Warning: What you are about to read is therapy homework and may sound negative and resentful.
I raised you to the be the opposite of me. I stayed home and volunteered instead of earning money. I was stopped by sexism and majored in English instead of Math as a result.
But you have no obstacles and can/should be as successful as you can be. I divorced your dad and am now living near poverty, therefore, I have instilled in you the importance of making your own money and being able to support yourself.
I have spent your life telling you that you will be successful and I expect you too. I have told you that you can have it all and I expect that.
I, on the other hand, am weak and needy. You are strong. Therefore, you need to cater to me. What does this mean, well, it means:
- You should call me, preferably weekly. I am poor and cannot afford long distance, plus I have trouble reading the numbers on those pre-paid calling cards you sent me. It's really best if you just call me. If you miss a week or two, be prepared for a guilt trip as I worry if you don't call, and as I said, I can't be expected to call you.
- You should travel to me. With my epilepsy, you can't expect me to get on a plane, so you should buy 4 tickets and bring your family to me. Oh, and since I am poor and live in a room, I can't put you up or afford to get you a hotel, so please cover that for yourself. Lastly, I can't drive and don't have a car, so don't forget to rent a car. I know this costs a lot, but I've raised you to be successful, so you can afford it.
- Don't plan on me remembering your birthday, your husband's birthday, or my grandchildren's birthday. I know I don't work, but I'm terribly busy and can't drive (to a store or post office) and don't have a credit card (to order on the Internet) and for heaven's sake, you know I don't write letters, so don't even expect a card. If you nag me, I'll remember the kids' birthdays once in a while, but if you don't nag, nothing will happen.
- While you were young I trash talked your dad. When you got older you taught me that you wouldn't hear this. Every now and then I'll ask about him, but don't feel awkward.
- Every now and then I'll get emotional and talk about how I wish I lived closer and could help with the kids. I'll pretend that writing letters and remembering birthdays is not helpful and is not a reasonable request.