Identifying yourself in opposition to your mother can be such a secret and necessary torment. Several women I've spoken to have evoked the image of driving with blinders on, or navigating without a map, the excitement of charting an independent course compromised by a sense of imperative disidentification: You move on, you leave your mother behind, she can't quite appreciate where you're going or how you'll get there, and all at once you're terrified of the change, guilty about it, thrilled by it and furious at her for letting you go off without any directions, for letting you go at all
my mother was born and raised in a foreign country many years ago, one where the only reason that women would continue their education would be to meet a future husband who would have a college degree. she has very few skills and is not capapable of doing anything physically strenuous or for those who aren't squeamish. therefore, she has been unemployed for almost two years and will probably be for the rest of her life. she rarely does anything for herself, even things as simple as going to the store to buy herself a pack of cigarettes. if she wants someone to do something for her, she will mention it like "oh, i guess i'll go to the store and get myself cigarettes" then sigh and look at my dad and wait for him to offer to go for her (which he always does, no matter how inconvenient, even though he works over 50 hours a week and she is at home all day). okay..now that i've given my bitchy background on the situation, this is why it's important..
it has always been my goal in life to NOT be like my mother. i never wanted to depend on a man for ANYTHING. my whole life, i feel like i've been striving towards ensuring i have a bright future. yet i find myself feeling very guilty, feeling as if i rushed ahead and grew up too fast, pushed my parents out of my life in order to assert myself with some sense of independence. in the past year, i feel like i've stalled in my growth as a person, scared that i'll be graduating college in two years and now all i want more than anything is to go back to being young and without any responsibilities (i know this is normal, just maybe not to the extent that i feel it/for different reasons). my parents are both so confident that i'll "be somebody" some day, but i'm not so sure and whenever i express my concerns, they tell me i'm being ridiculous. to use the analogy, it's like they fully expect me to get to my destination without a map even though they've never been there themselves, they just assume i'll follow the road signs.