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.