Bad Mother Daughter Relationships


Dear Butt Ugly Truth Readers,

I recently received a letter from a dear, dear friend of mine we will call Grace. I call her this because of the way she exudes grace in her life even through a turbulent relationship with her mother. Her specific situation is a bit unique. I’ve been researching this topic since I posted my blog asking about people’s relationships with their mothers. Grace told me how she had a normal upbringing in a seemingly normal family until one day in her 30’s, she found out that her father was not her biological father and her mother wouldn’t give her further information.

Here is an excerpt from her letter (I will post her full letter at the end of this post.)  “Dear Crystal, I found out in my early 30’s I had a half sister I never knew about. I scoured the Internet until I found her. [We now have a very close relationship.] At that point I go to my mother and tell her if she has anything else to tell me to tell me, then she should tell me now! If I found out other information later, I would be angry.”

Now Butt Ugly Truth Readers, I must intervene here and answer your question. Yes, of course her mother continued to lie over the next few years that followed! The mysterious pyramid of lies was constructed effortlessly. One heavy load at a time. This made me even more curious about the mother and daughter relationship. Then I stumbled on this “advice for free from a doctor” site where I found the article I’m blogging from now. It troubled me how so many mothers and daughters have bitter relationships or even no relationship at all. That’s another blog entirely!

But then I got to thinking more about how families are vs. your closest friends. I know for me, family will always come first, no matter the day, time, circumstance, situation, drama, whatever. If I can, I do exactly WHAT I can. That’s the way I was raised, that’s the way I have raised my own children. However, applying it to Grace’s situation, I would have done the same thing she did. Fire off a letter to my mother begging for details. Putting myself in her mother’s shoes and trying to understand what she is hiding, I realize that she is afraid that if Grace knows the REAL truth, Grace will never come back. That is the only logical reason I could come up with as the WHY Grace’s mother won’t come forth with the truth. 

The butt ugly truth about her situation is that her mother is a @#$#@#! coward! Grace is a person and deserves to be treated with AT LEAST the dignity of knowing the truth. That whole “Give the truth, the WHOLE truth, and nothing BUT the truth, so help me, God” carries a ton of weight! I am rather curious to know the WHOLE story, though. There are too many unanswered questions to even begin to predict how this might turn out.

Grace tells me that she wants to know solely for the medical history. This is incredibly vital in our culture today! More over, I would demand answers simply because I would just need to know where I came from. Where my lineage is. Am I connected with studious people from history? Am I connected with hookers and vagrants? You get the picture!

Grace, I’ve thought about this a lot since you first sent your letter. I know you as a strong woman who will hold her ground, yet do it gracefully and solid intentions. There aren’t words for what kind of a shield you carry protecting your family. I would call her once a week and leave long voicemail messages until I wore her down. Then she has no choice but to tell you. And now it’s time for the caution flag. Be wary of your heart and pick a time when you are absolutely sure that you are ready to hear what she has to say. Put yourself in her shoes, try to understand HER logic (no matter how twisted it may sound). We know where YOUR logic is. But HER logic is an older logic from a different generation and may not be as clear as yours. When I have a deep conflict with an important person in my life, I HAVE to try to see things from their understanding. Not JUST perspective. Hindsight is 20/20 and there may be things your mother needs your forgiveness for before she can unveil the truth.

To bring this to a butt ugly close, Grace, your mother has done you a severe injustice and you have a right to hear the truth. Grace’s mom, you should be ashamed of yourself not trusting your adult daughter enough with the truth. You did a pretty good job raising her, look at how strong and successful she is! Look at what a loving, kind, generous person you created! Now take a look at the swell of black cloud circling above your head. Time to get over yourself and your own fears and do the right thing! CLEAR THE AIR!!! THAT IS the butt ugly truth!

Please leave your comments and suggestions in the comments box! It’s nice to hear different views, and/or opinions of what I’ve shared.

Below is Grace’s first complete letter. I wanted you to be able to see “how wicked is the web we weave when first we practice to deceive.”

“Dear Crystal,

My relationship with my mother is nonexistent. I have not spoken to my mother in almost four years. For me those questions are hard to answer without an explanation. I grew up in what I believed to be a typical family in mid-America. My family was not rich, which was not out of the norm for my town of two hundred people. We got in trouble when we misbehaved, went on camping trips, ran barefoot through the yard, typical childhood memories.

I lived with my two parents, two older brothers and an older sister. I however, always felt out of place with my family. As if I somehow was in the wrong family. My sister and I looked nothing alike. My brothers were much older than me and in very different stages of life than me. My mother never seemed happy and let her lack of optimism show through constant criticism of life and everyone she knew. Her criticism was often generalized, however said in a way that felt more personal and with an eerie undertone. My father seemed sincere in his affection but his attitudes and philosophies were skewed in an uneducated way. I don’t mean in an academic educational way but more of a stubborn, set in his ways sort of way.

I had always felt an overwhelming need to leave such a small town and depressing undertone in my family. A feeling I remember having as far back as I can remember. I joined the military as a way to escape and cut the ties I felt was holding me down. I turned eighteen years old during my first week of military boot camp.

With that background information here is my question to you. What do you do when you are in your 30’s and you find out your whole life has been a lie?

I found out in my early 30’s I had a half sister I never knew about. I scoured the Internet until I found her. [We now have a very close relationship.] At that point I go to my mother and tell her if she has anything else to tell me to tell me, then she should tell me now! If I found out other information later, I would be angry.

Then, a few years later I find out that the sister I grew up with isn’t my mother’s daughter. Ok, then she is a half sister. I can deal with that, we grew up together and I consider her my sister nonetheless. I already have a half sister and give my parents the benefit of the doubt that they had some marriage struggles. I understand I was never told as a child because they didn’t want my “sister” to feel different.

But wait, then I find out the father I grew up with isn’t my father, which now makes the sister I grew up with not related to me by blood at all.

At this point I am just perplexed. I consider honesty to be the simplest thing you can offer a person and they, my “parents”, have now violated something very sacred to me. Honesty……… the very simple request I make of all my personal relationships.

In my last phone call with my father, meaning the father who raised me, I ask about my biological father. He lied to me and told me he didn’t know anything about it and as far as he knew he was my father.

About eight months later I then sent a written request to my mother with specific questions regarding my biological father. I know she received the letter as I sent it signature required. It has been over six months and she has not responded.

I am frustrated that the only person with the answer to my biological father refuses to give me the information I desire. I know some people would not feel there is any importance to knowing but for me I feel like I have a right to know and to have the medical background.

I now find the word “mother” so funny and confusing at the same time. In my view you cannot be called a mother for merely birthing a child. Being a mother is so much more. By that definition I do not have a mother.

In closing, if I could encourage your readers to do anything for their children, I would encourage them to be honest. We have all done things we may be embarrassed to admit to our children but, I would much rather be able to say my mother was promiscuous than to say she is dishonest.”

Bad mother daughter relationship – Mental Health – International – MedHelp

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10 thoughts on “Bad Mother Daughter Relationships

  1. I think honesty is a requirement in any relationship. If there is no honesty how can you have a relationship to begin with?

  2. It is very hard to admit you do not have a good relationship with your own mother. It is even harder to realize that when you were a teenager and thought you had more common sense than your mother, it was true. The roles are reversed in my family and often times I have to reason with my mother just as I reason with my 12 year old Asperger’s child. Because I am her only child, eventually she will be my responsibility.

  3. Looking back I can certainly understand your pain and disappointment. My mom and I were not close as I was growing up,yet my older and younger sisters were very close with her. It wasn’t until she was in her 70′s and she had to live with me for health reasons, that we established a wonderful relationship. Woman to woman we shared small funny things in the beginning, then little by little the walls broke down and many truths were revealed on both sides. Eyeopeners that shocked me. Some so personal she swore me to secrecy. I realized what a strong, loving and complicated woman my mother was through her whole life. All the old hurts slowly faded and a mutual loving relationship grew ever stronger till her death in 2005. I miss her every day. May God bless you and your mother as you travel this painful journey. I’m praying for a blessed reconciliation for your whole family.

  4. We all have our little secrets, and your mother has right to hers. You don’t have right to demand these secrets from her. Reading the letter I don’t understand how did you decide ‘father” who raised you was not your father? If you know your half sister and have relationship with her than you must know who your father is.
    I believe all the problems are with the daughter and not with mother or father. It is easy to mother for everything. Please do remember you will be, or are a mother. I hope your children don’t turn against you.

  5. Natalia,
    Secrets kill relationships. An adult child deserves to know who their biological father is. You said “It is easy to mother for everything.” I’m not sure what you mean by that.

  6. @Natalia. A person deserves to know where their DNA comes from. I think Grace knows the “father” she grew up with is not her father and it sounds like her half sister and her do not share a father. So by my calculation she doesn’t have any full siblings they’re all half siblings or not biologically related. Honesty is the very least you can give a person. Honesty is free. A person should not do things they are embarrassed or ashamed of others finding out. Grace’s mother owes it to her to tell her who her biological father is. Sounds like maybe you have secrets of your own Natalia so maybe you see nothing wrong with keeping secrets?

  7. You know I really got uninterested in your excuses for Grace’s good reasons to be mad at her mother. Her Mother lied, but considering the circumstances, I would give anything to have my mother in my life, whether she lied or not, regardless of what her reasons were. My Mom passed away last year, and I have done things in my life that have caused a severe strain on my relationships with my daughter, son, sisters, brothers, Mother and Father. And I have seen the pain I caused them. And I can’t take it back. So be grateful your Mother is there and alive. I love my Mom, she never lied to me and she was a saint and my 14 y/o daughter ND 22 Y/O SON haVE been through crap I can’t change. So have a grateful heart for your mother.

  8. I have a half sister somewhere out there. I will probably never find her because my mother doesn’t talk about her ever. She was forced to give her up by her parents. I will go forever wondering where my sister is but I will always be happy for her because she got out of the dysfunction of my mother.

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