I get panic attacks thinking about my toxic mother.


As far as I can remember my mother has been someone I just can't get along with, and, no, it's not just another teenager ranting how her mother doesn't approve of her choice of clothes, it's something deeper. My mother has meted out all kinds of behavior to me which can make any sane person cringe. It's not majorly physical abuse, though she has also resorted to it when she just get out of control. The emotional bruises that she has given me are far worse. I can't delve into all the details because all these memories with her haunt me and I don't want to scratch my wounds again. The child in me bleeds every day as those irrational verbal abuses are imprinted in my subconscious.

She hasn't stopped it even now when I'm an adult. I can't move out and just break ties with her because I have an intellectually challenged brother who needs us to take care of him. She's always intimidating me, makes me feel worthless and a good for nothing nobody, and the worst part is she does it so passively that you can't even accuse her, as she easily blames you for blowing things out of proportions. She can even make you feel guilty for answering back because she likes to claim that she loves me a lot and that I just don't see it. She believes that her controlling, overprotective nature equals love, but it's more of suffocation. She likes to pick up random things and starts abusing me and when I get defensive she shuts me up because she's older and I can never match up to her. I feel so frustrated when I see my aunts who have nurtured their kids with unconditional love and made them into confident grown ups, and I here battle with low self respect because of this toxic woman. Sometimes I just want to take away all the pain at once and quit, but I'm hanging around as my brother needs me, but I'm not sure how much longer can I can live in constant agony and suppression by someone who apparently gave birth to me. It's so bad now that I feel my heart pounding if I hear her come near my room.


You can't help your brother if you can't help yourself. Move out establish your own life and when you can, invite your brother to join you.

I understand that it's in my best interest to keep a distance from her, but I can't move out. She emotionally blackmails me. Whenever she argues with me she creates illogical assumptions that when she gets older and won't be able to take care of her own self, let alone my brother, I'll leave them both to die and never come back to even give them another look. I'll not really be able to move out, at least not until I get married, but that's 7 to 8 years later as I am my career comes first. I can't move out more so because I don't want to testify to her belief that I'm irresponsible and selfish. I won't be able to live in that much guilt, even if I'm away from her. I limit myself from a lot of indulgences and compromise on a lot of personal wants for my family, and I never complain about it to myself or my family, but it just rips my soul apart when my mother falsely accuses me of always being self-centered and she believes that I'll only get worse in the future. All this obviously has adverse effects on my personal and professional fronts, but I feel so stuck in my life. I just want to find a middle ground between staying here and moving out.

I can't help you because you don't want to make changes. Your mother has no power over you but that which you have freely given to her.

I do want to make changes. I just don't see how running away and escaping from your life can be a good solution. I know when I tell people about my life they just don't get me. I know it's difficult to be in somebody else's shoes.

All I want is mental empowerment to be able to face difficult people and not just give up like that. Isn't that a good enough change that I want to make?

An adult choosing to live on her own is not "running away." Nor are you escaping responsibility. You have none for your mother or your brother at the moment. Your mother is able to care for herself and for your brother -- that is her responsibility. When you are able to set up your own household and wish to take on responsibility for your brother because your mother by that time will be getting old, then you will be in a position to do so.

Everything you have described in your current situation is of your own doing in the sense that you are allowing it to happen. That is why others don't understand. They are able to see what you have closed you eyes against seeing.