Go Back   Friends and Family Forum > The Family Forum > Parents

Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old November 16th, 2015, 10:25 PM
jdaron357 jdaron357 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2
jdaron357 is on a distinguished road
Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

This is my first time posting in a forum so please bear with me and thank you all for reading and especially for anyone that responds. I'll try to explain this situation as best I can.

I am a 33 year old, happily married, mother of an 8 year old son. I live less than 10 minutes away from my mom and less than 20 minutes away from my brother. My mom is a widowed 68 year old woman, who lives alone, and she has admitted that at times she's lonely for a companion (someone to go out to dinner with, things like that) she is perfectly content never marrying again or having a live-in relationship.

The problem is, my mom drives me absolutely insane! Don't get me wrong, I LOVE my mother and she's done a lot for me and my family. But some of her behaviors are truly maddening. She has always gotten frustrated very easily for as far back as I can remember. And when she gets irritated she starts getting snippy BUT with ONLY those closest to her (i.e. ME and before my stepdad passed away - he as well). No one else EVER sees this side of her. To everyone else, including family, she is the sweetest lady. And honestly, I've never seen her treat my brother the way she treats me and treated our step dad. She's one of those people that says things, just to say things! For example, years ago she told me I needed to stop using Drain-o in the bathtub because it wasn't good for the drain. I asked her why and she just got huffy with me and got an attitude saying something along the lines of "Just because." And what that means is, she doesn't know why. She either may have heard that from someone else but didn't catch why or she completely made it up because she had been trying to convince me for months that I needed to cut my very long hair so that it would stop clogging the drain in the shower. I'm leaning towards the latter. Instead of how a normal person would reply "actually I'm not sure but I heard that somewhere so it's definitely something finding out about in case it could be a problem in the future for the pipes." she chooses to act like a 13 year old who was told they couldn't spend the night at a friends house. This is her reaction to everything, all of the time. And it's getting worse and worse the older she gets. Which leads me to the big and most recent problem. She undermines me in front of my son constantly. If I say he can't eat junk food ll day and has to eat his vegetables or he can't get up from his plate, she will scoff, roll her eyes at me, and tell me that it's fine for him to eat junk food and not eat ALL of his vegetables and she does this RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.

Now I’m really lucky in that my son is an angel and very well behaved and very aware of right and wrong. He knows when Grandma says things like that, that it doesn’t matter and he still has do what I have said. But it infuriates me to no end that she continues to do this. Of course, when he is at her house and I’m not, she spoils him rotten. I get that it’s a Grandma thing but she takes it overboard. This isn’t really all about how she spoils my son. It’s about her behavior in front of him and how she treats me in general.

She owns an apartment building that she rents out and had a vacancy a few months back and stopped over at my house one day after showing the apartment to a potential tenant but told me “I’m not racist but he’s black and I really don’t like renting to the blacks. They’re nothing but problems.” I said, “That’s actually the definition of racism and prejudice right there.” She then got mad AT ME for not agreeing with her. I’m sorry…I cannot support that insane way of thinking. She huffed and puffed and threw her attitude all around before storming off and leaving all because I didn’t share her dislike for black people.

Yesterday, we went to a holiday bingo party. My mom, me, my husband, and my son all sat at a big table with about 4 or 5 other ladies in my moms age group. My mom plays bingo multiple times a week and has for years. I go every once in a blue moon and have the general gist of the game down but I don’t understand what all of the special games are or how to play them. They were selling some of these extra games and I asked what the 50/50 was. Her answer was “you play to win cash.” Um…ok, sounds great but that doesn’t help me understand HOW to play and how do I know if I won? She then got extremely rude with me as if I was so stupid not being the bingo connoisseur she is. I let it go.

Towards the end, the bingo caller started calling a game without announcing with game it was. My husband and I didn’t know which cards we should be dotting. I asked to my table “which cards are we supposed to be using for this game?” No one answered me. But I looked around and noticed which cards so I said to my husband “No one answered me but I saw that it is these cards here”. My mom nastily says “I WAS TRYING TO FOCUS ON THE CALLER.” Ok…that’s fine. I let her know that my comment was directed AT her to be negative. I was merely stating a fact to my husband. She then mocked my tone right back to me in front of all the ladies at the table, my husband, and my 8 year old son. I had just had it. I said to my husband “Oh my God…I can’t deal with her.” She snorted/laughed again as if *I* was being so ridiculous and at this point it’s pretty clear she is showing off in front of all of these people. She then says to me “Stop being a baby.” I said, WHAT??? Just incredulous at this point. And she said “Oh well just SHUT UP.” I lost it. I lost my cool. In all my 33 years I had no control over my reaction or my body. I think that was the straw that broke the camels back. How dare she say this to me in front of MY SON??? He by this point is feeling pretty uncomfortable (my husband too). I reached across the table and I swear to you it was a tap but I tapped her on the side of the face and called her a *****. There was no thought process. It was like every instance where she has acted like this and treated me like this my whole life came to its boiling point and I lost control.

I have no regrets about what I did and said EXCEPT for that I did that in front of my son. Which made me no better than her in that moment. I have since talked with my son about this and apologized to him for my behavior. But honestly, I mean what I said. And I feel she deserved it. I haven’t spoken to her since (this was yesterday). I guarantee she is singing the blues to others in our family that I disrespected her and treat her so badly, etc etc. And they will all take her side because none of them, including my own brother ever see the side I see with her.

Please give me some advice…PLEASE. I am dying to know what to do, what to think, how to move forward. Do I need to remove my own mother from my life for my own sanity???
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old November 17th, 2015, 12:30 AM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,172
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

I really don't have a clue.

The only thing I can think of, which doesn't sound very supportive to you but is intended to be, is to apologize to your mother for your outburst, because as you say it made you no better than her in that moment. I'm not saying to open the door for future contact but I do think it was wrong of you to call her a name and tap her on the cheek. I think you know that, which is why you have talked to your son about it (which is good parenting, IMO).

She drives you insane. You definitely need to take a break from her. However, just IMO, I think you are feeling horrible for what you did even though you meant what you said and she deserved it. The reason? You are better than that. Don't apologize for her sake. Apologize for your sake and your son's sake. And only apologize for what you truly do feel bad about, which is the strong reaction.

I hope maybe some time and distance will help you figure out what to do. I really don't have a clue.

Something tells me that you and your mother just have never communicated well. She seems comfortable saying things to you that she would never say to anyone else. I wonder why? But then, in retrospect, she acted like that towards you in front a group of her friends. That's odd too.
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old November 17th, 2015, 06:36 AM
LucyVanPelt's Avatar
LucyVanPelt LucyVanPelt is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Nov 2008
Posts: 9,455
LucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond reputeLucyVanPelt has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

I see several things in your post:

Your mother undermines you with your son. That in itself should put distance between your mother and your son. If you resume a relationship with her, from now on, all visits with your son must be supervised. Visits end at the first incidence of undermining your authority.

She doesn't respect you as an adult woman with your own family. She sees your family as an extension of not just her own parental authority but of her very self. Mothers tend to do this to daughters while the sons get to run free. Sometimes it's about mom's unhappy life. Sometimes it's a personality disorder. It doesn't matter the reason because you can't fix it. All you can do is claim our own life. (For more reading: http://womboflight.com/2014/03/25/we...om-their-pain/)


She's a bully who picks on you. She has control of it because she didn't do it in front of others, but at that Bingo game, she did. Treating you like a child brought out the child in you; you lost control of your emotions and you smacked her and called her a name. She had control over that situation; she was successful in reducing you to the child she wants you to be because she knows how to push your buttons. Now that you know, you won't let that happen again.

You did the right thing in apologizing and explaining to your son. I agree with KayKay; you do need to apologize for losing control. However, this should only happen in conjunction with setting strong boundaries for yourself.

Your mother's behavior will only get worse with age. If necessary, see a family therapist, a spiritual advisor, or talk with us here. A few of us have had to face similar situations with our mothers, me included. The folks here are the reason why I'm still sane!

ETA: Disclaimer: I don't agree with the whole site mentioned above, just the article.

Last edited by LucyVanPelt; November 19th, 2015 at 04:51 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old November 17th, 2015, 06:52 AM
Annsdil's Avatar
Annsdil Annsdil is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: UK
Posts: 2,154
Annsdil has a reputation beyond reputeAnnsdil has a reputation beyond reputeAnnsdil has a reputation beyond reputeAnnsdil has a reputation beyond reputeAnnsdil has a reputation beyond reputeAnnsdil has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

I agree with Lucy. I'm another one with a similar mother. But I changed the dynamics of our relationship by working on my self. I had to do a lot of reflection about the type of childhood I had and how I'd been conditioned. You may need to do so with the help of a Therapist or counsellor. Someone who knows about transactional analysis is a good one to help with communications.

I was always been made to feel guilty and responsible for my mother in terms of her entertainment and companionship and look after her like a third child almost. Think a combination of a threen, tween and a teen all rolled into one.

Once I realised we are only ever responsible for our own happiness and lives (excepting minors), I was able to let go of a lot of guilt. I started to have the confidence to call my mother out and be honest with her and if i didn't want to do something, be able to tell her. All very politely! She didn't like the new me, hated it and rebelled against it i.e. upped her bad behaviour, but once she saw I wasn't going to go back to the way I had been, she had to adapt too.

My mother did not have a good childhood and projected a lot on to me and had to pull me down when things were going good for me. Now we have a far better relationship because I won't play her game.
__________________
******************
There’s one major problem with giving grandparents legal access to their grandchildren. People who inflicted verbal, physical and sexual abuse on their children are then given access to inflict trauma on yet another generation. ~ Wayne and Tamara
*******************
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old November 17th, 2015, 07:36 AM
jdaron357 jdaron357 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2015
Posts: 2
jdaron357 is on a distinguished road
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

Thank you all SO much for your replies. Really, they are all wonderful and absolutely correct. As I reread what I wrote, I noticed some typos but clearly everyone knew what I meant lol. What I did was wrong. And I will apologize to her for my reaction to her. But I need to figure out what I'm going to say with this apology so that the boundaries moving forward are clearly set. I am at my wits end with her. I have tried so many ways to better my relationship with her but obviously they aren't working and I need to consult outside help. I think that LucyVanPelt hit the nail on the head when she said that my mom doesn't respect me or see my family as my own but as an extension of hers, therefore her being the one that should have all of the control. She is excellent at playing the victim. I'll never understand why she acts this way. My grandparents were amazing people who raised her and her sister to be loved, respectful, and educated adults. The fact that she saves her attitude for me and not my brother is infuriating to me, only because he never gets to see this side of her and I feel like no one believes me (except for my husband). I will definitely be using this forum! You guys are amazing and responded so fast and so caring! Thank you from the bottom of my heart.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old November 17th, 2015, 03:10 PM
Mrs X's Avatar
Mrs X Mrs X is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,917
Mrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

It sounds really mild, but one of the things they have found really helpful in playground bullying is for the victim to say "Please play with me nicely". Since your mother is communicating so badly, a version of this may help. Could you try taking a deep breath next time, and saying "Please talk to me nicely?" - Has to be worth a try, good luck, i agree she does sound impossible.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old November 17th, 2015, 03:47 PM
KayKay's Avatar
KayKay KayKay is offline
Moderator
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Texas
Posts: 16,172
KayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond reputeKayKay has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by jdaron357 View Post
For example, years ago she told me I needed to stop using Drain-o in the bathtub because it wasn't good for the drain. I asked her why and she just got huffy with me and got an attitude saying something along the lines of "Just because." And what that means is, she doesn't know why. She either may have heard that from someone else but didn't catch why or she completely made it up because she had been trying to convince me for months that I needed to cut my very long hair so that it would stop clogging the drain in the shower. I'm leaning towards the latter. Instead of how a normal person would reply "actually I'm not sure but I heard that somewhere so it's definitely something finding out about in case it could be a problem in the future for the pipes." she chooses to act like a 13 year old who was told they couldn't spend the night at a friends house. This is her reaction to everything, all of the time. And it's getting worse and worse the older she gets. Which leads me to the big and most recent problem. She undermines me in front of my son constantly. If I say he can't eat junk food ll day and has to eat his vegetables or he can't get up from his plate, she will scoff, roll her eyes at me, and tell me that it's fine for him to eat junk food and not eat ALL of his vegetables and she does this RIGHT IN FRONT OF HIM.
I only addressed the current state in my post because I wasn't sure if you accepting her behavior was all in the past, but to build on Lucy's and Anns' and Mrs X's advice, here are specific ways I think you can address situations such as the above which will take your mother's power away.


Your mom: blah blah blah Drano blah blah ruin pipes blah blah
You: Okay. Thanks for letting me know. I guess we'll cross that bridge when we get there. (then continue using Drano in the bathtub as if your mother hadn't said anything.)

Your mom: blah blah cut your hair blah blah clogs drain
You: I'd prefer to deal with clogged drains than cut my hair, so no. (change topic)

Your mom: It is FINE for your son to eat junk food and not eat all of his vegetables!
You (to your son): Silly grandma. She doesn't know much about nutrition, does she? It's a good thing that you and I listen to what your doctor tells you to do.



(P.S. Just an aside... Drano "back in the day" - as in your mother's time - used to be bad for pipes, and frequent use was not recommended. Nowadays, the company claims the formula is safe for pipes. My daughter has really long hair also, but I have a little plastic snake I use. It is very easy to use (easier than Drano in my opinion), less expensive, environmentally friendly and works better (in my opinion). Something like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_161219-72906...11480006357729. I keep it with my bathroom cleaning supplies and use it every time I clean her tub. It keeps her tub drain running clear. Just FYI. )
__________________
Expecto Patronum!
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old November 18th, 2015, 12:06 AM
Mrs X's Avatar
Mrs X Mrs X is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: New Zealand
Posts: 3,917
Mrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond reputeMrs X has a reputation beyond repute
Re: Impossible MOTHER - PLEASE HELP

Quote:
Originally Posted by KayKay View Post
(P.S. Just an aside... Drano "back in the day" - as in your mother's time - used to be bad for pipes, and frequent use was not recommended. Nowadays, the company claims the formula is safe for pipes. My daughter has really long hair also, but I have a little plastic snake I use. It is very easy to use (easier than Drano in my opinion), less expensive, environmentally friendly and works better (in my opinion). Something like this: http://www.lowes.com/pd_161219-72906...11480006357729. I keep it with my bathroom cleaning supplies and use it every time I clean her tub. It keeps her tub drain running clear. Just FYI. )
Lol, I'd want to keep using the draino JUST to annoy my mother....
Reply With Quote
Reply

Tags
difficult, impossible, mom, undermining

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 06:46 AM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.7.3
Copyright ©2000 - 2018, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Copyright ©2007, The BlueSparks Network