Emotional stress

This is a bit of an emotional dump.

I do not know why my mother pushes my buttons so effectively. This evening, at the end of a family weekend, I lost my cool with her and walked out of the restaurant at the end of the evening, clearly annoyed with her. I regret that. She is elderly and my mother. I “should” have more patience… but I don’t.

There are so many nice things about being at centre parcs… about being with family, about having the opportunity to spend time with my brother, sister in law, nieces and nephews- about doing stuff with my boys, and even yes, doing something that pleases my mother.

So given that my intentions are honestly genuinely good, why does it end in a cross exchange, hurt feelings and irritation?

I don’t know.

I could speculate that at a time of great stress for me; some from very obvious sources, some more personal and opaque, I’m on a shorter fuse than normal. I could postulate that the shield of alcohol is missing, leaving me more vulnerable; I wonder if my mother’s slowly failing mental and physical health, whilst not awful, upsets me more that I realise; if the absence of my eldest son feels more significant on such a family occasion. All these things may be contributory factors- but I think the biggest is that I have not yet accepted that I will not get from her what I actually want. What I want, what the inner child wants, is validation, acceptance and love. And I don’t get it. I won’t get it (I didn’t tell her I’d been to AA – honestly she’s not really interested) and that hurts.

It hurts all the time if I think about it, but mostly I don’t- I just get on with my life . On occasions like this, spending 3 days in close proximity – the lack of any genuine interest in anyone or anything not directly related to her … that bugs me.

And now I’ve written that down I need to reflect on it a bit .. I feel unfair and unkind writing it about my mother who “does so much for me” … but … It also feels like my truth.


  1. I understand the mother thing. I want the same things that you want from yours, and although I have accepted I’ll never get those things, it still hurts sometimes. I was one the phone with my mother the other day, and she was even being pleasant. For some reason, I had the most overwhelming urge to hang up on her and the words “SHUT UP! SHUT UP! SHUT UP!” were resounding through my head. I felt panicky, my heart rate skyrocketed, and I felt like crying. The wounds of constant invalidation and a love we desperately wished for but failed to receive are deep and long-lasting. Don’t be too hard on yourself.

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    • Thank you 😊 I think this is the first time I have really “felt” (as opposed to intellectually knowing) what it is that upsets me, now I will just have to process and manage it .. 🌷

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      • Good for you! Figuring out and then processing emotions is huge. I still struggle with it. I am also intellectualizer extraordinaire…hiding from my feelings in “logic mind” (DBT jargon) is easier than actually feeling them. Unfortunately, they never really get addressed and processed that way! You’re brave for doing this. It’s hard. 💜❤️💜❤️


  2. That mother-daughter dynamic is such a hard one! I was so angry with my mother for so long. She never validated me in the way I wanted to be validated. But now, after she’s been gone these years, I see that she loved and related to me in the only way she know how. And, it wasn’t good enough for me. I spent many years being hurt. You are going through and processing so much-your feelings are your feelings. That’s okay. You are seeing and processing differently that before-and while that’s a good thing, it hurts to not be validated by the one person that you want that validation from.
    Love yourself…don’t beat yourself up for your feelings.

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    • Thank you. I have really struggled with this one. My mother has many qualities and has certainly gone out of her way to be as helpful as she could be whilst I was a working mother with small children. I do not want to ‘blame the parents’ for my issues, that feels childish, resentful and somehow absolving myself, an adult woman for my mistakes. But there is no doubt that parents have a big impact on us. I’m really not very like my mother, and although she has never said so, I think she struggles to “like” me. I know that she loves me, and is sometimes proud of what I have achieved. But I’m not sure she liked me very much growing up, or understood much about me, and I’m pretty sure she understands next to nothing now. I just need to own my own feelings, but that’s hard because I always need a rational explanation for why I feel like that … a work in progress..🌷🙂xx


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