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Ask Dr. Z Your Own Question

Dr. Z
Dr. Z, Psychologist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5416
Experience:  Psy.D. in Clinical Forensic Psychology with a background in treating severe mental illnesses.
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My dads side of the family (mainly his 6 sisters) are so terrible

Customer Question

My dads side of the family (mainly his 6 sisters) are so terrible towards other people, including my mother. They are always intentionally putting others down and say certain things to hurt people. I tell my mum not to socialise with them often but as my mum is an only child and doesn't have any other family here and only knows my dad's family they are the only people my mum socialises with, even when they do and say things that are not nice. My mums health isnt too good and she is always sad and crying after seeing my dads family. Its not good to socialise with people that dont make you happy but she feels she has to, my dad wouldnt allow her not to either. My dad is also very rude and horrible sometimes. What can I do to help?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Mental Health
Expert:  Dr. Z replied 1 year ago.

DoctorZ :

Hello I believe I can help you with your concern

DoctorZ :

I am sorry that you father's family is treating your mother this way, I can imagine how stressful this must be on her

DoctorZ :

I agree with you that you are doing the right thing by telling you mother to not let them upset her because then they would have gotten what they wanted by being mean to her

DoctorZ :

I understand that you have talked to your mother about this, but have you tried talking to your father and telling him that his sisters are making your mother feel bad and depressed?

Customer :

he wouldnt care

DoctorZ :

That is disappointing because it sounds like your mom feels compelled to spend time with his family even though it is not good for her mental health

DoctorZ :

In these situations I agree with what you wrote by saying not to socialize with them, but from what you are telling me it is almost you mom has no choice but to socialize with them

Customer :

Yes. She doesn't have other friends and there isnt anyone that she completely trusts and can talk to. If they invite her to events and she doesn't go they will talk about her. Its not just my mum, everyone else too

DoctorZ :

Yeah it sounds like your father's sisters have self-esteem issues where they have to bring down everybody to make them feel better

Customer :

You know what, they are always in other peoples businesses! It's making me go crazy too. Im not allowed to date people that are not my own nationality because my mum is afraid of what my dad would do and also afraid of what his sisters would say

DoctorZ :

One aspect your mother must be told and reinforced in her is that they are not in control of her feelings and her emotions, she is. If she can understand that then she will be able to take control and not allow them to control her

Customer :

So I have to spend my life sneaking around and hiding, lying etc

DoctorZ :

Wow I am so sorry that must be very stressful for you and not fair either because you are an individual that can make their own choices in life

DoctorZ :

What if you stood up and took control of your life by dating who you wanted and not hiding it, you never know you may just be an inspiration to your mother for doing that

Customer :

I said I will date whoever i want and i do but lying about it. my mum would be happy for me to be with whoever i wanted to be with but she is afraid of what my dad will do

Customer :

he will get really angry and its never good.. he starts fights, gets physically agressive

Customer :

his sisters get involved

DoctorZ :

That is never good to react that way, it is not healthy and will not help the family as a whole

DoctorZ :

I am glad that your mom would be happy for you though

Customer :

my dad doesnt really care much about the family. He is never really home and at work. when home he sits on the couch drinking and ordering people around. he gets very jealous of everything.. e.g. if there is only one chocolate bar left, he will eat it just so noone else can even if he isnt hungry.. kind of a bad example but yeah

Customer :

the best thing would be for my mum to divorce him and move away from all the terrible people

DoctorZ :

That is very sad that he was not a good father for you or a good husband for your mother

Customer :

yes its sad. but what to do??

DoctorZ :

I agree I think divorce would be a more healthy option because it does not appear that your father would change his behavior or even seek help to change his behavior

Customer :

way too complicated.. too hard to explain here

Customer :

im just receiving agreement but no advice? lol

DoctorZ :

I understand, unfortunately there are not a lot of options for your mother because your father is not open to change.

DoctorZ :

Your mother is going to get hurt by these people constantly the longer she stays around them. Its like a virus that will slowly consume her

DoctorZ :

She can escape from the situation when it gets very bad to help give her a breather and recollect herself, but this is only temporary

DoctorZ :

She can stand up for herself, but I sense this would cause only more problems and provoke your father's family

DoctorZ :

I do think by her changing her pattern of thoughts so that she does not let them control her feelings and remind her that she has control of her own feelings will help her cope and not be as effected from their remarks

DoctorZ :

Also there is always the possibility for individual and group therapy to allow your mother to build a support system outside of the family for her to experience how other people are supposed to be treated

DoctorZ :

This will help her see more empathy and experience that

DoctorZ :

Is your mom religious at all?

Customer :

does this really cost $30

DoctorZ :

Would you like a refund or I can possibly opt out and allow another expert answer your questions?

Customer :

refund please. sorry about wasting your time but I realised that I wont be able to get an answer from here

DoctorZ :

I am trying my best to help you and your mother by giving a lot of opinions on what to do and how to cope with situation she is in

DoctorZ :

No problem I will refer you to customer service for a refund

DoctorZ :

Sorry I was not able to help.

Customer :

thank you

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