Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.
Do you think I'm over sensitive?(26 Posts)
That's what my mum keeps telling me. Every time I get upset by the behaviour of my family, it's because I'm over sensitive. I don't think I am. I think they're insensitive and constantly do/say really hurtful things without giving a hoot about the damage they cause.
Latest example of me being over sensitive:
I'm avoiding talking to my mum at the moment because she really upset me and I just don't feel like I can. I have a 5 month old baby and am still in a lot of pain with pgp. The constant pain and lack of sleep have left me feeling really low. Also I live abroad so have no support other than my husband and daughter. I was feeling so bad that I rang my mum to talk. Big mistake. She could tell straight away that I wasn't well. She spoke briefly to me but then her neighbour turned up so cut our conversation short so she could make her a cup of tea and have a chat. Her daughter is in a bad place but making a cuppa for the neighbour was her priority.
Worst example of me being over sensitive:
They organised a surprise party for my dad's 70th ... and forgot to even mention it to me. I found out about it by accident 2 days before. I was so upset that I didn't go. Nobody said sorry, they were more angry with me for spoiling the party by not showing up. Several years on they still make sarky comments about me not going and if I'm upset it's because I'm over sensitive.
Do you think I am?
She doesn't sound nice at all. What was she like when you were growing up?
That was really terrible that they didn't involve you in the surprise party. Do you have brothers and sisters? Were they involved in it?
I don't think you're over sensitive at all. I would have been in tears at both of these incidents.
It's not you, it's them. How mean to not tell you about the party!
How did you find out about the party? Did people think you knew already?
Yes my siblings organised the party. I was struggling with depression at the time. My sister and my mum turned up at my house ordering me to go. When I refused my sister went completely ballistic, hurling abuse at me. I cried and became pretty hysterical and had such an emotional breakdown that it tooks months to recover and it still upsets me years later. My mum just stood there while I was abused and at the end just said 'so you're not coming then?'.
My brothers, sisters and mum were adamant that I was at the house when all the plans were made. I wasn't. I found out when, 2 days before, my mum asked me to pass on an invitation to someone I worked with as it had been returned to her because the address was incorrect.
The second one I would have definitely been very upset over but the first one, not so much.
My mum would probably do the same but would apologise to me and call me straight back - she would never ever, in a month of Sunday's, tell somebody it was not a good time. I've seen her let her dinner go cold because somebody has telephoned - she thinks it's beyond rude to say 'I'm just in the middle of having my dinner, can I call you back' so just doesn't. Also, I know if I have been having a bad run of things and whinging a lot she probably would think it was just another one of 'those' conversations.
Do you think it's a bit of both? They are a bit insensitive and you are a bit oversensitive? IME, I have been called oversensitive by my family and this is largely due to them doing something insensitive and then I subsequently see everything as a bit of a slight and get upset about it, even if I can logically see they meant no harm.
I don't know what to suggest, in all honesty, my family are the same to an extent, they bring up incidents from years ago and take the piss but I love them dearly and just let it wash over me now (plus, some of these stories related to when I was a teen and have become a bit of a running joke)
Oh, a clear case of gaslighting then.
So they had invited someone you worked with but hadn't bothered telling you and then told you they had?
I'm really glad you're not living in the same country as them, OP. They sound really toxic and it's much better that you're far away from them.
Are you living in an English speaking country? Can you think of a way that you could make friends in that country? Are there toddler groups near you?
DragonMamma it was 3 weeks ago and my mum hasn't rung me back yet. I doubt she'd think it was yet another of 'those' conversations as I rarely speak to her about how I'm feeling because I know I'll end up being hurt. If anything I suppose I feel angry at myself for letting my guard down, reaching out to her and being cast aside yet again.
ImperialBlether no I'm not in an English speaking country although I am trying to learn the language. I do go to a mum and baby group but find it difficult as I'm pretty much ignored. Not only do I have the language barrier to contend with but I also have AS so find social situations a terrifying mystery.
When I say I'm avoiding speaking to my mum, I mean I'm not contacting her. I'm waiting to see how long it takes her to be concerned enough about me to ring me. I'm not holding my breath.
It's not you... It's them. They don't sound particularly fair/nurturing or caring. There are/will be some lovely people out there who will enhance your life (and you theirs), it just takes a little bit of time and 'frog-kissing' and a little bit more confidence to recognise toxic people (family or not) and keep well away. Then you can work on building relationships with positive people who make you feel better not worse... Hth
I'm just wondering why, after the 70th party thing and presumably other incidents, you thought your DM was the person to call when you were feeling low? She's clearly no Clare Rayner... I don't think you're oversensitive but, sadly, you sound like you're wasting time & emotions having expectations of people that they're never realistically going to meet.
Sorry, i realise it's a different scenario with your mother! You can't just go and find a more attentive one - but she may not realise quite how hurtful/isolating her behaviour is - maybe it would help to have a longer chat. When you've got her undivided attention!
You're right Cogito calling my mum was a mistake. Problem is that I don't have anyone else.
singaporefling it's when I have her undivided attention and explain properly how I feel that I get told that I'm just being over sensitive. If there was any sincere acknowledgement of my feelings I don't think any of it would be so bad. Like the party, had the response been 'OMG we thought you knew, we're so sorry, we made a mistake, no wonder you're so upset' I would have felt very different to the actual response of 'FFS you were there, you knew, now you're ruining it for everyone, you're so fucking selfish'.
If your family don't fit the model you want and don't respond the way you want, you have to replace them with others that do. Takes effort to make new friends, especially if you're a fish out of water in your current location, but going back to your family for more punishment is a non-starter. It's sad but people who behave the way you describe don't suddenly see the light and start treating you properly if you explain how they've hurt you.
I think what I find so hard with my mum is that she is so different with other people. She's compassion personified with other people. It hard to deal with the fact that she rings me every few months but calls my sister every single day. Or that she'll bend over backwards to help an acquaintance but would only help me begrudgingly and only if she couldn't avoid it.
When I was in the UK and struggling with accessing DLA and such like I used to get a lot of advice from the council's welfare rights unit. Every time I spoke to them they were always surprised and told me I should be speaking to/getting help from my mum as she was the expert (she was responsible for setting up the unit and training everyone who worked there). I was too embarrassed to tell them that the reason I was there was because my mum wouldn't help me. When my brother's ex girlfriend asked her for help for the same sort of issues, she did everything for her.
You're completely right Cogito logically I agree with you entirely. Emotionally it isn't so easy, I still want my mum.
That's extremely sad to be rejected by your own mother.
It does sound like galighting like another poster said. Can you get hold of the book, 'the gaslight effect'?
How's your relationship with your husband, OP? And what about his family? Is there anyone there you can talk to? I really feel for you.
"I think what I find so hard with my mum is that she is so different with other people. She's compassion personified with other people. It hard to deal with the fact that she rings me every few months but calls my sister every single day. Or that she'll bend over backwards to help an acquaintance but would only help me begrudgingly and only if she couldn't avoid it."
I can well believe this. Abusive people however, are indeed plausible to others in the outside world. Her compassion though may not all that it seems, she may be helping others just to make her feel good, needed and important.
Toxic parents often use the "you're too sensitive" card against what they see as errant offspring. FWIW I do not think you have been or are over sensitive at all particularly when it has come to these issues. Infact this lot are projecting all their rubbish onto you.
It also sounds like your sister is out of the same dysfunctional mould as your mother; triangulation is a common tactic used by narcissistic parents against their offspring.
You do not mention your Dad much; what is he like?. I hope for your sake he is not a bystander although many weak men to such awful women are. Such men act primarily out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.
Your mother will never be the parent you want her to be and you need to be free of FOG - fear, obligation, guilt.
It is NOT your fault she is this way, you are not responsible for her inherent ills. Her own birth family have done this lot of damage and you are the scapegoat within this family unit; people from dysfunctional families end up playing roles.
I would suggest you look at the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread and post on there too.
My husband is lovely and very supportive. I think his understanding is why we're together. He has similar issues with his family, although manifested in a different way. Funnily enough he also has AS. I do sometimes wonder if this is part of it, that we can't play their game properly because we have a different set of rules.
My dad was a charismatic bully. Everyone thought he was wonderful but I was scared of him even though I still loved him. I believe that is why I ended up in an abusive first marriage, it was an escape out of the frying pan. His mum died when he was a baby and he was passed around various relatives as he was growing up. As a result he expected absolute respect for our mother. Any dissent was met with fury. He used to take his belt off to us. He passed away a few years ago.
It could be my mother/family you are talking about here! Emotionally cold and distant [but not to my 2 half siblings], disinterested and if I dared to say anything I was too sensitive! Trying to talk through an issue like a civilised person and say my feelings or to try and make things better was called 'Oh, you're starting again'.
I was also stopped from going to my grandmothers funeral as it was rushed through when I was away [without one person speaking up for me in my absence], on purpose. I only knew she'd died as a family friend had told me, the family didn't contact me although I clearly gave them contact details.
The hardest lesson is that they are not going to change, if you are the scapegoat, the bad guy and they can get another/others in the family to agree [in their interest to keep the gaslighter onside even if they don't know/agree with them], then for as long as you stay in contact - it will continue.
But please know it isn't you, you don't imagine how you feel/how she makes you feel, you don't make up these scenarios, you don't imagine cruelty in action. To feel, to hurt is not being over sensitive in the cases you describe, it's being human and having the ability to recognise rejection and disinterest in people who one would expect to care, nurture and understand.
In your situation I would learn to deal with my family on a very superficial level. In a way, keep it professional as it sounds like you're being labelled and singled out as 'the difficult one'. Keep a healthy distance from them, don't reach out to them and don't respond to any insensitive comments etc. This is what they are like, accept it and move on.
If you really need some support I would consider counselling instead. They can offer you good objective advice, unlike your family.
Message withdrawn at poster's request.
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.