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re: My mother doesn't like me.

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.


Ah yes, the gaslighting. BTDT so often, I should have a closet full of t-shirts by now.

Have y'all heard of the movie Gaslight? (I think that's the title, maybe Gaslighting?) I've heard that's where the term gaslighting comes from. It's an old b&w classic, but I miss it every time it comes on TCM. I'm going to have to rent it one of these days.


re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

Very sorry to hear about how your mom is, martinbeef.

I just wanted to throw a couple of book suggestions at you...

Foolproofing your Life by Jan Silvious

Enough About You, Let's Talk About Me: How to Recognize and Manage the Narcissists in Your life by Les Carter

Bold Love by Dan Allender (just started reading this one, but loving this so far....a meatier read, the other two are fairly easy reads)

The Emotionally Destructive Relationship by Leslie Vernick

It would be good for you to read some and gain some insight into her mindset and thinking.

:( Wish you didn't have to.

But, I think we are all going to have to deal with one or a few of these kinds of people in our lives at some point. It's just really, really hard because we want to have peace with everyone and get along. It's hard to fathom that some people think very, very differently than others.

In the end, they are really very blinded and bound by the enemy and the best we can do is emotionally separate; have good boundaries and learn to love them in different ways (sometimes speaking the truth even though it will hurt them; sometimes sacrificially loving them at the right times because we go the extra mile (but never being a doormat); refusing to let them pull us into drama that pushes us to act in similar ways as they do; always continuing to pray for them and their salvation.

It is sooooooo hard.

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

I wanted to say, too, that I have heard that it is very hard to deal with and heal from the damage done from a narcissistic parent (or one with narcissistic tendencies). The emotional pain seems to be much more intense than others go through with a spouse or friend, etc.

I am really, really sorry for you and the others on this board who have had to experience this. I know how painful it has been in my own life to accept that my husband is this way and to have experienced the deception, lack of caring about my feelings or hurts, gaslighting and in the end, his refusal to look at himself and his actions to save our marriage and our family. It blows my mind.

I think just facing the reality of it all is the first step. I would think you are going to go through some grieving now that your eyes are really being opened to your sister's and your mom's behaviors. It is very hard to face the truth. As you said, we are peacemakers. But, what I really found out was that I was being a "peacefaker". I was keeping peace at all costs and mostly that peace was just about pleasing the other person. Which does not serve them in a good way at all.

Standing on truth will shake up your relationships with people like this. It will not look pretty. It will be incredibly painful at times. But, in the end, we have to operate from truth. Jesus never shied away from telling people truth and he was not a popular person, as you know. After the grief and after the painful parts of standing on truth and learning to operate from those safe boundaries, I think you will experience a lot of peace in your life that you may not be able to see is available right now.

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

Maryofegypt, sorry to hear that your mother shows hurtful behavior. Having a long-lost sister doesn't sound all bad, though! :)

InHISGrip, you spoke some very kind words. I have never heard of the book choices you mentioned. They sound good. Thanks for posting those.

Hoping MB can find good advice in this thread and hoping it helps.

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

Just thinking about this a bit more and wanted to share something. After reading several good books, and after months of tears and months and months of processing, making sense of things, and coming to terms with reality, I decided to follow the advice given. This is really hard to describe here, but I'll try.

For the last few months, I have been separating my "self" from my mom and protecting that "self". Our conversations changed from deep things and opinions to telling her nothing that you wouldn't tell a bus driver. I stopped taking the bait when she began to discuss certain hot topics. I stopped taking the bait when she began to put certain coworkers, family members, and friends down. (She catagorizes people. You are either "good" or "bad" to her, depending on her perception of you. This is the basis from which a lot of hurt was unjustly inflicted onto me during my childhood). I no longer ask for advice or discuss personal things. (She will often use these things later to be hurtful and abusive). I began to call just slightly less often, and spending the entire day with her just a little less frequently.

In other words, setting boundaries, minimizing contact, and keeping conversations light.

These changes have been subtle. I can tell she senses something is different. But the changes are so subtle, she really can't grasp what exactly it is. I have done nothing mean or bad to her. We still go out and have fun. I just don't leave myself vulnerable to her.

I can sense that she can tell something is different, but she hasn't asked me if anything is wrong. She just seems slightly taken aback, almost as if she knows that I am "on to her". It's so weird, but IT IS WORKING!!

All the advice in all these good books are working. I think she senses that I have very covertly taken control of the dynamic of our relationship. I know this must sound crazy. I feel so much better. I am being kind to her, but basically treating her like a next door neighbor.

As bizarre as this may sound to some, it is just what you have to do sometimes. These types of people are just incapable of looking inward into themselves and seeing how they are hurting others and changing. They just can't.

A lot of people have to completely cut off contact with toxic people in their lives in order to save their own emotional health. I feel lucky that I can maintain a relationship with my mom, and, as long as I don't leave an opening, we can get along.

I probably haven't done a good job of explaining exactly what I mean, so I hope this makes sense.

I hope this helps others in this thread, too.

This post was edited on Sep 10, 2017 11:57 AM

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

It makes perfect sense to me candycane - I did the same thing a couple of years ago and 99% of my stress concerning her went away. I call her on the phone about twice a month, and let her prattle on and on about her life, which is what she wants to do. I keep it light and all surface.

As my wise former therapist told me years ago - if you stop giving her the ammo, she can't hurt you. ;)

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.

candycane said:

"" I feel so much better. I am being kind to her, but basically treating her like a next door neighbor. ""


Yes, exactly!

Overall, this has been my tactic in recent years. In fact, this is what I've told my husband :"I will be nice, just as I would be with our neighbor. Nothing more, nothing less".

But what happens....is that the "little girl who still lives inside of me"...will creep out...and still seeks affirmation. when I get tired or caught off-guard, I'll be hurt. when I'm rested and more on my game, I'm ok.

Overall, my mother is aging and I want to be at peace with how I treat her- honor her- care for her. I'll do the right thing. Now, dealing with my sister (age 55) is a different story...!!!

re: re: My mother doesn't like me.


MB, you and your family situation have been on my mind/heart. I wanted to tell you something I remembered from the book Candycane suggested -- the issue of triangulation. This is what your mom's/sister's issue sounds like. I hope you get to read that book.

Totally agreeing with Cc about keeping conversations VERY light. This is something the Lord showed me to do years ago with an abusive boss, and that completely changed our relationship, enabled me to continue in that job.

I don't know why I didn't apply that to my relationship with my mother then, as that boss (a woman) reminded me so much of my mother (it was really weird as they were very far apart in age).

When I finally began doing that (again, at the Lord's direction) a few years ago, Wow, what a difference that one thing has made! I know what you mean about the little girl inside you needing love/affirmation from your mom, but I agree with inhisgrip about first of all facing the situation as it is -- this will lead you to be able to accept it.

I have had to learn to get that love/affirmation which should come from my mother from the Lord. There is a verse in Psalm 27 which is very dear to me, and I hope it will help: When my ... mother forsake(s) me, the Lord will take me up.

This post was edited on Sep 12, 2017 08:37 PM

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