I have been having problems with my mother for over 14 years. Growing up my mother always favored my sister only a year older. She could go out, I couldnt. The reason was, she felt my sister was more mature. Meanwhile my sister treated me like a second class citizen and never wanted me around. My senior year in highschool she wouldnt let me go anywhere because I became depressed about school, which made it worse. Not to mention I went on antidepressants which my choice for social anxiety and she forced me to take antidepressants when I would talk to her about problems in school which were making me feel invalidated for how I felt. I didnt talk to anyone that year due to feeling very shut out. I went off to college to hope things would get better. When I came home from college breaks she had me have curfews, the whole time. Everytime I came home on break it became worse. We fought over everything. She wanted to control who I saw and I felt I was an adult. I went back on medication and then when we fought she would hand the bottle at me for me to feel like the crazy one. It was awful because now this medication was her weapon. I started to ignore her control and then she threw my things on the lawn. When I came home from college I feel into a depression. No one was around I grew up with anymore. My family treated me poorly. She continued to try and control. Anytime I was upset with her treatment she pulled the medication deal at me. I then suggested therapy with her. She went three times and felt that the counselor was against her because she asked her why she invalidates everything I say. I finally moved out of the house and tried to speak to her over the phone why she treated me this way and she would hang up on me. She would hardly talk about anything. Then she said it was in the past. I felt broken, torn, self esteem damaged. I felt no belonging in the world. I dont know whats going on. After years of therapy to get past the trauma, and damaged selfesteem, I felt it was not really going anywhere. I felt most of my issues was from how she treated me and I wanted answers. I am 31 now. If we talk about anything she says that she does not want to talk about the past. I told her it would help me but she makes me feel guilty for talking about anything, talks for two minutes and then hangs up the phone. I really feel that she is the one that has the problem not me, she has broken me down over the years. I truly felt she never wanted me to grow up. I moved to Florida to start a new life, but I feel she ruined the life I was supposed to have. When I was depressed she told me I was born this way and gave me magazine articles every week just to prove it. I felt she wanted to have so much power over me so I would be so broken down that I would never leave. I am still having issues with her. She puts me down for wanting to discuss issues that has still affected me and my mental health into the adult years, which I am still struggling with. She tells me I am obsessing because I try and discuss it all the time. I am trying to get past the issues by resolving them which she has always made so difficult. We could have gotten it over and done with in counseling but she refused to go. Now she just stings me along talking two minutes at a time when there is alot of things to resolve. I dont know if its head games, control or what. Most people I have discussed this with tell me that I should not have anything to do with her. When I discuss these things with my mother she tells me that I make her feel like a monster..when all I am doing is discussing the truth. I feel I need to discuss these things because they bother me. She acted this way and does not want to be held accountable for anything. Whats confusing is, there was so much damage emotionally done to me that I feel like it is continuing and never ending. I cant understand why we cant just talk about the issues all at one time and get them over with. She has all my life told me that me and my sister are so "different" and due to the favoritism it made me feel inferior. I need your advice please help on this situation. -DD
I can sooooooooooo relate to your letter and I sure as hell feel your pain. I can and will also validate you wanting to resolve it in one way or another. Yes, until you grab that Bull by the horns, "It'll always own you!"
So what can you do, g-friend, you know, to get to a place of owning your own emotions again? I mean for real the only one that is truly suffering here is you. It is your trauma, most of which, I'm betting your Mom doesn't even remember. Yea, you are barking up the wrong tree trying to get too far with her.
Briefly, I realized the last statement, where I said, "It is your trauma, most of which, I'm betting your Mom doesn't even remember,"when my own sons would mention something heinous I may have done to them. In fact, not long ago, my youngest son, Waylon, mentioned just such an occasion where I was rather brutal with him. Apparently he was about to call me an "f'n bitch." He was all of 15 years old, a strapping young lad at that. But humorously, I might add, only got the first word and the beginning of the second word out when I busted him in his mouth with a closed fist.
Now see, I hardly remember that or the countless other injustices that have been brought to my attention. My boys have been very forgiving of the many mean and down right nasty ass things I've done to them. I am so extremely fortunate that they have such forgiving souls. At the same time, when they have brought up a few savory tidbits, some things I do not beg for forgiveness and the incident depicted, well suffice it to say, hell will freeze over before I'll apologize for that one.
The point is very clear; you harbor these feelings, while she's unaware and it doesn't even affect her, unfortunately, in the very least. Now I don't say this in an off handed manner. No, it's just simple fact as well as human nature. Hopefully you can see this or try to understand it.
As of this point in time, your Mom just does not want to deal. She doesn't see or even feel the importance of hashing it all out nor does she comprehend your need to "get it all out." In her mind it's best left in the past, neat and tidy, swept under the rug. It's just a waste of time to her. So, what can you do?
The best advice I can give you is to write her a lengthy letter. In this letter you tell it all, get it all out. After all, what do you have to lose? I mean, you're an adult now and I think as long as you keep it respectful, this may be the only way of making an impact as to the real nature of your feelings.
Don't expect much from this whole affair, I hate to say. Mom's just not in the frame of mind you'd wish she was in. But that's not the important aspect of this whole scenario, you know trying to get her to understand, comprehend or even to apologize for her transgressions.
In other words, don't hold your breath ever if this is what you might anticipate from anything, any interaction with her. She's just not capable of it. Yes, she's narrow and does not function in the same capacity as you do.
My greatest concern is solely with YOUR outcome and what you may garner from this. I happen to feel it may be cathartic for you to write it all down, every detail, all that you feel. I think it's equally important for you to address the past and then leave it there.
In this letter, you tell your Mother exactly how you feel, how you felt through the years and hold nothing back. Tell her the exact things that you've mentioned to me. Again, be respectful, as you should always be to your Mother.
Hold nothing back in this all important letter to Mom. And it's got to contain all the hurt, all the pain, all the shame, all the emotion that you've felt through out these years. It may take you a minute to construct this letter so don't be hasty.
This is an exercise in owning yourself again. By writing this letter, saying every thing that needs to be said, you'll get it out and hopefully she'll read it and read it again. Maybe once it's in black & white, she see, possibly visualize the damage she has done. But...don't hold your breath!
Again, I can only reiterate that I would like to see you become you without the past holding you back. Until such time as you begin to leave it all in the past, it will slow you down and hinder any progress.
After you've mailed out this letter, you know the very minute that you put it in the mailbox, I'd like you to ask yourself this pertinent question;
How much longer will I allow this whole thing to own me, who I am, who I will and can be???
See, in this quest that you've been on, you've allowed your Mother to still own who you are. You've become obsessed in a stagnant situation, a scenario with no design for your own healthy state of mind.
The greatest thing you could ever do for yourself, the greatest revenge, for lack of a better word would be to get it all out, step on it and begin to heal and move on.
I know that sounds a bit flip or easier said than done. At the same time I do believe you've got to come to a realization that you will never change your Mother you can only change yourself.
Having said all that, ask yourself this next question;
Does your Mother really deserve to own your pain one more minute?
I think the answer is clear; Your Mom has played mind games, been hurtful, spiteful and mean for far too long. While you might always love your Mother, that does not mean you have to like her at all times. You've vied for her attention all these years and basically she had her favorite in your sister. Well, let her have it, leave her be and rise above it.
I'll pray for your healing which starts with you forgiving her.
Keeping It Real,
Why Write A Letter???