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Is this abuse?

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  • Is this abuse?

    My relationship with my parents has been rough for as long as I remember, [the earliest memory being when I was four and I was playing in my play kitchen and my mother screamed at me for dropping a plastic toy pot.] I am currently 16 and living with my parents and two younger brothers. I don't know where to do at this point and I'm at a loss and a cross because I can't tell if this is abuse because they will do all these amazing things for my brothers and myself [including vacation, prom, etc.] My mother [I prefer to refer to her as her first name] can get very nasty and say call me names and say things about my body weight, etc. that make me feel pretty awful about myself, I don't remember a time where she ever told me to feel comfortable. My father calls me names and sometimes gets physical, most recently being yesterday when he pushed me on the stairs. I don't know if it is because I'm acting out, and even if so, is that justified? I'm really lost and I need help.

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thanks for reaching out. It sounds like you’re going through a difficult time determining whether or not your mother’s actions constitute abuse. Hopefully we can help you start thinking about this situation in a way that will help you answer that for yourself.

    We’re not here to define abuse for anyone. This is because a lot of definitions for abuse do not account for experiences that may indeed be abusive. Abuse looks differently from each abusive relationship to the next. You can learn more about what abuse might look like in various forms from Child Help, the National Child Abuse Hotline: We do want to say though that it does seem inappropriate for your mother to be making you feel bad about yourself, especially by making comments about your body. We understand how damaging it can be when others comment on your frame, and find it unfortunate that your mom is saying nasty things about you and your body. If you would like to discuss ways of talking to your mom about this issue, or would be interested in having us mediate a conversation between you and your mom about this matter, you can feel free to contact us 24/7 at 1-800-786-2929.

    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)


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