Anonymous asked this question on 4/6/2000:
When does critisim become emotional, verbal, and/or mental abuse? I'm a grown woman with a mother who I can't stand. I'ma trim 5'6" 115. I gained 15 last year and was berated constantly about how I was getting fat. I'm still a size 4 she's been a 16 or more my whole life. I'm lazy and unmotivated although I work 60 hours a week at a profesional job. I'm a failure and disappointment even though I'm a high earner and have a graduate degree. She's never had a job in her life, had to go to summer school to finish high school and has literally slept her life away. I've never been good enough, it's suprising I have any self esteem at all. My other sister has moved across country to get away from her and rarely calls. I live in the same town and run into her often, but not on purpose. She bad mouths me to my relatives who have the impression I'm a bum. Is this abuse?
cpiblues gave this response on 4/12/2000:
Given that you are now a capable professional adult - it would only be abuse if you let it become abuse. It's sad that your mother chooses to have this type of relationship with you - but the fact is that you do not have to choose to have this type of relationship with her. I would tell her once and for all that if she wants any further contact with you that you will not tolerate any further bad mouthing from her. She will probably just keep it up if you tolerate it. It is important now that you are an adult to finally "lay down the law" and tell her that this behavior of hers has been hurting you for a long time and that it has hurt your relationship badly. The fact is that you may not be able to have a relationship with her. If your other relatives are receptive than perhaps you should spend more time with them and receive your strength from them. Let them see the "real you".
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