Personal situation with mother

Discussion in 'Teacher Time Out' started by shoreline02, Dec 26, 2017.

  1. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Dec 26, 2017

    Hello! I don't post often about personal life issues but I've been having an on-going issue for a few weeks now which is causing me anxiety. Long-story short my mother left growing up. She was around, then not around, then around, then not around. She has had some mental issues in the past. I am now in my 30s, haven't seen her in a few years, moved to another state for a teaching position. I also live with my boyfriend whom she's never met and doesn't know much about.

    She is now calling, texting, voice mailing nonstop. I'll be at work, in bed, at the movies, eating dinner, busy, etc. and she still is calling just to "talk" but it's getting ridiculous now. I want to keep my life down here separate from her since mentally she's had issues in the past that I don't want to trickle over into my adult-life. I also don't want my bf around it.

    I do talk with my dad and love him to pieces. He told me to just respond back to her via text and let her know I'm busy or working - but that doesn't work. It's almost like she demands I call her because she fears I'm not safe or that I've been captured if I don't call her back. This is where her mental state comes in to play. She fears I'm not okay if I don't call her back. But I'm an adult and I just feel she has no right to be this invasive at this point in my life. We don't even have a relationship.

    Thoughts are welcomed.
     
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  3. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 26, 2017

    If you want to talk for a little bit, do what you are comfortable doing. When you've had enough, excuse yourself.

    "I have grading to work on."
    "Dinner is almost ready."
    "Oh dear, the cat is on fire."
     
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  4. catnfiddle

    catnfiddle Moderator

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    Dec 26, 2017

    I don't mean to be flippant, but your self-care is the most important part, and having a way to change the subject or excuse yourself is paramount.
     
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  5. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Dec 26, 2017

    I think it might be helpful if you set up a scheduled time to talk on the phone. It could be once a week or once every other week, whatever you feel is possible. Let her know that you will look forward to talking to her at those times, but that you aren't able to respond well with surprise calls or texts. That way you will be setting limits on your terms but still reassuring her that you are willing to have a relationship.
     
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  6. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Dec 26, 2017

    I actually like this idea a lot. My only problem is what I do if she does not follow it and decides to still do random calls/texts.
     
  7. miss-m

    miss-m Groupie

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    Dec 26, 2017

    Can you mute texts/calls from her? I know on my phone I have the option to put single text conversations on do not disturb, so notifications from that conversation don't come through. Or, if it's bad enough, you could completely block her number; I think you'd still be able to call her but she'd be unable to call you.
     
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  8. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Dec 26, 2017

    Yes, I've thought of that but in the past when I didn't respond back to her she threatened to call missing persons.
     
  9. a2z

    a2z Virtuoso

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    Dec 27, 2017

    This is going to sound harsh, but let her file. If she does it enough, the police will realize that she has a mental issue, especially when you are found and you explain she has mental issues and are unable to stop her behavior.

    You won't get in trouble for her filing a report.

    I do want to say how sorry I am that you must have these issues. It is frustrating and a hard position to be in.
     
  10. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Yes, shoreline, you do have a difficult situation and you will want to be careful not to enflame it. That said, I agree that blocking her calls at unapproved times is probably your best bet. Is your mother old enough that you could call an elder services organization to discuss the situation and get advice?
     
  11. vickilyn

    vickilyn Multitudinous

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    Dec 27, 2017

    Your mother suffers from mental illness, and you can't change that. What you can do is to share this information with the individuals who will receive the frantic calls, and perhaps give them an alternative phone number which they can use to make sure that you are well - perhaps by text - which you can respond to by text, so that they can assure your mother that you are well. I work with mentally ill people daily, and your mom"s "threat" is exactly that, a threat meant to create guilt and remorse on your part. You can play the game, or you can take control of your life. Even though she suffers from an illness. only you can decide how much control you will give her. Personally, I would have a cell phone that is meant only for her - I would refuse to share your "real" cell phone number with her. It is a way to compartmentalize how much control and power she wields, She won't like it, but it may save your sanity. This is a terribly sticky situation, and you need to find a way to defuse her inflammatory remarks and threats to preserve your own sanity.
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2017
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  12. stephenpe

    stephenpe Connoisseur

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    Dec 28, 2017

    Issues like this are difficult. My grandmother, in her last years, would call me drunk and I would just hold the phone and say yes once in awhile. But I had to because she did so much for me growing up. I am sure this is very hard for you. They are not there when you REALLY need them but now their guilt causes them to need you. Counseling can perhaps help and daisy had a good idea that may or may not work. Good luck.
     
  13. TeacherNY

    TeacherNY Maven

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    Jan 2, 2018

    Maybe she would be good with some sort of routine. She can call you every Sunday at 1pm (or whatever date/time you designate).
     
  14. SpecialPreskoo

    SpecialPreskoo Moderator

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    You could avoid calls when it isn't a good time and answer texts whenever you get around to it. I rather text anyway. Pick up a conversation whenever it is better.
     
  15. shoreline02

    shoreline02 Cohort

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    Jan 3, 2018

    Thank you for the suggestion. We have now planned a phone call every Tuesday and so far, has been much better!
     
  16. Upsadaisy

    Upsadaisy Moderator

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    Jan 4, 2018

    I am o happy to hear that. I hope it continues to go smoothly. Mothers and daughters ..... complicated relationships. Hugs.
     

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