Does your mother compete with you?

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by dobegood, Dec 25, 2002.

  1. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    My mother has FM, Lupus and Diabetes.
    I have Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis.

    Ever since I can remember, my mother has competed with me. Not only in being the "sickest" but in every area from the longest eye lashes to the thickest hair.

    If we are talking on the phone and I happen to mention I have some pain, she quickly interrupts to tell me how much pain SHE has had lately. We always end up talking about her.

    She loves to criticise me, too.
    One year ago, I weighed 46 kg (about 105 Pounds) and I am 170 cm tall (5'7). As soon as she noticed I was loosing weight, she started saying I was too thin, I looked skinny and that I needed to gain weight.

    One year later, I weigh 60 kg and I feel fine now. As soon as she saw me, she said I looked TOO big and FAT.

    I have thought about her comments lately and I can remember it has been like this ever since I was a kid.
    I am sure others have the same problem? Why do some mothers feel the need to compete with their own children and does it matter who has what?[This Message was Edited on 12/26/2002]
  2. karen55

    karen55 New Member

    it is necessarily mothers competing with their children, but I could be wrong there. My own mom has done things like that all my life, everything had to be "all about her", and if it wasn't that, then she found a reason to criticize everything I did, from the way I cleaned my own kitchen, to what kinds of food I was feeding my kids. Doesn't matter what it is, "her way" and "her" always had to be the best or the worst or the biggest or the most important. But in her case, I discovered as I grew older that she is an alcoholic and has (and has apparently always had) some serious emotional and psychological issues. It used to infuriate me when she would have to "best" me every time I confided in her or tried to talk to her about things, but now I let it roll off. Part of me knows I cannot "fix" her, and frankly, I don't have the time and energy to try to, so if I find her doing that now, I quickly change the subject and move on to something else. It's taken me many years to be able to do this, but I've finally learned that I can set boundaries, even with my mom.
  3. fibolady

    fibolady New Member

    me is you can't let other people's actions upset you or run your life. you would think this is an easy thing, but it is very difficult especially when it comes to your own family or inlaws.

    i liked the "time an energy" quote, no you can't waste ANY energy on how other people make you feel, when you have fibo, you need it all for yourself! it is a hard one to work on, but here is a chin up that we both do better in 2003. you have to work at accomplishing this, the easiest thing is to just move on to something else quickly, ususally they don't get the message (been doing this a year with mil) they probably never will, but it's true you can't fix everybody, just work on your own well being.

    warmest regards, fiboladyr
  4. Shirl

    Shirl New Member

    I agree with Fibrolady! No wasted energy on what anyone thinks! You have to come first.

    My Mother never competed with me, nor do I compete with my daughter, to me she is a living doll!

    But I had an aunt,a sister in law, and a few used to be friends that were always competing with me or anyone else. I eliminated them all from my life. I don't need the added stress of these kinds of negative people.

    I HAD a friend that has diabetes, I tried everything I knew or could learn to help her, but she is a junk food/sweets addict, she made me ill more times than I like to remember trying to help her get a diet that would lessen her symptoms, and create a better life for her. But it was a useless efford on my part.

    Plus she would insult me saying; 'that I was thin, didn't like sweets, and looked healthy, therefore I was not sick'!

    Finally, after a twenty year friendship, I eliminated her from my life. My husband always told me that he had no idea how I put up with her for all those years.

    I honestly was trying to help, but she went so far downhill that she had open heart surgery, can't walk on one of her feet, and the last I spoke to her, her eyesight was going.

    All because she would not listen to her doctor, or myself or anyone else for that matter. But with all of that, she would insist that I was not sick, she was the only one had a right to complain.

    If you had a dog, hers was bigger, if you had a kid hers was smarter, and so on and so forth.

    I finally had enough, and hung the phone up on her two years ago. That ended the problem for me. I pray for her, as there was no way of speaking to her!

    I learned to call these type of people 'toxic' to me. I would be so upset when she would come vist, that I wore myself out.
    I would have to remove rugs, make sure there was nothing that she could stumble over in my house, lock my dogs up, as I was afraid she would get scratched, or stumble over them, I even trimmed my climbing rose bush as I was afraid she would walk into it, I would buy sugarless cookies, make sure I had those artifical sweetners, diet drinks in the house (none of what I used ever), but the more I did, the more arrogant she would get, I am not the type of person that you just 'walk' on, I did these things, and made allowances for her because she was sick, and she started taking advantage of my goodwill.

    My husband kept telling me that she was getting worst because she refuse to help herself, that he worked with men that were diabetics, and they functioned like everyone else as long as they took their medicine, watched their diets, ets. She did none of these things.

    I would get rid of anyone after this experience, I never get friendly with these type of people anymore.

    You need to come to some aggrement with your Mom, if not, then don't speak to her too often, they can stress you out, and then you are the one that is sick. Some people just thrive on discord, I am not one of them!

    Take care, and get this straigh with your Mom. No more negativity, or else!

    Shalom, Shirl





    [This Message was Edited on 12/26/2002]
  5. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    but, believe it or not, I even miss that now that she's been gone for 11 years! She kept me on my toes, because I would just try to compete along with her!!!
    I can laugh about this now. I see myself and my own daughter who is 28 and I can understand my mother better. It is strange to see my grown daughter more beautiful, more intelligent and much more healthy than I am, but I am so glad that's the case~ I would hate it if *I* were the healthier/smarter/lovely one; that wouldn't be natural!!!! I am STILL a better cook and housekeeper though!!! LOL I've just accepted my age/frailties/fogs/limitations better than my mother did. Don't sweat the things you cannot possibly change and just laugh when she does this. After all, SHE is the one with the problem, right?
    Love,
    Kady
  6. allhart

    allhart New Member

  7. kyliesmom

    kyliesmom New Member

    I have had a lifetime of this. I learned at an early age to have poor self esteem due to her tuning me out and making over everyone but me and in return she would tell me I was her favorite out of 6 children because I was just like her. I always succeded in every thing I tried at no encouragement from her. I was constantly critized and mostly behind my back to my siblings and co workers. As long as I can remember she has said. I will have "I told you I was sick engraved on my tombstone." It was not until my husband now came along recognized her behavior and put it in perspective for me. I have either been too skinny or too fat or my nose was crooked, I was dating or married to the wrong person,LOL,etc. I also remember one Christmas she got everyone a present and handed me mine and said I got this free when I ordered your sisters'present I hope you like it. This was 4 years ago and the pain was overwhelming. I fought it back and my husband said look over it , be the bigger person. Then I became ill and she would not listen to me. It was always about her and what she was going through. One night she crashed and was put in the hospital with severe depression and anxiety. That was when I was 40. She now is in counseling and on meds and I can now for the first time talk with her and she hears me and offers advice and nurturing. Wow She can't believe how she used to be now and has apologized for it. A miracle LOL! My advice to you is try to seperate yourself from her and when you speak with her ask about her and not get into any discussions on health. Try to find yourself a support person outside of the immediate family to talk about your feelings and pain and complaints. Someone who can understand how you feel. Someone with the same disease. This board is a great place to start. I could write a book on how mistreated I have been and the cruel left handed compliments and critisims I have recieved.I chose to close that part of my life and live from this day forward with forgiveness and empathy for her. She really was sick all the time just all of it was mental illness. I remember when I was 30 I went for counseling and the therapists asked me to bring my mother in and her response was "I'm not crazy you are". My daughter is 23 and I would be there for her if she asked in a heartbeat. Hope this helps you. Take care and avoid the pain.
  8. srosepetal77

    srosepetal77 New Member

    my mother has always critized me about weight and the hardest is she is bigger than me and eats horrible like for example i don't like fried food but she will got to a resturant and eat fried for while i have a tACO SALAD. another thing she does is critize me on my sugar intake and putting to much sugar in coffee which i have creamer and sugar. what's wrong with sugar ut taste good and it makes coffee sweeter. i try not to talk to my mother but the only reason i keep in touch are because of my children but they only see them every six monthes but also for my brothers to.so just try to avoid her calls and tell her how you feel mothers are crazy,insane and uncaring!!! at least my mom is!!
  9. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Never any competition of any kind.

    Marilyn :)
  10. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    Dear "Everyone",

    I've read everything you wrote and more than once.
    I will certainly follow all the advice BUT I will not
    remove myself from my mother.

    A month ago, I heard a great line on TV from Dr. Phil when he talked about "Criticism from Family". He said that whenever someone close or related started to criticise you for something "silly", just turn to them and say: "I love you, too".

    I did that with my mother when I came home from Iceland. I had spent 4 months there with my boyfriend. Iceland is for me FREEDOM. No parents to look me over. When I am in Norway, my parents are 1 1\2 hours drive away. Too far away for daily visits but too close for less visits. When they come to spend time with me, they spend 1 week here. Mother stayed 2 weeks once. I have told her lately that 1 week is enough because we become annoyed at each other.

    Anyway, when I said "I love you, too" to her after she criticised me for cutting my hair "once again". She fainted and couldn't believe what I was talking about.

    I have asked her to stop saying: "If I were you", too.
    She was here when it was time to decorate for Christmas and I told her that she may make as many suggestions she wants BUT without "If I were you". Believe it or not, she tried not to and she has slowly started to change.

    I talked with her on the phone yesterday and when she started to complain about her "illness", I quickly directed the conversation to something else. I also said that we should try to talk about nice things instead of complaining and competing. She said she never competed, of course.

    Mother goes into defence and I now understand it's natural. After all, she has not had the most exiting life and she has a daughter with a boyfriend in Iceland. She has a daughter who's a writer. She has a daughter who knows how to be happy and a daughter who is never bored.

    I have travelled a lot. I have a big apartment in Oslo. I have money and friends.

    All her dreams have come through through me and perhaps that is hard to cope with?
    I love her though and will try to HELP her from now on.
  11. joannie1

    joannie1 New Member

    I have to say that my Mom does not compete with me. I have read these posts and feel so bad for you all to be honest. I could never imagine what it must be like. It makes me so sad to hear. This is your MOTHER!! I wish that it didn't happen to all of you. I am very fortunate and it almost makes me feel guilty. I am a complete 2nd of my Mother when she was my age. But she Loves it and she has always been very supportive to me and my two older sisters all our lives. My Mom is my very best friend. I wish that things were like that for all of you.
    I am sorry that you have to go through this with your Mom.
    Big soft Hugs being sent.
    Joannie
  12. bojo

    bojo New Member

    Hi dobegood
    I know exactly what you mean my mother is the same way about critising with me as well. I still get it,now i think shes jelous of me ,she still makes me feel low. Have any of you ever had your mother tell everyone you were an ugly kid? I go throguh that even now. Ive had lots of operations but it wasnt my fault i have had physical problems. Now she has osteoarhtritis and maybe some other problems too.

    She thinks all of my pain is all in my head. I dont know how to deal with that,i ignore her.

    Then even with this competing she gets defenive when i start getting attention from diffrent men and womanmshe has to bring me down. Now i figure out why i never feel comfortable or like who i am. I feel like im sabatoging my whole life.
    [This Message was Edited on 12/27/2002]
  13. ssMarilyn

    ssMarilyn New Member

    Wonderful, wonderful comeback! This stops people dead in their tracks AND makes them think about what they said. In fact, it makes them feel stupid and that is a good thing. Many people have learned to control their tongue by someone using this method.

    Go Dr. Phil! Go dobegood!

    Marilyn :)
  14. dobegood

    dobegood New Member

    What "bojo" wrote made me remember something from my past.
    I had forgotten it and I am glad I remembered it now because it shows how "sad" my mother truly is.

    I was 20 or so and my family was invited to a Dinner/Dance. We all went. Mother, father, my brother and me. After dinner, we sat down at a table with some friends.
    Suddenly, I noticed that a young man around 30 looked at me all the time and I told mother so. She took a look and said: "Well, he's not very good looking".
    I was hurt by that remark but looked back at this man. After about 20 minutes, the man came over and asked MOTHER if she wanted to dance. She was 56 at the time!
    Mother laughed, refuced to dance but she has mentioned this episode to all her friends and my family, too. Not only that, she called him "the good looking young man" from then on.

    Today, I feel sorry for my mother. I believe that some people are never meant to BE a mother. I knew at an young age I didn't want to become one and I believe my mother never wanted children. Actually, I know it for a fact. She has told me so lately. After I started to change, she has followed a little bit and we have had many talks about this. She has admitted she never should be a mother. She had no idea how to be one and she turned out to be a copy of HER mother, whom she feared.

    When she said that, I realised that I have FEARED my mother ever since I can remember. I do not fear her anymore. Admitting the fear made it go away. Slowly, I started to put my foot down, set the limits and earn the respect.

    I have also begun to understand her emotions. She has FM and with that follows fatigue, depression, low spirits, anger, strong emotions, boredom (due to unability to move around) etc etc.
    As soon as I understood her, I could forgive her.
    Anyway, it was just a reflection :)
  15. Milo83

    Milo83 New Member

    My mother is now in a NH & has done it all her life & is still doing it..Granted my mother has had surgeries through out her life, but they are all common everyday surgeries that many have such as gallbladder, hernia, shoulder, etc..
    She has never had anything that is a chronic condition with the exception of anxiety/depression problems which she always refused to seek help for..
    My mother was always the type when she would get guests over all she talked about where her problems - it got to a point where she lost friends because of this..
    NO ONE, and I mean no one can have anything wrong with them, except her..If you tell her you have a problem, like the FM or something else, she will always go into this big speech about her problems..
    I can never say, "Mom, I will not be coming to see you today, because I'm not feeling well"..Her response would be, "well, when I was your age (49), I was always on the go"..Now when she complains to me, I change the subject..
    Yes, we all have our problems too, but if you constantly just focus on them, you will feel worse..You have to do the best you can and make adjustments to your life, if you are ever going to be the slightest bit happy..
    My mother was also very jealous of my father and me..I have some pictures of just my father and me, and she would always get very angry and say she wanted them, they were taken by my husband like at Dad's birthday or something..
    If I wear a sweater or something that my mother doesn't remember seeing on me, or maybe it is new, she will always ask, "is that new", but the tune she says it in is like, well where/why do you wear that..
    Never did & never will change her anymore..I have learned to TRY to go with the flow..
    But remember you are not alone on this...Best Wishes........
    Love, Donna