Hands up if you have (or had) a difficult relationship with your Mother?
Yes, me too!
What your difficult relationship with your Mom looks like
You can’t get a word in edgewise
It doesn’t matter whether it is on the phone or in person you haven’t got a hope of saying what’s going on for you. She never stops talking. This is so frustrating, isn’t it?
All you want to do is tell her to ‘Shut Up’ and listen for a change. You leave the conversation often, feeling as though it has been a complete and utter waste of your time even making contact with her.
And that leads to you wishing that you didn’t have to.
She’s always criticizing what you do and how you do it
Oh yeah, this is such a common thing that you stop telling her what you’re doing. You are sick and tired of the fact that the only thing you get back from her is criticism.
Once, just once, you’d love her to say “Wow, how great that you did that!” And that’s like wishing the magic genie would show up and grant you three wishes. It just isn’t going to happen.
Criticism is her standard response. She just loves it.
Every word that comes out of her mouth is negative. Along with the criticism it goes hand in hand. Their’s always some problem or other, where things aren’t working the way she wants.
And, oh yeah, sometimes YOU’RE the one to blame for that.
Other times it’s everyone else’s fault. Phew! At least you get a little break AND you still have to put up with her constant negativity.
It doesn’t matter what you do, it’s not good enough
Your Mother loves to tell you, over and over, how you’re not good enough. That might be with the simplest thing, or with your life in general.
You could deliver every wish she has, and yet it still won’t be good enough.
There is always some criticism or other about you. She thrives on telling you over and over.
It’s as if her whole life is meant just for this purpose; to remind you that you’re not good enough.
Your brother or sister is more important than you
She is constantly reminding you of this, by comparing you with them. This is just another way that she’s reinforcing that you’re not good enough, you know.
You may find it hard to have a relationship with your sibling because of this. In the back of your mind when you interact with them, you have your Mothers voice telling you how they are more important than you are, to her.
Don’t you just wish she was different?
It’s not easy having a relationship with someone that you have such a strong story about.
You probably have a fantasy story about how other children’s Mothers are better, how their mother is more loving and kind and someone who really wants their child around. The perfect Mother. The perfect image of a Mother. The one you wish you had.
Not your Mother though. She’s nothing like that. You see her as the exact opposite.
So this story that you have about her, the one you so strongly believe, because of course it’s true; it couldn’t be anything else, impacts on the way you interact with her.
You can’t possibly listen to her and what she has to say
No you can’t possibly listen to her and what she has to say because of the story you’re running that she’s not listening to you. Aha, you’re right. She probably isn’t. Maybe it’s not something she’s learned to do.
Maybe, she has a story running that nobody is listening to her, so she keeps talking in order to be heard.
How on earth can you connect with her and have a real relationship when you aren’t willing to be present with her and listen?
Judging her and how she is, is the safest thing to do to protect yourself
Of course it is. If you spend your time judging her for not being a good Mother, for criticizing you and making you feel bad, there is no possible chance that you can get close to her.
Heaven forbid you did that. That would be impossible. Wouldn’t it?
Crazy thought… What if you didn’t need to protect yourself from her at all? What if you let your guard down for once and met this woman, this person as an equal? Wow! That’s too hard to comprehend, isn’t it.
Your story is ‘she has all the power and that means you have none’. Your relationship isn’t equal
And it’s not going to be whilst you are running this story. If you think she’s got all the power, might be time for a little reality check.
What power do you have? What power are you wielding over her? Do you realize that your power is in not interacting with her. You are making the choice to withhold information from her, to treat her like she isn’t important and doesn’t need to know about you and how things are for you. That’s power, right there.
Shutting down and having minimal contact keeps you safe
Of course it does. So you think. Doesn’t it make things worse? I mean, you long for a relationship with her; a ‘normal’ relationship with her. You want a ‘Mother.’ And believe it or not, you have one. She’s just not the one you wanted. As if you had a choice in that!
You think that by shutting her out you are making all the feelings you have about your relationship with her go away. Wrong! All you are doing is burying them. And, in my experience that just strengthens them.
Shoving them down and not expressing them, or dealing with them through questioning the beliefs behind them creates unrest in YOU. She’s not suffering, you are!
The one simple answer to this problem
There is one simple answer to this problem, of your difficult relationship with your Mom, and that is… Question your thoughts about her.
Every one of them. Well, perhaps not EVERY one of them. Start the process though.
What happened for me when I questioned the beliefs I had about my Mom, was that my whole story of her dropped away and I met my real Mother. The one that I hadn’t been willing and open to meeting.
She’s actually a pretty awesome Mom.