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