Not Talking To My Mom And Feeling Guilty!

Lounge By Texas_Rose Updated 3 Jul 2008 , 2:06am by athompson0525

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Texas_Rose Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 4:02am
post #1 of 19

I sound like a teenager, don't I? icon_lol.gificon_lol.gificon_lol.gif

But I'm not. I'm 29 and I've been married for 11 years, and my mom is just driving me nuts. She keeps going on about everything I'm doing wrong, how I need to go and get a job, how my cakes aren't worth the time they take to make (to the point of lying...I had made a 3 tiered cake and 2 doz petit fours for my sister's b-day, she took them to work and one of her coworkers said that she'd been shopping for wedding cakes recently and the tiered cake would have cost 300 or 400 dollars...well, my mom said that one of Ro's coworkers said the cake would have cost $45 so it wasn't worth the time making it and I should give up thinking my baking would ever amount to anything), how terrible my apartment is, the fact that my daughter isn't growing, just everything.

She took this summer off from work to get things done around her house but she seems to be concentrating on making me feel terrible instead.

And even worse...every time I get off the phone with her or push her out the door (politely) I burst into tears from everything she's said to me. Then my husband asks what's wrong and gets mad about what she said to me and starts yelling about it and I feel even worse. We were supposed to move out of town in the spring but my mom threw such a terrible tantrum about it that we changed our minds, so my husband is angry that we're still here and he didn't get to change jobs too.

Worst of all, crying is one of my migraine triggers and every time I cry I get a migraine that lasts three days, with light sensitivity, dizziness, nausea, etc...that effectively keeps me from functioning until it's gone.

So I decided to take a break from talking to my mom, because out of the last seven days I've spent six of them with migraines. I'm feeling really bad about it though, this is only the second day and I'm ready to just call her back (she's been leaving messages). I'm just getting over depression too, that had lasted for about 8 months, I don't need all this stress from my mom.

18 replies
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indydebi Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 4:26am
post #2 of 19

She criticizes everything you do, to the point of causing you physical illness and YOU feel guilty?????? icon_confused.gif Your family turned down a JOB because mommy threw a fit?

If this was a neighbor doing this to you, you wouldn't think twice about cutting this stress out of your life. And our family should treat us even better than our neighbors.

But the fact that you allow her to run your life, to the point of deciding what jobs you and your hubby will take indicates a much deeper issue.

Your husband is right and you need to listen to him (and I NEVER like to say that husband's are right!)

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Amia Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 4:49am
post #3 of 19

I agree with indydebi on this one. You should not feel guilty. I think, if it's not too late, you should consider moving. Get out of SA as fast as you can! icon_lol.gif Maybe being away from your mom would strengthen your relationship with her. Absence makes the heart grow fonder or something like that (why am I such a wealth of cliches? icon_confused.gif ).

Seriously, if she's causing you this much physical and emotional pain, taking a break will be the best thing for the both of you. To ease the guilt (the guilt you should NOT be feeling) a little, think of it this way: if you talk to her and she upsets you, you might say something that you'll regret later. Also, it's impossible to really take care of your children when you're laid up with a 3 day migraine.

Oh and I've looked at your cakes, there is no way they are worth as little as $45! And I say that knowing what kind of cheapskates we live amongst. You have great talent!

I hope things get better for you. icon_smile.gif

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JanH Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 5:17am
post #4 of 19

Ditto everything indydebi just said.

Your Mom is being controlling because:

1. She's insecure (or afraid of being alone) so
in order to feel needed, she's micromanaging
your life.

By telling you how bad you are; she wants you
to ask for her help.

2. She has control issues and manipulating you
makes her feel powerful.

2a. She's passive/aggressive and uses guilt to
control you.

2b. She's jealous of you; and putting you down,
not letting you relocate keeps you available
for more browbeating.

3. Something else......

However, in any event, she only has the power (to control, hurt, manipulate, etc.) you give her.

My advice would be to be pleasant in any conversations or interactions with her, but to pay absolutely no attention to whatever she is saying or whatever suggestions she makes.

In other words, let everything go in one ear and out the other. Just because she says/recommends something doesn't mean you have to respond or act on it.

(Don't feel you have to justify yourself to your Mom. It's your life and as long as your DH is good; everything should be cool.)

....And you can always gently interrupt her with another train of thought....redirecting the conversation.

She obviously knows where you goat is... But if your goat is peacefully sleeping (your mind is on auto-pilot not paying attention to her) all her machinations pass unnoticed.

My twin sister is easily irritated by our older sister (because of some minor personal eccentricities)....

I keep asking her why she places so much importance on what she says/does. If it was anyone else, my twin wouldn't even be paying attention.

You can't control your Mother's behaviour only your own (and your reactions). So just decide to view her as an eccentric relative that no one takes seriously and see if your mental outlook and physical health don't both improve.

Who knows, if you quit playing along with your Mother's games; she might give them up because it's no fun playing alone.

You're obviously talented and have a very supportive spouse, you should look forward to happy days (not hiding from your Mom).

I'm sending you {{{hugs}}}


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krysoco Posted 28 Jun 2008 , 5:22am
post #5 of 19

It sounds like the problem is her and not you. I agree w/the others that moving maybe best. Once that distance has been created, get to the root of the problem. There are many underlying reasons as to why she is doing this to you. As weird as it may sound, she may not realize to what point she is putting you down. How open of a relationship do yall have? Like can you talk to her about this or will she blow up? We all love our mothers but you and DH are one now. Like everything else don't let this come between your marriage. Then the migraines need to be addressed. You may need to set boundaries. Like when she "starts" on you about something, try emotionally shutting down before her words/actions get to you. Maybe she's going through a down period.

GL. I just recently started suffering from migraines and know how painfully they can be.

You know what time and money is invested in your cake creations. If its what you're meant to do everyday of your life, then you're already way ahead of many ppl.

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4Gifts4Lisa Posted 29 Jun 2008 , 7:39pm
post #6 of 19

Move. And don't look back.

Ditto what everyone else said.

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SueW Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 2:05am
post #7 of 19

Oh you poor thing, my mom is exactly the same way so I can relate thumbsdown.gif I find in life that people who criticize and are so negative are basically miserable people inside and it's the only way they know. Many times I have wanted to cut my mother out of my life and chickend out. Just because you are related doesn't mean you have to keep this "game" going and have her make you feel miserable. People like this only have the power we give them (can you tell i've had years of therapy on the subject) icon_rolleyes.gif

I know it is hard to stand up to people like this but she is toxic and the less you deal with her the better. I have been finding with my mom I try to brush off some of it and the rest of the time I stay very "on the level" when we talk, nothing too deep and try to get off the phone ASAP.

Oh they sound so similiar, I feel for you- big hugs! Try to worry about what is best for you and your DH and push her away slowly. Best of luck.

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michellenj Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 2:58am
post #8 of 19

Oh gosh, I can totally relate! If it makes you feel any better, my mom is WAY worse than yours. The stories I could tell you....

The best thing I ever did was get a job in NJ and move away from GA. And I started limiting my phone calls with her to 5 minutes, that way we get through all the pleasantries, catch up on the latest news, and oopsie, gottta go catch the dog, she ran off, gotta go to choir practice, gotta go to Walmart, etc. Make a list of "excuses" for getting off the phone! One of the many things I learned from "Seinfeld" icon_cool.gif

It sucks to be controlled through guilt. I swear I will never do it to my children.

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susies1955 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 8:30am
post #9 of 19

Just wanted to say it's time you lived YOUR life and not hers. No one can make you feel a certain way except you. This is all about her and you are letting her inside you and your thinking and actions.
You never ever have to listen to or live with toxic people.
Make your decisions based on what YOU want and nothing less.
What you do with you life is your choice and not your Mom's or even your husbands.
I for one lived everyone's life but mine until I reached my late 40's. Don't wait that long. icon_smile.gif
Your cakes are as awesome as you think they are.
Move if you want, enjoy and have fun,

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mallorymaid Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:01pm
post #10 of 19

I agree with what JanH had to say especially about the manipulative and controlling style that your mom has. My mother is the same but she does it to my sister as my brothers and I have all set boundaries with her around what is acceptable to us. For example with phone calls if she calls up and starts with condescending guilty manipulative tactics we simply say "when you are prepared to have a respectful, considerate conversation with me then I will speak with you, good-bye". It's not always easy as I would really like to have an ongoing relationship with my mother but my well being and that of my family, (because ultimately if you are affected by her it will affect your family too)is my Number One Priority. By allowing it to continue you allow her to take your power. If you find it hard perhaps there are services available in your area for you to seek some help or counsel for yourself to help give you the guidance and the strength needed to do this.

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Mike1394 Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 12:09pm
post #11 of 19

I wish you the best of luck. I'm 48, and believe me if you don't put your foot down now. You will live with it forever. Up until the last two months. I haven't talked to my Mom in three years. Actually the most peaceful part LOLOL. Your feeling guilty because all you've heard your whole life is "She's your Mom you have to respect her" My answer to that. The hell I do. If she wants to be miserable let her. Don't let her make your life miserable. If she is as hard headed as MY Mom it will take a while for her to get the clue LOLOL. When she does it will be peaceful.

Good Luck.

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emrldsky Posted 30 Jun 2008 , 1:25pm
post #12 of 19

I'm so sorry you're dealing with this!!!

One suggestion is that you need to put your husband before your mother from now on. If he gets another job offer out of town, LEAVE! And he's only yelling because he loves you, wants to fix it, but knows he can't. Keep repeating that to yourself if this happens again.

Also, cutting off communication with her for the time is a good idea. That gives you time to cool off, figure yourself out, and figure out a way to handle future altercations with her.

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flbeachbummom Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 2:20am
post #13 of 19

You shouldn't feel guilty. My mother spent 30 something years with her mother in law, my grandmother being hateful. Criticizing everything, and accusing her of things. My father never stood up to her because of the "parental" guilt. My grandmother lived next door for 16 years... She eventually passed away, but never did change. My husband has had to distance him self from his mother. It took him over ten years to get up the courage. It wasn't until we had children is when he finally did it. He probably wouldn't have done it then, but she went after our kids. She got mad at their daddy and sent them a letter (knowing they couldn't read) basically disowning him. That was the line. Although, I, alone, should have been enough for him to put her in her place, but he didn't. However, our lives have been peaceful every since... We live in a small town, and I have only run into her once in town in the past two years. You need to tell your mom how you feel and tell her that you're not taking it anymore. As with my grandmother, she made my mom's life miserable for over 30 years. No one ever told her, no more... I pray you have the strength to put her in her place. My husband's mother tried to manipulate him through motherly guilt, but he stood his ground. When he did, she left. I promise the peace is worth the guilt and everything else. icon_rolleyes.gif

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Texas_Rose Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 5:49am
post #14 of 19

Thanks everyone for the replies and suggestions.

My husband doesn't talk to either of his parents. He thinks that's the best solution...but I need to find the middle ground between caring so much what my mom thinks, and just never speaking to her. There has to be some sort of balance. I want my kids to grow up with at least one set of grandparents they're close to, and my mom is a good grandma to them...she just drives me nuts in the process.

She hasn't liked my husband for as long as she's known him. It's ironic because she pointed him out to me one day at work (he worked in the bakery, I was a cashier). Then when I started dating him, she said I was forbidden to see him. When I didn't stop, she kicked me out of the house. I got married two months later. About a week after my wedding, my husband and I were at the mall and one of my mom's friends came up and said at the top of her lungs, to everyone in the store, "Look at this girl! She threw away a full scholarship to marry a janitor." It was really embarrassing and we knew who it had come from, because this woman didn't know my husband and I hadn't invited her to the wedding. That was the start of my husband's bad feelings toward my mom, the fact that she was putting him down to people he'd never even met. My mom still won't say our last name the right way...she's fluent in Spanish so I know she could manage the pronunciation, she just doesn't want to. The way she says it is the way kids used to tease my husband when he was in elementary school.

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VannaD Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 4:14pm
post #15 of 19

wow, maybe i grew up in a shell but ihad no idea that moms could be so cruel, im sorry for all of you who have had to deal with someone like this but at least youve all learned whats best for you and are taking care of yourselves and your families. My dads mom was a PITA... nice to all the grandkids, except me, my mom finally set her straight but instead of being nice afterwards she was just very dry when it came to me, never any real emotions, the old bitty died 2yrs ago and b/c our relationship was so sad i dont miss her and while i sometimes wish she could see me now, b/c theres no way she could be dissapointed especially if she compared me to her other adult grandkids, reality sets in and i know she still would be a b****, and would never say she was proud, its just the way she was to me. I used to be hurt by the way she acted (gmas are supposed to be lovable and stuff) but i grew to where i just didnt care what she thought and she never changed, it was her loss she never let herself really get to know me, and when she died, i didnt even care

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tracycakes Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 4:31pm
post #16 of 19

Your mom is trying to control you, but you know that. You are an adult but we always try to please our moms - I'm 45 and I still do.

You need to have a heart to heart with your mom and tell her what you've told us. You are an adult, you are married and you intend to stay married, you are proud of the cakes you make, etc. Tell her - accept me as I am and leave me alone. Tell her that you are done accepting her criticism and will not stand for it. You love her, you want her in your life but you are taking it anymore. Just be honest, be loving, but be firm. She will argue and disagree but stand firm.

After that, if you are talking to her and she starts in, tell her that if she continues, you are hanging up.

Honey, you've got a difficult road ahead in getting your mom to change her ways. Stay firm with her and don't let her get to you. It's your mom's problem that she is making your problem.

My mom told me that she was 41 before she was able to stand up to her mom - she was always trying to please her and never could. Once she lovingly, but firmly, told her mom she wasn't taking it anymore, it changed. My grandmother didn't for a while, but my mom did and she was much better. Once my grandmother learned she couldn't control my mom anymore, things got better all around.

Best wishes to you. Feel feel to pm and vent if you need or if you need a pep talk. It's tough to stand up to moms.

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frostingfairy Posted 1 Jul 2008 , 6:42pm
post #17 of 19

My mom still won't say our last name the right way...she's fluent in Spanish so I know she could manage the pronunciation, she just doesn't want to.

Sounds like some not so subtle "-ism" (classism, racism, you name it) going on here. She may be a good grandmother to your kids now, but your husband's last name is theirs, too; however she feels about him may eventually be turned on them, too. At the very least, they'll get an idea about how she feels about him.

My best friend moved from NY to VA to get away from her mother. She talks to her once a week for 5 minutes. Since they've moved, Jess has stopped having ulcers and headaches and has significantly cut down on her daily antidepressants.

Move. Far.

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dldbrou Posted 2 Jul 2008 , 2:19am
post #18 of 19

Here is my .02. Write her a letter stating how she makes you feel and make it very clear to her that when you do talk to her on the phone and she starts putting you or anyone in your family down or starts telling you how to live your life, you will immediately HANG UP THE PHONE. She will have no power over you if you hang up immediately and she will have been put on notice. You will have to train her how to treat you and your family. She will most definitely go behind your back and complain to everyone about how you treat her, but then that is where she will get her ego trip boost, instead of giving you a headache. Just tell her that every time she puts you down that you will come here and tell everyone how mean she is and believe me you will have a larger audience than she will.

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athompson0525 Posted 3 Jul 2008 , 2:06am
post #19 of 19

I feel your pain. My mother was also a problem. Things got better (not 100% but much better) when I loved an hour away. I hope things get better for you.

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