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  1. #11
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    My mom was also a depressed, unhappy alcoholic, like her father. I moved 1,000 miles away before starting a family. Two weeks before she died of cancer, sober but medicated for pain, she for the last time started a conversation (more like a monolog) of fond reminiscing which ultimately contorted into her telling me that I ruined her life. I feel like CaliforniaPoppy in that her death "was about the loss of the possibility of ever having" a better relationship.
    I have been very envious of my friends' good relationships with their mothers, and I use those as my examples of what to look forward to. I have three kids and I am mindful of how I treat them.
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  2. #12
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    My mother wasn't abusive, exactly, but hyper-critical and completely self-absorbed. It took me almost 50 years to get over being a disappointment to her. I think it was being a mother myself that helped the most. Now that my kids are mostly grown, I can see how easy it is to not do as good a job as you hoped to. I'm not sure my mother has any regrets, but I can see how she may have done the best she could.

    I'm hopeful that I haven't screwed up as bad as she did, because I'm very close to both my kids and I was never close to my mother. When I was 15, I hated my mother. My 15yo daughter can be as irritable as any teenager, but she will also give me a hug out of the blue and tell me I'm the best mom ever. I always tell her I know she will be a better mom than me because she had my mistakes to learn from.

    I'm sorry you're still having a hard time with your mom, YB. It hurts to realize your only hope is to be your own mother.
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  3. #13
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    Dear YogaBare, I'm so very sorry you're dealing with this situation. My mother died 40 years ago at the age of 59 of alcoholism. Her death certificate says she died of the flu, which was immediately the cause, but the real cause was that her lungs were too weak to pump out the collected fluids. Death certificates rarely mention alcoholism.

    For the last 2 weeks I've been feeling guilty about her again. Then I got out the letters I had written to myself during the times she was alive and we had fights, arguments, hurts, pains, etc. These letters enable me to remember well what I was doing at each time, how I felt, why I acted as I did, etc. Then the guilty feeling are gone. There was nothing else she could have done to improve the situation or relationship. There was nothing else I could have done improve the situation or relationship.

    You are very wise to be thinking and talking about it now while it's happening. Your own love, courage, and generosity of spirit, in bad situations, cause hurts and pains that never leave. I always wished it had been different. I loved her so much, she loved me so much, she was so wonderful, she was so awful. She told me my beloved grandmother died on the train coming to visit me. Not True. She became an alcoholic when I was 10. She harmed everyone around her. My sister committed suicide at the age of 39.

    Alcoholism is a horrible, horrible disease. All alcoholics are dependents and can only establish the relationship of co-dependency. These two things: supporting an alcoholic in their alcoholism is called enabling; you are not dealing with your mother but with a disease, and in this full-blown disease there really is no human left inside. I'm making no recommendations here.

    You must be yourself and true to yourself. Maybe writing it down now will help later.
    Last edited by Cryptocode; 08-28-2013 at 12:54 PM.
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  4. #14
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    My mom is mentally ill (my husband thinks she might be mildly autistic as she doesn't understand music or social cues) and definitely OCD when I was a kid- but I didn't know that's what it was called. She's worse with age and she stopped talking to me a few years ago when she thought I was cheating on my husband with her husband (my stepdad). I send her mother's day presents with my phone number and tell her to call me when she wants to go out for a lunch but she doesn't. Fortunately I'm adopted and don't fear going into the same mental downward spiral as I age.

    Also, she's a terrible, terrible eater. She says she doesn't enjoy food but she definitely eats fast food, cafeteria type crap. She had some bulemia going on when I was younger but she's really puffy and very overweight last I saw her and I absolutely could not convince her to change her diet. I'm pretty sure her very bad eating habits have a lot to do with her mental issues. And vice versa.
    Last edited by seashells; 08-27-2013 at 09:46 AM.

  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by YogaBare View Post
    I know most people probably have tough relationships with their mothers, but has anyone here come through the other side, where you repaired the relationship, and now get on well? If so, how did you do it?

    Long story short: My mum was violent (verbally and physically), angry, and extremely controlling when I was a kid. She criticised me all the time and made me feel guilty for being such a disappointment to her. Blah-blah-blah. As I grew up, I was defensive, and perceived everything she said as criticism, so we were always at loggerheads.
    Same story mostly, but nope: I switched families at like 15. Yes, legally. Much better off.

    Sorry to hear you're having troubles though. It really is not your fault whatsoever, you were just unlucky to have grown up in a dysfunctional situation.

  6. #16
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    My mom and I used to have a rough relationship that is very strong now.

    From the time I was teen, until my late 20's, I would describe my relationship with my mother as hot and cold. She's got a mercurial temper, and often took it out on me. I suffered some physical abuse, and a lot of mental abuse. My mother is also an alcoholic, and when she drank was often when it was at its worst. She takes offense when no offense was intended and when no offense would be taken by a normal person. If I didn't call her for one day over some red line she made up in her head, she'd refuse to speak to me for weeks. I often would apologize for these imagined slights just to get her to stop holding a grudge. One time I dug in my heels and refused to apologize for something she was angry with me about and we went 6 months without speaking. My dad tried repeatedly to get me to apologize, and I had finally had enough and refused. I waited for my mom to just get over it.

    However, in my 30's this changed. One- my mom started taking Paxil. Her side of the family suffers from some sort of anger issues, and Paxil helps her to control it. She's a much more pleasant person to be around now. And quite frankly, I became a more thoughtful person. I would think ahead and try to do nice things for my mom and always be there for when she needed help. My DH and I went over when they were selling their house and installed the new flooring in their bathroom and kitchen. We helped with heavy work around the house. I called frequently. I left her no reason to get offended. My parents moved a few years ago and now live clear across the country- I live in Alaska and they live in North Carolina. To make up the difference, I developed a habit of calling them every Sunday without fail. It keeps us close and keeps me in my mother's good graces. I also traveled there for Christmas last year. I would definitely classify my relationship with my mother as strong now.
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  7. #17
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    my mom is a very controlling person with very strong personality and opinions that are both absolute and also always changing. I was yielding to her pressure for most of my life, then eventually we had a big huge quarrel, and she withdrew to the appropriate distance. Since then our relationship was more even and normal, taking interest but without dictatorship.

    Having my daughter really shifted my focus to the mother side of the mother-daughter relationship. My mother was up in arms against me having a child (I know, I know) until the day I delivered, and now the kiddo is her precious littl' girl who can't do nothing wrong. I remember being worried that my child was not reading before kindergarden, and my mom looked at me and said completely seriously: But, Leida, English is such a haaard language...." I picked my jaw from the floor, because gods only know who that woman was and what she did with my mom (let's just say that at that age, she made me read in English... as a second language and quite forcefully)
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  8. #18
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    Hey everyone,

    I'm so sorry to hear that so many of you had rough relationships with your mothers. Did you feel like it affected how you relate to the world, and to people in your life?

    It clicked with me on Friday that one of the reasons I have such commitment issues, and got involved with many neglectful guys, is because I have a really deep-seated fear of someone trying to possess me. I didn't have ownership of anything when I was growing up, and was completely controlled by her. So when I was involved with men who were very committed to me, I would get freaked and run from them, because I felt they were trying own me. The neglectful / unavailable ones were much safer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Fireling View Post
    Do you really think most women have tough relationships with their mothers?? I find that kinda sad (as a mother myself). I guess I figured that some people have bad blood with their parents, but not a majority!

    I hope when my kids are grown up they don't think I was terrible!
    It's kind of the cliched thing, isn't it? Nightmare mother / mother-in-law. But it's definitely not always the case. Thinking through my friends, most of them have good relationships with their mothers.

    My sister's relationship with my mother was even worse than mine, and she is being the most amazing mother to her two little kids, so it's definitely a chain that can be broken, if the person is conscious about it.
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  9. #19
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    I get along mostly with my mom. But to do that I had to move across the country. I call her biweekly unless she starts crying and laying on the guilt trip. She did the best she could with what she knew and had. I rarley visit due to monatary reasons but if they didn't exsist would only visit yearly.

  10. #20
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    I also had a rough relationship with my mother, which is now very good.

    She was a suicidal alcoholic during the time I was in high school and college. She had been a problem drinker for her whole adult life, but she kept it in check until she spiraled out of control at around that time. I think her drinking was her coping mechanism for her depression, and probably her dissatisfaction with her marriage.

    She was never anything other than loving toward me, but her drinking generally left her passed out on the couch, incoherent, unreliable, and a public embarrassment. When I came home from school one day, I found her in a sobbing mess on the floor, and the only thing she could say was that my father was killed in an accident (p.s. he wasn't, which i later found out, who knows where that came from).

    I started avoiding contact with her as much as possible, because seeing her like that was too painful, even though I simultaneously felt guilty for 'abandoning' her. During a heated fight one time while I was in high school, I told her that it wasn't fair that every day when I came home from school I had to prepare myself to walk into the house to find her dead body, and her response was 'you won't find me, your father will.'

    For years, she was like the walking dead. But magically, she had a crisis (shortly after I told her that she was dead to me, and after I moved out of the house she would never see me again) and decided to detox and go into counseling and AA, and completely transform her life. My relationship with her now is incredibly close.

    One thing I learned from her (which is a big component of AA and Al-Alon) is that you can't change other people, you can only change yourself. There's something so freeing in acknowledging that, and every time I have a struggle in a personal relationship, I remind myself that I can't change other people, I can only communicate to them what I need, how I feel, and set consequences, which I must follow through with.

    With all addicts (and non-addicts as well) this is really the only thing you can do, but it does remind you that you are not completely powerless. You can't control how your mother treats you, but you can control how you react to it, and whether or not you accept continuing to be treated that way.

    Another very important thing that I learned is that it takes two people to create and continue a dysfunctional relationship. As long as Person A is willing to accept the behavior of Person B, Person B's behavior will never change. I think that enabling behavior is just as damaging and counterproductive as the addict's behavior. Because of this, I think both parties have some blame in a continually dysfunctional situation (assuming that both are currently adults).
    Last edited by BestBetter; 08-27-2013 at 02:36 PM.

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