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To wonder why my mother always plays the victim

(31 Posts)
BarrenInBrighton Thu 28-Apr-16 22:22:45

Today it transpired that my mother has shared some incredibly personal health information of mine to some of her friends. I was shocked and asked her why she did this and explained how embarrassed and hurt it made me feel. Her reply was a passive aggressive 'I'm sorry I've screwed up AGAIN". She then asked why I was 'so precious' with my private life and suggested it was abnormal behaviour 'to try and live my life in a bubble'; said she needed to share my problems with others as she was stressed out about them too.

Finally, when that failed to appease me, she burst into hysterical tears, sobbed about how stressful her life was (in ways 'I would never know') and how little I cared for her. Informed me that my personal issues caused HER no end of pain and suffering, which nobody seemed to care about, and which she was bottling up for my sake - and then stormed off.

I was left feeling like the bad guy again, when all I'd done was express upset about her making my private life public.

Is this normal behaviour? And what do I do now. I love her - a lot - and she is a lovely person in many ways, but I can't stand this side of her.

iwantthegroundtoswallowmeup Thu 28-Apr-16 22:30:42

It's not normal but my mother is exactly the same regardless of the issue and my dad enables it. No advice from me but flowers

ProcrastinatorGeneral Thu 28-Apr-16 22:34:11

Stop sharing. If she whines just blunt and tell her you don't share with blabbermouths.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 28-Apr-16 22:38:32

Well I chat to my friends about my dcs. I also know the ins and outs of people I work with dcs and their problems even though I've never met them. Parents talk about their dc especially if they haven't really got other things going on in their own lives. For example my nans very good friends daughter has terminal cancer. I've never met her and I know all about her cancer, how it's affected her and the treatment she's having. It's conversation I suppose.

However of your dm is talking maliciously about it it's a different matter but I'm not sure by your post if that's the case or not.

BrandNewAndImproved Thu 28-Apr-16 22:40:18

And tbf if something was wrong with one of my dc I'd be upset and talk to my nan or dm or friend about it. It's what humans do isn't it? I also talk about their achievements not just the upsets.

pippistrelle Thu 28-Apr-16 22:44:13

Did you ask her not to say anything? Otherwise, I think it is kind of normal to talk to friends about concerns.

Finola1step Thu 28-Apr-16 22:44:35

To answer your question, it is probably because she has learnt over many, many years that it is a good tactic to get her out of a sticky situation. It enables her to shrug off any responsibility for her actions.

BreakfastMuffin Thu 28-Apr-16 22:46:39

Look up 'Narcissistic mothers'. If it sounds like your mother, then unfortunately she will never change. Sorry to be so negative. And no, it's not normal behaviour. It's not love either as she might try to convince you. Has she mentioned she spent all her life trying to give you the best? And you are now so ungrateful constantly treating her badly and hurting her feelings...

BarrenInBrighton Thu 28-Apr-16 22:48:16

Yes I asked her on multiple occasions not to say anything. She promised she wouldn't. This is because 1) I'm a private person 2) I'd like to maintain some dignity in shitty circumstances and 3) hope this isn't a drip feed, but the friends I am talking about are parents of friends - and I haven't shared this info with any of my closest friends

BarrenInBrighton Thu 28-Apr-16 22:48:57

Parents of my friends

pippistrelle Thu 28-Apr-16 22:54:54

In that case, OP, she's let you down badly, and she' s relying on a 'poor me' strategy because, on some level, she know she's behaved poorly.

TinkerbellaPan Thu 28-Apr-16 23:02:08

My mother has started doing this. Shared info about a operation I had that was a bit personal. I found out after I got a well-wishing text from the person she told.

I love her dearly and she is not as bad as your DM by the sounds of it. I think she just thought it wasn't much to be worried about (ie I shouldn't be so sensitive hmm), so I shouldn't mind if people know.

Sadly now it means I do think twice before telling her anything vaguely personal. And that would include telling her if I had another operation, which makes me very sad

I think your trick here is going to have to be to tell her nothing.

QueenLaBeefah Thu 28-Apr-16 23:06:52

I'm very selective about what I choose to share with my mum.

ollieplimsoles Thu 28-Apr-16 23:14:51

This is dh's mum.

Everything that happens to her family members is just more for her to add to the drama she craves in her life.

She works at the hospital and when we went for our appointments, even the midwives knew who we were because she would discuss things with them. We were very cagey about our lives and continue to be. I'm the poster whose mil accessed my medical records in secret.

Dh got as far away from her as he could as he had a lifetime of the pa bullshit you describe op, its horrible.

I'm afraid she does sound narc, have a read up on it and check out the stately homes threads to see if any of it resonates with you.

zipzap Thu 28-Apr-16 23:21:25

Sounds like she knows she is in the wrong and has used attack as her best form of defence sad

Hopefully she will refrain from doing this any further but it does sound like you can only tell her stuff now that you don't mind her sharing. Which is really sad because it would be nice to think that of anybody, you could rely on your mum for discretion when asked. Have some wine to help ease the pain.

EarthboundMisfit Thu 28-Apr-16 23:29:17

Oh God, are you my sibling? No advice but plenty of empathy. One of my worst fears is ending up the same.

Swirlingasong Thu 28-Apr-16 23:37:34

I could have written almost exactly the same about my mother and the way she reacts to things, in particular my first two miscarriages. As a result she knows nothing of my third mc.

Earthbound, that is my fear too. It also makes me doubt almost everything I do as I feel I have no idea what the right way to react to things is.

BarrenInBrighton Thu 28-Apr-16 23:45:46

swirling wow that really resonated, I too feel like I don't know the right way to react to things, thanks to her! It's like I doubt my own feelings and judgement of any situation, as I've been forced to see everything through her lens for so long.

I hate the way she feels her 'need' to share my personal life (because she 'has to turn to someone - and yes I get that seeing your daughter struggle is hard) trumps my need to keep it private.

Also I can't understand how a relatively straightforward conversation about privacy becomes a rant about how little love I show her, how much of her life is a struggle etc etc. She is incapable of sticking to the subject at hand. She drags up all sorts of general life drama that doesn't belong in the conversation. There are times when that feels utterly normal but then I stop and stand back and realise that isn't how 'normal' adults deal with every conflict

EarthboundMisfit Fri 29-Apr-16 00:10:03

Swirling, I feel the same.

NoMudNoLotus Fri 29-Apr-16 00:18:22

The way some of you throw the label around "narcissistic" is ridiculous and unfair and probably not at all based up ICD 10 definitions.

People generally are flawed, often misguided - but suggesting that the OPs mother does not love takes the absolutely biscuit.

jimpam Fri 29-Apr-16 00:23:55

OP I think we have the same mum. Interesting reading all the advice here. Not much from me unfortunately except that I am v selective about what I tell DM, which is sad- I mourn the close, sharing relationship I would have wanted with her.
Swirling you hit the nail on the head there- I have no barometer of "normal" reaction. It took me years to realise that the majority of the time what people say is the truth, there's no deeper meaning or motive to analyse.

Absofrigginlootly Fri 29-Apr-16 01:50:13

Not rtft at all but my DM is very similar. Sounds like she has narcissistic traits (not saying she has NPD!)

Look at the website daughters of narcissistic mothers.

Explains lots about how narc mothers engulfe their children, don't respect boundaries/need for privacy. Turn everything around to make it about them, cannot see their own faults and thrive on drama (emotional vampires).


Absofrigginlootly Fri 29-Apr-16 01:52:05

Also, strongly agree not to share private info that you wouldn't be happy with everyone else knowing.

Just be vague, breezy and positive about everything.

Baconyum Fri 29-Apr-16 02:09:41

You might find this useful (and this site in general)

mothersdaughter Fri 29-Apr-16 02:26:33

Completely understand this - my mother is exactly the same and my father has enabled it for years.

In my mothers case it means that no one can ever criticise her or her actions, because the fall out of ever doing this is so extreme. She'll cry, tell you your making her 'ill' and all sorts of dramatics. For her it's great - there's never any consequence to poor behaviours!

It was only until a few years ago that this caused me no end of problems and I spent so much time feeling sad and angry as to why she wasn't the mother who supported me. I don't know why but something clicked and I realised I was never going to change her, and she was never going to do or say the things I needed. Especially given that I couldn't discuss how I felt with her because it would have resulted in a terrible reaction.

I distanced myself from her emotionally, stopped sharing things with her and therefore stopped being disappointed that I wasn't getting what always wanted from her.

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