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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.

LuckyLil · 03/10/2022 09:04

Reading your own account you were late and did mess them around. Which is a little odd considering you know how she reacts. It does almost read like you provoked her on this occasion. You said you were already 20 mins late when your husband said he'd be another 15 to 20 mins. That's pretty poor time keeping and id probably feel a bit messed around myself. Ok I wouldn't react the way she did but I'd still be having words with you. Sorry but reading your own posts it does seem you didn't really help the situation on this occasion.


NotSorry · 03/10/2022 09:05

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

Agree with this


Rafferty10 · 03/10/2022 09:06

Op just stop this whole mess.

Change the locks
Tell DCs to look at who is there before they ever answer the door, and if DM to not answer it.
Tell DM she can take younger dcs out as long as she behaves well or she wont see them ..stick to it.
Block her from accessing your social media
Communicate only by phone and if she is a PITA hang up she will learn.
If she orders you anything don't take the delivery.

I feel sorry for your dcs ( l would never let anyone behave like this to mine l would cut all contact ) At the very least do the above .


TheHoover · 03/10/2022 09:09

when you live with someone abusive they will have this approach also pointing out all your errors.
you end up desperately trying to be squeaky clean 100% of the time so they have nothing over you.
but the abusive person wants or even needs to have something over you so they will create scenarios where you are in the wrong.
it’s a horrific mindset but - especially with parental abuse - people don’t know that they are even in this situation and carry on beating themselves up with the ‘I deserved this as I was late’ shit.
Please stop criticising the OP. It’s actually making me angry reading some of these replies.


Snufkinhastherightidea · 03/10/2022 09:16

Haven’t read the whole thread but you clearly just don’t like your mother.
You should just tell her that you don’t see her often because you don’t like her and stop with the passive aggressive gift giving and half measures (seeing someone when you are pushed into a corner) and just admit that there is no loving relationship there and break it all off.
I have a family member who hardly has contact with the family since his marriage and a few months ago made it very clear that he just doesn’t like us or approve of us. This is a really sad time for us but what hurt the most was that he had obviously felt that way for years and just gone through the motions of a relationship rather than discuss the issues he had.


Octomore · 03/10/2022 09:18

Pixiedust1234 · 02/10/2022 23:54

I couldn't read all that. I got as far as having to drive over to give money but posting it....if you hate your parents that much why didn't you do a bank transfer?


If you were able to post it through the letterbox then you could have either (a) put it through the letterbox at a different time, no need to make an 'appointment' or for them to be there, or (b) done a bank transfer.

With people like your parents, saying you will go at 7pm and then being late was obviously going to cause trouble, so don't put yourself in that situation. Self preservation is important here.

My mum is a nightmare, so I go grey rock around her. That involves being uninteresting not just in terms of what I tell her or how I respond to her, but also in terms of my actions. Don't feed the beast by giving her something to accuse you of. If I say I'll be there at 7pm, I am there at 7pm (in reality I'd do a bank transfer and avoid the whole interaction).


lifeturnsonadime · 03/10/2022 09:19

OP so much of your post resonates with my relationship with my mother. I had a similar incident this weekend where she behaved appallingly in front of my children.

I think I also need to find the Stately Homes threads too, where are they?


LannieDuck · 03/10/2022 09:20

If you're going to buy a bed, you want to choose it, and choose how much you spend on it!

Reject any 'gifts' that get delivered from her in future. Don't accept any further money or purchases from her for anything (send your kids with packed lunches if they really need to go and visit her... although I would reconsider that given she's not above shouting at them).

Frankly, I would stop seeing her altogether - you acknowledge she's damaged you, and continues to make your life miserable. So why is she still part of your life? If she wasn't related to you, would you choose to keep seeing her? Just because she's your mum, doesn't make you obligated towards her, no matter what she might say.


Octomore · 03/10/2022 09:20

And yes, change the locks. This is obvious, surely!

Keep contact as low as you can, and limit the exposure your kids have to them.


Twillow · 03/10/2022 09:22

Butitsnotfunnyisititsserious · 03/10/2022 03:19

DM calls at 19:20pm and asks where we are
Mother: "Where are you? You said you would be here at 7pm! Husband and I said we would be another 15-20 minutes

So you were about 40 minutes late. It is really rude to be late and not say you're just going to post it through the door. Your mother reacted completely over the top involving your child but you should have just text to say you'd drop through the letterbox.

No, it's not really rude to be 'late' to drop something off to your parents - they weren't going for dinner or anything! If my mother had form like this I would be reluctant to text too for the inevitable 'can't do anything right' "how dare you'" response.
Did you read where OP said her mother has fallen out with neighbours etc etc.? This is not OP's fault.


ILikeHotWaterBottles · 03/10/2022 09:23

Sorry to say this, but you're not being a good person or parent yourself by allowing your children to be shouted at by your mother.

You know what she is like and what she does. Do you want that for your children? No you don't.

Your only option is no contact forever and from now. Stop making excuses and get her out of your life.


Twillow · 03/10/2022 09:24

Do you have any siblings that you can enlist for support OP?


Butitsnotfunnyisititsserious · 03/10/2022 09:26

@Twillow it is rude to say you'll be there at a certain time and turn up 40 minutes late after they had to call you. The OP can still have acted rudely, despite how her mother is. Her mother sounds like a nightmare but she should have just text her to say she'll drop it through the door at some point. She knows how her mother is, it's up to OP to protect her children from her mum. Best way is go NC or LC. Don't accept money or anything else from them.


TequilaNights · 03/10/2022 09:28

If a friend treated you and your family like this, would you still have them around?

Just because you share DNA does not mean you have to put up with shitty behaviour.

I would drop them faster than she can say 'but..'

Life is too short for this!


jays · 03/10/2022 09:31

MustWeDoThis · 03/10/2022 00:21

I was 20 minutes late. They live around the corner. I don't use them for childcare. We don't have -any- childcare out of personal choice. I posted the money because I didn't want to go in and deal with her nightmare behaviour. I did state that in my original post.

I explained I was late because I was getting the kids ready for bed. (I should have elaborated on that! I did apologise for being late when she called the first time.)

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.

These are relevant parts I missed out. My apologies.

I am on a waiting list for counselling. The irony being- I am a student Psychologist and Counsellor. I also work with people who have body dysmorphia and suicidal idiations, but I can't fix my own unhealthy relationship, it seems. 😅

Unfortunately you can’t fix your relationship with your parents because you have no control over their behaviour. Their behaviour would need to change in order for you to have the relationship you want with them.

Obviously you are invested in this relationship improving as it’s been very damaging over the years to you. Unfortunately it’s not going to improve or change while you are all still acting out the same patterns and now your children are being hurt too.

You say you stay in touch because you want to be the better person but I’d ask you to question that logic. Why do you think it makes you a better person to subject yourself and your children to abuse? It also seems to be that you are stuck in a perpetual drama cycle here and I speak from experience here; so no judgment.

You can take control of your life and your family and the outcome here by changing your behaviour.

There is no point trying to reason with your parents. There is no point trying to make them ‘see’ or understand. It’s not going to happen and they are not going to change and this will go on and on for the rest of your life like this.

Don’t take anything from them, If she orders a bed and it turns up, refuse delivery! Take your keys back! Don’t let the children be unsupervised around them. Cut them out as much as possible because you’re feeding this whole mess by staying in it!

You’re far from powerless here but you need boundaries and you need them fast. You’re the adult here, I know it doesn’t feel like it because of the way you’ve been treated as a child, but you are. You need to protect your children, yourself and your marriage from this crazy and toxic mess, because that’s what it is.

You are never, ever going to get what you need from your parents and you have to try and find a way to let that go for the sake you your sanity and for your children. You don’t ‘pop round’ to see people who psychologically abused you. That doesn’t make sense to do that. You’re obviously and understandably going back into the drama cycle willingly hoping for a different outcome every time to get some healing. You can get healing and a different outcome but you are never, ever going to get it from your parents and you will never get it by staying in and participating in this toxic relationship.

I would strongly advise you to take time away from them, it will be hard because you’re conditioned to be ‘in it’ but once you’ve taken time away, hopefully it will give you some clarity and peace. Good luck.


OctopusBreath · 03/10/2022 09:31

I get that your family dynamics are far more complex than what you've written here, and I think your parents were out of order to storm into your house. But as many people have pointed out, you were going to be 40 minutes late, not 20 (and you say you live round the corner from them, so I don't really get why this was.) Anything more than ten minutes late, and you really should be sending a text. Also, the fact that you put it through the door when she had been waiting for you was passive aggressive- I get that you don't want to see her, but I don't think this was the right thing to do on your part.

The thing is, when we've been raised in a dysfunctional family, we're used to a level of drama which is difficult to snap out of, even when we hate the feeling it gives us. They've taught you drama, and now you seem to be perpetuating it a bit. Maybe worth a think about what course of action would have caused the least drama here, because from what you've shared about your parents, it was pretty clear that you posting the money and not popping in was going to create a fuss and more turmoil.


HangerLaneGyratorySystem · 03/10/2022 09:34

My DD has severe body dysmorphia and is housebound. I’d be horrified if I knew someone like you was treating her. It’s a complete mess you need to take responsibility for - stop exposing your own kids to this toxic set up and get proper help for yourself to cut contact with your parents.


RudsyFarmer · 03/10/2022 09:34

MustWeDoThis · 02/10/2022 23:59

They wanted cash.

Why am I still in contact? I wish I could answer that. I try to be the better person, I suppose?

You’re not being the better person though. They’re dragging you down to roll about in the crap alongside them. Grey rock and low contact. Do NOT borrow money or ask favours.


frami · 03/10/2022 09:38

My DM is very much like you describe but I am fortunate to live in another country from her so can keep some distance but she still haunts me.
What I do suggest is that you get this thread transferred to Stately Homes where there are others who have experience of disfunctional parent/child relationships. I have posted on Stately Homes and couldn't recommend it enough.


CoalTit · 03/10/2022 09:43

I'm amazed at the number of posters criticising the OP for being late to pay for something she didn't want and didn't ask for.
She has to make big changes, yes, but being on time to hand over money she shouldn't be handing over, to someone who shouldn't be inside her house, shouldn't know anything about the condition of her furniture and shouldn't be making furniture-ordering decisions for the OP --- that's not one of the changes she needs to make.


mam0918 · 03/10/2022 09:44

To be fair you where really rude.

You kept them waiting nearly an hour (height of rudeness, and didnt even let them know), their plans where ruined by your lateness had to go on hold because you couldnt keep your end of the deal and then after all that you ditched out on them.

You have ZERO high ground in the way you behaved... they may not have acted any better but your rudeness started it.


cupofdecaf · 03/10/2022 09:47

Don't let them damage your children any more. Change the locks. If they order stuff to your house refuse the delivery/ return it/ dump it on their door step. No contact, tell her by text she's damaging your mental health and you want nothing more to do with them.
Gray rock.
Sorry your parents aren't better but you need to do it for your children.


ElectedOnThursday · 03/10/2022 09:48

The ins and outs of what happened today are beside the point, what matters is where to from
here. And it cannot include your parents, they are terribly bad for you and your own family.

You seem to have no sense of autonomy, you seem to tiptoe around your parents trying to keep them happy and tying yourself in knots on the process.

What do you mean by “being the better person”? Who do you think is going to reward you for this? I can assure you it won’t be your mental health, your partner or your children.


Brefugee · 03/10/2022 09:49

Your mother is over the top. Cut right down on contact and visits - you don't need to tell her just cut it down.
And remove her ability to access your house without someone letting her in.

You were rude not to let them you'd be nearly an hour late though.


bewarethetides · 03/10/2022 09:51

YABU for being in contact with them and subjecting your children to them.
You know what they're like. Why on earth have you allowed them access to your children?

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