Is your mother an intrusive mother or are you just too sensitive? How can you tell? Here’s the scene- your inbox or phone is flooded with an avalanche of unanswered emails, texts or messages from mom? Requests, demands, and opinions, oh my! And, “Would you please get back to me right away, thank you very much.” As fast as she can churn them out, mom reaches through cyberspace and poof a much-needed layer of protective boundary dissolves into thin air. With the stroke of a keyboard or the sound of a ringtone, she has ready access to you.
Does mom appropriate your participation in her communications with you?
-Are you cast as an audience member, one amongst many?
-Is your privacy is violated in a forward?
-Are you appropriated into a personal back and forth she has with a third party?
( And this is just phone and email. Yet, the way it goes down is indicative of all of the interactions with an intrusive mother)
4 Ways this happens-
1)Mom instructs you to call someone or give someone a visit. She instructs rather than asks.
2) Without your consent, she forwards an email exchange you thought was a private one between the two of you. She forgets or never thinks about asking for your permission first.
3) Or, my personal favorite, mom CCs you on really personal exchange she is having with a third party. You’d rather sit this one out, thank you very much, but alas you have been drafted into the exchange.
4) With the group email function, mom assembles an audience, (yes, that’s you there in the stands) and uses it to showcase what an important and caring parent/family member she is.
Where does this leave you? Since you can’t “unsee” or “receive” said emails, this, of course, leaves you in the, oh so awkward position of having to decide how to, and if, you should respond. Do you bear silent witness, say nothing and run the risk of appearing to convey agreement through your silence? Now that you, of course, have seen said missive, is it incumbent on you to weigh in lest you appear unfeeling? Or, horror of all horrors, does your silence imply that you were in on whole dysfunctional debacle from the beginning?
Primetime for mother manipulator for sure. There you are enjoying your life, or for that matter, not enjoying your life. You mistakenly assumed it was, in fact, YOUR life. Yet, in a flash of an email fly by you are kidnapped from the sidelines and whisked into the biopic of your mother’s life. It is not completely apparent why Mom casts you as audience or to her communications, but you smell a manipulative maneuver.
What does this tell you about mom and her difficult ways? No matter what the reason or reasons, it is indirect, not altogether sensitive and, wait for it; the hallmark of a difficult mother who is driven more by her needs than regard for your feelings. Self–absorbed, for sure. Yes, of course, that is the truth of it, as always. The interaction is driven by the fact that the difficult mom has to prove herself, both to herself and to others.
You are merely a come with.
You feel the intrusion but mom is so used to plowing over your boundaries that you wonder if you are the one that has the problem.
It’s not you. Yet, this intrusion on mom’s part is so habitual and expected that you grow calloused. It becomes harder and harder to call mom out without being consumed with guilt. It is and isn’t personal. That is both the good news and the bad news. The calculator in mom’s unconscious has done the math and determined that it is perfectly acceptable for her to use you to make herself look good. The sad truth of the matter is – she may not even be aware that her actions leave you feeling hurt. In fact, you feel bad but tell yourself to stop being so sensitive. I have a better idea-
Instead of asking, “Am I too sensitive?” Ask instead, “Is mom is too intrusive?” What if you aren’t too sensitive but just sensitive enough- to know it when you are treated as if your feelings don’t count. If you tell your mother that certain actions on her part make you feel bad, and she keeps on doing them multiple times…. you have to wonder why. What if this treatment leaves you feeling like you really don’t matter… for a good reason. What if the reason has nothing to do with you? Will you continue to take it without speaking up and stuffing your frustration and anger?
*Will you continue to tell yourself you are too sensitive when in fact the relationship is unbalanced? This kind of unbalance has its fingerprint in every interaction with the difficult, Narcissistic Mother or the Mother who has Narcissistic traits. If you recognize yourself, this dynamic is stealing your confidence. And this corrosive dynamic undermines your self-esteem. You end up living a life that is based on making someone else happy at your expense. Will you go on quietly as the Good Daughter, or will you choose to become real?
Next steps- take the good daughter quiz here.
Raise Awareness. Break the Cycle. Tweet It Out.Click To Tweet You feel the intrusion but mom is so used to plowing over your boundaries that you wonder if you are the one that has the problem. Click To Tweet What if you aren't too sensitive but just sensitive enough- to know it when you are treated as if your feelings don't count. Click To Tweet If you tell your mother that certain actions on her part make you feel bad, and she keeps on doing them multiple times.... you have to wonder why. Click To Tweet *Will you continue to take it without speaking up and stuffing your frustration and anger? *Will you continue to tell yourself you are too sensitive when in fact the relationship is unbalanced? Click To Tweet
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