I am stuck in my healing and I believe this is mainly due my inability to resolve conflict and forgive. The other day I received a call from my mother who I had not spoken to in about four years following a ridiculous argument between me and my brother and an even more ridiculous assumption on the part of my mother. Misunderstandings and miscommunications are rife within all families but this one got so far out of hand that neither me nor my mother could find our way back. The relationship, I have to say, was never good. I was the archetypical problem child, screaming adolescent and terrible teen. My mother just couldn't cope with me. So after a rather difficult long-distance telephone conversation that included copious amounts of shouting, accusations, name calling, dragging others into the mix…my mother asked me to decide whether or not I wanted a relationship with my family or not. If not, she would leave me alone for good. My mother is now 92 but just as quick-tongued, sharp-witted and ornery as she was 50 odd years ago. She requested that I email her my answer. Below is a draft reply. I would appreciate some help from anyone who wishes to provide me with their thoughts on this response. I struggle with asking for help and generally try to be the one to provide it but now I am asking. RE: your phone call The truth is, I am not sure at this point whether resumed contact is such a good idea or not. So I cannot answer your question at this time. It appears that we do not see eye to eye on anything. I say white and you say black, no matter what the topic. What would you like from me apart from an answer to your question? Do you want general "hello, how are you" emails? I can do this. Would you like me to repay you for any of the financial help you have given me over the years? Do you want me to actually stay with you if I were to visit? I would see you, preferably at a neutral venue, but I won't stay with you. As you say, you are 92 and thus are extremely fragile and vulnerable. I wouldn't put you under that amount of strain. Just for the record, I didn't want to speak with (my brother) four years ago. That did not mean I wanted to end the relationship with YOU. You assumed this and you couldn't have been more wrong. I merely handed the phone to (my daughter) so you could speak with her and thus avoid further confrontation with him. It was after this you went round telling everyone I was estranged from the WHOLE family, including cousins and nephews. I stopped speaking to you because I was deeply hurt by this. Certain members of my extended family have never caused me any grief and have been supportive throughout my entire life. They may not have agreed with everything I did, but they accepted me for who I am, warts and all. I'm not sure you can ever accept me. I do not wish for you to have to 'gloss over', as you referred to it, areas of my life. But I cannot change the past any more than you can. As I said I am prepared to take 50% responsibility for what has happened. If you cannot meet me halfway and continue to insist that I take full blame, then it's time to call it a day. If you can admit that you actually make mistakes, that you aren't the perfect parent as I am not the perfect child, if you can stop expecting me to apologise for being who I am, then we can agree to disagree and move forward in our relationship. Please note, I do not want any relationship with my estranged siblings. There is simply no connection there anymore. This is one of the reasons I haven't been in touch with you as I feared you would not accept this. I know at one point you remarked that your immediate family was reasonably okay compared to other families. Sadly, we aren't so different from all the rest. As one nears the end of their life, they want to make amends and 'put their house in order.' I presume this was the reason for your call and I accept that it was not done out of malice but I sensed from you an icy bitterness, not so much as a touch of warmth or compassion in your voice. I don't mean this as an insult, just an observation. It must have been very painful for you to call me. You must ask yourself now, will there be less pain for you if you resume a relationship with me or will there be more? I am leaving you to answer that question honestly before I will answer yours.