Extremely abusive mother


Extremely abusive mother


your avatar   Beth, 51-year-old woman

My mother sexually molested both my brother and myself. She is a sex addict, and talks about sex in inappropriate places - i.e. at church or in public. My father divorced her 30 years ago, and all she talked about until he finally died was how she should get someone to kill him; or she talked about torturing him, setting him on fire etc. She is a pathological liar and will lie about anything to see if she can and then laughs about it. My brother and I have stayed out of her life for years but now that she's 76 we feel guilty - like we should take care of her...bad move on our parts!

My mother hates to see me or my brother succeed at anything. When she found out he quit drinking and got sober she sent him money with a note telling him to use it for alcohol, or sent alcohol as a Christmas present and told him he was "more fun" when he drank. After 3 years of sobriety he has started drinking again. She finds out where I'm working and calls my employers, telling them I'm crazy or insane, that I'm not on my medication and therefore, very dangerous (I'm not. I never have been). But people believe her! She does it within the first few months of a new job, so I end up getting "layed off" or let go even though my work is excellent.

I felt like I needed to go into hiding and did so for a year, but she finds me even across country! What can I do to stop her? I am willing to take her to court, sue her, have her committed but it is her demented word against mine and she's not only vicious but a charmer and a "poor little old lady." What recourse do I have to escape her?


    Bob Rich, Ph.D.

Dear Beth,

As far as I know, you did not choose this woman to be your mother. From what you wrote, for a long time you had "divorced" her, then a sense of duty brought you back into contact. This says good things about you. Clearly, you have managed to avoid following in her footsteps.

I suggest that you simply notify her that you will have no further contact with her, and advise your brother to do the same. Change your phone number; if necessary, move into a new house or at least return her letters unopened as if you had, and disappear from her life.

Will you suffer guilt from having abandoned her to a lonely and perhaps materially hard old age? If you do, you can reassure yourself. You tried to be there for her, and got kicked in the face as thanks. Consequences are a rule of the universe. What you sow is what you shall reap. Any hardship she suffers is her own doing, not yours.

It may make you feel better if you go and find other old people in need of care, and do some voluntary work for them. You can be sure they will appreciate it.


This question was answered by Dr. Bob Rich. Dr. Rich has 30+ years of experience as a psychotherapist. Dr. Rich is also a writer and a "mudsmith". Bob is now retired from psychological practice, but still works with people as a counselor.For more information visit: http://anxietyanddepression-help.com

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