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My mother - am at wits end.

(75 Posts)
Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:22:22

I really do give up.

Shes very controlling and a very definate narcist. Despite this we have an ok relationship... when its all going her way.

For the last few weeks shes been getting worse and worse.
Ive been getting daily phone calls nagging me about things from picking up my dog poo ( the dog is 11... i do know what im doing) to doing washing (again, ive lived out of home for over 10 years) to where i am, what im diong, who im with, why i didnt tell her i was going out etc... etc.

I have been telling her to stop nagging. but it makes no difference. My stock response is not to engage in this behaviour.

A few weeks ago she joined fb. She is not a fb user, she is friends with noone on it bar me ( she threw a strop till i added her... my sister refused) She has no pics, no friends, its not even in her proper name. Its just an account for snooping. Since then ive had daily phone calls about pics, or what ive said, or whos commented and how i know them. just going on and on. She called me sat to ask about a film i had said i was watching. she didnt know what it was, wanted to know what it was about. she had called people to ask them if they knew about said film. I l told her it needed to stop and if she didnt i would delete her.

I have now caused ww3.

Because i said that im ' talking to her like shit' and ' hate her' and she told me me and my child can fuck off. I explaiined that is a discusting thing to say and its terrible and i wont be emotionally blackmailed and the mothers day meal i had planned on hosting with all sibblings was now off. I wouldnt argue so got more and more shit thrown at me. including her husband telling me i should not tell her to fuck off. and then she said she couldnt take it anymore. this was of course after screaming at me for 45 mins.

i text her later the same day to tell her it was silly to argue. but got no response.

Ive text her today, my friend drafted the msg. she has similar mother issues. it was a friendly text, saying am i forgiven, i know you miss me, everyone is coming sunday, see you then.

she replied she didnt know and had i spoken to my siblings.

i said yes ( i hadnt, but since i only canncelled a few days ago and it is mothers day... cant see what else they would be doing.... of note was the fact noone of them had organised anything for her) and they would be here.

i got a cross text back saying i was a liar and had not. she had checked with my brother.

i said i had, i dont know what happened. and hastily text them....

turns out she has organised for them all to do something without me.

I am furrious.

I know what shes doing. its in her benefit to play us off and play the victim. I tried to sort it out sunday, and tried again today. but she clearly doesnt want to, despite me not having done anything wrong.

Im kind of at my wits end with it all and have no idea what else i can do, or how else i can deal with it.

any help much appreciated

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:26:35

sorry - forgot, we also fell out last week. she called me 12 times before lunchtime. DD had just got home from being away for a week, so i said:
' please dont take offence, and its lovely you are thinking of me, but you have called loads and im doing stuff, cam you just speak to me once at the end of the day'

she took massive offence, went off on one. I called her the next day and she refused to talk to me. Then, despite me calling her EVERYDAY, this weekend she said she hardly spoke to me and was bearing a grudge.

I tell her she treats me like a child. i am 35 this year. its crazy. She maintains she doesnt. or says im lucky someone cares.

Its suffocating.
I cannot handle living under such scrutinity.

None of it is your fault. She is overbearing and controlling and you have asked her to stop but she continued.

You need to disengage. Stop apologising. Her shitty behaviour is not your burden to carry.

I think you need to disengage, keep her at arms length and try to accept that she will never be the mother you need her to be.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:41:49

I know all of this. For the majority of the time we get along and its ok...

but its been building up and up and up and shes got worse and worse with it. It does tend to happen yearly.

Im not surprised by her behaviour, i know what shes like.

Im just a bit stuck, i work sundays, she has dd every other sunday for me. I cant get any other childcare... so. i dont know what i can do.she said she would do this when i took the job. she offered.

So, if i didnt have the job to worry about, id just leave it and not talk to her for a while, ive done it before. However, im a single parent, i cant afford to lose my job over an argument with my mother.

abbyfromoz Thu 07-Mar-13 12:42:26

Your mother sounds like she has a personality disorder. Mine has one too (BPD) characteristics are narcism, not being able to 'Agree to disagree', constant 'woe is me' attitude, strong manipulation including emotional blackmail... The list goes on. All i can say is well done you for being so strong, and try to remind yourself that perhaps she's mentally unwell before taking it on... It can take it's toll on your own me tal wellbeing.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:46:50

two fridays ago i was out.... she was away for the weekend. she had asked me to get something and fdrop it off. i said i would do.

She phoned 3 times which i ignored, but did text to say i was out but was getting the thing.

I got more calls about 2 hours later and a cross text askign where this tihng was. I said it was in the boot of my car.

i got more calls and more texts telling me that wasnt good enough, to get round to hers now and that she was fuming, i had lied when i said i was going to do it.

i said no, i wasnt home yet and would get it there when i got home.

the item? some pegs.
she wasnt there for the weekend either. it wasnt urgent.

shes still going on about it saying she cant belive i lied. that im selfish etc.

it makes NO sense to me. none at all, she wont see it from anyones view bar hers. and ive told her to stop and i dont like it so many times. but thats not valid. apparently.

LineRunner Thu 07-Mar-13 12:47:31

She is controlling you through one day a fortnight's childcare.

So a major part of the solution is to come up, somehow, with an alternative arrangement.

The other part of the solution is then to disengage from her, as per advice above.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:50:23

yes, she does.
i know why she does the emotional blackmail, its because i no longer react, so she says worse and worse things to get a reaction.

then, for the sympathy of everyone else she then goes' oh, i cant take it why is she so mean, im so upset i cant even talk'

then pulls in eveyone else... unbeknown to me while she was having a go she had me on speakerphone so her husband could hear. he had a go when i told her to fuck off. apparently thats not something you should ever say......
and then shes pulled in my other sibbings to do something with them instead. they are 30 and 26 and couldnt be arsed with mothers day, i organised something, took the day off work and everything. and now im not invited.

it hurts. and is upsetting. and infuritating.

You will never make her see sense.

If you keep trying to make her realise its just going to hurt you more and more. You are taking it personally (which is understandable, shes your mum, who wouldnt be hurt) but you need to accept in your own head that this is entirely her problem.

I agree with abby. It sounds like some kind of personality disorder.

abbyfromoz Thu 07-Mar-13 12:52:33

She sounds like she has some serious issues- you might need to have a serious discussion with her about how her behaviour is affecting you- and perhaps a little bluffing that you don't need that kind of anxiety in your life so if she continues, you will have to distance yourself. It sounds to me like her neediness and desperation to control you (it's her insecurities and a way of 'keeping you close') is the one thing driving you to resent her and wanting to get away! This is pretty serious so perhaps you do need to look for some alternative childcare? Could you get a friend to help out? One of your siblings? I'm sorry to hear what you are going through thanks

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:52:36

i know she is. she has helped me with a few things, offered help which i have accepted. that got thrown in my face too. i was told i shouldnt speak to her in that way when she helped me out.

is said i was sorry, that i did not realised offeres of help can with terms and conditions and that i wouldnt accept them again if it gave her carte blanche to treat me with such disrespect.

I have no idea where im going to get sunday childcare from. None at all.

I disagree abby.

A serious discussion cannot be had with someone like this. It just cant.

abbyfromoz Thu 07-Mar-13 12:57:03

Wannabedomesticgoddess- i don't actually think it will change her- but at least OP will have a clear conscience that she has done everything in her power to resolve it, and it will be clear who the one with the problem is.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 12:58:00

ive explained many times to her about it. its almost a yearly argument.
my other siblings have also had the same argument. she is very controlling.

My sister only speaks to her twice as week, scheduled in, because she cant deal with it. mum moans and slags her off. when i brought this up i was told it was noone of my business, even though ive listened to her winge for months and months about how sad it makes her feel etc.

Ah, i cant be doing with this. i tried to draw a line sunday, if she had wanted to, i gave her the chance then.

Ive tried again today. Again, had she have wanted to, she could have chosen to.

But shes not. shes decided she wants to carry this on.

her choice. ive given her ample chances to sort this out.
my next sunday i need cover for is the 21st april. ill try and sort something out......and just leave her to it for a while.

MarianForrester Thu 07-Mar-13 13:00:13

Sympathy from me too- she sounds a nightmare, and you just won't be able to change her.

Put an ad in your local paper/shop/fb for Sunday childcare? We got a lovely retired person for ad hoc childcare like this when dd was little.

CaptChaos Thu 07-Mar-13 13:02:20

Choir ask around to see if any CM's in your area offer weekend care, many do. I personally wouldn't be letting her look after a DC of mine, who knows what she is saying to your DD about you? Has she started sucking your DD into her maelstrom of emotional abuse yet?

You can't be beholden to this vile woman any longer. Talking to her isn't going to help, she just laps up the drama. I suppose I am lucky, my mother rarely phones, and if she does it's just to tell me something wonderful that all her 'adopted' children have done, or her perfect son.

Unfriend her on Facebook for the love of god! What possible purpose does it serve to have her on there? Tell her maybe that you will speak to her at a set time each day, and will not answer calls at any other time from her?

abbyfromoz Thu 07-Mar-13 13:05:37

Ahhh sounds so very familiar. My own mother moans to me about how terrible my sister is and 'if you really cared you would tell her to be nice to me' then if i ever get on her wrong side she says 'lucky i have a spare' (my DB) poor boy :-(
Anyway I think you have made the best decision and i am again so so sorry for the hurt you are feeling. It's wrong and unfair and i just hope you can find some peace with it as i know how emotionally damaging this stuff can be sad

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 13:06:45

i already have. did it sunday.

She gets the hump if she calls and i say i cant talk because im cooking dinner, or bathing dd or putting her to bed. its like everything is a personnal rejection.
it isnt.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 13:09:14

i just find it so hard.
its so far removed from how i would be. or how its reasonable to be.

So basically, im now being punished for saying i didnt like what she was doing. its crazy.
im grown up.
im not incapable.

im 35 this year. i asked her at what age she thought i was able to not be nagged about every tiny thing. she didnt answer and said she didnt nag. she does. all the fucking time.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Mar-13 13:13:43

just find it so hard.
its so far removed from how i would be. or how its reasonable to be.

So basically, im now being punished for saying i didnt like what she was doing. its crazy.
im grown up.
im not incapable.

im 35 this year. i asked her at what age she thought i was able to not be nagged about every tiny thing. she didnt answer and said she didnt nag. she does. all the fucking time.

Its very common for people to see the failures of their own parents once they become parents themselves.

My GM is 75 and still gets nagged by her 93 yo mother!!

I have cut them both out because they are so toxic!

teatrolley Thu 07-Mar-13 13:18:43

I think you know what you need to do.

The more you pander to her, the worse she gets. She 'threw a strop' until you added her on FB and then went on at you over every detail that's up there and you telling her to back off or be deleted has 'caused ww3.' There's a good reason your sister refused to add her.

Tell her you'll be contacting her twice a week at set times, like your sister. She will rail against it and throw the tantrum to end all tantrums, but eventually, she'll get over it. If you give her an inch she'll take a mile.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 13:22:06

oh, no, i saw her faiings long before i was a parent. there was about a 7 year stretch where we didnt talk.

She got in contact when i moved back to the uk and i had dd.

I know what shes like and i know its not right. and i dont parent like it, nor behave generally like it myself.

Im a 34 year old woman. I have lived abroad. i was married to a service man, i have gone through 2 wars with him, ive had high powered jobs, i have a child, a dog, a home, a car. i have friends. i cook, from scratch. my house is clean, i grow veg. Ive never done drugs, maybe only drink a handful of times a year, mever been in trouble with the law. and yet i get treated like a child.

the ' dog poo fiscao' has been a joke. My dog is old. ive been picking up dog shit for over 11 years. Shes called to nag daily as ive just moved house and not picked up the shit for a week. she is convinced the neighbours will report me and ill get evicted. This will not happen. this is the real world. not her fucked up world. i have tild her this, but she then shouts and tells me its beause she cares and im ungrateful and screwing up my life.

baffling and upsetting.

I dont know if thats really how she thinks and she lives life on such and edge like that. or if its just about control.either way i dont put up with it.
and thats why this has all come about.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 07-Mar-13 13:26:00

Sorry Choirace, pressed send too soon

Re your NPD mother, all you can do with this person is to actually cut her out of your life for good. She is not a good parent and is not a suitable grandparent for your children to be around. Some people really should not be allowed access to their grandchildren. That's is probably not at all what you expected to read but she cannot and will not ever be reasoned with. I cannot over-emphasise enough such people's complete and utter lack of empathy for any of their victims. Its all about her all the time, anyone else is of no importance to her whatsoever.

Having a narcissist for a mother is a lot like living under the supervision of a six-year-old. Narcissists are always pretending, and with a narcissistic mother it's a lot like, "Let's play house. I'll pretend to be the mother and you pretend to be the baby," though, as the baby, you'll be expected to act like a doll (keep smiling, no matter what) and you'll be treated like a doll -- as an inanimate object, as a toy to be manipulated, dressed and undressed, walked around and have words put in your mouth; something that can be broken but not hurt, something that will be dropped and forgotten when when something more interesting comes along. With narcissists, there's also usually a fair element of "playing doctor," as well -- of childish sexual curiosity that may find expression in "seductive" behavior towards the child, such as inappropriate touching of the genitals, or it can also come out as "hypochondriacal" worries about the child's health and/or being most interested and attentive when the child is ill (thus teaching the child that the way to get Mother's kind attention is to get sick). Having a sick child can also be a way for the narcissistic mother to get the sympathetic attention of authority figures, such as doctors and teachers.

It's very hard to have a simple, uncomplicated good time with a narcissist. Except for odd spells of heady euphoria unrelated to anything you can see, their affective range is mediocre-fake-normal to hell-on-Earth. They will sometimes lie low and be quiet, actually passive and dependent -- this is as good as it gets with narcissists. They are incapable of loving conduct towards anyone or anything, so they do not have the capacity for simple pleasure, beyond the satisfaction of bodily needs. There is only one way to please a narcissist (and it won't please you): that is to indulge their every whim, cater to their tiniest impulses, bend to their views on every little thing. There's only one way to get decent treatment from narcissists: keep your distance. They can be pretty nice, even charming, flirtatious, and seductive, to strangers, and will flatter you shamelessly if they want something from you. When you attempt to get close to them in a normal way, they feel you are putting emotional pressure on them and they withdraw because you're too demanding. They can be positively fawning and solicitous as long as they're afraid of you, which is not most people's idea of a real fun relationship.

Run for cover when they start acting normal, maybe expressing a becoming self-doubt or even acknowledging some little fault of their own, such as saying they now realize that they haven't treated you right or that they took advantage of you before. They're just softening you up for something really nasty. These people are geniuses of "Come closer so I can slap you." Except that's not the way they think about it, if they think about it -- no, they're thinking, "Well, maybe you do really care about me, and, if you really care about me, then maybe you'll help me with this," only by "help" they mean do the whole thing, take total responsibility for it, including protecting and defending them and cleaning up the mess they've already made of it (which they will neglect to fill you in on because they haven't really been paying attention, have they, so how would they know??). They will not have considered for one second how much of your time it will take, how much trouble it may get you into in their behalf, that they will owe you BIG for this -- no, you're just going to do it all out of the goodness of your heart, which they are delighted to exploit yet again, and your virtue will be its own reward: it's supposed to just tickle you pink to be offered this generous opportunity of showing how much you love them and/or how lucky you are to be the servant of such a luminous personage. No lie -- they think other people do stuff for the same reason they do: to show off, to perform for an audience. That's one of the reasons they make outrageous demands, put you on the spot and create scenes in public: they're being generous -- they're trying to share the spotlight with you by giving you the chance to show off how absolutely stunningly devoted-to-them you are. It means that they love you; that's why they're hurt and bewildered when you angrily reject this invitation.

Also you are also probably caught up in what is termed as FOG with regards to your mother; fear, obligation, guilt.

It is also not your fault she is like this; her own birth family unit did that lot of damage to her. Do you know anything at all about her childhood; pound to a penny she was the centre of their emotional universe and put on such a pedestal.

Your dad is also playing a role here in this overall dysfunction; emotionally unstable and narcissistic women like your mother always but always need a willing enabler in this case your dad to help them. Also he is happy that you are coping her barbs rather than he; he is also acting out of self preservation and want of a quiet life. The fact that he has defended her therefore does not surprise me in the least.

Apart from detaching and ignoring all such behaviours as of now (if you really cannot bring yourself to go no contact with your mother I would suggest you opt for low contact instead and purely on your own terms) I would suggest you look at the website entitled "Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers" and also read "Children of the Self Absorbed" written by Nina W Brown.

Choirace Thu 07-Mar-13 13:26:47

i know.

after the 12 phone calls incident, i dropped some daffs of for her, just to blow it over.... i cant be doing with rows.

she didnt even call to say thanks. i called her the next day and asked her if she hadnt got them. she said she had, but not until 5 and didnt know who they were from.

i said it was a bit rude not to have called to say thanks. who else leaves her flowers.

So, then i was ' talking to her like shit'

cant win. just cant win.

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