Dear Amy: I have been in a difficult marriage and have struggled with health issues and depression.

I also have two kids with special needs. Some days it takes all of my energy to cope with everything on my plate.

I have felt very alone as I have struggled to manage these challenges.

My mother’s opinion is that people become victims if they talk about their challenges, and so I don’t. My therapist says this tendency creates problems for me.

She isn’t the kind of mom who offers help or expresses interest in my life. It has been heartbreaking for me.

We all live in the same town and we have alternated having each other over for dinner and holidays.

Mom has done some kind things, like dropping off goodies for my children. We always thank her in person or call her to thank her, but she expects a written thank-you note for every single gesture.

While I am very appreciative, I often do not have the energy or brain space to write and mail a thank-you note after I’ve already verbally thanked her.

My intent isn’t to be rude — I’m just overwhelmed.

After she and my father have come for dinner, they each write a thank-you note and mail them to us. It would be so sweet, if not for the pointed nature of the notes, which imply that we are not doing the same.

It’s driving a bigger wedge between us.





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