To think my mother is just awful?

(108 Posts)
TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:47:39

Can anyone else relate to this?

My mother is very hard work. Ill pop in and see her once a week or so as I live a 30 min drive away and have a small ds.

When I see her she is hysterical, as in she talks non-stop about either herself or other people she knows and about their children etc.

-She will show me people's facebook and twitter pages.
-She talks very loudly all the time, almost shouting even if I'm sitting right next to her.
-You cannot interject if she is talking or she goes mad 'IM TALKING!' even if its related.
-She never asks about me or ds at all the whole time.
-If I'm ill or something and say 'God I feel awful' she will automatically say 'I'm ill too' and then go into a massive story about herself.

Me and my sister are at our wits end and are both going through quite a lot in our lives whereas she is healthy, financially stable etc yet constantly makes out like she is having an awful time.

When I had my ds, she didnt bother coming over to see us until I called her crying when I had pnd and was alone when he was 4 weeks old.
She will never come to my house unless I say come over. She never comes over if me or ds are ill (have bother been unwell for a couple of weeks now and haven't heard from her).

I don't really want to spend anymore time with her to be honest sad

DoJo Sat 19-Oct-13 15:52:38

Does she add anything positive to your life? Do you share any pleasant moments? Does she contribute anything beyond stress and upset? Perhaps a bit of a tactical withdrawal would be an idea.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:54:37

No pleasant moments for a while. She's horrible to my nan too, acts like a spoilt child with her which is weird to watch.

I have no good childhood memories involving her. I wrack my brain trying to remember her reading me a story or something but can't.

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 15:56:06

NYANBU Yes agree dojo she sounds unpleasant.has she always been like it?

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:56:18

I feel like I really want a mum, though so don't really want to withdraw. She's not nasty, just such hard work to be around and I always leave more stressed.

maddening Sat 19-Oct-13 15:56:25

Do you think she has some personality disorder or is a bit unstable?

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:57:08

She seems to be getting worse pp

IvanaCake Sat 19-Oct-13 15:57:34

Has she had a sudden change in behaviour or has she always been like this?

IvanaCake Sat 19-Oct-13 15:58:16

Sorry x posts.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:58:28

I'm really starting to think so maddening but not sure what

YouTheCat Sat 19-Oct-13 15:58:42

How old is she? Has she always been like this or is this odd behaviour for her?

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 15:59:39

She's 62.

I just feel like she's never been there for us emoti

LittleBairn Sat 19-Oct-13 15:59:42

She sounds like a PITA but I wouldn't say awful. I've heard of worse mothers on here she sounds self involved but not knowingly mean or cruel.

Her relationship with her own mum really is between them, I imagine their relationship habits were formed many many years ago its unlikely to change.

Have you or your sis ever spoke about her attitude with her? Maybe she doesn't realise the negative impact it has on your life.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:00:20

..emotionally as its always been about her and her life/career. We just got in the way

geologygirl Sat 19-Oct-13 16:00:22

Is she lonely? Sounds like you're her only outlet, so when she sees you she goes a bit wild? Very odd behaviour and I'd be concerned if she has suddenly become like this.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:01:57

The only awful thing she did was choose my stepdad over me and my sister. He was sexually inappropriate with us both and I'm sure she knew but didn't care and still sees him

Nancy66 Sat 19-Oct-13 16:02:41

If she's like this then I don't think you should see her once a week, it's to much. I'd take it down to once a month.

Alternatively next time she behaves like this you have to say something. My mum is hard work too. If she starts telling me one of her long, rambling stories about people I don't know I stop her and say 'oh I'm not interested in that mum.'

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:03:02

Would she be open to going for counselling do you think?

Nancy66 Sat 19-Oct-13 16:04:20

Crumpet - posted before I saw your last message.

If you think she knew that you were being sexually abused and ignored it then why on earth would you want to see her every week?

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:04:30

OMG did you tell her about your stepd.?

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:05:33

I do say that sometimes nancy but feel bad.

Also if I see her more often and she runs out of stuff to say she'll just disappear upstairs and go on her computer leaving us downstairs.

I hate how she's not bothered by ds sad she does love him but she's never wanting to see him specifically like come round for a tea

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:05:53

Nancy She wants a proper mum FGS sad

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:07:18

I don't know because she's my mum I guess sad

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:09:00

Thecrumpet I'll be your mum (a lot of DD'S friends think of me as their surrogate mum grin). It was a joke but I will be if you want I !! grin

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:10:51

Where do you live pp? ;)

I'm going to start reading the book recommended to me 'Emotionally absent mother' hopefully it will help with some feelings

Nancy66 Sat 19-Oct-13 16:12:24

But she's not a proper mum. To answer your question, yes she does sound just awful.

As an adult you have the choice of whether you have this toxic person, who makes you unhappy, in your life. As a child you did not have that choice.

Lazysuzanne Sat 19-Oct-13 16:16:02

I would try to stop expecting or hoping that she might change and just accept thats how she is, I'd probably also visit her less often humour her while I'm there and only stay a short time.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 16:16:16

TheCrumpetQueen, your mum sounds ill, and I agree with geologygirl that she sounds very lonely. Does she live alone? She seems to be putting on an act and being hyper, but can't maintain it and therefore goes upstairs alone. She can't be calm, she talks too loudly, she is as stressed as hell and is obviously unwell but is putting on an act that everything is normal.

I wouldn't worry about her not coming to see you uninvited. This is quite normal because she probably does not want to intrude and has pride and so will only come if asked.

She wants to be the centre of attention and wants you to ask because she is obviously very unhappy and very lonely.

"No pleasant moments for a while. She's horrible to my nan too, acts like a spoilt child with her which is weird to watch.

I have no good childhood memories involving her. I wrack my brain trying to remember her reading me a story or something but can't."

She may not be able to help it because she may not have received enough attention and possibly love when she herself was a child. She may have been damaged by her own childhood.

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 19-Oct-13 16:17:40

Oh poor you. I didn't have the best of emotional relationships with my mother although I always say there was no physical abuse, no purposeful emotional abuse, and I had everything I ever needed and more. In recent years I think she has a disorder on the narcissist spectrum in the true clinical sense but for years I thought I was just inadequate and not as good as her.

It was really hard shortly after my ds was born and I suddenly understood what sheer unconditional love and nurture meant and realised I had never had that. I'd still like to please her.

I don't think you will be able to change your mother but with help and time I think you will be able to change the way you perceive her and the extent to which it affects you.

I'm really sorry though; I remember how much I needed to be mothered when I became a mother and it wasn't there for me. I think it's a very ill understood time and I also believe poor mothering of the mother is a significant cause of PND. Please look after yourself and be reassured that you are a lovely mummy and always will be.

The nicest thing my older teenage children have ever said to me is "how did you put up with her when you were little mum" and that helped a great deal because it helped me understand the problem was hers not mine although she is my problem iykwim.

But for you and for your dc it will all be fine and you will move on to have better nurturing relationships.

Sorry if t hat turned into an essay and I hope it makes sense of a sort.


ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:18:48

TheCrumpet I live in between france and London and our family is spread out but I try my best to see them nearly every month. That book sounds a good idea.

DontMentionThePrunes Sat 19-Oct-13 16:20:44

She sounds horrendous. It is so easy for someone at the other end of a computer to say 'don't see her' but in the long term, would you consider it as something to work towards?

I have an awful mum: didn't look after us, doesn't even talk to my sibling, has behaved appallingly with my son, talks incessantly, wants to know about us only in terms of what she can boast about to her sisters and cousins, has gone feral at me on several occasions. I decided a few years ago that I couldn't have a normal relationship, never mind a normal, loving, irritating-but-healthy relationship with her because she is so damaged.

I just gradually detached from my mother. She now comes to visit once a year and we talk on the phone about once every two months currently. I don't tell her half of what's going on. She behaved too badly to be worth a starring role in ds's life, and it isn't up to me to smooth that over and make it better, or ignore the fact.

It's tempting to take on responsibility for the damage, but you don't have to. You really don't. Not when it's upsetting and damaging.

ImperialBlether Sat 19-Oct-13 16:21:48

I'm really surprised she can hold down a job. How does she manage with other people? She sounds as though she has a personality disorder. Have you ever spoken to her doctor?

Goldmandra Sat 19-Oct-13 16:23:37

Read up on Asperger's Syndrome and see if it describes her. It may not but it could explain a lot for you if it does.

extracrunchy Sat 19-Oct-13 16:24:08

OP my mum is exactly the same. I've put up with it for years but recently she went too far (you can prob find) my thread explaining if it helps) and I've been seeing her a lot less. I'm not cutting contact per se, just not actively initiating any as the outcome is always just stress and hurt and a feeling of being totally insignificant.

I found the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers website very helpful - can't make the link work but if you google it'll come straight up. It was like reading about my own mum and weirdly reassuring. Not sure if it'll apply as aptly to you, but sounds like a fair amount might!

Hang in there. You have my sincerest sympathy.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:26:04

I'm really sorry though; I remember how much I needed to be mothered when I became a mother and it wasn't there for me. I think it's a very ill understood time and I also believe poor mothering of the mother is a significant cause of PND.

Thanks married for the post, really helpful. This bit stood out as I did want to be looked after a bit after a very traumatic birth, plus my partner is not naturally nurturing either (funny how I found someone selfish to live with).

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:28:14

It was really hard shortly after my ds was born and I suddenly understood what sheer unconditional love and nurture meant and realised I had never had that

This too. My ds is my world and I want to give him so much love. I always put him before my needs, of course and just can't imagine not.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:32:37

She does work but isn't very popular, people tend to avoid her but she is completely oblivious to this and says things like 'I'm really popular' but genuinely believe it.

She can be rude and dismissive to waiting staff when we go out which is horrible too.

extracruhchy I will look at that website. Sorry you're going through similar, and you prunes it's rubbish

extracrunchy Sat 19-Oct-13 16:34:48

Your mum really does sound just like mine! The waiting/shop staff situation is excruciating.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 16:35:59

I think she's definitely got narc tendencies. She's so fucking self-absorbed.

She doesn't live alone, she lives with my brother and SIL

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:38:11

IMO and E some people are naturally more nurturing than others but when you have a L.O. it's like being taken over as you say TheCrumpet and I always wonder what happens or has happened in a person's life to cut out that feeling.

cantsleep Sat 19-Oct-13 16:39:05

I can really sympathise as have similar issues with my own mother.

The only thing I can suggest is keep away from her, it is emotionally draining being with somebody like this and you can't change them. I rarely see DM now and when I do I blank out most of what she says as she rants.

claig Sat 19-Oct-13 16:40:47

How do your brother and SIL find her? Is she the same with them?

DontMentionThePrunes Sat 19-Oct-13 16:42:48

It is rubbish smile but in a way it's not your rubbish if that makes sense.
It just takes a long time to come to terms with the fact that there is nothing good there. (Sorry if that's not the same for you, I'm totally projecting.)

I really really get the bit about not being mothered. I was, as a little girl, and then I was kind of 'unnurtured' for all my late childhood, teens and early adulthood. And I too married someone who is lovely but not emotionally very voluble grin It makes sense, I suppose. I had a truly grotty miscarriage and bad health five years ago and the aftermath of that was that I was left to get better by myself, months and months of just needing to be looked after and nobody realising (including me!). (Still getting over that time tbh.)

Even after all that it feels good to be able to have a child and love them and take care of them, care about them, take pleasure in knowing how to do it (even if it's tricky on occasion to know what's right). I tell myself quite regularly that I'm far better than my mother and I'm proud of it. Of course it would be lovely to be able to thank her and appreciate her for having been a great example, but no.....

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 16:44:29

Or hasn't happened. There's some research that was done in America with deprived L.Os (sorry can't link) that if you were left to cry for ages as a baby, then you lose the empathy instinct. (the stem of your brain at the back of your neck doesn't develop correctly)

thehorridestmumintheworld Sat 19-Oct-13 17:30:48

Hi I agree with the person who said some of that description sounds a bit Aspie. Talking at you and going off on the computer when she has run out of things to say. Saying rude things but not realising they are rude. Never contacting you. Autistic ppl are all different and some are very good mothers but it depends on the person and what they are good at. It might be worth looking into as it may help your relationship if you find out why she is like this. I have to say I wouldn't go to see her every week if she is not very supportive or fun to be with, I do think you should see her but maybe a bit less often you can always call her or chat online.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 17:55:40

She doesn't call me to check on me and ds unless someone says call crumpet as you haven't in a while hmm
She calls my dsis every day to chat and can't be without my brother. Middle child syndrome I guess.

It's all quite upsetting tbh but I think I just have to accept it.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 17:56:24

I really worry that I will 'turn into' her. I really hope I don't sad me and my dsis always say we'll watch out for traits!

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 19-Oct-13 18:04:59

You won't OP; I haven't turned into mine and I'm now about the same age as she was when I met DH and doesn't think I have either. He's not very emotionally tuned in either - perhaps we marry men we can cope with and I reckon a lot of women wouldn't have put up with him although I love him to bits and he doesn't have an unkind bone in his body. But then I think a lot of that was to do with his parents and their general lack of affection.

ppeatfruit Sat 19-Oct-13 18:17:57

You won't because you're aware of the problem so will 'watch yourself' IFYKWIM grin.

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 18:46:55

Thanks for the reassurance. I'm lucky in that I do have people around me who care, I have a couple of nice friends and my dad and dsis and dbro are great. It will probably always feel like a void when you have an emotionally unavailable mother though

marriedinwhiteisback Sat 19-Oct-13 19:08:10

Yes, but it's a void that gets filled up with the love for and from your dc over the years OP smile

TheCrumpetQueen Sat 19-Oct-13 20:05:42

smile sniff

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 22:19:11

Op I really could have written your post, my mum has always been really really difficult, emotionally and physically abusive when we were growing up. My Dad died last year and he was her ' enabler' if you like, he was such a wonderful loyal person and asked us to look after her when he was gone ( she was horrible to him too even when he was I'll). It's a constant source of stress to me, when I visit she's always sitting in her nightclothes, she's angry and bitter and aggressive, she has fought with her most of her neighbours and started a row with some new people who have just moved in nearby:-( she's always shouting about how she wants her own life but yet when we try to distance ourselves she always manages to drag us back in.
I'm always looking for a mother figure ( I'm nearly 40), I just feel like she's blighted my life for as long as I can remember and probably will for a long time to come, she's impossible. Sorry Op I didn't want to hijack your thread just needed to unload.

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 22:20:25

God that was long

loveandsmiles Sat 19-Oct-13 22:34:33

OP & Slinky ~ I really relate to your posts. I didn't realise what a bad mum my mum was until I had my own children and knew I would never treat them how she treated me. Life is all about her ~ she does nothing for me or my DC ~ it is draining dealing with her. 6 months ago, I stopped visiting or telephoning and I haven't seen or heard from her since. Life is more pleasant without her in it, but I would so love to have a "normal" mum.......

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 22:41:13

loveandsmiles I really wish I could just cut her out as my other sister has done. I have read about Narcisstic personality disorder and it was as if someone knew my mum and wrote a book about her. I just feel so guilty all the time, she is so manipulative and can turn on the tears to pile on the guilt. I have that horrible fight or flight feeling every time I go to see her. I have considered moving to another country just to see if the guilt subsides, my DH wont hear of it.

Lazysuzanne Sat 19-Oct-13 22:47:46

Slinky, it sounds appallingsad
I've cut my own mother out, about 8 years ago, I dont especially find myself looking for a mother figure, or even missing a mother ( I am often surprised & bemused at the fact that my own daughter appears to like me)
Perhaps if you could somehow let go of that need you might be able to cut contact?

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 22:58:09

lazysuzanne in the last few years I've come to realise that she's never going to be the mother figure I need/want. It's usually if I meet an older lady, for example, I moved in to my house a few years ago and my neighbour came out to chat to me, I found myself thinking, oh wouldnt it be great if we became real friends and she could advise me on motherhood, awkward work situations etc. I
Even imagined us chatting over coffee in my kitchen. I sooo know that makes me sound like a total weirdo and I wod never admit it to anyone in RL, but it's the truth:-(
I am just desperate to know what to do about her. I could go on endlessly about her, I feel so damaged because of her but can't break away, the guilt would kill me. I'm trapped.

Lazysuzanne Sat 19-Oct-13 23:04:06

I can relate to what you're saying a bit about feeling drawn to the sort of women that you'd like to have had as a mother.
Mine's never been all that motherly, I dont think I ever expected her to be, yours sounds kind of clingy what with all the water works, I can see that'd make it harder to cut ties, parents just know exactly which buttons to press, exactly how much pressure to apply to each button and exactly what sequence to press them in

Lazysuzanne Sat 19-Oct-13 23:11:03

even if you dont feel able to cut ties, perhaps you can find some way of switching off from her, getting in control of the interactions between you and stopping her from getting to you so much?

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 23:12:14

Never a truer word spoken lazysuzanne, she knows exactly what to do to send me on guilt trip. It's totally irrational that I feel like this, she was so mean/hurtful/ cold/ abusive when we were growing up, my husband says its an absolute miracle that three out of four of us still bother with her.
Did your mum ever try to contact you?

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 23:17:49

I try desperately not to react to any of her rants, I'm always just neutral and try not to internalise it but really I do, it's ruining my life. I have a lovely DH and two wonderful DC, I should be happy but yet she's always in the back of my mind. I need counselling or something, she's supposed to be coming for dinner tomorrow and I'm dreading listening to her monologues, there is so such thing as a two way conversation with her.
I keep thinking someone will have the answer as to how to deal with her but really I know there is no answer to that.

Lazysuzanne Sat 19-Oct-13 23:23:20

She has tried a few times through relatives.
I didnt respond, I couldnt face having to deal with all the stuff, and I dont trust her at all.
you might in time find a way to resolve things, feelings can change and sometimes insights come without warning (apologies for the 'ancient chinese proverb' tone of my post grin)

Slinkysista Sat 19-Oct-13 23:41:42

Don't apologise, I love thought provoking musings. I just hope something changes, I live in hope!!
I'm happy to hear that you are living a happy life minus your mother. I hope one day I can do that too smile

Balistapus Sun 20-Oct-13 00:01:33

I've come to realise that she's never going to be the mother I need/want

This is the first step to moving on. I have a difficult mother too like the other posters. Once you realise this fact you have to accept it and, strange as this might sound, go through a bereavement for the mother you will never have. I minimised contact with my mother while I went through that process and now I have a relationship with her that I'm in control of. I see her as a damaged person with special needs who I have a shared history with, but no motherly expectations.

Hope that helps!

Finola1step Sun 20-Oct-13 00:49:11

I highly recommend urge book mentioned up thread, "The Emotionally Absent Mother". I too had the fear of repeating certain relationship habits shall we say, with my own children. This fear brought me to the book. It can be an emotionally challenging read at times but that is to be expected. It has helped me to reform my expectations and my reactions within my relationship with my mum. It's a very useful book.

AnandaTimeIn Sun 20-Oct-13 00:55:05

The only awful thing she did was choose my stepdad over me and my sister. He was sexually inappropriate with us both and I'm sure she knew but didn't care and still sees him

You know, there is absolutely nothing wrong with you going no contact with your mother.

Have you had counselling for any of this?

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 07:24:45

I've had counselling for anxiety, phobia and panic attacks I have - cbt and it did help me gain control over my thoughts.

loveandsmiles Sun 20-Oct-13 08:06:28

slinky I feel much less weird to know others look at other older ladies and wonder what they would be like to be your mumgrin· I always look at all the grandparents picking little ones from nursery and wish my mum could ever be bothered to do that.......

OP it's hard dealing with your mum but very hard to cut ties too ~ I think you always hope things will get better, I hope for you too x

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 09:51:57

loveandsmiles I am so delighted that I'm not alone in doing that, my mum has very little interest in my children, I think that's what has really got to me. I could never envisage a time when I wouldn't be interested in my children, they are so precious.
Op have you ever spoken to her about her behaviour? Does she have friends or sisters who would talk to her about the way she behaves? It's so hard isn't it?

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 10:15:31

I have, but in jest. I tried to do it seriously once and she flew off the handle and went defensive and nasty/cried.

Also, what's really horrible is if I say anything about her behaviour she always turns it on me 'well, you're so ungrateful/you're so defensive' etc etc just comes out with horrible personal attacks which are untrue.
She did this last time I went there was really upsetting

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 10:25:47

None of us can change the past but we can mould our own futures. Good luck. I guess I'm an older lady now at 53. Will be mindful of your comments about needing a helping hand.

My church is looking at ways of supporting vulnerable new mums who are putting on a public front at the moment and I will bear some of what has been said in mind because I think I'm going to be someone who actively helps with this initiative because I remember only too well how hard those early days were and yet nobody looking in would have been allowed to guess.

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 10:34:12

Goodness she sounds so like my mum, it's desperately hard to deal with. It's gotten worse since my DDad died, she plays the grieving widow so well and tells everyone how lonely she is now. What people don't know is that she tortured him right to the end, he couldn't even rest properly in his own home. She was horrendous.
My mum is a great one for projection and rewriting history, she used to say that my Dad was lazy, he worked everyday of his life from the age of 13!
The personal attacks are horrendous, my Mum once called me a "disgusting human being", it's really stayed with me, I was only 16 at the time and it was because I came home late by 10 minutes.
At least now if she starts with the attacks I can get up and leave and go home to my lovely family smile

MillyMollyMandy78 Sun 20-Oct-13 10:50:36

I can relate o some of what you are saying here. I cut contact with my narc mum May this year. The lack of interest in our lives, abusing waiting/ shop staff, everything being about her.

I went to counselling a few years ago cos stuff with my mum had completely ereoded my confidence, due to the continual abuse and put-downs. I remember sitting in tears and confiding that my biggest fear was that i would 'turn into' my mum. The counsellor said that would never happen because i didn't want to.

Lazysuzanne Sun 20-Oct-13 11:04:36

In RL people seem shocked and dismayed to learn that I'm NC with my mother, as if I've broken some ultimate taboo.
(it's not something I disclose readily)

On here it seems rather common

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 11:47:26

No I think going NC with a parent is more common than you'd think.
millymollymandy78 do you think that the counselling helped you? It's something I've been thinking of for a while now.

ScarerStratton Sun 20-Oct-13 11:59:38

It does seem more common on here, but I wonder if that's because we have the luxury of anonymity, I NC with my family a while ago, and I certainly don't tell anyone in RL. Mostly, because she seems to project herself as some sort of amazingly saintly person, and a wonderful caring mother and grandmother.

She isn't. marriedinwhite could be me from what she's said. Some of it really struck a chord with me, particularly the PND bit.

I cannot tell you just how liberating it is to be finally free of them.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 12:01:46

The hardest for me is the illusion she created that she was the perfect parent. The beautiful bedroom, the best clothes, wonderful meals and fuss over friends who visited. And then she woukld criticise them, tell me I should have better friends or that they were prettier or more charming. She was more successful than me, more popular than me, had the choice of the boyfriend field, etc, etc. Whilst I was plain and bookish and serious. I was told I couldn't wear pink because I was a plain child and woukd be the one in the corner at parties.

Even now "I can see the grey under the highlights", "I'd expect you to be living better than in that Victorian villa", "such a shame you don't spend enough on the children's appearance - do they feel inadequate?". And so it goes on and so even at 53 I want to please her.

But I am quite emotionally robust and survived inspite of her. My dd is much more sensitive and vulnerable and I think had she been my mother's daughter permanent damaged would have been wrought.

And I shan't go into detail about the three husbands and upset caused to my wonderfyl grandparents who probably saved my sanity.

Got to ring her later - never look forward to it. Will it be gushy or bitter today? Hmmmm

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 12:04:35

Oh the creation of perfection so other people would admire - but it never endured. I don't think she has a true friend - just a succession of intense relationships that generally end on a row.

hackmum Sun 20-Oct-13 12:06:21

I was going to say narcissistic personality disorder too, though I see several people have got there first. The problem with people with personality disorders is that they won't admit there's anything wrong, so they won't seek treatment. The other problem, as far as I can see, is that they tend to get worse as they get older. Don't know what to suggest, but don't blame you for being pissed off.

Retroformica Sun 20-Oct-13 12:12:53

To feel at peace with things, totally lower your expectations. Expect nothing at all from her. Visit a little less.

Build up supportive relationships with others - your sister and friends. My friends are much like family to me.

ScarerStratton Sun 20-Oct-13 12:15:28

Sounds about right, the perfect childhood filled with tennis lessons, piano lessons, ponies and ballet.

All about the appearance to the outside world. My mum is the same with relationships as yours, nothing ever lasts, nobody in her village likes her. Eventually, people do see through the act, but quite often it's too late and the damage is done.

God alone knows how she's explaining away the absence of me and the DDs, considering I was the one she relied on.

comewinewithmoi Sun 20-Oct-13 12:21:27

I am nc with my parents. I feel happier and stronger every year that goes by. Of course they are in my thoughts and its sad. I want normal parents.sad

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 12:27:25

My mother hardly ever cooked, never cleaned (house was a shit hole and embarrassing to bring people round to).

I remember us all looking at the bare fridge all the time. For breakfast my mum would never get up and make anything, we always had to fend for ourselves (and usually ate crisps or choc for breakfast), ready meals for dinner).

Also we always had shit old clothes and never had laundry done, I learnt how to clean my clothes very young. I actually can't remember a time when I didnt do my own laundry.

It's weird because she's always been comfortable financially and we lived in a big Victorian house.

Just weird.

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 12:28:45

My sister said before I was born she was so lonely as mum would just lie in bed before and after work, never played with her or interacted.

Always a big show when people come round though

Lazysuzanne Sun 20-Oct-13 12:32:55

I'm just relieved to be able to get on with my own life without having to deal with my mother.
Then again I'm rather solitary and have never been family orientated

Lazysuzanne Sun 20-Oct-13 12:35:04

Crumpet, you poor thingsad

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 12:54:39

Thank you. It's good because ive learnt to be very independent very early on. I can cook very well, I'm very clean. My ds has lovely food everyday and always will.

I learnt how to not do it, I guess.

I was always so skinny in old pictures and no wonder really!

loveandsmiles Sun 20-Oct-13 13:41:01

It's nice to know I'm not the only person with a horrible mum (but sorry there are other horrible mums out there) but its definitely made me feel less alone ~ very few people in RL know I don't see my mum.

Her husband died a few years ago and she plays the grieving widow despite never having a pleasant word to say to him when he was here. Those that know her on a casual basis think she is lovely, good fun etc and how awful that I don't speak to her and she doesn't see her GC ~ if only they knew the real her ~ bitter, self~obsessed, nasty, selfish etc. She spent my childhood either in bed with depression (never made meals, took me to school etc) or when she was 'well' out with various men. I didn't realise my childhood was so bad until I had my own DC, who I would never treat like that ~ they are my world and I would do anything for them. My childhood has made me slightly OCD in that I want everything to be perfect for my DC ~ I do silly things like stay up half the night to bake the best cupcakes for the school fayre, getting really stressed ~ but I realise its because my mum wouldn't even go to the school when I was young, never mind making cakes, that I have to be OTT in the opposite waygrin ~ mad I know.

Sorry for long post ~ do feel better for sharing ~ thanks OP for mentioning what is unmentionable in RL x

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 13:47:49

Sorry to hear that smiles I get the OCD thing. I have it with a clean house and food smile

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 13:52:07

Yes, I would never ever say a bad word about my mother in real life. I thikn that's one of the virtues of Mnet.

TheCrumpetQueen Sun 20-Oct-13 13:54:43

Funny because just the other week I was out with a group of mums and we started discussing our mothers and I said how disappointed I was that my mother wasnt very interested in ds. Others then chipped in with stories about mothers/MILs (one who loved her mil more than her own!) so it was good to talk about.

married that church group for new mothers sounds brilliant, well done. I Used to volunteer for Home Start and loved it. Would love to help new mums somehow

loveandsmiles Sun 20-Oct-13 14:00:46

Oh crumpet so glad someone else like me smile. I am OCD about cleaning house too! Also must always have lots of food and cook home cooked meals (even when I can't be bothered). I go to everything at the school (have sat through many awful recitals etc grin) because my mum never ever went to the school or showed any interest in my school work.

Could have worse traits I guess, than a clean home with plenty food!!

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 14:31:22

[loveandsmiles] and [crumpetqueen] I can't even believe that there are other mums like mine, I thought she was a one off but your descriptions sound so like my own ! Good to know there are other people dealing with these issues too, it really consumes me. I think I need help to deal with it. I just wish I didn't have to deal with her, it's so draining and she goes on and on until she gets a reaction:-(

What is seeing her adding to your life? Other than maybe assuaging some kind of hardwired 'guilt' at not enjoying your own mother's company?

She sounds like she could certainly do with some help, but that will only happen IF she feels the need for it.

You otoh sound hurt and vulnerable - would you consider seeking some help for your own sake?
IMO part of being an adult is to become less emotionally dependant on our parents. That does not mean love them less or see them less, but become less dependent on how they behave, even towards us.

You cannot change her behaviour (whether it's a personality issue or whether she's mentally ill), you can only change how you react or respond to her.

Tbh, I don't think I'd see somebody like her as regularly. For my own good...

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 15:04:49

Done the call. Oh she's had her best birthday in years - that nice girl over the road had her to dinner on thursday and it stretched the celebrations and they've had a night at a spa. I sent flowers, chocolate and bubbles - no thank you. And last year we all went and took them out to the best restaurant in the county.

It gets me down, but hey ho.

noddyholder Sun 20-Oct-13 15:12:03

My mother is the same and I have been OTT at times in my attempts to do it all for ds but he is 19 now and at uni and he can talk about this stuff and he appreciates everything and tells me how much all teh time! SO it was worth it even if I was a bit of a 1950s housewife for a while grin

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 15:40:08

Yes my nearly 19 year old rang and asked for a lift from his girlfriend's this lunchtime (it's a 110 minute round trip) and I said no and felt a heel (if he can stay out all night and sleep with a girl that sort of stuff) and then the thunder and lightening and mega down pour started and as I zipped on my boots and was about to call him to find out where he had got to a drowned rat came through the door. Now if I'd done that at 19 not that I would have dared stay out or ask for a lift there would have been pursed lips, no effort to backtrack at all, and tutting and I'd be ill and how stupid I was.

As it was we were in fits the moment I clapped eyes on him and it was light hearted and humorous and I called him a wally and not to get the hall floor wet and dd told me not to be mean and we laughed some more.

But yes there has been a lot of overcompensating on the way not least the fact that I tell them I love every day and try to praise them every day even if DS says I only ever open my mouth to criticise me - but you know what he can say how he feels and is confident enough to.

MillyMollyMandy78 Sun 20-Oct-13 16:26:24

Slinky - yes and no, to your question. I think counselling helped me let go of some specific resentments but didn't really dilute the pain of her comments/ actions in general. It did help me see that i was not doomed to be just like her, and that just because my mum seemed to think i was a worthless piece of shit, didn't mean i actually was! So in terms of my confidence, it really helped me.

But it didn't make me stop yearning for a mum who loved me and cared about my life... And it didn't stop my disappointment, each time that i was with her and she was unable to deliver... It was only years later that i finally went NC, basically because i was tired... So tired of the irrational demands placed upon me, tired of the drama, the hurt, the insults, tired of feeling like she was always there to suck the pleasure from my life.

The most helpful thing for me was posting on here, and reading a lot of what other people had posted. I realised that i am not alone, and that some people genuinely found it helpful to go NC. That really set the thought in motion for me. And when i finally cut contact, and later found my dad (her enabler) had subsequently turned his back on me, MN got me through! Since I went NC in May, my life is generally simpler and happier, and i feel free to be myself. I do have moments when i struggle, and i avoid telling people in RL the truth, but i have never doubted my decision was for the best. To those of you considering going NC, i would say keep posting and don't rush any decisions - only you know what is best for you... But also be aware that NC could be an option, even a really good option, for you

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 17:45:23

Milly- that's good to know, I have zero confidence so counselling could help with that!
My mum has just left, she came over for lunch around three and left at five, she talked constantly, everything was doom and gloom as usual. My DS was roaming about, he's only 18 months and while she talked to him a few times but never picked him up or showed any real interest in him for the duration of her visit. I detected a bit of a mood because I didn't buy in to a drama that occurred in church this morning, of course she was at the centre of the drama and she was sooo pleased that the priest had thanked her in front of the whole congregation. I could have seen the time when I would have asked more about because I knew she wanted to talk more about it but today I just thought, no I'm not buying in to this! She didn't like it! I was relieved when she left, I feel stressed in her very presence.

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 17:46:44

Milly I have to agree, even chatting on this thread has helped unload some things I've been carrying around for a while.

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 17:54:32

It's good to know you are not alone. It's good to know you can talk about it and that other people will understand and not say "oh but she's lovely - my teenage friends honestly thought (and still do) that I had a cool and brilliant mum". It's also good to watch your children grow and found a family with a totally different dynamic because after a while you come to realise it wasn't you at all.

Good luck >>>>hugs<<<<<

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 17:57:35

That's it [married] I always thought it was us and if we did better at school, were better behaved at home she'd be happier but I realise that's not the case.
You are all lovely!

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 17:59:04

married I meant

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 18:05:54

It wasn't you. And it took me until I was 50 to really understand it wasn't me. Mnet helped and I started looking up the characteristics of narcissism. Now as they are listed I don't think my mother was extreme but enough to dent my self esteem and fill me with self doubt.

I always say though in her defence I was never physically abused (apart from once when she lost it), I was never cold or hungry or dirty and I had everything but I realise now that was for her gratification rather than mine - I had to look nice to create the right impression and I was not allowed to get dirty. Things that I thought were good and made me independent I'm now a bit hmm about in that when I got in from school I did have to get all the veg ready for dinner and I also had to make the beds (no duvets then) and thinking about it she had enough help for that not to have been necessary. And my room was not my room - she went in it every day and moved and straightened and changed things so I was never allowed to keep anything private or where I wanted it or could find it.

Sorry for the rant - sometimes it's good to get it all out.

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 18:21:50

Oh it really feels good to let it out to people who understand. My mum used to just burst in to my room, nothing was ever private, I wasn't allowed any opinions or just to grow up with my own sense of self. Ever when I was still living at home (in my twenties) she would come in to my bedroom and flick the light on at one and two in the morning to use the computer, which was in my room, to print stuff out for her work, ( she is a night owl, up at all hours doing stuff that 'normal' people do during the day). The fact I had work the next day and she was disturbing me didn't even occur to her!

marriedinwhiteisback Sun 20-Oct-13 18:32:52

A naughty thought but we could book them all a surprise a holiday for Christmas. A lovely cottage in the middle of nowhere - together - with a big delivery from Sainsburys to which they are not allowed to make any changes grin and set them a task whereby they have to divide the tasks up over five days to ensure they are divied up fairly.

It would probably end up on the 9 o'clock new !

Slinkysista Sun 20-Oct-13 18:39:28

Oh it would end in murder I'm sure! What a thought!! I've often wondered what she would do if she encountered someone just like her! I didn't actually think there was anyone quite like her in the world but I'm beginning to think differently.

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