Why do mothers get angry

Mother-child relationship: "I will never have a real mom"

Sophie suppressed her own needs, Tim replaced his father and Verena made excuses for her mother's affair. When children couldn't be children.


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No matter how grown up you feel, you always remain a child to your parents. A focus on young people who have moved back to their parents, mothers who could not let their children be children, and the search for the right distance.

If mothers do not let their own children be children, then it leaves a lifelong mark. Three young adults tell of too much closeness, no room for comfort and the overwhelming responsibility that they took on for their mothers as children.

"As a child I avoided everything that upset my mother"

Sophie, 26, is studying medicine in Regensburg

When I was sick as a child, my mother would get angry. Instead of taking care of me, her reaction was, "Oh no, again!" Today I know that she wasn't really mad at me, but at herself. She thought she was a bad mother, and my teething troubles confirmed her in her feeling of failure. But as a child I felt guilty about it every time I had a cold.

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We used to have very little money, but it didn't really matter to me that we went to church instead of taking a vacation at the beach. But it was bad for my mother, she was afraid of not being able to look after us, and of course my little brother and I noticed that. Sometimes she cried because she was so worried about money that she no longer knew what to do. I tried to relieve them and never insisted on new clothes. When, as a 13-year-old, I wanted an Eastpak backpack, which was popular at the time, my mother immediately refused. A few days later we found a used one on eBay, which we then bought together for a bargain price.



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As a child, I avoided many things that would have upset my mother. I didn't buy Snickers at the school kiosk during recess like my friends because it was a waste of money for my mom and she was pissed off if I didn't finish the cheese sandwich she had made for me. Because she worked longer than my dad, I helped make sure that the food was on the table when she came home in the evening, and at dinner I avoided bringing up issues that would have annoyed her.

The problem is that my mom is low in self-esteem and I've unconsciously learned to be considerate of her.

At the age of 16 I started therapy and learned there: I often scaled back my own needs, behaved sensibly and grown-up and always apologized to myself for my mother's behavior. At some point I practiced being angry with my therapist. That sounds banal, but it was very important to me. I learned to be angry with my mother like a real child and not to think about her needs directly, but to stay with myself and my feelings.

Even though my therapy has made me aware of the dynamics that keep playing out between my mother and me, they sit deep in my subconscious. At night I dream of telling my mother something really important. In the dream she doesn't hear me or just ignores me.

Sometimes it makes me sad because I will probably never have a real mom. A mother who admits her child more often when things are bad and shows understanding, who cares. I am not angry with her because I know that she often cannot help it. I told her that too once. Shortly after graduating from high school, we spent an afternoon at a swimming lake near us. The week before we had argued a lot and we were both very careful with the other.