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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

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

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