Adult child living at home, but can't get along with her mom

Ryka - posted on 07/01/2014 ( 5 moms have responded )




Hello, I'll try to make this brief, but to avoid confusions I need to explain a few things.

1. I am not a parent. I am a 20 year old girl just recently finished my second year of college. I go to a college in the same city (big city ) so I live at home. My father passed away two years ago and since I was over 18, I inherited a part of the house so technically this is my house, too.

2. I can not talk about these things in real life, because I don't have anyone to talk to! Naturally, I turned to the internet but other sites seem ridiculous and I will never get real answers or help. I've been reading some questions on here and people sound intelligent, mature and like they truly want to help one another.

Now getting to the point... My teen years went by without any fights or real troubles. I was heavy, antisocial and shy. I did not have many friends, I never went out not even in summers, and I devoted my entire high school life to studying for college. The only problems my mom and I had, was my weight and the fact that I did not talk to other people. She brought up my weight issues every chance she got, in front of other people. She would say I was lazy and I was going to be fatter each year if I kept it up, to my face, in front of strangers and family. She would tell me I wasn't depressed, but looking for attention by not talking, when all I wanted in life was to be left alone.

Teen years passed, but I lost 40 pounds after I graduated high school, and developed an eating disorder. The only motivation I had, was to shut my mother up! In a way, I'm now glad that I've lost all that weight, but... I'm still sick. I keep going back to not eating, feeling nauseous after eating, etc. I may have messed myself up for life. Let's not blame anybody here, though...this isn't even about that. I hate my mother. I hate her to a point that looking at her face makes me angry.

I hate her so much that I can't stop being rude to her. We are constantly at war, and I'm basically waiting and hoping for her to die. That makes me a horrible person, but I can not put up with her anymore. She's a bully. She doesn't realize her words have power. I wish she would just slap me in the face, instead of calling me a lazy waste of space loser for being put on academic probation. I'm messing up my life, because nothing I do is enough for her. I can't just pretend like what she says isn't is, she's my mother. She's all I have.

I have always felt like my teen years were boring and I never got to do the rebellious teen thing, so I recently started making some changes. "say yes to everything" was my motto for a while. I kissed a girl, I rode a motorcycle, I drove without glasses and/or my license, etc... just to be a stupid crazy irresponsible kid! I told her about these, she did not care...she said "you're stupid, that's not news." what kind of a parent says that?! I'm on a destructive path...this isn't normal, is it?! I thought by 20, you should stop feeling like this. I thought those were puberty hormones, or some weird chemical in your brain. And I'm not a recent 20 year old, either.. I'll be 21 in November. I don't want to be this immature, but I feel like with her in my life I'll always feel insecure and bad about myself... (note: I can't move out, I'm broke. )

Please please someone talk to me, and explain why my mother feels the need to be brutally honest in the most bullyish way possible.


Bookexchange - posted on 07/02/2014




Have compassion for yourself and don't put yourself in dangerous situations. Driving without your glasses IS stupid. You could die or kill someone. The rest is not a big deal. The consequences of the other things are not so severe.

It's normal for adult children to feel disconnected/conflict with a parent, especially after a major family crisis, such a death. You say that you're waiting for her to die, but I think really you just don't see any way out. You want to live your own life but you feel trapped. You can't abandon her without guilt because she doesn't have anyone else.

If you stay in this situation, will need to be stronger than any independent person. As you get older, people start to ask 'what's wrong with you?' if you're not independent- and it's impossible to have friends, nevermind a romantic partner. You will feel deeply alienated and will have to be your own cheer leader because no one will pity or encourage or care about you.

Be proud of yourself for losing the weight- try to control your weight in a healthier way now- using healthy diet and exercise instead of starvation.

You can improve your relationship with your mother by spending less time with her. Leave the house more. Be responsible when you go out- tell her where you are going and when you will be back. Then when you do spend time with her, make it quality time. Invite her to go out somewhere she would enjoy. Ask her about her day and her feelings. Steer the conversation away from yourself. When you do need to talk about yourself, think carefully about what you want to happen and have these outcomes in mind before approaching her for a discussion.

There is nothing wrong with you; you are just coping with a difficult situation the best you can. Take time away; go to a quiet, peaceful spot and think about what you want for your life. What will you regret not doing before you die? Think about what the first steps are to make those goals happen. Live for yourself, but be considerate of your mother's feelings. Hopefully she will start to treat you with more consideration in turn.

MG - posted on 12/14/2014




Hello! I discovered your post by googling solutions to a similar situation. I too am a childfree college student living with family. I don't know if you've already discovered a solution to your dilemma but I would strongly recommend that you remove yourself from your mother's living environment. I know that college does not usually afford most the finances needed to live alone but you can find and rent a room, secure a roommate or possibly seek on campus or off campus housing opportunities. Most universities also have counseling and health services that are free to students so you may wish to reach out to them and explain that you are experiencing troubles at home and are in need of living assistance. They may be able to help.

In my opinion, mothers sometimes do not know how to let their daughters become their own person. We come through our parents not FROM them. Its important that we as daughters be given the leeway to make our own choices, decisions, goals and mistakes, just as they did. Criticizing, blaming and complaining about your daughter is never a good idea, if mothers wish for the relationship to be maintained. The bottom line is that once you leave your mothers "boob", start walking, talking and thinking for yourself, they can really no longer control who you are and what you become. All a parent should be doing is encouraging you, giving you a warm spot to land when the world beats you up and loving you unconditionally. period. It's funny that you should mention the weight comments made by your mother as my mother is a size 12-14 and I have never been bigger than a size 3 and yet, anytime I put on 10 pounds or lose it, she's quick to call ME fat. Mind you that I have never called HER fat. However, when things like this are said to me, I get really angry and am tempted to say things that I know cannot be taken back and frankly, I do not care. LOL. Anyone that knows your strengths and weaknesses but chooses to highlight your weaknesses is not someone that is celebrating you. I don't care if the person is a close relative or not. Once you become an adult, it is sometimes required that you re-introduce who you are to your parents. You're not the same person as you were at age 12 at age 21 (whoo hoo! lol) so you should not be treated like a 12 year old. Anyone that cannot respect you for you does not deserve to be in your life unless theyre willing to change.

Denikka - posted on 07/01/2014




I can sympathize with you.

I lived with my grandparents and, while they weren't cruel the way your mother seems to be, my grandmother was always picking on any flaw I had.
I was also over weight. Food was my rebellion. And the constant comments of *do you really need that* etc really got to me. I was depressed, I was fat. The two cycled around each other.
My grandmother was also very controlling (I wasn't even allowed to get rides from my friends or their parents, my grandparents drove me everywhere). I never went to parties, I never got into trouble. I never skipped school. I got good grades. I did everything I could to try to buy their love with good behavior.
My mom and my grandparents don't talk. This was held up as an example to me. *If you're not good enough, we'll stop loving you, like we did with your mother*. That was the WORST thing that my grandmother ever threw at me during an argument. *You're just like your mother*.

I moved out almost 6 years ago, just before I turned 19. I got pregnant right out of high school (literally conceived the last month of school XD). I moved in with my boyfriend.

There were many things that I *should* have done. I should have gone to college. I should have gotten a job. I shouldn't have gotten pregnant so early.
I cannot live with my grandparents any more. I had to go back and live with them for about 10 months and it was hellish.

Honestly, my best advise is to move out. I know that's not the answer you want, I know it's not an easy, or perhaps even a feasible. I wouldn't have a relationship with my grandparents if I hadn't moved out. It was toxic in close proximity. Like you describe, I HATED my grandmother. Everything she did, everything she said, drove me nuts. I swear I almost lost my tongue trying to bite it with all the nasty things I wanted to say.

Some people can't and shouldn't live together. Since moving out, my relationship with my grandparents, especially my grandmother, has improved 100%. I still resent the things she's done in the past, while she maintains that she did nothing wrong. But we just don't talk about that. When the stress and problems being caused in the moment are removed, it makes it that much easier to walk away from the problems in the past, even without a resolution.

Angela - posted on 07/01/2014





"I can't move out, I'm broke."

.... and therein lies the problem! There's an old saying "he who pays the piper calls the tune ..." The biggest block to people moving on for themselves and moving forward
with their lives is financial dependence on some person who abuses their perceived authority. People can be toxic. Paying the bills for someone's education and living expenses is NOT a licence to abuse them. When a grown son or daughter needs to be financially dependent, the parent CAN (in some respects) call the shots but they don't have the right to do this at the expense of their child's dignity or peace of mind.

You need to have a long, hard think about all of this. How long do you have left at College before you graduate? You need to decide whether it's worth enduring another 2 years (or however long it will be before you complete college) of her treatment & attitude towards you. Alternatively, if you strike out on your own, and be free of the stress that she seems to bring to you, can you hack it? Can you cope? Is there a way to complete college without her funding? Or might you have to decide to shelve college and just get a regular job? Is there a reason why you're not also working whilst you're a student?

Has your mother given you a car? Or given you the USE of a car? Does she pay for your motor insurance? What could you comfortably live without from the things she provides?

Have a think about all of this. If you can't realistically exist without her financial support then just grit your teeth and get on with it. Have a plan though - draw charts and give yourself achievable goals so you can progress in self-esteem - starting from NOW! By the time you can afford to leave her home on your own dollar, you'll cope so much better if you give yourself this training and self-discipline NOW.

It's said no-one can make you feel inadequate without your permission. Just consider that for a moment.

Good luck.


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Ryka - posted on 07/01/2014




Angela, thank you so much for replying. I don't work, because I have school from 8 a.m till 6 p.m and after that, I have to study. I'm an scholarship student, so my mom doesn't pay a dime for my education (But since I haven't been keeping up with school, and it's harder for scholarship students because we have to maintain a certain GPA...I might need a little help. I've only done poorly this semester, though, I can easily turn things around. )

I am looking for a job. I used to be picky! From now on, I've decided I need to pay for my own food, bills, etc. So, even if it means working at starbucks, I'm going to go for it.

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