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Mother Daughter Relationship

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Growing up, I lived a quite sheltered life because I wasn’t allowed to go out and have friends. This has really affected me even later in life as I have always felt a bit behind socially. I’m naturally shy and a bit of a loner. I don’t make friends easily even though I would like to.
My relationship with my mother is very difficult as she was very controlling and manipulative. When I was young, I wasn’t very rebellious and I stayed home most of the time even though I was dying to go out. My mother knew this, which was easier for her to control me. She told everyone that I prefer staying home and I’m not so much and outdoorsy type. She didn’t have many friends herself back then and was focused mainly on my older sisters and some family members.

I moved out after high school and went abroad and tried to move on from all of this and build a new life for myself. This worked for a while until some circumstances happened that forced me to move back to my hometown and live with my parents.

My mother has changed her life a bit since. She now has a lot of friends with whom she hangs out with almost every day. In my hometown I don’t have any friends at all and the reason for this is that I wasn’t allowed to make any while in high school. I sit at home and I’m very lonely and it hurts that I’m reminded by my past almost every day.

What hurts even more, is that my mother has a busy social life now, which she deprived me from when I was growing up. I should be happy for her but I’m mostly sad because I don’t feel this is fair.

She doesn’t care about the fact that I’ve moved back and she’s out most of the time. I understand that I’ve grown up but it hurts to see that she has improved her life while she ruined mine. She is obviously much stronger mentally and she often tells me that I shouldn’t mind her business. This is just too hurtful for me. I’m constantly reminded by the things that happened to me in my teens and tend to link everything to it. How can I move on from this? (From the UK)

Mother Daughter Relationship

Answered by on -


Thanks for writing to us. You need an escape plan. You state your age as 26, so it is time to formulate a plan to develop away from the shadows of your mother. You need a life of your own outside of your mother’s influence. When you moved abroad it worked for awhile — so the next move needs to be planned with an emphasis on what pulled you back. To have this next move be successful I recommend some individual therapy to figure out how to make a move toward your independence, emotionally and socially.

Wishing you patience and peace,
Dr. Dan
Proof Positive Blog @ PsychCentral

Mother Daughter Relationship

Therapists live, online right now, from BetterHelp:

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). Mother Daughter Relationship. Psych Central. Retrieved on November 24, 2020, from
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 May 2018 (Originally: 14 Jul 2017)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018
Published on Psych All rights reserved.