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My Mom Is Ruining My Mentality

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From a teen in England: Hello, so I’ve recently been having a lot of issues regarding my mental health which has been on going now on and off for 10 years. Each time I start to get better things go all downhill again but each time I try to get help or reach out for my mother I get it thrown back in my face saying I’m only saying this for attention and that none of this is about me but then I get moaned at for not telling people how I feel. Kind of like a lose, lose situation.

My mother has had depressed for the past 20 years and seems to push in on me, if I’m not around or giving my attention to her then she’s depressed and it’s my fault. I can’t go out because she goes mad at me and starts crying because she thinks something will happen to me but then when I ask her to come out with me as being outdoors makes me feel better she denies me that knowing it’s what I need. Recently she has been becoming worse with me and blaming me for any bad thing to happen and everything I see to do is all wrong and it’s not helping at all as I’ve not been doing too good with myself recently but of course I’m having to bottle it all up otherwise I’ll be made out to be the bad guy like always.

My mom tells me to have friends round (because she won’t let me outside) and then as soon as those friends go home she flips out at me and says I’m a bad person yet all I did was what she told me to do, then there’s also anything anyone I’m associated with does wrong gets pushed onto me too, and even when I’m no longer trying to defend myself she will still go on at me and it’s starting to make me want to give up even trying, I sit and think what’s even the point? I clearly can’t do anything wrong. But then if I sit with her and don’t talk to anyone at all and do nothing she’s happy with herself and I. That’s not a life I wish to live though as I’d end up miserable but it seems as though it’s either my happiness or hers and unfortunately I want my mom happy.

My Mom Is Ruining My Mentality

Answered by on -

A.

You’ve been dealing with your mom’s depression since you were tiny. It makes sense to me that you feel quite stuck. You want your mom to be happy, but it is at the expense of your own happiness. You don’t want to be unhappy but making any positive move toward your own happiness creates tension and misery with your mom. Yikes.

I don’t think it’s likely that your mother is going to change on her own. She’s been depressed for 20 years. There is no indication in your letter that she is doing anything to help herself besides controlling you. It’s important to remain compassionate toward her but at the same time to work on getting yourself unstuck.

I don’t think you can handle this on your own. You need the practical help and emotional support of another adult. You didn’t mention a dad, so I’m guessing he’s out of the picture. But do you have any relatives or adult family friends you can confide in? If so, ask them to help your mom so you don’t feel so alone and responsible. Perhaps they can help her get treatment for the depression that is ruining her life. Might it be possible for you to go to live with a relative for awhile to give both you and your mom a break?

If your school has counselors, I encourage you to talk to them as well. They may know of other options for you.

This is your last year of school. Start thinking now about what you want to do next. Perhaps start a part time job — both to get some experience and to get out of the house more often. Start to build a life for yourself that is independent of your mother. Think about what steps you would need to take to be able to leave home to live on your own or with friends.

I wish I had a magic wand to make this situation better. Since I don’t, it’s up to you to actively find the help you need either within your extended family, at school or on your own.

I do wish you well.
Dr. Marie

My Mom Is Ruining My Mentality

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 Ruining My Mentality. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 21, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/06/24/my-mom-is-ruining-my-mentality/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 24 Jun 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.