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Joy sucking parasite

(28 Posts)
Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 16:50:35

Just wondered if anyone else has a mother like this? We've just had an awful couple of hours. Took her to see a show as we had a spare ticket, so in her mind she's doing US a favour. She didn't offer to buy a drink, a programme, an ice cream, she hasn't interacted with her grandson (12) on any level
She just complained, and niggled.
I'm so sick of trying to do nice things and getting no where.
Dad died last June and she's just been on the pity train, which sounds mean but she's been on the pity train my entire life.
I lost my dad but my pain is irrelevant.
If she'd offered a drink or something to my son, or been enthusiastic, or even interested it would've been nice. But no. Fuck all.
I'm all she's got. Only child. She's no friends ( hardly suprising, I can't stand being with her usually).
Took her home, not even a thankyou.
We were clapping along at one point & she looks at me as if I'm crazy.
I really despise her. Only see her thru duty & cox I promised dad we'd look after her.

Fingeronthebutton Sun 31-May-15 16:53:55

Why keep beating yourself up. Mother, or not: get rid of. If she wants to know why, tell her.

RedDwarfPosse Sun 31-May-15 16:57:47

^ that's a bit harsh finger

Can you not talk to her and tell her how she makes you feel? She may not be aware how it actually affects you

Do you really 'despise' HER or do you love her but despise her behaviour? Surely it's worth trying to resolve before "getting rid"

mrstweefromtweesville Sun 31-May-15 16:59:56

Avoid.
You're all she has and I'm a mum in a similar position so I'd not want to say go non-contact, but keep it to a minimum that you can cope with.

Lurgano Sun 31-May-15 17:00:59

Map out what you do for her now - i.e. how many phone calls, visits, entertaining etc then decide what level suits you and stick with it. I have given up trying to bring any level of joy to my MIL through entertaining, meals out etc - it is such a relief -- think she is happier too, she does want to go out and socialise (also does not have a single friend in the world) -- so just now do quick essential visits once a month.

LineRunner Sun 31-May-15 17:01:17

I think it must be really hard without siblings to share the pain with. Does your DP get how awful it is for you? flowers

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 17:01:58

Thanks. I don't even know what I despise anymore, she's always been like this, but I try and I try and get nothing back, which drains me mentally.
I keep trying thru a stupid sense of duty.
Can't talk to her as she's always right, and no one else has a valid opinion on anything.
I might say something tho when I've calmed down, about her not even thanking us. I'm sick of enabling her rotten behaviour.
She's always AWLWAYS been a selfish, self centred person, everything affects her worse. I had cancer 17 years ago, nearly died, was very ill, but it was all about how awful it was for her.
Times like these I miss my dad so much, cos he was calm and reasonable and such a lovely man.

Lurgano Sun 31-May-15 17:02:26

*does not want to go out

Lurgano Sun 31-May-15 17:06:21

Hard for you Mairy - be kind to yourself as grief is tough especially tough coming up to anniversary...in my case (and I suspect in yours) the wrong one died - I lost my gorgeous lively lovely social mother to cancer at the age of 62 whilst the bitter nasty alcoholic MIL is still here calling the shots....

RattusRattus Sun 31-May-15 17:09:50

I"ve got one like this. She is known in the family as the Dementor.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 31-May-15 17:16:18

It seems you've learned a lesson in the inadvisability of including her in outings unless you want the event to be spoiled by her lack of generousity of spirit which extends to not putting her hand in her pocket or voicing any thanks for your consideration.

From what you've said, it seems she's always been self-entitled and intent on having her needs met without demonstrating any consideration for others and this will, of course, have led to her having few, if any, friends.

Would you be comfortable with simply visiting her for a couple of hours as and when convenient to you with the occasional phone call in between visits?

KatelynB Sun 31-May-15 17:23:39

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sun 31-May-15 17:23:40

I feel your pain. My Mother is a bit like this, though not quite as bad, and fortunately some of the negativity is mopped up by step-father, and I share the burden with my sister. I don't think, IME, you ever get completely ok with it (have you read any stuff on narcissistic parents?) but I try to manage my expectations a bit these days, which seems to help. Eg, she is very happy for people to go to great inconvenience to accommodate her/her plans, but unwilling to reciprocate. I decide the level of effort I am prepared to make, that I can live with, when she is (inevitably) ungrateful or obstructive. I also restrict the amount of time I spend with her. Christmas/New Year is inevitably disapointing, so I visit around those times, choosing to spend them with my own family and DP who bring me more joy smile

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Sun 31-May-15 17:27:12

I have cross-posted with a couple of people. Lol at Dementor.... Regarding telling them how this makes you feel, as Kate is suggesting. IME this is seen as a challenge, taken very badly and aggressively, and I end up feeling worse than if I had never mentioned it. Which I suppose is why they do it, but YKWIM.... I avoid this as its just not worth it.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 31-May-15 17:36:28

Don't beat yourself up for having a 'sense of duty' as it's that precise quality which gets many people out of bed in the morning!

Can you structure visits to her so that they're immediately followed by a treat for you? Not so much a 'reward' for having put duty first, but by way of time to allow you to rid yourself of the cloud of negativity her self-centredness may have engendered before you go back to your own home?

Time spent with people such as your dm can be an ordeal in itself - the trick is to not allow thoughts of them to override or negate all of the positive and productive things you have going on in your life.

flowers for you, a toast wine to your lovely dad, and a cake for your ds.

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 17:37:09

Thanks all of you. goddess you've hit the nail right on the head, do you know her?!
She's like a spoilt child.
Anyway she's just texted me to thank me ( fucking miracle!!). I've decided to take most of the advice and step back a bit. I see her every other day, but I'm going to knock it down. The problem is I can't talk to her on the phone as she's as deaf as a door, wears hearing aids but they're useless, so phone calls are hellish.
KatelynB I think you know me, she was very enabled by dad, and I miss him terribly because he would, occasionally, pull her up and tell her 'enough'.
lurgano very interesting that others have joyless souls in their lives! And I love the name dementor skip brilliant!

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 17:39:04

I think the worst bit is that she's so unlikeable! That's an awful thing to say but it's true. And as an only child I've always felt like an inconvenience to her, so I'm a caring quiet person, who will help anyone, and I'm completely unlike her. I guess the one thing she's given me is the insight on how to NOT be a horrible, selfish person.

Phobicfred Sun 31-May-15 17:41:06

Thank you goddess you're very kind x

I've decided to snap out of the dark mood she's put me in, and be me again. I don't want to snap at my babies, and be snarky, because that's her, not me.

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 17:41:53

Oops ⬆️⬆️⬆️ Name change fail!! I'm also phobic Fred.grin

WyrdByrd Sun 31-May-15 17:44:27

My mum is not joyless, nor unappreciative per se, but is very hard work - nothing I ever do for is right/enough and she constantly tries to cause trouble between me and my DD by spoiling her and undermining my parenting (she sees it as being a normal indulgent grandma).

Whatever is going on in anyone's life she always has/had something similar only better/worse/bigger/more problematic.

I'm also an only child so I feel your pain, but I don't think you could live with yourself if you went completely NC. Definitely some boundaries required though, and I'll share my mantra "You can't change someone's behaviour, only your reaction to it" flowers.

TyrannosaurusBex Sun 31-May-15 17:44:30

You could be describing my late mother. She was always demanding and narcissistic, but when my lovely dad died I made a real effort to spend time with her and take her out.

I still remember taking her shopping in my local town one weekend - I couldn't do anything right. She gripped the dashboard during the car journey (I'm a very sedate driver), complained that the cobbles in the town hurt her feet, moaned that the shops were too busy/cheap/expensive/modern, griped that she 'felt old' in the lovely café where I treated her to tea and cake and then announced that she'd decided she didn't like the town - or Saturdays!

I tried several other outings but all with similar results - she was, as you say, a joy-sucker. I drastically reduced contact with her and was much happier for it - I wondered if I'd feel guilty later, but she died years ago and I really don't.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 31-May-15 17:51:03

I would read and post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread; many of them have similar joy sucking and friendless mothers (women like your dysfunctional mother never ever have or even had friends).

I would read up on narcissistic personality disorder re your mother and see how much of that fits in with her. Also look at the website entitled Daughters of narcissistic mothers.

Raise your boundaries a lot higher than they are currently (they are way too low) and deal with your feelings of obligation/duty to her properly (through counselling; BACP are good and do not charge the earth). Such people like your mother are not receptive at all to talking; she thinks she has done nothing wrong in the first place. She has also not apologised nor has accepted any responsibility for her actions.

You owe this person precisely nothing and it does your children also no favours to see you as their mother be so disrespected by her all the time.

Toxic people like this more often than not become toxic as grandparent figures as well. I would stay away from her from now on and keep your children away from her as well.

Your late father was likely a combination of enabler (women like your mother always but always need an enabler to help them), hatchet man and buffer; she has probably behaved a lot worse since he died even though she has always behaved badly towards you and him.

It is NOT your fault she is the ways she is, you did not make her this way. Her own family of origin did this to her; what if anything do you know about her childhood?.

What you can also do going forward is to grieve for the mother/daughter relationship you should have had but through no fault of your own do not.

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 18:14:17

Firstly thanks all of you.
wyrdbyrd funnily that's also my mantra!! You can't change how people are, only how you react to them. Time I lived by that.
tyran your post made me chortle, purely because she's EXACTLY like that! EXACTLY!
I know that when she dies all I will feel is relief and free.
attila thankyou flowers

DeckSwabber Sun 31-May-15 18:16:19

Could you just say to her 'I don't think you enjoyed the outing today' and see what she says?

Would it work to shove her in the direction of putting more into it - 'we'll get lunch, you can get the ice creams'? If she complies, make a fuss of her so that she gets the 'reward'.

Or next time you have a 'spare' ticket let her know that she isn't the only contender - 'xxx is dead keen to come but we thought we'd ask you first. If its not your thing then we'll tell her it hers.

Mairyhinge Sun 31-May-15 18:24:45

Thanks deck
Live and learn! Although we could've taken anyone today,I actually wanted to take her, I thought ( stupidly) shed enjoy it and it would get her out.
If I'd said to her ' we got the tickets, you buy the drinks' well, she would've probably self combusted, as remember, she was doing US a favour by coming, 'sigh'
It's that exhausting.

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