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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?


You have one vote. All votes are anonymous.

maddy68 · 03/10/2022 07:52

You were late and messed them around. It was very odd to put it through the door.

She was out of order for letting herself into your house but it sounds as if you both let each other into each others houses.

You are as much to blame this is a 50/50 situation

(You are all bonkers )


MintyGreenDreams · 03/10/2022 07:52

Hrtft but definitely take your house key off her.


EmeraldShamrock1 · 03/10/2022 07:52

You know she is a controller drama queen.

I'd rather sleep on sticks than borrow money from them.

How dare she barge into your home.


Doingprettywellthanks · 03/10/2022 07:54

“Psychologically abused” in opening sentence

”Tonight: I was running 20 minutes late to pop over to my parents house” in second paragraph

mind. Blown.


WrongWayApricot · 03/10/2022 07:55

I think it's hard to say because so much on both sides seem like bad choices to me.

Bad choice to invite people for dinner but don't tell them you're making dinner.

Bad choice to not get on with having dinner when the guests that don't even know about it are very late. I'd just eat it and remind myself to let my dinner guests know they are actually dinner guests in the future.

Bad choice to be 40mins late if you live a few minutes away, I'd pop money over before dealing with the kids. Your date night should have been made late because it only inconveniences you. You shouldn't pass your inconvenience on to others if it can be helped.

Bad choice to post through the letterbox when that wasn't expected.

Weird choice to ignore several phone calls and not pull over to find out what the problem is.

Bad choice to turn up to daughters family home afterwards looking for an argument.

Odd choice to leave such a vulnerable teen alone with young children.

I think you shouldn't let your mum be able to let herself in after the way she has behaved. I think you should get an adult to sit in with your daughter if you want to go out for an evening. She doesn't sound ready and able to deal with emergencies and if she does have to deal with them it sounds like going through that could cause huge emotional trauma for her.

About the relationship generally, it's hard to break contact with a parent. It's understandable that you can't bring yourself to do it. I do think you should try to protect your children from it more though. Maybe no more days out and only contact with you or DH there too. It's obviously complicated, deep and not at all easy to navigate. I hope you get your counselling soon and get some peace emotionally Flowers


Doingprettywellthanks · 03/10/2022 07:57

My parents never have the children over to sleep.

what the actual fuck

op read what you wrote about your mother.

i wouldn’t let this woman within a 10 mile radius of my children


BatteryPoweredMammy · 03/10/2022 08:01

Sorry, but you are BU.

When are you going to take responsibility for your own life and stop blaming others for your hang ups?

You’re an adult and if you find your relationship with your parents difficult, it’s up to you to change that dynamic.


Ourlittleharmonica · 03/10/2022 08:01

With respect, and I only ask because I had a similar situation at one point, at times has it been nice for her to order things for you or to cover your arse? How would she know you needed a bed if you hadn't told her? How did she get into your house? Why is she using your Netflix for free if she won't even buy a KFC without wanting the money back?

She sounds like a PITA but I think you need to ask yourself if you're enabling that by telling her things. I don't mean that in a victim blamey way - but sometimes people like that are just waiting for an opportunity to lord something over you. I have a family member like that who used to take my eldest DC shopping and buy her trainers, bags, etc and then weeks later would throw it in my face. EVERYTHING was returned to her and we haven't had contact since.

Get her off your Netflix and If anything shows up again, like said bed, tell the delivery people there's been a mistake and you didn't order this. Unless you WANTED the bed. Do you see what I'm getting at?


WhiteFire · 03/10/2022 08:08

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.

OP please read this, it is excellent advice.

I can't understand the pleasure some on here get from kicking people when they are down, it isn't necessary.


MeridianB · 03/10/2022 08:11

NC from now. Change your locks. Get a restraining order if they keep coming over.

Really pleased you’re on the list counselling - are there any professionals or mentors you could ask to help you in the meantime? 🌺


edenhills · 03/10/2022 08:14

Ignore all the people giving you grief. Those of us with similar mother's understand. Give your husband and children a massive hug and appreciate that you have a lovely family who are not toxic to each other. Work on getting your key back (I haven't managed this with my own mother yet) so you can try a keep the toxicity outside of your home x


Ponoka7 · 03/10/2022 08:18

It used to be that when training before you were client facing you had to undergo Counseling yourself. I hope that it's still the case before you qualify. If there were any concerns you'd have to do further counseling while waiting for your membership of the BACP. It's astonishing that you are still using terms like 'be the bigger person' etc. You do really need help and if your DH gets a pay rise, pay privately.


Noteverybodylives · 03/10/2022 08:18

They are obviously awful but you borrowed money off them and then gave a time you were going around there to give it back and you were late, even though it was around the corner.

There was you, your DH and your teenager who could have gone and popped it round quickly or stayed with the younger ones whilst you walked there and gave it to them.

You and your DH then went to the beach and left your teen at home alone babysitting the younger ones.

Stop borrowing money from them.
Go very low contact with them.
Stop giving them so much power.


Doingprettywellthanks · 03/10/2022 08:19

edenhills · 03/10/2022 08:14

Ignore all the people giving you grief. Those of us with similar mother's understand. Give your husband and children a massive hug and appreciate that you have a lovely family who are not toxic to each other. Work on getting your key back (I haven't managed this with my own mother yet) so you can try a keep the toxicity outside of your home x

Ignore the posters firmly (not aggressively) saying that the OP recognises psychological abuse and a seriously and profoundly negative person - and yet is very happy for that person to have extensive involvement with her children.



Doingprettywellthanks · 03/10/2022 08:20

Give your husband and children a massive hug and appreciate that you have a lovely family who are not toxic to each other.

but it is toxic.

the op know her mother is psychologically abusive and yet allows extensive interaction with her children. That’s toxic.


wellhelloitsme · 03/10/2022 08:27

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.

YABU to have been giving these abusers any access to your children.


Thereisnolight · 03/10/2022 08:28

OP you’re not faultless here but you were brought up by a very difficult woman and that has affected you. Please detach from her and focus on your own family. You’re no longer a child. Any contact with your DM should be adult-to-adult with full respect or just don’t see her. Not as simple as that I know!! but at the back of your mind you need to care a LOT less about what she thinks!!!!!!


daretodenim · 03/10/2022 08:30

OP I didn't read to the end. I got to Tonight: I was running 20 mins late to get to their house.." and had to go back to check I'd read correctly. Then read the next few paragraphs. Couldn't believe what is going on, it's not ok.

As I have gathered you've already been told, you do not need to be in touch with her.

You're not obliged to be the better person: you already are because you don't treat your kids like shit. Now focus on the mental health of yourself, your DH and your kids and get rid of this woman. Yes she's your mother, but she's abused the power that comes with that probably since you were old enough to have an opinion.

Know that when you do cut contact she'll go nuts, but don't worry, as someone who is NC with her mother I can guarantee it's worth it. You can't even imagine what it's like not to have to worry about upsetting her because you've never had that feeling. It's a wonderful feeling.


Bearsporridge · 03/10/2022 08:31

Come off this thread if you haven’t already and come over to the stately homes threads.

people here, with absolutely no concept of damaging family dynamics, will pore over details like you running late.

You don’t need to be reading this right now.

You need to talk to people who get what you’re describing. Flowers


Lopilo · 03/10/2022 08:40

Next time your bed breaks sleep on a mattress on the floor. Do not become beholden to her. Also, change your Netflix password.


Saz12 · 03/10/2022 08:43

There’s a huge range of options between the current situation (seeing her monthly, her having your children over without you, her having a key to your house, accepting big gifts, owing her money), and going no contact.


howdoesatoastermaketoast · 03/10/2022 08:54

OK so I think you know this but it's hard to come to terms with.
You were abused as a child, your mother is still abusing you and has started to abuse your children. It is easier if you can move a long way away but you can protect your kids eve around the corner

no contact is the best choice but is hard you can also set new boundaries / new rules

  1. YOU do not come into OUR house: you don't come into my house without a specific invitation, do not get to ask to come around as refusal may offend and I don't want to offend you, so don't ask. Don't come around when you think I'm out but the kids are home. If you turn up at my door I will talk to you at the door and not ask you inside, if you are rude or abusive I will close the door and walk away. You have grossly abused the privilege of having a key so in future you will not have a key to my house this is non negotiable.

    1a) change locks, she/they NEVER gets a copy of the new key
    1b) explain new rules to your kids
    1c) she /they NEVER come into your house again - EVER, they just never get an invite

  2. YOU can choose how you spend YOUR money; you absolutely cannot spend ours. She has no respect for your boundaries, and that needs to change. Explain that she has a habit, which she may not even be aware of of just buying something and then saying you owe me £x. Without discussion, or prior agreement this is just abusive and insane, and from now on you will be having none of it. She can spend her money as she wishes - but you will not be "repaying", or accept that there is in fact a "debt", if she choses to spend her money on something for you or your children: that you did not ask for, that you had no input in choosing, etc. A debt is incurred when and ONLY when someone says something like "Mum will you please lend me £200 to buy a bed" from now on she can go to hell with her abusive controlling behaviour - fair warning you won't be 'repaying' a penny of it. (insert expletives as the mood takes you but they can be an excellent way to add emphasis).

    As an addendum I would suggest you change the password for netflix do not tell her / them the new password. Never apologise for this.

    3) Understand I never have to speak to you again. Phone calls are a privilege not a right or an opportunity to abuse, tell her if she is rude or unpleasant you will hang up. Then do it, learn to hang up, "you're being an arse, i'll talk to you next week when you're in a better mood".

  3. There is a line and you went so far over it I can't even tell you, you EVER speak to one of my children like that again and I swear to God you will NEVER speak to any of my children ever again. This is your final warning.

    Good luck

Cantthinkofanewnameatm · 03/10/2022 08:54

Your poor daughter, that would have freaked me out an angry woman bursting in on me.
Cut your parents out. Your mother will NOT improve, in fact with age she’ll probably get worse.


Mischance · 03/10/2022 09:00

Let themselves in???!!!! - change your locks now.

I understand your anger. My parents did their best but their rather bizarre, fiery but dependent relationship was very difficult to live with as a child. I spent a lot of time being manipulated by one or the other in an attempt to get back at the other. God, how I hated it.

I once saw my mother doing it to one of my children ...... I was incandescent with rage, removed my child from the situation and did not get in touch for some time. When they rang and asked why I told them. It never happened again.


NotJustAnybody · 03/10/2022 09:04

If she's that bad, why do you want your youngest two to have anything to do with her? Why has she got a key? The bed is a red herring - you obviously told her that you needed a bed and didn't have the money yourself and agreed to pay her back.
You need to go NC or LC. If she asks to see the youngest DC, tell that after her performance yesterday, ranting and raving to your oldest, you don't want the youngest around her.

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