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Old 04-10-2012, 03:52 AM
 
7,495 posts, read 9,752,153 times
Reputation: 7394

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Yesterday my family (three of us), my mom, a family friend and I celebrated Easter rather than Sunday since I had to work all weekend. The family friend is retired and my mom has her own business and Mondays are one of her days off.

First my mom tried to guilt-trip me into celebrating Easter on Sunday knowing I had to work all night Saturday night and Sunday night. I put my foot down and told her that there's nothing wrong with celebrating Easter Monday rather than Sunday and that I wouldn't be myself if I had to stay up all night, all day and all night, and even worse if I had to leave early. That kind of situation ruined Thanksgiving for me. So she finally relented and said "we decided we want you there so we'll do it Monday". How sweet, right?

She had skirted around the fence about a set time to get together to go to this other person's house and then left me an angry message because I didn't go straight to her house after work. The family friend told me it wouldn't be for a few hours because she wanted me to get a little sleep. So that's what I counted on doing before that happened.

When I got to my mom's house to pick her up she had an attitude and seemed to want to be in the mood to fight. I don't even remember what about anymore. I had said "look I'm sorry I'm late but you never stated a specific time". Then she asked me if I was "grumpy today". I really wasn't in a bad mood before that happened. I wasn't thrilled about spending time with her, but you know sometimes it's fine (when she wants it to be I guess). But at that point I was irritated with her and her crap and I said "I worked all night I guess I am a little grumpy!" I should've told ehr she was irritating me but I really wanted this to be a nice get-together. Then she was like "I'm not even gonna talk anymore". At that point I swear to gawd I almost just said "forget it" and left, but I didn't.

On the ride up there, she complained about my brother never wanting to spend time with her (gee I wonder why), and having "used" her to his heart's content. She nagged me about my driving and made me a nervous wreck on the road like she always does when she wants me to take her somewhere, and was driving me nuts with her constantly having to restrain her little dog from jumping up front (she had the window down because she was smoking in MY car). Kept turning down my music, which wasn't loud at all, and I couldn't hear it at all.

At the friend's house, made herself an alcoholic drink, made a show out of letting us both know I couldn't have one since I was driving. Got completely sloshed, talked crap with the family member about my uncle (whom she doesn't talk to) and just making things uncomfortable. Stupid dog kept getting out of the backyard and then she'd order me to help find her. Not asked, ordered me.

We ended up staying way later than I'd wanted to. Luckily I drank enough caffeine to stay up all day but geez, by the time we were ready to go I was more than ready to drop her off. So basically the only reason she wanted me there was so I could drive her to the relatives house so she could drink her butt off and have me to drive her around.

I feel bad thinking this way, I mean, she's my closest family since she managed to sabotage our relationships with the rest of her side of the family. She nags me about my lack of family and how I'm going to be "alone in the world". She nags me about my weight, tells me I'm gaining or losing weight (I'm in the lower half of the normal weight range). She wonders what's wrong with me that I can't get a guy's interest, brags about all the guys she had chasing her back in the day. Nags me about finding a new job even though she knows I want to transfer out of state with this job, which is why I'm not quitting it. She goes out of her way to bring up topics with me that she knows just bring me anxiety. I don't know what to do.

I have gone low-contact with her, with the excuse (actually it's a valid one), about saving my cell phone minutes and that's helped. She used to call me every day. I feel bad because I know she's lonely but she's way too dependent on me for everything. She takes advantage of the fact that I drive and I want to help her, but I don't feel appreciated for anything I do, and she needs to realize I'm not going to be here forever.

Sorry, I'm just venting. Maybe next year I won't have to deal with this nonsense.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:05 PM
 
Location: North Carolina
2,657 posts, read 7,183,357 times
Reputation: 4297
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
She goes out of her way to bring up topics with me that she knows just bring me anxiety. I don't know what to do.
Gaaah! Somebody cloned my mom!

I recommend detachment. It takes time, but learn to listen with one ear, ready to pick out key phrases to which you can answer with stock words.

"Well, that is too bad, Mom"
"Did he really? Wow, bummer"
"Uh huh"
"Ok, I'll think about it"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
I have gone low-contact with her, with the excuse (actually it's a valid one), about saving my cell phone minutes and that's helped.
Yep. People like your mother - you can't tell them the truth. Even trying to offer constructive advice, like encouraging her to make friends and not be dependent on you, will be met with "oh, I just knew you didn't want me around. Waaaaah!"

I'm a firm believer that for some people, you have to make your own family. You have parental units from whom you spring, but that's about it. Are they a guiding, encouraging force in your life? Do they set standards that will send you out into the world as a productive, admirable person? Or are you merely an extension of them, expected to be at their beck 'n call; a wailing wall for their misery; guilted into serving them by mere fact that they created you? To those kind of people, I believe you should only be obligated to maintain low contact, if that. If they become so toxic that you are in a misery even when not around them, then feel no guilt about cutting them off even more.
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Nantahala National Forest, NC
27,093 posts, read 5,877,402 times
Reputation: 30347
No contact for me...
after a while, no big deal
I DO NOT tolerate abuse from anyone...



Quote:
Originally Posted by Neway99 View Post
Anyone with experience or thoughts on removing toxicity of immediate family members from one's life?

How difficult is it to go no-contact, and does that effectively delete their toxicity or does it stay alive in your mind anyway due to experiences already had plus knowing they're still out there?
Is low-contact (i.e., intermittent email/phone few visits if any) a better route?

Conflict:
Low contact is a bow to untrue, but nonetheless v. real & impactful pressures-- wondering why you couldn't have just managed the situation someway instead of zeroing out; dread of the typical accusations ("can't believe you won't speak to your own family, they seem pleasant enough to me..."); albeit unwarranted guilt likely to creep in etc. etc.
No-contact is what's merited in the situation-- they are not nice people, unhealthy to be around them, wish to not know them-- But does it work in practice given the subtleties of all this...
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Old 04-10-2012, 02:58 PM
 
Location: Chicagoland
5,655 posts, read 8,658,273 times
Reputation: 6768
I chose no contact with a close family member who is toxic. Felt so good and healthy to get this person out of my life. It was so liberating. After the separation, he ceased to have the damaging, negative influence in my life and, in turn, I became successful in many areas (career, marriage, family, etc.). I know removing him from my life was a great decision as his presence was risky to me and others who I love.

After many years, I saw him at a family event and, finally, had no anger towards him. I can now look at him objectively for the sad, psychotic, toxic person he is. My greatest "revenge" is that I am happy, healthy, and I never think of him. He really should be in a mental institution or jail, but he got away with his crimes (even though he went to trial). He is now sickly, delusional, and alone in his old age. I feel nothing for him now which is perfect. He tries to send me money from time to time but I don't cash the checks.
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Old 04-10-2012, 09:42 PM
 
10,452 posts, read 10,622,945 times
Reputation: 12537
I am in low-contact with the family members that refuse to accept core, fundamental parts of my being.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:05 AM
 
1,464 posts, read 2,751,159 times
Reputation: 2817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Neway99 View Post
Anyone with experience or thoughts on removing toxicity of immediate family members from one's life?

How difficult is it to go no-contact, and does that effectively delete their toxicity or does it stay alive in your mind anyway due to experiences already had plus knowing they're still out there?
Is low-contact (i.e., intermittent email/phone few visits if any) a better route?

Conflict:
Low contact is a bow to untrue, but nonetheless v. real & impactful pressures-- wondering why you couldn't have just managed the situation someway instead of zeroing out; dread of the typical accusations ("can't believe you won't speak to your own family, they seem pleasant enough to me..."); albeit unwarranted guilt likely to creep in etc. etc.
No-contact is what's merited in the situation-- they are not nice people, unhealthy to be around them, wish to not know them-- But does it work in practice given the subtleties of all this...
I have one of the most toxic immediate families on the face of this earth..back stab and most of the time it is not true stuff. My immediate family consists of 4 sisters; both parents are deceased. When I was single liviving alone in a small 4 room apartment and struggling financially after having been widowed they would call, come visit, invite me over..etc. I started dating a guy 10 years younger than me and all the calls stopped and the invites as well. I married this guy and we bought a home; a beautiful home and I was then referred to as "the fat rich ***** on the hill" and the stories started of how I married for money etc. SOOOO toxic. There is more but too much to post. What do I do with them? NOTHING. I have had my share of words with them, have blasted all of them at least one time and now only talk to them when they call me which is NEVER. Why families end up like this is beyond me. I am happy when they succeed, happy when they receive special rewards like grandkids, etc. and more. I always use to send cards for all holidays and got nothing in return. Now?? NOTHING. I have chosen to toss them aside and my life is far calmer. It is sad but the stress is just not worth it.
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Old 04-11-2012, 04:14 AM
 
1,464 posts, read 2,751,159 times
Reputation: 2817
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
Yesterday my family (three of us), my mom, a family friend and I celebrated Easter rather than Sunday since I had to work all weekend. The family friend is retired and my mom has her own business and Mondays are one of her days off.

First my mom tried to guilt-trip me into celebrating Easter on Sunday knowing I had to work all night Saturday night and Sunday night. I put my foot down and told her that there's nothing wrong with celebrating Easter Monday rather than Sunday and that I wouldn't be myself if I had to stay up all night, all day and all night, and even worse if I had to leave early. That kind of situation ruined Thanksgiving for me. So she finally relented and said "we decided we want you there so we'll do it Monday". How sweet, right?

She had skirted around the fence about a set time to get together to go to this other person's house and then left me an angry message because I didn't go straight to her house after work. The family friend told me it wouldn't be for a few hours because she wanted me to get a little sleep. So that's what I counted on doing before that happened.

When I got to my mom's house to pick her up she had an attitude and seemed to want to be in the mood to fight. I don't even remember what about anymore. I had said "look I'm sorry I'm late but you never stated a specific time". Then she asked me if I was "grumpy today". I really wasn't in a bad mood before that happened. I wasn't thrilled about spending time with her, but you know sometimes it's fine (when she wants it to be I guess). But at that point I was irritated with her and her crap and I said "I worked all night I guess I am a little grumpy!" I should've told ehr she was irritating me but I really wanted this to be a nice get-together. Then she was like "I'm not even gonna talk anymore". At that point I swear to gawd I almost just said "forget it" and left, but I didn't.

On the ride up there, she complained about my brother never wanting to spend time with her (gee I wonder why), and having "used" her to his heart's content. She nagged me about my driving and made me a nervous wreck on the road like she always does when she wants me to take her somewhere, and was driving me nuts with her constantly having to restrain her little dog from jumping up front (she had the window down because she was smoking in MY car). Kept turning down my music, which wasn't loud at all, and I couldn't hear it at all.

At the friend's house, made herself an alcoholic drink, made a show out of letting us both know I couldn't have one since I was driving. Got completely sloshed, talked crap with the family member about my uncle (whom she doesn't talk to) and just making things uncomfortable. Stupid dog kept getting out of the backyard and then she'd order me to help find her. Not asked, ordered me.

We ended up staying way later than I'd wanted to. Luckily I drank enough caffeine to stay up all day but geez, by the time we were ready to go I was more than ready to drop her off. So basically the only reason she wanted me there was so I could drive her to the relatives house so she could drink her butt off and have me to drive her around.

I feel bad thinking this way, I mean, she's my closest family since she managed to sabotage our relationships with the rest of her side of the family. She nags me about my lack of family and how I'm going to be "alone in the world". She nags me about my weight, tells me I'm gaining or losing weight (I'm in the lower half of the normal weight range). She wonders what's wrong with me that I can't get a guy's interest, brags about all the guys she had chasing her back in the day. Nags me about finding a new job even though she knows I want to transfer out of state with this job, which is why I'm not quitting it. She goes out of her way to bring up topics with me that she knows just bring me anxiety. I don't know what to do.

I have gone low-contact with her, with the excuse (actually it's a valid one), about saving my cell phone minutes and that's helped. She used to call me every day. I feel bad because I know she's lonely but she's way too dependent on me for everything. She takes advantage of the fact that I drive and I want to help her, but I don't feel appreciated for anything I do, and she needs to realize I'm not going to be here forever.

Sorry, I'm just venting. Maybe next year I won't have to deal with this nonsense.
Wow, are you sure you didn't find a little woman 5 ft. tall named Phyllis who could possibly have been re-incarnated cuz this sure sounds like my Mom use to be. She lived out her years at a home and when I would go there, she would introduce me as "Her Big Daughter". Yes, I was overweight at the time. I would ask her..."Why does my weight always bother other people more than it bothers me". Then I would tell her that when it finally did bother me, I would do something about it. Unreal, huh? I too use to haul her butt around everywhere and got not much gratitude for it, use to clean her house as well. She has been gone now for 6 years or so, and you know what? I miss her nasty butt every day. Sometimes you do have to distance yourself for self preservation alone and then one day you turn around and they are gone..life is like that. There will always be people in your life trying to remake you, change you, nag at you and talk behind your back and 90% of the time it is family which truly is sad. Good luck with this. Been there done this!!
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Old 04-11-2012, 06:44 AM
 
507 posts, read 1,328,784 times
Reputation: 811
Quote:
Originally Posted by Osito View Post
Yesterday my family (three of us), my mom, a family friend and I celebrated Easter rather than Sunday since I had to work all weekend. The family friend is retired and my mom has her own business and Mondays are one of her days off.

First my mom tried to guilt-trip me into celebrating Easter on Sunday knowing I had to work all night Saturday night and Sunday night. I put my foot down and told her that there's nothing wrong with celebrating Easter Monday rather than Sunday and that I wouldn't be myself if I had to stay up all night, all day and all night, and even worse if I had to leave early. That kind of situation ruined Thanksgiving for me. So she finally relented and said "we decided we want you there so we'll do it Monday". How sweet, right?

She had skirted around the fence about a set time to get together to go to this other person's house and then left me an angry message because I didn't go straight to her house after work. The family friend told me it wouldn't be for a few hours because she wanted me to get a little sleep. So that's what I counted on doing before that happened.

When I got to my mom's house to pick her up she had an attitude and seemed to want to be in the mood to fight. I don't even remember what about anymore. I had said "look I'm sorry I'm late but you never stated a specific time". Then she asked me if I was "grumpy today". I really wasn't in a bad mood before that happened. I wasn't thrilled about spending time with her, but you know sometimes it's fine (when she wants it to be I guess). But at that point I was irritated with her and her crap and I said "I worked all night I guess I am a little grumpy!" I should've told ehr she was irritating me but I really wanted this to be a nice get-together. Then she was like "I'm not even gonna talk anymore". At that point I swear to gawd I almost just said "forget it" and left, but I didn't.

On the ride up there, she complained about my brother never wanting to spend time with her (gee I wonder why), and having "used" her to his heart's content. She nagged me about my driving and made me a nervous wreck on the road like she always does when she wants me to take her somewhere, and was driving me nuts with her constantly having to restrain her little dog from jumping up front (she had the window down because she was smoking in MY car). Kept turning down my music, which wasn't loud at all, and I couldn't hear it at all.

At the friend's house, made herself an alcoholic drink, made a show out of letting us both know I couldn't have one since I was driving. Got completely sloshed, talked crap with the family member about my uncle (whom she doesn't talk to) and just making things uncomfortable. Stupid dog kept getting out of the backyard and then she'd order me to help find her. Not asked, ordered me.

We ended up staying way later than I'd wanted to. Luckily I drank enough caffeine to stay up all day but geez, by the time we were ready to go I was more than ready to drop her off. So basically the only reason she wanted me there was so I could drive her to the relatives house so she could drink her butt off and have me to drive her around.

I feel bad thinking this way, I mean, she's my closest family since she managed to sabotage our relationships with the rest of her side of the family. She nags me about my lack of family and how I'm going to be "alone in the world". She nags me about my weight, tells me I'm gaining or losing weight (I'm in the lower half of the normal weight range). She wonders what's wrong with me that I can't get a guy's interest, brags about all the guys she had chasing her back in the day. Nags me about finding a new job even though she knows I want to transfer out of state with this job, which is why I'm not quitting it. She goes out of her way to bring up topics with me that she knows just bring me anxiety. I don't know what to do.

I have gone low-contact with her, with the excuse (actually it's a valid one), about saving my cell phone minutes and that's helped. She used to call me every day. I feel bad because I know she's lonely but she's way too dependent on me for everything. She takes advantage of the fact that I drive and I want to help her, but I don't feel appreciated for anything I do, and she needs to realize I'm not going to be here forever.

Sorry, I'm just venting. Maybe next year I won't have to deal with this nonsense.
OMG remove that toxic creature from your life!!

Seriously, I can't STAND "mothers" who abuse their kids in the way you describe. My own mother had many of those tendencies, and after one of her more toxic rants I had my moment of "ENOUGH IS ENOUGH". I told her I wouldn't speak to her unless it was in a therapists office, which I knew she would NEVER do and it took many months before I spoke to her again. When I did I made it crystal clear I now had boundaries she would respect or I would be GONE. It's been several years now and her behavior has improved. I still don't like spending a lot of time with her, but we manage to stay in touch. I've accepted that we will never be close. It was difficult to come to terms with it all after the nearly 40 years of guilt she laid on me. Yeah- thanks MOM

My advice to you is to stand up to your mother NOW. Don't let her rob you of anymore happiness and peace of mind. STOP feeling sorry for her, it's just part of HER manipulation with guilt trips. What kind of mother does that?? YOU have NOTHING to feel guilty about!

Good luck.
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:12 AM
 
768 posts, read 905,820 times
Reputation: 1183
Quote:
Originally Posted by Thinking_Out_Loud View Post
My Mother is the only person in the family I have contact with. I simply do not know enough to really give you any helpful advice, but I also know this is likely all very private and involved as well. I will not ask you to put it all out here, but I can say this in a mostly general vein of thought for you:

The fact is that family relationships are not always easy to maintain. Each person has their own tendencies, frailties, opinions, and comfort zone. We are living in a time when the closeness of family is frowned upon and at the same time, removing family from your life is also seen as taboo no matter how bad the situation. We are living in times when the rule of the day is hypocrisy and no matter what you do, you're wrong for it.

Toxic relationships have far reaching consequences and they include a long list of nasty traumas. Removing the toxic stuff from your own life is going to take work. It takes time, because you actually have to personally process everything once the angry, vengeful , emotions wear off. YOU have to heal YOU. I wish I could say that I have a cure for you and your situation, but I just don't have the answer.

Do you remember an old 70s tune from a band called "Kansas"? The song was called "Carry on Wayward Son". The specific line I am thinking of right now goes..."If I claim to be a wise man, it surely means that I don't know."
Great post! Especially this; "We are living in times when the rule of the day is hypocrisy and no matter what you do, you're wrong for it."

I appreciate that you 'think out loud'
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Old 04-11-2012, 07:22 AM
 
2,478 posts, read 4,865,117 times
Reputation: 4488
Toxic family. I went no-contact for many years then after my father passed away, I attempted to reconcile. I started out with having low contact again but that didn't last long. They say, a tiger doesn't change its stripes. Truth. The vultures were still vultures. It's amazing how family will attempt to use the blood bond to as an angle to use and manipulate, then as a way to obtain forgiveness. My mother abandoned 3 kids. She had no time for us until we became working adults and had something to offer her. My baby sister bit first and watched her own kids lives become in danger due to my mother's selfish self serving ambitions. And always looking for someone to take care of her. Never there for us, but always a hand out asking for something. Always spreading lies, bad mouthing others, manipulating us to make us think the others are against us, and that you're her favorite. Back to no contact where life is less stressful, more enjoyable and with far less drama.
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