I was wondering what, if anything, you do when you're faced with a lack of support for your weight loss journey by a family member.
My mom, who has struggled with obesity ever since she gave birth to me, is usually supportive of anything I do, including weight loss. However, this latest journey I've started, I've received little support and some downright rude comments from her, which immediately incite my anger and we end up in a fight.
The first comment came the day I started. I went out and got veggies, some chicken breasts, and flax seed oil. She saw the flax seed oil in the fridge and went "Oh brother, another diet" - I responded (rather annoyed, I might add) "Well, thanks for your support mom" to which she replied, sarcastically, "You're welcome!"
I put it out of my head and trudged through. She was gone for a week back East to attend a wedding and now she's back. When I exclaimed to her on Thursday that I had lost 6 lbs and 1-1/2 to 2 inches from my waistline in 9 days, she responded with "Uh huh, that's nice, so anyways, this guy came to the truck to buy corn today" (note: My mom sells corn during the summer, and basically every third word from her mouth for 4 months is "corn." It's so bad that last year, when I was trying to get a loan to pay off my debt, she wouldn't leave to come to the bank for an hour to co-sign for me because she was going to lose an hour's worth of sales. Right now, she has a bladder infection, but she won't go to the doctor because she'll lose money. She didn't want to go back to Ontario for the wedding, because she lost a week of sales. Corn, right now, comes before everything.) I more or less ignored it because frankly, I could tell her that my hair was on fire, but if there's a customer in front of her, she wouldn't notice me or what I'm saying.
I decided that, even though I'm following the 17 day diet, I was going allow myself to chat on weekends because I was having problems a) staying on plan through the week and b) I don't like depriving myself of anything. I allow myself the weekend to cheat, but not over-do it too much. I don't feel guilt, and I carry on with the plan starting on Sunday. Last night, I sat down on the couch to watch TV, given that because mom is losing her hearing, she cranks the TV up and I can't work (I'm a medical transcriptionist; so I need my ears, with earbuds in, to hear what the doctors are saying in the dictations) and she will turn it down, but then she complains she can't hear, so then she gets mad, shuts the tv off and will either just sit there, or go in the kitchen and make noise tidying up, or read a book and feel the need to comment to me about what's in the book.
Anyway, I sat down on the couch and I had a can of Coke and a bakery pastry. She looked over and said "I thought you were on a diet?" I said "I am, but I'm allowing myself to eat what I want on the weekends." She scoffed and replied "What kind of stupid diet is that if you can just eat whatever and however much you want on the weekend? You think you're going to lose weight that way? Hah!"
I was so mad I couldn't even think of anything to respond with.
It's not so much that she isn't supportive..it's that she's my MOM and she's not supportive. I get the non-supportive stuff my dad tells me; he thinks he's being supportive: i.e. "If you lose weight, you'll be able to meet a guy and get married then" (despite him knowing I don't want to get married), "You would look better in pictures if you lost the weight", "Guys will like you better" - I know he's trying to say something nice, he just doesn't "get it." He made fun of me for half an hour through text last week when I told him I was starting the cardio-kickboxing and maybe looking at the medieval swordfighting. The second one really made him laugh; he made a zillion "Highlander" jokes. But I can forgive him; because he's male and because he just doesn't get it.
Mom gets it though. She knows what the struggle is like. I want her support; but right now I'm embarrassed to even talk to her about it. She's, sometimes sadly, my closest friend and I feel like I can't share this with her. Even if I told her all this - all how I feel, she'd laugh, tell me "Oh get over it" and then change the subject.
I thought that maybe she was jealous, or upset, that I was taking steps to a healthier future, but she's more or less happy (or at least content) with how she is right now. She's almost 60, she's in a stable marriage, she doesn't see or feel the need to lose weight. When she does what to lose weight, she complains bitterly about how, if you want to do it, you can't eat a bag of chips and a bunch of cookies and a huge plate of pasta. You have to eat tiny portions (and she says it in such a way to convey how stupid she thinks it is). She rags on Weight Watchers all the time when she gets talking about weight loss; "Oh sure, you can eat french fries, but you can't have the whole carton you can only have like 3 - who the h*ll wants to eat just three french fries?" or "Weight Watchers - what a joke, you can't eat anything you want on it; you have to eat on so much of this and that!" She can't see that you have to change your diet and add exercise; she can't see that starving yourself doesn't work in the long run; and she wants it all to be done for her. If she starts on a healthy eating plan, she wants someone to make the food for her.
Last year I tried getting her on a good healthy plan just by eating throughout the day, small meals. She wouldn't even get up to help prepare them, and she'd yell through the house "Ok it's been two hours! Now what am I supposed to eat, huh?!" and I'd have to run to her beck'n call to give her two slices of cheese and an apple.
I want support from her, but I'm not getting it - and I don't really know what to do. I get support from my coworker who is also going through a weight loss journey, but she's not my mom.
I want my mom to be on my team.
So, my question to everyone is: How do you deal with a lack of support coming from a close family member?
Do you ignore it?
Meet it head on when you come across it and go toe-to-toe with that person?
Thanks, and apologies for the length of this post.
09-17-2011, 11:06 PM
You can't make people understand and agree with you, or force them to support you in the way you want to be supported.
Everyone has their own perspective, and they're often stuck in it. Your Mom might feel you're being unsupportive of her because you obviously disagree over the importance of dieting (and corn). Maybe her idea of support from you would be for you to agree that dieting is a waste of time. Or to show more interest in corn.
What I'm trying to say is that we can never be the perfect support for anyone else, and they can never be the perfect support for us. Our priorities aren't their priorities and their priorities aren't our, and we can't and shouldn't force them to be.
Your mom obviously has a lot of issues with dieting and weight loss. Those are her issues, and you can't change them. If you need support, you're going to have to find it elsewhere (just as she may need to reach out to someone other than you, if she wants support and empathy regarding the silliness of dieting or the importance of selling summer corn to her).
I also think you're giving your Dad too much credit, and your Mom not enough. You say your Dad thinks he's being supportive and your Mom does or should know better. I would bet that your Mom also thinks she's being supportive (and I would also bet that your Dad isn't as oblivious as you make him out to be. As you said, he does know that you don't want to be married, so why does he get a pass on making critical statements despite "knowing better" but your mom doesn't?)
I understand it, because I could have said something similar (and I know I have) about my own parents. My dad had the family reputation as the benign well-meaning social bumbler, while Mom had the reputation of being the evil beeetch. I eventually learned, that my father wasn't nearly as innocent as he appeared, he just used a tender smile to stab you in the gut, and the smile was genuine enough that it was hard to be mad at. His statements were just as manipulative, they were just more effective, because his strategy worked, effectively sending the message, "you can't get mad at me, because I mean well."
I'm not saying that you should be angry at your father, or that you should or shouldn't be angry at your mother. I'm just saying that neither of their behavior is simple or easily changeable, and if you depend on outside support, neither are able to be what you want them to be. That can upset you, but it doesn't have to - but regardless the odds of you being able to change either of them is pretty slim.
Even if you could change one or both of them, it might not help. "Helpfulness" in family members isn't always helpful. My husband and I have tried to be supportive of each other's weight loss attempts, and most of the time it backfires. When someone tries to "help" there's often no way for the help not to come across as meddling. If they make comments, they're being critical, and if they don't make comments they're being unsupportive. If they try to help, they're playing "food cop." If they compliment, it can feel patronizing.
The best support often comes from people outside the home (especially because you're completely free to rant and complain about their irritating behavior).
09-17-2011, 11:51 PM
Thanks kaplods. I've always loved reading your posts and this is no exception.
The thing that bugs me is that mom isn't even trying to be supportive; when she's being supportive, she's a lot like a cheerleader. Whenever I've done anything in my life (such as take my post-secondary training at home, get a job, move out, or basically anything else) mom's been there cheering me ("You can do it!", "I know if you put your mind to it, you can do anything, hon", "L, you gotta do what you gotta do to do what you want to do", "We're always here for you", "You're doing AWESOME!") but this time she's not. It's a complet 180 on attitude - she's usually upbeat and 'go get 'em" mentality, now it's sarcastic, cutting remarks and jokes at my expense. Every other time I've tried to lose weight, she's acted that way. Like "yes! You lost a pound, UNBELIEVABLE! Good for you!" When I lost nearly 30, she damn near had a party. She was so happy. This is a complete turn around from anything she's ever been like. And I don't know why.
I know she thinks I don't support her with this corn thing. But she's living in my tiny 1 bedroom apartment for 4 months, disrupting my schedule and my space (for example: I have limited fridge space, but I now have two or three of everything because she buys food like there's no tomorrow. I have very little cupboard space, basically 2-1/2 cupboards and 4 shelves.. I can't currently put 90% of my dishes away, because she's taken any space where the dishes go, and has put food there. Last week, I organized the fridge into her side and my side. I went to work and came home and she had gone through it all and mixed everything back up. Her laundry is everywhere: on the dog kennel, on the table, on the couches, in the bathroom, despite me having gone out and purchased a steamer trunk for her to use so things stay somewhat tidy. I've even washed, folded, and put her clothes away, but she takes them out and puts them everywhere. In the morning, when I get up, I can't see the counters: She leaves Splenda packets all over the counters, used coffee filters on the counter, dishes everywhere, coin roll papers, bread crumbs, etc. I clean it all up. On the computer desk is no different: coffee cups with half-finished coffee, bowls of half-eaten cereal, chocolate bar wrappers, chip bags, etc, it's left to me to clean up.). I also do all the laundry and dishes: hers and mine. I've also taken a lot of my time, when I'm trying to work my second job, to look things up for her online while she's selling corn, printed out flyers for her, changed the flyers 4 times, hunted down recipes, printed our recipes, run over to where she is and brought her lunch, brought her diabetic medication, run and got her more food, watched the truck while she went to the washroom, delivered corn to people who had ordered it but couldn't come pick it up, today I went to 4 different banks for her to deposit and take out money she needed, I make dinner on the weekends even though I'm trying to work, I go and spend time with her (and have been late for work several times because at the last minute, she decides she wants me to go get this or that, or wait while she does something inside the gas station where she sells corn at and if I say anything such as "Mom, I really can't, I'm going to be late" she blows a gasket, starts crying and then doesn't talk to me for the rest of the day, via text, or when I get home at night), I have gotten up at 7 a.m. (when I get home at midnight and work at home for 5 hours) to go out with her to the farm to pick up the corn, then drive back in getting to her spot by noon to set up her signs, then taking the transit back to my place (which is an hour on the bus) and then going straight to work and stuff I can't even remember at the moment.
My mom is also the type of person who, no matter what you do it's not good enough. Or no matter how sick you are - she's more sick than you. If you're in pain, she's in more pain than you are. No matter what you did that day, no matter how tired you say you are, she's more tired than you. No matter what you do for her, she will always say "after all the stuff I do for you, you can't even be bothered to do *insert whatever it is* for me", or "well, thanks so much for the help. Nice to know I can count on you." She plays guilt trips, yet is upset at her own mother for playing them on her. For example: "Well, I know it's 3 pm and you have to leave for work, but can you come over and bring me something to eat? (It's a 30 minute drive to where she is).. if not well, I guess I'll just go hungry and my blood sugar will go out of control. I don't know how I'll manage later, I guess I could eat raw corn.." When she was getting ready to come down for the summer, she brought with her 5 grocery bags full of frozen meat. I have a small above-fridge freezer that already has my stuff in it. I didn't know she was bringing this stuff down at the end of June, so I hadn't reorganized my freezer. When she walked in with the meat and I told her "oh, I didn't know you were bringing that now. I have to reorganize the freezer, hang on" she went into hysterics "Fine, just throw it all out then.. all nice meat I brought - just chuck it out if you don't want to help me." O_O "Mom, I said hang on, I have to reorganize the freezer."
She knows, deep down, that I support her, and I cheer her on with this corn job. It's great for her to get out of the house during the summers and away from my dad and my sister. But she'd never admit that I actually help her out. Because in the end no matter what I do for her, it's never enough.
My dad really is oblivious. He's not manipulative or conniving; he doesn't have it in him. He truly believes that I want to get married, no matter how often I tell him I don't. It's so foreign to him that a woman wouldn't want to get married, to dote on her husband. He was raised that a woman's place is as her husband's servant, more or less, so hearing me say that I don't want to get married, it's too foreign so he rejects it. He knows I date, so he assumes then that if I date, I must want to get married. He thinks, therefore, that by saying what he does he's being supportive, even when he isn't. I guess I'm not as harsh on him as I am on mom because I'm not that close to him as I am with mom. He was emotionally and verbally abusive to me growing up - and treated my sister like his little princess (he still does). Every little thing I did out of order or without permission, I was yelled at or harped at, belittled, or threatened. My sister wrote "F*ck you mom" on the window when she was 9 years old and dad sat her down and said "S, we don't write those kinds of things about our mom." When I got in a fight with mom one time and I told her "you're being so unfair, I wish you weren't my mom!", dad not only took the belt to me, but washed my mouth out with soap and grounded me for 4 months. Groundings to dad meant: You go to school, you come home and you go to your room. If you have to use the bathroom, you ask permission to do so. Your food is taken to your room; you do not eat with the rest of the family. All books, toys and games are removed from your room. Your clothes are picked by either mom or dad for the day. You may not talk on the phone with anyone. I spent 4 months in such a grounding that time, and another time I spent 6 months for being bullied in grade 4 into stealing this kid's hot dog money ($1.25). My sister's longest grounding, which had turned into "No computer unless you whine and cry" as the only "punishment" was 5 days. No, mom wasn't on dad's team for how he treated us - she knew he was harsher with me than with my sister, but when she confronted him, he'd throw a fit, say "no on effing listens me to me; I'm just a d*mn paycheque, etc" then storm out of the house for a drive to cool off.
So, even though dad isn't supportive (when he misguidedly thinks he is), it doesn't bother me as much because I'm not as close to him as I am with mom. I love my dad to death; don't get me wrong. He has a lot of good qualities. But we didn't get along growing up because I didn't fit his mold of what a "perfect" child should be (seen/not heard/100% robotically obedient all the time) and my sister was, while not like that either, she was more the "apple of his eye" than I was. He even admits this; he still loves me, but he's slowly seeing how he raised me affected our relationship.
I don't want to change both of them - I just don't know why mom isn't the way she usually is this time. And that's what hurts.
But, I am going to take your advice and stop looking for support from her. Obviously, she can't give me the support I'm looking for, so I will look for it elsewhere - likely in the form of my coworker.
Thanks for your help - and for letting me vent ;) I know a lot of this probably sounded like a teenager whining. But I really am at my last rope with a lot of things here; stressed beyond belief and anxiously waiting for Thanksgiving (Canada) to come because that's when she goes home. Distance really is our friend in this relationship.
09-18-2011, 12:56 AM
Distance really is our friend in this relationship.
I think this is very true in many families, certainly my own. For both my husband and I, the less time we spend with our families, the better we get along (although my husband would be happy never seeing his family, while that wouldn't work for me with my family).
I don't know if it helps any, but I think that part of the issue "this time" is that your mother is living under your roof. That's a role reversal that many parents of adult children cannot handle. They often will act almost like rebellious teenagers, or at the least, there are power struggle issues over who should call the shots. The adult child thinks "My home, my rules and my parent should respect that," and the parent thinks "I'm the parent, I'm older, I'm wiser and my child should respect that."
I saw it in my own family, when my grandparents moved in with my parents. My grandmother was constantly trying to reorganize our kitchen to the way she thought a kitchen should be organized. My mother was constantly putting things the way she wanted them. Both thought the other was being disrespectful - and some of the arguments were completely ridiculous, but they both wanted to be the one in charge.
Even as a child, I could see that my grandmother wasn't coping well with having to give up her independence, but my mother was also not coping well with living with her mother under the same roof (even though before my grandparents moved in, they only lived one block away).
I suspect that your mom is trying, she's just failing. It is often extremely difficult for parents to treat their adult children as independent adults - especially when sharing a roof.
My Mom and I can't do it. If we spend more than one night under the same room, we revert to old and nonproductive patterns. I'm the rebellious teen, and she's the nagging, critical mom trying to fix me for my own good - and if I don't listen to her, disaster will follow.
My husband and I met at nearest our highest weights (and dating put on a few pounds on each of us) and yet my mother still warned me (only a few days after our wedding, no less) that if I didn't lose weight, my husband would leave me.
She was projecting her fears onto me. Most of the time, I know and understand that, and I can forgive my mother for her own insecurities - but not when we're living under the same roof. I've become very good at forgiveness, tolerance and understanding, but only at a distance. All the benefit of a master's degree in psychology go out the window, when I'm sharing a roof with family members.
09-18-2011, 01:13 AM
Kaplods, I think you hit the nail on the head here - she really is acting like we're still living at her home. And other times, she's ok. Tonight, we had a HUGE blow up because there's no butter (and what was there was bad). She knows, because I tell her almost every week, that I don't use butter unless I'm baking so I rarely have it. But she got so mad she was crying. After yelling at each other, we're ok now.
The way she behaves here, really feels like she's treating the relationship like she did when I was growing up at home. Where I do all the chores, and she does minimal (it's one of the big reasons I moved out; I couldn't handle doing all the dishes/laundry/cleaning and half of the cooking for 3 other people, plus do my schooling, plus work for her daycare when she needed help).
Deep breaths and we'll get through it. But I think I won't be talking to her about my weight loss or anything anymore unless she asks about it. Let bygones be bygones with that issue and move on.
So far tonight, apart from the fight (that caused the landlady to come down to see if we were ok), she's been ok. She's also had a rough day (tired, bladder infection - she FINALLY went to the doctor today and got antibiotics).
So, deep breaths I think and try to enjoy the time I have with her, because if she were gone tomorrow, I'd miss the heck out of her.
Thanks for letting me vent. :)
09-18-2011, 09:20 AM
Parents or grandparents living with an adult 'child' is hard! My grandma moved in with me and hubby almost 10 years ago...she has health problems and not enough money to live on her own. We were best of friends while I was growing up, so it was a dream come true for her to move in with us...or so I thought it would be, lol. Ugh, our relationship has completely changed and we fight more than get along. Yep, she tries to run my house and treats me like a child. Once told me she loves me but doesn't like me...that statement was devastating to me. So, I feel for you and know what you're going thru. I bet y'alls relationship will heal after she leaves. Hugs.
09-18-2011, 09:42 AM
My aunt moved out after her daughter remarried. She moved into a senior high rise and had a really nice apartment. She loved the place and all the activities and new friends.
She paid the rent according to her income. Lunch was $2.00
Check out the senior apartments in your area and see how much the rent would be for her.
CHOCOLATE MILK: THE POOR MAN'S CHAMPAGNE.
09-18-2011, 11:04 AM
just to give you another perspective, she may be super focused on the corn sales because of the horrendous economy. and I've known and worked for several people who own their own businesses, believe me, it can get extremely obsessive -- the sales and success v. the slow times and loss of income.
many of us are stressed out to the max due to finances, that may make it much harder for her to be supportive in other ways too, with chores and diet. Especially when you're older, the feeling that you can sail through hard times and bounce back financially can be diminished.
maybe she's stressed out about several things, but it does sound to me like she's stressed out. from what you've written, she's been supportive of you in general for most of your life, I'd cut her some slack, and maybe you can find some fun ways the two of you can decompress together (or separately! or both).
09-18-2011, 12:06 PM
I have to confess that in my entire journey of nearly 3 years, I've never really had any support apart from you guys here on 3FC. In fact most people, even people I lived with and family I spent time with didn't realize until the beginning of this year that I was on any specific plan etc. When they noticed I'd lost weight, I kind of brushed it off and didn't really get into it. I only discuss it now because I'm always being asked by friends and family what I do, what I eat, how many calories etc.
You have to remember that you're doing this for you. It's no one's obligation or duty or prerogative to support or affirm you and you can't rely on anyone's support to get through. You have to steel yourself and do what you feel is best for yourself irrespective of other people's comments. It could be that your mom feels threatened by your new plan as if it's an indictment of the fact that she's not at your current state of readiness. It could be that unconsciously you're so into your plan, you seem obsessed with it to the exclusion of other issues.
You have to remember that not everyone irrespective of their struggles with weight is in the same state of readiness as you. Before I started my journey, I was frequently irritated by friends who would go on ad nauseum about their new fitness plans and food strategies and bring their own stuff to eat in an obnoxious way and always be explaining unprompted why they're always eating this or why they never eat that. And obviously now that I've been in the journey and I know how it is, I can see they did not intend to be obnoxious and it was more my problem and how at that point that I felt our relationship and bonding over weight issues or whatever was threatened by their new lifestyle or the fact that their diet now seemed to be their main interest.
So realize that now that you're just starting a new plan and it's consuming you at this point, it's not necessarily consuming everyone else. AND by trying to involve other people in it, you kind of are unfortunately giving them an opening to be your diet police. These are the reasons why I didn't tell anyone when I started out and kind of kept it on the DL throughout.
Thighs Be Gone
09-18-2011, 12:24 PM
Kaplods, I have read and agree with many of your posts. This one 100% hits the nail on the head. Get out! Get out now Rainbow! :)
I think the post really resonates loudly with me because it's darned near identical to my own experience.
09-18-2011, 12:49 PM
My dad did the same thing to me when he was alive.But my mom is not like yours for the most part she supports me.Once in a while she'll be negative about what I'm eating or lack of exercise.My best friend says you have to be your on motivation.I guess she is right because only we ourselves can do the work it takes to meet our goals.
09-18-2011, 05:10 PM
Oh wow! Thanks everyone for your comments :) I'll try to get to everyone here.
martini: I have thought about telling mom not to stay with me, but she has no where else to go during the summer when she's selling. They live about 4 hours away in another town. The corn she sells, she's actually selling for a friend, who lives about an hour and a half away. She can't stay with them; they're just business friends, not friend-friends. If I told her she couldn't stay with me, not only would it devastate her, but I'd hear nothing but guilt trips, my dad would be on my back about it - and worst of all, he'd gossip to the rest of his family who in turn skews the story then distributes it amongst all of them until it's so far from what actually transpired it's not funny. Plus, dad doesn't always get the story straight himself (example: He had something wrong with his elbow so he went to his doctor with mom. He told the doctor what was wrong and how when he bends it out, the elbow hurts. This is, according to dad, what the doctor said "Well, don't do that then." She did actually say that, but she was joking, she went on to say that there wasn't anything she could do for him because it was just a nerve issue and nothing serious. If it got worse, come back. But all he heard was "Well, don't do that then" and that's all he remembered.)
If I told mom she can't stay here, she probably wouldn't talk to me for a few months, and then when she did, it would be continual guilt trips about "I really miss selling corn", "I can't sell corn, I have no where to stay so I guess I'll just stay here and be bored all summer," etc. It's easier, in the long run, just to let her stay here for the few months she is and keep her happy. And yes, I know that sounds like I'm putting her needs above mine because I am. All through life it's just been easier to make sure mom's happy than to actually stand up for yourself. If she gives you a snarky, smart-assed reply, you don't get upset at it, because you don't get anywhere. If you do the same to her, she gets upset/mad/ starts to cry, whatever, then you feel like crap. Mom's very good at making you feel like the bad guy even when you know you were in the right.
Things will eventually get back to normal when she leaves. It's just some days, I get so frustrated with her in my space and if I say anything, then she's immediately upset because, as far as she's concerned, she can treat my space however she wants. She's justified it before (last year) that since I'm untidy, it shouldn't matter what she does. But it does matter. And when I express that, she just laughs at me. So, I stopped. It's just easier in the long-run.
KatMarie All things considered, my mom and I have a great relationship and I wouldn't exchange it for anything in the world. I love my mom more than I can tell; no matter what she's ever done to me, I still love her. Just like I love my dad. I know when she leaves, things will get better and I won't feel so stressed or 'put out' about things. One of the reasons I did move out was because living under the same roof does end up like this between her and I. Add my younger, self-entitled, disrespectful 21-year-old sister to the mix and it's even worse. When she leaves, I'll miss her because I do like having someone here, but I won't miss the stress.
Jolina Mom doesn't live here year round. She's only 57 and she lives with dad for most of the year except the summer, when she's doing this side job of hers. Plus, even if she were older, I've been given specific instructions to never ever ever put her in a "home." lol
dragonwoman64 We're in Canada, and so the economic troubles that affected much of the world (especially the US) didn't touch us as much for many reasons. My dad makes really good money working at the mine he's been at for 30-some-odd years, too, and while debt and finances do trouble them, they take the same attitude as I do about it: "It's just money, so long as we have a home and food, and our health, nothing else matters."
Mom is very...how do I put this... business minded. No matter what she sees, she'll comment about "I could sell that." Last night, she bought two large peaches from the store for dessert (with canned milk and sugar, yum) and was saying how "I could have bought the whole case and sold them. I can sell anything." When she gets into these.. "zones".. it's like she's on crack. She's extremely focused, NOTHING else matters.
Growing up, I can remember her doing a lot of different jobs. She worked as a house cleaner for 15 years, including dragging me along with her because they couldn't afford a sitter. When I was about 9, she became an Electrolux salesperson and worked in the city an hour's drive away. My dad works 12 hour shift work and my sister is 5 years my junior. For a while, we had a babysitter in the form of a family friend only because my sister was in kindergarten and had to be picked up before I got out of school. Afterwards, the sitter would leave within about half an hour, and we were left on our own. I was tasked with caring for my sister, and myself, after school until either dad got home at 7:30 or mom got home, whichever came sooner. Mom would put a roast in the fridge before she left and I'd dress it and put it in the oven, peel potatoes and carrots, feed my sister something after school, fold and put away all the laundry, make sure my sister's home work was done, etc. If dad had to go night shift, I'd make dinner, make his lunch (sandwhiches, tea, etc), then wake him up, feed him, then put my sister to bed (if mom wasn't home by then) and then go to bed myself. I can remember a few times mom didn't get home until past midnight. I can't remember if those are the times dad was working nights or not, though.
If I called her while she was at work, she would be incredibly mad. She wouldn't yell at me on the phone of course (because other people are around her), but when she got home, she'd be very angry. I bugged her at work. Don't I have any respect for her? Don't I know she's busy? Why do I have to call asking her when she's coming home? On and on.
When I was 12, she took the real estate course. For 9 months, we basically weren't allowed to talk to her. She was home, but studying all the time. Again, much of the house work fell to me while she was busy and when she wasnt, you had better jump and do what she said or there would be **** to pay. Mom is the type of person where, if you don't lift off your seat the very SECOND she says something, she gets mad. When she says "come here", growing up, you had better already be there before she finishes or she starts screaming.
When she became a realtor, it was the same when she had been with Electrolux. She would get us off to school and then I would pick my sister up after school and try not to kill her before dad or mom got home.
When mom's working, or doing anything for a job, everything comes second unless it has to do with that job. I'd still call her, while she was in real estate, and ask when she was coming home, etc, normal kid stuff, and she'd still get mad at me.
When I was 18, she started her own day care in the house. That was more or less the beginning of the end of me living there. My sister, by then was 13 but behaved like she was 5. After I graduated from high school and took the summer off, my duties were to help mom in the day care all day (whether that included watching kids, feeding, changing, doing dishes, doing laundry) and take care of the house upstairs (I prepared dinner, folded all the laundry, did the dishes, swept the floors, and generally did most of the house work while my sister watched). Again, everything came second to the day care for mom. No matter what it was. My sister suffered some sort of knee injury in gym one day and needed to go the hospital. We only had 2 kids that day but mom was still mad she had to take time out to take my sister to the hospital. I went with her and watched the kids.
No matter what it's been: Electrolux, real estate, day care, or corn, to mom, everything comes second to it.
She used to be hooked on playing Jeopardy online (when you could) against other people. During those hours, you were NOT to speak to her. If you did, while she was playing, she would get so upset about having missed a question she'd rant and rave - or just scream at you "QUIET!" Watching tv is the same - you cannot talk at all while she's watching it, which I understand, because if you do - she then goes on a rant about how she missed whatever it was they were saying (and subsequently missed the rest because she's barking at you).
It's like she gets in these zones where she just kind of.. loses it. And if you tell her, oh god you're in for ****. She gets so focused and so ...obsessed.. with what she's doing (especially if it involves money; mom could be stinkin' rich and she's still be devising ways on making money) nothing else matters.
As for de-stressing: No can do. Not both of us anyway. That would be taking time away from selling corn, which isn't something she'll do. And after she's done isn't possible either because she's too tired to do anything. It's just me destressing at work, and at the gym.
toastedsmoke: You're right. And Kaplods is right. I shouldn't be looking to anyone for support but myself. I think it's probably just because my whole life, I've tried to do everything for someone so I'd hear words of praise or support; validation. It probably has something to do with my childhood and having so much laid on my shoulders (including stuff I'd rather not share), that I look, now, for someone to say "good job" or "you're doing great." Even more so if it's coming from either of my parents, since growing up neither of them ever said it. If I brought home a B on anything, well then I got lectured on how if I did this better or that more, I'd have gotten A. Dad said, when I told him this a few years ago, that he was saying it to encourage me to do better. I told him, did he ever stop to think maybe that WAS my best? He didn't. He just thought I could do better and needed encouragement. Wrong way to go about encouraging, but parents make mistakes.
I need to stop looking for validation and I guess work on my self esteem; so I won't need outside sources telling me I'm doing good for me to believe it.
I am going to work on that, somehow. I don't know how. But I will.
Thighs Be Gone I have a feeling that the corn season will be short this year. It got to a really late start due to the horrible weather we had in the Spring, and now it's cooling down really quickly so I'm feeling that she might not make it to Thanksgiving (in October). She might be gone sooner than she had planned, and I can get my house back in order lol Would be nice to see my table again. I know it's there somewhere because I can see its legs.
grasshopper Your friend is right, and that's what I'm learning from reading all these comments. I have to work on being my own cheer team, rather than expecting or looking for it in outside sources. It's not going to be easy, but it might just ease some of my stress if I stop expecting someone, especially mom, to support me and then getting frustrated when she doesn't.
Thank you to everyone who has responded. It's been incredibly therapeutic to vent and I really appreciate everyone reading and offering their help. I've learned a lot in this thread, and will be working on ways to focus more on my own inner support than looking for it elsewhere.
09-18-2011, 07:38 PM
Rainbowgirl, you ARE doing awesome! :hug: :hug: Keep on keeping on! Keep on hanging around 3FC, there is no limit to the number of people willing to let you know how amazing you are every day you're on plan, every little achievement, and to understand how important every day on plan is. If you can't get the validation and appreciation you need from your parents, then look elsewhere, friends, support groups, volunteerism, other places. For many parents I guess high expectations are a sign of love and the fact that they think highly of you. But yes, I understand it doesn't feed the soul or warm the heart. Don't set yourself up for disappointment. It's sad but it may be time to find a way to accept and take your parents as they are, and find appreciation elsewhere. As the saying go: "A prophet (or whomever) has little honor in his hometown, among his relatives..."
Congrats on your weight loss so far!!!! Do what you're comfortable with. It's your body and your plan. Trust yourself and as long as you know your plan is healthy, don't let anyone derail you from what you think is right and what works for you.
09-18-2011, 08:31 PM
My gut tells me to just stay out of this one. But, - Rainbow girl - you are an adult. It's your home. You get to set some rules and stick by them. You DO NOT have to ask "How high?" when your mom says "Jump." Love her and your dad with your whole heart . But DO NOT allow the totally abusive behavior - well meant or not - hinder YOU from living YOUR LIFE to the best of your ability. You will never get support. Come to us. We will cheer you on every single day. My heart truly goes out to you. I'm 60 and can't begin to imagine treating my adult daughter as you describe. Along with reminding yourself that you are worth the effort it takes to get healthy, please also remind yourself constantly that you also deserve to be treated with respect and dignity. God bless you, child. You need all the love you can get from your friends in here. Lean on us whenever you need to.
09-18-2011, 10:02 PM
Lin, I think you and I come at this from the same angle, I am 53, have a daughter who lives out of home with her boyfriend, she is 23.
I would never act like that, because she just would not allow it! AND It would spoil our relationship entirely.
This is about the change of power from her - " your mother" to you - a fully fldged adult in her own home.
There is no reason to accept her behavior, and I know, because I went through this sort of thing with my mother, we had a very rocky year or so until we came to a new understanding.
Stand up to her a bit, and tell her how you want things to be, she might throw a bit of a hissy fit, but she loves you, she'll come around..
09-20-2011, 08:47 AM
Mrs.Tee - we do come from the exact same angle except that I don't have the experience with my own mother to compare. There would never have been a circumstance like this between me and my own mom because of many circumstances - not because of personality. I am putting myself in the position of the mother who returns to the adult daughter's home and know this would never fly! I feel like I have the best possible relationship a mother could possibly have with an adult daughter. She's 28 and lives 600 miles from me and we try to visit (each direction) as often as time and money allow. I recall something that happened when she was in high school. I was at a parent meeting. A bunch of us decided to go out for a short while after the meeting and I started to call her to tell her I would be later than what she thought. One of the other parents made a joke at my expense about having to ask permission to go out. My reply was, "She expects me home by 8:30. If I'm late she might worry. I don't want that. And besides, if I check in with her when I'm going to be late, she has no excuse about not checking in with me if she's going to be late. This is just 2 people respecting each other." That comment comes to mind often, and to this day, when she's here, she lets me know if her plans change when she's out because it's what she would do if it was one of her friends or her boyfriend who expected her to arrive at a certain time.
This is actually the same - two adults respecting each other. You wouldn't treat a friend that way or they'd dump you as a friend, so you certainly don't have the right to treat a member of your family that way. The unfortunate thing is that it's almost impossible to separate the love that we feel for our parents and the desire to please them, from the emotions and strength needed to stand up as an adult to a parent who takes advantage of those feelings and throws their parental authority around. It's a terrible emotional game and until child steps up as a respectful adult, it won't change.
Rainbow girl - we're here for you. Let us know how things are going on a daily basis if necessary. After your mom goes back home, jump into this with both feet and make such fantastic strides toward becoming healthy that there is nothing she can do but agree that you have accomplished what you set out to accomplish this time. For now, just keep quiet (I'm not sure how you actually do that) and low key about the way you eat and just do it for yourself. I know it hurts when the person you feel closest to gives nothing but grief, but we can help. And try just a bit to set a few reasonable boundaries for next summer's visit.
You know, you aren't too far different from where I was when I started out in January. You can be at or very close to your goal if you really stay on plan from November through July. At that time, your mom's opinion of how you eat will have no impact. There are a a lot of members in here who have lost 75 - 100 pounds at the rate of 8 or 10 pounds a month. You can, too, with dedication and hard work. It's 90% mental - and then the rest falls into place. You are obviously a strong young woman. Put that strength to good use and do this for you. Not for us. Not for your mom. Only for you. You'll see how easy it comes because you're worth the effort.