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Bumpy relationship with mom

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  • #962906 Reply

    So, giving some background info on my situation, ive been living away from my parents (and in another country) for about 2 years now.
    I finished uni and came to work and travel, and im currently studying a diploma.
    My boyfriend is also here with me, and we’ve been dating for about 4 years but doing long distance for about 2 and a half years (he’s from another country).
    Ok, the problem would be that my mother is constantly criticising my decision to travel and live abroad, by saying that i should come back home and work here.
    To this i try to be as nice and calm, saying that i understand her concern of wanting a stable life for me, but that i would love to travel and get to know other countries too.
    Then she goes on and on about my choices and that i should really think about it well and make the right decision. And when she runs out of things to say she starts attacking by boyfriend, asking about his plan for the future and why is he not going back to his country.
    It might sound like a normal concerned parent, but this is a very regular conversation, to the point that whenever she talks to me i get very anxious and stressed.
    Today we had the same conversation yet again and i just could not deal with it.
    I tried to be as nice as i could and told her that all i ask from you is just moral support, i never asked for money when i left, not a single penny for anything. Not even now that im jobless because of covid. That im not ashamed of my current job because it gets me what i need and i can support myself and even pay for my studies.
    (im working as a waitress and so she was telling me yet again, that i should reconsider my life choices)
    It really hurts me and makes me feel really depressed that she is constantly jabbing me on the sides with her words to the point that i just dont want to go back even to visit.
    But then think of my sister, dad and grandparents, and think that i should go back at least to visit.
    I just needed to get this out of my system, ive been crying and feeling very down today.

    Just a side info on my mom and her mental state.
    She has always been a very loving mother, and she has her own issues and problems that i somewhat understand.
    She tries to be a relaxed parent but is very dominating in reality.
    An event that shows a little of how she is, is one time(actually 3) when i had an argument with her,(don’t remember right now but it wasnt a big deal) and she was crying in the bathroom and screaming. Then the next morning she was confronting me and telling me how she wanted to kill herself by jumping from the second floor, but then thought of my sister and didnt do it.
    The other events are very similar but one other time, i went to the country that my boyfriend is from (and my parents, aunts grandparents, est)
    And went out on a day trip to another region with my boyfriend (1hour away)
    I told her that ill be home by 10, but when you have fun usually time just flies by, so i arrived at 11, which in my opinion is not a big deal since i was 25 at the time.
    But when i arrived home she looked very mad, and started yelling at me for the time and why i didnt tell her by message that i was going to be late.(i admitted that was a mistake and i was sorry but i just really didnt think it would matter that much.)
    Then she started asking me what she meant to me. (what i thought she meant for me)
    and i just didnt answer, because all i was thinking at the moment was that she was my mom, but also my roof over my head (which i know is kinda fucked up and very cold from my part)
    Then she just locked herself in a room and after an hour she got dressed and stormed out of the house.
    She then came back at about 2 in the morning.
    And the next morning started the confrontation, and told me how she wanted to throw herself from the stairs (there were really steep stairs and it was winter so everything was frozen and very slippery)
    and that she walked up and down thinking about just jumping and killing herself.
    That day was one of the worst days in my life.
    I had plans to go out with my boyfriend but i canceled and just went out as soon as the argument ended.
    I just didn’t say a word and just got out of the place we were staying.
    That day i went to a tourist destination that had a very big garden and just walked and didnt even cry.
    My boyfriend was obviously very concerned and asked me where i was. so i just told him the area that i was walking through and he found me while crossing a street.
    We then went to a cafe and i started crying like a crazy person , i just could not stop.
    Then i got a message from my dad, who didnt come with us, and said that i should think of anything radical and that i should tell mom that i was ok.
    With that i assumed that my mom thought that i went out to kill myself.

    Anyways thats my story thank you for reading this rather long post!
    Stay stong and live your best life🧡

    #962909 Reply

    Her actions, especially the repeated suicide threats and assuming you were going to kill yourself, suggest that your mother has undiagnosed mental issues. It is a very good thing that you are away from her and independent. Living at home at 25 wasn’t healthy for either of you. In a time of Covid, and being out of work, going home to visit your family is an issue for another day. If I were you, I’d plan to stay some place other than the family home and just drop in during the day. If you have to stay at a hotel, how long you can afford to stay determines how long you can plan to visit. What does your father think of your mother’s mental health?

    #962911 Reply

    That event was a couple of years ago, now im 27.
    Im in another country so im not visiting them until february (if i do visit)
    Right now im living in a sharehouse with other students and my boyfriend.
    My dad knows of her issues and tries to support her. He is the most patient person i know.
    For what i know her suicidal threats have stopped, but i guess you never know when they will come out whenever she feels upset.

    A little part that i missed :
    Today, after i told her how i needed just her support and not criticism, she just said “ ok i hope you make the right decisions and stay well”
    and then left the family chatroom.

    #962914 Reply

    Setting boundaries and then living by them will help. If your mother knows that you will walk away – leave the conversation, end the call every singly time she crosses boundaries then she will stop.

    If you chase after her when she drops – she gets the reward she seeks. So don’t do it. When she brings it up the next time – do what you’ve been doing “If you can’t be nice, I’m not staying.” “This topic is off limits, if you bring up this topic, I will drop from the conversation.” and then do it every time. She may escalate or say “Well NeedstoTalk says we can’t talk about this so I guess NeedstoTalk has to pick the topic.” Don’t tell her she’s wrong or misinterpreting, just ask about your family members or something or ask them how to make a family recipe.

    #962930 Reply

    Her saying she hopes you stay well and leaving the chat is a good thing. She basically self selected out of a conversation you didn’t want to have. She may have done it hoping you’d chase her and give her attention and apologize, but the outcome was good.

    It’s time time to start setting firmer boundaries. You need to tell her, once, that you can’t keep having the same conversation over and over, that you’re not changing your plans anytime soon, and if she brings it up again you have to leave the conversation. Then, do that. “Ah mom I love you but we’ve been over this, g2g, talk to you later!”, “I’ll check back in later today if you’re up for a conversation that doesn’t include this topic”, etc. She’ll try tactics to force you into an argument you don’t want to have (guilt, fear, threats, whatever). The important thing to know is if you give in, even once, the behavior will never stop.

    Your mom threatens suicide fairly regularly. She also seems manipulative and has some unhealthy coping mechanisms for stress. These….are not small things. She needs professional help. Have you or your family ever encouraged her to get it? That may be a family convo you need to have. If she ever threatens to actively hurt herself you need to bring someone else in immediately- your dad, or call emergency services. Take her seriously. I also suggest you get counseling for yourself. There’s a lot on your plate and a counselor can help you create scripts and set better boundaries with your mom. The advice site Captain Awkward also has amazing scripts for dealing with situations like yours.

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