12 Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Mother

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Signs You Have An Emotionally Abusive Mother
Family, Self

Your mother is supposed to be the loving, nuturing person who helps you grow strong. She's supposed to help you become confident, teach you how to be better, and give you the inner strength you need to navigate this lonely, cruel world. 

For many of us, the word "mother" is one that conjures up imagery of love, care, and stability. Not all people can say that they have that same reaction, though. Those of us who have an abusive mother often just feel anxious, angry, or defensive when asked about Dear Old Mom. 

I've seen the effects that having emotionally abusive parents has on people, and they aren't pleasant. The funny thing that I've noticed about people who have been abused by their moms is that they don't realize they have an emotionally abusive mom, or they claim it's "not that bad."

Let me be clear about this: it's better to have no contact with an abusive mother than to let them continue to hurt you. If any of these traits are true for you, you may need to rethink your role with your mother. 

RELATED: 8 Scary, Long-Lasting Effects Of Having Narcissistic Parents

1. Growing up, your mother would only "love" you if you did what she told you. 

This is one of the most common indicators of emotional abuse I've seen, and it's especially evident among abusive mothers. Love is not supposed to be conditional. Every mother knows that their kids want their love and approval.

Not every mother will withdraw love, acceptance, and affection because their child stepped out of line. This kind of behavior can really mess up a kid, or even a full-grown adult. If you feel like your mom only loves you when you are exactly what she demands you to be, you've got an abusive mom. 

2. People tell you that your mom is toxic on a regular basis. 

Though you might think otherwise after checking out some of the more messed up comments you'll see on OKCupid, most people still have some scraps of manners they practice. They will not speak up when they notice something messed up going on in your family because they don't want to make you upset. 

I've personally noticed that people only really will tell you someone is toxic or abusive when they get very concerned about your wellbeing. If you regularly hear people say your mom is toxic, you probably have an abusive mom. 

3. You're low key terrified of upsetting your mom. 

Everyone tends to dislike upsetting their parents, but what you need to think about is the order of magnitude. In an abusive relationship, most victims feel a certain level of terror at the potential of upsetting the abuser because of the outcome it would have on them. 

Do you find yourself scared that your mom will berate you, scream at you, and tell you you're worthless? Do you worry your mom will publicly humiliate you or withdraw financial support at the slightest provocation? If the idea of saying "no" to mom makes your stomach drop, you're being abused. 

4. She regularly belittles you, criticizes you, and puts you down. 

Emotional abuse is verbal abuse in most cases. If your mother regularly calls you names, criticizes you, makes fun of you, or belittles you, she's abusing you.

Parents are not supposed to treat their kids that way. It is NOT okay. From what I've seen, most abusive parents will either backpedal or turn it around as the victim's fault when called out on this. So, no, the explanation she gives you that she was "just being honest," and that you got her angry doesn't excuse it.

5. If you were honest, being around your mom makes you feel weak and powerless.

Abusers are people who enjoy making others feel powerless. They like controlling others and ruling with an iron fist. To keep the power they have over others and make themselves feel big, they do whatever they can to tear others down. 

When your mom is the abuser, you'll often know because you'll notice a tendency she has of making you feel insecure, helpless, and worthless without her approval. It's just the way abuse is!

RELATED: 4 Signs You Were Emotionally Abandoned As A Kid (And It’s Affecting You Now)

6. You need to tiptoe around her.

Abusive relationships really aren't that different from one another in this sense. Whether it's a parent or a lover, most abusive relationships will involve one person being terrified of upsetting the other, and actively avoiding saying anything that could set them off. 

Do you feel like your mother is a ticking time bomb? You are most likely being abused. 

7. You're pretty sure your mom has Narcissistic Personality Disorder, or some other kind of personality disorder. 

Now, I'm not saying that all people who have personality disorders are abusive, but there's definitely a correlation in a lot of cases. This is especially true when you're dealing with narcissism or antisocial types of personality disorders. 

If your mother has been diagnosed with a personality disorder, or if she shows a lot of symptoms of it, chances are you are dealing with some level of emotional abuse. 

8. Several of your exes have claimed that your mother was the reason you broke up. 

I see this behavior a lot more with men than with women, but it's definitely possible to see it with both genders. Some abusive parents really can't handle seeing their children potentially leave the roost or have happiness away from them. So, they sabotage the relationships until the partner leaves. 

9. She blames you for how she feels or what she does. 

Does she say it's your fault she acts the way she does? Is everything always your fault, but never hers? Your mom is abusive.

Parents who have healthy relationships with their kids don't act like their kids are responsible for their unhealthy mental state. Your job is not to make her happy. 

10. The guilt trips are real and, at times, insane. 

A lot of moms will use guilt as a way to keep kids in line, and yes, it works. However, if you find yourself feeling like a horrible person for expressing your feelings, doing everyday things, or even just growing to be a healthy adult, you have a problem parent.

Guilt trips are not a healthy way to maintain control. It's a good way to cause lasting damage. 

11. She's extremely critical. 

We all hear about that one parent who never is pleased with their kids, even when they are over achievers. Never getting praise while constantly being torn down is often a sign of abuse. It may be intentional, or it may be mistaken. Either way, it's time to talk to someone and look into a low-contact relationship.

12. She's ruined important moments on purpose, or stirred up drama just to drag you down. 

At weddings, you can tell who is an abusive parent by momzilla behavior. I'm going to point out, the guests never judge the bride for an out-of-control parent. 

RELATED: 12 Signs You Were Emotionally Abused As A Child (And It's Affecting You Now)

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Ossiana Tepfenhart is a Jack-of-all-trades writer based out of Red Bank, New Jersey. When she's not writing, she's drinking red wine and chilling with some cool cats. You can follow her @bluntandwitty on Twitter.