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Mother is Abusive and Neglectful - What Do I Do?

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  • Mother is Abusive and Neglectful - What Do I Do?

    I'm fifteen years old, and my mother is emotionally abusive and neglectful. Fortunately, I have many things I need due to my father (who is divorced from my mother; I see him half of the time). However, I still lack much needed things - which have included contacts, a phone charger (which seems trivial, but my phone is my alarm for school because I don't have an alarm clock), school shirts, medicine, gym shoes, money for food, and clothes in general. My mother has forced me to be in school when I had a fever (which the nurse wanted to send me home, but she couldn't because my mom refused).

    The biggest mark she has made on my life, though, was when she stole money from me. My mother actually does this to me quite frequently, but in this instance it was $220 from a fundraiser so I could attend an educational week in New York. I found out when I checked my bank account to see how much I had left to raise, and I noticed money being transferred to her account and transactions being made near her work. When I confronted her about it, she denied it. Then she claimed it was for food. However, my dad returned to court for full custody, she claimed in the mediation that the money was rightfully hers because she had already made payments towards the trip.

    My father never gained full custody. He was forced to come to an agreement with her because he could not afford to continue. In this new custody, he added a section where my mother had to pay me back all of the money by a certain date. My mother claimed to only pay me back because she had to, and did so by putting a check in my birthday card. This was incredibly hurtful for me because the incident had made me very untrustful, which she knew because I had taken her to counseling with me.

    Besides stealing, her emotional abuse typically appears in the form of yelling and cursing and name-calling, especially when she's angry (even if it's not at me; she tends to blame me for things that aren't my fault). Likewise, she often blackens my father's name by accusing him of things he has never remotely done - and I know he has never done them after much doubt and questioning of family and friends, specifically those whom were present for the incidents. After experiencing her cold shoulder for much time, I have come to brush her off even when she is a good mood because I still feel hurt. My mother's emotional abuse has even caused my older sister to move out before she was 18.

    I'm at a loss for what to do. I have told my father and his wife, as well as my school and personal counselor, teachers, police officers, and family members. No one so far has taken me seriously, and it makes me feel helpless. To make matters worse, I have a Bipolar II with a seasonal pattern, which my mother refuses to take seriously (even though I see a doctor and therapist for it). So far I have been told to wait it out, but in all honesty, the things my mother has done has made me suicidal. And of course, I don't want to die - I want to be helped. But I fear that some day I won't be able to handle it.

  • #2
    Re: Mother is Abusive and Neglectful - What Do I Do?

    Hi there,

    Thank you for sharing on our online forum. We can’t imagine how frustrating this situation must be and it’s clear that your mom’s behavior has caused you a lot of distress. It sounds like you have a lot on your plate; having to cope with your bipolar II without support from your mom must be a challenge in itself. We’re glad to hear that your support network outside of your mom is strong. It seems like your dad and his wife, your therapist, and teachers have been helpful in some ways, however it seems like they’re aren’t acting in a way to address the urgency of your situation.

    It seems like you’ve taken a lot of great steps to find help, this post to our forum included. You sound like a really strong person who has endured a lot pain. It’s not okay that your mom treats you this way, denies you basic necessities, and steals from you.

    You also mentioned that you’ve thought about suicide and that you don’t want to die. Have you felt comfortable telling anyone about these thought, perhaps your therapist? If you don’t feel like you’re ready yet to talk about that with someone in your life, you can always give us a call and we can try to explore coping strategies or ways to address those feelings. The suicide prevention line might also be a really great resource for that kind of thing. Like us, they also have a chat feature: http://www.suicidepreventionlifeline...elinechat.aspx.

    It’s understandable that the issues you’re facing with your mom are causing you a lot of stress and to have negative thoughts. You mentioned that your mom has participated in counseling with you on at least one occasion. Is it possible or helpful if you tried doing that with her again? It seems like it’s upsetting to you that she doesn’t take your bipolar diagnosis seriously and perhaps it might be beneficial if she hears it more frequently from your therapist and doctors, as well as hears your concerns about your relationship with her in a controlled setting outside your home.

    Everyone deserves to feel safe and comfortable in their own home. Have you ever thought about reporting your mom’s behavior to Child Protective Services? We know that can be an intimidating thing to do, but if it’s an option you’re considering, you may find this website helpful: This organization can also talk to you more about what is considered abuse and neglect and what might happen after you were to make a report. Here at NRS, we can also help you to file a report if that’s a route you want to take.
    We thank you again for reaching out for help from us and we hope this information is useful. We invite you to reach out to us directly if you want to discuss your situation in more detail.

    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)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


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