Post # 1
Hi bees, your thoughts…
I love my mother but she is not a great person. My FI and I are getting married next year and don’t know what to do about my relationship with my mother. She is a toxic person, she creates all sorts of non-existant dramas with practically everyone. As far as I can tell she does not suffer with schizophrenia, nor any other mental illness; her symptoms are more of a narcassist than anything else. Although, she has never offically been diagnosed.
My mother divorced my father 23 years ago but she still cannot forgive him for being an alcoholic and ruining the hopes she had for her life. She still carries so much hatred towards him and disapproves of me because I keep my father in my life. As a child and young adult living with her was the most abusive and unpleasant experience of my life.
I moved out long ago and I am now the last in the family to get married. I am trying really hard to keep the peace. You see when my brother and sister got married she created such HUGE fights, making stuff up about my father it ruined the lead up to their weddings. It was the most horrible time. My father was no angel but he was in no way distructive or abusive toward us the way my mother was. She took every joy out of the planning of both weddings.
I stopped speaking to her 6 months ago after the death of both my grandparents. She put them unnessecarily in a nursing home against their wishes and they were both dead within 4 months. Straight after the death of my grandmother my mother made up yet another most horrid and false senario about my dad that ended my desire to be in her life. At this point I experienced a severe anxiety episode that lasted 4 months. I received the treatment I needed and now am on the mend.
She is constantly sending me messages through my siblings for me and my FI to go over there and to play happy family. I gave her a courtesy phone call to tell her about our engagement. Then I heard that she invited all her relatives over to celebrate our engagement; even though we hadn’t spoken in months and my FI and I weren’t invited. She likes to pretend that everything is great. I suspect if I begin speaking with her again it’s going to lead into some dark path with much anguish and despair. She will try to take over the wedding to make sure my father gets no joy from the event.
She does not respond well to suggestions and constructive critism. She only has two sides of her personality; one that is sickly sweet and fake and the other completely volatile and abusive. Nothing in the middle – I have spent my whole life looking for the middle, there is none. She is not a rational person. What I have described is just the tip of the iceberg.
I am a real family person, I love having my family around me and my concern is; do I allow her back into my life knowing what she is capable of or do I keep her well clear of our lives? I don’t think I have the strength to keep her in my life with all her shenanigans and plan a wedding at the same time. But I don’t feel great that my mother isn’t apart of this amazing time and I’m also scared she’ll play her usual games leading up to the wedding. My FI is so supportive and we discuss this at length but I just can’t seem to see clearly. How do I have a wonderful lead up to the wedding and have my mother in my life at the same time?
Post # 3
Aww I don’t really know what to say, I am just sorry you are in this situation. Perhaps you could speak to her but keep her at arms length until after the wedding. I.e. Just a phone call once a week or something, so she is kept in the loop but will minimise fights etc?
Post # 4
Honestly, I might invite her to the wedding, but that’s about it. Based on past experience, I wouldn’t involve her in the wedding processat all, and I’d ask all family members not to tell her anything or they will be kept out of the loop as well.
Post # 5
If you know she will make wedding planning stressful (because that’s what she did to your siblings) then don’t involve her. Invite her to avoid drama. Seat her as far away from your dad as possible. But do not involve her in the planning.
Post # 6
@smileyme: I think it’s safe to say that allowing her back in your life is not going to end well. Weddings tend to bring out the worst in people…. if she’s already a crappy person, your wedding isn’t going to change that fact. I’m sorry, it sucks.
Post # 7
My father is similar, I disinvited him from my wedding and the resulting stress of that and other matters including my future ILs caused me to have a stroke on 8/28. I wouldn’t recommend letting her back into your life, it’s just going to cause you more anxiety. At least you know what it’s like and you won’t be surprised if you do decide to reconcile with her.
Post # 8
If you already know how she acted during your siblings wedding process, why would you even consider involving her in yours? If you’re looking to keep the peace, then do as PPs say and invite her to the wedding, but don’t let her get involved with the planning.
I’d personally sever ties, but it is entirely your choice, and no one can make it for you.
Post # 9
- Wedding: May 2013 - Canal St Inn
To agree with PPs, invite her to the wedding, but keep her out of planning. Your situation is kind of similar to mine. I cut my mom off about 10 months ago. Circumstances are different, but the need for peace and family connection I completely understand (sweet Jebus, do I understand). A lot of what my mother’s done has contributed to my anxiety and depression (plus genetics, yay!).
This is really my mom’s last shot. If she can’t respect my wishes, I have no obligation to have a toxic person in my life. And neither do you. I just know that there is a possibility that I’ll regret not having her there.
Post # 10
I also have a somewhat rocky relationship with my mother, I’m not going to get into details too deep because it doesn’t matter much. It took me a long time and a lot of therapy to realize the only way I could get along with my mother was to expect nothing from her, and except her as she is. I tried not talking to her and there is no reason to carry that kind of hate and pain with you. I ended up talking to her again because my grandmother had surgery and I told my grandma I’d be nice to her I was a few months pregnant at the time and I thought about my unborn daughter more then myself. It is selfish to hold that king of pain and to spread it to other people. It HURTS other people and I knew I didn’t want my daughter to learn that kind of anger.
I know this doesn’t sound like much it’s actually very simple but I hope it helps. I really understand the whole starting up bullshit and I know it’s easy to let it bother you and hard to let it go but you will have a much happier life if you learn to take her for who she is. I really hope this helps it works for me but everyone is different and has different breaking points.
Post # 11
PMSJL I’m so sorry to hear what that stress has done to you. I hope that you are recovering and taking life easy. We get caught up in the antics of those closest to us and forget to detach from it when we need to. That is what it’s like with my mother. Because of my desire for a supportive healthy family I forget that’s not what I’ve got. It’s time to accept and detach from her completely I think.
Post # 12
@smileyme: Thank you for your kind words of support. I’m recovering, but my last meetings/conversations with my father have led me to the decision to cease contact with him – for my sake. I certainly would never tell anyone what to do concerning a parent/child relationship, but I think if the relationship is so stressful that you can’t see anything positive coming out of letting the person back into your life, I’d say it’s time to let it go.