How do you accept that you will never have the mother (kind, supportive, loving...) you always longed for?

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I'm having a very difficult time coming to terms with not having a mother I've bent over backwards to please (all my life... and, now caring for her)... I am so sad (grieving in the 'physical' now with her) that we will never be... anything to me really... She usually works against me... (buddies up to my brother's who live 1,000 miles away ... while I take care of her... tells me I am the root of all problems... tells me things like "you have no friends"... and, doesn't want me to call her 'mom', especially around people (like she's embarrassed)... I have almost (really) lost my mind... When special days like Valentine's Day comes up... they are usually ruined upon repair... I am so saddened with tears in my eyes. How do I accept the lose of the mother I never had? (my dad died when I was 17)... How do you pick up the 'pieces' (when you're so depressed after giving all you've got)?

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How do you pick up the pieces? You can't. As Emjo says, grieve it and then make the decision to let go. Grieve the mother you never had and embrace all the strong women or "other mothers" in your life that have made your life meaningful.

It must be very hard and seem on-sided when you step up to care for mom, thinking she will be so grateful and you will finally connect and stir all those feelings and loving moments you've longed for and dreamed of.

It just doesn't happen. Their world shrinks, their instinct is survival, and you are a convenience to provide that love and care. It hurts to have them still talk about your brother who isn't there for her and talk about how he calls, the wonderful card he sent, yada yada with no regard to the "biggest gift and sacrifice"...you, your time, love and care in spite of all that has come before. I know, as that is my situation.

It will never happen and you will be even sadder and resentful with each passing day unless you can let go of this expectation. YOU. CAN. LET GO and still provide the care --it's an emotional shift in thinking. It took me a long time and I'm able to do it and learning to love my mom in spite of it. I know I will have no regrets and I know I'm Answering to myself only. I pay it forward by loving my children, making sure that they know it everyday in saying it to them out loud, in public and in my actions. They are grown. Do the same with your friends and all those who have meaning in your life.

Forgive your mom for what she can't or won't give you and move on.

I have some very close friends who have grown up with me or who have let me share my experience and sadness regarding my family life growing up. They have been great listeners and understanding even though their life experiences were different. I've also discovered others who've experienced the same and it's good knowing I'm not alone.

My upbringing was not bad...just not the "father knows best" TV family I longed for. I found it in other families who took me under their wing and provided those needs. I have since thanked them when I could for all they taught me and I have created the family I always wanted in my own.

Good luck and hugs. I hope you can talk to someone or get counseling if that is what it takes. Maybe these feedbacks will help you face the days ahead and look in the mirror and tell yourself "I'm worthy and loved" even if I never hear it form mom.
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Wonderful advice from all who have been more or less in your very shoes, and you can now include me. Every day I struggle with the same as you. But this year is different: I am seeing a counselor when I can (even once a month). I am on this site! MOST helpful! I am willing myself to be kind and let go. I still feel my anger and hurt and I know I am holding on to a weight that hurts Mom and myself. "Today, I will be just a little kinder and let go a little more", I say to myself. Many days I fail. I am grateful I have another day to try again to perfect myself, not to change her! You are going to change iron old habits of thoughts from childhood, instinctive feelings. Of course this is very hard! But the prize is a clean feeling of loving, a kind of freedom, a self love that is good for you.
Also, I think that if I can detach from past resentments, or enmeshments of attachment, that will help my 92 year old mother let go of me. In their odd ways, our mothers depended on us. We served them and protected them from facing their own flaws. Now we must let go, forgive, while still being there for them!

One of my friends who cared for her sick parents for decades and is a social worker said to me, "You have to stop wanting something in return. Give and don't expect anything any more." At some point, I know there will be what is called Grace. It's not the mother we wanted, it's the loving person without fear, without old rage, without resentment in our very own selves. Imagine that being you, entertain the idea that YOU might be different and what would that feel like or look like? What will be your prize? What happens when you let go? I feel lighter and happier. On the days when I hang on to my crap I feel like....crap!

Share your process with us some more. Know that you sure are not alone. We are all cheering for your inner strength. This is an opportunity for us to grow.

And remember that love is like air: no one special owns it or contains it. You can find it within yourself and outside of yourself. Sometimes, when I really let go of my anger and am with my mother, I even feel her own being just a little bit smoother.

Do you believe that no one is given a test that they cannot overcome? We can overcome. Give yourself some room to feel and release and try a different way.
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My mother died when I was ten. My father spent the next forty years angry and depressed. I walked out at 18.. you Forget It and Drive On (FIDO) and save yourself from a black hole of crushing negative energy. You throw yourself a life ring and jump ship.
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Maybe you have to find a way to detach yourself. Let go of the expectation and there will be no disappointment.
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To accept, I think you first have to grieve and feel the pain of never having had a loving mother, and having one now who is rejecting you. That must hurt a lot.

Another special day ruined - look at all the ruined ones on the past and prepare for it. Once when I was bemoaning someone's behaviour towards me, a relative said to me -"What do you expect? So and so has always been like that." It made me think and I adjusted my expectations. You can't get blood from a stone. I think I am safe in saying that your mother will never love you the way you need it.

Can you build a life separate from your mother? Develop some friendships, some interests away from her and outside of the dysfunctionality. Look to others for the affirmations you never got and never will get from your mother. Don't expect her behaviour to change. Fill those needs somewhere else. Your need for love is legitimate, but you are looking at the wrong source. I know it is hard. We are created to flourish within our families, but some of us have families that are destructive. I can't help feeling that you need to get away from your mother, at least for a period of time, until you do some healing and accept her as she is. ((((((((((hugs)))))))))))) and prayers.
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Sometimes I don't know how we end up as caregivers. We need a mother when we are young, but some mothers are just not there for their children. It seems to me that women of a certain age preferred sons. If we look at the old TV shows, they were "My Three Sons" and "Bonanza" with Ben's three sons. Often the women had died in these stories, so they didn't get encumbered with any female at all. Many of us grew up during those years when boys were seen as better. Females were good for breeding and maid work. Families that preferred sons tended to invest in them and the daughters got scraps. I tend to think that mothers in these families didn't like themselves as women.

We are where we are now and we are our own mothers. It no longer matters what the women that gave birth to us think if we know who we are. Heart2Heart, I agree with others about not looking at your mother for what you need. Look to yourself instead to figure out how you are going to be better to yourself. I would not even waste time mourning about the mother you were denied. Just figure out what you need to do for you, then figure out how to do it. I think that is good advice for us all. Our parents had us for the first 20 years, but we've had ourselves since that time. What we do depends on us.
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i think theres a possibility that mothers and daughter just biologically compete more than being close. dynamics that i cant explain -- kinda like how youd never see a sibling as sexually attractive even if they were really hot looking. im the son in our family of three siblings and mom would toss both daughters under the bus tires every time to come to my defense. i think mothers dote on the son because they see him as being the more capable carer in the future if for nothing else his ability to fix s**t. ive known several very upstanding women in the last few years whove confided in me that females are blithering annoyances. that is their opinions, not mine. either way if biological dynamics are at play that were not even capable of understanding, youll just have to let go and accept things as they are. thats rather sad because the gradual loss alone is bad enough to deal with.
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Understood, capn. Women do compete, even though they are in their best form when they cooperate. I've found that getting a lot of women to cooperate, however, is like herding cats. It takes a special person to be a leader of women.
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I understand how you are feeling. It's not a good feeling. I look back now and realize my mother has always been in her own little world . Thank goodness for my father back then. She was never there for me emotionally and that stinks , when she developed dementia it became worse, she became more demanding and a bigger pill to swallow. I started wondering what the lesson was for me in all of this and then it came to light. I had so much resentment , unhealthy anger , bitterness for how she was when I was young and caregiving for her with dementia was really hard we had to place her in a memory center months ago due to her level of care. Watching her loose her independence, and seeing her become so vunerable has been heartwrenching for me but it took away all the resentment, anger , bad feelings , I feel blessed that was taken away from me. I truly love my mother again. I can ignore all of her demands and self serving ways and chalk it up to dementia. I feel like God is preparing me for this. Good luck
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Know for sure one thing...you deserved and needed love, support, and encouragement. You did not get it because there was something wrong with Mom, not because there was something wrong with you. Yes, you do have to give up on ever getting what Mom either does not have or for reasons even she has probably forgotten, decided to withhold. I found that there was more emotional turmoil when my Mom passed than when my Dad did; Dad occasionally told me he loved me and was proud of me, Mom could never stop criticizing and belittling, she was very perfectionistic in a bad, blaming, cutting-people-off kind of way, and you grieve for what could have been, should have been, might have been if only, rather than for the ending of a good relationship and a life full of good memories. I'm sad for the loss of both of them, but the feelings for my mom were so much more complicated. She did what she thought was right, and I was largely an obstacle to her being the perfect parent she thought she was supposed to be, that's the way I can understand it now.
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