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TherapistMarryAnn, 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 parents and I used to be very close. I would probably say

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My parents and I used to be very close. I would probably say I was the favorite of six kids. My husband and I are very blessed. We had our home paid for by the age of 50. If something breaks down we usually have the money to replace or fix it right away. We have been traveling a lot in the past five years. My parents and siblings have always struggled to make ends meet. There are drug and alcohol issues with some of them. My husband and I feel like we're not suppose to say anything if something positive happens in our lives because they all think we're bragging. We would be very excited for them if something positive, fun etc. happened to them. My father always was one to look for your weaknesses and get in his digs. He did it to everyone. He used to compare everyone with us and try to cause jealous, hurt feelings. I said more than once, "we are not competing with anyone. We buy what we like or need. We don't care what anyone else thinks about what we have and we don't care what they have, so stop trying to start trouble." Dad would just laugh. Dad died of cancer in January. The day he died my mother had all my siblings there. I called in the morning to see if I could come up. She said, "No, her house was full of people." She was going to let my sister-in-law plan his funeral. She wouldn't include my family in anything. I finally called and blew up. I told her if she let my sister-in-law plan my father's funeral and not include us then we would not be at the funeral and she probably would see me again. That part got straightened out but after the funeral she has been nothing but short, snippy and rude with me. She says I'm spoiled and always get my way. I'veworked hard for everything I have. I've made different choices in my life. My dad had mesothelioma. Apparently mom got some sort of settlement. My husband and I are relieved. We were worried that mom would struggle to make ends meet and we offered to let mom live with us. Now mom says how she doesn't to worry about anything. If she wants something she'll just go buy it. I told her that is a relief for us because we were worried about her. My husband recently shared with me that my dad told him more then once that when he dies nothing will go to me and two of my brothers because we aren't his kids. Fine. I don't need his stuff but to say that was very hurtful. He technically was my stepdad but he raised me and my two brothers since I was three and I'm now nearly fifty-five. I don't understand how they can be so hurtful. I'm the only one who was always there everytime they were in the hospital or if the kids ran away I found them. At family gatherings mom, dad, my husband and I supplied the majority of the food. We feel like we have been nothing but kind and generous. We don't get it.
Hello, I'd like to help you with your problem.

It sounds like your mother and father might have had personality disorders. Any parent that makes a point to look for their child's weaknesses and then points them out is more than critical. That is abusive. Then to say they intend on leaving nothing to you upon their death because you were not a biological child is extremely hurtful. Someone who can do that to a child usually has a personality disorder such as narcissism or borderline.

If your mother also says hurtful things to you and singles you and your husband out because you did well in life, then she may also have a personality disorder. Parents who abuse verbally and emotionally often have the same mindset so they continue to abuse thinking that is normal. Plus many parents who hurt their children in this way were also abused themselves.

When dealing with someone abusive, it is often very hard to reason with them. They do not feel they are at fault. So trying to talk to them or get them to understand they are hurting you is difficult, if not impossible. So the only control you do have is how you react to the abuse. One way is to restrict your mother's access to you. That may not be the best option, but it is a possibility that allows you more control over when you have to deal with her behavior towards you.

If you do have to deal with your mother, one of the best ways to respond to her abuse is with "I'm sorry you feel that way". That does not stop the comments from hurting you, but it does give her very little to respond to if that is all you say. People who are abusive like when you get upset because they know they are getting to you. By staying neutral in your response, you prevent your mother from getting what she wants.

Having parents that treat you in such a way can cause feelings of guilt, anger and low self worth. Healing yourself from what you have gone through can help. Also, keep in mind that you have done everything you can to respond to this situation in a healthy way. There is no way to fix someone who insists on responding in a dysfunctional way.

You can also learn more about parents who abuse and the effect it has on children/adult children. Here are some resources to help:

Toxic Parents: Overcoming Their Hurtful Legacy and Reclaiming Your Life by Susan Forward and Craig Buck

Healing Your Emotional Self: A Powerful Program to Help You Raise Your Self-Esteem, Quiet Your Inner Critic, and... by Beverly Engel

I hope this has helped you,
Customer: replied 3 years ago.
I just remembered that my dad told me when he was a teenager his mom said she never wanted him and that he was a mistake. I wonder if mom dad verbally abused my mom.
It is very possible. When you are exposed to that type of treatment as a child, it can be very easy to feel that abuse is the right way to treat everyone, even your spouse and kids. It can be difficult to break that cycle in families. That may be why you get picked on a lot. You are not following the dysfunctional pattern of your parents and their parents, etc.

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