redpickle
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 01:23 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
Try to understand. Is she re-enacting her own mother's parenting style?
Ask her.

Take charge. Your mother is warped, but you're a grown woman and you don't have to play Warped ever, ever again.


My mother - not that she re-enacts her own mother, but she acts out of fear. I did ask her once - she said, that inside, she still feels like a little girl sitting with fear in a dark corner with her father and mother fighting. She vowed, I guess, to herself to have everything under control in her life.

I understand that, but what do I do with this knowledge? Can there be a balance with one side not playing, but the other side still wearing her Warped glasses?

EmilyGreen wrote:
The only thing that will make it difficult is the fact that I like the rest of my family, and at times it can be hard to get along with them and not her... although they do understand, which helps.
Oh my... That's the hardest. I can feel my Dad's pain because he can't really see me or my kids (his grandkids), because he has to keep his allegiance to her.
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 01:43 pm
Noddy, the dear departed had gotten what turned out to be a divorce in the Dominican Republic that was not legal. And this guy was an attorney? It's going to be a mess, she sez smirkingly.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Mon 15 Oct, 2007 02:07 pm
Sglass--

Do tell! I'm developing a purient interest in all available details. If you are kind you'll start a separate thread for the Attorney and the Women in Black.
0 Replies
 
EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 05:03 am
Thank you all for your input, it has really helped. I tried talking to my mom so many times about how hurtful she is, and I even bought books about dealing with narcissistic parents and toxic parents... and I realise that forgiveness doesn't necessarily help, you just have to avoid those kinds of people. I think a lot of people make things worse for themselves by trying to forgive the parent that has hurt them, and it doesn't help ya move on.

Sometimes I want to make a big list of things she's done, just so its on paper and out of my head, but I'm not sure it would help.
0 Replies
 
FreeDuck
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 07:52 am
That might not be a bad idea. Maybe you could make the list and then have a ceremonial "burning of the list".

Here's the thing I learned: I can't make my mom better, all I can do is limit my time around her and try not to react to her. She's 67 now and has been the way she is ever since I've known her. Nothing I do will make her change. But I can set limits. I don't have to accept behaviors that are disrespectful to my family or harmful to my children, and I don't. She is my mother but my family has a higher priority now, and if she doesn't like it she's welcome to live the rest of her life without knowing us.
0 Replies
 
EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 08:48 am
Freeduck, that sounds like a good decision and you word it all really well. I can tell you've worked hard to come to terms with what needed to be done.
0 Replies
 
Joeblow
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:03 am
At those times I'm stressed about mum, I remind myself:

"If it's not one thing, it's your mother." Razz

That helps some, when I let it.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:50 am
I am estranged from my parents, and have been for many years. Not having children, it was the easiest thing to do. My younger sister, however, attempted to maintain some regular contact with a controlling vindictive situation for many years after I quit, for the sake of her kids. While growing up. we went long stretches without seeing OUR grandparents, as mom was feuding for one reason or another, (never her fault, of course) and she was determined not to let her kids suffer the same fate.

As it turned out, they suffered more by the exposure, and have all made a decision (years later) that they want nothing to do with their Grandparents, either.

If the behavior is harmful, and hurtful, and is not going to stop, you must break the cycle. It is very hard, but you must protect those you love, and not allow them to grow up thinking aberrant behavior is "normal".

Hope this helps.
0 Replies
 
EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 10:39 am
Rockhead, welcome to A2K! I love your avatar.

You make a good point, and that is a very sad situation that you describe there. Your correct, though. Children learn how to act from those taking care of them, and you don't want grandparents telling your children how to think and feel. That's what would happen to mine. My mom loves manipulating the conversations in such a way that forces you to feel a certain way about things. I won't have her doing that to my daughter.
0 Replies
 
Noddy24
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 12:31 pm
EmilyGreen--

You can't change the past--but you can create the future.

Hold your dominion.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 01:15 pm
Emily

I'm another person who estranged themselves from their family. Entirely my choice, and honestly, I never regretted it one day.

Serious question....If your mother was just some person, not related to you, would you like her, or spend any time at all with her?

A person can throw all the guilt they want your way, that doesn't mean you have to catch it.

During one of our infrequent phone calls, I said something, as I always did, that "upset" her. The conversation ended....the phone rang a few minutes later. It was her calling to tell me how much I had tied her stomach in knots, and how she wasn't going to be able to sleep at all that night.

My response was "So, why are you calling me? Is it because you're hoping I will get just as upset, and not sleep either?"

IMO, and I think you know this, your mother says all those things about being a bother and so forth, just to make sure neither one of you are happy.

Imagine for just a moment that when she makes a comment about not being wanted, etc., you didn't disagree with what she said...Not saying anything that says you agree with her, but just not disagreeing.

What would her reaction be?
What if you didn't didn't disagree with her reaction?
0 Replies
 
EmilyGreen
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 04:32 pm
Thank you, Noddy.

Chai - I actually don't usually respond to her "Irish Complements", or whatever you'd call them... and she has several different reactions - she'll make statements about how cold I can be (later on) - which makes other people think I'm the bad guy - , she'll cry, she'll keep talking and change the subject, or someone else will interject something to ease the tension. And you're absolutely right, it truely feels like she's wanting to make sure I'm unhappy like she is - sometimes, if she thinks that it worked, she gets happy again. It hurts to think my own mother wants to make me unhappy, and I have definately become very cold towards her because of that.

And I've asked that very thing... if we weren't related, we would definately not be friends.

It has been very interesting to me how many people have broken away from their families for this very reason. Too many families use their deep knowledge about one another to treat them as their own personal emotional-punching-bags.

With this attitude being so common, I'm surprised there isn't a term for it like there are for so many personality disorders... along with a set list of ways to handle it. It seems people tend to come to the same conclusion -

When family members are deliberately hurtful, don't be around them... ever.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 06:07 pm
It gets much less emotional with time, I promise. Those who know you best can hurt you the most.
0 Replies
 
Chai
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 06:14 pm
Irish Compliment...that's pretty good.

You mentioned "other people" thinking you're the bad guy when she accuses you of acting cold...or that "someone else" will interject and ease the situation.

I take these others are siblings, or other family members.

That sounds familiar too. However, I realized that was their problem if they wanted to pretend to believe what anyone was saying regarding me.

I include my sisters and brothers in that question, "would you like them if you weren't related"?

No, I wouldn't. I have one sister who is a quite nice person, and we talk on the phone occassionally, and are at ease with each other. However, if we had ever met as strangers, we certainly would never have become friends.

Does this attitude have term for it?

Yes, it's called "being an adult"....and it entails "not living your life for someone that you don't even like very much."

I personally believe there is some sort of statute of limitations for the phrase "I owe this person so much, she gave birth to me" if they haven't done all that much for you since then.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 06:24 pm
Noddy24 wrote:
EmilyGreen--

Quote:
She'll babysit, but before I leave she'll deliberately start a fight and act very put-out by me... basically ruining my time away from home. I'm starting to think that its not because she doesn't want to babysit, but because she doesn't want to let anyone else have a good time.


Your mother wants to be in charge. I'm perpetually amazed at the women--and men--who would rather have a dependent child than an independent child.

My first mother-in-law was a pushy, backbiting woman. She actually told me that she had a right to spoil her grandsons any way that she wanted to because her mother had spoiled her son (my husband).

Refuse to play.

You can treat the distance across town as an emotional and physical Gobi Desert and refuse to cross it.

Or you can try a little leavening wit and good humor.

Ask her in advance what she would like to fight about--and then explain that you're too busy to fight right then.

Try to understand. Is she re-enacting her own mother's parenting style?
Ask her.

How close is your husband to his degree? Make it clear to your mother that you're not going to stay close to home so that the intergenerational battles are convenient.

Take charge. Your mother is warped, but you're a grown woman and you don't have to play Warped ever, ever again.



I liked all that. Just sayin'. Will post more after I catch up on the thread.
0 Replies
 
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 07:01 pm
Are the irish, especially irish women, prone to passive aggressiveness? That seems to me true, within my family milieu, so I get to ask. I'm very irish to all but the born in ireland irish like Heeven.

I'm working into being just plain aggressive. Or, straightforward, that's the deal.

I think I love this thread, with the range of ages and some general level of understanding and support. Breathe in, breathe out.


I never quite got to leaving my family cold since my dad died when I was in my twenties and was failing since my teens, and I wouldn't have left him. My mom's behavior ratcheted up in my teens and twenties, into plain weird from my pov, and that may have been the alzheimer's entre... indeed was. So, I never really had that adult conversation that is conceivably possible in some family situations. Chances are, though, that sans alzheimer's, we wouldn't have had it either.

To be perfectly bald, I didn't begin to miss her for about twenty years after her death, even though I did grieve, and I now, at almost thirty years past, wish we could have a good long talk. My empathy is larger, and thus my sorrow is larger now, so long later.
The resentment isn't gone, but has melted into just how it was.

Not that everyone will have this, as some childhoods are sheer intractible hells, but I remember more freely now the good things.

What's the point. This will sound odd, but remain courteous while you hold that dominion. I don't think you HAVE to do holidays, though you could.

Holidays are another story. Maybe even another thread.




On children being exposed to tremendous manipulation - if it's twice a year, oh, sure; if it's all the time, nononononono.

But grannies and grandpas can be wonderful, and young adults can be very awry, so I won't make blanket statements on that.
0 Replies
 
Mame
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 07:16 pm
On the other side of the coin, there are daughters and their trips. Oh yeah. Going through one of those right now. Well, she's going through it - I'm done.

My mother was a terribly delinquent, non-caring, emotionally and verbally abusive mother to all her 7 daughters, in one way or another. At some point, though, we have to grow up and deal. My turn came at 16 when I accused her of wrecking my life. Her answer was my mantra for the next however-many years, "Maybe I did, but it's your life, so what are you going to do about it?" Very good question. After I finished cussing her out, I set about making it what I wanted it to be. She was right, dammit!
0 Replies
 
Sglass
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:04 pm
All I can say is wow. All of you really hit home with your commentary.
0 Replies
 
Rockhead
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:08 pm
Agrred as to the Holiday stories.
All I can say is that you must stick to a vision of what is truly "right". Remove yourself, and decide without emotion what is important. It would surprise you in the long run how many other family members will support you after you refuse to bow to an alternate reality. This only applies to situations that are only going to stay out of bounds.
You have to decide if people who are related to you by whatever means, truly care about you and your wellbeing.
0 Replies
 
Fedalia
 
  1  
Reply Wed 17 Oct, 2007 09:46 pm
I've been amazed lately at how deeply family members can continue to affect me, and other people, well into adulthood. I've written one family member off before and hung up on my mother numerous times, yet a few days ago she still managed to break my heart.

Humans are odd creatures.
0 Replies
 
 

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