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Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Posted by silversword (My Page) on
Wed, Nov 9, 11 at 10:36

My mother... I love my mother. But I really think she's toxic for me.

I called my grandmother with my daughter on the line, so that we could wish her a happy birthday. The phone was on speaker, and there was a bad connection. But DD9 and I could hear my mother pick up the phone, "hello..." and then she started talking to me, saying "that's right, Silver, you play your little games, etc" in a really nasty, cold, angry voice.

I was so shocked. I said a few things like "hello... are you there... hello" and it was evident she couldn't hear me.

Finally I hung up. I didn't know what to do. DD asked me what happened with BIG eyes and I told her I thought something was wrong with the phone. I asked her if she heard what Grandma said and she said "yes, but I don't understand". I called back, and my mother was saying the same things, as if she thought I were prank calling or something.

Then the phone rang, and it was my grandmother. A lot of people were in the background (the whole family was at her house for her birthday). We spoke with her and everything sounded great.

The next day I got an email from my mom asking if DD could come to my mother's for the holidays, and saying my grandmother still had phone issues. No indication of her helping to pay the plane fare, and I've paid the last three times DD has gone out there. She signed the email: Your Mother.

I wrote back and told her that we already have plans, and that I was sorry Gma was still having phone issues, that it sounded like there was a lot of nasty backtalk the last time we called. Juvenile? Perhaps. I didn't know how to say it and I didn't want her to think I hadn't heard. She wrote back and said to enjoy the holidays, and signed it: your mother.

We've had a lot of issues in the past. I pretty much disconnected with her four years ago, but still allow DD to have a relationship independent of me because it's her grandmother.

Do you think the first week in November is a good time to inquire about Christmas plans or do you think that's a little late in the game?

What would you say if you had heard your mother talking ### about you?

What do I do? I'm so angry with her, I'm extremely hurt and if this is the way she is talking about me I really don't want DD there.

Mostly I'm confused.


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Well, it sounds like you have had issues with your mother for a while, so is it surprising that she spoke like that on the phone ?

I say put it behind you.

Put the hurt, anger behind you, it is making you miserable.

In the future perhaps you could just quietly withdraw from contact with her, you don't have to explain yourself. Perhaps just all go and visit her once or twice a year.

Your family is your focus, you want to have a good relationship with your daughter. Don't let your conflict with your mother derail that.

I would not even inquire about Christmas, just have a day without negative people.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Wow. What a shame. I applaud you for allowing your daughter to have a relationship with her, but she sure doesn't sound like a nice woman. Of course I've no idea of any of the history or allegations of either side.

No, I don't think she's late in asking about Christmas plans. Most people are still planning Thanksgiving, and to start talking about what to do on Chrismas in the first week in November is about right, I think. Unless, that is, there are long-standing, traditional plans. But I don't think that you can put a mark in the "bad" column for your mother for asking now.

Is there any way you can go visit your grandmother and not see your mother? Is it your mother's mother or your father's mother? Does your grandmother know of the strife?

If I heard my mother talking #*&(# about me or to me, if it were a recurring thing in a troubled relationship, I think (I don't know for sure because I've never been in that situation) I would talk with her, strongly but evenly (removing all emotion) and tell her that it's unacceptable and I won't subject myself or my family to it any more.

And then I wouldn't. And ... I wouldn't talk $(&#^ about or to her, either, because that would put me at her level.

Good luck - such a shame. Family stuff is so more hurtful than friends stuff.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

She wasn't talking "to" me. She was talking- almost like she was talking under her breath. She was back-talking, if that makes sense. Have you ever gone off muttering under your breath? It was kind of like that, except that NOTHING happened/no communication prior to her saying those things. She started with that.

We're estranged. My grandmother knows it. It's my mom's mom. I could not go visit my grandmother without seeing my mother. I just visited a bit back, with DD. I think once a year is plenty, especially if I'm the one doing all the work to get us there.

I'm not putting marks in a "bad" column. My family plans out thanksgiving earlier than most I guess. We made our plans back in Sept.

My mom is mad at me because I didn't want her to live with me. She wanted to live with me after my divorce, tell me how to raise my daughter, and talk crap about everyone else with me. After I kicked her out I found out from many people, my aunts, my father, my ex-husband, etc. that she had told them all sorts of lies about me trying to get them to hate me.

Despite all of that, I have allowed DD (and PAID) for DD to fly out to see her at least once a year, for the past four years. She spent two Christmases there, and two thanksgivings. I think it's incredibly generous for me to allow DD to spend holidays away from me, and last Christmas was really the first I'd had with her in four years.

Honestly it was like a giant ice stabbing in my heart. It's one thing to say to just put it behind, and it's another to pick up the phone and hear something like this, completely unprovoked.

DD and I have a good relationship. Everything is fine. But my heart is aching.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Aw, I am so sorry. And yes, I agree that its huge of you to send your daughter there. I just hope that your mother doesn't talk about you badly to your daughter or in her presence.

I have a similar relationship with a family member and I completely understand the "giant ice stabbing in my heart" comment - really I do. I've learned to forgive, but I can't forget. What that means is that I protect myself from being treated in that manner. Doesn't always work, and it hurts just as much each time. But ... I try again to steel myself against the onslaught. Mostly, I remove myself from giving that person the opportunity.

Sounds to me like you're doing that, and more power to you. Take care of yourself and your daughter.

S


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

It's not a perfect world and there are 'toxic' parents out there. Just because you're grown up doesn't mean your mother has stopped being toxic. Make it a priority to take care of yourself and your child.
Are you still looking for her approval? Will she ever give her approval? Will she ever forgive or forget that you wanted to get on with your life post divorce without her? Accept that she won't change, move on. Live your life, enjoy your life and your child.
Choose not to have negative people in your life! You can still care about them, but for now choose not deal with your mother until you're in a stronger place!
Good luck, been there!


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

I know there's very little I can do, it's all how I handle it. It's just so exhausting.

Of course, I'm still looking for her approval although I know I won't get it.

It's easy to say "move on" when I'm still tied to her, forever...I suppose I could completely ignore her, but I don't see how that would make it better. For better or worse, we'll have to have some sort of relationship because of DD.

Unless I'm willing to prevent DD from seeing her completely, in which case I'll have a lot more to deal with through other members of the family.

Mom emailed me again... when can DD be sent out? I feel like telling her never.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

What would I do? I wouldn't let my daughter go anymore without me.

You've been incredibly generous to let your daughter go to your mom's for the holidays, and to pay for it as well. But it sounds like there's something seriously wrong with your mom. People are what they are; if your mom is toxic to you, at some point she'll be toxic to your daughter in some way.

I don't think the first week in November is too late to make Christmas plans.

What would you say if you had heard your mother talking ### about you?

My mother wouldn't talk ### about me. If she did, it would either be something that was absolutely true and I very much deserved whatever she said and more, or my mom would have dementia. So if I heard her talking ### about me we would be at the doctor's office the next day.

I don't think normal moms talk ### about their daughters. I'll bet you'd never, ever talk ### about your daughter. Your mom has problems. If her problems are too big for you, I'll bet eventually they'll be too big for your daughter. Out of the heart the mouth speaks.

Whatever you decide, I'm so sorry your mom has those issues. Chances are it has nothing to do with you, but with how your mom feels about herself. You can't fix her, she will have to fix herself.

Enjoy your holidays guilt-free.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted... .....

What does your daughter want to do?


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

My daughter loves her grandma. Of course she'd want to go out there! She has a bunch of cousins her age and she always has a really good time, which is why I was good with her going the first few years.

That was before I spoke with other family members and found out my mom was telling them lies about my husband, and lies about me.

One example: when my husband and I decided to marry, the schedule was such that DD would be with my mother. I ASKED DD if she'd rather be a part of the wedding and come home early or stay for her entire trip with Grandma. She wanted to stay with Grandma.

What did Grandma do to say thank you? She called my ex-husband and told him that I was getting married in secret and that I hadn't told DD. At that point I put the phone on speaker and asked DD with her dad right there if she knew I was getting married, and of course she said yes.

Do I regret allowing DD to make that choice? Yes! It never should have been a choice, I should have made other changes/choices but I didn't. I was trying to make everyone happy and let DD make her own decisions. Now I see that I was an idiot.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

There are so many separate issues in your post.

Is it late to be making Christmas plans. Not really. My family hasn't even begun to discuss where/what we'll be doing for Christmas, so I don't see that as a major thing.

However, you say 'no mention of paying, even though I've paid the last 3 times' (or something to that effect). It's certainly nice when granparents or aunts or uncles offer to help with a child's transportation costs, but when you get right down to it, a child's needs and expenses are her parents' responsiblity.

The big issue, though is your mother's toxicity. She sounds like she's extremely angry, and possibly even a bit unstable--going from your description of things. IF she's too toxic for you to be around, why would you send your daughter to her? If your mother treats you that way, how long is it going to be before she lashes out at your daughter. It's NOT SAFE for her to be around grandma WITHOUT you there to protect her.

We've been through the problem of having to decide that relatives were too toxic for us to be around. It's not an easy decision to make, but why should you feel forced to spend time (or to allow your child to spend time) with people just because they're related to you by an accident of birth.

If I were wearing your shoes, Grandma would see my daughter ONLY in my home, and ONLY if she followed my rules--she'd be welcome for short visits if she treated me and my family with respect, both in our presence and when away from it. Life's far to short to put up with people who are trying to destroy you.

I believe strongly that children should have relationships with their grandparents only if that relationship is healthy and positive. From what you describe, it's only a matter of time before this woman harms your daughter emotionally. It's what she does, and people don't change their basic natures.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Azzalea, I have to disagree with you there. Maybe it's just my family, but if a grandchild is going to spend time with grandparents without the parents, I think it's the grandparents responsibility to at least chip in.

A child's needs and expenses are my responsibility. I pay for my daughter's tutoring, religious school, dance and music lessons, as well as all personal items.

Extras, like hopping in an airplane for $300 over Christmas (not including the $100 unaccompanied minor fare, the $20 parking each time, etc)... should be shared by those who are benefiting (ie, the grandparents). Since I don't benefit at all from DD going to visit grandma... it seems pretty one sided. The first couple of times, no problem. But I think it's only reasonable to expect some help.

If I were invited, if I were going too............ different story.

Grandma lives over 800 miles away. She moved there. Her choice. Not my problem.

***************************

You're right. The issue is her toxicity.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

It's sad because one wants to be a good daughter, also set a good example to one's own children. If your mother is telling lies about you, do you want your child around that behavior.
It's understandable for a child to want to take a break from family rules and routine, and be with cousins, relatives etc but you're the parent. As a parent you get to make decisions about where/what to spend the family budget. I agree with 'daisyinga' that you've been incredibly generous. ( My 10 year old grand daughter came out for a couple of weeks this summer and I happily paid it).
Stop beating yourself up over it! Tell your mother and DD "Sorry but at the present time I can't afford the $440 expense".
You don't need to explain anything else! When Grandma misses her grand daughter she can plan to visit/help with DD fare or some other mutually agreeable solution.
You're NOT tied to her forever, NOR for better or worse! You DON"T need her approval!
Love yourself enough to want respect from her for your choices. You can't change anyone else, you can only change yourself!


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

IF she's too toxic for you to be around, why would you send your daughter to her? If your mother treats you that way, how long is it going to be before she lashes out at your daughter. It's NOT SAFE for her to be around grandma WITHOUT you there to protect her.

Read and reread what Azzalea wrote. It is only a matter of time and you are leaving your daughter unprepared to deal with your mother.

You CAN move on. It is all about being able to change your attitude and how you deal with the slings and barbs, setting healthy boundaries. BTDT. Use the toolbox of how to deal with mentally ill borderline disorder, look up 'Stop Walking on Eggshells' and the workbook. A few sessions with a counselor will give you a few good tips. For example, I remember telling my own toxic sister, who was complaining about our mother, 'you are expecting her to be an Alaskan sled dog, to pull your load, when she is just a toy poodle'. She 'got' that. Also, if you get yourself to a place where you can be safe around your mom, think of the tools you can give your DD, which are life-long and would apply to many other difficult people she will encounter.

Hugs and good luck.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

"My mother... I love my mother. But I really think she's toxic for me. What would you say if you had heard your mother talking ### about you? What do I do? I'm so angry with her, I'm extremely hurt and if this is the way she is talking about me I really don't want DD there."

Mostly I'm confused.

Silversword, please read this article and see if any of it applies to your mother. Best wishes for a happy holiday with those who love and appreciate you.

A link that might be useful:

parrishmiller.com/narcissists.html


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

For years my mother was toxic i allowed her to see my son but i set boundries because she didnt like my spouse .. she would bad mouth both of us in front or to the child.. the first time i warned her the second i pulled my son away from her for 9 months . The battle still went on between the adults but my son was spared ... Then after one summer visitation my son was 9 he annouced grama had told him some stories about me (as we were picking him up from the airport) i thought oh some cute childhood story... Nope all about how i was a liar when i was younger and calling child services on her... When i called and confronted her all she could say was it was history my child needed to know .. i screamed at her like never before it took two years before we spoke again .. she has sinced changed my spouse she hated died and i am remarried with a toddler.. the point is it took all that to happened before she dropped her grudge against me and today she sings praises to me and about me to my children .. set boundries is the bottom line ... Mom you may not like me and we have our problems but if you wish to see my children you must 1. Set up advanced timing for cheaper flights and i cant afford the whole ticket if at all. 2. If you cant drop the grudge for my children and mines sanity your contact will be limited.3. Explain to her the cycle needs to be broken and shes a major player in that aspect and she may try to push the limits... Set boundries for yourself, get the respect you deserve. My mom recently paid for a trip to alaska for the whole family and proudly annouced she had assumed for so long i was a different person that it would be nice to get to know me. And we have forgiven each other. Then after setting the boundries no matter how you feel keep the contact short and brief and ignore any confortational remarks no matter how upset you get with her keep it short and sweet till she abides by the boundries you have set. Hope this helps! Let me know.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

For years my mother was toxic i allowed her to see my son but i set boundries because she didnt like my spouse .. she would bad mouth both of us in front or to the child.. the first time i warned her the second i pulled my son away from her for 9 months . The battle still went on between the adults but my son was spared ... Then after one summer visitation my son was 9 he annouced grama had told him some stories about me (as we were picking him up from the airport) i thought oh some cute childhood story... Nope all about how i was a liar when i was younger and calling child services on her... When i called and confronted her all she could say was it was history my child needed to know .. i screamed at her like never before it took two years before we spoke again .. she has sinced changed my spouse she hated died and i am remarried with a toddler.. the point is it took all that to happened before she dropped her grudge against me and today she sings praises to me and about me to my children .. set boundries is the bottom line ... Mom you may not like me and we have our problems but if you wish to see my children you must 1. Set up advanced timing for cheaper flights and i cant afford the whole ticket if at all. 2. If you cant drop the grudge for my children and mines sanity your contact will be limited.3. Explain to her the cycle needs to be broken and shes a major player in that aspect and she may try to push the limits... Set boundries for yourself, get the respect you deserve. My mom recently paid for a trip to alaska for the whole family and proudly annouced she had assumed for so long i was a different person that it would be nice to get to know me. And we have forgiven each other. Then after setting the boundries no matter how you feel keep the contact short and brief and ignore any confortational remarks no matter how upset you get with her keep it short and sweet till she abides by the boundries you have set. Hope this helps! Let me know.


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RE: Disengaging, disassociating, disgusted...

Thank you, and yes, I've diagnosed her with NPD. Not sure if it's the 1% who actually have it, but she's pretty close.

Recent example, I had a bad injury and DD was also injured, but minor. DD kept asking for goodies and I was so tired... my mom has always been very healthy and tells everyone what to do for every injury, health problem, etc. And she's usually right. She knows a lot of tricks/remedies, etc. So I said, honey, you need to eat healthy food to get better. And DD says, like what? And I said, call your grandma, she'll tell you.

Mind you, I had stitches in my lip and it was very hard to talk...

So I hear her (GMA is ALWAYS put on speaker phone) talking to gma and asking her what she should eat to be healthy and gma says "I don't know" and completely disregards everything. Doesn't ask how I am. Knows I'm injured because she emailed me about it the day before.

FINE. She doesn't know. I told DD, Gma is lying. She knows. That was the first time I've ever talked bad about my mother to DD, but I'd had it.

One week later, she emails me to say she gave my # to her friend's daughter because she's about to go to college and wants me to tell her all about my experiences.

Surely this young girl can find someone closer to her age, and geographic location, and interests to talk to! And, she knows I have problems talking right now.

I'm tempted to email her back: I don't know anything about college.

And thank you flipmyswitch... I feel like it's a similar pattern.


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