How do I tell a person they be crazy?

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HISTORY: So, in Florida, as a teenager, my stepmother lived with my dad and I when the two got married. And as long as my dad was happy, I was fine.. at first. But then this lady got on my case. There was the usual stuff like my room not being clean. I totally get that, looking back. But then there were small things that wouldn’t bother anyone, but she had to make a huge deal about it. And she had to control EVERYTHING and know EVERYTHING. This eventually drove me STATES away from her (her son moved a state a way a few years earlier. He had the right idea). She made me feel like I was crazy and wrong all the time. I just couldn’t take it anymore. I moved back to my original state, Pennsylvania, with my real mother.

TODAY: I’m 22. I’ve held a great full time job with great pay for 3 of the 4 years that I’ve been gone. I was never written up. Everyone loved me both at work and at home and over at friends. I didn’t have issues with cleaning anymore, seeing as it was something I was doing everyday at work. But I had to move back to Florida because of family issues, and back in with my dad and stepmother. This time, in her house.

Originally when I came down, my thoughts about the past was that I was a rebellious teen who was bratty. I had accepted that must’ve been the way I was. But then I slowly noticed how she was treating my brother. It was like having a window to the past. She gets on his case about everything. There are normal things like homework. Then there are odd accusations: He didn’t take a shower this morning, because it didn’t look wet and I didn’t hear it on! Seriously?

Then we get into arguments about dinner being shared together as a family is the number one priority. One time we had dinner at our uncle’s house, and our uncle called my dad and asked him if it was fine and Dad was okay with it. Then I get texted halfway through by her, telling me how that was unacceptable because she had cooked dinner. Dad’s there with you, this wasn’t planned but our uncle asked our father and it all seemed good. I don’t see the issue.

A month passed and we seemed to be friends again. A few weeks before that, there had been some argument about me. Before that, she took away MY XBOX I PAID FOR when I was in Pennsylvania. I’m 22. What the hell? And then last night she made a big deal out of dinner at our uncle’s.

This time, I had to pick my brother up from school and pick up my paycheck, so I did and in that order. My work is two blocks from my uncle’s. My brother, who LOVES my uncle, asks to visit him. I left stuff over at my uncles a few weeks ago that I needed, so I said yeah.

In my mind this was going to be a quick visit. No dinner. Just a few heys and grab stuff and leave. But then our uncle asked us to stay for dinner. My brother immediately accepted, and me not wanting to disappoint him, I tell him to ask my stepmother. So he sends a casual text, which went something like, “We’re having dinner @ our uncles.” So I had to make my own text, this time asking her if it was alright if we could. I asked her for permission when I’m 22 to eat at my uncle’s down the street. Wtf?

Her response: yes. She said yes. So everything was fine; everything was alright.

It really wasn’t. She called my dad, who was still at work, and would be until 9pm. Then he called us, saying we needed to apologize because she felt like we were deliberately excluding her, which we weren’t (I would have loved to invite her, but my uncle doesn’t want her over because of all the things she’s been doing). I’m not sorry she felt excluded. I get excluded from stuff. Grow up and get over it. So what you’re having dinner alone for one night? I have to eat dinner alone when I’m at work.

Long story short, everyone, including my father, thinks she’s crazy. But no one will tell her. But I want her to know so she stops treating other people like they’re crazy.

Category: asked October 23, 2013

5 Answers

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Well, wow. That's like looking at a small chapter of my life in someone elses words. My mother was and is the same way. There's no way to get them to understand what they are doing until they lose everything or almost everything. You can't force someone to see something like this. They need to learn it on their own.
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That doesn't sound crazy as much as just frustrating. She's clearly very controlling. Perhaps as a family, you can take several specific instances that you were upset by and confront her about them in as constructive of a way as possible. (Kind of an intervention.) But I don't think the backbone should be, "We're right. You're crazy." More, "These things upset us. How can we, in the future, work around these issues in a mutually beneficial way?"
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Come oooon.
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That sounds super stressful, I'm sorry you and your brother had to go through that! It sounds like you all have to walk on eggshells so you won't do anything that bothers her, because once you do, she's gonna make a scene. But that's not healthy! I don't think confronting her is going to work. Maybe you could ignore her, or react very calmly to the tantrums, as if she was a spoiled kid? It's bad that you're both currently living with her, though. :/
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She kind of reminds me of my mom. She seems really controlling and gets upset about the stupidest things. Ask your family to talk with her on this, like get them to sit her down and discuss it with her.