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My mother is a drama llama and has to take the centre stage whenever happiness came my way

(55 Posts)
Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 15:06:39

I don't know why I'm posting but this riled me.

My mother spoils a lot for me. I have got over it. Sick for my hen, graduation... I could go on and on. She has dperession so allowances and made for her all the time.

Whenever there is bad news she gets all hyped up and she can be 'sick' at e drop of a hat, then the next day book herself and her friend into a hotel and sickness disappears. I can't explain it. Noone except dh understand, he was is shock when he saw her behaviours for himself.

She loves to make me anxious and will go on about suspected illnesses in othercor herself. Well I am 39 weeks pregnant- due baby just about now and she has made a big drama over a test my dad had done, trying to worry me. So kept myself busy during my visit and didn't engage. (I cannot believe it- dad never mentioned it)

She came to knock on the toilet door to see was I crying about dads news (I wasn't - I have learned to distance myself and I don't engage) she would love if I was crying and upset.

Sorry for rambling on. I can't deal with her anymore. If I go on holiday she has these falls that no one witnesses. .its like anything for attention.

CogitoErgoSometimes Fri 28-Nov-14 15:16:21

Yes, it's attention seeking. I'm glad you disengage rather than taking the ridiculous behaviour seriously. I suppose one day she really will be sick and no one will believe her..... Hoist by her own petard.... hmm

Holdthepage Fri 28-Nov-14 16:02:11

Yes my DM uses illness as an attention seeking tool, it is tiresome & I have learned to completely ignore it. She is either ill herself or someone else is ill & she is very upset by it.

Your pregnancy & the birth of your baby will bring the worst out in her, be prepared.

My DM is in her 90s now, so all her health dramas were overplayed in the past.

Holdthepage Fri 28-Nov-14 16:05:34

Just seen your comments about the mysterious falls when you are on holiday, this is exactly what mine did last year when I was away. I now never phone her when I am on holiday because of the health related fantasies she comes up with.

Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 16:16:40

Thanks .. Can't believe this is normal behaviour hold

Honestly, I could write reams about it all. I haven't given my landline number to her as she would use her free mins to call non stop whereas on my mobile tariff she is afraid of the bill. It seems so cruel to do that but after thirty odd years, you get wiser.

Dad never talks about the behaviour but is always out and about and I recognise the tactics - he is totally in love ith he but I know he can't cope ith it really. I brought it up I him once and he was very defensive of her. So I don't bring it up anymore.

Friends in real life wouldn't believe it. She is funny and upbeat but then these little tricks are subtle.

Mintyy Fri 28-Nov-14 16:22:06

Sympathies op. I have a mother who works herself up into a real or imaginary crisis on a regular basis, and these nearly always coincide with major events going on in my life.

So I don't tell her anything and we aren't close. A long time ago I accepted that our relationship would always be all about her. So we have a just about functioning relationship but I avoid spending time with her and phoning is a chore. She has also been suffering from depression for years, on and off, and you just run out of resources when hearing about it, don't you?

Quitelikely Fri 28-Nov-14 16:23:53

Just do not engage with her when she discusses her mystery illnesses or bring it up with her. Ask if she has some form of hypochondria. That's what I would actually do. I mean who can be bothered with nonsense like this!

Lottapianos Fri 28-Nov-14 16:25:48

I believe you OP. My parents' bonkersness also has to be seen to be believed. You don't sound cruel at all - you have to protect yourself around people like this.

Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 16:35:22

I feel better for getting it off my chest.

I once told a friend and she said (but er mother is adorable)
'Imagine talking about you poor mam like that' ...guilt was bad enough.

My mil is also onto her - after seeing her at the hen and said 'There's nothing wrong with that woman at all'

Lottapianos Fri 28-Nov-14 16:39:21

That's a skill in itself OP - figuring out which people will get in and which people never ever will. Some people think all mothers are sweet and kind and want the best for their children. We know different sad

GoodtoBetter Fri 28-Nov-14 16:43:43

Mine does this too. We have been NC now for about 3 months since she emigrated in a rage. I hope don't think we'll ever speak again.
She has "suffered" from depression over the years, but I think it's largely a put on to be quite honest.
She was "depressed" when I went to choose my wedding dress and moped round the shops and quite honestly ruined it.
Managed to engineer a huge row culminating in storming off leaving me in tears after both my children were born.
Start a new job, engineers a huge row, etc, etc.

Meerka Fri 28-Nov-14 16:43:56

Most people from normal backgrounds don't get it.

It might very well be attention seeking; it might be also a sort of emotional vampirism, homing in on distress and enjoying it.

You're dealing with it the best way possible; keeping emotional distance and not letting her see she's getting a rise.

Best of luck with your lovely little one when he or she makes their appearance =) ( a touch of whiskey in the last bottle of milk helps at night ;) )

Finola1step Fri 28-Nov-14 16:48:33

My Nan was like this. My mum knew but still fell for it every time, just in case she really was ill/hurt etc. Every time.

Even when I had my ds (my mum's first grandchild). Guess who was suddenly very, very poorly and in constant need of my mum's help and support? Even though my mum was one of six siblings, only my mum would do.

So OP you are absolutely right to disengage. Ignore every time. Your priority is your own child.

Coffeethrowtrampbitch Fri 28-Nov-14 16:49:47

My mum is like that too, but not as bad as yours op.

It is so wearing hearing about the terrible colds she has and each symptom described. Ds2 and I had a cold, he's three and I'm on immunosuppressants so we were both visibly ill, but she still described every symptom in detail.

She is choosing to have a biopsy every year rather than have a hysterectomy. I know this is because she just loves the drama of illness, rather than making the best decision for her health.

It upsets me because I am ill with a neurological condition, and I just want to be OK and live a long life with my dh and dcs. If she was really ill she would understand how awful it is to worry you are going to die or become so disabled you can't live independently, instead of being ill as a hobby.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 28-Nov-14 17:08:56

"So OP you are absolutely right to disengage. Ignore every time. Your priority is your own child".

The above a thousand fold Mrsgrumble. Keep your mother well away from your child, the worst thing you can do going forward is to at all subject your child at all to anyone like your mother. Narcissists (and I daresay that your mother is a narcissist in terms of personality) as well make for being deplorably bad grandparent figures too. They tend to over value or under value their grandchild.

I would not let your dad off the hook either because he also has acted as her hatchet man here; he has never protected you from her mad excesses of behaviour and acted out of self preservation and want of a quiet life.

Pippin8 Fri 28-Nov-14 17:09:00

I feel for you, I have a family member like this. I don't have to listen to her on a daily basis but her daughter does, who in turn tells me.

It's similar stuff, she can turn illnesses on & off. She's always at the drs & has had numerous hospital referrals that have never found the problem. She is always much worse than anyone else, even if they have a terminal illness.

She always has to be the centre of attention and eclipse anyone else's news. It's very draining for her daughter, she does not engage at all & has been labelled heartless as a result.

Tykeisagirl Fri 28-Nov-14 17:23:10

OP, this isn't normal, but sadly it's not unusual. My grandmother lived for her illnesses and dramas, and ruled us all with her PA behaviour. She died a few weeks ago, so many people have come up to me to tell me what a lovely woman she was, I have to smile and nod and bite my lip.

The only advice I have is the same as the other posters, don't get sucked in. She craves the drama and the fuss everyone makes over her, try not to feed her.

Tykeisagirl Fri 28-Nov-14 17:30:43

Attila god yes, I was the overvalued grandchild. My illnesses, which were little more than normal childhood stuff, were blown up out of all proportion. I was a "sickly" child who "needed" to be kept off school (with my grandmother of course, as my DM was working). I missed so much schooling because of this, when all I really had was a tendency towards chest infections. Because of this I became school phobic for a while, and made up illnesses, which fed into my grandmother's obsessions. She was just as happy being the martyred carer to the ill child as being ill herself.

Angelwings11 Fri 28-Nov-14 17:40:50

My mother is like this; also suffers from depression and likes to make everything about her. She also has a tendency to exaggerate things, likes to be in control and uses emotional blackmail and guilt to manipulate. We've had barely any contact this last year after a disagreement and I am deemed the devil incarnate. She has tried everything to antagonise me in this time, as I have refused to engage in any negativity. She also has 'twisted' events to make people feel sorry for her and expects me to grovel, beg for forgiveness and say 'sorry'....but this still would not be good enough! Having barely any contact has been cathartic, I feel more positive and confident...it was the best thing I ever did!

Holdthepage Fri 28-Nov-14 18:44:23

My DM engages in competitive illness, no matter what anyone has she makes it all about her. I make a joke about it now but it bugs me sooooooo much I can hardly articulate it.

I could regale you all night with her attempts to draw attention to herself but really it is a tragic way to live your life.

Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 21:00:04

So many if us in the same boat. Only good thing to come out of it is I am determined not to be negative with my children or worry them unnecessarily

fluffyraggies Fri 28-Nov-14 21:21:10

So what actually is it? Has it got a name?

My mother is the same. Manipulating and controlling through guilt, twists of the truth, jealousy and one-upmanship when it comes to illness.

Sometimes it can be so overt it's downright funny. She has never traveled and so is bitter about others traveling. When i told her that DH and i had decided to splash out and go Italy for our honeymoon, and visit the Vatican, her first reaction was to humph and tell me haughtily ''i think you'll find you'll be disappointed by the Sistine Chapel ...'' ! hmmshockconfused

Disappointed by the Sistine Chapel???? Ay?

More upsetting was the time i had quite a late MC, and she announced, loudly when she came to visit, (in all seriousness) that nothing could be as bad as her kidney stone in 2005. DH was shock and angry, I was just sad <sigh>

She's been this way since i was a child.

fluffyraggies Fri 28-Nov-14 21:23:10

(By the way i was not disappointed by the Sistine Chapel at all. I am happy to say it moved me almost to tears smile)

Mrsgrumble Fri 28-Nov-14 21:24:34

I don't know what it is fluffy.

I don't fully understand the term narcissism either, think it's something like that

Sorry to hear about your late mc.

I wonder do they recognise it at all. My mother has more friends than me confused so sometimes I think it must be me.

GoodtoBetter Fri 28-Nov-14 21:31:05

I think a lot of these women have a lot of traits of histrionic personality disorder

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