View Full Version : I don't know if I'm being emotionally abused...(nothing to do with my lupus)

09-20-2012, 01:42 PM
Hey all,
I am 23 years old (or at least I will be next month), and I am still living at home and going to school. I'm living at home because my school is 20 minutes away only, and I have lupus (it has gotten worse for the past 2 years). My mom and older sister have it too...and my dad has cancer, and my younger sister has autism...

I know my mom loves me dearly, but sometimes (ok, A LOT of the time) I question it because of the way she talks to me, and lecture me. I get so depressed. It gets bad that I scratch myself with my nails when she is in the middle of yelling at me or lecturing me. When she lectures, she goes on and on and on. Usually it's about cleaning the house (she is a total neat freak, it comes from growing up with maids in the Philippines, and being a flight attendant for 10 years...) or managing money. I know it's because when I move out and get married, she wants me to be a good homemaker (in addition to being a career woman...I'm in college pursuing graphic design and minoring in art), and sometimes she says, "You think Cecilio (my boyfriend) is sweet to you right now? Wait until you get married, he is going to get sick of you and lose his patience if you can't manage a home right!" and I know she wants me to not get in debt like we did a while ago. I don't know, it's just the way she says things makes me feel like there is something wrong with me...like on Sunday, I was drawing for my homework, and some parts of my room were pretty messy and I didn't make my bed all the way. My floor got kinda stained with charcoal, and she blew up at me, saying, "I don't want to say you're hopeless...but..." or "you're living like a pig! How are you going to do well in school if..." and I just couldn't take it anymore and went downstairs and cried to my dad.

Hold on, I'm getting a little teary typing all of this...I'm sorry...

He comforted me, and said, "It's ok, I will always be there for you. I love you so much" and hugged me a little bit. He understands because she talks to him that way too, lecturing and nagging and stuff. Then she got pissed that I went to him. Eventually we made up, but what's said has been said and it still hurt. I eventually got over it hours later.

Then yesterday, I got a call from a museum for the job position I applied for last week, and we scheduled for me to come in this Friday. I hung out with Cecilio after school, and we can only hang out during the weekdays because he works Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and plus we live half an hour away from each other (he lives in Davis, graduated from UC Davis this year, and I am currently going to Sacramento State) and we only see each other 1-2 times a week. When I went home, she found out that I had that interview (I told my dad, and he told her), and she kept lecturing me how I needed to get prepared physically, to dress presentably, get my nails, done, etc. common sense and I already knew that. But the way she said it made me feel like I was stupid and didn't know about that. Then she says that I spend way too much time with Cecilio, even though we hardly see each other, especially because I am back in school. She always says I spend too much time with him. I told her, "I am not going to go to the interview like this (I was wearing shorts, a casual blue cardigan and a t shirt)" and she got mad, and said, "oh my God..." and there was silence. She helped me pick out an outfit, which I am really thankful for. I know that I need to look presentable and neat if I want to get the job. I've had job interviews before.

I feel really bad about saying all this stuff because I know she does love me, but a lot of times I don't feel it. She provides food, shelter, clothes, hell she even has to drag me to get manicures! When we live really comfortably, like upper middle class. So sometimes I feel like I don't have the right to complain. She lets me borrow her car to school, and it is a 2004 5-series BMW. So in a way, I am a bit spoiled (I hate admitting it though). She even says I'm a spoiled brat, how I've had it so easy in my life compared to her and my other peers (she never fails to remind me that other 23 year olds have moved out, graduated college, are living independently...and that when she was 18, she was already working full time and taking care of my grandpa who had a major heart attack at the time...). She says I should toughen up because the real world is going to be extremely tough. I know that. I'm not naive to think that the world is going to be peachy.

She has done this to my older sister too. My sister, who is 36 got married at 19 because she couldn't handle being lectured and scolded at all the time. So lately, she and I have been getting closer, and whenever I have a spat with my mom, I text my sister, Cecilio, or vent on twitter and tumblr.

I hate to say these things about her. It makes me feel terrible because she has done other stuff for me. But when she gets really angry, I feel so depressed and that I am a loser, and sometimes I wonder if I should just kill myself to see who would care. It's been getting worse. I don't know if it's because she got a new job in 2009 where she completely works from home, so she notices these things around the house more and gets upset at me and my dad more often. I know she is also probably extremely stressed out from work (the healthcare industry is tough), is the primary breadwinner and she is the one who manages all the bills and money, in addition to helping with my dad because of his cancer...he is still able to drive and do errands by himself though, he's really strong despite all the radiations and chemotherapies. I guess she also has to worry about my younger sister (the one with autism), even though my dad is the primary caregiver (he used to have a career too but quit to take care of her for 8 years), and with my older sister getting a divorce.

Then another time last year, she found out that I was going to take a little bit longer in school, and she got upset, and sometimes it seems like she pressures me because of the way she says it. I told her I got held back because my lupus has gotten worse, and because of my dad's cancer diagnosis! When he was newly diagnosed, he had to be in the hospital and I was the one running errands and taking care of my sister, so school took a backseat! Also I am still trying to get into the graphic design program! Then at the end of last year, I got EXTREMELY stressed out from studies, feeling like my family is pressuring me, self-doubts about the graphic design program, doubts about finishing school, depression from my lupus, that in December I just completely snapped and had a stroke and seizure (although I heard that it's not uncommon with lupies), and was taken to the hospital. I was unconscious for 3 days. Because I had a seizure, my license got suspended for 8 months and it's only been recently that I started driving again. Yup. There was a bleed in my brain that affected my speech, and I had to go to speech therapy the whole month of January. I also had to take a semester off from school too.

I'm sorry if this is so long...I just need a support group, and to vent...I always talk to Cecilio, and he is really sweet and caring, and he says he will ALWAYS be there for me and that I can always come to him...but I need a support group too...also, writing helps me let out all my emotions...so yeah...that's about it...

09-20-2012, 02:51 PM
Well, it certainly sounds like you are not in a good place with your relationship with your mom.

First - if you are really depressed and truly feeling worthless and/or that you might harm yourself, YOU NEED TO TALK TO SOMEBODY WHO IS A PROFESSIONAL. Call your local crisis center, call your doctor, a clergy member, even a professor. Don't mess around. Yes, you have some difficult family dynamics to deal with, but also Lupus can mess with your brain and make you depressed as well - you may need some medication to control that. Or it could also be after-effects from the stroke/bleeding....sometimes people experience effects many months after the event. In any case, you should mention your feelings to your doctor.

As far as labeling this "abuse", I am not qualified to say. I am a mom, and I can understand the anxiety and responsibility mothers feel to make sure their kids have the tools they need to be self-supporting and successful in life. Your mom probably feels that burden very acutely with so many people in the family who are sick and/or dependent on her. That is NOT to excuse her belittling or berating you - but sometimes it helps to figure out where things are coming from, emotionally. It makes it a little less personal - I'd bet a lot of what she says is not really about YOU - it's about her not trusting the world to treat you right, and wanting to know you're in good shape to deal with it all. Sometimes love comes out in a very misguided way. :-(

If it's really intolerable, maybe you do need to find another place to live - you are an adult and it's your right to do that. No answer is easy.

I am glad you have people to love and support you - your dad, your boyfriend, etc.

Take care of yourself - stress is a big trigger for Lupus, so make extra sure you are resting, seeing your doc, and taking any medications as prescribed.

And of course you can come vent here!

09-20-2012, 03:53 PM
Venting is good for you, 'cause you *think* out loud, and don't do what I used to, which was to say things to my parents, that would ocassionally result in an "adverse reaction" from my dad, which would usually cause me to fall to the floor (or down the porch steps) with a black eye. My dad and I are good friends now that I don't live anywhere near where he does. Same with my mom. However, you should - my opinion - "stake out your territory" and tell your mom how you feel when she taks to you like that. The best thing to do is consult with a "professional" (someone trained, whether free or paid), like sleepy suggests, and learn "communication techniques" so that you can talk with your mom about the way she approaches the situations you encounter. What she does now is technically a form of abuse. However, your mom may have been raised that way, and to her, it's "normal". My dad thought a good sock in the face was discipline, 'cause that's what he got. A good, constructive talk might help. If your mom is like mine, she definitely wants the best for you, and wants you to succeed in life. She might also be concerned about your choice of boyfriend (I know my folks were concerned with my choices in girlfriends), and doesn't express it as such. Another thing to remember is the lupus you're surrounded by. You can usually feel how it affects you, and your mom is possibly likewise affected. Not to say it's the correct way to handle things, but I get *very* grumpy at times, and my wife has to remind me to "slow down, he's just a twelve year old..." on my boy. It's very easy to nitpick and lose your temper when you feel like $#!^, ya know? It'd be nice if your dad could help there with better communications with your mom, but he probably thinks that "silence is golden" and causes fewer conflicts. You are in a tough situation living in your parents' house. It's their house, their rules, after all. Are you paying anything for "rent" to them? my poor brain... I've read your post twice now, and can't seem to remember if you said you had a job, or if you're full-time at school... So there's "suck it up" and go with the status quo, find some money (and some support) and move out, or find a way to express your feelings to your mom, in a manner that she doesn't blow up at, and go from there... Best of luck, and we'll be praying for all of you.

09-23-2012, 02:03 PM
I'm not defending your mother for talking to you the way she does, but you did say she also has lupus. You mentioned all the stress you have had with your lupus and school etc, try to remember your mom has a lot of stress factors going on in her life and she has lupus also. Its not easy being a Mom, especially with lupus, being the breadwinner, your husband having cancer, and children with various health issues. A mom never stops being a mom, so she probably at times still thinks of you as her little girl and feels she needs to discipline you for a messy room and worry about you and your school work and health. I'm sure she loves you. I can't help but wonder if she is venting the best way she knows how. If at all possible it would be great if your family, especially you and your mom, could seek professional help to deal with lupus and stress. I hope things improve for all of you..take care,

09-23-2012, 03:18 PM
This breaks my heart! This really is a stressful situation for everyone in your family. I am not condoning anything you mom said to you but I have to feel bad for her too. You need to remember she is sick too but she hasn't been able to rest herself because she needs to be the breadwinner and support for your family. Obviously what she says does hurt you and none of us here can tell you if your being emotionally abused. We are just reading some key instances you shared with us so no one can judge weather or not she is because we don't see or talk to you daily about what is going on. I really do hope things get better and I do believe she does mean well and does love you. I know when i'm tired and sick but can't rest because I have more important things to do I take out my anger on others. I say things I don't really mean, become really snappy to people especially my family, and half the time I don't realize I am being rude. So please remember this and how you feel when your stressed. Also I know it helps a lot to just vent out your frustration to an outside party so please feel free to talk to us on here.
I do understand emotional abuse. My father, who I haven't talked to in over 4 years, was like that. Constantly twisted my words and used them against and made sure he was was right about everything. Constantly said horrible things about my mother in front of me and basically pitted my twin and I against one another. When my twin told him about my lupus when I first got sick, I wasn't really talking to him at the time, he made her give me the phone and proceeded to inform me that I was faking and then told me being sick was all my mothers fault I just hung up on him and hadn't had a decent conversation with him since. Those words and situations hurt and have scarred me. It took my sister a lot longer to realize the same thing I realized at the age of 14 when I hung up on that phone call that this man was incapable of loving anybody other than himself and that did hurt and I still deal with that to this day. I am telling you this because I do believe your mom loves you, cares for you, and is generally cares about your life and what you do with it. No one is perfect and obviously the situation isn't healthy. I hope you two will be able to find to peace and like everyone else wrote talking to a professional might help.