One of the worst fights I ever had with my mother was over me moving out. The fact that I was of age (22), done with college and working meant little, as this wasn’t about whether I “could” move out. Obviously, and legally, I could. It was about the sheer will of my mother against mine and what my parents thought was best (stay at home and save your money and stay away from that boy we don’t like) versus what I wanted (freedom to make my own decisions about my life without a running commentary).

It wasn’t a pretty fight. In fact, it still bothers me to think of it since it involved a level of aggression neither of us enjoyed very much and that didn’t solve anything. I eventually moved out when I got a job offer in Texas, I blew all my money and went into debt and I most certainly kept seeing that terrible boy they wanted me to stay away from.

Sure, my mother was right. But she didn’t get what she wanted in the end. Being right is a hollow victory when your daughter is a 24-year-old divorcee, nearly 10 grand in debt and severely depressed. But, after the dust settled, I told her that this might not have gone that way if she’d been more understanding about me wanting any semblance of freedom when I was a teenager and young adult.

Some people get to test drive adulthood under the supervision of their parents. I was told I could only be an adult if I physically moved out of the state. (At the time, simply moving out of the house, but remaining in the same city, caused that knock-down, drag out fight I loathed.) Any effort to get out and away was met with a glare of “I know better.” And while this worked great when I was small and desired to eat nothing but pizza and ice cream, it’s pretty stifling after age 19.

Plus, I didn’t know how to make decisions for myself for a long time – to disastrous results. And I was that way by design. It’s easy to make the “I know best” argument if you’ve been raised to be wholly dependent on your parents. And while there were some parts about how my parents raised me I wouldn’t change for the world, the part where I would cry until I was blue in the face over how it was unfair for them to expect me to adhere to rules that infantilized me at age 16, 19, 22, 25 and even well into my 30s, is something I’d like to avoid with my own kids one day.

With all this in mind, my mother and I are actually extremely close. As a child, she wasn’t just my mother, but my friend, protector, therapist, doctor, teacher and spiritual guide. I relished in telling her my stories. So much so that when we fought once when I was a kid and I told myself I’d give her the “silent treatment” the next day, I found myself still talking to her the minute she said “good morning.” Because the silent treatment wasn’t just a punishment for my mother. It was a punishment for me. I loved talking to her. Whatever bothered me seemed small in the larger scheme of breakfast chat.

  • Mizelle

    Thanks for this post. I am STILL going through this struggle with my mother and ironically it seems to be getting worse the older I get. She demands to know everything about my life so she can make craftily-worded, guilt-ridden “suggestions” about my decisions. And when I refuse to answer her incessant questions, she starts investigating–questioning my siblings/friends to get info, and at one point, even calling the guy I was dating to “get through to him” since I wasn’t listening.

    It is hard to establish and maintain independence, especially because she is my mother and there are times when I do want to talk to her and have her opinion about things. However, when I do hold firm by not involving her in every life choice, she considers it an affront to her and says I am being disrespectful. Almost 30 years in, this is getting harder and harder to deal with. Hopefully your keeping in mind the tips above will help. Thanks for sharing, Danielle.

  • apple

    I fear my mother and after multiple attempts to escape her I have just gave in. She makes my life hell and everyday I wish to go to sleep and never wake up. I don’t know how I’ll escape this

  • NinaG

    I’m going to email this article to my mother.

  • OSHH

    Another great piece Danielle. Every healthy relationship has some boundaries.

  • Teiko

    My mother is narcissistic. There is no way we will ever be close.

  • MsArden

    wow this is such a relevant article. my mom is like this as well, and as much as I love her and need her, there are just some things I can’t talk to her about.

  • Kate

    I can relate so much to this post. I’m a college student so I’m not completely independent. I’ve never been that close to my mom but since my brother and sisters are married now, she has focused her entire attention on me. It’s not a bad thing but she can be so controlling sometimes. The funniest part is that we’re miles away and miles away. I tried to explain it to her once but I know I hurt her feelings. That’s the bad side of having a Supermom. She can’t help taking care of people and their problems.

  • au napptural

    This is my mom all day! I’m actually 23 and she’s trying to rope me into coming back home to live. I know it’s all out of love and I needed these tips to avoid it. Thanks Danielle!

  • ms_micia

    Omg! I’m seriously convinced that myself and Danielle Belton are related (for this reason among others). Great article. I also had a very similar relationship with my mother. Matriarch of the family with me as her second in command. But when I broke, I broke hard, not even understanding why fully. And like Danielle I suffered dastardly consequences. The main being my life now as a single mother of one. I was the last person who was expected in my family to be in the position I eventually found myself by trying my hardest to forge my way on my own without my biggest support system: my family. The desire to flee from difficult situations involving your family push many into situations that are much more unhealthy than really just learning to deal with your family. Coming back and really dealing with my issues and relearning how to be in a healthy parent/adult child relationship with my mom has been one of the best things for me. It made me healthier and it has helped me become a much better person. The support of my family has been the main reason that I have been able to thrive and be the kind of mother I want to be. I definitely have had to set boundaries and as the author mentioned it’s not always easy but no real relationship worth having is. It helps become a better more well rounded person to actually DEAL with your issues with your family than to run away from them, especially when you know they love you very much.

  • Candi83

    This article describes my relationship and interaction with my mom. It’s improved slightly, but our relationship still sucks. When I was living on my own for a couple of years, things got 100x better. Of course when I moved back home, it didn’t take long for us to start fighting again. While I’m at home, I’m making sure that I’m paying off debt and finishing school so I can be financially independent and get the hell out of here.

  • Candi83

    Oh my Apple. I’m sorry to hear you say that. Is your mother abusive?

  • girlformerlyknownasgrace

    I used to think that it was just me; talked with other friends and realized that it is part of the 18-24 yr old quarter-life struggle.

  • NinaG

    not just “18-24 quarter-life struggle” more like “18+ life struggle” I met 2 women, 49 and 50 yo going through the same things with their mothers

  • Celeste


    There’s always a way out. It might take a little time to find it, but it’s there. Just know that whatever you’re going through won’t last forever and you can take control of your life. In the meantime, try talking about your situation with someone you trust, they might be able to help you find the way out. And if you’re not comfortable talking to a friend or family member, call a counsaling/crisis hotline (800-273-8255). You can even talk to someone one-on-one on your computer through a counseling/crisis website ( These services are here to help regardless of your particular circumstance.

    Just know that you can make it through your situation, and if nothing else, I pray that you wake many more mornings.


  • Mocha

    I have a friend who is going through this. She’ll call and complain to me about her mom, but won’t speak up herself. I get that mothers are the begining and end of all and I love, respect and cherish mine. However, communication is key. But also, standing on your own is key. Mothers are people too. In this case, her mother plays off the fact that her daughter still needs her in certain areas of her life. It’s a tough situation, but with the lack of respect, I’d have to have a serious sit down or make some serious changes in my life, because RESPECT is a matter who you are.

  • Mocha

    Another thing…what’s up with these mothers that call their children 100x’s a day! I have friends who’s parents call them every five minutes! About every little thing! And I wonder why do they (the GROWN kids) even bother to answer. They complain about it all the time. And say how it irks them. I mean..if they are calling and you KNOW they don’t want anything, why answer?! It’s another method of control. BOUNDARIES PEOPLE! It’s about setting BOUNDARIES (sometimes).

  • ceecee

    Wow. I feel like you just wrote my life story. Thank you for this!!

  • Balba

    Wow, what a great article. While I can’t say that this situation directly applies to my mother and our relationship, it definitely sounds like my boyfriend’s relationship with his mom. He just turned 22, still lives at home, and his mother is unbelievably manipulative. She will tell him very passive-aggressively that she wants him to move out, but then turns around and says/does things that communicate that she doesn’t want him to. She will have these late night one sided conversations with him where she tells him all of her problems and how ‘awful’ her life was. I should also mention that these rants are almost always fueled by alcohol. She even implied one night that he was a mistake, and that if she never got pregnant with him she would have been a manager at her job by now. She’s unemployed now and relies on her husband. How can you say that to your own child? She also has never given him any preparation for life in the real world, and I think it’s because she wants him to always be dependent upon her. Her hypocrisy and delusional views of the world are maddening, and it hurts me to see my boyfriend so mixed up about it. He wants to break away from her, but something is holding him back.

    I want to be there to support him as much as possible, but it does take its toll. I’m the first girlfriend he’s ever had, and we’re approaching our one year anniversary soon. I find it difficult to be nice to this woman, especially when I witness firsthand the snide remarks she makes towards her son. She needs professional help. I don’t know what to do anymore.

  • Ladybug94

    I thought I was the only one experiencing this.

  • Ladybug94

    Mocha, my mom will call me and if I don’t answer she will call my kids. When I finally do speak with her she will say “I called you, you didn’t answer what were you doing” I try to change the subject but she goes back to “you still didn’t tell me what you were doing when I called you”. Shoot I may have been doing something she didn’ need to know about but at any rate what I was doing is my business. But she goes from one question to another question so I feel like I’m being interrogated. I love my mom but I can’t stand being asked questions in rapid fire succession.

  • Nnaattaayy

    OMG, my mom hated me because I refused to stay at home and attend a community college. I chose to attend a large research university that wasn’t in my city. She acted like I did it on purpose but I would have totally lived at home if my area had more prestigious universities @_@ anyways I didn’t wile out like the author lol. I know I made the right decision, I have more opportunities for study abroad, research + medical activities, honor societies etc compared to my friends. I even help support my mom now, by sending her refund checks from my student loans. So that improved our relationship lol.

  • Kdoll

    I could not relate more. I am 22, just graduated college and pursing a career in journalism. In the past month my mom has sent me a million communications job ads at her company. I love my mom, but I am an only child and went to college in my hometown. Moving out is essential when I get my first paycheck. If that job is out of the state, well that’s even better.

  • Vanity

    I can relate to ALL of this. My mother & stepfather Have been nosy & overprotective my entire life. My relationship with them is beautiful & extremely close but can be equally hard to deal with. When I was a teenager I was never allowed to go to parties, & once I turned 18, I had a strict curfew of 10:30. My mother actually violated all mother-daughter boundaries by reading my diary & KICKING ME OUT. I am now back at home, 22, trying to pursue music but lacking the skills necessary to be an ADULT & handle business as I’ve been treated like an infant my entire life. I cannot have a bloody glass of wine without incurring an attitude & disapproving glare, & I cannot leave the house without being GRILLED on my whereabouts & who I’m with. My BOYFRIEND of FOUR YEARS is not allowed in my home, & just last night I found myself sleeping in his CAR with him while parked on my own street. My growth is stunted, I’m trying to become a WOMAN sans being taught HOW by the very people who were supposed to instill those skills in me. 
    They are very loving & caring & I love them more than anything, but this ridiculousness is dehumanizing, MADDENING, & leaves me feeling violated. 

  • Tired

    I saw this article and it immediately caught my attention. I am African and no one understands how African mothers are unless you have one. I have been controlled from birth and the control came with physical, mental, and emotional abuse. I was extremely suicidal as a teenager because of it. I could never do anything at all so it turn I never really had any friends because I could never hang out with me. After I finished high school at 17 and got my first job is when I started somewhat having a life because I would just say I’m going to work in order to hang out with friends. When I was 21 I left after my mother put her hands on me for the last time. I moved to ours away where I went to college to finish my degree. I was with the wrong guy at the time because I just wanted someone to love me. When I realized I was going the wrong way with this guy n tried to break it off he got me pregnant on purpose without my knowledge and becoz I was too chicken to have an abortion I am now stuck as a single mother when I never wanted to be a mother and had to move back home. So now I’m back under the controlling thumb. There is no more physical abuse but the verbal and mental have not stopped. Its hard to move back on my own as a single mother and I refuse to have my child live in poverty so I take the abuse until I am able to be on my own. I am 25 and treated like I am 2 when I have my own 2 yr old soon to be 3 at the end of the year. There is no talking to her. She is always right and everytime I try to stand up for myself I’m told I’m being disrespectful so I don’t say anything at all I just take it. I’m tired mentally, physically and emotionally and I really don’t know what to do but keep trying my best until the day that I can finally be on my own and know for sure that I won’t need to go back for anything.

  • Tyra

    Guuuuurl Candi, I feel you to the umph degree. I had to move back after graduation since there is no big corporate job waiting on me. I’m glad I have somewhere to go but I’d really like it if it wasn’t my Mom’s. Anything we swept under the rug while I lived alone or with my ex for the last six years is now coming to a head slowly like a nasty cyst, sore, puss filled and infected. It’s something everyday. I feel more like 16 than 30. On top of that her new husband whom I loathe supports her behavior. I am on a daily goal to get the hell out of dodge.

    From me staying out for the night, to what I eat, when and how I date. What I do with my money. Funny she wants rent now, which I jumped at the idea, thinking it would give me rent payers rights but she still wants to control everything. I swear there’s rules that apply to me but no one else in this house. Ugh girl I get angry just writing about it. Well just want to let you know I feel you. Hopefully they’ll listen, go to therapy or shit we’ll move out soon.

  • Giselle

    I wish I could give my mother this article without hurting her feelings. She’s only trying to prevent me from making the same mistakes she did, but I find myself making them simply as a means to prove I can handle it better than she did. I love as strongly as my mom, and like the author, I feel like I’m very much like her. I just wish she would understand my life’s path is for God & I to decide. Not her. But her stubbornness as well as mine, prevents this. I just need to find the right opportunity to be out.

  • Mimi

    This is exactly what I needed…You just don’t know. Moms of sons need to read this too

  • gin

    Still facing this as a 33 yr old. I was sick for a long time and I’m ready for freedom again, but my mom isn’t having it. Its like she does and says things to keep me down so ill need her more. Tired of this vicious cycle.

  • Rahyel

    I’m 23 and my 31 year old sister and I still go through the same ordeal. I had to move to atlanta to exert my manhood. The distance is the only thing that keeps my mother from being overly controlling. When I was 21, I couldn’t go next door without my mom interrogating me. My sister has it worse. I mainly play mediator now, but its hard because my sister is passive until pushed and my mom is good at pushing… My best friend’s GF is also going through this with her sister. It was tough growing up without a dad and my mom did her best, bust she can’t seem to understand that I’m a grown man now… Its frustrating…

  • Moe

    OMG I can relate to this so much. I thought I was alone in having a controlling mother but I can see I’m not. I’m looking at every reply and saying in my head “my mom does that” too. As a 22 year old I don’t know what to do anymore. It seems like my mother is more strict with me than she was with my older sister. My older sister got to spend weekends away from the house with her boyfriend. But as soon as I stay out pass 12 with mine. Here go the calls and here she go getting upset, it’s beyond ridiculous. I mean I havent did anything bad to make her act this way. The funny thing is she only acts that way with me. I don’t know what to do its has caused a strain with past boyfriends and made them look at me like “how old are you”.

  • Allen

    I guess im going to be the first guy to post on here. My mother has basically tried to control my life all my life even after I moved out.My mother wasnt always abusive. I think she got like that after she divorced my dad. It got to one point where I just ignored her calls for about a month and she came to my apartment to see why I wasnt answering the phone. I was like “you really gonna come to my apartment to find where I was?” We have never had anything in common. My grandmother is more of a mother to me than my actual mom. Im currently at my mothers house because I was in an auto accident and my car got totaled. Thank God I wasnt at fault. I only gotta stay for 2 more months until my case settles. To all the people staying with thier moms or dont have a great relationship with them, dont worry, it will work out in due time.

  • Misha Mayhand

    I really love this blog, until i read this i only thought that myself and (my male best friend) felt this way about our moms. Even while reading others comments I thought “wow, i feel the same way.” I’m a journalism students with two more semesters left and i recently moved back home to finish school. I’m not pleased with the amount of small space that i have, but i have to suck it up until i can move on. I went through the rent debacle too for the first few month as well.

    But there came a point in my life when i decided that standing up for what i believed was right and wrong was a better outcome than just simply “taking the controlling attitude” from my mother.

    yeah, she says i’m disrespectful. But she gets over it every time. She’s said a lot of hurtful things to me in the past. but i know that i’ve gotten this far on my own and with the assistance of god. so i don’t let my mom intimidate me. best you can do is ignore it, and do what you feel is best for you.

    In the nick of time i saw this blog, after last night’s spat, where she made a comment about my relationship with my boyfriend. I believe i handled it well, and i went in my room, and text my friend, who reassured me to ignore her, and i was fine after that.

  • Tasha

    I thought I was alone in this struggle. To let you understandthe severityof my situation, I was not allowed to get my driver’s license. At age 28, I finally decided to get my license. it was such a victorious feeling. first person I called was mom. her response, ” you didn’t tell me you were doing this”. Not having. License stunted me. I never understood why I couldn’ get my license. however, the grudge I held was preventing me from progression. I have a God relationship with mom. I live 6 hours away so that helps. I’m 30 and she still asks me to move home. unlike many of you, I am an ONLY child. so when I visit, I get asked “who are you texting” ” who you on the phone with” Drives me nuts! My visits are 4 days MAX! I could go on on! Thanks for writing this.

  • Datgirl

    Ok! I’m in agreement with the bulk of u. I’m 35 and only child and bisexual. I was determined to move into my own place at 22 and my mom was goin to buy a new home. Somehow, house hunting with her became house huntin for myself. So we live together now in MY house when something is wrong but t’s HERS when she has a point to prove or is in one of her moods. I’m constantly asked or questioned about my phone if I’m texting or get a call that I don’t answer. And god forbid, I actually take a call in her presense;she talks the entire time to whomever axtually called me! I get so aggravated I just hang up or hand her the phone. My sexuality is enough of an issue so I simply don’t date at all. Uuuuugh..I could go on and on too. Let me shut up! I’m happy to kno I’m not alone though

  • Laronte Hodge

    As the only boy in my family, I needed this. I’m 22 and STILL being controlled. I haven’t talked to my mom in 7 months, moving out at 17. Here’s an example of one of our recent text:
    Mom: WTF…?! 5 months later…what could you possibly want…?
    Me:I want to know the real reasons we aren’t talking to each other, not the reasons others have invented, and siad the other siad. Because I don’t even think you know the reason why. I sure as hell don’t.
    Mom:You know…not trying to play games & watch your mouth! When you are ready to fix this let me know!
    Me:I wasnt trying to be smart. And I don’t kno. I don’t feel as though I did anything wrong. I can’t apologize and be serious if I don’t feel I did anything wrong.
    Mom:You distance yourself from me, Dana, Spree & the rest of the fam, block us on FB, stop talking to all of us…yet you don’t know what happened huh?! Then why no contact until now?! You cut all of us off! Figure things out & get back at me when you get yourself together!
    Me:I cut you guys off cuz 1) YOU got mad at me for an event that wasn’t even in your control. It was between Spree and I. You told ME I was using family when it was the other way around. I got an electric and a water bill to prove that. 2) YOU cussed ME out and called me all kinds of ignorant names during the Easter crap 3) And now YOUR demanding an apology. For what? I can’t do that. I knew you would demand an apology and THATS why you haven’t received a call.
    Mom:We both know I wouldn’t purposely disrespect you, and I’m not trying to now. But I can’t apologize for something I didn’t do.
    Mom:(1/2) Don’t worry about the apology. You are a grown man…you don’t have to apologize whenever you feel it’s not warranted…live your life & I’ll continue to do the same.
    Me:Yes ma’am.

    Smh. Craziness, right!?!?

  • Anna Baker

    Girrrl you ain’t Neva lied! I’m just finding out why my grandmother acts the way she does! She’s a narcissist as well. As a child, I KNEW many things weren’t right but of course I couldn’t put my finger on it. She’s still trying to control and guilt and disrespect me. I’ve had enough and am HEAVILY considering cutting her out of my life. Some fam say I should just back away from her: keep the call few/far in between, and either dont visit at all or visit sporadically. Teiko honey follow these links

    And a link on how to adopt “low contact” with ur narc mother. Im going to adopt these principles.

    If you need to back away or cut all ties, do whats bet for YOU. Especially if she’s still damaging you. We can’t continue to let them control us! EmAil if u need to chat [email protected]. Love,

  • Anna Baker

    Chile I’ll be damned if you’re not me! Hmmmph! I pay rent but you gon’ tell me how to wash my underwear, who to date, can’t bring anyone in, how to eat, and when to come in?????
    After bein thrown out several times but having to come right back b/c of money woes and her sucking my money dry, I’ve FINALLY broken free and will do ANYTHING 2 not have to come back!!! If u can, SAVE UR MONEY BABY! so u can be free!

  • Anna Baker

    Apple honey please email me so we can talk. Hit me @ [email protected]. I have felt that way since childhood honey but please trust me it can and WILL get better! Are you working or a student? Can u save up you money so u can move? Maybe u can take ur financial aid and move out? Or live with a friend or family member? Maybe pay them money or rent, cook or clean for them as payment. How about a shelter? I know you may not want to go there but I don’t want u to harm yourself because u feel trapped. Please honey email me I’m concerned for you. Let me know how u r! I’m praying for u.

  • D.M

    My mother is the queen nars. I was never allowed to go anywhere, have any friends or any type of freedom including a driver’s license. I got it when I moved an hour away to college and my dad sent me a car from L.A. It was the FIRST time I had even driven a car by myself, I was 20. She didn’t allow me to wear a bra or deodorant until I was almost in 5th grade. By that time I was bordering on a C cup, which she blamed on me. Accusing me of letting boys suck them or some wacko nonsense. She’s ruined almost every birthday I had, and insist her birthday is HER day to do as she pleases. She slapped me on my 12th bday, smashed my head in a cake at 20 etc. She even left me at a bus stop 200 miles away from home in Houston once. And this was during the time I took dependent care leave from my job for over a year to care for her after she was diagnosed with cancer in 2005. Growing up every time I tried to rebel she’d take me around to therapist and try to convince me and them I was mentally ill. She diagnosed me with bi-polar when I was 12, so when I got on my own that’s what I told my doctor’s so anytime they saw me going through extreme stress I was given medication. Those meds made me so freaking sick, and various side effects too. Uggh, I’m 31 now and just finding out I’m not mentally ill. I just have an abnormal way of handling extreme stress due to the fact that I was always told my problems were insignificant in relation to hers. I moved 200 miles away in 2007 because I was not finding employment in the small town where I lived and I was foreseeing never-ending dependance on her. She was physically abusive too. I know this is long, I needed to VENT. Now, her illness is catching up with her. Her mobility is declining and she may become paralyzed in the near future due to neuropathy and RA. I love her and hate to see her like this, but after being literally her domestic slave for 17 years, it so dang frustrating. I’ve set boundaries and made it VERY clear that me moving back to that city is OUT of the question. I told her I was going on a cruise for my birthday, you know, get out the country away from her to enjoy it. She started making plans to come with me, but never mentioned $. WTH, she can barley walk or go to work, so basically she expected me to care for, pay and cater to her during MY birthday cruise. So, I told her she cannot come with me because she and I never had a good history during my birthdays because she can’t seem to understand that It’s the 1 day where I should be able to do whatever I want and she can’t seem to avoid causing or (according to her) “confronting” drama on that day. I resent the fact that I may have to take care of her for the rest of her life. I got her on a 72 hour max time when I visit, and I’m saving up to provide her the best care possible, should she ever need it. I wish it was different, but I gotta be a grandma to my neice cause the ONLY time my mom sees her is if my older brother brings her around. She a nars grandma, but blames it on her illness. I’ve cut my losses and realize that I never really had a “mother”, but I’m over it. I heard a comic, I forgot his name, say that we would be free from most pshycoactive meds and therapy if we just realize that our parents are supposed to give birth to you and feed you. they don’t owe you anything else. What you become is on you. Thanks for this article and thank you all for sharing.

  • Ymom

    Huh? Sleeping in your car? You may need to get yourself in check.

  • edie jones

    this is me, 100 percent, but I am not close with her at all now. i want to get past it, though

  • Ashley
  • 24FindingMyWay

    OMGGGG….lord I couldn’t agree with this more. God I know my mother means well but here I am 24, being guilt tripped into staying at home (because I should save more money) for the 3rd year in a row. I’ve finally decided I AM LEAVING. Not only do I need my own space but I can’t stand the incessant arguing, complaining, and verbally abusive household I grew up in and I Feel SOOO bad for my 2 younger sisters. My mother and I are VERY much alike, only difference is that at 24 I’m more aware (just like the author says) of my bad habits and am trying to correct them NOW so I don’t smother and push my kids away in the future. My mother and I both have sharp tongues and recently we got into a huge argument which confirmed for me that we cannot live in the same household. I already knew this though. at 20 she kicked me out and at 21 I had my own place and our relationship was great. Once I moved back in, UGH! The problem is that I enjoy sharing stories with my mom, venting, getting advice, but she doesn’t know everything and she wants to feel like she does just because she’s 50. I want to make my own decisions, I want to choose my own career path, I want to leave my boyfriend when I want to, I want to move to another state when I want to, not her. I moved away last year (of course she KEPT trying to change my mind on the low) and was forced to move right back a month later. I was glad to have somewhere to land but I’m GROWN I want a life of my own. For the most part, I’ve been a very responsible, controlled child over the last 24 years I’ve never done anything too crazy (besides partying), don’t have kids, and have always kept a job. But I am sick of being controlled like I’m 14, and I’m tired of how she attacks people verbally (unfortunately I have the same trait) and I feel that my parents’ house is toxic for US ALL. Too bad my sisters can’t live with me, I can only imagine the hell and boredom and probably stifling lives they have to live for the next 5 years. But me? oh i’m leaving, I’m living my life finally, I’ll be 25 in 5 months and this is a requirement. No more running back to Mommy, letting her make all my decisions and leaving me handicapped in a cruel world.

  • JustK

    Going through this with my mom RIGHT now! I swear I thought I was the ONLY person going through it with my mom. I thought it was because I’m an only child that she treats me like a child. I love her and I know she love me, but we CANNOT live together anymore! It’s gotten so bad that we have actually gotten physical. In order for both of us to truly get along, we MUST live separate. My mom tells me I can’t do it without her,and I that I will be here forever, or if I do leave I will be back. Well, I have left and she was right I have came back…only to hear “I told you so”. But this time I’m going to do whatever it takes to STAY out of her house. She is right though grown people need they own

  • Yogi

    next time listen to your mama

  • JustK

    I totally feel you…I am an only too! My mom feels like I am her property at times…I have moved out with ex boyfriends to get away from her! But had to move back in after the break ups, and she just says ” told you’d be back”. But this time I’m getting my OWN place, not living with family, boyfriends anymore.

  • ksp

    I feel everyone’s pain here!! I am 33 and still going through this NONSENSE!! I ma moving soon and my mother keeps asking me…What if you lose your job? what if your building has a fire? she alwys assures me that no matter what happens, I CAN”T LIVE WITH HER AFTER I LEAVE!! once you know these mothers are juts manipulative, control freaks you canh’t do anything but laugh at times and just pity them. I JUST RECENTLY FOUND OUT THAT MY MOTHER WENT THROUGH MY SAFE AND SHE CONTINUES TO GO INTO MY ROOM WHEN I AM NOT HOME (DESPITE ME ASKING HER NOT TO SO MANY TIMES)!!!they have no respect or concern….it’s all about them! I’m saddened by the people here who are under the illusion that theses actions are out of love. It’s not LOVE…it’s CONTROL!! those are two totally different things. I am sad for myself and everyone going through this. We just have to forgive, move on and move out if possible. We have to make things better for ourselves and children.

  • Ashlee

    I’m in the same problem myself. It’s like my mother tries to control everything in my entire life down to the t. If only she realized I’m not her little girl anymore and have yet done things that she probably wouldn’t be so proud of, but that’s what you get for living without your parents for 3+ years because of school and end up moving back, trying to get the rest of your credits before trying to attend medical school. The only good thing is come Thursday, she’s gone for an entire week and a half. I’m going to seriously live it up and do whatever the hell I WANT and nobody else’s.

  • Danyo Rapnificent


  • http://BWA BWA

    As a mom and a daughter, I know the feeling.

  • saundenco

    After reading this article, I would be the controlling mother, at least to my oldest daughter. She left our home 3 months after graduating from high school. At the age of 18, I did not want that for her but she felt her job in fast food could support her. And here we are almost 2 years later and she has since last her job, been asked to leave 3 different homes. As much as I pray for her and concerned about her well being, I honestly feel that after all this time if she,was not able to follow the rules I set in out home then she definitely would follow them now.
    We have not talked. I think of her often and would love to resolve this but I strongly feel that at this time that is not something she desires so I do not bother her. I am giving her exactly what she wanted to live her life her way and the way she wants to live it.

  • Destasia

    Amen!!! And using the terrible what if situation is using fear to control. It’s the same here…. Controlling mother n on top of that I get used by other ppl n my family who call me when they need something and they overstay thier welcome. With the mothers though, being controlling often comes from a deep place of hurt and fear. I graduated last yr n haven’t found a steady job, when I do, I am running like forest gump outta here and at least 30 mins away. With my mom, it’s only her side she sees, so talking about things isn’t an option. I love her, but she is difficult and draining to live with.

  • Canopy Jone

    As someone whose been through this dilemna I personally think alot of my mother’s anxieties had to do with her aging and wanting to know that there would be someone to take care of her. Let’s face it. Noone wants to be alone and for many black mothers they’ve spent their lives dedicating it to the betterment and fortitude of us…their daughters. I’ve learned to listen but be foreright and upfront with the fact that I’m living a life thats INDEPENDENT from hers. From her standpoint, historically and currently, I’ve been her dependent or at least someone she could depend on. For many mothers its a process of learning to deal with THEIR fears. As many have posted, mothers always start out with “what if..”. I had to tell my mother to stop watching the news because it was giving her a skewed perspective on things. I think the other thing is that these women have been through things they’ll probably never tell us. Trials, tribulations and the like….I can’t imagine what it was like as a black woman growing up before the 60s and 70s but my mother was one of them. THAT is what I remind myself of when he gives me advice….thats she’s BEEN THROUGH IT.

  • Canopy Jone

    Controlling and concerned are two different adjectives…contact your daughter. She wants you to but she’ll never ask.

  • lucy

    It’s could be the hardest battle of your life to get your mother to get her life and let you have yours. Sometimes everything goes for them to remain in control. The next stage to war is exchange. They will ask you for a baby and make sure that you cannot look after it your self so they will take it from you….so watch out . All your mom have to do it’s to stop beeing affraid to get her own life sorted.

  • princess

    I am 33 years old and am going through something similar. My mother and I have never really gotten along. Sure, we love each other and are cordial, and can talk about pretty much anything inconsequential, but I wouldn’t prefer to be with her for longer than a few minutes and I never call her when I need advice or am feeling “some kind of way”.

    My father and I have always been close and although he likes to make me feel guilty about not calling enough, he understands me and doesn’t make a fuss about it. He knows that there is never any love lost and doesn’t pressure me to reassure him of it. My parents are still married and live together.

    My sister is 26 and has always been close to my mom, particularly because she depends on her so much. I graduated college, have a decent job, and am married with a new home. My sister moved back in with my parents because she couldn’t pay her apartment rent. She dates guys who can’t keep jobs and my parents always seem to be ok with them. Although she is doing somewhat better (financially) now, her money is almost never spent well and she ends up running back to my mom – who rescues her with open arms.

    Growing up I felt like my mom was absentee. I was always considered a bright child, and naturally, I had questions about everything. Advanced questions. I was never satisfied with the “Because I’m the mother and I said so!” remark. My mother never liked my friends and always dictated who I hung around. She never talked to me about boys, never about any of the things that I needed to know while developing into a young woman. Everything I learned, I learned the hard way. There are so many things that I can only dream telling my mom about. I don’t think I would have some of the emotional issues I deal with today if I had. I wish that I had that motherly ear to tell me why, and to ask what if, and to say this is what happens when….rather of the constant “No! No! NO!” that I got instead.

    My sister on the other hand is best buddies with my mom. They can talk about anything under the sun. My sister was even able to bring a girl home who she was dating at one time. I couldn’t dare even tell my mom about a guy I liked back then, let alone a lesbian relationship I had. I could go on and on about the relationship that my mom and sis have, that WE don’t. I envy it very much – not because I necessarily want to be around my mom, but because I feel she is giving my sister the love and advice that I desperately needed and never got a wince of. Let me mom tell it, she has always done everything she could to please the both of us and yadda yadda yadda, and she will never acknowledge anything that I am saying as true. In her mind, none of it even happened and these are simply MY feelings. Nothing more.

    Now that my mom is retired and my sister is finally getting her life together (and hopefully moving out this time for good) my mom makes me feel bad about not calling. She wants to talk at least once a week, but I am more comfortable talking every 10-14 days. Some people are appalled that I don’t call my mom more often, but growing up – I seriously despised her. It wasn’t until after I moved away that I realized some of my feelings were just plain childish and of resentment, but even still – they don’t just go away. It’s hard to have a best bud relationship now when the foundation for it wasn’t layed then. I love my mom, but everytime I see her number on my caller ID, I can’t help but fell like she’s “checking up” on me instead of simply seeing how things are going. Bottom line, I just felt so detached from my mom growing up, it’s hard to simulate any kind loving, affectionate relationship with her now. I love my mom, dearly, and would be devastated if anything happened to her, but I don’t want to talk to her every week on a personal level. I struggle with this, because I know that both of my parents have always given us everything that we have asked for that was in their power to do so. But I would give anything in the world to have been able to talk to my mom about the abortion I had, or how I should have handled things when the guy I loved broke my heart.

    I don’t have children but my husband and I are planning to within the next 2 years. I have always wanted a son because I hated the relationship I had with my mom. I never wanted a daughter – despised the idea of it. Now I find myself longing for a daughter to love and raise, one to talk to and befriend. A daughter whose tears I can kiss away and let know that she can come to me about anything or anyone. There would be nothing in this world that I would leave her to tackle alone.

    Got to go, eyes welling up as always thinking about this. hubby is looking at me like I’m crazy hollering about captain d’s…lol

  • lisa shaw

    Bless your heart. I’m 44 and don’t speak to the Mother I only met at 12 yrs old. You are brave and courageous to even come on here and try to express all the things that have and are haunting you. I want you to know I think you will be a blessing to any little girls or boys lucky enough to be your child. I had and raised 3 beautiful smart awesome girls and 1 handsome smart responsible son. My children are all grown and I have 8 grandkids!!! I have a wonderful and unique relationship with each and every one of them. I had joy in raising them and respected them immensely! I raised them the way you are dreaming of someday raising yours! You will not regret it! I’ve had a beautiful second part of life especially compared to the first part, being raised Motherless then meeting the most negative narsacist ever, She tried from day one to control, manipulate and destroy anyone who got in her way! Stay up! You can have the family you’ve always wanted, I did!!!

  • K. Dub

    I totally agree with this. What parents don’t understand is that they are the real adults in this type of situation. To throw tantrums & not speak to your child because they did something that you don’t approve of is a lot more childish than anything else. Let me ask the above mother a question: how would you feel if something terrible happened to your child & you weren’t able to talk to get because you’re being stubborn, a know-it-all-because-I’m-Mama, & selfish. CALL YOUR CHILD & FIX IT, & I MEAN RIGHT NOW!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • cayrole

    I can definitely relate to that. I can not relate at all to my mother on almost all issues. All I just keep hearing is why I do not have any friends or a boyfriend growing up…among other things. She thinks during the holidays or any other issue such as a death in the family (not immediate), we should just drop everything and go…hell, i am not really close to my cousins.

    To make a long story short, i am damaged goods. We are not real close and never will be. I just at times want to cut my ties and move on…easier said then done.

  • Ramona

    I can identify with having a controlling mother. My mother and I love each other dearly. She is 83 and I am 58. I live happily by myself and my mother lives in a wonderful independent living senior community – which she loves, just 20 minutes from me.

    We talk to each other almost everyday by phone. When ever we are together or talking on the phone, she usually tells me what I should do, how and what I should say, how I should drive, keep my house, do my hair, dress, etc, etc!! I seem to never say or do the right thing in her opinion. She is very critical of me. To keep the peace, I usually just say “Yes mother” to what ever she says but do what I choose to do anyway.

    When we talk about it and I tell her that she is controlling and she treats me like a child that does not know anything, or can not do anything without her instructions, she tells me that is not true. so I go back to the yes mother mode to keep the peace.

    What I have come to realize is that at age 83, my mother is not going to change – especially because she does not see the need to change – I love her too much to let her controlling attitude come between us or ruin our relationship. So what do I do – I love her unconditionally, forgive her always, pray for her always, and enjoy the time I have with her because she is the only mother I have and I do love her. At times she and I both laugh when I say “yes mother” because she knows I am just saying that to keep peace and I will do what I choose to do not necessarily what she wants me to do.

  • MeToo

    cayrole, you sound like an echo of me. sometimes parents are toxic. sometimes you *have* to move on. you only have one life. live it and be happy. with or without your mother.

  • lisa shaw

    I feel for everyone going through this! I promised myself I would never be a controlling Mother…but for the grace of God go I …I recently had a falling out with my own beautiful, intelligent, independent daughter! I knew right away I was wrong, but the damage was done… Today, she forgave me : ) it was easy admitting my wrong because I was WRONG! I thank the good Lord above my precious daughter has such a forgiving & compassionate heart! I will never allow that to happen again!

  • Kammy

    This is what I’m going through with my mom. I can’t take it anymore, she’s impossible to deal with! She is very condscending! What’s makes it so bad is that I’m not the only one who tells her this. She thinks everyone is the devil, even me, the only one she has in this world. She’s a judgmental Christian, and I’m just fed up with being told in so many words tha I’m hell bound. I’m just done.

  • Brandy

    Omg, I feel like you’re writing about my mama lol. Exact same issues with moving out some odd years ago. Even now, there’s alway that fear I have of dissappointing her that I think holds me back from moving out of state are truly being myself. Thanks for awesome testimony and advice!

  • Lia

    To the author:

    If/when you have children, you’re in for quite the ride. The type of parent you describe your mother to be often become insufferable and overbearing as grandparents. Being overly controlling (trying to dictate scenarios and dynamics for which you are not responsible, examples include decisions that your friends, adult children, and other family members make about their careers, nuclear family structure, romantic lives etc…) is a sign of emotional immaturity. People who are secure and accountable focus their energy on the one person they can actually change, themselves. And the one relationship that is first and foremost a mutual choice (marriage).

    Best of luck.

  • Ramey Chisum

    I’ve been going through the most horrible situations with my mother. Three and a half years ago I told her she was abusive and I couldn’t have her in my life. Since then she has ruined me, now that I’m getting my life under control, she’s doing everything to sabotage me, again. She told my boyfriend to break up with me and kick me out of my apartment because I won’t apologize to her for calling her abusive. I have a baby to take care of, no money and no job. She just won’t stop.

  • Bob

    Omg my mums the same. I have my own child and she try’s to take my role as a parent event to the extent I wasn’t allowed to name my own child. I just figured I’ll move out without telling her and maybe she’ll get the message that I’m an adult.

  • Khandi

    I’m currently 18 going through this right now! Me and my have been at it since I was 13. I have 5 younger siblings and it seems that I have to be the mother to them because she is never around,she works but still she have free time that she choose to spend with her man and not her kids. I dropped out of school because me and my mom was fighting daily and teachers and school faculty members was starting to ask questions and get the police involved, so my mom decided it was better for me to drop out or else I would be the reason her kids got taken away and I didn’t want that to happen. I have spoken to her a few times about my education and she gets angry with me for no reason I was even kicked out twice for mentioning it to her which led to two very heated arguments. Now that I’m legally an adult I have no freedom not even freedom to enroll myself back into nor freedom to get a job. I want to move out and get my life back on track which seems to be the only way I get away from this but I have no where to go.

  • Ash

    Wow.. I think I have gone through a lot that you went through. Im 22, done with college and have a job and working on finding my own place. I am also an expecting mother. My mom despises of me starting my own life. Being the Christians that we are, I always thought that the judgements and the redicules would end after becoming an adult, but this is only just the beginning. All I ask for is moral support but have YET to receive any. I have learned that all we can do is pray, ask God for guidance and he will lead us on the path he wants. Even though we love our parents, we can’t live for man. Only for God :-)

  • Ramey Chisum

    So now that my mother has me in the most impossible trap, she is not coming to help me tomorrow. I have no food, no money, no diapers, no wipes, no toilet paper, no friends no family and no way out and all she wants to do is make promises she doesn’t want to keep. She’s the one who got me into this situation and if I confront her about it all she does is blame me for it. Okay, that’s fine, but when she makes a promise to come help me do laundry tomorrow, why did she just send me a nasty email saying she will never speak to me again?

  • maya

    OMG I so know how you feel… Im 27 and moved back to my house at age 23 and still went to school. My mom is having a hard time letting go, but yet she still controls me. they moved to a bad area to live and would not leave me alone . I had to stay out in LA for a good job. I was the only one working and was angry how i had to pay their rent and was homeless staying at my step grandmothers house. Then I had to commute 80 miles and still pay their rent. They make me feel guilty because I want to leave the house and go back to school .I get judge because I want to move out for school and feel its a double standard because my brother is allowed to move out. I eventually lost my job. And I cant find one close by because there are no jobs out here at all. Now that I have a bf they act like im going to move out and sin that i should move out when i get married???? im sick of them controlling me to top it off if we move to LA I have to pay them rent while still being controlled??? Im going to pray to God because I can not live for them anymore …Its to much I shouldnt pay for the consequences of their youth and their mistakes…

  • A daughter

    I am 22 and I moved out yesterday into my boyfriend’s parents’ house. Granted, it is not how I imagined moving out for the first time and it isn’t the ideal situation but his parents and my boyfriend have been very supportive and have welcomed me like I never expected. I go to college (am almost done) and have a stable job. My family is not taking it well. It could have been worse but it makes me sad to know I have hurt them. They have worked hard for my little brothers and I and I am the first child to move out so I know it must be hard for them. I feel somewhat selfish for my decision. My mom and I argued a lot (it has gotten a little better lately) but she has always been controlling and it has gotten to the point that I always felt like she was watching me (even though I knew she wasn’t), I always hid things from her (everyday), and I always felt like I had to have a response ready for her and this was affecting me negatively mentally. I was (am) depressed because of it and I hated going home, would cry on my way home every day for a while now. I would find any excuse to get out of the house and realized this too was hurting my parents. I know I am not the best daughter but I can’t help to think that if my mom had been a little more warm, less moody, and less overbearing, that things would have been better at home. It is my first day out of the house and she does not want to talk to me right now. I can’t stop thinking about how much I have hurt my family (I also live with my grandma, aunt, and two younger brothers, plus my dog, which I love so much but could not bring with me). This is definitely hard but I hope that in the end, my parents and I will have a better relationship now that the control factor has been removed. I hope they can come to understand why I made my decision, even if I told them the news and left with my boyfriend that same night. I know it was not the right way but I felt so trapped I needed to escape. Even if I had stayed for a couple more days, I am sure it would have been awkward and tense with my parents, and the final result would have been the same; I would have left either way whether right away or a couple of days after. I have learned a lot from my mother’s parenting. I don’t want to be the same with my children. My mom is a great parent and she loves us with all her heart but she can be very aggressive and controlling even though she denies it. That is why this hurts.. because they have worked so hard for us and I feel bad I just left them. But I was on the verge of thinking about suicide (even though I know I would not have gone through with it, my mind was so negatively affected by my mom it seemed like it was the only way to feel the relief I have been wanting all this time). This morning, since waking up, I have not stopped thinking about them and how they must be feeling. But I can’t help but feel different.. relieved, I even woke up early, which at home, I never did. I would always wake up around noon or a little before because it felt so hard to get my day started due to my depression. I had breakfast, which I never did at home, since I was always rushing to leave. And I shared some laughs with my boyfriend, which if I were at home, I would be frustrated and crying. It definitely feels different and better but I will surely miss my family.
    My point is, and I apologize for all my writing, I am just subconsciously venting, everyone eventually moves out. The need for control is mentally-damaging to those it is brought upon. And sometimes, one can only take so much of it. Mom, I am very sorry I hurt you but I really wanted to feel something other than stuck like I did. I hope we can come to understand each other and communicate better than before, with time. There is no need for anger, just a little bit of sadness because even though some things will change, not everything will. I am still your daughter, you are my mother, even in different locations. I will always love you and I thank you for the hard work you and my step dad have always put in to make sure my brothers and I are taken care of but I really needed to do this for myself. Otherwise, I would be stuck at home, unhappy, unmotivated, and depressed, just for the sake of being home. I feel like I am on my way to being a happier, healthier, and more at peace individual.
    If you are going through the same situation, think it through. It is difficult but it is possible, despite what your parents tell you. In the end, it is your happiness after all.

  • Bluelikejazzminds

    Wow! I’m 19 and I go to school out of state. I utterly REFUSE to live back home after I graduate! I will make a way to live anywhere, but home. My relationship with my mom has always been more or less rocky, and when I finally left for college at 17 everything seemed to be looking up. I’m getting a degree in marketing and she thinks I should be a lawyer, and always pressures me to go to law school. She wants me to be something “professional” (which means corporate), and anything else is just destined to fail. I’m home for the summer for the first time, and after years of sweeping all our issues under the rug, it all came out in a teary argument after looking at my grades (3.0 GPA wasn’t good enough). She constantly doubts me, makes fun of me,she doesn’t think I can make it in the real world because I’m little more sensitive than most, and while I’m slowly being myself around her I have to tip toe and watch what I say because she can change moods very quickly! I haven’t always been the best daughter, and I’ve apologized for my mistakes in anyway I have hurt her, well we’ve both hurt each other let’s put it that way. She’s a single parent and constantly tells me that she doesnt want me making the mistakes she made (having a baby young, getting involved with the wrong men, etc.) WHile that’s good and dandy, and I understand her point of view, her “right direction” isn’t my direction. I just want her to see that I’m capable of making my own decisions, and trust me that I know what’s good for my life too…

  • Leanne Strong

    I just turned 20 a couple of months ago, and when I was a teenager, I sometimes liked my mom but sometimes I didn’t. Some of it had to do with the time of the month. I have Asperger Syndrome (High-Functioning Autism), and before I was on birth control pill, PMS would get SO serious for me that I could barely control what I said or did! PMS wasn’t as severe for my mom as it was for me. One of the things I hated when I was a teen and a preteen (and I still hate this now) was when one of my parents said something like, “You know what I would do, I would………….” It’s like, “I’m NOT YOU, mom! When YOU’RE in a tough situation, do YOU always do just what YOUR mom would do in the same situation?! I don’t think so! Different people have different ways of doing things, mom!” Or, “Dad, I’m a different person than you! Do YOU always handle problems in the same way YOUR dad would?! Probably not! Each person is different, dad!” Another thing I didn’t like was when my parents said things like, “When I was your age……….” I would think about saying something like, “Mom, things change! When YOU were a teenager, did things always happen the same way they happened when YOUR mom was a teenager? I don’t think they did!” Or, “Dad, when YOU were my age did YOU and YOUR friends always do whatever YOUR dad and his friends did when HE was in high school (or middle school or junior high)? I doubt it! Times change, dad!”

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