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?
betroc gave this response on 4/8/2000:
Do you FEEL abused? Do you FEEL berated? Yes, it certainly is. The good thing though is that it isn't because (as you know)any of it is true. The only true thing about this sounds as though it is the fact that your mother is jealous. That is very transparent. She focuses on others and judges others to the point where her own life (which it doesn't sound like she has done much herself with)is secondary even to her.
Unless she can 'say something nice or don't say anything at all' I would avoid her too. I would make no bones about why. Tell her honestly in a " I feel _____when you _____. " "becaue of this, I really would like to stop any contact we have because it is effecting my self-esteem etc. & I need to be around people who support me and validate my feelings' WHen and if she gets help for herself perhaps you can deal with this woman again. A lifetime of thinking patterns is a very very difficult thing to change. Who can 'push your buttons' more than a close family member who knows which ones to push. THis one for guilt, that one for shame....I have my own guage for when people abuse,berate me-it is my gut. When I feel that negative shit pull in my gut, like shame and guilt, or judgement etc., I get away from that person. It has taken me about 15 years to 'change' some of my own thinking patterns. There are still people who get to me,but you know what? You sound like a very beautiful, successful and intelligent woman. Your mother is overweight and has no life-thus your life becomes hers. Or whomever else that will put up with it. Family couseling could be an option if this relationship is important to you. I don't know what your age(s) are, but I have had to make boundaries with my family. Especially my mother. Nothing that I can do is or has ever been what so and so's daughter is doing.. etc.. You work too damn hard to let someone upset you and spout out venemous lies about you.
Anytime you want, contact me- you need support & validation, not a jealous person who wouldn't give you credit if you were the first woman president would she? You would come home from the polls finding out you won, the first woman president, what do you think your mother would say?? How about - "WHy the hell would you be in politics? You make much more being the CEO Of some big company...!!ANd you looked like a blimp when you were making your acceptance speech'. Sometimes humor is the best medicine...Tell her something really amazing, see what she says, just for fun... I just got 'top employee of the decade or something' I won a trip for 2 around the world and get 8weeks pad to do it'. See what she finds negative. LOL JUst kidding but I think you get my point
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