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question from Robbie2007
May 7, 2007
12:53 pm
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robbie2007
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what steps can i take to get closer to my mother?

May 7, 2007
2:00 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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robbie, sometimes people don't know HOW to show it emotionally, so they try to make up for it in other ways - like financially.

I know that my mom worried that dad was shortchanging us, so mom always doubled her efforts, which wasn't fair to her or us, sometimes it came in the form of money, gifts, other times it was just her doing more than her fair share of anything.

Your mom probably loves you very much, but doesn't know how to show it, or doesn't know how to show it the way you need her to.

Have you tried talking to her about it? Sometimes they don't realize they are letting us down, they think they are doing a good job.

Other times, they just don't understand what to do, the right thing to do. She may think she is doing it right, not realize she isn't.

In the end, once we reach adulthood, we have to start validating ourselves and loving ourselves and worrying less about our parents, cuz in order to find a healthy partner in life, we have to "detach" from our parents and stand on our own two feet, learn to fly free on our own.

If we spend our adult lives searching for our parent's love (love that isn't going to happen), then we may miss out on the life we have in front of us, the opportunities to love someone else, to enjoy our adult life as it's given to us.

It sucks that you are getting shortchanged, but in the end, if it hasn't improved to this point, it may never. Your mom may simply be doing the best she can, it may be all she knows how to do.

You can try to talk to her about it, but at the end of the day, you need to learn to let go of needing their love and approval and focus on loving yourself and getting a life independent of them.

I wish I could tell you how to fix this, but chances are, you can't. Mom is doing all she can do. I don't think there is anything you can do to change it. The only thing you can do is change your ability to accept it.

May 7, 2007
2:12 pm
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robbie2007
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you keep attatching approval with love. im not looking for her approval. i want to spend quality time with her.

you said in order to find a healthy partner in life we have to detach.

why? im not interested in having a partner - but if i did, why do i have to detach from a parents love? cant you have both?

and why shouldnt i keep striving to make my relationship better?

im sorry for how im coming across, i do appreciate you responding. im just frustrated and feel like im not getting my point across. either that, or we just dont share the same views. which is ok.

May 7, 2007
2:23 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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No, it's not that really. Just sometimes what I am trying to say is not well received because you are trying to get MORE from her, and I am telling you that you have to accept that you can't have it.

Once we hit age puberty, it's a natural course of events to start "detaching" from our parents, and creating our own identity.

I misunderstood what you were asking. You say in this post, you just want to spend more time with her. In another post, you want more of an emotional connection.

When we get to adulthood, we create a life for ourselves. Our own set of friends, our own identity, our own career, our own hobbies. We still have our parent's love. We don't have to give that up for a new person or life. But, it becomes less of our focus. It becomes secondary to our own life, our partner, our children, our career, etc. As we grow into adults, we rely less on needing our parents for anything.

It is nice to spend time with family. But in today's society, in the USA anyway, most families drift apart. The idea of adult children staying close to the parents has become more and more rare. I am not saying it's right. And until last year, I have remained very close to my family, and they were involved with my day to day life.

BUT, this is rare for most families.

Why do you want to spend more time with mom?

I guess that will help me understand you better.

As far as detaching and finding a partner of your own. You may not want a partner, and that is your choice. But a lack of partner does not mean you should stay attached to mom to fill that "void". You should have your own friends and acquantainces, hobbies, and activities. Relying on mom to be your source of entertainment is not all that healthy. Pardon me if I am misunderstanding again.

Which brings me back to my question - what do you want from mom exactly?

I'm sorry if this is frustrating. Sometimes it's hard to understand what someone is getting at.

May 7, 2007
2:32 pm
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robbie2007
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well i thought by spending more time with her, it would help me to feel that emotional connection.

heres the situation - i work for my brother, i see my father every day, i live on my own but live about 2 minutes from my parents. i have no children. i have no friends. my hobby is playing in the wind symphony.

im not looking for "entertainment" ...what do i want from my mother? a phone call out of the blue just to say hi. or when she goes to visit my grandmother, how about - would you like to come? how about - lets do lunch one day. THATS what im looking for. but day after day its as if i dont exist.

May 7, 2007
2:33 pm
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robbie2007
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in other words - i feel unimportant. un thought about. ignored.

May 7, 2007
2:37 pm
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robbie2007
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thank you for trying to help.

May 7, 2007
2:38 pm
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robbie2007
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maybe instead you can tell me how to get a life so the entertainment will help me forgot how alone i am.

May 7, 2007
2:41 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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robbie,

I understand. It may seem like I don't, but I do.

What I get, is that you are looking for validation that you matter.

And my only answer is that we can try and explain that their behaviour hurts us, and that we want to be included.

BUT

Your family is likely to keep doing what they have always done.

And your choice is to either find some other way to feel like you matter.

OR

Understand that if you want to be part of their lives, you may have to do all the work.

Chances are, nothing is going to change, no matter how much you want it to.

I am sorry you feel left out.

And I can imagine how it hurts.

But if you can't get your family to include you, then maybe you have to go out and find another "family" that will include you.

I read once this quote "friends are the family you choose for yourself".

Go out and find friends with common interests. And you will likely have someone to do things with.

Unfortunately, if it's your family you want, it may not fill the void.

So, if you want to participate with your family, the only way may be to continue to take initiative, and invite them, call them, and show up to be with them.

I wish I had other answers for you.

May 7, 2007
2:43 pm
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robbie2007
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yes - thats it. validation that i matter.

i was going to tell my mother how i feel on sunday, but i was afraid she would become defensive or get upset.

i think i first have to tell her how i feel and then see if there is a change.

May 7, 2007
2:46 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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we cross posted.

Well, how to get a life...that's a good question.

And what comes to mind is finding people with common interests.

Among your musical group - reach out and try to make friends. Invite them to coffee after practice. If someone looks like someone you want to know more, invite them to an activity, like a show or to a music store to browse for new music.

Volunteering helps you feel like you make a difference. Older folks and kids especially. Could you find some way to reach out and help and find a group that makes you feel like you matter.

Exercise - get out and feel the sun, strike up convos with people around you.

Take other art classes - dance, crafts, photography, gardening.

Find a career that fufills you. One of the biggest reasons for my depression is hating my job and not having a reason to get up in the morning. I love my job now and it makes me feel so fufilled. Perhaps a customer service job at a music store would help you make friends, do something you love and give you people to interact with?

What other interests do you have? Do you love animals? Volunteering at a shelter could be rewarding.

For me...I get the biggest rush by offering to be a friend to someone else. By helping someone out, and having them say "thank you", is rewarding. And makes me feel important.

Explore your interests...what do you like to do? What do you dream of doing but haven't tried?

May 7, 2007
2:48 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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it is hard to tell our parents that they aren't being a parent the way we need them to be.

so, perhaps the easiest thing to say is "mom, I would like to be included in family things more. I feel like I am forgotten" and see what happens from there...you could cite examples of when she forgot to include you, that you wished you had participated in.

In the end, it may simply be that they don't "think" outside themselves, and consider that you would want to be included. Some people just don't think in terms of anyone but themselves.

May 7, 2007
2:55 pm
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robbie2007
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all those things make sense and are great ideas. at this point i could make an excuse for each one why i couldnt do it. but i KNOW it is just excuses so im not going to go there right now.

but one thing about DOING those things is i have no ambition to do much more than working and sleeping these days.

getting my garage cleaned out and going for a long walk with my dog was a good accomplishment for me this weekend.

do i hate my job? some parts of it. did i hate my last job. some parts of it. did i hate the previous job. some parts of it. i believe that finding a job that would make me happy to get up in the morning wouldnt pay the bills. you have to balance emotional and financial happiness. at least i do. and there are things about this job that i really love too.

May 7, 2007
2:59 pm
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robbie2007
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rising... i do hope you keep responding to me. im TRYING to argue, ya know. just frustrated with life and dont know what to do. i know i need to make some changes and everything feels all jumbled right now. im all mixed up.

May 7, 2007
3:18 pm
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robbie2007
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oops - i meant im NOT trying to argue.

May 7, 2007
3:21 pm
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robbie2007
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a thought ... maybe i can ask one of the ladies from the wind symphony to come over and play duets.

i would have to make my house presentable ...but now theres 2 goals in one, eh?

🙂

May 7, 2007
4:02 pm
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risingfromtheashes
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robbie...one step at a time...and give yourself credit for what you DO accomplish.

cleaning the garage and walking the dog (while having fibro) ARE HUGE...don't knock yourself down for what you didn't do...be proud of what you did.

As far as getting someone to come over to your place...perhaps you can suggest getting together to practice and perhaps she'll want you at her place. IF NOT...then clean the rooms that are "visible"...and since she isn't going to be inspecting everything, then just tidy up the parts she will (meaning you don't have to organize the pantry, just make sure the outside looks clean). Stuff things in a room she won't see if you want a quick fix...and keep those doors closed. Make it a short visit...give yourself time to adjust.

Make excuses? yeah, I do understand you...I'm famous for that.

Know what? I stopped kicking myself for not doing anything. If I want to go out shopping, I do...if I don't, I don't. I stop telling myself I "should" do this or that. It makes me feel bad about myself and I need to treat me better.

That is not license to be a total bum or slob...BUT...it helped me not get so down in the dumps about not doing the dishes, that when I did get to them, I wasn't dreading it as badly.

As far as a job...I jumped from job to job...my only goal was to do something that paid the bills. But I got lucky and found a job I LOVE. If I didn't get lucky, I would still be doing a job that pays the bills but is unfufilling. Try new things, who knows what you may find interesting...my job now is not one I would have EVER EVER EVER asked for...but I fell into it and loved it...and it happened like that a while back too. So, try something new, you may not know you like something until you try it.

It seems like you really are sincere about wanting to change things. Just remember...change takes effort and it takes time...so don't get too discouraged if things happen slowly. Take things one step at a time.

Reaching out and asking a friend to coffee, inviting someone to rehearse with you, find a new hobby, etc.

When you take the dog out for a walk, be aware of your surroundings...talk to other dog owners...get together to let the dogs play in the park.

Common interests...it's a great way to spark new friendships.

Also - one last thing - it might be beneficial to talk to the doctor and ask about reviewing your medication. The lack of energy could be a symptom of depression that may be helped with the right combo of meds. I know you take something for the fibro...you may need something different...it may be a side effect of the med you are on...or it may be depression from the fibro that your meds aren't helping.

Just remember - one step at a time....slow and steady wins the race.

May 8, 2007
9:07 am
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robbie2007
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rising ...thanks for sticking with me.

I have been erratic (i think thats the word) with my meds becuz i changed jobs and insurance and all that. (i know, another excuse). but i decided to take them at night instead of the morning and i just dont do it. and i forget on weekends.
today i have decided to start in the mornings again. it was more routine then.

gosh - one of my fingers just went numb ...thats weird

May 8, 2007
9:12 am
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risingfromtheashes
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I get circulation problems too, classic fibro stuff.

yeah, staying consistent with your meds is important.

my mom got so discouraged about all the meds she has to take, so she'd give up and go off them now and then...and pay the price for it.

she finally went to the mayo clinic for a full workup. figuring her doc didn't know what he was doing.

well, the mayo clinic said that she was getting superb care and that she was just going to have to accept the idea of having to take meds for life and that she is only hurting herself by changing her meds around...and that her doc did a good job and knew what he was talking about.

Find a time that works for you...I know that I have a hard time remembering to take mine...could you set an alarm to help you remember? I know for me, I set my watch to remind me to eat lunch and I take them then...otherwise, I often skip lunch or wait too long, then I am taking my meds way too late or not at all.

Maybe it's just better to take them at night? if that works, stick with it.

May 8, 2007
9:21 am
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robbie2007
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no, night doesnt work thats why im going back to mornings. i used to come to work make my coffee and take my meds. why i stopped doing that, i dont know.

i didnt know numbness was a circulation problem. this is the first time this happened to me.

May 8, 2007
9:22 am
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i actually have a doc appointment on the 17th...but not sure what to tell the doc

May 8, 2007
9:24 am
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robbie2007
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rising - i would like to share a fear with you. i enjoy talking to you. its only been a couple days, but already i fear i will be abandoned. 🙁

May 8, 2007
9:32 am
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risingfromtheashes
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robbie...I don't abandon anyone.

But if you push to the point of making it an unhealthy exchange of information, then I would have to protect my own needs and bow out.

But I would never do that without trying to resolve it first.

I don't mind if you have a million excuses or appear argumentative...I am stubborn and don't give up easily.

Plus, I am also famous for having a million excuses...but founds ways to overcome it....still do it on some levels...but life is much better now.

Thank you for sharing your fear...that was brave of you.

What to tell the doc?

Keep a list of "weird" things that happen...times, dates, etc...even things that don't seem related.

Fibro causes a wide variety of symptoms (mamac gave you a good book recommendation) and many are related, tho they seem weird.

My mom's circulation is so bad that her feet and hands are always blue from the lack of oxygen. She used to wear Nikken magnets in her shoes and as a necklace. They helped alot, but for whatever reason, she gave them up....she just deals with the cold hands and feet...wears socks to bed when necessary.

Talk to the doc and be honest with all your symptoms...use your own words...how you feel isolated, how you have no energy, how you don't want to go out and be with people...whatever you feel...the doc will help interpret what it all means and find the right course of treatment for you.

As I said, keep a diary of symptoms, feelings and such...noting what you are eating and when is always helpful as well.

Then let the doctor sort it out...that's what he gets paid for.

May 8, 2007
9:35 am
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Also, it may not hurt to consider seeing a therapist...he/she can help you with the feelings of being isolated, the issues with the family and such...and help you come up with ways to deal with it, as well as help you set goals to overcome it.

Sometimes it helps to have someone to pour out feelings too.

Keeping a journal could help too.

Sometimes, when we have health issues, mental or physical...the best we can do is learn "coping skills" to learn how to work around the problem.

We can't always solve the problem, so we do the best we can to work with it and cope with it.

May 8, 2007
9:36 am
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risingfromtheashes
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one more thing, then I have to get back to work.

I don't post on weekends, and I can only post while at work.

So, if you post something and don't get a response right away, it is probably cuz it's evening or weekend here.

I am online frequently throughout the day and will do my best to keep up with the thread.

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