Should I sever ties with my mother?
was diagnosed with a terminal disease over 2 decades ago...I found out about it
when I was 18. My parents divorced when I was 13 my step-dad raised me and put
me through school. My mom's east African and my step-dad's from western Europe.
After I graduated I left East Africa, came up here, went to business school and
I'm now working. I haven't seen my mum in ages and we have an odd relationship.
I contact her by phone whenever I can. I was never able to talk to her as I was
growing up. I know she's proud of the person that I've become but she takes it
as far as to think it was through her doing (her sacrifice of allowing my dad
to have custody of me (giving me up if you will)) that I got where I am and not
my dad's love for me (that led to his adoption of me) and his investment in my
education and life. My dad pays for her medical bills and does so much for her
even though he doesn't have to (for my sake) but she just doesn't get it
constantly bites the hand that feeds her.
Now guess what,
she wrote me to thank me for the money I sent and to say that the boy loves me...???
He doesn't know me, I don't know him...she seems to think that my half-sis and
I had a relationship and now she's playing on my emotional vein. I got a call
last week which I didn't pick up and when I heard the message I felt sick. It
was the boy...I could hear my mum in the background saying things to him in native
tongue...he said hello, said who he was, listened to what my mum said and then
told me he loves me...and hung up. I'm sorry, but am I wrong in saying that this
boy is not my responsibility and that I refuse to accept him as such? I can't
deal with the psychological warfare and I asked my mum to stop but she continues
to do it. Should I just make a break? I cant go on feeling guilty and responsible
for my mother. Its killing all the happiness in my life to walk around with
such a weight on my shoulders.
I'm sorry that this has turned out so long.
you for your advice.
Thanks for the long note, it does
help to have the detail to better understand your frustration; I've editied it,
because it's a unique story, and I wanted to be sure you don't allow yourself
to be identified.
A unique story, but not a unique problem, alas.
your mother, but she has been abusing you for years; I wonder why you've finally
decided to face up to it? Not that I blame you; she has deliberately failed to
understand your point of view, she just sees the world with her at the centre.
you write as if it's all (you keep giving, she keeps taking) or nothing (you cut
off from her).
Not at all! What I'd advise is to do what you should have done
from the beginning - take control of your life, and your purse. Stop being a child
who allows mum to control you.
This time, write back and say you cannot
afford anything at this time - make up a white lie if that makes it easier for
you - she's been doing that for years. Tell her to write back in three months,
and let you know what she ACTUALLY NEEDS for medicines and whatever you are happy
to support her with - if you don't want any commitment, just say write in few
weeks to tell you how she is. Don't make any specific promises.
she contacts you for money, just say you cannot afford anything at the moment,
and how is she? Speak of other things. You may find it easier to avoid her calls.
If she writes, reply, but do not mention money.
Then, when things quieten
down - it may be weeks, even months - send her a small mount of money. Don't get
in long discussions about it, just say you sent what you afford. Repeat this.
Evetually, if you are strong, YOU will send money as and when you wish, and SHE
will say thanks.
It won't be easy; but while you have been acting for years
as if this was about money, you have been wrong; it's entirely about control.
And you must control your life and your money.
Once you have won control, you
can then decide exactly waht you feel you can give. But every time you give on
demand, you reinforce her feeling that its her 'right' - which it isn't.
at your times, irregularly, and when you DON'T hear from her.
And Be Strong! - Good Luck!