My Mother Abuses Me Every Day

By Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

From the UK: I am 24 yrs old but i am highly qualified but because of visa restrictions i cannot work as i am studying. She moved to the UK and forced me to move here so i left my career in my home country and came here as she claimed to be depressed. She told me she has changed. As a child i have always faced physical abuse from her.

So i came here. I used to live alone for the past 5 yrs. She controls everything i do from what i eat to whom i talk to.

She does not tell me go out with my friends. After my lectures i should immediately return home. She is also racist and says a certain race guys are racists so she says i should stay away from socializing.

She doesn’t let me join the gym or even get a haircut. I’ts her money so i dont say anything. It would take me a couple of years to finish studying so i am totally dependent on her for my fees so i can’t leave the house.

She is nice to me when i listen to her. But if she sees me chatting on the phone and not studying she scolds and taunts me. As if i am 10 yrs old and still in school.

Its embarassing coz i cant even go for dinners with my friends. They think i am weird and i am already suffering socially.

But for her only studies and careers matter. She lives alone no friends. So expects me to be focused like her. She says all friends are fake so don’t be a cheap girl making friends.

I am really depressed coz i am sick of being alone like this. I cant study. I just wanna run away but then i would just be a homeless person with no money so i cant!.

Help!!!$

A: I’m very sorry you find yourself in such a painful situation. It sounds to me like your mother is a very hurt and disappointed person. Her solution to her pain is to narrow her life to only you and her job. Instead of doing what she needs to do to be happier, she focuses on what you should do. It’s a sad way for her to live.

At 24, you shouldn’t have to join her in her bitter withdrawal from life. I understand that the situation feels hopeless to you. But things are seldom as hopeless as they seem.

If we were talking in my office, I’d want to explore with you whether you could return to your home country where you have a career. You could save your money and return to University when you have enough to be independent. Or you could attend a school in your home country where perhaps the fees are more affordable. I’d ask if there is a relative or friend back home who could give you a temporary home while you got yourself settled.

I’d also suggest that you see if there is a counselor at your school who works with international students. Perhaps that person could help you figure out a way to stay in school without having to live with your mother. There might be a way for you to trade doing some work at school for having a room in a dorm, for example. As I don’t know where you go to school, I can’t be more specific than that. I can only suggest that there may be resources at school you haven’t yet explored.

It’s important that you not accept your mother’s version of the world or what is available to you. Use the resources at your school. Use the strength and creativity within yourself. It may be that you’ll have to make some hard choices, but a choice that gives you your adulthood may be worth it.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

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Last reviewed: By John M. Grohol, Psy.D. on 17 Jun 2014

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2014). My Mother Abuses Me Every Day. Psych Central. Retrieved on August 28, 2014, from http://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2014/06/17/my-mother-abuses-me-every-day/

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