Is She Verbally Abusive?


Is She Verbally Abusive?

Is my mom truly verbally abusive as I have often suspected?

My internal dialogue goes something like this:

Yadda, yadda. How fashionable to lob the abusive allegation against someone these days. Dr. Phil, Oprah, it is literally everywhere. Isn’t everyone abused at some point? It’s almost blasé--it’s so commonplace.

And, at the same time, do not bandy accusations about willy-nilly. It’s still a serious thing to say, so you better mean what you’re saying.

And, it wasn’t so bad. You survived. Such and such person had it so much worse.

Ah. Yep.

Here’s the thing. It is really bad. It’s bad when it happens to anyone, on any scale. It is never justified. Ever.

So—then, how do you really know?

Turns out, just like everything else, there are people who write books on the topic. What a newsflash. Why did it take me 20 years to root out this information? I have read every other book ever written.

It took 20 years because for 20 years I thought my MOTHER was the victim. So pathetic. She suffered so much. She seemed so needy, like she was in such acute and chronic emotional pain. Her need is so huge it could envelope the Milky Way. How could she possibly perpetrate abuse—she can barely cope? She doesn’t seem to be in control of much of anything at all. How could she mastermind hostility?


Everyone around her is abusive. Yes. They all have a say whatever the heck you want philosophy and world view. Yes. You’ve said it was like the Jerry Springer Show. Yes.

But, my mom is the VICTIM. She was victimized at the hands (literally) of my dad. She was victimized at the hands (figuratively) of my grandmother. And just about everyone else she came in contact with. Yes. So was I. Yes. So, then, if she’s a perpetrator, then I am too…or am I?

Doesn’t she say whatever pops into her mind to me? Yes. Doesn’t it hurt? Yes. Aren’t you almost 100% occupied with changing and understanding this situation? Yes. Hasn’t everything, EVERYTHING, you’ve ever tried FAILED with her? Yes. But... Doesn’t everything just get worse with her, not better? Yes. Yes. Yes.

So, why is it sometimes you understand she is a perpetrator and a victim, and sometimes you get caught up in her being too pathetic to be able perpetrate anything schtick? Hmmm. I don’t know…

It is so confusing. What would a life of no past regret look like? I’m still working this one through. In the meantime, how do I know if my mom is truly, objectively deliberately verbally abusive, or just out of control pathetic, paranoid and delusional?