Losing Respect for your parents

Old 09-05-2010, 04:41 AM
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Default Losing Respect for your parents

I'm posting this in the support group chat because its something I have been struggling with lately (a few years) and its unrelated to diet or weight. Like many women, my mom and I don't see eye to eye very often. Lately, though, I've been losing respect and love for her (I really hate to even admit it to myself). Tonight, she drove home drunk (we live in nyc), last month, she got invasive cosmetic surgery because her friends said it would be a good idea (NOT because she needed it) and in between just generally treats me like a lesser human being. I know she and I are different people and I accept that fact.. but her actions and attitudes are those of a teenager, not those of a grown responsible woman.
Perhaps it is something of a midlife crisis but her progressive mood swings and negativity are affecting me in nearly all aspects of my life. I just graduated from college and am in that transition period where I can not afford to move out. I could really use some words of wisdom
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Old 09-05-2010, 01:21 PM
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Try sitting down with her and talking to her about her behavior and how it makes you feel. She may be going through a depression herself, and not know how to handle it. I experience many things with my own, and she's comming to live with me soon. It's a scary thing, but at the same time, as long as lines of communication are open, then there's always a solution.

You need to sit down with her first to determine her feelings, this way you can know for sure if her actions are intentional or just derived from a greater problem she may not be aware of herself. Sometimes we aren't even aware of our actions or how they are effecting others until they say something. This could be happening here. If you have said something, then it's time you sit down with her and explain that her behavior is not okay, and if she keeps it up you will have to take action (that action is up to you, it could be moving out, it could be taking her to a counselor, or having someone in the that's older family speak with her)

My own mom behaves very much like a 15 year old, and my entire life I felt like the adult- even now. It is one thing when they are not effecting people around them, but it is completely different when everyone around them is torn apart or hurt by their behavior. My mom unfortunately has done the latter, and I am now the last member of her once friends and family that is willing to take her in- yet she still continues her behavior. I am considering bringing her to doctor to analyze her mental stability because Schitzophrenia runs in my family , unfortunatly. None the less, there is always a solution. It's up to us (the children) to look after our parents as they get older, just as they looked after us when we were younger, and that can be rough. But we have to remember, when we were acting wild or misbehaving, our parents never thought to leave us...so we should be just as loving and patient.

Talk to her, and if it doesn't solve it, have a family member or clergy intervine fo guidance.I hope this helps at least some, and pray you and your mom can come to a peaceful solution.
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Old 09-05-2010, 02:58 PM
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I agree, talk to your mom when she seems most receptive. Maybe ask her to talk to a professional about her depression and drinking. I spent my life with a mom who never lets me forget that she only wanted two kids, a boy and a girl (I'm the youngest of the three). She calls me her mistake and treats my sons like they are just nephews, not grandchildren. She gives my nieces everything: cell phones, computers, lets them visit for weekends, etc. My son's she might give $25 for birthdays, but they are never invited to spend any length of time out there unless my mom has a "job" for them. I also had an alcoholic father who walked in and out of my life at a whim and was also abusive. I learned late in life that we cannot control what our parents do. We can tell them how it makes us feel, but that is no guarantee that they will change their ways (My mom denied treating me or my family different). It is her loss not mine. You are in a rough situation, but if you mom chooses to stay like she is, all you can do is pray she changes, but do what is best for you. You can't make her choices for her. Sorry your in this situation, but remember that right now you have to do what is best for you. Good Luck
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Old 09-05-2010, 10:34 PM
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Hi melyna, I am going to take a different approach in my advice and suggest that you do whatever you can to look out for you. No matter what, you cannot change another person. Yes, you can support and encourage them, but when it comes right down to it, the only person you can change is you. It is a really hard place to be and I know you want it to be different. The stronger you are, the more emotional distance you can get from your mother's actions. But this is not an easy journey. If you feel comfortable doing so, check out ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics); just Google it and you will find free meetings in your area that will provide you with a ton of support and resources. I would also suggest reading a couple books by John Bradshaw, one being The Family and another good one, Homecoming. Both help you understand a lot about dysfunctional family members while still being able to be true to your own feelings and become emotionally independent.
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:47 AM
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Exclamation Boundaries.

Hi melyna, I am with cjohnson on this one. I have come to believe that the only 'normal' family is a dysfunctional one. No one has the answers to life but at least we keep trying.
A good book you might want to read is Boundaries: When to Say Yes, When to Say No-To Take Control of Your Life By Henry Cloud, John Townsend. It will give you some ideas of how to set your personal boundaries and safe guard your heart in the process.
You can love your mother AND not like her actions. Drinking and driving is NEVER a good thing - tough love would be calling the police the next time you know she is on the road when she's drinking.
ACA - good to have some support and encouragement, like here. Maybe they will give you some ideas on what to do and not do.
As a recovered alcoholic (35years) I still do not have all the answers but do know that the seed needs to be planted with your Mom. Maybe you need to get some pamphlets from AA and show your Mom. It may bruise her ego but it could save her life and others (when she is driving.) She needs is a wake-up call.
Whatever you decide to do - remember - YOU can not change her. You have to take care of yourself - mentally, emotionally, spiritually and physically. Your mothers choices are her own. She will suffer the consequences of her actions; just like everyone else. Guard your heart when you speak to her.
We are all here for you, Carren
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Old 09-06-2010, 03:54 PM
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I'm with Cassie and Carren. You could try sitting down with your mom and try to figure out - but frankly that isn't your job or responsibility. And by doing that you are tacitly admitting that it is - which is a large part of what enabling is.

All families are dysfunctional. In mine, it's dealing with a religious addict. All sorts of messed up behavior go along with any addition. Not just the addicts, but the people who are trying to cope with how their lives are impacted.

Go to Al-Anon or ACA to get the moral and emotional support you need. Work towards getting an independent life for yourself. Eat well, exercises and get enough sleep. Mediate.

Best of luck!

Charity
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Old 09-06-2010, 04:28 PM
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I too am with CJ on this one. AND this certainly does or could have some effect on your diet. I went through this with adoptive mother. She had been gone for years now. I tried for YEARS with great emotional drain on myself to have her understand me and be supportive and not just tear me down like I was subhuman to her because I was adopted and not her own child. Well for crying out loud I did NOT adopt me she did. She was the one wanted a child. I was a baby. So if I was so sub human for being adopted then why did she adopt me to begin with. She chose to adopt what she considered damaged goods. Sheese.

Anyway it is slightly different issues then you have and yet the effect on me was the same as what you are feeling. You need to do what it best for you and what you can live with forever. I finally had to remove myself from this toxic family.It really was OK to do this. They all are dead now and it was a relief because I felt just a slight twinge of regret we never got along and had the love of a real family. And yet I see even in real families things are not always as perfect either.

I do feel a lot of this emotional background noise in my life and brain was a big part of my over eating and weight gain. Trying to fill the emptiness. I also feel I am finally healing from all of it now. I am 61 and it sure has taken it's sweet own time of it. BUT it was me needing to heal. Looking back I should not have let this all drag me down. I should have taken better care of ME . It really is ok to look out for yourself. I was as nice to family as I could be. Never forgot birthdays and all that . I also was emotionally cut off from them years before they died. I would to the dutiful thing as a daughter then try to forget all about them as soon as I hung up the phone.

There is a book out Toxic Parents.Will get the author if you would like. Maybe reading it could help you to see it is not necessarily all you with this problem. You are young enough now to be able to take control of your own life and heal before it takes control of you like it did me. I wish now I had not waited so long to back away from them. But we all are our own person and again you must do what is best for you.

Love Maggie
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Old 09-08-2010, 03:23 AM
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Words of wisdom: you're in that transition period where you can't afford to move out. Get out of that transition period. Commit yourself to the task of supporting yourself and living with roommates if you have to save money on rent. Just do it.

Mom problems: more people have them than don't. Same with Dad problems and sib problems. But you CAN move out. Just move your butt out the door and accept living on your own. It can be done.
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Old 09-14-2010, 12:43 AM
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I think the best thing that's come of posting this thread is finally hearing from other women that I am not alone in this boat. Thank you ladies for talking this out with me and sharing your stories too.

I took your advice today Crimpet and Charity and tried talking to her about how her actions, words and attitudes make me feel; without condemning her of course. Also, to just try and tell her what kinds of things are going on in my life. Needless to say, it didn't go well. I started off my saying that I have an interview tomorrow but it isn't exactly what i've been looking for. Before I got in 2 full sentences she started screaming and cursing at me. Knowing this reaction was a strong possibility, I asked her why she feels the need to yell when no one is yelling at her. I continued by saying the way she speaks to me (or yelling is more like it) is hurtful and that I don't deserve it. Anyway.. It ended with her storming out and slamming the door like a mature adult. I really feel like the only thing left for me to do is to further distance myself both emotionally and physically.

Missmaggie: I think you are right about the situation having an affect on my diet. I spend the weekends away from home and I almost never feel the need to snack. But, even just being at home I find myself often reaching for something.
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Old 09-14-2010, 01:32 PM
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Melyna, I just want to say that I empathize. I am 34 with 2 children and recently decided that I needed to cut ties with my emotionally abusive mother. She is now trying to control me through my children and has threatened legal action to get visitation with my children. I moved out when I was 19 because of the abuse, my mother didn't know until I pulled up a pickup truck to gather my things.

I think it is important that you tried to speak to your mother and now can take the next step. The important thing is to take care of yourself first. Seek therapy to build your self confidence (it has helped me immensely). Do this before you also have to take care of others because it will complicate things to another level. It is not our role in life to take care of our parents if they have not taken care of us. If you ever feel ready, you can try again with your mother, but the most important thing is you!

This is a support forum and everything we do has an impact on what we put in our mouths. I am a binge eater when I go through things like this and I binge on chips and soda. Fortunately, I also exercise which is a great release!
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