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Aggressive Mother Involved My Teenager in Dispute That Has Nothing To Do With Her.

144 replies

MustWeDoThis · 02/10/2022 23:49

In a nutshell:

I was Psychologically abused as a teenager, because my Mother and Step-Dad were extremely aggressive, toffee nosed, paranoid, self-entitled...the list goes on.

Fast forward many years later - They knocked down my self confidence so much that I don't even keep mirrors in the house and avoid my reflection at all costs. I won't wear sleeveless dresses in the summer or anything that's not baggy. I have body dysmorphia because of the damage done.

Tonight: I was running 20 minutes late to pop over to my parents house. I had been getting the children bathed and bedded for school tomorrow and so the eldest could also chill out and just listen out for them (DD is 14, suffers with acute anxiety due to bullying and it's meant she has developed tourette like ticks, especially when placed under stress.)

DM calls at 19:20pm and asks where we are (I was going over because I owed them some money from when our bed broke. I wanted to drop it off.)

Mother: "Where are you? You said you would be here at 7pm! You really are messing us around. We put dinner on, we are starving. We decided to have a snack instead while we wait for you. We will eat dinner when you're gone." Her attitude was, as usual, passive aggressive, curt, abrupt - She made us feel awkward. We didn't know they were cooking dinner and I wouldn't have minded them eating it while we were there.

Husband and I said we would be another 15-20 minutes. We were feeling very awkward and angry at the way we had been spoken to (This is not the first time. The last time was even worse.)

We put the money in the envelope and just pushed it through their letterbox and drove off. When my Mother is in this mood, she is a nightmare to deal with and hubby has an interview in the morning for a prestigious IT job. She also knows about this.

We told her we put it through the door and left.

Queue several missed calls while hubby is driving. His phone is in his pocket. We decided to go and have a walk along the seafront. Hubby also needed to get back and do some more research on his job role, so he can prepare for the interview. He was feeling stressed.

We sit on a bench at the beach (It's 8pm). We call them back to say we didn't come in because we felt awkward.

My parents had driven to my house during this time, let themselves in, barged into my teen's bedroom where she was cleaning it and singing along to music.

My Mother starts ranting at my teenage daughter and makes her cry (she's now ticking away) I feel awful for not being there to protect her.

Mother to my DD, "Where's your Mother!? Mummy has been very rude by not knocking and coming in! She's wasted my entire evening! I could have gone out with my Sister! We've just been sat there waiting for your Mother all evening! Ring her and get her on the phone!".

My husband answered:

DM, "Why didn't you come in!?"

We explain how awkward she made us feel and we wanted to go for a walk so hubby could clear his head a bit, before we head back home and he does a bit of prep work. (8:30pm by now).

DM, "Are you coming back for coffee or what!? Ha! He can't really prep if you're walking down the beach! You've wasted my entire evening (like there aren't any other evenings.) You are so rude! I've not seen you in an entire month! I was really excited about seeing you!"

(Saw her on the 11th September for her Birthday. Bought her an expensive Indian, rare bottle of vodka, and some cream blankets because she gets cold easily. She's 57. She had the children for a day the week after that. She was adamant it had been a month. She also went away for 1 week in September. I work full time and study full-time, so does hubby.)

Queue the usual insults about being ignorant and rude somemore

She was ranting and raving on the phone. Woke up the youngest who got out of bed. So we got in the car to go home. On their way out my Mother shouted to my eldest, "and tell him he owes me another £10!" £10 that she spent getting the youngest two a KFC meal.

My parents never have the children over to sleep. They used to have the eldest and favoured her, but not even she wants to go over there anymore and they never ask if they can have them over. Thank god for my MIL!

We aren't well off by any means, but we let my parents use our Netflix account. I've just worked out that 5 years of incremental increases on Netflix (If they were to have paid half, which they don't) - Has meant I've paid £480 over 5 years for their share of Netflix. Petty to have calculated and I won't throw it in their face, because I won't lower myself.

My Mother has alienated her neighbours, the other stall holders who surround her business, and gone through numerous staff members. That's how aggressive she is. Everyone causes her an offense.

I just said, "OK then"

She handed my daughters phone back and left the house.

AIBU to not apologise for being 20 minutes late? Because I didn't know she had chosen to cook dinner and hold off on it? All of this drama over 20 minutes late running....

I can't even make sense of this thread myself.

Please, MN, do not post this to FB.

Thanks for reading this far.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

400 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
StinkyWizzleteets · 03/10/2022 03:22

There are always 2 sides to every story and your mothers response seems a huge overreaction to what you did, even although what you did was rude.

You admitted to being 40 mins late and didn’t bother to hand the money over in person, that’s rude & ungrateful. Your time is not more important than her time and it wouldn’t have hurt to give advance notice of your lateness. If I’m honest your passive aggressive behaviour isn’t really much better than her aggressive behaviour. You sound a right pair.

That said, if she let herself into your house without permission and frightened or upset your kids then you really ought to have no contact with the woman. If she cannot treat you and your children with respect the she does not get the privilege of a relationship with her grandchildren.

Theres something missing from
all this and I don’t know what it is. You can’t have it all ways. She is never going to be the mum you want and you will never be the daughter she wants. The sooner one or both of you accept and act on this the easier life will become. Walk away from her and don’t engage or you’ll be stuck in this kind of cycle forever.

Twilight7777 · 03/10/2022 03:34

YABU to subject your children to known abusers!

Ottersmith · 03/10/2022 03:56

You have to remove these abusers from yours and your children's lives. She is using money to control you. You could start by putting up boundaries and not letting her in your house. Not accepting the gifts she sends. Pay her the tenner but then cut her off from Netflix. She's an awful woman. I wouldn't let the younger ones spend time with either honestly. I think it was fine that you posted it through. You were protecting yourself. You need to do more of it.

TheOnlyBeeInYourBonnet · 03/10/2022 04:06

YWBU to be running late without giving them a heads up, but that pales into insignificance alongside their actions.

If you can't bear to cut them off completely, at least put some boundaries in place. No borroqing money and no keys to your house for starters! And see them a LOT less often.

Avidreader69 · 03/10/2022 04:20

I didn't borrow the money, she insisted I have anew bed ASAP, had it delivered to my house. Paid it back in full. I don't ask or borrow from anyone
This is very strange. Why did you let her 'buy' you a new bed? In fact, she wasn't buying it, if she was expecting to be repaid. If you let this carry on, what's to stop her having a whole load of new furniture delivered to your house? Weird.

FaazoHuyzeoSix · 03/10/2022 04:22

Why on earth do you have anything to do with them?
Why on earth would you give such people a key to your house?
Why on earth would you borrow money from them?

You are being very unreasonable for not having cut contact years ago.

Beachsidesunset · 03/10/2022 04:42

OP, you know what your parents are like. You're choosing to have a (toxic) relationship with them. Please break the cycle before your children are on waiting lists for counselling themselves.

LilacPoppy · 03/10/2022 06:21

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youagainomg · 03/10/2022 06:35

Cut them out of your life. The children won't miss going to the odd park visit with them.

Likelookinginamirror · 03/10/2022 06:36

It’s very easy to judge, but please remember that OP is a product of her upbringing, and probably says what she needs to say to keep things from being difficult.

Meanwhile, OP, I completely understand your situation. The reason she wants cash is to keep contact. The reason she has things delivered is so that she can control the dialogue/relationship.

Despite the ways in which you are so aware of the situation, in others you are still deeply intrenched. Someone who hasn’t been raised like this -

  • would not be receiving furniture unexpectedly
  • would not be letting a difficult relative have keys
  • would be clear about what constitutes reasonable behaviour (from her and you)
  • would realise that keeping a relationship with a difficult relative at any cost (to you and your children) is not viable.

For some it’s inconceivable that this could all be your mother’s fault. For others they can’t imagine how you could stay in such an awful relationship, but none of them understand that you need help to extricate yourself.

She was clearly trying to have an impact on her eldest granddaughter, and clearly it didn’t work, and your eldest has a clarity that you don’t yet possess. She’s not staying out of her way because she’s a surly teenager who doesn’t want the hassle, she clearly feels/sees red flags, and won’t put herself in the way of it.

You’ve raised a brilliant child there, consider being as kind to yourself.

Good luck, it will take a while.
Sellorkeep · 03/10/2022 06:39

Why did your mum even know your bed was broken? If my mother was the type to buy a bed for me without me and my partner having any say, then I certainly wouldn’t tell her this kind of thing. I only draw that as an example so you can reflect on how you are shaping things with your parents.
Based on what you have written you are unreasonable to leave your children with your parents. You seem to have some resentment about their limited childcare support to you but why would you want their help if they are going to be toxic with your kids?
I don’t think your handling of this evening was terribly mature.

Shoxfordian · 03/10/2022 06:39

As others have said, you really need to consider no contact with her- she’s toxic and you’re exposing your children to her ways by staying in contact

Seashor · 03/10/2022 06:45

I honestly don’t think that you helped yourself with this one.

If my son was going to be that late he’d let me know.That’s basic manners. I’d also be upset if he then just pushed an envelope through the door because actually I would have now wasted my evening because of his actions.

Likelookinginamirror · 03/10/2022 06:46

@Sellorkeep - I wonder if the day out with the grandchildren is an attempt to make normal happy family type memories. Until she sorts out the mess her parents created, no amount of pleasant interactions will make a difference. They are just a place marker before dropping yet another bomb.

SO often we say “but I just want them to….”. If wishing made it so, we’d all have kind parents.

QuebecBagnet · 03/10/2022 06:49

Honestly you need to write her a letter telling her you want nothing to do with her anymore. She is toxic and damaging you and your kids. The damage to your kids will continue, don’t give her the opportunity. You need to protect them. You’ll be enmeshed in the fear, obligation, guilt cycle at the minute but you need to jump. I did with my bullying, narc mother and it was the best thing I ever did. I’d put it off for years due to fear of her reaction.

Sceptre86 · 03/10/2022 06:49

You desperately need counselling. If my parents psychologically abused me there is no chance they would be allowed to be around my children. I would be non contact. You need to garner some strength from somewhere and cut them off.

HoppingPavlova · 03/10/2022 06:51

I didn't borrow the money, she insisted I have anew bed ASAP, had it delivered to my house. Paid it back in full. I don't ask or borrow from anyone.

So, you took the bed and are using it? If you don’t want to be in this situation, when a bed that you have not ordered rocks up to your front door you don’t accept it. State you have not ordered it and don’t accept it. If it’s just left then don’t take it in and if you know your mother ordered it call her and tell her you are perplexed as you don’t want the bed and she will either need to organise it to be returned or will need to come collect herself somehow before it is ruined outside by weather or taken by someone. Anything else is on you. If you accepted the bed, that’s on you. You are acting like a victim here.

I was Psychologically abused as a teenager, because my Mother and Step-Dad were extremely aggressive, toffee nosed, paranoid, self-entitled...the list goes on. Fast forward many years later - They knocked down my self confidence so much that I don't even keep mirrors in the house and avoid my reflection at all costs. I won't wear sleeveless dresses in the summer or anything that's not baggy. I have body dysmorphia because of the damage done.

So, given this you think it’s appropriate for them to routinely have your kids and take them out for the day? This is how you describe your parents, and this is what you claim and you are happy for them to take your kids. Do you not believe in safeguarding your kids?

MRex · 03/10/2022 06:53

Your posts are very long and a bit confused, it seems like you are jumping between incidents in your mind. Still, clearly you don't get along with your parents, so it's time to pull back; stop borrowing money and asking for childcare, just stop seeing them until you at least get your own head straight about boundaries. Teach the family to keep doors locked, nobody should be running around in your house when you are out.

Bournetilly · 03/10/2022 06:53

YABU for keeping them in your lives.
You we’re abused as a teenager, they are/ were extremely aggressive and you still allow them to see your 2 young children. Protect your children!

QuebecBagnet · 03/10/2022 06:55

I did wipe the floor with her for involving my daughter. The eldest point blank refuses to spend time with her and has stood up for herself against her. The youngest two enjoy going to the park with them, so I don't want to take that away. I will if they start treating them the same way. I am trying to be diplomatic. Trying not to use my children as weapons.

im not been funny but you won’t stop it if they start treating the other two the same way because you won’t notice it. Or notice it too late, or keep making excuses, give one more chance. They’ve obviously abused your eldest and you either didn’t notice or didn’t protect her. Why allow them to do the same to your youngest? There will also be stuff the kids don’t tell you which you don’t see when they’re at the park together. It took ten plus years for Dd to tell me some,of the stuff her grandmother had said and done to her, heartbreaking emotional abuse.

ReformedWaywardTeen · 03/10/2022 06:55

I remember my mother making me feel like that. The little digs about things. The aggression that was blamed on me "for being disrespectful"

I am 25 years N/C and it's a breath of fresh air. As you say, you have a wonderful MIL. So ditch your abusive narc mother.

I once had to borrow money from my mother. The store I worked for had gone under overnight. As a result I had to claim Jobseekers allowance.

It was that long ago it's when you received a giro through the post, and one Saturday, mine didn't arrive, plunging me into crisis as I obviously couldn't contact anyone until Monday. I reluctantly asked to borrow some money. She refused and instead she bought me some bits from Tesco. It came to £10.05p. Once I had sorted out the missing giro, I told her I could pay her back. At the time I was getting £35 a week. I asked if she could grab it as she drove past to get to the town centre and she refused, saying I had borrowed it so could return it. I had to get the bus to do so which cost me £4.50. I handed her a ten pound note and she started going mad on the doorstep about the 5p. Utterly screeching at me. I didn't have a 5p piece so gave her 20p and she refused to give me anything back and said I should be happy not to be charged interest.

Honestly, they never change. They just rely on you putting up with it due to them being your parent.

If you have a broken piece of furniture, join Freecycle or Freegle.

crossstitchingnana · 03/10/2022 06:55

Your DM was bang out of order to burst in to your room, however I would be pissed off if I had sat in waiting for someone and delaying my dinner and they were late.

Soontobe60 · 03/10/2022 07:01

I’m confused! They live round the corner so why didn’t your dh just pop over with the money as arranged? Also, if they do just live round the corner how come you didn’t pass each other when they went round to your house? Why are you leaving young children in the care of a teen who’s got mental health concerns?
You say you both had places to go after you dropped the money off which is why you didnt go in, but you also say DH had to get back to prep for a very prestigious job interview the following day.
Netflix costs an extra £3 for an additional log in - I know because I have it for my DD. So over 5 years thats only £36 x 5 = £180. Just change the password!

purplerain13 · 03/10/2022 07:02

Very bad form agreeing to be at someone's home at a specific time, not contacting them to say you'll be late, saying you'll be there in 15min when they call you, and then not actually turning up!!

Rest of it, reduce contact. You don't like her, but you use her for money, childcare etc.

Changechangychange · 03/10/2022 07:07

Change your locks. Change your Netflix password. Don’t accept any money or gifts off them (not sure if you had said you wanted the bed or if a random bed just turned up on the doorstep from them, but you can send deliveries away if you don’t want them).

Sometimes it helps to have a break from people. I’d suggest cutting contact for a while. The younger two will barely notice.

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