Come to find out, he was a nice person who made me feel wanted for six great years. After he died of a heart attack, I called my mom crying, and she said, "Good, he got what he deserved." She didn't contact me again for nine years.
Over the years, I tried to work on our relationship, but she refuses to acknowledge any possible negative feeling I have. She says I was abusive to her (I wasn't) and has told relatives these lies about me. It's ruined my life and has left me without any family support.
Answer: I've said this before, and it applies here: The adults in your life were responsible for nurturing and protecting you. When they abdicated this responsibility, it devolved onto you. Of course, as a child, you were in no position to act as your own parent/protector. You were betrayed.
Now, though - in your 30s? - you're equipped to act as your own protector. You had some terrible models, but I bet you can list pretty quickly all the things you'd do for a child, and never do to a child.
That list is what you need to do on your own behalf now. Let's say No. 1 is "I will respect my child's needs and feelings." Then: Apply that standard to dealing with your mom. Maybe No. 2 is "I will protect my children from family members who mistreat them." Applying that to your situation is a straight line.
E-mail Carolyn Hax at email@example.com.