Hi. Let me start by saying I will try to keep this short. I'm a 54 year old divorced mother of two teenage children and we had to move in with my mother after a devastating divorce which ruined me emotionally and financially. We've been here 9 years and CANNOT ever leave financially and I tried so hard to get out! Lol sob sob...I suffer from terrible depression and a lot of self hatred. I've been in therapy for many years. The problem is that my mother wont stop certain behaviors. I'm so distraught I can't add details right now. She dismisses me as "too sensitive and its all in my head." The way I see it is I have two choices. One suck it up and continue to be as is with resentment and anger and hate myself for not being kind to my mother. Or two confront her again (she ignores my pleading for her to hear me) and hate myself for hurting her for the rest of my life. I'm so confused. I know I see things here that aren't right or healthy but she denies and my siblings just don't see it or say "she can't change now." Is this all in my head? I really need someone to help me. Thanks for listening. Sending hugs for anyone that needs one.
I'll mention this 1,000 times, to get you to understand it's not your fault: your post describes a psychologically manipulation situation, where the mother abuses one and only one scapegoat (adult)child, whilst hiding that covert abuse from everyone else. That type of mother loves triangulating siblings against each other. Pitting siblings against each other in the same way that a 14 year-old pack-leader does with the pack of mean girls ... to gang-up against one group member.
Unfortunately, as you wrote, you will never get anywhere "pleading," with your mother, At this point you must google abusive mother to learn more, and grab at least two old fashioned books, titled:
1). Emotional blackmail by Susan Forward ... and
2). Why Does He Do That? by Lundy Bancroft
My background is in counseling, which is why I cannot label anything more specific than generalized psychological manipulative abuse. As mentioned your post describes a situation that has you placed in a scapegoat role.
You are NOT "too sensitive," Those words are among a list of typical responses abusive asshats utilize as their standard replies, to shame their abused targets/victims/scapegoats as being "too sensitive." That's how abusive asshats get their victims to think it's the victim's fault, which in turn trains victims into thinking that the victims have control over the situation. When, instead the victim is being manipulated/guilted/conned to stay within the abuse cycle.
Tell your mother NOTHING about what you learn online. Most likely your siblings have been told their entire lives that you're the problem. Psychologically abusive mothers work hard to present a perfect image, so be careful.
And when you find information online don't tell your siblings anything about what you learn, usually siblings have very different experiences within a psychologically abusive dynamic. Your mother chooses to abuse.
Psychologically manipulative mothers have decades of manipulation experience portraying you as the problem, so it's best to learn everything possible, in silence. Sorry, "confronting," your mother will only hurt you further.
She will evict you from her life, if she feels that you're resisting her abuse. Manipulative people hate boundaries.
You're likely in a catch-22 situation. As soon as a scapegoat learns that the abuse is deliberate, that's when shock and whys, kick into high gear. Sorry, that you're in a bad situation.
Remember it's not your fault, abusive dynamics are carefully manipulated by abusive asshats.
Screenname is right. Do you realize that this is your mothers doing not yours. There is nothing wrong with you. It is your mother...she is damage. I wish I knew why or how a mother could do this to their child. It is mine blowing!!
Stay on this forum even if you don't post (just read) because their is a lot of us who's mothers were mean, emotionally and psychologically abusive. You are not alone! I know you feel very alone, but your not! We are hear for you and there are some really smart people on here when it comes to this subject. I have learned so much about myself, my mother and our relationship. I know your hurt but you can heal from this...I know it doesn't feel that way. You just need to repeat to yourself that it's not you it your mother. Your mother will never change and she will never see your side of things, but she doesn't have to for you to heal. You just need to see it!
My heart breaks for you...I know your pain all to well!
Sending you lots of hugs and prayers!💜
My brother is clergy is in denial of everything. You have got to get out of there. I don’t know why your therapist is not helping you to become independent from your mother. You have to take care of yourself before you can take care of her.
If you have no $$, look for employment & call the county/city where you live and get on a Section 8 housing list & get assistance. The situation is not good for your children either. I hope all goes well with you.
These words from my therapist helped me because I was being eaten alive with guilt and other confusing emotions.
You are entitled to your feelings. You can modify what needs to be adjusted later but for now at least accept your own feelings, even if you have no one but yourself to validate how you feel.
I didn’t know how to own my own feelings because ever since I was a child and tried to express how I felt I was either told that I was wrong to feel as I did, ridiculed, judged, questioned, etc.
My feelings were not acceptable to my mom if my opinion differed from hers.
It took getting away from mom to find my own feelings. Things fell into place after I was on my own. I found a healthy balance in my life and retained a relationship with my parents. I adored my father. When he died he asked me to care for mom and I did. She was living in my childhood home when daddy died.
Then years later, Hurricane Katrina hit, mom lost her home and I invited her to move into my home and she stayed for 15 years. By that time she was in need of more care. She has Parkinson’s disease.
Needless to say, this rocked my world. Of course, it was a challenge and became complicated. I have a husband and two daughters. It was hard to balance my children’s lives and mom’s life. Our children grew up and moved out of the family home. It was tough.
I felt a range of emotions. It became too much for me and I sought help from a social worker for advice for my mom and she recommended this forum for me to speak to other caregivers. I received wonderful support from this forum.
I decided to speak to a therapist as well. I asked mom to leave my home. I have a very limited relationship with her. We briefly speak on the phone once or twice a month. It’s a neutral conversation, more or less small talk.
I accepted that I will not resolve any issues such as past hurts or have any meaningful relationship or conversations with her. Do I love her? Yes, I do. Do I accept her for who she is? For my own sanity, I had to. I do not have the power to change anyone.
Am I at peace? Yes, finally I am because I surrendered. I let go of trying to control and it’s liberating. It takes strength to surrender. I always thought it took strength to hold on. My strength was in letting go.
It isn’t my place to tell you what to do. That is your choice. I wish you well no matter what you decide and hope you find peace. All I can say is for me, sharing a home became unbearable. It just didn’t work out.
It doesn’t sound like it’s working out for you. There has to be options for you to consider. You might even want a new therapist, a second opinion with an objective fresh perspective on your situation.
Keep us posted. We care. I am so sorry that you are struggling with this situation. All the best.
1 - Your mother is not going to change. She is entitled to her opinion and may never be helpful, kind, or understanding. Start realizing this truth and find ways to deal with it while you live with her. I am NOT, NEVER saying that you are not hurting or do not need help. Good for you to seek counselling and help in overcoming an abusive relationship.
2 - Your mother is going to eventually pass away. At 88, it could be today or many years down the road. What will you do when she passes? Where and how will you live? Spend a little more time on preparing to live without her. Whether you go to work (I am 58 and looking for a job now) or can live on savings/retirement, figure out that budget. Make those plans and act on them.
I too have often been told I am oversensitive because I still react in the programmed way when my mother belittles/tries to control me. I am having counselling at the moment but am not hopeful that I can change ways of feeling and reacting that have lasted this long. One of my mum's worst tactics is to moan about/criticize someone I care about till I feel forced to defend them, and then turn on me for being upset. This drives me crazy, and I am trying so hard not to fall into the same old trap.
Until I joined forums like this I thought it was all my fault, that I am a bad person, never good enough, etc. etc. It has been sad but comforting to find there are so many of us out there, carrying the scars of mistreatment by unloving mothers. So, basically, no you're not imagining it and you're not oversensitive and, yes, your mother has most likely damaged you. I hope and pray you will learn ways of dealing with it that bring you peace.
if you can’t escape realize it’s not you it’s her. She won’t change but you can change how she controls you. Don’t allow her to see it hurts you, don’t retaliate , just look at her like she’s nuts and walk away. They want to get a rise out of you to make themselves feel better, more superior. Don’t play their game. If they realize it’s not working it’s not fun for them