I was close to my mom especially when I lived with her. She and I got along fairly well. My mom has a disorder that affected me and my older sister growing up. It was not easy to handle at times. I eventually moved out and lived on my own because i needed distance from it. I visited her and my step dad when I wanted too. I spoke to her on the phone. The relationship wasn’t perfect. It felt as though there was resentment towards her that made the visits and phone calls rough. Eventually, this issues took a toll on me. Especially, when she and my step dad wanted to have a child together. I argued and fought with her about this for 2 years. The thought of her raising a child with the disorder was not easy for me to understand. She could barely raise me and my sister, how could she take care of a baby?
The Break Up
Anything I said about her having a baby just started an argument. Neither of us was happy and it was adding distance between us. She went ahead with having the baby anyway. The baby was due in 3 months. I was going through a nasty divorce and wanted advice from her, I was desperate to make my marriage work even though it was a lost cause. Her response was not what I wanted to hear. I felt as though she took my husband’s side instead of being there for me. It killed me. I already felt alone and beaten down. I didn’t need her to take his side. (later, I found out her point of view) What did I do? I broke up with my mom. I let her go and do her thing. While I went and did mine. I had to find myself again after losing my marriage. I had to restart my whole life over again. I was angry at everyone and everything. My marriage failed because my husband found someone else. I lost a lot of friends because they were his friends. It was not a good place to deal with a new sister.
The First Few Months of Space
My mother was not happy about the break up because I just stopped talking to her. I didn’t return phone calls or messages. She hadn’t listened when I needed support for my marriage, so I didn’t think she would understand why I couldn’t speak to her anymore. My stepdad became angry with me as well. My entire family wanted me to reach out to her. It was something I could not do. I needed this space. I needed to find myself. I needed to let go of all the anger and hate I felt inside. My little sister was born shortly after the break-up. I couldn’t bring myself to see her. I didn’t want anything to do with my sister or my mom. I didn’t want my new sister to go through what I went through as a child. I didn’t want to feel helpless when the time came to support her through all the terror that could happen.
Towards the End
This break-up last about 9 months. The last 3 to 4 months, I had started to relieve the pain and resentment towards my mom. My boyfriend at the time had been through worse stuff than I had and he still was great friends with her. I wanted that with my mom. I wanted to forgive my mother so we could have a good life. One of happiness, peace, and trust. I knew it would be hard and I knew it wouldn’t be easy. I was still not ready. I am not sure I was ever really ready. I kept reading BOOKS that helped me change my perspective on life. Eventually, I did what my soul told me I needed to do, reach out to my mom. It started with a handwritten letter that I mailed to her. I told her the reasons I stopped talking to her and that I would contact her soon when I was ready. I needed her to know that it wasn’t going to last forever.
In the End
My mother and I started talking again. It was on my terms and about what I wanted to talk about. I was still not comfortable about having a little sister so we kept that to a minimum as well as other hot topic conversations. It has been 7 years since the break-up and our relationship is something I would never have imagined. She and I talk about everything and anything. She has helped me through so many times as I with her. There are things she has told me that only she and her life coach know. I have grown to forgive her for many, many things. I began to understand that my mom was not taking any sides in my failed marriage, but she took the side of the marriage. She has been with my stepdad for a long time. She knows a thing or two about making a marriage work. It is a wonderful and amazing relationship we have now. The break up helped give us the distance to understand each other in a more profound and harmonious way.
My Little Sister
You are all probably wondering what I decided about my little sister. Well, she and I have a great relationship. I don’t see her often as we live in two different countries yet I facetime her when I can. I even surprised her one Christmas by coming to visit. She is lively, silly, and cute. Her life is something I could have only dreamed of when I was a child. My mom is a different parent to her. What I thought would happen was the complete opposite. My stepdad and mom do everything they can to provide for her in every way. I couldn’t be more happy to have her as my little sister. I don’t regret missing her first years of life because I am present in a more profound way now than I ever could before.
What You Can Learn From This
Family is no exception to taking a break from them. WE can take breaks from anyone we need too. Sometimes the break or separation is temporary to help us find ourselves first. If we don’t have ourselves in a good place, nothing will change. If I had never taken a break from my mother i wouldn’t have the relationship she and I have now. I probably wouldn’t know my little sister the way i do. You have to take care of yourself first, especially with family. If you are struggling with what to do with a negative or hurtful relationship whether it is family or friends, walk away for a little bit and work on yourself. You may find that you can go back and things will be different. You may go back and find nothing has changed. It happens. Yet you will never know if things will be different if you don’t take space to find out.