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Grrrrrr... Never listened to - Carers UK Forum

Grrrrrr... Never listened to

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This probably will sound like a moan but here goes. (sorry if its long)

I am not exactly the sole carer for my mother at the moment but I live here and do a lot of things to help her. She has parkinson's disease. As I put in my opening post, i'm only in my 20's and she has the early onset version of it.

Parkinson's aside... From what I can remember as I kid I was often doubted anyway. I cant think of any actual scenarios now but lets say back then some kid told my mum I swore, I would be grounded even if I didn't and explained to my mum the whole thing. If I went to the shops to get milk and they had none, she would think it's me who forgot as in her head a shop never runs out of milk. If a kid shouted at me or had a go at me for no reason, my mum would think I must of done something to be shouted at.... Obviously these are examples but you get the idea.

It is still that way now... but I think her PD makes it worse. A while back I applied for a passport, used the check and send service at the post office. The guy was a very rude piece of work, he found a load of faults and was rude about it. He charged me for checking it too. When I got home and explained it, my mums opinion was that I must of spoke to him badly or "gone the wrong way about it" for him to be like that.... not that he was actually an out of order rude guy who was maybe having a bad day.

It's like she gets an idea or opinion in her head and nothing I can say or do will change that. I could spend hours explaining something as calmly and slowly as I can, but if what is in her head contradicts that, she wont budge.

Some recent stuff was to do with her computer. She wanted to download some desktop wallpapers. I told her to just choose 1 that is already on there because many of them you download off the internet contain viruses, toolbar plugins, spyware, malware, etc (Explained in detail what all of those things were)... 2 days later she called me upstairs. She had gone ahead anyway, downloaded a wallpaper package that installed a virus which blocked her out of her computer... I had to fix it of course Image.

Then she had those fraud emails from scammers saying your bank has been locked and you need to click a link and enter your card number, name, address and pin number. I took an hour of my time explaining it to her, how the scam works, why they do it, how the bank never ask for those details... Nope, in her head was that the bank had sent it, she gave them all her details and we had her banks fraud department phone saying they had blocked her card and pin number... I had to sort it Image.

Over the past 5 days she asked about ebay and paypal and said she wanted to buy some shoes off there. I saw the shoes and said they wont be suitable for her (her feet have curled so wont fit into that style of shoe). I also said how complex ebay and paypal are for her (things like feedback, linking accounts, buying off sellers, many items cant be returned, remembering paypal and ebay passwords, account verification... which she will never understand) so it's best she doesnt buy off there....

I knew what would happen with the shoes. They cost just £8 but p and p is £4.50. She would get them, realise I was right, then get me involved and get me to send them back. Plus she wouldn't get p and p back and would have to pay out of her own pocket to return them.

But nope... She went ahead anyway. She messed up several things and when they finally arrived it was exactly as I said. She got me involved, I had to get them returned which cost £5 to send back... So she lost out on £9.50 in total for postage... more than the shoes value.

Perhaps it seems trivial... but its really frustrating. She gets an idea in her head and sticks with it... Never listens to me, but always comes running to me when it messes up.
Hi Matty,

That sounds maddening! You have my sympathy.

I have no knowledge of Parkinson's Disease, but wonder if it could be affecting your mother's judgement in some way? She seems to be rather child like in her approach to things and I get the impression that for some reason she is just not able to mentally process or take on any advice that you give to her. Maybe you should save your breath and stop trying to guide her along, as she clearly isn't taking your advice on board, for whatever reason. Let her make her mistakes and stop sorting out the consequences for her, then maybe she might learn from her mistakes. Or does the disease makes that impossible?
Matty, you have my complete sympathy. People like that are such a nuisance. And for her to be like that when you were young is really not good.

I don't have any advice except to try to not let it get to you too much. Easy to say, I know.
I can't offer anything except hugs for tge way you are treated. But is there anyway you can block the sites e.g. ebay, that you don't eant your mum to get onto. Just a thought as i am nit brilliant with computers
Matty, from what you say, your mother's attitude, while it may have been accentuated by her illness, is the same towards you as it has always been: she routinely disbelieves you, and does not listen to what you say or trust your judgement. This is basically an issue of lack of respect, and I honestly think there is no soft and sweet way of dealing with it. It requires a tough approach. If this attitude had developed along with your mother's illness, one would think that it might be connected with the Parkinson's Disease, and be chiefly a difficulty in reasoning from cause to effect, but your examples from your childhood suggest to me that this is not illness-related but rather, part of her long-term perception of you as a person.

She is following a totally illogical path, though, and this must be pointed out to her, again and again and again (preferably by several different people). Either she thinks you are an incompetent fool, in which case, she should never expect you to sort out any problems for her, or she accepts that you are a rational and well-informed adult, in which case she ought to follow your advice in the first place.

She needs to have it made very clear that if she has deliberately ignored sound advice, she must deal with the results herself, without your help. You should not take over and sort out the mess after she has followed her own ill-advised path. In the case of the computer virus, you could have said, 'Nothing to do with me, mum. I told you not to download dodgy stuff from the internet, but did you believe me? No. So now you're on your own. You'll have to get a computer expert in and pay him to get rid of the virus; I could do it, but I'm not going to, because the whole problem would have been avoided if you had listened to what I said'.

A few episodes in which she has to cope unaided with the results of her actions should make her more inclined to hear what you say and think twice.

I completely agree with Tristesa. Your mum has a 'toxic' relationship with you, and for that reason, I'm afraid my only advice is simply to distance yourself from her as much as you possibly can, both physically, practically and, most importantly of all, psychologically and emotionally.

Some of us have wonderful, fabulous, loving, gorgeous mums....(hands up anyone??)

Most of us have flawed mums. Sometimes those flaws are very much outweighed, or at least compensated for, by their virtues and wonderful side of things. My mother was 'difficult' - in that she was probably bipolar (huge mood swings), suffered from conspiracy theory paranoia (people were spying on her), and was, without actually being narcissitic and demanding, always seemed to be the centre of our attentions and efforts on her behalf...

BUT, she was very, very loving, adored my brother and me, and was always so grateful and appreciative of everything we did! Even when she criticised me we always ended up laughing about it as she seldom realised quite what she said ...

So, because she was so loving and affectionate and devoted to us, we didn't really mind all the difficulties about her (yes, they could be exasperating, but she never 'meant us ill').

BUT, to be honest, I can't think, from what you've said about your own mum, that there is anything very nice about there, is there? Does she praise you at all, does she hug you, or tell you she loves you, is she affectionate or demonstrative? Or is she simply disbelieving, doubting, always assuming you are in the wrong, and, as Tristessa says, shows you no respect or regard at all?

If that is so, then, to be blunt, I would most definitely call her toxic! And when one of our parents is toxic, then we have to distance ourselves from them, and from the poison they hand out to us all the time.

Sadly, when people have 'toxic parents' who damage them, sometimes the urge is to disbelieve that they are as toxic as they are - we don't WANT to believe our parents are nasty people, or are damaging - we keep trying to defend them, or excuse them, or we give them chance after chance after chance to 'come good' and finally (FINALLY!) become the parents we so desperately WANT them to be - ie, good and kind and loving and affectionate, and proud of us and what we have achieved.

But they are beating their heads against a brick wall. Their toxic parents will not change - see no reason to change - do not, in fact, think they are doing any damage to their children, and don't care anyway whether they are or are not as they don't actually love them.....(they only love themselves....)

This is why I say, sadly but bluntly, that - if I am right in my analysis of your mum - (which I may not be!) - that you now need to walk away. She is not your responsibility, because she hasn't been a good parent to you, and she hurts you. It doesn't matter whether she is ill or not, you need your own life to live....away from her.

I wish you well, and I hope you will find the happiness you deserve, when you are out of this malign shadow that your mother has always cast over your life.

If life gives you children yourself, then there is one thing you can be sure of - you won't treat your own children the way your mother has always treated you, and is treating you now.....

(I'f I'm wrong, and your mother does sometimes behave affectionately and lovingly towards you, then a different conversation is called for, where you try and modify her behaviour, and steer it away from the criticism and towards the praise and respect - but if she shows you NO affection, there is no relationship there to save, alas....)
Matty, just a thought - when you keep baling her out, fixing the mistakes she's made even though you'd warned her about them, do you think you are trying to earn her respect and regard? Do you think 'if i fix this, then mum will stop dissing me and see I'm actually quite bright after all, not the thicko she seems to think I am'? Are you trying to 'win her over to you'?

If so, it doesn't look like it's working (that's on my theory that your mother isn't actually a very nice person....considering how badly she treats you)

This may not be your motiviation for fixing her messes, however -maybe you are just being browbeaten into it. She certainly doesn't deserve your help, having got herself into her own mess by her own stupid ignoring of you!
Matty, hello Image

Firstly, can I just say I am sorry about the Parkinsons, not easy to come to terms with, for any of you. And putting it bluntly, it won't go away will it?

The computer mess ups, passwords etc. I think you have mentioned this before, I may be wrong. Yes, I see it is frustrating for you. I also think this is more common than you might think. (I am fairly certain I have frustrated my children on many occasions, especially the one who is the IT network manager for a very large organisation!). ( my neighbours might cringe sometimes too ..... Opening bleach bottles for me and stuff like that Image ) But I am guessing this is more about you feeling that your input in general is unappreciated, yeah? And this is not a very nice feeling,I understand that. And I am sorry you are finding it difficult. It's human nature to want to be appreciated, perfectly natural for you to feel like this.

Have you tried exploring alternative avenues I wonder. Sometimes, living with family when there is a lack of harmony needs a serious re-think. Is it possible for you to consider moving out and living independently? Sometimes, we can all do with a bit of space. And sometimes things then become clearer to all concerned and new bridges can be built. With new understandings and new appreciations.
You might then find you will look forward to visits and maybe move back in at some point, starting with a new understanding from all sides.

My suggestion might be totally unacceptable to you, or simply impractical for all sorts of reasons. It's just another suggestion thrown in the pot, OK?
best wishes to you.
I was posting same time as jenny. I have read that post now.

To answer jennys general question, No I no longer have a loving gorgeous etc etc etc Mum. She died after two consecutive serious illnesses when I was thirteen.

Maybe (or probably) one of the reasons why I refuse to believe that relationships are simplistic, with One Totally bad person causing the discontent. family relationships are far more precious and far more complicated than that. In my view, anyway. My hope is that the OP finds her own way to reach an equal footing with her mother.
I think the equal footing has to be arrived at by the mum, making the effort, not the OP.

I agree "no-one's perfect", and to love our parents is to understand their flaws and failings, as well as their virtues and strengths, but unless the OP's parent actually LOVES the OP, which doesn't seem to show through from the posting, there is little that an unloved child can do. We can't, alas, transform our unloving parents into loving ones. (Whether a parent is truly 'unloving' or just finds it hard to express that love, can be difficult to tell the difference, yet can make all the difference!).

What I find so sad is an unloved child desperately trying to get an unloving parent to love them (rather than show them love, ie, if the parent does love them, but is blocked from showing it), and tormenting themselves all their lives, rather than accepting that fatal flaw in the parent, and resolving only to learn from it and never to do to their own children what their unloving parent did to them.

Sometimes, the only sanity-saving behaviour is to walk away from the unloving parent, and to insulate one's heart from the hurt and damage they can do.

(Of course, just WHY the parent became unloving, or grew up to be a nasty person in the first place, is a yet bigger question, and one that involves questioning the origin of 'badness' in people - was the unloving parent themselves unloved, for example? Or possibly just badly parented - eg, overindulged - or perhaps actually had some kind of brain damage, eg, was psychotic)