Now what? My mom has rejected me completely.


I asked a few questions about a month or so ago and you were all so helpful. I finally met with my mom last week. It took her that long to even meet with me. I let her talk, and was trying to figure out what turned her against me so unexpectedly and horrendously. She told me many things I have done wrong since I was 15, and she kept saying "I am done". I would ask what she meant by that and she would say the same things over again. I finally asked where we go from here toward a healthy relationship, and only then finally figured out that she meant she was done with me.

I have done a lot of idiotic things in my life (ran away at 15, had kids early, etc) and I am not sociable like she is, but I am a good person. No drugs, criminal record, anger issues, whatever. I am always there for her, especially during the last few years. I thought we were close until the abrupt change in her manner. I have a great family, a great almost 20 yr marriage to a good man who is a good provider, father, husband and friend.

Anyway, after a call from my dad yesterday I finally realized what is really going on. They have been divorced for about 30 years and almost never have any contact at all, so he was shocked that she had called him because she was 'worried about me'. He called me, perplexed, and after hearing what he had to say, I figured it out. It is my weight. I am very heavy and after losing 150 lbs I have gained 120 back over the past two years. My parents both feel that appearance and excellence in all you do is vital, so this is an area in which I have clearly disappointed him too. He would never reject me though...

I developed an eating disorder as I grew up (bulemia) and still battle it at times. I am also disabled from bone abcesses throughout my body, and have mild spina bifida and feet with congenital malformations which has led to one ankle being fused. So basically, this sucks and I hurt all the time, and have trouble exercising as much as I need to do. Top this off with the fact that I have a condition where I gain quicker and lose much slower than most people (caused by the bulemia and years of obesity), and her you have a daughter who is an enormous (pun intended) disappointment to her parents.

I have had to adapt to all this stuff and I hate the weight, but it is a constant battle.I hate the disabilities, but these are the cards I was dealt, so I make the best of it. I am who I am, and that's fine as far as I (and my husband and wonderful children) are concerned. I have been in counseling as needed ever since leaving home, and I believe that counseling is an amazing tool. My mom refuses to go to either medical doctors or counselors for any reason whatsoever, so I think I am stuck with her emotional issues being a lifelong problem.

I guess I just needed to vent. I am so very sad. I can see what the issues are and that she is just a bit messed up, yet the little girl in me wants mommy and I just want to stop eating altogether until she 'loves me again'. Pathetic, isn't it?

Thanks for listening. This forum helps me a great deal. :)

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I'm so sorry for all you are going through!! Whatever you do, try not to let her and her "stuff" get you down. There is NOTHING wrong with putting yourself and your family first, especially if she is manipulative to the point that it is putting your emotional as well as physical health in danger. The message that will send your children is that you MUST stand up for yourself and not allow yourself to be continually beaten down verbally and psychologically. Perhaps this "banishment" is a blessing in disguise?
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Wow - such powerful responses - all of them. Thank you!!!! I really do need to hear these things from people such as yourselves. And I did need the reminder that she will need me again, because I am having a lot of trouble dealing with this, and it is much easier to shut someone out entirely than to do the right thing and deal with my own issues in this, and be there for when she needs me.

My husband made the same remark about her possibly being confused. I thought of that too initially (or wondered if she was going through some other serious issues) and asked my only sibling to keep closer tabs on her than usual, and just basically be aware for anything unusual. Boy was that the wrong thing to say! I described that in my posts a month or so ago. My sister is not and will probably never be an option to discuss anything of this sort with. She is not at all open to acknowledging a few things I do know about my mother.

Personality disorder? Very likely. Bipolar? Probably. Emotionally disabled? Clearly. My mother is a college professor and frequently holds positions of authority in the community or various groups. She presents herself well at first and seems to be genuinely loving. She is also the most scattered, rude person I have ever met...the worst part of this is that she is absolutely unpredictable. She will be all for something (or someone) one day and be a completely different person the next. It is so confusing, especially for people who want to please her. She has my family (and I am sure many, many others) completely baffled, because she will pushpushpush some idea, project, plan or hobby, and as soon as we think we know what she wants and join in or show some interest, she will let us know all of the reasons why the whatever-it-is is wrong, bad, etc. She is on a new diet about every 4 or 5 days, and even when she knows I am on a diet which is working for me, she will tell me how awful it is and will go out of her way to put food which is tempting in my way. Her life revolves around food (she has always been about 10 to 20 lbs overweight). My only daughter also developed bulemia and had inpatient treatment. Afterwards she (my daughter) taught me how vital it is to make sure my mother stopped her food/diet fixation behavior around us. She is a very strong little spitfire (my daughter) and after a prior warning privately, told my mother loudly and clearly "You will never say anything to me about my body again - I will get up and leave -do you understand?" while they were out at a restaurant with a few of my mom's friends, after she made some comment about how great my daughter looked and how she needed to be careful not to gain anything (she weighed about 93 lbs then). Around that same time she stopped (for awhile, until she had talked to my mother about this a few times) allowing my mother to spend time with her 4 year old 24 lb son after he came home telling her he needed to make sure calories were not in his food because they were bad.

She talks over everyone, doesn't listen to a thing people say (even if she just asked them a question), is a dangerous road rager, and constantly insults people, It all has to be about her, yet she is good at masking that. People mistake her for a leader, but soon learn that she is really just a bully.

The thing I have really been struggling with lately is that since I have no way of knowing when the rug will be pulled out from under me again, I am reluctant to allow her to make amends when and if she ever does. Yet...more important to me, is setting a good example for my children. Be there for her. Accept her as she is (they have always very honestly said she is completely nuts, but in an affectionate way and not to her directly). I wonder if I will be teaching them to respect their elders or if I will be showing them how to get walked all over by opening myself up for more.

And, as much as i don't want it to matter, it does matter to me what she is saying to my sister and dad and cousins, kids, nephews and nieces, etc. I am not going to get into that stuff and involve them, especially since I don't know what in the heck is going on in her head. But she can be convincing and manipulative so this fear and feeling of shame is there, wondering what she has been saying about me, and do they believe any of it?

I am wondering if she is at risk of losing her enormous and plush home, and is being mad at me so that she can save face by saying there was no reason to stay living here(near me) and wanted to be near my sister to be near family that cares. And until that happens, she can't stand to look at my weight, so has banished me.

Hugs to all of you. You have awesome insight and I can tell that many of you have experienced or watched something like this in your lives. Thank you, my new friends!
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I'm not an expert on bulimia, but the past wisdom was that it happened to young people who could not control their environment. Lots of family issues that can lead a child to taking charge in the only way they can and that is to control what they eat. Maybe there was a reason you ran away when you were 15 years old.

I also think purplesushi has a very good point. It was really the first thing the popped into my mind. You mom is showing signs of dementia. If your mom refuses to go to medical doctors or counselors then it is pretty safe to say she is not one who wants input. Has she always been one to prefer denial to reality?

Anneph: There is nothing wrong with you. You have carved out a meaningful and fulfilling life for yourself and your family. Your weight is only one aspect of you. Your kindness and ability to love others is so much more.

Maybe the best thing is to just recognize that your mom is not thinking right. It doesn't matter is this is due to dementia or just a twisted way of seeing the world, the problem is hers.

I also agree with Ladee. Your mom will need you in time. My suggestion is that you hang on to what you know is true about yourself. You are a good person who is loved and worth loving. You can help your mom when she wants your help and if she is hospitalized for any reason, ask them to do a mental evaluation due to any concern of dementia.

It's one step at a time and you can do this. Stay on AC for continued support. You are not alone.

Hugs, Cattails
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I didn't read all of the other responses (sorry!) but my first thought when reading yours is this - are you sure your mother didn't have a stroke, mini-stroke, or even partial blockage of the blood flow to her brain? Abrupt changes are a sign there might be something else going on - especially since she called your father out of the she mixing up her years (thinking maybe you're still a teen, etc.????) Just food for thought. That's horrible the way she is treating you, regardless of the circumstances...sounds like you have a great support system though.
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It's pathetic only in that it hurts, and yet we want it so much. If you have a loving family and have gotten counseling that's a major help right there. Weight has been an issue with me as well, esp as my Mother is as thin as I am heavy, meals in our home are a joke, she doesn't wish to eat and I shouldn't. But it does sound like something that's gone deeper than mere appearance. The fact that your mother won't see anyone is her problem more than yours; you are doing the right thing and you know it. Even the fact that you're hurting at least means this is an honest healing, you're not trying to pretend the sorrow isn't there. I keep denying my own frustrations and don't know why anymore.
On a practical side, hope you are enjoying the pleasures of fruit, veggies, wheat bread; whether or not you lose weight it's good to make sure your body is still getting proper nutrition. and if your family is in on things, it can be a fun challenge. Hope also you're getting some therapy over your physical ills, that can shape your outlook no less than the emotional pain can.
From the sound of things, you seem to have a supportive dad as well. Don't give up, you're beautiful inside and out.
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When you said "I just want to stop eating altogether until she 'loves me again'." I wanted to jump in and say that this is probably the hardest thing to realize for anyone. I do things constantly to make "mom love me again." It's not happening. My mother has her own feelings of guilt to the point where she can't relate to people anymore, because she constantly suspects everyone of trying to make her feel worse about herself, of plotting against her, secretly hating her, etc. With feelings like that, she can't love anyone, not herself, not me. I don't know if deep down there she loves me anymore. She said things like "I think i love my cat more than you, no offense." So, let it go. As painful as it is, there's nothing we can do, but be friendly and caring when they allow us. And even there, you have to protect yourself because you have your own family, and because parents aren't used to respecting boundaries. Hang in there.
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Anneph, as someone who has been overweight most of her adult life, I hear ya. However, while my mother was pretty superficial towards other people when it came to their appearance, she never once belittled me for being fat. Home was like a safe haven after a day in high school feeling like the 'fat kid'. That's the way it should be for kids, home is a safe place to come after a day of abuse. In your case it wasn't I guess, and that's sad. The thing is, no one is ever going to change your mother's mind. I don't care if magically you lost 100 lbs over night and went to see her, she's still going to bring up the past to you. This is HER problem, not yours. Some people are like pit bulls, and just can't let things go, and I'm thinking your mother is one of those people. As women, we are our own worst critics when it comes to how we look. No one has to tell us we're overweight for heavens sake, every time we look in the mirror we see that so why would we put ourselves in the path of someone who can't get past it? The answer is, I'm not a masochist and I'm assuming you're not either, so leave her and her superficial, unloving and quite honestly, none of her business self alone.
I also have come to accept the fact that my husband doesn't see me as I see myself. At first I didn't believe him to be honest, but he doesn't see the fat like I do. To me it's this huge (pun intended) thing that I see in the mirror, but to him it's not important because it sure hasn't stopped him from showing affection. ♥ Anyway I think it's time you moved away from the negative and towards the positive, which is your OWN family. I bet they love and accept you for who you are, so forget negative Nelly and give your full attention to them ok? Relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor with the family you've created, and give yourself a break. I am learning to see myself thru my husband's eyes, but more importantly thru my Heavenly Father's eyes. Take care. Nancy
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You have wonderful insight... and that will get you thru this.... we all want to be loved by our parents, "as is", but it's not always the case... I am hoping you are clear that this is her issue and not yours.... so you have a little more to love.... so what....
If that's all it took for her to turn on you , then I would venture to guess mom has some major personality disorder also going on here... which makes it double not your fault...
It is important for you to love yourself.... many of us have issues with weight, but if your hubby and kids love you just the way you are, then focus on that.... not mom's disappoval.... if you lost all the weight she wanted for you too, then there would be something else for her to be critical about....
I'm sorry and I know it hurts, so if you are ok with counseling as needed, then I'd go back for a while, and get solid footing with this also.... you are great just the way you are.... and let her be 'done' for a little while, she'll call you again.... hugs to you... and no it's not pathetic, it's just the power moms have over us.... so hang tuff, do what you need to do to get mentally healthy about this.... and be present for her again... because she will need you again....
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