Issues with adoptive mother

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Issues with adoptive mother

Postby maxi » Sat Dec 24, 2011 8:37 pm

I’d be interested on your thoughts on this one…

I separated from my ex-husband over 15 years ago, am divorced and have been in a very stable and happy relationship with my current partner for over 10 years. The reason for the separation and divorce was that my ex-husband had a major problem with drink which made living with him very difficult and in addition there were incidents of physical and mental abuse directed towards me. I got out of the marriage as it had made my life unbearable and I was also concerned that his unpredictable behaviour would eventually be directed towards the children – they were too young at the time to see much of what was going on.

To add more confusion to the situation, my son had a very difficult time in his teens, and due to his drug taking habits he and I parted company when he was in his early twenties. I ended up asking him to leave as I could no longer deal with the police appearing on the doorstep, the chaos he created or his complete disregard for anyone else living in the house. My son and I talk now, but we do not see a great deal of each other - I feel it will take a long time to rebuild any relationship as there is not a great deal of trust on my part. I know he still overdoes things and I really do not want to have a repeat of that whole situation – it took far too much out of me last time around.

My adoptive mother who is now in her mid-eighties, has in the past year or so, taken to meeting up with my ex-husband when he meets up with my two children for lunch. She states that her reasons for doing this are so that she can get together with my two children, now both in their twenties, and because she says she is “weak” and just goes along with it when she is invited. As we all live within a 20 mile radius, I fail to understand why my adoptive mother cannot make her own arrangements to meet up with the children. She says she is not capable of this. This is someone who still lives independently and does her own shopping etc. She now claims that she knew nothing about the way my ex-husband treated me, which is nonsense as she was told everything that was going on at the time. She also claims that she has never seen him drunk, which I also find hard to believe. It is as if she has completely wiped from her memory all that happened, and she is trying to imply that it is me who is behaving unreasonably. I find it really hurtful that she is acting in this way, and it feels as if she is implying that I have exaggerated how everything was and as if she is condoning his past behaviour; it appears not to matter one jot that he put me through hell. I feel she should be supportive of me… and her current behaviour is, to me, the ultimate slap in the face.

I have tried again and again to “start over” with her, despite the fact that every time we meet she says provocative things within ten minutes or so, or acts in what seems to be a deliberately awkward way – it is almost as if she is trying to get a reaction, and she keep “poking” until she gets one, and then it is me who is acting unreasonably when I take the bait. She recently did this to my partner when he went round to help her out with something – it wasn’t till he came home and told me what had happened that I realised there was a pattern to her behaviour. I begin to think it is some variation on a “passive aggressive” theme. There is also definitely an element of her not being quite “with it” which may be due to her age, as when she is talking her line of argument is a bit random and she keeps calling one of my children by another name when that child visits her independently. In addition she has no friends really – she has never been a sociable person and prefers to be on her own.

Things came to a head today when I popped round with her Christmas present and within five minutes she had started to talk about how she had been invited for a lunch with my-ex and children but that it had now been cancelled for the moment and went on about how she felt she was doing nothing wrong and how “arrogant” I was being…

…not a very jolly seasonal tale, sorry, but I’d be grateful for any thoughts. I feel my immediate family are all too close to it to be completely objective.
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Re: Issues with adoptive mother

Postby ladyarcher » Mon Dec 26, 2011 8:34 pm

So sorry for your unease, Maxi........ but I think to an extent you have actually answered both of your questions yourself....

... your ex was/is alcoholic and is capable of mental abuse....... mentally abusive people are usually clever and cunning with words......... it would be quite likely that this is how he is getting your a.mother on his side as it were......... add to that the obvious if gradual mental deterioration of your a.mother, who may be quite bodily fit and able to get around, .....but possibly not always quite sure why she is there when she gets there ........ and, as I said, you have answered your own questions about why she is going around with your ex, and how he is manipulating her to do so, and managing at the same time to play you and your current partner off against your childrens' attention to him, and to their 'grandmother'.....

.. she is flattered by his attention and his 'help' in helping her to see her grandchildren, and will continue to use this as a stick to beat you with as she will perceive you as 'keeping them from her' even when this is not the case and they are adult and could perfectly well make their own arrangements to see her whenever they be totally cynical, is there any money in it........ either seen by your son as a source to fund any continuing habit, or even by your ex. who may also think that he can influence an elderly lady in his favour in her will........sadly, one aspect of age can be the re-writing of history to see things in a better light, and probably this is what your a.mother is doing with regard to your marriage.................I would add that my a.mother would never hear a word against my ex................ who flattered her constantly, and whose poor attempts at humour she had always rewarded with prolonged laughter and delight........... my a.father, however, was not taken in........

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