Hi I have a longer ask and I would like it to be post anonymously if that’s okay
Hi there! I just wanted to talk to someone so I came here. I’m sorry if I’m bothering you/taking your time. You can just ignore this if you want to. The deal is that I’ve had self esteem problems since I was little and I suffer from social anxiety/panic disorder. When I was younger I had an eating disorder and the last two years were blurred with depression. This past year I’ve been trying to learn to love myself but the biggest problem for me is my mom. I’m 19 and she still has such a big influence over me. I often feel like she hates me. She says mean things without a reason and puts me down. No matter what I do, I’m never good enough for her. She has never accepted me the way I am. I’ve spent most of my life trying to please her but now when I look back, I see that it was impossible, because she always changed the rules and didn’t tell me about it. She still does it. First she tells me that something I’m doing is good/accepted by her and then a week later she mocks me because of it/gets angry because she suddenly doesn’t like it anymore. Whenever she’s mean to me, it’s really triggering. It makes me want to cut again, and it restarts the tiny voice in my head telling me how shitty person I am, how no one will ever love me and how I’m never going to be good enough. I just hate it so much, that even if I’m doing good and being happy and confident, a little mean thing from her can destroy it in seconds. One day she is sweet and nice, one day she is mean without a reason. I am tip toeing around her because I’m constantly afraid of making her angry and I just hate myself for it, because I can’t be stronger and just not to care about her opinions. I also hate how good I feel when I actually manage to please her in some way. It’s like my whole existence depends on her acceptance, like I’m some kind of dog. I just want to be free and strong and I can’t. I’m really afraid of the future, because I’m going to move on my own next autumn. I just fear that my anxiety will get so bad again and that I can never love/trust anyone and just end up being alone forever. I am trying to forgive my mom, because I know her life is hard and hatred never leads to anything good, but it’s just so hard when she constantly wakes the bad memories from my childhood and adds new bad memories to my head. Also, I feel so guilty talking about her like this, because the voice in my head is telling me that I’m just overreacting and it was probably just all my fault and I deserved it and she hasn’t even done anything wrong. And besides, she has forbidden me a thousand times to tell anyone anything about our family.
I wouldn’t ignore this, nor are you bothering me. I am so sorry. This message was literally buried in my inbox. I feel awful.
The first thing I am noticing is that your mother is what one might call a bully. I’m sure she has her own issues and reasons, but she is indeed being very hurtful and she’s not healthy to you currently. I will never tell someone to cut someone else out of their life, but that doesn’t mean I think you two should necessarily spend more time together at the moment than necessary.
Your mother is really triggering which is, as I’m sure you know, extremely unhealthy. The fact that you’re moving out is a good thing. You two will probably get along better once you are able to give each other space.
It’s not unusual or weird for you to want your mother’s approval. All children have that innate need to feel loved and accepted from our parents.
Unfortunately, it seems as though your mother has a whole load of her own things going on that she refuses to acknowledge/take care of and therefore it comes out as attacks on you. This isn’t unusual, considering older generations were never taught to speak about things that were bothering them. That was taboo. “Children should be seen, not heard.”
TW: On top of that, mental health was for people who felt like cutting off other people’s heads was a good idea, not for your typical, every day person. Therapists were for “crazy” people. The stigma today is bad, but back then? It was horrible.
It’s not your fault whatsoever. Having difficulty forgiving her isn’t wrong either. When people hurt us, especially so deeply, it’s not an easy thing to let go of. I am more than positive your mother IS a good person. She just, as I’ve said, probably has a lot of unsolved things going on. It’s not okay for her to treat you like that, don’t get me wrong, but I do believe there are reasons behind the way she is.
Perhaps try talking to a therapist or counsellor about it? They may be able to give you some more insight or find ways for you to try to communicate more efficiently with your mother.
My suggestion really just is, for now, know when to walk away when she’s upset as such. Try, as hard as it will be, to not take it personally. Know that though she’s acting angry towards you, she may in fact be angry with herself or something entirely different. Heck, it’s not even impossible for your mother to have her own disorder or illness that she hasn’t taken care of. These things happen, and with older generations, it’s harder for them to come to terms with it or confront it. My friend’s mother says that “I’ve been this way for so long, why change it now?” in related to talking about feelings and the like. It’s not a good attitude to have, but some people have it.
Find ways to avoid her when she’s in a bad mood, if you can. Give each other space. Remember that her attacking you is wrong, but sometimes our emotions will carry us away and we might goad our parents on, which really isn’t helping either of you. Once you move out, it might get easier. Being around people 24/7 makes it easy for the grating of nerves and people often do take out their anger on people closest to them. Space is necessary.
If you need more advice, don’t be afraid of looking into therapy, even family therapy if your mother is willing (try her on one of her better days). For relapse, just constantly have a bunch of HEALTHY coping mechanisms and tools on hand when at home, if not everywhere.
Again, I’m sorry for the late reply!