My mother is always talking about sympathy, it’s her favourite word, she often says she “needs sympathy”.
The problem is; I have exhausted myself giving her sympathy, empathy and support and it still does not quite meet her needs. At one point, she phoned me three times a day (when I was on my way to work, on my lunch break and on my way home from work), so I could provide emotional support and she would still complain she had no support!
One of my earliest memories is of me coming home from school, I was five and I wanted to talk about my rough day, where I had been bullied. When I got home, my Mum was crying on the sofa, saying nobody loved her and she had no sympathy. This confused me because Dad loved her very much and showed it. I never got to talk about my rough day, I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening laying on the sofa cuddling my Mum telling her everything would be okay. This sadly, became a life pattern, I became my Mum’s emotional support and never sought any emotional support for myself.