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    • #9851

      Since I realised I had been married to an abuser, I began to make links with my childhood experiences and family members. To cut a long story short, I see parallels between my ex and my mum, and older sister. Both my mum and sister didn’t used to be quite as bad: my mum can be very nice and times, but can suddenly turn, and to be Ho est I am very worried about my sister, who seems to be getting more and more controlling and impatient and harsh as the years go on.

      Anyway, I posted about their upsetting control a week or so ago, and now again I am receiving negative comments from afar from my sister, dictating how I should be parenting, and my mother today was in what I can only call a n**********c rage, even shouting at my son. She has been overtired recently, but in any. Are she does have a pattern when 80% time she can be OK,if controlling, but 20% time she turns positively unkind and I would go as far as saying purposely destructive.

      She is very good with money, unlike me, and she helped me to pay off my ex to get him off my back. When she offered, I actually thanked her but said, only if you do t take it that you can then control my life, Mum! She has been careful, but then this week I have had endless texts every day, telling me to do this and do that.

      One thing which breaks my heart is my mum and sister’s treatment of my eldest son. My eldest was the target of my ex’s cruelty and continues to be. He is striving to get over this and to show his independence. Every so often, he gets angry, normally when my ex is being horrid to him, but also when my mum and sister are on his back. They seem intent on making him their project and sitting like hawks lying in wait, waiting for him to do something and then. Lowing it up as indicative of his negative traits. He is generally a sensitive boy, and he is really struggling to cope now with the realisation that his dad hasn’t changed, but is still horrible ( my ex had started being unkind to him again).

      I get bossy phone calls from my sister, bossy texts from my mum…I am a grown woman, and Ine et comment on my sister’s family life, even though hers in fact is far from perfect. Her marriage had been in difficulty, she bosses and dictates and organises everyone, her kids are not perfect themselves.

      What is truly horrible is that I can see a clear pattern, and it horrifies me to think that my own mother and sister are guilty of this. They wait until something difficult occurs in my life and I am a bit vulnerable, and then they go in for the kill, trying to make me feel even lower by judging me in some way. And yet, I have always tried to support them and never judged them for feeing hurt about things: I am told to get a grip if I ever feel upset, yet if I am happy it is as if they deliberately try to get me upset!

      And what is worse, they see, to display the classic traits if perpetrators that I have learned about in the last couple of years, like suddenly acting publicly like the victim if you call them up on their behaviour, then you find they have been calling up or telling other relatives that they have been disrespected or treated harshly, when in fact they have treated you dreadfully. For example, I realise that my sister rang me up and launched into a harsh tirade when she was alone at home, and none if her family were there to hear her.

      These are all horrible realisations.

      I need to keep my sister at arm’s length again for a bit, as I did before, and thank goodness that she lives quite far away. But my mum ‘helped’ me to buy my ex out, and now thinks she has the power to dictate and threaten me if I say she is acting unfairly or unkindly. Like today. She made the subtle suggestion that I would lose my home if I didn’t shut up. It is like being with my abuser all over again.

    • #9852

      Plus, my mum and sister do creepy and belligerent things, like when we have had words, I find they have been texting or contacting my youngest son on Instagram or something, as if to go nearer my youngest behind my back.

    • #9853
      Falling Skys

      Hi Serenity

      I’m sorry that you can’t get respite from abuse. I have been spending more time with my mum and I can see the controlling streaks in her, in fact I think thats why I married so young to get out of it.

      Its good that you can see them for what they are, sadly distancing yourself as much as you can from them is the best way for you and your children.

      Just so frustrating that we never seem to get piece for abusers.

      FS xx

    • #9871

      Well I had to implement no contact for almost over a year with my mother and father. they seem to have backed off now. They are still my parents but they are like medication ok in small doses far apart in distance. Too much and you overdose.

      They get the message when you stop talking to them.

    • #11316

      Hi Serenity,
      I haven’t been on here for a long while, but flipping through the site this morning and read your post from a few weeks ago and it really resonated with me.
      My mum was very controlling and abusive, but I realised when I was with my ex, he in fact helped me to realise. He capitalised on my mum’s controlling to the point I had almost cut her out of my life. The two of them were arch enemies and they were both in competition to control me, it’s a horrible place to be in.
      I have not got a miracle cure but what I do with my mum now if she starts to control me is I use I statements rather than you statements. For e.g rather than you said this or you did this, I change it to I dealt a like this when that happened, or I was hurt/angry when that was said…
      You get the picture. It seems to work much better. I think my mum has very little understanding of abuse, and although she cares, she can be bossy and controlling and extremely impatient. She gets frustrated with how I do things as she sees things very simplictically, and I am trying to make good choices for the future not just here and now. It’s funny really because she comes to me for advice more than anyone, she lacks confidence more than most, as she asks me to phone people, order things from the internet and such like.
      It’s a gruelling process recovering from abuse, I don’t think I will ever be the same again x*x

    • #11351
      mixed-up mum

      Hi Serenity – I feel for you I really do – me and me mam don’t have the best of relationships either – she is not aback at saying what she thinks or feels about anything in my life – she just opens her mouth and just comes out with it, and I’m just meant to sit there and take it all – and I do, that’s the thing.

      I’m of a generation who always showed their mam respect – and I wouldn’t dare ‘speak back’ to her – even if I didn’t agree with what she had said – I’d never speak up against her.

      She voiced her opinions last Saturday – and hurt my feelings and I’ve not contacted her much this week (usually we are texting back and fore everyday) well I got a text today from her – one line ” I haven’t heard much from you this week everything OK with you all ”

      Well I wasn’t consciously NOT contacting her this week – but I just had nothing I wanted to say to her really…..

      I text my sister last week (after mam had offended me) to explain what she had done – and hope for a sympathetic reply from her – heard nothing…..

      I honestly don’t think me mam knows she is hurting or offending me with her words – she just expresses her opinion and I’m sure she means no harm by it – but I just don’t have the courage to say to her – well actually what you said hurt/offended me.

      I’m always the one who has to ‘forgive’ in these ‘mini fallouts’ we have – as I say she never even realises she has done/is doing wrong and so each and every time I forgive her and we carry on again as normal – ’til the next time…….

      Me mam just takes such a ‘grim’ view on everything – she’s always so pessimistic – its all ‘doom and gloom’ with her – she always expects the ‘worst case scenario’, and that really gets me down. I’ll make a perfectly innocent statement about something – and she turns it around so it looks so negative.

      Eg – I know my son is not doing well at school at the moment, and he’s not really trying – I said to me mam in conversation he’d failed his Geography Prelim – and she just comes right out and says “well what does he expect, if he won’t study he’s setting himself up for failure “. She just comes right out and says it – not the least bit subtle – she’s just blunt and to the point regardless that she might hurt/offend me…..

      She knows he has learning difficulties – but that makes no difference – Im maybe too gentle with him – but I just feel well he struggles, he has no confidence etc – so I make excuses – saying he’d rather not try – than try an fail…..

      Another example was last week when he was playing for his team – I went to watch to find he wasn’t on first – he was a sub – and said this to me mam and she says ” looks like he’s just there incase the need him, he’s not really on the team, not really part of it” – well ten minutes later there was an injury, and he was put on and played for all of the rest of the game – so she was wrong again – jumping to conclusions!!!

      But the thing is – even if I wanted to say something to her I couldn’t – I don’t want to fall out with her – I do rely on her now I’m on my own – she is helping me out money wise as I don’t make enough to stand on my own two feet.

      She just doesn’t know how to be sympathetic – and say things ‘nicely’ – she freely expressees her views on all aspects of my life – and take such a ‘tough stance’ with my kids – and it hurts to hear some of the things she says about them.

      Sorry got to go now – chat more later when I get back – my daughter needs a lift.

    • #11362

      I am in the wonderful situation to be far away from my family. I had several years of no contact with them and I keep the contact to as little as possible. I trained myself to being able to live without any support and to care for myself. Whenever I get in touch with my parents out of courtesy for their progressed age my father has some amazing remarks, such as that I should not drive a car, or that the church would be a safe haven for women like me… I keep my distance and continue doing what I feel is best for myself…

    • #11393
      mixed-up mum

      Hi Serenity – I’m back – dropped my daughter off in town – and a quick nip round the Supermarkets – and then pick her up again at 11-30 – in bed now with a coffee – all settled and ready to speak to you – don’t suppose you’re up still though?

      Anyway – I wanted to sympathise with you on all of this – I honestly don’t think me mam means anything by what she says – she is just thoughtless sometimes.

      I do ask her for advice on occasions – so I don’t want to fall out with her – but she frequently gives her opinions WITHOUT being asked!!!!!
      My sister is a bit the same – but she knows m**s ‘advice’ often offends me and so my sister will ‘tone down’ her advice a bit.
      But they are both a bit ‘harsh’ for my liking!!

      My sister does not live near us – she is (detail removed by Moderator) miles away – and so we don’t see her often – but mam and me are only (detail removed by Moderator) minutes drive from one another – and so I see her almost every week – and we ring each other on the phone – and usually text every day.
      She comes to see the kids, and she treats us to meals out and she does mean well really, so dont want to fall out with her – she is on her own too and has been for over (detail removed by Moderator)yrs.

      My sister same as yours, often texts me with ‘parenting advice’ – she is much brighter than me and has a good job – lives alone and is very much the kind of person who wants to be in control of her own life – she has never had a long term relationship – never lived with anyone – has no children – and used with making her own choices and decisions, and not having to compromise with anyone else.

      Me mam is not as bad as yours I don’t think – she would never shout at me, and we don’t argue – but it’s the ‘well meant advice’ over the phone, and in texts that gets to me.

      As I said above – I’m not able to support myself and the kids on what I make – and so me mam has been, and is still, helping me with money – so I’m in no position to fall out with her – I need her more than she needs me…..

      BUT that does not mean she has the right to constantly be passing her opinions on my life – and ‘dishing out advice’ as and when she feels like it!!

      I have no doubt me mam and sister both love my kids – and they are both very generous to them at Birthdays and Christmas – but THEIR style of ‘parenting’ is VERY different to mine, and that’s where we have a conflict of opinions!!!

      I think they both feel my parenting style is too ‘laid back’, and both of them would be MUCH more strict with the kids than I am – they think I’m too soft with them – and most likely I am – BUT my ex was WAY too hard on them – and so now I balance that out – by being quite ‘soft’ on them.

      My two are in their (detail removed by Moderator) teens – and yet when my mam and sister are here they delight in telling them to their face (and in front of me) what they should/shouldn’t do – and this really annoys the kids – when Granny and Aunty do ‘synchronised nagging’!!!

      I too just feel my mam and sister are ‘overly bossy’ with me – plus my sister has no family, so what makes her think that she knows more about bringing up kids than me….
      Me mam and sister seem to think they have a right to pass their views on how I deal with my kids – fair enough IF/WHEN I ACTUALLY ASK for advice – but with me mam certainly 90% of the time it’s given without me asking!!!

      I’m a middle-aged woman, I have been left home for more than half of my life – I have had to make my own decisions – but I think they feel because I’m now single with two kids to look after and I don’t have a decent job, and I’m prone to depression, and there are times I can’t/don’t cope very well – and I’m sure they both feel like they can ‘ride in’ and just ‘take over’…..

      Yes you are right – when things are bad and I’m struggling – me mam has a habit of making bad days worse – by her negative and pessimistic way of thinking – she ‘drags me down’ and makes me feel lower, instead of better…..

      Im sure my mam and sister sit on the phone and discuss me, and discuss my life, and the mess I’m making of it, and how I can’t cope, and how I’m too soft on my kids – they were two hours on the phone last weekend – and I do wonder how much of that time was spent discussing me and my kids, and my life…..

      I’ve always felt me mam is closer to my sister than she is to me – my sister has a good job, can support herself, has her own house and plenty of money – and so her and me mam do things together when she is home here – things I can’t afford to do.

      I’ve always felt me mam is proud of my sister for she is clever, has a good education, has a good job, and can support herself – I’m not clever, have no education, no good job, and rely on hand-outs from my family.

      My mam has never in my life told me she is proud of me – and she has never ever said she loves me – we never cuddle – we never even touch – we have a very ‘cold’ relationship – which made me determined to be the OPPOSITE with my kids – I cuddle them all the time, and often tell them I love them.

      Oh I dunno what to do with our m**s – I wouldn’t want mam out of my life – but she often upsets me and adds stress to my life……..

    • #11471
      mixed-up mum

      Hiya Serenity – how you doing today?


    • #11492

      Hi Mixed Up Mum,

      Thanks, I am ok. Had a happily busy weekend doing normal stuff, like ferrying my kids to parties etc.

      I am still very anxious however- been triggered by a few events recently, but I’ve just been to my support group. The DV workers have lost their jobs due to funding, but the children’s centre has said we can carry on using the space. Just being with the other women for two hours had helped me feel stronger again- I was so anxious at the weekend I experienced memory loss, couldn’t remember where I had parked my car when out shopping, etc- all a bit scary.

      I am just off to but some really healthy fruit, salad and veg- I’ve been eating rubbish and I am sure that doesn’t help. You are what you eat, as they say!

      Your description of your place in your family and the dynamics there do mirror mine so much. Thanks for taking the time to reply and respond.

      I think the more you and I go on building our independence the better. You put yourself down a lot, saying you aren’t the clever sibling, but you come across as very intelligent to me.

    • #11495
      mixed-up mum

      Hi Serenity – nice to hear from you. 🙂

      Yep I didnt do much at the weekend either – ‘m**s taxi’ as you say!!!
      I did have my mam over for her tea last night – just to keep the peace!! It all went fine – but I just KNOW there is certain things I just can’t talk to her about – I can’t take the ‘lecture’ – so I just don’t mention it!!!

      That’s good you have your support group to go to – i dont think there is anything like that in my area – it would be nice to go and meet other ladies in the same position as me, and share experiences and support one another – but at the same time I don’t know if I could do it – i live in a small community and I dont know that I’d want too many people in the area knowing what I’d been through – its very private and I would be embarrassed at people knowing things like that about me….. 🙁

      I can talk on here and tell everyone things – but them I’m not having to SEE you all – I’d be ashamed to meet folk in Tesco – knowing that they knew intimate things about my life…..

      Anyway got to get ready, going in to town to do the food shop – chat later.


    • #11540

      hi hun

      Just wrote a brill reply and it got deleted. was just gonna say nothing wrong in realizing how different family members behave, i found once leaving abuser u r on guard and analyse everyone, u actually see them in different light. there is no right or wrong way to parenting, u do your style based on your experience and beliefs, its all part of re-discovering yourself. Never doubt yourself even though that is hard and i get days where i think hmmm…ITs hard to ignore comments from family members but again with time u will learn that skill, my family make comments about my parenting style, i choose not to reply bk ,simply cause they dont understand and i have no need to justify myself,i just state we all have our own opinions and leave at that, they can agree or disagree im not bothered cause i dont agree with them either . Yes support does stop in some ways, but how good was it anyway? sometimes u just connect with certain people and there advise is most useful , refer to them

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