I'm confused why does my Mom continues to belittle me in little ways? - AgingCare.com

I'm confused why does my Mom continues to belittle me in little ways?

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Small things, like "oh you're reading again", or, "oh you're up", in these mind-mess quotes to me, or "why are leaving so early" (taking one half hour to run errands????????), or "I don't like rice and don't know why you keep making it", and "stupid TV isn't working" (think pressed wrong button on remote). I could go on, but the BS is endless and I mean endless. I'm ready for a timeout!!

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What do you do when your mom makes those kinds of statements? Do you argue with her or come back with some kind of comment? If so, I'd say just stop reacting. Just react when she says/does something positive.

When I was just out of college, I worked with a teaching program with Head Start kids (like pre-schooler age kids). One statement that they taught us that always stuck with me was "Ignore Deviant Behavior". Kids do things to get a reaction. If your mom is getting a reaction from you, that's probably why she's throwing out those little zingers. If you just act like you didn't hear them and go about your business, she'll have to find something else to use to engage with you. If it's something positive, then react.

If you're not reacting and she's still throwing out zingers, then you have to just work on ignoring them. All of our loved ones have things that annoy us. My mom asks me the same question every couple of minutes until I tell her that we've talked about it 4 times already or I get her on some other topic. It's beyond annoying. But she can't help it, as she has no short-term memory. So I have to adjust my reaction, since she's not going to change.

The other thing that REALLY helps is to have some fun/joy/friends in your life. When your life is limited to your mom and your house, little things will drive you up the wall. When you have outside activities to look forward to or things that you love to do that you can lose yourself doing, all of these little things are less important because your world is bigger and includes some good things too.
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It could be:

habit - did she always do this? Does she do it to or about everyone?
deflection - generalised dissatisfaction being concentrated onto the nearest target i.e. you
stream of consciousness that isn't, in fact, intended as criticism. My mother often says "AAH! THERE you are..!" when I come into the room, as though she's been on tenterhooks waiting for me for hours. It sets my teeth on edge. I have got a bit crisp about it sometimes, and pointed out that if she wants something specific she should press her call button, or else make an effort not to sound narky about being kept waiting. But actually I'm not sure she means anything at all by it.

The other one that gets on my nerves - I agree - is the assumption that I've been skipping off on a gay whirl of recreational shopping whenever I've left the house. I have literally come back holding her prescription bag and been asked "did you get everything you wanted?"

The thing is, though, I don't think they've changed their attitude. I think we might be getting allergic to it?!
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I agree the zingers can really wear us down. Lots of good advice here. "Ignore, redirect, keep the joy in our lives." It is so easy to get co-dependently sucked into trying to please the unpleasable. I really have to watch it and make sure my self worth isnt wrapped up in how happy or unhappy my Mom is. Unfortunately I was raised to feel responsible for her happiness and feelings. A refresher in codependency seems to help me.
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You might give her a small glass of wine at lunchtime. It helps my MIL see the world in a better light.
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I think it's because they feel so useless and powerless over their lives at this point, and being bossy or complaining is the only way they can assert themselves. My mother complains every time someone sends her flowers...."I wish they wouldn't do that because the flowers always die." When I tell her to focus on the beauty of them when they arrive, she says she only envisions how they'll look when they wilt. When I call to say hello and see how her day is going, she says, "Well what are you doing today, nothing?" (Yeah, right sitting on my sofa, eating bon bons, Mom.) My poor brother takes the brunt, bending over backwards to make her comfortable. She likes sitting on a bench in front of her house, watching people go by. When she started getting sunburned last year, he had an automatic awning put up so all she had to do was press a button when she wanted it. She never said thank you. When I mentioned how nice it was for him to do that, she said, "He didn't do that for me, he did it for himself". My brother is married, has several jobs, his own house and a rental property to care for, besides my mom's house. I suppose he was looking for a project in his spare time (??) These are just little examples of what she comes up with. And this is a woman who, in younger years would never, ever have talked or acted like she does now. If at all possible, try to remember it's not personal and that this is all about how she feels about herself, not about you. All you can do is try and lighten the mood and move on without giving her comments much attention. If you argue with her about it, it encourages her to do it more. Unfortunately, we're the parents now, and sometimes I catch myself trying to teach her the same manners to her that she taught me when I was little., i.e. say thank you, be appreciative, if you can't say something nice, etc., etc. Life is amazingly circular.
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You know what kills me the most here. We are taught to be emotionally healthy to NOT ever allow ourselves to be treated like this. My Mother was abusive and I actually had a therapist who convinced me to cut her off. Looking back on it now, I see why I DID. However, she died a few years ago and I think instead of losing ten years with her I could have done something else. Anyhow, everyone is all big on domestic violence (me especially) and yet now because they are older we are to tolerate this crap? It seems screwed up. The principal is screwed up. I understand their are different views, different perspectives, etc. However, if you look at the BIG picture what the heck is going on here? I am seeing a lot of caregivers here being emotionally abused. I am not saying stick the elderly abusers in nursing homes and screw them. I know we all want the same goal, but the principal is way messed up.
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My mom does this also - I think it's part the glass half empty nature of their personality. And that they're not happy and we're not making them happy. Sometimes it can a be a passive aggressive thing with little zingers. The only thing I found to do is to give a short answer "Because I like rice. There's also applesauce with your meatloaf" and disengage, leaving the room if need be. But yeah, it does wear on you.
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I think their world becomes so small they have nothing to think about but themselves and what's for dinner. Could you direct her interests elsewhere? Is she able to knit afghans for premature babies, or make something else?

My Mom does this but unfortunately it's difficult for her to do much, she's in a wheelchair and has a lot of pain. Her mood as actually improved now that she cuts up the meat for the blind guy at her assisted living home. She says she has to go to dinner "because H needs me".
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The hurtful comment re the miscarriage is so far below the belt that it deserves a really sharp answer,, I'm afraid.....as for 'making her happy'......happiness is not something that you can give to another person- you may be the reason that he/she feels happy, but the best you(or anyone) can do is to allow her to be happy....making someone else happy is not a duty.......I have always felt that you make YOURSELF happy, It is quite surprising how much we allow other people to affect how we feel...Please, darling- stop blaming yourself for the shortcomings that only she sees...I think that you are awesome.Believe me, if you weren't there as her personal whipping boy she would have to take the responsibility for her own feelings.....
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Today I told Mom she had a hair appt. Of course she didn't want to go! I reminded her that her birthday is Saturday and "doesn't she want to look nice"? She said meanly to me " oh like you" you keep lightening your hair because you want to look younger " .. I said "yes I got my hair highlighted and I didn't do it myself", " sorry you don't like it, but I do".. She just rolled her eyes at me..

I got up, walked away and when she couldn't see me I flashed her my middle finger! I feel better already!
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