To refuse to pander to her?(58 Posts)
My mother, who wants me to pen her a letter on why I have made her feel rubbish....
Background is, I'm nearly thirty but we've always had a tricky relationship. I feel like everything always has to be on her terms and the overall atmosphere of any family gathering is dependent on what mood she is in. I live a few hours away and she keeps in touch by sending me statements over email that might just say 'I'm looking for a new job' or, 'we are going to do the floor in the house today' or, if o haven't been responding to the above, links to online 'evidence' of the latest food that is causing her health problems. (She has no diagnosed allergies or intolerances despite numerous tests) never a 'Hi, how are you?' phone conversations are quite hard work as she talks about herself and her problems for about 90% of the time we are on the phone. When I was younger I found it really difficult to live with her as I always just felt that she just didn't like me very much. She never seems to be that interested until she can use something to sort of gain some attention or spotlight onto her, IYKWIM.
Anyway. My dad had surgery recently and I wanted to take some time off work to travel to see him and stay a few days. He's in a lot of pain and will need physio. My parents are divorced but he lives in the next town to my mum. It happened as when I was packing s few things together I got a phone call from my gran (my mum's mum, we get on well and keep in touch although I don't get to see her very often) and I mentioned I was travelling back home. My grandparents then offered to pick me up from my train and take me out for some lunch. Then they drove me to my dad's.
Now, I should have mentioned to my mum at some point that I was going to be in the area, but I really just wanted to see how my Dad was, and as my mum is usually quite busy with various things I intended to drop her a line the next day and see if she was free for a quick coffee. The visit just wasn't about her, I've been worried about my dad and just wanted to spend time with him.
Unfortunately my Gran (who my mum does not get on with) phoned my mum and told her about the lunch and how lovely it had been to see me.
So I got a message from my mum telling me I had embarrassed her by her by not knowing I was back, that she didn't know what she's done wrong, and they she now expects me to write her a letter to explain my actions. She then said she did not want to see my anyway and she'd been having a shit time recently and I'd made her feel rubbish about herself, so thanks for that. So I left it at that, apart from a message back saying I didn't want to fall out and was not a big conspiracy not telling her I was back, but in hindsight I should have mentioned it.
I don't know what to bloody do. I don't want to sit down and write such a letter. Don't know how to move forward as if I don't we will be at a stalemate. The letter I presume I I am expected to grovel a bit and sort of 'explain myself' I'm not really sure TBH.
Thanks for reading as is so long. AIBU for not wanting to write a bloody essay on the reasons why I'm a rubbish daughter?!
You're nearly 30 and your Mum still feels compelled to treat you like a child? Stand up and state your case; you won't be writing the letter, you won't be apologising and you won't be pandering to her nonsense any more.
She sounds as though she's emotionally manipulating you. It's wrong on a thousand and one levels. Only you can choose to apologise but from here YWNBU at all.
to your Dad, too.
No not unreasonable at all.
For entirely different reasons I once had a long discourse with my mother, and after receiving a 4 page, handwritten letter explaining lots of things about why she was upset with me, I drew mental line, sent a very short, curt email back that I didn't think any more back and forth was going to get anyone anywhere they wanted to be and stopped engaging.
4 years on, we're fine again. You know your mum, but sometimes you just need to leave people to calm down for a bit.
I don't want to sit down and write such a letter
YANBU. The message you have sent is enough. At most you could add something saying it had been your intention to contact her about meeting for a coffee but her OTT reaction put you off that, and telling her that you don't propose to say anything else on the subject.
YANBU Either ignore her or drop her a very short email treating her request as the joke it is. "Don't be so silly mother, why would you be embarrassed?" sort of thing. She sounds like a drama loving narcassist, is she?
Interesting that your gran just had to ring your mum, isn't it? Seems deliberate to me.
Either completely ignore her, or send a message back saying
"Not everything is about you. Dad's just had surgery and here you are turning this into a drama centred around you. Stop being such a twat"
She wants you to write her a letter? She wants to get a grip and you don't have to do that. I agree with the pp who suggested brushing that aside by telling her not to be silly.
Sign her up to a pen friend club. Then plead innocence claiming you thought she might like a 'like minded' friend to write to, as you are too busy.
How narcissistic is your mother? This is a rhetorical question really, because its obviously the answer is 'off the scale'. I would lop off my hands before writing such a letter. I can, in the most basic way, see why she was annoyed about not knowing you were 'around' - you were there specifically for your dad, but saw her mum at the same time, I could see how she was a bit put out she didn't know anything about it. Her response is jaw droppingly ridiculous though.
You're all a bit U, though your mum definitely sounds difficult.
Your mum has fallen out with your gran, yet gran felt the need to call her to stick the knife in presumably.
You were (only slightly) U for not letting her know you were in the area and would pop in for a coffee if possible. I say this simply because I have family elsewhere (250 miles away ish) but live near my mum. If my family visited me and didn't even let mum know they were in the area, she'd be really upset and feel shunned.
Your mum is U for being generally difficult and for expecting you to write a letter explaining yourself, rather than accepting your understandable verbal explanation.
That should have been " I live near my mum"
You don't know what to do? You tell her to go fuck herself, for a start. She treats you like this because you let her. You do not need to tell her where you go, what you do, or anything else.
F**k no. You're not 12. Don't write the letter! (I'm amazed that even needs to be said!)
I wonder if your mother got this dynamic from hers, its not unusual that the grand child escapes unharmed but is used to score. Points with the daughter.
I do wish I'd just bloody sent her a message or something just to mention I was going to be around. It certainly would have saved this fallout. It wasn't deliberate but I honestly don't always think of it as we don't have regular conversations.
My mum did say that she is sure my gran got a kick out of knowing that my mum's relationship with me is as is rubbish as her's is with my gran's.
I don't think she phoned her up solely to gloat, but I can see how it probably looks to my mum.
Anyway we've had no contact since, as she is waiting for her letter. God only knows how long this is going to drag on for if I don't do what she bloody wants. She is highly skilled into getting people to believe she is the victim or wronged party, so has probably told anybody who will listen what a nasty selfish person I am.
My Mom was a bit like this, until I stopped playing the game with her!
It wasn't crime of the century not to let her know, OP . But I can understand why she's unimpressed.
Though I very much think everyone else is right in telling you not to write a letter, I'd suggest the opposite.
Lovely writing paper, addresses written at the top (a la high school), handwritten (of course), signed off formally. The body of the letter should simply read "I forgot to text you." Send it second class.
But then, I'm not above being passive aggressive when people demand the ridiculous.
So your mum will tell people a sob story - would you care for any of those people's opinions? My own mother used to guilt trip me, and tell people how horrid/uncaring I was - whilst I was stood next to her. Stopped having an effect when she realised I couldn't give a flying fuck what Mrs Jones down the road thought of me. I refused to be humiliated any further by her, and you shouldn't have to beg, grovel and get on your knees for your mum. Awful way to treat family.
That made me chuckle, ElderlyKoreanLady I like that idea.
Maybe I could use scented paper and write it in a gel-pen
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