A guest needs some advice on MOM!

Hi there!

I’m etta from Depression Marathon. My pal, BTM, is being incredibly kind and letting my post this dilemma here so that I may get some feedback from people much smarter than I (and hopefully from some other moms, too!) Please, any words of advice or encouragement would be greatly appreciated! Thanks, and here goes:

The Dilemma: Mom finally asked for the address of my blog.

The Important (brief) Background: I grew up in a verbally, emotionally and physically abusive home. I hated my mom after she left my father when I was twelve. I didn’t understand at the time that he was beating her up, too. I lived with father and encouraged my two younger brothers to do the same. Father was primary abuser. A few years later, my two younger brothers escaped to go live with my mom and had normal pre-teen and teenager experiences with mom and step-dad. I ended up in a foster home, in another town, for entire high school senior year due to father’s abuse. No longer have relationship with father, my choice. Have distant, sometimes strained relations with three brothers. We are all adults, ages 36-41.

Mom is on third spouse now. We have a good, sometimes even close relationship, and I really enjoy her partner, too. Mom has apologized for her part of abuse. I apologized for hating her. But we are not a close family, and even though my mom and I are probably the closest we’ve been, I still prefer her at a bit of distance. She tends to get “too interested” otherwise. For example, I don’t mind letting her know the general overview of what’s happening in my life, but I rarely give her much insight into how I am feeling about what is happening. Still doesn’t feel safe, I guess.

My mom knows little about most of the details of my depression–just the facts, and probably not all of those. I am sure she has no idea how many times I was hospitalized or attempted suicide, for example, because I know there were times when I didn’t tell her. She knows I am in recovery, but she knows NOTHING about my drinking history.

My mom is a big Al-Anon’er (started 25 years ago while living with an alcoholic after divorcing my father. I did not grow up around alcohol or alcoholism at all). The trouble is, she was and still can be quite self-righteous and preachy about the Al-Anon principals. It drove me and my brothers nuts when we were growing up! I think it bothered us because she was talking the talk but not walking the walk. She parrots the correct sayings, but in reality she is very interested in other people’s business, can be very judgmental, and often focuses on the negative–basically, the antithesis of the Twelve Steps. It took me many months to even mention that I was in recovery and especially that I was in AA. (She didn’t have a clue about my drinking–nobody did, I was a solo-drunk.)

So What: My blog is obviously quite personal–more personal than I am with my mom and even most of my very few friends. One post mentions my mom specifically, in a factual way, but in a way that may hurt her feelings. This same post discusses the rift between a younger brother and I, a rift my mom knows nothing about, as it was caused by a disagreement over purchasing her 60th birthday gift.

If mom reads Depression Marathon she will also follow links to my posts at The Second Road which are about my drinking and recovery! If she reads any of this, she will want to comment to me or my brothers, ask me questions, have discussions, rationalize or defend, etc… As far as I know, none of my brothers are aware of my blog address either.

The BIG Question: What do I do? What should I do? Moms? Bloggers? Adult children of F*#!ed-Up Families? Please, please HELP!!! Any thoughts, ideas, or suggestions you may have would be greatly appreciated.

Thank you so much-


16 responses

  1. “Blog? What are you talking about, Mom?”

    Seriously, I would explain to her that you’re not comfortable with her reading your blog because you post some very private things there. You really use it as a diary to vent to, and don’t intend it to be read by anyone.

    If she really persists over time, might it be worth it to make a second blog and, when you write something harmless that you don’t mind her reading, post it there? That way she’s reading your blog … but you don’t have to share anything with her that you don’t want to.

  2. Firstly (((((hug)))))!!!

    (2nd I’m a 41yr old male suffering from depression and anxiety who grew up under a very controlling verbally abusive Father and a professionally passive aggressive mother).

    To your question:
    You didn’t seem to directly mention WHY you think your mom wants access to your blog. I do see your concern that way, but a lot would depend on how well she respects the boundaries you set now. Do you e-mail or phone back and forth much, and how is her ‘behavior’ related to personal information commuicated that way (positive, mostly tolerable, dreaded each time)?

    You can always moderate the comments she may write, but you will have to deal with how she ‘uses’ the information at other times. I have found with something as personal as a mental illness blog, a HUGE part of the healing is the respect one’s readers give me with ANYTHING I write. If that is a big factor with you, your comfort level is foremost important.

    I would be careful about using anything that could be seen as deceptive. What you could do is send her excerpts of your blog in an e-mail, letting her know “these are the things she might be interested in”, or “this is the stuff thats important that I want you to know”. You could let her know a lot of the stuff you write is for other people (TRUE, because it helps them to help you), and you wish to respect their privacy too.

    Mostly, I would initially err on the side of caution until YOU are comfortable with the potential outcomes of passing on the blog address. Hope that helps rather than adds to your confusion.

    (and special thanks Bear for opening up your blog to help!)

  3. @ BookMama–
    “Seriously, I would explain to her that you’re not comfortable with her reading your blog because you post some very private things there. You really use it as a diary to vent to, and don’t intend it to be read by anyone.”

    That’s pretty much what my therapist said today. She recommended NOT giving her the address because I might feel “overexposed” which is EXACTLY how I would feel! And she worried that it would limit my writing if I was thinking about my mom reading it–again, she was correct!
    I can’t tell my mom I don’t intend anyone to read it because she knows over 1000 people have already read it, I’ve been published because of it, and I got hired to write for another blog because of it. I guess that means I’d have to be honest and tell her I wouldn’t be comfortable. Though, my therapist gave me another option–she happened upon a blog one of her kids was writing, and she did not like reading it. SHE, my therapist, wasn’t comfortable. So, I may mention that to my mom, too. Thanks for your input.

    @ Arkay
    My mom ASKED for my blog address because she wants to read it. That’s why I am having this dilemma. She’s known about it since I started it 6 months ago, but she finally asked for the address last week.
    I like the excerpt idea. I already did that once with the post that was picked up for publishment in a disability newspaper. So that may work. Thanks for your feedback! And sorry–sounds like we had some similar experiences during our formative years.


  4. NO, do not give her the address. It’s your private thoughts. I think that’d be opening a huge can of worms. Things are going well with her? Just keep it that way and do NOT give out your blog. You can always take back “words” but when it’s in writing, it can haunt you for the rest of your life.

    They are your thoughts, you own them. If she wants to know how you feel about something, she can always ask or you can always tell her.

    Just tell her you took the whole thing down because you didn’t have time to write on a consistent basis if you don’t want to hurt her feelings. Or, if you want to tell her the truth, you can do that to. Just tell her it’s the one thing you wish to keep private. If you wanted to give it out, you would have done that long ago…. just my opinion.

  5. You should link her to mine!

    Wait, then you’ll prolly get cut out of her will…If you do link her, make sure you let her know that this blog is YOURS, it’s an open diary, its reason for being is for you to get your thoughts out of your head, and be able to connect with link minded people, etc. It doesn’t mean that you feel any diff towards her, you know what I mean?

    Good luck!

  6. I wouldn’t share the information with her Etta. It’s for you and you alone. Tell her it’s like your journal and you don’t want anyone in your personal life reading it. I doubt you will understand but you will feel good knowing that your place to express yourself is protected and you stood up to her for your right to have that privacy.

  7. Etta- You’re getting some great advice here. I agree- your blog is your private place. If you really feel the need to share with her, I like the ‘excerpt’ idea. But, if your mom is anything like mine and holds things against you for eternity, then it’s best to keep the blog to yourself. Just my humble opinion as well.

    @ my friends- Y’all are so wonderful!!! 🙂

  8. You do have some AWESOME pals over here, BTM! Thanks to all of you for your words.

    My mom and I have a good relationship now. I am not worried about her holding stuff against me, because I try to keep my comments as nonjudgmental as I can anyway–for my OWN mental health–too much energy wasted being judgmental, though I am not perfect by any stretch!

    My concern is feeling “overexposed,” as my therapist so nicely put it. Too close. Too much information. Too EXPOSED. Growing up in my family, feeliings were not safe. I’ve worked hard to get past that, but with my family, I’m still pretty closed off–and for good reason most of the time! My mom would probably end up feeling sad, or sorry for me, or like she should do something to fix things, etc… She’d want to know more information. She’d want to know WHY! And I guess that’s the stuff that makes my hair stand on end. Like nails against a chalkboard…
    Does that make any sense?
    And for you moms out there–would it hurt your feelings if your adult daughter told you she didn’t want you to read her blog?

    Thanks everyone!

  9. As with the others, my blog contains honesty, which only a certain circle of my friends and relatives could handle. I’ve given the address to only those who I trust and who are open and caring. Actually, as long as their screwed up like me…their in!
    Blogs are personal, kinda like sharing your diary or journal, somethings are just better left unsaid.
    Good luck,

  10. Ya, your therapist has it right (and said it way better that I did). You’re making perfect sense.

    I am grinning at the idea of your mom reading angry’s blog. That’d make her hair stand on end – anything you wrote would be mild by comparison!

    Keep your private thoughts private and ask for help anytime (of any of us), as you said, some of us have had similar formative experiences. I’ve been very blessed since I started blogging, having had the simplest of comments breakthrough my ‘funk’ on any given day.

    Blessed be.

  11. Well… that’s a good question, etta. It depends on how I would view my relationship with my daughter. If I thought that I was close with my daughter and I thought nothing was wrong, then I would be hurt. If I knew honestly that there were some hurt feelings in the past, and you (i.e. daughter) were still trying to heal from it, then I wouldn’t be upset.

    How does your mom view your relationship with her now?

  12. Pingback: When the past comes back to haunt you « The Beartwinsmom’s Den

  13. THANK YOU!
    Just wanted to say thanks for all of your feedback. The fact that you were basically unanimous in your opinion NOT to share the blog with my mom really helped!
    I told my mom yesterday that I wasn’t comfortable with her reading my blog. I think she had already kind of figured that out since I hadn’t responded to her when she asked last week for the address, and she simply said, “Okay.” That was about it. We had a little bit of discussion about it and moved on.

    Thanks again, everybody! BTM sure has some awesome readers and friends! And thanks BTM for allowing me to guest post over here! Very cool!

  14. Hi Etta,

    I’m in a similar position. I don’t have a very close relationship with my Mum. I think she’d want to be closer, but I don’t want her closer – I can’t even bear to have her touch me!
    I’m the owner of several blogs and websites and mu whole extended family knows about some of my blogs and websites, but I pray they’ll never discover my stories-blogs and website, which are the most personal of all.
    Mind you, the stories are made up – but they contain so much truths and hurts from my childhood and early adult years; I’d never want my relatives to read them.

    So, what I do is this: My relatives know the addresses of my blogs and websites, except for those of my story-blogs and website.
    I keep them seperate, and if – on occasion – I link to the story website (which is the home of several other writers as well) I make sure to never mention it’s actually my website.
    My “free for all” blogs have different profiles from my story-blogs as well.
    It’s a hassle to do things that way, but it works for me.

    You may want to consider creating a “Mom-safe” blog and give her the url to that one eventually… With no links to your main blog – and a different profile as well.

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