Posted by: Judy | October 29, 2014

Nattering in my head…

Today is a bit of a brain dump. If you’re not interested, I won’t be offended if you don’t read. I simply need it out of my head.

Sunday was family dinner. This requires interaction with the family. Mostly, I enjoy this. The headache didn’t help, but I was able to put it mostly on the back burner.

Narrowing down what’s still annoying me.

Both my sister and I made the stipulation that neither of my parents is allowed to comment on what I eat, which they still do, or talk to me about diet, which they still do. They’ve kept the comments relatively short.

NM told me she’d read a book she thought I should read.


She fetched it anyway. A book on the “evils” of processed foods. “You need to read this.”

“No. I’m not interested.”

“Oh.” She moved the book away from me, but left it on the table. In case I changed my mind was the implied message. She didn’t say it, this time. I got the message.

“No. I am not going to read it.”

She removed the book from the table.

The nattering in my head has also been about the bread she gave away. I knew she was punishing me. I didn’t do what she wanted, i.e., accept the book and read it and learn from it, so she withheld food.


I’ve finally figured it out.

Bread has always been a sore spot.

She had two bags of bread, bread I love and always accept when she offers it to me. I don’t begrudge her offering it to the other members of the family and not me. What bothered me was that she wandered into the room where I was, and in both cases, she looked at me, and then offered one bag to one person, then looked at me, and offered the other bag to another person. She made sure I saw. Without saying a word the message was clear “I know you want it, but you can’t have it.”

Insane doesn’t begin to cover it.

I buy my own food and have done so for decades. I make sure I have extra bread and milk, always.

The needling… the pettiness… mind boggling. It’s pitiful.

It’s a slow process, but I’m learning.

Amazing how much easier it is to let go once I understand the intertwining threads.



  1. I think you handled the situation really well. You held to your boundaries no matter how much she persisted – like with a toddler. You didn’t back down from your boundary and recognized her punishment manipulation right away. My mother is like this, punishes when I’ve held onto a boundary. It often involved food as well.

    It is such a boundary violation to comment on what someone eats. I hadn’t realized this until recently that that is why I would get so frustrated when my in-laws comment on my food. I am trying to figure out how to address this as in a few months is the holidays. This is really a major hot button with me.

    • Thanks ((TR))

      I love and hate the holidays. The food, the traditions, the meaning are wonderful. Then some petty tyrant comes along and makes it all about them. Bah. Time to make some changes.

      • ((Judy)) Indeed, time to make some changes. We can do this.

  2. Sad thing is she gave some of the bread to people that planned to throw it away as soon as they get home. Weirdness doesn’t end.

    • It wasn’t about them or the bread; it was about her need to punish and reward for behavior she considers bad or good.

  3. “Insane doesn’t begin to cover it.” Yes, I agree. It’s both overwhelming and freeing to be able to see the crazyness in full. Sending you supporting hugs. Keep going. We can do this 🙂 xx

    • ((Kara))

  4. Do you remind your parents when they mention your eating or food that they had agreed to not do that? Not that I think this will stop them or find another way to tell you, but it might make you feel better.

    • I reminded them, and they pretended they didn’t hear me. I ignore what they say, but this was the first direct foray since the new boundaries were set.

  5. Someone that doesn’t honor boundaries, and then feels compelled to show their displeasure when you stick to your guns and force the boundary (because their behavior continues to ignore your boundaries) is still violating your boundaries, but in a different way. It isn’t about the bread, it’s about making sure you notice their displeasure. Which is just another way of trampling all over your boundaries (ie, having the last word). I’m really sorry you continue to be living in an unhealthy environment, and only hope that your internal conversation outweighs the external actions of your NM.

    Being able to watch her actions as an observer, and apply logical thinking to an illogical act of defiance, doesn’t erase the repetitive pattern she creates, but it does give you some distance. Sometimes, distance is enough.

    • Thanks ((ntexas99)) Boundaries are so difficult for those who have to learn about them later in life. It makes so much more sense now. If nothing else, my sense of humor is expanding. 🙂

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