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How to deal with my emotionally abusive mother?

Discussion in 'General Struggles' started by Autumn22, Jun 12, 2019.

  1. Autumn22

    Autumn22 New Member

    United States
    My mother and I have always had a complicated relationship. I think it started because I am closer to my dad, because we are more alike and we like more of the same things (football, camping). Because of this, she became jealous and started being emotionally and verbally abusive to me. As a kid I didn't understand but now I do and it's only getting worse. She belittles me and snaps at me all the time and if I reply back it only makes things worse.
    She has said some pretty harsh things such as "If I were your age, I wouldn't want to be your friend" or "I feel sorry for the person that marries you". I've tried to sit down with her and talk through things because I want to have a healthy relationship with my mom, but it never goes anywhere. She gets defensive and says that I am disrespectful and that I am disobeying the Bible because I am not honoring her. She has the mentality that she can do what she wants because she is the mom and that I shouldn't question her. However, I am a young adult and I feel like at my age I should be able to discuss things with my parents.
    It is now getting to the point where I can't even have a conversation with my dad without my mom getting angry and jealous. Unfortunately, this is only pushing my dad farther away from my mom and closer to me because he doesn't want to be around her because she also snaps at him all the time. So now I feel like I'm stuck. I feel like I can't talk to my dad because if I do it makes my mom mad, which then frustrates my dad. I also don't know how to deal with my mom. Being around her is not great for my mental health, but I live at home and don't have the funds to move out yet.
    In the past, I have usually responded back to my mom when she is out of line because I felt like I needed to stick up for myself; yet this only caused more fighting. I'm at the point now where I just take it and don't respond. While this stops arguments from happening and potentially stops me from sinning, I feel like I'm allowing her to mistreat me and my mental health is suffering.
    How do I deal with living with my mom? I want to handle this situation with my mom in a way that pleases God and is the right way, but I don't know what that looks like or where to start. Any advice would be warmly welcomed.
    We teamed up with Faith Counseling. Can they help you today?
  2. maintenance man

    maintenance man Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    Welcome to CF. This is a very difficult situation.

    It seems to me this is about the relationship between your mother and your father and not you and your mother. If your mother had a good relationship with your father she would have no reason to be jealous of you. That being the case, it's likely there isn't much you can do to fix the problem.

    Rather than telling your mom she's wrong, have you tried simply telling her what she has said is hurtful? Say , "Mom, that hurts me." Then tell her why and leave it at that. Don't argue with her. Just let her know how she makes you feel. If she wants to argue - apologize for being rude and walk away.

    Over time this kind of approach may have an impact on your mom.

    I think the bottom line is she will not change unless the relationship between her and your father changes. That's out of your hands.

    I'm praying for you.
  3. quatona

    quatona "God"? What do you mean??

    I think this is very good advice!
    I´d suggest a (maybe minor) adjustment, though: In my experience, it´s better to say "When you do/say X I feel Y." instead of "You make me feel Y" or "You doing/saying X makes me feel Y.". (Imo it´s important that we are aware that we ourselves are the authors of our emotions/feelings, and that we communicate accordingly.)
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  4. com7fy8

    com7fy8 Well-Known Member Supporter

    United States
    I would say my mother at times was abusive, but there were ways she was right about how I was wrong. I could have taken more interest in her and her life, while I was with her, and I could have helped more readily, with her projects like her gardening.

    I could get in a rage about how she treated me, and at times I walked away and lived outside including state-to-state walks. I am not recommending this :)

    But then I found that God had me not walk out on her, but trust Him to have me love her the way Jesus has us loving any and all people. I think I did not even pray for her, or very little. So, I was wrong, however!!

    As I got more into being good with her, she died. So, as I became more into personally caring about people, I did not have an opportunity to try this out with her. But with others who are a problem for me, I at times remember how I missed being able to be caring and kind and patient and compassionate with her, and I know I can do this with others, though they are not my mother.

    And be wise to any wrong way . . . in myself . . . which I could have picked up from either or both my mother and my father. They were worldly, and there were ways which passed on to me. But it seems Jesus is getting me corrected.

    Hearing about your parents and remembering mine, I'll offer a few items which can sneak to us the children >

    Feeling better than others because of what we have accomplished and how we do things > this is not right; Jesus is so superior to all of us, but Jesus left Heaven itself in order to reach us and save us and share all God's own good with us.

    Being dictatorial about how things have to be >

    "nor as being lords over those entrusted to you, but being examples to the flock." (1 Peter 5:3)

    Using charm to cover up things.

    Thinking we can relate the wrong way with certain people, but it will be ok as long as we don't do this in public and in church.

    Picking and choosing who is good enough for us to love, and maybe even talking down on others > my parents could talk down about certain people; so I accepted how kids at school could be not accepting of certain children, but I did not only talk down on unpopular ones > I bullied them. But if, maybe, my parents had made a point of showing me how to be good with any and all people, this would have fed me to relate differently. I remember how we picked on a certain girl; then the most popular guy made her his girlfriend!!! We couldn't understand that, at all, but we left her alone, then. Now I realize he was perhaps protecting her, standing up for her. I could have had real love with people, by standing up for ones not popular > I missed out on love, because of that. But now I can love any and all people, with Jesus who stood up for us, on the cross and stands with us against all the bullying things of Satan's cry babying, unforgiveness, nasty rage and unforgiveness, boredom and loneliness, and dominating and dictatorial drives for pleasures and control.

    So, make sure you aren't giving in to the abuse of Satanic things inside of you!! Your mother can be used as a decoy to keep your attention to thinking she is abusing you . . . while meanwhile you are going along with wrong stuff in your own self.

    "Let all bitterness, wrath, anger, clamor, and evil speaking be put away from you, with all malice. And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you." (Ephesians 4:31-32)