After these pages and their links are posted here, I am going outside to recreate my flower beds.  I made a special 50-mile round trip to a town near here to buy flowers last evening.  It will never cease to please me that I can actually recreate flower beds now, in mid October, with flowers that will last until spring, even if they have to slow down their growth and blooming during the ‘colder’ months of our Arizona high desert winter.

This reminds me of how so much of my life is like tending a garden, trying to rid myself of weeds, changing with the seasons.  Now, if I can learn how to see the re-creation of myself as recreation rather than being a chore, I could definitely have more fun with this whole process!

Celebrate the seasons.  I try to do that.  Sometimes it’s just a little harder to celebrate the seasons of my soul.





Once I completed my process of disowning my mother I never went back on it.  I never spoke to her again [she died in 2002] , and only saw her like the flash of some fading shadow as she entered my father’s hospital room after his disastrous surgery in Alaska the fall of 1990 and instantly turned and left.

I did not find this letter I wrote disowning my mother among the few of my letters she had saved that were with her other papers.  I went searching for my copy of this letter because I knew I had made and kept one.  I also found my journal entries for the days surrounding the writing and the mailing of this letter and they are included below the letter itself in the following link.


*Age 36 – My May 10, 1988 Letter Disowning My Mother


I am including this link to the letters I wrote my mother in the year prior to my disowning her.  These ones she saved, and I found them among her papers.  They provide a context and a contrast to what eventually followed their writing — my ‘disownment’ of my mother.

As I read these later letters, I can see how much healthier and happier I was overall than I was at age 20 — but boy, did I go through a LOT in those ensuing 15 years!  What I see NOW, another 20+ years down the road of my life, is that my entire self was organized and oriented around being a mother.

When my baby left home nearly six years ago I suffered a crash I could NEVER have imagined — and I HOPE I am rebounding (very slowly) now though I still feel like whatever SELF I had when I wrote these letters was crushed nearly beyond recognition or retrieval once the major self-organization factor of being a full-time mother vanished.

Perhaps in part because being the best mother I could be (as a counteraction to my mother’s treatment of her children) occupied so much focus for me, and because I didn’t really have much of a SELF to start with thanks to my mother, being a mother myself put me in ‘orbit’ around the ‘sun’ that my children were to my existence for 35 years.

Did my organizing-orienting sun explode or implode when my children left home?  That’s sure what it STILL feels like to me.  I believe that if I had been able to develop a clear, strong and healthy SELF in the right way during the right developmental stages, that ‘crash’ would have been a minuscule fraction of what it has turned out to be for me.  I will be extremely grateful until the moment I leave this world that I was able to let my children go — and take their wonderful selves with them.  I did not create a trauma bond with my children.  I am completely clear that any problems I have in dealing with them being gone are my own to deal with and have nothing to do with them.


How many times in a lifetime do ‘ordinary’ people reinvent themselves?  Again — and still — I have no ‘ordinary’ points for comparison.

*Ages 35 – 36 – My 1987 Letters to My Mother



  1. Thank you for writing this. I found myself unable to read it in its entirety because you wrote “careful, may trigger.” And I took your advice. People who haven’t been abused as children simply do NOT understand why people like you and I take this step. I’ve been told I was exaggerating or lying by relatives, some of whom were part of the abuse, and told to “get over it” and “it’s in the past.” Well the fact is it WASN’T in the past. it was continuing. And it was later in life being heaved onto my kids, and that’s when I ended it. When you’re raised by people who treat you like a toy, and who think it’s funny to make you cry/piss you off/scare you, the list goes on and on, they’re clueless. (I once had a shrink tell me I had the worst case of abuse he’s ever encountered. Another shrink had to stop two of our sessions because she was getting emotional.) Anyone out there who’s reading this, don’t believe the misinformation: the NUMBER ONE reason kids disown their parents is severe abuse. Period. Anyone who wants to judge me or the author, I’ll tell you the two words I told my parents when disowning them. It starts with an F.

    Thank you for writing this.

    • So well put, Cory!!! The missing piece for me was that nobody ever mentioned my mother was psychotically mentally ill — as far as I can tell with Borderline Personality Disorder. The very first therapy session I went to with my then husband in 1981 when I spoke of my abuse directly – describing ONE incident and certainly not the worst one – both the therapist and my husband broke down in sobbing tears and I spent the rest of the session putting them back together again. It is nearly impossible to talk to “ordinary” people (or anyone!) about what happened to us.

      But you are so right! Our right to disclose exists even if we do not speak to anyone who will believe us – or even if we can’t find anyone to care. I call these “crime reports” although in words they may seems to be “stories.” Some years ago I counted out in general how much jail time my mother deserved for a rough estimate of the number of times she physically assaulted me – not even counting the verbal, emotional, psychological, etc. abuse — and realized her sentence would have been 15,000 years AT A MINIMUM!!

      You know what I am saying. Thank you so much for visiting my blog – and for your comment!!!!

  2. Thank you for sharing your letter! I find myself relating to you in several ways. I am currently in the middle of writing a letter to my own mother similar to yours. In reading, I am able to shape the words that I find difficult to express over the phone. And write down all of the thoughts and feelings that I have hidden. I really want to take my time with it. Thank you I extremely appreciate you sharing!

    • You are so very welcome. I never regretted my action – not once. I could not change the conditions of Mother’s sickness and there was no possibility of ANY kind of health or relationship in remaining in contact with her. I faced the reality of the tragedy and it was very very good for me. I also did not leave any door open where she could have come back to/at me after she received my letter. She never even tried. I wish you the best in your healing process!!!

  3. its been 7 months + i still feel bitterly angry + upset..i cant seem to move on…..i cry every day!!!!! im so sad..x

  4. its been 7 months + i still feel bitterly angry + sad..i just cant seem to stop feeling this way..i cry every day!!!!!!!!

  5. thankyou…..im just putting all my time and energy into my sons..but when i get that moment to sit and think,i just feel so so angry….even though i dont want my mother or the rest of my immediate family in my life i still crave my mothers love…does this sound strange???? also im so scared im going to wnd up a very bitter woman and end up being just like my mother and my children go through exactly what i did!!!!!!

  6. both my mother + myself have decided to have no contact ever again…..but i feel so so angry….i have 2 older sisters whom she obviously favoured….the things that they have done…affairs…..( 1 with my own partner at the time) stealing..u name it..and my mother says nothing…yet we mite have a little disagreement on the phone + it could b months,even yrs without us speaking..its bin like this since i was a child..i feel so hurt but my mother just doesnt understand why + just thinks im causing trouble wen i bring it up..even saying she thinks im mentally ill…..now no one in the family spks to me……..or my 2 beautifull sons…which in a way im glad theyr out of my life…but so angry…as im always to blame…….its really getting me down….xx

    • Yours, like mine, is a terrible, life-changing load to bear — that was never OURS from the time we were born — it was a load forced upon us in thousands of unspeakable ways.

      There’s LOTS of info on this blog that might help you. FEELINGS are so important — do you do any kind of artwork at all? Important, I think, to realize we are MORE than our feelings, but they are like inner guides telling us what is true, telling us what is important and has meaning — and they cannot be lied to!!!! Our feelings know the truth – yet finding other parts of our self that can grow past the feelings into understanding helps us to heal.

      Some call this gaining objectivity. It happens as we understand the ‘trauma drama’ of our parents’ life came right on down the generations like a ‘living thing’ that expressed itself in tragedy — tragedy we were forced to play a part in (yes, like in a play = trauma drama) – and we can make different choices. It sounds as though you are doing that for yourself!

      Thank you so much for your comment, and I hope to hear from you again!!

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