Dear Wendy
Dear Wendy

Should I stay or should I go?

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  • #1109362 Reply

    This is a long story so I’ll only give you the highlights.

    I’ve recently come to the realisation that my mother is emotionally abusive and all the mental health problems I’m dealing with is a result of that. I’ve always been careful not to upset her, so at twenty-two, I haven’t really lived a life worth living to keep the peace.

    The event that started all this off is that I’ve been calling a boy. We’ve been chatting on discord and watching movies until early hours of the morning, and I didn’t think I was disturbing anybody. That was until one night my mother burst into my room, screaming and threatening to kick me out.

    We didn’t talk for a week after that and I didn’t call the boy. Then when I was at work she sent me a shitty message that resulted in me sleeping in a hotel for the weekend. She messaged me apologising and I came back home.

    Then two weeks later she started an argument about the boy I’m talking to because she did an in depth stalking into him and his past girlfriends and yelling at me about things he did ten years ago. I told her that I’ve been talking to him for two months and it wasn’t that deep. She said we’ll drop it, but I’m still getting passive aggressive comments, the silent treatment and negative vibes.

    I feel anxious and sick to my stomach living at home right now. I’m having intense stress dreams about it all too. I don’t know if I should just move out or stick it out because I know everything is going to kick off again if I try to leave. I don’t want to keep arguing with her over all this.

    tltr; emotionally abusive mother kicked me out for a weekend over talking to a boy and now the environment is too toxic to handle. should i stay or should I go?

    #1109365 Reply

    I mean, can you move out, do you have the financial capacity and earning potential to do that?

    If you can’t, I think you need to focus more on boundaries. Why the hell would your mom know the name of some guy you’ve been talking to online? Why, when she sent you the shitty message, did you move out instead of standing your ground because you hadn’t done anything wrong? You say you don’t want to keep arguing with her about this, so don’t. You don’t have to talk to anyone at all about some guy you chat with online.

    I also think you may benefit from therapy. Having a casual online relationship does not need to be this much of a source of stress. If you have access to mental health care through your job or your mom’s insurance, use it! It can help you with coping mechanisms and boundary setting. Therapists are likely very familiar with the particular parent-child dynamic you’re dealing with, where your mom’s been so up your ass your whole life that you basically can’t function.

    #1109366 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa

    You don’t mention your financial situation at all, so I’m just going to assume that because you did not mention it that you have the ability to move out, just haven’t done so yet. In which case, OMG move out. Your mom’s behavior sounds not normal and I doubt any amount of reasoning or calmly talking with her will change how she is. I also think when you’re living in someone else’s home, you have to follow their rules… and if she’s kicking you out over talking to some guy, I mean…

    And yes, as is often the case, therapy would be helpful.

    #1109372 Reply

    I agree with all that’s been said. If you can afford to move out, hot damn, get on it. She sound very hard to live with. If you can’t, you need to establish some boundaries or be better at being secretive until you can move out.

    But moving out is a great idea! As is therapy. Therapy is really great, I highly recommend.

    #1109374 Reply

    The pattern of abuse has gone on for over 20 years. Do you really think it’s going to get better if only one person is trying to make it better? Because your mom thinks everything she does is fine – it’s you who are the problem. I’m not saying you’re the problem – I’m saying, based on your description, your mom likes having you around so she can yell at you. She apologizes when you put up boundaries because her control starts to slip.

    If you can, move out. If you can’t, start doing everything you can, secretly, to move out.

    Also – at 22 – don’t worry about not having lived a life worth living – you have a lot of time. Don’t beat yourself up about the past – figure out how to make your future what you want it to be.

    #1109375 Reply

    Financially, I can move out and rent. Ideally, when I moved out, I wanted to be buying, but the more I talking to people about my home life, the more I’m understanding it’s not normal and right now it’s unbearable. Especially because sometimes we’re having normal conversations and then I feel crazy and dramatic for even being upset about everything.

    The main problem is if I make that decision to move out, I think it’s going to go down like a lead balloon. I think it’s going to be explosive and even if my mother does have her faults, I do love her and I don’t want to destroy our relationship.

    The only other option I feel like I have is to pack a bag and just go without a word or discussion.

    #1109376 Reply
    Avatar photoCopa

    If you can find a roommate, that’s one way to make living away from home for the first time more affordable. What you save on rent you can put in savings to buy a place one day. A grown child deciding to move out shouldn’t cause a parent to explode. If that’s her reaction, that’s her problem to manage.

    Highly recommend therapy for you. I think when it’s a parent or close family, putting up healthy boundaries can feel extremely difficult and even painful. It’s disrupting a dynamic that has been in place for a long time and can make you feel like a bad person or like you’re hurting someone you love. (Or, at least, that’s been my experience!) But I do hope you will prioritize yourself here. You deserve a life of your choosing.

    #1109377 Reply

    Moving out will not be what destroys your relationship, it’s your mother who will do that.

    She is the one who is hurting your relationship, not you. You are not responsible for her feelings.

    Don’t try to buy right now. Get out and get independent before you buy a house. And get into therapy! That will be so beneficial for you.

    #1109378 Reply

    Your feelings and emotions, life etc, should be more important to you than her unhealthy feelings. You know this, deep down.

    #1109379 Reply

    @Anonymousse is completely on the mark. Your relationship is entirely one sided. If you step out of line – she’s mad.

    A parent is supposed to prepare their children to be independent and functioning adults. They are supposed to accept that their children have different needs, opinions, preferences, and view points.

    I get that you love your mom. And I’m sure in her own way, she loves you. But you aren’t supposed to hurt the ones you love.

    #1109380 Reply

    Leslie is right. Like, I love my kids, but I want them to move out and have their own fulfilling lives that bring them happiness. I don’t expect them to stay around forever to make me feel better and be my punching bag.

    You’re in the thick of it and just beginning to see that your mother, she may love you in her own way- I don’t doubt that, BUT she does not treat you right. She is incapable of being the parent you deserved and deserve. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I’m 38 and I’ve spent years saying, “Man, my parents were terrible.” It took until last year/this one for it to really, really sink in that they are just never going to change. I feel like I don’t have parents in a way. It’s really a hard thing to swallow.

    Bottom line is:
    You don’t deserve to be treated this way. I’m sure you feel bad for her, and belive me, I have great sympathy for whatever screwed up my own parents so well, that doesn’t mean I have to allow them to be in my life and hurting me & my present life with my young family.

    You were not made to please her. You were made to make a happy and fulfilling life for yourself.

    Good luck to you.

    #1109382 Reply

    Don’t tell your mother you’re moving out until it’s a done deal. Lease signed, deposit paid. That way she can’t do anything to stop it from happening.

    You say your main concern about moving out is your mother’s reaction.
    So does that mean you’ll never move out ever?

    If moving out would destroy your relationship with your mother, the relationship’s basically dead already.

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