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Old 12-04-2012, 02:10 AM   #1
DustyChica's Avatar
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: The US of A
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My mother is manipulative. Help?

So I have recently come to the conclusion that my mother is selfish and manipulative.

For a very, very long time, I have had a combination of admiration and pity for my mother. Admiration, because I always thought she was so strong and willing to step up and take charge where my father failed; and pity, because I felt bad that my dad was such a terrible husband and that all my mother's friends deserted her. As I've gotten older, I've come to realize that these things are not true. She talks down to my dad and treats him like he's stupid. She pitches fits and takes things personally when I don't take her advice on a situation.
As for her most recent offenses, she recently insisted on installing parental controls on my brother and sister's new laptops (they are 18 and 19, respectively) and demanded to know how much money I currently have in my bank accounts (I'm 20). She lied to my grandfather and told him that I needed $4,000 to help pay for an internship this summer, with the agreement being that I would get enough to pay off my internship (about $1,200) and she would get to keep the rest ($2,800).
Part of me feels obligated to put up with this, because I still live at home while attending university and she lets me live here rent-free and pays for my car insurance. On the other hand, I am nearly 21. I am, in fact, an adult, and I feel that she has no right to be prying into my personal finances, telling me how to spend my money, or spying on my online activity.

I'm at a loss of what to do. I feel like I should say something to her, but I also feel like it would just cause more problems and give her more reason to be angry with me. Any ideas? (Moving out is not an option. I'm unemployed at the moment.)

Duct tape is like The Force. It has a light side, a dark side, and it holds the universe together.

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Old 12-04-2012, 03:47 AM   #2
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Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: london

Hi. I would just like to say that I can totally relate to what you are saying. My mother is extremely controlling and manipulative, with everything resorting to emotional blackmail, and I am in my mid thirties! I understand that you are not in a position to move out, I was in that position for many years when I was younger. The only way I found to cope with the situation was to try and set some boundaries and to choose my battles with mum. A couple of things that helped me are:

With regards to setting boundaries, I imagine that the initial response of mum will be to freak out and panic that she is not getting her own way. Often, when someone is deprived of being able to behave in a certain way they will panic and the whole situation will become worse before it gets better. But is does take persistence. Choose just a few things that would improve your quality of life living at home, and then stick to them. Practise/role play before hand what you want and how you are going to say it. Don't make excuses for wanting these things, it leaves room for a argument and the use of cleverly manipulating the situation.

Try and make sure you have a outside support network, somewhere where you can rant and vent to make sure that the conflict does not consume you and you end up internalising negative feelings from encounters with mum. People who can behave abusively depend on you keeping quiet and not fighting back.

I hope your situation improves and doesn't get you down too much

take care

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