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Is a normal relationship with my mum impossible?

(52 Posts)
louise197 Sat 11-Aug-18 23:13:01

I've more recently noticed how odd my mum is and how hard it is to live with her since coming back from uni and living away from home for a while. I hate talking badly of my mum as we are close and we do get on sometimes. But... she is always the reason I cry and get angry these days and it's really affecting my confidence and general happiness.
Since a young age she has always been bossy with me, expected the best and compared me to other children 'why can't you be more like ...' was a normal thing I'd hear! And the usual 'why are you so shy - you're weak' - which now I realise is probably because she knocked all the confidence out of me. She used to sometimes say she hated me! But even in my twenties now she carries on, treating me like a child, shouting at me over the smallest things (e.g. leaving a light on).
I am actually quite concerned for her as she gets into extreme rages, this has always been the case, it's like stepping on egg shells in my own home. Even in public she used to swear and shout at me over the smallest thing which I don't see as normal!
It's like she can't control getting irritated to the point of extreme anger over nothing!

At home there isn't a day that goes by without her moaning about 200 times about anything and everything and her getting really angry at me or my dad and shouting and turning into a massive mood. She used to say I was weird for being single, now that I have a boyfriend that occasionally comes round she moans as she doesn't want to wash an extra towel for him and let him use up more water!! (She has plenty of money to afford water!) it seems like everything is a negative to her.
I have been trying to be positive around her but that doesn't make a difference, I just don't know how to stop her being so grumpy, angry and rude! Has anyone experienced similar that can help??

She can go from being lovely and smiley with people to then being in a huge mood or bitching about them to me/ my dad. Or to being friendly with me to suddenly extremely annoyed and sometimes upset.

As a child she found anything she could to shout at me for; being a tomboy, shy, on the skinny side, single. That's mainly stopped as there's less to moan at me about, but anything she can pick at me for she will. Before I got a summer job she said 'you're never going to be able to get a job are you let's be honest'. What a horrid thing to say when I was stressed about being unemployed!! She's had a go at me for just about everything, most things very personal which get to me as I'm sensitive and a lot of nights the comments make me cry before I go to sleep I can't stand it!

If I was to make the smallest comment about her she would start shouting and get extremely nasty to me!

How do I attempt to change her negative ways and have a normal relationship with my mum?? Ive tried being snappy back, saying nothing and laughing it off but it doesn't work she's oblivious to what her words do. I want her to talk to me like a friend not a naughty horrible child!! Ideally I would like to move out with my boyfriend but he may want to live with friends or stay at home longer - he doesn't know my issues with my Mum to this extent as it's embarrassing to talk about. So I need to be able to live with her for longer! Help!

popocatepetals Sat 11-Aug-18 23:33:52

Is she like this with your dad as well, or does she just pick on you?

Do you have any siblings?

Singlenotsingle Sat 11-Aug-18 23:43:03

You're an adult now and you need to move out. Even just a house share? Don't move straight in with a boyfriend - spread your wings, learn about the world first. Leave the mother to stew in herown juices.

Anxious2niteaaah Sat 11-Aug-18 23:47:17

Is it possible to live with another family member instead of living at home?

Or maybe rent a room in a shared house?

How is your relationship with your dad?..would he be able to talk to her about how she is treating you or would she turn on him?

To salvage your relationship with her would take something like family counseling or family mediation, as they would have the tools to help your mother recognise her toxic behaviour

Ohyesiam Sat 11-Aug-18 23:47:28

So have you tried saying things like” I feel really hurt by that comment” ,” that felt very critical”,” I feel I can’t do a thing right here, that’s the third time you’ve criticised me this meal” etc.
Admittedly she sounds hard to stand up to, but if you had a lot of resolve you could try. Bullies only pick on people they know they can control so you can change the dynamic between you, but you can’t reallychange her, only your responses.
She is very out of order treating you like this. In your position I would move out. Are there any friends you would like to share with?

buckingfrolicks Sat 11-Aug-18 23:53:38

I have some pretty bad irritability and anger comes fast to me. But your mum sounds like she's not even trying to control herself. And that's bad.

Does she apologise ever for how she is towards you?

If she lacks self awareness and remorse then I'm afraid the only thing I can suggest you do is back off, waaay back. Stay in touch, stay polite. Decide what your limits are and stick to them - "mum don't shout at me in public" calmly then walk away.

Frankly I think you need to leave her to it, and hopefully she'll change once once there is more space between you.

Of course, I imagine she is depressed too, and could benefit from counselling, but she is unlikely to want to try that if she sees nothing wrong in her behaviour.

I'm so so sorry though, as having a mum like that cannot be easy and will have given you some tricky stuff to work through when you're ready to.

CSIblonde Sun 12-Aug-18 00:00:34

She's a narcissist. And you are a handy scapegoat for her emotional abuse. Low or no contact is best way. Otherwise it wears your self esteem down to zero. Calm discussion leads to denial, I don't remember, you're twisting things. Last time I saw my NPD mother she screamed at me I'd ruined her life & age never wanted children. (After years of venomous put downs & open contempt) NC ever since,no regrets. She then wrote nasty letters for a year calling me an idle sponger: I had 2 jobs, nice flat etc, which she knew, as she got her boyfriend to spy on me.

bumpertobumper Sun 12-Aug-18 00:37:08

Op, your mother's behaviour is awful and inexcusable.
Please get the book 'toxic parents' by Susan forward. And in due course please get some counselling or therapy as her actions towards you will have had an impact.
I realise that as a recent graduate money may be in short supply and NHS services are scarce, but low cost therapy is often available through psychotherapy training institutes.
You sound strong, despite your mother's best efforts to grind you down, please use this strength to put some distance between you. She won't change.
And as pp said, be wary of living with a boyfriend straight away, not always the best plan.
Take care of yourself! You deserve it...

zsazsajuju Sun 12-Aug-18 00:39:59

She has borderline personality disorder. I recommend “understanding the borderline mother” by Christine Lawson

wafflyversatile Sun 12-Aug-18 00:47:59

She's a narcissist.
She has borderline personality disorder.

Even if either if you were psychiatrists you would not be qualified to diagnose someone in the basis of a post.

Can't you move out into a houseshare? It's difficult to live with parents after living away even if they are not as unpleasant as your mother.

FrayedHem Sun 12-Aug-18 00:50:45

I'd agree with looking at other options of moving out. My mother is similar and we have reached a point where we have a relationship of sorts, but she lives 300 miles away and I'm now 41 with 4 children of my own (she moved). She still has cycles of cutting people out. Some of the people she's cut out won't have the foggiest idea of why she's done it.

You have to shelve the idea of what you want the relationship to be like and accept the reality of what it is. Build yourself up a good social life, boost your self-esteem. Save to move out and look out for house-shares.

louise197 Sun 12-Aug-18 08:55:46

@popocatepetals Yes she does pick on my dad too, she says how she wish she never married him to his face! He never responds though and just ignores her or walks off, he's quite tough whereas her words hurt me more! I'm an only child, so it's hard as they're my only close family and my dad isn't exactly open and warm himself!

louise197 Sun 12-Aug-18 08:57:09

@Singlenotsingle Yeah I probably will, although that will have to wait until I've graduated and got a FT job, I would move in with friends except they either are too poor or are living with boyfriends

longwayoff Sun 12-Aug-18 08:59:49

You wont change her. This is how she gets what she wants. It rewards her and is facilitated by those, around her. You need to LEAVE. Asap.

louise197 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:00:42

@Anxious2niteaaah none of my relatives live near and I'm not close enough with them. My dad is very chilled out and ignores her. His way of making me feel better is just by saying 'just ignore her, you know what she's like'. I doubt he would say anything to her, I don't know why. I can't imagine having a convo about her with him either, I guess we just brush it under the carpet

longwayoff Sun 12-Aug-18 09:01:27

By the way. That's not borderline its extreme. Leave

louise197 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:04:18

@Ohyesiam Yeah more recently I've tried to change how I react to her comments. I've said 'I can't do anything right' 'that's a bit harsh' 'why are you angry over that?' 'Calm down' sort of being more standoff ish. It doesn't do much it's like she's in a bubble, she's not as bad as when I was a child though. Thing is she knows it's not completely normal as she wouldn't do it infront of guests!

heartsease68 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:04:58

How awful for you. She's unlikely to change. Space is what you need. Can you get a job where you're working away other years?

Move out asap but don't let this dictate the pace of your relationship with you bf; stand on your own feet.

Zommum Sun 12-Aug-18 09:05:27

You need to move out, start taking steps to have your own place.
My mum is the same, I'm married with 3 kids and she still treats me like I'm a child I'm 37! Set boundaries and be firm with her, I really struggle to have her in my life.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Aug-18 09:07:55

I would think it is likely she has some form of untreated and untreatable personality disorder. Emotionally healthy people do not behave like your mother does and it is not your fault she is the ways she is. You will never have a "normal" relationship with your mother because she is not built that way. BTW what if anything do you know about her own childhood; that often provides clues. Same with your dad.

If you want to move out with your bf, then ultimately he is going to have to know far more about your mother. Leaving this to further remain the elephant in the room is not going to help you.

Ultimately you cannot help your mother and you can only protect your own self here. You will also need to grieve for the relationship you should have had rather than the one you actually got. Your dad here cannot be let off the hook either. He is weak and is really her hatchet man. Clearly not be at all relied upon either; he is enabling her and disordered of thinking women like your mother always need such a person to help them. Going forward you will need to limit all contact with them both.

funmummy48 Sun 12-Aug-18 09:08:24

You're describing my mother. I thought it was normal until I left home and started to realise that other families weren't like this. My step-father was brie beaten by her and just accepted her behaviour. I went no contact with them both 12 years ago and it's been wonderful, although other people find it hard to understand. If you haven't lived with a parent like this it must be hard to understand how debilitating it is. I will never, ever see my mother again and I'm very happy with my decision. Good luck.

MatildaTheCat Sun 12-Aug-18 09:11:02

You can only change yourself so you have to let her affect you less. Try to imagine her comments washing over you rather than take them personally. She does sound very entrenched in her negativity but rather then challenge it’s probably better for you to try to disengage and get on with your own life.

When you can, move out but she will still be the same. Weirdly, she probably tells everyone how wonderful you are. I’m much, much older than you and still have shades of this, as do some of my closest friends.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 12-Aug-18 09:11:35

Would also suggest you read and or post on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on the Relationships pages of this website. And do read "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward too.

IceCreamFace Sun 12-Aug-18 09:12:21

Does sound like a personality disorder. I do think you need to move out ASAP for your own sanity. You also need to protect yourself emotionally from her comments. Try to come up with a stock phrase (e.g. "I'm sorry yore upset") and just use it every time she kicks off so you don't have to engage with her at all.

BrokenLink Sun 12-Aug-18 09:14:19

Your mother's behaviour towards you is emotional abuse. She emotionally abused you as a child. She will not change and it is not your fault. I would recommend you read a book called The Emotionally Absent Mother by Jasmine Lee Corey. Once you understand what you are dealing with, you will be able to make a plan to heal from the past and minimise how she can hurt you in the future. It's brilliant you are finding your way "Out of the Fog" of your tragic childhood flowers

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