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    Long story short, my parents are in the process of a major life event. As crazy as it sounds, I haven’t felt like much of a daughter especially to my mom. Without giving away too much information, she favors one particular sibling as opposed to the rest of us. As much as it hurts, I have learned to cope with the unfairness of it all. I’m always the last to find out anything. I can’t even have a normal conversation with my mom. She doesn’t share anything. I will always get the same pareve answers so I stopped asking. I started imagining her as my grandmother. As weird as it sounds, she shares with my daughter more than she shares with me.

    Anyway, I heard about this major life event coming up and decided to try one last time to get my mom to tell me. She’s always telling everyone we meet at simchas that I’m her daughter. In public she behaves like the perfect mom. She will sit next to me and chat but it’s typical topics because according to her no one should be discussing personal topics in public. So I called her and started chatting. I started hinting out that I know and just spill the beans. Nothing doing. She would not say a peep. Then the next day she called me to tell me that this life event was happening as if yesterday’s conversation never happened. My sibling confirmed all is set and now she can make it official. I am hurt beyond words. Not that this event is happening. I’m all for the event. I think it would be amazing for her. I’m hurt that for this information I’m not considered her daughter. I’m just any regular person.

    Making her aware of it won’t work. As I once heard, you can’t expect a 50 watt bulb to burn at 100 watts. She will be offended that I’m not happy for her because that’s what she will hear from my tone of voice. Let me reiterate: I’m very happy for her. I’m hurt that this was not shared with me especially when she realized what I was getting at during our conversation the day before and just went along with it. How do I get past this hurt? It is literally taking away the joy of life. I feel so down. I’m usually a very jolly person.

    Any and all advice welcome.

    Dear Hurt,

    No matter what age we are, there is always a 5 year old living inside us (or a 10 year old, a 15 year old..).  What age are you when you get in touch with all the feelings you’ve described? I think I have an idea.

    Your mother hasn’t given you what you’ve needed from her for a long time, but you’ve made some sort of peace with her.

    As I read your words,  it reminded me of an infant who cries for her mother when she’s hungry. She cries and she cries. The mother doesn’t come and after some more crying the baby eventually gives up. She stops crying because she knows in her heart that no one is coming. She is sad and she is hungry. Finally, the mother arrives and picks up the baby to feed her. Mother operates on her own schedule, not the baby’s schedule.

    You are that baby.

    You learned long ago that your mother is distant. She has her own schedule. She can’t nourish you in the way that you need her to. This hurts so much.

    Now, once again, on her own schedule, not yours,  she comes  to give you her news. Once again, you are reminded that your mother will not respond to your needs, no matter how clear you make them.

    It brings up all the old hurts again.

    My dear Hurt, you can’t change your mother. But you know that already.

    You can change yourself, and you have. When you imagine that your mother is your grandmother it helps you because you are a bit more removed from her.

    But who has taken her place?

    Can you? Can you be your own mother? Can you love yourself even when you feel unloved by her?

    You’re not an infant anymore. You can take care of yourself now. You can get your needs met.

    I hope this helps.

    Michelle Halle, LCSW

    Dear Hurt.

    Just having the courage to write this post can propel towards the healing and understanding you so desperately seek.

    I’d like to echo Michelle. Each time you experience that hurt anew it brings all the old hurts to the surface.

    This present episode sounds life changing and sounds like a bigger deal than previous episodes. Once you heal from this you can start that important root work. At this point it doesn’t sound like your mother can be there for you in a way you find satisfactory. You can learn from her mistakes though and treat yourself and others with the highest level of dignity possible.

    Unfortunately there is no quick fix and with time you will reach a place where you’ll feel the growth.


    In response to Yehuda (Hudi) Kowalsky's post #8617:

    Your made some very important points:

    Taking the initiative to write about this is part of the healing process.

    There never are quick fixes to complicated relationships but going through the process will affect every relationship in a person’s  life, not just this one. The investment is a worthy one.

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    Thank you for replying! I appreciate the encouraging words. I definitely feel like a weight has been lifted as I’m rereading what I wrote and the responses.

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    In response to Yehuda (Hudi) Kowalsky's post #8617:

    Nope, there are no quick fixes, unfortunately. I myself am working on giving myself compassion and just being there for myself. But.. I feel like the ones who have caretakers who are emotionally available and in tune with their needs are quite lucky…  That being said, we need to move forward, slowly..

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