My mom may be poisoning me

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

I am currently attending online college and living at home with my mother. After high school graduation I sucessfully moved out on my own for a year and then decided it would better for me to move back in with my mom and save money before I move up to the college of my preference in a bordering state. My older brother has always lived with my mom except for time he had spent incarcerated or a short lived three month time period when he tried to live on his own. During the time period I lived on my own, my brother’s girlfriend moved into my mom’s house with him. I never liked her but it was never my place to say anything about her. After I moved back, I held my tounge even though she never once helped with bills or could even take out the trash. One day she tried to break into my room that was locked, and needless to say I lost it and kicked her out. For the first time, my brother went with her and it doesn’t look as though he will be returning to my moms anytime soon.

So here is where the real problem comes in. I believe my mother has some sort of mental disorder where she is trying to prevent me from moving. Her house is large and she will be living alone in a few months time when I start attending on campus classes in a bordering state. Although she has never been formally diagnosed with any mental disorder, I believe something serious is present. She is attention seeking, and she has always been alone relationship wise as her psychotic behaviors scare off all men. She always thought my brother would never leave her, and so now it is “my fault” she will be all alone.

She claims to have a rare disease called Moya Moya, and although it is possible that this is true, I do not have any direct proof of this. She used to be addicted to meth when my brother and I were children, and I believe this has taken a toll on her brain. She has always been emotionally abusive to me, telling me I’m fat and her favorite comment is that I am retarded and incompetent. Although I am ditzy sometimes, I was always on the honor role in school and have many personal achievements that show otherwise.

I was also sexually abused as a child by a family member and I have honestly never admitted this to anyone since the third grade when I tried to tell DSS but my mom told them I was lying and told me to stop lying, but I do not think she directly knew about this over the years that it happened, but when I tried to come out with it she was in denial and forced me to shut my mouth.

Anyway, back on current track, I have suspicion that my mom may be interfering with my health somehow to force me to have to “stay home.” I have been experienceing very odd symptoms such as excessive hair loss ( and I do know this can be related to stress, but this is more than that.) I also am having blood pressure issues, odd bodily pains, and other random symptoms. This has all seemed to really come on after my brother moved out. My dog has also been very lethargic and under the weather lately too. I am normally very healthy, I drink lots of water, take vitamins, exercise and the like.

During the time I lived on my own, the only illness I had was a cold. My mother has also been trying to convince me to leave my dog behind with her once I move to college, even thought she knows my attachment with this animal. Her favorite saying has always been “I am the one who brought you into this world, I sure can be the one to take you out of it.”

When she drinks wierd stuff also comes out. She says she wishes she would have aborted me like her first child, that I shouldnt be here because the condom broke, and many other hurtful things. I know my grandmother was never number one mom to her, and she certainly has been far from to me. It’s like she hates me yet hates me even more for “leaving her.” What do you make of all this? Trying to confront her about anything never gets anywhere, she just freaks out.

A: The natural desire of every kid to be loved often leaves people feeling stuck when a family isn’t what it should be. I think there may be a part of you that worries about “abandoning” your sick mother. Meanwhile, there’s an equally strong part of you that is desperate to get out of an abusive situation. The “solution” to the dilemma is to make plans to leave but be literally “worried sick.”

Then again, maybe your mother is mentally ill enough to really hurt you physically as well as emotionally. It is not unreasonable for you to see your doctor and to ask for a complete physical workup. If there’s something wrong, you can get treatment. If there’s nothing wrong physically, at least you’ll know the problem is your relationship with your family, not an illness.

You’re going to need support while you make this important transition to a life on your own. I strongly urge you to find yourself a counselor, both to help you make sense of your situation and to give you practical suggestions and emotional support. This is especially important since it doesn’t sound like there are family members to turn to who are stable and wise. I’m concerned that without someone in your corner, you could end up feeling too guilty to leave. Another possibility is that you might have to work yourself up into a state to feel justified in leaving. Neither is inevitable. A counselor can coach you in ways to love your mother without sacrificing yourself.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 10 Nov 2010

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2010). My mom may be poisoning me. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 22, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2010/11/10/my-mom-may-be-poisoning-me/