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My Mom Hates Me

My mom yells at me and makes fun of me. I don't know what I did to deserve this, but I must have done something for her to be so mean to me. Sometimes she gets this look in her eyes that terrifies me. She's hit me before and I'm afraid she'll hit me again. I feel like my only options are to run away or kill myself. I don't know what else to do.

Please don't hurt yourself. Remember, suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. For some people, suicide seems like the easiest way to get rid of their deep pain. But when they truly look at the problems causing these intense feelings, there is always a better answer than suicide. The same is true for running away. The people I know who've run away usually come back to the same problems. Sometimes, they make choices of their own that lead to even worse problems than those they tried to escape. Neither option solves much of anything.

In your situation, it sounds like the best solution is for your mother to get professional counseling. There must be an incredible amount of pain in her life that's causing her to be so harsh with you. Obviously, all families have their moments of shouting or bickering, but if you and your mom are unable to communicate in ways that don't involve yelling, insults and hitting, there is a definite problem.

If your mother is unwilling to get help, the best you can do is take steps on your own to help your family. As difficult as that sounds, I believe your letter is a good indication that you have the strength to do it. You don't mention your father. If he's still living with your family, and is someone you feel comfortable talking to, enlist his help in improving your relationship with your mother.

If he's not around, your first step should be to find a Christian adult you can trust, perhaps your pastor, a school counselor or a friend's parent. You need a supportive adult you can talk to and pray with regularly. It's important that you tell this person about your mom's behavior. You say she's hit you in the past. This physical abuse, as well as the emotional abuse you seem to be suffering, is wrong and needs to be dealt with by people trained to help abusive parents. An adult friend can help you find those people.

The next step is to get some professional counseling of your own. Ask your adult friend to help you find a Christian counselor who can help you deal with the heavy emotional toll this situation is having on you. Since your mother may be unwilling or unable to change, it's important that you learn new ways of relating to her.

Finally, I'd like to tell you about a person I know who had a problem similar to yours. She tried running away. She even attempted suicide. These choices only created more problems for her. One day, she decided there wasn't a whole lot she could do to change her mother, but there were several things she could do to face her own problems. She received some excellent Christian counseling and she joined a support group at her church. Although her problems didn't go away, she got great insight and communication tools from the counselor and received comfort and prayer from the support group. With help from these Christians who cared, she made it. I know you can make it too.

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