Driving Me Crazy!

I love my mother, but she is driving me up the wall. Part of the problem is her inability to connect emotionally to me. I am 37, and my boyfriend passed away suddenly last year. When I came home, I expected her to show sympathy, instead she said "Oh good, I have someone to take care of me in my old age! (She is 60.) I was flabbergasted that her response was not one of sympathy. When I did try to have a conversation with her about my grief, her response was that I should talk to someone at the Mental health center. It's like she couldn't even be bothered to try to be a mother, I often feel like the world revolves around her. Her emotional coldness to me really hurt me when I needed her and I find myself really angry with her, at times, obnoxious behaviors.

She often assumes the worst in me, even though I never gave her any reason to, which lead to a lot of fights. My late boyfriend sometimes said some vicious things to me, and once when she was assuming things about me that weren't true and without getting the facts straight, she told me I deserved everything he said to me. I was so shocked that I was shaking. What mother says that to her child?

I can tell she is a very unhappy person, because she keeps moving the furniture around constantly! In one week, she moved the furniture four times. I just never knew when I came home how the house was going to look. I think shes moved the furniture around a couple of dozen times in the past year.

What frustrates me with her is she goes around acting like a good Christian woman, but then is so obnoxious to me and my sister and brother. We are all pretty much alienated from her from her neglect and obnoxious comments and the chaos that she creates by not making any decisions. She will sometimes tell me to get a snack from the store, and I will say what kind of snack, she will say anything! I told her anything isn't specific enough you need to tell me what you want. She will then continue to say anything until I keep pressing the point for more specifics. It's really aggreavating to deal with someone who wants something, but doesn't know what she wants, except just something.

I've come to realize that so much of the way she acted, which is very much like how she acted when we were kids, I internalized and thought there was something wrong with me. Now that I am older I have realized that there really isn't anything wrong with me, but there is something wrong with her to constantly cause so much chaos with her indecision and her verbal abuse. I recognize that I cannot change her, but I need to change how I react to her, which is anger at her lack of mothering. I find I have very little patience for the name calling and obnxoious comments towards me these days. I have also observed she is hostile towards women in general. I thought she might enjoy Miss Congeneality and she told me she didn't like Candace Bergen because she was a liberated woman. I asked her what was wrong with liberated women, and she told me they are nuts! I've come to realize this hostility to strong independent women has been incredibly damaging to me, as she constantly tried to force me to be someone I wasn't growing up. (UItra conservative, 1950s Leave it to Beaver type of woman, and that never interested me.)

I guess the only thing I can too is to not get too personal with her, accept she has limitations and just try to figure out how to handle her outbursts without getting angry, even though the vitriol she spews at me is awful at times. She also tells me she brags about me to other people, but I pointed out she only spews really awful things at me that poisons are relationship.

currentlyme currentlyme
2 Responses Dec 1, 2012

My situation with my mother is very similar. I'm glad that you have broken away from the abuse and criticism she put onto you as a child and learned that she was the problem, not you!! This has been the most difficult part for me. And it's hard to walk that line as an adult between engaging in her arguments (being a "good" daughter in her eyes) and protecting myself from being hurt again. Best of luck to you and thanks for sharing!

Much of your post sounded familiar. From the time I was a child, I can remember my mother issuing what I call "zingers" - nasty, hurtful comments made under the guise of a joke. I believe she loves me, and am now realizing that her capacity for love is very limited. The more I expected from her, the more disappointment and frustration I felt. I expect nothing from her now, and have worked hard to let go of the hurt feelings, and sense of loss for never having had a kind, supportive mother. It seems she's done the best she can, she just is extremely limited in her ability to be loving. I now find joy in other things, and try to be the best person I can. Your post filled me with empathy for the situation you and your siblings have faced... sending you a virtual hug over the internet! Thank you for sharing your story, it helps so much to know that I'm not alone with this. xo