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I am 16 and I hurt my mum. I always talk to her in a rude manner but I really much hope that I can talk to her nicely but it's just something in me that i can't control it. We also don't talk much everyday. We have not had a real chat probably for 2,3 years. We talk only when necessary. I felt so bad and wanted to return to those days when we talked so much. But it is just so awkward to start talking again. We did not have a big fight or anything like that before it stopped. It just stopped suddenly and I don't know why it stopped too. Maybe because I am an introverted and quiet person that don't talk much or maybe it's the stress going to high school. Recently I talked to her rudely again and she flare up saying that we treat her like enemy and maid and that we always show face to her when she actually gave us everything we wanted. As I said earlier, I felt bad but just couldn't help it.

Answer
Hi, Cindy, this is VERY common among teenagers!!! So, please don't think you are all along in having this kind of problem. Teens need to being separating themselves from their parents, but, in doing so, we keenly feel this loss of support from them. You might try writing a letter to your mum. In it, tell her how much you miss being able to share your private thoughts with her, and how much you miss hearing her advice. Don't be afraid to open yourself up and be vulnerable - she will appreciate that. Also tell her how difficult it is for you to open up to her in person, how hard it is to be the one to start conversations. Admit to being rude sometimes, and how you have a hard time stopping that when it comes. Tell her how you regret doing it. As for her help in having conversations - ask her to 'please don't let me push you away when I'm being rude'. Ask her to try to make you talk even when you don't want to. Ask for help in learning how to have difficult conversations even when emotions are high - that you realize you need to learn how to do that, but that it is hard right now. Tell her you really need her help and you miss how close you used to be - it's just that you don't know how to do that, at this new stage of your life.

Then, when your mum pushes your buttons, don't walk away. Try to resist the urge to speak impulsively. Don't say anything for several minutes, while your emotions are high. Let them calm down and then speak.  

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Bruce Borkosky, Psy.D.

Expertise

questions framed similarly to 'what are some ways to respond when someone does/says X' are best. Questions posed in the form of 'why does my father do/say Y', or 'how would you diagnose my mother when she does/says Z' are difficult, if not impossible, to answer. I will probably reframe your question to fit the first question (what do I do). Nay question regarding any family member is fair game. Some of the most difficult are in the area of step-parenting and divorcing families.

Experience

I've been a licensed psychologist in Florida since 1994. I've evaluated and/or treated thousands of patients.

Organizations
American Psychological Association Florida Psychological association National Register of Health Service Providers in Psychology

Publications
www.bruceborkosky.blogger.com

Education/Credentials
Psy.D., Miami Institute of Psychology, 1993 M.CS., U. of Dayton, 1984 B.A., Ohio Wesleyan U., 1978

Awards and Honors
Award for Years of Dedicated Service, Palm Beach County Legal Aid Society, 1999

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