I need to vent

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Lisa

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I need to vent
« on: July 22, 2021, 05:38:20 PM »
I posted recently about being VLC with my mom and her demands to come visit me.  We were texting back and forth with immediate responses for that conversation until I said I wasn't available for her to come in August as she had demanded, then no response, silent treatment for a week.  She broke silent treatment via a group text to me and my husband.  So she has completely ignored our previous conversation, completely ignored the silent treatment and did it so intentionally that she knew she had to start a new conversation in a new text group.

Anyways now she is texting me EVERY. SINGLE. DAY. The SAME message EVERY day!  In my area we are experiencing forest fires, so every day she texts "are you guys still ok".  I have told her "Mom, I will tell you if anything serious happens such as an evacuation".  Today she demanded that I start texting her every day to tell her we are safe.  I am not going to respond immediately and when I do I will just re-iterate that I will text her if I am evacuated.  There is no way I am agreeing to texting her every day. This is so ridiculous.  I am also so angry that yet again there is absolutely zero care about me... although this may sound like it is, it is actually her stating that SHE feels anxious and demanding that I soothe her.  So I am the one going through something but I need to take care of how it is making her feel.
She hasn't asked any questions such as how I am doing, what it's like, how I am feeling about it, anything.  In fact she straight up tells me that she feels anxious and she needs me to text her every day because that makes her feel better.  So self absorbed.  Also feels like another way she is trying to control me. Of course it's not just about this it triggers all sorts of memories of me having to be her caregiver.  I can't tell her anything about my life because she doesn't care and also because she can't handle it, it would make her too anxious to hear that how the other night the smoke was so thick I couldn't even see the moon.  How there's also a boil water advisory.  And one of the fires is raging around our only source of electricity so that may go out at any moment.  Shit I would love to be able to have a caring parent to talk to about.  But I need to protect myself from her, she doesn't have the right to know details of my life and my feelings.  She also can't deal and I know it would hurt more to share.

OK, vent over.  I am going to go clear my head.  thank you for reading.

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SunnyMeadow

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #1 on: July 22, 2021, 05:52:15 PM »
I'm angry on your behalf!

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  I am also so angry that yet again there is absolutely zero care about me... although this may sound like it is, it is actually her stating that SHE feels anxious and demanding that I soothe her.

This is so true, it's all about her and they never change in this regard. How rude that she isn't asking how you and your husband are doing living in a fire area. I might have to text her something how you're so stressed out right now that you can't text about it. But then again, nothing you say will be right or good enough for her.

I'm sorry you're going through this stress and in addition to that, have to deal with your mother.  :-\



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moglow

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #2 on: July 22, 2021, 06:08:27 PM »
Quote from: Lisa
She hasn't asked any questions such as how I am doing, what it's like, how I am feeling about it, anything.  In fact she straight up tells me that she feels anxious and she needs me to text her every day because that makes her feel better.
Because I'm in this place with you today and lived it for years:

Next time she texts anything, all I want you to say is: "I'm managing, mom. Thanks so much for asking about me!"

Do it. I guarantee that a) you'll feel better and probably get a laugh out of it, and b) you get to imaging her sputtering stuttering attempt to find fresh air to respond. Yes, it's passive aggressive and not the kindest approach, but it'll make a point. You might even get silent treatment out of it.  :bigwink:
« Last Edit: July 22, 2021, 06:19:20 PM by moglow »
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Cat of the Canals

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #3 on: July 22, 2021, 09:28:14 PM »
Today she demanded that I start texting her every day to tell her we are safe.  I am not going to respond immediately and when I do I will just re-iterate that I will text her if I am evacuated.  There is no way I am agreeing to texting her every day. This is so ridiculous. 

Ridiculous is right. It's completely insane how easily they can take a crisis someone else is having and make it about them. You are making the right call in limiting contact and refusing to play along with this.

I had a health scare a few years back and pretty much withheld all details from my PDmom because it would have turned into ME having to reassure HER. So then I had the anxiety about my health, plus the guilt over not telling my parents (even though I knew it was the right thing to do). So I know where you're coming from, and I'm sorry you're in the same position. It's sad to not be able to rely on our mothers to be there for us.

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Lisa

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #4 on: July 23, 2021, 06:52:30 PM »
Thank you Cat of the Canals, Moglow and Sunny Meadow for your responses, empathy and suggestions yesterday.  Reading them helped me to feel supported and validated my experience which definitely calmed me down!

Last night I was talking with a sibling who shared that Mom had been texting them asking if they had heard from me... it had only been 1 day since I said I was safe and told Mom I would text her if anything changed.   :stars: :stars: :stars:


So, I waited until today to respond to Mom's text and I simply said "I will tell you if anything serious like an evacuation happens".

Her response.. big shocker!  Was all about her!! How anxious she is feeling.  How hard it is not to hear from me all day long.  Yet again, not a single question about how I am doing in this situation.  I am hopeful that our contact now returns to limited/very limited.   


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Sheppane

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #5 on: July 26, 2021, 12:52:46 PM »
I'm very sorry you are going through this Lisa. I agree 100% with what others have posted- your mom is making what is a hugely stressful episode in YOUR life all about her..how worried about you she is, the demands for messages etc etc . Now that might be more understandable given the situation had she expressed a morsel of concern for you, for your feelings, for your anxieties,  and offered you loving support. But she hasn't. And that hurts. Sometimes moments like this really open my eyes. I had a health issue some years ago and as soon as I opened my mouth about it I got so much sweety sweety concern and so much about how worried everyone was for me,  how stressed they were , whilst no one asked me how I was or even did I want to talk about it. Nothing like drama to feed on! Stay strong , mind yourself and your own needs. We get it. If it were me and if there was further contact from her about it I would respond by inserting more of myself into the reply eg " Yes thanks Mom it is an extremely difficult time for me right now and very stressful for me as I'm sure you can understand ". In other words you can ignore her baiting demands for you to caretake her emotions. Take care.

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Lisa

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #6 on: August 17, 2021, 05:46:14 PM »
Hi All!

Popping in for a quick update/realization.

Mom has not stopped asking if I have been evacuated despite me promising to tell her if that happens.  She doesn't ask any other questions.  Most recently she sent a text asking that two days ago and I didn't respond because I saw no reason to based on how clearly I have communicated about this.  Yesterday I got a text from a sibling who 98% of the time does not EVER message/call me. They asked specifically if I had been evacuated.... I knew it was a third party message and also haven't responded.. yet.
Today, Mom group messaged me and my husband, and asked if we were evacuated and back in her home state???

My new awareness is that she is only caring about the evacuation details because she believes for some reason it would mean we would temporarily or permentantly return 'home'.  She only freaking cares because she thinks she will get a visit out of it, that's why she is incessantly asking about it!!

I am waiting until I calm down to decide if I respond to her about respecting my boundary and not engaging other people to check on me.  Also waiting to figure out what I want to say to my sibling, I kind of want to point out that I know they're doing Mom's texting.
I am worried about encouraging more conversation by responding but also wanting to be assertive.

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moglow

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #7 on: August 17, 2021, 06:27:53 PM »
"I'm not having any further conversation about evacuating/ not evacuating. Speculate on it all you wish, but please stop asking me." Then respond to anything BUT questions about evacuating? I mean literally cut them off and change the subject to something else, refuse to respond.
"Expectations are disappointments under construction.  ~ Cap'n Spanky

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #8 on: August 17, 2021, 06:44:17 PM »
Quote
My new awareness is that she is only caring about the evacuation details because she believes for some reason it would mean we would temporarily or permentantly return 'home'.  She only freaking cares because she thinks she will get a visit out of it, that's why she is incessantly asking about it!!

If she's anything like my PDmom or PDmil, she also gets drama points if you DO get evacuated. It's a Big Deal, and would give her something to talk about to anyone who will listen. PDmil in particular LOVES bad news. She was over the moon when I had to have surgery and wouldn't know whether it was cancer or not until afterward. For the whole month up to the surgery, she kept telling my husband, "I think it's cancer. I really do." We didn't know about the public nature of it until his brother got severely depressed, and then she'd tell my husband about spotting a random acquaintance at the store and stopping to tell them all about BIL's woes.  :blink: That's when we realized this is a Thing she does.

I agree with what moglow said. Give a final boundary: "I told you before I'm not having a daily discussion about this" and then ignore any further attempts to discuss it. It doesn't sound like she's going to stop, either. If it does continue, I'd consider blocking her for the time being. This is obnoxious behavior.

As far as what to say to your sibling, the last time I got a Flying Monkey email from my aunt (PDmom's sister), I wrote back, "I know you mean well, but in the future, when my mother wants something from me, I'd be more comfortable if she asked me herself vs. sending a third party to deliver the message." If your sibling is a mature adult, they will likely respect this very rational request. Even my aunt (who I now suspect has BPD), said she would "never speak of it again."  :roll: Melodramatic? Yes. But she agreed to respect my wishes, nonetheless.

I didn't bring it up with mom, because I know she would 1. deny asking aunt to deliver the FM message (because she never asks directly, she just whines and whines until someone does her bidding) 2. would also probably blame/scold aunt for "getting her in trouble" with me.

Good luck!

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Tribe16

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #9 on: August 17, 2021, 09:09:35 PM »
Lisa, I'm sorry you're going through this with the fires and stuff - that has to be very stressful with all the other things you need to worry about. I hope you can stay where you are and that the fire fighters can get the upper hand soon.

I feel like there are so many of us that are describing carbon-copy behaviors in our PD parents. My mom ALWAYS wanted me to call/text as soon as I got home/was done ___/you name it. She wanted my itineraries. If I was late I was being pestered about it. This is before I understood what CD and enmeshment was about.

I am in the devalued/discarded phase now. I haven't had to deliver the details of my activities for awhile because she generally isn't speaking to me willingly. I am no longer asked anything about my life, haven't been for months. Always a silver lining somewhere  :roll:

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Lisa

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #10 on: August 18, 2021, 09:43:20 PM »
thank you again for your messages!  I am so glad to have people who truly understand!

Update on Sibling:
20 min after my siblings message I had a message from their friend whom I haven't had a message from in 3 years, perhaps a coincidence?!
I did respond to my sibling ' thanks for checking in, it is been really difficult the past 6 week, I am not evacuated and I have promised mom to tell her if that should happen'.  No response from sibling at this point!  I'm giving it a week and then sending a follow up message. their message feels really insincere right now, it clearly was a third party message they were trying to pass off as their own.

Update on Mom: (not using direct quotes)
Me: responded to her with saying I am safe in my home and reiterating again that of course I will tell her if I need to evacuate.

Her: you have to understand how much anxiety I have right now, picture us watching this on the news, does that help you to understand how I feel? you're not communicating with us (a lot of "we" and "us" in the messages... assume she is using enmeshed terms to include siblings in her own feelings) and we're left just worrying.

Me: I never said I won't talk about this, I have actually promised to tell you if something bad happens, of course I understand you would want to know that.I need you to try and understand how I feel, this is my first summer in a new place and this has been a hard adjustment, I have my own feelings and needs about this.

Mom: I have no idea how you are feeling because you don't share that with me, I am left in the dark, I don't know what I have done to cause distance in our relationship. 

Me: I just expressed that I am experiencing a stressful situation and you respond by bringing up an issue in our relationship?? this is one example of why I might share limited information with you at times.

Mom: I'm just expressing that your lack of communication causes me a lot of stress. do you understand how I am feeling? can you hear what I am saying at all? I need you to share more day to day information about your life with me then I would feel differently and say different things.

Me: I notice a lack of compassion and space for my feelings about what I am going through in your message.  I am my own person and sometimes I have different feelings and needs than you but that doesn't mean I don't understand your feelings.

Mom: I don't think you really understand what I am saying and feeling.  I know you have your own needs but you need to share them with me, if you don't then how do I know? can you hear what I am saying at all?

Me: Yup, I hear you would like me to express my needs.... I then go on to clearly express my needs and boundaries, asking her to respect when I say I can or cannot do something and to respect that sometimes my attention in life is on work and my marriage and I am not available for daily text messages.

Mom: message received, never knew caring about your life was crossing a boundary

Me: that's not what I said. you asked me to express my needs and that's what I tried to do.

no response, silent treatment



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Cat of the Canals

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #11 on: August 18, 2021, 10:27:54 PM »
Yikes.  :aaauuugh:

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I know you have your own needs but you need to share them with me, if you don't then how do I know?

I see you expressing your needs at least four times in there. You know, the thing she explicitly asked you to do? Of course, she's not getting the response she wants ("Yes, mother! Of course I will give you whatever you want with no regard to my own needs!"), so she just keeps spinning her wheels in this absolutely circular conversation that comes back to HER HER HER. At the end of the day, if you don't comply with what she wants, you will be punished for it, whether that be by her continued obnoxiousness, silent treatment, etc.

I'm sorry, Lisa. This is clearly no a reciprocal relationship in her mind.

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Andeza

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #12 on: August 18, 2021, 10:37:23 PM »
I don't think I can virtual facepalm hard enough without knocking myself silly, but here goes. :doh:

You're definitely not alone. Mine was never interested in my needs either. I needed to be left alone while I was working. I needed her to leave her medical drama out of conversations. I needed her to stop badmouthing enDad all the flippin' time. I needed her to stop insisting SOMETHING had to be wrong with my pregnancy because she had a miscarriage decades ago and couldn't accept I was absolutely fine. I needed her to stop giving horribly outdated and nave advice about having babies. What did I get back? "I NEED to be NEEDED!" Blegh. Clinginess and desire for total enmeshment. Full stop.

So... I went full stop. It got quite peaceful after that. I'm not saying you should, by the way, but I am 100% in favor of you putting her on info diet and limited contact schedule. A schedule would help you resist the urge to respond as often as she wants, and allow you the freedom to just swipe the notification aside and say "I'll deal with that another day."
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Lisa

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #13 on: August 20, 2021, 02:13:20 PM »
Cat of canals and Andeza, thank you!  Yes I did repeatedly speak my needs and she just kept bringing it back to her agenda.  She is asking for something she clearly doesn't really want.  She doesn't really want to know why our relationship is distant.  Like so many of us, I have tried repeatedly to express this and she cannot hear what I am saying.

She did respond this morning saying she wanted to apologize for adding more stress to my current situation ( I was shocked to get that from her). but then went on to say despite that she is my mom and she loves me, sometimes that just comes out the wrong way ( this is a typical response).   :o
And then of course she demands that I keep her more in the loop. :aaauuugh:

So frustrating that she never responded to the reasons for distance in our relationship and my boundaries and  Frustrating that she stated again that I need to update her more often. Like that's also such a weird way to phrase a 'loving' relationship, keep me in the loop?? like it's a job and my responsibility to just randomly tell her things that are going on in my life.  She lacks such basic relationship skills to know that knowing parts of someone's life is not being 'updated' by someone one one their day to day life , it's having conversations.  It also makes it all my fault that we aren't closer because I don't keep her in the loop.

Part of me wants to just ghost the message and another part of me wants to point out that she never even acknowledged my explanation of why our relationship is strained and what my boundaries are.

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Andeza

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #14 on: August 20, 2021, 03:50:03 PM »
Ultimately you'd just be wasting your time explaining further. Her reality is her own, separate from the actual world and way things work. But if it will make you feel better to speak your truth, regardless of the fact that she'll argue with you or ignore what's inconvenient to her agenda, then definitely go ahead. But whatever you say is solely for your own peace of mind at this point.
Remember, that there are no real deadlines for life, just society's pressures.      - Anonymous
Lasting happiness is not something we find, but rather something we make for ourselves.

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Cat of the Canals

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #15 on: August 20, 2021, 04:01:48 PM »
Classic hoover. An apology meant to smooth things over and then right back to business as usual.

My PDmil did something similar recently. She and my husband really got into it, she said she "wanted nothing from him!" (I wish that were true.) Then she texted an apology the next day. I was surprised she'd apologized at all (my own PDmom doesn't do apologies) until he pointed out that she can't expect to visit us if they're not speaking. Then it made sense.

I also wanted to thank you for sharing that latest back and forth with. It was a really clear illustration of how they think, and a textbook example of a circular conversation.

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moglow

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #16 on: August 20, 2021, 04:31:53 PM »
What if you responded with random conversation starter - weather, gardening, possibly a minimal glimpse into your day to day life like a cool farmers market you found (read: positive, happy, uplifting minutia)? Basically a bit of bait to see if she can/will refocus to something other than her supposed worry.

I didn't have much success with mine but it did help alleviate me blaming myself - I legitimately tried, repeatedly and for a very long time, and mine refused to let go or even pretend to listen. But I tried until I grasped the lesson I needed. Mother just isn't capable of real relationships, never was. All the hoops and barrels and lines I had to go through or jump over, trying to reach her on something more than the most superficial level? Just more drama it seems now.
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Stop Stinkin' Thinkin'!

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Lisa

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Re: I need to vent
« Reply #17 on: August 20, 2021, 06:10:17 PM »
Andeza,  you are right.  I have to decide if it is important to me to continue sharing how her words and behaviours hurt me.  I know she is not going to get it.  I would tell anyone else in my life how this made me feel, why do I keep it to myself with her. Also perhaps it is not worth my energy to do so.

Cat of the canals, I am glad that reading the circular messages might be a helpful illustration for others.

Moglow- exactly! part of me sending the messages to her the other day stating my feelings and boundaries was exactly that.. for my own peace of mind.  when she brings up the distance in our relationship again, it gives me the ability to say please refer to the text messages from August!  it does give me peace of mind when I know I have tried to stand up for myself and tried to express my feelings and boundaries with her.  I am not sure if it is worth my continued energy right now, feeling a little confused.

In terms of general conversation with her.  I have been at the point for several months now where I don't initiate any conversation, I don't call her and I don't text her. She never calls me (except for random days where she will call literally 15 times a day from a blocked number) I rarely respond to her text messages and when I do I usually wait anywhere from a few hours to a few days because I don't want her to ever sense a pattern of when I may be available.  my responses to her are very quick and simple giving limited personal details so it is hard for her to ask any follow up questions.

  She only knows about the fires because they are all over the news and she loves watching the news.  it has definitely given her a false sense of supply.

It's interesting how little we talk yet she is constantly asking to come visit me for a week, a total disconnect (and definitely the last thing I want).