I forget about all the gaslighting. It’s hard to explain to my baby sister who missed out on a lot of this because she was sheltered from it. It was exhausting. Like you, I limited my kids’ time around her. I remember going to visit one of the last times I saw her years ago before her first institutionalization and a lady I’d never met was at her home. She made it a point to tell me how nice my mother was and she wished she’d had a mom like my mother.

I wasn’t rude, but I let her know her opinions did not matter one bit to me. There is a reason people don’t come to see their relatives. (1) They were either rotten parents, (2) They raised rotten, terrible children, or (3) Those children are genetically flawed little sociopaths and the parents are probably glad not to see their children.

Family relationships are very complicated, but I think if one has no mother in their youth, it’s very difficult to overcome this later in life. And if she wasn’t good in the beginning depending what she did, the damage can never be undone. I applaud you for protecting yourself and your child. That manipulation is something to deal with, and not for the weak. Nature did not equip us to deal with bad mothers.

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