Post # 17
@Overjoyed: I’m sorry that this has happened to you.. As someone who has has an awful relationship with my mother too (albeit somewhat different to your situation), I have reached the point where I don’t want her approval and don’t particularly need her in my life. Tree ping your contact with her limited is good for you. Speaking from my experience, she’ll just go back to the way she was if you let her too far in. That’s what some people do.
Post # 18
@Overjoyed: Your mother reminds me of mine, however there wasn’t just emotional abuse, it was mental and physical abuse too. I decided to cut ties with my mum when I was 10. The thing that really hit home for me was (now remember I’m 10 years old during all this) after I sat her down on the couch at home (she had moved my older brother and myself to a small country town 10 hours away from home. My older brother had left at this stage because my mothers bf (now husband) had him pinned against the wall threatening to kill him and he couldn’t take it anymore) and I explained to her that I had lived with her the first time my parents had split and for 8 months this time, and I wanted to see what it was like living with Dad back home. The water works started, she was clinging onto me and hugging me, stating that if I ever left her she’d “commit suicide and it would be my fault my mother was dead, how would I be able to live with myself knowing that?” etc etc… I knew then and there that she didn’t care about me or my welfare (I was getting extremely sick from the water in the small ex-mining town) EVERYTHING was about her and that doesn’t make for a good mother. Again I was 10 years old when I realised this.
I’m now 25, and I had tried up until I was 22 to allow my mother some part in my life, but it always came back to being about her. We (all three of her older children) owed her an apology for mistreating her and lying to the lawyers and courts so we could get our own way. She never accepted any wrong doing, it was her three ungrateful, spoilt children out to get her. I was nothing more than a child support paycheck to her and she was pissed that she was losing that money. Never mind that when I was 13 she called to tell us she was married and just had a little girl and quote “I finally have the daughter I always wanted.” Even now, she carries on to my brothers (I’ve no idea why they want her in their lives, but to each their own) she doesn’t understand why I won’t speak with her or attend family functions. Simple: I don’t consider her family. I mourned her lose when I was 10, as far as I’m concerned my mother, the one I knew and loved, is gone.
While I somewhat understand your “she gave birth to me” mentality, at some stage you have to start putting yourself first. How long until you do something else “wrong” and the nasty text messages start again? Being treated like you’re harming in her any way purely because you want to live your life, isn’t healthy and you know that. I don’t blame you for having enough of her bullshit and would not think you’re a horrible person for keeping her at arms length from now on. Do what’s best for you. And your SO and your relationship with him. I’m sure he completely understands and supports you.
Post # 19
This reminds me of my mom, in the way that she can be selfish and guilttripping and make everything about her. She has bipolar disorder/chemical imbalance issues that she refuses to get meds for. Do you think your mom could have something similar? One minute things are fine – one harmless comment and the world is ending.
For example – today it was about how I spend every waking minute of my life with my inlaws – and no time with her. I had to send her a detailed message of every date that we’ve had dinner with his parents (all for bdays/weddings/anniversary parties) this year so far, to prove that no, I do not hang out with them every weekend.
His parents have given us a trip to disney for our xmas present last year (with my daughter). We are leaving on Friday. His mom offered to pay for my mani/pedi for the trip yesterday, and my mom found out I spent *GASP* an hour and a half with my Mother-In-Law yesterday. That’s where this is all coming from. Well mom, next time I guess I should say – “sorry Mother-In-Law, I can’t attend a FREE mani/pedi because I wouldn’t want mommy to feel like I spend too much time withyou”. OR – “sorry DH I can’t come to your grandparents’ 50th wedding anniversary party, as my mom could be offended”.
The next text I’m waiting for is that we purposely booked the trip on the mothers day weekend so I could spend more time with Mother-In-Law and less with my mom. Yep. that’s what we did for sure (insert rolling eye emoticon here) and really, since I’m also a mom, I forgot that it’s ALL ABOUT YOU.
Post # 20
Please know that you are not alone in deal with parents who have that same mentality. I read your entire post and felt my self just thinking of my relationship with my dad. Yes, he has provided for me and my mother and sister however so much of what I had to fight for has come with some other random absurd condition that seriously just doesn’t make any sense. This was probably why I have made so many strong relationships with my friends whom I refer to my “true” family.
I think by your post you know what you need to do. Keep her in your life bare minimum and don’t feel guilty about it, thats where she gains her power. The way I see it, I don’t stay away from home because I don’t love my parents, its because I want to continue loving them. You love your mom and you want to be there, so keep those phone conversations with her those seem to be working for now. But maybe don’t experiment with too much past that.
Feel free to PM if you need someone to keep reminding you to keep strong
Post # 21
I have a little experience with this. My grandmother, mom’s mother, was alot like your mom. I’ve typed this out four times today trying to convey the mess. My grandmother, Nanny, filed child abuse complaints against my mother to get custody of my older brothers and managed to get my Dad fired from three jobs. They moved 8 states away and then my mom called her mother. My mother’s dad had died, and she felt she owed him one more shot with my Nanny.
She laid down the law. She could call once every two weeks, she could visit once every other month for three days, she couldn’t undermine my parents, try to turn my mothers kids and grandkids against my mother/dad. It was so hard for my mom, this woman had made my mother feel like she was stupid/ugly/horrible mother and a terrible person. I’m mentioning just the tip of the iceburg. My Mom made it work tho, she never had a mother/daughter relationship with that woman, she had it with my dad’s mother. What a loss for Nanny, she had no idea what a wonderful person my mother was, and even with the 39th chance she still had no idea the happiness my mother had with her own family.
Be the better person… forgiving doesn’t mean forgetting or being a doormat. It means moving on, not giving the crazy rent in your head. You are amazing, my goodness the languages the jobs.. the travel… amazing. You painted a picture of your mom, that wasn’t like she was satin on earth… you were fair. You will do just fine, she doesn’t need to be your inner circle, but she shouldn’t be “dead to you” either.
Post # 22
Wow, she sounds exactly like a “friend” of mine who I’ve distanced myself from – and just like you, I feel so much relief and am so relaxed!
And weirdly, one of the things I thought was that I didn’t want her anywhere near any future children of mine because I was afraid she would pass on body issues/neurosis etc.
Good on you for taking such a difficult step!
Post # 23
You ladies rock! I’ve gotten some great advice in this thread
Post # 24
You ladies rock! I’ve gotten some great advice in this thread. It has been very hard and I still feel some guilt for doing what I need to take care of myself. At times I can really feel like it’s just me and FH against the world
Post # 25
I really want to give you a HUGE hug. I am the only child of a single mother. My mother isn’t the same as yours–the opposite, actually. She spent my childhood not being a mother at all, other than buying me cheap clothes from the $10 or less store, feeding me fast food, and spending the really good money she made ($60k) on god knows what and marijuana, but it did not include our bills. She’s been hitting me up for money ever since I left home, even through my unemployment and current underemployment WHILE I’m paying for a wedding a have a car payment.
Stay strong, girl. <3
Post # 26
I would keep your distance. I understand she’s still your mother and you care about her, but you know what she’ll eventually do – the same thing she has done before. So keep your distance, keep your emotional guard up, and don’t be surprised when she goes crazy again. Another important thing to consider is that if you have children in the future, you don’t want her to be in the position to hurt them like she hurt you. And it’s okay to feel like that. She hurt you terribly, repeatedly, and you deserve to be able to protect your emotional and mental wellbeing. She may try to guilt you into thinking a relationship with her is most important, but don’t be fooled. Your wellbeing comes first. I have seen my best friend and my husband both go through something very similar and so while I don’t have 100% personal experience, I know how much it hurts. But you deserve to be happy and secure in your close relationships. Fortunately it sounds like you are with your fiance. So concentrate on him and your future, and keep your mother an arm’s length away.
Post # 27
My grandmother did this to my father for years…being mean and pushing him away, then desperately acting like nothing happened and she was wonderful and playing the guilt card to make him come back…yes, her life was hard (widowed at 25 with 2 small kids, bad parents of her own, destitute most of his childhood), yes I am 100% sure she was mentally ill (and thus not fully capable of controlling her outbursts), but it put my dad through hell. He’s an amazing father and husband in spite of his mother and not because of her. My mother’s mother wasn’t much better, but she wasn’t so much mentally ill as just mean (but she at least kept her distance).
My parents made the choice to shield their kids from their parents….and I am forever grateful. We saw them of course, but we never had a close bond because my parents protected us. They made the right choice. If keeping your mother at arm’s length helps you be happier and healthier then it too is the right choice. Her future behavior will dictate how much access she has to you and your family–this is not about you, it is about her and her ability to be a person you want near your marriage and your kids.