Advertisement

loader

Talk

Advanced search

Mumsnet has not checked the qualifications of anyone posting here. If you need help urgently, please see our domestic violence webguide and/or relationships webguide, which can point you to expert advice and support.

My relationship with my mother makes me so miserable

(10 Posts)
nancy10 Thu 04-Aug-11 23:10:37

I have a difficult relationship with my mother. She is critical of everything I say and do. She makes negative comments about my weight, clothes even a pair of curtains I've just bought. She never has a good word to say about anyone else either and spends the majority of the time when she visits bitching about other people. I have never got on with her but have bitten my tongue to avoid arguments. I would not be bothered if I never saw her again but keep the peace for the sake of my children. On several occasions I have had a go back at her but she shouts me down every time and can be really cutting that I just don't bother now. She has always accused me of being selfish and that I only think of myself. I left home at 17 just to get away from her. She only visits about once every 6 weeks as she lives 2 hours away. But I find even seeing her that frequently has a really bad impact on me. I'm moody and snappy with my dh and kids and it's all because of her. I blame her for my lack of self confidence and don't know what to do. She can be really good with my kids when she wants to be but then a couple of weeks ago she really shocked me when she told my 11 year old son he was getting fat, which he isn't and even if he was she had no right to say anything. Yet she worships the ground my sister and her children walk on. Although my sister has said it's all a show and that when she's alone with them she doesn't bother with them. I'm glad that she doesn't bother with us as much as it means we don't see her too often but feel very sad for my children. In her defence she doesn't come from a particularly close family. She has 4 siblings who apart from one she can't stand. Her own mum died when she was 17 and I think she had a fairly good relationship with her dad. She split from my dad when she was pregnant with me and made it very difficult for him to see me, so he gave up. Same thing happened to my sister with her dad (different fathers) and the reason we don't have anything to do with our dad's is through 'no fault of our mum's' it was because they weren't interested in us?? My dh tells me just to tolerate her when she's down because we don't have to see her that much but it's getting to the point where I just don't think I can. I actually think she needs help. What do I do??

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 04-Aug-11 23:34:55

OP, I', reposting this in paragraphs so people can read it:

I have a difficult relationship with my mother. She is critical of everything I say and do. She makes negative comments about my weight, clothes even a pair of curtains I've just bought. She never has a good word to say about anyone else either and spends the majority of the time when she visits bitching about other people.
I have never got on with her but have bitten my tongue to avoid arguments. I would not be bothered if I never saw her again but keep the peace for the sake of my children. On several occasions I have had a go back at her but she shouts me down every time and can be really cutting that I just don't bother now.
She has always accused me of being selfish and that I only think of myself. I left home at 17 just to get away from her.
She only visits about once every 6 weeks as she lives 2 hours away. But I find even seeing her that frequently has a really bad impact on me. I'm moody and snappy with my dh and kids and it's all because of her. I blame her for my lack of self confidence and don't know what to do.
She can be really good with my kids when she wants to be but then a couple of weeks ago she really shocked me when she told my 11 year old son he was getting fat, which he isn't and even if he was she had no right to say anything.
Yet she worships the ground my sister and her children walk on. Although my sister has said it's all a show and that when she's alone with them she doesn't bother with them.
I'm glad that she doesn't bother with us as much as it means we don't see her too often but feel very sad for my children.
In her defence she doesn't come from a particularly close family. She has 4 siblings who apart from one she can't stand. Her own mum died when she was 17 and I think she had a fairly good relationship with her dad. She split from my dad when she was pregnant with me and made it very difficult for him to see me, so he gave up.
Same thing happened to my sister with her dad (different fathers) and the reason we don't have anything to do with our dad's is through 'no fault of our mum's' it was because they weren't interested in us??
My dh tells me just to tolerate her when she's down because we don't have to see her that much but it's getting to the point where I just don't think I can. I actually think she needs help.
What do I do??

LesserOfTwoWeevils Thu 04-Aug-11 23:40:08

She sounds awful, but sadly there's no use your getting worked up about her needing help, because if one thing is certain, it's that she doesn't think she does.
You can't change her and you can't make her want to change.
All you can do is to change how you react to her and to limit how much you have to do with her. If seeing her upsets you so much even though you only see her every six weeks, you really need to work on yourself and detaching from her. Are you imagining that if only you could fix your relationship with her, that would improve your self-esteem?
You might find it useful to read the support threads in relationships for people who come from abusive families.

bushymcbush Thu 04-Aug-11 23:51:30

You shouldn't feel obliged to have a relationship with this person just because she is your mother.

She is clearly having a very negative influence on you, possibly to the point of you suffering with depression and certainly self esteem issues.

I think you have 2 options:

1. Get some counselling for yourself, with the aim of working on your self esteem and learning how to react to your mother's criticisms.

2. Cut her out of your life. You would still probably benefit from counselling to deal with your self esteem you can't just undo all those years of nitpicking overnight.

lovechocolate Fri 05-Aug-11 03:30:02

She sounds awful! About a year ago I posted on here about the difficult relationship I have with my MIL. Posters recommend I read "Toxic In Laws" by Susan Forward. I didnt read it at the time as I felt that I should be able to sort it out/ deal with it myself. Things got worse with my MIL and I finally read the book two weeks ago. I wish I had read it a year ago! It made me see clearly what is really going on in the relationship with her and how to deal with it. I feel so much relief now and am seeing things much more clearly. She has written a book called "Toxic Parents" I have not read it but if its half as good I suggest reading it. The message that is sticking really clearly in my mind is you deserve to be treated with respect. Hope it gets better for you

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 05-Aug-11 08:54:23

I echo the recommendation to read "Toxic Parents", and then consider whether you would like face-to-face counselling once you have read it.

I actually think she needs help.

Maybe so. What you say about her own childhood speaks volumes about the baggage she has and has probably tried to pass on to you. But she'll have to be the one to ask for help for herself if she wants it. The only person you can help is you.

ItsMeAndMyPuppyNow Fri 05-Aug-11 11:19:29

See if you like the cut of this book's gib, too.

And good luck! These are thorny issues to tackle, but you will find the method to manage your mother that works for you.

CuddlyNemesis Fri 05-Aug-11 11:58:18

I'm sorry your relationship with your mum is so horrid and has always been like that (makes my moan pale into insignificance!)

I don't have anything useful to add, just wanted to let you know I'm wishing you all the best.

natandjacob Fri 05-Aug-11 13:21:29

I don't have a very good relationship with my mother either so I know exactly how you feel. There really isn't much you can do with people like this apart from let them get on with it. Its so hard when all you want is a mum you can turn to when you need her, I'm always jealous of other people mums and how close they are!
My way of dealing with her is to just tolerate her. No matter how bad she is the fact is you only get one mother and I wouldnt want to feel bad about not getting on with her if anything happened to her.
I hope you find some way to make a relationship with her, good luck.

CallMeBubblesEverybodyDoes Sat 06-Aug-11 00:54:16

OP, I can really identify with how you feel. All of my life my mum has been critical of me, picked on me, and made me feel horrible and not worthy of anything. As a child I was constantly told off and my mum said some horrible things such as if she could get away with it she would like to kill me.

Anyway, I moved out of home at 20, and thought I was "over it" all, but then a year ago after suffering years of anxiety and low confidence I decided to have counselling and CBT. My counsellor said at the beginning that eventually I would be able to have acceptance of what had happened and would believe fully that it wasn't my fault (my mum always blamed me, saying I was a nasty person or evil or ugly). Through my counselling, we have worked at my self esteem, which was absolutely rock bottom, and I am pleased to say that I have reached a level of acceptance of it all, and have totally changed the way I deal with my mum, and I see her negativity and attitude as her problem not mine and I'm no longer willing to take her negtivity on my shoulders. I'd say I feel more sorry for her now that she's generally a real misery and so passive aggressive, rather than taking it personally and to heart like I used to. I think my mum respects me a lot more now and I have set boundaries in myself of what I will and won't tolerate. My counsellor also taught me lots of very useful tools to use to deal with my mum and to diffuse situations and let her know I'm not prepared to take any rubbish from her.

I too have read the Toxic Parents book and it's very good, very enlightening and I found I could identify with a lot of the stories in there. It does help to get the message across that it isn't your fault and of course it's always useful to know there are other dysfunctional families around too!

Join the discussion

Join the discussion

Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.

Register now