I need some help.....end of my rope with my mother! - FamilyEducation
I need some help.....end of my rope with my mother!
01/30/2010 at 22:30 PM

I really need some advice from everyone here on a specific issue that has been going on. My father passed away in January of 2008. He was only 61 and I miss him very much. My mother is still alive and just turned 61 this year. She and my father had a tumultuous relationship and a marriage riddled with crap. It is a wonder to me how I have turned out to be the person that I am and how I also ended up to be a good mother with two wonderful teenage daughters. My marriage is solid and my husband is a wonderful man. The problem is that a year after my Dad died, my mother has started treating me terribly. She has become one of these people who only calls when there is a problem or when she wants something. Half the time, she wants my husband. Fix this, repair that, build this, move that. It's crazy! This past Christmas she had my two teenage girls put up her Christmas tree and all the Christmas lights because she didn't want to and because I told her no. What the heck? My mother is 61....not 92 and is perfectly capable. She wants Christmas to be at her house but won't even decorate a damn thing for it!

We are about to have a new baby born into the family from my youngest brother & his wife. The lengths and fanfare my mother went to for this baby shower was ridiculous. You would have thought that Maria Carey was having a baby and her celebrity shower was held at my mother's house. My father left my mother very well-off. Meanwhile.....all the other babies born into the family did not have this grand reception. While this baby shower was being planned, I was asked to make floral centerpieces, help with decorations, and with the baby shower games and prizes. I did all that I was asked to do and then some. The flowers I did were so good that some lady at the shower asked me to do her wedding! I am not a florist or a floral designer at all! LOL. After all was said and done, my mother never so much as thanked me for any of the help I gave or the things that I took the time to make. Not one word of thanks. Then.....as my daughters and I were leaving her house after cleaning up, she says to my two kids, "Make sure you come back to Grandma's soon but don't bring your mother!" She said this infront of people leaving from the baby shower and also her best friend, Jeanne. When Jeanne heard this, she turned around and told my mother that she will be having words with her later about what was said. I just took both of my girls and walked straight to my car in astonishment. I think my mother has lost her cotton-picking mind. Moreover, I nearly had a crying breakdown when my neighbor, and very good friend, told me that she doesn't think my mother loves me very much and certainly not like she loves her two sons. She said that this is painfully obvious to her after meeting my mother face-to-face several times. My friend told me that I need to step back and change my attitude toward my mother and distance myself from her and what she does. I am so confused, hurt, baffled, and also angry at what seems to be happening here. I miss my father and he's not here anymore. My mother thinks she's perfect and also thinks she's beyond making mistakes or apologies. She is always right....everyone else is wrong. If I have something to say and she doesn't like it...she simply ignores me and expects me to go away. Does anyone have any advice for me? What should I do? Everyone around me is so complacent with her and let's her walk all over them because they don't want to start "drama". So, she continues to run amuck and do whatever she pleases whether it hurts me or not. It's almost as she feels entitled to whatever she wants since my father passed away. Like she feels it's owed to her because she chose to stay in a horrible marriage and some kind of paybacks are in order. I don't know what to do....help me please!

Have you tried talking with your mother and asking her why she is acting out torward you. You say since your father died she has treated you horribly...what about before that? Maybe she resents you in some way because you have a good marriage or maybe she feels you wronged her in some way. I would try talking to her and letting her know how you feel.

Aunt Tessi....thank you for replying to my post. I have not done anything wrong to my mother. I believe it is the other way around. Taking advantage of me as her daughter only puts me in a position of wondering why I do this to myself and why after all these years I have not tried to end the madness. From the time I was old enough to be more self-sufficient, around age 12, I felt burden in my life. I was not like my friends who were allowed to be teens and basically got to live their lives out like regular kids would. I had way more responsibility on my shoulders and I always felt like I had to fight for a social life. Then, as if a fairy godmother came with a magic wand.....right when I turned 17-18, my parents pretty much just ignored me. Suddenly it was as if I went from being hen-pecked and dumped on to not having anyone give me direction or guidance at all. It was very strange because I was all alone and having to navigate my world by myself. Because of this, there were some things that were confusing to me or that I could have used guidance on and I got none. By the grace of God and probably being the oldest and most independent child of the family, I managed to find my way through strife and struggle and I thank God for that. As for my mother.....she always seemed immature to me and always attached to drama with my father. Those two put the word "function" in the term "dysfunctional". I was told once by a therapist that I saw in college that my mother never really "mothered" me correctly. She took care of me but fell short in giving me emotional support and was guilty of something termed "crazy-making" in our family. The therapist felt that at times, I was more the mother figure than she was and that because of this, my life was burdened much more than an average person my age. Suddenly, I see this pattern of behavior resurfacing and I'm literally broken by it. I dont need a therapist to tell me what I already know. I was hoping that some of you guys here could shed some light on this issue I have and give me some pointers on how to get through it. I have talked to my mother in the past about these things and she goes ballistic on me when I tell her about herself and how it really is. There is no acceptance on her part and she tells me that my problems are mine to fix and that as a grown woman it is all up to me to get over it. I beg to differ but because I am dealing with what I feel is a narcissist and a perfectionist, I will never be heard. Got any other ideas for me?

Did you see my reply dated 2/1 on your similar post? It is highly unlikely your mother will change for the better. As it is very unlikely she wants to change, you must learn to protect yourself.

Your mother is a narcissist, (search "narcissistic mother"). I feel your pain. From all of my reading, they cannot be "cured." Your best bet is to learn to set boundaries and limit your exposure to her (and your children's). It is an extremely painful fact, you were not mothered. It sounds like you have already grieved for the loss of the mother you never had. I have been through that process; those feelings resurface. Congratulate yourself on being a warm and loving mother to your own children - you are truly wonderful for that. I had the same Christmas experience. My dad passed away, keeping her well taken care of. She has no job, buys expensive clothing/jewelry, keeps her 3 dogs in plush comfort, gets her hair fixed every Friday and won't lift a finger to help her kids or grandkids. Her house is a mess and she is chronically late. She hasn't gotten Dad his tombstone yet and it has been 3 years (she wants it big and fancy). I can barely tolerate her... S.I.