Background: I’m 19, working full time, and attending school as well (Will have my AA at the end of the semester!). I live “at home”, and I’ll be moving out in the middle of May.
My mother constantly makes comments about my weight, skin, hair, etc. that will inevitably send me into a tailspin, where I usually remain in a funk for a few days. I’m 5’6”, 130 lbs., yes I have some skin problems, but I’m still a teen…I’m bound to have a few pimples/blackheads. I dress conservatively, and nothing about my appearance is what you would call “extreme.” In the Pictures of Yourself thread, I’ve posted a number of pictures of myself.
Apparently my crime is that I’m not like my older sister: 5’7” 115 lbs (very sporty body, usually runs 6 miles a day), blonde hair.
When I stopped highlighting my hair and dyed it back to its original color (a medium to dark brown). I was so excited when I came back from the salon after I got it colored, only to hear “You look like a goth. You looked so pretty when you were blonde…” That burst my bubble a bit, but I’ve also come to expect this from her.
“Reddie, your skin used to be so pretty…you’ve really got to do something about that.” Thanks mom…My skin stopped being “pretty” to you once I hit puberty (surprise!)…I’m really okay with the few pimples I’ve got, and you should be, too! What problem areas I do have are easily covered with powder.
She continually comments about my weight, usually right before I’m leaving to go somewhere when I’m dressed very nicely, or at the dinner table (no matter who is there). “I’ve noticed you’ve packed on a few pounds,” and if we’re at the dinner table, that’s usually followed by, “Are you sure you want bread with dinner?”
This morning, I guess it just hit me at the absolute wrong time. She called me into the spare bedroom before I was leaving for work and she gives me the once over and says, “You look goo-Oh…” as her eyes zero in on my hips, and says, “Nevermind.” I ended up crying the entire drive into work.
I’ve told her time and time again that I wish she wouldn’t criticize my physical features, only to be told, “I’m your mother and it’s my job to tell you when I think you look bad.” Niiiiiiiiice, Mom.
What drives me crazy is that her first husband used to tell her things like that all the time, so she knows how it feels. Also, I have a family history of depression on her side, so she also knows (as she has told me) how little comments that people make greatly damage your self-esteem. I’ve learned to cope over the last few years, where I don’t ask myself why I’m so ugly/fat/etc., but instead I’m now asking myself “Why can’t my own mother just accept me the way I am? Surely my looks are not what define me…I thought it’s what was inside that counts.”
I’m just looking for a few tools to help cope, and maybe some words that might get through to her. Thanks E-Hellions (especially if you’ve made it this far!).