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Living with a mentally abusive mom + ED..

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Has anyone had experiece with this? My mom was diagnosed with a mental illness (schizoaffective disorder) long before I was born and it basically means she alters between four moods, super happy and my best friend basically, depressed and puts down those around her, super anxious and is completely in her own head the entire day. And really rude which is the worst of all of them. Well the problem is lately she is having more and more really rude days and since I'm the only one living with her, it all gets directed at me. She will say the most cutting, spiteful, hateful things to me and will literally go on and on ALL day about what I do wrong, how I need to change, why my life sucks as much as it does, what I'm not doing well enough, etc. Basically it's hell to put it lightly. The past few times she's had days like this has made me honestly contemplate suicide. :/ That makes me so sick to think I would ever even think that but it really is just that bad.

Bring in my ED and it's the most horrible situation ever. Because her negative remarks about me cause me to feel SO depressed and soo so bad about myself. Which then leads me to restrict and all that ED crap. And also being at a low weight I'm sure is the cause of some of my depression in the first place so it's just that much worse. And it's such a hopeless situation because I can't move out because my mom won't let me live alone but I also don't have anyone who I could live with. All of my friends from high school I pushed away when I got my ED and now I have no one but the one person that either is my best friend or my worst enemy.

 It's so frustrating because for a year and a half I've been able to maintain my weight but within the last two weeks my bmi has dropped a full point and I'm just not eating well at all. Today after going all day without eating (something I never do.. I always eat at least something but today was really that bad with my mom) I finally managed to get myself to eat now that my mom is asleep. And since I'm trying my hardest not to be stupid and lose weight, I'm going to try and have as high calorie meal as I can but anyways I'm getting away from the point of this point. THE POINT of this post is to ask if anyone else has had experience living with an abusive parent and who also has struggled with an eating disorder?

I apologize for writing so much. I feel so selfish and full of myself writing all of this but I just needed to get some of it out somehow. And ask for support, guidance, anything.

10 Replies (last)

I don't have abusive parents but I did have an ED, and I'm so sorry to hear about your situation.

But I'd just like to let you know that that's what a community is for - especially this support thread :) So the people here are always here to talk and feel free to message any one of us if you'd like someone else to talk to.

I think that it's great that you're being sensible about your eating, because having an ED would just make everything worse. I'm not sure how to react in these circumstances, but I've heard that there is some medication to deal with the symptoms of schizophrenia?

My dad was emotionally abusive, we (me, my mum and brother) used to walk around on eggshells in case he lost his temper. It was highly confusing and severely effected my life in general. I was always trying to win his approval, just so there wouldn't more raging and shouting. 


I had/have an ED, I think it was a combination of a cry for help and a stress response to my home and school life and not being able to escape bullies at home or at school. 


Please don't even think about committing suicide, it's a final solution to a temporary problem. Is your mum taking medication? If so, she may need a meds adjustment? Any which way, it sounds like your mum needs to go to the doctor and have a chat about what's been going on. Have you had counselling for you ED? If not, you should probably consider that. 

Do you have another parent in the picture that you would be able to go and stay with for a while? Would you be able to find yourself a job and basically be a roommate for someone? I actually moved out when I was 17, but it was a real struggle. I was trying to do normal education and pay the rent, I found it too tough. What I should have done is found a job for the day time and then just done a distance learning course in the evenings to keep up with my education. 

So yes, there are options, it's just how viable you think they are?

I am so sorry. It is great you are reaching out for support. In family therapy groups some of the ed patients had very abusive parents. My roomate actually was abused and charging her dad so she had to go through court etc. Part of her recovery was to work on the trauma and walls she puts up in fear of relationships,learning to cope etc.You are not alone though I know it feels that way and does not make this any easier. Is your mom under treatment? Do you have a therapist? If you are not can you go? Suicide is not the answer and please if you feel that way you need to go to the er or call someone who can help you. You must find the smallest piece of hope with in you to get through. Things can be better. I remember in treatment them saying you can make a family through friends and significant other. I know it does not take the place of the love from a mom but it can still make such a difference.

Hurting yourself to show your pain or to get to your mom is not the way to go. You must take care and continue to use your voice. When you use your ed it almost makes our voice weaker because people in your life feel you are not thinking clear. Is there a grandparent or your dad other family member to help you get your mom into better treatment?

Hang in there and do what you can to be healthy.

I'm going to be honest with you: I'm not sure how much help I can provide but I'm mainly replying so you know 100% that you are NOT alone.

My mother also has a variety of mental disorders.  We're positive she has multiple personality disorder yet her doctor had never diagnosed her as such.  She has severe bi-polar disorder and anxiety.  She's also an alcoholic and just really socially inept and doesn't know how to express herself or hold an acceptable conversation.  Her conversation skills are that of a teenager... really.

Anyway, long story shortened: My dad moved out, and it was me and my mom.  My mom went up north to take care of a sick relative for a year, so I was in our house alone for a year (20 years old so no big deal).  During this time I worked, went to college, and developed a pretty significant eating disorder.

Cut to May 2009.  Mom came home from up north.  Dad was struggling financially.  Dad moved home.  At this point I'm about 110 pounds and losing, struggling with my own depression and anxiety and school related issues, despite having a 4.0 GPA.

Mom and I fight both verbally and physically.  She threatens to kill me, I threaten to kill myself.  She tells me what a horrible person I am, that I hate her, that we're all the reason that she is the way she is.  We throw punches and stab each other with words.  I won't let her treat me like a dog.  She drinks and takes xanax and demeans my dad and I each and every day.

I find mom one day barricaded in her bedroom, and had to get a neighbor to break down the door and pick her up off the floor.  Pills, liquor and a suicide note were next to her.  Mom got baker acted.  My ED gets worse.  I drop out of college because the mental anguish is too much.  June 2009, 93 pounds and I'm sick, my mom is sick, and my dad can't handle any of it.

After therapy and medical exams and failed attempts at getting mom better, June 2010 I moved out.  It is the absolute only solution, in my opinion.  When a parent is this sick and distressed, and when help can't be given, you need to get yourself out of that toxic environment before it destroys you and causes you to do something you would regret.

What do you mean she won't let you move out?  How old are you?  If you have a job and can find an apartment, please PLEASE get yourself out of there.  I've been out for a year now and have pretty much recovered from ED and all my own depression and anxieties have all but vanished.  You will rediscover yourself as a human being and what it means to be you, what your aspirations are, and why you are hurting yourself every day by starving yourself.  Things come into perspective.  And maybe you could even get your mom the help she needs, as an outsider looking in.

If you're in Florida, I would even be willing to help you.

Original Post by abbi333:

Hurting yourself to show your pain or to get to your mom is not the way to go. You must take care and continue to use your voice. When you use your ed it almost makes our voice weaker because people in your life feel you are not thinking clear. Is there a grandparent or your dad other family member to help you get your mom into better treatment?

Hang in there and do what you can to be healthy.


I've cut myself 2-3 times in front of mine. She said ''I've always hated those kind of people with I-want-to-die attitude, how pathetic!''. And then she went to watch her Chinese TV dramas. 

Oh, and apparently, I've never have a mental problem. I've never been anorexic because I was never thin enough, despite the doctors diagnostic, having been in the ER and in IP and self-harming. It was just me who wanted attention.

Anyway, the only thing I knew was that I had to hang on. Everything else was a blur and very confused (my brain was fried), like why does it matter if she doesn't care, why don't I just give up, etc. If you can't change your mom, you have to change your attitude towards her: you need to grow ''independent'' and not let her affect you so much. Keep telling yourself you're worth it.

Gaininghappiness, the only way I could truly recover was outside my family home.

I have two brothers, but they both moved out a year and a half before I graduated high school, which was when I was nearing my lowest BMI of about 11. So it was just me and my parents. However, my dad is a work-aholic, so it was pretty much my mom and I.

After I had gained 15 lbs (still putting me at a BMI below 15), I once broke down to my mom and said that I didn't want to gain weight and that it was difficult. She said, "Well I thought you could have stopped gaining 10 pounds ago." I relapsed. It was usually comments like those. If I asked her if I could talk to her, she would simply say, "I have nothing to say to you."

She was very jealous and probably very triggered. She had suffered from anorexia when she was younger.

When I moved out of my home to my current university, I felt a huge weight lifted from me. My obsessiveness over food slowly vanished within a few months. I never weighed or measured food. I stopped counting calories. I was an independent person so I no longer needed control over my food.

Please find a way to move out. If you are in high school, ask a friend or relative if you can stay with them until you graduate. If you are going to college, take out school loans to pay for an apartment with some friends. I promise it will be worth it.

just think you are recovering from ED for yourself no one else !!

If you dont recover your life will be compromised no one elses, so dont restrcit yourself because of your mom just think i am eating, putting weight on for myself :D

Just blank your mom out and ignore her, dont let her get you down just think about yourself and helping yourself get to healthy weight which wont be by not eating !!

I feel like not eating due to not being hungry or feeeling mega stuffed but no i need to be higher weight

Wow. Thank you so much everyone for responding. I wasn't expecting any at all so I really appreciate all of you taking the time out to offer support. 

xfallingstar- You're right there IS medication she can take but she is just too dang stubborn to take it. She thinks she is fine and is completely in denial of how bad her illness is so we all unfortunately have to suffer because of it. :( By the way, this is completely off topic but I'm super jealous you live in AU. I visited there last Christmas and absolutely loved it.

awol_feet- I'm so sorry to hear about the situation with your dad. It does give me solace to know someone else knows what it's like though. Walking around on eggshells, that is EXACTLY what it is like. I've had counseling in the past but my family thinks I am doing a lot better ED wise than I really am so they have left it up to me to decide if I wanted to continue. I decided not to but I really think I might start up again. My dad 's living situation is complicated. My parents are still together so he does stay here when he's in town but he travels back and forth between here and Australia so he's there half the time. Then he also has a separate apartment here for when my mom gets really bad towards him. He has offered for me to use that apartment as much as I would want to but it gets even more complicated because my other brother also lives there and him and I don't get along at all.. ugh so I can't live with him either. I'm starting to think it probably would be best to move out, even if I didn't know my roommates. No one in my family has done that before but my dad is willing to support me with that option because he knows how hard it is at home. I just feel so young! But I guess if you did it, I can. 

abbi333- Oh my gosh I can completely relate to your roommates struggles. Especially regarding putting up walls with relationships. That is soo me. My mom is in complete denial of her illness so she refuses to seek treatment or take medication. She's been like that for the past 20 years and it is suuper frustrating. Thank you for all of the support though, I really appreciate it. I think you're totally right about the thinking clearly thing. Heck even I think that! Which gives me all the more reason to recover and rid this stupid thing out of my life but actual doing that is soo much more challenging than that. (Which I'm sure you can relate to feeling like.)

stayinthenight- I think you're completely right, I'm seeing that more and more as the days escalate and get worse. It scares me how similar our situations sound actually. I am 17 and she says she won't let me move out unless I live with girls I know.. which I don't have any that I could move in with. Fortunately my dad is a lot more on my side of things and is very supportive of me moving out. It's just hard because my mom is only bad half the time so when she wakes up the next morning totally fine, it's hard to convince myself that I really need to move out. I know you're right though, your last paragraph especially gave me hope. I actually saved it in my favorite quotes document I keep on my computer.. ha, it gives me hope so thank you. 

vanilla_swirl- Gosh I'm so sorry to hear about how your mom's uncaring attitude. You're completely right though, I do need to become more independent. I guess just taking the steps to do that gives me so much anxiety and it's just been hard to cope. 

muttlover- I CANNOT believe you're mom said that to you. Seriously I am in shock. Now thinking about it I can actually somewhat relate when my mom has said that I "never looked healthier" when I was at a bmi of 14.. I think she meant it in the best way because I probably did look better than compared to my lowest. But still, the ED takes comments like that and totally twists them around. We are also very similar in that both our moms have had past eating disorders. My mom was never diagnosed but she made herself throw up during high school, was very underweight and had suuper weird eating habits. (Though she didn't have an ED she claims.. ? Right..)  Anyways thank you for taking the time to share your story. It totally gives me hope, especially how you found the ED to be so much less challenging after you moved out. That seriously makes me want to move out today. 

tessgani26- You're totally right, recovering from my ED should be and is for me!! That's why I hate that I let my moms moods get to me so much. I struggle with the not being hungry thing as well. One thing that helps me is realizing that not recovering only screws up my hunger cues even MORE and the only way to get them back is to get healthy again. It's a challenge though I know.


Thank you again everyone soo much for the support. You have no idea how much it has helped me. Seriously thank you, all of you.  




gaininghappiness: You are creative and very talented! I saw your creations. Know this: the earth needs you. Look how many people you have helped already. At 17, you are amazing.

Please go and talk to the crisis line or go to the hospital and tell them your thoughts and plans and stay there for a night or so.

Stay alive! It's worth it.

I have read through some of your replies towards other people on this thread.

Every time I have moved to a new apartment, I just go on craigslist and search around my area. Know what you are looking for. Do you have an age range of girls you'd like to live with? Do you need your own bathroom? Do you want to live with party girls or quiet ones?

Also, if you are afraid of anyone stealing from you, buy your own door knob and lock. They are about $5-$10 and super easy to install, all you need is a screwdriver.

I would also advise that you request having a "trial" lease. Instead of agreeing to live in a place for 6 months or a year, request that you have the lease for 2-3 months in case you don't like it. Otherwise you can extend it.

If your dad is willing to support you, I would take advantage of that opportunity. Most people with eating disorders have a very difficult time recovering even if their family is very supportive. It's much more difficult when you are challenged with rudeness and triggers every day.

Please consider moving out. I promise things will get better. In all of the places I've lived in, I become very close with my roommates. Your future roommates can possibly be a great support system to help you.

10 Replies