Author Topic: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58  (Read 11066 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Outdoor Girl

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 14500
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #60 on: February 06, 2014, 06:23:10 PM »
Or turn it back on her - What are you going to do about it, Mom?  And tell her that if she isn't willing to do anything about it, you aren't willing to listen to her complain about something she isn't willing to do anything about.
After cleaning out my Dad's house, I have this advice:  If you haven't used it in a year, throw it out!!!!.
Ontario

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31765
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #61 on: February 06, 2014, 06:32:06 PM »
I would also say that if they're doing the "don't tell your mother/father," you can immediately say, "I'm sorry, I'm not going to listen to any conversation with that phrase in it. I have to go." <click> (by which I mean, hang up immediately, don't do the "OK, bye" dance of getting "permission" to hang up.)

Good luck!

Deetee

  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 5791
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #62 on: February 06, 2014, 06:37:06 PM »
The next time either starts dumping on you, make an excuse and get off the phone.

"The cat's on fire" is an EHell classic.  Very effective.

I think this is an approach with an acquaintance. This is the OP's mom. I think she deserves some loving, firm truth before she turns to bean dipping.

How about "Mom, I love you. I will make an appointment for you to see a doctor/therapist. I will take you to that appointment and hold your hand the whole time. We can even take the bus. But I will not listen to you be sad about things without trying to fix them. Because then you have made a choice to remain depressed and I WILL NOT support that choice"

Dr. F.

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 953
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #63 on: February 06, 2014, 06:47:40 PM »
The next time either starts dumping on you, make an excuse and get off the phone.

"The cat's on fire" is an EHell classic.  Very effective.

I think this is an approach with an acquaintance. This is the OP's mom. I think she deserves some loving, firm truth before she turns to bean dipping.

How about "Mom, I love you. I will make an appointment for you to see a doctor/therapist. I will take you to that appointment and hold your hand the whole time. We can even take the bus. But I will not listen to you be sad about things without trying to fix them. Because then you have made a choice to remain depressed and I WILL NOT support that choice"

This. I've also found saying,"I can't help you by listening anymore. You need someone with more experience. I can't discuss this with you anymore until you talk to a doctor." can be very effective.

cabbagegirl28

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1199
  • violinp's my sister :)
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #64 on: February 06, 2014, 09:41:45 PM »
The next time either starts dumping on you, make an excuse and get off the phone.

"The cat's on fire" is an EHell classic.  Very effective.

I think this is an approach with an acquaintance. This is the OP's mom. I think she deserves some loving, firm truth before she turns to bean dipping.

How about "Mom, I love you. I will make an appointment for you to see a doctor/therapist. I will take you to that appointment and hold your hand the whole time. We can even take the bus. But I will not listen to you be sad about things without trying to fix them. Because then you have made a choice to remain depressed and I WILL NOT support that choice"

This. I've also found saying,"I can't help you by listening anymore. You need someone with more experience. I can't discuss this with you anymore until you talk to a doctor." can be very effective.

POD to Dr. F.


Vita brevis, ars longa

wyliefool

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1913
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #65 on: February 07, 2014, 09:07:15 AM »
I would also say that if they're doing the "don't tell your mother/father," you can immediately say, "I'm sorry, I'm not going to listen to any conversation with that phrase in it. I have to go." <click> (by which I mean, hang up immediately, don't do the "OK, bye" dance of getting "permission" to hang up.)

Good luck!

This. You're their kid, not their therapist. It's so unfair for them to put you in the middle. My parents did this to me--well they still do complain about each other to me, but I've learned to quit caring and feeling like i have to try to fix it. (Thanks Ehell!) So I think I'm a less sympathetic ear now and therefore they don't do as much grumbling.

In short, don't give in to the controlling-thru-fear business, and don't act the therapist. "Mom, if you're depressed see the doctor. If you don't want to do that for whatever reason then don't be complaining about your depression. Because you're choosing it. And whenever you say 'dont tell dad' I'm going to turn right around and tell him, so best keep those things to yourself."

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31765
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #66 on: February 07, 2014, 09:53:45 AM »

In short, don't give in to the controlling-thru-fear business, and don't act the therapist. "Mom, if you're depressed see the doctor. If you don't want to do that for whatever reason then don't be complaining about your depression. Because you're choosing it. And whenever you say 'dont tell dad' I'm going to turn right around and tell him, so best keep those things to yourself."

There is a school of thought that when people say, "Don't tell your mother/father," they really *do* want you to tell them. Somehow. That "having mom/dad find out without me having to be the one to tell them" is a huge part of their subconscious motivation.

GlitterIsMyDrug

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1120
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #67 on: February 07, 2014, 11:29:06 AM »
My mom was dealing with some depression and anxiety issues a few years ago and started dumping them on me. And me being I kept feeling like it was up to me to fix her problems. Until I realized, I'm the kid. Sure, I'm a grown up. But in our relationship, I'm the kid.

I told her, word for word, Mom, I love you, very much. But I'm the kid here. I can't, and I won't, take your problems onto my shoulders. I understand you're dealing with a lot. See a therapist. Talk to friends. Get a cat. I don't care, but I can't fix your problems and I'm not going to try to fix them either. You're my mom, I'm your kid, our relationship dynamic means I can't take on your problems.

Now she sees a very nice therapist and feels much better. Turns out, thyroid problem! And ADHD (which everyone diagnosed with her eons ago but she insisted she didn't have because she could real a whole book, no seriously, that was her reasoning). And we still have a fantastically close relationship. She still tells me about some of her problems, but their smaller I can give advice or suggestion problems. Like when she wanted to re-arrange her living room furniture and asked for advice where things should go, I was very helpful in that capacity.

I think when we become adults our parents sometimes forget we're still their kids, sometimes we forget too. That relationship dynamic means we always look to them for guidance. And the other way around just won't work.

DavidH

  • Hero Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 1826
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #68 on: February 07, 2014, 11:37:38 AM »
I think Outdoor Girl and others have made great suggestions. It's one thing to listen to someone if they are trying to improve things and it's just taking a while, but listening to woe is me, and I won't do anything to improve the situation is just exhausting and frustrating. 

Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 878
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updated post 29
« Reply #69 on: February 11, 2014, 12:11:40 PM »
Which makes that phone call useful for something other than simply making someone stop worrying.

You say that like it is a bad thing to worry about people or to reassure them that all is well. I have been in the situation where I was wondering for hours wether someone was okay only to get the call from the hospital saying they were in an accident. I don't feel like a 2 minute phone call or text message is a big deal to let someone know that all is well. It's not like I am sitting there from the moment they leave until they get home worrying and doing nothing else, I just get a relief when they call to say they made it and then I go to bed. (because usually that is around 10 - 11 pm)

I agree. I am a bit baffled by the derision for someone just wanting a brief reassurance that you are safe.  (Please note that I am not talking about instances where someone is controlling or toxic or has other issues, I'm just referring to normal situations.)  Briefly texting my parents that our plane landed safely is no big hassle and doesn't somehow erode my independence, it's just something I do because I love them.  Sure if something had happened to me they couldn't do something. But if I can let them know I'm fine it just allows them to turn off that part of their brain that is wondering about me. 
Now that I'm married, my husband is the one I let know that I'm fine, if I'm travelling alone because I figure that my parents know he will let them know if something goes wrong. But if DH and I both are flying I just shoot them a brief text.
Likewise, if I sent my friend out into, say, bad weather to drive home. I do generally ask them to give me a brief text.  Again, just so I can turn off that part of my brain. 
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31765
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #70 on: February 11, 2014, 12:16:04 PM »
Because when I entertain my MIL's worry, it becomes mine.

I'm heading out into a rainy night to drive home. I assume I will be safe. I don't really worry. And when I get home, I'd just go about my business, with no more thought to whether there's some chore left over from the drive, and without thinking, "Wow, I'm lucky to have made it home without mishap."

But now, she is worried, and therefore, I have to drive home holding onto the thought, "I could have an accident, so I'd better call my MIL to let her know I didn't have an accident." She has also given me a chore to remember when I walk in my house.

It destroys my peace of mind.

And, w/ my MIL, I know that if I call when I'm driving home on a snowy night, she'll want me to call on a rainy night, then on a misty night, then on a foggy afternoon. The moment I feed her anxiety, she gets the message that she's entitled to make her anxiety *my* problem to assuage.
   It's not a reasonable anxiety. I refuse to make it my problem, to let it mindspace in my head, or to make it a chore I need to remember.

If I were worried myself about the drive, I might not resist. The one time I let her talk me into calling her, it was a bit trickier then normal. But I also found that her request *did* change my confidence level did affect how comfortable I was with the tricky drive. It was harmful to my mental sense of safety. I wouldn't have been UNcareful before, so it didn't really affect my actual safety. Just my peace of mind.

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #71 on: February 11, 2014, 12:22:59 PM »
Because when I entertain my MIL's worry, it becomes mine.

I'm heading out into a rainy night to drive home. I assume I will be safe. I don't really worry. And when I get home, I'd just go about my business, with no more thought to whether there's some chore left over from the drive, and without thinking, "Wow, I'm lucky to have made it home without mishap."

But now, she is worried, and therefore, I have to drive home holding onto the thought, "I could have an accident, so I'd better call my MIL to let her know I didn't have an accident." She has also given me a chore to remember when I walk in my house.

It destroys my peace of mind.

And, w/ my MIL, I know that if I call when I'm driving home on a snowy night, she'll want me to call on a rainy night, then on a misty night, then on a foggy afternoon. The moment I feed her anxiety, she gets the message that she's entitled to make her anxiety *my* problem to assuage.
   It's not a reasonable anxiety. I refuse to make it my problem, to let it mindspace in my head, or to make it a chore I need to remember.

If I were worried myself about the drive, I might not resist. The one time I let her talk me into calling her, it was a bit trickier then normal. But I also found that her request *did* change my confidence level did affect how comfortable I was with the tricky drive. It was harmful to my mental sense of safety. I wouldn't have been UNcareful before, so it didn't really affect my actual safety. Just my peace of mind.

I have never thought i was lucky to have made it home alive from a trip. ANd i have never been more careful or had my confidence changed because I was going to tell someone I made it home safe and sound. It is just a courtesy to my parents - a way to let them know I know they love me and I love them too. And they do the same for me. It doesn't actually effect my actions in any way - expect that I pick up the phone when I get home. I don't invest it with a lot of extra meaning and hidden motives - it is just a courtesy call from me to them.

TootsNYC

  • A Pillar of the Forum
  • *****
  • Posts: 31765
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #72 on: February 11, 2014, 12:30:43 PM »
I went back and looked--I did use the pronoun "I." I was very careful to write that explanation in the first person, because I didn't want anyone to think that I thought I was speaking in any universal terms.


Eeep!

  • Member
  • **
  • Posts: 878
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #73 on: February 11, 2014, 12:36:40 PM »
Because when I entertain my MIL's worry, it becomes mine.

I'm heading out into a rainy night to drive home. I assume I will be safe. I don't really worry. And when I get home, I'd just go about my business, with no more thought to whether there's some chore left over from the drive, and without thinking, "Wow, I'm lucky to have made it home without mishap."

But now, she is worried, and therefore, I have to drive home holding onto the thought, "I could have an accident, so I'd better call my MIL to let her know I didn't have an accident." She has also given me a chore to remember when I walk in my house.

It destroys my peace of mind.

And, w/ my MIL, I know that if I call when I'm driving home on a snowy night, she'll want me to call on a rainy night, then on a misty night, then on a foggy afternoon. The moment I feed her anxiety, she gets the message that she's entitled to make her anxiety *my* problem to assuage.
   It's not a reasonable anxiety. I refuse to make it my problem, to let it mindspace in my head, or to make it a chore I need to remember.

If I were worried myself about the drive, I might not resist. The one time I let her talk me into calling her, it was a bit trickier then normal. But I also found that her request *did* change my confidence level did affect how comfortable I was with the tricky drive. It was harmful to my mental sense of safety. I wouldn't have been UNcareful before, so it didn't really affect my actual safety. Just my peace of mind.

I have never thought i was lucky to have made it home alive from a trip. ANd i have never been more careful or had my confidence changed because I was going to tell someone I made it home safe and sound. It is just a courtesy to my parents - a way to let them know I know they love me and I love them too. And they do the same for me. It doesn't actually effect my actions in any way - expect that I pick up the phone when I get home. I don't invest it with a lot of extra meaning and hidden motives - it is just a courtesy call from me to them.

I agree - the only thing that would change for me is just that I have to remind myself to text, which I sometimes forget about if there isn't anything stressful related to the travel. But that doesn't increase my anxiety levels or take up tons of headspace.  I'm thinking I just must have a totally different experience with people who ask for a text/call thank Toots does.

Now, I know that my sister had to push back a little bit on my Mom's requests for texts. She lives alone and my mom was asking for her to text her for more routine things, which made my sister feel like she was still living at home (and she was in her late 20s). So I can totally understand her position and my mom did too once she talked to her about it.  But she still will do it when going home from my parents if it is quite late or terrible weather or something. (Sis lives in a big city and my parents live in the outer suburbs.)  But I don't think my sister would say that it gave her anxiety, etc. it was more just an annoyance.
"Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind." - Dr. Seuss

wolfie

  • I don't know what this is so I am putting random words here
  • Super Hero!
  • ****
  • Posts: 7361
Re: "I don't want you to drive your car" updates #29 #58
« Reply #74 on: February 11, 2014, 12:41:28 PM »
Because when I entertain my MIL's worry, it becomes mine.

I'm heading out into a rainy night to drive home. I assume I will be safe. I don't really worry. And when I get home, I'd just go about my business, with no more thought to whether there's some chore left over from the drive, and without thinking, "Wow, I'm lucky to have made it home without mishap."

But now, she is worried, and therefore, I have to drive home holding onto the thought, "I could have an accident, so I'd better call my MIL to let her know I didn't have an accident." She has also given me a chore to remember when I walk in my house.

It destroys my peace of mind.

And, w/ my MIL, I know that if I call when I'm driving home on a snowy night, she'll want me to call on a rainy night, then on a misty night, then on a foggy afternoon. The moment I feed her anxiety, she gets the message that she's entitled to make her anxiety *my* problem to assuage.
   It's not a reasonable anxiety. I refuse to make it my problem, to let it mindspace in my head, or to make it a chore I need to remember.

If I were worried myself about the drive, I might not resist. The one time I let her talk me into calling her, it was a bit trickier then normal. But I also found that her request *did* change my confidence level did affect how comfortable I was with the tricky drive. It was harmful to my mental sense of safety. I wouldn't have been UNcareful before, so it didn't really affect my actual safety. Just my peace of mind.

I have never thought i was lucky to have made it home alive from a trip. ANd i have never been more careful or had my confidence changed because I was going to tell someone I made it home safe and sound. It is just a courtesy to my parents - a way to let them know I know they love me and I love them too. And they do the same for me. It doesn't actually effect my actions in any way - expect that I pick up the phone when I get home. I don't invest it with a lot of extra meaning and hidden motives - it is just a courtesy call from me to them.

I agree - the only thing that would change for me is just that I have to remind myself to text, which I sometimes forget about if there isn't anything stressful related to the travel. But that doesn't increase my anxiety levels or take up tons of headspace.  I'm thinking I just must have a totally different experience with people who ask for a text/call thank Toots does.

Now, I know that my sister had to push back a little bit on my Mom's requests for texts. She lives alone and my mom was asking for her to text her for more routine things, which made my sister feel like she was still living at home (and she was in her late 20s). So I can totally understand her position and my mom did too once she talked to her about it.  But she still will do it when going home from my parents if it is quite late or terrible weather or something. (Sis lives in a big city and my parents live in the outer suburbs.)  But I don't think my sister would say that it gave her anxiety, etc. it was more just an annoyance.

My parents have only ever requested it when I am coming back from their place - which is a 1.5 - 2 hour trip. And I do find it reasonable for someplace that far. If they lived 15 min away I wouldn't even consider doing it - and they wouldn't ask for it either.  I feed the cats their wet food around 5:30 - if I am at my parents then they get it when I get home. SO it is a bit of a routine for me - get out the phone and feed the cats as I call my parents to tell them I made it home safe and sound! :-)

Sounds like the two of us have the same experiences.