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Section: children, relationships

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

Dear Washington,
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.

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A Note from Margo:
Hi! It's Margo here. I'd love to know what you think of the letters -- and the answers!

Also, any additional thoughts you might have. Thanks!

Conch's Comment
Get her to do a dna test with 23

Mary C's Comment
Has the back-from-the-dead mom forgotten that she seriously disappointed her daughters by abandoning them? Picking up a relationship with one who has relinquished her children is tricky. Take no blame! And, do seek some help to get you through. PS--My guess is that when mom gets tired of your sister she will abandon her once again. She may need your shoulder to cry on sooner rather than later.

Reader Comment
I agree with both Conch's and Mary C's comments. I would want a total DNA test for both the 'mother' and daughters. What does this woman expect from her 'daughters'? She abandoned them and now she wants to be praised that she finally decided to be in their lives? I don't believe she's been looking for them for 33 years. She had her eyes closed while 'searching'. I don't believe her as her gullible daughter does.

Ann Marie's Comment
You have no idea if this woman is your mother - she could be an escapee from Bellevue Psychiatric Ward! Something is very wrong with her - I would be afraid of her. Stay away. Even if related, she does not sound sane. Your sister is the one who really needs the therapist -- there's nothing wrong with you! I would never be alone with her - just in case she flies in to see you again. Please don't let her in.
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Our Reader to Reader Question of the Week:

Dear Readers,
, whatever they needed I provided. What really hurt my son and I the most was the obituary - we were not mentioned at all. Our friends (mine and hers) were appalled. I was embarrassed and upset for not just me, but for my son-who loved her also. I never been so upset. Her x-husband put his wife and kids and their grandchildren in the obituary, who my girlfriend barely knew. They live an hour away from us. I know its silly to be mad over a little section of the newspaper, but it still hurts. Will time let this devastating loss of her and this article ever go away? I am so angry at this whole situation, its not like we can go and rewrite an obituary notice.

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"Nobody gets to live life backward. Look ahead, that is where your future lies."
-Ann Landers