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How do I stop feeling rejected by my mum?

(10 Posts)
arandomname Wed 06-Apr-16 11:29:14

I know, logically, that she can't help it. She does care about me, it's just that she doesn't do small talk or lots of those things that people take for granted that mums do. She acts as if she is totally disinterested in my life a lot of the time whereas I suspect the truth is she is on the autistic spectrum and her brain is wired differently, it's not that she doesn't care.

But I still find little things sting. For example, she's going to come visit my DS on his birthday. I asked her if she wanted to come to his birthday party on another day as well / instead and she said "oh no! I don't want to come when there are lots of children there!"

This stings as it's all about what she wants. She knows we live miles away from any support from friends or family. It would be nice if the idea if helping crossed her mind for a minute, to ask if we needed any or even to say sorry she wasn't around to help. I don't even want her to help, that's not the issue! But just to recognise that I might appreciate help, if that makes any sense!

A toddler party I went to the other week had both the DC's GP's were there, it was lovely to see they wanted to be involved in way my parents just aren't.

The thing is though, this is silly.

I know she's not going to change. The example I have chosen is deliberately trivial as it's this kind of thing I want to stop being upset by! (I suspect ASD for many other reasons and it had helped me understand her emotional coldness towards me is not because she doesn't care).

How do I stop this stinging or will I always feel rejected by this sort of thing (I am in my 40s FFS!)

arandomname Wed 06-Apr-16 11:40:23

An example from my teenage years that shows what I mean about just not doing those mum things ...

I came home at 15 and told my mum I had a new boyfriend.

Her response was "oh."

I said aren't you going to ask me anything about him?

She said "what am I supposed to ask? "

(I dunno mum, maybe how old he is, how I met him, his name, when can you meet him, is he nice to me etc etc!)

At the time I took this kind of thing as "proof" she didn't love me. Now I understand she was genuinely baffled as to how to handle that situation but it doesn't mean she doesn't love me.

But I still feel hurt and angry for not being nutured in the way I needed even though I understand she can't help it.

How do I move on from feeling this?

Babylonmood Wed 06-Apr-16 11:47:09

Would love to know! I'm in my late 30s and my dad never fails to be disinterested In me and my life. But I think he thinks he is! He visits, he's financially supportive but he ignores my toddler and is much more interested in how many species of bird there are in the garden. After the visit, he says what a lovely visit it had been, and how lovely the toddler is!!!! I don't think he's on the spectrum, I think he's old and stuck in his ways and his wife (my step mum) and him live in an emotion free bubble.

But however I rationalise, I end up very upset both during and after his visits. I think probably counselling is the answer. I just resent the cost.

So no answers from me I'm afraid. Just in the same boat.

arandomname Wed 06-Apr-16 12:04:03

I'm sorry it's like that for you too Babylonmood.

I suspect you're right counselling would help but no money for counselling sadly!

Savagebeauty Wed 06-Apr-16 12:09:35

If she is on the spectrum, there's not much you can do about her behaviour. It's not her's not deliberate.
Maybe she would findits if snall children overwhelming.. I would hate it!!!
It is hard when you look at other families and see the interaction. But you're not alone!!

Chimpfield Wed 06-Apr-16 12:33:07

My mum is pretty vile, I cannot do anything right and all she does is moan at me... she favours one of my children over the other (blatantly) and after 50 years of trying to please her, and a year of psychotherapy, I have given up trying - 'i cannot change her and I will never make her happy - still hurts though. Really feel for you.

AttilaTheMeerkat Wed 06-Apr-16 13:53:34

Why do you think she is on the ASD spectrum at all?.

ASD does not simply or necessarily equal being a cold and disinterested person. She may well not be anywhere on the ASD spectrum at all (have you considered that possibility?) but instead may have some form of personality disorder. Is she a, "lets talk about me and me only" kind of person?.

Whatever her reasons for being the ways she is (what do you know about her own childhood, that can often give clues) it is NOT your fault she is like this.

You do not mention your dad in all this; where is he?.

What was she like towards you when growing up; I would imagine she was very much similar back them. I would think twice about exposing your children to anyone like your mother. How does she interact with your DS?. What does your DH/DP think of her?.

You need to apply firm and consistent boundaries re your mother which may be difficult. I would suggest you post on the well we took you to Stately Homes thread on these pages as the resources on there may help you as well.

My mum is like this too, arandomname - I suffered post natal depression after each of the dses was born, and she never once rang me up to see how I was. She does occasionally ask how I am now (I have depression), and tells me she worries about me - but tbh, it rarely shows itself in any expression of concern.

When I was at university, I sang solos with the university's choir, and with a visiting choir from the States - it was a big deal for me - and she never once bothered to come to any of my concerts, or even my Final recital (I was doing a music degree and had to do a 45 minute concert, as part of my final exams). Dad came, and it would have taken her no effort whatsoever to get in the car and come with him, but she never did.

She rarely spent time with us and the dses, and despite being invited a number of times, never once came for Christmas - I really wanted her and dad to be there for Christmas with the boys, but they never came, and dad never got to enjoy Christmas morning with his grandsons. We did go and spend one Christmas with her, but dad had died by then.

Last year, when she moved house, I apologised for not being able to come and help her sort the house out (she has lived there for years, and is on her own since dad died, and there was a LOT of stuff to sort through, so I know it was a huge job). She said - and I quote - 'You don't know how hard it is, being alone and old and in pain, and having to do everything yourself - and I hope you DO find out, one day!'

I have been trying to expect less from her - because if my expectations are low, I am less likely to be disappointed.

Slowdecrease Wed 06-Apr-16 15:30:05

I'd be the same about being around lots of children, I'm a mum and I'm definitely not on the spectrum. Communicate with your mum, not with hints or with hopes that she'll morph into something you want. If you actually wanted her to help say "you're amazing at this kind of stuff can you help me?". Flattery gets you everywhere with mums. You say you know your mum loves you, so choose to believe it in your very bones and gift her the opportunities to show you love by inviting it. So she acts disinterested...can I say my daughter is 14 almost, I cannot keep track of which boy she is in love with this week...Will she remember me as disinterested? Probably. I'm not, I'm just not overly invested in the small stuff which seems all consuming to her right now. Perspective is a massive thing in all relationships. Tell your mum you love her. Hug your mum. I had a similar relationship with my mum as you do, we both had a guard up, we were civil but didn't know how to relate to each other. It will be two years since she died in a week or so, I understand now how I could have loved her , what she needed and what she would have given me if I'd took the initiative to lower the guard and stop seeing differences of personality as rejection. Don't leave it to late x

Dinkiedoo Wed 06-Apr-16 15:42:30

my mum is the same. Not interested in anything but herself.
Read up on narcissistic mothers .
Your mum wont change but you can change the way you deal with it x

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