Stop the negativity, Mom!

My narcissistic mother is ruining my life, says a letter writer.

You need to get away from her as soon as possible, advises our elder.

Dear EWC

My mom is a really negative person, I’ve always been kind, nice, and easy to talk too. She isn’t friendly and she’s really rude. All throughout my life she has put me down. I believe she’s a narcissist. She doesn’t live with her husband and they live like five hours away and they’ve been married for a year. He had back surgery and was in the hospital for a whole month. She didn’t go there once to visit him. Today he wanted to visit her and she yelled at him earlier saying how she wasn’t in the mood for company saying to not come over. He came over anyways later on that day and he was only here for about 10 minutes then left. She didn’t want him to spend the night.

She also seems to pick favoritism with me and my siblings and I feel I’m always the one she picks on. I’m the scapegoat. This isn’t the first time she has said this but earlier today she was saying how she doesn’t see me making any progress with my life and saying rude things like this to bring me down after saying that she goes and says how my younger sister one day will overcome me and do something with her life. My sister does nothing, only takes online class, doesn’t pay bills. I have support them with food every month and help around the house. My sister nothing. I don’t get why she puts me down like this and acts the way she does. I do nothing but be kind to her. By the way she doesn’t even have her own place. We all live with my brother and we all pitch in. I don’t understand why she’s so rude and brings me down about how I live my life when she doesn’t even have her own life together. And yes my sister was also there when this was being said.

It made me feel like crap and thinking about it makes me sad and angry. She also made me feel bad and depressed cause she keeps saying how she’s going to die soon and won’t live to see her eighties — she even brought that up as well and was saying how she doesn’t want to live and how she knows she’s not cause she doesn’t feel right and that she’s old and how she wants to stop working and how she wants sex but her husband isn’t here. She’s 53 so it isn’t that old she’s saying she’s going to die in her sixties. Is she trying to ruin me? I already have mental health problems and she has ruined me a bit but I’m just trying to ignore her negativity.

KayKay replies

From what you’ve written, I would say that your mother isn’t even thinking about you but about herself. She must really dislike herself and is certainly projecting that dislike onto others, specifically you and her husband. I’m not sure of your age, but you appear to have a job and are earning money to support her and your siblings. If this is the case, and you are older than 18, then maybe it’s time to think of moving out and starting a life of your own.

I also grew up with an emotionally and verbally abusive mother who also pitted my sister and me against each other. That way we couldn’t form a defense together. After extensive psychotherapy, I came to realize that she was not well and that her misery was not my fault. It’s hard not to take things personally and not to believe the negative messages we receive from a parent, but that’s what we must do. I made a decision to get away from my mother as soon as possible, and I figured going to college was my best bet. I worked really hard in school and in part time jobs, and got a scholarship and made it to a university. I rarely went back except for short visits. I realize that all my life I had tried to please her, but nothing worked. She couldn’t be pleased. I suspect that is your case also. Nothing you do is ever going to be good enough. It’s hard to accept, but that’s the reality. The sooner you give up worrying about her and start to think for yourself and take care of yourself, the better for all concerned.

A wise woman once said that no one can make us miserable without our permission. Your mother hasn’t ruined your life; she has just made it difficult and mighty unpleasant. Only you can decide what you are going to do with that. You can let it make you stronger or you can use it as an excuse to give up. It’s not going to be easy to believe in yourself and trust your own thoughts and ideas, but you can do it. If you need counseling, find a way to get it. Accepting that you are never going to have the mother that you wanted and deserved is a big step — and yes, a big disappointment. Life isn’t fair, or we would be able to choose our parents!

Your mother may or may not die soon, but that’s entirely up to her. She obviously isn’t going to be around to torment you forever, so don’t let your life be determined by her behavior and actions. Take charge of your life and make plans to get out from under her domination and control. The less you say to her, the better. Just quietly go about making your life better and doing only what you need to do to survive and move on. Rather than ignoring her negativity, let yourself see it for what it is and feel sad/sorry for her. She is one unhappy, unhealthy person, and you can’t change her. You can only change your reactions to her.

Write back and let me know how it goes. I’ll be pulling for you!

Letter #: 428359
Category: Family

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