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My DM and her attempts to keep me in my place...

(14 Posts)
Rhine Sun 09-Aug-15 16:16:02

My DM is incrediably overbearing and controlling. She likes to be right all of the time and she is hyper sensitive to criticism, taking real offence at anyone else even making a small joke at her expense. She's done her damn hardest to keep me under her control for most of my life. I was never allowed to have my own opinions. Well I was, but only lf they corresponded with hers. If I diasgreed with her I was usually shouted down. She'd also try and dictate what I could and couldn't do and would try and micromanage my life. As a result I grew into the biggest people pleaser ever, and as a young adult was horribly insecure and anxious. It angers me because I feel that the best years of my life were ruined by it.

I believe that despite presenting herself as a confident and strong woman she is actually very insecure herself, and keeping me in my place by being subservant to her is her way of feeling better about herself.

A few years ago I suddenly realised this had to change when I had a break down. The break down was a result of my anxiety. I had counselling and it was a revelation. I realised that it was perfectly acceptable to disagree with her and stand up to her. She hates this, and according to her apparently ive become "gobby", awkward" and "difficult". Whenever I stood up to her she'd act almost hurt and wounded, showing utter disbelief that I'd dared to challenge her.

I think maybe she thought that I'd back down, but I've not and now she seems to have changed tack. Instead of wounded hurt she's become incrediably sarcastic and now fires off snide comments at me, nothing overtly nasty as such but thinly barbed insults. It's bot even particuarly hurtful either, in fact I just find it a bit sad and desperate

It's not my problem that she has poor self esteem and needs me as a crutch to make her feel better about herself is it? I'm wondering what will come next? Why is it so important for her that I'm subservant to her? I don't get it?

HeisenbergSaysHello Sun 09-Aug-15 16:21:53

No advice but you have my sympathy, my mother is exactly the same sad

Sallyhasleftthebuilding Sun 09-Aug-15 16:30:09

It seems you have the upper hand. You cant change her, only the way you react to her. She changed the way she reacts to you. You are both playing a game. React how you think in your own best interest. I let my grandmother `win`, It doesnt mean she does, it just means she thinks she dose.

Rhine Sun 09-Aug-15 16:33:18

Heinsberg I think it's far more common than we think, my mum's sister are exactly the same with their daughters and I know for a fact my cousins have similar battles to me.

FabULouse Sun 09-Aug-15 16:38:32

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

Rhine Sun 09-Aug-15 16:42:45

I've no intention of abandoning her though. I just wanted to be treated as my own person and not an extension of her, and I want my thoughts and viewpoints to be treated with respect. Surely this isn't too much to ask.

Belive it or not she's actually very loving when I'm towing the line, I.e doing as she tells me and not challenging her on anything, ever.

FabULouse Sun 09-Aug-15 16:46:53

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Wrapdress Sun 09-Aug-15 17:00:55

I'm convinced my mother sees me as another appendage of hers - another arm, another leg - something permanently attached to her and something she can use as she sees fit. I don't get my own life. Her mother did it to her and it even goes back one more generation. It's the most wack mother-daughter thing and I agree it's related to low self esteem (at the minimum!).

We had a power shift about 8 months ago. I said No More and I don't care what she thinks and I told her such. At the same time she's getting older and she realizes she genuinely needs me. She's panicking as she should be. Karma's a bitch.

So, I understand somewhat what you are feeling, but I am at the age (50s) where her changing or improving or stopping this means nothing to me. It's too late in my case. I'm emotionally done with her. She's flailing around trying to figure out what to do next to get me back under her control.

Rhine Sun 09-Aug-15 17:07:55

Yes, it's defintley as a result of my DM's own upbringing as well. Hence her sisters being exactly the same, the difference is that not one of them would have dared to challenge or stand up to their mother. Her word was law and she got away with some pretty appalling behaviour over the years.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sun 09-Aug-15 18:22:35

Rhine

re your comment:-

"I've no intention of abandoning her though. I just wanted to be treated as my own person and not an extension of her, and I want my thoughts and viewpoints to be treated with respect. Surely this isn't too much to ask".

It is not too much to ask at all but your mother is not emotionally healthy and will thus never allow that to happen. I would read up on narcissistic personality disorder and see how much of that fits in with your mother's behaviours.

When you "behave" then she is "nice"; she has you well trained to serve her.

It is also not possible to have any sort of relationship with a narcissist.

I would also post on the "well we took you to stately homes" thread on these pages.

Micah Sun 09-Aug-15 18:34:15

I have one of these too.

It's hard in some ways as I do think she genuinely cares, and believes she is doing her best for me. But, as pp said, her approval is very much only if I am behaving in a way she approves of, or that reflects well on her.

Voice my own opinion, disagree, or ask her to stop doing something if I am not happy and out comes the wounded martyr. Then I feel guilty.

It's got so I don't want to see her, or call her as I get a lecture on what I should or shouldn't be doing. Which again I feel awful about, I'd hate my own kids to feel like this.

BitterAndOnlySlightlyTwisted Sun 09-Aug-15 18:38:58

"It angers me because I feel that the best years of my life were ruined by it."

I'm sorry that the counselling has left you feeling this way, but the absolute truth is, now that you've had the counselling and the scales have fallen from your eyes, the best years of your life are ahead of you now.

"I've no intention of abandoning her though. I just wanted to be treated as my own person and not an extension of her, and I want my thoughts and viewpoints to be treated with respect. Surely this isn't too much to ask."

No, it isn't too much to ask but I think you are hoping for the impossible. Her behaviour is far too entrenched and there's likely no changing her.

Being out of her sphere of influence will not be abandoning her, it will be the freeing of you from her malignity.

Keep your distance if you can't cut her off completely and tell her nothing about your life, your feelings or anything else she can grasp onto to punish you with.

Meanandlow Sun 09-Aug-15 19:10:02

My DM exactly like this,but she can get very nasty calling me a bitch and worse if I don't tow the line or "know my place"sad

Rhine Sun 09-Aug-15 21:25:45

Micah I think my DM does genuinely love and care in her own way as well, but her own insecurities have warped how she shows it. In her world a mother's word is law and daughters do exactly as they are told by them, she just can't encapsulate that I'm daring to stand up to her because she'd never in a million years have dared to that to her mother.

I used to watch my DM running around desperately trying to get my grandmothers approval and and I don't think she ever got it.

Aren't families fucked up sometimes or what?!

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