Am I being emotionally abused by my mother?

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I suspect throughout my life I've been emotionally abused. I was away from home for over 30 years and forgot what it was like to be home. At the age of 49 and divorced I moved home for a year. I ended up going to counseling for six months and my counselor remarked that I had been emotionally abused by my mother (who had been emtionally abused by her mother and so on). Anyway I bought a home. My mother eventually went to assisted living and then after about six months she decided she didn't like it and moved in with me. She didn't ask--she simply told me she was moving in with me. Yesterday when I prepared some squash, she complained about how I served it. It wasn't mashed up and I didn't add extra butter the way she likes it. I didn't know I was supposed to. I then asked her how I was supposed to serve the squash but I couldn't get a straight answer. She was sarcastic and insulted me. She constantly discusses my weight and reminds me how fat I am. She talks about how forgetful I am and if I put reminders on stickies it's because I'm not very smart. (She ought to try to keep track of as many things as I have to). She talks about how little money she had when I was a child and how expensive I was. She was single when she had me and could have adoped me out and has said she was sorry she didn't put me up for adoption. She even once said she wished she had an abortion. I'm pro life and she's pro choice and she totally blew up over this. She's blown up anytime I've expressed an opinion--like I'm not allowed to differ in opinion. She criticizes the way I decorate my home and that I clean it too much. She likes to leave a big mess. She's criticized my gardening and told me she is a better gardener (true--more experience) and that I don't have as much common sense as she does. I dare not disagree with her about politics or she will hit the ceiling. When I was a young child she once grabbed me and dragged me to the bathroom to weigh me. I was still small enough for her to do that. Then she posted my weight in the bathroom for all to see. we had a lot of visitors. I wasn't the neatest child and she threw all the garbage in my room--including the kitchen garbage with spoiled food and broken glass (I got cut). When I went to counseling as an adult she told me she handled her problems better than I did. (She was a psych nurse) She's threatened suicide--this has been throughout my life. She criticizes my cooking. When I was 54 she went around telling everyone "I'm teaching her to make bread" when I first made bread at 19. I've asked for tips and advice in breadmaking but I don't consider she's teaching me to make bread. I've mentioned some dishes I want to make such as teriyake chicken and she says, "Oh, I don't like that. I don't like gourmet cooking. I like casseroles." She eats what I cook or she will have to cook herself. She goes to bed and gets up and odd hours so I never really know when to prepare a meal. Many times I will be about to serve dinner and she makes a cheese sandwich or something and goes to bed--often at 5 p.m. so she can be the victim and I can be the terrible daughter that won't feed her. I hope to eventually get her into a nursing home because I want my life back. I am 55 and I want to be able to have my life back while I'm still young enough to enjoy it. I have lost patience with her and haven't been the perfect person but I haven't hit her or been violent. I've crabbed at her, although I've really tried not to. I plan to retire in a few years and move to another state but she tells me that isn't a good state for me to live in. I've talked wanted to visit some places and she's said, "travel doesn't interest me. I'm not interested in looking at plaques." Once I was talking about Niagra Falls and she said, "Oh I'm not interested in looking at a bunch of water." She accuses me of not liking opera because she likes it. There was a movie she really liked. I saw the movie once and enjoyed it but it's something I saw once and that was enough and she is really offended that I didn't consider it in my top 10. Of course she doesn't like a lot of my favorite movies. When she was younger, she moved to another state so she would not have to take care of her mother. The funny thing is, almost everything she said her mother did to her she's doing to me.

Answers 1 to 10 of 25
Does your mother have mental issues other than just being evil? I mean if she's schizo or has another mental problem then there's two totally different answers here. If she's just evil, then tell her to move her sorry rear out of YOUR house. If she's got another problem, then she needs to be seen by a doctor for an evaluation.
Top Answer
Yes. You are abused emotionally. It's a conundrum though, if you've experienced this your whole life. Once abused, it's hard to break the cycle because that is how you are used to dealing with life, especially with your own mother. It becomes a familiar routine, a bad one, but one you're used to no matter how much it hurts you.

Your pain comes through very clearly in your writing. My mom lived with us for awhile, by my choice, and I see some similarities when you describe the details. She would criticize the TV shows we were watching, loudly, from her room and expected me to get up at 5:45 every morning to attend to her 'choices', note I didn't say 'needs'. That was HER routine and come h*ll or high water, that's the way things were going to be. That's what daughters 'do' irregardless of having a husband and child that also have needs. Forget the little things like having joy in your life. I couldn't leave the house for more than an hour, ever. I owed her and she 'owned' me with the guilt.

It sounds to me like you've reached the breaking point. Mine was when my son got home from school and my mother and I were screaming at each other over some dang thing or another. He ran upstairs in tears. I knew then I had to make a choice. The situation had become too toxic to live a reasonably normal life. I did the hardest thing I've ever done in my life and kicked my mother out that day, mentally, and verbally.

I researched assisted living that day while I could hear her cussing me out downstairs. I made an appointment with a facility, toured it the next day, and moved her into there the next week. Tough, yes. Difficult, yes. Do I have guilt? Yes.

Two days from now, a year ago, my very healthy father died from a brain tumor. He catered to her routine for five years. She refused to leave the house for the last two years and her very limited world cratered in around him. It limited his LIFE and I think played a role in his untimely demise. I saw my life being defined by her terms and I saw an un-pretty outcome. Stress can kill people.

I chose my life.

Six months in, I visit my mom every other day. The AL facility where she lives is wonderful. It's private pay and I'm thankful my dad worked his hind end off his whole life to afford this for her. My mom runs the place, but she doesn't run me and my family anymore, and for that I am grateful.

Do the unthinkable. Cut the strings. Get yourself the life you deserve. We only get this one round at life. Live it. Deal with the guilt as best you can. My goal in the New Year is to get to a more healthy place, both physically and mentally. I pray for that for both of us!

How I found the strength to do that, I do not know. All I can say, is that if I could do that, you can too.

My mother is a psych nurse. We are all genetically disposed to depression. I suspect my my is bipolar. She admits to depression but she won't admit to bipolar. She is paranoid and believes everyone hates her. She was abused by her mother (my grandmother) and my grandmother was emotionally abused by her mother (my great grandmother). My mother presents a whole different face to the public. Even on the phone when I lived in another state my mother presented herself as a totally different person. When my mother had breast cancer (she could diagnose it herself because she's also been an oncology nurse) she had some friends drive her to the hospital and later they commented about what a positive cheerful outgoing person my mother is. Financially I need a roommate right now but in time I am going to get her into a nursing home (if I can get her to qualify for medicaid) and get my life back.
WOW!! I have the same abusive mother. I have a hard time imagining that there is more than one person like this in the world.

Before my father died of cancer he told me to take care of my mother, but don't let her live with you. From that point on I've felt like it was okay not to be forced into that. I'm going to tell you what everyone else is going to say, move her out. It's not good for either of you for her to live with you.

I've learned to feel sorry for my Mom. But I blow-up sometimes and feel down too. The most horrible thing I ever said was telling her that my father said not to let her live with me. But that did stop the fights about her moving in.

My mom lives in assisted living. It helps, but they don't do as much as they claim and Mom wants me to do everything. But as you've reminded me it's much better than the alternative.
I SO sympathize with you because I had an almost identical situation 2 years ago. The only way I could survive the abuse (again, since I'd already had it as a child) was to find a way to put my Mother into a facility. My advice is to FIGHT for your life, or this person will eventually kill your soul-and you. I ended up in the hospital. Find a way-any way, to let the professionals deal with her. Difficult elders are one thing, but parents who have been toxic all along should not be cared for by their children. Best of luck to you and hugs too.
My high school Psychology teacher told me, over 30 years ago, that everyone is responsible for their mindset and happiness. Happiness is a choice. Your mother has chosen to be miserable. Misery loves company. So, she wants to make you miserable also. Yes, she is abusive. Do you have any other siblings? If so, maybe that can assist. If not, try to put her into an assisted living or other long term facility and visit her. Do your duties as a good daughter but let her take her misery elsewhere. It's a losing battle. She has to want to be happy. She doesn't.
You need to focus in and get quiet time so that you can access your own wisdom where you will understand how to nourish and appreciate your own life. Take time away if you can or even make time alone to get under all the agitation and misery. There is within you the deep source of knowing and accepting and understanding yourself and through that others. Be gentle with yourself. Blessings and love to you. Know you can find your answers within you. Get the support you need.
First of all that is your home. She moved in with you with out permission. You need to set some ground rules. I have my Dad living with me. When he gets crule and nasty with me I simply tell him I will not have a conversation with him if he is going to insult me. I leave the room and come back when I have redirected myself. I know how difficult this can be but the stress alone will get to you and make you sick. Find a group that specializes in Adult/Children, caregivers. If you are doing all the cooking maybe you can discuss the beginning of the week what the menu will be. If she doesn't like it or complains there is always PB & J.
move her out. my sister and i knew it was best for our emotional/mental health for our mother to be in a board & care home and that's what we did. no guilt involved. mother is in an inexpensive but nice place and well cared for.

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