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wyattstorch

Taking care of abusive parent during illness/emergency

Hello. I'm hoping to get some insight on a personal situation of a nature regarding responsibility towards an abusive parent in adulthood...it's quite a bit difficult to discuss, and the immediate people in my sphere, while well-meaning, are not on the same world-view to offer anything beyond the traditional answers.

I don't know how to make this brief, but I'll try to keep it tight...the current situation is that my mother is in the hospital. She's been in and out since July 2016. Perforated colon, emergency surgery. I went to the er to be there for her. Fast forward to Feb 2017, and what was a temporary emergency has become an ongoing nightmare, not because of her illness, which is bad enough, but because of the past issues that have been dredged up, in addition to new information that came out during this that changed everything.

I've keep a distance from my family since I was 21, especially my mother. My father killed himself when I was four, and I was always told that no one knew why, that it was out of the blue...no note, nothing. Left my mom, sister, and myself behind. And I was the one who found his body, I'm told. My mom was traumatized, understandably. She did turn to partying a lot, too. A year or so later, she met another man, and had a child with him, and this guy turned out to be an abusive alcoholic who beat her, and attempted to kill her multiple times. This went on from age 5 til about 11, or so, and he would have killed her if I hadn't intervened in all those years. (I was big on Spider-Man, as a kid, so I became her protecter from the moment I found my dad on the floor, at age 4.) After he finally left (and went to jail), she met another man, dealing drugs, all the while being abusive to my sister and I, physically, through excessive punishment, but moreso mentally, while continuing to place us in situations going beyond a dysfunctional homelife; police raids on our house regarding drug deals, and the like. That's in addition to keeping us down, discouraging our interests, mentally abusing my sister by calling her a fat pig (and she was far from one!), etc. The brother's father eventually came back, my mom agreed to let him see their son, which resulted in a custody battle that tore things apart even more.

All the while, she rarely worked, getting social security and widower's benefits. Yet she wasted the money. Family used to lend her money until they found out she was getting more in benefits than they were from working. When my grandmother tried to intervene, she threatened to never let her see us again. And my father's family? We visited, but there was bad blood, as they blamed her for my father's death, that she was cheating, and she made counter-claims regarding them. I thought we'd never know for sure.

Fast forward to my high-school years, and two boyfriends later. She was partying with my friends in high school while my sister and I were home taking care of my brother, who was going back and forth between parents. He was already something else, taking after his father, and was beyond the capabilities of my sister and I to raise. My mom got heavier into drugs, adopting dogs we couldn't care for, keeping the house in general disarray, embarrassing us in the community. She often told us she "hated us kids" one time screaming it at the top of her voice. She started cheating on the current boyfriend. In 11th grade, something happened one night, and she was walking alone in the dark, and I voiced my concern about her, the first time I defied her. She told me to go to my room, and I said no. She went to hit me, and I blocked it, knocking out a tooth by accident. I was mortified; having seen her beat to near death, and being her protector, that's the last thing I wanted to do to her. Her boyfriend had to hold her back from coming at me.  I left the house, stayed with my grandmother for a few days until my mom let me back in, saying "she can forgive, but not forget." She also kept the money she took from me while I was working my first job, that summer, as payment for the tooth.

Then met some trucker from Tennessee the year I graduated, and started going there from New Jersey to see him, days at a time, until she finally didn't come back. My grandmother intervened, took us in, one dog had to be let loose for animal control to pick up, which was heartbreaking, all while my mom claimed we turned on her.

A couple of years later, she comes back from Tennessee, pregnant and in need of a home. By that time, I started getting my own life started, and wanted nothing to do with her. And yet, despite all those years of neglect and abuse, and my literal FEAR of her, I still felt like her protector because of what my father did. And when I confronted her about the past, she said she was "sorry, but what do you want me to do about it, now?" I just moved on. It wasn't worth it. As for my father, I had anger towards him, but I also felt like I would avenge him if I ever found out what drove him to that. 

And I was also coming out as homosexual, at the time. I did tell my mom, and she was accepting (despite years of calling me "pussy" for quitting football, or using the word "faggot" as a slur, not knowing I was gay.) Yet, she said she "always knew." I asked her if it was possible that my dad was gay, and if that's why he killed himself, given that it was the 70's and he was Catholic. She supported the theory, "now that you say it", saying that he was never comfortable with having sex, and that he never slept with anyone else. I asked his family, and they denied it. I asked why he might have done it, and they said "ask your mother." I hadn't spoken to them, since.

Now, I was still dealing with my mixed feelings towards my mother. Then her Tennessee child was born without oxygen, resulting in cerebal palsy. To this day, he's paraplegic, fed through a tube, on oxygen, doesn't speak, and is just this side of a vegetable. (He is aware, and can show emotion, that's it.) So, being a Christian at the time, I felt pity. And when I finally did confront her about the past, And she took it as God's punishing her for the past, and did dedicate herself to him. The courts found the hospital at fault, and he's got a trust to take care of his needs, including 16 hours of nursing a day. And my mom got a house with her share of the settlement.

I went about my life, since 1996, seeing family mainly on holidays and birthday, but always anxious to get home. Since then, I found Objectivism, etc...I did tried to make some inroads with her, there, and we shared a common love of music, despite her attempts to destroy my music ambitions. But as an adult, she took credit for my talents. She said my dad would be so proud, etc...But music wasn't enough. She's still a lazy hippy who believes that she's entitled to welfare, or to assistance from anyone, always putting successful friends of her, and other family members down, for being "snobs." She had more dogs that she couldn't care for, and it was a nightmare to visit her house. And her life was a black hole of self-inflicted misery. Nothing is ever her fault, despite her lifetime of bad choices, and she never saw the domino effect that put her in situations that caused things that weren't directly her fault, like my brother's handicap. Yet, I still blamed my father's suicide for everything. And because she's now "nice" to me, because she knows she fucked up, I feel sympathy. When I took care of her house during the storm that destroyed the Jersey shore a few years ago, she even said that "she didn't deserve me." I don't like to kick someone when they're down, so I didn't agree, though she was right.

Fast forward to 2016. Her house has a flood. Because of my brother's special needs, insurance puts them in a hotel while the house is being fixed for a few months that drag on to 9. Then she has the bowel perforation. Of course, it's still my mother, and I'm her protector, so I go to the hospital. She makes it through the surgery, and is eventually discharged, only to have complications and readmit. This turned into a four-month in-and-out, watching my mother suffering, getting better, getting worse. In the meantime, I'm tasked with working full-time in Philadelphia, and in my spare time going an hour to Jersey to check on my brother at the hotel, check on the progress at the house, and clean the house to get it livable again, keep her car running, keep her bills paid, etc. Little to no family support. All the local family to her was either sick, and I felt guilty asking for their help, because no one helps them, I'm told, or already burned out from her in the past. People who helped her only to be met with ingratitude. My grandmother took in the dog, but she is ill, herself, and not able to care for it. I fostered him, and my mom understood but resented me, too. It was a repeat of the time she abandoned us and left others to clean up her mess, including the dogs. It wasn't even my dog, and again, it breaks my heart. But at least the dog went to a good home, this time.

This will later translate from taking care of a dog to being the guardian of my brother.

This was the summer.  She's being demanding. I'm burning out, but hey, it's my mom, and I'm her protector. My sister's in Georgia, other brother's in Alabama, they don't help or want to help, I'm all she has. Then, on my 42 birthday of that summer, I get the bombshell that changes everything.

I found out the truth about my father. My uncle was drunk, and telling me about when we were kids, and his babysitting, etc...then he started talking about my dad, and it came up that my uncle's twin was at the house the DAY IT HAPPENED. My jaw dropped to the ground. My other uncle came over, and told me the story. I asked my sister some questions, my grandmother, and pieces started falling into place enough that I sent away for a police report. And when I got it, my worldview was shattered. And the person who contributed to his suicide was lying in the hospital, relying on my support, leaving me, in my rage, unable to confront her about it.

I had thought that my mother's trauma of my father's suicide had set her on the wrong path. Turns out, the opposite. They had a rocky marriage, which I knew, but it turns out that there was an a separation regarding infidelity. They had a "swinging" episode, at my mother's suggestion, apparently; she slept with his friend, and he, hers. Apparently, he didn't like it. But they were back together. And then they weren't, and she was out for a few days. He let her back, they tried to make it work. He came home from work, one night, and there were people over, including the friend she "swinged" with. They had a fight, according to my uncle, who was there. My dad wanted it to stop, and for her not to say anything to their friends, let him tell them while they sort out their marriage. The next day, my mom drops him off at work, and runs into "the" friend, and tells him what my father said. A coworker sees this, and goes to work, telling my dad they were talking. "The friend", who's also a coworker, gets to work, and my dad confronts him, and confirms what they were talking about. That's when my dad left abruptly, walked home. My uncle shows up at that time, sees my dad on the phone, gun on the counter, saying "I'll kill him!" My uncle leaves, and suspects he heard a gunshot. All this is corraborated in the police report, the neighbor's report my uncle leaving the house, etc. The other neighbor, a family friend, I tracked her down, and she confirmed that my dad thought my mom was cheating. My dad's sister tells me he thought she was cheating. My own mother tells the police about the arguments the night before. And my grandmother, despite saying it was out of the blue, says in the next breath that yes, he did call two days before, saying he was going to kill himself, that he thought he was losing his family, and she talked him down...

I sit on this info for a few months, angry, but trying not to bring it up, not wanting to make my mom's condition worse from guilt. And I'm especially angry about believing he might have been gay; it seems quite the opposite, that maybe he wasn't uncomfortable with sex, but that she was TOO comfortable. I start to question my own homsexuality; was I "born this way", or was it a result of arrested development resulting in the suicide and being my mother's protecter, seeking a father figure, etc?  In the meantime, I'm now being asked to be legal guardian of my handicapped brother, should something happen. I now realize that my mother, who never changed her name, and is technically still married to my father, gave my handicapped brother my father's name. And this angers me even more. Still, it's not my brother's fault; he isn't even a morally capable agent, and I don't want him to suffer, so I say yes to an ad litum situation.

My mom, during one of her emergency re-admissions, keeps calling me "dad" because of my worry and being strict and concerning. I tell her to stop calling me that, for obvious reasons. She says that grandmom says I was talking about my dad, and presses. I didn't want to, but she insists. I finally break down and tell her. Her first response: I didn't cheat on him. The next: Everyone's a liar. My uncle's a liar. My sister's a liar. My grandmother's a liar. The POLICE REPORT lied. As she starts telling me her side, she only validates everyone else, while still denying that she slept with the guy again, that they were just "good friends". Even if she didn't, given the past evens, I said, do you see why my dad WOULD think it?
She says she wished he would have asked her.

We haven't spoke of it, since.

Since then, the house was fixed in December. Just as she moved home, my brother gets pneumonia, and is hospitalized. He has a trach, now, a new problem for her. He's been in the hospital since Dec. 16. And she was on the mend, but had to have a reversal for the colostomy. He moves to a facility from the hospital the same day she goes in for surgery. And now, they are talking about it being a permanent move for him if he or she doesn't get better. Now, she's readmitted from complications, again, after being at home all alone. They are both in the hospital, now, and I am STILL on my own. Yes, my brother's in a facility, but that's a death sentence for him, should it go long-term, if the horror stories are to be believed. And now people are looking at me to move back to Jersey to take care of her, since no one else can. And though she hasn't asked it, herself, she's still being dependent and helpless. And demanding. The more I'm involved, the more I see old habits and attitudes come to light, and it dredges up memories of childhood. I feel that, after what I found out the truth about her role in my father's suicide, that I'm no longer her protector, and yet, I can't just pull away. It's like she's my "kryptonite".

I'm just wondering if I made a big mistake in helping out during what I thought was a temporary emergency. Hindsight is 20/20, they say, but the addition of that bombshell just changed my understanding of the past so fundamentally, yet now I'm feeling trapped by the expectations I've established by my assistance.

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Without going into the boring ( and rather depressing) details of being raised by a paranoid/schizophrenic mother who was addicted to pharmaceuticals. I will say this, I was removed from the home 3 times during the 60's and early 70's. Once for neglect, once for sexual abuse and the third time because the state did not agree that a woman who had been removed from a long term psychiatric facility AMA was an appropriate primary caregiver for an 11 year old.

My dad was extremely codependent to my mom and emotionally absent, he was also a compulsive gambler. 

So, yeah, I get it.

As for your brother I can't really speak to that as I was an only child.

What I did to keep my sanity was:

a.) Remove myself from the home as soon as I was financially able - I was 21.

b)  Get counselling, I sought out a family counselor that focused on the dynamics of my relationship with my mom.

c)  Come to terms with what was and what was not in my control when it came to my mom.

d)  In cooperation with my counselor - outline a set of boundaries that I could live with 

e)  Learn to enforce those boundaries.

Where i ended up may or may not be mirrored in your solution.

My mom ws finally placed in long-term psychiatric care where she remained until her death.

While I had frequent contact with her state appointed guardian to make sure she was not being abused and was receiving appropriate care, including medical care. My actual contact with her was minimal. 

I hope you find this helpful.

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Saspatz, thank you. Not exactly mirrored, except to say that I did speculate, at one time, that perhaps my mother's problems were psychiatric, rather than psychological (I've looked for every rationalization I could in order to undertand and maybe forgive.) And mirrored in the shared idea of wanting to separate, but not wanting your mother to suffer, either, checking in to make sure she's ok, etc. That's where I'm learning that very fine line. Sorry you had to go through that, glad you were able to keep your sanity in all that.

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I wonder what it is that you seek.

Was it a big mistake? Hindsight is 20/20? 'she even said that "she didn't deserve me." I don't like to kick someone when they're down, so I didn't agree, though she was right.' yet you came again and again, so it's not really hindsight. Did you ever ask yourself why you do it? What is in it for you? What is your worth if you stop doing it?

 

Get out and get help. If I were you (and I've been in a similar situation) I'd cut all connection and I'd find a good therapist.

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I wonder what it is that you seek.

Was it a big mistake? Hindsight is 20/20? 'she even said that "she didn't deserve me." I don't like to kick someone when they're down, so I didn't agree, though she was right.' yet you came again and again, so it's not really hindsight. Did you ever ask yourself why you do it? What is in it for you? What is your worth if you stop doing it?

 

Get out and get help. If I were you (and I've been in a similar situation) I'd cut all connection and I'd find a good therapist.

 

Well, what I seek here is just insight that others might be able to share from their own experiences.

 

The "hindsight is 20/20" part is in regards to what I learned about my father during my mother's hospital stay. The remark about "not deserving me", from some years ago, I took (naively?) as a sign of introspection and perhaps self-growth. (Now, I wonder if its just acknowledgement that she'll never change...)

 

I came to help, again and again, BEFORE I knew the truth about my father's suicide, which I formerly blamed for causing her to be the way she was, resulting in sympathy and pity, despite the abuse. If I had known about that BEFORE the emergency, I don't know that I would have helped. Even now, I still harbor unspoken anger about it that I feel prohibited in expressing, due to her health.

 

Did I ask myself why I do it? I already knew that, prior to knowing about what happened; I was her protector since my father's death. Why do I do it now that I've learned the truth? That, I'm not so sure about...perhaps to see through on what I started (which I could not have foreseen going on for this long). And simply because there is no one else in the family who can or will step in to do what I've been doing. "Tag, I'm it..."

 

What's in it for me? At this point, absolutely NOTHING, except to see her get well enough to take care of her handicapped child, which was the burden she brought back upon us after abandoning us. I guess that I'm afraid that if I drop out of things, now, it will only fall back on me later exponentially.

 

I did go to therapy back in the early 2000's, which led to the therapist directing me back to these childhood issues, and I had already confronted her about those issues, to a muted response from her. I already had decided to move on with life without living in the past, knowing I'd never get satisfaction from her, and so focusing on the things I can control over my own life. I don't know what therapy would have been like if I had known then about my father. I've thought about resuming it, now, but to what end, I just don't know. Ultimately, I just want MY life back. I don't wish her harm, I hope she and my brother get better, but I can't be dragged into being an situation. I just don't know how to sever that tie until she has recovered enough to safely do so. I've already started snapping at her, though, when she pushes my limits, so I know that I can continue for too long, either, without something snapping in me. (I've already started to have concerning headaches from stress.)

 

It's like I said before, I know ATLAS SHRUGGED, I know the intellectual arguments, and even after I found out about my father, something STILL won't let me just walk away, even if it's hurting me; it's like kryptonite.

 

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I guess what I seek, in a nutshell, is to know WHY I can't, despite knowing better, pull away.


I'll clarify that I was helping with the emergency before I learned about the truth about my father, which I learned during all this. I saw my saw as her protector, since I was a kid, and despite the abuse, because I blamed my father's suicide on her behavior (only now seeing that it may have actually been her behavior that contributed to the suicide). Her saying "she didn't deserve me" was from a few years ago, and I took that, naively, as being introspection and self-growth, which I see, now, as more of an admission of not ever changing.

What am I getting out of this? Nothing, really. I'm still sitting on my anger about the truth regarding my father, and can't say anything because of her health. I'm surrounded by family who say I'm a good son for doing all this, when it's not a question of how good I am. (I don't crave her approval, but maybe I do want theirs?) The only thing I'm gaining by helping, now, is keeping things afloat so that it doesn't become worse for me, later. But what was a temporary emergency has turned into 7 months.

Why do I keep coming back, after all is said and done? Maybe it's to finish what I started in an emergency situation. Maybe it's a question of my "manhood", sense of familial responsibility. Maybe it's because she's a woman, let alone my mother, and I don't like to see women suffer. Maybe it's because I'm the last one trying to make any attempt to hold our family together, and I've seen the men in our family shrug off responsibility too easily, so that I feel like the role model, and "the last man standing."

If there were an end in sight, soon, I could bear it, but I'm already showing the strain to her when she pushes my limits, and if it continues too long, I will snap.

What is my worth If I stop doing it? That's an excellent question. I don't know. I think I'll be seen as a monster, I'll feel like a monster. Mainly because of my brother, I suppose. And I know she's taking advantage of me, because of that. Still, I don't want anything bad to happen to either of them; I don't want them to suffer. I feel like walking away at this point would be detrimental to him. But I know that it's out of my control, as well, regarding his health. So maybe it's a feeling of loss of control.

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I appreciate your need for closure and I suppose that's why you still go.

 

A wise man told me, when there is an emergency, fire, drowning, etc. don't rush in to save them if you won't be able to get yourself out.  Causing two losses is just that increasing the loss.  No disrespect intended for firefighters and such that make these sacrifices for the rest of us every day. But, mentally, try to remain a spectator and not part of the accident. Easier said then done! 

 

My Mother-in-law passed last year and it was a mess.  You are actually doing well, in that you got to the truth about your Dad. Save energy for the end, and clean up after, you will need it.

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I appreciate your need for closure and I suppose that's why you still go.

 

A wise man told me, when there is an emergency, fire, drowning, etc. don't rush in to save them if you won't be able to get yourself out.  Causing two losses is just that increasing the loss.  No disrespect intended for firefighters and such that make these sacrifices for the rest of us every day. But, mentally, try to remain a spectator and not part of the accident. Easier said then done! 

 

My Mother-in-law passed last year and it was a mess.  You are actually doing well, in that you got to the truth about your Dad. Save energy for the end, and clean up after, you will need it.

 

 

Thank you, Gloria. Wise advice. That's where the hindsight is 20/20, I guess...if I had known it would stretch out this long...fortunately, I still have a lifeline out.

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Speaking of closure: I've been trying to ride this out until both my mom and brother are up-and-running on their own, but something happened that makes me think I'm not going to make it that far without exploding. I know no one can tell me what to do, that it's my decision, and that it won't be easy, ultimately, but maybe there's some insight that will guide me towards the least-damaging option.

My mom's on the mend, herself, but still using me to make phone calls, etc, about my brother, and I don't have all the info I need. My mom plays helpless, I tell her to ask questions, that's what I do, and she says, "yeah, but you ask them better." I'm following up on med info I have no clue about. Meanwhile, she gets Comcast to come out in in a snowstorm to fix her cable. COMCAST. So I know where her priorities are, and that I'm being played. I tell her the situation with my brother, what they're doing, and she calls them "stupid" because of info she tells me that no one has told them. I said that I don't know that info, therefore, I can't tell them. They don't know that info, because no one has told them, therefore, they can't act on it. She knows the info, therefore, SHE needs to tell them. All of a sudden, she becomes phone stupid: "who do I speak to? What number? Then what?" I set her up with the info, even call ahead for her. She tells me that the person wasn't available, they would call back (that's normal). Then says " I hope they call me back." I said don't hope, call them back if they don't call in a reasonable time.  A meek "ok" is my response.

This is all while I'm at work, and she's at home. I leave work a couple hours later, and get a text at home. I'm thinking it's to say that she spoke with someone.

No.

It's an angry text about "where's my spice rack?", "you didn't need to throw it out" (regarding the house renovation from the flood), "there are hundreds of dollars of spices there", and "I don't even have garlic for my spaghetti." This is a woman who is constantly crying poverty, receiving food stamps, borrowing money off my grandmother who has little money herself, crying over hundreds of dollars in...spices. (It's not just the spices; she was previously yelling over a lost pizza cutter and hot dog tongs, as if she couldn't use a knife or fork for the same purposes.)

I originally can't read past the first line. My roommate reads the rest for me, says I don't want to read it. I'm livid. I fought my instinct to respond. The spice rack IS there; I just stashed it away in the pantry closet. ( I had to rush a lot of things to get the house liveable again for her under a deadline, as it was.)

She can't get riled up to call about her son, but she can rile up about spices. And cable tv. I don't deserve this. I understand why she's doing it; she feels out of control, so she tries to control the things she can. Then I stop. I am not her therapist. I am not her whipping boy. And I am not to be controlled. But I am ready to go to that house, pull out the spice rack, and dump them on the floor. (I won't, but that's how I feel.)

So, now, what? Do I argue? Do I help with medical appointments, but otherwise silent treatment? Do I tell her I can't do this, anymore? Or do I just stop altogether? I don't want to make it worse, but I know the situation is not going to get better, either. I don't want to tell her how I really feel, and be responsible if it aggravates her illness, or worse, drives her to do something.


I am tempted to keep following up regarding my brother while he is in the facility, as I am ad litem in the case she dies or is incapacitated. But she's already used that to try to push responsibility for him onto me, know. I didn't sign up for that. If I keep following up, then I fall into that trap, but I don't want him to suffer. (The worse that will happen is the state would intervene. As an anarchish person, I hate that idea, but at the same time, she is a government dependent by her beliefs and actions, perhaps I shouldn't feel guilt about that situation, then, regarding my brother. I feel like I'm trapped by that situation against MY beliefs, but I can't take care of my brother, nor can any one else in the family.)

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Well, what I seek here is just insight that others might be able to share from their own experiences.

 

The "hindsight is 20/20" part is in regards to what I learned about my father during my mother's hospital stay. The remark about "not deserving me", from some years ago, I took (naively?) as a sign of introspection and perhaps self-growth. (Now, I wonder if its just acknowledgement that she'll never change...)

 

I came to help, again and again, BEFORE I knew the truth about my father's suicide, which I formerly blamed for causing her to be the way she was, resulting in sympathy and pity, despite the abuse. If I had known about that BEFORE the emergency, I don't know that I would have helped. Even now, I still harbor unspoken anger about it that I feel prohibited in expressing, due to her health.

 

Did I ask myself why I do it? I already knew that, prior to knowing about what happened; I was her protector since my father's death. Why do I do it now that I've learned the truth? That, I'm not so sure about...perhaps to see through on what I started (which I could not have foreseen going on for this long). And simply because there is no one else in the family who can or will step in to do what I've been doing. "Tag, I'm it..."

 

What's in it for me? At this point, absolutely NOTHING, except to see her get well enough to take care of her handicapped child, which was the burden she brought back upon us after abandoning us. I guess that I'm afraid that if I drop out of things, now, it will only fall back on me later exponentially.

 

I did go to therapy back in the early 2000's, which led to the therapist directing me back to these childhood issues, and I had already confronted her about those issues, to a muted response from her. I already had decided to move on with life without living in the past, knowing I'd never get satisfaction from her, and so focusing on the things I can control over my own life. I don't know what therapy would have been like if I had known then about my father. I've thought about resuming it, now, but to what end, I just don't know. Ultimately, I just want MY life back. I don't wish her harm, I hope she and my brother get better, but I can't be dragged into being an situation. I just don't know how to sever that tie until she has recovered enough to safely do so. I've already started snapping at her, though, when she pushes my limits, so I know that I can continue for too long, either, without something snapping in me. (I've already started to have concerning headaches from stress.)

 

It's like I said before, I know ATLAS SHRUGGED, I know the intellectual arguments, and even after I found out about my father, something STILL won't let me just walk away, even if it's hurting me; it's like kryptonite.

 

I very much understand where your coming from. Here's the deal. Regardless of what you are currently dealing with regarding your mother: Get counselling. This will at the very least allow a safe space to vent the emotions you are dealing with.  It can also allow you a path to resolving your internal conflict. This, in turn, creates an opportunity to determine appropriate boundaries. It will also provide needed support for enforcing those boundaries until you are adept at enforcing them by your self.

Are you living with your mom? If so, why?

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Are you living with your mom? If so, why?

 

 

I was wondering the same thing.

 

Wyattstorch, if you are living with your mother, find a way to escape ASAP! I know she's not in the best of health, but it doesn't mean she has to ruin yours with her games. I made the mistake of moving in with my mother a few years ago when I was struggling financially, and she nearly made me her slave. She basically wanted me around to be responsible for her bills while treating me like a bad child she could be nice to sometimes. I hightailed it out of there, and am doing what I can to support myself so I would never depend on a toxic person again. Thank goodness I have two older siblings to take care of her since they worship the ground she walks on anyway.

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Thank you, both. No, not living with her. I'm in Pennsylvania, she's in New Jersey, about an hour's drive one-way. (I have only been considering moving back to my hometown; there wouldn't be room in the house even if I were to move in to take care of her.)

I am looking at professional counseling, and have a consultation this week. Although I wound up exploding before that, anyway, with her, which made her cry. I hated doing it, and hated seeing it, but it was inevitable. I did discuss some issues with her. She does express remorse, and I truly believe that she is sorry about the past, yet, at the same time, she still doesn't understand some of the reactions of people towards her. The venting DID help, and I took her to see my brother, shortly after that, which was a good thing. I don't want to keep blowing up at her, but yes, I've finally accepted that I need a professional ear.


I was wondering the same thing.

 

Wyattstorch, if you are living with your mother, find a way to escape ASAP! I know she's not in the best of health, but it doesn't mean she has to ruin yours with her games. I made the mistake of moving in with my mother a few years ago when I was struggling financially, and she nearly made me her slave. She basically wanted me around to be responsible for her bills while treating me like a bad child she could be nice to sometimes. I hightailed it out of there, and am doing what I can to support myself so I would never depend on a toxic person again. Thank goodness I have two older siblings to take care of her since they worship the ground she walks on anyway.

 

 

Thank you, and sorry to hear that you had to go through that.

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Thank you, both. No, not living with her. I'm in Pennsylvania, she's in New Jersey, about an hour's drive one-way. (I have only been considering moving back to my hometown; there wouldn't be room in the house even if I were to move in to take care of her.)

 

I am looking at professional counseling, and have a consultation this week. Although I wound up exploding before that, anyway, with her, which made her cry. I hated doing it, and hated seeing it, but it was inevitable. I did discuss some issues with her. She does express remorse, and I truly believe that she is sorry about the past, yet, at the same time, she still doesn't understand some of the reactions of people towards her. The venting DID help, and I took her to see my brother, shortly after that, which was a good thing. I don't want to keep blowing up at her, but yes, I've finally accepted that I need a professional ear.

 

 

Thank you, and sorry to hear that you had to go through that.

:thumbsup:  :thumbsup:  :woot:  :thumbsup:  :thumbsup:

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Hoping to get another bit of insight, if anyone has the time...

It's been a over three months, almost 4, since I touched base on this, now seems a good time, since a lot's happened...since then, I've been in the hospital for what seemed like a heart attack, most likely a severe panic attack, brought on by this ongoing situation (with added stress that from drama from another family member...) At the same time, my car started overheating during some emergency, preventing me from getting to Jersey from PA. I would have gotten rid of the car, then, if it weren't for the need to go to Jersey often for my mother's sake. That hit me with an ER bill for $900, and $800 for a new radiatior...all while saving up to move, next month.

Since then, things have slowed a bit, after some more medical drama. My brother's trach was ripped out by a careless nurse, sending him to the ER. He's good, now...mother thought she was having heart attack, turned out possibly to be a panic attack, only to turn out to be two blood clots, one in each lung. They cleared those up, but now, the ilesotomy is most likely to be permanent, due to complications making a reversal risky. And on top of that, she has what seemed to be a large hernia, only to to be revealed as abdominal wall weakening from the surgeries, causing a large bulge from her abdomen. Too dangerous to fix, because the bowel, while not herniated, is right behind it, and not worth the risk to fix. Has to wear a binder and restrict lifting.

So, now, she's in limbo, physically, while having to care for my brother overnights, now, since she's been reduced to 16-hour nursing. He's in bed overnight, but if something happens to her overnight, they're both alone. Meanwhile, I've been able to catch my breath, slightly, but now, my car blew both brake line and transmission at the same time. Can't afford to fix it, still paying off MY hospital bill and previous repair, and moving expenses. I've already driving with the bad radiator once, and got lucky that this happened at home, after deciding NOT to go to Jersey, that day. (Was going to get her cases of water for my brother's equipment, but had them delivered, instead.) Meanwhile, her van is in the shop for a month, but his trust is paying that ($ a 7000 repair bill, to top mine...)

I am not planning to replace the car anytime soon. I can get to work by bus, with the same commute time, and can use car share when I need a car. But I also feel like it's a relief to have a legitimate excuse not to go to Jersey on short notice. (I can take a bus there, if need be, or car share, for shorter trips.) But I haven't seen her but once since Mother's Day, and I could barely look at her. I gave her $25 for mother's day, waived the $50 she borrowed by having me order med supplys, and bought her a new doorknow. A nurse busted her doorknob, and it was a fancy french handle, costing $120 at retail...she insisted on the same one, to match the other door. (Apparently, beggars CAN be choosers.) On top of all that, she had the nerve to argue about a pair of sandles I may or may not have thrown out last summer when her house was a wreck and being fixed. (Already had it out with her over the spice rack.) She said they were brand-new, and I said, "well, maybe you need to take better care of your brand-new things", since they were probably covered in dog hair or adjacent to dog shit on the floor over a hot summer. Took her to her mother's for mother's day, and she BRINGS UP THE SHOES AGAIN, in front of me, to my grandmother. I shot her a look from across the room, and that was the last straw, for me.

I've tried. I really have. And I know what she is.

So, WHY AM I FEELING GUILTY ABOUT NOT GOING INTO FURTHER DEBT TO PAY FOR MY CAR REPAIR THAT I CAN'T AFFORD? OR TO RUSH OUT AND BUY/LEASE A NEW ONE? WHY? WHY?

I will actually be relieved to go carless for a while, for my own sake, so I can catch up on bills, and all...get another one when I'm able...But I've already put myself in the hospital from anxiety over her, wearing myself and my resources thin, and still feeling guilty, when I know I shouldn't.

WHEN DOES IT STOP???

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Hoping some experienced people can offer some advice. I finally did it. After some therapy sessions, and continued anxiety, I made the decision to distance myself from my mother. I blocked not only her, but my sister, and my mother's immediate family, on Facebook, and set my phone up to block their calls until I decide whether or not to get a new number. I am experiencing a great deal of anxiety since last night, when I did that, being that it's my birthday. I wasn't sure if I wanted to do it, today, but for several weeks, she's been messaging me how much she loves me, misses me, etc, etc, and I can't even say it back to her, anymore. (I take some time away for my own health and needs, such as moving, being without a car for a time, etc, and I'm "missed" because I'm not there working for her. Or able to "lend" her money because I've already gone into debt during this ordeal.)

I am, however, going through a lot of anxiety at the moment. I have had three sessions with a therapist before this, and know that this is the right choice. And I did anticipate the anxiety. Does anyone who's gone through this already have any advice on how to stay the course? Thanks, in advance.

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Small piece of advice that may be too late: ask for financial aid from the hospital. If you're under a certain income they'll waive all or part of the medical bill.

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Thanks, Dylan. Might not be too late; still waiting for the hospital to send me an official bill, so I can try to negotiate it down.

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In that case you might have plenty of time. Ask for the financial aid form. Generally if you're under double the poverty line, they'll comp the whole thing.

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I'll be ok on that front, thanks.

But maybe someone can help me make peace with this...

I did the next step and had my phone number changed. She didn't get the idea that I was blocking her, and some text messages came through, yesterday. First one, while I was at work, just saying that she got a new phone, how was I...didn't answer her. Then, as I got home, another asking if I got her message, and if I was mad at her. I decided to answer, and said I'm past being mad, but I am still raw about a lot of things, it's too much too handle/process, and that I can't take much more, that I need to get myself sorted out. She goes on saying that she was sorry that she couldn't get me anything for me birthday, but she did call and left a message online saying happy birthday. And, that because the money was cut, she's not making ends meet, and that her new phone is a government phone, etc...

 I responded that it has nothing to do with my birthday; she asks why, then, and I said about everything else I've told her about, already, that I don't want to rehash it.

Her response:  "So why are you mad at me for something I already did and can't take back? How many times are you going to persecute me for the same thing?"

I stopped, after that, and changed my number. My therapist warned me that would happen. I was so worried about not hurting her, not making things worse, and he said that she probably wouldn't respond the way I thought she would, that she wouldn't be remorseful. He was right. She totally ignored my well-being while I've been worried about hers. (The therapist also told my that my empathy was misplaced.) She said she didn't understand why my father's point of view, and he killed himself. Now, I think I really feel his side of it, because she totally ignored my own pain, even as I was trying to put the emphasis that this was not about my anger but my own well-being.

Persecuting her? She would know if that was my goal. I just want to be away.

Feeling better than I did last night, although, when I feel better, than I start to worry about her, again. But then, even though I changed my number, my stomach dropped twice at a text message I received from someone else, thinking it was her.  I have to keep reminding myself of all the bad. Yet, I don't want to do that, because then I fixate. I just want to move on, at this point. One day at a time, I suppose.

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What really gets me, and what prompted me to change my number entirely, was the dismissal of how I've been feeling about learning about my father's death, the info that was kept from me that allowed me to rationalize her abuse all these years. I've had only a year, so far, to process this, and that was while she was in the hospital, when I not only couldn't confront her, but felt compelled to keep going back there, for her own sake, when what I really wanted to do was turn around and never come back. I put off even bringing it up until she was well enough, and had to pretend that I wasn't angry, for her health's sake. I did want to give her a chance to explain/defend herself, at least.  And even with two attempts to convey to her what she did to my father, despite her denials, and her counter-accusations towards everyone else, I'm supposed to just be ok with it because she it's in the past, and can't be undone? She didn't even try to apologize for that the way she did about other things (even if she continued to rationalize those things immediately after!).

She thinks I am I persecuting her??? When she called everyone else liars, and claimed that the police report lied? When both his family, HER family, and her friends, and her OWN STATEMENT in the police report condemn her denials as lies??? And her own admission to the events leading up to the events of that day??? How can she say that when she threw his family under the bus, and had no problem when I cut them out of my life based on her accusations about his death, 20 years ago???

And she talks about the past wrongs, without even seeing what she's been doing in the present years, to boot...

If she thinks I am persecuting her, so be it. But how am I supposed to just be fine with what she did, when she doesn't even think she did wrong, let along understand why he killed himself over her??? What does she think I would feel over that???

I can't even look her in the eyes, anymore, let alone say " I love you, too..." (Already, that was my response to her saying "I love you" at the end of a phone call, etc...and it was always strained. Now, I can't even muster that much.)

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Man that sounds like a real crapstorm all around. If you are worried about your brother, talk to a lawyer, you may be able to sue for guardianship.

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Not daily, and not in journal form, but I do write out my thoughts on this. I do find the act of writing things out helpful for clarity, and it does help to balance me out when emotions start to take over.

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On 8/11/2017 at 10:51 PM, WorBlux said:

Man that sounds like a real crapstorm all around. If you are worried about your brother, talk to a lawyer, you may be able to sue for guardianship.

Thank you. Regarding my brother, fortunately, his interests are protected, physically, by his nursing agency, and financially, by his trust. Otherwise, he'd have been taking out of there a long time ago. (Credit where credit's due, he's probably the only child of hers that hasn't been abused, due to his circumstances. What a price he's had to pay, as a human being, though, to avoid that. Ironically, enough, he's better off, there, than being in a facility. But again, that's only because of the nurses and the trust.)

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