My mother has “disowned” my sisters and I don’t know what to do.

Bayo Ajibola

Growing up, my mother was very emotionally and physically abusive to my sisters (22 and 20) and I(24m). She cheated on my father all the time, and then one day when I was 10 years old, she beat the living shit out of my father in their room the room was back against mine. I had to lay in bed and listen to this happen and it traumatized me. In the morning, she was gone. She had packed up and moved to her home state -Ibadan- without us.

I hated her. We didn’t hear from her for a year or so until she decided to invite us up to visit and stay with her. I didn’t want to, but we accepted and spent the summer with her.

She had a new boyfriend, was trying to have kids, and was still awful. I fought and fought and finally got my dad to drive 2 hours to come pick me up and take me home – Lagos-. I hated her for years. She was dead to me. She managed to brainwash my sisters into taking her side. She said it was all my fathers fault and they didn’t spend much time with him after that.

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Years passed, and we had a rough relationship but we still talked. I went to therapy for years and had to live a life of poor self esteem and depression because of what she put us through. I finally had to let it go. I forgave her a couple of years ago. I decided life was too short to hate someone, especially my own mother, so I stood up and made amends and forgave her. We had a really decent relationship since then. She was still a horrible narcissistic witch, but I’d accepted it and worked around it. She is remarried and has two kids with my step father. I love them like they’re mine and I spend as much time with them as I can, because I fear that they will live the life we did, and I need them to have something steady in their lives.

However, everything just came crashing down. Her, my sisters, my stepdad, and my little half siblings are in London right now on vacation right now.

Last night, my mom got drunk and started physically abusing my step father in front of everyone and mocked his stutter and bullied him into the ground. My sisters stood up for him and told her she needed to cut it out, and after some words back and forth, she responded by saying “you two could die tomorrow and I would dance on your grave.” My younger sister reached across the table and punched her directly in the face. I wish she hadn’t, but I completely understand the emotions, for I’ve felt them my entire life.

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Moving on to this morning, my two younger sisters woke up to an email from my mother and she had deleted them off of all forms of social media. The email is as follows, names have been changed:

“I deeply regret the extreme volatility of last night, but I think looking at the bright side, it accomplished something overdue.

Sister 1, you have always made it pretty clear that you consider my worth and my identity to be only the sum of my weakest and worst moments, with no consideration for my infinitely more numerous really really good moments. I’ve just tried to ignore it bc of the former strong clannish loyalty in my gut.

Sister 2, I didn’t really digest that you were the exact same, or maybe I did and I just tried to block it out.

I have been an actual grownup for longer than either of you has been alive, I work extremely hard to do the best I can, and while I do make terrible mistakes sometimes, far more often I accomplish wonderful things, and I’m getting better all the time. I like myself and I’m proud of how much I care about things. Neither of you has any idea what it’s like to be me, or any other person significantly older than you, and you should keep that in mind.

Sister 1, you never fail to kick me when I stumble, with an utter lack of empathy and an unsettling enthusiasm. Sister 2, I don’t know what you thought you were doing last night, but hopefully it gave you some satisfaction.

So now, finally, I completely reject you. Both of you. I reject your petty ungrateful grudge-nursing. I reject your portrayal of me that completely discounts all of my goodness in favor of shameful rigid uncharitability. It is unfair, and it is unkind, and I choose not to allow it to happen to me anymore.

Obviously, life will go on. There are other family members involved. But I’m not yours anymore.”

I have nothing to do with it all, but I think I’m done. I’ve forgiven more than I should have. I’ve managed to live a really good life despite the shit cards I was dealt. She’s a real, full blown narcissist. I don’t want to leave her behind, but I don’t know that I have much of a choice. I think she’s a lost cause.

Does anyone have any input as to what I should do? For the kids? For my sisters? For my step dad? For myself? I’m lost, I’m sad, I’m angry, but most of all, I’m defeated.


Bayo Ajibola

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