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I want to learn a way of not letting my mother get to me.

(34 Posts)
BloodyPlantagenets Wed 16-Mar-16 17:19:29

Long history of her being disapproving and snide about everything from my housekeeping skills to my parenting.

We went out for dinner last night with my sister, it was my sister's birthday. DSis had an affair and left her husband last year and is now dating and about to start a new job. After a couple of glasses of wine our mother went for her quite viciously about how she should never have left her ex, she's selfish and will never be happy and she doesn't put her children first, she should be thinking of them not her career or love life. It was horrible and really awkward. My sister defended herself and it all got a bit heated.

When we'd finished the meal we'd arranged for our Dad to pick us up, so said we'd call him and then wait in the cocktail bar. Mum said she'd had enough and walked home alone. Dad then sent us a text saying he was tired and we'd have to get a taxi home.

Fast forward to this morning and I went to my parents as I do every morning so we can all walk to preschool, Mum likes to come with us for the walk. When I got there she was in the shower and my Dad came down and started laying into me because Mum had come in in a terrible state because I was drunk and DSis is a married mother and shouldn't be dating. I bit back and said we'd all had exactly the same amount to drink (two bottles of wine between the three of us). Mum has painted me as some drunkard and DSis as a floozy. Mum completely blanked me and I walked Ds to preschool on my own.

I've been crying on and off about it all day. She completely ruined what should have been a nice meal out by being judgy and disapproving of the both of us for different reasons. All the while going on about how our younger sister is so wonderful and works so hard and is such a good mother. It really fucking hurts. I've never been good enough for her and she makes stuff up about me to justify being awful about me.

I have MH issues and I'm not in the best place at the moment. She seems to have decided that me and DSis are the bad ones and nothing we ever do will be good enough. She did similar at my birthday meal a few months ago but not to the same extent, I don't know why we even invited her.

I need to learn some way of getting her out of my head. Her lack of approval is making me ill, she comments negatively on everything, my house, my husband, my parenting, my children, my drinking (which I don't think is excessive and certainly wasn't last night).

Please help me. I feel stuck.

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 16-Mar-16 17:26:12

Sorry it's so long. Basically my mother is pisswd off with me for the crime of being 'drunk' at a dinner where she caused a row and we all drank the same modest amount. How do I learn to shrug it off? She shouldn't be able to get to me to the point where I spend the day crying.

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 16-Mar-16 17:35:23

I guess, would you have put up with being spoken to like that by an acquaintance? Just because you are family, doesn't mean you can be hurtful and spiteful on purpose. personally - I would back right off. No phone calls, no popping round. Just leave it and see what happens. I'd check if your sister is okay.

Mouthfulofquiz Wed 16-Mar-16 17:35:55

And flowers for you too. It's a shit situation!

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 16-Mar-16 17:37:43

I spoke to my sister earlier and she's a bit broken by it. It was such a nasty and personal attack on her choices.

FrancisdeSales Wed 16-Mar-16 18:10:06

Your mum has the problems not you and your sister.

Avebury Wed 16-Mar-16 18:32:21

I think you need to distance yourself a bit for the sake of your MH. Your mum walking with you every morning suggests that you live very close to her and perhaps she continues to treat you like a child and doesn't recognise that both you and your sister are grown ups and perfectly capable of making your own decisions about your lives.

Walkacrossthesand Wed 16-Mar-16 18:40:58

I notice that you walk to preschool via your mums house because 'she likes to walk with you' - is it an arrangement that you like? Is your mum as domineering as she's coming over in this thread? If so, time for some distance, as others have said!

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 16-Mar-16 18:45:10

I live about fifteen minutes drive away but mum loves round the corner from preschool so we drive to hers and have a coffee before walking down together. I'm not doing it from now on after being rudely blanked and shouted at this morning.

BloodyPlantagenets Wed 16-Mar-16 18:45:44

She is very domineering. It's her way or the high way. She's always full of 'advice' which is criticism.

ifcatscouldtalk Wed 16-Mar-16 18:51:27

Sounds like she's shooting herself in the foot. I can see why you're upset but personally I wouldn't call or knock for her for a while. Give it some space and next time you speak talk about neutral things, the weather, the traffic, petrol prices. Sounds awful but when someone affects me in that disapproving way I remain polite, never ask their opinion on anything personal and keep conversation as small talk. I know this is your mum but you need to look after your own wellbeing instead of being upset.

QuiteLikely5 Wed 16-Mar-16 19:12:03

Do not feel bad, her traits verge on the abusive and I suspect are responsible for your MH issues.

She will know full well that her praise of your other sister is hurtful for you but that is why she does it - to hurt you, if you didn't exist she would be aiming her vitriol at your great sister.

Don't let this woman burn your emotional energy, yes she is your mother but she is acting like an enemy at the moment so I would stay well away from her until she had a rethink

badg3r Wed 16-Mar-16 19:23:28

That sounds awful. I would stop making any effort. Let her come to you and when she does let her know she owes you an apology. Big time.

FrancisdeSales Wed 16-Mar-16 20:34:37

Does your mum divide and conquer? If you and your sister supported each other emotionally would she try and interfere and prevent it? This kind of behaviour is typical in dysfunctional families. Your mum being "domineering" could actually be a Personality Disorder especially cluster B PDs this is where the individual has dominant Narcisscistic, Borderline or Hystrionic traits. They often have a spouse that enables their bad behaviour. Give it a Google and see if it rings any bells.

FrancisdeSales Wed 16-Mar-16 21:20:16

A big Red Flag is lack of empathy. Does your mum have any real empathy for anyone except herself?

Atenco Wed 16-Mar-16 22:48:03

Our mothers get under our skin like nobody else, don't they OP? Distance yourself for now and try not to blame your younger sister for the role she is unvoluntarily playing in all this.

BigQueenBee Wed 16-Mar-16 23:02:57

My mom is toxic, and it is only in the last few months that my siblings and I have actually spoken about it. My dad was an alcoholic, yet it seems his problem was actually less of a problem than the controlling ways of my mother.
My DD say's gran is very " false "and she wishes she were more " normal" and tells her not to attend school functions. Outspoken granddad does not phase her one bit.

Borisrules Wed 16-Mar-16 23:30:22

Wow! Could have written this myself.
Nothing is ever right. I wear too much make up, I've lost too much weight, I've gained too much weight, I wear too much/not enough make up. The curtain pole in the house I've just bought isn't right, there's not much hand soap left in the bathroom .....
Feel free to PM me. I'm dealing with it very successfully now, but it's taken 43 years, a big toll on my self esteem, £200 in counselling (best thing I ever did) and more Gin than I care to disclose.....
It does get better..... I've finally realised that I'm plenty good enough Thankyou very much and she needs me and my reactions way more than I need hers....
Good luck

BloodyPlantagenets Thu 17-Mar-16 08:27:35

Thank you. Interestingly enough I've been diagnosed recently with Borderline personality disorder and I'm having therapy to deal with it. I don't behave like she does though and I'm very empathetic, I just have trouble with my emotions and self harm etc. They now call it Emotional Intensity Disorder.

SmellOfPythonInTheMorning Thu 17-Mar-16 08:35:49

When my mom behaves like that I stop talking to her for a while. Works a charm.

ConkersDontScareSpiders Thu 17-Mar-16 08:41:57

My mother is much the same-highly critical and never on my side-in fact I had a thread about it a while back because it really does get to me.It's so hurtful that the person who 'should' be on your side and propping you up is doing the opposite-my sympathies OP-it's hard.
I have had to start a bit of counselling to try and get out of the mindset of taking her criticism to heart and in the course of that have begun to realise that is has had a far wider reaching effect on me than I previously thought.But also that I simply don't need to pay it any mind anymore-the hard part is sticking to that when you are conditioned to do the opposite.
Your mum is probably judging your sister and you by the standards she was bought up with and similarly thinks it's fine to denigrate your choices vocally because she is the 'all knowing elder person'.She isn't going to change her mind but you and your dsis have to find ways to shut her down without it escalating into argument.Next time when she starts try just saying calmly something like 'I know you don't understand my choices but they are my choices to make and I'd sooner we didn't talk about it as it will spoil what I think we both want to be a nice meal (or drink etc)' and swiftly change the subject.
Ime there is no point in arguing because your mum will be totally convinced she is in the right and you won't persuade her otherwise.

Seeyounearertime Thu 17-Mar-16 08:42:41

Her lack of approval is making me ill

Why do you seek it then?

The only approval you need in this life is your own (and maybe the law courts but thats a different thread grin)

If this woman was just a woman and not your mum, how would you react to last nights attack?
Would you have popped around in the morning etc?
I doubt it.

A mum is just a person, same as any other, if she disapproves of you then that's her issue, not yours and should be absolutely none of your concern.
Surround yourself with pleasant people, not ones with very tight judgey pants, life is too short for that shite.

FreeSpirit89 Thu 17-Mar-16 08:59:50

People think that we have to put up with them because they gave us birth, I have a grandmother that uses the term 'because I'm your mother' or 'if it wasn't for me you wouldn't be here'

It's ok to walk away. Even for a few days. I know it's hard but your never gonna be happy in a life she picks for you. Do what makes you happy and tell her if she can't accept it, then to show herself out.

FinallyHere Thu 17-Mar-16 09:40:14

Sorry you are going through this. It’s certainly not easy, but one way out is to decide that you will no longer seeking that approval. I've struggled with this, and find it helpful to remember:

I am not what happened to me, i am what i choose to become.

Hope you find what works for you.

guerre Thu 17-Mar-16 09:51:26

Practice being breezy-
"Your sister should never have left her husband"
"Well, she already has Mum, she's moving on and focussing on what's important for her right now"
Just act as if you're passing the time if day or chatting about the weather.
If she criticises your action, just say "well, I think it's right for me" or "I'll see how it goes, I can always (change/stop) later".
Don't show a reaction, be placid, let it wash over you.
Yes- inside you might be raging, but you have to pretend she isn't hurting you. After a while, it will hurt less. Then one day, her comments won't hurt at all, and you'll just think " silly mum" in your head, and be fine.
Maybe cut down the frequency of walking to preschool together too. Does your child relish seeing granny every time? If they do, you may just have to go with it.

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