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To be ashamed of my mum

(90 Posts)
strawberries98 Wed 18-Oct-17 16:58:46

I said to my mum that I was ashamed of her. She was angry and upset.

My reasons were:
- she takes piles of paper towels from public bathrooms and uses them as toilet paper because she thinks buying toilet paper is a waste of money. There is no toilet paper in the house, only paper towels from outside. These are hard and uncomfortable. I said it was stealing but she said it wasn't because it was free for everyone to use. She said she was being practical and trying to save money when she can.

- she doesn't want to throw anything away even though it isn't useful anymore, because she 'paid good money for them'. e.g. clothes that she bought but didn't wear, old children's clothes which I outgrew 20 years ago, old pencils and pens etc. Her house has three rooms (living room, and 2 bedrooms) filled with bin bags, old furniture, crates etc. You can't walk through the corridor, due to old stuff and can't use the rooms. I said that she should sort it out and give it to charity, but she flew into a rage. I managed to organise one bedroom in order to stay in it.

- she doesn't eat anything other than cereal and milk, or chocolate, because she can't afford or is too lazy to go out to the supermarket to buy fresh food. She thinks that cereal has enough vitamins.

- I was resentful as well because growing up, my mum didn't bother to cook or buy food, and therefore we either went without dinner or just ate cereal. I wasn't given much money for food at school, only £1, so I usually ate a plate of plain pasta without sauce. We didn't really have healthy food.

-when I was younger, my sister and I only had showers once a week. We changed clothes about 1-2x a week, including uniforms. Nowadays my mum only has showers once a week, or even less and she thinks it's normal.

-when I was younger, we also skipped school for various reasons: mum couldn't be bothered to walk us to school, we missed the bus, we went on roadtrips etc.

- my mum would teach us to be dishonest and she was proud of it, eg. not paying for train fares by hiding in the toilets, telling us kids off if we paid for train fares, not paying bills by hiding in the house when people came to the house to check the meter.

- she said she has no money to pay for my wedding (which is fine) but she says why should she pay for other people to fill their bellies with nice food? can I not get married, or maybe just get married overseas with no guests.

I think it's abnormal behaviour, but my mum thinks I am being a snob, and being ridiculous.

Travis1 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:01:00

Sounds like your mum has some serious issues TBH. No idea what to suggest but it certainly sounds like she needs help

SayNoToCarrots Wed 18-Oct-17 17:03:41

Your mum is going to mess up her plumbing using paper towels as toilet paper. That will probably cost more than just buying toilet paper.

MrTrebus Wed 18-Oct-17 17:05:49

Serious mental health problems, If it were me I'd go very reduced contact flowers

strawberries98 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:05:55

so far she says she has had no problems with plumbing and she said i was being silly to think that it would block up the toilet. anyway, she lives in a council flat, so she probably doesn't care if it does eventually block it up as she says the council would fix it.

EvilDoctorBallerinaVampireDuck Wed 18-Oct-17 17:07:22

She's a hoarder. She needs help. flowers

WinteryWalk Wed 18-Oct-17 17:07:35

It sounds like your mum has some serious mental health issues and probably has done for a long time. I think that you either need to encourage her to get some help, although it seems unlikely that she will or distance yourself from her.

Bubblebubblepop Wed 18-Oct-17 17:08:14

She sounds like a nightmare Op and I'm not surprised you're ashamed sad

Auspiciouspanda Wed 18-Oct-17 17:08:54

If she's a council tenant report the hoarding to her housing officer. They will be able to provide support in clearing the house as she'll be in breech of her housing contract with that much stuff in the house.

AdalindSchade Wed 18-Oct-17 17:09:07

She sounds like a hoarder but also like a pretty nasty person. Poor you

TheSnowFairy Wed 18-Oct-17 17:09:24

I think she sounds like she has serious financial issues and has had for years.

'can't afford or is too lazy'

Which is it?

N0tfinished Wed 18-Oct-17 17:10:25

That’s definitely abnormal behavior. What she did to you as a child constitutes neglect. From your description you were undernourished & exposed to terrible stress. I’m very sorry you had to cope with that.

Having said that, I think that you’re mums issues are so ingrained she’s unlikely to change now. Either accept her for how she is or withdraw from her. Don’t stay with her, don’t expect her to contribute to your wedding etc.

You can’t change her but you can protect yourself.

strawberries98 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:15:02

I also said she had hoarding issues but she denies it. To be honest, it runs in the family on my mum's side.

She likes to pick up junk from skips. e.g. old furniture or planks of wood that she might get some use out of. There is just so much junk in the house.

I tried to bag things up and encourage her to give it away. She sorted some things into bags, but then when it came to giving it away, she majorly panicked, got angry and stressed and didn't want to give it away. The charity people came to our house, and they took one item away. She got stressed and tried to chase them back for it.

Scaredparent Wed 18-Oct-17 17:15:53

Mine was similar

Food was noodles or chocolate spread sandwich.

No clothes really, she had money for drink and fags though.

notreallythere Wed 18-Oct-17 17:17:14

Not trying to alarm you but you say you can't get through the corridor because of the hoarded stuff - is it a fire hazard?

Would she see her GP about the hoarding?

antimatter Wed 18-Oct-17 17:20:17

She is angry and upset because for her what she is doing makes sense but for the rest of us and most importantly for you it doesn't.

I think you can't change her or help much unless she would go to see her GP.

Do you live with her?

Aridane Wed 18-Oct-17 17:21:17

Your mother needs help

Ermm Wed 18-Oct-17 17:22:45

Congratulations to you for developing a good value system!!! A massive achievement given a very difficult child. No idea if I’m allowed to recommend but have you looked at the outofthefog internet site - really helpful for people who have parents with issues

Ermm Wed 18-Oct-17 17:23:08

Difficult childhood

PricklyBall Wed 18-Oct-17 17:24:34

It does sound as though your mum has serious mental health issues.

"I think it's abnormal behaviour, but my mum thinks I am being a snob, and being ridiculous." Yes it is very abnormal behaviour. The way you phrase it as "I think" rather than "clearly this is" makes me wonder if you're still suffering the after effects of your childhood, having to work at the realisation that your mum's behaviour really is not normal. I'm sorry for what your childhood must have been like - it sounds horrendous.

I'm not sure how much you can do for your mum, but it might help you to talk through what your childhood was like with someone. One of the hardest things can be unlearning all the weird shit that was passed off as normal during one's childhood.

It really sounds as if she is a hoarder, I'm afraid. I'm no expert, but from watching programmes on it, it seems to be a complex and difficult thing for someone to have - and for their family and friends too.

In order for her to be able to tackle this, she will first need to accept she has a problem, and it sounds as if she's not ready to do that yet - but at least you have started the conversation about it.

For the moment, all you can do is continue to have that conversation with her, but in a way that protects you - guard your own feelings and emotions, and if necesssary, take a few steps back from the whole situation.

TheCatsMother99 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:25:57

Your mother sounds ill and like she needs help.

raspberrysuicide Wed 18-Oct-17 17:26:20

Poor woman. She clearly has issues and needs help and people are telling her own daughter to steer clear !

KitKat1985 Wed 18-Oct-17 17:26:36

YANBU OP. She sounds like she was very neglectful to you as a child and has a lot of issues (which it sounds like she refuses to accept as being problems).

TheDevilMadeMeDoIt Wed 18-Oct-17 17:26:37

Your mum has put you through a lot of stress and it's inexcusable that your childhood was as it was without her seeking help.

But being ashamed is probably the wrong response. She does sound like she suffers from hoarding disorder (support and information) and hoarding disorder usually arises as a result of other MH issues. And it's common for the sufferer not to recognise and/or admit that they have a problem.

That doesn't make it any easier on you to live with though. If she's not prepared to get help, there's very little you can do, and it's not shameful to go low or no contact. What you went through as a child will have had a significant impact on you as an adult, and it's OK to protect your own mental health first.

You're getting married and starting a new phase of your life. Be sad for your mum being as she is, but move on, and be happy yourself. And if your childhood is still causing you trauma, it's not too late to get help and counselling for it.

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