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The Psychological Effect of a Controlling Mother

Updated on May 30, 2016
Joined: 5 years agoFollowers: 643Articles: 111
My dad and I
My dad and I | Source

I’m writing this hub from a personal perspective in hopes of helping anyone else who might have suffered a similar fate and isn’t sure how to change their life.

I was raised by perfectionist parents who were extremely overbearing. Consequently, my relationships have suffered, and I've made a few decisions that are less than flattering. But I did get through it.

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, and 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 mother didn’t want me, and wrote a letter saying as much. The letter was addressed to my father’s parents, my grandparents, with whom she was leaving me. My father had decided that was the best course of action, but made an effort, with a few visitations during my first year of life, to be involved.

I was called ugly and fat in high school, but I was actually quite skinny.
I was called ugly and fat in high school, but I was actually quite skinny. | Source

My grandparents gave me my first bottle in the hospital. They brought me home, and treated me as their daughter. Four years later, they adopted me.

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 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. My parents were the people raising me, not the people who gave birth to me. It was just a fact.

Growing Up with a Controlling Mother

Growing up was difficult. I attended private, catholic school all my life including high school. I didn’t have any friends in elementary school, and I was routinely picked on by bullies. I had an above average IQ, and was apparently “pretty” because adults told me as much. This made me the perfect target for 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 just 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 Controlling Behavior - Personal Examples

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, and she wondered why I never went to her with anything important.

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.

My father and I at the pageant my mother made me enter. I was in the top ten, and probably could have made it further, but my heart just wasn't in it.
My father and I at the pageant my mother made me enter. I was in the top ten, and probably could have made it further, but my heart just wasn't in it. | Source
Driving became my only escape.
Driving became my only escape. | Source

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.

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 and 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.

I became a smoker and tried a few drugs. I wanted an escape from life. I guess it was also a way of rebelling, although I never thought of it that way. I didn’t know how else to cope. 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.

I think I blocked out the rest of the conversation. But I do remember taking my time to get home.

Rebelling Against Controlling Parents in Adulthood

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.

My first dog ever, Dickens. I rescued her, but I think she's the one who did the rescuing!
My first dog ever, Dickens. I rescued her, but I think she's the one who did the rescuing! | Source
My dog and best friend, Lady
My dog and best friend, Lady | Source

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 seven 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, but I have yet to find a way around it.

Myself and the brilliant, altruistic doctor I once worked for. He was like a father to me, and was there for me whenever I needed him.
Myself and the brilliant, altruistic doctor I once worked for. He was like a father to me, and was there for me whenever I needed him. | Source

Dealing with Controlling Parents

Controlling parents have a massive psychological impact on their children. They can strip them of the ability to find anything satisfying in life, and this is something that is virtually impossible to overcome.

I’ve had to separate myself completely from my parents, unfortunately, in an effort to change my outlook on life. Talking to my parents only serves to reinforce the negative mindset I’ve worked so hard to shift.

To many people, including myself, severing contact with parents may seem harsh, and it very well may be. But, I have to do what is right for my child now. If not speaking with my parents gives her the life I never had, then so be it. I despise emotion. I really dislike affection. I refuse to let my daughter feel the same way.

© Copyright 2012 - 2016 by Melissa "Daughter of Maat" Flagg ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

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    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      This hub reads like it could've been written by me.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 5 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Wow, it's nice to know I'm not the only one, although I wish no one had to go through that suffering. It's amazing how my childhood affected my adult life and how it made me who I am today.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 5 years ago from United Kingdom

      Speaking for me, I've spent years trying to undo the damage. It's not easy and there are, admittedly, some issues I can't get past.

      I do take comfort in knowing that at least my kids are growing up better than I did. I make sure of it.

    • Millionaire Tips profile image

      Shasta Matova 4 years ago from USA

      I am sorry that you had such a difficult childhood. I hope that you are able to overcome it.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thanks Millionaire! I think I turned out ok! I can't let my childhood control my entire life, so I've made it a point to live my life the way I want to. I enjoy spending time with my daughter and doing kid things (especially coloring, I love to color!)But I hope my story helps others that may have not been able to move past their childhood like I did. It's not easy, but I want my story to let people know there is always hope, and you are in control of your life, no one else.

    • gmwilliams profile image

      Grace Marguerite Williams 4 years ago from the Greatest City In The World-New York City, New York

      Daughter of Maat: Controlling parents are basically insecure. They use power as a means of manipulating their children. They are also immature as they view parenting as upmanship and a source of powerplay with their children.

      Controlling parents, like their authoritarian counterparts, believe that their children are their appendages, not individuals with their own desires and wants. Of course, children of controlling parents develop low self-esteem and often becoming risk aversive. They also believe that they are powerless and personas non gratas.

      You have presented quite a poignantly informative hub. In essence, controlling parents are just as virulently abusive as the more extreme type of abusive parent!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I wholeheartedly agree gmwilliams! I couldn't have said it better myself! Thank you for your thoughtful comment!

    • profile image

      kelleyward 4 years ago

      Controlling parents can be extremely detrimental to children. To the outside world they seem to be so caring because they are so involved but the child understands it is not about loving care but rather about control. Parents like this value appearance over everything else. I'm sorry you had to endure this! Thanks for sharing, Take care, Kelley

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Kelley. I have to admit, I was sorry I had to endure it as well. But now, I'm not sure I'd have it any other way. If I hadn't gone through it, I would not be the same person and I really like who I am now. I've learned quite a bit during my contemplation of my childhood, and I don't think I would be as enlightened if I hadn't gone through it. That's the main reason I wrote this. I wanted to share with everyone that it can be done.

      Thanks so much for your comment, I'm honored that such a fantastic writer liked my hub. :D

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I can very well relate to your story! I have faced a controlling father all my life and know the impacts it makes.

      The first pint I noticed and share is being a loner at school and picked up by bullies of all sorts.

      Indulging in first love ( or infatuation ) just an escapism from the control!

      I even was not able to handle the freedom when I moved 900 miles away to college and had no one to hover... result was... smoke alcohol and a mess... For someone who had excelled right throughout school ... a grade e or fail was a big one...

      Your hub really points towards the notion that controlling parents really have an adverse effect over the brain chemistry of children for more than a major part of there lives...

      Some like me and you can understand and come to terms or even move on with the fact... but some get trapped forever and end up bad..

      I vowed to my self that I would not be a strict ass parent 'cause I am afraid to be one ... simple

      A great hub!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I just read through your comment, nodding the whole time! lol It seems we have had a very similar childhood, and interestingly, most of the control came from the parent of the same sex (my mom, your dad)! I wonder, did you have more of a bond with your mother? My dad and I were best friends so to speak.

      I've come to the conclusion (and this may be way off, it's just an opinion really) that those of us, like you and me, who have mentally put the control behind us, tend to have much stronger minds than those who, as you said, get trapped in it. It may be that we are more analytical than most. I tend to despise emotion simply because it's irrational (and for a female, me hating emotion is quite odd!) I prefer logic and rationale and that maybe the key to overcoming a difficult childhood. Personally, I can compartmentalize my emotions and separate them from my logical mind, or at least I like to think I can. I think that alows me to step back and realize my mom's control issues were her own. It wasn't because I was a bad child or anything like that. Her control issues were the result of her emotional instability which stemmed from a past hurt from her own mother. But it took a long time to get to this point!!

      I, too, vowed not to control my daughter. ALthough, I catch myself every now and then with little things like when she asks why I told her to do something, I've said "because I said so." I'm trying very hard to correct this habit and I do it by pointing out to myself that she's simply curious, perhaps more so than I am.

      Thank you so much for your comment. It was enlightening to say the least! :D

    • noenhulk profile image

      noenhulk 4 years ago

      I have a controlling mother but I don't have a difficult childhood. Maybe because I accept my mother being a strict mom and view it as she is only a disciplinarian.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Rahul, I too went through a period of wild behaviour once I was out of reach of my mother. It takes time to learn what is good and what is bad for us without being dictated to. We have to learn for ourselves; it's just human nature.

      But during that time I learned that time, I learned I had a lot more going for me that my mother would have had me believe. While I lived with her, she would constantly point out my deficiencies while extolling the virtues of her acquaintances' children. I never tried anything new because if I failed, it would just give her more ammo.

      Once I was out of her control, I discovered I was better than I had been led to believe. I tried my hand at music, acting, sketching, in short, all thing creative. I didn't have outstanding talent in any of them but the point is I was free to try without being denigrated. I had fun and met lots of interesting and encouraging people. I hope during your time of self-discovery, you found new talents in yourself.

      DOM, you may be on to something about having stronger minds. I too have developed an analytical mind and tend to avoid over emotional people. I tend to tackle things logically and am able to see all sides of a problem in order to find the best solution.

      My oldest daughter has just moved into her first flat with her partner. She is a strong-will, independent young woman and I'm very proud of her. I like to think that allowing her the freedom to make mistakes and learn from them gave her the confidence she needed to start a life of her own. And, unlike me, she's happy to come home and visit with her Mom.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I completely agree with Daughterof Maat and Phoeneix here! According to your sex relating theory... I have my mom for my best friend.... She knows absolutely everything about me and is cool.. with every thing... OPff course she is my mentor too but I have given her the right to scold me... 'cause I know she will do that when it is required...

      Also.. my father had issues with me because of issues with his father.. my grandpa sort of had an autocracy running in his family... Which laid down insecurities and complex down his line... and into my father too!

      Coming Phoenix Now, I think you and I share common perspective here. As I moved out of my home.. I realized I could cook, Sing, Write and study different subjects which interested me and excelled at them... This was not the case earlier because of the reason you put of... the "unholy comparisons" and the " failure is new and limitless ammo" theorums...

      I certainly think that we who realize, analyze and separate emotions and rationality... have an upper edge.. Some may think I am boasting here but I am just Pointing out a fact...

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I agree with both of you 100% Phoenix, my mother was the same way, if I failed at anything (and failing meant not living up to her ridiculous standards) it just gave her fuel for future torment. In order to escape (besides hiding in my closet), I read, and read, and read some more, which is probably why I enjoy reading textbooks over novels! When I finally got out on my own, I found I had interests over a wide range of subjects. I found several hobbies like crocheting, scrapbooking, cross stitching, that provided a creative outlet that I didn't know I needed! Now, my outlet is writing, and I still love delving into my biochemistry textbook for hours on end.

      I think the analytical mind develops in response to the overbearing emotional side of the parent in question (Phoenix's mom, my mom, Rahul's dad). Although, I'm sure we were predispositioned to prefer logic over emotion, the constant beratement of extreme emotion solidified the predisposition into an actual personality characteristic, which in turn made our minds MUCH stronger than the average person. (Interestingly, Vulcan's in Star Trek prefer logic and are taught from a young age to suppress their emotions.)

      And Rahul is right, many people think we are either over-confident or even conceited based on their first impressions of us, but that's truly not the case. In fact it's the complete opposite. But, because we approach every situation with an analytical mind, which many people do not understand (I'd hazard to say most people), we appear to be aloof which is often associated with conceit. This is unfortunate because we tend to take friendships very seriously, and would bend over backwards for someone we felt was worth the effort. At least, that's how I am.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Words come out so naturally and discussion happens when Similar minds meet hehe :)

      I do not have many friends due to reasons you gave above. People like us set our own standards of friendships which is hard to be met I think! I believe our VULCANISM, is our strength, I believe personally, and the reason we can go on and on for days and weeks without the need of physical company

      I my self.. work to my best efficiency when I work alone. i just need books my notebook and a net connect to keepo me going.. I can cook for my self and do almost everything I need to survive...

      people Like us trace viable methods like writing, painting and other crafts to let our emotions and feelings flow and In a logical way we are content with the facts.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Beautifully said. My husband and I do not have many friends either. Actually, we don't have any at the moment. The last "friend" I had, we thought had our same level of integrity, but soon found out she did not. My husband needs social interaction more than I do, he tends to be more emotional than I. Personally, I do my best writing when I'm alone. Like right now, my hubby and daughter are asleep, and I've been more productive in the past 2 hours than I am during the day. I prefer to work alone. Mostly because my analytical mind tends to find the most efficient way of doing things rather quickly and most people can't keep up. I think that comes with the territory though, so to speak. And, as you said, I can go long periods of time without the need for physical company. I rely on no one but myself.

      That's a great way of putting it, our creative outlets are how we vent our emotions. I despise emotion so much that I hadn't thought of my creativity in that way, but you're absolutely right. Creativity comes from emotion! So those people who say we don't show our emotions are actually quite wrong!

      Great minds think alike! :D

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Amen! To our levels of integrity and our standards of friendship, to people who were strict on us for without them... we would not be who we are

      To new friends :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Right on!! :D I think this conversation has inspired a new hub!! :D

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Let me guess! The hub title would be : " The Restricted Minds and The Way they Redeem Themselves " ?

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Perfect!! I was wondering what to call it! lol May I use your awesome title? :D

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Will be among the first to read it for sure

    • sgbrown profile image

      Sheila Brown 4 years ago from Southern Oklahoma

      It is amazing what some of us go through as children as still grow up to be rather well adjusted adults! My parents were both alcoholics. My dad had been in the Army most of his life and was very controling. My mom drank to put up with my dad. I was an only child and had few friends as no one would let their kids come to my house.

      My parents fought constantly, lots of yelling and cursing, breaking things and kicking in doors. To this day, loud talking or banging noises unnerve me.

      I ran away at 17, only to return for a short while after my dad almost killed my mom after beating her one day. I too have "analized" myself and try to overcome what my childhood has done to me. That is how we cope, I guess.

      I married a good man who tries to understand my "quirks". We raised our daughter very differently and very rarely raise my voice. I can't stand to argue! I will just walk away.

      It sounds to me like you have coped very well. I am quite a bit older than you, and will tell you that you will never completely get over your childhood, but you will continue to grow as a better person.

      Voted this up and awesome. Have a very blessed day. Happy Mother's Day to you! :)

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you sgbrown! Happy Mother's Day to you as well! I also hate confrontations. Rather than confront someone, I've been known to avoid the person at all costs! I was also an only child and I think that has a lot to do with how I coped. When you have to entertain yourself most of the time, and have no one to vent to, you tend to come up with some really inventive ways to cope and pass the time. It really encourages independence and maturity, and that helps when trying to overcome the past.

      Thanks for stopping by and voting up! Hope you have a fantastic Mother's Day.

    • Torys Ten profile image

      Torys Ten 4 years ago from Central Utah

      I enjoyed reading this in a painful sort of way. I didn't grow up this way at all and so it was very informative. I have three daughters (and I'm still with their mother after 28 years)and am doing my best to be guiding and loving without the controlling. My oldest still calls me "Daddy" and kisses me on the cheek so maybe we'll make it to adulthood on good terms yet. I hope you and your child develop a warm relationship in whatever way works best for you!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you torys Ten! I think if someone grew up that way, it makes it more likely that they will do one of 2 things: repeat the same behavior, or do a complete 180 and have no discipline at all. Balance is key, but it's really tough to master. I think if your oldest still shows you affection, you're on the right track. Personally I really want nothing to do with my mother. I miss my father though.

    • graceomalley profile image

      graceomalley 4 years ago

      I also made the decision to limit my family of origin's contact with me. I made this decision while pregnant with my daughter - a phone call from my mother had me on the floor, unable to stop sobbing. My four year old son came over and patted me gently, trying to fix things. I quietly said that this would be the last time, and my little children would not be subjected to the insanity that I was. They tried the guilt, ect., but I drew the line for my kids in a way i was never able to do for myself. I didn't cut anybody off - I just wrote letters instead of answering the phone.

      At some point, when the price gets too high, the loyalty comes to an end.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you graceomalley. I, actually, needed to hear that. I was starting to feel a bit sorry that I had cut ties with my parents. But I too did it for my daughter. Whenever I would talk to my mom I would get off the phone and be in a horrible mood and inevitably she would get the brunt of it because she was the only one there (hubby was at work most of the time). I knew I was hurting her. My mom kept telling me that I had to leave my husband because he was no good, and I had to make my daughter the priority. Well, she was right, partially. I did put my daughter first and cut the ties with my mother instead of the husband who has bent over backwards for me. I was thinking of writing a letter, but I honestly don't know what to say. I've told her all of this before, but it goes in one ear and out the other!!

      You're absolutely right, the price was too high.

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      My mother would regularly fly off the handle and start shouting and throw whatever was handy. I still get a knot in my stomach whenever I hear something fall to the floor or glass breaking. Funnily enough, confrontation is not an issue for me. I don't mind facing off with someone because rather than react emotionally, I analyze where their words are coming from and launch my offensive accordingly. Whether they end up enemies or friends is of no consequence to me as I'm pretty much a loner. My husband and kids are they only ones I really talk to. He understands and appreciates who I am and has never once tried to change me. My youngest daughter once likened me to a Christmas present; you don't know what you'll get get when you open it, but you know it will be something you'll like.

      Torys Ten, it sounds as if you're doing all the right things if your daughter still has a relationship with you. My own father spent his spare time either watching sports, drinking with his friends or with his mistress. Sometimes all three in one day. I had no bond with him and when he died it meant very little. I don't even where he's buried.

      Rahul, it never occurred to me that my writing, cross stitch and sketching were emotional releases. I know I do feel good when I'm doing them and a sense of completeness. Well spotted.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Ha!! Phoenix, I didn't realize it was an emotional release either!! But it does make me feel good and, like you said, complete, when I'm writing, or cross stitching or any of my other zillion hobbies.

      I have to ask you (I'm assuming) you feel no remorse for not patching things up with your father before he died? I only ask because my parents are older (in their 80's now) and, recently, I've been thinking about how I'd feel if they died. I keep telling myself I'm not cold and unfeeling for thinking I won't miss them when their gone. I should say I won't miss my mom. My dad and I were close. I never really felt close to her, in fact, when she'd hug me (even when I was older like late 20's) I squirm and feel very uncomfortable.

      My avoidance of confrontation comes from me wanting to avoid overly emotional situations (on their end, not mine) at all costs. I, too can analyze where (most) people are coming from, but they typically are very emotional, and my brain tends to run the other way. Interestingly, my husband say it's because (and this is going to sound cold and heartless to others, but you'll understand) I think the person suffering the overly emotional state isn't worth the effort, as if they're less intelligent because they can't separate their emotions. I think this is why most people think of me as arrogant, because I want nothing to do with emotion. (I hate that one time a month where emotion gets the better of me, which is right now by the way lol)

      Oh and do you prefer counted cross stitch or printed? Just curious :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      DOM, I don't feel anything for either parent because I never bonded with them. They didn't seem to have any kind of bond with each other either. Our 'family' (for want of a better word)consisted of three people who didn't particularly like one another but were forced by circumstances to live together.

      My mother was a powder keg with a short fuse. I was constantly walking on eggshells around her making sure I didn't say or do anything that would set her off. On the plus side, I became very good at sensing other people's mood and can adjust accordingly.

      My father behaved as if he were still single with no familial responsibilities. On average I spend maybe 10-15 minutes a week of one-on-one time with him during which he was either drunk or hung over.

      In short, I felt I was an unwelcome intrusion in their lives. The feeling was mutual.

      Having said that, I did try a few times to reconcile with my mother. Things would settle down for a time and it looked hopeful but then the criticisms would start again and I realised she hadn't changed and never would. (btw, I couldn't stand her hugging me either.)

      I understand exactly what you mean. I tend to shut down too when people let their hearts rule instead of their heads.

      I went to an 'Insights' training where they type your management style according to colour. I'm a Blue/Red. Blues deal with facts and details. We don't do emotion. If anyone wishes to discuss an work issue with me, they need to get straight to the point, present me with facts, figures, projections and leave all inane chitchat at the door. Reds are take-charge types of people who want the job done now.

      Off duty, I will listen and be supportive if someone is having a crisis, but I still cringe inwardly if they get all teary and histrionic.

      Counted cross stitch, definitely. I've tried printed and while it was OK and turned out well, I feel I can get more creative with counted cause I can change colours and stitches without affecting anything. Enjoy your day.:)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Wow, we have a lot more in common than I realized!! It drives me insane when people are talking to me about something and they add in all these needless details that causes them to take forever to get to the point. If they get all teary eyed I catch myself saying in my head "oh come on suck it up, life ain't easy." lol I thought I was just heartless, but it's just my disdain for emotion.

      Counted cross stitch as well. I love changing colors and making it my own. I've been know to change printed cross stitch patterns as well though. You can cover it up by adding extra stitches here and there. :D

      Have an awesome day! :D

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      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I think Phoenix, me and you Melissa ... we are all Blue/ reds... As i read about the insight training Phoenix talks about... I straightaway wanted to be there... learn some practical and worth stuff!

      Facts, figures, points,... Real Things to be precise in a both material and abstract way... are things of interest really... Getting the real deal on even my philosophies is something I appreciate better then getting flaunted and babbling about nowhere!

    • ErinGorney profile image

      ErinGorney 4 years ago from Las Vegas

      I know this all too well....

    • TToombs08 profile image

      Terrye Toombs 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

      This was a very difficult hub for me to read. My mom was a lot like yours (I was adopted too, but not by relatives). I grew up knowing that my brother was her favorite, she reminded me of that every chance she got. I never got to tell her how much having her in my life sucked because she died unexpectantly in 1995. My father had died in 1993 and she, for some reason, blamed me for it (a long, painful story).

      Nope, you are not alone. And in that, those of us that have lived this are bound in a sort of sisterhood/brotherhood. :)

      Voted up and more (Hubbers Alert) :)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you TT! Honestly, I think growing up that way makes us better people, even though it rips us of a typical childhood. Interestingly, my mom blames everyone but me, like my hubby, for why she hasn't seen me in so long, blah blah blah. It's never her fault, and it's never my fault, it's everyone else! lol

      We definitely have bond, Rahul also wrote a hub about this, and it was very moving. It's funny how we all find each other. The bond makes us gravitate toward each other!

      Thanks for stopping by and sharing! :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I think that bond forms because we're the only ones who really understand and accept each other as is. We can say how we truly feel about our parents without being made to feel guilty. Or, worse, try to force a reconciliation where none is wanted, as has happened to me in the past. This is the reason I don't talk about my past much.

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      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Some people blabber about their past.. wherever they go and with who so ever they meet! I consider such people fake... the discussion going on here is about rationale and justness!

      Today... adhering to the universal Dogma that whatever parents do is for the betterment of the child is not correct... in fact I know of umpteen examples in my group of friends whose parents are self imposing and controlling...

      Past should be discussed with a level of analysis and not blabbered about everywhere.. I think...

      Phoenix is right in not discussing the past often

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I think we need to discuss our past to a certain extent if only for validation. But I agree with Phoenix that it should be only with those who have similar backgrounds. I, too, have been the victim of attempts to force reconciliation which only serves to make me NOT want reconciliation that much more. That unspoken bond among us who have lived in that environment allows a chance to discuss the past openly, without fear of judgement, as phoenix said and with rationale as Rahul said.

      Rahul, I totally agree with you. Personally, the mindset that the child always comes first, while accurate to a certain degree, has a grey area. You have to care for yourself first, otherwise who will properly care for your child? I think that's part of the problem with controlling parents. They have neglected themselves for whatever reason for so long that the stress has led to chronic frustration which is in turn taken out on us kids. I don't think all parents make the right choices and they're certainly not always for the betterment of the child. I know I haven't made all the right choices. But being rational, and stepping back to understand WHY I didn't make the right choices allows me to grow as a parent and prevents me from attempting to control my daughter's every move. I have caught myself doing it, too! Despite how much I try to be the complete opposite of my mother, somehow her "tactics" seem to creep in at times. I think these times are when we need to have each other to say "HEY!!! Knock it off... stop being so controlling... you know how it feels."

      As much as I despise emotion because of it's complete lack of rationale, it (unfortunately) does have a place in our lives. I've come to the conclusion that no matter how much I try, I'm never going to be able to rationalize the irrational! But without the irrational, there would be no balance. I have to remind myself that if emotion didn't exist, we wouldn't have love and love is a pretty good trade off if you ask me. :) I know that's totally random, but it felt right :D

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      Teresa Schultz 4 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      That was an interesting read indeed - I think I can only psrtly relate however - my parents were and still are wonderful - spoiling me perhaps too much, even - and yet I do find I'm a bit of a control freak when it comes to my own kids - two teenage boys, in their very early teens - the odd thing is, though, they don't seem to mind that much, in fact they often come to me and ask, can I do this, can I do that, is this okay - it's almost like they view my "control" as caring - and that's exactly what I think it is I'm doing. Loving them and caring for their well-being. They do sometimes say I moan at them a lot, but, so far, they sort of think it's funny rather than horrid. I guess it's still early years, yet, so let's just wait and see what happens - I hope feeling confident that they won't suddenly grow to resent me holds up long into the future! Voted up, interesting, and shared with my HubPages followers.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      It sounds like your "controlling" really is caring. There is a big difference and your boys are very lucky indeed! Thanks for reading and sharing!!

    • Teresa Schultz profile image

      Teresa Schultz 4 years ago from East London, in South Africa

      Thanks, Daughter of Maat :) - I'm sorry about your own childhood experiences.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Awe, thank you! But you shouldn't be, I wouldn't be who I am today if I hadn't had that experience. Honestly, I think I'm a better person because of it!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      As parents, I believe that it is imperative that any decisions we make are made with the child's best interest at heart. Having said that, I don't believe constant sacrifice and self-denial is in anyone's best interest. The parents could end up resentful and the child could become spoiled and self-centred.

      I think it's important to show our kids that we are human too and have needs of our own and they are every bit as important as theirs. Like you said, DOM, you need to look after yourself so you can look after your kids. I thinks it goes a fair way toward teaching our children about self-esteem and learning that the world doesn't revolve around them.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Well said Phoenix! I agree wholeheartedly! Our children need to realize that they need to rely on themselves first. No one else will ever be as reliable as ourselves to make sure our needs are met. Granted this needs to be taught age appropriately, but it needs to be started early I think, if we're to foster independence and self confidence.

      Great minds think alike, Phoenix! :D

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      HattieMattieMae 4 years ago from Limburg, Netherlands

      Think this is something I experienced too.While I am a good writer, exactly why I stopped when i was younger. Think the point is that privacy is important, and controlling others just pushes them away. :)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I agree Hattie. I think I would have found my passion for writing much earlier had I been able to continue my journaling!

      My mother has pushed me further and further away by trying to control me in my adult life. So far in fact, I haven't spoken to her in quite a while now.

    • profile image

      Starmom41 4 years ago

      Interesting hub. I wish you all the best in your adult life- and please stand your ground to KEEP it your life!

      My situation involved a couple of factors that I've never heard of or read about anywhere: first, my "mother" did not become abusive until after I'd graduated from high school & was legally an adult; and second, the reason for that was she fully believed a "parent" had "the right" to expect/demand a kid give up any possible life of his/her own in order to spend his/her life catering to the parent. I finally managed to "escape" when I was 21 yrs old (18 being legal where I lived), & she used "every trick in the book" to get me back, including using other people in her scams. A long messy story. The only positive point is I made a point of NEVER treating MY kids like that, & they're now both healthy solid adults.

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      graceomalley 4 years ago

      I was just talking last night with book club buddies about kids - my husband and i have ended up putting very few restrictions on our son, now 17. He is close friends with boys from 2 families who we are close friends with - and our lack of punishment has sometimes been a source of friction. As far as my son goes, both of us just feel he does so much right in his life we're not interested in giving him a hard time about little stuff. (To us it's little.) Awhile ago my son and one of his buddies volunteered to manage the sound system for an evening church service, and then at the end of the service one of the parents discovered that the two of them had been managing the sound system, but had also taken advantage of the relative privacy of the sound area to listen to their music with earbuds instead of listening to the sermon. When my friend told me her son and mine had done this, I laughed because it seemed so Huck finn/ Tom Sawyerish. I realized quickly my friend was pretty upset about it, so I put on a more serious face. But she punished her son, and i didn't. (I just said, you know you shouldn't have done that to him.) I know my son is thoughtful about his beliefs, he's chosen to follow my faith, which makes me very happy, but I'm aware I can't make him. It's true it was disrespectful, but my son is an honor student, treats his sister really well, has a positive relationship with the two of us. Why make a fuss? I guess he just does too much right. I feel like relationships in general should work like this - if a person does most things right, they should get a pass for little screw ups. Otherwise, where is the incentive?Unfortunately, when a lot is going wrong in relationships, i think every little thing can seem like a big deal, and stir up bad feeling.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @starmom Interesting that you say she used every trick in the book to get you back. My mom does the same thing! She's sent the sheriff to my house countless times, she calls my landlord once a week, she has my sister text me to "make sure I'm alive." And she wonders why I don't want to talk to her!

      I'm glad you were able to get away! I hate to say it, but the feeling of "escape" is completely uplifting. I know it's harsh to say, but most of the time I don't miss her. Is that wrong?

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :D

      @graceomalley

      I agree with you. If your not doing anything horribly wrong, the little things are just that - little. Besides, you don't want to reinforce bad behavior with negative reinforcement! Thanks for sharing that story, I kind of smirked myself reading it, it seems silly to punish them for that!

      Thanks for reading and commenting! :D

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      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      Wow this is a hurtfull topic. I have had a lot of first hand experience with this. Did you read my hub his mother? It is written much differantly but is relivant.

      shared on twitter, google+, stumble upon, my hub following, and facebook!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I've had so many hubs to read since the Hubber Alert article, I haven't made it to all of the other hubs I wanted to read. But I'm going to read it now.

      Thanks for commenting and sharing!

    • Michelle Taylor profile image

      Michelle Taylor 4 years ago from New Jersey

      Thank you for sharing this experience with everyone. I also had a difficult mother and spent much of my childhood in the bathroom because it was the only place I wouldn't be bothered. This is a great example also to people who were bullied that there is a light at the end of the tunnel. Voted up and sharing!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Michelle, thank you for your comment, and I'm so glad you enjoyed the hub. I wrote it in the hopes of finding and connectig with others who've experienced the same or similar, and as you can see by all the comments, I've found quite a few new friends!

      I understand hiding in the bathroom. Bathroom, closet it doesn't matter. And you're right, it is a great example for those who are being bullied because that's essentially what our mothers did. I do admit however, I don't think I would change the past. I wouldn't be who I am without that experience.

      Thanks so much for reading, commenting and sharing!! :D

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      Mary Strain 4 years ago from The Shire

      I'm so sorry you had to endure this, but sharing your story has helped others who have had the same experience. It takes courage to talk about a painful past, but the results are so often positive.

    • Angela Brummer profile image

      Angela Brummer 4 years ago from Lincoln, Nebraska

      I know about so many hubs to read. I understand. Thank you for everything!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      You know, I'm kinda liking the idea of all the links. I'm finding all these wonderful hubs! This was truly a fantastic idea of yours!!

    • phoenix2327 profile image

      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm so glad I ran across your hub, DOM. For years I thought I was the only one who felt like this. I had long given up trying to make anyone understand my situation and spent years faking 'normal' and just outright lying about my childhood.

      After reading this hub I felt another sense of release; similar to the one I felt when I left home. And look at all the comments. It's nice to know we're not alone.:) You really have started something here.

      BTW, I thought the story about the boys managing the sound system was pretty funny. Typical boys.

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 4 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      I share the same feelings as Ashley here!

    • Jewels profile image

      Jewels 4 years ago from Australia

      I can certainly relate to your hub. Have done a fair bit of work on myself as a result. I've just ordered a book, 'The Search for the Real Self' by James Masterson. I'm looking forward to getting it. It basically addresses our personality as a result of the first years of our upbringing. And of course knowledge gives clarity and without that we can't change our circumstances. Bravo to you.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I thought that story was funny as well and very typical. I don't think you can really expect adolescent boys to pay attention in church, come on really? lol

      Phoenix, I'm glad I found you (not to sound mushy). I wrote the article with the intent of helping others understand, and I really wasn't thinking (as I wrote it) about others who've experienced it, to find comfort in it. But I'm amazed at how many people did! Especially you, I think our childhoods were quite similar and because of that we think very much alike. When you first commented, I felt the same way, like "wow she gets it!" And that's an awesome feeling. I was actually attempting to feel remorse for not wanting to speak to my parents, but you made me feel so much better!

      And you're so right, so many people look at us strange when we talk about our childhood. They have no idea what it's like to feel that isolated. I think many may think we're making it up!

      I'm thrilled so many people have found comfort from this hub, knowing that there are quite a few of us who have suffered alone. But we don't have to! Just knowing others have had the same experience can really change one's mindset.

      Rahul, I'm going to throw a link in my hub to yours, for that reason. Two hubs will reach more people than one and you have a way with words.

      @Jewels I'm going to have to look into that book simply because it sounds fascinating. You're absolutely right, knowledge allows us to grow and change and I don't think we can ever get enough of it! Thank you for reading and letting us know that you too have suffered. I honestly didn't think there was that many of us!

    • Dr Pooja profile image

      Dr Pooja 4 years ago

      Reading the hub and comments /discussion has helped me understand my husband better.His parents are overbearing and he says his over-confidence(frankly,I fight with him over it)is actually a defense mechanism.Views shared by you,Rahul and others have enlightened me.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Dr Pooja! Indeed the over-confidence is a defense mechanism. It's a facade not many people can get through and if you're hubby is telling you this, you've gotten through the facade! Many times the over-confidence (or arrogance as it's often called mistakenly) is a result of the attempt to be rational rather than emotional. Many of us bury ourselves with knowledge and rationale in an effort to not only understand but find the rational side of emotion. Our "air" of a "know-it-all" attitude is generally misunderstood, and comes from the fact that we generally do know more than the average Joe (I hope that doesn't sound arrogant!!) and many find that knowledge intimidating.

      My hubby and I are perfect examples (although my hubby less so because he's not as rational) because we both have high IQ's. Few people get past the intimidation and reap the benefit of picking our brains lol.

      That's how I think anyway. I can't speak for your hubby. But I suspect he may have a similar problem. Again that's not meant to sound arrogant, it's the honest to gosh truth.

      Thanks for reading and I'm so glad the hub helped you!

    • Vegas Elias profile image

      Francis Ambrose Viegas 4 years ago from Mumbai

      A great hub. I have voted you up for it. It is really awful that many parents of the 60s and earlier actually stunted the mental and sometimes material growth of their children as a result of their over protective nature. I myself am a victim of such parents, particularly my mother who inadvertently ruined the lives of my sisters.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Indeed, my mother treated her first three kids the same way. My aunt had so much trouble with self esteem. I don't know about my uncle or biological father because I haven't talked to them in years. I wonder if my mother realizes she has caused her entire family to grow apart. The only two of us that keep in contact are myself and my aunt because she's the only one that views me as a sister instead of a niece. It's sad. But, I've learned a lot about myself from the experience.

      Thank you for reading and commenting!!! :D

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      Paula 4 years ago from Beautiful Upstate New York

      Daughter.....I am fairly shaken right now. Far too many echos in this hub for my comfort.......Wow....could we talk.

      You proved to yourself that you are amazing to have made choices to save yourself....and had the courage and deep understanding to sort so much out in your own mind in your own way.

      You're quite a girl! Bravo.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Wow, thank you fpheri! I have found more people that have grown up the same way after writing this hub than I have in the past 15 years! I am quite humbled by your comment! Thank you so much.

    • ramerican profile image

      ramerican 4 years ago

      thank you! thank you! thank you!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      You are quite welcome!! Thank you for reading and commenting!

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 4 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      ...now I don't feel so all-alone! And to think I'm living with them now. Thank you DOM. No wonder I can't get no satisfaction.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Wow, I'm so sorry you're living with them at the moment. I think I'd probably live out of my car before I moved back in with my mom. lol But, welcome yo out little group on the web lol, always happy to help.

    • johnwindbell profile image

      johnwindbell 4 years ago from - the land of beards and buggies

      What doesn't destroy me strengthens me ..... and thank Pan for canna! And thank you hub pages and friends like you here. You can always tell where my thoughts are, just look at my pages I wrote. And thanks for my fur-face friend.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      ha ha ha!! nice... yep... same place my mind goes at night... :D

    • earthbound1974 profile image

      earthbound1974 4 years ago from Bicol, Philippines

      You're still lucky having your grandparents to take care of you.

      I have an only daughter. I didn't got married to her father (a Muslim) due to the intervention of my late father.

      I was also thinking of leaving my daughter to my parents, but, I let them care for her during the first 5 years as I returned to vocational school for a better job.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thanks earthbound. Indeed, my grandparents didn't have to raise me and I wouldn't be who I am today without the childhood I experienced. It definitely made me stronger.

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

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      Ver 4 years ago

      I nearly cried reading this. I'm 22. My mum has just left my house after being here ten mins because I lost my temper. Why? Because she spent those ten mins yelling at me for having unwashed dishes and laundry that needs doing. When around her I feel tiny. Like I never do anything right. She puts me down. Always has. If I got 9/10 at school it'd straight off be "which one did you get wrong?". Always told to amuse myself. No actual attention paid. She had a bad childhood yet always takes over my life. Literally comes to my house, telling me what to do, telling me how my parenting to my daughter is wrong. Waiting for the tears to stop now.

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I'm so sorry Ver!! I totally know how you feel, and it's a horrible sensation. But it will pass. Most people put others down merely to make themselves feel better and if you're mother had a bad childhood herself, she has yet to overcome the damage that was done. The mind is a powerful thing, and can overcome anything if it's strong enough. Realize that your mother is lashing out at you because she's unhappy with herself. It really has nothing to do with you. Misery loves company.

      Raise your daughter the way you feel is best. If your mother doesn't like it, that's too bad. You're still so young, and you have yet to find your path in life. Your mother is hindering your ability to find that path. You'll have to do some soul searching to find what you truly want in life, but the most important thing to remember is that you need to do what YOU want to do, not what you think you're mother will want you to do.

      I wish you all the best, and keep your chin up. It gets better I promise.

    • supermom_in_ny profile image

      supermom_in_ny 4 years ago from NY

      I totally relate. My parents were very controlling. I think that's why I married Mr. Wrong. We were able to work all our issues out. I thank God that we all changed. I would have never made it without their support. Hopefully, one day soon you and your family can take baby steps to repair your relationship. Tomorrow is promised to no one.

      Great hub. It was very brave of you to share your life. Voted up.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you supermom, I too hope things work out eventually, although I don't foresee it in the near future. But you never know, the future is never certain. Thanks so much for reading and voting!!

    • Ruchi Urvashi profile image

      Ruchi Urvashi 4 years ago from Singapore

      It is great to read your story and see how life plays out and what we can do to make it better. Great read.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Ruchi! I'm glad you enjoyed it!

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      Mandeeadair 4 years ago from California

      Wow, this was very honest and touching and although I didn't grow up in a household like you did, I feel for you. I think those experiences do make us who we are and as a parent I hope I can guide my kids and not control them. I am sorry for what you went through and still deal with. It sounds as though you are on a great path now and that is awesome. Thanks for writing this...great hub.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Mandeedair! I know I'm trying very hard not to be controlling to my daughter. So far I think I've been pretty successful, but it's hard not to repeat the only behaviors you saw growing up. Thank you for reading and commenting!

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      Cara Alex 4 years ago from Somewhere in the United Kingdom

      What an amazing Hub. I do think that you have been able to get over the issues you face.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Alaxia, thank you so much! I think it's an ongoing process, I do struggle with it from time to time, but I'm definitely much happier.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Yes, DOM, it is an ongoing process. There will be long periods when things are going swimmingly and then out of nowhere (OK, it does come from somewhere) you find yourself raking over the coals and thinking how unfair it all is.

      Yes, it is unfair. Life is like that sometimes. Mulling over it endlessly is a waste of time because it the past can't be undone. As you say, it's what made us what were are today and we can take comfort in knowing how much better off we are now.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      It's amazing how much we think alike Phoenix! You're so right too. Interestingly, I notice I start mulling things over again, during Mercury Retrograde. Never fails, Mercury goes retrograde and memories from my childhood just start popping up out of the blue. I normally find I learn some small lesson from rehashing the past during these times. But to constantly rehash the issues would be insanity. And I do take comfort in the fact that I wouldn't be who I am right now, had I not grown up like that. :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Ha-ha. It still freaks me out a bit how similar our thought patterns are. You think I'd be used to it by now.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I'm still not used to my husband and I thinking on the same wavelength, so I doubt I'll ever get used to us thinking alike! :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Keeps life interesting, though. :)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Never a dull moment in this house! lol

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      Shelia Wadsworth 4 years ago from Central Pennsylvania

      Hello! I am very new to Hubpages and writing here. I have to say that this sounds very familiar to me as well. I found out a few years ago that my mom had been diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder some 30 or more years ago and some of what you endured sounds like your mom may have had this or some other mental health condition (although, to clarify, I am not authorized to make such diagnoses) just speaking from my experiences and the similarities to your own. I had finally limited contact with my mother in April of 2011 and she passed away in November. It was necessary for my sanity to finally create some boundaries with her as there were many she crossed (emotionally, physically, mentally). There are times I regret it, but for the most part I feel relieved. I want to thank you for sharing your story.

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      jan madge 4 years ago

      I was adopted but I did not like my adopted mother as she just did not trust me and even though I had been with them since infantcy I was always treat different from her two sons and I had no one to hug me when it hurt and now she has cut the bond that me and my daughter had she has come between us and now me and my daughter no longer talk.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I understand your alienation Jan Madge. I don't know how your mother destroyed the bond between you and your daughter, but you can't let her do it. You have to put your foot down so to speak and take control of the situation (which is not easy). You need to find out why your daughter won't talk to you. For example, I refuse to talk to my mother because she constantly belittles my husband no matter what he does and constantly tells me how my life could be better. But what she doesn't realize is I LOVE my life and I wouldn't change it for the world, not matter what she thinks. She constantly tells me she wishes my life was easier, but I don't. Sure we have tough times, probably more than some people, but we get through it, and we're stronger because of it. Life isn't meant to be easy.

      Until my mom changes the way she talks to me (which will most likely never happen) I refuse to talk to her. She has to realize I am my own person, and I'm not the woman she wants to think I am. If my mom even made a slight effort, I'd give her a chance, but she doesn't. She just constantly calls everyone but me (like my landlord) to see if I'm still alive. She just keeps pushing me away.

      I hope this is not the case with your daughter. But I share this in an effort to explain how finding out what caused the rift between you can facilitate healing. I wish you both all the best.

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      mom 4 years ago

      I don't have much to say except that after reading your stry ......for first real time I saw ( ME) "THE CONTROLLER/ OVERBARING MOM ) ! I want to thank you for exposing ( ME ) !!!! I needed that. I never in my life realized that I was afflicking my child like that in anyway...I'm. Terriably ashame now as a parent. That last thing I want is to push her out my life.its so awful to think I could have ruin her chances of true happiness when all I wanted to do was protect her from what I personally experienced in life....can I ever repair what I have already done.....Thank YOU

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @mom, thank you so much for your comment. I'm honored that my story could help you!

      You can absolutely repair the damage that has been done. But it won't be overnight. Let your daughter know that you realize what you have done, and how you have made her feel. An apology goes a long way to healing even the deepest wounds.

      But realize even if you do apologize, your daughter will be apprehensive. From my experience, if my mother were to call me and say that she's sorry and realizes the error of her ways, I would be hesitant to believe her, but I would try to give her a chance. It would be up to her to prove that she truly understood how I felt, and that she had changed.

      It will take time, but it can be done. I wish you all the best, and I hope everything works out with you and your daughter. Old habits are hard to break, and it will take a lot of effort on your part to keep from falling back into your old ways. But I believe you can do it! Mind over matter.

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      jafo 4 years ago

      I'd like to know if anyone can relate to this:

      My wife's mother was also extremely controlling. Very similar to these other stories. Her mother left and divorced her father last year after 40 years of marriage.

      My wife has had years of anger towards her mother built up inside her. After her mother left her father my wife attempted to confront her mother about some of these issues that were bottled up. Her mother refused to even let her talk to her. Her mother has never let my wife express her own feelings even since she was a little kid. We are both now in our 40's.

      That sent my wife into a tailspin. She began to drink heavily and eventually had sex with a complete stranger and continued "sexting" with him compulsively.

      When I found out I could see an immediate change come over her - back to her normal self. It was as if a demon had been released from inside her and she has since been the same wonderful person I have known for 18 years if not even better.

      I'd like to know if others here can somehow relate to the anger my wife felt and how it manifested in her destructive behavior and also offer my heartfelt sympathy to anyone whose parents didn't offer the basic emotional support that we all require.

      God Bless

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      sarasa66 4 years ago

      I read through your article fully.Indeed a overbearing mother does damage the well being attitude of the child.But i have had the exactly opposite experience with my dad.My mother passed away when i was hardly one and a half.Yes i am on my own without friends and queer thing is i don't want one to spend time with.My maturity and level of personal dignity is rather high.But i m afraid you are trying to find fault with your mothers anxiety and concerns.Now i am a bit confused---At home my husband refers to me as hitler when he talks to our only girl whos in college,right now.Ok,I understand,perhaps i am similar to your mother because i ve always wantedto be more caring,providing,engaging,loving,apprehensive about not letting my daughter being handled by anuone else even my husband and hence a over protective mother.I know that my daughter also doesn't have friends and she is aloof and contented with herself with no pranks or immature behaviour.I only hope you all understand the insecurity behind such a nosy and over bearing motherhood.Perhaps your mother had suffered because of an uncaring,not so serious,sometimes cold attitude of her parent and this is her answer to her problematic childhood.Please understand that we can all come out of childhood agonies because life is too big and flowing.

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      jafo 4 years ago

      sarasa66 - I think most of us understand that everything that happens to us will have an effect on how we behave. But the point is that if our parents - mothers or fathers can rise above their own insecurities they create a chain of happy well-adjusted children for generations to come. And those generations will want to have close trusted relationships...

      If they can't rise above then they will create generations of emotional hardship. What's more they cannot expect any kind of closeness coming back to them from their adult children if they weren't willing to start that connection when they were raising those children.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jafo I understand how your wife was thinking, although I've taken a different route. It's a form of escapism. Unfortunately, she had an affair. I turned to prescription medication, and ignored sex completely. It is like a demon until someone or something snaps you out of it and you realize what has been happening. Once you start to deal with the issues, life seems to become somewhat normal again. I'm sorry the two of you had to go through this, and I wish you both the best of luck.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @sarasa66 With all due respect, I think you may need to re-read the article. Essentially what I was saying is that, yes, my mother had issues in her life that she couldn't cope with and she raised me the only way she knew how. But that had psychological consequences for me, and I've had to work through them. I'm not trying to find fault with anyone. I've allowed my mother to control me, but I'm not any longer. Unfortunately, this entails me not speaking to my mother. I'm not blaming her for her past. I'm blaming myself for allowing her to be controlling and manipulate my life.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jafo, exactly, couldn't have said it better myself.

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      jafo 4 years ago

      @Daughter Of Maat, thanks! You too! BTW - we're closer than we ever have been in our lives...life is good!

      Cheers!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jafo That's fantastic!! I'm so happy for you both. Once we realize that the way we were treated really wasn't our fault, a whole new world opens up!! :D

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      jollyx9806 4 years ago

      Wow I feel better..much better, because I have been put in the same situation, and I realized some of the emotional scarring I received in the past did not only literally put my relationship with one parent on the 'rocks', but with her presence, I get so uncomfortable. I cannot stand being near her and feel at peace when she's out of the house. I get it's for 'best intentions', but the way it occurred is very degrading and unappropriate that it just caused me to rebel. And because of this, I do have this raging HATRED towards my Indian identity. Maybe it's the family too because a few members are also like that and explains why they are shattering. Today, I felt so uncomfortable to enjoy a conversation with a relative in her presence, and then she goes on ranting that I don't know to speak the Indian language they speak. Truth is I can, but I will never speak it around her presence b/c of some bad experiences of that. And had she not been there, I would have been fine. I hated going to India last time, and marriage issue they started to pressurize is too depressing to even think of. Funny thing is prior to that trip, the trip before I loved it and made me feel at home and be more intwined into the culture, but it shattered after when I was trying to be 'forced' to be this and that, and when I have a small slip up, it's freaking hell. Getting compared and hearing how back in India people are "glorified" and "innocent" people and that I should have grown up to be like that just made it worse. 1. It's not true at all, and second it's an insult to other cultures and races.

      For some reason I just feel my identity is trying to be stolen and I won't have any peace until I leave home. I did notice like you, that when I was away at college, I got to learn how to mature on my own and get around..in fact a relative of mine pointed it out. I also learned and realized that being on your own and learning mistakes is good and vital to help you realize the real world..and plus a little suffering is good mistakewise, not these kind of things. I don't know, but I have like no one to talk about these things because the ones who do understand are busy and my brother is in college, but I feel at ease now that many others are going through the same.

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      jollyx9806 4 years ago

      Forgot to add, I am grateful for the good values and stuff my parents gave me, but I can never forgive them, or at least not now how my brother and I were treated and the stuff that happens at home. When I was on my own, I never did drugs or that, I did drink, but occasional and responsibly since I hated the idea of getting 'drunk'. I got good grades and did well..was very happy. Now that I'm home, I just feel too bitter. I feel the urge to just go somewhere and to get my mind of. I'm taking two courses now, and it's hard to focus to study when being bitter. My mom says acting unpleasant is not good..well there's a reason for that isn't it? After what I've been put through, this is the price she pays, and I'm not going to spare that. I'm not gonna go behind and manipulate like some kids do..but am gonna show my true colors and be open and expose as much as I can, no matter how cruel or harsh it is. For even parents, I believe, you should respect for the considerate things they did, like paying for your education and stuff and in turn pay them back and the respect they need for it, but not the negative like humiliating and degrading you, which should not be tolerated.

      I feel the urge to start afresh, but the only way to succeed in that is get out, be on your own for a while and then take it there. However, I won't be going for nursing school for 3 more months..I PRAY it goes by fast.

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      j0di1971 4 years ago

      I could relate to your story in so many ways. I'm 40 and find myself still trying to deal with my mothers controlling ways. I'm the youngest of 6 and have also always felt deep down my mother never wanted to have that last child. My parents argued constantly until I was age 10 when they divorced. I was always close to my father and my mother was by far the aggressor. She was very controlling and I always had a fear of doing or saying something to get her angry. I was always very bashful and insecure with myself. When my parents divorced I would always look forward to visitations with my father. He died 6 months after my high school graduation. Not long after I began looking for affection in men which became a disaster. I'm now divorced with children and struggle every day with things that still haunt me from my past. Worst of all, I love my mother very much but she has yet to change. She is still controlling and very hard to be around for long periods because she will always say something hurtful that takes me back a few steps despite my efforts to help myself heal. I will say prayer, reading the bible and talking to my sisters has helped. I think as you get older you begin to find ways to take control and channel the negative into a positive direction. I now am very careful with how I raise my own children and thank God every day that we have a loving and close relationship.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jodi1971 I don't think it ever really ends. My sister who is 18 years older than I am still has to deal with her, and since I haven't spoken to my mother in a long, long time, I believe my sister gets the brunt of it.

      The one thing that really bothers me about not talking to my mother and keeping my distance from her (it's the only thing that bothers me really) is the fact that I can't talk to my dad. He and I were always close, and I do miss him. He is not part of the whole controlling thing. He's the type to keep quite and avoid confrontation at all costs. It's unfortunate because my parents are in their 80's.

      I withdrew from people in general when I first got out on my own. I didn't marry my first husband for love, only to keep from having to go back home, which was horrible of me, but I can't change it now. I never opened up to anyone until I met my second husband. I closed myself off because it made life so much easier. But the day I met him, I realized what I was missing and why.

      That realization I think is what propelled me out of living in the past, and showed me how to (as you said) channel the negative. Although I'm not a Christian, I do turn to my spirituality for comfort and guidance, which has helped me with my own daughter. It's very hard to break the nasty cycle of controlling behavior, and unfortunately I have found that I have to separate myself from the source of it to prevent myself from falling back into it.

      I wish you and your children all the best, and thank you for sharing your story with me and other readers!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I've left a note for you on Zurker. If you don't get there often, I just want to know if you would mind my sharing this there?

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Go right ahead! This is one hub I wouldn't mind going completely viral. The message is really important to me and I think it really needs to get out there. So, share away! :D

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      jollyx9806 4 years ago

      Hey I came back cuz I was wondering if you replied since you do often, but found you never replied to my post..is it something I said wrong? I don't know how offensive it is, but I needed to vent out fumes.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Jolly, I hadn't gotten a chance to reply your comment yet, because I wanted to make sure I responded thoughtfully and your comment(s) were lengthy with many points I wanted to address. Not ignoring you, and nothing you said was offensive, I am just choosing my words carefully.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jolly I know how you feel. I was always VERY uncomfortable in the presence of my mother. It felt like I had to walk on eggshells around her, and that did affect the way I related to other people (including relatives) when she was around. I really did enjoy the times she got so mad she'd lock herself in her room. I could actually relax! So I know exactly how you feel.

      I also understand the negative association you've developed between your culture and your mom. I'm a huge racing fan, but growing up, I was never able to enjoy it because my mother didn't like it and would always make snide comments about it. To this day I still have flashbacks of her making comments whenever I watch a race, which I rarely do nowadays.

      I think one of the main things I have learned is that no one can steal anything from you, least of all your identity, unless you let them. This was a very powerful revelation when I made it. Your second comment sounded a bit like you were (unconsciously) reveling in the bitterness and depression, which I completely understand, because I did it as well. The problem is it can overwhelm that urge you have to begin anew if allowed to fester. I know, because I went through it and it sucks the life right out of you.

      Revenge/vengeance is never an answer for anything. Your mother doesn't understand what she has done, and if she's anything like mine, she never will. Unfortunately, we have to accept that. Trying to make her see the error of her ways is like trying to resist the Borg, it's futile. (Sorry for the Star Trek reference). The only thing it will do is frustrate you and make you constantly wonder why.

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      jolly9806 4 years ago

      Thank you so much, I wasn't sure if I should post here. I feel a sense of relief, because these feelings were very haunting that I was trying to sleep it off for most of the day, and then I saw you replied.

      Any ideas to ease these feelings off? I'm thinking of calling a relative whom had it worse with his family later, and just talk to him. He can be stubborn and harsh, but he's a good guiding force because he experienced so much and brings better perspectives and talks to you in a manner to help you, not lash out at you. I realize it's because of the psychological and emotional aspects that I tend to not act my age as my mom says. She keeps hovering like that, I tend to act like that on purpose. I just need to go somewhere, but don't know where..where I can put aside everything and focus on what I need to do. I just don't want to live here anymore.

      Culturewise, you know my love for Indian culture greatly diminished, and because of things I faced in the past, it deeply affected, I feel, relationships with those in India. They made scenes and all that in front of people and that just caused me to want to lash at them. I regret actually not fighting back last time to not go and wished I could have had the opportunity to go alone rather instead to bond personally with my grandparents and other relatives. I don't think it can change now..what happened happened. I'm pretty pissed at my dad too b/c he bought a Skype to chat with them all yesterday and now I have face hell probably every week..wonderful. Just like yesterday.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jolly Unfortunately, nothing short of dealing with the feelings will ease them. The more you try to push them away, the more they fester and eventually they will become poisonous to your psyche.

      I used meditation and had really long discussions with my spirit guide during those meditations to help me understand my feelings. I don't know what religion or spirituality you practice, although I know Hinduism is the predominant religion in India. It's teachings on karma are most appropriate here, although my understanding of karma may be a bit different.

      The idea of karma helped me a great deal. In my meditations, I found that I had paid a large debt by suffering through my childhood as I did. Because of this, I would gladly do it again. If you think of it this way, it is easier to understand that these feelings you are having are a lesson you must learn. There is a lesson in everything we go through in our lives, whether you believe in karma or not. Our trials and tribulations make us who we are and we can't change that fact, we can only learn from the experiences.

      I can't tell you what to do in your situation, all I can tell you is If I had it to do over again, I would delve into the feelings and allow myself to feel them in an attempt to understand them and allow myself to grow. Talking them out may help, but only you can make sense of them, they are your feelings after all.

      Hope that helps, and I wish you all the best, feel free to contact me through any of the buttons in the upper right corner of my profile here on hubpages. It may be easier than having a personal conversation here.

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      jollyx9806 4 years ago

      Thank you for some words of wisdom :). Maybe you are right and the pain does not ease away easily, but honestly I do find I can get past it and move on w/o it affecting me later on. The pain I had in the past, though I remember effectively, does not really affect me anymore. It's hard to explain, but I just learned that what happened in the past happened and the pain just doesn't hurt anymore. I think the only pain I feel is the current pain that does stay with me for sometime.

      Also want to add, I hope you know that parents should have some 'control' of their kids, but with a balance where they let them explore on their own and learn on their own as well. Because if you do not hold any control and set certain boundaries (be kind, respectful, human..etc), then they will be uncivilized and just walk on top of you. But I agree too much control and suffocating them is over the limit where they unnecessary spread things about you. I really wish I had that balance.

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      talfonso 4 years ago from Tampa Bay, FL

      Wow that controlling mother you had was crazy! Have you read BATTLE HYMN OF THE TIGER MOTHER by Amy Chua? That author can more or less relate to her. She thinks that A minuses and below are bad grades, forces her kids to practice their music (piano and violin) even on vacation, and bars them from watching TV! Ouch!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Yup, I can totally relate!

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      jafo 4 years ago

      @jodi1971 - thanks! Good Luck!

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      maryann1101 4 years ago

      Hello,

      I just came to the realization that I have an overbearing mom. I just read your article and it so touched me, a lot of what you wrote is what my mom did to me. But I never had a good relationship with my Dad, his idea to deal with the fighting, tension of me and my mom is for me to apologize and just to do what she says. I am just now starting to understand how to deal with her. I moved out of the house with my then boydfriend(now fiancé), at first she couldn't wait for me to move out when I told her we were only thinking about moving out. She made my life miserable for 6-8 months till I finally moved out. Now she wants me back home, her idea in order for my and my fiancé to pay for the wedding I should move back home and he should move back to his parents (which is her suggestion for all my problems). I try not to tell her everything but we got into an little financial problem and we were late on some bills, by shich the creditors called my house, her suggestion is to move back home. We are doing ok now, slowly getting things back to normal. But now her thing is when we do have a fight and I don't talk to her for a few days is that she will call the cops. I wish i can disconnect from her but i can't because I still have to face her during the holidays when I go over my aunts house for dinner. Moving out was def the best thing I ever done for myself, I don't have her over to my apartment at all, which is another fight cause she feels she should be coming over at least once a week or more. But I can't have her over and she hasn't been for over a year. The phone calls are driving me crazy I can't seem to avoid them without her saying she will call the cops or getting my brother in the middle of it. Any advice on how to deal with her over the phone and especially when we get into fights?

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Hi Maryann1101. I was nodding all the way through your comment, and I'm so sorry you have to suffer through this. Unfortunately, I really don't have any good advice on how to deal with her. I can't even deal with my own controlling mother. My way of dealing with her is to avoid her at all costs. You do have to take control of your life though. Remember it is YOUR life, not hers. My mom would constantly tell me to come home, or if I got rid of my husband she'd take care of my daughter during the day while I worked. How is that a better solution to working through the rough times with my husband? It's not, but she thinks it is.

      I will say this, despite the fact that I miss my father tremendously, I am much happier now. Even though times are tough (and I mean REALLY tough), I'm happy because I'm with my husband and no one is telling me how much of a loser he is.

      I'm not sure talking to your mom would help, telling her how you feel etc. It never sunk in with my mom and if yours is anything like mine, it may make things worse. But like I said, it's your life. Live it the way YOU see fit, not the way someone else wants to you live it. :D

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      Made2Believe 4 years ago

      They're may be millions of persons who can empathize with your article. But you say very little about the effect that the behavior of your mother had on you. Yes, you speak more of the physical things you did as a result of reacting to your mother's behavior. But out of all that you said, this article does very little to help a teenager, especially better understand how to avoid being trapped and learn how to overcome the affects that this kind of childhood promotes. But overall, you did very well expressing how deeply it affected you.

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      sammieham0317 4 years ago from East Providence

      This hub hit me in the deepest emotional spot it could find. I had a controlling mom myself, who was as much physically abusive as she was emotionally. My parents were young when they started having kids and it seems that my mom never got those wild oats out of her system. She was mentally ill and if she didn't take her meds.. it was literal hell. On top of that her father was sexually abusive to us kids. I tried to marry at 16 just to get away from it. But after realizing that love is not some guy beating on you, I got away from that situation. At 16 years old I got a letter about going to Cambridge England for a writing program. I couldn't believe my luck. I too was bullied in school, except the difference was I WAS fat. So I thought this was an AMAZING chance for me. But my mom ruined it, saying I was too stupid or that I would never make it. She said I thought I was too good for the family. I ended up staying and going to community college. Not that there is anything wrong with that, but I ended up graduating with honors, and am still nothing more than a babysitter. Don't get me wrong, I love the boy I babysit. And I am happy with the man I finally met and am engaged to, but I still wonder, if things had been different with my mom, had I been loved more and supported, how different would things be? My mom passed away two years ago and I still have never healed from it, or made things right with her. My mom wasn't the kind of mom I could do that with. It would have made things worst if I had tried.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Made2Believe I think you missed the point of the article. It wasn't directed at teenagers. It is specifically directed at adults who have been through similar situations. I also think you mistake "physical" for emotional. The entire article details my emotional response to how I was treated, and how I dealt with that response. The title of the article is "The Psychological Effects of a Controlling Mother" not "How to Deal with the Psychological Effects of a Controlling Mother." In fact, the very first sentence of my hub states that this is a personal account. Anyone who has had a similar experience will identify with this article (as you can plainly see from the comments), and if you've been through this, you know how comforting that can be, if you have not the article will not have the same meaning.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @sammieham0317 I understand completely and empathize fully! As I stated, I completely failed at college, and I wonder if I had had a different childhood where I would be today. Unfortunately, if we constantly wonder what if, we'll drive ourselves insane!

      I'm so sorry you never got a chance to reconcile with your mother, but maybe that's reconciliation in and of itself. If she never made an effort to make things right, that says quite a bit. Why would you need to make things right with her when you are the victim? I know how that sounds, it's very harsh, but it is an alternate perception. You, honestly, have nothing to reconcile, you didn't ask to be treated that way. (I'm sort of thinking out loud here, these are some of the thoughts I have when I think about how I might feel after my parents pass.) None of us should feel remorse for avoiding emotional (or physical) abuse regardless who the abuser may be. The feeling of obligation to always being the dutiful child really doesn't make any sense if you think about it. Spiritual beliefs aside, my parents chose to have me (well in my case adopt me). I'm not responsible for my parents decision and I certainly didn't ask to be treated the way I was. There is no logical reason to feel obligated (emotional yes, logical no).

      I hope I didn't make you feel worse. My thoughts are always very analytical in nature and many people find them to be abrasive. But the truth remains, you're free of the tyranny. Smile, and make your life YOUR OWN! :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I still wonder how things would have turned out if I had come from a loving and supportive family. Would have discovered writing sooner and be further along, instead of just starting out? Would I have gone to college and gotten a degree? Would I have met my husband and have the three kids I have now?

      Yes, wondering what might have been can drive you mad so it's best not to get caught up in 'what ifs'. The important thing is we survived. Survived and prospered despite our setbacks. We should be very proud of ourselves.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @phoenix Indeed!! Very well said. I wonder myself if I would have goten my degree, and what kind of career I would have had. But then I think about the career I did have, and I just smile. I thoroughly enjoyed my career and met some WONDERFUL people. I'm very proud of my life thus far!

      Btw, I haven't forgotten about your email, Things are just REALLY stressful at the moment and all my time is spent writing (trying to make the bills). :(

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      I know you haven't, Sweetie. And I know all too well how reality can get in the way of life. Like I said, in your own time. I mean, I've waited ten years to finally address this, I don't imagine a few more weeks will make a difference.

      Best wishes and blessings to you and the family.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Phoenix!! :D

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      Trudi Goodwin 4 years ago from Texas

      Your story breaks my heart. You have overcome so much. Blessings to you. I grew up with an overprotective mother. My husband says she was controlling. Mom always said overprotective out of love. She was 44 years old when she had me. I wasn't allowed to go to school dances, go out with friends, etc. She always belittled my dad. My husband points out that I tend to do that to him. I have been married 15 years and still felt the need to do what she wanted. Heck, I struggled going to a different church than her.

      Mom will be 86 years old this month and has Alzheimer's. I miss her but she no longer controls me.

      Blessings to you.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Trudi Thank you. My dad always told me my mom was overprotective out of love, but it never really made things any better. My parents were older too and I think that might have a lot to do with how they raised me. Interestingly, I have the same problem, belittling my hubby, although I have gotten much better at stopping myself. I find that I have to be very careful with my daughter, because I can sometimes be worse to her than my mom was to me. That's probably the most difficult thing for me to overcome.

      My mom will be 80 next year. It's a sad situation really, not talking to her, but every time I have tried to work things out, she always tells me how its my fault and her emotions start to run wild. It's very upsetting and it affects how I treat both my husband and my daughter. It's a catch 22.

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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      Martha Lucinda 4 years ago

      Dear Daughter of Maat,

      I'm glad you have found yourself, despite all your struggles. My friend has controlling parents, one who is the boss in the family, and the other who wanted her to be just like her parent. And her parents did truly love and take care of her. They did the best they could as their parents worked hard and did not have time to teach parenting skills to their large number of children. But through meeting a group of loving people, my friend is truly discovering who she is. So in her case, these true friends helped her like no one else could. She's so much happier, trying to find who she is, and not who the parents wanted her to be. And her parents gradually are seeing who she is, a kind, smart, pretty, generous, loving and caring woman. God bless you and yours, Martha

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Martha, I know how your friend feels, my husband helped me to find who I really am. Although my parents have yet to acknowledge that fact. I wish your friend all the best! Thank you for reading and commenting!

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      Angela 4 years ago

      Where to even begin, I don't know...

      Controlling almost doesn't even cover what has occurred in my life, it's more like massacred my existence. I have finally come to realize that my mother has many mental problems that will most likely never be resolved as she's about 60 years old and quite set in her ways. Although she is the type that was probably quite set in her ways by her early 20's, no joke.

      I am the family scapegoat, solely by my mother but also now extending out to my brother and father because of her continual lies and manipulations. I have two daughters, one is autistic and in the care of my mother. In some ways this is for the best as I was only 20 when she was born and was in no way financially ready for the expenditures an autistic child needs to have a good life. However, she seems to have taken it upon herself to deem me "unstable" to everyone in the family as well as everyone and their dog who will listen I'm sure. The only "unstable" thing about the situation was my finances, I am a very solid, stable person and always have been. I am a strong person and firm in my opinions which I see as a plus, which my mother also is although hers is much, much more of a domineering personality. I'm a live and let live unless you affect me personally type of person.

      I am and always have been somewhat of a goody two shoes and actually have been taken advantage a few times for my kind nature. My mother seems to think for some unknown reason that I am the most evil person she has ever laid eyes on. She talks horribly about me to my own brother who now does not care for me too much, saying things like I'm on drugs and that I'm unstable which I just can't wrap my head around. Unless she means financially, in which case she struggles herself, I have no clue what she's referring to.

      Although I think I have it figured out now; I think she has Borderline Personality Disorder. She has accused me of so many untrue things my entire life that it's absurd. She's very professional and gets things done at work so whoever she tells these things to tends to believe her. She acts like I'm insane, when in reality I'm a very calm and rational person. I unfortunately did suffer however for a few years from severe health problems that made me temporarily have a short fuse which is almost completely gone now. However, she didn't even know about that because she wasn't in my life at that point. All the accusations were already well in place before that even started.

      She almost had me believing that maybe I was unstable (I still didn't get how, but I figured she was referring to finances), until I thought about all the people in my life that respected me and thought good things about me including stability of character, etc.

      I have not been allowed by her to see my own daughter because I can only assume that she thinks I'm "not a good influence" which is absurd to say the least. I'm the only one in the family who has strong ambitions to open businesses and improve life for people through these businesses. I've spent a lot of time researching just how to do this, even when I was deathly ill from the illness I spoke about above. It takes money to make money though and I'm lucky to live with my father who helped out when I was ill and took me in, as my mother helped me for about a week only to promptly throw me out because I said very casually and jokingly "I can't believe you thought I was on drugs". She gave me the dirtiest look imagineable and said "You will NOT talk to me like that in front of Leena(my autistic daughter)." From then on she ignored me and stomped around with an extremely aggressive manner and called my brother to make me get out of her house. I was on my deathbed sick, and she purposely put my brother right in the middle of it so that he will think I must have been a horrible person to her. It's all about her looking perfect to people and all about her image, it was never about her child, me. I could barely move literally I was so sick, I was shaking in pain from a parasitic infection in my heart. My mother then proceeds to have my brother tell me to get my car the hell off of her property (I can't even drive because I'm too sick by the way). I also was living extremely paycheck to paycheck so I had nowhere to go because I couldn't work at that point.

      My mother tells me she wants doesn't want me anywhere near where she's living and talks bad about me I'm pretty sure to everyone including old friends of mine and their mothers. It is a pretty small town I lived in most of my life where this took place, so people must think I'm nuts at this point.

      Me and my father have very different viewpoints on things and therefore don't always see eye to eye, although he hates my mother and pretty much agrees she's a maniac. Unfortunately he's become quite a bitter man and tends to take things out on me that he perceives are me "acting like my mother" when really it's miles apart from how my mother acts. About the only thing in common me and my mother have are that we are both strong people, which for some reason my father seems to abhor about me.

      I'm also into trying natural medicine, herbs, etc. when at all possible in lieu of chemical medicine, although I will use whichever one is most beneficial to the condition at hand. My father absolutely hates this for again "some reason". He is either just extremely old school mentality or just hates me because I'm a female that reminds him of my mom whom he was torturously married to for 15 years before they divorced. My strength reminds him of my mom, even though mine isn't an abusive form of strength (I'm not perfect of course I've raised my voice at my daughter out of stress but at least I apologize when I've gone too far).

      For years I cried and yearned to see my daughter only to have the one person who should be on your side turn against you. My mother was supposed to just help raise my autistic daughter, not completely dominate and cut me out of her life! I ask you this, honestly what kind of mother would think this was in the best interest of the child? Not a psychologically normal one. Even mothers who have drug problems or other mental illness or whatnot seem to be able to still see their children. My mother has done everything she can to make it impossible for me to re enter my daughters life, and I've tried to make it work in any way I can for years and years. The whole time she's lied to my family and told them that I was the one to cut off contact - LIES, LIES, LIES. I was calling my daughter every week and my mother got mad at some random thing I said and refused to take my phonecalls anymore. I also went over to her house to see my daughter and was met with the door never opening after I rung the doorbell (she was in there and I heard them going to hide).

      She sends back presents I send for Leena for no reason other than pure spite. It would obviously benefit my daughter to know that someone other than my mother loves her very much and likes to send her gifts, but the control monster wins. She says she does things for my daughter's sake and somehow my brother believes her and still thinks I am the devil or something and that I'm not stable. I've never tried drugs in my life, only drank alcohol when I would go out on an extremely rare occasion if then, and I've always made responsible choices with the care of my daughter that lives with me.

      I'm flabbergasted and the more I try to defend myself to my family, the more of a liar I"m made out to be, so I just don't try anymore.

      What in the world am I supposed to do without much money and when family has been turned against me? I just want to feel normal and silly me like my family actually loves me.

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      Amy D. 4 years ago from Mostly in My Own Little World

      This is a great hub. My mom wasn't so much overbearing as she was overprotective. We weren't allowed to go anywhere or do anything because she was so worried and scared that things would happen. I fight everyday to not be that way with my kids. It's difficult because I constantly in my mind have the worst scenarios in my head just from them even walking to check the mail. I've gotten better, I really try to give them a little more trust and freedom because when I was young, it only made me rebel much more and ended up getting into a lot of trouble into my early twenties.

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      SkeetyD 4 years ago from Barbados

      Daughter of Maat, your life has been truly an ordeal. Enduring all kinds of 'suffering' especially in your teenage years or the turbulent years as I like to call them. But at the end of it, you seem to have adjusted very well and are using all these negative things in a positive way in your life. Keeping the past where it belongs.... behind you, yet never forgetting. Good for you.

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      Anastasia Kingsley 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      Hello Daughter of Maat! (what does your name really mean, if I may be so bold to ask?)

      We have something in common - controlling mother and passive father. I have had a similar experience in childhood, not quite as harsh, but could relate to hiding in the room, escaping with the car, yelling, intimidation and so on. Somehow I look for my father's traits - kindness / weakness / compassion and end up with my mother's traits - control / bullying / mental hogwash in the people I attract. UGH! To my loud, happy brother, my mom told him that the police would come arrest him for murder since he would give my father a heart attack (he had just returned from the hospital for the umpteenth, a natural consequence of such a turbulent family home). Like you and your dad, he often looked down in silence.

      I too got out early (at 18) and kept minimal contact. After my father's death my rel with my mom is, at the moment, the best it's ever been. Like a pretzel, it's kind of outwound itself. I don't have much to do with her, simply because we are two different people. I don't seek her approval but often I am surprised when she gives it - it's all the same to me, one way or another. After 30 or more years, I don't hate her either. She is the product of a hellish alcoholic family home and she has managed to emerge in one piece, however damaged. Like a porcupine, I think the abusers feel the quills inside and that's why they poke and stab the people they are the closest too.

      I feel like I have advanced beyond her control and don't allow anyone to put me in a box anymore.

      Those who say "but I thought you were going to... (fill in the blank) I just say "you thought wrong". Or, "I was counting on you to..bla bla bla" . I refuse to let myself be used anymore for my brains, goodwill or whatever. It feels good to be able to have - and finally attract - clean relationships with quality people, male and female.

      My kids are pretty well adjusted, and I try to communicate with them and encourage the same. They are both truly exceptional people and I hope they have an even better life than I do. My son has picked up some passive aggressive tendencies which I am working on squashing right now, and daughter has a couple control issues, but identification is the first step.

      Up, Interesting and Beautiful. You sure were a gorgeous young thing!!! I hope you find a way to have a visit with your father every now and then!!

      Regards, Anastasia

      Like you said, no regrets.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Angela, Your situation sounds eerily like my own in many ways, although minus the illness and my daughter isn't autistic. Although I don't share you urge for a family that loves me, I do fully understand it. Personally, I have come to the conclusion that a situation as toxic as your own is best avoided at all costs. But, financial problems do have a way of making that impossible. However, it sounds as if your mother wouldn't help you anyway.

      As for your daughter, I assume you haven't relinquished your maternal rights, in which case you could use the legal system to get her back if your mother won't let you take her. Yes, I know it does cost money, but if it comes to that, you may be able to find an attorney that works Pro Bono. When it comes to children, Pro Bono attorneys are a bit easier to find. You would have to show that you are financially able to care for the child, but if your mother also has financial issues, I would think it would be somewhat of a moot point.

      Aside from that, I'm not sure what to tell you, other than you don't need your family to love you. As a society we have come to the conclusion that family is everything, but we have not clearly defined the word "family." My family has become my husband, our daughter, my sister, and my menagerie of animals and I'm fine with that. I can't allow myself to be mentally subjected to abuse. It affects all my relationships and my own well being. It's the same for you. At this point, standing up for yourself may be cutting all ties with your family and starting a new life (with your daughter of course). I have found my life is much happier (despite my current trials and tribulations) than it ever was before. You shouldn't loathe speaking to your mother, although that's exactly what it had come to for me.

      Congrats though on turning to alternative medicine. I have done so myself, along with vitamin therapy, and I am a much healthier person. Hopefully you have overcome your illness, but should you ever need it, vitamin therapy deserves some consideration since the majority of the population has some form of vitamin deficiency.

      I wish you all the best, and good luck.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @holyjeans30 I know what you mean. I too fight daily to not treat my daughter the way I was treated, and it is truly very difficult. After being subjected to either a controlling or overprotective parent for so long, it's hard not to repeat the behaviors we have seen for almost our entire lives!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @SkeetyD Thank you. It has been difficult, but I have come to the conclusion there was a lesson in those 18 years (somewhere... buried...) and realizing that has made all the difference. As you said, it is important to not live in the past, but just as important not to forget it, lest we forget the lessons we have learned. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!! :D

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Anastasia, My name is actually the product of my value of integrity. Maat was the Egyptian Goddess of truth and moral integrity and in my pagan beliefs, I feel powerfully drawn to her. The one thing in my life that I have valued above all else is integrity, and because of that, I consider myself her daughter(and hope she does to), following in her footsteps. Feel free to call me DOM, it's a lot easier than typing the whole thing out lol

      I fully understand how you feel. I don't hate my mother (although I'm not really all that fond of her- but that doesn't mean I don't love her. You don't have to like your family!). She is just like her mother, and has been through her own trials and tribulations and although she has not dealt with those issues in the psychologically healthy manner, she did the best she could. The porcupine metaphor is an excellent one!

      My daughter is only six, and I fight daily to treat her better than I was treated, but it is difficult. But obviously it can be done if you have successfully raised wonderfully kids!

      Although I miss my dad terribly, I don't think my mother will ever let me speak to him without going through a long drawn out, emotional argument/discussion/conversation that gives HER closure and makes everything out my fault. Its unfortunate, but I can't subject myself to "this is all your fault, you husband is lazy and useless, why would you want to hurt us like that, we're your parents, we just want you to be happy but you should leave your husband, your life is so hard, we just want you to have an easy life..." etc. Life isn't meant to be easy, and I'm not going to leave my soul mate just because we have financial issues. See... just thinking about it has me all up in a tizzy! lol

      Anyway. Thank you for sharing your story! Absolutely, no regrets. :D

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      Anastasia Kingsley 4 years ago from Croatia, Europe

      I understand completely, it's just not worth it, going there. The good news about being adults is that we are capable of making your own decisions in life. (you can imagine how mine responded when I said I was moving to Croatia! My dad was dancing my mom was crying!)

      Thanks for explaining your unusual name, which you have obviously earned. I have no doubt you will raise a wonderful daughter, since you are so determined to give her the best life has to offer. I've heard it said, the best way to be a good parent is to be a good person, trust your instincts and put yourself in the kids' shoes. Congrats, and

      all the best, dear DOM, - from ECAL (LOL)!

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      Devika Primić 4 years ago from Dubrovnik, Croatia

      Having a problematic childhood does in most cases affect adulthood and I know what it is like to have a controlling parent. Thanks for sharing your story you are a brave person to do so.

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      RACHITHA CABRAL 4 years ago from Mangalore

      Great Hub! That's exactly how my story ended too. Having been in an abusive relationship for 6 years i 've finally got out and managing wondefully well with my 4 year old. Hadn't ever known for a very long time why i kept falling for the wrong ones. Its because our self esteem takes a severe bashing. You write wonderfully well and i personally feel you must publish a book on this issue. If possible. : ) Keep on writing.

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      Sheila 4 years ago from North Carolina

      Glad I am not the only one. I too was adopted and raised Catholic and attended private school and had a sad, strict upbringing. I wrote about it as well, it is sad but I survived!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @ECAL (love it!)

      lol I can understand the reaction you probably got when the parents heard about Croatia! I know how mine felt when I told them I was moving to North Carolina (when we were still speaking).

      Thank you, I hope I'm doing a good job for her, but you always wonder. :) But I think that might be part of the experience.

      Much love and happiness! - DOM :D

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @DDE Thank you! If it helps others, it's well worth putting myself out there. :) Thanks for stopping by and congrats on making it through that time of your life! :)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @rachitha Thank you!! A book is actually in the works. I had put it to the side for a bit, I wasn't sure if it was a good idea, but your comment confirmed that the book should indeed be written. :D

      It is a self esteem issue, and I don't think we realize it until we've suffered extensively, and unfortunately I'm sure there are those who don't realize it, which again reinforces the book idea. Thank you so much for stopping by. Your comment has kicked my butt into writing gear!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @imarescuegurl I'll have to read your story, I always like to read about others who have had similar experiences. I think we can learn a lot form them. Where in North Carolina do you live? (Just curious, I lived in Charlotte for a year in an attempt at escape lol)

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      badmofo 4 years ago from The Universe

      Many parents are mentally ill, but people either don't know enough about mental illness or they can't believe that their once invincible heroes are undiagnosed crazy. Even as a kid, I knew my pop wasn't reasonable. I knew he was crazy then. Has he changed? Of course not. Expecting that would make me crazy too.

      Secondly, most controlling people (either gender) is because they are frantically and desperately trying to control something or ANYTHING. As a captive audience, you are who's available (and for whatever their other many issues are). It's not even personal. You just live their for "free" so you trade that for shelter and food.

      That's the simple truth.

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      Sheila 4 years ago from North Carolina

      I live by Emerald Isle, its very close to Jacksonville. (military base)

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      Mary Merriment 4 years ago from Boise area, Idaho

      Wow. It is both amazing and sad to realize that others had the same experiences and effects from an overstressed and controlling mother.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @badmofo um, I'm not entirely sure I get what your saying, unless you mean to say that as children, we live for free in our parents home and therefore are required to be subjected to their mental illness. While that is partially true (we live in their home for free), regardless of whether a child is adopted or conceived, the parents CHOSE to care for that child. The child has no choice in the matter, they didn't ask to be born in the first place. Their parents decided to bring them into the world. It's sort of selfish if you think about it, which means the child does NOT live there for free, they are essentially imprisoned, especially if the parents have mental illnesses, or controlling behaviors.

      It's by no means simple, the human condition is excessively complex.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Mary Merriment, a bit scary isn't it? :)

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      My mother definitely had mood disorders which she was generous enough to pass on to me. I often felt like a prisoner living with her. I was never allowed to visit other children. She said they could come visit me. I knew this wasn't true as she didn't like visitors cause they messed up her clean apartment. I was not allowed to go outside and play. She said it was a dangerous neighbourhood. True enough, but there were other mothers who stood on the steps chatting while keeping an eye on the other children. My mother didn't have any friends as she was two-faced towards the other mothers. She would chat with them friendly as anything then as soon as their backs were turned she would say mean things about them. Eventually they just ignored her. I spend my childhood cooped up in my bedroom either doing homework or watching TV. Needless to say, I have very little social skills.

      By the time I was 19, I had broken out of prison and got my own place. The only problem was I had spent so many years focusing on just getting away that when I finally did, I had no idea where to go from there. This was the beginning of a very difficult but sometimes fun odyssey of trying to figure out who I was, where I wanted to go and how to get there.

      No we don't get to choose our parents, but can choose who we wish to be. In my case, I just didn't want to be her. She left quite a mess in my life but with help from my doctor, my husband, my children and my meds I will get it cleaned up. Life's like that sometimes.

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      badmofo 4 years ago from The Universe

      Daughter and Phoenix, I agree with you both about the prison thing. I'm just lucky enough that I didn't carry the prison with me into my future. I know plenty of people who leave prison physically, but never escape for their whole lives.

      What's really crazy is that while on the physical plane, we don't choose to be born.....we actually do choose to be born and we even choose our sucky parents. Now I marvel at them and only think, "What the HELL was I thinking?!!!!!!!! A little ambitious, HUH?!"

      ;)

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @phoenix I swear we're related. My mom was exactly the same. She had no friends. Everyone loved dad, but mom only made small talk and always said how she hated all of dad's friends because they were all bad people (they weren't actually, some of them were actually very kind.

      Like you I broke out of prison the hard way, got married to an ass, and never actually met ME until I met Greg. Go figure. I like who I am now, and because of that I don't think I'd change anything. Life has a funny way of working out sometimes.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @badmofo We choose our parents on the astral plane based on karmic debts, so yes, there is a rhyme to the reason. But there is also free will. We may choose who we want our parents to be based on debts we need to pay, but those people we choose can also always change their mind and decide against having children. My bio mom is the perfect example. It took me a couple of tries to get here, since my bio mom had an abortion first.

      But, existentialism aside, on the physical plain, we have no choice.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi DOM.

      Just letting you know I've sent a reply to you email. In case it gets diverted again. Talk to you soon.

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      Sarah 4 years ago

      It is bittersweet to hear all the stories here. I can definitely relate, but at the same time I have lived so long under the cloak of the "perfect family" phasade that it makes me feel terribly guilty to even consider that maybe it isn't all my fault. Especially when so many people say "your family never abused you!" (My dad beat my asthmatic brother till he could not breath on more than one occasion and my mom had no qualms about spanking with wooden paddles or switches when we were younger and I got a few slaps and shakes when I was in my teens.) I am very grateful that it was not worse. I did have it much better than some.

      I married young to a guy who is a great guy but I mainly did it out of guilt and a sense that "anyone would do" because I didn't really believe in love as an emotion. Just as a consequence of a deep commitment. So I committed. For ten years I put up with his temper tantrums, moodiness, emotional spending, lost all my friends, had four kids, gave up every dream I ever had to try to make it PERFECT. When I finally just mentally and emotionally gave up on ever being happy with him I met someone else. Because of the kids and financial difficulties I felt I couldn't leave yet but I was desperate not to lose my chance with the new guy and I had an affair. My mom and my husband understandably threw some giant fits when they found out. I tried to leave. I packed all my stuff and moved out. I kept on trying to work it out with my husband because I felt he deserved the chance to change. My mom REFUSED to accept that I did not want to be married to him anymore. She would say things like "you are MURDERING your children emotionally!" "They will NEVER GET OVER this!" Screaming at me that I am being selfish and making the most stupid decision I could possibly make. The day I gave my husband divorce papers he reached out and grabbed me and I thought he was going to choke me but he says he just wanted a kiss goodbye. He called me and told me he could find my boyfriend's house and that he had half a mind to go beat his face in until he was a bloody puddle on the floor. I called my boyfriend to warn him because I was scared and he got mad and thought I must have told husband where boyfriend lives. Then he wouldn't speak to me anymore. Then husband was in a wreck and got amnesia and forgot the last half of our sour marriage and EVERYONE I know told me to just pretend everything g was fine. I was an emotional wreck at this point so I just did what they said. Now here I am feeling like "how the heck did I get here?" And I am so angry and resentful of so many people even though I know it is ultimately all my fault. I would like to be in control of my life but I kind of feel like I don't really have it in me to even try anymore.

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      lanablackmoor 4 years ago from New England

      Wow. It's like parts of this were written about my life. I can't even put into words how chilling it is to read this, because it mirrors so many things I've thought and felt over the years. Thank you so, so much for sharing this.

      You're so right. It sounds like your mother, like mine, had a codependent attachment to you. It can so often masquerade as just "overprotective," and people write it off as such, but it's more than that. The kind of attachment you describe here is crippling. I'm so glad that you managed to see it for what it was and become your own woman. Voted up, and sharing.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good Morning, DOM,

      Check you email.

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      Jacqui 4 years ago

      I have bipolar! I love my girls,they are my life n soul,they are my everything. Why does my ex STILL have so much control (after 9 years) of making my girls making feel ususeless n a failure

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Email time!

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Sarah. You do have it in you! Giving up, I have found, lets everyone else win, and you can't live your life like that. So you made some bad choices in the past, haven't we all. Ultimately, you need to decide if you want to continue to live with the consequences of living in the past, or move on. But whatever you do, don't let someone else tell you how live your life. It's YOUR life. You always have it in you to live your life.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @ianablackmoor Thank you! Indeed overprotectiveness is much more than what it appears to be, and it crippled me for years. Hopefully this hub helps others see the pattern, and change it.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Jacqui I mean this in the most sincere way, but your ex still has control because you allow him to have it. You need to take that control back and keep it. Even though your bipolar, you can still live a fairly normal life with medications and other treatments. It doesn't define who you are. You define who you are. You can take control of the situation. Your not useless, and we only fail if we allow ourselves to repeat the same mistakes.

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      BeliDee 4 years ago

      Very similar to my life story. Which outsiders don't seem to get my side of the story. They think I'm the wrong one.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      They never do, BeliDee, they never do. Some people just can't accept the fact that some mothers aren't all smiles and sunshine. And they treat you like some kind of traitor for saying so.

      That's why I was so grateful to find someone who had been there and really understands what it's like to grow up in that environment.

      Thanks again, DOM, for writing this.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @belidee Indeed, Phoenix is right, they never do understand it. Everyone seems to think that all kids are given a fantastic childhood when that's the furthest from the truth. Like both you and Phoenix said it seems like we're treated as traitors for speaking up about how we were raised. But I think that might be because we have overcome the adversity, and subconsciously, those people who think we're wrong, don't want to admit to themselves that they have yet to overcome their own childhood issues.

      And like phoenix said, I was also grateful to find someone who had gone through the same thing, and understood what it feels like. The simple validation that we are not alone in this situation means a lot and can make all the difference.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Well said Phoenix. And you're welcome! Thank you for all your support. I was actually about to send you an email! :D

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      jollyx9806 4 years ago

      Well I had another episode today..but at least survived. Been reading some of the newer posts. Unfortunately my tolerance level has become quite low and I've been snapping and losing my cool (usually I'm a calm and tolerable person) and unintentionally been saying things that may be hurtful, but my mom took it too far I felt she needed to stop and the only way to stop is to confront her. Only consequence was that I was slapped and bitten once for doing that and she then claims the usual "I pay for your education, and this is how you treat me?". Then she goes how "I never spent time with her, did anything for her..etc" (which is not entirely true). Well do you think it's due to the damage in the past? And top of that, tried to keep my communication low so it can be peaceful and I can recover mentally. My dad may have suffered a bit too and didn't even talk much to her. But all of a sudden she starts everything again criticizing, pointing too many faults etc..couldn't handle anymore. Appears one can only tolerate for a time, but when it gets too much, the best option to do is to leave, but if that's not an option, then it's no doubt you'll snap, which I did.

      Felt good reading this again.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @jolly, I'm so sorry you had to go through that. Unfortunately, that's what they want it seems, for you to lose you're cool. My mom could never get a rise out of me and she would become furious!! I heard that so many times when I was in college. "I pay for your education and have done all this for you, and this is how you treat us? Your parents?" Yup, I don't have the same sense of family that most people (including my mother) do. My family is my husband and daughter and they are all that matters. Personally, I look to the animal world for comparison, and we're one of the few species that stay in contact with our parents. Even wolves, with their pack mentality, once a wolf leaves the pack they can never rejoin it. I tend to be a lone wolf anyway though.

      I hope things work out for you, or at least get better. My best wishes for you!! Keep in touch, I'm usually around most of the time. :D

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      Shanti-Marie 4 years ago

      Your story and your comments over these years has been soul settling!

      I have a severely controlling mother and was abused emotionally and at short times physically by my mother. My mother even had me sleep on the floor of our living room as I wasnt conforming to her wants. So she took away my room from age 12 on. At 15 she was extrememly wealthy and had me committed!! The doctors of course found nothing wrong with me so I was discharged. However, my mother finally found a doctor who prescribed me heavy sedatives based on what she told them, lies. All because I wouldnt listen to her every want. She would count my pads during 'that time of the month' just to make sure I wasnt preggo. Ugh..and the list goes on....

      Now I am grown, have a husband, and a 3 year old daughter. I see my mom treating my daughter as a fixture and not a grandchild...controlling how she eats and walks...among many other things. Today I was told she is in control of how my daughter is raised and if I dont abide she will call the cops and CPS. Of course even if they showed up they would find nothing wrong. She is driving a wedge between my husband and I...I find myself sobbing and angry after our brief phone calls. I take it out on my husband...unknowingly in the moment. I HAVE to distance my family from her. I dont want to hurt her...its weird I feel oddly guilty for even thinking of telling her to take a hike...but I know she is poisonous to me, my life, and even still as an adult, my self esteem. Here I am approaching 30....and still trying to figure out how to deal with my mother! Ludicrous! How do you tell someone, whom you have been biologically engineered to love, that they utterly destroy you and to take a hike??? I am so full of guilt. I try not to let my anger towards her consume me and I know I have to let it go..but how? How do I let go of the anger without guilt?

      I am so so sorry for the ranting...but you really spoke to my soul. I know there is light at the end of the tunnel but how do I find it?

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Shanit-Marie, I apologize for not answering you sooner, I've had some legal issues to deal with and just now got a chance to check for comments.

      I know how you feel. Honestly, I still feel guilty at times, and I don't think that will ever go away completely. Mainly because society has this ideal of the perfect family. Children are supposed to respect their parents no matter what, it seems. But when we decide that we're being poisoned by our parents destructive behavior, we're the "bad guy" so to speak. And because we disagree and want to live a happy life, free of guilt, and torment, we're made to feel even more guilty.

      But we have to separate ourselves from that feeling of guilt. I've come to the conclusion that my sanity and that of my daughter and my husband are what is important now. Yes, my parents raised me, and I'm very grateful for that, and truth be told I'll always love my parents. But I will not let my mother treat me as if I don't know how to live my life, or that I don't know what I want in my life.

      She has told me that I should leave my husband, that I have to do what's right for my daughter (apparently that's leaving my husband) and that it doesn't matter if I love him or not. What matters is whether or not he is providing for the family. Well, I'm sorry, but I don't agree. Love is what matters and I want my daughter to see that, not that money is more important.

      How do you let go of the anger and the guilt? Unfortunately, all I can tell you is what I did. I did a lot of soul searching, and I came to the realization that I love my husband more than anything in this world. I also realized that every time I spoke to my mother, my husband and my daughter got the brunt of my frustration and anger. The only way I saw to end that cycle, was to stop talking to my mother altogether. Unfortunately that meant I'm unable to speak to my father. That torments me. My dad and I were always close. But like my mother said: I have to do what's right for my daughter (and my husband).

      The guilt and the anger are still there. It never completely goes away I don't think. But you come to terms with your decision if you've made the right one and that helps to alleviate the intensity of the guilt and anger. My husband and my daughter are my family now, and that's all I really need. :D

      I hope that helped. :D

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Just a quick visit to wish you and your lovely family a wonderful Yule.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      And a very happy Yule to you as well, although belated! I hope you had a fantastic one!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 4 years ago from United Kingdom

      Thank you, DOM. It was a pretty good one despite having a virus that's seems to have settled in my throat. I've had them before but the Vit C is doing a great job of keep it at bay. Throat's a little sore but still was able to enjoy a good day at my daughter's home. So glad I read that hub of yours. :)

      Hope your day was a good one.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      lol we got sick too! Unfortunately, we ran out of vitamin C for 24 hours (a shipment was late) and it was HORRIBLE!!! So I've stocked up on vit C so it doesn't happen again. That stuff is amazing!!! :D I'm so glad it helped you feel good enough to enjoy time with your family. A little miracle vitamin it is!!

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      Stacy Harris 4 years ago from Hemet, Ca

      Wow... this is completly powerful. I could totally relate to how you felt in school, but I was fortunate because I didn't have controlling parents. This was a powerful read. I am glad you are doing what is best for you and your family. Sometimes you just have to walk away.

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      Melissa Flagg 4 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Stacy, thank you! It was a difficult decision to walk away, but it was definitely the right one. It's a shame Sam won't get to know her grandparents, but she's better off not being treated horribly after I get off the phone with her grandmother. I'm stopping the cycle. :)

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      Sally 3 years ago

      test

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      Sally 3 years ago

      No matter how much I google, I can't find anyone who lived under the level of control and violent enforcement I did. I just have a brother who understands to a great degree... My Mother controlled every aspect of my life as a child. I wasn't allowed to even wipe myself as a child until about age 7, I was in 6th grade before I was allowed to shampoo my own hair. I was 16 before I was allowed to take my bicycle more than three houses down. I was locked along with my brother into the fenced back yard all day every day for summer 'vacation.' well into my teens. I was never allowed to visit any friend at their house for my entire childhood. I was allowed to walk to school. It was a small town, I was never allowed to walk the three blocks to town and even go into a dime store alone. I had NO childhood whatsoever. I was allowed to have a few dates in that time. But had to ask in advance. It was SO embarrassing to tell a boy at age 16 and 17 that I would have to let him know a different day whether or not I could accept a date. I had to get permission first. The last couple of weeks of my childhood, a friend (one of few) wanted to take me for a ride in her car for an hour or so, just to see a few friends. In front of her my Mother lied and said I couldn't go, she needed me to do things. Not true. This wasn't long before graduation. I felt like a complete idiot that my Mommy wouldn't let me go. I won't even go into all the violence, broken eardrums, constant slapping and banging my head into walls.

      I was even beaten in my sleep by a woman who talked and fought with herself downstairs. She had no control over herself and total control over me. I left ten days after graduation with a mere $15.00 in my pocket. And never cared to visit again, other than out of necessity to get my bicycle.. Turns out she sold it without asking me. Then 10 yrs later in the middle of a divorce I came back for only a few days. I started my life with zero skills in relationships, because I'd never had much. I wasn't allowed to even stay at school during lunch and try to make friends. I had to walk all the way home and back barely returning in time for classes. I guess I was supposed to make friends on the 3 minute break between classes. Even then I managed a couple. I lacked the skills to evaluate people and who I should be involved with. The last year she tried to even control who I was allowed to talk to while I was at school!!! I MISS having a childhood to this very day and I am 68 years old. My Mother is 87, and still does nothing but talk against everyone she has ever known. She plays the victim. Last week I told her I'm hearing the same stories endlessly and don't want to anymore. We live thousands of miles apart and I am done helping her with anything (such as legal papers etc.)

      She went on the become the crazy cat hoarder. I finally stopped caring. I will never get an apology from that professional victim. I gave my kids lots of love and freedom to choose. They love to come home and visit and bring their new loves to my house. Her's don't.

      Is there anyone out there that has lived under MAXIMUM control. I feel very alone in this. Maybe there was never anyone like my Mother.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally - You'd be wrong in the assumption, Sally. In fact, had I not known any better, I would have sworn we had the same woman as a mother. We can't change our past, but we can make our future better.

      It sounds as if you've done just that if your kids actually want to have a relationship with you. I'm often surprised at how the relationship I have with my children could never have happened between my mother and I. I'm obviously a lot better than she said I was.

      Well done to you for finding your own life. It's well deserved.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Thank you, Phoenix :) I can't even relate to people who talk about acting out as kids to get attention. I used to try to be invisible in my parents house. Certain days of my life with them have left scars that will never heal. I do need to talk about two of them: One morning my brother teased me, very verbal as I was finishing up some homework before school. Finally I said, "Shut up!" I only have minutes to finish this. My brother left, as I started to leave for school, my Mother rushed down and told me I wasn't going to school, to wash off my makeup and get back into my bedclothes. I was shocked, nearly white with fear. She had flipped because I dared tell her son to shut up. I was amazed she was up before noon, or even heard. When I came back downstairs as instructed, I got a beating that was worse than anything ever. I hit my head on every surface in that kitchen. It seemed as if the floor rose up and bashed my skull. I was screaming, "Oh my God!!!" over and over it was SO violent. She tore out some of my hair. My head hit the floor so hard. My head was covered with great spongy swollen spots. At one point it seemed like the lights had gone out. I heard a screaming in the distance and wondered who else had been kept home from school. As I came back, I realized those were my screams. I was an undiagnosed asthmatic. I couldn't breath, I had the dry heaves and was like a crazed cornered animal when she was done. 45 minutes had passed since I'd entered the kitchen. All my life I'd been told you better never do this or that because it will be too bad. This was the BIG one, WHY? I never felt even partly safe after that. I felt like I had been kicked and beaten nearly to death. She said, if you tell your Father, I will get you for it. The other occasion that left me with a level of pain that exceeded childbirth happened with my Father as the attacker. He rarely snapped, unlike her, but when he did it was quick and terrible. He was in another room listening to my phone conversation with a friend. I will never remember what offended him so much (But sure I was complaining about parents). He raised up a police sized flashlight and began a full swing towards my head. That time my Mother grabbed it, saying, "You'll kill her with that!" So instead he hit me in my ear as hard as he could. The pain was bad, he'd broken my eardrum with a single blow, and screamed so loud that he lost his voice. Worse followed, he went and got a bottle of oily drops and forced them in my ear!!! That is when the true agony began. That oil traveled places in my head I didn't know I had. I was shaking in pain for many days, living second by second. No pain, not even childbirth without any pain management compares to that. A day later, when I could barely open my eyes for the pain. I was informed that Dad (guilty feeling) was taking us all out for chicken dinner. It was far away and the service was so slow. I could hardly stand to sit, to even be alive. WHY couldn't they just take me to a doctor? Well, they would have had to tell how I got that way. When dinner was over, my Mother looked at me and said aren't you going to thank your Father?! You know he didn't have to do that for you, right? That 'thank you' was so hard. All I wanted was a doctor, something for the pain. And aren't you supposed to feed your kids anyway? That stupid dinner made up for nothing. Never did he say he was sorry. He died last year at 92. I sent flowers, beautiful music on a disk and a poem by Kahlil Gibran that was read by my daughter. I was too sick with advanced Emphysema to travel the many states away and never will be able to leave this house other than quick trips to the doctors. Even on that last year, I would have loved to have had an apology... My kids only went out of respect for me, because he was after all my Father. They went in my place.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Good Morning Sally,

      I understand all too well wanting to be invisible. Did you avoid doing stuff so you wouldn't draw their attention? Did you try to gauge the mood in the room to see if it was safe to enter? I did that.

      I hope writing about these terrible experiences will help you lay them to rest. You're a braver soul than I because to this day I refuse to even think about my experiences much less tell someone about them.

      I admire the fact you didn't stop your kids from attending your Dad's funeral. A smaller person would have stopped them just to be spiteful. Of course, you did say you raised them with love and gave them the freedom to make their own choices. This gesture alone shows how different you are from your Mother. You are a strong woman, Sally. When it would have been easier to cave in to your upbringing, you had the strength to strike out and do things your way. And you're reaping the rewards of that in the form of the children who love you.

      You're a remarkable woman, Sally.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I apologize for not responding sooner and I'm thankful to you Phoenix for being here. I honestly don't know what to say other than I'm so sorry you had to go through that. As Phoenix said you are a remarkable woman to have not only lived through that but also raised your children so well.

      While I myself did not have such a violent childhood, I do know there are others who have been in similar situations, Sally. But like Phoenix, I think they probably try to avoid thinking about those situations like the plague, let alone talk about them to someone else.

      Again, I'm so sorry. No one should have to go through that, and I wholeheartedly agree with Phoenix, you are one amazing woman.

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      Cara Alex 3 years ago from Somewhere in the United Kingdom

      Well said Daughter of Maat. I didn't have a violent childhood but I witnessed violence in the home. I am still living with the effects of a psychological mother but I am working through my issues and have finally realised that it was not my fault.....

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      Sally 3 years ago

      @phoenix2327 Yes, Phoenix, I always tried to gauge the mood in the room. I was on high alert. I loved when their company would come to the house, she might even call us "Sweetie." with new people there. The bad thing learned by this was that I felt most of my life that the expectations and moods of others were more important than mine. Now that I am older, I have great patience, but if my husband's tone is off on occasion, I just calmly say, "I don't appreciate your tone of voice." I draw boundraries on what I will accept and expect from others and do so in a calm manner worthy of respect. I was borderline for following in Mom's footsteps when I had a major epiphany as a 13 year old. After some beating, I was in my room festering and said to myself, "I can't wait until I am the one in charge doing the beatings and making the rules!" I reached over to a table top and picked up a Sears catalog, a Spring edition. I went to the kid's clothing section. It started with the tiny tots in sweet pastels. My abuse started at three. I looked at the toddlers and for a moment pretended they were my little kids some day. I noticed they were sweet and had too much dignity to deserve what I was getting. I turned the page, to kids a bit older, maybe 5 or 6. I thought, "No, I couldn't beat that kid either. The same feeling overcame me... I paged through each age group. I imagined the kids in those pictures as my children. I got to the teens and felt sad. These kids didn't look like they deserved it either!!! I realized none of them did! I didn't either. I thought, "I would never ever want to make anyone feel about themselves the way I'd felt about myself, and I sure didn't want a child of mine to feel about me the way I felt about her. I swore that very day I would never abuse my children. Children were meant to be loved, they deserved it. I knew it. I shuddered to remember how I was thinking before pouring through that catalog. I won that day I decided I would not let her turn me into a monster. My kids won too.

      And my kids who didn't walk on eggs were (trust me!!) a lot harder to deal with than I had ever dared to be. I am glad they could be themselves with reasonable boundaries and talk to me about anything, even as adults. She taught me how not to be a Mother and I explored and learned how to be one. Not perfect, just doing the very best I could and learning from the past.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Alaxia indeed I think the hardest part of overcoming our childhood is realizing it's not our fault. Once we realize that I think it becomes a bit easier.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Alaxia - That was definitely a turning point for me; realizing that it wasn't my fault. When I was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder I clung onto that as a reason for doing the things I did that would upset my mother. It wasn't till I observed not just my kids but other kids doing the same things I used to I realized I wasn't a bad kid. I was just doing normal kid stuff and she was over reacting.

      I let my kids continue exploring and trying new things (within reason) as I felt is was important in helping them find their own path. There plenty of stumbles and falls. But, unlike my mother, I never mocked them or told them they were failures. I just dusted them off, helped them see where they went wrong and encouraged them to try again. After all, stumbling is part of growing up. It's not a sin.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally - You were clearly never meant to follow in your mother's footsteps. I don't believe it was sheer coincidence that a Sear catalogue just happened to be there for you to peruse. I'm happy for you that you were able to turn the tide for yourself. You and your children are the winners of that decision.

      I admire the way you can keep your cool and politely correct others when they are rude to you. I still fly of the handle when people do that and I tend to be verbally aggressive. Between my Latin temperament and bipolar disorder, I can be a handful. Funny thing is, my family think it's all part of my charm. lol

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      Sally 3 years ago

      @phoenix2327 - Latin? Well, at least you have that, LOL. As a Norwegian I can't get away with it! Years ago, I was in a very abusive marriage. Somewhere along the line I realized that those with real power didn't have to yell. I was actually able to stop that husband from thinking he could abuse me again physically and get away with it. He threatened to hit me in the car. I wanted to show him no fear as a result of his threat. So, I calmly looked at him and nearly whispered, "Go ahead, but I guarantee you that you WILL pay for it." I kept eye contact and he knew that I would contact the police and put him behind bars. The last time I had brought the police into it, I had told them I'd give him that time as a warning, (not knowing my nose was broken to the eye socket) but next time he was theirs for the taking. There was a point somewhere in my life I realized that those in real power didn't really have to even raise their voices, because they were in total control of themselves. I decided I was going to be one of those people. I have never used that soft voiced threatening attitude offensively, but purely defensively. I made sure that what I said in that voice could be backed up. It conveys a level of self confidence that kind of worries those it should! I highly recommend trying it :) It doesn't mean I didn't scream on the inside first though.

      I am so glad you are here to talk to. I don't think that the people who put us here realize or even care how much damage they have done to the souls they should have loved and guided for a lifetime, yet utterly failed. When my first child was born prematurely I realized what a gift she was. I knew I could never slap that precious little face and that I would love her forever. It actually scared me, because I knew then that her life already meant more to me than my own. Four years later my Mother visited, and we took a walk around the block, a massive dog charged out of porch towards us. My Mother jumped behind me and grabbed my arms between the wrist and the elbow. As the dog lunged forward, (a near Mastiff sized dog) she shifted me this way and that as a shield to protect herself from bodily harm. I reached out as little as I could and spoke softly to the animal snarling with neck hair up. It was so hard to remain calm, knowing her fear was radiating behind me. He sniffed my open palm and backed off. It is a day that I will never forget. I had two very young children to still raise. Even this day, I would still jump between my daughter and danger. It really brought home the point that a bully and a coward are one in the same. It's all about them. We never spoke about it afterwards, I am not sure that my Mother actually realized what she had done that night in the dark.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally - It is a bit frightening how that desire to protect a new life at any cost kicks in so strongly. Coincidentally, while walking home with my two youngest after picking them up from school, we were attacked by a German Shepherd that had gotten out of the owner's yard. It went straight for my the 6-year old son. I didn't think twice and started punching the dog in the face, screaming at him to leave him alone. My son managed to get away but started running blindly. I told my daughter to go after him and go straight home.

      It wasn't till afterwards I realized that the dog could have turned on me. I didn't care. I willing risked getting mauled myself to make sure my children were safe. I still would today. It's true what they say; being a parent is a lifetime job.

      I don't think my mother realizes the damage she has caused. I sometimes think she feels justified. My strongest memories when I was growing up was of her always complaining about some real or imagined injustice that was done to her by me or someone else. I suppose it was her way of getting her own back at the world. She was one seriously messed up woman. I can see that now. I can also see that it was her issue to deal with not mine. Thanks to her and my father, I have issues of my own to deal with and I need to concentrate on cleaning up their mess. It's a life-long task but it gets just that little bit better with each passing day.

      Enjoy what's left of the weekend, Sally. I know I will. :)

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      Sally 3 years ago

      There is nothing like the Momma bear, be it animal or human. I had a 30 pound border collie run a super alpha male German Shepard out of his dog house one terribly rainy night. He had been merciless with her and badly bitten her when he was angry before. This night, she was about to give birth and it was pouring rain when she took the dog house for herself. Her lips were practically curled over her nose. I came out with an umbrella. The sounds could have put a rabid wolf to shame. He stood outside shaking like a leaf and though twice her weight, he knew WAY better than to dare enter the dry dog house. Puppies were on the way and no men were allowed period!! That night, he was terrified of her, and with good reason! She was about to be a Mommy, and would have taken on a bear for a dry spot for her babies.

      I found out this weekend that my Mother is already trying to destroy other family relationships I have, such as that with my uncle. He and I communicate all the time are Facebook buddies and all. But my Mother has no idea that we share all our conversations with each other. We are only six months apart in age.

      Years ago, I found some of our family friends in Texas, not realizing, or really sure my Mother (or caring) was on the outs with them. We had a couple of delightful visits together and she found out from another source. All hell broke loose. I loved these people and remembered them as adults during my childhood. One of the things that meant the most to me, was when they took me aside and told me they knew how unfairly I had been treated as a child. I never knew that any adult was aware of it or cared. They did know and cared even back in the 1950s when little was done about abuse. It was amazing how healing that was. Up until then, I just assumed all her friends must have been as disgusted with me as a human being as she was. It turns out that they had a pet phrase for me as parents of an only boy, it was "That's our girl." I remember as a young child wishing they were my parents. The knowledge of their feelings was like a gift from God.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally - It can be a lovely surprise when you realize that you're not as bad as you'd been lead to believe. And empowering as well. And well done to Mama dog.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      It is amazing how much personal effort it takes to make a dent in a thing like this. I always knew mentally that something was very off with my Mother. But her words has incredible emotional clout. I could feel myself changing into something less than I was. Even in the eighth grade, I got my Father's college psychology books out to try to understand the dynamic. I still felt helpless in the reality of it. One day in a restaurant while on 'vacation,' she started in on what a rotten person I was, telling my Dad in a loud voice. I said nothing, other than the occasional, "I'm sorry you feel that way." At first I thought the whole restaurant must have thought I was a horrible person. But they were staring at her, not me!! Finally she realized it and tried to use that too. She said,"I'll bet you think all these people feel sorry for you!" "They don't know WHAT you are!" I was astounded, I'm not even a who anymore, I'm a 'what/' I got a glimpse that day of her in the eyes of the world. I was either 17 or nearly so and quietly said, "You won't have to put up with me in your life that much longer, I will graduate and I will be gone. What the brain understands quickly, the heart doesn't get for a very, very long time.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Before I leave this world, I am now trying to reconnect shattered sections of the family back to each other. My Mother was always the hub in the center of the wheel, controlling who was on the ins or outs. No more. I wrote her an absolute truth letter, not even touching on the childhood abuse. It was largely about how she has trashed all friends and relatives to each other. It was as though she was the source of all allowed relationships. If someone spoke to one in 'exile,' she would storm out of that home and they too were in exile for a time, waiting for forgiveness. Everyone has always walked on eggs with her. She is now a hoarder living in squalor at 87, its time to end this abusers rein of family emotional abuse. I also informed her that her life in that awful house is not an event that happened to her like a flood. She made it that way. I will not listen to the excused any more.

      Something finally occurred to me the other night while pondering how these people get so much power over others even with their astounding flaws. Parents get it because they are in charge of our physical survival, and partially guide us towards our spiritual survival. It doesn't help if that parent tells you God also disapproves of you. That is closely related to Stockholm syndrome! Abusive husbands, especially realize that you are not in charge of your own self esteem, and in the past, also physical survival. It hit me that even cult leaders, get between you and your God and they are allowed to channel your God to you in whatever color they choose. At some level, we give away our power to those who have at some point held either our spiritual and or physical survival over our heads!! If at any point we had a strong spiritual connection and truly realized our basic OKness (to coin a word), we would have TAKEN OUR POWER BACK.

      I finally got that God loves me just the way I am warts and all, and that I could physically take care of myself. If someone doesn't like me, then, we aren't suited to each other and can each go our separate ways in peace. I will continue to put the shattered pieces of my family back together. I already have an uncle and a brother who realize after communication just what has happened and miss an Aunt and sister now. She is an emotional shut in, knowing that she has been trashed to everyone, including one of her own children. It is a work in process. I will do all I can to heal these relationship lines and reconnect what should never have been broken in the first place. :)

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      Steve Choque 3 years ago

      @DaughterofMat or anyone who chooses to comment

      I hate to break the good mood in this hub/comment section. But I am living with not one but two controlling parents (a dad who strives for perfection; and a mother who examines every detail/violate privacy); i feel very insecure, in my 3rd year of college, have negative confidence and only the past year have developed chronic stress. I noticed that most (not all) of my stress dissappears whenever I leave the household, but when I return, headaches resume, constant hatred of the household. I feel as if I am losing my personality, I find it extremely hard to leave the household (not physically, but psychologically). I know there exists happiness and 'overconfidence' as you may put it (in addition to an analytical mind, as I am a finance major, even when I talk) outside the house, and I am looking to move out as I turned 21 a few weeks ago. But confidence, confidence, confidence, I feel so dependent and hated at home, but a leader and overconfident when outside on my own (after 4-5 hours). Inconsistent and unbalanced life that has made me forfeit my social circle (temporarily); in addition to being confused most of my life. Only recently (this week) have I found out why my behavior has been ambiguous over the past decade, extremely rebellious, etc etc, after reading multiple articles on 'controlling parents'. I am not sure if making a life changing decision is worth the risk at my

      age as I have heard people who go homeless if they do not plan well/ job/financially. Is it ok if I can email you for any personal advice :) Thanks a thousand for writing this hub.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally-I think it's admirable that you want to undo some of the damage that has occurred and rebuild the family. A true matriarch. I wish you all the best. And, yes, I agree about taking our power back. Good point.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Steve-What you feeling right now is pretty normal. You're considering making a life change that's going to turn you world upside and that can be scary. Does your college have advisers or counselors that can help you plan effectively so the change won't be so traumatic? It's worth looking into.

      I left home when I was 18. It was challenging being on my own for the first time ever and I stumbled a lot. The only thing that kept me going was how my mother would have gloated. With each new obstacle I overcame, my confidence grew.

      Change is constant and necessary if we are to become the person we're meant to be. Blessings.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Steve. It is very hard to heal while living in a toxic environment. Your parents are defining you. People like this will even comment negatively if they see a positive personality change in you as though you aren't being 'yourself.' I once could have made a speech on stage, until I realized my Mother would be there to criticize every turn of phrase later. The whole audience did not bother me, only her. Like Phoenix, I too left home at 18. I left with enough money to rent a room for a week! I got a job at the same time. In the worst of times, I found a place to crash until I got on my feet. If your work ethic is strong and you can do any honest job in a pinch, you WILL make it.

      You are right Steve, you are losing your personality. They are sucking it out of you. I don't know why, jealousy (your life is ahead of you still) , control, some combination of things. It really doesn't matter why. Even after I left, my parents once stopped by unannounced and got my landlord to let them in while I was gone. My brother later informed me, that my Mother had even pulled back the sheets on my bed to determine if I'd had sex.... Can you imagine, moving to another city, making it on your own and having a judgmental control freak still searching your room! I strongly suggest giving them one of those mail box numbers that sounds like a suit or apartment. # Furthermore, I suggest moving very far away. It still took years after marriages before my personality didn't somehow start to crash around my Mother. You have parents who have not let you even be YOU and accepted you for yourself. That's the worst thing you can do to anyone. What is worse than robbing a person of such a basic thing? Until you can see the really special person you are when you are around them, notice how non family respects you!! Even that in the end is not enough. Strive for the day when it is enough for only you to know. Let the others be a ladder to get you to that point and keep going. Then you will be safe and no one can ever again rob you of your right to be you and very proud of it. Right now you deserve a lot of positive reinforcement. Eventually you will know you are OK just the way you are and you will have your power back. :)

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      @Sally-Well said. I've gained some new insight from it.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Steve First things first, it's YOUR life. No one else's. Let that sink in for a second. It's YOUR LIFE.

      I understand the lack of confidence, and like Phoenix said, it's pretty normal. However, confidence starts with the self. No one can give it to you, or make you feel more confident. Only you can do that. I say this from personal experience. As a teenager, everyone thought I was confident because that's what I projected, but inside it was the complete opposite. I still have issues with self confidence when it comes to my physical appearance which is why I think I worked so hard on having an analytical and intelligent mind. You'll be working on your self confidence for the rest of your life, everyone does. My best advice when it comes to this? Mind over matter!

      As for your home situation. I don't recommend doing what I did. Don't get married just to get out of the house. But you do need to move out. Honest, you won't be able to think on your own and really begin to find out who you are until you move out and your mind is allowed to breathe. While I do recommend planning your move, you may want to consider moving in with a friend until you can get your own place.

      By all means, please email me if you'd like. You can do so from my profile page, click "Fan Mail" and at the top you'll see a link that says "send Daughter of Maat and email." I'll be happy to help in anyway I can. Think positively, and take back your mind. Your thoughts and your mind, are your own, no one can take them away from you, and don't let anyone tell you they are wrong. There is no right or wrong when it comes to thoughts and feelings. :)

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      Sally 3 years ago

      It seems to me that we all get our sense or lack of self esteem at the beginning of our lives from our parents, then some (or not) from our peers. Eventually it can come from our accomplishments in society. It is amazing how hard it can be if we don't get that backing in childhood (or worse, being torn down). Also, where are we getting that sense of self value from? It changes over time. Even as a child when people would tell Mom I was a beautiful little girl, my Mother would tell me afterwards that they only said that to be polite. They were there to see her not me and complimenting her daughter as a way of being nice to her, adding that I was just a very ordinary little girl. Later, I won the local home town beauty contest and won. Of course a girl leaving an abusive overbearing home at 18 is going to attract men. I appeared very self assured on the outside. No one knew that I often felt my looks were really all I had going for me. When the abusive husbands come along, their power to break a person like this down to nothing is incredible, especially as time passes. I finally had one person for a time who focused on who I was on the inside while liking my outside better than I did. During this time, I began to realize my inner value. I wasn't perfect, I tried my best to raise my children well and support them emotionally. It was no small task in a world with school bullying. It is amazing at 68 to look in the mirror and feel better about myself than I did young on my best day! I don't have to be perfect, I don't have to look perfect. By my standards, I only have to be the best ME I can be every day. I won't go into the details of how undignified it can be to be hospitalized as a senior nearly dead with pneumonia and very severe emphysema. I realized that even then on occasion while stripped of everything familiar, even a stitch of clothing being bathed by others, I still felt good about who I was inside. It was all I had left, except the loving husband I have now and the children who traveled hundreds of miles instantly. Now, my husband and I still see each other the way we were in the beginning. I take beautiful macro photos. I love to see work better than mine because I learn from it and improve. I love to teach those who asked how I did something that made that photo really special. We are all somewhere on life’s path, a journey pointed in the direction of perfection. It is my hope there will always be room for improvement and growth. I have bad memories, but I am OK here and now and I will get better.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Sally, that was almost exactly the point I was trying to get across. Unfortunately, when we first struck out on our own, we had to figure out for ourselves that our thoughts and personality were our own and that we could make it anything we wanted. Initially, yes our views, values, and thoughts are shaped by those who raise us, but there comes a time when we become completely self-aware and realize that our thoughts are our own and that's when we begin to finally think for ourselves. I was lucky, I figured out early that my thoughts were my own, although I was unable to change anything until I went away to college. I liked the freedom so much that I did anything, including marrying an abusive husband, to avoid going back home.

      Thankfully, that relationship only lasted 6 years and, like you, I found a man who loved me on the inside, but also loved the package on the outside despite the fact that I hated it. I was 26 at the time. I was VERY lucky to find my husband when I did. I have grown so much in the past 9 years. I've learned more about individuality, and life in the past 9 years than most people have in their lifetime, and it's all because of my amazing husband. I suspect, Sally, you have a similar situation with your husband despite your youthful 68 years. :)

      The one thing I learned when I made the transition from abusive husband to my current, loving husband, is that life is one big decision. We have to make the decision to take back control of our lives, including our thoughts and personalities. We have to make the choice to throw away everything our "loving" parents told us and take control of the rest of our lives, find our own path.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Daughter of Maat, sounds like you got it together a LOT faster than I did. I spent two ten year periods back to back in abusive marriages. I almost got it together at the end of the first. I dove from the frying pan into the fire to get some protection from husband #1. I wound up in a border town with three small children and no way out for a long time, with a man who was an expert at destroying my finances and my sense of personal value. Then I lost all the ground I'd ever gained. Both times I was very isolated from anyone who could help. Rural areas, beach houses, border town apartments etc, often without even a telephone (hubby #2). At the end of the second marriage, I actually got it together before the divorce. I dated some cheaters and spent the next 20 years single and alone, very alone actually, since even my work life was totally isolated. I became very comfortable with myself as company. During that time, I rarely saw the man I am married to now. He was dealing with his own very overbearing Mother. She has ensnared him into caring for her for nearly 13 years in another city, convincing him that she was on her last leg. I saw him 10 to 12 times a year for a few hours. I had to get all emotional support from within myself. Oh, I did have little dogs that always made coming home a celebration :) My kids came home on holidays and in between, my daughter and finally a grandson. I was also an activist for veterans. We finally married only six years ago. After maintaining our relationship all those years, always knowing we'd eventually be together. We'd been together only a year when I wound up twice in intensive care with nearly fatal lung infections, machines screaming all around me. I feel lucky to have gotten five years past that ill health or not. If there is anything I would change, it would be learning my lessons faster, and not trying to fix a bad marriage. In a song, "know when to fold em."

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Sally, indeed, I was VERY lucky to have figured things out (at least somewhat) very early. But I was also lucky to find my current husband early which I think made all the difference. That's the main reason I wrote this article (I'm working on adding some extra stuff at the end, these comments have given me a lot to think about!)

      I was also very lucky to have a very supportive, almost Father-like boss who helped to keep me on track. And like you I had two puppies that made everything all better.

      I'm sorry for your health problems, and I wanted to mention trying some vitamin C. I have an article on the vitamin that may help you. :D

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      Sally 3 years ago

      @Daughter Of Matt,

      You wrote:

      "I'm sorry for your health problems, and I wanted to mention trying some vitamin C. I have an article on the vitamin that may help you. :D"

      ---

      Thanks, I'd like to see the article, I know I don't get nearly enough vitamin C.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Here's the link to that article. Most of get barely enough vit C to prevent scurvy. The RDA is about 75 mg for women. Myself, I take 8,000mg and I have noticed a HUGE improvement in some of my health issues. I hope it helps you!

      http://hubpages.com/health/ascorbic-acid-Vitamin-C...

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      Sally 3 years ago

      The family relationships are getting more interesting here. My brother and I finally had a deep talk. He said something I'd never expected him to know about, which was namely my Mother's infidelity. I had no idea he'd even had an inkling. When we compared notes, he was shocked. He'd long suspected his paternity. I'd never wanted to put a doubt in his head, because we both felt so much closer to my Father and his Mother compared to the other side. Now, we are doing a full siblingship DNA test with 41 markers. Even as my nagged to death Father lay on his deathbed, she tormented him with accusations of cheating on her. I really don't think he did, if for no other reason than, pure terror of getting caught. He was 92 years old and not sure if they even owned that house or where that staircase led to.... (he owned it for 61 years) I know my Mother cheated on him going all the way back to a couple of years after my birth. My brother was born a large big boned boy with deep set eyes and large features. No one in the family ever looked like him. My Dad was tall, but very delicate with a small head size and a delicate bone structure like everyone in his family ever had.

      Personally, I think my brother won the genetic lottery with whoever his real Father is, and he has a great big strapping Grandson that is the spitting image of him.

      After more research, I have come to realize that my Mother is a hypervigilant controling Narcissist. I have found that people who have Mothers like this feel exactly like I do. The controlling is part of it. This was the only area of life where my Mother could truly rein as queen. She never lifted a finger to work until long after I'd left home.

      (in home or out). The odd yet almost understandable thing is, my brother is still somewhat reluctant to confront her with the expected results of this test!! Isn't it amazing how long a person like this can make a grown child afraid to speak their mind? There is really nothing she can do to us except maybe cut us out of the will, big deal (not). If he needs me to, I will take the rap for it all, including turning her in to elder protections services and the SPCA for animal abuse (a whole different topic) Right now, he just needs proof of who is is or isn't biologically. He lives in the same town as she does and I am a thousand miles away. I guess the chickens are coming home to roost. This was one of Mom's favorite sayings.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      @Daughter Of Maat Forgot, thanks for the vitamin C link, I am taking more C now :) I will print that article out. I can actually see why I need it now and what additional problems I have as a result of this deficiency!

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Well, the DNA results finally came in. Eventually with the truth in hand that I paid for with a siblingship DNA test, my brother was told the truth by our Narc of a Mother. Now, my brother won't give me the name of his real Father. He is more concerned for Narc Mom's feelings than mine.

      Narc Mom didn't want me to know. What she doesn't know is that both of us had to submit DNA to get to the truth... I guess she thinks anyone can trot off some place with their personal DNA and be told who their Dad is not.. What he doesn't seem to get is that I would have devoted months of my time (which is running out - terminal me) to doing his genealogy for free. Once again NM controls information and facts doled out to family as she wishes. At this point, I have no Mother and I have no brother. It's OK. :)

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      I'm sorry for the way things turned out. I may be speaking out of turn, but I feel it would be best if you now devoted your time to yourself and doing what make you happy. Wishing you all the best.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I agree with Phoenix. You need to take time for yourself now, to do whatever your heart desires. You deserve to be happy for however much time you have left.

      Personally, when I decided to stop talking to my mother, and made a conscious effort to break any mental ties I had with her, I felt freed. My life became MINE, and that's very empowering.

      I wish you all the best!

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      Sally 3 years ago

      That would be genealogy research for family.... but thanks :)

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      Sally 3 years ago

      @DaughterOfMaat

      Yes, I have been happier since I went 'no contact' with her as of Feb 12th.

      I was happy that a huge family secret was being revealed. NM overcompensation for the family lie was to turn brother into the favorite child while I became the battered scapegoat. So this was a huge truth for me to finally prove. While we were doing this I felt close to my brother for the first time. When he denied me the final truth that I literally paid for ($$$) I once again felt utterly betrayed.

      Now, I feel I really need to go 'no contact' with both of them. I have pretty much reached my limit. Years ago, my inheritance was also stolen. I was told that my Father's Grandmother never intended for me to have it and part of the logic to prove that was that she left my brother nothing... She knew, as did my Father's Mother. So my venting is about a truth that I have paid dearly for over and over again. With DNA proof, endless lying just didn't cut it anymore.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Good news, my brother had a few days to think about it and did share the truth with me. He realized NM threw herself a pity party. Anyway I remember his real Father and his two brothers. Sadly the youngest of the two died only five years ago. Amazing thing is that this brother and my brother chose the same name for their daughters! We moved away from them when I was about 5 years old. This was a great feeling that the Narc is no longer in charge of the truth and who gets to know what.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thats awesome news Sally!! Maybe she's losing her grip on those around her!

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      Sally 3 years ago

      This Mother's Day, I don't even have the chore of picking just the right Mother's Day card without all the gushy fake sentiments. Had I planned to get one, I would have done it back in October when all the orange and black cards were on the racks. Yay!

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      lol I know how you feel!! :D I didn't even have to pick up the phone! lmao

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      Sally 3 years ago

      Well, NM has pulled the final act. Turns out I was disinherited a few weeks ago. This was after DNA proved that my Father was not my brother's Father. My Father also stole the inheritance his paternal Grandmother left me. Now, my Mother will turn over at her demise all funds that were left by those never even related to the son she conceived outside of the marriage. I am actually the only one left in our line that was a legitimate child, my Father's only child, and my Great Grandmother's ONLY Great Grandchild. So, I was robbed by my Father of my start in life, and will see my inheritance go to her son, my half brother. I am guilty of writing her a four page letter telling her I couldn't take her trashing people anymore, AND helping my brother with a DNA test I paid for that showed we were half siblings.

      Punishment time now!! I have no Mother, as far as I am concerned, I was hatched on the side of the road. I would never do such a thing to one of my children, NEVER.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Sally, I can understand your anger. What I don't understand is how your renouncement of your mother is punishing her?

      I, too, disowned my mother years ago when she showed signs of treating my daughter, who was a toddler at the time, in the same manner she had treated me. I knew she would never change so I cut off all ties. I wasn't punishing her, I was saving my sanity and my child's self-esteem. I don't think she even cared. She always said she wanted to be on her own and now she is.

      If your mother is as callous as you say, would she really be affected by your rejection? Part with her because it is the best thing for you, not because it is the worst thing for her.

      Wishing all the best.

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      Sally 3 years ago

      phoenix2327 I had already gone no contact with her. I had NOT told her to not contact me. I had written her a letter after she yelled in the phone at me. In the letter, I told her I couldn't stand to listen to her trash everyone I ever cared about in repetitive toxic conversations anymore. Then, she knew that my brother and I got together by phone and mail to do the DNA test to reveal my Father isn't his Father. The disinheriting me was HER punishing me, and rewarding my brother. The sentence "Punishment time now" is about her punishing me by giving my Father and Great Grandmother's money passed to her to my brother when she dies. That sentence is not about me punishing her. I find her intent to hurt me further an extreme act of control and contempt among other things. So, I now feel that I truly have NO Mother whatsoever.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      My apologies, Sally, I misunderstood your meaning.

      I see what you're saying about your mother trying to control you and I'm truly am sorry your situation had to end like this. But you must do whatever it takes to ensure your own peace of mind. Wishing you a blessed day.

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      heather 3 years ago

      I understand what some people commented about being mentally strong and analytical, but being contemptuous of emotion is like hating a part of yourself and hating a part of humanity. Mental intelligence and rational objective thought are just 1/2 of us, in some people maybe a little more, some people maybe a little less. Emotional intelligence is a type of strength too, I don't think that it should be looked down upon.

      Feeling your emotions if you have had a difficult childhood must be scary. Or might make you feel immature or weak. Because maybe adults or other kids took advantage. So you learned to protect yourself. I don't know personally because I had a different type of childhood. So I apologize if I am writing something that's not true. But its just a stage.....that you pass through, to be whole I think that you have to know and value yourself for both sides. Vulnerability is a beautiful thing to me.

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, DOM.

      Hope you don't mind, but I thought you might find this hub interesting:

      http://hubpages.com/family/Children-React-to-Their...

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Thank you Phoenix, I'll have to check it out!!

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @heather I can only speak for myself, but I don't completely ignore my emotions, and I don't hate all of them. I think they are an important part of being human, but I also believe they are a major reason for a lot of the violence and hatred in our society. The fact that my mother was overbearingly emotional only exacerbates my belief. I don't think this is a stage, I've felt this way for at least 20 years, and I have to admit I am a misanthrope. The only emotion I truly embrace is the love I have for my husband, my daughter and my pets. But I despise how that love made me feel when I lost my dog, and I despise the thought of how I'll feel if I lose my husband or daughter. Emotion is a double edged sword and like a real sword, I try to avoid it whenever possible.

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      melody 3 years ago

      Hey.. I am currently a teenager in this kind of situation... my mother is very controlling and likes to exercise her power over me... I hate it. Without reason she refuses to let me do things I want to do. Also, she believes in no rewards because I shouldn't work for something in return. Yet, she believes in punishment. She acts on emotional and yells at me and tscreams when I tryto talk to her and tell her whats on my mind. I think logically like my father.. but because im a girl i get caught up in emotion as well.. my dad always takes my mothers side. It sickens me. I try my best to explain what i feel but no one wants to listen. Its as if i will never be right. Im an all a student. Im the first chair in my music.. but nothing ia good enough she spoints out my flaws wverytime im alone with her. Everyone in my family thinks im the devil and shes this innocent little angel. Im tired of it. I lock myself in my room and barricade the door. I refuse to eat or see them. I cant take it! Not to mention. She wont let me have money. But she spends it like crazy. She favors my older brother and idolizes him. I want to get away soo bad. I feel like a bird in a cage. But i have no car and im not considered an adult yet... k

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi Melody. I can relate to what your going through. Been there myself. I was a straight A student as well, apart from Math. My mother felt I must have been stupid for only getting Cs and she treated me that way. She made all the decisions for me and if I tried explain why I didn't agree with her she would shout at me and tell me not to talk back to her. I too felt that I was never good enough, so I stopped trying. I let my grades drop and spent most of my time in my room, away from her.

      I know this is a difficult time for you and I do feel for you. But you've gotta hang on. It won't last forever. Do you plan on going to college? If so, keep working towards that. You'll find a whole new world then and plenty of opportunities to break free, make your own decisions and mistakes (yes, there will be mistakes along the way. It's how you learn.)

      If college is not an option, you could start planning how to get a place of your own. That will involve getting a job and sorting out a budget. Whatever you decide, don't become so focused on getting away that you completely forget about what you're going to do when you finally do. I made that mistake and spent the better part of my 20s wandering around not knowing what to do with myself.

      Wishing you blessings. Stay strong, Melody.

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      melodyofthestrong 3 years ago

      Thank you, Pheonix. Your advice and encouragement really means alot to me! Just once. I just wanted them to listen one time. But still, I only get yelled at in the end and cry in the corner. My bestfriend, who helps me get through this is moving away in a week... they won't let me see her. Now my mother has brought my family together ahainst me. No one believes me. Not my dad, brother, sister, aunt, or grandma. Everyone is telling me I need to change my attitude. They also add how it will always be a losing situation for me. All I want to do is just be a kid for once. I just want to be spoiledfor one day. I want to prove myself, too. I want to go to college so badly. I yearn for the day I can drive abd get out of this place, but for now I guess I have no choice... thanks for you insightful wisdom!

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      Zulma Burgos-Dudgeon 3 years ago from United Kingdom

      Hi, Melody. I'm glad I could be of help. I'm sorry your best friend is

      moving away. It's going to be tough for awhile so brace yourself. Even if you can't see your friend, with all the technology around, there must be some way you two can connect. Find it.

      I know you may not think so, but your relatives have given you some sound advice. You do need to change your attitude. You need to go from passive to active. Instead of trying to win your family to your side (I don't think you ever will. Sorry.) just leave them to it and focus on your own life. Spoil yourself.

      You want to learn how to drive? Look into it. Find out what you need to do to make it happen. You're best friend is leaving? Start strengthening your support system. Is there anyone else you can confide in?

      Crying is a good way to blow off pent up emotions but it's not very

      constructive. You've been give the gift of music. You can use that to

      express yourself. You're on HP now. Why not write about what your feeling? You can write a poem, a short story or an article. You decide.

      I'm going to leave you to think things over now. I hope you feel better soon.

      BTW, I like your name. Never forget, your tougher than you think.

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      mathira 3 years ago from chennai

      Daughter of matt, when parents try to control and dominate, the results will be negative. It is always advisable to be a friendly parent to your children as it will make them love you more and more.Thanks for sharing your experience.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Melody, I completely understand your situation, my mother was constantly screaming at me. The only difference is, my father and sister knew I wasn't making it up, and did provide some support, even if it was the wrong kind. What I did learn was how to accept the fact that until I was 18, I had no choice but to live by their rules. It was tough, no doubt. But you will get through it. I used to hide in my closet for most of the day when I wasn't in school. It was the quietest place in the house.Unfortunately, I couldn't barricade my door, that wasn't aloud. I felt like I was constantly being watched and I had no privacy, so I couldn't even make plans to move out on my own, unless I did it in my head.

      The car was definitely my turning point, and it is probably the major reason I have become so attached to my current vehicle. I felt like it was my key to freedom, and it was. To this day, the thought of losing my car terrifies me.

      Phoenix has excellent advice, and I wholeheartedly agree with her. You most likely will never win their approval, and you will have to come to terms with that. The sooner the better. Remember, ultimately this is your life, and you're the one that has to be happy with it. Like Phoenix said, crying is a good way to blow off steam, but it really isn't constructive. It won't help you get out of your current situation. Writing about it can help you come to terms with everything. But the most important thing is to explore yourself. And you can do this with thoughts alone, until you can get out. Think about your likes and dislikes, are they truly your own? Your beliefs, are they yours or your parents? I didn't realize my beliefs weren't truly my own until I was about 22.

      I wish you the best of luck, and I hope you are able to get out of your situation as soon as possible. Just please remember, it's your life, not theirs.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @mathira I agree. Dominating your child does nothing but instill them with negativity, which is typically directed at the parent. Thanks for stopping by and commenting!

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      melodyofthestrong 3 years ago

      Hello again!!! Well, I tried talking to my parents again... and oncw again I'm the evil child. I was yelled at and drilled by both of my parents. My mom called my whole family and told them what I was doing, in her own twisted reality. She coated her stories with lies and false assumptions. Now my family thinks even worse of me. The power to my roon was cut through the circuit board. No lights. No internet. No ceiling fan. They took away my cello and cancelled my dance lessons, which were my only places I could vent. My brother knows I'm right, too. He was once in the same situation, but he refuses to help. In fact, my mom buys him a galaxy s4. I locked myself in my room again because its the only place I can think. My father thinks this is a game. This isnt a game. This is my emotions on the matter. I said I would only come out of ny room for my grandmother, so they called her over and told her their polluted lies. I begged her to get me out of that place and I left with her. I am currently residing in my grandmothers house. She used to be a high school counselor, so she understands alot nore than my parents.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Congrats on getting out of your house! I hope now you can find a bit of peace and try to heal from emotional pain your parents have inflicted. I wish you all the best.

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      Mal 3 years ago

      I just found this page and read through the entire thing. It describes my life except for the running away-I STILL haven't broken free of my controlling mom (and my dad is compliant so no help there) at 26. I didn't realize that my mom was controlling until a couple of years ago, when I did something different with my hair (dreadlocks) and she freaked out, threw me out of the house and took away my car keys. She also said I was trying to act white (I'm black and thought she would be pleased that I was re-claiming my heritage) and that I wasn't going to 'shame her' with my ridiculous ideas. All my life my mom has been a perfectionist. Everything MUST be her way. If she introduced something to me, she expected me to excel at it, or else I was a failure and she would use my failure as a way to get back at me and tell me how my life was going to be ruined.

      Eventually I stopped taking risks and trying n ew things because I knew that it would just give her more ammo to throw at me when I said something she didn't like(or failed at the new thing, which happened more and more frequently as I got older). Even then she still blamed me for being 'spineless' and weak. Every day I hear how my life is going to be ruined because I never finished college. I'm told so often that I'll be lucky to work at McDonalds and will never get married because no one will want me that I've started to believe it's true.

      She always asks why I don't like myself, or why I hate myself. Simple conversations turn into hour long ranting sessions of why my life is the way it is and how much of an embarassment I am to her co-workers. She talks about my problems and says that 'You need to hear these things!' when I ask her to please stop. She says I am negative but does not realize that my negative self-image and self-loathing is brought on by her lack of acceptance of me. My mother is big on appearances. Everyone around her(social circles, etc) loves her, because she is charming and well-spoken, graceful and very beautiful. Everyone except for her immediate family likes her. She has alienated her parents (and they are in their 90's) her brother, and my uncles. These people know what she is truly like and they stay out of her way and never contradict her.

      I don't trust what anyone says to me and I have very terrible problems with men. I let them use me because I truly hate myself, I don't see myself being worth anything much. I have very serious self-esteem issues and depression which I am starting to think relate directly back to my mom. A common thing for her to say to me is "You act like you're retarded. When you do things like this that a five year old could easily manage, I really do think you ARE retarded. What's wrong with you?" If I'm washing dishes and bump against something, I risk an evil look and a yell for not being careful enough. She once told me that I was like her homeless brother and would end up just like him, and that she should have adopted a child from the streets and raised it instead of wasting her time and energy on me, her only child.

      What is sad is that I'm STILL trying to make my mother proud of me. I recently took a job that is a 2 hour trip (one way) away from my house, in a field that I have no interest in. It would require me to move to a city that I hate, that I don't feel comfortable in. It has one of the highest crime rates in the nation. It is a city that my mother REFUSES to live in, but she expects me to move there, work this job that is so far from ideal for me that it's ridiculous, and be happy there. I have no money saved up to move to this city, so I would be commuting 4 hours every day just to get to work and then coming home late to listen to her tell me my life is worthless. I took this job to please her(she convinced her best friend's daughter to hire me), but I know it's not going to work out. I have had a bad gut feeling, nightmares, anxiety and panic attacks after accepting the position and the thought of going in to work there makes me nauseous. I want to live and work in a smaller city where my ONE friend lives, where I know everyone, where there is a community and happiness and that is PERFECT for me. But I took it for her. Because SHE, my MOM thought it was a good idea and is very secure. Just like she did 20+ years ago.

      I love my mom so much, but her controlling attitude has I feared ruined my life. I feel that she is VERY unhappy and so projects her unhappiness onto me/lives vicariously through me. I don't bring friends over anymore because she scares them away. I just wish she would accept me and stop trying to control my life. I need to break free from her but i'm not even sure how. Something has to give, and soon. I don't want to divorce her permanently, but I may have to break free and take 6+months apart from my parents before I can even think about seeing them again.

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      FlourishAnyway 3 years ago from USA

      Sorry to hear all the things that you have been through. I am glad you have been able to rise above it and flourish anyway. Cheers to you and happy living ahead.

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      Kate McBride 3 years ago from Donegal Ireland

      I can identify with a lot of what you said in this hub and in the comments too. The time has come for me as well to to stay away completely from a controlling "mother". I have tried it a few times before but I am more determined this time for the sake of my husband and children as well as for my own sake-none of us need the hassle. It is not an easy thing to do at first but it is worth it for the peace and contentment and it gets easier as time goes by. Those kinds of "mothers" are just taking complete advantage of their position-simple as that. Thank you for sharing your experience and best of luck to you and yours for the future.

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      anaday 3 years ago from Ireland

      I saw your article on The #parenting Daily (paper.li) today. It is very enlightening. I never thought my analytical mind was due to having a controlling mother. I think controlling mothers lack empathy and that is why their children may dislike other people's emotions. We're not taught to be emphatic, which is crucial for being a good mother. I'm working on it. Thank you for your article.

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      Vernon 3 years ago

      Hello, Daughter of Maat. This is one nice (although hurtful) article you have wrote, and I am sorry for the hard time you have been through. Actually, I have similar problem as most of you people here do and I would like to get some advises. So, may I ask if it is okay for me to email you, Daughter of Maat? Because I have quite many things I would like to ask you and talk about. And I don't want to spam this site with many unnecessary comments.

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      Fille dela Lune 3 years ago

      I have the same exact experience, though it is unfortunate that I could not find a way out of it. My mother is now a dementia patient though I often feel that she is just acting it out just so she could get what she wants: me always being with her. Up until I was 32, she would still chaperon me when I go out with friends. I now work from home since 2006. It is the only option I saw so that she would stop picking me up from the office. I was 25 that time and I still felt like a kindergarten student being picked up by her mother after school. My father could not stop her as she would always leave home without him and my brother knowing it. With my father already dead and my brother alread y married, no one would look after her. As much as I want to leave home, I could not financially support paying for the mortgage of our house and renting another not to mention all of the expenses I need to pay. My brother barely sends financial help. Everyday is really a challenge for me, and I often feel like I could no longer hold it. I hope no one would be offended by my ranting. I just need to let it out and I feel that commenting here is a good way to do that. Thank you.

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      TLP 3 years ago

      Although the facts aren't identical, my story is so similar to yours. I'm really struggling to keep my mother away from me. I told her a couple of years ago that I don't want her in my life. I come from a very large, close, Catholic family, and I know they'll struggle to understand. I am still afraid to try to tell them what is going on because I'm not sure they'll support me, so I stay away from them too, as my mother is very close to them.

      I never want to witness her wrath ever again, but she keeps finding ways to tell me what a bad person I am. I really struggle to put it behind me, although my life has improved since I forced a distance between us.

      As I can't really go to my extended family, I'm pretty much on my own. I have good friends and one or two friends who are really supportive (whom I really treasure). I struggle to form intimate relationships, either with friends or with a partner, and I really notice it around times like Christmas.

      I'm just wondering whether it gets better? I'm in my mid thirties. I still don't feel like I have complete control over my situation with my mum because she still finds ways to have a go (verbally only). It feels like it'll never change. I still never know what to say to people. I still kind of think that potential partners will think there's something wrong with me. Lots of you seem to have your own families. I can't imagine anyone wanting that with me because of how dysfunctional my family is.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      TLP, unfortunately, if you don't put a stop to your mom's belligerent ways, it won't get any better. That's why I finally cut ties with her. I just couldn't take it anymore, and she gets worse as she gets older. The only other person in my family I'm close to is my sister, and I've made peace with that. Aside from her, my only real family is my husband and daughter. And I can tell you that if someone truly loves you, it won't matter how dysfunctional your family is. It didn't matter to my husband! I wish you all the best, and feel free to contact me if you just want to talk.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Fille dela Lune, So sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you are a bit trapped at the moment. Unfortunately, I'm not really sure how to deal with that type of situation since walking away is not an option. That type of person never really changes, so I'm not sure what you can do. Have you thought about seeing a therapist? I know money is tight, but if you have insurance, it might be worth a session or two just to get someone else's insight? I wish you all the best.

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      Anon 3 years ago

      This sounds like it was written by me. Currently my parents are screaming at each other about their issues including myself and my brother as "issues" while I sit here writing this and struggling through my Political Science paper. Thanks for enlightening me as to what kind of path I need to follow moving on with this!

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      mamma_mia 3 years ago

      I found your story quite interesting.

      The part that really caught my attention the most is when you express your concern about your grandparents getting old. I'm sorry to say something that might sound inappropriate, but your "parents" are your biological grandparents, and as far as I understood they might have gotten quite traumatized about what their own daughter was able to do - getting out of the picture in such a way...

      Don't you think it might be very good and deeply healing for you to try to reach them at least once more in order to find out about this?

      I wouldn't suggest getting too close on daily bases, but at least to explore this situation and their feelings before they are gone.

      Also, could you maybe try contacting your biological mother? To leave you with them is something she could at least sit down with you to chat about... mostly if her mother was as psychologically unstable when she raised her as well...

      Finally, is there no way for you to get in touch with your grand/father without keeping too close to his wife? how is his impression of what had happened to you as a child?

      I'm not suggesting you should share all that with us, but I would respectfully like to know your opinion about these topics being explored before they are all gone and it is too late.

      We all deal with some kind of parent's failure and it is hard to let go, or to keep distance from people we love and still are toxic to us. Yet, do you think it might help having a very clear picture of the circumstances so to forgive and let go in our hearts?

      Best Wishes.

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      AKB 3 years ago

      I totally understand this because I have dealt with the same thing. I tell you, it is a real headache to put up with an irritating parent who makes a huge deal out of the most trivial things and rants about stuff that has absolutely nothing to do with what goes on. You are right to say that it is a pain in the "you know where" that people behave like that because they find nothing else better to do. I have been there, so I know exactly what that is like. What really stunned me was how you wanted to keep your own kid away her grandparents!! That is bold, but I have to say that you may be doing right for the kid because she does NOT want her to face the same kind of stress that you did growing up. To bear through so much and still make it stronger, I salute you!! Best wishes for better days!!

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      nysph 3 years ago

      I'm very warmed to finally relate with someone about my mother, who adopted me at the age of 5-6 months. There is just so much to say about this article... Everything posted here is spot on to how I've felt about my mother for 26 years now, with no ability to relate to anyone.

      Sometimes it gets easy to lose hope, especially since I cannot afford rent atm and am forced to help her on top of the slavery, as I like to call it. The lack of joy/interest in such a relationship has started to impact me on many levels.

      There has to be more attention directed at parenthood-mainly about relating to their kids in a friendly manner; something I never experienced with a reticent father and controlling mother.

      6-8 hours a nightwalks where I could get away from the spiritual noise and parental Hypocrazy was divine in comparison to 'family time'.

      Thing is, there is NO reasoning that ever works with them (the parents or relatives of) that can convince them until they learn to accept the responsibility of self-honesty.

      One more thing: age is a mere number in comparison to understanding of facts in a self-honest, objective way; and parents can lose sight of this.

      thanks for sharing!

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      nysph 3 years ago

      Society is structured to feed arrogance to parenthood or authority in any form, regardless of 'righteousness' or facts-whether that authority is in right knowledge to make a judgement which would impact anothers' life. Problem with misconception is that no parent or 'authority' figure can know what is truly right for YOU! Such a relationship turns to dishonesty because the heart wants something regardless of how many times it is denied it.

      It's not only about financially supporting our kids, but emotionally bonding with them-UNDERSTANDING them, not in our minds or in comparison to what we invision of them in our minds, but to Unconditionally ACCEPT them as they are, regardless of how discrepant their beliefs or acts may seem. To be able to Support, there must be higher judgement in Understanding which means to Listen without judgement.

      Until there is an honest, heart to heart connection, the problems would only perpetuate.

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      Jmariegirl 3 years ago

      I need advice for bossy/controlling mom. She doesn't even realize how she sounds in front of others and her controlling nature is gradually getting worse each year.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @mamma_mia, while I respect your opinion, I did it offensive. You assume I want to contact my biological mother, but I have no wish to do so. Why would I? She obviously didn't want me, so why would I want to know her? It makes no difference to me why she chose to give me away. She had her reasons, I'm sure, but knowing what those reasons are will make no difference in my life as it is today. The same goes for my biological father. He has made no effort to contact me, and I have made efforts to contact him when I was younger. There is no reason to attempt further communication.

      As for my "parents" being my biological grandparents, yes they are, but they are still my parents. I'm not sure why you brought this point up.

      Also, you assume I need healing. I'm perfectly at peace with my decision. In fact, you're entire comment is very assuming, which is what I find so offensive. I understand that you believe my parents have been hurt by my actions, but apparently, it doesn't matter to you what I have gone through. Society has this idea that the child should make any and all attempts to reconcile regardless of what they have suffered, and I personally believe that is complete and utter crap. We have no choice in who our parents are, but we can chose whether or not to continue a relationship with them. If someone has been physically abused by their parents, should they make any and all efforts to reconcile? I would hope you would say no.

      Mental abuse is just as painful, and in many cases can be worse than physical abuse.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Anon, I'm sorry you have to suffer with this and I'm glad my article could help you. That was my main reason for writing it. I wish you all the best!

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @AKB, Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree that keeping Sam from her grandparents was a bold choice, and it was a difficult decision. But she is much happier for it I believe, compared to what I was feeling at her age, and to me that makes it all worth it. :) Hope you have a fantastic holiday season!

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @nysph Thank you so much for your comment. I whole-heartedly agree with you. Society makes us feel guilty for not having any interest in a relationship with our mother, and that wreaks havoc on our mental health. Parents and family members are the one relationship we don't get to chose in this life, and I personally think that forcing someone to have a relationship with someone they clearly do not like, let alone love, is torture. So please, take it from me, you don't have to have a relationship with your mother, and don't feel guilty for not wanting one. You had no choice in your upbringing, but you do have a choice in this. I hope you are able to afford rent soon so that you can get a fresh start, and enjoy life. I must say, removing myself from that situation, (although I probably should have done it differently), was very freeing and I am now free to enjoy my life. :) I wish you all the best!

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @nysph, yes very well said. VERY well said.

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Jmariegirl, unfortunately it will only continue to get worse. Can I help?

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      Jmariegirl 3 years ago

      yes what do I say to make it better or do I need to just ignore it when she commands me to do something. For example, today she told us to be in the van with the kids ready. And she's a perfectionist- she called my house in disarray (cause we were in the middle of decorating for Christmas!).

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      There isn't really anything you can do to make it any better, and generally whatever you do say will simply make it worse. I found the best way to deal with the situation was to either act like you are listening and say yes, ma'am; no ma'am to her statements and do as she says, or cut ties completely. They are ticking time bombs and no matter what you do, that bomb will go off eventually despite your attempts to diffuse it.

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      Megan 3 years ago

      My situation is EXACTLY like yours. Years, ages, everything is the same. Except I haven't married him yet and cats. Thank you.

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      Jen 3 years ago

      I didn't read through the many comments on here, but I have a mother who was exactly the same way. The erratic emotional behaviour, verbal abuse and control was just as you described. I have since learned that she has something called "Borderline Personality Disorder" There are a number of books out there about it and the impact it has on children growing up with a parent who has it. One is actually called "Walking on Eggshells". I encourage you to research it. I would like to cut her right out of my life, but haven't got the courage yet. She is also older and in lightly declining health and I would feel too guilty at this point to cut her off.

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      leighj 3 years ago

      I found your story by doing a Google search of "signs of a controlling mother".

      My story is similar in many, many ways.

      My mother was always the controlling type. My sister and I were always being watched and told what to do constantly. As children, we could never sleep over at anyone's house, never go to birthday parties unless my mother knew the kid's parents really well and could never go anywhere with any friends. Whereas other children were forming bonds with each other and developing important social skills, my sister and

      I would spend weekends and holidays doing whatever my mother wanted to do- grocery shopping, cleaning the house, relaxing at home (with her) or coming with her to visit her friends. We were always scrutinized by her with regards to dressing, walking, talking, eating, manners, conversations with other people, phone conversations with friends... The list goes on.

      My father and I were really close, but my father was passive- I don't know whether he was bullied by my mother or if he just simply agreed to everything she said but he would always do whatever my mother instructed... She made all the decisions when it came to us with regards to everything.

      When I got to high school, my mother and I used to argue a lot. She would always go through my room, read my diaries, and would even openly mock whatever I had written in my diaries! When I used to have my own opinion and, if my mother didn't agree, she would belittle me and tell me what a terrible, rude, obnoxious person I am (and this was when I was 13, 14 and 15 years old!).

      Things really went downhill when my father died when I was 16. When he died, she never once sat down and asked my sister and I how we felt or ever hugged or consoled us. The only thing she did was cry when visitors came over and she would continuously tell us that she is a widow and a single parent who will have to look after two children on her own... And how we need to behave ourselves.

      I somehow went looking for affection elsewhere... I had a boyfriend for a short time in high school. He was your typical high school guy, and not the type of guy to seek affection in, but I was a teenager and didn't know better. We had never slept together, but, when my mother found out, she punished me severely. She accused me of sleeping with him, slapped me on my face and even called me a street whore. She took away my phone, turned my whole room upside down to find evidence of anything, questioned my friends about him and me, spoke to my friends parents about it and even told the community religious leader, who sat down and had a conversation with me about how I should "listen to my mother" and how it is "difficult for her as she is a single parent". Everytime my mother and I would argue, she would always bring this up and emphasise that I'm a bad person.

      High school continued and, when I graduated, I got accepted at a university a long way from home. I finally had my freedom and went a bit wild... I wasn't studying (I was a really good student in school), I was socializing with friends and actually formed a serious relationship with a guy I met. My mother would still try to keep tabs on me... Calling really often, always questioning what I'm doing and she would constantly pressure me to apply for a university which was nearer to home- she said I was too far away and she didn't like it at all.

      By the time I got to second year, I was failing and I had also secretly married my boyfriend. In my third year, I decided to quit university ( I was failing anyway), my relationship fell apart and I had no choice but to move back home.

      My mother was actually really happy that I quit... I could be at home under her watch and her control. She eventually found out that I secretly got married. She was terribly furious, and every single privilege I had (I was already 21) got taken away. I was studying another degree through correspondence, and, as I was living under my mothers roof again, I had to do/ behave/ think whatever she instructed. Whenever there were arguments, my past mistakes would be brought up again, and she would make me feel as if I was the worst person in the world.

      Fast forward to when I was 24, I met someone from another country (that's a long story- even meeting him was under the watchful eye of my mother). My mother somewhat liked him and we decided to get married- I believe she only agreed for us to get married as almost everyone else who was my age, or older, in our little town, were already married or were going to get married soon. I think my mother was far too concerned about what other people thought and what the community thought.

      Also, she looked forward to throwing an event that would rival other people's weddings and events.

      The build up to the wedding was terrible. My mother would criticize all of my choices and would be constantly scolding me, even for the smallest things. She took the "lead" role when it came to my wedding- although I got to choose my dress and the decor etc., she would make sure that she is the only one who would speak to the caterers, wedding organizers, potential guests etc. My sister and I (at that stage 28 and 24 years old respectively) were still "immature children" in her eyes, who were not capable of organizing things and speaking to other adults about arrangements. In her mind, only she could do it right.

      When I used to remind her to call someone or do something, she would break out, and shout at me that I'm pressurizing her and that she is "alone" and can only do so many things.

      The wedding happened, after much stress, and my husband went back to his country and I had to stay back for another 2 months to write my final exams. During those 2 months, my mother would continuously rave about how her and my sister put such a lot of effort, dedication, time, sweat and tears into my wedding and, how, after the wedding, they had to sort out, package and pack all of the leftover food,desserts and cakes to take back home.

      Also, during the 2 months, she was telling me that I shouldn't leave (to go live with my husband in his country). I should stay at home. She kept saying that "think twice about this", "don't take too many things with you, in case you want to come back home", " I don't think its a good idea to leave", "I don't think you should go". When I would argue with her about this, and many other things, she would tell me that I have become rude and arrogant since I got married, and she would say things like, since you know you are leaving, you are so rude and obnoxious to your mother and sister...

      Whilst I was at home for those two months, she wouldn't even let me get mobile phone credit to call or message my husband (I was in the final year of my studies, so I wasn't working and had to rely on her). She wouldn't even let me skype him. I had to Skype him in private when she wasn't at home and he had to always call or message me.

      I eventually left to stay in husband's country. After many dramas, my mother hates my husband... And me. She has tried over and over to manipulate me so that I can divorce him and come back home. We have had tons of arguments where she brings up my mistakes in high school and university. She constantly calls me a liar, hypocrite, manipulative... She will tell me about the things she did for me when I was a teen (like dropping me and picking me up from sports classes) and how I had always had a good life with lots of freedom back home...

      I have not spoken to her in about 2 years. She will email me every now and then to tell me how terrible I am, how awful my husband is and how much she did for me as a child and teen.

      I hate the fact that I don't have a healthy adult relationship with my mother, but, thinking back, the relationship was never healthy to begin with. The only thing that will make her happy is doing what she wants. Being apart from her has helped me be me, without ridicule or criticism.

      I might not have a perfect life, but I have had the freedom to explore my talents, feelings and abilities to form relationships with other people (which has been the hardest part).

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      No regrets 3 years ago

      Omg so get this with my own mother and grandmother I always thought I was the only 1 thank god I finally understand this was not my fault I am in the process of cutting my grandmother off its hard but has to be done. X

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      Melissa Flagg 3 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      I admit at times I do feel guilty, since my mother's health is declining rapidly. But I'm also concerned that if I contact her again, I'll end up back in the same cycle, and would stop contacting her again, which would only do more harm. Eventually I may write her a letter.

      I'll have to check out that book! Thanks for the recommendation!

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      Saskia 3 years ago

      Hi I'm 13 years old and came across this website when I searched controlling mums and I must say, the resemblance of your mother's behavior and my mother's behavior is startling. How can I deal with it now? I live in England and when I'm 18, I am going to completely alter my appearance, change my name and get out of the country. Maybe even out of the continent. I really don't want any connections when I'm older with her or my dad. I don't know how to deal with it psychologically. I really need some advice and since your mother is so similar to mine, you would be my best bet. Xxx

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      Author Nicole Canfield 3 years ago from the Ether

      I just wanted to say hello. Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can relate on so many levels. Blessings and hope you and your family are well!

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      Paula 2 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      I came across your hub, and was so glad you shared your story. Judging by the amount of comments at least, you can tell you have touched people's lives with this story. Life is so hard sometimes, even when things are going fairly well for people. Having to deal with what you did, makes me amazed all the more at how people overcome. It is so wonderful that you are helping your daughter to have a different life too.

      On a total side note, I do wonder about one thing, as you were describing your mother. I have wondered about women as they get older, and are around family members and seem to be flipping out a lot, like the turkey going into the trash story. There are some people that are victims of the raging chemicals and hormones in their bodies, that don't even realize it nor get help. This is no defense whatsoever, but mention it because it has helped me to understand some people I have come across in my own life. Generally, you can tell though, if they are not the type to usually be doing such crazy and hurtful things. If they are, then that is usually just what it is. Otherwise, it can be a strange sort of comfort that there might be some help to be had, or that things may calm down over time. One of the reasons it is so important to get help if that is the case, is because of the severe destruction it can cause for families. Just ignore that as a total side note, if I am way off base. If there were more going on, it can be helpful to know it, for people I have known anyway. Most people don't want to be so hateful and awful I would imagine.

      Regardless you are a trooper and I am so happy for you to do what you had to get your life on track as much as you could. Wishing you and your daughter the very best in the future, and continued healing as that is needed!

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      Kylie 2 years ago

      I love this. In ways my childhood was worse, in some ways better, and in some my mom did the exact same things. I'm not sure what the point was, maybe a parental warning, but it just feels nice to know someone else that gets it. Thank you.

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      run away 2 years ago

      Basically I want to add that even at age 30 , an overbearing mother can inflict damage onto someones self esteem. The best cure in my case is to cut off ties completely. They depend on those ties , it's like nourishment to them. It's hard , they're your blood but it's our lives we're talking about here and our happiness is of utmost importance.

      Good luck to all and God bless.

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      BlueIndigoGal 2 years ago

      Thank you so very much for this.

      My parents are the exact same way, Mother demeaning the Father and controlling and yelling at me.

      Sending you peaceful vibrations...thank you for sharing!

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      Shania 2 years ago

      Thank you so much for writing this. I took have been fortunate to find someone who loves me and whom I love, which was the one thing I always wished for even as a child. He is, too, my first real boyfriend and now husband, and escaping with him may be somewhat parallel to your situation. Fortunately, there IS much love.

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      Shania 2 years ago

      Continuing...

      This felt like I could have written it. But my father is controlling as well... And so is my aunt, who also lives with them. They don't guide you to make decisions for yourself, they tell you what to do. Even now when all 3 of us are over 20.

      It wasn't until I moved out after I started my own business that I started finding myself and being amazed at what I can accomplish on my own without being dependent. Their "support" driving me to and from my first job, which they still do for my sister in college and my sister for her job, and preparing meals and not letting us do chores, is crippling. And not practical for growing up. They did send us to good schools and I do have an achiever complex, for always wanting their approval and having them be proud of me. I've learned to live by my standards, and my husband's, and do what we feel is best for our child and not guilt myself into doing what they say I should. Problem is, we now live 4 doors down from their house, as we are paying them rent to own and got the contract price cheap. So they visit my daughter maybe everyday. This reminds me we probably need to limit this time again and not let them be too familiar with me and my house, like when we started. And impose boundaries.

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      KT 2 years ago

      Your article really hit a nerve, I too grew up with an extremely controlling and narcissistic mother. In 2008, I decided to stop talking to her and I never regretted my decision, I feel happier and more at peace.

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      Melissa Flagg 2 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @KT I know exactly how you feel. My parents are currently having severe health issues and their passing is becoming more imminent. But I still don't regret my decision to avoid my mother. She's now treating my dad the way she treated me, albeit much worse. He has health issues that are not his fault, yet she blames him and says he's doing it for attention. It's despicable. No one deserves to be treated that way. Like you, I'm much more at peace, even considering their failing health. I think it was the best decision I ever made. It gave me my life back.

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      Melissa Flagg 2 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      @Shania You definitely need to set those boundaries. I'd move if I were you, but that's probably not realistic. I wish you all the best, and know that you are not alone. As you can see, many people have commented that they are in a similar situation. Take solace in the fact that there are others who understand you!

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      Mary 2 years ago

      Wow this article could have been written by me. Dd your mother verbally abuse your father too. I will never forget the last really big fight my mother had with my father who was dying from heart disease (he never told us about it and hid all his meds in a locked-up drawer in his desk) about how he never did anything for her. Not true. He did a lot for her - maybe too much - but he could never do it "right", pretty much the same way she treated me. I was never good enough for her even though I was always compliant to her wishes and abused to the point where I attempted suicide a total of five times (have no idea how I survived all the pill taking. I really don't.) and had to hide from her. Not to mention a serious eating disorder which began in my pre-teens (mom thought I was getting "fat" as soon as I hit puberty - 5'3" and 100 lbs was fat in her eyes). Now that both my parents are gone it is still hard to "let go" permanently. On the positive side I am happily married, no children at all (I would never a good parent make and neither would my husband) a career and fairly peaceful life. Yes it is hard to let go. Thank you for writing this.

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      Melissa Flagg 2 years ago from Rural Central Florida

      Indeed, my mom did abuse my father the same way. In fact, she still does. The poor man is very ill, incontinent, some neurological problems with an etiology we aren't sure of and she thinks dad is faking the whole thing. She's treating him like crap, its so sad. He tried to do everything for her, but like you said, it was never "right." I will never understand how anyone can treat their husband so badly, someone they have vowed to love, let alone treat their own children that way.

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      Anon555 2 years ago

      I can relate to this so much, it's unreal.

      I think that my mom's attitude left my mind in chaos. Basically I feel like I have no personality, because I wasn't given any space to develop one. I struggle to create anything because I have very little imagination and I struggle to find anything enjoyable (including talking to people) besides a few hobbies. I still find myself pretty clever or whatever it is due to the "analytical mind" you talked about here. Just so you can acknowledge my current situation, I'l let you know that I'm typing this on my phonr because she won't let me on the PC simply because it's where I "hide" from her. I'm forced to stay around her in the house because she's bored and I'm the only person she has available to criticize everytime she feels like to. The only time I'm left in peace is when her boyfriend comes to the house and she'll make his life a living hell instead. The only reason he copes with it is because she gives him" that thing we all know", which says everything ,about what she is really. I could go on for hours and tell you the kind of stuff I've had to deal with during my whole childhood, but i won't because you, very well, already said most of it. The only reason for which i'm still living with this person is because I don't have a chance of being financial independent as of right now. I wish this comment made me feel any better, as it seems to have for most of you, but it really didn't. Why? Because my life at home is still a living hell. Luckily I have my girlfriend who I love very much and is the reason why I keep smiling ;)

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      Anon555 2 years ago

      I forgot to thank you for writing this. I had an extreme emotional reaction to you story. I didn't cry but it was something different than everything that I ever felt. I was like shaking for like half an hour... lol. I understand now why I'm like this and why mother does what she does, thanks to you. Actually found this page a few weeks ago but only got the guts to post now, for some reason. You and your hub changed my life, DOM.

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      D. Shaw 2 years ago from Austin, Texas

      I can totally relate to this. All my life my mom has controlled me. I couldn't even go out and see friends during my time at high school. I had to go home and stay in the house while my parents went to work. I'm 25 now and I've been staying at my job for 7 years. I put my 2 weeks in to pursue a full career in video game journalism, and she went on and on about why I didn't consult her and dad first. I have to stay home and pretend to be someone I'm not.

      I'm not doing it anymore, and I'm done being controlled by my mom. I can move out when I want to, since she says I've ruined her life and I'll do what I want to do. I can't even trust some of my friends since she says anyone I know isn't a real "friend". She doesn't want me to move out and says she can't accept me for who I am. I left that job because it was making me sick and miserable. Transferring to a different location isn't something I wanted to do because that would just be taking my problems with me.

      I hate to say it, but if it came to me never talking to my mom again I wouldn't shed a tear or be sad about it. When you've had to live a lie for your whole life and pretend to be someone else, you end up hurting yourself mentally. I will decide what I want to do with my life.

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      CrazyGata 2 years ago from Puerto Rico

      Greetings to all,

      I am the controlling mother and I am writing to say I am oh so very sorry.

      I am sorry. I am sorry for not allowing your spirit to flow, I am sorry for denying you what I couldn't live without, my say and my way. I am sorry for disguising convenience with love. I did not know any better. Yet the fact that I did not know any better does not detract from what I put you through, my constant demands and my bitter inconsideration.

      You deserved to be happy from the get go. I messed up your childhood, I can't give it back to you renewed, and for that I am truly sorry in my heart.

      Thank you very much for this post. I read through some of the posts and there are truly so many of us I was wondering if we'll ever talk Mother's Day like we do Christopher Columbus.

      I was too the daughter of a controlling mother. I will add this link over there.

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      Shawn 18 months ago

      Hi,

      I really didn’t think of writing to anyone about this. But it always helps to write to someone/talk to someone who isn’t someone I know. It always does help. I’m 25 years old, male and living at home with my mother and sister. My sister’s boyfriend also lives with us… That’s another story for another time.

      I don’t know where really to begin. I love my mother. I really do. But something I question it. She is the type of person who when you are upset and want to cry to her about things (and she’s told me time and time again that if I was bothered or upset by something to come to her. That I could tell her anything) she pushes you away. She has no more compassion then a toad stool. And it hurts like hell. It really does. My sister is the exact same way. Though a little more kinder towards me.

      When ever I try to do something beneficial for myself, it backfires and my mother taunts me for it. She chastises me and patronises me for not being the best I can be and not doing the best I can do. I will be honest here. I don’t drive, have no license to drive and that also doesn’t help my situation. But I am afraid, more like terrified to drive a car. But anyways…

      Nothing is good enough for her. I have a job, though it pays good money it’s not a 9-5 job. It’s part-time and it’s not good enough for her. She expects me to find a second job or I’m out of the house. Trouble is we all know how damn hard it is to find new jobs. It’s not easy. It’s easier said then done. But it’s never good enough for her. I’m paying off my phone bill and helping with groceries and necessities and it’s never good enough for her.

      My father is a different story. I don’t live with him. I visit him now and again. My mother and father divorced when I was 9. It was a big impact on me but I know it wasn’t my fault they divorced. I know that now, but it didn’t stop me from believing it was my fault when I was growing up. He encourages me to be myself and yes to do the best I can but if it’s not stellar it’s okay. It’s the best I can do. And he’s okay with that. He’s extremely proud of me in whatever I do. I have a better relationship with him because of it.

      In the past I’ve tried to get back into school (dropped out of community college years ago, family issues) and each time both my parents have scared me out of going because of the ever-popular financial difficulty. Taking a loan, having to repay the loan, etc…

      And each time I got accepted to a university or out-of-state/in state college (three to be exact) I backed out because both my parents frightened me into thinking I’d sink like the Titanic with debts up the wahzoo if I went away for school. That wasn’t right for them to do and yes they were worried but they should have let me do my own thing. But they didn’t. And they scared me. And I fell for it. I should have known better but I fell for it. And it’s past so that cannot be changed.

      I rarely hear my mother say that she truly loves me. The only time she does is when she’s really hammered. Completely shit-faced drunk. And it’s so hurtful, incredibly embarassing to me to hear my mother tell me I should have taken the offer from that college and that she will always love me. It is sad, beyond sad that she has to be drunk off her ass to tell me she loves me. It hurts me like you cannot imagine…

      Another part of this is the fact I came out as gay recently. As of last year. My mother once, when she was very drunk told me It’s my fault I was so late in coming out. And that hurt me so much. My sister even agreed. It hurt me a lot. But that is how they are.

      Anyways, enough of the backstory.

      I recently as of a month ago and some days, met this guy online. A mutual friend of ours introduced us and we hit it off very quickly. He lives quite a ways away from me. He recently decided to surprise me with a ticket for the bus to visit him and we could meet for the first time. He’s put aside money to rent a car because his car is useless and he doesn’t want us breaking down while traveling to places. He’s taken days off for this trip for me to see him and my mother in typical fashion told me no.

      Let me get this straight, I’m 25 and her ruling has bearing on me how? But she said no. And I’m entirely intimidated by her. I have always tried to please her but it’s never good enough. She wants him to come here. But he cannot. Financially he cannot. But I can go there. But she won’t allow me. And she’s told me if I decide to go I won’t be allowed back. That her home is not a hotel. When I told her that I don’t have ANY appreciation for what I do in the house. I clean up after my sister and her boy-friend and their dog. I do A LOT. More than her boyfriend ever fucking does. Sorry for my expletives. He is a slob. A right slob. And just because he has a 9-5 job, and has days off he think he’s exempt from household duties? Like dishwashing and bathroom cleaning? Why am I stuck with all of this shit? Is it because I don’t have a 9-5 full-time job and make the money he makes that I can laze around like he does and not give a fuck about the woman’s house he currently lives in? They don’t pay rent. Neither do I. But seriously. He’s a problem. He’s a nice guy but he’s a problem. He and my sister leave dog feces for days on the floor in the basement because their dog isn’t trained. It’s a hoarder’s DREAM down there. It’s sickening, the smell and the sight of things. And it’s in our house. My mother takes a lot of pride in her house and her lawn. Recently the lawn mower and weed whacker went kaput. I just had to put almost $30.00 out of my own pocket of money I barely even have to pay for a professional law mowing service to come out and do the work. My sister’s boyfriend and I made a deal that I do one lawn, he does the other. Since the lawn mower and weed whacker went out of commission, he hasn’t lifted a finger. But that is how he is. They all, the three of them suit one another very well. I feel like a total outcast compared to them combined.

      I just. I don’t know what to do. Some of my friends say her threatening to kick me out is a sign for me to spread my wings. Maybe it is. I just needed to get this off my chest. Thanks for writing what you write. It was eye-opening honestly.

    • Kimberleyclarke profile image

      Kimberley Clarke 18 months ago from England

      A great piece. Thank you. I'll be 35 in a couple of weeks and still feel the wrath of a controlling parent!

    • Daughter Of Maat profile image
      Author

      Melissa Flagg 17 months ago from Rural Central Florida

      Hi Shawn,

      Sorry for the delay in my response, I recently bought a house and just finished moving and getting the internet hooked up.

      I'm so sorry for what you're going through, but congratulations on coming out! That takes a LOT of courage, and you should be very proud about that accomplishment! The fact that you're only 25 and have already come out says a lot about you. You're getting to know who you are and you're becoming more comfortable with that. So many people wait until their 40's or even later to come to terms with who they truly are, so consider yourself lucky that you had the courage to do so at such a young age!

      As for your situation, I highly recommend going to meet the man you met online. I was just a year older than you when I met my husband online and fell in love. We met on Xbox live and the day we finally met in person, he moved in, we've been together for 11 years now and have a nine year old little girl, and as I said, finally just bought a house. As for your mother saying you can't come back if you go, awesome! I say that because it gives you a chance to get out from under her thumb and live your life. Do you have a friend you can stay with until you find a place? If not, you never know, maybe this guy is your soul mate like my husband is, and you'll end up getting married and living happily ever after and you won't have to worry about going back home! Of course, that may not be the case, so you should try to come up with a contingency plan before you go, but take the chance.

      If there's one thing I've learned in this life, it's that everything happens for a reason and at the exact time it needs to. Meeting this man may be not only your way out, but your reward for putting up with your mother's crap for so long. But you won't know until you take the chance. Do it. Don't be the person whose on their death bed regretting the chance they never took.

      It's YOUR life, not your mother's, not your sister's, it's yours. Grab it and run with it. Enjoy every minute and fight for your happiness. Trust me, it will be so worth it in the long run. Happiness isn't a destination. It's the journey. I wish you all the best, and again congrats on accepting who you are!! Never let anyone take that away from you!

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      Melissa Flagg 17 months ago from Rural Central Florida

      @MetroidFan89 AMEN!!! I admit that there have been times when I have felt bad about not talking to my mother. But recently I experienced a situation that has made me realize I've been 100% right the whole time. Someone called my mother and told her some very nasty things about my husband, non of which were true, but my mother believed this person anyway. There is no doubt now that not speaking to her has been the right choice. For my own mother to believe the things this person said is absolutely unbelievable and unacceptable, and as I told my husband, if she is stupid enough to believe what she was told then I never ever want to talk to her or even see her again.

      Congratulations on taking back your life! I wish you all the best!

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      Jean Bakula 16 months ago from New Jersey

      Daughter of Maat,

      Thanks for sharing your story, as many people have controlling parents. I grew up with scoliosis, a spine curvature, and my Mom was over protective, which manifests in somewhat the same way. Treating someone like they are so fragile makes you feel they don't think you can manage your own life. In truth, I lived in chronic pain, wore a brace and got teased, and had to be very strong. When I got old enough to date boys, (I ditched the brace) she was always snooping in my life, also keeping track of my periods, and picking fights with me. I also had a diary, and finally wrote things in it to freak her out so she would stop reading it.

      Things got better when I got married and got away, and I loved my husband. Then when she got older, she became a big burden again, a hypochondriac, always getting sick anytime we were going out, or on vacation. I miss her and loved her, but was saved by my husband, who always treated me like a competent person. It really threw me when she passed on, and I went to therapy for a bit, because I felt relief along with my grief, and was afraid it wasn't normal. But the therapist assured me it was best to get yourself out of a toxic family situation, and I think you did the right thing. You were strong, and I hope you have the happy life you now deserve. Best Regards.

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      The Stages Of ME 12 months ago

      Dear daughter of Maat,

      I was in tears reading this and amazed that you endured with such a beautiful smile. As a mother I am so sad you had these tough experiences of loss after loss, no matter, you are amazing and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Hugs

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      Nancy Mitchell 2 months ago from Bend, OR

      Melissa, I enjoyed reading this and connected to a lot of what you wrote. I, too, decided to distance myself from my mother when my first child was born. Her interactions with him brought back painful memories from my own childhood. I could react more objectively when it was happening to someone else other than me. If she couldn't be a loving grandparent to my son, she really didn't have a purpose in my life. She drained me of energy and just made me feel bad about myself. It's amazing how our kids can make us take care of ourselves in ways we never thought possible. Best to you!

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      Eleanore Ferranti Whitaker 6 weeks ago from Old Bridge, New Jersey

      My Mother and I were as different as night and day. I think I had the usual mother/daughter difficultie during my teen years. Once I married, I was my own woman on so many levels. I never felt bound by my mother's ideas of discipline or natural growth to adulthood.

      I am probably all too self-contained for my own good. But, that isn't really my problem since I am happy with who I am and have always been. If anyone has driven me, it was me. My Mom lived a very difficult life. Mine was not as difficult, although by today's standards, not owning a TV set until 1952 and having a telephone "party line" might seem archaic.

      I have always been able to be philosophical about parents. I always knew I was more the laid back type like my maternal grandmother. I prefered all things cerebral to hands on. My Mother was a ball of energy. I never was. She was also quite determined and persistent in an aggressive sort of way. I was more the "wait and see" type.

      Life is strange. Over the years, all those differences I thought existed between my Mom and me seemed less so when I became a mother. Although, in truth my parenting skills tended to be a bain in her life. I believe that the best way for children to learn responsibility is to let them be responsible even as toddlers. I don't much care for today's psycho babbling parents seem to feel is necessary to raise children's "autonomy." To me, it is more like being helicopter parents. But, I am also a big proponent of "Live and Let Live." I have always given my two sons the opportunity to make decisions, carry them out and sometimes, suffer the consequences, hard as that can be. I often think Moms are viewed unfairly because it is always Mom who makes the sacrifices that go unappreciated and unseen. I think it is important to always remember that your mother is a product of her mother, her mother's mother and so on. That usually takes the sting out of the hostility. This assumes there is not a situation where mom is an alcoholic, drug addict or other.

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      Jennifer 3 weeks ago

      I remember my parents divorced when I was young and I remember the violence. Really young mostly we were put in the bedroom but I could still hear it. Remember once my dad leaving with his ear bleeding and I remember staying with neighbors that I was uncomfortable with. I had a complete stranger sitting with me while I peed in the bathroom. I don't remember a whole lot of good when my parents were together.

      I still don't remember much until my mom remarried. By this time Mom had moved us to Minnesota and dad was still in North Carolina. For the rest of my life I only seen my dad every 7-8 years but have always talked on the phone every few months or so. Mom always bashed my dad. I remember one night my mom waking me up telling me that my dad didn't want me anymore and asked me if my stepdad could adopt me. She told me my dad was upset with me because I told her about everything after visiting in North Carolina. I probably didn't didn't realize that I was a kid. Now that I'm older I realize that my dad didn't even know what to do with us when we visited. Dad would go to work and my step mom would lock us outside all day long to the point my brother and I almost drowned in a river. She didn't want us around she left her own kid in Germany.

      I remember my mom and stepdad have a massive arguments and they only ever really seen mom being the one freaking out throwing things. She was upset at my stepfather because he was always drinking and sometimes ruined our plans over it. They would argue and she started telling us kids to pack our bags because we would be moving out. After about 5 times of that reoccurrence we started hiding out laughing about them and how we're going to move away and pack our bags for the 10th time I mean we were kids.

      I remember watching cartoons with my parents on the weekend mornings and lots of camping trips and my mom always made sure we had lots of clothes and plenty of food. My mother started taking her frustrations out on us kids. I remember even though we had everything we needed my parents were never around most of the time. They were drinking all the time hanging out with friends having parties and us kids were all left in the basement to play.

      I think my mother was the worst with me and I think it's because I'm a girl. Now days I wonder if it's because I always had a better relationship with her father. It could be that I still loved my father and showed it.

      My older brother eventually moved out so all the attention was on me because my little brother was always perfect in her eyes. My mom was so anal about cleaning to the point I had toothbrushes in my hands to scrub around the faucets in the grout on the tub. She was always frustrated because we couldn't do things right like she wanted and she just got meaner and meaner. When I was a teenager she was still the same but yet always gave me a lot of freedom and of course I went right for parties and drugs. I had a really low self-esteem and completely afraid of my mom I wouldn't even go tell her I got my menstrual cycle. I remember my mom once throwing me on the bed and jumping on top of me slamming her fists on me because I didn't tell her what I was doing with my money.

      by the time I had a complete attitude.

      I was also bullied in elementary school as I was a chubby kid and my mom dressed me like an adult like I was a guinea pig for her to doll up. By high school I had just snapped and I was mean to even probably the nicest person.

      I made the mistake in my twenties just start working for my parents who owned a heating and air conditioning business and I learned the trade all the way to the top. I became a lead installer carrying important license that most guys don't even have.

      My mom and I never got along so occasionally there were issues at work and I can't tell you how many times I've been fired hired quit and rehired. I started feeling like my mother slave as she shoved me an attic after attic laughing about how many more bath and she had knowing I hated them. At this time I have a child that I'm raising on my own and would do anything to take care of him as his father ditched us and left me financially to do it on my own. I was making that an awesome salary and bought my son a trailer control. When I first did HVAC I was installing furnaces and ductwork and by the time I snapped I had been in attics almost every job with fiberglass being jammed in my face. I felt my skills were being completely wasted and at this time I felt like a slave completely and she would Giggle and demand slamming her hands on the table. Flashes her diamonds around and pasta show she's important and if you don't make her feel important boy are you in trouble. Now I'm 42 years old and still rebelling because I finally snapped one day working. I told the truth about my story but she stretches it to something completely bullshit. I've tried leaving employment with her several times but always fell flat on my face. Every time I tried to get away I was forced back. 911 took a lot HVAC a work away and there's always layoffs. I had problems searching for other work and finally in 2016 landed a job for another heating and air conditioning company. the heating and air conditioning company didn't have much work in the area I was licensed for and that's what they specifically hired me for. I did a month's worth of really big jobs being thrown out to the wolves which I can totally handle because my parents did the same thing. June I was laid off and was in a contract at my son school for daycare for the entire summer. Daycare has always been a nightmare with this trade because it's so fluctuating and daycares just need a schedule. At this point I'm so depressed and don't know what to do and don't even know if I want HVAC anymore. I refuse to go back to my mother's company!!!! Christmas I was told by my boss that they had big jobs coming up but now it's almost February and I'm unsure if they're pulling my leg or if they're really having trouble scheduling.

      Every time I try to break away from my mother I am sucked right back and it's getting to the point where my kid is spoiled by her and I just have no control at 42 years old. I picked the worst boyfriends who treat me like total crap. I am so truthful and so loving and it makes me a magnet for every single person out there that I would consider a leech. I have a hard time saying no because my mom never let me say no. I'm uncomfortable expressing myself because I was never allowed to. I feel like a sixteen-year-old trapped in a 42 year old body when I look at other people my age. I started having a lot of focus issues to the point where I was worried about what was going on with me. Finally seeing a psychotherapist who told me I carry severe anxiety from childhood and I didn't even know what that was. I was told I'm severely depressed so I do all I can to be more spiritual and tell myself that God has a plan. I believe everything I went through made me really strong but it sure still is a struggle to this day to have good relationships. I let people push and push and push and then bam I explode. Just the other day I was trying to talk to my mom about what I was doing to try to find work and I don't even know why I even try to talk to her because it always backfires. I can't handle the judgmental snootiness that comes out of her that makes me want to completely just smack her ass. I actually did at age 23 after being punched by her a few times I floored her ass but afterwards didn't feel so good about my mom going in an ambulance so I learned that's not how I want to handle things. Bottom line I understand completely it will completely screw you up. All I can say is this government that are straight and shit out because I need to work and take care of my son and not ever ever ever have to listen to one more word that comes out of that woman's mouth. Narcissistic behavior all the way!!!

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      Vanessa 2 days ago

      I'm sorry you had a difficult childhood. I enjoyed reading your story and could relate to most of it. What I'm not sure I understand though, is why you blame your mother for your poor decisions in life. Aren't you the only person that controls that? You are the only one that got married. You alone got divorced etc etc

      My brother blames our mum for all his unhappiness. People would rather blame others than take responsibility for their own life and their own mistakes.

      We had the same upbringing. Controlling and emotionally abusing mother. And still as adults this is the way she is. But, out of all the bad stuff, it only makes up for 20% of the time, and I still have a dad who is amazing. the rest of it is good. People focus on the bad way too much. It's sad really. Unlike my brother, I refuse to let her control me and I chose to live my life how I want. And as for my kids, I teach them patience, love, forgiveness, resilience and understanding.

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      Melissa Flagg 2 days ago from Rural Central Florida

      I think you completely missed the point of the article if you think I blame my mother for what YOU call my bad decisions in life. I didn't make any decisions I didn't want to make. I chose to get married to my first husband specifically to get away from my mother. Yes I probably could've chose another way to do that, but I didn't. Yes, I chose to get divorced from that man to get out of a horribly abusive relationship. But I never blamed my mother for my choices. However, my mother took every chance she could to blame me for my choices and the so called horrible turn my life had taken. Personally, had my life not taken the twists and turns it did, I never would have found my loving husband or had my awesome daughter.

      Although you probably didn't mean it, I do take offense to your comment. While many people do focus on the bad in their lives, you have no right to assume how someone views the decisions they've made. And you certainly don't have the right to "read into" my article and assume I blame anyone for my choices when I said nothing of the sort. I GLADLY take responsibility for my life and the happiness I have found.

      I'm glad you think you have such a positive outlook in life. Clearly, you're an enlightened individual, although I suspect you may focus on the bad more than you'd care to admit since you were reading this article for some reason. But that's your choice and I'm glad you take responsibility for it.

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