First of all, I'd like to wish everybody a Happy Mother's Day! I feel blessed everyday that I am a mother of a wonderful son who is my world. I feel blessed that I am given this experience and have learned so much about life and myself through being a mother. May all of you have a peaceful and restful day!
I am usually the person giving advice on this board, hardly ever I asked for advice. I feel lucky that most of my issues in my personal life are some things I can understand and pretty much handle and have answers to them. But there's always this one that I can't seem to handle nor understand for as long as I've been able to determine right from wrong. The issue is my mother.
You see, my mother is not your average mother than most of us know. She's the type of mom who have and still deny her own children. She's going out with a new man right now and for him to think she's younger than her real age, she denies that she has a 45 year old daughter. Because you see, she tells these men whom she goes out with that she's 49. She can pass for that age, only if the lights are dim, IMHO. She claims that my son, her grandson who's 21 years old, is her own child. Which would correlate with her age. She has a total of 4 children, me being the 2nd oldest. My older brother is 47 years old. My brother is aware of her attitude towards us, but refuses to face it. I'm also concerned about my mother because she tends to give her money and valuables to these men, in order for these men to stay with her. I know, it's such a desparate and pathetic way of keeping someone who "may" love you, but this has been her way since I was a child. My mother doesn't have much money, but, the men she goes out with have less money than she does. I think she is attracted to these men so she would feel a little better about herself.
When I was younger, she used to introduce all of us, her 4 children, as her cousins. Again, she did this to make herself younger than her real age. She used to yell at us and tell us that we stole her youth... and my rebuttal was, "why did you continue having children? Why didn't you stop at 1?" She never had an answer for me. She didn't really spend much time with us when we were growing up. When she wasn't working, she was spending her spare time looking for men who are not even worthy of calling them by their first name.
But back to the present time, I know I can never change my mother. She has and will always be this way. But it continues to break my heart that she has been and will always deny her children. I know she doesn't love us or want us as much as she wants ANY man with a pulse in her life. What I am struggling to understand is why would ANY mother do this to her own flesh and blood? I can NEVER imagine doing what she'd done to us to my son. I was raising my son completely for over 18 years and I didn't allow ANY man to be in the way of my relationship with my son. I do have one thing to be thankful for towards my mother. Because she is not such a good mother, she made me become a great one and made me realize what it feels like to be rejected on a daily basis.
Today on Mother's Day, she chose to spend her special day not with her children and grandchildren, but with her new man in her life who we know is squeezing every penny he can get from her. I can't disconnect or disown my mother. Even though she'd done this to us, I can't return the same rejection to her. To me, two wrongs will not make this right. She lives abot 2 hours away from me, so, she lives far enough, but close enough were we can get to her in an emergency.
Any advice on how to handle this situation?
Anybody ever been in this situation?
Could anybody explain why would a mother do this to their own children?
Oh Fabat, this is very sad. Your post really made me feel that way. Well, as expected, I thought of my own mother, no longer living. By no measures she was a role model. I was her only child. She could be very manipulative and sometimes neglectful. She would at times mock me rather than encourage me. But then again she was not a very healthy person, anyway. Not healthy in mind and body. You had to take her with a pinch of salt, you know. That is what I do now whenever I think of her. She was not really aware of the things she was doing. I can even think of her with some affection or compassion. She could have been worse, anyway. Maybe that is the way for you to think of your own mother.
The other side of the coin is that as I was reading your post, at some point, my sadness was replaced by some ... how can I put it? ... amusement. No, I was not laughing at you, but I was simply (please don't get me wrong) "laughing" at your mother. She really makes her herself look ridiculous. Of course the rascals don't believe her lies, but who cares, provided they get the money? I know this feels outrageous to you because all in all she is wasting money that she could bestow on her children and grandchildren and on herself. What if she runs out of money? Whom will she ask for help? Her children? I would talk to lawyer for just in case: she is dilapidating her money, and you are running the risk of having to pay for the bill. This is something that would really worry me in advance, Fabat.
Anyway, you see, people react in very different manners. Your mother was not good to you, but this sort of made you a very caring mother. You were too clever not to repeat the story. Maybe your mother had a very uncaring mother herself but was unable to get over it, just like you did. She repeated with her children what she went through with her own mother. Ok, I am just speculating, trying to find an explanation. Maybe your mother also had an unhappy marriage with your father and that compounded her difficulty with her own children.
I can't find words to console you, Fabat, but somehow I think that it would do you good to engage in a practice of meditation. This might help you see with even more realistic eyes and just let it go.
I absolutely agree with Pendelum, compassion is what your mum needs. She might be going through some kind of age crisis of some sort. It is good that she still has an appetite for life and does not resign to getting old. You can't, unfortuantely, make her care for her children and her grandchildren. At least you have your son and own family. You are a grown up woman so you must have outgrown the need to receive maternal love. She sounds very insecure about something, don't know how her relationship with your dad was but I assume that she did not have a very stable life herslef? I am not saying this is justified but in the end of the day, she is spending her money on what makes her happy; some women spend it on football matches and bingo and trips. It is sad as Pedulum said that she distanced herself from her children but this is something that you can't change.
Fab my advice is a bit more jaded because I have completely cut my "mother" out of my life. It was actually her choice for that to happen.
When I was three and my brother was about 6 months old she divorced her first husband my "father" and soon after got with some guy who was later to become her second husband. She used drugs and decided her second husband was more important than her first two children. That man was allowed to "punish" us however he saw fit in other words abuse. Then when given several chances by my grandparents to get away from him she always went back to him. Thankfully the last time my grandparents helped they made sure to get my brother and I out of the house and sent ot live in another state with family. Yet again she went back to her second husband. A few years later she tried to get us back but a judge told her no and gave custody to the family memeber. We were safe at last. And at age 11 that was teh last time I was to see her. But not the last I would hear from her. When I was 26 and in a high risk pregnancy her children got a hold of me and against my wishes gave an email address to their mother. She raged through an email accusing me of all kinds of wonderful things. I told her how I felt about her and that she was never welcome in my life. I turn 33 this year and havent heard from her since.
Do I regret it,no I dont and I never will. She taught me how NOT to be a mom and I strive every day to make sure I dont follow in her footsteps.
So for me when a mother can pick men over her own children that woman isnt a mother. A mother that can say the things she said to you doesnt deserve to be called mother. I know it is harsh but some of her own mediciene back couldnt hurt.
As for why a woman would do that sorry dont have an answer for you. Execpt that some women should never be mothers. Like it has already been said there are any number of reasons she could be that way. Oh just so you know my grandmother is nothing like my "mother". She is a sweet caring person who is baffled by her "daughter's" turn out. She doesnt refer to her as her daughter anymore she has been disowned by our family.
DS 13 yr
DS 8 yr (3+ yrs ttc)
TTC #3 since 01/02
Dear Fabat, I grew up second in a family of eleven. My mother should not have had ANY of them. We had a life of no affection, no affirmation of ourselves, no encouragement and many punishments, beltings and screaming. What you said about it making you a great mother is true, all my siblings are phenomenal parents. I cut her out of my life for many years, and when I went through a few years' therapy and counselling, I decided to confront her with my list of grievances for her to answer to and give me closure. You know what? I never did it. I realised that she would never hear what I would say to her, that it would be like standing in a thunderstorm and asking it to account for itself. With that thought came, if not forgiveness, at least acceptance that I was just not responsible for her and that I was me partly because of having been forged in that furnace. She is dead now, and I am actually quite glad that I never did confront her. It was kinder to let her have her (grossly distorted) memories of our upbringing. Your mother will not hear you either, it is you that you have to concentrate your healing efforts on. Be proud of what you have achieved, your son is a testament to you and your innermost strength of character that has brought you this far regardless of your mother. Cheers, Sera
My gosh, I re-read my post and I apologize for my grammar! I guess I was so upset that I couldn't think or write straight.
Pendelum: You're right, my mother is being ridiculous! For someone who's in her late 60s and trying to pass herself as being barely 50 is ridiculous! And for someone who's trying to buy love, I pray everyday that I don't end up like her. I'm sorry about your Mom... Being an only child yourself, I don't understand how she can be so insensitive! I am afraid that these men are going to take whatever little money she has and we'll be the one ending up paying for it.
Nina: You're also right, my mother has always been insensitive. When my father left us ( he isn't a good father either) my mother paraded many men in front of us. I resent her for that and discovered that she would rather spend her spare time with these men than with her own children. I don't recall really receiving the maternal love that I'd craved when I was young, but I am struggling to understand why she would do this to her own offspring. Maybe you're right, a little bit of me is still looking for that because really, I never had it.
Blastoff: MY GOSH! that baffles me even more how ANY mother would allow ANYBODY to harm her children! I am so sorry you'd gone thru all of that, but like you said, you are a better mother like me because of our selfish mothers. I was engaged a few years back and allowed my fiance to meet my son... he never laid a hand on my son, but one year after being engaged, he showed his true colors. I didn't know he resented my son because he's not the father - so he made me choose between him and my son. I happilly helped him pack his belongings and kicked him out of our apartment. Nobody would ever give me an ultimatum and think I'd choose them over my own flesh and blood. My son is like my air, I wouldn't be able to live without him. Like your grandmother, my maternal grandmother is also baffled by my mother's behaviour because she didn't raise her 5 children to be so uncaring, because my grandparents were very caring, family oriented people. I'm so glad your mother got the hint that you don't want her to be part of your life.
Sera: I can't imagine being in such a huge family and living the hell you'd gone thru, just like Blastoff. I can say that my mother really didn't even care to hit us... she really was never there to find out if we got into trouble. You are right... there's no way my mother will admit to her wrong doing even though she knows it and besides, how would that benefit me and my siblings today?
Thanks for all of your response. I guess I need to let this issue go. I will never change my mother. She will be the uncaring, selfish, pathetic and desparate woman. I guess I need to go back to counseling and learn how to let this little bit of me go. As much as we'd been neglected, all four of us have grown up to become good citizens, post-college graduates and successful. We are not drug addicts, alcoholics, none of us have been to jail and the people who knows our upbringing, they're amazed on how all 4 of us who didn't have adult supervision most of our childhood, but still managed to stay out of trouble and became good citizens.
We wonder ourselves too.
I hope all of the Moms in here had a good Mother's day. To me, everday is Mother's Day.
Seems to me you already have a pretty good handle on it. You know you can't change the kind of person your mother is. All you can do is deal with how you react to it.
Why would any mother do this? Who knows. I think it may be as simple as some women get lonelier than others. Some women can get along fine for years without a special man in their life, other women can't get through the night.
I'm not a mother, I wasn't blessed with such a miracle as a beautiful child to love, so I can't fully understand the love a mother has for her child, but I don't think it's always an automatic, innate, natural thing. I do believe some women have to learn to bond with their children, and sometimes they just don't. I know you just got married again, but had been alone for a long time, and you managed to channel all your love and longing and passion into your love for your son, and did fine without a steady man to love. Some women are just better at doing that than others.
Many people have suggested that I adopt and become a single parent, but one of the reasons why I don't do this, apart from the fact that I simply couldn't afford it, is that having romantic love is so important to me, that I know that no matter how much I loved my child, I would not be capable of being the kind of mother I really want to be without having found the other blessing of real, true romantic love with a good, trustworthy companion. To me, they are supposed to go hand in hand, and the fact that I never got to find love, that I never got to be loved, and having to live every day of my life knowing I'm going to go to my grave never knowing what it's like to be held in the arms of a man who loves me and who I am in love with, really weighs very very heavily on me, it affects every aspect of my self esteem, how I view my place in the world, it even affects my ability to believe that God even loves me at all, to such a degree that I know it would adversly affect how I would mother any children I may have on my own without a partner to love and to be there with me. Like I said, some women do fine without it, some women just don't. I really don't think it's a question of priorities so much, because in my mind I know that when you accept the responsibility of a child, nothing is more important than raising that child properly, but in my heart, there's a hollow, sore, hurting space that only the romantic love of a good man who loves me can fill. A child could never fill that space, and it would be unfair for me to expect a child to do so. IT's not priorities so much as needs. Some women just don't feel the need to have a good man by their side. Some women feel totally lost without it.
I don't mean to make excuses for your mom, truly, but try not to judge your mom too harshly. She loves you and your siblings the very best way she knows how with what she has to work with. It's not her fault really that she feels cheated by life, that she has a big empty hurting space in her heart that she can't fill. As her child, you may feel slighted and wish you had a mom who loved you or who gave more than she did, but in the end, she is the one who is cheating herself. I don't envy her the moment, and it may not come until she's on her death bed or even after, but the moment will come when she realizes what she sacrificed in her relationships with the blessings God did give her in her children, for her futile, desperate attempts to fill that longing for romantic love. That won't be a very good day for her, I can assure you.
Last edited by Larrylou'smom; 05-14-2007 at 03:22 PM.