The Chronicle of the Horse
MagazineNewsHorse SportsHorse CareCOTH StoreVoicesThe Chronicle UntackedDirectoriesMarketplaceDates & Results
 
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 20 of 31
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,394

    Default Argh. Family (e.g. Head about to explode)

    My parents are retired and we share a piece of land. DH and I do this in order to help them out. They travel in their RV all winter, and then return for the summer.

    Without fail, when they return, my mother's obnoxious boundary-stomping behavior gets to me.

    It can be something as small as attempting to get me to sing in front of the neighbors to as large as taking my young horse out of the pasture and tying him to the pool fence with my driving rein so that he could "eat more green grass" (she has since discovered that perhaps I knew what I was talking about when I said "please don't handle him" and "no, you cannot stake out a 16.1h 2 year old").

    No amount of saying "no" or "it's not a good idea" or "I don't want to" is acceptable. When confronted, she turns on the waterworks and goes all melodramatic but the behavior never changes. At worst it's melodramatic, at best it is highly manipulative.

    Tonight she proceeded to brag about all of her expensive things to my wonderful (and humble) new neighbors, and then proceeded to pressure me to sing...yes...sing... and not just any song, a song that sort of made fun of farmers. My neighbors come from a farm family. Hiding under a table didn't seem like an option, but she would *not* let up (no, I didn't sing). I don't think she had a clue that it would embarrass them, but dammit, listening to me trying to change the subject would have been awesome.

    I try not to let it get to me, but it is so often that I feel like I constantly have to defend myself from something else that she is pressuring me to do. I wouldn't mind if it was just criticism as to how to live my life, since all parents do that, but the badgering is so obnoxious.

    I suppose we could move, but I really like being able to help them out both financially and physically. I can't imagine that her behavior will stop as it's fairly well ingrained at this point.

    So I'm guessing that I need a new tactic, since saying no is clearly not enough. Maybe this is just a vent, and I just need to figure out how to let it not affect me. It's not like I'm 18 - I have 3 teenage kids and I run a business. *sigh* Thanks for reading my vent. I'm calmer now, but man, I was hot after spending all Memorial Day with her. Thanks Off - topic day - I may actually sleep tonight.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 18, 2010
    Location
    california
    Posts
    4,222

    Default

    I am so sorry, I live far from my mother and I did discuss her antics on BTDT's thread about her mother. My time with my mother has not been a good experience since I was about 7. I am over 50 now and it has gotten worse with children.

    Huggs ! Friends matter so much when your family is a bit difficult.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct. 20, 2005
    Posts
    2,808

    Default

    I am sorry. Family can be the pits. I had to talk myself out of calling my own parents and yelling at them last night. They came to my house yesterday while I was gone to check on the dog (GREAT! I LOVE that they were willing to do this.) But I came home to my bra on the living room floor (courtesy of their dog who chews), my slipper missing (also their dog), my baby wipes from the bathroom on the kitchen counter, tortilla chips in the bag of dog food (? found that out this morning) and - the kicker - the REFRIGERATOR DRAWER on TOP of my COOKIES, also on the kitchen counter.

    What. The. Hell.
    It's a uterus, not a clown car. - Sayyedati



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2000
    Location
    Full time in Delhi, NY!
    Posts
    6,397

    Default

    As your mom found out with the horse, the experience is a better teacher than you just saying no.

    In the case of the dinner debacle, no should have been backed up with, "I said NO mother. You are embarrassing my guests, and if you can't behave, please go home." I bet she would've been madder than a wet hen, but she'd have either shut up or left. When she rounded on you afterwards you give her the same look you gave your kids and say, "If you had stopped when I first said no, it would've gone no further. Your behavior forced my reaction. I'm sorry, but perhaps we need to have a further talk about boundaries."

    I think your willingness to allow a lot of her behaviors to go unchallenged because "it's just family" has led her to believe there are NO boundaries. Also, how is she getting along with your dad? If there are changes in their personal interactions (or lack there of) your mom might be reaction to that.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"


    7 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 20, 2000
    Location
    Full time in Delhi, NY!
    Posts
    6,397

    Default

    As your mom found out with the horse, the experience is a better teacher than you just saying no.

    In the case of the dinner debacle, no should have been backed up with, "I said NO mother. You are embarrassing my guests, and if you can't behave, please go home." I bet she would've been madder than a wet hen, but she'd have either shut up or left. When she rounded on you afterwards you give her the same look you gave your kids and say, "If you had stopped when I first said no, it would've gone no further. Your behavior forced my reaction. I'm sorry, but perhaps we need to have a further talk about boundaries."

    I think your willingness to allow a lot of her behaviors to go unchallenged because "it's just family" has led her to believe there are NO boundaries. Also, how is she getting along with your dad? If there are changes in their personal interactions (or lack there of) your mom might be reaction to that.
    ~Kryswyn~ Always look on the bright side of life, de doo, de doo de doo de doo
    Check out my Kryswyn JRTs on Facebook

    "Life is merrier with a terrier!"



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Darn it - wrote a whole post and the Internet ate it.

    Thanks everyone. Slewdedo, what's with the refrigerator drawer and the tostitos? That's so strange I'm not even sure what to say :-)

    Kryswyn, you're probably right - I tend not to be much of a scene-maker and perhaps that is working against me. Although, I realized I didn't represent the horse story well - she took him out when I was not home, and it very nearly ended badly as she tied him to the pool fence. Luckily, he was a very quiet boy, and I had taught him to respond to pressure well, though he did break my driving rein, which she offered to replace.

    Her relationship with my Dad is just fine. She just has a determination that is strangely unstoppable. It's not just directed at me, it is anything that she gets "stuck" on. The hard part for me is that I believe she is truly trying to be kind and helpful. I don't think she had the foggiest clue that she was embarrassing the neighbors, which is why I was *trying* to be subtle at first. Thank god they are good sports and joined in on teasing me about it.

    I've told her numerous times about how her behavior affects me, and she either dismisses it (eg "oh, you weren't going to get that job anyway" after she ran her mouth about what a poor planner I was in high school - or "oh, you weren't going to sell that horse for that anyway" after she told people that I'd be happy to take $1500 for a horse that I was asking 5k for - because she didn't understand that horses appreciate in value with training) OR she gets all melodramatic and never owns it "oh woe is me, I am just terrible in social situations and didn't mean any harm".

    Everyone has to deal with forms of this, I'm sure, so I really was just frustrated and venting. It doesn't help that I'm actually very slow to anger and respond to things, so by the time I realize that I've been pushed to a limit, it's gotten to be pretty far. I tend to underreact to situations - probably because of this training - and I've been told that it's not very obvious when I am angry or trying to be firm. That is probably true. I've been trying to work on that, but I guess it still isn't there with people. With horses I don't have issues because largely a single sharp no is all it takes for the behavior to be extinguished. Maybe I should use my "horse voice" on her hahahaha.

    Thanks for listening and offering advice. Sorry for the whine, I know some people's issues are far worse than a goofy interpersonal issue. But getting it off my chest last night made me able to sleep, for real!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 1999
    Location
    Central FL
    Posts
    4,411

    Default

    Remember, "No" is a complete sentence.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan. 6, 2003
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    3,461

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Slewdledo View Post
    I am sorry. Family can be the pits. I had to talk myself out of calling my own parents and yelling at them last night. They came to my house yesterday while I was gone to check on the dog (GREAT! I LOVE that they were willing to do this.) But I came home to my bra on the living room floor (courtesy of their dog who chews), my slipper missing (also their dog), my baby wipes from the bathroom on the kitchen counter, tortilla chips in the bag of dog food (? found that out this morning) and - the kicker - the REFRIGERATOR DRAWER on TOP of my COOKIES, also on the kitchen counter.

    What. The. Hell.
    What.The.Hell. is right! You've GOT to come back and share why/ how these things ended up where they did.

    Impromptu game of Treasure Hunt?


    3 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 2, 2009
    Posts
    3,394

    Default

    Well I said no, repeatedly.

    The conversation went like this:

    "OGP heard this funny song today"

    "Mom, no"

    "Oh read the lyrics OGP, they are funny"

    "No"

    "Who is it by? Read the lyrics, go on"

    "No."

    "Don't be a party pooper, sing them, read them out loud"

    "Mom, no."

    It continued like that for a really uncomfortable amount of time before she filled in the blanks and made them search for it on their phones, which then my friend the neighbor said "this is like the story of our lives, how embarrassing" at which point I was pretty screwed because the way my mom set it up sounded like *I* was making fun of them. But I wasn't, the song made me chuckle fondly as I have a kinship with people who grow food (we raise chickens and used to raise goats, as well as having the horse on the property) despite the fact that I am not a full time farmer.

    *sigh*

    If she would have listened to the first four "No's" perhaps there wouldn't be an issue. The boundary crossing behavior happens after I have already said "No" or "Don't".

    It's obnoxious. It teaches my kids to keep pestering me because they watch her behavior and emulate it when they are here. I have never once sang on command, and yet she continues to pester and hound. I think she perceives that I say no too often, but in general, I have fairly good reasons for doing so!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Aug. 2, 2004
    Location
    Whidbey Is, Wash.
    Posts
    9,761

    Default

    You have more patience than I do! How many noes was that?? There had to be a point where you looked at her and said "let's step over here for a second" for an attitude adjustment. IE are you dense, that song would be embarrassing for them as it is essentially ABOUT them.

    Sez me, who has cut all ties with my mother and doesn't care to ever repair them.
    Aisha, my heart from 03/06/1986 to 08/22/2008.

    COTH's official mini-donk enabler.
    Odie, aka the Evil Burrito, is on Facebook.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Aug. 23, 2003
    Location
    Mississippi, U.S.A.
    Posts
    877

    Default

    It sounds like she has Auspberger's Syndrome (sp?). This is a form of very mild autism that affects smart capable people who can't understand that other people have boundaries and feelings. It's also called being an "egoist." I'm sorry you have to put up with this, but she's your mom. You sound like a kind and loving person. Maybe just explain to the other embarrassed people that your mom "doesn't know when to stop trying to get her way." Laugh it off. Change the subject. Also, change your locks.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,830

    Default

    Holy moly. My family stories can't compare. Although, one year, close to Christmas, after I had just had the carpets cleaned and they were still wet, my parents decided they just HAD to drop off the Christmas presents when I wasn't home. Foolishly, I had given them a key. I asked them to please, please, leave the presents in the foyer....not to walk on the carpet to put them under the tree. You guessed it, on a nasty snowy, slushy day, they put those presents right under the tree. I took my key back.

    MIL is worse, but I no longer interact with her. Suits us both just fine. Thankfully, she lives in Florida. Alagirl, that's too funny. When Everyone Loves Raymond on, we call it the Anne show (MIL's name). Marie has her NAILED.
    Last edited by LauraKY; May. 28, 2013 at 01:39 PM. Reason: dyslexia strikes again
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,748

    Default

    The fact that you have a long fuse and are slow to anger might feel like a disadvantage when you feel people are walking all over you, I'm like that too. BUT, it's secretly a big advantage, because you can calmly and firmly state your case, even walk (rather than stomp!) away, without being sucked into a dramatic scene. It makes it easier to manage the situation and not look like you are just as crazy as the person trying to push your buttons .

    Try responding to your mother as you might to your teenagers, because she's acting like a child. "I said NO and that's final, I am not discussing this further". I know you are trying to be subtle and gentle, to avoid embarrassing her/you or provoking a confrontation, but I think it might be less painful to shut her down harder and faster. You don't have to be mean or disrespectful, just very firm.

    Oh, and don't tell her about funny songs you hear .


    1 members found this post helpful.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Feb. 27, 2004
    Location
    Posts
    1,034

    Default

    I imagine your not the only person who lets her get away with this behavior. As a parent sometimes it's hard to stop treating your children like children after they are grown. I have had to make a concerted effort to do it and there have been a few times that one has told me to back off.

    Maybe recognizing the problem and dealing with it firmly each time instead of hoping she figures it out on her own will help you. She's not going to change and maybe it is possible to sit down with her and your Dad (witness) and tell her straight out that you love her but no means NO. When you ask her not to do something or she decides to be helpful on her own, remind her to check with you first. I think the person who mentioned aspergers, maybe on to something.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Nov. 1, 2005
    Location
    The Prairie
    Posts
    5,448

    Default

    Ah, holidays. They bring out the best in all of pur families. This Mother's Day ended with my kids having meltdowns, my 82 yr old mother having a screaming fit (not like her) and me saying "I think you should go now"

    And somehow, everything was my fault.

    Holidays = too much togetherness
    I love cooking with wine. Sometimes I even put it in the food.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2003
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,922

    Default

    There must have been something in the air - I too had a horrible fight with my Mother last weekend and have been obsessing over it ever since. So unlike her and at her age and level of frailty I cannot even defend myself. I just apologized for uspsetting her and asked to move on. Unfortunately, that has left me with unspilled resentment towards her and my sister (who I believe should have diffused the situation before my Mother called to scream at me). I keep telling myself that my Mom is unwell, but for a woman who raised me and my sister alone and NEVER raised her voice in 48 years to me, it was pretty hurtful to have to listen to her yell about how "LIVID" she is wil me.

    This too shall pass I hope. Sounds like I have been very lucky over the years compared to many people!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Oct. 25, 2010
    Posts
    195

    Default

    In reading your story I keep thinking, WOW she must have a GREAT singing voice. :-)


    2 members found this post helpful.

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2002
    Location
    Area VIII, Region 2, Zone 5.
    Posts
    6,680

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by witherbee View Post
    I keep telling myself that my Mom is unwell, but for a woman who raised me and my sister alone and NEVER raised her voice in 48 years to me, it was pretty hurtful to have to listen to her yell about how "LIVID" she is wil me.
    A major change in behavior like that is most likely due to medical issues. Can you try to find out whether the source of her being unwell could be the source of the behavior change?
    Quote Originally Posted by Linny View Post
    Those martingales were so taut, you could play Ode to Joy on them with a comb



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Lexington, KY
    Posts
    17,830

    Default

    You know, I finally saw a shrink about my father. He used to make the most awful nasty, snarky comments. I would ignore them until finally....explosion. Then he would act all innocent....like the last straw was just nothing.

    The advice from the shrink (and it worked fabulously, I might add) was this. Give your mother three strikes and she's out. You have to tell her ahead of time that you are sick and tired of the way you interact. With each comment or act, that's a strike (obviously wouldn't have worked for the horse tied to the pool fence). On the third (that would have been your third no), she's out. She goes home immediately. One day I remember vividly. My father was no longer driving and we had a good day planned. Some shopping and lunch and a drive for him to take photos. We didn't make it out to the main road before he was out. I took him home and that was the last time we made it to three and out. Try it.

    It really worked...a bit later my father's doctor gave him prozac and all was right with the world.
    "We can judge the heart of a man by his treatment of animals." ~Immanuel Kant


    1 members found this post helpful.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 26, 2011
    Location
    Its not nowhere, but you can see it from here
    Posts
    3,825

    Default

    OGP, are you the oldest? Sometimes I feel like the oldest has this inherent guilt gene to put up with the parents. I moved 2000 miles away 6 years ago. My mother would come uninvited for looooong periods of time. Think months. She has ruined more holidays than I really think is fair. She moved out here in the fall for anew job and was renting a house about an hour away. Yet she spent 4nights a week at my house, uninvited.

    We finally had a huge blow up and she moved back to VA. She is not allowed to step back in our house uninvited again, and there will be a predetermined visit length established. She called me at Mother's Day to simultaneously thank me for her gift, and bitch me out for not inviting her to be here for the birth of #3.

    Her argument for wanting to come, even though I told her she drives me crazy? I drove her crazy for 26 years, so it is her turn now.
    From AliCat518 "Seriously, why would you NOT put fried chicken in your purse?!"



Similar Threads

  1. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Feb. 28, 2011, 09:28 AM
  2. Replies: 12
    Last Post: Jun. 29, 2010, 08:08 AM
  3. Crazy Red head TB mare... High head carriage? HELP!!!??
    By Rebelpaintrider in forum Hunter/Jumper
    Replies: 18
    Last Post: Oct. 3, 2009, 06:36 AM
  4. How do you do it? My head is going to explode!
    By TrotTrotPumpkn in forum Sport Horse Breeding
    Replies: 25
    Last Post: Jan. 12, 2009, 04:35 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •