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Does anyone have a mother who is overly critical?

UserPost

1:54 am
May 30, 2006


Guest

posts

My mother is so excellent at making me feel like complete crap. And she thinks she is perfect. The woman never apologizes for anything.

It just seems too simple. Why do I let her make me feel awful? I do I let what she says have an impact on me when I know how she is? My therapist says that the criticism, a lot of it from her, and verbal abuse in my family is a large part of what has contributed towards my self defeatest attitude. I don't know. I think it's more complicated than that. I also have problems with depression and am diagnosed as bipolar. Most likely, my mother is too.

Anyone have trouble dealing with their mother? Anyone learned how to cope?

-ella

1:57 am
May 30, 2006


Randomwomen2

New Member

posts -1

Its not my mother but my grandmother is that way. Its not a good way to handle it but I avoid her phone calls. I really dont know how to cope with it thats why I avoide her as much as possible. I sound terrible huh LOL

2:03 am
May 30, 2006


Guest

posts

My family is close, though not the healthiest. My father and I get along better than my mother and I. It would be hard to avoid talking to her, and I really wouldn't want to. She is NOT going to change, but I would like to change how I react to her. It's just hard.

6:28 am
May 30, 2006


smarterone

New Member

posts -1

My family is in another state, the only ones left, mom and sis and they now live together. Sis is 46, had to move back, yuch, but they deserve eachother cause they are both nuts. I am not that sane, full of depression with rightful reasons thanks to family past. Mom, criticizes everything, but the only thing is she knows nothing, goes nowhere, doesnt drive, has no possessions, welcome to 2006 mom. So if i have any desires for normal things, like homes, cars, etc., i am unstable. Oh also, im fat, so she cant believe that she has a fat daughter. Too bad, used to bother me alot. Now at 55. Bye

8:49 am
May 30, 2006


gayle

New Member

posts -1

I have one of those and she is starting to do it to my kids too and I feel like I am fighting for their mental health. The problem is that I need her to watch my oldest son during the summer because I can't afford daycare for him, get this though, she is a teacher!!! Very controlling and critical

8:56 am
May 30, 2006


Matteo

New Member

posts 2

My mother is a narcissist, which I discovered reading about narcissism; I cannot possibly do anything right. I didn't see her for 18 years, thanks God, she knows very little about what's going on in my life, but she still manages to "know better" and criticizes me over the phone when I’m calling her every half a year or so. She affected my self esteem so deeply it’s unbelievable. She affected all my life choices, and I had to fight for every single bit of self-esteem which I have right now. Not fun. But I am a fighter and I am giving myself a pat on the back for who I became without her pulling down presence in comparison to whom she created.

9:59 am
May 30, 2006


gayle

New Member

posts -1

Matteo- Good for you! I too have had to fight for my self esteem and I am proud of you! ((((Matteo))))

11:39 am
May 30, 2006


Matteo

New Member

posts 2

Thank you, gayle! Hugs to you.

11:55 am
May 30, 2006


I C Gold

New Member

posts -1

My X beacuse of his issues with his critical mother moved from relationship to relationship to relationship..see a pattern??
He can't do anything that she either hasn't done, could have done better or faster. She wants to run his life and only lives an hour or so away but we only see her rarely. HE and I are trying to get back together and I can't wait to hear her remarks on this! He just flat out tells her if she's intruding and refuses to let her "run his life" but it hurts him I can see that.

1:03 pm
May 30, 2006


ConfusedCyn

New Member

posts -1

I so empathize with you mzrella.

I am in a very tough place right now in my life – and ALOT of it has to do with my mother and the way I was raised.

I can only tell you that I have recently learned in my heart that I am NOT going to continue to live by her rules (even when they are actually in my own head). This feeling is new and scary – but I know that ultimately I will find out who I was meant to be WITHOUT her 'guidance' (aka criticism, passive-aggressiveness, etc…blah, blah, blah).

In the meantime, know that there are ALOT of caring people on this board who understand and are here for you (and me :D).

Hang in there,

CC

12:05 am
May 31, 2006


Guest

posts

Thank you all for sharing your experiences.

My mother is the QUEEN of passive agressive behavior. Though my parents live less than an hour away, I find it difficult to visit them because of the state of their house. They are such pack rats- or should I say my mother is really the guilty one, my father is guilty of allowing things to get that bad and still complaining about it. There is literally nowhere for me to sit down, unless I go to my childhood bedroom. Sometimes even then, I will go in there and there will be things piled on the bed, "gifts" from my mother who is a compulsive spender. True, sometimes she can be thoughful, but mainly she is feeding her addiction.

Sometimes I think her habits are a way of getting at my dad and making him angry. This woman hasn't had a full time job since before she was pregnant. For whatever mistakes my father has made in the past, he is being punished for it big time. He waits on her hand and foot, walks on eggshells around her and coddles her because she has an unpredictable temperment. Yet when she lashes out at him and he has the "nerve" to even merely defend himself, she calls him an "abusive husband." How she loves to play the victim, she also loves to talk about how awful I have treated her…

Mind you, this is a woman who gave me the silent treatment for months at a time… she criticises me for behaviors I had no control over at a time when I was 14 and having a psychotic break. She barely attended family therapy, and refused to continue not even to show support for me (the main catalyst of our issues at the time)- it seemed she feared any implication that there was anything wrong with her.

I am angry so often and I don't know at what. At everything, everyone and nothing and nobody if that makes any sense. When I think about this stuff it feels like maybe that's where some of it's coming from. No matter that she does nice things for me sometimes, I just don't ever feel like she is "on my side" so to speak.

Sometimes when there is tension I really want to scream at her or (I would NEVER do this) I even imagine just shaking her or smacking her. Isn't that awful? She just brings out all the ugliness in me sometimes.

-ella

12:13 am
May 31, 2006


loving

New Member

posts -1

M,

Might be a silly question, but have you ever tried telling her, at time when things are ok and she might be receptive, how her behaviour makes you feel?

12:19 am
May 31, 2006


Guest

posts

Yes. One cannot successfully have such conversations with my mother, no matter how much you try to play with words, keep the focus on yourself, your feelings, etc… everything is an attack, a war. Then what ever feels bad, she inflicts more pain on. She is "perfect."

12:21 am
May 31, 2006


ConfusedCyn

New Member

posts -1

Ella,

Just came back on the board because I can't sleep and my brain is screaming at me.

My mother's passive-aggressive behavior is more insidious than your's but in many ways very similar. She drives my father nuts too but then again, he lets her walk all over him most of the time. At least when they retired years ago he put his foot down and goes golfing 3x's a week – I know it is the only way he can take living with her. And oh, the victim thing…her persecution complex drives me CRAZY!!!

I totally understand how you are feeling emotionally. I wrote a post early today (yesterday now I guess) about what I am feeling most of the time – if you want to read it, it is called 'Desperate feelings' (or Feeling Desperate? Can't remember…my brain is too crowded with other crap right now). Alot of people responded with wonderful posts, so maybe it will help.

I am trying very hard to hold it together right now – after a life of feeling like I was worthless behind 'my mask' – I am finally trying to figure out who I am behind all the negatives I've absorbed from her and others. I would venture to guess that is where alot of your anger is coming from – and you have every right to be angry about it. And yes, I often want to scream at my mother too – unfortunately I have, but she has a way of baiting me into it sometimes :(

So don't beat yourself up over anger that is justified. Read alot of the posts here and you will see that many of us share these kinds of feelings. You are not alone and you can vent here whenever you need to.

Ok, enough rambling…going to post some of the stuff screaming in my brain – maybe then I can sleep… .

Hugs,

CC

12:26 am
May 31, 2006


loving

New Member

posts -1

Sounds familiar!

I tried every way with mine, being nice, being confrontational, witholding etc and in the end I just told her one time how she really made me feel and that I was going to stay away until she didn't do it anymore. there was distance for quite a while and then she slowly tied to be a bit nicer. Every time now that she goes back to being how she was – I just stay away again and I think she's finally realised, like a child, that if you behave badly – epople avoid you. I don't think they mean it – they just get away with it for too long – bullying really – until they see for themselves that it's not acceptable to you and you can't be bullied anymore.

12:30 am
May 31, 2006


Matteo

New Member

posts 2

mzrella,

Stay away from her. She is not on your side, it seems like she is only on her side. She is toxic to you. We don't have an obligation to love bad parents and on the top of it be blamed for not loving them. No wonder that you are blaming yourself for so many things so often: she trained you to do it. I'm sorry for your father too, but it seems like he was not able being there for you either? You have every right to be angry with her, and it is not your fault that you are.

It took me years and years to understand that my mother doesn’t really love me the way mothers do, and that she is not on my side, never really was. I didn’t call my mother I think close to a year, and since I was able to put a name on her abuse and understood that my feelings were right, and that she so badly influenced my life, I don’t even want to talk to her, because I am just pissed with her. My conversation will not change anything and I don’t want to aggravate myself. She is not worth it.
Take care.

12:02 am
June 1, 2006


Rasputin

New Member

posts 0

Ella & the rest –

My mother was very critical when I lived with her and dad. She would criticize dad, me and my other siblings.

It is really hard when you come from a family where only 1 parent is abusive. She would criticize my choice in anything, make fun of my viewpoints, rarely hugged me. I can't remember even being hugged or affirmed when I was a kid. Again, I had problem with my self-image & became very insecure teenage and adult. As a result, made many unhealthy bad choices due to this lack of love from mom, dad and siblings. No wonder my oldest sister became an abuser and turned it on me, sadly and thereafter my brother.

Hard as it looks, I learned to forgive Mom and my other siblings her without confronting her/them.

Only after moving away from my parents house that my mom started to respect and appreciate me.

When I speak with mom and dad over the phone, dad almost wants to cry. He misses me like crazy and mom started to respect me for the 1st time in my life.

Nowadays, I can proudly say I have a very good relationship with my parents based on mutual love and respect Despite all the have happened b4.

I wish you all the same. Thanks all for sharing. It really feels great to know that I am not alone to have had a difficult mom who turned my life into misery and yet I have very good alliance with her.

~Ras~

12:14 am
June 1, 2006


sdesigns

Member

posts 30

Hi Ella: My Mother is also very critical. I cannot ever remember anything she may have said to me of a complimentary nature. She's also passive agressive and a narcissist. I didn't speak to her for over 8 years after she killed my cat to "get" me. She has never apologized and I will never forgive her for being so hateful. Mothers are not supposed to hate their children. I now try to keep her at arms length as that is the only way to maintain my sanity. She is trying to get on my good side now and I have no room for her. She's getting old and realizing that her time may be limited. She tries to bribe me now with family heirlooms. These things have no meaning for me anymore. She purposely w/held them from me before and now I don't want them. The latest (yesterday) is she wants to give me her mink coat. Now where the heck would I wear that thing? And why would I even want it. She's way too late w/ this stuff. She has never in her entire life told me she loved me. Her own child. No wonder I never wanted my own kids.

SD

1:23 am
June 1, 2006


scaredlittlegirl

New Member

posts -1

I'm struggling with a very critical mother-in-law. It makes me want to not be open with her, because she turns it back on me aggressively. I am recovering from depression, and long-term emotional problems, and I haven't told her this because I know that she will throw it in mine and my partner's face. The visible signs of it (giving up work, being tired a lot etc) are fuel for her criticism. And even if she doesn't say anything, I FEEL the tension. How do you deal with that?

I'm at the point of realising that I'm not responsible for her happiness, and I don't have to anticipate her needs and feelings all the time. It was releasing the other day to agree with my partner in a humorous way that I don't have to give a flying f*** about my mother-in-law – because I grew up feeling like I had to care for everyone but not myself, this was very releasing.

I really don't want to be around her, and I feel guilty for this. Because she expects my partner to visit, and my partner chooses not to visit without me, and I feel uncomfortable visiting………..

It's good to know I'm not alone

5:31 am
June 1, 2006


garfield9547

New Member

posts -1

mzrella

I lived with the fantasy that I could change my mother. I wanted her to be different and tried to believe that.

DISAPPOINTMENT SUPREME

She never failed once to disappoint me. But then its me that had the expectation of her.

I very seldom have contact. Emotionally thats the best thing I can do for myself. She is like a vampire that women and will never be satisfied.

After 2 years in therapy I can honestly say my mother has died in my life. I am no longer depressed and has LOTS more energy. I started a new life. I deserve it.

Everybody has different circumstances. She will never change mzrella and that is hard to realise

Garfield


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