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Author Topic: Is anyone else's mother like this?
kingfan1978
Deck the Malls


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My mother & I have a....er...strange relationship. We live about 1.5 hours apart & we talk 1-2 times a week on the phone. Inevitably, the conversations are not enjoyable. Visits are the same way. I love my mother but she's the one person on earth who can make me want to run screaming away from her.

A few of mother's quirks:
Near constant complaints - First thing in the morning during a visit to our house we're not greeted with, "Good morning!" It's "Your cats kept me up all night long! They were doing this & this, etc." Please keep in ming that we have a guest room where the cats aren't allowed to go. Mom, however, refuses to sleep in there because the mattress is too hard, so she sleeps downstairs on the couch.

I don't do anything the right way unless I do it's her way - This could be anything from which pop I buy to which way I turn my mini-blinds.

She buys gifts for you that she thinks you need, regardless of whether or not you actually want or like the item - Latest example: I'm 6 months pregnant & she's told me more than once that I should be using some anti-stretch mark lotion. I've repeatedly told her that I've been overweight for almost 10 years & stretch marks are nothing new to me. For my birthday present...ta da! Anti-stretch mark lotion!

She's constantly searching for validation about her favorite things but refuses to compliment anything I like. It's always, "So, don't you like my new _____?" But my likes/hobbies are almost always met with criticism. It doesn't really put me in much of a mood to compliment her choices when she spends all morning belittling mine.

Now, I know a lot of this is because she's raising my brother on her own, doesn't have a whole lot of friends & isn't very sure of herself. She'll often ask me, "What would you do?"...her marriage to my brother's father has left her with a low self-image & she constantly asks what I would do because I "have all the brains". I've gotten to the point that I'll just respond with, "Nevermind what I would do...you're a capable adult & can make your own decisions." Especially because if I did give her advice & it didn't work out, it would of course be my fault.

Okay, all of that out of my system, I'm curious to know if anyone else has a mother, MIL, relative like this & how you cope with them? Also, I'm a bit scared that I'll end up turning out like her. This is my first child & I don't want to fall into these behaviors. (I've already put my hubby on alert to let me know if I start showing signs.

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"I reject your reality and substitue my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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MaidenAthene
Deck the Malls


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I have a whole family history of this. Its not fun at all. I hope its not hereditary.

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“We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.” - Marilyn Manson
"Well, end more, your not ending enough!" - MST3K

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Remarkgullabull
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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Wow, your mother is my ex-MIL? [Wink]

All I can say is, I'm sorry. My ex-MIL is a wonderful, sweet and kind person and I know she means well. It's just all the pidally stuff that drove me nuts, such as the giving of stuff I neither want or need, harping on and on about small stuff like you mentioned. A "Good Morning" greeting from her probably would have sent me into shock!

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Love does not consist of gazing at each other, but in looking together in the same direction - Antoine de Saint-Exupery

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daisyslegs
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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I'll trade you moms in a heart beat. Mine is psycotic.

Good luck with her!

Edit punctuation

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~tough as nails yet nice as pie~
For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction - and sometimes a scar.
"and don't threaten anyone with your pants today!" - Frog_Feathers
daisys does Myspace

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Silas Sparkhammer
I Saw V-Chips Come Sailing In


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To some degree, more or less, I think *all* moms are like that.

Isaac Asimov wrote about travelling with a gent who was telling stories about his "Jewish mother." Asimov asked if the man was Jewish. The man said no, but added, "All mothers are Jewish mothers."

It's extremely sad that actual conversation is so damned hard with our parents, because, once they're gone, you'll miss them like anything.

(Right now, in Doonesbury, this theme is being explored. Mark Slackmeyer's father has had a heart attack, and Mark is trying to talk to him, son to father. But communication isn't happening. It *hurts*. It's a terribly true-to-life depiction.)

Silas

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KatrinaDuck
Jingle Bell Hock


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My mother wasn't like that... she was an angel, supportive, wonderful, and she always smelled nice. Unfortunately, she's also been dead for the last 6 years, and memories are kind to me.
My father, on the other hand, is probably the male equivalent of your mom. Your "anti-stretch mark cream" is my coffee table, bicycle, and various other things... and when they don't get used, "but I went through so much trouble to get that to you!"
Must be a parent thing.

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It is, after all, the dab of grit that seeps into an oyster's shell that makes the pearl, not pearl-making seminars with other oysters. -Stephen King

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Santa Mari-a
Happy Holly Days


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I love that--"All mothers are Jewish mothers!"

Sorry your mom is such a pill. It may help to have a look at a book by Deborah Tannen called You're Wearing That? Mothers and Daughters in Conversation. It might help you put some things in perspective.

A couple of tips on some of the problems you mentioned:

The complaints: If it's something you can do something about, like getting another mattress for the guest bed, consider doing it. Otherwise, say, "I'm sorry to hear that" and go your merry way.

The constant criticism: Yes, the nitpicking over minutiae can get you down. But in your mom's view, she's helping you lead a better life. Or she's unhappy that your tastes differ from hers because in her mind it means you're drifting apart and you don't value her opinions.

The useless/unwanted presents: Again, she sounds as though she's trying to help, as with the anti-stretch-mark cream. Say thanks and put the stuff in your medicine chest, closet, etc. and forget it or give it away.

The fishing for compliments: Throw the old girl a bone, why don't you? It might make her less negative about your clothes, hobbies, etc.

The requests for advice: Despite her constant criticism, it sounds as though she does consider you an intelligent person with opinions worth listening to. At least she doesn't think you're an idiot, or still a little kid!

I hope some of this helps.

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Si hoc comprehendere potes, gratias age magistro Latinae.

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Mad Jay
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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My mother doesn't complain like your mother does, but she worries, and she continues worrying to the point where it is a "major accomplishment" for her to stop worrying. Also, somehow all her worries tend to snowball together until she has one big

Case in point:- This was before I had applied for permenant residence in the US. Actually, my employer has to sponsor me, and once an employer sponsors me, I would have to stay with the employer for about 3-4 years or risk restarting the green card application all over again if I change employers. I found a long term position with a good employer, who promised to sponsor my GC, right around the time she came here to visit me. So, every night, after I come home from work, we would have this conversation

"Did you apply for your GC?"
"No, my boss has to get A, B and C in order before they can start applying"
"So, did you talk to your boss?"
"No, I talked to her yesterday. Nothing has changed in one day, ma"
"If you don't get your GC, you will have to go back home"
"I know, Ma"
"There aren't many jobs back home"
"I won't have to go back because my employer is going to sponsor my GC"
"But, did you talk to your boss?"
"Yes, I talked to her yesterday"
"If you have to go back, you won't find a good girl to marry"
"Ok"
"So, are you going to talk to your boss tommorrow"
"No, because we are waiting for the lawyer to email ack to us"
"Do you want me to talk to your boss"
"I'm not a kid, Ma!!"
"If you don't find a girl, you won't have kids"
"I don't want kids because nagging might be heridetrary"
"Your brother is waiting for you to marry before he marries" (My brother found the best excuse in the world for postponing his marraige indefinetly)
"I told him to go ahead and marry if he wants to"
"His girlfriend might leave him, if he doesn't marry her"
"Not my problem"
"You are losing your hair. You will be like your friend who has become bald. He can't find a girl even though is a citizen" (In my mother's world there are 3 kinds of people based on their level or marraigability; American citizens, Green card holders, and everyone else; with the American citizens holding top billing)
"I am losing my hair because I am pulling them out. The bald look is in nowdays. Maybe I should just shave all my hair off"
"Don't make me worry"
ARRGGGHHH!!!

And we will have the same conversation every night for 4 months or so. Then, finally, everything was in order right before her visa expired, and she had to go back home. When she went back, my father asked her "What did you accomplish in America?" Her smug answer : She helped me apply for my GC. ARRGGHH!!!

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Nico Sasha
In between my father's fields;And the citadels of the rule; Lies a no-man's land which I must cross; To find my stolen jewel.

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Ramblin' Dave, quietly making noise
Markdown, the Herald Angels Sing


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quote:
Originally posted by kingfan1978:
Near constant complaints - First thing in the morning during a visit to our house we're not greeted with, "Good morning!" It's "Your cats kept me up all night long! They were doing this & this, etc."

My mother not only did that throughout my childhood, but she was also constantly at my throat for not being more friendly with her in the mornings! I still have vivid memories of arriving bright eyed and bushy-tailed at the breakfast table, only to have her scowl at me if I even made eye-contact (which I usually couldn't, because she'd have her nose buried in the newspaper)...and yet, the next time she was in a mood to snap at me, there would inevitably be some mention of "You never even say good morning to me!!" [flame]

quote:
I don't do anything the right way unless I do it's her way - This could be anything from which pop I buy to which way I turn my mini-blinds.
Same here. My mother and I pretty much fought nonstop until I finally moved out of the house for good when I was 23. If you dug deep enough, almost all her issues with me boiled down to the fact that I was a very different person than she was, and she really resented that. I once made the mistake of buying a sixpack of grape juice boxes while I was living at home and she and Dad were away on vacation. When they got home and she saw the juice in the fridge, she demanded to know why I hadn't told her I wanted grape juice. I tried to explain that it was an impulse buy, but she wasn't convinced. I was treated to a lecture that was capped off with, "I think for a feminist you don't know much about what women want." Because I bought some grape juice!

I can remember thinking about how different of a parent I would be, back in high school. Fifteen years later, I've decided I'm probably never going to have kids, but that sense of "you'll feel different when you grow up" hasn't come to pass at all.

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Another lifetime I'd have fallen in love with you
Swept away by my feelings, ashamed and confused
But just now it's enough to be walking with you
Let the mystery play as it will! -Lui Collins

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by Mad Jay:
My mother doesn't complain like your mother does, but she worries, and she continues worrying to the point where it is a "major accomplishment" for her to stop worrying.

This describes me. I can so see myself in the conversation you had with your mother. Now I'm worried that my kids are posting our conversations on the Internet somewhere [Wink] .

If I don't have something to worry about I worry because that can only mean something bad is right around the corner.

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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Starla
It Came Upon a Midnight Clearance


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quote:
Originally posted by Silas Sparkhammer:
To some degree, more or less, I think *all* moms are like that.

Isaac Asimov wrote about travelling with a gent who was telling stories about his "Jewish mother." Asimov asked if the man was Jewish. The man said no, but added, "All mothers are Jewish mothers."

When I was still in high school my mother was driving me NUTS one day. Thinking about my close friend who is Jewish and would always laugh about her mother I frustratedly told my mom she'd make the perfect Jewish mother. She stopped, and then started laughing. "At least somewhere you think I'm perfect! I'll take that as a compliment."

Ten years later she still laughs about the time I told her she was a perfect mother. [lol]

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This used to be the life, but I don't need another one.
MyBandwagon

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kingfan1978
Deck the Malls


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Chef Mari - I really appreciate the advice. Please understand that I really do love my mother & most of my frustration comes from the lack of actual conversation between us. As far as the complaints go, I have tried to make things better, if it was in my power to do so. While we can't afford to buy a new mattress, we've put different kinds of padding/mattress pads on it to no avail. And I do try to let most of this stuff roll off my back...I take the gifts & thank her but it's a little hurtful when soemone doesn't even seem to consider what you'd like for a present...just what they think you need. And as KatrinaDuck said, when you don't use the item, you're an ungrateful child...regardless of the fact that you never wanted or asked for it. I used to give her advice but I stopped when I'd get the backlash if it didn't work out the way she'd hoped.

On the plus side, I've been blessed with a truly wonderful set of in-laws. We even lived with them for 6 weeks while we were waiting to close on our house & I had no problems with them whatsoever. I just think it's really sad that I can live literally 6 blocks from my MIL & FIL & be completely happy but I have to be 1.5 hours away from my own mom & sometimes I think even that's not enough!

As others have said, it's awful when we lose our parents & I dread that day. That's why I continue to try to talk to her & to be optimistic that maybe this visit will be better & we'll actually have some fun.

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"I reject your reality and substitue my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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Baked Craziness
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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My MIL is similar. She lives a fairly sheltered life. She lives in the middle of Nowhere, Vermont and can not drive. My FIL works second or third shift, so she is frequently up by herself during the day with no one to really talk to.

That being said, she complains incessantly. After our wedding, she complained because my husband and I chose not to smash cake into each other's faces. She also complained about the expense of the rehearsal dinner. The rehearsal dinner that she insisted that we have at her house or she would not come to the wedding.

She also needs constant validation. There are some foods that she prepares that she thinks are the best and all should bow to her cooking prowess. And while some of her food is wonderful (she makes the most devine cheesecake), some of the other stuff is downright disgusting. But if you tell her that it's not really your taste, she will shun you. She literally did not speak to my husband for a year because he did not like her "cake in a pie" (which, incidentally, tasted more like sand in a pie)

As far as coping with it, it's not hard for us as we had to move away Vermont. We don't see them that often and it is much easier to deal with her over the phone.

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If you find yourself in a hole, rule #1 would be to stop digging.

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FrogFeathers
Grandma Got Run Over By a Gift Card


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In my mom's world, all my high school memories are warped- like me being boy crazy to the point of slut-dom. Not that there's anything wrong with sluts, but I met my future husband when I was 14 and I started dating him when I was 15 and we got married when I was 17 (long story, involves the Army and a ship-out date and we were in Alaska). That's hardly boy-crazy.

And, now that I've been married to the same man for 19 years- none of my ideas are good. Everything he and my brother do are pure brilliance, but not me. I make bad decisions and poor choices and I spend *my money wrong.

*meaning, HIS money that he's gracious enough to "allow" me to use.

But, despite that, she's always been there for me and I know that when the day comes that she isn't, I'll miss her. When my husband became disabled, we came here, because this is where the help was coming from.

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"Is it ME? Am I a MAGNET for these idiots?"~Pearl Forrester MST3K
Die-Hard Engineers, Big Red One my Dad's website
"Must be a 'snopes' thing..." ~my entire family when I try to explain something.

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quiltsbypam
Happy Holly Days


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I am so sorry so many folks have such trying relationships with their moms. I have been really lucky. Mom and I are close -- we live about half a mile apart. We drive to the grocery store together to save gas, my granddaughter and I eat at their place every Tuesday, we shop for fabric together and we do our craft shows together. She is honestly my best friend. When the day comes that she shuffles off this mortal coil, it will be an extremely, horribly bad day.

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"No Biblical hell could ever be worse than the state of perpetual inconsequence." Beatrice in Dangerous Beauty

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Christie
The Bills of St. Mary's


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quote:
Originally posted by quiltsbypam:
I am so sorry so many folks have such trying relationships with their moms. I have been really lucky. Mom and I are close -- we live about half a mile apart. We drive to the grocery store together to save gas, my granddaughter and I eat at their place every Tuesday, we shop for fabric together and we do our craft shows together. She is honestly my best friend. When the day comes that she shuffles off this mortal coil, it will be an extremely, horribly bad day.

I feel very fortunate with the relationship I have with both my parents but I especially treasure my mother as she fell very ill 10 years ago this autumn and we nearly lost her. She can sometimes drive me straight around the proverbial bend but I know that there is nothing she would not do for me - and even when I am occasionally gritting me teeth I know that I can't imagine what my life will be like when she is gone [Frown] .

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If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs, it's just possible you haven't grasped the situation. - Jean Kerr

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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quote:
Originally posted by kingfan1978:
I don't do anything the right way unless I do it's her way - This could be anything from which pop I buy to which way I turn my mini-blinds.

[

I grew up with that crap. Looking back, I think that my mother tried (in vain) to make me into something that I didn't want to be. She finally gave up when I was in my early-mid 20s. Nothing was ever good enough, and God help you if you made a mistake or messed something up. I guess I have a good relationship with her now--I don't talk to her much or see her much, but I will help out when she needs it. She can be very demanding though.
On the other hand, she'd give you the shirt off her back if need be--go figure. [Confused]

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

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kingfan1978
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by DawnStorm:
On the other hand, she'd give you the shirt off her back if need be--go figure. [Confused]

That sums up my mom exactly...all of these annoying, nitpicky little things she does & still I have no doubt that she'd do anything for me. (Except stop driving me insane, I guess. [Roll Eyes] )

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"I reject your reality and substitue my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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diehard
Deck the Malls


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My mother and I had the most horrible relationship , she would comment on anything from the clothes I was wearing to the expression on my face but, through therapy for many things we have built such a loving relationship I use the term "bounderies". I missed out on that with my father as you can see in my signature we had a semi-decent relationship but it was constant bickering, oh boy what I wouldn't do to turn back the hands of time and dance to our special song again. [Frown]

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Daddy "You are my "Special Angel" 1942-1999"

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Sylvanz
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


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My relationship with my mother was ... difficult. I believe, in retrospect that she was at least clinically depressed and quite possibly bi-polar. She obsessed over hobbies for months at a time and then never did them again. She was an alcoholic which I think was self medicating. She didn't believe anything that she felt was inconvenient i.e. her peculiar beliefs regarding overfull landfills and volcanoes...she thought that volcanoes took care of all the buried garbage or something [Confused]

She was very controlling, demanding, and critical. I took to calling her the momster to close friends because the way she treated me was so frustrating. She loved me to distraction partly due to a medical condition she had while preggers for me that could have killed me, but this all ended up being smothering and domineering. She told my sister when I was around 10 or 11 that, "We won't have Debbi around for long" [Roll Eyes] ) At the end of her life, caused by smoking related cancer, (that she did not believe caused cancer) at the age of 69 - 70 I was the one that lived close and took care of her. It's not that I did not love her, but that loving her was so very difficult and self-destructive. She was incredibly ego centric and paranoid. Dealing with her was enough to send me over the edge. I don't know how my dad, who preceded her in death by about 14 years, dealt with her so long. I really do miss her; it wasn't all bad, but dealing with her was always like walking on a tightrope the slightest misstep could cause a catastrophe.

P&LL, Syl

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Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities. — Voltaire

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Para
Deck the Malls


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Sounds a lot like my mom. Anything I like is stupid and childish and crap. I never get up early enough, I never clean the house well enough, etc, etc.

I really never thought I'd miss being driven to tears by her and her barely a moment's notice visits.

I do, though. I really do.

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"But what of the golden spider-duck and the squat crimson pig?"

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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My relationship with my mother wasn't great. For instance, once when she was in the long process of dying, and I was cleaning her bottom after an accident in the bed, she told me she didn't like the way I was wearing my hair. Oh, well. I could never do anything right. But it's amazing that the daughter who was so worthless managed to give birth to the most wonderful grandchildren, especially the first granddaughter, who ever lived. [Roll Eyes] 'Nuff said. She was still my mother, and I still loved her, and I still took care of her for eight months before she died. What is really sad is that my sister said she wasn't even sure she loved mother until after mother died.

What I learned from my mother is how to not alienate my children. I consider it her gift to me. My daughters, daughter-in-law and I get along, as do my son and I. In fact, my daughter-in-law told me I was more like her mother than her own mother was. She tells me she loves me at the end of every telephone conversation and regularly thanks me for even the tiniest things. My older daughter and I had a relationship like the one Pam described with her mother. The only thing different about it now is that my daughter lives in Georgia, so we can't do everything together any more. My younger daughter and I aren't as close, but we still get along, in spite of our differences. We became less close when I called a halt to bailing her out whenever she got into trouble. I do not criticize my children but do give advice when they ask my opinion. They, in turn, respect me and my opinions. I do not interfere when their approach to child-rearing differs from mine. As I told my mother once when she was telling me how I ought to tell my son to do something differently, "There comes a time in every child's life when you must admit that he/she is an adult, and, as such, is capable of making his/her own decisions and of dealing with the consequences."

Thanks, Mom! I love you and I miss you.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

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glisp42
I'm Dreaming Of A White iPod


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For years I thought I had a great relationship with my mother. When I moved out and started living my own life it all changed and I started to remember some stuff. She is clinically depressed and an alcoholic. When my apartment that I was sharing was jerked out from underneath me I called and begged her to let me move back in for a while to get back on my feet. No dice. She tried to poison me against my father for years, telling me what an ass he was. Strangely it was him who helped me out that time. I've spent some time with my dad without looking at him with a jaundiced eye and realised I really like him and I'm a lot like he is.

I didn't see it at the time, but I was rigidly controlled in school. Everything had to be AP and acadamic. I finally burned out in my senior year and told her in no uncertain terms I was picking my own classes.

When she had a stroke that nearly killed her a year ago nobody bothered to call me and tell me about it. I found out a month later when I called my brother. His explanation? "They thought you didn't care." There's a lot more but it would take three pages to tell you about it.

I haven't spoken to her in 3 years.
That's fine with me.

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What does "Bookachow", "YOMANK" and other lingo mean?

And we'll collect the moments one by one I guess that's how the future's done. -Feist

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kingfan1978
Deck the Malls


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Signora - Thanks for sharing your own experiences...it gives me hope that I don't have to be like my mom, when it comes to the annoying stuff. I've been a little worried about it because I see some parallels with my mom & my grandma. Just a small example: When I was young & living at home, my mother used to get so irritated because my grandma would call her & say, "Turn to channel __ & watch this!" She complained about grandma every time she did this. Now, guess what my mom does...yup, she calls me & acts as my own personal TV guide! Little things like that...complaining that grandma talks too much & now Mom will run over you in a conversation, not bothered at all that she interrupted you. (Probably one of hubby's biggest pet peeves about her. [Smile] )

I guess I just need to keep these things in mind when my children are old enough to start developing their own personalities & opinions.

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"I reject your reality and substitue my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


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I think the biggest battle I had with my mother while growing up was over personal appearance. My mother has always put a big premium on looking good; I don't mean weight-wise, I mean dress wise. She always acted like we were going to a White House dinner, even when we were just going out for some errands. [Roll Eyes] And the Makeup Wars: according to Mom, I looked 'dead' without makeup and she used to joke about putting a toe tag on me. [Roll Eyes] I just wasn't interested in wearing cosmetics and I'm still not. If you want to wear them, fine, but I don't! [Mad] I remember the times, she'd dab lipstick on me before I left for school (high school). Yes, I wiped it off. The makeup wasn't overdone, but I just wasn't interested in wearing it and she could not or would not see that. [Mad] I remember a friend of mine making a list of the female teachers in my high school who did not wear lipstick. Yes, I showed it to mom.
My take on personal appearance? As long as I look slightly less than repulsive, everything's fine. I dress nice for work, but on my own time it's shorts and a tee, or weather-appropriate clothing.

Dawn--not a fashion plate--Storm

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Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

Posts: 4771 | From: The Berkeley of the East Coast: Montgomery County MD | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
kingfan1978
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by glisp42:
She tried to poison me against my father for years, telling me what an ass he was. [snip]

I've spent some time with my dad without looking at him with a jaundiced eye and realised I really like him and I'm a lot like he is.

glisp42 - this has also been a problem with Mom & I. My parents divorced when I was 5 (due to Dad's infidelity). Granted, Mom had every right to be pissed at him...the problem was that she always told me how he wasn't there for me, he didn't care enough about me, all of the things he did to wrong her, etc. I grew up thinking it was natural to dislike my dad. I stopped talking to him when I was around 14-15…I didn’t even invite him to my wedding four years ago. About a year later, a light bulb finally went off in my head. I had no idea why I didn’t want my father in my life. Yes, he had betrayed Mom but he’d never done anything to hurt me. So, I contacted my father & we’ve been oh-so-slowly trying to rebuild a relationship. It’s really hard, though, after you’ve lost so many years. Finally, when Mom realized that he was going to be a part of my live whether she liked it or not, she begrudgingly told me things about him. The number one thing being that he really was a quiet, shy person who once accidentally elbowed her while he was driving & felt so bad about it he had to pull over & repeatedly ask if she was alright. He never tried to control her, abuse her, belittle her (all problems with husband #2). The reality is they got married in high school (because of me) & he just wasn’t adult enough to be responsible. The woman he cheated with has been his wife now for over 20 years.

It’s hard to realize the many ways that you can be controlled, especially when you’re a child. While she never came out & told me, “I don’t want to you like your dad.” everything she said told me that. Now she just tries guilt trips, since she knows I won’t automatically accept her word as law on everything.

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"I reject your reality and substitue my own!" - Adam Savage, Mythbusters

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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kingfan1978, don't worry, you'll still do some things like your mother does. [Razz] I swore I'd never say: "Because I said so, that's why." "If all of your friends jump off a cliff, are you going to?" "You'll understand when you're older." "I'm not responsible for what Gilbert does. I'm responsible for what you do." "Be sure you have on clean underwear." [lol] Of course, when they became adults, I could no longer use those little tidbits.

I was fortunate that my parents never divorced and my mother didn't remarry after daddy died. Too bad my children can't say the same. Probably the best thing I ever did for my children was to not run down their dad, even though he was a wife-beating jerk. It was a hard thing for them to discover when they got older, but they later said they would have resented it if I had done that, and they may not have believed me. Children seem to have a romantic vision of the parent who isn't there, and who doesn't have to be the bad guy on occasion. My biggest regret in life is that I didn't choose a better father for my children. Their step-dad made up for it, though, and the grandchildren don't even know their biological grandfather.

Something to consider: I learned that when I stopped trying to gain my mother's approval, therefore implying that I didn't need her approval, which I never would have received, anyway, I was much happier and better able to overlook the irritants. What made this happen? Well, one day she made the remark to me that she had always had to accept the things my sister did because she was afraid if she didn't, she would lose my sister. I replied, "Well, you've never accepted anything I ever did, and you didn't lose me." She made no comment. That little episode finally allowed me to break free and to just love her, warts and all. That and the fact that just a few minutes before that, I told her I loved her and her response was to tell me to get her some ice cream. [Roll Eyes]

Do I wish my relationship with her had been closer? Oh, hell yes! But, I think she did the best she could do, and that's all you can ask of anyone.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Just Me
Deck the Malls


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My mom was the same way but is slowly changing. Like your mom, it had a lot to do with a bad relationship - the one between my mom & dad was toxic and lead to her being unsure with herself and a bad self-image. Now that they're divorced and she's remarried to someone who treats her the way she deserves to be treated, she's a lot different.

What really hit home was the 'buy what you think you need, not what you want' thing... my mom not only buys you what SHE likes or what SHE thinks is cute, but then she tells you what you should do with it or where you should put it. One of the horrible things that she stopped doing was if she asked you to do something, such as putting a cup in the sink when you were done, and you honestly forgot: it wasn't because you forgot, it was because you did it on purpose to piss her off. >.>

I'm SO glad she isn't that way anymore.

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"Invention, my dear friends, is 93% perspiration, 6% electricity, 4% evaporation, and 2% butterscotch ripple." - Willy Wonka

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Lady Moon
Jingle Bell Hock


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My mother is insane. Details would take four or five pages.

I'm very blessed that I'm as normal and as sane as I am.

Lady "which isn't sayin' much" Moon

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"We've got a fifth member of the band round here, and he's DEFINITELY out of tune!" -- Keith Moon

"If I had a thousand quid for every time I've introduced this song --- oh, I do!" -- John Entwistle

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MaidenAthene
Deck the Malls


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quote:
Originally posted by Chef Mari:
The constant criticism: Yes, the nitpicking over minutiae can get you down. But in your mom's view, she's helping you lead a better life. Or she's unhappy that your tastes differ from hers because in her mind it means you're drifting apart and you don't value her opinions.


I know you didn't adress this at me, but when it gets to the point that they are criticizing the way you put mustard on a hot dog its not just some helpful advice to make you a better person. Yes, i was criticised for putting mustard on a hot dog wrong. And not only once.

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“We live in a society of victimization, where people are much more comfortable being victimized than actually standing up for themselves.” - Marilyn Manson
"Well, end more, your not ending enough!" - MST3K

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Jineline
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Long bitter pouty rant to follow, written at 12:49 AM...

My mother was generally too self-absorbed to bother with any adult responsibilty, including raising me. She didnt cook or clean (she claimed she was a feminist), but never worked either. She took tons of elective courses at college, but dropped them because the students or professors were 'against her, wanted her to fail'. In the end, her education never went much beyond a GED. She had major emotional problems: she hoarded, she went through depressions. She was convinced that she was sexually abused in satanic rituals as a young child; rituals in which her own mother was apparenty complicit. Because of this, she was not on speaking terms with most of her family.

As she got older, she grew out of her victimization stage, and became a hardline fundamentalist christian. Our family was Catholic and liberal, and didnt take well to her condemnations of our faith and convictions. To my chagrin, I had to help her hand out Chick tracts instead of candy on Halloween for a few years.

My mother would either be indifferent and emotionally cold (most of the time), or totally crazy and manipulative. If in a fight, you struck a nerve, her reaction would be to literally scream incoherently at the top of her lungs, and slap herself in the face. Repeatedly. It is really hard to argue with someone shrieking at 110 decibels. Its thanks to her that I have resigned myself never to display outbursts of emotion to others, its thanks to her that I have immense trouble dealing with other peoples emotions. (Since every emotion was for an effect.)

Since my parents separation when I was 8, I was obliged to see her every other weekend, now I see her only for major Jewish holidays (she converted, messianic, she is still a fundamentalist christian in principle, she condemns Christmas because of Pagan influences) her birthday, and Mother's day. So six months can go by without me seeing her.

She has never gotten off welfare. She will never have a career. Her ex molested my sister. She dates scum. She repeats the same patterns endlessly.

In spite of all of this, I pity her so much more than I resent her. I don't doubt her love for me; she just has no functional way of communicating it. When she does see me, it's sad to see how desperate she is to establish a connection and how clueless she really is. On the flip side, she doesn't make much of an active effort to see me. I think passing holidays remind her of her failures, and she rationalizes that if we have a good time on Mother's Day, it must mean that she isnt so bad a mom after all. Like many of the above posters, she nags and complains to hide her fear of separation. But I've always suspected that my mother hasnt the foggiest idea who I might be.

I am 18 years old, and I'll frankly admit that at this point, If I never saw my mother again, I would be rather relieved. She has nothing to offer but a frightening portrait of what I might become. I can't imagine what things will be like when I reach middle age and she is dying. Will I be relieved then too?

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"Skepticism is the chastity of the intellect: it is shameful to surrender it too soon, or to the first comer." -George Santayana

"He who has laughter on his side has no need of proof." - Theodor Adorno

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Dawnshadow
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


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I'm glad my mom's not quite that bad. (Of course, I've been living at college for nearly two years straight, so I've not been around her that much. I hope I survive this summer.) She can be really overprotective sometimes, doesn't like most of my hobbies... but she buys me food, which makes up for it. And I think she's accepted that I'm never going to be a "normal" person who flops down in front of the TV to watch Survivor and American Idol every night.

The one thing I'm sort of worried about is that I have one close friend left back home. My mother, incidentally, hates her. (Her reasons have a good foundation and my friend isn't fond of my mother either....) I have no car. I just hope she doesn't try to keep me from doing things with my friend....

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YardGnomeNinja
I'm Dreaming of a White Sale


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Oh... my... God...

Lemme tell you a thing or two about MY mother-in-law... [Big Grin] [Razz]

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Silently he strikes
Only 2 foot, 6 inches
Kneecaps fear his wrath

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Matt H.
Deck the Malls


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A slight hijack, but I'd like to talk about my father...

I must say, I'm quite blessed to have the mother I do. I was a very trying kid, with emotional and mental issues, and she's been there for me to this day. Even though she didn't approve of my first wife, she didn't say anything more than "Are you sure you want to do this?" when I told her we were engaged. She let me make my own mistakes while giving advice as to how maybe certain things weren't good ideas.

OTOH, my father and I never got along. I am incredibly impulsive and free-spirited, and he is a perfectionist (due to growing up in an emotionally abusive, alcoholic home.) He expected his kids to give 100%, all the time, which of course, I didn't do. Some of our many arguments led to fisticuffs. I absolutely hated him.

The night before we left the US to come here, it was St. Patrick's Day. Obviously, being the holiday, as well as the fact we weren't going to be able to touch alcohol for at least a year, the guys and I went to the bar. It was about 2 A.M. when I realized that I hadn't let my parents know that I was leaving the next day; up until a few hours before, we had no set time. In my intoxication, I thought it was a good idea to call them and let them know.

I talked to my mother for about 45 minutes, in which she gave me the usual motherly stuff: Don't be stupid, I love you, and am proud of you, all that. Then she said something that set the wheels in motion: "I've always worried what kind of father you would be since you didn't have a real fatherly figure growing up. But I've seen how you are having married a woman with children, and how you are around them, and I'm amazed." To which I replied, "I really can't blame Dad for not being a good father. It's not like he had any love growing up, so he knew no way of showing it. In fact, he helped me by making me very aware of how you can hurt a child, so I know what not to do."

BAM! It was as if I suddenly figured out the meaning of life. So many of my issues and pain, my longing for acceptance all made sense. I had my mother put him on the phone, at which point I told him exactly what I told her. I forgave him for the pain he had caused, and apologized for the things I did to him in my vengeful states. It's almost as if he had wanted to say things to these ends for a long time, but didn't know how to bring up the subject--he told me of how he would see good things that I did, but couldn't articulate it, and at the same time see the inperfections in me, and could point them out with a razor-sharp comment, and how he hated himself for it for years.

That phone conversation was the first time I ever told him I loved him. I haven't able to see him in person ever since then.

Sorry this ended up so long--it was originally supposed to be how fathers can be the "evil" parent (which you all know, I know), but it just kinda kept going.

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"Who needs the Bible? I've got this magic 8-ball."

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Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


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Matt H., I'm glad you were able to finally tell your father you love him and that he was able to admit his mistakes. It must give you comfort. Thank goodness, I never had that problem with my daddy. I always knew he loved me. In fact, he was a buffer at times between me and my mother. But, like I said earlier, she did the best she could do, and that's all you can ask of anyone. It sounds like your father did the best he could do, too. You are lucky you learned that at a much earlier age than I did.

Does it seem like there are more not-so-good relationships between a parent and child of the same sex than there are between a parent and child of the opposite sex? Just wondering.

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"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
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