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Kristin, Mental Health Professional
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 454
Experience:  Licensed Mental Health Counselor. 11+ years specialist in mental health. Expertise and insight!
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I have just had a bad row with my mother. To be honest it

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I have just had a bad row with my mother. To be honest it has been building up for years. She is a terrible controlling person and everyone just has to fit in with her. Noone ever is allowed to disagree with her in anyway for fear of her reaction. Today I finally told her what I thought of her and her behaviour as it does affect my otherwise very happy life. It goes back to a very unsettling childhood with fighting parents and I simply learnt to walk around on egg shells in case I upset her. She could and can be very frightening. That has continued into my adult life where I even shake when I pick the phone up to her. Today I told her everything and now I am worried I shouldn't but I simply can't live like this. Have I done the right thing?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Hello and thank you for your question.

You sound deeply affected by your mother's behaviors. Shaking when you pick up the phone to call her, really indicates just how fearful you are of her. What kinds of things does she say and do, that make her so frightening? How did she respond today when you told her everything about how you feel?

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I am fearful of upsetting her and then having to feel guilty and worried because she never seems to accept any blame. To be perfectly honest I think she was so shocked that after all these years of control any one would ever be brave enough. She told me I must be under alot of strain from something to which I replied no, I am not under any strain apart from the strain you give me. She had people arriving at her door so we never fully resolved things. She is coming over to visit on Saturday, which of course I am not looking forward to. I simply feel she cannot make me feel like this anymore.
Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.
Okay, I understand how you are feeling. So I can best help you, can you give me some examples of what she will say to you, or what she does to you that is upsetting?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.

She has been trying to track me down this week to see me because it is half term. We have been having a busy week and my husband has taken a couple of days off from a very busy job so we didn't make any fixed arrangement to see her. So today she was putting pressure on me - Where had I been this week? Why hadn't I returned her texts? When could she see us? It is just the way she makes me feel. Treating me like a naughty child. I tried to explain to her that I had a new mobile and that is why I hadn't replied to texts and today we had been out when she had called and that I was now returning her call. She made me feel very guilty that we hadn't seen her and has no regard for the busy family life I have. So for once I told her how she made me feel. She is terribly good at twisting words around and change the course of the conversation.

The bot***** *****ne is I don't enjoy being in her company anymore. And I don't know how to resolve this or even if I want to?

Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Okay thanks for the additional info. It sounds like she is manipulative through guilt and like you said twisting things around, so she doesn't have to take accountability or look at her own behaviors. Sounds more than frustrating and that you feel trapped by her.

It's understandable that you would want to not feel this way any longer.

She is not someone who you can control as that will only backfire.

What you can control, is how you respond or react to her. Such as, "Mom we are having a really busy week. I will call you or text you, when I get a chance." I have to go now. When you try to make me feel guilty, by saying that I don't have time for you, I will hang up the phone." Or, "When you say that I'm wrong for not seeing you, that makes me not want to spend time with you." So I will call you when I'm ready to see you"

Meaning, you need to set limits with her, almost similar to a child. "When you do this, this will be the consequence". And then you must follow thru with the consequence.

IT's not about her trying to see your point of view, it's more about her seeing that there is a consequence (that she won't like) when she misbehaves.

That is all you can do, really. Don't fight with her or try to explain why she upsets you. Just tell her that if she does this, then you will hang up, not see her, take some time apart etc. If after trying this, things do not improve, then you will need to consider

if you want to just take some time from her, with no contact at all.

Please click ACCEPT button for this answer. Thank you.

Expert:  Kristin replied 6 years ago.

Did you have any more questions about this for me? If so, please do ask...

Otherwise, please click ACCEPT so I'm credited for my assistance today.

Thank you.

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