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Estranged from my mother

Community Member
I'm at a loss. I've recently had a very big falling out with my mother. It hurts to breathe
I feel sick in the stomach. Can't sleep Can't concentrate. My dad passed 10 years ago and my mum became very controlling of my life. She became fixated on what my little family was doing. She needed to know where and what we were doing how much money we had who we were with basically everything. I would often tell her lies because she would criticise everything I did. As a young adult she would tell me I was getting fat or would say picky stuff to me about my appearance. Then as my kids got older she would say your daughter is too overweight its your responsibility to make her lose weight the other needs a breast reduction, your daughters are spending too much money they are spoilt. Over the years she's called me cruel heartless weak and recently said I deserve to be alone. I know I should be able to accept criticism but I'm just tired of her telling me how to run my life. Our relationship was more like a dictatorship. I know my mum doesn't feel the same for me as she does my brother and my cousin. My cousin more like the daughter she wants. It's a pretty messed up family maybe I'm better on my own.
10 Replies 10

white knight
Community Champion
Community Champion
Hi, welcome

Our mothers are almost identical!

I'm 64yo , my sister 59yo and I broke off all contact with her 11 years ago. My father died in 1992 and since then she has increasingly interfered in our lives. If we argued with her she'd ring our boss at work the next day!. She'd boss us on how to raise our children.

Also, regardless that we'd help her like painting her house and handyman work she'd still criticise and her favourites was my cousin and niece.

Clearly the worst was ruining my wedding in 1985, then in 2010 she threatened to ruin my 2nd wedding. I draw the line, got a court order to keep her away. Best thing I've ever done.

I'm not going to suggest your mother has an illness as we can't diagnose, but if you Google the following it might help clarify how controlling some people can be-

Queen witch hermit waif

You have little options. Removing yourself from her life is often the only course to take. She is unlikely going to change.

Tony WK

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi and welcome

I want to firstly send you a big virtual hug, because it's complicated, right? I'm estranged from my family because it was causing me too much stress to have them in my life, and that's been helpful. But recently when I thought of not having parents to watch me graduate uni (I'm in my 40's, but still...) I cried.

I wonder if after having a bit of space, you can get together and try to work through things to create a new and healthier relationship - if that's what you want.

If not, allow yourself the time to grieve. The breakdown of any relationship is a loss, and you'll need time to heal.

Kind thoughts, Katy

Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Dear Estrangedandalone

I might just call you E okay?

Welcome to the forums, I'm sorry for how your mother has been to you over the span of your life!

It's pretty rotten actually.

I LOVE how you've been able to ignore her "parenting advice" in regards to your daughters! Thank goodness for that!

Yeah Tony WK has certainly "been there" and so have I.
Same kind of things as yours E, extremely controlling, ridiculously nosey, etc etc.
Then I had to call the Police and then had to go No Contact.

That was decades ago.
I've maintained NC, but my eldest children have maintained contact and they're going crazy having to deal with her.
My youngest children barely know her and they're so much better off for this.

Is it YOU instigating No Contact? Or her?

At first I would think of my mother a thousand times a day.
Went into a deep depression as my entire family of 39 adults took "her side"... so I lost them all.

I didn't have BB or phone helplines back then, please use these as much as you possibly can or ever need to. They are there for YOU.

This is a hard time and I won't tell you it'll be easy. It took 10y of "finding myself" and beating depression without any help. It was hard. I got better, have had a few "dips", got help for PTSD and I'm feeling wonderful now.

But you have us to support you, whatever you choose to do from here on in.

Share any thoughts you're willing to share.

We got you!

Love EM

BUT over time you WILL see that it wasn't just an option... it was the ONLY option for you and your girls.

YOU deserve to be allowed to raise your gorgeous girls in an empowered environment.
Not with all that garbage from their own grandmother on TOP of what they already have to deal with as young women.

Community Member
Thanks everyone for your kind supportive words. I feel like I am not alone with this issue and have a little more perspective of the situation. I can't figure out how to tag each of you in this post but you have greatly helped at this hard time.

Dear E,

You're not alone. We're thinking of you and you're most welcome to come back and share whatever is happening.


My hands are trembling everything is loud in my head. It hurts to breathe its hard to even walk my legs feel weighted. I am in complete devastation. I need to cry until I can't any more. My hope is the pain will get easier and my days will get brighter.

Hey E, we're here with you.

Please call a helpline, my go to about these relationships with Family Violence involved is 1800RESPECT and there's always the BB helpline too.

Please reach out. The sweet Counsellors and psychs on these lines are so helpful to ground us when they anxiety about it all is too much.

E you're grieving.
This is a huge loss in your life.

Now you're also thinking about all the things that happened in the relationship, so you can be being re-traumatised by all this.

Yes, you will heal. IME healing may happen in a more wholehearted way with MH support.

Lots of love EM

I have chatted to a counsellor today and have an appointment for Monday. Thank you ecomama and everyone you pulled me though today. I will be forever grateful xx

I have chatted to a counsellor today and have an appointment for Monday. Thank you ecomama and everyone you pulled me though today. I will be forever grateful xx