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to think my DM's attitude is a bit weird?

(11 Posts)
pomBearPooPouffe Wed 12-Aug-15 21:22:00

She has boundary issues. Has always been one to buy unasked-for expensive presents, things she would like for herself, for others - and then talk a lot about how no-one would buy the same thing for her, and how kind she is for having bought it for the victim other person. If at any point subsequently the other person disagrees with her over anything, she will bring up how kind she has been in buying expensive presents, and how the other person just doesn't care about her. Ditto if the other person buys her a present that isn't good enough (even if the other person's budget is significantly different from hers).

I realised this was bonkers when I was about 5 - leading to me never wanting to engage with her over presents. She has massively codependent relationships with other relatives over this kind of thing.

I've learnt - after trying to reason with her, years back- to just say "no thanks" and change the subject. But she follows me round and round having the same conversation several times a day when I'm visiting. She wants to buy things like Royal Doulton dinner sets, furniture, bed linen etc. "because you've said you don't want it, and I just want to see you go mad, you ungrateful little pain". In front of DF, she gets the tear in the voice that I won't go shopping with her like a normal daughter should go shopping with their dear, kind mother who just wants to shower their loved little girl with gifts. DF will attempt to tell me I'm being nasty. I will raise an eyebrow at him and say I think we've discussed this before. He will quietly leave. She'll then go into a long diatribe about how I must be a disgusting dinner party hostess if I can't serve food off a proper dinner set, or provide proper towels in the bathroom, etc. Then she'll threaten to just buy stuff and have it delivered "just to get your goat".

She really isn't being a lovely kind sweetie of a mother, is she?

pomBearPooPouffe Wed 12-Aug-15 21:23:47

PS I am dreading what this will be like when grandchildren are in the picture. She already does it with my niece - who at this stage is fully enmeshed in the arms race between grandparents constantly buying bigger and better presents...

FrancesHouseman Wed 12-Aug-15 21:24:51

No, she isn't.

She sounds a bit similar to my narcissistic mother.

MammaTJ Wed 12-Aug-15 21:25:39

No, she isn't! She is attempting to be controlling but it sounds like you handle it well!

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Wed 12-Aug-15 21:27:24

Mom, can you open a bank account and I can decide on what I need? Otherwise I'm quite happy. Thank you.

Meow75 Wed 12-Aug-15 21:29:11

No, she isn't. She's being a controlling beast who is looking for .... ?????
I can't decide what but if she wants a loving relationship with her daughter, she's failing miserably.
I am sure I'm going over old ground here, but what does DF say if ever you've managed to discuss it with him alone? (Why) does he enable her?
What does your DM say if you turn it back on her with an example of something that she wouldn't like but would fit her idea of being sufficiently expensive?
How does she react if you say something like "my friends don't care if we eat out of take away cartons on our laps in front of the telly, cause they love ME, not what their IDEAL of me is."?

I know WWIII is possibly the answer to those questions, but even that reaction would tell you a lot.

pomBearPooPouffe Wed 12-Aug-15 21:36:34

Have had WWIII over these questions often enough over the years to not be arsed having it again - my idea of a great night's entertaining with friends is charity shop china/cutlery holding steamed buns, stir fried vegies, green tea; 3 or 4 sets of feet on the coffee table; and a bloody good rant about bloody interfering bonkers relatives grin

DF has his own boundary issues. Most of the time if I try to discuss it with him, without her there, he'll get the letterbox-mouth catsbumface furious look, glare at me, leave the room slamming the door so hard something falls over. Very occasionally he'll have a rational discussion. But increasingly rarely these days sad

Minicaters Wed 12-Aug-15 21:36:41

No, it's all about her, not you.

Tempting to reply "actually rather than towels, what would make me really happy is giving a goat to an african village" and watch how she suddenly doesn't want to give you what you actually ask for. ButI suspect you have tried all the tactics over the years and you should stick to what you've learned works best.

pomBearPooPouffe Wed 12-Aug-15 21:49:02

Minicaters I do the (admittedly slightly passive-aggressive) Oxfam goat every birthday with her and all the other materialistic twats in my family... pisses them off no end... and someone who actually needs something gets something out of it too grin

I think she suspects that I have a fulfilled and relatively ineresting life beyond the smotheringly boring 1950s trousseau of an existence that she's had and has driven my sister into. She can see that I have no great need to go and buy stuff: when I get bored or dissatisfied, I just read a book or go running/walk up a mountain or do some music or something. That's why she gets so pissed off when I ask for a £12 subscription to the London review of books for Christmas... instead of the 25 things my sister will want at £250 each...

pomBearPooPouffe Wed 12-Aug-15 22:07:02

Actually the more I think about it, the more I really need a way of saying

"What would make me happy, dear mother, would be for you to have some CBT and work through your issues with feeling that other people don't appreciate you enough. I'd be absolutely delighted to have an adult-to-adult relationship with you, as we have a lot in common. What I don't want is this false parent-child relationship that -despite you attempting to be an overbearing parent - is based around you, the unloved child, crying out for attention from all the apparently uncaring adults around you"

I did try to say something along those lines to DF once. But he was unloading the dishwasher, and slammed a plate on the stove so hard that it shattered, before storming out and slamming the door. I don't really understand why voicing these things is just so unacceptable to their generation. sad

Minicaters Wed 12-Aug-15 22:50:21

Maybe you should buy her some counselling sessions "just to get her goat" :D

I can only commiserate.

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