Our partner

Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Forum for significant others, family and friends of people with mental illness to discuss relevant issues they face.

Moderator: thegentlepath

Forum rules
This is a support forum for the family, partners and friends of those with mental health issues. This forum is intended to be a safe place to discuss information, give and receive support and learn about all the issues related to being involved with a person with a disorder. Whilst it can be healthy to express various emotions, please remember to be respectful about the disorder itself. This is a place for constructive discussions, not a venting forum.

The issues experienced by the significant others of those with disorders cannot always be discussed in the other parts of the site in a way that does not trigger those with disorders. Moderators may therefore move threads from other forums into this one at their discretion.

Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby ap1168 » Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:38 am

I have a toxic relationship with my mother. It started when I was in middle school, but has only gotten drastically worse since I have graduated high school and just finished my first year of college. My parents fought a lot when I was little. I have a memory of my parents yelling at each other in the upstairs hallway while I sat in the middle of them, holding a whiteboard and writing on it “please stop fighting” because both of them wouldn’t listen to me. Maybe that’s what taught me to how to fight with my mom? I don’t really remember why we started fighting or what specifically made our relationship like this. But a classic example of one of our fights is the one I am in right now as I write this in the middle of tears, sitting on my bed in my room.

All our fights start out from something seemingly unimportant and small. I was supposed to clean my bathroom today and I kept complaining how I didn’t want to. My mom was teaching me how to scrub the bathtub and kept telling me I was doing it wrong and to rub harder. She has criticized me a lot over the years from not getting better grades to “having fun with friends too much,” and at this point, I can barely stand it when she criticizes me for any little thing. So at this point, I lost it and started saying “why should I have to clean the bathroom”, which is when she also got mad and we just went back and forth at each other. This sounds like just any regular fight between a mother and daughter, but it always quickly escalates into something more.

As most of our fights go, I usually lock myself in my room and mom continues to yell at me for all the things she has built up over the years. Her usual go to is to tell me that I don’t do anything and I’m lazy (to her disappoint I haven’t joined any clubs in college yet and don’t have an internship for the summer which many of my friends do) and all I want to do is hang out with friends, “have sex,” “do drugs”, and “ruin my life” (which I don’t despite her beliefs). She also starts yelling at my dad and telling him that he’s the reason I’m like this and that he is a bad parent. She also starts blaming her illnesses on my dad and I (she has a fatty liver and also really bad headaches), starts throwing things in the house, and starts yelling really loud (the neighbors can probably hear everything). My dad and I are used to this.

Last October, I lost my virginity to this guy I was hooking up with who lived cross the hall from me in college. We were safe but because of my paranoid self, I decided to buy a pregnancy test at CVS just in case since my period was pretty late and I was stressing myself out. I used my parents credit card to buy it and as my mom does (since she doesn’t trust me), she asked to see the receipt when she got the credit card bill. When she found out I bought a pregnancy test, I told her I had bought it for my friend but she of course didn’t believe me. She was so angry that she would send text after text and phone call after phone call to me. I had never seen her that angry before in my entire life. Since i was still at college and could ignore her messages when I wanted to, she decided to start sending me pictures of how she had started throwing things around in the house and was threatening to set fire to the place. She even sent me videos of her yelling at my dad and threatening to destroy everything. At the same time, freshman year had still just begun so I was trying to make friends and manage all the stress too. Now, I know in the past I had at times been a difficult child and I definitely deserved the yelling my mom did but in this situation, I don’t think I did anything wrong at all. I was almost 19 years old at the time. It was perfectly normal for me to lose my virginity. I wasn’t being a bad person or harming anyone or myself in any way nor was I doing anything illegal.

My mom thought that what I had done was so bad and a disgrace to her (she only believes you should have sex after being in a committed relationship for at least a year) that she actually bought a plane ticket and flew across the county from our hometown in California to Boston so that she could keep an eye on me at college. Her and my dad (who was against what my mom was doing but in order to keep this family intact was obeying my mom) stayed at a hotel and picked me up on the weekends to talk with me. At this point, a lot of my mom’s anger had died down and we somehow resolved things (just on the surface though as it is with most of our fights. She then flew back but ever since then has been monitoring and controlling my life even more.

She keeps track of my Venmo (which she has access to) so that she can see who I’m paying and I must always tell her what I’m buying (out of fear i”m buying birth control, alcohol, or drugs), she tracks my location, I must always tell her where I’m going ,what I’m doing, and who I’m with, she don’t like me spending too much time with my friends, she doesn’t even let me hang out with people I want to hang out with (just yesterday I wanted to hang out with my guy friend but she told me that I’m not allowed to hang out with boys unless we’re in a relationship), I’m not allowed to be out too late, I must tell her everything in advance, she asks me to send her pictures as proof of what I’m doing or who I’m with, etc. This has hindered me in a lot of ways. It has negatively affected my friendships because I’m always cancelling plans because of her and I can’t even hang out with them that much. It also affects my mood and I've started not getting enjoyment out of things I used to love before because I don't see the point when my mom is always mad at and the state of our family is so bad. I also have a really reduced self-esteem and confidence. I always doubt myself, think I’m worthless, and have really bad anxiety in social situations because I’m always being insulted and compared to other people at home. And this is just a few of the problems I have with my mom. In reality, it’s a lot worse.

My dad and I have tried talking to her and have tried getting help. We called my mom's sister to talk to her since she is my mom's most trusted friend but that didn't work. We also hired a family therapist but stopped going eventually. I have tried talking to her and being honest with my feelings but none of this seems to work. They only offer short fixes. we seem to fight everyday now. It makes me really sad when I see the relationships my friends have with their moms. My friends are always talking with their moms about boy problems, going to parties, etc. and I can't relate with this at all. My friends' parents also trust their kids so much and don't monitor their lives as much as my mom seems to do. It's so hard for me to do anything I want to do --whether it's go to the beach with my friends (my mom thinks I'm going to do drugs and she doesn't like me wearing a swimsuit and taking pictures) or go on dates/even hang out with boys or even just make my own decisions when it comes to choosing classes for college or what to do with my free time. I realize that I can get really angry at times as well and be a little more understanding of where my mom is coming from but it's really hard for me to reason with her at all and now that I'm almost an adult, I think that I should have more freedom.

What should I do? Open to any feedback :)
ap1168
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon Jun 17, 2019 6:19 am
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:00 am
Blog: View Blog (0)


ADVERTISEMENT

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby MindOnAir » Wed Jun 19, 2019 1:04 pm

Sounds alot like my mother. While I don't have any good advice, I think you should ask yourself what do you want with your mom out of this. Do you want a relationship with your mother or not at all?

I know is difficult, but it helps to let what your mother say go in one ear and out the other. There isn't a specific way to do this but if you don't let the things she say bother you the more you will feel at peace for yourself.

Do what you need to do. I am an avoidant and it took me decades to ignore most of the things my own mother has to say. I'm sure you will have an easier time.
Dx: Avpd, Paranoid Personality. Erotomania. Shoplifter.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
27. F. Working full-time. Been shoplifting free for 2
years and counting.
Medication: escitalopram 10 mg
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
MindOnAir
Consumer 3
Consumer 3
 
Posts: 67
Joined: Mon Jan 08, 2018 10:30 pm
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 8:00 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby realityhere » Wed Jun 19, 2019 6:11 pm

There's not much you can do to change your mom's behavior, only you can change yours. Learn to pick your battles-- try to ascertain which are the important ones to fight for and don't sweat the small stuff she uses to throw you off balance. MoonOnAir's advice about letting the insults and belittling go in one ear and out the other is not a bad idea either. It's actually a pretty adult thing to do, considering your mom carries on like a child. Even though she will try to make you out to the be one causing all her distress, you're really not responsible for the way she behaves. She chooses to throw attention-getting conniption fits to get her way instead of trying to be the calm and reasonable adult with her adult child. Try not to get drawn into her drama. Easier said than done, I know.

Try to find work when out of college. There's nothing else like a job that will help you gain independence from this situation.
realityhere
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 2637
Joined: Thu Feb 19, 2015 10:31 pm
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 9:00 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby GenieGenie » Sun Jun 23, 2019 9:33 pm

I know this sounds kind of extreme, but can you be get into a foreign exchange program for college? It sounds like you need to serious space. And do summer sessions in college so you don't have to ever go home. And get a part time job (at college) so you have spending money as she will use money to control you.

I had a difficult home life, not due to my parents but due to my brother and I did all of these things to avoid going home.

Just a few ideas because I'm sure you know you can't change your mother. You can just limit your exposure.
GenieGenie
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 3
Joined: Sun Jun 23, 2019 5:41 pm
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 10:00 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby shimtie » Thu Jul 04, 2019 9:39 am

GenieGenie wrote:I know this sounds kind of extreme, but can you be get into a foreign exchange program for college? It sounds like you need to serious space. And do summer sessions in college so you don't have to ever go home. And get a part time job (at college) so you have spending money as she will use money to control you.

I had a difficult home life, not due to my parents but due to my brother and I did all of these things to avoid going home.

Just a few ideas because I'm sure you know you can't change your mother. You can just limit your exposure.


I second this. From some persons, we need some time away on another continent.
shimtie
Consumer 2
Consumer 2
 
Posts: 44
Joined: Thu Jun 14, 2018 6:17 am
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:00 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby xdude » Fri Jul 05, 2019 8:31 am

Much agreement with the above sentiment. This is the hardest thing to accept, it's really not possible to change a toxic other, it is possible to change ourselves and one of those changes, if possible, is to get some distance/time between you and them. That will give you some much needed space to start healing, and to stop being drawn into the same repetitive toxic exchanges. The more you practice avoiding them, the easier they become to avoid.
We do NOT delete posts

Read the forum rules before posting here. If you are having any doubts about what you are posting, if you are thinking in the back of your mind, "I am going to want to delete this, or these details, later", remove those details, or step back and don't post until you are sure.
xdude
Consumer 6
Consumer 6
 
Posts: 8662
Joined: Thu Dec 23, 2010 3:41 pm
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 11:00 am
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby Alptraum » Wed Jul 17, 2019 11:47 am

That's like something I'd intend to write about my mom. But let's get straight to the point - your mother is a narcissist. You endure constant criticism. Nothing you say, do, eat or wear is ever good enough for your mom. I've been there, done that and I have so many of the t-shirts, I could open a store.

She controls your spending. I know what that's like. I go to town and shop and when I come home, she stands in the front doorway and inspects the contents of every bag. "You shouldn't have bought that!" and "You can't be trusted with money". She tried to look for some back-up by complaining to my brother about my spending habits. No support was given. "It's his money. He worked for it!"

I can remember an occasion when I an some of my colleagues with whom I share an office went to a restaurant for lunch. Later that day, she went through my wallet and found a $18 bar bill. This did not meet her approval. "I should NOT spend that kind of money!" "Yes, I SHOULD spend that amount of money, offering to buy my colleagues drinks. It's called being sociable".

If and when you feel you're old enough, just move away from her. No further contact. But beware that if she finds out she'll try to fight it. So be prepared for her faking, strokes, heart attacks and even her own death. Mine did all of these things.
"Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength"- Sigmund Freud.
Alptraum
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:10 am
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:00 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)

Re: Toxic and controlling relationship with mom

Postby Alptraum » Mon Jul 22, 2019 7:12 pm

realityhere wrote:Try to find work when out of college. There's nothing else like a job that will help you gain independence from this situation.


Yes, and set up your own bank account. Tell your mother nothing about it- not even what kind of work you'll be doing. You don't want her to control that. What you earn is YOURS... and nobody else's.
But how does a middle-aged man like myself cope with a narcissistic, nonagenarian mother? Not very well, I can tell you. With her, every single aspect of narcissism is there. Projection, gaslighting, drama battles, insults, abuse, humiliation, emotional blackmail, barefaced lies, blame transference and weapons-grade bulls***.

At time of writing something happened that quite frankly has encouraged me to speak up. Off I went to church of a Sunday morning and when I returned, pots and pans boiling on the cooker. I asked, “What are you doing?” “I’m making your dinner”. “Mother, it’s one p.m. and therefore technically still lunchtime. I want to make my own lunch now.” “But I thought you’d be hungry?!” “Yes, and for that reason, I’m making my lunch. Dinner will be later”.

I want to emphasize her reason, “But I thought you’d be hungry?!” Yet another aspect of her narcissism. In reality, she hates to see me going out anywhere and making my dinner four hours early was just a projected excuse to hit back at me. She’s actually told me, “I don’t like you going out anywhere. You should stay at home”. So here am I, tied to my mother’s apron strings and undoubtedly bound in a Gordian knot. No job, no chance of a vacation, no wife, girlfriend or children. I haven’t had a relationship since 1986, which lasted a fortnight because my narc mother wrecked it by telling me “She’s no good, give her up!” I heeded mother’s advice. I shouldn’t have.

I’m fortunate to have two good close friends. Of course my narc mother doesn’t approve of them. When I first told her I was meeting friends, she wasn’t pleased. “What do want or need with friends? You should be here at home helping me!” It didn’t end there. She demanded “Give them up. I don’t trust them. They’re grooming you for something!” How can you distrust somebody you’ve never met? Narcissists find that easy.

I haven’t forgotten the time I went out for dinner with both my friends. Would my mother let me have an evening away from her controlling ways? No. Having your dinner interrupted with intrusive text messages like “Well, how goes it? Are you alright?” is extremely annoying. If you give a narc a cellphone with text messaging, it’s like giving a monkey a loaded gun. With my narc, she expects an answer within a nanosecond. If I don’t answer within that time frame, I’ll be bombarded with texts until I do. There was one time in particular when I had to get through twenty-five texts. I complained to my narc mother about this and she said, “Aren’t you so lucky?”

Anyway, back to the “dinnertime dispute”. I refused to eat dinner when she wanted me to and then it began. “What am I going to do with you? You’re wasting food. I’m going to throw that out””. “Go ahead then. See if I care”. That didn’t go the way she wanted so she tried to suck me into a drama battle by throwing kitchen utensils all over the place. I walked away and deliberately ignored it. I’m glad to say it soon subsided.

She’s excelled in the art of emotional blackmail. Or, at least she thinks she is. I’ve learned to answer back when she says,
“What are you going to do after I die?”

“Everything I’ve ever wanted to and a lot more besides!”

Or “What would you be if it wasn’t for me?”

“Much better off psychologically!”

Both those responses silenced her briefly. Only to go into “emotional blackmail mode” again, running off to her bedroom to cry. Was she seeking my attention? Yes, undoubtedly.
"Out of your vulnerabilities will come your strength"- Sigmund Freud.
Alptraum
Consumer 0
Consumer 0
 
Posts: 8
Joined: Mon Jul 15, 2019 8:10 am
Local time: Fri Jan 22, 2021 4:00 pm
Blog: View Blog (0)


Return to Significant Others, Family & Friends Forum




  • Related articles
    Replies
    Views
    Last post

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 15 guests