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  1. #1

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    We have had a long pattern of critical, belittling, baiting games on the part of our mother since childhood. It has caused many problems with everyone in the family, 5 children and father. All of us kids are now adults, the oldest being myself, 48 and my youngest brother 40. In the last 7 years or so, my father, who I thought had more sense, has now taken up the same mean spirited behavior. There has been considerable antaganism between one particular brother and my mother for many years, it seems an unending game of put downs and angry retorts. My mother likes to play the victim, as in, "how can he treat me this way", even though she has been the one that enjoys entaganizing. None of my four brothers is married, I suspect because they are afraid they will end up married to someone just like their mother. My parents are now in their 70's and are still playing the same put down games with snide remarks and pumping us for information for what's going on in our lives and then you find out later, its just done so they can find some kind of fault.
    It is to the point that I want nothing to do with them as they obviously will not change their destructive behavior. When I told my father how I resented the mean spirited games that he and my mother play, his response was that "you weren't the easiest child to raise" and "we've done a lot for you". Two of my brothers got into drugs and left home at the age of 17 because they got fed up with my mother's nagging. I was the door mat...always did what they wanted...never got into trouble. I have always felt that I did not live up to their expectations.....that I was not good enough. So here I am at the age of 48, and just with in the last few years begun to figure out that I am a worthwhile human being and that the problem has never been mine, but my mother's for whatever reason
    gets her jollies critisizing everyone. And now Dad is playing the same games. No one else in the family has the guts to confront either of them,
    as there is hell to pay and they seem quite good at manipulating everyone.
    Except me and I haven't had much to do with them these last 5 years.
    My mother has recently been diagnosed with ovarian cancer, which I didn't know about until I called my brother Tim. I called my Dad and he started to tell my about her hystorectimy, and then became angry and
    wanted to know what am I going to do now.....claimed I have to forgive him or God won't forgive me......never mind about repentance, that is...
    changing one's sinful behavior of belittling everyone. He then got very angry and said "Don't bother showing up for the funeral". Another manipulative tactic. So... I am trying not to feel guilty about hating to have time with them. Why do they love antaganizing everyone in the family? It seems to have resulted in an artificial family that only gets together for the obligatory holidays.

  2. #2

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Ouch. That's a difficult situation, Beagle. We can never know why others do things. Only they know that. We can guess that belittling other people makes them feel better about themselves, somehow. Playing the martyr does the same thing.

    I guess, if it were me, I'd just tell them that I don't choose to spend my time being denigrated anymore. You have your own life, and you've found your way out of the hole of thinking you're worthless. To subject yourself to further put-downs and negativity is not serving any real purpose.

    Perhaps, if your parents understand that they might just end up spending the end of their lives without their chidren around them, they'll find reason enough to come to their senses and stop treating all of you so badly. It's not an easy thing to do, but sometimes a lesson has to be hard to be learned. :o(

  3. #3

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Thanks for your feedback. Yes, I am hoping my parents wake up to what they've been doing.
    But that would require swallowing their pride and the chances of that happening are almost nil. Likewise, I suspect my brothers will continue to buckle under to the denigration especially since my mother has been diagnosed with cancer. All have expressed anger over the years at this "game" my parents like to play, but they won't take a stand against it. Ours is not a close family, even though everyone likes to pretend and believe that we are. So, in reality I will not have lost much. In fact I have gained much respect for myself for crawling out of the hole as you say. Thanks a bunch and keep encouraging people. You are doing a great service to your fellow man.

  4. #4

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    The step you have taken are the hardest ones. Take a stand for yourself and realising that you haven't done wrong. It really sad to hear what have been threw and your mom with her cance. Knowing that you have done nothing wrong and moving forward is you strengh.
    Life is what you make out of it!

  5. #5

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Dear BeagleCrazy,

    What you described about your parents is pure cruelty. You were not beaten physically, but mentally. They have been messing with your mind.

    It is a miracle you still are healthy actually.

    I can assure you that they won't change anymore. This is something that has been especially, your mothers way of living. You cannot change it anymore. She is like an old tree, you cannot change the way of growing it. Perhaps for the better since you need your own life.

    They seem to provoke (correct me if I am wrong), enjoy the trouble it causes and on top of it, give you the feeling of guilt when you say you resent that behavior.

    That are already three things to resent. One to provoke/antagonize, second to enjoy it to see others getting upset, third telling you to shut up when you say something about it.

    The only reason I can think of your mothers behavior during your life, is that that is a power play. Like she is in competition with you for some reason. And that she gets her joys when she beats you with her lies.

    There is no acceptance whatsoever of her children. She likes to look down on them. Why? Perhaps that does her make her feel better. Criticizing other people can people make one feel less worthless, or better.

    That your father joined her, is his decision. Perhaps he does not want to stand alone so he joined her.

    You wrote: "I called my Dad and he started to tell my about her hystorectimy, and then became angry and wanted to know what am I going to do now.....claimed I have to forgive him or God won't forgive me."

    He is not in the position to demand. He is not in the position to threat. I think it is very rude of your father to say this. It is all about him/them again. Same old story.

    BeagleCrazy, make up your mind. Don't forget: your parents will not change anymore. I would advise you not to argue with them anymore, save yourself the trouble. They drag you into their games.

    Set your limits with them. Don't argue, just make statements what you do and don't want with them anymore. Draw a line. Think about yourself, they have dragged you years and years into their games.

    Take good care of yourself now.



  6. #6

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Yes, you are right about my mother enjoying the fight. And since Dad has taken up the destructive behavior, I think he gets some kind of jolly out of it. My mother is very controlling. And yes, I have sensed that she is in some kind of competition with me, her daughter. I have heard about this weird type of thing between mother and daughter, but in my "Leave it to Beaver" mentality, I expected a loving relationship, not competition.
    It seems rather sick to me. I have detected jealously on her part when I was under their roof many years ago with reference to my relationship with my dad. I used to think he was the greatest thing in the world. He knew it all, he had his head I see that he is a very weak
    individual controlled by his wife.
    Get this for control....when I was 12 years old, I inheritated a diamond ring from my great aunt on my dad's side. My parents put the ring in safe keeping for me, as I was too young and would have lost the ring. So about 7 years ago, I recall that I was left the ring. I asked where it was and my mother wouldn't give me a straight answer. She said "Why, do you have a safe place for it? Do you have a will?" in her controlling manner.....and I backed down! Story of this messed up family's life, backing down from her. So several years later, when visiting Dad, he started in on his put downs, the final straw that made me finally stand up to this garbage and we did not speak for 2 years. It bothered me that my mother controlled my ring, I was now in my 40's and HAD NEVER EVEN SEEN THE RING! In the mean time, my grandmother has passed away and left me some sterling silver and antique dishes, which mom and dad
    also had control of. I started thinking about MY possessions under their control and got angry. I knew that if dad died first, I'd never see my
    possessions. I called them one day and said in a very stern voice that I
    wanted everything that belonged to me.......including the ring Aunt Mary left me....I said "By the way......WHERE is MY ring?" "In the safe deposit box at the bank," Dad said. I said "Fine, I want it". So when I came to their house to pick up MY inheritated things, mom says "Well, there is a note in the safe deposit box that says these things belong to you". And I DID intend to keep my stuff till the day she died!

    How's THAT for control.

    And as far as healthy, I have had back problems for many years and head aches tied to it. My head aches have remarkedly decreased since I sent a letter to dad a few weeks ago telling him I was not obligated to endure his mean spirited games. Amazing how we can make ourselves

  7. #7

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Hi BeagleCrazy,

    If I came across as judgmental towards you, I did not mean to. You don't make yourself sick or something, you are trying to deal with sick things. And as far as I see it, you are doing a great job.

    What I despise is the fact that parents (!) do this to their children. I have a father who also turns things around when I confront him with his own behavior.

    My grandfather (he died about 30 years ago) gave his grandchildren silver coins at special occasions. My father offered to keep them and save them.

    At the time I asked for them (I have no clue when that was) I got three coins. I thought: huh??, since I am sure I received many more of my grandfather during his life. (I am still struggling with how to handle this, how to get them back, if they are still there anyway).

    So that is why I got angry when I read your post: the similarity is obvious. It is just unbelievable.

    You are also having troubles with getting back the valuable things that belong to you. Well, mind you, these things stand for more than jewelry: they stand for the things that are YOU.

    The way she keeps your jewelry is the way she treats you and have always treated you.

    As far as my father goes: I got three coins from him, but I think he stole/left behind? about seven. And that is exactly how I always experienced him: he sucked the energy out of me. He sucked seven coins out of me during my time I lived at home. He left three. Just about enough not to fall over completely.

    That is where my anger came from.

  8. #8

    I'm not the only one!

    Wow! When you start talking to other people about this stuff, it is amazing how others experience almost the same thing! You are right, now that I think about it, its control, control control, right up to our inheritances. And what's even more ridiculous about it, is my inheritance didn't even come from HER side of the family!

    I can see where professional counciling comes in. For many years, I have been very angry with my mother, not knowing why I was so angry.
    I once had a friend who exclaimed that she couldn't understand why I talked badly of my mother, for my mother is quite charming to outsiders.

    Perhaps my age has something to do with it, I am a little smarter to what's been going on. I can see the games and manipulation more readily now, instead of just being frustrated and angry and not knowing why at times I have hated my mother.

    So professional help would have helped me stand up to this situation a long time ago, to sort things out, and realize how the game is played.

    And no, I did not think you were being judgemental. I have suffered from stress a long time because of this "family" situation and it manifests itself in back trouble and head aches.

    I told my husband, my mother kept my possessions under the guise of keeping them safe for me, but the reality of it is, she kept them FROM me.
    She never anticipated me finally standing up to them and demanding my
    possessions. Now as it stands, my inheritance is in the house in which my husband and I live........if I were to die before her, she is no longer in control of the items and would have to manipulate my husband to get them. Had I not demanded them, and I died, she would naturally keep them or sell them at that point.

    I just have to keep on my toes with them, if I have any contact with them at all. It's like a football game, I am now anticipating their moves and then I can protect myself.

  9. #9

    Baiting, Belittling, Critical, Manipulative Behavior

    Hi Beagle,

    I am going to ask my oldest brother how many coins he received. I feel so angry.

    I don't want to take over your thread but on the other hand you know how it feels.

    I started my own thread about dealing with my father. But I ended up telling too much of the past in order to explain what he is capable of.

    Can you give me advice? Should I start my own topic on this, or can I keep posting here or...?

  10. #10

    The more the merrier

    I think it is good you are posting here. If others who are experiencing or have experienced the same type of control and manipulation come across yours and my entries, then they can add their experiences too.

    I think it helps to see others experiencing similar things, we don't feel so alone and it helps to know we are not the evil ones, like our manipulators try to make us out to be.

    I would ask your brother how many he received. Maybe he was ripped off too!

    At one time, I thought I was my mother's prime target until my youngest brother, who is the smartest kid of the bunch and makes the most money
    told me how angry he was with mom and dad's manipulative behavior.
    Perhaps I was too engrossed with my hurt and anger to see my youngest brother suffering too. He was obviously the favorite, but even he could not
    please them.

    Maybe your brother will reveal similar things to you.

    Yep, I totally understand your anger.
    Keep posting and let me find out what happens.

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