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Need help figuring out who is in the wrong...

Community Member

TW: Some themes of suicide!!!


Hi, so today I had a bit of a fight with my mother, and while I feel they played a part in our confrontation, she feels that the confrontation was largely (if not entirely) my fault.


Early this morning, I was in a disappointed mood, as I had a dream the previous night which reminded me of some regrets I have. These regrets are common for me, and while I have tried to talking to my Mum about them, her thoughts on the matter rarely actually help me/make me feel better. Further, my mother has grown sick of hearing about these issues, feeling that they are dealt with and in the past. Despite this, I still decided to try talking to her this morning as I didn't really have anyone else to talk to and I was feeling upset.


So, I tried talking to her, and as normal, it didn't really do much to help me or make me feel better. However, unlike normal, something happened to make me feel worse. When my Mum was trying to say something to make me feel better, she mentioned something that I was not fully aware of which wasn't directly related to the situation that related to our family (nothing illegal of course haha, just something me and my Mum butt heads over). It was something that I was aware of to some vague extent, but never really thought about it too much. However, hearing it outright said was extremely upsetting to me, causing me to forget about the original issue and start stressing/hating myself about the new issue. The words "I want to kill myself" slipped from my tongue, and I went to my room to cry. 


After crying for a short time, I decided to go for a walk. This is significant as I rarely leave the house without my parents dropping me off wherever I go. As I left the house, I told my mother I was going for a walk, and needed to get out of the house, taking my phone with me. 


I decided to walk to a local facility which was in walking distance and was safe to me, arriving there safely. As I got there, my Mum tried to call me, but as I felt upset with her, I didn't pick up my phone, she later texted me, which I responded to.


Little did I know, my parents were very worried about whether I would try something. My Mum was happy to let me go for a walk (claiming I'd come back when I came back), but my Dad (who was at work and was told what happened by my Mum), became concerned for me, believing based on my previous comments, and the fact that I never just go for a walk on my own, that I might try something. My Mum, once again, was less-concerned, as she was aware that while the words "I want to kill myself" slip from my lips relatively frequently (I do try to control it, or at least do it in private, to be fair), I rarely actually mean the words. But, my Dad was very concerned, and told my Mum that if she didn't go out and find me, he'd come home from work and do it himself.


After this, and seeing my parents concern, I did ultimately respond to both of them through text, confirming I was alright, although I did initially dodge telling them where specifically I was located (still ultimately answering after being probed further).


Now, while I feel that both of us have fault here, with me refusing phone calls and telling my parents where I was being wrong, but my Mum's lack of enough empathy to know not to mention that specific issue when I was already in a sensitive mood being her fault. However, my Mum instead argues that the issue was largely, if not entirely my fault.


So I was hoping someone here might be able to help me weed this out! I'd maybe try Reddit, but I don't want a bunch of people just telling me NTA haha! Thanks for reading!

2 Replies 2

Community Champion
Community Champion

Dear Rogger~

Welcome back. I'm afraid I cant say NTA to either of you, as I don't think either you or your mother acted in the most sensible way, it was a difficult situation all round.


I'm sorry you had a bad night and it brought to the front matters that made you upset. Under the circumstances it is only natural to want to talk it out with someone else. It is unfortunate your mother does not seem the ideal person to do this with. That's not your fault, it's circumstances.


From what you have said before she is bigoted and not empathetic, and does not give you sympathy or understanding  when you explain what is wrong. So it's not really surprising this did not end well. Another matter was raised and you became more upset, said you wanted to take  your life and left.


You were sensible, took your phone and went for a walk, ending up in a safe place.  So all you had done is completely understandable - though I guess you could be regarded as being a bit hopeful by expecting you mother to be a help, she does not seem equipped to do so.


By the sound of it your mother was more inclined to blame you and further brought up something new that I'd expect she would know would upset you further -not good or kind.


Now to be fair your parent did not just write the whole matter off but displayed concern for you and tried to contact you, when you did not answer she sought support from your father, who, getting all this secondhand became distressed.


Eventually you responded to their attempts to contact you. Not surprisingly you mother blamed you, which from what you have said now and in the past is pretty usual. Again trying to be fair if a parent is worried about thier offspring and finds them ok then anger and relief can be mixed together.


So in some ways your assessment is right, your parent was unsympathetic and blamed, you made a statement that would worry anyone and then did not respond on the phone straight away, feeding their fears.


Looking for who was right and who was wrong is not that productive, it is not going to get you anywhere. You know your parents and their limitations, and you know yourself and the fact you can get upset at times.


So rather than have this all happen again do you thing you can plan in advance for the next time you  are unhappy and find some other action to make you feel better? Is there another family member you can talk with, or do you have a particular friend you can be frank with who will listen and care - even if they do not exactly understand?  Is your father more likely to try to console you , or be like your mother?


I'd not really recommend Reddit as it is too easy to get flip shallow answers that do not mean much. If you are under 25 I'd suggest the Kids Help Line, who are easy to talk/text with, understand these sorts of problems and can be a comfort.


If you are over 25 then why not try our own 24/7 help line (phone or text) who are pretty good.


Finally I'll suggest that if you have things that always prey on your mind and make you wake up unhappy it might be worth seeing if you can have come medical assistance or counseling, maybe starting by explaining how you feel to you GP in an extended consultation.


As you know, you will always be welcome here






Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hi Rogger


I think it can be incredibly challenging when we can feel a conversation, when we can feel certain words. In this case, it pays to be conscious of the choice and impact of words. Not sure how careful your mum is with her choice of words but it's obvious you have the ability to feel what people say to you.


Being a sensitive gal at times, I've had people say to me in the past 'You're too sensitive'. While this kind of comment used to add fuel to my periods in depression, now it's more so about 'It's not my fault I have the ability to feel what you're saying to me. Do you think this could be a challenge for you, to choose your words more carefully, more consciously'. Might sound a little arrogant but I figure it can't hurt to lead people to become more conscious of the need for a filter between their thoughts and their speech at times.


I think it's possible to lead someone to become more conscious of their behaviour without inducing a lot of self hatred. 'You've always done this in the past...' might not be the best choice, as it can be felt as 'You're a repeat offender' or 'You've always failed to...'. Something more like 'I know in the past you've struggled with _____. Perhaps it's worth making better sense of why you struggle with it'. Personally, I've found a sense of wonder so much better than accusation. Wondering together with someone as to why a particular type of behaviour has played out in the past, is about working together toward greater consciousness and positive change. It means we're not being left alone to work it out. You're obviously still trying to make greater sense of a particular struggle, one your mum sounds like she's laid to rest. I've found until I can make complete sense of why I struggle with a particular issue, I just can't let it go or else it resurfaces over and over until I've eventually made sense of it. I think finding people who are eager to help us make sense of something is key. People who'll wonder with us can really make so much of a difference. People who'll feel with us (what we're feeling) can also help make a difference.


I think it also helps to keep in mind that most of us start off as sensitive feelers, as little kids, until it's kinda conditioned out of us in a number of ways. This can help explain why some adults don't tend to feel as much. We can be conditioned out of passionately expressing injustice, in the form of 'That's not fair' or having an injustice tantrum, conditioned out of expressing our sadness through tears ('Stop your crying' or 'You need to toughen up'), conditioned out of the need to wonder or question so much ('Don't question me, just do as you're told' or 'Stop asking 'Why?' all the time') and the list goes on. As a mum to an 18 and 21yo, I can say my kids have raised me well, to remember the importance of expressing injustice, the relevance of emotional expression and the need to question and wonder, amongst so many other things.