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Family being hurtful - how do I deal with it?

(9 Posts)
bluenosebear Fri 21-Aug-09 08:40:11

A little background. My family has always seen me as a bit of an outsider. No particuar reason, just that I have a different lifestyle to them and they see that as "strange". I don't work atm, my toddler is 20 months and if I go back to work I end up paying more for childcare than I earn. I'm not hugely comfortable around certain members of my family as they do tend to look down on me so I tend not to talk to them a lot. I do talk to my parents a lot, and they know some pretty confidential things.

Anyway, a friend of mine was out for a drink, and recognised a member of my family talking very loudly about me, being quite unpleasant. Said family member was coming out with quite a few things that only 2 other people should know, and being very critical of the fact my baby is with me 24/7 (um, not true but whatever and is this a probblem anyway?). Apparantly I don't go over to see them - I don't have a car they do so they come see me. They used mine and my childs name several times as well as identifying where I live so I know it was about me. My friend also told me some things that she wouldn't have known otherwise, so I know she was telling the truth.

What bothers me is not so much that I was being discussed as said family member doesn't like me much due to me having a child and they're quite bitter about it, their opinion means less than nothing to me. What bothers me is that I thought I could trust the 2 immediate members of my family I speak to and they've obviously been slagging me off behind my back while being quite supportive to my face!

Do I approach it, and risk not being believed as I've been told I'm always lying (and I'm not sure where this has come from and my accuser can't tell me either)and being further pushed out of the family, or do I ignore it and just not discuss any more personal things? Also, am I really being a horrible parent by staying at home with my child? It's not like they're locked up in their room all day!

I'm sorry I can't give details as I don't want to out myself .

IsItMeOr Fri 21-Aug-09 08:53:22

It hurts to hear things like this, doesn't it? Even when you thought the person didn't like you anyway.

It sounds like a really uncomfortable family dynamic, but my instant reaction was that, just because this person was talking meanly about you using facts that could only have come from the other two, it doesn't mean that the other two passed them on in anything other than a factual/caring way. So I wouldn't assume that they have been nice to your face and mean behind your back.

If you don't want them to pass on the facts you share with them, then I would suggest you make it clear if you're talking to them in confidence. You could even tell them the story you've shared here in a "I know you would never dream of doing such a thing, but you'll never guess what I heard, and so I would be grateful if you could keep things between us from now on" sort of way.

I would counsel against isolating yourself further from your family that you do get on with.

On the other thing, how you raise your child is your decision, so long as you're not neglecting or actively harming them. I would expect a 20 month old to spend most of their time with their mother if she is a SAHM.

2girls2love Fri 21-Aug-09 08:55:38

poor you bluenose this must be really hurtful for you, I'm not sure what I would do - no that's not true I would probably go round all guns blazing and confront the people involved - in the past this has often made the problem worse!

I would ignore it, you now know who you can trust and who you can't sad, and spend time with people who won't talk about you and your lo.

bluenosebear Fri 21-Aug-09 08:59:24

Thanks for the reply IsItMeOr! Unfortunately 1 of the 2 I speak to I have experience of them being nice to someones face then bitching about the very thing they were agreeing with. They've done it to me, firstly said they supported me staying at home, then complained that I'm always with my child. I'm pretty sure it was this person rather than the other who was talking about me, as they can be rather snide but paint it as thought they are being totally reasonable. It was quite clear from the conversation that the family member had been told something in a very negative way, as they used an exact phrase that my "confidant" said to me. They've always told me any conversation is between us alone but that's not true obviously. It does hurt that someone who I thought I could talk to would go behind my back.

IsItMeOr Fri 21-Aug-09 09:10:03

Ahhh, that does change the dynamic a bit. I think I might leave it in that situation. The only other thing that occurs to me - as someone who has an underactive filter between my brain and my mouth - is I have sometimes said something that is quite hurtful without realising it at the time, and it didn't mean I don't love the person I hurt, just that I'm a bit of a prat sometimes.

bluenosebear Fri 21-Aug-09 09:14:08

I could understand that IsItMeOr, and I would love that to be the case here as I used to think very highly of this person. From what I can gather, it's just that they're "telling the truth" so if you're offended by it it's your problem. It's just the truth right? LOL I think there's a difference between something like saying "you seem a bit bogged under, can I help" and "Your house is a sh1thole".

You're right, I will leave it alone. I posted because I'm the kind of person to go in all guns blazing and it will be me being unreasonable!

IsItMeOr Fri 21-Aug-09 09:33:44

You see, I'm the sort of person who would say something like "Friend A's place is a bit of a shithhole, but understandable as she has just been recovering from life-threatening illness" to Person B who has probably always slightly resented our friendship who reports it back to Friend A as "IsItMeOr says your place is a shithole". I'm hoping that I'm getting wiser as I get older...!

bluenosebear Fri 21-Aug-09 10:03:16

I see what you mean. Other thing is, I kindly offered to house sit for my family member while on holiday...I really don't wanna now! If they tell me they want me to (I'm stand by, and far too soft for offering in the first place) I'll have to say no and it'll all come out!

greenpeople Fri 21-Aug-09 15:41:54

there is absolutely nothing wrong with staying at home and looking after your own child. you are definitely the envy of many.

i look after my own kids and i love it. if people or friends make snide remarks, i just ignore the remarks. well i am definitely not going to bring these stupid remarkds to bed and make myself miserable.

familywise, i would just maintain a polite friendly but distant relationship.

it sucks but we cant choose our family.

stay positive and keep that smile for your kids and hubby.


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