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Author Topic: Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective? Pseudo-update  (Read 19635 times)

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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #30 on: April 25, 2013, 08:01:27 PM »
I also did think of talking about it with my Dad and see if he could help, perhaps by talking to her himself, but I wonder if that's a step in the wrong direction.

It couldn't hurt. At least, it would warn him that if you were to leave abruptly, that would be why.

My entire life, my mother would comment on my weight. Generally, I was either at a healthy weight or at most 5lbs overweight. But my mother would like to watch what I put on my plate and then say loudly "Oh, don't use that much butter. Butter makes you fat" and "You'd better do more lettuce and less salad dressing. Salad dressing is for piggies" that type of thing. Every. Single. Time. I saw her, she had something like that to say. But if you didn't take enough food, she'd yell at you for not eating everything on your plate and that she cooked so much and you weren't even appreciating it. I kept telling her to knock it off. Even in my late 20s, she was still doing it. And it was especially embarrassing in front of other people.

Finally, one time, I was about 33 at this point, I called and said "Mom, if you mention my weight, or fat people, or butter, or how many rolls I'm eating or anything that has to do with size or calories, I will leave immediately." She said "Oh, you're overreacting. You're too sensitive." I cut her off. I said "I don't care what you say, if you say one tiny single thing or even give me a snide face as I'm putting food on my plate, I will set the plate down and leave." Then, I got my father on the phone and told him what was going on.

He's good at pretending he doesn't notice things, so he seemed shocked when I told him "For the last 25+ years of my life, mom has called me fat every single time she's seen me, at every single meal and every single new outfit she's seen me in." And I added "if she does it one more time, I will get in my car and end the visit." When he tried to say "Well, your mother means well" I said "I don't care what she means. I'm sick of it. I don't comment on her weight. Or her haircolor. Or anything else."

I guess they both realized that I was serious. After years of telling her to stop doing it falling on deaf ears, she finally did stop doing it.

This^^^ is great!  My MIL used to do the same, commenting on every pound I gained after having kids.  I finally refused her homemade enchiladas, while everyone else ate.  Her:  "B-b-b-ut one meal won't make you fat!"  She was embarrassed and quit that behavior.  (The hunger was worth it).


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #31 on: April 25, 2013, 08:05:02 PM »
OP, I think you should show up with a FiFi French Maid costume.  (Not the sexy one, just the maid costume).  Hang it up conspicuously.  When Mom starts getting bossy and unpleasant, stand up, get the costume, and ask if "it's time to put on your uniform now?"   8)

But really, I like Danika's way of handling it.  Tell both parents bluntly what you're sick of, what you're going to do about it when it happens next time, and then be prepared to DO IT.  What ever you decide IT will be.   >:(
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #32 on: April 25, 2013, 09:18:32 PM »
While I'm dishing out advice, I'll add some tips for quick escapes:

1) Don't park on the driveway. If you want to make a hasty escape, if your mother is obnoxious like mine, she'll stand behind your car so you can't leave. Parallel park on the street.

2) Don't bring a purse or jacket. Even if it's snowing or raining. Keep all valuables in the car (unless it's a dangerous neighborhood) and keep your car keys in your pocket. Again, you can make a quick escape without needing to stop at the closet for your jacket.

3) If you bring food, bring it in a disposable dish. Don't bring your favorite crockpot or anything that will slow you down on your way out the door.

4) Warn your boyfriend in advance. Both be ready to bolt at this meeting and the future meetings because you might have to enforce the boundary several times.


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #33 on: April 26, 2013, 11:45:40 PM »
I lived with my parents into my 20s and admittedly had some undiagnosed problems, but it would make me angry after years of "do you want a cup of tea" "yes" "then put the kettle on" or else "while you're on your feet" - never a direct request and if parents got a drink they didn't usually pour me one.

It doesn't happen anymore now I've lived away for years, but I still recall the frustration. It's such a small thing, but like water dripping, over years it really becomes larger. If you don't actually mind, maybe offer before there's any chance of a bait and switch, if its the power play, this will take the wind from her sails.


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #34 on: April 27, 2013, 07:16:43 PM »
The only issue that bothers me is the OP having to drop everything to attend her mother's wishes. It sends a message to the OP saying her needs and wants of the moment are the least important. I don't like that. I never have. When I was just a little box I was always given the opportunity to say "Just a moment please, I'm ______ and I'll be right there."
Who is the Doctor?


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective? Pseudo-update
« Reply #35 on: May 05, 2013, 03:47:05 AM »

I hadn't seen my mother or father since the dinner mentioned in the OP, until today when my mother dropped by to tell me my father has walked out on her, and his whereabouts is currently unknown. This is the latest in a string of recent events that have affected my traditionally drama-free family.

While I still want to make a stand on this issue, it has been somewhat overshadowed in its importance. I will certainly be proceeding with Part One: Show Love To Your Mother In Non-Drinky Ways.

My dad and I are very alike, and as such have always been very close. My only known contact details for him at this point are by email, and I've extended an invitation for him to have dinner with me on Tuesday - I'm waiting for a reply.


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective? Pseudo-update
« Reply #36 on: May 05, 2013, 06:46:03 AM »
I am sorry to hear that.  By your update it sounds like your dad found the power plays stressful as well, and handled in his own way. 

For your emotional well being, while it is important to respect your mother - it is also important to come away from family gatherings feeling good.  That is not happening while you feel this way.  Don't let it build up until you explode, because you just cannot take it anymore, face up to it like you would another person you'd meet up in everyday life.

If you feel put out by a request, just reply 'no thank you' and move on.  If your mother asks you if you want a drink just decline.  After every contact before leaving affirm your feelings to your mother, "Bye mum, I love you' and then leave.  If your mum starts to act up in regard to being challenged, just state 'don't be silly' and move the conversation on.  Don't get drawn into a power play.  Leave if she becomes to worked up, and every time on each next visit should she do the same.


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Re: May I borrow a cup of perspective?
« Reply #37 on: May 05, 2013, 11:40:10 AM »

I totally get where you're coming from. My late grandmother used to do this to all of her children and grandchildren. What I resented was the fact that she thought she was outsmarting me or one-upping me. For example, she'd invite you over, you'd say yes, and then she'd say "On your way over, stop at the store and buy me X." I was a little girl, she was healthy and able-bodied and in her 50s and I remember her doing it to my family. We'd be all dressed in fancy clothes and on our way to her house for dinner and we'd all have to stop at the grocery store to buy her toilet paper, while dressed up.

When I was an adult, if she'd invite me to something, DH (then, boyfriend) would say "Oh, that's nice." And I'd tell him "No, we have to say no, because for that 1 hour of X event, we're going to spend an extra 5 hours helping her do A, B, and C. She will suggest that we go to lunch. She won't pay, so we'll have to buy her lunch. At a restaurant she chooses. And we'll be running other errands for her later, etc..."

It was like playing a chess game. You couldn't take anything at face value. You had to think 5 moves ahead to prevent being check-mated. You had to imagine all the different ways that grandma was going to thwart your attempts at just having a short, nice visit. And imagine all the different favors she was going to ask. Then, that ended up controlling what you wanted to do. Maybe you wanted to drive the 4-seater car that day, but you figured she might spring a few extra guests on you. "Oh, you don't mind giving a ride to these people, do you?" So you have to plan to take the 2-seater car so it's just you and grandma, for example.

I see we had the same grandmother. Did she also make it feel like she was doing you the favor by letting you do her chores or run her errands?