139 response to "Pathetic ways Controllers Make you Feel Guilt and Failure"

  1. By: Carlos Posted: 25th November

    Of all the days that I had to have a problem, it had to be on the day of my smoking narcissistic diabetic father’s birthday party. Happy Birthday Pops! *Blows on a horn* Well cue in with the problem, the hose of my bidet had leakage issues, which I brought to his attention after I came home from work. See when I was growing up, my Dad would always tend to these sorts of problems I encountered and occasionally he would give me an opportunity to do some plumbing and carpentry, in which he would say “I’ll take over and do it” whenever he sees my attempts to perform a task end up in failure. I know I should have fought back and said “Allow me to do it” But to no avail and today I am 23 still not knowing how to do the things that men my age or even younger than me would know how to do because they had supportive fathers. Today? When I told him about the problem, he was like “You are on your own son, you should fix it.” Okay even if I have no knowledge of the task at hand, fine I’ll do it. Which I did, whilst under his guidance, which resulted in me reverting back to the young Carlos who was walking on thin ice, because he didn’t want to make a mistake while his father is overseeing him do a task. I mean this guy hit me on the face because I couldn’t open the packaging of a foreign travel adapter while we were in Europe, I sure as hell do not want to get hit by a pair of pliers and or other plumbing related equipment while I am working with this vile man. To which he responds, “Relax it’s just a hose we are fixing” in a “Oh my god my son is 23 he does not know this shit” kind of tone in his voice, while I was working on getting this bidet problem sorted all the while emphasizing that he is not going to have a go at me. My thoughts? I think he has mastered the art of pretending though thankfully my glasses allowed me to see through the bullshit. It also made me realise that the reason why he withheld knowledge from me, is that he could prance around and make me feel like shit about not knowing what to do in my age. The problem was solved and I did most of the work, but wow is it not just astounding to realize how much of an effect his lack of guidance and presence in his life would have on me? I lost him years ago. There were well done you did a good job on that cabinet son or good job on fixing that leakage kind of bonding moments. As I work towards regaining my self worth I also aim to make sure that I know a lot of what I am lacking so that I no longer need to encounter such figures in my life again. Happy Birthday smoking narcissistic diabetic pop! Thanks for being there throughout the years. With love, Carlos.

  2. By: Carol Anne Burke Posted: 20th May

    I would like to say on Mothers day my sister and I were visiting her . She told us we were worthless because we couldn’t do anything for her . My sister has a brace on her leg and I have COPD .She said we did this to ourselves .She acted mad .My sister fell and I use to smoke .She said we were useless because we didn’t give her step-sons or grandsons . She said they could of done things for her . I have a daughter that she doesn’t like . My sister and I never married . Mom has two sons . One her own and one adopted .One won’t talk to her ( real one ); and one just started doing things for her .She said he was the best thing that she ever done in her life . That is find with me . I am happy she loves him . But her telling us we were useless and he was the best on the same day . Is a bit much for me .He only moved home a few weeks ago from out west . He was gone about 20 years . I and my sister was always here for her . It meant nothing .She doesn’t care for us . We know now . She did a lot for us but looks at that as us being worthless .I was upset and crying . She denied it but then asked my sister and she told Mom the truth . Mom never apologized or anything because what she said , she believes it is true . I believe that love should cost nothing to get. Love is the best of everything .Love is more than things and money .Love is supposed to be shared and not cost . I am heart broken and so disappointed .All the things she was doing for us was a lie ,she never loved us , all long .I did many things for her too . She thinks were a burden . What can I do and how can I get over this?????

  3. By: Helen Forbes Posted: 15th March

    I can relate to all the above and have been reading your website for over a year now. I will not relay my story but what I would like to say is…. I have not forgotten but I am in the process of forgiving as in having understanding as to why my Mum treated me the way she did.Women in the older generation did not know any different there was no counselling or anything.Somehow instead of being angry and holding this place within my own body and spirit I have an understanding and with comes a form of forgiveness…. For me to mull over and over and over and over again does Not liberate me form my shackles from her. I a protect myself when I am in her company and know not to approach issues that ignite the old stories.This ia how I have survived and still a have a relationship with my Narcissistic Mother.My wounds have helped me gain much insight and empathy. Yes as a child I was a victim to her…but I am no a victim as keeping myself in this position will not Ever help me move forth into the brilliant awesome woman I am today at 53 years old.It has been a journey probably the biggest in my life…..

  4. By: Ananda Tumsi Posted: 11th March

    Only through her death was my psyche freed from Stockholm syndrome. I always could feel her hatred of me. Now it all makes perfect sense.

  5. By: Rizay Posted: 10th March

    This post resonated with me too. My mother never approved of my life choices and she never liked my husband much. I think she hated that there was a man who wanted me as when I was young, she snidely said to me, “No good man will ever want you!!!”

    ‘Love’ in our home growing up was the same as yours Darlene – it was all about performance and being submissive to my mother – being at her beck and call. Like you, my mother felt that she knew what was best for me better than I did. She’d even go so far as to presume what I was thinking! ‘Love’ was a taking thing, never a giving thing – unless of course there was something for her to get/gain in return.

    My mother hasn’t been in my life now for 17 years this month. My family of origin hasn’t been in my life for almost 7 years … and the smearing I have endured is insane. Because she is not in my life (my husband’s or my children’s lives either), and I have told her years ago why she isn’t – because of her abuse – this is something she would never disclose to another person as she would never risk her facade being exposed – so do you know what she does tell people? She tells people we aren’t in her life because we’re in a cult – and does she ever win sympathy with people over that one!

    The wisest (and most hardest) decision of my life was omitting my abusive mother and all family of origin (who abused by proxy) from my life … but it was also the most right and best decision of my life. Breaking the chains of generational abuse is a legacy I (well, husband and me) can pass down to our children that we can feel good about.

    Darlene, I remember how I found your blog about 7 years ago and I will never forget how, for the first time in my life, I felt less alone in my suffering. I met so many others here who came from ‘narcissistic families’ like mine! It was like finding family you didn’t know you had – a ‘family’ bound by common experiences. Your blog had/has helped me to ‘see’ and to heal so much!! I pray that many will continue to find healing for their broken hearts and shredded souls.


    • By: d Taylor Posted: 22nd September

      But your souls aren’t shredded, it’s the narcissistic people who have the shredded souls.

  6. By: Kat Posted: 28th January

    I relate to this article so much! There is never a time when I am not constantly being sniped at by my parents. They always have something to complain about and some snide comment to make about me. None of my siblings ever have to face the treatment I do. My mom is always telling me how much of a failure I am, how I’m so ugly, how I’m so obese that I need insulin shots. It’s out of control now. I never eat lunch or dinner, and I always stay up at night, crying and wishing it could all come to an end. I’m just a bad child to her, one who will never amount to anything. I feel sick all the time, but I’m helpless because she has control over my boss, my therapist, and even my friends. I just don’t know what to do. I’m tired of being the black sheep.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 28th January

      Hi Kat
      I will never understand how a parent can treat their child this way. This website and my book are about how we can realize at a heart level, that they are wrong about us and that those labels they put on us are mean and destructive but that they are not the truth. l
      Hugs, Darlene

  7. By: Crystal Hogg Posted: 6th January

    Hi Darlene, this really hit the nail on the head for me. This was the first year we had my mom and my mother in law up for the holidays and the first time they met. My daughter knows my mom more because she lived with us for a year, and my mother in law less because she lives on the other side of the United States. It’s unfortunate but the way it works. My daughter was very clingy to my mom and not my mother in law which cause my mother in law to fly off the handle with how much we don’t appreciate her and we use her and she just can’t do it anymore. She gave us a $3500 wedding gift check.. something we didn’t ask for and something we greatly appreciated. She threw it in our face and told us how all we do is take and we aren’t appreciative. My mother does the exact same thing. Is it us? Or did we just happen to have two mothers who guilt trip us when they buy us things. I’m so confused and feeling like this is all my fault.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 8th January

      Hi Chystal
      How could it be you?? There are so many dynamics here; first of all, a gift that has obligations attached to it, isn’t a gift. If there is guilt thrown at you after someone buys something for you, it wasn’t a gift, it was a BRIBE. But the rules of engagement in dysfunctional family relationships are never clear because that would give the controllers less control.
      I hope you will keep reading the articles and comments here. There is a lot of fog busting happening!
      Hugs, Darlene

  8. By: Susan Posted: 19th November

    Thank you for this website. I recently went through a big change in my life. I left a job where I was being bullied/harassed by a co-worker. I sold my house and moved back to my home town. I have been looking for work ever since. My allergies have also been really bad this year. Stress may have something to do with that. In other words, I have been feeling sad, lonely and depressed lately. My mom was just over here and I could hear her sigh after everything I said. When I asked her about it, she started in on me telling me I am complaining too much and how I should be different. She constantly tells me how I should say things. She has never been a very compassionate person. She is very controlling even with my dad always telling him what to do and how to do it. I used to take the brunt of everything growing up. She blamed how she was feeling on me being because I was a very strong independent child. She even belittled my feelings towards my first love/high school sweetheart who was killed in a car accident when I was 18 saying it really wasn’t love/true feelings because we were so young. I was devastated. I know her father was an alcoholic and she often brings it up. When ever anyone tells her something, she is very defensive and turns the conversation around and says it is your fault. I just told her that I don’t want to be around her right now because she just makes me feel worse about my current situation. I feel bad, but I need to surround myself around people who are positive, uplifting and do not constantly criticize me. Thank you for making me feel like I am not alone. I feel better knowing it is just not me or all in my head. Take care, Susan

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 25th November

      Hi Susan
      Welcome to EFB ~ That must have been horrific not only losing your sweetheart, but being told that it wasn’t love. That is SO brutal, dismissive and discounting. Thanks for sharing here,
      hugs, Darlene

  9. By: Ariel Posted: 20th September

    I don’t know if my mom has it but sometimes, when there’s an argument I always feel sad and end up crying in the shower praying to God to make me smart so my parents wouldn’t be miserable with me around. Just today, my day was starting great until my dad told mom that we had to throw away bread cause it was had gnats and there might be eggs in it. Mom just got back from a doc’s appointment and it only made things worst. She yelled at me and dad for doing it behind her back and said next time keep to yourself. For the rest of the day I would quietly go to her room as she cleans up and ask if I should help her. As always she quickly says no and I had to leave. Then she would complain about the gnats in the house, the cats bothering her as she reads the newspaper and when it was time for a movie and the rent day was over and we couldn’t see the movie on the DVR she just left and didn’t care even though it was her favorite movie. Then she was almost down my throat when it came to me finding a job. I’ve applied nearly 4 times and it’s just the waiting game at the moment. I don’t think my mom’s sick but one philosaphy is true: If the child is happy, the parent is miserable. If the child is miserable, the parent is happy.

    I hope my mom isn’t sick. She’s just been that way since I’ve gradutated college and she’s unemployed too and would gamble a lot now it’s up to the point when I’m scared of my own mother and this whole thing started over bread. If there’s any tips out there to prevent the future from ending up like yours, I’m all ears. Just so you know, I would never blame my mom cause she grew up with an abusive dad, WW2 vet, and the second oldest of 9 kids. Any help I will gladly take.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 21st September

      Hi Ariel
      This isn’t about blame, it is about honesty validating the damage that has been caused (to you) so than you can move forward. I hope you will keep reading this website. There is a lot of insight here.
      Thank you for sharing,
      Hugs, Darlene

  10. By: Mo Posted: 5th August

    We got a puppy (my dad’s idea I’m guessing) and my brothers and I loved it, but I think she only stayed a few weeks till my mother decided that she couldn’t handle it (walking it was too difficult with a bad back was her reason) so the puppy was taken back. I didn’t even think about that being a sad story till I told my husband and he was horrified and sad for me because he got to keep and love his dog growing up and is a very happy memory for him. It made sense that he got a dog and kept it when I recently found out that my mother in law shared my experience of getting a dog and then it taken away again when she was a child.

  11. By: Blue27 Posted: 26th May

    Wow I never knew that this sort of thing existed! Honeslty, I never saw my mother as controlling, but I have now realized all the sign! I’m an only child who grew up in a somewhat dysfunctional marriage. My mother had always been giving, she bought me everything I wanted as a child and never failed to give me affection during most of my childhood. That’s all dandy, but one day she changed with me. Once I hit my preteen years she would do the same “buy me what I wanted and appeared to be a generous mother.” It came with a catch. If she noticed her friend’s daughters were getting better grades and working while studying she would ask me why I didn’t do that. Even though I was on the honor roll most of my school years, I would occasionally get a “C” here and there. For that she would make me feel worthless calling me a “mediocre”, that I would never be anything in life, ect. And her common manipulating line has always been ” I’m only in this country for you to study and be successful, if not I have nothing to do here and will leave you and your father! ”
    It got worse once I hit 18. She started making even more rude comments such as
    ” why do you wear bangs to the side, only someone with BAD SELF ESTEEM does that”
    ” you’re too emotional, men hate that. If you don’t change you’ll never keep a relationship”
    The problem is I never saw my mother as controlling, because she still buys me what I want and other times will be so nice to me. I think she may be bipolar.
    Recently, I was diagnosed with GAD. I have frequent panic attacks, am on medication, and had to drop out of school for a while due to lack of being near crowds. This has made it worse! Now the comments have gotten worse and I fear that most of my anxiety is due to her emotional abuse. For weeks i’ll be fine without an attack, then something triggers it (usually a comment she makes) and all she has to say is “you’re like a crab, all you do is walk backwards” ” you purposefully don’t want to get better to have an excuse and lay arround all day ”
    I help arround the house, I tell her everyday that I appreciate and love her. I am planning to go back to school. I AM TRYING. On Mother’s Day I bought her a cute gift and sweet card. I do what I feel most teenagers these days don’t do with their moms. Everywhere we go SOMEONE comments on how “it must be nice to have a daughter who wants to HANG with her and is so close to her, because most girls this age just want to hang with friends and boyfreinds”
    I feel I try my hardest with my relationship with her, but as most of you mentioned I always find myself giving explanations to her on everything I do and she guilt trips me too. Always saying ” look at everything I do for you” “it’s only because I love you” ” I sacrificed so much for you and it wasn’t worth it”
    ACCORDING to my mother, it’s my fault that she’s still with my dad ( I told her already if she gets a divorce I will understand!)
    It’s my fault that we rent such an expensive house (we were forced to leave our old home, it was a small house that had no sink to wash dishes, infested with rats and roaches yet it’s still my fault.
    It’s my fault according to her that if she has an argument with my grandma ( her mother) it’s only because I insisted she come stay with us for a while ( my panic attacks for so bad they were lonely related, I needed company :/ mind you I am an only child)
    Eveything is my fault according to her and she guilty trips me by doing nice things for me and then rubbing it in my face as me being “selfish” or “unapprecive”. I can never win. How do I deal with a mother like this? Does this makes her controlling? Sometimes she makes the guilt sound so real I actually feel and for her. She does guilt trip though ?

  12. By: Julie Posted: 5th May

    Another great post! It hit home. I’m always defending myself! My choices, my ideas, my actions. Everything. And I’m always wrong. I find I even have to defend my children. They don’t work hard enough, put enough effort into school, don’t have enough activities. Good grief, this is enlightening. And scary. What do I do with all of these feelings? How do I let it all go?

    To see so many comments and know that there are so many mothers out there like this. I have 3 of my own and I promise myself every day that I will never be anything like my mother. I will never do to them what she did to me.

    • By: Darlene Ouimet Posted: 5th May

      Hi Julie
      There are over 450 articles all with discussions here so lots of insights and answers!
      I am glad you are here.
      Hugs, Darlene

  13. By: M Posted: 13th April

    J- I totally understand that “separation” part of your post – of feeling like you’re two separate people – one who wants to thrive and succeed, and the other who wants to ruin all of your joy. I had that, too- there was a part of me that felt glee every time I caused myself misery, and would sabotage any happiness I found. I just felt so guilty all the time, so I think that was me punishing myself. The way I’ve dealt with it was by doing Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping on acupuncture points), and reading “A Course in Miracles.” Both have been incredibly helpful. I’m still working through these issues, but the need to punish myself has become much fainter. I used to be so backwards – feeling happy/satisfied when something bad happened to me, and really uncomfortable when something good happened. When I had a recurrent breast cancer tumor, I could barely suppress a smile at the dr’s office when I got the bad news. As a child, I had been the scapegoat for all of my dysfunctional family’s issues. I was “selfish, evil, greedy, bad, a troublemaker, a bad influence on my younger siblings, and always made things difficult for my poor parents.” Btw, I was an honor student. But my mom only saw me the way she wanted to see me. She hated herself so she unleashed all of her bad feelings onto me.

  14. By: Kris Posted: 18th January

    Hi Angela,

    I know what you mean when you say you got things from your mother that you didn’t even want. My mother bought me so much junk that my house no longer felt like my own right along with my Christmas tree full of all of HER ornaments!!! We have been virtually NC for 3 years now yet she wanted to see me at Christmas as if the last 3 years never happened and when I refused to do that she sent me a letter filled with all the things that she did for me since I was in kindergarten wanting to make sure that my therapist had the full story about what went on in my childhood because she just cant believe that my problems were caused by living in her house where I emailed her back telling her that “you seem to be worried that my doctor doesn’t have a clear picture of what all you did for me so I want you to know that I did share your letter with him so I hope that eases your mind but unfortunately the diagnosis is the same!!!” My mother did the same thing to me as your mother did. Trying to guilt trip me into doing what she wanted me to do and when that doesn’t work she resorts to the “blame and shame” game by saying “after all the things that I did for you”!!!! But this time it didn’t work because this time I knew that the only reason that she bought me all of that junk was to make her own self feel better trying to use me to fill up some empty void inside of herself that can only be filled up by her.

    The day I said no to what my mother wanted me to do is the day I got my power back and she lost control over me and that is why she lashed out at me with this letter still trying to get from me what she needs to give to herself. Once I figured out the sick dynamic behind all of this I no longer felt guilty for wanting to have my own things in my own house and since then I have managed to get rid of most of her junk so now my house feels like mine instead of hers. It feels good and what’s even better yet is I no longer carry around all that guilt and shame that really belongs to my mother. She gets to deal with it now not me. There is so much freedom in that.


  15. By: Angela Posted: 17th January

    Everything my mother does for me, she always makes it obvious, by mentioning it outloud saying that she “sacrificed” so much for my brother and I when we don’t want her to “sacrifice” for us. In fact, we will feel happier if she didn’t. But she doesn’t listen, thinking that what’s she’s doing is always “the best” for us. My brother and I always feel so guilty whenever sh does that.

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