More threads by Jo-Anne



To try and be brief - my mother is extremely narcisstic - physically and verbally abusive - and child neglect to a point that would be criminal now. But, somehow, although I knew it intellectually - I didn't really ever feel anything about it. Mild anger and wishing that just for once, something could be about me, instead of her.

But 1.5 years ago - my younger brother shot himself. He died without ever being conscious again. He did leave a note, saying his life had always been a train wreck and this was his choice.

But - oh I blame my mother. My brother was given food, clothing and shelter -but I don't think either parent gave him 5 minutes of attention in his entire life. A lot of his adult life was spent in jail.

And I blame her, I blame her, I blame her. She'd told horrendous lies about him and hadn't talked to him in 7 years. He & I were close and I loved him.

So, at the age of 50 I'm suddenly awake, and angry and sad - and frustrated at how our lives could have/should have been - and what they are.

I've confronted her by phone - when I brought up the physical abuse - she said "No, that didn't happen. You're suffering from false memory syndrome".
When I told her both of my brothers had the same memories, she hung up on me.

I want revenge, I want to drag her into court - I want to leave her penniless and most of all - I want everybody she knows to hear just exactly what kind of parent she was ( my father was just rarely home, long distance trucker).

She's 74, but there is nothing "elderly" about her - she's as self-centered as she ever was and she will go to her grave denying she did anything wrong. She says I'm a "spoilt brat" - I'm 50 years old and that's all she can think of to say.

What's wrong wtih honest to god revenge? Why can't I pinch her, beat her, humiliate her? People think I'm awful for contemplating such a thing - but don't they get it? That's what she did. And that's only scratching the surface. I understand that she's probably always been mentally ill - but she knew right from wrong. Why won't she apologize?

The only thing that keeps me from phoning every relative I've go and exposing her - is I worry that they'll just think I'm overacting. But public humiliation is the only thing that would really bother her.

I know I have to get over this - but how?
I think therapy is probably the best way to get past the bad feelings, the anger and resentment and wanting to get revenge.

I'm sorry you were treated that way.

Maybe you could write a letter to your mother and not send it? Get all your feelings out that way. You might have to do it over and over again.

David Baxter PhD

Late Founder
What's wrong wtih honest to god revenge? Why can't I pinch her, beat her, humiliate her? People think I'm awful for contemplating such a thing - but don't they get it? That's what she did. And that's only scratching the surface. I understand that she's probably always been mentally ill - but she knew right from wrong. Why won't she apologize?

Because it probably wouldn't help you to exact revenge. And it probably would fail in getting her to acknowledge what happened or to apologize.

Getting past the anger needs to be your goal - not for her but for you. You need to find some peace, some relief from the burden of carrying around all the anger for all these years. Your mother can't help you do that and merely confronting or exposing her won't do that either.


"Why can't I pinch her, beat her, humiliate her?"
I would ask myself, why would I want to be just like the person I dislike so much? IMHO, we become prisoners of our past, we have to learn to live our lives in the present moment without the past.


To me, it sounds like you could benefit hugely from some therapy, Jo-Anne. The one who's important is not your mother. It's you. You have to do what's best for yourself, and that is to put the anger behind you. You don't have to forget. You don't even have to forgive. However, to dwell on anger is to punish ourselves. We can't change what was. All we can do is work to make our present and future the best we can make it. :hug:


With all due respect - I've seen numerous therapists & counsellors over the years, only one who actually pinpointed problems, and helped me develop solutions. I've spent thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours in therapy - I no longer have thousands. The most effective tool I've had is the 12 Steps of AA.

On top of which - my brother will always be dead now. I guess I have to accept that - but I still want to punish her. I do know though - I'll probably never get an apology or acknowledgement - she doesn't have it in her. So, how do I get past it?


Hi Jo-Anne

Well, I wish I could say there is an easy way past all these feelings, but there isn't. So, here is what I learned. My father was a very violent, abusive alcoholic. He also had a thing for guns. I am almost 41, will be in a few days. It took me years to finally realize that there was nothing he could say to me to change anything. Even if he apologized, there is no way to make up for the things he did to me. And by letting it consume me, he still had control over me. By letting it get to me everytime he called me drunk, he still had control over my emotions. One day, it hit me. I was the one letting it happen. I was the only one who could control what I let into my life now. And I made the choice that day. Blaming him, and wanting to inflict any type of pain on him was wearing me out. I was like you. I wanted him to pay for the things he had done. For the absurd idiosyncrasies that I have because of him. For the mistrust I had because of him. It was pointless, and once I realized that, it was a huge weight lifted off of me. Despite him, I have turned out to be a great wife, an even better mother, and most of all, I stopped the cycle. My kids will never be afraid of me, they won't worry about a gun, they won't worry about whether or not I will be coming home. I am strong, and that was surprising to learn. I chose then to look at myself. I like me, and I am a good person. And I am very proud of what I have overcome.
Look at yourself Jo-Anne. Be proud, you are still standing and you made it through. Look at your strengths, and your inner beauty, and all you have to offer the world.
I don't know if this helps at all, but I hope it does. Make your choice hun and be strong and proud. If I can do it, I know you can.

Take care of you, and brightest blessings


Thanks Auburn,

I know that you are right - and I like your advice to look at myself. I don't particularly like myself - and years and years of others telling me I'm pretty ( not so pretty at 50 though), smart, funny etc. hasn't really helped.

All this has really hit me in the face. I look back and realize my brothers and I were all very bright, very kind and very nice kids. We just never knew it. Now, one brother's dead, the other is a chronic alcoholic with a lot of anger and self - pity, and I'm less than 50% of what I could have been, career wise, happiness wise etc. Marrying a really good solid man is about the only worthwhile thing I've accomplished. Somehow I have to let go of all my anger - but I don't know how.

But thanks - I hope I manage to do it sooner rather than later. I'm just giving up more of my life to her by staying so angry. She's the only person in the world I really would like to do physical harm to. I know I shouldn't say this, but sometimes I wish my brother had pointed the gun at her, before himself. I can't think of a more fitting justice.


Sometimes, it helps to look back on the really hard parts of our lives and see them as lessons - lessons that led us to be stronger and more resilient. While we might have like to have those hard parts never happen, they did happen. We learned from them, and we grew as people. You've got a good marriage and you've faced adversity and come through with both feet on the ground. Just give yourself credit for what you were able to do in spite of your mother and put her behind you where she belongs. As long as you carry the anger, she's with you. That's what you don't want! :hug:


My dear JoAnne

No need for thanks hun, not ever. I can so relate to you it almost isn't funny. For different reasons, but all the same outcome. But honestly hun, I understand. Especially the funny, smart pretty thing. Isn't it weird, that all the things most girls want to hear, we never believed. It is sad in a way. It took me so long to really see me, and I do like me. I stopped trying to please those who could never be pleased, and gawd, that feels sooooo good.
I am smart, and I am funny as hell, and ya know, for a 41 yr old, I think I look pretty darn good. I am comfortable in my own skin now. It is an amazing feeling JoAnne, and I know, you will get there. It is not a fun journey, or easy, but the winfall once you get there is wonderful. Look to that great man you married. Find joy in the two of you. I did the very same thing. My husband is the most amazing man. And now when he tells me I am beautiful, I really believe him.
I have thought of you so much since I read your post. I swear I could feel your feelings. Anytime hun, you need an ear to bend or vent to, look for me!

Brightest blessings hun

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