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Not ready to speak about issues but being forced.

-e
Community Member
Hi, I'm new to this so this might be a bit long but here is my situation.

I am 23, almost 24 years old. I had been, until recently, living in the UK for the past 2 years. My visa expired and I was forced to return to Australia.

After this I started feeling depressed and my anxiety worsened. I put this down to having to leave a place I loved to move back in with my parents. I started seeing a psychologist about this and it has been really helpful. However, I am struggling to maintain any relationship with my mother. I didn't feel comfortable speaking to her about my anxiety and depression and was content working through things on my own until I did feel ready to speak to her about it (I said this to her a number of times). However she would trap me in situations and try to force me to speak about it. Resulting in her getting extremely upset and angry with me and making me feel terrible. She then called my psychologist without my knowing to ask her what was going on with me. Obviously, this information wasn't given to her and I was told by my psychologist that she had called.

Things went downhill from there.
I confronted my mother about her calling my psychologist and said I was annoyed but that she could speak to her now that I'd given permission. She became very defensive and now blames my psychologist for telling me she had called and won't agree to speak to her anymore.

I feel I cannot be myself around her and so mostly keep to myself (resulting in her getting angry at me for not talking). I was speaking to dad occasionally about the issues with my mum but he seems to have grown tired of hearing it and seems annoyed at me for having these feelings towards her. So I now don't have him to speak to.

I don't have many friends here and none which I feel comfortable talking to about these issues. My best friend lives overseas and although we talk regularly, I'm extremely lonely. I go days sometimes without speaking to anyone and I feel I'm at breaking point. I'm almost 24 yet feel my mother is treating me like a child and constantly making me feel bad for not being ready to speak about a personal issue. I have no idea what to do anymore?

16 Replies 16

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor
Hello again e, I don't envy you at all, it sounds very stressful. Your willingness to keep trying says a lot about your character and its strength, so I hope that might give you some comfort the next time you are hearing criticisms from your mother. "Taking the high road" is difficult when you feel under siege. What is the difference between how she speaks with you one on one compared to when her friends are around?

Nervybella
Community Member

Hi e

I posted in your other thread, but realised its been closed so thought I'd re post here...

Hi e,

Im sorry to hear that you're in a tough relationship. It must be hard. This may sound silly, but have you ever explicitly told your mum how her actions make you feel? Does she know she has impacted on other relationships and is making you unhappy in your own home?

Obviously it is easier said than done, but maybe even getting a mediator of some sort to sit down with both of you, to act as some sort of buffer? Is there anyone else living with you that would back you up if you spoke to your mum?

Best,Bella

-e
Community Member

Hmm, it's hard to explain. I'll give an example of something that happened not long ago.

Normally, I like to eat dinner early, between 5:30 and 7. It's just a personal preference because I like to go to bed early. The rest of the family eat at around 8 or 9. I am constantly told by Mum that I'm rude because I don't eat with the family, or made fun of because she thinks eating at this time in ridiculous. I also feel berated for my choice of food. I'm not sure why exactly she takes issue with this. She just doesn't agree that what I'm eating is healthy for me. But that's her personal opinion and I actually try quite hard to eat reasonably well.

Two of her friends were around not long ago while I was cooking dinner. Where I would normally suffer criticism for what I was making, and the time I was eating, she actually complimented me on how good I was for cooking my own meals and made a comment about how good it smelled and looked. Her mood is significantly better when she is around friends so it's also much easier to converse. I also know that I won't be criticised around her friends so I feel a lot more comfortable talking.

This is just one example. In my opinion, she puts on an act in front of her friends. I also think it's relevant to mention that she also compares me a lot to her friend's children. I believe she wants her life to be more like other peoples and potentially takes this frustration out on me because I don't live up to her expectations of how she believes I should be living my life.

-e
Community Member
Hi Bella,

Thanks for your comment. To answer you question, I have told her in the past how what she says and does is impacting me. She didn't take this well though and because of her reaction to my telling her this I've stopped trying to tell her. I did let my psychologist speak to her (I thought she would understand more if it came from a professional). My psychologist expressed many of my concerns to my Mum about how she made me feel and gave her advice on how to help me stop feeling this way. However, she took none of that advice on board and I'm back to square one.

She also didn't seem to create a very trustworthy relationship for me growing up and many things I tried to speak to her about I was criticised for. This obviously impacts how comfortable I feel talking to her now. For instance, I don't trust her with personal information to do with relationships or illnesses etc because her past behaviour has shown me that she doesn't understand how to respond appropriately and respect boundaries in relation to these things. I was never trusted growing up, and consequently, I no long trust her.

It sounds so harsh and I feel terrible for saying these things. I'm just trying to make sense of why she acts this way and what I can do in response.

Nervybella
Community Member

Hi -e

It must be so hard for you.

Is there another family member, or even one of your mums friends that you could confide in? Maybe if someone she holds in high esteem says something it might get through to her?

I don't think you should worry that it sounds harsh, your mum has clearly had a huge impact on your mental health so I believe what you are saying is justified.

I saw that you said you didn't have enough money to move out...is there someone you could stay with, that understands your situation? Just to give you a break for a while.

I wish we could all be of more help, you find yourself in quite a difficult situation.

Best, Bella

JessF
Valued Contributor
Valued Contributor

Hello e, so it sounds like making a good impression and being thought of well by others is incredibly improtant to your mother. That she treats you so nicely in front of her friends seems to be an indication that she wants everyone to think that she has a model family, and a daughter that she is proud of. The funny thing is, her words are not untrue when she says those things in front of others, are they?

Of course we cannot change the way others think of us, and unfortunately we have no control over their behaviour either. We only can control how we react to them. So I wonder if changing your perspective on your mother's words might help a little. For example, why is it an "act" when she is nice to you? Why not consider it an "act" when she is being critical?

Try taking the compliments and the nice behaviour at face value, and the criticisms with a grain of salt. As hurtful and irritating as they are, try to accept them as your mother's (misguided) way of worrying about you. If she were trying to humiliate and belittle you, then she would be equally as critical in front of others.

What do you think of that?

Nervybella
Community Member

Hi e

How are you going?

Your story really stuck with me, so I really hope you're doing ok.

Please feel free to come back to the forums, if you feel comfortable, I'm sure everyone here is interested/care how you are travelling

Bella