How do I survive verbally abusive mom?

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My mother has been abusing me for about 21 years now. You see, she is always telling that I am worthless, stupid, etc in public and in private. Sometimes, I try to stand up for myself and defend myself but it only makes things worse. I work part-time, and go to school full-time; I don’t go out, clean the house, don’t have a boyfriend, I graduated top 10% in high school but that is still not good enough. The reason I can’t run away is because my dad is sick and I don’t want to leave him, and I also have younger siblings. Additionally, I wouldn’t be able to survive with what I make and I also have to pay for tuition. I will graduate in Spring 2010 and then I am planning to get out of the house, but meanwhile I have reached a breaking point! I really wish I couldn’t hear her,and I don’t know how to deal with her. Please HELP me, how can I survive until I graduate???? Thank you!!!!!

A: The fact that you are staying in this situation for the sake of your dad and your younger sibs despite the constant humiliation is proof that your mom is wrong about you. Your mom may have a mental illness or she may be such a terrified person that the only way she gets relief is to control everyone around her. Either way, you know that you have reached the point where you can’t manage her alone anymore. I’m assuming your dad is too sick to take her on.

It’s time to get some outside help. Your city has a number of offices of the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) . Find the one closest to you. NAMI offers suppport groups to family members who are affected by mental illness. You can learn how to detach from what your mom says and how to build your own self-esteem despite her hurtful words.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 27 Jan 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). How do I survive verbally abusive mom?. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 21, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/01/27/how-do-i-survive-verbally-abusive-mom/

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