My mother wants nothing to do with me

Let's Talk

With WAYNE A POWELL MA Counselling Psychology Relationship Counsellor

Monday, December 31, 2012

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Dear Counsellor,

I am deeply confused about my mother. She wants nothing to do with me. From as long as I can remember, she was never around and when I try to get close to her, she always comes up with something or tries to cause problems in my life.

She loves money. Whenever she wants something from me she wants to talk to me, and if I don't give money to her, she will cause another problem.

I am the only daughter of three children. She keeps my brothers away from me, telling them not to come where I live, and trying to convince my other family members and friends that I am a terrible person.

There is nothing I want more than for my mother to stop being the monster she is and pay attention to her life and where it is heading. I need advice. I have been to counsellors before and I tried and tried to let it go but I am still thinking about her.

If parents would only understand the misery they put their children through when they display animosity towards them. It is true that parenting skills are not taught in schools and so the only learning experience we have is what we observe and experience in our families of origin. So an adult who was brought up in an abusive environment may well perpetuate this aggression in his/her own family.

The more enlightened parent, however, would vow not to continue the family "curse" and so seek to engage the children in a loving and healthy environment.

Your mom is obviously going through her own personal struggles and finds that the only way to deal with them is to project on you and others. She has not learned how to effectively manage her emotions and so instead of responsibly confronting the issues in her life, she directs her frustrations at the people she is close to.

Some parents intentionally and un-intentionally breed contention in their families by promoting unhealthy sibling rivalry. When your mother chooses to keep your brothers away from you and says negative things about you, this is an indication that she is determined to hurt you as she is quite aware that family unity is important to you.

Your mother's hostility towards you seems quite personal which leads me to ponder the following questions.

What is it you may have done in the past that your mother has not forgiven you for?

Were you argumentative and had many confrontations and verbal clashes with your mom?

Are you and your brothers of the same father?

What is the relationship like between your mother and father?

Do you look like your father and have any of his personality traits?

Is she disappointed in you for any reason at all?

The answers to these questions would help to make an informed opinion as to what's going on with mom.

There are some parents who believe that children are their pensions and that any financial needs that they have, the child/children are obligated to provide same. The argument is that the parent spent enormous sums of money to feed, clothe and school them, and so as working adults they must repay in cash or kind. Could this be why your mom is pressuring you for money?

Resolving this issue with your mom may well take your lifetime as the hurt and resentment that she herself is carrying are deep seated and will be difficult to treat unless she is willing to admit and address her shortcomings.

Seeking to change your mother is an exercise in futility. You can choose to either fight fire with fire or take the higher ground and shower her with love. In spite of her behaviour towards you, she is and will always be your mom and nothing can change that. Treat her with the respect that is accorded her by virtue of her status as mother. Don't allow her to push you into being abusive and disrespectful towards her. Let it be said you did your best to bridge the gap that exists. Let your conscience be clear at all times where she is concerned.

Is there a relative or family friend that she trusts and respects that could broker the peace between you both? How about your brothers, would they be amenable to speaking with her about the issue?

No doubt this situation is weighing you down terribly but I would suggest you try not to make it consume too much of your time and energy. It is not worth it. Getting depressed over the matter will not help. The truth is, your mom has lived most of her life and it is now time for you to live yours with as little stress as possible.

If you unable to have a face to face dialogue with your mother, write her a letter expressing your feelings. Use "I" statements and avoid the "you" statements.

If your mom is unwilling to get professional help, you just have to pray that one day she will look into herself and make the necessary adjustments.

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