Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

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Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby RagDoll » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:08 pm

Hi all,

I am getting so frustrated with my parents and more specifically my Mum; so I thought posting about it might help.

It’s been a nightmare since my Grandma (my Dad’s Mum) passed away in September. Without going into too much detail, her finances were a complete nightmare, for years she’s been claiming benefits she wasn’t entitled to and hiding money in different bank accounts etc. etc. As such, my parents realised when she died that the Department of Works and Pensions were going to put in a large claim against her estate (possibly claiming all of the money she has left, including her house).

As I’ve mentioned before, my Dad and his sister don’t have any kind of relationship, but they’ve been forced together recently due to circumstances. My Dad’s the one with the brains, so it was agreed he would deal with probate. He was going to go through probate himself, so he would have been the administrator (e.g. the one who signed it off) but due to the complicated mess my Grandma’s left behind he decided to get a solicitor involved. This was mostly because if you’re the administrator of probate, you’re financially liable for any mistakes made and basically it would have been too much of a risk.

Now, I won’t go into details or I will send you to sleep, but there have been problems after problems on top of more problems in getting my Grandma’s finances sorted enough to go through probate. Not only with the finances, but also with the solicitor (she seems pretty incompetent and is now trying to claim more money than was agreed etc.) and with my aunt (who can’t be trusted). Plus, there have been added stresses with regard to my aunt arranging for my Grandma’s ashes to be buried with my Granddad, then not turning up for the ceremony and so forth. The list of problems is endless.

Obviously my parents are incredibly stressed at the moment, which is perfectly understandable, but my Mum is driving me mental with all of this. She rings me on my office phone whilst I’m at work and will start telling me about the latest thing to have happened. It’s not that I mind her getting things off her chest, but it’s so difficult to talk about such personal and sensitive things whilst I am at work – firstly, I don’t think it looks good that I’m on a personal phone call for ages and secondly, I work in an open-plan office where everyone can hear everything. I don’t understand why she can’t just wait until I am home to tell me. Monday-Friday I am at home most evenings anyhow.

I asked her a couple of weeks ago not to call me at work to discuss such things and explained why, but it appears to have gone in one ear and out of the other as I am still getting phone calls from her. In fact, I’ve just had another one.

She’s also starting to tell me things she probably shouldn’t. I met her for lunch a couple of weeks ago and she basically told me how annoyed she is with my Dad for not telling my Grandma straight that she shouldn’t have been claiming benefits she wasn’t entitled to (my parents have known about it for years). She went onto say how he doesn’t deal with problems etc. and she feels he’s put his Mother before her etc. I guess she’s only off-loading, but I have never heard her say anything derogatory about my Dad before and it quite upset me to be honest. They’ve always had a very strong relationship. Plus, I am close to my Dad and feel quite protective of him. Especially at the moment, he looks so worn out and weary whenever I see him L

I am starting to feel more and more angry and frustrated about all of this. Especially after Saturday night when I told my Mum I would give her a lift to and from her work Christmas doo (about a 40 mile round trip). She told me before she was going that she didn’t really want to go, but didn’t want to cancel, so I assumed she’d be coming home quite early. When she asked if I could pick her up at 10.30pm I jokingly said I am usually in bed by then, laughed and said that was fine. All was going well until I picked her up – I’d agreed to give her colleague a lift home too and it felt like my Mum did nothing but put me down in front of her. She went on about how she was having a good time, didn’t want to come home at 10.30pm (get a taxi home then!!), how I didn’t have the attention span to watch TV (?!), how I was weird because I didn’t really watch a lot of TV etc. etc. She really, really wound me up. Driving her around on a Saturday night is not exactly my favourite past-time, but I wanted to be nice and help her out, but she just behaved like a right ungrateful so-and-so. I was so angry by the time I dropped her off, but I didn’t say anything.

Anyway, now I am starting to feel more and more resentful. I understand she’s going through a very stressful time, but aren’t we all?! I just feel she’s not considering my feelings at all – I don’t mind being a shoulder to cry on or whatever, but there are times when that’s just not possible (e.g. when I’m at work). I guess I just feel like I am giving and getting nothing back – I tried to do her a favour on Saturday and she basically threw it back in my face (or that’s how it felt). All of this is really getting me down at the moment; I really wish things could just go back to some normality.

Sorry for the extremely long post – I can never seem to keep them succinct!! Can anyone help please?
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby Skarlet » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:49 pm

To deal with the issue of her calling you at work, I think you need to cut her off before she gets into the flow of everything. Say, I am really sorry Mum, but I can't talk right now. I will speak to you when I get home. Then hang up, it sounds harsh, but I think its the only way to get through to her.

To deal with the other issues, you could tell her that its really difficult for you o hear about the ins andouts of her's and your dads relationship, and could she bear that in mind. You know she needs to talk, but you are still her daughter. I have similar issues with my mum, and I just ignore it.

if it makes you feel less angry, you could tell her how her attitude, when you were doing her a favour, sucked.
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby jen » Wed Dec 16, 2009 5:52 pm

Sorry to hear you're going through a crappy time at the moment ragdoll.

I don't think i can really give great advice on this apart from suggesting that you reiterate to your mum that you can't receive personal calls at work. Maybe tell her that your boss has had a word with you on the quiet and has asked that any personal calls be left until lunch time or after work? Maybe if she feels you've gotten into trouble at work because of her calling you she might stop.

With regards to her puting you down, i don't mean to excuse her behaviour in anyway and i actually think it was down right rude of her to treat you like that, especially in front of her friend but is it at all possible she may have had a bit too much to drink. She was maybe feeling stressed out about all that's gone on so didn't fancy going and wanted to be picked up early but by the time half ten came, she would have had a good few drinks and actually started to enjoy herself so didn't feel ready to come home. I've done this myself at times where i haven't felt in the mood and by the end of the night i've been having a great time.

However this is not an excuse for her having a go at you and personally i would have stopped the car and asked if she wanted me to phone her a taxi (although that's probably because i'm a bit hot headed) I would maybe say to her the next time you see her that you didn't appreciate her slagging you off in front of her mate, especially when you had gone out of your way to pick her up. Hopefully she will have realised what she's said and apologise.

I would also say to her that although you don't mind being a shoulder to cry on and you're ok about listening to her having a rant every now and again, you don't want to hear anything bad said about your dad. I had to do this with my ex's mum once. She used to always moan about her husband and go on and on about him to me all the time. I really liked my ex's dad and he's a really nice guy so i firmly said to her one day that unless she stopped moaning about her husband to me, i wouldn't be there to listen to her as it put me in a very awkward position. She stopped moaning about him to me.

I know it's easier said than done but i think the only way you can get through to her is by sitting her down and just telling her straight.

Sorry if this doesn't help.

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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby RagDoll » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:26 am

Thanks for your responses.

Skarlet - I think you could be right regarding cutting my Mum off before she starts going on and on about any problems. It really does my head in when I'm at work. I can tell people are listening to what's been said. I think I just find it hard to be that harsh and firm because I know she's going through a tough time and I want to be there for her. I guess I don't want her to think I'm being a selfish or don't care when I do, I just can't really talk about it when I'm at work. Plus, it's really hard to hear how upset she is etc. then go back to getting on with work like nothing has happened and continue to be cheerful with my colleagues.

Jen - I think you're spot on regarding her being a bit drunk and in a sulk she was coming home as she was having a good time. It was still unreasonable for her to take that out on me - she could have easily got a taxi home with her colleague, it would have cost about £8 each at the very most. I am actually tempted to tackle her about her behaviour next time I see her, but equally part of me is just like 'let it go'. I know I should probably let it go, but I still feel pee'd off about it. I think I'm mostly annoyed because I feel like I've put up with a fair amount recently and I really didn't deserve it. Having said that though, I am slightly worried I have blown it out of proportion because emotions are hightened at the moment anyway - it's been a stressful few months.

Anymore advice/thoughts... keep them coming :)
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby Skarlet » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:34 am

I know its hard to be firm, but she isn't going to listen to you asking her not to phone you, so you will need to be a little harsh.You could always say you will phone her later, and just make sure you do. Firstly do as Jen has said, say that your boss has had words, and then when she calls, just cut her off, and say I am really sorry Mum, I am at work and I can't talk now.
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby jen » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:36 am

Hi

I think you should still tackle her about her behaviour. I know emotions are running high etc but you don't need to be harsh with her or anything. You could simply say something along the lines of "i know you were probably just a bit drunk after a good night out but i was ready for getting you a taxi the other night after the way you had a go at me. Did i do something to annoy you?" You never know she may have a confused memory of what happened. Either way it doesn't matter how stressed out people are, there's no excuse for having a go and taking it out on someone else, least of all their kids.

I know you said you feel bad about cutting her off when she calls your work but a i still think maybe saying to her that your boss has had a quiet word asking you to keep the personal calls outside working hours. Even ask her to just email you or text you instead and then when you get a chance, you can call her back?

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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby jen » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:37 am

sorry skarlet i think we must have posted at the same time lol
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby Skarlet » Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:39 am

Yeh I think we did. Similar idea though!
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby RagDoll » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:15 pm

To be honest, I feel bad out and out lying to her by saying my boss has had a word with me about it when he hasn't. I think I will try and just cut her short next time and then call her later on and reiterate that I can't talk about things at work. If that doesn't work, I may resort to telling her my boss has said something. My colleague has mentioned a few things about it, so although my boss hasn't, I can genuinely say that it has been picked up by people without lying, so that might be the way to go.

I think I'll play it by ear re: whether I say something to her about Saturday night. I will see how I feel when I see her - if I still feel narked, I'll bring it up, if not, I'll leave it be.
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby Skarlet » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:20 pm

I can understand that. Maybe say that it is also not good to call you on your work phone, and that she could call you on your mobile, you can then screen her a bit more.
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby Bel Bel » Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:20 pm

you don't have to lie


say you could put my job at risk, colleagues have already strated saying things - all of which is true
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Re: Problems with my Mum since my Grandma Died

Postby mrswibble » Fri Dec 18, 2009 9:37 pm

Hey Ragdoll

I can really empathise with your situation, and I hope I can help a little.

I have been in a similar situation in that my mum has told me a lot of things about her marriage to my dad which is frankly none of my business (including his XXX mag and video collection)! She has also made hurtful remarks to me, especially when she is frustrated with her relationship to my dad and I am the only person she feels she can vent at.

What I have done in order to help, is speak to my mum. I spoke to her 1 on 1 and explained that I understand that she get stressed with the pressure that she is under sometimes but that it is not acceptable to take that stress out on me. Now whenever she makes a remark to me which is hurtful I either try to ignore it (if I realise it was not intentional), or I gently tell her that I find it hurtful. I also make sure I apologise if I think I may have said something that may have led her to retort nastily. By apologising when I hurt her feelings as well, she will now apologise more often when she says something hurtful, and she is now apologising without me having to tell her how I feel. We have a more respectful, adult relationship without the passive aggressive element.

With regards to the oversharing, would you feel comfortable speaking to your mum and explaining that you understand she needs to talk, but that as her daughter there are some aspects of her relationship to your father that are none of your business and makes you feel uncomfortable? If not, counselling may help - it would not be good for you to feel as if you have to carry the burdens she is giving to you. Ensure that you are looking after yourself. If you are unable to confide these details to a counsellor, or if you feel you shall bear a grudge against your mum for telling you this information, please do ask your mum to think about what is appropriate for her to tell you and to consider your situation and your feelings.

Re the phone calls at work, I have also been in this position. It may help to speak to your mum face to face, or on the phone outside of work and explain that you are not allowed to take personal calls, and that from now on should she call you shall have to ask her to call you back after work, and stick to it.

I really hopes this helps!

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