Why Is It So Difficult

I am 36 and my mother is 65.  I haven't seen her for 10 years (my choice) and have had very minimal contact with her for 5 of those years and no contact at all for the latter part of those ten years (also my choice).  In January, '07, she sent me a letter telling me that she was diagnosed with breast cancer in November '06.  Through correspondence with family members, I was able to ascertain the nature of her illness - it's inoperable (stage IV) inflammatory breast cancer.  She is going to die. Soon.

After much soul searching, I went back to my old country to see her in late February of this year.  We spent a total of 5 hours together during my visit (her choice).  She doesn't want to deal with our issues.  I can't, of course, make her.

Now, she e-mails me regularly, pretending all is just great.  I am so angry with her and so scared of what will happen when she is gone. I don't love her.  I once did.

When she dies, my dream that our very profound issues could be resolved will die with her & I will never have the mother I dreamed of. 

I am so conflicted.  I don't feel sorry for her. I don't know if I will cry or laugh - be happy or sad - relieved - when she dies.  There are days when I want her to hurry up and die already so I can move on and days when I want her to get better, have an epiphany and become the mother I want her to be.

I don't feel entitled to have any real emotions surrounding this.  Yet, there are times when I feel it keenly & then there are days where I don't think I care one way or the other.  There are days when I am adult and mature about it and days when I am the little girl who was so desperately in love with her mother - the mother who couldn't love her. 

On some days my heart is hardened and on others it's as soft as the butter sitting on my counter.  Sometimes I feel evil for wishing her to be gone already and then, suddenly, I feel avenged.

I dream about it.  I think it affects me more than I care to acknowledge. Am I crazy or is this normal?
Malene Malene
36-40, F
1 Response Jul 6, 2007

Hi your story is somewhat familiar to me. What I mean is it reminds me of my mother. Shas had cancer for about 3 years now and has gone through a tremendous amount of pain physically and emotionally. She is sick and tired of being sick and tired. She wants to die. <br />
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Last time I talked to her she said some really mean things to me. In her mind they were things that she wants me to change in my life and if she did then she thinks I would be happier. But it isnt possible to just say ok its done, with the drop of a hat. She wants me to be ok so she can die. But she was really mean. never like she had ever talked to me before.<br />
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Now sometimes I think of her as already dead. I feel so guilty to even type that but I go back and forth wishing she was normal like she was before cancer!!! It has destroyed her!<br />
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I dont know how to deal with her or what has become of the relationship that we had.