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Any mama's who were abandoned by their moms in childhood/teens? - Page 3

post #41 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly View Post
It was more of a rhetorical question.

I don't usually try to explain...there is an insecurity so deep, that it can't be explained to someone who has not been there.

"Because if I'm such a horrible person that my own mother didn't love me, there must be something in there that's truly rotten."
AM

This.

That at the core of me, I feel unloveable.

I know it is irrational.

Off-topic, mamapoppins, do you have MCS? I do...just wondering if that is why trips out make you sick.
Ah yes,the retorical question. Sorry about that.

OT-Tinybutterfly, I am sorry about your MCS.Yes,I have chemical allergies,chronic fatigue immuno defenciency syndrome,and fibromyalgia. A ball of fun I am.
post #42 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by tinybutterfly View Post

This is a messy, personal topic...it seems there are several of us and really it is something that hits on such an elemental level...how do you explain to someone who hasn't been there what it is like to be left by your mother? To try to BE a mother when your mother ditched out?
You know, when I was planning my wedding people who didn't know me well would ask about my mom. Was she helping, what's she wearing, is she excited, blablabla. They would throw FITS when I said she wouldn't be attending. It's your mother, they'd say. Well honey, it's not my choice! It was, but not really when you sit and look at it.

I've obviously been doing a lot of reflecting the past week with her passing and it's weird. My dh understands, he heard it, he knows what she was like, but still he will say that he can't wrap his head around it. "How bad could it have been?" He knows, but the logical side of his head can't understand it. It's even hard for my sister, my brother, all who experienced the crazyness, but in different ways for each of us.

Annettemarie, I've had that feeling too. Like, if my own mother didn't care and it's almost required that she care, how could anyone else possibly care about me that much? How horrible am I that my own mother couldn't love me? I think I was lucky to realize at a young age (maybe 11?) that the problem wasn't me, but her. It still took a long time of making ridiculous choices in men and lifestyle to figure out that I was worthy of a good life, a good boyfriend, someone who loved me for me.

Like you, I wish I could snuggle up on the couch and talk with people who truly understood the hurt that comes with it. Because as hard as people try it's a different kind of hurt when your mother isn't your mother.
post #43 of 108
Thread Starter 
Mamalisa, I can't imagine the emotions I would feel if my mom passed away (although it's run through my mind multiple times). I'm sorry you're having to go through this.

I'm also glad about the book recommendations - I've never really dealt with my mom being gone. I wonder if it's why I so easily accepted that ds's father isn't in the picture. I know most moms don't agree with this, but I felt like ds would be better without him at all than with him popping in a couple times per year. Yes, when ds is older I'm sure he'll want to confront him and find out everything. But I think the pain is worse when you know that your parent knows what they're missing and they choose to stay away. That's why I was angry when I found out that ex's family had shared the pictures I sent with him; he could look at photos of my beautiful baby and still reject him.

A random thing about my life: it never really occured to me until recently that my dad was a single dad. He's just my dad! My sort of stuffy, old-fashioned, irritable but caring dad. He begged my mom to stay with him and our family until I (the youngest) graduated, but she wouldn't do it. So instead he somehow pulled it all together and took over the entire management of our lives.
post #44 of 108
I just saw this thread. My mom is mentally ill and she abandoned me several times, the last of which I was 13 or 14. Several of the things people said spoke to me but I am not sure if I am supposed to quote or not. If not, tell me to remove it and I will.


Quote:
Originally Posted by loitering View Post
Now I'm constantly reminded of her as I go about my days as a mom and a homemaker. And I struggle with simple things that I feel like she SHOULD have taught me. I tried to make a pie tonight (from a box, not even scratch!) and I completely ruined it. I make recipes while googling things like "how to cut onions"!
I have this problem too although more with cleaning than cooking because I made it my mission to learn to cook. I am a little overly sensitive to criticism about my cleaning skills (or lack thereof) because I never learned. I have never learned fashion or makeup so it is a good thing I am a hippie who doesn't wear any.

One thing I've started doing is teaching DH all the things I do so he can teach DD. I've made a "cookbook" with recipes I make all the time so if I die DD can have familiar food. I showed DH where to find info on caring for curly hair so when DD is a teenager she will know how to do her hair, unlike me. It is almost like I don't expect to live to see DD as a teenager, not because I plan on dying but because it is the only conceivable way I wouldn't be there. It seems so foreign for DD to have a mom as a teen. What does that look like?

Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post
When I was pregnant with my daughter I had a horrible time. I had a little boy already, I knew how to be a parent to a boy. But a girl? The only mother daughter relationship I had for reference was my own and it was based solidly in regret, jealousy, anger and annoyance. None of the tools you need to raise a strong healthy woman. So far we're doing ok (she's almost 3) but I am really scared for the future when I need real mother daughter skills and I don't know if I have them.
I hear ya on this one too. I actually assumed DD would be a boy because I didn't think I had anything to offer a girl. Fortunately for me DD is a tomboy. I can teach her about cars. DD is just over 3 though and she is a mini-me as well. I actually can see why my mom didn't like me. DD and I get along because we are so similar but my mom wanted a more pliant child which she got in my brother. I think this has made me a more patient mom in a way because I know where she got it from and I know where losing patience gets you.

I don't tell most people about my mom, usually I hint that she is dead. I just say, "I only have my father" generally gives people that impression. Otherwise I've had people try to convince me to reunite with her and that turns ugly. I become unhinged. It is better that people assume she is dead.

On hard mothering days, I feel like I want to crawl into my mom's lap and be comforted. The weird thing is I don't picture my mom. I picture some random tv mom or another fictional mom.
post #45 of 108
My mom didn't actually abandon us, my father took us away because she was completely incapable of raising us. But I should premiss my story w/ hers. She was given up at birth and adopted by a loving but clueless wealthy couple. So although they showered her w/ love and money, they neglected to instill any parenting skills. But my parents also started @ 16 and 19, so it's not like she was even ready for 4 kids in 5 years, she was a nervous breakdown waiting to happen. After three failed suicide attempts, my father had her committed and her parents supported my father in getting full custody. Then my dad split us up w/ relatives and put my littlest bro in foster care. I lived w/ my wonderful grandmother for awhile till my dad bought a house and we were all back together again. We saw my mom every other week until at 14 I threw a huge fit and went to live w/ her, and then she sent me to boarding school. That sounds worse than it really was. We, my mom her husband and I, felt I needed an adventure.... I probably would have dropped out of school if I hadn't gone away. We have a great relationship now, and I think I talk to her H on the phone more than I talk to her! and I often wonder what it would have been like to have her there as a more permanent fixture growing up, but I attribute who I am today to her absents. I am the AP mom I am because she wasn't. KWIM? I just can't fathom not being there for my little ones when they need me. I'm no helicopter mom by any means, and I used to worry that I would try to be my kids "friend" before I was their mom, but it isn't turning out that way. I also used to wonder if I would want to pick up and leave if it all got to much, but while writing this I realized that my mom did not realize at the time that she could have fought for us, that she could have fought her own inclination to give up. She was so young and overwhelmed so she let others dictate her life. I have always forgave her for how things transpired back then, but I see it even more clearly now. Thanks for asking the question.
post #46 of 108
My mother was 13 when she got married and had my sisters and I at 14, 16 and 18. She and my dad seperated many times and weren't even really together when they had me(the youngest). Thank goodness my paternal grandmother saw that we weren't going to be taken care of and adopted us when I was 14 months old. We had a great upbringing and our Dad even came back when I was about 13 or so but he is more of a brother figure and I found my half sister and half brother on myspace recently. Right now my mother has 6 kids ranging from 27 to 11 and 6 grandchildren ranging from 7 and a half to 1. We have no contact with her...I have talked to her once last summer after not hearing from her since I was 8 or so and not since I was a baby before that.

I thank God everyday that my grandmother took us in and she is amazing but it wasn't completley different being raised by an older woman when all of my friend's parents were so young.
post #47 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by mamalisa View Post
You know, when I was planning my wedding people who didn't know me well would ask about my mom. Was she helping, what's she wearing, is she excited, blablabla. They would throw FITS when I said she wouldn't be attending. It's your mother, they'd say.
: I tell very few people about my mother. I can't stand it when I say I hate my mother and people freak out. They are like, but it's your mom, you have to love your mom no matter how bad she is. Umm, no I don't and obviously they don't have a clue! I have people say, well my mom was strict or hard on me, or whatever but I still love her. There is a HUGE difference between a tough mother and one who isn't there! Or is there but is messed up on drugs or drunk all the time.
post #48 of 108
My mother was an alcoholic and an abuser. She was a horrible mother. She threatened suicide and told me it would be all my fault. One day she left a note on my pillow and said she was moving away. I didn't know where she was for months. Tracking credit cards, my dad and I figured out where she was (first in another state, then in another country). My parents divorced and I lived with my Dad. I was 16 and he traveled a lot with work, so I was on my own.

I actually just talked to my mom yesterday. I have a relationship with her now, basically on my terms. She's not actively drinking and while she still has some mental health issues, I manage her involvement in my life rather well. My children love her and I think she loves them.

She is old, broke and alone. I have hard time reconciling this person with the mother who scared me so much for years. She's really pretty pathetic now, and while she's never once apologized for what she's done, I think she knows.

Echoing the sentiment I have read on this thread, I am painfully aware of what I missed out on. Little things send me into emotional tailspins: the mothers and daughters shopping together for maternity clothes, mothers and daughters lunching together. Seeing mothers who wear appropriate clothing.

I have to go be a mom right now, but so much more to say. . .
post #49 of 108
OK I've continued reading this thread and didn't really have anything to add at this point until I ran across the wedding posts.

Um, my brother had warned me to not invite my mom to the wedding, but she had been so seemingly excited about the whole event that I thought it was safe. What mother would act up on her daughter's big day?

Well, the day before my wedding my mom was friendly and chatty with everyone. But by the morning she was an angry, nasty, brooding bitter person. She berated me, told me all I wanted from them was money for the wedding, slammed a door on my face while I was standing in my wedding dress. I was so shocked, shamed and crushed that I slunk back to my room, took a tranquilizer and cried.

Why didn't I stand up to her? I felt blindsided and yet it was all so familiar. I felt like I was 9 years old all over again. Where was everyone to shield me from her that day? I intentionally kept everyone away from her that morning becuase I was humiliated by her behavior. I didn't want anyone else to know what was happening. So I took the brunt of her hostility and put on a happy face for everyone else. Still, how do you explain to guests that your mom refuses to carry her mother-of-the-bride bouquet into the church because at the last minute she announced they were "ugly", refuses to walk in with my dad but instead storms into the front pew and sits down with an audible huff, does not participate in the reception except to sit at a table in the corner with a scowl?

Unfortunately, I now have MISERABLE memories of my wedding and still cannot look at photos from the event. I see the pain all over my face. My mother refused to be in any formal photos so thankfully I don't have any of her from that horrible day.

The only thing that makes it better is that I am married to a wonderful man who says if he had known what was happening he would have done something about it to try and save my big day and that he fully supports the renewal of our vows (which we plan to do on one of our anniversaries) with just us and DC.

So yeah, my mom made a rare appearance at one of her kid's milestone events, but it was nothing short of agony.

And when I tried to talk to her about it months later? All she could say was that she saw me walking out of her life and starting my own and didn't know how to deal with it. WHAT??!!! It's a lost cause.

OMG, sorry I rambled so much, but that was cathartic.
post #50 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by lalaland42 View Post
I don't tell most people about my mom, usually I hint that she is dead. I just say, "I only have my father" generally gives people that impression. Otherwise I've had people try to convince me to reunite with her and that turns ugly. I become unhinged. It is better that people assume she is dead.

On hard mothering days, I feel like I want to crawl into my mom's lap and be comforted. The weird thing is I don't picture my mom. I picture some random tv mom or another fictional mom.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ~Jenna~ View Post
: I tell very few people about my mother. I can't stand it when I say I hate my mother and people freak out. They are like, but it's your mom, you have to love your mom no matter how bad she is. Umm, no I don't and obviously they don't have a clue! I have people say, well my mom was strict or hard on me, or whatever but I still love her. There is a HUGE difference between a tough mother and one who isn't there! Or is there but is messed up on drugs or drunk all the time.
One of the things I said to my best friend was that now it would be so much easier. "We don't speak" "She's not in my life" can now just be "she's dead". It certainly simplifies things. While everyone understands dead very few understand horribly abusive and cruel when it comes to a mother.
post #51 of 108
This thread resonates so much with me. Thanks to every one for posting, and hugs to all who are feeling so much pain with these issues!

My mother has bipolar disorder with schizoaffective tendencies (hears voices, paranoid). She was on tranqilizers throughout my childhood, avoiding necessary meds was her problem rather than taking illicit drugs or alcohol. I was born with some birth defects that could be traced to those tranquilizers she did take while pg with me. She began her total breakdowns when I was 11, was gone permanently when I was 12, leaving me, my dad and my 7 yr old sister. My sister and I took care of each other as much as we could and are very close.

My dad remarried when I was 16, to a women with daughters the same age as my sister and I. Learned a lot from her, like how to cook vegetables and a lot about housekeeping, but she wasn't interested in mothering us really. There were some really hard moments like stepmom taking her daughter to the mother-daughter graduation tea and no arrangements made for me, living in the same house, graduating the same class, same year.... That marriage didn't last; motherloss number 2. Harder than the first, I think, because my own mother was just sick, and this one left because we just didn't measure up, as far as I could tell.

I was very needy in my relationships in my late teens, and I'm sure I pushed away friends and lovers who were frightened by that. My mom was in hospital for a long time, then lived with her parents, on a disability pension for her mental illness. I saw her once or twice a year, dutifully on my part. My grandmother and a couple of aunts were my biggest mothering role models, but they all had their troubles too.

I married in my early 20s -- the wedding was hugely stressful. I didn't want to have a wedding or even get married, but it was important to dh. (Who says women are the sentimental ones!) I told my mom I was getting married and she immediately called my sister and said "We have to stop the wedding!" She threw a scene trying to stop a family member's wedding when I was younger, which we all remembered clearly. We had the wedding without my mom and then went to stay with her for a week in lieu of honeymoon. Some family members were scandalized anyway and I had to deal with that. : My father's sister made me a wedding cake and took me shopping for a dress which still touches me to the point of tears 16 years later, but I just missed the mothering I wouldn't have to feel grateful for, kwim? Getting married was the best thing I ever did, but I still wish we'd skipped the family wedding, despite the kindness shown by some.

Had a number of failed relationships with potential older female mentors and role models. One thing that has comforted me in the last decade is the Rosary and Marian prayer -- a universal mother figure.

Had 3 children in my late 20s and 30s -- waited in part to make sure I wouldn't have the troubles with mental illness that mom did. My 36th birthday was one trigger, because that was the age that mom was when she fell off the map of the family, so to speak.

My daughter is now 10, the age I was the last full year that mom lived with us. I'm really wondering how I'm going to handle parenting her through all those adolescent years when I was just left to wing it on my own. There are so many painful and awkward memories of my own to process in every single step. Thanks for the book recommendations! I'm definitely going to look those up!

I think raising the boys is/will be easier, because I know nothing about what boys go through, lol!

I just got back from a visit to my mother. She is never going to be fully well, but is doing very well, despite her challenges, and she tries hard to be a good grandma. I helped her buy a bike for my older son for his birthday and she was so proud that she was able to do that!
post #52 of 108
I think the way my mom is bothers me more now that I am a mom, then it did when I was growing up. From a very young age, I realized she was a very immature person and not able to be the kind of mom I needed. Fortunately, I had my dad who is wonderful. My mom left when I was nine to "find herself", an endeavor that has now been going on for 30 years. I have contact with her but it is superficial and infrequent, although it's gotten better lately.
But as I do things for my kids, like put photos in albums, or fix boo-boos or buy them clothes, I often feel sad because either my mom didn't do these things or she did them in an irritated way, like she'd rather be doing something else.
She too, was awful at my wedding, as the previous poster mentioned. Similar story. Basically, whenever she is not the center of attention, she creates some kind of crisis, usually medical.
I just can't imagine being part of your kids every day life one minute and then not being there the next. It's hard being a mom sometimes but I can't imagine leaving my kids.
Now I worry about what will happen to my mom when she is too old to care for herself. She has no retirement savings, no assets, and no plan. My sister is emotionally unstable so that leaves me. I used to think I would tell her too bad, you left me so now you are on your own, but then I think about what kind of example that would set for my kids and I think I probably will help her out in some way.
I am also struck by the number of amazing mommas posting on this thread, who despite not having their moms, are now there for their kids and being awesome moms. :
post #53 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
I am also struck by the number of amazing mommas posting on this thread, who despite not having their moms, are now there for their kids and being awesome moms. :
I've said it before and I'll say it again-- there is something very redemptive for me about motherhood, and in particular in mothering my daughter. She's at an age now when I can start remembering Bad Things happening to me, and sometimes it's triggering. But even when she's at her worst, there's absolutely nothing she could do that would make me want to to leave her. And I find a lot of grace in this. I can then look at my "inner child" and say, "You know, it's the same for you. There's nothing you did or could have done or should have done differently that would have changed things. It's all on her."

Of course, like I said before, that's on a good day. Bad days are a different story altogether.
post #54 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by annettemarie View Post
I've said it before and I'll say it again-- there is something very redemptive for me about motherhood, and in particular in mothering my daughter. .
It is very true.

I think of it in a knitting or weaving metaphor. There were so many dropped stiches and tangled threads when I was a child and young adult. Now, I feel that by some miraculous redemptive power, which is acting both in my life and through me, the dropped stitches are being knit up again and the fabric is becoming whole and beautiful.

Not that I'm a perfect mother with a perfect family or a perfect life, by any means. It is just that things are so much better for my kids than what I knew, so much better than I could have imagined for my future.

For me, it is not as simple as "my mom left me and I am struggling to learn to be a parent who won't abandon her children". She was mentally ill and that destroyed a lot of lives, especially her own. Why did that happen to her? Why does that happen to anyone?

And I have to imagine that this healing is coming from some force or forces outside myself because I can't see where the resources to make a better life could have come from inside who I am or was. It is hard to explain.

I think it came from the love my dh and children brought into my life. I couldn't have done it without them. I don't really understand where love comes from anymore than I understand where mental illness comes from. But I am so grateful that my own life is filled with the former and not the latter!
post #55 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
Now I worry about what will happen to my mom when she is too old to care for herself. She has no retirement savings, no assets, and no plan. My sister is emotionally unstable so that leaves me. I used to think I would tell her too bad, you left me so now you are on your own, but then I think about what kind of example that would set for my kids and I think I probably will help her out in some way.
We're facing this issue too, in the near future.

I would like to move my mom to the town that my sis and I live in. I hope we can financially manage it. I know it will also mean a lot of involvement in her day to day life -- shopping, dr appnts, social contact, etc. I hope I have the patience and the resources.

I think a lot about how it will impact my children and what example I want to set for them, as well.
post #56 of 108


I understand. I've been there. It's heartbreaking. It's a hole in your heart and soul that doesn't heal easily.
post #57 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
I think the way my mom is bothers me more now that I am a mom, then it did when I was growing up. From a very young age, I realized she was a very immature person and not able to be the kind of mom I needed.


I know exactly what you mean.

I used to be able to overlook more of my mother's many faults before I had kids. Yes, I was upset with her for the way she handled parenthood. But I overlooked it.

Now that I am a mother, I find it even more despicable what she continued to do in life, and continues to do to this day.

Yes, I have empathy. Yes, I understand she has demons and issues and setbacks. Yes, I understand why and how things happened. But I don't agree and I would never, never, never act the way she has acted her entire life.

But I am a different person than she is. We all choose our own path, I suppose, right or wrong.
post #58 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
But as I do things for my kids, like put photos in albums, or fix boo-boos or buy them clothes, I often feel sad because either my mom didn't do these things
I know exactly what you are saying. Your post really resonated with me.



My mom's actions, inept parenting, neglect went beyond not collecting photos or soothing skinned knees.

She outrightly neglected her children, maybe not intentionally, but the neglect was real.

She was investigated by child services more than once, and for good reason.

Looking back, I'm furious that we weren't taken away, more than cursory times that we were. There really isn't a safety net for kids whose parents aren't fit to parent.
post #59 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by That Is Nice View Post
I know exactly what you are saying. Your post really resonated with me.



My mom's actions, inept parenting, neglect went beyond not collecting photos or soothing skinned knees.

She outrightly neglected her children, maybe not intentionally, but the neglect was real.

She was investigated by child services more than once, and for good reason.

Looking back, I'm furious that we weren't taken away, more than cursory times that we were. There really isn't a safety net for kids whose parents aren't fit to parent.
Semi-accurate quote from the Keanu Reeves character in the movie Parenthood:
"You need a license to drive, a license to hunt, and a license to fish, but any a**hole can be a parent."

The first time I saw that movie, I thought about my mom with that line. Really, it is true.

We are currently cleaning out our spare room for my daughter so when the new baby comes he/she can have the nursery. I came across the photo albums my mom did put together. The first eight years are all about my sister and I hitting milestones, growing up, family vacations. Then the last two albums are my mom and her new friends after she left us. They are partying in most of the photos. Other photos are of her new boyfriend's daughter, lots of those. A few of me and my sister sprinkled in when she would bother to show up to take us for visitation. Then the albums just stop, even though I know she continued to be an avid photographer.

It made me more determined than ever to keep up with the family photos I have of my kids.
post #60 of 108
Quote:
Originally Posted by jewelsJZ View Post
about what will happen to my mom when she is too old to care for herself. She has no retirement savings, no assets, and no plan.
We are living this hell right now. My mom isn't too old to care for herself, but she's disabled. So here we are living with her to help take care of her. I thought we could do it and work it out but I don't know. We've been living with her for almost two years now and seriously it is hell. Dh really wants to leave and just say screw her, leave her in a nursing home. I feel that way a lot of times, but I'm not at the point yet where I can do that and not feel terrible guilt.
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