DEAR ABBY: I'm nearing 57 and single. My mother, who is 78, lives in the same apartment complex. I always try to talk with her because we don't have much time together. All she wants to do is watch TV and read the paper. She allows me to talk to her for about a half-hour a day, then she has to go. If I visit her, she can only talk to me for a few minutes. Then she has to put the TV on.
I feel like I must beg her to talk with me. When I approached her about it, she said she's living her life how she wants to (basically without me). Because of that, I have decided to give up and spend only Christmas and her birthday with her. She probably wouldn't even notice. If you have any advice, I would like to see it. -- HER SAD, HURT DAUGHTER
DEAR SAD, HURT DAUGHTER: I do have some. A half-hour phone call every day may be too much for your mother to handle. That she has to "limit" your calls to 30 minutes tells me you would like them to be even longer. (Every day!) Rather than punish her by distancing yourself and seeing her only twice a year, limit those visits and phone conversations to twice a week. I think it would be healthier for both of you if you find a way to become less emotionally dependent upon your mother. Also, plan some outings away from the apartment complex for you and your mom to share.