Just for a little background, I am 39 years old, have a good career, bought my own flat a few years back, always graciously host my parents when they decide to come to town, and in addition to my own career I am responsible for managing the rental properties my family owns.
I have been helping my mother expand her business where I live (my parents live about a 3 hr flight away) and they visited twice in the past few months. Prior to each visit, I would get hundreds of texts demanding that I go buy them certain things; I would say, yes I did, and they would still hammer at me relentlessly. "I need this!" "Mom needs x,y,z!" During the visits, they would totally take over my home- re-arrange furniture, throw away things, demand that I purchase certain items to make them more comfortable, disregard reasonable things I asked them to do (ie- the ice maker was broken- asked my mother to please not use it. An hour later she turned it on, accusing me "But there was no ice in the freezer. I need my water cold."). Of course, while they are here, I'm the maid/chauffeur/cook.
And while she was here- nothing but complaints- "why is that hose leaking a little bit? Your fan is pathetic, I couldn't sleep last night. I didn't like the food you ordered me. I asked you to get me organic honey, not this kind." There was one day my mother forced me to buy a new dish brush, claiming the old one was filthy- (easier to go along with those kinds of requests- logic doesnt work with her). then an hour later, she used the new one to scrub the floor mats of my car! When I asked her why she used the new brush she flew into a rage and said that my car was so dirty she had to do "something". She threw the brush at me and said "You do it" and stomped off to take a phone call. Then she came back and stood over me, directing me as to how to clean the floor mats and complaining that I really should have vacuumed the car and maybe I should get a leaf blower to keep the car clean (yes- a leaf blower!). (Another side note- nothing in my home or car is dirty- I'm not OCD, but everything is well organized, neat, and clean.)
My father kept giving me lists of things to do. "The rental flat needs new windows, find someone to do it. Also, in the fall, you need to take care of the yard work and re-do the deck". Nonetheless I put up with it out a deep sense of guilt- because my brother never calls them or sees them.
However, I lost my patience a few weeks ago. My mother asked me to go pick up a print order she had sent to a local printing agency. I had to pick it up and then drop it off to her customers. I said no problem, but that I couldn't do it immediately, maybe in an hour or two. This set her off- she sent me 63 text messages in three hours, demanding, whining, accusing me of being lazy and thoughtless, said she was too old to be working and that I should take better care of her. I kept asking her respectfully and calmly to please understand that I had already planned my day out, and that I would DEFINITELY do what she wanted, just not immediately. She was relentless. And of course, after I did what she wanted- not one word of appreciation or even acknowledgement.
Well, after that I needed some space. So I stopped responding to my mom's texts and emails immediately- and she started responding with "Did you get my messages? Your phone isn't working? You need to go fix it. your phone is stupid. The guy at the verizon store said it's your phone that doesnt work, it's not mine." and so on. I asked her to give me some space- give me some time to respond to her messages.
Then when I didn't respond, my mother decided to attack. Said I needed to find a husband because I'm getting old. Demanded to know why I was spending time with people other than her and my dad. Accused me of not caring about her and my father. Claimed she had the right to treat me like this because she carried me for nine months. I asked her to please stop. She escalated her comments . . . I blocked her texts. She then started texting me from her business phone. I blocked that. Then she resorted to email. Blocked both her email addresses. Finally, she started messaging me on social media . . . more of the same accusatory, mean, negative, self-pitying comments . . . I couldn't take it. I blocked her and haven't talked to her in four days- the guilt was overwhelming at first . . . I feel a little better now but still feel battered and exhausted . . . no normal person treats anyone like this. My mother thinks that because she doesn't swear, that she is allowed to say anything she wants, whenever she wants, and she is so repetitive that it's painful. I can't do it anymore.
I went NC with my mom for about 6 months three years ago- and I think it's definitely time to do that again . . .
I'm glad the forum has helped. That's what it's there for!
Can I ask, what made you go back after having that time of no contact?
If/when you go no contact again, it can be good to plan out how to cope with as many possible scenarios as you can. It's so easy to get sucked back into the loop, so it's wise to have strategies in place. Doing that also helps you to feel more confident in yourself and your boundaries even before a situation arises that could potentially put you back in contact with your mother.
B.Sc (Hons). B.Psych. Dip.Sc.
Principal, Your Online Counselor
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