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Mother refuses to acknowledge/undermines my health conditions - Am I overreacting?

  • 03-07-2023 12:43pm
    Registered Users Posts: 17


    I'll try keep this brief. I'm 37 female and currently living with my mam. I was diagnosed with PCOS 16 years ago and Endometriosis 10 years ago. I've been through the ringer with different meds pain etc, had 3 surgeries in 7 years. I never really bring it up with my mam or make a deal of it but there has been conversations more so when i'm having a bad month but I dont really talk about it. There has been a couple of conversations where her friend actually asked me all about it and fertility etc and said that's tough going and seemed genuinely interested. My mam in the midst of this says does that make you a bit and then does the thing were you wave your finger around at your head to insinuate someone is crazy. Her friend showed some compassion my mam did not.

    I got my egg reserves tested and they were low. I was seeing a guy at the time but this was something I was doing for myself and my future whether having kids with him was on the cards. We've since split. I decided I was going to try freeze my eggs. I told my mam this, she sniggered and just said so what next are you going to get a sperm donor very sarcastically.

    After basically skitting me about this she then took it upon herself to tell her friend. I called her out on this and said she'd no right to which I got a response so what she's my friend. I'm very private about this stuff and didn't like this

    I have had a rough few months with irregular periods bad pain etc and one night I really didn't feel well. She said what do you want me to call you an ambulance with not an ounce of sincerity.

    We were watching a tv show one day and the girl on it had endo and spoke about how she'd suffered. My mam comes out and says "Oh what's that is it in your bones or something".

    I currently have a serious enough bacterial infection in my stomach which can lead to ulcers. This was discovered last year and I was put on 3000mgs of antibiotics for two weeks. Going through the same dose now and it absolutely wipes you out.

    My mam has a heart condition. She had a heart attack 10 years ago and thank god she's has been relatively okay since.

    She has a good lot of heart meds and keeps them all in a box in the kitchen but has an issue with me keeping my meds there, completely separate and out of the way.

    I had left my antibiotics in the kitchen out of the way on the kitchen counter in a corner. I came in the other day and she'd left them on the hall table as if to be moved. When I asked her she said yes I just want them put away. She's done this before.

    She comes out a few weeks ago and said aren't we very lucky with our family that we don't have many health complaints well I know obviously I have my heart condition.

    Am I overeacting or am I justified in feeling annoyed by her behaviour?


  • Registered Users Posts: 13,497 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Hmm, that's a toughie. Has she always been like this or is it just since you moved back home? And have you been back there long? It's possible she's finding it difficult having an adult child back in the house and her behaviour is a reaction to that.

    I'm 41 and have been back living at home for about a year and I swear to god, OP, EVERYTHING about my dad annoys me. I try not to let it show but I know it does at times. Maybe your mum is in the same boat but doesn't feel she has to hide it as it's her house?

    If this has been a longer-term thing then perhaps there's a possibility she's jealous of your health issues and is trying to dismiss/belittle them? I know it sounds bonkers but I have a friend whose mother will literally try and compete with her over *everything*, including illness.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    She's always been like this. I've lived out of home since 17. She's always done things like this. I was unwell in Australia and knew another surgery was coming and of course the impending feeling that you are facing possible infertility. In the midst of this her and my brother asked me could I give money to pay for his gfs abortion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 13,497 ✭✭✭✭Dial Hard

    Then she's just a horrible geebag. Sorry, I know that sounds a bit facetious, there are probably deep-rooted reasons for her behaviour towards you but none of that changes the fact that she has treated you terribly. You can try to understand why she's like this, but if it was me I think I'd rather put my energy towards protecting myself and developing coping/distancing mechanisms.

    I also really hope you're able to move out soon. The struggle is real. My parents are great and all but living at home absolutely sucks.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    It really is. I literally broke down crying from pure exhaustion and feeling like crap the other day.

  • Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    How old is your mother? I have a feeling your mother is of the generation where women "just didn't talk about those things", and the subject makes her deeply uncomfortable. Not a great help to you, and not very caring.

    Even my own mother (whom I adored and who was the most supportive parent I could have ever wished for) - told me on the day my first period started that I shouldn't discuss it with anyone, it was very private, and that if I feel bad, I just have to get up and get on with it and soldier through, as the world would stop turning if women took time off every month because they felt bad, and that is just what we women have to do. She didn't mean it unkindly, it was just what her mother had told her. (I'm 53, for reference so 40 years ago).

    I'm sorry you're going through this. I do agree that your mother has no right to discuss your private matters with anyone and you were fully justified in calling her out on that. Good for you. I don't really know what other advice to offer, other than don't expect any empathy, as she obviously doesn't understand. That's not to give her a free pass, but if you don't expect it, you won't be as hurt when it is not forthcoming. Keep your meds in your own private space. And give her no information to share with her friends.

    I hope things get better for you, soon.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    62 and this is not at all the case. She makes jokes about having f***y bulge and having great t**ts and an a**e. Sorry if that's offensive I know it's vulgar. The friend I mentioned earlier, her daughter recently got her boobs done and she couldn't wait was so excited to go and see her new t**ts. Her words not mine. So dont think it's a generational prudish thing at all.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,787 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Is it possible she doesnt understand that you have a diagnosed illness that can be debilitating for women. It sounds like she doesnt understand that your medical issues are far greater than a bit of general period pain or general womens problems.

    It does sound like she is immature and uneducated. I think dont discuss any fertility issues with her whatsoever anymore and move out as soon as you can.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,722 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    OP I’m very sorry to hear you are going through those issues, it’s not easy.

    Your mother sounds like a bad mother no offence without any empathy. However, you are not 12 years old and you don’t need to have your mother in your life and let her coldness/mocking etc affect you.

    If family are annoying, reduce contact rather than hoping they change miraculously. It would be great if all parents were lovely but they are not and unfortunately some of us get landed with the crappy ones - it’s just life.

    Try not to let her upset you, accepting how she is might help.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    She has empathy for everyone else and their dogs. Like her friends daughter i'd hear things like ah god love her she lost her boobs when she had her son. Going over to see her, she's all excited. So she has some comprehension of womens issues. She'd no empathy when the fact was raised that I may or may not be able to have kids of my own.

  • Registered Users Posts: 239 ✭✭ElizaBennett

    This isn't a health issue / health empathy issue. This is a toxic relationship issue. Your mother is resentful of you for some reason and incapable of supporting you as she should. If you can't move out then distance yourself emotionally and practically and just go through the motions and no more. She isn't being kind to you and you need to accept she probably never will.

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  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    You're probably right. She doesn't treat me other siblings like this. I got in to an argument one night and brought up the egg freezing thing. She physically went for me. I can get over most things but this is just callous and cold. Asking me to move my medication and put it away. It's not like it's a minimalist house with blank surface areas there's stuff everywhere

  • Registered Users Posts: 3,968 ✭✭✭3DataModem

    So firstly; you've no obligation to share your health situation and details with anyone, including your mother. So stop doing that.

    Secondly; you can wish for her to be nicer or more understanding or more compassionate or more discreet, but that is never ever going to happen. You can't change how someone feels, you can only change what you do. So stop sharing. Stop discussing. Stop involving.

    So thirdly; you have every right to be annoyed... but... she has every right to be a geebag. You can't change her. What you can do is live your life free from her gaze. Don't involve her in your business, your relationships, your health. Move out if you can. And then when she wonders why you don't visit or talk on the phone much, it's because (and say this) "you've no compassion or empathy for me, that's your choice, but I get that support elsewhere now"

    Good luck to you.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,795 ✭✭✭mrslancaster

    Situations like this can make life difficult for sure. Is your father still living in the house or is it just you and your mother? How long have you been back living in the house? Is it the first time you moved back in with your parents? Was it supposed to be a temporary situation that dragged on? Are you working and paying rent?

    Hard to say this OP, but it sounds like your mother feels resentful that her 37 year old daughter is still living in her house. She obviously knows you've had surgeries but maybe she feels at her age she is done minding you, she wants her own space and needs to look after her own health issues. Parents are not responsible for adult kids but in reality most parents do everything they can to help and support them.

    Agree with others that she was wrong to discuss your health with her friend. Put your meds in your room and you need to get your own place asap.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    You're so far off the money. I work two jobs. I've lived out of home since i'm 17. I've never looked for any support or assistance with my health issues. All my surgeries I managed my recovery myself. I'm only living at home a year. I give more than my share to the house. She's never had to mind me. I had to half raise my sister as a teenager going to collect her from the pub after school. Again in my 20s my mam was involved with a down and out I had to take my sister some times two days at a time when she'd go off on a bender and try balance work.

    I spent thousands on her house when I was a teenager from a claim I got and barely lived there for more than 4 years in total. I've paid for my brother to go to New Zealand and put him up for weeks. So I think your theory is off.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,722 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Perhaps you should stop spending so much money on your family and just separate yourself a bit

  • Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    No point getting frustrated with posters who are just trying to offer advice based on the little bit of information they have.

    I agree with the concensus that maybe you should try to find alternative living arrangements as soon as you can manage it. I know that is not easy in the current climate, but maybe think long term plans?

    I too have an adult daughter living at home, and though I love an adore the ground she walks on, I do find sometimes she gets on my nerves and I wish she had her own place! I'm sure she feels the same about me too!

    After a certain age, I truly believe adult children and their parents should not live together, if at all possible.

  • Registered Users Posts: 4,787 ✭✭✭Deeec

    Sorry op but your mother is dysfunctional. She never has been a good mother from what you have described. You need to move out and have limited contact with her.

    There is no point trying to change her or looking for answers - you will never change someone who couldn't even care for her children.

  • Registered Users Posts: 1,795 ✭✭✭mrslancaster

    Sounds like you've been a caring sister & daughter but your current living arrangements are not working. I think most people over a certain age find it stressful to be living with parents even for a short time. I know many are doing it to save deposits and have an end goal in sight, but it doesnt make it any easier.

  • Moderators, Society & Culture Moderators Posts: 6,991 Mod ✭✭✭✭Hannibal_Smith

    Am I overeacting or am I justified in feeling annoyed by her behaviour?

    You have to know you're not over reacting? But also you have to know your mother well enough by now to know that there's a pattern of below par behaviour from her.

    So you can see you're not over reacting, so what happens now? Knowing you're not overreacting isn't going to solve the problem. If you continue living there you'll continue to be exposed to this treatment.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    I'm so used to being told i'm a drama queen and that i'm oversensitive and having my siblings/mother make me feel like an outsider that it makes you question if you are overreacting. They'll antagonise me and push my buttons then call me a psycho.

    My mam wants me to put my name on the house in case anything happens to her so I can stay there. I've told her I don't want to do that I don't want to live there forever. It's close to my ex partners house and I don't really want to live there anyways. Its a council house and if I sign and move out there will be no option if she wants to sign to my brother or sister. Then I'll be the worst in the world. I've tried explaining this to her and I was told I was unreasonable. Its very confusing for someone who doesn't want me living there.

    I feel like a burden there and have done over the years if I stayed there for any length of time. My brother could stay there until he's 70 and she wouldn't flinch.

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  • Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    Just as an aside, if your mother did apply to add your name to the tenant list, (she would have to apply, not you) there is still no guarantee you would be allowed stay there or inherit the tenancy after her death. I think you also have to be on the tenancy and your income included in the rent assessment for at least 2 (or it may be 5) years before you could apply to take over the tenancy.

    You would be assessed in your own right to check that you qualify for social housing, and if you did not meet the qualifying criteria, you would be given notice to leave.

    If you did qualify, they will look at the size of the property and number of bedrooms, and if the property is too large, allocate you a smaller unit.

    Been through this process with one of my own family members only last year, who was downsized from a SDCC council house to a one bed Tuath apartment.

    Post edited by [Deleted User] on

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

  • Posts: 1,539 ✭✭✭ [Deleted User]

    I highly doubt that it's a ploy on her part.

    Most people, and probably your mother too, seem to think inheritance of council tenancies by their adult children is automatic.

    It most definitely is not.

  • Registered Users Posts: 17 Sickofthesickness

    I've explained this to her. Well she's now decided she's getting another dog. We only put our dog to sleep a year ago and i'm still not ready. Ended up in a row. I was told I shouldn't even be there. The responsibility will be put on my shoulders to look after him/her but seems i'm not allowed to have an opinion.

  • Registered Users Posts: 7,722 ✭✭✭YellowLead

    Maybe it’s time to bite the bullet and move out, given your not welcome there

  • Moderators, Social & Fun Moderators Posts: 12,640 Mod ✭✭✭✭JupiterKid

    I think it's really best if you leave OP, as difficult as that is due to the housing situation. Otherwise I think a massive fight with your mother will be on the cards.

    Anything is better than being in that highly toxic environment with your mother who, it seems to me from your posts was a bad and irresponsible mother to you as a child, is a very self-centred and deeply inconsiderate narcissist who will never acknowledge your issues.

    Your mother also seems to have entitlement and boundary issues, and may get a rather nasty shock from the local authority landlord when she finds out that not only is the tenancy not automatically transferable to any of her children, but if the house is deemed to be too large for her needs, she will be moved to smaller accommodation.