Question: Dear Luise: I constantly feel my ideal future is withheld by my angry mom who is agambling addict and by my father’s absence. My mom, in a way, has been absent most of my life. After my father left me when I was six, she dropped me off my grandma’s house to live at for the next seven years. I rarely saw her during those crucial years. Since she forced me to live back with her, our relationship has increasingly worsened. She has tortured, humiliated, beaten me, called horrible names, broken my belongings, stole money, wrecked my credit, fed me illy. . .Yet, if you meet her in person, she will be genuinely nice. She tells me sheloves me at random times – right before she leaves the door to gamble. I have come to the conclusion she is crazy, emotionallyunstable. The problem is I’m afraid I can’t achieve my dreams. I’m halfway through my first year of college, and she still hasn’t bought me a laptop. I’m afraid I’ll end up like her, bedridden when she’s not gambling, unemployed, obese, and, most importantly, unhappy. I’m afraid I’ll never be able to love and find the right man, because I never had role models to learn from. I’m already afraid of men meeting my mom, because of embarrassment. I’m afraid they’ll steer away from me because I’m “damaged goods.” I fear of commitment in a relationship, because I dread the day he leaves me like my father. I fear I’m not worth loving, because my mom has mistreated me and my dad is gone. I’m afraid of having children, because I’m not sure if I’m capable of being a good mom. Luise, I just want to be loved. Badly. I always fantasize about having the educated, financially stable, suburban, Caucasian parents you would see on teenage TV shows. Will I be able to virtually break all ties with my mom with out pangs of guilt and anger? Will I ever be able to let go of the fact my father left me? Will I ever find love? Thank you so much, Luise. S.
Answer: Dear S.: I think you need to get out of there, first and foremost. No matter how you do it, move on and start rebuilding your self-respect. You are not the one lacking! Lots of us have lived in a rented room, worked two jobs and made it through college without any help. You can, too.
My take is we can never let go of what we focus on. It only increases in magnitude. Your father and mother had huge issues that had nothing to do with you. It was totally unfair and unbelievably daunting but you are a separate person and can rise above it when you know is about them, not you. There is nothing written anywhere that says your life has to be trashed because they didn’t value theirs or you. That’s up to you to decide.
If you would like a cyber-family, come over to my Web-forum at www.WiseWomenUnite.com . Role models abound there! 🙂
The deepest love of all is self-love. We don’t usually get our “ideal” future because life has so many twists and turns in it…but we can create peace and joy and fulfillment because we said so. You are right about the unfairness but don’t let it rule you. That’s a choice. Blessings, Luise