on with my life. I remember her commenting that i would find it very hard when i left home and had to do all my own chores (actually i found it very easy - but then i do think i never lived up to her high standards and she cant understand how i can be happy living in near chaosgrin.)

Hope you find peace soon - at least you seem to be aware and breaking the pattern for your dc.

sustainablysourcedwhitefish Tue 14-Oct-08 21:57:31

My mother was an alcoholic who appeared to resent me and adore my brothers. She was always unhappy and despised my father and her life in general.

She died when I was 28, my father also sadly when I was 23, so at least I do not have ongoing issues. The stately homes thread is full of folk with similar exp.

I just make it my daily aim to be a better mother to my 2 DC than she ever was to me and undo the damage by having a fulfilling life. I pity her and but will probably never forgive her completely, but am not unhealthily obsessed by her.

OptimistS Tue 14-Oct-08 22:04:10

Hi Bingotrons. Coming at this from a different angle (my own mum died years ago, but we were very close), I have a friend who has a relationship with her daughter very much like the one you're describing. Her daughter is 7. Sometimes it breaks my heart to see her systematically destroying her daughter's self esteem and being so vile. I do what I can, SS are involved on and off, etc., but despite everyone's best efforts I think her daughter is going to grow up with the same feelings towards her mum as you have to yours. With good reason. The only thing I have learnt from this is that although the daughter has become the focus for everything bad in my friend's life, she is not the real reason - just a convenient scapegoat. The reason for this is because to confront the reality and really start to deal with it is something my friend just does not have the strength to do. The sad thing is that she's great with other people's kids and can be a truly loyal and supportive friend. That probably makes it worse and more hurtful from her daughter's view, as I'm sure you understand all too well.

I'm going on a bit here, sorry, but the point I'm trying to make is that I think the most important thing you have to do to not let this govern your life and your relationship with your own child is to accept that it's not about you, even if you became the outlet for all her bad feelings. If you can really get to grips with that (a lot easier said than done, I know), it will help you to forgive your mum (or at least not let it get to you anymore), which should help stop you repeating the same mistakes with your own daughter. Incidentally, I got the impression from your post that you've got a lot of self awareness so I don't think you're likely to make those same mistakes anyway.

If you find that you just can't let go of the past that easily, then I think it may be time to cut the assocation. Not something I'd normally advise doing, as I think some level of contact is usually best (even if it's only Xmas cards), but in some cases it's necessary. Do your reading, get some counselling if you think you want to, and decide then.

Feel proud that it looks like you're going to be the one to break the cycle and have a healthy, loving relationship with your daughter.

oneplusone Tue 14-Oct-08 22:23:10

Hi, have you looked at that link posted earlier by more? Please do, everyone there is in a similar position to you. I'm sure if you read/post on that thread you will get a lot of good advice and support.

ActingNormal Tue 14-Oct-08 22:59:40

Bingo, you have been through so much and sound so strong. I hope you can get to a point where you won't let your mum disappoint you/hurt you any more because you can accept that she is not going to change and stop hoping that she will. She is ill (emotionally) and has taken it out on you but it is not your fault or because of who you are, it is because she is ill. This doesn't mean that you have to forgive her if it means suppressing your anger and hurt though. Suppressing it seems to be really damaging for people and for their children if it starts leaking out on them when the stresses of being a parent trigger the old feelings. I don't know if this happens with you or not (like it does with me) but therapy is really helping me. Would you consider seeing someone?

OptimistS, what makes you say some level of contact is best? This is something I am confused over with my parents. I feel I should have some contact but don't really understand why. What is your reasoning?

OptimistS Wed 15-Oct-08 10:18:46

ActingNormal, I don't know that some level of contact is best to be sure. It's just that in my experience people tend to feel that they've failed if they cut all contact completely without leaving the door even a tiny bit ajar. Looking in from the outside, I would never judge that someone has 'failed' if they cut all contact, but it does seem to be the case that many people who have made that decision later regret it (usually because some other, unhelpful person makes them feel that because they severed the relationship it must be their fault that it didn't work and I don't know why but this seems to be a feeling that is incredibly hard to shake off). I guess that even if your parents are awful it is hard to escape the fact that they are your parents and it is a natural human desire to want some sort of connection there, even if it's very strained. That's a hard instinct to fight against. Sometimes though I think cutting contact is the best choice in a relationship that is only ever going to cause pain to someone. Ultimately, I guess it comes down to personal choice and circumstances. Bingotrons needs to make that decision for herself, as do you.

I really admire you for taking the step to get counselling BTW ActingNormal, and I'm sure whatever you decide in the long run will work out for the best. It's so difficult isn't it. What is forgiveness? Some things are too painful to forgive, and as you say, suppressing those emotions can be as damaging as acting them out or seeking revenge. Perhaps where the hurt is too much to forgive, the best we can do is seek to draw a line under it, find a way to to manage our feelngs and move on rather than truly forgive.

Good luck to everyone who is experiencing this. I was fortunate enough to grow up in a very happy and loving family - a right I feel every child deserves - and my heart aches for everyone who has been denied that for whatever reason. A happy childhood makes the trials and tribulations of being an adult so much easier to bear and all of you that have been disadvantaged in this way deserve extra credit for everything that you've achieved in your own lives.

bingotrons Wed 15-Oct-08 13:05:10

Thank you everyone for your messages, sorry i've only just got the chance to get back on the computer. I think I have been made scapegoat and i think my mum has emotional problems. It's all so difficult to work through because sometimes I'm not sure if it's real or not (hope that doesn't sound weird).

I have been on the stately homes thread I felt that my situation wasn't as bad as some on there and didn't want to burden others going through so much more. I was never involved in social services or anything like that, i spose it's how i describe, not much love and therefore low self esteem, self confidence, unsure of identity, haven't got far career wise, though i have my own business and over the last few years since getting married, having children etc.. i have begun to build on all this. My 20's felt quite bleak, i resent that if i'd had more love support and guidance i may have had more confidence to get things moving earlier. I dropped out of uni years ago and even till a couple of years ago i had that thrown at me to make me feel even worse

i'm not sure about cutting contact, i'd like to stay in touch but 'get over' what i missed out on and have a relationship on a level which i am comfortable with. I feel so much guilt that i am a bad daughter that I've been awful that i over compensate and try to be really nice and helpful and it's just not appreciated. my mother makes me feel guilty if we don't see them often she says things ooh i haven't seen grand daughter for ages, even though it was probably 2 weeks ago when i had to go there and endure a whole day of negative comments and extreme hard work to try not having an argument

To be honest all this has made me stronger, i really put my all into everything, i don't want to waste any time or chances and want to make sure I do my best. I basically want to be the opposite of my mother. I don't think she likes seeing me forging on ahead in life doing all the things she didn't or couldn't.

I'm sorry to hear all your stories too and thank you for all being so understanding and kind. I am going to find a counsellor for next year and try to get this sorted. I can't see my relationship with my mother ever getting any better without help and it's my perception and dealing with it which needs to change, she won't ever change.

Thanks again xxxx

smithfield Wed 15-Oct-08 13:20:53

Bingotrons- Firstly are you my twin?
We have similar mothers and similar symptoms as a result.

I dont think you ever truly get over it to be honest. I think a huge step is to stop blaming ourselves (typical scapegoat reaction) and direct the blame and anger where it truly belongs.

It sounds like you have started to do this.
So you should be proud of yourself for what you have achieved 'in spite' of your mother.

Also someone mentioned grief. I think once the reality hits home '... it is what it is and 'aint ever gonna change' we have to start the grieving process. Then comes the healing.

I do think a 'good' counsellor can help you go through that process. Its very long and difficult and plenty of support is required.

Dont fall into the trap of feeling she didnt inflict 'enough' pain on you to feel as you do. Lots of people (including me) on the stately homes thread have the exact same circumstances as you. Your grief and pain over your childhood are to be felt no less than anybody else.

Good luck with it all. Hope my words help. Your not alone.

VeniVidiVickiQV Wed 15-Oct-08 13:27:36

I've not got time to do a lengthy post, but it seems to me that you need to come to terms with the fact that you havent got the relationship you'd like with your mother.

You also need to come to terms with the fact that nothing you say will make her change.

What you can do, is change the way you react to her/deal with her/respond to her so that she cannot hurt you as much.

By constantly seeking approval you are setting yourself up for hurt because for whatever reason - she just isnt able to do that for you. She can only hurt you if you allow her to. Stop allowing her to. Either by reducing or cutting out contact, or reducing your expectations of what you are likely to get from her etc.

Sorry it's breif - I hope you get the gist?

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 15-Oct-08 14:32:48

Hi bingo,

Re your comment:-

"I have been on the stately homes thread I felt that my situation wasn't as bad as some on there and didn't want to burden others going through so much more".

This is a sentiment I have seen by others who have felt hesistant about wanting to write on that thread - but your concern that you haven't actually had a situation so bad is actually unwarranted. The very fact that you have suffered emotionally at your Mother's hands make you a prime candidate for visiting and writing on that thread. I would therefore urge you to write on that thread; there are some lovely ladies on there who can give support too.

I note your Dad acted as a bystander; not really surprised to read that. People in dysfunctional families end up taking roles.
I note you've ordered some books - I would have recommended those to you if you hadn;t already got copies.

Counselling may well help you - BACP have a list of counsellors and I don't think they charge the earth.

With best wishes


ActingNormal Wed 15-Oct-08 15:48:04

Bingo, I just want to say that I agree with Attila that you don't have to have had 'worse' experiences to post on the "Stately Homes" thread. Yours sound plenty bad enough to me! I thought the same as you when I first went on there but the others are really kind and I've found it really helpful.

hanaflower Wed 15-Oct-08 15:57:45

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

ActingNormal Wed 15-Oct-08 16:02:06

Also, I know just what you mean when you say:

"It's all so difficult to work through because sometimes I'm not sure if it's real or not (hope that doesn't sound weird)."

I think this a common thing that people feel. Your parents act like the way everything was, was normal, because they don't want to admit that they did anything wrong. You then feel like you are going mad for feeling bad about things. This situation is where my MN name comes from!

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