Passive Is Just Aggressive

A thought just occurred to me today concerning the communications I’ve been having with “her” our mother. To recap, many of you know that I cut her off for years because she’s abusive and toxic but that she eventually offered what I considered the only apology someone like her is capable of. I have allowed very limited contact via email and only for a specific number of times. There have been quite a few times where I’ve asked her a direct question about something, not anything confrontational, normal stuff and in her next email she will not answer the question but instead says something about herself like complaining about her health. It happened a few times but I didn’t get a light bulb over my head until today and I want to run it by you guys to see if I may be on to something. It drives her crazy that she can’t control me and she has expressed her anger in various ways both psychological and physical in the past. Once I cut her off she had to apologize for the first time in her life even though it wasn’t really an admittance of anything. She loves playing games with people…passive agressive or just plain aggressive and she has readily admitted to doing so before with that sick smirk she gets on her face. As an example of a recent instance, a  month or so ago I asked her some health questions about my grandmother, her mother, who died younger than she should have been and had severe heart problems my whole life. My mother ignored my question, waited, and then in one of her emails proceeded to list off really ridiculous, non-serious illnesses and procedures she’s had and used my words when I had asked about my grandmother, that it was for my family medical history. She never answered my question but made sure she complained about herself. Now, she’s done it again. I asked for an email address and she again ignored my question and this time told me some shocking news about the person (news which would make me want to get in touch with this person even more to see how they are), and then complained about herself again saying how tired she was. After this most recent exchange an idea came to me. It occurred to me that maybe she is playing games again because this is all she can do. I ask for information and she has control of giving it to me. In the case of this relative she can prevent me from getting closer to this person. She can’t control me but she can control this. She can play passive-aggressive by ignoring me and saying what she wants to say, drawing attention to herself which is her favorite past time. ‘Poor me, I’m so sick, I have this really common ailment and boo hoo…’ It’s the same crap as before: ‘Pay attention to me!’ ‘Me, me, me!’ ‘Oh you want this? Forget it, unless you play my game.’ There have been at least four instances like this. What do you guys think?


About CimmarianInk

Abuse Survivor Diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder PTSD and Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) also known as Multiple Personalities
This entry was posted in dissociative identity disorder, Family Relationships and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to Passive Is Just Aggressive

  1. kat says:

    if it was me in your place, i would go back to no contact again. but if you really want to try to have some contact, then avoid asking for anything, even medical info, since as you have observed, that is something she can control and try to make you crazy. whatever you do, good luck.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi kat, it ended up that she gave me the email address later but even that felt like she was being sneaky about around one of my rules. Now that I’m aware of possible manipulation I’m going to carefully observe what happens and I will cut her off if I detect a pattern.

  2. Hope says:

    Trust your gut on this one. I’ve had similar issues with my mother, and it makes me crazy. Mine also insists she doesn’t have certain things I know she has–I lost most of my books when she moved because she insisted that she’d already mailed them to me. (She hadn’t.)
    As I’ve dealt with my mother and as I’ve gotten mentally healthier, I’ve learned to trust my instincts about her behavior. After all, I grew up with her and her crazy-making behavior, and I only doubted my instincts because she spent years telling me they were wrong. I suspect it’s a common theme with many people who have narcissistic mothers. So trust your knowledge and judgments.

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Hope,

      Oh my goodness it sounds like your mother likes to play games too and I’m sorry for that.

      It’s really important for those of us who grew up in houses like that to learn to trust our instincts no matter how much they told us we were wrong. Ugh, narcissism!

  3. LeikaShadow says:

    My immediate reaction is to say that yes, she is still playing control games and that I can see a pattern just from what you have described. I obviously don’t know the entire situation (this is only the 2nd of your posts that I’ve read so far), but I have had friends in similar situations and it seems very familiar. As the others have mentioned, the best thing is to try to hear and believe your instincts and do what is best for you. I wish you all the luck in your journey to move past this and to heal!

    • CimmarianInk says:

      Hi Leika,

      Thank you for reading the blog and sharing your thoughts. I definitely will be more on guard and I’m prepared to change the agreement I have with my mother if I feel like she’s abusing it.

  4. ~meredith says:

    What do you want from her (rhetorically speaking)? This is the question that came to mind again and again when you described her intention of being the point of attention… and she’s heavily invested in her drama. How do you imagine she can help if she beats her drum more loudly when you approach her? She can’t.

    She’ll never be the woman you’re looking for. It’s not personal. She doesn’t share your point of view. So then… knowing that this is always who she’s been, what do you want from her (rhetorically speaking)?

    This is really shitty stuff to work out… and here you are. You are awesome.


  5. Faith says:

    I think we have the same mother.
    I know the smirk on her face. It cuts, mocks and lingers in the mind. It cuts slow and long like a blade across the soul. That smirk, oh man. That alone is painful. With out a word it’s painful. I hate it. I’m sorry u know it so well, too.

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