My mother is constantly demanding information and more time with me and my family. How can I politely keep my distance without being unduly rude.
I am an only child and my father beat me. My mother insisted that we had to accept; he made a lot of money and she enjoyed the lifestyle we had. When I became gay, he cut off contact with me, and we're not in touch. He never met or recognized my wife and our children. My mother divorced him only recently.
I was very resentful of her for not defending myself, but I tried to accept that it must have been difficult for her too. He was her first boyfriend, and she had been trained by her own parents to support her husband.
I live in a different country from where I grew up and I like the distance. The problem is that my mom emails me several times a day, asking questions constantly. I answer only once a day, but she complains when I don't answer. She also says I only give her crumbs.
She has a lot more money than us and uses it to try to bribe me. She will offer to pay for us to visit or leave money at will, but only if I take care of her in old age. I don't think the money is worth it, but I don't want my children to lose life potentially easier either.
After speaking with an expert, psychoanalytic psychotherapist Helen Morgan (bpc.org.uk), I realized how many parallels there are between you and your mother – before you panic, let me explain. She bore her husband for money, and this is similar to what you are doing to her. You say she was trained to support her husband and I think she was trained to support her mother no matter what. His mother made excuses for his father; You are doing the same to her.
Morgan pointed out that his family is “co-dependent, where people agree on things; where misbehavior is not confronted, is conspired with. "Morgan was also impressed by the use of the word" polite. "She said," It may be necessary to really face how angry you are with your mother and what was done when you I was a child, and that's not polite. "
You have every right to be mad at your mother, but it's not easy, is it? It was easier with your father because of the abuse, but with your mother something keeps you entangled, hopeful, not resolute. If you could, without fear of consequences, what would your mother really say? Maybe you should write. I don't think you get carried away because it must be painful.
In every complicated relationship we have, there is a hook: usually love, money, guilt, or hope. Here are the four. I wonder if your children will look back and say to you, "Mom stayed for the money," just as you are saying about your own mother? You are absolutely not your mother; his longest letter showed compassion, empathy, thought – everything his mother seems to be missing – but it is something to think about.
You can leave things as they are, with your mother trying to reach you and you trying to keep your distance, or you can tell her what she is not prepared to endure and what the consequences will be if she violates these conditions. But I think you fear this conversation is catastrophic and that it might break with you.
Morgan suggested that you examine what you fear and what is causing you to stay in touch. Only you can answer these things; only you can decide what the limits are – but you must know in your heart that your mother will never fundamentally change.
You walked away and talk a lot about the distance. I see this a lot in dysfunctional family relationships, but, as Morgan pointed out, "You don't need a distance if a common separation has occurred." This separation is not common, it is full of trauma, dysfunction and pain. You are not a bad person for wanting to have a good life.
• Submit your problem to firstname.lastname@example.org. Annalisa regrets not being able to enter personal correspondence
Comments on this piece are pre-moderated to ensure that the discussion remains on the topics raised by the article. Be aware that there may be a slight delay in the comments that appear on the site.
. (tagsToTranslate) Family (t) Life and style (t) Parents & Parents