Speaking of TOXIC family...I need your advice


I have gone to post some details here before but continuously back out as it is personal and it sounds just terrible. I don’t want pity. I don’t want to be accused of being irrationally unforgiving either. So I am about to unload a bit of this as new circumstances have “developed.” I hope that you can give your sincerest advice, and at the same time I hope this doesn’t turn into a big debate.

My mother: crazy. Period. I haven’t spoken to her in a couple of years. In the simplest terms:

*Hyphochondriac AND Munchausen-by-Proxy with me, up to my teenage years when she told everyone (i.e. family, friends, co-workers, complete strangers) I was mentally ill and/or a drug addict – neither applied.
*Addicted to men
*On her 6th or 7th marriage (it’s unclear) to a man who has alienated her from her entire family and is draining her dry. She’s worth quite a bit of money.
*Left the Catholic church after it didn’t support this many marriages.
*Abusive to me most of my life. I am her only child.
*Thrives on drama, has difficulty expressing feelings or asking for love/help/compassion without it being world war III.
*Physically violent
*Calls police on people when they fight back or defend themselves.
*Chooses one person in which to have an “issue” then creates drama to the point of excess and or violence. Verbally berates anyone who doesn’t "jump on board the hate train."
Up until I quit speaking to her she continued to refer to me as B&^& and *****^&() in public, in front of my husband and my MIL.
*She hit my eldest DD after getting drunk while on the phone with her sister (her MOST toxic relationship, just a conversation with sis sends her into violent rages and has since I was small.) and that cut her off from my eldest children.
*Compulsive liar.
*Creates realities.

Last time I saw her, I had gone to attend the wedding to last husband. DH was flying in the next day. I had my six week old DD with me. They (mom and her FDH) both got drunk, got in a fight after he had yelled/cursed me out for the umpteenth time in days (alienation right? He also told me my mom talked major bad about the Catholic church when she was gone – he was trying EVERYTHING he could think of.) eventually he left. He came home, broke down their bedroom door, knocked her down. I didn’t see it, I was in the guest room. Police were called, and even though she had a red mark on her arm, she was so drunk and dramatic they didn’t take him in. They said because I didn’t witness it and her level of intoxication. Meanwhile,the police were talking to him I could hear everything – and he was trying so hard to get out of jail by saying things about ME! Including that I was a drug addict, that I had abandoned my baby to go gambling and drinking. Whatever, I was the onyl sober person in the house breastfeeding my DD, and the police knew it. I was angry though, I know Nevada is a “one touch” domestic violence state and I demanded he go, but they wouldn’t. The one true thing he said was that I had forced her to go to a psychiatrist. That was true – in order to see my youngest. OBVIOUSLY she had not had enough therapy by then. When I awoke the next morning, he was still there. I confronted her on it. She said “oh we decided we just drank too much!” :eek: WHAT??? I told her I was leaving, picking up DH from airport, driving to get kids up North, going home - not supporting any marriage, don’t even want to hang out with her. I cried my eyes out, as this was just the LAST time in a long line of incidents where she picked men and drama over me, her only child. AND HER GRANDCHILDREN - that’s what hurt me the most. As if this type of behavior is perfectly acceptable in front of kids! If the police had believed him I could have lost my baby! DH and I have never had the police at our home. Well, she kicked him out. He stayed gone for as long as it took her to decide she had to have him back – about four days. My DH told her as soon as he got off the plane “I can’t tell you who to love, who to be with or what to do, but I can tell you IF you decide to stay with or marry this man – you will NOT SEE your daughter or grandchildren again.”

That is the last time I saw her. :shrug:

…onto…today’s drama…

My grandma (also a drama queen, although slightly, and I do mean SLIGHTLY saner) calls me up. This is the second time in as many months. The first time it was that the DH had left my mom and she was asking for help/advice from her sister (toxic) and my cousin. Then she quit calling, obviously honey-pie came back. Meanwhile, I told grandma I would not call her, nor involve myself. “Besides, she’s only taking him back.” I was called “unforgiving” etc. “WE WONT be like that, oh no we wont.” Uhm grandma…I’m an adult, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect myself and my kids. “Well you are miserable without her aren’t you?” No, I am quite at peace…and I AM! So


Today I left my cell phone in the van after a trip to the fabric store. I missed FIVE calls! ALL GRANDMA. When it’s grandma I know it involves my mom… especially five calls.

“Your mom, she wanted me to ask you to call her.”

I held it together, I didn’t even let out a “HA!” I ask why, calmly.

“She’s bruised from head to toe, he beat her up, BAD. He’s in jail. She wants you to call her.”

“Let me think about this a minute.”

“I knew I shouldn’t have even mentioned it, I knew you wouldn’t have a heart. I should have known you wouldn’t care that she was beat nearly to death.”

“Of COURSE I care that she was beat <nearly to death?> I feel very bad for her. Grandma, this is tough you see, she brought him back after he left her last time, told her he was still in love with ex-girlfriend, etc. After everything she keeps bringing him back. I really can’t get involved in this if it means opening my family up to the drama. I have to talk to Ian before I even think of making a call.”

“Well she’s all alone - I would go if I could (this was in the hint hint voice, like I should drive to NoCal, pick up the g-ma, take her to S Nevada.) and be with her.”

“I am not going anywhere, I am about to give birth at ANY moment. I couldn’t go if I wanted to. And I don’t want to, she’ll probably take him back, I don’t want anything to do with it.”

“Oh no, he’s in jail for a while. The police have ordered him to stay away. She had all the locks changed. She changed the code on her garage door. I guess he walked through and stole some things on his way out too. There is an order of protection or something.”

“SO? What good is locks if she INVITES him in?”

“She won’t the police won’t allow it.”

“She can invite him, the police are not camping out at her house. Remember Randy? He was a convicted FELON and even after he choked her, got taken down by other men, got away, ran his car over our yard and nearly into our house, came back, raped her in front of me, and then when I tried to help her he nearly stabbed her… yeah see, long line of history here grams…(I was nine with good old Randy)”

So if you are wondering how I had anything to do with her at all since growing up, I want you to know I did disown her at 18 or so. She begged me back and I told her I would be in her life on two conditions – quit the drinking, and MAINLY quit the men. She did great for seven years. She was even a good grandmother for the most part. She still fought with me, but I can even blame myself for allowing that. Then she moved catty-corner to a bar, met the latest of losers, he dissed her, which made her want him even more…

Anyway, me thinks not a good idea to talk to her, even if she was beat up…your thoughts…?


do you really NEED to be told this? Stay away from this family, cry your eyes out over the loss and go on with life. Might be a good idea to get some therapy yourself. (been there done that-twice.)


Can you send a card or is it better to have NO contact at all?


I’m so sorry your mother has treated you like this for so long. I have nothing to do with my biological mother cause she is a lot like your mother. Drugs, men(abusive always), and cares only about herself. Haven’t seen her for about 5 years now.

I wouldn’t have anything to do with her. What can you do anyway? Pity her and then wait til she either lets this man back in or finds a new one to get beat by? You don’t need that stress anymore.

Pray for her and the rest of your family and keep at a distance. I think you’re doing fine. Your safety and your families(husband and children) should come before anyone else’s. You can’t protect your mother nor talk any sense into her at this point in her life I’m sure. I wouldn’t see the point of going.


**I don’t feel qualified to give you advice on this, but I can point out that you already know the answer you need. Don’t let the fact that this is “family” alter your resolve to protect your true family (hubby and children).

At the VERY MOST I would call her and ask her if she’s ok. Tell her it’s great that she’s not letting so and so back into her life (pretend you believe it) and leave it at that. Anyone can change… IF she ever does, she knows how to find you. Until then, love those kids and that wonderful hubby (I love how he stood up for you!!!).

If you never speak to her again I don’t believe you’d be doing anything wrong. I will offer you my prayers and I sincerely hope your mom changes…



Wow…I am sorry you are caught in the middle. I can honestly say…that to varying degrees, we might all be able to say we come from some form of dysfunction. Even the Kennedy family had its share of craziness. That being said, you sound like such a nice person, and one who should try to stay out of the middle. Your grandma is turning to you for help, which is somewhat sad…but somewhat uplifting…they see you as a beacon of hope. I would pray for your family. (I’m sure you do this!) But, it bares repeating. I have at times been at a loss for my sister’s actions (not sure if you read some of my threads about her) but she came out of it. Prayer works. I think that your mom needs to get out of this dreadful relationship…and seek therapy. You can choose to be a part of that…or you can just offer advice from afar. But, I wouldn’t cut her off. She is your mom. She will always be your mom…and the good bad and ugly with our families, they are still our families. I would possibly spend some time with her–and tell her…that she needs to find help. Now, if she refuses, and continues to take this guy back for example…then at least you know you’ve tried. I’m an ‘exhaust all options’ kind of person. Like God, who doesn’t ever walk away from us–you too can be a person of hope for your mom. Never walk away…but you don’t have to be in the middle. I will pray for you and your family. I feel bad for your mom–so many marriages…there is something ailing her, but what?:frowning:


As a Deputy Sheriff myself, if I was responding to the call you would not have “lost your baby.”

We respond to many domestic calls where allegations get thrown around like you wouldn’t believe. If it happened as described, and you were the sober one there, obviously not impaired, and breastfeeding no less…well, let me state that we require actual proof before even considereing such action. In short you have nothing to worry about.

And even in many such situations, we can’t take a baby/child unless it’s life is in IMMINANT danger. Otherwise, it get’s forwarded to human services (or whatever the child protective people in your area area called). Not as easy as some might think (which is why some kids stay in bad homes way too long).

Now as to why he didn’t get arrested, I don’t know? In Wisconsin, we have mandatory arrest. If I don’t arrest one of the parties (or both in the case of mutual combatants), I have to send a very good report to the DA indicating why not…in short the liability on me would be so great that I can assure you it wouldn’t happen.

But, I agree with Malia…if you never speak to her again, you won’t be doing anything wrong. You should, however, speak to the Lord about her at length.



You must have missed this part of her post;):

“I am not going anywhere, I am about to give birth at ANY moment. I couldn’t go if I wanted to…”

**The last thing she needs to deal with up close and personal is this drama when she needs to be focused on her newest baby and staying as stress free as possible.

I can see your point of “exhaust all options”, but honestly it seems as if she’s already done that…multiple times. At this point prayer is her most powerful tool. No amount of words or visits will help until she hears “I am sorry and I have changed, please forgive me” come out of her mom’s mouth. She can still love her mom. She just doesn’t have to have any contact with her to do that.



If you’re that close to your due date, you have the perfect excuse not to go. Maybe send a note, “Sorry you were hurt; get well soon; I’ll be praying for your quick recovery?” Send flowers maybe? I like what someone else suggested. Tell her “Glad he’s gone” as though you believe it’s real this time, even if you highly doubt it; you don’t have to rub it in. Even if you did not have imminent birth as an excuse, I’d probably still say, don’t go. You’d just get sucked in all over again, endure emotional pain yourself with no benefit to her, right?

Do you think keeping a diary or journal might be therapeutic for you? If you were to list in there all the awful things that your mom allows to happen to her and how painful it is for you to watch, your prayers for her healing and peace, etc. would that be helpful and healing for you? Or would it just drag you down emotionally? I don’t know. But maybe it would be concrete proof to yourself – and maybe someday to your mom if you ever decide to share the journal with her – how serious your reasons are for distancing yourself, that you do care about her, that you have been thinking about her and praying for her through the years… A normal person might be touched and moved by that, but as for YOUR mom, umm, who knows how she’d react? You’d definitely have to pick your moment carefully, if you ever shared the journal with her at all.

Hang in there, and best wishes with your upcoming birth.


I think that you are doing the right thing. But I have very bad news, you won’t ever get over the guilt for not seeing her. That is because certain types of personality, like your mom, are very manipulative and you’ve grown up with this woman. So, she has probably trained you to feel resonsible for her. Just remember just because you feel guilty or worried does not mean that you are doing the wrong thing by not contacting your mom.

Your first priority is to your children and you don’t really want them around an unstable enviroment. I remember in my own life how destructive it was to grow up without stability.:frowning: No child should have this type of chaos surronding them.

I do wonder if my mother and yours were long lost twins or something. Wow! Someone else with a mother who was married multiple times. We should start a club.:stuck_out_tongue:


I feel bad–I don’t think I read everything thoroughly. After rereading…I tend to agree with deb’s advice. I am not sure about excluding your mom from your life, but if this man is in her life…it might be the only way.:o


Actually your advice would be sound in most situations. When you are dealing with certain personality types though, normal advice goes out the window.:frowning:


I just feel sad for anyone who is with an abusive person. You just wish so much good for those we love…and it’s like…why don’t they want that for themselves?:frowning:


To the OP:
Do not, under any circumstances, have contact with your mother. She has made it clear that you are not a priority in her life, and neither are her own grandchildren. She put you and your baby in danger with this wild lunatic!
Forgive her, pray for her, but you don’t have to be involved with this erratic behavior.
Stay away, and stay out of it.
BTW, I speak from personal experience.


Aw, KC, you’ve been through enough. And enough is enough!

The one good thing your mom did in her whole life is have you. :o

But you are not required to bail her out. It’s like the cops who come into a house where the husband is beating the wife and tries to pull him off and the wife attacks the cops.

You are the cop in the situation here.

He’s sitting in prison. She’ll start missing him. She’ll feel bad she put him there. He’ll manipulate her into taking him back when he gets out.

She loves drama. If she didn’t have drama, she wouldn’t have oxygen either.

Take care of your babies and remind them that when they want to complain about you someday, they could have had it a lot worse.

Send a card if you really feel charitable. But that could get used against you also.

Most normal grandmas are getting on planes to come help with the new baby. The fact that yours is getting beat up by the man of the moment is reason enough to cut her loose. You warned her. She didn’t listen. You have enough children. You don’t need her on the list too. Don’t take her calls anymore till after the baby is born and you’re up to it. Don’t let her ruin this special time!!!


Andy, thank you.


For one, at the moment of madness it was happening I was TERRIFIED. I am sure you can understand. DH and I don’t fight like this, so it’s not even something I have dealt with since childhood. Back then all the Sheriffs knew my name “Mom’s got another boyfriend huh Kace?” You know they felt sorry for me. I KNOW they felt sorry for me, but there was nothing they could do. I guess I am just saying after all the long-awaited child protective services I was in a situation where they could be utilized and I had become a mom in the meantime! If MY mom could put me in a situation where I COULD lose my child/ren I would not be able to forgive. After ALL I had been through…

Your words of comfort make me feel much better…YET, I keep getting hung up on a guy abusing his lady and then trying to place focus on the lady’s daughter and HER newborn daughter to avoid jail? No words…I am just SO disgusted. This is not even about chivalry. Maybe I would not have ever lost my baby, but the fact a man could DO anything he could to make that happen…to avoid jail, after assaulting someone else…:mad:

And then I think a MOTHER would find that so disgusting she wouldn’t even consider talking to him again? I did. I would. :shrug:

I went outside as the four policemen were leaving and heard them laughing - in the street - about my mom. My GOD that hurt. I can’t express it. I KNOW she’s messed up, but STILL, law would usually super-cede even my mom’s drama…I do still have the little blue paper they hand out with the report number(and anti-domestic abuse info). I almost called in a complaint about how the situation was handled improperly – but I didn’t do it. I just didn’t want to be involved anymore. I keep hearing them laugh. AND I am just that much more MAD at my mom. Sad for her too, but wow that is infuriating.



I feel for you. I was in the same situation as a child. Get out and don’t look back.


Thank you everyone. I just needed to get it off my chest. It seems every time my mom comes up with her latest set of drama…I need to vent it off. I just haven’t done it before now - here. There is not enough hours in the day, or days in the week or weeks in the whole darn year.

Here’s the sad thing, and the probable thing: she wants to be in our life as we are having another baby…and the only way to do it is to become a HUGE victim. I know this sounds crazy, but hey, crazy is the WAY OF LIFE for her. I literally have seen her instigate so many physical fights that this last one seems “instigated” to me. That HURTS me. If that is what happened, if that is really what happened it just breaks my heart. It’s not surprising, but it’s so SAD. Really MOM couldn’t you just say “Well I finally decided I want my daughter, I want my grandkids, I made a mistake. You should go, I’ll pay you off - whatever…”

No – she gets beat less than two weeks before my due date. I am her only child. While I did lay our dirty laundry out there for you all to read, I want to say the TWO most poignant moments of my life with her – actually being SELF-LESS has been the presence at my two eldest children’s births. She was GREAT. I CAN and WILL give her that (which makes everything else that much WORSE for me…) Well she’s a lady of the moment. And her moment is the birth of her grandchildren. I just want her to prioritize them beyond the birth moment…I know I am not selfish in that.

I talked with a few people who are close to me in my life and who actually KNOW my mom and all of her drama and each one said "of course she got beat up right before your due date – she may have been beat up before, but this is the first we heard of it, but don’t you think it’s SICK that she would not only tell grandma, but ask YOU to call HER? Why didn’t she just say “I got beat, but don’t tell KC, she’s about to have a baby, she doesn’t need the stress. I am leaving the guy, I want to be part of her life, maybe you could mention it? DONT tell her about the beating though…” NOooooooo of course not, it doesn’t fit in to the drama. I KNOW I am being PLAYED. I KNOW I am, and it’s just that much more of a cause for rejection to me.

I saw a priest that I like today and I almost drove over a curb to ask him what he thought! Then realized it wouldn’t do with all of my kids in the car (I was picking them up from school, and he is my favorite priest in parish!) as I don’t involve them. I feel bad too, I have over-heard my son say “remember Nana Eden? She was our grandma.” :frowning: :frowning: MAN why can’t my mom be there for MY kids??? My **** – it’s over with – but my kids?? I have done what I can to protect them but it makes me that much more mad at her for abandoning them. Again I am used to it, but my kids were so scr%w%d over. They didn’t understand. We did the best we could to explain it to them without hating on my mom. WHY should I be the bad guy though? No, once is enough…leave us ALONE.

I will make an appt though, for my own spiritual sanity. This will not be my FIRST conversation with a priest regarding my mom, hence the reason I give some of you advice from my fav priest: God may have wanted you to “obey” your mother and father, but Jesus doesn’t want you to be STUPID." :thumbsup:

I HAVE received therapy – for those of you who suggested it – naturally. Otherwise I probably would not be married ten years or on my fourth child. I won’t argue that some more therapy wouldn’t help, it may, but I do feel good in my convictions. My worry is being too heart-less. You have all made me feel ok in what I already feel is “ok” – I don’t have to rescue, I don’t have to save, and I certainly am NOT responsible for my mother’s choices. Even when they end up hurting herself just for my attention.

I think I am saying I feel so “well adjusted” I worry I am being TOO heartless.

I know I have done what I can. I can’t fix this. I have to let it go. I have to let grandma know she has to back-off. She has the mothering gene apparently, but my mom is missing it…I can’t change that. I just need to live and let live…but darn if it the drama doesn’t pull the rug out from under me each time. Thanks for reading and thanks for the support.



Thank YOU. :o

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