My mom + my daughter = KABOOM!!!

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by flutterbee, Sep 18, 2008.

  1. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    And to be quite honest, I'm getting sick of it. Every time they are around each other I end playing peacekeeper, but then I'm put in a position where I can't make either one of them happy and usually they both end up p!issed off. Then I'm the one to hear about it from both sides.

    My mom came up yesterday for what was supposed to be a nice, leisurely visit. Right off the bat, my mom gets really mad that I'm taking Buster out to go potty. There is a reason for that. Buster doesn't see Wynter as the boss like he does me and he 1) doesn't potty for her and 2) runs from her. It's not a big deal. If I don't mind doing it, I have NO idea why she would mind. She's seeing it that Wynter isn't owning up to her responsibilities in taking care of Buster and said she doesn't do anything with him, doesn't feed him, blah, blah, blah. Which is completely untrue. The ONLY thing I do with Buster is taking him out to potty. Wynter feeds him, bathes him, takes him for walks, brushes him, etc. She was just making this leap with no facts to back it up. (Oh, and by the way, if it had been Devon she would have been offering to take the dog out for him and it would have been totally ok.)

    And it just went from there. Wynter couldn't do anything right and so she does what any 13 year old does. She became a brat. And she is very good at it.

    Let me back up a little. Devon has always been the favorite. My mom and I had HUGE issues until Devon was about 12 years old with boundaries when it came to Devon. She never has taken as much interest in Wynter as she has/does with Devon. It's apparent to everyone, including Wynter. Wynter has voiced it to me. That's a big part of the reason that Wynter has so much resentment towards my mom. Plus, my mom has never been good with the mental health issues. She didn't get any help for me until I was 16 years old and was in a severe, severe depression and was self-injuring. When I was admitted to the psychiatric hospital in 2002 with a psychotic depression she was p!ssed at me and asked me what I was going to do to get myself out of this predicament. Like it was just a stunt that had gone too far or something. She's gotten better about it and has tried to learn about it, but she still doesn't really "get it". She still thinks if you go for a walk you're going to feel all better.

    So, she doesn't get Wynter's severe anxiety and her EFD issues.

    She told me today that she was so upset that she couldn't sleep last night and she sees Wynter doing this Goth thing and she's going to end up being a "freak" and she sees her doing drugs in the next year or two. :rolleyes: She said there is no accountability and that I just always make excuses for her. :surprise: :919Mad:

    I told her that I resented that. That I don't make excuses for her, but that I pick my battles otherwise our entire day would be a battle. It's not that I don't hold Wynter accountable. I just let some things go while we work on one area and will address it later. Not only is that what the therapists in the past have recommended, I also do it out of sheer self-preservation. Good, bad, or otherwise I simply could not survive in a house that was one big battle. Or more of a battle than it is already. I told my mom that she is making a lot of progress and reminded her what Wynter had said earlier in the day that she was hoping that therapy would really help with her anxiety so she could go back to regular school. I also told her that the Goth thing is not a "freak" thing and that was my daughter she was talking about. It's not as out there as it used to be. It's become much more mainstream.

    She kept on about how I make excuses for her. That she should be doing more; that I'm sick. And I reminded her how when I was so sick with heart disease so severe that I should be dead right now and my 15 year old son was telling me that I was "lazy, selfish and irresponsible" that she was backing him up. Like I all of a sudden just became this lazy person and didn't care about anything and that it was ok for Devon to talk to me that way.

    I love my mom. But I've always taken exception to the differences in the way she treats my son vs my daughter. I also realized, however, that it is just how she is and nothing I do is going to change it. But, this whole thing with Devon can do no wrong and Wynter can do no right bothers me. A lot. And her going on about me making excuses for my daughter with how she treated me in regards to my son (long history - basically she criticized every bit of my parenting of him and then some) - and excusing my son's behavior towards me when I was so sick before...I don't know.

    How do you get past that? I've always felt like I can never do anything right in my mom's eyes. She never gets it when I was so severely depressed or when I was so sick with heart disease - she acted like I was just being lazy or something. This is why the heart attack was so validating. It was, see....told you I was sick. Why could she never just believe me? Why do I need a "doctor's note"? I've never been a trouble maker or a slacker or any of those things.

    This whole thing has brought up a lot of issues and I'm really not sure how I feel right now. I love my mom. That's not going to change. I really can't talk to her about this because she always goes on the defensive and she always manages it to twist it around and absolves herself of any responsibility when in reality every relationship is a two way street.

    Sigh. I just needed to get this out. I was hoping it would help me sort it out and work through it. Didn't happen.

    Any insight or thoughts are appreciated.
  2. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    All I can say is you are in a very stressful predicament. Its horrible when a grandparent openly prefers one child over another. It happened with my boys and my mom. Billy was the chosen one.

    I will be honest, I dont know how to fix this. Im always worried that I will "pick favorites" with my grands so Im on guard. I have to admit Im closer to Keyana but I think its just because she is always here. I wouldnt choose one over the other.

    As far as the goth thing...good lord! Wynter is far from a freak. She is a normal 13 year old. I would give my right arm to have
  3. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    Because I have a BIG mouth... I would have to politely say something easy child to keep from hurting Mom's feelings forever. I am fierce when it comes to my girls. I have P!issed of mother in law so many times... husband has to fix things and ask mother in law to come back. I am learning to just not say anything. it sounds like your Mom has her mind made up? If she has been this way for a long time?
    Sometimes we can't change them... but If she is upsetting Wynter. Hmm. I think I would try oh so hard to keep politely asking her not to. And showing her what a good kid she really is and how much it truly hurts Wynter. Maybe Grandma can take the high road, seeing as how she is the one who is not 13!?!?!?
    If not, maybe some long talks with Wynter, about how she has to be the big girl since Grandma can't! Make it into a kind of funny private joke!
  4. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    It has taken many knock down, drag out fights and me stopping contact with my mom to get things to the point they are now. Setting boundaries with my mom was NOT easy. She crossed so far over them in the past would take a book to tell it all.

    I have talked to my mom. And when she brings stuff up like today, I talk to her more. But, generally I don't tell her too much about Wynter. Thing is, she's going to think and believe whatever she wants. She loves Wynter. She's just so incredibly critical of her.

    I talk to Wynter about it. And Wynter was out of line yesterday. I DID address it. But, I was not going to get into it with Wynter with my mom there because of the volatility of the relationship with Wynter and my mom, Wynter would have seen it as taking sides and my mom would interject her own stuff and it would just be bad. I addressed it later...last night and today.
  5. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I only have the one child, Heather, but I can definitely relate to my mom finding fault with every choice I make regarding him and with having him on such a pedestal that it isn't funny. She can get mad at me for grounding him for 2 days over something that she would have switched my legs until they bled over. Then, turn around and blame me because he's "out doing things he shouldn't be doing" but get mad at me if I discipline him. There is no logic in it.

    Really, I think some women (none of us here of course :D ) really seem to only find faults with their daughters constantly and if it isn't one thing, it will be another. And in your case, it appears that this has carried over to not only criticizing how you are raising Wynter, but being critical of Heather, too. In my mother's case, she knows that she was worse about the very things she criticizes me for when she was raising me. I don't know how she justifies it to herself, but I'm convinced she has her own issues. And that's how I look at it in my mind- she has her own issues and I would love to be able to have a better relationship with her, but since she won't even acknowledge that she has any issues- or that she EVER has made mistakes without big clarifications, I keep her and our relationship at a distance.

    It sounds like your mother lives closer to you (mine is out of state), but I think you have every reason to put some emotional and physical distance in there by reducing visits and calls and so forth, if you want to do that. You don't need the negativity on top of what you already have on your plate.

    Edited to add: Now I'm wondering- if your mom sees times when you aren't buying in to her criticism of you, does she get more critical of Wynter?
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2008
  6. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Honestly, I would suggest to your mother that as she is so upset by Wynter perhaps she could take a relaxing vacation for herself elsewhere.
  7. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Would that be with a one-way ticket, Witz?
  8. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    I realize that it's stressful for my mom right now, too, watching her child (me) be so sick and to not have any answers. And she's helping me so much financially. I love my mom very much and we are close which is why this is bothering me so much.

    But, this isn't new...this thing with Wynter. Devon told me tonight that Nana treats him and Wynter differently and that she really doesn't like how Wynter is dressing right now. I asked him if she had told him that and he said no, but he could tell from the way she acts. He also said that Nana doesn't understand the mental illness stuff. Pretty perceptive kid.

    She was crying when we got off the phone and she said she couldn't talk about it anymore. She said that Wynter has no direction in her life. I'm not sure if that's an insult to me or Wynter or both. Well, she's 13, severely depressed with severe anxiety and trying to cope with a sick mom.

    I don't know. This is really upsetting me.
  9. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    Ok, what would happen if you called her and went over what is going on with Wynter (again) and that some of this is typical teen and just like fashions or trends were different when she, then you, were that age, Wynter is just exploring this right now, yada, yada, yada. If she really is falling apart over this, or whatever, can you subtly suggest that she go talk to someone to help her from "worrying" so much?
  10. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    She would take it as an attack and become very defensive and angry. No matter how I approach it.

    I'll have to wait for her to bring it up again - which might not happen.
  11. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    Bare in mind I haven't read all of the responses.......

    The senerio you just described zapped me back 5 yrs in time, I swear. lol I can laugh because that phase has passed. But my Mom is/was the same way with my kids. (not so much now they're grown) easy child and Travis could do no wrong and everything Nichole did was horrible. (mostly cuz they didn't get along in the first place) Put in the Goth stage, and oh yeah, it got interesting.

    One solid rule my kids have got concerning grandma, no disrespect allowed. Other than that they were allowed to express themselves freely. Which, of course to my Mom is the worst thing in the world.

    I don't referee. Never have.

    Only time I stepped in was when I noticed my Mom deliberately showing the older two with afftection and ignoring Nichole. Then she was told to fake it like she wanted an Oscar, or she'd not be seeing any of them again. And that was the end of that.

    How do I deal with it? My Mom is my Mom. I can't change her. No one can. She is who she is, both the good and the bad. Awful that the bad outwieghs the good, but what can ya do? Now that the kids are grown they also have learned to just accept her as she is, and let the rest run in one ear and out the other.

    Sorry she's sticking you in the middle. Just refuse to be there.

  12. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I keep my mother out of the loop as much as possible when it comes to eldest and youngest difficult child. As much of a debate we end up having over the constant bonehead choices by the two, she just doesn't get I cannot sit them down and talk to them, lead them, make them, persuade them to do squat. And at 24 and 38, they need to get their own stuff (not the word I want to use) together. If I hear one more time "don't let thie do... or talk to them about...or why did you let them...." I will scream.

    And its not as bad because she doesn't live here (yet)..

    My condolances..

  13. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I'm sorry Heather. That was glib and unthinking of me. I like Lisa's idea that it doesn't matter whether she understands Wynter or not, the line has to be drawn at favoritism. It's poison that spreads. Look at me and my family. All but me are in our 50's and I am nearly. And to this day they are trying to be daddy's favorite, and I'm miserable whenever I have to think about them. I can't compete so it's worse than having no family at all. Show her this if you need to. It's not said in meanness, it's said with love. I'm sure she has no idea of what the consequences of favoritism can be, but she's making a chasm between your kids that may never mend. They need each other. In twenty years they'll need each other. She shouldn't take that from them.
  14. Wiped Out

    Wiped Out Well-Known Member Staff Member

    My mom is always harder on my easy child (daughter) than my difficult child (son). Drives me crazy! I try not to tell my mom a lot of what goes on and, to be honest, we don't visit often for many reasons. Hugs, I know this is hard.
  15. flutterbee

    flutterbee Guest

    Witz - I didn't find your comment glib or need for apologies. I've had those thoughts myself. We are close, but there's a reason we live 45 minutes apart.

    And my mom has always had a flair for the dramatic...makes a mountain out of a molehill kinda thing so the leap from Gothic to using drugs didn't surprise me. Well, it kind of did at first (that she would say that about my daughter) then it was like, yeah, well this is mom.

    I have told both of them in the recent past that they are both old enough to be responsible for their own relationship. Not that it's done any good. She doesn't do more for one than the other (Devon and Wynter). It's just that one can do no wrong and one can do no right. Wynter is hypersensitive and so is my mom (but she would never admit it). They both take every thing very personally so it's really just a bomb waiting to explode. One of them says something, the other one takes it the wrong way and gets mad, then the first one is so upset because the other one is 'being mean' or 'acting entitled' depending on who reacted first. See what I mean?

    And today my mom was still excusing Devon's behavior from when I was so sick before while Devon, having overheard the conversation (I didn't know he was in the room) was apologizing for his behavior from then.

    Sigh. I'm just going to have to let this go for now and deal with it as it comes up.

    Thing is, I really don't think she realizes how much different she treats the kids. She would probably be absolutely shocked.
  16. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    I see what you mean. She doesn't have to do more for one than the other, though. With our family, there were no extras for anyone. It was more a matter of not wanting to be the one that he disliked the most. I suppose that's why they all are so happy with my (un)role in the family. ;)
  17. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    Heather, many hugs. I hate being in the middle between Miss KT and my mother. One's in one ear going wah wah wah, the other's in the other ear going wah wah wah, and it doesn't seem to matter if I refuse to play or not. Somebody's got to be wrong, and that's become my role lately.
  18. Big Bad Kitty

    Big Bad Kitty lolcat

    Heather, I am so sorry, for you and Wynter.

    I think that there are many similarities between your mom and Wynter, and that is why they clash do much. I also think that since your mom does not understand mental illness as much as she could, she might find it easier to simply fault Wynter for it. Oh, and the goth thing? All gandmas think that it means the kids are out doing dope and spraying graffiti.

    I do hear you saying that she's favored Devon from the beginning. It's really not fair.

    You know, with each of my girls, there was no favorite, but then I reared them separately. So I have a favorite little daughter and a favorite grown daughter, Know what I mean?? But for the years I was with Matt, and we had all 3 of his boys on the weekends, I got to know their personalities. And yeah, I have a favorite. It is hard sometimes NOT to show favoritism.

    I have a favorite of the 2 kittehs too. Shhh, don't tell them.
  19. meowbunny

    meowbunny New Member

    Well, I've tried to respond three times now and it comes out sounding like a pity party for the two of us, so just HUGS.
  20. susiestar

    susiestar Roll With It

    Sending many hugs.