“...,to wit”

Since: Jun 09

Location hidden

#1 Jul 14, 2014
Dear Amy: My mother is very manipulative and controlling. Her moods swing at the drop of a hat and she can be very cruel (i.e. making fun of my 10-year-old niece when she started crying for her parents), to the point that none of her grandchildren want to be with her.

I'm a single mom. She is constantly criticizing me and my parenting, to the point where I feel uncomfortable around her and awful about myself.

Today, we were discussing something via email and she sent back an email stating that she does not feel appreciated by me or my sisters and wants to end her life, but won't do so because of how it would make my grandmother (her mother) feel.

I don't know how to respond to this and wonder if I should just separate myself from her for good. Before you suggest it, she is in therapy but the therapist, we feel, is just taking her money.

I want a normal relationship with a normal mother. Please help. Tired Daughter

Dear Tired: The "normal" mother-daughter relationship you imagine is rarer than you realize. And, unfortunately, you will simply never have it.

Here's what you do have: A maddening, demanding, manipulative, critical parent who will really stop at nothing to emotionally control you.

Here's her message to you: "My daughters don't appreciate me and so I'm going to kill myself except I'm not going to kill myself because I'm such a good daughter."

You should respond honestly: "This is a frightening statement for you to make. I'm worried about you and hope your therapy is helping you."

You must build boundaries around your life. You might choose to sever the relationship, but don't be surprised if she beats you to the punch and cuts you off.

Unfortunately, sometimes toxic people are so resistant to change that therapy does not really help them but they send everybody else into therapy to find ways to cope. I highly recommend it for you.

Dear Amy: I am in my mid-20s and feel like I have outgrown my group of girlfriends.

I noticed this most recently when I included these girls in my bridal party. Noticing the immature (and often rude) things they continue to do and fights they continue to engage in was a wake-up call for me.

I've always been a people pleaser. Although I know I should be making new and more "mature" friends (or people with similar interests) I can't help but continue to accept invitations to go on group trips, etc., with them.

I have known these girls for years; I just don't want them as my main group of friends anymore.

I have no idea how to distance myself from these girls without looking like a complete jerk. Trying to Grow

Dear Trying: You describe yourself as a "people pleaser." One central concept of maturing into adulthood is to figure out how to please yourself. This does not translate into selfishness but in learning how to be stalwart and emotionally balanced.

If you don't figure this out now, then you might find yourself repeating this friendship pattern in other ways being pushed around by colleagues, your in-laws, your husband and your kids.

Your friends might stay stuck in adolescence. You should gently start to assert your independence by not accepting the next invitation to hang with people you've outgrown. Back away slowly. You need to have the strength to tell the truth: "I've changed. I'm not into this stuff anymore."

They may confront, gossip and try to emotionally manipulate you.

And then it might dawn on you that their opinion of you is of no consequence.

Dear Amy: I'm responding to "Upset," whose co-worker reserved a high-top table at a restaurant she couldn't reach in her wheelchair. To me, that shows that the co-worker doesn't think of Upset as being in a wheelchair, she just thinks of her as a friend. Maybe she wasn't thoughtless at all, but a person who sees beyond people's disabilities. Benefit of the Doubt

Dear Benefit: Other readers have suggested this, and this perspective is putting a nice spin on the awkwardness.
not a ghost

San Antonio, TX

#2 Jul 14, 2014
Can't LW1 just say, "I'll be going", and take her child(ren) and leave
when her mentally ill mother acts unacceptably?

Let's hope LW2 is fake. If she's engaged, doesn't she have a mate to
spend her love, time and thoughts on instead?

I'll agree to disagree with LW3. I think that the girl making the reservations was mean.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#3 Jul 14, 2014
L1: You really need to stop trying to please your mother. That's what I see going on here. Next time she pulls that crap simply end the conversation and ask her to call you when she's feeling a little better b/c you have no interest in having a conversation regarding blame placing. Then let her call YOU.

L2: You mgiht have. Eventually, they will grow up, too. Well, most of them. There'sd always one or two that hang out in the adolescence stage.

L3: Don't remember the letter, but people do make mistakes. Let's not crucify everyone who makes an error.
Kuuipo

Marina, CA

#4 Jul 14, 2014
LW1: Teams Amy and Toj.

LW2: Spend less time with them but don't lose touch. They may be a bit behind you, maturity-wise, but you have a history and hopefully, they'll soon catch up. Make some new friends, too.

LW3: I remember the letter. The situation was twofold. LW's co-worker grabbed a high-top table at a busy restaurant. LW is in a wheelchair and the high-top table wouldn't work for her. I stand by my original post. LW's co-worker should have asked the waitstaff for a standard table the minute that she noticed her error.

Toj

“Where is Everyone?”

Since: Jul 12

Location hidden

#5 Jul 14, 2014
Kuuipo wrote:
LW3: I remember the letter. The situation was twofold. LW's co-worker grabbed a high-top table at a busy restaurant. LW is in a wheelchair and the high-top table wouldn't work for her. I stand by my original post. LW's co-worker should have asked the waitstaff for a standard table the minute that she noticed her error.
You mean the co-worker went forward with taking the table? Well, that's just stupid.

“I Am Mine”

Since: Dec 08

Location hidden

#6 Jul 14, 2014
Toj wrote:
<quoted text>
You mean the co-worker went forward with taking the table? Well, that's just stupid.
co-worker got to restaurant ahead of everyone else to secure a table. Got a high top in bar. Cripple lw and others arrive. High top not gonna work. Cripple makes excuse and leaves. No idea if co-worker had the opportunity to fix it. Way i read letter, cripp said place was real crowded and was long wait. She might have just left right away to avoid the hassle of waiting.
boundary painter

San Antonio, TX

#7 Jul 15, 2014
Sadly, LW1 will probably not get a normal relationship with this woman.

LW2's friends probably will not take it that badly if she spends more time with others.

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