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Wait until you hear this, my relationship with my toxic mother is all my fault for being an independent little girl

(42 Posts)
sweetkitty Sat 29-Aug-09 23:14:19

I give up I honestly do

Bit of background, sorry is long, so I have always had a tough relationship with my Mum she favoured my younger brother big time, I felt no love or affection growing up from her, by the time I reached 19 I was really forced to leave home, I then sought help for depression, anxiety and terribly low self esteem, in my counselling sessions it came out that a lot of thos was due to my relationship with my mother never feeling good enough etc and also that she may have had jealousy issues which is apaprently quite common especially if mothers see their daughters getting more etc than they ever had. Anyway after I moved out our relationship was fraught at best, after the DDs were born she said some relaly nasty spiteful things always just to me to everyone else she was so proud of me etc but to me never a compliment always putting me down etc last year I decided enough was enough I was going to make no effort with her at all leave it up to her to contact me etc so since Dec I have not seen or heard from her until my birthday when a card arrived with a not in it stating that she was sorry I felt "it" was her fault and I was holding a grudge so I wrote her a letter telling her why I wasn't making contact and what had upset me (things like saying I would be better mcing DD3 etc)

So a letter arrives back today, in it she takes no responsibilty for anything she said but puts it back on me that as a little girl I thought I knew everything, was so independent and didn't need her, I think I am better than her and that it is me being a barrier to her having a relationship with her grandchildren. On and the fact she didn't have the benefit of a uni education

So because I had opinions different to her, had a work ethic that she lacks, have different moral values such as believing if you want something you work for it that's why she behaves the way she does, i.e. it's my fault not hers.

Now every little girl I know is like me, a little madam know it all, she still goes on about how I would push her away and do things myself yet my brother would allow her to feed and dress him, like she resents me for being independent and bright.

I have 3 daughters the same as me very bright and independent, instead of resenting them I encourage it I want fiesty independent women, my mother thinks women should only work un until they have children and never earn more than their husbands and that men are superior and even if they beat you you should stay with them as that's you job honestly.

What a head f* sorry for language

thumbwitch Sat 29-Aug-09 23:18:06

Not nice but the best thing you can do is feel sorry for her that she has such a low opinion of herself that she thought a small child was better than her.

She sounds a bit like my mum was - and in the case of my mum she WAS jealous of everything I had, even though she facilitated a lot of it; she had terminally low self-esteem and was extremely self-centred, couldn't think outside of her own experience or feelings.

Your mum's opinions are from the dark ages and you're best off ignoring them and thinking "poor dear, shame she hasn't entered the 21st century along with the rest of us"

fruitstick Sat 29-Aug-09 23:20:12

sweetkitty - no advice but you sound great and so do your DDs.

Her loss angry

catwalk Sun 30-Aug-09 00:00:58

OMG I could have written this. So sorry SW

I got a letter from my mother last week telling me I am a crap mother and she dosen't know what makes me the way I am and i used to be so thoughtful. The truth is I too decided I can't live with the put downs anymore either. And she too is turning it around to make me feel bad about myself once again.

I have no advice but wanted to let you know that your not on your own xxx

edam Sun 30-Aug-09 00:04:22

Sweetkitty, you should be bloody proud of yourself for everything you've achieved.

tinkerbellesmuse Sun 30-Aug-09 08:03:30

So sorry for you - your situation sounds very similar to my relationship with my mother: No love or affection growing up (but plenty for my sisters) and all my fault because I was "too independent" wouldn't let her cuddle me etc.

I have just started seeing a counsellor and her view is that my mother has a narcissitic personality disorder - nothing is her fault. I have started reading some bits on this and whilst I find it impossible to have any empathy with my mother it has helped to start getting my head round our relationship.

The one thing I have really had made clear to me is that you cannot change them. Writing letters and trying to explain your hurt is,frankly, a waste of time. NPD's are programmed not to care. Rather they will simply get angry at the perceived criticism and turn that into blaming you for everything.

Just remember it isn't you.

thesecondcoming Sun 30-Aug-09 09:42:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

elvislives Sun 30-Aug-09 10:48:01

sweetkitty I could have written your post shock

My mum has said that thing about my being independent while my brother would allow her to dress and feed him too. It is quite spooky to see my own experience written by someone else.

I had to have more than 2 children because of my experience (and I notice you have 3- was that deliberate?!), and as far as my parents were concerned that was wrong. I had DD then DS so they thought that was enough, and made no bones about saying so. It wasn't until fairly recently that mum conceded that I had done a good job with my dcs, having told me often when they were little that I was doing everything wrong.

Like yours, I got the impression she was jealous. The only boyfriend whose mother I got on with she hated that I liked her.

saggyjuju Sun 30-Aug-09 20:23:58

again another,"i could have written this post",i too have daughters and am nothing like my mum was with me or should i say 2 of the 4 children she had,a sister and a brother are the GOLDEN ONES,i wouldnt mind both of which in middle age are still struggling to get things right and making a mess of most things,but oh no they arent in her opinion! i met my husband through a friendship that developed when we started talking about our crap mums,we used to swap our crappy stories,he always won though his mum beat him untill his late teens,and that only stopped when she ran off with some dodgy bloke leaving her kids with their dad.after reading one post on here the'toxic parents' book was mentioned,i bought it and it certainly was a light switching on moment,and you are right there is no chance of changing or making the parents aware of what they have done because they will never acknowledge,believe or accept any of it sad

Purplepanettone Sun 30-Aug-09 20:50:21

Can I just ask, are you all older siblings? I have heard it said that mothers with problems 'feed' it all into their oldest children?

sweetkitty Sun 30-Aug-09 22:01:09

I am so so sorry to hear other people feel the same about their Mothers as I do about mine.

Yes I was the oldest child, I have one younger brother who has drifted from job to job, always sponging off my Mum etc but hey he can do no wrong in her eyes. She thinks I am brighter than he is because she had more time to spend with me learning to count when I was 3 than she did with him hmm I think she just couldn't cope with this bright little girl who didn't agree with her, thought she was lazy and misogynist, thinking that men are superior to women (she once told me that a woman only becomes a real woman once she had a boy) this was before I had all DDs.

elvislives - I agree part of me has chosen to have more than 2 children, in fact I have just found out I am pregnant with number 4, she told me when I was having a mc that it was for the best as no one has big families anymore and I was stupid, wonder what she will say when she finds out. I think she is jealous of how many children I have too, as all she has done with her life is have 2 children adn all I used to get was "well I've had 2 children" therefore she knows everything about children, telling me what happened during the birth of DD1 etc but now I think she feels I have beat her at the one thing she did do too.

But you are all right I must move on and protect myself from her now I am an adult, I must accept she will never change, thinks she has done no wrong and will accept no responsibility for anything she has done and move on and be a damn better mother than she has ever been.

catwalk Sun 30-Aug-09 23:07:56

Yes I am the eldest of two. Again , she has always criticized me for not wanting a cuddle and being independent. I too have a younger brother who is her golden boy.

She has a bee in her bonnet about me going on facebook and meeting up with all my old friends. She has always hated me having friends. She is not talking to me and stormed out of my house three weeks ago because I had my friends there.

She has always blamed me for everything. My dad leaving, her weight gain ( because she had children WTF) when I think back she was so nasty. She used to look through all my things and steal things from my bedroom. You just don't do stuff like that to a child. Would hit me with anything that was in her hand and laugh at me when I got angry.

I had to hold the family together when my dad left because she hit the bottle and just didn't care about us. Then she would scream at me and best me up.

I have had counselling too. My brother is always on my back now because he says I upset her all the time- she goes to him and cries. I can't win. But have decided I am not going to let her make me feel like I am no good anymore.

Hard to believe that there are others going through this. It breaks my heart that I can't just love my mum and she can be proud of me. She can be nice sometimes but it's far and few between and then she can just fly into a mood.

mathanxiety Sun 30-Aug-09 23:14:37

Her loss, really, in the long run, to miss out on a relationship. Buy her a doll and send it to her and ask her if that's what she really wanted all along. She does sound like a narcissist.

thesecondcoming Mon 31-Aug-09 00:05:43

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

redclover79 Mon 31-Aug-09 00:37:49

I've had similar from my dad sweetkitty. He was vile to me for years, verbally and mentally abusive. When I was 18 he beat me for witholding info about my brother's whereabouts. 5 mins later denied all knowledge of what he'd just done.
I went back to uni and a few days later got a letter demanding that I apologise and stating that everything was my fault as I stopped communicating with him when I was 5. I didn't respond, showed the letter to a million people to check what I should do (no self confidence to trust my gut instinct) and also because it was the only proof I have ever had of his behaviour.
A few months later at Xmas I dropped round to give him his present and he disowned me on the spot. Best thing that ever happened in our relationship and I've had nothing to do with him for 7 years.
Now if only I could get my mother to do the same...
After reading a few threads on here I wonder if both my parents are narcissists. Does anyone have any good links to read up on? I've tried to get hold of toxic parents but it's out of print now I think.
I'm the oldest too.

mathanxiety Mon 31-Aug-09 01:29:09

There's a very long thread here called Narcissistic Personality Disorder and someone posted some great links, one especially helpful one was called halcyon, I think. The thread was about a spouse with NPD, but the disorder info applies to anyone.

elvislives Mon 31-Aug-09 07:51:24

Yes I am the eldest. My brother also did the no job/ sponging for years. He only contacts her when he wants something, while we make the effort to stay in touch, take her on holiday and see her at Xmas. But guess who can do no wrong

It is comforting to think I'm not alone but very sad there are so many women who have behaved so badly to their dds.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Aug-09 09:09:37

redclover have plenty of copies of "Toxic Parents". Do read it, its a good starting point.

I am the eldest of two. I was "trusted" i.e left by my parents to get on with it when I was in my mid teens. My brother is the "golden child" and they still chase around after him even though he's now nearly 40, living on his own and childfree.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Aug-09 09:10:52

One of the best resources I have read on NPD.

tinkerbellesmuse Mon 31-Aug-09 10:20:55

Yep another eldest child here. I am quite close in age to my sibblings and find it extraordinary how differently I was treated from them.

2rebecca Mon 31-Aug-09 11:04:32

If you believe she's a toxic mother then I'm surprised you are surprised by this. Very few selfish parents suddenly see the light and realised their parenting is rubbish, expecting them to do so is naive. They tend not to do introspective soul searching and empathy. Stop expecting this from her.
On the other hand it is natural for people to defend themselves when attacked. You sent a letter that was quite critical and which she probably saw as attacking her parenting. it is natural for her to send a letter back defending her parenting and trying to explain why she behaved the way it is. In arguments most people blame the other person and the 2 fire criticisms at each other. It's rare in an argumenmt for 1 person to criticise the other and that person to then say "yes you're right it's all my fault" (unless they are being sarky). It sounds like more of a personality clash than toxic behaviour as such, but then I don't like the toxic label and believe people are just people and some of us are better at parenting than others and giving the poor parents a nasty label doen't help much.

weegiemum Mon 31-Aug-09 11:20:56

I'm another oldest child (wondering if oldest daughters suffer more with this).

I asked too many questions as a child apparantly. What was the 'oint' of me getting a uni education and a teachign qualification. I don't bring up my kids 'properly" (whadda you know, I ask them to do chores in the house and don't let them do whatever they like!) , I shoudl be ashamed of myself for "letting dh help" in the house.

I did give up.. I haven't spoken to her for 4 years - she's toxic.

Fruitysunshine Mon 31-Aug-09 11:23:04

I am really shocked that so many women are having a similar relationship to what I have with my mum.

Every single day, I mean EVERY single day, she criticises something, whether it is the fact she feels I am disorganised, or a soft parent, or my house is messy/dirty, or my weight, or my friendships, and she also storms out of my house if she sees something she does not like or I say something she doesn't like.

I have, like everyone else, looked forward to certain times in my life. In the last few years I have got married, had a baby, started a business and not forgetting the most important one, nearly died. She kicked off at every single happy time and we all spent our happier moments running around after my mum trying to make her happy and when I was seriously ill she visited me once, sat next to my bed, barely spoke and sent texts. Then she upped and left.

I thought it was only me that felt my mum wanted me to have as hard a life as she did. I feel as if she too resents that things are not like they used to be for women and she feels I am not a real parent because I am too soft on my kids. What she means is I never smack my children in the same way she used to.

Any way, I have recently discovered narcissism and believe she fits the profile very well, as does my son! I don't want to lose my relationship with my mum because I love her but only yesterday I said to her that she was not affectionate to us as kids and she replied with "nobody was affectionate with me as a child.."

I can't believe so many people have the same situation in their lives. I thought it was my fault and I was just a crap, non-achieving, fat, unassertive daughter. But actually my husband would describe me as the total opposite and he is surprised at how independent our children are becoming.

I don't know - I just don't know.

Fruitysunshine Mon 31-Aug-09 11:24:57

I too am the first born out of four.

labyrinthine Mon 31-Aug-09 11:26:34

I just wanted tosay,not minimising your experiences at all and not knowing the whole story,as a mother of a teenage dd,the thing I find more difficult than all the baby and toddler stages put together is her criticising me,my parenting etc.I find she makes everything a personal attack in a way the boys don't,and it makes me feel guilty and defensive.In effect,she can be as hurtful as she pleases but I have to just take it.
In my dds case,she is communicating in a stroppy way to effect change,and taking her frustrations out on me but it is still very hurtful and very personal~ and the natural response when being attacked is to try to block itout,[while hopefully listening to the important bits].
In my parents generation,it was generally accepted that dcs when grown up would respect their parents and contribute to family life~that idea has gone now.
Now you are an adult,can you not feel an appreciation of anything she did do for you?
She may not be perfect but no one is~sounds like a personality clash to some degree.

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