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What is the deal with my mother?
November 5, 2004
8:25 am
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readyforachange
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I've been living through a terrible marriage with an alcoholic with anxiety disorder who is manipulative, mean and verbally abusive. I'm finally finding the strength to get out of this horrible relationship, and my mother is driving me insane. Her idea of supporting me is telling me that the things he does to me are just "annoyances" and that I can "put up with them". Now that I've filed for a protective order because he broke into our house after voluntarily leaving and giving me his keys, she is asking me if I still have relationships and conversations with any of his 4 siblings or his parents. She seems overly concerned about what they think of me, and I guess ultimately of her. Why would that matter at all? She implies that I should be explaining my actions to them, and as if their perception of what I am doing should drive my actions. I really don't care what they think of me. I'm not out to please them. Is she more codependent than I am (a huge possibility) or am I blowing her reactions way out of proportion. She is refusing to go to my son's grandparent's day at school because my husband's parents will be there and it will be "awkward". Yikes! I've had it!

November 5, 2004
8:43 am
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Cici
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Woah, that is a bit odd and definately stressful to you on top of all the BS you've had to deal with.

Has she always been overly concerned with how her or your actions appear to other people in general?

November 5, 2004
9:27 am
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readyforachange
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YES! She is all about appearances, so this shouldn't surprise me. But in a situation like this, I would think she could muster up some support despite her obsession with appearances. Don't you think?

November 5, 2004
9:36 am
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Cici
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I'd think, and you are not irrational in your wishes...but knowing the kind of person she is, you seem offended but not really surprised.

You should let her know calmly that you feel let down by her lack of support, and that you are the one who has to live your life and deal with the consequences - it's true now, was true before, and it'll be true after she dies and you continue on.

My Mom has always had various bugs up her butt about how her family's actions reflect in the "community" (as if there is some invisible group of people judging all my actions). After a point I made it clear to my Mom that she can think what she wants, and say what she wants, but that she has stretched my tolerance to the point that I simply ignore her.

At first she would still nag me, but after a while she became resigned to the fact that I was right, ha ha ha.

BE stubborn on this one. You deserve it.

November 5, 2004
9:37 am
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Tumbleweed8
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In my experiences, I have found that when keeping up appearances is the priority, it is just that to the exclusion of anything else. I don't know if they even realize how hurtful this is to others. I'm sorry when people can not see beyond this.

November 5, 2004
9:45 am
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jossy
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Hi ready,
I have a similar situation with my mother, very similar which is creepy. When she comes to visit she keeps telling me I need to be good to my husband no matter what and please everyone so they think highly of me, including my in-laws. I don't talk to anyone on his side of the family, and as you I don't care what they think.
I had to tell my mother to step back, see my life from a distance and be emphatic, which I don't think she can be. We haven't spoke more than 4 times since July. We talked almost every day. But even though I miss her, I feel stronger and know that I'm doing the right thing for me, not for anyone else, and that is a good feeling.
Hang in there, assert yourself.
Hugs

November 5, 2004
10:56 am
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Freya
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I am sorry that you are struggling with this with your mother of all people. Know that what you are doing for yourself is right- despite what your mother says. What she is reacting to is probably fear. Some women can't possibly imagine life without a man ya know. I find it is generally an old school way of thinking. Most moms do the best with what they know and unfortunately, sometimes they just don't know enough. I had a friend who would show up at her moms house with black eyes and her mom would say "just give him some time to cool off, he needs you to take care of him". Now she is in the care of her mother from a beating so severe that is caused swelling on the brain and thus permanent brain damage- and you know what? Her mother blames God for allowing this to happen. The rest of the family knows the truth but her mother told them all that she had a fall and hit her head- can you imagine being so concerned about what people think that you make up a lie to cover up something so tragic?! It just astounds me. Be careful, stay strong and try not to worry about what your mother says. She is going on what she knows. Try to tell her that what you are doing is the best for you and if she doesn't get it....well you have done all you can. She will have to suck it up.

November 5, 2004
11:04 am
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Cristine
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Remind her how you appear to others when you stay with a man who abuses you. Has she seen how he treats you? ANNOYANCES???? Boy, I've heard that before... the whole "well, you need to find out what YOU are doing that annoys him, and just not do it anymore...." WHAT? It doesn't end with verbal abuse. Ask her how she thinks SHE looks, in your eyes, encouraging you to stay with a man who abuses you!

November 5, 2004
12:18 pm
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readyforachange
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Thank you all so much for your responses....I only hope I can learn from her behavior and be a better support to my daughter. A part of my reasons for ending my codependence and getting on with my life has to do with my daughter, and how she perceives adult relationships. I know I never learned about healthy relationships from my mother, only that I should smile and act as if everything is just fine.

November 5, 2004
2:29 pm
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Freya
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You already have learned- you are here. Give yourself a pat on the back and keep up the great work you are doing for you and your daughter. She will thank you some day even if it is not a verbal token of gratitude 😉 Freya

November 5, 2004
5:26 pm
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workinonit
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Ready, this is really pretty interesting and makes me think. (so what else is new LOL)

My mom was the same way. I felt sort of rejected but I knew deep in my heart, she knew no other way.

So I am thinking, the difference is the change. We are seeing in this pattern these mothers have, the changfe that has taken place in us!!!! Do you know what I mean? There is a major difference between what women accepted as normal 30-40 years ago and what they will accept as normal now.

Imagine what our daughters will do!!! It really is a positive thing because if we were still their daughters 30-40 years ago we would be doing the same things and more of us would be gone.

What does anyone else think?

November 5, 2004
6:35 pm
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readyforachange
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I THINK WE SHOULD ALL TAKE AN OATH, AND VOW TO OUR DAUGHTERS THAT WE WILL TEACH THEM TO BE INDEPENDENT, SELF-SUFFICIENT, AND SELF-LOVING PEOPLE WHO DO NOT TAKE S**T OFF OF ANYONE!

amen.

November 5, 2004
7:19 pm
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workinonit
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Amen 2

November 5, 2004
7:31 pm
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FoolMeThrice
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OMG this reminds me of something that happened with my best friend.

She was hiding out in a domestic violence shelter with her kids. Her grandmother came to my work with my friends monster-husband (who had tried to kill them) and begged me to tell them where she was so they could bring her home.

I laughed right in their faces! The nerve!

November 5, 2004
8:10 pm
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notmyself
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I highly recommend the book, The Dance of Anger by Harriet Lerner. It has really helped me in my relationships and I think it will help you with your mother.

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