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Author Topic: Not a liar  (Read 19569 times)

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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #45 on: August 31, 2012, 10:43:16 PM »
Children pick-up on the favoritism much earlier than you'd like to believe.  My kids were very young when they figured-out that my mother favored their cousin over them.  It was difficult for them and me to work through the feelings that they had.

In my case I didn't cut off contact, but severely limited it.  Little Knit doesn't need the heartache of knowing that Grandma favors all her cousins over her.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #46 on: August 31, 2012, 11:06:31 PM »
I think this is one of those classic situations where "You can't change others' behaviour, all you can change is how you react to it" comes into play. I agree with Hmmmmmmmm to a large extent. DON'T let your daughter be the second class citizen, but that doesn't mean you have to fight, it just means you can disengage. Every. Single. Time.

I was the scapegoat growing up and I know my mother, wonderful as she is in many ways, struggled to love me as much as my brothers - we are very, very different people and she had a lot of trouble with that. Like one of the PPs however, she probably *likes* me more as an adult. That took a LOT of work though and even some counselling. Every time she slipped back into old "Blame Iris" habits I left. I didn't flounce out or make a scene or even say anything I just said "Goodness is that the time? Time to go." Sometimes I would rant and storm to DH or get upset privately if I needed to but I started to retrain myself in a 'don't care' attitude.

If she implies you are lying simply disengage and leave or hang up. If she outright accuses you of lying you can throw in raised eyebrows and "Wow. Did you just say that out loud?" but then *leave*. Hang up, order your lunch to go, leave a meal half eaten, I don't care. Just leave. Eventually she will either decide she wants more of you in her life and change her behaviour or you will have achieved distance and trained yourself not to care. Always remember that you and your daughter deserve better than to be treated as second class citizens and neither of you deserve to be in that situation, so get out of it.
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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #47 on: September 01, 2012, 01:22:27 AM »
I have one grandchild right now. And yes, I think she is amazing and advanced. She is my oldest daughter's child. My younger daughter asked me, when she has a child, will I be as amazed with her/him as I am with the current one. I answered yes, as no two children are alike.

Knit: Just be amazed as to what your child is doing, and do not let  your mother get to you. You know what LK can do, and that is what is important.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #48 on: September 01, 2012, 04:52:22 AM »
As a child, did you ever wish an adult could swoop in and defend you from your mother?

You can do that for Little Knit.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #49 on: September 01, 2012, 08:56:15 AM »
Sounds to me as though your mother is trying to "put you in your place", so to speak.  Thus, the harder you try to convince her, the more she's likely to think you're "trying to make yourself important" by "exaggerating LK's virtues".  As others have noted, disengaging may well be the best option, rather than setting yourself (and LK) up for struggles within the family dynamic.

How much do you really need this sort of validation?  Is it worth the angst and possible future issues for LK?  It's possible that by  you pushing too hard on this front, your mother may come to resent LK and continue a vicious cycle."Oh, yes, daughter thinks LK's some sort of prodigy, so I have to make sure to counteract that and put LK in place".

Just a thought.
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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #50 on: September 01, 2012, 09:23:55 AM »
One of my acquaintances told me once of how her mother has passed away and she still thinks at times of what else she could have done to get her mother to approve of her, as it was a similar dynamic of mother never approving and daughter trying to jump through hoops to earn love.

That made me sad when she told me that, but from reading a book on toxic parents, I found it really isn't' all that unusual for a child to still feel like they have to make their parents proud even when that parent has passed away.  In fact it was reading that book that kinda snapped me out of trying to please my parents. 

You might find yourself happier, Knitterly, if you do decide to stop jumping through the hoops, cause it sounds like you could jump through 3 flaming hoops without a burn, and if your sister just organized her kitchen, she'd be the one getting the praise and the most you would merit would be a "That's nice, Knit" or "I didn't see you do it, so it doesn't count."
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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #51 on: September 01, 2012, 09:33:01 AM »
Knitterly, I have read so many of your posts. This situation breaks my heart and hits home for me. I agree wholeheartedly with what WillyNilly said. One of the hardest things I've ever had to come to terms with was the understanding that I would never be good enough in the eyes of my mother. I struggled for many years with the favoritism my brother received and the lack of recognition for my accomplishments. Mean words were exchanged on both sides. Calm words have been exchanged. And what I learned is that it doesn't matter. She doesn't get it.

It took some outside help, but I finally got the point where I stopped trying to get her acknowledgement. I learned to find satisfaction with my accomplishments within myself. I developed my own barometer of "good enough." And I have a great circle of friends and other family members who engage in a true give-and-take with me in terms of sharing and acknowledgement. I gave up on needing my mother for that. This was not easy, but it was necessary.

This might sound silly, but I recommend rereading "The Velveteen Rabbit" as an adult. I share it with you because t was recommended to me when I needed help.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #52 on: September 01, 2012, 09:50:06 AM »
Sounds to me as though your mother is trying to "put you in your place", so to speak.  Thus, the harder you try to convince her, the more she's likely to think you're "trying to make yourself important" by "exaggerating LK's virtues".  As others have noted, disengaging may well be the best option, rather than setting yourself (and LK) up for struggles within the family dynamic.

How much do you really need this sort of validation?  Is it worth the angst and possible future issues for LK?  It's possible that by  you pushing too hard on this front, your mother may come to resent LK and continue a vicious cycle."Oh, yes, daughter thinks LK's some sort of prodigy, so I have to make sure to counteract that and put LK in place".

Just a thought.

That is totally a possibility, although I would take it more as "put Knitterly in her place".  I think the attitude towards LK is not conscious - at least not yet.

As for me pushing too hard, I don't think I have been.  These things take place over the course of normal conversation.

The earlier suggestion of just not talking about LK at all to my family is a good one.  I will still have to deal with when they ask about her then change the subject when I answer, but maybe keeping information minimal as suggested will help there, too.

I am also planning on cutting down the amount of time I spend with my parents.  They are watching her next weekend and it is too late for me to make other arrangements (literally all my friends whom I would be comfortable asking to watch her are also attending this wedding), but that will be the last time (it will only be the second time they've ever watched her).

The advice I've gotten here has given me lots to think about.

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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #53 on: September 01, 2012, 11:45:11 AM »
Knitterly, it's not the exact same situation, but I kind of know where you are coming from.

From the time he was an infant, my son showed evidence of keen intelligence, so it was no big shock to us when he was, at age five, identified as G&T and placed in the G&T cluster at school.  My family was delighted, and I shared the news with my MIL, thinking that my son's other grandmother would be as happy and proud, too.

Not so.  She has always favored my STBX's siter's kids, and this was no exception.  She denigrated and negated our news, saying it was no big deal, that Russ was nothing special, and that we ought to keep him out of G&T so he would not feel "superior" to other children.  And anyway, my SIL's kids, (all of whom has special needs and/or struggled in school), were every bit as smart as Russ.  I was just like, Ooooo-kaaaay, whatever, and inwardly rolled my eyes.  I mean, it wasn't meant to be a *contest*; I was just excited sharing news about my kid/her grandson, not making any comparisons whatsoever.  SIL's kids have their own unique abilities and personalities, and being identified as G&T doesn't make my kid "superior", just his own person.  From that point on, we never mentioned anything about his achievements to her unless asked directly,  which was seldom.  He has never warmed to her, and they have a rather distant relationship, (although I know they love each other.) 

My advice to you is just do what I did.  Let them ask, don't volunteer anything, and allow LK's achievements to speak for themselves.  The validation you are looking for might not be forthcoming, but in the meantime, you are the mama of this sweet, beautiful, amazing little girl whose milestones will continue to amaze and delight you for...well, forever!  Mine is 15, almost 16, and doing college-level work.  We are at the point now of waiting to see what he decides to concentrate on once he gets to Uni, and seeing him into the adult world.  The fun really never ends; I enjoy Russ more the older he gets.
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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #54 on: September 01, 2012, 10:02:33 PM »

Knitterly, I'm going to very slightly disagree.  I don't think you need to waste energy standing up and fighting.  I think it is time to say they don't deserve any of your attention or energy.  They've treated you as a second class daughter.  You are continually trying to identify how you can improve to make them happy.  You are seeing them treat your daughter the same way.  And even more scary to me is you mention a difference in race.  Please do not put your daughter on this treadmill. 

Your family will NEVER be the family you want or deserve.  Your mother will NEVER be the grandmother you imagine your daughter should have.  Be happy that your MIL is.  And focus your relationships there. 

I'm not saying cut ties.  But learn to not allow their comments to effect you.  Don't volunteer information to them.  Imagine this scenario of you calling your mom.

This x 100. You didn't deserve the mistreatment you got as a child. But you were a child and weren't able to stand up for yourself. But now you're an adult and you can stand up for that little girl that you were and stand up for LK and say "NO MORE!" You couldn't protect yourself as a child, but you can protect LK now.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #55 on: September 02, 2012, 05:37:40 PM »
I had a dream as a teen that one day, I would line up my family at mom's house, and she would look at me and say, "ya done good."

That is not going to happen. 

My kids, now teens, see her once a year at Christmas.  There is nothing but a surface relationship.  In a weird way, she likes to take credit for my kids accomplishments, because of how well I was raised by her,  and passed that on to my kids.  However, I fought long and hard to NOT be my mom.  The most cutting thing DH ever said to me, years and years ago was, "you sound/act like your mom just then."  He has never had to say it again, because my mom's words do NOT come out of my mouth. 

I will NOT let her take credit for mine and DH's work.

Now, perhaps your DD will be gifted, uber talented, and win awards and accolades.  DO you expect your mother's attitude and behavior to change? 
You can only change yourself. 

You have two chances with a mother child relationship--one is when you are the child, the other is when you are the parent.  Which one do you choose to work on now?

Good luck!

Fear is temporary...Regret is forever.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #56 on: September 02, 2012, 07:35:36 PM »
Stop sharing information with them that they clearly don't care to hear. You know the truth and that's all that matters.
Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.

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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #57 on: September 03, 2012, 08:43:05 PM »
Former gifted child checking in...

I don't think I was an early talker, but I was a very early reader among other things.  And to this day I deeply resent having to "perform." 

Please don't make your daughter do tricks to gain approval from your parents. :/

I have had several thoughts  on this thread and haven't posted yet. This post stand up for me. You have spent your whole life not being good enough for your family and you have suffered for that. Now you are trying make Lk be good enough for your family.

 You are a loving mother and would obviously never try to hurt Lk, but you have to see how acting like LK would be accepted and loved if only they knew how to how smart she was is putting her in the terrible position of beong "loved" for her accomplishments not for herself.

I agree.   By letting this bother you, the message you are sending LK is that what these people think of you matters and you must try to impress them.   Now, there's nothing wrong with that sometimes.  But when they're people who you have unsuccessfully tried to win approval from, that's when you need to realise that perhaps it's not a healthy way to feel.  Perhaps you can spare LK that.  Teach her to be polite and friendly, but not to care too much about the opinions of others.   (It's important to some extent, but we don't have to care what *everybody* thinks, just those who we respect).

I think all three of you are waaaaay off base with this.  Encouraging a child to say "Hi" to grandma isn't asking that child to perform or that what people think of her matters.  Loads of parents encourage their kids to say "Hi" and, after a one or two tries, give up.  Insisting that nothing else happen until the child says "Hi" is performing, encouraging the child to do so then moving on once the child has or has not is perfectly normal and I would even go on to say a good lesson.

As Knitterly has said a few times, the vocabulary thing is just one example.  This isn't about Knitterly showing everyone how smart LK is and thus LK learning that she will only be loved for her accomplishments; this is about Knitterly wanting her family to acknowledge LK's accomplishments, too, just like they do for the other kids.  Even if LK wasn't above average, Knitterly would want that recognition AND to stop being called a liar.

OP:  I agree with the other advice you've been given as far as just stop talking about the accomplishments.  I realize how much you would love to be able to have normal conversations about your life with your family, but for now that's just not going to happen.  I couldn't share how much weight I had lost with Dark Sister when she was heavier than I; now that she's skinnier than I am, that's a major conversation point for her.  I would love to be able to talk about it, but it's a competition with her so I just stopped.  Eventually (hopefully), one of them will notice that you don't talk about LK much, and, when they ask why, say, "You never seemed interested or always thought I was lying about everything so I didn't see the point."  Be honest; they need to know how they made you feel.


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #58 on: September 05, 2012, 06:35:12 PM »
As a grandkid who only heard how awesome my cousins were from my grandmother, I can say that it poisoned my relationship with them for years until we all realized that she only talked us up around the other cousins.  ::)

Anything you can do to reduce the amount of time LK spends around Braggart Gran, the more likely LK is to have a good relationship with her cousins.

You might also try to cut your mother off by telling her that you've gotten all the news about your nieces from your sisters. Any time she brings up your nieces and nephews, change the subject. "Oh, I heard all about what [niece] was up to from [sister]. What are you doing? Did I tell you about [LK's latest exploit]? You totally missed it! She..." Teach her not to talk to you about them (and be sure to get news from your sisters). Reward her talking about LK, herself, or the local sports teams by continuing the conversation. Cut short the visit or conversation if she persists in the Braggart Gran routine.

Have you gone back to your sister who asked whether being the scapegoat bothered you and told her that it does? Or, at least, told her that you appreciated that she noticed the discrepancy?


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Re: Not a liar
« Reply #59 on: September 06, 2012, 08:30:12 AM »

you:  Hey mom, what's up.  Haven't talked to you in a few days.
her:  Oh, we've been busy.  GD #1 was over and we did X and Y.
you:  Sounds nice.  Glad things are going well.
silence, silence, silence.
her:  Whats LK up to.
you:  Same as always.  Growing like  weed and talking up a storm.
her:  LK can't talk at her age.  Your being silly.
you:  Whatever.  Got to go, LK is asking for her lunch.  Call sometime.

Make your mother ask for interaction.  Make her do the work.

I think I'd change the last line to, "well, no one told her, so she's doing it anyway."
"Manners change, principles don't. It's about treating people with consideration, respect and honesty." Peter Post