I have a problem...

... I have a social life, I work (like many people my age, finding secure, well paying meaningful work is a challenge, but I'm not some loser who has never worked), but like many people my age I still live at home. My mother constantly tells me nobody cares about me, nobody wants to listen to me, nobody values me and things like that, this is her "argument tactic," not that I like arguing, but she is...she has mental health issues that predate my conception, and they have never been managed very well. If I look up publications about this behaviour, I tend to find stuff that says it is abusive, and that the proper way to look at it is to go "someone who talks to you that way is abusive, get away," not try to go "well, maybe she is right, let's think of proof of how some people really like me," this is what I do, I end up racking my brain and offering examples, 'cause I am pretty good at memory work, so I can go, like "no, I remember two weeks ago my friend said that they valued me as a member of our friend group," and if I say that, I am told 'they're just humoring you, they really think you're awful' or 'if they lived with you, they'd think you're awful.' I mean, I have also lived with other people, in dorms on campus, it wasn't a big deal, we got along just fine. Everything I read says this is abusive behaviour full stop and that I am taking the wrong tack to try to refute the abusive things I am being told, agree/disagree? Like, someone who says something like "nobody cares about you" is obviously not being kind or rational, and trying to respond in a kind rational way is just not going to solve that person's issue.

14 Comments

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Move out...

Oct 7, 2019 at 9:22pm

This is not healthy for you and yes you may not have the means to do so right away. So make a plan. Get out. Take charge of your life.

25 5Rating: +20

You are the issue

Oct 8, 2019 at 4:41am

You wouldn't any problems to solve if it weren't for her and daddy: you wouldn't have a job. You also wouldn't have a pot to piss in or a window to throw it out of. Didn't they teach you that in school smart guy?

2 19Rating: -17

I stopped

Oct 8, 2019 at 7:25am

After "I'm not some loser who has never worked" cause starting with a caveat like that shows more about you than anything else. If you start conversations off insulting others, you're kind of a jerk.

7 7Rating: 0

Yes, this is emotional abuse

Oct 8, 2019 at 7:27am

No one has the right to criticize and invalidate someone else and this is not how relationships should work. Being a parent or having a mental illness doesn't automatically entitle you to do this to your children.
This happened to me as well until I finally admitted this was an abusive situation. Fortunately, I moved out of my parents' home a very long time ago, but I am still dealing with self esteem issues. I did very well academically and managed to build myself a good life after immigrating to Canada, yet my mother keeps "reminding" me I'll never be good enough. Eventually, I had to go no contact, which is hard, but at least it gives you the opportunity to start your healing process.

20 3Rating: +17

I can relate

Oct 8, 2019 at 9:53am

My mother was mean to me, too, as I child; her nickname for me was "Rotten Kid". Nobody could like me, I was a bad person etc. I'm in my fifties now, and I can say that her behaviour impacted my life. (And trolls - don't tell me that maybe I was a terrible kid, because I wasn't.)

My Mom was supposed to love me - and if she saw something wrong with me, it had to be true, so I believed it. Internalized it. It impacted my confidence and had life-long impact on my self-esteem (this is not intended to be a sob story, but just to share).

When I became a Mom, my view on this shifted: because I do love my kids unconditionally, and I realized that the fact my Mom could not said more about her (and her mental health issues) than it did about me. She'd had a tough childhood and did her best to give me advantages she didn't have, which I appreciate. At the same time, however, she emotionally beat me down.

Having kids of my own was a beautiful way to break the cycle: I have done my best to treat them with love and compassion, and that was healing for me as well. But it also made me realize that there was something wrong in my Mom who could not love me when I was a child.

Your mother has mental health issues and the fact that it sounds like she is unkind and unloving towards you says everything about HER - don't let it define you or destroy you because honey, it's not true. You are wonderful, special, unique, and deserving of friends, love, and a good life filled with joy.

As noted by @Move out.... find a way to get out of this destructive scenario and move on. Once you've moved out, do what you can to avoid getting hooked back in by her again: limit visits or phone calls, have a mantra running in your head that "those vile things she's saying aren't true" and keep moving forward. And if you're lucky, you may end up with a mother-in-law who is kind to you and can help to undo the damage just through her kindness (because not all mother-in-laws are bad, speaking from experience).

All the best - and do all you can to avoid internalizing those terrible things she's saying to you. You know they aren't true. Go live a good life.

23 2Rating: +21

@I stopped

Oct 8, 2019 at 1:19pm

Maybe if I start the other way.

So, I am told "you're useless, you can't do anything." That's not very nice, is it? But if I were a loser, say I dropped out of school in Grade 9, had never held a job, did nothing but play video games all day, that would be one thing---calling me useless would still be abusive, but it would be sort of, well, it's not just really completely objectively false, there's a continuum of normal human development, we use "loser" to mean someone outside of that continuum in a certain way, I can't believe you're going to quibble over this.

And if this is done to someone from childhood onward, it's not very good for the nerves, I don't think. Almost everything I might do involves intrusive thought that I should ask her first, because I am too ineffectual to do things on my own anyway.

And this is highly irrational---as I say, I am not a loser, I am accomplished. I've worked steadily since 13, have a social life, volunteer, got myself an education, all that stuff, so it is absolutely nonsensical that I should have this complex that I am inferior and inadequate---but given that I am constantly at home told I am worthless, can't do anything, am useless, etc. I am starting to think "maybe this is why I have this issue."

She's also a single parent, so there has never been another adult around to display calm, rational, mature behaviour. Actually, I do have memories of my father being around until I was 5. She treated him this way, and she was becoming physically violent with him (he was an adult male, she hadn't socialized him from infancy to accept her pushing him around), so he left after trying counselling, etc.

I don't know if this is very common and nobody admits it, but when I have discussed it with friends who all seem more functional than me, none of them give the impression that "oh, yeah, my mom has called me worthless on a regular basis for years on end, that's what moms do," that all seem really concerned that I am being treated this way and they tell me to leave, but then I go home and if I tell my mom this she tells me I am stupid and that they don't even really like me or know who I am anyway. I mean, she has lived with me longer, so maybe she knows better?

5 8Rating: -3

nothing to gain

Oct 8, 2019 at 1:23pm

...by staying home. Move.

14 2Rating: +12

@@ I stopped

Oct 8, 2019 at 2:52pm

Your mom does NOT know better. She is abusive and wrong. Try to get out asap.

12 3Rating: +9

Raised by Wolves

Oct 8, 2019 at 9:46pm

She's destroying you. If you stay there, you are collaborating in your own destruction. Full stop. Can't put it any blunter.

I got out, and so can you. Leave.

14 3Rating: +11

Bates Motel

Oct 9, 2019 at 8:12am

You should leave, and you need to stop making excuses to still be living with your mother. Personally if I were you, I would move to a new city to put as much distance between her, and myself as possible. A woman like her would drive anyone over the deep end. I'm surprised you haven't killed her yet.

7 2Rating: +5

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