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My mother is draining the life out of me

Tagged as: Family, Health<< Previous question   Next question >>
Question - (28 October 2016) 8 Answers - (Newest, 1 November 2016)
A female United States age 22-25, anonymous writes:

I can not handle my mother anymore. I don't know what to do. I don't even know where to start to explain the situation. I'll start with what happened most recently.

I was supposed to come down this weekend to help her pack and clean her apartment (She's moving due to financial issues). She asked me to stay until Tuesday to help her move out. I told her I couldn't and would need to leave Sunday evening. She got mad and told me just not to come that she only needs help on Monday and if I want to drive down (she's 3 hours away) on Monday I can help her. I knew when I told her I couldn't stay past the weekend that she would get mad and start her passive aggressive manipulations.

Then I call my grandfather to check on him and the first thing he asks me if why my husband yelled at my mom on our last visit. He tells me my mother said "he was acting crazy like he was going to murder me." and she said "She didn't know why." My husband and I went down about 2 weeks ago. We stayed for the weekend. We decided to go to bed at 9 pm. My mother was out at the time visiting a relative in the hospital. I texted her I was going to bed. At 9:40 PM we are awake to the walls shaking. My mother turned the TV to full volume. She has never had it that loud before. I look at my phone and see 3 texts from her asking me to come down and carry up groceries. Then "Thanks for helping, oh and spending so much Time with me this weekend." My husband reads the text and is furious that my mother has purposely turned the TV up this loud to wake us up. He storms out and yells at her (Which I didn't like but understood). She denies it saying she just didn't realize. But I saw her face and smile when we came out. She did it on purpose.

More background. She asked me to take over her finances a few months ago. We ended up giving her $2000 (even though we are trying to save 16K for IVF). I told her I'd like her to pay me back at some point because it was my IVF money. She was rude and mad. I eventually stopped dealing with her finances when she used the money I had budgeted for a Dentist appointment to turn the cable back on.

It's her way or the highway. She wants all my attention when I visit down there and is mad if I want to visit any other family member (We live 3 hours away) and always says I don't spend enough time with her. But when we are at her house she just is on the computer and doesn't interact!

My frustration with her has been building for years. I don't know how to manage her anymore. Talking to her is fine unless I say the wrong thing. If I say something I know she won't like I get nauseous and my mouth tastes sour from adrenaline. I don't like it when she touches me at all, even for a hug. I don't think I can deal with her anymore but know I have to. She's a single parent and I'm an only child. I don't have a choice but to be in her life. I'm just so tired of her causing drama. She's draining me.

Any coping mechanisms? What can I do? Trying to talk to her in next to impossible.

The night she woke us up with the TV she said I should apologize to her because I dont normally go to bed that early. I told her that it was unreasonable for me to have to apologize for going to sleep. But she didn't get it. She's so focused on herself she can't understand any of my feelings.

View related questions: money, text

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (1 November 2016):

Your Mums a selfish woman CLEAR AS DAY and you owe it to yourself to not burden yourself with a narcissist mother who makes love toxic. Be at the end of a phone (if she is not abusive)but visits I would stay away at least while she emotionally punishes you for not doing what she DEMANDS. She was selfish to the hilt, expecting you to sit up and wait and emotionally blackmailing you about the heavy shopping. She unfortunately will blame all her faults and weaknesses on you, and stir up conflict between you and your own family. My guess is, no matter what you try and do to make things right or easy, somehow it will never be enough for her. Loving mothers don't do spiteful text messages to their children especially when they are asleep.

You are best not lending or giving money, she should be able to fend for herself, she's still of working age. As long as you play mother to her the status quo will remain.

She is your mother and I am sure that you do love her but she is an adult and so are you.

Bad Manners don't even come into this post, it's emotional abuse FULL STOP, parenthood titles do not give a SPECIAL LICENCE to treat their kids like shit.

Tell her you love her, reinforce your messages of love in cards letters phone calls but stay detached and be prepared to hang the phone up, phone back couple day's later when she cools down. Repeat this behaviour until you feel strong emotionally and back in control of your life...send her love so she can't pull the rejection card...say you are working overtime, new job anything to stay detached for a while to get happy again. Never feel guilty for not pandering to your mothers whims. Fifty years old..get a job mum!!!!!!!

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A female reader, Aunty BimBim Australia + , writes (30 October 2016):

Aunty BimBim agony auntyou received excellent advise last time you wrote to Dear Cupid:http://www.dearcupid.org/question/how-best-to-help-stubborn-mother-out-of.html

Stick to your guns, go and help her pack, if she fiddles around so that it will be impossible for the bulk of the work to be completed when you need to leave Sunday evening that's her problem. Remind her the first few times but then let it drop. Do as much as you can before you leave at your scheduled time, Sunday evening.

I wish you luck

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2016):

Repeat after me.....I am an adult.I can and will cut toxic people out of my life no matter who they are.I will not be abused anymore.I am a strong person......Keep repeating this until you believe it.Cut her out of your life you will feel so much better.If people judge you and give you a hard time they never really cared about you in the first place.You have a husband who loves you and it is time to realize he is your family now.Abuse is never OK.Cut her off for your sake and the sake of your real family who loves you and would never abuse you.

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A female reader, Youcannotbeserious United Kingdom + , writes (29 October 2016):

You can't control what others say or do, but you CAN control how you react to it.

Stop allowing her to treat you the way she does. If she starts shouting at you on the phone, say "I am going now, mum. I will speak to you when you have calmed down." and hang up. Believe me, it is very empowering. Why are you afraid to stand up to her? What do you think will happen? You are no longer a child. She cannot put you on the naughty step. You are an adult who is capable of standing up for herself. You choose to let your mother carry on bullying and intimidating you.

If you allow people to disrespect you, then some will take full advantage of that. Your mother sounds like one of those people.

Take back control and only interact with her if she treats you with respect. Spend the time with her that you can reasonably spare. Don't give her money you have worked for and cannot spare. She is an adult and needs to manage her own money. If she can't then that is HER problem, not yours.

Just because she is a single parent and you are an only child does NOT mean you owe her every minute of your life.

Be brave.

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A male reader, Xearo Trinidad and Tobago +, writes (29 October 2016):

You can not force someone to care about you, even your own parents. You can only do your best to make sure your time is well spent with the ones that do care. Eventually, you will because a catalyst to her bad behavior as she continues to walk over you and your family. She may have issues that run deep, but also perhaps unwilling to mend. These things do not have to be your battle, but I would understand if you take on the burden.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2016):

Truly horrifying.. she seems to gain sadistic pleasure from behaving this way with you.

I suggest stopping from contacting her - cold turkey. At least for a few days till you can clear your head. Remind yourself that she's old and needs your help. Don't allow her to manipulate you and keep her at arm's length.

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2016):

I'm not in anyway condoning your mother's behaviour but I must say come on ..You visit your mother who visiting a sick relative and you as her daughter don't see that's it's bad manners to go to bed at 9pm before she comes home . REALLY .. If my husband was tired he could have went to bed .. I on the other hand would have waited up .. and took an interest .. your lucky you have the option at the minute to spend time with your mother my mother has passed so I do not .

As for your husband going out and yelling ..though provoked to an extent I would not have allowed that .. my mother .. my business .. He is after all a man and men can be very aggressive when angry .. so no sorry I don't agree .

To me it's like you begrudge your mum this time she a pain .. so why bother ..why pretend .. really .. If she needing help on the Monday .. she needing help on the Monday .. she isn't doing it to annoy you .. she needs help ..

Moving is the biggest stress other than a wedding or a funeral .. The financial thing as well .. you never loan to your parent .. you give what you can afford ..They have raised an cared for you .. spent money year and year .. maybe went without .. my mother did .. and I didn't know until years had past .. so my policy was always if I had it and she needed it ..I would give it .. not as a loan .. If I didn't have it I would give a little of something and we would work things out .. that's what families do .

I'm sorry but I think you need to reconsider that your own resentment is putting you off your mother .. you know the more negative we are about someone we kknow ..The more we talk about it .. The more we can't even see there nice spots .. do you know there not one nice thing you have wrote about your mother ..not one .. how sad is that .

I'm sorry Im not as sympathic as you may need looking for .. I just feel from your post that you handled things wrongly .. you were visiting your mum .. who stepped out .. then you wait up until she come home ..It's not a hotel your in . Your husband had no right to scream at her .. It was your place to talk calmly to your mum .. as for the money .. If she used the money for other things than what you discussed then I think you reconsider and do not give what you can not afford or will miss . Having a baby is important I've been in your shoes and have two miracle girls and not through ivf. . Just happened .. so don't give up .. sweerie there

I don't think your a bad daughter .. I just think your in a negative spiral about your mother and that won't help .. and yes the money will do your nut in ..But try and look at it from your mother's shoes .. as a would be mother would you like your daughter going to bed at 9pm and not taking the time to wait and see how 1. You would be coping after coming home .. 2.how even your sick relative was .. hospital are draining places .. A friendly face and cuppa helps ..

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A female reader, anonymous, writes (29 October 2016):

I'm not in anyway condoning your mother's behaviour but I must say come on ..You visit your mother who visiting a sick relative and you as her daughter don't see that's it's bad manners to go to bed at 9pm before she comes home . REALLY .. If my husband was tired he could have went to bed .. I on the other hand would have waited up .. and took an interest ..

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