Mother holds things over my head


My Mother has held things that she does for me over my head throughout my lifetime. In the past, when she didn’t like something I said or did, she would try and take something that she had given me away – this is including my own home which she gave me a deposit for. My coping mechanism for that was to distance myself from her and no longer accept any gifts or financial favours so that she couldn’t hold them over my head.

Most recently, I was reconnecting with my Mother somewhat over the past year while I went through chronic illness. She accompanied me to a surgery, and then spent the year connecting with me over the phone to try and support me. I saw her briefly for a few days over the summer when I was moving back across the country. This was the first time in several years I spent any significant time with her.

I reached out to her a few months ago with a circumstance I was facing and asked for her help. She declined and I was angry about that. When I tried to tell her why I was upset, she brought up every single thing she did for me over the past year as a defence. It makes me think that she is keeping tabs so she can control the conversation whenever we have a disagreement. In turn, I feel like I don’t know how to have a relationship with my Mother as anything (even talking to me on the phone) will be brought up as leverage in the future.

I would like the result to be to have a relationship with my Mother. I just can’t see how I can do that given this pattern. Do I only speak to her on the phone a few times a year? When I go to visit do I stay in a hotel? I am not sure what this would really look like. Please advise.