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Adult child of Controlling Parents


Family Parents too demanding? Sibling driving you mad? Tell us!

Old 4th April 2011, 10:11 PM   #1
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Adult child of Controlling Parents

I've been going through a bit of turmoil with my parents (well in this case my mother). I'm 45 years old and I'm an adult child of self absorbed parents. Just as background information my whole life I've been dealing with....
* criticisim for not meeting their expectations
* comparing me to their friends children
* making demeaning comments about my decisions

Clearly these negative messages have come at a cost, I'm a big time people pleaser this comes from the fact that I'm always trying to get my parents approval but it'll never happen.

This weekend was a big blow up....I'm starting to date a new guy (almost 5 months) and I told me mom I was going away for one night and she asked me if I was getting my own hotel room. WTF....I said no and she flipped out. I told her I was 45 years old and she has no right to interfere in my life.....it didn't end there, she spent the next 10 minutes telling me that I'm a disappointment and how much I've done wrong in my life. She sent me into a tailspin because she's never been there emotionally for me. When I was 17 years old, I fessed up that my older brother had molested me for years. She didn't believe it at first and when there was confirmation she blamed me for not stopping it.

After this blow up, I didn't call her for a couple of days and when I did she blew up at me again, called me selfish for making her so upset and that even though I am 45 she is still my mother and that I need to respect her opinion. She was still so emotionally charged that she pretended that she was fainting because she was so upset, and she was worried because she was alone. I know all of that was just a manipulative hoax for me to drive over to her place, which I told her I was not going to do.

It's all very frustrating and I know most of you are going to tell me to tell her to f### off. But she is mother and I'd like to keep her in my life without all this control and drama. I know both my parents love me but they don't have ANY boundaries.

BTW, my new BF has not met my parents yet. I know they will judge him based on his looks....he has long curly hair....but he's a successful business man who happens to work in the rock business. My mother actually asked me IF he was going to cut his hair before they meet him?? WTF???? I told her NO he wasn't going to cut his hair just for her.

I'd really would like some advise from others who have had to deal with these kind of parents.
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Old 5th April 2011, 12:40 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Carm View Post
I've been going through a bit of turmoil with my parents (well in this case my mother). I'm 45 years old and I'm an adult child of self absorbed parents. Just as background information my whole life I've been dealing with....
* criticisim for not meeting their expectations
* comparing me to their friends children
* making demeaning comments about my decisions

Clearly these negative messages have come at a cost, I'm a big time people pleaser this comes from the fact that I'm always trying to get my parents approval but it'll never happen.

This weekend was a big blow up....I'm starting to date a new guy (almost 5 months) and I told me mom I was going away for one night and she asked me if I was getting my own hotel room. WTF....I said no and she flipped out. I told her I was 45 years old and she has no right to interfere in my life.....it didn't end there, she spent the next 10 minutes telling me that I'm a disappointment and how much I've done wrong in my life. She sent me into a tailspin because she's never been there emotionally for me. When I was 17 years old, I fessed up that my older brother had molested me for years. She didn't believe it at first and when there was confirmation she blamed me for not stopping it.

After this blow up, I didn't call her for a couple of days and when I did she blew up at me again, called me selfish for making her so upset and that even though I am 45 she is still my mother and that I need to respect her opinion. She was still so emotionally charged that she pretended that she was fainting because she was so upset, and she was worried because she was alone. I know all of that was just a manipulative hoax for me to drive over to her place, which I told her I was not going to do.

It's all very frustrating and I know most of you are going to tell me to tell her to f### off. But she is mother and I'd like to keep her in my life without all this control and drama. I know both my parents love me but they don't have ANY boundaries.

BTW, my new BF has not met my parents yet. I know they will judge him based on his looks....he has long curly hair....but he's a successful business man who happens to work in the rock business. My mother actually asked me IF he was going to cut his hair before they meet him?? WTF???? I told her NO he wasn't going to cut his hair just for her.

I'd really would like some advise from others who have had to deal with these kind of parents.
Carm, I feel for you, I really do.

Although my mum has never been this extreme, she has used the emotional guilt trip on me a few times.

First things first, try and accept her for who (and what she is). I know it's hard, but as your 45 she's never gonna change. Accept it.

Have you gone into therapy? If not, now's a good time to start.

I recommend reading books by Harriet Lerner, particularly "The Dance of Anger" and she also has one about how to have a conversation with someone when you're angry, scared, frustrated, etc.

Books about toxic families are good as well.

I've learned that it's to do with separation anxiety. The thought of reacting any other way (i.e. by walking away) can fill us with both relief and fear. The bottom line is that each of us is responsible for our own feelings and reactions. You do what you got to do to stay sane - if you don't you'll only end up resenting her.
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Old 5th April 2011, 5:06 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by ALonerAgain View Post
Carm, I feel for you, I really do.

Although my mum has never been this extreme, she has used the emotional guilt trip on me a few times.

First things first, try and accept her for who (and what she is). I know it's hard, but as your 45 she's never gonna change. Accept it.

Have you gone into therapy? If not, now's a good time to start.

I recommend reading books by Harriet Lerner, particularly "The Dance of Anger" and she also has one about how to have a conversation with someone when you're angry, scared, frustrated, etc.

Books about toxic families are good as well.

I've learned that it's to do with separation anxiety. The thought of reacting any other way (i.e. by walking away) can fill us with both relief and fear. The bottom line is that each of us is responsible for our own feelings and reactions. You do what you got to do to stay sane - if you don't you'll only end up resenting her.
Thanks ALA, I've done a lot of therapy because of what I went through with my brother but also because of suffocating and controlling parents. Therapy has helped me immensely, it is because of the professional help that I'm able to stand up to her even though I have major anxiety in knowing her dramatic reactions.

I will look into that book you suggested though to see if it would help me deal with her.

I know she will never change, she doesn't even acknowledge that she is wrong in interferring in my life.....I do have to change the way I react to her, its extremely frustrating though. My new bf hasn't even met them and he's already scared about meeting them both. He has a right to feel scared, they will stare him down, not be too friendly and basically will not be welcoming. I met his entire family a few weeks ago and they welcomed me with open arms and I really feel bad for him because its just not fair.
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Old 16th April 2011, 11:44 PM   #4
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I'm getting to this thread kind of late, but I've had issues with my parents similar to yours. A little different, but the lack of boundaries and the insistence that "they will always know better than you what's good for you because they're your parents" theme is the same.

If you're 45 and things have always been this way, then rest assured that they will always be this way. There will always be drama as long as they are in your life. You can't control or change their behaviour, so your only choices are how much time you spend with them and how much a part of your life you allow them to be. If at all.

I didn't talk to either of my parents from my late 20s to my mid-30s. A few years ago, I resumed contact -- knowing full well that it was never going to be a picture-perfect relationship -- but currently I have given up on talking to my father, and I've limited my contact with my mother. If anyone wants to call me a selfish, heartless b***h because of it, so be it. My parents aren't the worst people in the world, but they have personality traits and attitudes that are extremely difficult for me to deal with. If I wasn't related to them, I'd never socialize with them by choice. I'm in a better place mentally and emotionally with reduced/no contact.

Decide what you're willing to put up with and what you won't and choose accordingly. Stop seeking any approval from them, because it will never be given. Stand up for yourself. Stand up for your boyfriend! If you really love him, be extra supportive. Back him up. Make it clear to your parents that you will not tolerate disparaging remarks about him or ill treatment of him. Never mind the role reversal -- it's your job to protect him from them, for as long as the two of you are together. If you don't, they will ruin your relationship with him, I guarantee it.
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