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I can't cope with my mother any more

(21 Posts)
TooManyBlossoms Thu 28-Jul-11 14:16:41

It's a long one - sorry.

I've never really had a good relationship with my mum. She has always put herself first, including dragging me and my sister from house to house as she moved in with her various boyfriends/husbands when we were young.

To others she appears to be a doting mum/grandmother, but it's all an act. She has told me before that she never wanted children - nice.

2 years ago, she and her husband decided to move to a tourist town 70 miles away. So they sold their house, and bought a flat in the new town. My mum got another job; her husband didn't. The plan was she would move over there, while her husband would carry on with his current job, whilst looking for a new job in the new town.

He had arranged to stay in a workmate's spare room - this fell through - cue a hysterical phone call from my mum saying he would have to live in his van as had nowhere else to go. Feeling suitably guilt tripped, I said he could stay in our spare room for a few weeks. This lasted for 6 months.

Still having not found a job, they decided to buy a business, despite having no savings/business experience. They bought a unit in a market as a going concern, and her husband moved over there. During this time we were summoned to visit regularly as "she missed everyone so much".

About 6 months later, my mum decided she wanted her own business too, so packed in her job and took a unit in the same market, with the idea of selling baby clothes - again with no experience whatsoever.

Not surprisingly, the main business didn't provide the income they were hoping for (probably as they were running it into the ground). Sunday nights were marked with hysterical phonecalls from my mum about how they were going to have to sell the flat/be homeless and that she missed us so much. Some nights she was sobbing so much I couldn't make out what she was saying. They were planning to move back here once they'd found jobs/sold the flat

Fast forward to 2 weeks ago. They have sold both businesses, at a loss. My mum has moved into a flat less than 1/2 a mile from my house. Her husband is staying at their old flat for now, while it's on the market. He has a casual job which might give him a day's work each week, or it might not. I had assumed he would be joining my mum at weekends.

A few days ago I got a phonecall from her husband asking me to go round to see my mum as she was in a state, and could I take an aerial cable round as she hadn't got one. It turns out that he's not coming over at weekends as they can't afford the petrol.

So round I go. On top of the tv is a pile of cables that she's just not bothered to attempt to plug in. My mum is again in absolute hysterics, saying she's cut off from the world as the phone isn't connected/she's got no tv etc. She's got no fridge/freezer as it's in the old flat, and doesn't drive.

I then get the whole sob story about how they can't afford to pay rent on the new flat, and the mortgage on the old one. So why did she move??? She told me she'd been living on boiled potatoes as she couldn't afford food. I duly took round a weekly shop for her.

I knew this would happen. Everytime she's made a decision, it's been with no thoughts to the possible consequences, with me being left to pick up the pieces. I would quite like to move to another town, but wouldn't dream of it until we had jobs waiting.

I thought the weekly hysterical phonecalls would stop once she moved back here, but it appears this is only the beginning. I can't cope with it any more. I wish I could just tell her not to contact me anymore sad.

deste Thu 28-Jul-11 19:41:58

Stupid question, why did your mum rent another flat when she is paying a mortgage on her original property? Sometimes you just have to step back and leave them to get on with it. She is draining you and you dont need to put up with it.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Thu 28-Jul-11 20:10:20

I wish I could just tell her not to contact me anymore

What's stopping you? (serious question, btw, not trying to be flippant)

2rebecca Thu 28-Jul-11 20:31:48

You are not her parent, she is your parent. I would tell her this and back off. Just don't go round. If you lived 200 miles away she and your stepfather would have to sort themselves out. Leave them to it.
If your stepfather is too tight to travel to see his wife that doesn't make her your problem. She sounds like an incurable drama queen.
Your mu should move back in with your stepfather if she can't cope alone. They are each others responsibility. Having 2 properties if they are skint is just stupid.

TooManyBlossoms Thu 28-Jul-11 22:07:08

She rented the other flat so she could be near me and my sister - quite frankly I don't want her living nearby - 70 miles away was just fine. Any sane person would obviously have sold the other flat first, but not my mum. They had a cash offer on the flat the other day, which would have paid off the mortgage and given them 10k more - they turned it down in the hope of getting more.

She's been round tonight to use my laptop to look for jobs - meaning my evening has been spent helping her find things/send emails etc. She then moaned as I was watching something she didn't want to watch on tv. I know it's the start of a slippery slope.

I am seriously considering putting my own house on the market and moving. sad.

2rebecca Thu 28-Jul-11 22:15:12

I wouldn't move, but you do need to start telling her that she has to get on with her own life and let you live yours. It sounds as though you're a bit passive with her. I would be telling her that she has a husband and should prioritise him, not you and your sister.

TooManyBlossoms Fri 29-Jul-11 15:36:42

Ok, I took her supermarket shopping with me earlier. She asked to be dropped in town, and for me to bring her shopping home for her to collect later. I know when she comes she'll expect to stay all afternoon, and sit crying on my sofa. Any advice on what to do, apart from to just hand over her shopping and then shut the door?

MizzyTizzy Fri 29-Jul-11 17:24:32

What on earth made you take her shopping?

I too have ishoos with my parents...we are now no contact....but even I never volunteered for any 'jobs' they needed helping with - I just knew there would be a huge fallout of emotions/guilt trips/woe is me attitudes afterwards.

Why put yourself in the direct line of fire for all her nonsense.

If you hadn't taken her shopping you would not be dreading her visit now? sad

TooManyBlossoms Fri 29-Jul-11 17:30:00

Mizzy Because she was telling me how she had to walk to the corner shop and buy food from there as she doesn't drive and can't get to the supermarket - as I live literally round the corner and CAN drive I was guilt tripped into taking her when I went myself. I might as well get used to it as this is how it'll be for the forseeable future sad.

MizzyTizzy Fri 29-Jul-11 17:38:46

Yup...you were 'played' good and proper! Grrr!

You really do have to try not to fall into the trap of doing everything for her.

Instead of falling for the corner shop = Bad news

think about it this way perhaps -

Corner shop = Good news, very handy to at least have a corner shop sooo close.

Also she could have done her shopping on-line and had delivery - she was on-line doing job app's at your house...so it would have been easy to shop as well.

You just have to try to not fall for it all...feel no guilt...she will survive, after all she has for this long without you running about after her.

I know it's difficult though. x

As for the shopping I'd hand it over...with the excuse of being very busy...expecting a private phone call or something...not offer tea/coffee/a seat...and usher her out the door asap.

MizzyTizzy Fri 29-Jul-11 17:41:58

PS...Have the shopping waiting right by the fron tdoor then she doesn't have to come in...reach behind door retrieve carrier bags "There ya go Mum...must rush...see ya later....bye".

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 18:16:02

Have your coat on when she arrives - say "oh that was good timing I was just on my way out......"

Fuzzywuzzywozabear Fri 29-Jul-11 18:20:33

P.s. I know how hard it is to deal with nightmare parents. One day mine phoned us saying "where ARE you we're sitting on your drive"
We were at the woods with the kids and were just about to leave!!! So we said "oh we've just arrived at the woods, sorry" we then said "come on kids time for an ice-cream" we "hid" up the woods for an extra hour

What I'm trying to say is, you need to start managing her and be ready for anything - posters above are right, you keep falling into her trap

2rebecca Fri 29-Jul-11 22:57:09

She has a husband, it doesn't have to be like this. If she chooses not to drive then with the huge amount of money she saves not buying and insuring a car she gets a bus or a taxi, or gets shopping delivered when she has her computer working. She is an able bodied adult. She's your mum not your grannie. Stop encouraging her invalid tendencies and make her be more self relient.
You sound a bit of a martyr about it all. It will only be like this for the forseeable future if you choose let it be like this.

LineRunner Sat 30-Jul-11 17:36:45

I am no longer in contact with my mother and it is a massive decision.

Life is certainly quieter now. But not without sadness, obviously.

Ultimately I had to step out of the swirling sea of blame that is her life. Perhaps you need to step out of the sea of shambles, at least for a while. It sounds utterly draining.

G1nger Sat 30-Jul-11 18:01:21

She sounds like one of those people - rare, dysfunctional people - who would be more than happy to hand over the reins for every difficult (or not so difficult) decision/action she has to make.

You've been given some good advice here. Manage her or she'll put more and more pressure on you. It wont be long before she's living with you, at this rate. You have to be dishonest to distance yourself. Hide behind the sofa with the lights off if you have to, or continue with the way things are. You are enabling her, like sometimes parents enable their drug addict adult children.

madmn52 Sun 31-Jul-11 20:59:18

I am reading this with interest as I am having similiar problems with my 82 year old father at the moment. He is very demanding and emotionally draining me. My daughter observing him winding me up to 'scrape me off the ceiling' level over some trivia the other day even said she thought he deliberately baits me. I am staring to wonder. He is never ever happy and the others are right - the more you do for some people the more they demand and the less gratitude they show. I have just moved him and mum into an apartment near me as they were struggling in their three bed house - mum especially with stairs etc and being a long distance from any help - i.e. me. So I moved them into the place and sorted absolutely everything. I cleaned everything that came into the flat before I moved it in and I have done the place up lovely for them - put all family pics up fresh flowers - its lovely. I even washed all their coats etc as they all smelt a bit musty - that old people smell iykwim. I filled their fridge and cupboards the lot. Dad has done nothing but complain and is stalking around the place looking for problems iyswim. Well today I sorted out all the teething problems you get when you move - tv signal phone line etc etc - theyve only been in there a day. But the one thing I cant seem to get going is the heating but we're having a heatwave at moment here and they do have hot water and a fire. So when I was finallly leaving tonight - dad had a right old moan at me about the one bloody thing not sorted yet. I told him I was going to have one more fiddle with it tomo try and reset it etc etc and if not give landlord a call. But oh no he just had to have a pop at me again about it. Not one word of thanks for all the mountains I have moved to get them there - oh no - we'll just focus on what you've not done yet.
I just came home exhausted from moving furniture/cleaning etc - and caring for mum -getting her to toilet etc as very very infirm and I just burst into tears when DH asked - You OK?

madmn52 Sun 31-Jul-11 21:10:37

Ginger that sounds very good advice but sorry for the hijack btw - but how do you 'manage' someone who you have to spend a lot of time with - (cos I'm now mums full time carer and so i will have to be there a lot every day) - and he is just like a dog with a bone about whatever todays problem is - until you sort it - even trivia like a bulbs gone in a lamp etc. I mean surely if I just do the things he wants to 'shut him up' - wont that just make him worse - sort of like giving a naughty child their own way for having a tamntrum iyswim. But if I dont give in he just drives me nuts - I end up getting really agitated with him - then he gets all sarky and sulky/silent treatment and really nasty even at times.

BTW he hasnt got dementia/alzeimers or ilk - just had a medical. Just turned into a very selfish demanding grumpy old ungrateful git basically !

G1nger Mon 01-Aug-11 17:32:36

Madmn52 - I'm not sure what to say for your circumstances. I really feel for you. Maybe you could decide to clear the air with him- plan ahead to tell him the kinds of things you've told us. Tell him how he makes you feel, or perhaps more to the point tell him in non- emotive terms where he's going wrong with the way he's treating you. And set boundaries of acceptable behaviour, taking yours as now the position of power rather than the placid 'child' of his... They'd be things I'd be thinking of. x

madmn52 Mon 01-Aug-11 19:45:13

Ginger thanks - thats again very good advice are you a counsellor in RL - if not you could be ! You are right in the viscous circle thing - he winds me up - I get wound up - he gets defensive/aggressive whatever - I get resentful and so on and so forth and I suppose rather than worrying about who's right and who's wrong and getting the better of him when he's being unreasonable maybe i should try and be the better person - or the 'adult' as you say reverse the dynamics - and try and break the cycle. but it is so hard. Every day I promise myself I will not let him wind me up and every day he seems to manage it. Then i feel really crap cos he is after all in the latter years of his life - even the last at 82 - who knows - and he is my father - but I really truthfully think he could reduce the Pope himself to a stand up slanging match grin

G1nger Mon 01-Aug-11 19:56:50

madmn52 - Not a counsellor.. just spent many a year wishing my parents would stand up to my eldest sister and take charge. Good luck with it x

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