Daughter of self-centered mom craves a role model

Thursday, September 21, 2017

DEAR ABBY: My mother is extremely self-centered. Ever since I can remember, everything has always been about her. Thatís probably why she and Dad split. You canít have a conversation with her without her turning it around and making it about her.

Iím 25. I just want to have a regular conversation with my mom without her somehow bringing the mood down by saying she has demons to deal with on her own and she canít be positive or happy for others.

Abby, thereís nothing wrong with her! Sheís healthy, fit, has a wonderful job she claims to love, and friends she goes out with often and seems to have fun with. Sheís out literally every weekend. I just donít get why she never makes time for me or any of my siblings.

Iím afraid Iíll never have that mother/daughter relationship. Maybe I wouldnít care so much if I had another role model to confide in, but unfortunately, I have neither a mother nor a father figure in my life. My siblings and I have been cheated in the parent department -- a father who left us and a mother who thinks only of herself. Advice? -- LOST SOUL IN OHIO

DEAR LOST SOUL: This may be of small comfort to you, but other readers over the years have described situations like your own. Iíll share with you what I have advised them.

Because your mother apparently feels her parenting job is finished, itís time to build a ďfamilyĒ of your own. Because you crave the wisdom an older woman can provide, consider doing some volunteer work for seniors, perhaps at a senior citizen center. Your efforts will be valued, and in a short time you may begin building relationships with more than one person who can assuage your emptiness while you fill a need in their lives, too.

DEAR ABBY: My sister asked if I would attend a womenís conference with her. I hastily agreed, and we kind of dropped it until recently. The conference is eight months away and I just found out the location and who will be the speakers. After reviewing the information, I realize Iím not all that interested in attending.

When I told my sister, she became furious! I apologized for letting her down, but I donít want to spend hundreds of dollars to attend a conference Iím not that jazzed about. Sheís still mad at me, and I donít want to dismiss her feelings, but I feel that canceling eight months in advance is OK. We hadnít purchased tickets or made hotel reservations yet. Can you give me some advice? -- DONíT WANT TO GO

DEAR DONíT WANT TO: Your sister may have had more in mind than just the conference when she invited you to go with her. She may have wanted a bonding experience as well, which may be why she has reacted so strongly.

I agree that eight months in advance is sufficient notice that you want to cancel. It may smooth her ruffled feathers if you call your sister and suggest there might be something else you can do together that would be of greater interest to both of you.

Dear Abby is written by Abigail Van Buren, also known as Jeanne Phillips, and was founded by her mother, Pauline Phillips. Contact Dear Abby at www.DearAbby.com or P.O. Box 69440, Los Angeles, CA 90069.