Her idea of an apology.... am I wrong?

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by TeDo, Oct 10, 2011.

  1. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Not sure if I posted about this or not so bear with me if I did. Back in June, there was a huge blow-up involving my sister and difficult child. She said, in anger, "That kid has a problem!" I replied, also in anger, "Yes, he does. You have NO idea!" Anyhow, my mom called that night and asked "so what IS difficult child's problem?" I told her his very recent diagnosis. She asked me if I was lying to protect him. I was incredulous so I quit talking while she pointed out all the "spoiling" I do with him.

    Several emails later, [she wanted to go to the psychiatrist with us (so she could ask about discipline since she's convinced I don't do any), she wanted pamphlets about the diagnosis that I got from the psychiatrist (never got any so told her to research on the internet like I had to), many examples of OTHER disabled kids being disciplined (still doesn't believe I do because I refuse to do it in front of her for difficult child's sake and mine since I don't do it like SHE would), etc], I finally told her that I was not willing to discuss it anymore since she doesn't believe me anyway so what's the point. She sent this ??apology??: "I really did believe you would lie to cover for difficult child. Guess I'm sorry for being honest."

    I have not spoken to her in 2 months. She has invited US out to meals twice, she paid, and I couldn't say no because she asked in front of my kids and I don't want to drag them into this. I was civil but that is it. My kids have not asked to see her and I don't force them to. They are old enough to decide for themselves. They don't refuse but they don't ask either.

    Talked to my other sister tonight and mom told her "This whole situation has gone too far. I apologized but really did think she'd lie about it. I am not going to keep trying to talk to her. It's up to her to make the next move." My sister has watched my mom treat me like this (disbelieving everything she doesn't see IF I'm the one that says it, being judgemental about everything I do, overstepping her boundaries, etc) my whole life. I am actually LESS stressed without her "looking over my shoulder" and my kids are content not having to please her (one of them asked last winter when they were going to be good enough for grandma).

    Now my question. Would you consider her apology an APOLOGY? Am I totally wrong here? What would you do if you were in my shoes? We live in the same very small town and she hears EVERYTHING and also doesn't hesitate to pass along what she hears. If it comes from someone else and it's about me or my kids, she believes it whether it's true or not and if I tell her it's not she replies "well so-and-so said....."

    Thanks to those that have read this far. Sorry it got to be so long.
    Lasted edited by : Oct 10, 2011
  2. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Family. I envy the ones who actually have support. Mine are more subtle... but just as deadly behind the scenes.

    That was not an apology. However, as she is not aware of having done anything wrong, nothing more for an apology can be expected. And as she is not aware of any misconceptions or misinformation on her part, it is not possible to correct her.


    Sorry, no sage advice, though... If I had the answers, I'd have solved my own long ago.
  3. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Insane, my mother is NEVER wrong. That has been most of the problem most of my life. Even when she's wrong, she's not, Know what I mean?? I always knew there was undiagnosed something there but still can't quite put my fingers on it (them). LOL
  4. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know... so is... both of my parents, and both in-laws.
    And each pair believes their version is the only correct version.
    And each pair is usually at polar opposites to the other.
    And... all of the above, all of them have absolutely NO idea what they are talking about when it comes to difficult child or K2 - or husband and me.

    And no, I have no idea what the dxes would be for any of the 4 of them.
    But I do know that the dxes that go with old age... make all of it worse. (strokes, alzhymers, hardening of the arteries, and so on).
    Last edited: Oct 10, 2011
  5. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I would be fine writing her off but my kids still "like" her and she is their only grandparent. I have even thought about moving far away from here but don't want to pull my kids away from all their friends and activities. Caught between a rock and a hard place.
  6. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    I know what you mean... we don't get to write ours off either.
    The kids still like them, because we haven't allowed them to be together enough for the kids to see the "other side".
    Distance helps... but you can't move just because of that.

    At least you can come here and let off steam...!
  7. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Not even close to an apology. An insult, yes. A dig at you, oh yeah. An apology? Heck no.

    My mom used to be that way. I kept my boundaries firmly in place while age seems to have mellowed her. Thank God.

  8. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    Here is where my sanity lies!! If it weren't for you wonderful people, I still say I'd be bald and have serious Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) issues by now from all the head-banging I'd be doing (no, I don't mean to make light of Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI)). That is just how I feel a lot of the time.
  9. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    I wish! She actually seems to be getting worse. She has lost all inhibitions when it comes to speaking her mind.
  10. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    If you don't mind me asking... how old is she?
  11. TeDo

    TeDo Guest

    She's only 67. She started getting worse when she "early" retired at about 60. My sisters and I have agreed for some time now that she needs to get a life. lol Or a part-time job.
  12. InsaneCdn

    InsaneCdn Well-Known Member

    Or it could be something serious like alzhymers.
    (just exactly what you DON'T need... )
  13. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful

    Um.........my mom got much worse before she mellowed. A serious case of too much time on her hands. Sounds like your mom has the same problem.

    I mean, my mom didn't believe for years that Travis is blind. Seriously. (like how could I possibly make that up? lol ) It wasn't until he was given his cane that she finally shut up about it. Then....it sort of dawned on her that probably everything else was also true. Maybe. I can never be sure, she just might not be voicing her opinions anymore. lol
  14. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    No, that is not an apology. It is p/a koi and I, personally, have no tolerance for it. If you are feeling less stressed without her hanging over your head, then I would leave things as they are.

    If she gossips, so what? You and your sister are not the only ones who have her number. Trust me.

    I'm sorry she chooses to be this way and can't be supportive. She is who she is and she's not going to change. The only thing you can do is change how you respond to it.
  15. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    Only you can choose whether you can put up with her koi or not. That was not an apology but was the closest to one you are ever going to get from her. She is what she is and you can't change that. Even setting up strict ground rules won't work, because rules don't apply to HER.

    She is what she is. You have to decide what you can accept and what you can't.

    What I suggest - re-open contact, but be prepared to hang up or leave when she gets on your case. Tell her ahead of time (each time if necessary) what the strategy is.

    If she doesn't believe you, that is her problem, not yours. But she does have to shut up especially in front of the kids. They deserve better, they need to learn that respect is important and begins with self-respect.

    We have had this problem with mother in law to a certain extent. As she gets older she at times behaves as if she deserves all respect unconditionally because she is the elder and it is an elder's right to be respected no matter how they behave or what they say. We have also caught mother in law (and sis-in-law sometimes when she visits) trying to 'handle' difficult child 3 behind our backs and then getting upset when he explodes (as we knew he would if he was mishandled). I think the idea was, to try to do what they KNOW we should do but we NEVER take their advice, and present us with the perfect child manufactured from their wisdom.

    Too many cooks interfering in your methods of raising your kids, can lead to problems, conflict and a vicious circle of "I don't understand why you won't listen when I tell you what you are doing wrong with your kids."

    Being prepared to walk away and also avoiding being in a situation where you )or the child) cannot walk away, could be the best way to walk this tightrope.

    On a related issue - one of my sisters has her son and his family live on another house on her property. They are a stone's throw from my sister who sees a lot of the family. I remember my sister talking to me about her concerns, her daughter in law is too lax with the kids, lets them do what they want, spoils them rotten, doesn't intervene or try to identify possible learning problems etc. My sister is a sensible, loving woman but I've seen a lot of those kids this year and they are also a bit older now. They are lovely kids, really nice. Loving, caring, well-behaved. Whatever my sister saw is not an issue now. Yes, the kids do sometimes go skinny-dipping in my sister's swimming pool and need to remember to ask permission and make sure grandma doesn't have company over. But the oldest is 11, the youngest is 3.
    What I'm trying to say - sometimes grandparents see the problems as a lot bigger than they really are, and also feel powerless because they never got the hang of letting go.

  16. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Totally NOT an apology. It is passive aggressive and also flat out says that she thinks that you are a liar.

    It is also VERY wrong to ask you out to do ANYTHING in front of your kids. I don't care what it is. The request needs to be made in private so that if someone has practice or a lesson or lots of homework or chores or is super tired or sick or you had other plans, then you can say no, explain why and not have a big mess wth upset kids etc.....

    I cut my bro off just over a year ago. My mom never really accepted it but after driving Jess to tears and a panic attack on her birthday, she stopped pushing. Now she just doesn't return calls to us. It hurts. I am learnng to accept that and just let it be. Life has been a LOT calmer and less stressful and has had a lot less conflama. You may find this would be true for your family too. My kids know they can call their grandparents at any time, arrange to go do things with them unless there is a conflict of some kind or they are sick. My kids don't call. They mostly just don't want to deal with my mom, esp because she keeps trying to "talk" to them about me and how sick (mentally ill) I am because I cut gfgbro out of my life.

    Even if you don't cut your mom out of the kids' lives, think hard before they get to go do anything with her with-o you.

    I am sorry that this is so hard.
  17. keista

    keista New Member

    Not an apology, you are not wrong, and I'd do pretty much what you are doing - limit contact as much as possible.

    Just be a broken record. If so and so said...... Then just simply state, "Well, if you really want to believe "so and so" over your own daughter, I really can't stop you, can I?" or for general issues "If you don't believe me, then I guess there's no point in me trying to explain myself." Say it flatly, dispassionately with your best typical teen 'whatever' attitude. If she continues, hang up.

    Totally sounds like she's got too much time on her hands, but there's not much you can do about that except distance yourself and give her more.
  18. Nancy

    Nancy Well-Known Member Staff Member

    I'm torn on this. Only you knows if a relationship with her is toxic. If it is then the less contact you have with her the better. But if this is just her way then I guess you have to decide whether it's worth causing dissention in the entire family, because it will. To me family is important. difficult child's cause a great deal of stress and trouble in a family and in the extended family. My sister and I have had no relationship for a year over difficult child. It extended to my father and he is 92 years old and I do not wish for him to pass having strained feelings so I am trying my best to put it behind me. I miss my sister but the rift is too wide at this point to repair.

    Your mom is showing concern for you and your kids. It may not be the way you want it but it's all she knows at this point. Her apaology was the best apology she could give. Apologies are hard, the person tries to save face. It takes a while to perfect them. A simple "I sorry I hurt you" should be easy to say but it's not.

    I'm not saying you should allow your mother in your life if you feel she's too disruptive, but I am saying that I wish I had parents to even ask how difficult child was instead of ignoring that she exists.

  19. DDD

    DDD Well-Known Member

    Obviously it is your decision. I'm a bit torn on the issue. What I "think" I would do (obviously not sure, lol) is choose a short simple phrase and use those words every time she makes an inappropriate or uncomfortable comment. Years ago on the Board that method was suggested for dealing with difficult child's and people advised that the phrase be written down and read to make sure it stayed identical.

    Possible examples "I'm sorry but I'm not prepared to discuss this again." "I am doing my best following professional advice." Then...whatever phrase you choose...end the conversation if she persists by saying "Sorry I have to go now." or "Talk to you later, Mom." End of conversation. It won't change her opinion but it will politely end the topic.
    That's the best I can offer. Hugs. DDD
  20. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    Nope. Not an apology.

    Depends upon whether you miss her or not.
    I'd keep my distance.
    I'm so sorry she's like that. It's a no-win situation.