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Overcontrolling Mother

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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 !

Overcontrolling Mother

Answered by on -


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

Overcontrolling Mother

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

Dan Tomasulo Ph.D., TEP, MFA, MAPP teaches Positive Psychology in the graduate program of Counseling and Clinical Psychology at Columbia University, Teachers College and works with Martin Seligman, the Father of Positive Psychology in the Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) program at the University of Pennsylvania. He is Director of the New York Certification in Positive Psychology for the Open Center in New York City and on faculty at New Jersey City University. Sharecare has honored him as one of the top 10 online influencers on the topic of depression. For more information go to: He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2018). Overcontrolling Mother. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 22, 2019, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
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