SOME OPINIONS ON FAMILY $H!T

penguinchit

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Sounds like a crappy situation, but IMO, set boundaries. Look out for you and your daughter. You can love your mother and still have your boundaries. It's not your duty to manage her reaction and if she violates your boundaries, make more space. Setting these limits to take care of you and Brooke will never make you a bad person.
 

Sharky

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I am way beyond the point where I tried to understand why people act like they act, even though I am an empathic person and try to get along well.

People's behavior doesn't have to please me to get my love or attention, but it should at least not bother, let alone offend me by any means, that's where I draw the line
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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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.

that's insane.

good on your wife for being smart enough and strong enough to ignore it.
 

freebyrd 69

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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,,,,

The $1000 that my aunt left. Another example of drama. Here is how that went down. My aunt (her sister) had passed a few months before. I got a phone call, on a late night, at the end of the month. She knows full well that is my absolute busiest time. She tells me she has something to tell me, and that she needs to meet with my Ex and I together because she has some news. Scared me. "Mom, are you ok?". Yes, yes, I'm fine. "Then what is it?". I need both of you together to tell you, she says. Won't tell me. JUST TELL ME. Nope. It's important, she says.

My ex and I get along fine, so no issue, but even she is saying WTF. We meet at my mom's. She tells us that her sister left $1000 for Brooke, and we can use it any way we want, as long as she has receipts for the money. I told her right then and there to just let my ex have it. She cares for Brooke most of the time, and I am confident she will use it wisely. Honestly, I didn't want the strings attached to that purse. I KNEW it would cause issues.

A few months later, my mom keeps insisting that I should use some of the money. My ex was fine with it. Brooke LOVES to swing. So, it would cost around $300 to get the special needs swing I needed in my yard. My mom even says she will look on-line to check on swings, but for me to do it too and just let her know. AWESOME!

The next day, I get an email from my mom saying that she calculated the number of days I had Brooke in a year (with a full breakdown). She then calculated the number of days that she thought the weather would be non-conducive to swinging (with a full breakdown). I'm talking everything from rain to it being too cold, yadda yadda. And the number of days we would probably be at the pool or at the lake in the summer and not using it. Seriously....I can't make this shit up.

The email ends with "so with all of this in mind, I don't think that much of the money should be used on one thing that won't get used that much". Huh. O.K. mom. THANKS. AGAIN.

So while I can appreciate what you are saying Vic, it's beyond it. I absolutely refuse to let someone, ANYONE, tell me that I can't walk my daughter down to the pool, take her somewhere because it's too cold, or tell me I'm an "irresponsible parent" because there is a grave danger of broken glass on a class act hotel's floor on the walk down to the pool.

Think about that. All that is to me is trying, at the absolute highest level, to be controlling. Who in their right mind makes a statement like that? Pick your kid up because there could be broken glass on the floor of this hotel?
 
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freebyrd 69

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The problem now is, I have tried to talk about how a lot of this stuff makes me feel. It seemed to be turning around for a hot second, and then, not so much. So it is to the point now where I feel instant rage at the slightest hint of anything. Like I'm trapped and just want to get the hell away from her, which, I do.

I pretty much dread talking to her on the phone, going over there to get or drop off my daughter, all of it. It's a shame. I love my mom, but son of a.....
 

Kamen_Kaiju

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who cares if your daughter only gets to swing 2 days a year? It doesn't matter. She wants the swing, let her swing.

yeah I feel for your situation that all sounds a little crazy.
 

Bobby Mahogany

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The problem now is, I have tried to talk about how a lot of this stuff makes me feel. It seemed to be turning around for a hot second, and then, not so much. So it is to the point now where I feel instant rage at the slightest hint of anything. Like I'm trapped and just want to get the hell away from her, which, I do.

I pretty much dread talking to her on the phone, going over there to get or drop off my daughter, all of it. It's a shame. I love my mom, but son of a.....

At this point maybe a few appointments with a psychologist will help you grasp how come or why you really feel
how you feel. Might help you get "clarity" about the situation.
Right now you're in a storm of negative feelings which is ok but you have to "land" somewhere.
A co-pilot might help you land safely for everyone involved.
 

SGeoff

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The problem now is, I have tried to talk about how a lot of this stuff makes me feel. It seemed to be turning around for a hot second, and then, not so much. So it is to the point now where I feel instant rage at the slightest hint of anything. Like I'm trapped and just want to get the hell away from her, which, I do.

I pretty much dread talking to her on the phone, going over there to get or drop off my daughter, all of it. It's a shame. I love my mom, but son of a.....
I totally feel ya man. I do love my mom too, but they can make it tough. every day it seems, there is another reason for me to tell myself to calm down. my mom and her damn cat take turns tickin me off:facepalm:
 

Sct13

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its difficult ...I know...My mom was the same way with my daughter, way too over protective and way too demanding. It ruined a few good years and the dread of her coming over or calling was pretty much as you described. So I have a sense of what your referring to....It tapered off after telling her umpteen thousand times to QUIT MEDELING, your making things very difficult. My sister would get upset with me ....Then she had her own kid....and I sat back and watched my mom sink her then very sharp teeth into that end of the family.....Then my sister "got it"

There are many dynamics at play in your situation, and I cant claim to know a single one of them....however take this in mind before you say or do something you'll regret 10 or 15 years later.

Is this her only grandchild? are you her only son?

What it sounds like in regards to her over protect mode is she has enough anxiety over Brooke getting "mishandled" (which I know isn't happening) or even hurt over something every child will encounter eventually (like stepping on broken glass) or even bit by a mosquito (yep my mom had a fit I was taking THE Baby of 4 camping!!! ) that she needs to lay that anxiety on you in the form of her hurtful comments to you. I'm not saying its right...it isn't....but people are imperfect.

She is so worried and feels so helpless that she Can't trust anyone with the all important decisions that any parent will make...if it isn't her making those choices....

You just need to make it clear to her that she isn't Large and in Charge of raising Brooke... only You and Those that you Trust (meaning your Ex and your Fiancé') and the baby sitter if need be are the ultimate decision makers PERIOD. (And your step daughter could get into the line of fire too...)

This will anger her, and she will bestow her wrath upon you like no other...... (My mom threatened to take my house) not that she could but it was ugly .......

But the point I'm making is ....Its all temporary, she may come around, you may have to be firm and there will probably be more venom ....but you will be wiser and Brooke won't get hurt. Don't create or allow a rift to form and let Brooke see it. All of this happened to me, it wasn't till Jessica was 7 or 8 that my mom calmed down, finally seeing straight, and finally seeing that she could trust her own offspring to raise kids....And with Brookes challenges it may be even longer for you.

And yes I had to Let mom "win" to keep the peace sometimes .... again dynamics, now my mom is changing, she is in her decline and I don't have bad feelings over that stuff....I just have an understanding....

that's all...
 

Chango Malo

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it's OK to tell anyone to GTFO of your life. People will say "you only have one set of parents, you should try to make up". Fuck that. Absolutely fuck that. Toxic people belong with all the rest of the toxic waste. Sealed up in the dump. If you have made an honest effort and it's been once-sided with no glimmer of hope at the long end of the tunnel, get off the train. You do not owe anyone the right to hurt you or other people you care about. If you choose to keep them in your life and allow them access to you and yours, that's up to you. Your choice. So is giving a dead weight anchor the heave ho in a hurricane. Truth is, only you can decide when enough is enough, And when you do, it's fucking enough. You get to say "no more bullshit" whenever you want. For any reason. No one gets to second guess that decision for you. You are allowed to pull the plug if needed.

I'm not saying that the OP should dump mom and tell her to GTFO, but he does get to decide whatever level of contact and influence she has in his life and with his daughter. Boundaries and limits are crucial. All the way up to and including the 50 foot tall castle wall complete with boiling oil and archers. I hope it doesn't come to that, but you are in total control over who you let into your life. It's OK to say "no more. go away".


In the interest of full disclosure, I had to tell my immediate family to GTFO about 15 years ago. I do get tired of people telling me that I should re-establish contact. Really tired. They have no idea what crap I dealt with. As for the knuckleheads that say you only have one set of parents, I say GOOD, I 'd hate to think there's another family fucking up kids like mine did.

Sorry, guys. Rant mode off...
 

Thumpalumpacus

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At this point maybe a few appointments with a psychologist will help you grasp how come or why you really feel
how you feel. Might help you get "clarity" about the situation.
Right now you're in a storm of negative feelings which is ok but you have to "land" somewhere.
A co-pilot might help you land safely for everyone involved.

Sometimes simply having an ear to hear these feelings of frustration can help dissipate them. I know it helps me. I don't have a psych or therapist, but I have a couple of close friends with whom I talk these things out, people whose judgement I trust and who I know are objective and not afraid to tell me hard truths.
 

freebyrd 69

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Sometimes simply having an ear to hear these feelings of frustration can help dissipate them. I know it helps me. I don't have a psych or therapist, but I have a couple of close friends with whom I talk these things out, people whose judgement I trust and who I know are objective and not afraid to tell me hard truths.

At this point maybe a few appointments with a psychologist will help you grasp how come or why you really feel
how you feel. Might help you get "clarity" about the situation.
Right now you're in a storm of negative feelings which is ok but you have to "land" somewhere.
A co-pilot might help you land safely for everyone involved.

I appreciate the reply, but, no. I have no issue with anyone calling me out if I've done/said something to hurt them. I'll be the first to apologize, and do what I can to make it right. That being said, I have made an effort to ask if I have done anything or said anything that leads to the treatment I am getting. No, was the answer. She simply claims she sees no wrong on her part.

My life is CRAZY. I work 52-60 hrs. a week with a 30 min drive each way. I am currently involved in TWO bands (soon to be one, but finishing my obligations with the other), have a daughter who is disabled whom I spend as much time as I can with, a fiancé and her her daughter whom I also spend as much time as I can with. I work out on my lunch hour at work.

Bottom line to all of that, there is no way in hell I am going to anyone to talk about shit. If you can't either A) tell me what the issue is so I can apologize and make it right and move on. B) Treat me with the same kindness and consideration that I treat you with. C) make an effort to deal with whatever it is (medical condition, depression, etc.) that is making YOU that miserable that you can't maintain relationships with anyone, then, sorry. The line will be drawn. I have a hard enough time keeping my shit together with all of the above mentioned. I can't worry about why someone is acting like an asshole to me if they won't communicate. And I'm sorry, but I will only take that crap for so long. Granted, from my mother, I will take it longer....much longer than I would from anyone else, but there IS a limit.

When my ex and I got divorced, one of the things that made me feel so damn good about moving on was the fact that I knew I had done EVERYTHING I could to save the marriage. EVERYTHING. I'm KNOW there were some things I could have done differently in the marriage, but the difference was, I was willing to seek those things out and do them. I didn't go outside the marriage, break my vows, and treat her like garbage in the process.....like she did.

Trust me, because it's my mom, I am treading lightly. I won't ever "disown" her. If her antics continue, I WILL shut things down to an absolute bare minimum, and that will be a shame. We'll see how it shakes out.
 

Thumpalumpacus

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I wasn't trying to say you have issues with people calling you out. I was suggesting that venting feelings rather than harboring them can be useful -- but if you don't find it so, it's cool, different folks are wired different ways.
 

Ed B

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Trust me, because it's my mom, I am treading lightly. I won't ever "disown" her. If her antics continue, I WILL shut things down to an absolute bare minimum, and that will be a shame. We'll see how it shakes out.

That IS the answer.

There's only so much people can and should take. I have a very low tolerance for people in my life causing drama. If someone is working against you, it's best you limit the time you allow them to do so.

As for your mom thinking you can't handle your responsibilities with your daughter. That's her problem. If you KNOW you're are. That should be the end of that. Let her think what she wants. Don't let her get into your head. You have nothing to prove.

It also sounds like a lot of these issues are a matter of principle. You have the means to provide a trampoline and a swing for your daughter. Do so and those problems are solved. Forget the dumb shit. They're unnecessary distractions.

Do try to figure out if your mother needs help. Let's hope she is just going through a phase.
 

freebyrd 69

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I wasn't trying to say you have issues with people calling you out. I was suggesting that venting feelings rather than harboring them can be useful -- but if you don't find it so, it's cool, different folks are wired different ways.

I didn't take any offense to it. I knew what you meant. You are right, venting helps. You guys/gals on MLP always offer view points that help. I like non-biased views. A lot of people in life that are "in your corner" won't tell you if they are not in agreement with you.

If I had more time to deal with this stuff, I might seek the advice you gave. I did make the time for that in my marriage. The problem, I learned there is, it takes two committed people for any type of counseling to work anything out. One, no matter how bad you want it, doesn't cut it.
 

KP11520

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Sometimes Jon..... Many times actually...... Just by changing what you do with a more healthy approach, the dynamics still change significantly without the other signing up. And ultimately, they do change without knowing it.

Either way, your life gets better, so it's worth it. Don't fall into the "if she's not doing anything, than neither am I" trap. Improve yourself by healthily taking care of you and Brooke, and it will be enough of a game changer. And it will snowball through the rest of your lives as well. Emotional IQ has NOTHING to do with Intellectual IQ. Most of us were left back in Kindergarten.

Good luck. As you apply a more healthy emotional lifestyle, it will be QUITE uncomfortable for a while. Don't stop. When the changes come, you'll ask yourself why did it take so many years to get here. Cause we all avoid (like the plague) uncomfortable things. The things that are the shortest distance to a better outcome. Human nature..... So screwed up!

Rock On!
 

freebyrd 69

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Sometimes Jon..... Many times actually...... Just by changing what you do with a more healthy approach, the dynamics still change significantly without the other signing up. And ultimately, they do change without knowing it.

Either way, your life gets better, so it's worth it. Don't fall into the "if she's not doing anything, than neither am I" trap. Improve yourself by healthily taking care of you and Brooke, and it will be enough of a game changer. And it will snowball through the rest of your lives as well. Emotional IQ has NOTHING to do with Intellectual IQ. Most of us were left back in Kindergarten.

Good luck. As you apply a more healthy emotional lifestyle, it will be QUITE uncomfortable for a while. Don't stop. When the changes come, you'll ask yourself why did it take so many years to get here. Cause we all avoid (like the plague) uncomfortable things. The things that are the shortest distance to a better outcome. Human nature..... So screwed up!

Rock On!

For me it's more simple. Not saying I'm right or wrong, but it's just the way I choose to approach it. I fully believe that I take great care of Brooke. Brooke's mom and I work very well together to make sure she has 100% top notch care. My mom loves her and is awesome with her too. It's me, for some reason, that there is an issue. Actually, let me back track on that. It's not just me. It's me, my Ex, my fiance, my fiancé's daughter, the people in her apartment building.....see, there is a pattern here.

This boils down to a very simple "do unto others" philosophy. I have, and will always treat my mom with respect. The depth of the relationship is for her to decide. I'm not going to talk to and rely on you if you are continually talking behind my back and/or flat out disrespectful to me in person. I will be kind, and respectful, with otherwise minimal interaction/conversation. I won't come over and "hang out". I will pick my daughter up, and drop her off with a simple "hi", "I love you" "thank you" "bye". I'm not going out of my way for you, or doing extraordinary things.

Outside of my sister passing away, this has been an AWESOME year. Great at work, my fiancé is the nicest person I know, all relationships outside of my mom are just fantastic. We moved to a new (to us) house, took a couple of nice vacations, I'm in two great bands (we even opened for DOKKEN), my daughter is doing quite well, successful heart surgery, fitness is great, and my 401k is WAY UP! Overall, a fantastic 2017. Couldn't be happier with my present lifestyle.
 

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