Post # 1
I have a strange relationship with my mom. I’d say we’re close but there are underlying issues from when I grew up that surface sometimes. We hang out and do things together and she sees the kids heaps (my kids, her grandkids) and we do things together, but Question; is this emotional abuse? As a teen I was social and wanted to go out etc. if I didn’t adhere to her rules she’d kick me out of the house and throw my clothes and bedding and belongings down the drive. Then wouldn’t speak to me for days/weeks. She never really took the time to understand me or compromise or anything. I remember begging her to “please talk to me mom I’m so so sorry” etc.
well fast forward to now, I’m in my 30s with children. If I say one thing to her she doesn’t like about something she’s done (this time about how she hates my in laws for no real reason and is rude to them when she’s with them) she has just decided to throw a huge argument at me and isn’t speaking to me. She also gets dad involved and he’s on her side. I’m also pregnant and don’t need this kind of emotional distress. She won’t talk to me for days or weeks now and I’ve tried saying sorry and apologising , even though what I said was valid, it’s just easier to succumb and say sorry first and beg her to talk to me, she’s always the victim and can never self reflect and always thinks I’m out to hurt her. What would you do in this situation? I’m done being emotionally abused by her and want to say to her go F yourself , but also feel sad. What would you do?
anyway thank you for taking the time to read this.
Post # 2
She sounds extremely toxic and manipulative. I felt like my mom was similar; if I did or said something she didn’t like she would cry and cry and say how I was sooo ungrateful etc etc and would stonewall and cut me off. I used to do the same thing as you and beg her and apologize and when *she* was ready, she’d come back. Eventually I just said fuck it. You wanna be sad/mad/upset for whatever trivial reason? Ok the . Cry away. I’ll see you when you’re done.
You are craving her attention and approval when YOU are a grown woman with a husband and a family of your own. She’s still trying to control and manipulate you. The sooner you stop letting her do it, the sooner she will realize it no longer works and will STOP.
Post # 3
That is absolute emotional abuse.
Her treatment of you is abhorrent and your feelings are valid.
Post # 4
you hit the nail on the head. She doesn’t do this to my brother and I wondered if it’s because he’s a boy and she has a different relationship to her but my husband said it’s cos he doesn’t care so she doesn’t do it to him. Thank you. You’ve given me strength
thank you. Sometimes I wonder if it’s me and I try so hard to self reflect and I always apologise when I’m in the wrong but she NEVER apologises. It’s so hard to deal with especially being pregnant. Thank you
Post # 5
Yes, it’s abusive. Yes, cut her off. Then take the (perfectly normal) sad feelings to a therapist.
Post # 6
Yes, it’s emotional abuse.
My mother used to treat me in a similar way. She also thought she could treat me in any way she wanted and I’d have to take it just because she’s my mother.
I dealt with it in two ways 1) By accepting that I am never going to have that traditional ‘mother & daughter’ relationship that you see touted around every mother’s day. She is someone I have a responsibility to care for (I’m an only child), and when she is in a good mood, I enjoy it while it lasts, but I don’t let myself get too emotionally attached. 2) By setting boundaries. If she starts being abusive, I leave (or hang up, if it’s over the phone). If she goes into ‘no speak’ mode, I just ignore her until she comes out of it.
Since I stopped trying to appease her at all costs and started setting boundaries, she’s actually been way better! Sometimes I think people behave as badly as they think they can get away with.
It’s ok to be sad about not having a good relationship with your mother. But sometimes you have to accept that’s just not possible because of the type of mother you have.
Post # 7
Yes, it is absolutely emotional abuse.
Post # 8
Oh, Bee. This is awful emotional abuse. Stop apologizing to her when she’s the one throwing infantile fits. If she wants to give you the silent treatment, let her. You are not responsible for her feelings or for making her feel better.
I highly recommend the book Adult Children of Emotionally Immature Parents. I feel like a lot of it will be helpful to understanding your mom.
Post # 9
Yep, that’s emotional abuse, all right. It’s bad enough for her to do this as a grown-up to her grown-up daughter (silent treatment is manipulative, petulant and childish, no matter the context), but for her to do that to you as a child is unforgivable. I would argue that ignoring and ostracizing your child is one of the worst things a parent can do to a child, short of physical abuse. Children are hard-wired to seek constant feedback and validation from their parents (hence “look at me, mommy!”). When they don’t get that, they go into crisis mode, become desperate to please their parent and be forgiven and accepted again (you’re still doing this now, begging your unresponsive mother to forgive you), and can even develop misplaced attachments and eventually emotionally shut down as a result. It’ a big deal. It comes from a very real evolutionary function: Children are dependent on their parents for food, shelter and safety—their survival is dependent upon being accepted by them. It’s not unnatural for you to want to be forgiven by your mother, but her treatment of you is not natural, it’s toxic. If you want to continue to have her in your life, you might need to try to address this issue with a therapist experienced in dealing with toxic family dynamics.
Post # 10
Yes its abuse and it was absolutely abuse when you were a child. The only solution here is boundaries. You need to get ok with going no contact with her. When she cuts you off, you know you could also cut her back as well. One thing that might also be good is….find other people to serve the role you wish your mother had- if you have an aunt or Mother-In-Law or just a good older friend you could use all the time you’ll be getting back not pandering to your mother to build a stronger relationship with other women who can support you. Also get a therapist. This is a lot to work on on your own. I’m sorry for what you’re going through. i think you’ll feel a lot better once you know you can be in control.
Post # 11
First, I am so sorry you have to deal with this.
Second, it really jumped out at me when you said, “it’s just easier to succumb and say sorry first and beg her to talk to me”. You also say at the beginning, “is this emotional abuse?” but you clearly already know that it is, since toward the end you say, “I’m done being abused by her”.
Unfortunately, in life doing the easy thing is not the thing that gets results. e.g., when you’re trying to correct bad behavior in a child, you have to be firm and consistent. Just letting him get away with it because it’s easier benefits no one.
In order to solve this huge problem, you’re going to have to read what everyone else has said here and do whatever it’s going to take. You have to admit that your mother is majorly toxic, and you’re going to have to set major boundaries, and stick to them.
I think that what teaandcake said is especially relevant to your situation. Also, does your mother pull this crap on your kids? If so they need to be protected from her abuse as well.
You can’t just keep doing the same thing, and expecting different results. I’m so sorry.
Post # 12
yes it’s sad but you’re right. My husband has said that too. She’ll never change , she’s 65 years old. I definitely have stopped contacting her this time round and I feel a lot stronger. Thank you!
oh thank you I will get that book, I would love to read it.
thank you for your message. It honestly did damage me , I’m a strong girl but when it comes to this it definitely has affected me. Even now if my hubby and I have a fight I’m like please forgive me etc when if I’m not I the wrong etc , just out of habit. I remember once she pushed me into the corner of the bathroom after I think I tried to get my cell phone off her that shetook, fair on her probably to take it but then when I was cowering in the corner she spat on me. Another year I did something wrong and she didn’t acknowledge my birthday. Not a single word. I was 15. The more I have thought about it this week and read the responses from this post the more I feel strong and going to cut her. I know I was a hard teenager to deal with. But those were the years i needed her the most and she was a psycho. She’s open my mail and go through my bedroom etc. still don’t trust her in. My house these days cos of that. My dad is the sweetest man but is scared of her too so will initially be on my side then will spend 5 mins with her and turn on me. Anyway thank you so much for your message. It’s made me feel stronger.
yes 100%. Ive cut contact and will continue to. I want nothing to do with her anymore. Sad but reality. I’ve realised she is toxic and I always walk on eggshells. Thank you so much for your reply.
I Couldnt agree more. I’ve tried talking to her aboht it but because she can’t take any thing like critism she then colds me out again. Cycle continues. She doesn’t to the kids but has snapped at them on the odd occasion. She’s actually a really good nana. But by doing this to me she’s missing out on seeing them and is it worth it? So strange. My Mother-In-Law was at my sons kindergarten recently and my mum stopped by and got all shitty that Mother-In-Law was reading him a book and went over and snapped him to give her a kiss and was so rude and he said he didn’t want to and she went all angry at him. My Mother-In-Law rang my hubby and was like what’s wrong with Eileen? And told us what happened. I’ve not seen that but believe mil 100%. Anyway. Thank you for your words. They’ve made me stronger.
Post # 13
Honey, THAT IS EMOTIONAL ABUSE. I’ve been there done that with many friends and my dad. Fortunately my mom said nuh-uh and we (mom, lil bro and I) left and moved to Cali from the Islands. Our island was so small , it didn’t matter where we moved. SO we came to the states. Where is your husband on all this? Does he agree with you? You and your husband need to come together and talk about what is important for your family (you, hubby and the lil ones) You might need to put a little bit of distance between you and your parents for now–especially because you are pregnant and your precious bby is VERY IMPORTANT-more important than your mom having her way, making you feel bad, blah blah blah. I’m not saying to completely disconnect her forever or something but right now you need to have an ‘I don’t give two fucks about your opinion” kind of attitude and do what’s best for you and yours, okay? This is abuse! Just because she’s your mom doesn’t mean that it’s not abuse! I’ve seen this same thing with mom’s and a lot of my friends. You and hubby need to put your foot down and write your parents a nice+respectful
long letter ( since she’s giving you the silent treatment) about how you feel, why you feel that way, what you’re going to do about it and what she needs to do on her end to come to some sort of understanding. It is so so hard to begin making those decisions and taking those steps, but if this continues it will break you emotionally- which is NOT OKAY. I’m sorry I wrote such a long comment, but I’ve been there girl. I’m so desparatly trying to tie the loose ends. I’m so done with ppl and their nonsense. It’s for sure not making my life any better. MY heart goes out to you bby girl!
Post # 14
Honestly, you are a mom now. You know the answer to this already. Yes, we all parent differently, but this kind of toxity isn’t about personal parenting style. It’s universal abuse.
This is the perfect time to start setting boundaries with your mother. Let her know that you want to show her grandchildren a healthy relationship between adult child and parent, and she needs to her on board or get ready for some distance.
Post # 15
Yes, it’s incredibly abusive and I’m sorry that you’re going through this.
My mother and I have a very strained relationship. Similar to your situation, there are days when we get along and things seem okay. However, she has very large issues with boundaries and tries to live vicariously through me and my family. At the moment we are not on speaking terms because I discovered that she has been trying to foster some sort of weird friendship with my abusive ex husband. I’m currently pregnant, and she is not aware. I’ve told my dad about it as well as my Gram (I am closer to both of them than I am my mother). I do not intend to tell her for quite some time.