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When is it my turn? My mother


Anotherday

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I have protected my mother my ENTIRE life. My early memories of her were/are the dirty looks she gave me when we had company (and I never knew why), her closing the windows so the neighbors would not hear, her chasing me around the table with a paddle, and telling me the ONE time I felt pretty not to act so affected. I don't remember ever sitting in her lap or her telling me she loved me.

 

When I was 14 I smoked cigarettes. I still remember her telling me how I was killing HER and invoking the God guilt thing. Since that time, I have protected her from the realities of my life. Good Lord, I am 50 and she doesn't realize just how bad things are with me. She is 88 and I swear will outlive me. This woman has had a good life - a marriage of 60 plus years, being a stay at home mom, four children, houses, etc. Me? I am alone, no children, no job and hate where I live. When is it my turn? When do I get to matter? When does my life count?

 

Last night the subject of religion came up. I told her I don't believe in heaven and hell, rather reincarnation. Of course, this led to her sobbing and me feeling guilty. I am not even allowed that much. Then this morning she was still mopey and when I mentioned something else (possibly moving to a new city), she told me I was scary and that she is falling apart. My mother has always been falling apart. Little does she realize that I *really* am on the edge. I don't tell her that as I have always protected her.

 

Now I am waiting for her to talk to my family and for them to give me a hard time. All I want is the right to my own opinions and feelings. I don't need her guilting me anymore. Any advice? Thanks in advance.

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The first thing you need to do is recognize that at 88, she isn't going to change. In fact, sometimes problematic behavior gets worse with age, as people can get very set in their ways, and medical illness and not feeling good in old age can make people really cranky/moody etc.

 

So you need to quit expecting her to change or to mutate into the mother you hoped she would be or should be. Everyone deserves a loving, wonderful mother, but many people don't get one. The trick is learning to just accept that and not constantly resent it and expect more.

 

If she start pouting or carrying on, then just calmly tell her you don't want to hear it and leave the room. If she brings it up again, tell her if she keeps at it, you'll leave the room again, and refuse to discuss.

 

She can't play games with you if you refuse to play. And at 50, you need to quit looking for validation/acceptance/approval from your parent, and live your own life and not care what she thinks. She is who she is, and you'll just upset yourself expecting something different.

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Thanks, I already DO live 1800 miles away from her. I moved away a long time ago so no one could blame me for everything wrong. I was talking about moving to another city equally far away from her.

 

I don't know why she cares what I do at this point. I've spent 6.5 years of my life in this current city and don't have a real friend to my name. It was a big mistake to come here. She knows how awful it's been (well, she only knows part of things) and yet she still thinks I should stay put. Then she tells me I am scary and sound crazy and that she cannot take it. She starts to cry and then (like always) I have to feel responsible for her mental and physical health. Like I said, she has already had her life. I just want a chance at some happiness myself.

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I think you should move to a city away from her. It's not too late for you to have those things you mention - but you must have a clear mind to obtain them. Your mind and heart can't be clear under her wing. Not with the way she has treated you.

 

Thanks, Misskitty. You know what we have in common? Bad mothers and men who have not treated us well.

 

I am thinking that when someone grows up with a selfish and not nurturing parent, one is almost set up in life to meet men like this.

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She can't play games with you if you refuse to play. And at 50, you need to quit looking for validation/acceptance/approval from your parent, and live your own life and not care what she thinks. She is who she is, and you'll just upset yourself expecting something different.

 

Well, I did tell her this a.m. I will not discuss religion or politics with her going forward. Yet she still tried to sneak in the back door with the religion stuff this morning AFTER I had said this.

 

The conversation ended with her not able to take what I was saying and me just angry. She told me she'd been a sounding board for me my entire life (haha, I have spared her so much it is unbelievable) and what can i say...

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You just need to learn to accept your own power (i.e., you don't have to tell her anything you don't want to, or talk about what you don't want to, or consider her opinion when you make decisions etc.).

 

Since you're far away, you can just change the subject if she gets off track, or hang up and tell her you'll call her later.

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I am thinking that when someone grows up with a selfish and not nurturing parent, one is almost set up in life to meet men like this.

 

Please do not think negatively this way. I also have a very emotionally abusive mother who throws tantrums whenever she doesn't get her way, but this doesn't mean you have to continue this vicious cycle of pushing people away from you. Surround yourself with loving friends and eventually you will find a man who will love you for who you are. I know I have.

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