Dear Miss Emily,

I'm
19 years old, and my mother and I are not really close. We both have different points of views I'm an optimist, she's a pessimist, and we're really stubborn.  We don't hug, or kiss, or anything like that. We rarely say "I love you" to each other. I respect her, and her decisions but she doesn't respect me. I'm really tired of arguing everyday. I live at home still, because I cant afford to move out. One day, I told her about my feelings and she listened. But then she goes and tells my cousin what we we discussed. I got really annoyed and told my mother that we we're talking privately and shouldn't be telling anyone. She didn't say anything in return. The next time I confided in her, she did the same thing. How do I tell my mother in a meaningful way that I just need someone to trust, listen, and keep it a secret? She and my cousin are very close and think alike. They gossip, talk bad about people, and I'm the total opposite. Do I have to act like they do to get my mother to notice me and take me seriously, or should I give up?

------------Miss Emily's advice----------

Sadly, your mother continues to set the same tone for the future -- unless she has an "awakening" and realizes the error of her ways. You went out on a limb, took a risk, hoping that your mother would be the confidante you wanted, but it didn't pan out. I think you knew it was possible she would not see this as a bonding moment -- but only you expressing opinions that did not deserve respect, or merit. I think every daughter wants to be close to her mother, but that relationship can be the most difficult on the planet. The truth is, you're an independent thinker, have your own ideas about the world, and they are not in lockstep with her. If I say, get in line, does that reveal too much about my relationship with my mother? It is your right to be who you are. "To thine own self be true." It's important to realize that you tried, are not spiritually broken by it, and proud of who you are. That may be all you'll get out of this mother/daughter relationship. I think it's lovely that you respect her opinions, because a lot of people can't say that about anyone who disagrees with them -- or have not earned respect. Try to capitalize on the few ways you do relate to her, and look to friends to give you the emotional support and input you deserve. I agree this situation is unfortunate, but parents are human, all too human, at times, and some of them teach us what not to do, more than behavior we want to emulate. This relationship should not define you but, rather, prove it's your right to forge your own path, while maintaining the relationship you have with her on the only level that is offered. I think it's possible she will mellow in her declining years, but you have to deal with the hand you're dealt now, and not what may come down the road. Respect your mom, but do not be her pawn.