Tricky relationship with mother(14 Posts)
My Mum and I have always had a tricky relationship. While on the surface, it seems like a good one, I always feel as though I'm walking on eggshells and will never be quite good enough. If I express an opinion she doesn't like, she perceives I'm attacking her. I always feel like I'm letting her down in some way.
Last week, while talking about her sisters and nieces, she said 'they are all so lucky, I just have you'. I laughed it off but haven't been able to stop thinking about it.
It felt like such a kick in the teeth. And also an acknowledgement of what I've always suspected, that I'm something of a disappointment.
Has anyone experienced similar? How did you move on? I have daughters of my own and worry about continuing the cycle.
Hi that sounds like a very difficult situation. Could it be that she is from a generation that wasn't taught to show praise or put feelings on display? Maybe her mother was like that? You sound like a lovely parent to your children and by realising that there is a cycle to be broken, you have the power to praise them and make them feel loved and cherished. I guess at the end of the day you can't change how your mother thinks and behaves, only in how you react to it. I hope this helps (been there, done that). X
Hi Yorkshire, thanks for your reply. It's good to hear I'm not alone.
There is definitely a generational thing at play but I think it's more to do with being constantly concerned with what other people think.
Something just clicked last week and I realized that the way she reacts to things, the constant withdrawal and guilt tripping when she is unhappy with me is probably not that normal.
You're right, I can't change her so I just have to build up some boundaries and not let her get to me so much. Easier said than done I'm guessing. I really don't want to continue this on with my children.
Thanks again for your kind words x
Maybe you can tell your Mum that this comment has been playing on your mind and ask her what she means by it. Did she want more children?
My mother is very negative. Her first comment is always negative. And
often sometimes i find myself doing it too. It wasn't until I met my MIL that I realised a parent figure could be positive.
My mother seems to lay into me more than my siblings. Or at least I feel it more. I think it's because I am more independent and so less needy of her. She loves to be wanted. So I do try to make sure I ask for her help on occasion.
Maybe try not to take it so personally and observe her amongst others. You might find she lacks self confidence / happiness and it's her way of coping.
Don't allow your own self worth to be too dependent on her view of you.
My mother has a dim view of me- I really don't care.
She is quiet, passive aggressive, loves rules, cares too much what other people think.
She sees me as a brash, outspoken hot head who questions rules and not afraid to stand up for myself.
The characteristics she hates in me are some of the ones I love about myself.
We are two different people.
Sorry no answers, but you are not alone, I’ve always felt that I am a big disappointment too. We are different people and I suspect it didn’t help that I looked like my dad and had half of his genes 😄. The good thing is that you are aware and can break the pattern with your own children especially if they are their ‘own person’ too.
Maybe time to start setting a few boundaries (and policing them)?
There comes a time when you start to suspect that they are a gaping hole in the sand, and that no matter how much effort you put into filling it with your love and energy (ie water) it just isn’t getting anyone, anywhere. It drains out of them, and it drains you.
This doesn’t mean stopping contact, but it can mean protecting yourself a bit by being a bit more detached. Check out the tools and techniques at ‘out of the fog’, especially Medium Chill and Grey Rock.
Sounds like you might be a candidate for them.
Did she not just mean her sister has more children?
How hurtful for you.
My DM can say stuff too.
Last summer she announced,. " It's so strange, your Dbro thinks his kids are awful and they are wonderful. You think your DS is wonderful when actually, he's awful."
I told her that well, someone has to think he's wonderful and as his mother, that's my job.
I was hurt and haven't forgotten what she said. She wasn't thinking. She does love him. Doesn't often see him as we live far away and is rather proud of him.
I put boundaries in place as soon as we turn up and stick by them. They back down pretty quickly if I pull them up on anything.
I sometimes think that when some people get a bit older it's a green light for being rude.
It's not. You need to try and find a way to set the record straight. And only you know how your relationship really works. Firm but fair works for me.
Good luck, you have my sympathy.
Thanks for all the replies - I really empathize with everyone in the same position.
I have brothers - I'm the only girl. Perhaps that's why it stung so much; it felt like she was saying she only got one daughter ad she turned out to be a dud I do realise it probably sounds like such a minor thing but it was a light bulb moment that perhaps our dynamic is not normal.
Thanks for the advice everyone. I'm getting my head around taking a bit of a step back and trying to remind myself that I don't have to live up to her expectations of me.
I will check that out skittlesandbeer
Another thing to consider - and she may not want to talk about it - is did she have any late miscarriages in which case would she have known it was a girl? That could also be why she is disappointed.
So sorry you feel put down by your mum. But it is not unusual at all. It happens.
Look up narcissistic mothers.
And you have to learn the tactics for dealing with it. I speak as a long suffering eldest daughter of one of them. Now I love her dearly but she is a total trial when I visit. My sister and brother have not encountered anything like her treatment of me.
So that made me wonder if it was just me! But it wasn't, not that she hates me I don't think, but I am the target for all her frustrations/disappointments etc. It is classic behaviour.
I leave the second any insult is thrown at me. Quietly, but firmly and do not make contact for one month thereafter. Thems the rules. Recovery time. But it starts up again relatively quickly after the first visit back, so I just keep using my self preservation tactics on repeat.
Read the Stately Homes thread here. It is a difficult read sometimes, but a lot of it has resonance with daughters of narcissistic mothers.
We are the target child.
No ariela, there's been nothing like that. She has always compared me to one cousin in particular who always went everywhere with her Mum, whereas I would have been quite independent.
That's the thing, I love her dearly. I feel so guilty even considering any of this. I'm not long after having a baby and I wonder if sleep deprivation and hormones are at play! We are very close. I've just begun to wonder how much of that depends on me fulfilling a certain role, if that makes sense.
I'll have a look at the stately homes thread virtual , thanks for the advice too
I think if you’re genuinely close, you can ask what she meant by:
Last week, while talking about her sisters and nieces, she said 'they are all so lucky, I just have you'. and you can tell her you found it hurtful.
It can’t really be worse than what your thinking. If she confirms what you’re thinking then it’s about her being a bad thoughtless mother, not about you.
If she reassured you she meant something else and apologises, then you can start to forget the comment.
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