Hello, I am a mom who has finally had the courage to confront her own mother on the abuse I endured as a child. She was very verbally abusive and often would throw things at me, hit or punch me if she got riled up enough. This year she asked to come stay with me (we live in another state) for the holidays. I was hesitant about having her which upset her very much and she couldn't understand why I wouldn't welcome her with open arms. I tried to beat around the bush, but finally had to admit to her it was because I was scared to have her in my house for that long. She continued to scream and hit me well into my late twenties so I know that she has not "mellowed" with age. I told her that I forgive her and want to work through this and still love her very much. But she is saying I am immature for not letting this go. And I now have a baby to consider. I love her very much and when she is not upset she is absolutely amazing. But since I admitted to her that I have some healing to do from her hitting and abusing me over the years she has refused to talk to me. She is totally shutting me out and I worry about her nonstop. She has a tendency to drink too much and may be bipolar. So now I am obsessed with worrying about her and if she is even still alive and kicking some days. She lives alone and doesn't have anyone close by. She won't answer my calls, texts or emails. This is affecting my marriage and I feel like a zombie most days. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.....
“God grant me the serenity
to accept the things I cannot change,
courage to change the things I can,
and wisdom to know the difference.”
This is one of those things you can't change, Shelly. Maya Angelou has a saying, "You're not in this". You're not in this - your mother has blindly taken aim at you, and it's not about you. It's about her.
You have a wonderful life - a healthy baby, and a loving husband. When you're hurting about the mother you don't have (and never had) focus your energy into loving your baby and husband.
We have two chances to have a great "parent/child" experience in life. First, with your own parents, and then later in life with your child.
Make up for everything your missed out with your mother, by loving your baby.
Shelly, you went through things that no child should ever have to go through, and now your mom wants to continue to manipulate you. Except this time, you have your own life and are free, you don't have to allow it. You can say to yourself about her silence, "That is her decision," and take it off your plate. It is her decision and she is responsible for her own risks (if she really is at risk). If you can't stop letting her be such a large mental presence in your life, such that she can manipulate you with her silence the way she used to manipulate you with her cruel words and punching, see a therapist to talk it all out. You owe her nothing; she gave away any right she might have had to ask you for love or connection when she mistreated you so constantly as a child and as an adult. I am very sorry you don't have a mother from the "good mother" books, that is the pits and should happen to nobody, you got dealt a bad hand. But you CAN detach, and you should, for your life to be your own. You are not responsible for her mental illness, you are responsible for you, and for your baby, and for the happiness of your nuclear family (husband-you-baby). You are not responsible for your mother, not now not ever, after the way she treated you.
Thank you for your kind words of encouragement and advice. I think you are both very wise and helpful. Your words have given me strength this week as I realized I DO need to focus my energy on the healthy relationships in my life. My husband, son, father, siblings.. etc. And I agree that the silence has been a form of manipulation. I see her commenting happily on other people's facebook pictures and such, so she is not as bad off as she would have me believe. I have my grandparents begging me to "make nice" and mend things with my mother. And as much as I love them, its just not that easy. My mother also wants to talk to me later in the week. I am not sure how to proceed now... do I try to make peace which would make life easier but feel like I am compromising myself somewhat? Or do I hold firm ground and continue to make her understand? (which I am not sure she ever will...) Or do I give it more time until I am stronger emotionally?
You need an apology from your mother and in order for that to happen you will need to hold firm and not let her into your private domain. She doesn't deserve to be part of that yet. Is it possible for you to ask her to attend a family therapist for you both, in order to heal? That would be my bottom line at this point. I know you're thinking of back tracking, but why let her in to verbally abuse you in your own home? and why not extract an apology for such a grievous wrong in your life? You have the support to do this right, thank God. Be a good example to your children and deal with this as it should be dealt with. End the cycle of codependent behavior. I'm so sorry that your mom abused you this way, and up to your late 20's. How awful she was to you. Until you get her to see your truth, and apologize you're still stuck with an abusive mother, at least if you hold firm, you've got a chance at a real relationship moving forward ,and you're a good example for your kids. You're in my prayers.
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