Big hugs, what a horrible situation for you to be in.
My mum is not exactly the same as yours, but has her own huge array of issues, including (functional, as much as it ever can be) alcoholism, pathological lying and what I suspect is a personality disorder of some sort (like histrionic personality disorder).
I used to find myself going between enabling her behaviour because to do otherwise would be to bring a huge sh*t storm down on me, or getting jack of her behaviour and standing up for myself and then enduring said sh*t storm until I gave in.
My husband gave me some great advice. I can either accept her as she is with these limitations, and ensure that I protect myself and my boundaries during any interactions with her, or I can refuse to accept her as she is because of the ongoing impact it has on me, and cut off contact with her because of this. It's the going between the two that causes the issues - fighting between your sense of right and justice and wanting to keep the peace.
It sounds like that might be harder for you to do given that she provides financial and child care support, but I guess the question is, is this support enough to make you accept her behaviour and that she will likely never change? And are there some boundaries you can put up to protect yourself while interacting with her (and will she respect these?).
Or, alternatively, do you need to accept within yourself that you can't continue to accept her behaviour, and therefore will need to cut off that support and possibly contact (at least in the short term) so you can protect yourself and your family.
Only you can decide what is right for you and your family, and it might be good to discuss it with your counsellor.
For what it's worth, I haven't cut my mum off because I do still love her. However I have set some very strict boundaries within myself about my interactions with her and if she crosses the line, I back right off and protect myself first.
The last thing I would say is to think about your child/children. They will see her behaviour and how you respond to it. That really helped me solidify how I wanted to interact with her. It also made me realise that I would never treat my own kids the way she treats me (it sort of validated that she really wasn't doing the right thing as a mum, you know?).
Good luck lovely.
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01-02-2016 21:24 #11
01-02-2016 22:13 #12
My mother has an untreated anxiety disorder. I don't know what to do
I could say more but it has all been said
Definitely speak to your counsellor. Also look up 'narcissistic personality disorder'. This helped me understand my mother greatly.
I also went through an incredibly traumatic event and had her on the phone hysterically screaming at me about what it was doing to HER.
At the end of the day, she is who she is. You can choose to feel responsible for her behaviour and let it affect you, or you can choose to distance yourself from it and look after yourself. It's not easy - it's something I work on every day! I walk a very delicate line with my mother. I don't get into conversations with her, I just nod and smile. I don't tell her anything about my life because she'll either a) criticise it, b) take it on as her own problem & throw it back at me or c) completely ignore me, talk over the top of me & try to 'one-up' me with much more exciting news. This has greatly reduced the amount of hysterics I'm exposed to!
I've chosen not to try and get help for my mum. I can't take that on. I have a daughter, a partner, a job, a life, a home - responsibilities and people who need me. The trauma she put me through as I was growing up led to serious mental health issues for me as an adult that I fought hard to overcome and don't want to slip back into. What works for me is to keep my life drama free.
It's a crappy thing for a parent to do, try and make their own child pay for their inadequacies. But unfortunately people just aren't always who we want them to be. Good luck OP & I'm always around for a chat
02-02-2016 05:38 #13
I couldn't read and run. I have a MIL who also has some serious issues which involves taking out her inadequacies on her kids (my DH), and it's such a difficult position to be in, especially if there are still other family members around who are in denial about the problem. We also have a whacky religion thrown into the mix which makes any kind of rational discussion about getting support etc near impossible. My DH has got to the point of setting some firm boundaries about how he will interact with her and this has helped - like you and others in this thread though he isn't ready to cut her off yet (although he's come close over the years).
Some really great advice here already and I've also been reading along getting help from it myself!
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