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Just Can't Trust Her

 My mother has been verbally abusing me since I was very young. She still does it. You'd think that now we're both adults she would have learned to respect me as another human being. Nope. She's even more abusive now than before. 

She's been telling me I was a loser and not good enough forever. When I was young I heard about how my cousins or the children of her friends were all so successful and look at me, I'm just so bad. I can't do this or that or she'll rub in my face my failures. Now there's no doubt that I'm a failure. I know this. She doesn't have to remind me every time I see her. 

The worst is when she does this ritual in front of other people. Either her friends, my relatives or just strangers. Plus she uses experiences I have in her presence against me. Like one time I read an article about how these animals were injured and I cried. She happened to walk by and saw me. She wanted to know why I was in tears and I showed her the article. Two years later when I was invited to have dinner with my parents' friends, she brought it up. Right there in front of them while we were at the restaurant table. Her friends gave me a strange look. I felt so betrayed. 

My mother is like Dr.Jekyll and Mr. Hide. Sometimes she nice and friendly and without notice she switches into her I'm a loser mode. I can't figure out what flips that switch. Almost anything can set her off.  It's like walking on egg shells around her. The tension is so thick, I've learned to keep quiet when I'm around her. I never know when I might say the wrong thing. 

I never share anything about myself to her. I know she WILL use it against me someday. She rarely supports me on anything. Then she wonders why I don't want to spend any time with her. I never want anyone to know that my mother is even alive, because then they want to meet her. Then someone who once treated me with respect and kindness, will then disrespect and belittle me, just from spending a few minutes with her. She's like a disease. 

I become a different person when I'm around her. Normally I'm goofy and playful. I like to smile and look at the positive side of things. Mostly because I'd rather laugh than cry. Though I'm not allowed to laugh in her presence or I'll be punished. I always have to hold it back, or she'll go to great lengths to make sure I'm NOT cheerful anymore. I've just learned it's better to hold it in than to spend the entire time with her stressed out. 

My mother has taught me how to endure severe amounts of pain and hurt and not show it. I have an emotional callus. She can try to hurt me as much as she wants and nothing penetrates my barrier. I'm so proud of myself. I'm in control and it's irritating to her that it doesn't bother me. My ultimate revenge.

4vrUnique 4vrUnique 46-50 68 Responses Jul 27, 2009

Your Response


I posted something but I changed my mind. I deleted it because I don't want to be betrayed again. I'm supportive in your decision not to trust your mom and I feel bad that those things happened to you.

Gosh ladies, this breaks my heart so much. I am so sorry you all have had to experience this in life.
The sad thing is that your mothers probably hated their own mothers and vowed to never be like her.
The scary thing is that as much as we don't want to follow the same patterns, many end up that way because it is all they knew. If you don't have enough positive influence in your life, to give you enough idea on how a mother SHOULD behave, some can very well default to all they know and never even realize it.
My recommendation is find someone who can mentor you, someone who can teach you something different from what you have learned from your mother.
I developed a website for this very reason, there are so many people out there who don't have a Mother to learn from. We have Mentor Moms who can help you with sound advice for your future. They cant change the past but can encourage you in your future. Its to help you feel the support from a mom. Our moms are awesome!
God bless you all, and heal your beautiful but broken hearts...

I need mentoring !!

This is one of the most powerful things I've ever read on this issue:

Thank you for the link zivia.

My mom is the same way but now that I'm grown up I gave it back to her and it made her stop. I tell her to her face that she is just speaking about herself when she puts me down, she is a coward picking on a little kid. But it worked, she wouldn't dare talk to me like that again! It is true by the way, when parents verbally abuse their kids they are talking to themselves . They feel like the loser and failure, all people who lash out at others, even the losers who take the time to post nasty comments on websites are just feeling pathetic inside and want everyone else to feel their pain.

Hmmm ... that's an idea. I don't know if it would work on her, she's VERY CLOSE MINDED, yet; I could try. Thank you.

I'm so sorry that you have had to endure this torture and neglect. This is very sad you deserve much better. I'm praying for you. You are not alone I speak to people every day who have lived this way just like you. My website is helping people to have hope and at least experience support feel free to contact me dear.

That's a unique idea. Thank you for sharing Doraloves.

Sounds a lot like my mom.

Its amazing how many people relate to my experience. At least we're not alone lamestdog.

True that child abuse can turn children or people into doormats, thinking they deserve to be trampled over by others.... Reduced to such a low self-esteem, there is practically no self-respect left and that needs to be worked on when Healing is sought to become whole in one self, loving yourself again...learning to value your own self-worth despite how stupid the world tells you you are etc... Otherwise you will always end up the victim of abuse and willingly take it not seeing any wrong with it, because the abuser made the child believe that the abuse and the attention given because of it is love...which is a fatal piece of brainwashing that can ruin their lives forever... A mentality they need to snap out of ASAP!!!!

Its hard to unbrainwash yourself GrimKatze. In lots of ways I do agree w/her, but I don't feel I deserve to be treated in this way because of it. Not all of us can be the best and the brightest, some of us (myself included) are just doing our best to exist in the world and can't achieve the greatness that is expected of us. That's just the way it is.

4vrUnique: I just found and joined this group and was amazed reading your first posting, sounded exactly like my Mother's relationship to me! but wanted you to know you put it into great words and desc<x>riptions that share how situations arise and how these abusive women manipulate and shame us. Amazing, really surprised me to see there are others who lived my life; I always felt such embarrassment I never speak to anyone about what happens except for my husband and kids, who are often there to witness it. My husband tells her she's abusive and that's inappropriate behavior, which she ignores. <br />
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I've found some time ago that my mother fits the criteria symptoms of "Borderline Personality Disorder" as do most abusive mothers (mom-sters). Unfortunately I also remember seeing other mothers and adults giving her very strange looks, sharing looks with each other and shaking their heads when she'd abuse me as a child - thus I knew it was not acceptable behavior even as a child - but just couldn't figure out what to do about it, how to change the circumstances. <br />
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By the time I became a mid-teen and allowed to spend time at girlfriends' homes, I also witnessed other mothers and their relationships with their children: it made me sad enough to often cry, wishing I had that woman as a mother and wondering, asking why God gave me the person he did, thinking maybe I was a bad child and it was what I deserved. As abused children, I think we naturally blame ourselves as children and young people, believing we are "bad" and no matter how much we strive to succeed, get top grades, be the best in sports and functions, help do everything around the house for our mother, be the prettiest, the happiest, the smartest, the best of the best, these mom-sters just don't give credit and will work very hard to find fault with everything we do. Even if you're 100% perfect in something, she will then make up some vague thing to use as ammunition against you, and if she can't find something to make up that's credible, she'll tell us there are other people who are much, much better than we are - and give examples of these "perfect" people. Eventually we are so worn down from abuse and shame that we just don't care anymore, we build a hard shell to protect ourselves from further damage. I think the love I shared with everyone as a little girl will always be tainted with worry and fear of retribution and remorse, though I still gave my unconditional love to my Dad, siblings and later my husband and kids, there's always a worry at the back of my mind that my love could be used as an attack on me instead - the relationship with an abusive mother is exactly as you depicted 4vrUnique, we always feel like we're walking on eggshells trying not to break them!<br />
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Shaming you with family, friends, the public and even strangers is probaby the worst thing to manage, it's embarrassing and most often untrue or even impossible statements to ridicule us in front of other people, is this their method of (madness) demeaning us? reducing our worth or status?... thus we are so humiliated and red in the face, all we can think about is how to slink away behind some rock to disappear quickly - when in fact it would have been better to stand up for ourselves and stated what a lie she was saying. As a child, we have no means of doing this because we know we'll be kicked out of the house with no place to live or go, so we suffer quietly. My younger sister was not the brunt of our mother's anger and mental illness, however she so feared the woman's actions and behaviors towards me (the first child) that my sister moved 2400 miles away upon graduating from high school, then the opposite direction another 900 miles. <br />
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There is no changing a person with a personality disorder unless they themselves get professional help. I read so many kids here in this group that suffered needlessly, and continue to suffer because the mom-ster never got professional help. It's devastating to see how many go through this, I think in today's world there's more options for teachers and others to report such behavior but doubt much more can be done about it, pretty difficult saving a child from it's parent, especiallly when the parent is so devious they can manipulate the system, too. <br />
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Thanks for writing your wonderful article here, and everyone else - there's good advice to be learned.

What if the abusers are professionals who cannot even help themselves, ironic tragedy - know alls knowing nothing at all!

Dassinpa this line "there's always a worry at the back of my mind that my love could be used as an attack on me instead" is absolutely true. I never feel comfortable to show my true whole self to anyone. People only see bits &amp; pieces. Self protection. And this "Eventually we are so worn down from abuse and shame that we just don't care anymore, we build a hard shell to protect ourselves from further damage." Damage from her &amp; others (I seem to attract people just like her). Thank you for your complimentary &amp; knowledgeable comment.

I am doing a project on abuse and I was wondering if you could share your story

I don't know jaebird65, a project for what?

I try to be a better person, I try to be nice to my biological father, but each time I do that I know I am just making a fool out of myself, because he will hurt me again, I speak too much as to be "friendly" and I know I can't be myself around him either because everything you say in that turd's face will be held against you.<br />
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Each time I try to speak to him as to try and mend things I just know I am making things worse giving myself away and making myself vulnerable to more abuse, because you can't fix something that is permanently broken!<br />
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I wish he dies each day because of the pain he caused me and will probably still try to cause in the future.<br />
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I know families are supposed to handle and deal with everything that happens to their family members and endure their surges of insanity and **** but really how much should you allow before it destroys you? I can't just accept him for his continuous outburts and lack of will to change, his threats to destroy me etc.<br />
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Maybe I hope by trying to make "small talk" that he will change or that he can change - but that is just a stupid thought, because some people you can never change and they don't desire to change themselves.<br />
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I really hate him because he makes me "feel bad for being nice all the time" for trying to be nice to him that don't even deserve it, a man who won't stand up for his own daughter when she is in trouble and only thinks about himself.<br />
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He can't change and I am just making a fool out of myself for believing he would, when I know he would just betray me like always, getting a kick out of humiliating me... Someone should humiliate the s h ii t out of him, make him feel what it feels like but the fact is he was abused as a child so felt how it did feel like, yet that doesn't stop him from being an abusive bastard, I guess some just never learn out of their parents' faults and end up being just like the people they hate most in LIFE... If you know how it feels like to be a victim of abuse why would you wish it upon someone else? This to me just shows that they are all just sorry creatures, pathetic morons... Who love pain and projecting self-hate unto others, they don't wish to heal or improve, they like to be stuck in emotional ruts making life unpleasant not only for themselves but those around them too.... One rotten apple seeking to make more rotten apples...they are diseased and cruel animals, they have no self-respect whatsoever... If they did have integrity of any sort they wouldn't have made life hell for others just because they are in pain!!!!<br />
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I feel sorry for these abusers, but that too - that feeling of pity is a horrible mistake, because my empathy for their sickness would only drag me further into a hole, dragging me down with them!!! So ******* them!!!!

That's right lunavica someone can only change if THEY want to and my mother think she's too old to change. She doesn't want to learn anything new &amp; is defensive if I ever bring up how her behavior makes me feel. Somehow its my fault she treats me this way. Huh! She's delusional. Yep, those that feel badly about themselves love to share their misery. Its such a backwards point of view.

I guess these abusers feel unworthy and low self-esteem about themselves, so they want to drag us down low with them so they can elevate themselves higher? and they can't stand to see us be happy, they say misery loves company and they are trying to spread the misery into our lives. Think we can only distance ourselves or divorce ourselves from these mom-sters for our own good mental and emotional health.

Yes dassinpa it seems that is the only way. People that need to put other people down to feel good about themselves are delusional, in reality its the opposite, yet they have a closed mind so they'll never understand.

Yes wasting their time, losing themselves hating on others...

Exactly GrimKatze, its certainly a waste of time on those who don't deserve it.

4vrUnique, I am sure you have heard it before. But, I found that having a lot of counselling. And, I mean years have helped me. Also, plenty of prayer from understanding and those you feel comfortable are not "Judging" you in correctly. I'm feeling for ya! I understand exactly where your coming from. I am here, anytime you need to chat. Hugs your way.

3 More Responses

I agree PixieTrix I think she does feel inadequate in many situations & projects that upon me. I truly am the scapegoat. <br />
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Avaria she is a narcissist. She would NEVER admit it. She never admits any of her faults, only those of me & others. She's not into compromise either, its always her way or the highway about everything all the time. Its almost impossible to be rational with irrational people like my mother. I've accepted my sentence (to be related to her) & maybe one day I can see her less often, then she can complain about everything to some other poor soul.

Hey that sounds like scapegoating.. You're probably her scapegoat just yell at you whenever she's feeling something not good and it takes the edge off her.. She has to convince herself, not so much you but telling you youre the failour is her way of reinforcing it in her own head too, if she didnt look for things to be angry at you for she wouldnt have an excuse to treat you like crap.. Some mothers are just evil to their daughters but its to cover their own feelings of inadequancy instead of addressing them themselves

She was the one with the issues, and she projected them onto you.<br />
I am so sorry for what you had to endure, just know she was<br />
the one with the issues not you. Stay happy never let her get you down.<br />
Now you are older make her accountable for her actions say if i have<br />
to see you it will be on my terms and all that behavior stops. Have you told<br />
her how she made you feel. Some people who are ill, like people with<br />
personality disorders have no ability to emphasize. Meaning they do not<br />
consider other people unless its for their gain like the narcissist. Its horrible<br />
and by all means it is not justifiable or acceptable. People like this have to be<br />
made accountable for their actions or they will never improve.<br />
Just know you never deserved that, make sure you talk to someone about the<br />
affect it has had on you, do not suppress it. <br />
The person who is suppose to nurture us, care for us, that we are suppose to trust to be there when we feel down, in your case it was the enemy. I am so sorry that must have been<br />
devastating. Just know that she is not well, and she projected that onto you, more<br />
likely maybe her mother treated her the same way. Once upon a time it was children<br />
should be seen, not heard, we were not meant to cry or show emotions. My dad was<br />
raised that way. He is a great father though, he goes out of his way<br />
to communicate with us, meaning my sister and i. Especially when we were kids.<br />
He was better at solving problems then my mother, another therapist once said my dad<br />
is one in a million. He says he learned from being deprived in his upbringing, they<br />
were not allowed to show emotions, crying is weakness, and they had to be quiet,<br />
and help around the house, they were poor. He said he went into the military early just to get out of there. He worked hard and he now owns four houses. My parents have been married 45 years.<br />
Some people do not change with the times, some people are more open to changes.<br />
Now you can make a better life for you. We can either hold resentment, and become angry and<br />
bitter ourselves for being wrongly done by, or we can take charge of our life and never become like them. Rise above, you are better i know it, and now do not let anyone wipe that smile of your face. My opinion you never stop supporting your kids even when they are older. All the best

Love your last paragraph, it's the only way to remain sane is to become determined to be the opposite of the abuser! and live your life contrary to what they lived!!

I'm just doing my best to get along with her, that's tough enough lhangel. She's so close minded I don't see how she'll ever see the error of her ways. She always has to be right about everything. I mean no one wants to hang out with a know-it-all. I think she just doesn't know how to have a positive relationship with someone. The people she knows even for years, really don't know the true her. So she definitely has issues there. Maybe she's jealous that I can meet and chat with anyone who's willing. Yes, you're right, I'm the most convenient victim. Thank you for your comments and support ihangel.

I know how it feels to have an abusive mother and I concur with a lot of the things that you said about yours. I'm sorry that you had to endure such a hardship and I'm also proud of you for being able to see through her evil. Hopefull it wil make you a stronger person and keep you from making the same mistakes. Overall I believe that your mom's problem(s) stems from some deeply rooted issues. Because you have a good relationship with your Dad it may cause your mom some resentment and therefore she decided to take out her stupidity/jealousy on you (her easiest victim). Just remember, one day she'll come to terms with her cruelty and may need your help. Then you'll truly have the upperhand i.e. help her or ignore her. It'll be your call. Just be sure not to do anything that will cause you more pain in the future. Good luck! :)

That sounds great ladygodiva110. I wonder if that's what it'll be like for me. My mother is still alive and kicking. The negativity is the worst part and I'm glad you're free from it. Congratulations!!!

Yeah I wonder, too - will death finally be the freedom from this stressful relationship? How sad we have to say that.

Yep, unfortunately its the truth dassinpa.

I finally told my brother that I didn't want to talk to my mother ever again. After 45 years, I had had enough of her abuse. I told him I didn't want to hear about it until after she died. He told her (stupid) and she had a hissy fit. That was in December. The doctors found out that she the breast cancer she had two years ago had spread to other areas of her body. She died Palm Sunday of this year. I cried because I knew we would never have a "real" mother/daughter relationship but we never had one. I am actually very relieved now that she is gone. It feels like a real burden has been lifted from my shoulders. I actually do the things I want to do. It felt weird at first because I always was waiting to hear some negative comment but with her gone, there isn't that negativity anymore. I have lost weight (healthy, not because of stress). I am doing things I've always wanted to do. I am really starting to enjoy my life. I am finally happy.

You're lucky to have had that support liquidgold. I too had a great nana she was creative like me. Now she tended to just ignore my mother because well, to side with her would have been awkward for her. A great in person support system is very very precious!

My mother is similar. I switched off to it years ago.<br />
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Constant criticism and belittling. She's like it across the board but I had quite a severe dose of it growing up. At 17, I stopped listening and believing the poison.<br />
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Luckily, I then had many friends and their families who believed in me like my mother didn't and wouldn't. I was also blessed to have a special Grandmother.

Hmmm, sounds intriguing mbch36. Well so far via comments my feedback has been that she's a narcissistic parent and I'm terrible about setting boundaries, so your advice is new. I'll consider looking up that title @ the library and see if they have a copy. It sounds like an interesting read.

Your mom sounds like she has Borderline Personality Disorder. I am convinced my mother has it, although she hasn't been diagnosed. I haven't had any contact for 4 years because I couldn't take her verbal abuse and controlling behavior anymore. There is a book that really helped me it's called Surviving a Borderline Parent. It's an easy read and very informative. If you have felt like "walking on egg shells" and your parent switches from raging to calm and back in minutes or seconds then I highly recommend this book.

Thank you MysticTuna. I thought you'd understand.

We have so much in common BreezyCabin. Your mom is so much like mine. She too thinks I'm too sensitive and it is her way of loving me. I don't need love that badly. I want the kind that feels good or I don't want any at all.

You deserve love that feels good. Have you told her to speak nice to you or don't speak at all? That usually puts them off but the minute she starts spewing negativity, tell her, I'm not going to listen to poison. If you can't say anything nice to me or about me (to others) then don't say anything at all. If you do it in a calm manner, then you own yourself and the situation. Remember she is your mother and she knows how to push your buttons. Those buttons are worn out and no longer work. She will try other things to get you because she enjoys the power of making you feel miserable. Let her know that she does not own you and is powerless in her negativity.

WildSpectrumArts your advice is easier said than done. You speak as if my mother is reasonable &amp; willing to accept my decisions. She's not. My buttons have disappeared due to over wear. So far my best approach is to not listen to her verbal vomit &amp; then it doesn't effect me. She's a drama queen &amp; she hates if she's not the center of attention all the time.

Mum thinks its funny to tease and tell embarrassing stories about her loved ones. Conversely she has nothing but high praise for strangers and distant associates. She feels that loved ones understand and can 'take it'. During dinner parties she would bring up hurtful stories and laugh at it with the guests. I think the guests were just laughing to be polite. They were always stories that were just a little more embarrassing than normal. I don't think she had a grasp of what was socially acceptable and what was not. The bad part was that I used to tell her that it hurt my feelings and instead of stopping and respecting that what was fun for her was not fun for me, she just seemed to think I should get over it and let her have her fun. I just don't tell her anything about me anymore and haven't done so for ages. Consequently anything she knows about me is now years old, such as my favourite colour and what I do in my spare time.

You're welcome thedreamergurl.

This sounds just like my mom, 4vrUnique! Thanks for sharing your story!! I'm feeling great reading the comments too..!! I know now that I'm not alone. :)

{{{HUGS BACK}}} Its hard to erase the effect my mother's verbal abuse has done to my internal thoughts destiney24. At times I feel like I'm important & of value and other times I don't. I know if I wasn't around to do the things that needed to get done, she would just find someone else. I'm only 'loved' for what I do, not for who I am. Its a lonely existence.

LOL - Air horn ... and ear plugs! They'd probably complain about that too. Sounds like our mothers just enjoy complaining and whining about everything in which they have no control. I wonder why she became nicer when she only spoke to you over the phone? Was it that she didn't realize it was you? <br />
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Right, when I'm away from the abuse I feel so at peace. My muscles relax and the tension dissipates. Thank you for sharing your experience Rolle2323.

My Mom did the physical abuse and the coupled that with defacing me...she had my hair cut really short, and dressed me like a freak and made me wear oxfords. She often discussed my physical flaws. Once she told me that she wouldn't be able to stand having large breasts like mine...because they would just flop around and get in the way. She withheld love and performed fawning affection on my brother. With me, she would insincerely assure me that I was JUST as smart as my brother....with a really false simpering ex<x>pression on her face. She also held up the accomplishments of my cousins to me....everything they did was so great...why couldn't I be like them? Then came the smothering....I wasn't allowed to go anywhere. If a friend invited me to a football game, I wasn't allowed to go. Later, after I left home, after she had made me hate her, she haunted me. She would call me twice a day.There was no other defense from the constant assault but to get an answering machine. She continued this behavior until she was too confused to dial the phone. After the dementia set in she became extremely hostile toward me and the abuse started again, just like when I was young. Every time she saw me she would say something new and horrible that would hurt me incredibly.<br />
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After two years of dementia I was able to leave Michigan and it finally stopped. When she stopped seeing me the abuse finally stopped. I was able to have a decent relationship with her for the first time in years. She wasn't all there, but at least she was no longer abusing me....I think. Sure, every time she spoke to me she told me my father had died....was that dementia? Of course it was.<br />
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I had left my husband also....and for the first time in my life, this past year, I don't have anyone abusing me. The lack of stress is so amazing.....<br />
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What I would like to recommend for all verbal abusers like your mother is the use of an air horn. Whip it out and use it on them every time they open their stupid abusive mouths. BEEEEEEP!!!!!

Awww shucks CheekyGeek. {{{HUGS}}}