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Suggestions for My Dilemna

The relationship with my mother has always been troubled, ever since I can remember as a child. I was belittled and criticized as a child and an adult when my decisions didn't coincide with their (both parents when my dad was alive) opinions.  We had many rows when I was a teen and even after I became an adult because they didn't respect boundaries.  Fast forward to now (I'm 45), my mother, for lack of better words, is embarrassing to go out with in public.  She has no filter, talks about inappropriate subjects in a loud voice, and makes condescending remarks to both my husband and I.  For example, when my daughter graduated high school, my gem of a husband removed her and took her home from the party we were attending in my daughter's honor because my mother was talking to my ex-inlaws about death and cancer in a loud voice.   I feel bad for feeling this way, and jealous of people who have good relationships with their moms.   I'm at the point that I am limiting my time with her to only a couple of times a year (she lives 10 minutes from me) because I am so sick and fed up with her.  Any suggestions are welcomed, even if you tell me I'm a terrible person for feeling this way about her.

Re: Suggestions for My Dilemna

  • Sorry I don't have any suggestions for you, and no I don't think you're a terrible person. I tend to be non-confrontational for the most part so have gone the route of seeing some individuals rarely or not at all (how ever this has only been with ex-friends and acquaintances not with family). Reading what you go through I'm so thankful for the family and in-laws that I have (hopefully you have great in-laws).
  • GilliCGilliC member
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    wildtn said:

    The relationship with my mother has always been troubled, ever since I can remember as a child. I was belittled and criticized as a child and an adult when my decisions didn't coincide with their (both parents when my dad was alive) opinions.  We had many rows when I was a teen and even after I became an adult because they didn't respect boundaries.  Fast forward to now (I'm 45), my mother, for lack of better words, is embarrassing to go out with in public.  She has no filter, talks about inappropriate subjects in a loud voice, and makes condescending remarks to both my husband and I.  For example, when my daughter graduated high school, my gem of a husband removed her and took her home from the party we were attending in my daughter's honor because my mother was talking to my ex-inlaws about death and cancer in a loud voice.   I feel bad for feeling this way, and jealous of people who have good relationships with their moms.   I'm at the point that I am limiting my time with her to only a couple of times a year (she lives 10 minutes from me) because I am so sick and fed up with her.  Any suggestions are welcomed, even if you tell me I'm a terrible person for feeling this way about her.

    My mother reached the last straw when she said horrible things to me while I was going through my divorce. I finally realized that we would never have a perfect relationship, and I limit my interaction with her. I tried talking to her about how the things she said really hurt me, but she never really understood.

    It's hard to let go of someone who's supposed close to you, especially when other people have such great relationships with their loved ones, but sometimes it's the best (and healthiest) option.
    image
    TofumonkeyLeftie22cdn0292
  • wildtn said:

    The relationship with my mother has always been troubled, ever since I can remember as a child. I was belittled and criticized as a child and an adult when my decisions didn't coincide with their (both parents when my dad was alive) opinions.  We had many rows when I was a teen and even after I became an adult because they didn't respect boundaries.  Fast forward to now (I'm 45), my mother, for lack of better words, is embarrassing to go out with in public.  She has no filter, talks about inappropriate subjects in a loud voice, and makes condescending remarks to both my husband and I.  For example, when my daughter graduated high school, my gem of a husband removed her and took her home from the party we were attending in my daughter's honor because my mother was talking to my ex-inlaws about death and cancer in a loud voice.   I feel bad for feeling this way, and jealous of people who have good relationships with their moms.   I'm at the point that I am limiting my time with her to only a couple of times a year (she lives 10 minutes from me) because I am so sick and fed up with her.  Any suggestions are welcomed, even if you tell me I'm a terrible person for feeling this way about her.

    She sounds odd but you would know better than I.

    Maybe the ILs find that topic fascinating. Who knows?

    We know a guy who is very into that Area 51 stuff, to the point where he sounds like he's fixated on it.  He'll go to a party and his wife will think to herself, Oh shit, I hope Harold doesn't talk about his favorite topic. People might think he's touched in the head.

    Turns out that at a barbeque he found...yep, that's right, another Area 51 fan.  They talked for hours about their favoirte topic.

    If your mother is this bad and this irritating to you to the point where it upsets you greatly, cool it with her for awhile.  You can either tell her why you are keeping your distrance or let her figure it out herself.

    I can identify. Things got a little funny in my house too, growing up. All the tougher because we had no father, just a mother. GL.
  • wildtnwildtn member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments

    I think there is something wrong with her mentally, and always has been, but she is in denial, she is right and everyone else is wrong.  My father worked all the time to avoid her, I think.  She would have irrational hissy fits, and no one knew what was going to set her off.  When I bring up how she used to act and the things she used to scream at my brother and I, she says that she never did that or doesn't remember anything like that happening.

    It took awhile for DH to figure out what was going on, because she can behave herself for an hour or two and everyone thinks she is so witty and charming.  After that, things start going downhill.  DH would tell me to deflect when she said stuff, that she was just talking off the wall like his mom does and other ppl we know.  He finally figured out that yes, she was deliberately trying to push my buttons and be cruel at times.  He will call her on it, and she will act like she doesn't know what he's talking about.  Or say that I have a bad disposition and no sense of humor and that it's my fault.

    We spent an hour with her yesterday, on her birthday, and things went okay.  We cut the visit short while things were still pleasant.


  • Spent an hour with her and was okay?

    Don't subject yourself to a cat and mouse game. This isn't good for you or your emotional health.

    Consider seeing a therapist for the hurts you've withstood -- I am sure it was no picnic growing up in that house..
  • GilliCGilliC member
    Ancient Membership 5000 Comments 500 Love Its First Answer
    wildtn said:

    I think there is something wrong with her mentally, and always has been, but she is in denial, she is right and everyone else is wrong.  My father worked all the time to avoid her, I think.  She would have irrational hissy fits, and no one knew what was going to set her off.  When I bring up how she used to act and the things she used to scream at my brother and I, she says that she never did that or doesn't remember anything like that happening.

    It took awhile for DH to figure out what was going on, because she can behave herself for an hour or two and everyone thinks she is so witty and charming.  After that, things start going downhill.  DH would tell me to deflect when she said stuff, that she was just talking off the wall like his mom does and other ppl we know.  He finally figured out that yes, she was deliberately trying to push my buttons and be cruel at times.  He will call her on it, and she will act like she doesn't know what he's talking about.  Or say that I have a bad disposition and no sense of humor and that it's my fault.

    We spent an hour with her yesterday, on her birthday, and things went okay.  We cut the visit short while things were still pleasant.

    If this kind of behavior hurts you, you really could be better off cutting her out. Only you know whether it's a problem or not. And if you're torn, I would definitely recommend talking to a counselor about it. Our parents have a huge influence on us, and not always for the best. Our relationships with them are so ingrained, that it can be difficult to recognize or handle hurtful situations.
    image
  • wildtn said:

    I think there is something wrong with her mentally, and always has been, but she is in denial, she is right and everyone else is wrong.  My father worked all the time to avoid her, I think.  She would have irrational hissy fits, and no one knew what was going to set her off.  When I bring up how she used to act and the things she used to scream at my brother and I, she says that she never did that or doesn't remember anything like that happening.

    It took awhile for DH to figure out what was going on, because she can behave herself for an hour or two and everyone thinks she is so witty and charming.  After that, things start going downhill.  DH would tell me to deflect when she said stuff, that she was just talking off the wall like his mom does and other ppl we know.  He finally figured out that yes, she was deliberately trying to push my buttons and be cruel at times.  He will call her on it, and she will act like she doesn't know what he's talking about.  Or say that I have a bad disposition and no sense of humor and that it's my fault.

    We spent an hour with her yesterday, on her birthday, and things went okay.  We cut the visit short while things were still pleasant.


    WOW. I could have written that. 

    I cut my mother (finally) out of my life last November and have never been happier. Seriously, it's fantastic. My mother is as you described. Cruel, always right, I'm always wrong, even about things that I am a professional expert in, I'm stupid, lazy, uneducated, not funny, poorly traveled, selfish, egotistical, a wimp, oversensitive, melodramatic... pretty much imagine the worst person ever and that's me in the eyes of my mother. 

    Shudder.

    However, when reading your post I couldn't help but think that hey, you're 45. That probably makes your mother 60 something. Just tell people she's senile. ; )

    You are wise to limit your time with her. Path of least resistance with people like them. I tried to call mine out on her behavior and the things she would say to me but the nuclear reaction of doing so was too painful and scarring. Yes it would have been the right thing to do but I wasn't strong enough so I just cut her out. Ripped that off like a bandaid. 

    Much better now.
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
    GilliC
  • wildtnwildtn member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments

    I have limited our visits to just a few times a year, and so far it is working, other than me dreading the visits, and her whining that she never sees us.  Of course she is retired, and DH and I both work fulltime jobs.   She just turned 73.  

    When I was a kid, of course, I had no escape or recourse.  For a long while, I gave her a dose of her own medicine and told her off when she started in.  Not nice, and I know it doesn't fix anything, but it felt good.  These days I just tell her that one, I don't want to hear about so and so or two, the subject is not up for discussion and shuts down anything that I don't want to listen to - at least most of the time.  

    Her mind is stuck in the 50's - I should be at home not working, and my husband should be making plenty of money so I can go travel with her and take care of her in her old age.   And she throws up my ex-husband and how well he does in DH's face here and there too, because if I had stayed married to him, I wouldn't have to work.  And so it goes on......

  • Ouch. Have you read much about children of mothers with narcissistic personality disorder?

    http://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/

    Holy fa-rea-king-crap that website blew my mind completely. My jaw ached as I read it from hanging open. Fits my mother (and possibly yours) to a T.

    Go grab some popcorn and enjoy.
    image

    Chronically hilarious - you'll split your stitches!
    I wrote a book! Bucket list CHECK!
  • wildtnwildtn member
    Fifth Anniversary 10 Comments

    Tofu,

    Will definitely read, thank you!

  • I remember seeing on that Couples Therapy show on VH1 they had a segment where the patients had to talk about parents and their inevitable failure to meet our expectations. It seems that all of us are let down by our parents in one way or another. In your case, it sounds like a very hurtful situation, and I can understand why you dread seeing your mom even though it isn't often.

    I just remembered a segment from that episode that really struck a chord with me. The therapist said "You need to mourn for the mother that you want, but that your mom is incapable of ever being. She will never live up to that person that you want her to be. You have to mourn the ideal mom in your mind, and come to accept who your mom is, with all of her own flaws and limitations". Or something to that effect.

    That has helped me heal with a lot of the issues I have had with my mom, and I do feel like our relationship is improving, though not perfect. Just try not to expect any changes from your mom, because I think we end up disappointing ourselves when we hope for a different outcome than what they can give. Your mother is who she is at her age. Try to get what you can out of it that is positive. Once the negative starts, know it's not actually personal, it's some inner battle she is dealing with and lashing out. Just walk away, and say ok, this is all she can give right now. 
    [IMG]http://i1118.photobucket.com/albums/k613/nycartist/16755_197219638704_518460_n.jpg[/IMG]
    Tofumonkey
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