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Do I give up on being helpful?


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42 minutes ago, Alex39 said:

She cares a lot. I think she's afraid to lose me, so she sometimes tries to keep me close. 

Keeping you close by shoving your face towards an order window is abusive, not keeping you close.  Healthy people who want to keep their kids close - even adult kids  - do so by showing respect for the other person's personhood -independence, choices (even those they disagree with) etc. -that's how to foster and maintain closeness. Not by being controlling and being "close" that way.  That's not close -that's a selfish desire to control another person.  

If you like the perks of the relationship -the help she gives, the knick knacks she gives you - the financial help - then you have to accept the downsides of her sometime generosity.  Including the downside of her influencing you to the extent you behave in a controlling way with your friends. 

I have to make constant decisions to put my overprotective instinct aside so my child can spread his wings.  I've let him climb literal mountains (I mean not everest but yes mountains) and I respect his wishes that I am now an embarassment so when I've walked him to his new camp the last two days I let him go the last half block by himself (and I wait behind a tree to make sure he got in). 

When I give him food I refrain from commenting on whether he cleaned his plate or not (other than we will comment on how he attacks his food with such gusto "good eating!") - even though I've become a person who hates wasting food. 

When he was 7 I stood by while he completely torpedoed a potential "friendship" by being too controlling with another little boy who came over and wanted to see his pokemon cards or matchbox cars or both.  I wanted him to experience what it's like to make that sort of mistake without my trying to "fix" it.  (No he wasn't mean at all -just overbearing and the other child walked away, then he and I talked about what happened). 

That's what it's like to be a parent and care about a child's development and growth and want to show it in the way that is best for the child -which doesn't always match the parent's wish to make it all perfect LOL.  IMO.

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1 hour ago, Alex39 said:

She is a good mom.

I have to admit I have a very hard time with you saying she's a good mom, after reading some of your other posts above where you describe terrible abuse from her.  Physical abuse and the words "good mom" in the same sentence just doesn't gel at all (for me).  It makes no sense at all.

I think therapy would be a good idea at this point to help you understand this toxic dynamic.

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8 hours ago, Alex39 said:

She cares a lot. I think she's afraid to lose me, so she sometimes tries to keep me close. 

What you describe is not "keeping you close."

It is abuse and mistreatment. Good moms don't behave that way. 

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On 6/14/2022 at 5:38 PM, Alex39 said:

If I'm sick, she runs over and cares for me. She'll come over and help me with house projects, work outside, and she'll kill herself doing it, so I'm happy. She helped me fix up my house. She brings me food or buys me little things. She throws me money occasionally when she knows I'm low on gas or groceries. She cares a lot. I think she's afraid to lose me, so she sometimes tries to keep me close. 

It reminds me of your relationship with your friends.

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Posted (edited)

My mom wants the best for me in life, even if it's not what I want. She'll stick her neck out, trying to help. But it's her idea of helping. I had a great childhood. My mom was a good mom, brought us up to be smart, responsible,  kind. She always did activities with us and made sure we did good in school, participated in sports and things we wanted to do. If I wanted to be a clown, She would have found me the best clown lessons and made sure I got the best, and she would have paid for it. She's a good mom.

She likes things her way. She expects you to meet her standards or you are wrong. This is her fault. I see it. When I try to go against her, we fight. Sometimes I get so sick of fighting, that I just cater to her. 

She never thinks she's wrong. Another fault. She loves helping people, but it's her way. I get a lot of this from her. 

I see it though and I fight against being that way. 

She isn't a bad person. She has good intentions. 

 

I've gone to therapy and realized that I want and need to forge my own life. It's tough. My culture is that you help your family. So we are ingrained to be close and constantly help each other 

I want so badly to forge my own life. I want to get married and have my own family. I crave it. I know I have to break free. I see things clearly. I think it's tough because being single, alone, my family is all I have. My friends have their own families. 

I also don't want my family dynamic to hinder me building my own with the right person.  I have to put myself first. My mom and dad have a strained marriage. That puts a lot of stress on me. My brother lives for free with my parents, has no responsibility and doesn't help them much. My family is dysfunctional. We love each other, but it's not perfect. I'm scared to bring a man into that. 

 

I think I feel a lot of responsibility for my family, their happiness and successes. I don't know why. I'm the daughter,the child. It's very hard. 

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1 hour ago, Alex39 said:

My mom wants the best for me in life, even if it's not what I want. She'll stick her neck out, trying to help. But it's her idea of helping

I also see this is the way you describe your friendships with these women. 

You think you are helping. And in some ways, you probably are. But in other ways, your help is likely perceived as over-bearing and somewhat self-righteous. You seem to have difficulty accepting that your friends might have very different standards from you, and different ways of approaching life. At least in this thread and the thread about your work friend, you talk down on them.

You and your mom seem to share the desire to control the people around you, and you  overstep boundaries and get upset when people appear to push back. 

1 hour ago, Alex39 said:

She's a good mom.

So how do you reconcile this statement with her being physcially aggressive with you and insulting you? We either have vastly different definitions of what a "good mom" is, or you are in denial about her abusive behaviour. 

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3 hours ago, MissCanuck said:

So how do you reconcile this statement with her being physcially aggressive with you and insulting you? We either have vastly different definitions of what a "good mom" is, or you are in denial about her abusive behaviour. 

It's nice when a parent goes all out for the lessons, activities, chauffering around of course but no it's not a "way of helping" to control what you eat to the extent she does, to shove your face near a takeout window - and she knows that. If she did that at work to "help" an employee- well you know what would happen to her and her "helpful" ways.  

It's not really about arranging the best/buying the best- it's more about facilitating the child to spread his wings and explore (I wrote about this above -not surprisingly you ignored it).  My child has his first "job" as a counselor in training.  He agreed to sign up next week if he could take a day off so I automatically said "ok I'll email the director and ask her" (we pay for the camp, just less -no salary for him!).  He said nicely "you know, I'd rather ask my supervisor today, in person -don't email".  He's 13.  I was concerned that he'd forget and we have a deadline to sign up.  And it would have been your mother's way of "helping" to insist on emailing - wording it the way she wanted to, making sure it didn't come across as "I want to work but only 4 days" -because she would want her child to make the "best" impression at his new job. 

But I knew I had to step aside -let him do it his way, learn if it didn't work out or if he came across the wrong way.  I told my own mother the story and she said enthusiastically "yes! let him ask! let him own it and experience what it's like!"

Alex - that is what is as or more important than the mom who multitasks and juggles and finds the best tae kwon do instructor, becomes the best Dance Mom, is constantly class mother making all those cute crafts and making sure your school projects look perfect (as she does it all herself). 

I am not knocking the good things she has done -I am saying the real help is missing here. She never trusted you to go out there on your own -spread your wings and fall flat on your face sometimes, embarrass yourself, stretch yourself - she was your puppeteer, not your mom.

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