My mother has stolen over $2500 dollars from me. In the past she has been physically out of control, like throwing hurtful, cumbersome items at me during arguments. She missed my only college graduation to go off on a hiking trip that she could have scheduled for another time. When she got mad at me because I asked her for space and privacy, she not only threw objects at me, she also ran off and got married without even telling me or inviting me. I know her well, and I really sense she was planning on marrying for a long time, but hid it from me to hurt my feelings. She hates it when I show her that I am independent and that I do not need her.
My mother always competes with me. She wants to know what I am good at, how much I weigh, what my job titles are, how important I am at work. She is constantly sizing me up to make sure what I have is not better than what she has. Any time she gets the chance to correct me or tell me "I told you so" she takes it. And she absolutely loves to sit people down and give them lectures about elementary things, so she can feel like she is somehow omnipotent. For example, she sat my then-girlfriend down a few years ago to talk to her about following us in the car when I had to drop mine off at the garage. She starts off by saying, "Now, [name], a car has two taillights in the back of it. You know that right?" For heaven's sake, she was talking to a 20-year-old woman who had been driving for four years. She sounded like a complete fool lecturing her that way.
My mother is always hopelessly defining herself through products. This includes everything and anything that costs money. She will throw tons of money away on junk to suit her weekly identity, which is never real and barely scrapes the surface of her real character. Currently, she says she is the "counselor" of her university students but really, she is just a glorified advisor with a useless degree. She really has no identity and hurts others around her because they do. She also has her PhD in something rather flimsy, and acts as if she's the little bearded man wearing the round scientific spectacles, sitting in the wing chair. The woman has never been very bright, to be honest. She hates me because I am levelheaded, smart, and I can get things done the right way. I take after my dad, her ex-husband, and she hates it (and him). Anyway, she has pulled too many childish stunts on me and the rest of the world. Mom has hurt me so much. She is the most intrusive person I know. She works at the university my then-girlfriend and I used to attend, and my mother would always look up both of grade records and share them with others. I can rationalize why she looked up mine, but come on, my girlfriend's? No way.
She once stole $5000 from my dad after they separated by lying to the bankers and telling them that they were still together, even though her name was not even on the account. But they bought it, and she walked out with it. So she is conniving too. Her mother is the same exact way, so I know where it came from. When we get into our occasional fights, she loves to tell the world what a BAD son I am, how I do not appreciate her, and that I am the "prodigal son." She even gets others to "talk" to me about how I should give it up and just visit her already, because I "hurt" her so badly. What a load! She is the evil one, not me! Why is she doing this to me?
I was also diagnosed with Bipolar disorder. It's not a severe case or anything, but when I told her she thought I was just "BS-ing" her, as she always thinks. Then I showed her a Lithium pill and she finally believed me. Anyway, now when I confront her about the obvious wrong things she does to me, she (very predictably) tells me I'm "nuts" to try to strip away my credit. And then she'll tell everyone else that I'm mentally ill too, so they shouldn't listen to me if and when I say anything. The ironic thing is, she has the same EXACT symptoms of Bipolar that I had.
I truly loathe my mother. I believe that if someone is evil, it doesn't matter who he or she is, you need to get that person out of your life. There are evil people out there who happen to be mothers, like in my case. So I kicked her out of my life. But I need to be validated; I need someone to tell me I did the right thing for me (I am happier now) and I need someone to please try to explain to me why this evil woman is capable of doing what she has done to me - her own son, no less! Did I do the right thing? Am I a bad son? Am I seeing things clearly here? Help! Thanks.
The fact that you are happier since you "kicked her out of [your] life" should be your first and probably most important form of validation! Let me add though that, based on the background information you supplied (and assuming you've presented a reasonably balanced picture), it certainly sounds to me like you did the right thing. It sounds like a matter of self-preservation!
Your question is full of sub-questions. Let me first tackle the task of trying to explain to you why your mother would act this way towards you. You say that you have been diagnosed as Bipolar and that your mother and your grandmother have the same symptoms. Bipolar disorder is supposed to run in families and if you are all really Bipolar this may go a long way towards an explanation.
Having said this, however, and listening to the story in your background material, it seems that your mother's actions and attitudes are more like those of someone with a Narcissistic Personality. You may want to do some research on this disorder and remember it could certainly co-exist with the Bipolar condition.
Next question. Are you a bad son? No! But then, I also doubt that your mother is an evil person. It's good that you've put some distance between the two of you at least for the time being. You sound as though you are a reasonably "together" person which is somewhat surprising given the description of what you've been through with your mother, but it certainly must have had some negative impact on your self concept and that will take some time to repair (away from the field of battle).
When you have had time to make the necessary repairs and when time and distance have given you the necessary strength and autonomy, you may want to approach your mother as one adult to another to see if there is a possibility of building a healthy relationship. After all you are her son (good, bad or indifferent) and she is your mother (also good, bad or indifferent) and there is a decided advantage to having at least a working relationship with your parents if it is possible.
I hope this will be helpful to you. Good luck!
Jerry Button, L.M.H.C.
This question was answered by Jerry Button. Jerry is a psychotherapist, personal development trainer, workshop presenter and relationship coach practicing in Delray Beach, Florida. He believes that the key to quality of life lies in relationships. His approach to interpersonal and emotional problems is relational and psychodynamic. Jerry is experienced working with individuals, children and families and welcomes challenging opportunities.For more information visit: http://www.dynamicrelationships.net/