She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes

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Cat of the Canals

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She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« on: May 07, 2021, 05:42:24 PM »
My birthday was this week. PD mom called, and I decided I would answer but keep it brief. It went well until the end. As we were saying goodbye, she made one of her passive-aggressive "teasing" comments. Something along the lines of, "You were a good baby. You're crazy now. But you were a good baby. Not sure how you got so ornery..."

The strangest thing now that I'm OOTF is realizing how often she's said things like this in the past, and I passed it off as "a joke." Except it's never funny.

One of her favorites is to comment on how it's a good thing I'm self-employed because I am unemployable. She usually snickers while she's saying it. I used to tell myself it was her way of praising me for my independence. Only now do I see that a normal mother would do that by saying she's proud of me for making my own way. It's not an accident that my mother chooses to phrase it as an insult. My independence is a threat to her.

Another telling thing is how the teasing is never reciprocal. If I were to call her on Sunday to tell her "Happy Mother's Day" and then throw in, "You were a good mom when I was little. You're batshit now. But you were a good mom back then. Not sure what happened..." I don't think she'd find it very funny or charming or cute. Not even a little.

Of course I'd never do that, because I'm a "mature adult,"  :yes: but sometimes one can't help but fantasize about giving a little back to them...

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Andeza

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2021, 06:01:42 PM »
I've been known to throw one back, but I will readliy admit that's my temper talking and don't encourage the same for others.  :tongue2: My UBPDm towards the end of contact started saying "wow, you've really changed" in this down, accusatory tone. Knowing that she believes pretty much all change to be horrible, I know why she said it. However, at the time, it was because I was Out of the FOG and done with the nonsense and she could tell. That was her way of trying to kick the vending machine. Sounds like yours is trying to kick you too. They're not good at taking hints sadly, like when we don't laugh because the "teasing" is not funny.  :no:
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous

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Starboard Song

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2021, 06:14:40 PM »
Familiar.

I think many of us know the death-by-a-thousand-cuts version of just pervasive negativity. When my wife announced a major professional achievement to her parents, their first response was "how do you know they aren't just trying to steal your intellectual property?" That's not even a criticism: it's just weary, soul-crushing negativity.

We were saved from this by a crisis and now NC before we found this site and began to understand what we were dealing with. I'd like to know if we could have fixed this with strong boundaries.
Radical Acceptance, by Brach   |   Self-Compassion, by Neff    |   Mindfulness, by Williams   |   The Book of Joy, by the Dalai Lama and Tutu
Healing From Family Rifts, by Sichel   |  Stop Walking on Egshells, by Mason    |    Emotional Blackmail, by Susan Forward

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #3 on: May 07, 2021, 07:44:26 PM »
My mom has pulled that one too.  "You were a good BABY."  Apparently I went horribly wrong directly afterwards.


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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #4 on: May 07, 2021, 09:25:53 PM »
You were a good BABY, so your nature must be all right. The NURTURE however...  :Monsta:

Happy birthday, dear Cat!

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FromTheSwamp

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #5 on: May 07, 2021, 10:41:17 PM »
You were a good BABY, so your nature must be all right. The NURTURE however...  :Monsta:

Love it!

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #6 on: May 08, 2021, 02:18:55 PM »
I'd like to know if we could have fixed this with strong boundaries.

I wonder the same thing. I'm still struggling to find the line between grey rock and saying, "I don't like that. Please stop." I've been grey rocking with my mother since before I knew what it was, so it's second nature when I'm communicating with her to let everything slide off my back and pretend I'm completely unbothered. I have a fairly good idea that she'd pull the I Was Only Joking, You're So Sensitive card. Or if I were to really draw a hard boundary, she'd complain to everyone about how "nasty" I'm being to her lately. (This is what I hear from her anytime my brother sets a boundary.)

I know her reactions to boundaries don't matter (aside from further illustrating the dysfunction), but grey rock is soooo much easier than consciously setting limits. At the same time, it's gotten more and more frustrating to realize the emotional toll of grey rocking for extended periods of time.

You were a good BABY, so your nature must be all right. The NURTURE however...  :Monsta:

Happy birthday, dear Cat!

Thanks, Cordelia!

I'm not sure if I'll be able to hold that one in next time. "You were a good baby..." Yeah, well... nature vs. nurture mom. You do the math.  :cool2:

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Seven

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #7 on: May 09, 2021, 09:07:07 AM »
First post read of the day.  It’s never “funny”. It’s Absolutely soul crushing.

My entire life...death by 1000 papercuts. And especially the “you were always so happy, I don’t know what happened”. We are self employed as well “is what you do legal?”  We sell online, we pay taxes, we’re a registered LLC. WTF?  The kicker one though....”when I found out I was pregnant with you I cried and cried because I thought I was going to have a life”. It may have been funny the first time, but the second and third times she said it within a span of 2 month...well, now o knew how she really felt about me...the life-ruined.

So last night we started watching this Netflix show “Jupiter’s Legacy”. Josh Duhamel plays the leader of superheros and has two superhero kids.  He’s absolute narc in this show.  One line DH and I both picked up on is his drug-addict daughter saying back to him “I’ve been attacked (by him) my whole life.  All I know how to do is fight”

And the son...no matter what he does, always trying to earn dads approval,  including saving the dads life, is always wrong, never good enough,  reflection on the family, etc.

My DH is finally starting to come around to the fact that his parents are crappy (putting it nicely) too, which is cool even if he has to learn by TV watching that’s it’s not ok to treat your kids that way.  On Friday, he was like “the fact that Sunday is mother’s day is making me anxious” to the point he doesn’t even want to text her now. 

But my day should be pretty cool today.  Oldest coming over with donuts, and I got my housewifery done yesterday. I’ll call my mother and leave a message when she doesn’t answer. She won’t know who I am anyway. 

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #8 on: May 09, 2021, 02:59:52 PM »
Thank you for sharing that, Seven. I hope you have a wonderful day and that both you and your husband are spared too much anxiety.

But I'm anxious about today, too. I can't stop thinking about that stupid "good baby" comment. I got especially furious yesterday when I thought about how I bent over backwards trying to be my mother's perfect little doll for 20+ years. I got good grades. I didn't smoke or drink or do drugs. I think I missed curfew ONCE, and usually I just stayed home most of the time. I didn't date. (Not to suggest any of those things makes a "bad" kid. But I was a straight up goody two shoes.) She picked the college I went to and my major. I was absolutely terrified of doing something that would displease her for most of my life. The absolute nerve to say I was a good BABY.

She sent a FB message yesterday morning saying "Happy Mother's Day" to me. On top of saying it a day early, I DON'T HAVE KIDS. I think it's her passive aggressive way of reminding me I'm obligated to call. Like I could forget. I wish I could.

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Andeza

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #9 on: May 09, 2021, 03:39:04 PM »
Calling is optional. Feeling like you HAVE to call is just the obligation talking. You don't have to subject yourself to further abuse, especially on a day when pwPDs think they get a free pass. Prior to going NC, I stopped calling on Mother's Day. I figured the card and flowers were good enough and I had other things to do. Plus, I didn't particularly enjoy celebrating someone who, frankly, sucked at their job. In the business world if you suck at your job you get fired, or at the very least nobody pats you on the back once a year and gives you stuff. After NC, complete radio silence. It's actually quite peaceful for me now. No pressure, no obligation, nothing. I just sit, chill, let DH spend the day with DS (good father/son bonding time), and focus on getting that relaxation time I need. DH is in charge of things like cards for his own mom. I told him a few years ago, you handle your family, I'll handle mine.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous

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Fiasco

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #10 on: May 10, 2021, 08:23:48 PM »
.”when I found out I was pregnant with you I cried and cried because I thought I was going to have a life”. It may have been funny the first time, but the second and third times she said it within a span of 2 month...well, now o knew how she really felt about me...the life-ruined.

Well hello life-ruiner. I'm consolation prize. My BPDm loves to lament that if they'd had fertility treatments back in her day she wouldn't have been forced to adopt. I'm the adoptee.  :wacko:

Cat I can't believe your mom messaged you Happy Mother's Day, I'm staring at the computer screen with my jaw hanging open. Sometimes it's like they're talking to themselves and we just happen to overhear. Mine tells me every year, in lieu of actually thanking me for the gift I send, that she's not getting me anything for mothers day because I'm not her mother. Ok lady, I feel exactly the same about you.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #11 on: May 10, 2021, 11:27:52 PM »
My BPDm loves to lament that if they'd had fertility treatments back in her day she wouldn't have been forced to adopt. I'm the adoptee.  :wacko:

Good lord, what a gross thing to say to someone. Mine thanked me yesterday for "making her a mother." As if I had a choice? As if any of us did.

Cat I can't believe your mom messaged you Happy Mother's Day, I'm staring at the computer screen with my jaw hanging open. Sometimes it's like they're talking to themselves and we just happen to overhear. Mine tells me every year, in lieu of actually thanking me for the gift I send, that she's not getting me anything for mothers day because I'm not her mother. Ok lady, I feel exactly the same about you.

She said it again when I called. So bizarre. We only talked for five minutes when I called yesterday, and one of the other things she did was complain that I'd rated a book we both read on GoodReads and only gave it 4 stars instead of 5.  :roll: My husband pointed out how often she tries to force me to mirror her, so maybe wishing me HMD is part of this. "I said it to you... your turn to say it back!"


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Andeza

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #12 on: May 11, 2021, 12:17:43 AM »
Ehhh... Additionally, Cat, it could be her way of pressuring for grandchildren. You know, the ultimate achievement award in their eyes...  :roll: Heck if I know why though.

Fiasco, I felt that one. Something along that line was said to me as well when uBPDm and endad were divorcing. Cat's right, it is a gross thing to say, with horrible implications. Just cruel. Sending you a hug.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #13 on: May 11, 2021, 06:31:45 PM »
Ehhh... Additionally, Cat, it could be her way of pressuring for grandchildren. You know, the ultimate achievement award in their eyes...  :roll: Heck if I know why though.

I considered that, too. She's never pushed the issue directly, though when my SIL got pregnant with The First Grandchild, enDad said to me, "I felt so bad for your mom for all these years, when all of her friends were becoming grandparents. She's the last one of her friends to have grandkids."

When I told my husband about it, he said, "Wow, I guess you should have offered to rent out your vagina so your poor mother wouldn't have been left out." *snort*

As usual, because the universe just naturally revolves around PDmom, I don't think it even occurred to my dad that this was a wildly inappropriate thing to say to me.

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Call Me Cordelia

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #14 on: May 13, 2021, 12:21:45 AM »
Bahaha my experience with MIL was, “I’m too young to be a grandmother! It’s selfish of you to get pregnant when I’m not ready for this part of life. None of my friends’ kids are even married let alone having babies!”

Her wishes entered into my DH’s and my considerations not at all and I told her so. Confirming that I’m the selfish one. :stars:

Same story, the universe revolves around the pwpd, we are intended to be supporting actors on their stage. How dare we go off script.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #15 on: May 13, 2021, 02:52:00 PM »
Bahaha my experience with MIL was, “I’m too young to be a grandmother! It’s selfish of you to get pregnant when I’m not ready for this part of life. None of my friends’ kids are even married let alone having babies!”

Her wishes entered into my DH’s and my considerations not at all and I told her so. Confirming that I’m the selfish one. :stars:

Same story, the universe revolves around the pwpd, we are intended to be supporting actors on their stage. How dare we go off script.

Oh yes. Had I gotten pregnant before PDmom deemed it appropriate/acceptable, that would have been a different sort of failure/offense.

You'd think it would be exhausting for them to try to live everyone else's life in addition to their own, but they never seem to tire of it, do they?

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Tundra Woman

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #16 on: May 13, 2021, 04:47:43 PM »
Cordelia, tell her to knock a few more decades off her chronological age in view of the reality she’s already demonstrated proficiency in that area.
And advise her further to stock up on a few more gallons of juvaderm.

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doglady

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #17 on: May 13, 2021, 08:46:01 PM »
Hi Cat,
Boy, do I hear you!
My uPDm told me, ad infinitum, from the time I could understand:
"You were such a sunny-natured child."
"Where did we go wrong?"
"You've ruined my life."
"You are selfish."
"Why can't you be more like...(insert basically anyone)?
I had to mirror her very conservative, religious, traditional opinions or she would sob uncontrollably and say I was upsetting her 'on purpose.'
My life had to unfold according to her script: what I studied, how I had my hair, how I dressed, who I married, what I said, right down to what expressions I was allowed to have on my face, etc etc.
My thoughts were also policed (because apparently she knew what I was thinking at all times and it 'was not nice') .
She controlled me (and enF) with tears, 'illnesses', endless nagging, 'death stares' and pointed silences.
She told others I was a problem child while presenting herself as the long-suffering martyred mother.
I was compared unfavourably with other relatives, my friends, people on TV, anyone really, throughout my childhood and adulthood.
I could go on, but you get the picture. :(

So during my childhood, I just gave up and shut down, because nothing I could do was right. Ever. Unless it conformed with her impossibly exacting standards. And then, of course, I was punished for being sullen and uncommunicative. Talk about a double bind. I was so depressed, and no one helped me. I was just told by my enF to get the scowl off my face.
And on and on and on it went.

As Starboard Song says, this pattern of pervasive negativity takes its toll (does it ever!). The ironic thing about my uPDm is that she also regards herself as THE most positive person around and only ever has 'nice things' to say about others. The interesting thing is, though, that her particular flavour of positivity has always been used as a weapon against me, eg, if I ever mentioned that someone had bullied me at school, I would be answered with something like, "but what did you do?!!" or that she knew that person's mother and they seemed 'such a nice person.'  ::) And so on.
In the end, it was her or me, and I eventually opted right out, in my fifties. I only wish I'd done it decades ago and moved far, far away. Unsurprisingly, attempts have been made to get me back into the cult, via guilt trips, smearing, and gaslighting from other relatives, along with my uPDMIL (who of course my uPDm is now very close with) who all love to tell me that uPDm has only ever 'had my best interests at heart' or 'tried to do her best.'  Honestly, uPDm would win an Oscar for her smarmy, faux-ingenuous, poor sad old lady shtick.

In the end when we do cut off from this kind of relationship, I do think it really is because of death by a thousand cuts (more like a million, really). But often, there is a straw that breaks the camel's back, too. And because this is 'just how they are' they don't see the damage, so that when we go LC, VLC, or finally make the break to NC, they can manifest some semi-genuine kind of shock, which of course allows them to carry on with their narrative of "I just don't know what we've done wrong." Because in their own minds, they haven't done wrong. They are just being their own wonderful selves.

I'll stop rambling, but guess I just wanted to say, this thread really spoke to me, and I feel you and I understand the heavy burden of it. You're not alone.


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Cat of the Canals

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #18 on: May 14, 2021, 03:34:26 PM »
Thank you for sharing that doglady. So much of your post sounds eerily like my mother, including the fact that she puts on quite a show for everyone outside the family. Years ago, when I tried to explain the fact that we have a difficult relationship, my best friend (who I've known since we were 9) said, "But your mom seems so laid back." I wanted to scream. That's the side of my mom everyone else gets. Her family gets the controlling, judgmental, raging, perfectionist Queen side.

When I was persistently bullied by a neighborhood girl as a child, my mother would suggest that I try harder to be her friend and "get along."  :sadno: I spent years thinking there was some deficiency in me that had caused it to happen.

Two years ago I took the leap and moved 1300 miles from her, and everyday I grow more thankful for that distance. I'm not sure I would have made the progress I have without the physical space between us.

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Seven

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Re: She can't even hold it in for fifteen minutes
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2021, 06:42:09 PM »
Doglady and Cat,
Eerie?,  that’s downright scarily my mother as well.
Long-suffering martyr, tells me exactly how I feel, nagging the eF, I’ve failed my kids because I didn’t make them go through the sacraments or take them to church so now they will turn out faithless (no...I just chose to let them choose their own religion if they want one, instead of ramming it down their throat like was done to me)
And the SHOW,  ohhh, the show.  Don’t even get me started.
Talk about a script.

She now has Lewy bodies, sees zombies, my entire family has been recruited into a cult, and has daily meltdowns in the dining hall at her MC.