To think that my mother is cold and callous

(49 Posts)
ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sat 07-Jun-14 04:31:59

So, a few months back, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Arthritis. I didn't tell my parents, as I knew that my Mum would get angry with me, as if I had orchestrated a medical condition just to piss her off. One Sunday afternoon, when DP and I were walking their dog, I completely blacked out. Hit the ground face first, and still have a lovely bump on my forehead to show for it. My Mum told me to cop on.

DP carried me back to my parents house, then told them what happened, He used the opportunity to tell them about my Fibro. Cue lots of huffing and stropping and slamming things around by my Mum. Not one iota of sympathy. She has not even mentioned my Fibromyalgia since.

I went for a smear test a few weeks ago. The result came back abnormal, which means that I have to go for another in 6 months. I'm sure that it will be fine, but when I told my Mum, she sat with a wicked scowl and a face like a slapped arse.

My dad used to shout at me whenever I hurt myself. But I put that down to anger at the fact I was hurting.

Has she always been like this? Do you have siblings?

hesterton Sat 07-Jun-14 04:39:52

It's a very odd reaction. Unpleasant. Sounds like you know her well though, and don't expect anything else. Very sad for you- she'll never be a lifeline for you.
I'm glad your dh sounds lovely.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sat 07-Jun-14 05:02:28

Exit, yes, I have two sisters, but they live a bit away. When they visit, they are the sainted sisters for deigning to visit, and my Mum practically throws a parade for them. But if I don't pop around every night, I'm a hateful bitch.

The bloody ridiculous thing is that my Mum constantly bemoans how her own Mum relies on her, and pays no attention to my Mum's own medical condition. Yet my Mum does the exact same thing to me. If I ever dare to mention my own medical problems, the only response I get is anger and bile.

Tangerinefairy Sat 07-Jun-14 05:27:09

I feel for you. That must be so horrible. Your mum sounds really cold and unfeeling, much like my mil who treats DW in a similar way. It makes me feel so angry and sad. I'm sorry about your health problems, I was ill myself for a couple of years and it was a very hard time. Hugs to you x

SecretWitch Sat 07-Jun-14 05:37:07

Shadows, what an incredibly difficult time for you! Coping with an illness like Fibro is exhausting enough, without dealing with your mum's bizarre reaction. It must hurt deeply to know that you can't depend on your mother to support you when you are ill. Please surround yourself with people who will nurture and care for you (like your fab dh)

My mum can sometimes be erratic in her response to me. So I have found other people to mother me over the years. I don't mean in a needy mummy way but in a warm, loving response when I am in need. Sometimes, we must build our families when the one we were born to does not work for us.

Tangerinefairy Sat 07-Jun-14 05:45:00

Lovely post Secret and so true, that is what my DW has done.

daisychain01 Sat 07-Jun-14 05:47:09

shadows so sad for you with your health conditions and I hope that you get the support you need, healthwise and emotionally.

Your comment makes sense as regards how your mum behaves

The bloody ridiculous thing is that my Mum constantly bemoans how her own Mum relies on her, and pays no attention to my Mum's own medical condition. Yet my Mum does the exact same thing to me. If I ever dare to mention my own medical problems, the only response I get is anger and bile

The resentment you describe is because your mum didn't receive support from her mum. Instead of breaking the cycle, she is perpetuating it. Things that get passed down from parent to child are often those learned behaviours, and when you get ill or are hurt it reminds your mum what she was feeling when it was being done to her iyswim. Also it sounds like she resents any attention bring diverted from her.

Not for a moment excusing your mum, but it explains why she is like that. And although it is very hard for you, if you can rationalise it like this, at least you can build your support networks through other means.

AlwaysDancing1234 Sat 07-Jun-14 07:04:09

I could have written this post about my mother. Whatever illness me or DSis have she will insist she has had it worse or in a more severe form etc. She is always moaning about our grandmother behaving like this yet does it herself and is even worse so I can totally sympathise with you. It's hurtful but she may not even realise she's doing it, does not excuse this sort of behaviour though.
I hope you have other family or friends who can support you through your illness. flowers

My mil can be like this although she is much better than she used to be. Attention seeking or something?

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 07:22:48

I think there is an element of your mum not being able to face the worry about the illness. She reacts angrily and with a scowl as a defensive mechanism to avoid facng the reality of it. She doesn't want to face and accept it and talk about it because she will then feel helpless and worried, so she deals with it by fighting it by refusing to acknowledeg it and by getting angry over it.

"Cue lots of huffing and stropping and slamming things around by my Mum. Not one iota of sympathy. She has not even mentioned my Fibromyalgia since."

She is upset by it but does not want to face it and show any "weakness" so she fights it by being "angry".

bragmatic Sat 07-Jun-14 07:38:49

You have to visit every day?

claig Sat 07-Jun-14 07:44:27

"I have two sisters, but they live a bit away. When they visit, they are the sainted sisters for deigning to visit, and my Mum practically throws a parade for them. But if I don't pop around every night, I'm a hateful bitch."

I think your mum wants all of you to visit her and uses different "tactics" to achieve it. The other sisters live a fair bit away, so she can't moan at them for not coming because it won't work, so she makes a fuss that they have come in the hope that they will come again. Because you live nearer, she uses the moaning tactic to make you feel guilty so that you will come more often.

Chocotrekkie Sat 07-Jun-14 07:44:37

Text/email/letter.
"dear mum as I told you I have fibro. This means my energy is limited and so I will be visiting when I feel well enough to. You are welcome to visit me any time.

We will not be walking your dog again.

It would be nice if you could support me and help me on the days i am tired but if you don't feel able to then that is your decision.
Love you.."

Come and join us on the fibromyalgia support website (can't do links on phone - sorry) - we are a friendly bunch really !!

MargotLovedTom Sat 07-Jun-14 08:01:11

Bloody hell, I'd be giving her a wide berth tbh.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sun 08-Jun-14 01:52:32

Sorry, posted this morning and then had a shitty day, so didn't get back until now. Thanks so much for all the kind words.

Tangerine, I'm sorry that your DW has similar problems with your MIL. It's bloody tough, isn't it? Do you get tired of it? DP is wonderful and understanding, but he's definitely getting fed up of the amount of time we have to spend with my Mum. He works crazy hours, and frequently says that he would like to spend what limited free time he has with just me, as opposed to me and my Mum. It's starting to put a strain on our relationship, tbh.

Secret, thank you so much for your lovely post. It does really hurt. Especially as, when she was in bed with the flu last year, I went around to her house every day, made soup, and brought it to her in bed. I've tried so hard to look after her, and she just really doesn't care when it comes to my health problems. You are so right about finding other people to do the 'mothering'. DP's Mum, while difficult in many ways, is very warm and caring. I still just want my own Mum to care though.

daisychain, yes, my Mum's behaviour is definitely due to how her Mum is with her. Without doubt. It pisses me off that she is perpetuating the cycle though. She moans endlessly about her Mum to me, while subjecting me to the same treatment.

AlwaysDancing, it's really difficult, isn't it? I'm almost 30 years old, and still seeking the support and approval of my Mother. I'm sorry that you have a Mum like this too. I have a couple of very supportive friends, and DP's sister is wonderful. DP works loads though, and the friends have lots of stuff going on themselves, so I'm dealing with stuff on my own a lot.

Claig, yes, you could well be right there. She does struggle to deal with things. When my Aunt (her SIL) had breast cancer, Mum didn't visit her at all, until after all of her treatments were completed, as Mum just couldn't handle seeing her so ill. So I do try to make allowances for that, but sometimes she is just so openly cold and indifferent, it's really hard to do that.

bragmatic, yes, I am expected to visit every day. I can get away with skipping one day a week, but after that, it's strop central. My Mum then bitches to my sisters about me, and then they have a go at me, presumably because if I'm doing it, there is no pressure on them to be present more often.

Choco, I would so dearly love to send that email, but the fallout would be awful. My Dad and sisters would be furious with me.

Margot, I would really like to do that. DP actually wants to move 20 minutes out of town when our current lease is up, just to get some space. It's so difficult, though. I've pretty much been conditioned my whole life to be a people pleaser and my Mum's caretaker. It got worse when I was 12, and she started crying on my shoulder, telling me all about her marriage problems and how she was falling in love with the man she was having an affair with. I'm just always expected to be there to cheer her up, jolly her out of her bad moods, provide companionship when she is bored.

Sorry, that was the bloody 'War and Peace' of forum posts. I am incapable of being brief! MN can be like therapy sometimes (and reading that post back, I could possibly do with some of that too).

Thumbwitch Sun 08-Jun-14 02:01:04

Umm, why on earth are you pandering to your mother's completely unreasonable demands that you go round every single sodding day to take more of her poisonous bile? I mean, seriously, WHY?

You have been chosen as the family scapegoat. Nothing you do will make your situation any better, because you have to be the fall guy in every situation. How dare you be ill! How dare you have needs outside of your mother's! How dare you possibly actually maybe even be worse off than she is! You're ruining her beautiful martyrdom. RUINING it.

Leave her to it, I would. You need to focus on your own health and how to manage it - and believe me, you don't need extra stress, it only makes Fibromyalgia worse. Tell them all to episs off.

Thumbwitch Sun 08-Jun-14 02:01:45

Sorry, random e there - I meant PISS off, not episs off, although I suppose you could do it by email and then it would be an episs off grin

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sun 08-Jun-14 02:09:42

Oh Thumb, episs off genuinely made me laugh. Thank you. You are so right. My Mum absolutely adores being a martyr. It's so bloody difficult though. I once told all of this to my older sister, she told me to cop on and grow up. It suits them all that I'm in the role I'm in, so if I rock the boat, they will hate me for it. God, I really do sound like I'm determined to be a victim. I'm not, the whole family dynamic is just screwed up. The laughable thing is that friends and family members often comment on the wonderful relationship my parents have with their children. Yup.

Thumbwitch Sun 08-Jun-14 02:15:00

You're right, it does suit them to let you continue in your scapegoat role because if you choose to leave it, then one of them might end up taking it on and they obviously don't want to!

Do you have any children of your own yet? Because they will get sucked into this twisted dynamic as well, either by being ignored/scapegoated as you are, or your mother will try to win them over and poison them against you.

Do you think you could go non-contact with all of them? What benefits do you get from staying in contact with any of them? I mean real ones, not just "they're my faaaamly".

wafflyversatile Sun 08-Jun-14 02:17:43

I think it's time you started telling them all to cop on. You are as entitled to your own life as they are.

If your sisters are so concerned they can move closer.

Moving sounds a good idea.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sun 08-Jun-14 02:31:00

Thumb, we don't have any DCs. We've recently found out that having children is unlikely to happen for us. I've actually occasionally thought to myself, well, that's a good thing, because I won't have children to treat the way my Mum treats me, and my Nan treats her.

What benefits do I get from staying in contact with them? They can all be amazingly kind and supportive. That's what makes it so difficult. They can be wonderful, then hateful, in the space of an hour. They are horrible much more often than they are kind, but when they are kind, they are so, so kind that it sort of blinds me.

waffly, absolutely, if my sisters were so concerned they could move closer. They are great at pseudo concern, from a distance, so my parents think that they are wonderful.

Fuck, I'm sorry, I've been pouring out all my issues. This must read like a load of self-indulgent twaddle blush.

Thumbwitch Sun 08-Jun-14 02:37:19

Don't be daft, that's one of the reasons we're here, so you can pour out your troubles and get some useful responses!

Sorry to hear about the children situation - but if a miracle were to happen for you, I think it unlikely that you would follow your mother's pattern! Far more likely to go the other way, I would say.

If you read any of the threads about abusive partners, you'll see that they can be absolute charmers, in between being utter shits. This is because they need to have some redeeming features to keep the "victims" hooked - if they were just complete and utter shits the whole time, people would get wise and leave them. Can you do percentages of how often they're nice/nasty? If it's more than 2/3 nasty, I'd still dump the lot of 'em.

ShadowsCollideCantLogInToMN Sun 08-Jun-14 02:55:12

Thumb, you are very kind and wise. I'd love to think that if we have children, I'd not turn out like my Mum. We'd actually love to adopt, so it could still happen smile.

I see exactly what you mean about abusive relationships. I volunteered in a Women's Refuge, and learned about the cycle of abusive behaviour. Be abusive, then repent (with gifts or excessive kindness), then be lovely and caring, then abusive again. Apparently the cycle gets shorter every time, so the space between repentance and abuse gets ever smaller.

Thanks for listening to my troubled ramblings.

Thumbwitch Sun 08-Jun-14 03:47:27

No problems! It's harder to see it when you're in the middle of it, isn't it? Plus you can never quite believe that your own family are capable of doing that to you.

Sounds like your family have their space down to a few hours, which is extremely rough!

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