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support thread for mamas with toxic and/or estranged parents - Page 13

post #241 of 402
It has taken me forever to read all the posts in this thread, but I'm so glad I have read them. I have found my niche, all right! I'm SO glad this thread is here, and it's comforting to know I'm not alone. Comforting but sad, too. I wish we had all had wonderful parents.

I like A&A's question about how do you mourn the loss of the parents you wish you had had. How do you get over not having had parents to nurture and love you? That is a good question. I don't think you ever "get over it." I think it leaves a big hole. Somehow, maybe you just work around the hole, and try to fill in the hole as much as possible by being loving parents ourselves or nurturing in other ways, and by more spirituality if that helps, and by good friendships with safe and sound people (well, I'm not great at making friends), and by other means.

I still mourn my parents. My dad committed suicide when I was 12---he had untreated bipolar disorder (called manic depression then.) My mom has gotten progressively more toxic over the years and finally about 2 years ago we had to totally cut her off. Which is SAD, because she lives only 45 minutes away, and we have five beautiful, wonderful kids who would bring her so much joy if she were a person we could let into our home. Plus, it would be amazing to have a parent here to nurture us, maybe help out a little like watch the kids once in a blue moon, or bring us a bag of groceries, or whatever! And I would have loved also nurturing HER, like just helping her out as she grows older, bringing her little gifts that the kids made, sharing grownup chats with her, learning from any wisdom she might share and telling her thanks for it, going out and doing stuff together, and so on. But a mom with narcissistic personality disorder, who also HATES the human race and especially her daughter/all females) is NOT a lot of fun to be around.

I won't even bother going into the stories of all the toxic stuff. This thread is full of even worse stories! But the last straw was when I lost our fifth baby during the pregnancy, which was beyond devastating. I was hospitalized immediately for procedures related to that, and while I was in the hospital, our oldest DD called my mom to tell her what had happened. (A friend of mine was staying at our house with the kids.) DH was with me at the hospital. Anyway, my mom never called back to talk to DH or me, or offer any kind of support or help. She never called back period. She didn't even care that we had lost the baby, she just didn't want to be asked to help out in any way. She knew that I had just had surgery and would be caring for the other four kids when I came home. She never so much as even sent a postcard offering to help, or to say sorry about losing the baby. That was the absolute END of that relationship. And for many reasons, the relationship should have been ended well before then.

Anyway, I refuse to have any more contact. Since then she has sent presents to the kids by mail, but I have not acknowledged the gifts and have just thrown them out. She stopped sending stuff. She called once on my birthday and left a message. I'm sure she feels bad to lose her daughter, but it was her choice, not mine. I didn't have a choice anymore. She is too toxic. No one in the family of origin has any relationship with her; they are more acquaintances.

Well, we finally had our fifth baby come for good, and he is perfect in every way. I did not tell my mom but she will have found out from other family members (with whom I have excellent relationships.) I hope she realizes what she's missing. And why. But no, she'll never figure it out. She just thinks the rest of the world is crazy.

Hugs to you all. Really Big Hugs.
post #242 of 402
freestyler, your story is sad... I can't believe your mother didn't contact you after your surgery. I have a similar story, however not quiet as bad.. and I just don't know where to go from here.

10 days ago I checked myself into the ER. I was on day three of a gallbladder attack that had turned into pancreantitis. I had to call my mother who I had not spoken to in 8 months to watch the kids and have my stepdad take me to the hospital.

While I was there my mom was in and out of the house getting clothes for the kids or picking up food. DH was going to work, visiting me in the hospital, going to their house to visit the kids, and crashing to do it all over again. I had surgery on Friday night (a week ago) to remove my gallbladder and I came home Sat. evening. When I came home there was a weeks worth of moldy food on the counters, upstairs in my room (good dh had tired to get me to eat while sick.) I thought for sure she would have cleaned off the bar, started a load of dishes or something. But no.. knowing I had been in the hospital for 5 days she left everything where it was, and it was very hot and muggy that week. Worse.. we had her keep the kids Sat. night so I could get some more rest.. and she didn't even bring them over to visit me. I cried for an hour after I got home while I changed my sheets (dh wont do it right) and had DH clear all the dishes from my room and clean the kitchen. She brought me the kids on Sunday and took off for a trip to my uncles (5 hours away) on Monday.

Thanks for the freaking help mom. I mean.. isn't that what family is for? Aren't they supposed to help each other out when they need it? Sure she watched my kids.. but that was the very very very least she could have done in my opinion. If it was my daughter, I would have at least cleaned the kitchen, and made sure she had clean sheets on the bed whens he got home. Brought the kids to visit for an hour or so (btw they were never brought to the hospital but it was about 30 minutes away.) Am I missing something? Am I expecting too much?

Now she acts like nothing ever happened. I still want my damn apology. I will probably never get it. I don't know what to do with her now. I mean.. I am sure she thinks I should kiss her ass for watching the kids and her husband taking me and picking me up from the hospital. (dh has his dl suspended and he was at work when I went in.)

So what are you opinions? Am I really expecting too much?
post #243 of 402
Freestyler and aniT.

After my 3rd baby was born my mom came over the first week every day, the week dh had off work. And the next week when I was alone with the 3 kids (one obviously a newborn) and not even close to recovered she was a complete no show (and I really needed help which I told her). Not to mention when I called her over the day of his birth she sat on my bed and right infront of me called my estranged sister and told her about my baby/birth etc. I was so pissed, just complete disregard for my wishes and feelings.

She called the other night around 11:30 pm, I didn't answer but I am so curious to know what she wanted.
post #244 of 402
Oh my gosh, Tina! Do we have the same mother??? Of course my mom does say I am being a snob because I expect help not just her sleeping while my kids run around crazy (which is what she thinks constitutes watching them). Ack! I am so so sorry you went through that.
post #245 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by LavenderMae View Post
Freestyler and aniT.

After my 3rd baby was born my mom came over the first week every day, the week dh had off work. And the next week when I was alone with the 3 kids (one obviously a newborn) and not even close to recovered she was a complete no show (and I really needed help which I told her). Not to mention when I called her over the day of his birth she sat on my bed and right infront of me called my estranged sister and told her about my baby/birth etc. I was so pissed, just complete disregard for my wishes and feelings.

She called the other night around 11:30 pm, I didn't answer but I am so curious to know what she wanted.
Been here too! DH had to go back to work the day after M was born so my mom came and got us from the hospital and dropped us off outside my apartment (not directly) and didn't even bother helping me carry in the new baby or my oldest. After my third which was traumatic and long she brought my 2 over and dropped them and ran out the door after giving me a nasty look for the birth taking so long and inconveniencing her.

Your mom's phone call brings me to a question- does anyone else's toxic parent call or come by whenever the heck they want? Mine would call at 2am just to ask me a question or come by at that time and expect me to talk with her or let her in to spend the night. Often it'd be a hit and run like she'd knock, I'd answer the door, she'd say something or other and than leave me and possibly my kids awake.

But oh my gosh if you try and wake her up and a decent hour look out! You are just so rude for doing that.
post #246 of 402
For people that won't leave you alone, I suggest two things: Changing your phone number, and making it unlisted, and NOT answering the door (or just staying away from home a lot.) If it's really bad, I suppose there is always a restraining order (I once considered it for my mom), but hopefully none of us would have to get one. I really wish we had all had loving parents. Being parented badly leaves so much bad residue in our fragile psyches, doesn't it? I would be a much better mom, with less of a struggle, if I had had decent parents myself. As it is, every day that I can parent well is SO MUCH effort. It sure is not automatic. Being on auto-pilot, just imitating what I saw growing up, would mean: yelling at the kids constantly and hitting them all the time, totally disregarding their feelings and telling them that I don't care at all what they feel, making them blindly obey me no matter what, always pushing them away and never spending time with them, and constantly criticizing them.

To parent well, I have to fight against all of those impulses and forge my own path, without a map. It is hard. I'm glad there are some women here who are good parents. Even though we're not close friends, I can still admire and be inspired by their parenting. I read a lot of parenting books. i pray that I'll be a better parent every day. I think I'm making progress. Damn it's hard.
post #247 of 402
The last time my mom watched my kids (just the older two, youngest who was a newborn came with us) she fell asleep. That's the last time she watched them and it was the rare occasion that she did any way. We were across the road from our house filing our taxes and weren't gone long.

Many years ago I actually had the lack of sense to allow my oldest to spend the night with my mom a few times. The last time she left my dd who was 5/6 at the time alone while she took her dh to work. My dd called us while she was gone but didn't mention she was all alone. OMFG we were livid. My dd had nightmares and needed to sleep with us for a while after, it really scared her. My mom's excuse was that she asked dd if she wanted to go or stay (dd was half-asleep at the time) and that she left her dogs with her. Obviously that was the last time dd spent the night and my younger two never have.

My mom lives on the other side of the US right now so she can't just stop by, but yes she would when she lived close.
post #248 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by freestyler View Post
To parent well, I have to fight against all of those impulses and forge my own path, without a map. It is hard. I'm glad there are some women here who are good parents. Even though we're not close friends, I can still admire and be inspired by their parenting. I read a lot of parenting books. i pray that I'll be a better parent every day. I think I'm making progress. Damn it's hard.
This is me too. Even though I try so hard I still have made plenty of mistakes. I am by far a better parent than my own were but my bar is set much MUCH higher than that. I haven't reached it yet but I'm still trying.
post #249 of 402


I can't believe some of the stories you mamas have! Sometimes my family doesn't seem so bad.

Just a quick one before DD crawls into the kitchen. When I was pregnant, DH and I let everyone know we didn't want anyone waiting at the hospital while I was laboring. We saw MIL sneak into SIL's room over and over again while she labored, so we knew what to expect. But we said we would call everyone after DD was born. Somehow that turned into how much we hated everyone in the family. And how we didn't want them to be a part of DD's life. : No matter what we said they wouldn't listen to us. Then MIL, FIL, SIL and all her family decided to take a last minute trip for five days to Hawaii on my due date! So then it was my fault that DD was born a day later. And it was my fault that they were too tired to see her until she was two weeks old.

Not as bad as some of the stories here. But I was thinking about it today. And I guess I'm just sad that DH and I don't have the types of families we wanted to have. You know, people that love and care about us. Oh well.
post #250 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by Down2Earth View Post
Not as bad as some of the stories here. But I was thinking about it today. And I guess I'm just sad that DH and I don't have the types of families we wanted to have. You know, people that love and care about us. Oh well.
You mean like the Waltons where grandma and grandpa live in the house and help take care of the house, the kids, the work?

I can guarantee you if it were my mom.. she would be sitting on her ass waiting to be waited on. I think she thinks it's her "due" or something.

When she comes over for dinners.. she shows up precisely when I say dinner will be ready and when it is always late.. just stands around and watches me never offering to lift a finger to help. Yet if we go to her house she is always barking out orders.
post #251 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by magstphil View Post
Your mom's phone call brings me to a question- does anyone else's toxic parent call or come by whenever the heck they want?
I suppose it depends on your definition... I would go weeks and even month without hearing from my father... and then the phone would ring and he'd want to have an hour long conversation, regardless of whether or not I was doing something / headed somewhere. He'd call me to ask me to lunch and then when I called him 30 minutes after he was supposed to be there tell me he hadn't said 12, he had said 2... which was patently ridiculous, since I had therapy at 3 (20 minutes away), so never would have set a lunch date for 2 - and when I would try to cancel it he would lay a guilt trip on me about it, so I'd wind up scrambling to make him lunch from whatever I had in the house.

As for dropping by... sometimes I wish they'd done that a bit more often... although dropping by without calling first is EXTREMELY rude in my book. But in the 5 years I lived here (before the estrangement), my family came to visit twice. The third time was when the estrangement started - when they showed up on our doorstep the day after our son died without calling first and I ignored them.

Thankfully my MIL has never stopped by the house - I would not be kind enough to ignore her. And the last time she called was a few years ago. We used to hear from her every year on DH's birthday, but I seem to have inadvertently put a stop to that.

Right now I have a card sitting on my coffee table from my father, it arrived yesterday (our anniversary). I'm debating whether or not I want to open it. I haven't even told DH about it yet (yesterday was a beautiful day, I didn't want to ruin it - although I spent all night with nightmares about it).
post #252 of 402
I was so glad to find this thread today. I just changed my phone number because my mother has been giving out my number for appointments she's making and to her landlord, as if it's hers. I won't take her calls, so she decided to make everyone else call me!

Anyway, with a new number, I've really removed her from my life.
post #253 of 402
Changing your number is a good strategy. I had to do this also at some point. No more contact with toxic people.

It is sad though, this thread, in a way. God I hope my little ones are not on the internet in 30 years, talking about how they have to keep me out of their lives because I am toxic and horrible. Heaven forbid.

I'm working on making sure that does not happen.

Today I am feeling pretty toxic myself---just tired and feeling mad at the world---so I'm choosing to skip the family outing this afternoon rather than ruin it for everyone. I'm having the fallout exhaustion because DH was gone for two solid weeks, and I had five kids and no help. It was fine at the time, we even had a lot of fun, but now I'm pretty burned out. I'm just delirious.
post #254 of 402
My Dh got a call from my mom. She told him that I was very rude and selfish to her and my aunt when they came over ( they came to stay overnight without getting my permission ). He said she was crying and told him that she'd stay out of my life and that she hopes that I won't have to go through this with my kids.

eta: I used this website to play a "my number has been disconnected message" to people that I don't want to hear from. Here's the website: www.youmail.com
post #255 of 402
Stephanie, how did your dh respond to her. That is so passive-aggressive and manipulative of her.

Freestyler, be gentle with yourself.

I too have the fear of messing up so badly with my children they will choose to cut me out of their lives. I think the fact we even worry about it means we are definitely heading in the right direction of that not happening kwim. I think one thing that will help is completely owning the mistakes we've made with them. If they come to us later on and tell us that we hurt them XYZ way not brushing them off (turing it around on them, or making it about us instead of them) but facing it head on and sincerely apologizing to them, basically honoring them.
post #256 of 402
[QUOTE=LavenderMae;13968491]Stephanie, how did your dh respond to her. That is so passive-aggressive and manipulative of her.

He told her he wasn't going to get involved that that was between her and I. She asked him if we were having marital problems. Then she was crying and said she had to go and hung up.
post #257 of 402
(hugs to you Freestyler) I can so relate to what you wrote. Longing for your mom when you are grieving your baby and and needing a mother's help and the bittersweetness of not being able to share the joy of your new addition. (Congratulations btw.)

My mom did come after my stillbirth and it just made a bad situation worse because I reached out for her to come and she did come and created a lot of havoc. We lost our jobs a result and went through a year where our marriage was in real jeapardy to make a long story short. The other thing that happens is she tells tall tales about her daughter who died over 25 years ago and that is partly what has put her in such a bad state of being. My mom cannot handle births/pregnancy related stuff at all. And some of the worst most hurtful things have come out of her coming out to help me or my sister.

Actually have some drama related to that because my sil is due in July.

My dad (who is divorced from my mom) told my brother and his new wife to tell my mom that he is staying with me after the birth. I think to ward her off from coming here. But they were very hurt at the wedding when my dad stayed here on our sofa and she and my stepdad had to get a hotel. (they really wouldn't have been comfortable here) But my dad overstayed his welcome. 13 days. EEEK!

So he wants to tell my mo that Yeah, him his other ex-wife and two teens they are lying and saying they are staying with us--he thought that would make things easier for ME--Ummm no, it's got my mom outraged because we had told her we don't have the room or time off to deal with company and don't want her unattended around our kids. I told her they are most definately not staying here but I'm still not sure if she believes that and I'm sure she is hurting because nobody wants her around. (Which is a consequence of many years of behavior) But anyhow no reason to throw it in her face I guess. We have just been saying we don't have vacation, the room, etc...which is very true and nicer than "we can't stand being around you."

So anyhow told them not to lie and use my house in their lies to my mother.
My dad was shocked at how "touchy" I was that I didn't want to lie for them.
Like I said, it's not my problem and I refuse to be sucked in our used as a crash pad for family drama anymore.

It's an issue because my mom is hurt everytime she hears my dad is visiting with us and she can't. And I'm not going to hurt her by having FAKE visists with my dad here that I will take flak for when we have a NEW RULE that I am dead serious about-No overnight guests!!! We are not letting ANY family stay with us anymore after recent visits gone bad. : with them staying in a hotel it was more do-able.

I'm just at a point where our contact is so limited it's hard to know how she will be when she comes to town but it has been somewhat better lately.
post #258 of 402
dad just left from visiting dd, awkward to say the least. we've never gotten along but since i never had a relationship with my grandfather (split up from grandmother the year i was born) and now he's splt up with my mother i don't want dd to miss out on having a grandpa.
he obiously loves dd very much and has a good relationship with my younger sister but not me or my younger brother (who is just like me at that age). things even have been phyically bad at times years ago between us so i have felt pretty cold for years.
today i got to hear his life story which is pretty horrific with two alchoholic parents who drag him through their divorce, custody battles, then both die tragically while he is very young so he must be shipped between relatives. apparantly i remind him of his mother who was an abusive mean drunk (in appearence, i don't drink) so that may be why he has always been so hard on me. he also says that i have her strength so that is why he never has worried about me, i'm a survivalist.
well i am strong and a surviver but i really don't know whats up with treating me like crap my whole life because i look like someone who hurt him. i just don't know what to do with any of this.

homesteading new momma : : green mountains : aspiring novelist and children's book author
***U.S. OUT OF V.T.***
post #259 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by vermontmomma View Post
well i am strong and a surviver but i really don't know whats up with treating me like crap my whole life because i look like someone who hurt him. i just don't know what to do with any of this.


My DH had to deal with this - he looks like his dad who walked out when he was 4 and his brother was 2. He spent his life being treated like crap because he had the misfortune to look like his father. Honestly, he's only been able to start healing by cutting his mother off entirely. And even so it's a sore subject.
post #260 of 402
Quote:
Originally Posted by cristeen View Post


My DH had to deal with this - he looks like his dad who walked out when he was 4 and his brother was 2. He spent his life being treated like crap because he had the misfortune to look like his father. Honestly, he's only been able to start healing by cutting his mother off entirely. And even so it's a sore subject.
My mom treated my brother like crap cause he looked like my dad. She even admitted it sorta when I was a teenager. I told her she treated bro like crap cause he looked like my dad and she said I am the one she should have treated like crap cause I act like him.

From what I hear from family friends DH's mom did this also. Although I think part of her problem is that her mom died when she was 8 and dad when she was 12 and she was raised by her brother and his wife with their kids. (she was the youngest out of 7.) She doesn't seem to know how to relate as a parent and often acts like a sibling. I suppose because she was parented by a sibling herself.

So sadly, it is quiet common for some parents to act that way towards their children.
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