A fight with Mom that escalated

I hurt myself with a knife and now she wants me gone. 

Our elder has some advice on how to get this letter writer’s relationship with her mom back on track.


Dear EWC

I’ve had a huge heated over the top fight with my mum. It came about with her having a go at me (came across as having a go) for leaving things till last minute which I’m aware I’ve done recently as these certain things expected of me cause a lot of anxiety and distress for me. I asked her to back off and that I was aware I’ve been putting things off because of the way I’ve been feeling. I said I was already, and have been really struggling mentally and it got really heated. I got so upset and grabbed a knife and hurt myself and it made it so much worse. Instead of trying to comfort me and realizing I was so upset she was telling me she “wants me gone”, which just made me feel even worse, and that she was going to get the police to remove me. I understand it can and would be difficult to deal with but I’m really not in a good way and she really pushed me. I feel like she’s going to lock me out of the house/kick me out like she has done in the past. I’m so hurt because I’ve been feeling so low lately and I’ve just wanted her support and she’s so hard on me… it’s scary. I just honestly feel I have nothing to live for. I feel abandoned and hopeless 🙁 I’ve been staying with a friend for the rest of the day and will stay overnight. I am scared for what’s to come and very sad.


Renee replies

I am very sorry that you are in this situation. It would be helpful to know your age, as well as what specific issues your mom has with you, but I will plow ahead. 

We all, no matter what our circumstances, have the ability to create a healthy relationship with someone. But it takes productive communication, and I can see that you and your mom need a lot of work in this area. Productive communication requires an ability to listen (really listen) to what another person says. It also requires speaking without the usual protections we employ when we feel threatened. Last, it requires that we do not accuse anyone or make them wrong. None of this is easy, especially when we are in the midst of an argument. 

Here is my advice: Let a bit of time go by, another day or two. Then call your mom and tell her that you love her. Ask your mom if she would be willing to sit down with you for just a short time, in order to make your relationship more productive. If she agrees, great.

When you are together, tell her that your #1 priority in life is to have a good relationship with her. Ask her how she envisions a good relationship with you. What would that look like to her? Then listen, really listen. Do not speak. Do not defend yourself. Do not accuse her. Just listen, really listen to what she is saying. Thank her for being honest with you. 

Then speak from your heart. First, apologize for the cutting incident. As you, yourself, said, all that did was to make things worse. Then tell her that you understand what she is saying. You can also tell her that you know you have had an issue with life events causing anxiety and distress for you, and you also know that anxiety and distress get in the way of you having a productive life. You want a better, more productive life. 

Ask your mom to be a partner with you in getting the relationship back on track. Tell her you are committed to this, but you need her help. Let her know what you need from her. Be vulnerable. I know this is very, very difficult. But I also know that people respond to vulnerability in others. 

If this talk goes well, it’s time for you to be an adult, a strong, mature adult. It’s within your power to turn this relationship around. If, on the other hand, your mom refuses to talk, then you will have to give it more time and approach her again. Human relationships can be healed. Nothing is ever set in stone, as long as both people want a relationship to work. 

Article #: 492563
Category: Family

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