I Resent My Mother!

I am 34 and resent my 71-year-old mother to the nth degree!  First of all, I resent her and my dad for having had kids late in life and being the product of old fogies.  While my dad's ok, my mother is an old-fashioned Christian Catholic conservative with steadfast traditional beliefs and has a very rigid, close-minded mentality.  With that said, we have nothing in common and I cannot connect with her in the least.  I resent that, especially when my best friend, who is 57, has been more understanding and a mom/friend to me than she has and I see how close she is to her children, which are my age.

Growing up, I resented my mom or burdening me down with her marital problems between her and my dad.  Although they're still married, I listened to her gripes and complaints all my life, which only served to put a wedge between my dad and me, making me feel I had to choose sides.  Him and I have a good relationship, but we're not all that close.

My feelings of resentment towards her have greatly intensified over the last few years based on a few circumstances. First of all, I divorced two years ago, and my mother was ANYTHING but supportive.  Although the divorce was civil and mutual, she blamed me and said some unforgiveable things.  (She just adored my ex and always was quick to come to his defense on anything, although I never burdened her down with any of my marital problems.)  Anyway, she never offered me a place to stay or asked how she could help in anyway.  In the end, I wrote her a 3-page letter and didn't speak to her for almost a year, until she apologized.  She thinks things are fine between us now, but irrepairable damage was done and I still resent her for it.

Secondly, I lost my job back in February and have been financially struggling for the past 9 months.  Not once has she offered to lend me money or offered for me to move back home.  She and my dad are well off and know I'm struggling.  While I'm facing losing my home and everything I have, all I've gotten from her is a box of frozen fish sticks a couple of months ago.  Somehow she considers that her generous motherly and Christian contribution and asked me just the other day, "Don't you still have some fish sticks left?"  

As if that's not enough, what only serves to intensify my resentment is that I'm watching my best friend, Karen, whom I mentioned above, be so supportive to her son as he currently is going through a divorce and is also struggling financially.  Karen is well off and has let him move in with her and offers him financial support.  And what really gets my gall is that Karen was the one who gave me a free place to stay when I was going through a divorce and has offered to help me financially in any way she can.  Why is it that my own mother doesn't offer this kind of support?  Ii wouldn't be where I am today had it not been for Karen.

And she is EXTREMELY jealous of my relationship with Karen.  She knows that she's been more of a mom to me than she has.  I put that in the letter I wrote her.  Yet you would think my pointing that out that she would step up to the plate and come through for me. NOPE! It's still Karen who's been there for me when I need support.

In the meantime, while I'm struggling, she and my dad are out spending our inheritance, recently purchasing new vehicles and remodeling their house.  All this while I have no heat and frequently eat Ramen noodles for dinner.  How can she call herself a Christian when she generously tithes to the church while turning a blind eye to the needs of her own child!?!  Oh wait!....she DOES say she prays daily for me to find a job. Wow. A lot of good that does.

And I'm not about to ask her for money.  First off, I don't feel I should have to.  Offering support to one's child in a time of need, be it emotionally or financially, should come naturally to a parent.  So since she doesn't offer, I assume she doesn't want to give.  And now it's just a matter of pride.  I'm so angry and resentful now that I wouldn't ask her for a penny!!  Instead, I find great satisfaction in retaliating in little ways.  For example, I don't come around or call very often.  And when I do talk or see her, I make sure I mention Karen's name a lot and speak highly of her.  Secondly, I'm pen-pals with my aunt, my mom's oldest sister, and I frequently tell her things I don't tell my mom, so when my aunt mentions things to her, my mother feels left out. 

I know she loves me but she sure doesn't show it.  I realize I need to forgive her and find some peace for my own well-being, but I don't know how - especially when life circumstances keep arising in which I need her support and do not get it.  Do I simply ration that she's just old and has her own screwy thinking and just leave it at that?  If anyone can share with me how to learn to forgive her, I'd like to know.  Because right now, I've got her lined up for Shady Pines in a few years.  I'll be damned if I'll be the good daughter and take care of her someday when she couldn't take care of me.



KayLeah KayLeah
31-35, F
6 Responses Nov 23, 2009

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Thanks so much for posting your article. I'm 33 yrs old and resent my mom terribly. No matter what we try...nothing helps. Every time I speak to her I want to pull my hear out because she is so terribly and unreasonably aggressive. When I don't speak to her my life is so calm and fun. But I feel obligated to connect with her because she is my mom but I'm always left with the same feeling where I'm agitated beyond belief. As I've grown up and have become more independent the less tolerant I am as well. I feel that I don't need to put up with her nonsense any longer so I get more vocal and angry and go on the attack. I'm just coming undone and let all that's been bottled up for so long spill over. And it's not pretty. It causes me a lot of stress but I feel that it's better to finally express my feelings as opposed to keeping them bottled up all those years. It hadn't done me any good and so it's like I'm retaliating and letting her have it. Even if it means that I won't have a relationship with her which in my opinion is a long time coming.

My advice is to confront her. Forgiveness is not going to be genuine on your side if you are suppressing your anger. You have a right to expect more and be angry. She needs to hear it. You also need to own your feelings and stop indirectly taking revenge by trying to get your mum left out/jealous etc. It's a vicious cycle but there is a way out. Worse case scenario, what have you got to lose, a second box of fish sticks?

Wow...your mother is missing out on a great daughter ...thats all I have to say.

Hi, <br />
<br />
thanks for sharing this story. It doesnt make sense to me that your parents, who are well off, wouldnt help you out. Have you tried asking them, maybe they dont know how bad the situation is?<br />
<br />
My mom never invested in me, it was simply not in her "to do" list. I remember back in high school I used to work part time and simetimes bought groceries bc she wouldnt. Then I'd cook dinner for us, and she'd take it w/her to her bedroom and continue chatting on the net. <br />
Then I moved out on my own in late teens, got myself through uni w/ no financial support from mom and cannot even comprehend ever asking her for any financial assistance. It has simply never been a part of my life. Although she is not rich or even well off. But if she was rich, maybe she'd help me.... but then, maybe she'd be a different person. who knows....

Hi Kayleah,<br />
<br />
I can very much relate to what you have said although my mother is not cruel and I do love her but I still have some issues. I totally understand you not being able to relate to her. I'm 33 and my mum is 76 my dad would have been 84 this year. Their very old(Jamaican) way of thinking as well as their very strict, religeous way and rediculous pressure they put on the family to conform to their way of life for me even more so as a black person in a white area was unbearable, just simpy because of cultural differences my (few black & white)friends just couldn't understand.<br />
I was embarassed by my parents growing up I certainly wasn't allowed to be like other kids.<br />
But on a positive note if possible at all you should try to reconcile your differences with your mum. I have no choice I'm currently living with mine ! <br />
Good Luck.<br />

Your story sounds remarkably similar to mine. Although I'm only 20 years old, and haven't been married or anything of that sort, I strongly resent my mother. She is very close-minded, judgemental and hateful, but she is in denial about this. I am not very much like her at all - I am always trying to be loving towards everyone and live a caring life towards others. We also have extremely different beliefs... She is a Christian and I am a spiritual person, but not belonging to any organized religion. My mother told me recently that I was "just like her" because we do have one or two similarities (mainly our mannerisms and looks) and I went to my room and cried because my biggest fear is being anything like her. She doesn't understand that we are so different because she doesn't even know the real me. I have tried and tried to get over my resentment towards her but I don't believe that I ever will.. I have decided that the best thing to do is to distance myself from her. I will try to be civil towards her when I have to be around her or when she calls, but always distant. She is a horrible influence on me because her negativity rubs off on me when I am around her, and I begin to act irritable. I hate this because it is so unlike me in every other situation. That must be why she thinks I am like her.. I wish I could overcome this but it is so hard to lose that resentment toward her. Just know that you are not alone.<br />