SOME OPINIONS ON FAMILY $H!T

freebyrd 69

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First: sorry to hear that you have to deal with an abusive relative.

However, nobody can answer this question for you but you, yourself.

But then, I figure you're just venting and didn't actually expect a truly serious answer to begin with. I know you're not chump enough to take important advice from somebody on the Internet who might actually be an asshole himself. :thumb:

I had one truly abusive relative who ultimately sank beneath the mental muck of dementia near the end of his life. Sucker was high and mighty all his life-- forever jeering, finding fault, and invalidating the very humanity of his family-- but he ended up shitting his pants like a baby every day and not knowing who he was or where he was for the last couple of years of his life.

It was illuminating. Lo, how the mighty are fallen, eh? This one was so arrogant during the times of his life that it was truly psycopathological. But, it turned out that all the megalomania and delusions of grandeur were merely fronts for an ego that was crippled in his childhood.

I learned by watching his demise that all things are relative. I realized that I was reacting to him because of my own ego, and that in fact it was an overreaction. He was never that great to begin with. Might as well get pissed off because one was insulted by a cockroach.

I didn't enjoy seeing him go down the tubes like that, either. I didn't feel at all vindicated to witness what became of him, and what his fate consisted of. Ultimately, I actually learned to pity him, even though he was despicable.

And I realized this: no matter who a man is, or thinks he is, or what others think of him, in the long run he's dead meat anyway. But seeing this almost extraordinarily abusive man end up as a drooling inmate in an ALF really put things into perspective. It was such a vivid crash-and-burn on his part that I couldn't help but to think quite a bit about him and to come to some useful conclusions as a result of all this.

Since then I've learned to just kind of take people as they come. I still won't put up with their crap, same as I never put up with his. But people who are abusive towards others in a psychological manner no longer invoke a really strong emotional reaction in me. Instead, I just treat them with scorn and disdain for the most part.

A mouthy punk is just a mouthy punk, even if he's a holy terror to his relatives or those who are susceptible to his bullying.

Now, as to you: do you feel comfortable abandoning your mom as she wends her way into dotage? I ask this because ultimately, whether or not you can live with that is the final question.

I'm saying this seriously: you might wish to talk to a shrink about this. I don't say that because you seem to need therapy (though for all I know, you could use some), but instead suggest this because sometimes shrinks of the family-counseling type can tell you things about others that neutralize the negative effects they usually have on others.

There's a book you should read, too. It's not very long at all, and I have seen this book help others to understand those who are psychologically abusive, and to free themselves from the detrimental effects of having to deal with such persons:

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It's less than one hundred pages long. There's no advanced psych-talk or gobbledygook to chew on, and so it is very easy to read and comprehend.

I say again: I've known several people who enjoyed an immediate benefit from reading this thing. and have actually given away a copy or two over the years.

You can get it for about eight bucks as either an e-book or a hard copy, and it's worth every penny.

--R
I will absolutely read that. Thank you, and thank you for the reply.
 

PapaSquash

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I learned something about depression from a psychiatrist recently. Depressed people are often angry and crabby and unpredictable and freakin' mean.

Not sad? I asked.

When you think everything sucks and is meaningless and your efforts come to nothing, it's actually kind of normal to be pissed off and to not give a shit. Blaming other people for the world of shit you perceive follows right along with that. As does trying to control or "fix" things.

Made sense.

Still doesn't mean you have to put up with her crap, or try to fix her. My wife is about done with her mom. Similar stuff. Thankfully she's an hour and half away and can't drive, so we see her on our terms. My folks are very nice but would be meddlesome if I didn't live 1300 miles away.

Do what you have to do. Life is too short to let somebody wreck it. And it affects your daughter. it does.
 

freebyrd 69

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I'll give another example from last winter. We went up north in Michigan for Christmas. We stayed at a hotel that I frequently stay up there when I go and see my grandmother. After having gotten in an argument with my mom already, I told her I didn't need her to go but simply wanted her to go to spend time with her and Brooke. To this day I am quite sure the only reason she went is because she figured I couldn't handle Brooke by myself.

Anyway, I was walking Brooke down to the pool and she decided to come along to take a few pictures. As we are walking, she says to me "you should really carry her" (Brooke has cerebral palsy, and it is good for her to walk)She likes to walk. I said to my mom, why? She is doing fine. She said in her nasty tone, "well you don't know there could be broken glass on this floor. That's just being an irresponsible parent".

I questioned her, what on God's green earth would make you think there is broken glass on this floor? I promised her I would pick every shard of glass out when we got down to the pool.
 

HeartString

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What I get out of your post is forget about the 1000.00 Tell your Mom to use it for Brooke as she pleases. Money always freaks people out and they start acting weird imho.
 

Sct13

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Hmmm...

Another thing.... Sometimes people need to be validated by those that are closest....that might be you....and if you validate her suggestion as being a good one...they may feel a little better...

It sounds kind of goofy, but I see that I have to do that for my mom or dad....for instance, he would say, "well what are you hitting it like that for" ? from the side from the side...(a board fitting in a wall)....now there are two possible answers ....mine and his....I know mine is right.....and his is downright wrong....Do I escalate the impending conflict by starting a struggle and saying "Dad you don't know what your taking about.... its fine".... OR do I take his suggestion (KNOWING full well that the job will get done better my way)

Well in my world its easier to allow the elder to continue their guidance....why? It enriches them with the gift of Generativity .... they feel like they helped out and self esteem goes up...aggressiveness hopefully wanes for the day and most importantly Brook wont remember her grandmother as being confrontational with her dad all the time.

simple answer ....do what your mother tells you with out the argument.....its only a visit...and everyone goes home happy. Yes we need to give in sometimes. because suddenly we have become the responsible parent, to a whiney old person who thinks they are right all the time....

Maybe she just want the Good Son....the one that obeys, or sees value in her words and in her thoughts, give it up, she's your mom, and probably means well, just she shows her frustration as anger. Then uses words that hurt to get that point across.

Depression is also a very big possibility, there is passive aggressive personality traits.

you cant fix these things, but be easy for your mom around Brooke. she might come around a bit,,,,
 

KP11520

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Jon....

I feel for you!

You need to hear this despite it being hard.

Your mom has reached a TOXIC and manipulative level and nobody, I repeat, NOBODY, should allow that into their life. All that does is undermine your life's potential. It probably already has. But allowing more only makes life worse.

Something tells me you're an only child. I was too. Many of us have an unhealthy trait of not holding our moms accountable for their unhealthy crap and tolerate way too much. We didn't have anybody else to keep things in perspective, so we put them on a pedestal and get too protective. This might be blinding you from taking appropriate countermeasures to preserve your self esteem and that of your daughter's. $hit rolls down hill and the last place it can stop is at Brooke.

I know this will be hugely uncomfortable, but you have to introduce a new rule book. If it's ignored, build the wall. And if not for you, definitely do it for Brooke. She needs every bit of POSITIVE influence and reinforcement in her life she can absorb. It's hard for any kid to figure out what to toss and what to retain from unhealthy older family influences. Brooke is an open page and it's both you and your Ex's responsibility to remove as much negative (Toxic) influences as possible. The subconscious is a sponge when there is no strong conscious mind protecting it. All that toxicity running straight to the core and being played like a pawn for someone else's agenda.

GET HELP IF YOU DON'T KNOW HOW TO DO WHAT NEEDS TO BE DONE. If you don't think you need help, then let me ask you this..... How has it gotten to this point if you got it all figured out? Because the truth is, you are clueless. Been there, Done that too! Get help. I did. In fact, I spent 10 years in weekly therapy, reprogramming so many unhealthy beliefs passed down. And it was my grandmother at the core of ruining so many lives. But my mother and so many others all owned their pieces too. Clearing the crap is way counterintuitive, and the smarter you are, the harder it is.

You and Brooke deserve so much more. It's all in your hands. You most likely can't change anything with your mother. All you have control of is changing YOU. The one who protects Brooke.

I hope this helps going right at the elephant in the room. Now it's all I know how to do.
 

rockstar232007

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I feel you, bro!

Not going to get into specifics, but my mom was/is always very controlling, and even now, at 35, she still tries to tell me what I should/shouldn't do.

I drew the line at her butting into, and insulting mine, and my wifes "parenting skills", which is rather ironic, neither of my sisters are winning any "Mother of the Year" awards anytime soon.

Must be the "middle-child syndrome" I've heard so much about?:hmm:
 

Benjammin

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You gotta do what you gotta do. I haven't seen or heard from my mother in 15 years
 

Fiat Lux

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AS Harmony did I question myself about possible early dementia.
But overall stress or a particular situation she's living could have triggered the change of character.
68 is young to be retired with no money and she might feel that burden.

This. This exactly!

When you find yourself 68, retired, alone and with no money, you must surely get sick of blaming yourself.

Life is not fair and it sucks big time when you are at the receiving end of its unfairness.

Cheers
 

Nard

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My mother-in-law had dementia and though she never changed to any extremes mood wise she was just a shadow of the lady she once was. Lonely with dementia is surefire game changer.
 

DADGAD

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Jon, I have no answer for this as there are no sure fire solutions. Each family dynamic is different. Perhaps, trying to understand what the underlying issues there may be with your mother, whether it be emotional or physical, could help you deal with it better and understand where this may be coming from. You obviously have a lot on your plate so I can only offer sympathy and support.
 

toymaker

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Sorry to hear man - absolutely sucks when people are rude to family, especially when it involves a child who has done absolutely nothing to deserve the poor treatment - and will be the one who suffers the most from it.

No good answer as to why, other than most people deal with stress and depression in really poor ways. Makes absolutely no sense why someone would get so damn cheap over 10 bucks - but could be a cry for attention...when it comes to money, some people think they are entitled to whatever money they sense their family has "fell into to" - and by fell into, I generally mean got off their ass, went out and worked harder and earned while said family members paid the price for poor choices that didnt work out. How its been for years with my family and the wife's - whats ours is theirs...but suggest they try to make their own and they get mad.

Just keep talking to her and try not to take it too personally. No matter how poorly she treats you, know its your daughter who would suffer if you cut off contact. BOL
 

Pop1655

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This may be off topic and not apply or it may fit, I don't know.
I believe generally that people get away with the max they are allowed to get away with.
You need to move that line to a place you can live with. With this type I always try to never yell, never argue, never be dramatic or feed the drama. In manner and tone, just be very matter of fact and clearly deliberate in the quietest, strongest way. Make statements of fact, stand by em and move on.
 

05jrock

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Solved my family problems by moving to another country, worked out great.
I talk to my folks heaps and miss them a lot but it is just so good to be away from my brothers and sister
 

ToneasaurusRex

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All I can say or do is to remind you that there is exactly one person, among all the billons alive, whose choices you can make, whose behavior you can change.

You.

And obviously, in your situation as a parent, you have the responsibility for making certain choices for your daughter. But you can't change your mom or make her choices.

The answer to your "basic question" of how much do you take from her is . . . whatever amount you choose to take. For example, you mention in your post a time when your mom was always around when you and Brooke were doing stuff. Well, she doesn't have to be.

"Sorry, Mom, it's gonna be just Brooke and me this time."

You are not responsible for her reaction to your choice, you are just responsible for making the choice for you and Brooke.
 

SGeoff

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I can empathize. bigly, as my 89 yr old mom has moved in with me and my brother. so, there are no easy answers and everyone will have to find their own way thru this puzzling maze called life. I let her move in not really realizing what a challenge it would be, as she had been on her own and a few states away for the past 20 years. Now it is definitely more than I want to deal with, I am easy going and she is a drama queen from hell. But what to do? In any case, sorry I don't have any great advice, if i did i'd take it myself:dunno:
 

ToneasaurusRex

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That was a short, and I feel, inadequate post to deal with such complicated, emotional matters. Sorry . . . Just best wishes, brother.
 

scott1970

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Toxic folk are easy to deal with unless they are family. My wife and I have a strong marriage going on seventeen years (never separated, no rough patches), but my MIL has repeatedly encouraged my wife to divorce me over the years. She has offered to take her in, pay for a divorce attorney, cover her financially until she can get on her feet. She runs me down constantly behind my back as a bad husband and father. I've always been nice to her, but we don't hang out or chat. Boundaries are a must.
 
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