Hi there, I have a question regarding to my mom and why she appears to hate me in comparison to my brother and sister. I’m the oldest, my brother is the middle child and my sister is the youngest. My brother, my parents seemed to have focused majority of their attention on him which honestly wasn’t a big deal to me, but my sister who has caused so much grief on my mom even calling her the c-word and run in with the law and being physically violent with her still is treated with so much more respect than me. I’m not saying I’m perfect but I was a child of obedience, good grades, never swore, just desperately wanted to please my parents to no end, you get the picture. When I was a teenager she was physically and emotionally abusive with me, she went through a bad divorce with my dad and the death of her mother and sister so she did take it out on us, more so me and dealing with bulimia. My mom does depend on me now for rides to work because she lost her license and does have type 1 diabetes so I’m the one responsible for her even though I want to move out and begin my life with my 7 year boyfriend. My mom doesn’t approve of us living together so I am afraid she will end our mother daughter relationship because she’s threatened it before. To this day she treats me horribly compared to my brother and sister even though I try hard not to start fights with her, I’m very quiet and passive which I guess she hates? And she walks all over me if my sister refuses to do something for my mom. Whenever I have tried to tell her how I feel she manipulates me into thinking something is wrong with me, she also seems to have a narcissistic personality problem but I’m not going to diagnose her. How can I begin my life without starting a war. An example that happened is that I expressed excitement over my future home that I offered that she can help decorate, she refused and said if I moved out she would never come over or talk to me but when my brother expressed wanting to move out she offered to pay his rent. Please help. (age 25, from Canada)Why My Mom Hates Me
Why My Mom Hates Me
I don’t think the problem is that your mother hates you. I think it is that she needs you too much. Somewhere along the lines the boundaries may have gotten blurred and she began relying on you more than taking care of you. Things probably shifted during the time that she suffered so many losses. When you talk about moving out or asserting your independence she probably becomes fearful and does whatever she needs to do to keep you close, and it appears to be working. It doesn’t sound like she “needs” your brother and sister as much so she isn’t threatened by their independence.
You and your mother may have developed a codependent or enmeshed relationship and it will take time to unravel, but your mother will never be the one to initiate this change. It will be up to you, and it’s hard work.
You obviously love and care about your mother and are most likely still seeking her approval, so just telling you to move out and start living your own life may be too much too soon, but it is ultimately what you need to do. You can do it as lovingly as possible and help your mom strategize other ways to get her needs met, such as transportation, or you can just rip the bandage off and make you your number one priority and let your mom figure it out herself. After all, she has been an adult a lot longer than you. Don’t sell her short.
However, I understand that changing these ingrained patterns will take time and your self-esteem has been affected. Because this is hard work, I suggest that you enlist the help of a good therapist or find a local support group that addresses boundaries and codependency. There are also many self-help books on these topics. You deserve to be happy and live your own life, and your mom deserves to know you as a daughter, not her savior.
All the best,
Dr. Holly Counts