Email to: Mom

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  • #599926

    i love coffe
    Participant

    “Dear Mom,

    I think we should comunicate like this from now on….

    No cursing, no stupid faces, less yelling, less headaches, no namecalling, no speaking behind eachothers back, I can say what I have to say without being cut off mid sentence(you can decide to ignore it, but at least I said what I had to say)…

    Or, you learn some comunication skills with your own daughter and other people.

    Your choice, Im not telling you what to do.

    Remember, respond by email only. (Maybe I should get a blackberry too since that seems the only way of comunicating with you).

    From,

    Your daughter who wants to have a relation ship with you but can’t.”


    I was really close to sending this to my mother. I had started writing it in my email but decided not to send it for fear of creating another fight.

    I know I have some flaws of my own which I try to work on but it gets difficult when my mother seems not to realize, which makes me go back to being the same way as before.

    I dont do anything “wrong” or bad, thank G-d. But sometimes my mother gets upset that I dont help out as often as I used to. So even when I do “help out” it seems she doesnt notice. Im not asking to be given a reward everytime I clean the kitchen or set up dinner but it gets frustrating when my mother tells me off for doing NOTHING!

    We also have communication problems where this email mainly stems from. I wouldnt have a chance of being up front with her and explain my feeling of how hurt I am with her. She would just turn the tables and say how I have no idea of how hurt she is with me.

    She is always on her phone, computer claiming to be “busy” but when I pass by her I see that she is just entertaining herself (movies, emails to friends, etc). Im not against that, for I feel that she also needs her time out (break) but dont just sit there for hours! Or spend the entire day talking to your friends and claim that you are too busy to hear what I have to say.

    We have such a strange relationship. At times it feels like we are each others best friends and other times eachothers worst enemy. Whenever we are talking together it always ends up in a fight ( with all the fireworks mentioned in my letter). Mostly because my mother loves to talk and never gives the other person in the conversation to speak. I hate it. I feel like I always have to just sit there like an idiot just listening to her ramble on and on and im supposed to agree with her. I know im supposed to have kavod for her but cant she just hear me out once in a while?

    What am I supposed to do? Have respect for my mom and let it be?

    Or what?!

    Sigh of relief! Rant over.

    TIA.

    #817305

    msseeker
    Member

    Is she abusive at times? Putting you down for things you can’t help, like your looks?

    #817306

    From a psychological perspective: It sounds like a lot more is going on here than the usual mother-daughter friction, especially when you mention cursing, poor communication skills, and an unstable relationship. I would recommend you speak to a professional – most insurances cover a few such visits and it may help you to understand what the problem is.

    You should try to find healthy role models and mentors who understand where you are coming from and can model healthy relationship behaviors so you won’t ch”v end up repeating the cycle.

    #817307

    Dr. Seuss
    Member

    It seems that the whole world has family problems these days.

    #817308

    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    ok, so there’s nothing posted as yet from your OP from over an hour ago, so I apologize in advance if I may be repeating anyone…

    Firstly, it’s great that you wish to improve the relationship and didn’t take the “easy” way out by giving up.

    “No cursing, no stupid faces, less yelling,… no namecalling, no speaking behind each others back”

    THIS NEVER, EVER BELONGS IN ANY good relationship, and certainly not with your parent.

    Perhaps writing a heartfelt, respectful letter may go a long way.

    -Use I statements i.e., I feel bad the way we are currently relating..NEVER say that she does such&such for that would put her on the defensive (and “just turn the tables”)and you won’t resolve the issue. Learn this important communication skill and you’ll be”H see that your mother will be able to “just hear me out once in a while”

    -Write what you’d like the relationship to look like

    -Include specifically what you need from her:

    *Please notice and encourage me when I help around the house; it will make me feel good and encourage me to continue cleaning!

    * Please give me five minutes of your undivided attention from 6PM to 6:05pm

    * Please calmly tell me what you think I am doing wrong-it feels to me as if I am told off “for doing NOTHING!”

    Is it possible that your mother interrupts you because she hears a condescending or negative tone in your voice? Remember, most communication is non-verbal and she’d be experiencing the interchange as uncomfortable.

    Hatzlacha

    #817309

    good.jew
    Member

    maybe PBA can help you with your issues. or maybe Bar Shatya

    #817310

    Bar Shattya
    Member

    Bar Shattya could.

    #817311

    i love coffe
    Participant

    Thank you everyone from your well meant thoughts.

    msseeker- C’V. She would never lay a finger on me.

    Pascha Bchochma-I know she loves me but sometimes when she has hectic days she doesnt think twice of what she says and just says whatever is on her mind. Thats what hurts me. I know I am a little over sensitive ( which probably made me felt hurt even more) so maybe I over exagerated with the name calling. Its still called name calling but not as harsh as you possibly think. There is definantly poor comunication skills. And if anything, I know what not to do, so I wont repeat the cycle. I hope im a little intelligent for that.

    Am Yisrael Chai-“No cursing, no stupid faces, less yelling,… no namecalling, no speaking behind each others back”

    THIS NEVER, EVER BELONGS IN ANY good relationship, and certainly not with your parent.”

    I know. Thats why I want to know how to fix it. Thanks for your advice. (Im not being sarcastic). I might actually send her this email but change it around a little. How can I make it sound less defensive?

    #817312

    i love coffe
    Participant

    Oh hey Bar Shattya. Thanks for your offer. What should I do in this situation please?

    #817313

    Bar Shattya
    Member

    I think its an intersting idea. communicating electronically gives you the ability to think before you talk.

    I know some people who dont feel uncomfortable pausing in the middle of a conversation. some times i wish i was like them. i say stupid things very often. do you believe that?

    #817314

    BS,

    You??? Stupid things?! No………….

    #817315

    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    “I might actually send her this email but change it around a little.”

    Great. (not sarcastic)

    Feel free to try it out here first if you’d like to get CR haskama…You’d probably learn a lot from the changes that may be suggested

    “How can I make it sound less defensive?”

    Remember your goal is to both be on the same team:

    -never blame her (use the I statement,never You)

    -pay attention to the non-verbals (facial expression, body language…)

    -pay attention to your tone (no sarcasm, condescension,..) and your decibel level (always speak calmly)

    -reassure her that your goal is to have a positive and healthy relationship and you need her help to get there

    -ask her what you could do to make her feel better towards you, and literally just take notes mechanically without reacting

    -set guidelines how each should tell the other when “slipping up” in future, a reality when trying new patterns of communication.

    It gets easier as you become accustomed to the new way of relating, and it is SOOO worth the effort.

    For both of you.

    #817316

    Yatzmich
    Member

    It’s great that you have the CR to rant to but don’t take advice from anyone here. They all mean well but they don’t know you, your mother, and/or any background.

    You need serious help. The mother you are describing is a very close facsimile to the type of mother that my wife is. B”H my kids (my oldest is a teenage girl) are typical & normal & happy, and they actually respect their mother. Without going in to details about my situation, serious therapy is in order and overcompensation from another source would be a tremendous help for you.

    I don’t know how old you are, but the sooner you get started, the happier you’ll be.

    #817317

    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    Yatzmich

    Sorry to hear your sad story. Perhaps you go to counseling yourself?

    Curious, though, that you write that readers here can’t advise since we don’t know the mother personally, yet YOU could and even KNOW that the mom is similar to someone you know…

    Although counseling definitely sounds like a good idea

    #817318

    Yatzmich
    Member

    AYC:

    Thanks for your concern, however, on the contrary, my story is a happy story, not a sad one. I have been able to raise my children to be happy great A1 children. They are all popular in school and through out the years we’ve heard many unsolicited comments on how nice are children are. So my story is actually a happy one.

    That being the case, I’ve established that I can relate to her situation from a real, more than a speculative standpoint.

    And yes, I have gone to therapy for many years. It has changed my life by teaching me leadership skills which I use and have used to guide my wonderful family.

    #817319

    aries2756
    Participant

    ILC, it sounds like your mother and you both can use some coaching. You can actually learn how to coach your mother. Emailing a non-communicative parent is easier than trying to speak to one who is in denial. She can read it over and over until she gets it. However you have to read it over and over again until it does NOT sound accusatory and confrontational. It has to be about your feelings and your needs.

    “Mom, I am choosing to write to you because it seems we cannot communicate in person without getting into verbal fist fights that is truly hurtful and regrettable. I really need you to listen to understand.”

    “Mom, I love you but sometimes I feel shut out of your life”

    “Sometimes I feel that the Blackberry is more important than me”

    “I feel so disrespected when you choose not to put your blackberry game on hold in order to give me a few minutes of your time and attention, after all you can pause it, it unlike myself does not have feelings and does NOT have to be respected”

    “You probably don’t realize this but I not only feel disrespected I feel rejected even though it is NOT your intention”

    “Mom, I do love to help you, but when I don’t feel appreciated it is very difficult to repeat an action”

    “I only have one Mom, and our relationship means the world to me. Having said that I need you to understand that what happens between us can either “make me or break me”.

    “Mom, as the parent in this relationship it is YOUR job to care for me, encourage me, help me, make time for me, be there for me. Teach me by being my role model in order for me to give back to you. Please realize that I will learn from you how to “give back” to you in the same way that you are giving to me. Should I then make my computer games more important than speaking to you, helping you and communicating with you?”

    “I should be able to expect Love, honor, loyalty, compassion, respect and dignity from my mom. These are the best values and qualities she should be role modeling and teaching me. Can we work on that?”

    Ok, how does that sound? That is a bit different from what you were writing. Can you put a letter together on such a path?

    #817320

    i love coffe
    Participant

    Bar shattya- I too think that emailing would help me think before I talk.

    Am Yisrael Chai- I will definatly take your advice to practice. Not just in writing letters but also when speaking to her face to face. Thank you.

    Yatzmich- My familys situation is also a “happy” one. My family has gone through alot which sometimes makes a person strong as steel and where others could just go down the drain and totally forget about yidishkeit. My family has been strong throughout our many ordeals and have stuck together no matter what. If anything it was my mother who has kept us together and has kept us having emunah in Hashem.

    We too enjoy happy moments and memories. Yet sometimes, because we have gone through so much I feel like my mom could sometimes be a little insensitive to others. And I am especially oversensitive. Maybe I need to work on myself and stop being so sensitive, but still what my mother is doing is not right. I just wish she could stop her attitude towards me. Sometimes I feel like she has something personal towards me about my success, looks,(im not ugly, but maybe shes jealous) social ability, but I would never say this to her because then Im just sounding like I think high of myself.

    Aries- WOW. You wrote exactly how I feel. It sounds perfect. I actually had tears as I was reading it. Im still crying. (there goes my sensitivity again 🙂

    Thank You everyone!

    #817321

    am yisrael chai
    Participant

    Aries-welcome back!

    ILC-Aries gives you solid examples of I statements, focusing on how you feel rather than blaming the other party with the You statement.

    It is MUCH easier for the other person to hear and does NOT put them on the defensive.

    It’s ok for you to be sensitive, btw, accept who you are and work with it.

    Many people would feel the same way if on the receiving end of unhealthy communication such as what you describe above (name calling, …)

    #817322

    ✡onegoal™
    Participant

    I hope you dont mind me asking, but where is your father when all of this is going on.

    #817323

    i love coffe
    Participant

    My father tries to talk to my mother, but sometimes its hard for her to understand.

    #817324

    MDG
    Participant

    “She is always on her phone, computer claiming to be “busy” but when I pass by her I see that she is just entertaining herself (movies, emails to friends, etc). Im not against that, for I feel that she also needs her time out (break) but dont just sit there for hours! Or spend the entire day talking to your friends and claim that you are too busy to hear what I have to say.”

    It seems to me that she is trying to avoid her responsibilities as a parent. It sounds to me that maybe she feels like a failure as a mother because she is trying some form of avoidance/escapism. OR maybe she is suffering from depression. OR maybe she feels unhappy in her marriage, but cannot do anything about it, so she takes it out on a symbol of her marriage (a child).

    I think that many parents get into a certain mode of relationship and communication with their children and don’t change it, even though their children have grown up and changed.

    I’m no psychologist, but it seems to me that she needs professional help – a therapist, a Rav, or both. Speak with your father, as you implied that he knows you are having a difficult time with her. OTOH, maybe she is jealous that you are getting a lot of attention from him. So you may need to speak with him when she is out of the house.

    Just a crazy idea, but the next time she goes off on a rant, tell her that you need a minute to get some paper to write down all that she is saying. Or ask her if you can record it so that you can learn from it. Do this with a straight face. Act as though you just got an audience with a great Rav/Rebbitzen and you want to remember and understand what is being told to you. Afterward, review what she told you and ask her a few serious questions for clarification. Why go through this excersize? 1) You should be more calm and respectful when she rants. You make it sound as though you are partially responsible for the escalation of the arguments, so just sit there and take notes. 2) It might make her think more clearly when she is ranting, as opposed to the uncontrolled tirade. 3) If she reads/hears what she is saying – later when she calms down, she might be surprised as to what has left her mouth. 4) She might get some more (self) respect which seems to be what she needs.

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