No, I don’t want to see Mom!

I am estranged from my mom but she just tried to establish contact. How can I deal with it?

Why not write her a letter, says our elder. You don’t even have to send it.

Dear EWC

I have not seen my biological mother since I was 20. I am 47. I have spoken to her twice in that period. She never paid child support and I consider her dead to me. She had a family member reach out to try and establish contact. I thought I would be strong and stoic. It sent me into a crying puddle of goo. I left my house and drove around for six hours. I don’t want to see her, but I want to deal with it.

Kay-Kay replies

I can tell that you are still hurt and angry about your mother’s neglect over all these years, and I understand your dilemma. You don’t want to see her, but yet, you have many unsaid things that haven’t been dealt with. There is pain either way. The problem is that you don’t know how a meeting would turn out, whether your mother has changed and is sorry, or whether she wants to make it up to you somehow. It would be nice to have some kind of closure, though.

My suggestion would be to write her a letter. You can pour out your feelings without being interrupted or judged. If you trust the family member, you can ask her to give your mother the letter. Or, you can just tear it up or hold onto it for a while. The main thing is to allow yourself to express all of those pent up feelings towards her. It may help you decide if you want to allow her to be part of your life again, depending on how you perceive her.

You don’t need to be strong and stoic. You also don’t need to allow yourself to be vulnerable to being hurt again. Just give yourself permission to feel how you feel. Be gentle with yourself and accept whatever emotions you experience. It’s okay to be ambivalent — in fact, probably quite appropriate. Maybe the letter will give you the opportunity to deal with her on your own terms without risking any more damage.

I hope this helps. Good luck and I hope it works out for you one way or another.

Letter #: 461785
Category: Family

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