I have had a volatile relationship with my mother for as long as I can remember. She constantly tells me I am fat, harps on my weight and looks, and makes quips at my expense at family functions.
I cannot talk directly to my mother about our problems; she laughs in my face and calls me “oversensitive”.
Recently I discovered that my mother may have Narcissistic Personality Disorder (NPD). I am not sure if you are familiar with this disorder, but from what I have read, it cannot be fixed because the person does not think anything is wrong with them (YOU are the problem).
I am tired of feeling like everything is my fault. I say “sorry” all the time, even when I didn’t do anything. I want to go therapy, but I have no idea how I would even be able to afford it. I cannot not move out yet; I am still saving money to do so. She is my worst nightmare. What do I do?
Dear Abandoned Daughter,
Are you familiar with Al-anon? This is a wonderful, free program for learning how to cope with the difficult people in your life, even if they are not alcoholics. If you have never been to a meeting, I suggest you check it out. If it is not for you, then no harm done.
In general, it is very difficult to deal with people who don’t know where they end and where you begin. You are your mother’s daughter, but you are also an independent person. You deserve to be treated with respect. And boundaries really are the way to go. You have to be firm when you let people know how you want to be treated, and what the consequences will be if they do not listen. If you join Al-anon, it will teach you how to react to someone who lacks proper boundaries, and teach you how to set your own. You can also pick up useful skills by reading self-help books.
You are going in the right direction by asking for help. Please know that you do not have to be held hostage emotionally by your mother any more. Good luck to you!
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