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?
d_ottr gave this response on 4/6/2000:
Abuse is what you perceive it to be. In this case, I'd have to agree with you, she does seem to be overly tormenting you about things that make sense. The only thing I can see is that she is possibly jealous of you.... YOU have made a success of your self, despite what she says; according to your story, she has not achievements to HER credit. YOU went to college, and no doubt busted your ass to get through and make something of yourself; SHE finished after the fact, and probably out of sheer necessity. I do not see anything about your father. Is he still in the picture? Does he tolerate her behavior?
The only thing I can add is this: remember, she IS still our mom. That does NOT mean she should abuse you, nor does it mean you should have to put up with her indignance. You should still love her, though, despite her faults. Parents do that for kids, we should do it for our parents, too. (I have a father that is pretty much the same way, so I can speak from experience there!)
d_ottr gave this follow-up answer on 4/6/2000:
(Refer to line three)
that should read "make little sense." Pardon me for that error......
The average rating for this answer is 4.5.