Reply Thu 14 May, 2020 02:16 pm
I have a complicated relationship with my mother. Example, I prefer to live in a different country all alone but not to go back to her despite she would be very happy.

She has always shown this trait of cruelty which, as I discovered with time, hides a meek little girl behind (she won’t admit, she’ll attack). she pushes the buck on anyone and anything for the rows, broken relationships, etc but never admits a mistake. She could never genuinely say ‘I'm sorry’. She drilled my dad’s brain with pretty scary rows (for us kids -I’ve a brother - to observe in the middle of the night), and insults (especially after they’d come back home from parties involving alcohol; yes, alcohol turns her into an evil substance). When we grew up, my dad left.

Everyone seems to be living a life except her, she clings to her old bad job, isn’t searching for anything new and nags, nags all the time. She talks bad about everything and everyone without really trying to understand people and their pains, and when I confront her on negative attitude, she lashes out on me in a hysterical way that leaves me scared to death (that she might have an attack or something).

She fails to support a conversation with the closest people she has: my dad, her own sister and myself; we noticed that with us she just goes randomly from one thought to another without even bothering if her interlocutor understands her, if it’s interesting or if it’s relevant at all. When I say gossip is not my buzz, she won’t hear and plain continue! It’s as if she’s physically there but mentally elsewhere, very eerie weird effect to observe.
And when she has had a drink, plug your ears and run.. but you know what? With people she relates to much less she can have an interesting conversation !!

When she has an opportunity to develop a scandal, she takes it, when she doesn’t , she’s miserable. Recently, she’s got involved herself in a strange activity of purchasing unnecessary stuff and stocking it up at home with the money she really needed to pay for other things. Then she would say she’s run out of money and life is very difficult. I used to send her money but with all the crazy economic volatility around, I have been passing through my own roller coasters, and as of some time ago, couldn’t send her as much as before.

I was very hurt to know that she used me by crying about her difficult life and then going and spending the money I had sent her on some stuff stocking up she won’t be able to use up alone in the next decade. She won’t resell it as clear as day. (To explain herself, she said she has been investing in something (she couldn’t explain in what to anyone and stubbornly kept it secret), with the purpose of paying the dividends to us, her children (I have a brother). I told her best investment would be in her own health and high morale. She had another a lash out of accusations on me...

To give my mother credit, she is expert at her work (she is cardio rheumatologist), she loves her work and lives by it, her patients love her. (Something tells me they wouldn’t ever imagine what she is like outside work.)
And yes, I understand that it is tough for her to live alone. but she does nothing to keep her friendships!. I mean, we - her children - cannot substitute the whole world for her, right? If neither of us has kids (she dreams of grandchildren because most of her peers have them), she feels inferior and gives us that depressive hysteria on the subject. But what do we have to do with that? This is an enormous pressure. I mean I don’t oppose and am willing to go into family thing but it’s not something to order on amazon ..

My cousin told me it’s my cross to carry in life but I’ve been wondering why. It’s not my cross, I’ve worked for two decades since I left home to pump up my energy and reinvent myself piece by piece. I’ve changed. The idea of going back to her (need be), though, still scares the hell out of me, to the degree of panic attack. I want to direct my energy into my life and maybe have that very wonderful family of mine instead of catering to my mother’s energy sucking activities. It sounds bad but I have only his much energy to manage in life.

If someone can clarify something about my mother from scientific/psychic viewpoint, why she is clinging to the past without growing out of it, what is she missing/lacking that no one mistakenly notices and she doesn’t have the skill to explain herself.. something is awfully wrong and with time it’s deteriorating, that depression of hers.. Are there ways to get through to her common sense? To stimulate her positivity because that’s all what I would want from my mom, - think and feel positive. She says she is trying but then slides back again.. can I help her at all?

Thank you for reading this long.
Reply Thu 14 May, 2020 04:10 pm
I am not a doctor.

But to my mind, she sounds depressed and possibly has other issues. Very high functioning, but then she comes home and it all falls apart.

Since she is a person of science, is it possible to relate to her in a more scientific manner? E.g. if you do x, then y happens (including, when you're mean to me or about the family, I am hurt and if you do it again, I am cutting you out of my life -- yeah, there are folks who only understand the nuclear option). Simple cause and effect. Can you urge her to get care? Maybe -- but consider my next paragraph.

I would also put it to you that you are a grown woman and she is competent. So she can take care of things on her own. And you and your brother and father don't have to be a part of it. You do not have to fix her or bend over backwards to accommodate her. You can walk away -- and by already living in another country, you're halfway there already.

To quote some wise anonymous person (this quote is attributed to more than one person) - you don't have to win her over or understand her. You're not the jackass whisperer.
Reply Thu 14 May, 2020 07:21 pm
The description of your mother reminds me of my own “mommy dearest,” especially during her heavy drinking days. I could never choose a Mother’s Day card at the store - nothing fits when you hate your own mother- and Would end up leaving the store empty handed.

Funny, but her last years, she was so Sweet and the nastiness left, but not the demands.

She didn’t have it easy as a child and I long forgave her because of that. She died two years after my husband did, I was still reeling from that, so her death just got rolled into what I was feeling anyway.

Your mother sounds like a narcissist, possibly also bi-polar. The alcohol adds fuel to the fire. Her verbal abuse is reason to detach yourself From her as much as possible. Many times I would end a phone call early with, “OK mom, got to go. Love to you.”
Reply Fri 15 May, 2020 05:50 pm
During the last row on the phone when she kept blurting crap all over the place (She was quite tipsy and btw she wouldn't remember ANY OF THAT in a few minutes, let alone next morning) - so, as I was observing my mother, I had a thought that scared me: "You mean nothing to me. I have nothing to do with you", I thought. I was disgusted by what I was looking at. I felt no pain, no guilt, no compassion - I need to know to draw the line even to the closest relative.

Also ,the idea you suggest, I've noticed, has been practised by my brother: after living almost 20 years with her, he has turned his lifestyle upside down in a way totally opposing hers - when she wakes up, he goes to bed, and so on. He keeps an abyss of a distance and cuts off her crap at the root rather reservedly and seriously. I am not saying it does not get to him but he won't engage in verbal exchanges with her, ever. Only the necessary communication: visits on holidays (he finally moved out of her place and in with a woman), smiling agreeably, GF waiting in the car/dog waiting at home, I/we gotta go. No negotiation. My brother has set a good example.
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Reply Fri 15 May, 2020 06:20 pm
Thank you, Punkey, for sharing - that is such a bitter experience to live through. But I like it how you would cut it off with a bubbly "I gotta go, luv ya!" thing.

I had had this solution in mind but my naive desire to be the "jackass whisperer", as @Jespah puts it Smile , has been letting things slide into hysterias. Overall, out of 10 times, I'd end up 'early', ie peacefully, 4 times. But here I must give my mother credit again: she does try to end conversations peacefully and we are generally successful, provided that she is sober.

This very trying - and she explicitly says: "I am trying" - is what stops me so far from completely disowning my mother psychologically. I once messed with my life (I wrote about it) and I genuinely sought ways to get out of a toxic situation. There appeared only one person who gave me the benefit of the doubt and outlined what should be done. Others didn't believe I could make it. With this, if I see someone trying to become better, I want to be supportive, moreover when it is my mother.

One thing is clear, alcohol annihilates her attempts and kills her will. So at least, I can let her understand that every time she is even tipsy - I will hang up on her without delay.
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