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Author Topic: How to Convince my Mom to Get Therapy with Me?  (Read 1293 times) Average Rating: 0
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« on: November 20, 2013, 05:31:59 PM »

Long story short, my mother is ape-poop insane because her mother treated her horribly, she then got knocked up with me at 15, and now she treats me the same way. Growing up, I've had an extreme love-hate relationship with my mother. On the one hand, she's the woman who raised me virtually all on her own, but on the other, she's the woman who abuses me mentally and occasionally physically. When I was a kid and she'd be an emotional wreck after arguing with my dad, I was always the one she'd vent to. And this bothers me to the extreme because half the time I didn't know what was going on, and then she's making my burden harder by forcing me to be the parent while she plays child. Yet, whenever I would cry or have a problem (especially during 8th-9th grade) she would laugh at me, insult me, and add to my pain. Eventually it turned to where I don't tell her anything about my life, and then she nags me for being too secretive.

She's prone to having seemingly psychotic breakdowns of violence and anger where she goes off on anyone who ticks her off, similar to a little girl throwing a tantrum, and I'm usually always on the receiving end of it from her. She picks on me the most because I'm the oldest child. She makes me do the most work, and hardly does anything for me in return when I ask for something. Yet, the moment I complain even once, she goes off on me, insults me, comes out with seemingly odd and unrelated insults to me. Bottom line: she resents me. For example, I may complain about having to babysit her kids (which I don't think is fair given that they are hers, not mine) after 3 or 4 days of doing it continuously in a row, and she'll start insulting my personality, like saying I'm too shy, socially awkward, "****ing weird like your father/grandparent/insert someone here" etc. Whenever something good happens to me, like I graduate early or I get my license, she's ticked off at me for no reason and I can see it in her eyes. She thinks I'm selfish whenever something good happens to me, but she spoils my younger siblings rotten and often does it strategically to try to turn them against me.

She's mad with power and extremely controlling. She will NEVER apologize for ANYTHING. Even when she knows she is wrong. Not only with me, but even with my father and siblings around the house. She will literally go days and days at a time giving everyone the cold shoulder and/or picking fights with them until they break in and have to apologize to her just to make peace around the house, and she won't accept anything than a total "I was 100% wrong" apology from anyone. She purposely gets in your face, occasionally hits you, or physically harasses you, and tempts you to use violence in retaliation. Again, another way she tries to demonstrate her complete power over everyone in the house. And she always needs to know where everyone is all the time. If I even go to Church, she needs me to text message her every 15-20 minutes that I'm okay or else she'll kill me when I get home. She even makes my father text or call her whenever he's gone as well (although she has an excuse with him since he's a recovering addict). She won't let me use public transportation or get a ride with my friends because she's paranoid, but will take me instead, and then when she's angry she throws it against me like she's doing me a favor even though she's the one who chooses to do this because of her paranoia.

She has psychological problems. She's like a little girl. She thinks that because she cries and screams she can get anything and everything, and that everyone has to submit to her power. She's paranoid and bipolar; she suffered excessive panic attacks growing up from her mother who was the same way. And well, I hate her. Bottom line. I hate her with a passion. I tore every single photograph I have of me me and her together, burned the Birthday cards she's given me, and smashed every object she's given me that has sentimental value--like this stupid blue heart-shaped box she gave me for Valentines day when I was 5. I have psychological problems too because this isn't healthy tbh and I know it. It isn't healthy that I attempted suicide when I was 12 and never told anyone. It isn't healthy that she's the same as her mom and that if I don't get any help, I'm probably going to be the same way she is to my kids if I ever have any.

I've been secretly getting therapy for myself from a former teacher who's a therapist. But, I want to get therapy with my mom. I know that this is weird, but, as much as I hate her, I still love her and want us to get therapy together so our relationship can improve. But, she'll never go for it. She won't go for it because she refuses to believe that anything is wrong with her. If I even bring it up or suggest that she may want help, she will flip into an emotional rage against me because she'll feel insulted, and I do not want to be on the receiving end of that. My dad won't be any help either because he's practically spineless and wrapped around her finger, and just blindly supports her in everything (even when he knows she's wrong), but can occasionally calm her down and divert her total rage away from me.  I just want to deal with these unresolved feelings I have with my mom together with her, but she'll never go for it.

The fact that I'm moving out this February when I turn 18 with my best friend into a studio apartment makes me want to resolve our issues more so. I don't want to enter adulthood on bad terms with my mother. I want us to resolve our issues, but to her, resolution means submitting to her 100% and taking all the blame.
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« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2013, 05:46:26 PM »

 Sad

I'm so sorry you had to go through all of that James.  There's nothing I can say to you that can compare to any help I can offer to you with what you went through.  Just know that even where there's disagreements in this forum, know that the disagreements do not reflect you as a person, which I am sure I am no where near the strength you brought yourself up to today.

And I also do not know much about your family either, as I am not in any position to judge either side of the story.  But to hear your story is enough to see there's a silver lining in your experience, and that continuing in your path, you will achieve greatness in the Lord.

I just want to comment on your emotional reaction to your mother.  You are human.  It's a very normal thing to show resentment to your mother after all you've been through.  I mean look at the Psalms, and practically all the Old Testament.  It shows a human side of the characters in the Bible, and there's nothing wrong with that.  But in Christ, you are also transcending those human characteristics to show that despite all of this, you still love your mother.

I don't know what to tell you.  Best thing perhaps you could do is discuss with your father confessor and therapist.  In addition to all this, I don't think it's wrong to let your mother know how much you love her and how much you will be ready to be by her side whenever she needs help.  Don't expect a good or emotional answer back.  Instead, unconditionally love her, even if she's rude or snarky.  It shows character in you that you still do care and love her.  Rehab cannot come by suggestion for her it seems.  Instead, live your life as an example to her, and perhaps one day, maybe 10, 20, or 30 years from now, she might finally have an appreciation of your well-being, and start changing because of your Christly life.
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« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2013, 05:52:58 PM »

My advice is to pray, and treat the situation as fragile.  I would try to stay on her good side within reason.

Praying for you
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« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2013, 06:02:27 PM »

Perhaps your mom is going through menopause now. If so, be gentle with her, and perhaps by your good example and prayers, she will change.

Make her some greeting cards and then gift them to her. That will help.

Does she have a computer? If so, then send her a card.

Little acts of kindness go a long way to winning someone's heart.
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« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2013, 06:25:58 PM »

I'm sorry, James.  I'll be praying for you and your mom and family. 

I don't have any advice, really.  I commend you for your strength and willingness to get the help you need: I've known people in similar situations who didn't have as much courage.  If your mom doesn't realise she needs help, she's not going to want to go find it, nor will it help her as much if she's forced to get it.  Pray for her and for yourself, love her, get the help you need, reach out to whomever you need.  As much as possible, try not to rock the boat on your end.  I hesitate to make any other recommendations.   
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« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2013, 06:27:46 PM »

Perhaps your mom is going through menopause now.

At only 33? Doubt it. She's been like this forever.
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« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2013, 10:18:25 PM »

My mother is borderline insane as well, for lack of better words and without going into a lot of detail lets just say mine resembles yours sans the teen pregnancy. I left when I turned 18, moved to Alaska and didn't have much contact for a year. Distance helped because I found she wanted to talk to me because she missed me versus just having me to dump on and freak out at. We still are on rocky terms half the time (almost 10yr later), however it is no where near as bad as before. If she truly thinks she isn't wrong for what she does you are banging your head against the wall when it comes to therapy. I instead worked on myself and have been learning to love the woman who gave birth to me and how to do 'damage control' when it comes to her ways towards me and head off a freak out. I do not have to like those ways, though. Perhaps you could learn to do this with her?

My only advise to you is instead of hating her, take a step back and realize she is a victim of her upbringing. She did not wake up and decide to be like this on the random. Handle her with care but also take care of yourself as well.

I can empathize so much, man.

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« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2013, 11:36:29 PM »

James,

I didn't read the OP. You surely understand I must maintain a certain reputation around here.

That being said. You are in therapy. That is what matters. It is your therapy. Your mother might benefit from therapy. You two together might benefit from therapy together. But first and foremost, concentrate on your own therapy and listen to your therapist.

Common anti-therapeutic behavior is to start trying to drag, well intentioned or not, other people in your life into therapy. Don't.

Concentrate on your therapy.

When you hit University. Before you end that first day, go to psych services and get into therapy.

The. First. Day.

You know I care a lot about you and think you are pretty awesome. And you know what we've have discussed about your situation. Get. to. therapy. Stay. in. therapy.

You are hitting the age in which if there is a family history of organic mental illness it will begin to manifest. Late teens to early twenties can be hell for those with a predisposition toward mental illness and those who have environmental risk factors for mental illness.

You will be in University with new stressors, social expectations, difficulties, etc. Nearly everyone would do well with a coach during that time. You will especially need one. Nearly all University student psych services are pretty straight forward. They are client centered and CBT based for the most part. This is will be great for you.

Don't wait till you absolutely need help. Get the help beforehand.

Don't be me. Please. I wish someone had told me the above at your age and I wish I had your openness and willingness to listen.

You are in therapy. It's yours.

Whatever ambivalent feelings you have toward your mother, well that is OK. Whatever you feel is OK. If you hate your mother and wish she would die. That is OK. Just let your therapist know what is up. You don't have to let others know. Probably best to negotiate what to share and how to share from your work in therapy with your therapist.

Really, I am not a big fan of a lot folks in this world. You are an exception. I would hate to see you have to suffer unnecessarily. You will suffer, so try as much as possible to allow that suffering be toward constructive ends.

That is the best way to help your mother. I know from experience. Therapy and help from others gave me family back I thought I would never have. Even my mother, though she had long since been dead. She was a terribly pained and harmful woman and therapy and the Church help me find my way back to her.

If I can do it, you can. You have been gifted well beyond me in the opportunities you have and have been gifted with a disarming honesty about yourself and your life I wished I had had at your age.

Hang in there. Stay in therapy.

If you ever need anything and I am still breathing, you can always get a hold of me. You know that. And you know that I went through the ringer as a young man.

Nothing you do on this earth will shock me nor make me think less of you. That is a minute consolation perhaps, but it is the only consolation I can offer. So it is yours.

Of course I read your long post. And of course I wanted to make a crack about . . . well nearly everything. But know my heart breaks a little for you and I send this with eyes a little more full with water than they should be.
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« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2013, 11:55:43 PM »

James,

I didn't read the OP. You surely understand I must maintain a certain reputation around here.

That being said. You are in therapy. That is what matters. It is your therapy. Your mother might benefit from therapy. You two together might benefit from therapy together. But first and foremost, concentrate on your own therapy and listen to your therapist.

Common anti-therapeutic behavior is to start trying to drag, well intentioned or not, other people in your life into therapy. Don't.

Concentrate on your therapy.

When you hit University. Before you end that first day, go to psych services and get into therapy.

The. First. Day.

You know I care a lot about you and think you are pretty awesome. And you know what we've have discussed about your situation. Get. to. therapy. Stay. in. therapy.

You are hitting the age in which if there is a family history of organic mental illness it will begin to manifest. Late teens to early twenties can be hell for those with a predisposition toward mental illness and those who have environmental risk factors for mental illness.

You will be in University with new stressors, social expectations, difficulties, etc. Nearly everyone would do well with a coach during that time. You will especially need one. Nearly all University student psych services are pretty straight forward. They are client centered and CBT based for the most part. This is will be great for you.

Don't wait till you absolutely need help. Get the help beforehand.

Don't be me. Please. I wish someone had told me the above at your age and I wish I had your openness and willingness to listen.

You are in therapy. It's yours.

Whatever ambivalent feelings you have toward your mother, well that is OK. Whatever you feel is OK. If you hate your mother and wish she would die. That is OK. Just let your therapist know what is up. You don't have to let others know. Probably best to negotiate what to share and how to share from your work in therapy with your therapist.

Really, I am not a big fan of a lot folks in this world. You are an exception. I would hate to see you have to suffer unnecessarily. You will suffer, so try as much as possible to allow that suffering be toward constructive ends.

That is the best way to help your mother. I know from experience. Therapy and help from others gave me family back I thought I would never have. Even my mother, though she had long since been dead. She was a terribly pained and harmful woman and therapy and the Church help me find my way back to her.

If I can do it, you can. You have been gifted well beyond me in the opportunities you have and have been gifted with a disarming honesty about yourself and your life I wished I had had at your age.

Hang in there. Stay in therapy.

If you ever need anything and I am still breathing, you can always get a hold of me. You know that. And you know that I went through the ringer as a young man.

Nothing you do on this earth will shock me nor make me think less of you. That is a minute consolation perhaps, but it is the only consolation I can offer. So it is yours.

Of course I read your long post. And of course I wanted to make a crack about . . . well nearly everything. But know my heart breaks a little for you and I send this with eyes a little more full with water than they should be.

Thank you Jason; that means very much. I appreciate your help and advice. Therapy really has been a help, regardless of the bad rep it gets from so many people around here. I'm looking forward to getting it at a University someday too.
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« Reply #9 on: November 20, 2013, 11:58:32 PM »

Oh, James... I am so sorry. I had no idea your home life was like that. Anything I'd want to say has already been said, and I don't want to try to say much because this isn't something I have any experience with, so I will say this: I am praying for you. I really mean it. I'm not just saying it to you because that's what people say. I wrote your name down and posted it on my refrigerator, so every time I go to open the door I will see it, and I will pray for you again.
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« Reply #10 on: November 21, 2013, 01:16:29 AM »

I liked Orthonorm's answer.
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« Reply #11 on: November 21, 2013, 11:31:57 AM »

I liked Orthonorm's answer.
+1
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« Reply #12 on: December 12, 2013, 11:25:21 AM »

+++++1

Yes, focus on your own therapy.  Like when you are in an airplane going down for a crash landing, you have to put on your own oxygen mask before you can even think about helping anyone else with their own.


I hate to say it but your mom sounds like my father. Extreme rageaholic who purposely picks fights and antagonizes his victim so he can have an outlet to blow off steam. He even told my mother, when I was in fifth grade, that he hated me (Adela) so much that it made him feel good to hurt me.  Needless to say I spent my childhood and a good part of my adulthood hiding from everything and everybody.  I went through all the "I just have to show him I love him" baloney, and the "If I just explain, maybe he'll stop attacking me...."     

Focus on building yourself up regardless of how she feels/thinks/acts.  Her behavior is not reflective of you and your worth and your abilities, it reflects only on her.   Focus on building up yourself, get out in the world, find stable people to be around. 

 With my father I just cut off completely, once I got married, and I never have been back to my parents house since. I told my mother not to even mention my father to me.  I finally realized I wasn't born to drag their problems along with me through life, it gets old and tiring and there gets a point where you realize that you are really missing out on life when all of your energy is wasted trying to live in such a toxic environment.

I do wish the best for you.....
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« Reply #13 on: December 12, 2013, 11:32:50 AM »

I liked Orthonorm's answer.

Never thought I would say this, but I liked it, too.
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« Reply #14 on: December 12, 2013, 01:39:58 PM »

I liked it too but I'd go nuts if someone said to me anything like this:

Whatever ambivalent feelings you have toward your mother, well that is OK. Whatever you feel is OK. If you hate your mother and wish she would die. That is OK.

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« Reply #15 on: December 12, 2013, 02:21:48 PM »

I liked it too but I'd go nuts if someone said to me anything like this:

Whatever ambivalent feelings you have toward your mother, well that is OK. Whatever you feel is OK. If you hate your mother and wish she would die. That is OK.




Yeah, well, you ain't us. Not everyone comes from the same sorta family. James and I have enough of an understanding in that I think he knows what I mean when I say that.
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« Reply #16 on: December 20, 2013, 02:18:59 PM »

I liked Orthonorm's answer.

Never thought I would say this, but I liked it, too.
+100.

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« Reply #17 on: December 20, 2013, 05:30:37 PM »

Eh, my mother is practically insane and tells me she hates me daily. But I still try to show nothing but love to her. That way, I feel satisfied that I'm doing all I can do, and not making the situation any worse. It's not good to hate your mother, I don't think. I don't think it's ever good to hate. You said yourself she's paranoid and bipolar - and whilst she might not act very nicely to you - she obviously has some issues if she feels it's acceptable to act like that. Whilst you shouldn't be a massive pushover, and whilst it's okay to feel like 'Alright, this is unfair', I don't think you should harbour any resentment, but try speaking calmly to her. If she abuses you, be calm. It really helps ME, at least. When I used to get worked up over my situation, it made it worse, both for me AND her. If she's psychologically unstable, I've learned the hard way that logic and common sense doesn't work. So just be patient. I'm not sure how else to help. But just know that I have at least some empathy. My mother is incredibly selfish, drug abusing, alcohol abusing, she's paranoid, she denounces me because of my faith, and she wishes horrible things on others, playing the victim a lot. But I still love her. And I think that you should see to your own problems first. Because you care about making a difference, and you're the one getting hurt here.

NB: As it's been said before in this thread, mental illness can be heritable, I mean, the reason I have a mental illness is probably due to my mother also having one. So yeah, what's been said before. Focus on your own therapy. Be patient with her. Don't get angry.  

But yeah, basically what Orthonorm said, he's p. cool.
Though I think harbouring hatred isn't good. Let it out in a good way. Calm yourself. Therapy is good.
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