Surreal call from mom

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wisingup

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Surreal call from mom
« on: August 29, 2017, 01:23:05 AM »
UBPD Mom called from out of the blue tonight.  She saw some stuff my daughter posted on FB and just called because she missed us & felt like she was missing out on everything.  Also, her brother died.  (Head beginning to spin...)

 It's so weird, because normally her brother dying would be a huge dramatic event with her at center stage.  It's been a long time coming - he's been quite ill for a long time - and she soaked that for all the drama she could.  She never got much response from my brother or I because in our experience our uncle was a gruff, cranky old man who never showed a flicker of interest in us, except for one creepy memory I have as a small child where he walked in on me changing & stood there looking for a moment until I told him to get out. 

Anyway, aside from that news which she did not dwell on, she was trying to be upbeat & reach out.  She asked again for me to explain to her what had gone wrong & I first said that I've explained it in the past and it has not gone well.  She said this time she would listen, and she seemed to.  Whether she actually "got it" or not, I don't know (prob not) but she seemed determined to accept some responsibility.  We've agreed to have lunch this weekend.  Strangely, I'm not nervous.  I feel like I stood my ground & she has seen that I will continue to do so. 

Has she changed?  Doubt it.  But I think she's finally convinced that I'm not going to suddenly snap out of this.  And she's at least willing to try to control her ugly side - that will do for now.

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notrightinthehead

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #1 on: August 29, 2017, 05:09:37 AM »
Well done! I hope it all goes well.
I can't hate my way into loving myself.

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Blueskies

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #2 on: August 29, 2017, 08:10:10 AM »
Maybe her brother dying has made her realise she needs to sort things out...but it may not last so be prepared. Hope it goes well.

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #3 on: August 29, 2017, 11:11:07 AM »
Thanks both.  Aargh, this stuff just doesn't go away, does it?  Thinking back to the conversation, she did something she's done to me my whole life.  She was kind of making fun of my boundaries / sensitivities.  Like "I know you don't like it when I do this, so I won't do it, but it's stupid that you feel this way."  I can't think of any verbatim examples, but she would comment on my silence or my hesitations during the conversation, she would suggest that she come to my daughter's performances but sit in the back so we don't have to sit by her & she just tried to make light of the whole situation.  I know it's been really difficult for her & that this is her way of trying, but every interaction with her is such a mind-f***. 

One of my very earliest memories is being probably 4  or 5 years old & becoming self-conscious about being naked.   She used to come in during my baths to wash my hair & I asked (pleaded) to be able to wear a bathing suit.  She said why, so I won't see your "little things"?.  Basically a complete dismissal of my feelings & making me feel like I had to be exposed to her or be made fun of for trying to ask for what I needed to feel comfortable.  That's still going on.  How can I explain that to her so she gets it?

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practical

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #4 on: August 29, 2017, 01:36:50 PM »
Thanks both.  Aargh, this stuff just doesn't go away, does it?  Thinking back to the conversation, she did something she's done to me my whole life.  She was kind of making fun of my boundaries / sensitivities.  Like "I know you don't like it when I do this, so I won't do it, but it's stupid that you feel this way." 
Could this be her way of getting around your boundaries under the radar? Thinking if she does it with a smile you won't notice? She may feel even more abandoned/lonely with her B's death and therefore is trying to reestablish some connection with you, whether it will mean she is going to respect you and your boundaries as simple facts like you not liking liver for example waits to be seen. When you go to the lunch, go in mentally prepared to exit at a moments notice and have some phrases ready to do so.

And no, this stuff doesn't go away or get easy  :( >:(
If Im not towards myself, who is towards myself? And when Im only towards myself, what am I? And if not now, when? (Rabbi Hillel)

"I can forgive, but I cannot afford to forget." (Moglow)

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Blueskies

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #5 on: August 29, 2017, 04:05:36 PM »
She may never 'get it'...that's the problem. She has no right to make fun of your boundaries and feelings - you have a right to both. She is ridiculing you and belittling you. It is dismissive and controlling. I guess you could try 'please don't make fun of my feelings'...if you do that I will leave. Even if she doesn't get it, if she realises there are consequences she may check herself. I am coming to the conclusion that you can't control their behaviour, but you can make it clear that you will not tolerate it and reduce your exposure to it if they won't change.

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2017, 07:33:17 PM »
I think she has no clue that she's doing it or the effect it has on me.  She'd probably just get frustrated if I tried to explain it to her and chalk it up to one more of my irrational sensitivities. 

The crux of the problem is that our personalities just don't work together.  She is all drama & highly reactive, whereas I am super drama-averse & guarded.  Being with her is excruciating to my nervous system, and I frustrate the heck out of her with my silences & lack of reaction.  I am happy to just wish her well and go our separate ways & see each other in crowds at holidays, but she wants more.  I'm frustrated that I can't just extricate myself from this relationship, as I would be able to for almost any other type of relationship in my life. 

And at this point, I have to accept that there will be no change.  She may be able to white-knuckle it through our time together & keep her worst impulses under control, but I'll never be able to truly relax around her.  I just have to keep the time together to a bare minimum.

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broken

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #7 on: August 29, 2017, 08:21:11 PM »
A couple of questions wisingup:  How long ago did her brother pass away?  Is their still a service in the works, or other occasion coming up where she will see family and friends?  Also, is she concerned with her image around others, like many PDs? 

I'm asking because I have a narcissistic family member who never bothers with me (his way of expressing his superiority, I'm not worth his time).  If he calls, feigning concern for how I'm doing and what is happening in my world, I can be sure he needs the latest scoop for an upcoming function, to make himself appear to be the loving family man that he really isn't. 

Another experience of mine, with my own NM, is that she tolerates my boundaries (but also subtly mocks them like you said).  She only does this because she NEEDS me.  Any chance your NM may be needing you soon for anything? 

Just a couple thoughts, because there's usually some ulterior motive with these types, unfortunately.

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #8 on: August 29, 2017, 11:30:12 PM »
@broken - wow, that is something I had not thought of.  Yes, there is a service in th works - it will be a week from this Saturday.  Not sure why the delay, but probably so people can make it to town.  Geez - this is a sobering thought.

And yes, she needs me.  She is elderly, has health issues and very few (possibly no) friends.  She lives from crisis to crisis & needs an audience for that.  She has 5 grandchildren, but thinks she has a special bond with my oldest D & sees me as gatekeeper to her, even though D is 21 years old & capable of maintaining her own relationships if she so chooses.

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #9 on: September 03, 2017, 01:44:20 PM »
Follow-up - Mom's call was on Monday.  I agreed to have lunch with her this weekend & said I would get back to her once I checked with DH and DD on their plans.  I emailed her Thursday morning to say Sunday was the best day for us & she should let us know what time & where she'd like to meet.  Well, here it is Sunday and crickets from mom.  No response at all.  WTF?    DH and DD are asking how to plan their days & I don't have an answer.  I emailed again about an hour ago asking if we are on for today & that I'm curious why she hasn't responded.  More crickets...

Is she trying to force a phone call?  (She knows I dislike talking to her on the phone.)  Is she lying on the floor needing help?  Why am I spending a rare free morning stewing about this instead of relaxing with the newspaper & some coffee?  Why oh why does she make things so hard?

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Miss Teri

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #10 on: September 03, 2017, 06:45:46 PM »
Wow. Just... wow. I'm sorry your otherwise peaceful and relaxing Sunday morning turned out this way. Did you end up hearing from her at all today? If it were me, I would respond to her crickets with more crickets, the same way she did me. She may be trying to force (manipulate you into) a phone call. Don't let her have the power. She could have just as easily picked up the phone herself and called you. And since you were waiting on HER to respond, the onus was on her to do just that. WTF indeed!

The ball is in her court. If she chooses not to volley, so be it. In my opinion you can walk away from this WTF moment guilt free and get on with your day and your life. I hope you have a much better week going forward.


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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #11 on: September 03, 2017, 10:49:02 PM »
Thanks Teri!  Still no word.  She has to be in frequent contact with her sister this week, since their third sibling just passed away, so I think that eliminates the possibility that she has had some sort of accident.  Just so strange.  I got busy with my day & tried not to dwell too much.  Curious how this will play out...

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biggerfish

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #12 on: September 04, 2017, 01:19:40 AM »
Just wondering...does she respect you?

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #13 on: September 04, 2017, 01:51:30 AM »
Wow - there's a question for the ages!  I'd have to go with no.  Her behavior since I was a small child indicates that she thinks I have no feelings or anxieties.  I took a lot of craziness from her over the years that I should have called her on.  She is very angry at me for recently standing up to her.  I cringe at some of the times I did her bidding in the past. 

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WomanInterrupted

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #14 on: September 04, 2017, 02:40:00 AM »
Hi Wisingup

The crickets you heard *were* an answer.  It was, "I AM IN CONTROL OF THIS RELATIONSHIP and not you!"   :mad:

From this point on, I'd be very wary about any contact I had with her - you said the magic word, and that word is *elderly.*

Since they see us as nothing more than things, I worry she may think you *should* be caring for her, rather than making her own arrangements - calling the Senior Van, having her groceries delivered, hiring aides or even cleaners or housekeepers, to help out.

If you think this is the case, you're really going to want to shore up those boundaries.  Medium Chill is *fantastic* as a tool - but so is NOT getting in your car to help her out, at all.   :ninja:

If she's anything like unBPD Didi, she's going to balk and start pushing back - Didi would use silence as a weapon, and I'd just ignore it, because that was all she had:  words and silence.

Here's a handy phrase I'd like you to start practicing now, so it rolls naturally off the lips:  "Call an ambulance."

Yes, call the people who can actually help out in a crisis and NOT the person who will just get in the way!   :aaauuugh:

I don't know if your mom is prone to medical high drama, but Didi was - and would insist I'd have to take either her or unNPD Ray to the ER.  Nope.  Call an AMBULANCE instead.

She hated it, but I wouldn't budge.

Another thing you can do, or might want to consider, since this is just going to keep getting worse as she gets older is *blocking her number.*

Yes, you CAN do that.  You are *allowed.*  She has a phone and doesn't live in a vacuum - and there are plenty of services available to her.  All she has to do is mention to her doctor that she needs some help, and they'll probably have a list of people she can call, or refer her to her towns Senior Services department.

But none of this has to fall on you - you can *malfunction* and not be a Dutiful Daughter. 

 :hug:

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biggerfish

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #15 on: September 04, 2017, 04:48:11 PM »
Wow - there's a question for the ages!  I'd have to go with no.  Her behavior since I was a small child indicates that she thinks I have no feelings or anxieties.  I took a lot of craziness from her over the years that I should have called her on.  She is very angry at me for recently standing up to her.  I cringe at some of the times I did her bidding in the past.

Hi Wisingup. I figured as much. I asked the question because sometimes when we're so used to something, we need the obvious pointed out.  Maybe you want to make it a goal for yourself for the rest of your life to jettison or marginalize anyone who doesn't respect you. You certainly deserve it. And it's allowed!

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wisingup

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #16 on: September 11, 2017, 10:48:41 PM »
Brother called to invite me to his birthday lunch this weekend.  I was happy to talk with him. He hadn't been returning my calls/texts very quickly so I was beginning to fear he was angry or annoyed with me over starting this whole thing with mom & dragging him into it.  But he's not - he's just busy with a demanding job & three kids. 

Anyhoo - I asked him if he'd talked with mom & he said, yes, just a couple days ago & she will come to the lunch as well.  She apparently has been fully immersed in planning / attending her brother's funeral & has just resurfaced. 

So that is why she hasn't responded to the email I sent 12 days ago agreeing to have lunch with her over Labor Day weekend.  Brother reports she also didn't call him on his actual birthday, which was almost 3 weeks ago.

I think she's losing it.  I really do. 

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daughterofbpd

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #17 on: September 12, 2017, 05:21:23 PM »
wisingup,

My BPDm does this also - she'll make a point to let me know that she thinks my boundaries are ridiculous but she will follow them since I'm "making her". I am starting to think that her being "afraid of me" is causing her to behave better. She is very much like a bully in that she picks on those that are likely to cower and not challenge her but sticks with silent contempt around those with the confidence to stand up to her. She hasn't changed but I have.

I think she has no clue that she's doing it or the effect it has on me.  She'd probably just get frustrated if I tried to explain it to her and chalk it up to one more of my irrational sensitivities. 

The crux of the problem is that our personalities just don't work together.  She is all drama & highly reactive, whereas I am super drama-averse & guarded.  Being with her is excruciating to my nervous system, and I frustrate the heck out of her with my silences & lack of reaction.  I am happy to just wish her well and go our separate ways & see each other in crowds at holidays, but she wants more.  I'm frustrated that I can't just extricate myself from this relationship, as I would be able to for almost any other type of relationship in my life. 

And at this point, I have to accept that there will be no change.  She may be able to white-knuckle it through our time together & keep her worst impulses under control, but I'll never be able to truly relax around her.  I just have to keep the time together to a bare minimum.
You explained this beautifully. Even when my mom is being nice, being around her does feel "excruciating to my nervous system". It makes so much sense the way you say it. Sometimes I still feel mean for feeling this way but it is just the way it is. Thank you.

Wishing you luck. It sounds like she might just be craving some sympathy/attention and she's hoping you and your bro will pass her test by reaching out to her (because that must mean you love her). I feel like I'm constantly expected to prove my love by calling, texting, visiting, etc. It is exhausting, everything is a test. Take care and try not to let it drag you down too much.
How starved you must have been that my heart became a meal for your ego
~ Amanda Torroni

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MyLifeToo

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Re: Surreal call from mom
« Reply #18 on: September 12, 2017, 05:45:13 PM »
Wishing, I could have written that post myself! But instead of reading the forum I've spent three hours trying to justify myself and reason with M (oops I've done it again, just posted). I KNOW M doesn't respect me or my boundaries, and I had similar experiences when young with being shy about nakedness, and mocked for it as you were. I told her that I know she doesn't respect me and doesn't even seem to like me. There was a long pause before she said you know how much I love you, look at what I've done for you, all the money I've spent on you etc etc. Yes she's old and needs someone to look after her now. Shame she doesn't know that the right way to go about it isn't emotional blackmail and blame.