Originally Posted by elucidate
Yeah, some mothers have this real need to be needed. It sounds like your mother is priming you so you never leave her because maybe she is afraid of being alone?
I have a friend whose mother does the same for her three brothers, and they are all mentally ill. I think she doesn't help the situation though as she does everything for them...in a way it's enabling them to stay unwell.
It's selfish and it's also encouraging arrested development in you and your brother. The fact that you are wanting to be more independent and take care of yourself, it's a bit funny that she isn't encouraging this in you.
You say she sulks for weeks and gets angry...wow, I'm reminded of the mother from "waterboy"
Seriously...19 years old. Legally you are an adult...and she needs to let you dress yourself.
I'm not a psychiatrist, but she sounds kinda mental...sorry. Controlling you with anger...that's not very caring and it's not in your best interests that she is doing this...it's purely her own. I keep getting "Borderline Personality disorder" coming into my head. If not that, then it's a really extreme case of control-freakitis!
You know how she will respond, that's predictable, so just say what you need to say and be done with it. She'll get mad, so just cut her off and say "you can get as angry as you like mom, I'm not gonna back down and I'm not scared of upsetting you anymore...that's gonna happen anyway...I'm an adult now and you need to back off and let me grow...it's not about you!"
Thanks for your reply.
Yeah, I read a symptom list of BPD and that looks like my mother, alright. Of course, she thinks it's everyone else in the family
who has mental issues, not her. (Really.)
I've only snapped at her three times that I can remember, and the third was pretty recent. Two out of three times she dissolved into tears and still has not let me live it down even though the first time was four years ago, and I had my name dragged through the mud for weeks
. (My brother has more of a spine than me and started confronting her, and for months
my mother did nothing but snarl about him to anyone who would listen.) I've had her burst into tears because of something I said when I wasn't even being confrontational -- she insisted she came up with a nickname for a character in a movie, and I smiled and said that it was me, and she snapped "I'm not stupid!" and burst into tears. My father gave me the dirtiest look for it.
Ah, bitching aside, yes, I would say she definitely has issues. In my head I've been visualising telling her to cut stuff out when she does something, and lately I've even been dreaming about it. I can't do it in my head forever, though! I feel like a gun about to go off and I'm still working on my courage. The last time I snapped at her, actually, was completely spontaneous where I'd usually shut up. It felt good
. I'm slowly getting there. I'm scared she'll pitch the rest of my family against me for it. Then I'll have to deal with three angry people instead of one. (More motivation to get the hell out of here, yay!)
I'd say she's terrified of me leaving the nest. She hates it when people expect her to do everything for them, but she won't let them do things on their own either if she can help it. She's always acted like she won't smother me when I leave, that I'm off living my own life... but in all honesty I'm expecting so much conflict and passive-aggression when I move out. Because she won't be happy about it, at all. And she can damned well put up with it.
Thanks for your encouragement.
Here's to taking back power!