Relationship Decisions Forum
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Abusive Mother

I am nearly fifty years old. I became ill w/RA four years ago. I have recently been diagnosed with Fibromialgia also. My mother is very abusive, threw me out of the house when I was thirteen because I was raped. I guess because I'm ill, my relationship with my mother is more difficult now than ever. She is angry with me for being ill, because I can't do things for her now. She lives 40 miles away and I am not driving because of pain meds. I really want to confront her about the past (and the present!) but every time I have tried, she has blocked me. This is really affecting my life. I tried only calling her once in a while, but it seems she saves all the belittling, back biting and ugly behavior for those times, and I'm left upset and angry for several days. My mother is 75 yrs old now, and part of me figures I should just leave her alone so she can live her last years in peace, and the other part of me wants to MAKE her accountable for what she did to me, and the terrible traumas and abuse I suffered because of her actions. I know if I confront her, it will cause a rift in the entire family. Should I write her a letter confronting her??
2 Responses
765715 tn?1235402261
Dear Hardrock,

It's a complex question. The answer depends on your goals, the circumstances, and the probability of actually achieving anything (and if so, what?)

It's possible that a tough customer like your mother won't even consider the message of your letter, which will presumably be heartfelt, and may just dump it in the trash, perhaps un-read. So you can’t actually MAKE her accountable. She has to be willing to be. How would you feel if that happened? Is the point to do something, anything besides silence? If so, ok. But with people like her, often there's no satisfaction from them.

I don't know who the other players are in this. Do you have siblings? If so, do they trust and believe in you? If they do, you might want to discuss this with them, and if it works for them, write an “open letter” to mother and them both. When people do this in families, it can clear the air by making the complaint public. But don't do it if you may be seen as the bad guy. Often in dysfunctional families, if one person speaks the truth, they are scapegoated. So find someone to strategize with.

I don’t know if you’ve ever sat down with a counselor to discuss this situation, but I know that if it were me, I certainly would. Make it a woman. And make her VERY understanding and accepting, the reverse of what you’ve known from mother.

I don’t think your mother has earned the right to be “left alone in her last years” if she’s treated you as you say. Unless she’s senile or out of touch with reality.

Some people are just “impossible.” They’re vicious, or so lacking in empathy that trying to get emotional sustenance from them is like trying to get nourished by drinking our own bodily productions. We just gag. In those cases, we just have to grieve the fact, find others to give us what we need, and go on with our lives.

So if your attempt to reach her might be useful, either successful in getting through to her, or useful in the family to make the point about what happened, ok. But don’t poison yourself!


Dr. P.
Avatar universal
I couldn't help but notice your post.  It caught my eye.  It sounds like you and I are very much in the same boat-so-speak.  My mother and my siblings have abused me almost to the point of death.  I now have a rare disorder where I have life threatening seizures.  The trauma and abuse is so bad it is beyond human.  I have been the families scapegoat my whole life and things have just recently come to blows.  I gave up feeling guilty about standing up to my mother even in her elderly years.  She is 79 years old.  She has gone to great lengths to destroy me.  She is so self-centered and self-absorbed that she is willing to sell out her own daughter.  She has succeeded in turning my who family of 12 members against me.  She is even going so far as to tell releatives how horrible and mean I am to her all because I stand up to her.  Boy, no one stands up to my mother and lives to tell about it.  I have been threatened to be killed on more than one occasion.  I will no longer take her ****.  Mother or not.  I am a human being and she is not going to change that. someday I will write a book and I will have the last say.  Hang in there.  dont't let her short change you.  Your a good person and don't let any one tell you otherwise.  sammie
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