20 years it's taken me - but I've done it!! (Non BC)

I was diagnosed with clinical depression back in 1993, and had been depressed for years beforehand. Had Prozac for 13 years - then I beat it!! (curled up in foetal position in a corner for days refusing to talk move eat drink etc - while being on on max dose of 60mg - you get the picture). Now I’m fairly stable on duloxetine, what my GP refers to as ‘extreme’ anti depressant altho still max dose of 120mg.
Last week I finally managed to do something I’d not been able to do for 20 years. When first diagnosed I was fortunate that the health visitor who did relaxation classes at the surgery was also a qualified hypno therapist. We fairly quickly established my problem was classic - it went back to upbringing. I clearly remember her asking me to tell her what I would like to say to my mother. I couldn’t voice it, I couldn’t even think it. Last week, 20 years later, I finally managed to do it - I poured all I wanted to say in writing - No, not all, I did take a lot of the ‘edge’ off and softened it after first draft, and posted it to my mother. I should say she now has dementia, is in a home, I look after her affairs but haven’t seen her since 2008, my 3 sisters washed their hands of her decades ago, and she probably won’t have read or understood a word I said. But finally I’ve done it. And I feel so much better for having ‘crystalised’ it, I spose is the best way of describing it.
Most of you hopefully won’t understand this, having ‘normal’ relationships with your mothers, but I just felt I had to share to reinforce to me that I’d done it!!



well done nina.That will have taken a lot of courage and I hope it serves as a step forward.Onwards and upwards girl.


Bravo!! What a liberating thing to do. Had you written ever in secret and never sent it ? How long did it take to scribe? Was it ‘bashing it out on a keyboard’ - or in long-hand? If on keyboard - how many words (both before you edited it and afterwards)?

I think if I’d sent a similar letter to my mother (who was wonderful, but nevertheless) she would have gone through editing it before she actually read the content and I would have got it back with things like “you don’t spell complementary as ‘complimentary’ unless you think the reflexology treatement is going to say you have nice feet” (a common error seen on beauty web sites etc).
Another gem would be:- if I ran in to tell her another child had hit me (none ever did ) and said “this child hit me”… she would say " which child?.. I can’t see a child… you mean ‘A’ child"… etc etc… so even though she was brilliant and groovy and so on… I wasn’t really ‘heard’ because barriers were put in the way… and guess what…??? I do the same… though I bite my toungue 1000 times, I do sometimes correct people’s grammar if they are saying something to me. I contriol myself as much as possible.
There… I’ve never written that out before… words can be powerful. I hope yours have given you back some power you needed.
I feel like I’ve just written a sermon.

Hi…just wanted to say good on you…my birth mother…I refuse to acknowledge her as a proper mother… is a nightmare and if I see her coming I cross the street quickly…my upbringing scarred me for years and it wasn’t until I was nearly 30…when I met my OH…that I felt I could deal with her…it has taken me until now…54 to accept that she isn’t worth the thought space in my head mulling over what she did to me as a young girl…I totally understand you writing to her…I did that and felt so much better for it…some women are born with the gene to make them a good mum and some are not…sometimes it has a happy aspect to it…I have been lucky in this respect as my youngest is my foster daughter and if her birth mother had been a good parent I wouldn’t have had 17 years of wonderful memories of her…

Broomstick Lady aka Nina - just wanted to say - WELL DONE!! I so know and totally understand where you’re coming from!!
Bless you sweetheart :slight_smile:
hugs to you all
Lozza xxx :wink:

Broomstick Lady, just wanted to say - what an achievement. I hope that the courage you have shown helps you to continue to move forward, step by step. These early relationships are so powerful and attitudes and words stay with us for so long.
I have a good relationship with my Mum but she has very particular views on the world. Many years ago when I was a child she told me I was a hypochondriac and that comment has stayed with me since. All through my BC treatment I have had this worry that I was indeed a hypochondriac and not really as poorly as I felt and should just pull myself together. But then my adult mind kicks in and tells me not to be daft that like all the others dealing with BC I have coped well and the best I could. So hard to be undermined by your own memories and early programming - I imagine that my Mum has no recollection of making this comment and no idea of the impact it has had.

Well done, Nina!
I ought to do the same. Except for the posting part, that is, because my mother collapsed and died of a sudden embolism nearly 12 years ago, with unresolved issues between us. OK, maybe I wouldn’t have posted such a letter while she was alive and still alert, but it probably would have done me good to write it and destroy it, and maybe it’s still not too late.
I was off and on anti-depressants for a good part of my adult life, so I send you heartfelt good wishes.

Hello Nina - I’m so pleased you’re feeling good about being able to send your mother the letter. I was advised to write a letter to the main bully who blighted my life throughout senior school. Although I’ve never sent it to her I seem to have been able to put it to the back of my mind now whereas after treatment I was feeling a bit fragile and the memories of what they’d done to me for four years (they stopped when I eventually punched one of them) played terribly on my mind. I understand the hiding away from the world. Some years ago I reached the stage where I just couldn’t face getting out of bed or seeing anyone, though I’ve never had any medication I did manage to get over it. My heart goes out to you having to deal with that as well as everything else. Sending you my best wishes. X

Applestreet - I worry about the impact my niece’s mother is having on her. The only time she ever has any contact with her it causes so much stress and heartbreak. It would have been better for my niece if her mother had just never bothered with her at all. She’s at a difficult age and doesn’t need all the anguish. You’re so right, there’s a lot more to being a mother than giving birth. How lovely that you’ve been able give your foster daughter all those years of love and care.
Thinking of you all.

Just want to say that I have read all the post above. People can be so cruel and say and do the most awful things. Glad you could put down in words how you felt. Not just in your letter but on here too. Hugs. Val

Broomsticklady - well done you! I wrote letters that I burnt afterwards - but just getting the words out helped so much.
Toriaconey - I think you must be my secret sister. My mother criticed just about everything I said, wrote, wore and did. She’s been dead now for nearly six years and I forgave her years ago when I realised that it was her upbringing that made her that way. I just hope my kids don’t have to do something similar - I did my best but they don’t come with instruction manuals or restore to factory setting buttons.

Broomsticklady, congratulations on writing the letter. I wish i had thought of doing just that.
My mother has been dead about 15 years now and I dont miss her at all.
Strangly the only one to cry at her funeral was my mother in law.
its taken me along time to forgive her, for her crualty and neglect, not helped by her drinking habits.
20 years agio I took social studies - and was told that a bad childhood takes 7 generations to undo. Of course i poo pooed this, I was a good mum - I never miss used my childern physically or mentally.
The teacher was right, not thst I was abad mother - just I didnt have any thing to go by except not to be like my mother and childrens books.
I’ve done a good job of bringing up three children, but its been like paining a miniture with a 4 inch brush, a lot of detail has been lost.
I bet your health improves quite abit. I wish you a happy and healthy as possible future .

Hi Nina - I read your post last night before I could see any replies and it haunted me all night. What struck me most was how much courage it took for you to write that letter. I’m glad you did what was so obviously the right thing for you and I’m sure, if things get tough in the future, you’ll remember how much you’ve achieved. Pauline xx

Thanks Ladies - I’m over whelmed by your replies and understanding. My mother was herself depressed but would never have admitted it, and I gather her mother was too. The best image I can portray of my childhood was being enclosed tight in an embrace with one arm while being beaten - metaphorically - with the other. I was her sounding board for everything that was wrong with her marriage, her life, my sisters sins and all else that was wrong, and yet in her warped way she protected me from everyone - I wasn’t even allowed to go to the village school I went elsewhere. I had no real friends so didn’t know how to socialise - my universtity life was a joke, and its only when I married at 20 I began to feel human for the first time ever.

The other delight she left us all with - one of my sisters has died from bc a few years ago - was the idea of BC being a bogeyman to be feared. She nursed her mother thru it in about 1950 and you can imagine pain control etc wasn’t as it is now - our childhoods were filled with stories of how her mother suffered. My oh loves his malts - whenever he had one all we’d hear was stories of how the smell reminded her of her mother drinking it to mask the pain. Imagine how I felt when I developed bc, even tho I was 50 and knew better it still all came running back.

My only regret in all this is my way of avoiding this being carried on - subconsciously - was not to have children. I’ve only worked that out in the last few years, when it was too late anyway - and altho I don’t tear myself up about it, I do wonder sometimes what it would have been like.

Someone asked me earlier how long it had taken. It’s been in composition for a few months, keeping me awake at nights but I’ve not been able to do the final thing of getting it on paper. When I did it it all came out at once - it was 4 typed pages so quite long and written in one sitting. I think it was a case of having started I had to finish.

I had some guilt feelings as I posted it - maybe I should just have burnt it - but I don’t think that would have been final closure. Right now I’m still feeling a bit guilty but am beginning to realise the enormity of what I did and how much courage I must have had, and I’m trying to concentrate on that side.

thanks again Ladies for your support


Nina please don’t feel guilty, it has taken you over 20 years to feel strong enough to put pen to paper and it was a very courageous thing to do, feel proud of who you now are and don’t let anything destroy it. Feeling guilty lets the other person have control again don’t let it happen. You are in control now. Big, big hugs to you xx