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AIBU?

Not sure how to feel about my mother.

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narcornot · 24/10/2018 20:02

This will be long. I've NCed. My feelings are very confusing. For a while I have wondered if my mother is passive aggressive, or a narcissist... sometimes it rings true and other times I think her behaviour would be more extreme.

She doted on me when I was young, and I guess does the same now. I am essentially an only child (half siblings who did not live with me). She worked hard as a single mother. My father left when I was two but maintained a relationship with me. Often he let me down, not showing up to take me somewhere, and never payed child support. My mum resented him for this.

She would spoil me with toys, I had so many Barbie dolls. We were not very well off, lived in a tiny flat with no car. I was always jealous of friends' big houses and cars and having both parents around. I really liked hanging out with my dad. When I got a bit older (10+) my mum and I would often get into arguments when I got home from seeing my dad. She said I always had an 'attitude' afterwards and it was his fault, 'you're always like this after seeing him.' I wasn't mean to her at all. I sometimes just had a comedown from having a nice day. She said I might as well move to live with him if I liked it so much, that I preferred him, I didn't appreciate all she did for me (I loved her infinitely and was grateful, we were very close in a lot of ways).

In my teens I had depression and anxiety. She also had depression. She had an affair with a married friend of hers (an old boyfriend) and I disapproved (he had young kids). She would invite him round and I would just be neutral with him, she would tell me not to come downstairs if they closed the door. Her friend was apparently upset I didn't like him, I just kind of shrugged. My mother called me sanctimonious for shaking my head at the affair. She said 'I love him, I'm not responsible for what he does, he loves me too' and all this stuff about his wife and her nagging. I just didn't want to know.

She was on antidepressants but I wasn't. One time when I was 16 she had come home crying and very drunk after a Xmas party and was sick on the kitchen floor. She was crying about this ex boyfriend of hers. My friend was staying for a sleepover at the time and I had to put my mum to bed in front of her.

My mother and I had screaming arguments when I was about 18 or 19. I had not performed well enough in my GCSEs and was looking for a job, in the meantime I had signed on for JSA but struggled because of agoraphobia. She was angry with me saying I wasn't helping myself. I had anorexia and she was mad about that too, but basically left me to it, occasionally yelling because she 'wanted me to eat.' I can't remember exactly what we were fighting about otherwise. She wanted me to get a job, I was trying. She said I wasn't normal... like she was mad I didn't have much of a social life (I had friends on the internet and a couple of good friends I went out shopping with, mostly I would go into town on my own though). At the same time she acted like my best friend. We would go to the cinema occasionally or shopping and watch TV together. She took me on holidays. She would spend money on me. But during the arguments she would say I hated her. I would get angry, she would threaten to leave or commit suicide. She'd say she was off for a walk and 'maybe I'll just walk into traffic because that's what you want.' I was scared and would scream at her to stop and tackle her, maybe I shouldn't have, she would fight back and sometimes hit me and sometimes I would hit her back... I know this is bad and I shouldn't have done that either. I felt as bad as her sometimes.

Yet like I said she doted on me other times. She is diabetic and I would worry about her, look after her if she wasn't feeling well. When she threatened me she'd say she wouldn't bother to take her insulin as I obviously didn't care. I loved her so much and was so scared of her hurting herself, I didn't feel I could manage without her.

I eventually got a job at 19 and things were a bit better though we still argued. I had more of my own life. We still went away together, spent time together though. She wanted me to be 'normal.' I wanted to move out but was a bit nervous. She didn't think I could handle myself alone.

When I was 21 she took me to New York on holiday and we had a nice time. Some months later I met my first real boyfriend, we fell in love very quickly. My mother liked him, actually thought he was a prince or something. She encouraged our relationship. I moved in with him after a year, married after two. He's my soulmate and supports me in everything I do. But my relationship with my mother still has many ups and downs. She will only listen to my explanations of anything if they are 'endorsed' by my husband - if I tell her a fact from the news she is skeptical of it, like I'm stupid or making things up. Because I still have anxiety she overestimates it. She thinks I'm a worrier and will 'test' me - we have indoor cats who are not allowed outdoors as it is not safe for them. She will deliberately leave doors open as if to 'prove' that nothing bad will happen but then pretends she would never do that.

She insisted on paying a deposit for our first house after she downsized. We needed the help and accepted it gratefully. We are happy to help in return as she has helped us in the past. But I don't know if she is using this to ensure my loyalty as she grows old. She pretends everything was sunshine and roses in my teen years.

I don't know what to think of her. She wants to help. She offered to paint my bathroom, then tread paint everywhere and dripped it all over the tiles and floor and ruined a couple of my towels. When I told her not to use that towel, or to sit on my bed with her paint stained clothes, she first told me 'I'm not' (she was on my bed!) then made out I was unhappy with how she'd done things and she just wanted to help me. She does this a lot. I feel like I'm harsh on her to call her a narc or passive aggressive but I'm not sure.

Once my DH was away for work, she stayed with me and we had arranged to go out for the day. She nearly let the cats out and almost gassed the kitchen by leaving the hob on. In pointing it out it started an argument where she said I hated her and she might as well leave early, I managed to talk her down and we got lunch at a cafe where I reassured her I didn't hate her. It's always so stressful no matter what.

I suppose I want reassurance on how to feel about this and how she has acted through my life. Does anyone else have a parent like this? It's hard when they do nice things but also horrible things. Bearing in mind I am in my thirties now and she still does this. I'd like to know I'm not alone, or that I'm unreasonable in thinking she has treated me badly (in the past at least).

Thank you.

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