EMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHER

Alcoholic, narcissistic, verbally abusive mother won't have anything to do with my children/grandchildren. Overwhelmed with good things in life so probably self sabotaging because I feel I don't deserve them based on my mother's opinions. Counting/feeling pain with every minute of life not spent productively and as a result-frozen with fear, resulting in paralysis of analysis and mounds of guilt. Very hungry for knowledge and self-express. My young children are my first and foremost responsibility, but I have to nourish myself to tend to my garden and I am depleted-physically & emotionally. I have no understanding of who I am, constantly overwhelmed with my curiosities and the amount of available information that I feel I have to catalog and digest thoroughly. Perfectionist, probably because my mother always told me I wasn't good...enough.
Yours,
Sabotaaged
Dear Sabotaged,
Your mother has a lot to answer for, we suspect! You need to find a way of burying the hatchet with her, and beginning to live your own life to the full, out from under her shadow. Read the Patrick Melrose novels by Edward St Aubyn, to enjoy a truly poisonous mother first wreak havoc on her family, then reap her just rewards by contracting a long and grim illness. Eleanor Melrose has a long list of evils - she lets her son be raped by her husband, chooses to ignore it, gets reformed and then gives away her fortune to a religious organisation of dubious worth. Patrick Melrose narrates the story in delightfully grim and dark prose,  managing to tell the awful story with a large dose of humour. You will be able to exorcise your feelings of guilt, dismay and horror by projecting them on to the ficitonal mother, present throughout these volumes.
Having purged yourself, now read something more postiive and upbeat. You need a book to help you enjoy loving yourself again, that allows you to make the most of motherhood, and yet not lose yourself to it. Helen de Witt's The Last Samurai tells the story of a single mother whose son is a prodigy. He does complex sums by the age of 2, can speak several languages by the age of 5, and gets on with his own education while his mother earns their living as a copywriter. She spends most of her life unashamedly with a nose in a book, and yet manages to educate her son and have fun with him. She is an obsessive collector of knowledge, and does not compromise her own learning drive, by having a child. We realise that it's simpler for her as a ficitonal character with only one child, than it is for us real mothers who might have more chidren and less prodigious ones. But she is nonetheless an inspiration to us to keep up the activity of our brains while simultaneously nurturing our children.
Yours,
Ella and Suse
We prescribe - The Patrick Melrose Novels by Edward St Aubyn
The Last Samurai by Helen de Witt

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A SLUG WITH VISIONS OF HUMANITYABUSIVE RELATIONSHIP ENDED, LEAVING SCARSADULT ACNEAFRAID OF FAILUREALCOHOLIC DAUGHTERALONE ON A WIDE, WIDE SEAAlways wanted to be a writerANOREXICANXIOUS ABOUT SINGLE FRIENDAT A FORK IN THE ROADAVID READER, LACKING BOOKBEREFT OF A CATBORED IN ALABAMABOTHERED AND BEWILDEREDBRAIN SHRINKING MOMMABROKENBROKEN HEARTBROKEN HEARTED - TORN BETWEEN MALE AND FEMALE BEST FRIENDSBROKEN UP WITH GIRLFRIEND; FEELING BURNT OUTCAN’T MOVE ONCANDIDA REVOLTAIRECan’t afford to go on holidayCAST ASIDECHEATEDCHRONIC PAINCOLD HANDS AND FEETCONCERNED ABOUT DAUGHTERCONFLICTED PARTNERSCRAVING FOOD CULTURECYNICAL STEPSONDAILY ABUSEDARK NIGHT OF THE SOULDEPRESSED AND UNABLE TO READDEPRESSED DURING CHRISTMAS, AND LONELY NOWDESPERATELY WANTON GIRLDIRECTIONLESSEASILY BORED WITH NOVELSEMOTIONALLY SABOTAGED BY MY MOTHEREMOTIONS IN EXTREMEEVER THE FRIEND AND NOT THE PARTNEREXTREME ANGER AND FRUSTRATIONFADING AWAYFALLEN OUT WITH MY FRIENDSFALLING IN LOVE WAY TOO FASTFAZED AND CONFLICTEDFEAR OF CONFRONTATIONFEAR OF GETTING OLDFERTILITY PROBLEMSFOMO (FEAR OF MISSING OUT)FORGING A BRIGHT NEW FUTUREFRIEND WHO HAS LOST A CHILD LATE IN PREGNANCYFRIENDS DAUGHTER LOST TO SUICIDEFrightened of lifeGAPING HOLEGetting over a break-upGIRL OF UNCERTAINTY, BOUND BY RULESGIRL WHO DOESN’T FIT INGRIPPED BY LOSSGUILTY FRIENDHOPELESSNESSHOUSE AND LIBRARY DESTROYED BY FIREI love music more than booksI no longer commute – and therefore I no longer readI PEEK AT THE END OF NOVELS BECAUSE I WORRY THE CHARACTER MIGHT NOT MAKE ITI wish I were famousIN MOURNING OVER LITERARY DEATHSINABILITY TO SIT STILL AND ANXIETYINCONSISTENT AND NON-STUDIOUS- BUT AMBITIOUS NONETHELESSINDECISIVEINSECUREINTERESTED IN EVERYTHING BUT ACHIEVING NOTHINGINVISIBLE WOMANITALIAN NOVEL CURESJILTED AND UNSUREJOB IN LIBRARY UNDER THREATKICKED IN THE HEADLEADENLIVING ON THE MARGINSLONE RANGERLONELY AND DEJECTEDLONELY IN LOVELONELY IN MONOTONOUS JOB, LOSING SANITYLOOKING FOR A SENSE OF PURPOSELOOKING FORWARDSLOSS OF A SISTERLOSTLOW WATTAGELOW-ENERGY PESSIMISMMAD SCIENTISTMARRIED TO A MAN, ATTRACTED TO WOMENMISSED THE BOATMISSING MY MOTHER-IN-LAWMUM GOING BACK TO WORKNEED TO LET GONEW CITY, NEW LIFE -BOOKS FOR 12 YEAR OLD BOY?NEW FRIENDSHIP WITH HOLOCAUST SURVIVORNIGHTMARISH COLLEAGUENOMADIC FLANEURPOST NATAL DEPRESSIONPREGNANT AND ALONE