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My Mom Makes Me Uncomfortable

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Just to make my situation a little more clear; I’m a 15-year-old girl and I was sexually abused from the ages 5 to 7 by a “friend” I had before we moved. This does affect me in the sense that I hate for anyone to touch me anywhere on my body and I have some trust issues but, it does not make me uncomfortable around people. Now, despite me not being uncomfortable around people, my mom DOES make me very very uncomfortable and I’m not quite sure why. Anytime she touches me, whether she kisses me, hugs me, even just when she looks at me it makes me cringe. When she gives me a kiss goodnight, I want to throw up and it makes me nauseous whenever we have skin to skin contact. I have random flashes in my head of her doing sexual things to me but, I don’t remember her ever actually doing anything like that to me. She acts normal as nothing has ever happened which might be the case but if it is then why do I have these random thoughts and visions? She doesn’t really care about my mental state. She provides me with what I need to live but emotionally she doesn’t take any notice. It doesn’t matter whether I calmly tell her I’m depressed or whether I’m crashing on the floor crying, she still doesn’t do anything…She just watches. I’ve given up on trying to tell her anything that is regarded to my mental health because of this. The thing that is weird is that she either wants nothing to do with me or she wants to be super close to me (which makes me very uncomfortable). It’s like she wants to be around me physically but she doesn’t want anything to do with me emotionally or mentally. She is very aware of the sexual abuse I went through with my “friend” and she knows I don’t like to be touched but, she still touches me all the time (nowhere inappropriate but I wish she would respect my boundaries). I just want to know why I have these random flashes and why she makes me feel this way.
Thank you for the help and have a good day!

My Mom Makes Me Uncomfortable

Answered by on -

A.

I am sorry you’ve had to endure the aftermath of being abused. Yet it is also clear how resilient and strong you have been in coping and dealing with it all. While I certainly can’t know if this is the case I have seen it many times in my practice and know of the phenomenon.

If you were abused for two years during the time you were supposed to be well-monitored and protected by your mom it is possible that you may blame her for not protecting you. If the “friend” was abusing you under mom’s watch then some of the discomforts may be coming from a type of resentment toward her for not protecting you. Naturally, this is just speculation on my part, but I am often amazed at how the anger ore resentment a victim has is directed toward those who should have protected them better.

Please know that this may not be the case at all with you and your mom, but if she is displaying indifference to your pain and doesn’t respect your needs now this may be part of how she was during the abuse. What I am highlighting is your choice of words in how you’ve described her as they might offer some clue to this potential resentment.

First, your sentence: I have random flashes in my head of her doing sexual things to me but, I don’t remember her ever actually doing anything like that to me. She acts normal, like nothing has ever happened. It is interesting because you have a memory of her doing sexual things to you—but then acting like nothing has happened. This is interesting and one way this might be highlighting the situation is that you may have been abused when she should have known that something was, indeed, happening.

Secondly, you say: It doesn’t matter whether I calmly tell her I’m depressed or whether I’m crashing on the floor crying, she still doesn’t do anything…She just watches. Again, another statement where your pain is being ignored and “…she still doesn’t do anything.”

These are small things to notice and a few words that you have used, but this is where I would start I heard you say these things in a session. My recommendation is for you and your mom to go to therapy together. While my guess about this may be all wrong the fact remains that there is an underlying reaction you have toward your mm that is, in some way, connected to the abuse and a therapist with experience would be the one to help you and your mom sort it through.

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

My Mom Makes Me Uncomfortable

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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: http://www.dare2behappy.com/. He also writes for Psych Central's Ask the Therapist column and the Proof Positive blog.

APA Reference
Tomasulo, D. (2020). My Mom Makes Me Uncomfortable. Psych Central. Retrieved on July 9, 2020, from https://psychcentral.com/ask-the-therapist/2020/02/21/my-mom-makes-me-uncomfortable/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 20 Feb 2020 (Originally: 21 Feb 2020)
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 20 Feb 2020
Published on Psych Central.com. All rights reserved.