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My Mom Is Tearing Our Family Apart

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From a 14 year old in the U.S.: My mother has for awhile now become incredibly over sensitive and acts like a child at times and can become very extreme. She has filmed me crying for an hour on her phone saying she was protecting herself before and has also threatened to disown me when I was 13 because I was looking for the number of my therapist that I had been sent to to try and solve this problem and wanted to call him.

She has a few times chased me yelling at me to stab her with scissors or a pen and then even when we as a family tried to seek help for the problem for a family therapist denied any of this ever happening rendering the therapy useless. She throws tantrums and storms out of the house when she drinks sometimes and then never apologizes or admits she does anything ever. Multiple times my dad and I have asked she go see a therapist but she always refuses because she never thinks she has any problems.

Is there any way I can get her to go to a therapist and seek help because I just feel so depressed and I want to have a functioning family like my friends and don’t want to have to be sad and not look forward to going home everyday because I know something bad is going to happen. My end question is is there anyway i can legally get my mother to go to a therapist?

My Mom Is Tearing Our Family Apart

Answered by on -


Unfortunately, the answer to your question is “no”. No one can make another person go to therapy. Even if you did get her to go, you already know from prior experience that you can’t make her take it seriously.

Your father should be protecting you from your mother’s behavior. He is the adult in this situation. Although you are exceptionally mature, you are still only 14 and deserve his protection and support. It’s up to your dad, not you, to confront your mother. It’s up to your dad, not you, to make your home safe. If I were seeing your family, I’d be asking him why he can’t find a way to do that. There may be good but not helpful reasons. He may need some support but that’s not something you can provide. He needs to turn to other adults for that.

Not everyone gets the kind of family they deserve. Unless your father insists that your mother get into therapy with him, things are not likely to change. For that reason, I encourage you to make an alternative “family” for yourself by finding really good friends and who are interested in doing worthwhile things together. Such friends become lifelong supports for each other. You might also find it helpful to go to Al-Ateen meetings.

In a few years, you’ll be able to leave home and to start making a life for yourself. I hope you will find a partner who can join with you in the project of making the family you’ve always wanted.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Mom Is Tearing Our Family Apart

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

Dr. Marie Hartwell-Walker

Dr. Marie is licensed as both a psychologist and marriage and family counselor. She specializes in couples and family therapy and parent education. Follow her on Facebook or Twitter.

APA Reference
Hartwell-Walker, D. (2018). My Mom Is Tearing Our Family Apart. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 23, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 29 Oct 2015)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.