I often get frustrated because my friends don't empathize with me when I talk about my emotionally absent mom. It makes me feel lonely and unsupported. What can I do?


It's understandable that you'd feel lonely because of this. However, unless your friends have emotionally absent mothers as well, they probably can't relate to your situation. They may think that you're just griping about your mom again, not appreciating how truly difficult your relationship with her is. After all, most women get annoyed with their moms from time to time, but they have a deep emotional bond that sustains them through any bumpy patches. They simply can't comprehend not having that strong mother-daughter connection.

Through the years, I've become friends with a handful of women who are daughters of emotionally absent mothers like me. We're different ages and different ethnic backgrounds but have formed a sisterhood based on having similar experiences with our detached moms. We reach out to one another when we need support from someone who “gets it.”

One of them, Charlotte, called me the other day to talk about the coronavirus as she's quarantined at home with her three young children. She told me how she was speaking with her mom on the phone, telling her how stressed out she was at the prospect of staying at home with the kids for weeks to come. Without missing a beat, her mom began scolding her for feeling that way and lecturing her about being grateful for her kids.

Having received a lifetime of similar reactions from my own mother, I immediately knew how Charlotte was feeling. We talked for a long time, and she shared her anxieties about the virus and the anguish that she felt about her mom. By the end, we were both laughing at the absurd number of times we've looked for comfort from our moms and only got grief. We've accepted that our moms are emotionally absent on a intellectual level but, deep down, are still wanting them to be warm, loving mommies.

I suggest you read Jasmin Lee Cori's “The Emotionally Absent Mother.” After doing so, you'll no longer feel alone. Talking with a therapist is also a huge benefit, especially one who's worked extensively with daughters of emotionally absent moms. We need people in our lives who “get it” whether they're online, in person, or in a book. Take care and know that you're not alone!

Updated on March 28, 2020

Original Article:

5 Ways for Daughters to Heal From an Emotionally Absent Mother
By McKenna Meyers

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