(Closed) When is enough enough with a parent?

posted 6 years ago in Relationships
Post # 3
Member
2106 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

Go into the conversation hoping for the best and expecting the worst. What is really telling to me is that she doesn’t speak to a lot of her family. People who are perpetual victims tend to push others away, antagonize, lie, etc. When asked why she doesn’t have a relationship with those other people, I guarantee that she says something to the tune of “everyone else in the world has the problem.” It’s twisted thinking. 

I highly recommend the book Toxic Parents, particularly the manipulator chapter. In the mean time, make a list of reasonable expectations about what you want from your relationship with your mom. Leave out any accusations. Example: instead of, “I don’t want you to blame me for not calling!” have something like, “I want the first Sunday of every month be our long phone chat so that we can get caught up. I want you to call me if you need to talk to me between those monthly long chats.” Never tell her what she is doing wrong- instead say what you want. If you tell her what she has done wrong, she wins because she is now the victim. Instead of “Mom, you’re being manipulative” say “I feel like my words are being used against me.” 

Good luck. Seriously read the book- it has a host of tips and tricks for setting boundaries and freeing you from the exhaustion that is an emotional manipulator. 

Post # 4
Member
5958 posts
Bee Keeper
  • Wedding: April 2018

I’m sorry, this sounds pretty terrible and unhealthy to say the least.  There’s a lot going on with your Mom, why not leave it there, with your Mom.  You are an adult and in no way dependant on her for anything any longer. 

If she’s going to behave so terribly she can do that by herself.  It’s not really a matter of “letting go” of her, but changing your focus to hanging onto the things that are enriching, fullfilling and positive.  If she cannot contribute things that fit into this category, she’s just not on your list for that day, or the next day, or the day after that.

I gurantee that she’s going to kick and scream about it, call everyone under the sun including the White House if she can get the number to verbally drag everyone you know through the mud for being so disrespectful…at this point you ignore her, and advise everyone in her path to do the same….

Untl she’s a loving and positive influence in your life, she’s not part of it and that’s all there is to it!

Good luck!

Post # 5
Member
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

I’d like to thank the OP for posting, and MrsBroccoli and Nona99 for replying.

OP, I wish I had advice for you. Unfortunately, I have dealt with many of the same characteristics in my mother. Our situation is still not good, so I don’t know how to help you either. Hoping others share some wisdom.

MrsBroccoli — I searched for that book and also found some websites on toxic parents.  Thank you.

Post # 8
Member
7771 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2010

Oh man.  Parenting doesn’t come with a manual.  It sounds like your mom doesn’t understand appropriate boundaries.  The things she was doing after college are just so inappropriate.  They say two rams cannot drink from the same fountain.  I honestly recommend family counseling to talk through the issues with a third party.  That is the only want I can imagine reconnecting with my family- if that would even work!

Your mom sounds a lot like my mom.  Generally immature and maybe does not understand boundaries and how to have healthy relationships.  Sigh.

Post # 9
Member
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

Yes… you have a toxic mother. Probably a narcissistic mother, at that.

If that’s the case, she does not have the ability to be happy for you, which means that you can have compassion for her while distancing and protecting yourself – which you need to do. My Fiance has very similar family members.

You do what you need to do. If you need to have a civil, but cool relationship with her – do that. If you need to cut contact like my Fiance had to – do that (if you feel that it is abusive, especially). But I don’t think that you can have a real relationship with her… relationships should be MUTUALLY beneficial – not just beneficial for one party (her).

Do some reasearch on narcissistic and/or toxic parents… possibly even borderline parents… I think you might be surprised at the similarities.

http://www.lightshouse.org/ or books about toxic parents of personality disordered parents might be helpful…

Post # 10
Member
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@sunangel08:  I try to walk a line where I don’t perpetuate the tendencies she has without obsessing over it. I worry about being a parent though. I already find myself taking note other people’s moms that I admire and how they parent so that I have better examples of what to do (someday!).

Post # 11
Member
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@YogaFaerie:  I found that website on my recent google search. I was shocked when I got to the narcisstic parents section and it was like someone reading a biography of her to me.

Post # 12
Member
585 posts
Busy bee

I can relate. I have a mother with a mental illness (taken me decades to realize this) and while deep down she is a well-meaning person, she is pretty toxic. Several other close members of my family are also extremely toxic and as much as it sucks, there comes a point when you have to stand up for your boundaries. You are completely justified in this. Ask yourself this: if she weren’t your parent, would you tolerate some other adult in your life treat you this way? I doubt it. Yes she’s your mother and has done a lot for you, but in the end, you don’t have to allow abuse of any kind in your life.

I suggest reading the book Boundaries by Henry Cloud. Might really help you find some guidance and peace.

Post # 13
Member
3357 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: May 2012

omg, it’s almost like I wrote this myself (except my mother doesn’t really bash my Darling Husband, just me). as I’ve gotten older, and more emotionally stable thanks to Darling Husband, I too have realized that my mother is a huge emotional manipulator. It’s extremely frustrating for me to have to deal with it, because I can’t call her out on it. Everything she screams at me for doing, she does the exact same thing! in a way, it’s creepy how similar my mother and I can be!

I don’t really have any advice beyond what PP have posted. I deal with this too, and I’m going to look up Toxic Parents.

Post # 14
Member
734 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: August 2014

I really suggest you think about your relationship with her… you’re definitely not wrong at all in feeling the way you do. Even if she’s not physically dangerous you really need to consider your safety – emotionally speaking.

And be thankful that you’re as well adjusted as you are! My FI’s father is a narc and he has 3 siblings… 2 are also psychologically disturbed like their father. It seems like in families like this there’s a 50/50 shot of you being just like the toxic parent.

Post # 15
Member
1172 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

I want to say this. You dont owe your mother for anything. Yes she raised you, yes she gave birth to you but that was her choice. Holding normal every day things over your head and saying you should be grateful is a crock.

People shouldnt have children because they want those kids to be grateful. They should have kids because they want to enrich their and their childrens lives.

For 5 years I cut my mother out of my life. Five years I didnt speak to her. I would attend family functions and not even look her way. When she realized I wouldnt play her game, she stopped trying to run over me and make my choices for me. Now she respects my choices and even if she doesnt agree she lets me do what is necessary for happiness in my life.

Its not easy, and there were absolutely times when I would want her around and then I would begin to think how crazy it would be if she was around. I had the same kind of mother as you. She had no boundaries and would manipulate people against each other. Once everyone stopped letting her play the victim and just stopped interacting with her she started to change so that people would want to be around her.

Good luck. Hugs from someone who did cut their mother off…Now 5 years later, we are good.

Post # 16
Member
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

@TexasSpringBride:  Did it take everyone collectively telling her the same things? A lot of the problem I have with my bad mother/daughter relationship is that privately, everyone acknowledges her behavior, but I am the only one that sticks my neck out to call her on it. 

The topic ‘When is enough enough with a parent?’ is closed to new replies.

Find Amazing Vendors