Could I be overreacting?

Hi heartsupport. It’s been a while, but I don’t have anywhere else to spill my thoughts and I figured that’s what these forums were for so I decided to post here again.
It’s currently 4 am and I’m in my grandma’s house and I can’t really sleep. I got a dry cough probably from smoking too much. My mom has been angry at me for a few because I’m going to college and will be staying with my dad’s side of the family.
I’ve been smoking a lot because the way she’s been talking to me is really hurtful and I don’t have anywhere to go to be alone. She keeps saying that I just feel sorry for myself and that I’m too dramatic. I’ve been wondering if I really am too dramatic.
There are a few things she’s done while we’ve been at my grandma’s house that really bother me.

  1. When I wanted to sleep at my aunt’s house because there’s air-con, she said something to my grandma that implied I wanted to see my aunt’s husband in boxers or that I somehow was sleeping there because I liked this man I had only seen a few times. She’s been known to do stuff like this and it’s so oddly specific so I’m sorry if it’s hard to understand. I remember I went out without a bra under my shirt and she told me she’s sorry for me because i’m going to get raped if I don’t go outside with decent clothing. She implied my dad was a pedophile and that he’d think it was sexy I wasn’t wearing a bra. I wanted to throw up hearing that. I think the way she uses sex to scare me has made me sex-repulsed in at least some capacity. But at the same time I get unwanted sexual thoughts that make me feel disgusting and I’m beginning to suspect it’s because of her. (And a few other things that would make this post a novel if I elaborated)

  2. Whenever she’s mad at me, she’s extra sweet to my little sister, cuddling her and telling her not to be like me because I “don’t care about my mom” and the worst part is it I’m not so sure that it’s not true anymore. She does it right in front of me and tells my little sister bad things about me right in front of my face like I’m not there. Sometimes I cry because I’m worried about my sister. She’ll be alone with my sister and her new husband in another province. If I screw up what kind of stuff will she be telling her? What if my sister ends up resenting me because of the stuff my mom keeps saying about me? I really love her more than I love our parents and I couldn’t handle it if I knew she hated me.

  3. She has a weird “mama bear” kinda thing going on, where she constantly plays the “mom” card. She keeps saying “I’m such a cool mom, I let my daughter smoke and drink” and people always tell me how cool she is for letting me do that stuff. But I only started because she stresses me out so much and she’s mocked my other coping mechanisms before so when I was old enough to drink and smoke I started immediately. She says she’s my best mom, she’s amazing for doing all this for me, I should be grateful. She’s been raising hell about me leaving her to go to college, she pushes me away, calling me names and then after she wants me to hug and kiss her and comfort her. She doesn’t want me to go away because she’s overprotective and is afraid I’ll get raped or murdered or kidnapped. She wants me to always call her but at the same time she says I’m mean and that I’ll never call her. Whenever she hurts me she says it’s because she loves me and she’s just worried about me. Am I bad for doubting that she really loves me?

On top of it all my family is trying to make both of us happy and I’m not mad at anyone for any stance they take, but people telling me to understand my mom’s point of view when it was the only one that ever mattered my entire life is… sort of rough I guess? When HER feelings were hurt by me, I was a horrible child undeserving of such a good mother. When MY feelings were hurt by her, I was being dramatic, overreacting, making things up, mentally unstable. She apologizes, but still does the things she apologizes for, saying that I made her do it and she’s sorry but it’s actually my fault. I don’t know. I feel like there’s something wrong with my brain. Even though she’s done so much to me I still feel like I’m the crazy one. I guess I posted here to check if I really am being dramatic or something. I had my first suicidal thought around the age of 10 and tonight thinking of killing myself made me sleep better. Not gonna do anything, but it’s not normal for kids to feel this way because of their parents right?

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Your mother has a very VERY warped view on what being a “cool mum” is.
Absolutely in no circumstance I can think of should a parent blame a child for their feelings, for their coping mechanisms, for anything.
Under no circumstances is it okay to tell anyone let alone their child that they would be attractive to a paedophile.
Sexually belittling anyone is such horrible behaviour, but when it comes to your own child (or any child) making comments about them in that manner is just disgusting behaviour. It really crawls under my skin to see the things she’s said to you, and I’m SO sorry for that. You should have never been subjected to that.
And you also should never have to feel that your clothing is in any way consent for someone to hurt you. Nobody has permission to abuse you because of how you dress.
And I’m going to stop there on that point before I start to get really angry!

The playing favourites game is so saddening to me as well. Actively trying to hurt you and show you that you’re not as loved is just cruel and really quite a childish kind of behaviour.
What comes to mind is when a child doesn’t want something, but as soon as their sibling wants to play with it/eat it, they want it.
That kind of petty behaviour is expected perhaps in younger kids or even teenagers, but parents should never use their children as pawns to hurt their other children.

Obviously I don’t know your mother and what her mental health is like. I don’t know what she grew up with. There’s so many factors that meld into who we are as people and how we behave. We of course do have choices as to how we act out, but sometimes people don’t learn those skills on how to cope with their overwhelming emotions and haven’t had the support growing up to learn what appropriate behaviour is. They sometimes model what is shown to them.
Whether she loves you is not up to anyone here to say. She may very well love you, but she just hasn’t had the skills to handle different situations and to express her emotions properly.

It took a long time for my mother to come around and seek active help. Sometimes I think about situations that came up when I was younger and I know if I ever brought them up she would either become defensive or she would become the “victim”. Ie “I’m a horrible person! Why don’t you just say it, I’m a bad mum”… and by the sounds you’ve had a few situations of being gaslit.

The family dynamics definitely could benefit from some family counselling, but whether she is a willing participant is her choice. That being said, even if she doesn’t it could be beneficial for you too. To find healthy coping mechanisms and learn how to navigate through situations when they arise.

So while people usually see the “normal” as happy healthy relationships, for some people that hasn’t been their normal. You shouldn’t be made to feel like you’re a bad person or not normal for the experiences you’ve been through.
You are very important and your feelings are so valid.

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Hi,
Thank you for this response. Most of the time I talk about the way my mom treats me it’s either “your mom is a horrible person” or “your mom is trying her best.” Nuance is hard, especially in situations like these… I think what you said was sensible enough for me to believe without feeling like I don’t deserve the sympathy (i hope that makes sense) and to be honest it makes me feel a little less alone.

My mom’s a complicated woman. Like really complicated. She’s done horrible things like quite literally spitting on me, throwing knives at me, pulling me across the floor by my hair, but at the same time when I think about her I know she’s been through a lot. Mostly grief stuff and I also suspect that her aggressive ways are some kind of unresolved generational trauma. Always talking about how I’m lucky to have her and if I had HER mom I’d be bleeding and beaten. So there’s that.
I find those examples you gave of things your mom has said to be very familiar haha.

I used to hate my mom. It’s hard not to when she treats me like that. But I hate hating people, so I stopped to consider what could possibly be making her act like this. I think it sort of makes sense given her old-school asian upbringing where kids got spanked with giant rattan sticks and made to kneel on rock salt. She had to do, um, smecks work at my age, to get money… Which might explain why she’s so sexually off with me and my sister. I don’t know if she’ll change but I want to be there for her if she ever does. Once I’m fully an adult, diploma and all, and I’ve had time to live alone and she’s had some space from me.

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I think I understand what you’re saying. I know with my mum when I found out about her past it changed a lot of things in how I saw her, it helped explained a lot of her personality.

I think we can agree that abuse to someone doesn’t excuse their abuse towards another.
I hate that you’ve had that kind of relationship with your mother, and I do hope that you find healing. You’re really so insightful in your acknowledgement that you don’t want to be hateful. Sometimes it’s hard to let go of those things, sometimes they come back to mind and those feelings arise still. But healing is possible. Sadly sometimes it also means that the person who hurt us doesn’t want to change or doesn’t have the support to, but not always. I do hope that your mother does have a chance to talk about these things and perhaps be honest with herself about the emotional and mental baggage she carries and how that affects others.

And for yourself, I hope that if healing means closing contact even for a period of time or if it means trying to fix this in the now that you do find that you have worth and that the behaviours that were after towards you are not a reflection on your value as a person.