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?
miaphillips gave this response on 4/7/2000:
This is definitely emotional abuse. Your mother is so obviously jealous of you - your trim figure (which by the way I am envying!), your achievements etc... . Your mother sounds very immature and very insecure with herself. I really feel for you, because mothers are the last people who should act this way.
Women can be really funny creatures, they usually don't like not being the centre of attention - especially when the attention is being lavished on another woman. I'm a classic case in point. If a beautiful woman with a figure to kill walks in the room, I think 'bitch' and my girlfriends and I spend the rest of the evening eyeing up and bad-mouthing this poor woman whom we haven't even had the decency to meet or talk to - to each other. But then on the other hand, I can see a gorgeous woman and openly admire her to my friends or to other guys.
I think if I feel threatened, thats when I bitch, but if I'm having an o.k day then I'll admire. Your mother is definitely threatened by you. Tell her how you feel,I know that's really hard especially when she brings your relatives into it. Is there any relative whom you can trust? Someone whom you know will listen and side with you, someone who can talk to your mum. It's so sad that she is this way. Maybe when you talk to her, if you can compliment her on something - sometimes I tell people they have lost weight or something (even if they haven't)if they are looking a bit down and you should see the smile on their faces.
Be humble,take the passive approach and listen. This usually works, but alas it depends on the person you're dealing with. I hope this helps in some way, if not I hope one of the other experts can help. Good Luck.
The average rating for this answer is 4.