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Damaging relationship with my mother

Community Member


1st time poster - so don’t really know what to write or how to explain.

So I have a pretty toxic relationship with my mother and have asked to cut ties with her. I dare say she is mentally unwell - but have had to cut ties for my own mental health. She doesn’t have my phone number and her emails go straight to trash. But the phone buzzes even if don’t see her email. Well she has found my address and posted a card. I didn’t want to open it but curiosity. It’s like she has 2 personalities, can write kind things but also flip to the opposite. She loves playing victim and will do her best to make me feel horrible. So this card when arrived a few weeks ago - I just left it. But built up and sorta had a bit of a mini breakdown - few other anxious things at the moment going on and this just topped it. I called my father who gave me update on health of family members (not good news - even not close to them, am still human) and asked for him to speak to my mother to stop and to leave me alone and will get a restraining order on her - he said go for it. Usual no support from him. I woke up the next morning just wanting to find a stop button and press it. I stupidly sent an email to my mother pleading with her to stop and leave me alone and to get on with her life and there is no chance of reconciliation. Spoke to dad in the morning in tears to please tell her to leave me alone and spoke to a few friends that morning which was helpful. Dad said he would speak to her on the weekend but whether he does or doesn’t, I don’t know. But I am feeling so nervous - she makes me so anxious and I am scared of her. I don’t want to see her, speak to her. This is a very condensed story of everything and re-reading doesn’t make a lot of sense. I apologise but I just need to vent I guess and want to stop feeling like a nervous wreck. Past 2 years have been really good and I have found myself and started to accept myself. Feels like now I am at home again living with her like a scared child.

10 Replies 10

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Logo~

Well you may have felt you did not know what to say, but in the end have given a pretty clear picture of how things are. As someone who had a disastrous relationship with my parents let me welcome you. I have a bit of an idea of how you feel.

It looks quite clear from outside that you need an independent life, that contact with your mother makes you feel inside that you are regressing to the very undesirable state you were in before. Also that you are not getting support from your father and that the whole things is really getting to you.

OK, do you mind is I ask a couple of questions? Not being nosy, it's just the more we know the better the advice we can offer. Do you suffer from any illness such as anxiety? If so are you currently under treatment?

In any event I'd suggest seeing our GP in an extended appointment and saying what is happening to you, see what he/she suggests.

Do you have anyone to support you on a personal level? From your family, a partner or a friend you can speak frankly to, who will want to help? This can be a really great thing and lift a load off your shoulders. I really need that at times.

With your mother. Well I guess you know already that contact is bad, that waiting for contact to happen is probably just as bad if not worse. I think you started to have the right idea, blocking your phone and now you need to block your email too. Quite easy to do.

With ther post, is there anyone to vet your postbox and weed out mail from your mother? If not I guess you have to be realy firm with yourself and make a rule to dispose of anything you get unread - straight away. If it was anything earth shattering I suspect you would find out from your father or others.

If you have this all in mind you may well feel a little more secure, knowing you are not going to be surprised.

I've probably said enough for the moment and would realy like it if you came back and talked more


white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Logo, welcome

You are not alone there. Briefly, my sister and I endured 50 years of similar behaviour. My first wedding was ruined by my mother, my father (dec 1992) was her rock and if we argued with her we lost him. She'd harass, ring me at work etc. Dictate what girlfriend she wanted me to be with.

Like all questionable behaviour if we dont get reasons we dont get answers and peace. So 8 years ago with my pending second wedding she started causing friction again for no obvious reason (jealousy?). Also she when disagreeing with me and my sister always tries to get the other siblings support and hence my sister and I eere never close...the master manipulator!

I heard from a relative that my mother had a plan of ruining my wedding. With wedding you never have a second chance so confronted her. With vengence there I left and got a restraining order. Ive never regretted it.

Letters came and I wrote return to sender on them. Ive lost some relatives but they arent the children to my mother- they wouldnt understand.. .and its none of their business.

Mamipulation is powerful. After all I dont interfere in my relsgives relationships. ..thats how my mother pressures me thinking I'll buckle.

Some nasty mothers also have a nurturing side which makes things so hard to accept. I told my cousin once "my mother has a good side, its the nasty side I can't live with".

Since them my sister have become close. My mother remarried 4 years ago and her husband died recently. Through one relative she tried the sympathy card to get us back. Nope, the damage done is too great. Yes its hard but self protection is vital.


Queen waif witch hermit

That might give you the answer. Its for you to conclude

Ive written some threads. Google them for more clarity.

Topic: BPD mother made me an emotional basket case- beyondblue

Topic: children of mothers with borderline BPD- beyondblue

Topic: depression and toxic people- beyondblue

Topic: the definition of abuse, what is it?- beyondblue

Topic: accepting yourself the frog and the scorpion- beyondblue

Topic: fortress of survival- beyondblue

Topic: the best praise you'll ever get- beyondblue

You are welcome anytime to repost.

Tony WK

I hope you find strength.

Tony WK

Champion Alumni
Champion Alumni
hello Logo, I'm sorry about what you have had to endure, and I don't think I can say much more than what has been said except to say that maybe you could change your email address, change your phone number or at the very least change your name by 'deed poll', all of this means a bit of work by yourself, but if that's what you have to do then I suggest you do.
I realise that all your friends will have to be notified, but someone along the way has told your mother. Geoff.

Community Member

Thank you all. And much appreciated. I do have friends and count them on one hand. And they have been great. Had therapy a few years ago about this issue and things were great - that is until I went into my mailbox and saw familiar handwriting. So that has built up the past few weeks and speaking to my father telling some not good news about family was just that thing that broke the camels back. Am not close to any family members and can’t do anything. Just the past two years have finally came into my own and not started to feel scared. When I came back to Melbourne she hunted down a new workplace and called them - was mortified and trying to start again. Over starting again, and wish she would listen. Maybe this time it has worked. But don’t want to be terrified of her standing in front of my apartment complex one day.

Am single and sometimes wish I wasn’t, don’t want to be in the disatorous relationship which my parents have. But having friends has helped and trusting them too.

WK - spot on with the 2 sides.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi Logo

Unfortunately a determined possessive person is hard to stop in presenting themselves outside your home or workplace. As a former pi I can tell you, she'll find you if she wants to.

Your better tack is to get a court order forbidding her from contact for 12 months. Hopefully it will work and she'll stay away.

Here's how it works. You apply to the court and provide your reasons. Your mother will receive a letter from the court asking her, her side of things. Then you'll both be invited to court. If the order is granted and she breaks the judges ruling, she must return to that judge to answer why. Normally they dont break it.

Hence keep records of undesired contact.

Geoff suggested changing ph numbers, email addresses and those are added measures I think will help. At least it will make it harder.

Being in fear of ones mother is a reflection of the power she has weilded throughout your life. It is also a sense of ownership over you with stripping away your rights as a human being...."you cant ignore me, I'm your mother" I used to get. This pedestal is entrenched in their minds. Demanding respect is a reflection of her failings to earn it or a reflection of her losing it.

Its her problem not yours.

As for letters in the mail try to be decisive and throw them away or return to sender as a process that doesnt include emotion. If you react emotionally ....She's succeeded.

Tony WK

I have been off the grid since coming back to Melbourne, that is until I decided to reenrol to the AEC and creating an ABN. My accountant told me that people can find you from the electoral role so was grateful to be removed when I was overseas. But after 2 odd years was starting to think it’s time to try and be normal. But who knows she may have got my address by other means. I did send her an email a few days ago and circled a photo of the card “invaded” and years ago I said she called my workplace and said she is stalking me. She didn’t care - the I’m your mother card came out. Even therapist said that as a mother quote which is a trigger. Anyone who has a decent relationship with their parents I think of as sweet and awesome, but I don’t understand and respect that bit when used as a draw card. I used to change my number ever 6 months to a year. I didn’t want to do that anymore so kept my number and now give it to who needs to know. I have no public social media accounts, no Facebook.

Just I said to her leave me alone, there is no reconciliation even going to happen. I have a brother focus on him.

Am tired of running. And facing her at court terrifies me. And need 2 restraining orders due to being in different states.

Am ok now we’ll sort of. This is a great forum. I know it’s her problem. But at the age of 37 it would nice to be an adult and not run scared. That bit - I really don’t know how to cope/deal with. The running scared bit.

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion

Hi logo

Well best of luck. Thankyou for the forum compliment.

Dont know if you'll ever be a parent but you will know what to do as one...and what not to do.

All the best. Repost anytime.

Tony WK

Community Member

Hi Logo,

sorry for the short response - I am tired and it is late but you can apply to the AEC to have your details suppressed if you have grounds to do so..

good luck


Yes you can. Victims of crime, police etc can have exemption. Ask the AEC

Tony WK