Mother Is Crazy and Contradictory

Updated on October 12, 2014
A.Q. asks from Bellevue, WA
24 answers

My mother had me in high school. She didn't want to have me but she didn't want to get rid of me either. She had no ambitious career plans or goals in life at all. She hated the father.

She told me the father wanted to abort me so he could keep having sex with her (real self-esteem boost mom). She also told me a lot of horrible things like how I was conceived (on a couch in her parent’s living room but she was angry because her own parents were home and didn’t stop them??), how my father would come into her room at night by climbing up the building (again if she didn’t like it she could call the cops), and how the other high school kids would threaten to tell everyone she was a lesbian if she didn’t sleep with them. The list goes on.

When she told me all these horrible things she didn’t even care about how it might hurt my self-esteem as a child.

My grandparents offered full financial and emotional support for us - they lived with us and paid half of all the bills and all of my diapers etc. Despite all of the support my mother was still stressed and insane much of the time.

A lot of my childhood memories consist of her completely going insane (screaming, yelling, swearing, worrying, and anxiety) over small daily annoyances such as traffic, household chores, shopping trips, and running through ‘what ifs’ unnecessarily.

She would also scream and yell at her elderly father because he forgot to do something. She would scream and yell about how she wanted us all gone so she could live her life (despite all the support). Conversely, she would immediately come home after work every single day to spend time with us instead of pursuing a life.

When I was 15 I did a lot of extracurricular activities and met others my own age from different high schools. I noticed something painfully obvious: all these other kid's parents had lives of their own and let their teenagers have their own lives as well. It really scared me and upset me that my mother was such a cling-on and didn't have her own social life because I was planning to move away for university so I was quite aloof towards her and she went hysterical because I didn't want to spend tones of time with her.

She would also do things with me that were not age-appropriate. She would want to do full-body cuddle with a 16-year old?? It bothered me and she would lash out when I didn’t want to do it.

Instead of helping me pick out universities in high school the only advice she could offer was to not have kids or get pregnant. I really resented her over that. She also harassed me to move out when I finished high school. I did and she went hysterical after 6 months of me being in university.

Needless to say, I got the hell out of there after high school and went to a university a 5 hr drive away. I didn’t look back and it bothered her. Now that my grandparents have passed and she finally got what she wanted (to live alone as an adult) she wants me to live nearby. It’s unlikely I’d be able to find work there.

She has never had a boyfriend and she doesn’t have an active social life. She makes excuses such as: her house isn’t big enough, she needs to renovate the house first, it’s too expensive, it doesn’t fit into her schedule etc.

Also, before my daughter was born she would go on about how shitty and smelly babies are and how kids are expensive and she doesn’t want me to have more than one etc. etc. But after she met my daughter she wants to see the baby all the time and loves her and wants us to come visit more often???

Whenever I try to clear the air and express my feelings about the past she goes insane. Then she does something else that bothers me and I can't talk about it and the cycle continues.

What do you make of this crazy, contradictory person??

What can I do next?

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So What Happened?

Thanks for all of the advice. I posted all of this to get an outside opinion of things instead of the opinions of people involved. I will go to a counselor.

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answers from Reading on

Theresa wins the internet today for making me do an Airplane related spit take.

Seriously, this isn't a question. This is a vent. You need therapy. You cannot change another person. If any of this is true, that sucks, but what do you want to hear? all you can control is you. Get therapy. There is nothing for us to answer.

11 moms found this helpful

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answers from Las Vegas on

Sweetie, I'm saying this will all the kindness I have in my heart: PLEASE find a great therapist and deal with these issues before they ruin your life, your marriage, and severely impact your family.

You are too wrapped up in your mother's illness, and it's starting to become your illness. You can't fix your mother, no matter how much you try to talk it out with her, no matter how much you love her, no matter what you do or how you try to please her. She is not likely to change, and if that is to ever happen, she must do the work to make that happen. Not you.

You are not responsible for her happiness or her well-being. Only she can do that for herself by seeking help from a mental health professional. So just stop with all this trying to figure her out and trying make her happy. It's not going to happen.

Instead, please ask your primary care physician for a referral to an experienced therapist. You've found a way to to become an educated, productive member of society. Now you need to find a way to become an authentic, psychologically mature person who is emotionally independent from your mother and to create the interpersonal boundaries needed to keep
others' psychological dramas from becoming your issue.

Do this for you and for the sake of your family before you make any other major life decisions and before you lose any more of your precious time. Life is full of stuff we can't control, and her issues are one of those things. Life is way too short for this.

Sincere wishes that you get the help you need to get on with your life.

J. F.

19 moms found this helpful


answers from Columbia on

I think you are a daughter of a mother with narcissistic personality disorder. I think you desperately need to stay the hell away from her, because being closer to her physically will create an unhealthy, enmeshed relationship and you'll be miserable. I think you desperately need professional counseling to help you to unpack all this stuff so that you can move forward in a healthy way and figure out where she ends and you begin.

You cannot cure her. Her behavioral health disorder is not your fault. And telling her that she has NPD won't make a bit of difference. I'm sorry. You simply have to learn how to place strong, healthy boundaries, and stay away from her as much as possible. Please, get counseling. There's nothing wrong with calling a tow truck to help you get your car out when you're stuck. In a way, you're emotionally stuck in this situation. Call a counselor and let them be your tow truck so you can drive on.

Here's a very helpful page for you to look over. You'll find yourself nodding a lot in agreement.

12 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

A., at this point you need to take these questions off Mamapedia and get some serious help with a counselor. Every post is another version of the same problem - your mother is a mess and you are so wrapped up in her you can't see straight.

I'm deeply concerned for you but I'm quite worried about your daughter. She needs a mother who has a healthy view of motherhood. She needs someone who can get past the damage done so it's not passed on. I'm concerned that you will fill your daughter with obsessive thoughts and guilt and inappropriate remarks because this was done to you and you don't know any better. You know it's wrong, but you don't know how to stop the obsessive thoughts.

We cannot do for you what you need - you need a professional to help you sort this out. By continuing to post these vents, you are delaying doing anything about your situation. In fact, some of the responses here are getting a bit harsh because you are starting to sound like those people who get on this site and don't want any help, they just want attention. If you don't want to be that sort of person, don't be. Get help. We've already given you plenty of advice about how to find a good counselor who takes your insurance.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Atlanta on

I'm noticing a pattern here... your posts all come back to your mother and a toxic relationship with her. I can understand where you are coming from--my mother has life-long trauma from her childhood and can behave pretty crazily. When I was in my twenties, I realized that growing up in a crazy household had affected me and decided that I needed to figure out what I was doing as well as how to change it. I did that through participating in self-help groups, individual therapy, group therapy, and a religious community. Those things worked pretty well for me--not perfect, however a whole lot better, and I have hope that I will not pass on those patterns to my children. Remember, you can affect your child too, and it's your responsibility to learn how to raise her well.

I do assure you that if I had tried to get better by posting messages on an internet board, it would NOT have helped me figure out the problems and possible solutions. Your pain comes from interacting with a crazy-making person on a regular basis, and I believe the only cure is by interacting face-to-face with someone/people who will help you find a different path. That means therapy or whatever place where you'll start learning new ways to see and respond to the world. An online board is not that place, unfortunately.

Wishing you good luck.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Portland on

What I make of this crazy, contradictory person is that she's been as deeply damaged by her upbringing and life experiences as you probably have been. The strategies she's employing in an attempt to meet her very deep emotional needs are very poor strategies, and she can't see how disturbing they are to you. She simply can't, and unless she gets serious counseling to help untie the emotional knots that she's tied up in, she most likely won't ever change. She simply won't be able to.

I suspect you are tied up in many of the same knots. You are trying some of the same strategies your mom is employing – trying to (or at least desperately wishing to) change the other person to meet your own needs. Sweetheart, it won't work. You cannot change other people; it's hard enough to change yourself.

Get the professional help you need, or you will unknowingly continue feeding the cycle of dysfunction, and quite possibly pass on your own problems to your daughter. YOU have the opportunity to break this awful cycle. Get help; good counselors are available everywhere. If cost is an issue, check with your county's mental health services, which may be available on a sliding scale.

My mom is quite a lot like yours, in her need to wring admiration and affection from her 4 daughters, in her absolute need to control us as if we are puppets she can bend to her will. I was well into my 30's before I realized she will never be anyone else than this toxic mother to me. She is hell-bound by her beliefs, which are rooted in the unfortunate circumstances of her own birth and upbringing.

But I got some help, and I will tell you, it made all the difference. I was finally able to stop trying to be the "obedient little girl" my mother demands, and find healthier means of meeting my own emotional needs.

This is ongoing work, some 30 years later, partly because we live next door, partly because my mom is becoming pretty senile and there is still some small part of me that hopes she will someday recognize and love me for who I am. But that's not realistic. So I am doing my own healing, which at this stage means carefully limiting the amount of contact we have. When I do this successfully, I experience less distress. This disappoints my mother, of course, but over the past 30 years she has slowly learned to accept my distance.

Stand back and look at your situation, A.. You may be able to see that your mom's need to control you has created in you a need to control her, to make her different/better/more loving. It doesn't work when your mom expects more from you than you can give, and it doesn't work when you expect more from your mother than she can give. Find a counselor who can help you let it go, so you can find your most authentic self.

I wish you every success.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

And this is why I only talk to my mom once or twice a year.
Just because someone gave birth to you doesn't make them a parent.
Move on and live your life, without guilt.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Phoenix on

You already asked a few days ago about what to do about your crazy mom. You were given good advice. Most of it being to get counseling yourself and to distance yourself from her. The world is full of crazies, you don't have to hang out with them. Good luck.

11 moms found this helpful


answers from Albany on


Stop with the Internet Attention Seeking.

If you have such a firm grasp on how abusive your mother is, why are you asking us?

So, "what do I make of this crazy, contradictory person"? I can make a tie, I can make a hat, I can make a brooch....

If all of your questions are your actual life, and you're so clinical about its description, than you already know mental illness is inherently genetic, and you are already showing signs, so, wait, who's contradictory?

Get real help, okay? If your story is true, it could take a whole team of professionals to help you be a better mother than she was.


11 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

A., what we make of her means exactly nothing.

Please. Please. Please. Get to a therapist, now. Not later, not next week, now.

This is your third post I've read and each one comes back to mom being toxic for you. Please use the time you're posting and use it instead to call your insurer and primary care doctor and get the ball rolling on serious therapy. Not a few visits -- long-term, ongoing therapy. You have a child of your own. For your child's sake, you need to get your mom out of your head once and for all, but posting here seeking affirmation won't truly do that.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Miami on

Get a therapist and don't live anywhere near her.

10 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

You tacked a meaningless question on the end of a long rant.


Can't you just write in a journal if you refuse to talk to a therapist?

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Los Angeles on

If you were able to objectively look at your mothers life, you might be able to feel some compassion for what she's gone through. It sounds to me like her main goal might have been making sure you didn't have the same type of life she has had. It sounds like she has a lot of pain sacrifice and disappointment in her life. She made a choice and she stuck to it.
I doubt any choice of husband or boyfriend would've met well with your approval anyway.
You seem hellbent on making her mental illness about you.
It's not, you know.
It's about her.
You don't "have" to do anything she wants or suggests.
You're an adult.
With a child.
What you need to do is talk to someone so that you can move forward.
Because when you dwell on the past you stay stuck where you are right now.
Do you really want to be having the same issues in five years or 10 years?
20 years or 30 years?
If not then you need to deal with your past and your mother.
A therapist could really help you.
You don't need to convince Internet strangers that your mother was a horrible person.
You need to learn that you are not responsible for your mother's actions or mental illness.
And that her life does not reflect directly on you.
Good luck!

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on

sweetie, you've got issues, and no surprise. i'm sorry you lost the mom lottery, and am very glad you've got great g-rents.
now in order to break the cycle and not have your daughter writing this exact same post in 17 years, you need to figure out how to disassociate. you know your mom is a basket case, yet you are spending so much energy chewing on your hopeless relationship with her. that's not a criticism- it's a tragedy that this is all you had, but we have to handle the hand we're dealt. you need to learn how to let go of having any sort of normal mom/daughter relationship, how to stop hoping/expecting for your mom to change, how to move forward and stop obsessing about your genuinely sucky childhood. if that's what's taking up all the space in your brain, there's nothing left to create a healthier happier experience for your own child.
you need to get a good counselor and learn to rebuild your life. do it now.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from St. Louis on

This is even more odd than your other questions.

I find it a whole lot of creepy maladies of the brain when someone creates another profile to answer their own question as you did with your last question. I mean you didn't mention a sister and "Sophia" has the exact same writing style as you do.

If you are a troll, go away, if you are seriously in this much trouble please find a good psychologist. You really need someone to talk to.

8 moms found this helpful


answers from Washington DC on


Riddle me this - what is it you are looking for? One post you are hesitant/scared to leave your mom for a different country - almost acting like you two are best friends - but NOW? NOW you are making her out to be the wicked witch of the west...

Do we think your mom is toxic? Probably. However, we haven't heard HER side of the story. Was what she said to you WRONG? Most certainly.

Is your mother a "happy" person? No. It doesn't sound that way.

So you want to clear the air - okay - what is it you expect from this? For her to break down crying and telling you that she was a horrible mother and wants to change? Or do you want an apology?

To be honest with you? If you are looking for an apology. You aren't going to get an apology from her. Your mom with like several people I know. You are the reason for their anger. You are the reason for whatever is wrong in their life and guess what? You have to take the blame for it. Because they are NOT rational. **THEY** might think they are rational, but they aren't.

You need to make a decision. Do you want your mother in your life or do you not? If the answer is NOT - then you need to stand your ground and cut her from your life. Will it be easy? No. But if you are looking for a better way of life - then cutting her out is going to be the way to do it.

I would strongly suggest counseling for you so you can work through the issues you have. I can't imagine having a mother like that. It blows my mind when I read about other people's stories and I thank my lucky stars that I had an AWESOME mom and makes me appreciate what I had in my mom so much more.

This is a decision ONLY YOU can make.
No one can force you to make it.
No one can make it for you.
This is one decision where you are going to have to put on your big girl panties and find out what YOU want to do and what YOU want in your life. Others can give advice. Others can state what they would do. But ultimately, this is YOUR life and YOUR decision.

Good luck!

7 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Toxic person. Just because someone gives birth to a person doesn't make them a mother. Therapy for you so you can deal with this stuff. Don't even bother trying to talk to her about it. If you choose to spend time around her because she has a healthy relationship with your daughter, that's fine. Treat her like a person you know that just happens to be your mother and just be polite. But I wouldn't feel comfortable leaving your daughter alone with her. And if she is toxic around your daughter, then stop. Your daughter doesn't need the drama.

6 moms found this helpful


answers from Dallas on

Is this the mother in one post you wrote about because you were thinking of a move to Ireland and you did not want to move so far from her and take her grandchildren?

Is the is mother you wrote about in another post where you called a spinster and spewed hate toward her.

A., we are not trained counselors here and you need a lot of help from a trained counselor. If you don't get yourself some help, then Suz is correct...... we'll be reading posts from your daughter and how she describes you as the crazy one.

Take care of YOURSELF and your family. If your mother is truly that toxic, then cut her out of your life before you go crazy all by yourself trying to figure her out. Face it, she is a loser, she can't be figured out... cut the tie and move on.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Norfolk on

Seriously - WHY do you have anything to do with her?
The definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
Her lack of social life is not your problem - who knows?
Maybe she's a closet lesbian who could never came to terms with it and so shuns everyone.
Why do you even contact her?
There's no WAY she can ever be a positive influence in your life and do you really want your daughter near anyone who might start treating her the same way your Mom treated you?
Pretend she's dead and get some therapy to get over your mother relationship issues.
The issues will color your relationship with your daughter sooner or later.
There's only so long you can deal with this before YOU become the additional crazy contradictory person in this relationship with your mother.
If you keep going back for more insanity - it's to a point where you are doing this to yourself and I have little pity for people who shoot themselves in the foot and cry 'why me?' all the time.
So END IT and move forward.

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Chicago on

Your mother sounds mentally ill.

You sound like you have I a lot of resent built up towards your mother about how she parented you.

But honestly, it sounds as though her mental health issues greatly interfered with her parenting abilities and her relationship skills, and this has left you confused, angry, and unsure how to handle her.

You have a right to your feelings, and the best way to manage them would be to find a licensed therapist and talk about them. It will also give you the opportunity to understand mental illness and adjust your expectations of your mother so you can have a more realistic relationship with her.

Best of luck to you

5 moms found this helpful


answers from Houston on

I have read your past posts about your Mother. There seems to be a lot going on between you two. Do not move near her. I would put up boundaries with her but I think you need to talk to someone who can help you do that. There is a lot of trauma in your past that I think you need to work it all out in a safe environment. You are not going to get what you want from your mom.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

She doesn't seem so crazy to me. I too was not looking forward to being a grandmother, but the moment I saw that baby, it was a whole new ball game.

What I get from your post is that you really don't care for your mother; you have not taken the time to really think about her, or her challenges in life; you dearly love your grandparents.

You need to work through your issues with your mother. They will haunt you as you are trying to raise your own child. What you've posted here is your mother's life as seen through the eyes of a child (you) with no life experience. I am sure there were MANY things you were not made aware of, as it should be. Quit judging your mom; try to accept that she did the best she could; open your heart; move forward.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Oklahoma City on

Please understand that she's mentally ill. She is way too attached to you and your best reward for yourself is to lose your phone for a week and then at the end of that week sit down and take stock of how you feel.

That's what life without her is going to be like.

It will be better.

3 moms found this helpful


answers from Boston on

Ignore the mean posts from some of these mamas.

No, you are not crazy. You are a human who seems very trusting and open. Find an older woman at church or work who will take you under her arms. I wish you luck.

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