Dear Captain: new development regarding parent



  • Hi Captain,

    I would like to ask your advice on how to protect myself from my mother's negativity. I have cut off contact with her, as the last phone conversation we had was awful, and I firmly told her to stop calling me. A few days later, she called my place of work and tried to sabotage my job by telling my boss that I'm looking for a new one. I am furious and devastated, and I'm hoping my best course of action is to quietly lay low and continue to ignore any future attempts by my mother to contact me. It is such a shock to me. I don't want to cut off a parent in poor health who could, in all reality, not be with us much longer (lung disease of six years) but I can't live like this. I try to make peace when I can, as god forbid something should happen, and I don't want our last words to be argumentative. But no matter what I do or say, she stays the same as I explained in that initial thread. I just feel so sad about all of this, but in order to protect myself I might have to make a clean break. My birthday is next month (9/26/1974), and that is making it even more difficult, as she always ruins it for me. I am open to any advice you may have. With heartfelt thanks...



  • We only get back what we give out - if your mother cannot give out kindness and love, she will not receive it. You cannot ignore her behaviour or it will contimue. You must stand up to her for your own good and not let her use her ill health to get her way. Tell her you will not have any contact with her as long as she continues to harrass and manipulate you and tell lies. Make it clear why you will not tolerate her behaviour. Then cut her off with no more debating the subject. Let her think it over with distance between you. She may decide her life is too short to continue her bitter campaign or she may not. That choice is hers and you should not feel guilty over what have been her choices of behaviour so far. The ball will then be in her court and she must contact you to reinitiate the link. Otherwise you will have to accept that your mother is too immature to accept that she has behaved badly. If you give in to her, you are hurting both yourself and her. Like a child, she must learn that there are harsh consequences for her actions. You did not LET GO of her - she PUSHED you away! Enjoy your birthday away from her and let her stew in the mess she has made by herself.



  • Basically your mother is an angry frustrated nasty manipulative woman who wants to make everyone else as miserable as she is. Don't let her succeed.



  • Ah, gosh, thank you so much. It's just such a mess. I've stood up to her before, and it never works. Today I tried to call to tell her after what she did, I have nothing to say to her anymore, but my heart started beating really fast and I started shaking, so I had to hang up before she had a chance to pick up the phone. I may send her another letter because it's unhealthy for me to speak directly at this point, and she always interrupts. I've been direct and blunt with her and I've been compassionate, but nothing works. I am trying not to let her succeed. Thank you again for your support, I'm just going to have to walk away from her. It's like dealing with the death of a parent before it actually occurs, it's so strange.



  • I am looking for a new job, and so she was trying to get me in trouble with my current one. Recently I started a thread on here called "starting over". From now on, I just won't have any communication with her after I send a letter telling her that I have nothing to say until she changes her attitude.



  • That's good because she expects you to give in, thinks that you (and everyone) are weak and that she can break you. She will keep trying to get at you until she sees you won't respond, no matter how outrageous or pitiful seeming her behaviour.


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