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Anyone else dealing with a crazy mom? - Page 3

post #41 of 113
This is a wonderful thread to find. My mother isn't as bad as some of yours, but she's definitely not "normal" either. And it's really hard to stick to the belief that it really is her and not me that's OTT. My Dad has always supported her and since I was really young helped to make ME responsible for her and all her emotions.

I was OK about her with my first two children since they were boys, but I started getting edgy when I was expecting my dd and found out it was a girl. I felt that I couldn't be a good mother to a girl while I had all that cr** with my own mother.

I also can't get mad at her. She ends up in tears and I end up having to apologise. She won't take responsibility for anything. I started in therapy before the summer and I started having to distance her as my barriers were coming down. And now she says "what did I do that was SO TERRIBLE...." because she didn't abuse me. But she was depressed, I guess looking back, on and off my whole life. She was physically there but not mentally. So eventually I switched her off and now she acuses me (partly rightly so) of being really cold....

Which is horrible in its effect on my marriage...

We moved a long way from her a few years ago and a couple of years later they followed. I thought it was going to make me mad. I just wanted (want) to push her away physically. But then there's the tears and the ultimatums. I thought when I started this that I had coped better with her, but now I see that I haven't done what I really want for me, which is to have a LONG break from her to sort things out in my head.

She is great with my kids, though I sometimes see her making them feel guilty for making her feel bad - like if they don't want to give her a hug before she leaves or something. And I guess I'm stuck between sticking up for them and not offending her....

The question is, in the long term, if I push her away, can I really handle the problems? Or is that just running away from them?

I stopped the therapy because I was seeing a man and it was too complicated. But I'm thinking of trying something more holistic. But with every change it takes a huge amount of energy out of me.

A trick I don't use often enough is when she phones to complain about her life to say something along the lines of, "So what are you going to do about it?". It really helps me, even if it doesn't help her, to put the responsibility for her life back onto her. I can't make her happy even if I try (which, of course, I do sometimes....) and it's not my job to do that.

Now I'm lost. I want to save my energy for my own children. I don't want to have to use up my resources on her! I don't want to see her, and yet I can't break off...

thanks for this thread.
post #42 of 113
post #43 of 113
tinybutterfly, I really was scared about screwing my dd up and that is really what got me to start thinking about the issues with my mom. But now dd is 13 months and she is such a joy. I just love being with her, and although I know some of the stuff with my mom stops me being quite as good as I would like, I am doing things in general so much better than I feel she did.

Though I am still scared that when she gets older she will distance herself like I did. I just have to hope that I can sort myself out in time to save our relationship.

Trying not to hide ; )
post #44 of 113
I just wrote a letter to my parents, because even after I told them that we need a break, they won't respect my need for space/ boundries. I asked them to stop trying to contact me. They keep calling me and writing letters and saying that I am breaking their hearts because we won't let them see their grandchildren. They don't get that they act the same way towards their grandchildren as they did to me when I was growing up and to this day. They also don't get why I won't leave my kids with them without me or my dh present.

I have a great husband, three children ages four and under (one with major asthma issues), and we are closing our first home two days after Christmas. I just wish they would respect me and love me enough to give me some space so that I can move on and have some peace I have enough going on in my life and I am sick of wasting my time and energy on people wrapped up in a cycle of denial, co-dependence, power struggles, negativity, untreated mental illness...So for me that means walking away (but not without trying over and over again to come to some sort of understanding) so I can have a peaceful life.

Here's a great website that might be helpful to some of you:

I sent my parents printouts from the site along with the letter.

post #45 of 113
With my own Mother and myself, there is a 10 year window of time that we do not bring up. I love my Mother, and even writing this down makes me feel guilty and siloyal, but it is the truth. She did and said things that still amaze me with their cruelty and anger. I was a whipping post of sorts for her, and it crushed a part of my spirit forever.

When I became pregnant for the 1st time, I just kept hoping and hoping it was a boy, because I was petrified to have a girl. When the nurse said " It is a boy!" I said " GOOD!" as emphatically as i could, given the cirumstances. I was so happy to have a boy.

Then with my daughter...wow. It has been a real roller coaster for me emotionally to come to terms with the fact that I am raising a girl. I am scared, and worried, and I so want to do this RIGHT and not damage her in anyway.

If anything, I hope I don't make her feel like she can't do things, or pursue her dreams, but instead teach her that she can. I hope sincerely that i allow her to be herself and repsect her for the person she is, not the person I want her to be.

A lot of my Moms issues stem from stress, and fear, and the use of otc 'no-doze' type meds. They made her even meaner and angrier than she already was.

Anyway..this is very interesting to read. Glad to see( but sad to see as well ) that I am not alone in some of these issues.
post #46 of 113
Originally Posted by arcenciel
I also can't get mad at her. She ends up in tears and I end up having to apologise. She won't take responsibility for anything. .
This is my mom, too. Once in conversation with her and my dh I was trying to explain why seventh grade was so awful for me (and it was SO bad!) and she got angry (silently) and hardly spoke to me for six months. When she finally told me what was wrong she totally ambushed me when I was visiting her with my baby dd and my dh was in another state. It was horrible.

Everything is about her, all the time. She dismisses any problem I have ever with anyone about anything with some five-cent analysis and then brings the conversation right back to her. She doesn't ever ask how I am.

She was depressed for most of my childhood, and that's her excuse for making some pretty terrible parenting choices. But of course her FIL was a freaking psychiatrist... gee, no opportunities for help there...

She remembers every bad thing that anyone has ever done to her, or that she has imagined anyone has done. It boggles the mind. Nothing is ever her fault... it's always that my dad said this, or the neighbor did that...30 years ago!

I am terrified that I am going to permanently damage my dd. I am so afraid I am becoming my mother. I'm even afraid of therapy - it just seems like too much to take on.
post #47 of 113
Originally Posted by mamasoulsista
It's so hard to have a women who is highly functional, very intelligent and everyone loves her on the outside, and they think I"m selfish, and awful for not talking to my mother for periods of time. She's so manipulative, cruel, entitled, and ALWAYS the victim of problems in every relationship.
Everything you wrote is my mother (including me in therapy for MANY years) but this quote above hits home: everyone thinks my mom is great. Because they only know her in passing. What's worse is that she IS brilliant... she was incredibly successful in business in the 70s as a single mom with no education. But she uses that brain to be exactly what you described: manipulative, cruel and entitled.

And I also raised two of my younger brothers--including one that I had to care for from birth. I was 8 and had to wake up in the middle of the night to get his bottles. The other brother is her favorite. She always blamed the extra attention on her need to make up for the fact that my dad wasn't in the picture.

I left my mom when I was 12 and went to live with my dad (a whole other nightmare entirely). When I left I told her that if she fought me, I'd have her other children removed with the things I could say (honestly) in court.

It's going on a year now that we haven't spoken and have barely communicated at all except for a few e-mails that were nasty, condescending and manipulative on her end.

Here's the best: Despite our disagreeing over the last year, I kept putting out there that she was welcome to come see the baby and even if I couldn't have visitors (I had post-birth restrictions on visitors) that we would be sure she could see the baby (DH could take DS to my brothers where she would stay--a few blocks away). She said she wasn't coming. Okay, no problem.... But later she put it on me that she was simply "respecting my wishes"--that I didn't want her in my life...! Ugh! I'm sure she expected me to run around trying to clear it up and "Oh Mom! NO!! I never said that! PLEASE--come be in my life!!". Well, that never happened.

Soon after this she went to live with my brother (the one I cared for at birth who is now 24, married w/2 sons) because she was (again) divorcing my stepfather after 23 years. While there, she nearly broke their marriage up. My mom would lie to my brother about my SIL and my brother (completely blind to my mother's problems) BELIEVED HER. My mom was so bad that at one point she manipulated my SIL into a crazed frenzy and then called the police and told them that she was supposed to be on meds and isn't and thus is a danger to her children. She tried to have the babies removed from the house!!!

From that point on, I wrote her off. She didn't know it because we weren't speaking already and I didn't tell anyone but DH (who doesn't tell ANYone anything). BTW--my brother promptly "woke up" and also wrote her off.

The day after my brother tells her she's out of there and he's done with her, she calls my house and leaves a message "just to let us know she loves us". (Did I mention that I can count on one hand how many times in my life she has ever said that--to anyone). I knew what she was up to--on to my household using her grandson as the excuse. I didn't return the call. I called my brother and he told me what I already knew--she had been tossed.

Rambling again.
post #48 of 113

We have similar stories.

I realized that my mom isn't telling anyone that we're not talking right now. Which has me scared. She usually does. So what is she storing up all of her energy for?? I have a feeling the end result is going to be really ugly on my end.

However, Thanksgiving was wonderful. And I"m looking forward to a wonderful Christmas without her drama, anger and manipulation.

Hang in there to everyone dealing with being hurt (emotionally, physically or spiritually) by your mothers. I have a feeling we're a select few.

post #49 of 113
My sister from her lofty vantage of 2 states away.. Thinks I should cut our mother some slack and start speaking with her again..

So... I am going to.. Sort of.. I am writing her a detailed letter of what I need for her to do to be a part of our lives.. If she can't do those she can't be in our lives..

What scares me is the awful things she says to my lil' bro and my sister about me.. She lives in a town where my dh owns a building and does business.. I'm afraid she will say something awful about us to someone and his business wiht suffer..

How unfortunately close all of our posts sound..

I too was mortified when pregnant to have a daughther.. SOOO many mother issues.. I had a friend as me would I rather have a healthy girl, or a sickly boy.. I said I'd rather have a boy.. That was ds1.. I was still terrified to have a girl with ds2.. Now.. I know I am a good mom, and could probably handle a girl.. I was apprehensive, but ok with my 3rd pg.. Also a boy.. I would really love to have a little girl now.. Turns out being a mom is what I'm good at, and why shouldn't I be.. I've been doing it forever..

Warm Squishy Feelings to us all..

post #50 of 113
Heatherdeb and Mamasoulsista,

My mom sounds exactly like yours. She hasn't talked to me in three and a half years, but acts like everything is normal to others, or that I am the one who stopped talking to her. In a wierd way. She went to her friend's house who had a picture of my son that I sent her (I like her friend), and she said she didn't know who that "person" was. She knows what my son looks like!
His pictures are all over my sister's house (the one she likes!).

I have grown so much in the last 3 and a half years, let me tell you. My sanity is almost restored. It's like quitting smoking and the lungs start to turn pink again.

I am jealous of people with moms, though. Very. Luckily my MIL and I are close.

post #51 of 113
Leatherette... you know what...? I never even thought about what she's telling other people. She's lived 1500 miles away for 17 years--so we don't really know anyone in common! That's a good one!

And unfortunately my ILs have hated me from the day they met me (no exaggeration--they told DH the exact thing I did that day). And funny, THEY do what your mom is doing... we used to keep a website up w/pics of DS for distant relatives. Well, they were printing them out and showing them around acting like we were speaking. Then, when we wouldn't show up to a family function, they'd gossip about how horrible we were to not be there...!!!!


Question: Do any of you have MOSTLY screwy families? And when you get upset with ALL of them at once, do you occasionally feel like maybe it's really YOU...?

I do, but then I just have to remind myself that:

My mother... well, see my prior posts

My father... has used my SSN to open at least one business while I was under age (one of a looooong list of deceptive things he's done)

My ILs... think I have "drugged and brainwashed" their son simply because he takes medication for his panic attacks (which have hit him while driving and almost caused an accident TWICE) and think that I am the reason DH didn't speak to them for 6 months (despite the fact that during those months I was urging him to communicate with them about what he was angry about so they could reconcile).

No... it's not me.

Sorry--hope I don't come across as hijacking this thread.
post #52 of 113
Originally Posted by heatherdeg

Question: Do any of you have MOSTLY screwy families? And when you get upset with ALL of them at once, do you occasionally feel like maybe it's really YOU...?

I do have screwy parents and ILs. But what I think is more screwy is the way I constantly live in reactionary mode? KWIM?? I'm always trying to calculate someone's next move and practice in my head responses A-Z. It's crazy. I'm the one obsessing about the past hurt, neglect, and craziness. Even in my mothers chaotic life, I'm sure she's not obsessing over me and our relationship. I'm the one carrying that shit all on my own. I've come to believe that it's me and my hurtful experiences with my mother/parents that effect the way that I deal with other people who exhibit similar behaviors and I'm the one who starts to act crazy. Does that make sense to anyone?

Anyway, I've got some serious resentments that are eating away my life and core relationships that were/are healthy, and if I'm able to process them, I'll be in a better place.

It will also help when the holiday seasons are over.

post #53 of 113
i'm so grateful for this thread. Otherwise I would think I was imagining things. DH and I moved country 4 years ago. 18 months later my parents followed. It really bothered me at the time and then I just fell into the old way of doing what I was told. I've been reading "rescuing the inner child" by Penny Parks. It's for sexual abuse survivors originally, but its' really good if your parents just screwed you up generally. Between that and this thread, I'm working up the courage to tell my parents to go away. I would love to have a good relationship with them, but I have so much C**p to work through about my mum and I can't do that when I have to keep seeing her all the time. I think it's time I was brave and told her I'm not going to be responsible for her happiness any more. I don't suppose I'll get a good response from her. I'm going to do it by letter after we see them just after Christmas.

I'm so fed up with being fake and the more I see them, the more I hate the way they are with my kids. Sometimes they are OK, but others, they are so controlling. Who gave them that right? Well, I'm not going to be giving it to them any more. I don't know about my dad. i guess I've been trying to help him "look after" my mum since I was 4.

That book has helped me to be angry about it. And I think it's about time I was. I need to get past that so I can stop being angry with my own children for things they don't do and so I can stop mothering my mother to have the energy to mother my children.

Of course, I'm completely terrified of telling them - even by letter. I don't remember a time when I really didn't do what they told me. My mother would say I've never done what she wanted, but really I've been such a well-behaved person all my life and this is scary. It's not logical though. What am I scared is going to happen? Something terrible, but I couldn't tell you what.

Thanks for the controlling parents link mamaoui.

Heatherdeg, that's a good question. I think the answer is that yes, my family is screwy and no, I hadn't realised it before. They are also funny and like to get together in big groups, but I hadn't really noticed how intense they are, how they stick together, how "heavy" problems are, and how basically weird they are. They have these big discussions about tiny issues, and then, a couple of years back when one of my cousins talked about being abused by her father, of course, everyone denied it, if they even mentioned it at all...

My IL's seem relatively normal. Their problems all seem on a different scale. Things are much lighter. Their problems and arguments get aired in public at the top of their voices. Which is worth avoiding if you're around, but at least there's nothing hidden. Nothing to worry about. If you offend someone, they'll probably stop speaking to you, so you don't need to worry about it like with my mum who will remember for the next 3 lifetimes...
post #54 of 113
post #55 of 113
Well, I was told by my mom that it was me, all my life. Whenever I questioned anything or believed differently than her, I was being bad, rude, or wierd ("Wierd" was her favorite. She had this mental picture of me being this out-in-the-stratosphere nut, which she was always happy to share with everyone and have a group laugh at my expense, while I had actually been molded by her to be totally risk-averse and relatively well-behaved).

So I think it would follow that I would spend a long time wondering, "No, but really, is it me?". And I, too, went to a few therapists with the question, and even when they reassured me that it was not me, I was suspicious. But now, no.

Heatherdeg, I live 3000 miles away from my mom, but she lives near all of our extended family, who I never see, and she had some friends who knew me as a teen and college student, and always told her how sweet I was. And she is definitely trying to paint me as a villain and herself as a victim. Which amuses me, really, because I will probably never see most of those people again, and the people who I do have contact with know that she is making everything up. Because at one point or another, she did this to them, too.

post #56 of 113
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly
Oh, my! I've thought it must be ME! I even asked my therapist about this. She assured me that it wasn't me. I asked her how did she know I wasn't just making things up or that my perspective wasn't just all screwy. She said that there is a consistency to everything I've told her. But I still wonder sometimes that maybe it IS me...maybe I am just a whiner. But I know I am not...KWIM?
Oh yeah. I know what you mean.

"Well, I was told by my mom that it was me, all my life. Whenever I questioned anything or believed differently than her, I was being bad, rude, or wierd ("Wierd" was her favorite. She had this mental picture of me being this out-in-the-stratosphere nut, which she was always happy to share with everyone and have a group laugh at my expense..." by Leatherette.

Leatherette, I always got "You always have to be different/difficult" from both of my parents.

This will be the first Christmas that I don't have to put up with the drama. I'm sure they'll pull something, but my dh has offered to be my insanity shield (by screening calls or handling any knocks at the door).
post #57 of 113
Just a hug for the mamas on this thread.
post #58 of 113
Thread Starter 
Well, I made it through the holidays without letting my mom upset me. First time EVER!!! How is everyone else handling things this holiday??
post #59 of 113
I sent my mother a nice non judgemental letter with her xmas card telling her that because we couldn't communicate in a functional/rational way, I thought it would be best for us to only communicate through the post.. Best holiday ever..

Warm Squishy Feelings..

post #60 of 113
my mom is so so so so so very crazy.
does anyone here do LJ?
I just posted a long long post about it over there.
im me if you want to join my friendslist. it will be
mom-themed for a bit, I expect. :-(
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