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Thread: Mentally abusive mother, or I am ungrateful and immature?

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    Mentally abusive mother, or I am ungrateful and immature?

    I am 25 year old woman and an only child. My parents never had any other kids by choice because they wanted to give me my best chance. I grew up with my mother mostly until 4, she stayed at home while my father worked. I dont remember much from that time, I have a very sweet feeling though we were really close. After that she started working too and I grew up with my father (he is a teacher so he was at home to take care of me).
    My mother worked a lot and I was seeing her only a little bit at night and sundays. She started being something else. She was always tired and mad and critical of what me and my father were doing at home while she worked. She was never pleased never happy. Maybe she had personal issues with my father that I dont know of. She was very strict with me and too demanding. I was only a child. Since she wasnt home most of the time this was bearable, though it ruined every vacation. I also where a very social child and I wanted to play and socialize with other kids, I was very jealous of people who had siblings. My mother always blamed me that she has to chose and find me friends all the time and I cannot stay alone and play with my toys and have a nice time with them as a family.
    Years passed like that and when I was 13 my mother suffered a big medical condition that almost left her paralyzed. I was totally frozen when that happened I freaked out never shown it to anyone, I just started having sleep problems (insomnia) that keep on until today. I could not visit the hospital I was having panick attacks, I did not know what it was and never told them about it. She later blamed me for not visiting her and not loving her. She overcame her problem, not all of it, but she walked again. This left her weak to find another job. She never worked again since that. Thats when hell started.
    She stayed at home all day and she started making her whole life about me. Always checking on me, pushing me extremely hard to be a straight A student (I was already studying a lot), not letting me to go out. She even followed me one day. I was with a friend and we went to eat at the local fastfood store at the mall(thats what all 13-14 kids where doing at the time) and she bashed in screaming that I am spending her money on trash food dragging me home. (!!)
    As I grew older in my teen years I became more difficult, fighting back, running from home, doing things I should not. She continued being more and more strict and critical of me. She never liked my friends, she also told me that the good students at my school (the good kids) dont want me to hangout with them because I am a failure, and thats why I have the friends that I have. I was hearing insults like that everyday. Last year of high school was a nightmare. I was screaming every day. I had absolutely no personal life. I was jumping from the window everyday to go have a walk. She pushed me to get into univercity. I already studied enough but she always thought it was too little. I started having illnesses from stress (rashes and fever and stuff like that). I finished high school and got in univercity in another city (thank god) and she said that if she did not push me I would have done nothing in my life.
    When I left things kind of chilled. We still had fights but I was taking too much distance. After some time my grandma (her mum) died and she become softer. We started talking a little more, she was trying to understand me more, and for a moment I really believed we could be friends. But hell no. It started when I decided to work for a summer as a waiter, because I thought I should help with money and I did not want them to pay everything for me. She got mad she started saying that I am working as a (??) and stuff like that she left for vacation leaving me no money and no food to punish me for choosing to work a part time job. The money I got from the summer job were just enough to feed me. I never understood this.
    What she does now is not the same straightforward critical fighting. She is trying to make me feel guilt. She has no friends no social life (this is what she says) only my father even though he is lovely and he is with her all day. She wants me to go back home. I will graduate and get my degree in a few months and she already starts planning where we will all live (our old house is very small) and where I will work. I am constanlty fighting over the phone saying that there is no way to go back to them. That I will work and try to live alone because I need to be my own woman. She starts crying and saying I dont love her and that she only has me and we are family and all that. She is also reminding me that I am 25 and I need to be married in a while otherwise I will get ugly as I get older and there will be no guys left. What I want is to go abroad. That was my dream since I was a kid. I want to travel and work. She almost had a heart attack when I told her. She tried to convince me that I cant do anything on my own (she is always saying that) and I cannot leave. I countered that by saying that i need to learn to be on my own (I already know I can but whatever) and she said that since I am her only child she will come with me, wherever I go live next.
    I cant live like this anymore. I cannot feel guilt anymore. Help please

  2. #2
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    Your post is full of contradictions and over analysis to the point where I feel sorry that your mother didnít have a second child.

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    There are many books you can find new or used on the Internet, or possibly at the library, on setting boundaries with difficult people. This should give you the skills to handle your mother.

    You teach people how to treat you. When she is being pleasant, stick around for a nice chat. When the discussion turns to something unpleasant, interrupt her and say: I have to hang up now. Have a great day. If you're in her home, stand up and cut the visit short, saying you have to leave now, but hope she can make the best of the day.

    She needs to learn that she will lose your company when she tries to verbally abuse/manipulate you. You don't need to explain what your plans are or why you're doing whatever. You're an adult and can do whatever you want without input or permission from anyone else. If you fear she'll move by you, you don't even have to give her your address.

    Give her some info about meet ups for women her age and social classes she can attend like painting classes/oil, watercolor, and book discussion groups. Tell her it's her responsibility to create her own social life because you're launching and your life will be too busy to fulfill that role, but you will always be her daughter and will visit when you have time. Good luck.

  4. #4
    Platinum Member RainyCoast's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Billie28
    Your post is full of contradictions and over analysis to the point where I feel sorry that your mother didnít have a second child.
    maybe that reply could've been more useful if you elaborated on the contradictions and confusion you find in the opening post, or how OP could compensate her poor mother for being an only child/ a confusing one at that - is that what you're saying? What *are* you saying? Because it sounds rather rude. At least elaborated criticism may benefit someone if they take it into consideration as tough love. Nobody can draw benefit from being insulted.

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    Platinum Member melancholy123's Avatar
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    My mother was a variation of your mother, the same only different, as it were. She was a negative bully in my life, it was her way or the highway. I left at 18 when I got my first job and I never moved back in her house. My dad was a nice man but no match for her. You cant win with people like your mother and if you want to move far away, do it. You get one life and you need to do the things that interest you and hopefully please you. You are not your mother's keeper.

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    Notmi, reading your post breaks my heart.

    I see many similarities between your mum and mine, and I have often wondered if she was narcissistic as well (she died in 2014).

    My response to her was similar to yours as well -- high anxiety, panic attacks, insomnia, depression, the whole nine.

    I was not an only child but her only daughter, I have five brothers. This is significant.

    She did not treat me brothers the way she treated me. She was nurturing and caring, the way a mum is supposed to be.

    I didn't understand why until I went to therapy, but the reason for that was because they did not allow her to mistreat them!

    They stood up to her, often harshly.

    I recall one incident when my little brother came home 5 minutes late. My mom was furious!

    They started fighting. Harsh words were exchanged and my mum had my brother's arm pinned around his back.

    He winced in pain, then freed himself and said "loudly"'-- "if you EVER lay a hand on me again, I'm going to the police and have you arrested"!

    Other harsh words were said, and she said nothing back.

    He stood up to her, he had her respect!!

    I presume my other brothers did the same and she never mentally abused them..

    Unfortunately, I was a very sensitive and quiet little girl and never had the strength to stand up to her.

    Even as a young adult, I couldn't.

    As I got a little older (mid-late 20s) I was able to talk to her and she apologized and we became friends.

    An earlier poster said "we teach people how to treat us."

    My brothers sure did and they got respect.

    I did too in a different way, and I got abused.

    As hard as it is, you need to stop allowing her to treat you this way. Resulting in your feeling the way you do.

    Stand up for yourself and to her, and let her know through your actions you will no longer tolerate..

    Move out. Start becoming more independent!

    Just because she is your mother doesn't give her the right to control, manipulate and mentally abuse you like this.

    It won't be easy but necessary.

    Learn from my brothers. Good luck sweetie. xx

  8. #7
    Platinum Member ThatwasThen's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by Notmi
    I am 25 year old woman and an only child. My parents never had any other kids by choice because they wanted to give me my best chance. I grew up with my mother mostly until 4, she stayed at home while my father worked. I dont remember much from that time, I have a very sweet feeling though we were really close. After that she started working too and I grew up with my father (he is a teacher so he was at home to take care of me).
    My mother worked a lot and I was seeing her only a little bit at night and sundays. She started being something else. She was always tired and mad and critical of what me and my father were doing at home while she worked. She was never pleased never happy. Maybe she had personal issues with my father that I dont know of. She was very strict with me and too demanding. I was only a child. Since she wasnt home most of the time this was bearable, though it ruined every vacation. I also where a very social child and I wanted to play and socialize with other kids, I was very jealous of people who had siblings. My mother always blamed me that she has to chose and find me friends all the time and I cannot stay alone and play with my toys and have a nice time with them as a family.
    Years passed like that and when I was 13 my mother suffered a big medical condition that almost left her paralyzed. I was totally frozen when that happened I freaked out never shown it to anyone, I just started having sleep problems (insomnia) that keep on until today. I could not visit the hospital I was having panick attacks, I did not know what it was and never told them about it. She later blamed me for not visiting her and not loving her. She overcame her problem, not all of it, but she walked again. This left her weak to find another job. She never worked again since that. Thats when hell started.
    She stayed at home all day and she started making her whole life about me. Always checking on me, pushing me extremely hard to be a straight A student (I was already studying a lot), not letting me to go out. She even followed me one day. I was with a friend and we went to eat at the local fastfood store at the mall(thats what all 13-14 kids where doing at the time) and she bashed in screaming that I am spending her money on trash food dragging me home. (!!)
    As I grew older in my teen years I became more difficult, fighting back, running from home, doing things I should not. She continued being more and more strict and critical of me. She never liked my friends, she also told me that the good students at my school (the good kids) dont want me to hangout with them because I am a failure, and thats why I have the friends that I have. I was hearing insults like that everyday. Last year of high school was a nightmare. I was screaming every day. I had absolutely no personal life. I was jumping from the window everyday to go have a walk. She pushed me to get into univercity. I already studied enough but she always thought it was too little. I started having illnesses from stress (rashes and fever and stuff like that). I finished high school and got in univercity in another city (thank god) and she said that if she did not push me I would have done nothing in my life.
    When I left things kind of chilled. We still had fights but I was taking too much distance. After some time my grandma (her mum) died and she become softer. We started talking a little more, she was trying to understand me more, and for a moment I really believed we could be friends. But hell no. It started when I decided to work for a summer as a waiter, because I thought I should help with money and I did not want them to pay everything for me. She got mad she started saying that I am working as a (??) and stuff like that she left for vacation leaving me no money and no food to punish me for choosing to work a part time job. The money I got from the summer job were just enough to feed me. I never understood this.
    What she does now is not the same straightforward critical fighting. She is trying to make me feel guilt. She has no friends no social life (this is what she says) only my father even though he is lovely and he is with her all day. She wants me to go back home. I will graduate and get my degree in a few months and she already starts planning where we will all live (our old house is very small) and where I will work. I am constanlty fighting over the phone saying that there is no way to go back to them. That I will work and try to live alone because I need to be my own woman. She starts crying and saying I dont love her and that she only has me and we are family and all that. She is also reminding me that I am 25 and I need to be married in a while otherwise I will get ugly as I get older and there will be no guys left. What I want is to go abroad. That was my dream since I was a kid. I want to travel and work. She almost had a heart attack when I told her. She tried to convince me that I cant do anything on my own (she is always saying that) and I cannot leave. I countered that by saying that i need to learn to be on my own (I already know I can but whatever) and she said that since I am her only child she will come with me, wherever I go live next.
    I cant live like this anymore. I cannot feel guilt anymore. Help please
    What has your father been doing during all of this? You have painted your mother as an evil, controlling beotch but from where I'm sitting, your father has been just as abusive for allowing your mother to inflict her self on you like you say she did.

    You're 25. Time to be an adult and stop letting your mother manipulate you like she apparently has been and to talk to your father about how he allowed all this to go on. Then, you sit back and you thank them both for the opportunities they have given you like keeping you safe from yourself, by paying for your university education and for making sure you don't get yourself into deep trouble with the law by being on your case.

    None of us, or most of us anyway didn't like the way our parents kept us 'caged' so to speak as we were in our teens but they did it so that we wouldn't get in trouble with the law, wouldn't get hurt or killed and got an education so that we could support ourselves as adults so don't lose sight of that. You are old enough now to form personal boundaries with your parents so that you don't allow her to MAKE you do things you don't want to do and you don't allow your father to sit there and allow it to continue. If you can't say "NO" to her treatment of you then get yourself the therapy you need to learn how to form boundaries that you won't let her cross.

    You do yourself NO good by holding onto grudges or receiving enabling dialogue from strangers on the internet that allow you to hang onto those grudges.
    It also does you no good to be perpetuating a codependent relationship with your mother and a caretaking relationship with your father who you hold no blame for when he was the one witnessing all of it but did nothing (by all accounts) to end it. You would do well to talk to a professional that will hopefully help you to let go of all of this resentment you harbor and instead take a look at the things they gave you to get you where you are and to help you forming boundaries so that she can't manipulate you into perpetuating the codependent relationship she has with you.

    Good luck.

  9. #8
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    TwT, I know your post was directed to OP, but in my sit, my mom's mis-treatment was inflicted while my dad was at work.

    When he returned home at 7:00, she did a complete 180 and was as nice as she could be.

    I used to love it when he came home, lots of hugs and stuff cause with him there I felt safe and protected.

    I never told him until years later, after which he apologized for not noticing and being there and allowing it to happen.

    He just didn't know at the time, kept to myself, suffered in silence.

  10. #9
    Platinum Member LC8328's Avatar
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    You were not ungrateful. Your mother was abusive. You were just a kid trying to grow and do the things that kids do.

    Trust me on this. I know a thing or two about abusive mothers.


    As hard as it is, you need to stop allowing her to treat you this way. Resulting in your feeling the way you do.

    Stand up for yourself and to her, and let her know through your actions you will no longer tolerate..

    Move out. Start becoming more independent!
    I have to agree with Katrina on this. Good luck to you.

  11. #10
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    What a horror!

    You need to follow your dreams. You have no obligation to your mother, and you must stand your ground. Do not allow this woman to come with you, or live with you.

    Have you sought therapy?

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