Difficult mothers

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-22-2003
Difficult mothers
Mon, 12-22-2003 - 3:43pm
I wondering if anyone else, besides myself, have to deal with the type of mother that is almost driving me crazy.

You see, I am 33 and my mother is 61. I am happily married (for 1 year) and is living just 1 hour away. She calls several times a day/weeks. She even calls me at work where I can't take personal calls. She never asks how I'm doing or what I'm up to. When she does, she doesn't respond with 'that's great' or anything "normal". She just goes, "uh huh", & then immediatly changes the subject to her. It ALWAYS goes back to her. It feels like she doesn't listen to what I have to say at all. I can say that we are on Mars, & she'll gloss right over it with "But anyway, about me...."

She also, in my opinion, romantasizing our relationship. She crys a lot on the phone and tells me way way too much how all she wants to do is listen to my voice. For xmas, she told me all she wants is to look at me. "All I want for Christmas is you." That's a direct quote.

This is just the tip of the iceberg. And it is pushing me further away from everytime she calls to tell me over & over & over that she loves me. (I kid you not, she tells me she loves me in 1 call, like 3-5 times).

I KNOW she loves me, but when she says it sooo much, I start not believing it. It is really creeping me out.

I strongly believe that she has depression. But she swears she doesn't. She is an emotional eater and spender. My parents do not have a typical loving relationship. All they do is scream at each other. My father in law, who is a manic depressent, believes she's a suicide waiting to happen.

She recently told my mother in law that her doesn't want to visit her and doesn't want to talk to her. She told me that she 'know' I have a very demanding job and that she understands why I don't visit or call a lot.

Is there any support group out their for people like me? I need to get some personal help with how do deal with such a mother.

I am truly loosing it with her. I am at the point where I don't want to have children because of how she is.


distressed daughter,


(email- PrettyPowr@aol.com)

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-08-2003
Mon, 12-22-2003 - 5:28pm
I'm sorry, but I don't have a solution for your issue, all I can say is I have a Mother who drives me crazy also. I feel so much guilt for having these feelings. I think my Mother trys to over compensate for her short comings when I was growing up. She's a great Grandmother and has a terific relationship with my two boys. Unfortunately, growing up she was married to an abusive man, who was sexually abusive to my sister and myself. He was physically abusive with my Mother, and I think she was in an emotinal state that didn't allow her to see what damage was going on. She was made aware of the sexual abuse and she chose to ignore it. She lived in a state of denial and fear, thus not allowing her to fix the problem. So, even though I understand what she did, or didn't do to protect us, I have no loving feelings towards her. We were never hugged or told we were loved as children, and for her to try and do this now, is very uncomfortable. She calls me everyday for no reason, that bugs me, she always wants to know what's going on in my life, and I'd rather not discuss my life with her. She has been divorced for 20 years and never remarried, so my sister, myself and our children are her life. So, I bite my tounge and I try hard to act interested in her and I'm respectful, but I still feel quilty for being unable to have the relationship I know she'd like to have. So, your not alone with a Mother who drives you nuts.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 12:25pm
Hi jill,

I used to linger around on the ivillage boards and then haven't in quite a while. But because of the time of year perhaps, and because of family stresses, here I am today.

I had a huge fight with my mother yesterday after she called me 5 times in a row the day before and then called me three times at work yesterday.

I read your e-mail and had to e-mail you back, not that I have a solution, but at least I can tell you that you're not alone in your frustrations.

My mother sounds quite similar to yours.

She loves to call, she is ultra emotional and is always saying how much she loves me and how wonderful I am and yet, I find her actions scream of neediness. I feel like when she tells me she loves me it's because she NEEDS me not because she can be there for me unconditionally. Its very difficult. I hardly ever call my mother. Partly because she calls me so much there is no need to. And partly because when she calls, despite whatever she tells me, I feel as if she is sucking the life out of me. She always needs me to be there to listen to her talk about her life and her work and her stresses. Its always been this way betwee, us. She's always NEEDED me even when I was a kid. At this point in my life, I'm 35 and shes 61, I have sort of given up on hoping for some major turnaround. It's sad really. Yesterday when she called me in the morning at work she was really nasty at first (she tends to call me alot when she frustrated and needs to vent and it comes off as if she's blaming me) and then when I pointed out to her that it would be much more effective if she calmly explained to me what she was stressed about rather than ranting on for 15 minutes while I'm sitting in the middle of my office and can't say a thing in return, after I told her this she calmed down and told me that she knows she flies off the handle, and she was sorry, and all I have to do is point it out to her when she starts, and she'll stop. She just needs my help.

So I don't know. I think that mental instability explains alot of my mothers strange behavior. The thing with my mother is that she will NOT take any kind of medication.If your mother is depressed and feels depressed and can aknowledge it, maybe she'd be receptive to seeing a therpaist and perhaps trying some medication. Your mother sounds extremely needy and I KNOW that it becomes very difficult to constantly be there for someone who is so needy yet when its your own mother, its hard to turn her away.

Hang in there and take the space that you need. Can you not answer her calls at work? Its not fair of her to call you at work. I'm almost at the point of asking our office manager to tell my mother I'm not here sometimes when she calls because her calls stress me out alot and its hard to function at work when your stressed out and I need to be able to function at work.

Take Care - Diana

iVillage Member
Registered: 08-14-2002
Tue, 12-23-2003 - 11:05pm

Hello Jill! I don't know of any specific support groups that might help you, but IVillage does have a couple of message boards that are close to your topic. You might hop on over there and check them out:

Toxic Relationships:


and Mothers & Daughters:


and Depression Support:


I know how frustrating it can be to be so overwhelmed by "neediness" that you can't really feel a desire to help that person, even if it's your own mother. Of course you love her, but her constant need for you to validate your love for her makes it seem, well, less sincere. Right?

It would probably be helpful to talk to her doctor about this. Maybe s/he can talk to mom about depression, and do an evaluation on her the next time she visits?

And it sounds like your employer is being pretty lenient and understanding with the phone calls, but I'd step carefully here. More than one person