My Little Secret

I'm writing this out here... because I feel like if I tell any of my friends and family they'll think of me as a really bad person.  So here it is.  I just don't like my mom.  She's not a horrible abusive person.  She buys me things (I think in an effort to get me to like her).  We've just never been close.  I don't hate her, I just don't like her.  Where is there a law that says you have to love/like your mom?  She is nosy though.  She's the type if you give her an inch, she will take 10 miles.  If you give her any information about yourself, she'll pry until there's nothing left of your private life.  I wasn't a bad teen.  But I do remember hiding things in my room that were private, only to find out she'd been going thru my things searching for anything she could find out about me.  I think she badly wants us to be best friends like she sees other mother/daughter teams.  I'm in my 50's.  That's just not going to happen.  I wish she'd figure out that if she backs off, maybe just maybe I'll approach her.  Instead, she pries and pries.  She's not hateful or vengeful.  She's just nosy.  If you even hint that she's pushing too much, she'll get all hurt and cry.  When we used to live in the same town and go to the same church, I'd purposely miss going on Mother's Day, or else just hate being there.  They make such a big deal about lovey dovey mothers and how wonderful they are.  To this day, I just won't go to church on Mother's Day.  I will pay my respects, I'll send her a very general card and send her modest flowers.   But I even dislike that.  I feel I'm doing it because I have to, not because I want to.  I guess I'm just the hateful daughter.  And I feel guilty that I just don't like her.  And in this society, for some reason that just does not seem acceptable.  sd
baddaughter22 baddaughter22
8 Responses May 13, 2012

After reading these responses, I see so much of my experience in all of yours. No, I don't like my mother, nor do I love her. There is a lot of shame in voicing this sentiment, but also freeing-- being able to admit it here. I also see several of you are in your 50s, as I am. I will say up front that I am an adoptee from infancy, but that seems to have relatively little to do with this. Yes, my mother seems to be a nice person on the outside, but I know that she is a bigot, gossipy, prying, jealous, and somewhat ignorant. Don't get me wrong, she does possess some good qualities but the ones that perturb me seem to override them. My father died when I was 21. He was only 46, but an unhealthy paraplegic. She was devoted to him and cared for him when he was confined to a wheelchair. Not an easy row to hoe. To their credit, they also were debt-free, paid for everything in cash, and instilled a strong work ethic in me; not so much my brother (also adopted). That's about all the positives I have. And, this isn't about my dad. My mother dealt with all the disciplinary actions once my father was unable to walk. This meant the belt, the switch, the hairbrush, etc. They were very strict. They were also racist, but seemed to limit that kind of talk to those with the same inclinations. I could not wait to get out of that house, and did so as soon as possible. I dropped out of college and went on to work in retail mgmt. for a long while, was earning money and proud of my little successes in that field. Once I got married at 25, and had my first child a year later, my mother moved to the adjoining state to be closer to her side of the family. That distance felt good to me. I went on to have 5 more children, and my marriage is 27 years and going pretty darn well. I knew in my heart that I did not want my kids to feel about me the way I did her. When they were small, I was a lot more cordial than i am now, and she saw them frequently. I just could not abide her slurs and general irksomeness that as I grew older I wanted to spend less time at her place and seldom invited her to mine. The gap grew wider year to year. That suited me just fine. There is much pretense on my part in terms of being nice to her to protect her feelings. She had a close relationship with her own mother, talking to or seeing one another daily. I know it hurts her that our relationship doesn't mimic theirs. Oh well, I guess it's just not in me to keep subjecting myself to a woman with whom I share zero commonality. It occurs to me after a lot of soul-searching that two or three factors have contributed to this demise. First and foremost, I never looked up to her. Second, I could never confide in her. She would blab every little tidbit I told her and by the end of the week, the entire extended family would know my business. Lastly, she destroyed my trust in her from childhood with what i consider to be severe punishments. A child doesn't understand why a person who is supposed to love them would hurt them. Neither she or my father every intimated the "I love yous" that a child needs to hear, but i understand this is not uncommon. I feel like a lousy daughter, but I honestly hope I never have to care for her in her old age as that would be a task I couldn't stomach.

Thanks for your input. For whatever reason, it just seems unacceptable to not love/like your own mother (or adopted mom in your case). Having been able to unload on this site, and then get feedback from others has been helpful for me, as I am sure it is for you, too. My mom has friends that are best-friends with their daughters, and I know my mom wishes the same for us, but that will never happen. I know what you mean by hoping you don't have to take care of her in old age... I've often thought the same. My dad can be a little bit of a handful, but I can manage him. Mom just drives me crazy. They live several states away so I only see them maybe once a year, but when we visit there or they come here, I get annoyed almost right away. I cannot imagine full time - it would just be awful. Anyway, thanks for your input, I'm sure it helps others to read this too. We're just part of a stigma of sorts that were are hateful daughters because we are not close to our moms. But like you, I'm dealing with it. Best wishes to you!

I'm in a very similar situation with my mother. She's a nice person, I hate to say it but extremely ditzy and in NO way an intellectual or even .. umm ugh, idk, it's hard to explain. There's just not a lot of depth there. I bothers me. It's always been that way. I feel so guilty for my negative feelings about her.. it's not supposed to be this way.. makes me sad, frustrated and cheated. My mom has done what she knew how to do as far as raising children, My sister and I grew up in an upper middle class home and so my parents were great financial providers but as for enriched human, parent/child/emotional connections that were positive... well, things fell a little short and in many instances with my father physically and emotionally abusive. My father has since passed away.(4yrs ago). I miss him even though we didn't have an optimal relationship. I don't want to regret anything once my mother who's in her late 60's passes too. I love her and worry about her but by the same token I wish I had a different mother...It's this last statement that evokes the most shame I feel. I could NEVER tell another person my feelings about my mom. I saw your post and just had to respond. You're not alone. Lets hope that things get better.
Take care

Hey, thanks for sharing. I\'m in the same boat, I don\'t feel like there is anyone I can share this with for fear that I\'ll be viewed as an ungrateful, poor excuse for a daughter. My mom, also, isn\'t the sharpest pencil in the box. She did not finish HS, worked PT for many years, and actually did a good job of raising my brother and I, as far as providing for us, but there was never a real \"warmth\" without smothering. Her idea of being \"interested\" in us, was to find out every minute thing about us to the point of prying and 20-questions. She has never seen it that way. I remember mentioning that she really didn\'t need to call me quite so much (it used to be multiple times a day about just about nothing other than to find out what I was doing) and she started to cry and callled me a hateful daughter. Sigh. I wish she\'d realize that if she just backed off, we just might get along better, but after that one incident, I just don\'t dare without having a huge emotional backlash. So, thanks for responding. It\'s good to know I\'m not the only one out there. Take care!

I have the same exact feelings. I'm 41.

Your mother is the best friend you will ever have. I'm sure she did the best she could with the tools she had. Buy her the best Mothers Day card you can find in fact don't leave it till then do it now tomorrow isn't promised. Are you a mother yourself? No one will love you like her you can make new friends have many partners but you only get one Mother treasure her while you can.

You are not alone. I feel the same way about my mother. She wasn't a "bad" mother per se, but I just don't enjoy spending time with her. It's not the generational gap, I can spend hours talking to my grandmother and other elder female relatives, but with my mother, *nada*. She lives all alone, and has no friends. It's driving me crazy that she relies on me for complete emotional support. If I don't have time for her she gets hurt, but she makes it so I don't want to spend time with her. I wish things were different.

Dear sd, you have expressed my feeling exactly. My mother is a perfectly nice person, tried the best she knew and was never in any way abusive or even mean, but she has her own set of insecurities that really got in the way of her being an effective parent. I feel completely indifferent to her. Just like you, I don't hate her, but I don't really like her, and I don't want a relationship with her. But I also don't want to hurt her feelings, so I fake it as best I can and then feel guilty. My mother, too, wants to know me so terribly that I feel that if I give her any bit of personal info it will never end and she will suck me in to the dysfunction that I have worked so hard to not repeat. It's a terrible guilt I feel. Reading your post makes me feel like I"m not such a monster. BTW, I just turned 50, so we are of the same generation. I strongly identify with the feelings..I dont like my mothers behaviors a lot of the time...geeessshhh..but it has taught me NOT to live my life vicariously though other people...I have stood my ground of identity many times and I am sure I will many times again...some people just dont know any better and guess what they may not ever want to know any better...A wise woman told me reward the good behaviour and ignore the bad...Its really hard when the rest of the family jumps on the bandwagon of unhealthy focus on me....Yikes...I used to feel very guilty about this situation...until I finally learned its her life...not mine...FREEDOM...whats a woman to do ...sometimes I learn what not to do from my mother...YIKES...I do not feel guilty (I have to say this to myself ALOT) because I dont like my mothers behaviours..sometimes it is about teachable moments...for me anyway...micromanage is a word for her behaviour ..and the sad thing is she could be so much more...I am sad sometimes about this...but it is what it is..

I can relate. I recently cut off contact with my mother, and she sounds very much like yours. She pries and insinuates herself in my life any which way, if I give her the chance. It got worse by tenfold when my daughter was born. I was tired of it, and I didn't want to subject my daughter to her manipulation and emotional blackmail. There are other issues, going back throughout my whole life, but when I try to articulate it, what I come up with is that, like you, I just don't like my mother. It's hard not to feel badly about it, because it's not socially acceptable. She raised me, but she never wanted to know me. Rather, she had an idea of what a daughter should be, and she just kept shoving that image down my throat, in subtle, infuriating ways, until the day I cut off contact with her. Don't feel bad because you don't like her. It happens. I need to try to take that advice too.

Thanks for your comment. In some ways it's kind of funny, too. When Caller ID first came out, I got it so I'd know when my mother was calling (she used to call multiple times a day for no real reason other than just gab about things I just didn't care about). I know she's love for us just to be best friends and share every little thing. I just don't feel that way and I know it's a constant frustration for her. I would like her to just be my mom, not my best friend. But like you said, it's just not socially acceptable to say you don't like your mom. I know some day I'll be sorry when she's gone because she's not a BAD mom, just one that wants something different from our relationship than what I want. She's 77 today. She's in good health, but at that age, things can change in a hurry. I'm just glad I moved out of the state she's in... long distance and time zone differences have really helped ... :) LOL!