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My Personal Experience

I grew up with a mother who I always thought was simply overprotective.   She drove me to and from school daily, from kindergarten through twelfth grades.  She volunteered almost daily at the elementary school I attended, and although not in my classroom every day, I often saw her periodically through the school day.   At home, I was given no privacy.   I was criticized constantly, and most often about my eating habits and my weight.   So much so that when I was around ten, I suffered through anorexia, making myself ill for approximately one year.   Later, I learned I could make myself vomit, and experienced bulimia as well.

Once I entered junior high school, the daily volunteering stopped, as there were not as many opportunities available.   My mother still volunteered some, however.  I felt some freedom, not seeing her so often during my school days.  It was refreshing to have a little breathing room while at school.

When I was in the last half of eleventh grade, I got my first job at my mother's insistence, of course.   It was at work where I met the man I later married, then divorced.  We went to the same high school, although we were unaware of that at first.   My mother hated him upon first sight, and told me to stay away from him.   He asked me out for a date about a month after we met, and I kept saying I was busy to avoid the real reason I could not date him (or anyone for that matter)- my mother.   He was persistent, I was flattered, so I told him that my mother was overprotective, and it was not him, but no one would be good enough for me according to her.   We began sneaking around to see each other behind her back at school and work.   My mother found out, and then my horrors really began.

The more my mother protested my relationship with this boy, the more determined I was to be with him.   He told me what I had always wanted to hear, but never did from my mother- things like I was pretty and smart.   (My mother always said she was trying to help me by pointing out my faults, but she did not- she ridiculed and criticized.   She also brags that she complemented me only one time in my childhood.)   I was willing to face her rage rather than lose feeling special, and face her rage I did.   My mother had someone at my school (I believe it was one of my teachers, but am unsure to this day) reporting my daily activities to her every evening.   As a result of what she heard (or she made up- I'm unsure which). she told me I was "acting like a slut" by wanting to have a boyfriend, even though my other friends had boyfriends.  She called me names, belittled me, and began snooping through my purse, school books, and anything she could find.  She claimed I must be on drugs (which I was not) to be acting this way, which is how her behavior was justified.   She also picked me up from school daily for my lunch break, and used that hour alone with her to scream at me, calling me terrible names.   During this time, my mother accused me of having sex with the entire football team at my high school.   She threatened to take me to a gynecologist to prove I was sexually active, which I was not.  I finally called her bluff, and told her go ahead- take me to the doctor.   She refused, and I often wondered why.

You may wonder by now where my father was during this.  He was working.   My mother saved the worst of her abuse for our time alone, while he was at work or when she was driving me to or from school or work.   When he got home, I rarely told him what she did.   Partly because he did very little to try to stop the abuse, but also because my mother would scream at me for "telling" on her.   My seventeenth birthday is a prime example of this- my boyfriend and I had known each other for just over a month at that point.  He gave me a little teddy bear, and a small vase with a few flowers and two small balloons in it.  I was terrified of taking that out to my mother's car after school that day, but had no choice.   My mother didn't say anything at first.  We had to stop on the way home to pick up something from her friend's house, so she told me to go get it while she waited in the car.   When I got back to the car, the bear was in the backseat, the flowers and balloons were destroyed, and covering the passenger seat and floor of her car.  I was stunned!  When we got home
, she told me to clean up the mess that "I made by acting so snotty", and throw it all in a trash bag.  I did as I was told.  When my father got home, I told him about it.   He spoke to my mother, who then screamed first at my father for interfering, then at me for telling on her, and calling me a tattletale, among other names.

Finally, just before I turned eighteen, my mother let my boyfriend and I date.  Things got a little better in the next few months, because I finally was able to graduate, then get my first car and a full time job.   I wanted to save as much money as I could quickly to move out.  I spent every possible moment with my boyfriend and his parents, rather than at home, when I was not working.

When I was nineteen, I finally had to move out.  I got home after a date at about two o'clock in the morning (I spent as little time at home as possible, as I said).   My mother was itching for a fight from the moment I walked in the door.   She asked where my class ring was. I told her I'd taken it off when I got too hot, and left it in my boyfriend's car.   It is a large ring and was hot to wear- this was in early summer.    I said it was perfectly safe, I would get it the next day, and good night.   As I walked away, I heard her say, "You lying little b****!"   I went into my room, and changed into my nightgown.  The door flew open a moment later, and there was my mother- screaming at me for how horrible I was, and how I did not appreciate her and the many great sacrifices she made so I could have that ring.  I quietly told her Dad was in the next room and she was going to wake him.   She ignored me, and continued screaming at me.   My father came into the room a few minutes later, and she said, "See what you did? Your dad works with heavy machinery- he needs his sleep!   If he gets hurt at work tomorrow, it's all your fault!"   My dad said, "But you're the one who woke me up."   She continued screaming, but turned it on my father.  I could not take it any longer- I ran into the bathroom, and locked the door.   I heard her shaking the knob, trying to get in, but I would not let her.   She stopped trying to get in through the locked door, so I sat on the floor.  I heard her mocking me outside, but to this day, I do not remember what was said.   My father has told me she was mocking him for blocking her from entering the bathroom, but I don't personally remember that.   The reason being, I had what I later learned was a nervous breakdown that night.  I sat on that floor, shaking, crying and unable to move or speak.  When I finally came out of the bathroom, about six that morning, my mother, who had been waiting outside the bathroom door unbeknownst to me, grabbed me immediately in a hug and said, "I forgive you!" That is when I knew I had to leave that house IMMEDIATELY.

Moving out was the best thing I could have done.   I could breathe!   I did not have to worry that my mother was snooping through my personal things, or that she would scream at me, or belittle me. I even began to realize that my boyfriend of the time was really not the type of man I wanted to marry, and broke up with him to date someone much better suited for me.   (Unfortunately I married my first boyfriend only a few months later- he was much like my mother, and I fell for his manipulation)   I also got a cat- something I always wanted to do.   While my first boyfriend and I were apart, I also briefly moved in with a different man, then broke up with him within three months, and resumed the relationship with my first boyfriend.  (Foolish, I know, but I thought that even though the second man I dated was the best for me of the three men I dated during that time, I had to "repay" my first boyfriend.   I felt I owed him for breaking up with him and hurting him.  He made certain I felt this way too.)  I asked my mother if I could move back in temporarily as I had no other options, until I found an apartment for my cat and I.   She said yes, but the day I went to move in, she said my cat could not stay in her home, and she had a list of things I would do to show her respect, "unlike the last time I lived with her", she said.   (My cat briefly lived with my first boyfriend, instead.)  That arrangement lasted only four days.   On day four, when I got home from work, my mother was in the mood for a fight.  She picked at me until I finally snapped and yelled and cussed back at her.  My father got involved, and then walked out- he drove to my grandparents' home in Virginia that night.  Mom locked the door behind him, and turned all of her fury on me.  When I went to leave, she said I was too upset to drive, and then threw me into a wall by the front door, injuring my back and greatly damaging the wall.  I'll never forget the feeling of my spine cracking from my tailbone up into my neck as I hit that wall.   I got away, but suffered with back pain for the next ten years.   Pain that my mother never acknowledged or accepted responsibility for causing.  In fact, she accused me of faking it so I would not have to work.  I have not lived in that house again since that night- November 24, 1990.  I barely visit that house- sitting in the living room, I always catch myself looking at the wall where she threw me.  It has long since been repaired, but if you look very closely, you can see where the damage was.   It is very unsettling for me to see that, even many years later.

In the years since, dealing with my mother has been a bit better.  She has never laid a hand on me again (I think because I stood up to her that night, and also because as I later found out, my granddad threatened to kill her if she ever touched me again), I no longer live under her roof, and because I have healed so much from her abuse that I no longer tolerate her manipulation or games.   It has not been all easy, however.  When my mother's mother died, my mother stole my inheritance from my grandmother.  I did get it back, but only by threatening to get the law involved.  My mother tells me how the things I write are "trash" or "a waste of time."   I am insulted for my taste in clothes, cars, music, hobbies, reading material, my Christian faith, and even my favorite color.  If I like it, it is bad, according to my mother.   I am an avid animal lover, and proud mom of some very loving, well-behaved and beautiful dogs and cats.   Most folks who meet them are impressed by my furry little family.   My mother, however, insults every single one of them every time she sees them.  When I tell her to stop it, she gets meaner with the insults, so I have told her either stop with the insults or she is not allowed in my home ever again.   She has told my father that "someone should report me for having too many pets."  I have looked into this- I have a legal amount of dogs and cats, so she obviously does not know her law on this matter.   Really though- what kind of mother even thinks of doing this to her daughter?!

And, my mother barely spoke to me more than maybe ten minutes between May, 2011 and January, 2013.  Why, you ask?   Because she had an appointment for a minor, outpatient procedure one day.   I was going to drive her and my father to the hospital for it early one morning.  Instead, my cat was having health issues.  He was recently diagnosed with diabetes, and his glucose levels suddenly went out of control, swinging hundreds of points up and down in short periods of time.   I canceled so I could take care of him if he needed me.  My mother was furious, but she took a taxi to and from her appointment with no trouble.

On May 5, 2016, I ended up in an argument with my parents.  My husband's mother died a few days prior, my parents saw her obituary in the local paper, and were obviously upset I hadn't told them about her death.  I hadn't, because she hated me, and I hadn't spoken to her in 14 years at the time of her death.  Even knowing such things, my parents said they were upset that they didn't know about her death in time to attend her funeral.  They both said they thought they should pay their respects, which upset me tremendously.  They didn't understand why I was upset, and as a result, our relationship has changed a great deal.  My mother hasn't spoken to me since, and my father barely speaks to me.  This is fine with me, as I wanted to go no contact prior to this fight, yet didn't feel I should tell my parents this.  After a great deal of prayer, God told me He doesn't want me to tell my parents that fact.  Instead, He wants me to focus on my healing, and set healthy boundaries, as such things will push my parents away naturally.

I have learned a lot about what does and does not work when it comes to dealing with narcissists.  I have learned how to set boundaries, and enforce them.  I also have learned what subjects are not safe to discuss with narcissists.  What has helped me the most, though, is my relationship with God.   I never believed in God as a child, thinking how could a loving God let these things happen to me?   I have learned a lot since then, and realized that God does not want things like that to happen.   People have their own minds and wills, and often times they make very bad choices that hurt others, including their own children.   My mother was abused mentally, physically and I believe also sexually, in her childhood, although she will not discuss the details with anyone.  Rather than facing her pain to heal, she ignored it, and hurt me as a result.   Was that fair?  No.   It was her choice, just like it is my choice not to be her victim any longer.  It is my choice to heal, and to move on.

You too, can make that choice and no longer be your mother's victim!  You are in the right place to begin this journey of healing.   You are in my prayers for healing and wisdom on how do deal with your abusive mother.  May God bless and heal you!


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