Advice needed for guilt from Mom

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I live with my Mom who is 75 and has dementia. I love her more than anyone. I also have a brother who I am no longer close to. He has not been there for me. I have had struggles and when they hit, he pulled away. My Mom goes to his house 2 x a month for dinner. My brother and his wife don't invite me - yet my Mom says they invite me through her. Basically I love their kids a lot but am not comfortable around my brother and his wife. I feel judgement and my brother and I bicker when we do end up talking. He was also pretty mean to me over the years. My Mother cries and gives me guilt for not going to dinner (which I never personally got an invite to). She also always says their boys (my nephews) always ask for me and say where am I. Its a subtle guilt. My Mom is old and frail. Am I selfish for avoiding them? When I do see my nephews I am loving and always have gifts. But their parents are not loving towards me. Since I had depression and gained weight, they have pulled away and I feel judgement. Talking does no good, since it escalates to fights. I feel guilt though that my Mom wants me to go to these dinners (which I wa never invited to directly). I also feel bad bc I am angry with the guilt my Mom gives me. It makes me feel bad. Then she brings up the Bible. I do forgive my brother and wish them well, I just don't care to see them much - since I was very hurt by him over the years. His wife doesn't bridge the gap either. I just feel bad that I don't suck it up and go. But I don't want to. I also don't feel good about myself and feel they haven't been there for me.

7 Comments

Any advice out there?
I don't have any helpful advice, but I have the same situation with my 2 brothers as well. My mother will say one of them asked about me recently and I told her I'd like for my brother to call or email me and not rely on my mother.I email them, have written letters and get ignored. I'm 49, he's 52. I'm suffering with depression and weight gain as well. I miss seeing my 4 nephews and do not get invited to their homes. It's sad and I think once my mother and dad are gone that'll be the end of any interaction..
I'm kind of surprised you don't go sometimes just for the sake of seeing your nephews. Since you are estranged from their parents, when do you get to see them?

Would you go if you got a phone call from your sister-in-law or an email from your brother, inviting you? If you would, then explain that to your mother. Then she can work on them instead of on you! If she talks them into issuing an invitation directly to you, then go, at least once, enjoy your nephews

If you would not go even with a direct invitation, then stop using it as an excuse. Tell your mother briefly and calmly what the real reasons are for you not going. But only tell her once. The next time it comes up just say, "I haven't changed my mind. I am not going there." Don't argue, explain, cry, get into Biblical discussions. Just "I am not going there."

It is very understandable that a parent would want to she her children get along. Your mother probably sincerely thinks she is doing the right thing to try to get you and your brother back together any way she can, including playing the guilt card. She isn't doing the right thing. You are perfectly entitled to make up your own mind about your relationships with other people. Try not to be too hard on her -- she means well -- but don't give in unless you change your mind.
Thanks again for your response. I try to do that all the time (tell Mom I simply am not going). The problem lies in her dementia that she continues the same song and dance. Crying, guilt. and saying the nephews said "Where am I."
It so toxic. My Mom and I love each other too much but her guilt and repetitive behavior due to dementia is hurting me. It also hurt me for a decade how cold my brother is, I am better off without him. Its like trying to draw blood from stone. Sad for me and my Mom and my nephews, but their parents are snobs. And I choose to go where I am a little celebrated, not tolerated. Thanks again. I just patience with my Mom and be more steely about not letting her guilt trips upset me or just her hurt about her children being divided.
I don't know if your brother has any excuse, but your mother cannot entirely control her behavior, so I'd cut her some slack. You know that you have nothing to feel guilty about in your decisions about visiting your brother. You know that you are entitled to make your own decisions about relationships. You know that your mother is not right when she tries to send you on a guilt trip. Just don't go, and minimize the discussion about this.

You mention being depressed and not feeling good about yourself. Are you getting counselling? Seeing a therapist and possibly getting on a medication can be very helpful, and you deserve all the help you can get to feel good.
Family disacord is on the rise unfortunatley. It appears there are several issues wrapped up. For one, you may need tactully advise your mom to stop conveying such messages and to please keep out of the matter until you and your brother reconnect. As unforseen occurances befall us all, you may consider approaching your brother alone in a neutral setting and discuss the riff. Don't let the divide continue, it won't contribute to your mental or physical health. Hope everything works out.
If you don't want to go to your brother's, don't go. You're feelings are yours to own. Your mom is being a mom, she wants her family together and her dementia is hindering her from seeing the bigger picture. Once strife begins, it's difficult for people to feel comfortable. You say you've forgiven your brother, that's good because forgiveness lessens the load, and you're under no obligation to forget. If you physc yourself, you could go to the next dinner BUT only for yourself, not for mom or brother, just for YOU. If brother in truth has invited you indirectly, then don't stand on formality. Don't worry about the "snobs" judging you. Keep in mind if you're judging yourself, then you're sending that message to others. Depression and weight gain happen to many people. You'll have to work on getting yourself to a better state but only you can do that. It's not the "snobs" business. Go for dinner,be cordial and cool if that's how you wish, and go just to see your nephews. It won't be easy and if it doesn't turn out like you want, then make it your last visit. At least you can say you tried and know you're the better person.

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