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Forums / Sexuality and gender identity / Gender transition last straw in my edgy relationship with my mother ?

Topic: Gender transition last straw in my edgy relationship with my mother ?

8 posts, 0 answered
  1. Guest_68
    Guest_68 avatar
    20 posts
    17 June 2018

    I feel trapped in my life. I live on my own and have for a long time. I’m 54 years of age. I’m no good at relationships. A few years ago I began gender transition – FTM – which has made me feel better in myself. It’s more making the outside match the inside.

    With my mother; we’ve always had an edgy relationship. I feel that she has criticised me my whole life, nothing I do is right. I’m an adopted child and she’s never let me forget that either. One comment I got about transitioning was “But we specifically asked for a girl!” My mother is now elderly and my brother lives interstate. I am feeling a lot of pressure to visit her and do things for her despite her views, but she won’t use my chosen name. Instead there is a long pause whenever you would normally say someone’s name. When I said it wouldn’t kill her to use my name, she said it was too difficult and it had been too long (my life). But this isn’t forgetting, it’s refusal.

    A couple of years ago my brother and his wife tried to persuade her to go live in their town, but she wouldn’t do it. One reason she gave was not wanting to leave me, even though from my POV she was no support to me. So that means instead of being where there are several relatives/inlaws to help her, there’s only me.

    Well, there was me. On Mother’s Day there was the episode I mention above where I snapped at one too many nameless remarks and walked out. M followed and when I did not want to embrace her goodbye, accused me of being an unforgiving person. What it was was brain freeze. I just said I had forgiven her for things – I forget exactly how I phrased it – just that I had done it a lot, I think. Then I closed the door and walked away

    I am feeling horribly guilty because I see it as my duty to help with things but I can't want to see her now.

    My mother is obsessed with her demise and will not stop with her comments about her stuff, what happens to her stuff and doubting my ability to clear out her place/deal with the situation. I have asked her several times to stop this.

    So I’m on my own. I usually don’t see friends – internet contact is it. I feel pretty bad and have had bad thoughts, though nothing I’m intending to act on. I just feel despairing about my life and why can’t I get on with my mother as other people seem to or even establish a relationship beyond friendship. I dread her contacting me now, I don’t even know if I want to mend this. I’m just trapped.

    1 person found this helpful
  2. stormcloudz
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    stormcloudz avatar
    341 posts
    17 June 2018 in reply to Guest_68

    Hi Ratboy, I just wanted to say hello and welcome. I can't talk at length right now, but wanted to reassure you that you aren't alone in having an edgy relationship with parents! You certainly aren't alone in struggling with getting along with your mother.

    Congratulations on your transitioning, by the way, I'm so glad for you and happy to hear that it's making things a little easier.

    Chat again soon...

  3. stormcloudz
    Valued Contributor
    • A special award for members who go above and beyond to support others here on the forums
    stormcloudz avatar
    341 posts
    18 June 2018 in reply to Guest_68

    Hello again Ratboy : )

    Do you have anyone to talk things over with and develop strategies for feeling less crappy when you see your mother? Like a counsellor or something? It's hard to come up with strategies when we are close to the issue.

    Would it help to set your mum's views aside for the moment, and accept that she is not able to properly support you right now, and get that support from somewhere else? Maybe this forum, and the BeyondBlue helpline, and the Gender Centre?

    It feels like your mum just isn't at a point where she can properly respect your requests, but that you still want to give her some help (with some boundaries around it). I know it's really hard to let a parent's comments roll off your back, but I just feel that there are other people better suited to support you right now.

    Let us know how you are going : )

  4. Guest_68
    Guest_68 avatar
    20 posts
    18 June 2018 in reply to stormcloudz
    I know she's never going to support me or even really understand that her own behaviour is not perfect. I know mine's not, that's why I feel guilty. I've been trying to ignore her for a long time, but I don't do that so well. I have depression and am dealing with that as well. I don't want to deal with her any more, I feel selfish but this time I can't make myself go back and take more of it. Looking for advice, I guess. I can talk to some friends but I don't want to load on them - that's why I came here :-)
  5. MaxineC
    MaxineC avatar
    25 posts
    19 June 2018
    Hi Ratboy... boundaries boundaries boundaries. You're more than entitled to set them. And while you're doing that, try and put your guilt aside in a little box and tell yourself that setting boundaries is not the same as cutting your mother off and not caring for her as the son you wish she would accept you as. Try and be clear about what you absolutely will not do, as well as what you are willing to do.

    It sounds like a difficult relationship for sure. If your mum was fixated on having a daughter, for whatever reason, then it sounds like she has unfairly placed all her hopes and dreams on to you. Perhaps when you told her you were transitioning, that was the final straw for her in terms of understanding she is not able to control you. I'm wondering if you've ever talked much to your brother about this, and if he's ever felt the brunt of not being accepted too? How does he feel about his offer to help being rejected?

    I wish you could have the relationship with your mum that you would like to. Maybe you both have a bit of grieving to do, for the person that you wish each other could be but are not.
  6. Guest_68
    Guest_68 avatar
    20 posts
    20 June 2018 in reply to MaxineC
    Thanks for writing. I first put my post in the relationships section and it got moved. I don't entirely agree with them doing that as it was primarily about the relationship, but I guess someone just saw the trans bit. Re brother, well, I don't think she bothers him as much as she does me. He once said when she got started on the phone he'd just mutter at the appropriate moment and not really listen to it! We don't talk much at all, only a few emails but I did come out to him, I thought it would make things a lot less painful when we do actually need to pack up M's things. It will go to a cutoff between M and me, I think; it's got harder and harder to have a conversation with her, with her continuing to try to correct me and contradict me whether or not she knows what she's talking about. It feels like she doesn't even regard me as an adult; it can be something quite ordinary but because it's me, she has to *instruct.* Do I have to put up with this because she's elderly and has pushed various others away? I don't know.
  7. MaxineC
    MaxineC avatar
    25 posts
    21 June 2018 in reply to Guest_68
    I know that when people get into the dementia stage and their behaviour becomes really challenging that it burns out family members really quickly, particularly if there's anger and abuse involved. It was like that with my nan. I'm not sure if what you're describing is because your mum is getting old or whether the relationship has always been like that? If you've noticed it getting worse as she's aged, perhaps at least it might help you to let some of her remarks wash over you as being not really "from her". It sounds like your brother has got the routine down pat! But it also sounds like you feel really obligated to your mum despite the way she has treated you over the years. Do you think?
  8. Guest_68
    Guest_68 avatar
    20 posts
    21 June 2018 in reply to MaxineC
    It's not dementia; things have pretty well always been like that. One of the recent trips she went on was an Advance Health Directive - basically if she has dementia she doesn't want to be revived! She goes on and on about the horrors of dementia. I feel obligated because it seems to me one should look after elderly parents, because they looked after you when you were a kid. Does that seem right? Well, obviously one should look after old people anyway, I think. Maybe it's programming? I read somewhere once that your mother can push all your buttons because she installed them! I think she's made me have a tendency to guilt trip but I can't be sure. Anyway, thanks, this is helping me sort through the morass of my mind!

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