Called Mom out on phrasing a sentence.

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Background: mom, in the past, has been very nasty. My nickname for her was 'b***hmouth'. Long story which I don't really want to get into.
She has a pretty good vocabulary and she has a way of 'turning a phrase' which definitely has meaning built into it. She has made plenty of enemies in the past doing just that. (and also typical, seems absolutely clueless when most everyone else she worked with hated her).
Her doctor visited yesterday (yes, this one makes house calls for elderly). When I got home, a few instructions and recommendations had been left.
Now, most of us would say 'the doctor told me such and such and such, and to do this, that and the other.' Not mom. She says 'the doctor scolded me...'. Nothing wrong with my hearing, two syllable word.
For whatever reason, I decided to ask her why she phrased it like that?
"like what?"
'you said 'scolded'. that invokes certain images. why did you use that word?"
"I did not use that word.'
'yes you did'.
(now she is starting to get bent out of shape) "You have done this to me in the past. I said told, my teeth cause problems, you didn't hear it right."
"scolded is two syllables, told is one. I know the difference."
(now really upset) " I just want you to believe me.. I did not say scolded"
Me (sarcastically) 'riiiiight'.
these same two sentences are repeated several times, I always respond "right".
I don't know if she is pacified but I know what I d**n well heard. When this happens, she does (what she has already done and is actually typical of her personality) attempt to twist it back round on me.

Mom has never owned anything she has ever done. She was ok as a mother, did the best she could, but she was subject to occasional bouts of paranoia, seemed to be extremely insecure at times, and topped it off with always drinking. Towards the end (just before I simply up and left home) she was getting stewed nightly.

Maybe there is no point to calling her out. I have found though, when I have called her out, she does know she is guilty, she does this type of waffling, dodging, etc all to avoid any responsibility for her own behavior.

and just in case you think she is not that bad: she told me once I should have been an abortion. I was going to pay for what I took and what dad took. This was just one bout of name calling. I have done my best to forget as much as I can. Some things you just don't forget.

I am only there because I am deeply flawed, have my own psychological 'peccadillos, and problems. If i was REALLY successful, mom would probably be alone, but I probably would try and help sending help in. Either way, I inherit the mess.

19 Comments

p.s.: she seems to have calmed down a bit in latter years, but her old personality is still there in some ways.
Feel free to pick a fight over nothing with her. I don't know what either of you would benefit from it but you can do what you want. If you have a question or want advice, post again.
Twocents, do you have a problem you want help with, or an issue you'd like to discuss? Sounds like you found a way to get your mother diverted from telling what the doctor said and to engage in an argument with you. Most of us do just the opposite ... try to get our mothers/fathers/spouses diverted from being argumentative and into an information-sharing mode. But if this is satisfying for you, go for it.
Twocents~If you are serious about your situation and wanting a solution...it takes lots of work on your part...not physical work...emotional work to being healthy. It is painful in the the beginning and may seem like the situation is worse but here is my experience and suggestions:
1)your mother sounds like a classic case of a person with serious mental illness called a personality disorder. There are many types and must people have more than one which involves being narcissistic. A narcissists is a person who has grandiose beliefs about themselves...they are perfect, everyone else has a problem but them. They demand admiration based on their beauty and perfectionism. Usually they also have another personality disorder that involves paranoia, delusions, antisocial behavior, they are sweet as pie to people outside the family but treat family members like crap. Accusations that come from nowhere. If you are serious about learning more and healing...learning to detach with love and setting boundaries...google daughtersofnarcissisticmothers.

We all want to give and provide the best that we can for our aging parents, however, there does come a time when we have to have boundaries and set priorities within our own relationships such as between you and a spouse, you and your children, you and your employer. Let us know more so we can provide the suggestions and support. Please respond back so we know you have read the posts.
Yes I've read the posts, yes I'm going to visit that site.
I wasn't angry during that exchange, neither did I get upset. Mom was the only one to get upset (simply a defense mechanism on her part.)
As for her doing what the doc requested? About all she does is take the meds. Doc requested she eat at least two eggs a day. After a big 'show' about boiling some eggs up, she has not touched one at all this week.She simply cannot eat very much anymore No problem, I like munching on them in the evening with a little mayo.
Doctor does not like her alcohol consumption. hasn't slowed mom down a bit although, and she is a retired nurse, she knows damn well about the drug/alcohol interactions. She doesn't get smashed (at least not anymore), but I really do not have a clue as to just how sensitive these interactions might be. She wants to risk it? Her decision. She knows what she is doing and I refuse to be her policeman in this case. (depriving her of her alcohol would REALLY make her upset.) And she's 91 years old. What the heck difference is it going to make anyway. She does what she wants to do and if the doctors orders happen to go along with it, fine. She can hardly see, hardly hear, is now just about confined to the house, afraid her bladder will betray her, so I do try and give her leeway.
In some ways, I guess I would have a lot of questions along these lines. Take the alcohol for example. Just how far do we police them for this? I rarely see or hear from the doctor: I know she does not like moms alcohol consumption. If I did what the doctor wanted, mom would be throwing fits all the time. Again, mom is 91. So, what are your feelings on this? This does not seem to tie in with how I started out, but it does: moms capacity for getting upset when she does not get her way, when she is verbally nasty (use of words and phraseology) and not doing what the doctor would like?
If the doctor came out and told me I had to remove moms alcohol, that would really put me in a pickle.. mom would act like a spoiled brat and turn nasty.. all to what end? She's 91 years old, let her enjoy her alcohol. Her life is very confined at the moment.
I second Sharynmarie's answer.
Looked at daughters of narcissists. Yep, mom in a nutshell. I guess these folks come in all phases of the disorder. And yeah, I've picked up some of the aspects as well. At least I did not inflict this on a child as she chose to.
Children, the latest fashion accessory and mental dumping ground. Makes you wonder just why they have them. What's the point to it then? Creating their own adoring public?
twocents~we do pick up some of the behaviors because that is the environment we were raised in, but, the good news is, you change it within yourself, grow to more healthy thinking and living. Yes, a parent with a personality disorder does not see you as an individual, you are an extension of them and their personal property. It is all about them, always will be. Keep reading, get yourself some books..."The Stop Walking on Eggshells Workbook Practical Strategies for Living With Someone Who Has Borderline Personality Disorder". Good luck to you, and keep us posted on your progress.
Could I ask about what was said that led us to think that the mother was narcissistic? Chances are that she just thought she said one word, but another came out. My mother does that sometimes, so I figure that it's fairly common. I just ignore it. Around here I have to choose my battles or we'd be squabbling all the time.
Most of the time I ignore this bs she emits. And we don't squabble all the time, I repeat, this was not really a squabble as mom was the only one to get upset. She used the phrase 'the doctor scolded me' rather than what many would say 'the doctor told me'. Normally I would have let it drop, ignore it, but simply asked her why she used that particular phrasing. It implies she is being picked on (which is not true), and this is the crux of the matter. Rather than respond with 'well, I felt picked on' she becomes defensive which is what people like this do whenever their little self sense is rattled the slightest bit.
Mom was always a past master of verbal abuse, belittling, and her choice of words was deliberate and calculated to be as nasty and destructive as possible. To an outside person it would actually appear almost normal, but having had experience, I knew just where that cow was coming from
Right now she needs me more than I need her so for the moment, I can actually tell her to 'shut up' on more outrageous moments.
I know what she said, and she can dodge and weave as much as she wants, and resort to more accusatory behavior (met with sarcasm usually). I don't believe her and I don't trust her.

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