Sasha Answers: Meangirled By My Mother

Sasha Posted by Sasha at December 12, 2011 19:36:52 December 12, 2011 19:36:52
Hi Sasha! My mother and I have never had a very good relationship. Whatever our relationship is, it's definitely not the typical mother/daughter relationship. My mom was 17 when I was born and I feel like she has always resented me for taking away her youth. She recently told me that I have never allowed her to be a mother which I can't even begin to understand how that is possible. I remember my mother telling me when I was only 3 years old that I was too heavy for her to hold. I only remember being hugged by my mother once when I was a child. I believe she is a sociopath, she is always the victim.  I became emancipated from my parents when I was 17. My mother and father had been divorced for years and when my mother's 2nd marriage ended, I decided that I had had enough and no longer wanted to deal with the consequences of her bad decisions. I've had very little contact with my mother of the past 10 years. Sometimes she will start calling and coming around and I'll think she's changed and I will give her another chance to be the mother I have always needed her to be. Then she always does something to hurt me or let me down and I once again start building a wall up and avoiding her. I now have a 1 year old daughter and I've been struggling with how to protect my daughter from my mother. I recently confronted my mother via email about my feelings and fears that she will hurt my daughter the same way she has hurt me. The email argument lasted several days, my mother continuously made herself out to be the victim and nothing was accomplished. Finally after realizing nothing would ever change, I decided to cut my mother out of my life for good. I felt like it was the only way I could ever be truly happy. I asked my mother not to speak to anyone else in the family about our problems, I felt they should be kept private and just between the two of us. There's no need to upset anyone else in the family. I told her we could still be civil at family gatherings and she would still be welcome at my daughter's 1st birthday party but aside from family gatherings, I didn't want a relationship with her. It's now been 3 months since our last interaction. Since then, I've casually spoken to several members of our family and they have all dropped hints about me being an ungrateful child. Some family members have even stopped taking my calls or responding to my emails all together. At first, I thought I was just reading too much into it, I made excuses for why they were avoiding me. Things have gotten so bad that I can't ignore it anymore. My grandmother recently quoted something I said in an email I sent to my mother. I'm sure my mother has been telling my relatives her side of the story and this is why they are avoiding me or treating me badly. I haven't mentioned my mother to anyone or the problems we've been having but now I think that maybe I should stand up for myself and share my side of the story but I can't help feeling like it's still a private matter. I really don't know what to do. I've never been close to my mother's side of the family, they are all very distant and cold. Should I cut off contact with my mother's entire family? Please help! C

I just read a quote that I think really applies to your situation – People change for two reasons:  Either they learn enough that they want to or they’ve been hurt enough that they have to.

C, you fall into the second category and while it sucks this is the way you had to figure things out, I think, and I hope you know what a strong person you are to have gone through it.

When it comes to family I am always a big proponent of trying to make it work any way you can, and C, I think you’ve done that with your relationship with your mom. You tried all your options, but in the end you had to separate yourself in order to heal and be whole again.  I totally have your back on that.  But now that you have a little one I don’t think that cutting your daughter off from the entire family is something you should do….at least for right now.  I’m not saying you need to have a weekly family get together, but I do think you should leave the door open so she has the chance to get to know them if she wants to.  And what you have in place now – holiday and birthday gatherings – is perfect.  Nothing more, nothing less.  Now, if of course at any time things get unhealthy or negative for her, then you should absolutely cut ties.

In fact, you should watch this clip from Angelina Jolie’s 60 minute interview. Click here.
She talks quite candidly about the boundaries she had to set with her wacked out crazy father and how she did it for her family and children.  C, I guess the most important thing here is that you don’t want your past with your mom to ever dictate what you do moving forward.  Never let it affect what kind of role model you are to your child or determine the manner in which you behave with others.   And this is where forgiveness comes in.  It doesn’t mean what she did or keeps doing is okay, but what it does mean is that you refuse to be locked in by past bitterness and hatred.  Forgiveness has way more to do with YOU then it does letting someone off the hook.  I tell you this because I want to make sure that moving forward the decisions you make for your daughter will always be for her benefit and best interest.   And right now I think it’s in her best interest to get as much love and support as there is to offer.

I hope this helps! Xx

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