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Tell me am I terrible or is my mother mad?

(17 Posts)
dementeddaughter Thu 10-Sep-09 20:56:39

Just got off the phone after talking to my mother who is ?really hurt? about what I said to her whilst we were on holiday a few weeks ago saying ?Have I ever done anything bad to you?? and she will only come round this weekend ?if I really want her to?, that I never rang up to wish her Happy Birthday on the day of her birthday, that I accused her of ?causing trouble?, that I was going away so much because I didn?t want to see her..

The root of all this ?hurt? is an argument we had on holiday. DH, DD and my mum and I went on holiday together. Whilst on holiday DH and I had an argument and my mum told us to stop bickering. I was upset with DH and my mum at the time. When we got to the beach and they suggested that we go to the cafe, I said I didn?t feel like going. This wasn?t because I was sulking, it was because I genuinely wanted to be on my own, DH and I have been having some problems lately and it just felt better to be away from the source of any more bickering and from my mum?s annoyance. At this my mother accused me of causing more trouble and said she wanted to go home. I was upset by this and snapped back that I was not causing trouble, she was the one causing trouble. It was all a bit horrible and frosty at the time and the next day but we ended the holiday a few days later (I thought) in a friendly way.

After the holiday we drove home, we went to her house for a couple of hours, the next day she came to our house for the day, the day after that she offered to have DD for the day while we worked. We then went away to visit relatives for 4 days. So far so good, all was well and friendly. I rang her on the third day of our visit and got quite a cool, frosty tone. When we got back I rang her again and went round to visit her the next day, still the cool tone, she didn?t ask anything about our visit to relatives. She lives alone and so I thought maybe she is lonely and I should have rang her up more whilst away.

The day next we went camping for 5 days, it was last week of school hols and I had a week off. I rang her on 3 occasions whilst away, still the cool tone, no enquiry about the holiday. We got up early on the last day of the holiday and left early as it was her birthday and I wanted to get back in time so that she had someone to celebrate it with (She literally sees no one but me and my family all week apart from odd chats to neighbours etc). We arrived at 4pm with wine and a birthday cake which my mother showed no interest in whatsoever. She had the same frosty tone with me but was friendliness itself to DD. At this point I still had no idea what was wrong but started to feel really annoyed that I had rushed all the way back for nothing. My brother who had sent a bunch of flowers (he lives abroad) then rang up and was thanked over and over again for the flowers.

At that stage Idecided that I couldn?t bear it any longer. I went home and didn?t speak to her until she rang me today 10 days later(It?s nearly always me that rings her) and we had the fated conversation. In her mind she has (again) blown any disagreement we have out of all proportion and completely forgotten her part in it. She has done this before with me as well as this accusing me of thinking bad things about her out of the blue, the difference being this time I stood my ground with her ? that I had no idea that she was mad about something that happened 3 weeks ago, that we were both at fault but I had forgotten about it, that all the stuff about not wanting her around was in her mind, that it was just an argument, that?s all, not a declaration that I hate her and never want to see her again.

It?s not as if I?m not always making the effort with her, to try and keep her happy. I call her up, I listen to her ailments (trivial mostly), I invite her around every week, I take her on holiday but all that is forgotten when we have a basic argument. I can?t stand walking round on eggshells around her anymore.

At the end of the conversation I felt obliged to invite her over on Sunday, even though at the moment I could quite happily not see her for weeks. I?m really not looking forward to it. Am I a terrible person?

Thanks for reading this far(if anyone has!)

Squishabelle Thu 10-Sep-09 21:07:53

Sorry but im so confused by all the question marks!

dementeddaughter Thu 10-Sep-09 21:12:34

Sorry about that Squishabelle, my computer has suddenly started turning apostrophes into question marks - just testing, these should be apostrophes ''''''''

Squishabelle Thu 10-Sep-09 21:15:02

Lol!

Lizzylou Thu 10-Sep-09 21:15:51

Umm, the moral of this story is prob never to go on hols with your Mother.

dementeddaughter Thu 10-Sep-09 21:21:19

ok that worked will try again with apostrophes.

Just got off the phone after talking to my mother who is 'really hurt' about what I said to her whilst we were on holiday a few weeks ago saying 'Have I ever done anything bad to you?' and she will only come round this weekend 'if I really want her to', that I never rang up to wish her Happy Birthday on the day of her birthday, that I accused her of 'causing trouble', that I was going away so much because I didn't want to see her..

The root of all this 'hurt' is an argument we had on holiday. DH, DD and my mum and I went on holiday together. Whilst on holiday DH and I had an argument and my mum told us to stop bickering. I was upset with DH and my mum at the time. When we got to the beach and they suggested that we go to the cafe, I said I didn't feel like going. This wasn't because I was sulking, it was because I genuinely wanted to be on my own, DH and I have been having some problems lately and it just felt better to be away from the source of any more bickering and from my mum's annoyance. At this my mother accused me of causing more trouble and said she wanted to go home. I was upset by this and snapped back that I was not causing trouble, she was the one causing trouble. It was all a bit horrible and frosty at the time and the next day but we ended the holiday a few days later (I thought) in a friendly way.

After the holiday we drove home, we went to her house for a couple of hours, the next day she came to our house for the day, the day after that she offered to have DD for the day while we worked. We then went away to visit relatives for 4 days. So far so good, all was well and friendly. I rang her on the third day of our visit and got quite a cool, frosty tone. When we got back I rang her again and went round to visit her the next day, still the cool tone, she didn?t ask anything about our visit to relatives. She lives alone and so I thought maybe she is lonely and I should have rang her up more whilst away.

The day next we went camping for 5 days, it was last week of school hols and I had a week off. I rang her on 3 occasions whilst away, still the cool tone, no enquiry about the holiday. We got up early on the last day of the holiday and left early as it was her birthday and I wanted to get back in time so that she had someone to celebrate it with (She literally sees no one but me and my family all week apart from odd chats to neighbours etc). We arrived at 4pm with wine and a birthday cake which my mother showed no interest in whatsoever. She had the same frosty tone with me but was friendliness itself to DD. At this point I still had no idea what was wrong but started to feel really annoyed that I had rushed all the way back for nothing. My brother who had sent a bunch of flowers (he lives abroad) then rang up and was thanked over and over again for the flowers.

At that stage I decided that I couldn't bear it any longer. I went home and didn't speak to her until she rang me today 10 days later(It's nearly always me that rings her) and we had the fated conversation. In her mind she has (again) blown any disagreement we have out of all proportion and completely forgotten her part in it. She has done this before with me as well as this accusing me of thinking bad things about her out of the blue, the difference being this time I stood my ground with her - that I had no idea that she was mad about something that happened 3 weeks ago, that we were both at fault but I had forgotten about it, that all the stuff about not wanting her around was in her mind, that it was just an argument, that?s all, not a declaration that I hate her and never want to see her again.

It's not as if I'm not always making the effort with her, to try and keep her happy. I call her up, I listen to her ailments (trivial mostly), I invite her around every week, I take her on holiday but all that is forgotten when we have a basic argument. I can't stand walking round on eggshells around her anymore.

At the end of the conversation I felt obliged to invite her over on Sunday, even though at the moment I could quite happily not see her for weeks. I'm really not looking forward to it. Am I a terrible person?

2rebecca Thu 10-Sep-09 22:45:09

It sounds as though you are spending too much time with your mother and getting overenmeshed to me.
I wouldn't go on holiday with her again.
Just tell her you're sorry she's upset but you think she's overreacting and taking meanings that weren't intended. If she's still huffy then just get on with your own life and leave her to calm down.
I don't understand why she says you never rang her on her birthday when you said you went round there with cake and wine. She sounds as though she is having a childish tantrum. Tell her she's being unreasonable about her birthday, apologise if she felt put out on your holiday and if she wants to continue being huffy treat her like a toddler and ignore her.

AttilaTheMeerkat Fri 11-Sep-09 07:19:49

DD,

Stop trying to keep her happy - its not your responsibility to do so. Set boundaries for your own self between you and her. You will certainly be happier for doing so.

Me thinks as well she has always been this bloody difficult with you - am I right?.
Do not go on holiday any more with her either.

I guess you feel obligated to your Mum - why exactly is this?. She has no-one else?.

Do you have siblings - if so how are relations between her and them?.

MrsMills Fri 11-Sep-09 07:35:00

It sounds to me like she has too much time on her hands and probably over-analyses everything that is said or done (or not said or done).

I don't know the reason why she only sees you and your family, but is there any way of getting her out and about on her own, join a group or club? Perhaps even do some volunteer work. Doesn't she have any friends who she could spend some time with?

If her whole world revolves around you, then this will only ever lead to conflict as it is unhealthy I feel.

lilacclaire Fri 11-Sep-09 08:18:37

Sounds slightly like my own mother until she got a part time job, now I never see her as her social life has extended as well, never bloody in !!

diddl Fri 11-Sep-09 08:56:34

Definately too much time together, IMO.

I understand you were upset when she told you and hubby to stop bickering, but she was probably embarrassed.

I don´t really understand why you went home instead of asking what was wrong.

But I think you are both over analysing.
Why do you spend somuch time together when neither of you seem to enjoy it?

dementeddaughter Fri 11-Sep-09 09:52:20

Thanks for your messages.

My mother doesn't see anyone else simply because she doesn't want to, she has had lots of offers but never takes them up, does nothing but go to the shops and go to church. I think she is a bit paranoid IYSWIM and always ends up doing to other people what she does to me. She has a history of depression.

I find if I don't visit see her once a week she gets worse and that may be what happened when we went away twice. But tbh I am a bit sick of the responsibility of keeping her on an even keel mentally IYSWIM

I have always felt overly responsible for her and she knows how to make me feel guilty. My father was abusive to all of us but it was always us trying to look after her mentally even when we were young children. But now I am reaching the stage when I am a bit sick of it and want to get out of this unhealthy relationship.

dementeddaughter Fri 11-Sep-09 09:56:37

My brother lives abroad, I might ask him if he can be in contact with her more.

I didn't ask her why she was being cool with me because I knew it would be something about nothing and I would be made to feel guilty about it. Plus I actually enjoyed the break from her!

ineedalifelaundry Fri 11-Sep-09 10:36:24

I do think your mother has blown things out of all proportion. And I can totally understand how sick of propping up her emotional wellbeing you must be.

However, looking at it from her side - If you and your family are her only pleasure in life, and only contact with the outside world, things will seem so much more intense from her point of view. A simple argument to you is a massive trauma for her as she really doesn't have anyone else, or any outside release - and having come out of an abusive / unhappy marriage herself, she is understandably over-reactive when she perceives possible problems in yours.

When you next see her, ask her if you can both put it all behind you and get back to normal. Tell her you don't want to talk about it any more, you just want to have a nice family sunday together.

I know this is going to sound a bit patronizing, and I really don't mean it this way, but... try and focus on the positive things about your close relationship with your mum, because lots of us don't have our mums around any more. My mum died before my DD was born. I wish she was here to exasperate me / make me feel guilty / tell me off etc!

Good luck!

dementeddaughter Fri 11-Sep-09 10:58:51

food for thought ineedalifelaundry. I think I could enjoy the relationship more if I could stop feeling so guilty/responsible for her though

wingandprayer Fri 11-Sep-09 11:13:46

Is she getting any medical help with her depression as well? Is that can be alleviated, then her behaviour could improve. And a cousellor would be another person for her to talk to get some perspective.

dementeddaughter Fri 11-Sep-09 12:21:38

wingandprayer, she was given a counsellor appointment but didn't go, she has some form of sedative to deal with anxiety though. No medicine can cure self imposed loneliness though

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