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My mother and I... totally lost

(9 Posts)
camaleon Fri 25-Nov-16 19:03:24

I have a horrible relationship with my mum. I don't know who to blame, and more importantly, how to resolve it. I have seen many threads about narcissistic/toxic parents but not sure if I am trying to justify my own feelings.

How do you get to 1) identify the problem; 2) find a solution? It has been a complete drama always. Now it is affecting my children who adore her (to me this means something about her being a nice person; most people seem to really like her and this is not always the case for me). I lost my father many years ago.

She has decided not to come for Christmas because we don't treat her well. This is the usual complaint and I am not sure if she really has a point, or how to change this. I see my kids (now 9 and 11) getting into the same pattern. They are scared of a fight between us. They are very sad she is not coming for Christmas and I can see it, but at the same time, they feel responsible for 'mediating' somehow. They have become alert about what they can or cannot say to both of us separately.

Any book or resource to try to understand whether I need to have a hard look at myself or at her? Would some kind of family therapy help? I don't know if I love her anymore. I cannot find any nice memory about anything together. It is all tainted by the big fights a-propos nothing. Is there a way of changing such a damaged relationship? Any positive stories out there?

Deadsouls Fri 25-Nov-16 19:09:13

There is a lot of information available on the internet if you do a search 'narcissistic mothers'.
You could read an article and see if you can recognise any traits being described. Here is a site. There is a book which I can't recall the title of right now but I will post it when I do.

Initially it might be best for you to go to therapy for yourself to sort out what your thoughts and feelings are before launching into family therapy with your mother. I don't know what your resources are but there are also low cost counselling services around. The dynamics with a narcissistic parent can be particularly confusing and painful for the adult child and this is what needs to be gotten a hold of in therapy and explored.

Rubyslippers7780 Fri 25-Nov-16 19:10:57

Have you have a conversation face to face with her? Just being open,
' the kids are really sad you are not coming for Christmas - what can we do to sort this out' kind of style? Is she open for that?

camaleon Fri 25-Nov-16 19:28:19

I have tried many times to have that conversation. But we seem to behave as we hate each other and it ends in a terrible fight, a proper shouting match. I am not sure if it is my own behavior. I have a tendency to walk into storms in general, but nothing like the relationship with her. I have read about the narcissist mother but not sure if I fit the bill myself. I don't think so, but that would be a typical trait of a narcissist too.

Every time I look into possible therapist/therapies I get even more lost. How to decide about a good one? I have enough money to pay for a therapy, not to have a market research on what might or might not work. Thank you for answering

Pimmmms Fri 25-Nov-16 19:45:10

When you see her as a grandmother, does it remind you of her as a mother? Because my mother is a lovely grandmother but she was a crap mother. She's even worse now because she thinks she can still dictate to me, and gets extremely argumentative when i don't instantly follow her 'advice' orders. Me being in my 40s and fully capable of living my own life annoys her to no end.

Deadsouls Fri 25-Nov-16 19:52:44

You could try psychodynamic counselling, which will be about how your childhood experiences affect you in the present and your relationship with your mother.
Or integrative counselling which combines elements of different modalities.

Rubyslippers7780 Fri 25-Nov-16 19:55:57

I think it sounds like you are trapped in a parent - child approach instead of adult to adult. It is a shame your children get pulled in the middle. If you google PAC model - transactional analysis -I have found this approach really helpful with my family...

camaleon Fri 25-Nov-16 20:18:53

Yes Rubyslippers... nothing about our relationship seems any where close to adult behavior. I will start looking into options. All this is making us (and now my children) very sad without a clear reason.

YetAnotherGuy Fri 25-Nov-16 20:30:41

Is the problem that you are actually very similar?

And do you each like winding the other up?

Interesting that your children like her

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