Old habits

I don’t know what’s worse – having my mother staying with me or having her ring me three times a day to make sure I’m ok. Probably the latter. *sigh*

Despite Mum’s “progress” in the session with my therapist, she has slipped quickly back into old habits. They die hard, I guess.

I think she’s forgotten that sometimes she is overly critical and negative, just like sometimes I am over sensitive. Every time I try to clarify any perceived persecution, she slips into defensive mode, followed quickly by attack mode. *sigh*

I have been trying to stand in her shoes. To understand her perspective and to see that not everything is criticism. But it’s hard. Sometimes she is just critical – for no good reason.

She even said to me: “You have no sense of humour anymore.” Not when I’m feeling attacked, no, Mum, I don’t.

We did have some laughs about the washing, though, and other things – the things she’s super anal about but I don’t really care about. I guess if therapy can’t produce more wholesome lasting change in our relationship, then this is something, I suppose.

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4 thoughts on “Old habits

  1. Any chance of a meeting w/your mom and T, to work out what I would call “confrontation protocols” about calling your mom on her crap? This was really helpful with me and my mom, though she did her end with her own therapist; it really helped her to just be still with stuff, rather than becoming defensive.

    The “You have no sense of humour anymore” remark made me smile … I got that all the time from my ex, after I started protesting her treatment of me. Sheesh!

  2. Thanks David. What is it with FOOs? I don’t like my chances of getting Mum in to see T again – she whinged and moaned enough last time. Would you care to share any aspects of your “confrontation protocols”, or how they were negotiated?

  3. Hi —

    Well, basically they were negotiated separately; my therapist told me what to do, and my mom’s therapist told her what to do.

    The end result was that when I confronted her, I did it with language that reminded her she was hurting me, rather than just annoying me. And she wasn’t allowed to be defensive about it; she was just supposed to say she was sorry or that she understood what I was saying. Pretty simple, and also extremely complicated.

  4. Hi,

    It sounds like she is heavy into the martyrdom mode as well.

    When you’re parented your parent it is hard to get them to act like an adult, let alone a good parent. Good for you for trying.

    Kate

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