Mommy Dearest
Maria Ryan
275

A wonderfully-written and poignant description of your relationship with your mother. I wish you strength, grace and peace.

I wonder whether you have any insight into *why* she is this way? And I do hope you will write about the event that you tease in the piece that explains when you realised what your relationship was sadly going to be like.

I had a similar experience of an elderly female relative (although of course I didn’t grow up with her in the same way, so my perspective was certainly more detached). I drew two conclusions: 1. being a woman when she was young sucked and had made her bitter and conflicted — as such, clinging to her beliefs was the only way she could avoid admitting to herself that her life had essentially been miserable because of the way society had diminished her ambition and achievements; 2. she was now terrified of dying and it poisoned every wonderful moment for her; she expressed this fear and dealt with it by making outrageous statements of her deepest anxiety (e.g. sharply telling her husband *almost daily* that he was bound to die before her and she’d have to suffer on without him; a daily reminder that served to make him resent her and visitors who heard it feel uncomfortable). In the end, although it didn’t help my relationship with her, understanding who she was helped me come to terms with that lack of relationship. Much harder to do for a mother of course.