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Mom's Hurting My Head!

Tactful in Texas wrote:

I am a 28 year old happily married, first time mom. My husband and I (as well as our families) are Christians. We believe in always striving to be kind, non-judgemental and unselfish.

My parents had three children of their own, and then adopted four, three girls and a boy. I am one of those adopted children. They have (most of the time) treated each of us with the same
love and support.

Here's the problem ... my mom is a good woman, but she's one of those people that when something goes missing, she automatically assumes that someone stole it from her opposed to her just losing it. Last Christmas we were all together at her house when she told me she was sure that I had taken one of her antique plates off of the wall. I hadn't. Come to find out, she had taken the plate from that house to there house in Arkansas that they had just purchased.

She apologized, but since then every time I have seen her she tells me that something else is missing, jewelry, pictures and so forth. She doesn't accuse me but she always tells me about it.

I have stolen one thing in my life and that was when I was ten years old. At Girl Scout Camp, my friend found a big bag of bubble gum and I took a piece. Later on I told the friend whom it belonged to that I took a piece of her bubble gum.

The point is, I am a good person, I am not perfect, but I don't steal, or lie or cheat.

I feel like my character is in question because my mom tells my siblings just about everything about one another. I don't want to be labeled as a thief when I am far from one!

Also, I feel that she and my Dad mistake my thoughtfulness for weakness. Soon after I had my daughter my Mom said to my little sister that she needed to tiptoe around me because I wasn't as strong as she was. That is not the case!!

When all of the family is together I am the one who says sweet things to each of them and I am the first one to hug everyone and I want everyone to feel at home and comfortable. There are others in my family who have a bitter taste in there mouths because of some of the things my Mother says. (She seems to have more loyalty for some and less for others.)

When we are able to see one another, I want for us all to be together, and making each sibling and their family feel good seems to make our get-togethers an enjoyable time. I don't argue with my parents or siblings and I won't gossip about one to the other.

I feel like these things make my parents feel that I am fragile or something or that I can't handle tough times. They are completely mistaken. About once a week or every two weeks I call my parents and ask them how they are, as do my brothers and sisters. Most of the time we have wonderful conversation, but other times they are short and almost rude with me. I know in my heart that would never be anything but kind to ANY of their other children (except maybe my youngest sister.) She is also thoughtful. I haven't talked to my parents about how they make me feel. Ever!

I always blow it off as though it was me just being too sensitive. It has been going on for years and so I feel that
I am not being too sensitive. I have the ability to turn off my emotions like a switch with everyone except my family. I have NO problem standing up for myself , and letting people know when they have crossed the line. So why can't I tell my mother that she is crossing that line. I feel it's because I don't want to hurt her feelings.

Should I talk to her, write to her or what?

Dear Tactful,

Welcome to the Human Race!

Interesting how you are quick to accept that you are not perfect, but you expect your mom to be spotless!

You could be talking about almost any family in the world; people are not perfect, ever, but as you get older and more independent, suddenly you start to see your parents as they really are - frail, imperfect, a bit smaller - and, yes, human.

I don't think this is about you, I think it's about your mom.

I am sure she tries to be fair, and you need to think back to see if there's a pattern or trend in her behaviour - or if it's always been there.

Your mom has long been the center of a busy family, and she chose that life. Now, I guess, she's lonely, she's not in the center any more, and she may be frightened of growing old and frail.

Now, I'm not suggesting you all have abandoned her, or that you don't fuss enough - I'm talking about how she might be feeling inside.

Imgine when you have grandchildren; how much time, realistically, will your kids get to soend with you? And how often will you be in the middle of things?

It's inevitable, she can't fight it - but some people learn to live with it easier than others.

Do think carefully, does she possibly have health problem, or increasing anxiety, or deeper depression?

You know her better than I, bt the risk of confronting her as you suggest may destroy the relationship - especially if done impersonally by letter

May be worth saying "Mom, I'me worried about you, are you alright?" You must decide.

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