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The Psycholgically Abusive Mother

Does your mother seem to thrive on saying negative, belittling or shaming things to you?   Does she have an altered version of reality, such as saying she was a great mother when you know she was abusive?  Does she regularly practice gaslighting?  Does she give you the silent treatment when you have an argument or you simply disagree with her?  Then your mother is psychologically abusive.

These are some tough mothers to deal with, but it can be done.   If you do not know much about healthy boundaries (and chances are, with being raised by someone like this, you don't), then it is time to learn about them.

Boundaries define where we end and other people begin.   Our personal boundaries, the things we are responsible for, are our feelings, thoughts, actions and beliefs.  We are not responsible for the feelings, thoughts, actions and beliefs of other people.   It is perfectly acceptable for you to have and enforce these boundaries.  Boundaries are not selfish or manipulative, contrary to the belief of many people (interestingly, those people are often abusive).   They are loving, and offer freedom- freedom from being responsible for the happiness, health, etc. of others, and freedom from the need to control others.  Boundaries also create fences- fences protect you from the bad, while the gates in them allow what you wish to come through.  For more information, I highly recommend the book "Boundaries" by Drs. Henry Cloud and John Townsend.  Here is the link to their website: http://www.cloudtownsend.com/ If you type in "boundaries" in the search box, many videos come up.

When your mother tries to manipulate you, do not play her game.   if she is angry and sulking, let her sulk. If she tries to make you feel guilty, don't take that guilt trip!  Her feelings are her responsibility, not yours, no matter what you do.   If she tries to tell you that an event happened this way, and not that way, do not believe her.  You know the truth- do not let her sway you from it!

Distance may be a good thing for you.   I am not necessarily saying sever all ties with your mother- only you know if that is a good option for you.  (see the following link for more information if you're considering it: Should I Go No Contact With My Abusive Mother? )  I am, however, saying it is perfectly acceptable to limit your exposure to her.  Do not talk to her daily, if you feel you cannot handle that.   Do not see her every Friday after work if you cannot handle that.  You have every right to protect yourself from her abuse.


If you are reading this information, then you want freedom from being mentally abused by your mother.   As you follow the advice above, you will learn more ways to cope with your mother's abusive behavior. You can do this!

On the road to recovery, I personally found my relationship with God to be my greatest help. He helped me to heal, and to learn ways to deal with my dysfunctional mother. Prayer and meditating on His word, the Bible, helped so much. Learning who the Bible says I am as a child of God is not only inspiring and comforting, but helpful in the healing process. If you do not have a personal relationship with God, please read the page Salvation Through Jesus Christ for more information.


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