Not everyone has a perfect relationship with their mom. Some people get in silly fights with their mother over something like how often they come to visit, but others are constantly put down by their mom or made to feel badly. If this sounds familiar, you may have an emotionally abusive mother. Recognizing that the way your mom treats you isn't healthy can help you take the proper steps to recover your self-esteem and maybe even help you to find ways to improve your relationship with her.
"Emotional abuse is a pattern of behaviors intended to exert control over another by influencing their emotions," says Nikole Benders-Hadi, psychiatrist at Doctor On Demand, over email. "This type of control can involve verbal attacks, bullying, criticism, threatening, or manipulative behaviors."
When thinking about emotional abuse by a parent, it is especially important to distinguish potential signs of abuse from normal parenting. Discipline and control over a young child's behaviors is expected, and just because you get into an argument or are criticized by your mom on occasion doesn't necessarily mean abuse is occurring. "In order to be characterized as abuse, behaviors must be present over time as part of a larger pattern," says Benders-Hadi.
If you think you have an unhealthy relationship with your mom, watch out for these nine signs she might be emotionally abusive.