There seems to be a lack of discussion in the world around women who are disowned or cut off from their mothers. The only literature I can find is surrounding the death of a parent and, this is so so different…
I have a mom. She is alive and well. She doesn’t live far from me — about a six hour drive north.
From the time I was born until I was around 11 or 12 we got along fine. We fought, like most mothers and daughters fight, but I loved her and she loved me, and I felt like I could count on her for support and advice.
When I became a teenager it all changed — she didn’t get my life choices, and I didn’t quite get her either. So I moved out at 16, right before my parents got divorced. Although, once I was on my own and taking care of myself, my mom and I still didn’t always get along, but it things between us were alright, and we were friends.
Then, when I was graduating from community college, I explained that I wanted to invite both her and my dad. Even though they had not talked since they got divorced, I thought she would be okay with it. She was not. I will absolutely never forget the moment she said to me “If you invite him to your graduation I will never speak to you again.”
I mulled it over and talked to my therapist about it and decided to invite my dad. My graduation was great, and I had almost everyone I loved around me, and celebrating. Sadly, my mom didn’t attend, but I figured she would get over it, and we would talk soon.
That was seven years ago, and we haven’t really talked since. She has told other family members that she considers me to be “dead,” and that she wishes I could just forget she ever existed.
Today, I am married to an epic dude and pregnant. The “mom stuff,” as I call it, comes up frequently, but I can talk about it without crying and without feeling a whole lot of regret. I have lots of mom figures in my life — from aunts, to mothers-in-law, to older female friends — but being pregnant has brought up a lot of the sadness and anxiety around this again.
I get questions like, “I know you don’t talk to your mom, but are you going to tell her about this? You probably should.” And from people that I don’t know that say, “Your mom and dad must be so excited! Is this their first grandchild?”
I also worry that my lack of a mom, and my anxiety and sadness around this, will affect me as a mom.
So now that you know my life story, I have a million questions for anyone who has been disowned by, or lost, any parental figure in this way…
- Are you in a similar situation? Can you tell me/other readers your story?
- Do you have kids? How has your parentlessness affected you in your parenting?
- How do you cope with the conversations other people have with you about their moms, and the questions they ask about your own?
- Have you read books, articles, blogs, etc. that have helped you through this?
- Does it get better? If this happened to you a long time ago, is it something that you eventually moved past?
- How does your partner deal with this? Did they ever meet your parent? Is it tough to talk to them about it if they have both parents?
- What do you tell your kids about your absentee parent?
I wanted to relay my story in hopes of finding other people in similar situations who can share their own. It comforts me to meet other strong and loving people who are missing a parent too, and I hope it does the same for you.