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by Abigail Van Buren

Gulf Separating Mother and Son Grows Greater Than Simple Distance

DEAR ABBY: I moved overseas for work when I was 18. My father divorced my mom around the same time. I used to come back to the U.S. for two weeks every year to visit and stay with Mom. However, for the past eight years she has sent me emails "suggesting" in a roundabout way that I was not totally welcome. Because of this, I haven't been back in six years.

For the last 20-plus years I have given my mother about $7,000. Because I'm not welcome in her home, I told her I won't give her any more. She is now showing regret for her previous emails, but for me it's too late. Since I'm no longer sending money, she will have to sell her condo.

She's getting old and doesn't have much time left, and I can't wait until she passes on. I despise her. For me it is unacceptable for a mother to not welcome her son into her home for two weeks a year. Am I overreacting? Is my level of hate valid? -- REJECTED SON IN THAILAND

DEAR REJECTED SON: Not knowing your mother's reason for implying you weren't welcome to stay with her, your question is hard to answer. I understand why you would feel hurt, even angry. But looking forward to the day she's no longer on this earth strikes me as an overreaction.

From what I have read on the subject -- as well as personal experience -- I have concluded that hatred is like acid. It hurts the hater worse than the person at whom it is aimed. At this point your mother has lost her son and now she's losing her home. I'd say that's a large dose of punishment for her lack of hospitality. If you can't mend fences, then dwell on the positive things you have in your life rather than wasting time wishing her dead.

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