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Old 02-27-2008, 10:56 AM
 
6 posts, read 12,839 times
Reputation: 16

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Hi everyone.
Thank you again to everyone who is taking the time to write new inspiring words to me. This is really great. Little by little i'm starting to understand the new ways i must begin thinking about my relationship with my mother, in order to get on with my new exciting (ADULT) life.
In response to Anifani above, you're right. I don't know why I agreed to the call-in-a-week thing. You know, it didn't even occur to me to not agree. That probably says a lot. Yet another thing I need to keep in mind.
So, since the last post, I did not call her back. Sunday would've been a week. I decided that if we spoke, she would not let me speak, would mock me again (the first time she used a mocking voice and told me that she knew i thought i was "in love", etc), speak to me like i was a ridiculous child, and in turn i would start acting that way. so i wrote her a letter instead. i was extra careful that it not be accusatory in any way because i am trying to be the (apparently only) adult here. I simply told her more about my fiancee, which i was unable to do during our last conversation because she wasn't interested, i told her i loved him and that i was going to marry him and that i hoped she would eventually accept it. i told her i understood that she was not prepared for this mentally but that she could either trust that i knew what was best for me, or not trust. But that either way I was going to do it.
This is not happening until towards the end of the year, unfortunately. I would like to be over there with him as soon as possible, but it's just not working out that way. So I sent the letter yesterday and she should get it tomorrow. I don't know if she'll call right away or retaliate via letter. It's hard to say. In the meantime I've ordered a book about dealing with controlling parents that I should receive today.
Thanks again, everyone.
My thought process is slowly changing, but my anxiety is still so high that my sleep schedule is royally screwed up. Oh well, I'm sure I'll sleep like a baby next to my new husband in Paris! I just have to make it til then.
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Old 02-27-2008, 11:09 AM
 
Location: Everett, Wa
601 posts, read 1,742,151 times
Reputation: 670
Go live your life...be happy. I wish you all the best. Your Mom will probably never change and you have your whole life to live, so live it. Best of luck!!!
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Old 02-27-2008, 12:55 PM
 
1,166 posts, read 3,545,112 times
Reputation: 378
Listening to everyone weigh in about their mothers, one can certainly agree with the adage that we don't choose our parents. Most women would say ESPECIALLY NOT OUR MOTHERS! Being the mother of a 34 year-old woman and a thirty-eight year-old man I have to bite my tongue not to do what I hear you guys complaining about. When I, in spite of myself, tell my son to drive carefully as he heads back to Durham, he usually answers, "No, Mother, I'm planning on driving recklessly!" My daughter's stock answer to my queries about getting her malaria medicine before her trips to equatorial areas at the free clinic sponsored my her employer in her building is "No, Mother, I really hope to get malaria so that I can better relate to my clients." On the other hand, I am the almost 70 year-old daughter of a 92 year-old mother who still tells me that I have to get to bed earlier every evening when I call her. None of this advice that mothers give their children is given through malice. I wouldn't be surprised, Dinah, if your mother butts into your life because she has nothing else going for her right now - maybe she has never felt that she has much going for her.

I truly believe that the women that I know who feel successful in their lives don't need to control their children. Look at the advice that Ani, who obviously feels good about her life, gives you. I would bet that she does not nag her sons to distraction about how to live their lives. I feel good about my life and will admit to anyone I meet that I am a grandma-wannabe, but my kids never hear this from me. What I'm trying to say is that, while, as Ani suggests you should establish some boundaries and let your mother have a few drama queen scenes, you might feel some compassion for this lady who doesn't seem to have much else going for her than you.

Also when you have your little francophone kids, try to remember that we parent as we were parented and catch yourself before you become your mother.

Lucky you - living in Paris. I am so envious I can't stand it. I used to live there and, as much as I love Charlotte, would relocate in a heartbeat. Each time my daughter and I go to Paris we look for studio apartments that we might be able to afford. I hope that when you are living there you remember us back here and send a few posts telling us about your life there.
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Old 02-28-2008, 10:19 PM
 
1,218 posts, read 3,652,072 times
Reputation: 1155
I think it's a good idea to pick your battles. If Mom is saying things like "drive carefully" it's not, as BarbJ says, done maliciously. She's your mom, you will always be her little girl/boy and she's accustomed to watching out for you even though you're middle-aged.

I would give my left arm if my precious mother were alive today so I could hear her call out to me to "be careful on that old road". Since her death, I've learned what was important and what wasn't. She asked me to be careful? SO FREAKIN' WHAT? If she had behaved like Dinah's mother, then yes, there's issues to be discussed.

The point is, people, prioritize. Pick your battles. Some aren't worth your breath. They can get annoying, yes, but how many of them are truly crucial? And when you are working on behavior that is truly inappropriate, remember that that woman did everything for you. Keep it in perspective.
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:10 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
452 posts, read 2,125,380 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by dinah789 View Post
For the first time I felt free and more like an adult, I realized I was able to take care of myself and it was a great feeling.

A few months after I moved and my mom saw that I was not failing miserably, she wrote me the nastiest letter I have ever received in my life, pretty much telling me I was a disappointment, and how could I do this to my family after all they'd done for me, she and my dad had sacrificed so much to help me through college and children are supposed to be near their families, etc., etc., etc. I was upset for months and am still upset when I think about it. I did then and do now have to keep reminding myself that it is not a bad thing to live my own life. I made sure I visited them twice a year or more, though I would do it out of guilt and not genuine desire. Once I was there I would feel resentful that I had spent the time and money because I was so miserable the whole time due to her needling about every little thing.
<snip for space>
and even call my friends to see if they can help her "talk some sense into me."

So, I am an adult here, she is obviously unhappy with her own life, maybe jealous even? Am I right on here? It's okay for me to live my own life, and I'm allowed to be happy and excited that I've finally found my true love and get to move to a beautiful place, right? If she decides to stop talking to me that is her problem, right? I need reassurance so much here because she has done such a number on me over the years. How do I cope with this without driving myself and my fiance crazy over it? When is it time to break ties? Am I selfish? I alternate between anger that she is so much in my head that I can't enjoy my engagement, fear of what she's going to say next, and guilt over possibly being utterly self-centered like she says I am. Help??!!!
I am floored by your posts. Just floored....your situation sounds SOOOOOO much like mine. I have so much experience with this and could share so many stories and ordeals. I truly empathize with you. Drop me a PM if you want to talk about these mother issues and I can send you my email address.

People who haven't been through this or are close to their mothers just can't truly understand what it's like to have this type of mother or how terrible it is. I've been there, done that. Feel FREE to PM me if you feel like talking about it. I finally got fed up and had to just cut off from my mother after 31 years of misery.

By the way I cannot emphasize this enough, I learned the hard way- deal with this and bring it to some kinf of resolution before you have kids of your own or your mother will start using THAT in manipulations, and try to make THAT the center of her guilt trips.

Last edited by BlueLily7; 02-28-2008 at 11:12 PM.. Reason: add comment
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Old 02-28-2008, 11:25 PM
 
Location: NC's southern coastline
452 posts, read 2,125,380 times
Reputation: 351
Quote:
Originally Posted by anifani821 View Post

Claim your right to have your own life and create your own family - and joy!
Great post, this is the best way to sum it up. There comes a point when a mother just has to RESPECT her daughter as an ADULT. My mother never reached that point and I am almost 32 years old. I think about her behavior and treatment of me over the years a lot now because now I have 2 daughters of my own.

When you're an adult and you want to move and have your own life and your parents try to undermine this sometimes you just have to go on, do your thing, and keep your chin up and realize that you have a right to live your own life.

BTW, there's a huge difference between moms who may be overprotective or brokenhearted that their children have grown up and are leaving them behind a little bit....and moms who do have bad issues, controlling, manipulative behaviors, and play psychological mind games. Trust me. I WISH my mother was just one who'd irritate me by always telling me to be careful or treating me like I'm still 12 by trying to feed and coddle me or give me advice. Instead, I can relate to the type who gets nasty whenever your life is going well and constantly tries to let the wind out of your sails, and make you feel selfish for not letting her control your every aspect.

Last edited by BlueLily7; 02-28-2008 at 11:25 PM.. Reason: typo
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Old 03-04-2008, 02:47 PM
b75
 
950 posts, read 3,176,656 times
Reputation: 329
Oh I agree! My parents overall are great & it feels so petty to complain about something like this when I have other friends whose parents, shall we say, believe in a much more tougher love strategy. They certainly don't get coddled that's for sure, but I bet they would feel good to have someone express that much concern for them! Good Luck to you. I'm sure it must be difficult trying to parent now & break the cycle your mom perpetuated when she raised you.

Quote:
Originally Posted by BlueLily7 View Post
Great post, this is the best way to sum it up. There comes a point when a mother just has to RESPECT her daughter as an ADULT. My mother never reached that point and I am almost 32 years old. I think about her behavior and treatment of me over the years a lot now because now I have 2 daughters of my own.

When you're an adult and you want to move and have your own life and your parents try to undermine this sometimes you just have to go on, do your thing, and keep your chin up and realize that you have a right to live your own life.

BTW, there's a huge difference between moms who may be overprotective or brokenhearted that their children have grown up and are leaving them behind a little bit....and moms who do have bad issues, controlling, manipulative behaviors, and play psychological mind games. Trust me. I WISH my mother was just one who'd irritate me by always telling me to be careful or treating me like I'm still 12 by trying to feed and coddle me or give me advice. Instead, I can relate to the type who gets nasty whenever your life is going well and constantly tries to let the wind out of your sails, and make you feel selfish for not letting her control your every aspect.
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Old 03-11-2008, 04:22 AM
 
Location: Ostend,Belgium....
8,821 posts, read 6,351,863 times
Reputation: 4885
I think fear and hurt are making her lash out, OP, you said she held your dad back in the past, so it's her nature to not be able to leave her place of comfort. It's not your doing but you shouldn't take her abuse. Tell her that the decision was made a long time ago and nothing will make you move back... People sometimes lash out because you do something they're afraid of doing themselves. I get the same when I talk of my move here. Some are happy, some are anti.
Invite her so she can see how and where you live now and tell her her negativity has to stop.... if it doesn't, try to limit your time spent on her and tell her why you're doing it. Tough love is best here IMO. I hope she doesn't send you on a guilt trip to hell and back. People have a way of doing that sometimes.
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Old 03-11-2008, 06:04 AM
 
6 posts, read 12,839 times
Reputation: 16
So, I have been reading self-help books lately for the first time in my life. First I read something called If You Had Controlling Parents by Dr. Dan Neuharth, which was absolutely wonderful and right-on; it seemed like it was written for me. If you guys haven't seen it, I really recommend it. Now I'm reading When You and Your Mother Can't Be Friends by Victoria Secunda, which does not apply quite as closely but is still helpful. Just from that first book, which I read in about two days, I am feeling an incredible amount of strength and calm, like I can handle just about anything she may dish out. I may be kidding myself; I guess we'll see during my next interaction with her.

An update to my situation, in which I sent her the letter telling her I'm marrying and moving to France and I hope she eventually accepts it, is that I sent that a little over two weeks ago and haven't heard anything from her. This is not nearly as worrisome to me as it would've been had I not been reading and strengthening my defenses in the meantime. I figure she's either coming to terms with it in some way, deciding whether or not to respond and how, or else she's busy writing the most perfectly hurtful letter she can back to me. Whichever it is, I'm going to be okay with it (eventually, at least, I think), because I understand that she has her own demons she has been dealing with for years and I can't change that for her. Regardless, as the above post says and many of the prior posts say, I don't have to take her abuse and must live my own life. We may need to be completely without contact for awhile, but at least I am trying to reach out one last time before that happens. The ball's in her court now, although I have to keep reassuring myself of this.
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Old 03-11-2008, 11:49 AM
 
109 posts, read 362,785 times
Reputation: 33
I haven't read this entire string, but I'm dealing with a bit of that right now as I plan a relocation from MN to CA. My dad has also said similar things to all of us because we don't live near them in WI. "Come home" doesn't mean a lot if you haven't lived there since you were 18 and they moved 5 times since you moved away!

My therapist (an infinitely wise woman), suggested I just smile, give them a hug, and say "I love you too" and let it go at that. Why? Because you need to get under all that hostility and whining to see what it really means. Maybe some of it is an effort to be controlling, but I'd wager a good part of it is that they just plain miss having you around.

Getting worked up just fuels the fire, and reacting by telling them you love them might just defuse things a bit. Send them love, give them some quality time when you're home and see what happens. :-)

Good luck!
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