It appears you have not yet Signed Up with our community. To Sign Up for free, please click here....



Codependency Message Board
Post New Thread   Closed Thread
LinkBack Thread Tools
Old 08-04-2012, 09:13 AM   #1
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
maxiej HB User
Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

Hi, this is my first post.

After much research, I have realized my mother is codependent and I need help with how to deal with her from my end. I am hoping that someone can give me some strategies to set healthy boundaries that leave us both marginally satisfied. I need to "shake off" mom - in a loving, caring way.

"Sacrifice and suffering" and "being unappreciated" are Mom's m.o.

Going forward, based on past experiences, I expect that watever it is she does "for" me or my kids or my family, I WILL hear about it in the future negatively.

Going to my son's football game? "All those times I came to the games and bought the kids peanuts and you never said thank you and you just expect me to be there and you don't appreciate anything I do." (Forget that it was her idea to go, and that she enjoyed herself while she was there).
Buying school supplies for the kids? "I support your family and you never appreciate it and you just expect me to do it and the kids just take advantage of me." (Forget that I never ask her to, mom loves to shop, and she is financially well-off).
Holidays? Oy vey. "All the things I do to make a nice holiday and I start shopping in september and make prime rib for dinner and cook for 3 days and everyone just expects it and no one is appreciative and not so much as a thank you and if I didn't you'd complain..."

If anything good or nice or fun happens, over time all the good washes away and she is left with her (imagined) sacrifice, suffering, and lack of appreciation. Mom cannot give from a place of genuine caring or with a generous spirit. Mom's giving comes with a huge emotional price to pay.

All this has left me worn out and deeply hurt. I can't take any more of it.

I want to have a relationship with my mother. She is 70 and not about to change. If I cut her off in order to protect myself, alas, she will be suffering from not seeing us, and will I ever hear about that when the time comes. Dammed-if-I-do-dammed-if-I-don't.

There has got to be some way...
Thank you any ideas would be most appreciated.

Maxie

 
Sponsors Lightbulb
   
Old 08-04-2012, 10:50 AM   #2
Facilitator
(female)
 
Seraph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,798
Seraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

In this situation, there is only one person you can change. Try looking at it more from a point of view that she is what she is and you need to find ways to deal with your reactions to her behaviour. There is absolutely no need for you to take her moaning on board. Brush it off, let it wash over you, don't choose to be hurt by it. It is HER stuff, from HER head, nothing to do with you. Don't try to defend yourself or prove her wrong, that will never happen. You do not have to fix her. She is getting her payoff by being a noble martyr, that is who she is. Let her be a martyr and "suffer", she clearly enjoys it. Sera

 
Old 08-04-2012, 12:01 PM   #3
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
maxiej HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

Sera I appreciate your reply. Dh says the same thing. Right now I am in turtle position. After a lifetime of this, sigh. It doesn't wash off. What I *want to do is make it very clear to her that I will not tolerate her "moaning" anymore. Wasting my breath to try that approach? (I have also learned this type of "lay down the law" inclination on my part is the role-reversal that happens when one has a co-dependent parent).

Finally understanding that she has this pattern, that it is her and not me, is a start.

My quandary is this, for example, do I invite her to a football game? It frightens me! If I do, do I clearly state ahead of time that I hope she enjoys herself but if she feels it is a sacrifice to be there, don't come? Is that baiting her? Or being assertive? Do I say thank you for coming and I hope you had fun...and that's all I'm going to say so consider yourself thanked? Or is that being, I don't know a word for it...?

Right now I am still very angry and have told her I need space and time (she really laid into me last week, it was line-crossing). It will do me some good having a breather.

Any suggestions for a first outing or encounter? I shudder at the thought of doing something, anything, she could use against me later. Bc she will.

Maxie

 
Old 08-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #4
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
maxiej HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

Sera I appreciate your reply. Dh says the same thing. Right now I am in turtle position. After a lifetime of this, sigh. It doesn't wash off. What I *want to do is make it very clear to her that I will not tolerate her "moaning" anymore. Wasting my breath to try that approach? (I have also learned this type of "lay down the law" inclination on my part is the role-reversal that happens when one has a co-dependent parent).

Finally understanding that she has this pattern, that it is her and not me, is a start.

My quandary is this, for example, do I invite her to a football game? It frightens me! If I do, do I clearly state ahead of time that I hope she enjoys herself but if she feels it is a sacrifice to be there, don't come? Is that baiting her? Or being assertive? Do I say thank you for coming and I hope you had fun...and that's all I'm going to say so consider yourself thanked? Or is that being, I don't know a word for it...?

Right now I am still very angry and have told her I need space and time (she really laid into me last week, it was line-crossing). It will do me some good having a breather.

Any suggestions for a first outing or encounter? I shudder at the thought of doing something, anything, she could use against me later. Bc she will.

Maxie

 
Old 08-04-2012, 12:45 PM   #5
Facilitator
(female)
 
Seraph's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Australia
Posts: 4,798
Seraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB UserSeraph HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

Maxie, you know that whatever you say, do or resolve, she will still find a way to stick it to you. She will push your buttons and this is where you can choose not to have those buttons affect you. Don't fight it. She has had a lifetime to perfect this technique. Stay calm, look her in the eye and say something like "I know you love us deep down", or "i had fun anyway, thanks for coming with us". If she goes on, just gather yourself and leave, not in a huff, just "oops, time to go". Don't try to teach her the error of her ways, or bite back, you will just feel bad. Just go your merry way and let the old misery moan into thin air. She cannot hurt you if you realise that, really, nothing she does is going to affect your life, family, happiness or whatever. Make this so. Mothers have a way of throwing us back to the age of 12, resist this. Stay in adult mode, and truly she will not bug you. Hear her complaints, tell yourself that this is her stuff, then brush it off your shoulders like dandruff (it is about as annoying as dandruff). Sera

 
Old 08-09-2012, 06:31 AM   #6
Newbie
(female)
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Posts: 4
maxiej HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

Sera, thank you again for the nudge. After more research and contemplation, I know now my mother is a master of the guilt trip. This has been a HUGE light bulb moment for me! No wonder I battle depression! No wonder I resent mom and constantly feel on guard! She most likely learned this sacrifice-suffer-unappreciated-guilt trip pattern from her mother, from what I remember of Nana.

So step 1: recognize the guilt trip when it comes at me. Step 2: if I have done something wrong, own up, and if I haven't, use guilt-trip deflecting tactic a) "it sounds like you want me to feel guilty. Is something bothering you?" or b) "I don't feel guilty about that." Step 3: STOP using the guilt trip on others, especially my dh and kids. I have a lot to unlearn!

There is no happiness in suffering and causing others to feel bad about themselves. I have the choice not to do so myself, and from now on, I feel more sorry for her than anything. I am going to strive to detach with love, and let her go on being codependent to my alcoholic widower brother with two young children and not let it spill over on to me. Hooray!

Peace out - Maxie

 
Old 11-27-2012, 08:43 PM   #7
Junior Member
(female)
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 12
Dana55 HB User
Re: Codep Mother - Help me set boundaries

I understand exactly where your coming from...and it's an awful place !!! I don't know how to fix it either...people say " you just have to tell her" ...well, much easier said than done, rite? But I do know that if you don't do it now it only gets harder...my mom is 88 an still lays the guilty on me....it makes me feel like a child. I can't hurt her now...imagine !!! I'd be the biggest a**hole in the world....I wish I had done something about it many many years ago......what if you try not excepting an invitation or offer from her and say .." I can't ma...you'll just hold it against me later...." Or something like that? I wish you luck....sorry I wasn't much help, but know your not alone !!!!

Last edited by Dana55; 11-27-2012 at 08:45 PM.

 
Closed Thread




Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are Off
Pingbacks are Off
Refbacks are Off




Join Our Newsletter

Stay healthy through tips curated by our health experts.

Whoops,

There was a problem adding your email Try again

Thank You

Your email has been added








TOP THANKED CONTRIBUTORS



rosequartz (4), Seraph (4), writeleft (2), renko (2), jillian4 (1), melliegirl (1), Ren1021 (1), bruxister (1), captjane (1), lenvegas (1)

Site Wide Totals

teteri66 (1180), MSJayhawk (1013), Apollo123 (909), Titchou (856), janewhite1 (823), Gabriel (763), ladybud (755), midwest1 (671), sammy64 (668), BlueSkies14 (607)



All times are GMT -7. The time now is 08:17 AM.



Site owned and operated by HealthBoards.comô
Terms of Use © 1998-2014 HealthBoards.comô All rights reserved.
Do not copy or redistribute in any form!