How do I deal with a negative mother? I am hurt.

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The more you give in to their negativity, the more it perpetuates it. If you can point out the good things in light of all the negative ones she sees, and if you do not respond to the negative comments out of being offended it will help to smooth things over ...sometimes. Depending upon whether you live with your elderly mother or not, sometimes the best thing to do is smile and just walk away. If you are only there for a short stint, then smile move on to things you need to do and let them vent and once they have, change the subject, help to "redirect" their thoughts. Much like children...you can use the method of redirection and it will work. Unless they have a tempermant to "beat a dead horse" then..you may have to just walk away cordially, but for your sainity sake. It ends up best for you and for them when you do not get pulled into their place of self pity or negativity. HELP them if possible to recognize the good things they have been given. Otherwise, just bless them and help with what you can, they won't be around forever so enjoy what you do have with them. Recalling good..old memories with them, pictures to help recall those "good times" can be a tool of redirection. Sometimes these things work. It all depends upon the situation. Remember, forgiveness is key, and when you forgive them you are allowing yourself to be cut loose from the situation and releasing them so they can deal with their own bad behavior. Hope this helps!
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Oh yes, I got the "put me in a home" thing when I was told that she can't plan for her future because it's too much for her little head. I am an only child too; I'm so sick of the manipulation, I prevented her from moving here and now she has to make decisions for her future. I have given her money and she has insurance for long-term care and if she cancels it, it's her problem. I just do not have the energy for her head problems anymore, with my own health problems to manage. My mother told me that it's "her job" to make my life more difficult. This was after my father's death, after my career burnout, after getting endometriosis and fatigue. Somehow, in her mind, my life was not already difficult enough. So I have decreased her role in my life. I don't care if people think I am not a good daughter anymore, in fact I have told our family about her behavior and I got no backlash. Don't let them back you into a corner -- they are not entitled to ruin your life just because they are you parent. If you are living with them, call a home and take them for tours -- make yourself options; you are not as obligated as you feel.
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So, it sounds like we all have negative, ungrateful mothers who drive us crazy. I've been there, done that, and finally came up with a way of dealing with it. I'm 65 now and I think I spent the previous 60 years trying to make my mother happy. She isn't a bad person, but she has always been one to not give compliments (she didn't want to make us big headed) and rarely showed gratitude for anything. Like most children, I wanted to please my parents and went out of my way to do special things and make/buy her gifts that I thought she'd like. Finally, about four years ago, I came to the realization that I would never make her happy and should stop trying. Sounds simple, doesn't it! When you get down to it, we can't make anyone happy but ourselves and we should stop trying. Do what is right and ethical, give what you can, and simply don't expect anything (including gratitude) in return. How do you do that? I've found the best way is to simply ignore the negative stuff and respond to neutral or positive stuff. It keeps me sane and she actually drops the bad stuff when she doesn't get the response she wants. Sometimes I think she is just bored and trys to liven things up by starting a fight. When that happens, I just don't respond with anger or become defensive, and she eventually gives up. This approach takes a little practice and a lot of will power, but I think you'll find it very effective. And above all, it lets you take the power back.
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If you read the other threads you will probably realize she is narcistic and most likely you will not be able to change her -you may have to do what most of us who deal with a hurtful angery never happy always complaining always blaming other type of mother-detatch as much as you are able to do. Please tell us more but I bet I can peg her pretty well -I am sure you are not able to ever make her happy-it will drive you crazy trying to do so-please tell us more.
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Narcissistic personality...SO familiar with THAT ONE. Mom has been that way her entire life. The world has and always will revolve around HER and HER only. Nobody and I mean NOBODY is as important as she is. She made that clear when we were small and it continues today..she's 76. It never goes away. She complains about EVERY thing..always negative, NEVER positive..even when I redirect her. I could never, ever please her no matter what. I've always colored, cut and styled her hair and each time after I'd finish, I'd show her the mirror and ask, well...what do you think? Her answer was either 1. It'll do or 2. I don't like it.
...this after I'd spent almost 2 hours on it. I just got used to it a long time ago. They don't understand or know anything different other than negativity. She's been that way since she was a kid...it ain't going anywhere now. I would usually just say..well, thanks a lot, mom..I just spent 2 hours doing your hair exactly like you want it and don't even get a "thank you". THEN...she'd realize she didn't even say thanks and she would but it was kind of like pulling eye teeth. I walked away so many times. You HAVE to or it will drive you NUTTY...There is no changing them at this point in their lives.
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Boy! How these stories remind me of my mom before she died. I agree that she will never change. With my mom I just saw to her physical needs(food meds etc) and then walked away. Nothing I ever did was right even sneezing. (I was supposed to sneeze like a lady How do you do that?) I just walked away and had my own life.
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Amen. I was just taking my mom the the doctor Wend and she got combative with me and I was so upset by the the time I got there I wanted to scream. What I did say was I wont be treated this way so we are through talking. I helped her out of the car and took her in but did not talk to unless needed. After 10 mins she became sweet and trying to make up. I kept is light and polite but dropped her off at her home, a duplex where my daughter is on the other side, and left. She called me later to apologize. When I talked to my husband about it his input was to do that when it starts and not wait till I was pissed off, good input. My daily reading yesterday was on to "Take Offence" the statement means that I take it and I also have the choice not to. It helped to keep me focused. Mom is uphappy and will always be that way, my job is to put a roof over her head and food in her month. I gave up trying to make her happy years ago, it almost killed me. With alot of support and meetings I dont take offence as often. My Dad told me long ago that my biggest problem would be wanting more for someone else than they want for themselves, and it still is. We do this one day at a time, know that you are not alone.
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Forgiveness is a huge word and it means different things to different people. I worry when people who are being treated miserably are given the added task to "forgive" -- you may take it as an additional "failure" on your part if you can't figure out how the heck to do it. Sometime forgiveness is a RESULT of other processes, other perspectives -- not necessarily something you can just decide to do.
No wonder it hurts -- nobody can hurt us quite like our mothers can.
There's a lot you can do to understand better what's going on, so you can understand that what she says and does is in fact not information about your worth as a human being. Taking what she says ABOUT or TO you as being meaningful information is one source of hurt. In fact, it's information about HER. There's even a website called
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My mother moved in with me two months after my father passed away because she had never been alone in her life and also financial reasons.
She was enabled all her life and as my brother would say, I have taken over the role. She is now 83 and extremely mean and hurtful with words. She has told me how bad a daughter I am, person, wife I was, a joke, stupid bitch, a slut in public....say no more. I have sacrificed my life to take care of her and recently lost my job to what I feel is stress related. Unfortunately she will not go to a nursing home, she is antisocial and has alienated herself. She can be so very nice and cheerful with others, and a totally different person around myself.
Her anger and bitterness and hurtful words are there every day of my life and I have been tolerating this situation for the last three years. I took personal time to be with her when she had operations, doctor appts., anytime she needed me I was there. She is so hateful and resentful towards me now and it is really difficult to understand and rise above. Particularly when she can be so nice with others.
The negativity is horrible, and each day I pray that it will get better. I am now 57 years of age and looking for work while tolerating this situation. I try to be happy and positive, but really inside I am a bundle of nerves ready to explode.
My grandmother who lived with us growing up (her mother) was a completely different person. My mother has had mental issues since I was born but not diagnosed until I was a teenager. She had been hospitalized at least a couple of times and apparently I was the one to blame. I have grown up with some kind of inborn guilt and have always felt responsible for other people, in particular my family.
There isn't easy solution to the situation and can only do the best possible. It would be nice to speak with a professional but it is so very difficult to get an appointment. So, sometimes it helps to vent with others who share the same problems and challenges, who understand the situation.
God bless all of the children of elderly parents who have taken them in to care for them, a very difficult selfless task, a thankless job, yet hopefully when the end does come have found some peace and acceptance in knowing they did all they were able to do to help. A leader leads by example.
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just remember it is their problem not yours. Don't let it change who you are and don't dwell on what she says, just keep in mind that you would never treat anyone this way. It is remorse, regret and all of the other unfulfilled tasks that bother your mother ....don't even let it in...just zone out and nod....or buy an iPod.....when she sees you smiling and happy she may then realize that it is up to us to choose...happy or mad....
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