FEEDBACK Regarding the mother whose extremely rude adult daughter made her consider “forgetting I ever had her,” (Oct. 26):
Reader #1 – “The letter you printed today could have been from my own mother 15 years ago... we didn’t speak for almost five years, and then only occasionally and cautiously until her death four years later.
“There was a lot more to it than my mother ever acknowledged. This woman who wrote you should consider whether she’s being honest with herself about their history and interactions.
“In my case, it was only after years of calls from my mother where all she did was complain about her life and never asked about mine (or about her granddaughter) that I finally said “enough.”
“The last straw was her refusal to respect my request to keep her unpleasant and unwelcome second husband away from my daughter.
“I didn’t want her to hear his bigotry about other people any more.
“It’s safe to assume with this level of hostility from her daughter that there’s more going on. The question is whether she’s willing to acknowledge it and try to understand her part in it.
“I finally gave up on my mother ever taking that step and decided to be the grownup. We had a carefully managed relationship until she died in a terrible accident.
“I’m glad I made the effort during those last four years, but wish that she’d been able to meet me halfway.
“Good luck to them both.”
Reader #2 – “I’ve experienced these same feelings when a close member of my family has been rude to me at family gatherings.
“I didn’t confront this young woman because I’d decided that she would just become defensive and it would achieve nothing positive.
“So I have been polite and positive but not demanding in any way for a change in her behaviour.
“We then go through periods when I think things have changed for the better, and then there will be a setback.
“As time goes by, because I want the relationship to be viable, and as you say "keep the door open," the periods in between an upsetting remark get longer.
“I’m more cognizant that we are all different.
“I look toward the wonderful things this person does and contributes to the family, and accept that at this stage in her life this is where she is in relation to me.
“We’re not always attracted to everyone we meet or is in our lives.
“I’ve also learned that some folks are attracted to "needy" people and for others this is definitely a turn-off.
“Maybe this daughter in your column senses the mother's need to be a bigger part in her life, and the daughter’s not comfortable with this.
“When and if grandchildren come along, this may alter the pattern between them, as the daughter may find herself needing her mother 's help and involvement. Or not.
“Maybe the mother could try just dropping a card or email now and then, letting her daughter know that she’s being thought of, and not asking anything or information from her.
“We’d like these relationships to be more perfect but often they are not.
“I know I was a caring and responsible daughter to my mother, and in retrospect could’ve worked harder to have a closer relationship.
“But part of me felt then that too much closeness would have meant more being requested from me than I was ready to give.”
Reader #3 – “I was a single parent who struggled to raise my sons. My eldest became rude and patronizing to me. I was extremely hurt.
“Lately he’s kinder and calls me.
“I realized that he was pressured at work, and resentful of my attention to his brother.
“When I speak with him now, I always concentrate on him.
“Perhaps this daughter needs extra, not less attention, because of other issues.
“Also, sometimes there’s shame and guilt associated with being the child of a struggling single parent.”
Reader #4 – “Even when my daughter invited me to stay with her in another city, she’d be rude.
“Everything I said or did irked her. She didn't even want me to participate in her wedding.
“After one visit, she threw a two-hour temper tantrum. We haven't spoken in two years.
“It took me a long time to get over this but now I'm glad. No more walking on eggshells.”
Tip of the day:
Adult children’s rudeness may reflect their own unresolved issues.