Hi , I’m in love with a boy i have known since i was 15 years of age. I am now 18 and i have never dated because i was always not allowed to .I live with my mother and two siblings and help out often. My mom is aware of the facts i like him and that me and him speak everyday. She thinks we have a nice relationship and understands i would like to be with him in the future. But she seems to have a very hard time with letting me hang out with him .
I know that i truly love him as a person and that he is trustworthy . He works two jobs, helps out is family, and really likes me and is a overall good person. I’m turning 19 in 4 months and he’s is turn 20 in 3 months. I love him and i know he feels like we have grown so much now its time to spend quality time together. My mom has me on a tight leash. i don’t know how to begin to tell her i want to be with him. I prayed about me and him every since i was younger and he has always entered back into my life. I’m very afraid of losing him ….what should i do ?
A: It sounds to me like your mother has lost sight of the fact that you are no longer her little girl. You are emerging into adulthood. That means that you are looking for love and will soon be leaving the nest to make a life on your own. Your guy sounds like an exemplary young man. Your mother should be proud and pleased that you have found someone to love who is so responsible.
It may be that your mom is afraid of losing your help. You didn’t mention a dad so I’m guessing that she is raising the three of you on her own. She may count on you more than she wants to admit. If that’s the case, part of the answer lies in figuring out what the family needs and alternative ways to get those needs met.
It’s time for you to stop being scared of talking to your mom. If you are old enough to have a relationship, you are old enough to have an adult-to-adult conversation with your her about how to prepare you and the family for the day when you will leave home. This isn’t something to have a fight about. Fighting will only confirm her idea that you are too young to take seriously as an adult.
Instead, lay out the problem and your suggested solutions as calmly and reasonably as you can. If she gets angry, resist the temptation to fight back. Simply tell her that you love her and that you know if may be hard for her to lose you to someone else. Emphasize that you have confidence that the two of you can work it out. Such conversations are often difficult and challenging but they are also part of growing up. I think you can do it.
I wish you well.
Is There Something Wrong with Me?
From a teen in the U.S.: My mom thinks that there is something wrong with me. Something that stops me from being nice to everyone that is close to me, like my sibling. She thinks that I WANT to cut off all the joy in my life.
I don’t really know why. When I was really young my dad had died, and because I was so young, it didn’t really have an impact on my life. I really don’t know if there was a void in my life my mom could never fill. My mom would and still gives us the occasional slap on the face. It’s okay though, it’s not like “actual abuse”. It’s just discipline. But either way, I know deep down inside, I am scared of her, because I was always afraid that she would hurt me.
I’m one of those people who doesn’t like to share their feelings. I keep everything bottled up inside, so much so, that sometimes I don’t know what I am feeling. I don’t want to people to know that I am vulnerable, and having feelings, to me conveys that you are weak and vulnerable. I stop myself from crying in front of other people. When my mom talks about my “issues” to me, I want to cry, but I never do, I just blink them away really fast.
School has always been an issue as well. My mom wants me to do very well, but I am not capable of that stuff. I’m in all honors and stuff, but she turns into a monster, trying to make me learn math for the quiz that is tomorrow, making me stay up until one or two am. School was just always miserable, but an escape from home.
My mom thinks I truly want to hurt my sister and herself. Me and my sibling fight A LOT. We wrestle, punch, kick each other, and annoy the heck out of each other as well. I love to annoy my sister, but I don’t think I hurt her. My mom feels like I also do the opposite of what she wants me to do. But when I’m not hungry, I’m not going to eat, and I will put up a tantrum if I have to dress up, because I hate dresses. I’m not trying to hurt her, but I am going to do what I want to do.
She thinks it’s so weird that I have no friends, well no close friends. I have a couple of friends but I don’t feel comfortable enough to invite them to my house to just hangout or come to a birthday party. I am a proud antisocial. There is a lot of stuff wrong with me, but my mom thinks I have some sort of mental problem. She thinks that I want to be a mean person, but I am the way I am, I don’t go out of my way to try to be mean to people. I don’t like people and shut them out. But is there something wrong with me and do you know the cause of all of that? Thanks alot.
This will be hard for you to hear, but I’m with your mom. She doesn’t have the best way of saying so, but I think she is right to be concerned about you. Being “mean” is not “just the way you are”. No baby is born into the world to be a mean person. No one comes into the world ready to fight, punch and kick a sibling. No one comes into the world antisocial, proud or otherwise.
I don’t know what is wrong. I only know something certainly is. I hope you will see a counselor who can get to know you and who can help you become the person you are meant to be.
And, please. Don’t refuse services just because it will look like your mother is winning. Real freedom, real independence, means that you do what’s good for you — even if your mother would like it. Take care of yourself.
I wish you well.
How Can I Improve My Relationship with My Mother?
From a young woman in Canada: My mother and I always seem to get into arguments when we speak. Often times when I find myself speaking about my emotions or issues with her, she’ll quickly dismiss them or compare my feelings to others. This makes me feel like my emotions are invalid or not important to her. I’e tried to explain this to her many times, but I don’t think she’ll ever quite understand my point on this.
Because of this, I often try to avoid speaking with her altogether. Even when she makes remarks generally, I find myself annoyed or automatically put off by her opinion.
\I’d like to know what strategies I can use to reduce this habit of continual frustration and annoyance by my mother’s behaviour. I want to give her the benefit of the doubt and treat her with the same openness as I can usually manage with others. However, I’m finding it quite hard and I’d like some more information on what this type of phenomenon is called and what I can do to start improving my relationship with her.
Any insights or suggests you may have would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
Thank you for writing. Let me ask you this: If you find that a door is locked, how many times do you shake the doorknob before you give up? Do you get annoyed with the door? Or do you look for other ways to take care of the situation?
Your mother is who she is. Her ability to deal with emotions is locked up. You have tried everything you can think of to have more intimate conversations with her. She can’t handle it. This is not new information. It doesn’t matter what her behavior might be called. It doesn’t matter that you want things to be different. It doesn’t matter how many different ways you try to make her understand. She just. Can’t. Do. It. (at least for now).
The way to give up a tug of war is to drop your end of the rope. A fight can only happen if you agree to participate. You don’t need her validation for your feelings to be valid. You don’t need to frustrate yourself by trying to change her. You don’t need to continue to frighten her by rattling her locks. That only shuts her down more.
You are asking her to accept you as you are, but you aren’t returning the favor. There are probably good but painful reasons why she can’t handle your feelings that are buried in her own history. She is so fearful of opening up that she can’t even do it for you. Imagine how big that fear must be if she feels she has to avoid that level of intimacy with her own daughter.
My suggestion? Have more compassion. Accept her for who she is. Look to your good friends for validation and support. If you are looking for a romantic partner, do look for someone who is in touch with his own feelings and who can support you in yours. It’s a legitimate need. You deserve to have a partner with whom you can mutually share an emotional and intimate part of life.
Most important, look to yourself. Trust your own instincts and your own sense of what is right to confirm your points of view. It should be enough. If it isn’t, maybe it would be helpful for you to see a therapist to dig into why you keep looking for something from your mother that isn’t there. A therapist can also offer you practical strategies for managing your relationship with her.
I wish you well.
Adult Child or Asperger’s
I have been in a relationship with a man in his mid-40’s for over a year, and as a couple without outside influences we have a supportive, loving and kind relationship, and rarely a disagreement. We moved around the corner from his mum but the last 6 months it appears she has tried to manipulatively break us up. I’ll give you some examples. She came into our home and placed photos of him as a child on our fridge and around the house. We only ever socialise with her, friends her age, and while we are at those occasions she superficially talks up her son’s talents, and looks, and how special he is. My partner lovingly tries to talk about things me or my family are also doing, and every single time she changes the subject, or worse, talks about someone she distantly knows that did the same thing or better. My partner tries to enable me to be proud of myself and my family too, but it’s always to no avail. She has completely shattered my confidence, that I don’t speak much anymore. We’ve been trying for a baby for over a year and she told me when she found out that he can’t afford to have a child because he needs her permission because he owes her money (he doesn’t owe her much). She then tried to convince me to break up with him and go out with my best friend. They have told me for some time the family does not celebrate birthdays, but recently for my partner’s 45th all her friends starting saying his mum was organising a dinner. He said my mother won’t decide for me who I spend my birthday with. I want to spend my day with you.. Next thing, a motorcyclist had bumped the side of her car, no one was injured but he said his mum was in a catatonic state. He then told her she could organise her dinner because she wanted to. We got there, and she had pulled out of her catatonic state pretty brilliantly, with balloons you’d see at 12 year olds party and her two closest friends. I couldn’t get a word in much at this dinner, but one of her friends said she was looking for a husband, and his mum said, darling you should marry her. It’s all caused me so much pain. (From Australia)
This has nothing to do with Asperger’s. You partner has to step up and confront his mother about her shenanigans. This is simply an immature manipulative effort on his mother’s part. It isn’t worth your time or effort to continuing a relationship with someone that doesn’t accept you. He needs to explain to her exactly what she is doing and how destructive it is. Once this is done –confront her every time she does something that undermines you, and both of you praise her and validate her when she does something supportive. If she doesn’t respond in a reasonable amount of time I’d begin severely limiting time and contact with her.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Becoming My Abusive Mother?
I have for a long time believed my mother to be emotionally abusive. Recently after a fight with her, I began to google general characteristics of emotionlly abusive/narcissistic mothers, to reassure myself but I found several things that reminded me of my relationship with my 6-year-old little sister.
I often tell her, and myself, that I only want the best for her and that I want her to have the life I never had. I often buy her candies and toys because I feel like my parents give her even less attention than they did for me, but recently I’ve noticed that I’ve been telling her that I can’t buy certain things because they are too expensive. To reassert my point, I sometimes say things like “You don’t need that” or “You don’t really want that.”
I’m afraid that I’m manipulating my sister like my mother manipulates me. I’m also afraid that I am developing NPD because while I worry about spending too much money on her, I seem to have no problem spending money on myself, especially after a period of depression. I also noticed that I tend to give my sister my old things instead of buying new things and I’ve read that narcissists’ overly self-centered personalities cause them to give hand-me-downs to others and new things to themselves.
I like to think that I am being a good sister, but I’m afraid I’m just lying to my sister and myself. I just want to know how I can tell if my sister is affected by my recent behavior or not and how I can help her if she is.
With 12 years difference between you and your little sister, you are an important adult in her life. My guess is that she has always looked up to you. So, yes, how you behave towards her does affect her. Because you are so much older, you are a role model as well as a sister.
You are asking very, very good questions. At 18, you are at the age where you are sorting through your experiences and deciding what kind of person you want to be. You are trying out being generous and being selfish; being self-critical and self-forgiving; being manipulative and being indulgent. Although you could decide to be narcissistic, you have had the experience of being treated poorly by a narcissist so I don’t think you’ll go that route. But it is a choice. By looking clearly at what you are doing, you are taking an essential step in the right direction.
It’s wonderful that you buy your little sister treats but she doesn’t need those things as much as she needs your loving attention. A few minutes reading to her most nights or coloring with her or just chatting and snuggling will put more into her emotional bank than any candy bar ever could. How you give her your things matters more than the fact that they are old or new. Little sisters love to get jewelry and scarfs and things from big sisters when they feel they are being given something special that connects them to their hero.
Keep it positive. Give her attention and encouragement. You’ll find you get as much as you give from the relationship. It’s pretty wonderful to be seen as special through the eyes of a child. Meanwhile, keep asking those good questions and making good decisions for yourself. Your relationship with your sister is important for the two of you and it’s also important as a rehearsal for how you will be in realationships in general.
I wish you well.
How Do I Stop Family Member with ADHD from Being Inconsiderate?
From an adult woman in the U.S.: I believe someone in my family has ADHD and or some other mental illness. I realized this after several decades of bullying, and irresponsible and reckless behavior, extreme clumsiness and some violence over the years. This person is not willing to get help and I have to live with them for the forseeable future.
The issue that concerns me today is their lack of consideration and empathy when leaving a mess for me to clean up. The messes range from their pet’s urine and feces to dirty dishes, rotting food and things spilled on the floor. This makes life difficult for me as I often find items I had just cleaned soiled after a long day’s work? Despite washing dishes several times a day, I can rarely eat or drink anything without washing some dishes first. They even use dishes right after seeing me wash them and then claim that I never washed any dishes in my life. They can go through 10+ forks in one day and use all the plates in the house. The sink often smells like sewage and the hallway outside their bedroom smells like a public toilet and their bedroom smells like mold. They also go around yelling profanity while tripping over things they left on the floor. This happens about 10-15 times a day.
How do you get someone who appears to have ADHD to be more considerate and to not have verbal tantrums when asked to clean up after themselves and their pets? Are they capable of realizing that they are directly responsible if they leave something like a shel bracket on the floor and then hurt their feet stepping on it later?
I have some OCD tendencies and stepping on dog poop when leaving my bedroom makes me so stressed that I am unfocused and have difficulty working for the rest of the day. Finding mashed poop in the kitchen makes me feel uncomfortable using the kitchen for a long time. I feel exploited when I spend hours cleaning up after them but the house becomes extremely unhygenic if I clean less or when I get sick and can’t keep up. Please help. This situation is making my life intolerable.
Your letter is an important one because it reminds all of our readers that not everything is a psychological problem. Yes, the family member may have ADHD. But that isn’t your problem. Your problem is that this is a rotten situation.
You can’t change these people. They have no reason to change. As difficult as it is to understand why anyone would want to live this way, they have made it clear they are happy, or at least okay, with it. All they have to do to get constant maid service from you is put up with some complaints from you.
You didn’t give me enough information so I can understand why you think you have to live with these people for the foreseeable future. I hope you will rethink this. You may be so discouraged about your ability to separate from them that you aren’t able to think creatively about what to do. That would not be unusual in a situation like this. You are worn down and worn out by their bullying.
If they are in your home, see a lawyer about how to evict them. If the problem is finances, look into whether you qualify for some public assistance. If you can’t think of any options for yourself, consider making an appointment with a mental health counselor to get some advice and support. If you can’t afford a therapist or a lawyer, look into whether your community has a service that provides that kind of advice. Often Domestic Violence programs can be helpful in matters like this.
Do consider joining a forum here on LifeHelper for some additional support and advice. Click on the “Find Help” tab on the home page.
You need and deserve to live without this constant stress. I hope you can find the energy and motivation to get yourself out of it.
I wish you well.
My Family Is Suffocating Me with Negativity
I live with my parents and 6 siblings in a very small apartment as we are very poor and cannot afford a more suitable home. There is little to no privacy and almost every single one of my siblings are very irresponsible and inconsiderate. I’ve learnt to accept that as I love and adore every single one of them too much, especially my mother, but their bad behavior and negativity have doubled ever since my father moved in to live with us a few years ago; he’d been away for a decade and his sudden return into our lives drove us all apart, and drove me into severe depression. He is a very toxic person and his toxicity has spread onto all of us, especially my mother. She transformed from a sweet, kind, and happy person to a depressed and inconsiderate pessimist. I can’t even remember the last time I’d seen her smile, she just constantly yells and cries all the time. It is obvious that my father is causing a lot of distress but there is nothing we could do about it, we can’t ask him to return to where he’d come from because he is very ill and cannot take care of himself, he has no where else to go.
I’ve also been transformed, I used to wake up with a smile on my face and look forward to the day, but now I’m always angry, depressed, annoyed, and resentful. I get easily angered and constantly tend to say mean things to my mother that I instantly regret. I’d do anything for her but I seem to always say hurtful things to her whenever we have a conversation; as much as I love her, she gets on my nerves with her negativity and I just cannot stand it. The only thing that brings a smile to my face are my cats whom I adore very much, but even that has been sparking fights and arguments between my mother and I. She was the one who taught me to love and care for animals, especially stray cats. I’d taken in and took care of more stray cats than I could count and my mother had always been proud of me for this. But now, she just complains how the cats make the apartment filthy and she wants them all gone, eliminating my only source of joy. But in reality, the lack of tidy and clean environment had always been the result of my siblings’ lack of responsibility and carelessness, which my mother knows very well. I do what I could to help around the house, but my efforts are always in vain due to my siblings’ carelessness.
I’m just sick and tired of being surrounded with so much negativity. Caring for my cats and spending quality time with them, something that used to make me feel very happy, now makes me feel guilty. I have a year of college left ahead of me, I used to look forward to graduating, but now I don’t have a will to get out of bed and attend my lectures, I’m on the verge of losing my good grades and it makes me feel hopeless and unmotivated. Moving out of my family home is not an option, although I wish it was. (age 21, from Jordan)
You and your family are in a difficult situation on many levels. Sharing a small living space with lots of people, even people we love dearly, can become draining and trying. And although you can all feel good about taking your father in at a time of need, it sounds like his presence has pushed everyone to their limit and is straining what used to be positive relationships.
If you really feel that you cannot move out of the family home, I would suggest that you at least try to spend less time there. If you push yourself to go to class, possibly even spending extra time on campus, as well as look for other hobbies and interests to occupy your time, being at home may be more manageable. You may need to change your attitude about home and look at it as somewhere to sleep, eat and fulfill your obligations, but otherwise get your individual needs met elsewhere.
Furthermore, if you have only one year left in college you can look at this as a transition period into being on your own or finding other living arrangements for you and your cats. Focusing on the future and your goals can help give you patience and strength to get through this difficult time with your family. Stress can change us, but both you and your mother are still the same positive, loving people underneath.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
Afraid of Talking to People About Issues of Myself
Hello, I have problems talking to people about issues or problems that I have. My family (parents and siblings) are the people I trust most in my life.
However, the prospect of talking to them about issues that arise in my life (such having the feelings of lacking direction in life, feeling like I have not ever achieved anything and will not achieve anything, as well as the issue I am now describing) makes me nervous and afraid, and thus I never follow through with it.
I don’t know why it makes me nervous: I know (also from previous experience) that I can trust them, talk to them. I do not fear consciously that they will judge me or something similar.
However, there seems to be a disconnect in this case between how I feel and what I know: I am not able to convince myself that it is OK for me to talk with the people I love and trust the most. I find this worrying because that does not leave anyone else to talk to.
This poses a problem for me, as it leaves me to worry about my problems all on my own, which has mostly only exacerbated the problems themselves and made me feel worse about them and myself. I would be glad to hear some thoughts on this.
Writing this has made me feel a bit better, as I normally do not speak about this to anyone. I guess the anonymity of the internet makes it a little better, although also here I had to fight my feelings to go through with posting this.
Thanks to the person who took the time to read this.
How you are feeling about the prospect of speaking to your family about your most personal issues is understanding. Of course, you love and trust them, but these are still personal matters. These types of issues are better served by speaking to a therapist. No one in your family is a trained therapist. They simply don’t know how to conduct therapy. That is not a criticism of your family; it is a fact. Therapists complete years of rigorous schooling in order to treat the type of problems you have described. Your family can be there for moral support and in all likelihood would be, but these matters are best suited for professionals.
It’s great that you have a supportive family. Having the love of your family gives you an important foundational base. Not everyone has that luxury. You are fortunate. It something to be thankful for.
You don’t have to keep this entirely a secret from your family. You can be general about what may be wrong and tell them that you are contemplating seeing a therapist. They do not need to know the details. You can simply tell them that you haven’t been feeling yourself or as good as you could feel and that you would like outside assistance. This would give you the benefit of sharing a little about what’s wrong without having to delve into the more personal aspects of the issue. Asked them for their support. Perhaps they may even know of a good therapist or other people who have utilized therapy. It’s a good opportunity for them to support you in your efforts.
You may also benefit from group therapy in addition to individual therapy. The benefits of group therapy include being able to talk to other people who understand what you’re going through, gaining a supportive network of people in your life, and gaining a diversity of ideas. Group therapy can also help you to see your problems in the proper perspective. It can be a relief to know that you are not alone in what you are experiencing.
Alternatively, not everyone prefers group therapy. Sometimes certain members can dominate a group not letting everyone get their fair share of speaking time. Not all support groups are run well which can take away from the quality of the experience. If you did choose group therapy, you’d want to ensure that there is a strong group leader and that others who have participated in the group have benefited from their experience.
If you did choose group therapy, it should be in addition to individual therapy. You might want to choose a therapist who is trained in cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT). Many of the issues that you’ve described could be effectively treated with CBT.
When choosing a therapist, I always recommend interviewing four or five over the phone. Choose the one you like and meet them in person. This is a good strategy for finding the right therapist for you. Thank you for writing. Good luck with your efforts. Please take care.
Dr. Kristina Randle
How do I leave home when I have disabled siblings?
From a teen in Argentina: I suffered from eating disorders since I was 13 and bullying since I was 7. I used to be a very calm person,
Now I get angry over small things or depressed, I don’t show it though. Usually I bottle up all my feelings inside.
My mother and I usually fight over stupid things as I’m usually nervous or depressed and I think she is too.
I Think the main reason she is depressed is because my younger brother and sister are mentally disabled and her work is very demanding, I also think it is because her life didn’t went as she wanted it to go, she managed to finish her course of studies even though she had me, but she had to sacrifice some things because of my brother and sister and me. She is constantly very worried about my brother and sister future, which I understand, but she doesn’t want to get any psychological help.
We rely on each other but sometimes we get annoyed over nothing and I’ve have learned to keep my mouth shut, but sometimes I lose control and vent (but refrain from saying hurtful things), she does too and she told me to that it would be better if I kill myself twice. Once I was telling her how I felt to get help and I understand that she was frustrated by all the stuff going on and she said that out of anger, and the other time that she said it we were bickering over something not important at all but she did it again knowing about how sometimes I feel that things are too much and I’m insecure around people.
There are times I get angry and let out my frustration by hurting myself or get irritated with my mother because I wish I wasn’t born and I would have wanted her to have a better life. I knit its illogical.
I love my mother and I want to have a better relationship with her I’m starting college soon and luckily it’s near my home so I won’t need to move, but I know that I need to be more independent and eventually get my own place. I would like to keep a close relationship with both of my parents once that happens.
I would be grateful for some advice!!
Having a disabled sibling is difficult for any kid. It makes absolute sense to me that sometimes you get overwhelmed and sometimes angry. The bickering with your mother is probably not about whatever you are bickering about at the time. More likely, it’s a reflection of you both feeling overloaded with responsibilities. As much as you and your mom love your siblings, caring for them does influence what everyone in the family can do. But your letter also shows the empathy and maturity that are also often an outcome of sharing in the care of disabled siblings.
You didn’t mention your father until the very end of your letter. I hope he is as involved with your brother and sister and as concerned about your mother as you are. Ideally, he and your mother are working as at team to do their best to meet everyone’s needs. He, not you, is your mother’s partner. He may need to pick up more of the care as you move into more independence.
I’m very concerned that your mother is resistant to getting help. When I did a brief search, I was pleased to find that there are a number of organizations in Argentina that address special needs. I hope your family is taking advantage of what is available. If practical help is limited (or the quality isn’t what you wish it was), the internet has a number of groups by and for parents of disabled kids to provide practical advice and emotional support. If she isn’t already involved, your mother would probably benefit from being in contact with other families that are facing the same challenges. Peer support is often easier for people to accept than professional help.
The challenge for you and your parents now is defining your role as you emerge into adulthood. How do you balance your loyalty and concern for your family with your need to become an independent adult.? How much are you truly needed as part of the team caring for your sibs? Can you create a life for yourself that balances your talents, interests, and goals with providing some care or oversight for care for your siblings?
Planning for your siblings’ future should start now. Your parents won’t be around forever. It isn’t wise to assume that of course you will be the default full time caregiver if something happens to them. You may not be in a position to do so.
I encourage you to do some homework and to look for information on the internet to help you and your parents look at the next stage of family life; the stage where you and your siblings launch into adult life. There are a number of articles here at LifeHelper to get you started:
- When a Sibling is Disabled
- Siblings of Kids With Intellectual Disabilities Score High in Empathy
- Future Planning for Your Intellectually Disabled Adult Child
I do encourage you to work with your parents to create a gradual way for you to have less responsibility at home and more opportunities to be with your peers and to pursue your studies. Maybe, as an example, you live at home your first year of university but then move into a roommate situation at school with frequent home visits, etc.
I wish you well.
I Never Feel Good Enough
Hello, first of all I’m going to thank you for taking time to read my story. I’m 14. I wil start off by saying that my parents are divorced. I go one week with my m an other week with my dad. When I was little my parents used to fight, Horible fights, when I close my eyes I can hear them telling at each other, other than yelling at them selves my mom used to yell at me, to the point where she went pysco. Se kicked things,pulled my hair, throw things, said things to me that still hurt when I remember them. I grew like that all the time. When my patents fought I would be in my room crying my eyes out. Time went by and my dad got tired of being in that situation so he divorced my mom, he said it was the best I was 7 at the moment.
I agreed that it was the best things to do so I don’t have to hear them fight al the time. My mom made this insane lie that she couldn’t feel part of her face because of all the stress , she blamed my dad for everything. My mom and me were renting an apartment with her cousin and it was fine, my dad had an apartment as well but by himself. My mom met this guy and they’re married now, I should be happy but I’m not.. I accepted him though. Sometimes she wanted me to go to his house to get to meet him but I didn’t want to do she went into a phyco mood and started yelling and yelling, I ddnt get why ? It was her life not mine.. When I get mad I tend to cry. I dont yell or anything I keep everything inside and cry as my way to express how I feel. I ended up going and it always was like that.
My mom always wants everything her way she doesn’t care of anyone who she stomps on to get why she wants. I was 11 at this point, my dad didn’t like the guy my mom married and he still doesnt. Me and my mom are in a fight right now she kicked me out of the house and told me horrible things and that I’m not a good daughter. I think she’s not the best mom either,
I always try to be the daughter she wants.. Im never good enough. I close my eyes and I can remember all I went through. Her words buzz around my head, I think I’m marked forever.. I’m scared of her. My dad is the only person there for me he listens to me and he’s the best person in the world. One day my mom was angrily brushing my hair pulling my hair back into a pony tail and she hit me with the brush I turned around and she tried to hit me again but I grabbed her arm and pushed her back, my mind went black, I couldn’t take it anymore I felt like I wasnt thinking I just reacted, I don’t even want to remember what happens after that, I keep so much inside I don’t tell anyone, I can’t trust anyone.
In school I’m smart I have good grades and I’m trying to get into a good college but I have self confidence issues and really low self esteem. IM NOT GOOD ENOUGH. Everything is wrong with me. My mom told me I was fat. I believed it everyday I looked at te mirror and hated my self my mind was devestated. I’m putting this out here at 1:40am because as I’m laying in my bed those moment go thought my head and they hurt me, in so many ways. Please help me.
Thank you so much for writing. Your letter is an important step in your own healing. It shows me that you know in your heart that you didn’t deserve the treatment you had from your mom when you were little and you don’t deserve it now. Now we need to help you get your head in line with your heart.
You’re just like any other kid. You want your mother to love you. You long for her approval. You hope you will find some little thing that you can do to convince her to love you as a mother should.
I’m very sorry to have to tell you that it’s unlikely you will get what you are longing for. I can’t offer you an explanation for your mother’s behavior since I don’t have enough information. But from what you say, she has never been able to put other people’s needs ahead of her own, even her own child’s. She doesn’t give you love and comfort because she can’t. If a well is dry, it can’t give you water. At some point, it only makes sense to be sad about it but to go looking for another well.
In your case, you are lucky. There really are other “wells” of love available to you. Your dad is there for you. I’m guessing your teachers also think you’re smart and promising. At 14, you’ve grown up enough to know that you can survive without your mother’s care. You do need love but you don’t need hers. It’s time to do the grieving that comes with that realization and to reach out to others for the emotional and physical support a young girl needs and deserves.
Please ask yourself why you are choosing to believe your mom over your dad. You yourself call your mom “Psycho” but then you let her opinion take over the good opinions of your dad, your teachers, and even yourself. Open your mind and your heart to the people who really do think you are quite good enough as you are. They are right. Your mother isn’t.
It might be helpful for you to find a therapist to help you make the shift. Giving up on your mother won’t be easy after so many years of longing. To let yourself feel good about yourself is to give up on the argument you’ve been having with your mother. You really don’t need to convince her of a thing if you can embrace the reality that you are a good, smart, insightful, and attractive person. On some level, you already know that. But it just might be helpful to have a therapist help you connect with what you know is true.
As you enter your teens, it is a good time to do this work. A strong self-esteem will help you better manage the high school social scene and relationships. Appreciating your own talents and intelligence will let you do well in school. With a foundation of self-respect, you’ll be better able to have the future you deserve.
I wish you well.
Why Don’t I Feel Guilty?
From a 14 year old girl in the U.S.: Hi. I think a year ago, I did something horrible that could have killed me and maybe even my family. Fortunately, nothing came out of it and everything is ok, except for myself.
I actually buried the memory until a while after it happened, when I remembered and I felt horrible. It seemed like for a while I was just waiting for myself to commit suicide, and I felt like I had already ruined my life.
One night, I cried and was the saddest I had ever been, until I got tired and fell asleep. However, the day after that night, I didn’t really feel sadness or guilt anymore, just content and apathy. I thought it would go away, but it hasn’t. A while after that, I did still feel sad about it, but each time I would suddenly feel happy and hopeful before just being apathetic again. Now, I barely even feel sad or guilty about it. I think I have some kind of defense mechanism where I just stop feeling guilt after extreme circumstances.
You probably think this is a good thing, but it isn’t. I should be feeling sad and guilty for what I did, and I’m also trying to make myself “redeemed” and become a better person, but it’s hard when it feels like what got me started on becoming a better person never happened. To be honest, I’m just a cold person in general. I used to cry a river thinking about horrible things, and now it just doesn’t affect me at all. I don’t want to be a cold, unempathetic person, but that’s the road I’m walking. Please help me! Please tell me there’s some way to fix this!
Of course there is a way to “fix this.” But you probably can’t do it on your own. Whatever happened was traumatic enough that you dissociated from the memory for a time. Then your brain did what brains often do to people who are traumatized. It divided your emotions between feeling bad and not feeling at all. Losing your feelings was your brain’s way to protect you. But it’s no longer helpful. You need to relearn that there is a huge spectrum of emotion available to you — from feeling terrible to feeling kind of numb and apathetic to feeling at peace and happy again.
That’s what therapy can offer you. With some serious work on your part, you can learn to feel the range of feelings again. You can also take a new look at what happened when you were only 13 to reexamine whether your evaluation of it at the time was accurate.
I hope you will take yourself seriously. You have a serious emotional block that will get in the way of friendships and love for family and potentially love for a romantic interest for the foreseeable future. These things rarely fix themselves. You need and deserve the guidance and support of a professional.
I wish you well.
Why Does My Mom Behave So Irrationally?
From a young woman in the U.S.: When my mother has had issues with someone in the past, even if it was almost a decade ago, she’ll state that they have issues and everyone else is just acting like everything is okay when it’s not. She’ll also states things like them being secretly jealous of her and discount that person’s looks in favor of her own. Also, she comes from a heavy Christian background, but when she tends to rant about these things she tends to get very explicit in her verbiage. These people she’s talking about do live rather successful lives and are at least in upper middle class territory. Our family isn’t doing bad, but we are just around middle to slightly lower middle class.
Whenever she goes on these rants she doesn’t always directly mention the person she’s talking about because everyone else already knows what she’s referring to, but she will mention a situation vaguely. Ex. Sally posts about how great her husband is. Mom proceeds to bash women that do this when they’ve stated there dissatisfaction with their husband or relationship far in the past.
Lastly, she doesn’t see any point in losing weight and speaks poorly of people that do saying they look unhealthy afterwards. Also states there’s no point in losing weight even though she has really taken the steps to do so. My dad is making an effort to and her response was,”Why is he trying to lose weight? There’s no point. Either you’re going to lose the weight or you’re not.”
I think this may be some form of denial and projection, but I’m not completely sure.
My mom and dad are apparently going through some issues in there marriage and I think my mom is lashing out with this erratic behaviour as some form of coping mechanism due to her unhappiness. There relationship is lacking “intimacy” from my understanding of the loud arguments that have been had, but my dad isn’t perfect either. It’s just that his behavior is a bit more easy to understand and he’s stubborn. I know this is rather simple compared to some more complicated situations, but still am looking for the correct term for this behaviour.
Your mom sounds like a desperately unhappy woman who has lost any sense that she can actively change her lot. She seems to be convinced that any effort to change things will fail so why bother? Since she feels so helpless to improve herself (put herself up), she puts other people down. She can then feel a little better without having to make any effort herself. Ultimately, she knows it’s a sham, which only makes her feel worse. I suspect she meets the criteria for a depression, but I’d need to talk to her to be sure.
The best thing you can do at this point is try to get your parents to see a marriage counselor. Do the research. Find out which local therapists are taking new clients, which ones take your family’s insurance, and whether there are therapists who will start online while the pandemic continues to prevent office visits.
Give your folks the information. Tell them how much you love them and how important it is that they get the help they need to be happier. Stay compassionate with them both. Don’t fight with either of them. (It won’t help.) Do repeat that they need more help than you can give them. Lovingly, persistently, urge them to take care of themselves by seeing someone who can help.
I hope you are focusing on getting on with your own life. At 24, it’s time.
I wish you well.
Grandparents are Overstepping Boundaries
My in-laws are insistant that they can buy whatever they want for my daughter (she is 22 months old) It has bothered me but I have kept the peace. For Easter they bought her a live baby bunny as a pet after my husband and I said no. They tried to give it to her at a time when my husband was not there. I refused their gift and my mother in law yelled at me saying they would not have rules as grandparents and would do whatever they wanted in front of my daughter. She stopped speaking to me after this and I wrote an email days later calling them disrespectful for buying a pet for my 1 year old after we said no. It has now been almost 2 months and MIL would not speak to us. I emailed to see what we needed to do to be a family again and she demanded I apologize to her or she wouldn’t get past this. I did and then she said she didn’t accept, continues to insist she will do whatever she wants and we are still not speaking. I want to get past this. But I want respect. If we (the parents) say no-no one has the right to do something against our wishes for our child. And I’m just talking things that are not appropriate for a child her age. They didn’t consider that we have 2 cats and a dog already in our home, or that we would be responsible for the expense of the bunny, that my daughter is not old enough to care or be responsible for a pet and therefore it falls on me. I’m sorry it hurt their feelings that we said no but its our my child. Can our realtionship be saved for the sake of my daughter?
Your in-laws are way out of line. As far as I can tell, you have done nothing wrong. You have the right to set reasonable boundaries around your in-laws’ relationship with your child. The important word is “reasonable.” It is certainly reasonable for you to not want another pet. You’re right that you would end up caring for it. It is not reasonable for your mother-in-law to think she can do and say anything she wants just because she is a grandmother. That entitlement doesn’t come with the job description.
Where is your husband in all of this? You shouldn’t be negotiating boundaries on your own. This is an important developmental milestone in the maturing of your own family. Your husband, their son, needs to be clearly on the same page with you. The two of you – together – need to decide what is in the best interests of your child. You need – together – to have a loving talk with your in-laws. You can certainly tell them that you appreciate their interest in your daughter. You can tell them how important it is for your daughter to have loving grandparents. But you can also tell them that it isn’t appropriate for them not to honor your role as your daughter’s parents. It isn’t at all supportive of your authority as parents if your daughter understands that she can always appeal to a “higher court,” her grandparents. It isn’t healthy for her to grow up with tension between the two generations of people who love her.
When you have this conversation, it’s important that you stay loving and clear, not angry. Engaging in an argument gives the impression that you can be talked out of your position. Supporting each other means staying clear and rational.
I sincerely hope that you and your husband can work together to resolve this situation. Often grandparents like these do back off when they realize that the younger couple really means it when they assert boundaries.
I wish you well.
Big Problem with In-Laws
I have a big problem with dealing with my in laws. Actually, my boyfriend and me is getting along together for over 7years. There was no problem with my in laws at early years. But the problem began when I started studying abroad. Actually, my BF’ cousin, my sis in law, went to study BBA and she came back because she couldn’t study even the Foundation of Business English Class, not the Credit courses. But for me, I went to study MBA and I am OK with my studying. We went to the different countries and universities. At first I thought there was nothing concerning between my studying and hers. But unfortunately, she extremely jealous and gossiping about me in her relations. Although she is first cousin to my BF, their families lived together and they are like siblings. Especially, my BF’ mom love her like her own daughter. That’s the main point. My mother in law believe and accept whatever she and her own family said. Not only her, but also her mom hate me when I start studying abroad. She even talk and insult about my personality and character. For example, at the early months I went studying abroad, she and her family said ‘she cant study long coz she is not qualified’. But when I am ok with my studying, they said ‘she will become worse than a sexual worker and will cheat my bro cousin’ (yeah, they said even like that). But, when I am perfect with my personality, they (she and her family) said, ‘Ah! Nothing happened? Yeah. Because she is abnormal now coz she live alone without her family’. When my sis in law tried to study abroad, both and her family moved.
The main problem is that my BF’ mother believe and talked to me very very badly starts from over 1year ago.(She talked to me like a street dog). At the first time, I couldn’t even talk back a word to her because I was so surprise as we had a good relation. She did for twice but thanks for God, its a phone conversation and I drop the phone and never called her again. (But, now she pretend to be a good one whenever by boyfriend is with her and she said ‘I never said like that’ )
That jealous girl always tried to separate my BF and me with so many ways. I cant stand what they do. Coz they always talk about me badly to my BF, their relations and friends. As for me, I cant stand even a minute about that because my improving career is not like stealing her brain and her life. Hers is hers and mine is mine.
Start from there, I have been always angry with them. Like they stole my time by thinking about their nonsense gossip and insulting. Although my BF support me, I am not relieve of that. I often cried out suddenly and fight to my BF by telling about them but he never fight me back. He just say ‘Its not me Honey. Its them. Sorry for I cannot control them. But I will love you forever and will be more good to you’.
I don’t like this feeling. I had my peaceful life. I really miss my sound and peace past. I do hate them. But I also hate that feeling. I want to live without thinking them. I want to live peacefully whenever they have their family special occasions because I have to always worrying that whether they forced my BF to marry other girl (like they always do)or not and tell that how bad is my university and career and how bad is my personality.
I want to conquer them and my bad feeling. I do want to conquer them. On the other hand, I want to be in better place (education and personality)to make them more and more jealous. But this feeling drive me away and away from my peaceful life. I don’t know how to handle them and my feeling.
Please help me.
It is time to get your boyfriend involved more directly and have him deal with his family directly. He is too passive and you need more direct support from him. It is true he cannot control them, but he can explain how disappointed he is in them, how it is both disrespectful and unacceptable to treat you this way. Your accomplishments need to be a source of pride, not the target of jealousy. The only reason you have to put up with them is because of your relationship with your boyfriend. It is time for him to stand with you and support you and confront his family.
Wishing you patience and peace,
from a young woman in Canada: I’m looking for advice on how to have a constructive conversation with my conservative Christian parents about the negative effects that my overbearing Christian upbringing has produced and discuss the fact that when/if I do reproduce I do not want this set of beliefs anywhere (at all) around my child until they are grown and can form their own opinions.
I grew up being completely isolated from the “secular” community, attending Christian school and church related activities about five days a week. I felt as if I was being force fed and lashed out from a very early age. Aside from a large range of social issues I also experienced a large amount of sexual and body issues which I have had to face, mainly the 1. repercussions of the lack of information and discussion of sex; 2. being told my body was dirty and that I was “unclean”. 3. being taught/shown that I am worth-less/ of less value because I am a woman.
I have an extreme aversion to authoritarianism. The biggest issue of all is that I feel and have felt for a very long time that I am unaccepted by my parents because I do not agree with their values and they do not agree with my lifestyle. I know that my parents want me to change who I am to conform to their beliefs which is extremely hurtful. My younger brother who has also been affected currently does not have any contact with them.
There has always been a disconnect between us and I still feel that I cannot talk to them about a large majority of things. I have never been able to go to them for advice, be open with them about my beliefs or how I feel about their faith without them becoming agitated. This caused a lot of issues during adolescence. On many levels I felt abandoned by them.
When my parents first met my father encouraged my mother to root herself in Christianity as a means to help heal her depression/childhood issues. I grew up watching my depressed mother continue to cry day after day often not even having the energy to interact with us or take care of the house. Despite her faith never really working to resolve her issues (in my eyes) she persevered relentlessly and now spends the majority of her days reading & watching Christian related articles and sermons.
I know she is very fragile and that her “sanity” if you will relies on these sets of beliefs. I’m not sure that she will ever understand or absorb what I am saying if I tell her about the sufferings I’ve had from the way they brought me up. I know that despite all the failings and issues I may have they did what they did because they thought it was the best thing for me. In the past when I’ve brought this up it has been met with the rejection of my feelings “you didn’t feel that way, you must have heard it from somewhere”
I really need a constructive way to communicate with them about the harm this upbringing has had on me and our relationship. I want them to understand why I will choose to raise my (future) children without the influence of Christianity (especially during formative years) and to also have them respect and comply with my decision. I would really like to have a better relationship with my parents and I do not want this to continue to harm our relationship or our relationship in the future. I also feel that if I can make headway with them it will help my brother to express to them how he feels and why he is absent. – Thank you for your time.
Please ask yourself why it is so important to you to try to change your parents. Yes, I get it that you don’t want your children to be unduly influenced by them, but you don’t even have kids yet. Your energies are better spent working on yourself.
At 30, you are an adult. You’ve made your own choices. You have a life. You don’t need your parents to agree with your assessment of the damage the religion did to you. You don’t need them to accept that you have chosen a different path. You don’t need their blessing.
Although you could have a deeper relationship with your folks if you could have an honest and open talk and if they could apologize, it’s not likely to happen.
The way to have a better relationship with them is to stop fighting with them about something that is so central to their beliefs that they can’t entertain any challenges to them. Fighting about it is fighting a losing battle. Really. You don’t need to talk about it at all. If you want to spend time with them, find topics that are neutral and change the subject when religion comes up.
Live your life. If you need to process your childhood further, find a therapist who can help you grieve the childhood you didn’t get to have and move on.
I wish you well.
Adult Son with Asperger’s
Our son is 27 years old. He has had a rocky childhood and adult life. As a child he had problems getting along with others and was often in trouble at school although he has always done well academically. At the age of about 8 years, a psychiatrist suggested that he had Asperger’s. At the time, I didn’t think this was a correct diagnosis. However, after years of crisis after crisis, I am beginning to think otherwise. Since finishing high school, he has moved in and out of our home several times. At one point he was a heavy user of marijuana and perhaps some other drugs and became psychotic. He has problems getting along with others when working, has gone from job to job (mostly in the service industry), and I think it’s because of his Asperger’s. He is not good with money. When he moves back home with us, he is irritable and angry and takes things the wrong way. He is not totally aware of the feelings of other family members. He just broke the lease for his apartment because he was having problems with the people living above him making noise. He is going to college and he was unable to do his studies. Because of this he has temporarily moved back home once again. He is very knowledgeable about computers and hopes to one day start his own business. He refuses to go for any professional help and thinks the problems are the fault of others. We are at a loss as to what to do to help him. Any suggestions? Thank you. (age 63, from Canada)
I’m sorry that you have had such difficulties with your son and that he has struggled throughout his life. There is certainly a chance that he could be on the autism spectrum, but the only way to know for sure is for him to go through a psychological evaluation. This could also open a lot of doors for him in terms of getting help with education and employment. Even if the problem is not Asperger’s, it sounds like his struggles are genuine and he needs help.
It is difficult setting firm boundaries with an adult child who should be living independently but isn’t. However, clear boundaries and expectations need to be in place. Ultimately the agreement needs to be that he can live with you until he can get back on his feet — only if he gets professional help. If he does re-enroll in college, the student counseling center and department for disabilities would be great resources to tap into. If that’s not a possibility right now, the local community mental health center may be the best place to seek services. Unfortunately, the way you describe his history he is unlikely to be successful, even with his intelligence, unless he gets help. I hope that you find a way to facilitate this process and in the meantime prepare yourself for the possibility of more bumps in the road.
Strategies for Helping Someone with Asperger’s Syndrome
- Encourage clear communication: People with Asperger’s syndrome often have difficulty interpreting social cues and understanding the nuances of language. It can be helpful to communicate in a clear, straightforward manner, and to avoid using sarcasm or figurative language that might be confusing.
- Establish routines and schedules: Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome often benefit from structure and routine. By establishing predictable routines and schedules, you can help reduce anxiety and increase feelings of safety and security.
- Practice social skills: Social skills can be difficult for individuals with Asperger’s syndrome, but they can be learned and improved through practice. Activities like role-playing and social stories can help individuals with Asperger’s syndrome learn appropriate social behaviors.
- Provide sensory accommodations: People with Asperger’s syndrome may have difficulty processing sensory information, such as loud noises or bright lights. Providing accommodations such as noise-cancelling headphones or dimmer lighting can help reduce sensory overload.
- Offer emotional support: Individuals with Asperger’s syndrome may experience anxiety, depression, and other emotional challenges. It’s important to offer emotional support and to validate their feelings. Encourage them to seek professional help if needed, and provide resources and referrals to support their mental health.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts
I’m 15 years old and I live in a well-off lifestyle with my parents and three other sisters. This summer me and my family moved from Connecticut — after 10 years — to Utah. Since the move there have been major issues that escalate in our family unit. However, one of them is particularly overwhelming. I have understood time and again the science and basic things behind menopause, but never truly embraced it. Because facing it who would? My mother keeps on telling me that she has finished menopause, but I can never shake the feeling that I need to make excuses for her mood swings. When her mood swings started she would usually apologize and I would say “it’s ok” every. single. time. However, not that we moved the mood swings come more often, more ferocious, and never actually go away. Fights have escalated to the point where she has stood in front of me and told me to go “fuck myself” I would then just stand there baffled while she continued to scream. To cool off I would get out of the house and walk my dogs for as long as I could. Getting back home she pouts and ignored me until my father comes home and she starts complaining about how I am “so disrespectful” and “should be punished.” As you can see, her plans never involve confronting me and trying to work things out.
I don’t know what to do anymore or how to act around her. I feel as though she is a ticking time bomb about to explode and I’m always the person in the line of fire. With the pressures of grades and all of the other problems I face at home all I can do is count down the days until I leave for college and never have to walk back into that house. Thank you for reading this and I hope there can be anything resolve our differences.
Thanks for your thoughtful letter. This is a tough one because you are caught in the middle of something that you have very little control over. At 15 you are not going to be able to manage all the family dynamics. Whatever is going on for your mom isn’t something you created or can cure. But you can be clear about limits.
I would first talk to your high school counselor about what is happening. In order to deal with your mom you need some support, and the counselor is the first person you can talk to about this. Additionally, here is a free hotline for you to call that will put you in touch with a counselor who will guide you through the next steps to get support, and how to deal with mom when it happens again.
Your mother telling you to “fuck off” isn’t ok in any instance, and you need to have enough support around you so that the next time it happens you can confront her. Verbal abuse by a parent isn’t acceptable. Her blaming you and not seeing her role in this will mean you need support to help yourself. The counselor and the hotline should help.
Wishing you patience and peace,
Mother Hates Me But Worships My Sister
My mother has resented and (i believe) hated me since birth. She never hugged me or even touched me unless hitting me with a belt. She never said ” I love you” even once when growing up. 17 years later gave birth to my sister. She is treated with golden gloves. She has worshiped her since her birth. I can’t understand it. I was a wonderful, quiet, respectful child. I did anything and everything trying to get her to love me. I made straight A’s all 12 years of school. Teachers always thought I should have been promoted but my mother never allowed it. Now at 51, after years of therapy, I still can’t get past how they STILL treat her like a princess and never even think of me or my feelings. Right now my parents, sister, her hubby and children have taken a family vacation, which parents paid for, to Rome, Italy. Me, my kids or grand kids weren’t invited. So now we all feel hurt and don’t understand why. This is only one example . There are so many times in my life my mom has hurt me in similar fashion. I wasn’t allowed around my sister while she was growing up so I couldn’t influence her. They told her they didn’t want her to turn out like me so I never got to see her. I wasn’t promiscuous, didn’t do drugs, graduated with honors (they didn’t even go to my graduation). My sister sees this difference but doesn’t care. She makes comments at family get togethers how they love her more. Not that it’s not obvious to everyone already. I went to therapy for years. Therapist said the only way to get past was to confront them. It took me until I was 39 to do this. I told them how I have felt, gave examples, even begged for them to explain why. What did I do? My mother immediately tried to slap me and said I was lying. She has said many many times that I have been a liar my whole life. I do not lie. After her 4th attempt to slap me, my father came in. I explained again and he acknowledged that they did do this. He tried to get my mother to say it, but she would not. She stormed out of my home and as she left, told my 14year old she was sorry she had to live with such a crazy liar like me. My dad apologized and left. Now she tries to hide her hate for me but it shines through. She lies to me about what all they do for my sister and family so I won’t know she is still doing the same things. Such as the trip to Rome. They told me they were just going to her house to help her with the kids for a few weeks because she was so overwhelmed. My sister is married to a very successful man. Wants for nothing. He loves her dearly and she him also. She doesn’t WORK, but she is overwhelmed with two very behaved fantastic boys. She lives 75 miles from mom. I live less than 10 but they will not come to my home to help me at all. I am a single grandparent now raising my grand kids because my daughter has brain damage and she is bipolar. They all hate her as if she could change if she wanted. I was left out of their will as well as my kids. But somehow she still believes we are treated equal. They have never once taken me out for my birthday but take her very year. They go to her house and stay for weeks at a time but will not come to mine. Nothing changed after our discussion. Same things still happening and I can’t seem to let go even after years of therapy because it is still going on and because she wouldn’t acknowledge how she treated me at our pow wow. She has never once said she was sorry for anything she has done and still doing. How do I get past?
I am so sorry you have to go through all of this with your family. But you need to find comfort in knowing that you have tried everything, and your mother’s pathology is profound. Love, therapy, confrontation, and trying to enlist your father’s help has all been a valued effort at changing the dynamics, but the bottom line is that it is time for something very different.
It is time to grieve.
The family you hoped for never happened, the mother you needed and wanted was never a reality. I would encourage you to talk with the therapist about allowing yourself to grieve the loss of this potential. This is important. You did not lose something you had. You are losing the hope of something that never happened.
Wishing you patience and peace,
My Mom & I Hate Each Other
My Mom and I are constantly fighting. I can’t remember a day that we haven’t fought. I’ve told myself that I hate her since I was in fourth grade. I’ve always felt that shes had it out for me, constantly criticizing, calling me “rude”, ganging up on me. It makes me feel terrible about myself. I was diagnosed with depression when I was in sixth grade and it has been a difficult life ever since. I have tried to commit suicide twice and I blame my mother for it. I think she is a terrible person who doesn’t love me or anyone but herself. I am not kind to her either, though. I have told her I hate her and I recently told her that I feel like she doesn’t act like my mother. It’s gotten to the point where I can’t be around her without getting mad. I know that I have an attitude problem and I’m trying to fix it, but she doesn’t help at all. When I feel like I’m having a good day she’ll catch me off guard and just start screaming at me. I don’t know what to do except yell back and it just elevates the situation. She’s the type of person who will carry on until she feels she has gotten her point across. Even when my dad tells her to stop, she doesn’t.
She also favors my younger sister to the point where everyone notices. I get straight A’s in school, I’m in NHS, don’t do drugs, or drink. I feel like I do everything for her but I am never good enough. I never ask her for anything yet when we fight she tells me that shes never going to do anything for me ever again. I’ve tried therapy and they ask her to do family therapy but she wont because she doesn’t believe she has a problem. I just don’t know what to do anymore and I’m so sick of fighting.
I can appreciate the difficult situation with which you find yourself. You did the right thing by suggesting family therapy but, as you are learning, you can’t make people do things they don’t want to do. Sometimes, you can’t change a situation or a person’s mind no matter how hard you try. In these cases, it is best to try to change how you respond to that situation or to that person.
In the very near future, you’ll be turning 18. Then you can leave home if you so desire. It may not fully heal the relationship between you and your mother, but it will probably mean fewer fights.
In the meantime, you should try not to fight with her. She will, in all likelihood, do things that aggravate or upset you, but you should try to let it go. Fighting with her is not only ineffective, but it also makes your life miserable.
It’s important to recognize that your mother might have her own mental health problems. Some people are unwilling to work on their own problems even when it is evident that they should. You cannot control your mother but you can control how you react to her.
She was not interested in family counseling and that is her choice but it should not stop you from seeking help. Individual counseling could teach you how to interact with your mother in a more peaceful way and to develop coping skills for dealing with difficult people in general. Your mother will not be the last difficult person you encounter; there are many difficult people in the world. The better able you are to deal with difficult people, the less negativity they can bring into your life. Please take care.
– Dr. Kristina Randle
Recently, a few months ago, found out my dad was a cheat. It was shocking cause he’s such a religious man I never thought it could happen. But our family dynamics were already weird he moved when I was 3 so never really had a relationship anyway. It really hit my mum I guess as her parents had both died within the last year and she took it hard and i feel like she got quite sad. It was already tense that he didn’t want to go to the funeral, due to different religions. Then she found out about a month after her dad died that he was cheating. I was the one that discovered it by text anyway and I told her. Everything’s been a mess now and she’s changed so much. We used to be relatively close and in the first few months she was just always angry at me or crying because of him and since my brothers went to university it’s just been me and her. It feels like she’s so codependent on me and I can’t turn her away cause she’s my mum and that’s not me but it’s hard because I can barely deal with my own problems (depression). Now although it’s been a few months it just feels horrible all she’ll talk about is that other woman, whom she just follows around on social media and my dad. Everyone’s told her to just leave him but she won’t say that people told her it’ll affect us, but it really won’t it’d just be better really. She doesn’t think about what I want anymore just what she thinks or people tell her. She’s always on the phone to other people, got a massive extended family and it’s too the point where I’m just ignored and neglected, despite me making time for her. I feel like she doesn’t even love me anymore. Sometimes she’s say sorry so she knows she ignores me. It’s hard it’s my gcse year and this mess has just made my already bad mental health worse. I feel bad because life’s been hard for her since she’s essentially got with him, she got ill after pregnancy and poor financial decisions have moved her from the middle class to poor. I don’t want her, she’s 50, to be alone and sad. How will I ever have my own life leaving her alone? (From the UK)
I am so very sorry that you are, at 16, having to deal with all of this difficulty in your family. You are definitely in a difficult spot. This is a time when you should be being guided by your mother instead of having to be worried about her.
I’ll encourage you to talk to a counselor at your school. He or she will be able to help guide you in dealing with your mom and can maybe suggest psychological services she can obtain. You need help in dealing with her needs and yours—and your school is a good place to start.
You may also want to contact a behavioral health center near you. These are typically located in a local hospital or woman’s center. They are familiar with helping families and can help you and your mom get the help you need.
Wishing you patience and peace,