Dealing with a constantly angry and negative mother

I’m fairly certain that there is no advice that my mother would even accept at this point, as I fear she may be too far gone, but I’m going to ask for advice anyway in hopes that someone can at least put my heart at ease.

A bit of a backstory: my dad died when I was two, she had to move to a different state to live with family until I was 3. While we lived with family, she was happy, even after dealing with the sudden loss of her husband and now having to raise a baby alone, but she was with her family and she loved living with her mother and brothers and sisters. But then she met her alcoholic boyfriend and we lived with him for 15 years until he…went a crazy and pulled a gun on us one night. Then we moved all of our stuff out the next day and ran, hiding in my aunts apartment a couple of towns over. Mom worked to raise enough money to move out of state.

Then, she rekindled an old flame and moved in with him. There’s no love in their relationship. She was basically baited with his sweet nothings, and his false hopes and dreams because everything that he promised her turned out to be a lie. This relationship of theirs is honestly just a “roommate” kind of friendship at this point. He doesn’t come home until midnight, & mom goes to bed early because she has to be at work by 4am. So she’s always alone.

Her living situation fucking sucks. His house is a wreck and he refuses to keep up maintenance on it, and they don’t even have AC. His POS drug addict son has been in an out of the house for years but now he lives there permanently and has no plans of moving out. She feels like she doesn’t have a home anymore and is completely unhappy but I have no idea why she doesn’t take the steps to better her situation. Its been years of living this way, with no relationship with this man she lives with, she’s constantly alone, always working late because she doesn’t want to go home and says she doesn’t really have a home to come home to. She spends her weekends riding around in her car until its time to sleep because she hates it there. And when COVID hit, we stopped visiting family or going to any parties, and she didn’t even see me for a year. She is just wandering through life, just going around and around in the same circle, doing the same things over and over. She’s bored, she’s depressed and its taken its toll on her I guess because she has completely changed.

Just being in her presence anymore is draining, and at times I fall silent in anger because I just don’t know how to deal with the stuff she says to my face about me, or about others. Its so hard to talk to her now. And quite honestly, I get it, she has every reason to be unhappy, but I’m so frustrated with the constant complaints and depressing comments. Everything out of her mouth is negative and full of hate. She complains constantly about how she just works all day, and then goes to bed, is always alone, and feels homeless with a home. But she never tries to better her situation! She makes very good money so there’s no damn reason for her not to move out and get a place of her own. She talks about it over and over again, looking for an apartment and shopping around for a house, but never pulls the trigger. It doesn’t make any sense to me. I’ve argued with her numerous times about how she deserves a home and a place where she can go to feel safe and at peace, one that is clean and has fucking air conditioning, but she refuses. And I have no idea why. And at this point, I am just fed up and tired of trying to talk sense into her.

But it doesn’t end there. She will literally argue with me and is passive aggressive with me with every comment out of her mouth. I’ll be having a conversation about something happy but she finds a way to bring the conversation back to something negative. I’ll talk about my hopes and dreams, or things that I’m working on, but then she’ll bark about the problems, risks or the dangers or whatever… She thinks that she is always right no matter what, even when I know for a fact that she is wrong. She complains about the state of the world every time I talk to her. And how she wants the world to go back to the way it was when she was young. She hates the virus and thinks the shutdowns were pointless, and that the government is making this up to control us. She is paranoid about her phone listening to her or collecting information about her so she refuses to have apps on her phone, but still has facebook and uses google… I’ve heard racist and homophobic comments come out of this woman’s mouth that “my mother” would never ever say. She can only talk about politics or religion now and I do not talk about those things anyway, especially to her. We are always on opposite sides no matter what we talk about.

And another layer to all of this is the fact that I chose to be surgically sterilized because I have known from a very young age that I did not want to have children. I have my reasons, and quite honestly with all of the mental crap that I have going on, there is no possible way for me to raise a child in a healthy manner anyway. But the point is, I have my own reasons and its no one’s business why I made this decision. Quite honestly a decision like this shouldn’t affect anyone else but me. But this struck a chord with her and she is angry that I am being selfish, that I’m not giving her grandchildren and that I took that possibility away from her. She literally told me while sobbing hysterically, that “it was like she was mourning a child that was never even born.”

Its been a couple years since I’ve been sterilized but her bitterness towards me about this issue has not let up. Every time I’m with her, she lectures about how children are such a miracle and they change your life and change your personality for the better and give you a reason to live and how I’ll never ever know that now because of what I did. So fucking what! It really upsets me that she is so angry about a decision that affects my life - ITS MY LIFE NOT YOURS. Its like I’m a fucking disappointment to her now. I think the exact opposite of her about politics, I’m an atheist when she is a devout catholic, I didn’t go to college like she wanted me to, and now I’m not having children. I wish I could make her understand that she shouldn’t expect that just because she has a child, she’s going to have grandchildren. And I also wish that she would understand and accept that people can’t expect their children to be an exact replica of themselves, including thoughts and opinions! Her and I are so fucking different from each other now. And it’s just driving the wedge further.

Maybe I’m wrong, maybe she’s always been like this and I’m just now noticing these things now that I’m an adult, but I swear to god this is not my mother. My mother raised me to love everyone, despite differences, be accepting of everyone, dream big, chase your passions, live life to the fullest, think your own thoughts and be your own person, but that person is just gone. Its almost like she hates me now that I am a free thinking individual and stand by my own beliefs instead of hers.


So anyway… I’m sorry for the lengthy rant, but I just had to purge after spending the day with her yesterday. & I don’t know how to deal with this, especially when I have my own shit to deal with inside my own head. How the hell am I supposed to continue having a mother daughter relationship with her when I can’t talk to her? I don’t even want to call her or hang out with her anymore because of the negativity and the constant belittling. I always feel so much worse about myself and my life when we see each other because of the things she says to me.

I guess I just miss my mom, the mom I remember, and it breaks my heart to know that I may not ever have that mom again.


Hi Hiraeth,

Thank you for sharing this with us. It makes perfect sense to me why you’d be feeling the way that you do. It sounds like there is a lot of tumultuous experiences in your upbringing. It sounds to me like your mother, like you’ve identified, is living in this loop or this cycle so to speak. Sometimes the trauma we experience manifests in how we interact with our world, and in our relationships. Sorry to hear about the abusiveness within the family. That is really really challenging and I appreciate how open you are in sharing.

I know for myself, having a relationship with my parents, can be toxic at times. We haven’t had the best of relationships which is sad considering they are my birth parents. I can relate to the chaotic family dynamics. Sometimes, the people we interact with, can change us, for the better or for the worst. It sounds like there is a shift in your mother’s behavior and it could be related to trauma, like you said, some of the symptoms are depression and such. This is such a familiar narrative in my life, living in cycle, experiencing trauma, being in relationships that are toxic and unhealthy.

It breaks my heart too. I do sincerely hope there is a shift for you and your mother, that there is understanding and peace, and that you are able to move through this with as much grace as possible. I’m rooting for you!! Thank you again for sharing and please keep us updated on that status. <3 Warmly, Dot.


Hey there @Hiraeth

Dealing with a negative family member is really tough. Especially if they are so negative when you try to engage them and they just bring the conversation down. I can imagine it is pretty exhausting and also could really make a good day turn bad quickly.

Unfortunately it sounds like your mother has gotten into a rut and is refusing to take the work to get out of it. Perhaps she is scared of change after all the experiences she had before. It seems like if you are having a better time of it or seem happy she is getting jealous and taking it out on you.

I would say just give her basic empathy but perhaps it’s time to give her a little space and maybe she will see what she is missing if you aren’t around as much/engaging as much.

Maybe find a way to tell her how her behavior affects you and that you can’t keep up with this negativity all the time.

Also yeah I agree your personal choice in sterilization is none of her business, and if she wanted “grandchildren” she could find a way to help disadvantaged children in the neighborhood.

It can be really disheartening to look back at your picture of a loving mother and try to reconcile it with that person today as an adult. I really appreciate you putting this all out there and I can relate somewhat, if not quite the same thing, I have a pretty toxic relationship with my father. Like trying to line up the good things and the bad things and somehow it makes the past look different when you think back.

Anyways, sorry to go off on a tangent. I just hope you aren’t alone and I wish you strength, patience, and love in dealing with your mother.

<3 / Mish

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