Gransnet forums



(18 Posts)
Flowbow Wed 31-Jul-19 13:22:10

I hope you don’t mind me posting on here. I’ve come over from mumsnet as most of the advice on there is just to cut everyone out of your life who doesn’t make you happy.

I never had a happy childhood. I was the accident child and my mother told me this repeatedly. I was left with my Nan most of the time whilst my parents went on holiday with my brothers and had days out (there is only 5 years difference between me and my brothers). My parents were loaded but never bought me anything new. My Nan used to buy my stuff. During my teenage years I argued back with them and I was beaten a lot. There was something that happened at home that I should have been protected from but my parents blamed me for it. I have spent years in counselling trying to one to terms with my childhood.

I married my husband at 18 and we moved away. My parents have not forgiven me and constantly demand I move back home as it’s my duty to look after them. (I’ve lived away for 23 years).

I have 2 children and I made an effort to visit them fortnightly even though it was a 7 hour round trip. This was not enough for them and I should have moved home so they could have a proper relationship with their grandchildren. They have constantly criticised my parenting. Because I take them to clubs and spend a lot of time with my children I’m apparently spoiling them. I’m a bad parent for letting my 16 year old have a phone etc. I have ignored all of this and just plastered a smile on my face and nodded.

I have tried to talk to them but I’ve been told I’m over sensitive and my mum cries so dad has a go at me for upsetting my mum.

A month ago things came to a head. Mum called and asked me to go home that weekend. I said I couldn’t as I’m a teacher and there was an event on at school that I was helping to supervise. She went mad at me. She told me my career was nothing and I thought more of my students than her. I should give up my job as my husband needed me at home, my husband only married me as he felt sorry for me and I should be lucky he stayed when we had children as I had trapped him. The final straw was that she said she had raised my children when they were little. She babysat once when we went to a wedding.

I lost it and told her what selfish parents they were and that they had drove me away. I shouted that I had done what I could to keep up a relationship with them and they still treated me like I was a 5 year old little girl. I told her to leave me alone as I didn’t want to talk to them anymore as I was done being made to feel worthless by the people who were meant to be proud of me no matter what. Mum was crying and shouting at my dad to sort me out. I ended up putting the phone down. We haven’t spoken since.

My counsellor has advised that it was bound to come to a head at some point and I did the right thing. I just feel so guilty.

My brothers have both called me and had a go for upsetting mum. I’ve explained what happened and they didn’t know what to say. My parents tell them all the time how proud they are of them and they don’t have the same relationship.

Was I wrong? Should I make amends? Sorry it’s so long

notanan2 Wed 31-Jul-19 13:49:42

You cant "make ammends" with people who have never properly liked or loved or cared for you in the first place.

You can only "make ammends" if you had a good relationship that went sour and you want the good relationship back.

There is no good relationship to get back here, so no potential for "ammends" no matter what you try/do.

yggdrasil Wed 31-Jul-19 14:10:00

Sounds like it was about time. Now get on with your life, no more long journeys, do things your own way.
If possible, keep in touch with your brothers though if they have now realised what you went through.

glammanana Wed 31-Jul-19 14:12:21

FlowBlow What do you have to make amends for ? your councillor is right that you have nothing to reproach yourself about.
You have obviously made a good career for yourself and should be proud of yourself,could this be the problem with your parents did they expect you to fail in your chosen career or in your marriage and they have been proven wrong,I think they are jealous of your continued success and have not got the courage to admit they where wrong by not supporting you as much as they should have.
Keep in touch with your brothers but keep your parents at arms length for the time being until they have time to reflect,I don't myself like the concept of going NC but sometimes its necessary for your own peace of mind and future happiness.

Sussexborn Wed 31-Jul-19 14:15:25

I had a dysfunctional relationship with my Mum and stopped all communication about a year before she died. People have asked if I felt/feel guilty and I don’t. I felt sad but realised that she was causing a really negative effect on my family because her actions and comments dragged me down so much.

IMO you’ve done the right thing and need to stay strong. IF you renew contact it needs to be on your terms not theirs. Hopefully your brothers now have a better understanding and you will find real support here on gransnet.

Luckygirl Wed 31-Jul-19 15:20:16

I think you should be proud of what you have achieved: a good marriage; being a good parent; having a satisfying professional career. It is hard for people who have not been given lots of love and positive reinforcement as children to achieve these things - but you have done it. So........even if your Mum has not been patting you on the back; then please allow me to do so!

I do not think you can please this lady; and I do not think you need to make amends. You have nothing to make amends for. What you need to do is to stop trying to please her - which is what a child does with its mother - and start trying to please yourself and your family.

You cannot fight to get the love that she failed to give you as a child; and she is still trying to treat you like a child. You simply must not let her.

Say to her politely when she rings that you are happy to have a positive call with her but that if she starts abusing you, you plan to put the phone down. Say that you are not prepared to have her treat you as a child; but are happy to have a proper adult relationship with her.

You can do it!

Bordersgirl57 Wed 31-Jul-19 15:33:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

TwiceAsNice Wed 31-Jul-19 15:43:19

Well done you! What on earth fo you have to be guilty for? They were appalling parents and you were scape-goated when you were a child and your brothers were treated much better . Your mother has re written history as abusive parents often do.

Be proud of what you have achieved as an individual and a parent yourself. Please keep going with your counselling and build your self esteem .

I had a similar mother , my father enabled her to be horrible as he would never confront her about her behaviour I eventually cut off contact and had a happier life. Don’t weaken now enjoy life without her, keep in contact with your brothers if they are good to you otherwise up to you

silverlining48 Wed 31-Jul-19 15:48:33

Congratulations on having stood your ground and told them how you feel. Many, including me, wish that we had been so brave. For us it’s too late, parents have died, but you have taken the opportunity to let your parents and siblings know how you feel and perhaps if your parents are able to honestly look at and accept their behaviour, the wrong you experienced might be put right. I do hope so.

wildswan16 Wed 31-Jul-19 16:42:06

Take a look at what you have achieved. Take care of your family and be the mother that you know you can be. I think it is difficult to unravel your life from your birth family in some cultures, but they don't seem to add anything positive to your life, but only a lot of negativity and hurt.

Don't be upset with yourself, or feel guilty. You should be feeling proud that you spoke up for yourself.

Nonnie Wed 31-Jul-19 17:01:00

I'm sorry to all those I don't agree with but your post seems to be a cry for a different opinion to those you have received on Mumsnet so I will give you one based on my own experience.

My mother played one off against another which meant I had no contact with my sister for years until we worked out what had happened. We then became the best of friends until she died and I am still very friendly with her children and grandchildren. However, we both still kept in touch with Mother and didn't let her die alone and unhappy. We didn't see her often but would never have cut her off.

If I am correct and you really don't want them completely out of your life may I suggest you simply cool things down a little? Only you know the best way to manage this but perhaps you could write a letter explaining how you feel and why? You may decide not to post it but writing it will help you work through your feelings. You don't have to accept or lay blame just an explanation. Afterwards you could decide to cut down the number of visits or phone calls and politely explain why you need to do so.

I think it is too simple to just cut people off which you may regret later so perhaps just try to find a way to cope. Shame for your children to lose grandparents and also, do you really want them to think that cutting off parents is such a good idea? Good luck whatever you decide to do.

Missfoodlove Wed 31-Jul-19 17:43:56

Well done!
I never managed such a brave move, don’t feel guilty.
You are the “ scapegoat” in a toxic triangle you will never win in your parents or brothers eyes.
By removing yourself you will become stronger.
They however will more than likely become nastier.
Stay strong and be brave.

Septimia Wed 31-Jul-19 18:05:41

You needed to speak up and tell them how you feel. Don't feel bad about it.

You don't have to go completely non-contact. If you think it's appropriate you can still send birthday/Christmas/anniversary cards to your parents. In fact, that could be a good way to keep communications open while keeping them at arm's length. Realisation might dawn on them.

Certainly the route of sending cards might help to keep things amicable with your brothers.

notanan2 Wed 31-Jul-19 18:13:05

You needed to speak up and tell them how you feel.

How well do you see that going if they have re written history to the tune of 1 babysitting session = them raising her children

OP is being discredited by her parents to anyons who will listen. I think it would be dangerous to lay her soul bare to these people.

shame for your children to lose grandparent
THOSE kinds of grandparents???

leyla Wed 31-Jul-19 18:13:32

I think I would perhaps send a message asking them to take time to reflect on the things that were said and to consider how their words and actions have affected you over time. I would ask them to make contact in a few days or weeks whichever you think best but only if they feel they are able to be pleasant and treat you with appreciation. Put the ball in their court.

Coyoacan Wed 31-Jul-19 18:34:26

"Shame for your children to lose grandparents"

That depends really. What the children most need is a mother who is happy in herself and if the grandparents are having a negative impact on the mother's well-being, everyone suffers.

While my dd had wonderful grandparentsI only had one grandparent who was toxic and no added benefit to my life.

And I say all this as a doting grandmother myself now.

Flowbow Thu 01-Aug-19 20:39:27

Thank you so much to you all for taking the time to reply.

I called tonight as I was feeling guilty. It didn’t work. She turned on me and said some truly unforgivable things. I didn’t retaliate and told her I would give her space to think about what was said and maybe we could talk again in a few weeks. I honestly don’t think we can move forward.

Nonnie Fri 02-Aug-19 10:45:08

Good for you. You don't have to be in a close relationship so just take your time and let it pan out whichever way it goes. I think it is always best to leave the door open as even old dogs can learn new tricks.