Dear Vitamin C –
For years I have been trying to have a deeper relationship with my mother. We get along great as long as the conversation is light and fun. But this often feels fake like we are acquaintances rather than mother and daughter. If I bring up a concern or question something about the past she gets angry and shuts me down, or becomes upset to the point of tears. Either way I end up apologizing or consoling her. Should I give up on my dream of having an authentic and close relationship with my mom?
Yours truly, Lonely Daughter
Dear Lonely Daughter –
Before giving up your dream make sure your mom knows it exists. Lovingly describe to her what you are longing for in as much detail as you can. Ask her if she shares the same dream. If she does, ask her if there are things that are blocking her from attaining it and share with her what is blocking you. If it becomes clear that she doesn’t share the same dream or is unwilling to do the work to achieve it then your options are clear. The closest relationships are those in which both parties share their inner world in an emotionally safe way. If one party is unwilling or unable to do this it is impossible to achieve true intimacy. And, as you are currently experiencing, a source of loneliness and sadness for many people comes from not being able to connect with close family members, friends, or a partner or spouse. After making such an effort, be willing to accept the results knowing you did the best you could. This is a way of discovering whether your dream can come true or whether you have to let it go.
Yours, Vitamin C