(Closed) My mother is making this very difficult for me (LONG vent/need some support)

posted 7 years ago in Family
Post # 3
1315 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2011

Oh love. I unfortunately have no experience that gives me any useful input for you, but I just wanted to wish you well. ((Hugs.))

Post # 5
6892 posts
Busy Beekeeper
  • Wedding: March 2012

Tough love? It sounds like the only thing that will really work. She will either accept or reject what you are doing, and the most important thing for you to do would be to not take it personally. Yes, I realize that’s hard as it’s your mother, but this day isn’t about her issues. It’s about a wedding and a marriage between you and your Fiance. She can accept the logistics that YOU put into place or she can miss out and be a “sore loser” about everything.

I would stick to your guns regarding your step-mom. 21 years is way too long to harbor such feelings for another woman in that capacity. She needs to get over it – and maybe this will help her realize that this woman is in your life too and has been for a LONG while.

I’ve dealt with a few people, though not my mother, that have this type of issue and the best thing to do is just keep being you and let them come to terms with everything. They’re going to make it harder than it needs to be, but that is their choice and they will do it regardless of how “careful” you are about it. It’s easier to just throw all your cards down to begin with.

Good luck! 🙂

Post # 6
4824 posts
Honey bee

You cant rationalize with irrational people. Unless you do exactly as she wants you wont be able to please her and it sounds as if you know this.  I suspect that what you really need to do is to learn to accept that your decisions may continue to push her away- and that may not be a bad thing.  Its tough because she is your mom, but that doesnt mean compromising who you are and what you want will do you or her any good.

I have a close friend that essentially cut her mom out of her life because she was similar. She was toxic. To me family is NOT about blood, but about support, caring and being there. If she is not able to provide all that do you then you are not obligated to bend to her wishes.

Post # 7
322 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: April 2011

I hate to say this, but have you thought about eloping?  I know that might cause some tension initially, but it might prevent a lot more issues than if you had a whole wedding/reception.  I’m very sorry you have to go through this.  I didn’t directly, but my dad did, and I see how hard it was on him.  *Hugs* to you and I wish you and your fiance the best. 

Post # 8
101 posts
Blushing bee
  • Wedding: October 2011

I’m not saying that your mother doesn’t have problems – trust me, I know the type. 

I will say this, though: to have your husband leave you for another woman, to shatter your life like that, and then see that woman socially is really hard. Decades later, it’s really hard. It’s not the same as a remarriage that happens after a divorce for different reasons. I have a close friend whose beautiful mother was cheated on so cruelly, and the idea of making her see “the other woman” again, ever, ripped my heart up. The wedding of her daughter – my friend – brought up tension. I felt that my friend was being a little callous telling her mom to deal with it – after all, it’s a celebration of lifelong promises and it’s more than a little ironic that a man who broke them is attending with the third party in that kind devastating breakage. Try to have sympathy. I’m not saying your dad is a monster or your stepmother either, but you can’t ignore the reasons for the dynamic between them and your mother. People say to let the past go, but that also says basically that people can do whatever they want without consequences and everyone else should get over it; it’s more complex than that. Hearts get broken, sometimes for life. 

Your mom’s not rational. Try anyway. Tell her that you understand how even time cannot erase the sense of betrayal she must feel because of your father and the other woman. Don’t call your dad names or let her call him names or get into it. Tell her that you don’t want to get into it beyond acknowledging her pain and that you’ll work with her to make her as comfortable as possible at the ceremony if and only if she can keep it together. Tell her that you want to make her look as graceful as you know she is. If need be, flatter her with comparison to other graceful, wronged women like Princess Diana (it works!) 

Ask what is something that she fears – sitting at a table near them? Try to accommodate her worst concern or two, unless it’s something you absolutely disagree with like not letting your stepmother give a reading or something. This will take more work, I’m sorry to say, but I think it’s compassionate and the right thing to do. Hold your ground on the things that you want, though, and maintain the boundaries that you’ve established. 

Infidelity and abandonment hurt for life. Even people with mental illnesses can be legitimately hurt, and we forget that sometimes. I hope this didn’t sound too harsh. It really sounds like a nightmare situation. Sometimes seeing things from the other person’s eyes is actually helpful to you, but doesn’t mean you’re wrong or they’re right, so please don’t take this to mean that I think you’re doing wrong by your mother or anything like that – I hope that by maybe trying to understand her pain you can find ways to make her calm down and respect your own wishes. 

Post # 9
1737 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: May 2016

@shimmerofheaven:  I’m not sure if Borderline Personality Disprder is the new designation for BiPolar Disorder, but my mom AND dad both ahve that.  Unfortunetly I can’t really give you a lot of advice other than do what you can to amke sure you and your future H have a good life together.

My dad is out of the picture, after kicking me out at 19 for telling him “no” for the first time.  There’s more to it, as he thought I reminded him of my mom when he was trying to start a life with wife #3 for her credit rating, and he didn’t want a full-scholarship, non-smoking, non-dirnkningm choir girl college student underfoot, even if I DID do quite a lot of the housework.  He tried to defame me and embarass me in many ways to make sure I had no choice but to “crawl back to him in a fit of drepression” (his actual words, in writing) and that he was only dooing his duty as a “Christinan” father.  He even photo copied my 10-year diary and mailed “juicy” parts out to my family AND my BF’s family (I was a virign until 22, btw) to show them what a whore I was.  So he’s out of my life, and is pretty much dead to me.  I don’ believe you can take back disownership.

Mom, on the other hand is a chroni hot-check writing shoplifter who had no problem putting MY name and information on her hot checks (by this time she was using her maiden name, and not many trails existed to connect us), and then denying it, even when I got nasty calls at work about her theft by check.  She’s invented stories of all kinds, played the vitcim and pretty much expected me to take care of her all my childhood and then got upset when I couldn’t as a young adult.  Her behavior got worse and worse to where she was arrested frequently, and after a while, I almost couldn’t care anymore – if she was in minimum security jail, at least she wasn’t homeless, she had access to medical and psychaitric care, and 3 meals a day.  After bailing her out the last time, I told her to get her act together or leave me alone.  She then skipped probabtion and left the state, and for about 6 years, we didn’t talk.  Only within the last year have we been in contact, only over the phone.  I love my mom, but to me she’s like a child who will set fire to everything if not watched constantly or restircted – and I honestly am not a good enoug person to drop my whole life that I’ve built wihtout the support of ANY of my family to run to her rescue anymore.

For anyone who hasn’t dealt with a personality disorder first hand, this will sound harsh.  You have to set boundaries and stick to them, or the BPD person will try to run your life.  They aren’t acting in a rational manner.  It IS a mental illness that they can’t or won’t acknowedge.  To them, their crazy ranting behavior is normal – anything that goes wrong is YOUR fault or someone else’s fault… And many refuse treatment for several reasons, a lot because feeling a “normal” range of meoions doesn’t feel normal to them – they feel odd when they’re medicated to keep them from experieincing the high and lows of their affliction.  This isn’t necessarialy based on any past expereince in their lives, amny personality disorders are found in people with hmical imbalances often beyond their control, which can be worsened by bad experiences, but where a more stable person can work through bad things, the person with the disorder get worse.

All I can say to the OP is that while she loves her mother, and tries to understand her, her mom’s motives will not make sense.  Its almost impossible for a rational person to follow the thinking of an irrational one.  OP, your mom CAN’T understand, so trying to make her will just exhaust you.  Don’t tell her anyhting you son’t want to have a battle over.  It sounds mean, but find tht you are “busy” or someone’s at the door when she starts getting ulgy on the phone.  Luckily for me, my mom tends to call when I’m getting dinner ready, so I have an honest excuse for a time limit on the conversation.  Also, since she will be part of his life, I’d make sure your future H knows what is involved with your mom, epsecially since as a healthcare practicioner you plan on being there for her as a caretaker, even if not under the same roof.  My Boyfriend or Best Friend had a hard time understanding my mo when she popped back into my life at 20 after being absent for 5 years, and it casued a lot of stress and strain on us because I lacked the skills and knowledge to help him understand that she honestly did not know what she was doing, or that her actions, even when childish and petulant were completely rationsl to her. 

As far as the wedding, you need to keep that foot down – it’s YOUR wedding.  (I cringe at the idea of having my mom attend mine should I ever graduate form the Waiting Boards).  You might need to be strong and tell her that your step mother is being inlcuded, and she needs to accept it for the sake of your wedding.  She doesn’t have to like the woman.  She won’t have to speak to her, and you can try your best to seat them as far apart as you can, but the decision has been made and she needs to let it rest.  Tell your mom on other things that while you value her opinions, you have made your decisions based on finances, avaialbility, etc.  If she still derides you for not doing it her way, change the subject, and (this is the hard part) learn to not let her comments hurt.  You KNOW she’s sick.  You KNOW she says things that aren’t true.  It will still sting at times, but you will develop the skills you need to cope with her, epecailly now that you have insight into what is wrong with her. 

I wish you luck – I know this is hard.


** sorry for the massive typos – writing this at work**

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