My Mom Needs Me, but Hates Me

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

All my life my mom has never been proud of me or happy with anything I’ve done. All I’ve ever tried to do is make her happy. I know I never will make her happy, but I still keep trying.
My parents split up when I was five and she just kicked him out and no one really took the time to explain it to me or my brother. The only one who cared about us was my Grandmother. She was the one who raised us while my mom was too busy dating and working and even though my Grandma did her best for us. I was pushed into an adult’s position from an early age, I had to take care of my mom. I had to be the shoulder she cried on. When ever I needed some support in any way from her she would tell me to stop being selfish and to this day I have a very hard time opening up to people because I feel like my problems don’t matter.
My Grandmother passed away early last year and it’s left me devastated and I’m trying to keep strong for her because she wouldn’t want me to be like this. Shortly after that my Mom got sick and had some health issues which should be resolved by now, but she doesn’t want to take care of herself and blames me and my brother for her not getting better. I don’t know what to do any more, she leaves me feeling so depressed and angry. I try to help her, but all she does is blame me. If I leave she won’t do anything for herself.

A: Thank you for opening up to us about your concern. I think the first thing to do is to find some friends you can talk to, or a therapist, who can start to help you sort through this long-standing reaction with your mom.

It is time for you to have a plan to move out. Even if the plan scares you, you still need it because living with your mom keeps both of you dancing in quicksand.

Becoming more independent and dealing with your mom are the important goals. I would rather see you struggle with feeling guilty about not helping her, rather than trying, failing, and then being blamed. Right now you’re looking for detachment.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 9 Feb 2014

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2014). My Mom Needs Me, but Hates Me. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 20, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/02/09/my-mom-needs-me-but-hates-me/

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