Called Mom out on phrasing a sentence.


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.

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My guess is narcissists run the gamut. Looking at the other website, and reading the posts in here, it makes me wonder, just how much do they change, if at all.
Mom, so far, is not as bad as she was back in 1977 when I left. Perhaps that did teach her a lesson: I can and will walk out and she hasn't forgotten that. (side note: she's never brought this up).
Since I am living there, I am glad things tend to run smoothly.
But I sure understand people who have been subjected to far worse narcissists than my mom where they doubt their own sanity, their head spins, you just don't know what is up, down, right or whatever.

Twocents my mother has been a mean, manipulative, spiteful narcissist her whole life who would do one over on anyone without a shred of guilt or empathy, just gleeful about her "conquests", openly nice to outsiders so long as she got her own way but treated the family like cr*p. Now in a NH, she has no friends and, an only child, it's been down to me to listen to her complaining abusive daily phone calls and run down there 3x a week to run her errands and listen to more ranting and raving. She totally refused to attend any activities or attempt to make a friend or two, just waited for me to arrive to serve and unload on. There's no changing or reasoning with a narcissist and once you add dementia to the mix it is indeed like adding gasoline to a fire.

To save my health and sanity I've literally gone into hiding. My mother does not have my address and I've changed my phone number. For the time being I'll go by occasionally taking all the extras she likes but I'll leave them at the office to take to her "because I have a cold". In a few weeks that cold can turn into the flu. After another few weeks I could develop something else catching. I'll think of something {evil grinz}.

empathy for others? that would actually be difficult. she has virtually no friends, at least any that come over to see her.

Hi two cents,
My mother has done the same thing her whole life. It took me a long time before I figured it out, but my mother is narsistic. When discussing this with her siblings they all completely agree. You should read up on narsistic mothers, you will be surprised what you will learn. My mother has Alzheimer's, picks disease and is also narsistic, which is like throwing gasoline on a fire. Does your mom have any empathy for others?

Sounds like mom has been a meanie for a long time and you blew up AT a sentence, no necessarily ABOUT the sentence. I venture to guess you had some suppressed anger, are stressed and grabed on to something that annoyed you. Silly. Human. Forget about it adn move on. It is too late in the game to work out the things what bothered you about mom, she will not change at this time. The only thing you can control is how you deal with it.

Two cents, you are worth more than two cents! And I think the key is when mom said you should have been an abortion, it was too ugly, too demeaning, and made you feel too bad inside to ever forget about. SHE probably forgot about it because it came out of her mouth without a second thought. You are worth much more than that, the world is a better place because you are here, your MOM is in a FAR better place because you are here, and your mom was just plain and simple completely wrong and off base to have ever said let alone thought such a thing.

That said you are not going to fix her and you are not going to benefit by baiting her and having her be even more obviously wrong; in her own eyes she cannot let herself be wrong, she is one of those folks whom the 12 step books describe as "constituationally incapable of being honest with themselves" for whom things will just not work unless that very fundamental fact about them can change. I like the explanation at You might want to consider going to Alanon for yourself to help you love yourself and your mom as best you can and let go of what you can't love - or change.

Thank you looloo. I live downstairs, she lives upstairs. She is at the point she cannot live by herself.
The majority of the time, she is ok, so for that I'm grateful. Episodes generally don't last too long, as I tune her out. (An ability she taught me inadvertently a loooong time ago.)
I think I need to face why I did it which was probably to bait her. Which is why I wasn't angry. Anyway, I think I have the upper hand for the most part unless mom tries to up the ante (which she may have done today..). oh well.
again, thank you.

twocents, you don't have to convince me further that your mother's a bully, at the very least -- and quite possibly a narcissist as well. She sounds a lot like my mother, yeesh! When I read the criteria for narcissistic personality, malignant narcissism, and cerebral narcissists, I checked practically every trait off as being one that my mother has. It's helped me see much more clearly over the past 6 months, and I've developed a much healthier 'detachment' from her behavior and moods. I get what you mean when you say you 'don't trust' her. Even though I have a much better grasp on who she is and why she behaves as she does, I too, do not trust her, because I can't see her mood coming until it's right in front of me. By that time, I've probably blinked wrong, or done who knows what? And then there's a week or two of dealing with her reaction until it's replaced with whatever comes next. She needs more oversight and assistance now, and I've taken on tasks like bill paying, taxes, banking, monitoring her medical appts via her health insurance website, etc. But I've started communicating with her less and less. Every day I don't have to interact with her is wonderful, and those moments when I know I need to call and check in, I dread until I can hang up the phone again and get on with my life.

It seems to me that you are just gleeful that mom needs you more than you need her and that allows you to upset her over crap nothing. Shame on you. I wouldn't trust you with a loved one of mine. I feel sorry that your mom seems to have no choice but to rely and trust you. Try to deserve it.

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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