A Mother Daughter Relationship ~ Part Four


~By Debbie Dippel~

In my first post I mentioned that I didn’t want Carla to struggle with the same fears that I did.  As a child I had many fears that I kept hidden inside and carried these into my adulthood.  I won’t list them here but will focus on the one that I believe most impacted my relationship with Carla, which was the fear of being single.

Some words/phrases that pop into my mind regarding singleness are:  “old maid”, “spinster”, “she never married” (which sounded to me like a tragedy) I once had a family member ask me the question regarding my children who are still unmarried:  “What’s wrong with them?”  Another comment that stands out in my memory during a family get together is “Life doesn’t begin until you are married!”  I remember hearing comments about single women like, “She is being too choosy” and “What is she looking for?”   I felt afraid of what people would think about Carla and how she was raised. 

I believe that being the youngest in the family contributed to my desire to “keep up” with my siblings.  They all married very young, from the age of 17 to 20.  I was married just before my 22nd birthday and often said “I was the old maid in the family by the time I got married”.  This sounds ridiculous to me now but it was a huge deal to me then.   The need for me to “keep up” carried on with our children.  As their children dated, married and had children, I felt the anxiety that my daughter keep up with them.  We had children close together and so the weddings should also occur close together, followed by grandchildren. 

Being slim was also very important to the women in my family.  In my mind, this was connected to the possibility of attracting a man.  So for Carla, the pressure was on to be slim.  I was concerned for her happiness but my fears clouded my ability to see her as an individual person who had every right to live her life as she was created to live.  I thought I knew what was best for her and what would make her happy.

I had a different relationship with my son.   By the time I had him I had dealt with some of my fears about parenting and was more relaxed.  In my mind there was no stigma attached to being a single man, in fact, there was something attractive in being a bachelor.  I enjoyed our relationship and was not eager for him to have a girlfriend.  When he had a girlfriend, (which he usually did) I didn’t have much time with him and may have felt replaced.  I did not dislike his girlfriends, they were nice girls, but when they broke up, I felt relief.  I feel ashamed to admit this and want to say that this has changed and I am very happy with the relationship he now has and am excited for their future together. 

I am certain that my marriage played a large part in the dynamics that occurred between me and my children.  I may expand on this in a later post. 

 This blog has been an excellent platform for the truth to be told, and along with the truth, freedom.    I am in the process of learning to live free and allowing my children to live in freedom as well.  I am getting to know Carla as a beautiful woman inside and out and I love spending time with her.  It is a work in progress and backslides occur, but we are moving forward in the right direction. 


Categories : Mother Daughter



This is wonderful and amazing. Too many parents refuse to listen when their adult children come to them with pain and problems stemming from childhood. I suppose many things come together to ulimately shape the response the child will get. In my case, there was cruel and heinous abuse for the duration of my childhood and beyond and my mother doesn’t want to hear about it. She needs me to pretend and downplay things so she can keep her illusions, especially the ones about herself. I had to choose between reality and her needs, so I dumped her. I’m glad Carla was not put in a position like that. Though my life is much better without my mother in it, it would be much better still if I had a good and honest mother who really cared about me.


Welcome here Anon! Thank you for sharing. Over the last few years, I have gained a lot of respect for my Mom and know her to be a genuine truth seeker. It is really encouraging for me as well, to watch someone be open to learning and pursuing real change for herself and her family, even if it means facing painful truths. I’m sorry that your Mom chose differently. It is good to have you here. ~ Carla



It is hard to admit that mistakes made in the past have a negative effect on our children and, like you say, everyone has a different set of life experiences and situations that will shape the way they respond to the truth being exposed. Denial may be the most common reaction. For me, keeping a relationship with my daughter was very important, plus I knew that I was a part of the problem. I was suffering along with her.

I am sorry to hear about the situation with your mother. It sounds like you have made a decision based on what is best for you. Thank you for sharing your comments and I wish you all the best.



I enjoy reading your posts and yet feel torn about them. While ultimately our childhood effects who we are as adults, I feel that we can’t blame our childhood for who we are. We have to grow and become our own people.

However as I write that I begin to reflect on my childhood. My father was super loving, emotional, angry and had a giant temper. Often, that temper came out in hitting his children. All of that stopped when I was 15. I watched my mom appease him over and over again. She kept things from him in fear he would blow up at her. We learned to tip toe around my Dad so that nothing would set him off.

When I began dating, I would fall SO hard for a man. I would let him walk all over me and would obsess about him. “why isn’t he calling” or “does he want me” etc. My whole day would either be made or ruined based on wether or not he phoned me and how the conversation went. I had my heart broken a few times. Once to the point of a small depression. I felt SO down, I thought I would never be able to feel whole again.

I met my husband 4 years ago and he truly loved me and cherished me. However, he has a temper. He blows up sometimes. Similar to my fathers temper, but he is not severe or physical. After many conversations about this, it has gotten a lot better but, I find myself being my mom. Tip toeing around him so as not to set him off.

I love him and we are working on our relationship so I know that is fine.

But with all this talk, I wonder if my relationship with my dad has some cause in my past and current relationship with men.

I don’t blame him and my father still has a bit of a temper but is a very different man now. He, like Anon’s mom, states that he doesn’t recall ever laying a hand on my brother or I. We both just stay quiet to appease him. No one wants to talk about that time anyways.

Thank you for all your insight.


Thank you so much for sharing your life so honestly and openly.
I agree that as adults we need to take responsibility for our own happiness and that part of that process is understanding our childhood and acknowledging that we were affected by it. For example, my counselor named me as a “lost child”. I was often left to do things on my own that most kids would do with a parent. As an adult, I am hungry for relationship. I will feel sad and anxious if I haven’t visited with a loved one in a certain length of time. I could easily become a clingy needy friend, but because I understand the reason for my insatiable hunger, I am able to accept myself and curb my tendency to beg others for their attention. Neither do I beat myself up for it because I know the root cause. This in turn eases my hunger.

The way you describe your father and mother’s relationship and the way she tried to keep everything calm sounds common. I believe it causes women to loose themselves and live in constant anxiety, which is unhealthy. It is sad that children need to tiptoe around their own fathers, the very people they should feel safe with.

I’ve heard it said that women tend to look for someone who is like their fathers. I wonder if it happens unconsciously because we become familiar with those traits and they become normal to us.

Your last paragraph reminded me of the latest session with our counselor (my husband and I go together) and we talked about that very thing…don’t talk…keep things looking smooth. He described it as a lump under the carpet. We keep tripping over it.

Angie, I want to say that you deserve to be treated well and live in an environment where you are free to say the truth and express yourself without fear. I applaud you for looking deeper into your relationships and working towards healthiness.

Thank you again for sharing,


Writing your story back and forth with each other carries so much impact! Thanks for being so open, I have loved reading it.

It has been mentioned already by a reader, but it is a tragedy how many parents will do whatever it takes to keep order of the kingdom they have created, even sacrificing communication and relationship with their children.

You are on such an exciting road, and you make it feel exciting to be close to such a family.


Jennelle~ thanks for your comments and for reading! I agree, how you describe what some parents will do to keep themselves secure really is a tragedy. They miss out on knowing their children, and on sharing themselves with their children too. Big hugs to you! Love, Carla

Leave a Comment