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Poor parental relationships Support Thread - Page 3

post #41 of 94
Quote:
She's one of those women that if you ever met her, you'd think she was the nicest person ever. But behind the scenes...she's this cluttered mess of a human being. She's emotionally abusive and would never admit it. She is a manipulative, neurotic shell of a woman. If she weren't my mother I would have nothing to do with her.
It's amazing how easily they can fool everyone into beleiving they're normal. After a lifetime of abuse and manipulation, nearly my entire family has cut my mother out of their lives. Not a single one of her 5 siblings speaks to her any longer. Her mother wants nothing to do with her. Only one of her children is still in her life (and everybody knows it's for money, this particular sibling of mine doesn't have very good morals.)

I haven't seen or spoken to my mother in over 4 years. I don't love her. I don't hate her. I'm really indifferent. I've dealt with the anger, and now I'm completely happy just pretending she doesn't exist. She caused nothing but trouble in my life, and I'm incredibly glad to know that she won't be able to cause the same heartache and confusion for my children - because she has never met them.

Like many of you, I dealt with my parents' divorce at a fairly young age. My mother took off to another country for several months with the man she had been cheating on my father with. My father remarried first (to a great woman who my sisters and I loved), and my mother ended up marrying this monster that she ran off with.

When she came back, she got custody of us, and the abuse started. She allowed him to abuse us because she felt that it would force us to respect him. When it got worse, she turned a blind eye. She actually told my aunt that she allowed him to masturbate in front of us because it would make us less shy around boys. Uh.... yeah.

About four years ago, one of my sisters came out in the open about the abuse her and I had dealt with. My mother wouldn't hear any of it. Fled the country with him (because she was afraid we would press charges), and basically lived out of the back of a truck for several years. She gave up her entire family for this man. I don't get it. I look at my own children, and I just don't get it. If I had reason to beleive that my husband was being abusive, I would be out of there SO fast..... I just don't understand how she could give up her children like that. Mental illness does crazy things.

I'm lucky enough to have a great father and step-mother, and fantastic in-laws, as well. And our aunts have really stepped up to the plate to help fill the gap that my mother left. So I don't feel like I'm missing out, and I know my kids aren't missing out. They have many wonderful grandparents and "surrogate" grandparents in their lives. To be honest, we're all a lot happier now that my mother is gone. Life was a constant soap opera when she was around.
post #42 of 94
Okay, holidays are rapidly approaching... must grow a back bone and be ready to say "no" when I really don't want to do something. Even if it means my mom will throw a big hissy fit.

It's okay if my mom gets mad at me. It's okay if my mom gets mad at me. It's okay if my mom gets mad at me. It's okay if my mom gets mad at me. It's okay if my mom gets mad at me...
post #43 of 94
: mirthfulmum!!!! It's okay!! It is! Put you and your family first, hon.

I actually did it. I broke up with my mom. I sent her an email outlining exactly why and telling her not to contact me further.

I feel sick about it, honestly. I used to have dreams where I therapeutically told off my mom. Now I have nightmares about the aftermath. About what I have done to her, taking away her only daughter and only grandkids. In my awake state, I know it is her who took that right away...but obviously, I am suffering from major guilt right now.

Why can't I just have a normal, loving, healthy mom?

Nikki, I applaud you! Good for you for having the strength and courage to not involve your children in an unhealthy relationship with your mother. I am so sorry you experienced abuse as a child.
post #44 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tapioca View Post
HOnestly, the most important thing to my parents (I believe) is that people think they are good people. That is more important to them then even having relationships with their children.
This is very much my mom. So in to appearances and what other prople will think. Very critcal and judgemental. Hypocritcal.

She's been making an effort to curb her constant critiuqing lately. She's been invting me on totally out of character shopping outings. Both her parents are very ill and I think it's sinking in that this is not what life should be about.

She even said congratulations about my pregnancy. The first time all she could muster was "how are you going to afford that?" :
post #45 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by ericswifey27 View Post
She even said congratulations about my pregnancy. The first time all she could muster was "how are you going to afford that?" :
I hear ya, sister.

My mom spent my first trimester trying to talk me into having an abortion. : Her first grandchild! I was in my twenties, living in my own house, self-sufficient and working as a retail manager, and engaged to my dh. :

Congrats on your pregnancy! I hope your family celebrates the birth and your mom realizes what a blessing babies are.
post #46 of 94
I'm sorry your Mum couldn't get over herself to support you, but yay! congratulations!

Otherwise, just reading along. I'm bracing myself to write the Email to End all Emails to my parents. I've worked out that I'm mostly not angry anymore, and not needing their approval, or caring what they think, really; I just want to make some boundaries clear.

I've been getting 'hang up' phone calls again lately. I'm pretty sure it's my Mum - that's one of her modi operandi. Along with eavesdropping on calls, reading personal mail, etc. No doubt she's working up to something. What they don't know yet is that my sister, who is the 'good' kid right now, is coming to stay with me for 3 weeks over Xmas, rather than spending xmas with them. We have delayed telling them because I know that, given any warning, they'll buy tickets and come too. Even if they're not invited. Even though Im not talking to them. Yeah.

ramble.
post #47 of 94

Joining

Hi I would like to join. I don't hate my parents, but I would categorize our relationship as "poor". They are both addicts. My Father quit drinking when I was 12 and is doing very well. I am proud of him. My mother is on a maintenance program and is doing as well as she can right now I suppose. They divorced when I was 5 and I lived with mom for about a year, she kept having babies and I went to live with dad until I was 9. He married a witch and after their baby was born I went back to live with mom. At 13 I'd had enough and went out on my own. There was a time as a child when I thought I had the most perfect parents that could possibly be. When I realized how screwed up they were I couldn't believe I had not seen it before! I love them very much but am more of a parent to them I think. My mother has very manipulative tendencies and I try hard (and it is very hard sometimes) to avoid doing the same. I was never beaten, nor severely neglected but really I don't think I was parented. I am trying to parent my children with really no guidance I think. And I really hate it when my mom tries to tell me how to parent my teens when she has not lived through one of her five children's teen years. (did that sentence make sense? not one of us lived with her past the age of 14)
post #48 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Lucysmama View Post
It's really hard for me, because she spent 25 years telling me I had a great childhood, even though she'd "made mistakes". She would mock me if even hinted at her being abusive to us. I also feel so guilty, because she has almost nothing going for her in her life but her kids and grandkids. So much of me thinks: maybe I am blowing this all out of proportion? Maybe she isn't so bad? Maybe I didn't have an abusive childhood? And, I know she had a really difficult life and I feel so bad for taking the joy of me and my kids away from her - and they really do love her, and so do I, despite all of this.
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:

still reading but this grabbed me...i think those thoughts daily.

glad this thread is here.
post #49 of 94
OK finally read all the way through...I don't even know where to start with my family.

I often try to give my mom a break because her childhood was truly the stuff of nightmares and I know she tried hard to do better with me. She did do better, but it was still fairly screwed up. My dad, otoh, I don't know how to make excuses for him. His parents, while far from perfect human beings, are basically decent people. There were years when they all but raised me and my brother so I got to know them pretty well. My dad grew up in suburban (relative) privilege with a stable, caring extended family. So I have no idea how he grew up to be such a monster.

I have a very long memory and can remember incidents from when I was 2 and 3 years old. My very first memory is of being screamed at by my father, when I was 2 years old and I had "sassed back." For most of my life I was ashamed of this memory because I saw it as evidence of what a bad person I was, but when I grew up I realized that um, it's not ok to scream at 2 year olds just because they said the word "stupid." And when I say he screamed I mean total full on rage, towering over me red-faced and bellowing at the top of his lungs. Because the 2 year old said "stupid dumb stupids." That should give you a taste for what my childhood was like.

His rage was the center of my life until I moved out and for a good bit of time afterwards. Sometimes, though, cruelly enough, he was the nicest daddy ever, and I loved him terribly. I treasured special times with him like sharing chicken mcnuggets and grape soda, quoting silly movies at each other, playing a game where he pretended to be so stupid I had to steer him around telephone poles or he would run into them and get "stuck." You never knew which daddy you were going to get, and as I grew, I also grew more and more anxious.

At age nine mealtimes were so tense I had trouble swallowing my food. My father, who has always had a weight problem, took it personally and decided I was becoming anorexic to spite him. He screamed at me to eat. As I broke down and started crying, he screamed louder. As I became hysterical and started gasping for air (basically I was having a panic attack with my mouth full of beef stroganoff, if you can imagine) his rage just grew and grew. I can't remember what he said to me but it was always awful, always the worst slanders, accusations, and insults. As always, my mom sat there and just shook her head. Maybe she was disapproving of him but was afraid to say anything, but I always thought she was disapproving of me.

There were a lot of times like that. When I would cry it would make things worse. But I was a little kid, I couldn't help crying. Hell, I don't know of many adults who could take that kind of abuse without breaking down.

He was very paranoid and had some bizarre fixations. He probably has some form of mental illness, but thanks to my family life I have studied psychology in depth and I have never been able to guess a diagnosis for him. Some sort of personality disorder cocktail is the closest I can get, maybe schizotypal or paranoid, borderline for sure ("I hate you don't leave me" is his way of life), and narcissistic or histrionic. But like, we lived where rural met suburbs and he wouldn't let us play out front because he thought that "inner city blacks" would drive by and shoot at us. And he was completely unhealthily obsessed with my "reputation" and "purity."

He travelled within the state for business and would take me with him. I liked having the days off school but soon he began to impose on me in an improper way. I was like his second wife and I was terrified and knew it was wrong but couldn't stop it. First just emotionally, eventually physically, though there were some lines he never crossed I think those lines are fairly arbitrary. Nothing as terrible as what happened to my mother as a child, but bad enough to scar me and bad enough that whenever something triggers me I have nightmares about him literally for weeks.

He was so jealous, I wasn't allowed to date AT ALL in high school even. I had a sort of boyfriend but we weren't allowed to be alone together even at a movie or concert. He used to say he'd shoot any boy I brought home, which I know a lot of men say as a joke, but he was vicious enough I knew there was some seriousness behind it. Besides, what a weird thing to say. Personally I WANT my daughter to grow up and know the joy of a close relationship with a man or another woman, someone she can share everything with and build a family with. Who would be threatened by their kid growing up and finding love and happiness?

Where was my mother in all of this? Not exactly ignorant. Not as guilty, but definitely complicit. She participated in some abuse, a lot of it also took place when she was at work, though. I know in my heart that she knew what was happening but she was too warped and screwed up herself to deal with it, she had to deny it to keep herself going. I don't think that's a great excuse and yeah, I do hold it against her. But she's not the total monster my dad is.

When I was pregnant my dad talked about the fetus like it was his and mine, like my partner didn't exist. I had horrible, horrible nightmares almost every night. I dreaded going to bed. I also resolved that I did not ever want my dad anywhere near my child. At first I agonized over how I could delay him holding her when she was born. The time I wanted to delay it grew...a day, a week, a month, could I get away with two months? Three? Six? Finally I decided I did not HAVE to let him do anything. I didn't have to let him even meet her.

She's five months old and he has never seen her in person, even once. Even though he physically tried to barge past me and my dog to get into our apartment once when she was a month old. Every day that passes, I get firmer in my resolve: never. He's never going to meet my daughter. Because I am taking my family in a completely different direction and he can't be part of that world.
post #50 of 94
BSD,
A GREAT big hug from just a little south of you.
I am sorry that your childhood was so scary, and I am now happy for you.


I have been a non participant in my father's life for 15 years. It is hard at first, but gets easier everyday.
Our fathers might be the same person, but I WAS my fathers wife after my mom left us.

I wish you lots of warm hugs and lots of snuggles with you new healthy family.
post #51 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by BelgianSheepDog View Post
She's five months old and he has never seen her in person, even once. Even though he physically tried to barge past me and my dog to get into our apartment once when she was a month old. Every day that passes, I get firmer in my resolve: never. He's never going to meet my daughter. Because I am taking my family in a completely different direction and he can't be part of that world.

Major hugs and GOOD FOR YOU! It takes a lot to say, "You know what, I don't HAVE TO let ANYONE have a relationship with my child who is unhealthy and abusive." And even bigger guts to actually want to take your family in a different direction and do that!

Do you still speak to your dad? Have you told him that you don't intend for him to meet her ever?
post #52 of 94
I haven't spoken to him since the day he tried to push past me to get in here. That day he got in the door and my dh and dog carefully escorted him back out before he got past the entryway. No arguing, no hostility, because that only backfires with him. He emailed me once with job prospects, which was random since I wasn't looking for a job let alone way out in BF Egypt where they live. I didn't respond and haven't. I haven't told him I'm never going to let him meet her. He is very image conscious and I have to admit I am afraid of what would happen if I directly contradicted his public image as the sweet old grandpa done wrong. He has made a big deal to his coworkers and extended family about how much he's loving being a grandpa, even though his actions say otherwise--he doesn't care, unless it gives him another way to control and frighten me.

So I am just laying low right now. I don't know if ultimately I will confront him or if I will just stay away until he gives up, or if I will disappear under the radar.

I admit I am still scared of him but he is a scary person.
post #53 of 94
Joining in here.

My mother was abusive - more verbally (emotionally) abusive with me, and my sister got more of the physical abuse.

Both my father and step-father are dead.

M was a controling, manipulative person. When I had a baby, this escalated terribly. I couldn't do ANYthing right, according to her. Every week, sometimes every day, it was yet another parenting thing where SHE knew what was correct and I was just the person who pushed the baby out and knew nothing.

It all finally blew up one night when dd was 1 yr old. Dh and I were out at a party (first one we had been to since the baby was born), and came in at 12:10 (just after midnight, on a weekend). M greeted us at the door with "I'm not ever going to keep dd again." The reason? We hadn't dressed her according to M's liking. (Later, she added that we were out "so late" to her reasons for the verbal attacks. Um, midnight isn't that late for adults on a weekend. What, were we still 14 with a curfew?!)

I said "Fine. You aren't ever going to keep her again." We gathered up dd's things and left, and dd never went back.

M harassed us for months. She left notes (with large, very visible lettering) taped to our cars so the neighbors would see. She called my dh's boss, complaining about the situation. She completely filled our answering machine repeatedly with vile, abusive messages.

She threatened to kick us out of the house we were living in (given to us by my dying stepfather, but M wouldn't let him do the paperwork, and then she delayed getting the title put in our names for 18 months!). She threatened to sue for "grandparents' rights". And when it became obvious that tactic wouldn't work in this state, she threatened to sue for full custody! (She had already done this with my older sister's child during a messy divorce.) At one point, she threatened to have us beaten up so that, while dh and I were in the hospital, she could take dd and disappear.

This went on for what seemed like forever. I finally quit responding AT ALL (that's what's recommended for stalkers) and finally the spewing of hatred toward us dwindled off.

I consider myself "divorced" from my mother. We have no contact. She moved and did not give us her new address. And when we move again, we will have mail forwarded to a PO Box and take other steps to hide our home address (put the title to the house in the name of a trust, unlisted telephone, etc).

I am SO much healthier and happier without M in my life! Our marriage is better, too. I sometimes regret that dd doesn't have a close grandparent (dh's parents are a 9 hour drive away). But I think it is more important for a child to have a healthy mother and a stable family, than for her to have a grandparent.
post #54 of 94
Soooo glad I found this thread. I feel....safe.

My "mother" is horrible. Too long to get into now. Will post later.

But:
Quote:
she threatened to sue for full custody! (She had already done this with my older sister's child during a messy divorce.) At one point, she threatened to have us beaten up so that, while dh and I were in the hospital, she could take dd and disappear.
Mine did this to me too. When ex and I broke up, she called me a slut in front of my sibs and 3yr ds. Then she threatened to sue for custody, since I was a bad mother and he shouldnt be raised by a whore. Told this to me, my sibs, everyone. Also told me to "shape up" by going back to ex, or she was going to take ds and "disappear". I was upset and wouldnt let her near him. My oh-so-supportive sibs told me I was overreacting, and just let her see him.
(they're gotten better, and are supportive of me now)

We're currently not talking. I feel no guilt for cutting ties and no guilt for cutting ties between her grandkids (hey, they're my kids before they're her grandkids). What I do feel guilt for is my sibs. She puts them in the middle, and they're still hoping that she'll become the mom they need/want if they just let her do what she wants. Very sad.

Must put together thoughts and will be back.

Under all the pain, I feel a strength on this thread. Lets hang on to that!
Peace
post #55 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Under all the pain, I feel a strength on this thread. Lets hang on to that!
Peace
:
post #56 of 94
Shenjall, and Ann-Marita.....hugs to you both. Thanks so much for sharing.
post #57 of 94
Thread Starter 
to everyone here. It's nice knowing we're not alone in this, ya know? I've resumed talking to my mom, but on a reserved basis. She came over last weekend for a few hours. I kept conversation to the kids, the weather, the Ohio State/Michigan game...just really generic. Its hard for me to be so distant but its the only way to keep the peace. I long so badly to have meaningful conversations with my mom about things that matter to me, but she would only judge and criticise, so I'm not subjecting myself to that anymore. We're going to visit her tommorrow. She's already starting up about Christmas. DH and I want to stay home with our children on Xmas Day, let the kids play with their toys, stay in their pj's, no agenda- you know- what most people do on Xmas Day! But she wants everyone to get together on Xmas Day and I'm just not doing it. This is my family and its my turn to make my OWN traditions- but she's already being selfish and immature about that. Ugh.
post #58 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mama Poot View Post
I long so badly to have meaningful conversations with my mom about things that matter to me, but she would only judge and criticise, so I'm not subjecting myself to that anymore.
I hear you!
post #59 of 94
Quote:
Originally Posted by Shenjall View Post
Under all the pain, I feel a strength on this thread. Lets hang on to that!
Peace
Yeah!
post #60 of 94
I just want to vent and this looks like a good place to do it.

I won't go into all the details about my upraising, lets just say there was no GD, AP, blah, blah.

So this weekend we tried to rent a condo and it didn't turn out well so we came home. My mom was just so sarcastic about it, saying I shouldn't have over-reproduced, our family needs supernanny cause my kids rule the house, my husband needs to learn to deal with the 5 kids, we allow the toddler to do whatever he wants, why is he still nursing (hey, did she notice what I do for aliving ), etc. etc.

I should know better and I usually let it slide off, but it really bugged me this weekend. I think I am just tired and not feeling well, but boy, to hear her condemning my parenting when I remember how I was raised (and the years of counseling after that) makes my blood boil sometimes.

OK, I'm done now.l That's for listening....
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