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I'm a bitch to my mum but I can't help it

(21 Posts)
CantHelpTheWay Mon 15-Dec-14 12:38:11

Name changed as im ashamed of myself really. My mum has had long standing mental health issues and has never really guided me or been like a 'normal' mum. (This is just the way I feel about her in the mum role). My friends mums are all supportive and helped them out when they had babies etc. My mum just isn't that way, she loves me and is a lovely lady and would give me anything she could (I think maybe in her mind, giving me stuff is her way of helping me). She had a breakdown when I was 14 but even before then she was troubled and I feel let down. I know its not her fault and my dad is just oblivious to everything. Basically now I've had a child myself I feel even more resentment to my mum as I've had no one to be a mum to me when I needed it most. She visits us regularly and sometimes she says some silly things (she's a little bit I'm her own world I think) but it aggravates me and I snap and make her feel bad and I instantly regret it as I do love her and know it's not her fault as I said but it's how I feel.
Where do you think I should or could go from here? Should I tell her how I feel? But I think that would really really upset her. I don't want to feel so bitter towards her as she's really kind and sweet but just not a mother figure. Sorry for any repetition In this post.

GlitzAndGigglesx Mon 15-Dec-14 12:43:19

It sounds to me like she's trying her hardest. I'm sure she's aware she's not been the perfect mother and is trying to fix that now by seeingn you regularly and showing she cares

gatewalker Mon 15-Dec-14 12:46:20

In as gentle a way as possible, OP, yes, you can help it. And, really, only you can help it. I'd suggest counselling or therapy to come to terms with your relationship with your mother, and perhaps your wish that she was different. It can change your perspective profoundly.

NewEraNewMindset Mon 15-Dec-14 12:46:24

I think you are harbouring a deep resentment towards her hitch you manage to keep a lid on most of the time but occasionally get cross and all that resentment resurfaces.

I think you would really benefit from some talking therapy. If she still has mental health problems talking to your Num isn't going to help. You need a professional to unravel your feelings, many of which I'm sure are entirely justified, so don't feel guilty.

confused79 Mon 15-Dec-14 12:52:27

It's funny, I've had the same situation but don't really have any advice. After daughter was born it reminded me just how un-motherly my mum was. Very unmotivated, my dad doing most of the parenting, me doing the daily shop, having to go to infant school on my own, look after brother etc.... I strive to the opposite of my mum, but that just seems to make it worse in my mind and I end up stewing about how much I missed out on. Especially when she makes comments like, "oh I just used to leave you to play", whilst laughing (as an example) and I'm thinking I do know!
However, as you said, your mum does love you, she would do anything for you but shows it in a different way. My mums the same, she loves me and her grand children and I think she tries to make up for my lack of childhood by doing more with them, like taking son to the beach during summer (she never took me!). I also think with my mum, it was very low self esteem, and the monotony of being a SAHM making her mind wonder creating problems in her head. Don't get me wrong she's still very unmotivated and I find myself worrying about little things, like is she going to tell housing benefit about change of circumstance before debt builds up or whether she's going to be able to cope alone when dad dies (he's a bit older so good chance he will pass before she does), but I've got to remember that it's not my problem, we're all responsible for ourselves. She is getting better though smile

Sprink Mon 15-Dec-14 12:58:16

Like some others, I suggest counselling. One if the biggest favours we can do for ourselves as adults is learn to accept our parents for who they are and not expect them to change.

It sounds as though your mother is doing her best but you struggle with it. I understand that, which is why it's so important for you to get someone to help you understand your feelings and work to give you tools to cope better.

We can't change other people but we can change how we feel and react to them.

Fingeronthebutton Mon 15-Dec-14 13:10:57

CantHelpTheWay. I understand the way your feeling. When I told my Mother that I was pregnant she said: best of luck!
It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I found out that my Mother had had the most horrendous childhood. Her Father went to prison for abuse on her two Brothers. She married a very violent man (my Father)
I then read up on DV and realised that my poor Mother didn't know any other way of doing things.
She also had many stays in mental homes(as they were called then)
So sometimes there are things about people that we are totally unaware of.
Try to understand. I'm sure she doesn't want to be like this. If you can't, cut down on your contact with her. It's not helping either of you.

GoatsDoRoam Mon 15-Dec-14 13:34:29

I think you have very good reasons for feeling let down by your Mum, and it sounds like you are now blaming yourself for your feelings.

Don't blame yourself so much. It's ok to feel that way. Every child deserves a stable and loving home life growing up, you didn't get one, and now you carry resentment.

You are also aware that your mother never acted out of malice, so you feel like you have nowhere to take that resentment, but since it's not being dealt with, it bubbles up and you snap at her.

As others have suggested, take all those feelings to talk therapy. They need to go somewhere, you need to be heard, you have much that you need to work through. You can't take it directly to your Mum, because that would not be constructive.

kiritekanawa Mon 15-Dec-14 13:53:30

Don't blame yourself or beat yourself up about how you feel. But as an adult you can work on your responses - in the same way you wouldn't say "oh FFS grow up you vile tw*t" to a child. Talking therapy may well help you feel calmer about the situation; books about talking to children so they'll listen may provide useful strategies for dealing with her, even though she's not a child.

I sympathize. My mother's the same and I, too, am not proud of my responses.

elsabelle Mon 15-Dec-14 14:12:23

Coming from a slightly different perspective. My mum dropped dead in June this year from a brain haemorrhage. She had not been ill or anything it was literally out of the blue. We had not been getting on very well for the previous year and I now regret that every minute of every day. Everything that seemed so important and awful at the time now doesn't matter at all and i just miss her like crazy.

Your situation does sound difficult and i know how hard it is when you see other friends' Mums being so supportive and you think, oh why cant my mum be like that. Because that's exactly how i used to feel. I'm just gently saying, enjoy your time with her now as best you can. Because once its gone its gone and you don't want to be filled with regret like i am.

misscph1973 Mon 15-Dec-14 14:20:18

I have a similar relationshop to my mum. I think it's healthy and normal how you fell, but for your own sake it would be best if you didn't let your feelings of resentment build up and occupy too much of you. It's not worth it. You can't change the past, but ypu can change how you feel about it.

Have you ever heard of EFT? Google, it's really batty, but very efficient. I had a couple of sessions at a psychologist and althhough I was very sceptical it was actually more efficient than anything else that went on during those sessions. I now use it in emergencies and if something is just too hard emotionally for me (also great for pms!). It's free and you do it yourself.

WhereYouLeftIt Mon 15-Dec-14 14:52:10

" I don't want to feel so bitter towards her as she's really kind and sweet but just not a mother figure. "
"I know its not her fault and my dad is just oblivious to everything."
Throughout your post I felt there was real affection for this 'lovely lady'. Can you try to see her ONLY as a lovely lady, rather than as your mother? Because then, maybe, she would not have failed you sad. It's a big ask, probably impossible; but perhaps if you could, she would cease to remind you of how much she let you down when you needed her to be a mother?

I also wonder if you are shifting some anger towards your dad onto her? She had mental health issues, there were reasons; what reasons had he for being oblivious to your needs?

MummyBeerest Mon 15-Dec-14 15:57:33

I can absolutely relate to how you feel. I'm in counseling and have come to the conclusion that I've been mourning the idea of the mother-daughter relationship I wished I'd had. It's hard. Really hard.

However, in your case, your mother has an identified mental illness. I relate to that, too, because so do I. I can guarantee you she has regrets about her past too, and undoubtedly beats herself up about it too.

From both your sides, you can't change the past. And realistically, nobody has the perfect mother-daughter relationship. All you can do is be grateful for what is good about yours.

CantHelpTheWay Mon 15-Dec-14 18:51:04

Genuine thanks to all replies. I agree with the poster about maybe some resentment towards my dad too, that could be true as I feel let down by both of them really. I just wonder if they ever felt about me the way I feel about my daughter. i self referred to the local Iapt setvice but still waiting on that. Not sure they cover this type of thing though? I wish I could afford private counselling as nhs takes so long.

HidingBehindANewNickname Mon 15-Dec-14 19:24:48

A hug for you. It is tough when you know your mother did not provide you the support you needed when you were younger. I have recently been through counselling for the same reason. It has helped enormously. Like others I recommend you seek some.

As another thought...all those "perfect mothers" you see - your friend's mothers. Are they really going to be perfect? What is a perfect mother? There is no such thing. Your friends may well have threads going about parts of their childhood which did not work for them. Those mothers may have put on a "perfect" act in front of others but been controlling/careless/hurtful in private.

getthefeckouttahere Mon 15-Dec-14 19:30:17

as pp have said, you can of course 'help it'. And i don't feel that its necessary to wait for counselling to tackle this. Its perfectly possible to accept that your responses are a bit out of order (which you have done) and to alter your behaviour accordingly. Not easy of course, but it is possible.

Their is tons on the internet and amazon about this.

Good luck.

CantHelpTheWay Mon 15-Dec-14 20:24:27

What would I search for getthefeck?

getthefeckouttahere Mon 15-Dec-14 21:02:59

ill post some suitable links later when the kids have gone.

CantHelpTheWay Mon 15-Dec-14 21:27:38

Thank you

getthefeckouttahere Mon 15-Dec-14 21:48:23

a quick search throws up quite a lot of books suitable to your specific problem, i can't recommend any but a quick browse should reveal some that strike a chord for you, I've included the links below. (hope thats ok MN).

A google search for anger management or mother daughter relationship problems brings up lots of resources.

I do hope this helps you.

springydaffs Mon 15-Dec-14 22:22:47

You're like a boiling pot that boils over. I relate to that entirely.

You're angry for good reason. You can get therapy cheaply through a number of avenues eg women's orgs. A lot of therapists offer a sliding fee scale - look at the BACP site and see therapists in your area, contact those you like the look of, ask about fees. I'd have to say here that imo therapy isn't a luxury, it may mean no/less holidays, cheaper car, no extension etc to pay for it. I've had abysmal experiences with NHS so I'd say don't bother.

Yy you may find a way to quash your anger to her face but imo you have to find a safe place to express it. Years ago I went on a residential therapy course and one exercise we did was wacking the shit out of big cushions with a baseball bat. It was amazing! Most
of us 'did' our parents and I really do see it as a turning point for me. I paid for it with a payment plan over years btw, there's usually a way to finance therapy somehow.

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