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How to deal with emotional abuse from parents?

August 3, 2015

I'm going to describe a lot of painful situations so it will seems like someone complaining. Apologize for the bitchy feelings of this post.

Everytime I go back home to spend some time with my family, my mother destroy me. Everytime she sees a possible weakness, a crack in my armor, she attacks me. Even when I just open my heart and wants to have a fun, light and loving conversation with her, she ends up using that as a weapon against me.

She uses shame, manipulation, victim playing, gaslighting and other things that I couldn't identify yet. When I am in trouble, instead of supporting me, she adds up to my trouble by attacking me. I don't know if it's her method of trying to raise tough kids (she is a hardcore feminist and raised me and my brothers to be beta bucks btw). She only acts this way with me and not with my brothers. She does acts bitchy with them but she doesn't gaslight them or do the extrem shit she does to me. My childhood was filled with fear and pain so much that I escaped reality by dissociating myself from it, creating imaginary friends, numbing myself with porn and video games - virtual worlds.

If I spend 2 weeks at home, I leave mentally destroyed, emotionally destroyed, depressed and torn down. I usually need months to recover, no exaggeration, she litterally destroys me. If I want to not get hurt, I must be cold, distant, defensive, a huge asshole and treat her like garbage. But. She is my mom, I don't enjoy doing that, I want to have a good time with her. It's not possible though. The only way for me to not get hurt is to act like a huge, real huge douchebag. If I do so, she will place me at the center of attention of the family and tell them how bad I am (which I am when I act like a douchebag), then turning them against me. That leaves me with two solutions: go full douchebag mode with the full family or apologize, do what she wants and get castrated. She forces me to be an ssshole to my family that I love or to be emotionally abused.

her first priority is to win at her little game of power. She doesn't care about anything else. One time she asked me to show her my new room on skype (I was studying abroad). I tell her it is a mess so I don;t want to and I will show her a few days later. It escalated to the point where she told me "allright I'm not giving you any money anymore".

Another example: I was giving her the cold treatement, not talking to her and trying to hold frame. She said "ok, I consider we don not have any relationship anymore", which hurt me like crazy. A final example is when we were all eating dinner. She insults me in front of the whole family, telling how stupid, weak and inadequate I am. I ask her to stop. I tell her I can't stand being treated that way anymore and that if she doesn't stop I will go eat outside. She goes up, grab some oil and drop it on top of my head. I don't move, I am schocked. "that's what youd eserve little piece of shit". She slaps me. I take my plate and go eat outside. Suddenly, I feel the urge to leave. To really leave. I put my plate on the floor and I leave. It was about 8pm, it was winter and I only had socks and my pyjamas. It was minus two degrees celsius. I walk until I fall on the ground. Finally, I don't find any place to sleep. I feel the cold but soon I don't feel it anymore and my brain feels numb. I can't feel it anymore. I go back to the home, steal a few newspaper from my parent's bin and hide in the gutter. A few minutes later I see my dad going out of the house and going inside the car. I was well hidden so he didn't see me. I lay there, I can barely move anymore but I can't feel the cold. Soon I realize I'm going to die if I stay there. I realize this very slowly beacuse it seems my mind doesn't work anymore.

At this point, I swallow my pride and get back to the house. I shut the door strongly so that everyone knows I'm back. No reaction. I can hear my mom watching tv. I go to the living room to tell her I am back. She looks at me with hate and insults me. I head back to my bed. I don't know what I expected. The following days, she used this event to put myself down even more.

Even if I hold frame, I'm not perfect so she will attacks me successfully a little bit more each day and destroy me slowly but surely.

One example: she is very ill. Overweight and with a disease at ther articulations. She has trouble moving but she doesn't follow the doctors advices. She likes playing the victim card and is ready to destroy her health to play it even more. Everyone follow her orders around the house, she is in complete control and she loves that. My dad works from 6am to 8pm and when he goes back he cooks, do the laundry and clean the house while she watches tv all day long.

From time to time, she gets off the couch and go to the grocery store. Of course, it's hard for her to carry things. But it's very easy for her to slap me badly on the face. Funny. So She asks me to help her at dinner in front of everyone. She wants me to go to the grocery stores with her. I don't want to. I don't fucking want to. Of course, I want to help her. But I don't want to live what she has in store for me there. It's her temple for male castration. Here is what happened last time I went there with her:

We enter the grocery store (pretty huge). As soon as we enter it, I want to get it done quickly so I ask her the list of things she wants to buy to take the lead and be efficient. She refuses. I insist and manipulate her into giving it to ( FUCK, I have to MANIPULATE her like a sociopath into just giving me the fucking list, she threw 3 shit test at me just because I asked her to see it can you believe that?). She hands it to me.

I know perfectly where to go and how to be efficient, to not lose time. I say "let's begin with the water". She answers " oh no we sure won't!!!... where are you going? AIE" - she fakes hurting herself, I don't stop-. When she sees I'm not stopping she runs effortlessly to get back with me (funny, I thought she had trouble walking because of her disease) and begin yelling at me in front of everyone "NOW YOU ARE GOING TO FOLLOW ME YOU FUCKING PIG blabla some other drama". I ignore and go get the water. She doesn't follow me.

I get the water and see her coming. I felt bad at this occasion because I was being rude to her. I see she has an angry look on her face, she takes the trolley from my hands and says angrily "now it's enough blabla other drama I can't remember". Again, I have to use manipulation to take back the control of the trolley. We go down the alley and I go for the whiskey my father asked me to buy, she goes somewhere else.

When she sees that I'm not following she begin to yell "WHERE ARE YOU GOING, IT'S THERE!!" and starts crying yelling faking she is hurt. Everyone sees that. About 20 people. They all look at me as though I'm a horrible person and I even get worried for my safety. But I can't.give.in. I know that if I ever show any weakness and don't hold frame she will use that to further harm me later. So I explain calmly that dad asked me to get him some whiskey and that we will get the milk later, that it will save us time to grab the whiskey first... She gives me useless shit about how this is one of the most expensive whiskey, I tell her dad asked me to pick up this one so I take this one and if she doesn't agree with his choice she has to talk to him and not me. I say that for the people around more than for her. And I get the whiskey.

Then, I give in. She gets the lead and begin ordering me around and insulting me in public. She humiliates me. I suddenly realize I broke frame and I get it back but it's too late. There is only one item left on the list and I don't know where it is. She refuses to tell me and says "you wait for me here while I go get X-other useless item which is not on the list and that she won't buy anyway, she just wants to make me wait". She is yelling like that https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jZdJkGv7z0w (begins at 1:00 min)

I can't really make justice to her attitude by writing but by this time she is in full berserk uncontrolable mode, yells, insults like you couldn't imagine. Every initiative I may take is met with hostility and even physical violence(I am fucking 24 years old, the only time I stopped her from slapping me she took a bin and try to hit me with it so now I just take the salping because I know that if I don't it will be worse). For instance while I was waiting I went to grab some yoghourt but when I got back to the trolley she was waiting and yelled at me, asked me why I was not waiting here like she said so. It took me less than a minute and a half to get the yoghourt and to come back, I think she may have been waiting nearby for me to go away and to disobbey her instructions to go yell at me.

Finally when we go to pay she breaks down, leave me on the spot and say YOU PAY FOR EVERYTHING IVE HAD ENOUGH OF YOU. I tell her I don't have any money. The look of HATE she gave me was scary. It's difficult to describe the scene because what's important is not her words but her attitude. That's why I don't want to go to the crocery stores with my mom. And I handled it pretty well this time.

I went to see a shrink, I thought I was the one having a problem and that my mother were right about me. The shrink told me my mum has a mental issue. That's it. No solution for me. No advice. Just "yep, your mum is crazy".

I could go on and on but the bullet point is this: everytime I see her, she destroys me. The biggest thing that helped me was TRP (hold frame!). Even though I can't hold frame for long period of time, I can get through a few days with my mom without being too hurt thanks to the knowledge I gained here.

For some personal reasons, it is impossible for me to cut contact with my mother. I could explain but I don't want to. Trust me on this: I have thought long enough to leave and never contact her again. I desire that so, so much. I have a plan for it but I still have to live with her for a year or so.

I think you understand what my question is: how to deal with that?

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Post Information
Title How to deal with emotional abuse from parents?
Author Redasshole
Upvotes 1
Comments 7
Date August 3, 2015 4:13 PM UTC (7 years ago)
Subreddit /r/askTRP
Archive Link https://theredarchive.com/r/askTRP/how-to-deal-with-emotional-abuse-from-parents.189518
Original Link https://old.reddit.com/r/asktrp/comments/3fmtfy/how_to_deal_with_emotional_abuse_from_parents/

[–]Senior EndorsedMattyAnon3 points4 points  (0 children) | Copy Link


See the rest of your family without seeing your mother if you can (if she lets them).

When you visit, plan things so you can exit at any moment (I do this as a matter of course when involving women - there is always a plan B at every step because I know how they are and I know the concern for my welfare is nil.)

You can't win. Stop trying to. Your mother is unusually extreme, but the benefit is seeing firsthand how women can be, even to their own children.

[–][deleted] 2 points3 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Avoid your mother as much as you possibly can. If you can move out, do it. If you can limit the visits, do it.

[–]Senior ContributorMentORPHEUS1 point2 points  (0 children) | Copy Link

Earn your own living so you're not dependent on her money. Problem largely solved.

[–]Endorsed Contributorvandaalen0 points1 point  (1 child) | Copy Link

I've just read couple of the first sentences. This whole post is too long for me, but here's some generic advice:

You need to develop a stoic mindset up to the point where you do not give a shit about people's opinion about you, your decisions and your actions.

Apart from the benefit, that everything your mother does or says will drip off of you like you are a lotos-blossom, you will also be able to handle your mother much better, without worrying about what the rest of your family (or friends) think about what you do.

You need to be able to call her out on her bullshit and even blatantly tell her that from now on, whenever you will visit your family, you'll explicitly avoid her because of her toxicity.

[–]GhostRiderkempff0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

I'd also add that this woman will be able to make any situation look like her son is the bad guy. One's instinct would be to stand up for oneself, but this only leads to more defensive bickering. The real solution is either not caring, or some form of A&A.

[–]TRPAlternative0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

An extreme option would be to record the abuse and then act like a douchebag. If the rest of the family aren't too too bad then you can show them the video/audio of something like the grocery store scene in private away from your mum and then then they'll know you weren't at fault.

[–]GhostRiderkempff0 points1 point  (0 children) | Copy Link

You are not going to like what I am about to say.

  • I have been there and I know from experience that advice from other people to those in situations like yours is largely a waste of time. The reason is, for the most part, the situation is sustained by the person asking advice, and the sustained conflict serves a deeper emotional purpose, so that no advice will ever be acted upon, no matter how brilliant.
  • Next time she goes ballistic on you, maybe give this a try: imitate her every word and gesture like a mirror. I know that sounds weird, but try it. If she screams in your face with her fists clenched at her sides and her elbows locked then you do exactly the same right back at her - but this is important: repeat her exact words back to her like a split-second echo, do not actually engage. If she does that white-trash-trailer-queen move, where she puts one fist on her hip and the other palm waving in the air, wiggling her head back and forth like a pigeon walking around, while spouting trash-talk content-free one-liners, then you do the same, repeating the same one-liners over and over again like a sample-track in a rap song ... see if you can even echo her exact words and tone. This will help you avoid the emotional hurt. I have tried this and it works in a weird way. I have ended - but not solved - freakouts using this technique. (Freakouts are not meant to be solved, get that through your head once and for all.) Basically what you are doing is showing her a video of herself in real time.
  • This is the hardest part: "now it's enough blabla other drama I can't remember" - The reason why you are unable to recall exactly what she says to you, is because she is being irrational. It is practically impossible to recall irrational words, and when you try to understand them, you will hurt your brain. You must block them out; it is hard to block them out by just standing there silently but if you make a mirroring-game out of it you will at least be focusing on a rational activity and so save your brain from injury.
  • Based on your stories, you are exactly 50% responsible for the drama that is tearing you apart. Just as an example: "One time she asked me to show her my new room on skype (I was studying abroad). I tell her it is a mess so I don;t want to and I will show her a few days later. It escalated ..." - yes it escalated because you escalated it - "it escalated", all on its own, passive language, the classic hallmark of a professional perpetual victim - you simply had to contribute your 50% to the stupid drama that you constantly keep on life-support in your relationship with her because that is all you know how to do, that is all you know about how to relate to other people. "Again, I have to use manipulation" - yes, you simply had to, you had no choice, your hands were tied, you were forced, you were cornered, you poor poor victim. And all you wanted to do was just "help her", because you knew "perfectly where to go and how to be efficient, to not lose time". You are so tragically unappreciated; I shall write an emo song in your honor.

Anyway I'd better stop there. I hope I've made you angry, brother.

You can kill a man, but you can't kill an idea.

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