Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Mother's Trial Separation from Her Family

Newspaper article St Louis Post-Dispatch (MO)

A Mother's Trial Separation from Her Family

Article excerpt

Dear Ann Landers: Next month, I will be 65. I have decided to take a one-year trial separation from my adult children, their children and their children's children. I haven't yet decided if this decision will result in divorce and alimony.

It was my generation that spawned the "Me generation." We didn't intend to do so, but that is the way it has turned out. I raised my children as a single mother and thought I had done a reasonably good job of it. You would like my children, Ann. They are very nice people. But they are incredibly selfish.

The straw that broke the camel's back was my request that they each contribute $10 a month toward an emergency fund for me that would be used for my funeral if I didn't need financial aid to pay medical expenses.

My youngest son said, "Sorry, but I'm not going along with that." In his opinion, I had been a terrible mother. I listened to his diatribe about our dysfunctional family, and then I asked myself, "What's in this for me?"

I was 20 when my first child was born. I had six kids and also raised two stepdaughters. I have spent my entire life doing things for others. Now for one year, I have decided to put myself first.

I told my family that I do not want any contact whatsoever with any of them for the next 12 months. They were stunned and very unhappy about my decision. I am determined to carry out this plan, however, even though I know I am taking a chance that our relationships may never be the same. It's a risk I am willing to take. Will you comment, please? No name, just . . . DYSFUNCTIONAL MOTHER IN VANCOUVER, B.C. You are punishing them because you were hurt when your youngest son balked at paying $10 a month toward the emergency fund to help defray your medical and/or funeral expenses.

I suggest that you talk this over with a counselor before you make the drastic move you outlined in your letter. …

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