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Thanks, Mom!

My mother has always been a loner. She has a few friends, but hardly any family members. Her mom and brother died when she was young, leaving her with just a dad. My grandfather became a long-haul truck driver when I was about four years old. Ever since then, it's been us kids and my mom. When I was young, I had the benefit of a large paternal family. My parents weren't together, but I spent every weekend and most school breaks at my dad's house. He lived with my grandparents and there were always an abundance of cousins, aunts, uncles, family friends, etc. there.

When I was 13, my dad stopped having anything to do with me. This pretty much ended my frequent exposure to large family/friend gatherings. I was strictly with my mother, who NEVER had company over. At that time, I began to realize how severely reclusive my mother was. I was terrified I'd end up like her. It wasn't just that she liked to be alone, but she was/is extremely bitter towards the idea of being in the presence of people other than her children. Anytime my sister or I would go to family get togethers (I still saw my dad's family a couple of times a year after he discarded me), my mom would ridicule us. Especially me. Now, when we spend time with our SO's families, she makes fun of us and makes wise cracks ("I can't believe you're taking part in that ridiculousness. You'll get sick of them, eventually, though, don't worry!"). Every boyfriend she's ever had has had to abandon his family altogether. She will not stand for a man being with his family. On holidays, if her boyfriends try to go visit their parents/siblings, it usually ends up in a huge fight with my mom throwing and breaking things because she doesn't want him to go. She flat out refuses to join him, either.

My grandfather maybe visited our home a total of ten times in the past ten years. We used to visit his home, which is two hours away, maybe once a year. Other than that, my mom doesn't speak to any cousins/aunts/uncles outside of Facebook. None of them are ever invited to her home, and she declines all offers to meet up with them. She has a few friends, but they were hardly ever invited to our home, either. We never had cookouts, holiday dinners, vacations, reunions, nothing with anyone outside of my mom, siblings and I.

After nine years of this lifestyle, I've sadly grown accustomed to it. I am just now realizing the effect my mom's reclusive behavior has had on me. I got in a relationship with my fiance eighteen months ago. His family is big, and family oriented. He has three siblings, and a cousin who is like a sibling. Each person has a kid and a significant other of their own. Every Christmas and Easter, the whole family meets up at his grandparents' house with his aunts, uncles, and cousins. I am so scared of being around those people that I have come to dread holidays that I once enjoyed. I literally have a pit in my stomach about Christmas and it is five months away!

Typically, my fiance's parents cookout on Sundays. Those cookouts normally involve all of the children, their partners, and the grandchildren. I find myself hiding out in my fiance's bedroom most of those times. Sometimes, I feel more socially brave and I will go mingle with everyone. I am very comfortable with these people by now, but for some reason, there are times where I refuse to go socialize with them. This upsets my fiance because he wants me to go be with his family. I've even caught myself getting mad at him, on occasions, for going downstairs and leaving me by myself.

I am terrified that I am becoming a monster. That I am becoming like my mother. I've been staying at my fiance's for a while, so I have been working on breaking the habit of avoiding the crowd. I pray that I can break free of my reclusive ways completely and stop being so anti-social at times.
urbrandofheroin urbrandofheroin 22-25, F 3 Responses Jul 15, 2011

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I came from divorced parents and was the youngest child, my dad wanted me all to himself and my mom just wasn't that interested in me one way or the other. he would say "if you go see your mom I won't be here when you come back!" keeping me from my mom, so I complied.
and mom still was not that interested in me, at 14 as I began my agoraphobia and anorexia stage, which both robbed me of my entire teens and almost mid 20's. I went to live with mom and sure enough when I would make visits to my dad he would ignore or just leave. I would call my dad and my older half sister would take the call and be silent and hang up. my dad knew this but didn't care as he didn't care to speak to me either, I was 16 years old.
my agoraphobia made me a recluse from 15 to 24, inbetween I battled anorexia and nearly died. I had the "rejecting" dad and I could take or leave mom. my mom also got reclusive in her 40's and hated company. but was raising grand kids, she would sweat from anxiety when she had to go out, her mother too. (ironically in my moms 20's and 30's mom worked and raised children and had friends) I seemed to get that "social phobia" gene as my my moms older sister became a total recluse in her later years, along with depression and dislike for people.
my mother is now a recluse, due from a stroke she had in 97 and lost her ability to speak. seems when I try and get close to people they seem to pull that old rejection thing, I have had 5 of what I thought to be close friends totally ignore and reject me lately. of course with my social anxiety it is sending me back to my old ways of "shutting the world out" I figure why bother?? seems reclusive-ville is my weird destiny.
even on Facebook I failed to make connections others easily made. my last semi close family member just cut me off for something petty.
for a time I was able to kind of be sociable when I would venture out, now I feel like my old agoraphobic self again. I am easy to get along with , but people seem to get hostile toward me and pick at me as though I am a easy target.(people I tried to be friends with in person) or reject me altogether, maybe they get bored with me, I don't know. seems the story is the same 30 years later. in my 40's. I know now I am just giving up the outside world again and stay safely to myself with my cat and my reading and Turner Classic Movies with its classic movies. oh yeah as a sad P.S. every single person I have met and thought "oh they seem so nice" pull that rejection thing or back stab me. no, I'm not needy or clingy at all. but I do wonder "what is wrong with me"?? or am I just destined to be a recluse, now if I had talent! haha I could at least be that reclusive writer or painter ;-) alas, none!

It's too bad that the two people who wasted your time commenting on your heartfelt post have no clue. This isn't Yahoo! Answers, where you get points for saying anything, right?! I certainly hope not. Anyway, I can relate: I do know how terrible it is to have endured all those years alone with a reclusive mother--and how her habits can rub off on you, in thought and in deed. We are both fortunate to have memories of functional family--large, extended family, at that--even if we were wee ones. I feel in my heart of hearts that if we knew that then, we can know and operate well in it as adults . . . it'll just take some practice. (:

Yup yup, every thing is always the Mother's fault.........yawn