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Need advice BADLY...Please Help!!!

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
I'm sorry to say this but my mother is driving me CRAZY!!!! I moved away from home over two years ago, as I was growing up my parents ALWAYS told me to get out of our small (and I mean itty bitty) town and go somewhere bigger and make a life for myself. Well when I go to do just that two years ago, right before I left they tried to bribe me to stay home by offering me the family car, then they started to moan and whine about me leaving and going so far away, they basically totally changed their tune. Now don't get me wrong, I understand that my parents were going to miss me, especially since I am an only child but why take a total turn around and try and make me feel guilty for taking their advice in the first place???? After a while they seem to get over that, after they adjusted to me not being home, or so I thought!

Lately, my mother has been saying how I never call home, she even went as far as to say she could count on one hand the number of times I've called home since I've left. I absolutely flipped out!!! I was so MAD . For her to say this is a lie, a big fat one at that! I call home a lot more that anyone else I know, I call home on average every three or four days, more if I need my parents for something or if I'm just in the mood to talk to them. Does that make me an ungrateful child???? I don't think so! To me this shows, I am a well adjusted, independant adult (which reflects good on my parents of you ask me). They act like I don't care or love them anymore if I don't speak to them EVERY SINGLE night! I mean come on... It's like because I don't call home, saying how much I miss them and my home that I've forgotten about them.

When I spoke with them last night and I knew as soon as I spoke with my mother that something was wrong, she'd barely talk. Then when I was talking to my dad I heard her in the background saying, how I could call and come home. She wont' say it to me, but she'll go off in the background when I'm talking to my father. I know I haven't been home since last December but it is expensive to fly home (it's a four hour flight) because home is on an island and this is what makes it so expensive. Also, they are coming for a visit in August as well, they come up at least once a year. They are asking me to come home for Christmas (they were here for Christmas last year), I'm not sure about my vacation time, my bf doesn't want to go home (which is fine) his mom is in the same city as us but she works every Christmas. I don't want him to spend Christmas alone, he has no other family here.

Shouldn't my parents be use to the idea of my not living close by anymore?? It's been over two years. I've made a life for myself here! I always thought that when I left home that mom and dad would enjoy their time alone, that they'd be content knowing I'm on my own, making my own way and happy. Was I wrong to think this? Is this how all parents are and I just didn't know it???? I know must sound like a huge brat but I am just so frustrated I had to vent. Could I please get some advice on how to handle my parents, to tell them this without alienating (sp?) them?
post #2 of 13
I don't think you are being unreasonable to be angry. Sounds like *they* wanted to escape the small town and then got jealous when they saw you doing it.

Unfortunately, I don't have much advice though. Of my friends I think I am the *only* one that hardly ever has trouble with her parents. So... you're not alone.

Good luck.
post #3 of 13
Does your mom work outside of the home? Does she have a lot of friends or outside activities to occupy her time? It almost sounds like she has become depressed since you have left home, which would be somewhat normal since you are an only child. If she doesn't have much of a life outside of taking care of the house and family then that would in itself explain why things are so hard for her. My mom is that way. It also sounds like your mom is having a tougher time dealing with you being away than your dad does. Maybe you could just send your mom some flowers and a card that just says you miss her. Make it something out of the blue, something she wouldn't be expecting. Then just call her and explain to her how you feel. Once you both talk to eachother you both might have an understanding of how the other feels and can find a way to handle the situation that makes you both happy. At the same time try to keep in mind that they are your parents and if they didn't love you they wouldn't have such a tough time letting you go.
post #4 of 13
My fiance had a similar problem with his family. They tried everything they could to get him to come home permanently. It took a few years, but they are finally ok with the fact that he isn't coming home. They got pretty bad about- would even try to sabatage things for him (like calling his work, calling his landlord, etc). The thing that helped the most was him standing his ground- talking about how he has goals and is making a life for himself. If his mom started going off on him he would tell her she was acting inappropriately and that she needed to call him back when she was behaving more rationally. He would then hang up. My guess is that it won't matter how often you call or visit, they won't be happy until you come home. I don't know why they are suddenly behaving this way- it's probably just empty nest. If your parents are normally sane and rational people they will probably get over this. Maybe suggest that they get a cat or something they can love and focus their parental instincts on.

We bought a book called "Toxic Parents" by Susan Forward that has some helpful advice for dealing with parents who have a hard time letting go. A lot of the examples in the book are from pretty extreme cases, but it does have some good advice.
post #5 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thanks you guys!

Maybe you could just send your mom some flowers and a card that just says you miss her. Make it something out of the blue, something she wouldn't be expecting. Then just call her and explain to her how you feel.
That's a good idea squirtle! I think I may just do that.
post #6 of 13
I'm a mum of 2 adult children (my daughter gets married on Saturday), they both live a couple of hours drive away, but we don't have a car, and they have their own lives, so we get a visit from one or other of them every couple of months or so. And they're on the phone most days, or texting me.

they both left home in their teens, and to be honest, when they were home, I seemed to be forever clearing up after them, or waiting for the bathroom. (we only have a tiny house and one bathroom). At the time you do think it'd be best for them to go away and get a life for themselves.

But the reality is, that when they leave home it seems empty, and you miss them terribly, even with the phone calls. Also husband and wife relationships can often fail at that point, because your lives have been focused around the children for so long, now you're both alone together again, and it can feel like you're getting to know each other again.

Maybe your mum just didn't realise how much she'd miss you once you'd gone. Does she have access to a computer? could you send her e mails on a regular basis. Or even old fashioned letters, filling her in on all you've been up to. Maybe she feels the phone calls are rushed or is worried about you running up a bill.

Anyway, just trying to put a different angle on it. Good luck.
post #7 of 13
The Toxic Parents book is a good suggestion. I moved to Japan--that helped!! There was no CHANCE of me coming home just to visit and phone calls even once a week were a big deal--we usually talked once a month. I live 30 mins away from them now, but its not bad because mentally, they view me as apart and separate from them.

Sometimes, you just have to move halfway across the world to get things (and your parents!) figured out!!!
post #8 of 13
Dear Pepper, I think that you are doing very well. I am sure that they are missing you but I would be tickled pink if I got a call from my sons every three or four days. If you love you children it is hard to let go, but I think you are keeping in contact nicely athough it would be nice if you could physically see each other more often than once a year, still that is better than never. I wonder if maybe something else is going on, or else maybe they should get a cat or two, or a dog to give them a "baby" to love. Good luck.
post #9 of 13
First let me say I think you are a good daughter for keeping in touch as often as you do.

As the mother of an only daughter, I also understand your mom's feelings. When Jennifer isn't home for even a day I miss her terribly and so does her dad. We are in contact daily by e-mail, cell phone and she lives at home so is home every night as well.

She will probably be moving to Italy within the next year or so to be with her boyfriend of 5+ years. I have no idea how John and I will cope with this. I know the e-mails will help a lot and that phoning will be far too expensive.

Maybe instead of getting angry, the next time you are home, take your parents out to dinner somewhere and during dinner let them know how much you love and miss them, but that it's wonderful for you to be building a life of your own and do it in soft, gentle voice. It may take them a little longer to get used to you not being there.

Sounds like they love you very much and are having a difficult time letting you go. I feel their pain and I know my mom felt the same with me so we wrote a lot of letters as back when I was young, we just didn't use the phone for long distance as much.

Hugs to you and your family.
post #10 of 13
Sorry Pepper. I'm lucky in that my parents are mostly thrilled I'm gone. I know it is hard, but they love you and miss you. Maybe you could encourage your mom to get involved in activities or start a blog together or something so you can keep in contact. Get her a hobby and she might not feel so lonely. My mom Joined the Red Hat Society and that seems to really help her get out of the house etc.
post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Thank you all so, so much. I really appreciate your thoughts and kind words, they have made me feel so much better. All your suggestions are really great. I think I will pick up that book "Toxic Parents", it may be just what I need. And I plan to have a good talk with my parents tonight as well. Again thank you all so much for listening to my rant and vent, it amazes me that people I really don't know can be so caring.
post #12 of 13
It is the Empty Nest Syndrome and they may never totally get over it. Also since I am sure you probably drove them crazy as a teenager they are getting a little of their own back now .
post #13 of 13
You know, honestly, I think it depends on your parents. I came to to this thread thinking only of the extremely unhealthy relationship my fiance has with his mom. If this is just a temporary thing it probably isn't a problem. I call my mom every few days as well and usually see her every few months- that is until I actually move back to my hometown, where I plan on seeing her once a week at least. I think there is a definite difference between normal parental sadness and empty nest syndrome and controlling, manipulative behavior. Either way it's nice to get some ideas of how to handle the situation so that it doesn't get out of control. Good luck!
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