Messages the Abusive Woman uses to Control her Children:
I am a wonderful mother and you owe me for having taken care of you and raised you because I sacrificed so much for you. You are responsible for my happiness and I should be the central person in your life for the rest of your life.
You owe it to me to tell me everything that is going on in your life so that I can use it to manipulate and control you and give you guilt.
If you try to pull away from me and become strong, healthy and independent, I will come on stronger…calling you more and more; talking to relatives (siblings) about you so they will call you and make you feel guilty; make myself sick so you will have to communicate with me because you will be afraid I might die and you would take responsibility for this (of course, I want you to believe this because it works every time); use every guilt trick I can think of, embarrass you with my outrageous behavior. I disregard normal cues to back off, shut-up, change or compromise. If anything, the cues you give make me come on stronger, using guilt and the distortion of your belief systems that I taught you as a child. I will hound you until I get my way, no matter how long it takes or the extent of the outrageous behaviors I must go through to do this.
I have a right to invade your privacy as a person because you are an extension of me. You have no self and I will never let you have a self, if I can use guilt or manipulation to keep you from having one.
I really don’t like you… I am really incapable of liking or loving anyone but myself.
I believe you should give me unconditional love, respect, time, attention. However, I will rarely give you any of this because you don’t deserve it because you have never given me enough. I will make you believe that if only you will do whatever it is I want that day that I will give you love and like you, but I am acting and conning you.
I will get my way no matter what it takes because I deserve to get my way. Your needs (you shouldn’t have needs except to serve my needs) are unimportant and I don’t even notice them except to use them to manipulate you.
I will give you gifts, but they always have strings attached because if you try to do something I don’t want you to do, I will remind you that you owe me. I am incapable of getting joy from giving a gift freely. I am incapable of empathy or caring that someone else is hurting, especially you. In fact, if I can make you hurt to get you to do what I want, that’s great!!!
How dare you even think that you can have an intimate relationship with someone besides me, especially if they are strong, independent people who teach you what I really am about? I will do whatever it takes to disrupt those relationships.
You do not have the right to be happy if I am not happy. In fact, your happiness should only depend on making me happy…nothing else.
I really don’t care if you are successful or not, except if I can use your accomplishments and brag about you to make me look better or I can use the money you make. In fact, I would rather you would be dysfunctional, divorced, alone, et cetera and living near me so that I could use you for my bidding. If you are weak and unhappy and guilt-ridden, you are easier to use. I also love complaining to those around me that you treat me very poorly and are ungrateful because this gets them to feel sympathy for me.
I don’t want you and your brothers and sisters to be happy and like each other. It serves my interests more if I can play you against one another, because when I do that I am the center of everyone’s life and I get attention and what I want.
I love to create chaos. I don’t want people around me to be happy, stress free, and content. If I sense that you are happy, I am going to use every trick in my book to make you miserable and upset. I don’t want you to have friends. I should be enough for you.
Your opinions and decisions are poor compared to mine. If you would just listen to me and do everything I say, then you would be smart. I know what is best for you.
Reality is what I tell you it is. This has nothing to do with the truth or what really has happened. I can change reality by believing it is different.
I am a master of behavior modification. If you do what I want, I reward you…perhaps by occasionally saying something nice or kind to you or maybe by just not harassing you. If you do not do what I want, I will do everything I can to make you miserable until you give me what I want. I really don’t care what this does to you because your ability to be happy should always depend on whether I am happy.
I intentionally keep you hypervigilent as to my moods. You should always be aware of whether I am happy so you can do whatever it takes to make me happy, if I am not. Of course, I am never really happy. I constantly change what it is that would make me happy because I rarely want you to feel successful in making me happy, except when you are my puppet and do everything I want you to do. It is easier for me to control you if I keep you feeling inadequate and unsuccessful.
Although I constantly strive to make you feel guilty, I am incapable of feeling guilt. Why should I feel guilt? I am perfect and never wrong. I also don’t have a conscience. Why should I feel guilt? I am always right. I am entitled to do whatever I want to do regardless of laws and rules because I am superior to everyone. Laws do not apply to me.
I will treat your children much better than I treated you to teach you that you should have given me unconditional love and there is something wrong with you.
I have instilled in you the sense that I am extremely powerful, unable to be defeated, smarter and more competent than you; better than you at everything. I will never give up to get my way and it won’t be worth the price you will have to pay for not giving me my way. I have instilled in you a sense of incompetence, insecurity, powerlessness, and an inability to compete with me. I have intentionally kept our relationship as one of mother to small child so that you will quake when I am unhappy and give me my way to satisfy me and always be trying to please me in order to get me to love you. Your non-verbal sense of me is that I am powerful, scary, dangerous, superior to you, smarter and more capable than you and that you cannot take me on as an equal ever, even as an adult. When you were a young child, I made sure that you were unsuccessful in having your needs met when you were dealing with me time and time again so that you came to believe that you could never be successful in meeting your own needs before mine.
Nancy Davis, Ph.D. © 2005
Labels: abuse, blame, delusional, emotionally abusive mothers, gaslighting, mothers, narcisstic mother, selfish, toxic mother