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Letter to my mother

(191 Posts)
Helenwaspushed Mon 21-Aug-23 20:01:22

The following is a letter to my mother that will not be sent. I went NC with her two years ago, and will never reopen that communication again. Please know that I will not debate my personal situation with the estranged parents on this forum. Any attempts to invalidate my experiences will be ignored. I am offering this in hopes that the estranging child's POV will be more represented here.

"It is okay that we don't see eye-to-eye. I am at peace with that. I have learned so much about childhood trauma, the mother wound, and my own mental health. I wish I could share this growth with you so that you could heal from your own traumas.

I know you're hurting, but that hurting started long before you had children. You didn't have the access I now have (as an adult with my own insurance and income). I understand what happened and why. I understand that life was hard for you as it was for me. I'm sorry you never moved beyond that.

You tried your best, but our relationship was unsustainable for both of us. I was your everything, and I couldn't take it anymore. The decision to move on from our relationship was so difficult. I don't want this, but I know it's right. My idea of family has changed. I need to surround myself with people who validate my experiences and support my life direction. You hurt me irreparably when you discounted a decade of my hard work and dedication to defend a conspiracy theory. Your refusal to acknowledge the pain I went through or your faults as a mother make repairing our relationship impossible.

I spent my childhood taking care of you, although I know you don't see it that way. I feel like we spent our whole relationship trying to change each other. It was my job to keep you happy after the divorce. I spent my childhood as your emotional caretaker.

When I moved away I realized that I didnt have my own identity. It was so wrapped up in who you needed me to be.

I have my own life and I am my own person now. The political climate was shown me how different we are fundamentally. When I started to live my values, you tightened you grip on me. My whole being rejects the beliefs that you taught me, and you couldn't let me go. I had to choose between what is right for the world and what is right for my mother. If I hadn't met my husband and experienced unconditional love for the first time, you and I would still be in this cycle. I realize now that although we are mother and daughter, you have never been a mom to me and I don't owe you more of my life.

I hope you find peace in time. I hope you reach out and find a community to support you. I accept whatever blame you need to place on me in order to find your healing. I don't need or want that accountability from you. If my happiness is what you want, know that I've found it. The decision is made, and we will never speak again. I'm no longer a daughter."

Sidelined Mon 21-Aug-23 21:25:58

Helenwaspushed it’s very brave to post this but I’m glad you have. I want to write something very similar but I suspect we both know sending a letter won’t make a bit of difference to the situation. So, you’ve made your decision and I applaud you for taking the step to put yourself first. I hope this is a turning point for you. Good luck 👏🏻👏🏻👏🏻❤️❤️

Summerlove Mon 21-Aug-23 22:36:50

I hope you now have your much longed for peace OP

Smileless2012 Mon 21-Aug-23 23:06:14

It can be very cathartic writing a letter, putting your thoughts and feelings in writing, even if the letter is never sent.

I hope you've found this to be the case Helenwaspushed and that if you decide to do the same sidelined you'll find it beneficial too.

VioletSky Mon 21-Aug-23 23:17:28

I actually did send my letter and did get an awful lot of invalidation and denial in return

I hope it has helped you to write and share it here and I think your decision not to send it a good one

Hetty58 Tue 22-Aug-23 05:02:12

I should have written a letter too. I didn't estrange, though - just mentally blocked out the dialogue, I suppose.

I was assigned a certain role/personality/identity, first by my parents, then by partners and husbands (even friends) - for so long, that only in the last decade (my sixties) have I been free to be my real self - at last!

I don't feel that failure to live up to anyone's expectations any more.

Whiff Tue 22-Aug-23 06:55:28

Helen glad you where able to put your feelings down in writing. But why would you think an estranged parent would evaluated your personal experience? What you have experienced at the hands of your mom is awful. As an estranged parent through no choice of my own . I would never say your estranging your mom was wrong. It's what you had to do to protect yourself and your family. I understand that. But please don't brand all estranged parents as the villains . We aren't we are victims just as much as you are.

Glad you are living the life you should have for years and are happy . And long may you do so.

eazybee Tue 22-Aug-23 08:02:06

You should have written it, then destroyed it, not put it on a public forum with caveats as to what people can and cannot say, in case it 'invalidates your experience', whatever that means.
Half a story.

Germanshepherdsmum Tue 22-Aug-23 09:36:27

I agree eazybee. I find it rather distasteful to have published this to the world.

Sidelined Tue 22-Aug-23 10:48:47

Sometimes a person just wants to be seen. It’s clear - can’t we show a bit of compassion? All those other estrangement stories from the other perspective tell the gory details. This is just a simple letter written by someone who is hurting. Be generous please.

VioletSky Tue 22-Aug-23 11:30:52

OP probably read some comments on the forum somewhere that were upsetting

Maybe ensuring her post stays positive would help

Fleurpepper Tue 22-Aug-23 11:39:18

I've read it with tears in my eyes.

And with huge gratitude, that this a letter I would never have had to send to my mother, and that my daughters will hopefully never send to me.

So much pain and sadness, I can't possibly imagine. I won't comment further.

crazyH Tue 22-Aug-23 11:42:42

Helenwaspushed - I’m so glad you didn’t send that letter. I hope writing it down has helped and you have found some peace.

Hithere Tue 22-Aug-23 12:19:28

That letter screams peace to me

Congrats, OP! Beautiful

biglouis Tue 22-Aug-23 12:30:09

I once said something along these lines to my mother and was told I was a liar and a fraud and that I remembered my childhood all wrong. My sister supported my mothers argument and I walked out of the house and never saw or spoke to my mother again. She died just over a year later.

My childhood experiences were later validated by a very straight talking friend who told me she remembered me coming into school with black bruises on my arms in the clear form of finger prints.

VioletSky Tue 22-Aug-23 12:33:05

I can't imagine ever having a hurting child come to me and just dismissing them.

25Avalon Tue 22-Aug-23 12:35:45

Helenwaspushed thank you for sharing with us and giving your perspective which I am sure many will find helpful. Although painful I hope writing this all done was cathartic. All the best.

Helenwaspushed Tue 22-Aug-23 13:19:03

Thank you all for the kind comments.

To clarify, I shared this letter for other people in my position who can't do the same. It is hard to write or even think negative things about my mother. So I'm taking my power back.

Please, if you have something to say then say it. But know that it won't serve any purpose from my perspective.

Hithere Tue 22-Aug-23 13:24:28


Watch out saying "if you have something to say"
Another war can erupt in no time with no resolution- has happened before

Smileless2012 Tue 22-Aug-23 13:28:09

That's very sad biglouis flowers. Writing a letter that's never sent really can be very beneficial and avoids any unpleasantness from the 'recipient' because they never get to read it.

I've written one or two myself.

Helenwaspushed Tue 22-Aug-23 13:31:41

I appreciate that advice. I understand inviting that perspective is risky but they would give it anyway.

I've read a lot of the threads on this forum. I'm not threatened by it. If someone were to respond in a way my mom might, it will be more validating than anything because the patterns are obvious. The attempts at invalidation have the opposite effect for me.

But to any other AC here, tread carefully if you aren't at that point.

eddiecat78 Tue 22-Aug-23 13:57:51

You seem to be pre-empting intolerance where none has been shown. I see no sign of anyone negating your experience. I trust you would show the same respect to any estranged parent who wished to share their truth

Smileless2012 Tue 22-Aug-23 13:59:39

No reason why you should be threatened by other threads on this forum Helenwaspushed. If you were, you wouldn't have posted here yourself.

Helenwaspushed Tue 22-Aug-23 14:09:57

I suggested I might get invalidating comments because of the invalidating comments on other threads that have a similar sentiment. Maybe you wouldn't call them invalidating comments but I do and I can only speak for myself.

I'm not making accusations towards anyone in particular other than my own mother. I think asking to forego invalidating comments is totally reasonable, but it's not within my power to control how anyone feels about it. If any one person that I've never met feels targeted because of it, hopefully that will encourage some self-reflection.

eddiecat78 Tue 22-Aug-23 14:17:25

I'm sure you do not mean to but you do appear to be trying to provoke a negative response purely in order to be able to say it doesn't bother you!