Warning! This post is kind of ALL OVER THE PLACE and reading through it just now it seems as if I have the grammatical efficiency of a common fly. I apologize in advance for not feeling like taking the time to properly proofread and fix things.
You know how when you were 13 you’d stomp into your room and slam the door and swear that you’d NEVER GROW UP TO BE LIKE HER? God I can’t tell you the number of times that I did that. Weekly? Daily? I don’t know, it was a lot. Most of the rebellious things I did growing up I did to piss my mom off. Sneaking out, bringing home dumb loser boys, ditching class, all of it I did because I wanted her to react. It’s a small miracle that I didn’t end up a meth head or an alcoholic. Going to a private Catholic school full of the richest, most skanky and stuck up kids in the county meant that on a weekly basis I’d party around the best blow in the COUNTRY (YAY FOr GROWING UP IN THE METH COOKING CAPITAL OF THE USA) lined up on tables with shots of anything hard to chase it. I can count the number of times I got drunk in highschool on one hand and never touched anything harder than pot. As bad as I wanted to piss her off, there were always those lines I wouldn’t cross but believe me, there’s PLENTY you can do to piss off your parents without doing any actual harm to yourself. heh
My mom was REALLY controlling. That’s such a complete understatement. My mom IS CONTROL. Staying out 10 minutes past curfew mght as well have been 10 hours. There was no balance. Either she was happy or pissed and it was normally the latter. When I finished high school, turned 18, started pulling away even harder, it really started to get bad. She INSISTED I live at home and go to school but wasn’t allowed to work. However, if I asked her for gas money to get to school, I was a lazy fucking moocher that only wanted to be around her to ask for things. I was in a no win situation. “Stay home and go to school” really meant “Stay home, have no social life, do what I tell you to do, help raise Cameron and go to school. PERIOD.” The fight the lead up to me moving out started because I got a part time job helping out Troy’s mom do her bookkeeping a few hours a week. Seriously. I made $50 in two weeks and brought it home and she FREAKED THE HELL OUT because I was out there “pissing off my life” because I had gotten a very small part time job earning less than minimum wage cash “behind her back”.
When I found out that I was pregnant I went to her office to tell her. I’d know for a few days and I was past the HOLY SHIT I’M PREGNANT WHAT THE FUCK AM I GOING TO DO stage. I’d weighed out the options, I’d considered abortion, I’d REALLY struggled with a decision and then one morning I woke up and just KNEW I was going to have the baby. I decided to drive down to tell my mom who’s initial reaction was “Well, have you considered abortion?” Not, “What are you going to do?” “Are you okay?” Hell, I’d have been okay with her yelling at me at first for being irresponsible, but instead she took the reins and practically had the phone in her had to dial the abortion clinic. Then the entire time I was pregnant she’d pull the typical moves. She’d act all happy and WOW THIS IS GREAT when other people were around but when it was just the two of us it would be guilt and “You are making a big mistake” “It’s not too late” “There are options” “You are ruining your life” etc.
It killed me. And it continued for years. And no matter what I did it was always that way. I went back to a junior college when I was pregnant which she thought was great and was so encouraging when people were around but when it was just she and I together it was “about time I started to think straight and stop screwing around”.
And here’s the kicker…
I’ve spent a good part of my life feeling guilty for letting her down and being a complete disappointment. And for most of my life I’ve made excuses for the way she is. And for most of my life I’ve secretly prayed to a God I don’t even believe in that please, please don’t let me grow up to be like her. PLEASE.
And. I’m really good at building walls. They’re kinda my thing. In the case of my mom it was walls that allow me to ignore things like COMPLETE NEGATIVITY. Brick and mortar surrounded by steal covered in aluminum and painted pink for good measure. The problem is that even the strongest walls are prone to damage and, eventually, complete and utter failure.
My mom decided to move up to the Bay Area about six months after I did and at the time I wasn’t in the most mentally stable state. Again, complete understatement. I knew I needed to put my foot down but I just didn’t have it in me to confront her about it. I just couldn’t. I’d rather have dove head first into an outhouse than tell my mom she needed to not move up here thinking it was okay to be in control.
So Ben told her. Rather forcefully, actually. He shouldn’t have had to do it but he did because he is amazing and I was weak and fragile and a complete pussy and riddled with guilt for having to possibly disappoint her YET AGAIN.
The problem was because I didn’t say it somehow that translated to her as “I have to be on good behavior when Ben is around, but when it’s just the two of us all bets are off.” I could go on and on and give example after example. I still felt like no matter what I did it wasn’t good enough. Oh good, you have a job at Stanford, when are you going to start trying to move up positions? When are you going to go back to school? You could stand to lose a few pounds. When if Ben leaves you tomorrow, how will you support yourself? Why do you always waste your money on stupid stuff? I don’t like ANY RESTAURANT YOU TAKE ME TO EVER.
On and on and on and on and on. And on.
This all finally came to a head when my grandmother came to visit a month ago. Whenever she comes, my mom turns into this obsessive, overbearing, super controlling, fake as hell person. It’s absolutely unbearable. This time it happened to coenside with my birthday so we planned on my grandma, grandpa and Aunt Suzanne to come up on the day or my birthday so we could have dinner FOR MY BIRTHDAY. My mom asked where I wanted to go and I told her to the Irish Pub near our place that has AWESOME chicken pot pie that I LOVE. We haven’t been to many places and she specifically told me NOT to choose a Mexican place because “Grandma won’t want to eat Mexican.” Okay, that’s not that big a deal, if she doesn’t like Mexican I can understand that.
So the weekend before my birthday and before they arrived my mom calls and says that she want’s to “try out the pub”.
Me: Are you actually trying to VET the restaurant?
MeL You want to eat there to make sure it’s OKAY for grandma.
Her: No! I just want to TRY the restaurant, it sounds good.
So whatever, she came up to eat, ordered fish and chips (probably the MOST BLAND food you can order on ANY menu) and it was immediately clear to me that the pub wasn’t “up to par”. So when we were done eating:
Me: Is it good enough for grandma?
Her: It’s fine!
Me: You don’t like it.
Her: It’s okay.
Her: I just don’t think it’s their kind of food.
Cameron: WHAT!? David will LOVE THIS. (He;d had the chicken cordon blue which is AWESOME)
Her: No, they don’t eat this kind of food.
Cameron: YES THEY DO!
Ben: Well, it’s Anna’s birthday and she gets to choose where she wants to eat and she wants to eat here so that’s the end of that.
Ben was pretty firm when he said this and my mom knew enough from his tone to just drop it but it was VERY clear to me that 1) she hated the restaurant, 2) there was no way she was going to be ‘okay’ with my grandma eating there and 3) she was going to complain about it and try and RUN MY BIRTHDAY.
I can imaging that this ONE thing shouldn’t have bugged me as much as it did but this combined with years and years and years of this crap had done a lot of damage to that big wall I’d built up and in the six months before this we’d gotten married, bought the house, had just moved in the month before and my nerves were pretty shot and I just didn’t have the extra patience to deal with it.
I ended up asking my brother what she REALLY thought about the restaurant because I knew that she’d lie to me but tell him the truth and sure enough, she was pretty much APPALLED by the idea of taking my grandma there. And that was the point I just started to fall apart.
I called my mom the night before and told her I was tired and wasn’t feeling well (which was semi true, I’ve been having some bad sinus problems lately) and since it was a work night, I didn’t feel like entertaining them and lets just do it on the following Sunday instead. Also, since they weren’t coming for my birthday, she could pick whatever restaurant she wanted to eat at.
Gmail chat with him. He’s talking about my mom telling my grandma that the restaurant sucked:
me: ahhaah Why?
Cameron: oohh its anna bday tomorrow and she wants to eat at some irish pub and its good but its nothing to right home about
well i like it and its her bday
well yea but it was just not that great
while talking to gma and i said to gma that mom was a food nazi and it would be good
me: Yeah, she could tell by the ONE dish she tried.
When they FINALLY showed up on Sunday Ben was “busy” working on garage stuff and my mom out out of the car with tons and tons of birthday bags in tow. So okay, I guess this IS for my birthday, whatever, I’m just going to try and get through this without my head completely exploding. We went to the garden center (everybody but Ben) for an hour or so and putzed around and my grandma LOVED IT. RAVED about it. Couldn’t stop talking about how great it was. They had originally decided to not eat while they were up here because my mom had taken them to a late breakfast.
Well, when we got back Ben had showered and was relaxing, we sat around and talked for awhile and my GRANDMA mentioned the SHE THOUGHT we should go eat WHEREVER I WANTED FOR MY BIRTHDAY. Well, I had mentioned a Mexican place that had gotten pretty good reviews on a website while we were bouncing around places to go but when it came down to it, my MOM HAD SAID THEY DIDN’T WANT MEXICAN originally so I got up and said ‘Well, lets go to the pub then.’
My mom waited a few seconds for everybody to be up and talking and not paying attention and looked at me and in the most fucking snotty voice said, “No, I want Mexican, lets go to Mexican.”‘
Ben heard her though and Ben didn’t go. He made an excuse about his back hurting and needing th lay down. Honestly, it’s probably a REALLY GOOD THING he showed as much restraint in that moment has he did.
That was it. I was done. I literally had a vision of me slapping her directly across the face and telling her to get the fuck out of my house. Instead, I just said ‘fine. lets go’. On the way there I asked Cameron what else had been said about where we were eating and there were things like:
“Well, the food isn’t going to be that great but at least there will be good company.”
“Don’t mind her house, it’s a mess” (HELLO! WE JUST MOVED! I THINK THEY GET THAT! Plus, my grandma LOVED the house, raved about it).
And I was just LIVID. It took every bit of restraint I had at the restaurant to ‘deal with her’. She kept pointing out how polite and well behaved Cassidy was and it became clear to me that it was a “Look, my daughter didn’t turn out that great, but at least my grandaughter makes up for it” She intentionally kept trying to “talk me up”. Making my job seem more thrilling that it is “even if she won’t try and advance further there”, explaining how things at the house were going to get better “even though it didn’t look that great now”, how GREAT Ben really is “even though he’s quiet”, it just made me feel WORSE because it felt like my life was such crap, she had to sugar coat it to make it seem better than it really was.
It just… gah.
ONCE AGAIN, my mom said the restaurant was good and I KNEW that I’d hear later how it WASN’T and by the time she left I wanted to curl up in a ball and just DIE because ONCE AGAIN I let my mom make me feel like a complete failure and I’m STILL not good enough for her.
I should add, my grandma was NOTHING but nice. SO polite and interested in the REAL me, what my work is REALLY like, how the house is a LOT or work but I LOVE that, etc. My mom just couldn’t stop butting in with her little bullshit quips.
Then the kicker was this conversation that I had woth my brother.
7:01 PM she asked if i new why ben didnt eat with us … and i asked her why and she said… well grandma thouhgt he didnt like her and then …. i said no not at all …… and then mom said o is it cause i didnt want to eat at the pub.. and i said sort of but that she should talk to ben so he could explain and mom is like… he can go to his grave keeping that from me i dont care… and i jsut walk away so yea wierd
7:03 PM me: Go to his grave keeping it from her?
7:04 PM I don’t get it
She shouldn’t assume crap. It’s not because she didn’t want to go to the pub. She should realize that and if she’s to thick headed to ask than she doesn’t deserve an answer
7:05 PM Cameron: prety much thats why i jsut walked out cause i knew at that point she was just blowing hot air
me: What did she mean by that though?
7:10 PM ???
Cameron: because it alll stared when after eating the mexican leftovers that were NOT that great mom admited that it wasnt the place she thought it would be and i said Karma. So she is like huh and I said oh that for not wanting to at least try to eat ( at first ) with you guys…. so then she asked a min after that is that why ben didnt blah blah.. an i said waht i said ( above ( but also to talk to ben but she said that he made a point in a childish way ( wich mom hates i guess ) and so in conclusion she said na its ok ben can go to his grave not telling me why he didnt go with us
7:11 PM yeps
7:13 PM me: Ben wasn ‘t the childish one! She was the one that was throwing a fucking hissy fit over WHERE WE ATE FOR *MY BIRTHDAY*. Even GRANDMA said “Let eat where Anna wants to eat.”
7:14 PM Cameron: which is why i told u
cause i thought that was irresponible of her
me: Her entire attitude lately has been bullshit. Treating me like my feelings on MY BIRTHDAY in MY HOUSE in MY TOWN are secondary to grandma’s is bullshit. THAT”S why Ben was mad.
7:15 PM Because 1) she negative ALL THE TIME and 2) because she was dictating how MY BIRTHDAY went.
7:16 PM He wanted to go to dinner so when we got up and said “lets go to the pub” and mom looked at me and said with attitude “No, I want to go to Mexican” he decided not to go.
well sorry for making your night a bit crappy but i jsut had to share that
me: Because it was the last straw for him. He was sick of her acting like a stuck up, negative, have it all her way or no way, bitch.
7:17 PM Cameron: well again sorry if i spioled your night
but that was just well rude
7:18 PM me: You didn’t. But seriously, she’s about to get a rude awakening. I’m not a fucking child anymore. I’m done letting her treat me like she can push me around like a 10 year old.
What was rude?
Cameron: o what she said
7:19 PM Cameron: for the first tiem it REALLY hit me
me: NO RESTAURANT will ever be goon enough for her
Cameron: i knew she was meh meh but that was like wow
me: I will never be good for her.
Cameron: she is fing hard to please
7:23 PM me: Well, I’m done trying to please her.
So yeah, that’t it. My wall is officially a used up pile of worthless rubble laying all around me. I can’t do it anymore. I just don’t have it in me.
She called once about a week later and I didn’t answer so she left a message like NOTHING WAS WRONG and I haven’t called her back… and she hasn’t attempted to call me again. It’s been a month now. Normally we talk at least once or twice a week.
I’m stressed about all this. I’m depressed, I’m letting it effect me, it’s bothering me, I think about it all the time, I lay in bed at night and dwell on it, I miss parts of conversations because I’m thinking about it and the most stupid part is that I feel like I’ve let her down AGAIN. I know I need to confront her but the thought of having to do that and having her tell me how wrong I am is just not something, mentally, I think I can take. I’m not strong enough to be the ball she kicks around anymore. I have my own family with my own problems to deal with and I need to focus on US right now but how do I do that with all this bullshit playing around up here in my head taking up all this space?
I seriously, honestly don’t know what to do…
19 thoughts on “3298 words that lead to nowhere….”
Anna, you are an intelligent, capable and wonderful person. What your mom thinks at this point in your life is of no importance. She is a petty, selfish, lonely and unhappy person. She has driven every person in her life away from her: the men that have been in her life, Lincoln, you and probably Cameron when he has the ability to get away. You are not responsible for your mom’s feelings. She has her own long-standing mental health issues.
But, I am not an objective counselor. My hope is that you can find someone that has the professional qualifications to help you explore your feelings about your mom (and me for that matter!) and help you work through the emotional damage that has been inflicted on you.
For now, my advice is to stop the abuse. The only way to do that until you have the strength to confront her is to stay away from her. Find a counselor and do some serious self reflection. You are a successful wife and mother. That is much more than your mom can claim.
I love you.
You just need to talk to her. Let it all out and if she trys to butt in say wait you can talk when I AM DONE.
I hope all goes well for you *HUGS*
And remember you have a beautiful house, a great family and a cool car and a good job. alot of people dont have much if any of that right now! and dont let her put you down!
I’ve calmed down just a bit, and discussed this with Nana. A point she made, and another thing you might want to think about…
Like so many of us, all you really seem to have been seeking is your mother’s love. She loves you as much as she is capable of. None of your mothers actions are a reflection on you. In the end, if you are to have a relationship with your mom you will probably have to accept who she is because it is unlikely that she is able to change who she is. You will only continue to suffer disappointment if you expect her to be anything but what she is.
The Buddha says that it is our expectations that cause us suffering…
You are loved.
I am so so sorry hun. You need to confront her though. It isn’t fair for you, or your family for her to be using the power our parents have over us to make you miserable. She needs to wake up and realize just how smart, pretty, well adjusted and awesome you are. Just look at all you guys have!
It’s infuriating to me to just read. I can’t even imagine having to live with that.
I agree with the person above me though, in that until you can confront her about how she treats you, you need to just stay away from her. She’s a negative impact on not only your life, but Ben and Cassidy’s as well and you all 3 deserve better then that.
*hug* I wish I had some sort of advice for you, but I really don’t. I’m sorry you have to deal with that on a constant bases. You’re right, you are an adult with your own family, you shouldn’t have to worry about being good enough or your choices for YOUR birthday not being good enough. No one should have to tell their mother shut the fuck up and back off because all they do is hurt you, and it breaks my heart that you have to.
I know it doesn’t mean much because I’m just a not-so-close acquaintance on the internet, but you are a wonderful person, Anna. I think you’ve done SO AMAZINGLY GREAT in your life with all you’ve done. You’re strong, vibrant, beautiful woman who really does make the world around her better just by being there. You’re a fantastic mom to a above-and-beyond spectacular daughter, who is married to what seems to be a guy who fell from the heavens, wings still attached, just for you. There is nothing about you, your life, or your family that you should be ashamed of. If she cannot see that, something is wrong with her. ANYONE who can’t see that has something wrong with them. It’s one thing when all you want is the best for your children, but she doesn’t realize that you have the best and that you’re happy when she isn’t causing so much grief and stress in your life, with her pettiness or her control issues or her whatever-it-is.
I hope that you can confront her and get all of this off your chest. I can’t say that it will make everything better, but just letting it out of you and having it all thrown at her might at least make it easier to sleep at night, concentrate on life again, etc.
Mrreid is right, she is abusing you and something needs to be done about it, and counseling is probably a great option to think about right now. Angela’s right about how all of this is negatively impacting not only your life, but Ben and Cassidy’s, too. You DO deserve better.
Anna, I’m really, really impressed that you’ve handled it so well up until now. I have a terrible relationship with my mother too – she’s a lot like your mum, and I get to the point where I just can’t handle it either. It’s almost guaranteed that my mother is the source of my personal issues.
So, my advice is something that I’ve had to follow a little myself. The best thing you can do, really, is to shut yourself away from her. The best thing I ever did was move away from my mother. Whilst I miss my father and brother like you WOULD NOT BELIEVE, I’m happier, calmer, less on edge and, believe it or not, healthier both mentally and physically.
It is ridiculously hard though. And I’d imagine it would be harder for you because whilst you’re not living with her, she’s still around. Shutting her out of your life until you’re ready to deal with her bullshit will certainly help you build up your confidence and work on your mental health without her shoving her nose in where it’s not wanted, and that’s the most important thing here. You need to do this for your sanity, because clearly she’s not doing anything other than setting you back.
If she honestly can’t understand why you need to separate yourself from her than she’s a worse person than you’ve already suggested already. If she can at least understand that you need to do this for YOU, it would make the world of difference, and possibly even help matters when you are capable of communicating with her again. And that being said, the communicating occurs on your terms, not hers.
I’m sorry you’re having to deal with this bullshit. I know how terrible it is and so I hope that she either realises how much of a douchebag she’s being, or that you can sort things out your own way.
I’m around if you ever need a chat, too. <3
I can’t think of anything to say that hasn’t already been said but, frankly, fuck what your mother thinks. You have a fantastic husband and the cutest daughter ever, a beautiful house that belongs to you, and, more importantly, you’re HAPPY. That should be your mother’s greatest comfort in life but obviously, she’s too hung up on her issues to see that.
It sucks that this is all happening and that it’s getting to you. I mean, your own mother… that’s just beyond comprehension. You’re a good person and just because you didn’t lead your life the way she thought you should have doesn’t mean you aren’t.
I’m just glad that you have a wonderful support system to help you try to deal with this. <3 Even though I don’t know him, I really respect Ben for the way he treats you and takes care of you. Take comfort in that and steer clear of Mommy Dearest until you’re whole enough to tell her to shove it. (Or try to work it out, you know, whichever.)
I had a long, sympathetic post detailing an example to show, no really I understand, and then wp ate it.
I get it. We will talk later, but, I get it.
Chin up, Anna. Thing will get better. At least you have a fantastic husband, super-awesometastic daughter, and supportive little brother to back and love you.
I miss you, Lady.
I think you need to break the cycle of constantly feeling like you have let her down. It is vital to break that ground-in “standard” that you automatically feel you need to pacify. You know it’s only a result of the years of her treatment toward you, you know it’s not because you have truly done anything to let her down (YOU are YOU – rational parents don’t hold standards for their children. They ACCEPT their children no matter what). You know you feel that way because SHE makes you feel that way. Let it go. The only person you should feel the need to live up to standards for is yourself – and your child and husband.
You are a human being. You are Anna, you do things your way and you live your life the way YOU (and your husband) want to. Not the way your mother wants you to. She should be cheering you on for coming so far in life, not throwing in your face the things SHE THINKS you should have accomnplished, or talking behind your back in disgust at the choices you make and things that you like/do. So what if it’s an Irish pub? She’s entitled to her own feelings/opinions/views, but as a grown woman she should learn how to choke on it for the happiness of her own daughter on her BIRTHDAY, to leave the negetivity at home.
You haven’t failed anything. You have ACHIEVED a lot, from what I can tell. You have a husband who has a head screwed on to his shoulders and obviously offers a huge amount of moral and emotional support – a job, cars, a HOUSE that YOU GUYS BOUGHT, a child.
That is more than many of us can claim, and I’m only a few years younger than you.
Ben? is right. She most likely will never change. It’s who she is. She may not even realize she’s that bad, or that she is hurting those around her. The only way she will possibly see this is for you to tell her. Tell her how she makes you feel, tell her everything. It may make you feel like shit at first for possibly hurting her – but in the end, you will be greatful for sticking up for yourself.
Maybe she will realize what she’s doing, and you two can reach a different plateu of your relationship. Maybe she won’t. You could choose to accept the way that she is, if she won’t change, and heal from the past and learn to push off anything that she may say in the future – or gently remind her that she isn’t respecting you… or you could just push her out of your life completely.
It’s about Anna now, not about your mother anymore. It’s been about her for too many years. Stick up for yourself and what’s right for you. You are an adult now, you’re entitled to break free from the grief she has caused you and to live the life you want to live, without feeling like you aren’t up to par with her standards or suffering the guilt of her negetivity.
Hey Anna, Your post really got to me. I know how you feel. I was adopted and my ex adopted mother treated me like s*it and told me I was stupid, not pretty, my friends will forget all about me, no boy wants to marry me, etc. I had to deal with that and I could not stand up for myself, so I knew she was happy that I was gone and I married the first guy who came into my life and he rescued me. Ben saved you and Cass. He stood up for you. He loves you. I’m sure your Mother loves you but has issues in her life and might be taking it out on you, I don’t know, but I believe you should do what I did with my ex adopted parents. Confront your mother and have Ben with you for support and pour your heart out to her. You will feel the weight lift off your shoulders. It did for me. You are a good mother and wife and I envy you. <33 *HUGS* We are so lucky to have our “Prince” in our lives. 😉
(Actually, BenTheHusband) I think it’s important to add another part of this story. Even that Anna’s mother tends to do precisely as Anna described, she can have her moments where she’ll be extremely supportive. However, in this case, her moments of support were overshadowed by her screwed up priorities.
Of all of the buttons that I have on me, there are two that are equal in size and importance.
1. Arrogance / lack of compassion
2. Passing Judgement
IMHO, ‘Mom’ on her first vetting of the pub, made a bad call. She, in that pre-grandma/aunt visit, decided that it was more important to satisfy her mom on Anna’s Birthday than it was to satisfy Anna….
…on HER BIRTHDAYYYYY!!!!!!!~!!!!!@#$#$^TADFSVADF
(which she forgot until reminded btw)
The next mistake she made, was to assume that I would be okay with this, and that I wouldn’t have a voice in the matter, and or any influence over what we would do.
The next mistake she made, was that in fact, as expected, Grandma (as Grandma’s do) wanted Anna (the Birhtday girl) to do whatever the hell she wanted on her birthday (that’s what Grandma’s always do!!!!).
Then, the next mistake she made, was to whisper to Anna that even though, grandma was fine going where anna wanted to go, to whisper to anna close enough that I could hear on the floor, that she ‘disapproved’ and wanted to go somewhere else..
…on ANNA’s BIRTHDAY!$#!@$sdkjfaksldjjadklf
Even though I was extremely put out by Anna’s Mother’s behavior, I had gotten ready and decided to spend time with the visitting family, ..but..when I heard this… I was so disghusted… that, as Anna said… I..as gracefully as I could.. bowed out (back pain / exhaustion / whatever….).
Take it to my grave? Fuck you Lynn.
Again, although it wasn’t a flashy birthday this year, Happy Birthday my Love.
Your Man in the grave,
Oh Anna. 🙁 I wish I had some advice for you, but I don’t. As you know, I have my own issues with my mother, so I can definitely relate to what you’re going through.
*hug* I think that distancing yourself from her is definitely the best thing you can do.
Wow, I can relate. My mom constantly tells me I’m a fuck-up. She’s hidden parts of my life (from when I had a breakdown and needed to be in a children’s psych hospital all the way to when I got married and I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone) from everyone since she was embarrassed of me or something ridiculous.
The way you’ve turned out and the way you’ve grown up is amazing despite your role model. I’m not putting down your mother as a role model either because I’m sure that she taught you lots of good things too, but I’m sure you get my drift. You are one of the most level headed, beautiful, funny, witty, confident people I know on the internet. I’ve always been so intrigued by the little that I knew about your life and I’ve always admired and respected you.
I think that what you are doing is absolutely fabulous, yet I can absolutely understand how hard it must be. The guilt that a mother can place upon her daughter is so strong that it can barely be put into words. What needs to be done is exactly what you’re doing. It takes a strong mind and heart to do it, too, but I know you can do it. Your mother needs to realize that you are a beautiful, confident young woman who has made an absolutely fabulous life for herself. You’ve got a beautiful daughter, a fabulous husband, a house, a job, and also a super cool blog (hehe). But in all seriousness… if your mother cannot respect you and treat you as an adult and be PROUD of what you’ve become, then she doesn’t deserve to be a part of it all. Maybe she will finally realize that she can’t treat you this way. Be strong, Anna. I know you can be. And not that you ever would, but if you want to rant or talk or rave at someone who can somewhat relate, then I’m all ears.
I just thought I would reiterate what everyone else has said. I feel pretty lucky with my mom. She is negative, but mostly toward herself in the form of making up excuses for everything.
I think the best thing a kid can do parent-wise is to free themselves from having to please them. It’s easier said than done, but we all hit that wall where we need to do something they disapprove of, or don’t understand, or won’t support. It looks like you have already overcome that wonderfully, so I say? SCREW her. She can live in her petty little world, and I hope just writing it out can help you out without having to confront her. You might miss that closeness but if it’s that detrimental to you, it doesn’t sound like a relationship worth fostering. A person’s negativity is not easily changed, but I wish you the best of luck if you do have to talk this through with her. Whatever happens, I hope that it can stop affecting you as much because you are stronger, more successful, and more beautiful than she’ll ever give you credit for. She does sound somewhat like Caitlin’s mom… who I have pegged as pretty insecure. I don’t know her but maybe she has some similar issues.
I decided not to read any of the comments because I don’t want them to taint my thought process, so if I repeat anything, OOPS! MY BAD!
It’s not you letting her down. It’s the opposite, actually. She’s letting you down, but you’re on such a guilt trip that you can’t really see it. I’ve been there, darling. My mother is Queen of Guiltland. It’s right between Disappointmentville and Douchebagia.
At one point, I had considered receiving counseling with my mother, but the fact of the matter is I don’t want a relationship with her, even if I yearn for one. However, the same might be true for you. If that’s the case, I suggest you look into some family counseling. Perhaps it will take an outside party to make her understand just how much she’s hurting you.
Because she is. She’s hurting you a lot. I’d even venture so far as to say she’s emotionally abusing you. Why? Is there a reason for it? I mean, my mother tends to neglect me because she feels guilty about something that happened in our past… although she’d never admit that. I’ve been on the receiving end of therapy enough to know it’s true. So… is there an underlying problem?
Okay, I’m just rambling about things I really don’t know anything about. I’m sorry if I offended you or anything during this comment… I really just want to see you happy. Because you deserve it. You’re a total effin sweetheart, and I admire you so much.
If I become half the mom you are, I should win awards.
(Actually, BenTheHusband)To all of you that are posting reinforcement to and for Anna that this is not a fault in her, ..thank you. She really needs to keep hearing this, especially from someone other than me. The idea of having to confront her mother about this is undoubtedly a terrifying concept.
I’ve had my share of family issues, so sadly I’m no stranger to the idea of confrontation (sometimes I wish I were). Hopefully Anna can find a way through this mess that nets her as much happiness as she, Cassidy, myself, …and lets not forget her younger brother (still living with Lynn) Cameron can get! Although, she’s really only responsible for her happiness, and part of Cassidy’s. Cameron (younger brother) is of the age where he needs to be finding or have found his own voice and be able to stand up for himself. Sadly, he is an extremely dependant position with Lynn, and as a result, he doesn’t assert himself.
Anyway, now I’m just blabbering off at the mouth.
I love you honey. You are all of the things that everyone has said here, and you do forget that, you tell lies to yourself to try to appease others (in this case, your mom), so you don’t risk the relationship with them. This is probably the first time in your life since I’ve known you that you’ve seen so intimately just how screwed up your Mom is, …and now that you have, you see it as nearly impossible not to change something (about you and the way you’re doing things).
Remember, at the end of the day, she will always be Lynn, and always be your mother. It just depends on what you’re going to change in YOUR life. She is ready to act like she did nothing wrong, and that her priorities are correct, in-line, and that the fact that she didn’t call or visit or …any of that for Cassidy’s birthday.. that’s okay… I was justified.. because I was ANGRY with my daughter (sigh). No need for Me to change MY life, right? Why would I? (sigh).
Is there a law against shaking your mother-in-law?
I read this last week, just haven’t had the chance to sit down and respond. Everyone has given you great feedback.
I consider myself an overly nice person myself, and I try to maintain neutral to positive standings with people. So nice and so passive to the point I was completely taken advantage of in an 7 year relationship and marriage. I figured “you can’t change someone else, so I can only change myself.” That seemed harmless at the time, beneficial in the short-term, but that was a very dangerous and damaging route to take.
Now, I think dealing with a parent versus dealing with a spouse are very different things. You have pre-programmed actions and reactions with your mother that are very hard to shake, you have a natural desire to do what she wants and to do it right and seek her approval.
What stands out to me is how she treats you like a child. Sure, you’re her daughter, but you are an adult and you deserve that respect. On YOUR birthday you should be able to choose where to go. When someone asks YOU where YOU want to go, she shouldn’t override what you say. And Anna, as hard as it is to do, you have to stand up for yourself one way or the other! Communication seems to be lacking and your mom is getting away with it because she’s bullied you so much you remain quiet while the emotion breaks you apart inside. As they’ve both been pointed out.
1. Passive – Ignore her. Disconnect from her. I don’t think this is very effective. She behaves the way she does because she probably doesn’t think there’s anything wrong (or is in denial of it). If you punish her with silence the message is lost.
2. Confrontation – Call her out. Let her know what she did on your birthday to hurt you. Even if that means writing her a letter that she can receive in the mail and read or reread at her own pace – but at least then you can tell her what you feel uninterrupted and she can read your letter, reread it, burn it, laminate it, whatever. Be event specific with your birthday…don’t dig too far into the past unless she follows up and needs it. If she is still defensive and denies any wrongdoing close the conversation telling her you’re taking a break from her for a while, that way the “silence” has an impact.
It’s at that point she has to choose whether or not to treat you with the respect you deserve or if her own pride is worth losing her daughter and granddaughter over.
You’ve grown up, Anna. It’s time for your mother to do the same.
I don’t know you personally but I love to read your blog. It is obvious that you are intelligent, strong, witty and have a good heart.
It sucks that your mom is the way that she is but you should never let her get you down on your self. It is her loss because she doesn’t recognize or appreciate this. I know how important it is to have your moms approval but you shouldn’t sacrifice your emotional health to do so.
I have no real advice on how you can deal with her. But I do have some advice on how you can deal with you when she starts to get under your skin – remember what you have and who you are. Those are things that she can never ever take away from you, no matter what she says or how much she disapproves. Its your life to live, share your happiness with those that want the best for you and ignore everybody else (including your mom in this case).
I know I’m a bit behind on commenting but I wanted to let you know that you handled this incredibly well. It’s hard to deal with someone who wants so badly to force their opinions and control onto your life. You deserve to be happy, and if she’s constantly doing this to you, I can see where it’d be hard to keep a smile up.
You need to remember that you are not her, and no matter what she does, you will always be above that. You are a good person, a kind person, and an awesome person, and a great mother. Keep your chin up – someday she’ll come to realize she’s missed out on so much greatness with you. <3