With Family Like This, Who Needs Enemies?

I was thinking about crazy-making this past week and this one situation keeps coming to mind and I thought I would share.

A few years ago as we were needing a place to live and things were not looking good, I had sat in my parent’s kitchen visiting with my mom. My mom said that if we got desperate and needed a place to stay we could come and stay with her and my father in their home. I sat and nodded thinking all the while “Over my dead body will I come and live here!”  As I left  she added, “Your husband is not welcome here .” Well, not a big deal, (I thought silently to myself) I didn’t really like him that much anyway – and I wasn’t planning on moving there! I just nodded, said thank you and left.

A day later I got a phone call from my mother. “How dare you ask to move in here. There is no way you are welcome here. You should just get a real job and divorce your husband. I cannot believe you would even presume to think you would be able to just move into our house.”


Oh, wait a minute. I apparently asked for something I never ever wanted? Why would I go live in a home with a verbally abusive – and obviously crazy-making mother who never liked me or my children anyway? Why would I subject my children to that?

I was dumbfounded but it highlighted something I suspected was true. My mom played mind games with people. She’s had a fight with her mother-in-law for eons and tries to get her children to side with her on how “evil” Grandma is. I’m probably the only one who sees through the game playing. I’m sure she’s nice to my Grandma just like she was to me and that WHAM! All of a sudden the unwarranted accusations fly and she tells it to all and sundry to show how evil Grandma is and how wonderful my mother is.

Right. (I’m shaking my head here.)

I’m sure my siblings have heard how awful I am too. Needless to say – we are not close.

I love my Grandmother because I can see the same confusion in her that I felt when I got that call and everything was twisted around. Psychological abuse. Gas-lighting. Whatever you want to call it. It’s just nasty and evil.

Did I mention my mother is a psychotherapist? Or maybe she’s just – psycho. Any wonder I’m married to a man similar to her (no wonder they despise each other!). Interestingly enough, my sister who is employed and recently divorced – is now living with my parents along with her son and dog. Apparently she was welcome but I’m not?

Sometimes it’s hard to see our reality as true when we are hit with this kind of stuff. I’m more and more seeing for what it is and as sad as that reality is – it’s also freeing to me.

Do you have any examples of this kind of crazy-making in your own life that you need validation for?


Lilly Grace


2 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Kim
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 06:44:22

    OH my gosh you could be describing my mom except she doesn’t verbally come back at me. She does it with non-verbal communication which makes your crazy and on your toes to always be watching and analyzing her moves. She is very nice to my face and then behind my back gossips and to my face acts out her rejection. And yes she hated her mother-in-law and fought with her the whole time grandma was alive. But grandma was the same way!! What a roller coaster ride. And yes no wonder I married the verbally and emotionally abusive man I did! Thanks for sharing!


  2. lillygracebrown
    Aug 14, 2012 @ 07:16:30

    It’s a sad reality isn’t it? It’s hard when I see ANYTHING in me that resembles my mom because of this! Somethings I cannot escape (like my hips?) but the attitudes and behaviors I try to spy in myself and I hate when I can feel some of those underlying attitudes rearing their ugly heads in me as well. I don’t want to be like that.


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