I can't believe I am saying this . But it's a fact I've been struggling with for sometime now. Since my college years. She spent more time working than taking one on one care of her kids. Our father wasn't very nice to us either & she wasn't there to protect her children. She came to one parent interview in my elementrey school days & zero in high school. I handled all my educational needs myself. She shows no love & it has trickled down to the grandchildren who (11) are not close to this woman.
I haven't vocally told anyone but based on my actions people can figure it out. I believe this to be the root of my problem to connect with and trust people. It is the root of my neediness in relationships. The love that I didn't get growing up I am seeking in others.
What can I do about this? I am now staying with her temporarily (been 3 weeks) and I stay out of her way majorly! When you're dating someone a big part of discussion is family relations. do i admit this? i never do.
I think I understand. My mother is similar to yours. She took care of our basic needs, but I felt like I grew up in a boarding house. I, too, believe she's the root of many of my problems connecting with others, etc. I don't feel she did anything wrong purposefully or maliciously, so what can I say -- she did the best she could.
"When you're dating someone a big part of discussion is family relations. do i admit this?" Your boundaries are only for you to decide, but now I won't disclose family problems until I'm comfortable doing so freely. Being honest and vulnerable is a good thing...with a trustworthy person. I just went through the trauma of a relationship with a disordered person, so I'm less than trusting right now.
I hope you won't have to stay with her too long. My mother and I get along fine as long as we maintain our distance, unfortunately. Not everyone has the Hallmark relationship with their mom. I eventually figured out it was better to accept the facts than to try to change her, so now I don't expect anything that she can't give me (although she does surprise me now and then!), and I'm not feeling chronically disappointed like I used to.
Last Edit: Dec 30, 2012 18:13:56 GMT -8 by arianna
Post by Susan Peabody on Jan 1, 2013 16:16:16 GMT -8
I hated my mom. As an adult, since I already hated my mom, I turned her into my scapegoat.
At the age of 40 I had a dream about screaming at my mother, who was pregnant in the dream, "Are you going to do to another child what you did to me?" I woke up enraged.
I called a therapist. We explored this for months. Some of my anger was legitimate. One day my therapist asked me, out of the blue, why I hated my mom. I said a few things and he kept repeating the question. Finally, I blurted out, "Don't' you understand, when I hate my mom I don't feel guilty about my own bad parenting."
This Freudian slip is the point of therapy.
I wrote my my a letter suggesting we forgive each other.
Months later on her death bed she took my hand and thanked me for my letter.
It's OK to hate a parent! I know that must sound horrible. But sometimes we assign way too much pardon to blood relatives. I don't care WHO you are in this world. Love needs to be earned. And if your mom never earned it, it's OK to not like her or hang around her.
I think we get so caught up in what society and culture tells us we should expect from parents. We long for the Hollywood version of the perfect, loving parent-child relationship. And yet, that's not what everyone has. That's not what you have. Set your own standards and expectations. Blood SHOULD BE thicker than water (according the Hollywood), but, sometimes it's not.
"Don't' you understand, when I hate my mom I don't feel guilty about my own bad parenting."
I'm not a parent, and part of that is because of my experience with my own parents, which was so traumatic. My therapist said I experienced what's called "self-parenting," but I was a child and a teenager and I know I didn't do any parenting at all...and how could I when I NEEDED a parent and had no idea what parenting was???
I don't hate my mother anymore. She did the best she could, and now at 80 years old, she's doing better than ever. I guess it takes time to get it right. At 150, she'll be perfect. And then I'll be 120 and I'll be perfect, too.
I'm not excusing neglectful or abusive parents! I'm just sharing some insights that allow me to accept what I experienced and then to figure out how to move beyond it...and maybe how to "self-parent" in a way that means developing boundaries and self-love.
“I was a late bloomer. But anyone who blooms at all, ever, is very lucky. ” ~Sharon Olds
Lovely June, very good point. You can pick your friends but you can't choose your family. If you don't get along with a friend what do we do? We end it and move along. For me right now it will be loving from a distance once I get outta here.
I am now accepting & even thinking about perhaps going to therapy so I can move on with life now & have some closure.
Arianna, I have a colleague at work who was abandoned by her mom and I don't think she will ever have kids either. She mothers everyone @ work. I actually think she could be a great mom. a shame.
Susan after I saw your message last night i penned a letter to my daughter & had a heart to heart with her today after she read it. she's my mini me but we had a falling out earlier this year over her marriage at 22 & had rocky times earlier in life. I really thank you because it was a huge relief of guilt i had.
Post by brainhealth on Jan 5, 2013 12:18:07 GMT -8
I can identify with the "hating mum psychology". My father died when I was 8 and my mother had to get out and work. She cared for our basic needs, but had no real nature. Funny, my wife has often said it, your mother has no nature. Even my kids saw this when they were small - they didnt wish to stay with her.
The relationship with my mum is the key component that my psychotherapist is working on. How I recover from this will ultimately I think be the decider. However, I have almost completed Vicktor Frankel´s "Man search for meaning" as I am on 2 weeks vacation in the sun. It has given me much to reflect upon, in particular, his Logotherapy. I would recommend this book to all our board´s members.
"Man's Search for Meaning" is a book that should be on everyone's 'must read' list. In brief, "Frankl argues that we cannot avoid suffering but we can choose how to cope with it, find meaning in it, and move forward with renewed purpose. Frankl's theory—known as logotherapy, from the Greek word logos ("meaning")—holds that our primary drive in life is not pleasure, as Freud maintained, but the discovery and pursuit of what we personally find meaningful. "What man actually needs," Frankl writes, "is not a tensionless state but rather the striving and struggling for a worthwhile goal, a freely chosen task . . . the call of a potential meaning waiting to be fulfilled by him/her."
This book affected me deeply; there is no avoiding suffering in this world. Frankl, a Holocaust survivor, knew that on the deepest of levels. And yet -- he gleaned meaning even out of the worst of human conditions. No matter the journey, we have the capacity to 'search for meaning' -- this book is a gem.
Post by Jacarandagirl on Jan 9, 2013 14:24:04 GMT -8
I also have had a long-term hatred of my mother. Although mine started when I was a teenager, well before I had become a parent myself. And, for sure I have done some stuffpy parenting myself, and focusing on her does indeed mean that I don't have to focus on me. She is an easy target.
But my mother did a lot to earn my hatred back then. And she is still an alcoholic who can't respond to anyone else's feelings or needs in a meaningful way. It's all about her. What I do notice happening in the last few weeks is that as I heal myself and continue on with the 12 steps and going to my CoDA group, the thought that she (and my father) are incapable of doing it any differently spontaneously pops into my head.
There is a lot of relief in me to actually feel and think this all by myself. I've tried to make myself forgive them and it doesn't work. The fact that that thought came by itself one day a week or so ago really felt good. I think I'm slow, but at least there is improvement. And when I think about the years I had to put up with her neglect, and try to make it seem like I was being cared for by this parent who actually appeared to resent nearly everything about me, it's pretty amazing that I can forgive her at all.
"You deserve better than something that may be comfortable for you but you already know doesn't work and that you'll be complaining about soon enough and hoping that something or someone else will do what you can't even do for yourself. You deserve better - you deserve change".
Excerpt from www.baggagereclaim.com
Hi Jacarandagirl, Your post makes me feel a bit better. I've been feeling so much anger at my Mother as of late. Especially when she texts and then calls the next day leaving a nasty message about how I don't get back to her quickly enough. She knows no better, but this does not mean I have to tolerate her bad behaviour. Like LJ said, we shouldn't hang on to archaic notions of family, like "cherish and honour your parents, because they are family". I have come to realize that I need to dream for me and live my own life, independent of them and their wants/needs. They did the best they could, but both of them are alcoholics and are very immature. They need to move on with their lives into their retirement.
Post by Susan Peabody on Oct 9, 2015 10:14:10 GMT -8
From the Art of Changing . . .
How Has Forgiveness Changed My Life?
As long as I could remember, I had been angry with my mother both as a child and as an adult. Once I had a dream in which I was so angry at my mother that I was paralyzed. I couldn’t move. I opened my mouth to scream at her, and the words got stuck in my throat. Later in the dream I was talking to my father, and he told me that my mother was pregnant. I went into a rage. Then my mother appeared and I screamed at her, “You are going to do to another child what you did to me?” I was so angry I woke myself up.
I didn’t tell my therapist about the dream right away. Instead I went to my mother. I wanted to process my feelings about my childhood with her, so I asked her a lot of questions about what was going on in the family when I was young. Mom just stared at me. She didn’t want to talk about it. “I don’t remember,” she said. I was livid. Not only had she neglected me as a child, and exposed me to the parent who had abused her, now she was impending in my attempts to get better.
When I finally talked to my therapist about it, he said something interesting. He shrugged his shoulders and said sympathetically, “Oh, she couldn’t do it.” I stopped dead in my tracks when I realized that he didn’t say “she wouldn’t do it.” He said she “couldn’t do it.” What a difference a letter can make. I suddenly began looking at my mother in a brand-new light.
It took time, but eventually I changed my mind about my mother. A change in my feelings quickly followed. Then I started treating my mother differently. I changed. Our relationship changed.
Years ago, I wrote my mother a letter offering her my forgiveness. When she received the letter she cried (since I had asked her not to call me, my sister phoned to tell me). It was almost six months later that my mother went into the hospital for emergency surgery. As I sat by her bed in the recovery room she reached out and took my hand. Tears started streaming down her face and she said, “Susie, you will never know how much your letter meant to me. I love you so much.” I started crying too and we just sat there in silence the wounds healing and the peace settling into our hearts. This was the beginning of my life-long attempt to let go of the past and forgive all the people who had harmed me. After mom, everyone else was a piece of cake. Interestingly enough, after forgiving my mom for her shortcomings, I also found it easier to forgive myself for the mistakes I had made with my own children.
I hope to one day forgive my Mother and Father for their less-than-stellar parenting. I know that this can happen and is very possible as I forgave my ex-husband who I loathed for 2 years after our divorce. It's only been since starting recovery that I've forgiven him and moved on. We have NC now, and that is for the best. It's sad we couldn't remain friends, because he was my best friend at a time, but I have since forgiven him and honestly wish him all the best in this life. I hope at some point I can get to the place where I forgive my parents. Logically, I know they didn't know any better and they are alcoholics with impaired thinking. BUT, this does not mean it gives them the right to continue to pry into my life and have an all access codependent pass into everything. It is sad, but my Mother will not change her ways, she is who she is and that is all. She and my Father are pretty ingrained in their thinking and behaviour at this point. It is I who have to change, I can't expect them to.
It's hard because I see so much of my Mother's behaviours in me and it feels like they are so deeply ingrained that I'll never be able to get them out. It's things like how she clings to people, how little she can take criticism, how vain she can be, how she doesn't care for the implications of her actions on those around her and how self-destructive she can be with her smoking and drinking. It's so hard, but she's just someone I can't really be around very often. I'm hoping to get her down to talking every month or so. She's been not happy with the every 2 weeks thing, but I think I will have to up it to 3 weeks after Christmas holidays. We'll see.