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Can anyone recommend me a good book about the mother-daughter adult relationship?

(9 Posts)
lucindapie Tue 09-Apr-13 10:07:33

I'm struggling a bit with my mother. She is quite a negative person, likes to moan and really needs someone to listen to her. She also lacks empathy and can be a bit cold and critical, never says anything good about me, not because she is really 'cruel' as such but just quite tactless and lacking in social skills. I suspect she may have aspergers.
I have a lot of pent up anger towards her and snap and lash out sometimes as I often just lose my patience. In some ways I am kind of dominant in the relationship in this way.
Because of stuff that happened in the past I hardly feel close to her at all, and though I know I love her deep down the love is swamped by other feelings, almost hatred really. When I'm with her, I feel like I can't even look at her, it's strange.
I think I need a book that can help me figure out how to behave with her, she is a very introverted person and so at times I've taken on an almost dominant role in the relationship which feels weird and also like I feel a massive amount of guilt and responsibility.
Yesterday she mentioned how I put on a lot of weight during my pregnancy and I flipped out and got really angry, (the first thing she said when she saw me after my dd was born was 'your big' because she hadn't seen me for most of the pregnancy) it was a sore point!
So then she started crying saying 'you always criticize me I can't do anything right' and had a massive meltdown
I guess I am just giving what I get back, but then she goes into a passive state and its up to me to sort it out. But also that she is older than me and 'began' our relationship when I was just a baby and its so weird and complicated.
I do feel like the stronger tougher one of us but also like this massive weight of sorting out our relationship is on me. Sorry for ranty long post hope it makes some sort of sense!
I once read a book called 'why you and your mother can't be friends ' and also dipped into 'toxic parents' I would love a recommendation of another book as I feel I need help to keep our relationship going but can't afford therapy !

springyhappychick Tue 09-Apr-13 10:57:52

I'm seeing a therapist at £5 a pop, so there is a way to afford therapy. eg women's orgs offer cut-price therapy and you can also ask therapists if they offer reduced fees. They won't be offended to be asked, the answer's yes or no.

I don't know any books and will certainly be watching your thread for suggestions. However, if your feelings are so complicated (and you're not the only one by a long shot!) then therapy would surely be at least one good way to address all the threads that make up your relationship in a safe environment where you can say what you really feel without anyone being offended.

Have you told her you love her? She may not think you do. I have a very fraught relationship with one of my daughters and I have no idea if she loves me or not.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 09-Apr-13 11:05:37

"When you and your mother can't be friends" is excellent and very balanced.

"Toxic Parents" is also excellent, but a lot more trenchant: its goal is to gear you up to a confrontation.

HotDAMNlifeisgood Tue 09-Apr-13 11:07:37

Oh sorry I missed your last sentence.

If you read those two already and need more, then the next step is therapy, really.

bunchofposy Tue 09-Apr-13 11:47:12

OP are you me? I could have written your post!

I have just started the ball rolling with therapy as I have realised I have an unmanageable (for me at least) relationship with my mother. My pent up anger lasts for days whenever I have either spoken to her or seen her and it seems to be always on my mind.

I have just read 'Will I ever be good enough?' and found that really good. If you put it into Amazon, you will see other suggestions come up along the same lines. I have put several on my wish list.

Do you have children? My local children's centre does counselling for free. You could also try getting some CBT through your GP. I did this for anger issues, though I didn't realise at the time the extent to which my relationship with my mother was the problem.

bunchofposy Tue 09-Apr-13 11:49:30

ps I have also found the stately homes thread on here good to look at!

bunchofposy Tue 09-Apr-13 11:51:56

pps sorry, just realised that of course you have children (sorry, pregnancy brain) so definitely see if your children's centre offers any free counselling! My issues with my mum actually became much more apparent after I had had my first baby, incidentally.

lucindapie Wed 10-Apr-13 06:32:11

thanks everyone. It's nice to know I'm not alone. I don't know why! I'm sorry you are all going through this too, but sometimes it seems like everyone around me has normal mothers, that are supportive, and kind, and I've struggled hard in life, to even think of myself as likeable.
I live abroad, so the cheaper therapy isn't an option, unfortnately, unless I can arrange a few sessions, when I'm back in the UK.
Just checked out 'Will I ever be good enough' and realised this is a book for daughter's of narsisstic mothers.
Before I learnt a lot about aspergers, I thought my mother might have a narcisisstic personality disorder. (I did some diagnosing via google!)
She definitely has some narissitic tendencies, and I think her making references to my weight and then going into a crying fit, when I say it was an unkind thing to say, is a bit narssistic.
I will definitely check out the stately homes thread.

and just from looking on amazon I noticed a book called, 'The emotionally absent mother, A guide to Self Healing, and getting the love you missed.'
sounds iike it could be good.

bunchofposy Wed 10-Apr-13 13:54:53

Hi Lucinda

I only realised my mother had narcissistic tendencies when I read that book, and saw a few more posts on here. Seems to be quite common! The good thing about the book is that she covers mothers who have full blown disorders as well as ones with narcissistic tendencies. My mum basically means well, so reading the info on how to spot it made me feel less like I was going mad, as it made her behaviour make sense. It is also not a book about blame which I liked as there is no way I could go NC with my mum, I just want to be able to deal with it better.

By the way, I had a similar thing with my mum making comments like that - I tried to nicely point out how some of them made me feel and she got upset and barely spoke to me for two weeks. Nice. She will always cry over difficult discussion making it impossible to ever discuss anything.

The emotionally absent mother is one of the ones on my wish list too! If I read any other good ones I'll update this thread.

Just a thought but could you find some online therapy? They do this in my area, though only for those registered with GPs in my county, but you might be able to find something similar.

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