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My mums behaviour is affecting my mental health

I am 18, living at home, and my mums behaviour makes me feel like I'm going mad. She is obsessive over the way things are done and that things must be done immediately. I think this evening summarises everything perfectly.

1) She got in from work as I was stepping into a shower. I was called out of the shower to come downstairs and sort out things in the kitchen.

- I had left a spoon in the sink as the dishwasher was on

- There were a few splashes of water on the metal draining surfance

- The kettle had approximately 100ml of water left in it

- The drainer had appx 8 items left on it, from her use this morning

This ended in her shouting at me and me doing all of this naked in just a dressing gown as she would not allow me to change.

2) In the shower, she proceeded to turn on the tap downstairs. Obviously this changed the water pressure and temperature. I called down 3 times, and on the fourth time, she told me that if i wanted to talk to her, I would have to come downstairs. I explained, in haste, that this was unreasonable as I'm in the shower. I felt as though I was pleading with her. Even my eight year old brother tells her I'm in the shower and asks her just to turn off the tap.

3) I was told to get out the shower, where I stood whilst she shouted at me. I begged her to leave me alone, to the point that I was in tears, slamming the door to my room and kicking it - leaving a huge break.

This is just one example. She constantly shouts, is very particular about how and when things must be done. If she asks me to do something, it must be THEN. I am now allowed to say yes mum or okay when she is talking. She constantly argues with my dad. She even criticises us both for breathing too loudly or sitting wrongly, eating incorrectly etc. She still waits up if I go out, even until 4AM, and always wants to drive me anywhere I go. I was under CAMHS but in honesty, I think the only real reason I was there is due to my mother. She is the only person that makes me feel anxious/depressed. Any psychologist or councillor I saw told me that this behaviour is not okay.

I feel as though it is quite literally driving me mad and I don't know what to do. Please help.

2 Replies

I'm no expert so don't take everything I'm saying as the word of god, but it sounds like your mum might have something like OCD. Is it impossible to sit down and talk to her honestly about it? Has she always been this way?


It is clearly very difficult for your mum and whole family! OCD affects not just the sufferer, but their family and everyone else around them. Her bad temper could be down to her having OCD and being frustrated by it. It may feel that she is being controlling, but it's more the OCD is controlling her. Family life can be very messy, and most people accept that, but OCD doesn't like it.

It isn't always easy to accept you have a problem, so if you tackle your mum over her behaviour she might get angry and put the blame on you. So perhaps the whole family need to tackle it with her together. Sit her down, all of you together, and make sure she understands that there is help out there, and don't let her wriggle out of it until she accepts she has a problem.

It must be very frustrating for you at your age, just as you are spreading your wings, to have your mum breathing down your neck and trying to monitor and control everything you do. I don't know if some kind of family therapy could be arranged, so she can understand how miserable she is making everyone around her. Hope this helps.

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