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Abusive Mother
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Abusive Mother

I have reached the limit of what I can take from the mother figure in my life. She has been physically, verbally and emotionally abusive my entire life (nearly 45 years). She guilt trips me and manipulated to the point I said NO MORE. My faith tells me I should "honor thy father and thy mother" and she tells me "your God is disappointed with you." She is a professed atheist.

This woman has driven me to a suicide attempt at 14. I carved my own wrists. When she found me on the kitchen floor, slumped against the cabinets, bleeding into the denim of my jeans, she kicked my leg, told me I was an *** and returned to the bar on the corner from our home. She has driven me to therapy on two occasions. EXTREMELY helpful I might add - God Bless Brian and his insight.

Her latest (and last) attempt to get her digs in on me, was to send an interest earnings statement to my daughters (she had put some money away for their college education) and then close the accounts. Our oldest daughter is a senior and we needed account specifics for financial aid statements (anything bearing her social security number), she informed me that "they would not be getting any of it" because of the way I have behaved.

My question - There's still a nagging part of me that says I should keep trying in the name of faith and family. There IS a father figure, but he oh-so-conveniently has turned the other cheek to this woman's evil my entire life and says/does nothing - EVER. Has anybody ever just shut the door to an abusive parent and went on with their life? How do I get rid of the nagging feeling I should continue to take her abuse for the sake of family and faith?
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6 Comments Post a Comment
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332074_tn?1229564125
If it were me, I would walk away. You can not let this lady continue to have that much control over your life. You have wasted 45 years trying to do what you call the so called right thing, but it did not work. Don't let this lady drain one more bit of life out of you. Cut your loss and move on and live a happier life. It is apparent that she is a person with severe problems, but she is not willing to get help and there is nothing you can do to help her. Walking away maybe the hardest thing you may ever do, but it will be the best thing you do.
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383943_tn?1217726321
Marcia2809                                                                                                                               It seems to me that the so called mother figure is a very unhappy person. I personally think walking away would be the best thing you could do.You should let her know that what she thinks is only one persons opinion and evedentaly meaningless, also allowing her wrath to continue is only going to hurt your childrens feeling more if i was you i would run and never look back! BELIEVE ME GOD IS NOT DISSAPOINTED IN YOU! BUT WONDERING HOW LONG IT;S GOING TO TAKE FOR U TO SAY ENOUGH! GOODLUCK TAMTAM504
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Avatar_f_tn
Thanks for your input. You've hit the nail on the head as to where my biggest struggles are. I know through therapy that she's never going to change. She has emotionally battered me forever. She feels entitled because she gave me life after all. She is narcissistic - she is not out of step with the world, the world is out of step with her. She has left me feeling powerless, helpless and empty. For my Dad, for the sake of family, I have tried for decades to hold on. When she removed my children's college accounts and used them as a pawn to get at me, to manipulate me, to control - it has been the catalyst for me to say ENOUGH. She doesn't know how to love anyone but herself. Not me, not her grandchildren - and I cannot continue to go through life like this. I honestly think I CAN divorce her. She has brought nothing but pain to my life and those around me. We don't need her. I have left the door open to my father, but he is so roped in by her I doubt I'll reach him. Life apart from her is wonderful. Great husband, terrific kids, rewarding teaching career and everything in life we need. I've had enough of her. I've tried for far too long to reach the unreachable. Anybody else out there "divorce" a parent, have them die and still be able to move on well in life?
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203342_tn?1328740807
There are three books I'd like you to read. The first one is "Boundaries" by Dr. Henry Cloud and Dr. John Townsend. This will help you establish boundaries with the people in your life, including your family, without feelig guilty or like the "bad child". It is a Christian based book but since you've already professed your faith, I think you will really get something out of it.
The second book was written by Stormie OMartian. I can't remember the name of the book. I read it years ago. She's written several books but this was her first one, I believe. In it she describes her life growing up with an abusive mother and how she found God as an adult after years of wandering, drub abuse, etc. She desribes how God got her to the point of being able to not only forgive her mother, but to understand that her mother was mentally ill and she learned to actually have compassion for her. By the time her mother died, she felt at peace with her mother. It's a really good book. I'm sorry I can't remember the name of it but like I said I think it was her first one she ever wrote. She's written others on prayer, etc. This is the only one really desribing her life and her struggles, etc.

I think it's awesome that you responded to the call of God after such a rough upbringing! It just goes to show how faithful and able our God is.

Another good book I'd recommend is William Murray's book called "My life without God". He was Madalyn Murray O'Hair's son (the famous atheist who succeded in removing prayer from school). After his crazy upbring (and she was pretty loony as you'll see!), it's amazing that he too felt the call of God. I love how God works! He takes the son of the most famous atheist in American! :D Gotta love it!
Yeah, I love to read. Can you tell? :)

Anyway, I'd recommend you read "Boundaries" first. It's got a lot of helpful insight in it that I think you will appreciate. The other two is just for your enjoyment to show that you are not alone. Many people have been in your position. Sometimes it helps to know we are not alone, you know?
Don't take your mom's "stuff" on yourself. She is her own person, making her own decisions-right or wrong. You are only responsible for you. Keep praying. God is faithful. He will never leave you. He will help you through this. Just keep giving it to Him and take one day at a time. God gives us new mercies every morning. Every morning is a fresh start!
I wish you well. If you ever want to talk more, I'd be more than happy to talk to you. You can send me a private message any time if you need to talk more.
Although my mother has not gone to the extreme your's has, I do have a controling mother that I struggle with sometimes. That's why that book, "Boundaries" was recommended to me by my counselor. Let me know if you get any of the books and how you like them. I'd be interested in what you think! Take care & God bless.
April
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Avatar_f_tn
I can relate to what you are describing as I too have had problems with my mother (and now whole family) all of my life (I am 31 now). I have tried having no contact with my mother (and now family) which isn't too hard as none of my family contact me but when they do it is tinged with anger and hostility which easily erupts into extreme anger from my mother which makes me feel unwell for around two weeks following the phone conversation. It sounds so logical to not have contact with my mother but the void no-contact has created leaves me feeling deeply sad on a daily basis - i feel like an orphan. The rest of my family do not have contact with me as they are loyal to my mother and I know she has lied and manipulated them. It feels hopeless. In conclusion no contact is better than destructive communication but no contact has left me feeling deeply sad and alone - neither option really seems better.
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Avatar_f_tn
Yes it is time to stand up for yourself, and say i am a human being, and will be treated as such, make no big scene, but just let her know that you have tried for years, and if she wants to be a mother or a grandmther it is time for her to change her ways, as you will not take anymore verbal abuse or be around to listen to it, and do not back down, maybe just maybe she will change one can always hope for the best, but if the good does not come you have lost nothing, and you have gained your self respect it sounds like she gets her kicks this way also she may just be a bossy lady, and a cruel one, and likes
  to have someone to pick on she also sounds like a very sick person     she needs these words printed on her mirror
                         I wonder if my mirror
                         Would a little kinder be
                         If i had thought more of of others
                         and a little less of me

You have done all you can to make her a friend and part of a family, the rest is up to her change or be a very lonely ole lady with no family and probably no friends   luck  jo
                        
                        
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Avatar_m_tn
I too have an abusive mother. My mother treated my two siblings with love and compassion and I was always singled out as the one who didn't belong in the family. I grew up jelous of my little brother and sister because they got the birthday parties and other normal childhood experiences. I got verbally insulted and beat beyond recognition. The icing on the cake was when I was 13 yrs old, she found my father's loaded .22 handgun and put it up to my head and attempted to murder me. She put it to my head and told me she should have done this a long time ago. For whatever reason, she didn't kill me that day. But I continued to endure beatings and verbal abuse until I moved out several years later. Fast forward, I married and had a daughter-- now am 35. I cannot fathom hurting my child in the manner or fashion that was done to me. I would give my life to keep my daughter safe, happy, and loved. My mother has nothing to do my daughter as I cannot reconcile what happened to me and as such refuse to chance having the pattern of abuse continuing with my daughter or my wife as pawns. My mother acts like she is the victim of circumstances and has made generic apologies to me that don't even phase me into letting her into my daughter's life. With that said, I feel guilty that I do not allow her into her granddaughter's life. I want my mother to acknowledge what she did to me. I am all for joint counciling as it will help me get over the anger and pain that I continue to harbor towards my mother and who knows what it could do for her.

Doug.
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432097_tn?1318552340
Marcia:

I am 57 years old, and still in therapy because of all the abuse from my mother.  The worst was the mental abuse, like you went through.  

Take it from someone who knows, she isn't going to change, so don't ever expect it unless she seeks intensive therapy, which I doubt.  PLEASE don't let your kids be abused by her, too.  That's exactly what she is doing, don't allow it!

My mom could no longer abuse me when I got older (but the damage was already done), so she tried to go after my daughter, telling her cruel things just like your mother is doing to your kids.  That's when I said, "NO MORE!!!"  I got up every nerve and gut in my entire body and went in the bar where she was at (figures) and told her that if ANYONE asked me about my mother, I would tell them she was dead.  My mother's reaction?  "I didn't know Michelle was so sensitive," and walked away!  She could care less!

Needless to say, the b---- died alone and miserable, just like she tried to make me, don't let it continue!  WHY ARE YOU?  You are an adult now, and you have a family of your own, and you need to protect them from the abuse you endured!!

Take care.
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Avatar_f_tn
hey doug. my name is kate. i read your story and im really sorry. i think that if anyone can help me, its you. my mom got divorced to my dad when i was 11 and then remarried in less than a year. my mom then put herself before all of us and then left me to take care of my sisters. i get home everyday so unhappy because the only thing that my mom does is *****. she ******* to everyone and holds grudges. i try so hard to help her because she is married to an alcoholic who was just admitted to rehab and got fired because he went to work several times, completely wasted. im 15 years old and have been suicidal for years. i used to cut my arms and once my mom found out, she threw a pair of scissors at me and told me to "do my arms". that was three years ago. i dont have the option of moving out and i cant live like this anymore. my mom has hit, yelled, and pulled me down enough. i dont even know what to do anymore. please, if you can, give me some advise about how you wouldve handled situations if you could go back. there are so many stories i have of her just being selfish. she has made me the parent of her young kids and i cant take it. its even affecting my school work. please help me.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hey, I just read what you wrote and what you are going through is just not right.  You are the kid here and you should be allowed to be.  It's not your fault that your mother is in the predicament she is in.  She married that guy not you.  I went through alot with my mother too when I was your age.  She didn't have a man in the house but instead the lack of one brought all of her frustrations on me.  The abuse started before my dad died but got worse afterwards.  The physical ended  when I was turning 19 but the emotional and mental continue to this day and I am now 33.  I just want you to know that I am proud of you.  You are a good girl.  Cutting yourself won't help, but I understand why you do it.  It stops all the emotional pain and it gives you something else to focus on, it did for me.  Raising your younger siblings is not your responsibility.  Do you have an aunt, uncle, or friend you can stay with or that you trust to speak to?  If not, leave as soon as you are old enough.  Get yourself a job so that you can save money and so that you are out of that hurtful environment.  If you don't have work tell her you do anyway so that you can get your homework done.  I know you can make it through this.  You HAVE to ask for help.  None of it is your fault, it never was and it never will be.  She is the problem.  She has the problem and you are just a target for her.  Take care of you.  Always take care of you.
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1192491_tn?1265035429
I say walk.  Say a prayer that she find some internal peace and conintue to pray for her but walk away.
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Avatar_f_tn
I have been dealing with these same issues, and I'm in many ways like you.  I have a great career, nice family, I'm 46 years old, etc, but the things my mother did to me still haunt me.   After grad school, I moved to a city about 2 1/2 hours away from her, and I've been living here for the last 23 years or so.  This has all come flooding back to me now because she is in a persistent vegetative state and I have to help care for her.  She has had Parkinson's disease for 15 years, and by last spring it had become very debilitating.  My dad had to dress her, feed her, lift her in and out of the car, etc.  She went into the hospital in June because she had taken a fall and hurt her elbow.  While in the hospital, she had a cardiac arrest, and at the time, because of her declining health, I thought it was a blessing.  But no, she was revived.   Even though she had brain damage because it took 15 minutes for them to revive her, my brother and father chose to keep her on permanent life support.   She is now in a nursing home, with someone to change her feeding tube and her diaper, but bedridden with no mind and no quality of life at all.  Although I am still raising my family, I am expected to leave my children (or bring them with me to witness this monstrosity) and travel there frequently to be with her.  When I am not there, I have to help manage her care by phone.  I feel as though I am once again her prisoner, even though I thought I had gotten out of it.  For religious reasons, they will not consider discontinuing the life support.  Her doctors say that her vital signs are very strong, and she could live like this for 10 or 20 years, and in her family, people do tend to live to their mid-nineties.  If she lives 20 more years, I'll be nearly 70 years old by the time this is all over.  When I think of going on like this for several more years, I don't know how I can do it.  I don't have anyone else in my life who has experienced such a thing, so I turn to the online community.  
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Avatar_m_tn
I'm 58, emotionally and physically abused, and divorced my mother at 18 - lasted 4 years and first time I'd ever experienced peace and confidence for myself.  Fell back into trying to change the relationship (you can not change people, but I was young and hopeful) in mid-20's, it had moderated but continued on a lower level of verbal abuse for about 15 more years.  Bad mistake to re-open that relationship because our children (her grandchildren) now saw her actions, feared her and our 3 year old daughter was assaulted by her at which time we closed the door again (1991). 3 years later, she deviously created havoc with my husband's and my health insurer and disability insurer by contacting them when my husband broke his kneecap, had 3 surgeries, couldn't walk, couldn't work - she told them he was "faking" this and committing fraud.  8 months of lost income and medical coverage before they investigated and realized the craziness of her calls, but meanwhile we got behind on mortgage, credit in ruin, etc: very destructive. Another 8 years "divorced" from her. Her heart began to have problems, my Dad had started with cancer, of course I opened the relationship again - you feel obligation and guilt. How many times before I learn? Dad died in 2007, she's alone but always close to my little brother and sister (never understood why I was singled out, she didn't physically abuse them and was much less verbally abusive to them??). Sister lives 1500 miles away, works alot and unavailable, brother recently working alot and unavailable - Mother suddenly "lonely" and coming around our kids and us. Still we suffer crazed attacks, and distance ourselves again. Life can never be normal keeping someone like them in your life. I only wish I'd had the courage to permanently stay divorced from her 35 years ago. Lots of therapy has helped, firm belief in God's support and great husband and kids has kept me sane. However, keeping an abusive relationship open like hers gives you nightmares, depression, sleeping problems, weight problems and no matter how much you succeed in life, you still feel worth LESS.  It is difficult, I don't know what to tell you other than try to divorce permanently and stick with it forever - I should have.
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Avatar_f_tn
Hi everyone I am new... And feeling afraid for my sanity. I would really love to talk via email. My mom is emotionally and mentally abusive. I recently just moved home from being on my own for over more then 5 years due to financial reasons. I have been here almost 5 days and ready to commit suicide. She talks down to me telling me i am fat and lazy. I am losing my relationship of 6 years over her because he does not want to come over. I am losing my mind and don't know what to do. I have so many questions and need a friend or friends to talk to. I will be more open about what is happening once i see someone is interested in chatting with me.

Laura <
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973741_tn?1342346373
Hi Laura.  You've posted on an old thread.  You'll get more responses if you start your own thread.  You do that by going to the top and hitting "post question".  

I'm sorry you are having a difficult time.  You've been home for 5 days due to financial reasons.  I, in all honesty, would look to move right back out.  If you've been there for this short time--------  and feel suicidal (which someone else can NOT make you suicidal, I would consider that perhaps you have depression and should be treated for that)---  then you should be living there.  What other situations can you think of where you can take up temporary residence while you get back on your feet.

YOu have a relationship for 6 years and he is going to leave you over 5 hard days of you living with your mother?  Why can't you go see him somewhere else?  Why would he break up with you over this?  Not getting that, to be honest.  In less than a weeks time, the relationship is so vulnerable that he'd walk away?  That would be so unfortunate.

I am very very sorry you are going through such a hard time.  I would say that now is the time to be very practical and think of how to get out of living with your mother.  Where else can you go?

Hang in there.
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Avatar_f_tn
about a month ago, i offered as a gift to fly my parents from calif. to colorado to come to there grandaughters wedding...i couldnt believe my mothers reaction: she was upset and crying hysterically and saying- dont do this to me!!!! we dont have the money to come out and were not in good health...so i told ok! that i would send pics and they could wait to come out later this summer...so that fallowing weekend my mother calls to appologise for the things she, then told me" well ok, me and your dad never get to go anywhere", so i told her ok, id get the tickets and no worries if they couldnt.  so i got the plane tickets, and called my mom and said suprise!! and dont worry about not having walking around money, that i would send them a few bucks..my mothers reply was " you should have discussed this with me first!!!!!and you can send me the walkin around money, but im not gettin on that flight!!!! so ive been in shock.....then it started drudging up stuff from the recent past like when my parents lived with me and she got us kicked out of our house...even though my kids were little....that was soooo messed up....but i tried to keep cool, anyways going back to her telling me about not getting on th plane....she also said"shed let me know if they were gonna get on that flight or not...so a few weeks went by, then when she finally callled, not to talk about comin out for her grandaughters wedding, i asked her to please think about it.... so she called her grandaughter to inform her that "even though your mom bought those tickets, were to sick and old to come out. were not coming!!!" my daughter had no idea about any of this....my mom had her in tears...so i blew up!!!!! called my mom and screamed horrible meesages on there phone... the next day i di call to appologise, but that she had no right to call my daughter and bring her to tears!!! so, mom called my daughter and ripped into her.then my mom left me a message, quoting scripture and asking for forgivness.  wow what a breakthrough, so i left her a message that i forgive you and well get through this with gods help...my mother left me a message saying" thank you for forgiving me even though ive done nothing wrong!!!!!      What is this? why is she doing this to me and my daughter? i need help! i think my mom is mentally ill!!!!  can anyone help me understand this?
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Avatar_f_tn
Kate, I just read your post. I'm so sorry for what you are and have been going through. I see from other comments people have suggested you talk to someone. Please do. If you have a relative you can talk to about what is going on you need to do so, and perhaps move in with them, with your siblings if you have that option.  If not, you need to go to your counselor at school and tell her/him your situation.  I'll be praying for you that you are able to get out of your bad situation. You and your siblings deserve to be safe and happy. Please keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
It sounds like your mother does have some mental issues. I'm sorry that she upset you and your daughter during what should have been a happy time for all. You need to stop beating yourself up about what happened and understand that she has the issues, not you. You did nothing wrong. Its probaby best to lessen your contact with her if possible. I had a grandmother that was horrible. She never had a nice thing to say about anyone. When I was 27 yrs old, I had stopped over at my parents house and my grandmother started talking to me and told me that my parents should never had so many kids (my parents had 6 kids). I thought to myself, isn't it a little late for that comment?  But she was a bitter woman and apparently was not happy and wanted to make sure everyone else around her was feeling the same way. Stay strong and away from your mother and stop feeling guilty. We can't always control who are relatives are, but just know that you can control how she makes you feel.
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Avatar_f_tn
Marcia, you need to run. You don't own your mother anything. She has been a horrible mother to you. Unfortunately you're allowing her to continue her abuse because of the money for your children. But I think you will have to make other arrangements unfortunately. Your well-being if more important that money. Maybe when she sees you're not putting up with her crap anymore she'll make good and give you the money she promised.

Good luck and I'll be praying for you.
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