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<p>My mom has called me a couple of times in the last week. I can't stand even being on the phone with her. I feel like I can sense what she's really thinking even when she's being nice. I told her she could pick up some clothes for DS if she wanted (I haven't let her buy him clothes in ages because he has too many and hasn't outgrown them) and immediately she goes into, "OK, I bought him three outfits. Is that enough? How many does he need? Does he need shoes?" and all I can think is that she's saying that she HAS to buy him enough clothes or he'll go naked, since I can't possibly be taking care of him. When he was little, she used to buy things like wet wipes and disposables (even though we used cloth) and it felt like she was thinking we had no way of knowing what a baby needed, like if we ran out of wet wipes we just wouldn't think to buy more. SIL actually told her off a few months ago because she wanted to buy every.single.thing. for DN and SIL felt like she was telling her she couldn't take good enough care of her kid.</p>
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<p>She does something similar about money. Every time I'm around her, she's mentioning helping us out with this or that expense, even though I haven't mentioned it and we don't need help with it. Makes me feel like she's constantly trying to remind me that I'm not good enough and can't survive without her giving me money. At the same time, she goes on and on about how she's giving my grandmother or my brother money, so things are tight and "we can't give much." Did I ask for a handout? NO. It feels like she's just trying to be a martyr and remind me of how unfailingly loving and generous she is to her ungrateful children (yeah right).</p>
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<p>I don't mention this much because the way she words things, it always seems to outsiders that she's just trying to be nice. Even DH says I'm reading too much into it sometimes. But there's always this undercurrent of "You can't do this without my help" and "Look how much I give and give and everyone is just so mean to me" in everything she says. My brother and sister won't even talk to her on the phone. I will maybe once every few months. And a lot of it's crap like this or the drama she starts. I shudder to think of what Christmas is going to be like. To be honest, the only reason I'm going for Christmas is because they're going to buy us a whole bunch of stuff for the baby. Selfish, I know, but the only reason I have left to even visit them.</p>
 

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The holidays are hard. <img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"> Sounds like she's got some ulterior motives and you've reached your limit
 

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<p>I feel your pain. One of the best days of my life was when a good friend of mine came to help me move, along with my immediate family. She had heard my stories of how awful they treat me, and had always assumed there are two sides to everything and that I must somehow contribute to it all or misunderstood their good intentions. She was in my closet packing things up and overheard my brother being a jerk to me completely unprovoked. She was shocked beyond belief that he spoke to me the way he did. Then later, my mom started up while my friend was in the bathroom, unbeknownst to her. After my mom left, my friend came out with her mouth hanging open in utter disbelief. "All those stories you told me - I believe you now!! It's not you! It IS them!! I'm so sorry!!"</p>
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<p>I always find myself saying "I'm NEVER going to let them help me ever again!" Somehow my mom always suckers me in again. She has this need to look good in other people's eyes. I think she tells her friends and coworkers about what I'm going through, and they make helpful suggestions which she then carries out with a selfish mindset or something.</p>
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<p>One of the things I'm learning now that is helping me cope with STBX and public opinion is that once someone oversteps your boundaries, it doesn't matter WHY. I've stopped accepting excuses for his behavior, both from him and from others. I feel the same way around my family, even though they tout that they're trying to help me.</p>
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<p>Now I'm seeing it in more obvious ways. If I mention lawyer fees, she screams "I don't have any money!" But when we talked about DD and me flying out for Christmas, it's "We'll find a way" and "I've been looking at flights" and "Hurry up and find tickets and I'll pay for them". It's still all about her. I try not to bite the carrot, but sometimes the benefit seems to outweigh the risk.</p>
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<p>Hope Christmas is a lot of fun for you guys, in spite of the stress and mind games.</p>
 

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<p>Originally Posted by <strong>bananabee</strong> <a href="/community/forum/thread/1284648/i-can-t-stand-talking-to-her-even-when-she-s-being-nice#post_16106672"><img alt="View Post" class="inlineimg" src="/community/img/forum/go_quote.gif" style="border:0px solid;"></a></p>
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<p>once someone oversteps your boundaries, it doesn't matter WHY.</p>
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<br><br><p>This is so exactly what I needed to hear! I even find myself buying into her excuses and thinking she's just trying to be nice. I'm definitely getting better about it. Maybe I'm encouraging her by taking the money. I keep thinking that if she wants to give me money as a gift, that's on her and I've certainly got plenty of uses for it. But maybe it's better if I don't take it, I don't know.</p>
 

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<p>So glad I could help!</p>
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<p>I wouldn't take the money unless you really need it and don't think you'll survive without it. If she wants to give it to your kids, maybe you could open some kind of mutual fund account or something? I say this because, I still hear my mom's words echoing in my head, "I gave you money!!!" as if that was leverage enough to make me forget the things she had done that were unkind/controlling.</p>
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<p>Since I moved 2000 miles away, my relationship w/my mom has improved significantly. LOL Also, seeing a GOOD therapist has helped me put some things in perspective and process it so that I'm not listening to what my mom says anymore as much as I hear my own thoughts and opinions. So now I feel more confident disagreeing with my mom and can do it without whining (which I guess made her see me as helpless and needing rescuing). I did call my mom a couple weeks ago in a panic about lawyer fees, but later in the day called her back just to let her know I was fine and not freaking out anymore and knew I was going to find a way. Cuz otherwise she never sees me being strong because that's when I don't call anyone.  Even though I am very strong, she had no way of knowing that. It's part of the never crying uncle until I can't handle the pain mentality that I've grown up having. Going through all this has taught me so much about myself.</p>
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<p>Hope you find the solution that offers the least amount of side effects. Family is so tough to deal with.</p>
 

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I'm so sorry your mother uses money as a bludgeon, mama. It's a common tactic of abusers; money is control. Money is power. The only way to remove that control is to stop taking anything from them--money, material goods, favors, childcare, "comfort"...it always has huge strings attached.<br><br>
My relationship with my estranged parents was never good or healthy, but it improved a lot when I stopped accepting bribes from them (it still wasn't enough to save the relationship, but it helped for awhile).<br><br>
I also always felt really hypocritical taking the money. It never sat right with me to take their money when I really hated spending time with them or even talking to them on the phone. Once I let myself accept that I didn't like them or respect them much at all, it was easy to understand that I had no business accepting their "help". It's soul-killing to feel obligated to someone who treats you like dirt (which is why abusers love to use money as a weapon).<br><br>
Maybe if you stop taking her "gifts" you can get some of that control back.<br><br><img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"><img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif"><img alt="hug.gif" class="bbcode_smiley" src="http://files.mothering.com/images/smilies/hug.gif">
 
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