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Or is my mum? Health related

(25 Posts)
Fouristhebestnumber Sun 15-Jan-17 20:56:39

I've had a really rough couple of years, health wise. I went through a horrible amount of stress (marriage break up) which led me to develop tinnitus, a horrible ringing in my ears constantly.

A few months later I developed an ovarian cyst which led to emergency surgery.

Most recently, I have developed a large lump on my thigh bone, x rays confirm it is some kind of tumour, and I am now awaiting tests to find out if it's malignant or benign.

I am only 34 and have a ds 6, to whom I am everything, and the thought of having to leave him makes me feel sick. I've relied on my mum to help me with all these things, I do have a dp who is wonderful too but.. she's my mum. Anyway today she told me not to bother her with my "health woes" anymore. Says they "bring her down " and she doesn't want to feel depressed because of my unhappiness anymore. I feel so alone. Is she reasonable to feel thus way?

crunched Sun 15-Jan-17 21:12:25

Sorry Four , in an ideal world our Mums should be there for us.Sadly you don't need to read much on here to know that isn't the case.
You probably do need to try and widen your circle of support, don't we all? That is easier said than done.

Just wondering if she could have read The Sunday Times today. The hypnotist (?), Paul McKenna, seemed to be saying depression was 'catching '. I was pretty upset by that point of view TBH, and maybe I mis-understood but she could have done the same?

flowers Hope things improve.

BravoPanda Sun 15-Jan-17 21:15:06

Yes and no. She could have been more sympathetic but sometimes, even mothers, don't want to hear it.

You've been sick. You can't change the tinnitus, so tick that off the list. You had the cyst removed, so tick that off the list. You can't change the tumour situation currently, so wait it out... Carrying on talking about it to someone who doesn't always want to hear it, instead of just getting on with it, will bring everyone else down too. IF you talk about it constantly, that is.

If you don't talk about it all the time then yes, she's bu. Otherwise just talk to your DP about it instead. He's supposed to be your support system now.

beautifulgirls Sun 15-Jan-17 21:21:29

Maybe she is scared to hear it right now? It may be she cares very deeply but saying what she did was a mechanism subconsciously driven to try and help her protect herself from the worry?

My mother had a lot of health problems, I cared deeply for her and had a lot of sympathy for what she went through, but I don't honestly think I ever showed that in the way I think she wanted or I should have done. I never abandoned her or told her to not talk about it, but I never encouraged her to speak about it either and would come away from some visits with her quite angry in some ways. It is so hard to explain, we were so close and she was an amazing lady. Maybe give your mum the benefit of the doubt for the moment, it may not be the way it sounds from her.

I hope your further results are good news from here.

gamerchick Sun 15-Jan-17 21:22:02

I sort of see both sides. That's going on the assumption that it's your main topic of conversation. Yes she's your mum and mums support and maybe visa versa. My mother talks to me about her ailments and it's none stop, the tears, the woe is me means I run a mile from her now. It does bring you down. Sometimes just gathering you friends around you for a damned good laugh is more therapeutic than a good moan. Do you ever get to do that?

I'm sorry you've had a rough ride, I hope things get better for you soon flowers

sotiredbutworthit Sun 15-Jan-17 21:23:33

BravoPanda, she is OP's mother. The one person who should support you and stick by you through think and thin. If OP is depressed her mum should be helping her not telling her to be quiet, and to be fair OP has been through a lot. Tinnitus is a serious health condition not some minor annoyance and ovarian cysts can be life threatening, not to mention a possible tumour. I think her mum has been quite harsh and I would never do this to my kids and my mum would never do it to me. I'm sorry she isn't supporting you OP, hope you are ok. X

BravoPanda Sun 15-Jan-17 22:31:25

I'm not saying she isn't harsh, I'm saying that some people can be like that. Some people just don't want to know, even if they're your mother or not. OP might have to just accept that hers is like that and speak to her dp instead.

tessiebear4 Sun 15-Jan-17 22:37:46

I never tell anyone when I have tests - I don't like to worry my family until I know for sure there is something wrong- and then I don't always tell anyone. On that basis, I do get a bit irritated when family members tell
me about every test they ever have.
I know everyone is different though. I wish you all the very best for your test results.

sotiredbutworthit Sun 15-Jan-17 22:56:47

Fair enough BravoPanda, sorry I misunderstood xxxx

Fouristhebestnumber Mon 16-Jan-17 10:23:44

Thank you everyone. I suffer from a long term condition which makes lumps like this likely, and they usually do turn out benign.. this one just feels a bit different, and I just cant stand the thought of something happening to me with ds so young.

I do tend to moan a lot at my mum about my health I'll admit. I think its just because I am so close to my ds, and I cannot imagine ever feeling annoyed or fed up with him. She's always been a bit this way though, she can be quite cold, an example I remember is how I mentioned in conversation that I'd do anything for ds, even die for him if I had to, and she looked at me incredulously, and said she'd never die for me or my dsis or dbro, as what would be the point? She would just die instead of us? I replied that this was kind of the point, but she didn't get it at all..

I'll give her a few days breathing space I guess..

CripsSandwiches Mon 16-Jan-17 10:47:50

Wow I think what she said was incredibly hurtful, I hope I'll always be there for my DS however much he "brings me down". I think it's reasonable for her to say she needs a break once in a while, caring for someone going through a hard time, especially someone you love, can be incredibly tiring. Perhaps you could lean a bit more on your DP?

My friend also had a serious health problem that led to stress within her (otherwise very supportive) marriage. They went to counselling and the technique they pick up there was to have a set amount of time together as a couple (say one hour) where they would be free to talk about the health issues and concerns for the future etc. but after that the topic would be off the table for discussion. This helped them alot as my friend knew she would have time to unburden herself but her DH also knew that once he'd listened and supported his wife they could then have time as a "normal" couple. Maybe something like that might work for you too?

Chloe84 Mon 16-Jan-17 11:09:52

We all need a moan, OP, but we do need to be careful how much we tell people, as they can either get sympathy fatigue like your mum or they can become stressed by worrying about your illness.

If your tumours have so far been benign, I think it was premature to talk about possibility of dying with your mum. This, coupled with saying you would die for your son, may make your mum feel you are being melodramatic. It sounds like you are trying to make her the type of mum you are and would like her to be, which isn't possible I'm afraid.

Is there a forum for people who have your illness?

RhodaBorrocks Mon 16-Jan-17 11:27:20

My DM was similar to this a few years ago, saying things like I sounded like I enjoyed being ill, that I walloped, was bringing her down etc.

One day we had a massive blow up and I shouted at her that however much it brought her down it brought me down a hell of a lot more to always be so ill.

She responded that it brought her down because it was her job as a mother to take my pain and suffering away and she couldn't do that for me. My condition is genetic and she told me she blames herself for my health, even though I inherited my condition from my Dad's side.

She didn't like me talking about it because she couldn't make me better or stop it from happening to me and it reminded her of that every time I spoke about my health. She felt like a failure as a mum.

I've tempered some of the things I say, but she's also grown to accept things (I told her I did not blame anyone for my health, all I wanted was a bit of support). She still says the odd thing now and then, but I often just say "I know you're saying that out of love/concern, but it's not very constructive/supportive."

If your relationship is otherwise good (me and my mum are very close usually) then perhaps your Mum is feeling something similar?

DonaldStott Mon 16-Jan-17 11:37:30

I can see both sides tbh. You definitely need a wider support network. I used to work with a woman who had been divorced from her 1st husband for about 15 years. Every day, I would get chapter and verse about how she was abused, physically, sexually and emotionally. She didn't really have any friends and told me everything, in minute detail, every single day. I was horrified and sympathetic for the first year or so. Second year I told her she should have therapy. She said she didn't need one as I was like her therapy. As time went on, I used to absolutely dread going into work. I totally get how horrific it was for her, but to relive everything through me was just too much. She got made redundant in the end and it was basically a case of she goes, or I did. It's unfair to expect one person to carry the burden of your woes. I am really sorry if that sounds harsh. But is it stressful for the person you are telling if it is constant. As somebody upthread said, sympathy fatigue. Sorry again if this sounds horrible. I really don't mean it to.

LoupGarou Mon 16-Jan-17 11:48:00

YANBU, your mother should be the one you can rely on and talk to, sadly as pp have said that is not always the case. I'm no contact with my narc mother and have been for many years.

LoupGarou Mon 16-Jan-17 11:48:28

flowers hope things improve for you x

Marynary Mon 16-Jan-17 12:07:18

I think that your mother is being quite selfish really. I can understand that it depresses her to hear about your health problems but it is probably worse for you than it is for her so quite nasty to tell you to stop talking about it. Effectively she will be making things harder for you (by not offloading) so she can suffer less (by being able to bury her head in the sand). I have a serious health condition and to be honest, if my mother said that to me I would definitely have less contact with her.

melj1213 Mon 16-Jan-17 13:43:17

Honsetly, I think YABabitU

I have a friend who is like you with a chronic health problem and frequent other medical maladies that she spends all her time discussing with anyone who will listen, and I know a lot of friends have found themselves scaling back how much time they spend with her because they can't cope with how overwhelming it is but feel like utter shit that they can't support their friend as much as she needs but they eventually have to put themselves first and take a step back because they can't cover her needs adequately.

It sounds harsh but it's really hard to tell someons sensitively "Stop complaining because it's all you do and you're bringing everyone down" but when it becomes the major part of any visit it's just so emotionally draining to know that next time you visit it will be exactly the same, possibly changing but only to add more tales of woe ... whilst I have sympathy for her issues and empathise with how hard it is, it's hard to muster up the same feelings of empathy when every time you go there's the same complaints you're hearing for the fiftieth time and she has no interest in hearing constructive advice of how to help the situation and just wants the emotional support.

I want to be there for my friend, but I have my own issues and stresses in life and there's only so much energy I can dedicate to her, and as time goes on that energy is depleting faster than I can replace it when the energy drain is a one way system. I don't think my friend has ever once asked me how I was coping or been my emotional support because it's always about her first. Yes she has occasionally listened to my complaints, but then she has always managed to twist it round to be how, I might have it hard but she has it harder.

OP, have you ever asked your mother how she is feeling and then stopped and really listened to what she has had to say? Or asked if she has any concerns she wants to talk about, or is it always about you and your issues? Perhaps in future you need to be mindful of how much you are emotionally dumping on her and whether you're reciprocating emotional support for her too.

Marynary Mon 16-Jan-17 13:57:54

I don't think that friends are the same as parents.... Regardless the mother isn't asking her to talk a bit less about being ill because she is "bringing her down". She doesn't want her to talk at all.

gamerchick Mon 16-Jan-17 14:02:56

Yeah emotionally dumping. Those are words and it does drain you eventually because the person doesn't allow you to fill back up.

I think you get to a point where you're defined by how ill you are or you're a person who happens to have an illness. One of those people ends up being avoided. It's a sad fact but it's a fact.

If you have times where you just want to 'be' and don't bring up your woes with your supporters then it's an even keel but if your supporter needs a couple of beers to cope with it like I do with mine then it's unreasonable.

melj1213 Mon 16-Jan-17 14:12:08

Regardless the mother isn't asking her to talk a bit less about being ill because she is "bringing her down". She doesn't want her to talk at all.

Except, that's exactly what the OP says:

Anyway today she told me not to bother her with my "health woes" anymore. Says they "bring her down" and she doesn't want to feel depressed because of my unhappiness anymore.

The OP's mother is not saying "don't talk to me at all" she's just, very untactfully, said "Please stop emotionally dumping on me as I can't handle it any more". That is not an unreasonable request if the mother feels that she can't cope with it all, it's just the delivery that was a bit insensitive.

Marynary Mon 16-Jan-17 14:48:16

I meant that she does want her to talk about her health problems at all, not that she doesn't want to talk full stop. I could understanding her asking OP if they could talk less about them but asking her to keep quite about her health problems full stop seems very unsupportive and unmotherly. If someone said that to me I would probably disengage whether they were a parent or a friend.

Marynary Mon 16-Jan-17 14:50:34

does not want her to talk about her health problems at all,

Topseyt Mon 16-Jan-17 14:51:53

I would feel very hurt if my mother said anything like that to me (I don't think she would), and I like to think that if any of my children develop serious health issues in later life I will not react in any such way. I will, after all, always be their Mum.

I am not perfect obviously, but I hope I would be as sympathetic and supportive as I was able to be at the time. I certainly wouldn't push them away and say I didn't want to know, which is what I think OP's Mum has effectively done.

There have been odd occasions when I have had less support from my parents than I would have liked, though health issues have not been amongst those. We don't dwell those occasions, and I will be unlikely to discuss them in detail again. I believe my parents also regretted them, and they felt very isolating.

OP probably feels isolated because even though she has a good DP she also liked to see her Mum as the other mainstay of her support network. Her Mum has just blown that away. We can only guess at why she has done this, but I am sure it must feel devastating to the OP to have been on the receiving end of such bluntness.

I don't think you are being at all unreasonable OP. I actually think that on the face of it your mother is being very selfish.

Topseyt Mon 16-Jan-17 15:00:25

The mother also seems to be saying that she would rather ignore OP's unhappiness and carry on as though it didn't exist and all was hunky dory.

She wants to be allowed to bury her head in the sand.

As the parent of a DD with some MH issues, I would say that it just really doesn't work that way. I have never told my child not to come to me with her issues. I am here if she wants me. Warts and all.

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