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Kaboom6686 Fri 20-Aug-21 03:59:21


I have been reading. It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone. I have been estranged from my mother on and off my adult life. This last time has been going on 3 years. Each year at my birthday I get a card with a long written letter inside. At times she has sent this card with return receipt requested. Boy did that upset me. But the content of the card was worse. I have a stack of cards which she tells me what a disappointment of a daughter I am. So last year I never opened the card. The last time I spoke with her she asked me if I received my birthday card. I simply said yes. She asked if I read it. I said no. I told her I didn’t need to read how disappointed she was in me. I’m not even sure where last years card is. So I received a card this year. No call, no text no emails from the rest of the family. My youngest brother moved to AZ. I have no phone number or address for him. I heard about it from my daughter who heard from my oldest brother.

Anyway, what do I do with the unopened card I received from a mother I don’t really have a relationship with.

Thank for reading

freedomfromthepast Fri 20-Aug-21 05:32:12

I am so sorry you are here, but welcome.

You ask what to do with the card? If it were me I would toss it, unopened and unread. Doing so lets you take back some power. You cant stop her from sending them, but you do not have to subject yourself to her abusive words by reading them

BlueBelle Fri 20-Aug-21 05:37:22

Send it back to her if she is really that bad

I don’t understand what you mean by return receipt
requested ?
If you really feel you have no relationship with your mother and don’t really want one then I d stop the contact altogether If none of your family bother with you stop bothering with them
Do you have your own family, you speak of a daughter do you have a partner /husband other children ? I d concentrate on them and get on with your own friends and family and move on in your heart and your head you don’t need this constant criticism it will just bring you down
Good luck

Oopsadaisy1 Fri 20-Aug-21 05:41:37

TBH I wouldn’t even do that, I would get all of her cards and post them back to her. Then any more that arrive, send them back marked ‘gone away’ with her return address on them.
Time to take back control, ignore her calls too and get on with your life. You don’t need someone so toxic always on your back.

Shelflife Fri 20-Aug-21 06:13:32

Return the cards with , not known' at this address. Or bin them immediately - unopened. Don't give them a second thought.

Newatthis Fri 20-Aug-21 08:37:57

Yes return them with not known at this address. Move in, live your life happy.

Newatthis Fri 20-Aug-21 08:38:47

Move on sorry. I know it’s all painful to do so.

Caleo Fri 20-Aug-21 08:54:08

Kaboom, my condolences, but your mother needs to be reassured . I guess she needs to be reassured that you are okay despite normal human failings. Possibly she needs this reassurance more often than seems reasonable.

Maybe she even needs to be reassured that she has mothered you adequately.

If you occupy the moral high ground and are bountiful to your awkward mother you will feel a lot better.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 09:02:13

I echo the advice already given Kaboom, return anything she sends unopened. Take control of your life and don't allow her to intrude any further.

I'm not sure how a mother constantly telling her D what a disappointment she is to her, can be viewed as a mother looking for reassurance that her D is "okay" Caleo.

"If you occupy the moral high ground and are bountiful to your awkward mother you will feel a lot better". I see what you're saying but sometimes the toll this type of situation takes on the recipients mental and physical welfare is too much, and the only option is to walk away.

FannyCornforth Fri 20-Aug-21 09:28:58

Hello Kaboom what an awful situation for you thanks
Do you have a family of your own?

Poppyred Fri 20-Aug-21 10:05:28

What a horrible mother! Why don’t you write her a letter telling her what a disappointment of a mother she is?

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 10:15:29

That's worthy of consideration Poppyredsmile.

DiscoDancer1975 Fri 20-Aug-21 10:20:26

Absolutely ignore everything from now on. I’m so sorry your mother is like that, but I always say all the horrid/ difficult people in the world are related to some poor soul. I know how that feels.

It is also very sad for her, and I would like to think she could be helped one day. That, however, is not for you to do. You need to protect yourself, and the people you love. Focus on the people who love you, and let anyone else go.

I wish you the all the best?

HolySox Fri 20-Aug-21 10:29:19

Have you actually done something truly hineous that has brought shame on your family? I am guessing not.

My mother was toxic. I was always a 'dissapointment'. Basically this was a form of abuse and has left me with low confidence. I tried talking it out but always met with 'there's no problem'. Spoke with my sister to see if she could help but her response was 'That's just the way she is. We have to put up with it.' No you don't! Didn't have much to do with my mum or siblings after that. Life since then, 27 years ago, has been much happier.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 12:58:45

It's often not until you are free of someone who is toxic, that you realise just how awful it was having them in your life and how much better off you are without them, even when you continue to love them.

I'm glad you didn't listen to your sister and just "put up with it" HolySoxsmile.

Caleo Fri 20-Aug-21 13:05:58

Smileless, I disappointed my own mother. Her feelings were mixed. She loved me, despised me, and tried to improve and help me, not all at the same time but according to which feelings were uppermost with her.

I think Kabbom's mother would not specially want to alienate her daughter because why would anyone want to alienate someone else? What does the mother hope to gain from her letters? So I guess that reassurance is what the woman needs and seeks.

Some people are too proud or too ashamed to ask for reassurance.

JaneJudge Fri 20-Aug-21 13:11:00

I think, having been on the receiving end of this myself, when you have got to the point you have of NOT opening the card/letter because you understand the behaviour, you are moving forward smile

I personally chose the path of least resistance as I knew any retaliation (like sending letters back) made things worse. So I used to just chuck them in the bin unopened.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 13:22:34

Having read you last post Caleo I have a better understanding of your previous one. Thank yousmile.

VioletSky Fri 20-Aug-21 14:13:32

Hi Kaboom, I've been estranged from my mother for a long time now but I still get these cards. Only on my birthday and Christmas.

Does your mother contact you any other time? I think mine just waits for special occasions to remind me what a terrible disappointment I am.

No good mother would ever use a special occasion to put down their own child. So please don't take it to heart. You don't deserve that. You do not exist to please your mother, you are a person worthy of love and happiness.

I keep things like this in a box, along with all the other evidence of what a horrible human being she is so that times when I feel bad or guilty or think I might possibly be able to have the mother I needed somehow, it's there to look through. Just knowing it is there has always been enough

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 16:05:51

That's interesting Violetsky as we have all the awful emails we received from our ES. TBH I'm not really sure why as I could never bring myself to read them again, and it's not because either of us have ever felt bad or guilty about our estrangement in terms of it being our fault.

There was a time when we had the son anyone would have wanted but he's lost to us now.

I hadn't thought about it until I read your post.

VioletSky Fri 20-Aug-21 16:51:25

Smileless2012 there doesn't have to be a reason why you have kept them. Perhaps it's just hard to let go of anything given by someone you loved even if it hurt you to receive it.

You don't ever have to look at them again unless you ever feel that reading them from a different calmer time when everything isn't so raw might help you glean any new information about the choices he has made.

Some things are better left in a dusty box or an old inbox where they can't hurt anyone.

Smileless2012 Fri 20-Aug-21 17:16:26

The memory of what they contain is hurtful enough, whether or not we ever read them againsad.

Kaboom6686 Fri 20-Aug-21 22:05:02

Thank you all so much.
I have tried. To email her back it just goes nowhere. A horrible vicious circle. The lady time I went to visit my family my daughter and I went for a nieces 2 birthday. I tend to like to go unannounced because them I am expected to say in her horrible messy hording condition of a house. And be her do this for me slave. I had just had surgery ( no she didn’t come out to help me recover) I went there as soon as I could fly she had me putting up drywall in the cluttered garage for her dogs no less. I remember one time she yelled at me for cleaning out the fridge. I honestly threw away only rotten and expired foods.
Another time I was there I had plans with a friend since grade school. After an hour she texted non stop wanting to know where we were and I needed to get home right now. When I got home she told me I was grounded. I looked at her and said you can’t ground me I’m an adult. My own husband doesn’t talk to me in that way. You are not.

The last time I saw her was at the birthday party. Boy she was mad because I didn’t tell her I was coming. She proceeded to call my husband and yelled at his for two hours straight for him not telling her I was coming. She stormed out. Nothing has been the same since. I had a few more days in town she refused to see me. I did stop by before flying home.

She does require a lot of reassurance. I am not that way. But how my family treats me get me down.
I do have a very small but might family. My husband of over 28 years and one daughter who is 33.

I have honestly thought of sending the letter and cards back. But I do t want her to be hurt by it.

“Does your mother contact you any other time? I think mine just waits for special occasions to remind me what a terrible disappointment I am.”

No my mother does not contact me at any other time except for Christmas to tell me she is praying for me.

My mother has always been manipulating and controlling ling. I watched her for years how she treats others and she is not kind. It’s horrible when her friends from high school and other family not near to her tell me why they don’t speak to her. The stories are atrocious. I am embarrassed to be related to her.

I lost my father about 30 years ago. I tried to remind myself she won’t be here forever. I guess that is why I tried so hard to get along. She treats me like a child and not a adult.

I’m just so sad about it all.

DiscoDancer1975 Sat 21-Aug-21 10:48:18

You’ve got to let her go...before it consumes you totally. It sounds like she’s had way more chances than she deserves. She may be broken....but you can’t fix her. Let the guilt go, and focus on your husband and daughter.

I know it’s hard, but it’s so liberating in the end. Take care.

Namsnanny Sat 21-Aug-21 11:18:20

I would endorse the advice DiscoDancer1975 gave, kaboom6686.
If she has a hoarding problem, that points to an aspect of her personality that is very intransigent.
So using that as a guide, I would guess she wont be changing her mind about how she feels about you (rightly ir wrongly) very soon.
She is what she is, as your sister said.
You accept that and stay or walk away.