Wedding Etiquette Forum

The last straw... or is it? LONG post

I no longer want my mother to be apart of my life.  She has offered to help out with  a small portion of the wedding and pay for my dress.  But this is not about money.  We have always had a very dicey relationship where we could spend less than a few hours together without wanting to kill eachother or ending up in a public screaming match. Things have gotten much better over the years since I have moved out of her house and away from her, but because of the wedding planning we were spending more time together, and that has made it clear how toxic our relationship is to both of us. She has never been completely stable, and memories from youth pretty much prevent me from being emotionally stable around her (I'm like a cry baby sometimes, lol).

However, this last encounter has made me think I do not want her apart of my life, now or in the future.  It was far more intense than a screaming match and she began beating herself (physically hitting herself) screaming why would I do that to her.  Although scary, and completely off the handle, this is what she was like when I was growing up in her house.  This is not the first time I have seen her act like this, although it was the first time in a while. 

I do not want her at my wedding, I do not want her in my life.  But I know cutting your mother out of your life sounds like a horrible thing.  I know it is hard to be a mother, and I know that she still did a lot for me when I was growing up.  She kept me fed, and a roof over my head, and she worked very hard to do that mostly by herself.  It is more than me being afraid she will make a scene at my wedding (although I am afraid of this), it is mostly me being afraid of her. 

So comments, suggestions, advice?  I'm lost, and I don't know what to do.  I can't really talk to FI about it because he feels I should have stopped talking to her a long time ago, and hates the way she treats me even when she isn't insane.  We  can't do counseling, been there done that, it ended very badly.  My aunt and grandma were afraid for me when I was younger, but don't understand that it is still like that sometimes, even though I am older now. 

Is it ever okay to just walk away from family like that?

Re: The last straw... or is it? LONG post

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    I'm sorry you're going through this.  I can't even imagine.  I have no solid advice, but I'll just say that I don't think it's wrong to cut your family out of your life if doing so is the only way to stay healthy/sane.
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    It is ok to walk away if the relationship/person is truly making your life toxic.  Oddly enough, I just read an advice column about something similar.  The woman was married already and had small children, had done her time in therapy and was in a GREAT place when all of a sudden, her mother came back into her life.  The advice that columnist gave was to cut her out again in every way possible - de-friending her on Facebook to changing phone numbers, even getting herself back in therapy for a few sessions.  The bottom line was, if your life is better without this person, then this is what needs to be done. 

    If you think you can't afford therapy or you don't have insurance, you might try a local family center that might offer sessions at a discount.  I think we could all use a little time getting shrunk every now and then. 

    And I'm very sorry that you're going through all this. 
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    I walked away from my father.  He was always verbally and physically abusive with my sisters, mother and I.  When my mom finally left him when I was in college, he appeared to try to make up for his bad behavior, but it was all an effort to try to make me like him more than my mom.  He's also spent the last 7 years forcing my mom to pay for his life, and driving her to bankruptcy to "get back" at her for leaving him.  The last time I spoke to him was over a year ago, when he was taking my mom to court for more money from her.  My mom hadn't worked in a year.  I called him and begged, literally begged him, to stop doing this.  He told me no, he would never stop, not until she was ruined or he was dead.  I told him that I couldn't take his negative influence in my life, that he had to make a choice between his me or harassing my mom until the end of time.  He didn't choose me. 

    I've taken a lot of crap for doing this from my sisters (who cling to a relationship with him despite all of the horrible things he's done), my grandparents who don't think it's right for me to give up the relationship.... aunts and uncles who just don't think I should do it.  But you know, at the end of the day, I have to do what makes ME feel better.  What makes me feel secure and happier and less negative and tense all the time.  My H supports me fully in the decision not because he knew my dad and the terrible things he did, but because he knew I'd be happier. 

    I can't tell you what you should or shouldn't do, I can only relate what worked for me.  Everyone is different and deals with familial matters in a different way.  You have to figure out what will work best for you.
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    In Response to <a href="">The last straw... or is it? LONG post</a>:
    [QUOTE]She has offered to help out with  a small portion of the wedding and pay for my dress.  But this is not about money. 
    Posted by SimplyIndulgent[/QUOTE]
    so why'd you mention it?
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    I agree with the others that say you need to do what is best for you.

    On another note, how badly is she injuring herself? Are there any other indicators of psychiatric illness? Has she ever attempted to harm someone else (like you) when she gets this way? Depending on the severity of it, you could potentially have her involuntarily committed. This sounds like more than just two family members that don't get along.
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    I wanted to give her credit?  I've posted on here before about her helping out so, i just wanted to show that we do have some kind of functioning relationship. Even though it isn't really functioning often.
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    hmph. well, anyway, i vote cutting her out.
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    She doesn't need to be committed, IMO, because she doesn't do this to everyone.  She is fine in her work relationships, and she has a long distance boyfriend who she is fine with.  My older sister still lives with her, and my mom used to treat my sister like that, but now my mom is afraid of my sister.  She used to hit me when I was younger, and was forced by the courts to undergo some treatment and was put on medications.  But, I don't know if she takes them anymore.  I'm just the easy target for her, because I have never been able to stand up to her. I used to be her anger outlet when she was stressed or tired, and neither one of us ever broke out of those roles.  Honestly for me, this is the only way I see to get out of that role, and to stand up to her. 
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    Simply did you ever seek help?  I really recommend talking to a LMFT - Licensed Marriage & Family Therapist.  I know I mentioned it already but consulting a professional about this personally and privately could really help. 
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    Just as an aside, when I cut my father out, I knew it was for the best.  I didn't have to discuss it with anyone beforehand, I just knew I HAD to do it. 
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    Yea, my dad is schizophrenic, my mom is well, like this, and my sister has been a live at home heroin addict since I was 12. 

    I don't think I'd be alive if I hadn't had a very good therapist for many years.  I haven't seen one recently, but maybe this is something I guess I could talk over with one. 
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    I agree with a PP.  You need to get yourself into some sort of individual counseling.  You need to figure out what is best for you and what it is you want.  If you're not sure that cutting her out of your life is the right decision, it's not (at least not right now).  That's a very permanent solution, and should you later change your mind and try to mend the relationship it will give her something to always hang over your head.
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    And betrothed, I'm disgusted with most of the comments that you have posted. I don't think I've ever read such judgmental comments in my life. I'm so lucky that the girls I speak to on theknot are nothing like you...I would've never come on here for ADVICE if I would've encountered a big a bitch as you. I genuinely feel awful for your children or your future children, and I think it would be irresponsible of YOU not to invest in their future therapy sessions starting now. Because trust me when I tell you honey, they're gonna need it. ~jcaruncho2010
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    I don't think this has to be permanent. There's always a chance that you two could try again down the road when you have both grown individually if it's something you both want.  This could clearly damage your relationship very very much if it's one sided, and therefore if you think that you might change your mind later I probably wouldn't do it, but I certainly don't think it's necessarily a bad idea to just walk away from your family.  I've thought about doing the same thing with my mom countless times, but a) I just don't think I could do it, and I don't think our relationship is actually that bad, and b) I'm a huge wimp and am terrified of what she would do to herself (or rather not do, since chances are she would just sit in her deteriorating house alone and depressed) if I did this.

    I definitely agree that you need to do what is best for your own mental health. It's always important to try and help those in our lives and to work on relationships that you want to keep, but at some point you just can't do all the work. And at some point it doesn't make a difference no matter what you do. 

    Good luck, I"m sorry you're dealing with this.
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    I am coming from a very similar place.  I don't think there is anything wrong with cutting her off.  I would recommend getting counseling for yourself, if you aren't already, because if nothing else, it will confirm to you that you are sane, and that your mother is the problem.  A lot of times, even when our parents are crazy, they still make us second guess ourselves.

    And you know, another way to look at it as taking a step back for a period of time.  You don't have to cut her off completely and forever.  Maybe you can just cut her off indefinitely until there is a time that you can work together.

    I made the same mistake of letting my mother be involved in the wedding, and it has brought me nothing but misery.  While I'm not going to cut her off, she and my father will play are far more limited role in my life after the wedding is over...and only after I get a good long break after the wedding.
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    After my grandpa died (the night of my wedding, how's that for timing) my mom cut off her entire family, including her mother. My mom and dad have tried for the last 30 years to make her family happy, including driving from VA to WI at least once a year to visit. Most of the time her family are too busy to come see us, even though we get a hotel in their city and just want to have lunch with them. When they went to the funeral (I had already cut out the family, I'm sick of seeing what they do to my mom) all she heard was how she was a horrible daughter for moving away, and that she doesn't care about her family at all. I'm sorry, but they have never sent a single card for holidays or birthdays, never rsvp'd to my wedding, never invited us to their weddings, or even called my mom in the last 30 years.

    Last night was the first time she talked to her mom since June, and it actually went well.

    If nothing else see if you can just take an emotional break. Let her know you can't deal with her crazy right now (not in those terms obviously) and reasses when you can.
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