My mom is tearing our family apart

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

My family has had issues through out the the years, but they have steadaly gotten worse. My mother has always had a temper and yells at me and my siblings. she blames this on her past and basicly anything that she can get ahold of to yell at us. My mom even goes as far as to start fights over something that happened over fifteen years ago with my dad, in witch she starts throwing things (ie plates, peanut butter jars, lamps, ) at us and threataning to hurt herself the fights normally end up with mom leaving with rope or a knife to a hotel. Me and my sister cant even do anything about it because if we even try to talk to her she explodes on us and the whole episode is re-created except with one of us in the view.

My mother has tried to kill herself at least two times… the last time i was left to find her hanging from the banester. The fights normally mean my sister and i get dragged into the fights and end up having to pick sides. Because of the fighting (and my constant wish to stay out of it) Mom and i have had our relationship dwindle. Dad always picks mom (not wanting to make her mad) and that leaves me and my sister to fend for ourselves. However my parents have been taking the side of my sister (who is also my twin) on everything, and to this day i will be called fat, ugly, stupid, a moron, ect, whale my dad and my sister just watch. i can hardly eat anything anymore without being called fat, or something of the like.

Honestly this is my last hope. i have talked to my mothers docters before and they say that i am just being childish and am seeing things from a teens perspective.. its gotten to the point where it would seem its normal for these things to happen

A: Well, it’s not normal. It’s terrifying. Whatever happened in her past does not give your mother license to hurt her children. No kid should be constantly worried about what she’ll find when she opens a door in her home.

Your mother sounds seriously mentally ill. Your dad sounds either overwhelmed or in denial. He and your sister are just keeping their heads down so they won’t be targeted. Instead, he should be your ally and he should be getting his wife some serious help.

I’m sorry your mom’s doctors have written off your reports as teen drama. Do try again. But this time, get an adult to help you. If your dad won’t cooperate, please talk to a trusted relative, teacher or your school nurse or guidance counselor. They may be able to help your dad know who to contact and how to get good help. If that doesn’t work, consider staying with a relative for awhile to get yourself out of the way of your mom’s anger.

I know this is really, really hard to do. But I hope you can keep the perspective that you are not responsible if your mother succeeds in committing suicide. Her problems are bigger than you can handle on your own. As much as you love her, you can’t give her the professional help she needs. Your dad and her doctors need to do what they can to take charge to avoid a tragedy.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 6 Oct 2011

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2011). My mom is tearing our family apart. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2011/10/06/my-mom-is-tearing-our-family-apart/