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Mother's Day disaster

Started by zebra1lady, May 17, 2015, 10:29:01 am

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Ever since my daughter was in her mid teens, she's been behaving abusive towards me, bearing false witness, has seemingly rewritten her childhood history to paint me as the villain, has physically abused me and called me a "b", and on and on.  She is 45 now, married, mother of 2 under the age of 12.

She claims to love me, says it but her actions say otherwise.  Her father, my ex, isn't treated much better, nor are others at times.  So it's not just me she treats poorly.

Recently, I flew to Phoenix with her and her family to attend her graduation from a well-known Christian university that has an online degree program.  I am not able to afford such trips but wanted to be part of her graduation so I bit the bullet and agreed to go.  For the most part, the trip was nice but I noticed a number of instances when she seemed to ignore me, choosing to talk with her ex step mom who attended as well.  Basically I ended up feeling left out but put a smile on my face and tried to shrug off my feelings of deep hurt and sadness.

Fast forward to Mother's Day.  At least a week or more before I asked what the plans were for Mom's Day, she asked what I'd like to do and I told her "hang out with you".  She's still got classes to take and works 4 days a week to boot so I didn't want to make demands on her.  She suggested dinner @ her house and that I could bring a salad but the caveat was she'd had to think about it and let me know for sure. 

I never heard a word from her until 3:15 Mother's Day afternoon. Her message on my VM was dinner is at 5:30 and you're still bringing a salad aren't you.  I'd spoken with the ex step mom earlier that day about getting together about another matter and she said "I'll see you and K and J's tonight".  I said what do you mean and she said my SIL had called her in the morning and invited her to have dinner.

Some of the back story on this is that I am always the last one to be invited or given any details.  I get tired of having to call her and leave messages and wait for her to call back.  She has gotten really bad about communicating and while I know she's busy, the fact is she's always tended to be lax about that kind of thing.

So I didn't take her call @ 3:15 nor any that followed.  Around 6:45 someone knocked @ my door and rang the bell.  I knew it was her and wasn't going to answer the door but then thought maybe she and her husband (a cop) would break in thinking I was dead.  So to avoid that possibility, I went to the door and spoke to her, saying as calmly as I could that I was very hurt and upset with how she handled things and that I wasn't in any mood to talk with her.  I closed the door and started to walk away.  She proceeded to kick my door, pound on it, yelling at me to open the door.  I walked back, opened the door, told her to stop yelling and to come in if she wanted to talk.  Her husband did nothing. 

She proceeded to tell me how she'd made dinner and had flowers for me and had been calling since 3 pm.  I told her I was tired of being left in the dark, always the last to know and she snapped @ me saying "you knew we had plans" and I reminded her that they had not been confirmed until 3:15 and that I was hurt that she waited so long to notify me.  She didn't know I'd talked to her ex step mom and knew she'd been called early that day.

I told her to stop yelling on my porch.  I didn't want to engage with her at all but didn't know how to get out of it at this point.  She was really angry and out of control.  She flies into a rage at times when I try to stand up for myself.  I didn't want to fight.  I just wanted to let her know I felt hurt, stupidly hoping she'd see my point of view, which she never does.

The situation just felt out of control to me.  Maybe I was wrong for not talking to her when she called.  I didn't think she'd show up at my door.  I didn't do this to worry her or to get attention either.  I was just so hurt and things had been piling up within my over other things she'd done that we just uncalled for and mean.  I have such a hard time confronting her.  She goes after me and I end up wanting to curl up into a fetal position. 

Anyhow, she continued her tirade, saying she has a family.  I said "yes you do and it's always all about you isn't it" to which she answered no it isn't several times.  I reiterated how it was always all about her and that I was done.  I closed the door on her again and she and husband left. 

That was a week ago today and there's been no word from her or him.  I don't expect there will be either, as she is never wrong and he has his head so far up her ass, he's contributing to her thinking the sun shines out of it.

I am not going to apologize anymore.  People who love us don't act like she does.  I am hurting so badly knowing the stand I took came after I had been pushed around for the last time.  I am 72 years old, a divorcee, with one other family member, my younger sister.  My grandkids are 10 and 6 and I may not be able to broker a deal to see them without having to see her or her husband. 

Will someone please weigh in on this.  Was I too harsh or wrong?  I feel like it's a no win situation with her.  I need to walk away and not look back.


Welcome, Z. We ask all new members to go to our HomePage and under Open Me First to read the 5 posts placed there for you. Please pay special attention to the 'Forum Agreement to be sure WWU is a fit. We are a monitored Website. I've edited your first post a little, as you may notice.

My experience is that it doesn't work well when I let myself build up negative feelings and then eventually spill over. The last time I did that with my surviving son was about 25 years ago. (I'm now 88.) He calmly told me that he would address the current issue and the others I had stored up that one time, but never again. As a result, I learned to address each issue as it came up...or let it go. That has worked very well ever since.

There aren't really any guidelines, since we are all so different and so are our situations. For me, it has worked to never let myself become a time bomb again. I think my original move was to keep the peace...but it was not a peaceful solution. Sending hugs...

Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


Luise, I agree that holding things in isn't good.  I have a difficult time talking with my ED about anything relating to her treatment of me.  Believe me I have tried to no avail and have been in therapy with her and without her.  Bottom line is, my feelings and hurt, while justified, have not been and will never be acknowledged by her so talking things out is a waste of time.

I have been reluctant to get into it with her because she doesn't fight fair and the punishment she dishes out is to alienate my grandchildren or keep me from seeing them. 

Regardless, I reached my limit and just couldn't take it anymore. For someone who has tried to focus on her positive attributes and encourage her to follow her dreams, I just had to realize that nothing I do or will ever do is going to erase the fact that she seems to have a disordered personality, as did my mother and my husband.  These people do way too much damage to people who love and care about them.

I am here to learn from others, to find support and gain encouragement and ways to get through this hell called estrangement.  I chose it because it was the only thing left, the one thing I didn't ever want to see happen.


Mine is just one response...there will be more to come.
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


It sounds like your daughter is an angry person who has no respect for you. I can identify with that entirely. When she went to therapy with you, was she ever given a diagnosis of the cause for her behavior? So sorry for your trouble.


Yes, dognusic, she is very angry.  There was no diagnosis offered.  The therapy I had her in was way back when she was in her late teens.  She had beat up her boyfriend and when I found out I was so upset and worried that I immediately sought help for her and I went to some of the sessions separately.  All the therapist could tell me is that she is full of rage and was too scared to release it for fear of it annihilating her.

Since then she's become convinced I didn't do a very good job of parenting, claiming all sorts of stuff happened to her that she never told me about yet insists I was aware of.  Around age 19 or so I noticed a change in personality and it may have been coming on for a few years but wasn't really in my face obvious until after high school.

I have read a lot about personality disorders.  The one that seems to fit the way she behaves now is NPD (narcissistic personality disorder).  But I'm not a therapist and she's never been tested for anything.  She is a recovering prescription drug addict and after rehab the after care therapist she started seeing told her she saw signs of BPD (borderline personality disorder).  My daughter flew into a rage, refused to see that therapist again and found another one who I suspect doesn't recognize what so many of us have:  that she is a master manipulator, lacking in compassion, always blaming others for her problems and/or poor choices, etc.

Thank you for making time to respond and offer support.  This is a sad and painfully difficult road that I have chosen in order to protect myself.  I don't sleep well because I can't seem to turn my mind off.  I don't know how to be myself when I take being a mom and grandmother out of the equation.  While I still am those things technically, my reality is that I feel like the person I loved, the sweet and loving  girl she used to be, died when the angry one stepped in and took over.


Welcome zebra.  Glad you found us but sorry you had to.  I think we all have a breaking point, and you obviously hit yours.  Sometimes the only thing left to do is remove a toxic person from our lives in order to get our own sanity back.  Unfortunately, just like war, sometimes there are innocent casualties to do this.  In this case, losing contact with the GC.  The only advice I can give you is that it took me a long time to decide that not seeing my GC was better than putting them in a position where they had to feel the tension between me and their Mother and Father.  I can't imagine my GC being a little bit older and asking me, "Why do you and Mom not like each other?"  I'm not the type of person to sugar-coat things, so I wouldn't want to lie to them, but also wouldn't want to dog their Mom.  Unfortunately, there would be no way for me to do both, because not dogging their Mom would require lies on my part.  So I actually think it's better that I don't have contact with the GC.  Sounds backwards, but I believe in loving from afar.
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I SO understand how you feel. My AD is very similar. I was shocked at the amount of rage she unleashed at me. I miss the little girl that I loved so much but I am beginning to understand that I will never know THAT daughter again. I have my memories and the experience of being a mother to a little girl and I cherish the memories. The present day nightmare will always be there. This is rather new to me since it began last August so I am slowly adjusting to what I have to deal with now and she is a horrible person to me and a horrible mess. A nurse/friend said she should be tested for her seratonin levels and to see if there might be something else wrong (brain tumor) but she has always shown the anger and the arrogant attitude so I don't think that's it. She doesn't live near us so I can't do much and her hubby and in-laws aren't talking yet about her attitude and her anger. Someday they will. I just know when she can't explode at me she will at someone else if she hasn't already. It is awful isn't it? And unfair! But life goes on so I guess we are just left to finding our own happy moments if we can. I hope you can get some peace of mind. You deserve some happiness and some peace of mind. It's not your fault. I just blame it on the gene pool. I did the best I could and I got gypped in the mother department. I have a sister who is very much like my daughter. If I had known that God was going to give me a daughter like my sister I would have said," God You can keep her with you! Don't you dare send her down to me!"


Yes, dogmusic, I miss what used to be and in fact was thinking that all this time (30+ years) that she's been so determined to destroy me, that the person I love is not who she is today but the one she used to be that was loving, kind and seemingly normal.  If that wasn't an "aha" moment, I don't know what is/was!

And Pooh, the act of walking away is one that has been a long time coming for me; something I've contemplated but just could not bear doing.  I care too much what others say/think of me.  Been a people pleaser all my life, thanks to a mom who behaved towards me as if I was a bother and so I grew up feeling like something was wrong with me, that I wasn't lovable or good enough.  Feelings like that are hard to shed and I know I have much work to do to rid myself of their tendency to rule my life even when I think they aren't.

And I don't want to risk damaging my grandchildren either so I have no clue how or if I should even try to continue seeing them.  They are far too young to explain anything.  To them, their Mom is perfect and walks on water.  No matter what I do, she will continue to speak poorly of me or explain my absence by making it sound like she has no idea why I don't come around anymore.  So they will hear that and believe it because they're no old enough to remember me, the person, their Nana.

I have no idea if she has bad mouthed me to them.  She told me one day that I was cross eyed and my grandchildren didn't like me.  That came out during a time I was experiencing some serious depression that I didn't know was caused by medication I'd been taking for insomnia.  She also accused me of being a Debbie Downer and that I was doing the depression thing to get attention.

I went through some really bad times recently and she wouldn't let me see them.  I wasn't allowed to attend my GD 5th birthday party and was excluded from Thanksgiving dinner that year, although she did come by with a plate of leftovers for me.  So I suppose that was supposed to make up for being excluded?

I live alone and moved here 3 years ago to be close to them.  They are less than 5 minutes from me and yet never come around and the only time she calls me is when she wants something.  Clearly the move has turned out differently than I had hoped and so I am contemplating putting my condo up for sale and moving back to the town that feels like home to me.

On and on it goes, to infinity and beyond.  Meanwhile I am trying to pick up the pieces of me and glue them back together, maybe in a way that I will come out of this wiser and more loving towards myself.  Wouldn't that be something!!!


Yes, Z...that would indeed be something and it sounds like that's where you're headed. In my own instance, I stepped back and let the grandkids go because I felt they would learn that abuse is OK, otherwise. Not a lesson I wanted to be part of teaching them. More hugs...
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama

Green Thumb

Your story is not that different from many of us here. Perhaps we did not have the argument on the porch but we are also treated shabbily. I think we teach people how to treat us and if we are nice people, we tend NOT to stand up for ourselves when treated shabbily. I also think we baby boomers want our children to love us so much, so much, that we will do anything to be close to them and we enable them much or keep them dependent more than we should or is good for them. Not saying this is you, just trying to give perspective.

Narcissistic personality disorder is a doozy. I have relatives like this, and perhaps my AD are of this ilk. My ex husband is for sure and all my current in-laws. Your daughter does sound narcissistic. And cruel. And very passive aggressive. 

What I am doing now, is standing up for myself when one of my ADs gets ugly on me.  I am also detaching and not worrying about it. I am focusing on ME for once. I am making peace with the estrangement because I do not want to care more than they do and I do not want to continue being upset and diminished all the time. They are being nice-ish right now but they are also very self centered and do not put my feelings first, ever.  I get invited to Easter lunch but must drive 3-4 hours each way without an invite to stay at their large home overnight. One daughter is getting married this fall and her father and his new wife are doing it all and I expect to be "ostracized" at the wedding.

At one point, the meanness really got to me and I decided life was better without the AC if they weren't going to be nice/decent, etc.  Constantly being belittled or called names or told something ugly to my face, well, I was happier telling one AD she could not treat me so ugly (very calm voice, no argument) and when she hung up on me, I decided "okay, all good, I am free."


Thank you green thumb for sharing your thoughts.  I had lunch today with a friend who worked with my daughter years ago, at church of all places and my daughter was quite verbose in her criticism of me in all areas, from what my friend told me.  So she knows of the skewed perception my daughter had back then and while she knows about the continued downward spiral and abuse, she still doesn't seem to "get" that it wasn't the argument Mother's Day alone that pushed me to walk away.

I have found my situation is not at all unusual.  The stories may vary but the essence of them is pretty much the same:  disrespect, verbal and sometimes physical abuse, sometimes there's a drug or alcohol addiction history in the adult child, and on and on it goes.

My goal is to figure out who I am without the Mom or Nana label.  That's been my primary identity for so many years and while I like myself and think I'm really quite a neat person, that alone doesn't seem to be enough to soften the blows I've taken emotionally for so many years. 

It doesn't help either that I grew up with a mother who was so like my daughter it's scary and then married a man who was the male version of my mother.  Gack!  Fodder for the therapy couch for sure. 

It has been somewhat a relief to find this site and a couple others where people gather to reach out to others in this very sad boat we find ourselves in now. 

If we all lived in the same town, I wonder what the population would be? 

So I just want to surround myself with people who honor and respect me for who I am.  I have at least 5 people in my corner so that means I'm not that hard to be around.  That gives me encouragement when I start to feel down.

Hugs and love to all who are here.   


...and you have a bunch of people in your corner here, too.  :)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama


I saw a quote today that someone wrote on facebook that I believe is very fitting.

"In painful situations, it's healthy to let yourself fall apart...just make sure you only pick up the good pieces" - Anonymous
We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is waiting for us. -
Joseph Campbell


I love that! I'm really up against it myself at the moment. Will post about it elsewhere but am writing that one down, Pooh! :-)
Be kind whenever possible. It is always possible. Dalai Lama