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Big argument with my mum

(27 Posts)
TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:09:53

About how we don't understand each other. I brought it up. I cried, told her how I felt, she brought up all the ways in which she cares (she's practical rather than emotional; will worry about and care about me physically, how I'm eating etc but not actually ask about how things are, we live together), cried and walked away as she was getting annoyed. Was very defensive.

I said some things I shouldn't have - said she has trouble forming good relationships (this is true) and she replied that she knew, why did I have to tell her what was obvious sad

We had family counselling unsuccessfully when I was aged 13-16 (few occasions) which was just terrible. I resent it a bit because I felt a bit like my parents' happiness was being made my responsibility. I know that's probably not accurate but I wish I had been more low key and less in your face; I was a normal child, polite and nice and normal, and I don't think going in all guns blazing was the answer. She suggested counselling again but I don't that's the answer - I just wish she could listen to my concerns non-judgementally and hear me out rather than being so defensive and hurt by my "accusations" - am I asking for too much? sad

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:10:57

Sorry that should say

i wish it [the counselling] has been more low key

Mintyy Sun 25-Oct-15 15:25:38

How old are you? Things would probably be a lot better if you didn't live together.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:28:21

Thanks for your reply. I'm 22, I'm here for a few months until I start a new job next year and move away for it. I have lived away for the way four years in London while at university so am quite independent.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:29:41

Can anyone relate to this?

I'm not sure if I'm asking too much or being a bit unfair?

FredaMayor Sun 25-Oct-15 15:42:00

The way I would relate to what you're asking is how I would to my own DD, not much different in age to you OP.

What your DM is hearing is criticism and accusations from you, and setting to one side the rights and wrongs which only you two really know, I think someone to mediate for you both could still be very helpful. I know you have had bad experiences of counselling before, but are you willing to give up on it yet? An atmosphere in which neither of you feel manipulated will help you.

Your DM may not be as emotionally articulate as you, maybe you could cut her some slack so she can move towards you in your relationship. Could it be she feels you have insisted on calling the shots?

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:49:13

Thank you freda

Yes you could be right. I think she feels attacked, hurt and maybe guilty (?) as she obviously doesn't want to hurt me but maybe feels like I'm not being kind to her, and accepting how she is as a person.

I do accept all of this but equally couldn't hold back any more - I just felt so upset and it would have meant a lot to me to just have her hear me out, apologise for how I was feeling, just hug me rather than going straight on the defensive and making it all about her and how hurt she was.

Mediation sounds useful but I think that she would only hold grudges/be hurt twice over if this came out again in front of a professional. I'm just not sure what good it would do. She finds it very hard to apologise and is quite a private, stubborn person.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 15:51:44

It looks to me that I just need to swallow it back and accept how things are. We are very different people and perhaps I should just acknowledge that. It is just sometimes frustrating to feel that despite the fact I'm her child, I have to make allowances for her, always be wary about upsetting her. If you can't be yourself in front of your mother, who can you offload to? I wish she made more effort to understand where I'm coming from too xx

FredaMayor Sun 25-Oct-15 15:57:56

OP, how committed do your really feel towards moving away the barriers that you currently have with your DM?

Counselling, if you would agree to have it, is going to be a leap of faith for both of you. One person's 'private and stubborn' could be another person's 'coping and resolute'. You both need to unlock your thoughts and feelings to gain the insight I think you seek.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 16:01:57

Thanks Freda. I feel very committed, I have never had the kind of relationship I would have liked with her and would love for it to change. I hope I don't seem overly critical of her; I recognise it takes two and I'm happy to admit my own shortcomings, I definitely don't see her as "the problem" or anything.

If I sound jaded its just because I'm wary about rocking the boat and making things worse. If counselling doesn't help then the last thing I want is for our relationship to worsen.

Nydj Sun 25-Oct-15 16:18:20

I think part of growing up is coming to terms with the perceived and actual imperfections of those around us and acknowledging that it's ok not to particularly like someone even if you love them dearly. It looks like you are and your mum are very different in the way you express yourselves and I agree with PP in that what you may just see as stating what is wrong in your relationship with your mum could be seen as criticism and rejection by her. I would tread very carefully as you cannot unsay things and it would be very easy to cause a lot of hurt to your mum about her parenting etc.

It may be more constructive to just ask for what you want rather than criticise what she has done in the past e.g. Mum, sometimes I just need a hug and left to fix my own problems etc.

Nydj Sun 25-Oct-15 16:22:12

If you criticise someone then you have to expect the possibility of them becoming defensive. It really is so easy to see all the things that our parents did that were 'wrong' but parenting is not easy and as long as she was trying to do her best, I think at 22, you may want to back off a bit and let a different relationship evolve between you as you are both now adults.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 16:25:27


To give more context, I was upset that she didn't and doesn't ask me more about my life and my day, yet expects me to listen to all the details of hers. I told her this and said it made me feel like she didn't care. She cried and got very upset.

So it's more of a specific angle that I'm coming from, not just criticising the whole of her parenting, although I can see why she may take it like that and agree that some things are better left unsaid.

It just frustrate me because she makes sweeping judgments about me (not to hurt me but more to guide me) eg you always leave things to the last minute, you're always late, but reacts very very badly when I tell her that I'm upset by her behaviour and takes it very personally.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 16:27:41

She's quite neurotic and her way of communicating with someone is getting stressed with them, shouting, getting angry. I really struggle with this.

Will hold my tongue for now and hope that things get better when I leave home smile

Bjornstar Sun 25-Oct-15 19:57:56

Hi there, I haven't read the whole thread but how was your dm's upbringing?

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 20:22:14


It was okay I think, she was born in the late 40s in another European country (not from here originally). Her parents both worked full-time so were really busy (they had to I think) and she was the middle child. She then moved to this country when she was 20 and has stayed here since. She's close to her sisters and they both live here too. Tbh she rarely talks about her childhood, I've tried to get her to open up but it's not her way. I think it wasn't bad but it was hard.

SimLondon Sun 25-Oct-15 20:46:06

OP have you looked into the stately homes thread? is your mother narcissistic / toxic?

fearandloathinginambridge Sun 25-Oct-15 20:48:26

I have a teenage son and it terrifies me to think I would be this involved in his life at 22. I would think I had failed to do my job which is to raise him to be independent, happy and out of my hair on a day to day basis.

I know you have to be at home for financial reasons but this level of involvement, angst and the suggestion of therapy makes me think that your mum is over reliant on you. You said you felt you were made responsible for your parents happiness, perhaps this entirely accurate. I saw my mother do that to my younger sister and it was not healthy. My mother had issues around abandonment and she just could not let her baby grow up and leave her lonely.

I think you might need to just try and ride out the next few weeks until you move out and then see how your relationship fairs with a bit more distance between you.

fearandloathinginambridge Sun 25-Oct-15 20:50:25


eastwest Sun 25-Oct-15 20:54:10

I can hugely relate to this, and am really sorry you're having this difficult time. i have never had a good relationship with my mum, since I was a child - she basically doesn't seem to like me at all, but not in a shouty sort of way - more that she tells my husband how spoilt and selfish I am, that kind of thing. (No one else in my life thinks I am spoilt and selfish, just her). It is really hurtful. I was very depressed about my relationship with both my parents at your age, and tbh, still am. The best thing is just to get as far away from her as you can, and stay civil, that's my suggestion.

DistanceCall Sun 25-Oct-15 23:01:52

Honestly, I think you should focus on moving out of your mother's home. It sounds like you are a far too invested in your relationship with your mother. You don't have to understand each other - she's your mother, not your friend or your partner. That doesn't mean that you don't love her or that she doesn't love you.

Just try to be polite and get along more or less with her until you find somewhere else. Then move out.

TheNastyDaughter Sun 25-Oct-15 23:12:42

Thanks everyone, you're all right.

I'm an adult and for the past 4 years lived a virtually independent life, studied full-time in London, paid rent and bills, worked full-time in holidays. For complicated reasons I'm back home for a few months but have a job back in London next summer. I will give her some space and be polite until then, I think old tensions have reared up because this is the first time in a long time we have both been under the same roof for an extended period.

Thanks all

MakeItRain Sun 25-Oct-15 23:19:37

I had a lot of criticism for my mum during my twenties. Now (nearly 50!) I love her to bits and realise we're all just human. I think it was having my own children that made me understand that we're all just finding our way. I recognise the mistakes I make. Sometimes I act just like she did with towards my own children. It's really strange. As a child/ young adult I had such criticism of the way she was. As a mum with my own worries about life, I find myself acting in a similar way and realise none of us are perfect. I know that maybe doesn't help you. I just know I could have written a similar post to you at your age.

I would agree with other who suggest moving out. Cut her (and yourself) a bit of slack. Life has made her what she is and she probably loves you very much.

goddessofsmallthings Sun 25-Oct-15 23:59:10

When you have these conversations with your dm do you converse in her her first language or in English? Do you speak her native tongue fluently?

TheNastyDaughter Mon 26-Oct-15 00:02:37

We speak in English. I wasn't brought up to speak my dm's native language fluently, I can understand it but we've always only spoken English at home

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