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HELP! Bad mother/daughter relationship!
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HELP! Bad mother/daughter relationship!

My mother and I have been having an increasingly bad relationship, and I am at my wit's end with her. I'm really hoping there's someone out there who can help with some sort of advice.

At risk of sounding cliche, it all began when I was twelve. There was an explosive separation between my mother and then step-father. My mother spiraled into serious depression, and had to be hospitalized several times. In this time, our roles switched: I became the parent, taking care of her, the bills, the house, etc. My mother recovered, finally when I was about fifteen, though our roles never quite went back. The relationship became something like a big sister/little sister dynamic. My mother liked to pretend she was still the adult in the relationship when it suited her, but also expected me to still take care of myself, her, and the house. This only served to irritate me, but I was so happy she wasn't all but catatonic that I took it quietly.

As High School progressed, my mother began to act increasingly like a spoiled child. She asked me to get into clubs, but when I did, she would fuss and whine about having to pick me up. It got to the point that I would either stay out of clubs, or find excuses that would involve my friends or their parents to take me home, just so I wouldn't have to listen to her whine at me. She worked as a computer analyst from 8-7, and constantly came home and took her frustrations out of me. Still, I'd sit quietly and try to tune her out as she screamed at me for something I had nothing to do with.

I don't mean to paint myself as an angel, or to boast, but I was essentially the type of teenager that parents dream about. I never partied; never drank or smoked, even as an experiment. I was pure as untouched snow sexually, not because I didn't have boys that would have fallen over themselves to date me, but because I felt I had more important things to worry about. I (with a lot of difficulty, given my mother's reluctance to so much as pick me up from school) became captain of my science olympiad team, on of the movers and shakers in my theatre department, figure skated (I paid for my own lessons, etc., through babysitting, and would walk a mile and a half from school to the rink in the afternoons), editor-in-chief of the school's literary magazine, etc. I took exclusively AP and advanced courses, and had a 3.8 GPA. I got full-rides or all-but from every college I applied to. I ended up picking a small, exclusive, normally very expensive private liberal arts school that most of my peers would have given their eyeteeth to attend.

My mother adored boasting about me, and would praise me for all of ten minutes whenever a new massive scholarship came floating into our mailbox. Then she would start to yell at me again. It got to the point that I would find myself crying almost every night, simply because I couldn't do anything else. I didn't want to yell back at her for fear of repercussions, but I simply couldn't take it any more. I simply dreamed about the day I'd leave for college. I was convinced that the time apart would improve our relationship.

She fussed at me for weeks before my move-in day, but I attributed it to nerves. My mother, over the years, had become something of an alcoholic, and you can imagine my horror when, the night before I was to move in, I saw her come in with a bottle. She proceeded to get, for lack of a better word, ****-faced, and it was the last straw. I screamed at her for about ten minutes about what a child she was being, and how I was sick of her putting drinking and her mood swings above me on her list of priorities. I locked and baracaded myself in my room while she pounded on the door and threatened to break it down and beat the holy hell out of me, and screamed how much she hated me and how she wished she'd aborted. I cried and called my godmother, my biggest support system through all this. She convinced me to calm down and go to bed, and assured me that if my mother was indeed passed out the next morning like I predicted, she would come and take me to school herself.

I managed to rouse my mother and, after screaming at me because she had difficulties getting the moving van, we left for school. She was all smiles on the way up and while I moved in, and cried when she left. I called her dutifully every night.

As school progressed, it was almost impossible to call her every night. On nights I didn't call, I could expect an angry voicemail screaming at me for being such a rotten child. Finally, it got to the point that I could go at least one day without calling without her freaking out.

Earlier this week, she called to yell at me, and I was already having a hideous day, about to suffocate under a mound of homework. I cried at her for a few minutes, before calming down enough to say I wouldn't be able to call for a few days, and that I'd talk to her Thursday night. We also arranged for me to come home for the weekend. I am involved in ballroom, and was going to be in my home city Friday evening with that, so the plan was for her to come pick me up and for my roommate (who was also going home) to take me back with her.

I received a knock on my door on Thursday afternoon around two from my RA, asking if I was okay. When I told her yes and asked why, she told me that the school had received a call from my mother, and by the fuss she'd rose, they were all concerned for my mental health. Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am arguably the least suicidal person on the face of the planet. At any rate, I was asked to call her, which I did. She began to scream about me not having called, and when I (calmly) reminded her that I'd told her I wouldn't be in touch, she just continued to scream. I told her fine, I was wrong, just in an attempt to make her shut up, and asked what time she was going to be at the ballroom studio to pick me up. She frostily replied that she had better things to do than spend time with me, and that she'd probably be too busy to talk to me for a while, so that I could call but not expect her to pick up. For anyone who has never had this happen (and I sincerely hope that's most of the people reading this) I can honestly not express how hurtful a comment like that is, nor how much it lingers.

The long and the short of this is, I am sick of being kicked around by my mother, but long for her approval at the same time. I just want her to like me. I'm not even asking for love. I just want to have a relationship where I don't get told how unwanted I am all the time. I'd also like to point out that, whatever the above might read as, I do love my mother, and she can be amazing when she's not busy being too concerned about herself to think how her words might effect me.

Is there anyone out there who can offer some advice, or who has had a similar experience and can tell me how the dealt with it? It's been a bit over a day now since I talked to her (it's Saturday) and I want to call, but am afraid to.

Am I being blind and doing something wrong? Please, if it really is, don't be afraid to say so. I want honest replies to this. I want to fix my relationship with my mother; she's all I've got.
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I am sooo sorry for everything you have had to go through and are still going through. I can relate to an extent that my mom is dependent upon me for health reasons. You are not alone in that aspect and my mom is still looking for the love and acceptance from her mother my grandmother so I see where your coming from, and my heart breaks everytime I hear someone who has to go through something like this. Im lucky to say that I have a good relationship with my mom. She knows she did not want to be to me like her mother was to her and she has made her mistakes but I still love her as you do, love your mom.
My mom will expect me to do things when she says and even if I had plans and then makes me feel guilty about it. The thing is when the role reversal changes, and you become the parent in the relationship ....you need to set limits, you need to let her know that your there for her, but  are not going to be treated in the way that she treats you, youve done nothing to deserve that kind of treatment, you have accomplished so much and that is something to be proud of. Set the limits and let her know that your not going to be around if she's going to continue to act like that, its unhealthy, and as much as you want that acceptance from your mother, you have to understand that she may never realize what she's done, you have so much to look forward to, she's lived her life for how many years? And youve only lived yours for how many years? She needs to stop being so selfish.

I also have to pay the bills and bring food to the table and im only in my early 20s and going to college, we have ALOT of pressure, we have so much on our plate and its really not fair..I know.......You need to set boundaries with your mother, your an adult and are giong to school to better yourself, you need to not worry about her and her problems shes the mother and should not be putting that on you.


I wish you the very best, and I hope you will learn to stand your ground.
Never hesitate to message me....Im here if you need someone to listen or advice on the matter.

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Avatar_n_tn
I also have a problem with my mother.

Recently, our relationship has been more stressed than ever before. She yells at me for no reason, and when I reply back to her in a calm way, she becomes defensive and tells me to relax and not yell at her. Even when I ask her a simple question, she yells at me, and belittles me. I always look for my mother's approval, but recently, I've realized that the only person I need to make happy in my life is myself.

Let me rewind a little bit.
When I was in 2nd grade, my parents divorced. I always had a strong relationship with my father, but in the past few years, I've had very little contact with him. My mother only talks to him when he needs to pay his child support. When I was little I recall them having fights where they would yell at eachother very loudly, and I would close my bedroom door and sit in the corner and cry, praying to God that my parents would stop fighting; Of course, they never did. My mother was always a very controlling woman. I think she got this from her mother, even though now my grandma is a loving woman, I belive through therapy over the past few years, she realized where she went wrong when she was raising her three daughters. Anyway, my mother would always yell at me whenever anything was out of it's place. She would throw my toys on the floor or in the trash, yelling at me to clean it up, meanwhile I was already in the middle of doing so. One time there was a cup in my room, she threw it on the ground, she told me if my room wasn't cleaned, she would beat me. I'm fortunate enough to say she never did because I would always call someone when she threatened me. I remember telling her I would move out with my dad and leave her all alone. I was always terrified of my mother, and did everything to please her. In high school, I tried to stay as far away as possible from her, seeking a kinder family atmosphere through my friends and their families, which always helped me out.

Earlier this year, my mother was hit by a car while she was crossing the street. She was out of work for about 5 months. It happened the week I was off from school (I'm currently attending college not too far away) in the middle of my spring semester. When that happened, I became really stressed and worried for her, even though I was already fed up with her from my childhood. My grades ended up suffering, and she blamed it all on me, when in reality, I was worried for her. She was home, all alone, and was severly depressed. This was the only time in our relationship where she didn't yell at me. We got into fights about everything though, especially after I came home for the summer. I worked a full time job, and I was very tired when I got home. I would try to help as best as I could, but I was exhausted. She thought I didn't care about her, when I clearly did. After talking to the rest of my family about this, they did determine that she needed to talk to someone and that nothing was my fault because I did try to help her.

Ever since then, she's been on cymbalta, and I do admit it has helped. But I feel that there is a void in my life. I do have other motherly figures in my life, such as my grandmother and my aunt, her younger sister. I feel closer to them than with my mother, anytime I need to talk to someone I always call them first. Recently, I have been shopping to compensate for the stress and void in my life. I do realize I have a problem and have decreased my spending. When my mother asks me where my money has gone from the job I had over the summer, I tell her the truth, and she yells at me for how irresponsible I am. I realize that, and I'm trying to fix it, but at the same time, it is my money, and I'm afraid to tell her that, thinking she may hit me or yell at me further.

Since my mother rarely makes me happy, I always try to make others happy, to make myself feel better. When I ask my mother if I can take the car to take a friend home from her school, which is near by, she yells at me and says no (we share the car). Even though sometimes when I need a ride home from school when noone can pick me up, she tells me to ask others as if I'm some sort of a charity case, which I hate doing. I believe it's the way that my mother responds and talks to me sometimes that makes me hate myself.

She also criticizes my weight, and calls me fat at times. She says food is all I depend on, meanwhile I maintain a healthy diet, and look better than I havebefore. I believe this is because she was heavier as a child, and was teased for it. Now, she's sickly thin, and rarely eats.

I also have cried more this year, than I have perhaps all through high school. I'm afraid of when I graduate in 2 years that I won't know what to do. I clearly need to get away from her.

I'm sorry this is so long, it's just I had to talk to someone, somewhere. It's nice to find a place where other people can see from my perspective. I'm praying for all of you<3
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I recently found out that my mother exhibits a lot of the BPD traits, although she has never been been diagnosed nor seen a medical expert.  I have read a lot of books on BPD.  She does not even believe she has a problem.   I am 47 years old and am suffering from sever depression.  Every Christmas I have an episode which incapacitates me.  I recently got out of a mental health hospital, suffering a severe depression episode and am now in an outpatient program in a cognitive behvavior therapy group.  I am also meeting with a therapist on an individual basis.  I have found that my suffering has come at a price, my price of good health, and to be mentally sound in order to cope with the daily pains I have kept locked up inside of me since my childhood.  

I recomment to everyone that reads this to seek therapy whether group or individual and realize that this may be a life long session.  Also, thank yourself for knowing that something is not right with mother and taking matters in your own hands - you've made a BIG step by coming to this website!  

I have also realized that I don't have to stop loving my mother as I love her with all my heart.  She is sick and is so scared of doing anything about it because she too has kept bad things locked up inside of her - she is so afraid of facing of her fears and revealing hurtful things from her past.  But that does not stop me.  I am doing this for me because I am making the choice for me.  If she choosed to not do anything to help herself, then She has to her make lie in the bed she has made.  

Good luck to all and remember that you are not alone!  
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Avatar_f_tn
I dont' know if anyone will reply, but it will feel good just to vent.  I've lived with a mentally unstable mother all of my life, and I just want it to be over.  I don't remember when I first started hearing "your father treated me like a queen until he found out I was pregnant with you", but while plundering through a desk drawer I found papers from the third grade where I had been going to the school counselor and told her that I didn't feel like my mom loved me.  In my teens she humiliated me in front of my friends, and the arguments between us grew so bad that I would often leave for school crying and would go straight to the counselor for sessions before my classes.  During my first marriage, she manipulated me to the point that one Thanksgiving my husband and I spent the day apart (if he doesn't go see his mom, she still has four other kids, but if you don't come over, I have noone-I am an only child).  In my 30's, she gave me a sob story about how bad someone was treating her, and I called them to confront them about this and they began to tell me just what all my mom had been telling them about me-to which she denied-but it was things that only she and I knew about.  I am now in my 40's and remarried 7years ago and moved over 1,000 miles away--only to have my mom and step-father move FOUR DOORS away--and the mental games still go on.  I am so torn--I am a christian and want to do the right thing, but I wish I never had to see or speak to her again.  You cannot image the things she will say to me to try and hurt me, or belittle me, and of course I don't let her run over me anymore so I will stand up for myself and then she cries.  It is almost hilarious when we argue over the phone, because she will play the "drama queen" routine, even if things aren't heated, and you can hear my step-father in the background telling her to hang up on me.  Yesterday we had an argument and she told me that I didn't know what hard work was-that I've never had to work as hard as she has.  I started working when I was 16, and have worked ever since until now.  I only remember her working when she wanted to, as my Dad had a very nice job and she didn't have to work.  I on the other hand, have been a 911 dispatcher, and then (to please my husband, but after the divorce, out of necessity) a truck driver--I drove solo for five years and I dare challenge her to that job!!! Now I am no longer working, but a full-time college student, and mentally I can't take her anymore with all that I have going on with school.  My mom is the kind of person that blames others for everything that has ever happened in her life--if you attempt to tell her something that she doesn't like, she will turn it right around with "what about you"--well, we weren't talking about me!  Thanks for letting me vent- I am to the point where I don't know what else to do.  Mother's day is coming up and once again I will look for the card that just says "Happy Mother's Day"- all of that about what a good mom you've been and how you took care of the family, etc. makes me want to puke and I will not buy it.
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Avatar_f_tn
i also suffered at the hands of my mom  and grandmother. they ganged up against me. my mom never really grew up. she wanted us to be best friends. she never had any friends of her own and would sabotage any hope of friendships with girls i tried to make friends with. therefore i would be alone and cling to her. well in my teens and into my early 20s i rebelled. i hated her. i couldnt stand being around her. she would become vicious. i would always get the 'come and kiss me' from her. she never, in all the years i was growing up, came up to me to hug me and tell me anything loving or nice about me. it was always about her. how i would take care of her. i was made, in her mind, to replace her own mother. my grandmother was equally distructive and totally cold and vicious. they would gang up against my dad and becuase i took after his family, i was permantly disgusting in her mind. never mind the fact that my moms side is no oil painting.

my gran died and my mom has a brain injury now. my gran blamed me for wishing it on my mother. thats they last thing she abused me with before i died. i mean, i was at work when she got it???? meanwhile, i took care of my mom for 2 years after that as no one else could handle it. i was groomed to be an emotional slave to the 2 of them.

i now take out a lot of the pain and anger out on my hubby. i am working on it and may need antidepressants for the rest of my life due to the psychological damage that was done to me. i will never allow this to pass on. this is going to be a life long effect and i will have to work really hard to become emotionally able to love myself and not think i deserve to be hated...................
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Avatar_f_tn
my mother has caused nothing but misery and trouble since i can remember.
i am 43 now and still get the same grief and heartache,the name calling,talking about everyone behind their backs.
its always about her,her ailments and problems when i had to go in fro a three hour op for a tumor in my neck,she actually fell out with me speaking to me on my mobile when my partner was taking me to the hospital.
she has bad mouthed me to my partner and also my son which she did yesterday when i sent him up to hand some groceries in to her.
ive got to a point where i cant take much more,it was bad enough my dad left when i was six weeks old,which she has been taking everything out on me ever since,she used to say to me i was a b******
and how she should have left me with my dad,,i wish she had'who i have never ever met.ive cried my eyes out today trying to find a soloution,ive two sons and their caring dad,who tell me just to forget her and ignore her as she is just so nasty,but its hard deep down i feel sorry for her,as she is always going on about how bad her life is and how my stepdad makes her life a misery although im inclined to think it is the other way about
im not a bad person,i love my family with all my heart,i just feel empty at times craving just a bit of a mothers love,there is a glimpse sometimes but it doesant last,i dont feel that she has much love for me as her daughter.
my gran was like a mother to me but died two years ago,my mother always bad mouthed her too.
i am stressed moving house in 3 weeks and even though ive told her how busy i am,she dismisses it,even though i  would feel gulity part of me wants to break ties,when i see other post on here my heart go's out to all of you.
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Avatar_n_tn
I am so glad that I found this discussion board.  My mom left my dad four years ago, has tried to put me in the middle, has been diagnosed with bipolar and won't get any help.  The horrible cycle is she blasts me for not doing enough, visiting enough, others doing her wrong, etc.
There is always drama, she is the victim and blames everyone for all her problems.  She has told me the worst things anyone could ever say to a person.  
After 4 years of this, I just made a decision to offically cut off the relationship unless she agrees to get help. I have struggled cuz I feel sorry for her and she IS my mother, but how much abuse can I keep taking?  What is the RIGHT thing to do?  I am 40 married with a career and family to take care of..The situation has greatly effected our lives.  
Mom is 71.  No matter what I always end up feeling horrible.  It is time to stand up and stop taking it and realize my real mother is gone.
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Avatar_n_tn
I think finally I'm realising I'm not alone. So glad to have found this website. I try to think back to a time when things were good between my mum and I and there was a time - right back in my childhood. It was so good I don't understand what went wrong all I know is I feel like I woke up one day and couldn't do anything right. It was all me me me from her how she suffers how i've never done anything to help . How it suddenly seemed to be my fault when family members got ill and died. But I was feeling the pain too and I just wanted to help her through it but that wasn't allowed. I've felt so much rejection and am just fed up of mental bullying and judgement. I've done depression and self abuse and had a go at taking too many pills. It's like banging your head against a brick wall - it hurts even more when you stop. No matter how much talking I do she never really listens its still the same old stuff going round. I've got an wonderful husband and kids and I know if I let her back in she 'll just hurt me again somewhere down the line - its a case of not if but when. So I have to get on with my life which is wonderful but it will always be tinged with the sadness of a gaping hole I can't fill - except that is if I choose to fill it with heavy emotional cement. No, as nugget says no matter how hard the reality I'll never have that golden relationship I had in the first 10 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
What stupid whiny daughters post here. You all will become like your hated mothers and be hated by your daughters years on!
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What an awufl thing to say. Have you no respect for anyone? Daughters on here are sharing real difficult issues. I take it you haven't read these properly or attempted to digest what the issues are. No need for you here.
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Avatar_f_tn
I am 60 years old. I am the daughter of a narcissistic mother - as it appears some of you may be.  If you want help may I suggest you go to www. ****.com.  The 'mothers' will not change because they cannot and it is one of the most insidious forms of child abuse there is. Yes it is child abuse.  I had the biggest shock of my life when I came across the site - there are others like me -  and it says we can be healed. I feel anger and guilt and despair and I have always felt as though there is someone inside me trying to get out.  What she has done to me and my brothers is unconscionable.  And even at my age she continues to viciously bully, belittle and lie and bemoan how ungrateful we are after 'all she has done for us.'   She killed my youngest brother and was instrumental in my father's death.  I will not spend the rest of my life without joy.  C
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You really have no idea do you dear ?-
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Avatar_m_tn
i know what you mean for my mother was a factor in my fathers death.i m really trying to deal with my mothers abuse at the age of 55 bacause i feel haunted by the way she treated her 5 children. thank you for telling your story
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Avatar_m_tn
I sympathise with you and understand what you are going through.  I am 42 with 4 children and I am still having problems with my mother.  She did have a hard life rearing her children but my sympathy is running out and I have begun to distance myself from herself and certain family members who help her to try and dominate me.  
This has been a lifelong issue and it is very difficult to begin at this late stage to start setting boundaries.  Our own personal humanity is often used against us and I am currently seeking counselling in order to deal with the guilt of having to stay away at a safe distance.
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