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Could anyone advise re relationships with ones mother....

(15 Posts)
DuffyMoon Fri 01-Aug-08 17:18:58

My Mum and her husband moved to France about 5 years ago. We always had a strained relationship but I was really upset when she went, for my childrens sake more than anything. Anyhoo, the first time we went over we had a huge bust up.....she said she was going to bed crying everynight because she felt she was doing everything round the house, cooking cleaning etc whilst I did bugger all....I wasnt aware of being deliberately lazy, I had 2 small children with me who did take 5 or 10 minutes of my time each day and if I have anyone to stay, I wouldnt expect them to do anything as they are my guests.....anyway, we made amends of sorts and it has all been a bit strained since....

They always come over for Xmas for a few days and have announced that they wont be doing this year and its really upset me....I know I shouldnt be bothered and I wish I wasnt. The thing is before I see her I have 2 or 3 days of IBS getting so wound up about it.....sorry this is a bit of a ramble and is the edited highlights....just wanted to get it down I suppose

DuffyMoon Fri 01-Aug-08 17:22:05

and I am forty this year FFS - why cant I just let it go and not be bothered grrrrr

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 01-Aug-08 17:57:07

May I ask why your relationship has always been strained?. From the little you write your Mother sounds extremely difficult.

Its very hard to let go emotionally when it is realised that you and your Mother cannot be friends. This is actually her issue and you should not carry her burden of responsibility. TBH she would not likely bring very much happiness into your childrens lives if she were in any regular contact with them.

You may have felt a sense of abandonment when they moved to France. Did they make a quick decision to leave these shores?.

Your Mother going to bed crying strikes me as out and out emotional blackmail. I would suggest you read and perhaps post your original comment on the "well we took you to stately homes" thread on these relationship pages. You may also want to read "Toxic Parents" written by Susan Forward as a starting point.

What's your Dad like - has he been a bystander (i.e letting her act in such a manner to give him a quiet life?).


DuffyMoon Sat 02-Aug-08 12:27:40

thanks for the wasnt a quick decision, they retired there....I think my Mums husband was keener to go than her and my Mum found it very difficult to adjust, I think she was very naive personally - real life isnt like being on holiday somewhere - no shit Sherlock. I did feel a total sense of abandonment - is it selfish to expect a Mother to always live for her children though, why shouldnt she do what she wants now I am grown up - these sort of feelings confuse me

As a kid I always felt left out somehow, they were the sort of couple who I dont think should have had children, I was an only one and I have an awful feeling that they only had me as it would give them more rights to stay in the USA where my Dad was working - I have never dared ask because I am scared of the answer. Its funny but I dont really see them as my parents, I dont know why....

My Mum and Dad split up after about 22/23 years, my Mum had an affair with the man she is now married to. No-one saw it coming although she did tell me she had had sex with someone at a works do (pre split)and thats always something a child wants to here no matter how old they were hmm

I didnt speak to her for about 5 years after and was only reconciled with her after I has my first child which is where I was introduced to has been ok since then. I didnt speak to her because I felt she had done wrong because if she was so unhappy - she never showed any signs of this, she should have left but she waited until someone else came along who could provide a similar standard of living.

Interestingly her husbands children have not spoken to him since he left their mother and his sister is not really bothered enough to get in touch with him

I just hate this knee jerk emotional response I have, like Pavlovs dogs, I am crying as I write this - why for fecks sake....its that constant feeling of being not good enough.....and I totally cannot understand her not wanting to see her grandchildren she proffesses to love at Xmas - I wouldnt put any man before my children

I have read bits of the threads about the stately homes, to be honest I have never written any of this down before but saw there may be people here who would understand what I was talking about. I will get the book out of the library....trouble is I feel a bit of a fraud because (as my Mother has pointed out) its not like we ever hit you or I do love the title of "well we took you to stately homes" and when you hear of sexual and physical or even mental abuse I do think mine is not in the same league and hey she was maybe doing her best, now I am a parent, I know how difficult it is

sorry this is turning into "in the psychologists chair" shock

DuffyMoon Sun 03-Aug-08 10:31:38

hopeful bump....

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 10:39:28

I just wanted to comment on one point that I can relate to.

When at my parent's I am expected to look after my DC pretty much without help (though they do follow granny around to the point where she can't take it anymore and everyone falls out, even though I follow them following her and keep trying to drag them away and distract them so granny doesn't have a fit).I'm also expected to help with stuff like loading and unloading dishwasher, sweeping up after meals, food prep, laundry, etc.

I think this is both reasonable but a shame as I think they should recognise my need for a bit of a break in coming to them. I'd like if they cooked for the DC when there and maybe bathed them and read them a story but this happens sporadically.

I see other gps who virtually take over when the gc come to stay and am awarethat this can cause equal upset,but I am a teeny bit envious of those parents who have doting gps thus allowing them to lounge about and have lie ins and stuff.

objectivity Sun 03-Aug-08 10:41:40

She sounds very much like my mum actually. I am coming to the concluison that my mother truly can't take the pressure. Maybe your mother genuinely feels the strain when you are there???

DuffyMoon Sun 03-Aug-08 11:23:06

yes it does sound familiar....I just find the rejection upsetting and the fact I feel more relaxed at my mother in laws house than my own Mothers....I think my mum loves the idea of having kids/grandkids but not the reality. I cant imagine ever lying on my deathbed wishing I had cleaned a bit more....and I wish I could stop feeling the rejection and being hurt by seeing her next week and absolutely dreading it....

quinne Sun 03-Aug-08 19:06:52

Is this part a typo?:
I had 2 small children with me who did take 5 or 10 minutes of my time each day

quinne Sun 03-Aug-08 19:11:25

I understand completely about difficult mothers. I have one too. We also live a long way apart and see / speak to each other infrequently.
Sometimes I think of contacting her and saying that I want to get on better terms, because for the amount we see each other, one of us will die one day and the other will be left with a lot of "what if" and "if only" guilt.

Ally90 Sun 03-Aug-08 20:07:31

Duffymoon, another from the Stately Homes thread here.

My mother and father provided for me and my sister, big house, toys, visits to stately homes galore, clothes washed and ironed, clean house, pets, holidays. They never raised a hand against me. Yet I did not feel loved. Actions speak louder than words. My mother never listened to me, she does not know me as a person. She didn't ever ask 'how are you?', she only showed interest in my life when it came to my achievements or gossip about people she knew. My dad spent most of his time at the pub or in his study, he would talk to me for hours...yet if I spoke about myself he would leave a gap (because I would force the words through his monologue) then when I finished he would take up where he left off as if I had not spoken. My sister (and mother) bullied me also.

What you suffered sounds like emotional neglect and I suspect emotional abuse.

The posters on the thread are all, without reservation, lovely and welcoming and most importantly will validate your experiences. Please do post...

Diggle Tue 12-Aug-08 22:23:14

I think my mother must be from the same mould. And I feel it for my little daughter's sake more than mine. "Mama, Nan made us both cry, didn't she". She makes me cry even now, constantly critical, agressive, quick to take offence and now cold shouldering me and my daughter. My depression - well there's "no such thing" and presumably in her mind the years of IVF I endured is also a fiction. Such mothers are playing mind games to exploit our compassionate approaches; but to them it's not a game, they think it's real and justified. My heart goes out to all of you experiencing the same pain and turmoil. Thanks for letting me know I'm not alone in my confusion and despair. At least we know we'll never do that to our children - will we?

lizinthesticks Tue 12-Aug-08 22:56:12

This is totally off topic but I just wanted to say I totally remember duffy moon. YOU CAN DO IT DUFFY MOON. Haha. Uhm. Sorry.

But also - I was into this character in one duffy moon called boots macabie (sp) who was this older girl who wore, uh, boots. And she scared duffy. It was pretty funny. At the time. Back in 1923 or whenever it was. A long time ago. I wish it was out on dvd.

toomanystuffedbears Wed 13-Aug-08 01:56:27

Hi DuffyMoon,
From Stately Homes here also.
I am reading a book you might find interesting called "Parenting from the Inside Out" by Daniel Siegel and Mary Hartzell. It is about attachment parenting. It sounds like from your post that your mom may not have been attatched to you when you were an infant/child. (Mine wasn't either.)

When you were separated from your Mom for the five year period you mentioned, did you have the emotional response you are having now? IBS-that is how my body reacts too.

If not, then you may have hidden and thus unresolved 'issues' from your childhood.

The 'knee jerk' response may be linked to____? [separation anxiety?] that you feel more now because you have a young child of your own and are more sensitive to the empathy factors of parenting, which you may not have recieved enough in your own early childhood.

Another avenue of information you may consider is to look up information/books on Personality Disorders to try to figure out your mom from an objective perspective. She sounds like she may be Borderline Personality Disorder which is a mix of things. There are probably a bunch of websites about it-sorry I don't have a link for you. Having even a small bit of information like that will help you not take things so sharply personal- like an eureka "Oh, That's why!!"

toomanystuffedbears Wed 13-Aug-08 02:01:15

Hi again Duffy,
My post was pretty deep. And I am just guessing, of course. Sorry blush. I hope you can figure out how to cope and at least find a 'neutral' position-emotional detachment.

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