Ask: “Mine friend and I have been together for two years and we have a good relationship with each other’s families. My problem is with my family. My mother and stepfather broke up about a year ago and everything has fallen apart ever since. Four months ago, my mom totaled her car and started using mine, leaving me unemployed and broke while trying to get to college. Two weeks later she wrecked my car. I was speechless.
My stepfather and I bought my car and my mother never spent a dime on it. This happened early this year and she hasn’t fixed it and expects my dad to fix it instead. She also didn’t get a new car. I told her I was struggling with my mental health and she told me to go for a run and she didn’t care what I was going through because “she’d had it harder”. My mom has always been toxic to me, so I’ve gotten used to it, but it’s getting worse.
My mother-in-law is poisonous: Am I wrong that I removed her from my life?
My friend’s family bought him a house so he can be alone and they also help him with school. He asked me to move in with him and I did. My boyfriend pays for everything: rent, utilities, food and everything I need while I’m in school. After moving in with my boyfriend, my mom got a letter from her apartment saying her rent would be increased by $150. She was already struggling to afford it, so this pushed her past her breaking point.
My friend suggested that my mother move in with us for a while to help her get back on her feet. Given the difficult relationship I’ve always had with my mother and the fact that I’ve wanted to move since I was 15, this wasn’t something I was interested in. My boyfriend’s mom didn’t like the idea much either.
As a kind gesture, his mother suggested that we make a lease for a few months and that my mother pay half of what she paid in her apartment. When she offered my mother this option, she refused to sign the contract and was not interested in paying rent. She told me she could pay $150 less than we asked. This upset my friend’s mother because she felt that my mother was trying to take advantage of us.
My mom now has a majority of my family involved and they don’t even want to talk to me, including my biological father. She also told her friend, who I work for, everything but her side of the story and left out important details. Her friend suggested I choose my family over my boyfriend, but why should I if they haven’t really been there for me? Am I wrong in choosing my boyfriend over my toxic family?”
Answers: I’m sorry you’re dealing with so much toxicity from your own family. I understand that if you feel guilt or responsibility for your mother, you may be compelled to help her despite the abuse you have endured. However, know that as long as you make a decision that is the healthiest for you, you are not wrong.
Based on your description, it sounds like you suffered emotional, mental and financial abuse from your mother or at the very least lacked parental love and support. It’s okay to tap, and if your family is going to support her, that’s their loss and burden to bear.
After she forcibly borrowed your car and destroyed it, I am impressed that you had the compassion and kindness to offer her a home. I recognize that so many people are struggling with the housing crisis and finding a safe place to live right now, but the offer you made seemed more than fair. Despite trying to open up and tell your mom your feelings, she hasn’t shown any gratitude and invalidates you because she thinks she’s had it worse. I’m not trying to say she didn’t have it worse or that she had no reason to despair, but she cannot allow her past to negatively affect her current ability to be a parent.
I’m all for helping people and being there for family, but if that help is exploited and ungrateful, as your friend’s mom pointed out, you’re just used. You can only endanger your mental health and well-being in such a way as to accommodate someone else. Her true nature was shown when she then went on to turn on the rest of the family while you were just trying to help her. This is something typically called “flying monkeys”, an ode to “The Wizard of Oz”, where the witch let others do her bidding. I feel like they’re hammering on you because they’re afraid they’ll have to open their own doors if you don’t accept. Normally I don’t have such a strong opinion about these writings, but I hope you know that you deserve better.
Morgan Absher is an occupational therapist in Los Angeles who hosts the podcast “Two Hot Takes,” in which she and her co-hosts share advice. She writes a weekly column and shares her advice with the readers of USA TODAY. Find her on TikTok @twohottakes and YouTube here† You can reach her by email at [email protected] or at . click here to share your story with her.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: My mother is poisonous. Am I wrong if I prefer my boyfriend over her?