Please excuse me - just a little rant!

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slugsandsnails

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Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« on: May 16, 2018, 01:44:07 PM »
Hi, all! Please excuse me posting again - I feel a wee rant coming on lol! I phoned my Mother just now, to let her know I wasn't coming over at the weekend as I had stuff on - it took a bit of explaining but it sunk in eventually, though I bet anyone anything she will have "forgotten" by tomorrow!

A couple of things frustrated me. On Sunday, my half-sister is having a party for her little boy, and I'm invited. I told Mum that if I could get a lift from either my brother or my father, I'd be going (I really can't get a taxi all the way over there!) She said that it was up to "that side of the family to sort me out" - i.e. don't ask her for a lift! If I don't go to the party, she is expecting me to go over to hers on Sunday instead!

Also, I'm having a lot of problems with my recycling. We don't have recycling facilities for the flats where I live - we're meant to take everything to the nearest supermarket. Impossible for me - I can't even lift a heavy bag of recycling. My step-dad has been collecting it when he comes over to fetch me at the weekends, but he hasn't done that lately, of course. Consequently I've got 5 bags of the stuff! I asked Mum if step-dad could come & fetch it for me, and she told me to just throw it away! I couldn't believe it! I ask my "registered carer" for some specific help & this is her response! Am I right to be at least mildly annoyed? Maybe I just ask too much of people...

Mum isn't coming over this week - what a surprise - she's got things to do! So basically I am expected to go over to them every week and be talked at for 4 hours, and that's the extent of their "care"! yet it's OK for her to make excuse after excuse not to come over and see me. Yet if I don't see her at the weekends, she goes all weird & claims to be unable to remember what I've said...

To be fair, Mum did say if I needed a hand taking a parcel to be posted next week, I could ask them for help. I feel reluctant to do that, though!

Sigh. I just want "normal" parents that I don't have to walk on egg-shells around!

Ah well, rant over! Thanks everyone for your patience!

Edited to add: It looks like I won't be able to go to the Franciscan group meeting on Saturday, as the venue has no toilet (in this day and age!) and I can't risk that with my stoma! How annoying - now I'm free on Saturday Mum will expect me to go to hers... I will have to put my thinking cap on!
« Last Edit: May 16, 2018, 02:00:57 PM by slugsandsnails »
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #1 on: May 16, 2018, 02:40:13 PM »
This is when you practice not telling your mum everything.  There is no reason you have to tell her you can't go to the Franciscan meeting after all.  You told her you had plans on Saturday, and you can remind her of that.  You don't need to tell her your plans have changed.  You are busy.  You can't come.  On Sunday, if you can't get a lift to the family thing, that does not mean you automatically go to your mum and stepdad's.  If they question you (and they will), say you're busy, not this time. 

They have you trained that you have to dance attendance on them unless you have an ironclad excuse.  That's simply not true.  It's also not true that you have to tell them all the details of your schedule.  You're tired, you have your own things to do.  And none of it is really their business.  It's yours. 

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #2 on: May 16, 2018, 03:15:50 PM »
Thanks, From the Swamp - I have been trained too well, unfortunately! It's ridiculous. You're right that I don't need to tell them everything, and am under no obligation to meet their expectations. It's annoying that my plans have been chucked up in the air, but nothing I can do about it! I feel all over the place now. I will just have to stand firm! I don't really know why I feel the need to please them all the time - it's certainly not a two-way street!
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #3 on: May 16, 2018, 03:43:02 PM »
You already did the hard part, and told her you couldn't come.  If you cave, you undo that work. 

Personality disordered parents teach us we have to JADE (justify, argue, defend, explain).  It's not true.  In a healthy relationship, when we tell someone we can't be there, they may be disappointed, but they say, OK, we'll try another time.   It took a lot of sessions with a therapist for me to see this.  I explained every little thing to my mother.  I couldn't even buy a new dishtowel without telling her why it was necessary.   I had to very consciously work at breaking this bad habit.  It was hard, but worth it.

I think part of the problem is that I wanted a connection with my mother, and I felt that by giving in to her like this I would get it in some small way.  But that wasn't real connection.  Real connection with my mother isn't possible.   

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #4 on: May 16, 2018, 05:10:28 PM »
Thanks, FromTheSwamp. It's true - I JADE with nearly everyone, not just my Mother. My parents don't seem to realise the difference between me going to see them at weekends because I want to, and me going over there because I feel I ought to - you would think that they would rather it was the former, but no, it's "get her over here by any means necessary". Maybe it hasn't occurred to them that it's all got a bit too much for me?

Anyway, the weekend is looking a little bit brighter - I've just heard from my friend who suggests we go out somewhere on Saturday afternoon - my parents don't need to know the change of plan, and if I'm out anyway I'll feel happier about it (as long as it's somewhere with a toilet lol!) My friend is also very kindly going to take my recycling away for me, which is great - she couldn't believe my Mother basically saying "no" to something which would be an obvious help to me! It honestly isn't like I ask for much.

I can see what you mean about wanting a real connection with your Mum - my Mum, sadly, doesn't see "me" at all, but an image of me which she's got in her head. She's not actually having a relationship with the "real me" at all, which is really sad.
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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Jolly B.

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #5 on: May 16, 2018, 05:42:31 PM »
Slugsandsnails, I can completely understand your frustrations with your mother today... Mine is much the same. I have also gotten into the habit of "oversharing" my daily schedule with my mother over the years.
TBH, I haven't much practice in this area at all. I'm still coming to grips with the fact I have permission (from myself), to NOT share or feel bullied to explain my plans ( to her or anyone else).

It just feels like another little hook she's got in me to control and manipulate.

How wonderful it would feel to go about your business, visit with friends and all the while, Mother knows nothing of it!
I would find it secretly thrilling!
Hope you enjoy your weekend plans. :)

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #6 on: May 17, 2018, 08:35:22 AM »
Thanks, Jolly B. They train us only too well, don't they?! Yes, this weekend is going to be interesting - it feels slightly scary, not telling Mother of the change of plan, but she really doesn't need to know. The only fly in the ointment is that she will be expecting me to call when I get back.

I woke up this morning to an email from Mum detailing her day - she's given me her whole schedule - dentist - hiar cut - window cleaning... that's not quite "normal", is it? I think she's trying to demonstrate why she is "too busy" to come over to see me today. Isn't is funny how she can "get out" of visiting me for weeks on end & I'm not allowed to question it, but I've got to tie myself in knots over visiting her every weekend...
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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Sun

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #7 on: May 17, 2018, 09:49:45 AM »
Slugsandsnails, i know you have been trained but you have not 'got' got to do anything.  You are an autonomous adult. You choose how you live your life.  No need to reply to emails, no need to pick up phone if you choose not to. You don't have to answer every question either.

Without wishing to be harsh, you have no need to rely on your mother or step father for anything at all. She is not getting any younger, so even if she did do useful things as your carer, you could not rely on that for ever.

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #8 on: May 17, 2018, 10:00:02 AM »
Thanks, Sun - you are right, I know. I haven't replied to Mum's email yet - it doesn't seem to need one! She has set up her emails though that when you've read them, she gets a "read receipt" message, so she knows if we've read them! I now know that's a control thing in itself - most people I know don't do that with personal emails!

I know Mum's not getting any younger, and in fact her own health is not good, and I am trying to move away from my dependence on her. It is awkward as I could do with her help for some things - or at least, my step-dad's - such as in this issue of collecting my recycling and of course lifts to various medical appointments. I honestly accept that she isn't, and can't be, my actual carer - I just wish she would accept that she isn't. I'd love to be a fly on the wall at the carer's support meeting she goes to! She tells everyone she's my "registered carer". if she would only say "Slugs, I'm not able to be your carer, but I will help you find the support you need elsewhere!" or something like that anyway!
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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Sun

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #9 on: May 17, 2018, 11:32:28 AM »
I know; wouldn't it be lovely? But you have a mother with a probable pd. Re the read receipt- great, she knows you read it..so no need to reply.  Or, make it a gradual slip away and send a very bland reply. 'Sounds like a busy day, hope weather stays nice' would do.

If i were in your shoes, I'd sit down and have a really good think about exactly what help you need, and come up with a plan of action. One *not* involving your parents. I think you'd find your strength in your relationship with them if you didn't feel that you rely on them. When i said your mother is not getting younger, it was not to say that you are asking too much. You need to think about how you will manage when she is no longer around, and make your plans. 

Is there anyone in your building who might be willing to drop off your recycling? Despite what you have been trained to believe,  many able bodied people are only too willing to help out a bit, they just don't know that they need to offer.

My best wishes. I know it's a lot to get your head around.

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #10 on: May 17, 2018, 12:51:46 PM »
Thanks, Sun - yes, unfortunately I have to deal with my Mother as she is! I've been giving the issue of help really serious thought. As you say, my parents won't be here for ever and far better to have made plans & sorted things out now. I tend to think that I mustn't make myself a nuisance, that I shouldn't ask for things, as I don't really matter that much - surely as a result of my upbringing. But people have been very kind. My friend is going to deal with the recycling I've got piling up at home. - my Mother told me to just bin it, but I can't bring myself to do that - plus there's so much of it now I couldn't carry it to the bin!

Somehow I need to let go of this need to "please" my parents & make them happy - I'm not responsible for my Mother's happiness (or lack thereof). The detachment won't be easy - she will push back against it, like she did last weekend by going all weird & waify on me - but I know it must be done. I've come to realise that if I don't, I will never have the chance of at least a reasonable relationship with my parents - the resentment will just build up and up & eat me alive in the end.

I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #11 on: May 17, 2018, 01:11:39 PM »
OK...Mother just phoned. She said, "You're out on Saturday aren't you?", to which I replied, "Yes." but did not elaborate. She then said, "What time will you be back?" I replied that I didn't know. She then said, "We'll see you on Sunday though?" "No, Mum - it's [my nephew's] birthday party - I did say!" Mum claimed to have forgotten (again!)  ::) All through the phone call I felt a rising sense of panic and feeling that I couldn't breathe - well, metaphorically speaking, I'm being smothered, aren't I! Asking me what time I will be back on Saturday! Give me some space, Mother!

Anyway, I didn't noticeably panic & managed not to answer at least some of her questions - or at least I was suitably vague!

And the hilarious bit? She's not coming to see me tomorrow, either, because there's "so much to do in the garden!" I don't know whether to laugh or cry!
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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moglow

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #12 on: May 17, 2018, 02:17:32 PM »
Idea: Don't ask or insist that she (or anyone else) give you space - take it. You don't have to be rude or pushy about it, just take a much-needed step away from all the phone calls and questions and beating yourself up over visits (or no visits). Make your own plans and do whatever you want. Ask for help when and if you need it, and plan your life accordingly. It's okay, really. She doesn't have to like it, but the only way to break this enmeshment is to just do it.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #13 on: May 17, 2018, 04:40:06 PM »
Thanks, moglow. I wouldn't really "demand" space from Mum - it wouldn't go over well! I have to admit that just taking it is scary; not doing what Mum wants is scary. I feel daft about it as I'm 48 years old! I really do want the enmeshment to end - or at least ease up a bit! I don't want to go NC or anything right now - I just want to take a step back. I think I have to accept that there is no way of doing this that Mum will approve of; she will always push back. I would never deliberately hurt her feelings but I need to learn to take care of myself now.
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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moglow

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #14 on: May 17, 2018, 06:09:50 PM »
I understand - what I'm seeing based on your posts is there seems to be an implied permission / lack of same required from her. I'm trying to point out that there are two adults here. She may demands whatever she wishes, but you also have choices. Taking a step back from the daily calls and visits might be a great place to start. You don't have to make an issue of it or have any confrontation or discussion.

Simply live your life, without continual explanation, apology or discussion about it. If she asks questions, answer or don't - you decide. It's not a requirement for her or anyone else. You can be evasive or firm, but there's absolutely no reason to keep having the same conversations or explaining (or apologizing for) your plans over and over. You don't want a four hour visit every Sunday? Don't go. Is something wrong??? Nope, you have plans. What? Nothing special, just not coming over today. I'll give you a call later (later can mean later tonight, tomorrow, next week ...).
Seriously -seems to be a theme for several of us right now- what's she going to do if you aren't available 24/7? What would you do with your available time if you weren't constantly trying to sort her possible reactions? Take some classes maybe? Take up hobbies that interest you? Volunteer somewhere? Explore the possibilities - you still have a life ahead of you, remember?

And let's be realistic here, is she or is she not going to create a drama regardless of what you do? So why not do what YOU want, and let the devil take the hindmost. :unsure:
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #15 on: May 17, 2018, 09:10:25 PM »
Thanks, moglow. Yes, I've noticed from others' posts that many of us are struggling with this issue right now. I'm sorry others are going through it but at the same time it's comforting to know that I'm not alone.

You're right - I do seem to feel as if I need Mum's permission, which seems daft for someone of my age! I know logically that I've got the right to simply do what I want to do, without tying myself in knots over it. Doing what we want in my family has never gone down well with my mother. I remember a couple of years ago my step-dad booked a day's shooting (a properly organised event) about 50 miles away. The fuss Mum kicked up was memorable. She screamed, cried and pouted until step-dad agreed not to go. She told him he wouldn't be able to cope with the exertion, that he'd have another heart attack (he had one about a decade ago). For ages after he had backed down, she was still going on about it!

A few months ago, when I told her I wasn't going to see her over the weekend (on the phone), she immediately slammed the phone down and came charging over to my flat! (Oddly, she seemed in a reasonable mood by the time she actually arrived, only stayed 20 minutes and then left!) So you see that standing up for ourselves isn't always a comfortable experience! But, I keep telling myself that I am not responsible for Mum's reactions, and can no longer let my fear of them control what I do. I'm not asking much - I'm simply living my life the way I want, not trying to hurt her. She can rant & rave as much as she likes (preferably not actually in my house!) That's what I'm telling myself anyway!

All things pass, and eventually she will calm down - I just need to weather the storm!
« Last Edit: May 17, 2018, 10:06:38 PM by slugsandsnails »
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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Jolly B.

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #16 on: May 17, 2018, 10:17:46 PM »
Wow, slugandsnails, I can relate so much to what you are going through!

I am kind of in the same situation (with my mom) and the challenge of telling her "no".

Although it isn't funny, I did get a smile out of your mom detailing her daily schedule to you ... passively-aggressively insisting how "busy" she was and wouldn't have time to visit you anyway. Haha...I recognize my own  mother in that behavior 110%! ( She needs to make sure I know HER schedule, but she doesn't ask about mine or care what I'm doing... until she NEEDS something from me.) 

Logically, yes, telling a controlling parent "No" is  just one little word. But is can be so difficult because of the backlash.
It's the resulting GUILT they dish out (the "woe is me" attitude) that is so darn manipulating!! (That's my experience with my NM.)  It's really amazing to see a 70 yr old grown woman throw a temper tantrum. It's so ridiculous and infantile, you can hardly believe your own eyes!  :aaauuugh:
I don't know about your mom, but mine has refined GUILT to an art form.
I have been able to tell my own mom "no"...just not as often as I wish I could.

Nevertheless, I'm impressed with progress you are making. Rooting for you, slugandsnails!



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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #17 on: May 18, 2018, 09:27:57 AM »
Thanks, Jolly B. Sorry you're in a similar situation with your Mother - it would seem that many of us are just now! Ah yes - the word "no" - such a little word but so scary when you think about what it can trigger in the way of FOG!

I've just had another email from Mother, detailing how busy she is today and telling me exactly what she's going to do in the garden. And it ends with "If you do not go to [baby Nephew's] party on Sunday, we will see you over here!"  :aaauuugh:
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats

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slugsandsnails

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Re: Please excuse me - just a little rant!
« Reply #18 on: May 18, 2018, 01:06:30 PM »
Mama has just phoned (I thought it was my friend, so picked up, but never mind!) - still fussing about the weekend (although not having a go at me by any means). I told her (yet again) I was going out in the afternoon tomorrow. She said, "You won't be back late, will you? Give me a ring when you get home!" So that feels a bit stressful in itself - it's an attempt to place a restriction on my afternoon. But I won't forget Moglow's advice, and just "do my thing"!

She then proceeded to be "nice" - she wanted to know when I was going away on retreat (fair enough as nstep-dad is driving me there) - she said I wasn't to worry, they would get me there & back etc etc. But nice or not, she is still "up in my business" and the enmeshment is strong.

Someone on the forum said that they "couldn't hear their own mind", which is just how I feel right now. I don't know if it's my fault or my Mother's, or nobody's fault, but I can't hear my own thoughts either because my head is full of my Mother!  :stars:
« Last Edit: May 18, 2018, 01:09:00 PM by slugsandsnails »
I have spread my dreams under your feet;
Tread softly for you tread on my dreams.
~ W. B. Yeats