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Hi all, first time poster, just looking for some advice.
Me and my mother have always had a sort of rocky relationship. she is really fantastic most of the time but occasionally she has what i call a "turn" and she changes into someone who i really horrible to be around. She is incredibly controlling, and she quite often will choose to not remember key aspects in order to make herself seem better. for example, when I had my bridal shower, she did not wish to go because she thought it would just be my fiancees family (whom she does not like). I said that was not a problem, and she didnt have to come if she didnt want to. She was the first person i invited, and i checked 2 other times that she didnt want to go. when she found out her mother and aunt were going, she turned around and said she was being excluded, and was never invited because she didnt get an invitation (she didnt get an invitation because she told me she did not want to come). Events like this happen incredibly frequently.
She invited my fiancee, father and uncle to an boys night to celebrate our wedding. I was incredibly happy for her to do this as she had never done anything like it for me, my father or my sisters. I thought she was finally including him. my fiancee, my father and her had several conversations about the event, and he asked if he could bring his father and two of his groomsmen. this was all fine. 2 weeks before the event she had a turn and said that it wasnt happening, and that my fiancee had invited people to her house without asking. I later found out from my sister that my father and mother were arguing about it because she didnt want it to happen anymore.
The few people who have an insight to mine and my mothers relationship (my grandmother, mother-in-law, fiancee, grandmother-in-law) have all advised me to try and not let it get to me, but i am really struggling with this.
I want to have my mother in my life and i want to have a happy and healthy relationship with her. The only thing left that i havent tried is just giving her everything she wants and putting up with it all but i won't let mysef do that. I have tried talking to her in an environment where she is comfortable, but she just says i am "attacking" her and she immediately walks away and locks herself in her room.
I just don't want to feel this way about it all anymore. She takes the happiness i find for myself in life and wrecks it.
Thanks so much for bravely opening up here. I really feel for you...
Your relationship with your mum does sound rocky at times, as you said. I would think it must be so draining and confusing when she is mostly lovely. But then she has moments where she just “switches” and her behaviour becomes very difficult. I feel that would be so perplexing...
About the bridal shower and the celebration that she organised, it does sound like (to me at least) that she seems to perhaps be playing “victim” (so to speak). That is, claiming to be excluded when she was, in fact, invited and falsely accusing your fiancée of inviting guests without her permission (even though she had previously said it was okay).
I wonder if understanding what is the exact cause/motivation behind her behaviour would help you figure out what you want to do moving forward?
For example, I think maybe a different course of action is needed if her main motivation was to get “her way” & to look like the victim, compared to if she was behaving this way because she is scared of “losing” her child to her fiancée (so to speak). I suppose what I’m getting at is maybe trying to figure out precisely what drives all this can help you in terms of moving forward...
That said though, I think her refusal to have a proper discussion is not very helpful, and must be so frustrating for you. If worse comes to worse and her behaviour continues, but at the same time, you also wish to maintain contact with her. Then maybe I would suggest trying to ignore the behaviour (if possible) and focus your attention on making sure the people affected by her outbursts/behaviour (e.g. your fiancée and her family, etc) are okay, explain to them what your mum is like, etc. As in, perhaps put most of your focus on supporting them, rather than necessarily “attending” to your mum’s outbursts. Just a little idea...
I know that’s hardly an ideal “solution”, so to speak. But if she continues as she is and isn’t open to feedback/talking, yet you wish to have a relationship with her then maybe this is 1 option?
Granted, those are just my thoughts. I understand that my thoughts/ideas may or may not be helpful, but I still wanted to reach out to you. I hope that’s okay.
I hope you’re feeling welcome on the forums. When & if you feel like writing in again, it would be lovely to hear how things go. That said, of course there’s no rush or pressure to write either...just whatever you feel comfortable doing.
Kindness and care,
I've read your post and I think Pepper is spot on, very accurate account of your situation.
I think your mother behaves like she does for attention, the reason might be elusive and need therapy to find out but that is unlikely to happen. Therefore your best option is to drift away but not move permanently from her life unless- her behavior becomes impossible to live with. That happened between my mother and myself 9 years ago and the relationship is permanently over.
So I would put up some boundaries of my own. I'd also not accept any offers from her that includes her being in control. You cant change peoples behavior, sad as that is. If over time she asks why then hint for her to get some help and offer to attend therapy sessions to help out, until then put in place your boundaries and enjoy your life.
Best of luck there.
Oh hon, I really hope this works out for you. We love them so much, and everyone needs their mummy.
Before I share, I think its really important to say I think you should speak to a counselor. There's only so much you can convey in a message. And a counselor doesn't give answers, they ask questions to help you sort out what is going on... it's like when you have that messy room in the house that hasn't been touched and you know it needs cleaning but you don't know where to start. They hand you the empty boxes and say, ok let's make order of this... what goes into throwaway box, keepsake box, everyday box etc. But you fill the boxes.
I hope you have a better outcome than me, and mine might not have been the best choice it was the one I had to make. And not wanting to put words in your mouth, and it may be different for you.
My mum is a narcissist.
At times, she seems like the nicest person in the world, and helpful etc. What I came to learn is that this was when there was a pay off for her. I am not judging her. I don't think we're born that way but it becomes a survival tool. And I really hope that she discovers she has a problem and gets help.
I tried to be that person that loved and supported her, and put up with a lot, but had to believe my mummy could come good if she was loved enough.
She was destroying me. And sabotaging everything in my life that was good. If she wasn't centre of my universe then I couldnt have anything else. I fell in love, she tried to undermine everything and destroy that... while saying to my face he was the best thing that ever happened to me.
It took a bad turn when my daughters decided they didn't want to see her again. My at the time 4 year old said, I love nanna, but I dont want to go there again coz she hates you.
I pulled back a little, and didn't run to her everytime she had a turn... and then the abuse from my siblings... who have all left the country to get away from her started.
And so, at 40, I walked away.
From my whole family.
I still have moments when I cry and miss my mummy, but I think I'm actually mourning a mummy, not my mummy.
And we pray for her and hope she finds help.
2 years later... after 1 too many wines I was talking to a good friend, anniversary of walking away... and I was like, but hon, I failed her. She needs someone to help her and bring her through this.
My friend said
"She is YOUR mum. It is her responsibility to mother you, not yours to mother her"
hope something I said helps