Anonymous asked this question on 4/16/2000:
Before my mother died many years ago, I purposely distanced myself from her physically and psychologically because she made multiple suicide attempts and I couldn't handle it.
When she died, I was living in Atlanta and she was living in Chicago. She died in February and the last time that I had seen her was at my sister's wedding the previous August. We had been in touch by phone and mail, though.
I have felt guilty about distancing myself since her death, but at the time I made the decision to distance myself, I felt that I was doing it for my mental health. Was I wrong? I know that I can't undo what is already done, but I still feel bad about what I did.
karunap gave this response on 4/17/2000:
It is important for you to make the choices you need to make to take care of yourself. Trust that you did the best you could do.... don't beat yourself up for your choices.
The choice did have consequences though in that you now have unfinished business with your mom.
I would suggest that you for 3 weeks you spend 15-60 minutes a day doing feeling work about your mom.
Pretend that a pillow is her and say all of the things that you wish you could have said. Share your anger, share your sad, share you scare. Feel your feelings as fully as you can feel them.
Write lists of mads, sads and scares... about present and past feelings. You may want to make a list from various ages throughout your life. Journal about past and present feelings, Feel them as you write. Write angry letters and then destroy them Twist a towel Pound a pillow. Push against a wall Scream into a pillow or pool. Stomp as you walk Cry
Get friends to support you if possible. Talk to them about your feelings.
It is okay to be angry with her and still have compassion for her. Set the compassion aside while you do the feeling work.
You may find it helpful to see a therapist for a period of time to work through the current and the old traumas.
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