DEAR HARRIETTE: My mom and I do not get along. She was a single mom, and when I was growing up, she had a ton of rules and complained and yelled about things in the house not being a specific way. She kicked me out for multiple months at a time while I was in high school. I am now 23, and she has remarried. I do not get along with her husband either.
Five months ago, she told me she was selling our family home to get a one-bedroom apartment for her and her husband, and I needed to move out in two months. I have my own place now, and we have spoken regularly, but I have noticed that three months have passed since I left, and she has not put the house up for sale. I cannot help but think that she lied to me to get me out of the house once and for all. I feel betrayed and have not brought it up because I feel like she chose her husband over me. I know an argument like that would end any relationship I would care to have with her. Am I assuming the worst of her? -- Abandoned
DEAR ABANDONED: I am sorry that you and your mother have had such a combative relationship. It is obvious that it hurts your feelings deeply. Now that you are an adult, though, it is time for you to be independent. No one knows if your mother will actually move, but it is good that you did. By living in your own space, you are in charge of your destiny. You do not have to abide by your mother’s rules. You can create your own and begin to build self-esteem on your own terms.
Let go of your questions about whether or not your mother will move. Turn your attention to your own life, dreams and goals. Focus on yourself. Also, wish your mother well. If she is happy, she will likely be kinder to you. I hope that over time you can let go of the feeling of being abandoned. Consider yourself like a baby bird who was pushed out of the nest -- all so that you can fly!