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My Mom Is Constantly Triggering Me

Discussion in 'Parents & Siblings' started by SGBV, May 4, 2024.

  1. SGBV

    SGBV IL Hall of Fame

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    I don't want to be reminded of my past. I had a tough past, and I survived all the storms that meant to destroy myself.
    I didn't have time to cry or have self pity, but I ran... Ran towards my goals and achieved most of them to be successful.
    I had my family beside me all the time, yet I always felt lonely. They supported me, but conditioned everything I did, they often made me feel so low and as a looser. They constantly reminded me of my worst days and how they helped me when I was fully lost.
    They still think I am incapable of living my life on my own, and I should blindly follow what they direct.

    There are days, where I feel like a working horse... I work work and work, but when it comes to enjoying the fruits of my hard work, I have no say. It's just my entire family (mom, siblings etc) who makes the decision or at least influence so much.

    This creates a rift between myself and my immediate family.

    My H has changed now, and he has been good since many years after completely cutting ties with his folks. But he is irresponsible and doesn't go to work.
    Since I have an excellent career, and I also need someone to support at the home front, I am fine with his choice. We are good as couple.
    But my folks doesn't think it is good. They think my H has no right in contributing to our family decisions.
    If ever I try to explain, they will start discussing the past and say how I became a looser after listening to my H and how they supported me to grow from there. They are worried that I might go back to the past and lose everything. So they even tell lies and make the conversation hard to ensure I listen.

    For instance: last week my mom asked me to control my H's visits to our coconut estate as he might disturb the workers and even the business.
    There hasn't been any complaints so far, and my brother too visits his estate (adjoining one) often and they both work together.
    Earlier when my H interfered too much in the business (out of good intention but not appropriate to the local market) my brother notified me and ensured that I limit my H's involvement in the future. Which was good. I explained the same to my H and he understood.

    But several months later when my mom instructed me the same last week, I was upset.
    I thought my H might be doing something wrong, so checked again. But nothing was bad.
    But my mom kept on instructing me and saying that I should keep my H home as he doesn't know business and he doesn't earn so he should stay away from business matters. She brought up all the past incidents which happened 15 yrs before and told me she was asked by my brother to instruct the same.

    Now I was upset thinking there might be something seriously wrong. At this stage of my life, I can't rebuild anything if I lose this life.

    My H once contributed to the total destruction of my life some 15 yrs back, and still says he was blindfolded by his parents. He is apologetic to the acts and cut complete ties with them for that.
    Now my mom won't trust him. She often inject me not to trust him, not to give authorities to him etc...

    When we had the problem I made a decision after thoroughly analysing all the facts to stay with my H. I gave him the benefit of the doubt and forgave him for what allegedly he has done to me. I cut the ties with my in laws who were apparently the culprits then.

    After a while, I started living normally with my H and moved on from the past. But my mom is unable accept this.
    She has her own struggle with my H and she is someone who can't forgive.

    I have a feeling that my mom has her own interest in all the advices she gives to me. She is unable to digest the fact that I am living normal with my H and the kids don't see his negative past.
    Hence she reminded me of all the old stories, threaten me and sometimes lie.

    The last news about my brother's instruction was a clear lie, as my brother said he never told anything to my mom. If at all anything serious he would tell me directly and not through mom knowing our history of conflicts.

    But, this 75 yr old woman has her own ways of guiding me constantly against my H. Not just the business matters, even if I give him money to buy a cloth she gets upset and advises me against it. She creates a rift which either makes me fight with her or fight with my H. At the end of the day I am stressed and unable to handle my other duties.

    This has been the case since the past decade, but now my body and mind reacts to it differently.

    The moment my mom talks negatively about my H, I get panicked and it upsets my core. I have racing heart beat, excessive seating and it shuts my body off. After which I can't eat or drink or conduct myself normally.

    Last month I even felt chest pain and shortness of breath. My doctor said I am highly stressed and I should stay away from those triggering factors.

    Each time my mom advises me against my H, I can't totally deny her complaints. I can't blindly believe my H.
    Somewhere in my heart, I still doubt him. I still worry what if he does the same again? What if I lose everything again? Because, I know that I never heal from the past trauma. I never sit and cry for the loss, instead I moved on so fast to work and earn what I have lost. I didn't have the time to think through or even understand who was the true culprit( whether my H or in-laws or both or none). I chose to move on by giving the benefit of the doubt to my H, bcz I know my mind can't accept if it was otherwise. I know I can't stay up and fight like now if in case my H attempted to cheat on me.
    So, the selfish me decided to move on and have him around me, but my core knows that I can't blindly trust him anymore.

    So, I am careful, and I have a great support system (my brother) who is there as a third eye with us.

    Since the past several years there hasn't been any single incident which made me suspect my H. So I chose to move on and focus my daily life and responsibilities. I found this was healing and helping me to succeed in life.

    But my mom is constantly provoking me, reminding me of the past and shaking my trust on my H.
    This is physically and mentally disturbing me so much.

    Even my doctor prescribed anti depressants and asked me to take them with precautions. But more importantly stay away from the triggers.

    The medicines have their own side effects and they make me feel so sleepy all day, preventing me from engaging professional activities and supporting my kids in this transition period ( changed country, schools etc). And the tablets didn't help when someone siting next to me triggers all the time.

    I tried talking to my mom on my health issue and the sufferings in detail. She heard me well.
    When my other siblings had stressful events in life, my mom always made sure she never disturbed them or utter any words that may trigger their stress. She was so concerned about their health, and often say what if something happens to them.. who will take care of their families etc...
    So honestly, she knows how to conduct herself when someone is battling with stress related illness. In my case, my surgical menopause, hormonal imbalance, past trauma and genetic issue( my paternal aunt died at 45 due to stress related heart attack) are all contributing to my present state and my mom is aware of all. More so, she knows that I am my family's backbone and my H can't take care of the kids if something happens to me. Yet, she can't stay away from triggering me.

    Her enmity towards my H is so high compared to her love and care for me. She just can't accept the fact that my H is leading a normal life after all that he/his family has done to me and even now he is enjoying a free ride (not employed). So she is trying to revenge on him through me. She is never tired of triggering me, so that I get angry and fight with my H. This way, he will no longer freely enjoy life.

    But in the process I am slowly dying. I am worried about my kids and their future...
     
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  2. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    Dear @SGBV

    I am sorry you are undergoing physical stress due to your mom.

    From my personal experience, take a break from your trigger, who is mom in your case. Send her to your siblings place or a vacation for sometime. If that is not possible, you try taking a work from home if possible and go somewhere else to work.

    In the meanwhile take this opportunity to recharge yourself. We need to put ourselves first. Unless we wear our oxygen masks, we would be utterly useless to help others including our kids.

    Long term, whenever anyone brings up your past, including your mom, stop them then and there and say it is very triggering for you and that you do not wish to hear anything more about your past. You cannot proceed ahead in life when mind replays the past. If family members do just that, in your own interest and in the interest of your physical health , you must stop them. Yes, they helped you at the time of your need. But you cannot be buried under that debt forever. You have to prioritize your physical and mental health even if it means being harsh with words to your mom to stop the trigger.

    With all that you have achieved in your life and all the obstacles you overcame, you deserve all the peace and happiness.

    Take care.
     
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  3. kavikuyil

    kavikuyil Bronze IL'ite

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    SGBV, I think it’s high time you drew boundaries with your mom. If she can’t choose to respect your boundaries, she can choose to live elsewhere. This constant triggering is toxic. Initially it afected your mental peace of mind and quality of life but now it’s has come to a stage where it’s affecting your life expectancy.

    Sure, your mom has helped you in the past, that doesnt mean she gets to run your life in her terms. You have to accept that she's toxic and that you have to do somethign about this. Take a big break from her. Few days or weeks won't cut it. You need probably a year or two.

    I also think that alone won't help. You need therapy to heal from inside and move on with your life. This will also help you with strong boundaries.
     
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  4. mangaii

    mangaii Finest Post Winner

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    @SGBV You need to accept the fact that it maybe easier for you to forgive your husband but as a mom it may not be possible for her to let go of past . Physically you want both mom and husband to co-exist and this hasn’t worked out for you till now . Either you need to let go of one person in life or learn to ignore your mom’s complaints against your husband. The psychological impact your husband has created in your life is directly related to her current behavior. It is sometimes very important to shield your partners faults from parents otherwise they will judge them irrespective of the change . You need to accept the reality .

    I think all 3 of you are hurting each other by staying in close proximity. This advice has been given to you before to see if you can help your mom to live with your siblings. But seems like you both need each other . So only thing that can be changed here is how you react to your mom's comments. See if you can zone out when she talks about your husband. Maybe distract her when you see her entering into that zone. Keep her busy with other things like managing your property so she can focus her energy on something else.
     
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  5. MalStrom

    MalStrom IL Hall of Fame

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    This is spot-on advice.
     
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  6. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    @SGBV

    You have written a lot about your life here for the past many years in IL but the problem appears to persist in your life. In your mind, there is a conflict, one believes your husband has changed forever and another believes your mom's words based on his past actions. Once a trust is established, you need to give him a chance to be with the family as you might have decided after a long conversations with him and a great wisdom derived after analyzing all that happened in the past. It might be helpful for your children to interact with both parents.

    I believe it is not your mom's constant talk about your husband that triggers you but it is your suspicion that her words may become true eventually. You are not 100% convinced about your husband which you need to do right away. If you need another evaluation of him, please do but don't live in the edge based on this suspicion. It is hurting your daily life so much. Once you make a determination to believe him, just stay with that conscious decision and ignore the comments from your mom. Your love for your mom need not interfere with listening to her words of wisdom. That will only create further confusion. Please tell your mom you love her dearly but you are not happy about hearing her opinions about your husband. Do your duties for her but don't give her the freedom to influence your daily life. You definitely need to draw a line in her ability to discuss your family.

    Sometimes back I had a meeting with a psychologist and he told me when you run a family, the husband and wife should consider themselves as inner circle, the children in the next circle and other family members in third circle. No one should be allowed to affect the first two circles. Even children in the second circle should never be allowed to influence the inner first circle. I hope this is helpful for you to come out of your need to take medication.

    I know you are taking time off from work for stabilizing your children in the country of your choice and that decision should not affect your personal health. Always remember the importance of yourself. The family revolves around you and your health is of great importance. You need someone trust worthy around you to stabilize your family and carrier simultaneously. I wish you the best.
     
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  7. paru123

    paru123 Gold IL'ite

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    You need to be a little smart with your mother going forward. Looks like your mother is a perfectionist and she wants everything, everyone to be perfect. Your husband has / had his limitations.. and mother is not able to accept that. She has done many things beneficial for you and your family. Now please give her a break. Hide facts related to your husband from her. If you are giving money to husband why should she know. Hide it unless it's a very big amount. She need not know the nitty gritties of everything.
    She knows how to keep quite when it's related to your siblings life but not with matters related to your family as she has taken you for granted. You need to be tough with her. Whenever she triggers you, immediately or on the same day take her to your siblings house or to any of her siblings house. Let her live there for one day, then bring her back the next day. Or viceversa , you and family go and stay in a relatives house for a day and next day return back. Make her understand that her actions are hurting you. If required extend her or your stay if she has not changed her behaviour.
    Or just go on a 1 day trip all 5 of you, so that you would get a break. Repeat this everytime she triggers you.
    You could also take her to a psychologist and explain that she doesn't understand how to stay away from your family affairs. These kind of actions will make her analyse her behaviour and make changes if she understands.
    Also you could think about what are the things that triggers her to trigger you and just ensure that such things do not happen. Learn to keep something's secretive from her and your siblings.
     
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  8. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    I meant career.
     
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  9. gamma50g

    gamma50g Gold IL'ite

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    I really really wish this would be followed practically @Viswamitra sir. This is the sanest advice I have read online. If third circle and beyond folks follow this, there wouldn't be any issues
     
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  10. Viswamitra

    Viswamitra Finest Post Winner

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    I know it is easier on paper than real life. The circles are imaginary in real life unless both couple try to implement those circles vigorously. It is the words spoken and actions taken that helps the family to draw boundaries that can't be crossed. Literally, no one outside the circle should know the happenings between the spouses and when one of them leaks it out, it weakens these boundaries. The bedrock principle should be to keep the conversations, interactions, and relationships between the couple. Even if someone is trying to get into that inner circle, the couple should join hands in defending this circle and inform the barrier to entry into the inner circle. Boundaries when crossed, should have consequences. In my view, the relationship between the husband and wife is unique and different than other relationships which should be understood well by both couple.

    I am not saying there can't be any differences between the couple. There will be many. When there are differences in opinion, it is a challenge to keep that boundary to prevent others from entering into the inner circle but it is a must. The determination to keep the spouse in that inner circle and not allow anyone to enter that inner circle can't be compromised even when there are arguments. I compare that to railroad that runs for miles together.
     
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