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Are my presents crap or is my DM purposefully not using them?

(299 Posts)
shudup Sat 22-Feb-20 08:33:50

Don't ask me why this is bothering me this morning - for that alone I'm probably being unreasonable.

This year for Christmas I got her a grey linen waterfall sort of cardigan thingy - it was quite expensive. I've asked several times whether she has worn it yet and her response is always 'Oh I haven't been anywhere yet'. On one occasion though she did mention 'Your dsis got me a lovely white shirt' Almost as if to say that my present was worth less to her than my thoughtful present. She is overweight and I thought it would be flattering.

Last year I got her a tens machine as she suffers badly from pains in her hips and eats Nurofen like smarties. She hasn't used that either! I got it because Nurofen gobbles away at your insides, and figured something that's not going through your system would be healthier.

To me they're thoughtful gifts, but they just seem to get thrown in the top of the wardrobe as 'shudup's presents'. No matter what I buy, there's no gratitude - just a perfunctory 'thank you' when asked whether she got something (we live in different countries).

Her birthday is coming up - WIBU to not get her anything?

She never appears appreciative. What's the point if it's going to waste? I'm not flush, so I'm sacrificing something for myself whenever I spend money.

I just get the feeling that because we have a very strained relationship (she was and still is abusive to me), that she is purposely not using them - because they came from me.

AIBU?

RippleEffects Sat 22-Feb-20 08:36:10

You sound quite critical of your mum. Do you think she feels your gifts are actually judgements?

ellenpartridge Sat 22-Feb-20 08:37:02

They are quite random presents to get if they haven't been requested. Clothes in particular can be risky to get right. She might be trying to somehow snub you given your history but equally she might just not be keen on the items. If you ask her what she would like does she give you suggestions? I would not buy her another random surprise present this time.

ellenpartridge Sat 22-Feb-20 08:38:03

True Rippleeffects they all things trying to fix something about the mum rather than just something for her to enjoy

caulkheaded Sat 22-Feb-20 08:38:26

It sounds like this is about something buffer than just the gifts.

CrikeyYouDontWasteTime Sat 22-Feb-20 08:39:05

I think that clothing is always a risky surprise present, and people either get on with w tens machine or they don't. Personally, I would ask her what she'd like, and maybe get a small surprise gift as well, but she can't help it really if she doesn't happen to like the things you've got her. Taste is very personal.

However if she's not appreciative then that's something else.

shudup Sat 22-Feb-20 08:39:50

She plays the martyr and says she wants nothing if you ask.

I am judgy of her. She was and still is abusive to me. I try for the sake of mending bridges to try to get her something nice or thoughtful. But I think I won't bother with presents anymore. Not as if she's going to use them anyway!

OverByYer Sat 22-Feb-20 08:40:44

Clothes are a difficult present to give / receive so that may be down to taste.
I don’t like TENS sensation so maybe again not something that was particularly wanted.
My Mum is very fussy. I just give her vouchers now

shudup Sat 22-Feb-20 08:40:57

How is a piece of clothing judgmental?

FriedasCarLoad Sat 22-Feb-20 08:41:32

The TENS machine in particular is really thoughtful. Shame she hasn't given it a go. Might she be nervous about using it?

CrotchetyQuaver Sat 22-Feb-20 08:41:44

My mother used to be like this, I'd ask her what she wants and if she says nothing, take her at her word. Or maybe just a bunch of flowers?

CrikeyYouDontWasteTime Sat 22-Feb-20 08:41:54

If she is abusive, I don't think you will ever get it right. That is the nature of an abusive person, they will use anything to hurt you if they want to. Perhaps it's time to limit your contact with her?

shudup Sat 22-Feb-20 08:42:12

Well the Tens machine was given with genuine concern for her health. If I'm doing something with bad intentions, it certainly wouldn't be spending money on a present for someone!

Merigoround Sat 22-Feb-20 08:43:04

If you aren't giving her gifts with love then you would be better not to bother. Do you think she doesn't know you are judging her?

missmouse101 Sat 22-Feb-20 08:43:34

This all sums up why I can't bear receiving from and buying other adults gifts. What a waste of money. Can you agree not to bother with each other at birthdays/Christmas? Or, simply buy an 'afternoon tea for 2' voucher or a gift card for her favourite coffee shop?

dwum Sat 22-Feb-20 08:44:05

It does sound like you have given it some thought, but if she doesn't want them, she doesn't want them. It's not personal.
My mum does it to me, gives me a lot of stuff she thinks would make my life better. In reality, she adds a lot of clutter to my home...

How about theatre/cinema tickets instead? Or books? Or vouchers and a day out together to spend them?

Trahira Sat 22-Feb-20 08:44:42

I have a really good relationship with my parents and I try to buy them thoughtful presents. I can think of at least two that haven't been used at all. I can also think of presents my lovely DH has bought me or I've got for him that haven't worked as well as the giver expected. Unless you go for something quite mainstream it's hard to get it right!

If your mum is abusive in other ways then you could reduce contact. But don't think of this as part of the problem. It's really not a big deal.

peanutbuttermarmite Sat 22-Feb-20 08:44:49

Buy more generic gifts and spend less if it gets to you - I don’t think either of you would worry about this if the underlying relationship was healthier.

I’ve bought lots of gifts for my mum and she for me that we don’t use because we have different taste but neither of us worries about it.

ExcessiveAdmin Sat 22-Feb-20 08:45:35

If she is and has been abusive in the past, this could be a way of continuing the abuse even though you’ve left home.
Does she play your sister off against you a lot?
Also if she takes the martyr position and says she doesn’t want anything then take her at her word. If she whinges point out that you fulfilled her request. I hate this kind of passive aggressive behaviour and would stop pandering to it. I know it’s easy for me to say but if you refuse to play along with their PA games you take back control.

Snaleandthewhail Sat 22-Feb-20 08:45:55

I recognise this situation.

Have you spoken to your sister about this?

If not I would alternate flower/chocolate//smellies/cake delivery for gifts. Any thought you put in is not going to be rewarded with thanks.

Foxyloxy1plus1 Sat 22-Feb-20 08:45:55

Why is saying that she wants nothing, playing the martyr. I say that sometimes because it’s true. If you ask him, my son says the same thing.

I wouldn’t want a waterfall cardigan. Is it the sort of thing she wears? I agree that buying clothes for someone is always a bit of a lottery.

Tink88 Sat 22-Feb-20 08:46:17

Just buy her a voucher for where she shops

codenameduchess Sat 22-Feb-20 08:47:26

Not every fat person wants to hide under baggy cardigans, not everyone with pain wants to use a TENS... they are both gifts that are very personal with a 50/50 chance the receiver would like or use them.

If the relationship is that strained then why bother? What to you is 'oh that would look nice on mum' to her might be 'she thinks I'm fat/that's hideous'.

SparklingLime Sat 22-Feb-20 08:47:40

She plays the martyr and says she wants nothing if you ask.

Taking everything else into consideration, I’d take her at her word and give nothing in future. Or the smallest token (eg a hand cream) if you to avoid potential “shudup gave me nothing!” drama/digs.

RippleEffects Sat 22-Feb-20 08:47:41

'She is overweight and I thought it would be flattering.'

Sometimes, especially with those we know well we communicate things even without saying them directly. So you bought her a fat cover up cardigan, as you are conscious she's overweight.

I personally love a waterfall cardigan and agree they're flattering but you have expressed here why you bought it, did it come across to her even if not directly stated?

The Tens again I agree about pill popping and eating up insides but your disdaine comes across clearly in your post, you are no doubt right it's a better thing to use but if she hasn't asked it's difficult to try and force a different approach on someone.

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