Toxic Mother Daughter Relationships when Mom says You are the Problem



dysfunctional mother daughter relationship
Pure Truth

“When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased, and blames you for everything that goes wrong, it is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of the abuse that do the damage. Over time, this type of abuse eats away at your self-confidence and sense of self-worth, undermining any good feelings you have about yourself and about your accomplishments.” The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Engle

Although this quote is aimed at the victim for the purpose of exposing how the self-esteem gets torn down, the first time I read this quote I thought of my mother and how much she said that I hurt her; she always said that I was the problem and that I did this to her ~ that I tore HER down;

“Darlene, you are so critical”

“Darlene, I can never do anything right in your eyes, I am always wrong”.

“Darlene, there is no pleasing you”

And overtime I believed that my words, actions and behavior (although I could not figure out what I was doing that was so offending) had eaten away at her self-confidence and harmed her sense of self-worth and undermined any good feelings that she ever had about herself and her accomplishments. I believed everything she said about me. I believed that I was the critical one and that I was the one doing all the damage.

When I became an adult she adjusted her accusations. She used a different voice infliction when she said things like;

 “Darlene you always were so hard on me”.  This was to remind me that I was “always” this way and always the problem.

“Darlene I have always been afraid that you would take your kids away from me and use them as a weapon against me”.  She said this as a kind of reverse psychology or a warning that if I did it, she had predicted that I would do it because I am a mean and spiteful daughter who has always done mean and spiteful things to her. And I set out to prove that I would never do something ‘like that’.

This is the brainwashing; this is what happened that caused me to try harder with her and to try so hard to ‘understand her.’ I tried to reassure her, to soothe her and to be the daughter she always wanted.

And when I started to look at the way SHE treated me in this profoundly dysfunctional mother daughter relationship we had, I became aware that now I was saying some of the same critical type things about her too.  When I started to look at the truth about how toxic our mother daughter relationship was, I felt guilty because I believed that I was being critical of my mother, and I had tried so hard all my life to prove her wrong about me! In the first couple years of my healing process I kept saying stuff like “well in all fairness to my mother, I was not the perfect daughter because of…. And I would list my faults. Just like I was trained to do; I was trained to look at me, always to look at me and my faults and to take the blame. Looking at my faults is not such a bad thing, but the lack of mutuality in our relationship is a ridiculous thing. This started when I was a kid and I had been convinced mostly through the actions and results of those actions at the hands of the adults in my life, that I was the failure and that if I could be different, THEN I would be loved. There was no accountability on the part of the adults!

Today I refer to that thought process as “the spin”. I would spin around and around in my mind about why my mother was justified in her criticisms and judgments of ME which I somehow believed nullified my judgments of her. I could never validate that something really was wrong with the way she treated me, because I was so convinced that I was at least as much of a problem for her as she was for me. I didn’t see how she was “the parent”, or how she expected me to be more responsible for the success of our relationship than she was. I didn’t look at HOW I learned to have a relationship in the first place. I didn’t realize that my self-esteem was never put in place because my parents didn’t put it in place. I didn’t consider for one minute that the truth was that it had been up to them to give me a healthy emotional foundation in the first place.  I had learned to LOOK at myself in a critical way and to never look at anyone else in a critical way. There is something really warped about that.

In the healing process, this is a huge stick point for many people.  In reading the quote I used above; “When someone is unrelentingly critical of you, always finds fault, can never be pleased, and blames you for everything that goes wrong, it is the insidious nature and cumulative effects of the abuse that do the damage. Over time, this type of abuse eats away at your self-confidence and sense of self-worth, undermining any good feelings you have about yourself and about your accomplishments.” The Emotionally Abusive Relationship by Beverly Engle ~ My first reaction was that I had been the one who was hurting my mother with MY criticism.  I had effectively been taught and groomed to turn the spotlight on myself.

Statements like the examples I used above and statements like “Oh you think you are so perfect” or “sorry I’m not perfect” are actually deflections meant to make me believe that the problem was my “unreasonable expectations” of her; I picture my mother as wearing wonder woman type shiny wrist cuffs to deflect the statements I made to her, BACK on to me. She didn’t hear me, she had no intention of listening to me, she just found a way to put the responsibility of our relationship back on me.

When I was around 33 years old, just after my second baby was born, my mother told me all the things that I had ever done that had ‘disappointed her’ and all of my faults and failures and when I wanted to say a few things about how she made me feel, she threatened to have a breakdown and reminded me that she was too fragile to listen to me. That was the first time I had ever really tried to stand up to her and when she threatened to go home, I said go and she did.  

There was NO communication when I tried to sort any of this out. She had no intention of actually discussing any of it with me. She used statements to deflect whatever it was that I had to say causing me to look at me again, instead of at her. She was very efficient at getting me to see how I caused the problem for her and never the other way around.

Sorting this out was really hard. It was extremely valuable for me to learn to examine the motives on both sides; My motive was not to hurt her. My motive was not to be right, but to be heard, to have a say, to have some impact on the relationship. My motive for approaching her with anything that was bothering me was to improve our relationship. My motive was loved based both for her and for me. Her motive was more about being right. Her motive was about being in control. She didn’t want to communicate with me, she didn’t allow me to have impact on her life, she didn’t see any need to look at HER part in the relationships or why it was so difficult between us. Her motive was ultimately NOT love based. Her motive was not what was best for me and ultimately not what was best for her either.

When I wanted to talk to my mother about our dysfunctional toxic mother daughter relationship it wasn’t to fight back or to fight to have a voice. It wasn’t so that I could have control over her. My motive was the desire for a BETTER relationship for both of us. A mutually respectful relationship. I told her that I could no longer accept the way she treated me. That was love for both of us; I had learned that self-love does not accept abusive disrespectful treatment. I had also learned that putting up with the way she treated me communicated to her that it was okay for her to do it, and letting her treat me like I didn’t matter was not loving for her either.  We don’t put up with that treatment out of LOVE for the people doing it; we put up with it out of fear of the consequences if we draw a boundary against it.

All I did was decide that our toxic mother daughter relationship problems were not MY fault.

Then I decided that since I realized it wasn’t my fault, I wasn’t taking the blame for it anymore.

Then I drew a boundary which bluntly stated was; “either you stop treating me in this disrespectful way or I will not have this relationship with you”.

She picked “not having a relationship with me”. OUCH. But at least I knew the truth. It was easier to move forward when I knew the truth.  It wasn’t exactly the validation that I wanted but it was validating to know my suspicions were true.

At the end of the day I know that my mother is not a happy person. I also know now that it isn’t MY FAULT.

The hurt little girl part of me thinks that my mother must be happy now that “her problem’ which was me, is no longer in her life. But the healthy adult part of me thinks that my mother could have been much happier if she embraced the idea of having a ‘real relationship’ with me. A mutually respectful relationship based on equal value instead of rejecting me because I stood up to the existing toxic mother daughter relationship we had. But as she always said to me ~ she made her bed…..


Please share your thoughts about being taught that you were the one who failed and if you somehow believed it. Are you out of ‘the fog’ and ‘the spin’ or are you still coming out of them. It’s okay to be IN the process.  I had to be IN the process to get to the other side; Looking forward to your comments!

Exposing Truth; one snapshot at a time;

Darlene Ouimet

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Related Post~ “Emotionally Unavailable Father and The message of Passive Abuse”

904 response to "Toxic Mother Daughter Relationships when Mom says You are the Problem"

  1. By: Anon Posted: 12th May

    I come here posting anonymously because mother’s day is so hard for me. My relationship with my step mother hurts me everyday. In so many similar ways to this article. My relationship with my step siblings is non-existent now, it’s gone from single word replys to none. I haven’t seen my siblings since Christmas and even my dad sides with my step mom sometimes. This article made me feel so good knowing that there are others like me. I hate mother’s day, but year for a relationship with my step mother so I continue to celebrate it and give her gifts and cards. But it just hurts me in the end. Maybe eventually I’ll give up, but for now keep trying. I don’t trust women in any capacity and it’s related to my toxic relationship with my step mother. One day things will change. I know it. Posting here helps as I can’t post on other places…

  2. By: Beth Posted: 6th March

    I realised my relationship with my mother was toxic when I came out as gay to her when I was 16. She sat me down at the kitchen table and hurled the usual abuse of ‘no daughter of mine is gay’, ‘you’re just confused’ and ‘you just need to have sex with a man’. I think from that day things were never the same between us. Fast forward and I am now 23. I’m getting married to my partner in April. Although I’m older now and more independent my mother still has a hold on me. She constantly criticises me, she says I’m fat, I have terrible skin etc she tries to control my life still and tell me to have my hair a certain colour, wear tighter clothes to show off my body more. Even when trying on my wedding dress at my final fitting she said my shoulders looked too fat in the dress, knowing it would hurt me. Anyway tonight she text me 7 times because I had fallen asleep and forgotten to call her. She said that she was upset with me and I just blew up and told her how she makes me feel so bad about myself and worthless. She turned the whole thing back on me and said that I want her to change her personality and lie to me then. She kept threatening to cut ties with me and never speak to me again because she can’t ‘give her opinion’. I’m devastated because I thought being honest might help the situation but it has made it worse. So I am now up at half 4 in the morning scrolling through articles about toxic mother/daughter relationships and I have stumbled across this. Thank you for sharing your story and sorry for droning on about mine!

  3. By: b.seller Posted: 5th March

    This has been so hard to understand. With me, there has been jealousy and competitiveness for many years because I was so close to my dad. How weird that my mom would be jealous over this but that is what happened. She used to make me look bad in many ways..try to say I had an eating problem, as in I only ate salads and healthy foods, untrue.. My dad recently passed away and it has been the most painful thing ever..that, and also losing my mom in that she has distanced herself even more and continues to withhold love and affection. . I sent her a long email on how I would love to be closer and that dad would want us to. That was a month ago..she only said we would talk about that later. I guess it’s not important enough to discuss 🙁

  4. By: Kimberly Posted: 18th January

    In summary, my mother would emotionally shut down every time I would try to talk real with her. If I would try to tell her anything that she said or did that hurt me, I would be told I was”rehashing the past” and to just move on or she would straight up deny it. She was never at fault. I was always asked why I was so argumentative or so sensitive to criticism. She always invaded my privacy and would body shame me. She controlled how I spoke. If my body language was wrong to her she would question it. My feelings were always invalidated. I could go on for hours. She’s called me a bad mother and a bad sister. She’s a terrible person.

  5. By: Kina Posted: 16th December

    I’m 27, I still live at home, my parents always helped my older brothers with everything, getting a license, paying for cars, getting houses built, they’re even paying ones mortgage and the others car payments, me on the other hand, I’ve never received any encouragement, any help…

    I’ve attempted too save money too move out, any attempts too talk too her about it, she’s really negative about it, discourages me, tell me too stay at home, says i cant afford it, my mother encouraged me too spend it on a holiday with her instead and i did, because i wanted too spend time with her and now all she ever does is berate me for still living at home…

    I honestly can’t do anything right.. from my weight too the way i dress, she hates if i spend time with my dad, almost as if shes jealous, am i crazy? she makes me feel this way…

  6. By: Erin Signer Posted: 6th December

    I arrived here after what should be the last straw but won’t be, with my mother. She hung up on me, on friday, after i called to tell her i was sick and leaving work early so i wouldn’t be coming to dinner that night at her house for her birthday. She aggressively accused me of always being sick (which she does frequently, and i’m not) and then said “so you’re not coming” and before i could say i’m sorry i know its disappointing but i’m going to come see you early next week she disconnected the call. She’s done this my entire life and completely denies that it happened or makes up a lie saying she said good bye and hung up because i’m sick and she didn’t wan to keep me on the phone. UNREAL but not uncommon. She hasn’t said anything for days then casually texts me about a xmas present to which I shortly replied “we’re all set” because she uses presents as power and i’ve already given plenty of concession to try to satisfy her and feel like i did my part to be a “good daughter” (i can’t even begin to dive into this but based on reading the comments we all know…). She asks if I’m ok and I don’t answer, then she texts some other present idea and i again answer shortly no thanks. Again, are you ok. I tell her I don’t want to talk about it please respect that. She then demands to know becuase she’s my mother and she has a right to know. So I break down and tell her about the hang up because she said she had no idea what she did. She then proceeds to lie about saying goodbye and go on to remind me of how much i must hate her (these are her exact words) and that she’s felt our relationship declining for some time (because she’s abusive and after a super abusive relationship i became more controlling over limiting how much and what way i spend any time with her and she wants calls and texts daily-doting on her as a mother-because thats what the movies promised her. But she does nothing to actually earn any of that appreciation and sweet words. She demands them by her title as mother. I dont’ even know where i’m going wiht this but i’m so upset and hurt it’s making me physically feel ill. Luckily i have an incredible partner who supports me and has seen first hand what she does but it’s still hard and hurts really bad. I’m so sad that so many of us suffer through this but i’m so relieved to read these things and know that more than just my mom have uttered these exact phrases to me in manipulation as well. I’m 34 and happily living wiht my partner and three of his four teenage kids in a home i just bought for us. She demands a relationship with the children as well and so far I’ve been able to keep stalling and making excuses. I don’t want her to get at them because their own mom is a narcissistic mess too 🙁 BIG HUGS FOR ALL OF US especially during the effing holidays.

    • By: Beth Posted: 6th March

      This sounds just like my mum too! She demands that I speak to her every single day on the phone and wants me to visit her constantly. My dad assumes it’s because my mum was really close with her mum and they would see each other very weekend but I don’t see how she doesn’t realise that we don’t have that kind of relationship! I’m glad you have a good support system around you, how long have you realised your mother was like this?

  7. By: Victoria Posted: 8th November

    I am so glad I found your site. My story is so tragic I cant find my way. I have just recently left a narcissist husband. I live 5 houses down from my narcissist mother. I just buried my 49 year old brother. I blame my mother more than anyone for his death. He was in liver failure. Alcoholism. Which we all suffer from except het. I have Bern sober for 10 years. Not healthy, but sober. My brother fell off a ladder at work. In March. He broke both of his legs. He has been an alcoholic most of his life. my mother was aware of this more than anyone. During his Rehabilitation she took him to physical therapy 3 times a week. she told me she thought he was on drugs all of its symptoms he was having.. he was the golden Child. I have always then the scapegoat. My mother is a retired nurse. She watched my brother deteriorate. She has always sabotaged me. .I didn’t see the full extent of her evil. Until she saw my brother dying in front of her and did nothing.
    I convinced myself last year on Thanksgiving that it was the last family event I would ever attend. I left their traumatized and suicidal. Me being the scapegoat I receive 0 support and no compassion. Nor is anyone in my family allowed to give me any. I was p
    Dealing with an abusive narcissistic husband that are ready left me contemplating suicide and she did nothing but add more pain. I went home wanting to kill myself. I locked myself in a room and wouldn’t let anybody near me just finished I was done. my daughter was getting married in March I knew I had to attend that. Another nightmare that left me wanting to kill myself because she was the center of attention once again and I was made to sit in this a little world she created for me. I knew my place. I had no right to be a mother she was the mother. She made sure everyone knew that I was the big S for shame that I should feel for being a terrible daughter mother Etc because of my alcoholism. Which I remind you had not been active for almost 10 years. You are never forgiven with a narcissist. They wait to pull it out when they can harm you the worst and so she did. Once again I vowed never again what I attend any family event. I kept to that until August second. It was a birthday dinner for my daughter and my brother. I wasn’t going to go and something kept nudging me to go. I thought I will drop the card off to my brother and daughter and I will go. I saw my brother still in a wheelchair from his accident in March. He looked so bad I was shocked beyond belief. The scapegoat we questions what we see what we hear what is reality. Am I overreacting to this I’m asking myself. He couldn’t walk 3 feet without being out of breath. His skin was yellow. And I’m sitting there quiet because I’m in disbelief. I know my mother would do anything in her power to hurt me covertly of course. But not my brother he wants to Golden Child she did for him his entire life. He could do no wrong. I went home I paced I cried I prayed I finally texted my mother and his girlfriend and says my brother is dying. He needs to go to the hospital right now. His girlfriend is an extremely kind person. Also a codependent. But my mother was a nurse her entire life!!!! How could she not see this??? Of course she then turns into mother of the year. She encouraged him to take go to a doctor. Let’s take the long way about this. And whose doctor did he go to? Hers. She gave him blood test and some vitamins and something for blood pressure and also sent him home for another 10 days. I was beside myself. what in the hell is going on why am I the only one seeing this? Of course my mother stuck up for this doctor. I just felt defeated I didn’t know what else to do. 10 days later the doctor calls back and asked him to come in for more blood work. She then immediately send them to the hospital. He was there from August 6th until October 25th when he passed away. As you can imagine our relationship was not 1 of closeness period that change during the three months. I talked to him and told him stories and told him to please forgive his self. I prayed and prayed for him to live for God give him the opportunity to no recovery to no peace but it was not to be. In the meantime my mother was there every single day. She was there at least 8 hours every day. The Martyr the loving mother. She really showed her true colors when my niece became his power of attorney. She is at also a nurse a very skilled nurse and his daughter. She was hysterical that she did not get to the power of attorney. It was embarrassing to say the least. Did anyone stand up to her? No one but me. The troublemaker the one who could never get along with anyone. I learned a lot in those three months. I learned my mother truly doesn’t care about anyone or have the ability to care about anyone. Only two weeks ago I got an order of protection against my husband. He has not paid a single bill in this house. I have a job but it does not pay all the bills. I don’t know what I’m going to do God knows I don’t have a support group. I have hired an attorney that I trust. I don’t know what tomorrow brings period or which direction to go to put my life back together. If there are any suggestions from you or anyone else reading this I would greatly appreciate it. I am strong and I am capable. I have listen to the lies my entire life and I’m done with it. now it’s the rest of my life would follow suit that would be great haha. I am empowered and somehow I know this will work out. She has turned my children against me as well. They sympathize with her and my soon-to-be-ex-husband who they never like to begin with. Forgive my misspellings and improper use of words I tried to catch them all but I’m sure I missed some I have been talk texting this post. I just had to get it out. I’m sure it’s all over the place as I am right now. Somehow someway I know it will get better. Thanks for allowing me to share

    • By: Jess Posted: 21st February

      My mom was a nurse to!! I see so many similar styles between us. My mom was a golden nurse but she couldn’t seem to nurse her children. It’s heartbreaking and you feel like such a failure but you have to remember to take the good and never become a nurse with children (they get left behind)

    • By: Ember Posted: 12th June

      Victoria … I read you comment and honestly had to re-read it. Practically everything you have said … I am dealing with right at this moment. If you can respond to let me know this reaches you … before I go into details, that’d be awesome! Stay strong … lord knows I’m tryin to. But I am struggling … badly at the same time. Take care and hope to hear from ya soon …

  8. By: Jessica Posted: 26th June

    My mother has always been difficult but it seems to be even more of a problem lately. She is controlling, abrasive, constantly disappointed, nothing is ever good enough, and always right. She expects me to just apologize when she feels I’ve wronged her and never to say anything back. When I finally spoke up saying that I would not accept that everything is my fault and I am always wrong, it’s turned into a huge issue. All of her drama and negativity have led me to believe the problem is me. She turns things around on me, puts words in my mouth, and says incredibly hurtful things. I resonate so much with this post. Thank you for sharing.

  9. By: Katie Posted: 27th March

    This article has helped me so much and I no longer feel alone in my situation. I am 26 and recently separated myself from my mother and in return it also damaged what relationship I had left with my brothers and father. It’s definitely been a hard road especially when your mother convinces everyone that you are the problem and a difficult person to be around and nobody wants to talk to you. I also recently got engaged and it’s been a difficult realization that my family will probably not be there on my special day.

  10. By: Alicia Posted: 3rd October

    I could have written this post – well not so eloquently – but what I mean is it is my life exactly. Down to the quotes that your mother says. I am extremely sad today because last night she again told me she is just not going to talk to me anymore. “nothing I say is right. I’m always wrong and you’re just perfect Alicia. You know everything. You are so full of yourself, you’re so selfish – it’s all about you. You’ve never caused me anything but grief.”

    These are not things I would say to people even if I didn’t like them. Why? Because nice people don’t say these things to others. They hurt, especially coming from a mother. My husband has watched me cry time and time again and each time helped to build me back up. The hard part is my relationship with my father is suffering and I love him dearly.

    Honestly I don’t know how to move forward- I’m just so sad right now- but thank you for writing your experience because it helps me to read it and know I’m not alone.

  11. By: Lana Posted: 30th September

    Thank you so much for this post. I’ve always thought that I was in the wrong for feeling hurt and angry even when I know deep down I deserve to be but would feel the guilt of “hurting” my mom weighing more than everything else. Thank you for justifying my feelings and giving me the “right” to feel what I’m suppose to.

    I don’t know if I would consider my experiences as abuse or rather, I am scared to categorise it as such because if ever my mom knows that I feel that it is, it would hurt her deeply and the guilt of that would be unbearable for me. Or maybe I’m just amplifying it or being too dramatic. Compared to stories by others, my experiences feel so small and I feel terrible for feeling so much sadness over my own experiences, I feel so self centered but at the same time, I also want to share them because at this moment I feel really hurt due to what happened just last night.

    Last night,I came home and my mother was sitting on the dining table asking me for the money I “promised” to lend for my brother’s wedding. My younger brother (who is also the golden child) is getting married next month and I am also in the midst of planning and saving for my own wedding which is not so further down the line. I don’t ever remember promising her this and I stated that she must”ve had things confused because the last time I agreed to lend money was for my sister’s college fund and that I’ve lent it already. She was adamant about it and kept going on and on yelling at me that “You promised”. She wouldn’t listen to me when I said I never did and that I don’t have the thousands of dollars she wanted because the money that I have saved for MY wedding has been used to pay for deposits and to pay for my sister’s college fund. She continued to repeat “you promised” and kept pushing me to give the money, my money. I didn’t think that her repeating that I promised would brought us closer to the solution so I tried to get her to focus on what to do now but she kept on trying to make me “remember” something that never happened, she proceeded to call my sister whom she believed was a witness and asked her to prove me wrong, to tell me that she was there and she heard that “I promised”. My sister then told her that she never heard me promise and the only time she heard me said that I would lend money was for the college fund. She then yelled at my sister too saying how she has also forgotten! We’re not the most religious family but our belief plays a vital part in our mom then stood up to walk away (as she always does) and started cursing at me wishing me bad luck from God because I can’t remember my promise. I lost it! I have never in my 28 years of life screamed as loud as I did, I’ve had it! How was this even my fault, for one, it is not my wedding and two, why do I feel like I don’t have the right to my own money that I’ve made sacrifices on to save and three, why was I cursed for something that I did not do?! (btw my brother did not want a lavish wedding, he wanted a small and simple one because it was all that he could afford but because my mom felt that a small wedding would not look good to other people, she demanded that my brother should have a bigger one and when my brother refused she said she’d pay for the extra expenses, she has brought this upon herself) she’s blaming me for the stress she caused herself, she would never want to look in the mirror and admit her faults, never. It is always me or my sister. This is how it has been all my life, my mother always put me on a guilt trip, always. I am not allowed to question her love for me or how she treats me because she is the mother and I should be the one pleasing her always or else I would be the most sinful in the eyes of God. And that’s what I have been doing all my life. I tried hard in everything I do to make her proud, to show her that hey look mom, i’m accomplished and not a disappointment, but regardless how well I do in life or what I do for her, I always end up being the evil, spiteful and selfish daughter, even when I received an all paid scholarship to study in a university abroad, she managed to turn it around and made it a negative thing saying that studying abroad has made me selfish, arrogant and that I’ve stopped caring about her and the family, and I don’t know how this has came about…but I believe her anyways, that I am whatever she thinks that I am and I always feel so guilt ridden, even as I am tryping this I am contemplating whether I should stop and delete or continue because I feel like a terrible daughter but I want to continue, I need to continue. I was never praised for my accomplishments. She would even complain about me behind my back to my siblings. She thinks I don’t know but I do. ” don’t be selfish like your sister” “don’t turn out to be ungrateful like your sister” “do you want to be a treacherous child like your sister” I’m often used as an example of bad behaviour. So I know in what light she sees me in. If you know me at all, you know that I always abide by the rules and because I have been trained to always feel guilty even over the littlest of things, I am scared to do harm to anyone because later on the guilt would eat at me. When I got my job, the first thing I did was spare some money for my parents and I continue to do this every time I get paid. This is always first in my list, regardless how She treats me, I know that she has spent a lot on me and I wanted to give back plus I know that the money would help them. One time during an argument over something so trivial, she brought up how she “knows” that I only give money because I felt forced to and that It wasn’t sincere. I was taken aback and stood up for myself and told her that I have never felt that way and that I have always been sincere. I begged her to think of how much her words have hurt me, to which she responded “why should I think about how you feel? You’re the daughter! I’m your mother, you should care about how I feel! Your feelings don’t matter!” There’s so many other instances my whole life when I have been blamed and cursed at even when I had nothing to do with it. I’m still the evil and selfish one even when I’ve done something good or helped her. She hates it that I am always cooped up in my room all the time, what she didn’t know is that I do so because I don’t feel safe around her, this is the only way I get to keep the peace in the relationship, I feel anxious when I’m in the same room because I know she’d find something to pick on. Whenever we fight, she’d give me the silent treatment for months, as a kid, this was something that killed me. When I was young and living in my old neighbourhood, I used to watch my next door friend hug her parents and felt a strong pang of jealousy. I wish I could do that, I wish I could randomly hug my parents and say I love you. I wish my mom could hug me and tell me she loves me and that I’m not a bad person.

    But I know that will never happen. I want to learn to accept that this is not something I can fix, this is not something for me to mend…how can I fix something that has never existed? I want to learn to ignore the negative voices of my mother and be ok with myself. I want to be able to say to myself that I am enough, I am a good person and beleive it. I want to learn that I don’t need my mother’s approval to be happy.

    • By: Nadine Posted: 12th February

      Hi Lana, i read your reply and it struck a cord with me. Your story sounds similar to mine. I’m a bit older than you and I’ve gone through the same things: silent treatments, guilt trips, emotional distance, no bugs or I love yous… All of it.
      I’m sorry that you are going through this. It’s a very difficult road because we are attached to our parents and love them, but it’s causing us emotional pain and harm.
      The best thing I had ever done was move out of my mom’s home. Once I did, my life immediately improved. Your mother wants to be in control, because she feels like she owns her children and you owe her your existence. She hates the fact that you have a mind of your own (and a smart one) and deep down she is feeling helpless because she is losing control. You are standing up for herself and she is realizing that, she hates the fact that she can’t control you. This is a very unhealthy relationship – a parent should be happy for your accomplishments. But instead she guilt trips you. Maybe she is also jealous. You’ll never know what deep seated insecurities are driving your mother’s behavior but you can take control of your life and try to lead a happy existence. Please please create a boundary between the nasty things she says to you and your self esteem. If you want to be happy, you need distance. Otherwise, a part of you will never be free.
      If it’s possible for you to move out and maintain emotional distance, it would really help you. Try to focus on your new life and your future marriage and all the wonderful things that life has to offer.
      Sadly, my mom and I no longer on speaking terms. Our relationship eroded to this level over a long period of time. And I feel sad about this every day. But I am also the happiest I’ve ever been. Because my mind is free, and I’ve been able to slowly set myself free from the emotional pain that my mother has caused me. I’ve broken vicious cycles that could’ve destroyed my future relationships. I’m not saying that you should stop speaking to your mother, but don’t feel guilty if distancing yourself from her makes your life better. Follow your intuition, not your fears or anxieties.
      I am sorry again as you deserve all the love you can get from a parent. XOXO

  12. By: Sherri Posted: 21st August

    8/24/2017; What a relief reading your story. Almost a mirror image. I go over to my parents home on weekends (single 49 mother of 3) to help them clean the house do yard work and the books for their business. Every time I leave I cry from brutal verbal attacks. Like you said I get the blame. This weekend was the worst. As I was told I am a horrible daughter and I should be doing better and my children should do more. I decided after crying and shutting the world out for 2 days I can no longer help them. I can Not be around such an angry negative person. Thank you for sharing words do hurt and I guess the attack on my kids was the last thing I could take.

    • By: Susan Papszycki Posted: 24th February

      Your story is exactly how mine goes. Im 53 and my mom and my.aunt, her sister, took me out for birthday lunch. Doin it only is felt had to do ,obligated, all they did the whole lunch was put me down.. my mom has never had a filter her mouth, and seems like they only took me out to complain to me. She is now talking bad about my children and second husband. I have had numerous hip,knee replacements and cervical fusion anterior posterior. All I hear is how i should take disabilty but meanwhile im an RN a d need to keep working.she never complimented me or said I’m sorry. And she thinks I need NA meetings,cos I’m on prescribed pain killers for past 20 years, but checked monthly and never has taken any other drug. She is such a narcissist, always talking about herself,etc. Example I said mom I decided to give my son in laws parents a.small token for their holiday ( I wa looking for advice, and she says im not getting them a gift, I just met them etv etc. Now I was looking for advice and all she s says is what she’s doing
      Same with my kid for their Christmas, all goes back to “her” and how she got……’s never want they ask or either. She’ll ask me to get a gift and she’ll lay me for it. She’s never been in toys r usand has only me , my brother passedaway age 39 drug abuser. She only . Has 4 grandkids and has lots of money from my dads life insurance which she cancelled hers when knew he was dying. She invited me and my 1 daughter to eat out but hates my husband and they don’t talk. I am an RN and u think shed be proud but she never says positive things about me, just wear hour hair up it looks nicer . I can write a book

      • By: Tundra Woman Posted: 24th February

        Susan, You have now had 53 years of experience with your biological Mugger and her sister: Do you even like these people? I don’t even know them, but your descriptions are more than adequate for me to determine no way would I like them nor keep them in my life. And that’s from an uninvolved emotionally detached “outsider.” When you’ve been floating around in the Family Septic Tank long enough, your “view” becomes obstructed by the liquids-and the solids.
        So if you don’t even like them, you are not required to keep people in your life who have demonstrated a consistent pattern of demeaning and highly critical behavior towards you. “Not having a filter on her mouth?” Does she exhibit this lovely quality indiscriminately to others? If not, why not? Because people who truly lack “filters” are Equal Opportunity Assholes, not Selective Assholes. As the recipient of relentless odious behavior from her, please be advised there is no DNA Exemption for treating others with dignity and respect. That includes YOU.

        At 53 your Mugger holds no claim to highly personal information about you OR your spouse nor adult offspring: This is very unhealthy enmeshment. Your medical, employment, income etc. information is none of her business at all. To put it bluntly you have allowed her to get waaayy too far up in your and your family’s business. This is why Boundaries are essential for healthy relationships. Your
        Primary Relationship is with your spouse, not Mommy-Dearest. By continuing to engage in a relationship with her that effectively excludes your husband you are sending a very clear message to BOTH of them which behaviorally demonstrates to your husband he is not your first priority and to your Mugger, your desire to secure her approval etc. is a value you hold as a higher priority than your own husband. This is deleterious to put it mildly towards your marriage and further empowers her to continue to play the classic Narc Divide and Conquer Game which has successfully destroyed so many marriages. Of course she “hates” your husband: He’s competition for your complete and total attention-and a potential threat to abdicate from your proscribed role as Mommy’s Bestest Scapegoat. You can resign without notice if you’d like from that designated position when ever you’re ready, Susan. Yes, you most certainly CAN walk away from a lifelong abuser at your onus. How many more years, decades are you willing to spend playing Dutiful Dumpster to this revolting woman and her sister before you recognize YOU MATTER, Susan and you DO have both the Right and the Responsibility to conduct your life as you determine and associate with people you choose to include in your life. That’s one of the Perks of being a “groan up” along with pizza and ice cream for breakfast if you so desire, paying the mortgage, utilities and all the other stuff that B.B. King so delightfully paid homage to in his tune, “Payin the Cost to Be the Boss.” You are in charge of your decisions and your life and if you need permission to do that, here it is from an old widow broad with plenty of experience at both Adulting and successfully eradicating Terminally Malignant Assholes/aka, narcs and their ilk from one’s life. They are hazardous to your well-being in every way and unfit for human consumption, period.

        Your Mugger does not like your children any more than she likes your husband for the same reason: Mommy has to have ALL the attention ALL the time. Your children are useful to her only in so far as she can use them as Tools to hurt you AND them. I can not condone modeling this behavior to one’s children in any way. This is exactly why perverse family dynamics become a Family Legacy, passed down from generation to generation. Is this the Inheritance you wish to leave your own children? Do you want your own children to be the next generation of you? Of course not!

        The Legacy stops with us, Susan. It is one of our two primary responsibilities to protect our children from threats-and your Mugger is a known threat to your well being and that of your family. That’s more than enough reason to walk away and never look back. If terminating the relationship with her and her sister is too massive a step to wrap your mind around, reframe it as an ITO: An Indeterminate Time Out. We can not heal a wound by repeatedly reinjuring it, by reexposing that damage to the same causative agent. This is why a Time Out helps YOU begin the process of recovery, OK? Make sense?

        Block all avenues of approach to these people. No phone calls or texts, all emails get auto-sent to a special folder (you can get really “creative” with the lable to this folder!) where you don’t see them-your husband can review them if you “have to” know what ever BS or FOG they’re generating now (nothing new, believe me they are massively unoriginal) and let you know if there’s anything of importance there. Get off social media and take a break for awhile at least. Sure, you can tighten down your Farcebook settings but I can assure you even the most self proclaimed techno-idiot can defeat your settings or glean info from other’s access, so a major pruning of “friends and family” is a necessity. Be prepared to call LEO if they pull an in-person ambush at your home or place of employment. No contact means NO CONTACT. What are they gonna do?! Take away your car? Your electronics? Put you in Time Out?! (<Ooo, if only!)

        Susan, I have more confidence in you than you can begin to fathom. Your accomplishments are impressive indeed-an RN?! Good for YOU! Your Mugger is jealous as hell of your achievements are you kidding?! Hey, no one can eclipse “Mommy The Great,” no one can outshine her or demonstrate their ability to do the hard work essential to success in any way, personally, professionally or publicly. The reality she refuses to acknowledge your RN is the manifestation of not only jealousy but her attempts at SABOTAGING your success-oh yes she HAS attempted to sabotage you on every front-have not been successful. Unwittingly, you thwarted her efforts and must be punished and rudely put in your place at every opportunity, worshipping at the altar of your Grandiose Mugger. You likely don’t see it now, but with some time away, these patterns become more obvious. I can only imagine what you can achieve going forward without lugging along this burden of overindulged envious, petty, nasty person. You can do this, Susan.
        Otherwise, what you’ve experienced for your entire life thus far is exactly the experience you can expect for the rest of your life. You CAN change this and you will-what alternative is there besides an ongoing painful repudiation of your very humanity? I’m cheering you on because I know you can transcend your Legacy garnered from your Mugger.

        Start repossessing your life. Or actually, allow yourself to experience life on YOUR terms instead of anyone else’s. Life was not meant to be a Life Sentence without the possibility of Parole. And this is what you’ve sentenced yourself to from the time you were a very Little One. This is what that perfect little child you once were was led to believe by the very person who should have loved you beyond words, reason, life itself.
        Just the way you felt the first moment you held your own children in your arms, that was you long ago as well. Can you imagine treating your beautiful, helpless baby the way you were?
        Neither can I Susan, neither can I.

  13. By: Rubies Posted: 12th August

    I hope you realize you are different from your mother, and brother. A narcissistic parent almost always favors their narcissistic children, while using, abusing, harassing, or shunning their normal children. It’s as if they want to make sure all their kids are just as mentally screwed up as they are, one way or another. I think it was very wise of you to go live with your dad. Being ignored definitely trumps chaos. I hid out in my room from mine during my teenage years, though she always found reasons to come scream at me anyway. I think your mom giving you that list was so you’d feel guilty that you don’t come and adore her enough, but understand even if you did, it’s NEVER enough for these people. I know, I tried the adoration route and I’m SO sorry I did. It’s like trying to pour your heart, soul, time, life, everything into a great black bottomless hole that can never be filled. Oh she’ll seem happy in those moments, but soon after, it will mean absolutely nothing to her. And if she really starts to believe you’re not going anywhere, you’re really there for her, that’s when the not so well hidden hatred, envy, and mind games come out in full force. Your mother’s the one who should be embarrassed that she disowned her own child, NOT YOU. <3

    I'm so sorry to hear about you losing your father. Mine also passed away in 2012 and I still really miss him.
    I imagine you're fairly young since you're still living at home. So i feel the need to suggest to you to start saving up whatever money you can, so you can find a way to leave as soon as you're able. Don't tell anyone about it, as she'll probably work to sabotage your efforts to escape from the nightmare. Don't tell her about trying to lose weight either. You already know the truth, "they don't care." Unfortunately NOTHING you do is going to change that fact. So start watching out for yourself, because nobody else in that house will. Try to spend time alone, outside, or away when you can, in order to give your mind and soul a break from the crazy making behavior. I'd BET it's not your meds causing the issues. My mother would also push, prod, and say/do some horrible things until I'd finally lose my cool, and then act like the perfectly innocent victim. Getting you to believe you're the one with the issues is a constant goal of narcissists. Deep inside you KNOW you're being disrespected repeatedly, and just like 'the straw that broke the camel's back' you get to the point you CAN'T take one more word. You see, your brothers also play a part in keeping you down. I understand you saying you're "withering away", but PLEASE don't give up on yourself. Imagine living in peace away from these people, and start taking the small steps to eventually get there. Also, be aware that many people raised with narcissistic parents often end up in other narcissistic relationships. I know I did. So learn about boundaries, and the signs to look out for before you end up dating one long term, or worse, marrying one. Even worse than that, having children with them, thus perpetuating the drama throughout your life. I must also say, I wouldn't trust leaving my meds out for them to possibly tamper with. That may sound far too paranoid, but I've learned the hard way to put NOTHING past these people. Put a bright colored note out for yourself instead to remind you. These are all just suggestions Sweetheart, from someone who wishes they could do more for for you, but YOU have to decide wether you are going to LOVE YOURSELF enough to change things. <3

    I hope no one thinks I'm playing the expert here, giving advise. I'm still learning myself. I just feel I must offer some compassion and hope to these hearts which are clearly hurting, just like mine. I pray the Lord God brings us ALL to brighter days.

  14. By: Pamela Jones Posted: 4th August

    I just had to write. Just this morning My mom starts in with we have to clean the house and you have to move your stuff (Including prescription drugs) somewhere out of the way. Okay. Nothing unreasonable abuot that, EXCEPT for the fact that she didn’t wait to see where I wanted to put it. When some of the items are out of sight, then I forget to take my medicines. plain and simple as that. So I suggested a small shelf that was filled with my Dad’s (he passed away in June 2012) VHS tapes and suggested they be moved elsewhere so I could put my meds there. She kept saying no. I realized she probably wanted to keep them because they had belonged to my Dad, so I suggested various places they could be kept but she kept saying no. finally after I had a total melt-down she then suggested keeping them in a box in the living room. And No! The psychopath couldn’t have possibly have mentioned this solution 15 minutes earlier. She had to wait till I was in tears over her unreasonable behavior. She pulls this crap all the time. And when I point out how badly she’s treating me she goes off on a sick tangent about how I’m swwearing and she won’t respond to anything so long as I swear. In other words, she tries to play that she somehow has the moral high-ground and I’m just sooooo evil for swearing and blaming her when she is Ms. Innocent. She’s just a hapless victim who is “Just trying to help her family the best she knows how.” Yeah Right! She will “only” admit to certain things that she does wrong (like maybe 1/4 of everything) but denies all the rest.
    Both my ignorant brothers think that my bursting into tears or screaming at the psycho is due to “My meds” and nothing to do with her continually poking and poking and making little snide remarks. Like when I tell her “I’m going to start a new diet” she’ll say crap like “Well, I hope you stick with it this time.” And when I get mad she feigns innocence and asks what she said wrong! SHE DOES THAT ALL THE TIME!
    It is really unbearable at times. And my little brother is such a hypocrite! He screams at our Mother every now and then but if I do it then I’m out of line or unreasonable. This household is making me sick! It’s because of this abuse that I’m overweight! The food is a sort of medicine. Plus every time I start to make progress on my diet, one or both of them make a point of filling the house with fattening foods. It’s a struggle to do but they don’t care. My little brother doesn’t feel that he should suffer just because I’m on a diet! In other words, he is not the supporting kind of person! In fact, he is really a spoiled little brat!
    I’m tired of this crap! I need to get out but I feel trapped! No, I’m not considering suicide but I feel myself withering away!

  15. By: Roo Posted: 24th July

    I have felt different my entire life from my mom and brother. I thought I was adopted. Even as a small child. My mom and brother never listen to me and always change the direction of the conversation back to them. I hated all of the drama in my moms life while growing up. When I was 14 I moved in with my dad. I felt like I would rather be ignored than be in a constant state of chaos. I moved 500 miles away for college. I’m 46 now. In December my mom told me she did not want me in her life anymore. I don’t really like her..we have nothing in common but I do love her. I have always longed for her attention. This was very painful. I’m in therapy again and it’s helping. I have been trying to get her to go for 20 years. However, there is nothing wrong with her….it’s everyone else. She has problems with everyone. She uses money to manipulate people.

    She gave me a long list of stuff I have done to offend her over time. I’m a disappointment, I don’t see her enough, I don’t call, I don’t talk to her etc….

    She tells me people who went to college are brainwashed. She went 10 years without coming to visit me. I call once a week and she never called unless she wanted to complain about someone. I do try to talk a share but she constantly interrupts and says “who do you think has had the worst life?” She is completely self absorbed and annoying. It took 2or 3 phone calls to tell her I had been in the ER. My BP was 195/90 which is VERY unusual for me it’s usually 112/67. I was telling her this and she said well you should her my BP etc… if I had a daughter and she told me that, I would want to know every detail. It’s very dangerous to have a BP that high.

    Sorry everything is about her and it has really affected my life. I eat too much when I hurt, I have very low self confidence, and I can’t trust people. And I very embarrassed my mom disowned me! How could she do that?

    Even if nobody reads this….I just needed to post it somewhere.

  16. By: Rubies Posted: 8th June

    I don’t know if you’ll ever come back to read this, but I’ve decided to write anyway. By your descriptions, and explaining your various feelings, your mother is clearly dysfunctional no matter what a psychologist would diagnose her as. This is NOT YOUR FAULT. It’s NOT YOU!!! I so understand feeling like it is, but that’s the insidious brainwashing you’ve grown up with. It’s not your job to make her happy WHATSOEVER, and she obviously does NOT care about your feelings, wants, or rights. Know your mother sounds far worse than mine, and I’ve spent almost five decades trying to please her to NO AVAIL. Save yourself and your precious little girl. Your mother is DANGEROUS to both of you. A four year old could quite easily be abducted in less than a minute. Your mother is expecting you to choose HER over your daughter’s SAFETY. Realize, twisting what you say around to mean something else is just your mother trying to run circles around you mentally. So look at things as logically as can. You KNOW you are right, no matter how she tries to spin it. And your mother’s aggressiveness towards you is something to be taken quite SERIOUSLY. She could have killed you, repeatedly smashing your head against the cupboard. You locking the door and acting like an upset teenager does NOT give her the right to viciously abuse you. You could have gone blind, lost your hearing, been scarred for life, and/or even ended up with mental impairments. Your daughter is seeing things more clearly than you, referencing “my daughter wants nothing to do with her.” LISTEN TO YOUR CHILD!!! She’s scared and rightfully so. This may change over time. As you said, your mother is telling her “mummy is mean”. She’s trying to turn your daughter AGAINST YOU while she’s practically still a baby. Do NOT underestimate your mothers ability to eventually STEAL your daughter away from you. She’s already laid the seeds to do just that. They may have short tempers, but they are incredibly patient concerning their long term goals. This is not about you loving your mother or not. It’s about YOU choosing to be a GOOD MOTHER, or a BULLIED daughter. Keep learning! It can take a long while to find your way out of the FOG (fear, obligation, and guilt) but keep moving forward. Trust you’ll eventually make it. Don’t worry or even think about her convincing others you’re the problem. Your little girl matters more than all of them combined. Talk to the police (non emergency number) about your concerns, as things can get crazier than you ever could imagine. I KNOW this to be true. They don’t get better with age, they get WORSE. One may love their pet tiger, but they shouldn’t get in the cage with it, especially when it’s hungry. And these people are ALWAYS hungry. Sometimes all we can do is pray for people. I’m praying for you. <3

  17. By: Tundra Woman Posted: 17th May

    Why are you allowing her to determine the parameters of your relationship? You’re an adult. You’re an Equal, a PEER.
    There is no DNA Exemption or being an “only child” that mandates you have to stick around and tolerate abuse or any form of maltreatment from some other adult. Obviously she does not give a damn about your pain-
    she’d rather be Right than have a relationship with you.
    So she can be Right-and you can be gone. There. Problem solved. You get to live the only life you have and she can do what ever she wants.

  18. By: kim Posted: 14th May

    Hi, thanks to all the women who’ve shared their experiences. I’ve just had an awful weekend with my mother and i’ve realised that the “spin” or “fog” will never be truly gone. I thought i had come to a stage where i could be more assertive with her, and so less angry and disappointed in myself but i’ve slipped back. Many weeks ago i poured my heart out and tried to talk to her about my childhood, via text message (thats the only way i would be brave enough), she basically called me a liar and said she’d rather stuff like that stay under the rug, not discussed. Since then we’ve not had much to do with each other. Mothers day yesterday did not go well, she was sick, she is always “sick” some flu or bodily ache to complain about to garner sympathy and ward off any honest conversation. I am an only child and she is a single mother (other than for a few years in my tweenage years), so i feel like we are quite enmeshed. She makes me feel that i am responsible for her emotions and comfort. It is all about her, she rarely shows interest in me and when she does there is an ulterior motive. I wish i could get back to the time when i felt safe challenging her, i suppose i will, with time. After being told i was a liar and that she wanted nothing more from our shallow relationship i feel rejected so i guess its not surprising i’ve gone backwards.

  19. By: Rubies Posted: 27th April

    I so understand where you’re at right now, innocent, confused, lost, bullied, backstabbed, and broken-hearted. I’m still recovering from my mother completely turning on me, after I asked her to be truthful and fair. She then made it quite clear that expecting or asking for decent reasonable treatment will not be tolerated. Unfortunately, mine is a long convoluted tale of hidden hatred, foolish envy, sick greed, lies upon lies, police, lawyers, and academy award deserving performances. I also have other narcissistic family members, and one sociopathic. They all ganged up on me and my husband after my father passed away. The last time I saw my mother was in court about a year ago. I’m 51 and my mother is a mentally sharp, healthy 89 yr. old. Never in my life did I think I could or would ever cut away from my mother, but sometimes you don’t really have a choice. It was all becoming far too detrimental for my children. She’d even begun treating me like trash in front of them. So much for the sweet Grandma illusion. Thankfully I was already learning from this awesome site, and many others about the serious mind games these people play. How they can spin anything around to make you feel guilty, ungrateful, and worthless. How they confuse in order to control. How they don’t want a loving relationship with you. They want ownership of you, like one owns a dog. They won’t tell you this, but they believe they have every right to train you, abuse you, neglect you, and punish you for not coming up to your master’s expectations. They feel this about almost everyone within their sphere of influence, but much more so if your their child. Not only did I read numerous articles but all the comments too. I learned about boundaries, and that I have the right to make them, with anyone. I studied narcissism like my life depended upon it, and in many ways, I felt it did. I realized I had to choose between her craziness or my children’s peace of mind, as well as my own. Of course I chose my children, but I also love my mother, despite her horrendous treatment. So, I decided to earnestly try one more time to straighten matters out between us. However I realized in that “last conversation” that there really is no reasoning with her. She pulled out so many manipulative tricks to avoid truth and spin things so I would feel like the bad guy. But I was still able to logically put all her responsibilities right back in her lap. Though she refused to accept any of it. I didn’t accept any of it either. I wasn’t the one creating the problems between us, and I knew it. I then wrote her a short simple letter basically saying I can’t pretend our relationship is normal under the present circumstances, then asked her to be honest and fair. She quickly responded with a partially sweet yet rude letter making it clear that I’m forever going to be the evil one in her twisted version of events. Nothing new! That letter was a great example of the mixed messages that has always defined our relationship. I could go on about how the drama continued, but I’d rather not. It’s just too confusing and the more I say, the more I would have to explain. Thankfully it’s all calmed down dramatically now. At this point, I’ve documented everything going on with her and a few others for a couple years. Not only can I see that we’re the innocent peaceful ones, I can prove it. I haven’t completely cut communication off with her, as of yet. She’s still able to mail things to me. (We live in the same city.) She’s mailed a few things I would have rather not received, but they just prove to me that she’s truly a sick, hateful person. I barely ever send anything to her and when I have, I’ve kept it extremely short and sweet. I’m following the sage advise of “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.” She’s also sent birthday and Christmas cards to my kids with checks, and a “Love Grandma”. We didn’t cash any of them. I just saved them up, and sent them all back together. Not that my kids couldn’t use the money, but I know there’s a string attached to every one of those dollars. I don’t even let my kids know she’s sent anything. They don’t need to be reminded each birthday and Christmas that Grandma has serious issues, or that their Mommy comes from a truly dysfunctional family. I haven’t requested that she stop sending anything to our house because it’s important to me to feel like I’m making wise and loving choices. I know there’s a part of her that wants to imagine she’s at least a good Grandma, and I feel at her age, she ought to have some way to reach me should she choose to make amends. I’m pretty sure she won’t, but I feel it’s only right. However, as I’m finally starting to feel much better about the split, my anger over the injustice of it all is starting to surface in me. I’m starting to seriously want an end to it all. I use to be so desperately heartbroken that I’d repeatedly dream about trying to get things right between us, and wake up crying. In fact I barely functioned for a few months after that last conversation in August of 2015. I would not only come to this site and others in order to understand what I was going through, but to seek solace in the many stories of others facing the same things, and sometimes far worse. Not that I wanted to hear horrible stories, but to know I’m not alone. And that others have gotten past just surviving, and gone on to thriving. I’ve read several times people saying that splitting from their mother was the best decision they’ve ever made. I don’t know if I will ever feel that way. I imagine I will always wish it could have been different, but it is what it is now.
    I wrote this out for you Geraldine for several reasons. One, so you and anyone else could garner any wisdom or insight you see in it. Two, because you’ve been on my heart since I read your post yesterday. Three, because I want you to know someone heard you asking for help, and four because I do feel the need to say a few things regarding your specific situation. However, I must accomplish things in real life right now, so I leave this as a preface to another post I will write soon. Please let me know if you will check back to read it. Thank you, and take care.

  20. By: half empty cup Posted: 17th March

    nothing breaks you the most thans having this kind of relationship. And thats what i have gone though for 30 years. I’ve benn blame for almoust everything and anything, In every situacion im always the villain, the bad seed, the enemy , the bad child, etc. all the time. im never good or a good child. everything is always my fault i hep raised my sister and took it like if was mine as my responsability and never once i got a thank you for leaving schoool to take care of her, taking her with my to college, waking up early to take her to school activities, never once. And never in her life she has apologiced for the mean words she said. My Brother and sister (the one that i talk about earlier) are always perfect, image of perfection the never do anything wring acording to my mom. And by far im the middle one who graduated first from college, got a startup, and try to work on my independence. on the other side my brother never finished college (he went though 3 diferent careers and never passes a single semester) and my mom always paid for it.
    Some things are never fair, in my case almoust is everithing is unfair. I would love to have a conversation with my mom on how to change things, but her first choice is always tell everybody in my family that im the bad one andd never accepting a single thing other than see the problem (she will call everyone to complain about me and then everyone look bad on me) even when its not my faoul and then everyone pick on me for been a bad human been. Sometimes i wish to understand what goes though her mind when she look at me, is it hate or the person that does everything for her all the time or the same love that she has for her other kids.
    One thing s for sure, i will be like that with my kids if a ever have one. Cuz no one deserves a life like this. Im just starting with my healing process and hope one day to share with all of you if i eve healed

    • By: Geraldine Posted: 6th April

      I don’t know what to say. I can relate to everybody’s much, it’s a description of my life. Yet I still feel to blaime, like it is my fault.

      My mother since I can remember has always branded me as ungrateful and over sensitive. She’s told me she spends her life walking on egg shells and no matter what I take things in the wrong way. It confuses my mind from the offset. I spoke to a counsellor at great lengths about this and he told me that it was emotional abuse. That it laid the foundations for me to not question her behaviour as I would believe I was the problem. Even hearing that I cam understand but I still feel like there must be truth in it.

      Growing up I was unhappy. I struggled to make and keep friends, I hated going to sleepovers because I wanted what they had. The love with their families, the care and the compassion. My life was about my mum. My mum spoke to me about her feelings and problems always, I saw it as my job to make her happy. But then I never had a choice.

      When I was a teen after my best friend died I got picked up by camhs services. We had family therapy but she continued to deny any part she had in my feelings. the upset that I felt from her disclosures was me being nasty and uncaring, inconsiderate and ungrateful for everything she has done for me. Aren’t mothers suppost to raise their children, I don’t see my role as a mother as something my six year old.daugjter should be grateful for. She is a blessing to me and I care for her because I love her. My mother ensures I know I ungrateful little bit*h.

      It’s hard to convry a life time.of what I’ve been through with her. But the camhs family therapy was pointless,.she made out like I was a problem.child,.an actual description she has used to me on the past. Nothing she does is ever good enough, I throw everything back in her face. I was a mistake and she wishes she never had me. All things I’ve heard growing up. My mother tends to get aggressive if you challenge what she has said.. By challenge I mean speak assertively using ‘I feel this…’ my.counseller told me I feel is a good way to challenge without coming across as.confrontational. Regardless. When I was 14 I locked myself in the bathroom. She kicked the door down, grabbed the hair and smashed my head agains the cupboard five or six times.and afterwards that I push her to this.

      As ive got older (29 now) she has tried this but the time before the most recent was because I told her I did not want her letting my daughter play on the front when she went to stay with her and my dad (my dad isn’t so bad. He’s reasonable most of the time and he loves. My.daughyer and treats her well. Enforcing my values) mother on the other hand ignores.everything I say and undermines me,.tells my daughter mummy is mean not letting you x y z…. Well finding out she had been play on the front of the. four years old.was.unacceptable! My father agrees but had gone out at the time. I mother not to do this as.i don’t want anything happening to my baby. She turned it around into me saying she was a bad grandmother and that I was ungrateful throwing it back in her face and that.shr knows.whay she’s.doiny and when I tried to say it’s not about that she pushed me and I nearly fell over. I took my daughter out of my house as she wouldn’t leave and was.shouting. She house and took my keys so my daughter and.i were.outside with nothing and not get in our home.

      My dad stays neutral. He sees what she’s like but he won’t say anything to upset her. She tells I’ll and I make things up. She has spent years.telling my whole family how unwell I am.and how I push her away. I don’t know sometimes.what is the truth.because I have been on antidepressants but I feel misunderstood and like everybody hates and Without even speaking or knowing me.

      She again stood in my gave with her fists and jaw.clentched because she I had.done something wrong and I disagreed. I told her I didn’t want to have this discussion in front of my daughter and wasked away but she,.getting right in my face and through clenched.teetj and a.low voice telling me how vile.i am. No daughter.of of hers, I discust her. I’m mentally unwell no wonder I have no friends. I’m a shit mum.tjats damaging my child that I am broken and everybody sees what she has to put up with. I took my daughter and got I’m my car. My eldest brother came out. He hugged me and my dad told me to take my daughter somewhere to take her mind off witnessing my mum nearly hitting me. we went but now my daughter wants nothing to do with her, she said I didn’t raise my voice and tried to walk away but grandma wanted to hit me. It’s.aweful. But my mum will tell everybody another story. Usually that I pushed her to it, I made her behave this Way. I feel so lost. my heart is broken because I don’t understand what I do to deserve this, I try and evaluate my behaviour but I can’t understand why I am always to blaime.

      Please help

      • By: chigirl Posted: 15th November

        Geraldine, I am so sorry for all you have gone through! Reading your letter was so sad because it was my letter, too. This site is wonderful but it is hard to see how many people out there have evil in their lives. I wish you, and myself, well. Stay strong. Believe in yourself! I haven’t divorced my mother yet because my father is dying but the ‘divorce’ letter is sitting on my desk right in front of me. I’m afraid if I send it I will not be allowed to see my father. More than likely the letter will remain where it is. I am not very brave. I tried so hard the other day to calmly sit down with her and tell her how I feel. We didn’t make it 10 seconds before she screamed at me and stormed out of my house. There is no honest conversation to be had with someone who has never made a mistake in her life. Like others, my mother didn’t want me and would have aborted me if it had been legal. Having been told that since I was able to understand the meaning, I had my own tubes tied at age 23 just to be very sure I NEVER said anything of the kind to my own child. Yes, I was so afraid I was as inherently bad as my mother told me that I took away any chance I would ever give birth. To this day I am scared of children because I am afraid the ‘evil’ in me will come out. Lasting damage. Instead of evil, I am a hospice nurse and also run a dog hospice program. I have spent my life trying to give love to others – the love I never received from my mother. Bless you all. We all have a place in each other’s hearts!

  21. By: Uncommon name still afraid Posted: 10th March

    Wow, this resonated so well with my own situation. My mom – when I was a kid – always belittled me and made me feel like I had ruined her life – I was always the issue and her form of control was bribes, and if that didn’t work (often) then it was yelling and screaming, hitting, and locking me in my room without food. I got used to the yelling, got used to being hit. I was always the bad child – I couldn’t act properly, something was always wrong with what I did – and yeah I’m a fighter so I always fought back eventually (I’d bottle and then blow) – I yelled back, I swore back, I didn’t give a nothing about going without food, I never cried in front of them – and then because I couldn’t handle the crappy home life anymore I finally left my hometown to study in a different city- but stupidly I took some of their monetary help so when I wanted to switch tracks in my studies my hands were tied and I wasn’t allowed -but I finished the course, then I was told to get a professional degree and guilted into doing so because I had taken the former monetary support from them, and so I did. All this while having been raped a few times, having PTSD, severe depression episodes, and ADHD. And I didn’t tell anyone because I didn’t know how to have close friends or trust anyone, and my biggest fear was that my parents would bring me back home and I’d be under my mother’s thumb again – for me being raped was not as bad as having to go back home – harsh, but true. But the last rape landed me in a psych clinic after I fell apart (raped at gunpoint) – mother told me come home out of the psych ward because you won’t get a job, no one will hire you if they see that on your record, our community won’t understand and you’ll be shunned, etc. Yeah… I stayed – in the month I was there the nurses and I addressed my PTSD and coping mechanisms to deal with rape if I was ever raped again (it did happen again 4 years later – 6th time in my life – I coped, and I coped well even though the rape). Oh and when I told my mother I was raped – what were you wearing, what were you drinking, what time were you out at? – don’t even know why I told her – oh right because some times she pulls a Jekyll and Hyde where she’s nice to me for a bit and makes me believe she cares and I stupidly believe her every time because the optimist in me thinks maybe just maybe she’s changed. Then I had a job I loved far away but the mother told me she needed help because she was ill (disease)- stupidly I came home – I wasn’t really needed (disease gone – super early stages)- but lo and behold after having to deal with the mother again another depressive episode hit in a major way. This time as I am getting back on my feet – lots of fights and swears because I am done with how she treats me – I’m calling her out on it every time it happens – the snide remarks, the constant comments, etc. and trying to get her to understand that the next time I leave I’m never coming back to visit. I know a lot of psych workers say that you shouldn’t cut people out completely especially close family – I know its hard to do and its shitty to do and it leaves gaping holes in families and people – but I am just so done – done with being treated like crap, done with being robbed of my self-esteem and thus life and motivation because I then again believe that I am a failure and inherently bad, done with being bribed – yes giving up my mother, giving up most of my family – because when I the bad child cuts ties with mother who behaves nicely with all others – I will be shunned, giving up my community, giving up wealth – to live my life the way that I want – to build myself a life that I want- a life in which I actually like myself, have worth, don’t feel like a failure all the time, where I am completely independent, where I have friends and people around who actually appreciate me, where I am not always stressed and anxious about what she’s going to do and say next – giving all of that former stuff up will be worth it. I know this because when I was working at that job far away, I had a taste of where my life could go and it was worth it.

  22. By: Cece Posted: 8th March

    Thank you for this article. It fits my relationship with my mom to a tee – and yet I still am in the so-called “fog” of thinking I am too harsh and critical to think of her this way. For most of the time, she is a completely great mom. All of my friends growing up would say “oh you have such an awesome mom” and “you’re mom is so sweet!” But every so often, if she was in a bad mood, she would just say the most hurtful things possible to me. She says its her depression that keeps her on edge and that we have to be respectful of it. But she’s taken all the depression medication on the market, and after 27 years of being her daughter, nothing has helped. She is also a woman of the church and has multiple graduate degrees, therefore she is respected in the community. However she worked all the time and never had the energy (or who knows) to play with me growing up. It was my dad who woke me up in the morning, got me dressed, got me fed, took me to school, picked me up, made dinner, helped me with homework, and put me to bed. She only worked a 9-5 job, where was she? Her lack of actual mothering and the random and unexpected cruelty made me very upset with her growing up. I never warmed up to her even though I felt terrible for feeling that way. But in those times when her meds were working, I guess, she was completely fine. However, she couldn’t keep a job for more than 5 years as her employer would fire her. It was always their fault, she claimed, that everyone was against her. Of course, I believed my mother, but when I was a teenager, I realized it was actually her that got herself fired. So as a teenager I realized something was wrong with my mom, only thanks to the fact that my dad was completely normal and was my primary caregiver. As a teenager to adult, I just ignored her random crazy outbursts and calmly let her yell at me and get out all the hateful things she was holding in her heart against me that built up during the “good’ times. Her words stung so much that it would take me months to years to forgive her. She would say things that were the complete opposite of her normal interactions with me. Usually she would say loving things, and tell me I’m smart and I’m a good girl or that I’m kind. But in her outbursts (which she is 100% sober, she doesn’t drink or do drugs) she will call me a liar, say that I am a terrible daughter, say that I constantly tear her down. I am her only daughter and conceived after more than 10 years of trying, so her favorite line is “I waited so long to have a daughter, but I just have you. Where did I go wrong?” but not less than a week or a day ago she will tell me how great I am and how I’m a wonderful daughter. I had the final straw today when, after a disagreement in politics (a dangerous subject which she pushed and I regret getting caught up in it) she called me to say I was a terrible daughter, ungrateful, that I use my parents and have no respect her, that my husband will divorce me and take my daughter and I will die alone because of how cruel I am. I asked her “do you know these things are hurtful to me?” and she replied “Well, the truth hurts. And someone has got to tell you, are out of control. The truth hurts, and you need to hear the truth.” In her normal times, she prides herself on hating people who lie, and that liars are the worst. Therefore, if she is soberly telling me these things, are they not the truth? I am in such a fog because of it. How can someone normal 99% of the time, be so insane 1%? It just makes me keep thinking that somehow it is my fault, that I wasn’t that perfect daughter she had been hoping for for so long. Regardless, I am not having any contact with her until she apologizes for her cruel words. Out of the 10 crazy outbursts she’s had with me in my life, never once has she apologized, only making me apologize. And when I try to bring it up, I still don’t get an apology – she’ll say she doesn’t remember and the one time I pushed, she avoided the topic or stated she doesn’t remember it my way. My poor father, he needs my mother to take care of him, and therefore he stays neutral. My husband told me her actions were unacceptable and to make no contact. I just can’t help but feel responsible and to think that there is a way to help her escape this terrible fate of being alone. She and I are both very religious, and I can’t help but be upset at the fact that her actions are causing her to leave the righteousness and love of Christ. I’m afraid that she will be the goats that Christ says he doesn’t recognize because of her erratic cruelty to me and others. But I don’t know what to do to get her to listen to reason and to accept that this behavior is not only not normal but not Christian like. I want so desperately to help her and to have this magical mother-daughter relationship. But after today I feel like I am coming to reality and it is that she has chosen to not have a relationship with me, her only daughter and the one she waited for so long.

    • By: Sophie Posted: 2nd April

      Wow. This sounds all too familiar. I’m still at a loss at what I did wrong. My mom always says “your day is coming” meaning when my body breaks down like hers. She would have outbursts as well. I told her recently (because I had HAD it) that she was “being retarded towards me”. Like just be normal. I have normal conversations with other adults why can I have a normal conversation with my mother. Seems to be almost impossible. She then said ” I would have never talked to my mother the way you talk to me ”

      Really??? I’m sure.

      I know this is horrible. But I wish my mom would move on. I’m tired of being misunderstood and tired of trying. I do not care anymore.

      • By: Ivy Posted: 5th April

        I am with you. I could never talk to my mom like the same way before. I become very quite. She said the way I treat her right now, wait until the day my kid they will treat me the same, mean I have to pay back. She been up set beause I don’t talk to her anymore even we live in the same house . I don’t try to change a person who alway thing they right all the time but I do change myself not to join the game with her. I been cry most every night but if I have to cut the relationship between us I will. Don’t be so sad, be strong.

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