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Held together part 2

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HFSSC posted 9/18/2013 18:49 PM

The other post ended up being too long. So here is the 2nd situation that is sending me over the edge.

I posted last week about my invitation to speak at a fundraiser for a local crisis pregnancy center. I will be telling the story of my pregnancy at 19, the support I received through this particular agency, and what it was like to give my child up for adoption.

My mother has gone extremely manic about this whole situation. She's done this my entire life. Everything is about her. No matter what the situation, she has to put herself in the middle of it, usually embarrassing our family while she's at it.

My prom night: came home with my date, who was an EXTREMELY nice young man. She danced out onto the front porch with a jug of wine hanging off her finger, Waylon Jennings blasting out of the stereo, shouting "Mama's in the sauce tonight!!!!!"

My wedding: She hated JM and refused to speak to him or his parents the entire day. Of course, she insisted on being there and making a big deal out of the fact that she wasn't speaking to them.

My niece's graduate recognition service at church: Mama stood up and announced to the entire congregation that my niece could throw a tantrum they wouldn't believe and then proceeded to address my niece's boyfriend, telling him "You better watch out."

In 2003, I won a national award, being recognized as the <My Job Title> of the year by our national association. I won a trip to Las Vegas and thought it would be nice if my mom was there to see me receive this award, as she is a nurse as well. She insisted on being allowed to speak, after me, to this group of professionals and told a very droll story of my childhood. Oh, and then she ran up and down the strip collecting hooker cards because they were free.

She is nuts. Freaking nuts. She is diagnosed bipolar and dementia, although the dementia diagnosis is really questionable in my opinion. I think she has some sort of personality disorder.

I love her. I really do. But it is exhausting to be her daughter.

So, this dinner I am speaking at... She called the organization and paid $300 to sponsor a table for 8. Then informed them that she is hard of hearing and needs to be seated at the front so she can hear me when I speak. (They accommodated her quite graciously) JM is furious that she has, once again, taken over something that should be about me, and made it her little circus. There is going to be drama. My sister and brother will be coming, and my sister has already promised that she will be on "Lois Patrol" to hopefully keep my mom from doing something stupid.

I wonder if it would be helpful at all for me to just say, "Mom, you know you have a history of choosing to do some inappropriate and embarrassing things at the most inopportune time. I'm letting you know now that this is not the occasion for you to make a speech, or make a spectacle of yourself. Please know that R. (My sister) is going to quietly escort you out if you start to get out of hand."

Or would that just put the idea into her head? Why can't she just go and smile and quietly be proud of me????

k94ever posted 9/18/2013 19:18 PM

I'm sorry H....but they just don't grasp the concept that life doesn't revolve around them.

Don't even bother trying to warn your mom, it will only cause her to throw a tantrum and make things even worse. Just have your sister follow the plan and try to have a good time.

{{{hugs}}}} from another who's Mom is the same way.


jrc1963 posted 9/18/2013 20:33 PM

H... if it was me, I'm not even sure I'd be telling my Mom anything in the future.

That way she couldn't show up to do something embarrassing.

But that's just me.

HFSSC posted 9/18/2013 20:57 PM

JRC, that's what JM said. Unfortunately, she is on the mailing list for this agency because she has made a lot of financial donations and other assistance over the years.

It's infuriating because she does so much good. And not because she's trying to get recognition. I know about it because she does tell me, and because the director has told me. It's her way of honoring her grandchild and trying to pay it forward.

She just has no freaking idea how to behave as a normal human being. She once came to my house and asked me to tell her how to give my dad a blow job. I AM NOT MAKING THAT UP. My mother asked her adult daughter for BJ tips.

She once asked our pastor to prepare her eulogy and then read it at their 50th anniversary party because she wanted to hear what he would say.

I can go on and on. She went to a funeral home for a visitation and loved the sofa so she ran around asking everyone who worked their where they got the furniture from.

tushnurse posted 9/19/2013 09:44 AM

HFSSC - I have one suggestion for you and Lois. Ativan in her drink. One before leaving the house, and if necessary a seccond one upon arrival of the event. No one will notice if she is snoozing.
Anyway that's what I would be tempted to do.

lynnm1947 posted 9/19/2013 10:37 AM

tushnurse, good suggestion! My gosh, how do you put up with that crap? You have my heartfelt sympathy.

dazdandconfuzed posted 9/20/2013 09:18 AM

Wow. I was thinking, yeah - my mom always finds a way to make things about her too, but OMG she has never pulled anything THAT bad. Not even close. I think you should say what you have planned but leave out the "you have a history of" part. Just say it will be very emotional for you and you don't want ANYONE from your family speaking after you and your sister WILL whisk her out if necessary. I'm guessing if you put her on the defensive (you have a history of...) she will take it as a challenge.

truthsetmefree posted 9/20/2013 12:44 PM


Please do some reading on "Narcissistic Mothers". This is an especially insidious form of narcissism and it has long and deep reaching affects on the daughters.

From what you've described, your mother really fits. If this is the case, your future is really about finding and establishing appropriate boundaries with your mom - as well as healing all the deep wounds this has likely left throughout the years.

HFSSC posted 9/20/2013 13:24 PM

Thank you all. I'm in a better place today and we have (I think) a pretty solid plan in place. JM will be there for me, and my brother and sister will be on the alert to divert her should she try anything.

It's just so crazy though. Last night she called me and told me she wants to forgive a loan that they had made because she doesn't want me to feel "beholden" to her.

I also want to say that for all of her craziness and narcissism, she really does try at times to do/be better. She sees her psychiatrist regularly and is very active in NAMI support groups. She knows she is mentally ill, and will often seem to be very remorseful after she pulls one of her crazy acts. It's maddening.

I'll let y'all know how it turns out.

truthsetmefree posted 9/20/2013 14:01 PM

I also want to say that for all of her craziness and narcissism, she really does try at times to do/be better.

I can believe that.

But it you haven't yet, please still do the research. You're in a good place that you can see your mom for what she is and still feel love for her. That's good for her...and that's good for you. But if this has been your lifetime experience with her, there are still scars that you carry, things that you need to heal. Realizing that isn't about bashing your's about recognizing you (and that's really important given that you have likely become accustomed to NOT doing/having that).


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