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Abusive mother - should I ask for an apology?

Community Member


I'm currently caught up in a situation where my mother continues to send me abusive text messages and I have told her to stop because I am desperately trying to get through my studies, raise my 12yr old brother, and survive.

She has recently threatened to kill my cats if I don't return the cat I was looking after for her (the cat needed serious medical care (tail amputation and multiple broken bones) she also asked me to take the cat for her). When I visited her to talk about the cat she was upset that I have not 'gotten over' the abusive things she texted me (I can provide more information if needed). I'm very upset right now and I want to send a text message back asking for an apology. I also included a line (the text message has not been sent) asking if she actually loves me. Is this manipulative? Should I just not text anything at all? Should I accept that she wants to just move on and not push for an apology? I don't want to take the low-road, but after many years of this I'm exhausted and I want an apology. ... sorry for the rant, I'm not really sure who to talk to about all of this.

10 Replies 10

Hey Maddy626, thanks for joining us here on the Beyond Blue forums. We hope you find our community to be a safe and welcoming place. We are so sorry to hear of the abusive messages you've been receiving from your mother. We can't imagine how stressful and upsetting it would be to hear these threats towards your pet. In addtion to having to look after your brother and trying to study this is alot of stress for anyone to handle. We're sure that our community members can relate to these feelings and hopefully some of them will be able to offer you words of advice. We would recommend that you get in touch with an organisation called Relationships Australia on 1300 364 277. They provide relationship support services for individuals, families and communities and aim to support all people in Australia to achieve positive and respectful relationships. Can we ask if you are you currently receiving mental health support, or have you in the past? If not, we would urge that you do seek professional support to help you work through these urges that you're experiencing. If you are not sure of how to access mental health support, please contact the Beyond Blue Support Service anytime on 1300 22 4636 or get in touch with us on Webchat 3pm-12am AEST here: www.beyondblue.org.au/getsupport
One of the friendly counsellors can offer you some support but also provide you with advice and referrals for seeing a counsellor in a more ongoing way.

If you would like to post further, please tell us more about what's on your mind and how we can best help support you

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Maddy626~

Parents have a special place in our lives, and as we have no comparison, tend to take their behavior as normal, reasonable and love-based. Find out later on this is not the case and they may have a mental health conditon which has been promoting their actions is very hard to deal with , particularly knowing what to do or if indeed there is any affection there.

Your mother sounds, selfish, aggressive and totally unreasonable, and to try to converse in a normal manner with such a person is not possible. Asking if she loves you will in all probability offend her. The proof of love is in their efforts over the years, not a text.

Can I suggest you simply say the vet is treating the cat and leave it at that?

It is a very hard time for you -is there anyone to give you support and a taste of normality, another member of the family or a friend perhaps?

I'm very glad Sophie_M mentioned 1800RESPECT, a good idea to talk wiht professionals who deal with this sort of thing daily.

Please let us know how you get on


I'm very glad

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Maddy626,

Welcome to Beyond Blue and I hope we can provide some comfort and support for your situation.

While you are seeking advice on requesting an apology, there are some broader concerns for the mental health of your mother which could determine the correct response.

"I am desperately trying to get through my studies, raise my 12yr old brother, and survive"

- so I would deduce you are not relying on parental care from your mother. Are you studying secondary or tertiary level? And how do you support yourself and brother?

"the cat needed serious medical care"

- was this the result of abusive treatment from your mother? If so, I would not be returning the poor creature (and would be concerned about letting her near your cats too). If not for her being your mother, a report to RSPCA would be in order if this was the case.

Response to abusive texts often only empowers the sender, so I would err on the side of silence and instant deletion. If you feel there is any substance to threats (particularly for your own safety), you should contact police to arrange some intervention.

I hope you can feel comfortable to talk as much as you need.



Community Member

Thanks Croix

I didn't end up sending that text. I don't ever want to be manipulative and emotionally abusive and I think my wording was starting to edge into that territory. I have other family that I can talk to, but they are not the most supportive people. I love them, but they are all very complicated people. I've been trying to keep it together so my brother has something of a normal life after she kicked him out (he is 12yrs) but I'm struggling. Things did escalate and my mother came to my house and took the cat. She has sent me abusive text messages all day and is blaming me for stressing her out. I might try the webchat tomorrow, I think I would probably tear up if I tried to talk about it all over the phone with anyone. It's a very very long story. I think I'm just exhausted and finally ready to accept that she probably never loved me and that's a problem with her, not me.

Hi tranzcrybe,

I'm independent from my mother and studying a teaching degree in university. I became my brothers guardian in March this year after my mother kicked him out. I'm not completely sure who exactly injured the cat as she was involved with heavy drugs at the time and dating several men who honestly terrified me. The cat was actually injured for months before I was able to convince her to let me take it to the vet and unfortunately we couldn't save her tail. She took the cat off of me today and the messages are awful but she rarely physically threatens me. I know I need to end this and get the police involved, but I'm cautious because I've had bad experiences with reporting her for much more serious behaviour in the past. I know I'll get through this, I just really needed to talk to someone and I'm sure the people in my life are getting sick of hearing about all her drama. It's exhausting and I don't want to put that on anyone else.

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Maddy626,

You are such a compassionate person to take on guardianship with your study obligations, and your loyalty to your mother, given the history you alluded to, is admirable. I don't think I could rise above that level of abuse and poor behaviour.

Such qualities as you possess will surely see you becoming a fine teacher.

Talking in person or webchat is definitely recommended to work through your experiences and realise you are not to blame for the actions of your mother.

Feel free to unburden yourself here on the forums anytime.



Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni

Hello Maddy,626, I am deeply sorry for what's happened to you plus the injury the cat sustained.

They are much more vigilant and what she has said 'recently threatened to kill my cats' is an indication of her emotional abuse and possibly why the cat's tail had to be amputated, especially when she was involved with heavy drugs and dating men who terrified you.

If you need to report her to the police use 'Crime stoppers' 1800 333 000.

Your 12 year old brother will thank you later on in life and it's possible for him to contact Kids Helpline 1800 55 1800 by phone, webchat or online, anotherplace to contact is www.al-anon.org.au 1300 252 666 who offer hope and recovery to people affected by the alcoholism of a parent/relative.

You should be congratulated for what you have taken on, and with regards to your mother, it's highly unlikely you will get any apology, her life is about drugs and alcohol and does't appreciate the work you are doing.

We hope you can come back to us, don't forget you need support as well.

My best.


Community Member

I am not a regular poster on here but I am a mother.

This is not how a healthy mother acts and am really sorry you are experiencing it and having to step into very difficult and responsible roles at your time in life.

I would not respond to the tirade of abusive text messages, I would block her until she has stopped. If communication is necessary I would suggest getting a cheap second phone that you only use to communicate with her and then schedule how often you check it for your mental wellbeing? Once a day would be enough to maintain your sanity.

Does your mother have access to your house (not sure if she lives elsewhere). If she does not have legal access to your living quarters then hopefully the cats will be safe. It doesn’t sound like it would be good for her cat to go back there.


what a strong and compassionate woman you are. I can only think your mother must have too many problems not to see how caring you are.

Evereyone has given you helpful suggestions.

I as a mum of three adults , want to just send you a hug.

Do you have a friend or maybe an aunt, or a person at university who you can talk to.

I think you need to protect abusive texts by blocking your mum. Not for a long time until she stops. You are parenting your 12 yearold brother which is hard enough for anyone of any age yet you are young and studying.

You have support here so post whenever you like.

Take care