potential estranged daughter
Hello everybody. I know this is a parents site and I have read many of the post. I hope the spirit of my post is apparent for everyone that reads and comments. I love my mother..want a relationship with my mother...wish things were different or that they could change. With that...
I am an adult daughter who is seriously considering becoming estranged from my mother.
I know I suffer from approval addiction when it comes to my mother. My mother was very critical of me through my life. She loved my accomplishments but never really loved me for me. She rarely seemed happy to have me around (she would scorn me), but very excited when my cousins called her. She always criticized my decisions about the direction of my life, opportunities that she felt were poor judgment (like traveling out of the country for the first time as a grad student). As a child, she always told me negative things about me. "You're sorry. Get out of my face, You better learn how to think, You ain't nothing, etc." She just fussed all of the time...about anything.
I was a honor role student, a concert pianist, won oratory contests, leader in school things, Red Cross Volunteer of the year in my city, played piano for our Sunday School, etc. She nurtured these accomplishments and I appreciate her for that. I was never hugged though..or told I love you until I went to college and learned this behavior from my dorm mates. I introduced it to my mother and grandmother, who helped to raise me. It's like...she loved what I did (accomplishments) but not who I was (just plain Cheri). As an adult, I stood up to her and she stopped this blatant negative communication.
My mother has also kept secrets and lied to me about:
- the identity of my father (who she let me think was her boyfriend throughout my youth) who she married when I was about 10. I still don't know who my father really is and she refuses to tell me, because she says, "I'm your moma and that should be enough."
- my last name(s). There's a birth certificate for both last names I had as a youth (I initially had her maiden name then it changed to the name of the man she married). She doesn't feel I should be upset that the last name/paternity obscurity exist.
- about moving in a boyfriend (a man i didn't know well) when I was still living at home (i was 13) and soon after the man I accepted as my father/stepfather passed.
- about her adoption of a son. Myriad of problems based on secrets and manipulation. She did not tell me about the adoption until after it was complete. I found out when I found the announcement cards on the counter. One was addressed to me. Over the years, she's was very protective of him and did not discipline him. She would frequently say, "The TV is my babysitter." When I try to discipline him, she would become angry with me. A real brother-sister relationship never developed, which she blames me for with great resentment.
- She's lied about financial matters.
Finally, the thing that hurts the most is my mother's refusal to be present. When things seem fine, she becomes inaccessible. When I've tried to tell her that she's a large part of my happiness and that feeling connected to her is important to me, she said she's busy and I can take care of myself.
If I call my mother, she doesn't bother to check her voicemail...sometimes the voicemail is turned off....she doesn't answer....she doesn't return calls if I'm able to leave a message on cell phone or home phone. When she doesn't bother to call me back, it hurts. Over the years, I've tried to tell her that she's my family. I would like to be able to count her if I need her...if I'm in trouble...if I'm hurt. She tells that she's busy and I must make a life for myself. She just tells me that I'm grown. When I pull back, she begins calling all of the time. Then she'll say that I don't want anything to do with them (her and the adopted son). She becomes the victim. Yesterday morning, my great aunt (her aunt) passed.
I received the phone call, because I was closest to my aunt outside of her immediate family. I called my mother and her sister to inform them and left mesages for both around 8AM. My aunt called me back with a few minutes. My mother called back the next day (she didn't get the message at home or on cell).
She says really hurtful things and blames me for various situations in our family. She doesn't sense or admit her contribution to any of the problems. I'm very tired of this. It leaves me weakened. It's been a cycle..our cycle for more than 15 years. If I open myself up again, soon I'll be hurt again. I know she's hurting too. I know she loves me, and she knows I love her. I tried setting us up with a family therapist, but she stopped going after 2 visits.
I hope I won't have to call it quits, so I'm working on becoming emotionally detached, accept her as is and expect nothing. This is so hard, because I want my mother. She says I'm her all-n-all. But her actions and behavior towards me has been to the contrary since I was 13. She wants me close enough to feel secure, but she doesn't know how to give/receive love from her daughter. I'm so tired of trying.
Any thoughts? Thanks for sticking with this post. I'm long winded : )