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Author Topic: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)  (Read 14691 times)

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JenJay

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #30 on: November 21, 2014, 01:33:28 PM »
Evil Jean would ramble on about the fictional gifts that you're going to get her.   >:D I'm going to go stuff Evil Jean's mouth with Taco Bell, now.

I had the same thought. Or, and this might be a little fun, talk about how much everyone enjoyed the gifts she sent last year. Imagine how confused she'd be, but she couldn't come right out and say "Huh? I never sent you anything?!"  >:D

bopper

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #31 on: November 21, 2014, 02:24:33 PM »
Seems like there are different ways to go.
 She seems to be involved in magical thinking..."This year I will do it" or just is incapable of saving the money and buying presents.   

1) You could confront the lie  "Mom, you always say that, but you never do it."

2) You could give her an out "Let's stop doing gifts. Let's just go out instead."

3) You could bait her..."Yes, I have a nice outfit picked out for you, we can exchange gifts in January."

4) You can realize that is nothing you can do..."Sure mom, that sounds great."

My GMIL is like 90.  She will tell you that she went to Germany.  You can ask her questions about it and she will sound like she has.  Her daughter would argue with her, telling she didn't go.  We would just play along.

Ask yourself which do you want to do?

CrazyDaffodilLady

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #32 on: November 21, 2014, 03:03:24 PM »
Mom: Gifts will be late this year.
Scansons: So, same as usual.


Do you know that Mom actually buys gifts for your siblings. or are these gifts as fictional as yours?
It takes two people to play tug of war. If you don't want to play, don't pick up the rope.

scansons

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #33 on: November 21, 2014, 04:47:53 PM »
Mom: Gifts will be late this year.
Scansons: So, same as usual.


Do you know that Mom actually buys gifts for your siblings. or are these gifts as fictional as yours?

Oh no.  I know that she buys the gifts for the siblings and their children.  I do check.  My sisters and I are actually on really good terms.  And none of us are on really good terms with Mom and Dad.  Go figure. 

buvezdevin

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #34 on: November 21, 2014, 05:14:57 PM »
It sounds as though, while the recurring fictional gift pledges are annoying, they are only one aspect of a not-so-good relationship.

Is it worthwhile for you to consider how/if/to what extent you want to continue with your mother, across the spectrum?  If there is enough "good" received by you in continuing communication with your mother, this is just one more check in the "con" column - but bearable in the big picture.  On the other hand, if this is just one of many issues, and there is not much, or any "good" coming to you by continuing communication, that may mean changing what you can, your own behavior and pull back on communication with her.

Sometimes, there are magic words, and they are "I am done with this."
Never refuse to do a kindness unless the act would work great injury to yourself, and never refuse to take a drink -- under any circumstances.
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Phoebe

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #35 on: November 21, 2014, 05:44:05 PM »
Years ago, I had an ex who would do this same sort of thing, except he was always very specific about whatever the gift/event would be.  It hurt, but I just kept reminding myself that it wouldn't happen and would only cause a fight if I called him on it.  A big part of how he morphed into an ex was promising my daughter he was going to take her and her brother to see The Lion King.  That crushed me, having to tell my children it likely wouldn't happen (and, of course, it didn't).  They were so hurt.

If your mother is just giving you this line, I tend to agree that ignoring her, changing the subject, or getting off of the phone would be the easiest (i.e., less drama-filled) way to handle it.  However, if she's telling this same lie to your children, absolutely call her on it.

LifeOnPluto

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2014, 10:56:29 PM »
Perhaps you can give her the appearance of the benefit of the doubt and say, "Mom, in the past you have mentioned sending gifts, but we have never actually received any.  This time around, please let me know when they are in the mail so I know when to look for them.  I will also reconfirm our address with you so we can make sure they don't get lost in the mail, and I'll be sure to give you a call when they arrive.  Thanks!"

I think with the added pressure of confirming posting times she will either a) actually send presents or b) stop saying she's going to be sending presents and end this cycle.

And then if/when the gifts don't turn up by the end of January, you could call her, and say how worried you are that the post office must have lost her gifts, or perhaps the neighbours stole them, etc.

If she says "I haven't sent you any gifts. You are very materialistic to be dwelling on that!" I'd act all confused. "Huh? But you told me back in November that you'd be buying and sending gifts to us in January. I don't understand why you'd say that and not follow through? I'm confused as to why you think I'm focusing on gifts when you're the one who raised the topic." etc.

Danika

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #37 on: November 22, 2014, 02:46:12 AM »
Has your mother always shown this type of blatant favoritism towards your sister or is it only in recent years since your sister sees her for Christmas and you don't?

If it's just in the past few years, then I'd say this is your mother's passive aggressive way of trying to manipulate you into seeing her for Christmas or to punish you for not traveling to see her.

But if she's always treated your sister like the golden child, then it sounds like there's no good re-lationship worth trying to preserve.

Either way, she knows what she's doing and is saying and doing all of it purposely to get a specific reaction out of you. I don't know what her end goal is (to coerce you to travel to her or just to hurt you). But no matter what, I don't think it's innocent or well-intended.

If you call her on it, it might reward her behavior because you're showing that you're hurt. But it might also show that you're onto her game and that might stop her from doing it in the future.

Ultimately, you have to decide what outcome you want.  I think I would try either just calling her out on the lie in the moment or just getting off the phone. But when she mentions your sister's gifts, that's plain mean and demeaning. I would definitely just end the phone call immediately when that happens.

sammycat

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #38 on: November 22, 2014, 03:12:43 AM »
Has your mother always shown this type of blatant favoritism towards your sister or is it only in recent years since your sister sees her for Christmas and you don't?

If it's just in the past few years, then I'd say this is your mother's passive aggressive way of trying to manipulate you into seeing her for Christmas or to punish you for not traveling to see her.

But if she's always treated your sister like the golden child, then it sounds like there's no good re-lationship worth trying to preserve.

Either way, she knows what she's doing and is saying and doing all of it purposely to get a specific reaction out of you. I don't know what her end goal is (to coerce you to travel to her or just to hurt you). But no matter what, I don't think it's innocent or well-intended.

If you call her on it, it might reward her behavior because you're showing that you're hurt. But it might also show that you're onto her game and that might stop her from doing it in the future.

Ultimately, you have to decide what outcome you want.  I think I would try either just calling her out on the lie in the moment or just getting off the phone. But when she mentions your sister's gifts, that's plain mean and demeaning. I would definitely just end the phone call immediately when that happens.

Pod to this, as I was wondering about the obvious favouritism too. That's more concerning (to me) than the outright lies about the presents.

Bethalize

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #39 on: November 22, 2014, 04:07:27 AM »
There are people who like the way saying something makes them feel whilst they are saying it but who will ignore the effect these empty promises have on other people. When this is a parent the messages are incredibly damaging. It's why I personally advise being clear with a child that this does happen and it's that person's issue, not anything to do with the child. Yes, sometimes it shows that an absent parent is selfish and lazy and doesn't give enough care about their child to send that marvellous present, but it's healthier for a child to know the truth than it is to "protect them" from the truth and give them such terrible mixed messages. I've never had anyone say they wished their parents had lied to them.

In this situation I wouldn't tolerate this behaviour. I'd call the person on it and take the fall out. But then I don't mind if someone else stomps and sulks, I shrug and regard it as their issue. I firmly believe that standing up for myself and the truth brings dividends in the long run. If I was emotionally detached enough I might not call my parent on their behaviour, but I'd be resorting to sarcasm really quickly. "Great! I'll look forward to this marvellous present." I might even mention it Every Single Time we speak.

zyrs

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #40 on: November 22, 2014, 05:14:51 AM »
Does she call you and tell you about the birthday gifts that she doesn't send as well, or does she only make sure to mention the Christmas presents? 

How I would handle it is to just state that you don't want to exchange gifts this year when she calls and then every time she calls you about the gifts she's buying for other people just be busy and need to go.  Only stay on the phone if she talks about things that aren't her gifting.




scansons

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #41 on: November 22, 2014, 11:23:31 AM »
Has your mother always shown this type of blatant favoritism towards your sister or is it only in recent years since your sister sees her for Christmas and you don't?

If it's just in the past few years, then I'd say this is your mother's passive aggressive way of trying to manipulate you into seeing her for Christmas or to punish you for not traveling to see her.

But if she's always treated your sister like the golden child, then it sounds like there's no good re-lationship worth trying to preserve.

Either way, she knows what she's doing and is saying and doing all of it purposely to get a specific reaction out of you. I don't know what her end goal is (to coerce you to travel to her or just to hurt you). But no matter what, I don't think it's innocent or well-intended.

If you call her on it, it might reward her behavior because you're showing that you're hurt. But it might also show that you're onto her game and that might stop her from doing it in the future.

Ultimately, you have to decide what outcome you want.  I think I would try either just calling her out on the lie in the moment or just getting off the phone. But when she mentions your sister's gifts, that's plain mean and demeaning. I would definitely just end the phone call immediately when that happens.

Pod to this, as I was wondering about the obvious favoritism too. That's more concerning (to me) than the outright lies about the presents.

Until I was about 18-20 I was the one that she leaned on and counted on taking her side against Dad.  (Taking sides very big in our family).  When I finally moved out and realized exactly how dysfunctional my family was, I started pulling away.  So there was a long period there where she was trying to woo me back.  Very often my offering money, that she never came through with even if I accepted it.  Once I got married for the sake of my sanity, and the marriage, I started putting her problems back on her instead of trying to fix them for her.  So now I am evil and mean, making her lay in the bed she made. 

Middle sister is currently the one that she's leaning on.  And to an extent trying to use money to control middle sister.  I don't blame MS at all.  MS is in a bad situation and needs the help.  Mom is using MS, and it's not a good situation.

Meanwhile Youngest Sister is newly married and has very much been the golden child.  So Mom is trying to make sure she stays wooed.

It's really dysfunctional.  But like I said, my sisters and I are really close.  Common enemy and all that. 

She doesn't call me about birthday gifts.  She just flat out doesn't send them.  I do know, again because I talk with my sisters that they and MS's kids get birthday gifts. 

Minmom3

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #42 on: November 22, 2014, 12:47:32 PM »
Scansons, the whole thing sounds incredibly painful to endure.  I doubt there's a polite way to get mom to stop discussing the unequal gifting, because it's such a power play that she's unable to stop her endless loop.  I doubt there's a rude way either, frankly.  If I were in your shoes, and I know well that I'm not, I'd disengage pretty far back, because I could not STAND to be the target this way.  But that's me, not you.

I have no advice, but plenty of sympathy.
Double MIL now; not yet a Grandma.  Owner of Lard Butt Noelle, kitteh extraordinaire!

chibichan

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #43 on: November 22, 2014, 06:16:03 PM »
I started to write a reply that basically advocated giving it right back to her - tell her about all the wonderful gifts you are buying for your  in laws , promise you will send hers later and then " forget " , etc, .

I now believe you should start putting more emotional distance between you and your mom . You have worked so hard to escape a dysfunctional dynamic . Even attempting to address this issue will rope you back into the drama .

She seems to be passive aggressively " punishing " you for daring to escape and have a normal life beyond her control . If you respond at all , take away that power by flat out telling her not to send any gifts at all . As soon as she does the " In January ..." spiel , cut her off with :

"Thanks Mom , but don't send anything this year ( make no mention of the fact that she never sends anything anyway ) . We have way too much stuff as it is."

Recognize your mother's gifts for what they are - bribery to stay "on her side".  As you are clearly no longer "on her side" , no bribes for you. She wants to make sure you know that .

Hugs - because I know its hurtful but honestly , I think you should be relieved that you aren't getting anything from her . I'm willing bet that these gifts come not with strings attached , but with battleship chain .

In the end , you will be in a far better position than your sisters when Mom starts calling in her markers .   

You already have the ultimate gift - a loving , normal family of your own and a good relationship with your sisters . I wish you peaceful , joyous Holidays .
 

The key to avoiding trouble is to learn to recognize it from a distance.

Danika

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Re: The Gifts are coming (no they're not)
« Reply #44 on: November 23, 2014, 12:19:35 AM »
You already have the ultimate gift - a loving , normal family of your own...

POD

From your last post, it does sound like your mother punishes anyone who strays too far from her control. And that's what's going on. So you need to realize that you do not have to remain in a reactionary position. You have the power here. Use it. Guide the conversation toward how you want it to go, and away from topics (gifts she does or does not give) that give her power to insult and disrespect you.