This was sent to Aunt B via email...
Dear Aunt B
So here it goes. . .
I'm a 15 year old girl and it seems as if I am alone in the world. Its not that I feel that nobody understands me - I just don't think anyone wants to. My mother and I were always close and I always felt as if I could talk to her but for the past 3 years it seems like that isn't an option anymore. All of a sudden, it like she doesn't even want to be near me. I always hear how mothers complain that their children don't spend time with them but in my situation its the other way around. She never wants to spend time with me, she always puts my two brothers (ones 5, the other 19) above me and she never comforts me when I cry - even if it's her fault.
It may seem to you as if I am over-reacting but please assess the situation yourself:
My mother, brothers and I are sitting a table talking. It's time for the younger brother to go bath so the nanny comes to take him. He starts shouting at her so I start telling him he's only 5 and that he must go take a bath. He starts having a fit (notice no input from my mother so far) and comes around the table and pushes me - my hot coffee goes all over my clothes. Mother decides to intervene. She takes my younger brother in her arms, cuddles him and starts telling him that I am wrong and that I'm talking nonsense while she shouts at me. Older brother starts shouting at me and calling me names. Is that fair? Am I a typical jealous middle child?
I leave the table, go to my room, lock the door and perform the daily ritual : cry.
And no, my mother does not come to my door with a heartfelt apology. She doesn't come with an apology. She doesn't come at all.
(This is just one of the many situations)
Yes, I've tried talking to my mother nicely. I have written her a letter. I've confessed all my feelings. I've cried. I've shouted and sworn. I've given her the silent treatment for 2 weeks. Does she apologize? no. Does she even care? No. No one does.
I'm a straight A student (1st in my class), I don't go out at night, I cook, clean, give her advice on her problems.
I don't know what I'm doing wrong.
I'm depressed - I stay awake at night, I'm irritable, I can't focus on my schoolwork anymore and I don't see any point in living. All the dreams I had seem so stupid and trivial. I wish I could stop living. I've also gained a lot of weight because of eating late at night - I know it's really embarrassing. I asked her if we could get together so that we could think of a healthy diet for me but she never came. So now every single part of my life is falling apart.
I don't have friends that I trust enough to talk to about this, there are no therapists or counselors in my area. I have no adults that I trust that I can talk to. I have tried talking to my father but he's a typical guy and he just ignored me.
I'm sorry if this email is really long - I'd appreciate if you'd email me back the answer(s) but if you can't can you please email me to notify me that you have an answer.
From Falling apart
Dear Falling Apart,
It does sound as if you are virtually alone. I feel bad for you. I can only believe that your Mom is going through something. What that something is, I do not know. Does she resent you for something? Do you remind her of herself and she is not happy with herself and takes it out on you?
You sound very level headed, for your age. I'm not quite sure, that I have an answer except, to validate your feelings and possibly give you some coping skills.
You say that you've written to Mom and to no avail? Ask her to allow you to go to counseling. Somehow, I think your Mom is the type of woman, that would not want you, to "air your dirty laundry" in public. My god what would people think? So, if you tell her, you'd like to go to counseling, she just might be forced to look at her behavior. Once you've done that, hopefully, you can go. It will be good for you to have your feelings validated by a neutral party. It is also possible that your psychotherapist, might ask that your Mom come in, for a group session. It is then, that she may have to face her behavior and it will be in her face, with no escape.
See, Mom's are only human and quite fallible. Sometimes, we say and do things, without realizing the full magnitude of our actions. I don't think she realizes, just how deep she is wounding you. Even worse, when she can't apologize, when she has been wrong, it tends to take away from the respect factor. Always remember, never be too big to apologize.
I want you to be respectful, always but I want you to take a stand. You go to her and you tell her, that you are asking permission to see a Psychiatrist or Therapist. She will ask you why? You must then tell her that you are having a terrible time feeling like she can't stand you. This has to make an impact. She will probably tell you that you are being dramatic. You tell her that, you need help and you are tired of crying.
It may be a good idea, to go to your Guidance Counselor and tell her a bit of what is going on. He/She may be able to recommend someone. Then, armed with a name or names of Counselors, in your hand, you go to Mom and request permission for therapy. She will have to see that you are having a hard time and she may now take you seriously.
I know, there are always three sides, to every story; Yours...Mine...The Facts.
She may see things differently than you. An example would be, when you gave your little brother hell, they may have thought you were out of line. You are not his Mother. Now, instead of properly disciplining him for his brat behavior, the attention was turned on you for being out of line. I know and you know, your lil brother was behaving like a brat. He should've been disciplined. If he is allowed to disrespect the Nanny, in front of his own Mother, it will create some really big problems later. She will be bailing him out of jail, early on because she made him believe it's ok to disrespect people, adults. The behavior, that Mommy will intervene and save me will carry over to Authority figures, following rules, laws and so on. She is molding a Monster.
While you may, very well feel like the moral compass, in the family, you are giving opportunity for her and your older brother to take their animosity out on you. This is not right but it is what it is. I think you are mature for your age. I also think you require that things be fair and just, moral and right. But an example of what may be happening, is the fact that your Mom may feel, she was wrong for not stepping in and saying something before you. She then took it out on you. Future reference; No matter how badly, you want for things to be right and for your brother to behave, stay out of it. You just might save yourself some grief.
The big question here; Does your Mother think you're a know it all smart ass? You may be right, in your views but she may feel she needs to put you in your place. Don't give her that opportunity anymore. Try to get into counseling. Life is not fair and for some of us, it is a jagged pill to swallow. We expect things to be just and fair and they just are not. Now, somehow I just know that this prayer suits you. Say it over and over. Study it and breathe it in. Wear it and become it;