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Slowly realising she is not who I thought she was.

(19 Posts)
AliceScarlett Sat 09-Jan-16 10:24:26

I've clearly put my mum on a pedestal for many years, I feel embarrassed that I'm only noticing her true nature at 30.

She is volatile and unpredictable, can be nasty and downright ignorant about a lot of things. Casually racist and homophobic. But recently I'm finding I just don't want to spend any time with her.

We were with extended family over Christmas and I can't stop thinking about some of the things she said. We went for lunch with my Aunt and her grandchildren, my mum said to the grandchildren (14 and 16) "I want a word with you two, Granny wanted her decorations out for Christmas but you didn't do it did you? You didn't help Granny, thats not kind" My Aunt said to her that she would have a word with my mum later because she wasn't being kind, my mum responded with "I'm a stirrer, ask my friends they all know what I'm like" she was proud of it. It was really uncomfortable and weird. Luckily the 16 year old had the maturity to say that if Granny wanted her xmas decs she should have asked for them and they would have happily helped. A 16 year old had more maturity than she did.

Typing it out it sounds so trivial, but it was so bitchy and unnecessary. I think its just an example that has highlighted to me that actually my mum is not this sensible, comforting rock. I have Borderline Personality Disorder and have been told by many professionals and a lot of research over the years that BPD is very very often a result of an insecure attachment and unpredictable parenting. She does love me, but all my memories of her when I am tiny are of her shouting in my face for things that I didn't understand were wrong, never comforting or helping, just blame and guilt.

One last thing, again I feel like a pathetic moaner, but she told me I was looking fat when she knows I struggle with anorexia and I'm still underweight....who does that?

I don't know what I'm looking for in this post, I just need to write it out because its really making me angry. Sorry for the pointless post.

Mrstumbletap Sat 09-Jan-16 10:31:25

I think as we get older we realise our parents are not how they seem on TV and films, they can be hurtful, unsupportive and have issues themselves. it is a struggle dealing with parents like that.

Is your mum very slim or have her own weight issues, maybe she is projecting them on you?

OTheHugeManatee Sat 09-Jan-16 10:33:55

She sounds horrible.

AliceScarlett Sat 09-Jan-16 10:41:22

Thanks Manatee, I found that oddly comforting!

You're right Mrstumble, just embarrassed I didn't realise earlier. Yeah she does have her own weight issues, I think she is jealous I am not overweight like her.

junebirthdaygirl Sat 09-Jan-16 10:49:48

Could she be slipping into a bit of senility. Inappropriate talk is often the first indicator and they are often well down the road before we realise what was going on for a while

12purpleapples Sat 09-Jan-16 10:53:35

Has she changed?

Leviticus Sat 09-Jan-16 10:54:45

It's not pointless. I've realised a lot about my mum as I've got older and it makes it an effort to enjoy her company sometimes. I try to beat in mind that there must be reasons she's the way she is. Her mother (my GM) died years before I was born. My mum, naturally, won't say a bad word about her but I wonder how she was with my mum.

Leviticus Sat 09-Jan-16 10:55:46

Meant to add - I think it is very possible and quite common for mothers to be jealous of their children.

fidel1ne Sat 09-Jan-16 10:57:15

Keeping a healthy distance sounds sensible.

MrsDeVere Sat 09-Jan-16 10:59:12

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

RandomMess Sat 09-Jan-16 10:59:39

I wonder if your Mum has always used her dc to feel better about herself by putting you down.

Stop feeling bad about only just realising, instead focus on what you are going to do to protect yourself moving forward. Lots of distance and finding supportive and loving family/friends is the way forward...

AliceScarlett Sat 09-Jan-16 11:02:50

Don't think she is going senile, doesn't appear to have any memory problems, when I look back she very often says inappropriate things.

I don't think she has changed for the worst...I learnt in therapy how to set appropriate boundaries and stopped tolerating her passive aggressive/aggressive behaviour, since then she has learnt she cannot talk to me like she used too.

I need to keep in mind more that she has good reasons to be like she is. The hatred I'm feeling this morning is not helpful.

Chiconbelge Sat 09-Jan-16 11:10:03

Alice, I'm 54 - we went through nearly the exact same thing at Christmas even down to the "I want a word with you" from my mum to teenagers not related to her - that was a fave with my MIL in her day too! And yes I found it sticking with me for days.

I think Christmas can bring out the worst in people, and certainly jealousy, feeling disregarded and unloved is part of it. As well as, for our parents too, lots of memories of their own childhood and parents and thoughts of their own mortality. So this probably was her at her worst.

One practical suggestion: she sounds needy, insecure and wanting to be the centre of attention. Try to be with her in situations where she is more relaxed and less angry and anxious - if she says she wants to go to large family occasions but she always acts out, then avoid as much as possible. Observe how she behaves rather than what she says.

ptumbi Sat 09-Jan-16 11:11:01

Have you been on the Stately Homes thread? You sound like you need a bit of support; it is a huge step to finally see how things are.

RandomMess Sat 09-Jan-16 11:15:32

There may be reasons for her behaviour but it is her choice that she has not tried to overcome her past and be a "nice" person rather than a toxic one!

pocketsaviour Sat 09-Jan-16 11:19:48

I had this kind of lightbulb moment with my own mum last Xmas. I went no contact in Feb and it's been the most blissfully peaceful year of my life.

My mum is not "nice" or a "good mum" despite me desperately telling myself that for many years.

You might want to come and have a read on the Stately Homes Thread.

GhoulishGertie Sat 09-Jan-16 11:54:53

So sorry you're feeling bad OP. When I went through similar realisation I found this website really helpful

I'm going to read the Stately Homes thread now; didn't know about this ... Thanks x

TheWhoreOfBabyliss Sat 09-Jan-16 12:12:36

Don't feel bad about realising this now at the age of thirty. I am 22 years older than you and only in the last couple of years have I copped on to a close relative of mine. Reading up on the internet helps no end in getting to grips with the what of it. It's the how of managing it in RL that's hard. I agree with others that a shit load bit of distance will help you see perspective. The key is to eventually get to a point where she has negligible influence on your feelings.

AliceScarlett Sat 09-Jan-16 13:36:55

The key is to eventually get to a point where she has negligible influence on your feelings.

Love this, absolutely.

She is worse around extended family and better around DH's, because she knows her behaviour there would be looked down upon. I'll come to more peace with this I'm sure, just need to put more effort into compassion towards her and keeping more distance. I see her every other weekend and call her twice in the week, she's 45 min that "normal"?

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