BEL MOONEY: My mother took care of me, then she rejected me years later

This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader whose mother attended him and then rejected him years later.

Thought of the week

Do you ever wake up in the morning and ask yourself if you have lived the best life could you have lived? Not morally O not only morally I just squeezed the Most of your opportunities?

From The Finkler Question by Howard Jacobson (2010)

Dear Bel,

When I was six years old, two ladies told me that I was going to go on vacation. One of my teachers was crying.

They took me to care. I missed my mother, my older sister and my grandparents (with whom we lived, my father had died), but they told me that Mom had decided that I should stay where I was. I spent the next ten years in different homes and nursery schools.

I was never kissed or embraced again. At 16 years old, & # 39; they & # 39; They decided that my education was over. They found me in a room, taken to an interview for a rudimentary job and that was it. The social workers visited me from time to time until I was 18 years old and then I was alone. When I was 20 years old, I got an HND in night school and became a planning engineer.

I was alone, you do not establish care relationships because you know they will move you. Still, I got married when I was 26; We bought a nice house and we had three girls that I love more than my own life.

But I never forgot my family. I never stopped wondering why Mom had abandoned me. I made four attempts to contact her but I failed.

I was 30 years old when I received a brief letter from my mother through social services. She wanted us to meet in her hometown. Full of emotion, I traveled there but she did not appear.

A few months later I received a note with arrangements for another meeting.

In the cafe, I recognized her and my sister right away and I thought my heart would explode. But they were very distant. My mother said that my grandparents forced her to give up on me, because there was no room for all of us in the house.

Without emotion, she told me that she had two children, two and four years younger than me. She had remarried months after I was taken care of.

Knives twisted in my stomach. I knew that my mother was divorced, moderately rich and that my sister and the other two children had been in college. I thought: "Why did not you give me those opportunities? & # 39;

They had no interest in my life or my family. We agreed to meet a week later, but only my sister showed up. She said that my mother had decided not to have any relationship with me.

That was 25 years ago and since then it has corroded me. Nine months ago, I received a brief letter from a lawyer who acted for my sister and her brothers. He told me about my mother's death and said that any claim he could make against his estate would be challenged, since she did not recognize any emotional ties with me. I was stupefied.

This was the last stab in my heart. I cried cubes. Because they did that?


This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader whose mother attended him and then rejected him years later.

This week, Bel Mooney advises a reader whose mother attended him and then rejected him years later.

You wrote a detailed email (three times as long as I have), which left me sad, but full of admiration. And it's an honor that you wrote.

There is a quiet force in the story telling that contradicts the emotional weakness you describe.

Indeed, it is completely impossible for me to make sense of the way your mother treated you, or why the sister (ten when they sent you) should have no trace whatsoever for the six-year-old boy condemned to feel abandoned by The Rest of their life. How can you ever understand that?

Sometimes, looking for reasons condones an evil behavior. Actually, you did not ask me for help, although the fact of writing reveals how you still feel excluded from your own life, yes, despite your happy marriage and your dear (now married) daughters.

His sincere intention is to warn others who grew up under his care: "Only because you desperately miss your family, do not be so sure they miss you. Be very careful before you get in touch, because maybe you're just giving them the opportunity to reject you again. "

Wise advice that comes from the deep wound. I met someone who found his biological mother again after being adopted (happily) and the experience seemed sad and rather disappointing.

The phrase "be careful what you want" is relevant here, is not it? I hope that readers think about it and realize how their advice is relevant to all those who yearn for a fantasy, an alternative life.

But let's contemplate your life now. The unnecessary cruelty of that lawyer's letter, which comes after 25 years, has put him back on the old shelf. But you will survive this as you did all the rest. You are the same amazing and strong person who survived the rejection, the instability, the loneliness.

You studied hard without help, getting grades and a good job; He overcame self-protective caution to fall in love and marry; you engendered three beautiful daughters and created a happy and successful life.

Once you were rejected, yes, but now I am asking you to finally allow your blessings to overcome the pain. Just add it: two women, mother and sister, did not have love, they were hard, cold, cruel. But four women (your wife and your daughters) are full of love for you.

Those first two do not show anything in the balance. The second four (and their husbands, and, hopefully, the children) represent the riches piled on their doorstep. Embrace all of that, Aidan, and be proud.

I'm in love with a toxic and married deception

Dear Bel,

Nine years ago, I lost both my parents, I moved to the other side of the country and I met a married man with whom I interacted like no other man. He said he had never been so real and honest with anyone, and promised that when his children were older he would leave home to be with me.

When I was with his wife he was alone and excited and I went out to drink. He would randomly kiss other boys trying to forget the pain.

Now this married man will say he can not trust me because I kissed other people. It makes me feel useless, but I can not let it go.

I separated for two years, I even started seeing a new boy for six months, but I finished it, telling him that I was still in love with this married man. I was recently diagnosed with depression.

This man pushes me continuously, then he contacts me and takes me back. As soon as we are separated, I am sad again. He says he can not leave it either, but he will never trust me. I have never felt so broken. I need help.


Imagine if addicts to obsessive and destructive love could attend meetings as alcoholics and tell their stories to people afflicted in the same way.

Would their suffering partners be more strictly prescriptive than psychotherapists and other members of the hearing profession are they trained to be?

Would they call each other foolish idiots? Would they say to you, "Ma'am, if you have any respect for yourself, delete your number now, and then get away from that phone?"

More from Bel Mooney for the Daily Mail …

Would you say if you do not have that mental and spiritual strength, if you are so weak, so married to what you call love, so in need of punishment? . . So, in truth, have you become worthy of your own brokenness?

Jasmine, I would never judge anyone for falling in love with the wrong person. It happens all the time, and while it can lead to tears, cheating, pain and broken marriages, it can also generate great happiness. This is how it always has been and always will be.

Until now, very human. You must feel so alone for the loss of your parents and have been open to a new relationship that seemed to offer comfort. But nine years?

He released this demanding and manipulative hypocrite for two years. And then you left the new lover and run through the door of your prison, screaming about love and waiting for more crumbs to fall.

Did you say a humble & # 39; sorry? your married man just in case? No wonder I can not let him go. He has a sex slave.

This is the point (you have to see this) where such behavior can be judged as obsessive, compulsive, masochistic. . . or any label you choose.

Instead of letting your diagnosis of depression define it, it seems to me that you could look for a self-destructive (or masochistic) personality disorder and see to what extent it fits the criteria. You will find it interesting.

So, what's next? Certainly you need help, then I would suggest counseling to try to understand your addiction to this relationship. completely inadequate and destructive.

Do you have friends to talk to, or have you dropped the honest ones who always told you bluntly that you were a fool?

Listen, I can not let it go & # 39; It is an absurd statement. That can be judged.

People can not avoid disabilities or the fact that they were terribly mistreated by their parents (see today's main letter) but, my God, did they ever make the best of their lives despite the hand they received? But you . . . You have absolute freedom of choice.

Then use it.

And finally … Art really is good for the soul

Unexpected requests can lead to disclosures. That's when art historian Laura-Jane Foley invited me to record a podcast for her series, My Favorite Work Of Art. I was not even sure what a podcast is!

I knew I should not think too much about my choice. The first thing that came to my mind took me to the beginning of my love for art. The painting is Virgin And Child In Glory, by the seventeenth-century Spanish artist Murillo. Why choose this through hundreds of (finer) works that I have loved since then?

Bel's favorite painting is Virgin And Child In Glory, by seventeenth-century Spanish artist Murillo (pictured)

Bel's favorite painting is Virgin And Child In Glory, by seventeenth-century Spanish artist Murillo (pictured)

Bel's favorite painting is Virgin And Child In Glory, by seventeenth-century Spanish artist Murillo (pictured)

Because when I was 11, I took the bus to the Walker art gallery in Liverpool and all the wonderful art that I discovered, this painting gave me the sweetest consolation. I looked at Mary's beautiful face and silently told her my problems. I loved the innocent cherubs at his feet and I believed that the baby Jesus was looking at me directly.

Bel answers readers' questions about emotional and relationship problems each week.

Write to Bel Mooney, Daily Mail, 2 Derry Street, London W8 5TT, or send an email to

A pseudonym will be used if desired.

Bel reads all the letters, but regrets not being able to enter personal correspondence.

It is interesting to focus on a work of art and ask why it attracts you. It could be something simple like the glow of gold that are Van Gogh's Sunflowers. Or maybe you love a great horse painting by George Stubbs.

My own choice told me a lot about the feeling of isolation I felt as a child, but also the origin of my current pride in Christianity. Now ask yourself what would you choose …

I will always be grateful that the Walker (and the Old Swan Public Library) have formed my soul. So, why not visit your nearest art gallery to discover what might be waiting for you?

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