Mum asking how counselling is going(74 Posts)
Currently seeing a counsellor.
My mum is aware of this (I probably shouldn't have told her that I started it in the first place).
I'm visiting her at the moment, and she asked me how the counselling is going. I said that I'd prefer not to talk about it. She said that she wanted to know, and she was interested in my life. I got a bit upset, and said it was private and I didn't want to talk about it, especially now that I'm an adult.
I then tried to justify it by saying that it was confidential and private, and then said that I didnt want to have to justify myself. She then told me there was 'no need for me to be so businesslike about it'.
I'm a bit hurt because I don't see why I should have to talk to her about it. It's not really any of her business!!
We do have a good relationship, and she is very supportive and kind. She has actually read my diaries and things in the past, and I just don't really want to share any personal information with her.
Can you not just give a vague answer like "really helpful to just have a space to chat. very relaxing" something that will appease her but give nothing away.
Is there more backgrond to this than you're telling us? Because on the face of it asking how it's going is a kind and supportive question which doesn't require you to give any more personal info or details than you want.
You could say 'I'm finding it really helpful' or not without giving away anything more.
Keep saying the same thing “it’s counselling Mum, its private”
My child has counselling and I’ve never once asked him how it’s going. It’s his choice whether he talks about it or not.
Just say something vague like “As good as can be expected. “ or “Fine”
Thing is, my Mum will ask more questions once I say something like: 'it's going fine.' I don't know how to give her an answer that doesn't lead her to asking more questions, because she'll want to know everything.
She thinks she's got a right to know. And she also hates the word 'fine' when it's used to describe a situation 🙄
She has actually read my diaries and things in the past
Sorry should've explained, but what I mean here is that I don't (and didn't) want her to read my diaries. She did it behind my back.
She was totally in the wrong to read your diaries; it was a gross invasion of your privacy. She would certainly have not been at all forgiving if she had caught you reading any of her diaries.
Your relationship with her is not good at all and your boundaries re her are way too low at your overall expense. You cannot give your mother the mothering or the childhood she never had. You cannot fix her and its not your fault she is like this (her own family of origin did this to her). You can only help you ultimately.
'Good, she's asked me to think for next week on examples of intrusive behaviours from relatives. Seems to think that giving me strategies for cutting back on contact with people who invade my privacy will be really helpful'
Thanks for your post Atilla (and also to everyone else who's posted). From what my Mum's told me, it sounds like she had a difficult childhood. Both of her parents worked full-time, and she had a few siblings, who basically brought her up.
I can understand why she may have done this. I feel like, as she wasn't 'parented' or taken care of by her parents as they had to work so much, she's been particularly overprotective with my siblings and me. To the point where she'll tell us what to do (even now), and get angry, offended or frustrated when we don't do it. She also always thinks she knows best. She doesn't seem to accept that I'm an adult now (and can deal with everything well on my own). Any time I've tried to remind her I'm an adult as a way of asking her (kindly) to be a bit less involved in telling me what to do, she'll say: 'oh, age is just a number' or something along those lines.'
FGS, stand your ground. The progress of your counseling sessions is not open for discussion. It's not your job to make your mother feel better about being a nosy pain in the ass.
Instead of accepting why I've done things or why I've chosen to do things, she'll keep on raking over old froubd and ask me why I don't do X instead. It actually really fucks me off.
She's supported me amazingly over the years in terms of giving me food, shelter and education. I really appreciate that.
I really feel like my emotional needs weren't met because she didn't know how to meet them, and every time I gave her a clue in how she could meet them, she dismissed it because she thought she knew better. Even now, this still happens. And it makes me feel like I can't trust her or like she'll let me down. She doesn't keep secrets either. So I've stopped telling her stuff. Because I know she'll tell other people. Even the tiniest thing.
It's actually stopped me from fully trusting other people or from forming close friendships where I feel valued and accepted. I've never had a romantic relationship partly because of it. I trust my Dad though. And a couple of other relatives.
FGS, stand your ground.
Aqua please understand that it's so much easier said than done. If I've never learned how to do it, it's quite difficult. I'm only just learning now.
I expect she is blaming herself for you needing councelling in the first place op. She’s tryjng to control you as she had little control on her own upbringing.
I imagine it’s from a place of kindness but can imagine it’s irritating op.
Give her a little bit of info but keep private what you choose.
"She's supported me amazingly over the years in terms of giving me food, shelter and education. I really appreciate that".
Yes but that is the barest minimum in terms of what parents actually do; you were not really emotionally parented and your emotional needs were not and are still not met by her. Instead of seeking the necessary help for her own crap childhood your mother simply did the same old dynamic that was done to her leaving you messed up as an adult wondering about who you are, where your self worth and self esteem has disappeared to and with your own fear, obligation and guilt on top of all that. She has not changed at all and will not, you can only change how you yourself react to her. That will take time because she has probably trained you well to put her needs first with yours being stone dead last. Its going to be a long and steep learning curve for you not least of all because your boundaries re your mother are too low and have been for many years. Raising them as you must will take time too.
Do read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as a starting point also. Also Karyl McBride's publication "Will I ever be good enough".
Thanks so much everyone. Your posts have been so helpful
She’s tryjng to control you as she had little control on her own upbringing.
That's a really good point, theresa.
This is kind of connected, but just wondering in general - how much control do kids tend to get over their upbringing? I suppose they might have more control now than kids had in my mum's generation, but I also feel each family's different.
The other thing that I hated her doing was smacking as well. And swearing. I swore back at her a couple of times. I'm not proud of it.
She had a lot on her plate when she brought me up because my dad worked away when I was a child. But still. I don't know if I can ever forgive the smacking or the swearing. More so the smacking. Won't forget it. Will never ever do it to my kids (if I have any).
OP whatever you're having counselling for, it really sounds like you also need it to help you deal with your childhood, your mother and her lack of boundaries. You need to be able to be an assertive (not aggressive) adult in your interactions with her.
Her own upbringing may have been poor, but she can only deal with that in her own way and in her own time. You can't make it right for her however hard you try, but you can make sure that the rest of your life isn't shaped and coloured by hers.
In the short term, I suggest that you discuss this with your therapist to find some coping responses to your mother.
You don’t forget it the smacking and swearing because in some ways it has a different quality to it than a run of the mill punishment. When I was 14, my mother slapped me around the face and started throwing my stuff in a bin bag because I was taking too long to brush my hair. I was fucking disgusting apparently.
Yet, she has done and does do loads of lovely things too. That’s the headfuck. She and my dad both had horrendously abusive upbringings. And so she has always tried to ‘give us the very best’ but as PP have said, she had no resource to meet my emotional needs. And she still doesn’t.
The cycle probably continues in some way because I can be overly emotionally supportive to DDs at my own expense. I’ve had counselling etc to try and minimise my rescuer and fixer tendencies.
You aren’t being a bad person. You just need to find your own boundaries. And it really hard to upset someone who you’ve been trained to appease.
Three thoughts from your pats, OP.
1. No parent is perfect. She didn't meet all of your needs. I sympathise. But I am a parent and I do my best, but I know it's impossible for me to be the perfect parent and meet all of my children's needs. I'd be perfect if I did, and no matter how hard I try, I can't. So I do my best
like most of the rest of us do. Obviously that doesn't devalue any problems you have as a direct result of some sort of abuse, so please don't think I'm saying that.
2. Could you be completely honest and tell your Mum that she's breaches your confidentiality in the past, so you (understandably) want to keep this one private, as you don't want to risk everyone else knowing. She may spuffle and shout her innocence, but remind her of her track record.
3. Discuss this thread topic with your counsellor next week, I think they could facilitate your finding of a workable solution
I had similar problems with my mum Range. Sympathies to you, it's hard, but great you are having counselling. My mum is used to controlling everyone in the family and I think she felt very insecure knowing I was talking to some-one outside the family. It was a major breach of the "unwritten family rules".
Good, she's asked me to think for next week on examples of intrusive behaviours from relatives. Seems to think that giving me strategies for cutting back on contact with people who invade my privacy will be really helpful
This made me laugh, I was so tempted to say something like this! But I stuck with "it's helpful, thanks" and changed the subject.
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