Issues with my mother — The Bump
Toddlers: 24 Months+

Issues with my mother

Hello. This is a total vent and not related to the board topic but I need to talk to someone. Ever since I was little my mother has had a huge problem with my weight. For her, it's not just concern about my health; it seems she has a real issue with overweight people in general. She's simply disgusted and ashamed of me to the point where she is visibly uncomfortable by me and flinches if I touch her. I feel really stupid being affected by how she treats me seeing as I am 33; I should be adult enough to not let her get to me. She watches my daughter 3 days a week and is great with her.Tonight when I picked her up my mom went on a rampage, screaming at me that I'm so overweight I won't make it to 40; that if I never lost weight for her (meaning herself) she thought I would have lost weight to be there for my daughter and not leave her an orphan. For her to insinuate that I do not love my daughter, at least not enough to lose weight, really bothers me. I adore my daughter. I do not think that is how a concerned person speaks to another - screaming and berating, as if angry and not concerned. I am aware that I am significantly overweight. It bothers me. I am concerned about my overall health. I do want to lose weight and be healthy. But being constantly harassed about it does not help. Then again, my mother also does this to my sister - telling her that her husband (who adores her) is going to leave her because she's overweight (she also told her he would never marry her, and yet he did ha!). She constantly harasses and demeans us about our weight and I have no idea why she thinks it's helpful in any way. I just feel so hurt that she would throw my love for my daughter in my face. Sometimes when she screams at me that I'm going to die or get diabetes or high blood pressure or kidney failure - I feel like she's almost jinxing me - and that a part of her is wishing these horrible things on me so she can say "I told you so - I warned you if you didn't lose weight this would happen." I think my mother loves me, in some weird way- I mean, I love her, even though she hurts me - so she probably loves me even though I'm such a horrible thing to look at. Any thoughts are welcome - I really just needed to get this out there. 

Re: Issues with my mother

  • Honestly, that sounds like emotional abuse and I encourage you to seek professional help for how to move forward in your relationship with your mother. I wouldn't have a relationship with anyone who treated me that way and wouldn't allow them around my child. 

    I totally agree. I couldn't have a relationship with someone who treated me this way even if it was my mother. It's very sad that she feels the need to berate you. Have you told her how she makes you feel? I would tell her if she can't keep her comments to herself then you can't have contact with her.
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  • I agree 100% with @DaisyBlinks. There is no way that I would let someone so cruel, hurtful, and unhelpful be a part of my life, and especially a part of my child's.

    Did she say (/scream) these things to you in front of your daughter? How terrifying it must be for your little girl to be fed these fears of losing her mommy. Also unhealthy to hear such body-shaming, etc., and especially horrible if she witnessed your mother screaming this at you.

    This is not how we treat other human beings. What a terrible example this sets for your daughter, and how confusing and emotionally traumatizing. If your daughter witnessed this interaction or any like it, I might think she could benefit from talking to someone about it.

    I am all about second chances and giving people the benefit of the doubt, but this sounds beyond destructive and if I were you, I would be looking into counseling for myself and my daughter, and I'd be distancing myself from Grandma.

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  • She did scream at me in front of my daughter, but she's only 2 years old. My 1 year old niece was also there - I was carrying her actually - when I was attacked with all this. She's very loving and gentle with the two babies but I often find myself wondering if she would treat them like crap later on if they have weight issues. I don't know what to tell her - I don't want my daughter to end up seeing me through her eyes. I've never stood up for myself, my whole life I've just let her put me down and treat me as if I'm a shaming failure all because of my weight.  
  • Honestly, that sounds like emotional abuse and I encourage you to seek professional help for how to move forward in your relationship with your mother. I wouldn't have a relationship with anyone who treated me that way and wouldn't allow them around my child. 
    I have to agree with this.  I would not assume she is great with your daughter if she treats you that way.  I would find alternate care for my daughter and get help for you.  I am so sorry your mother is so toxic but it would be in you and your daughter's best interest to distance yourself from her.  
  • @storm172666 Even at age 2, kids can be traumatized by that kind of behavior. She doesn't have to understand te complexities of WHAT your mother was yelling at you...just that someone she loves and trusts is really angry and screaming at her mommy. Very confusing and scary.

    I'm not for hiding all conflict from children. I think that solving disputes and differences (especially in marriage) in a healthy way in front of your kids can help them to grow with a proper understanding of how to handle anger and conflict. I also think that it lets them know that it's OK to fight and disagree in relationships, that this is not the end of the world, that it does happen to everyone, and that there are healthy, calm ways of solving discord.

    I grew up in a situation of emotional abuse and have some terrifying memories of my father screaming (whether at my mother or my uncle or my grandmother, but it was never at me). I had hiding places in the house where I would go and wait for it to be over.

    I don't tolerate unhealthy conflict in my house. I think that's why your post strikes so close to me. I don't want my kids exposed to that sort of abusive, destructive behavior, because even at a young age it can do crazy damage.

    I hope you can find good counsel somewhere (church, counselor, etc.), and protect your daughter from your mom's unhealthy influence.
    [Deleted User]aditigirlMollyC20
  • First of all, I'm so sorry that you have to put up with that kind of treatment from anyone, let alone your mother.  Be strong, and don't let her get to you.  You sound like you have a pretty good handle on it, but it couldn't hurt to have someone in the wings that you can talk to about this down the road if it starts getting under your skin.  I have a friend whose mom treated her and her sister this way when they were younger, and they have both struggled with eating disorders at various times in their lives because of it.  You need to rise above your mom's abuse.

    It sounds to me like maybe your mom has weight issues of her own that she projects onto you and your sister, and I believe the same to be the case with my friend's mom.  I completely agree with the previous comments about distancing yourself and your daughter from her until she can check herself and stop treating you this way.  At the very least, it couldn't hurt to talk to your mom about how she's making you feel, and how much it's affecting you - maybe you and your sister could try and talk to her together, just the three of you?
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  • Whoa. Abusing you is one (horrible) thing, but doing it in front of your daughter and niece who are both old enough to have some idea of what is going on? That crosses a holy line for me. (And yes, babies as young as 6 months know when something is wrong and when adults are fighting around them - our brains are amazing at sensing danger even when they don't quite get what that danger is.)

    I would sit down with her when there are no kids present, and tell her "I know that you love me and worry about me, but when you say that I'm a bad mother or that I am killing myself because of my weight, that hurts my feelings and does not in any way make me want to lose weight. Furthermore, you are scaring my child and that is unacceptable. If you want me and my baby in your life, you need to stop insulting me." If she tries to go into it with you, repeat yourself. Go broken record on her if you have to. Don't argue with her - her fears for your health are not rational (I'm guessing, you'd have to be pretty darn obese for a reasonable person to assume that you wouldn't make it to 40, like, no longer mobile, unable to care for yourself obese). Don't engage her in any other drama. Stay calm and stick to your script - her behavior is hurtful and inappropriate and she needs to stop. Go broken record on her if you have to. 

    Next time she goes into the insults and hateful talk, do not engage her. If your child is in the room say as calmly as you can "That is inappropriate" and then LEAVE. Take your kid and get out without engaging her. Tell your child that sometimes people say things that they do not mean when they are upset, but that it is OK, etc. 

    If it's an option, I highly recommend seeing a family therapist who can help you navigate your relationship with your mom. I figure it's probably not possible, but if you can, I would also try to find alternate childcare. 

  • Agreed this is absolutely emotonal abuse and my DD would be nowhere near someone like this.   I would very firmly let your mom know that while you thank her for her concern, her way of communicating this concern is very unhealthy.   I would let her know that if she wishes to continue to be in your and your daughter's life she needs to refrain from ths behavior immediately.  

    I am so sorry you and your sister have had to deal with this your entire lives.    Please believe that she will do the same to your daughter and neice if noone ever says anything to her about this abusive behavior.     Also please know that your dd and neice may not know what grandma was yelling about but they damn well both knew she was angry and scary and could sense your anger, resentment, and stress.  This is not healthy for them at all!

    Please don't just let this slide, you deserve to be treated with respect and not made to feel small by anyone!  Hugs momma, this one is rough!


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  • So sorry that she treats you that way. :(

  • In the grand scheme of your life and everything going on in it there is nothing that excuses your mother's treatment of you. Nothing. And her abusive behavior is not something you can "sit down with her" and talk or reason through.  She is not mentally healthy; mentally healthy people do NOT treat others that way.

    She is eroding your self esteem - essentially creating a huge barrier to you achieving your personal weight and health goals. Being around her is unhealthy for you, both emotionally and physically.  She is contributing to your health risks.

    I would seek counseling to learn how to set boundaries with your mother and to help you grieve the loss of the nurturing mother you never had.  And at some point I might consider telling my mother that if she didn't seek treatment AND show improvement for her abusive behavior then our relationship would be over.

    You cannot control your mom, but you CAN teach your children how they can protect themselves from an abusive relationship.

    I wish I could hug you. This is so awful to read about.  I cannot imagine living it.

    [Deleted User]BGGP9196crimsonsaffron
  • Wow. Your mom is my mom. But I'm not overweight. I strongly suspect my mom is anorexic, though she's no longer that thin. But studies show anorexic women can look at three pictures: one of her baby, one of her baby manipulated to look thinner than the baby is, and one manipulated to look fatter. If you ask the woman which baby she wants, she will point to the thinnest baby. When you ask her which baby is hers, she will point to the fattest one. I'm 5'10 and a size 8. My mother honestly believes I'm fat lady in the circus fat. So honestly, it probably wouldn't matter what you weigh. And she will, quite soon, do the same to your daughter. I'm estranged from my mom because of this, and my mother has never met my 2 year old daughter. But my best childhood friend recently reported my mother tried to shame her 8 year old perfectly healthy daughter for eating dessert on vacation. Your mom is sick.
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