livingon2wheels Asked March 2010

Need an unbiased opinion: Am I being manipulated by my mother?

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Mom is feeling enough better that the OCPD is coming back out. As an example. She asked Betsy and I to come to dinner with her this weekend, and I gave her a tentative yes based on Betsy's preferences on time and day. So, we agreed to do Sunday brunch. Mom says, "Well what time do you want to come by and get me?" I said, "Well, how about around 12:00 on Sunday." Mom immediately came back with, "make it 12:15, ok?" My response was to pause for about 2 seconds and just say ok. This is so typical, no matter what time I would have picked, she would have shifted it. After a while this gets really old. I do not like being manipulated. Next time I will just tell her that we'll pick her up at whatever time and she can adjust to our schedule. Another example of this occurred back before she moved. Betsy and I were due to pick her up to go to a recital in Bedford, and she suggested that we show up between 10 and 15 minutes after the hour…5 minutes leeway? You gotta be kidding me. When I was growing up and she said she would pick me up after school at a certain time, she was almost never on time, almost always a minimum of 15 minutes late. But if I wasn't ready and waiting whenever she arrived it was as if a major crime was committed. I don't know if I will ever be able to make peace with that kind of BS, no matter who it comes from, but especially not from mom.

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Stressed52 Dec 2013
I know in the past and in the present you must have issues that are much larger than this, I think you are just using this as an example. I am sure that what your mother does in annoying to you and to those of us who deal with so much other crap it may seem trivial. I do agree that you need to chose your battles and just let a lot of the garbage flow off of you. The stress of being a caregiver or even just a child of an elderly individual and one who has memory/mental issues will kill you, so if you can just release this anger, I say do it for your own good.

In my house I am driven nuts by a parent that will ask 50 or more times a day if the "dog has been fed." To others who deal with much worse, my issue is indeed trivial but it is my issue.

If I were you I would do one of two things, 1. Mom I will be picking you up at 12:00 sharp so please be ready. or 2. Mom I will pick you up at whatever time is convenient for you, what time would you like?

You pick which works best for you.

Best of Luck in your journey.
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pamzimmrrt Dec 2013
I think I would say OK, I'll be there "around" 10 or 10:15.. in case of any road delays. Do you go in and get her or wait in the car?? Up to you...LOL
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Labs4me Dec 2013
I have the opposite problem. My mother is so OCD about being on time that we end up a half an hour early for set appointments. I am all for punctuality, but 30 minutes early is too much. Especially if it is a doctors appointments which you rarely get in on the set time. Waiting around unneccessarily is a big pet peeve with me.
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maggiesue Mar 2010
Tom,

My mother does the manipulation-to-be-in-control behavior to me all the time. I let her do it because if I react to it, all hell breaks loose. She will go after me for weeks with some ridculous grievance.

I guess I'm in a pick your battles mode because it's easier for me to ignore the petty negotiation rather than confront it. I know what's happening and can see that it has been a gross malfunction of our relationship all my life.

I agree it's very irritating to be second-guessed on everything. But what are you going to do? Your mom's not going to change now. It's too late. The game's almost over.
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195Austin Mar 2010
we do pick our battles but if this is yours now do not give in you are picking her up you decide the time if you have time to give a 20 min leeway than do if not leave she will not be late often unless she uses this to get you upset.
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Thanks for that Anne...I have done that in the past, but in many cases, she asks the question first and then controls the answer. It's not like I try to always have control of when things happen, or that I particularly care about 15 minutes one way or the other. My interactions with mom are not particularly always planned out in such a way that I am conciously trying to circumvent manipulation. I suppose if I was, there would be less of it, but I am just not used to thinking out so thoroughly everything I say to my mother, but maybe it is time to start doing that. Talk about a major change of mindset! Yikes! I try to acommodate her needs and preferences when I can, as much out of love and respect than anything else. But when I feel like I am being trifled with, it is sort of a rude feeling. One would not expect that from their own mother, but there you go, we don't choose our parents...
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anne123 Mar 2010
Here's my two cents.....When your Mom says: "What time do you want to come by and get me?" you could say: "What's good for you?" This way she gets to set whatever time she wants, and no "power struggle" is set up, and everyone is happy.
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All comments are good, the idea of picking my battles is good...also the idea that she is manipulative is right on, look up OCPD and read about what people afflicted with that do, and you'll have a much better understanding. I don't really expect folks here to do that, everyones plate is full to over flowing. OCPD people are all about control...and after a while, it really gets annoying. I appreciate everyone who took time to respond...a reality check is good for me. I hope I can return the favor for one or more of you. Cheers!

Tom
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crystal209 Mar 2010
May be petty, but still, when you feel manipulated, it evokes a response to some degree. Makes me respond to the person almost like a challenge, i'd probably say, no not 1015 how about 1030...or you could start with 945..lol. I am not a fan of having to feel in control all the time but some are, to me it seems like a game. With no winners or losers.
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hapfra Mar 2010
hI--I was thinking that you Mom sounds like she has to be in control of matters---and unless someone gently puts there foot down-she may continue to (control/or manipulate). There may be an undelining reason whay this happens---but is up to you or someone to take back some control--
"My Thought on the matter" - hope that change will soon take place --

Hap!
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