Keeping my distance
Mum wasn’t happy when Peter and I got married. In our wedding photos she looks absolutely miserable.
After I moved out of home and began life as a married woman, I decided that I had to distance myself from Mum. I had become quite depressed and I sensed that my relationship with her had something to do with it. I soon came to the conclusion that Mum didn’t want to see me succeed because she was jealous of me.
When I reflected on the things she’d said and done over the years, it made perfect sense. Of course, I do believe that Mum loves me in her own way, and, as a dutiful daughter and her only child, I still check up on her from time to time, accompany her to doctors’ appointments and take her out on special occasions like Mother’s Day. But, knowing how she feels about me makes me feel like I can’t get too close to her.
The good thing is that our arguments have become less frequent now that we’re older – I think we’re both just tired of the crying and fighting.
In Mum’s eyes I’ll probably always be the daughter who almost killed her during childbirth, who robbed her of her career and who denied her certain opportunities and experiences that she believed she deserved to have and enjoy. But I’ve learnt not to feel guilty about any of it, and, while I yearn for the closeness that other daughters have with their mums, I know I’ll never be able to enjoy such a bond with my mother because of the way she feels towards me.”