To send my mother a letter(44 Posts)
I’ve Name Changed as this could be outing.
My mother was a failure, emotionally abusive and manipulative.
I have been seeing a counsellor and I’ve brushed over it all until now.
On his advice, I have written her a letter to tell her how I feel about things growing up and how things will have to be if we are to make an attempt at a relationship in the future... but it’s a very blunt letter.
I feel like I can’t move forwards with a relationship with her until I have laid everything she did out and held her accountable for her actions.
I think she will react violently to the letter and send an abusive reply though and I just don’t know if I’m strong enough to cope with that.
But at the same time I can’t cope with a relationship with her without saying everything I want to and Christmas is approaching fast!
WIBU to send her this letter?
I don’t know what else to do.
I wouldn’t send it. The letter won’t change what happened in the past nor will it improve your future relationship, according to what you’ve sad. I think you want her to acknowledge the damage but you already know that she won’t, so why send it? You have the option to not have a relationship with her at all of course but whether that’s something you want or are ready for is a different question.
I’ve often seen mners suggesting writing letters to people, telling them how their words or actions hurt them, but I think you have to be prepared for any outcome. What are the chances that the recipient will take a long hard look at themselves, analyses their own personality flaws, accept fault and attempt to make amends? They’re between slim and none! The truth is people don’t see their own flaws, they don’t accept criticism that covers an entire relationship and they get defensive, rightly or wrongly throwing blame and criticism back.
By sending this letter you risk giving “ammunition” to your mother. The opportunity to say that you are (in her eyes) a drama llama/cruel and hurtful to her/attention seeking/blame everyone else for your problems and so on and so on. Why make yourself more vulnerable to hurt?
Hard but no I wouldn't send it.
When you say Xmas coming do you mean your expect to see her? Do you get on now?
Did the counsellor mean for you to send the letter or was it meant as a way of clarifying your own feelings? Whether to send it to her or not probably depends whether you want to continue a relationship with her. If you feel that things have to change for you to continue the relationship then I don't see what you have to lose, maybe she will surprise you and be sorry. On the other hand an abusive reply will confirm there is no future, which is obviously hard when it's your mother, but may bring you closure (sorry to be American).
You know yourself that she's not going to take it on board, so it would be an exercise in futility to send it. You won't get the outcome you need.
I can't see how sending her a blunt letter effectively blaming her for everything is going to help; if she's that sort of person she isn't going to change just because you've pointed it out. She's more likely to come out with more of the same and make you feel even worse. I'd have thought that trying to see her actions as something to pity her for (or something like that) would be better. She won't change, you have to change how you cope with her and how you see her.
I don't see how such a letter could serve any useful purpose, frankly. She may never speak to you again, if that's what you want, then go ahead.
The counsellor definitely meant to send it. He’s of the opinion that she will either reply aggressively which will end the relationship forever which I am prepared for (we have had no contact for 5 months except on my sons birthday and on her birthday) or she will accept what she has done and move forwards tentatively.
Either way I don’t want to have a relationship with her where she hasn’t accepted what she’s done to me in the past.
I enjoy my quiet life with my DH and DS and really don’t want to deal with a massive drama from her.
Why not just end the relationship without the aggression just by not communicating with her. It's not like you'd be missing anything. And if she gets in touch with you & asks why you've not been in touch then you can explain why. No point giving yourself grief for nothing, and the chances of here changing are probably less than mine are of winning the lottery (and I don't play the lottery)
I think that it will not result in her accepting blame but it's a good idea anyway.
It may be therapeutic to write everything down but if she is of the understanding that she has done nothing wrong then this letter won't help resolve anything I'm afraid.
Even talking about it, IMO, will just bring up a tonne of emotion for you and leave yourself open to emotional manipulation such as "how can you do this to me...I've only ever your best interests at heart...I've tried my best and gave you everything I could and what I do I do out of love" etc.
It's very difficult to reason with someone who will most likely deny everything until the cows come home.
I'd seek some advise in the Stately Homes thread x
Also, are you considering Christmas to be a deadline of sorts?
In the spirit of Christmas do you foresee everything to be ironed out and hunky dory? Or are you wondering whether everything should be swept under the festive blanket for a pleasant Christmas then address issues?
I'm in the same situation! I'm having space from my M, but being chased up about it so it feels that it's no longer on my terms because Christmas is approaching and then I'll hear all the "spirit of Christmas and good will to all men"
Perhaps you need to reword the letter telling her that you no longer wish to have any contact with her because....
I wouldn't send it. I'm currently NC with my mother for the second time and having therapy as it's tearing me to pieces.
One of our last conversations revolved around me trying to get my head around her behaviour. She was incredibly dismissive of my feelings and when I said to her "so you can't accept any of the blame for this situation?" Her very cold response was "Dolly, I have never done ANYTHING wrong in my life".
That is probably one of the nicest responses I have received while trying to address the issue, and finally made me realise I couldn't make any difference.
If you're not sure how you will cope with the response, it's probably best left alone. I understand about Christmas etc, my baby is due next month and it's eating away at me that she will never meet him.
On a side note, I was recommended a book which I found very helpful, and may possibly be for you. It's called You're not crazy, it's your mother. Sounds awful but it's actually very helpful for dealing with the emotions involved. Good luck
Christmas isn’t a deadline but I know she and my dad who are divorced are still friends so he and my brother have to basically make a decision who they are going to see on what day if I’m not seeing her.
What’s the stately homes thread?
I’ll have a look at that book, thanks Dolly.
I had an argument with my parents 14 years ago after which I realised they were never going to change. Seen them twice since then one was my wedding (had hoped they would decline but didn't want to be hurtful by not inviting them). Probably email 2 or 3 times per year - usually about Christmas gifts for the DC.
I'm not sure sending a letter would change things, they don't have my phone number, my Mum is dying - I've no desire to be more involved etc. Still working through they shit the put on me as a child I have just faded them from my lives.
I’ve been NC with her for 5ish months but I’m still really angry with everything she’s done and want her to be accountable.
I think sending a letter would show her how I have felt as I think she’s actually blind to it, she sees things as individual incidents instead of collectively abusive.
But your right, it wouldn’t get me anywhere besides more drama as her default position is aggressively defensive and I’m so not interested in that.
I think I’m going to burn the letter and stay NC and maybe in a few years we can see where things are but I’m too full of anger and hatred for the things she’s done now to move on without some kind of acceptance of blame from her.
I'm struggling to understand your counsellor's reasoning.
Write the letter, then burn it. Continue minimal contact working towards non contact.
The Stately Homes thread under Relationships category is for those of us with parents who are narcissists. Lots of advice and reading. I'm sure you'd get some really good advice there but they will definitely listen.
I felt a lot of anger when I wrote my own M a letter which I never sent. It is very normal. I've felt better for the lack of direct contact between me and my M and I feel on top of my emotions, my anxiety is reducing and her intrusive voice inside my head disappears...if only my need for space was respected and then I wouldn't have blips.
Send it if you want her to go ballistic and do something that pisses you off so much that you'll never ever speak to her again
Also be prepared for her to make copies of your letter and give it out to other people possibly as a way to turn others against you or just humiliate you
I think if you burn the letter and go NC, you are doing the best thing for your own recovery.
Counsellors who are keen for you to confront your abuser are using outdated methods. Abusive people dont suddenly wake up and change on the basis of a confrontation, and it can leave you in a vulnerable position.
She's had all this time to take responsibility, but she cant. Thats why she doesnt see the patterns in her own behaviour. She cant fix herself overnight any more than you can; she would have to understand and accept there's a problem, and go through the process herself.
Real change isnt sudden.
Later on you may feel more able to tell her what the problem was. But you didnt create this situation, you are the victim. Its very rare for a bully or abuser to hear their victim, and confronting can just give them more opportunities to cause pain. Because thats all they know.
She will see it as an attack and will launch a counter attack or she will feel wronged and find someway to punish you for your transgression at some point
Join the discussion
Registering is free, easy, and means you can join in the discussion, get discounts, win prizes and lots more.Register now
Already registered with Mumsnet? Log in to leave your comment or alternatively, sign in with Facebook or Google.
Please login first.