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What's it called when you interpret everything as against you?

(34 Posts)
drspouse Sat 28-Oct-17 08:38:48

Because my mum is like this.
She was supposed to stay from Weds to Sun and went home in a huff yesterday. She blew up because I answered a question rudely (apparently) and I obviously hate her and don't want her around.
If the DCs don't want to talk on the phone or FaceTime or they go off and play then they clearly don't like her (they are 5 and 3 and both have some SN, I have just found out).
If a friend doesn't invite her to something or is off in any way then they also clearly hate her.
She was so upset she says she cried when her GP changed over to a phone triage system. I think she thought it meant they didn't trust her? I was a bit confused.
She and my DF are divorced but still see each other and are reasonably friendly. But she's always telling me he's "too busy and important" to do whatever she wants him to. I will admit my DF doesn't have the best social skills in the entire universe but he's quite low maintenance and we enjoy having him to stay. But she is convinced he is horrible to people (both in manner and in not being willing to help people) and tells me I'm just like him.

I know she's been depressed on and off and this can be part of this (believing everything is happening for the worst reasons). She's having none of this though and also "there's no point in talking to the GP, they won't be able to help".

(Oh and in a possibly related issue she has called my DS a "brat" twice. I only just found out about the second time - I let it slide the first time because I don't think DS knew what she'd said).

NameChange30 Sat 28-Oct-17 08:46:00

Well she has a victim mentality doesn't she?
She certainly sounds emotionality unhealthy. Obviously it's impossible and unwise for unqualified people to diagnose things like this over the Internet (!) but she might have a personality disorder... you could look them up and see if any of the descriptions sound like.
You might also find the Stately Homes thread useful, and possibly the "Toxic Parents" book (I suspect there is more to her behaviour than the examples you've given... the kind of person who ends a visit early and calls your child a "brat" must have a history of unpleasant behaviour.)

MrsMiss Sat 28-Oct-17 08:59:54

Interpreting everything in a negative way is, as you suggest, part of the distorted thinking associated with depression. If you google 'cognitive distortions' in depression you'll find a list of 'tricks' the mind plays on you when you are depressed. Going to the GP and talking about these symptoms will get help - either therapy or medication or both. Good luck

SummerLovingGal Sat 28-Oct-17 09:02:35

Paranoia I would say.

CamelliaSinensis35 Sat 28-Oct-17 09:37:54

Pathalogically, its called persecution complex. However in this case it sounds more like she's just a bit of a victim/martyr and suffering from depression.

reallyorange Sat 28-Oct-17 09:41:49

Look up 'attribution theory'. It's quite interesting!

drspouse Sat 28-Oct-17 13:35:01

Thanks @reallyorange I think that is what I was meaning.
I do put my hand up to occasionally losing patience with her as it seems like however I word anything to her she assumes I'm being rude and I get really tired of walking on eggshells to avoid her telling me I'm horrible/don't love her.
But the GP appointment thing was beyond bizarre. Like she thought it was personally directed at her. Parallel universe stuff.

MrsMiss I'd love her to but have tried suggesting it (she also doesn't sleep well which I know can be another symptom, there's a family history etc etc) but either "there's no point, they can't do anything" or I'm saying it to make her think it's all in her mind.
And breathe.

NameChange30 Sat 28-Oct-17 13:47:10

There is a book called "Stop Walking on Eggshells" - it's about living with someone who has Borderline Personality Disorder (also known as Emotional Regulation Disorder, I think).

It's possible to have depression and a personality disorder or other dysfunctional behaviour. Depression doesn't explain all the examples given of her behaviour.

I don't think a label or diagnosis matters but it is important for people encountering the behaviour to be able to recognise it as unhealthy, dysfunctional and toxic.

Madbum Sat 28-Oct-17 13:49:47

It’s called being a twat.
“Ok Mum” every time, don’t pander to it.

Twillow Sat 28-Oct-17 18:25:29

My mum was like this in phases when she was depressed. It's part being over-sensitive, feeling unloved, rather needy and definitely the martyr syndrome. I don't know how to cure it, except it's her choice to make herself unhappy. Have you tried talking to her about it (without being angry although from bitter experience I know that's nigh on impossible!)

Twillow Sat 28-Oct-17 18:28:05

And when she says something like calling your child a brat, try saying calmly "that's not very nice". Usually stops my snotty relative (not my mum) in her tracks.

NameChange30 Sat 28-Oct-17 18:53:39

I suppose it depends whether it's just a phase or she's always been like this?

But I still don't see how depression makes anyone call their young grandchild a "brat" within their earshot!

speakSoftly Sat 28-Oct-17 19:19:54

She sounds like she may have borderline personality disorder and is suffering. Its awful to feel that way.

CamelliaSinensis35 Sun 29-Oct-17 00:27:55

She sounds like she may have borderline personality disorder and is suffering. Its awful to feel that way.

Op has not given enough info to fulfill the diagnostic criteria for BPD. It's very dangerous to armchair diagnose PDs

drspouse Sun 29-Oct-17 08:53:24

Thanks Cameilla I have absolutely no experience of BPD so wouldn't have a clue what to look for, but my instinct tells me it's not that "bad" IYSWIM.
Though I may be assuming depression because I've seen it in other family members of course.
Anyway it's really annoying and not fair on my children.

I feel like she's always been like this (I remember as a child, she was never particularly affectionate, which is I know how some people are, but then she'd get cross if we held hands with a family friend on a walk when she didn't want to).

But it is also worse in cycles as you describe "Twillow*.

She is adamant that even if it is a MH problem (she admits that the not sleeping is problematic, and she knows she worries too much also, but tends to say that the situation in question is genuinely worrying and unsolvable), there is no point in seeking help as she doesn't believe therapy would help (or that they'd even offer any), and she either doesn't think medication would help, or won't consider it, or possibly both.

Anyway she's in a huff still so I'm enjoying the peace.

SongforSal Sun 29-Oct-17 08:56:00

Persecution complex.

lovecheeseandbiscuits Sun 29-Oct-17 09:02:07

Some of you guys must have spent years qualifying as psychiatrists! 😂😂

drspouse Mon 30-Oct-17 09:38:27

We had a quick video chat yesterday to show her the DCs' pumpkins (DH's suggestion as he could see I was upset).
Have not brought up any of the behaviour but I'm not sure what to say when she asks to come and stay next - yes but not if you're going to be rude/go off in a huff? Yes but only if you agree to get some help? Yes but I'm not going to walk on eggshells trying to work out what is going to upset you?

She's supposed to be coming after Christmas to take DS to a show (we have got the tickets already, it's supposed to be her present to DS, she owes us for them but I have no worries she won't come through on that).

She was also going to take some presents for my DNs who live abroad, including the one who has a birthday in a couple of weeks but that's not a big deal as I know where the post office is...

Ttbb Mon 30-Oct-17 09:40:44

Paranoia and melodramatics. My MIL does this too. Makes me never want to see her again to avoid offending her but obviously that would offend her too.

NameChange30 Mon 30-Oct-17 09:57:29

I suggest you reduce frequency and length of visits. Given that the last visit was supposed to last 4 days (too long in my opinion especially given what she's like) and actually ended after 2 days, which not make the next visit 2 days max? It's up to you whether you want to go into the reasons behind it - but be prepared for her not to understand and to be extremely hurt/upset/offended about your "rudeness" - or just keep it simple eg "those dates don't work for us" or "a longer visit doesn't work for us" or "you are welcome to come from x to x" and just repeat variations on the theme.

drspouse Mon 30-Oct-17 12:01:02

We do normally aim for two days but she was supposed to be keeping herself amused for one of the days this time (something she'd signed up for) and I had plans with DD for a half day so thought we'd cope!
She does go into dramatics if you suggest she's in the way (DH's work clothes are in the spare room) not helpful etc (we don't rely on her for anything obviously but she offers to "help" at really unhelpful times e.g. offering to help with dinner 1/2 an hour after we've started cooking in our fairly small kitchen, in the past offering to come and stay to help when I've been away for work when I know she'd never cope with nursery run/changing nappies/bedtime, which is mainly what DH would need.
You won't be surprised to hear DH turned down her kind offers.

drspouse Fri 17-Nov-17 21:51:07

My DF has come to stay and apparently she's still in a huff.
Apparently I'm supposed to apologise. Or something. Or re-invite her. I don't know.
Part of me doesn't want to bother, part of me says that the DC enjoy having her to stay, but honestly she's not that interested or positive towards DC1 in particular. How long before he consciously notices, rather than just playing up a bit more like he does at the moment?

drspouse Fri 17-Nov-17 21:53:57

Oh and DS is really happy my DF is here and wanted to play games with him. Which he tends not to do with DM.
Shame DD is a bit scared of DF!

drspouse Wed 22-Nov-17 10:51:13

Ok latest is that I'm horrible to her all the time, I obviously hate having her there, I shout at her and everyone else. So she doesn't want to come at all over Christmas.
I am now remembering that even before we had the DCs she used to tell me I was talking to DH in the wrong way (he is a saint according to her, except when he can't fix her computer/she won't listen to his instructions).
DH says that he speaks to DM in the same way that I do but she's decided I'm horrible (along with, a lot of her friends, her GP surgery, my DF etc).
So, try and recruit a family member to build bridges? Or, tell my DCs that Granny isn't coming to visit any more?

Madreputa Wed 22-Nov-17 10:53:34

Persecution complex/mania. Or paranoia.

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