Picking at scabs

I revealed my dysfunctional relationship with my mother in a recent post, ‘Mother’s love – a right or a privilege‘ and have since been contemplating what the next steps are.

Do I want to mend the relationship, is it even possible, or do I want to terminate it altogether? To aggravate this thinking I received a letter from her (addressed to my entire family) which was a 2 page effort starting with ‘I’ and continuing on in the same vein. My daughter actually referred to it as a ‘pity party’.

The feelings this letter invoked were many. Initially annoyance was the over-riding feeling, but this has morphed into sadness. Sadness for her as she is obviously very unhappy, sadness that I really and truly feel that I have no love left to give her, and sadness that my children do not have the gift of healthy relationships with their grandmother.

I will respond to the letter, as to just ignore it I think would be cruel, but I really don’t want to initiate another round of picking at the scabs of old wounds. We have had many futile ‘scab picking’ sessions in the past as my mother is not one for accepting responsibility. She loves playing the martyr, but admitting she was wrong is very hard for her, there are always reasons why she had to say and do what I feel are awful things. Many times I have heard that she had to tell me I looked horrible, I was fat, I was too thin, I was stupid, I couldn’t cope, all said with a smile and for my own good of course.

When is it time to just accept the scars and move forward? If you keep picking at the same scabs they just never heal!

Leave a comment


  1. So sorry to read, in this and previous posts, of your difficult relationship with your mother. It must be such a heartache for you. Just wishing you peace and love,
    ~ Lily

  2. There is a danger in reopening old wounds, physical and metaphorical. I struggle too, although with something different: http://meantforsomethingbetter.com/2012/03/29/return-to-life-in-israel/ Good luck…:)

  3. Is she open to reading a book perhaps? Something like The Four Agreements or anything by Ekhardt Tolle. Something that explains to her that accepting responsibility is part of having closeness with people.
    I am sorry this is taking it’s toll on you.

    • Thanks subtlekate, I have read The Four Agreements and loved it. Whether I could get my mother to consider the concept of that or of Tolle I do not know. Thanks for your support.

  4. Sometimes as much as we might wish for healing in a relationship with someone, there simply isn’t any relationship there to heal. As painful as it is to accept this, I think there comes a time when you have to let it go and walk away rather than continually put yourself in a position where you get hurt over and over again.


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