Can I Sue my Mother for Emotional Damages which led to my Anxiety Disorders as an Adult?

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“My question is whether or not I, an adult (24 years old) child, can sue my mother for emotional damages incurred based on her actions when I was a child.

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Basically, my mother abandoned me when I was one. My parents were married, my father in the army. While he was out doing field exercises, my mother left. When my father returned, my mother and I were not there. He then had to find me, as my mother had left me with a family that my father barely, if at all, knew. Because of his job, he then had to leave me with another family, that he trusted until he could settle a divorce with my mother, and receive custody. After the custody was settled, I was sent to live with my grandparents who I did not know. Because of the fact that I was transferred from one family to another and lacked a feeling of security, I suffered a severe case of separation anxiety disorder which left me unable to sleep at night and ridden with nightmares when I did fall asleep.

Throughout the remainder of my childhood, I was forced to adhere to many rules based upon the rules of the court. For example, I had to carry around a photo album of pictures of my mother and myself, I had to be home on certain nights in preparation for my mother’s phone calls and regardless of when or in what state she called in, if I was home, I had to speak with her. The worst part about these rules was that 1. my family was limited by what we were able to do as I always had to be available to speak to my mother and 2. that my mother had a propensity to call at incredibly late hours and while she was inebriated. But regardless of her state, I was forced to speak to her which only increased my grief as I never could fully understand what she was saying. It was not until a few years ago that the reason that I could not understand was that she wasdrunk. Other than her, I was never exposed to someone in that state growing up.

My mother was also not required to pay child support throughout my child. Forcing my father the burden of raising me without any assistance. Once I was able to work, I paid for the majority of the things that I wanted included my own college education.

The real problems that I have been having with my mother leaving are the emotional problems. I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress disorder and several other anxiety disorders. These anxiety disorders, all can be traced back to the separation anxiety disorder as the chances of being diagnosed and having another anxiety disorder increased exponentially when previously diagnosed with a disorder.

I understand that there may be a statute of limitations issue as this happened many years ago. However, I feel that the anxiety issues are ongoing and typically only surface in adulthood and will be issues that I will have to deal with for the remainder of my life. I would not necessary ask for any back child support, just compensation for the emotional damages that have incurred.”

There is no cause of action that I know of for you to pursue against your mother. She was not there for you, and did you disservices, but I cannot think of an action for an absent or lousy parent. And you are right, it is too late to go after her for child support, unless there was an order that she simply did not pay.

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Author: House Attorney

A house attorney has answered this question.