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My mother and I had been estranged for almost a decade...but we have been mending our relationship over the last year...

I told her...

I'm an open book, but I'm not on Audible...

slydr68 8 July 15
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I understand where you're coming from. My mom had untreated borderline personality disorder and was a very toxic, controlling, abusive parent. There was a lot of bad to her, but she also had some good traits. I moved away from her and my hometown nearly 23 years ago and came very close to ending all contact with her many times, but made a personal decision not to. Moving away did help me limit my contact with her in many ways that were helpful and important to my personal growth, but I couldn't quite bring myself to cut off all contact. I completely understand those who do cut off all contact with toxic family members, though. During the past 23 years, and even before, I went through a LOT of angry feelings towards my mom, but they were complicated by other feelings that I didn't completely understand. I won't categorize those feelings as love, exactly, although something close to it. Respect and care is probably more accurate. I respected my mom's good traits and cared for her because of them. I didn't want her to be unhappy, even though she had made me deeply unhappy for most of my life. Through therapy, I came to understand how we can often have conflicted feelings about others, feeling both respect, care and deep anger towards them at the same time. And that's what I was feeling for my mom. As you wrote in your comment below, it made me sad that my mom's life turned out so sad and empty and that she essentially died alone. But I also knew she was responsible for it, how she'd treated others that resulted in how things were during the last few years of her life. I was there for her as much as I could be, within the limited constraints of what I could do, and I feel ok with it. I don't have any regrets and know I did what I could do. Had my mom been a different person, she would have gotten more from me. But I've spent my life learning that, as much as I wanted her to change, she literally didn't know how and couldn't make it happen.

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Good luck

bobwjr Level 10 July 16, 2019
0

I wish you well in mending fences with your mother.

linxminx Level 8 July 16, 2019
1

Oh, sooo true! πŸ˜„

MojoDave Level 9 July 15, 2019
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