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Author Topic: My mother and our difficulties  (Read 465 times) Average Rating: 0
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Faith2545
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« on: October 21, 2013, 10:41:32 AM »

I guess this isn't a new problem. But I consistent one for me for, well, I great portion of my life.
I'm in my mid thirties and still living with my parents, because that's what girls do if they're not yet married, or so it is for the time being. I really shouldn't complain since I have the freedom I want and I respect them a great deal, as they raised my to do. My relationship with my father is a lot stronger and healthier. I can go to him for anything and I do. He is a bit old-fashioned and stubborn, but as his only daughter, he has done practically everything for me and never questions my actions. As a result, I never take advantage of that because I really don't want to disappoint him in the slightest way - though I'm sure I have a few times.

My mother, sadly, is another story. My parents are Greek and a bit old-fashioned. I've heard on many occasions that this combination can be a turn-off, but lets put that aside for a second. it's not always true I guess.

Anyway, my problem: My mother was raised on a Greek village with limited knowledge and experience of many things. She was introduced to my father at 23 years old and married shortly there after. They, then, moved to the US for opportunities and better life, had children, moved back to Greece, then returned back to the US. My mother is very shy and timid. I have understood that she is also a pessimist. I really don't understand why, in the sense that, she grew up with both parents, siblings, cousins, surrounded by love, you get the point. Though she never really got into detail with me about her life, I heard that when she was attending high school, she had to be 30 minutes away from home and she stayed in a house alone with a friend. I believe she had said that that frightened her.

Fast forward to her child-rearing: it was obvious that she always favored my brothers over me. She came from a generation where her boys w ere the world, where having boys instead of girls was what was desired and thought of as an 'accomplishment' and so on. She was very strict with me in the sense that she would always yell, demand certain things, and worst of all, mistakes were NEVER forgiven by her. Mistakes like knocking a glass over, spilling things, stupid things like this. She had a tendency, and still does, to then give me 'the silence treatment." She would NERVER talk  to me when she was mad at me - ever! Could you imagine a kid asking her mom, "is the food ready?" or "can I have this?" and hear nothing said back?? It was the worst! And it would go on for days!! She would leave the food on the table and never call me! It would get cold on some occasions. I was never comfortable going to her with 'girl' stuff - she had never told me anything. Whatever I know is what I've talked about with friends or reading about it on my own obviously.

So, fast forward to now: As an adult, nothing has changed. What has changed in me is that more and more I have become VERY unlike her and she really resents it. I have a different opinion in everything and she hates that. I think optimistically, she says don't live in a dream world. Do you know how many times she has said 'don't have crazy dreams.' You tell me, what are crazy dreams anyway? This is why I always hesitated telling her my thoughts. She still feels she has to have a say in what I wear and how I wear it. Almost 99 percent of the time I disagree, and with the clothes, she'll make it known to me that what I'm wearing she doesn't like. I give in only to make her happy, and by doing so it makes me miserable. I think at times she notices that and gets more upset. She NEVER compliments me on anything! Everyone will even compliment me in front of her but she remains silent.

What bothers me the most is this, and why I'm writing: She still  gives me the silent treatment. We will go on DAYS without speaking, all trigged by a really dumb, dumb argument. Four years ago, we had the worst fight to the point where we did not talk for 10 whole months. TEN! Could you imagine what that is like, living with your mother and not speaking? All I did and still do is pray for a better relationship. People told me she will never change, and neither will I, in the sense that I feel I'm suppressing so many feelings and really trying not to give her reasons to yell at me. But I cannot stand her not talking. The last few days I was in bed with an upset stomach and she never bothered to tell my the guys were coming to fix the washer which is next to my room. I almost walked out there with my hair a mess and my night clothes. Why couldn't she tell me!! In the meantime, I just suppress these feelings, stress myself, cry, get angry, and pretty much shorten my life expectancy. That's how I feel. Every time I thank God for my parents, or am about to, she'll do something and anger me. I cant take it. Why does she do this? And yes, it's day 4 without talking, yet again. At times, I feel relief in the sense that she will have her pride and not 'break' her silence to speak to me. But then again, I need my mother to BE my mother, not someone who is annoying me. How can I deal with this?
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« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2013, 01:22:40 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
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« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2013, 01:23:50 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Faith, have you ever considered living out on your own for a bit?  It was long ago when I moved out, but I grew so much emotionally through the process.  It really helped me overcome many of the demons of fear that I dealt with and my relationship with my parents improved DRASTICALLY once I was out on my own.  It was no longer a parent child relationship, but rather a relationship of equals where it was ok to disagree with things and I would not be disciplined because they no longer viewed me as their kid, but rather as an adult. I believe your mother still views you as a child because there hasn't been that break to cause her to re-evaluate her relationship with you.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 01:27:33 PM by TheTrisagion » Logged

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« Reply #3 on: October 21, 2013, 01:26:12 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Meh, depends who you are.
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« Reply #4 on: October 21, 2013, 02:54:26 PM »

That's a pretty tough situation (that I no longer want to be in) ... I just try to remember the Jesus Prayer and let go of the past & look forward to the future.
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Adela
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« Reply #5 on: October 21, 2013, 03:08:32 PM »

Try reading "will I ever be good enough : healing the daughters of narcissistic mothers by Dr Karyl McBride

The silent treatment is NOT ok and I am so sorry you have to deal with that. My father has given me the silent treatment for most of my life ( when I wasn't being physically assaulted) and it was/is very painful.  It is about anger and control.  You may have to learn you are not going to change her, this is how she chooses to act, its not dependent on your figuring out how to please her. Hopefully you can learn how to live with the uncomfortable feelings it brings up while you go about living the life you choose for yourself. Please PM me anytime you need to talk.
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« Reply #6 on: October 21, 2013, 03:34:34 PM »

Faith, have you ever considered living out on your own for a bit?  It was long ago when I moved out, but I grew so much emotionally through the process.  It really helped me overcome many of the demons of fear that I dealt with and my relationship with my parents improved DRASTICALLY once I was out on my own.  It was no longer a parent child relationship, but rather a relationship of equals where it was ok to disagree with things and I would not be disciplined because they no longer viewed me as their kid, but rather as an adult. I believe your mother still views you as a child because there hasn't been that break to cause her to re-evaluate her relationship with you.

This is definitely something to think about. Perhaps you could tell your parents that you seem to be making each other unhappy and that a little distance may help give each of you perspective.

Unfortunately, "the silent treatment" seems to be your mother's preferred method of dealing with things. You are unlikely to be able to change this. However, you can change yourself - the way you react to her. I have a close and good relationship with my own mother, but she can still push my buttons, easily. I have learned that I can change the way I react when she does so. It really helps.
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« Reply #7 on: October 21, 2013, 03:36:07 PM »

It was long ago when I moved out, but I grew so much emotionally through the process.  It really helped me overcome many of the demons of fear that I dealt with and my relationship with my parents improved DRASTICALLY once I was out on my own.  It was no longer a parent child relationship, but rather a relationship of equals where it was ok to disagree with things and I would not be disciplined because they no longer viewed me as their kid, but rather as an adult. I believe your mother still views you as a child because there hasn't been that break to cause her to re-evaluate her relationship with you.

This might work, but it really depends on a lot of things.  As an ethnic, I can assure you that you can move out, live on your own, work, etc., etc. for years, and you'll still be a "child", with all the baggage that comes with that, to many parents.  I don't think non-immigrants are immune to this, but I imagine the culture clash plays a role.  

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Meh, depends who you are.

Unless you know well the person to whom you addressed that comment, it's probably better to avoid saying such things.  
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Faith2545
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« Reply #8 on: October 21, 2013, 03:39:04 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Thanks for coming to my defense but he/she is right there! I leave it to the Lord, as I have been. There is some reason behind why I haven't found 'him' yet, but a good reason. I'm being patient while doing my best to make every effort. Finding a place of my own is not what I want - it means I'll be all alone, in silence, by myself...you get the idea. I think that would upset me. My car is me best friend and a great escape during these times. Plus, how many more times will my friends hear another story about my mother...so I have to hold it in with them too. Now as married folks they have their own issues anyway.

But I appreciate your thoughts and help. It happens every so often with my mother. Truth is, she needs me a lot. It's quite obvious, and I do help her. I just wish she was more tolerable. And aging is definitely not easy, for either one of us. God help me, and all.
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« Reply #9 on: October 21, 2013, 03:51:56 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Thanks for coming to my defense but he/she is right there! I leave it to the Lord, as I have been. There is some reason behind why I haven't found 'him' yet, but a good reason. I'm being patient while doing my best to make every effort. Finding a place of my own is not what I want - it means I'll be all alone, in silence, by myself...you get the idea. I think that would upset me. My car is me best friend and a great escape during these times. Plus, how many more times will my friends hear another story about my mother...so I have to hold it in with them too. Now as married folks they have their own issues anyway.

But I appreciate your thoughts and help. It happens every so often with my mother. Truth is, she needs me a lot. It's quite obvious, and I do help her. I just wish she was more tolerable. And aging is definitely not easy, for either one of us. God help me, and all.
My youngest sister deals with similar issues.  For some reason, she and my mom have this very volitile relationship than none of my other siblings or myself have with my mom.  She moved out and lives with a room mate about 5 minutes from home.  It costs money, but she lives with a friend, she is able to deal with issues on her own and gets along better with my mom since they aren't in each others hair.  Obviously, I don't know your situation, so don't take my advice as gospel, but sometimes, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.
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Faith2545
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« Reply #10 on: October 21, 2013, 03:54:35 PM »

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Thanks for coming to my defense but he/she is right there! I leave it to the Lord, as I have been. There is some reason behind why I haven't found 'him' yet, but a good reason. I'm being patient while doing my best to make every effort. Finding a place of my own is not what I want - it means I'll be all alone, in silence, by myself...you get the idea. I think that would upset me. My car is me best friend and a great escape during these times. Plus, how many more times will my friends hear another story about my mother...so I have to hold it in with them too. Now as married folks they have their own issues anyway.

But I appreciate your thoughts and help. It happens every so often with my mother. Truth is, she needs me a lot. It's quite obvious, and I do help her. I just wish she was more tolerable. And aging is definitely not easy, for either one of us. God help me, and all.
My youngest sister deals with similar issues.  For some reason, she and my mom have this very volitile relationship than none of my other siblings or myself have with my mom.  She moved out and lives with a room mate about 5 minutes from home.  It costs money, but she lives with a friend, she is able to deal with issues on her own and gets along better with my mom since they aren't in each others hair.  Obviously, I don't know your situation, so don't take my advice as gospel, but sometimes, absence really does make the heart grow fonder.

No, I really appreciate your advice! And I have a feeling you may be right. I just can't do it...
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« Reply #11 on: October 21, 2013, 04:57:34 PM »

It was long ago when I moved out, but I grew so much emotionally through the process.  It really helped me overcome many of the demons of fear that I dealt with and my relationship with my parents improved DRASTICALLY once I was out on my own.  It was no longer a parent child relationship, but rather a relationship of equals where it was ok to disagree with things and I would not be disciplined because they no longer viewed me as their kid, but rather as an adult. I believe your mother still views you as a child because there hasn't been that break to cause her to re-evaluate her relationship with you.

This might work, but it really depends on a lot of things.  As an ethnic, I can assure you that you can move out, live on your own, work, etc., etc. for years, and you'll still be a "child", with all the baggage that comes with that, to many parents.  I don't think non-immigrants are immune to this, but I imagine the culture clash plays a role.  

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Meh, depends who you are.

Unless you know well the person to whom you addressed that comment, it's probably better to avoid saying such things.  

Yeah, wasn't thinking on that one. I'm glad you took it well, but if I did go a little far I am truly sorry. I am usually wiser than this and avoid making statements that can be interpreted wrongly. I'm truly sorry.
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« Reply #12 on: October 21, 2013, 05:09:28 PM »

It was long ago when I moved out, but I grew so much emotionally through the process.  It really helped me overcome many of the demons of fear that I dealt with and my relationship with my parents improved DRASTICALLY once I was out on my own.  It was no longer a parent child relationship, but rather a relationship of equals where it was ok to disagree with things and I would not be disciplined because they no longer viewed me as their kid, but rather as an adult. I believe your mother still views you as a child because there hasn't been that break to cause her to re-evaluate her relationship with you.

This might work, but it really depends on a lot of things.  As an ethnic, I can assure you that you can move out, live on your own, work, etc., etc. for years, and you'll still be a "child", with all the baggage that comes with that, to many parents.  I don't think non-immigrants are immune to this, but I imagine the culture clash plays a role.  

I can relate. That's how parents are.

It's just too bad you are thirty and haven't found a suitable husband! That should be a crime!
Yes, because that is what every 30 yr old woman wants to hear.  Embarrassed

Meh, depends who you are.

Unless you know well the person to whom you addressed that comment, it's probably better to avoid saying such things.  

Yeah, wasn't thinking on that one. I'm glad you took it well, but if I did go a little far I am truly sorry. I am usually wiser than this and avoid making statements that can be interpreted wrongly. I'm truly sorry.

That's alright! I like to believe you had good intentions. Smiley
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« Reply #13 on: October 21, 2013, 05:17:00 PM »

the main thing is to start to change the way you react to her.
dislocate her actions from you reactions to them.

when she won't talk, think of the positives of this (this is very, very hard but can be done).
ignore her and get on with things.
eg. if you are making food, ask her if she wants any.
if she ignores you, make some really lovely food and enjoy eating it.
leave some leftovers in the fridge.

if she doesn't like your clothes (and your bosom and bottom are covered), then calmly explain that these are your clothes and this is how you choose to dress.
maybe compliment her dress sense and say you hope you will look as good as her at her age, but for now you dress the way you want.

if she criticises things you do in the house, calmly explain that this is how you clean up / tidy up etc.
explain that if she would like your help around the house, you will tidy up in your way.
maybe show appreciation for the way she does things, and explain how your way is sometimes more efficient and also her way is sometimes more efficient. it's just different, and this is the way you intend to continue.

if she starts talking about you moving out, calmly discuss it (even if she is shrieking/crying/waving hands) and give some kind of time period, like a few weeks after which you will discuss the subject again, once you have found a list of suitable places to live.
if this happens, or if major freaking out happens, go to the top of this list of things to do and work down it again.

if you can show her like this that she can no longer control you, she will be terrified of loosing control and may increase her bad behaviour.
do little kind deeds also, like buying her favourite flowers (she will hate them because she is feeling grumpy, ignore this and pat yourself on the back for doing the right thing) and saying nice things about her in front of other people.
if you can keep this up for several months, she will start to learn the difference between loosing you (she won't) and loosing control of you (she needs to).

also, look closely at things in yourself that increase her control of you (do you like to confide gossip in her, or do other things with her that are not really good things) and start cutting them out.
it is very important in all relationships that we don't accept to be controlled and manipulated.
if you are really confident and accept God's love for you is unconditional, then you can love yourself and love her (very much) without accepting any control issues.

this is very difficult and takes years of fasting and praying and discussion with your priest, but it can be done.
start one day at a time, and gradually but firmly remove yourself from her emotional roller coaster.
ask God to help you see her as she is, with all her faults and virtues.
ask God to help you see yourself as you are, also with faults and virtues.

people who have been subject to controlling relationships often get bullied at work etc. (i have some experience but not quite like yours)
once you get used to detaching yourself from the emotional roller coaster, things get better at work too, and you become less defensive, easier to teach and calmer.

it's really, really unlikely that your mum will cut off relations with you over this.
if she really meant to do this, she would have done it one of the other 100 times she threatened to do this.
try to look at the situation from the outside (i imagine how painful this is) and think, seriously, how many times did she actually carry out her worse threats? mostly they are just threats. try to take them less seriously and start seeing yourself more as her therapist and less as her daughter.

and may God guide you and give you really large doses of patience.
(also to you adela, may God heal you and give all of you who suffered similarly peace and joy)
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« Reply #14 on: October 22, 2013, 09:26:25 AM »

Consider that perhaps she's insecure about herself. Many aging mothers often have it out for their daughters because they are worried about their physical appearance diminishing with age, and seeing their young daughters at the pinnacle of their youth can frustrate them.

My best advice to you is to seek professional help if this is really bothering you that much. You probably can't change your mother--people are stubborn--but you can at least help yourself and learn to deal with your mother better. I personally wouldn't recommend doing anything on your own unless a therapist tells you to do so. Many people in my experience make the mistake of trying to have big emotional confrontations with their parents only for them to fail miserably and make things even worse. My mother has always been like that; her problem with me is that she's very emotionally manipulative she's often harder on me because I'm the oldest child.
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« Reply #15 on: October 22, 2013, 10:47:48 PM »

Consider that perhaps she's insecure about herself. Many aging mothers often have it out for their daughters because they are worried about their physical appearance diminishing with age, and seeing their young daughters at the pinnacle of their youth can frustrate them.

My best advice to you is to seek professional help if this is really bothering you that much. You probably can't change your mother--people are stubborn--but you can at least help yourself and learn to deal with your mother better. I personally wouldn't recommend doing anything on your own unless a therapist tells you to do so. Many people in my experience make the mistake of trying to have big emotional confrontations with their parents only for them to fail miserably and make things even worse. My mother has always been like that; her problem with me is that she's very emotionally manipulative she's often harder on me because I'm the oldest child.

Never thought I would agree with JamesR about a parent issue, but here we are. +1 to this first portion, sadly. Insecure and the fear of not having control anymore like mabsoota said could be behind it all....she gave some good advice, by the way.
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