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Toxic Mother? I just want to tell my story to someone

(6 Posts)
BouncyBabe98 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:53:02

Hi, not sure if my mother is toxic or if I am just being oversensitive but I feel deeply hurt and at a loss over my relationship with my mother. I just want to tell someone what's been bothering me.

* Thought I would dump this at the front as i think its my main issue now - Now that I myself a mother I find myself feeling so inadequate and resentful when I hear other mothers talking about the help and support they are getting from their mothers and how happy they are to see them. I feel like I could have that from my mother but it seems like she doesn't want to try sometimes - i just wish i knew how to please her!*

1) Me and my partner decided to get married when i was pregnant with DC1. I wish i had never let my mother help with the wedding. I thought she would be supportive but all she seemed to do was tell me how things 'should be' / 'what was normal' for a wedding. She queried my decisions a lot. I wish I could have stood up to her but at the time I felt like I couldn't say anything as she was paying for the reception and I like to believe she means well. I have never dreamed of a big wedding that much but for me it often felt like was her dream/ideas not mine.

1a) when trying to discuss my feelings of depression: (have been seen a counselor since...obviously)

'not you as well!' (that was the end of that convo)

2) Comments during pregnancy: 'you shouldn't put on anymore weight' (I only put on 28 - 30 pounds in total!!) 'you are being too organized' (its not like she was offering to come down and help buy baby stuff - was I meant to get nothing?!)

3) When I was in hospital being induced (2nd day not much luck) I phoned her in tears and begged her to come down (stupid me!). She acted/made me feel like I was weak for asking her - her comments were something along the lines of 'if you really need me i suppose i could, will need to be back for something though'.

4) recent comments (despite me confiding in her about my anxieties/not having a job atm) - 'if you even have a brain anymore!' (sarcastically)

General stuff - I feel like I can't tell her anything without her taking over. eg, I will mention that I am thinking of getting the train somewhere and she will be emailing 5 mins later with all different options or telling me what is the 'right way' to go. This is sweet I know, but sometimes I would just like to workout on my own!

My sister suffered serious health problems (anorexia) as a teen/adult and I think that must have stressed out my mum. I won't even start to mention some of the things she has apparently said to my sister though - hurtful doesn't even cover it!

Other info - I think alot of my moans stem from unresolved issues (I have seen a counselor which has helped somewhat). My mum told me when I was 18 that 'if I didn't go to uni I would have to move out as she was waiting to leave my dad'. She became the main breadwinner when I was very young and she seemed really unhappy about that. I do feel sorry for her for that.

When I was experiencing problems adjusting to uni life she made it clear I was not welcome back at home. My father on the other hand was a lot more supportive.

BouncyBabe98 Fri 04-Apr-14 09:58:56

I should also mention that I don't really want to confront my mother. My sister tried over some of her own issues. My sister became upset and said 'but your my mother' when she felt she wasn't getting any emotional support from mother. My mothers response: 'I AM NOT YOUR MOTHER' - (muttered under her breath).

I guess there are two sides to every story, I was not there at above occasion so don't know the whole story however, I can confirm that she definitely IS my sisters mother!

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Fri 04-Apr-14 10:32:28

She is an adult and has her own life to lead but she could have had a wonderful bond with you. I know that there is nothing more hurtful than being made to feel a burden or nuisance, in the way or somehow deficient by one's own parent.

I'm afraid I don't see it as sweet to bombard you with unasked for advice yet ignore or deride direct appeals for advice or comfort.

Wry smile if you can call it that at your mum being the one stressed by your DSis and her anorexia. I am sure your DSis could write a book about her exchanges with your mum sad.

Your best bet is to accept your mum is less of a cuddly supportive mummy and more of a cool detached authority figure. She can only upset you if you stay in contact expecting her to act any differently.

We could debate whether your maternal grandparents taught her to act this way. If we have weak role models it is from outside influences we learn alternative behaviours. It sounds as if your DF was a different sort of personality. As an adult yourself now you are free to block her if you choose to. Counselling could give you the tools to see that however you were as a child, she chose to parent you and DSis the way she did, it was in her power to make those choices, not yours.

As to whether she is toxic I am not qualified to say but if you ask yourself does she enhance your life, show interest and accept you for who you are, if the answer is "no" then being your biological mother alone isn't enough reason to keep slogging away hoping for a miracle.

Is your DF still living? Are you close?

As a parent yourself now you can choose to mirror her example of a mother figure or be exactly what you longed for her to be.

Meerka Fri 04-Apr-14 13:17:03

she's clearly making you pretty unhappy and understandably so! She sounds so over-free with her 'advice' that she's controlling.

I can really understand why you are so fed up. I find it particularly bad that you were essentially told to move out at 18, and that she puts you down so much sad

Lottapianos Fri 04-Apr-14 14:52:29

I think she sounds highly toxic, very controlling, negative and cold. It sounds like she doesn't allow you to have your own feelings. It's desperately, horribly hurtful to be constantly put down and criticised by your own mother. Just dreadful.

Having a mother like this makes it very difficult for you to see yourself as an adult, because she has always treated you like a child to be tolerated, rather than a separate person. It can take a lot of time and emotional work to be able to accept her for how she is, and to see her behaviour as being her problem, rather than something you have to accept. Psychotherapy is the way forward for me, gruelling though it is.

I'm so sorry you're going through this. I hope it helped to share your story.

BouncyBabe98 Fri 04-Apr-14 15:23:29

Donkeys My mother and father are still married. As a child I spent a fair bit of time with him as my Mum had to work away/late a fair bit. He has suffered a difficult life, however I have never found him hurtful in the way I have found my Mum. Maybe because of the expectations I have/society has of the Mother that do not apply to the father. When the whole 'University' situation kicked off it was him that made me feel that it was ok if I decided not to go down the University route (which I did in the end). My parents live a fair few hours drive away now. I speak to him on the phone occasionally although it is usually my Mother who answers. He is not a bad father just like many Dads of his generation I suspect, not very hands on.

Thanks everyone for reading and the posts. It means a lot.

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