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Emotionally Abusive Mothers

A not so comforting mother....

I've just found your site, and I've got a lot more reading to do, but I had to send in a couple of my invalidating mother's greatest hits. I like to think of her like the mother of Tom & Dick Smothers: she always liked "him" best. Her standard refrain during my marriage was, "Poor John! He has to live with you all the time!"

When I was younger, I had ended a 3-year relationship -- a man I'd planned to marry had given up all contact with his 6-year old son in exchange for reduced child support, he'd met a new woman while working on a summer project in the Caribbean, and the big house we'd bought for the family we'd planned together was up for sale -- my mother's words of comfort were, "Don't get so upset about it. What are you going to do if something really goes wrong in your life?"

My all-time favourite invalidating remark resulted when my (then) husband tossed a tennis ball across the yard -- without aiming -- and it hit me squarely in the eye. He couldn't have done it if he tried. My mother's words of comfort: "Poor John! You probably yelled at him!"

It is truly a blessing to finally be able to see her as irrational instead of trying to figure out what's wrong with me. She prefers to see him on holidays instead of me, but now I prefer it too: maintaining a healthy distance makes it much easier to laugh.

Thank you for your site.