Engulfing mothers

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: Engulfing mothers
« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2019, 03:45:36 PM »
All I know is on the other side, figuring out boundaries/feeling like Iím enough/assuring myself that I donít have to give and give and give/ feeling like I canít ask for support-feeling like Iím my own person and not an extension of my mother is hard work!

Amen to that.



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Re: Engulfing mothers
« Reply #21 on: August 14, 2019, 10:52:50 PM »
Iíve been thinking about this post recently and how engulfing my situation has always been.  DH and I were talking today about baby books and how detailed our mothers were about documenting things.  His wrote the basic ďfirstsĒ in his and that was it.   It struck me that my mother seemed more like an obsessed stalker than a loving mother. 

My mom kept a baby book that detailed my first few years in great detail, but it didnít stop.  She kept detailed pages and pages of notes about me all the way through high school that she eventually transferred to my baby book.  When I was given this book it was presented as some sort of proof of how much she loved me.  How she had worked to keep these detailed notes for almost 20 years.  I found it creepy.   She kept detailed notes about everything I did - dates I went on, activities with friends, movies i saw, crushes I had,  every gift I received from friends, boyfriends or relatives, songs I listened to, school activities I attended, and more.  I remember her keeping monthly lists of everything i did on notebook paper and transferred shorter versions to my baby book - that was stuffed full of notes and details. 

Did anyone elseís PD mother keep detailed notes about such things?  Looking back it feels like I had an obsessed stalker, not a mother!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 11:15:04 PM by Sidney37 »



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Re: Engulfing mothers
« Reply #22 on: August 20, 2019, 01:29:49 PM »
Hi lotusblume,

I can really relate to what you have shared about your relationship with your mother and empathise with how difficult it can all feel.

My mother has been engulfing for most of my life, until this past year when things have really changed. Growing up I saw her as my Ďbest friend and I would share lots with her. She wanted me to stay close to her and she pushed everyone else away (I didnít realise this at the time). She always wanted to be part of everything and as I became more independent and had my own life she really began resenting me, my choices, my career, my partner. She admitted that she doesnít like my partner because they took her Ďsoulmateí (me).

After lots of difficult times, I see my mother completely differently now as well. I love her but feel very angry and hurt. I donít talk to her much and havenít seen her for months. She also wants to go back to how everything was Ė she doesnít see any problems with how things were.

I think youíve summarised it perfectly:
I think she maybe cares deeply for me but also is so unfulfilled and wounded that she couldn't let go of me. She saw my happiness and independence as a betrayal.

Iím not sure if youíve seen the book: ĎYouíre not crazy: itís your motherí by Danu Morrigan. I found lots of interesting and relatable stuff in this book. It may be worth a look

Iím happy to talk more and share experiences 😊



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Re: Engulfing mothers
« Reply #23 on: August 20, 2019, 01:40:24 PM »
Iím not sure if youíve seen the book: ĎYouíre not crazy: itís your motherí by Danu Morrigan. I found lots of interesting and relatable stuff in this book. It may be worth a look

Yes, good book! Danu also has a website https://www.daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.com/danu-morrigan-about-me/ and you can sign up for occasional emails, both have been helpful to me.



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Re: Engulfing mothers
« Reply #24 on: September 29, 2019, 12:05:28 AM »
Hello all. My mom has also been engulfing. I recently read "Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents: How to Heal from Distant, Rejecting, or Self-Involved Parents" by Lindsay C. Gibson. I don't know which PD my mom may have, but this book captured exactly who she is and what she does.

My mom was around all the time when I was little. She stayed home and spent much of her free time volunteering at my school, so I saw her there all the time. She told me everything. Everything. I know about every hurtful event in her life. She still tells me the stories and starts with, "I don't think I ever told you..." I don't know how she can not know she's told me those stories as long as I can remember. She's very proud that she's so open and honest, not like her mother who "wouldn't talk about the past if it was yesterday." I don't bother trying to argue with her, but it bothers me every time she says that. Your kid isn't supposed to be your confidante. And she always acts like telling me these things was "helping" me when really it was me being her emotional support person. I made the mistake of mentioning that I liked a boy only once. She asked a freak load of questions and when we were at a school event, loudly asked me to point him out to her.

When I was in high school, my NF threatened to leave her unless she made changes, so her focus completely shifted. It was like my mom was absent, which is how my dad always was, so I felt very alone. She jumped through all his hoops: painting her nails, wearing makeup, superficial stuff. He waited until my younger brother graduated high school and left anyway.

Once my dad left, I was in charge of the fallout. She told me literally all the weird, sometimes sexual, stuff my dad had done and told me she wasn't sure how she was going to live without sex now. I was home for the summer, working a summer job. She would come home from work and just stare at a wall. I would ask her what needed doing and then do it. I was paying bills. When I went back to school, she would call very late, hysterical, and I was expected to help her through it right then. She would come to visit and expect to stay from morning to late at night. One time she came for a visit, and I told her I had a date for dinner (a very unusual event for me, and I was really happy). She replied, "I guess I'll just eat alone, like I always do." The stress sent me to therapy for the first time.

It took me many more years to figure out that I just couldn't take on her crap anymore. I was in the hospital after having my second daughter and just realized that I didn't have time to deal with all of her problems in addition to my growing responsibilities. It doesn't stop her from trying to involve me. She seeks my advice (because I give such great advice) and my constant reassurance about everything, especially the mistakes she's made in the past. She claims she wants to work through everything, but I know all she really wants is for me to reassure her.

Recently, I was feeling good about the boundaries I was keeping. I had started to limit interactions with her to a level that I was able to handle. Visits were shorter and less stressful. Then, she called me and said she'd been crying for hours because she felt like we "aren't in a good place." She complained that my daughter's birthday party didn't adequately accommodate her. I was floored. I mean, a 7-year-old's birthday party isn't about you. She has a whole list of accommodations we need to make for her every time she visits, and they're always changing, but I'm supposed to memorize them somehow.
I am only resolved to act in that manner, which will, in my own opinion, constitute my happiness, without reference to you, or to any person so wholly unconnected with me. -Elizabeth Bennet