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I haven't seen my Mom in just over three years. I've talked to her once or twice, but this was only just a few months ago. Around Christmas she finally started answering my e-mails and in the spring she called me. We had a stress-free conversation, like two adults, but we did not go over any of the major issues and conflicts that we have buried. I am going to see her at my brother's wedding in September, and I'm getting freaked out. I suggested that we should get together, but everytime she says that she's just not ready. I don't think she'll ever be ready.. I think this might be a long one... I left home when I was 17. She had just remarried and any friendship we had previous went kaput.

 

I lost respect for her when she let her new husband take over our home and basically change everything about the way we lived in that house. It got to the point, where I never felt like I had a home to go to. I know that it was hard for her, trying to balance new husband and her kids and keep everyone happy, but the scales were very much tipped in his favor. Problem is, all her life she has sacrificed. I don't really have many memories of my dad from when I was little. he worked in logging camps and was away weeks at a time. I feel like she pretty much raised us herself, and my Dad knows he was a lousy father, but seems to have given up trying at all.(completely different issue) Anyways, summer I turned 17, mom remarried and everything changed. At one point, I was a very happy kid. My step dad even said a few times that I was a very happy teenager and she was really lucky. Things progressively got worse and worse. I had just met a new guy adn got serious with him very quickly. it became apparent that my mother and I have zero ability to communicate with each other.

 

The failure to communicate lead to screaming matches. We just didn't know what to do. One day, we both kind of just gave up. I remember when I got my period at age 12. I never even told her. I hid it for months. I don't even know why. I just didn't feel comfortable telling her anything or going to her for anything. She was nothing but a great mother, a great provider. But, she's very emotionally distant. My grandmother (dad's side) says that she always knew that she was different, and "cold". My mom's a great person. very sweet, but she has a brick wall around her, and well, so do I, if I'm not in the right situation or around the right person. Time passes, things get worse and worse. We fight almost every day we see each other. I got home one day to find that they had eaten easter dinner without me. that was it for me.

 

I packed up my stuff and moved in with my then-bf and his family (yet another completely different story) She came to my graduation a few months later, but we could barely even look at each other. I was so full of grief and remorse, but she was pretty much convinced I'd never come home, and didn't try to get me to come home (on the advice of my grandpa (her side)) So I dove into life with my pretend family. I went to another province to try and connect with my dad (a big fat failure that was) I wound up in this horrible city, my dad barely ever called, or came to see me, though I tried with him, I really did. My relationship with my step-mom faltered as well, and has never been the same (she has two daughter's so my leaving my mom affected her deeply I guess.) She's never looked at me the same. Basically I was stuck in the terrible city, just scraping by, could barely pay rent, and I had nothing, and no-one, except a boyfriend who was becoming psychotic and somewhat abusive (I left him last Sept.)

 

When I left my boyfriend, me and my sister got back in touch. Now, we are good friends, and my little brother and I are fairly close too. But my mom, it's like she is never going to come around. She says she is scared. My reasoning is, I'm terrified too. But, I'm terrified because what if we never get that chance (I have written her long meaningful letters with my thoughts, why I left, etc...) but it doesn't get through to her. It's like we never had a chance. I find myself wondering if as a baby I never bonded with her, because she was busy with my older brother and sister. When I have days where I feel like I am a lot like her, I feel a weird mix of pride, and fear. I'm determined that when I have my own family one day, I will tell my kids that I love them, I will be able to communicate with them, and I will not hold back. That's my promise to myself, but I am so scared that I'm going to fall into that trap. I saw a psychic (had my tea-leaves read) and she said it was so apparent that i was without a mother. She knew right away, that that whole chunk of me is missing. In a strange way, even when she was around, it always has been. She also said that there's nothing I can do about her, that I can only work on myself, and hope that she will eventually come around. I just realized two things: I am dreading this wedding, and I really need to get some counselling

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Yeah, sounds like your mother is a relationship oriented person who met her husband and immediately put her kids on the back burner, as a higher priority had come into her life.

 

Anyway, your mother is taking on a bit of a childish role in this. She's scared? Of what? What about you? Doesn't she care about your feelings? She is your mother, and not the other way around. Maybe the tea leaf reader is right though.

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That's exactly how I feel. She is being childish. I know I made a huge mistake, but a lot of people no longer think she is right to shut me out. I was a angry 17 yr old, who didn't know what to do. I just feel like I'll never get her forgiveness, and it's really discouraging. I can't believe she's still acting like this, even though I went through he** with my ex boyfriend. That was an incredibly hard time for me, and she was not there, she didn't even acknowledge me. And she doesn't get it still. She said the last time we talked that she was sorry I had to go through all that. I said, "I'm not, because I grew as a person, and I know that I can get through anything and always be strong" (something like that) She didn't understand that at all...sigh

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Yeah...It sounds like your mom's really out of it. I'm sorry but there is no help for her. The reason I'm saying this is it's similar to mine. She got married when I was already an adult. And the result in her personality has been almost like she has had a labotomy. She is no longer interested in spending time with her offspring, or interested in their lives....(not that she ever was much), but now it's markedly even less. It seems like the only interest in her life is her husband and how she can please him in every way.

 

So yeah, I feel for you. Your mom should not be holding this huge grudge on you because you rebelled and went out on your own at 17. Hello lots of young adults do exactly that. But try not to let it get you down. I've found during the times when I go months without speaking to my mother I feel so much better about myself, than the times when I do.

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Exactly. It's not fair that I feel I have to keep beating myself up about one mistake. My Mom is a good person, don't get me wrong. I love her in the obligatory way, I discover bits of her in me every day, some good, some not so much. I think that my current boyfriend and relationship are helping to drive the emotionally-distantness away for me, so I can be more open and honest with people. But there are still instances where I just cannot be myself around certain people. I'm actually moving out at the end of the month from my current place (and have been staying with my bf for most of this month) because my room-mate/landlord and I cannot communicate and do not mesh. I can't help but think that that is something left over from my childhood, because he is a great guy, very giving and has always treated me nice. Anyways, that's kind of OT.

 

I just feel like, for the years that they were dating, she did really well at slowly adjusting to the change. She wasn't looking for a man after she and my dad split up. He found her. Met her at work actually because she was his Mom's nurse. I am grateful to him in a small way for treating her so well, showing her love, but I don't know... Just like with my current room-mate, he and I never meshed. Being around him was always so awkward. I remember the real hurt though started coming along when they were about to get married. I was excited, happy for my Mom. My friends all called to say congratulations to her. We were a big, happy family unit (for a millisecond)

 

My Mom had said that I would be the witness at the wedding. The day of the wedding me and my sister worked hard getting the food ready, creating the hor d'ouvres, and I feel like we never got a proper thanks for that (he gave her this mindset that because she had provided for us for our lives, we shouldn't be asking for thanks, and didn't deserve thanks.) Hello! We were children! Anyways, she walks down to the altar (wedding was in the backyard) and she had forgotten his ring. I run back upstairs to get it, bring it back, all excited to be a part of this wedding. She then tells me to sit down, and my SISTER is the witness. I know my mom never knew that I was looking forward to being in the actual wedding, but she should have had the decency to tell me before hand.

 

Almost immediately after the wedding, my new step-father's true colors came out. My grandparents don't like him either. They are nice to him for my mother's sake, but they think he's too old for her, and I'm sure that my grandfather (mom's dad) thinks he is too pretentious. MY GOD he is pretentious! He's just so high and mighty. He used to be a radio host, he writes part time for a snooty magazine, part of the kayak club in town. It sounds good right? But the way he carries himself, ugh! He's got no respect for kids, and he obviously preferred my little brother to my sister and I. He would go out of his way to get him some really cool present (expensive present) for x-mas or birthday. My sister and I would get something identical (that got old when we were 10 and everyone discovered that we are completely different lol) and usually cheap. He got me a dollar-store bunny statue thing one year. It was torture having to pretend I liked it. I was glad when I "accidentally" dropped it and it broke. Anyways, after the wedding,things took a complete 180. He's really two-faced. He imposed a curfew of 10 pm on me (I was a senior in high school!) Previously, I was the only one of my friends whose mom really trusted their daughter. My friends and I were free to come and go as we pleased, and we never got into any real trouble. There were always parents around. They woudl get mad at me for failing math, and made me feel much worse about the fact that I always failed math. I just can't do math. I've never been able to do much more than basic multiplication tables. I finally gave on my math course, and didn't go to the exam. (I don't need it for my career-goal) they went postal of course. I said I didn't even want to bother trying at it anymore, because for years I had been failing or just barely passing the adjusted math classes, and I was sick of putting myself through that kind of stress. I instead focused on english, and art, and the yearbook class, which I am good at. I was copy editor of the yearbook, which I took great pride in.

 

The yearbook caused a lot of overtime hours, when I'd stumble home at like 9 PM. At this time I was also looking for a job. This part really hurts. I went to the malls literally every day, searching and searching for a job. I WALKED and took the bus. I mostly walked. One day I got home, and was really tired adn wanted nothing more than to be left alone because I was feeling sorry for myself. As usual, my step-father had put ideas in my mom's head, and they came in an accused me of just hanging out at the mall all day. I didn't even see any friends at the mall, and that realllllly hurt my pride. They became convinced that job hunting was really hanging out at the mall, and banned me from getting a job. Then, they tried to restrict my time with my boyfriend to two days a week (keep in mind, 10 PM curfew) So here I am, pissed off. I spend most of my time with my bf adn his family, because hey, they appreciate me, they get me, they want me around. His Dad knew I was miserable with my new situation at home, and said I could stay with them. Nine months after the wedding, I couldn't take it anymore. I packed some things, and left the house around midnight. I'll never forget that night. Like I had failed. Like I just couldn't do it anymore and a huge part of me died that night. I knew I had made a mistake (deep down) when my bf insisted on going out with his friends that night, when I was truly truly upset, and needed someone to be there more than ever. That was my first red flag about him, but now I was at a loss. My Mom said on the phone a few days later, something about it being a one- way move. My father acted the part of concerned parent when he found out, and wanted to have me come stay with him. I was all excited, thinking this is gonna be great, I'll have a parent, and get to know my Dad. Well, he too has a new family. He has step-daughters and step grandkids, and of course a wife. I got out there, and my usually very nice stepmother was not welcoming (we used to be really close) and I knew right then, that I was really and truly lost, and I did NOT want my bf to have moved there with me after all. I'm the black sheep of the family, and always will be, but it's like any semblance we used to have of a family is gone. My sister does not like it, my younger brother does not like it, and my older brother is indifferent. It's a mess, and it tears me up, but I feel it's unfixable. Like we're just going to have to pretend we are all happy. I am happy in my life, and I know that I have control over that.

 

I don't even know why I'm writing all this. I guess I'm just venting. I just pray to god that I will be a good parent someday, and I will be able to be close to my kids, and let them know that they are loved and cherished. I also can't believe that the divorce I hoped for when I was younger and they were fighting all the time could have messed up everyone's lives so badly.

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I think your mother is the one in the wrong here. So you moved out and into your bf house. Big deal. As a mother she's out of line telling you you can never come back. Can you imagine if every underage person who left home was told they could never come back. She was also WAY out of line choosing only one of her daughters to fill a role in her wedding. Your mom sounds immature and selfish. I think you should not take her attitude towards you personally. Probably best if you have little contact with her.

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There's this obligation there though. I want to have kids one day, and want them to have her as a Grandma. I'd feel incredibly guilty if my kids only had one Grandma. That's the thing. I feel like she was raised in this way that was loving, but her parents were also very distant, and she doesn't know how to be actually close to people or deal with conflict. I never learned, and the only reason I'm learning now is because I have a wonderful, incredibly patient boyfriend lol. Sometimes I worry that he'll get sick of it, and that makes me try really hard. It seems like my family is all about obligation. I always got that vibe, and it disturbs me. I really hope I will be able to break the cycle. I never ever feel obligated to talk to my siblings. I LIKE to keep in touch with them, and I miss my sister when we don't talk for longer than a week. It gives me a sense of real family life. Thanks so much for your input

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I've just finished reading your post and I see myself 10 years ago, different story but deep down so much the same. I had to leave home at 17 too and from there I never really reconnected with my family. Same as you, I made some connections with my 2 brothers and in some ways with my father but me and my mother can't get along. The feeling that you're all alone is really hard to live with, you know that if ever you fall for any reason no one will be there to catch.

 

I'm 30 now, I have 2 daughters and I created the family I truly wanted to have but I feel there's no one on my side of the family involved in my life and my daughters learned to live with only one set of grandparents and they don't seem to be missing anything.

 

When I read your story I see a troubled family who was broken by your father departure. It must have been really stressful for your mother to live alone and that made her accept a controlling/double faced man into her life. I know it's terrible to grow up alone for a woman of her generation past a certain age. You were troubled too and no one really paid attention to you need and you basically "had to go" to find some peace. In fact it seems to me that you step-father made you go away by being too restrictive and by living you out of the picture all the time. He basically rejected you so he could have his wife to himself. That alone tells me he must be a really manipulative man.

 

Now you're 3 years after the "breakup" with your mother and you feel it will never be the same again. Well it's true, I think it will never be the same again, because you've learned how to live without them and their support and now you wouldn't take it if they were telling you how to live your life. You've grown up and now you're a strong individual, you've seen a lot for your age and you have a great emotional intelligence and that's why you're suffering right now, you are really sensitive and you mother is part of what is missing inside of you to feel happy.

 

Do you fear her because you think you're not a good daugther? Do you believe it's all your fault? When you think of her do you want to scream, cry and go cower in a corner all at the same time? Maybe I'm falling really far from the tree, but maybe I'm not, if I am then forgive me Those are difficult emotions to live.

 

One word of advice about your brother wedding. Either you go and you cast your heart into stone, or you don't go and keep it safe at home. When you will see your mother for the first time after 3 years, along with your step-father, your emotions will be so powerful that you won't be able to talk or even breathe and you will feel like your guts just exploded.

 

So if you can't see her alone before it or just if you think you won't be able to handle it, don't go. Explain everything to your brother, go see him the next day to congratulated them, bring a nice present, say you're sorry but that it's too much for you to handle (be honest) and he should go along with it, better that than a ruined marriage day because of some unresolved business between his sister and his mother...

 

I hope you will feel better about this whole issue and I wish you luck.

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Ramirez, your reply really hit home with me. I will no doubt be going to the wedding, mostly because I know there will be no emotional outbursts. Everyone is going to put a bandage on their wounds as usual, and we will all pretend to be one big happy family. Not the best solution perhaps, but it will get us through the day. I'll probably have a meltdown when I go home later that night. "The feeling that you're all alone is really hard to live with, you know that if ever you fall for any reason no one will be there to catch." It's probably the worst feeling in the world, except for losing a child or having someone close to you actually pass away. It made me really happy to hear that your kids are fine with just having one set of grandparents. You brought up some points that I didn't even consider, like I had to go and find some peace, and that her husband was being very manipulative, and trying to shut me out. He doesn't seem to have done that with my other siblings, but he and my older brother have never gotten along. By the time he was getting serious with my Mom, my older brother had been moved out for a year or so, and my step-father told him that he couldn't come by to visit at any old time, and he couldn't have a key to the house. Before, when I thought of her, yes, I wanted to go scream and cry and cower, but now, I feel kind of sorry for her. I've been living without her in my life, so obviously I can do fine without her, but it's hard when I see other's with their moms. It hurts a lot some days, but other days, I'm fine. I realize now that she is the one making the mistakes, and there's nothing else I can do at this point, because she just doesn't get that it's not all about her. I've always feared her in a way. I wrote that in the letter I left when I moved out. She doesn't understand it, and neither do I. I don't think it's a fear, but more of an intimidation. Growing up, she always encouraged me to just do my best, I don't have to be number 1 at anything, and as long as I tried my hardest, that's all she ever expected from me. There's really nothing I can do at this point, and I am at peace with that, but some days, I just need to vent. I look at the wedding as a huge hurdle, that I can overcome, and I can get through that day! lol. Thanks again for your reply

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