mother trouble

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by ikathy, Jul 18, 2008.

  1. ikathy

    ikathy New Member

    Hi all!

    Haven't posted in a while. I've been having some relationship problems with my mother. She has a chronic pain problem (not FM) and is somewhat disabled. She is aware that I have FM, but does not always understand the depth of pain and/or depression I go thru. I try to mask my symptoms when we get together and try to put on a happy face. We live about 25 miles from each other, but don't see each other a lot due to the fact that she isn't feeling well, my commitments with my kids, etc.,

    She is disappointed in something I did and is making and has made negative comments about me such as I'm lazy, not a good wife, a jealous person etc., Sorry for rambling on.

    My question is: How many of you have close relationships with your mothers? I'm her only daughter and live local. My two brothers live across the country. As she gets older, I believe she will need me more and I will help her when she is in need?

    I've really never felt close to her. We're different from each other. For those of you that are not particularly close to your mother but still have communication, how do you deal with your differences and the fact that she is getting older and more needy? Sorry so long.

  2. texangal81

    texangal81 New Member

    Wait, that would mean we are sisters and I only have a brother *LOL*.

    YES, I am in nearly the same situation except I LIVE with my mom! She has been in pain nearly all her life and has been fighting a rare autoimmune disease for the last almost 16 years. She is tough and has developed a high threshold of pain as well as tolerance for things that would send most of us over the edge.

    She is sympathetic and concerned, but she doesn't really understand the fatigue that I suffer with. She doesn't understand that while she can push and push, I CAN'T because if I do, I end up on my back for a week.

    I am very close to my mom and she isn't overtly critical, but she has made it clear that she doesn't believe that the life I have makes me happy. She wants me to go out and do what SHE thinks will make ME happy. I am very happily single, I still work so all of my energy goes to job. I come home every night and either watch TV or go to bed. On the weekends I nap, watch chick flicks, get on the computer or read.

    I have two kids - daughter who is 23 and son is 14 and a nearly 3 year old grandson. My daughter has her own place and my son lives with his dad so I only have him for certain chunks of time. I am perfectly content with my selfish little life, especially after YEARS in a miserable marriage, years play soccer mom for my daughter (which I did enjoy), and finally years dealing with my then very difficult son. I work 40 hours a week and there are days where I don't know where I'm going to summon up the energy to get there. So I feel like I've earned the life I have now.

    If the responsiblity for your mom is going to fall on your shoulders, you need to set up the ground rules. It will be very hard, trust me, I've been there. But you have to let her know first of all how your illness differs from hers. Then you have to let her know how much her words hurt you. She cannot abuse you verbally and emotionally and expect you to cheerfully care for her in her 'golden' years.

    If you can both afford it, I would suggest counseling together. If she refuses to go, then I HIGHLY suggest you go. I have been in the position with my mom where I was the caregiver and she was the child and it can be a very stressful place to be and stress is the last thing you need.

    Finally, even though she is your mom, YOU do not have to accept a toxic relationship if it is bringing you down. You can simply tell her "mom I am sick and if you cannot understand that and work with me, then this isn't going to work".

    You have to put yourself first in this because no one else will. Take care, I know how tough it can be at times.

  3. spmom

    spmom New Member

    I find that my relationship with my mother is a fine balance. We were close when I was a child, but our relationship changed as I got older. My life as a woman in today's society is much different that her experience. I have often felt judged, criticised and generally disrespected. I wondered if she was jealous or was not worldly enough to respect our uniquenesses. Over time, I've just tried to have the best relationship I can. I value how she has been as a mother and the attributes she has and have decided to balance seeing her more/less, our topics of discussion, avoiding what I know are triggers for her, and basically focussing only on the positive. It is very unlikely that your and my mother with change their ways--we can only choose how we respond. Being busy with other things has helped me not be consumed by the relationship.
    When I first talked to my mom about having FM, her response was "That's from your father's side of the family." It was all about her and how this reflected on her. There was no concern for me, and for the most part she dismissed everything I said. I had babies at the time and never did she offer to help (a little venting here, sorry). It's taken time, and seeing a few Lyrica commercials, to convince her that my FM is real. Her initial reaction hurt me deeply, but I've become less and less invested in her support, or the support of anyone for that matter. Best to you, spmom
  4. sorekitty

    sorekitty New Member

    Hi Kathy,
    I am having the most difficult time trying to have a relationshiop with my mother. My mom is not normal. Now that I am a mom I cannot fathom the things that she did and did not do. I have begun seeing a really good therapist. She recommended a book I had never heard of called The Narcissistic Family. I had never really thought of that word or personality disorder before. I feel like I am working on this issue again as my step-father just passed away in Jan '08 so it has brought up all kinds of memories and horrible nightmares for me.

    My mom will not change and putting up bounderies and trying to have a relationship is very difficult. Sometimes I wonder why I even do this. But ya know it is because I love her . . . I really do. She is my mom and I know she is a very damaged ill woman. I still love her but know we cannot ever ever have a REAL relationship and that makes me so sad. Especially since my father left me a long time ago so i don't have a dad either.

    With my whole being i am dedicated to having a healthy family and being a mom to my sweet beautiful son. My therapist already told me the things I am doing with and for my son are 150% different/better than my parents did. I sometimes felt I didn't know what my purpose in this life was but now I believe it is to break the chain of an ugly abusive family. I will and no one can stop me!

    Hang in there. Hopefully your brothers will be able to help more than you think. My sister is a complete clone of my mom and even lives in the same floor plan house a few blocks away. I only live about 15-20 miles away but apparently they act as if I live out of state and "I just live soooooooooooooo far" they keep telling me. Eye roll(lol).


    [This Message was Edited on 07/19/2008]
  5. akandmk

    akandmk New Member

    My mom is a force to deal with. I love her, but it's her way or there is a battle. She lives 2000 miles away from me, but when we talk on the phone or she visits I just suck it up and go with whatever she wants so that there is no battle. She had breast cancer three years ago and she had a lot of joint pain from her meds. She keeps telling me that she never thought she would get through the pain and then it stopped. I have to keep reminding her that I'm in pain from an illness and have to take pills to try to help it. That it is not just going to go away and these are different circumstances. She doesn't get it, and although I've begged her to get more info on FM it seems that is a lost cause. Her new thing info she got from the mayo clinic about vitamin D and fatigue and pain. I tried to tell her that i take enough vitamin d and that isn't what is causing this but again she doesn't listen and told me to up the dose. ARG! Sorry about your mom, keep trying to get her someone that will come help.
  6. ikathy

    ikathy New Member

    Thank you everyone for responding. It is helpful to get
    others' perspectives on things.

    My mother and I are not speaking at this time -- I did send her a letter explaining the reason I did not attend her bar-be-que when my brothers were in town last week. My husband, son, and daughter went and my husband explained to her that I was not feeling well. She was offended that I did not show up and angry. My 14-year-old son spent the week with her and she really made some insulting comments about me. My son confided in me what she had said and felt uncomfortable with her remarks. I basically explained this all in the letter and how hurt I feel.

    My mother has become a very judgmental and unhappy person. She deals with a pain condition that can never be reversed (nerve damage) and is on strong meds to control her pain. Basically the last 12 years of her life have been difficult to say the least, however, she does tell me that her pain is controlled.

    Like others have mentioned, she does not understand FM and all of its associated symptoms and I guess she really does not want to be educated about it. I have to develop a thick skin when it comes to her and her ignorant comments.

    Jamminhealth- I love my mother too, but don't really like her. I will never her tell this because I don't want to hurt her feelings.