Wish I were born into a different family - Talk About Marriage
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post #1 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:07 PM Thread Starter
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Wish I were born into a different family

I feel awful, and just like the title says, I wish I were born into a different family. My parents came over for a bit this evening, and after a bit of drama about general stuff, they cut into my BF's daughter not being OK with her Dad and I dating. There's a specific issue of a gift I had made for her, and was thinking of signing it from "Santa" rather than from me because it might be better received. I will follow my BF's suggestion on this though, but my Mom keeps trying to tell me what I should do.

Anyways, as my own folks were leaving, they noticed a Christmas card on my doorway table that my XH will be picking up tomorrow when he comes to walk the dogs. Long story, but he walks them every once in awhile. The card is from his relative, and I thought he'd want it. I'm doing errands tomorrow, and going for supper with a GF; he's coming over in between there. My Mom likes to question and know exactly what I'm doing a lot of the time. I tend to feel a little suffocated and like I can't just have my life and not worry about her questioning everything. My tone got a little not-nice, and we ended up getting into it a bit, and I told her that I felt that she questioned a lot and that I didn't have much space to just be me. I call her everyday; I don't want to, but I do because if I don't, I feel like a terrible daughter. This stems from when I moved out for the first time in 2004; she would have me call everyday when I got home just to make sure that I made it home OK. She's told me that I don't have to call, but I explained to her that it's my own guilt that I need to deal with, and that if I don't, I feel awful and it eats at me until I call. She was dumbfounded as to why I feel that way, yet when I explained to her that I'm more of a sensitive person and tend to hang onto feelings, she said she does the same thing. Yet, she has a steel rod in her spine, and I really don't know why she was so dumbfounded.

Long and short of it is that I'm tired of feeling like this. I'm tired of never being heard, and almost always having things thrown back in my face. I apologized tonight, and I feel genuinely horrid. I feel like a terrible daughter, yet I know I only wanted to be heard. I'm going to make another appointment with my therapist to talk about how to get along better with my family. She mentioned a few techniques last time I was there: disarming, gentle inquiry, stroking, grey stone. I'm pretty sure that none of those will work except for the grey stone. I'm ready to just give up. I want to say that I don't care anymore, but I do, otherwise I wouldn't be here. I dread Christmas with these people though.

Sorry for the length here, but if you got to the bottom, thank-you!!

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post #2 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:22 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

You are not a terrible daughter. That's my final offer. lol

Something is going on inside of you and I hope you get it worked out. This kind of flagellation is keeping you from being happy by loving yourself.

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post #3 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:25 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Can you start stepping back a little at a time maybe? Like decide to call every other day?

Ciao,

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post #4 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 10:42 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

I agree with Spicy -- #1, STOP the daily call and letting her know every detail of what you are doing. #2 DON'T Tell her everything, where you are going, etc.. You are an adult, and Mom doesn't need to know the details anymore. YOU need to prioritize what you want her to know, and just leave out the other stuff.

Be respectful of your parents, but realize that this is YOUR life. They guided/directed you when you were young, as they should. NOW it is YOUR time to do the directing/guiding of your own life, not theirs. If you limit what you tell your Mom, you limit what she can get on you about, no? Start filtering the info you give her, and just back down a bit. You CAN do this without being guilty -- you need to be happy yourself -- guilt REALLY messes that up, so you should think about why you feel guilty all the time.
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post #5 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 11:42 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

At this point, you need to think about how this guilt-driven relationship is affecting your other relationships. I highly doubt this level of intensity is enjoyable for your BF or conducive to forming a good relationship with his daughter. You have got to release yourself from this guilt and know your worth/value as a daughter is not connected to the number of times you call your mom or the information you give! Even though you two get into it, I know this would kill her knowing you do all of these things because of intense guilt.

I highly suggest picking up a book on guilt to try to learn some coping skills or maybe some IC? So sorry you feel this way!
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post #6 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-13-2019, 11:51 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Thanks @2ntnuf, something definitely happens inside when my Mom and I get into it like that, yeah. But, overall I am happy with who I am as a person, and I do realize that I have worth. It’s just that while my Mom professes that she loves me, accepts me and thinks that I’m a great daughter, this isn’t how I feel she treats me. So, it’s a little odd, and I just wish we could have a good relationship.

@Spicy, yes, this is what I’m going to start doing. I’ve said that before, but guilt always gets the better of me. But, I really need to make a stronger effort on this.

@jlg07, I think I do overshare because I’m in this constant loop of “maybe if I share XXX info, she’ll accept me or respect my opinion”. Then, “oops, that didn’t work; maybe next time will be a more positive outcome”. It’s really quite a sick loop when I think about it because the next time comes, and the results are the same (hence feeling badly, because it feels like I can’t get anything right). But yes, I’ll be respectful of them, and stop oversharing hopefully without guilt, and taking back a little control. You’re right, if I don’t share everything, she has less to get after me about.

@moulinyx, my BF actually doesn’t see this side of mine and my parent’s relationship; my parents treat me completely differently around others, him included. He would probably be shocked if I shared this info with him to be honest. But yes, it probably does affect my relationships with others, even though I try not to let it. And, my Mom knows that I feel a huge amount of guilt if I don’t call her all the time, because I told her this tonight. However, she often doesn’t hear what I say (my sister experiences the same thing with her), so I don’t know if she even heard it. And, I tried making an appointment with my therapist, but can’t get in to see her until the end of January!

On the other hand, my Dad stormed out of my home this evening, and I think he said something about hoping they’re in an accident on the way home. This isn’t the first time he’s said something like this; once, a couple days before a flight and dropping their dogs off with me, he said that he hoped the plane crashed and they died. Then they wonder why I feel awful and guilty. This is the joy I get to deal with!
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post #7 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 02:34 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Guilt occurs when one does something wrong--like hurt someone else. Guilt trips make you feel guilty, but also resentful. False guilt is a learned response that is triggered by something external to us. it is not appropriate, not reasonable, and unhealthy. Guilt is often secondary to unfair criticism of oneself or perfectionistic self-appraisal.

I'm thinking you spent much of your growing up years trying to please your parents. Now you are an adult with the ability to decide what is appropriate--not what they think you should be doing. Do your best with what seems reasonable to you.

If you choose, gradually stretch out calls or visits. Do not apologize, do remain loving, just demonstrate that they can 'rest easy' about having to advise you into old age. Smile and know that they love you or say I appreciate your input, but I'm working on it.

Your dad (and maybe mom too) seems to be a master manipulator and when you are always trying to avoid his crushing remarks, resentment makes you want to escape this family. The more you play into them, the worse it gets. No human is perfect, mistakes are inevitable. To expect perfection is abnormal.

So, as a mom, I find myself zipping my lips when I really just want to participate in my adult kid's lives more. It is a hard habit to break. Individually, I asked them what about me they found most annoying and then I listened and tried to do better. As long as you act with respect, I'd think you are golden.
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post #8 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 04:10 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

They have treated you like this your entire life and they have no interest in changing. That means you have to change how you interact with them. If you don’t, you will continue to carry that guilt even after they’re gone — especially after they’re gone because then it will be “too late” and “not fixable”. I dealt with a similar situation with my mother.

Limiting contact was the only thing that worked for me but I still felt tremendous guilt after she was gone because I couldn’t fix it. The truth is that my mother wouldn’t ever allow it to be fixed no matter what I did or didn’t do. Your mother is very unlikely to as well even though you continue to hope she will one day. As long as you’re on the current path, the dynamic will remain the same.

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The fact that they treat you differently when others are around is very telling. They know.
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post #9 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 06:57 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Your mom may not actually expect you to do everything she tells you to. She may think it's her job to provide unwanted and unsolicited advice. You can thank her for her advice/input and tell her that you'll consider it. Then, go on your merry way and do exactly what you want. Mom got her mom kibbles (which allow her to think she is still needed) and you're off the hook. You've been reacting like a little girl - it's time to learn how to manage mom like an adult. Hint - flattery will get you everywhere.

I'd call my dad out on those over-the-top statements. That's childish on his part.

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post #10 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 07:16 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Hon--you have got to find a way to get off that guilt train. Glad to hear you're making another appt. for therapy.

Of course I don't know you IRL but your posts are always so insightful and self-reflective. You appear to be a loving, caring person who is always thoughtful of others' feelings--sometimes to your own detriment. I have no doubt you are a wonderful daughter.

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post #11 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 08:44 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Quote:
Originally Posted by Blondilocks View Post
Your mom may not actually expect you to do everything she tells you to. She may think it's her job to provide unwanted and unsolicited advice. You can thank her for her advice/input and tell her that you'll consider it. Then, go on your merry way and do exactly what you want. Mom got her mom kibbles (which allow her to think she is still needed) and you're off the hook. You've been reacting like a little girl - it's time to learn how to manage mom like an adult. Hint - flattery will get you everywhere.

I'd call my dad out on those over-the-top statements. That's childish on his part.
The above is a simple and on point response.

You are giving your parents too much control here. Your mom most likely just wants to be part of your life. So let her know what's going no, but filter what you tell her. Then do what you want to do.

Your dad's comments remind me of Archie Bunker. When he says stuff like that he's blowing off steam based on frustration. Just tell him that he's talking nonsense and you love him. That anything bad happening to either of them would be devastation.

You need to be the adult here. There comes a time in all of our lives when we become the adults. Our parents need something from us, but we need to separate without hurting them.

Just stop telling her everything.

Be kind to them, but live your own life.

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post #12 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 11:08 AM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

If you were a tree, everything about your life would be beyond your control. You couldn't pick a different place to grow, bar the bad actors from your life, or be anything but passive about every circumstance of your life.

Good news, you aren't a tree. You didn't win the family lottery, but you get to decide which people to include in your life and to what extent. You don't have to call your mother every day. You just don't. If they stick their noses into your business, you can tell them it is none of their business and to butt out. You can use those exact words if they don't get the hint from the nice ones. You can choose to include people who do respect you in your life, whether they're related or not.

If your family is like mine, they tend to set up networks where to reach one person you have to go through some other one, and usually the not-so-nice ones are most anxious to be the one you have to go through. Well to hell with that, I talk to the ones who respect me and bypass the ones who don't.

Be on the lookout for places to meet good people and cultivate relationships with them. If your family comes around, include them again. If they don't, their loss.
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post #13 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 01:49 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

"On the other hand, my Dad stormed out of my home this evening, and I think he said something about hoping they’re in an accident on the way home. This isn’t the first time he’s said something like this; once, a couple days before a flight and dropping their dogs off with me, he said that he hoped the plane crashed and they died. Then they wonder why I feel awful and guilty. This is the joy I get to deal with!
"
Ursula, did your Dad do this because he was mad at YOU, or was it because something your Mom did (sounds like the latter, but not clear).
In EITHER event, your Dad is guilt-tripping folks/trying to manipulate from the sounds of it. Good technique for someone who is 12-14 and hasn't learned better, but really not a good way to handle things as a full blown adult.

Next time he says this, just tell him "well then I hope your will is up-to-date!". Just try to make sure HE sees that he can't manipulate you or guilt trip you with this stuff anymore.
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post #14 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 02:22 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

Is the ''grey stone'' a technique where you hurl a rock at your parents? If so, I recommend it also.

Despite all of you being adults, you're still in ''young daughter'' mode. This needs to change.
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post #15 of 39 (permalink) Old 12-14-2019, 02:38 PM
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Re: Wish I were born into a different family

How old are you, Ursula? And how long have you been living by yourself?

If you have been on your own for while then it's time to cut the emotional umbilical cord with your parents.

You don't need their approval to make decisions. Do you feel insecure about your decisions and need their emotional support?

I love my parents but I realized I need to live far away from them in order to have peace of mind. My parents, my siblings and I have a group chat and we all text almost daily. That's all the communication I need from all of them. Maybe you can start texting your mom and stop calling her every day.

You're not a bad daughter by enforcing boundaries. Not at all. As a mom my goal is to prepare my children to live without me. I want them to be able to make decisions without my help.
When you are making a decision without telling your mom, you're not a bad daughter. You're being an independent grown woman who has learned how to be an adult and in control of your life.

If the change is overwhelming you can start slow, one day at a time. Don't call your mom today. Step back a little bit every day. And reward yourself if it helps!

I don't like your dad's manipulate actions. If that was my dad saying he hoped he died I would have said something like, "well, if you guys die then the dogs have to go to a shelter because I'm not prepared to take care of them. Sorry." Turn around and leave.

You don't have to beg for attention and acceptance from anyone, including family. Good luck!!
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