So refreshing to see such honesty. I too feel the same way when I hear "no matter what, she is still your mother." I'm sorry, but why should friends and acquaintances have to earn respect and blood relatives should just receive it unconditionally?
When I was 11, my mother told me I should not have been born. No...that's not entirely accurate...her exact words were, "I should have had an abortion 11 years ago." I never forgot that. She told me the same thing several years later regarding my little brother (11 years younger than me), and I told her never to say that to him, told her how much it had hurt me to hear those words, and I told her that if she ever DID say that to him, I'd take him so far away from her, she could pretend she'd never had him.
I spent most of my life being beaten by her, being berated and made to feel less than human. My sister (I was the oldest, she was 2 years younger than me, and our brother is the youngest, 9 years younger than her) - my sister recalls cringing in the other room, crying while my mother beat me. We're not really sure why she left my sister alone.
My brother experienced the same attitude from Mom, but because she was older than she was when I was a kid, she wasn't quick enough to catch him when she tried to give him a beating. Not to mention the fact that by that time, I was driving and would pretty much come home from school or work and take him out of the house to do stuff.
Today, my brother and I are very close (he's the only member of my family who says "I love you" to me), and we have little contact with Mom except holidays or when she calls because she needs something. To this day, she's a very mean and vindictive person. My sister remained close to her until only recently, when her four kids have started to tell her they're afraid of her and when she's seen my mother say some pretty rotten things to the kids ("you're fat," "you're stupid," etc.).
Our father worked his tail off so that Mom could stay at home. Looking back, I don't think he saw much of her true colors (in hindsight, she didn't beat on us or ridicule us when he was around). My brother and I were very close with Dad. He died when I was 24 and my brother was 14.
I'm married now. No kids. Partly because I can't have children, partly because I was so afraid I'd become my mother (I see my sister acting like her sometimes...but she realizes it, which is half the battle). My husband has seen my mother's true colors - she tries to hide them from people outside the family, but once she gets comfortable with someone, it's harder for her to keep it in check. His mother is the mother I wished I'd always had, and I love that woman to death. She has done sooooo much for me. Sadly, we find out this month she may have Alzheimer's and it truly breaks my heart. Life can be so unfair sometimes
Anyway, I have a friend who tells me that I should love my mother simply because she is my mother. She touts the Bible's "honor thy mother and father." Perhaps that's part of the reason I'm an atheist...why do some people have to EARN honor and others are just supposed to be entitled to it?
I never asked to be born; it was not MY choice. My mother once told me that I stole the best years of her life from her. That's a huge weight for a kid to bear on such small shoulders. If I am supposed to love her just because she's my mother...why doesn't she have to love me just because I'm her daughter?
My second family (in-laws) had a family meeting on Saturday to discuss the long-term options for my mother-in-law. If her health deteriorates, would I be willing to stay overnight one or two nights a week at her house? In a heartbeat. I told my husband and my sisters-in-law that I would not do it for my own mother, but for theirs I will do ANYTHING. SHE has taught me what family REALLY is.