And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done

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all4peace

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TRIGGER WARNING: I have come to believe that my mom is pretty high on the N spectrum. Our childhood lives revolved completely around her needs. When I thought of the phrase in adulthood "It's all about her," every strange thing just fell into place. It really is and was always about her.

However, one thing I read about N mothers is that they pit their children against one another. It's something DH and I suffer because of with his own uNBPDm. I've seen the harm it does, how it creates distance and mistrust between siblings, and tears families apart. It gives the NM control with everyone revolving around her, distrustful of each other. I was recently telling DH that I'm grateful my uNM didn't do this. She did a really good job of teaching us the important of siblings. For sure there was tremendous favoritism (which sounds ironic or like I'm in denial), but still somehow we got the message that family was really important.

And then today SIL told me of a recent conversation in which mom was complaining about a lot of people (all who have backed away from her), including my sister. She accused my sister of holding a long grudge (sister let this particular incident go a long time ago) and of having an anger problem (sister is SO calm with her kids and family that sometimes my jaw drops). When SIL argued this point, uNM then told of an incident in which she had witnessed my sister yell at her child. This is jaw dropping, as it comes from a woman who slapped me so hard so many times that my nose bled and my one ear went momentarily deaf, a woman who was pleased when she got my dad angry on our behalf and he would slam us into walls, a woman who carried out or demanded beatings with wooden and metal spoons (many of which broke) on our bare backsides, 20-30 blows at a time. This is a woman who hit my father regularly, and once even tried to kick him in my presence. I was well into my 20s, married, and nearly a mother myself when I finally was able to outgrow the shameful habit of flinching whenever someone near me moved their hand quickly.

So.... for her to accuse my sister of having an anger problem is beyond hypocritical, beyond projection. It is just galling and appalling and disgusting.

Here's what I think is going on. Mother's Day is coming up. And Mother's Day has ALWAYS been about mom, back then, now, forever. She was really disappointed in our 1 1/2 days of celebrating last year, as it was 1 week early and not on the day. This year is going to be even "worse". I think she is telling herself all the reasons her kids are so "disappointing". Of course she cannot/will not actually talk to any of us about ways we could improve our relationship. That would be hard and uncomfortable. So much easier to simply accuse your daughter of holding a grudge from more than a decade ago, than to self examine or even just ask and find out you have a lot of hard work to do.

It makes me soooooo angry. This sister of mine, whom I love dearly, moved across the country to get far away from our mother. It makes me  :mad: that mom is still picking at her. This happened last year also, during my sister's visit home in which mom blatantly lied to and about my sister's child, and then told our SIL a totally different version of the story.

DH says she's always been ready to throw us under the bus. I don't know. I do think she is deteriorating with age and consequences.

Even though she has begun to do this thing I swore she would never do, I'm grateful she waited until now. I love my siblings, and I know they love me. We parent each other and we're each other's biggest supporters.
« Last Edit: May 10, 2017, 12:01:05 PM by coyote »

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raindrop

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #1 on: May 09, 2017, 11:26:06 PM »
Ouch! I'm sorry you had to go through all that. And yep, turning siblings against one another is a terrible thing. It ducks she has added that to her list...
My mother does this too, but I'm only just realising the extent of it. It's horrible. Good for you for recognising it and not letting her drive you and sis apart.
"Suppose a tree fell down, Pooh, when we were underneath it?"
"Suppose it didn't," said Pooh, after careful thought.
Piglet was comforted by this.
- A.A. Milne.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #2 on: May 10, 2017, 03:42:03 AM »
So nice how we are reminded, when we think we are coping pretty well, that there is still something else, something worse, that can happen. And what a wonderful reminder too, that you sisters support each other. Having someone in your corner is soooo good.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Malini

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2017, 09:28:48 AM »

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DH says she's always been ready to throw us under the bus. I don't know. I do think she is deteriorating with age and consequences.

Our DHs have the emotional distance to point things out to us, mine has done this, and I often pooh-poohed his comments (because I was scared if they turned out to be true) but unfortunately, have come to see that he was right about a lot of things. Also, when I read how you were treated as a child, I can't see how much she can have deteriorated from a violent, beating mother, who not only failed to protect her children, but actually egged someone else on to continue the abuse. Of course, she can't do that to any of you anymore, so rather than 'deteriorate', she's just changed her methods.

You know, I always had a really strong sense of family, family is important, family should stick together, but came to realise that it was more a way of keeping what was truly going on behind closed doors behind those doors.

Everytime I felt I had dealt with a serious problem in life, another one popped up. First EnND in my thirties, NFiL from 30 till 45 and then NM, followed by a handful of seriously problematic friendships. I had no energy to deal with all fronts at the same time, and as I detached from enNF, I found that the root of my unhappiness was not there, as EnNDs alcoholism was not the only reason we were a serious dysfunctional family.

Perhaps because you have found a solution to your IL problems, and can see a light at the end of the tunnel with them, you have more energy to look at other relationships in your life and with your knowledge and experience of dealing with PDs, you start to look at things with different eyes and name them.

It sometimes feels as if there is not respite for us, but we do actually have a head start because of the work we've done for the other relationships. It's a good thing she can't come between you and your siblings and that the bond and support network is strong.
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Zebrastriped

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #4 on: May 10, 2017, 09:51:02 AM »
all4peace, I'm sorry this happened and is happening to you.  uBPDmom tried to come between dsis and I in our college years. It was really and truely horrible.  Good for you for seeing through it right away.  Ick for knowing more of these shinanagins are in our future as our parents age, where we feel the need to dissect who told whom what when and did it bear any resemblence to what actually happened.

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broken

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #5 on: May 10, 2017, 10:00:02 AM »
Malibu, could it be that your NM instilled the importance of family in you & your siblings to give the appearance to the outside world of a perfect family led by a perfect mother?  That is what I realized with my own family, and eventually the favoritism, unfair criticism, and non-stop 'prove your love' expectations took their toll.  I began noticing her games, and then I realized that me & the 2nd SG had been groomed to tolerate subtle bullying from the siblings further up her 'pecking order'.  When I stopped tolerating the verbal abuse from these siblings, all hell broke loose. 

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all4peace

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #6 on: May 10, 2017, 11:37:51 AM »
Ouch! I'm sorry you had to go through all that. And yep, turning siblings against one another is a terrible thing. It ducks she has added that to her list...
My mother does this too, but I'm only just realising the extent of it. It's horrible. Good for you for recognising it and not letting her drive you and sis apart.
raindrop, I hope you and your sibling/s are on the same page! As a mother myself, it appalls me that a mother would rather hurt her offspring than admit her possible guilt.

So nice how we are reminded, when we think we are coping pretty well, that there is still something else, something worse, that can happen. And what a wonderful reminder too, that you sisters support each other. Having someone in your corner is soooo good.
The part that makes me maddest is that my sister is just so good that she didn't even get angry when I told her that mom is triangulating her. She expressed disappointment that mom isn't talking to her about their relationship, but instead doing unhealthy communication with others. My mom doesn't deserve the mercy and grace this sister shows her. Our uNM has adult offspring who have far outgrown her emotional maturity.


Quote
DH says she's always been ready to throw us under the bus. I don't know. I do think she is deteriorating with age and consequences.

Our DHs have the emotional distance to point things out to us, mine has done this, and I often pooh-poohed his comments (because I was scared if they turned out to be true) but unfortunately, have come to see that he was right about a lot of things. Also, when I read how you were treated as a child, I can't see how much she can have deteriorated from a violent, beating mother, who not only failed to protect her children, but actually egged someone else on to continue the abuse. Of course, she can't do that to any of you anymore, so rather than 'deteriorate', she's just changed her methods.

You know, I always had a really strong sense of family, family is important, family should stick together, but came to realise that it was more a way of keeping what was truly going on behind closed doors behind those doors.

Everytime I felt I had dealt with a serious problem in life, another one popped up. First EnND in my thirties, NFiL from 30 till 45 and then NM, followed by a handful of seriously problematic friendships. I had no energy to deal with all fronts at the same time, and as I detached from enNF, I found that the root of my unhappiness was not there, as EnNDs alcoholism was not the only reason we were a serious dysfunctional family.

Perhaps because you have found a solution to your IL problems, and can see a light at the end of the tunnel with them, you have more energy to look at other relationships in your life and with your knowledge and experience of dealing with PDs, you start to look at things with different eyes and name them.

It sometimes feels as if there is not respite for us, but we do actually have a head start because of the work we've done for the other relationships. It's a good thing she can't come between you and your siblings and that the bond and support network is strong.

There was something about hitting my 40s that left me totally incapable of dealing with any more BS. I'm working a challenging job, supporting a DH in our life together, raising teenagers, and working hard to be a good friend and sister. I just don't seem to have anything left for seriously problematic parents.

You bring up a good point--how much could she have deteriorated? I think you're right--she had to change her methods. Violence and extreme control don't work anymore, so now she's having to turn from witch to waif. Ugh, it must be awful for her to lose all that power.

And while I do believe family is very important to her, maybe it's because family are the ones who are supposed to be there for her, no matter how she behaves. I'm learning a new attitude in life in which I can let anyone go who is detrimental to our lives, while she is losing everyone except family, and she's really losing a lot of them also. When she and my dad were going through more than half a decade of separations and re-trying marriage, she told us clearly that we were not to talk about it to anyone as "it wasn't our story to tell," so there could be a big element of secrecy for her protection in all of this. Of course she doesn't need to use that same standard while throwing her own daughter under the bus...

I'm sorry you've faced so much, malini. It is exhausting. Sometimes I fantasize about another life, in which I come back with fully supportive, loving and compassionate family.

all4peace, I'm sorry this happened and is happening to you.  uBPDmom tried to come between dsis and I in our college years. It was really and truely horrible.  Good for you for seeing through it right away.  Ick for knowing more of these shinanagins are in our future as our parents age, where we feel the need to dissect who told whom what when and did it bear any resemblence to what actually happened.
I'm so sorry, zebrastriped! Those are tough years for possibly not being old enough to understand what a parent is trying to do! I hope you and your sis have a good relationship at this point.

Malibu, could it be that your NM instilled the importance of family in you & your siblings to give the appearance to the outside world of a perfect family led by a perfect mother?  That is what I realized with my own family, and eventually the favoritism, unfair criticism, and non-stop 'prove your love' expectations took their toll.  I began noticing her games, and then I realized that me & the 2nd SG had been groomed to tolerate subtle bullying from the siblings further up her 'pecking order'.  When I stopped tolerating the verbal abuse from these siblings, all hell broke loose. 

I think this is a good possibility (although I'm not malini, obviously :) ) uNM seems really focused on the events that are at her place, surrounding her, focused on her. We siblings have our own relationships at this point, on the side, not necessarily involving mom and dad anymore, and instead of being glad about that I believe it is really threatening. I don't enjoy that. I don't want to hurt her, but the fact is that she has made herself such an incredibly obnoxious person that most of us can't handle more than a couple hours with her.

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Inurdreams

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #7 on: May 10, 2017, 12:51:24 PM »
AFP,

I was just thinking about this same thing the other day.  I saw how NMIL pitted her children against each other, but never thought about how my NM had done the same thing.  I guess because they did it differently or because I was too close to see it.

From what I have seen, Nparents will inspire and incite sibling rivalry for a couple of reasons.  They use it as a method to divide an conquer.  They do not want their children to bond with each other.  Like you said, it is very threatening to the N role.  The children may compare notes and realize who the true culprit is (Nparent) and/or Nparents love the fact that their children are constantly trying to out-do the other(s) in an effort to become the favored one, or at the very least, noticed.

And when the SG child has finally had enough and walks away, that child is accused of abandoning the Nparent for seemingly no apparent reason (according to the N).

I cannot imagine doing that to my children (even though I only have one) but I would want my children to be truly close, to have each other to depend on, especially when the day comes that I am no longer there.  My DBs and I are close, now, but it was something that did not happen until the death of our Nparents and that is so sad to me because they are such kind and loving people and I missed out on so much of that when we were all young adults.

Once I moved away from home and could not be witness to what was going on there, I was lied to about my DBs and unfortunately, at the time, I believed those lies.  No telling what was told about me.  I just know that at one time, even as adults, my DBs and I all lived in the same town but only saw each other on holidays.  And even then, it was tense.

I'm glad your Sis had you in her life, AFP and that you and your other siblings have each other.

How pitiful Ns are to be so insecure that they would rather pit their own children against each other for their own selfish needs than to nurture that sibling relationship.  They simply cannot bear the thought that their children could possibly love anyone other than the N.
Peek not through the keyhole lest ye be vexed. - Stephen King


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practical

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #8 on: May 10, 2017, 05:37:24 PM »
What I'm seeing with my now elderly F is that the more he feels he is losing power over his life, over me due to boundaries, the more he does things I never thought possible. E.g. he seemed always the rational one, he insisted on having a POA, redoing it after a certain time to reflect changes, to then pull the POA from both his children and SIL in a fit to punish us.

B and I kid of hoped dementia would be the explanation, but he has now been tested 4 times in the last 6 months and that ain't it. (Yes, he does have problems finding a word sometimes, so do I, or is slightly disoriented to the day of the week on rare occasions, it doesn't qualify as dementia.) From a letter to me I can confirm what the doctors' found, as his eloquence is really astonishing, even if it is a dark eloquence.

B I think put it quite succinctly, F might forget the days or other rational things, but he won't forget his emotions, and unfortunately they seem to occupy more and more room and to get darker and darker, as self-regulation seems to disappear more and more.

What my parents started off with was not directly pit us against each other so much as assigning one of us to the dog house and the other was the "favorite" child for that time. B and I laughed about that and actually warned each other. It ultimately let to more direct attempts at pitting us against each other.

A4P you are very fortunate to have close ties to your siblings. B and I are close enough, but I think a lot of it has to do with the joined experience of the trauma growing up in FOO and then trying to take care of our parents, which created new trauma bonds.
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

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Foreignwoman

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Re: And mom just did the one thing I told DH she has never done
« Reply #9 on: May 10, 2017, 07:24:13 PM »
This is so hard All4peace, I know you endured a lot and there still are memories coming to the surface. They make you reconsider what your NM did to you and your siblings. I feel the same with my mother.
 Like Malini says, they divide us for a reason. My mother set me, my father and my siblings up against each other. I see it as a diversion tactic, it's critical for them we don't see through them. It took me forever to figure out what she was doing behind the scenes. My jaw still falls open now and then.

You finally will see your mother for what she is. It's painful, but will help you cut the cord.

Wishing you peace.

FW
Freedom is never voluntary given by the oppressor, it is demanded by the oppressed.

Martin Luther King, Jr