Overbearing mothers come in may guises; the mother, the mother in-law or the grand mother. But the overbearing mother I want to rant about today is someone who has known me for most of my life.
The overbearing mother is a control freak like no other, a hypocrite and at times a complete bitch. The over bearing mother will ruin your life even if you don’t realise it, she is hypocritical, judgemental and contradictory, she will impose unfair and ridiculous rules on you in regards to some of your friends and not others, in your adult life she will form a ‘clique’ with you and you will be her best friend, she will be in your life everyday, calling you constantly and will be there to ‘help’ you at your every beck and call. She will involve herself in your life so much that you will not be able to cope without her – which is what her subconscious secretly relishes.
Don’t mistake her for the passive aggressive, strict or over protective mother – these are all very similar traits, but what stands her apart from these mother types is her ability to smother, control and manipulate her offspring in such a way, that the daughter (or son) will confuse this for love, they allow this behaviour and believe that other mothers who don’t act in this way are not proper mothers. Eventually there will be a time when the daughter (or son) best friends, husband, wife will get fed up with the constant
love interference and they will declare ‘enough is enough’. I class this kind of mothering as mild ‘brainwashing’ and I have witnessed, been subjected to and had it affect my early life for far too long, but this mum was not my own, but my best friends’.
I guess the reason why I am ranting about this now, is because my younger sibling has felt the brunt of this themselves quite recently, when her first girlie vacay was ruined by her best friends mother. Not only did her mother decide to book a holiday in the exact same resort but somehow managed to get the friend to spend half of the holiday with them instead of the girls. My kid sis made a comment to her friend about this and she was met with silence. Not a murmur. No apology. Nothing.
I recognise this laid-backness oh so well and I do fear that my sister will miss out on so many things – as I did – because the best friend won’t be allowed to do it or can’t make it or has to help her mum today, and so on. I only hope that she makes more friends so she has other options, which is a sad thing to say but unfortunately, the loveliest of people have the most annoying parents.
The time when it really hit home for me, that my best friend was/is under some weird dependency spell with her mother was a few years ago, when the mum in question was out-of-state for a few months, suddenly the phone couldn’t stop ringing with invites to go here, to go there, to do all the normal things that bezzie’s do together. Great! Finally! I thought – then it dawned on me – all these best mate outings and girl dates that were happening, the invites to ‘help’ her out because she couldn’t cope, were only occurring because of the absence of the overbearing mum.
This is where I feel the line has been crossed by the parent, it is one thing to have a good relationship with them, but to take the place of friends ALL the time I feel is unhealthy..and dare I say it a bit weird. I’m really close with my mum, but it would absolutely drive me crazy if I spent every spare time with her.
As I had predicted, as soon as her mum had returned, the invites stopped, the calls stopped, the asking for help stopped, which is a shame. This has caused a big wedge in our adult friendship – but my best friend is completely oblivious to her mothers ways. There were many times she would ‘lecture’ me as a teen, feeling like she had the right to, because she had known me for so long. Now as an adult thinking about this, I think this is very rude, as a teen it really got to me, but what got to me more was that never once did my best friend ever stick up for me or ever say apologise for her mother. Especially as I was a very good kid and the things she was lecturing me over were not even worth it.
In conversation with other friends this has been noted and commented on in front of the best friend, which wasn’t received well at all, my best friend sees her mum’s hold of her as love and she can’t understand other mothers who aren’t the same. That’s when I knew things would never change, she would never see it, even when her marriage broke down because of it, she still never blamed her mother when it was her fault. The scary part, is that my best friend is now morphing into her mother, she adopts the same opinions, thoughts, answers, routines, stresses and I can only see it getting worse.
I just wish that I had realised this all sooner, how her mothers knock on effects would have effected me and our friendship. Not because I would have ended being friends with her, but I would have made more memories with other friends I had growing up. On the rare occasions I can be slotted in for a visit, I dread it, because she (the overbearing one) might be there, my husband can’t stand her, either can many others I know, so why is it that my bestie doesn’t see it, believe it, acknowledge it? I feel so uncomfortable in her rudeness towards me that I want to run and hide, she isn’t friendly towards me considering the longevity of her knowing me, instead she bombards me with intrusive questions that my own family don’t ask, and as per usual – the dutiful friend that I am – I reply politely whilst squirming in my seat. (I won’t mention the time she refused to give me a 10 minute lift home and I had to book a taxi when my back froze and went into spasms as a teen and I couldn’t move and was crying..nice lady)
The moral of this story? Don’t lay waiting hoping your friend or their mother will change, don’t be afraid of being shouted at by your friend for doing something she couldn’t or wasn’t allowed to do, don’t let her use the ‘best friend’ guilt-trip card on you and don’t let people sway your opinions – even if they adults!
I can only hope that no other growing of age events are spoiled by my sisters best friends mum, like mine were.
Thanks for reading 🙂