DEAR ABBY: My parents divorced when I was in third grade, and my sister and I lived with my mother. When I was 16, Mom met a man online, quit her job and moved across the country to be with him. My sister and I begged her to let us finish school first, but she was adamant about moving. She gave us a choice — move with her to another state or move in with our father. We chose the latter.
Since then, my mother has not been a part of my life. I invited her to my wedding, but she didn't attend. When I think of my mother, I associate her with feelings of abandonment and unhappiness.
Mom called me last week, and frankly it was upsetting. I have heard from others how unhappy she is with her life and the choices she made, although she hasn't said it to me directly. I find it painful to hear her say she loves me, because there's a difference between saying it and living it.
Is there a moral obligation to allow her back into my life? I believe you can't help what happens in your childhood, but you can decide how you let it affect you. Or is it OK to stay on the path I have chosen and keep my distance from her?