My parents don’t like me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Q: My mom always makes fun of me when she’s mad. When she gets mad she starts making fun of my face and says I have such ugly acne and I’m overweight and nobody likes ugly tall girls. Every time I misbehave like any other teenager would, she would forcefully make me apologize to her and my dad and if I don’t they would just stop talking to me and eventually I’ll end up apologizing at the most smallest things. And every time my two sisters would misbehave my parents would just forgive them. I ALWAYS have to apologize when I do something wrong and they don’t.

When I start getting like C’s in a progress report my mom would yell at me and tell me that I’m going nowhere in life and no guy would want to marry a illiterate girl. When my sisters get C’s and D’s sometimes they would be like its okay they’ll bring it up. They would make any excuse for them but not me. They always expect more from me and I always let them down.

My mom always makes me cry and almost every night I cry myself to sleep. Just thinking about all those hurtful things they did to me just makes me cry. My grandmother (my mom’s mom) was a stubborn, selfish, mean lady. My mom always tells me how I’m nothing like our family and how nobody in our family acts like how I act. She says I’m just like her mom (my grandmother) its like such a bad thing to be called my grandmother. She says I’m mean and selfish and stubborn just like my grandmother. She thinks I’m this cold-hearted person with no love. I just don’t show my emotions. That doesn’t make me a cold-hearted person.

I’ve come to realize that I’m a sensitive person. Whenever my mom makes fun of me I just cry. I can’t help myself. It’s hard. She tells me later on when I’m married my husband wouldn’t even come near me and then she says wait how would you even get one?

My dad tells my mother sometimes that this girl (me) is not my daughter. My mom says I don’t want her. That hurts so bad. My parents don’t like me at all. In front of people she acts nice to me but its fake. She also makes me sleep on the ground sometimes. (We live in an apartment so I share my room with my sisters) We have one queen bed and the other one’s single. She tells me that I bother my sister at night while I sleep and take up too much space so she makes me sleep on the ground. She told me I couldn’t sleep on the couch because ill just dent it. So the floor is the only option. She tells me everyone hates me and I have no friends. She says I’m so different and I’m an oddball from the family and none of the relatives or the neighbors or anyone likes me. She tells me to help my sisters in everything like carrying groceries and stuff and they don’t have to help me. I’ve tried talking to them saying that it hurts when you say this to me and they just tell me when a parent’s saying something mean to you they’re just showing some love, which I don’t understand because this kind of love makes you want to cry.

The guidance counselors at my school tell everything to parents and there’s this one lady in school who people can talk to but she’s really bad. She doesn’t really care.

I feel like I’ve given up. I used to use acne medicine but not anymore. I’ve given up on that because my mom makes it sound like I’ll always be ugly and then she makes fun of me being overweight and I’ve given up on that too. I’ve lost every hope in life and I just plan to suffer for the rest of my life.

I don’t know what to do. Please help me!!! What should i do? What’s wrong with my mother?

A: This is a very, very sad situation. You are missing out on the love and care that every child deserves. Your parents are missing out on knowing their sensitive and thoughtful daughter. A wedge has been driven between you and your sisters. Everyone loses. What you are describing is emotional abuse. Like every child, you want your parents to love and protect you so you keep trying in spite of the way they treat you. But it has worn you down. A part of you is accepting your parents’ judgment that you aren’t worth taking care of. Sadly, you are now treating yourself the way they treat you.

It’s time for a healthy rebellion. A healthy rebel decides for herself how to live a healthy and meaningful life. A healthy rebel uses anger and frustration as fuel to get out of a toxic situation. A healthy rebel decides that Mom and Dad are just plain wrong and sets out to prove it by living as excellent a life as she can.

You’re 17. With some hard work, you can probably qualify for scholarships and get yourself out of the house and into a college next year. Talk with your school guidance people about how to identify schools you can get into and afford and how to get financial help. If school isn’t your thing, see if maybe you’d like to do a “gap year” (See the article on PsychCentral called “Are You Ready for College? Alternatives for the Unsure” ). The point is to get out of the house and into some new experiences that will introduce you to new people and lift your self-esteem.

Meanwhile, love yourself enough to start working out again and start using your acne medicine. You’ll feel better. Take part in extracurricular activities and get a part-time job. Doing these things will build your resume and will give you some money to save for school or whatever other option you choose. Most important, activities and a job will keep you out of the house and away from the criticism. With a lot of effort and a little luck, you will also find some friends to hang out with. Positive support from friends can be a powerful antidote to what you’re going through at home.

You may at some point want to find a therapist to help you if you can’t shake the negative messages you’ve been getting for so long. I’m sorry you don’t think your school counselors are trustworthy. See if there is a women’s center associated with the college in your town. If so, they may have free counseling. Another option is to call the hotline at Boys Town (1 800 448 3000). Counselors are available 24/7 to talk to kids who are having parent problems, depression, school problems or abuse. The service is free and confidential.

I’m very, very glad you wrote. That may be the first sign of the healthy rebel in you.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 2 Dec 2008

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2008). My parents don’t like me. Psych Central. Retrieved on October 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2008/12/02/my-parents-dont-like-me/