Clashing personalities

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vballplayingirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/18/2010 10:57 AM (GMT -7)   
So I live at home this summer and I'll be heading back to college in a month. My school is 3 and a half hours away from my hometown and right now I love that fact. Recently my mother and I have been butting heads and arguing all the time. I think it's because I'm used to the freedom I have at school and not having to report to the parents anymore. Friday was my birthday and I got a check from my grandmother that she left on the counter for me Wednesday night. I was really excited about it, put it in my purse, and then after that I had summer class so obviously I had to focus on that. A few days later my grandma came to our house for a total of like 2 minutes. My mom told me to say thank you in person, but it really didn't seem appropriate seeing as they just got back from a funeral and I know she wasn't thinking about the check or my birthday at that time. So my mom flips out that I didn't say thank you, donates the check without my permission as punishment, and now has taken away my credit cards and spending money because she thinks "I'm an ungreatful child" and that I don't appreciate the things I get in life or "how lucky I am" All of these statements are ridiculous, seeing as I know I am lucky and forunate...growing up an only child might have made me a little spoiled, but now that I'm older I know the things I have are not things everyone else has...not everyone has parents paying their college tuition, etc etc. She's been yelling at starting pointless arguments a lot recently and now I can't wait to go back to school to get away from her. I think her reactions are uncalled for honestly. Sure, I've always had a problem verbalizing my appreciation for things, social anxiety at it's best I guess. So whenever I receive gifts I acknowledge them and then send thank you cards since it makes me feel more comfortable. But having the problem of not verbalizing thanks like that apparently means I'm ungreatful since I find it uncomfortable to say thank you nine hundred times for something to someone's face like she wants me to. Anywho, I've been more depressed the past few days, even on my birthday, thanks to her. We do have clashing personalities...I take after my father with all my personality traits and the only thing I got from her was my appearance... I think she just wants me to act like her and do everything she says...I'm 20 years old, she doesn't control me anymore..but I feel like she's playing the control card because she's paying my college tuition and expenses till I graduate and get a job. I'm extremely grateful for all of those things, but I just can't help thinking she's only doing this because she knows in 3 years I'll be moving away and contact will be a lot more limited. I think this is her way of holding on to her control as long as she has someone to do stuff for her. When I move away she knows I'll be doing my own thing and that probably makes her nervous since I'm the only child.
Anyone have any tips on how to keep the peace with her? I always try to avoid conflict and yelling right back at her, but when I'm being verbally attacked like that it's so difficult. I just need a few pointers on how to keep things level with her and how to communicate with her politely that I think she's being way too harsh...

--Che
"Between you and every goal that you wish to achieve, there is a series of obstacles, and the bigger the goal, the bigger the obstacles. Your decision to be, have and do something out of the ordinary entails facing difficulties and challenges that are out of the ordinary as well. Sometimes your greatest asset is simply your ability to stay with it longer than anyone else."


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 7/18/2010 11:16 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi there,
 
I guess the best thing to do is to stay out of her way while you are at home.  Maybe when the time is right, you could have a talk with her.  Let her know that you don't appreciate what she did.  How could she take your check?  It had your name on it.  Or did it?  Maybe she wrote it out to 'cash'.  But it wasn't right of her to donate it to wherever.  But I guess that is water under the bridge now. 
 
Try to be nice.  Try to get along.  Maybe see if she needs help with anything that she is doing.  That will make you appear to be grown up.  But if you are constantly conflicting, like I said before, keep distance until it is time for you to go back to school.  I am sorry that she is treating you this way.  I am sorry that you had to go to a funeral and couldn't talk to your grandmother.  But do send her a card, even though you didn't get the money.  Let her know that you appreciated it. 
 
I hope that things settle down between you and your mom.  Keep posting and let us know how you are doing.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


vballplayingirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/18/2010 1:59 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for the tips Karen. Since she's been very "on alert" all day, starting fights just because she can, I've been spending most of the day in my room on the lower level. Slept an additional three hours, which is something I only do when I'm in this sort of mood. I tried to be nice and avoid the argument(this time it was about a visit to walgreens) so now I'm trying the second piece of advice you mentioned--keeping my distance. Seems like the times that I get depressed are directly related to when she starts conflicts. She's my mother...isn't she supposed to want a stable relationship with me? All signs point to her liking conflict...which is silly. Hopefully I can walk upstairs sometime later without being attacked first thing.
--Che
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 7/18/2010 2:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Che,
 
I had to totally distance myself from my mother.  She always wanted to argue too.  And no matter what, everything was my fault in her eyes.  She couldn't be civil for a moment.  I don't know what it was with her, she did suffer from mental illness.  But you would think when it was your own mother that she would act like she loved you.  So I quit going to see her and just left her alone.  I lived next door to her, so it was easier.  But she eventually started to cause so much stress that it messed with my health.  So I had to stay away. 
 
I hope that you will get your cards back when you go back to school.  You will be needing them.  Being that she is paying for your tuition, it might make things harder.  It would feel like you owe her, but don't think of it that way.  What does your dad think of all this?  Is he in the picture?  I would hope that he would be on your side of things, or maybe stays neutral. 
 
One day at a time is my motto.  Hopefully she will come to be in a better mood.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


vballplayingirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/18/2010 3:52 PM (GMT -7)   
My dad and I get along great. Since I take after him mostly, we're really close. He thinks my mother is too severe with her discipline ways. He's always trying to tell her to back off since I'm an adult now. He's usually on my side, but then again he's more of the pacifist type so he stays out of any conflict my mother and I have--thinking we can work it out on our own. He only steps in when the yelling gets too loud for him to handle. I love the fact that he sticks up for me against my mom, she's like a dictator...always thinking she's right and tries to rise above my dad and undermine his authority. But whenever things like this happen between me and my mom he usually says something to her, hopes she takes it in, and that's the end of his part--which I understand. Since this is between her and I, he shouldn't have to be dragged into it. I would hate to damage my good relationship with my father over conflicts that my mother starts.

I just think of my dad as my support system at home, so I am glad he's there. I'll try the one day at a time approach. Hopefully not thinking about when the next argument is going to happen will cheer me up and put me in better spirits and hopefully those feelings will pass on to my mother.

-Che
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 7/18/2010 5:29 PM (GMT -7)   
Che,
 
You have such a good attitude about things that I think you will succeed with this situation.  You realize that it isn't worth the argueing and you do what you can to avoid it.  I am really proud of you.  Keep up the good work my friend.
 
I am so happy that your father supports you.  You are very fortunate there.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


harrington49
Regular Member


Date Joined May 2010
Total Posts : 355
   Posted 7/19/2010 5:27 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Che

Your story just reminded me so much of my daughter and I and I would like you to try and see it from your mother's perspective.

When my daughter was 20 she moved to Sweden from Australia and although she came home frequently on holidays, similar things would start between us and I felt like I didn't know her anymore. I thought she was acting like a spoilt brat when she didn't get what she wanted. We seemed to lock horns over the slightest thing and her father was her ally also. But it was always me that made the peace as I knew it would only be a matter of weeks and she would be gone back to Sweden. I battled with this the whole time she was home. I missed her like crazy when she was gone, not knowing how long before I would see her again and I felt like my right arm was missing.

I would look forward to the day when she would be arriving with plans and great anticipation of things we could do and places we could go, yes we did a lot of what I had planned but I always felt like anything I did for her went unappreciated, she never showed me any affection like daughters show their mothers and I felt sort of betrayed and lost, taken for granted.

As time has gone on and circumstances have changed, due to things beyond my control, she has now cut off all communication with both her Dad and I, which as you can imagine, I am absolutely broken hearted over her actions.

DON"T let this happen to you and your mother, take your mother out for lunch or some cofee and cake and have a good heart to heart with her, tell her you love her, you appreciate eveything she has done for you with your college etc and put your arms around her and give her a huge hug and kiss.

My advice would be to forget about the cheque, she shouldn't have done that and she probably knows that in her heart. So don't mention it again.

I think that is what is wrong with your mum, she loves you so much, misses you like her right arm is gone and probably feels somewhat taken for granted by you at the same time, but she doesn't know how to express these feelings to you. So why don't you just try what I have suggested, it may or may not work. I know it would have worked for me if my daughter had of done it, but she doesn't think like that.
Harrington49


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/19/2010 12:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Che, I agree with what others have told you. From my own experience, my son and I had clashes before he was going to leave for school. He went to univesity in
AZ, a very long way from our home and I wouldn't see him for at least 3 months straight and then it was for his vacations. I believe we had these arguments because we were both so sad that we wouldn't be seeing each other for long periods of time and then when he was home the vacations flew by. It seemed to be our way of coping with the separation. It was if we left on a bad note we would not feel the pain of missing each other. But we were both very sorry after these arguments and would resolve the issues. But then we were feeling the pain of having argued and wishing we hadn't.  I had terrible separation anxiety not seeing him as we are so close.  It is not worth ruining your relationship with your mom and I can understand how difficult this is for you. Keep in miind you are her only child and she would be devastated if you cut off contact with her. I do have a thought that may explain her behavior toward you. I was wondering how old your mother is? The reason I ask is that your mother may be of the age where she is in peri-menopause or may actually be in menopause. This can wreak havoc on ones emotions and cause the person to act out against others. Peri-menopause and actual menopause can last for at least 10 years or more. Her hormones may be very out of balance and she may not even know this. She may be taking out her emotions on you because she probably knows she cannot do this with your father. Keep up the good relationship you have with your father. You need him as your ally. Try to keep things calm for a while. Maybe you could offer to help your mom around the house with a few chores. When you find a time when you feel the two of you are getting along maybe you can ask her to sit down with you and have a calm and quiet talk. This is only a suggestion because she sounds like she can fly off the handle over nothing. She may be feeling the pain of you going back to school and if you are 20, it won't be long before you graduate and you may want to move away from your hometown or find a job in a different city. I became an empty nester this summer and the loneliness and sadness have been overwhelming for me. I have 2 sons, the oldest has been living with me, but he will be getting his own apartment in the fall after he returns from the summer. I am divorced so I live alone and it is not easy. Since you are an only child your mom may be feeling like she is losing the family she has had together for so many years. I know this is hard on you and I can't blame you for the way you are feeling. I just want to point out that your mom may be suffering too. And I do believe if she is late forties or early 50s this may very well have a physical and hormonal imbalance. It would help if she could see her dr. but I don't think it would sit well with her if you told her that. Maybe your father can suggest she go for a checkup. I hope things improve for you and don't hesitate to post here so we can help you through this time.
 
Aurora

vballplayingirl
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2010
Total Posts : 71
   Posted 7/19/2010 2:09 PM (GMT -7)   
Aurora,

Your input really made me think about the way I was handeling things. I was approaching the issues with my mother from just one side and not thinking how she feels. I know she misses me when I'm gone, but then I know how different it is for her when I come home. Having me gone for nine months and then suddenly pop in to live at home full time again for three months probably is an adjustment for her. She's 54 so perhaps she is having some emotional struggles due to menopause or the beginning of menopause--lord knows that's the last thing she'd want to talk to me about, but it does make sense. I'll be graduating in three years and I've voiced the fact that I'll be moving out of state for sure many times...I think it's hard for her to hear. After I leave the house and find my own place somewhere it'll be just her and my father. She sees a doctor and takes anti-depressants to stable her mood, but lately I think something else is going on. Today at least she's been civil, I think it has something to do with me being in a great mood myself today...might be rubbing off on her.

I just want to say thank you again for all your suggestions and tips. I think I need to keep an open mind about how my mother is feeling in this situation too and I wouldn't have realized my error on my own.

--Che
“Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there”


getting by
Forum Moderator


Date Joined Sep 2007
Total Posts : 40598
   Posted 7/19/2010 3:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Che,
 
I don't think you have errored per say.  I just think that you are getting more options on how to look at things.  I didn't even think about your mom going through menopause and I am going through it myself.  So do not be so hard on yourself.  I think that you are a wonderful caring daughter.  Stay happy.
 
Hugs, Karen
  Moderator-Depression and fibromyalgia
 
fibromyalgia, Chronic fatigue, depression,allergies


Aurora60
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1249
   Posted 7/19/2010 5:36 PM (GMT -7)   
Hi Che, I am glad I was able to give you some perspective on your situation with your mom. I think if you can keep a good attitude and show her that you are caring and understanding that you both will benefit. I know your mom would not want to discuss any hormonal issues with you but at 54 she is right at the age of going through menopause. I also think your mom is probably projecting ahead to the time when you move away and since this is going to be new for her she may be struggling to come to terms with seeing very little of you. Do you have other family such as aunts, uncles, cousins near your home? Maybe if there is other family she can feel more comfortable with you gone. I know how hard it was on me to have my sons leave. But when children become adults they need to learn to live on their own and make their own lives. That is what we as parents do - prepare our children for a life of their own. Life changes for all of us over the years and it can be difficult but we need to learn how to adjust. I understand this only too well. I have had to make so many changes in life but I have always managed to adapt. Not easily as I am learning this right now. I just wanted you to know that I understand your point of view and I also undestand your mom's. I wish you the best and I hope your summer goes well and you return to school in good spirits. Please do post anytime you need to talk if you find yourself needing support.
 
Many hugs,
 
Aurora
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