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My Mom Really Hates Me

by Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the U.S.: It all started 4 years ago in 6th grade. I transferred to a new school because it had a really good magnet program. I used to make A-B honor roll every year until then. I began get C’s on my report card and my mom began to act differently towards me. She yelled at me more and blamed me for almost everything. After that I have been getting C’s and no matter what I do my mom still treats me badly. Even if she sees this I might get into a lot of trouble.

Currently I’m grounded because last marking period I practically failed. I didn’t understand the material and I was struggling but she never helped me. She will help my younger sister and my cousin before she would ever help me. I tried doing in-school tutoring but it wasn’t enough to bring my grades to an acceptable mark. When my mom found out yesterday she was calling me stupid and a disappointment. For instance I had a C in English and she called me an illiterate retard and said how can I fail a class that is in my original language.

I have for a really long time believed she didn’t want me just like my dad. I have always felt like I ruined her life, her biggest mistake. I just don’t understand why she hates me so much. She is constantly yelling at me and telling me I’ve done something wrong. She will pick anybody over me any day. My mom barely talks to me or takes me anywhere. She doesn’t care about me and I don’t understand why. I cry myself to sleep at night and I always want to runaway. I just don’t understand. I don’t even know what to do.

I’m so sorry you are in such despair. Sadly, not everyone gets the family they want and deserve. You may be right that there is something about you that reminds your mom about mistakes she has made. She may somehow believe that if she could erase you from her life, or if you were 100% perfect, her problems would disappear. She may not even be aware that she is taking something out on you that you have no control over. She apparently doesn’t understand that she’s the only one who can correct whatever mistakes she has made. You have nothing to do with it.

It sounds like she thinks how you do in school is a reflection on her. I want you to know that you are not alone in your problems with your studies. Often when kids transfer from a low-performing school to a better school, their grades drop. That’s because their old school didn’t give them the preparation they need to do well in the new one. You are not stupid. You are unprepared for this level of work. It’s like starting a race 50 feet behind everyone else. It’s going to take time and effort to catch up. It’s to your credit that you tried in-school tutoring. Good for you! You need more of it.

Your best help can come from your teachers. Ask a teacher you trust to talk to your mom about how hard the transition has been for you. The teacher can then give you both practical suggestions for how to help you do better. Don’t give up. The work is worth it. Even getting Cs in a better school means you are getting a better education than in your old school. Working at it will prepare you for getting more education if you want it.

Meanwhile, if you need someone to talk to to get some support, you can always call the Boys and Girls Town Hotline. Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to kids like you about their problems. It’s free and confidential. Their number is 1-800-448-3000.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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