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To expect my mum to be supportive, instead of making me feel like sh*t?

(20 Posts)
Ihatetidying Mon 08-Aug-11 11:03:03

I realise now (at the grand old age of 41) that my mum is the cause for most of my psychological problems (even though I've been diagnosed with bipolar).

When I was a teenager she was always telling me how fantastic my friends were - i.e. "Sandra has the most stunning hair, she really is a head-turner... sorry Ihatetidying, but she was just born lucky, whereas you've got my fine hair that always looks awful", and telling me that I needed my nose done as it was "like a negro nose"????!!! And telling me never to smile as all you could notice were my crooked teeth (still crooked after years of braces).

Needless to say it made me insecure, and meant that when my dad's friends used to grope me, I put up with it (I had an amazingly developed bust - think Sam Fox - which again she said I should have reduced).

I was shocked when in my mid-twenties, at university people went on about how pretty I was, to be honest I was stunning (and my nose is a button nose, which I love), but still... and my mum has always made me feel so crap that I cut myself from teenagehood (still did until DD was born 13 months ago, and my psychiatrist told me that SS would be involved if I carried on).

Anyway today I was talking to her about DD. She started walking quite young, and has just started running. She is due her MMR this week. I said I was worried, but I feel it's best to have it (having researched loads). My DS (19) had it and was fine, so have all my friend's babies. Anyway, DH would take her without me if necessary - and as he has PR too, he's quite within his rights.

I guess I wanted mum to reassure me. Instead she told me not to get it done now if worried, saying that it's not necessary. I was looking for some perspective on the 'google scare stories' where toddlers who were advanced, suddenly became helpless infants again, on receipt of the MMR, and she said that in that case I wouldn't be able to live with myself (I'd alrady put the jab off from last month, as I didn't want them with the 12 month ones).

I'm sitting here crying now. I'd prepared myself for DD to have them, and now my mum's made me question how much I love her, by allowing her to have them

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Aug-11 11:12:33

You're not 'U' for wanting your mum to be more positive. But some people, I'm afraid are simply 'Dementors'.... sucking the happiness out of life and replacing it with their own brand of negativity.

What you are being 'U' about is still looking for validation & approval from a parent, even though you are a mature woman. Whilst it would be helpful to have back-up & whilst some habits die hard, there comes a time where you have to adopt a 'sod what everyone else thinks' attitude and learn to trust our own judgement. After all, not that long ago, few of us would have still had parents alive by this age.

ChitChattingagain Mon 08-Aug-11 11:16:13

I think your mum was being really mean and unsupportive of you, you poor thing.

Those first injections are scary. My DSs had theirs a little late because I was so worried about them having it while ill and with consultation with the HV I decided to delay it by a month or 2 until they were well. And they're so frequently ill/teething/snuffly at that age I just kept second guessing myself.!!!

However, by the sounds of it, this is not the first time that your mother has been so horrible to you, so it is unlikely that it will be the last time, unless you do something about it.

You have a DH, you know intellectually that you are pretty, and that you are a nice person. Emotionally, you will need to learn, and that will be hard to do if your mother keeps putting you down.

diddl Mon 08-Aug-11 11:32:06

You are 41, you have made up your mind-you don´t need your mum´s reassurance.

smoggii Mon 08-Aug-11 11:39:37

I think you get to an age when you have to take responsibility for how you allow your parents to affect you. We can all say that our parents f***ed us up, intentionally or unintentionally but I think once you get past the stage of early adulthood, it is up to you whether you allow it to continue to affect you.

You've done the research, you've made your mind up. Sometimes people say things just to be contrary, your Mum might be one of those people. In any event you are the one who makes decisions about your life, not your Mum. If she doesn't support you well that's her choice as an adult too.

BaronessBomburst Mon 08-Aug-11 11:42:15

You are letting her have the jabs because you do love her and want to protect her against life-threatening illnesses. You mum is just a bitch, to be quite honest! And for what it's worth, panic about the MMR jabs is a uniquely British phenomenon. No-one else in Europe understands what all the fuss is about. Teams in several European countries looked for links with autism etc after the panic in the UK, and found nothing. Then again, the rest of Europe doesn't have the Daily Mail.

Ihatetidying Mon 08-Aug-11 11:45:25

I understand that I'm old enough to make my own decisions... I guess I'm more shocked at my reactions. We've always been a very close family - my brother (36) still lives at home, and have never paid a penny in rent (in fact he borrows from my folks, despite earning a decent wage).

It's the emotional impact that has stunned me... the fact that she disagrees with me, and makes me feel so useless, that i want to to cut myself instantly (something I have always done... hard to explain why).

I was also anorexic as a teenager & again after my DS was born - because of the size of my breasts (which my mum thought were 'ugly'), and suffered from bulimia from then until I was in my mid 30's.

I guess you are all right - I am an adult, but it's very hard to shake the feelings of inadequateness, and wanting desperately to get her approval, it's easy to say for me to do it, and it's easy to accept that, rationally, in my head... but one little comment from her, throws me back into inadequate and not good enough, child.

I think it all stemmed from when I was 6 & DB was born, and she blamed me for her being forced to be sterilised

Ihatetidying Mon 08-Aug-11 11:46:38

Thanks BaronessBomburst - you made me laugh smile

smoggii Mon 08-Aug-11 11:55:01

Ihatetidying...I'm not saying it's easy to move on from the way your parents have messed you up. There is a Counselling technique called Transactional Analysis, it is to do with how we deal with other people and the way we speak with each other. I think knowing about that would really help you.

There is a fantastic book (written in the 60s I think) called 'The Games people play' by Eric Berne - it is about the psychology of human relationships. It would be very good for you to read it. I too have an eating disorder, probably assisted by my parents in one way or another and it has really helped me (along with Cognitive Behavioural Therapy which is useful for eating disorders).

Transactional Analysis will help you interpret the way you and your mother speak to each other and help you break the cycle of the games you play subconciously when you interact.

diddl Mon 08-Aug-11 12:07:22

But the way it reads to me, she wasn´t actually disagreeing-more saying that if you really are that worried, don´t do it.

Perhaps she thought that that was what you wanted to hear?

You´re maybe upset because once again, she didn´t make noises of approval.

Perhaps don´t involve her much in your day to day decisions?

CogitoErgoSometimes Mon 08-Aug-11 12:18:44

I think, if you're talking about cutting yourself, that you really need to talk to the health professionals who are managing your bi-polar condition and explain how you're feeling. Mental illness can change and evolve and so do the available solutions. You may need extra treatment to that which you're already getting in order to bring things back to normality. We all have challenging people in our lives and our response to those people varies a lot. However, if your response is in the extreme - and wanting to cut yourself etc. would count as extreme - then you should not ignore that but seek proper help.

diddl Mon 08-Aug-11 12:41:42

Remember though, she´s only one person who thinks that you are-in your words-inadequate.

i bet there are many more who don´t.

jugglingwiththreeshoes Mon 08-Aug-11 12:41:58

My mum went to a wedding recently and has been telling me about all the successful girls she met there - slightly insensitive to the fact I have just lost my modest job as contract came to an end. I'm doing the best I can, and often feel quite proud of my two lovely children - having DC's is such an amasing experience. I also love experiencing life - friendships, music, and seeing new places. It doesn't all have to be about achieving things - or certainly not just about what we look like !
I guess though, as others have said, there comes a time when we have to listen more to our own wisdom, and that of others we seek out for ourselves. And try to show some compassion and forgiveness towards the increasing frailties of our parents.
Ihatetidying - Perhaps it will help you to focus on the blessing you have in your daughter and more consciously committing yourself to telling her how great and beautiful she is as she grows up, and working hard not to repeat the injuries and insults your mother gave you. Perhaps your relationship with your own daughter can be an opportunity for healing in your own life too.
Regarding immunisations - my two didn't have them as babies as I was nervous of them too, but DD has just decided she would like them now so we are planning a catch-up programme soon, and she is having one at school this autumn ( the anti-virus one related to cervical cancer)

cjbartlett Mon 08-Aug-11 12:45:55

Stop talking to her about things like injections etc
You now know she will pass judgement so don't tell her about important things just witter on about the weather etc ( that's what I do!)

ZillionChocolate Mon 08-Aug-11 14:37:08

I think YWBU to ask your mum about it. Unless she's a GP she's not likely to be very much help. In fairness to her, I suppose it might be difficult to know what support you wanted. Generally though, she doesn't sound like a good influence on your life and YANBU to be disappointed.

redexpat Mon 08-Aug-11 16:39:13

The MMR scare came from a FOOTNOTE yes a FOOTNOTE in a report, and stated that a handful of the parents were concerned about MMR and autism. It is just that autism begins to show at the same time that MMR is administered. No clear link has been established.

I wouldn't tell your Mum any of the big stuff that happens.

Sheepling Mon 08-Aug-11 16:56:48

I'm sorry I've skipped the thread, I will read in a minute I promise.

I completely and utterly understand you. 100%. I have bi polar, I cut myself, I seek support from my mum, eating disorder- I can even relate to the groping.

You can't just switch off from her opinion, its been ingrained in you for 41 years. What you can start to do, just a little, is trust your instincts. And your DH. Forget the past, forget what she has said on the subject, forget that you may not even be thinking clearly - what do you feel is best for your child? Do you feel the worrying about the possible side effects could be due to the condition? If not, you need to do your own research to either put your mind at rest or gather enough evidence for you to make an informed decision. The issue here is not your mum - but your child, yes? Unless your mum is in some way medically trained, look into this one yourself.

Have you tried the methods 'they' suggest when you feel the need to self harm? I was advised to get a red marker pen and draw on myself when I felt the urge, if its the blood you need to see, or if its the feel of cutting through something, cut a peach or something similar. It may not work, and you may need to cut anyway - do you ever feel the need to go 'to far' or is it more surface wounding? Does your DH know and understand? Forget your mum for a little while - are you on any meds? Can you take something to calm down? Sorry for the amount of questions, I'll go back and read the thread now. Before I go, have a HUG. Thats right, a big, fat HUG. To hell with MN etiquette! grin

springchickennolonger Mon 08-Aug-11 18:29:45

You are not being U at all. Sorry I've only skimmed the thread. Unfortunately, some people, including mothers, can only feel good about themselves whilst they are undermining others. My mother did it to me, and I'm sure many others have done so, and will go on doing so. In your case, it sounds as if she was jealous of you - drawing attention to your "faults" and bigging up other people to make you feel bad when you were actually a very attractive young woman - she probably saw you blossoming and felt dowdy and old by comparison? However, although this has affected you, you are grown up now and need to move on. Get some counselling to help you deal with your feelings, and move on as quickly as you can.

allibaba Mon 08-Aug-11 19:55:02

ihatetidying sorry you've been made to feel so bad - YANBU to feel this way at all about what your mum said. The MMR is a tough decision for a lot of parents.

That said, TBH did you really expect her to be that supportive? You sound like you've had a life time of her undermining you and your confidence so really would she have said anything that she thought would sound supportive?

I agree with the other posters, get some counselling. I've had cognitive behavourial therapy when I was pregnant with DS1 and it has helped me so much, admittedly I've never felt so bad that I've self harmed though.

Don't put yourself in a situation where your mum can do this to you again. At least that way you can protect yourself while you sort out your feelings.

youarekidding Mon 08-Aug-11 20:15:35

Did LMAO at baronessboms comment about the DM not being in European countries, my DS was born in Spainish country and he had the MMR, no one ever suggested a choice or problems - I only heard of them when he was 2 yo and we returned home.

Ihatetidying I can to empathise with the need to get a parents approval because they comment negatively. I do not have MH problems so cannot imagine how hard it is on top of those. The thing is you have to realise, you have raised a DS to adulthood and now a DD, have a DH who clearly loves you and you have done all that without your mums support. In future have the courage to make your own choices without giving her the chance to make you feel like shit.

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