Is this emotional abuse from my mom or am I overreacting

posted 2 weeks ago in Emotional
Post # 2
8261 posts
Bumble Beekeeper

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
478 posts
Helper bee

That is absolute emotional abuse. 

Her treatment of you is abhorrent and your feelings are valid.

Post # 5
1246 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: August 1983

Yes, it’s abusive. Yes, cut her off. Then take the (perfectly normal) sad feelings to a therapist.

Post # 6
659 posts
Busy bee

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
579 posts
Busy bee

Yes, it is absolutely emotional abuse. 

Post # 8
2136 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: City, State

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
298 posts
Helper bee

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
226 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: May 2019

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
73 posts
Worker bee
  • Wedding: October 1996

Dear Bee,

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 # 13
5 posts

View original reply
@newbeebuzz:  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
436 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: September 2012

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
776 posts
Busy bee

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. 

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