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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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My mother lies constantly to me and about me and my children

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My mother lies constantly to me and about me and my children to others. I am 41 now, and when I was 20 she told me that she gave a child up for adoption in 1969 (I was born and adopted in 1972). This coincided with my finding my own biological mother and it made me feel dreadful for years. I even tried to find her adopted son for many years. My father confirmed just yesterday that this never happened and he also believed that she had lied to me. He had previously remained silent when ever I asked him about it. She has lied about hundreds of things for example she tells people that she takes care of my children and that I cant - which is not true. She knows how important my children are to me. She is very disabled and as I dont trust her to tell me the truth about anything, I have never left my kids with her for longer than a few hours at a time. Still, I have many people tell ne]]me how lucky I am to have such a helpful mother who takes my kids on outings, takes them to get their vaccinations and to receive emergency medical attention (which simply never happened). My mum is constantly ill, constantly in and out of hospital and demands a great deal of sympathy and attention. She has always relied on me to help her get around and to tend to her when she is really ill. I am about to snap - I have had enough of her rubbish, and I feel desperately, painfully hurt by the fact she lies like this and doesn't care that I know she is lying or about how it impacts on me or our relationship.


I have confronted her on several occasions and she responds by telling people close to me that I have mental problems and I make things up to hurt her. If I am honest, she was a physically and emotionally abusive mother for much of my childhood and consistently comments to my friends, my children and my husband that "I suppose she's told you that i used to hit her...she's does that..." when I havent even mentioned it at all. I dont know how to continue without feeling so angry. She has recently gone back into hospital and I find myself feeling extremely angry at her and resentful about past events. I feel teary and lost and I dont know how to resolve any of this.

Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC replied 1 year ago.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your question.

It is understandable that you feel so hurt and angry. Your mother sounds like a manipulator who put herself first your entire life. And she hurt you and others like your father in very deep and painful ways just to get the attention she wants.

When someone lies like your mother has, it usually indicates a personality disorder. Personality disorders are typically ingrained behaviors that someone develops, usually in response to being raised in a dysfunctional home. The person could not get their needs met (for unconditional love and attention) so they developed other ways to get what they needed which usually involved dysfunctional behaviors. When they grew up, they continued these behaviors even when they were no longer needed. In your mother's case, it sounds like she might have been deprived of attention when she was a child so now she does whatever it takes to get lots of attention which never satisfies her needs. While that is understandable, it does not excuse her painful and deceitful behavior towards you.

Knowing what your mother might have and how to react to her behavior can help. While there is no way to diagnose her without seeing her for an evaluation, the behavior you describe sounds like narcissistic or borderline type. Here is a link that can help you figure out what she might have:

http://www.nmha.org/go/information/get-info/personality-disorders

Many people can have some traits of one personality disorder or they can have some traits of a couple of personality disorders. By finding a personality disorder that seems to fit, you can at least know what you might be dealing with.

When dealing with someone with a personality disorder, it is helpful to keep in mind that they are not reacting to who you are as a person or even what you are doing. They are going by cues they learned long ago on how to relate to their world. And their responses can seem overwhelming and out of touch with the actual situation. They can also be very hurtful and hard to cope with.

If your mother won't get help or change in any way (common with someone with a personality disorder), you may have to change how you interact with her. One thing that helps is to see what she does as about her own issues and not you. Also, think of one phrase you can say to her that neutralizes anything she might say. such as "I'm sorry you feel that way". That usually shuts down the person and you can make a quick exit out of the situation.

Also, it may help to realize that just because she is your mother does not mean you must subject yourself to her behavior. Many physically and emotionally abused adult children feel an obligation to have contact with their parents just because they are their parents. But if you are continually being hurt by her and there is no sign she is working in this issue, then it is ok to protect yourself and not have contact with her.

Here are some resources to help you:

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/domestic_violence_abuse_types_signs_causes_effects.htm

http://www.helpguide.org/mental/emotional_psychological_trauma.htm

http://psychology.about.com/od/personalitydisorders/a/personalitydis.htm

Therapy is also a great option to help you work through your anger and provide support. It is very common for adult children who have been abused to feel shame, anger, depression and anxiety. Therapy can help you work through these feelings and learn new ways to cope. To find a therapist, talk to your doctor. Or you can search on line at http://www.goodtherapy.com.au/.


I hope this has helped you,
Kate







May I please request that if you find the service I provided helpful at all that you rate me with three or above? Your rating is the only way I am reimbursed for my answer. Thank you so much!
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5559
Experience: Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Kate McCoy, M.Ed, NBCC, LPC
Mental Health Professional
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Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.