Note: Mumsnetters don't necessarily have the qualifications or experience to offer relationships counselling or to provide help in cases of domestic violence. Mumsnet can't be held responsible for any advice given on the site. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

The Great Escape

(719 Posts)
GoodtoBetter Fri 18-Jan-13 07:24:59

I thought I would start a new thread, for anyone who might be interested in listening to my waffling on about my struggles with a difficult, overbearing mother. Thank you to whoever it was who suggested the thread title! I've changed my name for something a bit more positive.
previous thread here:

www.mumsnet.com/Talk/relationships/1565077-My-mother-hates-my-husband-long

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 22:49:03

Tonorrow being Tuesday, if you do see her that is quite ample regarding visits this week and hardly skimping on effort particularly bearing in mind your state of health, DCs, DH, new home and work!

Re: health, a person might be forgiven for considering it better for both of you to avoid contact this week precisely so you don't swap germs...

By the way is she likely to come over to your place? Don't want her thinking you are escaping DH's clutches or acting like a homing pigeon in visiting the old place.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 04-Feb-13 22:53:35

Just saw your last post. You have undertaken tons these past 6 weeks and achieved loads. Try not to feel beaten down. Of course some sympathy and maternal concern would sugar the pill but shrug it off, you're doing a fine job of carving out a new life phase, don't get drawn into competitive tiredness/ill health.

Aussiebean Tue 05-Feb-13 07:40:27

You know. If you get worse it is ok to cancel and put it off to next week. You would not hate a friend if they had to cancel on you due to illness.

That is fine. And if its not then she needs to deal.

WingDefence Tue 05-Feb-13 08:04:41

You're ill and you need to rest - I wouldn't see her again and go to Ikea again but that's just my completely unprofessional judgment blush

Jux Tue 05-Feb-13 08:11:57

Agree with WingDefence. You're ill and you need rest. As there are things you can't not do - work, childcare - you need to cancel things which are avoidable, like going to Ikea.

If you don't rest you'll get worse and then you'll wind up unable to do anything.

AutumnDreams Tue 05-Feb-13 09:38:03

Do I sense a slight feeling of disappointment there Good? You had that little bit of hope, somewhere deep down inside, that perhaps she might begin to change, and start thinking of others. It aint gonna happen is it, and the more you pander to her, the more frustrated you will get with her behaviour, all over again. This in turn will affect your health.

Leave her be now for at least a week/ten days. Send the odd text, and don`t hang about waiting for a reply. If she wants to play silly buggers, let her. Concentrate on your family, your work, and getting yourself back to full health. You have done all you can, and have been a great daughter in bloody awful circumstances. You truly could NOT have done more. Believe it.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 05-Feb-13 09:40:45

In the great scheme of things you've only been gone 5 minutes, if the default setting is Lean On Good then I'm not surprised there's been a wobble from her.

goonyagoodthing Tue 05-Feb-13 10:22:48

Not much useful advice here, but am still keeping an eye and full of pride and admiration at how you are doing and how far you have come. Try to concentrate on the positives - you are in a much stronger position than say three months ago, did you ever think you would get this far?

Also if you don't mind me saying, would you consider doing a personal development course? Now I am absolutely not saying you need to "develop your personality" in any way, but I did one and found that it thought me to react to people differently, so as not to allow their actions to have such an affect on me. It sort of helped me "switch off" when the shit starts.

Keep up the good work anyway, and get well soon.

Herrena Tue 05-Feb-13 12:55:08

You have done all you can, and have been a great daughter in bloody awful circumstances. You truly could NOT have done more. Believe it.

This is a valuable statement Good, but I'll bet that you can't bring yourself to think it's true. If your M clearly still isn't happy, that must surely mean that you weren't good enough. I think we can all tell you with some confidence that you could push yourself to absolute breaking point and be hospitalised as a result of trying to meet her needs and it STILL wouldn't be enough. It never ever will be.

Therefore, you should prioritise your own needs. She sure as hell won't.

I agree that you sound a little disappointed, which is totally understandable. Try and use that disappointment to reset your expectations a bit, so you're not as disappointed if when she acts like this again.

Oh and YY to this: By the way is she likely to come over to your place? Don't want her thinking you are escaping DH's clutches or acting like a homing pigeon in visiting the old place.

GoodtoBetter Tue 05-Feb-13 22:40:37

Well, I went to ikea. DS was off school with the same cough thing as me, so I decided to take him with me. She was thrilled to see DS and that meant the trip was lighter somehow. She took the directions I'd jotted down for her and followed them so she could go herself another time. There was one little pathetic dig, which was that she said she'd really like to get over her fear of the ikea drive as "it would be something to do, the days are so long". voice cracking as she said it. She did at least say she'd enjoyed herself and it was v kind when I was busy and not very well. I said I'd be in touch in a bit, but explained I had to mark exams this week. I got some curtains for DS and DD's rooms and felt that I'd ticked another thing off the list.
I have invited her over about 3 times but she makes an excuse each time ad I haven't pushed it. I think it's a combination of she feels embarrassed/guilty in front of DH and it will really drive it home, what's she's done.
I soooo enjoy coming back here, it's like my little sanctuary. I still need to work on being less of a perfectionist and worrying less about how other people (particularly DM) feel, but moving out gives me that extra breathing space I didn't have before.
Tonight I'm doing some teaching admin and then tomorrow I've got all morning to crack on with the translation before work and the same on Thursday, it's work but I can do it sitting on the sofa drinking tea at least.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 08:09:37

smile at 'sanctuary' - just what a home should be. Complete with new curtains for the DCs!

Eventually you'll be able to take your foot off the pedal so to speak, you've packed a lot into the new year already.

Hope you feel better today Good.

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 08:14:11

That sounds good, Good! One dig in a whole Ikea trip? And she appreciated that you were ill, and busy, and said it was kind. Is that a thank you hovering around her?! Is she making an effort? It looks like it to me, and hooray for that. She wouldn't have done it if you were still living there, would she?

So Hurrah for both of you! And thanks for you.

I'm so glad you're enjoying your new home. How's dh?

Look after yourself. Sofa-work is lovely, isn't it.

GoodtoBetter Wed 06-Feb-13 08:47:54

I'd forgotten what it's like to have your own place, isn't that sad? I'd forgotten how it feels to live in my own house (it's rented but ykwim) and not my mother's. It's nothing big, just feeling like there's nobody I have to ask permission to paint a wall and nobody's going to express an opinion on it, I can just do it. If the kids are being noisy, it's just me it bothers, I don't have to worry about annoying her (not that she ever complained about that, but it still limits you). i can go out and not have someone wondering what time I'll be back, if I change my mind and decide to stay out and have lunch out I don't have to feel guilty about telling her to find her own lunch...ridiculous things like that. And I/we chose the house.
It's like a weight lifts when I've been with her (even if she's trying hard) and I drive away towards this house.
I think she is trying hard and I think it is good for her to have to. She did thank me for taking her to ikea and we had a nice time. I'm hoping to build experiences like that gradually to kind of build a habit of nice times. i am using DS as a bit o a shield atm because she behaves better when he's there, but I think that's ok as long as she's being ok when he/they are there. When she was moaning about being ill and afraid of being alone at night I said to take ibruprofen and she said yday it had helped lot. She can be quite a hypochondriac.
DH is well, much more relaxed without overbearing MIL watching his every move. He does all the shopping and cooking (and most of the cleaning) and today he's making his version of chickpea stew He rigged up DS' ikea leaf canopy, which DS luuuurves.

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 09:08:22

Yum recipe thanks!

It's like a weight lifts when I've been with her (even if she's trying hard) and I drive away towards this house

I expect DH feels that way too. I'm so glad you made the leap. I deliberately didn't allude to your DM in my previous post, I wanted to focus on you. Of course she's a huge part of your life still but not the dominating factor.

Btw I can understand why you took DS, he was off school anyway, but I admit I thought uhuh, taking DS; obviously his grandmother loves him, I wonder, had DD been off instead, would that 'lucky charm' have worked? Sorry not raining on your parade. I'm not phrasing very well what I'm trying to express.

I'm very pleased you had a better day yesterday with DM and let's hope that as you say, building better experiences smooth the way forward.

WingDefence Wed 06-Feb-13 09:46:45

Glad the trip didn't wipe you out too much Good. And I agree, that recipe looks delicious smile

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 12:45:10

I don't think taking ds is a problem at all. Getting into the habit of having nice times is a brilliant way of doing things, and if ds helps with that - as long as he's not suffering, which he clearly isn't - is uncontentious; he needs to see his grandma, and it's good for him to see her behaving more normally. Quids in. All good.

Chickpea stew sounds lovely. I wonder if I can persuade dh and dd. Hmmmm...

ThreeTomatoes Wed 06-Feb-13 14:02:34

I wonder if now that you're gone and she's realised that none of her ploys worked to stop you, she's let go a little bit of the power that she thought she had? Not to say the manipulation won't be back, but for now to me it feels like she's admitted defeat, iykwim.

So glad you're enjoying your house! And, can I marry your DH?! grin

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Wed 06-Feb-13 14:47:49

ThreeTomatoes! Brazen!! grin

Herrena Wed 06-Feb-13 15:34:56

I'll tell you a secret, Good: after I had got married to DH, I realised (with a mixture of guilt and relief) that NEVER AGAIN would I have to stay in a house alone with my mother.

I was really happy when I first had this realisation but also blush that it made me happy at all.... and now I have 2 DSs so we will never have to be alone together ever again!

You manage the best you can. We all do smile

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 19:47:57

ThreeTomatoes, like biding her time?

Jux Wed 06-Feb-13 19:49:16

Good, it is so nice to come home, to a loving family, your own stuff where you want it to be, things how you have chosen them, your own patch of turf. Enjoy wine

GoodtoBetter Fri 08-Feb-13 22:13:21

I'm still working on uploading a photo of the sunrise..grin have to download it from phone. Was hanging out the washing today and watched 2 big Vs of geese flying overhead, honking away, with the mountains in the distance behind them, gorgeous! Had coffee with friend today and was telling her how much I'm enjoying having our own space.
M phoned today (first time she's made contact since we left...always been me to ring or text). Haven't seen her since Tuesday ikea trip. She was asking how to get anitbiotic eye drops as she's got conjunctivitis, so said I'd pop some round (that I'd bought before for DD but hardly used). She was quite chatty about stuff and it was all quite normal. Dropped the drops round on our way out to a kids party and all OK, although she still does the welling up thing when we leave..but I still think she is giving it a go.
Went to ikea today (yes, I know..glutton for punishment!) and ordered a wardrobe. It's coming tomorrow, so we can finally get clothes out of bags and put them somewhere. I'm going to take DCs out while they deliver and leave DH to do a bit of cleaning/sorting/DIYing/cooking and will take M to park with us. Mentioned it today and she was keen.
She's funny (weird, not ha ha)..she was saying today that she'd bought all these pictures which needed framing and then she'd thought she shouldn't have if she was going back to the UK. But, she realised she couldn't afford more than a 2 bed small bungalow and she couldn't drive there (but can here? hmm) so she was better staying for now as she'd be "worse off" there. No mention of that she'd miss us...
Today I'm having a day off (sort of). Have finished a little translation but other than that have done ikea-ing, coffee and kids party. Back to reports and book translation tomorrow when kids are in bed.

Herrena Fri 08-Feb-13 22:19:30

I bet when she mentions a possible return to UK she's hoping that you'll say something like 'Oh but you can't go, the DCs would miss you.' She's craving affirmation that she is important IMO, which may be why the utterances don't make much sense. Also if she said she'd miss you then she would be making herself vulnerable and losing face, which obviously mustn't happen hmm

Just keep nodding and saying 'ah, right' or whatever it is you're doing. Don't feed her!

Glad you are having a day off even if it is only a sort-of one smile

GoodtoBetter Sat 09-Feb-13 14:45:05

Went with the DCs today and took her out for coffee and cake and then to a park we go to quite often, but she's never been in. It was a glorious day and we had a nice time and she said what a lovely park it was and how it was nice enough just to come and sit in, even if you didn't have kids. Had nice neutral chats about stuff in the news and she said she'd had a lovely time. Said I'd pop over in the week with the stepladder I accidentally took with me in the move and some other bits and will go over with dcs next Saturday. All very positive.
I have a wardrobe!!!! woohoo! Can now get all my clothes out of bin bags and pick up from floor! Next mission (for DH) is to put some pictures up and sort out enormous documents box into files.

kalidanger Sat 09-Feb-13 14:50:06

Sounds nice and normal to me! Just think; you could have spent today having passive aggressive marmalade made at you instead grin

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now