help with mothers emotional dependency(7 Posts)
I've written a couple of posts in the past with problems with my mother, such as her expecting me to loan her and my sister money when I don't have it, emotional blackmail, etc.
Anyway, without wanting to repeat myself I'm just really at a loss with this and I'd REALLY appreciate some advice because it just goes on and on.
My mother is in her late 50's and was a single mother more or less continuously since my dad left 30 years ago. She's had a very difficult time and is never, ever happy. My childhood was just stress, worry and trying to be her shoulder to cry on.
My sister, who is 25, emigrated to the other side of the world a year ago and honestly, since then, my mother has been unbearable. The tears! The constant "woe is me". Of course nothing I ever say or do is good enough, I:m always accused of being uncaring or unsympathetic.
She phones me every day saying how lonely she is, yet she refuses to do anything to meet anyone or get out, take up a hobby etc. I now live in another town with my partner and am having my first baby in 7 weeks. I've even told her that I can't cope with the constant negativity right now, but she isn't actually able to be positive. She says "you'll be like me one day", (implying my partner will leave me) which fills me with dread.
She knows nobody, literally nobody, except me. She has no friends or family. I just feel overwhelmed by her misery, now more than ever, but at the same time I'm wracked with guilt. I want her to be happy, I want her to get out and meet people and see her life as full of possibility instead of nothing but doom and gloom. Her circumstances are admittedly dire: totally broke, in debt, no savings, zero-hours contract, lives in a council estate. But my circumstances aren't great either, and my partner and I (while very happy) work our asses off to make ends meet and get ready for the baby. But because we work my mum thinks I should be there to bail her out when she can't pay her bills.
I feel she has had depression for a long time but she would never go to a GP about it and would be very angry and hurt if I suggested it.
I'm just out of ideas! People keep telling me how hard parenthood is, but frankly dealing with my mother is harder.
Shes coming to stay with us at xmas, even though she has stated quite clearly that she doesn't want to but that she has nothing else to do. She refuses to come to any social events we have planned and refused an offer of my in-laws to go there for dinner (meaning I can't go either). She's already ruined xmas.
Please, any advice? Or even better - anyone else in a similar boat?
My mum is the same, she refuses to seek treatment because 'mind over matter', she doesn't believe in depression etc. . There comes a point where you just have to let it go, you mum hasn't done anything particularly horrible by the sounds of it but she is literally bringing you down with her every single day, something's gotta give. I honestly think you need to tell her, for her own sake.
Get together with her and you sister and anyone else in her life and tell her how worried you are, how she needs treatment etc. The more people you can get to tell her, the better. It's much easier to disagree with 1 person than 100
unless you're my mum. Good luck, I hope it works out for you/her.
No advice here - just to say that I am very sympathetic and you are not the only one with a Mum like that. Whereabouts does she live?
You need to emotionally detach a bit OP. Don't pick up that phone every day, try and whittle the calls down gradually.
Look at the links on the first page of the Stately Homes thread. Lots of tips there on 1) identifying your mum 2) detaching from this relationship that helps neither of you.
You will need all of your emotional energy for your new baby (congratulations!)
Plus, once you are a mum yourself you will see your mum's parenting of you very differently and, if your like me, with a lot less sympathy.
Treatment has made a massive difference to my dm, who sounds similar.
Dsis approached her from the point of view - you're normally so lovely, you don't seem well. What has happened to the dm we know and love. You must get to the doctors so that you can feel better. Then chasing her up - have you been yet.
My dm has always been difficult - I don't know how dsis managed to utter those words but it worked. She's been on antidepressants ever since and I suspect had CBT because she keeps saying CBT like things that are totally out of character for her.
She now has something of a life - goes to a few groups, has a friend she's not fallen out with yet, even went on holiday with an old work colleague this summer. But most of all she's not phoning me 24/7, pressuring me to visit all the time so that she could relentlessly criticise pretty much everything about me. I was getting ill myself with it.
So my advice would be whatever you may think she will/won't like - you can't go on like this. Try anything you can to get her some treatment. Once she has seen the GP, they will give her some support so that it doesn't all lie on you.
My dm is very definitely happier in herself now. She didn't believe in counselling or accepting any help previously. She refused to let the Macmillan nurse in the house when my df was ill. She's a complete convert now.
It's so stressful to deal with though. I really do sympathise. I started to go mad myself at one point, which is when my dsis took action. I kept closing the curtains pretending we were out and just feeling really on edge that she'd appear at any time. If a car pulled up I'd get really anxious and look to see if it were her. I felt almost stalked. If I didn't answer one phone, she'd ring another, then another, then call dh at work and ask where I was.
Hard though it will be for you, you do need to let go of your Mum and the guilt she keeps heaping onto you.
You will need all that emotional energy for yourself and your baby, but at the moment she is draining it all away.
For a start, don't let her ruin Christmas for you, go and do all the things you had planned, even though it might upset her.
She is being very unfair to you re things like dinner with your MIL, tell her calmly that you are going and she is welcome also. Don't let her blackmail you into changing your plans, step away from her control and take control of your own life yourself.
Stop lending/giving her money when you have little yourself, and end the next phone call from her by saying you will speak again next week.
I feel for you OP as my Mum is incredibly needy, has often ruined special occasions and is thoroughly damaging to her family. Recently she had a particularly bad meltdown which was horrible to witness and she said some dreadful things to me (which didn't hurt greatly as I don't value her opinion but nasty nevertheless). It dawned on me that she is utterly incapable of realising what her behaviour does to people so there's no sense that she can acknowledge and learn- this will never happen- it's like trying to rationalise with a drunk person.
Anyway, I've decided to have no contact with her and I feel a whole lot better having made that decision! I wish I'd done it years ago before I had children as I'll have to ensure she gets to see them, but still, I've done it now and I feel totally liberated!
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