My mom seems like my mother cares more about her boyfriend whom she has never met, than she cares about me. I know that seems self-centered but she met him online and she barely knows him. After I asked her for advice I look at her facebook and all she is talking about is her boyfriends granddaughter praying for her well being this child is really sick I understand that but honestly what good does posting prayers on facebook for someone's well being do especially for someone you have never met. I do not want to relapse on my depression either when I get home for Thanksgiving because she intends on inviting him over as well as his adopted son. What should I do?
Dear C, It sounds like you’re having a difficult time. You preface what you have to say by lamenting that your mom cares more about her boyfriend (and his granddaughter) than she cares about you. You say that you don’t want to relapse into depression when you go home for Thanksgiving. In addition to your mother, you are expecting to find the newfound boyfriend as well as his adopted son in your home. The trigger for feeling depressed, it appears, would be sharing the space with someone who is a stranger to you—especially on a holiday. Perhaps more importantly, it would be experiencing the hurt you mention feeling because of where your mother is focusing her attention. You end by asking, “What should I do?” Charlie wonders if you’ve tried direct communication with your mother. If not, you might give it a try. This would involve first asking for a time when the two of you can talk. Once this is set, Charlie suggests first communicating how you feel and then asking for what you want. In doing so, it is helpful to use “I” statements. For example, the conversation might go something like this: “Mom, I love you and need your support. But sometimes I feel like you are more focused on your new boyfriend. When I experience this, I feel hurt." It would then be important to give your mother a chance to speak and to listen respectfully to what she has to say. This might include some acknowledgement and/or understanding on your part that your mother has romantic relationship needs. After listening and responding to her, follow through with asking for what you want. This part of the conversation might go something like this: “I would like to have some time that is just for us. Can we plan something that is just for the two of us?”
Getting this part of what you want may involve some negotiation. Thus you might add: “I understand that you want to invite [boyfriend’s name] into our home. It would be so much easier for me to accept if you would be willing to spend some of the time just with me.” Regardless of whether you have this conversation with your mother and how it may go, Charlie is concerned for your well-being. In difficult times, it is important to reach out to sources of support. Both before and after the holiday weekend, Charlie encourages you to reach out to others who care for you. Another potential source of support is counseling. If you are not currently seeing a counselor, you might consider utilizing the resources of the Counseling Center (285-1736). Charlie’s friends there offer group and individual counseling—both free services to BSU students. Either venue can help you to further examine the issues that you’ve noted here as well as discuss and devise strategies for helping you to cope with them. Hoping this helps you navigate some rough waters, Charlie
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