Monday, November 1, 2010

Walking on Eggshells

So I think my mom has Border-line personality disorder.

She flies of the handle for very minor (and sometimes imagined) infractions. She is overly jealous of my time and other people in my life. She has ruined more days than I care to admit or think about. I just don’t know what to do about it anymore.

Examples of what I’m talking about here-

When I gave birth to my son she stormed out of the room in a tiff because my in-laws came up to see me and the baby. She was angry with my husband for eating a hamburger. She was angry at my 3 hour old son because I had to get a C-section and she didn’t like the way everyone was fawning over him.

She gets angry at Christmas because she feels like my in-laws buy too many presents for my son. She takes it personally like they are trying to show her up and make her look cheap.

She got offended when I said I wanted to have a family outing with just my husband and my son without her coming along. She gets mad at my sisters and my husbands/boyfriends at the drop of a hat. It almost feels like she is angry that our relationships are working out better than hers did. I think she would be secretly very pleased if we were to get divorced or break-up with our men.

She is constantly hinting that she would like us to move in with her to “help us” save some money. That will never happen.

The most recent example is what happened on Halloween yesterday. My husband had to work. So I dressed SAK up in his costume and went over to my MIL’s house to show him off on my way to my mom’s. My MIL gave him a little Thomas the Train flashlight because I told her no candy.

We get to my mom’s and he is of course a little pre-occupied with his new toy. He didn’t want to put it down to go Trick or Treating. She FLIPS OUT on him. Using the F-word and slamming the door. Threatening not to give him the toys she got him, etc. I yell at her to calm down and she finally walks around the neighborhood with us, but sulks the whole time. When we get back to her house she throws the matchbox cars on the floor in front of him and says “here’s your present, not that you want it” then stomps off to the other room and breaks down and cries.

After I finally go down and try to talk to her she finally pulls herself together and begins acting normally again. Thankfully, my son didn’t seem to take her bad mood personally or be affected by it too much. She later said she was in a bad mood before we ever came over because she visited my grand-parents graves that morning.

This has been the story of my life. I feel like I dread having “big moments” because every time she finds a way to ruin it for me. I love my mother but I also hate her. I don’t want to cut her out of my life, but I also will not allow her to abuse my son emotionally like that. I just don’t know what to do! I can’t really suggest she go see a psychiatrist because that alone would send her into a tailspin. There have been times when part of me just wishes she would die already, and of course I feel utterly guilty for even thinking such things. I keep trying because I think that maybe if I just try a little bit harder each time that maybe I can finally make her happy. But it only gets better for awhile and then it's back to this utter nonsense. The only solution I can fathom is to move my family as far away from her as possible. I can't do that though until I know what's going on with my job. If I can put some physical distance between us again, I think it will be easier to have some emotional distance.

I'll be okay, I just needed to get that off my chest.

Thanks for listening!


  1. Wow. I'm so sorry you have had to go through this. Mother issues are just soooo difficult!! I understand what you mean about "walking on eggshells" as I spent most of my growing up years walking on eggshells around my step father.

    I wouldn't even begin to know where to "give advice" on this, except to say, and you probably already know, that it is *really* important to set firm limits with someone like this. I would wait a day or so and have a talk with her and tell her you will NOT tolerate that behavior around your son and if she does not respect that, that you will not be bringing him over. He may not seem affected by it, but kids pick up on way more than we think they do.

    Family issues like this are heart wrenching. My heart truly goes out to you. I remember several years ago having to put my food down with my mom and step father and it was sooooo scary!!! Somehow, we came out the otherside ok, but I empathize with you.

    It's good that you have a place here to vent your frustrations.

    Do you have any siblings? What does your husband say about it?

  2. Nope - "Maybe if I try a little harder I can make her happy." I think it's a shame that you don't know just how much your mother loves you. It's a shame that your mother (for whatever reasons)cannot communicate to you just how special you are to her. It must be hell for her (as it is for you). I hope your mother finds relief and I hope you get what you need to feel whole!

    I'm in your corner girl!

  3. You can't make another person happy if they don't want you to.

    I guess I'd stop trying so hard. You have a life to live and if that means keeping your Mum at arms length do so.

    You live nearby your Mum so see her often. Perhaps it's time to put some boundaries around 'how often' is enough.

    Time to think through and do things on your terms. Of course you love your mother and want a healthy relationship but sometimes we have to be the adult/mature one and stop allowing her to use this kind of emotional blackmail to control you.

    You can use this situation to grow strong in yourself without growing resentful. It's not easy.

    Knowing you have this rocky relationship and how your mother reacts I have to ask why you chose to go trick and treat with her. I don't want to be critical, because only you know whether it was a good idea or not, but maybe in making this choice set yourself up for a bad time.

    Maybe you need to come to a place where you understand why your mother is always angry and why she seems to be jealous. Understanding makes it easier to cope and love in spite of the flaws.

    I know I'm throwing advice at you when I know very little so I hope you will take anything useful and throw out the rest.


  4. I have a lot of similar issues with my Mom as well, though she doesn't often have angry outbursts. But you KNOW she is unhappy & makes everyone awround her unhappy too. She has been known to loudly (in front of my son) proclaim that she should just kill herself and everyone would be better off. My husband and I have agreed that if she starts, one of scoops my son up and removes him from the situation because we don't want him exposed to that. I don't know what the answer is for your situation, or mine, but I do know that we have to do what we can to protect our children from being hurt by the actions of our mothers.

    I'm glad you were able to get that off your chest, I know sometimes just putting it into words helps a little. Hope you can have a productive conversation with her soon. Hang in there! :)