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emotional blackmail

Sianey

Registered User
Mar 23, 2015
103
Yorkshire
And so do you, dear poster, and that's the tragedy of the situation. You set yourself up for her to knock you down. You tell her the things that are important to you, which gives her the power to deny you and hurt you. :(

Think of it this way - if you had an enemy you wouldn't open yourself up like that. You would protect yourself by keeping your feelings to yourself. You wouldn't deliberately show vulnerability in the hope that they might suddenly turn empathetic and be kind to you. In your situation it is your mother's dementia that is your enemy.

Whether there is an element of deliberate choice in her actions is irrelevant. It isn't fair, but no power on earth is going to change things so that you are treated fairly. The only person who can change things is you. Ask yourself, do I need this? Why do I think I can please my mother? Do I deserve better?

Believe me, speaking as the daughter of a critical and selfish mother, you can NEVER do enough for them, and they will always feel free to tell you how much you are letting them down. You cannot win with someone who is a bottomless pit of neediness. Accept that this tragedy is a result of the way she has chosen to view the world. Her expectations have always been unreasonable and are now amplified by her mental condition.

I remember the lightbulb moment when I had been metaphorically kicked once more by my mother, and was agonising out loud that there must be SOME way to make things right. My OH sighed in exasperation, he had heard it so many times before. He said:

"You've got to face it, your mother is not normal. You cannot expect her to behave like a normal person because she isn't able to. Stop allowing her to hurt you. She will always do what she's always done. YOU are the one that has to do things differently."
Some people are so good at putting everything you are feeling and thinking into words.:)
 

poster

Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
190
Some people are so good at putting everything you are feeling and thinking into words.:)
Too much water has gone under the bridge for things to be any different. I have never felt close to my mum. I was always a daddys girl. I have friends I feel closer to and that is the truth. I have a friend in America who is aged 66 and I would fly to the moon for her because we have that kind of raport. She has a laid back personality, we have a good laugh, she is very friendly and sociable, the total opposite to my mother. I do what I can for my mother because it is what daughters should do. I am sorry if anyone does not like what I am saying and thinks I am a hard faced person but I cannot feel something that just is not there.

I will not post about this again.
 

sleepless

Registered User
Feb 19, 2010
3,223
The Sweet North
Too much water has gone under the bridge for things to be any different. I have never felt close to my mum. I was always a daddys girl. I have friends I feel closer to and that is the truth. I have a friend in America who is aged 66 and I would fly to the moon for her because we have that kind of raport. She has a laid back personality, we have a good laugh, she is very friendly and sociable, the total opposite to my mother. I do what I can for my mother because it is what daughters should do. I am sorry if anyone does not like what I am saying and thinks I am a hard faced person but I cannot feel something that just is not there.

I will not post about this again.
poster, none of the replies infer that you are hard faced, rather it is that they don't wish to see you hurt any more than you already have been. Please keep posting, there are so many people going through the same problems, it can only help to talk about them and learn from one another.
 

garnuft

Registered User
Sep 7, 2012
6,585
I don't think anyone was saying you are 'hard-faced' in fact I thought they were saying the opposite, that you're too sensitive and, given your history with your mum, expecting too much.

I think posters were suggesting you try to change your reaction to circumstances in an effort to help you.

A while ago, another member posted to me a link with reference to the 'Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor' triangle.
It's a very shrewd observation of relationships.
I will try to find the link...

https://holisticworld.co.uk/your_say.php?article_id=77

Not the link I was given but it gives you the gist, a search will lead you to a less harsh analysis.




Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 
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Amy in the US

Registered User
Feb 28, 2015
4,617
USA
poster, it's your right to stay or go or post or not as you wish, but don't leave on our account!

I don't think anyone here thinks you are hard hearted or hard-faced. You are in a difficult situation. Dementia and your mother's choices 20 years ago, are not of your making and are not your fault. You can't control the disease, her, or what she says or does or doesn't do. Nobody here thinks it is otherwise or is blaming you in any way.

If you don't feel close to your mum, you don't, and with what you have told us, well, why would you? You are not the only one who feels this way about a parent with dementia on here, by the way. I hate my mother--well, I would if it weren't too much trouble and energy; these days I need all the energy I can get just to deal with her paperwork. I am her carer out of duty, not love or affection or happy memories of childhood or gratitude. I know I'm not the only one here, so I know you aren't, as well.

But I've never been close to her or had a proper relationship with her. It took me years to get over wondering what I'd done wrong, to make her behave the way she did towards me. Years! The answer is: I had done nothing wrong. Once I was able to adjust my expectations, while the situation didn't change, it became a little bit easier to deal with.

Hope some of that makes sense. Wishing you all the best.
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,839
England
I remember some training I went to where we explored the Drama Triangle. One thing that has really stuck in my mind was to become aware of how often we use the word 'but', or say "Yes, but..." in response to a suggestion.

This is a big signal that we have stepped back on to the Drama Triangle. We step on and off it all the time. Even when fully aware of the principles, there will always be situations and people that ping us straight back into that familiar rut. :D

Imagine 'but' as a stop word. The hard headed goat has butted you back, and you've landed hard on your butt. Ignore the pedantic rules of grammar and try substituting 'however' for 'but' when you respond to a suggestion, or describe a situation.

It is much easier to consider alternatives when you use 'however'. Give it a go, it's a really interesting challenge. It feels strange and forced at first, however (tee, hee!) It can be unexpectedly empowering. :)
 
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poster

Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
190
poster, it's your right to stay or go or post or not as you wish, but don't leave on our account!

I don't think anyone here thinks you are hard hearted or hard-faced. You are in a difficult situation. Dementia and your mother's choices 20 years ago, are not of your making and are not your fault. You can't control the disease, her, or what she says or does or doesn't do. Nobody here thinks it is otherwise or is blaming you in any way.

If you don't feel close to your mum, you don't, and with what you have told us, well, why would you? You are not the only one who feels this way about a parent with dementia on here, by the way. I hate my mother--well, I would if it weren't too much trouble and energy; these days I need all the energy I can get just to deal with her paperwork. I am her carer out of duty, not love or affection or happy memories of childhood or gratitude. I know I'm not the only one here, so I know you aren't, as well.

But I've never been close to her or had a proper relationship with her. It took me years to get over wondering what I'd done wrong, to make her behave the way she did towards me. Years! The answer is: I had done nothing wrong. Once I was able to adjust my expectations, while the situation didn't change, it became a little bit easier to deal with.

Hope some of that makes sense. Wishing you all the best.
Yes you are right. My mother did not have a close relationship with her family and did not see them for years. She did not much like her own mother and did not go to her funeral because she did not let her family know where she was so they could not get in touch.

I think my problem is that I still think of myself as a child in relation to my mother. Part of that is my fault but also her fault. I seem to need my mothers approval on things that I do and that should not be the case. If I do something I always think would my mum like it... who cares, its my life not hers. I desperately want her to be pleased about what I do and want her encouragement and I do not always get it and get disappointed so I have to learn to stop telling her things and just do them anyway. I don't know were I go from here.. A friend of mine said do what you mother wants because she is 92 and will probably not live much longer so if you do not like her dictating how often you visit, it doesn't really matter because it wont be for much longer and then you will be able to do what you like when you like with no interference. I think my friend has a point.
 

Dimelza

Registered User
May 28, 2013
130
Please don't feel guilty. I was also going to suggest moving her closer but it seems that's not possible for many reasons.
My dad lives in a place my garden and he still tells everyone he's not seen me despite the fact I'm there every spare moment :)


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

Sianey

Registered User
Mar 23, 2015
103
Yorkshire
Too much water has gone under the bridge for things to be any different. I have never felt close to my mum. I was always a daddys girl. I have friends I feel closer to and that is the truth. I have a friend in America who is aged 66 and I would fly to the moon for her because we have that kind of raport. She has a laid back personality, we have a good laugh, she is very friendly and sociable, the total opposite to my mother. I do what I can for my mother because it is what daughters should do. I am sorry if anyone does not like what I am saying and thinks I am a hard faced person but I cannot feel something that just is not there.

I will not post about this again.
Poster,

By hi lighting the post the person had put it wasn't meant to offend but merely for me to say what I have difficulty articulating myself to say over the Internet. Sadly the Internet doesn't have expression in voice or the face and expression face to face, it meant that I know people have difficulties in the relationship they have had with parents over the years or from childhood, something I myself have but don't want to talk about over the Internet. How I have decided to deal with the anguish I feel a lot to do with my Mam and I suppose giving back what I felt emotionally I never got during my childhood is to do what I am comfortable with and no more. Since I joined I've read so many posts and it has taught me now not to feel so much guilt, the guilt of which has made me ill.

I joined for advice initially this year for some good advice of which I always get I would never go out to make some one feel offended I would never do that in REAL life:) I am weigh too sensitive for that, a massive failing on my part which gets me walked all over on.

Again, sorry if I offended you.

Sianey x
 

Chemmy

Registered User
Nov 7, 2011
7,591
Yorkshire
.
A while ago, another member posted to me a link with reference to the 'Victim, Rescuer, Persecutor' triangle.
It's a very shrewd observation of relationships.
I will try to find the link...

https://holisticworld.co.uk/your_say.php?article_id=77

Not the link I was given but it gives you the gist, a search will lead you to a less harsh analysis
The "Yes, but..." scenario was the bit that jumped out at me too, Katrine! My mother in law was a classic example of that.

This is the Lynne Forrest version that's been posted on TP before:

http://www.lynneforrest.com/articles/2008/06/the-faces-of-victim/

I'm not into therapy and that sort of stuff, but I have to admit, it's been a most useful technique in helping deal with a couple of difficult family members.

I couldn't change them, but it allowed me to find a way of changing the way I interacted with them, and stopped me getting so frustrated/angry. But you have to be totally honest with yourself to recognise your position on the triangle. Only then can you take the necessary action to step off.
 
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Tray2283

Registered User
Oct 5, 2015
23
Hi, I too had a difficult relationship with my mum as a child & right through to being an adult. There are happy memories, but there was some abuse, I won't go into it on here. When my mum gets aggressive it takes me right back to my childhood& I literally think, why am I doing this?.
I try to remember it's the disease& try not to take it to heart. Obviously very hard& I do have a good cry. I don't know what gets me though, maybe love,maybe because she is my mum,or because I can be the better person. X


Sent from my iPhone using Talking Point
 

Pear trees

Registered User
Jan 25, 2015
441
Like many of you my relationship with my mother was always difficult; no abuse, just selfishness, indifference and neglect. It would be so tempting to stop doing anything for her, and I have thought about it many times over the last 4 years, especially when she is ungrateful and constantly making me feel bad for not doing more. But she is my mother, even if I don't like or love her. I have stopped feeling guilty and will not rise to her attempts at emotional blackmail.
 

poster

Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
190
Like many of you my relationship with my mother was always difficult; no abuse, just selfishness, indifference and neglect. It would be so tempting to stop doing anything for her, and I have thought about it many times over the last 4 years, especially when she is ungrateful and constantly making me feel bad for not doing more. But she is my mother, even if I don't like or love her. I have stopped feeling guilty and will not rise to her attempts at emotional blackmail.
yes I have this attitude now too. One thing that has suddenly occurred to me... when my mother told me that she said to her care worker how would my daughter feel if she hardly came to see me and I passed away and then the opportunity was gone? Would she feel oh dear I wish I had visited more and now I have lost the opportunity?

My mother did not have very much contact with her own mother and hardly saw much of her. I do not know how my mother felt when her own mother passed away. Did she feel guilty or feel that she wished she had seen more of her and the opportunity was lost?

If I were to broach this with her and ask her if she felt she should have had more contact with her own mother, she would say no because her mother did not behave properly as a mother should so she has no regrets.. What I am really saying is... why should my mother insist I visit more when she herself did not see a lot of her own mother. Her reply would be. well I am not like my own mother.... I looked after you, my mother did not look after me so I owe her nothing. But at the end of the day, she was still her mother and like it or not, she gave birth to her and I did point out to my mother that her own mother was widowed at an early age with FIVE children before the war and there was not the Government help that you get today. Her mother was advised to put some of the kids to adopted parents so they could be better looked after (money was tight). Her mother quite categorically said no I am keeping all my kids with me and I will work 7 days a week to provide for them if necessary. They are my children and nobody is taking them away from me. She must have loved them enough to say that because it would have been very easy to say yes ok.

However my mother has told me stories of how horrible her own mother was to her... When my mother was given a present of a beautiful dress she put it in the wardrobe and wanted to only wear it for special occasions. She was asked to go to a party and decided to wear the dress and went to the wardrobe and it was gone so she asked her mother, where is my dress, I want to wear it to the party and her mother said to her... I gave it away to a girl who did not have any clothes and I felt sorry for her. This is only one of a number of instances where my mother felt her mother was a bad mother so when she left home she cut contact with her. She did have a bit of contact because I have got photographs of her sitting at a table with her mother at home whilst pregnant with me, and I have a photo of me as a baby sitting on her mothers lap, but that was the last contact we had with her. We moved house and my mother did not give her family our address and so when her own mother passed away when I was 9 from a heart attack, nobody knew where we were to make contact to inform my mum. My mums answer to this was, nobody told me about the death of my mother, and anyone listening would assume they deliberately did not tell her but it was because they did not know where she was. My mother did not tell me that she did not let them know where she was and that is why she was not told. In fact when her mother was taken to hospital and was dying, her brother came to the last known address the family had for us to let my mother know and was told,, sorry they have moved and I do now know where they have gone.. So that was that. My mothers sister eventually traced her through her job but too much bitterness and unhappiness had gone on over many years and they eventually parted company.
 
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BR_ANA

Registered User
Jun 27, 2012
1,079
Brazil
It seems you mother behaviour pattern is push away relatives. I mean, she hide from her mother, she moved far from where you live, she said no to Xmas card.

She said she want you near, but she did nothing for it. She may need you near, as a punchbag.

She won't change. However you can protect yourself from her.

Take care
 

cragmaid

Registered User
Oct 18, 2010
7,941
North East England
" She said she gave my party dress away"......I suspect that it is more likely that she sold it....there would not be any spare money about then.

Your Mum chose to leave her family, to live separately from her Mother or siblings, and she taught you to accept her point of view without agreeing with it.
Now she thinks she needs you, and your conscience says you should help her, however you cannot raise any emotional link.
I can say you could do this or should do that. I can tell you to feel this emotion or even to ignore your emotions altogether, but it is you alone who needs to stop your Mum bullying you into this distressing state you find yourself in now.

Why not write down your possible choices and the likely consquences of your actions and then decide what your best path can be.....and what will be the best outcome for you, not Mum, you, after which you can see if any of your plans can help Mum as well. Because if you cannot face the future as it appears to be revealling itself, you are going to have to choose another path.....or face a very sad time dancing to her tune.
 

poster

Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
190
" She said she gave my party dress away"......I suspect that it is more likely that she sold it....there would not be any spare money about then.

Your Mum chose to leave her family, to live separately from her Mother or siblings, and she taught you to accept her point of view without agreeing with it.
Now she thinks she needs you, and your conscience says you should help her, however you cannot raise any emotional link.
I can say you could do this or should do that. I can tell you to feel this emotion or even to ignore your emotions altogether, but it is you alone who needs to stop your Mum bullying you into this distressing state you find yourself in now.

Why not write down your possible choices and the likely consquences of your actions and then decide what your best path can be.....and what will be the best outcome for you, not Mum, you, after which you can see if any of your plans can help Mum as well. Because if you cannot face the future as it appears to be revealling itself, you are going to have to choose another path.....or face a very sad time dancing to her tune.
I get what you are saying. I had a talk with my mum last night and asked her why she decided to stay away from her mother and she said because her mother was not very clean and she did not want a young child associating with a dirty woman so for my sake she decided to have nothing more to do with her mother.

My mother had two brothers and two sisters. Her elder brother did not want to associate with her because many years ago he had a girlfriend who he wanted to marry and my mum did not like her and told him she was not suitable for him and he told my mum if you cannot accept my future wife then I do not want any more contact with you. My mum never accepted his wife so he never saw her again and we discovered that he passed away and my mum had not seen him for 40 years. I am not sure about her older sister, and her younger brother unfortunately killed himself whilst he was quite young. Her younger sister whom we had spasmodic contact with, eventually said she wanted no more contact and disappeared leaving no forwarding address.

My mum claims that out of all her siblings, she is the best one of them all. She claims that her own mother was a dirty woman and that her siblings were not brought up to be clean so they ended up being dirty too. My mum said she was not prepared to be dirty so she used to ask to have a bath every day and they told her no it is not possible (perhaps they could not afford hot water very much). My mum said no matter how poor you are, there is no excuse for not being clean.

I try to do what is right for her. It was her birthday recently and I wanted to get her something nice so I thought I would get her a cashmere sweater. She told me not to because the home don't know how to wash such things properly and it would spoil. I then got her some CDs that she wanted. She was not happy because someone gave her some flowers and she thought I could do that, but she told me she doesn't like fresh flowers because you have to change the water and they do not last long. Then last night she said she did not mind me not getting her flowers because of the water and they don't last, so I said well I should have got you something else when you said no to the sweater and I said I do not now what to get you. I made several suggestions like jewellery and she said she does not wear jewellery anymore, so I said clothes and she said she has enough clothes, so I said an ornament and she said no she has nowhere to put an ornament. She has eyesight problems and does not read books anymore and hates talking books. I said well the only thing is CD and she said you cannot keep getting me cds . I said well there is nothing else because I have said thing and you say no to all of them. I cannot buy her a dvd because she does not know how to use her dvd player. Then she said chocolates but not ordinary chocolates. She will only eat Swiss chocolates, so at least I know now what to buy.

I also said I really should visit more and she said you do your best and that is all I can ask for.

She turned into a very understanding woman but then she turns into a spiteful one and I never know how she is going to be from one moment to the next. If she could be understanding and kind all the time then I would not have a problem but I know she switches personalities often. It is a fact that she has done some good thing for me like talking me out of a school where the teachers and some of the kids hounded me. I am thankful for that.

Is her personality switching part of dementia?
 

Katrine

Registered User
Jan 20, 2011
2,839
England
It's not her personality that's switching. She is switching roles in the Drama Triangle between victim, rescuer and persecutor, depending on whether you are adopting the rescuer or victim position.
 

poster

Registered User
Dec 28, 2011
190
It's not her personality that's switching. She is switching roles in the Drama Triangle between victim, rescuer and persecutor, depending on whether you are adopting the rescuer or victim position.
I do not know how to behave. I am a weak person. I take after my dad because he was weak. My mum is not weak. She decided not to have any more contact with her mother and that was that, she never did and she does not feel in the least bit guilty about it. If I did that, I would feel guilty. I would forever be thinking what would people think of me if I deserted my own mother. My mother deserted her own mother and did not care what anyone thought of her and for all her shortcomings, I admire her guts and determination.
 

Onlyme

Registered User
Apr 5, 2010
4,995
UK
From an outsiders point of view it would appear your mum built her own ideal world in her mind, probably as a way of coping with all the hardship that came from 5 children, a mother run ragged from work all hours and no father.

Everything was measured by her perfect ideal world, anything found wanting was disguarded. Your father probably found it easier to take a path of least resistance. Her own family were measured up against her ideal world and rejected. Perhaps she made up her past and seeing her sister meant she couldn't pretend when faced with someone who lived her past.

I agree about the dress but very strange that your mother didn't realise what had happened when she became an adult.
 

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