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My bloody mother is getting ruder and ruder(21 Posts)
I need to vent.
My mother is now 64 and is living alone (she has been married and divorced three times.) We have another property which she is now living in as she doesn't have a pension, so this has enabled her to sell her house and have some money in the bank - hence I am seeing rather a lot of her as she is only down the road.
I used to enjoy spending time with her or calling her, which I did several times a week at least, for a chat but I am currently wanting to give her a very wide berth. She is getting ruder and more obnoxious all the time, she is NEVER wrong, and, out of everyone I have ever known, the least likely to be able to cope with ANY criticism back, no matter how bland or vague. (Eg she went up to someone she hadn't seen for 7/8 years a while back and said very loudly 'christ almighty, how much weight have you put on!')
She also drinks far too much, which makes her even more obnoxious and repetitive (this has gone on for years and years, I have tried and failed to address it many many times.) I have moved back nearer home after being away since I was 20 (I am 40 now) and I am not sure if it because I see more of her, but I am sure she is also getting worse with both booze and general rudeness (her close friend says she is getting ruder too.)
She is very opinionated but refuses to listen to anyone else's view (and gets all her information and opinions from the Daily Mail) and talking to her, especially if she has had a drink, consists of 40% of her answers consisting of either 'whatever' 'it's just how it is' or 'get a grip' - these phrases don't always make sense in the context she is using them either and it's like trying to have a conversation with a teenager half the time.
The thing is, she is my mum. And, although it currently feels less and less frequently, when she is not behaving like a twat she is actually great. She can be good company, she can be a great listener, and she can / does have a heart of gold. I also find her impossible to retaliate to, possibly as she is my mother but also because that would mean stooping to her level (she often says 'move your fat arse' when she is pushing past me, for example, despite being close to 20 stone herself and me being a slightly overweight, but pretty fit, 11stone) and possibly also causing a row. She tends to be worse in company as she shows off (she recently showed DH's parents round our old house, that's she is now in, saying 'it's SO much better now don't you think?') Ridiculous as this also sounds, I don't want to hurt her (she was rude about our house when she moved in, it looked like a squat apparently - which is nonsense - and I could have reminded her that her house sold, 17 years after she bought it for £500 more than she paid and was falling to bloody bits, whereas our renovated house has just been valued at £35,000 more than we paid for it 3.5 years ago so it can't be that bad!)
There are lots of examples but they sound silly on their own, plus my mind has gone blank (I was writing this post too in my head last night when I couldn't sleep!) but I am getting increasingly agitated about her and think she is only going to get worse.
At a guess (bearing in mind I don't spend every evening with her) at least three, probably more, G&T's (large measures.) Her drinking isn't good, by any stretch. I reckon she gets through a bottle a week, or at least every ten days
And trying to mention it, or anything else, is pointless as she doesn't engage she just talks over you or says 'whatever' on a loop. Its quite painful to see. Thing is, she is getting just as tedious and caustic when sober too now
(thanks for replying by the way, it was probably a bit rambling - it was so much more concise when I was writing it in my head last night!)
Mine is getting more and more difficult to bear and self absorbed.
I think you are going to have to talk to her about both the drinking and the increase in rudeness. If it has been noticed by you and her close friend, it will have been noticed by others too.
Given that she speaks very bluntly to you, she really wouldn't have a leg to stand on if you were blunt in return - maybe she needs it pointing out to her that the drink is affecting her personality and that her remarks are hurtful and if she continues then she will have no friends left. It's terribly hard to do, but I think you may have to do it.
I am currently living with my mum and understand exactly where you are coming from. Daily mail, rudeness, too much drinking (drinks a bottle of wine a day). Also get that she's your Mum, you obviously do love her very much.
I dont have any advice, alas. Suggest cutting down the booze, get her to stop reading DM. Can but try.
I wonder if that's all she drinks...? I don't mean all as in '3 g and ts is nothing' more than it's quite a bit but not really heavy - although i guess that depends on the measures... Has she always been a heavy drinker?
Alcohol can cause personality changes and heavy drinking can result in dementia. Are there real personality changes here? Any other symptoms?
It might be worth trying to get her to the doc (any pretence you like - say you fancy an mot or something)
It sounds like age worsening the behaviour of a person whose behaviour (and mental health?) were never all that fantastic to begin with.
I don't think there's much you can do, other than decide how much you are personally prepared to tolerate, and pull her up on her comments or excuse yourself from her presence when she crosses your red lines.
Sorry, has to comment. My mother was an alcohol which started when she hit 60. She too drank gin (sometimes vodka) and she would become unreasonable very quickly. Gin really does have that horrible effect on some women, I think you may find she drinks more but isn't obvious about it. Feel your pain the change in personality is hard to deal with.
I'm sorry you are going through this. I also suspect that your mum is drinking more than you think and that the loss of inhibition in talking to people is because she is under the influence a lot of the time. It does sound as if there may also be some age related mental decline - the repetition thing is quite telling.
The hard thing is that she is an adult so there is not a lot you can do if she does not want to change. It may not be your choice but it is hers and you can't control her. It is one of the more crap aspects of growing up that eventually you become the parent and they become the child.
You could try ringing her GP and also ask for her to be referred to adult social services, but you will be lucky if they do anything. I called my mum's GP and adult social services when her dementia started to become quite apparent. She was adamant she did not want an assessment and they just went with this.
I suggest that what you need to do now is work on the assumption that she is not going to change and set your boundaries accordingly. What level of contact works for you? TBH I would stick with an occasional (monthly?) short visit of no more than 15-20 minutes or so where you pop in and chat breezily. If she starts being rude give yourself permission to say "OK mum, got to dash now" and leave straightaway. Don't let yourself be sucked in or affected by it and try to avoid a confrontation. That way you keep up the contact, but it does not drag you down so much. Easier said than done I know.
She is your mum yes but she has and is showing you no real concern or consideration whatsoever here. She's rude to everybody and likely has been her entire life as well. Has she blamed others and your own self for how her life has turned out?.
She has money and is probably also slowly turning her home that you rent to her into a tip. She has nothing else to do but drink; all her friends will desert her over time. It also sounds like your mother has not really encouraged friends to begin with.
I would also think your mother is an alcoholic and has had alcohol problems for many years. That has also contributed to making her overall mental state (which was probably not ideal in the first place) far worse. Alcohol also acts as a depressant. All of that along with her innate ability to take criticism would want to make me give her a very wide berth anyway.
The 3cs re alcoholism are ones you likely know all too well by now:-
You did not cause this
You cannot control this
You cannot cure this
Unless your mother herself wants to properly address her drink problem there is nothing you can do to help her.
You seem to be very much in a fear, obligation and guilt state with regards to her; what sort of parent was she to you when you were growing up?.
Also what do you know about her own childhood and family background, that can usually give clues. I would certainly look there.
Re yourself I would try and raise your own boundaries a lot higher; I would look at the frequency of visits and slowly start to cut back, same with phone calls. You would not have tolerated any of this from a friend, family are really no different.
Sounds very similar to my mother in a lot of ways. Could be the drink , could also be the onset of some form of dementia on top of that. The fact that she is repeating phrases parrot fashion sounds a bit like that could be a cause to me..Could also be now you are seeing more of her , her challenging behaviour becomes more apparent.
I've adopted the smile nod and ignore approach at the moment, but it is hard and frustrating I know.
To those saying 3 G&Ts a night is not a lot.
I have a bottle of gin in the fridge. It says it contains 40 units. If she's getting through that a week then she has a serious issue. Drinking every day is an issue.
The being horrid sober could be she's withdrawing.
Your best bet is to spend a lot less time with her. Make the occasional how are you call or text.
If after a while she comments on it, then tell her why you've reduced the contact. If she doesn't notice the reduced contact, then that's fine as you won't hear her rudeness anymore.
My mum isn't rude but has tendency to think she's always right. She always has done. When we were younger we couldn't say anything, but now my sisters and I tell her nicely but directly.
She sometimes will still insist she's right and we just say - "ok mum, let's agree to disagree on this one" and we change topic.
If she tries to go back to the topic, we say we have to go home. She realises that at this point in life, she needs us more than we need her.
Thank you for all taking the time to reply. I am responding on my phone so apologies if it gets a bit disjointed or I miss bits.
The drinking is an issue, but I don't actually feel as if it is the main issue. While she drinks too much and turns into an idiot, in my opinion, a lot of the time when she's had a drink she is also becoming more and more blunt and rude as time goes on. It is rather like her brain and her mouth no longer work together, so she just says what ever she feels like.
It is rather like her brain and her mouth no longer work together, so she just says what ever she feels like which is often not the kind of thing you should say. I don't think it's anything clinical like dementia.
Ages and ages ago I rang her GP to see if there was a way we could get her seen for something and the alcohol consumption could be mentioned, and also the fact that she is massively overweight. Unfortunately they couldn't help. I think my mother is lulled into a false sense of security because she has never been ill been other than simple things like a cold. She would also be incredibly defensive, and probably quite rude, if you mentioned anything like that to her. Despite the fact that she is more than happy to dish it out to other people!
I think a lot of it is probably age-related, and the fact that she lives on her own. Also, you can't really argue or probably discuss anything with her because she just goes ' whatever ' or tells you to piss off. Like my grandad, she is also never wrong I will never acknowledge anything she has done that will have been out of order . My auntie, who is completely different, says "she would do anything for anyone but her interpersonal skills are shite!'
I really didn't mean to say 3 gind a night isn't much - more that it's not colossally heavy drinking (not projecting here I barely drink at all.) it's is still well over the limits but I wonder if that's just the drinking you see?
The problem with having been healthy all your life is that your liver can take an awful lot of punishment - then it tends to fail relatively rapidly.
Mid 60s is young for dementia but not for alcohol related cognitive issues. The brain mouth disconnect can certainly be a symptom of dementia, but it can also happen when someone is alone, drinking too much and never challenged. Early dementia signs can be inappropriate verbal , physical or sexual behaviour, memory loss, repetitive verbal behaviours etc. But it's impossible to tell without a full assessment.
As pps have said, you can't fix this. You can only withdraw a bit, to a distance where it's not hurting you day to day. You could try challenging her at every comment. In a jollying-along kind of way, but this can become exhausting.
Look after yourself - you can't fix this, only try to deal with it in a way that is manageable for you
Reduce the time you spend with her. She can't annoy you if you don't see her.
She won't change at this age, so don't hold your breath in hope.
Do you have any siblings ? What do they think?
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