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Started by elghunden on 15-Aug-2014 20:34:52
My mother is driving me insane

She is very bossy and was staying with me for six weeks this summer. She was continually finding me things to do or deciding how I should do stuff. If I didn't run to do what she wanted, she would go on and on and on about it.

Now she is back home and she just called me to give me detailed instructions on all the tasks I have to do in my garden this weekend. This caused me to reply, "I'll do whatever I like in my own garden." She is now sulking with me and tearful.

This is hard work.

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Anchorman - 15 Aug 2014 20:46:43 (#1 of 591)

6 weeks!

I struggle to spend 6 hours with my mum!

You are saint!

lucicle - 15 Aug 2014 20:52:19 (#2 of 591)

She is now sulking with me and tearful.

This is her problem, not yours. Let her get on with it.

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 20:54:13 (#3 of 591)

I feel a bit bad because I was snappy. She complains about me being snappy, but it is only way to get through to her. I try "No thanks" but then she starts going on about it.

Six weeks is too long. I can't do it again next summer.

postie - 15 Aug 2014 20:55:05 (#4 of 591)

you are able to emotionally detach yourself and work out what's going on?

teaching old dogs new tricks isn't always easy, but you can guide them toward self realisation. a smile and a "why did you say that" question can help

she doesn't call you a saint, does she? are there hooks in the terms with which she does address you?

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:02:43 (#5 of 591)

No, she thinks I am mean to her. I am quite mean to her but it is the only way I seem to be able to keep her at an acceptable difference.

An example of a typical interaction:

This summer I bought some strawberries and had them in the fridge. She asked me once if I wanted them for dinner, I said no thanks. She asked me again, I said no thanks. About ten minutes later she asked why I bought strawberries if I didn't want them and we had a whole conversation about me not wanting strawberries there and then. An hour later I am on the sofa reading my book and she comes in with a bowl of washed strawberries, "I thought you might like some strawberries". At which point I lost my temper and shouted "I DO NOT WANT STRAWBERRIES". And then I got the "you are mean to me, why can't you be nicer..?"

This happened about 3-4 times a day. If this is the future with my mother, I don't know how I'm going to deal with it.

postie - 15 Aug 2014 21:05:41 (#6 of 591)

you allowed a small issue to raise the blood pressure? this could take some time to resolve

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:06:53 (#7 of 591)

Yeah, I know. But it is a constant stream of these small matters. I can't ever say no to something without having to repeat it over and over again.

Shorter visits may be the answer.

lucicle - 15 Aug 2014 21:07:11 (#8 of 591)

Don't rise to it. The entire thing is her problem and her lack of boundaries. Just keep saying no. And FGS don't have her to stay for six weeks ever again. And tell her why.

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:07:27 (#9 of 591)

She sounds as if she might possibly be, erm, unwell. Have you considered this?

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:07:44 (#10 of 591)

Unwell in what way?

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:09:24 (#11 of 591)

What you're describing sounds a little obsessive...there might be reasons for this if it is fairly new behaviour or has she always been like it?

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:12:30 (#12 of 591)

She has always had tendencies. My father died 1 1/2 years ago and I think he used to check her bossyness. I remember him stopping her a few times when she was busy telling me what to do. I think without him there is no-one to stop her so it is much more noticeable.

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:15:01 (#13 of 591)

My father claimed she had OCD, but I am pretty sure that was just his armchair diagnosis. She does need to have everything planned and organised in minute detail at all times. Is that a symptom? She does stuff like phone me up three months before I come to visit and ask me what I am going to want for dinner each night I am there.

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:15:14 (#14 of 591)

That makes sense. As Lucicle says, she seems to have problems then with boundaries and no longer has your father's reminder that she is overstepping the mark. That is extremely difficult to tackle.

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:16:36 (#15 of 591)

It does sound OCDish...which is why I first mentioned being unwell. But of course I am in an even more amateur position than your father was to make such a diagnosis on a talkboard.

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:17:41 (#16 of 591)

I think you should talk with her doctor.

elghunden - 15 Aug 2014 21:18:23 (#17 of 591)

Can I do that? Surely I can't just call a doctor up out of the blue and discuss her with him?

Bromio - 15 Aug 2014 21:25:14 (#18 of 591)

I doubt it too but you could presumably send him a letter which he would read and then respond to if he thought it appropriate.

NotNixerNoMore - 15 Aug 2014 21:26:16 (#19 of 591)

My partner's Mum is a bit like this, mostly manifests as controllingness about food, which is really fucking tedious. She has got a lot worse since his dad died (he used to tell her to shut up). Unfortunately she lives sufficiently far away that a visit involves staying over, so we usually spend a few days with her once a year.

In her case anxiety is at the root of it, it may well be the same for your mum. The only way I can deal with it is to try not to let it bother me, it's hard but I have got better at it. What works for me is to remind myself that she is anxious and probably a bit lonely and to try and feel sorry for her and not snap at her. If I had to spend six weeks with her though (or anyone in fact) one of us would end up dead.

mountebank - 15 Aug 2014 21:26:21 (#20 of 591)

I feel faint at the idea of a 6 week visit by my mother. There's no way I could cope with staying with her for 6 days and that's far easier than having her as a guest.

A while back I realised that 2 days lasts X time, 3 days lasts 2X, 4 days lasts more than 4X, and any longer is simply endless. 6 weeks would take me to the heat death of the universe.

Seriously though, one thing that helped me is to realise that beyond my acceptable limit (3 days) the visit becomes poisoned and does more harm than good.

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