I have a love-hate relationship with the person who gave me life. Ironic, really. There are so many things about her that drive me crazy, that I can’t stand, … yet without her, I wouldn’t be here. I know she has tried to be a good mother, but the way she judges others – including me – is almost too much to handle. I guess I can be grateful that I have lived far, far away from home for 12 years now, but even just her e-mails and once-yearly visits, are enough to push me over the edge. I know she does not approve of my choice in husband, in moving away from her, in not having children yet. She doesn’t often verbalize it, but I can feel the judgments just OOZING out of her. The problem is, I am still intimidated by her. I still want her to approve of me and my life, and do everything I can to try and please her, yet I NEVER will. I role-play out conversations in my mind of what I would say to her if she brought up an unfair judgment towards me, but then when that ever happens, I run scared and timidly make excuses that I think will satisfy her, while all the time giving up part of myself. So now it has happened again, she has said something to me (well, e-mailed something to me), to which I have just recently been role-playing my response if this topic should ever come up. Here I stand at the cross roads. Do I try to please her, as I always have done, with the only result being a loss of my self-confidence and self-respect. Or do I FINALLY be true to myself, stand up to her, and realize that I don’t have to give excuses for who I am and how I choose to live. I have always tried to do what I feel in my heart is right, I am a good person, so what do I have to be ashamed of??