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I can't cope with my Mum

(18 Posts)
JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Mar-17 13:11:20

I live in Australia and Mum was very upset about me leaving with DH and our DDs. It was a very hard choice to make but we did it as it would mean a much better life for us....more money, better prospects.

Mum is a widow but far from alone with my three siblings, their children...her sisters, brothers and friends.

She has an ongoing breathing issue due to smoking for years...she won't give up.

Now she called me two days ago and said "I might have to go in for a little heart operation on Tuesday.

So, worried...I asked "What's wrong? What operation?" and she said "Well Aunt X says it will be fine as they go in through your leg."


And after much quizzing, it transpired she doesn't know if she will have an operation or even whats wrong (dull ache in chest)

But that her sister googled and her diagnoses is something specific wrong with Mum's heart valve or something...and that this of course, means an operation.

I tried to gently point out that she'd not seen a doctor yet...she's basically booked in at the hospital clinic or something...a walk in place?

She's not seen a doctor to find out what's wrong at all but is guessing. I feel she's trying to pull on my heartstrings. To make me feel bad for her when yes, she could be ill...but we don't know what with!

It could be a chest infection...with her history that's more than likely.

Why would a Mother WANT to make me worry like that?

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Mar-17 13:12:33

I should add...I advised her to see her GP as soon as possible rather than waiting till Tuesday....chest pain needs looking at right away but she brushed me off with "No, I've decided now"

HappyJanuary Mon 27-Mar-17 13:13:18

Because she wants a sign that you care about her. For whatever reason, possibly unjustified, she is far from certain that you do.

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Mar-17 13:14:54

Well. She's never told me she loved me once in my entire life. Never hugged me or anything.

I did tell her that I loved her before we left and continue to call her every two days. I have also told her I love her since we left. She doesn't say it back.

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Mar-17 13:17:59

And what's more she never wants to discuss anything about my life. She steers all conversation away from me and to one of my sisters. She's always done this.

It annoys and upsets me though I don't ever complain only now and then saying "I was just telling you about X Mum..."

She will and has always literally interrupted me.

I might be saying "I'm getting my book published." (literally) and she will interrupt with "Oh while I remember, Joan is going to London this weekend for a birthday treat!"

Optimist1 Mon 27-Mar-17 13:19:34

Sympathies, Jonesy! Her communication is either a bit of martyrdom to reinforce how unreasonable you've been to move away, or her being genuinely uncertain about what's going on not aided by your aunt's googling . Or indeed a combination of the two!

I'd suggest that you talk to whichever of your siblings is best placed to have a handle on what's going on and ask them to be your point of contact for medical stuff from now on. They might be getting exactly the same fuzzy information as you, but at least you can have a moan about it together and in the event of future treatments you'll be kept in the picture.

I hope that whatever is happening to her tomorrow it turns out to be successful.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 27-Mar-17 13:26:56

How do your siblings get along with her; have they always been treated better than you?.

I'm not suggesting she is not ill but some people do use "tests" and hospital visits to basically control, manipulate and worry their chosen victims. Note as well she has not yet seen a doctor yet talks about having a little heart op.

I think you need to put in mental distance now as well as physical distance between you and your mother. Its not your fault she is like this and you did not make her this way. Raise your own boundaries re her higher; look at what and what is not acceptable to you.

Reading "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward may help as well.

JonesyAndTheSalad Mon 27-Mar-17 13:38:00

Atilla one sister wont have a lot to do with her. She is quite cold towards my Mother. She says she's manipulative. The other sister...who I'd say is a favourite, she does a lot for my Mum. My brother is very needy and my Mum gives him money a lot as he struggles financially.

You are the only poster who has mentioned that she might be manipulative. I was, if I'm honest, hoping for someone to say it for me...I didn't want to think it never mind say it.

Finola1step Mon 27-Mar-17 13:40:32

Oh yes, I have one of these. I called her yesterday to wish her a Happy Mother's Day, check that she got my card and arrange to visit her to give her her gift from myself and the dc. All I got was "We are about to have dinner" (at 5pm, when she always makes dinner for 6pm) and "Yes, you can come on that day but not the next as I've got a hospital appointment". Then a description of what is wrong and what is going to happen. How her friend Joanie had the same (minor) procedure last year. And no, she didn't want to speak to her only gc as her dinner was getting cold. Not one word of "Are you having a nice Mother's Day?". Not one word. This is absolutely typical of our conversations in person and on the phone. I swear, the woman doesn't even know what I do for a living as she is that disinterested in my life.

So I fist pump you in solidarity Jonesy. I have sadly let it all wash over me now.

AttilaTheMeerkat Mon 27-Mar-17 13:48:59

"Atilla one sister wont have a lot to do with her. She is quite cold towards my Mother. She says she's manipulative. The other sister...who I'd say is a favourite, she does a lot for my Mum. My brother is very needy and my Mum gives him money a lot as he struggles financially".

Not surprised to read any of the above; this is precisely how disordered of thinking people like your mother work and your mother is certainly being manipulative here. She may well be a narcissist in terms of personality; such people do have "golden children" (your favoured sister) and scapegoats (so your other sister and you). Your brother is also favoured and he is given money (to keep him dependent on her as well). What he and your favoured sister (who may well be herself a carbon copy of your mother) fail to realise is that the golden child role is also not without price. But they are too unaware to realise that.

I think her primary motivation in phoning you about this was to guilt you.

Strengthen your own boundaries and further limit the number of phone calls and other communications made to her.

troodiedoo Mon 27-Mar-17 13:52:57

She sounds textbook manipulative to me. Have you read the stately homes thread? Much solace can be found flowers

PoochSmooch Mon 27-Mar-17 13:54:15

Another fist bump from over here, jonesy. Very familiar behaviour, from the smoking to the disinterest in big news. Too many instances to recount, but I had just started telling her about a huge sporting event I'd just completed - I'd trained for a year for it, I'd completed it against all the odds, and I was absolutely bubbling over and thrilled with myself and hadn't seen her since I'd done it, so I wanted to tell her about it. I'd been talking about thirty seconds when she interrupted me and said "Oooh, I didn't tell you, Pooch, Jamie [my nephew] just got his 25 metre swimming certificate, he really loves swimming!".

I said "I was telling you about my thing - shall I go on?"

She sort of shrugged and said "Well, if you really want to talk about it, I suppose".

Not any more, Mum, not any more.

Or last time she visited me, apropos nothing, she looked me up and down and said "you haven't really got much going for you, have you?". Without bragging, I've actually got a really lovely life, that many people would be thrilled with their daughters having achieved. I truly don't know why she would want to shit on it.

Anyway, it's your thread and I'm derailing, but I hear you. It's so deflating isn't it? All I can do is just not share with her - not my joys, my fears, my hopes, nothing. My joys get diminished, my fears are laughed at, my hopes cut down with a raised eyebrow. I just keep my distance, and keep things superficial and try above all not to look for approval I know I won't get.

RayofFuckingSunshine Mon 27-Mar-17 13:58:04

I have a mother like that. I don't speak to her at all anymore, completely non contact. I couldn't cope with the manipulation and the narcissism.

It's difficult dealing with a parent like that. I'd start by suggesting you stop calling so frequently, every 2 days is a lot to be dealing with your parents even when you have a happy and loving relationship. You're obviously having issues with contact so consider spacing it out a little to give yourself some breathing space.

ILiveForNachos Mon 27-Mar-17 14:11:25

This is my MiL and it infuriates me and upsets me on behalf of my DP nearly daily. To the outside world she's sells her self as the best mum in the world but she's a master manipulator and emotional blackmailer. Its so tiring.

I agree with reducing contact. Also need to find a way to make peace with the fact your mum is the way she is and she will never change. If you keep expecting her too it will make it all the more painful. You have your family now and that's what is important. As hard as it is, if you are not benefiting from the relationship it may be better to go NC in the long term if that feels right for you.

Nicotina Mon 27-Mar-17 14:20:31

Maybe she's scared. Sorry to sound like I'm minimising your experiences but I have lost my Mum recently to heart and lung problems.
This might be the road you are heading down now and you need to find a way if dealing with it.
You and your siblings need to start talking more. Even if it is just checking in with each other. You don't need to like each other or be friends but you may well be entering a different phase where your Mum is properly ill.

JonesyAndTheSalad Thu 30-Mar-17 11:00:17

Just an update. So she went to the hospital and they told her she had indigestion and sent her straight home.

My sister messaged me to let me know it was ok and the doctors said indigestion...that was the other night when I was asleep...basically UK time Tuesday afternoon.

I've tried ringing her daily since then and she is not picking up the phone or is out.

She doesn't go out a lot...only at certain times to certain meetings so I know she's in. She usually picks up on the second ring! I ring her about every other day at the same time.

She has no idea my sister's updated me so she could be sitting there thinking I have no idea that she's fine!

I feel so annoyed and upset.

Nicotina Thu 30-Mar-17 13:55:12

Thanks for the update. She needs to think about the consequences of Cry Wolf. She was obviously scared and she handled it very badly- certainly in respect of worrying you and not updating you. She needs to refresh her approach but you already know that.

Nicotina Thu 30-Mar-17 13:58:02

And tell her the mother of a random on the internet (namely me) was a chain smoker from age 13 and gave up in her late 70s. She smoked even more after being widowed. She had a challenging life. Smoking helped her until it stopped helping and made her ill.
If she could give up, anyone can.

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