How to Compassionately deal with toxic mother?

HomeForumsRelationshipsHow to Compassionately deal with toxic mother?

New Reply
Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)
  • Author
  • #423633

    Hello everyone,

    I have a narcissistic mother who is very mentally abusive towards me. My mother will insult me put me on guilt trips and do things to manipulate me and do things emotionally hurtful to me. I am distancing myself from her and limiting contact. It’s getting to the point where respectful communication is no longer possible. However if I need to communicate with her by email I keep my communications with her very short and brief and do not take her phone calls. I am 31 years old and she is paying my rent due to having severe disabilities at this time that prevent me from working and going to school. My mother has sent me angry messages that she is angry that I am not talking to her very much. She is trying to guilt trip me because I am not wanting to communicate with her very much. I do not communicate by text or take her calls but I only sent her emails. I am recovering from serious health problems and talking to her causes me a lot of stress that make my health worse and also emotional problems a lot worse. Currently I do not have any friends other relatives or any type of support system. I have been my own best friend. I’ve had to cut a lot of toxic people out of my life. I am unable to make friends at this time because of how sick I am. It’s too hard on my health. Can anyone give me advice on how to compassionately handle my mother while I limit contact with her? I am hoping that when I am able to iCan get well enough to go attend college to be able to secure a job and end contact. She is also in the beginning stages of dementia and don’t want to stick around when her illness progresses because her unkind behavior towards me will get worse. Can anyone relate?


    Dear Kiersten:

    I will reply to both of your threads here, in this thread, and leave the other for those who may hopefully recommend to you the spiritual books and Buddhist guidance that you asked for.

    You shared that you are a 31-year-old woman suffering from “autism… severe mental illnesses, and medical problems“, “severe disabilities..  that prevent me from working and going to school“,  making it difficult or impossible for you “to make and keep friends“. Your mother is currently paying your rent, but you hope to be able to support yourself financially in the future.

    You shared that your mother is narcissistic and very mentally abusive toward you: “My mother will insult me put me on guilt trips and do things to manipulate me, and do things emotionally hurtful to me… respectful communication is no longer possible.. She shows no empathy or compassion for me so I don’t go see her anymore nor do I call her very much on the phone. I know eventually I will need to end contact with my mother“. You also shared that you “also endured a lot of mental abuse from family, former friends, ex partners, and medical professionals“, and that you’ve “had to cut a lot of toxic people out of my life“.

    You asked: “Can anyone give me advice on how to compassionately handle my mother while I limit contact with her? I am hoping that when I am able to,  I can get well enough to go attend college to be able to secure a job and end contact… Can anyone relate?“-

    – Firstly, congratulations for cutting a lot of toxic people out of your life and for minimizing contact with your abusive mother.  I very much like your plan to end all contact with her and to attend college and secure a job sometime in the future,  when you are able.

    Secondly, yes, I can relate to having a narcissistic, abusive mother, the antithesis of what a mother is supposed to be. She is supposed to be her child’s protector; instead.. we need protection from her. My mother too, like yours, insulted me (repeatedly and at great lengths), mercilessly guilt-tripped me and severely hurt me.

    You asked for advice on how to handle her compassionately while limiting contact with her: my advice is that you focus not on handling her compassionately, but instead, that you focus on handling yourself compassionately.

    Your compassion for her all these years did not make a difference to her emotional quality of life,  and did not cause her to have compassion for you, did it… A waste of your empathy/ compassion, isn’t it? Better apply empathy and compassion to yourself: it will make a difference to your quality of life!

    Personally, I have had no contact with my mother for 10 years and plan to keep it this way. I am still working on practicing compassion for myself.. a concept that was foreign to me in the past.

    Is my input somewhat helpful, at this point?



    Dear Kiersten

    Are you able to receive state benefits in your country to help pay your rent etc? If so this will free you from feeling beholden to keep contact with your mother once financial ties are severed.

    I am guessing that your mother does not like that you are taking control on how & when you communicate with her.

    The fact that you wish to be deal compassionately with your mother despite her toxic behavior towards you shows that you are a good and caring person despite of your parental relationship. I am guessing that your mother is under 70,  I have known a couple of people who have had early on set dementia and their disease progressed rapidly compared to those that have late onset, so the work that you are doing to make & keep peace in your heart is a good idea.


    Dear Kiersten,

    Everyone at some point or another, felt this burning sense of toxicity radiating from their parents. As of now, I feel extremely upset about my mother and her manipulative behaviour towards me, trying to guilt trip me into doing things that she views are right. While I feel upset, I once again cannot cut off relations with her just yet as she is still my monetary lifeline, so I completely understand how you feel. I just wanted to say, I chanced upon a peace by tsem rinponche a while ago, and if you ever face the same issues with your mother again, remember that you can always view her as a positive training to your character. I understand this may be difficult to accept, I myself am completely unable to wrap my head around trying to use someone who is hurting me to by benefit, but I hope that with time and practice both of us can get to a point where we are able to accept the things around us and understand what we can do to turn this relationship or situation around us. Ultimately, if we are unable to do so, that is also ok because our dharma practice teaches us that gradually we will be able to accept whatever happens to us because of our practice, and we will not feel as affected. Also know that karma will eventually come back to our parents if they are truly, and I mean truly, in the wrong. While we shouldn’t wait on the day their karma arrives, we should know that it isn’t our responsibility to change their character or cause them harm just yet. I know my response doesn’t really help, but I just felt really helpless about my own situation until I saw your post and felt that if my fellow practitioner can overcome this situation so can I. Thank you so much and may you have all the luck you need!



    How to compassionately deal with a toxic mother? I am sorry you have had so much trouble with dealing with your mother. Her motives must have been to control you and stop you from become someone she would not like you to be. She pays for your rent? And you will only talk to her thru emails. She has approach dementia and you won’t talk with her. If you were to lose your memories, essentially yourself as you know it, wouldn’t you wish to have friends and family around?

    So, compassion and wisdom is only applied to those we wish to apply it to? And some even wish that karma will take care of those if they are truly in the wrong? Of course no one ever makes mistakes??? Those who are without sin may cast the first stone. Mary, mother of Jesus, tried and convicted by her peers of the sins, stood there waiting for compassion. Wisdom stood in its stead.

    I do not say mothers are innocent or the relationship is not toxic. But, my compassion says to not assign blame. The person across from you is on her script. She is playing her role as it was laid out to her. Wisdom lets you see the truth and act compassionately. To go beyond hurt feelings and mental scars. This is not an easy thing to do.


    If told that one’s true love is with child and you have not had relations with her then what is it that makes a man stand up for the woman? Is it love? Compassion? Or wisdom??  Truth is all three. The third being the toughest to manifest.

    I hear people cheering for the original poster. And the sympathy laid about for her terrible situation. Similar situations and stories are thrown about. Often, the child grows up to be just like the mother. And often that is the curse cast upon the child that they will have children of their own.

    There is a way to compassionately deal with a toxic mother. It requires that one understands to one’s deepest core the truth of the situation. Understand the roles that everyone plays. To be sane and stronger than the wind being blown upon ones face. This compassion and wisdom will not show itself before this.

Viewing 6 posts - 1 through 6 (of 6 total)

You must be logged in to reply to this topic. Please log in OR register.