Post # 1
My wedding has brought up a lot of feelings that I thought I was all done with…..
I grew up in a very dysfunctional family with an abusive, mentally ill mother.
My childhood was…well….hell.
However, I still grew up.
Got my education–and made a good life for myself. All by myself.
And I moved on.
I came to terms with the facts that I will never have that “loving mother/daughter relationship” I hear/see so many others talk and write about.
Then my mother passed away.
And I felt….nothing.
But once I started the wedding planning and realized how much the MOB is “suppose” to the involved I felt this terrible, selfish, sudden sadness over the fact that I don’t have that supporting mom…and that I never will.
I always had to take care of myself–
But right now I so wish that I had a mother to lean on.
Post # 3
I’m sorry about all that you had to go through with your mom. I don’t know if it makes you feel better, but just because someone has a “good” mom doesn’t mean that she would be involved in the wedding planning etc. My mom is a great mom, but she had no interest whatsoever in wedding planning. For example- she declined to go get mani-pedis with all the other women in the family the day before the wedding. Also, when my invitations came in, I asked her if she wanted to see them. She said “no- I’ll just wait until mine comes in the mail” – Really?! I guess my point is that even those of us that had more ideal childhoods get disspointed by our parents too. i do not mean to minimize your feelings- you are certainly entitled to them. Do you have an aunt or other female relative you are close to? Or FMIL?
Post # 4
I’ve had a very similar experience, and while my mother is still alive, she’s still completely uninvolved and disinterested in my life. All I can do is lend my support. I know it’s not easy to raise yourself and its hard to see other people have good relationships with their mothers without feeling…well, cheated among many other things. You aren’t alone in feeling the way you do. I hope it gets easier for you. I don’t know if you have or plan to have any children, but for me, loving and caring for my son has gone a long way to fill the void of being unloved by my own mother. I’m also looking into therapy for myself.
Best of luck with the wedding planning, dont let the bad memories spoil this happy time for you. You’ve come so far on your own and you can do this too! After everything you’ve been through, you deserve to be happy ((hugs))
Post # 5
I guess I am just very emotional right now.
Post # 6
@MrsJoyful80: I’m really, really sorry you had to go through that growing up. My father and my mother were both emotionally and sometimes physically abusive growing up. They were immature and really had no idea how to be parents because their own parents were never really good role models. While they did grow up eventually, apologize for their ways, and change- the damage was done. I mean I love them because they are my parents, but I’ve never depended on them for anything. I basically raised myself. So, while I don’t know the extent that you suffered, I can understand where you are coming from. My parents made my wedding planning a living nightmare and I realized I’m still pretty much on my own.
While it’s perfectly fine to mourn the supporting mother you’ll never have, try to focus on what you do have. Your loving fiance, who you can create a beautiful life and family with. Maybe close friends and family. You might not have the traditional mother support, but you will have people who love and support you surrounding you on your wedding day. It takes a long time to heal wounds that parents can leave, but try to let the love for everyone else help you get through it.
I know therapy doesn’t help everyone, but sometimes it’s really helpful to work through these hard feelings with someone.
Post # 7
I’m really sorry that you had to grow up with that, and that you don’t have the support you want/need now. It’s definitely tough when you go through a life changing event and don’t have the loving support that a mother is supposed to give. But even if she were still around, would she be able to give you the support you deserve? Probably not.
I grew up with an emotionally abusive mother, and she’s still around. I can’t cut her off for my own stupid reasons, but she manipulates me to get her way. My wedding was not my wedding…it was her wedding. Even now that I’m pregnant, it’s so hard to deal with her, b/c everything has to be her way. She ties me into knots all the time, and it’s really hard not to let it get to me. So while it’s completely sad that your mom isn’t around to share this wonderful moment in your life, it might be for the better so that she doesn’t ruin it for you.
Post # 8
Big hugs. <3 My mother wasn’t abusive, but I raised myself from the age of 8. My mother was pretty disinterested in my life, especially after I graduated high school. We only talk a few times a year, she didn’t bother to come to my college graduation, didn’t congratulate me on my engagement, etc. She won’t be involved in the wedding at all, except as a guest.
Do I wish I had a “normal” mom figure to help me? Yes, absolutely. I have both FI’s mom and stepmom, which is awesome, but it’s still hard.
Post # 9
… gosh. Well, firstly, you’re not alone. My mother is also mentally ill, and my childhood was… interesting. It does affect you. I think it probably makes you very old in some ways (very self-reliant and organised for example) but also very young in others (needing validation, looking for approval) in others.
I wonder from your post if you ever truly mourned your mother. I don’t mean mourned the relationship you will never have… I mean mourned her, with all her faults, for what she was and what she could have been. Not what she could have been TO YOU… just what she could have been, as a person, if she wasn’t sick. One thing about getting older is that we need to see our parents as real people… good, bad, and also in terms of possibility. I wonder if you (or I, for that matter) really know or knew our mothers. I also think that trying to see beyond their illness is perhaps part of the process of entering adulthood.
Perhaps you should look beyond the wedding and concentrate on your relationship with her instead. Relationships don’t necessarily end when someone dies, because the survivor still relates to the deceased. I can also understand feeling numb. Believe me, I get that completely. But feeling numb is like when you cauterise a wound… it’s just a temporary solution to bleeding. Maybe you need to change the focus of your grief away from weddings… and examine the roots of the feeling. That’s not a judgement… just a suggestion from someone in a similar situation. Good luck!
Post # 10
I can really relate. My mother was incredibly abusive & still is. Add drug addict to that list. She’s a very selfish person & everything is always about her. She didn’t feel she was getting enough attention on my wedding day so she decided to pick a fight with me during the reception, made a scene after. This is something I will never forgive her for, it’s something I now have to remember every time I think back on the day we were married. I’ve been emmotionally & physically abused by her for many many years, and I can honestly say if she were to die tomorrow I would feel nothing. I gave up on having the beautiful mother/daughter relationship I see all my friends having- which is sad, but she’s forced me to be cold and indifferent about it. It’s the only way I can protect myself and stay sane. If I show weakness, she’ll attack…
We’re trying to get pregnant this year, and I’m struggling with the decision to include her in my child’s life… I console myself with the fact that I’ll be a better mother to my own children. That, and the fact that I’m nothing like her. I hope you can do the same.
Post # 11
Thank you all for your replies.
I am seeing a therapist every other week and once my wedding is over(30th this month)I think it is time for me to do some serious work with her.
I realize now that I am not even close to being “over” my childhood.
Post # 12
@MrsJoyful80: While my father is still alive I feel very much so the same as you do. I have had to reconcile that I don’t personally miss my father or wish he was more involved. I am morning the relationship that should have been, the idea of a father/daughter relationship. It isn’t him as a person that I wish I had a connection with. It’s that imagined loving relationship that I notice others have with their parent that I long for.
I’m very sorry that you don’t have a mother around to be apart of this day and I’m sorry you are having to dredge up all these feelings again. The best I can suggest is to find a surrogate amoung friends or family and ask them to join in on some of those more emotional parts of the planning.