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I regret going on this holiday - rant

post #1 of 14
Thread Starter 
I have posted some time ago in response to someone else's thread about mothers. My mother and I have never had a good relationship - we irritate each other easily and often quarrel.

I went with my mother on a 5 day trip to Hong Kong from 21st December to 25th December. I knew it was a bad idea to take this trip to Hong Kong, but I only agreed to go because my father (who is working full time in China) would be there and he wanted to spend some time with all of us together. When we left, my mother and I were on good terms, talking and chatting normally. I thought maybe this trip would go well afterall, but things turned sour on our second day there.

My parents like this particular Italian restaurant near our hotel, and wanted to go there for dinner on our second evening in HK. Unfortunately, the restaurant was fully booked, which put my mother in a really grumpy mood. She nagged incessantly at my father for not booking a table earlier, and continued nagging even after we'd found a Chinese restaurant, ordered and started to eat.

I could tell that my father was getting very irritated, so I tried to do something nice and diffuse the tension - I offered her a chinese mushroom (something that I don't like but I know my mother likes), but she refused it saying in a very irritated tone that she already had one. Since the bowl was quite deep, and I was not sitting right next to her, I could not see that she already had one. I put the mushroom back in the big dish.

My father picked up that same mushroom and offered it to me. When I said I didn't want it, my mother immediately snapped "No wonder! She offered it to me because she doesn't like it!" I was furious and hurt, and told her that I was just trying to do something nice and that I really regretted it. In return she said "Just wait till you get back in Singapore, I have a lot of things to settle with you, I've been watching you!" Now, I have no idea what I did to make her say that since we were on talking terms when we first reached HK. I think she just likes to say things like that to make me afraid of her.

The next morning we all went out, I overheard her telling my father to buy a Louis Vuitton handbag that she was eyeing. It costs $5000, so my father thought it was way too expensive for a bag. She said "You should buy me that bag, why leave so much money for her?" Meaning let her spend more of his money instead of keeping it for my inheritance after they pass away.

To add to the misery, I received news at my favourite aunt had passed away in hospital after a long battle with cancer. She passed on the 3rd day we were there. My mother booked a ticket and came back to Singapore while I stayed to accompany my father till X'mas Day. While packing her bags, she threw all my things onto the bed, refusing to pack anything of mine back to Singapore. I didn't ask her to bring anything back, nor did I expect her to do so... Its just the way she did it to let me know that she was purposefully throwing my stuff out.

Since getting back, we have not spoken a word to each other. I think its better this way. We could never spend too much time in the same physical place without exploding into an argument. Being around her is like walking on a landmine - I never know when she'll hit me with some criticism like I'm fat (I'm average weight, just not supermodel skinny), she doesn't like the way I walk, she doesn't like the way I sound the horn in the car (!) and so on. And this is when she's in a good mood! Everything just has to be done HER way and its made me feel so uncomfortable around her.

Okay, thanks for letting me rant. I hope I haven't affected anyone's mood here, being the holiday season and all. I just really need a listening ear.
post #2 of 14
I am sorry you had a holiday from hell... you are lucky to have your parents close to you though... If not your mom, for sure your dad... Sometime it doesn't seem like, but in her own grumpy way she does love you... I hope your NYE is better than that!!
post #3 of 14
i'm sorry to hear that you are having such a difficult time with your mother. i think family relationships are so hard as there is this feeling that you have to put up with virtually anything, because they are family.

it does sound like your mother directs her unhappiness towards you. i would be tempted to say that she may be jealous of you and this is her way of handling it.

no matter what though, her comments are designed to hurt and you are the easiest target for her.

i'm sad to hear of your aunts passing too.
post #4 of 14
I'm sorry that you have such a toxic mother.. and a bad relationship. hard to have a relationship with someone like that.

I know you live with them... is there any way you can put some physical distance between them and you? I remember you saying that in the Asian culture that is hard. And that they have seriously guilt-tripped you about it. But I know in my heart that it would be very healthy for YOU!

I don't know how old you are, but at some time, the apron strings need to be cut. I did mine when I was 22 and moved 600 miles away to start a new job. And I knew that i was growing up when my folks came to visit and my mom decided to re-arrange my cupboards and I held my tongue... and put things back the way I liked them after she left.

Now I am 49 and my mom is a frail and sickly 84... I moved in with her to take care of her. Mind you, we have almost always had a really good relationship, except for some rocky patches that Ms and Ds usually go through for separation/ nest-leaving... But she really knows how to push my buttons!!!!

This is not a criticism, but some friendly advice borne out of insight and experience. There is no changing your mom; there will be no pleasing or appeasing your mom. You will exhaust yourself trying... and probably have already to some degree. And it is destructive to one's psyche to keep throwing oneself against that brick wall. You will get battered, bruised and damaged, but things won't change.

Good luck to you, BW.
post #5 of 14
Wow! Hon, I'm sorry! . I'm honestly at a loss for words. I know my mom and I butted heads more than once and actually had some intense arguements and didn't speak for a while but it sounds like you are walking on egg shells all the time.

She was fine until you couldn't get into the restaurant you wanted....just a question, but has she ever been checked to see if she is bi-polar? I'm not diagnosing, I'm just throwing the idea out there.

I agree, you have to live your life and don't let your mother's negative attitude affect you (easier said than done, I know). I actually had to move from Maryland (east coast US) to Guam to get out from under my mom's influence. She didn't understand the idea that I wanted my own apartment in town because she thought it was a waste of money and I only wanted to do it so I could have men over all the time. So, I moved 10,000 miles away and lived there for 4 years. Sometimes you have to go to the extreme to be happy yourself. And honestly she became my best friend after I moved. We talked every morning on the computer and every sunday morning on the phone.

I'm sure your mom loves you, she may just be a little jealous of the wonderful women you've become.
post #6 of 14
Sounds a lot like my mom! Not to make excuses for her, but were her parents the same way?

My mom is still irrationally grouchy like that from time to time, but she's mellowed out quite a bit as she's gotten older. Now that she has healthcare, her doctor has referred her to a psychiatrist and she's on medications for anxiety and depression. (Maybe your mom has some reason for being the way she is, that has nothing to do with you.)

I think the best solution is to just leave her alone when she gets grouchy. No matter how wrong she may be, she isn't going to listen. She'll want to keep arguing no matter what you say, and you'll just end up frustrated, angry, and hurt. Tell her that if she's going to argue with you when you visit, that you're just going to leave. And then leave. You'll feel a lot better than if you had stuck around and let her drag you into a petty fight.

ETA: I just read the posts above. Do you still live at home? If you're old enough to move out, you should really consider it. I live about 60 miles from my parents... close enough to get to them in an emergency, and far away enough that they don't expect to see me every day.
post #7 of 14
Thread Starter 
Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to read my long rant and post these comforting replies.

Yes, I'm old enough to move out, I'm 26 now. I do have options - as in, I have a little money saved up, and I have very close friends who are almost like family to me (just not related by blood) who will be willing to help me out no matter what. If I do make the choice to move, I know where I can go, and I'll be very happy there.

However, I also know that my father will be very unhappy. He is a super traditional Asian man who thinks that family should always stick together no matter what. When I was younger and talked of moving out, he threatened to disown me.

Now I'm slightly older and hopefully wiser, I think I understand that he didn't actually mean to disown me, he was just saying something he thought would really make me think twice - because he just didn't want his family to be separated.

While I do not agree with his way of thinking, I owe him that much to stick around and try to make things work. During this trip to HK, I realised how much weight he lost. He constantly looked haggard and tired, and even though he was on holiday he kept checking his Blackberry and sighing about how there were so many emails even on X'mas Day. My father is a Chinese man working in an American shipping company. He started out as a ship surveyor, and climbed his way up to the rank of VP (China region) through sheer determination and very very hard work. As you all know, China is huge, to be a VP of that region is difficult as anything. I won't know exactly what he puts up with, but I can see that its taken a huge toll on him. He's not young anymore - 61 years old, yet he works like a cow everyday.

Realizing this has helped me put things into perspective. My father is a nice man, he does have his irritating quirks and strange ways of thinking, but he is generally a very nice, patient man. He has also done so much for this family. I owe it to him to fulfill his wish of seeing his family be together.

Because I have realised this, it makes it easier for me to deal with my mother. I have a sense of calm I never had before, and I know that as long as I keep out of my mother's way and don't give her opportunities to push my buttons, I will be able to tolerate staying with her as long as I can. I'm not saying that moving out is absolutely out of the question - it is always a possibility at the back of my mind. If I'm really pushed to the absolute limit, then I'll definitely leave for the sake of my own happiness. But I will definitely stay on, out of concern and consideration for my father, who has worked all his life to give me and my mother all that we have now.
post #8 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post
Hi, thanks so much for taking the time to read my long rant and post these comforting replies.

Yes, I'm old enough to move out, I'm 26 now. I do have options - as in, I have a little money saved up, and I have very close friends who are almost like family to me (just not related by blood) who will be willing to help me out no matter what. If I do make the choice to move, I know where I can go, and I'll be very happy there.

However, I also know that my father will be very unhappy. He is a super traditional Asian man who thinks that family should always stick together no matter what. When I was younger and talked of moving out, he threatened to disown me.

Now I'm slightly older and hopefully wiser, I think I understand that he didn't actually mean to disown me, he was just saying something he thought would really make me think twice - because he just didn't want his family to be separated.

While I do not agree with his way of thinking, I owe him that much to stick around and try to make things work. During this trip to HK, I realised how much weight he lost. He constantly looked haggard and tired, and even though he was on holiday he kept checking his Blackberry and sighing about how there were so many emails even on X'mas Day. My father is a Chinese man working in an American shipping company. He started out as a ship surveyor, and climbed his way up to the rank of VP (China region) through sheer determination and very very hard work. As you all know, China is huge, to be a VP of that region is difficult as anything. I won't know exactly what he puts up with, but I can see that its taken a huge toll on him. He's not young anymore - 61 years old, yet he works like a cow everyday.

Realizing this has helped me put things into perspective. My father is a nice man, he does have his irritating quirks and strange ways of thinking, but he is generally a very nice, patient man. He has also done so much for this family. I owe it to him to fulfill his wish of seeing his family be together.

Because I have realised this, it makes it easier for me to deal with my mother. I have a sense of calm I never had before, and I know that as long as I keep out of my mother's way and don't give her opportunities to push my buttons, I will be able to tolerate staying with her as long as I can. I'm not saying that moving out is absolutely out of the question - it is always a possibility at the back of my mind. If I'm really pushed to the absolute limit, then I'll definitely leave for the sake of my own happiness. But I will definitely stay on, out of concern and consideration for my father, who has worked all his life to give me and my mother all that we have now.
I understand the devotion to family, but you still have to live your own life. One of the things your father did for you was raise you to be an intelligent, capable person. You should find yourself; it doesn't mean you can't be devoted to your family. Or stop caring. But your dad made his life and choices and you should make yours. Just my humble opinion.
post #9 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
I understand the devotion to family, but you still have to live your own life. One of the things your father did for you was raise you to be an intelligent, capable person. You should find yourself; it doesn't mean you can't be devoted to your family. Or stop caring. But your dad made his life and choices and you should make yours. Just my humble opinion.
I understand this, but I don't think my father will

Until now, he hopes that I will try to get back in my mother's good books by pleasing her. I had to explain to him that I can only keep status quo by keeping out of her way, and that everyone has limits and he should not expect too much from me. He agreed to this.

Don't worry though, I'll let things happen naturally. If my mother does/says something completely out of line, and I think that I should not be tolerating anymore, I'll be out of the house. If that ever happens, I'll keep in touch with my father and hope that one day he will understand.
post #10 of 14
Your father sounds like mine except he is italian, in certain aspects the mentality is very similar.
My mum is an alcoholic, and will behave just like you described as your mother. When my mother is sober, she can be a nice woman but is usually too hung over to get out of bed!

My father told me the same thing in my teens, when i was 18 i packed my things up and left. He came home to my empty bedroom and blew up. he didnt allow my mother to see me for three months! he then got over it and was happy for me until i moved back home, he told me to get out and i was so hurt! not even a year later they found out they had to move again and this was it, i went and got my own apartment and stuff and my father helped, he knew i was suffocated being at home and he was supportive of me living on my own as long as nobody else lived with me!

He was glad when my hubby moved it because it wasn't a financial burden on me, He wasn't too happy when i decided it was finally time to move to the other side of the world, but i will never forget the look in his eyes, he was so proud i had finally made it and accomplished one of my dreams!
post #11 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by fwan View Post
Your father sounds like mine except he is italian, in certain aspects the mentality is very similar.
My mum is an alcoholic, and will behave just like you described as your mother. When my mother is sober, she can be a nice woman but is usually too hung over to get out of bed!

My father told me the same thing in my teens, when i was 18 i packed my things up and left. He came home to my empty bedroom and blew up. he didnt allow my mother to see me for three months! he then got over it and was happy for me until i moved back home, he told me to get out and i was so hurt! not even a year later they found out they had to move again and this was it, i went and got my own apartment and stuff and my father helped, he knew i was suffocated being at home and he was supportive of me living on my own as long as nobody else lived with me!

He was glad when my hubby moved it because it wasn't a financial burden on me, He wasn't too happy when i decided it was finally time to move to the other side of the world, but i will never forget the look in his eyes, he was so proud i had finally made it and accomplished one of my dreams!
Sounds so weird that your father would blow up when you packed and left, then reconcile with you only to blow up again when you moved back home! I'm so glad that things worked out for you in the end though
post #12 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post


I understand this, but I don't think my father will

Until now, he hopes that I will try to get back in my mother's good books by pleasing her. I had to explain to him that I can only keep status quo by keeping out of her way, and that everyone has limits and he should not expect too much from me. He agreed to this.

Don't worry though, I'll let things happen naturally. If my mother does/says something completely out of line, and I think that I should not be tolerating anymore, I'll be out of the house. If that ever happens, I'll keep in touch with my father and hope that one day he will understand.
You know, your father may in some way actually respect you more if you stand up for your self and become separate/independent. As an adult you can't always be so concerned about what your dad thinks. Are you trying to take care of him in lieu of mom doing it? He is also a grown man who made his decisions about how to live his life. And he has to deal with it. Personally, I would say, save yourself. My siblings are concerned for instance that I am "falling on my sword" having moved in with mom to take care of her. I don't see it that way... but I am a whole generation older than you and have been out in the world and lived my life and made my own decisions and choices. I cannot accept letting strangers take care of mom in her twilight years. But when the time comes, I will hire help... and my sister comes to look after her every once in a while so my boyfriend and I can have some privacy.

BTW - there will be no pleasing your mother... this kind of behavior and keeping everyone off kilter is what stokes her fire... you may please her for one second... then the next she will find something else that ticks her off and you're right back where you started. Even if your dad doesn't understand this, I know you do. You cannot fix things with your mom... she may actually change her attitude towards you a bit if you leave. Or maybe not. You cannot do anything about that. You should live your life and become the most fulfilled complete adult you know how to be. and when you parents need you, like if one gets sick or they are truly old and infirm, as my mom is, then you deal with that situation. Just my two cents worth.

BTW2 - PM me anytime if you want to talk.
post #13 of 14
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by AddieBee View Post
BTW - there will be no pleasing your mother... this kind of behavior and keeping everyone off kilter is what stokes her fire... you may please her for one second... then the next she will find something else that ticks her off and you're right back where you started. Even if your dad doesn't understand this, I know you do. You cannot fix things with your mom... she may actually change her attitude towards you a bit if you leave. Or maybe not. You cannot do anything about that. You should live your life and become the most fulfilled complete adult you know how to be. and when you parents need you, like if one gets sick or they are truly old and infirm, as my mom is, then you deal with that situation. Just my two cents worth.

Yes I understand that completely now, I didn't used to - as in understand that there is no way I can please her because she's the one looking for conflict for no good reason. What I'm doing now is almost the same as moving out, just that I go back in the night, late late at night after she's asleep. Sooner or later she's going to blow up about that, I'm pretty sure

Like I said earlier, if she really blows up, I will explain my reasons to her calmly. I won't expect her to understand fully, but at least I'll give her that chance, and also a chance for myself to explain that I'm no longer a child and I'm not throwing childish tantrums or experiencing teenage rebellion or anything stupid like that. If she refuses to accept that this is the only way I can continue to live with her, then I'm out of the house. If that ever happens, I will then talk to my father. If he, too, doesn't understand and pushes the blame on me for being immature, then I'll probably stop talking to him too. The thought pains me, but I cannot keep letting myself be victimized for her actions.

Thanks so much for the advice and offer to talk to me through PM, I'm lucky I have such great people to talk to both in TCS and in real life
post #14 of 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by BabyWukong View Post



Yes I understand that completely now, I didn't used to - as in understand that there is no way I can please her because she's the one looking for conflict for no good reason. What I'm doing now is almost the same as moving out, just that I go back in the night, late late at night after she's asleep. Sooner or later she's going to blow up about that, I'm pretty sure

Like I said earlier, if she really blows up, I will explain my reasons to her calmly. I won't expect her to understand fully, but at least I'll give her that chance, and also a chance for myself to explain that I'm no longer a child and I'm not throwing childish tantrums or experiencing teenage rebellion or anything stupid like that. If she refuses to accept that this is the only way I can continue to live with her, then I'm out of the house. If that ever happens, I will then talk to my father. If he, too, doesn't understand and pushes the blame on me for being immature, then I'll probably stop talking to him too. The thought pains me, but I cannot keep letting myself be victimized for her actions.

Thanks so much for the advice and offer to talk to me through PM, I'm lucky I have such great people to talk to both in TCS and in real life
You're welcome, honey. Anytime.
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