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is my (adult) mom codependent? help!

Posted by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM
  • 19 Replies
so, my mom is 73 & was pretty crazy when i was a kid-she yelled at us (4 kids), called us worthless, regularly beat us w/ switchws/spoons/belts, just for being kids. my dad sort of went along, was always at work. seriously, growing up we didn't drink, sneak out, etc. i & my 2 sisters are physicians & my brother is an engineer. we have left the childhood stuff behind, but my mom just can't seem to respect boundaries & i think she's codependent. i have tried every way i know to manage MY actions so she doesn't have the opportunity to breech boundaries, but she always finds a novel way. last week while staying w/ my aunt in order to tend to my dying uncle, she got in the middle of an argument between my aunt (her sister) & cousin. long story short, she berated my cousin for wearing clothes she knows my aunt doesn't like (not revealing, just different) "causing" my aunt to get mad & not allow her to visit her dying dad. there's more to it, but same gist, & she involved me in it. do i just have to cut her off totally, or can i somehow salvage something?
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by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:14 AM
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Replies (1-10):
ButterMeUp
by Butters on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:15 AM

I say fuck her. I'm not sure why we as people feel the need to allow toxic people in our lives just because they are "family"


*If you read my post and there are mistakes in my spelling or grammar please note that I never learned either in school and I am currently learning them now. If you see a mistake POLITELY point it out and I'll be more than happy to correct my mistake. Here's a fun little siggy for your enjoyment. *




mypbandj
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:19 AM

Codependent is when you NEED another person to "need" you. You are dependent on their dependence. You want others to need your help.

It doesn't really sound like your mom is wanting you all to have her take care of you/help you/do things for you.

Your mom might be off in someother way, but what you are describing doesn't sound codependent to me.

sehfergy
by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:27 AM
i think she needs everything to be about HER, to be the center of attention. so, she consistently manipulates people, whether she's involved in an interaction or not, in ways the re-orient attention toward her. e.g. when my sister split from her husband, she asked "how could you do this to ME?" she is dependent on others, for sure, & has the worst self-esteem-i think she does this to try & feel important. she depends on her kids for validation of her worth, & my dad as well.


Quoting mypbandj:

Codependent is when you NEED another person to "need" you. You are dependent on their dependence. You want others to need your help.

It doesn't really sound like your mom is wanting you all to have her take care of you/help you/do things for you.

Your mom might be off in someother way, but what you are describing doesn't sound codependent to me.


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LuvMyFrog
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:29 AM
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Ok... right off the bat - I don't believe for one second that you are a physician. If you were, you wouldn't have felt the need to tell us your mom is adult (I mean come on - how many of us have toddlers as moms). I also find it hard to believe you wouldn't know the definition of codependency. Doctors are generally well educated and you write as though you didn't even finish high school. Get a life and stop making up bullshit on the internet.
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sehfergy
by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 11:50 AM
i wrote adult in the heading b/c i've seen posts by younger women & wanted to be specific b/c i'd like some guidance. i'm not sure what about my post reads like someone who's uneducated. also, my understanding of co-dependence is quite sound, i did elaborate on why i think she is-martyr mentality, no sense of self-worth except via others, needs others both to take care of her & also in order to experience an emotional life, etc. i'm not sure why people like you feel the need to be so angry & aggressive when you read a post you disagree w/, but i guess that goes w/ the territory. and yes, i am a physician, a pulmonary/critical care doc in madison, wi, my oldest sister a practicing ob/gyn, the other a hospitalist. i guess maybe my writing skills have suffered since finishing college-a ba in english, actually :)


Quoting LuvMyFrog:

Ok... right off the bat - I don't believe for one second that you are a physician. If you were, you wouldn't have felt the need to tell us your mom is adult (I mean come on - how many of us have toddlers as moms). I also find it hard to believe you wouldn't know the definition of codependency. Doctors are generally well educated and you write as though you didn't even finish high school. Get a life and stop making up bullshit on the internet.

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LuvMyFrog
by Bronze Member on Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:03 PM
I'm just too tired to write out everything that is wrong with this post. Your explanation of why you put adult in the title makes no sense. Anyone who is on this site is old enough to have children - its a given that the member's mother is an adult.
Quoting sehfergy:

i wrote adult in the heading b/c i've seen posts by younger women & wanted to be specific b/c i'd like some guidance. i'm not sure what about my post reads like someone who's uneducated. also, my understanding of co-dependence is quite sound, i did elaborate on why i think she is-martyr mentality, no sense of self-worth except via others, needs others both to take care of her & also in order to experience an emotional life, etc. i'm not sure why people like you feel the need to be so angry & aggressive when you read a post you disagree w/, but i guess that goes w/ the territory. and yes, i am a physician, a pulmonary/critical care doc in madison, wi, my oldest sister a practicing ob/gyn, the other a hospitalist. i guess maybe my writing skills have suffered since finishing college-a ba in english, actually :)





Quoting LuvMyFrog:

Ok... right off the bat - I don't believe for one second that you are a physician. If you were, you wouldn't have felt the need to tell us your mom is adult (I mean come on - how many of us have toddlers as moms). I also find it hard to believe you wouldn't know the definition of codependency. Doctors are generally well educated and you write as though you didn't even finish high school. Get a life and stop making up bullshit on the internet.

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sehfergy
by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:25 PM

LuvMyFrog-would you please stop posting accusatory, unhelpful replies to my post so i can actually get some helpful feedback?

i'm new here & this is an attempt at getting some unbiased advice, not accusations regarding my profession & criticism of my grammar. is this how all posts here are?

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Anonymous
by Anonymous 1 on Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Yes. Especially from women who are threatened by someone they can't and have no hope of comparing too.

Quoting sehfergy:

LuvMyFrog-would you please stop posting accusatory, unhelpful replies to my post so i can actually get some helpful feedback?



i'm new here & this is an attempt at getting some unbiased advice, not accusations regarding my profession & criticism of my grammar. is this how all posts here are?



sehfergy
by on Oct. 14, 2012 at 12:44 PM
seriously-i've only lived here a short while, and don't have friends i can talk w/ about this. my sisters & brother agree that my mom does these crazy things, but none of us can figure out how to make her stop or at least minimize it by tweeking our own behaviors. my therapist suggested she might be codependent, so i read a couple of books on the subject, but they are about how to overcome codep in oneself. i don't get the sense that i'm codep, but it's hard to be objective about self & those you love. i'd prefer not to cut her off totally, but maybe that's the only way?
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DarleneLancer
by on Oct. 15, 2012 at 2:00 AM
3 moms liked this

Some people, like your mom, who sounds abusive, are very difficult to communicate with. Still, by not reacting and instead "responding" assertively, you can change the conversation. You can set boundaries and limits. She won't like it and may try to manipulate you into acting in the old way. It's likely you and your sibs are codependent from your upbringing and therefore have difficulty maintaining boundaries - especially with mom. Abuse violates boundaries and boundaries are learned. You can't change her, but in creating clear boundaries, you can change your interactions and salvage the good in your relationship. Instead of ending it, take some risks and set limits. Don't get involved with her relationship with her sister and don't let her drag you into it. That's a generational boundary.  Setting boundaries isn't about changing someone else but about protecting and asserting yourself. I recommend "Codependency for Dummies" and my ebook, "How to Speak Your Mind - Become Assertive and Set Limits. The definition of a codependent is someone who can't function from their innate self, and instead organizes their thinking and behavior around someone else or a process or substance. Not all codependents are caretakers in the traditional sense and dependency can be subtle. They include narcissists who are single and can't commit. Your mom may be a narcissist and they usually lack self-awareness. Remember that denail is a major symptom,. Don't forget that you and your sisters are in caregiving professions. BTW, nothing about your post suggested you weren't educated or a doctor.

Darlene Lancer, JD, LMFT

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