Anyone here have awful "support" from your parents?

Discussion in 'General Parenting' started by mandamama, Nov 18, 2008.

  1. mandamama

    mandamama New Member

    Our mother is..well, shes a treat to say the least.
    I haven't spoken to her in almost 2 years becuase shes such a drama queen it it unreal, if shes not fighting with someone, she picks fights!

    My sister posted on her facebook, asking for any knowledge on the disorder my nephew has been diagnosis'd with...
    My mother, basically cuts and pastes from articles, the things that are my sisters fault, and basically makes her sound like an abusive neglectful parent...
    which she SO is not..
    I get so angry...she is only 26 years old, dealing with this out of control son, going to school to make something of her life, she is so stressed out, sehs losing her hair, feels sick most of the time, is dreadfully tired most of the time from being stretched so thin...and then there are people like our mother, who just seem to make things worse..
    How do you deal with these people??
    How do you deal with people who want to find blame and reason? when ugh its a disoder...ya know?? its not like its one specific thing causing the problem...
    then making it look like shes abusive?? who the hell does that???
    I am really angry right now, my sister needs love, and support, and ears to listen to her, and shoulders to cry on, heads to bounce ideas off of..not just someone who is gonna make her feel worse , or like more of a failure than she already does!! oi vey.,
  2. SomewhereOutThere

    SomewhereOutThere Well-Known Member

    She may be your mom, but she's vicious, and you know this. in my opinion you don't deal with people like that, even parents. I would have nothing to do with her. She could call CPS or cause big trouble for your sister. in my opinion she needs a lot of help herself before she can be a functional family member...YOU try to be there for your sister. She needs you. She doesn't need her mother. (((Hugs)))
  3. Jena

    Jena New Member


    It can be a very hard and painful thing to handle when family, especially your mother does that sort of thing. I experienced this first hand with my mother. I drew the line after one of her more ridiuclous tyraids on how I'm not a good parent, maybe I caused this, maybe she doesn't get out enough to ride her bike, maybe that's why this that and the other.

    I stopped talking to her, I told her why first very clearly and with little emotion. 5 mos. later after little to no contact only difficult child and easy child calling and talking she broke, apolgized and hasn't slipped backward yet. She has had questionable moments yet once reminded she falls back into place.

    I wish you luck.
  4. mandamama

    mandamama New Member

    It is so frustrating to have someone like that bringing you down, when obviously, she feels as low as she can get!
    I agree she does need some kind of help herself!
    We are trying so hard for positive change with Liam, SO hard to take all the steps necessary to help him have a happy and productive is hard when you feel like you are getting somewhere, and someone like that makes comments, and they obvioulsy have no idea what theya re talking baout!!
    One of the things she put on there is that the child should have fair not harsh punishments...which when my sister tried the boot camp type thing, cleaning the room out all but books and crayons and paper, she told her its too harsh, its not fair to him blah blah keep in mind, this was also before she found this new iinfo out,
    alot of it sound like her words, that she is passing off as pisses me off so much. GAHHHHHHHH
    thanks for lettin me vent :)
  5. ML

    ML Guest

    I have found that if I can forgive people for not being what I need them to be in my life it is easier for me to let them go and thus releases their power to control my life. Maybe she's a difficult child too. Sometimes we have to put up boundaries to protect ourselves. They can be contructed from love and aren't necessarily the same as walls unless we need them to be. I'm sorry for your sister. I hope she finds the support she needs; she is lucky to have you. Hugs, ML
  6. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    It's not uncommon for us parents that have difficult child's to come from dysfunctional families. If you see that you Mom, or anyone in your family, is toxic or unhealthy for you or your child, you do need to keep a little emotional distance. It sounds like you see this. I'm sorry- I know it's hard, but the good thing is that you see it and are frustrated by it. Hang in there! It would be worse if you were just continuing a pattern.
  7. mandamama

    mandamama New Member

    HA dysfunctional doesn't even BEGIN to describe our family HAHA luckily, as my sister and I have gotten older, we have also become insanely close to each other...we are all each other needs :)
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    A lot of us here have suffered from a lack of family support - or worse, completely not understanding and blaming the parents. I'd rather they were just indifferent than the latter. It took a lot of years for my mom to get it and she still doesn't really get it, but she's not so critical anymore - at least not of me. She and my daughter, however, are like gas and fire. I finally had to tell both of them that they are both old enough to be responsible for their relationship cause I'm sick of being in the middle. But, I digress....

    One thing that caught my attention...your sister's hair falling out, feeling sick all the time, tired all the time. She should really see a doctor and one of the tests she should ask for is an ANA (blood test), as those symptoms indicate lupus, but could be other things or nothing. But, she should really have a complete and thorough physical. It's not normal for stress to cause your hair to fall out.
  9. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Pick up a copy of hte book toxic parents or toxic people. It might help both of you.

    Put as little emotion and energy into the relationship with your mom as possible. You are NOT going to understand her behavior. She honestly may think she is somehow helping. If my mom had ANY idea the kinds of things she has said to me when "trying to help" she would never forgive herself. Some of them have been horrible and abusive and awful. I know she loves me, loves my kids, loves my husband. Being quite a number of years past msot of the drama, I can see that she was going through a lot of her own stuff much of the time.

    But it still hurt, and it is your right to put limits and boundaries on your relationship with your mom, and your sister's right also. The book Boundaries, by cloud and Townsend is also excellent.
  10. TerryJ2

    TerryJ2 Well-Known Member

    You are a loving sister. I know you offer support and love for your sister. It comes all the way through my computer.
    I feel her stress, with-her hair falling out, her lack of sleep, her issues with-her child ... she needs to see a dr, and she needs respite, even if it's just a babysitter 3X a wk so she can get a massage, take herself to dinner, see a movie.
    I hope she is not asking your mom for $ or to babysit. That would be a huge mistake!
    I hope that you two can stay away from your mother. That's the best I can offer.
    Send a Christmas and birthday card and leave it at that.
    So sad that your mother feels she has to do that.
    So sad. So hurtful.
  11. Marguerite

    Marguerite Active Member

    I was a bit concerned for your sister's health also. However, I've also had hair falling out from stress. ANY stress, whether serious emotional stress or physical stress, will trigger more hair loss. If I get a fever, a week or so later I have more hair falling out. It regrows but it a pest. I cut my long hair short so it wouldn't look so sparse, waiting to grow it out again - only it keeps falling out and so my hair is now shoulder-length.

    Some advice for your sister that will do no harm - find a vitamin supplement containing biotin, or Vitamin B6. An endocrinologist did this for me and I was amazed at how well it worked. I've since heard this form other people with similar problems - biotin does help protect the hair follicle from the impact of stress. You should be able to find a supplement that is inexpensive. However, I would emphasise the need to get her health checked out because there are a number of easily treated conditions which should be assessed. In my case, the endocrinologist had already assessed me for these hormonal problems and ruled them out.

    As for your mother - we are told to respect our parents and to love them. Sometimes they don't make it easy. My parents are both dead, years ago. So is my father in law. My mother in law is all we have left in terms of grandparent to our children. She's not easy, she can be difficult sometimes. However, I've found I got on best when I 'made friends' with her and I go out of my way to spend time with her, to help her in various ways. I don't do more than I can handle personally, so if I'm finding myself getting irritated too easily I will either change the subject, or cut down my contact with her. If she raises a topic that is like a red rag to a bull for me, I do my best to just not engage. For example, our recent election in Australia (December 07). The election was down to two possible candidates - one much older, the incumbent, very unpopular for (among other things) his incredibly stubborn refusal to change or to embrace new ideas but still a very sound economist; the other younger, associated with a more socialist political party, untried but seeming to have the answers and very popular. mother in law was blindly pro the older bloke, husband & I were dead against the older bloke but cautious towards the younger bloke. However, I knew we had to avoid talking politics at all, whatsoever. Not easy when there's an election bearing down on the entire country and a lot of people want to use the opportunity to have change, ANY change.
    Over time and mother in law insisting on raising political topics, I learned to express my caution about the younger bloke and what began to happen was that over time, mother in law felt safe enough to express any concerns she had about HER preferred candidate. So we ended up meeting in the middle.

    OK, in the end I know her and my votes would have cancelled out because she would have voted out of habit, but the important thing as far as our relationship is concerned, is we ran the gauntlet of the election campaign with our differing political opinions and still managed to avoid arguments.

    ON the subject of your mother, maybe if you can consider any comments of hers as akin to someone expressing an opposing political opinion; someone like your boss, say, who you don't agree with but don't want to antagonise. Maybe you like your boss in other ways but resent him talking politics at work. But you just grit your teeth and don't react, because chances are if you express your opposing opinion he will then tease you about it for months afterwards.

    It is still possible to maintain a relationship with someone who has different opinions, even very strong ones. You just have to agree to disagree. And if they won't, then you just have to disengage when certain topics come up.

    With Facebook, you do have options. shut her off if you need to, if she insists on making claims which are potentially damaging or untrue. But also recognise that she may be speaking out of fear for her grandson. Even unfounded fears can still be overwhelming, if you cannot allow yourself to be persuaded otherwise.

    We went through this with mother in law also. I know if father in law were still alive he would have been dreadfully upset to think that ANY of his grandchildren were in the care of a psychiatrist. There were times we had to keep my treatment secret, or the kids' treatments. I hated having to lie to them, even by omission, but I wasn't going to compromise treatment just to make them feel secure. Don't get me wrong, he was a lovely man, but had his prejudices. Maybe for good reason, in the past. mother in law has since sounded off loudly about how dangerous psychiatrists are, often at a time when I can't walk away (I'm driving through the bush taking her to a doctor's appointment). So I use the opportuity for HER to not be able to escape either, and explain to her that THIS psychiatrist is different, they're using Cognitive Behaviour Therapy and I then explain how it works. mother in law now likes CBT because it's good common sense. "OK, this person sounds good. Just watch out for some of the sharks out there, most of them are shonky."
    So I answer, "Thanks for the warning. I'll bear it in mind."

    You can go a long way with the phrase, "Thanks for telling me, I'll bear it in mind."

    She feels heard. I know where I stand and have the strength to stick with what I know is right. And when the subject comes up again, I'll have prepared an answer for her to satisfy her again. Because she will harp on it. Over and over. She's insecure and feeling more so the more frail she gets and the more she sees her own fears of mortality and frailty coming true. She constantly needs to be reassured that not only are we OK now, but we'll be OK after she's gone. Only we must never talk about the likelihood of her being gone, "Don't mention the war" (on getting old and frail). And we wonder where the autism and perseverative behaviour comes from in the family?

    But I'll never tell her that!

  12. Sheila

    Sheila Moderator

    A motto I developed years ago. Matters not with-whom I'm dealing with.

    Lead, follow, or shut-up.

    It's unfortunate, but there are instances when it's best to refuse to discuss the topic with specific friends or family members. Sometimes the only answer is to limit contact.

    One thing is sure. Our kids are high-maintenance and require all our physical and emotional resources. No one needs to be dealing with-a toxic family member or friend on top of it.

    Your sister is going to crash and burn unless she gets help. Stress and anxiety causes a lot more problems over time than just hair loss. Sis is going to have to take care of herself first, so that she can take care of her difficult child. It goes against everything a mom thinks she's suppose to do. But it's imperative that mom is as healthy as possible.
  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Did your sister post on her own face book as a general plea, or was it on your mom's asking for information? Honestly, if mom is hounding her on her facebook, I would tell her it got a glitch and it wasn't working. Then I'd start a new facebook and not invite her to join it. She can keep going to the old facebook page, but she won't know about the new one.

    My dad is the toxic one in this family. It's so hard when you are young and your kids are out of control and the people who should have your back, don't. Like you, we don't talk anymore. I hope your sister will find the same solution. There are lots of people out there who like us just fine for who we really are, thank you very much. We don't need a bunch of haters in our lives.

    Good luck to you and your sister. She's lucky that you care for her and her son.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  14. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    My former mother in law (Useless Boy's mother) was totally against Miss KT starting medications. She wrote me many letters about how I was "poisoning the child" and all Miss KT's problems were because I had divorced her wonderful son. Things continued to go downhill, and about three years ago, there was an issue, and she tried to enable Miss KT out of it, I refused, and when she started up on me, I told her that this was called discipline, and I did not want Miss KT to end up like Useless Boy...meaning 50 years old, no job, no interest in getting one, living in a house his mama owns, rent free, driving an almost new truck his mama gave him, having no bills because his mama pays them, including child support...and we haven't spoken since.

    Sometimes, you just have to tell them what you're thinking, then prepare for the fallout.
  15. Ropefree

    Ropefree Banned

    Our mothers do give us the tools to love by loving us...after that we become adults and although our mothers relationship is where it is we are now indiviguals and seperate.
    ANd older women think alot differantly than what people do now.
    Maybe you think this one through yourself and with your sister identify what it is that can help...including, perhaps, how to direct Mom toward a role she is good at and is comfortable for her and respects the new situation.
    I love the book "THe Dance of ANger" and the books on tape after because the differance between my reading voice in my head and the author on the tape taught me a lesson that sweetened my world within the sound of my voice.
    and as for my mother...I read Toxic Parents and after about six years of settiing the stage I cut off relations(and therapy and alot lot lot)
    With my childs mental health and safty in the balance for me it was a rellief. That
    desition has made my life so less overwhelmed.
    The thing is you can change how you enter act with her and anyone your sister, and all of it. You set the boundaries that you need for you. and some of the trouble may not come looking for you just because you are not available for it.
    There is help and you, your sister her children can connect with what you do need. Knowing you do, wanting it, asking for it, prioritising and goiing for it results in the steps forward...
    and aging has its advantages...the twenties are so much work...the job, the schooling, the relationships, the sex drive, I am pulling my hair out just remembering...and the important thing is to enjoy it..all of it. ANd do not forget to run when running is the best choice. Do not hang in with a situation that does waste the best years of your life.
    Your sister is lucky..she has you. Bless you both. Do not worry the mother to much...she hasn't had time to regroup since you all moved into adulthood. Give her some space for now.
  16. Nancy423

    Nancy423 do I have to be the mom?

    sounds like you got some really good advice here. I don't have anything to add since my family (both sides) are very supportive. I think I'm a rare case LOL. but it sounds like she has you on her side too.

    Anyway, if your sister hasn't already had blood work done, have the tsh (Thyroid) checked. that can also cause those symptoms.
  17. DazedandConfused

    DazedandConfused Active Member

    Well, I'm getting rather crabby in my old age.

    I'd tell the (as the British would say) bat to Pi$$ off!

    Last year, a teacher called husband and was critical of us. Poor husband, she completely caught him off guard. Good thing it wasn't me. I had never met the woman. Apparently, she worked as a team with Son's primary language arts teacher and son was having some behavioral problems. First year of middle school and being away from me at school for him. He had anxiety like crazy. Anyway, I let his primary teacher know that I would WELCOME a phone call from her if she would like to further discuss our parental wrongdoings which she thought was detrimental to Son's education.

    Never heard from her.

    My Mom sometimes struggles to understand. But, mostly, she worries more about how I am coping with difficult children.
  18. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    My mother is a strange one. She loves me passionately. She can barely tolerate my daughter because she's of the era that adopted children are just not "right" -- there is something wrong with the child if it is adopted. Try as she might, she can't get over this prejudice. My mother is also controlling and completely egocentric.

    My father finally gave up on making her happy and ultimately got a divorce. I don't think my brother talked to her in over 10 years. Right now, I'm at the point where I will not call nor write her. I send her innocuous jokes and cards via email but nothing more. If she chooses to call me, I will talk to her pretty much like I would talk to an acquaintance. I do not tell her about my failures nor successes. It is conversations of generalities. She knows nothing about her granddaughter's life at this point. I feel sorry for my mother. She's losing a lot with her behavior and attitude. That's her choice. I've told her my rules and, unless she's willing to abide by them, this is the relationship we will have. I will always love my mother but I really don't like her right now.

    I'm sorry your mother is being so toxic. I'm sure some of it is an inability to accept her grandchild is not perfect. It really is easier to blame your child than admit your grandchild has invisible challenges. Hopefully, you and your sister will find a working relationship with your mother. If not, then you may have to walk away at least until she realizes having her children and grandchildren in her life are more important than her ego and her opinions.
  19. Critter Lover

    Critter Lover New Member

    My mother was very critical when my son was younger until I gave him to her for a weekend and she said....NEVER will I question your parenting again. I never knew how much you had to deal with until now. Maybe your mother needs to be in your sister's shoes for a weekend? My mother was very supportive after that. I miss my parents now since they both have passed on.