My parents drive me mad.

(13 Posts)
Queenmarigold Wed 10-Jul-13 23:18:13

Terrible thought: what if me refusing to bow to their wishes makes me as bad as them!!!!!shock

Queenmarigold Wed 10-Jul-13 22:52:39

Thanks all- again so nice I'm my alone. Good coping strategies, love the small child/ sitcom character combo!
I know I will miss them one day. I don't want the last few years to be marred by such frustration. But dear god when will they realise I am a grown up in my own right and not a child. They ignore what I say and then assume, wrongly, that I will eventually come round to their way if thinking. I never will. Aarrgghhhhhh!!!

QTPie Tue 09-Jul-13 23:16:24

Notso, I see and that makes sense smile

Notsoyummymummy1 Tue 09-Jul-13 13:50:09

Qtpie - mine is mostly in my head! What I meant was when a child says something blunt like "you've got a big tummy mummy" you don't take it to heart you just laugh it off and tell them that's not a very nice thing to say. Perhaps patronising was the wrong word to use - maybe correcting them in a calm authorative way rather than reacting emotionally is what I meant! x

Lottapianos Tue 09-Jul-13 12:54:04

'They're a bit like cats- they care in their own way but in reality they ultimately put themselves first and foremost.'

I've never thought of it this way before but it makes a lot of sense!

I'm pretty sure that my parents have Narcissistic Personality Disorder and reading about NPD has helped me to feel a lot less alone and to stop blaming myself for the state of my relationship with them.

I've also been seeing a psychotherapist weekly for the last 3 years which is helping more than I can say. This won't be the right thing for everyone of course but it's helped me to realise just how intensely angry I am at my parents for their judgemental and abusive behaviour over the years. I was brought up to feel that having feelings and opinions of my own was wrong and it's taking a long time to undo the damage they have caused. So I highly recommend therapy to anyone who thinks it might be for them.

nicelyneurotic Tue 09-Jul-13 10:03:58

QueenMarigold they sound like my in laws! I find myself saying lets just agree to disagree.

I think Notso's advice is good. I will certainly be imagining my FIL as a comedy grump! I may even laugh at him too.

QTPie Tue 09-Jul-13 08:36:39

Notso, do you actually laugh at your parents and then patronise them or do you do that in your mind (ie not out loud?)?

I am really not sure that I would treat a child that way, to be honest: I don't laugh at rudeness or correct manners in a patronising tone.

Notsoyummymummy1 Tue 09-Jul-13 00:13:05

You're right - they won't change so you have to find your own way of coping with them. Train yourself not to stew over everything. Write down your feelings or talk to a friend to get it out of your system then move on for your own sake. Nursing resentments toward a parent does more than keep them in the doghouse - you get stuck there too. Strange as it may seem, resentment is a kind of clinging as if we don't want to live our lives until we have this resolved but a lot of the time it can't be resolved because you can't change their behaviour.

One thing about difficult people though is that their behaviour is very predictable - I bet you know what's coming before they've said it. So you can prepare yourself a bit. You need to treat them as you would treat a child - laugh off their rudeness and correct their manners in a patronising tone. It'll make you feel more in control if nothing else. I always imagine my father in law as a comedy grumpy character from a soap and it helps me to detach and even laugh at him.

It is hard because we all want our parents' approval from a very young age so it feels unnatural to detach from them but it is important to separate mentally from your parents - stop seeing yourself as a child who depends on them for your emotional well-being, stop being their victim and recognise that you are a strong and capable adult who is carving out her own life her way.

If anything your experiences with your parents teach you how to be a better parent and look on the bright side - while they're off on their expensive holidays you won't have to listen to their bellyaching! grin

QTPie Mon 08-Jul-13 22:30:28

Hi

Am ins similar situation (and almost 40 too), but my Dad died almost 10 years ago - so am "stuck" with my mum (she doesn't live with us, but I am an only child - she is 75, I feel quite a lot of responsibility). It only gets worse when there is only one left sad

Don't have a lot of answers... I try my best, but I am afraid that I don't have the relationship with her that I would like sad

I would, however, say "don't sweat the money thing": not worth it. I would honestly rather my mum spent her money on herself and don't worry that her gifts for DS/me aren't always expensive or suitable... She means well and we have more money ourselves, so it really doesn't bother me. My parents spent god knows how much money bringing me up, so I don't consider money an issue between us (ie I would have a LOT of repaying if we counted back the pennies ;) )

I think that the problem is a mixture of them "still seeing us as a child" and them growing older (people just get more set in their ways and more extreme as they get older).

Good luck, you have my sympathy and understanding.

Queenmarigold Mon 08-Jul-13 12:17:24

Lol so glad I'm not alone! They're a bit like cats- they care in their own way but in reality they ultimately put themselves first and foremost. I'm nearly 40 and it really is time they realised I'm not 5.
I suppose the trick is not to expect much, them you won't get hurt. But there are certain things that grate- Christmas being an example where I had spent a lot of money on nice food, thoughtful gifts etc and they turned up with some aldi s own alcohol and one gift for each of the Dcs, then expected multiple, gushing thankyous! Fkg embarrassing.they then proceeded to tell me how they'd hunted high n low to get the cheapest present they could, and then followed that up by giving me lots of details about their 2013 holiday plans which included Caribbean cruises, Italy, Germany and Portugal. I spent over £150 each on them and they spent less than £100 on all of us put together.
Unbelievable.
You're right tho, they're not going to change, I may as well get over it.

Queenmarigold Mon 08-Jul-13 12:17:19

Lol so glad I'm not alone! They're a bit like cats- they care in their own way but in reality they ultimately put themselves first and foremost. I'm nearly 40 and it really is time they realised I'm not 5.
I suppose the trick is not to expect much, them you won't get hurt. But there are certain things that grate- Christmas being an example where I had spent a lot of money on nice food, thoughtful gifts etc and they turned up with some aldi s own alcohol and one gift for each of the Dcs, then expected multiple, gushing thankyous! Fkg embarrassing.they then proceeded to tell me how they'd hunted high n low to get the cheapest present they could, and then followed that up by giving me lots of details about their 2013 holiday plans which included Caribbean cruises, Italy, Germany and Portugal. I spent over £150 each on them and they spent less than £100 on all of us put together.
Unbelievable.
You're right tho, they're not going to change, I may as well get over it.

Lottapianos Sun 07-Jul-13 22:37:37

Loads of sympathy here! I certainly feel like my parents see me as a child - they have no respect for me, no faith in me especially when it comes to making good decisions, can't really get their heads around my relationship with DP. I'm 33 by the way smile

I'm lucky in that they live in another country so I don't see them very often and I have massively reduced contact with them. They are both emotionally abusive and to cut a long story very very short, it's just not healthy for me to be around them much.

You have a right to make your own decisions about things. Other MNers respond to unwanted advice with various approaches - smile nod and ignore, say 'well this works for us' then change the subject. As much as possible, I would avoid getting into a conversation with them about what you should/shouldn't be doing. It's only their opinion and if your way works for you, then that's fine. It's not their business.

It's probably not worth confronting them about their interfering - people like your parents (and mine) don't tend to have the capacity to reflect on their own behaviour or appreciate why you might be upset and offended by their judgements. You may find it all ends up being thrown back in your face and you will be made out to be the baddie. It's bloody exhausting but I would do all you can to ignore and avoid conversations that seem to be heading down a judgemental pathway.

As for avoiding becoming like them, I think just being aware of how bloody annoying their behaviour is means there's a very good chance that you will be able to avoid repeating their mistakes. Good luck and keep posting smile

Queenmarigold Sun 07-Jul-13 22:27:05

They try. Really they do.

But they insist I am wrong and they are right. About everything; cleaning, - I do it, they don't; money - I spend it, they don't; - clothes, food, petrol, gardening etcetc.

As I've got older, I've become more and more aware of how utterly selfish my mum in particular is. The world revolves around her, she struggles to empathise with anyone else. She cannot understand that I would be right and she wrong about anything at all- and I do mean anything -from how the tv works to what I should do for a living.

So, is it a case of second childhood? Does she truly think of me as a small child still?
And, those of you with adult kids or experience of this, HOW do I get over it.

I'm aware their time will be limited and I want to make the most of it and not spend all the time with them trying not to snap at them for being so pig headed. And how the hell do I avoid being just like then when I'm old??!!

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