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trying not to care


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I haven't been posting much lately but I have been "lurking" some to keep up on all of you :(

I had a pretty hard set back this weekend. It's not even something that should be a big deal. I was talking with my mother, which I don't do all that often. She made a comment at one point about how disappointed she was that I didn't do anything successful with my life and that I was a "waste of a life."

OK....she doesn't like me....I get it. But....who talks to people like that?

Here's the crazy part... It sent me back to all those times growing up when she reminded me I was a mistake. I felt the same lonliness and worthlessness. It made the flashbacks come back stronger than ever.

It's so frustrating that she still has that power over me. I don't want to care but good or bad, she's still my mother so I have a hard time cutting off contact even though she'll toss in comments like this every time we talk.

It's hard to describe but it's really put me in a tailspin. Thanks for listening to my rant....

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Heya danni, I'm glad you are still hanging with us. :)

That stuff your mother is doing is seriously twisted:mad:. She must have some pretty strong misery herself to be doing that to you. Be careful about how much you expose yourself to that treatment. It's dangerous because it can split you from yourself. A mother should never be the cause of such a thing, but well, this is not a perfect world. Unfortunately, I know something of how this feels. I cannot be in the vicinity of my parents at all. :(

Take care today danni!

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Hi Danni,

Decades ago I was married to a white woman... and I say white woman b/c her momma was white, her daddy was white, her siblings were white and it just seemed as if everyone in that home was white-- except for me, the darkie or as her brother would say to me: "David, you're the nigger in the woodpile!". And everyone would laugh hysterically as others would make comments about my skin color, the fact that I wasn't a complete man b/c I wasn't an attorney like John, or an anesthesiologist like Samuel or a surgeon like someone else.

Each visit was more painful than the lst and eventually I wasn't visiting them and so soon they decided to visit us since they missed us. And with this visit up crept the color discussion: "Yeah, them negro people just...." and the monologue began. It started in front of my children (who were dark also) and I stopped her midway and said: "Oh no you didn't , you didn't just make that comment in my home... you got to go sister (her mother), all of you got to go now!" Her response was: "Why David, why do you care about them negros, you're just a Mexican!"

And so now I was pissed and stood up and began to yell (something I very rarely ever do) at all of them to leave my house: "No person, not a one of you, will speak this way in my home and in front of my children!" And so they left with my final words--- "...until you control that poisoned tongue, you'll not see any of us again!" Time passed and they began to make overtures and offered an olive branch here and there. I ignored it completely and they struggled more and another olive branch arrived.

After some time, 9 months, we decided to visit on one condition--- no racial slurs, comments, observations, etc. and it was agreed. Mom slipped just once and I packed our bags (with her begging us to stay) immediately and out we went for another year or so. The Olive branches came frequently but I compelled my family to wait it out, which they disliked. Again we were in their home a year later for Xmas and not a word of my ethnicity, my being the "nigger in the woodpile!" my lack of education and anything else color related came up.

My feet changed the dialogue forever in the home. I visit occasionally now, 10-15 years later, to see them since they live near by and am now held in high regard-- seems my color is no longer critical, and I've actually become successful in their eyes.

Understand that I'm no racist at all and hold no anti-white views whatsoever, but the story needed to be told in a way that highlighted the idiocy of the situation and the highly effective solution. Danni, is there such an effective solution you can develop for your situation-- one which spells out the condition for your visiting her in such a way that the message is heard. A short term solution (maybe not as dramatic and bloody as mine) may go a long way to reducing years of agony over immature, insensitive and unnecessary comments that are painful for you and maintain a distance from what could be a more meaningful relationship.

Good luck Danni,


David O.

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Hi Danni, nice to meet you.

Family patterns are so hard to break aren't they! My dad was always like that with me, like he did not know one iota of psychology or how words could hurt. He was too caught up in his own little world ...

I agree with David O, at some point you have to stand up to an insensitive bully like your mom. It's about domination. She makes you more pliable and is in a better position to manipulate you if she can make you feel bad about yourself. It makes her feel superior. Maybe it's even intended to hurt, to punish you for not contacting her enough for example. It's cruel and I can't understand why a parent would do such an insensitive thing! :mad: Of course you don't want to see someone who put you down, who does not understand that!

Once you stand up to it though, affirm your belief that such comments are uncalled for, then she will think twice before doing it again. She may continue trying once in awhile, people like to test boundaries, but once you call her on it, everytime she does it, she will eventually change. She may even develop greater respect for you...

I was in my 30s by the time I had the courage and clarity to face him down, and frankly I had to do over and over for years, and he tried to make me look crazy for doing it, but eventually it transformed our relationship, to the point where we could actually talk as equals and he respected me greatly.

You don't have to be mean or scream your discontent, but telling her that you feel hurt when she says such things to you is not offensive. She may respond that you are taking things the wrong way, but just be firm in the fact that she will not turn this around on you, because she is the one out of line.

My two cents ;)

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Hi Danni!

Oh boy can I relate to this!!!

My dad's favorite thing to say for me when I was a child was "You're worthless and you'll never amount to anything".

I left when I was in my early 20's and never came back. I don't see nor speak to pretty much any of my family, which really hurts... but I just don't see the point!

I don't know. The moral high ground would be to say "Gee ma, that's hurtful" but nowadays I swear I'd probably say (I've been living with someone even more verbally abusive for the last 10 years) "Well if I'm not a success, it's probably because of my mother tearing me down my whole life". :-P Argh!

I'm sorry, I wish I knew better how to help. The worst thing for me is that I went from one verbally abusive home to another!! I hope that doesn't/hasn't happen/ed to you!

I can't imagine a worse thing to say to someone than what your mother has said to you. It's interesting because I often feel that way about myself on my own. Did it come from my father saying that or other things? For the record I did try to make something of myself, but the other things (ADD, Depression, Avoidant Personality Disorder) did not make a recipe for success in this world. But I really try not to beat myself up, I hope you don't either. I did the best I could at the time. I know a lot more/better now, but I'm also a lot older!

Hang in there, Danni! I really sympathize with you. My solution was to cut contact... but it all hurts either way.

Hugs to you!


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It’s simple projection. Your mother is projecting her pain and loneliness and dissatisfaction with life onto you. The best thing you can do is to move away and create a life for yourself elsewhere. If that isn’t possible just now then distance yourself from her as much as you can and refuse point blank to allow her to influence how you feel about yourself. You may need to grow a thicker skin. You also need to know that whatever she is going through it has nothing to do with you. She’s made some mistakes in her life that she has to live with - you are not one of them.

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I wish it was as simple as just severing the relationship....but it's not. I can keep my distance for the most part but I'm unable to just walk away. I know I should.... When I think about all the things that have happened it still makes me sad. From her refusal to allow me to feel good about anything in my life to the beating I got when I tried to tell her about the childhood rapes....it even confuses me why keep going back for more.

there's some contact with my family I still have to have due to owning some of the farmland that they farm but that shouldn't mean I need to listen to these opinions.

Unfortunately, I think there's still a part of me who hopes that someday she'll realize I'm her daughter and change her mind. I know....wishful thinking and probably totally unrealistic.

I guess I need to figure out how to toughen up......

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Um, wouldn't you being a land-owner (of the land they need!) count against the opinion that you've wasted your life?

Maybe it's not skin thickness that you need, exactly. What you might need is freedom from agreeing with their assumptions. The reality we see appears to differ significantly from the one you see. Maybe that's a point of attack, in solving this problem.

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Guest ASchwartz

Hi Danni,

Wow, what a "nice mother" you have:D In fact, with a mother like that you do not need any enemies. :)

Clearly and without joking, she is an emotionally abusive woman. You need to protect yourself from her. Protecting yourself from her has to do with a lot more than not talking to her. It means not thinking like she does. Now, as an adult, your danger is believing the things she says to you and said to you from childhood. The little voice in your head that tells you mean things about yourself is really her voice.

Now, the idea is the erase that type that keeps running in your head, her tape, and make a new recording filled with positive things about yourself.


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