Wondering if I need space from my mum
ISOBEL - Aug 20 2018 at 11:33
I need some help. I'm fed up of feeling like this.
My mother is coming to visit me and my baby soon, she comes round every 6-8 weeks for about five hours, then goes home again.
We have an estranged relationship because shes very controlling and manipulative. Long story short, she was awful at my wedding, she tarnished the day for my hubby and I. We stopped talking after the wedding for over a year, as she claimed she needed 'radio silence' because she was very stressed and 'there wasn't any room for me in her life'. Hubby and I offered olive branches when we could but she refused to interact with us
IT was only when I got pregnant that she slowly started talking to me again and we met a couple of times. I thought we might be able to talk about the past but she still refuses to acknowledge what she's done. She hasn't acknowledged my hubby or I as a married couple for three years, she used to get on with him until he saw her true colours at the wedding and offended him.
It's not just me and my husband, she's upset other family memebers as well who she's been spiteful and judgemental towards. My aunt has stopped talking to her because of her behaviour. My elderly grandparents have suffered verbal abuse from her. This reassures me it's not my hubby and I being over sensitive.
Every time the date gets near to her visit I get anxious, I feel panicky, depressed, and very stressed. I replay everything she's said and done and I get very angry and wonder why I want anything to do with her. It really make my blood boil how she treas people.
When I'm with her its all about the baby, she'll come with gifts for her, and then treats me to lunch. I'm nice, too nice, and i hate it, i try to be different but i fall back into the olde me. I dont see the point in being dismissive or rude. I slip back into a world where everything is fine, shes the mother ive always wanted, but by the time i get home I feel depressed angry with myself and like I've disloyal to my hubby. Often hubby and I argue after shes been because he thinks I shouldnt see her after everything she puts us, me through . But she is my mum.
She wants to bring her husband, he's not my dad, with her sometime soon. He hasn't meet my baby yet and I don't know how i feel about this. I really like him, he's a bully, and I don't trust him not to say anything offensive or passive aggressive or to even cause an argument, he never has a positive effect on a diffcult situation. I dont trust him as a person. He very much defends my mothers behaviour. My hubby would not be happy with this either and I don't wnat to leave him out by us meeting up without him. I want to say no but feel like i will be talked into this as my mum gets what she wants.
I've had counselling, I've learnt all the technics, but with my mum I fail at being assertive and in telling her no. I'd like to discuss this with someone because I suffered mentally, I have bad nightmares so this has clearly affected me . sometimes i feel like i need some 'radio silence' just to have a real break from her and get my life sorted. But i dont know how to implement this with a small baby who my mother adores. I cant help but think time apart will cause more stress and upset thoughts please.
I'm sorry you're dealing with this. And I wish I could tell you that your mother will magically turn into the mother you need. But experience has taught me that toxic people do not take responsibility for their behavior. They won't even acknowledge it, and will avoid anyone that calls them out in any way.
You need to seriously consider asking for an extended break. No contact. Tell her you'd be able to forgive and forget, but only if she can change how she behaves with you and your family. Put all of the power in her hands. That way, she has no defense for her bad behavior. Just tell her that after you've all had time to think more clearly about things, it's up to her to reach out. To you, personally. If she wants to visit, it should be just the two of you until she can show she's chosen to behave in an acceptable manor.
If I were you, I'd send this message via letter. Anything else will turn into an ugly confrontation that solves nothing. You don't owe her an explanation, but it may do you both some good if you tell her exactly why dread her visits.
I know this is not easy. I have similar experiences with my mother. I recently cut ties with her, for good. It's not what I wanted, but she left me no real choice. She still refuses to behave respectfully, or even acknowledge that she's done anything wrong, ever. People like that will only continue to hurt those closest to them. So get yourself some distance, and see how you both feel about reconnecting after some time.
Parents aren't always good people. Just because she's your mother, she does not have a free pass to run roughshod over your life. You have a responsibility to yourself, and your family. You've tried to make the relationship healthier. She's shown you she's not interested in healthy. The only thing that *might* get her to change her mind is losing access.
And, you deserve a break from the upheaval. Wishing you the nest of luck. <3
Thank you for your replies.
It's very sad but comforting to know that I'm not the only person that has a difficult relationship with their parents.
I do get some space from her in that she live four hours away from me, which is a blessing!
When we meet it is on neutral grounds, in a town near by to where I live. Everytime a visit comes I prepare myself to walk away from her if she says anything offensive. From a very small age there has been this fear of upsetting her.
At the moment she's on best behaviour and makes a huge fuss of my baby. Conversation between us is ok and this is where i fail and slip back into a world where everything is fine between us. But then i learn through her that shes been spiteful to other family members such as her sister or she tells me that her husbands young grand children are annoying and whine all the time and that they dont enjoy the visits. There fore i think she doesnt deserve to be a grandparent! she's very judgemental about her husbands two daughters, apparently her husband doesnt have much to do with them anymore but was hurt when he didnt recieve a birthday card from either of them recently! There is no shame or recgnition in her or her husbands behaviour, and how they treat people or what they say. They think being blunt towards people is the best way.
These are times where i want to tell her shes wrong for treating people like this, and i want to disown her completely and then there are other times when I worry about her mental health,. She and her husband seem to be making their worlds smaller and smaller.
We have tried writing a letter and sending an email during the planning of our wedding and after when she stopped talking to us but she took great offence to both. Acting like a victim. Through this whole ordeal I have refused to stoop down to her level of spitefulness and not wanted to seek revenge. Ive only ever wanted acknowledgement. The email and letter were factual and polite. Then when i got pregnant i called her to tell her, when people where telling me to stick a scan picture in a card and send it to her and let her come to me.
A letter might work now, i agree with putting it all in her hands and let her deal with it. I have thought about writing one again and cowardly slipping it into her handbag for her to find and digest on her journey home.
I know that as my baby grows up and starts going to school and has after school activies , i may go back to work, the access is going to become less and less and I've realised it's not my problem. she doesnt acknowledge my hubby, shes hurt him, so weekend visits wont be an option. Again this is something im not sure she sees.