Does nothing when her adopted 6 yr old child is sexually abused by a close relative? Instead she buries it because she wants to project to the outside world that she has the ‘perfect’ family. No love, hugs, care, reassurance or support were shown at all to the child. The ‘Mother’ then spends years putting the child down and making the child’s life a misery and hell, because the child ruined her projection - the child, is then made to pay.

References the child’s actual birth mother as a ‘Slag’ to the child when the child is 12 yrs old

What kind of a mother waits until the grown child is aged 50 yrs old before asking whether the sexual abuse by the close relative involved penetration, even though the 6 yr old child had clearly told her the facts as and when they happened each time. It was bad, but did not involve penetration - why did the ‘Mother’ not listen the first time around?

A few years ago, the 'Mother' causes physical damage to her adult child, then aged 54 yrs, through an ‘accident’ of the mother's making, and again dismisses the damage that she’s done, denies responsibility and does absolutely nothing to try and put things right, or redeem herself - two major instances impacting and damaging in the child's life, but yet again, it’s all buried and never acknowledged by the ‘Mother’. Strangely, the child is always expected to show respect and support towards the ‘Mother’, as the ‘Mother’ always commands it.

Last year, the 'Mother' decides to bring up the topic of the abuse again when the grown child is 58 yrs old and then feigns that she wasn’t aware of the extent of the abuse and only then becomes upset when she finds out that psychologists over the years were very alarmed at how she’d dealt with it. The ‘Mother’ again, is only concerned as to how this looks on her.

What kind of a Mother is prepared to tell lies and paint a false distorted picture of her child to anyone that will listen 'her supporters', so that she herself, and only she, comes out of it looking good, or twists reality and pretends to actually be the victim of any wrongdoing. Even worse, makes out that there’s something not quite right with the child/adult child (Fact: throughout the years, professional diagnosis has confirmed that there is nothing wrong with the adult child, it's a case of what's happened to them that is the problem, and as a result of this, the adult child had developed very strong tolerance levels for bad and inappropriate behaviour)

I am that adult child, aged 58 yrs, and I am still suffering. Reaching out to anyone who can give any help or advice please as I am at a total loss as to how to deal with that kind of a mother. I feel very broken and can no longer keep fixing the damage she’s done and continues to do. Low contact has helped over many years (I've lived away from her since I was 18 yrs old, 20 miles away thank goodness and I work full time), but it’s reached the point where I can no longer keep putting on a false brave face and pretend to keep playing the role of dutiful daughter, as her whole persona just sickens me. If I'm honest, I feel I am at a crossroads and frozen, as I'm concerned as to what serious damage she's next got lined up for me if I don't toe the line, her line.

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I have not experienced the horrors that you have, but objectively I would unadopt my "mother". We don't get to choose our family but we can choose if and how we engage with them. I would completely sever ties and start fresh. You are not obligated, either morally or ethically or legally, to be forced to provide care for your abuser (and yes she is your abuser if she knew about it but did nothing to stop it).

On a much lesser scale, my own mother "didn't think it was important" to tell me my father (who she made sure I never met while he was alive) was married before her and had 2 kids. I, as an only child, found out in my late 50s about this marriage and that I had half siblings through an search done by my friend. My half sister invited me to a family reunion and I went and it was amazing. Upon my return my mother had absolutely no curiosity about the meeting, didn't ask about my feelings, didn't apologize,...nothing. I didn't volunteer any info, either. None of her behavior really surprised me. Saddened me, yes. Surprised me, no. She is who she is and she'll never be anyone else at 92. Still a denier and making it about herself. So, I have boundaries with her and it's do-able. She once said she didn't understand why we don't have a mother/daughter relationship like others do. I just shake my head when I think about the irony of her saying this. She's not a monster, but someone I've been cosmically assigned to and I have to decide how I manage the relationship. I have power in my choices. You do, too.

May you receive hope, healing and wholeness, clarity, wisdom, courage, love and peace in your heart as you work through it.
Helpful Answer (19)
Reply to Geaton777
Nomore1 Jan 23, 2022
Thanks Geaton777 for your kind words and for sharing your experience, which in no way is any lesser than mine. That must have been quite a shock for you, but I'm really pleased that some good came out of it in the end and you've been able to meet up with your half siblings.
As for co-dependency, that has never been diagnosed of me by a therapist. I don't rely on my 'Mother' for anything. What has been diagnosed is very high tolerance levels to bad and inappropriate behaviour, which unfortunately led to me making some very bad life choices in relation to husband/partners etc. and people that I let into my life in my earlier years. I learned how to correct my behaviour many years ago - I no longer tolerate that type of behaviour from anyone. The frustration for me is that although I was able to remove almost everyone from my life that fit under that category, I am still left many years later with one person that fits well and truly into that category. It's the keep having to tolerate it that does me, and the wrath that that would follow from relatives and her friends, her 'supporters' if I didn't keep doing the dutiful daughter thing. Hope this makes sense?
NoMore...from your response to Geaton777:

"It's the keep having to tolerate it that does me, and the wrath that that would follow from relatives and her friends, her 'supporters' if I didn't keep doing the dutiful daughter thing. Hope this makes sense?"

I think I can see your viewpoint, but the basic question is WHY do you have to keep tolerating the behavior?    Just as importantly, why are you concerned about the "wrath" that would ensue from relatives and friends, supporters, etc.?    I can understand that family can be upsetting, but friends and supporters?  

Where are these people in providing support to your mother?   If they're not contributing, ignore them.   Their "contributions" aren't healthy if they're encouraging her behavior.

"Dutiful daughter thing" does NOT include self degradation or putting yourself in a position of abuse.
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Reply to GardenArtist

Why do you still have contact?
Move away and start a better life. No good will come from you spending more time with this person.
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Reply to lkdrymom

"I'm concerned as to what serious damage she's next got lined up for me if I don't toe the line, her line."   Think this concern over, seriously, very seriously, and consider it in terms of Geaton777's query of a co-dependent relationship.    As an old saying states it:  "just say NO."

Think in terms of starting a new life for yourself.   An adult woman does NOT need to "toe the line" for a dominating parent.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to GardenArtist

Her "supporters" and relatives will be outraged?

So what?

Walk away. Life is too short to have folks like this in it.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to BarbBrooklyn

The relationship between an adopted child & her mother can be particularly difficult. Especially when the adopted mother insists on pretending 'as if' the adopted child is hers and an extension of HER when that could not be further from the truth. When the AM *adopted mother* insists on pretending that everything in the home MUST. BE. PERFECT. and they MUST. PORTRAY. THE. PERFECT. FAMILY. at all costs, the cost is usually born by the adopted child *AC*.

I know this b/c I am the AC and my AM is as I described above. The relationship we've had over the past nearly 65 years is VERY complicated, to say the least, and somewhat co-dependent too, as I was an only child (to further complicate matters) and trained from toddlerhood to worship the ground she walked on. "Your mother can do no wrong. She is perfect." That's what I was trained to believe! Now, I did not suffer sexual abuse, thankfully, which I am so sorry to hear that you endured and that your AM ignored. That sort of 'ugly detail' just didn't fit into her Perfect Family Notion so it had to be dismissed, I guess. I'm sure such a thing would have been dismissed by my AM as well.

She loved to overfeed me (as a baby) until I vomited, then feed me again. So I grew into a chubby kid. She then harped on me being Too Fat and put me in Weight Watchers at 9 years old (the only kid there) to be given a pig mask to wear if I gained weight! On and on the dysfunctional dynamic went, until I moved out at 17 just to STOP dealing with her crap once and for all.

Now she's 95 and in a Memory Care AL with advanced dementia and I'm in charge of her entire life. She came thundering back into my life once again in 2011 and I cried when I told my new husband of 2 years that my folks were moving 4 miles away. He was flabbergasted that I would be crying!! Once they moved back here, he realized in short order WHY I cried at the prospect.

I had to immediately establish very strict boundaries with my mother. VERY strict. To save MY sanity. The calls would be on X days at X times. The visit would be on X day from X time to X time. And so on. They would NOT live with me, PERIOD, so they were living in Independent senior living until they moved into Assisted Living and now Memory Care for mom. Dad was a sweetheart and passed in 2015. To this day, with advanced dementia, mom carries on and can still push my buttons & manipulate (to a degree), so I still wear a protective shield around MY body and heart.

This is YOUR life. Your AM is a toxic influence over it. Learn how to set boundaries for YOUR sake. Find and install YOUR shield to protect YOURSELF or mother will run riot over you until you wind up dying before she does. It's how these women operate. Oh, and the whole world will think THEY are the Good Guy and you are the Bad Guy. It's how they've set things up; it's part of the game they play. You can't change that, but you can change how YOU play HER game.

Good luck.
Helpful Answer (13)
Reply to lealonnie1

The 'mother' you have described is a narcissist, of the most dangerous kind.

[[Narcissists try to destroy your life with lies,
Because their life can be destroyed by the truth.]]

This dynamic will not change if you try to tow the line, play at being the dutiful daughter, or by false bravado.

The human body and mind was gifted with a fight or flight response.
As a child, you were frozen and could not run, could not fight back. Over the years of confusion, you have trained yourself to be frozen.

Never argue with a narcissist who believes their own lies. That leaves RUN.
Far away, so you cannot be reached or harmed.

Use this to think your way out of the very real danger you find yourself in:

Narcissists try to destroy your life with lies,
Because their life can be destroyed by the truth. 💔

Now put your hand over your heart. Is it still beating?

Ask your employer to transfer you to a far away place, if that is possible.

🤗🫂🧸️ {{{{{{ hugs}}}}}
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Reply to Sendhelp
lealonnie1 Jan 23, 2022
I forgot to add this link to my comment, so here it is: 25 Signs of A Covert Passive/Aggressive Narcissist
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I believe you have the answer already, your paragraph six explains the problem well. This person who raised you is a broken person. I wouldn’t continue to think of her as a mother, these are not the qualities of a mother. Not everyone is equipped to be a good mother. I had a similar problem with my biological father who was emotionally abusive. I was angry for decades until I accepted the fact that he truly wasn’t capable of behaving any other way. I was able to focus on good times in my childhood, let go of my anger and move on. I didn’t want to let his behavior steal a another day of my life. I hope you find peace and joy.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to StrugglingSue

Your mother is the same as my mother. Except that I am a 'birth daughter' and not adopted, but everything else is the same.

The SA is something that happened, and of course, it being the 50's and 60's--we DID NOT speak of it. I just lived in terror that my abuser was going to kill me. He said he would.

When I found out that my YB and my YS had also been molested--it was so relieving. Since OB's death we have found that he was a serial pedophile and had been in jail several times for this very thing. This helped me as I worked this out in therapy.

Am I OK now? OB's been dead for 11 years.

I wish I could say yes, I'm great and fine, but the truth is, I struggle still with a high level of anxiety every day. My mother is not loving towards me, only if I am around her does she even act like she knows me. 2 of her 'besties' are literally neighbors of mine for 40+ years and mother never said anything about me in over 20 years, they were both shocked when I told them that "R" was my mother. She'd NEVER mentioned me!

I have cut down on spending time with her by about 90%. I will try to make an in person visit once a month and when I start to feel anxious or upset, I leave. Thank goodness she has never been able to remember my phone number! She NEVER calls me. I have gone as long as 18 months (during cancer TX) with zero contact. And she didn't even notice. That was probably when I FINALLY realized that I have no meaning to her unless I can drive her somewhere or buy her something.

I do pretty much zero CG for her. I don't think watering the dead plants is really considered 'helpful'.

I miss my dad. When I told my folks I had abused by OB, dad was furious and did eventually 'have it out' with OB, but was so weak from the Parkinson's---I don't think it was very 'effective'. Dad held me in his arms and cried and said he'd failed me. He hadn't, he'd never known.

Mother, on the other hand, said 'you are never content unless you're stirring up trouble'.

We can't change these women. In your case, you can really 'enjoy' knowing you're not a biologically related. It would be easier to detach.

GO watch "Mommie Dearest". Crazy moms are everywhere.
Helpful Answer (10)
Reply to Midkid58

What kind of a mother? A very mentally unhealthy mother, and, as such, you need to protect yourself from her. Low contact is good but, obviously from what you are writing it's not enough for your mental health and well being.

I had a very mentality unhealthy mother and some of the same issues as you. I found I had to (in no particular order)

1) accept she was as she was and she was not going to change but would continue to hurt me in the ways she had hurt me in the past
2) grieve the loss and of the nurturing mother that every child needs but some of us don't get
3) face the pain and protect myself from further harm as much as I could - low contact and sometimes no contact for periods of time or permanently - whatever you need -set boundaries!
4) get therapy and supportive friends/healthy mother role models
5) work through all the pain. At 84, 3 years after my mother passed aged 106, I am still doing that but have much less pain than before.

I wish you hope for your future and healing. Life does not have to hurt so much. You have been seriously betrayed by your mother.

"it’s reached the point where I can no longer keep putting on a false brave face and pretend to keep playing the role of dutiful daughter, as her whole persona just sickens me. If I'm honest, I feel I am at a crossroads and frozen, as I'm concerned as to what serious damage she's next got lined up for me if I don't toe the line, her line."

Good! Then stop putting on the false face, stop playing the role of the dutiful daughter, set your own lines (boundaries), don't toe her line any more. She is a sick person. Continue to work on your own mental health. that).

Will she be upset? Sure. Of course. That's her problem. Don't let her manipulate you back into your old relationship. Her feelings are hers to deal with. Your feelings are yours to deal with. Heed them and do what is good for you. Put you and your feelings first. No one else will. It's your job as an adult to care for you.

I think you are on the way to a better life!!! Keep going. ((((((hugs))))))
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Reply to golden23

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