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Question
Posted by: loner | 2010/08/26

indifferent mother

I apologise in advance for the following vent:

From a young age, my mother has been absolutely disinterested in me, my life - etc. In high school, she used me as her little stress ball - whenever her life was hard, she shouted and made fun of me and humiliated me in front of my friends, and I dealt with it the best way I knew how - trying to talk about it to her, then sulking and shutting people out. I pretended to be fine but after a couple years I started feeling angry and began to slam my bedroom door whenever she began her SHIT. She would tell people that her daughter is insolent - what did she expect, a saintly response from her emotionally abused adolescent daughter? I tried to let all this crap go. but recently, I was on the verge of divorce - I had no one to turn to, and like a sucker for punishment I turned to HER.

She rejected me, not immediately - no, she began to find it extremely hard to ''be there for me'' when her neighbours wanted to know what was wrong with my marriage. She told me to pack up and leave, she can''t handle my problems and the whole world speculating over what''s going on - and she then told me to not tell her anything in future because she has her own problems. I was in shock, I don''t know why it still surprises me - her coldness.

I then left, and was going to continue with the divorce living at our (husbands and mines) apartment. She didn''t want that because girls in her opinion shouldnt be staying on their own. More like - " what will everyone think when they see that my daughter left my house to stay on her own?"  Didn''t want people speculating I''m sure.

Its been hard, because I feel constantly like there is no one to talk to. Unless I pay them R450 an hour. Talk about extortion. My siblings are as indifferent as she is, I don''t understand why I''m the only person in my family with feelings and emotions - why the hell am I not cold and uncaring? I''m the youngest, is that a probable reason why I''m such a cry baby?

I can only keep my words fickle and light around my mother - if I so much as mention a problem - to do with my car, my studies - she loses interest and actually cuts the call abruptly. I feel like swearing her - that''s how frustrating this is. I miss my father, he was the one thing in my life that made sense and the only person who was there for me. My siblings are into their families and lives and treated me like shit when they saw their mother treating me like crap, so I was the family''s mutual punching bag.

I''m feeling sorry for myself, because I''m alone - and everywhere I look, my friends have a couple of people in their families who care about what happens to them. I don''t even have close friends, most of my friends were simialr to my mom in this sense - there for the good times only, yet still expecting you to be there for them when life isn''t going too good for them. Theyre also hard to trust  in the sense that you expect personal discussions to remain between you two and not spread around your social circles which is what my female friends are like, hence - I consider myself a complete and utter loner - and let''s face it, a loser too.

I don''t know how to feel like I belong in a place where I''ve only ever felt rejected. I''m not suicidal, I just don''t care about life either. What do I do from this point on, how do I begin to WANT to live, WANT to succeed, really WANT anything good at all?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

When you're really young, the mother has real power, and you may have little alternative than to accept her ways, helpful or unhelpful. But once you have grown up, even if you bear some scars, she only has the power you give her.
Maybe she was and is cold, but maybe also she genuinely does have difficulty in dealing with her own problems, and she may indeed have no capacity to be helpful with yours - you seem not to quite any occasion when she WAS capable of being helpful.
She seems to have nosy neighbours, and to empower their nosiness ( and that of others ) by worrying too much about what they might think.
OK, the rates shrinks charge may seem a lot ( have you tried hiring a plumber or electrician lately ? ) - butwould you, sincerely, volunteer to listen to other people's problems for hours a day, days a week, at that rate ?
If you don't need the skill and training a shrink has, and just want someone to listen - try seeking our support groups and similar opportunities to chat with others with similar problems and issues.
OK, so your father was a useful and loving and helpful ear. But clearly your mother isn't capable of that. She's not your father, and never will be. Why do you persist in looking to her for what she cannot provide ( probably not even for herself ) ?
Maybe you get to feel rejected, because you turn towards people actually likely to reject you.
As Germ implies, maybe blood is thicker than water, but sometimes it forms clots.
Try looking towards being a good listener to others with problems ( not keeping accounts as to how much listening they now "owe" you. It also helps to get one's own problems into perspective.
And as for therapy, which could indeed help, with the right sort of therapist, it should not be about simply expecting someone to sit passively and Listen to your venting ( at least not aftter one or 2 sessions ) but about actively workign together to wrangle your problems into shape, and help you to gain the skills and strengths to handle them yourself.


The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

6
Our users say:
Posted by: a mom | 2010/08/27

Hi Loner
So sad to read your post. Please give Lifeline a call. You can speak to someone there and they are available 24 hours per day. You don''t have to fork out huge amounts of money if you can''t afford it. Also give SADAG a call.

You want to share with someone so badly, remember your mom is unable to help you. She seems to have her own unresolved issues she has been unable to help herself. How can she be expected to help you in your time of need? You are disappointed because you expected the one person to support you emotionally and care for you, would be your mother? Right? Yes we all feel mothers should be able to. Remember you can get support from others. They may not be your mother but once you accept that your mother will probably never change. Accept her warts and all. Forgive her for her problems. Start to take ownership of your life and once you begin to take your own power back, you will feel more in control.
It must be very difficult to acknowledge the hurt and rejection and abandonment you feel towards your mom and accept it and then let it go. It may take you time but if you can do that, then you are on the road to healing.

Good luck!

Reply to a mom
Posted by: loner | 2010/08/27

Thanks for the replies. I would definitely go for therapy if I could afford it. As for plumbers and electricians - I only use them when something crops up, so that''s maybe an annual thing. It''s recommended to see therapists at least weekly, but even twice a month proved to be costly for me.

I think I should learn the art of indifference and denial as well. People who are cold often get further in life because nothing deters them. Thick-skinned, tough - I can only pretend to be those things sadly.

Yes Germ. But I can''t cut my own family out of my life - I can however distance myself a little. Ignore the brunts, stop expecting anything from them, ignore them when they try to control what I do. I also think I''m too cynical to connect with anyone at this point so finding like-minded ''friends'' doesn''t seem to be possible in my frame of mind.

Thanks Anon. I do need to find my own motivation. Good luck to you too.

Reply to loner
Posted by: Anon | 2010/08/27

You say it like you are writing my life story... I have had the same situation... and my mother contributed towards my divorce. I have two kids... In the last year i have been emotionally abused by my family and my husband and his family.

You have come so far... you are strong without them My kids are my motivation &  i am using them as my inspiration to move forward.
U can do it too... good luck

Reply to Anon
Posted by: Maria | 2010/08/27

Hi Loner. I wonder if part of your diffulty in forging meaningful friendships is not perhaps that you never had a deep relationship with someone in your family? Therapy might be a good idea to help you overcome this stumbling block. The purpose should not be for you to just talk while someone charges you a whack of money to listen. Rather it should be for you and a therapist to work together on improving your social skills and helping you to get past the issues that are holding you back.

Reply to Maria
Posted by: Germ | 2010/08/27

Hi loner
I’ m no doctor nor am I a professor … 
But if I was you I would of cut the bad out of my life, I know they say blood is thicker than water but, it’ s not good for you to be emotionally abused .
I think it is a good thing to be alone, or live alone now, so you can find yourself maybe ,and start from a point, go out get new clothes ,look good
Feel good about yourself, meet new people that is the same as you ,people with feelings and time for you, that will be by your side when you need them most.
I just went thru a breakup and was hurt, but what can you do… . Like I said first find yourself again, get the negative out your live ,start fresh it really helps .
You know who and what you are ,so go and find someone(new friends ect) that is like that ,believe me there is people out there like you, who cares and listens .
It is never too late to start over, you say you want to live your live so, WHAT ARE YOU WAITING FOR!!!!!!!! its not going to wait for you, do what you want, go where you want, just be save while doing that
I don’ t know how old you are or anything but when you down you get beaten now listen to me GET UP you can and show them you can

Regards GERM

Reply to Germ
Posted by: cybershrink | 2010/08/27

When you're really young, the mother has real power, and you may have little alternative than to accept her ways, helpful or unhelpful. But once you have grown up, even if you bear some scars, she only has the power you give her.
Maybe she was and is cold, but maybe also she genuinely does have difficulty in dealing with her own problems, and she may indeed have no capacity to be helpful with yours - you seem not to quite any occasion when she WAS capable of being helpful.
She seems to have nosy neighbours, and to empower their nosiness ( and that of others ) by worrying too much about what they might think.
OK, the rates shrinks charge may seem a lot ( have you tried hiring a plumber or electrician lately ? ) - butwould you, sincerely, volunteer to listen to other people's problems for hours a day, days a week, at that rate ?
If you don't need the skill and training a shrink has, and just want someone to listen - try seeking our support groups and similar opportunities to chat with others with similar problems and issues.
OK, so your father was a useful and loving and helpful ear. But clearly your mother isn't capable of that. She's not your father, and never will be. Why do you persist in looking to her for what she cannot provide ( probably not even for herself ) ?
Maybe you get to feel rejected, because you turn towards people actually likely to reject you.
As Germ implies, maybe blood is thicker than water, but sometimes it forms clots.
Try looking towards being a good listener to others with problems ( not keeping accounts as to how much listening they now "owe" you. It also helps to get one's own problems into perspective.
And as for therapy, which could indeed help, with the right sort of therapist, it should not be about simply expecting someone to sit passively and Listen to your venting ( at least not aftter one or 2 sessions ) but about actively workign together to wrangle your problems into shape, and help you to gain the skills and strengths to handle them yourself.


Reply to cybershrink

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