How can I forgive my mother for losing some of my most treasured items?
October 13, 2009 7:45 AM Subscribe
How can I forgive my mother for losing some of my most treasured items? This may sound like a stupid/trivial problem but it's really eating away at me inside.
posted by starpoint to Human Relations (56 answers total) 11 users marked this as a favorite
This has been bothering me for months. I spent the past year studying abroad in Denmark. While I was gone, my mother went through all of my things in my room back at home, rearranging everything. If I had known better I would have told her not to do this, but I was so focused on being abroad that I didn't think about it. Plus, I didn't think she'd move anything that was super important to me.
I came back home, readjusted to life in the states. Working on finishing up school so I can get a job and move out soon (I'm nearly 27).
The only toys that I wanted to keep are these little pretty kitty & puppy dolls (made by mattel, they don't make 'em anymore) along with a collection of other small little animals and figurines. There's nothing valuable about them intrinsically, the main value comes from the fact that I played with them almost exclusively throughout my entire childhood. I had a little "club" with them growing up. I kept them in a special case in my closet. As I got older I of course stopped playing with them, but I always kept them in that special case and would look back on them fondly. I planned to keep them as long as I lived. My mother knew how important they were to me.
Now most of my other toys have been given away or I could care less about. Those are the ONLY toys I wanted to keep. About a month ago I was looking for something else in my room, since my mom had rearranged everything, and I happened to look inside that special case and saw that all of my pretty kitties and other figures had been removed. My mother put computer equipment in there instead.
When i confronted my mother about it, of course she conveniently "forgot" where she put them or even if she moved them at all. She insists she didn't throw them away or take them out of the house but I've scaled the entire place and haven't found them.
The worst thing is she gets super offended if I ask about them. She apologized (even if it didn't sound all that sincere) and I accepted her apology but it still bothers me. I want them back or at least I want to know what happened to them. But she's made me out to be the enemy, who is out to get her and who is unappreciative. I told her I understand that she was just trying to be nice by rearranging my stuff, but goddammit, why did she think she was entitled to just move things around without asking me first? I'm mad at myself for not telling her to stay out of my room while I was gone.
2 weeks ago we had a loooong conversation about this after I reminded her about searching for them, where she basically said, "I only have 46 years left on the planet. I've already apologized. I'm not going to be held accountable for this any more. What else do you want me to do? If you bring this up again we're not having a relationship. So why don't you just tell me every little thing you're mad at me about so you don't have to be mad at me any more." I proceeded to tell her everything and she even wrote them down. She then told me the problems she had with me and I wrote those down. I go over that list and I make an effort to work on those things AND on myself in general.
My mom didn't keep her list of problems I had with her, instead she wanted to tear her list up. I could be wrong, but in her mind, I think she thinks I'M the one with the problems. So basically, I work on myself and admit all of my faults, and she sees herself as a golden goddess who can do no wrong. She can commit an offense toward me and STILL make herself out to be a victim if I confront her. Furthermore, she's complained in the past when people moved or disregarded HER stuff; or have wronged her in general. Why the double-standard?
Sometimes this whole issue doesn't bother me, but other days it eats me up inside. I can't bring it up with my mother because in her mind it's over.
And what's done is done. I can't get my things back. I'll have to accept that. But I'm still upset about it and every time I look at my mother it's hard to pretend to be happy with her. So how do i get over it? How do I forgive her even if I'm so angry at what she did?
I'm in therapy for the first time in my life (no one in my family knows I've been going). Therapy is offered free through my school (for which I'm grateful), and it's been helpful. I plan to talk about this next session but it's a week until then and I need to articulate my thoughts on this matter beforehand. Thanks in advance for any suggestions to the questions I posed above.