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'This year I came to the conclusion that I despise my mother.'

I grew up in a loving, supportive household.

My parents worked from home when I was in primary school, so they were always around and involved. My mum went to parent-teacher interviews, she took us to the library in school holidays, we got plenty of attention and we were certainly never abused in any way.

My parents were strict, and ‘spanked’ us when we were younger, but I don’t blame them for this and I certainly don’t think of it as abuse.

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But somewhere along the way, I noticed that my mother is a selfish, manipulative narcissist and I can’t stand her. I’m not sure when it happened, whether she changed or whether I’ve simply noticed it as I’ve gotten older.

She lives four hours away but when she visits, it is an exhausting time for my husband and I. She doesn’t bring anything with her, doesn’t offer to pay for anything and doesn’t offer help with things around the house. My husband and I will come home from work, exhausted from the day but she won’t ask anything. She doesn’t enquire about our work, how our day was or anything even slightly resembling selfless interest in others.

A good example is the fact that I’m a registered nurse and she still thinks all I do is take vital signs. My sister is starting university next year to study a Bachelor of Pharmacy and she made an offhand comment that it would be boring, because ‘how hard can it be? Take a box off the shelf, slap a sticker on it and hand it a person’.

Instead of enquiring about anyone else’s wellbeing, she will talk about herself, her life and the drama in her life – all while repeatedly saying ‘I hate drama, I don’t know why there’s always drama in my life’. She’ll receive a text message, make a dramatic gesture or a loud ‘humph’ to indicate she wants you to ask about it/the person/the situation/the drama.

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And when she does enquire about my life, it’s usually in the form of a criticising comment or a manipulative ploy. I’ve been (happily) married for more than two years and she loves my husband but will routinely make comments like ‘how’s that guy from Canberra you were seeing for a while? Ever hear from him?’ (she did not approve of this man). Or she told me today, ‘I saw your ex-boyfriend the other day. Geez, he’s still so attractive! He looks so content and happy. I asked him what he’s doing for work these days and he seems to really enjoy it.’

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This, from the woman who never asks my husband about his work, and when he starts talking about the technicalities of his work to someone else, she will try and make conversation with me over the top of the conversation, as if to indicate that it is boring her.

Now, I know what your are thinking. It’s 2019, if your mother is truly that manipulative and narcissistic, why don’t you just cut her off? There is no need to be putting up with that kind of behaviour, even when someone is family. But unfortunately, my mother has my father wrapped around her pinky too. If I was to attempt ‘cutting her out’, I would most definitely lose my father too. And I am just not willing to lose him, or any other family members for that matter.

He will undeniably defend her and choose her side, because he loves her so much and he doesn’t see any of these traits. And I don’t blame him either, I never used to see it either. I have previously attempted to reduce contact with her, in the interest of my mental health. But she contacted my grandparents, who I am very close to, and told them her version of events and essentially manipulated me into making amends.

So instead, here I am. Paying for psychology sessions to work through this because SHE won’t seek help. But one thing I am truly grateful for is marrying a wonderfully understanding man, who is patient and definitely married me ‘for better or worse’.

The author of this story is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous for privacy reasons. The feature image used is a stock photo.

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