Belligerent and spiteful

I have done something wrong in the eyes of my mother. I’m not sure what it is. She is very passive-aggressive when angry, although she would deny this vigorously. If I asked her what it was she would probably deny any problem at all.

Here are snippets from our last two conversations:

Me: I hope for the wedding they (the hairdressers) don’t try to give me helmet head.
Mom: Some more body in your hair would be nice. I remember that at your cousin’s wedding your hair had more body and people actually said it looked nice. But you’ll do what you want to do. You make your hair flat on purpose.
Me: I brush it so it dries straight and not kinky.
Mom: See, you do it on purpose so you don’t look nice. If someone told you that your hair looked good you’d change the style just to be spiteful.

What was that about? Apparently I last looked good in 1999 and only for one day. Thanks Mom.

Conversation Two:

Me: I ordered a veggie sub for lunch at a clinic on Friday and got to listen to a speech about how someone knew a vegetarian once and her doctor made her eat meat because it is not healthy to be a vegetarian.
Mom: If they knew you better they’d know that telling you that will just make you more belligerent.

So she is trying to get the message across that I am both spiteful and belligerent. The conversations lose something without the disapproving tone of voice. Since I am happy with both my hair and my diet I’m not planning any changes. But knowing my mother this is not at all about either subject. I called my brother and relayed the conversations.

Me: …so apparently I am belligerent and spiteful.
Him: hmmmmm… (Laughs)
Me: I’m not totally denying the accusations just the reason for bringing them up now.
Him: Well ok, then. I don’t know. I haven’t heard anything new bad about you lately.

He’s so supportive. I’m just going to refrain from talking to her until the bridal shower this weekend. That may give her time to settle down from whatever I did. It’s amazing how I can manage to get in trouble when I don’t even live in the same state.


  • Not Alone in my distress

    O.m.g…I can’t believe how many people there are out there who have the same mother ( I use the term loosely) I find it gets harder to keep my piece and forgive her for being so utterly spiteful. I used to make excuses for her, she’d had a hard life, my brother died, etc the truth is she is just a bitch. She is never happy, is so quick to criticise me and looks for fault in everything I do, say, wear and has absolutely no sense of decorum. she just opens her mouth and the vitriole spills out and she says it all with a straight face. She is so resentful of me it is pitiful.

  • Maxine

    It is such a relief to find others who go through what
    I do. The thing that hurts me most about My Mother is she always sides with people who are criticisng me, like ex boyfriends, saying that she can see their point of view. (She never sees mine). Why so negative??

  • Pewari


    My mother is also like this – can never give a compliment unless it’s a backhanded one – far more prone to criticism. Likelihood is it’s nothing to do with what you’ve done, just something different in her life.

    It’s something I’ve resolved to never do to my kids. I’ve been learning better ways to speak and praise my kids (and it’s an uphill battle when the only model you’ve ever had is a bad one) with the help of “How to Talk So Kids Will Listen and Listen So Kids Will Talk” by Faber & Mazlish and interestingly the techniques work on mothers too 😉

  • Nio

    I get these compliments with a slap in the face at the end from Nana:

    Me: My graduation is on the 13th of May.
    Her: Ok, I’ll write in on the calender. You deserve this. You worked hard and stuck with it.



    Me: um, thanks Nan.

  • Leslie

    My mother didn’t speak to me throughout my twenties. Family gatherings, nothing, phone calls — she’d hand the phone to my dad. It was quite peaceful. Now we get along great; my mother is also famous for her selective memory (hope she never sees this!) I never did figure out what I did, either.

What Do You Think?

%d bloggers like this: