Strained relationship with my mother... - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 4 Old 08-21-2007, 02:59 AM - Thread Starter
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My relationship with my mother is very strained. We have never gotten along well or been very close. We are very different people. I am really laid back, reserved, soft spoken and hate conflict. My mom is very blunt and direct, and can be very controling. I have struggled for a long time with her and have wondered at many points in my life if I should continue my relationship with her. My problem is that I know she loves me but it is just very hard to be around her and to have any kind of a relationship with her. To complicate things further now I have two kids. My oldest is 2.5 and really loves my mother. I don't want to cut her off from her Grandma but I also don't want to have to deal with my mom and her emotional abuse my whole life...

My mom has always made me feel like I am never good enough. Growing up she made me feel like I was never thin enough, never social enough, never good enough. I went to college for a year and my parents helped pay for it. I got average grades, not great but not horrible. After that year my parents were very disappointed in me. I started dating my bf (now DH) and my parents (esp. my mom) did not like him. I was living with my parents at the time (I was 19) and they kicked me out twice and said they would not help me any more with school. I didn't know what to do so I joined the Military. I am not a military person and hated it and that made me resent my parents even more. I have one sibling, a sister that is 4.5 years younger than I am. She has always been the shining star of the family and my mom has always favored her. She has given her thousands and thousands of dollars to help her in pursuing an acting career. I had the same dream when I was in high school (of wanting to be an Actor) but my mom said I had a slim chance of making it and that she would not help me.

I could go on and on. I have so many issues with my mom and examples of times when she hurt me and crushed my self esteem.

I am in therapy which has helped me some but I still don't know what to do about my mom. Currently we are living in the same city which makes it harder because we only live about 15 minutes from each other.

Anyone have any stories, advice etc to share? Any good books for me to read? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
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#2 of 4 Old 08-21-2007, 03:04 AM
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I don't have any advice. I've moved further and further away to avoid mine. If I move any further I'm going to have to leave the country.

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#3 of 4 Old 08-21-2007, 09:52 AM
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I am sort of working out a similar situation here--my mom has lots of control issues, meltdowns (with lots of verbal abuse)...I could go on.

Set boundaries. Right now, I am going through the rotten part of setting boundaries. After my mom's most recent outburst in front of my kids (including lots of cursing and belittling), I quietly asked her to leave my home. It is not the first time I have done this. However, it is the first time I have talked with my mother after the meltdown, and laid down some groundrules. She didn't like that. We are currently not talking--actually, she is not talking to me, but I call her every few days to tell her that I love her.

I too, grew up with lots of sadness attached to the relationship with my mother. I tear up just thinking about some of the awful things she said to me. I was a workaholic in high school, college, and beyond--to compensate for all of the shame I felt about my childhood and my childhood home.

My children, like yours, love grandma. That is what has made setting boundaries the hardest. They haven't seen grandma in over a week. I won't lie...this is the part that is so hard. But I have to set the boundaries.

Sounds like you could use a , and that you have done some really good thinking about you and your mom. Make decisions youi can live with--make sure they are decisions that affect your children positively.
For me, I needed my mom to really understand how much I DIDN'T want all of the hurtful words to ring in my children's ears as they do in mine.
You are geographically close to your mom. Can you limit the time of visits with her--and cut them short when she says or does things that are hurtful?

Oh, forgot to add--I keep hearing good things about the book, Toxic Parents. I haven't yet read it, but I might get a copy soon!
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#4 of 4 Old 08-24-2007, 04:21 PM
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Move. You need a buffer!!

I have a similar relationship with my mother, and father as well. Nothing I have ever done has been good enough. She has told me my college education (which they did not pay for!) was a waste of $$ since I am just a sahm. She was, too.

My brother, not quite 2 years younger, is their perfect child. He is over 35, single (with gf, they have decided to never get married or have kids), working a dead end job (on purpose), did a no-thesis masters (which they paid for--dh and I paid for our graduate schooling), and does not drive. They drive him grocery shopping, she bakes him muffins for breakfasts. He lives over 20 minutes from them, so they do a lot of driving to serve him. He has them wrapped around his finger (he takes advantage of this). Anyway, you get the pic.

We have chosen to live 400 miles away. They are very demanding--they show up here on 2 days notice (but won't stay with us because we cannot accomodate them to their standards--my aunt has stayed with us, dh's aunt and uncle have). She always calls during dinner and demands that we move our dinnertime because she likes to call then. We don't answer the phone, period, when dinner is cooking or served.

We see them 3-4 times a year. Which is too much for me, but my kids like them. WHy, I don't know, since they can't touch anything, can't run, can't talk loudly, must clear their plates, etc etc. But there is A LOT of candy there.
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