Momma Drama

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2011
Momma Drama
Sun, 12-04-2011 - 10:57pm

My mother ruined Thanksgiving. She can be demanding on what she wants to do and will bring negativisms with her. This time hubby and I were picking her up to meet family friends to eat Thanksgiving dinner out. We were originally to pick her up at one time, and then she calls me a couple of days before to ask that we pick her up to be there 30 minutes before they arrived so we could sit, have a cocktail and wait for them. Well the change in the schedule put a little crimp in our routine. We were about 20 minutes late. Of course my mother wasn't happy about it. She was so negative. Then she starts going on about how something else isn't making her happy. What the subject was about is of no importance. I kindly asked her if we could talk about something more positive for Thanksgiving and she went into a tirade! She said "I will talk about anything I want to talk about!" She was ranting on an on, saying that I am always late. Well the apple doesn't fall far from the tree does it. She has been late for a lot of things. I also told her that we would be there in time to get settled. She just went on and on. She was berating me and I had finally had enough and snapped. We were going at it and my hubby said that if we both don't shut up he wasn't going. My mom snapped at him and he said "That's it!". He let us out at the place and drove off.

My mother acted so unphazed by the whole thing. I was livid. I was giving her dagger eyes and said to her: "Are you happy now?" She didn't say anything. Our friends (one couple) showed up about 15 minutes later. I was the first to meet them and they asked where my husband was. I told them his mother wasn't well. We meet with my mother who comes out of the bathroom and go into the lounge and have a cocktail. This is where my mother told them laughingly what had happened in the car, saying that "because I was a bitch he isn't coming". I was mortified. My mother could never keep any secrets. But, she is so concerned that I will tell everyone her personal business she will call and leave three messages on my home and cell phone not to ell anyone. But she blabs to mixed company about me or my husband.

I had already decided when my husband drove off I had had enough. Her being unphazed and telling them what happened was the tipping of the iceberg. I was so upset I could barely eat or make conversation. I should have gone with my husband and left her to be on her own. She would have deserved it.

The next day I wrote her a letter. Mind you, this isn't the first time I have written a letter to tell her I was pissed at her for something. It's easier to write her a letter without her interrupting me!

I know the real reason why she exploded in the car. Her lifestyle will have to change in a couple of years, since she found out her finances won't sustain her for the way she wants to live in style. She has expensive taste but a beer budget. I have told her to save more money. She does doe stocks (which aren't doing that great) and some other things. She has never been good with money. She feels she has no control over her situation. The economy and her spending habits and trips have taken a toll.

I told her about this and that it is probably the real reason she blew up in the car. That and that she has no control or tact. Over my lifetime, she has blabbed mine and my brother's business to mixed company which was embarrassing. My grandmother has always said she needs a guard at her mouth. She says exactly what she is thinking. I told my mother to seek professional help for her lifestyle change or she will become bitter and alienate everyone. She usually uses me as a sounding board for her problems. I usually leave deflated and drained from it. I told her in the letter about that too. I also told her she carries around negativity and uses it later to complain about it. We will be out together, have a nice time, then right before I go home she goes in on how she was not happy with something I did about a week ago. I had already apologized for it. We tend to lock horns and she cops the guilt trip and I apologize. Well no more!

I haven't heard from my mother in over a week and a half. She probably is pissed off at me and the letter too. I wasn't mean in the letter, but frank. She is used to dishing it out, but not listening. Should I call her, write another letter or just wait?


iVillage Member
Registered: 07-29-2002
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 9:23am

It sounds like you two have developed a cycle of dysfunction.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2011
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 10:31am

Thanks for your input. I have tried to talk with her. Sometimes it works for a time, but not indefinitely. She does have a good financial advisor, but I wish it had come alot sooner.

Avatar for ukgirl82
iVillage Member
Registered: 09-17-2005
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 11:30am
"I also told her she carries around negativity and uses it later to complain about it."

Isn't that kind of what you do by writing her a letter after the fact? Granted, your mom sounds like a toxic person but I think you make it worse by rising to the bait and hanging onto your own frustrations with her. I agree with izzyandalexsmommy - you need to simply stop reacting to her and if having an adult discussion with her later when tempers are cooled doesn't get through to her, stop spending time with her in mixed company where she tends to embarrass you and stop spending holidays with her when you want to be able to enjoy yourself the most.

Additionally, when she finally drops something and remains quiet, don't egg things on by staring daggers at her and saying "Are you happy now?" That's simply unproductive and all it tells her is that even once she finally shuts up, you still want to carry on the argument. So as understandably frustrated as you are with her, you are not completely faultless here and I think there are times when you make things worse than it needs to be.

As frustrating as it can be to remain quite about things which really bother us, ask yourself, is it really WORTH saying something? Especially when you know it's not going to change anything? All that happens is you wind up in a big fight, she passive aggressively says something in mixed company to embarrass you to get back at you, and it sometimes even effects your relationship with your husband when he's had enough and storms out. Keep in mind, he did not just storm out on your mother, he stormed out on you too. It takes two to have an argument.

If you find that you simply can't let things go, I think your relationship can only improve with therapy. I don't think either of you are very communicators - at least not with each other... and if you can't sit down and have an adult conversation about what you can each do to avoid arguments like this in the future, you probably need a professional mediator to help you both communicate with each other. If that's not something you're willing to do, all you can do is restrict your time together so you don't have to deal with it.
iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2011
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 12:28pm

I never said she was completely at fault. But, I do have to stand up for myself, or she will walk all over me. She disrespected my husband and that was the last straw. That is why I wrote her the letter. I want her to know that she crossed the line and that she has no control over her mouth, and ruined the holiday. Yep, I will not be spending so much time with her in mixed company. But, she will end up blabbing stuff about me or my brother or my husband anyway, so we choose not to tell her anything most of the time. She is quite nosey, and when she asks stuff that isn't her business I will say to her "Sorry but that is a personal thing I choose not to talk about". Most of the time she complains about her things anyways. I did tell her in my letter that we will be spending Christmas Eve with my hubby's mom this year.

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-04-2011
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 12:30pm

And as for therapy, yes I am all for it for my mom. She has been acting very dramatic and having tirades in the car on Thanksgiving is a plea for help. I did say in my post that she will be going through a change in her lifestyle soon due to her finances. I do believe her actions are from that problem.

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 2:01pm
She can't be in a fight all by herself. If I were you, I'd forgive myself, forgive your mom and try to move on. I think she'll eventually reach out to you. When she does, I'd tell her that outbursts such as the one prior to this dinner engagement will no longer be tolerated. If she does it to you again, I'd get up, give her a goodbye kiss on the cheek and tell her as you're leaving, that when she's ready to have a respectful, constructive, healthy conversation, she can call you.
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Mon, 12-05-2011 - 2:05pm

OMG....she sounds just like my Mom.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Tue, 12-06-2011 - 5:40pm
Every family relationship is different. I agree that you should try to block how her negativity and to set your boundaries. However, I also agree that a letter can be a good way to bridge the differences in some relationships. This one works best with my Mom & I . I wait until I'm calmer & in a more rational frame of mind then I write down the situation as I see it trying to be objective from both sides. Sometimes it works better than others & Mom will also write to me. Angry discussion can lead to people saying things they don't really mean but still end up hurting.

We also will write short happy notes too. I also use this technique with my adult kids. However, I must say it's mainly for positive comments.

I would wait for her to connect. She will either ignore the letter or bring it up. Follow her lead.

iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Tue, 12-06-2011 - 9:03pm
No mean to offend... but isn't your mom a real witch, plus twice?

Has short happy notes helped you before?

And before you think I'm judgmental, I have parents that have done way worse than what I've read of your posts.

Sometimes, it's just time... to leave them behind for awhile (or longer), rather than sending happy notes.

Just sayin'.....

And OP, if my husband dumped me to have Thanksgiving alone, he'd have some explaining to do.


iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Wed, 12-07-2011 - 3:41pm

She disrespected your husband and he reacted in the appropriate way, by removing himself from the situation.

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein