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Repairing/Renewing a relationship with parent.

(5 Posts)
poppysays Thu 23-May-13 21:21:26

Hi all ... this might be more therapy as much as needing some advice, I just really want to write some stuff down.

I don't have what is perceived as a very healthy relationship with my mother, although it is a functionning, working relationship I'd really like to strive to make it better, for all involved in the long run.

My parents are considered "old" by normal age ranges - both mid to late 60's by the time I went to university. I can't remember any time in my life, even when I was tiny, that we had a normal mother/daughter relationship, or whatever constitutes normal. I can't remember hugging, touching, saying "I love you" etc. We never discussed feelings, relationships, anything like that - totally off limits. However, it is a totally functionning and for the most part happy relationship.

However with some recent occurences I've noticed the chasmn in our relationship and that she can often produce some very "unpleasant" behaviour. It has started to upset me and I'd like to figure out how to talk us through this (with someone who doesnt do touchy feely talking!) in order that this doesn't come to drive us apart.

I am in my 30's, engaged and trying for a family.

When I got engaged, she did not appear happy - she didn't offer congratulations or seem very at ease with it. I overheard her saying to a family friend who said to her they were so pleased to hear our news that "it was embarassing, she didn't want to talk about it".
I read an email (yes this is not normal behaviour but she asks me to print emails into large print as can't read them on computer/figure out how to enlarge text, so I had clear view of it with permsision) and saw a conversation where she had been emailing a friend, again who offered congratulations, and she replied don't bother, it wouldn't last as I would ultimately push him away as he was weak and wouldn't stand up to me.

I am currently trying for a child, although both partner and I are not religious we and although saving madly for a lovely wedding, when we can afford it, we both agree that as in our 30s we would like to try for a child (i have had some personal problems in the past so its not likely to happen overnight) and the wedding comes second, with any remaining funds.
My mother isn't religious, once a year at Christmas sings some carols type - however she has decided that she is very adamant that children before marriage is "wrong". I can't really discuss with her our plans as we don't have a history of talking openly and she would be so angry, I think she might have a meltdown. I am not worried about her reaction once I do fall pregnant - tough, like it or lump it!
But in the meantime, its hard. I had a MC 2 months ago and fell into depression (something she also vocalises in a negative tone,I wont' detail so as not to upset people but she can be very quick to judge!) - I am just pulling myself up and out of it but its been a long, hard road. I am starting to feel I really wish I had a Mum to fall back to for support in times like this.

((I'm still going, sorry!))

Recently a close family member passed, and the inheritance was not detailed to be split but my mother and I were the last remaining members of our family.
My mother has taken charge of the finances, and dealt with all the appropriate payments. The inheritance has paid off all the outstanding bills and funeral costs and left about 20k. My mother has paid off all her credit cards, and paid about 5k on improvements on her home. I'm desperately trying not to be grabby and entitled, but I wish she could have shared some of that with me, I tried talking about it with her but we don't talk easily and her approach was "I am dealing with it, its nothing to do with you". I feel a little let down by this, rightly or wrongly. Last year I moved into a tiny 2 bed end terrace house and am saving for a wedding, saving for starting a family, working three part time jobs. My mum is very well off, she has around £50k income a year and a large house she owns outright.
This is not entirely relevant but it has kind of widened that gulf between us and I think a part of me is resenting her. I am scrimping and saving and trying my hardest to sort my life and try to bring us closer and little things like this are giving me niggly doubts of "does she really want to be close to me?"

We see each other on a daily basis as I clean her house and cook her lunch, this may sound strange but I learnt when I moved out and her husband passed away that without intervention she could be on "worst hoarders" in a week - she is not great on domestic hygine and things like that, without a little gentle help things get quite "toxic waste dump" in her home, our unusual arrangement keeps everything sane for me, her and her friends. However, I think this maybe pushes our relationship into that of boss/employee, like I say we have a functionning relationship and what we do now we are polite and civil and to all intents happy on the surface, simmering away as we are.

Sorry, I've really waffled on!
I'd really like to try and sort our relationship into something verging on normal mother daughter relationship - mostly for her benefit as I'd love for her to enjoy a relationship with grandchildren, and as part of my new family - but I don't know where or how to start with her, or if thats even really something that she wants.

Again, sorry for long post, that was hugely cathartic and please be gentle with me!!


Salbertina Thu 23-May-13 21:32:39

Of course we'll be gentle with you, you deserve no less!

Well, sorry to hear about your MC and that your mother is so dismissive of your future and yet you clean up after her..

Think the only way to rebuild is to get some distance- see her less, get her to pay for a cleaner to come in and maybe you get some therapy? She sounds somewhat manipulative, self-absorbed and lacking in empathy for you. There are some good books " children of the self absorbed" is particularly good (and eye opening).

Alwayscheerful Thu 23-May-13 21:39:36

I think you need to look at the stately homes thread, about toxic parents.

poppysays Thu 23-May-13 21:58:31

I just read the other "mother thread" and saw this:

puds11isNAUGHTYnotNAICE said:
My greatest fears are that I will turn into my mother and that I will push away anyone who loves me.

This is my fear entirely that started this thread. I'm sort of relieved I'm not the only one, I think thoughts like this and then reprimand myself, feeling this cannot be normal, as my mother would say "don't make such a fuss"...... (as in, when i was bullied mercilessly at school aged 10/12, verbally and physically, I broke down on mum she said "for goodness sake don't make such a fuss about nothing")

GrendelsMum Thu 23-May-13 22:18:35

I think your mum would benefit from having a home help to come in and cook her meals and clean the house now, rather than having you do it. You'll not be able to keep looking after her once your DC arrive, and it will probably be easier for everyone if you make the change a way in advance.

She may also start to value you a little more if she sees less of you.

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