Thursday, January 28, 2010

Dear Mother

Posted by Anonymous.

Dear Mother,

I am furious at you, and at the same time, have the urge to hold you until it's all better. Our relationship is over because of you and your mental illness. You need help. But I can't help you. None of us can anymore. It is time to help yourself. For the sake of our family, and most of all, for yourself.

I am slowly realizing that I will never be your child. Never be held close, never be comforted, never be allowed to be the weak one. Because you believe it is your right to have these things, even though you are my mother. You should have mothered me and asked for nothing in return. I am so angry that you would choose to adopt a child when you couldn't manage to care for my brother who had already been given to you by grace. To say that you feel your own son is a disappointment to you is shameful, because you created him that way. You raised him that way. And he still loves you. How? I don't know. Why adopt a child you can't care for? I would never say it to you, or perhaps to anyone face-to-face, but there are many times I have wished another family had the chance to adopt me, and not you. The lies you must have created, and the people you must have manipulated, so that you could adopt me, is a shameful part of you I just can't understand. One day you may be able to face the truth about yourself: that some things are entirely your fault, you caused them, and you deserve the outcome of your behaviour.

I am sad that now you will miss the birth of my second child. But what choice is there? You have tortured our family over the past 12 months with your pathetic attempts at seeking justice for your abusive childhood, and taking it out on your family who has, up until now, stood by you. You wonder why people have left you now? Because the truth is my father was holding it all together for you. He spent 30 years making excuses for you, covering up for you, and lying to protect you. And now that you have pushed him away, and are on your own, you can't cope. Surprise!

I have thought many times over the past few months that it would be easier if you had died than become estranged to us. It would be easier to grieve for you, and all that you never were to me, than it is to know you are just a short drive away, and dreading the next contact you might make with me.

I wanted a mother who was wise, tolerant, strong, educated, patient and could teach me how to be a great mother to my own children. But you can't do it. I have to teach myself, and learn from other strong, wonderful women in my life, how to go about it. I am determined to give my children all of myself, but unlike you, I plan to also protect them from the problems of adults around them, because they are CHILDREN. And not my counsellors, social workers, doctors or friends.

Please, please get the help you need. Even if we never see you again- just for yourself and to be healed from the pain you are suffering. I hope the people in your life who have hurt you so badly will one day say sorry to you. And mean it. But for now, please stay away from me, and contact me when you are ready to admit responsibility for what you have done. Yes, much of this is your fault. And it is time to take control.

I wish I had the courage to tell you this myself, and I wish that you were able to respond in the way that is needed. But we can't.

All my love.



Ranni said...

If you know your mother is suffering from mental illness, at some point you have to realize that you're angry at the illness, not your mother. It's hard though, to see it that way. My mom has never been a mom to me because she suffers. She, too, had an abusive childhood and expects everyone to make up for that. Every time she says "I love you" I cringe as though I'm making a deal with the devil as her love comes with prices that can NEVER be paid, prices that aren't physically or even emotionally possible.

There are times when I'm angry at my mom but even so, deep down I know she would have never chosen to be this way. It's the illness. I've never known her any other way and it's hard to separate the two, but on some level, I know it to be true.

I can tell you being mad at the illness gives nothing in return, no gratification. I don't talk to my mom much, and I moved my family halfway across the country so she couldn't hurt my kids the way she did her own. Still, I know it's not her choice and I'd wager it wasn't your mom's choice either. Sometimes when people suffer they can't help themselves. My mom is one of those. Maybe yours is, too.

Anonymous said...

I'm so sorry. I also have a mentally ill mother and it's been hell. She's never been abusive to me, but she is the queen of manipulation. After the last suicide attempt and following 3-year stay in the state hospital, I finally stepped back. I realized I have to take care of me and my family first. I still mourn losing the independent, kind mom I once had. And I'm still angry at her, too (I realize she can't help much of what she does, but I think she plays up the helpless bit.)

Have you been in contact with NAMI? They have wonderful support for family members. I still have a long way to go in coping with my mom, but they've helped me to understand her and my reactions to her.

Elizabeth said...

Bah. My mother is mentally ill, too. I, often, question how much of her behavior is her and how much of it is her mental illness.

I accepted a long time ago that I no longer have a mother. But, I find myself longing for one lately. I stare at women who are my mothers age and I admire. I wish they were my mom sometimes. Sometimes? I don't know. Maybe all the time.

I, too, am doctor, friend, therapist. I draw the line but she can't really distinguish it. For a long time, I've been the mother and she's been the child. It sucks.

Sorry. I can say that identifying the fact that you don't really have a mother anymore helps. I did that and I miss my mother, almost as if she had died. We still talk but she's not my "mother". It takes away alot of the disappointment and expectation.