Taking over hobbies and interests/engulfment

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JollyJazz

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Taking over hobbies and interests/engulfment
« on: April 17, 2018, 11:07:02 PM »
Hi All,

I have had issues over time with my mother wanting to 'take over' my interests and hobbies. I am not sure whether it is enmeshment/engulfment?

- When I was growing up I started to do Aikido and really loved it. My PD mother insisted on coming to the same classes - and I gave it up not that much longer after, I don't think at the time I was consciously aware of why - but looking back it felt like the hobby wasn't mine anymore.

- When I was at college I started salsa dancing (which I also really loved). My PD M and en/PD F insisted on coming along to watch sometimes (weird I know!).

- I really like plants and botany and had thought of joining the botanical society. My mother heard about this, and she got in first and joined the botanical society which kind of killed it for me.

- I started taking French and at some point mentioned that I wanted to go to France one day. The next thing I know my mother has tells me that she is taking French (she didn't do much but anyway - it was just a passing fad) and that she was going to France.

- I started an outdoors challenge where I had a list of certain special sites that I wanted to visit while hiking. I had a specially printed out list of the places I wanted to visit, and I had ticked off the ones I had visited. It took quite a while to put this list together.

This was around the time I started to get therapy, and as part of this I started moving away from the enmeshment with my M from before. My M had a habit of repeatedly turning up at my work, and my flats (unannounced). I had started to ask her not to do this, and as she kept doing this, I eventually just didn't tell her my new address. This sent her into an almighty RAGE (long story). Anyway. So I had accidentally left my special list of places I wanted to visit at her house. I had searched for it for ages and wondered where it was. Just recently she admitted she had taken it for herself(stolen it), and wrote all over it. She quite matter of factly told me she did this as retaliation for me not telling me her new address.

Now she has decided to take on this outdoors challenge - of visiting special sites - and sends me regular text and email updates (unsolicited) about how she and F is going on it. Sometimes she often brags about how I have to work (haha). They are comfortably retired and get to many of these sites in their 4WD rather than hiking - its kind of meant to be a hiking challenge.

- The latest one is since she's found out I'm vegan (something that had DEEPLY personal origins for me) she's decided that she is going to eat vegan meals. She isn't actually vegan, she eats plenty of meat etc. and some vegan meals sometimes. For the record I consider each person's eating preferences their thing, and I don't tell others how to eat. But for some reason my mother going around saying she's 'vegan' REALLY got under my skin. She's not vegan, she doesn't care about animals - I did talk about some of the health benefits I experienced so I think that's her only interest. That and seemingly taking over the things I do.

Anyway, I just had to get this off my chest.

I feel like all the enmeshment is just part of wanting to oppress my individuation and separateness.The competitive behaviour is also about her need to feel superior.

I definitely think there is an element of competition in it, as well as enmeshment and engulfment. Our hobbies are very much chosen parts of our identity. They are what we really love and also what makes us unique. They are such an expression of our own autonomy and who we are.

My solution now is just to keep up with the grey rock, MC. I am also now in a new town. I am going to branch out and take up new hobbies and interests and develop my life as a separate and utterly individual person :)

I don't know if others have also experienced this?

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Medowynd

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Re: Taking over hobbies and interests/engulfment
« Reply #1 on: April 18, 2018, 04:20:42 AM »
It is so tempting to come up with some ridiculous thing to get her involved in.  Sort of a take on the Emperor's New Clothes.  She is truly enmeshed with you.  Good for you stepping away and going Grey Rock.  Are you on social media, if so, I would block her.  Also, if there are FM, I would block or grey rock them too.

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Beekeeper

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Re: Taking over hobbies and interests/engulfment
« Reply #2 on: April 22, 2018, 05:42:56 PM »
I've had exactly the same experience. Every hobby or interest has become unBPD M's hobby or interest (or something for us to do together). In the past, she's got annoyed when I've moved away from the hobby or even if I've decided not to go to a class/session. I've always wanted something just for me, but have been made to feel selfish when I've tried to get this across. My solution was to stop telling her anything important to me. She has found out a few times (friends/ family mentioning things) and has gone into hurt/what have I done wrong waif-ness. But it's been really important for me to have 'my things' and I'm keeping working on that! Thanks for sharing. I've been wondering if others experienced the same thing.

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JollyJazz

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Re: Taking over hobbies and interests/engulfment
« Reply #3 on: April 22, 2018, 09:33:05 PM »
Thanks Beekeeper and Medowynd,

Thanks for your support and understanding :) Its good to know we aren't alone and it is totally okay for us to want to have our own lives and personal interests! My mother always talked about her tendency in a positive way - i.e. she was such a great parent that she was interested in what her children were. But I do think part of it is that boundary violation thing. Anyway, getting there with building my own life and world :)