I'm reaching out for other peoples' perspectives on the relationship (or lack of one) that I have with my mum. It's making me really sad and the last year has made it worse.
In the late 70s, I was a forceps delivery and it indented the left side of my head and took a while for my face to normalise post birth. As a result, I never had skin to skin contact with my mother as I was put into a perspex box until the consultant could assess the damage. My mum recently confessed that she worries we don't have a natural bond and I have to say I think that's true.
I had a traumatic childhood growing up with a physically abusive father who also had Aspergers. At the age of two, he physically assaulted me, then again at the age of four which caused half of my hair to fall out just before starting school. My mum says I rejected cuddles and appeared to be self-contained. I now know this was actually signs of a traumatised child. I had to endure violence and unpredictability from my father until mum finally asked for divorce when I was eleven. I was constantly on alert and walking on eggshells around him. When I've asked my mum why she allowed dad to continue the abuse for eleven years, when she knew it was enough to send him to prison, her response has been, "I wouldn't have been able to send you to a good school without his salary."
Mum remarried two years later to a man with two older sons who bullied me as I went through adolescence. Although my stepfather has been a more positive force in my life, he has also been extremely jealous of my presence and I have felt increasingly pushed out of having any relationship with my mum. It's got to the point where I'm scared to do the eighty mile trip to see them in case it's a wasted journey.
I've never felt all that cherished by my mum. There have never been photographs of me on the mantle piece and she's never said I'm beautiful or praised me for my hard work. All I've heard her say is that I look like my father or behave like my father and she doesn't feel comfortable. I'm heartbroken. It's not like I can do much about this. I feel guilty for being me. As a result, I'm guarded about how I behave and how I might come across on a daily basis.
When I was eighteen, I ceased contact with my father and changed my surname to try and give myself a new identity. My mum pushed for this to happen for me and I agreed. My father subsequently threatened to write me out of his will. On his death ten years ago, he proved the threat and I had been written out of the will. My younger sister took the entire inheritance and has not had much contact with me since. My mum did absolutely nothing to fight against this or try to right the perceived wrong. I felt really unvalued and guilty for being the cause of upset and division. I am estranged from my sister now as having any contact with her causes me to have panic attacks and trauma emotions. My mum's attitude regarding the will episode was that we were adults and we had to sort it out amongst ourselves. I got no advice about contesting a will or defending my name from her or anyone.
Additionally, after one term at university, I came home to find my bedroom of eighteen years had been converted into a study and mum asked me to sleep in the guest bedroom. She hadn't warned me that this would happen.
Whenever I'm ill (I recently had surgery on a kidney), my mum will suddenly become more ill or erratic so that I can't even discuss what's worrying me with her. She doesn't give me the space to openly talk about what worries me.
I've seen how other mums are with their daughters; really close, openly discussing their emotions, live close to each other or make plans to do nice things together and my mum has never bothered to plan anything. It's always been me who has suggested doing something. Because she has so many allergies/illnesses, it's impossible to buy her a present or take her anywhere to eat because there's never anything she can have so I've given up.
I think I'm at the point of giving up entirely with her. She's been unhelpful, unsupportive, emotionally unavailable and ambivalent at best. Despite all of this, I'm an extremely loving person who has finally found a really wonderful man to spend my life with. Mum has even judged this and said he's not good enough but we've ignored this as it's a standard response from her about most things.
I feel as if I would be better off taking a long break from her now so that I can work through all of this and start to feel more positive about myself without being under her ambivalent shadow. Trying to win her love has almost destroyed me. She claims to love me etc but then she doesn't follow through with any actions or gestures.
Her most recent comment about her relationship with me and my sister was that she thought it was nice that she finally had the sisters she'd always wanted. I had to remind her that she's our mother and we are her daughters and she still has responsibilities and a role to maintain.
Peacelily321 Mon 08-Mar-21 16:15:15
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Shandy57 Mon 08-Mar-21 18:03:50
Hithere Mon 08-Mar-21 18:29:31
Grandmafrench Mon 08-Mar-21 18:45:42
V3ra Mon 08-Mar-21 19:09:31
Okdokey08 Tue 09-Mar-21 22:37:23
OnwardandUpward Tue 09-Mar-21 23:00:04
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Gran16 Wed 10-Mar-21 05:56:29
OnwardandUpward Wed 10-Mar-21 09:54:41
Peacelily321 Wed 28-Apr-21 10:42:06
Bibbity Wed 28-Apr-21 11:04:36