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I May Regret This Post in the Morning

Hope Edelman who wrote the book “Motherless Daughters”, also has a website for people who find themselves in the situation of trying to mother without a mother.

When I have found myself in the depths of it, wondering what type of mother opts out of parenting her children because she just finds it all “too much,” I tried to find a group of women like myself; women who don’t have mothers because their mothers made a choice to not be a part of their lives, their grandchildren’s lives or their sibling’s lives. I couldn’t find a group.

And then I came upon Hope’s website which seemed sort of for me. Maybe a place for me to fit it. Maybe I’d find some kindred spirits to say “I get it. I get the guilt that maybe, just maybe there’s something more we could do to make them love us, to make them want us. To stop our tears that have been shed since we were babies pining for a mama. Not just a mother who stuck food on the table but a mama who was capable of some sort of feelings. Maybe we could have been more of what they wanted or less of what they didn’t. Maybe if we could have and had been, we would have what we think everyone else has.”

But Hope’s website is for women whose mothers died. Especially devastatingly, when their daughters were young. And those women felt a void their whole lives. This website was not for me. Believe me, I tried to join up. But I was not like these women. These women had concrete evidence that they didn’t have a mother. Their mother’s wanted them just couldn’t be with them.

My situation has never been as clear cut. My mother’s been in and out of my life. At times doing her best acting job at what she thought a mother’s behavior should look like. Acting well enough to say to the world “You see? She’s the one who’s crazy! Look how much I do for her!”

But here’s the truth. My mother chose a man over her children more than 35 years ago. She chose a paranoid, anti-social man who refuses to play by society’s rules. She chose a narcissistic extremely abusive man over her very own flesh and blood. And she continues to knowingly make this choice everyday.

I’ve tried many many many times to mend things even though she refuses to take any responsibility. But that’s what I’ve learned to do my whole life to keep the peace. Take responsibility. I’m depressed? My fault! Eating disorder? I must be a disgusting person who needs to get herself together. My mother’s exact words back when I was 21 and confessed to being a bulimic who was getting help “don’t blame me! I had nothing to do with your probems.” My mother has decided that she’s “incapable of meeing my and my brothers needs” yet, I’ve tried to spend time with her on her terms (she refuses therapy, wants me to bring the child to her and then ignores her, there is no asking for favors, and most of all not wanting too much) it has worked for a time but really, it’s a package deal. It comes with the creepy step-father.

And when it came down to it, when I finally said, now that I’m a mother, this has to stop. I will not. Won’t. WILL NOT DO YOU HEAR ME??? Will not leave my daughter alone with you and your husband. My mother decided that she’d rather not have me in her life.

My childhood was something that was not in my control but my daughter’s life is very much in my control.

And my mother and her manipulative, gaslighting ways, won’t work on me or my brother or ANY OF US ANYMORE.

My mother loves to explain to me, my husband (who finds it amusing that she’d really try this on him of all people) and whomever will listen that I was a difficult baby. “You should have seen her. Really. Never seen a needier baby. Just months old and never could be pleased. Isn’t that just the funniest thing? I certainly couldn’t do it. No one could. She was just too much.” No mom. I wasn’t too much. You weren’t enough.

But I look at my precious child and think, “could she ever be too much? Of course not. I want her to be even more. I can’t love her enough. I try but more spills over. That’s how I’m too much now. I care too much for my child. I love my husband too much. And no amount of therapy will get rid of that. Thank God.

Motherless children don’t always have to have had a mom who died when they were young. Sometimes being motherless just means that your mom is so uninterested in being a mom/your mom that they will grab any branch to swing away from their repsonsiblity to their children and grandchildren in favor of career, husband, denial, narcissism, their own bad parenting the list goes on. But the grief never goes away. I will never stop missing her or the fantasy of what unconditional motherly love would have felt like.

I want to stop missing her.

I don’t want to be writing this post. Every fiber of my being says this is wrong. But here it is. Maybe I’ll take it down tomorrow.

Posted by Stefanie Wilder Taylor on June 14, 2007 9:02 pmUncategorized57 comments  

57 Comments

  1. Gem said,

    You should leave it. There are probably hundreds of women out there going through what you are who will be so glad to find this post. I don’t happen to be one of them, but I have friends who are. In fact, I’m going to send one in particular a link to this post, so please don’t take it down!

    | June 15, 2007 @ 12:10 am

  2. Jen said,

    I hope you leave this up. It’s a really powerful post. The whole thing is amazing but I’m in awe of you especially for being able to say “No mom. You were the one who wasn’t enough.” I think a lot of people in your situation might never be able to come to a place where they can say that.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 1:51 am

  3. Anonymous said,

    Please leave it up. I don’t have a website, but I am one of your kind. It is heartening to read about your courage. I hope I find some of my own some day.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:06 am

  4. Anonymous said,

    Please leave it up. I too don’t have a mother bcs I refuse to let her abuse become part of my children’s lives. My kids don’t know why they don’t see mommy’s mom and dad and it makes me cry. Your post brought me comfort in knowing I’m not alone and it comfirmed my decision to keep her out of my life. The pain is so deep and finally being able to identify with someone is so comforting. Thank you.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:16 am

  5. Lisa said,

    You should leave the post up. I, too, feel like a motherless daughter. My mother didn’t choose a man over her children, it’s jsut that she has never been “all there” mentally. Nobody in the family really knows what’s wrong with her (ie., an official diagnosis), since she’s just functional enough to get by. A few years ago, she fell down and broke her leg pretty badly. While she was in the hospital, they gave her a psych workup, and I understand that they put her on some medication (which she later stopped taking). My way of dealing with the whole thing is to have as little contact with her as possible (actually do-able, since we live in different cities). But I do feel jealous sometimes of people who actually had “normal” moms when they were growing up.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:19 am

  6. Anonymous said,

    Why should you take it down? Your blog, your readers, your feelings. You put it out there, I bet you feel better since you did. I am sure you will touch so many others who can relate. What would you have done while searching for a group, if you had run across this very post? You did good.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:26 am

  7. Coma Girl said,

    I think you have a lot of courage to write this. It must have been difficult.

    I am raising my three step-sons with my husband (their father) because their mother is like yours. One day she decided she had had enough and left her husband and four children. She has been in and out of their lives for seven years, but never consistantly. She will always choose any guy and a beer over her kids.

    It is sad. And they are so confused about it. But as they get older, they understand a little more.

    I wish you all the best. I, in a way, understand where you’re coming from and I know it is not easy. All you can do is love your own daughter.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:30 am

  8. PDX Mama said,

    Many hugs to you. It’s so damn hard to come to peace with this stuff. I felt many similar thoughts about my dad. I just can’t understand how a parent can walk away. Will never understand. And no matter the logic of knowing we shouldn’t care about these people and that we have lots of other love in our lives – logic just doesn’t always work. Hugs.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 3:39 am

  9. margalit said,

    Please leave the post up, if not for yourself, for the other moms like you who are motherless due to circumstances totally beyond our control. In my case, my mother is bipolar, unmedicated, and chose to be crazy and not a mother to her children. She’s been out of my life for 27 years now. I’ve seen her a few times since, as family functions, but I will not speak to her. She doesn’t know my children and they do not know her. Which is actually a good thing, since she’s very toxic.

    I struggle with the same issues you do. When my kids were little it was so much harder because I was still unsure of myself as a mother. But now I have teens, and I’ve grown into motherhood and feel extremely secure in my parenting choices. I’ve gone for help when I needed it, and I’ve looked for people who could advise me when I was confused about which way to turn. Having healthier people in my life, seeking help from outside agencies, and leaving my mother’s craziness to her were all steps in the right direction.

    But until you get over the guilt and the longing for having a mother, you’re always going to feel those tinges of sadness. Today I’m sick and I honestly just wanted a mommy to take care of me. Since my mother never did really take care of me, what I actually wanted was someone to sit with me and tell me I’m going to feel better soon. But the loss is still there, 27 years on.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 3:52 am

  10. SUEB0B said,

    Don’t take it down and don’t regret it. It is the real deal, the truth, and it is great.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 4:20 am

  11. Karen Rani said,

    I could have written this post. While I haven’t written for some time about this very subject, my writings are at http://www.themotherless.com and some other raw stuff is at my personal site: http://www.troll-baby.com.
    You are not alone.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 4:42 am

  12. jeanie said,

    I know of at least 3 people who also need that club – please leave the post up – because it is real and does exist for many.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 6:47 am

  13. Milinda said,

    Leave it, you have no idea how good it made me feel. Yes people that have mothers that passed do not quiet get the in your face day to day rejection that you feel when your mother is alive and well and doesn’t want anything to do with you.
    Our situations are very similar except that my mom was the antisocial, narcissistic nightmare and my dad did what most men would do, hid. We have tried to mend things but in the end it always comes down to her making him choose between me and my son and her and he always chooses her.
    Now I am faced with the same situation with my son, with both her and his father. Of course it’s all my fault when I say, no you can’t see him alone, but like you said, I do have control over what happens to him. There is no easy way to explain to someone that their parent, especially their mother doesn’t want them. That’s not what moms are supposed to be.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 12:47 pm

  14. gmcountrymama said,

    That was a beautiful post. I doubt your mom will read it so I would leave it up. You are an inspiration to those of us either without a mother or have a mother that is not there. My mom visits, but not me, she just visits the kids. I let her do that less and less though because it is so detrimental to me.
    I don’t know how someone could say that a baby was too much. You are brave to be trying to figure this all out. Most of the time I tuck all the bad stuff away in my compartments to be dealt with later.
    Now I can’t get that song out of my head “shes as cold as ice” by Foreigner?

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:35 pm

  15. Stefanie said,

    That fact that this post has resonated with all of you was so helpful to me I can’t even tell you. And Heidi (Green Mountain) knows my mom and know I’m not exaggerating her hatefulness. And it’s true she’ll never read this so what the hell, it’s staying up. Thank you all for bravely commenting. It helps so much. And Karen has a website http://www.themotherless.com that I went to and it looks so good!

    | June 15, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  16. andi said,

    Thanks for this. My husband’s father has chosen his crazy bitch of a wife over his own children and it has really hurt all of us. Especially when we brought our new baby home and his father refused to come and see him even though he lives close to us. I can never understand people who make this choice. I can’t imagine hurting my children in this way.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 3:32 pm

  17. Bon said,

    i hope you leave it up too. i happened upon it randomly…and it’s one of the most honest things i’ve read in a long time.

    i know the awful feeling of looking for a group who can maybe share your experience and discovering that you don’t “fit”…that even their sadness is tidier than yours. sucks, it does.

    i think it takes courage to say, finally, “no mom. you were the one who wasn’t enough.”

    leave it up. you’re not alone…and there are a lot of people who will be impacted by your words.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 4:43 pm

  18. Lisa b said,

    As many have already said, leave it up. I feel the same way about my mother and have spent most of the last three years having no contact with her for the same reasons you gave. I will not allow my daughter to be made to feel the way I always felt. Good for you for standing up for yourself.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 5:14 pm

  19. Ashley said,

    leave it. i understand. you sound like a pretty amazing mom:) be proud of yourself for that and stay strong.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 5:28 pm

  20. Anonymous said,

    I think it is great that you are talking about this. People are sort of used to “absentee fathers” but no one talks about the possibility that a mother would abandon her children. I don’t think every woman is born with a maternal instinct. We like to think so, but their not. It jars people to hear that, but for those going through it, it brings comfort.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 5:50 pm

  21. Anonymous said,

    leave it up. it was good to read — for me and i’m sure many others. my mother is there but not present. she has seen my 2.5 year old four times and she only lives 2 hours away. never came up to help when my baby was born. did nothing. she’s not evil, just, well, useless. the trick is to go on and not be like our moms that didn’t mother us. it can be done, and it will.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 5:57 pm

  22. surcie said,

    There are thousands of women whose mom chose the new husband over the children, for whatever reason. My grandmother chose a pedophile over her children and grandchildren. As a mother, I can not fathom how that’s possible. But it happens more often than we think.

    I wish you peace, Stefanie.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 6:32 pm

  23. motherlawyer said,

    I’m glad you are going to leave the post up, it’s important stuff, good stuff! I ache for your pain as I read it:(

    I was driving around contemplating this post and “Cold as Ice” came on the radio, quite funny!

    My husband “divorced” his parents before he was 17. They’ve never met my son, never will.

    My mother, who has spent minimal time with my son (choosing to work for money she doesn’t need, living only a few miles from me) since he was born, said to me “I can’t believe your MIL will miss out on knowing your son, she would be so sad to know what she’s missing” or some such. I WAS STUPEFIED. Pot meet kettle.

    BUT, here’s my BUT, my mother didn’t “check out” till I was 10. Before that she was a loving and attentive mom. I know of other families where a “good” mom turned into a bad one, too so I know it isn’t a unique experience. HOW DO WE STAY ON THE “GOOD” SIDE? That’s my big concern…

    | June 15, 2007 @ 8:31 pm

  24. Laural Dawn said,

    This was so well written and honest. I think it’s amazing that you are willing to make your child’s life different than your own.
    I wish you could meet my mom. Her experience was so much like yours. So much.
    You are right to protect your daughter. My grandmother was a spiteful woman who made my mom’s life very difficult. My mom let us spend time with her, but always protected us from her true personality. I learned when I was older, when I was old enough.
    Anyway, keep it up. It is necessary to read.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 10:37 pm

  25. GIRL'S GONE CHILD said,

    Beautiful, Stefanie. I’m so sorry.

    | June 15, 2007 @ 11:29 pm

  26. Andie D. said,

    Here from Heidi’s blog.

    My first born was “too much”. He was colicky and never slept for more than 1.5 hours as a newborn. Cried all the time. So did I. The 2nd was “too much” too. TWO COLICKY BABIES IN A ROW.

    Never, ever for one second did I ever consider opting out though. I love them both with everything I have.

    My adoptive mother on the other hand, well…. Let’s just say she’s like your’s in several ways and she’s no longer a part of my life. I read a book about toxic parents (it may have been called “Toxic Parents” actually), and it helped me give myself permission to UNPLUG from the crazyassbitch.

    It’s better this way. Better for me, my husband, my kids.

    Even if I still have the occasional dream/nightmare.

    | June 16, 2007 @ 1:13 am

  27. Misty said,

    I can relate, if not totally. My Mother chose her man, and then the next man, and the next. She is on marriage number 6, and is under 50 years old. My children barely know her. We talk maybe 2 times a year, even while she watches my sisters children now. She moved us from PA to CO, and then 17 years later moved back, leaving my two youngest siblings with their father. Why? Because she met someone at her 20th high school reunion of course, a man, the only living beings that can make her do anything. It’s hard. I wonder where I pull my parenting skills from. I wonder every time my children say I’m the best mom ever. Are they dreaming? Am I really meeting their needs? They are only 7 and 8, I have a long way to go to prove I’m not her…

    | June 16, 2007 @ 2:18 am

  28. momomax said,

    Thank you for writing that. It must have been difficult. My husband’s mother is sort of a less intense version of yours. She treats her three children so dramatically different and it’s caused a major rift between the siblings, but they can’t see why they have such a massively dysfunctional relationship with each other. She ignores my husband, dotes on her middle daughter, and has criticized her eldest daughter to the point where her cry for help led to a very scary emergency room visit. Narcissistic, self absorbed, she makes me furious. I have tried to ask my husband to talk to a therapist, because of the way it has impacted his life for the worse. No one sees how this woman has damaged her children except for a few people, like me, who have seen her behavior in close settings over an extended period of time.

    It’s easy to talk about my husband’s issues, as you may have noticed…but then there’s the more standard daddy issues that I have and am not able to talk about yet.

    You have made it easier to think about my own deal with my ‘absent’ father. Inspiration to talk about these lifelong emotional issues is not something I usually expect to find here, because you are so amazingly funny. However, I’m so glad I stumbled across your site. You’ve got it all, to the nth degree. You are an amazing mom, because you are such an amazing person who doesn’t seem to hold anything back.

    | June 16, 2007 @ 3:38 am

  29. grace said,

    Thanks for leaving the post as it is. What a moving entry. I could not imagine mothers who don’t act like mothers..how could they bring children to this world!?

    | June 16, 2007 @ 6:15 am

  30. Chef's Widow said,

    How amazing…my mom, who left my bro & I for weed & the beach always says the same thing. She is constantly saying how difficult we were as babies and how she had no control over us. After having a crazy beautiful boy (who is now 2), I was never able to come to terms with what she had always said. No matter how insane or tired my boy gets, it will never be too much. We should start a website called Mother’s That Leave. I know I could use it. Especially when she calls me after 6 months and tells me she wants my boy to call her ‘Glamma.’ WTF?

    | June 16, 2007 @ 4:21 pm

  31. Stefanie said,

    I want to thanks each and every one of you for continuing to show me that I’m not alone. It’s so easy to feel that way, like it’s something you did, but when I hear how many of us are out there with these absentee or disinterested mothers, it doesn’t exactly warm my heart but it definitely thaws it a bit. Keep the comments coming and let’s all blog over at Karen’s site.

    | June 16, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  32. Mom101 said,

    Oh Stefanie this is so beautiful and painful and I’m glad you published it. Don’t regret it – it’s your truth. Oddly enough, I’ve had three very close friends in recent years all with very similar situations. Whether that website is full of kindred spirits or not, you’re definitely not alone in this.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 1:31 am

  33. Christine said,

    Stefanie, I am so glad you left this up…I’ve been internet deprived the last few days (my son’s birthday, end of school, etc.) and if you would have taken it down I wouldn’t have had the opportunity to read this beautiful, raw, moving post.

    My father essentially checked out of my life as well, although he lived under the same roof. He was like a single man living in our home (and I mean that in every sense of the word). Frankly I don’t know why he stayed with us, other than perhaps he was too proud to admit he was a failure as a father and husband.

    Part of me thinks (hopes) that despite his utter selfishness he stayed because he loved us, just didn’t want to deal with us as real people, or have his lifestyle curtailed by us.

    Maybe one day I will be brave enough to write about it.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 1:56 am

  34. Kim said,

    I always thought my mom was the perfect mom. Stay at home, involved, etc… But I realized later it was all part of a front. My father was cheating, from the time I was 6 until well into my twenties, and she knew. She lived out the things she couldn’t do through my brother and I, and then became “absent” once I grew up and decided to become my own person.

    I almost died delivering my children, and she never came the 6 hours by car (1 1/2 by plane). I asked her to come help me when I was recovering, severely anemic, and dealing with a child in the NICU. She never came.

    She is my mom. She didn’t choose a man over me and my brother, she continually chooses herself.

    Thank you for posting this. Absent mothers don’t just fit into one kind of checkbox.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 2:34 am

  35. Jaime said,

    Steph, I’ve read Edelman’s book “motherless mothers”, and I read “motherless daughters” 10years ago, at the age of 16, when my mother, too, chose a man over her family. It’s hard, living “without” a mother….I have more to say but maybe through email? I know it can feel isolating. But you’re not alone.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 3:08 am

  36. Anonymous said,

    Leave it up, please, For those of us whose mothers blatantly hate us, unless they want to look good to people, or impress people with how well their daughters are doing. I don’t even both parents either “the folks” or by their first names. Neither have earned the place in my life to be called a parent. Both are so busy trying to be important and the center of their worlds that they don’t care about the abuse they’ve inflicted, and will even blatantly deny ever being abusive. I am OK with this. I am very blessed to have a few people in my life that have nurtured and cared and challenged and encouraged, and even corrected me. I pray this will be the same for you.
    sr

    | June 17, 2007 @ 7:42 pm

  37. kiwidebra said,

    I am also really glad you left this up so I had a chance to read it. You are definitely not alone. I was afraid to have a baby for the longest time because I was terrified I would turn into my mother. I would put up with her crazy narcissistic bullshit because she actually made me feel guilty and sorry for her. I was dumb enough to think that maybe just this once, maybe she would be different and care about me. Once I had Baby Girl and saw how she was still the same around my beautiful amazing child, I knew I didn’t have time for the crap anymore and had to protect my baby from her. She still wonders why I never want to visit or have her visit us. I’m lucky that having a baby finally gave me the strength to realize that she’s the one with the problem and there’s nothing I can do or say to fix her so there’s no point in trying. It’s a big club that no one really should ever have to be a part of.

    | June 17, 2007 @ 10:54 pm

  38. Liz said,

    PLEASE, PLEASE , PLEASE LEAVE THIS POST….I am a mom of 2 (7yr old boy & 18 month old girl) who’s “Mom” chose her boyfriend over her children. My parents separated for the last time & divorced while I was pregnant with my son. Things have never been the same for me. I think my mother has seen my son a grand total of 4 times in 7 years and she does not know my daughter at all. I get choked up thinking about all this & feel bad for my kids, but I keep telling myself that it’s her loss. My children are my life. They are smart, well-behaved, beautiful & the most amazing accomplishment of my life. Crack & her loser boyfriend were all she wanted. As much as I wish she were around to see them & be there for me as well, she isn’t. I there must be a reason she is not here. I don’t know what it is, but I know that I am working to be a better mommy than she was.

    | June 18, 2007 @ 5:32 pm

  39. Catwoman said,

    You are definitely not alone in this…

    And I’m glad you left the post up long enough to discover it.

    Those types of wounds? I’m afraid the scab never completely closes, no matter how much therapy we may go through.

    | June 18, 2007 @ 6:51 pm

  40. just4ofus said,

    everyone wants their mother to be in their life. No matter how old you are, you want their approval.
    It sucks. You will never get her approval. There. It sucks.
    Leave up the post.
    I will never get what I want from my mom either.
    You are brave..

    | June 19, 2007 @ 1:40 am

  41. Vicky said,

    Thank you for sharing this honest post. I’m so sorry for everyone who shared their stories and who do not have the joy of a healthy mother-daughter relationship. As someone who is very fortunate to have a wonderful, loving and supportive mother, I just can’t understand how a mother can check out of her children’s lives. Now that I’m a mother myself, this seem so unfair and completely out of my realm of understanding. I can’t EVER imagine checking out of my son’s life. How do women become mothers who don’t care about their children? It’s so unfair!

    | June 19, 2007 @ 2:34 am

  42. Deb said,

    Please don’t take it down. You’re so right and it’s so good to read what you’ve written. I had two so-called parents who were just like your mother. My father died this year, and I only felt relief. I could finally legitimately say “I don’t have a father”. And just like that, I made peace with it. For now.

    | June 19, 2007 @ 4:37 am

  43. dana said,

    I don’t think you should take it down. You were honest. You told us how you feel. Your feelings are genuine and have every right to be validated.

    Your mother is not “right” just because she’s your mother.

    You are doing the best you know how and we are so inspired by it.

    I’m sending hugs your way.

    | June 19, 2007 @ 4:05 pm

  44. Patti said,

    Please don’t take this down! There are many more of us who are motherless by choice (theirs or ours) out there than you might think.

    I sent you an email. It make go to your junk bin but I wanted you to know anyway.

    Don’t take this down and don’t ever stop talking about it. It’s important!

    | June 19, 2007 @ 4:13 pm

  45. Shawn said,

    Beautiful post, and thanks for writing it. I feel the same way on many levels, especially right now. My mother was a decent mother, but she was also preoccupied by my step-father – also not socially adept. She moved with him 12 hours away when my twin girls were six months old. She’s basically been nonexistent for all of her only grandchildren’s lives. I am very angry, very bitter and unforgiving. She can’t understand this, yet has nothing to offer in the way of mothering. For her, mothering ended at the much-needed 18-year mark. I don’t how to move on.

    | June 19, 2007 @ 5:30 pm

  46. Sara said,

    Leave it. Writing is therapy, but connecting with those who have been there is therapy for them too. I wrote this back in April, check it out, you may be able to relate.
    http://topblogmag.blogspot.com/2007/04/what-about-rest-of-us.html

    | June 20, 2007 @ 12:06 am

  47. Candy said,

    Hello? I stumbled on this while I should be working, but WOW! I can relate. I am 51, with daughters, 28 & 19. My mother loved me (so I tell myself) and did the best she could. But she too, was not enough and I know she couldn’t help it…but i still resent it. I deny my resentment as much as I can but it is still there. I go see her in the assisted living home most weekends….it makes me feel better. Oh dear…this is getting too long…bottom line…still trying to overcome to show my girls that we can grow, overcome, and be better at living. Oh yeah, I would join a support group.

    | June 21, 2007 @ 7:47 pm

  48. Kevin Charnas said,

    Please don’t take this down…

    Holy shit, Stefanie. No WONDER you rely on yourself…

    This made me ache, ACHE for the little girl in you.
    And this made me glow, GLOW IN ADMIRATION for the woman in you.

    Cheers to your strength, Stefanie!!
    Cheers to you having the courage and the conscientiousness to break this detached/irresponsible parenting that you were raised with!!

    I’m proud of you…or your fierce spirit.

    And give me an address and a description of your mother and step-father. I’m loading a truck with pepper spray as I write this.

    | June 22, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

  49. Anonymous said,

    I just read an interview with English columnist Julie Birchill in which she states that she feels no connection at all to her oldest son who she has never parented after leaving him in the care of his father when he was an infant (she speaks of feeling love for her second son). Her narcissism is obvious but no comfort to anyone, especially her first born. My first thought was for him – how clear it is that she was the one who made a choice which he then had to come to terms with – and 20 something years later she is still happy to very publicly deny him any semblance of maternal love. Perhaps you can only see it as a horrible hand you were dealt. And now you are the antithesis of your mother, and you love, you are loved and you deserve to be loved.

    | June 24, 2007 @ 10:27 am

  50. Slackermommy said,

    I’m so glad you stopped by my blog so I would find my way back to you. I’m also motherless even though my mother is alive. I totally relate with everything you wrote. I still struggle with mourning the mother I should have had. You are not alone in your feelings. I have found writing about my struggle on my blog has been very cathartic. I have also submitted my life story to themotherless.com (under an assumed name)and I have a private blog for adult children of toxic parents. It’s private to protect the identity of some of the members. I wanted it to be a safe place for us to talk about our feelings and experiences. If you are interested in checking it out send me an email and I’ll send you an invite.

    | June 25, 2007 @ 4:29 am

  51. sam said,

    I’m so glad you wrote this. I am going to pass this site on to all of the women in my life that are “motherless” in the same way. You have made this world a lot less lonely for those of us who isolate ourselves – not wanting to look needy or hiding in shame. Thanks for being so brave and for having the courage to protect your own daughter from a grandmother who would poison her with her toxic behavior.

    | June 25, 2007 @ 5:34 am

  52. Dinah Leffert said,

    Thank YOU!!!
    I remember picking up that book, “Motherless Daughters” and feeling that same disappointment when what was so promising in the title didn’t fit my experience. Because she’s still alive! Just not available for mothering. I have been dealing with my mom/abandonment issues more recently in my relationship with my boyfriend. It goes a little something like this: I get a bad insecure feeling and then ask, “Do you still love me?” I ask that question everyday! I can’t help it! This question is unanswerable. I have asked it in every relationship. I am always waiting for the inevitable day when the love just runs out.
    When my mom left at 8 years old ( at the time of the divorce) I remember trying to figure it out,” I know she used to love me. What happened? What did I do? I don’t know. I’m bad. I’m not important. Something out there is more important than right here. I’m not important.” Why didn’t she at least take me? I was the baby.
    Well, now I’m a stand-up comic driven to become the most loved person in the world! I’m run by this. My comedy deals with this very issue. Here’s one of my jokes,” My mother was a hippy so when I was a kid she told me, “I know I’m not the best mother, but, the UNIVERSE will take care of you! Really? Then I need a UNICORN to change my diaper cuz I just shit myself.”
    At every show there it is reminding me. Funny thing is Now the audience is my mother. Sometimes she loves me, sometimes she doesn’t get me and sometimes the bitch doesn’t even show up. Do you see how perfect this all is? I have designed my entire life around dealing with my mother abandoning me. Simply because my mom decided she was done being a mom when I was 8. Tired of 4 needy kids. She quit. She is still around though…you know?? She’ll call and it’s so annoying. Because, I just think to myself,” I was on my own taking care of myself when I was a little kid without you… what do you want? What are you still doing here..if you left?” I’m always very nice to her. But there is an 8 year old in there that just wants to throw shit at her.
    It’s a very unique experience. I love her and I do know that she loves me. but the damage is already done. What is so aggravating is that she is so limited in her capacity to be with all of the things that need to be said..by me and my siblings in order to have a real relationship now. I just wish she would get on the phone and say she was sorry to each of us. Listen to what each of us has to say instead of rushing off the phone. Especially to my sister who is struggling with being a new mother with out a capable grandparent! That would go so far! But for all of her guilt she has no apologies. It just is what it is. We just have to accept her severly limited capacity to deal. Maybe when I have kids..if I have kids I can complete my healing by never abandoning them or myself. That’s the best thing I’ve learned in all of this. Never abandon yourself. But I don’t know if that selfish limited disease will creep in and inflict itself on me and my capacity to be a good mother. Anyone know any great therapists? Mine didn’t show up to the last appointment. Irony. Anyone?

    | June 26, 2007 @ 12:10 am

  53. Anonymous said,

    I can’t tell you how releived I feel to have found your blog and realize that I am not the only one. My mother has not talked to me since I was 18, gave me on and odd silent treatment before that. Long story short, she made my dad choose her or me and he chose her. Now I have no parents and my baby doesn’t have grandparents. I’m not doing very well with it. We should really start a group for people like us.

    | July 4, 2007 @ 1:02 am

  54. Heather said,

    I know I’m way behind on this post, but I just discovered your blog and found this entry particularly moving.

    My mom stuck around. Her alcoholic, abrasive, can’t-be-bothered, razor-thin-temper, seen-it-all-before attitude stuck around. Lucky me and all six of my miserable brothers and sisters.

    I used to think that she was so unhappy, exhausted, uninterested in us because she had seven kids to look after. I have one kid and I find it overwhelming sometimes, but I keep tring FOR MY CHILD’S SAKE. Now that we’re all grown, all out of the house with lives and families of our own, my mom is still an alcoholic, still can’t be bothered with any of us and still a general pain in the ass.

    I won’t mourn my mother when she dies but I often mourn the mother that I wish I had, that I wish she could have forced herself to be.

    | July 9, 2007 @ 6:37 pm

  55. Anonymous said,

    I’m late responding, too, but I just found your blog, too. I’m in both situations. My mother is dead and my mother-in-law chose her husband over her son (my husband). I also will NEVER leave my daughter alone with them. I was away from the mil & my daughter for about 7 minutes in Target once and about freaked out when I couldn’t find them immediately. I thought for sure the mil took my daughter and RAN.

    My own mother was wonderful. I hate that she is the one who is gone when she is the one who would love my daughter (nearly) as much as I do. Raising a child without a mother sucks. But you are right – mine is gone not by her own choice.

    It is a very powerful post. Thank you for leaving it up. It hits my core, but more for my husband than me. Oh yeah… my father has no desire to see my daughter b/c I won’t let his wife in my home. So he has decided that he’d rather not be in my daughter’s life at all. I have no idea how I ended up as someone with no parents. But it sure makes you determined not to do that to your own.

    | July 11, 2007 @ 1:23 pm

  56. Anonymous said,

    Come check out this comedy: This is a motherless comic telling jokes about being motherless! http://www.famecast.com/dinahleffert. Go watch this video and you can also vote for her! It’s worth it.Thanks! She has a bit of a pottymouth too! :-)

    | July 13, 2007 @ 9:16 pm

  57. April said,

    I’m really glad you didn’t take this down. I saw this while googling “What should I make for dinner” and can’t believe that I came across something so meaningful. I have thought so many times that I will always make it clear to my new daughter that I want her and that I’ve always wanted her. I feel like I need to remind her all the time that I love her more than anything and that she has brought joy into my life – and that’s from having a mom that did the opposite most of the time. We are tough, all of us, and we’re smart and we’re sensitive. We got that way because we had to learn some things on our own pretty early. We know how to take care of shit and we know how important it is for a kid to know that he/she is special, loved, and wanted all the time. You rock for sorting it out in words and making a decision so your baby (babies, congratulations!) don’t inherit this crap from your mom.

    | July 26, 2007 @ 8:17 pm

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