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TherapistMarryAnn, Therapist
Category: Mental Health
Satisfied Customers: 5762
Experience:  Over 20 years experience specializing in anxiety, depression, drug and alcohol, and relationship issues.
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Kate, I previously wrote you about an issue Ive been having

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I previously wrote you about an issue I've been having with my mother.

I know I need to let go of this relationship, and I think I'm going through a grieving process of sorts now. I'm very hurt as a result of her behavior, and also very sad. There's an ache in my chest, I've lost my appetite, and I just feel down overall.

Would you mind suggesting some ways to handle this? I have three small children and I don't want them to be negatively affected by it.

Thank you.
Hello, it's good to hear from you!

What you are going through is very natural. You are facing the loss of any chance that you will ever be able to have a normal relationship with your mother.

There are many ways to handle your grief. What you choose to do depends very much on what you feel works best for you. Here are some ways to consider working through your feelings:

1. Talking about your grief is one of the best ways to help yourself. Family, friends, spouse and therapy are all ways to get the support you need and to help share your emotions.

2. Learn as much as possible about grief. The more you know, the more tools you have to help yourself. Here are some resources to help:

The Grief Recovery Handbook, 20th Anniversary Expanded Edition: The Action Program for Moving Beyond Death, Divorce... byJohn W. James and Russell Friedman

Understanding Your Grief: Ten Essential Touchstones for Finding Hope and Healing Your Heart by Alan D. Wolfelt

The Grief Club: The Secret to Getting Through All Kinds of Change by Melody Beattie

3. Consider support groups either on line or in person. Talking to others who have been through what you have can do a lot to help you heal.

4. If your children see you crying or upset, be honest with them about why, just make it appropriate for their level. For example, if you feel sad and your child asks why, say you feel upset about something that happened with your mom. If they ask more about it, tell them that people sometimes do not get along and you feel sad about that.

5. Write a letter to your mother, not to send, but to express how you feel about your relationship. Keep it and add to it or change it as you want to. When you feel ready to let go of the relationship, have a small ceremony to let the letter go. Some people bury it, some burn it and others keep it.

Whatever you choose to do, just the act of recognizing that you need to work through your grief and not ignoring it is going to help you heal. As long as you are willing to face it, you will recover.

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