Can I find sanity and peace in life having the mother that I have??
May 9, 2007 9:24 AM   Subscribe

Just in time for Mothers Day - How do I resolve long-standing issues I have with my mother??? [WARNING: LONG POST]

I am a 35-year old female with a 5-year old son. I have been with my partner for almost five years. We have a great relationship so there are no complaints there. The problem is my parents. I am an only child. Ever since I can remember I have never gotten along with my mother. She has always been verbally abusive, critical of me and has made my life a living hell. My father has not meddled too much in this dysfunctional dynamic as my mom has a knack for convincing him that I am the one at fault so he ends up taking her side. He also is hardly around. My mom comes from divorced parents. Her father was a drunk and she used to see her father beat her mother. As I said, I am an only child. However, my parents were not the doting parents I would have hoped for. My mother worked constantly, my father worked and had his hobbies on the side that occupied his time. I do remember getting a lot of toys from my parents but I don't remember true quality time. For as long as I can remember, I was a latch-key kid. School was not emphasized as a priority so I left high school during my senior year (I missed so many days of school they kicked me out).

My parents did give me a lot of freedom to do what I wanted - going to clubs, dating early, etc. Looking back, I call this “lazy parenting.” I ended up marrying at 21 to a decent guy. Problem is we were not compatible and we were both too young to settle down. After 4 years of marriage, he cheated on me (leaving me for an older woman who shared his love of horses - something I never enjoyed). He was also a tightwad and left me with practically nothing after the divorce. I ended up with $10K. After my divorce I was devastated. I went back to live with my parents and tried to study to become a hair stylist. I also worked at my mom's hair salon (she is a stylist too) but that didn't work out because my mom and I would argue and she would constantly berate me in front of her employees and clients. I would always ask for her help in learning how to cut hair but she always blew me off. So I had to seek other unrelated hairdresser-type jobs to pay the bills.

During this time, I went to the dance clubs a lot and was promiscuous. I knew I was trying to find or fill a void inside of me. I met the father of my child during this time. He was introduced to me. I was not attracted to him at all. My friend met him at her job (she worked at an attorney's office) when he was a client who had been arrested for domestic violence (I know, some friend). I went out with him for the hell of it. I slept with him on the second date. I had no regard for myself during this time. We continued to date. We lived together for a while but then my mom kept insisting that I return home to live with them and allowed me to bring this guy as well. During the third year we were together, I decided I wanted to use the $10K from my divorce to have a baby via in vitro since I could not have kids naturally. This guy agreed to be the donor. When I was eight months pregnant, he left me. I had my son and went through a serious bout of postpartum depression. I had no emotional support from anyone. The father then returned shortly before my son turned 1. Little did I know that a month before my son turned 1 (and after he had moved back into my parents' house with me) he was already married to someone else. During the time he returned, he and my mom made my life a living hell. He too was very verbally abusive and was physically abusive once to me in front of our son. He was a clean freak and my mother hated to clean the house. Guess who was expected to do all the cooking and cleaning chores of the house while everyone was away at work? Yep, me. All this while taking care of a child. My mom would also nag me that I had to be a better “wife” and take care of my man better because I wasn’t doing a good job. Who was taking care of me?

Anyway, when my son was a 1.5 years old, I met someone who is now my partner. The kicker is: she is a woman (I'll call her LL). I don't know how it happened but I just noticed her one day and got to know her and fell in love with her. I got rid of the loser in my house (I still didn't know he was married). To say my parents had a fit is an understatement. My mom made my life miserable. We would have awful fights (she would scream like a crazy person at me in front of my child), she would stomp on my cell phone if she thought I was talking to LL and would say horrible things about LL without even knowing her. It got to a point where I had to move out of there for my own peace of mind. I moved into an apartment with my son. After this time, my parents stopped talking to me. I would call occasionally to see how they were doing but it always ended up in fights over the phone or the few times I would go to visit them. They stopped talking to me for a year. I still spoke with my grandmother and few cousins who all accept me unconditionally.

After two years together, LL and I moved to another city, 5 hours away from my parents. It's the best thing that could have happened to me. I got my cosmetology license and I got a great job as a stylist. I achieved all of this without the help of my mother. I still would call my parents occasionally but now on top of me being with a woman I now was an awful daughter for having moved so far away. A few months passed and the telephone calls increased between me and my mother. I really thought things were looking up. LL even suggested that I invite my mother with us to a 3-day business trip LL was going to go to. LL would go to her meetings (she is an attorney) and my son and I could spend time with my mom. The first day of the trip was fine. By the second day, while LL was away, my mom started with the criticism of my weight (I was always skinny but had since gained a few pounds) and what a bad daughter I was. Nothing had changed. She was cordial (in a fake way) to LL and LL was more than nice to her - my mom paid for her plane ticket but we paid for all the meals.

After the trip we still would talk on the phone but it was always superficial conversations. I then made the mistake of inviting my parents to my house for Thanksgiving weekend. LL and I prepared an elaborate meal for them and for LL's family. The dinner went well expect my mom did not really socialize with anyone. The next day, we got in a HUGE argument in front of LL and my son. My mom was telling LL that I was a no-good daughter and that we wouldn't last more then 4 years together because I didn't last with anyone that long. That all my prior relationships ended because of me. She threw all my dirty laundry out there for LL to hear and how she and my dad always tried to give me everything but that I am ungrateful. While she is saying this, LL is not saying anything back and is trying to cover my son's ears. LL, my son and I left to the store to cool down. When we returned a few hours later, my parents are getting out of their car parked in my driveway. My dad tells me that they had tried to leave but didn't find the way to the highway. I ask him, "You guys are leaving?" My mom answers something to the effect of "there's no reason to stay" so I said, "Well, leave then." It was already nighttime so LL told them to stay the night and they could leave in the morning. The next morning they left. We didn't speak at all for a number of months. She finally called me and of course we had a big fight over the phone because I was super pissed at how she acted in my house. She claims to this day that I kicked her out of my house. She began to berate me and to say that I am trying to make LL replace my son's father. She was spewing the same nonsense that homophobes say. Months went by and we didn't speak. Finally she called and we began to speak again - only superficially. She would comment that she knows she acted badly at my house and that she was having a hard time accepting my new life. We began to speak more and more. The gay topic did not come up but she would ask how LL was doing, cordialities like that. We (LL included) went to my parents’ house several times to visit. The visits went well because we didn't hang out the whole time we were there so there was no time to argue. My mom even began asking LL to help her with some simple legal issues she had. LL was more than happy to help.

At the beginning of this year, my parents came to my house once again to visit. They were going to stay a week. Everything was fine at the beginning. Towards the end of the visit, my mom called me an idiot because I was having trouble backing out of the driveway. I immediately told her off. I was really pissed because 1) she doesn't have to insult me and 2) she can't keep her mouth shut long enough for everyone to have a nice visit. I was so mad I even told her, "You make me want to slap your face." My dad was in the car during all of this and he was laughing. We got to the store and she went with my dad to a different store. When they got to the store I was in, my dad gave me a dirty look and was not talking to me. We stopped for lunch and all hell broke loose. My dad began to lecture me about how I have to respect my mother and not say mean things to her. What a joke! He then said, "You have always thought of yourself as so good, with your nice clothes and your air of arrogance. What's so good about you?" He said this in front of LL and my son (he is 5 so he has an idea of what is going on). My mom just laughed. There was tension after that with minimal conversation. Later on in the day, we stopped for coffee. I went with my mom to the bathroom and then we ordered coffee. In the meantime, LL took my son to the bathroom and my mom said to me in a condescending voice (LL could hear it), "Does she do everything for your son?" I responded, "Yes, she is like his second mother." My mom said,"Wow. That is messed up. I can't believe you just said that." I said nothing in response and walked away. They left the next day. Since then, the conversations have been sparse. However, when my mom calls me she asks to speak to LL to say hi and to ask her how her case is going (during all of this, LL has been working on a case that my mom is involved in pro bono by preparing voluminous court pleadings). After my mom's comment that LL overheard, LL told me she wanted nothing to do with my parents and my mom's comment showed her that nothing has changed and that they have the same prejudices from Day One. LL finished up the loose ends on the paperwork she did for my mom and gave me the name of an attorney that could help her finish her case. I finally had to tell my mom that LL did not want to talk to her again and she became so offended and shocked. She said that LL was being rude and overly sensitive. Since then my mom does not call me. Last night I called them to see how they were doing and they sarcastically said that they were surprised that I remembered that I had parents. I told them they never call me and my mom says that ever since her learning that LL doesn't want to talk to her that I am the one who should call them. I told them off telling them I was sick of their shit and how it's always the same thing with them. My mom then bitched at me for the fact that I moved away (that was 2 years ago!!) and she says that LL is trying to distance me from my family, It was back and forth arguing and then my mom told me to go to hell and hung up on me.

Other important side notes:
1) My mom still talks to and invites over for dinner my ex-husband. The guy who cheated on me and humiliated me!! When I confront her about this she tells me that what he did to me has nothing to do with her and that I am being immature.
2) When my mom was not speaking to me for that year, she would visit my son's father (even after learning he got married behind my back) and talk shit about me and then use the excuse that she only did that so she could see her grandson (they live in the same city). She still excuses my son's father even after learning that he was molesting my son.
3) I get along great with all of LL's family. They have included me and my son as parts of the family. I have no complaints.

My questions:
1) Mothers' Day is coming up. Do I call her?
2) What do I do from here on out? My duty as a daughter is to look after my parents but they make this impossible. This situation is draining me inside. They are my parents and they are my blood, because of this, must I tolerate this vicious cycle until they die?
3) I know that as long as my mom is in my life I will have no peace and I will continue to be her punching bag. I know my mom has psychological issues and that my childhood has been an opportunity for her to unleash her frustrations out on me. How do I end this cycle? I feel so demoralized. It has been 30+ years of this.

All well-intentioned comments/suggestions are welcome. Thank you.
posted by workinprogress to Human Relations (20 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
1) God, no.
2) You have no duty as a daughter. I have a friend who now refers to his mother by her first name, and has only spoken to her twice in maybe five years. You should cut off all communication to her. Explain, if you must, to your son that "If you can't say something nice, don't say anything. Grandma cannot do this, and we don't have to put up with her."
3) The end to this is the end of your communication with her. You deserve to live your life. She cannot abide this, so you should not abide her. Period.
posted by notsnot at 9:42 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Short answers:

1. If you will feel unbearable guilt, then yes, but keep it brief.
2. Keep them at a cordial distance and set firm limits when you have contact. I emphasize distance, that is what is needed. And, you have no obligation here. Just because your parents decided to have a child 30+ years ago does not entitle your mother to abuse you, or for you to take it.
3. No, you will not have peace until she is gone, but things will be better if you keep your distance.

I had a very difficult relationship with my mother, who had severe mental health issues, so I know how you feel - a mix of anger, resentment, and irrational hope that things will magically be different this time. But, they won't. They will never get better, as much as you wish and twist your behavior around to make it so.

If you cannot bear cutting off contact with her, the best thing that you can do is to set limits on what you will take from her, and limit your contact to very short conversations and stays, or better yet, no visits at all. If you want to see her, go there, stay in a hotel, and plan to stay one day only. Get in and get out. You know that there's a timer on her good behavior and it starts ticking as soon as you walk in the door.

You have put up with this for 30+ years, but what about your own child? Your daughter will start to understand and remember these episodes, and they will not be pretty memories. Stop it now, if not for you, then for your daughter. You are her advocate and her protector, and this relationship will not be a positive one in her life.
posted by Flakypastry at 9:47 AM on May 9, 2007

What are the benefits you get out of your relationship with your mother? Are there any? Because I don't see any in your post.

I'd cut off communication entirely.

My duty as a daughter is to look after my parents

Your duty is to your son first, and to your partner and yourself second. Any duty to your parents is subordinate to these, and if your duties to your son, your partner, and yourself are incompatible with your parents (as they seem to be here) then you are relieved of any obligation you might have towards them.

However, if you choose to ignore this advice, and decide you do want to maintain contact with your parents, the one thing that sticks out at me is the "everything is fine at first" element of your visits. Thus, if you still want to visit your parents, or have them visit you, then those visits need to be measured in hours, not days. (And going to visit them is better than them visiting you, since you can leave early if when they become abusive.)
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 9:51 AM on May 9, 2007

You are not required to continue to have a relationship with this woman. You do, because you are CHOOSING to. You can also choose NOT to, at any time.

It's a hard thing - choosing whether or not to keep your parents in your life or not, or even to what degree. It's different for everyone, and no one else can tell you what will be right for you, but remember that right now you are actively choosing. Every time you speak with her, or don't speak with her, you are making a choice. Tomorrow, you can make a new choice.

One of the most valuable things I learned in therapy was that you cannot change other people - you can only change how you choose to deal with them. I don't know how that will play out for you: maybe you limit your contact with her, maybe you cut her out entirely, but the important thing is that as long as you continue to let her engage you in this game, you will be unhappy and not have the relationship you want.

If you do decide to "wash that momma out of your hair", it can actually be an empowering message for your son; that placing value on self-esteem and being treated decently trumps everything else. Not a bad message for a kid to learn.

Good luck. Mom/daughter stuff is almost never easy.
posted by twiki at 9:56 AM on May 9, 2007

You do not have a duty to care for people who are abusive to you.

While you may eventually create a stable relationship with your mother, it will take a lot of hard work and boundary-setting on your part, and the trick is that she must want to have a healthy relationship as well. It sounds like her idea of a good relationship with you is one in which you do everything she says.

Also, what flakypastry said: do you want this to be a model for your daughter? Because she is seeing and hearing it, and she is learning it.

I cut off communication with my mother once for nearly a year. It was very difficult and painful. We were able to (mostly) rebuild things afterwards, but we both worked pretty hard at it.

It sounds like you've got a gem of a partner - hang on to her!
posted by rtha at 9:56 AM on May 9, 2007

sorry - I meant your son, not daughter.
posted by rtha at 9:57 AM on May 9, 2007

I don't have relationships with two of my sisters. It's hard for me because I really want to be a great sister. But I was given little to work with, and these two people are incredibly toxic and self-absorbed. Sometimes we need to accept that we can't do everything by ourselves, we can't make a relationship be good without the other person's cooperation. In those cases, sometimes it's best to keep the toxic people out of your life until there is a sign that they can give you more to work with (and accept that it's a sign that, unfortunately, may never come). All they do is bring you misery so it's best to have minimal contact with them and give them as few opportunities as possible to bring you down. Take care of yourself & your family. Nobody else will.

posted by miss lynnster at 10:00 AM on May 9, 2007

My duty as a daughter is to look after my parents

I'm going to (slightly) disagree with the response DevilsAdvocate gave above. Your first duty is to yourself, because if you aren't functional, then you won't be in a position to support others, including your son.

Being on the receiving end of abuse is never going to do you any favours. The response from notsnot is everything I would have said, alongside the therapy learnings shared by twiki.
posted by lowlife at 10:15 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

You can't control how your mother behaves, you can't convince her that she's wrong, you can't, can't, can't, and the harder you try the more frustrated you will make yourself.

Here is what you can control: How much power she has to make you miserable. You have two choices:
1. Forgive and accept her for who she is. Shrug off her bad behavior, ignore it, and continue to associate with her.
2. Don't forgive her, don't accept her for who she is. Cut back on the amount of time you spend with her, because if you can't accept her for who she is she will make you miserable.

I think you should give option 1 a try, at least for a while.

When she calls you an idiot, don't respond. When she criticizes your partner, don't respond, change the subject, or say, "I am not willing to discuss this with you." If she is insistent and won't back down, excuse yourself politely and leave. Don't argue with her, don't respond to her demeaning and insulting statements, don't engage. DON'T create drama. That just feeds her bad behavior.

It won't be easy. You've got long-ingrained responses to her bad behavior, and you'll have to choke those back. You'll have to "fake it until you make it." Give it three months or six months. Even if it's still hard, if it's getting easier give yourself another three months or six months. See what happens.
posted by croutonsupafreak at 10:21 AM on May 9, 2007 [1 favorite]

Don't call her for mother's day, but send a card.
posted by yohko at 10:34 AM on May 9, 2007

I could have written a lot of this myself. I'm 33, haven't seen my mother in about 5 years, talked to her maybe twice, and I've separated off from the rest of the family as well (for simply not respecting my wishes). Manipulative emotional abuse can be hard to explain to others, so you have to take back control.

1) Don't call her. Why would you? What do you expect to happen? Imagine the outcome and question the sanity of asking for it by calling her. When I've reached out, I've regretted it Every Single Time. And, then I had to take a shower afterward... just felt so dirty and ashamed. Just recognize that she'll never be what you want and Move On.

2) You have no obligation to support abusive folks. If you're forced or willingly put into situations with her, be brief and crystal-clear about what exactly is not acceptable. End unacceptable communication immediately so you're not playing along.

3) A lot of number 2 answer. If you don't play along, if you don't allow it, you will end it. Change your phone numbers, funnel their communication to a certain location, etc. I forward all calls except my whitelist to my vmail, for example. I forward emails from family to trash. I've ended it by not being a willing participant in their drama. I'm ashamed of the years I spent manipulated by my family and I defended their actions to the real people I love (my circle of friends). Yes, she will probably resort to contacting your ex more, maybe even his family. Mine certainly does. Not my problem, it's theirs. One friend had a restraining order setup after multiple visits from my mother. So, the people in your life have a choice too... they can either respect your wishes and keep the lines of communication open with you, or they can join her side and be cutoff as well.

In the end, it's you and you alone who controls this. It's a hard decision to make and even harder to actually follow-through. I know it wasn't a sudden change for me, I made myself scarce, then stopped returning calls, then stopped returning weepy calls, learned to not respond to her upset tone, and after about 2 years of adding barriers, I'm finally separated from them. My ex's family respects my wishes because they know she's insane and they want to keep communication open through me to their grandchild. After about 6 months of silence, my brother threatened suicide if I didn't call him back. He has a lot of health issues, but I still didn't call. Guess what? He's still alive. How much you'll play in their games is totally up to you.
posted by ick at 10:44 AM on May 9, 2007

Wow. You already know you shouldn't have anything to do with your mother. Don't feel guilty about it. You cannot "be there" for someone who is fundamentally ungrateful. Stop trying.

If I were in your place, I'd be changing my phone number and thinking about moving. For your own sake and the sake of your child, get your mother out of your life. She is a bitter woman and nothing good can come of her meddling. I am sorry, but this doesn't sound like anything that can be fixed.

(BTW, if LL is a lawyer she should know something about the paperwork that can be done with regards to her relationship with your son. God forbid that something happen to you and your parents get custody of your son. If you're going to stop trying with your parents -- and you should be -- it's time to bring up that topic)
posted by cotterpin at 11:04 AM on May 9, 2007

Your mother is a bitch. She is a straight-up bitch.

Family is not defined by blood. Your family is the people whho treat you like family, with the respect and love and compassion you deserve.

Your mother has done everything in her power to make your life a living hell. What she has taken from you more than makes up for the nine hours of childbirth. She's not your mother, she's a horrible manipulative creature who for some reason has decided to get her rocks off abusing her kid for over thirty years. She has no right to do this. No right. She has given up her claim to you, you should not feel guilty, and if you hope she dies alone in a nursing home trapped in a broken body, incapable of doing anything but watch death approach you would have nothing to feel sorry for.

1) No
2) Get the fuck out.
3) Get the fuck out and let her die.

Seriously, I am being harsh here but I guarantee you, things will be better for it. My mom hasn't been half as abusive as yours and the best thing I ever did was cut off contact for a year. We talk again. I don't know if you guys ever will, and for your sake I hope you don't.
posted by Anonymous at 11:20 AM on May 9, 2007



1) No
2) Next call, tell her she makes you feel like shit. Tell her if she's going to be negative, and do anything beyond support and praise her offspring, intelligently and with love, you'll hang up the phone. Then, when she misbehaves, hang the damn phone up
3) She'll learn: ask her about how good her long term finances are, because you're not going to take care of them, unless, over the next ten years, she behaves.

It's really simple: you have an abusive parent, who feels that's the way to be a 'parent.'

Want to do right by your child? Quit letting him(her?) see this behavior. You don't want them to seek it out. Would you permit your baby's father to treat your child like this?

Most of all, You'd never let a stranger treat you like this, but you'd let your mother?
posted by filmgeek at 12:18 PM on May 9, 2007

My wife has more or less cut off communication with both of her parents because of similar issues. She exchanges letters or e-mail with each of them (they are divorced) a few times a year, and that's it.

You are fully entitled to do this. LL is right. She obviously loves and supports you in a way that your mother never really has.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 12:30 PM on May 9, 2007

And I have another idea. Save that Mother's Day call/flowers/card for your mother-in-law. It sounds like she's be a better mom/grandmom figure anyway.
posted by Anonymous at 12:42 PM on May 9, 2007

I know that just ignoring your mom from here on out would be best, but I also know that cutting off contact with loved ones is easier said than done. There's just something about family bonds that are tough to break. If I were you I'd confine your relationship to letters, emails, or superficial phone calls. Get your emotional needs met by LL and her family, and remember that your mom is a sad, sad woman who is only in your life with your permission, and on your terms.

Good luck.
posted by christinetheslp at 12:58 PM on May 9, 2007

Stop communications with her. I have to say I'm really surprised you kept communicating with her through all of this. These people (your parents) don't deserve you and you're only stressing out yourself, partner, and child by trying to keep in touch. You have a new life, and a great one at that, with a new family and in-laws who care about you. Focus on these people.
posted by koshka at 1:01 PM on May 9, 2007

You seem to spend an awful lot of time yelling at your mother, telling her off, flipping out, and just generally being enraged with her.

Here's my question: is it helping?

She's wrong. She's doing awful things, behaving badly, being verbally abusive. Her hypocrisy about taking legal help from LL, combined with her homophobia, is disgusting. She was a bad parent. She sounds like a bad person. (So does your father, for that matter.)

Unfortunately, none of that matters.

You can't change any of that stuff. You can have all the screaming fights you want, but it won't convince her you're right. Even though you are. And it won't make your relationship any smoother. Just the opposite.

The only thing you can change is your anger. Maybe you do that by cutting her off completely. Certainly it's easy enough for us strangers on a messageboard to suggest that -- and it's possible that things have gotten to the point where that's the only option -- but it's probably not that simple in real life, and it's possible that even if she's not around, you're still going to have all this anger and guilt looming over you.

Both you and your mom have stockpiled a whole ton of anger and blame over the years, and you're both ready to start slinging it at each other at the first opportunity. A fight about X rapidly boils over into being about Y, Z, and everything else under the sun, and pretty soon somebody's stomping on a cellphone or driving away in the middle of the night. That's a really bad habit -- which you almost certainly learned from her -- which is going to make resolving these things a lot more difficult.

Try not to let her goad you. (This, too, is easier said than done, I know.) If she's saying something terrible, airing dirty laundry or insulting LL or whatever, try not to get drawn into it. Stop her if you can, but keep it simple. Say "Don't call me an idiot," not "I want to slap you, keep your mouth shut, how can you spoil the trip, etc etc etc."

If she's doing something terrible... well, some of that you're just going to have to learn to live with. Let it go. You don't want her associating with your ex, because he humiliated you. Your mom doesn't want you associating with LL, because she's a homophobe. Neither one of you is going to get what you want, there. (Again: your reason is good and valid; hers is stupid and wrong. But that doesn't help. You can't change her, or show her the error of her ways. You'll only make yourself miserable by trying.)

When you do wind up in a fight, try to make the fight about just that one thing -- don't let it expand to be about the whole relationship, drag in old grudges, etc. Keep it simple. Don't try to prove to her that she's wrong, even when she is. Just try to make the fight be over.

You'll probably never feel totally comfortable with your mom, and she'll probably always say or do things that make you cringe, but with time you can learn to not let it take over your life. It'll be a bit easier if you have a therapist or can go to an anger management class or something of that sort. (I know, I know, everybody here always suggests therapy for every little thing... I don't think there's anything wrong with you that needs fixing, just saying they might be able to help you find some strategies for dealing with your mom that'll work better than screaming at her. If nothing else, it would give you a safe place to vent. There's a lot to be said for that.)
posted by ook at 1:57 PM on May 9, 2007 [3 favorites]

"Guess who was expected to do all the cooking and cleaning chores of the house while everyone was away at work? Yep, me... Who was taking care of me?"

You have a duty not to ever, ever allow your child to think like this - adults work (while raising kids if they've taken on that responsibility) and take care of the house. Competent adults do not require other competent adults to work jobs and "take care of [them]" - they balance the chores, work if they are home while others are out working, and take care of themselves. You should be embarassed you even said that - neither my mother nor my father would support me on any level (emotionally, financially, mentally) if i said anything half so asinine and, IMO after years of maturing, rightly so because they would be reinforcing terrible, self-damaging behavior. Whether you, in all the potential mature reasoning you can attempt to muster, think that this means you should call your mom and demonstrate an adult attempt at patience and understanding by trying to develop a relationship with an obviously difficult person, is miles beside the point. You should be thinking about your duty (to yourself) to move on and therapeutically cope and your duty to your child to not perpetrate this lazy, selfish, immature worldview. Whether or not you place a telephone call to your mother, who will certainly neither appreciate it nor refrain from "berating" you (but, dear, it does take 2 to argue), is so the tiniest grain of sand in a much larger more important desert that it terrifies me that you think this is the issue. Honestly, good luck.

(I guess, in summary, I'm saying maybe you should take the opportunity offered by mother's day to think about your own duties as a MOTHER, stop visualizing yourself as a baby with duties to her mean mommy, and consider "ending the cycle" by choosing to accept the behavior or not give her an opportunity to engage in it.)

I already regret getting involved in this trainwreck.
posted by bunnycup at 6:36 PM on May 9, 2007

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