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Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

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Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Bittersweet » Wed Oct 05, 2011 3:20 pm

My mother doesn't respect my boundaries. The reason this is a problem is because I still have to live with her until I am able to go back to work. I realize the typical response is that I should be grateful she is letting me live with her. I am grateful for that, but it doesn't mean that I don't have a right to have personal boundaries.

I have made it very clear how I feel about things. I have spoken to her at great length about this. I have been very specific and given detailed examples about it. I have asked her to please respect my boundaries. For example, if I am in a bad mood, please don't talk to me at that time. Maybe it sounds rude, but this is a way to avoid getting into an argument. It is very obvious when I am in a bad mood, or want to be left alone. I have a very serious look on my face and my body language is very clear.
It's not as if she is left guessing or unclear. She simply does not care. If she has something she wants to say or wants me to do, she will immediately start talking to me even if she can see that I am upset or want to be left alone.

She will ask me irrelevant questions about things that don't matter, like if I want a certain plastic cup saved or recycled. The question itself is not important. It is the timing that is the issue. If I'm upset, and if I want to be left alone, she seems to go out of her way to want to ask me an irrelevant question right at that very moment.

I feel as if she wants to test me and provoke me into getting upset. There is plenty of time to ask me or tell me something when I am feeling better. I have asked her repeately to please leave me alone at certain times and please ask me later. She is unwilling to do this. It's not a matter of her not remembering. She just simply doesn't care enough to wait. I have asked her why she does this, when I have asked her to please not do this and she repeatedly does this.

She is very respectful of the boundaries of others, but with me, she feels that it is perfectly acceptable to bulldoze over me, knowing that I'm already upset. It's so subtle that often times I struggle to describe the situation and I come out looking like the bad guy. The truth is, not what she does, but the fact that she continues to do it despite the fact that I have asked her repeatedly over the years to please respect me and avoid doing this. This is one of many situations where she ignores how I feel and chooses to pretend everything is fine and expects me to act as if nothing is wrong.

If we were able to have open, healthy discussions about past issues or hurtful behavior, nothing would be wrong, because it would have already been addressed in a healthy way. But, because she is unwilling to do so, I am left to deal with the hurt emotions all on my own. The least she can do is have enough decency to not get in my face and pretend like everything is fine.

Does or has anyone had this sort of problem with their mother? It can be very subtle but you know she's just doing it to get under your skin.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby ThisEndUp » Wed Oct 05, 2011 4:28 pm

Bittersweet wrote:My mother doesn't respect my boundaries.


You are on the money with this statement. Probably more then you know.

The amount of respect a person has for you is directly proportional to the amount of respect they have for your boundaries.
And your assessment of your mother is also right- she has no respect for you at all.

What does this tell you about her? It tells me that she has put REAL love on the back burner, in favor of trying to control you. CONTROL is NOT love.
In fact its the complete OPPOSITE of love. Control....taken to its limit.....meaning if you control someone as much as you want or are able.....leads to SLAVERY.

You are not a slave. And your mother has NO right to treat you like this. You also have the power to stop this.

I can give you some ideas here that might help you with dear old mom.

The first thing is you have to know what mom wants. My guess is she wants a relationship with you. This is your currency. This is what you have that mom wants. This is what motivates mom. This is also the currency of MOST boundaries.

The purpose of boundaries is for personal protection. In this case its about you protecting your emotional self. Your mental health. You are defining to mom something which insults your values here.

In essence you are saying to mom, look.....when I feel bad , I need some time alone to think and to work out my feelings. After I have done this, then I will give you time for what is important to you. THIS IS YOUR VALUE. It is also a value that is FAIR, RIGHT, and HONEST for EVERYONE. I say this because to stand up for your values....to DEFEND them.......you have to BELIEVE in them. And you have to believe in them strongly enough to not allow your mother to use GUILT to make you question the rightness of asserting your boundary. The issue of you staying there....is SEPARATE. It has nothing to do with you needing time to yourself. If your mom should bring up you staying there in order to try to make you feel guilty for not giving her what she wants ( to walk all over you) then you need to either IGNORE the separate issue and FOCUS on the real issue , which is your need for privacy, or you can tell mom.......my staying here has nothing to do with my needing privacy, we can discuss THAT issue later.

Its important that you see that these are 2 separate issues. Because you only need to deal with them one at a time. If mom brings up you staying there when you need privacy.....then she is only doing it to control or manipulate you, and that is wrong.

Another thing to understand is that boundaries can act to preserve relationships, but only when they are respected. Something your mother needs to know is that when you give her a boundary......she is then in control of her actions. If she chooses to disrespect your boundary....then SHE chooses to undermine the relationship. NO one can have a loving relationship with someone who they disrespect. And no one should WANT a relationship with someone who disrespects them. So one thing I would tell mom is.....if you do not respect my boundary, them you are telling me you don't want a relationship with me. If mom denys this. Then tell her that the effect it has on you when she doesn't respect the boundary is to want to stay away from her MORE. And you WILL do that.

Boundaries, just like respect, have levels to them. The GREATER the lack of RESPECT someone has for your boundary.....the STRONGER the boundary has to be.
So far, you have only verbally told your mother that she needs to respect your boundary by leaving you alone. Obviously this doesn't work due to her lack of respect. So your boundary needs to be stronger.

Yuo can tell her you will leave for a period of time, if she doesn't leave you alone. You can tell her you will go to your room and not open the door until she leaves you alone. You can tell her you will act as if she doesn't exist until she respects your boundary. But most importantly.......she needs to know that the more she disrespects your boundary.....the more she is choosing to NOT have a relationship with you.

Lets say you move eventually. I would not give her my phone number for a time. You could even change it now. Let mom show you respect....then give her things which let her into your life more.

My point is......you have to change your boundary according to the amount of respect or disrespect you are getting. Its unfortunate.....but in abusive relationships......sometimes the only effective boundary is NO CONTACT.

However I suspect your mother wants contact, and so your boundary needs to be stronger. What you need is leverage......currency. And to use your power to enforce your boundary.

I know her persistence might cause you anger. But when she keeps talking or trying to talk.....try to understand that SHE is the one out of control at that point. SHe is desperate to talk and your silence is more powerful then answering her. Leaving her alone would be even better.

It is NOT disrespectful to her for you to need time alone. Everyone needs time alone. Its good for mom and you. So its fair. You don't have to feel bad when something is fair. ts right......if mom needed to be alone, you would respect her.....fair and right. And its honest because you are telling the truth. There is nothing wrong with what you want!!! You have to be clear about that to defend it. To stand up for yourself.....to enforce the boundary.

As you mentioned you would talk later. Tell her Mom I am in a bad mood. I will talk to you later. If she persists.....leave or be silent. And stick to your guns!!!! No matter WHAT she says. In fact......talk to yourself as she is trying to manipulate you.....listen to your self talk: I deserve time alone I deserve time alone I deserve time alone....and let it blot out any further words from her.

Hope this is helpful. You deserve to have respect. A parent has no right to control you in this way.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Bittersweet » Fri Oct 07, 2011 1:37 am

ThisEndUp wrote:
Bittersweet wrote:My mother doesn't respect my boundaries.


You are on the money with this statement. Probably more then you know.

The amount of respect a person has for you is directly proportional to the amount of respect they have for your boundaries.
And your assessment of your mother is also right- she has no respect for you at all.

What does this tell you about her? It tells me that she has put REAL love on the back burner, in favor of trying to control you. CONTROL is NOT love.
In fact its the complete OPPOSITE of love. Control....taken to its limit.....meaning if you control someone as much as you want or are able.....leads to SLAVERY.

You are not a slave. And your mother has NO right to treat you like this. You also have the power to stop this.

I can give you some ideas here that might help you with dear old mom.

The first thing is you have to know what mom wants. My guess is she wants a relationship with you. This is your currency. This is what you have that mom wants. This is what motivates mom. This is also the currency of MOST boundaries.

The purpose of boundaries is for personal protection. In this case its about you protecting your emotional self. Your mental health. You are defining to mom something which insults your values here.

In essence you are saying to mom, look.....when I feel bad , I need some time alone to think and to work out my feelings. After I have done this, then I will give you time for what is important to you. THIS IS YOUR VALUE. It is also a value that is FAIR, RIGHT, and HONEST for EVERYONE. I say this because to stand up for your values....to DEFEND them.......you have to BELIEVE in them. And you have to believe in them strongly enough to not allow your mother to use GUILT to make you question the rightness of asserting your boundary. The issue of you staying there....is SEPARATE. It has nothing to do with you needing time to yourself. If your mom should bring up you staying there in order to try to make you feel guilty for not giving her what she wants ( to walk all over you) then you need to either IGNORE the separate issue and FOCUS on the real issue , which is your need for privacy, or you can tell mom.......my staying here has nothing to do with my needing privacy, we can discuss THAT issue later.

Its important that you see that these are 2 separate issues. Because you only need to deal with them one at a time. If mom brings up you staying there when you need privacy.....then she is only doing it to control or manipulate you, and that is wrong.

Another thing to understand is that boundaries can act to preserve relationships, but only when they are respected. Something your mother needs to know is that when you give her a boundary......she is then in control of her actions. If she chooses to disrespect your boundary....then SHE chooses to undermine the relationship. NO one can have a loving relationship with someone who they disrespect. And no one should WANT a relationship with someone who disrespects them. So one thing I would tell mom is.....if you do not respect my boundary, them you are telling me you don't want a relationship with me. If mom denys this. Then tell her that the effect it has on you when she doesn't respect the boundary is to want to stay away from her MORE. And you WILL do that.

Boundaries, just like respect, have levels to them. The GREATER the lack of RESPECT someone has for your boundary.....the STRONGER the boundary has to be.
So far, you have only verbally told your mother that she needs to respect your boundary by leaving you alone. Obviously this doesn't work due to her lack of respect. So your boundary needs to be stronger.

Yuo can tell her you will leave for a period of time, if she doesn't leave you alone. You can tell her you will go to your room and not open the door until she leaves you alone. You can tell her you will act as if she doesn't exist until she respects your boundary. But most importantly.......she needs to know that the more she disrespects your boundary.....the more she is choosing to NOT have a relationship with you.

Lets say you move eventually. I would not give her my phone number for a time. You could even change it now. Let mom show you respect....then give her things which let her into your life more.

My point is......you have to change your boundary according to the amount of respect or disrespect you are getting. Its unfortunate.....but in abusive relationships......sometimes the only effective boundary is NO CONTACT.

However I suspect your mother wants contact, and so your boundary needs to be stronger. What you need is leverage......currency. And to use your power to enforce your boundary.

I know her persistence might cause you anger. But when she keeps talking or trying to talk.....try to understand that SHE is the one out of control at that point. SHe is desperate to talk and your silence is more powerful then answering her. Leaving her alone would be even better.

It is NOT disrespectful to her for you to need time alone. Everyone needs time alone. Its good for mom and you. So its fair. You don't have to feel bad when something is fair. ts right......if mom needed to be alone, you would respect her.....fair and right. And its honest because you are telling the truth. There is nothing wrong with what you want!!! You have to be clear about that to defend it. To stand up for yourself.....to enforce the boundary.

As you mentioned you would talk later. Tell her Mom I am in a bad mood. I will talk to you later. If she persists.....leave or be silent. And stick to your guns!!!! No matter WHAT she says. In fact......talk to yourself as she is trying to manipulate you.....listen to your self talk: I deserve time alone I deserve time alone I deserve time alone....and let it blot out any further words from her.

Hope this is helpful. You deserve to have respect. A parent has no right to control you in this way.



Thanks for the feedback. It's nice to hear from somebody who understands. I will take your ideas and try to integrate them into my interactions with my mom to establish better boundaries.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby shazah » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:06 am

I have been in a similar position (though not as extreme) to your mother with my foster daughter. I'm sorry but I think asking someone.. to leave you alone in the way you do your mother, creates terrible friction, and think she must feel both offended and concerned. Your mother is perhaps a peacekeeper (as I am), and what you perceive as a refusal to leave you alone is in fact an attempt to make peace with you. I think you may be misinterpreting her actions.

If you want to be alone go to your room and shut your door. It's her house, and it would be nice if you . . considered her.

I do hope you're well enough soon to resume work and live independently.
Last edited by shazah on Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:57 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby funky » Fri Oct 07, 2011 8:34 am

Bittersweet, posts like yours are why I need to keep reading this forum. I have narcissistic traits, hidden under a thick layer of niceness; so much so, that sometimes I even find myself thinking that I'm not so bad, really.
I'm self aware enough, (now), to be aware of the more obvious stuff, but when I read about the more subtle things, such as you described, it reminds me that I need to be constantly on guard, and monitoring myself. I've done the same thing as your mother - asking 'innocent/friendly/helpful' things, when I can see full well that they will not be appreciated, the timing's wrong, the person is upset, angry, exhausted, etc., for reasons of their own. But I can fool myself, and others, that I'm being nice and friendly, and that the other person is being unreasonable and unkind, when really, I'm adding to their load, and making things worse for them.
It's rooted in my ego, I want a response, bugger how the other person is feeling, I want to know what an innocent, injured good samaritan I am.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby ThisEndUp » Sun Oct 09, 2011 11:31 pm

I think you may be misinterpreting her actions.


No offense.....but we are on a personality disorder forum. And its VERY likely that the people here had mothers and dads who, under the context of HELPING, LOVING, and BEING CONCERNED about their kids.....really just wanted to control them.
Children are NOT extentions of their parents. Children are SEPARATE human beings.....with thoughts, needs, feelings, wants, and desires of their own. These things do not deserve LESSOR *consideration* just because a parent is a parent.

If you want to be alone go to your room and shut your door. It's her house, and it would be nice if you . . considered her.


We read the same post right?
I thought I read that the need for privacy was EXPLAINED to the mother.....BEFORE there was in fact any need for privacy.
I don't know.....to me that shows a LOT of consideration. To me a lack of consideration would be just yelling at mom at the time of the incident and then going and slamming the door in her face.

I also read that mom was told that her NEEDS would be addressed when the adult child had the time to collect her thoughts and was in the proper frame of mind to address the mother properly.

Now again....seems like a heck of lot of consideration went into explaining all that to the mom. Seems like mom had a need....the need to be heard. Seems like the daughter told the mom.....you will be heard, when I can address the issue properly. Not only is mom being considered here....but it also looks as if ALL MOMS NEEDS will be met.

The only thing missing here seems to be the CONSIDERATION for adult childs *need* for privacy.
Mom doesn't have to consider this????
Wow ......why not?
What makes mom so special that the world must stop so she can CONTROL the whole situation to her liking?
What makes mom so special that she doesn't have to CONSIDER anyone but herself?
Honoring ones parent does not mean when a parent says jump you say How high?.
Honoring a parent doesn't mean what a parent wants is ALWAYS right.
Honoring a parent doesn't mean you never question a parents behavior.
If thats what honoring a parent means then .....we have a lot of drug addict parents who are not being honored out there.
In fact if this is what honoring a parent means....then we have a whole lot of parents who do a whole lot of bad things and want their kids to follow suit and they are just not being CONSIDERED at all!
Honoring a parent is respecting their needs. But nowhere is there a commandment that says to honor your parent at your own expense. No where is there a commandment that says to honor your parent and allow your parent to treat you like crap.
If mom really loves her child.....then mom also respects and CONSIDERS the childs needs.
This mother is respecting NOTHING but her own needs.
How is that love? How is that unconditional?
How is that helping the relationship?

Cause I DON'T SEE IT.

Love is MUTUAL. Its not ONE sided. If its one sided ....its not love, its a master slave relationship.
THAT is not what the love between a parent and a child is supposed to be.
Maybe this mom needs to consider whatever she did to mentally SCREW her kid????
Because maybe....she JUST doesn't SEE it herself?????
Maybe....she thinks being a parent is a free for all where you treat your kids like slaves who have to do everything you say, when you say it, and the kid should never raise any objections???
MAYBE......mom thinks a little too highly of herself.......and not highly enough of her kids????
Maybe LOVE is equal, mutual, and CONSIDERATION is supposed to run both ways????

Or you know.......maybe your right......this mom.....shes a real peach and I am just misunderstanding her.......
Wolf in Sheeps clothing.....a lot of moms like that out there....which is why this personality forum is so FULL
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Bittersweet » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:04 am

funky, I wish you the best.

ThisEndUp,

Once again, you've said everything I wanted to say, but far more clearly than I ever could have. I really appreciate it.

People who haven't been through it will never get it, but that doesn't stop them from thinking they do, and feeling the need to give unsolicited advice. I've given up trying to explain.
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Anais » Mon Oct 10, 2011 2:44 am

I understand, Bittersweet. I've read several of your posts.

The normal parent in your mother's situation would see their role as playing a part in getting their child back on their feet in a supportive way. They might be concerned, sure. They might want to chat and talk and enjoy the extra time together. But they would take care to consider their adult child's normal pride and feelings. They wouldn't treat them as a minor child or "get in their face" to irritate them or make a point. Rather the opposite.

The narcissistic parent will see it as a field day of opportunities to... well... be a narcissist. This means exploiting their child to gain for themselves, what they need, be it attention, the jollies of feeling superior to someone... whatever. Maybe it's so automatic for them that they don't even realize they're doing it (?) but they'll do it all the same.

I hope you can move out as soon as you can Bittersweet, this situation will only harm you, love. All the best with hanging in there for the time being,

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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Bittersweet » Sat Oct 15, 2011 2:54 pm

Anais,

Thanks for the response and understanding. I am working toward moving out. A lot of it has to do with overcoming my own insecurities about whether or not I can make it.

I have read your thread about going no contact, and I've wondered how you manage to find the courage. I admire your strength.

How do you deal with any feelings of self-doubt or criticism you may have recieved either from family in particular or society in general?
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Re: Mother Doesn't Respect Boundaries

Postby Anais » Sat Oct 15, 2011 5:06 pm

Bittersweet wrote:How do you deal with any feelings of self-doubt or criticism you may have recieved either from family in particular or society in general?


Eh, only averagely well, lol. I'm doing alright. My biggest battle is with something called cognitive dissonance. I'll get to that in a minute, but first-

Criticism from family I have found fairly easy to deal with. Intellectually it was easy for me to see that old family relationships were a lost cause, and also those people (extended family, family friends) are my mother's support network. Some of them probably realize by now that she's not normal, but they are still her team, if that makes sense. Some probably swallow what she sells them whole, including about me. But not all. Either way they see her as their friend and that's best for everyone including me - I am leaving her in the best position I can, sort of like if you break up with someone, and they are more cut up than you about it so they get the mutual friends, sort of thing. I don't really believe you can leave just the narcissist though. I think you have to leave the whole scene/family. That's how I did it. I also live overseas which helps.

Criticism from society doesn't bother me too much in general. I mainly avoid the topic. Some people will say what they think is helpful, that she's my only mum, it's good to keep up a relationship, etc - in those cases, you can show your mum's letters or emails if you have any. Not to people in the street obviously but to friends, work friends even. People from normal families can't imagine what you're going on about until they see it. I have an email mum sent when I was pregnant that is "caring hatemail" - I have shown that before. But the bottom line is it's not your job to make people understand, even though (and this is CRUCIAL) your narcissistic parent will have taught you well that you must be able to justify yourself at all times. Our ACON worry "how will I explain myself?" is only partly related to the practicalities of going No Contact, it's actually much more related to our prior conditioning.

Despite understanding all the above I still have cognitive dissonance, which is believing two things at once that don't align. So I believe that my mum is a highly damaging person who is likely a malignant narcissist, probably enjoyed damaging me, and did some things that are borderline sexual abuse. At the same time I believe that she is in need of help, maybe she just has traits, she is distraught and I have done the unthinkable by leaving her, and so on. This is exhausting and distressing. Cognitive dissonance is like a clue though. It happens for a reason, it's a form of protection up to a point. My mum was an engulfing parent who spent a lot of time teaching me she was infallible, so that's what my brain is still working with as it slowly learns what is normal and acceptable between parents and children. When the dissonance starts to dissolve and the two beliefs battle for dominance yeah, it is very hard, like running a marathon each day. I'm 8 months into this and it takes 18 months to stabilize.

Bittersweet, your mum has probably made you feel very incapable. That's what they do. Try to build yourself up a bit at a time - just one new thing each day. Don't waste energy worrying what Great Aunt Mavis and mum's best friend from college think of you - that's all part of the web of crazy. Normal young people aren't enmeshed with Mavis et al, in fact they barely know them, shocking isn't it? I was enmeshed with the whole cast for a long time so I get you.

Also stick to all the rules that apply when you're going through any storm - think about things only when you're rested and at your best, not late at night. Decide how much time to spend researching NPD and stick to it, don't go online all night looking for answers (I've done that too). Eat well, prioritise sleep and exercise - look after yourself so you have the energy to keep going.

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