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Struggle with my own concept of a Mother and the woman that is my mother.

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm sorry first to I'm sure the people who have had much worse problems with their mothers or perhaps don't even know them and it seems like I am whining but this one has been stewing for a long time and I'd just like to get a second opinion from a neutral party. 

 

I have never had a real two-party relationship with my mother. I remember being six or so and feeling sadness because she was more interested in a pet than she'd ever been interested in me. This continued for most of my life. I tried to find common ground with her even after she  told my father aloud, thinking I wasn't listening, that she wished the ritalin I was prescribed had an appetite suppressing effect on me because she thought I was chubby. This kind of comment persisted my entire life at home. A lot of this stuff I've just locked away and not talked about.. and pretended it never happened. The summary of events is she would tell me I was too stupid to be in school while I was home schooled and she never put forth effort while she was supposed to be teaching me, ignored me, never developed any bonds with me. Fast forward many years and I graduated after insisting I return to a regular school environment, attended post-secondary schooling and maintained honors the entire course, held a federal job, got married and had a son. When my father passed I tried even harder to forge a relationship with my mother, taking an interest in her and talking to her almost daily despite the huge time difference and the distance and even though it was a one-way street. I asked her to visit after I had my son because I was sick, my doctor thought I had leukemia and I could hardly get my son out of the car without not being able to see and almost passing out (as it turns out I had severe anemia and recovery from the blood loss when I had my son took a long time) and I needed help. I thought as she had breast fed three children and raised three of her own children she would be able to be helpful and maybe we could bond over my beautiful new son. She was wholly disinterested still. My phone was constantly ringing off the hook as her fiance called her and she ran off and locked herself in my bathroom to speak to him.   I still had to have the nurse/doula come to the house to help me and the nurse actually asked if she was drug dependent because she'd never seen a new grandmother so disinterested or disconnected. She went home early because an acquaintance of hers had broken her leg. There I was again, feeling like the little girl I was 20 years before, sad because I had a mother so disinterested in me but interested in anything else. After this while she didn't bother to call me to check on me (this is before we found out it wasn't leukemia) she went on to tell my sister that I was dying of leukemia.. So if we put this all together my mother thought I was dying of leukemia, didn't bother to call, and left early to be with a friend who had a non-life threatening broken bone. 

 

It has been a year since I spoke to her. She never once called me in all of this. 

 

So what do I do? I want a mother, I want someone who cares about me and my family and who I can speak to about things as a mother would.. but in this situation do you just call it a day and wash your hands? Do you just become the mother you wished you'd had and continue burying the past? Why does this still hurt me?

 

Thanks for your replies in advance. 

post #2 of 15

Ugh, couldn't read this and not post...I have a similar mother. Your mothers issues are HERS, not yours. She is not going to change and ever be that mother that you want for you, so you need to either cut the ties or be able to set up boundaries for yourself and have the relationship that she is able to give you, which in her case, is not much. Sorry if that sounds harsh, but I have been there and that is the advice I have.

 

My mother is not able to connect to anyone on an emotional level, is agoraphobic, has OCD, and probably an undiagnosed anxiety disorder. I expect nothing from her, and that is pretty much what I get. It took me many years (counseling, therapy etc. etc!) to get to the point where I am okay with that. I have a good life, great husband, wonderful kids, good friends. I do not have a supportive, loving mother and never will.

 

 I am sorry that you have had to go through this. :(

post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 

Thank you for reassuring me that the issues are hers, not mine. It's tough. While she isn't diagnosed with any of those problems and I'm not the only one who saw it (obviously from the comments of friends & the nurse) I still sometimes feel like somehow it was me. Then I replay half my life.. but when I consider it from the feelings I have a mother towards my son and the absolute, unconditional, unwavering love it seems outright crazy. 

 

My husband has encouraged me to call her, even if it's a hi, hello, ok, bye conversation. I guess his idea is to make light of the situation and at least have contact but it just frustrates me so much; he even joked about calling and telling her I'm calling from "the great beyond" since she didn't bother to check on me. I just don't know if I can do that if it still hurts me.

 

I just remember friends who were also far from home who would get care packages and get annoyed their parents called so much... and be green with envy.

post #4 of 15
Thread Starter 

I'm sorry you have gone through this also.

post #5 of 15

Do you have any siblings? I have 4, but only speak to one of them. It has helped a lot to have someone else to talk to about how it really was, very validating to have someone else tell you the awful things in your childhood really did happen. 

 

My Mom has never come to visit me or my family. We live in Oregon, she is in Maine. She doesn't fly but there's always some excuse as to why she couldn't drive or take a train.  Last year I was hit by a car while on my bike, my then 3 year old was in the child seat behind me. I called my MOm the next morning to tell her. She changed the subject to tell me about the plants she was growing in her garden. She never called after that to see how we were. As a mom myself, this kind of behaviour is shocking to me. It was also a huge wake up for me though. I was chasing something that I was never going to catch, looking for a Mom that was never going to be what I wanted her to be. It took me many months after that to deal and accept with the reality of that situation. It's definitely painful. I envy people who have Moms who actually care about them and are interested in their lives. I just have to keep looking at the positive, what I DO have, all of the good in my life. 

post #6 of 15
Hugs mama! Sounds hard, and I feel your pain. I have come to terms that my mother will never be there for me ever. I don't think you should have to call her to say hi as she doesn't sound worth your precious time. She will only bring you down. I would focus on building your family you have now. I noticed for myself that I worried so much about my mom that I hardly was aware of my kids needs. Moms can be draining.
post #7 of 15
Thread Starter 

Nutty, that reminds me.. She came over 5k miles to Maui.. and never bothered to call me, I had to track her down and ask if she wanted to see me and come over to the island I live on... When she did come over to Oahu I was in a wreck, my car was totaled coming back from dropping a friend off. She was just like "oh." and carried on talking about her callouses or something. Kind of funny in hind sight. 

 

I do have siblings. I do talk to my older sister sometimes but I know her life growing up was hard too; I think she kind of took refuge in her husband's family.. Again, things we don't talk about and just kind of bury.. If only I could be adopted as an adult, haha.. 

 

blue, that's a funny way of putting it, moms can be draining.. They have the opposite of the desired effect! 

post #8 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by beautifulnm View Post

Nutty, that reminds me.. She came over 5k miles to Maui.. and never bothered to call me, I had to track her down and ask if she wanted to see me and come over to the island I live on... When she did come over to Oahu I was in a wreck, my car was totaled coming back from dropping a friend off. She was just like "oh." and carried on talking about her callouses or something. Kind of funny in hind sight. 

 

I do have siblings. I do talk to my older sister sometimes but I know her life growing up was hard too; I think she kind of took refuge in her husband's family.. Again, things we don't talk about and just kind of bury.. If only I could be adopted as an adult, haha.. 

 

 


Yeah, that story sounds familiar, unfortunately!  I would love to be adopted as an adult too, ha ha. It has definitely given me relationship issues for years, It's like, I never learned how to be in a caring, give and take relationship because I never had one growing up. I am a work in progress. :) 

 

post #9 of 15
Thread Starter 

 

Me too... My poor dh. haha. 

 

Maybe we should open an adult adoption center... Match qualified mothers with people like us! Mothering for the Mothers

post #10 of 15

ha ha, love it! Any childless older woman care to take me on? I could use a Mama! :)

post #11 of 15
Thread Starter 

There's hope. I was listening to the radio yesterday (This American Life) and they had two unlikely guests. Two male inmates, one young and one older. They became friends because they weren't part of the regular prison population, attached to this gang or that. They both kept to themselves and were often reading. They began to talk and realized one yearned to be a parent and one longed for the father he never knew. The older inmate adopted the other adult inmate and fostered a father-son relationship.  I never expected listening to the radio would make me cry like that. 

post #12 of 15
luxlove.gif Love it! I would jump at the chance for a new adopted mama.
post #13 of 15

I have issues with my mother also, there's things I could never imagine doing to my own daughters. She's impossible. I can barely talk to her or write anything on facebook without her thinking there's some hidden meaning aimed at her. My whole family pretty much is mucked up and I did take refuge in dh's family. I sort of adopted myself into theirs. They're nuts also but not nearly as dysfunctional and there's not the abuse/hidden factor.

post #14 of 15

OP:

 

Your mother sounds like a textbook case of Narcissistic Personality Disorder.  I suggest you check out the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers web site. 

 

You most certainly sound like the sane one.

post #15 of 15

I agree that it sounds like your mother has the issues, not you. You probably will not find the relationship that you are seeking with her. She sounds very wrapped up in herself and uninterested in you... but this is not because of anything you did!

 

Mine is not to that extent but it has been a struggle accepting her limitations. I don't feel like I can unconditionally rely on her, the way that my husband and some of my friends feel they can rely on their parents. I know there are certain things I can count on her helping me with, certain things I can count on her making little comments about that I have to just ignore, and certain things she just won't want to do and I'll just have to deal. I've decided I want a relationship with her, accepting these limitations. I think each individual has to make their own decision on that.

 

After doing a lot of research into the matter I don't think my mom is a narcissist--I think her father was, and she picked up some lousy ways of relating that she is unlikely to ever change. I recommend the books Toxic Parents by Susan Forward, and Will I Ever Be Good Enough? Healing the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers (forget who that one's by). You can also check out the Daughters of Narcissistic Mothers website; the articles are good, but do NOT join the message boards, the moderators are on a giant power trip and if you get caught in their web of banning it'll just make you feel worse (as happened to me). Google "banned from donm" or "banned from daughters of narcissistic mothers" to get an idea of what I mean... there are many with the same experience as me.

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