I’m planning to call my mother this weekend after some years of silence

And I just wanted to get some Dopers’ support.

My (adoptive) mother and I have been on rocky ground since I found out I was adopted, at 14. I didn’t find out from her, but from my real mother who promptly disappeared out of my life.
My adoptive mom reacted in the way unfortunately most guaranteed to hurt me – she tried to bury it. She wouldn’t let me talk about, or ask any questions. I was born illegitimately, so my whole family was fairly ashamed.
From there our relationship steadily worsened – hindsight is 20/20 – with her overprotecting me and not letting me step out of the house and me rebelling and being angry because I was ashamed of myself, thinking I hadn’t been wanted and wasn’t wanted.
It culminated in me being kicked out age 20 because I wouldn’t marry, immediately, some guy she wanted me to. Well, there was a lot of horrible things like her showing up at my job and trying to get me fired, calling my roomate’s parents and yelling at them, etc. Anyway I finally cut off all ties about 5 years ago.
About 6 months ago I started e-mailing her again.
Anyway, I got a call a week ago from someone in India, when my mom was in India. They left a message not saying who they were but saying it was urgent. I had the worst thoughts, but I couldn’t call back on the number they left for some reason. Anyway, I managed to get in touch with another relative and everything was fine.
This has got me to thinking all week: what if something had happened? What if my had been my mother who was injured, hurt, or maybe even the worst? We don’t get along very well, we have drastically different viewpoints on everything, but damnit…she’s still my mother. So I’m going to call her this weekend. First time talking in all these years.

Any thoughts at all will be appreciated.

Well, I think it’s both wise & generous of you to take that first step toward an attempt at understanding - as well as reconciliation, hopefully. I’m crossing my fingers that all goes well; if it doesn’t go as well as you hope, you’ll at least know that you tried.

Good luck; I’ll be thinking of you.

In my opinion, humble tho it is, regret is the single most destructive factor in a person’s psyche…some people are very lucky in that they can seem to get over things, not regret them. I, unfortunately, am one of those people who carry a great deal of it, with “I wish I had’ve” keeping it good company. So I do a lot of things sometimes because I don’t want to “wish I had’ve”…I have enough of those.

You are under no obligation to love your parents, sisters, brothers,etc. If you don’t like them, chances are you don’t love them. Depends what kind of person you are and how you handle decisions you’ve made.

Get together with your mom if you truly want to get to know her. Different people handle things different ways: some ignore; some escape; and some face.

If it doesn’t work, at least you tried. And that’s important.

That’s rough. I’m damned if I know what I’d do in your situation, so I couldn’t give you any useful advice even if you asked for any (which you didn’t, of course). All you can do is the best you can do.

Incidentally, that book is sitting in my desk drawer at work. Still want it?

I can kind of relate to where you’re coming from. After my parents’ divorce, I felt betrayed by my father (for many reasons that I won’t bore you with) and didn’t speak to him for about a year. Honestly, if he hadn’t almost died in late 2003, I’m not sure I’d be speaking to him now. But when that happened I realized that no matter what had happened he was still my father, I loved him, and I wanted to have a relationship with him no matter what. Oddly enough, people had tried to tell me during that year I didn’t speak to him that I’d regret it if something happened to him. I insisted that I wouldn’t, because he was already dead to me. Obviously he wasn’t, though that’s what I told myself.

Granted, we have two entirely different sets of circumstances here. But I can understand your desire to speak to your mother again for fear of having regrets later on. Maybe your mother already has regrets and would like to change her relationship with you. Maybe not. Either way, I think it’s worth finding out.

Best of luck!

Just don’t let her start right in trying to control your life again. I can’t say I’m aware of the cultural nuances involved, but she’s not the boss of you. So long as you keep that in mind, I think everything will go swimmingly. :slight_smile:

Good for you! I pray that she is warm and receptive.

After a couple of years of not speaking, my mother and I gradually developed a loving relationship. There are areas in which we have diametrically opposed opinions - we avoid those areas. Neither of us is going to change the other’s attidudes. We find that we have plenty of other things to talk about so we stick with the things we have in common. When she vents about the other stuff, I let her get it out of her system and move on to a different topic. It works for us.

Good luck.

I contemplated if I should post or not, but here goes.

First, good luck with whatever you decide to do (or not). Reestablishing contact can be difficult, especially if it doesn’t go well. I’ll keep my fingers crossed that if you do reestablish contact, that it will go well.

My father was in and out of my life ever since I was little. It worsened the older I got, but he managed to stay involved (partially) through my early adult years. For the past few years, he’s chosen to remain out of my life. When he last left my mom (for the billion-eth time in my life), he wanted to move in with me and the HallKids. When he refused to get treatment for his depression, and his anger was spiraling out of control, and he was unable to hold a job, I said no. This caused him to move half way across the country and refuse contact completely with me and my kids. His loss, although it does make me somewhat sad that he’s chosen the life he has. That’s his decision though, and if he cannot accept MY boundaried (mainly not sacrificing myself and my kids for his sake), then that’s just the way the cookie crumbles. Even today, he’s not quite “dead” in my life, but certainly not “alive” either.

It sounds like it has been rough sailiing for you, Anaamika. I hope things are going more smoothly for you now. If possible, maybe it would be best for you to approach your talk with mom as you would a conversation with a stranger – with as few expectations as possible. That way, if Mom has changed, you’ll be pleasantly surprised, and if she has not, you will be able to disengage from the conversation with some meaningless pleasantry and as little rancor as possible: “Well, Mom, it’s great hearing that you are doing well. I’ve got to go now. Take care.”

Good Luck Anaamika. It would be great if you could mend things with your mom. Even if you don’t completely reconcile things and become best buddies, at least you’ll open lines of communication. Family is family, blood is thicker than water. You don’t have to like them, but they are still all the family you’ve got!

Thank you all for your words of support. I knew I could count on the SDMB. My boyfriend has alwyas been there for me, but obviously he’s very close to the situation and I needed to hear some people who weren’t as involved.

From what I gather from the other family members it seems she’s more accepting now of my life & my SO. Many of the Indian kids from my neighborhood are with non-Indian spouses, so the source of embarrasment she thought she had is gone now.

Turtle-Man, I won’t let her control my life. She’s never been able to, I doubt she can start now. :slight_smile:

I’ve said this before on the boards, but I’m the black sheep in my family. And it will probably always be that way. I’m sure they wonder how in the hell I got so fiercely independent.

I’ll post on Monday, too and let you guys know how it went.

Just adding my support, best wishes, thoughts, etc. Family relationships can be really tough. I hope it turns out ok. Good luck.

I am so glad and so supportive of this move. I hope it works out well. Sending warm thoughts your way!

Good luck Anaamika! It’s always hard to be the person who makes the first step. It shows how strong you are to be able to do it.

You’re a brave and caring lady, Anaamika, and now I have one more reason to completely admire you. :slight_smile:

Good luck! smooch, crosses fingers

Regardless of how it turns out, you’re doing the right thing. :slight_smile:

Think she’ll be as accepting of your internet bi-flings? :stuck_out_tongue:

I recently did something similar. I quit seeing and talking to my Mom about 14 years ago (wow) and just started talking to her again about six months ago. We’re still not very comfortable around each other, but it’s getting better.

Just take it slow. It’s worth it.

Good luck with this. My wife hasn’t been in touch with her parents in about fifteen years, but that’s mostly because they are wrong in the head. No one specific thing, just a whole lot of rural-Polish-Wisconsin-dairy farm-archconservative baggage.

I found out my two older brothers were adopted when I was 10, then at 14 I found out that actually they had been adopted by my father, seeing as they were my mom’s sons from her first marriage, which I also found out about at 14, so actually they were my half-brothers. So I understand how family surprises like this can be a little weird.

I’m trying to reconcile with her, not give her a heart attack. :stuck_out_tongue:

It is really nice to hear that it’s not just me, by the way. I’ve heard lots of people telling me I’m an ungrateful daughter, disrespectful, the whole nine yards. Thanks, everyone.


You’re a brave and caring lady, Anaamika, and now I have one more reason to completely admire you.
Why, thank you. :o

Next time someone is telling you that crap, just you tell 'em about me. :smiley:
Anaamika = Saint by comparison. :wink:

There are some …most…ok, just about everyone in my family (who is not a brother, sister, or mother) I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire.
Waste of good piss and more than they’ve ever done to help our family.

Me? Bitter?? Noooooo. :eek: