Daughter of a controlling mother, host of the Unmasking the Controlling Mother Podcast.
I’m writing this article from a personal perspective in hopes of helping anyone else who might have suffered a similar experience with a controlling mother and isn’t sure how to change their situation.
I was raised by a controlling mother who was extremely overbearing, and this has affected me throughout my life, especially my relationships and life choices that have gotten me to where I am today. But I have realized that my life is my own and no one elses.
My childhood and adolescent experiences are examples of how controlling behavior can manifest. I hope by sharing these experiences, other people might realize a pattern in their own life, be able to make changes and take back control of their lives.
The Beginning of a Broken Childhood
I was born in Fort Lauderdale back in 1978. At the time, my parents had been married for nine years, and were on the verge of divorce. My mother had an abortion prior to my birth, and after I was born by cesarean section, my parents officially ended their marriage.
My grandparents (my father's parents) gave me my first bottle in the hospital after I was born, and I lived with them from the very beginning. During the first two weeks of my life, my mother came to my grandparents house to spend time with me, but then suddenly disappeared leaving only a letter. The letter was addressed to my grandparents and stated she was leaving me with them forever.
Despite living with my grandparents, my father made an effort to be involved with a few visitations during my first year of life. But he, too, disappeared shortly after I turned one.
My grandparents treated me as their daughter from the beginning and legally adopted me at the age of four.
I remember going to the attorney’s office and being asked about living arrangements. I don’t recall my response, my grandparents (from here on referenced as my parents) told me I said I wanted them to raise me. The most I remember is the seat warmer in the secretary’s chair at her desk and trying to figure out how to turn it on.
I was declared legally abandoned by the courts, and my parents officially adopted me. The birth certificate even has their names on it, not those of my biological parents.
My parents made no effort to hide any of this from me. I knew from a very young age that I was adopted. Granted, I was adopted by immediate family, but adopted nonetheless.
This really made no difference to me. It was not something I thought about regularly and I never wondered about my biological mother. My parents were the people raising me, not the people who gave birth to me. It was just a fact.
But my mom always thought I was curious and would ask me regularly about it. She even went so far as to ask me why I didn't want to know about her, and couldn't understand why I wouldn't want to know who my biological mother was.
Growing Up with a Controlling Mother
But growing up was difficult. I attended private, catholic school all the way through high school. I didn’t have any friends in elementary school, and I was routinely picked on by bullies.
In my heart, I didn’t really care that everyone teased me and called me ugly or fat (I was actually quite skinny). But in the back of my mind, it affected me. Despite my outward expression of self-confidence, I was only confident when I was by myself.
Ironically, during my years as a young child, my mother wasn't horribly controlling. However, I was never allowed to have a sleep over (either at my house or theirs), and I only had one birthday party that I can remember, and only one person showed up, which is why I remember it.
As I got older, my mother's controlling behavior escalated.
During high school, I had a couple of friends who were in the band, which was the only time I was really allowed to "socialize." One of them was a witch, and his best friend became my best friend.
She was amazing. She laughed at all my jokes; she even helped me stand up against the bullies. My mom told me to simply ignore them because they were just jealous. Although she was probably right, there was no other comforting offered. Just a lot of physical hugs and kisses (on the mouth), which I had come to despise.
In my junior year, a new student started at our school. He was probably THE best-looking guy in the school and he became MY boyfriend. Strangely, no one really picked on me after that.
Except for my mother.
The Signs of a Controlling Mother - Personal Examples
1. Invasion of Privacy
Having a serious boyfriend exacerbated my mother’s behavior. She started to track my periods on her calendar, which were never regular. It wasn't unusual for me to miss 2 months or more.
At one point, she showed me all the months I had “missed.” On every one, she wrote something like “please God, don’t let it be so” in large red letters at the bottom of the month.
I knew I wasn’t pregnant, I didn’t lose my virginity until I was 20! But, she didn’t believe me. It was this kind of behavior that made me avoid going to my mother with any type of problem.
I was never the type to talk with anyone about anything, especially my parents. I kept just about everything to myself. This lead to my mom being so nosy she would ransack my room, including my garbage, to find out anything she could about my life.
I tried to keep a diary, but she put a stop to that by reading it constantly. How do you stop someone from invading your privacy? You keep everything inside. Eventually for one of my birthday’s, my mom got me a diary with a combination lock on it, and promised never to read it again. She never did, not that I know of anyway. But I didn't really write in it anymore either.
This didn’t stop her from rummaging through my garbage, though. There were many, many arguments with my parents. Most of them entailed my mom yelling at my dad and I, while we sat there and stared at the floor.
2. Creating Drama
One time, she even threw out the Christmas turkey and then stayed in her bedroom all day. It was a common occurrence. I actually enjoyed these times since it was just dad and I.
We’d sometimes watch Tom and Jerry cartoons. On the days mom wouldn’t come out to cook dinner, we’d have peanut butter sandwiches dipped in coffee. Dad and I were always close.
Saturday mornings were bad. I’d be rudely awakened by screaming. Mom inevitably would be screaming at dad in the kitchen about things that happened 40 years ago. The screaming was amplified by the air conditioning vent so I could hear every word.
My mom thought I slept too much because I “slept in” until noon or later.
I wasn’t sleeping; I was hiding.
The last thing I ever wanted to do was leave my room on days like that because the second I stepped foot into the kitchen, either I’d get dragged into it, or it would just stop and mom would act like nothing happened… to me.
Dad would be sitting in the corner of the kitchen staring at the floor and if she had anything to say to him, she would say it in a tone that I can’t even describe. My only escape from all of this was the driving.
Once I got my license (which I didn't get until I was 17), I spent as much time in my car as I could. It was my safe haven. Even to this day, driving my car is the one place I feel the safest.
3. Walking on Eggshells
Anytime I was home, I had to walk on eggshells around my mom. She was a ticking time bomb.
For example, I went to a dermatologist for my acne when I was 18 who suggested birth control pills to regulate my period, which would also regulate the hormones causing the acne problem.
I didn't want pills, and definitely not birth control pills. Not only did I know my mother would freak out, I knew birth control pills had side effects, and I just didn't want to deal with them.
I had called her via my cell phone on my way back from the doctor (she surprisingly let me go alone) and made the mistake of telling her the doctor's suggestion over the phone. As I suspected, when I told her the dermatologist suggested birth control as a line of treatment, she freaked out.
For someone who was afraid to let me drive at all, she was doing quite a bit of yelling in my ear while I was driving, and it wasn't about calling her while driving. I remember her words vividly: "I don't like where this is going!" she screamed.
You Feel The Need To Escape (Even as an Adult)
After graduation, I chose a little Baptist college in a tiny town, four hours away from home. Once I got there, I had a hard time dealing with all the freedom. My mom wasn’t hovering over me telling me to study, what to wear or how to style my hair. I was free. I knew my parents had a four hour drive to the school if they wanted to come and take me home. It was enough time to run.
The last half of my freshman year, my mom told me if I was good, and brought up my GPA, she'd put the car in my name and let me drive it my sophomore year.
I was the perfect little angel for those six months, and I did enough extra credit to double my GPA. My mom kept her word and put the car in my name.
I was smart, I knew once she put the car in my name she couldn't take it from me. I was 18, and if she did take it, I could report it stolen. Getting the car in my name changed me, although I didn't realize it at the time.
After getting the car, my grades were horrible. So bad, in fact, I flunked out. I really didn’t care. I had met a man, and we were getting married.
My parents found out and started driving up to the school. I ran. I knew they couldn’t find me if I went to my fiancé’s house.
It was a huge ordeal, campus security got involved. I was informed about the legalities of the situation, which at 18, all I understood was that my parents couldn’t physically remove me from anywhere. And since they had put the car in my name, they couldn’t even take that, which would have been the first thing she did. She always threatened to take my car from me.
I got married to the man my parents hated, and I rescued two dogs (pets were another thing I was never allowed to have). Six years after I married, I got divorced.
By this time, I had realized I married him to get away from my parents. There was no love there, and there never was if I’m honest with myself.
Unfortunately, this separation forced me to call my mom and get her financial support to move into my own apartment.
I had a career, that paid enough to make the rent. The week I moved into my new apartment, I got a $3 raise. I was set. I had a car, and I had my dogs.
For three months, I did some soul-searching. I delved further into my spirituality, and I realized I had let my controlling parents ruin my life by running away.
The relationship with my parents has never been the same. I became overly analytical to compensate for my mom’s irrationally emotional behavior. This has driven my life. I despise talking with my mom.
I eventually remarried and had a daughter of my own. Initially, I tried to keep my parents in my daughter's life thinking they could offer some enrichment. But every time I called my mother, she would say nothing but derogatory things about my husband and my life.
These conversations with my mom would leave me feeling anxious, angry and frustrated, which I inevitably took out on my husband and daughter. I eventually realized I couldn't keep doing this. The effects of each conversation lasted longer, and I would put off calling my mom as long as possible because I just didn't want to deal with her. This just lead to more anxiety and frustration and it took a toll on both me and my family.
I eventually came to the conclusion that the only way to fix the situation was to stop talking to my mother altogether. It really wasn't a difficult decision. I knew I didn't want my daughter growing up exposed to my mother's vitriol.
Best decision I ever made.
My parents are now getting on in years, and their health is failing. Imminent death tends to make you rethink your decisions. I have lived the past 10 years without talking to my parents, with exception of my dad.
Dad was never the problem, and when he had health issues during the spring of 2014, I broke down and called him. It was very sad. His speech was garbled, and I could barely understand what he was saying. But it did feel good to tell him I loved him. I even let him talk to my daughter. Although she had a harder time understanding him than I did, I know it made dad feel better knowing that he was able to say hello and tell us he loved us.
During all of this, I have never felt bad about my decision to avoid communication with my mom. But I have felt that my dad has had to suffer because of my decision. This has never sat well with me.
Dad died on December 7, 2016.
Dealing with Controlling Parents
A controlling mother has a massive psychological impact on her children, regardless of why she exhibits such behavior. She can strip them of the ability to find anything satisfying in life, and this is something that is virtually impossible to overcome.
Unfortunately, I’ve had to separate myself completely from my mother in an effort to change my outlook on life. Talking to my mother only serves to reinforce the negative mindset I’ve worked so hard to shift.
Many people have read this article and said that I have to understand how stressful it was for my mother to raise me as an older woman. To that I say, she was not forced to do so, she chose to do it. Her "stress" is not MY responsibility.
Regardless, no parent has the right to take out their "stress" on their children, which is exactly why I have chosen this path.
I have also been told this story is completely one-sided. Well, it's meant to be. As I stated in the intro, this is my story. I never said it was unbiased. Everyone's opinion is biased by their own perceptions. As Jim Carrey once said:
You stop explaining yourself when you realize people only understand from their level of perception.
— Jim Carrey
I have to do what is right for my daughter now. If not speaking with my mother gives her the life I never had, then I made the right decision. Because of my mother's behavior, I despise emotion, and I really dislike affection.
I refuse to let my daughter feel the same way.
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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
Questions & Answers
Question: What can I do about a mom I'm still living with that sees me as nothing but a failure, promiscuous, and someone who can't make it no matter how hard I try?
Answer: Unfortunately, there isn't much you can do. If you are still living in her house, you have to abide by her rules. While I can't tell you how to deal with your mother, (it's your choice how to handle her) I can tell you what I would have done if I had it to do over.
I went to college to escape my mother's control but had to go back home during spring and summer breaks. To break this cycle, I jumped into a marriage that ended six years later.
In hindsight, I would put off college for a year or two and work... a lot. I would save every penny and make a plan to find an apartment and move out. Once I had my own place, I would make a plan for my life. Do I want to go to college? What do I want to do with my life and where do I want to live?
The goal is to get out from under her control as quickly as possible so that you can do some soul-searching. But you have to have a plan. That's the one thing I wish I had done when I got to college. I wish I had made a plan to get out of the house and on my own, without jumping ino a marriage.
One piece of financial advice that I wish I knew then: open a high yield savings account asap and start paying yourself first and don't touch it. Save enough money to cover a year's worth of expenses. Even if you are in college, save, save, save. The more financially independent you are, the less you have to rely on your parents for help, meaning they have no control over you.
But whatever you do, know that you can take a lot more than you think you can. We never know how strong we are until being strong is the only choice we have. Try to minimize confrontation, which may be difficult. My mother thrived on it.
I hope that helps. I wish you the best of luck and know that you are not alone. Don't let anyone tell you that you are a failure, or that you are worthless. Everyone fails, you can't become successful without failing first. Any millionaire will tell you that.
While you are planning to move out, do everything you can to better yourself. Learn as much as possible. READ. Reading books allows you to learn how others made mistakes and what they would have done instead and this will be invaluable when you move out.
This is YOUR life, no matter who gave it to you. Take control of it.
Question: Will a controlling parent ever change?
Answer: It has been my experience that no, controlling parents do not change, which is why I chose to cut ties.
That's not to say they cannot change. Anyone can change, but it takes a conscious decision and lifelong effort to make the change. But you can't help her make that choice. It has to be her decision.
Question: What do you think is the cause of disliking affection?
Answer: I believe it was my mother's smothering affection and emotional nature that has caused my dislike of affection. Although I am an HSP (highly sensitive person) and dislike being touched in anyway by strangers, I believe it was my mother's overly emotional show of affection that caused me to dislike physical contact with other people including my own family. However, I do enjoy cuddling with animals, mainly because they place no emotional demands on me (or anyone). But I'm not a psychologist and I could be completely wrong in my assessment of this issue.
Question: My 20-year-old daughter wants to sell the car we bought her and use the money to buy a van in which to live in on Maui while she pursues a videography career, as well as drop out of college. Am I controlling if I don’t allow her to sell the car for van life?
Answer: Well that depends, why don't you want her to sell it? If it's because you want her to do something else like become a doctor, than it may be a bit controlling. But if you don't want her to sell it because she hasn't thought the situation through, you may want to talk to her about it before saying no, absolutely not.
At some point, we all have to let our children grow up and become adults. They will make choices that we would prefer they didn't, but unfortunately, we all have to make mistakes to learn anything in life. You can help her by talking her through her decision. Help her with the logistics of becoming a videographer, and explore alternatives like starting a YouTube channel instead to make sure she enjoys all aspects of what videography entails. It's not just making videos and posting them online. In fact, most of a YouTuber's career is editing video, and promoting their channel via social media etc.
Helping your daughter to see all aspects of her choice is what good parents do. We can't tell our children no just because we think their decision is dumb or not something they should do. By exploring her choice with her, not only do you show her you're interested in her life, and want to help her make the choices that are right for her, you are also educating yourself as to why that choice may actually be better for her than something else.
Question: My mum is trying to control my future. She thinks she’s helping me but she’s sending me into a spiral of depression and it’s killing me. No matter how much I try to stand up to her it just gets worse. I can’t avoid her. How do I stop this??
Answer: Honestly, I've only had experience with my mom, so I can't say what would work in your situation. That said, I have found that standing up to these types of dramatic personalities only serves to exacerbate the situation. That's why I did as I was told until I turned 18 and then found a way to get away from my mom as quickly as possible. But I don't advocate doing it the way I did, and if I had it to do over, I'd plan a bit better.
I'm not sure how old you are or whether or not you are still living at home, but if you have tried to explain to her what you want and why, and shown her why you think this path is right for you, and she still hasn't backed down, there's really no other option than cutting communication or going to a counselor for third-party mediation (which may make the situation worse).
It's YOUR life, not hers. Do what you need to do to plan your future. If you have to, be diligent about hiding progress toward your goals or evidence of your plans. If your mom finds them it will only make the situation worse (make sure your phone is locked so she can't get into it). Be aware that once you are on your own, your mom may find ways to aggravate you. Mine called the police on me several times, left nasty voicemails on my phone (along with ones in which she was crying and asking me to call her). She may even hire a private investigator to follow you (mine did).
No matter what you do, realize that no one can control how you think, feel or react to situations. At a certain point, I started laughing at my mom's antics and attempts to contact me and control me. In fact, just recently, she sent me a package full of gifts and pictures I had given her when we were still talking. She was sending the message that she was done trying to talk to me, a last-ditch attempt to guilt me into calling. It didn't work, I honestly found it amusing that she did it. I could've let it hurt me, assumed that she was disowning me or no longer wanted to try to mend the relationship. But I disowned her a long time ago, and my life has been so much better since I stopped talking to her.
It does get better, but it takes time. You'll need to be patient, and plan things out.
Question: My mother sounds a lot like yours. It is very hard and very demanding to be able to keep a smile on my face. My mother’s ways have caused me to become that way. I never wanted to be like her but it seems like I am. What can I do about replicating my mother's mistakes with being controlling? How do I put my mother's ways aside and focus on being me? I get so stressed and the pressure of her controlling ways set a trigger to me when others upset me. What would your advice be regarding my relationship with my controlling mother?
Answer: This a profound question and I'm very glad you asked it because I'm sure many people in our situation are wondering the same thing. How much of what we believe is truly our own thoughts?
When I was 20, I was in a major car accident, that I walked away from. This leads me on a spiritual journey that ultimately shaped the way I think now and completely separated my beliefs from that of my mothers. However, I do still have some values, that were my mother's. For example, a woman can do whatever she wants, and we are equal to men. She also taught me to think for myself, which in hindsight was probably not a good idea for her because it allowed me to break the control she had on me.
Before the accident, I had taken a class in college during the time I was separating from my mother. It was a philosophy class, that I found fascinating, and I believe also helped me to shape my current moral compass.
While all children grow up being taught the morals, values, and beliefs of their parents, it is up to us as adults to create our own life philosophy. I heard someone once say your life isn't your own until your parents die, and this is very true for most people. Until our parents have no influence on our lives, we will always be living a life that is influenced by their beliefs.
This is why I choose to break off communication with my mother. Her toxicity and controlling behavior was stressful and made day to day life difficult. I think the final trigger for me was when we went down to my parents home for my daughter's first birthday. While my dad was talking to my husband, my mom and I were watching my daughter play on a new toy my parents had gotten her. My mom took the opportunity to say some derogatory things about my husband in front of my daughter.
It was at that point that I realized, I didn't want my daughter to go through the same thing I did. Constantly hearing derogatory comments about your life decisions wreaks havoc on your self esteem and permeates your entire life. I realized that listening to my mom's constant beratement made me take my frustrations our on both my daughter and my husband, despite my attempts to prevent this from happening. The only way to stop this vicious cycle was to completely disconnect from my mother.
That decision was so freeing and gave me so much relief. But it took 13 years for me to completely create my own values, moral compass, and beliefs. I have come to realize that I didn't choose my parents. But my life is still my own and I need to live it as such. I also realized that I want my daughter to create her own values and moral compass. While I believe it is important to teach her my beliefs and values, I also believe it is important to teach her why I have those beliefs and values, and the thought process that led to them. I believe it is more important to teach her critical thinking skills than to have her blindly follow my beliefs.
My advice to you would be to take some time to do some soul searching. Evaluate your current beliefs, values, and morals and determine whether they are truly yours or influenced by your parents. If you find that none of your current beliefs are your own, you'll need to open your mind and do some research. We learn best when we teach ourselves and keep an open mind to others opinions. Talk to people with different beliefs than yours and ask why they believe that and how they came to believe that. You'll probably find that most people simply regurgitate their parents' beliefs because this type of self exploration is very difficult. It forces you to take responsibility for your thoughts and actions and discover what you truly want for your life. It's not easy. But it is so worth it.
I applaud you for taking the first step into self exploration. Your questions show that you are conscious of your parents' influence on your life and behavior and shows that you want to change it and discover who you truly are. I'm happy to help you if you need someone to help you discover new ideas and philosophies. You can email me by clicking "Contact Melissa Flagg" on my profile page. Please feel free to contact me, many people who read this article do and I'm happy to help in any way I can.
I wish you all the best, and want you to know how excited I am for you to take this journey of self discovery. I hope you are excited as well!
Question: I am scared to death of being a controlling, or too involved mother. I come from a toxic family, and am now working through cutting them out. I have two kids; fifteen and thirteen. Where is the line drawn?
Answer: I actually have a twelve-year-old daughter, so our children are similar age groups and I know how you feel.
It is my belief that we learn best through experience. There's no doubt that making a decision and then experiencing the consequences is more memorable than someone telling you about the decision they made and the consequences. Because of this, I'm an extremely liberal parent. I have never grounded my daughter, but she has never done anything that I thought warranted punishment. I have been open with her about everything, treating her as an adult since she was five or six. (Ie: she knows there is no Santa or Tooth Fairy.)
As my daughter has grown, our relationship has deepened. We have such an open relationship that she comes to me with everything. In fact, she tells me so much that I sometimes wonder if our relationship is too open. But I don't ever tell her what to do. For example, she had a problem with someone online, a "friend" hurt her and she came to me asking what to do. Instead of simply telling her what to do, I talked her through the situation. I would ask her if you say this, what do you think will happen? What about if you do this? I explain why I think the appropriate response is such and such but tell her I can't make the decision for her. She has to weigh the pros and cons herself. More often than not she comes to me and tells me she did what I thought she should do, and is glad she did it.
I refuse to go through her room or really even step foot in it because that is her space. It's a place she can go to decompress and feel 100% at home in, knowing she has complete privacy. This gives her a sense of security I never had, and I think that security is important.
I also make every effort to not be at all judgemental when she comes to me with something. I think this is the most important part of parenting. My mom was so judgemental that I was afraid to make a wrong choice and so I try as hard as I can to avoid being that way. A great example of this is when my daughter told me about her "obsession" (as she called it) with a character in her favorite animated series. I told her you most likely won't have that obsession for long, but enjoy it while you have it. Just a few days ago she came to me and said: "I think my obsession is over." Instead of saying I told you so, I said "oh really? Why?" She explained that her feelings had changed. I told her "well, as we all get older, we change, our tastes change, our opinions change, our obsessions change, but that's how we grow as people. It's how we become who we are meant to be."
My daughter knows she can come to me with anything, and I will love her no matter what and help her as best I can. She also knows if she makes a wrong choice, or a choice I don't like, I won't judge her for it, although I do make sure she has an explanation for why she choose what she did. She sometimes has insights that I don't, and she ends up teaching me something and we both learn in the process.
I can't tell you how to parent, it's not my place. But I personally feel that allowing our children the room to grow and loving them unconditionally (truly unconditionally) is the best way to prevent yourself from becoming a controlling parent. As for drawing a line, I think that is different for everyone. I personally won't go into my daughter's room unless she invites me in or there's an emergency, we even have her put her own laundry away so that we don't accidentally find something. But that may not work for you. I would suggest if you feel something you are about to do borders on controlling, think about the why behind it. Make sure it's appropriate.
Be aware, you're going to worry, will they make the right choices? But showing them you trust them and you trust how you have raised them will allow them to feel comfortable making mistakes.
And we all make mistakes.
Question: What would you suggest to do if you have consciously realized that you are the 3rd generation of controlling woman, with internal explosive emotions but want to stop it from coming down the family tree? I have worked and continue to work very hard on my self-control and patience, as my mother had none and I refuse to allow my children to grow up with abuse in their life. In saying that, how do you stop your mother from exhibiting it?
Answer: I'm not sure you can. That's exactly why I cut ties with my mom. She wouldn't stop badmouthing my husband even with my daughter around and I found that unacceptable. Even when she tried to not say something bad, she would inevitably "slip" and say something derogatory. I'm not saying people can't change, I think anyone can if they want to change. But for a toxic person, it's especially difficult.
I applaud the work you have done on yourself. Your children will thank you.
Question: I have a mother I do not speak with for self-preservation as well as my son’s. I am a young widow and feel a void in many respects - one being a healthy childhood to serve as a foundation for my future. Do you feel a sense of loss and loneliness not having a healthy mom/relationship to serve as a springboard to life?
Answer: First let me say, I'm so very sorry for your loss.
Regarding your question, the quick answer is nope!
Personally, I don't think we can allow our childhoods to affect who we are as adults. It honestly feels like an excuse for accepting our current place in life. I refuse to accept where I am in my life right now, that I can't better my life just because I had a lousy mother, that I can't better myself as a person so that my daughter doesn't have a lousy mother. We are capable of change, and in fact, that is how we grow. We learn from our mistakes. Why does your childhood have to affect who you are today? The choices you have made in the past are just that: in the past.
My daughter was the main reason I cut ties with my mom. I didn't want her to see her mom being controlled by someone else. I wanted her to know that she is her own person, and no one makes your decisions for you and that life is meant to be experienced. My answer to the question "why are we here" is does it matter? Animals don't have the capacity to ask that question, yet they still don't want to die.
You're here, so make the most of it. Learn as much as possible, experience as many things as possible, challenge yourself to grow. Show your son what a good mother looks like, how she acts, and how she LIVES her life. Don't let your childhood, or the loss of a toxic person in your life hold you back. If anything, the fact that you made the conscious choice to remove yourself and your son from such a toxic situation should empower you.
I, personally, have chosen to believe that my childhood made me a better person. Realizing how I was treated gave me a different perspective on life. If it had been different, I may not have my daughter, which gives me an appreciation for what I've gone through. Don't let the suffering you experienced as a child or the loss of a toxic mother keep you from experiencing life. You make your own choices now, make choices that the child you once were would be proud of.
Question: My Grandmother died recently and left her house to my controlling mother. She is selling the house, but DEMANDS I empty it out and maintain the property with her. The house is 1 hour away. It will take MANY trips going there and back. I despise working with her on projects. She constantly complains about the work that she forces me to do for her. I'm 37 and I don't like wasting my time like this. I thought of offering my mom some money towards using a moving service. What should I do?
Answer: Technically, your grandmother's home is not your responsibility, it's your mother's. You have no obligation to help her unless you said you would, and even then you really don't have an obligation.
I'm going to assume you haven't told your mother you'll help, in which case I would tell your mother, the next time you talk to her, that no you will not be helping her with her mother's things, and that she should hire a moving company. I also would not offer her money to help with expenses. Again, it's not your responsibility, and that could put you in a position where your mother will continually ask for money on this project as a way to get you to help.
At 37, your life is your own, and you don't have to do anything you don't want to do. So follow your gut instinct, and tell mom sorry, you'll have to help yourself on this one.
Question: My mother was controlling. She never let me live my life, so I moved away to another country. But now I feel guilty, even though I never wanted that life. Did you feel guilt as well?
Answer: Initially, I felt guilty not because I cut ties with my mother, but because my dad had to suffer. My dad and I were always close, and cutting ties with my mother meant never speaking to my dad again.
And yes, even today a few years after his death, I feel guilty that I was not there in his last years to help him through the torture that my mom made him suffer. Her controlling behavior toward him got so much worse after I cut ties with her, and my dad was the one who suffered. I also feel guilty that my sister had to watch that suffering, although I did try to be there for her through that trying time.
So yes, I feel guilt, but not because of how my mother feels about what I did. I feel guilty because other people suffered that I did not intend to suffer. I will always feel that guilt. But I also know that living my best life means they did not suffer in vain and that offers me some comfort.
Question: I am a college student that's far away from home, yet because of the technology, my mom video chats with me every single day. She made sure to tell me that she would call the police if I don't pick up at 9 pm sharp (which is my curfew). Even if I'm far away from home she manages to control every detail of my life via my phone. Do you have any advice?
Answer: This is a difficult situation to be in, and I'm sorry you have to deal with it. To start breaking your mom's control over you, you need to stop the 9pm phone calls. Essentially, your mom is bullying you into letting her run your life. The first step is to let her call the police.
I would tell your mom on your next phone call, that you are no longer going to be accepting her 9pm calls more than once a week. You have things to do, and need time to study and her constant interference is breaking your concentration. Let her know that you will be putting your phone on quiet hours at a certain time, and set your phone to allow only certain numbers to break through during those hours. But make sure mom's number isn't one of them! She will threaten to call the police and when she does I would say "go ahead, I'm not doing anything wrong and I'm in no danger." With today's technology, you can also record your phone calls to show the police when they arrive.
I've been in this situation multiple times, but 20 years ago we didn't have the technology we do now and that gives you an advantage. My mom has called campus security and the local police department on me several times, and every time the same thing happened. The police would come, talk to me, make sure I'm ok and leave. It's essentially a wellness check just to make sure you are alive. If you are over 18, they can't do anything to you unless you are doing something illegal. They can't physically remove you from the property or take you to jail. In my experience, they never came into my dorm room or my home or did any type of search. They simply came to my residence and talked to me. They'll then report back to your mom that everything was fine and there's nothing to worry about.
When the police show up, be calm, professional and rational. Let the police know what's going on. Tell them your mom is controlling your life and you are trying to take back that control. Let them know that you told your mom this, and this is the result. Again, be sure to remain rational and unemotional. This is important because the police will be gauging your mental status by the way you explain your situation. If you are completely rational, they will understand that your mom is the one who is being irrational and trying to create drama and wasting their time.
After calling the police numerous times on me, my mom gave up realizing that this scare tactic would not work on me, and she did find other ways to find out about my life like hiring a private investigator. But realize that someone spying on your life like that is not necessarily controlling you. Let them spy, let them see you are happy and living your life the way YOU want to, not the way she wants you to. It's honestly the best way to disconnect from the control and harrassment and settle into your own life.
I would also recommend that you don't go home on breaks. If you normally go home on spring break or the winter holiday break, find a friend that you can spend the time with instead, or if you can, stay on campus. I was lucky, the university that I went to allowed residents to stay on campus during spring break, and I didn't have to go home. This allowed me to further separate from my mom's control and lead to me leaving and getting married.
Summer break may be difficult, but you could get two jobs during the summer to keep yourself busy and out of the house. You could also rent an apartment with a friend and work during the summer which would accomplish the same thing. I'm not sure where you are, but tourist destinations like Disney World are always looking for help during the summer and other busy seasons which is perfect for your situation. You could also take summer classes at your school to allow you to shorten the length of time it takes to get your degree.
Before you do any of this, you'll need to figure out finances. If your mom is paying for your tuition, she'll cut you off when she finds out calling the police won't work. I would research other ways to fund your education and make sure if she does cut you off financially, you are able to continue going to school. This way she can't threaten to cut off funding, you can simply say go ahead, I've got a plan to pay for my education myself.
Ultimately, you have to take back control of your life and determine where you want to go from here. I would recommend doing some soul searching before doing any of this. Figure out what you want for your life, and where you would like to be when you reach 40 and realize you have lived half of your life. That is the problem with a controlling mother. By the time you realize your life is yours, not your mothers and that you can live life without her influence, half of your life is already gone and you only have 40-50 years left. Realize that now, while you are still young and can make your entire life your own.
© 2012 Melissa Flagg COA OSC
College kid, female, 20 on August 14, 2020:
I am stuck at home for online classes because of COVID. I really need advice. In college, I was sent to anti-violence therapy and I didn't know why, but I found out that family is a triggering topic for me--specifically my mother and brother.
My letters are always opened, there is no lock on my door, I am expected to be transparent. I feel there is little trust and privacy left in me. I am fighting with my family every day to the point that I stay in my room all day in bed. It's exhausting and mentally draining.
I have the option to live with my godmother (my other legal guardian), but deep down I've always felt like a burden.
Or I was thinking of working as a barista and renting out a room off-campus. I also have some money my father left behind for me, in case I need financial aid...however, my mother always holds that over me (as the legal guardian she has to transfer it to me).
I am reaching out because I feel isolated right now and far away from my friends. I don't know what the problem is or how to solve it. All I know is that I am unhappy and living in an unbearably toxic situation. Any advice or outreach is much appreciated.
S on August 09, 2020:
I’m currently trying to prepare myself for a conversation with my parents. They have been a bit controlling and it wasn’t until I graduated college that I noticed the effects. My parents are very particular about race and the thing is the guy I know I want to spend the rest of my life with is mixed. I’m super nervous to talk to them. And I’m just praying for the best. But I know how it’ll go considering my mother always flips the blame on me and that I should do better and what not. It was so bad that I didn’t make a varsity sport them and made the junior varsity team. She refused to talk to me. Wouldn’t even say hello. Then when I go my belly button pierced same thing. No talking. She did tell the rest of my family though that I was now considered trash. I know this time her words will include me being an embarrassment to the entire family. I just wish I knew the best way to start the conversation
A on July 30, 2020:
I yearn for deep emotional connection. Which I never really recieved. Or to be seen in my emotions which validate my experience and build character. There is no way id let my child be unseen. Emotion is energy in motion it is the driving force behind our lives. We should shower our children with undivided and genuine praise. Or not have children at all.
Lindsay Ann T. Adobo on July 23, 2020:
I have mom she angry with me because my exam is so low
Gabi Wenzelow on June 01, 2020:
I enjoyed your article! It makes me feel that I was not alone I had a similar experience was not allowed to spend the night, She didn't like anyone I brought around.. Then she humiliates me in front of my stepdad telling me there something wrong with my personality and she can prove it because she has lots of friends and I have none!
Anonymous on May 14, 2020:
My mom knows everything, she knows the way for her husband and her children. Everything she say is correct and you have to accept going against her is recieving severe beating from her . she even slapped her son in law because he was against her. No matter the age she still beats you.
Although she sacrificed for us but she always wants to know everything in your life. She wants to control your every move even wants her daughter's husband to do what she wants and says
And she is good at getting sympathy from people around her. Everyone that comes close to her she narrates her life story painting herself as the victim.
She got pregnant for another man and still made everyone believe it was for her husband till he died. And she sees nothing wrong with that she keeps saying the stress her husband put her through was what pushed her to do it so its her husband's fault
Now i'm pregnant she wants my wedding to be done the way she wants it including the people who will come for the wedding
Anonymous on February 25, 2020:
To be honest with u , it looks like I am living the life u once lived with ur mother. By her taunts and me worth nothing like attitude, I have started hating affection and emotions. I too escaped from my parents house for two years but ultimately ended being back at their house. This Indian culture doens't allow you to move out of the house and stay away from parents even when u live in same area despite u earning well. Now the only escape I have is to get marry. Trust me even she wants the same wht I should go away from her life. The only thing I would.miss is my dad love for me. I don't knw how often I would be able to meet him aftr getting married.
Eve on February 04, 2020:
My mother was addicted to crack, dope and was an alcoholic. I grew up in the system and I still never vilified my mother like you did. I empathize and understand her because I am able to see things from more than one perspective which keeps me from playing the victim role. I knew that I had a choice as a child to dictate who I wanted to be. And, yes as a child I was picked on but I stood up for myself (I got my ass kicked plenty but I got back up). I didn't wait for someone to rescue me. I excelled in school while living with 9 wayward girls in a group home, completed college, finished a masters and chose not to do drugs. Could this have been a sad childhood? Yes, but I made the best of it. My mother is at rest due to complication related to her addictions and I miss her. I wish she could have gotten straight for herself not for me. She had so much life left to live. I am grateful she gave me life and that I am here on this planet.
So my question is when will we take responsibility for ourselves, our choices and stop blaming our mothers?
Natalia Corbillón on February 01, 2020:
Hi! I came across this searching for a bit of understanding and consolation for my own situation, which is extremely similar to yours. I don't really have a question but I felt the need to write you. To those who excuse her having to raise you as an older woman, I say that's no excuse. My mom was 20 when she had me and she had/has the same behaviour being so young.bi have come to understand ( since I do really try to understand why is she like that) that she is just putting out all the frustration and pain of her life tragedies and mistakew on me, because I am an easy target for her and I bended for years when nobody else would. Over me, she had power, until I said enough is enough. Went through the same stages: going to study 3-4 hours away just to feel free, make excuses to spend time away from the house, I moved to another country and got married there (luckily for me it was real love and the best thing it happen to me)... And I also exploded when my first son was born and I saw her behaving on the same way with him when he was only 6 month old. Today I am expecting my 3rd kid, the first girl in the family and after years of giving her chances to change and get close to us again... Just realized that is not going to happen, right the opposite. I am seeing that, as I feared, I will have to cut the ties completely with her... It also hurts me because of my father, whom I love and has always been there for me, but I can't let her ruin my life and my kids as well.
Former Abused Kid on January 19, 2020:
Candice, you sound like a control freak yourself. It's the job of your parents to love and support you no matter what you choose to do with your life. Not to terrify, control, and abuse their children so that they can be the good drones of society who go to college, get a job they hate, get into a miserable marriage and then sit down and shut up until they die. Newsflash, that's not the life for everybody.
And just because two people can come together and physically have intercourse and procreate doesn't mean they are always right and only want what is best for their children.
If they think the way you do, I can ensure you they dont give a real damn about their children. They are narcissistic and obsessed with controlling their children so that they can look good to society. People who think like you, Candice, only think other humans have worth if they're emotionless, working chore drivers 24/7. And entire generations are scarred for life because of this bullshit, irrational thinking.
To everyone who is going through it with your parents, your reality is valid, and you deserve true healing. but find real healing in nature or books or art. My advice is, Dont go looking for healing on the internet, because you will only run into other narcissists, bad energy or triggering content. just get outside, breathe fresh air, find a hobby that you love but just stay away from internet and tv.
Melissa Flagg COA OSC (author) from Rural Central Florida on December 02, 2019:
I'm actually 41 and we did have cellphones in 1995, I was 17 at the time. My mother told me to call her as soon as I left the doctor's office to tell her what he said. Just another way to control me. Google it, 1992 Motorolla MicroTAC Ultra Lite.
Candice on November 15, 2019:
These comments make me sick. The disrespect you feel towards the person who brought you into the world. Awful. So... Let me get this straight...Your mom wants you to do chores, budget, & succeed in college? And you aren't doing those things, So she harps on you? And your never talk to her again? Shame on you people!
Charlie Mack on October 27, 2019:
I understand how you feel. Because, I am a 37 year old woman. And, I am going through the same thing. I live with my mother & unemployed. Everyday I try to find employment. I don't tell her anything about my comings and goings. I let her know the location that I'm at. And that's about it. Because she's very negative & Judgemental. And, I just want peace in my life. No negativity, drama, or stress. It's been like that for a long time. Everytime I have somewhere to go, it's something said. And, I am tired. I feel like I will never have the life that I want. I missed out on a lot & I truly regret that. I deserve to live life on my terms and be happy.
meghanmv on October 13, 2019:
this literally sounds like my life crazy
Gwenhwyfar on September 07, 2019:
On a side-note my escape is imminent ;) It’s taken me decades of personal work but it’s here :)
Gwenhwyfar on September 07, 2019:
We were the adults all along Violet, it’s our parents who weren’t. Look up narcissistic projection. Dangerous if encountered as an adult, lethal if you experience it as a child. Not so much bad decisions as the effects of narcissistic abuse.
Me on September 07, 2019:
Well done writing this article, I think it helps a lot of people who are in the same situation. Sometimes it is hard to understand why I'm having particular problems. Reading the comment of Violet makes me angry. 20 years ago my parents helped me financially and till this day they still use that to manipulate me. I do things their way out of guilt. They are guilt tripping me all the time, I often don't even notice it. Violet sais we are children if we need their financial help. However, how can you blame us for making the wrong decisions while we never learned to make decisions. My mom always decided for me what to do, even what to wear and what clothes to buy, how my room should look like. We were never allowed to make decisions. When we were 18 years old and wanted to go out, just like everyone else, she would say her raising had failed so I felt I was to blame. Yet they think it is strange I am making the wrong decisions in my life. My mom is an expert in making me feel sorry for everyting I do. Whatever I do, it is always wrong according to them and not according to their standards. I am 46 years old and still I feel bad for doing the things I love to do, because it is not according to their standards. I have a very low self esteem. It is extremely hard to open my eyes and to see that this is my life where I can make my own decisions. I still feel my life is theirs and not mine. I am a mom myself since 4 years and one thing is for sure: I will have her make her own decisions. I will make sure she feels confindent about herself. I will allow her to make mistakes. My life sucks, I hate my personality and I don't want this for my daughter.
Violet Malstrom from St Peters, MO on May 27, 2019:
Looking over these comments, I see a lot of complaining about "controlling parents" by people who are handing these "controlling" parents their own responsibilities, like children. If you are living under your parents roof, accepting money to go to college, using your parents to bail you out from your bad decisions, then you are acting like a child, and you can expect input, criticism(constructive or not), and demands. Learn that if you want an adult relationship with your parents, you are going to have to "bite the bullet" and become an adult, not just when it is easy, but particularly when it is difficult. When it is hard to scrape together enough money to live on your own, afford college or daycare for your kids. Once YOU become an adult, your bonds can change to become more of a friendship with your parents, which is what is a normal, healthy relationship. YOU hold the keys.
Gwenhwyfar on May 18, 2019:
I’ve come to realise that the overbearingness has led to me being targeted for workplace bullying repeatedly as an adult leaving me unable to achieve financial independence, despite getting on with others and having qualifications. Currently late 30s and trapped at their house. I can relate to the hiding, I feel intimidated by her, it’s like a competition from them for space in the world. If I get an apartment and a job, I feel it will happen again (for about the fourth time since my 20s :( ) and I’ll be back here or without anywhere to go.
Brenda Joze on May 07, 2019:
Hi there, thanks for sharing your story. It must have been very emotionally painful to separate and I realise it hurts to have to do it, bit by bit. But I'm glad you're stronger for it.
My own family are not that outwardly aggressive like yelling, but mentally so obsessed with pushing their way onto me. They couldn't stand that I have my own mind and ideas and reject some of theirs. So I had to say goodbye to a couple of them. It took 20 years to be ready to do that.
I found they didn't want to fully admit that our family dynamics and connections are unhealthy! I feel sad sometimes not to have the ideal (dream) family, but I can't change them. I can't be around that either, I have to protect myself and my child from that level of mental disturbance they are hooked into. I have no regrets even though it feels a little strange, like a limb was cut off.
Your story makes me think 1) your mother is/ perhaps already was - mentally ill. Her behaviour was extreme. Perhaps part of why your birth mother left. Did she already endure enough damage that had shut her off from functioning somehow?
2) your dad could have protected you more, but he tolerated abuse to himself and you. He must have had his own reasons for putting up with her behaviour so long and not defending himself or you.
(Looking at people who can't parent, usually their own upbringing is at the root.) God bless you for finding a good husband and healing over time enough to share what happened.
Sometimes we get judged, but it is encouraging for us who understand at least part of your experiences to see we're NOT the only ones. Brenda :)
Mary cuellar on April 26, 2019:
Sarah N. Thompson on April 06, 2019:
I have a mother like this, she is of the old school thinking. I graduated with a Bachelor's, I thought I could escape, but I had to move back home since I couldn't get hired! She hadany times of sulking, just leaving and not telling anyone, even her children, where she was going! I moved in with a man who was verbally abusive from the start, but there were long stretches of time between that he was the kindest and sweetest. We we're engaged two years, but it ended and I had to move back home again. I still can't support myself! Worse, it is a small apartment I am confined to now with parents who are married primarily because they couldn't support themselves financially on their own. I just feel so hopeless sometimes! I didn't lose my virginity until 27, but I was just trying to find my own life! I feel defeated in life and at the lowest points, like I would be better off just ending it all.
Grace on March 25, 2019:
Thank you for this article, this came in time of need and made me feel like I’m not alone. There’s so much in this that I identify with. Thank you Melissa.
Jac on December 27, 2018:
So glad I have come across this. I feel stupid as I am 54 and have just realised my mother is and has been completely controlling. I stayed in a marriage for 30 years and between the controlling ex and my mum I feel my life was taken away from me. My mum worked the whole 30 years to destroy my marriage. Every call was slagging my ex off. She wanted me to get rid of him so she could have even more control. She was diagnosed with cancer 4.5 years ago, having built up a business myself for 22 years I stupidly gave it up to care for her. My son now was 18 and going to Uni he feels I deserted him but I literally lived with my mum during every day to care for her. Neighbours would comment on my dedication, I still didn’t get it, after all wasn’t it what any daughter would do? Many people didn’t answer when I said that. Now I am divorced waiting to move to a new home, today she announced a bungalow would be good so she could stay! She is dying so I feel bad but I see her most days unless it doesn’t suit her. I feel as though I am suffocating. She muscled in on my son too so I have no relationship with him. Manipulation is an understatement. How different could my life have been if I had realised this wasn’t a normal relationship. She told me many times that dad and her were happiest before I was born. He was a great dad but died when I was 22. I will stand by her in her last months but have stepped back from seeing her everyday and have enquired about a hospice as I don’t feel I want to nurse her, I don’t want to feel bitter but I am human. My health is quite bad and I am registered disabled. Between my ex and my mum it has taken its toll. Please don’t let it happen to you.
Petra Thorn 50 new zealand on December 13, 2018:
Loved reading your blog...i was an only child, who at the age of 4 lost my dad...my mother moved in with a man and when their relationship failed she became a party girl and I was parked anywhere that ment she could party. At the age of 14 she met and married a man that later became the most amazing DAD to me...the first man that loved me for me..I moved away with my boyfriend and when i became pregnant at 17 we moved back. Got married and that was the end of my life as I thought it would be...my mother broke up my first marriage after a year...then controlled my life with money...responsibility. and guilt because she helped child care. Money. Stuff...anywhere she could to manipulate me. My DAD was so patient and long suffering fell ill with cancer and when the boat they were living on sank. My second marriage had ended. I had met a new Zealander and we had decided to move to nz. So my parents moved in to my house in the UK. With my then 18 year old daughter. My DAD died. My daughter moved out, my son came to nz to live as he had wanted to stay with his father but a new relationship had caused issues. So my mother also came to nz.......i travelled 11,500 miles to get away from her and she manipulated her way over...and has been wreaking havoc ever since....Well in 15 days time I am 50 and today I have said enough is enough....family services have taken her on to remove her in 4 days time and I will be free to live my life for the first time in 34 years...I have found a man who loves me for me and I love him for him....we are hoping to move in together in 2019.....my mother today realised that this time she over manipulated the situation....but it is too late...at this point in time I no longer have a mother...my choice...she has had me for 34 years a loyal puppy and she does not deserve anymore of my life or my relationships. I only have 2 real friends...my advice would be get help from social services and bodies that help familys in crisis after a couple of years....they can have some very smart people who are use to dealing with unruly parents that could make it possible to work out solutions before you have lost so much of your life....and stop them from being a family member. She now only has her grandson in her life....thank God he lives in China he is 25
Steph on October 14, 2018:
Wow, I am so glad I am not alone feeling like this. I hate the fact that I cannot stand my mother, but it is true. I dread talking to her at all. I got married right out of high school to get out asap, that soon ended in divorce.
I moved 5 hours away right before having my 1st child and i am so glad i did. I hardly have to see her or talk to her.
Diana on October 10, 2018:
Having been the child of a controlling parent and the parent of a teenager who sets her boundaries, all of this has been enlightening. It’s understandable to be protective of your child but there’s a line we sometimes cross I believe. It does cause damage. I try to be respectful of my parent but when they are disrespectful of me and don’t treat me as they would like to be treated, I put my foot down. They hate it of course because deep inside they realize they no longer control me. I don’t yell back I just tell them things they don’t want to hear...which in effect makes them angry because no one likes seeing themselves for who they truly are being in that moment. It used to cause me angst but now I don’t worry about it too much. I always hold onto my faith and know someone loves me faults and all and doesn’t think I’m being disrespectful simply because I stand up for myself. He’s called Jesus my savior. We are to honor our father and mother but that doesn’t mean take abusive behavior. I wouldn’t take it from a spouse who married me and is family, why would I take it from a controlling parent. This has also helped me to realize how I may in my own way be controlling of my youngest daughter I mentioned earlier and better understand her. My children are a gift from God, not pieces of property. Yes I fed them, clothed them, gave them an education, among other things, but my job is done in terms of raising them. How they lead their lives is now up to them and maybe if I didn’t inquire so much and tell my youngest to be cleaner, etc. maybe we’d gave a better relationship. Well I’m certainly going to do that with her. Yes it’s fine to want to be a part of her life and I’ll akways be here for her but it’s time I asked her what kind of parent she’d like to see in me. It doesn’t mean I’m weak or want to be “a friend” instead of a parent. It just means I want to make sure we both work on what one wants from the other. Nothing wrong in that... thank you for the article and to all who posted. It was all helpful.
Leia on September 22, 2018:
It's almost 2AM but I had to look online for people that have gone through something similar to me. My mom is so controlling and I've stayed with her all these years because she is disabled and I was worried about her living alone. I'm in my mid-20s and half the time I would hide in my room to avoid her.
This past Saturday it all came to a head with a huge argument. Lately I've just been tired with the way she has treated me and started to stand up for myself and because of this she has become even worse. She was quick to anger, it was always my fault and she was constantly telling me how horrible of a person I was, I'm lazy, never pay bills, and disrespectful.
Yet I stayed because I knew she had no one else to turn to. She has no friends and I have three siblings and several nieces and nephews (large gap between older siblings) and none of them deal with her. She is also a complete hoarder and shopaholic, so I was responsible for paying a lot of the bills and had even put money into her account because she would overdraw her account shopping.
But to go back to the argument, the next day she asks me what I'm even doing and keeps telling me she wants me out. I told her no problem and I'll move as soon as possible. I go to work the next day then school (I work full time and am a full time graduate student) and when I get back that night she has changed the locks. She told me that I had stolen towels (she couldn't find any because I had been so busy with school that I hadn't washed clothes) and that she wouldn't put up with a thief and liar. I had to call the police and she refused to let me in and threw completely useless items out the door at me, like I should be grateful to even get those.
I then spend the next two days scrambling to get my stuff and I was able to get most of it, but I had to leave behind several item, including my book collection, which is very precious to me. She also continued to play the victim and even lied and told people that I was stealing her cat, which is actually mine, when I came back to get my things. I miss my cat, she's family and I'm so worried because I know she's not treating her right.
But what's worse then all of that is that I miss her. Something will happen during the day and then I think, "I have to tell mom, she'll love that," then it hits me that I can't.
I've had so much support and love from family and friends the last couple of days and I'm not struggling the way I know she hoped. I have a lot of money saved up and I should be moving into a new apartment in the next week or so. But I miss her. I feel like I have Stockholm Syndrome, and maybe I do. I'm just tired and I want this mixture of guilt, anxiety, and heart break to go away. I know I didn't do anything wrong, but I wish my head would realize that.
monty on August 25, 2018:
and well done to you. i have a controlling mother who had a say in everything single thing i did in my life.
for her misdoings affair and et al. and the suffering she had because of my alcoholic father, i had to grow up suffering , hiding her affair from my father who knew anyway and would take out his frustration on me when drunk - emotionally
when it was time to have a career if i ever went out from work or after work, she wouldnt speak with me for days
tell me how my cousin SISTERS were such good children and gave their mother all their earned money .......
cannot deny she did a lot to help me finally to get out of the country called home for the first 27 years of my life - india !
in fact it was thanks to her i got a way out and now live a life in the uk.
but even today she wants to have a say in my life... she says she wants us to be settled ......
but when settling comes to get married , she tries to talk us out of it. that the girl or boy is not good. first we have to make enough money have a house etc.
my sister is over 40 now with lots of money and no m marriage ..... yet not settled ! yet when we talk about her marriage, mum says first get settled !!!!!!
brother is an alcoholic but runs his own business and life ... now he plans to get married and mum is upset... first get settled !!!!!!!!!!! then marry !!!!!!!
I'm seething because she controlled my formative years, never let me drive never let me do anything..
today i dont like to travel i dont know how to make decisions and am always hesitant and waiting for approval which i never get.
yet you cannot stop loving your mother . now that she fears imminent death , which is something that is constantly in my mind too for myself, - with a fear of never getting settled !!!!!!!!!!!
had a boyfriend and wanted to introduce her to him and she would avoid the statement .
her definition of her happiness is seeing me go work and come home and sleep then go work and come home and sleep
if i drink she is hysterical for days if i smoke she cant bear it .
she is dissatisfied with life and ensures we are too...
Mofongo Is Good on August 13, 2018:
Here is what prompted me to do the internet search that led to your blog.
While sitting at work. My mother had been messaging me on FB messenger since I woke up to get ready for work. Knowing how her messages can start the day off bad, I ignore them until I've had time to make it to work and settle in - except by now she is calling my cell repeatedly. I answer, and as expected, she is calling to complain about a mess that was left in the kitchen. My mind flashes back. I distinctly remember grabbing sheets from a shrinking roll of paper towels to wipe up this morning b/c I shook my head at how fast we were going through them... nearly 3 rolls in 24 hrs is what I was thinking. Now she is telling me a mess was left.......
Recently me, my husband and two young children returned to the West Coast from attending a funeral in NY. When we got home, there were post it notes all over the house. On the fridge, cabinets, mirrors, windows, floors. She had written little messages that said Keep Out, Clean Up, Stay Organized, Do Not Leave Things on The Counter, etc. etc. There was a 2 page letter that had been taped to the wall addressed to my husband and me. It said something about how filthy we were and how depressed she was because of how dirty we made her house. She wrote "I Do Not Live Like This" While we were out of town she had gone and cleaned everything and reorganized all our things. We got home at 3am that morning... by 9am she woke us up to start shopping and preparing for a BBQ she decided to host and invited friends and family to the house with all the post it notes all over the walls. We had not even been able to shower or unpack - our things still sat in suit cases by the stairs. We were confused and thought we had missed some important details so just went along with everything.
A few days home, the notes, and my mom constantly cleaning as soon as you touched anything, along with her reorganizing all of our personal belongings took a toll on my husband. He started being very short and I responded in kind since I was getting annoyed too. Eventually we found ourselves in an argument over my mother. Didn't see that coming.... There is additional background info that would explain why I decided to defend my mom against his "attack," but my choice landed us in such a heated argument that he went home and packed his things to leave. My mother, seeing him preparing to leave asked if everything was alright. I knew better than to tell her anything, I should have ignored her - but that is a damned if you do/don't situation. I told her exactly what the issue was - her interference. At that - she got herself all pumped up, went storming out the door cussing and crying, etc. etc. Husband left and I'm just sitting there like why did I move back here. When she returns 20 minutes later she tells me how horrible I am for doing that to her and how effed up me and hubby are because she doesn't deserve that. Meanwhile... I am sitting there staring at her in disbelief - I'm not sure what even just happened with my relationship and the father of my kids but you want me to be concerned because your feelings are hurt? She went on saying hubby is a POS, etc. etc. b/c he IS unemployed. Background: He lost his job a few months ago and he plays stay at home dad for now. He sucks at housecleaning, has what I am pretty sure is sleep apnea that makes him choke himself awake all night. As a result, he falls asleep all the time during the day. It looks bad. It can be frustrating to deal with but we make due. I work and am pretty much the driver in the relationship and I try to catch all the constant loose ends - which is probably why most of the drama is always directed at me.. because I'm the one who will actually do something.
I know people are going to wonder what kind of loser am I to be living at home with mom when I have a husband and 2 kids. Well. That decision took me an entire year to make and it was at her request. She suffers multiple conditions, though none of them, I thought, made it so that she couldn't be home alone. However she always tells me about her passing out or not being able to get up, depression, thinking she will hurt herself and be in the house alone - she always seems to do just fine in person, but I know things aren't always what they seem. Eventually she told me that her Doctor flat out told her she needed someone to live with her. I tried to get her to offer her sister a room. It took months for mom to get herself in the right mindset to actually do it (she is private) but her sister refused anyway. So after months and months of dodging the question, I finally gave in. Besides, I had just had a baby and it would help save money... and maybe things would be different. Aaaaand that's where I effed up. Things are NOT different. They're worse because not only is it me, it's my husband she is behaving this way with not to mention the impact this has on my kids.
We are not filthy people. We are a normal family with kids. We spend most of our time in one family area since the back rooms of the house tend to be full of stuff. A working mom plus stay at home dad who isn't to great at housework - but he does try, plus our two kids, one of whom is on summer break. So if you can imagine -there is always something to pick up. The house is never empty. Dad and older kid are there and mom is always there... but I get constant calls at work about the smallest things. For example: Today I ignored addtional calls over messenger and follow up texts that say:
Are you guys throwing the pool out?
Did you purge the refrigerator?
The interesting thing is.. my mom is two hairs short of a hoarder. When we moved back, the rooms we were supposed to move into were packed with stuff - craft projects, bags of clothes, boxes of socks, boxes and bags of mail. We pay rent to live here.. but don't have a clear place to put our things. When we tried sorting out the space and moving some things into a space I had cleared in the garage, my mother took everything we moved into the garage and even left somethings in the middle of the dining room floor. I noticed that the space I cleared in the garage was now full of more boxes from a room in another part of the house. So we were stuck having been forced to leave our things in bins in a common area and in boxes and piles in the room we were supposed to inhabit. I knew it wasn't going to work out... I just didn't know what to do. I had already signed on and the few times I had mentioned that I didn't want to do this (live there) I was told I hurt her feelings.
So now I'm to the point where I am seriously considering moving to an entirely different state because it would be cheaper and to also get some much needed freedom from my controlling mother - but I have the guilt of wondering what will happen to her if I'm not there. There is noone else who will deal with her... not even my sibling. Yes I do have one... and that person already lives in a different state and as such has been cut off by her several times. My sibling absolutely does not yield to my mother. It sometimes seems uncaring but I get why. I wish I could do the same, but I have seen what happens when ppl get older and sick and have noone to check on them. Also, she confided in me that my sibling makes her feel suicidal. I don't want to ruin my relationship with my mom any further, I don't want anything to happen to her. I'm not really sure what to do. My presence seems to make things bad, but if she is alone and depressed she might hurt herself - but as she tells it, she is already to that level of depression with us in the house.
So there you have it. That's the dilemma my mind wanders to when things slow down. I find some small comfort reading other peoples stories and knowing it's not just me.
chrstn on August 12, 2018:
This is just so like my mother. I have a son now and I'm a single mother, and she always interfere on how I am raising my child specially when it comes to my way of applying discipline to my son. She always contradicts my system as a mother. I can see as of now on how she is building my son's prison cell when he grows up. My 5 year old son knows how to yell at me now. No matter how I try to tame him down, my mom would always start a very loud argument right in front of my son which I choose to just tame my mouth just to avoid myself from speaking bad words towards my mother. But I see myself like a hair strand away from telling my mom to just look for her own place and just leave me alone with my son. It hurts me thinking that I might be pushing my mom away from my house, but she never learned, she always feels like she's the rule. So I don't have any more choice but to push her away. This is very sad truth about these kinds of mothers.
Crystal De on August 06, 2018:
Story of my life! I just didn't have a dad though, so I found myself sleeping in friends car or finding a boyfriend who's family allowed overnight company. Now that I'm 18 and almost died in A car accident (1 week coma), she has chilled out but I must always keep my eye on the prize of saving money and moving out. I'm at my 1 year recovery mark and I'm seeing her retort back to her old ways, thanks for this refresher to keep my eye on the prize! Wish me luck.
Linda Chewning on August 02, 2018:
Thank you for your story, this is exactly like my Mother, she is 92 years old and very controlling. Your story has really helped me to understand and what I need to do. My Dad was my Dad, my best friend. He was always there for me. He passed away on 2/22/05, and oh how I do much miss my Daddy. Thank you, I am proud of you for going your way, and thank you for sharing this is what I needed to hear.
Ummm Me on July 31, 2018:
I call BS on the cell phone you called your mom from after leaving the dermatologist! Unless your 23-it's a fictional story. Made an account ONLY to call BS!
Real people have real feelings and need real people to connect with. Kim K is in Cali...kick rocks
Janine on July 24, 2018:
Omigod do I identity with this but my situation is a little different now that my Mom has done a complete 180 ever since I grew a spine, finally stood up to her, and moved out. I cannot be in a room with her without her staring at me and being hyperaware of what I'm doing at all times, commenting on my body and fishing for compliments, constantly asking if I'm ok or want things, asking me pointless questions, speaking over/for me when other people talk to me, and asking me to do favors for her or show her how to do things she fucking knows how to do herself. I avoid her like the plague and screen her calls and am moving across the country but she's telling everyone she's moving to where I am going. She didn't tell *me* though, just my entire family (and stepmom who's the only sane parental figure I have) so of course it got back to me and when I confronted her about it and begged her to not follow me she told me she wouldn't but is now telling everyone, sometimes in front of me, that she can't move out there because "Janine won't let me" to manipulate others into getting me to let her follow me. It's manipulation on a whole other level and the need to escape from her at any cost is so overwhelming it makes me want to sob in frustration. All this coming from the woman who made my childhood and early teenage years an absolute hell by using me as an emotional punching bag for her failing (and eventually failed) marriage. Every single person who's lived "under her roof" has fled for the hills. She can be very sweet when you aren't under her control which makes my side of the story so much harder for people to believe. She saves the vitriol for convenient targets that are financially dependent on her who live under her roof. To everyone else she's an angel.
Anthony on July 09, 2018:
I can totally relate because my grandmother is like this mainly to me and secondary to me. These people are some dumb, narcissistic, superficial, and honestly I hate them.
Just remember you owe them NOTHING! Just treat them the way they treat you and don't show ANY guilt. These people feed off guilt like a predator stalking a deer.
Kourtniep on June 18, 2018:
I can totally relate to your story....As I was reading I felt like it was so much of what i have been feeling and dealing with my entire life....it is incredibly hard to want to have a relationship with your mother but knowing it will never happen....
Pauline Fisher on June 08, 2018:
I can relate with this story. It's not easy to understand if you don't grow up with any kind of control.
breezy02 on June 05, 2018:
Hi my childhood was dominated by my mother too. I was one of 4 daughters but was often the scapegoat. My mother was very unhappy with my father and had constant emotional storms where she would shout and rage at all of us saying some terrible things about us. She had a vicious tongue and used it constantly. I never knew what set her off but would walk on egg shells round her just in case. We older girls would often be outside after school while my mother raged inside. We waited for my youngest sister (the favourite) to come home as she was the only one who could calm our mother down so we could go back indoors again. None of my emotional needs were ever met and none of us were allowed to be angry or upset so learned to stifle our feelings and emotions. I learned from a young age that I had to solve my own problems. My mother used to slag me off something chronic and it was all negative. Eg when I got my first bf she told me I had better marry him coz no one else would have me as I was obnoxious and no one liked me! My response when I was 18 was to clear off many miles away from home. I suffered from depression and anxiety from childhood and finally got treatment in my mid 20's. When I first learned about CEN last year I was shocked by how many bells rang for me and it all makes a lot more sense now. Thank you.
Feather93 on June 02, 2018:
My mother was 40 and my father was 54 when I was born. My brother and sister were in their late teens when I was born. Mother was and is extremely controlling, belittling, and verbally abusive. She abused me physically/sexually as well until I was about 5. Father was controlling too, but less just because he lacked the energy that she had. I wasn't allowed to do anything or go anywhere. He resented his controlling wife and being a father so old and took the aggression out on me because he was too cowardly to confront her. I'm convinced that she had me so late in life to keep him on the hook financially.
He had an alcohol problem and she always had a lot of prescription codeine around. Addiction and mental health problems were always the elephant in the room that they pretended didn't exist as they pointed fingers and judged everyone else they knew.
Long story short, I was the only sibling to really challenge or rebel against them and I was disowned, which really wasn't a bad thing. After a year or so of death threats and harassment, I was left alone. My older siblings are her minions, so I have no relationship with them. At 80 years old she controls them still with money and with disapproval.
The psychological impact on my life has been hard. I was crippled emotionally and socially. And I was without the encouragement and financial help available to most middle class kids, even though my parents were comfortable financially. They were too stingy to help me at all through college. So that took me a long time to do and pay for on my own.
So I got off to a late start in life. But overall I'm grateful that I've been able to as much as I have and be in a good position to support myself without being too crippled by them. I haven't seem my mother in 10 years so that helps.
People who have never experienced toxic parents do not get it. People with flawed but mostly normal parents can not understand what we've been through and the toll it takes on one's life.
jake on June 01, 2018:
Yes im a 35yr old man and I was raised by a single mother who controlled me constantly, she wrapped me up in cotton wool my whole childhood, never let me go out without her, she didn't let me go to friends houses, she probably thought it was dangerous, she forced me to play tennis which I did but I hated it, and got angry and she didn't know why im angry, now look at me, im 35, Got No friends, never had a girlfriend, only been on one date in my life, im an introvert, I find it extremely hard to socialise, I do have depression, I have erectile problems, when im alone I want friends and a social life but when im around people all I want is to be home alone because I get nervous around groups of people I don't know, I do have a full time job which I hate driving a cab, and I own my own little apartment, so I guess that's positive, so basically I think ill like this 50% because of mother and the other 50% because of environment of my life and my DNA, my own mother only had one of two friends but she did always have BF in her life, so yeah that's my pathetic life.
And yes I am seeing psychologists for my issues but I know ill never change, ill always be a loner with no friends and no GF, I have to learn to be happy being alone and lonely.
Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on June 01, 2018:
Melissa, I can relate 100% to everything you discussed in this article. I also had a controlling mother. When I read that you said she can have a massive psychological impact on her children, I suddenly recognized the issues I carry though life due to the way my mother treated me. Even though she was a good woman, she was very self-centered when it came to bringing up her children. She only thought about herself.
I realize you had it worse, however, and I am sorrry to hear what you went through. I think the issue you had with your biological parents was a result of how your biological dad was brought up by your “parents”. That must have affected him in some way too, as it affected you, and somehow made both biological parents act as they had.
I give you credit for opening up about all this and sharing it in this article. It’s sad how the harm imposed on children has a lasting effect on their lives.
I continue to struggle with the issues I have as well. Writing about it does help—sometimes. And if it doesn’t, then hopefully it will help those who read it.
rebelcat on May 28, 2018:
MY mother brought me up calling me stupid a peice of s***** she allowed older sister to beat the h** put of me and told me to shut up she has pmt .. she allowed brother to rape and abuse me ... it was all my fault apprently the day she spat on me kicked me into a ball was end I still long for a mum and don't understand why I was hated and abused ...people need pet licences but anyone can have kid .. crazy
Mona on May 26, 2018:
This is my life! I've never known anyone who has experienced the type of parental relationship like this that I have had my whole life. I've lived with an extremely controlling overbearing mother as long as I can remember and its only gotten worse over time. Its nice to know I'm not alone in this. I'm nearly 30 years old and no longer live under my parents roof but still suffer from the backlash of her parenting. I feel as though I was never prepared to be on my own as an adult since I was never allowed to make my own decisions or think for myself. I've grown up being taught that everything I ever want or like or think is wrong if its not her idea. I honestly don't even think she understands the affect it has on me and I know she probably means well in her own mind, but her behavior has had such a strong negative impact on my life that I always imagine what it would be like to fake my own death and finally be able to breathe without her looming over me. I've never been able to feel like my own person and still am trying to figure out how to recover and start my life. I wish I could stand up to her and set her straight but anytime I've ever mustered the courage to try she shuts down everything I say and refuses to actually hear me. This has caused and still causes me to internalize everything, even with other people in my life and its extremely difficult to unlearn all the negative coping habits I've developed from childhood and my teenage years as an adult now in the midst of the real world. I dream of one day moving far away (as we still live in the same county) and being to out of reach for her to affect me anymore..but even that wouldn't reverse the damage that has already been done.
LilJadedBunny on May 26, 2018:
Thank you for sharing this. Some parents don't realize the impact they are having on their children, not just emotionally or mentally, but on their neurological development. Childhood stress and trauma is linked to every mental health disorder there is. The stress of a parent is often taken out on their children, halting the development of their neuronal pathways which is most commonly manifested or seen as depression symptoms later in life.
To those who say that this writers mother only loved her and is why she was controlling, I can't help but question your idea of what love and being a parent should be about. We must raise our children embracing their individuality and anatomy, and help them become the best versions of their unique selves. Not the best version of who WE are or who WE want them to be. When we parent with the mindset of trying to mold our children into little obedient versions of our choosing, we often punish or shame them when they are not doing or being who we want. This is the message of unconditional love many parents sadly give their children every single day. If we don't embrace their autonomy, we are setting them up for a life of failed relationships and lack of self esteem as they'll suffer from having no sense of self. Her mother had a serious control issue that stemmed from her own issues, and were not her daughter's responsibility. You can't reconcile with a toxic parent who hasn't faced their own demons and faults. We can't fix ppl yet we must do what's healthy for us, and sometimes that means loving ppl from a distance.
Mandi on May 15, 2018:
thanks for sharing xx
Jenna on May 15, 2018:
My mom is so controlling of my life, she has to tell me what I can and can’t say, what I can and can’t do and even who she approves of me to see. She’s also extremely overprotective of me and I absolutely despise it. If she’s not around me and I’m around other people she expects them to care for me as if they were caring for a 2-3 year old. She demands them to watch me like a hawk, and is offended when they don’t. “They should care for you properly” she’s acting like I’m a young child, when I’m not. She also portrays me to be this timid crybaby type of person who can’t survive a day without her. Whereas I’m an outgoing pretty confident type of person. She has told people that I don’t understand things and portrays me to be this incompetent dumb person, when she knows very well I’m not like that at all. She also has people believing that I can’t go to a place I want to go to and every time I tell her about it or say it would be nice to go there she gets so angry and says “don’t let anyone know about this” it’s like I have to keep this secret and I don’t want to, I shouldn’t have to hide things that make me happy. I’m so tired of this. I feel suffocated almost and tied down. Its my life at the end of the day, not hers. But she’s making my life all about her and what she wants for me. She wants to control my entire life and I just really don’t want to be around her anymore.
Akash on May 14, 2018:
Well she hate me a lot and I know why she hates me because I am failure. I want to escape.
Luuvvy on May 09, 2018:
I completely understand
Steph Katherine on April 27, 2018:
My mother has always had separation anxiety when I’m away from her and recently she has had a tremendous fear of change. Growing up I always had to be by my mother’s side, with everything. If I wanted to go to a friends place for a play over or even sleepover my mother would be awfully hesitant to let me go. She needed to know where I was at all times, even in our own home. If I was out of site for even a minute and she didn’t know where I was, she’d freak out. My mother also made a huge deal out of everything I told her when she didn’t need to, it made me scared to tell her things so from the age of 11 onwards, I kept everything to myself. As a teenager my mother wouldn’t let me go out with my friends after dark or even to any of their houses. I remember one friend I had, I was particularly close with her, we had a lot in common and had a friendship like no other. My mother on the other hand didn’t like her and her reason was because she got negative energy off of her, which I didn’t understand as she was one of the most positive people I’ve ever known. My mother demanded I tell her I don’t want to be her friend, she came to my school and tried to get me out of her class and do anything so I wasn’t near her. I was so livid with my mother I decided to tell her to stay out of my life, I was 16 at that point and didn’t necessarily need to live at home anymore. I moved in with the friend my mother hated. My mother tried desperately to have me move back home, she was persistent with it for over a year, before she just gave up. I didn’t want to move back home, I was tired of my mother’s separation anxiety towards me, I was tired that I had to keep everything to myself since the age of 11 and I was tired of my mother trying to make me have no friends all because she got “negative” energy off of them. Once I turned 19 years old, I got a boyfriend and was very happy. He was caring, considerate and very affectionate towards me. I felt very loved when I was around him. One day me and him were walking around town just minding our own business, holding hands and being cute towards one another, when I see my mother sitting on the bench across the street from us. She was staring at both of us, and ran over towards us. Once my mother caught up to us, she was asking “who is he?” and “is he your boyfriend?” Over and over again, she was being awfully repetitive with those questions. My boyfriend told my mother to politely leave us alone and that’s when my mother started being abusive towards him and calling him awful names. My boyfriend told my mother to stop being so rude to him and he took my arm and we left the area. My mother followed us, I was in tears as I was afraid my boyfriend would get mad at me for my mother’s actions. We eventually lost sight of her and after that day, I would see my mother around but she’d either just ignore me or she’d glare at me like she despised me. At 21, I got married and moved towns, I wanted a fresh start and since we were planning on beginning our family, I didn’t want my children to know my mother. After giving birth to my daughter at 23 and my second daughter at 26, I found out my mother moved to the town my famiy and i resided in from a friend who served her lunch at a restaurant. I was shocked and upset, I felt like she was following me, even though she had no clue I lived there. Anyway, I didn’t see her around at all for over 4 years. After 4 years my mother saw me and my daughters out while shopping, she came up to me shocked, she couldn’t believe i never told her I had two daughters. At the time my eldest daughter was 6 and my youngest daughter was almost 3, I was also expecting my third baby but never told her. I didn’t want to talk to my mother, and I certainly didn’t want her to talk to my daughters. I left with my daughters shortly after and after giving birth to my son at 30, we moved towns once again. 5 years later we are very happy and living a very peaceful life.
Harley on April 23, 2018:
My mom has left me when I was only 2 weeks old for a guy what I had been told from family and she hasnt raised me at all. I remember up until I was 4 I had no idea who she was and I was shy to ask for things from her even tho my siblings were telling me that she was my mother, Anyways when I got into my 'pre teen years' I moved in with her she always made chore lists everyday while she never cleaned at all. Me and my sister would clean up after her and her husband (my step-father) and when I would be at school she would always go thru all my stuff every now and then even my DIARY that one time. I knew i had to move then and I was only living there for 6 months. And when i was moved back to my older siblings place she made a fb and would always get mad at me for not messaging her back. Now I'm an adult and was staying at my sisters house for a bit. We went grocery shopping while my mom was visting and a week later i was drven home without opening one of my bags until i got home and once i opened it she already looked thru it i knew because things werent the way i last put them it got me really mad like i don't even know her at all we dont bond or anything nor talk at all. Like you have no right to do that and try to act as a parent when you know damn well you have never raised me. Yeah sure I stayed at her house for a bit but even then we never talked or bond at all. She only took me into her home when I was old enough to take care of myself which pisses me off so much too. She asked me what the fuck is wrong with me that one time me and my other older sister got into an argument and this sister has lived with her for a few years. Once me and my other older sister get into an argument she talks shit about me to her friends and then goes to tell my mom and my mom of course backs her up without even listening to both sides of the story. I'm just thinking about this all today and it makes me so angry and sad that i don't want nothing to do with her anymore. Its like she does all this stuff to make me miserable and she treats me like a servant I don't even feel like her daughter at all.
Erica on April 22, 2018:
I grew up in a very large family, with a total of 7 biological siblings and 4 adopted siblings. Our house was mostly chaos and our parents were so busy nearly 90% of the time. We had our aunt come around everyday for 14 years. The stress of 11 children on her was unimaginable. Our mother worked as a full time nurse, she was gone from 4am through to 11pm, 7 days a week. We hardly ever saw her and I never developed a proper relationship with her. Our father worked as a baker in our grandfathers bakery for a little over 16 years. He worked part time, from 10am through to 5pm every Monday, Tuesday, Friday and Saturday. On his days off he’d sometimes take all of us to the beach for a few hours. But as we got older he stopped doing things with us, and it was like he didn’t have a dad. Our aunt was getting really tired and there would be days where she’d get our uncle or cousin to come around. Eventually my older siblings and I were caring for our younger siblings, who were still school aged. As time went on my 3 older siblings moved out, got jobs and started their own families, I had to become practically a mother to my younger siblings. As I entered my early twenties, I got a job working in a craft store, while going to college part time. I had no time at all to be there for my younger siblings, I was tired mostly and preferred going to work and college. My dad had to hire babysitters to come in so they would have someone there. The babysitter was mostly for my adopted siblings since my biological siblings were 15, 17 and nearly 19. After my 23rd birthday I went on a holiday with a few of my coworkers and enjoyed some time away. On that holiday realisation hit me. It occurred to me that I never got to have a proper relationship with either of my parents, yeah my dad was around on his days off, but as I said, once we started getting older he stopped doing things with us which I find quite sad. It was almost like he didn’t want to be a dad to us. And our mother who gave birth to 7 children, worked full time, all of our lives. Part of me wonders why she even had kids, since she was practically never around. She never came to any talent show of mine, or dance recital or even to my grade 12 graduation, my aunt did and I’m forever grateful for that. When I got into my late twenties I got married and had my daughter. I quit my job to be a full time parent, I wanted to be there for my daughter and be there for any achievements or accomplishments she makes. I gave birth to my second daughter two years later and my third daughter last year. I have 3 beautiful, talented and very vibrant daughters who I love with all of my heart. I’m glad my daughters and I have a very strong bond with each other, it’s something my mother and I never had and probably never will.
Tammy on April 22, 2018:
As a child my mother seemed to be pretty sane, she let me go to sleepovers, parties, which nine times out of ten included pool parties and she even let me go on a holiday with a friend when I was in year 2, for almost a month. As a teenager she completely changed. My mother started to think negatively and would fear literally everything. She was hesitant to let me have sleepovers if there was more than one person there as she’d fear that they’d leave me out, even though I knew them from kindergarten and they weren’t like that. My mother was afraid if I was to be away from her for longer than a day, she’d say things like “they won’t care for you like I do” and she’ll try and have me not go. Most times it didn’t work, which I was happy about. I lost several friends as my mother would literally hold me back from them claiming they were “bad” when they weren’t. When I was around 16, I started to like boys which wasn’t odd for a girl my age and wanted to know what it was like to be in a relationship and to be in love with someone. My mother refused to tell me and claimed I didn’t understand what she was saying and there was no point in her continuing to tell me. In my senior year of high school I started to secretly date this guy, his name was Henry and he was a pretty charismatic person. I didn’t want to tell my mother I was in a relationship at that point as I knew my mother would go off, since she didn’t want to tell me about relationships when I was 16. Me and Henry only dated until the end of senior year as he got a scholarship somewhere down south and he didn’t want to pursue a long distance relationship and he also didn’t want me to get into trouble with my mother. I was pretty heartbroken to say the least but moved on pretty quickly as I had my friends, who I could literally tell anything to. After graduating i turned 18, I sadly couldn’t full celebrate my 18th as my mother wanted me at home with her, she didn’t want me to go out with my friends and celebrate my birthday as she feared she’d “loose” me. Several months later I wanted to go to a bar with a few of my friends. My mother was extremely hesitant to let me go out, but since I was 18 she had no say in it. I ended up going out for an entire night, my mother bawled her eyes out when I left. Was she trying to make me feel bad for trying to enjoy my life? I’ll never know. Anyway after about a year I wanted to study something at university and of course my mother had to step in and tell me that I shouldn’t go to university and that I shouldn’t be away from her. It made me really sad that my mother was holding me back from opportunities all because she was afraid. I heard a quote from somewhere I can’t remember where I saw it but the quote said “you can’t live in somebody else’s fear” and I remember totally relating to that and told my mother I wanted to live my life the way I chose to. A lot of arguing and fighting happened after that. In 2015, I decided to wipe her from my life. It was a hard decision but a good one to say the least. 3 years later and I’m living in another state with my new partner and our dog. I have chosen to have no contact with my mother and am loving my much needed freedom. I can finally be my own person and do what I want to do.
Caila Monte on April 19, 2018:
My mother always had to be the victim growing up, in any arguments her and my dad got into it was always his fault, not hers. My mother always had to pass the blame to other people and never, ever excepted the blame on herself. I remember one time a few years back my mother and her sister were in this huge argument, which my mother started and it went on for over an hour and my mother blamed her sister for starting the fight and pointed out all her flaws and critiqued her until she cried. Another thing is my mother always wanted control and to have things her way. If you didn’t agree with her or tried to point out she was wrong in something, you’d know about it. It was like my mother was always itching for a fight, always itching for drama and attention to be on her, whether good or bad, most times she’d go after the bad attention. I was also never close with my mother, even though she’d tell everyone we were like best friends. I have no clue why she had to lie to people but anyways. I have since moved away from my mother and now live with another family member who thankfully is nothing like my mom. Hopefully in the future my mother will be a different person, even though it’s unlikely. But I know when I have kids, I will be nothing like my mother and my mother will certainly not be in their lives.
Thank you for sharing your story, Love Caila. xx
Maddison on April 19, 2018:
Most of my life my mother has controlled me, and my life, she did so up until my 21st birthday last year. Leading up to me being 21 my mother used to tell me what I can and can’t wear, she wouldn’t allow me to have my own style and had to pick out my clothes for me, it was beyond annoying and many people questioned my mother about that and she’d deny it and say “I allow her to pick out her clothes” when she never did. My mother also never wanted me away from her, she’d guilt me into not leaving her side by either crying or just yelling at me. It was like she was so scared for me to be away from her and when any person, no matter who they were whether that be others or family members would say that she needs to not be so overbearing, my mother would then play the victim and cry saying “everyone’s attacking me”. I also was never really allowed to wear makeup unless my mother did it for me. I remember me and my cousin were doing each other’s makeup and my mother had to be in the room with us, giving me and my cousin no privacy whatsoever and demanded she do my makeup. By 17 I just wanted to get away from her, I couldn’t fully express my feelings outwardly in fear she’d throw a temper tantrum about it, and then guilt me for doing so. After my 18th birthday, I really wanted to go to college and study digital media as I had a huge interest in that topic, well my mother guilted me into not going. I however went against her and enrolled myself in the college at 20. Let’s just say after my mother found that out, she cried and yelled at me for it. Now at 21, I’m in college part time, I go 3 days a week for 5-6 hours and I live with my best friend. I’m living the life I want the way I want it now and it feels great.
Sammy on April 19, 2018:
I am the youngest of six kids. I'm 17, 18 later this year. I have four older brothers and a twin sister. Growing up, there has been countless fights between my emotionally abusive mother and my patient and caring dad who has been trying his very best since day one. Unfortunately, my second oldest brother has anger-issues similar to my mother, the youngest of my older brothers has schizophrenia and my twin sister has anxiety, OCD and a severe learning disability. Due to there being so many problems in my family, I have never really received so much love from my parents due to them being so busy all the time. I try to be on my best behaviour, never breaking down in front of them, never drinking at parties and running away. I feel that I'm not allowed to feel anxious, and never allowed to reveal any of my emotions in front of my parents and family. My caring oldest brother is married, moved out of home and has a lot of conflict with my second oldest brother with anger-issues, so he never visits much. I have a boyfriend, same age as me, and he is the most caring and patient person who has showed me so much love that i have never experienced before. My parents are so heavily strict, they refuse to let me be with him even at least once a week. He has made me so happy, I couldn't put it into words. Because of my dysfunctional family issues, I am heavily afraid of having a family of my own in the future. I'm afraid that I might become just like my mother. I'm also afraid of hurting my boyfriend, that my parents might target him and say hurtful things to him.
Thank you for sharing that story, it has made me more aware of what has truly been happening in my family. At this current moment, I am still unsure of what to do in terms of dealing with my family. But reading your story has made me feel that I am not the only one out there feeling the same emotions.
Traci on April 19, 2018:
Dysfunction in families is like a domino affect. But if you get to the root of the problem, you can change things. Realizing that beneath the controlling aspect is fear can soften your feelings about the controlling person and work towards a reconciliation. You're never too old to learn new healthy habits.
Kelly on April 16, 2018:
My parents were always fighting growing up, everyday there was nothing but arguing and yelling. It was that way for over 18 years. Even still to this day my parents fight. Many would wonder why they haven’t got a divorce yet, and even I wonder that from time to time. I was afraid for many years to fall in love as I was scared me and my partner would fight a lot. It restricted me from finding a partner for so long. In 2010 when I was 22, I did find a partner and fell in love very quickly, too quickly actually and was engaged from January 2010 through to December 2010. My partner broke off the engagement due to him losing interest in me, he wanted to go out with other girls and I was “tying him down” as he’d put it. In 2013, I found a new partner and was engaged a second time and got married in 2014. I had a daughter 5 months later, since I was already 4 and half months pregnant when we got married. After the birth of our daughter everything was great and it was great up until 2015, my daughter was almost a year old, and both my husband and I began to fight, pretty much like my parents did. It scared me so I took a long “break” from him, I never intended on coming back and I was too shy to get a divorce from him. Eventually though he filed for a divorce since i was gone for over 6 months and he was just done with me. Since my second divorce I haven’t been in another relationship with anybody and have just been focusing on my daughter and I’s well-being and happiness.
Bridget on April 15, 2018:
Teen parents tend to run in families, not all, but some. My mom was a teen mom, she had my older sister at 14, and me at 17 and my grandma had my mom at 16. Since my mom was so young when she had me and my older sister, we basically weren’t allowed to live with our mom until she was over 21. I lived with my grandma for a little over two years before I was put into foster care. My older sister remained living with our grandma. I was adopted when I was 3 and lived in and out of different families for 15 years. The longest I ever stayed with a family was 8 to 9 months. I never ended up fully getting to know my mother even though I remember my grandma telling me at 2, that once my mom was “old enough” I’d get to live with her. I was so unstable once turning 18, I had depression, anxiety, a mood disorder and dissociative disorder. I was on 5-7 different medications a day, I took a toll on my health sadly. At 21, I was pretty much 70lbs, and confined to a hospital bed. All those medications almost killed me. Fast forward to 2014, I was 24, getting back on a healthier track, and trying my hardest to find a job, I wanted to work and do something with my life. Looking back on it now, I had a very confusing life, seeing different people every 8 to 9 months for 15 years really messes with a person. Being afraid to get attached to someone or get fully comfortable in a place destroyed me mentally. I am on a better track now, at 28 and have more of a positive mindset. I’d love to meet my mom and see how she’s doing, I’d love to get in contact with my grandma again and I’d also love to see my sister again, even though she may not remember me. Since she was only 6 when I went into foster care.
Laurel on April 15, 2018:
Thank you so much for sharing your story with us, you are so inspiring to all and I hope you have a great day.
Jessica on April 15, 2018:
My mother ruled our house with an iron fist for most of my life. She and my father would often be arguing about something that happened either weeks, months or years prior. Our dad was a big softie as most people would say, he literally let my mother walk all over him and use him as a doormat. My mother was very manipulative of me during my teenage years. I was never allowed to go out like all my friends did and my mother constantly tried to make me feel bad for wanting to have a teenage life. My mother also began to yell at my father for just about everything at that point. Everything was wrong, no matter what my father did, it was wrong. She also blamed things on him whenever things did go right, even if he had nothing to do with it. I remember most mornings during my junior and senior year of high school, there would be arguing or even a screaming match at like 7 in the morning and the one time I told my mother to be quiet, she then began to try and argue with me and tell me I need to be more like her and that I will not get anywhere in life. My room was like an escape for me. So I spent most of my time in there. After finishing high school, i wanted to go to a small college about an hour and a half away from where I lived, I had a fear of large crowds at that point in my life and didn’t plan on going into a massive college. However my mother tried to guilt me into going into the college she wanted me to go to, a college that has a bad reputation for drop outs, party goers and delinquents. Most people that go to that college are troubled people, which I was not. I was a good person, never once smoked a day in my life nor even swore. So I don’t understand why my mother tried to guilt me into going there. Anyway, several months went by and the day for me to leave and go to the college I wanted to go to arrived. My father cried the day I left, he would miss me terribly and told me once I graduated not to come back, he wanted me to live my life the way I wanted, he knew that my mother would desperately try and control my adulthood. After I left, I felt this heavy weight lift off my shoulders, I was finally out of there and could fully enjoy my life. I was in college for a little over 4 years. I got married a year after graduating and moved down south with my then husband. Things were great after I got married, to begin with that is. After being married for about seven or so months, my then husband began to tell me what I can and can’t wear, who I can and can’t talk to and even when I could go out. He was beginning to control me and I immediately wanted to divorce him. At first he didn’t want a divorce and tried to make every excuse under the sun, why not to get a divorce. However I didn’t fall into the manipulative trap and pretty much ordered him to agree to get a divorce. Finally after about four months, he agreeed hesitantly and we got divorced after a long process. After divorcing him I moved out of town, completely. I had no idea where I was going but I didn’t want to be in that town anymore. I moved into another town, about three hours away, I stayed in a few hotels on and off for several months before moving into a house. This house was right across the street from a lake and had a gorgeous view of the mountains. It was very peaceful living there and I enjoyed last afternoon walks there. After about 2 years I began dating again and got married after nine months and had a daughter a year later, following a son. I had two children, a husband who treated me like a queen, but we all lived in the house I first lived in, when I moved there. It was small, too small for a family of 4. I sadly had to give up the house and move to a different part of the town, we moved to a bigger house on a hill, so I still had the mountain view which made me happy and calmed me in moments of stress.
Nadine on April 15, 2018:
As a child, I was always closest with my mom out of my whole family. She understood me the most and I felt like we had a lot in common. As a teenager things changed drastically and quickly between my mom and I. We started to drift apart, I began noticing that me and my mom had nothing in common anymore. I began to love the nightlife, loved going out and doing things all the time, especially new things. My mom however started not to like change very much and had no interest in the things I enjoyed. My mom became a homebody and developed anxiety about going out to places other than her routine shopping. By 18, we had absolutely nothing in common. It was almost like we were becoming strangers to one another, and I noticed myself becoming more and more distant towards her. By 20, me and my mom were fighting all the time, day in and day out, there was nothing but negative emotions and arguing with one another. Eventually I had enough and decided to make a big decision to move out with a few people I knew. The day I left, my mom tried to be the victim and criticised me for everything. After leaving I never returned and the sad part about all of this is, I never heard from her after leaving. It felt like she wiped me from her life and I had no choice but to move on. It’s been over 3 years, since I saw my mom and had any contact with her. It’s sad that our mother daughter relationship had to end with us drifting apart, it’s sad that we began to not have anything in common, and it’s really sad that we pretty much became strangers to one another. Hopefully one day, if we ever do cross paths again we can try and recreate our once strong mother and daughter bond.
SALILO WARD on April 14, 2018:
You are so brave and wise in making a decision to break the cycle and not pass it down to your child. You deserve a medal for bravery
Faye McCluskey on April 13, 2018:
Growing up in a large family definitely has its benefits, but for some it doesn’t so much. I was the third born out of 6 siblings. Our parents were both working for most of our childhood. We only saw them on the weekends, holidays and sometimes before school, if we were lucky to catch them in time before they left. We had family friends come around all the time caring for us, they were lovely people and all, but it wasn’t the same as being around our parents. Once my elder brother and sister got jobs around 15 and 16, Both our parents stopped working as my brother and sister could provide for them. My brother and sister were both okay with this for a little while. When I got my first job at 15, our parents demanded us three to provide them with everything. Food, bills, medicine if they needed it, clothing etc. It was like we were now the adults and they were the kids. Our parents just sat in their chairs for most of the day, they hardly did anything really, which sucked. After my brother moved out to live with his fiancé, our parents demanded his fiancé to provide things for them, she of course didn’t but I thought it was really out of character for them to ask people who had no relation to them whatsoever to provide for them. Anyway, after my sister moved out, i was getting ready to quit my job to go to college full time and board there. My parents didn’t seem to want me to go as they had gotten so dependent on us to do everything for them at that point. Bathing was one of them, our mom didn’t want to bathe herself anymore so she got us to do it. Nothing was wrong with her either, she could do eveything just fine. Anyway after moving into my dorm at college I didn’t hear anything from them until I graduated 3 years later. After graduating I went back home. My parents were themselves again, but not at all happy. I found it so strange how me and my elder siblings leave for a long period of time, and all of a sudden our parents are back to their normal independent selves? It didn’t add up to me. Anyway, after returning my parents were very distant and bitter towards us, they’d hardly speak to us and since I had been away for 3 years, I was distant myself and lived there for only 4 or 5 months before finding a new place to live. The day I moved out neither of my parents spoke to me, they had just finished cleaning the house and they were both in the type of mood you’d expect a young teen to be in during puberty. After leaving I only called them to check on them every two or so months.
Jodie on April 13, 2018:
I was born in the fall of 1983 to my parents. I was their first child and my mother loved me dearly. In April of 1985, my father cheated on my mother with her sister. When my mother found out she was very sad and I have vivid memories of her crying on the floor of the living room. My father cheated on my mother several more times, and my mother still suck by him. She stuck by him for another 10 years. In 1995, my mother finally divorced him and took me and my younger brother with her. Our mother was so distraught about what our father was doing to her, she ended up sending us each to separate places. My brother stayed with a friend of hers and I stayed with my aunt and uncle. I found out after almost a year away from my mother that she ended up living in a family crisis house. I didn’t see my mother again until 1998, I was 15. My mother moved her and I to her step sisters place for a while. My mother still wasn’t happy and looked as though she hadn’t had proper sleep in over a decade. In 1999, I found out that my mother had severe depression due to what our father has done to her by cheating. She had no trust for anyone, including me, her own daughter. She was prescribed a few antidepressants to have when she left the crisis house. My mother however refused to take them. Her step sister tried to help her the best she could. After a few months I was told by her step sister to leave and not come back, she didn’t want me to see my mother that way and she didn’t want me going down a similar road. In mid 2000, I moved out of my mother’s step sisters place and moved in with a friend until my 18th birthday. Seeing my mother like that did have an impact on me and I felt myself getting depressed. I went to a therapist who did nothing to help me but just told me to “do something productive, then you’ll feel better” it was pointless paying 80 or so dollars to see a private therapist so I didn’t go anymore. After turning 18 in 2001, I moved out of my friends place into a one bedroom apartment for a year. I loved living there as I had a beach front view, but I also disliked it as I was really lonely. In 2002 I moved in with another friend for a while, I didn’t know how long I was going to live there. She was happy to have me stay in the guest bedroom and I made myself at home. Now you are probably wondering about my younger brother, where’s he at, what’s he doing?? Well I did get in touch with the person he was staying with and she had nothing good to say about him. A year or so after my younger brother went to live there, he was terrible to live with. He’d swear at her, stay out all the time with his friends, skip school, get expelled from a school, destroy the new school he went to and a few other things. I was shocked that my younger brother did all of that and was even more shocked to find out he became a dad at 16, and didn’t want any part of the child’s or mother’s life. He had been terrible for so long and she kicked him out and didn’t want him around her. Since she kicked him out she hasn’t heard anything from him and has no clue where or what he’s doing today. I was thinking to myself, I’m glad I didn’t turn out that way, I’m glad I remained good for the most part. In 2006, I moved out of my friends place into my own and officially called it home. I got a job working in retail until 2009. I quit due to not being treated properly by my then coworkers, I decided to work in the food industry from 2009 to 2013. I enjoyed working in the industry for the most part but quit again but this time due to lack of interest. I had to find a proper job to be able to keep living in my house. So I decided to work part time in a jewellery shop two blocks away from where I am living. I’ve been working there since and I really enjoy it, plus I get a good amount of pay which is also good. I’m living a steady and happy life right now and hopefully will continue to live a happy and steady life for many more years.
Kamryn on April 13, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your story with us. Growing up my mother had a different relationship every 6 or so months. My birth father was never in the picture and to this day I have no clue who he is. I have over 10 half younger siblings and in the past 5 years, four of my half siblings went into care. My mother is 36 and still acts like she’s a teenager. I’m more mature than most 17 year olds and act as a second mother to my two really young sisters who are 3 and 6 months. Once I turn 18, I’m moving out and moving far away from my entire family. I will start a new chapter. I’m doing ok right now though.
Carissa on April 13, 2018:
I’m tired, just so tired of my mom not letting me do anything. Like she won’t even let me use a razor to shave my legs as she so scared I’d cut myself. She won’t let me talk to boys, won’t let me have a license, if I try and make friends she has to make it look obvious that she doesn’t want me to talk to them and she’ll say “we’re busy we need to go” it makes me so frustrated. I remember one time I wanted to sleep over someone’s house, this was farely recent and they called her to say I’m staying over and my mom has the nerve to say “yeah, she won’t want to do that” when I did. This person said I was keen on sleeping over and my mom was shocked. It’s like she expects me to be this anxious person who won’t want to do anything away from her. Like I want to do things sometimes away from her and explore things. I don’t know why my mom expects me or thinks I’m an anxious person like she is. She thinks I’m just like her when I’m not. I have my own personality and my own interests. I’m just fed up with it. Also she tries to guilt me out of something or make me scared not to do something she afraid of me doing or doesn’t want me to do. It took me so long to realise that and when I did and confronted her on it she denied it obviously and tried to again say all the reasons why we shouldn’t get or do something. I don’t know why she does this and I’m to the point I just want to leave and do what I want to do.
Isla Rose on April 13, 2018:
My parents and I got along really well most of my life, that is until I got pregnant at 15 years old. I was in a relationship with this guy I dated behind my parents back. I was beyond secretive in high school and despised telling my parents anything. Once I told my parents of my pregnancy, my mom cried, yelled at me and told me how irresponsible I was and my dad also yelled at me and demanded I tell him who the father is. My boyfriend who I was with at the time didn’t want to be a dad and dumped me two days before our one year anniversary. I was heartbroken obviously but couldn’t show it as I had put off saying who the father was. All I told my parents was “I don’t know” whenever they asked who he was. I had a really hard pregnancy with my first baby, mainly because I was so young and hadn’t fully grown. I had to have an emergency c section done, at 26 weeks. My daughter Elly was born in February 2007 at 26 weeks. Elly remained in hospital until July 2007. Elly had many complications with being born so early and I was told she may have learning disabilities when she’s older. Fast forward to April 2010. I’m expecting again, engaged but not happy. My mom organised me to marry her friends son, who I didn’t really have a thing for and I knew he didn’t think much of me either. I gave birth naturally to my second daughter Abigail in December 2010. About 6 months after Abigail was born, my first daughter Elly was diagnosed with autism and a moderate impairment. I expected Elly to have a disability and dealt with it the best I could. In January 2012, I divorced the man I was with as I was not happy with him. My mom was of course upset but I didn’t care. I moved into my own home with my daughters. Since then I have remained single, by choice. I’m a special needs mom to Elly and Abigail who are both on the autistic spectrum and all my attention is devoted to them. I barely have any contact with my mom now and I occasionally speak to my dad. We are not close anymore, which is upsetting.
Jordan on April 09, 2018:
I was born in August of 1990, to my parents and older brother. For the first 10 years of my life, everything was as perfect as you can think of. After turning 10, my mother developed some kind of mental illness and my father decided to part ways with all of us. He couldn’t handle my mother’s mental illness and didn’t want to see my brother and I. My brother went to live with our aunt and live with them until he was 21 or so, meanwhile I was put into foster care as no family was available to care for me. I lived in a foster clinic until I was finally adopted when I was 12. This couple I lived with until my adult years were nothing short of strange. The woman, who was maybe in her late 50s, acted so much younger than her age and tried to wear her daughters clothing. She also had a very strong accent, it was bizarre. The man, who looked around the same age as the woman, was a very manipulative, very controlling man. I feared him and so did his daughter. Their daughter, who was 17 at the time, was very shy. She hardly spoke and even when I moved out, she still lived there and still didn’t talk much. They lived in s comfy home, I won’t lie. But I felt really on edge when they’d talk with one another and I wasn’t involved. They’d whisper to one another and their daughter constantly would look to see if I was there. I felt like I was the topic of their conversations. Anyways, after I moved out and had a stable job and lived in my own home, I just did my own thing and focused if my own happiness. I became a father in 2013 and a husband in early March of this year. I have also gotten in contact with my birth family. My mother is living with relatives of hers, as her mental illness has made her very dependent on others and my brother got married quite young, had a daughter, but divorced his first wife a year later. Supposedly he remarried a few years later, but my aunt knows nothing of him now.
Grace on April 09, 2018:
I was born into a very protective and paranoid family. As a child my sisters and I were never allowed to have sleepovers, spend the day with our friends or even go anywhere without our parents being involved somehow. All of my friends I had, thought my parents were crazy and I was just as crazy as them. I got told by a teacher in grade 4 that I must of been a very rebellious child as my parents had no trust in me to do anything without them. I became very shy and very closed off. I decided not to make anymore friends in elementary school, in fear they’d not want to be around me because of my parents fears. In high school a few girls decided to be my friend, but my parents did not approve of them as they feared they will take me from them. I rebelled something cruel in high school and snuck out a ton of times. My parents found out one night as I wasn’t in my room, getting ready for bed. They called the police thinking I was kidnapped even though we lived in a very safe neighbourhood. The next day I remember coming home to my parents waiting by the front door. My mother cried into my arms and my father gave the dad stare, you know the look. I told them I went to my friends house for a sleepover as I wanted to live my life. My mother cried and said “I didn’t raise you to be this way” she tried to make me feel guilty for going out with a friend. It didn’t work and afterwards I became my parents worst nightmare. I started to drink with a few friends at their house around 14-15 years of age, I snuck out more, went to parties, lied to my parents about where I was, lost my virginity at 16 and had a boyfriend my parents never knew about at 17. After I turned 18, I moved away with my sister in law and her family until I got a job. I didn’t want to be around my parents anymore as they tried so hard to control my adult life and try to pick a job for me they though I’d love. After moving away I had not contact with my parents and to be honest, I liked it that way. I finally felt like I had my freedom and since my sister in law encouraged me to life my life, we became close and shared everything with eachother. At 20, I had a one night stand with this guy and got pregnant on accident and was terrified to tell my sister in law. I knew if my sister in law found out I had irresponsible sexual activity she’d be extremely mad. So I decided to stay away until I was 4 months pregnant. She just knew but the way I was acting, that I was pregnant. She was mad, and we sadly lost our close bond we had made two years prior. My mother found out as she told her and I don’t think I’ve ever seen my mom so angry with me, in my entire life. My dad didn’t want anything more to do with me. I gave birth to my son in 2006 after I had just turned 21. He was born two days after my 21st. His father is unknown and I don’t worry about it anymore. A few years later I went to a party with a friend to celebrate her birthday and wound out pregnant a second time. I felt so bad in myself. I was so irresponsible when it came to sexual activity and didn’t understand why I was being like that. I was young and dumb, and I admit to being dumb in those situations as I never thought them through. After I had given birth to my second son in 2009, I decided to quit going to parties as much as I did and focus of being a full time mom of two boys. I had somewhat help from my sister in law but she and I weren’t close at all. The only time she’d speak to me is when I needed help with the boys. I had lost friends due to not being fun enough anymore and I didn’t really care much anymore about having loads of friends as I had my sons who I loved with all my being and they needed me. I shaped up, went on a very long detox to cleanse my system of any alcohol and even did online courses. In 2012, three years after I had my second son, my father wanted me back in his life, he had become very sick due to a few genetic issues and needed all his children, which were me and my sisters to be there for him. Our mother left him about 8 or 9 months after I had my second son, and the reason is unknown. I helped my father but my sisters judged me tremendously since both my sons came from irresponsible sexual encounters. I felt uncomfortable and didn’t go back after the third time. As of 2018, now. I’m doing alright, I sadly developed anxiety and am on medication, and both my sons are also doing alright.
Demi Vantoch on April 09, 2018:
I was born in March of 1987, I was my parents first baby after they had over 6 miscarriages, in the course of 9 years. My mother struggled with PCOS and was told by many doctors that she may never have children. So I was my mother’s miracle baby and she cherished me. My father was in and out of my life for 12 years, until he wiped me out of his life after he got remarried. After that I hardly, if not ever saw him. He was always travelling with his new wife and I wasn’t apart of his life anymore. I had my mother, and she was always there for me. I didn’t like not having a father and was determined to have my mother find a partner so I decided to trick my mom into buying me something at the shops when my best friends dad, who was single, was also there. They ran into eachother, but nothing ever came out of it. I asked my mom if she wanted to find love again. She was hesitant to answer me, but she declined on ever meeting someone again. She didn’t want to go through the breakup process again as it really hurt, when my dad and her broke just after I was born. She was content on just being a mom and doing her own thing. “Men are nothing but trouble” is what she would say when we talked about boys. After high school, I moved out and went to college. I met the love of my life there, and we got married in 2011. I had beautiful twin girls in 2013 and a son in 2015. My father is not apart of their lives and I don’t think I ever want him to be, he doesn’t know I’m married, nor have had three children. My children have no clue who he is and I’ve been told not to speak of him to them. It’s better for them if they don’t know of him.
Holly on April 09, 2018:
Growing up in an adopted family was hard. My adoptive mother and father had 16 children, including me. Non of their own. I didn’t know of my birth parents existence until a few years ago. As a child my adoptive siblings were awful to me, since I was non verbal for the most part, I could talk just fine, I was just overly shy. Since my adoptive siblings came from all walks of life they treated me quite badly. Two of my adoptive brothers used to hit me, scream at me and spread rumours about me and my adoptive parents acted like nothing happened. I ran away at 11 and tried to harm myself. I got taken out of that family and put with a new one and had the best life, it was a miracle to me and I had a great time.
Eve on April 09, 2018:
My mom has always been so overly protective of me, like she always had to supervise when I made new friends, and was convinced they’ll hurt me, she was awfully paranoid about it. She also has to make things sound so bad when she’s afraid of something happening to me like when I wanted to go to the theme park with a friend of mine. She was hesitant and tried to put fear in me so I wouldn’t go. She’d say things like “people die at theme parks, I don’t want to loose you” or she’d say things like “you won’t handle a theme park” she’s not letting me have fun with anything. I want to have fun with my life, but whenever my mom is around me when I have friends around, I get uncomfortable.. I just want to rebel and do what I want. I remember in school people especially my friends i had would say “your mom doesn’t let you do anything” I lost friends because my mom didn’t let me do things. Even parents of the friends I had used to say “your mom never lets you do anything” it hurt deeply. I don’t know why my mom has always been like this..
Tamara on April 09, 2018:
I was a child in the early-mid 1980s, I had a fantastic childhood. But not good teen years. Both my parents broke up when I was 14. They were never married to begin with our father claimed both my sister and I were “not” his, even though he and our mom were together 10 years before they had me and were together when they had my sister. But according to him, my mother cheated on him, and since both my sister and I look nothing like him, our mom couldn’t argue with him. It was then just us and our mom, she cared for us the best she could for as long as she could. My younger sister ended up pregnant at 16 and moving away from us. She however came back to live with us six months later with her daughter. Our mom was upset with my sister but cared for her granddaughter the best she could. I then followed in my sisters footsteps and got pregnant at 19. Our mom was a mess by this point as both of her daughters were teen moms. She blamed herself for our behaviour as our dad left when I was only 14 and my sister was 12. This was never our moms fault but she blamed herself. My younger sister moved out again when she was 20 or so and I moved out a year later. My son and my younger sisters daughters, she had given birth to another daughter saw our mom almost every week. Two years ago, our father apologised to all of us and wanted back in our lives. I of course told him to politely F off and my sister didn’t want to know him. He wanted to see his grandkids but both my sister and I never let him.
Harriet Connell on April 09, 2018:
My mother never supported my decision to have a boyfriend and get married. I had this plan since I was quite young, maybe from the age of 6. I grew up in a rather strict family, but also not that strict at the same time, it was in the middle. I got a boyfriend in high school, it was the normal most common thing to do as a teen. All my friends had boyfriends and now I had one too. I told my mother about it, she shunned me and tried to guilt me into breaking off my relationship with him. I decided to go out with him behind my mother’s back, this happened for over 2 years, until I graduated high school. We went our separate ways after high school as I couldn’t let on we were in a relationship. It was a hard decision to break off our 2 year relationship, but I believe it was for the best. I got a job a year later at a perfume store in our local shopping centre. I loved it as I made many friends there and it was a great experience. I met this guy one day when he came in, he was buying a fragrance for his mother who was going on a cruise and he wanted to give her a going away gift. It was a very sweet gesture of him, and I found myself falling for him. I used to be one of these girls who fell in love at the drop of a hat and used to have crushes and fixations on many guys back then. A few years later after I had left that job due to personal reasons I began working in a bakery with one of my high school friends. She introduced me to the guy I saw a year prior. It was like fate brought us together and we clicked rather quickly and he said from our first date he wanted to marry me, which sounds kinda odd, you know saying that on your first date, barely knowing each other and all. But he kept that word and proposed to me a year later. Telling my mother I was engaged made her so bitter and angry with me, she hated the fact I was getting married. And told me on a weekly basis, or whenever I saw her. At my wedding, my mother who was one of the bridesmaids glared at him and tried her hardest to make us all uncomfortable. It thankfully never worked but still. After our wedding day, we had our special night together as a newlywed couple. We decided not to go on a honeymoon as we both didn’t have enough money to do so. It didn’t bother us though as we could spend all the time in the world together. My mother called me daily after our wedding, trying to pry in on our love life and trying to make it obvious that she didn’t approve of him and didn’t like him. Now before you think I married a hot mess, who has multiple tattoos and smokes, you are wrong. We was clean cut, wore appropriate clothing and was rather on the shy side. He never smoked a day in his life and I was his first love. He respects me and treats me so well. A year after our marriage I gave birth to our son Porter. Who is the light of my life. I told my mother of his birth and she wanted to meet him. We arranged for her to see him at her place. She adored him of course, but only because he looked more like me. My mother asked me why I married him and why don’t I leave him. I was appalled in my mother was asking such questions and left with my son shortly after. I didn’t see my mother for 2 years. Porter was now 2 and I had just given birth to Jayde, my daughter. My mother demanded she see her granddaughter and I obliged and arranged for my mother to meet her at her place. This time around, my husband was with me. My mother was quiet the whole time. Not even looking at my husband. She focused on Jayde mostly and sometimes Porter, but since porter was asleep in my husbands arms, she didn’t pay that much attention to him. My husband was trying to have my mother like him. But she wouldn’t budge, she hated him and she still does to this day. My mother rarely sees us now, maybe once or twice a year. My children barely know who she is, which is sad as I’d love them to have a full on relationship with their grandma.
Darren on April 09, 2018:
All my life, all I have with my parents is nothing but arguing, hatred towards one another and manipulative behaviour. I was my parents only child, and most of my childhood consisted of me staying over at my friends place just to be away from their fighting. My parents didn’t realise their effect on me with their constant fighting. I grew up thinking that’s how couples work. In order to be together and stay together you need to argue and pretty much despise one another. I began somewhat treating my friends how I saw my parents treat eachother, thinking it was alright to do it, cause my parents did it. I lost many friends to say the least and was rather lonely as a teenager. My parents never divorced, and to this day I don’t know why. When I got a girlfriend at 22, my first girlfriend, by the way, I treated her the way my parents treated eachother. She dumped me after the second week and told me to not see her again. I was confused so I asked my mother why she dumped me. I told her everything. My mother was appalled in me and told me that, that’s not the way to treat someone. But you see, seeing my parents have so much hatred towards eachother from a really young age, effected me in that way. I never knew how to treat people properly and used arguing and meanness to show someone I love them. I saw one of my moms friends twice a week for several years, as she was a therapist, who my mom sometimes saw. She helped me a lot and made me realise things. I know am learning to be a better person, and hopefully in the future I can create meaningful and loving relationships.
Clarissa on April 09, 2018:
You are a very inspiring author. Thank you for sharing your story with us
Louise on April 09, 2018:
For the first 10 years of my life, everything was great. I went to a great school, had friends, did extra curricular activities on the weekends and did swimming every Thursday. I was living the dream as some would say. That is, until my older sister Nicole got sick with an aggressive disease and passed away a year and 9 months later. Things drastically changed. My parents began fighting over petty things, my dad would leave for weeks at a time claiming he was having a break, but as I’m older now I believe he was cheating on my mom as he became very distant towards her and my younger brother and I. My mother developed depression after Nicole died and my brother and I were taken by our great aunt, who sadly passed in 2014 from meningitis. We lived with her until our mother was emotionally ready to care for us again. We went back to live with our mom 3 years later. Our mother wasn’t the same. She was distant towards us, kinda acting like were were strangers in her house. And my brother and I acted somewhat of the same. It was like all our good memories were diminished and it was like we didn’t know our own mom anymore. It was an uncomfortable feeling. As a teenager I was a good individual. Since my mother was still in a state of distance and “I just don’t care” type of attitude towards my bother and I. Our amazing neighbor, who I will remember forever, I assume she still lives there. She enrolled me into a private education school and payed for me to go there until I graduated. She also enrolled my brother into an performing arts college school for kids and teens as he had an interest in that type of thing back then. I had a good teenage life I suppose. I remember when I got my first boyfriend in grade 11, I told my mom about it, hoping she’d talk to me about relationships and the risks of pregnancy. She however did not talk to me about any of it and just said I hope you have a good life. That’s all she said to me. I didn’t bother telling her anything anymore, and kinda wiped her from my life, even though I still lived under the same roof as her. I just acted like she wasn’t there most of the time, and she sadly did the same. I moved out at 20, got a job working part-time as a special education teacher aid. The only contact I had with my mother was texting her happy birthday when it was her birthday, and a text at Christmas. She often wouldn’t reply to me, but since she was my mother it felt right to send her happy birthday and merry Christmas texts. I terribly miss the good times we had together before Nicole died, I will cherish the good memories we all shared for the rest of my life.
Noelene Grey on April 09, 2018:
I was born in the summer of 1992, to my parents and older half sister. Anyone outside of our family would think we were picture perfect, but it was so far from that. I never remember a day going by that my parents weren’t yelling at eachother, nit-picking at eachother and controlling eachother. It was like that for the first 5 years of my life. My mother divorced my dad in early 1998, and took us to live with a friend of hers. We lived with her friend until 2001. In that time my mother was acting like a teenager, looking back on it now. And my mother’s friend was caring for me like she was my mother. My half sister moved in with her dad and step mother and I didn’t see her again, it was my half sisters choice to move in with her dad. She was never close to our mother, and was always requesting to see her dad. I remember every Friday afternoon she’d beg our mom to take her to her dads. Anyway in late 2001, my mother and I moved out of her friends place into an apartment for a little over 2 years. This apartment was right across the street from a nightclub.. yes a nightclub. I at the time didn’t understand what a nightclub was, or why my mother loved living across the street from one. In 2002, after I had turned 10, my mother sent me to stay with her sister for 2-3 weeks while my mother needed a break. I was happy and content stating with my aunt as she had pay tv and loads of games to play, not to mention a really playful dog. After I came home to my mother 2-3 weeks later, she told me that she had a blast while I was gone, me being a curious child, I naturally asked what she did. Not expecting her to tell me everything in detail. She told me that she partied a lot, and went to the nightclub every night. She told me she felt free and said that I need to stay with my aunt more often. She seriously was acting like an 18 year old, party crazed rebel, looking back on it now. In mid 2004, we moved out of the apartment, which I was relieved about, no more midnight loud obnoxious parties, or loud screaming which was due to fighting. We moved down the road from one of my mother’s ex boyfriends. I told my mother that I was worried about her and that I was worried she would get hurt. My mother laughed at me, and that was the last day I lived with her. The next day she sent me back to my aunts and I lived with her until I was 18. I was a rebellious teenager, mostly from watching my mother at a young age. I went to teenage house parties, got drunk for the first time when I was 15 and snuck into a nightclub *not the same one* when I was 17 with a friend. My aunt never found out about any of my rebellious teenage years, and I never told her when I was older. After I turned 18, I got a boyfriend, he was everything you could imagine in a guy. Charming, caring, protective, understanding etc. I loved him with all of my heart and I believed with over 4 years he loved me. Well, after 4 years of dating, he made a new friend at a nightclub and spiralled down hill. We grew apart after that and he supposedly cheated on me several times, but me being in disbelief, due to me being so head over heals for him, told them off for lying to me. Well, a few months went by and my best friend sent pictures of my then boyfriend all over a girl both of us knew. I dumped him and was heartbroken. I thought the only way to make myself better is to drink away my sorrows. So for a year and a half I was an avid drinker and nightclubber. I went out every night, partied until dawn and drank alcohol like there was no tomorrow. Looking back on it now, I regret my mistakes. After a few years I decided to seek help after I hit a major low and considered suicide. I lived in a rehabilitation clinic for 4 months. Those 4 months saved my life. I am now a better person, in the process of becoming an author and I have 2 little girls who inspire me daily. I’ve come along way and I’m proud of the right choices I decided to make to get myself back on a good track.
Nkp on April 06, 2018:
She only loved you. She was always protective of you that’s the reason why she would always check about garbage and all. She really cared about you. She was emotional that’s why she didn’t look rational to you. You have always done things your way. Whatever you wanted to do you did, you had many broken relationships with which you are ok, but blaming your mother.
It was the car she gifted you, And you wanted to accuse her of stealing the car after she gave you. She gave it to you for your better grades , for your better future.
She CARED for you and that’s the only reason she tried to protect you all this while.
In your relationship with your mother you are blaming her. Then how about other broken relationships you had. Your first boyfriend, your first husband. You did not even once say what went wrong. They left you but you are not saying anything bad about them. But you are blaming your innocent mother.
It’s true we shouldn’t raise kids with love, they are the ones who will go against you when they grow older. After doing so so so much what they get is harsh behavior, and now you are not even caring for them. They shouldn’t have adopted you. They had a nice life, they shouldn’t have taken such huge responsibility of raising you. Out of their compassion they raised you and you have given them so much pain. World is like this only. We shouldn’t make so much attachments. Especially never with kids :(
It’s horrible of you to have cut off relation with them, to say the least, the very people who stood by you when your whole world (your original parents) left you at the time you needed the most. Very very selfish.
GJL on March 17, 2018:
George same thing over here and it only gets worse
Dounce Bailey on March 16, 2018:
I am a 63 Year old women who still suffers from a controlling mother. I have tried for years to change my behavior for the sake of passing this disease to my daughter who has a daughter. Give me advice please I feel caught in a trap can't break free
Arnold on March 08, 2018:
My mom is always telling my dad what to do even she yells at him for coughing. Dad never says nothing, one time we went out to eat she slapped his hand for touching his food with his hands and another time he gave her a bottle of water and she said I did not a bottle of water in snooty attitude.My mom always yells at me for being over weight.
Susan M. on February 27, 2018:
Its interesting that you've thrown your spin on this whole story. Starting out with the "running away from your situation". I didn't hear that in her story at all? So to me that's a form of bullying on YOUR part, because she never ran from anything. Deciding what is healthy and what is NOT healthy for you and your kid IS BEING MATURE. There are lots of people who adopt, some are good people, some are child abusers. Are you saying because they take them in that even though they are abusive either verbally or physically or sexually they "still took them in"? Family or not family her mother was causing SERIOUS damage to her psyche. Whether she MEANT TO or NOT. I have the same mother, same experiences, and while I haven't cut her off, I have limited my contact with her due to the abuse, even over the phone! The only person who can judge is you know who. If I were you I would take a look at yourself and see why it is you've chosen to bash someone who has been so open about something so painful.
Monika on February 25, 2018:
Massive hug for you!! You did it! Even though I don’t know you,I feel proud of you for not allowing her to destroy your life anymore and for putting your girl first.
My childhood was different but still as horrible (in my eyes).
My mum was (and still is) very selfish woman. I’m one of eight. She didn’t care about any of us. Kicked me out countless times ( and my brother) when I was still in primary school. Graciously allowed me to come back just because I was working so I could provide for her. She never showed emotions,love ,gratitude,kindness ..anything. She always took but never gave back. After I left my country ,nearly 13 years ago she continued her “mothering”. She would always take other people opinions into consideration but never mine. Wasn’t talking to me for years when I was going through domestic violence and abuse. Showed up in my life when she needed money and stuff. For ever criticised me,my choices and even my children’s (normal for kids) behaviour.
My childhood and teenage years were horrible and unfortunately she is partly to blame for it.
Regardless to all of this I kept helping her emotionally and especially financially all those years. I recently started seeing a therapist and thanksti this I can finally see and understand why my life is so complicated and why most of the times I feel depressed. I asked her to explain to me her decisions and reasons for neglecting me so but she refused. We haven’t been talking for the last 2 years and even though part of me would like to forgive her ( mostly for my children ) I simply can’t.
I hope you all guys are very content with your life and bring appreciated and loved. Monika
Charlotte on February 20, 2018:
With a few minor differences this article could have been written about me. I'm in my 40's and still dealing with my controlling mother. I have chronic illnesses and the self doubt she's instilled has so far kept me from moving far away. Hopefully one day I can get the strength to do what you did and break free.
George on February 19, 2018:
Although our circumstances are different I feel like this is so relatable. The disdain I have for my mother is just getting worse and worse as the years go by. I feel as though she’s is the catalyst for the depression and anxiety I’ve had my whole life. I just can’t live like this anymore. My psychiatrist said that if I get away from my mom my bleak outlook on life would change. My mom has raised me to think I can’t survive without her, but I will get away from her and nothing will stop me. Thank you so much for sharing.
Jonestein on February 19, 2018:
Princesasi2, I feel like you are personally offended by this article, and I think you should, perhaps, leave it and not return. Sharing your experiences isn't "Bad mouthing", and feeling hurt, controlled/trapped, and invalid to begin with, isn't just something you 'happen to feel'. There is a reason to feel the way one does. Given the information here, I'd think there's enough information to decide that this is a very valid description of all of this. Learn the difference between "bad mouthing" and VENTING.
Understanding somebody can be hurting too, does NOT give them any reason to treat you in a way that they are consistently exerting their energy to make KNOWN that they are upset. And upset that causes conflict and drama and estrangement. Two people can be upset, but if one of them is taking it out on another, while the other is trying to get away from it, does that really make the mother's "hurt", okay? Maybe to her, but it makes the situation toxic. You never, ever, take your feelings of frustration and discomfort out on somebody else.
THANK YOU Melissa, for sharing.
Eve on February 15, 2018:
Thank you for sharing your experience, it helps others who have suffered the same to know we are not alone.
I suffered the same from a controlling mum who I stopped contact with since I was 19. My dad was the same but in a more sly and quiet way. He would give into me in order to see me fall so he can say “told you so”. I married an abuser but stayed married for 15years because we had kids. Been separated and hope to get divorce from court order because husband won’t sign. Always been in touch with dad and recently got in touch with mum who now thinks that I need her and so I will come back under her control. No way my kids have to suffer from having a bad dad, I don’t want to bring more abuse in our house. I only visit her for her birthday and Christmas, she complaines about this unfair treatment every chance she gets.
lil-lil172 on February 10, 2018:
Im so sorry for all your angst. Forgiveness and compassion along with a good dose of gratitude can probably heal you a great deal. Either way, you are to blame as well even if you don't realize it. This is the first half of many peoples lives...after you get over the victim mentality, you can forgive yourself and your mom. She was coming from a point of love the best way she knew how. It's not like you were ever planned by your parents...they tried their best. When you mature to the second half of your life, you may wish you handled some things a little differently. Try it from a forgiving, compassionate point. Don't expect anything in return, just be kind to your self and whomever else is standing in front of you. Much love and happiness to all of you and your children, and to your parents as well.
V on February 08, 2018:
I can't really say if you're right or wrong to write all judgements you put against your mother although putting it on social media is a bit harsh. Only God can truly say whether her intentions were bad or not but you sound to me much like my stepdaughter. See, my younger stepdaughter, her mother took off on her when she was short of 5 and I was friends with her mom and dad so I was there to witness it. Later, I got involved with her father as we became close and I decided, much like your mother (grandmother really) and it wasnt an easy task in due part because by her real mother having left her she was broken inside but because pride and anger seems to come easy to her nothing I do is ever good enough and everything youve said really hit home. When OUR child shows ungratitude towards all that we do we feel resentment. I would say maybe, but I'm sure she had no bad intentions for not wanting you to get pregnant. Maybe she felt concern or resentment because you got a boyfriend before the time she felt you were ready. That being said, shes an older lady from an older generation, what do you expect? In her time Im sure it was different and shes having to adapt to the new rules of the new generation. Honour thy father and mother! Thats all I have to say.
M on February 07, 2018:
The author is blind to their own role in the relationship problems. You can’t blame your parents for all your problems in life. I’m sure your mother wasn’t perfect, but she was trying to be a good mom. She probably didn’t allow you to go on sleep overs so you wouldn’t get molested. I know many parents who don’t allow it. Mine generally didn’t and I’m grateful. It protected me from painful experiences that happened to friends. You are not seeing how you mistreated her. You complain about her, but never once express gratitude for any of the things she did for you. She cooked for you. She gave you a car. Even after you treated her badly, she was there for you to support you financially. You didn’t care about her. You just used her, without seeing her as a person. Psychological experiments have shown the distress a person experiences when left out of a group - especially when there are three people and the two leave out the third. Have you ever once considered her a human being? You may have suffered her weaknesses, but she has also suffered yours. To the emotionally immature, other people are not real. She wanted the best future for you, and understood that would entail doing well in school and not getting pregnant as a teen. You sound a bit spoiled.
anaday from Ireland on February 05, 2018:
Replying to nursefriend:
I find your comment out of place. Victims of controlling or narcissistic mothers need to be validated.
For anyone wondering if they could be a narcissist:
You can answer these 11 questions. If you get 5 or more, you may be one: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sG7rvOsE2ws&fe...
nursefriend on February 04, 2018:
The only thing the author does not consider is how her mother was raised herself. She also never says she made any attempts to sit down and have a heartfelt conversation with her mother to try and work through some of that controlling behavior. I am a mother who loves her daughters unconditionally. I have been cut off from my daughters and surprisingly it is usually after they have come crying to me for something and I offer an honest opinion that they don't want to hear. (believe me though, after many months of usually trying to console and "make things better")There are instances where mothers can't win with their kids too. It seemed no matter when my attitude was positive I would be greeted with bitchy, snarly teen attitude and quite frankly they have not come to far now that they are in their mid-20's. Times when I would do family things only to have one or the other get inappropriately pissed off and if I got mad in response, I became the bad guy. Sometimes the kids you give birth to come out of the womb and they actually suck. You give it the best you can but you get continually beaten down. You worry they will get into drugs, so sorry, you look for signs, you might snoop a bit because guess what, society would blame the parents. You set limits (this is for the 17 year old) on when they will work because you want them to get good grades, to be able to go on to college or a technical school, to get a decent job and a shot at having a great life. As much as some might focus on all their parents "bad, controlling behavior" please reflect upon yourself as well and try to understand where your parents are coming from before you make a decision to cut them out of your life.
Eliza on February 02, 2018:
I'm trying trying so hard not to cry! I have a horrible relationship with my mom too...the worst part of it is is she used to be my best friend growing up but once I become independent and married, she has completely changed. Actually, looking back at my life, she probably was always the same (controlling and demanding) it just took my growing up to realize it. Tonight, my mom and I had another fight. I thought I was being nice to her and she twisted my words and called me names for something i didnt even do. She does this all the time. She constantly brings me down and judges everything I do. The horrible part is...she told me she has cancer. I feel guilty for shutting her out more than ever but she always makes me anxious and unhappy. I only call her on occasion - on the off chance and hope that we would have a good conversation like the old days...but it's useless. I want to stop talking to her altogether but it's so so hard for me to let go. I also have a daughter who I need to think of...I guess it's hard knowing she won't have the sweet caring grandma that I had in my life. Thank you so much for your article. It helps knowing someone has gone through what I am struggling with.
Mich on January 28, 2018:
Thank you for sharing! I thought I was the only one going through this. I still don't know what to do as my dad died and my mother is not well anymore. However she is still very controlling. I am divorced and live with her to help take care of her but it seems I can't do anything right. She also doesn't allow me to have a live of my own. It's just work and back home for me. She goes with me to do errands and when ever I am invited somewhere she finds a reason for me not to go. Often claiming theres housework to do or just telling me no I cannot go n putting down my friends. Even her own family and friends have noticed this and when they tell her I need time for my self she claims they are jealous or trying to lead me astray. I am fed up yet I feel obligated to her because she worked hard to get me through school n provide for me and bc she 3 the only parent I hv left.
Jackie on January 21, 2018:
Hey, thank you so much for sharing your story!
I'm 17 with a part-time job, and I know I should be grateful for all the things my parents provide for my sisters and I (We are generally well put off), but she seems to want to control every aspect of my life by dictating everything on my grades. I want to work on the weekdays instead of just the weekends? My grades have to be good or else I can't, and it's not like it's her decision anyways... I pay for my own gas, I'm very responsible, and I have a job; and she still treats me like a child. Everytime I bring this up with her, she states "No I don't" or "I'm not controlling" and completely shuts me down and never considers my feelings (She has actually stated things like "I don't care how you feel about this") . I'm actually so ready to move out and go to college, even though I still have one more year of high school, and I wont get to see some of my best friends as often..
David in Ardmore on January 21, 2018:
Like you, Melissa, I stopped communicating with my mother. There's no point in getting into details -- you are very aware what it means to live with an enraged parent.
I gave my best effort for many years, but was always met by the control freak, a woman who is envious, jealous, backbiting, gossiping, and deceitful.
After my father died, I came to realize Mom had never called, never visited, never singularly tried to have a relationship with me, my wife or my children. That's right; over the 28 years since I left home it was always up to me.
To many this may seem a juxtaposition, the concept that a control freak would never call, never visit, never take the time to be part of her son's life. But it's actually part-in-parcel.
My wife and kids went to Mom's Christmas Eve party, and Mom asked what was wrong, why I never visited. My wife told her, "You should call David, or just visit him. You must ask him what's going on."
Mom admitted she mistreated me, but excused herself with, "I was lucky to survive my childhood." She still hasn't called, hasn't visited. It's up to her.
It's sickening to know she cannot take responsibility for her actions.
Elena Chuah on January 21, 2018:
Thank you for this beautiful sharing. I had suffered for the first 20 yrs in my life from my nagging & controlling mother. I never remembered any positive comments from her. Reasoning with her is useless as she thinks she is always right. She claims all mothers are like that because they love their children and i would become like that too when i become a mother. WHich makes me fearful of any kind of intimate relationship. All my aunties supported her and asked me to "get used to it". This encouraged my mom to continue her habits. I used to have extreme negative mindset and low self- esteem. Everything is critical. Whatever activities, dreams or decisions i made are being discouraged. I was so dejected & demotivated. I felt living is useless. I used to daydream to escape reality.
I found fresh air and freedom when i left home & started going to university. I was exposed to motivational programs, NLP and other self-help course. I was getting better & more positive. However, whenever i go back home & start talking to her, i felt the same exhaustion as though i was "sucked" back into the black hole.
I consider severing ties or "managing" the frequency of connections but i was struggling & debating whether the decision is moral. I also knew that i cannot allow toxic people around me. Now that i see your sharing, i feel better as i know i'm not alone.
Life is too short to allow ourselves to suffer. Environment & company are important for a successful & happy life.
Lorren Wisdom on January 19, 2018:
From East Texas
Wow I cannot believe @nearly 35 I've read what my answer to prayer had been and can start to finally process, forgive, heal and grow into what may not be long but better late than never I always say! Thank you so much for sharing this article because u hv changed my life for btr and from now on. I can hv a btr relationship with my daughter and I'm so excited about that especially!!!