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I don't have the relationship I'd like with my mother

(3 Posts)
plugitinsilly Thu 29-Sep-16 16:15:29

I don't even know if I like her.

On the face of it things look fine, but I have to keep her at arms' length to save my sanity. I've pretty much accepted how things are but every now and again I think what kind of relationship is this?

She's very intense and overly sensitive and attention-seeking. I've read up on the narc mothers stuff and a lot fits and know that at times I'm smothered in the FOG.

We are moving abroad soon so will only see her a couple of times a year, but to be honest, I'm dreading the visits already.

I'm so envious of my friends who love spending time with their mothers; who feel they are such a rock and a help they would be lost without them. I feel lost with mine. I don't know how to act, I don't know what to say, I'm never sure what mood she's in. We have nothing in common, she doesn't know what I like or what I want from life (she thinks she does). I dread being with her in public as she talks about me as if I'm not there (good and bad) and makes out that we're really close. I end up feeling so awkward because it's all just this big act.

But now it's dawning on me that it's not just an act when we're in public, it's this weird act when it's just the two of us interacting too. There's no substance to our relationship, she doesn't enrich my life and I don't think she feels like I enrich hers (apart from when she can talk/boast/moan about me to her friends).

I so wish I could go for dinner or a glass of wine, or a walk with her and just enjoy her company. Instead I feel obligated to call her every now and again to make sure she's not upset about something and feel a sense of relief once the call is over. I avoid seeing her as much as possible...

For the most part it's fine, I'm ok with how things are. But every now and again I feel really sad and confused and frustrated and angry about it. I feel like I'm missing out on so much you know? I want to like her, I want to feel a lovely sense of belonging when I spend time with her, but for the most part I feel tense and can't wait to get away.

Sometimes I wonder how I'd feel if she died. I know how horrendous this is but it's almost like I'm trying to work out whether I'll feel regretful about our relationship and whether I should be changing my behaviour and attitude now to salvage it and turn it into something positive (which tbh feels like mission impossible). I don't think I'll be relieved, probably just somewhere numb in the middle. I'm sad about the future of our relationship to be honest. I remember learning in A-Level psychology about how nature made the teen years difficult so that parents felt ready to wave their kids off. I suppose like you lose a little bit of your relationship every day til you're independent of one another. I wonder if that's how my and my mother are, just slowly falling apart...

Gah. I'm off to get a grip now.

brucebogtrotter Thu 29-Sep-16 21:00:38

Christ, you've described my own mother and our relationship to a T. I'm constantly torn between feeling bloody annoyed with her and desperately sorry for her. I don't know what the answer is. Like you, I tend to keep my distance. Mostly, I just accept it for what it is - there's no law that says we have to be super close, and I think the whole mother/daughter close relationship is often just a mirage. Sometimes she can be bloody vile, and then I do tell her how it is. But mostly as I've got older, I can accept her for what she is - a woman with a lot of good points, but also self-absorbed, self pitying and with virtually no social skills.

plugitinsilly Sat 01-Oct-16 10:22:23

A couple of my friends have lovely relationships with their DMs, they help out, don't judge or criticise, give them space. Sure - they aren't perfect, but they really seem to value and respect each other.

Respect is totally missing in either direction between me and my mother.

I'm dreading her getting older and needier. Made more complicated by the fact that both my parents and PIL are divorced and remarried so politics are fierce and our time is stretched between 4 lots of parents - yet obviously my mum thinks she should come first no matter what.

It is what it is I guess.

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