I Had To Break Up With My Mom To Be Happy -- But It Still Hurts

by Leah Moore
Originally Published: 
A woman standing on a pier with a lake in front of her
Borut Trdina / Getty

Making the decision to eliminate a toxic person in your life is a very personal decision and a very hard decision — and it’s exactly what I just did.

I thought after I made that decision I would somehow feel lighter, freer. That’s not at all how I feel. I am experiencing awful anxiety, I’m so sad, and I’m still angry. I’m concerned as to how this is going to work because the toxic person I chose to eliminate is my mother.

Will cutting her out mean cutting my entire family out? God, I hope not. I think that would absolutely break me, but it couldn’t hurt me more than my mother already has.

I’m married, two kids deep, and have just decided enough is enough. I’m not going to get into what’s all happened to lead up to this point, mainly because if I do, I would be writing for the next ten years. What I will say is that the relationship with my mother has broken my heart over and over again. I’m constantly feeling let down and hurt. It has started affecting my relationship with my husband and my children. I’ve become extremely moody and angry all the time and instead of blaming my mother for those feelings and that behavior, I am taking responsibility for my own feelings and actions, and I’m taking steps to become a happier and healthier person, no matter how difficult those steps can be.

How did I eliminate this relationship from my life? Well, I’m only on day one but I can tell you the steps I’ve taken thus far. I closed myself into my room with my laptop and a piece of paper and pen. I have blocked her number from my phone and from my husband’s phone. I have deleted her off social media, and I wrote her a letter saying goodbye. The letter I will never give to her. It was for me, and only me. I was able to say all the things that I have needed and wanted to say for the past 20 + years. I cried and I raged. I read it out loud to an empty space and I added some new commentary here and there. After a half-hour of gut wrenching sobs, I got up, walked over to my trash can and threw the letter away. I said what I wanted and needed to say, and now I wanted that letter and those feelings as far away as possible.

After the reading of the letter, the ugly Kardashian crying, and rage had all finally come to an end, I got up and dried my eyes. I took a deep breath, and walked back into my life. Instead of concentrating on everything that my mother has told me I am lacking, that my children are lacking, and that my marriage is lacking, I realized something. It’s a great life.

We’re not rich (like not at all), we are chaotic, and we are dysfunctional. But we have fun. We know the value of family. We fight and love hard. Looking at the man I am spending my life with, I feel this overwhelming sense of love and pride. For the last ten years, this poor man has watched with first confusion to growing horror over what he has had to continually witness has transpired between me and my mother. He has dried my tears, stuck by my side, and has never made me feel embarrassed or uncomfortable with how much I’m hurting. He was just there, a buffer between the two of us, trying to quietly protect me, knowing that if he said too much, she would retaliate back at me. I’m so proud of him. I’m so proud of me. I’m so proud of us. Look what we’ve made together. Like I said, it’s not perfect, but the wonderful imperfections of this life are what matters the most.

As hurt and angry as I am at my mother, I do love her and I’m proud of what she was able to do with her life, especially knowing where she had come from. I know she has had to overcome major adversity in her lifetime and has not come out on the other side unscathed. Her jealousy and her anger have taken over her life completely.

It hurts me to know that she is going to miss out on so much, and it hurts me that I truly don’t think she’ll care or really even notice until it’s too late. She’s going to miss out on these two beautiful and wonderful children. She’s going to miss out on the most wonderful thing they have to offer, their sweet and innocent love. But I’m trying to accept that that’s on her, not on me. My heart breaks for her, and I hope with everything in me that she finds some peace someday. I just can no longer be her punching bag. I can no longer be the one who she tries to hurt every single time she is hurting, and I’m not willing to allow her to make my children feel the way she has made me feel 98% of my life.

Now, it’s time to start living the way I want to live. I want to live in the moment and experience as much as I can with my children. I want to laugh with them, I want to cry with them, I want to embarrass them, and, most of all, I want to be there for them. I don’t want there ever to be a day where they question my love for them. When they get older, I want them to be able to reminisce over the great memories that they have with mom and dad. I want them to understand that I may not be perfect, but I will always do what’s best for them and I will always put them first.

I want to spend more time with my husband. Life gets busy, and marriage can fall through the cracks. I don’t want that to happen. I want to be able to laugh freely again. I’m most excited about being able to experience Thanksgiving, Christmas, my kids’ birthdays even, without being on the verge of tears the entire time. Without being so uncomfortable that I can’t even experience the wonder and the joy of these special times with my children. I can’t wait for this. I’m smiling even thinking about it.

Like I said, I’m not feeling relieved yet. I’m not happy this is a decision I had to make, but I know with every day that goes by, I will heal more and more and maybe someday, I will become whole again.

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