Overcontrolling Mother

By Daniel J. Tomasulo, PhD, TEP, MFA, MAPP

I am 23 years old i come from a verbally abusive family my dad is a closet drinker and my mom is a screamer . I just recently moved out of my house and now currently living with my grandma on the east coast . My mom likes to call and ask my grandma things and recently i got engaged and she does not want me engaged i told her i sent the ring back she still doesn’t believe me and yet she dropped the topic for awhile and now is bringing it up again . I have told her time and time again its my life and i can be married when i want to be yet ready . She still sees me as a 15 yr old and its hard to talk to her over the phone i feel like i walk on egg shells every time she calls i suffer now from anxiety yet i check my phone every hour to see if she calls . There hasn’t been a day where i am able to relax . My grandmother believes my mom should still be in my life yet i feel its ruining me mentally . Help please !

A: You moved out because your family life was not conducive to your well-being. There is no magic in staying in contact with a parent that will undo this truth. I suggest you limit your connection and conversation with her, because this is the only way you can begin to individuate and develop a personal life.

I would email or text or write your mom, whichever is the mode she is most comfortable with. But I would limit the ongoing verbal conversation because it will put you in the position of having to cope with the barrage of questions. A written format will give you more time to think and choose the timing of your response.

Wishing you patience and peace,

Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 23 Jun 2013

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2013). Overcontrolling Mother. Psych Central. Retrieved on September 16, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2013/06/23/overcontrolling-mother/