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Brackers

How do I learn to love my mother again.

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Brackers
Posted

The title is a bit silly really, but I don't know what to call it. Of course I love my mother, but since I moved back in with her, I have struggled with my identity. Originally it was my then wife and my mother who had the idea of us living together after my late stepfather died. Financially it made sense and she could help with our son. At first it was good, but over time, I started to struggle and eventually shut down. I tried a couple of times to mention to my wife, but she was not very compassionate, I do think it was a big factor leading to our breakup. Not the only one, but a contributor. Since then I have been trying hard to not be so nasty or short tempered. But I am struggling with my own self esteem to the point where I am much happier when I'm not at home. I do love my mum, but am really struggling to live with her. I know the obvious thing would be to move out, but it's really complicated due to me having care of my son, and my mum is a great help and I couldn't do it without her for the moment. Any helpful suggestions or ideas or comments would be welcome.

JohFlow
Posted

I have so many things to ask about your situation Brackers.  Living with your Mum at 49 is unusual unless you have reasons you need to be there - like you are a carer etc. Some mothers take a while to recognise your adult personality and needs and this can feel like you are being pulled back into a previous state of affairs. But the core thing is ; what is it specifically about your mother/her behaviour that you are struggling with? I am trying to gauge if this is a general personality conflict or whether there are elements where it is in you/your son's best interest not to be under each other's noses. I would worry about the impact of closeted conflict on your son - kids sense these things even if not expressed.  I think you need to weight up what is more important for your right now - saving money, staying in this 'comfort zone' or finding ways to save your self esteem.  You don''t have to put up with any difficult behaviour and it sounds like this needs an open conversation; if that's possible? Ultimately; of talking does not work you may need to prepare an exit strategy for you and your son.  

Brackers
Posted

Thanks for reading and replying. First off I'm only 47 😁. How I came to live with my mum again is a long story. The short version is that it was my then wife's idea along with my Mum. Mum's husband died, and she didn't want to live alone and my wife thought it would be a good idea. I had my reservations but didn't speak up. Upon moving in, my whole demeanor changed. I stopped interacting, became withdrawn, and stopped showing affection to my wife. I still struggle with my feelings living with my Mum. I don't know why. It took a toll on my marriage to the point that my wife left at the start of the year. Outside of the house I am happier, but when I come home I instantly change. I live also with my son who I have custody of, and those too have silly arguments which drives me mad. I wish I had an exit strategy, but can't afford it right now, and she is a help. But that said, she is a very negative person, and that gets to me too, as I have started on a renewal path and I am trying to be more tolerant. I'm just a little stuck.

JohFlow
Posted

Sorry; I saw 49 under you pic and assumed it was your age lol - classic newbie mistake. So it was your wife's idea for you to move in and she isn't there anymore? I would. encourage you to really think about what it is about being around your Mum that changes your behaviour negatively. I suspect that you are internalising some of the negativity around you and this is contributing to your shutting down/off.  If you feel that you are taking on extra emotional stuff that can also impact on your other relationships making you feel more tired, frustrated, irritable etc.  Your first reaction when you thought about moving in with her was a gut reaction of negativity - I trust this is based on previous experience and is worth listening to.  I don't think you can do much about the silly arguments - besides say they could be a natural part of living closely. Maybe you and your son can get out of the house more before bickering starts.   There is an exit strategy for everyone - but you may have to reach out to agencies that can put you in the direction of financial etc support.   If you are going to accept your Mum's help; I think you are also choosing to accept any difficulties that come alongside.  In which case; time outs, mindfulness practices, meditation etc may help with getting some headspace and balancing good and bad. Buddhism as a practice has plenty to say about being compassionate to those with faults in their characters (don't we all).  It encourages people to give gratitude and compassion even if we are feeling negative things ourselves - a 'fake it till you make it strategy'. Also; have you ever sat your Mum down and asked her how she finds living with you? Could be a way to understand her better or correct anything which is negative.

Brackers
Posted

Wow, thanks Joh. I am learning mindfulness and Practicing letting go, and I do meditate. I am much calmer now than I was 8 months ago. I think it's just a build up of emotions and stress, plus regressing back to how I was before I met my wife. I did live with my mum and late stepfather then, due to a lot of factors. Mental health being one of them. I did have many negative influences in my life then, and they started to resurface in the last 18 months as my happiness deteriorated. I think I may need more counseling sessions and to really Express and have a conversation with my mother. 

JohFlow
Posted

From a Mother's point of view - they will always return to mothering in a particular way; unless you give strong clues that you are in a different place and have new needs.  Perhaps she feels the friction; but is not sure why you are unhappy. I agree that if you are to be having a big conversation about a number of years difficulties; then getting support for yourself is brilliant preparation.  It may also provide a bit of a 'cushion' if conversation breaks down ; or the answers you receive do not satisfy.  Have you thought of sending a letter if you feel that face to face would be too much. A letter gives you chance to take your time; form your thoughts and do what you need to without interruption - and of course your Mum gets a right of reply. It's nice to hear that you are working on returning to a place of calm - that is resilience and can only serve to let negativity bounce off you in the future.  Returning to negative influences...you already know how that goes (tempting as it may be).  


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