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How Do I Stop Fighting with My Mom?

From a teen in the U.S.: Me and my mom has been fighting for a while now and we’e both tired of fighting with each. She is constantly saying I’m irresponsible and she makes me feel like I’m always doing something wrong. I try to tell her how I feel but she never listens to what I have to say. And I just recently found out that I may possibly have bulimia and I haven’t told her because she’s only going to “it’s all in your head, you don’t know what you’re talking about” so I always feels as though I can’t talk to her or tell her anything.

I’m just so done with fighting with her, the only thing I want to do is move out. And she adds all this stress onto me which causes the bulimia, she’s stressing me with my grades and I’m trying my absolute best to pull them all up to an A. But she keeps saying “you don’t have a 74% or above in all classes by Friday. I’m going to pull you out of school.”

I can’t handle it any more, the other day I had a mental break down and I was just crying to my cousin because I was so stressed out and I want to stay in school so someday I can have a successful life. And she said she does it because she loves me but I have a hard time believing that. I really need help right know, I don’t know what to do anymore.

The teen years are very, very difficult for most parents and kids. But you and your mom have an unusually serious communication problem. It looks to me like the two of you are resorting to ways of “fighting” that are hurting you both. She is resorting to dismissing your concerns and threats. You are resorting to an eating disorder and blaming her for it.

I do think you love each other. It’s not that your mom doesn’t care about you. She is frantic about your grades. People who don’t care, don’t bother to fight. As for you: You do care what she thinks. And you are stressed out by the fighting.

The good news is that you both want the fighting to stop. I’m thinking if the two of you could solve the problem, you would have done so already. For that reason, I do think a few sessions with a family therapist would be very helpful. A family therapist can give you a safe place to talk about your worries and can help you learn new ways to talk to each other. Your school guidance counselor or your doctor can help you find a counselor who works well with mother-daughter issues.

I wish you well.
Dr. Marie

from Ask the Therapist

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