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Mum is negative about things associated with me

(12 Posts)
Thereishope Mon 31-Mar-14 11:35:17

As long as I can remember my dm has been negative towards me, never my dsis.

She has never taken to my friends and convinced me that they do not like me. She makes no effort with them but fusses over my dsis friends.

Everything or anyone associated with me is irrelevant and overlooked.

I volunteer and we held an event that dm attended. Her comments were:

"There really were not many people"
"The venue was not sign posted well"
"Next time they should do such and such"
"It was okay I suppose"

No recognition for the efforts I put in.

Whereas when discussing my dsis her eyes light up and the compliments flow:

"She is so good with children"
"Her friends absolutely adore her"
"She is so gifted at playing the piano" I too play but she has never praised me.
"She is such a people's person"

I have never felt good enough - ever. The pathetic part of me wishes for acknowledgement or for her to feel proud of me but this will not happen.

I will always be a nobody in her eyes playing second fiddle to my dsis.

I need counselling because of this. According to dsis we are treated exactly the same. Not so. sad

I secretly resent my dsis and feel horrible as it is not her fault she is favoured.

Ivehearditallnow Mon 31-Mar-14 11:47:50

Didn't want to read and run... your mum sounds very jealous of you, I think. Have you spoken to your DS about it? Maybe she has strong feelings about your DM too?


AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 31-Mar-14 11:52:21

It is NOT your fault your mother has chosen to act like this towards you and your sibling. It is NOT your fault she is like this.

People from dysfunctional families end up playing roles and there is the scapegoat/golden child dynamic going on here. It is typical of narcissistic parents to have a golden child who can do not wrong and a scapegoat who can do no right.

You do not mention your Dad, is he still in your life?.
If your have children I would also keep them well away from your mother.

I would suggest you read the website entitled Daughters of Narcissistic mothers and post too on the "Well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these very pages in Relationships. You will also get support there too. Reading "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward would also be a good starting point.

AtrociousCircumstance Mon 31-Mar-14 11:55:27

That sounds really tough. Your Dsis is obviously the 'golden child' who can do no wrong.

Perhaps you need to limit your time with your mother.

Unfortunately the only way forwards seems to alter your expectations and needs (which are very reasonable ones but hanging on to them only hurts you) and see less of her.

Sorry you're going through this. We want our mums to love us unconditionally, treasure us, be on our sides. Your yearning for her praise is so normal and natural. But unfortunately she is too flawed in this respect to give it to you.


struggling100 Mon 31-Mar-14 12:03:12

OP, I just wanted to say: you are not alone.

My mother sounds a lot like yours - she praises DSis to the skies on a constant basis for the most mundane things - yet not only takes no interest in anything I do, but actively goes out of her way to depreciate my achievements. DSis actively encourages this exclusion, as she lives at home despite being in her mid 30s and my mother does absolutely everything for her. It has always been this way - it started when we were young, partly I think because I look like my father's side of the family (whom my mother hates), whereas my sister looks like her. Growing up, my mother used to tell me constantly that I looked and behaved like my paternal grandmother.

One thing that has really helped me to deal with this was a book by John Bradshaw called On The Family. It's a bit basic, but it does a good job of describing different types of dysfunctional family dynamic. It made me feel like I wasn't the only person handling this, and helped me understand why my mother and sister felt the need to put me in the role of the scapegoat... and how this was their psychological problem, not my own. Realizing that has also helped me to understand that I need to focus my efforts on my own family and on building a great network of friends as a substitute.

Abbykins1 Mon 31-Mar-14 12:19:52

My story exactly.

Just surround yourself with people who value you for who and what you are.

MistressDeeCee Mon 31-Mar-14 12:26:45

Sometimes mums see in a daughter the many choices, opportunities etc they wish they'd gone for in their own life. & that manifests as jealousy. Ive no time or sympathy for it. I get on well with DM on the surface but she is just like this. When my marriage failed I felt she was almost gleeful with her 'oh well you let him do this and that..all men are the same, now you know...'

No mum I didnt 'let' him do anything - I kicked him out. Anyway, thats another story...there have been many incidents..I did a lot of dance & drama 'back in the day' DM was at almost every show. & afterwards would tell me in minute detail how good so & so was - but would never, ever say I was any good. Not even a 'well done' for me.

Not suggesting anyone could or should be like this - but I accept no crap from DM and will bluntly tell her to keep quiet if she has nothing good to say. Even more so since I had my DDs as I didnt want them to hear her negativity, and she started very obviously favouring elder DD over youngest. My DM is a very unhappy woman deep down I dont feel sorry for her, as instead of trying to resolve issues in her life she 'dealt' with them by being a bitch to her DD. As a mother myself I can't understand how women can turn on their DDs..its a mark of bad character.

I suppose what Im trying to say here is, your DM is who she is - she will never, ever change. You can, though. Recognise there are qualities in you she wishes she had. Celebrate yourself, live your life. You are an adult, long gone are the days when you were young and living at home. My DM favours my DB - I simply don't care. I have my own home and family life, my DDs and my lovely OH. Its enough. You can't 'carry' negative family members on your back for life. It makes you focus on the negatives without seeing the positive aspects of life. It is hard, though. But you'll get there. I also read Toxic Parents by Susan Forward. I read it in my late teens and I still have a copy. You'll get just need to 'let go'. & you will, in your own time. Good luck thanks

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 31-Mar-14 12:30:55

I wonder if your mum was the scapegoat in her generation with a sibling who was elevated to golden child status?

If you have DCs I bet you will go to great lengths to be even-handed.

Your DSis may be genuinely unaware or might even wince whenever you are slighted. Unless she plays on your mum's favouritism it's not DSis' s fault.

Nomama Mon 31-Mar-14 12:48:48

I had this out with my mum a while ago. I am tapping 50 and had had enough. So I just sat her down and asked.

Her answer was a bit of a surprise.

She thought that Golden Girl was in need of a confidence boost, was always doubting herself, whereas I always took on board any criticism and made things better. She could never criticise Golden Girl as mum thought she would just disintegrate under the pressure.

So my mum has always seen me as a strong, resilient, can do person and has offered advice based on not wanting to patronise me or waste my time!

Well..... I am not sure that I would wholly disagree. But that certainly was not the answer I expected.

NMFP Mon 31-Mar-14 15:40:51

Nomama that sounds like a good result -assuming you feel it is genuine.

I agree with others who say it is probably something to do with her past or something about her relationship with your sister.

Is she older or younger than you?

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Mon 31-Mar-14 17:27:12

That is interesting Nomama that is something I wouldn't have thought of.

Nomama Mon 31-Mar-14 17:28:12


I have to admit that my sister and I are not really on very good terms, we live miles apart and don't see/talk to each other often. She has very vehemently said that she never ever got the best of anything. She was incredibly upset, angry, accusatory. So I won't be revisiting that conversation.

But I don't need counselling, I just know, from friends etc, that this is a fairly common family dynamic. You are not mad, your memory is fine and the resentment you feel is also allowed, to be expected and perfectly normal. Your sister (and mine) are simply protecting themselves.

Fortunately my DH sees what I see when we are together as a family! So I have support.

As for my mum's explanation.. OK! I'll buy it. But I will also remember that sister was both the pretty and the clever one.... and that I was always expected to give up anything and everything I owned as a kid, including my time, if DSis or a cousin mentioned in passing they liked it. I remember clearly how I got to be so very strong and resilient.

But, as I said, at tapping 50 I have managed to reduce it all to a mixed feeling of distant fury and current amusement. And my relationship with Dsis is slowly getting better.

Wear your nobodiness with pride. It takes a while, but feels quite good once you manage it smile

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