To want to tell my moody mother to get grip and that its not anyone elses fault if she's had a shit day.

(73 Posts)
Runny Wed 03-Aug-16 13:21:40

Just that really.

For as long as I can remember my DM has been very unpredictable. Fine one minute and suddenly moody the next. As a child and teenager I felt I was constantly walking on egg shells around her as you never knew what you were going to get, but when she was in one of her moods you knew about it. She didn't even really need to say anything either, it would be one word answer to questions usually in a snappy tone, loud long sighs, cupboards and doors slammed etc.

She would never give a reason either and if you asked what was wrong you'd be told 'nothing' but clearly there was something but we were supposed to be mind readers abbot what it was. Then a few hours later shed be back to normal with no explanation, until the next bloody time.

This has turned me into the biggest people pleaser ever, and I fully blame my DM for that. Her behaviour has continued into my adulthood, I work with kids and wouldnt tolerate it from a child, so why should I take it from her. My response now is to be really, really cheerful and upbeat to her when she's like this. I suspect it probably makes things worse and it's achallenge because I just want to tell her to geta grip, everyone has bad days and we have to deal with it.

Honestly it drives me crackers!

Msqueen33 Wed 03-Aug-16 13:23:29

I have one of those. She is however being quite nice to me and less moody since my second dc was diagnosed with Sen. I normally find nicing it out means we don't have a row.

monkeywithacowface Wed 03-Aug-16 13:27:07

My dad is like this and getting worse with age. TBH I just don't see him very much anymore I'm 40 years old and resent feeling like an anxious child around him trying to please him into a good mood. It's fucking humiliating.

Lottapianos Wed 03-Aug-16 13:30:30

My mother was similar - mood swings, huffing and puffing, silent treatment, then 'nothing' if asked what was wrong. Its very frightening having a parent like that when you're growing up. I so agree about the people pleasing - I'm in recovery from it smile I don't see very much of my mother any more, for this and many other reasons

I unconsciously repeated some of this behaviour in my own relationship sad Through therapy, and many rows with DP, I've become much better at verbalising how I'm feeling, and telling him when I'm hacked off or whatever, and I think I'm much more pleasant to live with these days.

witsender Wed 03-Aug-16 13:33:32

My mother is the same. My dad is slightly less passive in his aggression however! I too am hyper sensitive to tone of voice etc, and pick up on moods far more easily than others. So yanbu, I have taken to feigning ignorance and carrying blythly on when it happens.

Runny Wed 03-Aug-16 13:34:11

It is humiliating, in fact it's like a from of emotional abuse. Punishing someome for a perceived slight that they know nothing about, why not just say if you're not happy about something.

Twirlyme Wed 03-Aug-16 13:34:46

trying to please him into a good mood. It's fucking humiliating.

This sums up everything I've been trying to work out about my mother in two sentences. Thank you.

I hope my son (and any other children!) never ever feel responsible for my happiness.

Lottapianos Wed 03-Aug-16 13:38:01

'It is humiliating, in fact it's like a from of emotional abuse'

It totally is. My mother is extremely immature emotionally, she's like a 6 year old. She can't wait, can't share, can't see anything from anyone else's point of view, its all about her. She can't discuss stuff she's unhappy about because she's afraid of rejection, so she dictates and lays down the law instead, or freezes people out if that doesn't work. I can see it more clearly now as an adult who has been in therapy for years, but as a child, you internalise it and feel its all your fault.

Have you ever brought it up with her Runny? How do you think she would respond if you did? I'm not suggesting you should - people like this usually don't change and are no good at self-reflection - just wondering if you had

RainIsAGoodThing Wed 03-Aug-16 13:39:39

I've got one too. Passive aggressive sighing and tutting but total refusal to give any clue as to what's up. It made me incredibly insecure as a teenager, and I found it hard to read people as I didn't have a frame of reference as to how emotions were expressed healthily. I've learned as I've got older though.

I have no truck with it now. I say if it's not important enough to address/confront, it's not important enough to ruin all our days over. This is usually met with huffing and sulking at first but she comes round soon enough.

I don't really blame her, she's one of a long line of PA women. She thinks this is normal. Thank god I'm going to break the cycle.

ImYourMama Wed 03-Aug-16 13:40:05

I have one of these too- I don't reply to negative or moody/attention seeking messages. She's slowly learning I won't respond anymore and doesn't bother- this is 5 years of 'training' grin

Runny Wed 03-Aug-16 13:43:57

She'd hit the roof if I brought it up Lottapianos, she's not good with criticism or even being told she's wrong about something. She's one of those people who is always right and is incapable of self reflection in any shape or form, she is controlling and has very poor boundaries and tries to dictate how myself and DB should live our lives. If she goes anywhere as part of a group she will attempt to control everything and will get hysterically anxious if she can't.

I think she probably has undiagnosed mental health problems, but would never do anything about it let alone admit to it. But you know really, it's not my problem. I know that sounds harsh, but if she won't help herself what can I do about it?

LokisUnderpants Wed 03-Aug-16 13:46:47

Believe it or not it's a narcissistic trait. Look up narcissism in the dictionary and there's a picture of my mother.

I do not like my mother. She is not a nice person. I do not have to make her feel better. I am not responsible for her reactions. She has no power over me.

Took me fucking YEARS to be able to realise these things and put them into action.

monkeywithacowface Wed 03-Aug-16 13:49:51

Twirlyme it's taken me a long time to figure it out and see it for what it is. Probably only understood through reading the relationship posts on MN over the years and seeing descriptions of EA husbands etc that I finally understood my dad for what he is. Up until that point I was very much a "yes he's an arse but underneath he cares but doesn't know how to show it, but he shows it in his own way" hmm

It's taken me a long time to realise it's not my job to jolly DH along when he's in a bad mood either. He's nothing like my dad really but I was so used to feeling anxious whenever someone is pissed off that I didn't really know that actually the occasionally grump is fine and not my responsibility.

Runny Wed 03-Aug-16 13:52:20

The thing is she can be really nice when she wants to be. We never wanted for anything growing Up, and I know she will always fight my corner, but I just can't tolerate these moods!

Twirlyme Wed 03-Aug-16 13:53:13

It was about three years ago that my DP asked me - nicely - if I could stop asking him what was wrong all the time. He would tell me if there was something wrong. I'm so trained into asking if something is wrong, or if everything's ok, or if someones angry with me.

trafalgargal Wed 03-Aug-16 13:57:02

All you can do is continue "not to notice" she's not going to change so you need to modify your reaction to it and not reward the behaviour.

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Wed 03-Aug-16 14:01:51

OP, are you my sister? Our mum is exactly like this. Sudden, prolonged silences, no explanations, sighing, refusing to look at us. I'd much rather someone told me if I'd pissed them off, than this behaviour. It has caused huge problems for my sister, who suffers from GAD. I moved a little way away, so I no longer have to deal with it daily, but my niece often stays with my mum in school holidays (she's 12) and I've already had phone calls from her saying 'Nanny's being weird, but she won't tell me what's wrong'. When and if we get to the root of the problem, it's usually something minor - recent example is my mum bought my niece some new shoes, she's worn them loads and loves them but on this particular day, she chose to wear a different pair. It's exhausting. And yes, I'm a people-pleaser too

LoreleiGilmoreIsMyBFF Wed 03-Aug-16 14:04:27

And yes, she can be lovely and incredibly supportive too! I think she grew up with quite a cold and distant mother, which may explain her inability to just say what's on her mind. But still very frustrating.

VeganCow Wed 03-Aug-16 14:16:33

I also have one. hate the moods, sighs, going off on her own to sulk. I also do what you do OP, and be overly cheerful rather than pander to it. Dont know if
it works but at least the moods rarely carry on to the next day.

whattodowiththepoo Wed 03-Aug-16 14:18:09

Yabu you need to geta grip, everyone has people like that around and we have to deal with it.

MammaTJ Wed 03-Aug-16 14:23:02

My own DM was like this all the time when I was growing up.

She tried it a couple of years ago, when I was visiting with my children.

She had a major sulk and was sighing and tutting all over the place, as usual.

I just calmly said 'Look Mum, the sulks ans strops barely worked when I was a teenager, they are certainly not going to work now I am in my 40's, so for all our sakes, please give it up'.

She didn't reply, but I left her for a few minutes and the sulk stopped.

Not sure this would work with your Mum though!

hotdiggedy Wed 03-Aug-16 14:23:22

Its horrible being a people pleaser and stressing over it all, isnt it?

Tiggywinkler Wed 03-Aug-16 14:27:57

I've just been nodding along at this. I hate the neediness that this behaviour has instilled in me.

That feeling of walking on eggshells takes me right back to being 15 again, and not being able to do a thing right, but not knowing why.

monkeywithacowface Wed 03-Aug-16 14:32:15

Oh my dad is very generous and loves taking the dc's out and NEVER gets in a shitty mood with them. When he's in a good mood it's all laughs and pissing about but it can change with the wind and suddenly we're all tip toeing around trying to not upset him more and then comes the relief when the good mood returns that we all reward him with our laughter and happy faces because of the sheer relief the storm has passed. Wanker.

123beanie Wed 03-Aug-16 14:37:11

Mine is the same! Very frustrating indeed

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