The relationship between me and my mom is quiet difficult to describe and understand. At one point we often laugh and talk together, when I want a hug she’s the first person I’m going to, but at the same time she’s the only person that I actually fell deep hatred towards. For already 4 years now she’s been slowly damaging my mental health and I can’t do anything about it. When I was 13 I started being completely unmotivated for an unknown reason which led to me laying in my bed for 90% of my free time, not studying etc. The only thing she said was: ‘You’re acting like you’re depressed. I have to warn you – no child of mine will be mentally ill, so I hope you’ll get out of that immediately’. I never spoke to her about my real feelings, only some minor things, like stuff that happened during day, a book or a movie. She doesn’t know how I feel, at all, but I’m sure she can somewhat sense that I’m not doing okay.
In middle school when all the girls started wearing makeup, shopping and doing all the stereotypical things I was still kinda stuck mentally as a 10 years old – video games, not caring about my appearance, spending my time at the playground etc. That made her angry, too – not to add that I cut my hair in a ‘boyish manner’ and rarely wear skirts/dresses (I just find them uncomfortable). My grades are still low and I rarely do house chores nor do I have any friends in school. She started calling me a weirdo, insulting me, telling me I’m not normal and that I’m ruining her life because she wanted a beautiful and smart daughter – just like my sister. She always says that she treats both of us equally but even a blind person can see who’s the ‘disappointment in the family’.
I became completely emotionally cold on the outside and use only fake and nervous laughs sometimes. Meanwhile, inside I feel like I’m slowly dying (how cliché) and I can’t even get any help. School just ended, but they’d still need to call my parents if I went to the counselor. By my own observations I think I might have depression and social anxiety (at least) and lately I’ve been experiencing dissociation a lot. (From Poland)
I would go directly to the source of the problem by asking your mother if she would help you by going with you to a counselor. Tell her you want to make certain you keep yourself of in a good place mentally — and she could help by going with you. But if she doesn’t want to go, tell her that you would be willing to go on your own. The strategy will both show her how important it is for you and keep her directly in the loop and involved.
If she comes I’d explain the issue to the counselor the way you’ve explain it here. If she doesn’t go, then explain what you have said here — with an eye toward how you can use the counseling to change how you feel.
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: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.
APA Reference Tomasulo, D. (2018). Mother Ruining My Mental Health. Psych Central.
Retrieved on May 22, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2017/08/14/mother-ruining-my-mental-health/
Last updated: 8 May 2018 Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 May 2018 Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.