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I don't know what to do about my mum

(37 Posts)
brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:31:41

I'll begin by saying my mother and I have always had a fractious relationship. She's emotionally immature, passive aggressive and sometimes downright rude and abusive, I think.

She has got herself in a massive tizz because I didn't reply to ONE text last week. Being as PA as she is though, she didn't actually tell me she was cross about this when I went round with the baby last week, instead doing her life long act of not making eye contact, giving one word answers and slamming round. Having seen this for 35 years, I'm used to it. I've decided I'm not panderingto this anymore so ignored her. However, , she refused to engage with the baby at all, as in she wouldn't even look at him, never mind speak to him or hold him. Like I said, I'm used to this crap so me and my Dad just went in another room and chatted and played with baby.

The next day I get a massive text from her, saying she's sick of me and other people not replying to texts. I explained to her that I've got my hands full with a little boy who won't wait while I just text Nanna back, and pointed out that I reply to every other text she's sent, but for some reason she's taken this ONE text I forgot about very, very personally. She just will not accept my explanation at all. I've told her I'm no longer willing to waste time discussing this, and pointed out to her that her treatment of my son was unacceptable. She concedes she shouldn't have treated him like that, but there is no hint of any kind of apology. I've said to let me know when she's in the mood for a visit, but have heard nothing back.

I'm just at a loss for what else to do, really. The ball is in her court now but why the hell does she waste so much time on stupid imagined slights? I just don't understand.

Pendu Fri 22-Jul-16 14:34:40

My mum can be Abit like this . I just plough on. It's so very rare people will realise and change so I just plod on and ignore whatever rubbish she comes out with (like apparently her boss died of a stroke and the boss drove on motorways, therefore she will die because she drives on motorways hmm) . Don't think about it - it's her problem, not yours .

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:36:24

Really? She somehow always gets me to feel guilty, even though I can see logically that she's being crazy.

GirlWithTheLionHeart Fri 22-Jul-16 14:40:10

If a partner treated you like that it would be seen as emotional abuse. It's pretty nasty and I would go apeshit if my mum did that.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:44:07

Do you know, it's such a relief to see other people saying it's awful behaviour, and not just me being a horrible cow.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:44:57

It IS awful, and unreasonable, isn't it?

missybct Fri 22-Jul-16 14:46:19

I'd also go apeshit with my Mum, but if you're used to it (which it sounds like from OP post) I suppose it's easier to pass off.

I imagine your Mum has been pandered to somewhere along the line and made to feel that this reaction is appropriate - it isn't, there is absolutely no need for it, and your mother is being very unreasonable.

She wastes time doing it because she is exactly the things you highlighted in your first paragraph - "She's emotionally immature, passive aggressive and sometimes downright rude and abusive, I think"

She's unlikely to ever change, and she her behaviour is the type of reason people become NC with parents. However, it sounds as if you have a good relationship with your Dad, and therefore cannot go NC/reduce contact with your Mum. It sounds as if you also have a good handle on her behaviour and don't take it personally, but perhaps the fact she ignored your baby was the straw that broke the camel's back in this instant. I know I'd feel fucking furious.

How does your Dad deal with her behaviour?

Ratbagcatbag Fri 22-Jul-16 14:49:26

Yep absolutely. It's awful and designed to get you in your place.

My dad was vile and I'm NC. My mum was an enabler (divorced from my dad) and would hang up the phone and huff at me.
Once she did it and I didn't respond, let her take charge of making up. She finally rang and apologised. She stopped doing it after that. Equally when I ring and she launches into a woe is me tirade without even asking how I am, i interupt, say it must be a bad time and say bye. She's finally learnt that to have a decent conversation with me she needs to actually be decent and engage rather than rant.

I do also see her a lot less than I used too.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:50:21

You're right - it's how she treated my child that has enabled me to stand up to her for once. I have a great relationship with my dad, but unfortunately over the years he has enabled her in a way by just wanting to keep the peace all the time. However this time he totally agrees with me that she was out of order. Usually he just lets her get on with it.

cozietoesie Fri 22-Jul-16 14:51:36

I could be real rude about her behaviour but I'll restrain myself.

Ignore her now and get on with your own life. smile

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:53:44

I just feel sad that she's not like other mums.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 14:54:25

Yes, cozie, I don't think I have any other choice but to do just that.

cozietoesie Fri 22-Jul-16 14:55:34

Yes. It's a sadness. Life can still be very good, though. smile Maybe not the same as it might otherwise have been but - Hey Ho.

mineofuselessinformation Fri 22-Jul-16 14:58:34

'and pointed out to her that her treatment of my son was unacceptable'
You're absolutely right - however angry with you she is (justified or not), she should not take out her anger on your child.
Stay firm.

It took me years to work out why I always felt guilty for having a problem with being treated in this kind of way by my mother, until I finally realised its because despite not having been very nice to me my whole life she still brought me up so I have an attachment to her.

You deserve to be treated better than this, and your child does too. I would just have a frank chat and tell her that you don't have time for childish games but if she wishes to treat you like an equal human being you're all ears

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 15:02:00

Thank you, mine.

2nds Fri 22-Jul-16 15:03:48

I'm Wondering what the text was!

wobblywonderwoman Fri 22-Jul-16 15:04:28

Mine is the same op. She once got dad to ring me because I never visit and I am so selfish. She was actually in but in bed. She tends to get 'sick' at all opportunities the spotlight is not on her - my hen, graduation etc. Ends up getting rushed to hospital abd tutns out to be bowel related or something mysterious. If it was once of twice you'd let it go as genuine.

Luckily I had left something at the front door (she thrives on presents) and told dad. When he got home I think he realised the mistake. He wouldnt admit it though.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 15:07:38

Thank you nicecup, too. The text was only a hi, how are you kind. Not important, which is why I don't understand why she's gone bonkers. It even helps a bit to know I'm not alone in this.

Jayfee Fri 22-Jul-16 15:12:33

Ok well i have a question for op..? Why didn't she directly ask her mum why she was behaving like she was when she was at her house. They both seemed to be avoiding the situation.

Treats Fri 22-Jul-16 15:17:04

You're doing exactly the right thing. My mother can be very similar - although she has a lot of good points too - and since having children, I've been much firmer about what's OK and what's not.

There was an incident about 18 months ago, where she started being argumentative and very rude, and then threatened to leave my house (in the middle of the night). I just stood my ground over whatever the point of issue was (can't for the life of me remember now). She wailed and wept and made a huge hoo-ha, but I just completely ignored her.

The following day it was all forgotten about, and we continue to get on well. She hasn't pulled any hysterical stunts with me since.

Just keep on with what you're doing. She will get the message that you're not going to respond to emotional blackmail and behave like a proper adult. If she doesn't and continues to hold out with her silly behaviour, then she's not going to see you or the baby.

Sounds simple, and I'm lucky that my mum came to her senses, but you really do have to overcome the dynamic that rewards your mum for this behaviour or it won't ever stop.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 15:18:37

Well for three reasons I guess...
1. She behaves like that because she wants someone to ask what's wrong. I'm trying to avoid pandering to her like that. She needs to understand that if something is wrong, she needs to just spit it out.
2. Avoiding conflict has been the default mode in our family forever. It's still sometimes hard to get out of those behaviour patterns.
3. She can be extremely unstable and is liable to shout, scream and rage when challenged. I'm not going to risk provoking that with the baby there.

dustarr73 Fri 22-Jul-16 15:20:05

I think the wake up you had was needed.Being rude to the kids is not on.My mam was a bit like this.She barred my dp from teh house,we had a baby but she got a bee in her bonnet about something.And he got the boot from teh house.

One day my ds was sick and she wouldnt give me the key to the house becuse dp was there.Well i let rip,i told her what a horrible woman she was,she could treat me and dp like crap.But she wouldnt be doing it to my child.
I actually went nc for a while.Just had too.

brucebogtrotter Fri 22-Jul-16 15:21:42

Thank you treats, I'm determined to put a stop to it. I don't care how she is with me but I'm not having the baby treated like that. It's just hard to get past the bad daughter feeling sometimes.

fallingsnow Fri 22-Jul-16 15:26:14

I guess cos OP was worried any conversation would lead to conflict?

I had similar kinds of issues with my mother over the years. Its not easy, and sometimes its been shockingly difficultl.

We are in a better place now (for now) but I have been through it. The place I am at is that things are nice but if they weren't for whatever reason I'd create distance bigtime, and my mother would know why.

There's only a few things that work IMO.

1. Conflict. Take it to the bridge. Maybe you'll get silent treatment. Massive rows. I've seen it all. But on the positive side, it can be quite liberating. Warning: can be very risky and unpleasant.

2. Ultimatums. However, this does not have to be with conflict. You just say if you behave like that we won't be visiting you for a while, plain and simple, spell it out. Or if you talk to me like that again on the phone, there's no point in me calling (and don't call her again if she does). I told my mother I'd write to her when I was visiting near her and if she wanted to see me that was good. That way I didn't have to deal with her rudeness on the phone. She was soon as nice as pie. And we do now, or at least at the moment, talk happily on the phone.

3. Accept this is the way she is. Ignore her nonsense and distance yourself. Only see her or talk to her when you feel like it. If she behaves badly don't get into conflict, just make your excuses plainly, and LEAVE.

I am sure you will find what works for you with a few trials over time and sorry its this way. Your mother is definitely in the wrong, let her deal with that, not you.

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