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?
Help4U1 gave this response on 4/6/2000:
This is abuse that is affecting you greatly. I am sorry to hear that it is your own mother who is doing this. Your letter indicates to me that she has had a very unsatisfied life and resents the accomplishments you have made. If you don't have the good fortune to move away as your sister did I would confront your mother and tell her how her abuse is affecting you and that you will not tolerate it anymore.
Chances are as unhappy as she is she will not stop because people who do not feel good about themselves have the need to make other people feel bad in order to make themselves feel powerful.
If she still continues to do this to you your last course of action may have to be to break off all contact with her. As for the relatives, unless they are as unhappy as she is they probably see through her.
You have one person to please and that is yourself. I personally feel pity for people who are so unhappy that their only purpose left is to make other people feel as bad as they do.
Be proud of yourself and your accomplishments. You should not take abuse of any kind from anyone and the fact that this is your mother makes it even harder but standing up to her and letting her know that her behavior is not acceptable to you is your first step.
I wish you the very best.
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