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I am really sorry to know that you have been very unfortunate of not having healthy relationships with people who should form a spport system in your life , as the same very people -- your mother , sister and husband have chosen to bring you down and emotionally abuse you..
I think you deserve a lot of good things in life and you need to live your life without this kind of emotional abuse given to you at the hands of your own flesh and blood .. so although i am asking you to take a tough stance , but this will be for your own good to distance yourself from your mother and sister and temporarily ignore them ,because at this juncture of your life when you are already going through a messy rough patch with your husband and are on the rink of divorce , so the last thing you need now is emotional abuse from your mother ... actually it seems like her depression gets the better of her an dher furstration is vented out at you , morr so because you have been absorbing it without any retaliation , this is something like treating you like punching bad , to vent out one's own frustration and to feel better ...
so, my honest advise to you is to gather courage and call up your mother and sister ,and tell them directly that you are not going to take any more abuse form them and that if they cannot respect you and love you for who you are , then it is best for all of you to not to have any more conversations and keep a safe distance from each other ... and please what ever transpires from this conversation , no matter how much heartaching that may be , you need to stick to what you said , this will be good for you and for your kids in the long run as at this age you would not want to expose them to such verbal abuses , as this will effect their tender minds which invariably will effect their future personalities..as a child learns a lot during the growing up period from one 's own surroundings and behaviour of family members and is compelled to imbibe qualities from them , which actually may make or break a child..when he grows into an adult.
I hope this helps..
Wish you all the best...
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Hi Dr Kaushik,
I would like some more information please.
Why does my mother turn up to my children's Christmas concerts with my father, not sit with me their daughter then leave. It seems to me they want nothing to do with me & everything to do with my children. What message is this sending my kids, that Nanna & Poppa don't like mum & yet still come to our concerts. How do I deal with this specific situation?
Secondly, why when I called my mother to ask her for my repsect in relation to my privacy, did she lie that she told my sister?
then turned the entire situation around, told me I was abusing her & hung up on me?
What sort of behaviour is this, when I am her daughter needing support, not abuse from her?
and if she cannot handle stress as her Dr says, that she finds time to treat me like this, then sends me those nasaty you-tube video's. What kind of mother does this to her daughter?
What sort of Personality disorder is she?
I cannot trust her, who else has she told about my personal situation! What is the best avenue for my kids & me, considering their other grandparent is overseas?
Please advise, thank you for your time.
Hello. I believe I can be of help to you with this issue.
Your mother has some significant personality disorder symptoms, or so it would seem. The reason she comes to your concert is that: 1) she seeks to reinforce her status with your children as the 'good grandmother' figure; she definitely sees herself as the good grandmother and enjoys the attention and interactions with your children; 2) she feels you are emotionally unsupportive of her, or in some ways, a disappointing failure to her and therefore, is punishing you emotionally, as she blames you for 'something' or 'things'. Coming to the concert for the children and ignoring you is the obvious compromise she reaches in her mind, regarding how to handle this CONFLICT in her mind. Certainly, it is not a wise and mature approach to dealing with one's daughter. She also doesn't realize that you control access to the grandchildren, in the long run and it would be wise to treat you better---if for no other reason that she wants to seek her grandkids.
So the shunning at the concert, and the mean-spirited videos she sends are her way of communicating to you that she feels she has been 'victimized' her relationship with you and wants to retaliate or punish you for it. Heaven only knows exactly what she construes as your 'sins' against her. She might tell you if you asked, however, "Mother, you shun me at the children's concert and ignore speaking to me, and then, send these nasty youtube videos; you are punishing me for something, obviously. So I would be interested in hearing what 'sins' against you, I've committed."
She herself, may have features of a histrionic or borderline or narcissistic personality disorder. Or a mixture of several features from different personality disorders (which is more the 'norm' i.e., a mixed type). It may help you to see her as having some serious emotional problems of her own, and that she acts this way because she is ill, and is worthy of your pity. Yes, she is a sad, unhappy and somewhat pathetic woman and yet, you have given her the emotional power to 'push your buttons' to often. How would it be to not automatically take her insults personally and say, "Oh, here we go again; what sins have I committed now? She needs to feel she is punishing me for my latest misdeeds. How can I handle this so that I can disengage from her right now and perhaps get back to her when she is feeling better? Hope I don't turn into an unhappy old woman like she is......" Again, gain bit of objective 'distance' from this dysfunctional behavior. Reframe her behavior when you see it-----she NEEDS to be able to blame you or someone else for her immediate unhappiness or other 'problems' in her life.
Stop telling her personal information---you know that historically, you could never trust her but you keep on setting yourself up for disappointment. One issue here is that you continue to live your life HOPING this woman will transform into a loving, caring mother figure. This is an 'emotional' train of thought that causes you to personalize her behavior and her insults; you are still the dependent, hurt child with her; The rational train of thought about her is that she will almost certainly never love and treat you as you wish; she needs you to be in the 'bad daughter' role in the family; there is nearly always a blacksheep child or the scapegoat child, whose emotional battering by the mom or dad or both serves to relieve stress and conflict in the family.
You can more carefully time and control your visitation times with her. You might say, Mom, the kids are having a concert and you are invited of course; however, I won't be inclined to extend invitations in the future if you come to the concert and refuse to talk and or treat me with disrespect, O.K.? If you are mad about something, tell me what it is and we can perhaps discuss it and resolve it. I think the conflicts we have in our relationship are not good for your grandchildren to be witnessing."
What do you think?
Hi Dr Michael,
What a great response, my apologies, I have been at work, fed & bathed & read to the kids, so only just got a breather to respond to your reply.
Loved your reply, just a few minor details on my behalf, if my mother doesn't respond via email, phone or email, how can I truly get through to her? That is, her hanging up on me, not reading my emails, avoiding me at family functions?
Why is it, she want'ss to know everything about my life & yet is so unwilling to discuss her & Dad's & my siblings life?
Why am I the black sheep? to make them accountable? because the rest of siblings are so weak?
Finally, how do I handle my mum, & Dad, turning up to a school function unannounced, make me embarressed because she feels she has a right to be there, knowing the relationship with her daughter & grandchildren is strained.
It seems my father cannot handle the situatiuon, due to his alcohlism, and is manipulating my mother to a mindset & set of strategies that does not suit her style. vv So I am effedtively operating with both of my parents, how do I handle this?
Thank you sooo mnuch.
I have been away overnight from work, & unable to attend to my emails. My apologies for the late reply.
Your reply was very good, I just didn't see any response to handling my parents turning up to school functions unnanounced, making me uncomfortable in front of other parents, who are my friends & know my parents?
You are right, I need to tell her less about my life, that is hard though, when my ex is still in contact with both my brothers, and my sick Schizophrenic brother tells mum all my business, he says he respects my privacy, but I know he lies, because he tells her everything because he is sooo dependent on them. I am powerless to stop this.
So now I feel like I cannot have a relationship with my two brothers or sister, because none of them repect my privacy. Where does that leave me in the family equation, isolated?
To explain my father's manipulations of my mother, as you asked, he was a successful blue collar worker with his own business, mum never worked, so she is not street wise. He tells her how to handle me, because she cannot seem to handle me. Take for example, they went away on a overseas trip last year for 1-2 weeks & didn't bother to tell me or my children, yet all my other siblings new. This is the first time they ever withheld information about going away. It just does not seem mum's style. At the same time, she missed my son's first Holy Communion, and blamed me for not telling her. I was upset & did not tell her the date, but she knew it was soon, as my son had to attend 4 weekly prep sessionsthen the ceremony. Mum also alot of health problems and is not allowed stress in her life, she will hand the phone to Dad because she can't handle it.
My father is retired, and has always favoured my second eldest brother ( not the sick brother), and my sister. He devotes alot of time to these two children, & very little to me or my sick brother. He & mum have slept at my sister's for 5 days to help her out with the kids, when she was pregnant with her third, because her husband went on a 1 week holiday with his mates. They have never showed that type of support to me ever.
My ex is now staying on my (well) brother's property, with his girlfriend who I do not like, and has divulged sensitive info about our life to my brother & his girlfriend, & feel betrayed by my ex & brother who has not even called to say, "I'm thinking of you during this tough time, I heard you seperated, if there is anything I can do", plus he does not call or let my boys see his 3 boys, and never bought my kids a Birthday gift last year, when I bought all his son's Birthday gifts. He has no guts to stand up for what's right, or a be a bigger better wiser person & move on, and let's his new girlfriend control his phone & life. They both ignored my & my boys at my Uncle's birthday last year, I was disgusted as I made an effort to say hello, and they just avoided me, especially considering my brother is my son's Godfather.
To top it all off, I have to see my entire family at my cousins wedding in a few days & am dreading it.
Incidentally, yes I am more successful than my sick brother & sister, my other brother tries to runs Dad's business that he was handed on a silver platter, my brother previously had his own business but failed at that. I have always had friends & my now ex to find me jobs through word of mouth, or knowing influential people.
I have not spoken to my mother, but did forward an email from your Website, titled; "I'm the daughter of a controlling verbally abusive mother" from 2008. I sent this before my emails to your site. I received an email response; "Obviously I'm not very good at it". and have not seen or heard from her since.
Could you please remove my name from the postings?, because maybe mum is now viewing this website, and these postings have my name, age & that I am female, is that possible? also are these posting available for public viewing on your website?
Thank you for your time it is most appreciated.
Yes I asked for my name to be removed from the posting's, but maybe you forgot who I was when responding to my previous question dated Wed, Feb 2nd. My name is XXXXX XXXXX one going through a marital seperation, with issues about my controlling, verbally abusive mother. Please delete my name after this.
I met all my family at my cousin's wedding, and it was strained, I even said hello to my brother's girlfriend who I don't like, in front of my two brothers, sister & her husband, and she judt ignored me. I know I did the right thing, she is the one with the problem, but has poisened my brother against me, so much so my boys have not seen his kids in 1 year, and they did not attend Christmas for the first time. She is also taking advantage of the fact that I do not get on with my Mother & Father, and my relationship with my sister is strained. They spent the weekend woith my parents in a cabin after the wedding, & didn't tell me. I had to go & collect the kids. My parents are embracing my brothers girlfriend & spend more time with her than me, she knows it & loves it. Now I feel like the idiot, whose kids are also suffering by not spending time with their grandparents or cousins. But I can't, because I feel uncomfortable around them & their behavious is unhealthy & toxic to me & my kids. I was sick to the stomach the night of the wedding, and woke up with nerves & vomited.
Please advise how to handle this rude girlfriend & my entire family intentionally excluding me.
Now you know my name, please also advise on some of the questions I asked you on my Wed Feb 2 posting, as I think you were unaware of the continuing story.
Thank you very much for your valuable time.
Monique, thanks for taking the time to remind me to link the posts. I will review your prior post along with the new ones and write back to you later this evening or tomorrow a.m. I appreciate your patience with me on this. You are right, I didn't connect the Feb 2 posting in my head........
I have to be away from the computer for a time. Thanks again for your patience....
I'm going to write a little bit tonight and perhaps some more in the morning. It seems that one theme in your life within your family is the PRIMARY conflicts you have with the other women, namely, your mother, your sister, and your sister-in-law. I wonder if you could take some time to write down what you THINK is the primary CONFLICT you have with each one. I realize you generally feel they just don't like you; I get a pretty good sense of why your mother may feel the need to act toward you like she does i.e., she needs a family scapegoat; but I don't understand the source of your conflict with the other women. It seems as though the conflicts with the women sort of 'lead' the rest of the alienation with the family you experience because the men sort of 'follow' the lead of the women in shunning you.
You asked in the last post about "... handling my parents turning up to school functions unnanounced, making me uncomfortable in front of other parents, who are my friends & know my parents?" I attempted to explain that I suspect that your parents to this to portray being good grand parents to your kids, though they are obviously sending you a message at the same time by their visit that they don't want to interact with you nor do they want to act with much courtesy toward you. If you value having your parents engaged in some way with your parents, you might find it psychologically helpful for you to rehearse this 'value' in your mind and emphasize that in the long run, you don't really need the love of your mother to get by in life. So the train of thought you'd rehearse might go something like this: "I will be as gracious as I can be toward my parents, even though they treat me like crap; I will be gracious so that the kids can have some sort of relationship with their grandparents; were it up to me, I'd perhaps not want to spend any time with them at all, but I'll make the sacrifice to be gracious for the good of the kids".
You sounded like you handled the wedding situation quite well, even though it made you ill to do so. Sometimes, when we have a number of 'toxic' relationships in a family, we have to reach a point where we ask whether it is worth trying to maintain them or whether it is worth exposing ourselves to rejection, shunning and emotional abuse. It seems that you continue to hold out hope that your family members will, SOMEDAY be accepting and loving toward you and so you persist in holding out hope, waiting, suffering emotionally while you wait; wondering what the real problem is. It wouldn't be responsible if I didn't ask you, "Why are you putting yourself in a position month after month, year after year, hoping the women in your family in particular, will grow to love and accept you, when what you constantly experience is emotional rejection and negativity?" I'll pause here and let you respond. Thanks again, Monique for your patience with this communication we're having..............
As requested, I feel the primary conflict with the following people as follows:
1) Mum: Her constant criticism & then verbal abuse towards me. Also her extra close relationship with my husband, while I was studying Uni had my first newborn child, my husband started confiding in my mother & of course she was there to listen, I only found about this a couple of years ago, & my oldest boy is 9 yrs.
2) Sister: She is not accountable for her behaviour, and was never made accountable during her childhood. Got away with kicking me & never backanswered Dad like I did.
Another issue is she nevers drop's into to see me or the kids, as she passes the street parallel to mine to see mum & dad. She is also my eldest boys Godmother. (She has always been Daddy's little princess, plus she gets on better with my other brother (the one with the girlfirend I do not like)
3) Brother's girlfriend; After first introduction, she never made an effort to talk to me directly. (maybe b/c my brother said to her we are not close, who knows). The main issue is her organising a B'day party for my brother's boy, the day of my son's B'day (they are 1 day apart), all via text message, and not aware or really willing to include my son in the festivities, also it was school/work night & more than 1 hour travelling to & from. Then she started sending nasty text messages, it all got out of control & went on for an entire day without my brother standing up & saying anything. I have seen or spoken to them for 12 months, until the wedding. She also strategises, & has pentetrated herself into my parents & siblings lives, excluding my family from Christmas Celebration's at her house, 2 days after Christmas. My brother has been divorced, is now going through a seperation from the mother of his 3 boys, and is an alcoholic, who has lost alot of weight, got pleuracy, the now girlfriend was there to help him out, cooked meals for him, help him gets clothes for the boys, then the relationship went to the next level. She controls his phone, & he now lives in her house.
To remind you, my ex told my brother everything about our marriage while she was listening on 3 occasions. He now lives on my brother's property, it is a real conflict of interest my husband (ex), living with them, it is not healthy. I have not called my husband's family in Europe & told them of his behaviour, he continues to live there.
The only reason I am putting myself in this situation, month after month, year after year is that the relationships will improve& my boys can start enjoying the close relationship they had with their grandparents. My first boy really only the close relationship, now 9, my second boy is 6. Their other grandparent is in Europe.
I hope this helps.
Thank you again for your time.
I am finding it hard to focus & am mentally drained. It took me a while to process the last two answers from you & respond accordingly.
When I said, "I feel I have no relationship with my brother & sister & they do not respect my privacy, & it leaves me feeling isolated.", Question; "Am I the stupid one? or is it that I just care too much & they take advantage of the fact that I am the younger sister, & therefore know less?
What sort of father is mine, favouring 2 out of 4 children for an entire childhood? I did not ask to be born, or treated second rate, & still feel on the outer, like I have my whole life?
What can I do to get my ex to move away from my brother's property?
Why does my brother (the well one, with the girlfriend I do not like), not call me?
Why did hid girlfriend ignore me at the wedding after I said hello?
Do you think it was a good idea to send my mum the article from this website titled, "I'm the daughter of a verbally abusive mother?"
Why don't they care?, (Is it because I distanced myself from them, to protect my self-esteem from their verbal abuse, & they see this as rude?)
Yes I am exhausted trying to win their approval,respect & involvement, is that why they treat me this way? do they think I treat them disrespectfully or are they just dysfuntional?
No I am not well off, & have had to build my social networks away from my family.
I started talking to my brother, then got all stressed & realised my sister was bitching about me behind my back to mum, taking my brother's girlfriends side, not their daughters/sister! I think it is also because my sister & mum do not work, & have nothing else to do but bitch? they have it too easy. What do you think?
You are right, if I did NOT TALK to my family, I do not think I would be any worse off, in fact I would be more calm & focussed. But for me it always goes back to the kids, the kids would be worse off without that Grandparent interaction, which creates memories for them in their childhood.
Maybe the issue is that I am the youngest & look up to my family, but because my siblings are older, does not neccessarily mean they are wiser/smarter. What do you think?
Lastly, you mentioned, "Don;t argue with them unless somnething is going on that is unhealthy for the boys". Question, "The whole situation is unhealthy & the boys have been exposed to positive & negative parts of it, & young kids pick up on the vibes. In your professional opinion, what is the best solution for my boys?
Once again, Thank you so much for your valuable time, it is very much appreciated & you give very good, sensible advice.
I had not heard from you, in relation to my last response dated Wednesday 9th February. Was hoping for a final response from you.
You wrote: " When I said, "I feel I have no relationship with my brother & sister & they do not respect my privacy, & it leaves me feeling isolated.", Question; "Am I the stupid one? or is it that I just care too much & they take advantage of the fact that I am the younger sister, & therefore know less? Both of these hypotheses make good sense. First. as I suggested in my prior posts, you will have to do some mental rehearsal of the idea that you do care too much about trying to please or have a relationship with family members that don't respect your privacy or seek to gain personally from the bad things that happen to you or the negative things they tell other family members about you. Second, they may disrespect you because they assume that because you are younger, you know less. But of course, you are an adult, and probably wiser than they are about many things. The assumption that you 'know nothing' is never reasonable justification to show disrespect or ignore your privacy rights. The remedy here is to be very, very protective of all information you share about yourself with family members and begin disengaging from expectations of support from them i.e., don't 'count on' them to do things for you; don't 'expect' that they should treat your fairly. Their behavior has shown they are probably not worthy of the investment of your emotional energy into a relationship with them.
What sort of father is mine, favoring 2 out of 4 children for an entire childhood? I did not ask to be born, or treated second rate, & still feel on the outer, like I have my whole life? Parents often 'play favorites'; sometimes, they don't respect or like certain children because of the child's past actions or they hold a negative impression about a child because of rumors other children spread about them. Parents will tend to favor children who ingratiate themselves to the parent or 'kiss their feet' constantly. Sometimes, to win parents' favor, they have to act in ways that are inconsistent with how they feel e.g., they smile at the parent when they are actually angry with them. So parents often have a basis for their favoring of one child over another; it isn't fair, of course. But again, once a child reaches adulthood and has made a reasonable attempt to maintain a relationship with a parent, and this effort does no good whatsoever, the adult child eventually needs to seriously ask themselves whether trying to please and plausible parent makes any sense; they may want to emotionally disengage from the parent and invest their emotional energy in a new relationship---someone who will care for them and will show respect. So this involves a shifting of one's emotional resources from the 'hopeless'' parent to someone else in their life.
What can I do to get my ex to move away from my brother's property? Probably nothing, unless you own some of your brother's property. If the property is solely your brother's, then he has the final say regarding who can live on it, and who cannot.
Why does my brother (the well one, with the girlfriend I do not like), not call me? I would not risk a guess regarding why he isn't calling you. However, you could ask him very directly, "You know, I would like to have more regular contact with you because I really value my relationship with you. Do you suppose you could make a point of giving me a call once or twice a month? If you would rather not do this, you can honestly let me know and I'll accept the facts of the matter. But I do wonder why you don't ever call me".
Why did hid girlfriend ignore me at the wedding after I said hello? Again, it is not possible to say why his his girlfriend ignored you at the wedding. She may have been preoccupied or may have felt that she doesn't have much in common with you to talk about. She may have felt that once she said 'hello' to you, she had a stronger interest in talking to other people at the wedding whom she thought were more powerful or important or popular; some shallow people like to work hard to talk to, or spend time with popular or powerful people, because it makes them look popular and powerful and more important.
Do you think it was a good idea to send my mum the article from this website titled, "I'm the daughter of a verbally abusive mother?" Probably not. I would very much predict that your mother wouldn't see the connection between your distress and upset about your relationship, and her behavior. Based on what you have told me, she will probably never understand that she is responsible for the emotional distance between you. She externalizes blame for most every conflict and problem in her relationships and can't take personal responsibility for problems. I suspect that sending her such an article will accomplish nothing.
Why don't they care?, (Is it because I distanced myself from them, to protect my self-esteem from their verbal abuse, & they see this as rude?) They didn't apparently show signs of caring even BEFORE you distanced yourself from them. It may be that you will never have this question answered satisfactorily.
Yes I am exhausted trying to win their approval,respect & involvement, is that why they treat me this way? do they think I treat them disrespectfully or are they just dysfunctional? I doubt they treat you disrespectfully because you try too hard to win their approval. As I said in an earlier post, some families are able to remain somewhat functional only when one family member serves as the scapegoat or source of 'blame' for everyone's problems and misbehavior in the family.
I started talking to my brother, then got all stressed & realized my sister was bitching about me behind my back to mum, taking my brother's girlfriends side, not their daughters/sister! I think it is also because my sister & mum do not work, & have nothing else to do but bitch? they have it too easy. What do you think? You could be very much correct. People who talk about others, gossip, try to find fault in others. etc., have WAY too much time on their hands. This is an activity that very busy, engaged, hard working people do. They don't have time for it in their lives.
You are right, if I did NOT TALK to my family, I do not think I would be any worse off, in fact I would be more calm & focused. But for me it always goes back to the kids, the kids would be worse off without that Grandparent interaction, which creates memories for them in their childhood.
Maybe the issue is that I am the youngest & look up to my family, but because my siblings are older, does not necessarily mean they are wiser/smarter. What do you think? Youngest kids in the family are frequently the one's most often scapegoated because they are vulnerable, easy to displace frustration and blame on, etc. They can't defend themselves very well and so, they end up with the scapegoating role in the family. This of course, has nothing to do with the youngest member's wisdom, intelligence etc. They can often be quite bright and exceptional, but the family has a 'need' to seem them as the 'problem' and as less capable.
Lastly, you mentioned, "Don;t argue with them unless something is going on that is unhealthy for the boys". Question, "The whole situation is unhealthy & the boys have been exposed to positive & negative parts of it, & young kids pick up on the vibes. In your professional opinion, what is the best solution for my boys? I would be very selective in the situations I'd expose my children to in this family. If the grandparents want to have a relationship with them and share some of their physical resources e.g., money, gifts, support for education, etc., then this would seem to be worth maintaining contact for. However, it would appear that most family gatherings are unhealthy for you and probably, your kids to participate in. Again, I think you can ask yourself whether there is some material good in having them involved in the family contact or activity. Maybe sometimes yes, and sometimes, no. Also, when the contact is very brief, you will be more inclined to agree that the contact is o.k. But if it is many hours or actual days spent nearby or with your folks, probably not.