How to deal with constant questioning

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yellowdaisy

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How to deal with constant questioning
« on: January 22, 2021, 02:49:53 PM »
I can't seem to figure out my mother, at times she shows strong traits that align with PDs, but then other times she's (somewhat) pleasant company. She was a single mom and growing up she was a very absent parent, working a lot or out with her boyfriend, emotionally unavailable. (She even said once that she never helped us with our homework and after some arm twisting, finally admitted that she wasn't a "mom" back then) She would be very absent and then the next moment be super helicopter parent. There was a time growing up that I realized she wasn't nurturing at all, except when I was sick, then she would make up a spot on the couch and make soup for me. But when I needed comfort and support after getting my first period she told me, "Oh stop! it's not that bad!"

My older adult BPDsis currently lives with her and M totally enables her. And then it seems that the more M "helps" my sister, the more M expects me to need her "help" as well and this is where the constant bombardment of questioning comes in. Every interaction I have with M involves some sort of criticizing or questioning, and there are no boundaries. For AWHILE she was obsessed with my weight (I am a petite person, always have been, was always smallest/shortest in all of my classes growing up) during my teen years M would demand I get on the scale so she could see how much I weighed. I am now in my late 20s and the last time I saw her, out of nowhere in front of my sis and H, she asked if I had lost weight. Another time back before H and I were married, we were having some problems and she asked if our sex life was okay.

What brought me to write this post is she just called a bit ago, and immediately started asking questions about a recent medical procedure I had done and was asking about the payment and why I was paying for it that way, and then went on to say I need to empty my vacuum more often?? saying that it was overflowing last time she was here, and then went on to suggest some questions I should ask our pediatrician about my son's nutrition.

I've distanced myself greatly from M, she calls about once a week and we get together occasionally so she can see GC, but now I don't know how to deal with these constant questions. I would like to have a decent relationship with M because (I think?) I enjoy spending time with her, but every time I interact with her I am left feeling anxious and drained like I was just in a job interview or being tested. And then I get angry she made me feel that way. Back when I was still living at home I had many conversations with her about the questioning, but she would really only be half listening and maybe finally say "okay fine" or something along those lines and then the next day be asking the literal same questions she had asked the day before. That's another thing I really don't get, it seems to be the same questions over and over again. I used to ask her if she forgot asking or if she was genuinely asking the question again, but I would never get a straight answer out of her.

Is she asking these questions to try and find things I'm doing "wrong" so she can enable and infantilize me like she does with my sister?
What is a good response/tactic when the questioning starts? In person I can usually kind of brush it off or do something else, but it's more difficult when you're trapped on the phone, I try to medium chill, but the questions just keep coming. Thank you, any advice welcome!

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Boat Babe

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Re: How to deal with constant questioning
« Reply #1 on: January 22, 2021, 07:32:42 PM »
Before I knew anything about PDs my uPDmum would always ask me the same bloody questions. It was constant and drove me batshit. My answers were always the same, but, she wasn't really listening to a word I said. Anyway, I fantasized about making little, laminated  cards with my stock answers on them that I would pull from my pocket as necessary, to save me the effort of repeating myself. I never did it !
It gets better. It has to.

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Thru the Rain

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Re: How to deal with constant questioning
« Reply #2 on: January 22, 2021, 07:52:16 PM »
Yes this is very infantilizing, as if as a "child" you have no right to privacy or personal information not to be shared.

My uPDM has a similar habit, asking things that are flat out no one's business. When I discovered that she re-packages any answers and shares them with anyone and everyone. She used to ask me how much money I made at my job, or walk through my house asking how much each thing cost. And then she'd share this out with "well Thru The Rain makes x at her job and paid y and z for her living room furniture".

She also asks intrusive questions about my health, my/DH's sex life, just anything that pops into her head.

I haven't gotten her to stop asking - but I have 100% stop answering. You don't owe your M (or anyone else) answers to intrusive questions.

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nanotech

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Re: How to deal with constant questioning
« Reply #3 on: January 22, 2021, 08:56:30 PM »
I just flat out say Iím not answering.
Iím calm but firm.
The first time it happened UNPDdad tried to appeal to my husband, as if to say,
Ď Control your woman!í
Husband was genial back, but he was supportive of me.
My dad is elderly and heís old fashioned,  but Iíve put my foot down, and heís had to accept it. He knows now that if I donít want to answer, then I wonít.
What I find though, is that my husbandís support was/ is pretty crucial for my dad to back down. If I didnít have hubby Iíd probably have had to have some conflict with dad.
Sigh. Weíre in the21st century and itís just like feminism never happened.😫
Had to do it with UNPDBro as well. The golden child who wants no relationship with me- unless he suddenly and randomly wants to wag his finger at me about something, questioning me and demanding explanations. He would bait, and then ghost me by text.
So Iím NC now with him. Enough is enough.
« Last Edit: January 22, 2021, 08:58:05 PM by nanotech »

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yellowdaisy

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Re: How to deal with constant questioning
« Reply #4 on: January 23, 2021, 12:46:24 AM »
@Boat Babe - Yeah now that I'm learning more about PDs and my FOO I really think they simply do it to push our buttons and get under our skin. And those answer cards are really not a bad idea... I might try that after coming up with some good MC/GR responses! Would really come in handy during phone calls!

@Thru the Rain - I've learned PDs like asking questions to get info to use, but it never really clicked that that might be what my M is doing, except thinking about it more now, I feel she goes between my sis and I and tries to triangulate or cause drama. I am glad to hear you've been able to stop answering, despite your uPDM even still asking! Hoping I can get there someday too! Thank you for the validation and reassurance and for sharing your experience.

@nanotech - I'm really hoping I can get to the 'calm, but firm' place too when dealing with this. That is really sad to hear your UNPDdad was receptive to your husband rather than you, I can't imagine dealing with sexism along with this. I am so glad that you have the support of your H though and that you've achieved NC with UNPDBro. I hope that has brought you some peace and quiet! Thank you for sharing your experience!