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

These are some tough parents 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 do not), then it is time to learn about them. 

When your parent tries to manipulate you, do not play along.  If he or she is angry and sulking, let him or her sulk.  If your parent tries to make you feel guilty, do not take that guilt trip!  Your parent’s feelings are your parent’s responsibility, not yours.  If he or she tries to tell you that an event happened this way, and not that way, do not believe that if you know it is a lie.  You know the truth – do not let anyone sway you from it!

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

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


On the road to healing, I personally found my relationship with God to be my greatest help.  He helped me more than I can say. 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.