Annsy My father rang me yesterday to demand that I immediately drop whatever I was doing and purchase a specific fish tank chemical he had run out of and then bring it over.
The worse part is I did it!!! Why do I keep letting this lunatic control my life. Please share your own stories to make me feel better
Sometimes it was like this with my mum. It’s because I’d been conditioned to feel bad for saying no.
What helped me, was to write down some prepared responses, and I left them near the landline. (I got a mobile late, and didn’t give my number to my family - only DH, the school, and some very close friends had my number. I only shared my mobile number with siblings when my mum later got sick).
You have to do baby steps. I also had ‘reasons’ why I couldn’t drop everything - eg “I’ve just put the kids down for a nap”, “I was up all night with x, and I am about to have a nap” etc. I later read on EB about not giving people excuses/reasons - so I then put that in place. It was hard, but got easier the more I had to do this.
My mum never dropped what she was doing to help me out. She tried to guilt me into doing things for her. One of her favourite sayings to me was “Don’t expect my help when you ask for it”. One time I pointed out that I never expected her to help out, so didn’t know why she kept saying that.
I was so proud when my mum rang one day and demanded that I come over and fix her remote as she couldn’t watch her afternoon tv shows. I said I couldn’t, as kids were about to have a nap, and I suggested that when her grandson saw her after school that day, he could help her. I was proud because I didn’t feel guilt! She wasn’t happy. She later called me to tell me she’d fixed it herself - the batteries were in backwards.
I also started to let my mum’s messages go to the answering machine and each time I returned her call, it was stretched out further and further. I learnt that it was ok to return her call a couple of days later. She’d complain and asked why I didn’t answer - I’d lie and say I was outside and didn’t hear it call, and I had been busy the last couple of days.
My mum isn’t here anymore, and the amount of stress having her in my life, I do not miss. She would smoke around my kids and when I asked her not to, she said it was her house, and I didn’t have to visit. She wouldn’t smoke around one of my sister’s kids though.
Kids weren’t that close to her, so her death didn’t have much of an impact on them.