I’ve learned over the last 24 years that a woman’s relationship with her mother varies as much as our personalities.
Borrowing from a theory I learned in therapy, in a relationship, there is the individual personality and the collective personality. The collective personality is made up of both individual personalities. That makes the relationship between mother and daughter even more dynamic.
One of my cousins has what I would call a picturesque relationship with her mother. They go shopping together, feel comfortable having long talks, and stay up late watching TV on weekends.
Part of me wishes I had that kind of relationship with my mom. I’ve talked about boys and fears to my cousin’s mother more than my own.
However, the lack of warmth and bonding that I received from my mother makes it hard to even imagine something like that.
I am capable enough of having relationships with other people; I have a husband and my sister and I are pretty close. I love (nearly) everyone. Because of the lack of love, though, I feel that I am at a deficit, that I just don’t know how to love like everyone else.
I know how to rage just fine; my mother and I were always really good at fighting when I lived at the house.
Sometimes I would get so panicked about the way she looked at me so coldly when we had an argument. She’d run into her room and close the door, with me in a full blown panic screaming for her to let me in. Maybe if she did, she’d finally accept me.
Yes, I am 24, and I am still hurt and continually blindsided by my mom’s lack of affection and attention. I’m not asking for much, just a call every once and a while to see if I’m OK. Maybe an invite for breakfast.
Even with my own place and my own plans to have children, I desire to have my mom be a part of my life just as much as 10 years ago.
I’ve been hurting, under everything, for a long time because I’ve believed that I must be the one doing something wrong. I’m the bipolar one, she’s only depressed. I’m the crazy maniacal freak that can’t be taken seriously. I should find a way to make her like me.
I believe there is a balance of motherhood, to be interested in your child’s life but to also let them go when it’s time to. I don’t believe that letting go means having a few five minute conversations a couple of times a month. I know I’m wishing for no reason because, as we know, we cannot change our mothers.
I have to let the pain go and realize that I will have to do better for my children.
I would never let my child feel that there is a hole in their heart.
–What is your relationship like with your mother? Do you think your bipolar has affected your relationship, and how? What is your advice for someone that has been struggling with their relationship with their mother for a long time?
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Last reviewed: 2 Feb 2013