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cathy


It's all about her...

Monday, October 02, 2006

My mother and I have an odd relationship; sometimes it is great, but most of the time, I find myself simply putting up with her myriad idiosyncrasies. We had a blow up back in January, which seemed to have cleared the air, but I feel the same old fog of frustration creeping back in. I can not even begin to describe her, for she defies explanation. She is very self-centered and the universe revolves around her. There are times when the frustration of having to deal with this simply overwhelms me. When I begin to talk about the things I am doing, she acts bored and proceeds to talk about herself again. If she does stop to listen for a minute, she implies that I am bragging. She would disagree with me and argue the point that I am making here, but the fact remains that she at the very least personifies a woman who needs to hear compliments and talk about the things she is doing, hoping for positive reinforcement, but at the same time not having any inkling that others might need the same. I put on a mask of indifference because I can not stand to dole out praise, when I never received an ounce of it my entire life (well from her, anyway). She has changed towards my brother, doling out praise and pity, which is great. But this came from him trying to kill himself. Since I am not about to do the same, I guess that I am resigned to the fact that we will never come out of this. Back to the status quo.

  1. Blogger Stephanie said:

    It's good that we can choose our friends (and who we want to start families with), to make up for anything we find lacking in the ones we were born into.

    That said, I've been lucky that my parents and my brother are very cool, even if they don't always "get" me. (And not so much lucky in love these days...but, whatever...)

  1. Blogger Will D said:

    Sorry that the two of you are returning to the way it was. I think the fatal flaw in all of us is thinking that others will change without wanting to.

    And at the same time, just excepting leaves us feeling like we should be doing something. It is an terrible circle. No mater how you choose to deal with the situation, I am sure it will be the right choice.

  1. Blogger Ben said:

    Let me tell you a secret that draws a lot of similarities with yours.

    My brothers and I have no problems with Mum, she loving caring and sweet to us and our families.

    BUT...her relationship with my sister is fraught. Mum has a tendency to interfere, take a holier than thou attitude to her, and brag that she lives a more wholesome life than my sis. Whatever Marianne does or says, she never gets approval from Mum and about once a year they have a big bust up.

    I can't ever understand it, but I do think there is a lot of jealousy on Mum's side. My sister was the apple of Dad's eye and they have similar characteristics. I might be wrong but I think that has something to do with it.

  1. Blogger Christopher said:

    My Mother and I had a very up and down relationship up until I was 23. I never really needed her until then because, as sons go, I was pretty withdrawn and boring. I didn't get into trouble or anything. then, after my ex did a vicious number on me Mom became more present (even though she lives in Cyprus) and 'there'
    Now all the 'problems' and ill-communication we used to have is all but faded. Mothers are funny things.

  1. Blogger Chloe said:

    we should be able to look up to our parents, but most of the times the case is that we don't. your mother expects praise from you? that's weird Cathy.
    sometimes we are too perfect for our parents, i think they have a hard time keeping up with the nice people they created. (let's brag a little too).

  1. Blogger Berlinbound said:

    Mothers: there's no life without them, there's no living with them.

  1. Blogger missy said:

    Not everyone can be parents...

    My parents. I don't think they are too bad. I think they just didn't know what to do with me when I was younger. I want different things. In the end, we just accepted that we may share genes but we are all different people. I say this now when I am thousands of miles away so there isn't much chance of us getting on each others' nerves.

    I love the new blog look! xx

  1. Blogger Stephanie said:

    I understand where you are coming from. I don't think that my parents ever really understood the kind of support I needed.

    Ex:
    I didn't need to be given "self-immprovement" lessons when I was 13, be told that I looked like a mouse and should dress like the other girls. I needed to be told that I was great the way I was.

    I didn't need to be told that in life you can't always get what you want. I needed to be told that if I want something then I should strive for it.

    I don't need for the first question in every telephone conversation to be about my thesis. I need to be asked how I'm feeling.

    I didn't need to be asked whether I'd been reasonable with my ex. I needed to be told that it was his loss.

    I could get really cross about those examples (and others) and I do sometimes, but there really is no point. I know that my parents did their best, that they loved me, but that they just didn't understand me. I figure that's ok. I am, afterall, a strange little fish. :) All I want from them now is love and I get that. I accept that they aren't going to change and neither am I and it's a liberating feeling. I get what I need the most from them and the rest comes from friends who give me the little things I need.

    If you can, let go of the idea of what you want from your mother and accept her for who she is. I understand, however, that all of this is easier when you live an ocean away. :)

  1. Blogger DayByDay4-2Day said:

    I think (just my opinion) that in a situation like this you should not allow her actions to change you. The realization that her actions towards you are not really about you, but about herself. What I mean is don't take it personally, but instead realize when she talks like this that she is an ill-mannered person.

    How we look at things is how we see them. If you look at her as a mean/selfish person then you will see her as one, but if you look at her in a different manner such as ill or mentally uncapible or pity her then when you see her you will no longer get anger, but feel sorry that she can't allow herself to focus on others.

  1. Blogger Madeleine said:

    hey this sounds familiar. my mother used to the same......exactly the way i would have described her.
    (is she blonde and about 5ft2?)
    i know how unbearable this is.
    my mother used to wait for a micro gao in my sentence so she could turn it back to herself (and the rest)

    she has changed over the years, but that only came about after a death, funnily enough.

    i hope that she can change for your sake.
    i know that it's a long shot, but perhaps another blow out would do it.
    my empathy is flooding out my fingers throught this keyboard, really it is.

    :)

  1. Blogger Trundling Grunt said:

    My mother tends to play favorites - in fact we joke that she treats her grandchildren like stock. Sometimes we're up (often for no fault of our own), other times down. My niece is a quality stock, but my nephew is pretty much a junk bond. And so on.
    The irony of it all is that in earlier times she was a great fan of my SIL and really had a downer for SWMBO. They are now divorced and we are still going strong. I really don't think she'll ever change and it doesn't sound like yours will either. One curious question - is she an only child?

    Mothers eh?

  1. Blogger Cathy said:

    You guys are amazing. I am just home now from a really exhausting day and I have this superb advice in front of me. Thank you. What a smart group of people you all are; I can't get over how you have all hit the nail on the head, in so many different ways.

    Ben; My father and I have a special bond, and she may feel jealousy; I have never really thought about this before; seriously.

    Grunt; yes, she is an only child; What you were thinking in relation to that: the self-absorbed bit?...

  1. Blogger Meow said:

    Oh Cathy, I am sorry you don't have a great relationship with your mum. I guess you can use this as a lesson on what not to do with your own kids, and how not to treat them !! From what I have seen you are a wonderful mum, so you are definately doing something right.
    Have a great week.
    Tak care, hugs, Meow

  1. Blogger sophie said:

    "Friends always welcome.
    Mothers by appointment only."

  1. Blogger Heidi said:

    {{{{{{{{ CATHY}}}}}}}}}}}}

  1. Blogger Michelle said:

    Just trying to catch up on others blogs as i am still stuck in the middle of a trial.
    I'd much rather share other similarities, :((

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