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SouthernBelle. Offline
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My mother. - June 29th 2013, 05:16 AM

Don't get me wrong, I love my mother.

But recently (tonight, in fact) I discovered something.

When I'm around her, I isolate myself. If I have to speak to her, I dumb down my speech and act like an air-headed goof. If I'm in a group of my friends, I hide behind them to avoid her. If we're at a family potluck or party, I sit at the furthest point away from her and find something to stare at, and if anyone talks to me, I can't form a coherent sentence. Most frightening at all is that when I'm around her, my EDNOS problems pick up right where they left off. My self-confidence hits the ground, and I feel like a useless, unintelligent waste of flesh.

When I'm not around her, I'm fine. I'm socially outgoing, charming even. I not only speak coherently, but people naturally gravitate toward me and I end up starting games or striking up conversations with complete strangers. I don't hide behind anything or stay in a corner, but I'm right in the middle of things, directing and instructing and speaking and debating. My EDNOS disappears, my confidence hits the roof breaks through it, I'm more physically active, and I eat like a normal human being. No binge/starve/guilt/obsessive-calorie-counting patterns. What's more, I relax and let loose, and am quite talkative. I'm ambitious and able to rely on myself.


Guys, I don't know how to deal with this. It's like I'm two different people: The person I am when I'm around my mother, and the person I am when I'm not. When I was talking to my dad today (my mom wasn't at home), I spoke like I would if I was with my peers: I was straightforward, helpful, charming, and I was happy for him for getting an interview. My mom walked in the door, and I shrank into myself (literally, I went and sat down and got on my PC, and started ignoring everything). When I spoke to her, I made smalltalk. When she didn't thank me for cleaning out her fridge (which I did spontaneously; I show love through actions, not words), I felt hurt and defensive. Worst of all was that when my dad told her he got and interview, she didn't say it was good at all, but started complaining because she'd have to leave her house if he got the job, even though we all really need this because we're barely getting by.

How do I handle this? I hid behind my best friend at the last party I had where she was present, and I hide in my room when there's no one else to hide behind. I'm gaining weight because I have to go past the living room and kitchen to get by her to the outdoors, and contact with her is one of my biggest triggers. She stresses me out. We constantly have little tiny arguments, which she expects me to apologize for, and never apologizes for herself. It's like she perceives me as a child, and never as the adult that I am. I've graduated and everything, but I can never have a mind of my own when I'm around her, or she'll embarrass me by harping at me relentlessly.

I can't distance myself from her until fall 2014. I can't get a job where I live. I've considered the possibility of emancipating myself and moving out, but I love my father and siblings - even my mother - far too much to leave them. I need... Guidance.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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Re: My mother. - July 1st 2013, 07:57 PM

Hi, that sounds really hard for you... maybe try and sit down and talk to her about how your feeling or if you feel you can't do that maybe talk to a trusted friend or family member about it.






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Re: My mother. - July 3rd 2013, 01:34 AM

What is it about being around your mother that scares you? I understand that you love her, but you can simultaneously love and fear a person. It might help to think about why you become a more submissive person when she's around. Are you afraid you'll be rejected, if you are your "true self" around her? Are you afraid of retaliation, if you are more assertive around her? You can also play out hypothetical situations in your head, to see all the possible outcomes for breaking your pattern. What would happen if you unplugged your computer, so that when she comes home, you can't hide in your usual manner? What would happen if you greeted her at the door instead? Maybe that would be too big of a leap, so you could think about what would happen if you pointed out what you did for your mom (vs. hoping she'll notice and thank you). I don't think this is going to be easy for you (especially with the family dynamics you've described in the past), but if you start taking these small steps, you may begin to feel more authentic around your mother further down the road.






   
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Re: My mother. - July 3rd 2013, 03:01 PM

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSY View Post
What is it about being around your mother that scares you? I understand that you love her, but you can simultaneously love and fear a person. It might help to think about why you become a more submissive person when she's around. Are you afraid you'll be rejected, if you are your "true self" around her? Are you afraid of retaliation, if you are more assertive around her? You can also play out hypothetical situations in your head, to see all the possible outcomes for breaking your pattern. What would happen if you unplugged your computer, so that when she comes home, you can't hide in your usual manner? What would happen if you greeted her at the door instead? Maybe that would be too big of a leap, so you could think about what would happen if you pointed out what you did for your mom (vs. hoping she'll notice and thank you). I don't think this is going to be easy for you (especially with the family dynamics you've described in the past), but if you start taking these small steps, you may begin to feel more authentic around your mother further down the road.
She doesn't like to hear what I have to say. If I speak about anything other than social issues, then she will sit there and zone out and say: "Mhm," every once in a while. Our interests differ in every possible way. Also in the recent past, I've attempted to tell her that I'm not a Christian (as I'm going to college in the near future, and think that it's a good thing to handle when I'm at home and she has to respond to me). She hasn't listened to me, but has said simply: "I can't see how you can look around at all of this, and not believe in that," and never has given me a chance to explain myself. She gets very short and critical with me, and her silence and quick, biting words speak louder than any speech she could ever give me. It makes me dislike myself for not believing in her God, to the point where I bought a Christian self-help book yesterday. I came home, opened it up and tried to read it, and felt so worn out trying to believe after the first ten minutes that I just laid down on the floor and took a nap. I prayed to my Gods after I woke up, and felt very renewed. She doesn't even know that I believe in the deities that I do, as she won't listen to me long enough to let me explain myself.

Then she has an overwhelming habit of embarrassing me in front of my friends and other people. A few weeks ago I had my graduation party, and I was so anxious because she was there that I was shaking. I hid behind my dad (literally), and after my best friends arrived, I opened my cards with trembling hands. And then as I was talking to them, my mom started waving her hands wildly from across the room, then mouthed the words: "Go say goodbye to aunt Joann," with her eyes all wild and her hands pointing wildly. She wouldn't listen to me when I told her that I'd already seen my aunt leaving, but wanted to wait until everyone else had finished saying their goodbyes to talk to her more directly.

At a family pool party a week or two later is when I first began to really notice the difference in my personality when I was around my mother, as compared to not being around my mother. When I was playing in the pool with the other kids, I taught a little girl to swim, spoke confidently to a guy I thought was cute, had the others playing pool games, and even spoke to my cousin's husband (which I'd never done before).

When my mom told me to get out of the pool, I went over and started drying off. I was waiting for myself to dry off a bit before putting my swimsuit cover on (everyone else was, too), and she told me to get a shirt on, and criticized me about getting her towel wet, in front of everyone. When I went to go use the bathroom inside my uncle's house, she criticized me - yet again - telling me not to get water all over my uncle's floor.

She treats me like I'm still a little kid, and it bothers me. My father and I have quite a few really good conversations, usually anytime he's home. I tell him about my dreams of going to an out-of-state college, and he's nothing but encouraging. I tell my mother, and she comments on how far it is away, how much cheaper in-state colleges are, etc. That makes me feel like she thinks it's unlikely I'll get some of the scholarships I'm aiming for. Same thing happened when my dad got the news that he might be able to get a better job that we'd have to move with: He told me, and I helped him research things that would help him out; he told my mom, and she just said: "Well, that's good," and let it go.

I think the ED is getting worse because her "good" eating habits are completely different from my good eating habits. I feel my best when I don't eat sugar (I think I have an intolerance to it); she assumes I'm on a diet when I don't eat (which I'm usually not), and brings in buckets of ice cream and makes chocolate pudding and pancakes for breakfast. Then I have to fix my own food, and she tells everyone that I won't eat with the rest of the family like it's terrible, and I get upset because I feel like she thinks I'm a bad daughter (which I really strive not to be). She learned that I go running to ease stress that she generally causes, and now every time I go running, I get the feeling that she thinks something's wrong or that I'm odd. She's criticized me for "over-exercising" or "under-eating" before, when all I do is run (I want to run marathons when I'm in college, so I have to run distances) and cut out sugar, white bread, and copious amounts of potatoes and red meat. It makes me feel obligated to rest and eat a lot of the food she cooks (so she knows I'm doing well), and that in turn leads to my binging on sugar (which is my second method of dealing with stress), which leads to me trying to restrict what I eat and failing miserably at it.

I get criticized all the time by people for not eating sugar, going back for seconds, or stuffing myself full. They think I'm going "too far," but with a suspected sugar intolerance, I don't see what the heck they're talking about. When my mom smiles 'cause I'm eating a piece of German chocolate cake, it makes me want to go back for more. Then I finish eating it, and I feel so sick and tired that I can't run, and that leads to weight gain, which leads to disgust at eating any food, healthy or no. The fact is, she seems to criticize me all the time and never get excited over anything big in my life, unless I'm eating sweets and watching TV with her. And that just leads to me hating my body.

It's terrible circles.


Anna's Personal Keys to Happiness
1. Do what you want within the bounds of reason, whenever you want to, and regret nothing. 2. If you have an opinion, don't beat around the bush, or there isn't a point in saying it. 3. Don't keep the company of anyone who won't like you and will try to change you.



   
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