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Conversational Threads

worrying about my fabric and design

denise | Posted in General Discussion on

I am wondering if any one in my age group of 59 has ever felt this way will explain.

My mother was a manic depressive and all sorts of problems directed mainly at me.

She was very narcistic and dressed beautifully, everywhere she went ( so she said) people commented on her appearance, but to be honest she always looked  so well dressed even for the most casually outing and event.

Now I sew for myself I often feel as though I am wearing what she would of worn although I do not over dress as she did.

Every time a choose fabric  I worry that I will look like my mother.

I ask one of my daughters if a couple of the pieces i had chosen looked like her grandmother  ” yes she said”.

I suppose at this age i am now was the time when she was cruelest to me.

She always had her clothes made by the best dressmakers.

I now think my daughters think that my wardrobe is beginning to look, like my mothers.  I really want to avoid this also, but find I love the long skirts she wore and the blouses etc.

I love that look I know its not exactly in fashion now, but I love nice well made flat shoes  straight skirts just above my ankle T shirts and blouses.

Now I am retired I do not need suits etc.

Is there any one else out there who feel they are starting to look like their mums.

Of course for most people this is just wonderful but for me who had a mother who only chose to speak to me when she wished, and make my life so sad, its is something I want to avoid,  I bend over backwards to be there for my family.

But I do not want them to see there nanna.

This is most very unusually to chat about but one cannot ask others who are not in to sewing or fashion for ourselves.


  1. MaryinColorado | | #1

    Perhaps the way your mother dressed is one of the few positive things you can remember about her.  My mother always dressed like Jackie Kennedy, had a perfect figure, perfect hair, etc...Everyone thought she was the "perfect wife and mother"  It was all an illusion, believe me, I can understand how you feel. 

    You have chosen a different path, partly because you learned what kind of person "not to be".  That is something good that came from something bad.  The same can be said for your personal sense of style.  Why punish yourself for appreciating what is probably the one thing you might have in common?  It's what is inside that counts, and the person YOU are today and tomorrow.  It's good that you care about your appearance and grooming.  Our past, both good and bad, is what builds our character and makes us who we are.  We can work on our reactions, learn how to cope with situations, find outlets for stressors, and try to be happy. 

    Being in our fifties can be compared to puberty!  It's a time to take what we've learned from life, shuffle it, and deal ourselves a new hand if that's what it takes. 

    Eleanore Roosevelt wrote:  Treasure every moment that you have.  Yesterday is history, Tomorrow is a mystery, Today is a gift...that's why it's called the "present!"

    Now that you don't need to wear the dressier clothes, you get the priveledge of "letting your hair down".  Have fun with some new fabrics and styles, but keep what is "comfortable" too so you aren't overwhelmed. 

    When you feel anxiety and negative thoughts racing around in your head, practice telling yourself you will think about this later.....  This teaches your brain to focus more on the moment.  Later you decide which concerns are worth working on.  Maybe categorize them by making a list.  It helped me to write a horrible letter and releasing all those negative experiences and feelings....then I tore it up and burned it in effigy.  This helped me to confront my feelings without hurting someone else which would have hurt me more in the long run.  Negative begets negative.  Work on positive thoughts and actions and it will bring positive feedback into your life. 

    I hope this doesn't sound preachy, I hope it helps somehow.  Stay strong and do simple things that bring you pleasure.                            Mary

    1. denise | | #3

      Dear Mary and Ralphetta.

      Thank you both I did not really think any would reply especially so soon.

      Thank you for the quote from Mrs Roosevelt.  I am Australian but I do know a lot about American History.

      Yes my mum dressed like Jackie too and went to church every Sunday, always sat in the same seat with dad and looked a million dollars.

      I am so glad of all your comments.  Yes I did think that was the good thing in mums character she always looked nice, and I know my father appreciated that. It was her peers and so called friends that would comment on mums well groomed look.She never worked after she was married but in the city looked as though she could of been an executive, I often think it came from a poor up brining in the Depression years and this may have been her only luxury.

      So if I could just forget the other side of her Manic Depression and just take the good points it would help  thought I was over all this but just lately I am like Ralphetta can see her staring back at me.  Yes we are the same shape and height exactly.

      But she always looked  down on what I wore and commented.  I am an only child so that does not help.

      I really feel self conscious when I go out  and this has only just started to happen she has been gone 1   year now and dad 10.

      Thank you I will take on board all you said,  I have cut and pasted Mrs Roosevelt words they are so true.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #4

        I sent you an email, hope you don't mind.  Mary

        1. denise | | #5

          Thats o.k.Mary,  I just wondered the initial RN.you say at RN what does that stand for.

          I think what you and Raphaletta said make very good sense.  Perhaps i am sewing too much and should buy a few off the rack clothes to keep the balance.


          1. MaryinColorado | | #11

            She was a Registered Nurse who ran a clinic and had alot of access to medicines and prescriptions and she abused it because of her mental illness.  She had to comply with treatment or go to jail.  I don't know her current status but pray she and her family are healing.  I mentioned it because I was told that she was a kind and compassionate highly functioning person before her illness spiralled out of control and she became psychotic.  It can happen to anyone really.  I hope one day there won't be such a stigma attatched to mental or physical disease.  More people will seek and continue treatment if there isn't so much shame attatched to it.

            Sorry, sometimes I forget we are international friends here and the cultures and language aren't always compatible. 

            I'll get off my soapbox now, sorry.  I feel passionate about this as you can tell.  So many children are hurt because someone didn't "listen" or "pay attention" and intervene. 

            Maybe just window shopping or looking at online stores will give you some new ideas.  If you enjoy creating them, don't give that up!  Mary

          2. denise | | #12

            Thankyou Mary i do hope things change over the years too.

            After all we can see a broken bone but not a broken heart of some one troubled.

            God Bless

            we are very compatible in our language her in Aust. dont worry.

            After all we come from english stock, or European stock where my husband comes from.

            I suppose i am just waiting for someone my daughters in particular to say Mum gosh you look nice where did you get that from.

            Because i sew they say nothing so think it must be not that good.


          3. MaryinColorado | | #13

            I remember getting fed up after about 30 years of marriage with my husband very rarely thinking to say I look "nice".  One day when he said it, I told him "You say the same thing to everyone, wether it's true or not, so it would be great if you could tell me in a different way once in awhile.  That didn't even work, now he sarcastically says "you look nice, oh, I'm not supposed to say that!"  I was just trying to speak up and let him know what I needed.  It's wonderful to get reassuring input from those that matter to you.  Some people are just better at giving compliments than others.  You can lead a horse to water, but you can't make him drink.

            Maybe you could arrange a shopping trip with your daughters.  Tell them in advance that you want honest insput on trying some new ideas for your wardrobe.  That way, you will get positive and negative feedback.  Let them know you won't get your feelings hurt as you need thier input.  Don't act like you're fishing for compliments, but are asking for help.  They may come up with some suggestions on color and style if you ask them to pick some things out for you to try on.  Otherwise, find a store clerk who is knowledgeable and helpful. 

            I discovered that my grand daughter is the perfect "mirror" for how I look.  She has very discerning taste and honestly tells me if something looks too "young" too "granny"  too tight or shapeless.  Luckily, she is also very tactful!!! 

      2. blondielou | | #25

        I have had years and years and years of therapy to have a "motherectomy"....to cut the ambilectol cord. 

        I have my mother's poor health with chronic headaches, migraines, neck issues, endrometrosis, fibromyalgia, hypothyroidism.....but even more than anything her entire side of the family gave me obesity genes.....  She is about 250; my sister is about 280, my grandfather was close to 400, his sister was probably 325 and her son was probably 350....and his children were all overweight.  So it is not surprising that I was overweight in my youth and teen years and then gained to close to 300 lbs. 


        With therapy, I did lose the weight in my early 20's and have kept it off ever since (I just turned 50) after a period of much yo-yoing.....I am now 50.


        My mother is very bland and "beige, brown and boring" in her dress".  She is 5'8"; I am 5'4".  I am blonde; blue-grey-green eyed and she is brunette with brown eyes.  I have gorgeous porcelain skin I have taken very good care of staying out of the sun, wearing hats/visors....  She dresses in khaki Docker pants and basic boring shirts for the most part.


        I wear palazzo full pants, long full knit and chiffon skirts with some having ruffles, fringe or irregular hem lines...

        with clavicle and nice cleavage and low back showing a pretty back....I wear true bright colors (white based) whereas everything my mother wears is beige based.  I look great in purple, teal, royal blue, hot pink....dramatic colors.  


        I don't dress like my mother and I am nothing like her, especially since I no longer binge/overeat in response to stress!


        I do thank her for teaching me how to sew though once she could afford to buy clothes she stopped sewing!


        Be yourself....if that also happens to be the same or similar as your mother, so what!!!



    2. 1sew | | #27

      That was beautiful. I hope she gets it. In a nutshell. Her mother had a classy style. It okay to borrower from it.

      1. MaryinColorado | | #28

        Thank You.  I love that saying from E. Roosevelt.  Have a wonderful week end!  Mary

  2. Ralphetta | | #2

    I think that it's pretty normal to do some things like your mother. For example, when I look in the mirror I sometimes see my mother looking back. No one ever thought I looked like her. But, I have many of her mannerisms and my hair is very, very curly like hers. My point is that I find myself sometimes wearing my hair like she did because it's what it wants to naturally do. You didn't say if you had your mother's coloring, and shape, but if any of those things are true then your choices would seem to be natural. Children grow up imitating their parents in many ways and since your mother had strong feelings about fashion I would assume you absorbed a lot of that without even being aware.I'm sounding a little like Dr. Phil or Oprah, but maybe you should try to concentrate on what you LIKE when you look in the mirror. There's nothing wrong with liking some things she liked. If you can switch to a more positve way of seeing things, you can treat what you see as a starting point and just make some small adjustments at first.
    I think it would be easier to do things gradually. That way you could gain confidence in your own choices and feel good about yourself. The more you think about yourself instead of her, the less power the past will have over you. It's really true that concentrating on positive thoughts can make a difference. Positive thoughts can keep your mind moving forward. It will be hard at first, but you can do it. It sounds like there are many good things in your life for you to think about. I bet that you will see some of them when you look in the mirror.Photographs might help you make changes. Sometimes when I see a photo of myself I look totally different than what I saw in the mirror. It's more obvious what I should change.Although my situation wasn't exactly like yours, I do understand how dwelling in the past can continue to make you unhappy. It's amazing how much of it is just habit. Make it a new habit to find things you like about yourself.

    1. denise | | #6

      Dear Ralphetta  in case you did not see my thankyou in with Marys email reply.


      Everything you say makes very good sense.

      1. denise | | #7

        i have cut and posted both of your remarks to my sewing file.


  3. fabricholic | | #8

    First, let me say that I am sorry you had to go through that with your mom. I have a sister-in-law that is schizophrenic and it was very hard on her family, until she got help. I wouldn't worry about looking like your mother. The way you act toward them is what they will remember, just like you did with your mom. I think flats are in fashion. I am not sure about the straight skirt to the ankles, but you should enjoy whatever you like! I know as I get older, I look so much like my mother. It is the way we are made. You are still your own person. God bless you.Marcy

    1. denise | | #9

      tThankyou marcy

    2. blondielou | | #29

      I hope to God I don't look like my mother!  She is not pretty, not attractive, not sexy....about 100 lbs overweight.....wears her button buttoned to her neck (me it is opened to my boobs and backless in the back!), everything she wears is boring, boring, boring.  Yawn, yawn, yawn! 


      I am growing my platinum hair that is shoulder length down mid back or longer.....my mom insists on short and an awful bowl "Mom" perm.  I look 10-15 years younger than I am as I have been extremely faithful using sunscreen and Retin A and alpha hydroxy acid, plus large 5" visors, wraparound sunglasses, staying out of the sun. 



      1. fabricholic | | #31

        Wow, you definitely have your own style. I am glad you found a way to deal with your stress by not eating to comfort yourself. I admit, I do eat when stressed. Be kind to your mom. She might be able to combat her eating problems, like you did. She might feel she is too far gone or some people don't worry about their weight. How do you deal with family functions? Does your family always bring goodies loaded with calories? Our get-togethers always seem to be centered around food.p.s. Keep enjoying your uniqueness!

  4. nmog | | #10

    I feel like you do, and I'm 35! My mom has always dressed with style, although probably not as formally as yours. I'm currently a stay at home mom and don't need to dress up for work or the like. I try to take it as a compliment when my mom wants to borrow some of my clothes. However, that's not always easy! I think that our mom's attitudes always stay with us, regardless of age. See if it's possible to take the good and ignore the bad and make add you own special touch to outfits you think are similar to what your mother would wear. That way, if anyone says that they look similar, you can say "No it isn't! I added this or changed that, and I prefer it this way!".
    Good luck with a tough situation!

  5. lil1569 | | #14

    God bless you Denise.  Don't worry about being like your mother.  Just reading your email, I could see that you are a very caring person.  I too don't have great memories of my mother, but I've forgiven her and have gone on with my life.  Life's too short to hold bad memories.  Keep sewing - it's good therapy.

  6. scrubble4 | | #15

    Denise:  I am 61 and work in the school system.  I am surrounded by young women and we talk about clothing, cosmetics, fashion etc.  They constantly comment on my clothes and fashion sense, even though it is very different from theirs.  I will ask their advice and they will ask mine.  They have really helped me keep my hair more fashionable than I would have done on my own.

    I don't like below the waist pants, and I don't like flared trousers, as both of these are detrimental to my overall look.  Below the waist trousers elongate my already long waist and flared trousers shorten the look of my short legs so I go with what I like.

    I agree with the poster who said take pictures.  Even take pictures of clothes you try on in shops.  For some reason with me I can see much more objectively in a picture whether what I am wearing is working or not than from the mirror.  Weird.

    I love longish gored skirts, which I wear with flat or low heeled shoes.  I am on the run all day and find 3' heels are hard on my knees and back.  I still love to wear high heels for a dressy occasion when I will be sitting or at least not running most of the time.

    I love turtleneck sweaters and vests and jackets.  Now these are all acceptable to wear with jeans.  So what I am trying to say in a very round about way, like who you are and how you dress.  If you don't like something ... change it. 

    My Mom was very uncomplimentary to me.   She has been dead for quite a few years now but even when she was alive I had ways to stay emotionally grounded.  Fortunately I seemed to be born with a water glass half full attitude.  This attitude was nothing I worked to create, it was just there.  So I avoid a lot of the painful memories and created my own support base separate from her views.   However, I think this was possible because I was born with a sunny disposition.  I think we should recognize that some of our attitude really does come from the way we are made not just our experiences and how we deal with them.  I think sometimes folks feel guilty that someone else seems to be able to get on with it while they are still struggling to overcome similar situations.  We do come with different skills in our back pack.  Yes we add to the repertoire as we journey through life, but some folks just come with really great stuff in their backpack to start with and then add to it. 

    Don't be hard on yourself.  Celebrate who you are and enjoy that person.  Your kids and your Mom can have their own opinions, but they don't need to form yours. 

    Hope this helps.  I found this to be a location of amazingly caring folks.  No one seems to need to be important at others expenses.  Everyone just pitches in to help each other with whatever is brought here for guidance.

    Keep coming back to read and to post.  You will feel good about yourself just from being part of such a lovely community of friends.


  7. User avater
    VKStitcher | | #16

    Hi Denise,

    I'm so sorry for the rough times you had with your mother.  You've received a lot of caring and supportive comments here.

    There's nothing wrong with dressing well and looking good in your clothes, or liking the same styles/colors that your mother might have worn.  If you are a similar shape and coloring as your mother, you will also look good in styles and colors that flattered her.  If you like it, feel comfortable in it, and it looks good on you, then by all means enjoy wearing it.

    Maybe you can re-phrase the question to your daughter, and instead of asking "Do I look like your grandmother?", ask "Do I look good in this? Does this color or style flatter me?"  You might get the same "yes" answer to all these questions, but your feelings about the answers will be different.

    I know how it feels to think that you look like your mother.  Last summer I bought a cute cropped pants and shirt set.  When I tried them on at home, my mother was staring back at me from the other side of the mirror!  Although the color was great for me, I ended up giving the set to Mom, who loves it.  We have the same eye/skin/hair coloring, so we look good in the same colors, but we each have our own style and fashion preferences.

    1. denise | | #17

      Thankyou all for so much support.

      It is good to know that others see their mum staring back at them who have a wonderful relationship with their mums.  That is so much help.

      Thankyou one and all, very much,  I am starting to feel better about myself and will think positive about my style.

  8. GailAnn | | #18

    Thank you for bringing up this very interesting subject.  I am surprized that so many other ladies feel the same why I have felt about myself.

    My mother is an alcholic, a tall, graceful, beautiful, talented, accomplished, successful, witty, well-dressed, harsh, angry, bitter, neglectful, verbally abusive, alcholic.  (She is still alive, although at 83, in an assisted living facility.)

    And yet, somehow, in a sick sort of way, I always felt INFERIOR to her, no matter how well my life might be going at the time!

    Strangely, now at 57, with a matronly figure, I feel better about myself, and more comfortable in my own skin, than I ever have, before, in my life.

    So, just a couple of thoughts.

    1-  Spend some time in the library, or watching old movies, or new T.V. shows and decide what sort of style you might like for YOU!

    2-  What is available in the latest magazines, and store windows, are directed at the sweet young 20 somethings, and while fine for them, maybe not so much for me.  Although certainly every year something sprouts up that even we older dolls might enjoy wearing.

    3-  Give your daughters full permission to criticize your clothing or style as they see fit!  Very freeing  --  for you  -- and  --  for them!  Listen carefully but don't dwell on it.  Put to use the advice that feels right, let the rest go.  You daughter can be your best friend, if you let her.  Buy her lunch and a manicure, if you can afford it, join her and enjoy!

    4-  To have friends, you have to be a friend.  So get out of the house, take a walk arround the block and see what is new, right in your own neighborhood!  Join the ladies circle at church or start one!  Join a book or needlework group.  Be interested and interesting.  Old friends understand where you have come from, and help to keep you grounded, but new friends allow you to grow in fresh directions of your own choosing.

    5-  Sew as much as you want.  If something doesn't work out, look at it as a learning experience and go on...............

    "May you be like Ruth and like Esther, may you be DESERVING of praise."  --  Fiddler on the Roof

    Edited 3/18/2008 11:15 am ET by GailAnn

    1. Digi | | #21

      GailAnn:  You expressed my philosophy of life so very well in your response (#19 of 21), except you said it better.  I do want to say how very sad I felt that so many who responded had difficult or cruel mothers, rather than warm, loving and nurturing role models.  That said, I applaud each of you for overcoming such difficult childhoods.

      As to asking for advice: Something that I try to do is to ask if "this flatters my particular body type" or if the color "works" on me, instead of using such judgmental words as "good" or "bad" when asking family and friends how I look in a particular style of garment.  It seems that folks are generally more comfortable in responding when my question is worded that way.

      My own mother started dressing "elderly" far too soon, and when I commented on it, she just chuckled and said: "you need to remember your words to me when you are my age".  She always had a youthful figure and eventually took to heart what I said.  I have aged just like her and now, at nearly 70-years old, I still wear jeans, but with feminine shirts or pretty sweaters - and GREAT loafers!  I think one of the other gals mentioned something like: "being comfortable in your own skin", which is truly important.  My prayer is that my hands stay steady and my eyesight holds out until 1-minute after I pass from Mother Earth, so I can sew until I take my very last breath.  Now that ...would be heaven!

      Edited 3/18/2008 10:14 pm ET by Digi

      1. denise | | #22

        Thankyou all so much for the advice there was something in EVERYONE"s emails to take note of.

        Yes my wish too is to be able to pass on  at my sewing machine  " not too soon though as i have a lot of creating to do in this room" this is a new luxury for me as the sewing room was the kitchen when the children where little and so not to be cluttered  when i finished sewing for the day the machine went in the cupboard.

        One lady inspired me to buy a flattering pair of jeans again, i had said i would not wear them again.  I noticed a friend the other day in jeans she had a lovley striped shirt i thought how nice it looked but still young looking ,  so i thought why not buy something off the rack occassionaly and then make a nice shirt to go with it,  So that is my next plan.

        I have been working on a pants muslin by Marfy and have had advice on how to narrow the legs so now i have two patterns out of the one.

        I am feeling so much better i never new my email would stir such comment perhpas threads would like to do an article on this subject,  thankyou one and all hope you all have a happy easter and a restful one.

        Denese  australia.

      2. fabricholic | | #30

        Think about this; what if, in heaven, you are given a big room, like a Hancock's, with beautiful fabric and your job is to just create. It's going to be great guys and I hope I meet you all there someday.Marcy

        1. dollmarm | | #32

          HI lady, Digi and all  Wouldn't  that be grand to have a Sewing Hall or shall I say I Mall  in Heaven -

          Wow just think of all the new crafts being made and all the wonderful creative minds at work !  Looking forward to seeing you and other there, great minds have great and creative ideas - sure like this one!  :~) 

          1. fabricholic | | #33

            And the arthritis and other things that might hender us will be gone. Yipee!

          2. dollmarm | | #34

            Perfect -perfect !!!!!!   that w/ a whopping double RAHOOO !!!

            Our little full minds can not fathom it all.  I remember as a child hearing all the sermons in church and then thinking on them later - like  living  forever in Heaven.I remember laying out on the grass looking at  the cloud as they moved around making different shapes and thinking about living forever and all the vast of questions that would flood through a young girls mind.  It is still mind boggling !  There will be no pain is the best there & totally freedom from all that binds us here and oh we could go on and on and on ................  Thanks for this moment of ....  our lives here are so so full and so much in so many directions that we fail to stop and think and really enjoy those really simple little things as stated  - we really need to stop and smell the roses.  

            After living in so many different places, countries and seeing the sadness, filth and no freedoms as we have here  I try to enjoy to stop each day and look at the clouds and esp the birds.  We truly do not fully appreciate all of what we have, until we see how little others have it.  I think each one should visit an less fortunate place to fully appreciate all that has been given to us freely.  

            WOW thanks again for this lovely thought ride my friend,  my son has been in a buddle bath (would live there if I would let him) Must get back to my day at hand that is running ahead of me. 

            Enjoy where-ever & whaterever you are working on :~) 

  9. Cathie | | #19

    I read the letter from Denise, and a few others, as must go out now. I can relate. I am 58, and had a very cruel mother, but, she did sew. I was to make my own clothes from age 12 up. Although I am too self-critical, and this is a problem I am working on, the negative can become positive. Our reaction to a burden we don't deserve can be very creative. I don't go out to work, but take 2 very long walks with new Hubby, and my rescued Shepherd, wearing what I call "doggie wear". Then, if we can wear what we wish, that is a blessing. I also love flats, long skirts, T's. Sandra Betzina has a super sense of style, great patterns, or just use her book "Sandra's Closet" to change existing patterns. Some of the independent companies have great skirts, and T's, that are even dressy. Due to hot flashes, I want to be cool enough. I found also books by image consultants can be very helpful. For example, try Judith Rasband. When I feel those awful negative thought coming, I think of my sewing room, which resembles a greenhouse, a riot of colour. Also, in my quiet time I read sewing books, and look through vintage sewing mags (often European, from charity shops). As fashion repeats itself, with little changes, we can wear what we wish to, and what suits us.

  10. Teaf5 | | #20

    Others have responded well to the lookalike, mum, and self-image, so I'll just offer a small tip on how to find a new style for yourself: look for a new style role model. If you look around, you'll see many women your own age and shape and lifestyle, and some of them will look terrific. When you see a terrific one, quickly note what elements add up to their overall look--colors, shapes, lengths, garments styles--and consider whether you'd feel comfortable in those. After you've collected notes from a few people, you'll begin to see patterns like "hip length jacket" or "light top, dark bottom" or "knee length skirt with dressy tee" that you can create for yourself. It's always a compliment to approach someone and say, "That jacket is beautiful; where did you get it?" or "That's a fantastic haircut; did someone in town do that?" Even if you can't get the same jacket, you get a chance to meet someone new and be inspired yourself.Good luck!

  11. sewelegant | | #23

    I was reading all the letters you received in response to yours and think you got lots of good advice.  It really helps to talk with others who have similar experiences because then you know you were not being singled out for the abuse.  I have several sisters and we each had issues with our mother, but until we were older and could talk about them and air our feelings we each thought we were the only one who harbored ill feelings.  It was a great relief to get it out of our system and be able to look at our mother's positive points.  She was a good mother in most respects but I think in retrospect she too was a bit manic-depressive, especially after menopause and during that time our sister who was a teen had the most difficulty and has the most scars.  No one is all bad and your mother probably did not realize what she was doing.  She probably looked at you and could see all the faults that she detested in herself even if they weren't really "faults", just something she didn't like.  For some reason it seems most of our ancestors were a lot more rigid and strict than we were with our children.  I agree with the one who said you should go ahead and wear the styles you like even if it was what she liked.  You probably wouldn't like it if it didn't suit you and it seems as though you thought your mother had great style.  It might help to choose a different color palette from what she always wore and what you describe is classic so it will be around forever.

    1. dollmarm | | #24

      HI, Denise I have only been w/ threads and Gatherings a short and sorrie this is a lengthen one.  ( I stay in more with an autistic son)

      I was so touched as I read yours and so many.  I  had  an abusive sick dad with a mother that was so beaten down to the point she could be as well and just there.  My mother sewed and cut corners and even in the midst of her pain, sadness and anger and rage at times - it never showed when she went out.  ALL us 4girls were nicely dressed and behaved and no never the sadness behind those closed doors

      I don't about you but the crafts and sewing is a therapy.  You create something different out of stuff that can not be anything of what you have created on its on. I hear you  heart as it were my own.  I struggled many years with so many emotions and was blessed to find a good man despite what I knew.   I was also very fortunate to have a great friend that was a lay counselor that would never take a dime nor treated me anything less than her friend. She worked with me listening to all and then slowly sharing with me how special I was created to be and there was much purpose in me.  The hardest part was when I had to learn to see the blessing even in the midst of madness.  The tiniest of a flicker of light is there, not always shining but still faintly there.  I feel as if you and some others who have also shared are 'kindred spirits'! There is much to learn about us all and where we have come from and how amazingly we are doing even when we do not feel it.  Remember you can never trust your emotions - Many times I would and still at times tell myself I was created for something more and there is a purpose and plan for everything. IT is so sad when we do see other women out there so beaten down - I just wanna bring them home and if nothing else just be their friend  and put them back on their feet smiling to face the world as I was treated.   With our lives we are unable to just stop sometimes and so we pray.  But we can -be-friend someone that know needs us a little more. I use to fear so much of becoming and or looking like....  - that fear can cripple you.  It took me a long time to value me for I was and am - a Special Wonderfully made creation and GOD does not make junk - no matter what we have and or not have physically and or mentally.  I truly saw this in working with the handicap and mentally challenged at the John F. Kennedy School in Ca. many years ago (not knowing I would have a child of my own that would be Special in so so many different and good ways.  It has been sad and nice to hear from so many of such pain and and yet finding the best that was originally set for each of us.   My dad left my mother after we were all grown thinking that if he left her she would want him back - wow was he so wrong and she has done much better.  Sad to say he thinks he is ok.  All my sisters do not a relationship him but are building ones with mother.   IT has not been easy but do-able.  I finally just had to let go of all the past pains and yet be diligent with the relationship.  At times mother tries the guilt trip.  She is not the loving-mommy type but will try to guilt you into what she needs from you.  I have to remind her I am not her little girl but a very grown woman and she laughs. We are working on this and when she comes each year we just shop and have fun.  SHe has lost a lot of weight and loves now to raid my closet. My husband usually takes some time off to be with our Autistic son; so we can talk freely and continue to build a better relationship.  It is still tuff but ....... Stormie Omartian has a book "Stormie" that talks of her childhood & Joni Eareckson Tada have great books of their struggles. I have enjoyed finding making and clothes and even re-making clothing to find to make me feel so much better and as I have my emotions do improve for even a moment, esp as others compliment you or heads turn no matter what your size and or shape.  We can always compliment another - find out where they got that neat purse or shoes and or jacket.  (now at times- this does bug my family when I approach a stranger) I like what Sewelegant says in  - 'no one  is all bad' - for too not one is all good.When my children were little I would tell them that   there is good and bad in all - we choose which way and there are even variables of good - there's really good,ok good and bad good - we chose.  But then  there are those that in are certain situations that do not have those freedom of choice.  (we lived in India when they were little) they saw a lot of sadness in many eyes.I think too that we learn from sharing and for many years - you just were not to say anything not nice, esp. against a family member- truth or not. Too I have taken several courses to learn the whys' of why  people re-act as they do and it really helps in the process of dealing esp. with a 'ruff' family member - esp a mom.  My sisters and I never knew the full extent of it all until we have grown up and share with each other. You have been given such neat advice that we all can learn from each other.  Thanks for allowing us all to share and be a part of such neat women where we can be free to share and learn from.  NOW find yourself something really neat with the color that brings out the color of your eyes and you feel extra Special as you wear those items as you were created to be.  Enjoy ! I will see you around,  :~) 

  12. WandaJ | | #26

    Hi Denise, The magnitude of quantity and more so quality of information that has been shared in response to your thread is amazing. I feel since I am now in a caretaker situation with my Mom that if I start typing about the past and emotions all reading will try to find me and send the 'white wagon' for me. Not really...

    It is unfortunate that some of the responses held so much pain, yet it was encouraging to know that many have emerged from the pain of their past.

    My two cents worth of advice to you is to go ahead and wear clothes and colors that you like even if they do look like your Mom. It has been said that '...apples don't fall far from the tree.'

    Regardless of how different we want to be, be it our father or mother that we are trying to escape it has been my long held belief that, "I am today the sum total of all of my yesterdays."

    Within yourself forgive your mother so that you can live (with or without her manner of dress). Forgive her. Embrace her so that you can be free.



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