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Wuffles
Deinonychus
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30 Apr 2011, 9:01 am

My mom and I went to visit an old family friend a few years ago. This is a friend that I like because she's very funny and she often used to say that she liked me too and felt we got on well considering our age difference.

During the visit, the friend left us alone in the house for a few minutes. My mom decided immediately said to me, 'Come on, let's look in her bedroom, I've always wanted to see what it's like.'

I was horrified and refused to go, but she literally took my arm and dragged me there with her. She looked through the drawers and laughed at how dirty the bedclothes were and the whole time I was terrified and hating it (I am a very private person, this seemed to me the worst thing you could do to a friend), and asking her to stop.

Of course the friend came back and caught us in the room. Immediately my mom turned around and apologized to her for MY behavior, telling her that she had caught me in there and tried to stop me.

Even now that friend won't talk to me, and lots of her friends won't either. My mom has completely forgotten about the incident, but she often seems almost pleased that the friend won't talk to me. Of course, no one believes me because I am 'odd' and my mom appears very innocent and sweet.

The thing is, she just did something similar again. My mom has always had an iffy relationship with her sister but I get on well with her. At least I did until my mom noticed. I'd been laughing on the phone with my aunt and my mom walked by and said 'I bet she'll find it funny if I tell her you were drunk when you were talking to her' (I wasn't, I don't drink, do drugs, anything). The next time I answered the phone to my aunt she was utterly cold to me and just said, 'let me talk to your mother'. She never ever talks to me now.

I don't know how to deal with this behavior. I have enough problems of my own, I just can't cope with my mom.
(My father is dead, I live with her on my own.)

How do I cope with this?



Dinosaw
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30 Apr 2011, 9:10 am

Is it possible that your mother is damaging your other relationships for some reason?


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Merculangelo
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30 Apr 2011, 9:24 am

Your mom sounds like a serious nut case, in the psychotic sense.

If my mom acted like that with me, I'd rather be homeless or institutionalized.

Or I'd go to my relatives and explain the situation, and maybe they'd take me in, or get my mom into psychiatric aid.



Wuffles
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30 Apr 2011, 10:05 am

---It does seem as if she's deliberately sabotaging these relationships. In both cases, it was someone that she had known prior to me but with whom I got along much better. She doesn't seem to see anything wrong with her behavior but it's impossible to approach her about it because she (quite literally) bursts into tears at almost any criticism. Of course as soon as she does, any discussion vanishes and everyone is trying to comfort her.

---It's not as simple as 'getting her into psychiatric aid'. Firstly, I have my own problems and I'm barely coping with those much less trying to solve my moms too. Secondly, my mom comes across as very very normal, sweet, and kind. No one sees this other side of her but me (at least as far as I know). Basically, she's a lot more credible.

I'd appreciate any serious advice about this as I am very hurt, very lost, and worst of all, that seems to please her.



starryeyedvoyager
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30 Apr 2011, 10:32 am

If my mother would have pulled that one one me, I'd hit her.

Does your mother, by any chance, give you the feeling that you should be punished for being how you are? As in: having Asperger's? How does she feel about you having it?
I have a very, very difficult relationship with my mother, and the day I told her I knew I had Asperger's, she was screaming at me like all hell that I shouldn't be an idiot, and that there is no way I had that without her noticing (she is an elementary school teacher). I feel that the moment I had my diagnosis, something in my mother changed. She also adopted a very frustrating type of behaviour which seems to be custom tailored to piss me off because I got Asperger's (touching my stuff, cleaning the "mess" I appartment, cooking food she knows I don't like and then yelling at me because I don't eat it.)
Allthough with your mother it seems she's as subtle as a sledgehammer with her attempts to sabotage you. My guess would indeed be that she hates you for being "not normal".



gailryder17
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30 Apr 2011, 10:49 am

For some reason, this makes me think of the movie "Black Swan" particularly about the relationship with Nina and her mother.

It seems like she's trying to punish you by cutting off your relationships. Do you have any friends that your mom doesn't know about?

You mom crying when you have a discussion may be a bit manipulating on her part. I'm not sure, though.



Wuffles
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30 Apr 2011, 11:15 am

Can't say I've seen 'Black Swan'. I'm not sure if she's trying to punish me or to make herself feel better. Possibly both. The thing is, I want to deal with this problem without trying to solve all my mom's problems. I just need to know how to explain to others what she's doing so that they can either help her or at least not hate me. Or at least BELIEVE me.

Her crying isn't deliberate but it is pretty clearly manipulative. In fact, I'm really not sure how much of her behavior is even conscious, or maybe she's in denial or....well I DON'T KNOW, I CAN'T HELP HER...I just want to be able to remove her ability to hurt me in this way by knowing how to talk to the people in question and explain what's going on in a credible way.



wefunction
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30 Apr 2011, 11:17 am

I think you need to call one of these people, be it your aunt or one of the friends you were close to and say, "You know my mother best so I thought it would be best to bring this problem to you because you could really help me with an insider perspective. My mom is lying about me. She's even said wrong things about me in front of me to you. She's my mother, so I don't want to argue with her, especially in front of people; but, I'm concerned that my reputation and relationships are being ruined by these lies." then talk about how she's blamed her bad behavior on you, how you don't drink and so on. Ask them for help in knowing how to handle this situation. Say you have no idea what awful lies people are believing about you that she hasn't told you, that she thinks it's all "a joke" but doesn't seem to let anybody in on it.

By asking them for help, you're pulling them from the perspective your mother gave them into your perspective. Most people, by nature, want to help especially when someone sounds troubled (but try not to cry, just sound worried/upset and avoid getting mad). They love your mom so when they hear you struggle with how to get along with this problem without hurting her, you'll receive sympathy and they will listen. If they're skeptical, reassure them that you thought you were wrong at first and had a hard time believing she was outright lying about you but when she started doing it in front of you and people started treating you differently, you realized it was really happening. And you don't know why. Basically, you're telling them the complete truth.



Peko
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30 Apr 2011, 11:23 am

Try telling someone you are close to that has not seen this side of her or been told lies by her yet.


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Megz
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30 Apr 2011, 11:27 am

Wow, that just stinks. I wish I had a good solution for you. I had/have a similar relationship with my dad. It just kept getting worse until I moved out. He would try to embarrass me in front of his friends and mine, he would lie about me, and when he would do something out of line and I'd tell my mom, he'd say I was lying. I try to interact with him as little as possible, but my mom's trying to get us to like each other. Honestly if I were you and living on your own isn't an option, I would try to see if I could find a friend or other family member to live with.



myownworld71
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01 May 2011, 1:07 am

How frustrating. While I can't say I've been in the exact same situation with my mom, I can relate to the manipulation you describe. My mom can cry on demand and everyone thinks she's just the sweetest person around. She's not but anyone who is acquainted with both of us would - I'm sure - say she was the much nicer person. She puts on a good act anyway. I used to get sucked into feeling guilty when my mom would cry and since I don't deal well with the emotions of others, the tears were hard for me to deal with. A few years ago I decided to distance myself from her to avoid her behavior which is NEVER going to change, in her case anyway. We basically have an occasional email relationship now and that works fine for me. I haven't talked to her on the phone in years; she lives 2500 miles away and we email, maybe, once a month or so. I don't have much of a relationship with my dad either but that's another story.

Is there another relative or friend you can live with?



alessi
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02 May 2011, 3:22 am

I don't know why parents think that they can use their children like that. My mother used to do the same sort of thing to me and my stepmother was even worse. Maybe you should call her on it next time, in front of the person. She will be angry but she might not do it again.



wefunction
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02 May 2011, 9:47 am

alessi wrote:
I don't know why parents think that they can use their children like that.


I'd never do that to my kids.

In fact, I was beside myself when my oldest confessed that I embarrass him when we're in public together. Now, he's a teenager so this is supposedly normal, but he has NO IDEA how cool I am compared to the crap other kids have to go through with their parents. The only thing I've ever done that he hasn't appreciated is that I told other adults that he has Social Anxiety. He was volunteering at church where other adults were in charge. He went through Confirmation classes last year that had people talking about how shy, quiet and withdrawn he was... as if there was something wrong with them because he wasn't talking or answering questions. So I told them what was up. I also told them, if you need him to do something, tell him, have him do it, treat him like he is answering you and behaving normally, and he will get there. He was mad at me when he found out, but by that time, they'd already taken my advice and he'd already loosened up. And what I did improved his social life.

I think what your mother and what the OP's mom have done is abusive. If I were in the OP's situation, I'd move away and never deal with any of these people ever again. I'd burn the bridges and have my own life. But I'm functioning enough to do that. Since the OP is a bit stuck and it takes some effort to arrange an alternative living situation, I provided the advice that I did.

alessi wrote:
Maybe you should call her on it next time, in front of the person. She will be angry but she might not do it again.


The mother is likely to fight against it, acting like an injured party, and then following it up later with wild tales about how unmanageable and unreasonable her mean and sick daughter is. Calling her out publicly may actually render a worse outcome. :(



Miyah
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02 May 2011, 4:11 pm

Oh my word, when I read about the bedroom situation, it made me angry and sad for you that someone can be so cruel like that. She sounds like someone who has severe mental problems like narcissistic personality disorder because she is only thinking about herself and trying be the center of attention. She also sounds like someone who is a clear image of a psychopath who enjoys hurting other people sadistically. As for her crying, it sounds like she is being manipulative because she knows that she cannot be getting away with that kind behavior and so she trying to find a way to make you feel bad.

As for advice, it sounds like you need to keep a good eye on your mother and what she does and then document whatever you can and notify the police because what she is doing is a very serious crime and could go to jail.

If you are old enough, I would recommend getting as many needs as you can and calling looking for your own apartment because your environment sounds toxic.



BlueMage
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03 May 2011, 4:34 pm

You need to stand up for yourself better. I know that would be hard in your situation, but for example in the first situation, you did not have to go with her to the bedroom. If she tries to drag you somewhere again, sit down on the floor and fight back, I doubt she will pick you up or drag you across the floor.

And when you feel like your relationship with someone else has been damaged, don't make assumptions that everyone will believe her over you. Take the time to explain what happened, often people won't act outwardly like they believe you, but in actuality some of it is sinking in. By staying quiet you are just making yourself look guilty. If someone is not talking to you, talk to them instead, ask them why they are giving you silent treatment. By just doing nothing you are acting helpless needlessly.

Your mom is falls into a common pattern of being insane and manipulative. People like her are just overwhelmed by the stresses of life and so they mentally check-out and let the worst parts of their subconsious take over and guide their actions. She probably has no idea what she's doing to you. Like you said, criticism is just met with emotional outbursts that relieve her from actually thinking about her actions.