Communication Skills/Weird


I am 20 years old, and I still live at home. My mom and I go on many roadtrips to see relatives. Mostly short trips: a few hours max. Well every time I have to use the restroom, my mom pulls over to the ditch because she hates getting off just so I can pee. Being a girl, this isn't very pleasant, but I deal with it. So today we were going to my sister's and I was driving down the highway. Well awhile later, my mom told me she needed to go, so I pulled over to the ditch just like she always does with me. Well she was appalled and told me to get off at the next exit. Then we got in an argument over how she never does that for me, so I shouldn't have to do it for her, etc. she ended up peeing in a cup we had and dumping it outside. Ever since then, she hasn't said a word to me. She's really mad at me. I know it was rude not to get off at an exit but she never does for me. What do you think should happen? How can I get her to speak to me again? I know this is weird but please help me! I want her to speak to me again

Hi Emily - it sounds like you have two or three common problems: [1] a values conflict over peeing while traveling, and [2] an inability to do win-win problem-solving. You mom's not speaking may be a third problem: inherited psychological wounds from early-childhood trauma. See these for options about dealing with the first two problems:

Two options are [a] you drive, and use a rest room when you need it; [b] if she refuses to do the same for you if she drives, tell her you won't go with her. You may also [c] pee before driving, and [d] carry a plastic urinal with you for either of you. [e] ask her who's peeing needs are more important - hers or yours?

You can't make her talk to you. You CAN tell her how her silence and/or double message feels to you using a respectful "I-message" (assertion#

To understand her silence, see if these fit her #and/or you):

If either of you is a "Grown Wounded Child" [GWC], study online "lesson 1":

If you have questions on any of these, please ask -- Pete  

Communication Skills

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Peter Gerlach, MSW


I can answer questions about how to significantly improve your thinking and communication effectiveness, and your relations with adults and kids. I cannot answer legal, medical, grammar, punctuation, spelling, or spiritual questions.


I have studied and taught communication and relationship skills for 40 years, and have been a professional family-systems therapist (MSW) since 1981.


I am a past Board member of (a) a large suburban community mental-health center and (b) the Stepfamily Association of America, and I am a current member of the National Stepfamily Resource Center (NSRC) Experts Council

I have published 6 books, including one on communication skills: Satisfactions ( 2nd ed., 2010); and over 150 articles in the nonprofit educational Website Break the Cycle! -

I have also published articles for and over 150 educational YouTube videos.

BSME, Stanford University, 1959 MSW, George Williams College 1981 Clinical internship U. of Illinois Institute for Juvenile Reasearch (IJR) 1981 Over 100 post-grad courses on a wide range of human-relationship topics

Past/Present Clients
over 1,000 self-referred Midwestern-U.S. adults, kids, couples, and families

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