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Exhausted by my mother

(22 Posts)
queenofthepirates Thu 18-Jun-15 09:59:25

Just now I feel teary and exhausted by life especially my mother's demands and hostility. I just need some space from her but not sure whether to just put distance with her or explain how I feel?

My Dad passed away (her ex husband) four months ago. I am grieving deeply but have a small child as a single mum, own business and have just moved house so plenty of responsibilities. My mother has been unsympathetic throughout. She even told me to 'stop whining on about your Dad' a few weeks ago. It was the first time I'd mentioned my grief to her.

Last night she had me in tears on the phone and the tears haven't stopped this morning. I got another long email from her telling me how disappointed she is with me and it's just too much. I feel that if we had distance, I would feel heal better. I know tears are part of the grief so I'm okay with feeling it but I think I need to cut out her horrible influence for a bit until I'm in a better place to deal with her.

So do I write back and tell her we need distance?

Pinot4me Thu 18-Jun-15 10:08:00

I'm so sorry about your Dad. Of course, you are still grieving for him (whereas your Mum detached from him at the point of divorce). I think some self preservation is needed here. It looks like you've got a lot in your plate and grief is a very personal thing. Is there a wider issue here with your mum? Did she resent your relationship with you Dad maybe?
I think, if you are going to email her, keep it short and to the point otherwise you'll get sucked into all sorts which, by email, is never good. Good luck!

bippityboppitypoo Thu 18-Jun-15 10:13:10

Under different circumstances I felt the same about my mom, I just needed to take a step back and not talk to her for a while. Instead of just saying that it turned into a big argument because I let my feelings fester. My advice would be just say it now before it escalates

queenofthepirates Thu 18-Jun-15 10:35:02

Thank you lovely people, I'll drop her a line. It might be a relief to not be bashed by her so often. I'm 40 but still getting emails starting off with 'I am so disappointed in you...'.

mistymeanour Thu 18-Jun-15 11:04:29

I think your DM is being very unreasonable - she may have got divorced from your dad, but he was your dad and you loved him and she should understand and respect that and be supporting you. I think you would be right to back off from her for a while, she sounds quite toxic and undermining telling you how she is disappointed in you, how hurtful. flowers

FantasticButtocks Thu 18-Jun-15 11:20:40

How horrible! To get emails from your mother telling you how disappointed she is in you...hideous. Yes, I think you need a break from this. She sounds like my own mother in that she believes she has the right to say anything she likes to her own children.

Sounds like she likes the focus to be on her and the fact your father has died takes the attention off her. To say stop whining on about your father - it's just so heartless and insensitive and unnecessary.

You are 40. You are old enough to say this to her: I find your expressions of disappointment in me and your constant criticism thoroughly depressing and exhausting. For this reason I'd like to put some distance between us, and until you can apologise and reassure me that you won't behave/speak to me in this way again, I will not be wanting to engage with you. (Or something in that vein)

Put some BOUNDARIES in place. Buy yourself this book

flora717 Thu 18-Jun-15 11:27:09

Cut contact with her as much as possible. At some point you might want to tell her that you're disappointed in her, you expect her to improve her behaviour but not right now. She has failed you as a mother, really let you down. Take your time to grieve. Focus on the positive relationships you do have. flowers

queenofthepirates Thu 18-Jun-15 11:55:21

Thank you everyone, I'm in tears just reading them. I miss Dad so much, we would chat twice a day on the phone and it's really hard not having him around. It's just made worse by mum. I've emailed telling her not to contact me. I said she's welcome to see my DD as already arranged so I'll see if she agrees.

Twinklestein Thu 18-Jun-15 12:13:05

I would add 'for the record I'm really disappointed in you too'. wink

Meerka Thu 18-Jun-15 12:50:29

I got another long email from her telling me how disappointed she is with me and it's just too much

Then go ahead and really disappoint her by stepping right back from her. She's already endlessly disappointed!

That isn't as glib as it sounds; I know how very very hard it is to step back from someone who makes it clear you are their and your own failure. It hurts like hell and it takes a conscious decision to step back and not try to earn approval somehow.

Having lost your Dad is the worst time for someone to be doing this, too. (goodness me, she's telling you to stop whining on about him? didn't she feel anything for him herself?)

Be gentle with yourself and look after yourself. Loss can be one of the hardest things to deal with, it makes you so vulnerable.

I think twinklestein sums it up beautifully.

AttilaTheMeerkat Thu 18-Jun-15 13:01:45

I would be distancing totally from her mentally now as well as physically. You do not need her approval anyway.

If she is too toxic/difficult for you to deal with it will be the same for your both vulnerable and defenceless child who could also be fed all sorts of crap about you from her nan.

Bad behaviour like this from your mother should not be at all rewarded nor at all tolerated. She was not a good parent to you either by the sounds of it and is probably on some level also annoyed with you that you had a great relationship with your dad. You probably also on some level remind her of him.

queenofthepirates Thu 18-Jun-15 15:08:23

Thank you everyone. It pains me because as I was growing up, she was a great mum. It's only in the last few years she's been so awful. She bites at me for no reason, it awfully critical of my choices and seems to delight in hurting me. I just can't understand why she does it. I wish I did. She loves her granddaughter very much and vice versa so I couldn't split them up.

Meerka Thu 18-Jun-15 17:13:03

Is there any chance it could be the start of dementia?

was she okay when you started having your own mind, as a teenager? (sometimes difficult for some parents)

queenofthepirates Fri 19-Jun-15 10:28:18

I think there's every chance it could reflect some dementia. She is very forgetful and easily gets confused.

Meerka Fri 19-Jun-15 10:46:55

hmmm. Possible to get her to the doctor? Not that there's much they can do but a formal diagnosis would be helpful to you, perhaps, plus you can plan better for the future.

If it's dementia then it's not just that she's being, well, a vicious old woman. In that case, the most important thing is to monitor her with your daughter to make sure that her gradual deterioration and increasing criticalness is not directed at her.

For you yourself to cope with these extremely hurtful comments I still think the best way is to detach emotionally. She is no longer the loving mum she once was, and that's only likely to get worse sad Is it possible to think of these words as being from a stranger, and therefore meaning less?

But you can still choose to act with love and care towards her, even while you emotionally step back (and grieve the loss of her as a real mother). It's also okay to physically step back for a while at very difficult times like now, if she's just too much to handle. I think you need to find a balance between caring for her and ensuring she is cared for, and looking after your own needs and your daughter's needs.

queenofthepirates Sat 04-Jul-15 22:24:01

It's kind of got worse not better and not sure what to do.....

I saw a couple of emails my mum sent to people talking about me; saying I was saddling her with her grand daughter and 'fingering her for childcare'; how she didn't care much if I was putting distance there and how awful and hormonal I was post-baby, four years ago. Just when you're at your most vulnerable after childbirth she describes me as 'horrible'. This was all in the knowledge my DD's father had left me pregnant and I'd had a c-section.

I'm at a bit of a loss. I don't have to ask her to look after my DD, I asked her because I thought she enjoyed the time they spent together. I know my DD certainly does. But I don't enjoy being accused of using her for childcare.

My Dad cut contact with her 20 years ago, her sister did the same four years ago and now I feel the same way... how awfully sad is that?

Hissy Sun 05-Jul-15 10:00:58

Don't leave your child with her. She's not a good person, you just seem the last in a long line to see it.

You've emailed her to tell her not to contact you, you've seen how vile she is about you to others... As soon as your dc is old enough, she'll be dripping poison into the dc ear.

Squeegle Sun 05-Jul-15 10:08:22

Yes, it's sad, but you're not causing this sadness. It's her responsibility to be the kind of person people want to keep in touch with.

You can't make things right, only she can.... So like the others I would second just not being in touch whenever possible. You said she was a great mum but your sister went no contact 4 years ago.. So has she been getting worse?

Maybe there is some kind of medical issue; if that's the case then maybe it would be a good idea to suggest attending the doctor with her? You can detach mentally, but still be there through duty. But don't try and compensate for her failings. She's making her own choices by the way she's being,

cozietoesie Sun 05-Jul-15 10:21:32

Does she have any other children? If so, what is her relationship like with them?

cozietoesie Sun 05-Jul-15 10:25:24

PS - why do you think she was a 'great mum' when you were growing up? What was your childhood like?

Meerka Sun 05-Jul-15 11:00:51

My Dad cut contact with her 20 years ago, her sister did the same four years ago and now I feel the same way... how awfully sad is that?

Oh dear. There's a pattern here isn't there and it's going back some way.

Stop relying on her for child care. She is clearly not happy about it, plus she is being pretty damn awful to you - there is a chance she is being that critical and awful to your children too, whether there is a dementia issue or not.

If you can, get her to the doctor. It really is worth checking things out.

If it's just her though, the best option seems to be to step back to some degree. Before you make that decision though, is it worth having an honest conversation with her sister asking what happened to lead her to go NC? Finding out the full picture may help you in whatever you decide. It can be done in a fact-finding way, not bitchy or with an agenda.

cozietoesie Sun 05-Jul-15 11:08:55

... There's a pattern here isn't there and it's going back some way...

That's what I'm wondering about..... Sometimes, people just seem to assume that their parents have been fine when they were children because the particular parenting they had is all they've ever known - so this may be something for the OP to have a good think about.

I'm also wondering just how the OP saw emails sent to other people about her - are relatives/acquaintances/people who received them also concerned about the OP's mother and questioning the situation?

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