I will never be close to my mom
So, while I'm working on (or not working on it, I guess) thread about being married to an ENTp, I want to ask everyone what type of relationship these two women have, and also their types. More important would be their types. I think they are in a conflicting relationship...?? The title of the thread is the title of the article I came across about them
"I Will Never Be Close to My Mom" (from Cosmo Feb. 2012)
Growing up, my friends loved to spend the night at my house. My mom would bake muffins and listen to them talk about boys. My friends were very comfortable around her. But I wasn't.
My mom was different with me. She would smother me with attention only to turn around and say and do things that made me feel awful. She blatantly read my diary when I was in junior high. When I was in high school, she frequently came into my room to rearrange things -- sometimes she'd grab clothes of mine she didn't like and toss them. And at dinner, she would lean over and, without asking, cut my steak for me. She couldn't stop meddling in my life...and it made me insane.
On the outside, it might seem as if my mother was just trying to get close to me, but there was a controlling undercurrent to her behavior. She made "innocent" comments that were meant to get under my skin like "I want you to put on mascara" or "Do you really like your hair like that?" I would struggle to stay calm and quiet, but if I walked away, she would follow me with more jabs.
Sometimes, it seemed as if she was angry at me, but I couldn't figure out why. One night, we were sitting at the dinner table and, out of nowhere, she said she didn't understand how I had any friends, since I was so mean. I knew reacting would make things worse, but I couldn't help snapping back at her.
The fighting continued. By high school, we'd escalated to name-calling and screaming. Although my dad hated the fighting, he just stayed out of it. I learned how to needle her with little comments, like "Mom, those jeans make your butt look flat." I'm not proud of the way I handled it, but at the time, it was how I protected myself.
Despite our crazy relationship, I missed her -- or the idea of her -- when I went to college, I would call her when I wanted advice about school or boys. My friends did that with their moms, so naturally, I thought I could do it with mine. But instead, inevitably, she'd ask whether I'd been working out or eating too much. I'd feel attacked and utterly deflated.
During visits home, I would be on my best behavior. I tried a strategy where I'd pretend to be her house guest -- I would walk around gingerly and say "please" and "thank you". Usually, it lasted a few hours before I felt she was trying to sabotage my efforts to get along and I'd snap, taking on a bad attitude for the rest of the visit. I was devastated every time things dissolved into chaos.
I wish I could say that as I got older our relationship recovered, but it didn't. Something about me just brought out my mom's venom (and vice versa). One event really clarified it: I was home for Christmas, and during the family holiday party, my ex showed up uninvited to announce that he was engaged to someone else. Shocked, I ran into the kitchen and broke down crying. My mom came after me, not to offer comfort but to say how ungracious and rude I was to leave my guest in the living room.
Finally, I decided it all had to stop. I'd been dreaming for years that we could somehow make our relationship "normal", but it was hopeless. At this point, I was a recent college grad trying to figure out what I was going to do with my life. The relationship with my mother was not helping. It got so bad that I started seeing a therapist who suggested that I take a break from her. So I did. I didn't think it would last long, but weeks turned into months. There were no phone calls or e-mails and, most important, no fighting.
During that time, I read self-help books about relationships. I kept hashing out moments in my mind when my mom and I would let go of the past and talk about our feelings, but I was convinced she didn't have it in her.
But once I started to think things over, I realized that our dynamic was partially my fault. When I was growing up, we were just too close and there were no boundaries between us. When she would come home from work, I'd instantly glued to her side. I'd stick by her while she cooked dinner and even watched her while she exercised. And I'd often call her at work just to complain that I was bored.
It took the intervention of some persistent family members to finally reunite us. Two years had passed. When I first saw my mom again, it was in a hotel lobby. She lived hours away but had made the trip to see me, and I figured it was safer for her to stay at a hotel. We hugged and cried and went out to eat. We sat across from each other, chatting about work and books we had read, and I knew we were not going to talk about the past. The damage had been done. We'd never be close, but I also didn't feel like she was on the verge of attacking me. And oddly, during that meeting, my mom treated me the way she always treated my friends. She was sweet and charming.
Now we talk on the phone once a month and see each other a few times a year. We send emotionally safe texts, like "Saw this movie, thought of your." But my mom isn't the person I call when I'm down or need advice. We're just not bonded that way.
♫ Why is a song the world for me ♫
Last edited by nahbee1235; 12/02/2012 at 04:04 AM.
Reason: Automerged Doublepost