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GoldenSparrow Offline
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I cant tell if im being abused or not - February 23rd 2021, 01:35 AM

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Ever since ive went to live with my mom shes been manipulative and somewhat narcissistic. She would scream at me if i was hungry and ate a big lunch and made me cry a lot and when i came out as trans and then non binary she openly admitted to me that she didn't think i was trans and aways wanted a son. shes also been calling me a waste of time and a total failure while giving me the choice of college or the military while trying to force me to join the navy. I've never been hit or physically abused but i feel like what im dealing with isn't abuse and is simply her trying to be a mom but shes also guilt tripped me multiple times when i hang out with friends or try to go outside she keeps me in. Am I being over dramatic or is this something that is serious? because i cant tell if this is a form of abuse or not. and i feel like if i ran away it would make it worse and make me look like a terrible teenager. I dont feel like i have control over my life anymore and i cant do the things i enjoy cause i feel like my mom just pushes it aside and thinks i shouldn't do it. And now when i look back it feels like she only cares about my grades now more than my mental health and the last time i tried to talk about my emotions she sent me to a hospital because of my anger problems and im scared to tell my friends that my mom sounds bad because she says it will make her look like a bad parent. she doesn't do it daily but its kinda frequent but the fact that i cant tell the difference scares me because I feel like if i confront her sheŽll play victim and act like im not grateful please help because i keep having thoughts about running away and it feels stupid for me to do so.
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Re: I cant tell if im being abused or not - February 23rd 2021, 03:41 PM

Sorry to hear the way that your mom is treating you and how you can't tell if it's abusive or not and wanting to run away but worried about making her look like a bad parent or her playing the victim.

You are right in that it can be difficult to define what is abusive and what is strict concern from parents. Some times parents may not understand us and may think they know what's best for us and as a result, our wants and needs get pushed aside, while we feel we have to comply with them. We can end up feeling upset and frustrated with a lack of control in our own lives, even to the point of wanting to run away. Naturally, we may begin questioning whether we are being abused but also perhaps feel a bit guilty because it could be that such actions may be coming from a place of love and that if we accuse parents of abusive behaviour, we may only end up feeling worse while the parent plays victim and accuses you of not being grateful.

Whether or not your mom is being abusive, it's clear that you are unhappy and your needs aren't being met. When your mom screams at you for being hungry and eating a big lunch, it may be that your mom doesn't understand your hunger as she might not feel the same way if it was her. The same goes for when you came out as trans and non-binary...it's easy for parents to misunderstand us and feel that it's just a phase and disbelieve it, without taking the time to listen and try to understand why you feel the way you do. That said, being called a waste of time and a total failure is harsh and could definitely be seen as verbally abusive. You are neither of those things and I'm sorry you are being told that. It seems like you mom is being a bit of a forceful parent, giving you the choice of college or military while trying to force you to join the navy. I'm wondering what is it that you'd like to do? What are your interests? Is there any particular career that you are interested in? Sometimes parents might feel they have to push decisions on to us as they might see us as being less than capable of making our own choices. But if you have an idea of what you'd like to do, go with that and stick with it. Your mom will have to accept sooner or later that you are your own person and can make your own decisions. If you don't know what you want to do or are struggling with other school related difficulties, you might find it helpful to talk to a careers counsellor or a teacher at school.

I'm wondering why your mom guilt trips you when you want to hang out with friends or go outside and why she tries to keep you in? She might be overprotective of you and worry that spending time with others might influence you in other ways and that perhaps she sees your time as being better spent inside, perhaps doing homework or chores. If this is the case, it might help to try to compromise with your mom- get your chores and homework done first and then you can hang out with friends. Unless you live in an unsafe area or have friends who might be a bad influence, there is little reason for you not to be spending some time outside or with friends.

You aren't being overdramatic but running away may not be the answer either as it may cause more problems for you if things don't work out. Your mom cares about your grades possibly because she wants you to do well and fears about where your life might be heading if you don't have decent grades. That doesn't excuse her behaviour towards you but this might help in realising why she is focused on your grades above everything else. Parents, unfortunately, may not understand mental health or our emotions, especially if they believe that they are trying our best to help us and feel that we are just reacting and not being grateful. In your mom's time, mental health might not have been talked about much and as a result, parents might not understand why we feel the way we do, especially if it's related to the way they are treating us. In your mom's mind, she may not understand why you feel this way and instead feel that it was better to put you in hospital for your anger issues, not realising that the way she is treating you and your lack of control over your own life, may have been at the cause of your anger.

It's understandable you'd feel scared to tell your friends about your mom and it makes sense that your mom would be concerned about looking like a bad parent. It might help to talk to your friends about this though. It can be helpful turning to others for support. You don't have to say that your mom is abusive though, you could just say that some things your mom does really gets to you and then explain it. You may find that others have similar parents. This might be because there are theories out there that explain different styles of parenting, including parents who are strict and seem to focus on grades more than anything. Parenting can be a difficult thing to define as it can differ between cultures, and be influenced by other things such as your parents background (how they were parented) and whether there are underlying issues such as whether your parents have been abused in their childhood, whether they struggle with mental health, substance use or are perhaps undiagnosed neurodivergent such as being autistic (not necessarily abusive but perhaps have a different take on parenting). These factors also make it difficult to say whether something is abusive as it's possible that your mom may not realise the effect that her behaviour is having on you (as opposed to be deliberately hurtful and abusive). However, something doesn't have to be abusive in order to hurt you. Some strict parenting practices might not be classed as abusive but can still affect a persons mental health and wellbeing.

Since running away might not be a good option, it may be best to talk to your friends or other supportive people in your life, or even keeping a diary. You might also want to focus on planning your future- you won't be living at home forever, and many people find that relationships with parents may feel better once they have moved out. So think about what you want your future to look like, for example, what job you want, and try to find ways of working towards these goals. Equally, if not more, important is maintaining a sense of self. Your mom may try to control or influence you but it's important to think about what things are important to you and what your own needs and wants are. Try to compromise with your mom, if you can, and let her know your feelings, if there is a conflict between what she wants you to do and what you want to do. Also, be sure to find time or ways of engaging in your own interests and hobbies. Your mom may not be so keen but while working hard is important in life, so too is having time to relax and do what you want to do.

It's okay to feel the way you do about your mom. It doesn't mean that you are overreacting, dramatic or stupid at all. You might also want to consider talking to a counsellor (perhaps there is one at school?) who can offer a safe environment to listen and discuss your concerns and perhaps help you to be more assertive.

Hope this helps a bit and feel free to keep us updated

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