My mom and I… don’t exactly get along.
I am a sophomore in college and I am very cerebral – I don’t let my emotions influence most decisions, which is good, and am, in fact, rather out of touch with most of my emotions. My mother, on the other hand, tends to be what I perceive as not exactly a follower of logic and tends to speak before she thinks and do things in an illogical manner.
Mom and I are arguing about a lot of serious things – the way she treats me, the way she and I communicate, etc. – and I can’t seem to get through to her, nor does she seem to understand what I say when I talk in a clear fashion. I’m on my last bit of sanity when it comes to talking to her.
I don’t know what to do about her.
- Dr. Schwartz responds to questions about psychotherapy and mental health problems, from the perspective of his training in clinical psychology.
- Dr. Schwartz intends his responses to provide general educational information to the readership of this website; answers should not be understood to be specific advice intended for any particular individual(s).
- Questions submitted to this column are not guaranteed to receive responses.
- No correspondence takes place.
- No ongoing relationship of any sort (including but not limited to any form of professional relationship) is implied or offered by Dr. Schwartz to people submitting questions.
- Dr. Schwartz, Mental Help Net and CenterSite, LLC make no warranties, express or implied, about the information presented in this column. Dr. Schwartz and Mental Help Net disclaim any and all merchantability or warranty of fitness for a particular purpose or liability in connection with the use or misuse of this service.
- Always consult with your psychotherapist, physician, or psychiatrist first before changing any aspect of your treatment regimen. Do not stop your medication or change the dose of your medication without first consulting with your physician.
p>There is a long history of quarreling between mothers and their daughters. In fact, many books have been written about the phenomenon. As the father of two daughters I can attest to the fact that I often did not understand what their disagreements were about. Certainly, during those moments, none of them wanted me to cloud their issues with logic and facts. What good were logic and facts when they were in the heat of battle?
p>Several years ago (or more than several) there was a book written by Nancy Friday entitled My Mother/Myself: The Daughter’s Search for Identity. This book and others on the topic are useful and helpful in helping people to understand the struggle that goes on between so many daughters and mothers.
p>For example, one of the primary mother-daughter areas of conflict occurs when the mother perceives her daughter as a narcissistic extension of herself. This is extremely difficult for the daughter who must break away from her mother and assert her own and individual identity if she is to become a fully functioning adult. For some mothers who may see their daughters as extensions of themselves there can be an insistence that their female child be absolutely perfect. Whatever the word “perfect” means to a person will vary from one woman to another woman. The point is that the mother’s insistence on perfection can result either in the daughter becoming dependent in pursuit of her mom’s approval or angry and rebellious in fighting against what she perceives as her mother being controlling.
p>I don’t know the specifics of the conflict between you and your mom except that you feel frustrated that she does not understand you and comply with your wishes. Well, I can only go back to a famous story that Mark Twain told about himself and his father (this is a rough paraphrase and not anywhere near a quote). Twain explained that when he (Mark) was seventeen he was extremely embarrassed by how ignorant his father was. By the time he (Mark) reached the age of 25 he was impressed by how much his father had learned!!!!! There it is, the old generation gap.