Dear Ann Landers,
When my sister and I were young, we were told our mother had died when we were babies. Two years ago, I was contacted by a woman claiming to be our biological mother. She had been searching for us for 33 years.
My father died 10 years ago, so I have no way of knowing the truth, but her story sounded legitimate. I am slow at developing new relationships. However, my sister, who lives on the opposite coast, welcomed the woman with open arms and began calling her "Mom" immediately. I was stunned when I learned that the woman had packed up and moved to be near my sister.
I invited my new mother to come stay with me for a week so I could get to know her better. I explained it might take me a while to adjust to her. A week after our visit, which I thought went well, I received an angry letter from her saying she was disappointed in our visit because I did not welcome her as warmly as my sister did, which hurt her feelings.
I tried to discuss it with her but got nowhere. I saw my sister not long ago, and she lectured me about my lousy relationship with our new mother. She made me feel terrible. Do I need professional help? I will get it if you say so. -- Washington Woes
You have done nothing wrong. However, some short-term counseling to get you through this trauma might be a good idea. Meanwhile, be grateful that your sister and mother live on the other side of the country. Time can be a good healer. Let it do its work.