Dear Miss Pearl,
My mother is one of those women you talk about all the
time, she thinks that everybody is supposed to be afraid of her, nobody is
supposed to say anything out of line to her (regardless of the fact that she
believes that she can say whatever she wants to whomever she wants just because
My relationship with my mother has never really been a great
one because I have always wanted more than what my mother encouraged us to want.
In her house, you were doing great if you got a local drug dealer who could buy
you nice purses and clothes because looking good is what always made the
difference to her, it didn't matter if your man beat you, cheated on you, or
disrespected you, for her it was always about whether he was "taking care of
All of my sisters grew up with the same mindset and now they raise
their children to be "hoodrats" too. I went to a community college and then to a
major university and made a life for myself. I met my husband through an
acquaintance and, not that it matters, but I am the wife of a physician. He
takes care of home, but in a whole different way.
When I used to go home
to visit my family, I became the brunt of endless ridicule for "thinking that I
was better" than everybody else. When I would bring my kids around, I wanted to
keep an eye on them at all times because I know how impressionable children can
be and since my cousins, sisters and brothers didn't really "raise, raise" their
children, I wanted to see exactly what was happening at all times.
11-year old daughter and 15 year old son didn't understand why I wouldn't let
them "ride to the store" with their aunts, or spend the night with their
cousins, but I didn't because I knew all the stories of the weekly stabbings,
fights, break-ins, drug deals gone bad and other things that happened at their
My mother acted like she hated me for not letting HER
grandchildren know the rest of their family, but my kids are from a different
world and I never told them every time one of their cousins was kicked out of
school for selling drugs, or locked up for some burglary. I purposely kept them
Exactly 7 months ago on the 20th of October, I went home for the
funeral of a family member who was killed for killing someone else's family
member. He was only 17 years old and I had to explain to my children what that
was about. The entire time we were there, I kept my eye on my kids because word
on the streets was that the friends of the boy who had killed my family member
were still out to get revenge on his family.
Later that night my son kept
begging me to go to some hotspot with his cousins, cousins I knew to be into
selling drugs because my sister had told me that two of them had quit school so
that they could sell full time. There was no way I would let my son get into a
car alone with them, so I refused to let him go and once again, my family lit
My mother called me everything but a child a God and said that
one day I would regret thinking that my children were better than anybody elses
children, but I didn't care what my ENTIRE family said, I refused to let him go
and went upstairs to get my things packed to leave the next morning because I
was tired of being abused.
10 minutes later, my 11-year old comes
upstairs to tell me that my mother had MADE my son get into the car with his
cousins and go with them, despite the fact that I had told him he couldn't go,
so I ran downstairs to confront my mother and got into a fight with my sister
who said that my son is no better than her son (the 18 year old drug dealer
driving the car) I tried to call my son to make him come back, but my mother
handed me his phone and told me that she made him give it to her so that I
couldn't call him.
I was FURIOUS at my entire family and asked one of my
aunts to take me to where they were because my nephews wouldn't answer
45 minutes later I received a phone call that no parent ever
wants to receive, that my teen aged son had been riding in the car with his
cousins, when one of them decided to shoot at the people he assumed had killed
his cousin and when they fired back, my baby was the ONLY person
It has been 7 months and to this day, I still cannot get over the
fact that my son is never coming home and when I confronted my mom, my sisters
and brothers claimed that if I had let him get out sooner, he would still be
alive. Can you believe that? That me holding them up by saying no is what got my
I am in counseling to deal with the grief and trying to
work past my anger with my mother (who has NEVER apologized) but I can't let go.
I think that I can get over it eventually, but I don't think that I can ever let
go enough to want to have anything to do with most of my family.
tell me what I can do to get over this pain? Am I obligated to forgive my family
when my son is the one who ended up dead due to their negligence?
Dear Mother in Pain,
No Ma'am, you
are not. First off, allow me to offer my deepest condolences and pray for a
speedy grieving period for you, your husband and your daughter and after that, I
want to say that all you have to do is take your time and take care of your
It isn't written anywhere that you are obligated to
kiss your families a$$, especially if they're too clueless to understand your
grief and the fact that their dysfunction is what ultimately caused it. Take
your time, you can forgive your mother, but you don't have to deal with
I'm a big supporter of writing your thoughts down. Sit down, write a
heartfelt letter, tell your mother how you feel and don't even wait for a
response because you know that she'll read it, and all you want to know is that
she knows exactly who you feel. If she responds, rip it up because if she's not
saying what you want to hear, you'll have a set back, besides, if she truly
wants to apologize, she'll pick up the phone, or ring your doorbell.
are under NO obligation to be the "bigger" person in this situation... they owe
you an apology and some sympathy and understanding for your loss. YOUR son's
passing should not STILL be about your mother. It's time for you to release
yourself from that bondage.
I will keep you in my prayers.
want advice from Miss Pearl, send me an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org