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FOG help - PLEASE!(16 Posts)
I'm really struggling at the moment with what's going on with my mum. I have posted on here before about her behaviour. Even though on the outside people (including my husband) can see she is unreasonable, and I KNOW it is unreasonable, I still can't quell the voices inside telling me it is all my fault (she's very happy to tell me it's all my fault too!).
Lots of instances lately - I think she feels she has lost control due to lock down. Everything I do is met with a negative comment and culminated yesterday as she feels I didn't include her enough in DS birthday. I face timed her when we sung happy birthday and I thought she was happy with that but I received a message telling me that I had 'let her down' because I hadn't put more photos and videos on facebook. I put 1 or 2 on but to be honest DS was a bit hard work that day and I didn't really take any. I told her this and was told in no uncertain terms that I had spoiled him and had never taken her advice and this is why his behaviour is bad (he's 6).
I ignored under DH's orders and now she's sent another message telling me that she knows its not what I want to hear but I need to get him looked at for his behaviour and that it's probably what I feed him.
I'm still ignoring. I want to withdraw but can't get over this FOG. Please help with some wise words from people who have been through this and come out the other side!
Please anyone? I can’t help but dwell on it - I really need some support.
I think the worst part is that if I do step back she will always think it was me being unkind and ungrateful as she can’t see anything wrong with her behaviour. I think I would find that hard to live with.
You seem very enmeshed which is common in dysfunctional families. Your son's birthday was all about her and how she felt.
She makes everything about her and her feelings. What do you think you should do OP?
But you're not being unkind or ungrateful. You need to accept that whatever you do, it'll never be enough for her.
You could have put up 10 videos of him, and it wouldn't have been right or good enough in some imagined way. It's not you, it's her. She's determined to find fault, and she'll never see her own behaviour as it is.
I think you need to cut her supply of information while you work out what boundaries you want.
Grey rock her for now. Ds is fine, all good, nothing to report... how are you?
Have you seen the website ‘out of the fog’. I think that’s what it’s caled
I think the worst part is that if I do step back she will always think it was me being unkind and ungrateful as she can’t see anything wrong with her behaviour. I think I would find that hard to live with
That's what you need to work on. You can't control her thoughts or feelings. Just your own. You have to let go of feeling responsibility or guilt or anger at the unfairness. or whatever it is. She'll think what she thinks and you are not responsible for that. You are not responsible for her dysfunction. You are responsible for how far you let her dysfunction affect your own life.
You have a choice re your mother, your family do not. Would you tolerate this from a friend, no you would not and your mother is no different.
You must quell those voices in your head; how can you be helped into doing that?. Would you consider seeing a therapist, one that fits in with your own approach could really help you and in turn your family unit here.
What are your boundaries like here with regards to your mother; probably pretty much too low really. She will actively rail against any boundary you care to set her as well. This FOG state you are still mired in is not unusual either because she has really encouraged you not to have any boundaries and to put your own needs and wants dead last.
How many more family occasions and days is your mother going to be allowed to interfere in, take over, make it all about her and or otherwise spoil here?. A good rule of thumb here is that if a relative is too toxic/difficult or otherwise too batshit for YOU to deal with, its the same deal for your child too. You really do need to keep your son well away from her. Like many toxic parents as well she has now further taken to using your child to get back at you. And you have not spoiled your son nor does he need looking at for his behaviour!. How dare she. Your mother will never be happy and will use you (and in turn your family) as the scapegoats for all her inherent ills as long as she is alive.
It is really NOT possible to have any sort of a relationship with someone as disordered of thinking as your mother is. As beeinmygarden writes you can only control your own feelings here, not hers. Please read her words and those of the other respondents here and try and take them in.
What you do will never be enough and perhaps you are still trying to seek her approval here, approval she will never ever give you. Its not your fault she is like this and you did not make her that way. Let any and all hopes of her somehow changing for the better and saying sorry go.
what would happen if she thought badly of you?
What are you most afraid of, in terms of the consequences of her thinking you are unkind/ungrateful?
I'm asking these questions because right now, the animal part of your brain - the bit that was there in childhood, that's terrible at logic and is ruled by emotions - is screaming at you to make the feelings stop.
However, you're now an adult, and you have a functioning frontal lobe to call on. That's the part of your brain that can use logic and make choices based on data.
Your job right now is to calm down that animal brain, soothe it, treat it like a small child who is having a meltdown. So that the adult part of your brain can think through what is going on, and what to do about it.
She's your mum, it's ok to feel massively emotional when she treats you badly. You didn't do anything wrong. You sound lovely. Take some deep breaths, have a cup of tea, come back to your body and remember how it feels to be calm. And then ask yourself the questions above.
You need to find an earworm tune op. Every time your dm enters your head start humming or singing it.
I am nc with dm after her constant criticism and helpful parenting tips...
Your mum will never be satisfied with what you do because she doesn’t want to be, she controls you by criticising you - you invite her to join in your son’s birthday, she says you haven’t done enough, you apologise and day your son wasn’t in good form, she says it’s your fault as you’re a bad parent. If you look at all your interactions with her, they probably follow this pattern. Going NC is the only sure way to break the cycle, but if you can’t do that then you need to change the pattern of the conversation - she moans, you ignore. Only respond to her when she has something positive to say. Stop yourself seeking her approval, you’ll never get it and by continuing to seek it you continue to let her take control. You can’t change her behaviour, the only thing you can change is your own. Be strong OP, you can do this.
You all have no idea how helpful you have all been. After an episode just before lockdown when she verbally abused a friend and colleague of mine getting me into trouble at work. I called her out on it politely and firmly (took every bit of strength I have) and all of a sudden I was the worst daughter in the world, she never wanted to speak to me again. I just ignored her and didn’t grovel or cry and she literally didn’t know what to to and we jus pretended it didn’t happen. This was a MASSIVE step for me so I have turned a corner. This lockdown is good for one thing at least!
You’re right OP and well done - you absolutely have turned a corner! You stood up for yourself, politely but firmly and inspire if what your mother has led you to believe, the world did not stop turning and you did not crumble without her approval. One of your first posts spoke about not wanting her to think you’re unkind and ungrateful, you are neither of those things but she will always treat you as if you are and that is what keeps you hooked in to trying to please her. You’ve done massively well in taking a stand once and the strength you’ve taken from that is helping you to step back in this instance and really consider what she is doing instead of just automatically trying to please her. This shows that every time you stand up to her, you get a little bit stronger. Keep building on it step by step. Your DH sounds supportive and insightful, great that you have him supporting you.
I've helped people escape abuse for years. What gets me about these situations is that they never admit wrong doing, they absolutely refuse to see that they're unreasonable or wrong, and they punish for even the suggestion. In this way, the only thing that works is a) being straight with them. 'You are too much. You do x, y and a.' And then b) vastly reducing contact.
For this to work, people need to come to terms with it in their head. 'I can never have a normal relationship with this person. I cant talk to them honestly. It's not my fault and what they day about me is not true. They're hanging me to save looking at themselves. They are invested in what they get out of living this way.'
One of the things that I used to do with my (very similar) mother was to guess what her reaction would be. I found that I was surprisingly good at anticipating what she would say - and then I realised that she always followed a pattern, the same as your DM. It was a habit she had got into over the years, I think she just couldn't stop herself.
It was a breakthrough. I didn't have to react to what she was saying, as it was just part of the pattern of her life. I always knew I didn't play a big part in her life, except for her bragging rights, I was never the golden child (that was definitely my DSis).
Listen to the other posters, it's all about how you react, as you will never change her. Think about whether you want your life, and your family, to be impacted by someone who doesn't have your best interests at heart - it really is all about her.
You cannot change her.
Change the way you are affected by what she says. As it is all about her, you don't need to care. Just stop caring about what she says.
I think the worst part is that if I do step back she will always think it was me being unkind and ungrateful as she can’t see anything wrong with her behaviour.
My parents are very similar, sadly it doesn't matter how i change / adapt / alter my behaviour, They will always see me as ungrateful.
I minimise contact, know my triggers and am still in therapy to overcome this. Therapy helped me a lot and I wish I had started earlier as I needed the help of a professional to undo all the damage.
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