I'm Too Old To Put Up With It!

All my life, I can't think of a single moment where I ever felt any real love for my mother. I was very close to my father before he died (I was only 10) and she always treated me bitterly when he wasn't around. She would always buy me stuff and bribe me to go places with her by purchasing toys etc. for me. After my father died she would routinely say that I (meaning me) wished she had died instead...and on and on about how I loved my father and not her, and that she was sorry she was stuck with me. When she would go out, sometimes she would tell me she may never come back and that that's what I wanted anyway. It was very disturbing. I know it affected my emotional development, because it makes relationships a real challenge for me. I am often overly sensitive and although I consider my self strong, loving, and friendly, she would say I'm weak, cold, and mean. I'm now 35, and it wasn't until my last visit with her (October) that I realized she was acting passive aggressive. All this time, I took all the treatment (which felt like abuse) and dealt with it. She acts perfect in front of friends and family and anyone I talk to about my experiences is surprised--they all think she is great. I assumed she was depressed all these years. She never remarried or dated, and seems to be mentally deteriorating. Because she is older, 71, I'm inclined to be patient with her, but I am at the point where I just want to let go--to disconnect. It just makes me feel bad all the time and I don't want to talk to her anymore. I surprised her for her birthday on my recent visit, by arranging a big dinner out with her friends. She was surprised and obviously uncomfortable, which I thought was weird. I only stayed 3 nights. I had trouble sleeping in her living room because there is a mold issue she refuses to address, so I asked to sleep in the family room instead on the second night. I was tired, and I asked her what time she usually goes to bed and she said 10p. It was approaching 11p and I was so tired I could barely stay awake. She was sitting on the couch that would be my bed. I asked her if I could go to bed soon, and she started yelling at me, "you're telling when to go to bed in my own house?!" She could have just switched to the love seat. Instead she sat there in silence. She wouldn't look at me. I waited until almost midnight before I could go to bed. Then she gave me the silent treatment the entire next day and when I confronted her about it, she denied all of it. And so it goes.... Today she didn't wish me happy birthday until after I sent her a text asking a question. Then she sent me a message: "I hope you still love me". I only noticed it when I got back to my phone because it said "I guess you don't".

And I don't. I told her once, and she freaked out on me, and I realized being honest with her was not always the best idea. But I am an honest person and I hate pretending, I've been trying to disconnect from her stranglehold since I was 13. I moved out when I was 18 and have kept a distance since, but it's not enough. I don't know how to clearly set boundaries with her.  My other siblings have disconnected, more so my sister-she said she couldn't deal with it anymore and completely removed herself from my mother's life.  I am not willing and ready to be a parent for my mother.  I felt like I was stuck in that role until I moved out.  I'm done.

How would you guys keep a relationship with a mother like this? I keep falling back on "she's my mother and the only one I have" but I think it's bs.
mothertrouble mothertrouble
2 Responses Dec 1, 2011

It sounds like neither if you get any joy from your relationship. Why are you holding on? Are you grieving for what could have been?

And she'll never be the mother you want. Believe me, I know. I'm 'visiting' with mine right now - and she's busy being charming to a friend of hers. While I hide in another room so that they can 'chat' without having to whisper. <br />
I think we miss what we were told we were supposed to have. And it hurts. <br />
However, (and there is always one), it really is up to us to get over it. We can't make <br />
someone be the person that we need/want them to be. We really only can change how<br />
we deal with it. Me, I just found this board! And I plan on doing plenty of self exploration to <br />
begin to heal myself. As for mom, I pity her. Must really suck to be like that all the time.