Anyone else dealing with a crazy mom? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 113 Old 12-27-2004, 01:58 AM
 
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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?
OMG!!! That is so me! I'm constantly asking my counselor, "do you think it's me?" "am I being weird, overdramatic, controlling, ect..." She's constantly assuring me, that no...its definitely NOT me.
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#62 of 113 Old 12-27-2004, 03:26 AM
 
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Holidays were great... no mom, no ILs and because my father provoked a well-timed argument to get out of gift-giving, no dad. It was the most pleasant holiday I've had in years.

Here's a good one: mom spent Christmas with my half-brother (the one I woke up to feed in the middle of the night at age 8) who says that my mother is just SCARED about the whole situation regarding she and I not speaking...?!?! This is a woman who has never been scared of anything in her life. I'll tell you what her issue is: she's "scared" that if she tries to contact me I won't just let it go and act like nothing ever happened!

BTW... this would be my mom who left my step-father's home in March of this year with a divorce that was finalized in Oct. of this year... after 16 years of marriage and a total of 24 years together. As of today, she is living with a new guy who she intends to marry... hmmmm.

And how strange is it that so many of us were consumed/controlled by the need to always do the right thing, well-behaved, and at least one person other than me was risk-averse (although I've overcome that a little). Odd.

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#63 of 113 Old 12-27-2004, 10:10 PM
 
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I just had to add my name to the crazy mom thread.

My mom was everything- extremely abusive in every way. I was even molested, as a child and then as a teen, and that was my fault too. She was/is completely two different people- the outside person to neighbors/coworkers, and then the real her. Everything was my fault growing up, from birth to this day. Even her own family/parents thinks she needs serious help.

It is weird that I had a much easier time getting over the things she did to me as a child, and a much harder time getting over the things she does to my family now.

It also hurts that certain other family members totally admit she was/is a monster to me/my family and that she is crazy for real, but then they will talk nice to her and get together on the holidays... because she is not attacking them personally, yk? Like, they're showing her that "it's okay to do really god-awful things as long as you don't do them to me personally, and only do them to so-and so."

ETA: we have not talked in a while (18 months) cuz she denies everything that ever happened...
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#64 of 113 Old 12-28-2004, 12:06 AM
 
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Another member of the "Crazy Mom" club here!

My mother may not be quite as bad as some of your's but she sure screwed me up!

I've spent the past few years trying to get to know her as a person, to have an emotional relationship with her. She's actually in psychotherapy, which is starting to help. I had a conversation with her a few months ago where I felt like I was ACTUALLY talking to her and could speak without censoring myself. Wow!

My mother had a wierd family growing up and compensated for this by being a big sl*t and drinking and being a wild person, then turning an about-face and joining a religious cult where she wore nothing but ankle-length skirts for 30 years, listened to nothing but classical music, never drank (not that this is a bad thing...) and never dealt with any negative emotions, nor would she deal with anyone else's. She had HUGE issues about sex and money that she taught me which really screwed up my relationships (along with the "we don't talk about our emotions unless they're happy" thing) until I met DH, who has helped me to become my own person. I was also raised in the cult and had issues of my own with it, luckily leaving on my own at 19, realizing what a bunch of crap it was.

What helped, for me, was to write her a VERY long letter about the exact issues that bothered me about my childhood and our relationship. While she's only written back a little bit, she did leave the religious cult, start psychotherapy, and start to talk to me about these issues.

So for some people, things can change. But I still consider myself part of this club.

However, this holidays was also the first time in several years that I haven't been sick as a result of past holiday memories with my mom. I also don't get sick when I need to talk to her about something emotional. I just call her up and tell her.

For me, although I want her to be a happy person, most of the things I've done with my mom in terms of letters, talking, etc. have been about healing myself. My suggestion is to focus on this, and if these actions or words help your mother, too, that's great, but at least you are doing what you need to do feel better.

ETA: she's also on some anti-anxiety medication which really seems to have helped her. And she's doing things for herself now, like buying new things when she needs them, treating herself well, standing up for herself, not saying "yes" to everyone. I'm so glad she started therapy!

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#65 of 113 Old 12-28-2004, 12:09 AM
 
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I also wanted to HIGHLY suggest the book "Sanity, Madness, and the Family" - an investigative book by this man who interviewed women who'd been institutionalized for schizophrenia, among other diagnoses, and their families, and found that...surprise! These women weren't crazy at all - it was their families, esp. their mothers.

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#66 of 113 Old 12-28-2004, 09:42 AM
 
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Count me in. I have a mom that..eck I'm too tired to gripe about her. I love her but...damn! I can't stand her.
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#67 of 113 Old 12-28-2004, 10:51 PM
 
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Hi, I am new here, invited over after a post in TAO about my mother who places all her value in me.
I won't go into it again here but wanted to introduce myself and say that I ought to be here more often if I decide I have the energy to deal with her in my life right now.
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#68 of 113 Old 01-05-2005, 04:03 AM
 
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[QUOTE=arcenciel] 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.
QUOTE]

This is the hardest part for me with my mother. My dad was always getting me to give up what I needed (emotionaly or otherwise) so that my mom would be happy. I feel a real loss in my life since I have no siblings to comeserate with or at least a witness to day "It's not you, it's her."
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#69 of 113 Old 01-05-2005, 06:06 PM
 
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artgoddess - I have to say that having a younger brother (3 years) is not a lot of consolation. I don't even talk to him about all of what I feel because he is so much on her side. He always "sees my point, but..." and the but is basically that he feels sorry for her and still feels the need to look after her. He doesn't have children yet and I kind of hope that if he does then he'll start to see the light. That was how it worked for me, mostly.

My brother even came to spend the holidays with my parents instead of staying with his girlfriend (of 5 years, planning to get married) because he says he would miss them and he enjoys it. What's to enjoy? Mum just gets worried or upset about something and we end up tiptoeing round trying not to upset her. I think he basically just feels guilty.

PikkMyy - you're lucky if you can talk to your mom at all. In some ways,my mom is not that bad, but I could never have a conversation with her about my feelings. When I started therapy I said I didn't want to see her for a while because I didn't want to take out my anger on the "real" her when really it was about the past. I started seeing her again but ever since she regularly says, "what did I do to you that was SO BAD?" She just doesn't get that anything was/is wrong. And I'm not going to start that conversation because somehow she would just end up blaming me.

Anyway, the holidays for us were ok as we too avoided parents and IL's except for one day with my parents on the 26th. Then my mum got real offended because I didn't rave about the dress she bought my dd (actually I hated it because I don't like synthetic clothes but she would have been even more offended if I told her so I'm stuck - again).

Thanks to this thread I'm feeling braver about protecting my kids from my mom - such as getting them out of the situation if she makes a big deal about them having to give her a kiss... or whatever.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#70 of 113 Old 01-05-2005, 06:13 PM
 
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My mother is the biggest stress in our marriage. She is a depressed,
everything is wrong with her, pessimist. It's so hard to have a relationship with that. She refuses to get help and as a result gets very little time with her grandbabies. sad.
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#71 of 113 Old 01-06-2005, 02:27 PM
 
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I must have had a moment of self-hate because I called my mother right before christmas to ask if she would like to come over for lunch on Christmas day to see DS. She was going out of town so we agreed that she would call when she returned.

She called and infact got a new job 6 miles away from my home. So we agreed to have lunch with DS so that she could see him. The phone calls to arrange the lunch were so cold and icy. Filled with the edge of her voice that says, once again I've hurt her by not calling her for a while (see previous posts), she's not going to allow me to get to her, she doesn't care about me or like me because I"m not falling in line, etc. Her word choice is cold, formal, and brief. WHY DID I CALL HER???

I wish I could win the lotto and move back to San Diego and be really, really far away from her again. I would pay her not to contact me at all. I would find a woman who want to mother me without conditions, unrealistic and unspoken expectations, and didn't find me disappointing next to my brothers perceived perfection. Oh yeah, that's my grandmother (paternal)
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#72 of 113 Old 01-06-2005, 02:46 PM
 
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mamasoulsista- go easy on yourself dear. It is the most natural thing in the world to want your mommy. We all need mothering and believe it or not, you are attached to her, even if it is a rocky attachment. Just keep reminding yourself that her crazy isn't your crazy, that making her happy isn't your job, that you deserve more than she can ever give. It really does help to see her as broken, lacking so that you don't do what children naturally do- make it their fault. Good luck with the lottery plan but until then, don't give her so much power.

Maureen
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#73 of 113 Old 01-06-2005, 03:30 PM
 
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my crazy mom could beat up your crazy mom!
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#74 of 113 Old 01-06-2005, 05:57 PM
 
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Originally Posted by mama ganoush
my crazy mom could beat up your crazy mom!

Oh Yeah?!? :LOL
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#75 of 113 Old 01-06-2005, 06:25 PM
 
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Thanks for the humor. Maybe that's what we need more of!

Mamasoulsista, my mom lives quite close too and was talking of moving back home (a couple of countries away). I thought for a while that would be good, but having her here forces me to face the issues. Not necessarily in my relationship with her which it might never be possible to sort out, but in myself. I am growing so much as a person and as a mother by handling the issues I have with my mom, and for that, I have to be grateful. I guess I also believe that we choose our family, and I must have chosen her for some reason....

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#76 of 113 Old 01-13-2005, 01:40 PM
 
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#77 of 113 Old 01-14-2005, 12:37 AM
 
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Originally Posted by arcenciel
Thanks for the humor. Maybe that's what we need more of!

Mamasoulsista, my mom lives quite close too and was talking of moving back home (a couple of countries away). I thought for a while that would be good, but having her here forces me to face the issues. Not necessarily in my relationship with her which it might never be possible to sort out, but in myself. I am growing so much as a person and as a mother by handling the issues I have with my mom, and for that, I have to be grateful. I guess I also believe that we choose our family, and I must have chosen her for some reason....
I think of my situation in similar terms as the last things you said. I have grown enormously as a person from trying to figure out my relationship with her, and how it's affected me, etc., and I am grateful for that, and for the fact that we are starting to repair our relationship.

Early intervention specialist and parent consultant since 2002.
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#78 of 113 Old 01-14-2005, 02:29 PM
 
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I feel almost out of place posting this here, my Mom’s not an addict or a molester or a sex-pot or a divorcee…she has just been a drain on my entire life. Her behavior and personality have been a barricade to all my efforts at having any sort of normal relationship with her.

She bills herself as “G-rated” ~ no smoking, no drinking, no swearing, no risqué behavior (heck, she and Dad have had separate beds since forever and she won’t wear shorts let alone a swimsuit at the beach), but my Mom is in serious need of psychotherapy. Ever since I can remember, her behavior has been ‘off’:

Paranoid, schizophrenic, manic-depressive, delusional, controlling, manipulative, emotionally-stunted, shallow, non-introspective (yet starkly self-absorbed), generous to a fault with strangers and neighbors yet never giving of her Self to anyone…the list goes on, but I don’t want to bore people.

My biggest fear is that of turning into her, that her ‘issues’ are somehow genetic. My concerns include how to deal with her when she does one of her weird things, like mailing me a magazine article on date rape. My daughter is only 6, so it’s not for her…and I’ve been married for 13 years, so it’s not for me…what the heck is she trying to tell me?

She & Dad now live on the opposite coast from me, which is a relief to my own little nuclear family, but it is affecting my older sister, who lives 40 minutes from her. Mom will get on the phone with our daughter, and tell her things like “If you ever get upset and want to run away from home and come live with us, don’t. It would be sad for your parents.” How to deal with this sort of thing, without cutting her off from her granddaughter, without making said granddaughter feel ‘put in the middle’.

Thanks, all, for reading.
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#79 of 113 Old 01-14-2005, 03:11 PM
 
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Oh- I certainly think you belong here. It is hard when they seem kind of normal and you know they aren't. My oldest who is 20, laughs now when Grandma does her crazy stuff. He undertands and it doesn't get to him so much because she is just a grandma, not his mother. (Of course he has some issues with my craziness as well, I am sure. : ) This stuff isn't genetic and just by being aware of it, you are leaps ahead of your mother, right? Mostly, my line is don't let her crazy be your crazy. I suggest when you get something like that in the mail, just toss it with the other junk mail, it doesn't mean anything that you will understand or find helpful, I am sure.

Maureen
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#80 of 113 Old 01-14-2005, 03:28 PM
 
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Well, that's a relief...that I DO belong here! Thanks, MsMpls.

I could probably mentally 'flush' most of her 'stuff', but the hardest part of doing that is my husband, who (God love him!) firmly believes in hitting problems head-on and pulling no punches. He tries to get me to confront her, to be strong with her, to tell her 'no more junk-mail, or I'm sending back unopened!' *sigh* I love him to pieces, but he just doesn't understand that, having been accepted for decades, this behavior is not going to change. Not even with such harsh measures. Within months, the junk mail (and other behaviors) will simply slide back into place, as if the confrontation never happened, and we're back at Square One.

She will not admit there is a problem with herself under any circumstances, so counseling is out of the questions, unless we commit her as a family. My Dad has gone so far as to really confront her about her behavior, and, when cornered and forced to face it, she practically regresses, pulls a 180 and becomes a martyr: "You're right, I'm a terrible person, I'll never set foot in that house again, I'll never call them again, I'm just not wooorrrrrrthyyyy...." You get the idea. *sigh* Impossible.

I guess I need to know if any of her behavior sounds like it fits a certain category that I can go research (ie. bi-polar, schizophrenic, paranoid, delusional, regressive, all of the above???) and get a better handle on.

Thoughts? Ideas, from your own experiences?
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#81 of 113 Old 01-14-2005, 03:44 PM
 
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Narcissistic is the catagory that most fits crazy moms. The martyr thing you describe makes me think that.
Pretending stuff didn't happen makes me thing disassociative. Maybe google those and see if you find anything that helps you.

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#82 of 113 Old 01-16-2005, 06:30 PM
 
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#83 of 113 Old 01-17-2005, 11:34 AM
 
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LilOleMe, my mom is also "none of the above", but that doesn't mean she's not "crazy". I know what you mean about dealing with problems head on. I really like to do that in life, mostly it works really well. But only with grown-ups. My mom would also pull the martyr thing, or do something that would have me in tears, so I have to cut off contact with her, or live a kind of superficial relationship with her. I HATE superficial, but if she won't handle her own issues, I'm damned if I'm going to take them on.

Things have been kind of calm lately. I've seen her, but I've got my defenses up and I'm much more aware of hre manipulation and able to handle it. I've also felt good about protecting my dc's from her behaviour.

tinybutterfly, I so agree about the therapy. I need to get back with that, but it has really helped me to see when I'm transferring my issues onto my poor children and it therefore helps me to stop doing it.

This thread has been great for me to realise that I am not imagining things or exaggerating them. Thanks again.

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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#84 of 113 Old 01-17-2005, 11:57 AM
 
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and I feel for YOU!

My mother and father had me so young... 20yrs old! I think this has a lot to do with my mother's crazy-ness.

she's been bolemic most of my life. Which now just annoys me as she doesn't want to get better AND she bitches at my sister and i for being fat?!?!?! She regularly eats TWO entrees at restraunts then brags about how thin she is?!?! come one!?! I can still feel that feeling of being a kid and knowing she's in the bathroom puking... rough.

She's also a "VICTIM". She needs to be miserable otherwise she loses her power, I guess. She's right, and it's always all about her.

She's SO IMPRESSED with rich people. She cooks/cleans for some political people / wealthy older folks and talks about how great they are ALL DAY. I don't know these people yet she talks about them like the sun rises and sets with them. SHe drops names like it's going out of style... why???? It's embarrasing when we are with in-laws or something.

She has told me many times that she "hates me". She LOVES to tell me that I'm a selfish-drama queen (I hate drama and/or attention of any kind!). She calls me to remind me of stupid things like... don't forget to put a hat on the baby, it's cold out------DUH?

When I was 21 I bought a dog. I went and picked out the puppy I wanted. I made the mistake of telling her about it and she then CALLED THE PEOPLE AND TOLD THEM I WASN'T MATURE ENOUGH OR BRIGHT ENOUGH to have a puppy!?!?!??! I was mortified (I was paying $800.00 for this dog....)! My father then took me to pick up the puppy and explain to them that my mother was a nut.

She abuses pain killers and asthma medicine. Yet she is constantly on my ass about taking TUMS too often?!?! She has a drawer FULL of rx's. If you talk w/ her late at night her voice is even slurred. She's 5foot6 and weighs maybe 100lbs..... ugh.

She has a shopping problem (big surprise). SHe has a basement full of catagorized boxes of things she's bought. She has 55 COATS! Yet she barely can pay her bills or buy food each month.

Okay, that's all I've got for today PHEW~
One thing I do have to say is that she seems to adore Baylor. And I'm thankful she thinks he's so perfect.
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#85 of 113 Old 01-17-2005, 01:09 PM
 
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Thank you all for your suggestions; I've got some research to do, methinks! "Differentiated Schizophrenia" has some possibilities, as well as all the thoughts you kind folks offered.

edamommy, you got me thinking about my own mom, which I suppose is a typical event in an environment such as this ~ we all find commonality in each other's moms. While Mom's not got any eating disorders, she *does* display some interesting obsessive-compulsive behaviors: she adores flea markets and second-hand stores, collects boxes and boxes of other people's castoffs, and then, after sorting them and washing them, she recycles them as gifts to friends, neighbors, family members. I'm talking about clothes that are two sizes too small, magazine clippings, old shoes, half-empty bottles of shampoo, opened (but taped shut) bags of snacks, buttons with strange sayings on them, religious songs on tape, all manner of things. She's got a storage room of boxes...it's like she has this irresistable urge to clean, coupled with a similar urge to GIVE. Since she can't (or won't?) give of herSELF (ie, sharing fond memories with our daughter, self-reflective conversations with me, etc.), she gives all manner of trinket & gewgaw she can get her hands on (everything from fast-food toys to skeins of yarn she got because they were on close-out, not because she knows I knit ~ I don't).

To top that off, she usually tells people all about her generosity, making cookies for neighbors, doing good deeds, etc and so forth, ad nauseum. Does she do this stuff for the joy of doing something good, or for her own aggrandizement? Sad...possibly she craves the praise, not having gotten real acceptance from her own father (she loves telling stories of how he wanted a boy, how he used to punish her by sitting her in a corner while guests were visiting, how much of a cruel dictator he was, she wasn't the favorite child, etc.) ~ and that is HER cross to bear, her pain to deal with, not mine or my daughter's or my husband's.
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#86 of 113 Old 01-24-2005, 01:16 AM
 
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Talk me down ladies...

The last couple of days I've been feeling the urge to contact my mother again.. I mean through letter.. Since the last letter I sent to her at xmas said that postal (as in through the mail not going postal) correspondence was cool.. I don't want her to feel abandoned, but I really can not have her physically in my life..

Am I deluding myself.. I mean .. probably.. But.. I'm just soo conflicted.. KWIM>.


Any words of wisdom??

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#87 of 113 Old 01-24-2005, 10:42 AM
 
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I think you should write the letter. I keep my mother in my life (well, we know live in the same town, on the same island!!!LOL) because she is my mother. I keep in a lot of pain and frustration and bite my tongue the entire time she's visiting... but it's worth it for me to know that inside my heart I've done the best I could to love her.
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#88 of 113 Old 01-24-2005, 07:29 PM
 
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Maybe you could write the letter, then hold onto it for a bit before you mail it? Or just send her a pretty card?

Stuff going on here, but I don't know how to explain it. Feels a bit like this. :

"Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle." -Plato
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#89 of 113 Old 01-24-2005, 11:40 PM
 
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Originally Posted by tinybutterfly

Stuff going on here, but I don't know how to explain it. Feels a bit like this. :

I understand

Warm Squishy Feelings..

Dyan

It's lonely being the only XX in a house of XYs.
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#90 of 113 Old 01-25-2005, 05:32 PM
 
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Pynki, and probably everyone else... I think in some ways this thread makes things more difficult. I guess I thought that one day I would be able to "sort things out" with my Mom, but the more times I post, the more I realise that she just isn't in a place where I'll be able to do that.

So in some ways it seems easier to just shut her out and get on with things, but then that's not really handling it, it doesn't go away just because I don't deal with it. So what's the answer when you have a non-adult parent? How do you handle the issues?

arcenciel WAHM to 14 and 13yo DS, 9 and 5yo DD

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