Adult Daughters of Emotionally Abusive Mothers

I'm a 42 y.o. daughter of an emtionally abusive mother. I stopped all communications with her about 5 years ago and don't plan to ever re-establish contact. Peopole who have relatively "normal" mothers cannot fathom that anyone would sever their relationship with their mother. When they find out they often encourage me to "make up" with my mother. I feel judged by them. So here I am, looking for others in similar situations who know that I did the healthy thing for myself and support me in my decision. In return, I hope to give support to others like me. Keep on trucking ladies!


April's picture

Welcome to SupportGroups & If thats the decision you've made for yourself & in your best interests then ATTA GIRL! I admire you for choosing whats best for your well being in life. My mother wasnt a bad mother probably just very misguided in making bad choices for her & her 4 children out of desperation which lead to alot of issues later on in all of our lives. People dont seem to realize that the choices they make can & will impact the lives of their children. She died in '81, brain cancer, & my sister & I have been discussing the FALLOUT of her bad choices in men & how it is STILL impacting us. Its a life long journey to learn about ourselves & look within & find other alternatives to NOT REPEAT the past behaviors. All of you people out there having relationship problems, abuse,divorce, infidelity, etc, etc.... YOU need to read this & comment & learn.

Good post & thank you.

Take care of you.


Choose wisely, treat kindly

Tired of Sacrificing's picture

Hello Happy Mondays,
I know Exactly what your saying here. Every single day of my life I have had to regret the fact that my mother slept with my father. She, and MY Bro and Sister have reminded me that I am a "last name here" and that they hated me. But yet Family is family and so I lived through it.

One day when I turned 35 they "kidnaped" my younger children" and then called my oldest daughter who was raped earlier in her life and told her that she was a "fatherf---er".

I cut off all ties to them from that point on. Every once in a while they try something else to get to me but have been pretty unsuccessful.

The latest one is they are now making nice with that older child and now she hates me.

I have given up a lot in my life and it seems that all I get is kicked in the stomach by the ones I love the most.

anonymous3's picture


April's picture

Whats good that CAN & SHOULD come out of this though is that WE can learn from these experiences so its not repeated/passed on to the next generations.

Life lessons.

Choose wisely, treat kindly

alliegoblue's picture

I am 38 and this week, after finally losing it and telling my mother, F off ***** (literally), I sent her an email in which I severed all ties to her.

I grew up being called ungratful, horrible, evil, worthless, useless, ugly... my mother even made up an elaborate story saying... are those bumps on your forehead? You know what that means (they were mosquito bites)... it means you are so ugly and mean inside that you're growing ugly bumps. I was 10 when I heard this gem. She also called me "Doug", which was the name of our delinquent neighbor (a teen) who had a drug problem and used to break into homes.

My letter to my mother was short and sweet, inviting no further engagement. In it I simply said, "I have many reasons for severing these ties, none of which I feel the need to discuss with you at this point".

Unfortunately the rest of my family feels so sorry for her and think I am a heartless *****. They have no idea what kinds of things this woman has done and said to me because, being boys who were HEAVILY favored, they were treated like princes.

It makes me sad to know even my own mom doesnt love me, and the damage my self esteem has sustained is not reparable.... But I am working through the pain and filling the holes in my heart as best I can. I will always long for a mother.

mizzmichelle's picture

Thank you all for sharing your stories, I googled this topic b/c I too have an abusive mom and am at my wits end with my feelings going back and forth from angry to sad, lonely, guilty, etc. I'm 25 and have a wonderful husband, and 2 yr old daughter, with another daughter on the way. It's been almost 6 weeks since I cut my mom out of my life for good and some days are more of a struggle then others dealing with the childhood emotional abuse, the insults, cursing me out, constant criticism, wishing bad things on me, and up until recently she's started all that again. It's always like a bad storm that is inevitable to occur but you're dreading when things are good. I don't wanna be anything like her and just want to enjoy my life with all the things God has blessed me with. I truly hope we all can heal. Best wishes to you all, you inspire me.

mizzmichelle's picture

Thank you for your post Dennis, it was really uplifting, I needed to hear those words and in 1 of my dark hours it was here waiting for me. I came back on here looking for some new posts to keep me going since there's nobody I could REALLY talk to at this hour. People eventually grow tired of hearing about your problems especially when it's the kind dealing with your mother and the never-ending cycle of love and hate. Today I spoke to my aunt on the phone and she started to bash me about not talking to my mom, and how I should be the 1 to call because I'm the daughter, as if I'm inferior. My mom was the 1 who called me last time we spoke on June 12, 2011, cursing me out, wishing things on my family, and stressing me out while I was on vacation. I'm 22 weeks pregnant and I can't deal with this. It's taking such a toll on me as a wife and a mother. The fact that my aunt is blaming me for the way the relationship is taking me back the 3 steps I thought I came forward with getting past the situation. Her denial of the situation which she was never around to witness is making me feel like I've got to justify myself, and defend my actions. I don't want to have any relationship with my mom, it's been like this for years, and I just want to be happy. I've tried talking to her nicely and telling her how I feel numerous times and nothing works! I'm just emotionally exhausted and frustrated. =(

April's picture

Mizz, your doing the right thing in steering clear of the family members that are trying to continue projecting their thoughts/opinion onto you. Stand firm honey as one cant convince others of whats really going on even when you have tried to tell them what has happened, THEY DONT GET IT yet so dont wear yourself out going in a circle w/them.

You know whats true in your heart so just focus on you & your families happiness & emotional well being as it IS hard when other dont validate or support what has really happened or happening.

All my strengths friend.


Choose wisely, treat kindly

Suzee's picture

April, can I just say that when you post, there is so much sincere strength and truth in your words that it makes me and others feel so much more at ease with the hard decisions that need to be made. I was lucky, I had an amazing Mom with the heart of an angel, but I've known and seen how some Moms really didn't know how to be good parents.. I just want you to know that when you aren't around much, supportgroups feels different, like something is missing. I am very glad and comforted to read your posts and replies.

To everyone, I'm so sorry for the decisions you've had to make but am so glad you are brave enough to cut those ties and become healthier, happier people which is what you deserve!!

Sending hugs to all, Suzee

nannie8's picture

Hi all,
I just joined this site and not really sure how it works...wanted to join this thread, but it's not a support group...just a discussion, correct? What support group would be good to join as an adult daughter of a mother's emotional abuse?

My story is a very long one, but I will try to keep this initial post as brief as possible. I am a 45 year old woman who has been emotionally abused and manipulated by my mother (and other family members) my entire life. I have known for a long time that this is true, but it wasn't until recently that I realized how much it has affected (and screwed up) my entire life and I'm angry.

To make a long story short, my mother (age 81) is a mean, very emotionally unstable, emotionally crippled, un-intelligent (to say it nicely), vindictive, guilty (feeling and giving), irrational, unaware, spiteful, grudge-holding, insulting woman. She was raised by a screaming, shrieking, ignorant woman who ripped my mother's self-esteem and confidence away when she was very young. She controlled my mother's life and my mother was tied to her apron strings, letting her control many aspects of her life even after she was married and had kids. My mother is unaware of this abuse; she talks about her mother as if she was a saint (my grandmother, "Bubbie," has been dead since I was a baby and my mother still cries like it was yesterday). Anyway, I'm digressing...I am the youngest of three children. I'm 45, my brother is 53 and my sister is 57. I was almost like an only child as they moved out when I was still pretty young (very young, in my sister's case). My mother has always treated me 100 times worse than my other siblings. There were times when she was crappy to my sister (never to my brother), but nothing nearly close as to how she is with me. It's dawning on my now that not only does my anger come from all the years of abuse from my mother, but the total abandonment from my older siblings, even today, when it comes to the terrible way my mother has treated me all my life. It didn't occur to me until recently that I almost hate my sister for this. My sister complains because my mother gets on her nerves, or is forgetful or is nasty in general (not to her directly), but when I call her or write her in tears with my heart ripped out by something my mother yet again said to me, my sister pretty much blows me off and gets annoyed that I "get her in the middle." As far as I'm concerned, I'm done with her too. I decided about 5 months ago that enough was enough with my mother and I cut her off. I left my ex-husband (who was extremely emotionally abuse, go figure) to drive across the country and come to the East coast. I dealt with the "You make stupid decisions, what's wrong with you, why did you marry him in the first place, you make really bad choices," etc. (gee Mom, I wonder why?)...instead of comfort, and then it got I got over it and got happier again...back with my friends and currently in the best, most healthy relationship I've ever been in in my life...she became evil. She would call and yell at me, tell me I was stupid, why am I getting involved with another guy, I make stupid mistakes, my boyfriend is a **** (she never met him), and the more I told her GOOD things about him, the angrier she got...more critical and abusive. Then when I became close to his mother, she flipped her wig...kept saying "oh, you just hang out with your OTHER mom," and stupid things like that. Then, after several weeks of telling me I was stupid and my boyfriend is a ****, she says "you're embarrassed about me. Why don't you ever bring your friends over? Why don't you bring your boyfriend over? Oh, I know why, it's because you'd rather be with your OTHER mother." She would get me to a point where I was driving and talking to her, screaming and crying. Then after that, I tried to call her and she would say "Oh, it's YOU. Leave me the hell alone." and she'd hang up on me. This went on few times and I decided to stop calling. Then she'd call and leave nasty voicemails about "me and my stupid boyfriend and my other mother" and "How I only call her when I want something" (she lent me money ONCE when I came home after my divorce...totally her idea and she said I didn't have to pay her back, she was MY MOTHER after all, etc. So I came over for Hanukkah, gave her a gift and she handed it back to me and said "what do I need this for? Take it back with you, I don't want it." Of course I left the house screaming and crying again. Then she started telling people that I had only been to see her once when I moved back when I had been going over there almost every weekend. So then I REALLY stopped calling. I sent her flowers on Mother's Day and got a brief call saying "thank you" and that was about it. So I let a few months go by and decided to call her on her birthday, July 19th. I said Hi Mom, it's N--, I'm calling to wish you a happy birthday, and we were talking for a minute and she asked "what are you doing today?" and it occurred to me she thought I was my sister (our names rhyme and she is hard of hearing), so I said "Mom, you know who this is right? It's N--" and she said "Yeah, I was trying to pretend you were someone else." I said "Mom, that is a terrible thing to say?" and she said "I can't talk right now" and hung up on me. So I decided I wasn't going over there to bring her a birthday gift. Then the next day she called and left a voicemail in the nastiest voice (Even my boyfriend was freaked out by how mean she sounds...I said "try hearing that voice yelling in your face, insulting you, when you're 6 years old)...anyway, she said "Thanks a lot for forgetting your mother. Thanks a lot for the card (I obviously didn't send her one). Thanks for forgetting me on my birthday." That voicemail and the subsequent blowing off of the situation by my sister, who said "I can't win. I'm sick of being between you guys." filled me with a sadness, but mostly a FURY at my whole family for being neglectful, abusive and basically ruining my life. After that call I started having problems with my boyfriend, feeling extremely insecure, co-dependent, all my confidence trained, I started having obsessive thoughts about him leaving me, hurting me, cheating on me, abandoning me, I started feeling useless at work and having general feelings of despair, depression and dread. I would never EVER want to commit suicide, but on the same taken, I understood the feeling of not wanting to live anymore. I felt like I had no one; like I literally had NO family, no anchor, no one who would care if I dropped dead. My boyfriend has been supportive, but he can't really understand the craziness that is my mother, so we've argued and I've cried and I feel terrified. I feel like I was starting to sabotage he and I subconsciously. I feel anxious and annoyed and upset and blue. I think he and I will be fine; we talked about it and I'm snapping out of the initial "mom hurt" from that phone call, but I am just furious that his tiny little woman has been such a scary giant in my life. I want to throttle her, yet I still feel, guilt, sorry and sadness. I feel that my lack of success in a career and my string of horrible relationships, 2 bad marriages, etc. are all her fault and I'm pissed. I want to stay with the man I'm with forever...he is wonderful and sweet and sometimes I honestly can't believe I found him and we're together. He never abuses or disrespects me in any way. We live together and I need to appreciate what we have. I need to move on and stop being so angry and depressed and self-loathing and anxious. I have tried therapy and it didn't do much of anything. Other than going to therapy (and I don't have insurance right now as I'm a contractor and can't afford to go), what else can I do? All I can think about is how the rest of my crazy family, aunts, etc. and other people think "Man, she is just letting her 81 year old mother rot, she never visits," etc., because that is what she is projecting to others. My crazy family will probably pick a fight at the funeral, and gang up on me and that scares me too. I know she doesn't have much longer in this life and I have to deal with the fact that her last words to me were "I was trying to pretend you were someone else." I need to come to terms with a lot of things and get rid of it, purge it and be happy with the time I have left. I'm so ANGRY. Yet I still feel guilt and sadness and responsibility for her life of extreme unhappiness, which is exactly what she wanted.

Okay, I said this wasn't going to be long! There is a lot more, a LOT, but I'm going to quit for now. I would appreciate any feedback or thoughts. Thanks for letting me vent; I'm so glad I found this site.


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