December 20, 2013 - submitted by Erin, United States of America

Q. TEAM ORACLE QUESTION #149
The holidays are just coming up, and lately, I have really been having some issues. My mom left me when I was really little, and hasn't been around since. I actually haven't seen or heard from her in many years- like 7. I have to go through all of her holiday decorations and it hurts. I feel like nobody else gets what I'm going through. The holidays have never hurt like this before. I can't really talk about her and the pain she caused to me without crying. I have no desire to talk to her, because the last time I did, she forgot my birthday. I guess I just need some help getting through the holidays. Thanks.
Love from Ohio.


The Oracle replies:

Erin this sounds like such a tough thing to be going through on your own. It may be that your family members are also dealing with this silently & privately but perhaps it’s time to focus on YOUR needs and speak with them.
The first thing I think I would do is donating all Mother’s Christmas decorations to charity and get new ones. You could make them yourself and maybe the family could help. Pine cones, fir tree branches, ribbons, papier mache, paper chains are all pretty easily to source and affordable. It will give you a new association and may well be a therapeutic exercise. Speaking of, if you haven’t, maybe consider having some therapy in the New Year on the matter, which could really help.
Christmas is not always the picture of love and laughter that is portrayed. There’s an enormous pressure on this season to be with loved ones and the reality isn’t always like that.
As Christmas is generally the time family come together, your Mum’s absence is amplified.
As time is against us and a quick fix isn’t the best solution, there may be something you can do in the short-term here and now. This may not be a viable option for you but perhaps there’s something you could do this holiday that will not only distract you but will give somewhat of a feel good factor.
Many people go through suffering during the holidays. There may be someone elderly, homeless, hospitalized (the list goes on) who would appreciate you. There are various options to help others at Christmas whether it’s donating hampers, gifts or volunteering time.
If you look locally you’ll hopefully find something suitable. I know it won’t heal your pain, but it may make you see that you’re not alone.
The festive season will soon pass and then it would be good to look for a long-term solution.
I wish you peace this Christmas.
Over to you.

I’m a daughter and a mother. I’ve never been close to my mom and younger I often cried because she was not how I wanted her to be. But there’s no perfect mother. You only have one and she is how she is. Don’t wish for her to be different because that’s what makes the pain even worse. She’s a woman who didn’t manage to assume her role as a mother. Try to understand why but don’t hate her. You will understand many things once you in turn become a parent. Nobody can actually figure out what having a child means until they experience it. You have no idea how much it changes your life, for better but sometimes for worse. I’d been through difficult times with my son during his first year because I was really tired and completely lost. Accepting my new status as a mom was really hard and I had to mourn my former life. I thought of giving up but I held out. Since then, I promised myself not to judge people anymore. Your pain is legitimate and partly comes from your unfulfilled desires and needs. But don’t keep thinking about how things could and should have been different. Just try to let it go and accept the situation to alleviate the pain. Focus on the people who are actually here for you and enjoy Christmas with them. Take care, Helene.

I’m so sorry that you are feeling that way. I am actually going through the same thing you are because my mom died when I was 5 and I wasn’t really sure what to do. And on Christmas, it is really hard, looking through the memories. But you know what has helped me? Thinking of the good times I had with her. Even though I was 5 when she died, I can still remember the good times I had with her. I know you are upset with your mom for leaving you, I would be too, but thinking of the good times will help you get past the bad. It hurts to know that these things can happen and you can’t do anything about it, but sometimes you just got to have faith on the good that will come next.
Since my mom is not with me, I can’t ever build a relationship with her like some girls to with their mothers, but since your mom is still out there, you should take the opportunity to reconnect with her. This may seem crazy right now, but from my experience, I would do anything to get my mom back. I know she hurt you and you don’t want to see her, but just think about it. Take the chance that I will never get to have because I would love to see my mom again. Abba.

In my opinion, the holidays are meant to celebrate what’s best in our lives: music, joy, friends, REAL family… And that’s exactly what you need to do. I perfectly understand that’s not easy, at all, but you have to think positive. If you believe your mother doesn’t deserve your love and your friendship, move on. At least in this season. And later, if you feel like you need to tell her everything you’re going through, just tell her at once. Hear what she says. If she had a good reason for what she did, maybe you can forgive her. If she didn’t care about you when she left, she’s not a REAL mom. Focus all your love in who really loves you and cares about you. And remember, “don’t let it break your heart”! Happy holidays! Love, Ana, from Porto, Portugal.

I completely understand what you are going through. I didn't see my mum for many years when I was younger, for various reasons, and it really hurt me. You could do what I did: find someone to talk to. There are many councillors out there that are dedicated to truly listening to what you have to say, and to help you find solutions to your problems. It was extremely helpful for me, and helped me feel like I could finally move on with my life, and put the past behind me. Failing that, what about family? I'm sure people will be more than happy to sit down with you and talk about it, if you get across to them how much of an effect this is obviously having on you? Thankfully, myself and my mum are now in regular contact, and I'm very grateful for it, despite once feeling like I could never forgive her. Maybe one day you'll feel the same?
Best Wishes, Sam.

It sounds like you are going through a tough time at the moment and I know Christmas must be especially hard for you. I think that if you can, you should focus on the family and loved ones that you still have around you...Would it be possible to talk to your dad or grandparents, about how you feel towards your mom?
If not, could you try and speak to someone impartial like a Councillor? I'm sure that if you could discuss your feelings with someone instead of bottling it all up, it might help you come to terms with the fact that your mom isn’t around (and also helps you through all the hurt and anger you must feel).
Also, if the sight of your moms decorations upset you, what about putting them in a box and placing it somewhere safe and out of the way, but a place where you can also go to have a look at them from time to time if you feel the need. Then go out with friends or someone close to you- and buy some new ones! Create some new Christmas memories for yourself and don't let the thought of your mom bring you down. I hope you have a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year #TeamOracle
Take Care. Lauren, South Yorkshire, England.


I totally understand what you're going through, I'm was in a similar situation except for me it was my father who left. The holidays are especially the hardest with things like this, all of the things around us don't seem to help either and just seem to make our pain worse. But all I can say is to breathe and take each day as it comes, I understand how hard it is and it'll take time, but time will pass no matter what and you won't always feel like this. I used to take my mind off such things by doing things I enjoyed, such as listening to music, reading or drawing, something that gives your mind a break. Another thing that helped me was keeping a diary, write in it anything that comes to mind that you feel the need to express. I hope and pray that your pain will eventually go away and you get all the happiness you clearly deserve. Peace and love. Gurveena UK xxx

I've read your problems, and I completely understand your hurt about your mother. It's not your fault if you have no intentions to meet her. But have you ever imagined if she actually loves you as well, even after all of these times? I believe, many things happen in Christmas. Perhaps this is your chance to it find out!
If you never try, you'll never know :)
Hope you a wonderful Christmas! Joshua.


When I read your story it brings a lot of hurtful memory's with my dad, he also forget my birthday all the time , and that truly hurts a lot, special with the holidays. he loves the new family more than he loves us, now he's past a way . My advice for you is put energy in the people who truly loves you and do nice stuff with them try to be not alone, and spent time with your friends / family. I wish you the best Christmas of all times wish you all the love and luck go for it because you really deserve it! Best wishes, Marianne.

We all feel hurt once in a while so you need not worry that nobody gets what you're going through. Been there and believe me, bottling up the pain will make it worse. Share what's troubling you to the people that you know would help you. Ask them for understanding and support.
Of course others can only do so much for you. One thing you can try is to write down the personal strengths that you have. Think that you'll use these strengths to overcome the negative feelings you are having.
No need to talk to your mom if you're not up to it. But it might be nice to send her a card. 'Tis the season of giving anyway. Just don't expect anything in return.
I know it's easier said than done, but try that instead of being sad for the person who is not around, why not be happy with the people who have been always there for you? You'll be unfair to yourself if you let your mom's absence spoil your holiday celebrations. What matters is here and now so better enjoy where you are and whom you are with at the moment.
Sincerely, Jennilyn from Manila, Philippines.


The holidays can be a rough time for many ,because there is an expectation of being happy and having the' perfect family' this is not realistic . Sounds to me like you need to move on from what has happened to you , for a start get your OWN decorations and start a new tradition with them . Look around you, there may be a neighbor friend or workmate that needs your help , could you invite them over for the holidays ??? Could you do something nice for someone??? Visit someone elderly who is lonely..reach out and you will discover how happy a Christmas you can have!!! Merry Christmas to you!

I think you'd better tell you all feel for her! I know it's not easy, but it is best to do. You should get out more with your friends to distract, walk and forget everything that brings you grief! Virna.

It is extremely hard to know somebody hurt you or disappointed you in this way, especially during christmas time. As long as she doesn't try to make a new start you have to find your own way to handle this pain. I had a similar situation, a few persons who should have cared for me had obviously forgotten my existance for many years completely. Later I met them, hoped they would apologize or explain. No, they didn't and I felt hurt once more. Today I think they were not able to behave in another way, they are so busy with themselves, there was no place for someone else.
Whatever it is or was, that kept your mother away from you, the reasons are not easy to understand. Momentary this might sound weird for you, but try to forgive her, only this can minimize your pain effectively. Maybe you can't influence her actions, but you are responsible for your own and I'm sure you will always do your best not to copy your mother's manner.
Concentrate on those who are around you, your friends, avoid to be too much alone during your holidays and enjoy time
wherever possible. love&merry x-mas. L.Q.

Thanks to all those who replied to this week’s question. Remember, Team Oracle is open to anyone so if you fancy replying, click to read this week's, and send us your answer.