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I think I'm getting bad at dealing with people in general

(20 Posts)
CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 13:53:33

I guess this belongs in relationships, but isn't about just one, it's about all my relationships with other people around me - DH, my parents, his parents, our friends...

Lately, I feel like I'm always upset, narked, angry, frustrated, irritated or fed up with someone. I find it increasingly hard to bite my tongue if I disagree with something; I bicker with DH; I'm snappy with my parents; his continually irritate me; I moan about my friends...

I don't want to be critical or whingy or negative, but my god, I feel like everyone is pissing me right off. In fact, everyone, except for the DC and at 4 and 1 they have their own challenges but they don't irritate me like everybody else does. It's not PMT.

I'd like to shut myself away and not have to interact with anyone. Or just deal with strangers because that's all very transactional and not personal so is easy.

How do I stop being so irritable?

pocketsaviour Mon 21-Dec-15 13:58:19

Is this something that's happened recently, or has it come on gradually?

Does it coincide with something that's happened in your life - change in work, DH keeping different hours, change in eating habits, medication of any sort starting or stopping, having to give up or cut down on a hobby?

Are you a SAHP? If you are working are you getting snappy at colleagues?

SpongeBobJudgeyPants Mon 21-Dec-15 13:59:03

Is it possible you are depressed? Worth a trip to the GP?

MrsTrentReznor Mon 21-Dec-15 14:02:48

I change overnight and become angry at everyone if I'm on the wrong contraceptive. Have you changed that recently?

TheWoodenSpoonOfMischief Mon 21-Dec-15 14:08:22

What are you really unhappy about?

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 14:35:04

Wow - thanks for the quick responses! To answer your questions...

I think it's come on gradually since having DD1 just over 4 years ago and that becoming a parent myself has made all of my relationships shift a little bit.

My work situation is up in the air at the moment - I'm a reluctant SAHM after taking voluntary redundancy whilst on maternity leave. I'm currently waiting to hear if I've been successful in applying for a new job that would start in the new year. I'm absolutely sure redundancy was the right thing and the new job is exciting. I'm a bit fed up of being a SAHM, though the children are easier now we're not tied as much to naps and feeds and DD2 is finally sleeping better at night, so going back to work is what I want, though there is the usual guilt attached to that.

DH is generally great, though our marriage has been a bit neglected due to a very demanding baby (DD2). We've been in separate rooms for over a year (meaning also no sex for longer than that) due to non-sleeping DD2. I've just got her out of my bed and now DD1 is getting up and coming in with me every night. We all sleep better with DH in the spare room (he snores too) plus he has to get up for work. We haven't been out the two of us forever, and I feel he is a bit crap when it comes to nurturing our relationship ie is pretty complacent/clueless in terms of arranging anything nice for us to do or making much of an effort. I think he feels we'll have more time for each other when the children grow up a bit, whereas I feel that I'll just have more time to put more in to the relationship and that's why it will improve (ie me doing the hardwork, rather than him). I don't know that we're much of a team but we're happy. A little dull perhaps, just plodding, which is kind of ok, because I'm tired!

When I was pregnant with DD1 my relationship with DM started to crack. I realised she fits a lot of narc traits and had to work on setting boundaries. This hasn't gone down well with her, but for the most part the relationship is ok. She probably makes out to her friends we are really close but we're not. Though I find her hard work and occasionally feel sad that we don't have a strong bond, I can accept for the most part that this is just how it is.

My relationship with DF is good though he is getting to be such a grumpy old man that that annoys me. We'll wind up in silly debates about parking or traffic. Today he was saying something about "that coloured chap" and got all uppity when I said that "coloured" is pretty offensive/racist these days. It was this conversation that prompted me to write this post actually.

No medication, no hobbies as such, no contraception (no need, no sex!)

Depression. Hmm. I've wondered this but I'm too chicken/proud to admit it might be a thing. I hate the thought of being reliant on anti-depressants forever more (even if it is just on and off rather than consistently) and cannot bear the thought of anyone knowing.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Mon 21-Dec-15 14:47:11

Reading your posts it seems that all - every single one - of your relationships is hard work - and not getting easier - quite the reverse.
and when you set boundries, like you have with your mum, you have to police them - and thats hard work too.
You dont have enough sleep - and NO-ONE is nurturing you
its all out and no in.
Yet you are the person in the group you describe, who need the most support.
I m not offering any suggestions here how you could change that - but waiting for your kids to get old enough so that you get enough of yourself back to support othrs more dosnt seem like a sound long term plan to me at all. I think you need to reverse the dynamic at least some of the time with all of these people.

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 15:00:42

I think I've been hoping "it's them and not me" but possibly coming to the realisation that it's actually me given that I'm the one getting frustrated.

But now I think of it, you're right in that no one is nurturing me. It does feel like it's "all out and not in" now you mention it.... But I don't want to be a martyr and all woe is me.

DH and I lived abroad pre-DC and it was heaven. We just did what we wanted when we wanted. We made friends but because we only knew them for a short time, there was no real expectations or pressure. We skyped our parents weekly-ish and got on far better like that. Perhaps that's what we need - to move abroad again! Though this does feel like rather a drastic solution when it might just be me being a tired anti social grump!

pocketsaviour Mon 21-Dec-15 15:01:18

When I was pregnant with DD1 my relationship with DM started to crack. I realised she fits a lot of narc traits and had to work on setting boundaries. This hasn't gone down well with her

I think part of what you're feeling is the anger that you had to suppress as a child, which you are now allowing some expression to. But because the idea of being angry (as opposed to just irritated) at a parent is so scary, it's sort of squeaking out at various people.

If you read Alice Miller's work, particularly The Body Never Lies you will gain a lot of insight into this.

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 15:14:22

Possibly... I've definitely had my eyes opened to a few things that's for sure. DM has suggested that I'm a control freak, and I can't disagree, but I do suspect that the reason for this is that she controlled so much when I was younger that now I'm an adult I'm taking some of that control back... possibly I've overdone it in some areas...

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Mon 21-Dec-15 15:21:48

Perhaps that's what we need - to move abroad again! except this time you'd take your problems with you, and a few more - just for fun...
I think..you might need tp prioritise you needs a little more - let people know what you need of them

the kids coming in for a lovely morning snuggle - yes?
disturbing your sleep at intervals all night - no?

Husband getting snoring sorted out - yes
leaving you as the curator of your relationship - no

Your parents - well thats a whole stinking barrel of fish right there if they are both narc - or narc and enabler..I think thats a take a break situation and see how you feel once youve had a rest from them completly for a few months - distance will clarify whats going on here - and if they love you they will understand that you are overwhelmed - if they are narc - they wont let you withdraw or allow you to make that choice

you may not want to make / handle / cope with people & friends because you are teetering on the edge of your capabilities - no reserves to deal with any more

it may well be them - not you

pocketsaviour Mon 21-Dec-15 15:23:46

she controlled so much when I was younger that now I'm an adult I'm taking some of that control back... possibly I've overdone it in some areas...

I feel you! I think when you're never allowed any autonomy as a child over your body, your space, your thoughts, your speech or even how you wear your hair, there is tendency to go the other way.

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Mon 21-Dec-15 15:26:33

ahhh..control freak ? i suspect not..
everything you did was judged - and inadequate - and you catastrophise and have to plan for every contingency...and it still wont be good enough - so you do it again - with more detail - so it will be good enough this time...
sound familiar

narc parenting - what a gift....have you been on the statly homes thread ?

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Mon 21-Dec-15 15:27:23

Sorry pocket
x post - smile

Nothighgaphere Mon 21-Dec-15 15:28:24

I am the same as you in almost everything you describe. I do wonder how much of it is the sheer relentlessness of the kids; the boredom of being at home and the tiredness. I've recently given up all my crutches (cigarettes, alcohol and food) and it's put a few things in horrible sharp focus. I'm going back to work before I try ads. I really don't want them. I'm so sick of everyone like you are, and I can't hold back with my true feelings. I feel like I've emptied my life but want to fill it back up with things and people that are meaningfulto me. Just not sure what yet.

Maegeri Mon 21-Dec-15 15:46:03

You could be me posting cheese and I think Pocket and 665 have hit the nail on the head. I also realised post children that I had been totally brainwashed by my narc DM, so much so that I find myself realising that her re-writing of history had a massive effect on my childhood and my adult life. I remember new things most days that she lied about. I also feel a huge amount of anger and continually snap and loose my temper. Its like any time I feel anyone is trying to control me I react too strongly, even for the smallest thing. I know that trying to reason with her will be futile, she has spent her life lying and manipulating, so in the new year I am going to look into some therapy to help me deal with the anger. Sorry I don't have any advice but just wanted to let you know that you aren't alone and its really not you.

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 16:15:35

655 your posts are quite poignant. Thank you. DF is definitely not narc (he and DM are divorced) but there are further complications with the relationships with my long-standing step-parents on both sides. I do feel fairly fucked up from the realisation of how things are with DM, but also from my parents' divorce. It was pretty amicable at the time, both sides seemed to keep "what was best for the kids" in mind on the whole... Yet I fear there is inevitable damage regardless of how good a divorce is. Plus over the years as I've grown up, both parents have said things that I was/wasn't aware of - and overall I don't think it's healthy to know that much about your parents' relationships.

I have been on the stately homes thread yes, under a different name a while back. It's where I learnt about narc traits and gleaned a lot of information and understanding about how and why things are like they are with DM. It's also helped me reach a workable level of how much I visibly invest in that relationship. It's not as much as she would like but it works for me on a practical level. Emotionally I guess it's a bit of a different story because I suspect there is fair bit of unresolved sadness and anger, on my side anyway.

All my parents and the in-laws all live 5-10 mins away and help out with childcare (or will when I go back to work whenever that will be) so it's not possible to avoid them.

Moving abroad would solve some of the pressures from friends and parents we currently feel. We hope to do so again at some point anyhow, we've both always suffered from wanderlust.

DH and I are definitely in a rut. He fully admits, though, that he is awful and being able to move himself through from Point A to Point B. He knows where he is, and knows where he wants to be, but really struggles with the path between the two. So I'm sceptical about his ability to change the way he invests in our relationship.

nothigh sorry to hear you feel similar. I too am pinning quite a lot of hope on the prospect of working sorting me out, making me feel alive and enthused and happy again. I like the idea of filling my life up with meaningful people and things... I will try and spend some time thinking about what this means for me, as it's quite a tough one eh?

665TheNeighbourOfTheBeast Mon 21-Dec-15 17:14:58

Are you aware how completely you are avoiding making those around you responsible for failing in their duty of care towards you ?

I suspect as a minimum your DH knows the difference in business speak between a soft and a hard target - he just has to apply the same to your relationship - he has to try something and see if it works - not shrug off his responsibility
It really sounds like you need some adult time together so you can re identify yourself as a couple. He could be responsible for organising this - it not a big ask.

I am very concerned you are about to increase your enmeshment with your parents and their partners if you depend on them for childcare as you try to escape into work
becoming dependent on the whims of a narc...so you can go and do a job which will probably physically and emotionally push you even further...is not a road I would be labelling "Route to happiness" If work is a strong part of your identity then you should pursue it - but I would be very very wary of dependency for childcare arrangements - or leaving kids with a bigot and a narc !

I am glad you see going abroad as running towards something rather than away though - and as I look out of the window at the rainy gloom I'm slightly inclined to ask you to take me with you !...(only if its somewhere sunny though)

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 19:29:22

Thank you again 665. DH and I have had a bit of a chat this evening whilst the kids were out of earshot. He know he needs to step up and perhaps I need to step back and let him do more. Hard habits to break on both sides though.....! Turns out I've got that job so there will be a shift of balance with logistics at home and I've said we need to be watertight for that to work.

Thanks to the stately homes thread I can identify narc behaviours in DM and see when bad spells are coming. It's usually when she is having a rough time herself. I feel that her traits are mild enough and my awareness is enough so that I'm comfortable with her having the DC for what will amount to 2-3 hours each week.

DF is harmless and dotes on the DC and DSM is wonderful with them too. I get cross with DF because he's not very active, yet is a bit bored, and seeing the grandchildren is the highlight of his week - which is as it should be to an extent - but I wish he had other interests too.

We can alway look at other arrangements if things don't work out.... Plus if the parents see the children in the week we can keep weekends for just us wink

I dunno. I'm just feeling a bit spikey I guess. I'm not very good at brushing things off so there is usually something in every interaction with those close to me that will niggle at me. It can't possibly be all them. That has to be me too. The balance is off kilter in everything I think but I'm fairly sure I'm responsible for that, I've created a lot of this.

CheeseGrater Mon 21-Dec-15 19:37:15

Maegeri it's an odd sensation looking back at things after you understand things a bit more, isn't it? I can now see that DM's view of the past, present and future is different from the reality and that she has manipulated me into thought patterns that I now fight hard to break.

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