When I was in my thirties I decided to cut off all ties with my mother. She was so determined to undermine me that she regularly criticised me in front of my children. It was her way to set them against me and sabotage my happy family. Fortunately we are very close and they became so upset by her behaviour that I felt I had to break away.
Our lives were much more peaceful without her and through the positive and supportive love of my husband and children I managed to regain much of the confidence I lost when I was young. Twelve years on and I have heard from an aunt that my mother has had a stroke and is at the moment paralysed down one side of her body. My aunt wants me to forgive my mother, as does my husband and think I should visit her. I am completely torn. I am sorry she is suffering. Unlike her I don’t wish anyone to be ill, but I feel sure that if I get back in touch she will find a way to blame me for her stroke and that her nastiness and outrageous demands will start all over again. It will also bring back so many painful memories of my childhood. Yet it is difficult for me to do nothing. I am also concerned that if I don’t do something I may regret it once she’s gone and I don’t want to live with a guilty conscience.
We understand you don’t want to get back in touch with your mother because she will probably start being unkind to you again but before you make a final decision we believe you should ask yourself whether her stroke is a good time to forgive her even if she doesn’t change the way she behaves.