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Should I confront DM or not?

(4 Posts)
suddenlycupishalffull Thu 14-May-15 22:47:25

DM has anxiety and has relied on me as a shoulder to cry on since my early teens. She's a very dominating character, her erratic mood swings have always had a big impact on me, but I've never challenged her, and this has been compounded in recent years as she was widowed suddenly and now cares for her elderly parent so I feel I can't challenge her as she's lonely & stressed...however...her erratic behaviour is now starting to impact my DC & I'm wondering if the time has come to either challenge her or withdraw. So for example, we won't see or hear from her for weeks, with my eldest asking where she is, then she will turn up without warning (letting herself into my house with her key) and either be totally wiped out and cold with my DC, which completely confuses them, as other times she will be bouncing off the walls, play the clown, wind them up into a frenzy, then leave. On top of this, I feel there's a lot of subtle undermining of me as a parent going on in front of DC. When she's here, I feel tense and stressed and relieved when she leaves. But but but...she's alone and coping with a lot on her own, should I really confront her? I feel like life's too short to argue but I also feel increasingly angry at her behaviour. WWYD?

Justmuddlingalong Thu 14-May-15 22:50:43

1st things 1st, take her key away or change the lock. How would she react if you challenge her, would she listen?

suddenlycupishalffull Thu 14-May-15 23:03:56

I don't know tbh, I've never ever challenged her...when we've been close to falling out, she withdraws even more than normal, then relents but is very cold then things slowly return to normal with no reference to the fall out. So my instinct is she wouldn't take is maturely. And I would feel so guilty, she has no DH to support her like I do, I'd feel terrible about upsetting her. I should add for the sake of balance that my DC adore her, she's obviously fun when she's on good form for them and they gain a lot from their relationship with her...but....she's unstable and I hate the way she's dipping in and other of our lives.

Justmuddlingalong Thu 14-May-15 23:13:47

Perhaps you could explain the points you've mentioned on here like the blowing hot and cold. Ask her if she feels unwell with the stress of her DH dying, supporting her parent etc. Explain that both you and the kids are confused by her behaviour and it's upsetting you all.

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