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Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

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Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby ShyTerra » Wed Feb 15, 2012 12:23 am

Hi everyone, I am new here and have been lurking for a little while. I actually found this site after looking around for a social anxiety support forum and was delighted to find this site covers many things that i struggle and have struggled with in the past.

Just for a quick background, I am 34, married with kids and am currently in a healthcare masters program. I have struggled with social anxiety since I was little but only recently have I been able to put a name to it. People would describe me as shy or socially awkward but they are unaware of how bad it really is for me. My husband doesn't even know the real extent of just how uncomfortable i am in public and social situations. I have been reading everything I can get my hands on , on the subject to gain some perspective and try to deal with it better for awhile now. In school I have to be very social so i recently started beta blockers for the really bad times with some success with physical symptom control. I could go on but that is not really the subject of this particular post. i link it because I think my social anxiety has a whole hell of a lot to do with my upbringing and childhood.

I never understood just how manipulative and dysfunctional my mother was or could be until i married and had kids of my own. For the past 8 or 9 years she has just made my life a living hell. she has been diagnosed with major depression (to my knowledge) but refuses treatment and has been bed bound for about 3 or 4 years. She doctor shopped until she found a doc willing to diagnose her with fibromylagia so she cold get disability. She displays some very characteristic borderline personality traits ans now that I am a training healthcare professional I can look back and see those behaviors from way back that I never recognized as such. Me or my brother are her alternating enemies, sometimes she hates him ans sometimes she hates me. Since I have stopped allowing her to emotionally manipulate me i am the bad daughter. We haven't spoken in over 6 months because of a very hateful and hurtful voice message she left me when she was mad at me for not agreeing with her (the worst thing I could ever do apparently). Just to give you an example of her behavior, after 6 months of silence , today on Valentines day she sends me a text saying "I will always love you no matter how you treat me" WTF? how i treat her?? I know that this was meant to either attempt to ruin my day with drama or evoke an emotional response but I did not respond, she wouldn't get it even if I did.

So after all that my question is, can anyone here relate? and if so how have you dealt? i am going through such a stressful time in my life right now, I have a husband who is deployed, raising two boys on my own, and going through a very intense program of study. It would be so nice to have family to count on and talk with and i am feeling a very intense sense of loss but more for something that I have never had if that makes any sense. I know if i call her she will continue to manipulate me emotionally and that is harder than not having a mother at all. has anyone here ever had to cut off contact with an abusive parent also?

Sorry this ended up being a novel LOL
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby Greatexpectations » Wed Feb 15, 2012 9:58 am

I have suffered with social anxiety it sucks, it means instead of enjoying social activities like everyone else seems to they are trial and quite exhausting.
You mother sounds very difficult, and self absorbed. She has major depression but refuses help, that is frustrating.
I understand how you feel, my mother was difficult and uncaring, its hurts to have a mother like that.
My mother I now realise is Narcissistic, and has no empathy. To disagree with her would make her rage, she could sulk for days over a imagined slight.
We haven't spoken in over 6 months because of a very hateful and hurtful voice message she left me when she was mad at me for not agreeing with her (the worst thing I could ever do apparently). Just to give you an example of her behavior, after 6 months of silence , today on Valentines day she sends me a text saying "I will always love you no matter how you treat me" WTF? how i treat her?? I know that this was meant to either attempt to ruin my day with drama or evoke an emotional response but I did not respond, she wouldn't get it even if I did.

It is best not to respond to messages, as any response will encourage her feed the drama. If she's being nasty ignore, ignore, ignore its the best course of action.
Sometimes if someone is very toxic the best way forward is no contact.
I'm sorry you have this to deal with, sounds like you have more than enough to do already coping with a family and a husband who is away, and you are doing a healthcare masters program.
I think you are pretty amazing actually!
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby ShyTerra » Wed Feb 15, 2012 3:57 pm

Greatexpectations,

Thank so so much for replying! As far as the social anxiety goes, I feel like I am beginning to see the light at the end of the tunnel and part of that was just being able to identify what was happening. For so many years I felt like a total loser in social situations and very inadequate. I would feel like i was being constantly judged for the way I looked, the things I said, ect and would replay whole conversations over in my head. It was like you said, very exhausting to interact with people. Over that past few years I feel like I am starting to get a glimpse of who I really am and I decided one day that I am going to be me, quirky, weird me and if people don't like it too bad. I'm sure this is some kind of defense mechanism LOL but it seems to work if I can put myself into that frame of mind. I am still so jealous of people who seem to thrive in public and make friends easily, yes its definitely frustrating.

I agree with everything you said about my mother and how she would thrive on the drama if I responded but I think I needed to hear someone else say it. I kind of go back and forth with feeling sorry for her and being very angry that she could be so cruel. the above example was just the tip of the iceburg, she will pick the thing you care about the most and try to destroy it verbally. I feel sorry for her because she really doesn't have anyone besides her husband but she has literally driven everyone who cared about her away with her behavior. The smart ass in me wanted to send back a cutting sarcastic remark but I realize that would not make anything better and would just feed her need for drama. I got to a point with the last "incident" where I felt she was literally sucking the life out of me and I had to cut contact in order to be able to go about daily life not feeling like total $#%^. Sad but true. Thank you for the compliment as well, that was very nice of you to say. :)
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby Greatexpectations » Wed Feb 15, 2012 4:10 pm

You are a normal compassionate person, that's why you can still feel sorry for her even though she has been cruel.
However it is important to protect yourself and your family from abuse, she is responsible for her own behaviour if that has driven everyone away its her problem not yours.
The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby genaj2777 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:30 pm

I am dealing with this right now. My mother is diagnosed bipolar. She refuses to take her medicine. She never was very close to me even though I am her first child. She gave me little hints she was jealous of me...of which I wanted ignore because what parent could be jealous of her own children ? But one day I had to go on a very long trip with her...something I would have never planned unless God said so....so anyhow she told me she was jealous...which would explain all the devastating things she has done in my past. She did the best she could as a mother....but she started messing up also since I have been an adult. I can not accept her anyway she wants to come. In the past I felt if I am a christian I have to forgive...but God explained to me it's okay to forgive ...but you can never not listen and forget lest it happen again. So I gave my mother....the thoughts of who I felt my mother was a burial. I am birth by a lady that neither understands or accepts me...she tries to manipulate me because she knows I have been taught to respect your elders...but all that has ended....She was never a mother and as an adult i can not have the enemy sleeping with me. I have a husband that she nearly ran off for good..but thank God I was able to get back together with him...you see my mother believes in witches and withcraft and she has done all that to me...and until we went on a four day trip /////did i realize the hatred she has inside. I can never be a baby again. She can never rebirth me. She is not a mother by any definition of the word. I will always love her and pray for her...but if i want my life to be sane and happy ....i cant have someone who will try to take away....because they have jealousy. If you really ask God what caused your problems it would be a huge play from your childhood....from my child hood I wanted to be invisible...and I kept asking God where does this come from? It came from men in my mother's life who tried to touch or molest me....but it never happened thank God...but for a long time I didn't want anything to do with victoria secrets or looking good because in my 10 - 12 year old brain ...it would attract attention. May God bless you on your journey...but what I came to realize was that the mother I was honering didn't exist...i made the lady in front of me into something ...someone she didn't even want to be!

-- Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:35 pm --

I am dealing with this right now. My mother is diagnosed bipolar. She refuses to take her medicine. She never was very close to me even though I am her first child. She gave me little hints she was jealous of me...of which I wanted ignore because what parent could be jealous of her own children ? But one day I had to go on a very long trip with her...something I would have never planned unless God said so....so anyhow she told me she was jealous...which would explain all the devastating things she has done in my past. She did the best she could as a mother....but she started messing up also since I have been an adult. I can not accept her anyway she wants to come. In the past I felt if I am a christian I have to forgive...but God explained to me it's okay to forgive ...but you can never not listen and forget lest it happen again. So I gave my mother....the thoughts of who I felt my mother was a burial. I am birth by a lady that neither understands or accepts me...she tries to manipulate me because she knows I have been taught to respect your elders...but all that has ended....She was never a mother and as an adult i can not have the enemy sleeping with me. I have a husband that she nearly ran off for good..but thank God I was able to get back together with him...you see my mother believes in witches and withcraft and she has done all that to me...and until we went on a four day trip /////did i realize the hatred she has inside. I can never be a baby again. She can never rebirth me. She is not a mother by any definition of the word. I will always love her and pray for her...but if i want my life to be sane and happy ....i cant have someone who will try to take away....because they have jealousy. If you really ask God what caused your problems it would be a huge play from your childhood....from my child hood I wanted to be invisible...and I kept asking God where does this come from? It came from men in my mother's life who tried to touch or molest me....but it never happened thank God...but for a long time I didn't want anything to do with victoria secrets or looking good because in my 10 - 12 year old brain ...it would attract attention. May God bless you on your journey...but what I came to realize was that the mother I was honering didn't exist...i made the lady in front of me into something ...someone she didn't even want to be!
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby genaj2777 » Wed Apr 11, 2012 6:47 pm

You know what else terra ...you have to rename yourself....courageous Terra ...not shy terra...because I was told my whole life ../..you are so shy....not knowing that ...accepting that title over my life and personality was an imprisonment. It is like being in a jail cell...so release yourself....shy is a demonic jail cell....it is not an innocent little word ...it is a powerful...mood altering spirit....it stops you from thinking what you have to say is important, or that you are smart, or that you should matter....because if you think about it when a person says they are shy ...it is those who usually want to blend into the back ground...even though they contribute a lot....it is not modesty...it is a demonic imprisonment...not all things are spiritual...but i know through personal experience....that shyness is not an innocent little thing ...it is a strong man as some elders may say....what denomination am I ....I am non denominational....but I have read alot of books on childhood trauma to help understand myself...because if you are not careful...it can ruin your marriage...and that is what I don't want for my childhood to also take my adulthood!!? God bless you sister!
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby Ikim1988 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:19 pm

I am in the same positiom but without any of that. I still live with mine because of financial issues. She loves to manipuate and control and living with her for a long time I have developed the same characteristics. Its really annoying. I have no car. No place to go. I was abused by her her and still am and she is so manipulative where she basically ruined my relationship with my boyfriend. I am asking for help. My mom is basically controlling my life and i cannot take it any more. She blames me for issues of her life and last minute decisions she makes. I am trying to develop a relationship withvacman yet all this is too much for him but will not take me in to his house. I am like what the hell. I 24 for crying out loud and you won't let me live my life. You have always shown favorites over siblings i tell her. I even stood up for my sister and my sistervjust sat there not doing anything. I need to get away from here. Yet there is no way in doing so. People think I making things up but I am not. Its living hell. I am the oldest no wonder i cannot have a healthh relationship because of you! I always beet myself up because of her actions her caniving ways. Always been honest with her yet she alwaya turned it onto me. My aunt in VA saw how she is. My mom loves control and has my father under her too. I am like really?! Where can I be?! I don't know who to actually turn too. I am totally lost and hurt as well as angry because of her saying she is a Christian yet doesn't really prove it. Its so pathetic knowing how she is and me doing it to my boyfriend its sickens me on my own behaviors too cause I have been around her for so long.

Not saying i don't stand up for myself because I do. Its feeling trapped under the pressure of life and I have to come home from work after my father picks me up and run to my room. My mom keeps saying comments that doesn't need to be said oh what you don't want to be part of this family. Or doesn't say a word at all. I am like i don't need this from you at all. I like it better when you are silent every time. I say to myself. Its a lot because my life is all ready hectic. I mean come on people wonder why I am and of we go way back to childhood... Its another thing on top of that. i had to share some how.
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby Ikim1988 » Wed Sep 11, 2013 10:32 pm

My mother also refuses to see she is the cause as well. I am devastated i became bi-polar because of her lack of responsibility and loves to see me get angry so she can look like the victim. I know I shouldn't be the victim in all this Yet knowing how much i feel hurt and knowing i am doing my best to keep my head up i feel like I am drowning in all of this to exhausted to fight any longer. My dad dragging me down the stairs laughing when he did. Can't even do my job because of the amount of pressure at times. I feel overwhelmed i try to keep it in and be strong but I can't any more. Now I see how my boyfriend sees me a raving raging lunatic who cannot keep it together. Yet he doesn't understand the the why behind the what. He starts to play the victim when i need his help. I am really?! I am all ready frustrated yet he cannot understand my circumstance. Or be around when things get #######5. (Forgive my language). I really feel like I have no one to really turn to in all of this mess.

My mom's "friend" came over and stayed for dinner. When I was upfront with her on why she is the way she is she says i am not like that keep saying it or i won't take you to work. My mom's "friend" just looked down at her food and just felt sorry for me cause i have to deal with this every day. I was open and honest and its all right back to y face. Its like I have to put a smile on everyday just to get through it. I am so done i am screaming within.
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby Incomplete Daughter » Sun Sep 15, 2013 8:24 am

I am so glad, I found this website and others whom can understand my plight with a manipulative mother. All my life, my mother has emotionally manipulated our relationship, she is extremely toxic. One example, of my mother's manipulation, my mother changed my birth certificate, because my father refused to marry her and never changed it back. So, years later, at 34, I had to correct this error, once discovered and it made me really upset at my mother, especially because she knew all along, this information was incorrect on my birth certificate. My mother is only truly happy when she is able to point out, my faults, embarrass me amongst my friends and tell my daughter of all my poor choices. Another example, of manipulation, when I moved to another state, my friends mailed to my last address, my mother's home, an invitation to a baby shower, in which my mother did not tell me about and attended herself, telling all my old high school friends, that I moved to another state and was currently in the process of moving to my second apartment in that state. I was so embarrassed when a friend on facebook told me what happened, everyone thought I knew about the baby shower and chose not to attend. This caused a huge riff between my friends and I , which I did not repair, because, every time I try to fix my mother's errors in my life, it causes more problems. Four years ago, my mother, tried to turn my daughter against me by telling her I was an awful person and fueled my daughter's teenage angst, at the time. I had to go to the courts and place a restraining order against my mother for no contact until my daughter graduated High School. This broke my heart and made me feel like I was a horrible person, but, my daughter was beginning to fail in school and believed she could go live with my mother if she stopped performing well in school. This was the last straw, I stopped speaking to my mother 3 years ago because of her toxic nature to our relationship, and banned her from speaking to my daughter, she had to stop and those were the best years of my life. Now, that my daughter is an adult, my mother is trying to speak to me through her and it is a subtle form of manipulation which is irritating me. I receive many emails and forwards from my mother, which I do not respond too, but, as an adult woman, I am just tired of these manipulative measures. All her emails state "I pray things are okay with you and you and God are at peace" or she will tell my adult daughter "tell your mom I said hi, even though she does not want to hear it" and other attempts to continue manipulating me. I recently have decided to stop engaging my mother, the hole in my heart has grown, because I do not have a successful mother-daughter relationship.

I am in therapy, because, a lifetime of emotional manipulation have ruined my self esteem and I made me incapable of a thriving relationship, because, the patterns I look for in a man are unavailable. My daughter has escaped this cycle, and is well adjusted, but, a bit too much of a momma's girl..:)

Being raised by a manipulative person caused a very uneasy dynamic within my family and with my friends, my mother was always apart of making me embarrassed telling everyone my faults and making me always defend my choices with outsiders. Growing up, I did not know this was harmful to my psyche, I knew that I was always upset and never focused on success in my life. As a result, I don't try and connect with people on a personal level too often, I stay by myself. My mother has never, to my knowledge, been diagnosed with a disorder, but, I think she knows something is wrong with her. The only validation, I receive is our family does not talk or reach out to my mother at all. Instead they reach out and support me. For some odd reason this makes me upset, that they only support me, and I encourage them to reach out to her for support. Now, they are beginning to do so. Growing up amongst this amount of strife, uncertainty and anger, has made me emotionally damaged. My mother has had problems in the past establishing and keeping relationships with men, which has introduced a barrage of unsavory characters into my life, as a child. I developed a negative personality so these men would think I was horrible and I would be sent to my grandmother's house to live, which worked, I guess I learned to be manipulative too.
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Re: Adult child of emotionally manipulative mother

Postby painfulchildhood » Sat Sep 21, 2013 6:57 am

hi all
couldn't believe that all these stories exactly matched mine.
I was physically abused by my mother till the age of seventeen. We lived in joint families, whenever my mum had a fight with her mother in law, I was the one beaten up black and blue. She also wanted me to get the best grades and would beat me up if i got even a bit less than rank 1. I was beaten up almost daily; minimum 5 times a week till seventeen. there were other techniques like locking me up in the bathroom, hurling verbal abuses, using cheap words (Whose meaning i didn't understand then, but realise now).

One summer afternoon, after coming from school, I was so tired and exhausted and was perspiring. I decided to take a bath. i took 1/2 hour and she yelled and said, " Bloody prostitute". But once dad arrived, before i could say she would start complaining so now even my dad is yelling and i don't know why?
My mum is extremely manipulative, first she complains my dad, then she starts saying how she is a mother after all, and a mother is the best person to love a daughter and how she can never be angry even if i abuse her. So she will forgive me. My dad believes she is the world's best and most forgiving mother. She buys expensive clothes for us, and all my relatives tell that i am so lucky to have a mother like her.
when no one is at home, i am supposed to do all the household chores as she always complains that she has a problem with her knee and she cant work at all.
but when dad is home she ll do the work and tell dad how useless i am. when we go for parties her leg pain automatically disappears and she starts dancing to the core.
she makes sure dad and i never get to spend time alone. (we ve been alone once in 22 years) and when dad said he had a gala time with me....I could c her eyes boiling... I knew what would happen next and within 2 days dad was yelling at me for being rude to my mom.
I now realise she has been so jealous f me...she said bad things about my best friend to me and now messages her on watsapp..
she would never let me get dressed, not even let me select my clothes (unless its a function..so that everyone can tell she s such a good mom)...
in front of my family she be sober..instigate and when i say something pretend to be the victim..
everyone sympathises with her..even my grandmother..
she tells me how useless i am ...and if i do manage to get success...she makes sure that she breaks my confidence so much that i dont trust myself nemore...

so long...but hopefully people here will understand that i am saying the truth each and every word...coz no one around me seems to see that...
but i have been fortunate...i got spirituality because f her...had i not faced pain and lonliness...i would have never turned to God...
he devises plans in his own way..!!
tx for reading!!
God bless u!
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