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Can I stop feeling like my crazy Mother defines me?

(3 Posts)
teasmadeoatcake Sat 11-Feb-17 00:35:13

I really don't know where to start this. When I was a child, my relationship with my Mother was strange. I felt like I was her minder. She would constantly undermine me and it was very obvious she was resentful of me (she was a teen Mother and I think she felt as if I took her youth away).

Because of all this I have issues which are obvious to me, my partner and close friends. I think I deal with them quiet well. And my relationship with my Mother is a lot better the older I am as I now know how to handle her. She's not a bad woman and she does have positive attributes but she's still very selfish and lacks empathy. I know that and can deal with it the one day a week a see her.

This is the catch. I can deal with her when it's just us two but when other people/ family members are involved I seriously have to bite my tongue. I can deal with her commenting on my weight/ spiritual preference/ morals or whatever but I seriously find it hard when it's directed at other people as I know they'll be shocked. She really comes across as horrible. I feel like I'm grouped with her when she behaves this way. I know not reacting or saying anything to her ridiculous comments is the best way to deal with it but I feel when other people are involved I need to say something.

How can I win? If I say something I look just as bad as her for arguing with her but if I don't people will think I condone her behaviour! It takes me at least 2 days to get over her visits as I feel I must be a bad person if this is who brought me up. I don't want to cut her out of mine or the DCs lives but I can't continue feeling so low when she leaves and constantly criticise and compare myself to her.

AttilaTheMeerkat Sat 11-Feb-17 08:38:15

You cannot win with someone like your mother and I would stay well away from her from now on. I would argue that your boundaries re your mother are still far too low and you are still perhaps seeking her approval which she will never give you.

Re your comment:-
"She's not a bad woman and she does have positive attributes but she's still very selfish and lacks empathy"

This whole sentence is a contradiction in term. Why would you want to keep subjecting your own self to someone like this at all?. It sounds like her responsibility to you really ended when she gave birth to you; from an early age onwards she made you responsible for her life and made you the scapegoat for all her inherent problems.

Why don't you want to cut her out from yours or your children's lives?. You are showing your children that on some level this treatment of you as their mum by their nan is acceptable to you. Your mother could easily harm them in the similar ways as you have been and right in front of your very eyes as well. I think you've been trained throughout to serve her needs and hers alone. You are not an extension of her but she made you an extension of her. She was and is not a good parent to you and such people often turn out to be toxic as grandparents as well. You would not have tolerated a lack of empathy or selfishness from a friend, your mother is no different. People like your mother do not change.

You are likely still mired in fear, obligation and guilt. It takes you two days to get over her visits; this is still very much an unhealthy dynamic which started in your own childhood and not much has changed. I would read up on narcissistic personality disorder and see how much of that actually fits in with your own experiences of your mother.

Do post also on the "well we took you to Stately Homes" thread on these pages.

It is not your fault she is like this; you did not make her this way.

Do you have siblings; if so what is their relationship like with mother?

loinnir Sat 11-Feb-17 17:15:22

This is good advice from Attila. I too would advise no contact. The best thing if possible is move geographically away. I went low and then no contact but living in the same town with other family pressurising me to visit etc but only felt truly free and could be myself once I moved much further away for work/study - it was a revelation.

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