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Not sure why I can’t stand my mum


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Okay, so this is going to be a long one! 


I’m doing some soul searching. I just had my first baby, so I’d like to sort some things out in my head so I can be the best Mum I possibly can. 


I don’t get on with my mum and I’m not sure why. I find being around her incredibly irritating - I can’t stand her touching me or being too close to me. It’s almost a feeling of disgust. I find most things she says incredibly irritating and I’m often being irrational about this. Ie she says something harmless and it drives me up the wall. I never experienced anything horrendous as a child, so I’m unsure why my reaction is so strong.


She is now a bit senile, having had a couple of minor strokes. She can’t remember a lot, so talking to her about stuff isn’t really an option. She has no zest for life and does literally nothing all day. She lives with my sister and despite my sisters encouragement she doesn’t do anything and sits watching tv blankly most days.


I was very close to her as a small child. A real mummies girl. She was a stay at home Mum. My dad was much older than her - an older father. So a bit hands off, but a very nice dad all the same. I think I was very happy as a small child. I have a much older brother and sister, so I was a bit like an only child. My mum and dad had a very traditional relationship where he called the shots. He was a nice man so this wasn’t bad, but I think my mum was a bit of a walkover and in my aldulthood I resent her for that.


I pulled away a bit from my mum about age 8. I vividly remember telling her about my first ‘boyfriend’ (ha!) and her dissapproving and telling me i wasn’t allowed. Looking back I’m sure she was probably joking but I took it seriously and felt let down and stopped telling her things. I never felt comfortable telling her things at this age as I always felt she didn’t ‘understand’ me or she would mock me. We’ve never been close or discussed anything since - I’ve never felt understood by her since this age.


When I was 12-14 my dad got sick with cancer and passed away. I was also pretty hormonal and snappy at this stage, very irritable. My brother also suffered from mental health issues and was difficult to live with. Aggressive but never actually violent. After my dad died he got worse, and mum didn’t know how to deal with him. She never stood up for me when he was nasty to me. He would call me fat or ugly. I resented that, though in hindsight I do see why she didn’t stand up to him as he could be intimidating. (Not saying that’s its right of course!) 


As a teenager a big issue for me was - I used to get very upset when she would clean my room for me. I wanted privacy but she never respected that. Even though I’m sure she thought she was helping by cleaning my room. I hated her touching or moving my things, even though I wasn’t hiding anything. Later, when I moved out of Home she would come over and try to clean or help. I hated this and would get angry at her for doing cleaning or touching my things, even though they weren’t private things. I just hated her doing stuff or helping, which doesn’t make much sense!


When I was 16-17 Mum was struggling with my brother, and financial issues. Looking back I think she was very stressed and probably depressed. She would get very angry at me and shout for no reason, or for tiny reasons. She would really let fly. 


She let me have free rein during this time and I used to go out underage. She didn’t like me going out, but she didn’t do anything to stop me. I was headstrong and she was weaker than me in that sense. I was a pretty sensible kid, but I do think in hindsight I should have had more rules or guidance. (Even though headstrong me liked it at the time!) looking back I’m sure my mum was confused and struggling to parent a teenage daughter alone. I had a couple of sexual experiences (not terrible but just inappropriate - older men) that probably wouldn’t have happened if I’d had more guidance.


I moved out at 18 due to wanting to, my mum having financial issues, and also my brother being difficult to live with. By the way I should mention that my older sister is a saint and helped my family financially after my dads death. I owe her a lot. Once I moved out my Mum became very ‘old’ in personality not actual age. She lost her reason for being, it seemed. In this time she also suffered her two minor strokes. 


After a few years she went to live with my sister and has lived with her for 7 years. She doesn’t need ‘Care’ as such but an eye kept on her. My sister finds living with my mum incredibly stressful and depressing. (She has similar feelings that I do.) She is a saint because I couldn’t do it! 


When I was 24 I moved overseas and haven’t seen my mum much in person. Every couple of years. I call her on the phone once a fortnight. Conversation is difficult (she has nothing to say and tells the same stories as she doesn’t do anything or have any friends.) She doesn’t know how to use the internet well, or a mobile phone, so she never calls me. She stopped calling me when I was about 20 actually - so it’s always been up to me to contact her. She’s always very happy to hear from me though - she’s good at denial and we never speak of anything emotional. She plods on as though everything is normal. Maybe she thinks it is? 


Despite the negatives my mum was a kind and loving mother, so I don’t know why my reaction to her is so negative and so strongly negative after all these years. I’ve had my problems, but I’ve turned out okay! I don’t understand why I really can’t stand her or to be around her for very long. It seems out of proportion to her mistakes, but I really can’t help it! I’m usually quite tolerant and patient, but with her I’m definitely not! 


I’d love to get other people’s opinions or insights into all of this! Thanks for reading :-)

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Everyone I know has or had a complicated relationship w their mother.  

Mine was the one and only person in my life I could truly count on to always be in my corner however looking back I see how she was often very manipulative of me to what she perceived to be her benefit.  

The emotional body is a real body just like the physical body and it sounds like yours took some blows and sustained some injuries growing up.  Your emotional body reacts to your mother and that what you are feeling.  

I encourage you to keep one other thing in mind - when your mom is gone she is gone.  This is the person that gave you life. If you are  harsh or cold w her it will haunt you for the rest of your life.  The thing I am most proud of is the way I took good care of my mother the last 10 years of her life as she started to decline.  I can honestly look back and say I did all I could and then some.  

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Welcome to the community, confusedjess.

Are these feelings about your mother new or do you think they have been building over the years? How did you feel about her when you were growing up, as a teenager, and when you left home? Resentful feelings might build if feelings have been suppressed over the years. What are the feelings about? Anger? Hurt? 

You mentioned that your mom has had strokes and so wouldn't be capable of open conversation with you. Do you think it might help to discuss your feelings with someone you trust or possibly you might journal them? If it weighs on your mind maybe it could help to express?

None of us can change our pasts, but I think we can work toward accepting what happened and heal. Hopefully doing this can help improve our relationships in the present...with others and with ourselves.

Take care. 

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Hi Jess

I read your post & to begin with I'd like to reiterate what @Victimorthecrime said. It seems as though your mum is coming on in age so it might be best that you don't let her know this resentment that you harbour. She might hold it in & it would be awfully difficult to take back.


I'm no expert so take what i say mildly. To me it seems that your dislike of her stems from the fact that you outgrew her so quickly. And by this you feel as though you have outdone her. This alone wouldn't create your frustration towards her.


I think there's something holding you back in life, which also held her back too. It's this similarity i believe, that causes you to resent her because it reminds you that no matter how much you outgrow her, you will be equally as limited as her in at least one, but essential department. 


On some level you associate this attribute with her subdued/submissive behavior, and so it pisses you off that your zest for life carries you no further than her (in this department) despite her disinterest in life. In reality, you're angry at yourself & more particularly that this attribute remains unchanged despite your efforts to be productive. She is a clear mirror to the characteristic/s that cause this anger. Do you look like her?


If you adress these issues your anger with her might subside. Just my thoughts. Tc

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