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Ot - toxic mothers

Jcksjj's picture

I've seen this as a topic brought up in a few posts lately, about toxic mothers/mother in laws being a common theme for people on this board. I've wondered alot as a teen/adult if I have one myself, but since it's my own mother and the only one I've ever had it's hard to judge myself. I can clearly see that MIL is since I'm looking at it from the outside. I suspect my own mother is somewhat toxic also and have a few people say things that indicate they thought the same also. Shes not the worst, but then I normally feel somewhat misunderstood/worse after talking to her and have trouble being around her for very long without getting annoyed. Just curious what your relationships with your parents were like and do you think their relationship with you is part of what led you to some of the dysfunctional step family dynamics seen here?

Side note: My parents own a disney timeshare thing and I've gone there most years since I was little. We've also gone alot with her since ODS was young. But it was different at the time because I was a really young parent and single. Now that I'm married and have my own family we want to go on our own (paying our own way not using her timeshare) sometimes. How do I explain that we want to go on trips on our own sometimes to there? I've tried bringing up that she could bring just my brother and his kid sometimes or she could go with just her boyfriend but she didnt seem to take the hint.


Kes's picture

I had a non relationship with both my parents, they were both narcissists and were both emotionally completely illiterate, and I suffered extreme emotional neglect as a child. As a result I married a narc with Asperger's first time around. Thankfully both my parents passed away some years ago, what a relief.   DH and I are currently no contact with his mother and step father as they behaved atrociously to us when we were last staying with them in Spring of 2018.  

I do think that I was "trained" by my parents to have no feelings, to not express any needs or wants and to not consider my own self or feelings as having any importance.  I have in recent years (last 5 yrs or so) started to change this, and these days I don't allow anyone to treat me badly any more, including my step daughters. 

Jcksjj's picture

I never felt very cared for or heard by my parents either. My mom can be very manipulative/passive aggressive (usually overly nice/weak on a surface level though) to get her way and I've wondered about if theres some narcissism there also, but again I feel like I'm too close to the situation to judge really. 

My ODS dad was abusive and I'm pretty sure actually sociopathic - he has a pretty long rap sheet and has been in jail or prison about 2/3 of the time since I broke up with him and hasn't made any attempt to see his son in 4 years. I feel the same as you that i was trained not to Express feelings and to cater to others at the expense of my own needs and that probably led to ending up in that relationship.

justmakingthebest's picture

My mom isn't toxic but she is.... possessive?... of all of her kids.

She takes sharing holidays hard. She cried when she found out my ex was moving across the county and that meant she wouldn't see my kids all summer. It is out of love but SUPER annoying sometimes. After all, DH wants to spend some of the holidays with his family and my kids deserve to spend time with their dad. We used to do big family beach vacations but since my kids are older they want to do different things and I do too. My sister is already having this struggle and her and her BF aren't married and no kids. 

I just had to get a little mean and tell her that it's not about her. Christmas winds up being sensory overload for SS19. We are doing Christmas Day at my house. She can still do Christmas Eve. Thanksgiving is spent with DH's family. We do vacations without them. I mention we are going somewhere but I don't invite them. 

It was hard to do at first and she got mad at me, but at the end of the day, even though I am super close to my mom, my husband and kids are the ones that I am responsible for emotionally. Not my mother. It is fine now, just a rip the band-aid type thing!

Jcksjj's picture

I'm sure it is a rip the bandaid off thing. I'm sure it's not gonna go over well at first though. Just telling her I didn't want ODS going to Sunday school anymore (she used to take him and taught his class) was a huge ordeal and it took awhile for her to fully accept. A little while after he stopped going she tried to guilt trip me into letting him go by saying the pastor had bought something special for himself specifically for their christmas play so he needed to be in it - she clearly hadnt wanted anyone to know that he wasnt going anymore. I guess the church going image was more important that ODS being freaked out by some of the religious stuff.

susanm's picture

Yikes.  Her image as a nice church lady with a cute grandson coming before your parental right to determine your child's values and choice to participate in organized religion or not.  Charming!  I can see where she would be controlling on the Disney thing but there is nothing saying that you have to even tell her that you are going.  Just make your own plans and go.  You are under no obligation to stay at her timeshare or go as a "pack" with other family members just because they happen to have a place there!

Thisisnotus's picture

My mother had me at 17. She was perfection, pure perfection. If I could gather a list of the best qualities in a mother...she would far exceed that list. I can't even find the words to even begin to tell you all what a wonderful mother I had...there is not one single thing I can even rack my brain to think of that was not good about her.. Sadly, she died when I was 22.

This SM blended family thing hits me so hard and horrible b/c I have never experienced drama or hardship in my life...EVER until now. EVER! I was a happy person,  my life was always easy and things seemed to alwasy work out for me....I alwasy felt like I had crazy good luck that just followed me around.....I was so optomistic and friends used to admire my outlook on life...I never experienced stress, anxiety or any sort of depression or sadness.....

And then after 36 years on the a pretty great and full and happy I am in a living hell for the last few years.  This is all so foreign to me.....the drama...the chaos...the stress......I hate it and I'd give anything to go back to my normal.

So NO my relationship with my parents didn't lead me to this shit.......but quite DHs relationship with his family and ex wife more than likely is now contributing.

Evil3's picture

My parents definitely programmed me to get into a mini-wife on steroids situation. Both of my parents were narcs and were constantly violent. They would fight each other, stab each other and tear up the place making God awful noise and I'd run down the street to escape only to still hear everything. I was humiliated, because kids I went to school with lived near me and could hear everything. My mother had a thing about constantly moving so I rarely went to the same school two years in a row, so I was always the new kid and I never formed bonds or relationships and when I did thinking it was the last move, one of my parents would break the law yet again and we'd have to go on the lam.

My father had umpteen aliases and he ran me through "rehearsal" everyday to recite my new identity and where I came from. I couldn't falter or I'd have to rehearse for hours longer. I couldn't really be me, because I couldn't afford for school mates to tell their parents who might then call police. I was constantly threatened by my parents that I could end up in foster care and that would be a huge tragedy. However, thinking back, it would have been better.

I was literally the wrong daughter for my dad. He'd berate me every day all day and I couldn't do ANYTHING right. You could pick a girl off the street and she'd be a better fit for my father. He'd constantly compare me to other girls and I ALWAYS came out a distant last place. You name it, I was wrong. The way I spoke, the way I held my fork, my voice inflectcion, things that no normal person would ever think of. I had many of my pets "run away" and never be seen again. I can't tell you how many times I'd get a pet, fall in love with it and poof! It's gone. I'd get told that it ran away. I got to thinking that even animals hated my guts.

The violence was unreal. As some of you have noticed, I sometimes talk about karate and how I got my black belt. I often tell people that it's simply a passion of mine. The truth is that I put myself into heavy-duty fitness and martial arts training to save my life. I got to the point that I was afraid I might be murdered. There are family rumours that I had a sister born between my brother and I and no one knows where the hell she went. I found a picture of a little girl in 1963 and she was about two. My mother insits it was me, but I wasn't born until 65 and I'm not blonde. My mother lied so much that she gave my oldest brother up for adoption and lied about his existence. We found each other despite her lies. My next older brother is developmentally delayed and the rumour in the family is that he was totally normal when born. Family thinks that something happened to my brother when my parents fought physically and tore up the house and that my brother is brain damaged. My parents abandoned him in an institution in Ontario and fled to BC. My mother lied and said he died, but when I was 19, my dad confessed that he was alive.

My parents even lied about my real surname.

OK, I'll stop now. I could go on and on and on.

I went nc with my mom and never looked back. I reunited with her days before her death and only because I knew she was on her deathbed and couldn't hurt me anymore. I have no guilt whatsoever for going nc. I never understand when people can't go nc with a toxic parent. I went nc to protect DD, SD and SS. I was afraid of what both of my parents could be capable of.

To make a long story short, my parents, especially my father, programmed me to marry into a mini-wife situation. I'm used to being the court jester of a female and that's the pattern I repeated until I lost my shit and now I take no prisoners. I'm actually in a lot of trouble at work right now, because I had enough of being treated differently and I confronted people.

I'm 54 and still fighting to peel back the layers and have some semblance of happiness.

Maxwell09's picture

While my own mother shows signs of being a narcissistic mother, I’ve read and learned more about it and have chalked it up to her having a stunted maturity. She does alienation and was successful with me from my dads family and she is heavy on the “I am your MOTHER” and choose me over them mentality but I’ve learned narcissistic mothers alienate in a malicious manner—to win so to speak whereas my own does it in a desperate attempt to feel value and not feel alone or be the outcast. Spite doesn’t motivate her, fear does. In any case we’ve learned to play noncommittal parts in her grievances against our dad.