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Too bad my mom at 92 and never has been able to say I love you nor likes to be touched - she has a degenerative kidney disease - but refuses to die - as major caregiver - it has been extremely difficult to cope - we have nothing in common - - I left everything I loved after 30 years in Cali (guilt) as I felt my siblings (who had lives, families, etc) pleaded with me to come home (I was the oldest of 4 - father died when I was 12 - and I took care of younger siblings - until I decided to leave at the age of 19 - noone forgave me for that - however, I made sure they all were safe financially and that they visited me several times a year...OK...I made the decision - will take the responbility

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Wow, I am not alone! I just read my story over and over again being told being told by different people. My shrink says that my mother,who I am her caregiver now, is my trigger point and it stems from unrealistic expectation on her behave on me when I was a child and now as an adult. I can not make her better all I can do now is make her remaining years as comfortable as possible.
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My Mother loves my brother and dislikes me to the same ridiculous level of irrationality. In the past when my brother did something to be disappointing my mother, she would some how make me to blame and show a mean resentment towards me. I'd often think, 'but this isn't me, it was him'. As a young child my predominant memory is that of thinking 'why doesn't mum like me?', or 'why doesn't mum love me'. Now as an adult, she wonders why I'm not worshipping her! It's so strange that I've read how it's common for mothers who don't love, to demand worship from their daughters. I think this must come from immaturity. I'm struggling to forgive, because she's not sorry. I've tried to tell her when she's being hurtful and to explain why her remarks hurt, but all that achieved was further attack. She'll usually say with sarcastic venom 'I'm sorry you feel that way'. Or else she'll say, 'something else I'm to blame for', so she can make herself the victim. Because of this I've stopped communicating with her in any sort of meaningful way. This is sad because if it was up to me, I would want a healthy loving relationship, but my mum is a brick wall who cannot say 'sorry' and cannot forgive even the smallest slight. Listen to me wanting her forgiveness! That's the neediness that not being loved brings out in me. I'm trying to forgive and love because I don't want to deal with her in another lifetime. When I pass over, I want to tell God that I tried my best, but no relationship can work if only one person is trying. I think the only thing worse than not being loved by a parent, is being a parent who can't love. I pity her for that, because it's unimaginable to me. I'm trying to turn pity into forgiveness.
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OUTSTANDING advice from rovana and others.

Please do not allow this woman to drain any more from you. She has made her choices. Our time on this earth is short, and YOU deserve some emotional relief and happiness. Sometimes, that means letting go of unhealthy relationships, including family members. Often, a close friend can give you the kind of love you need.
Google "toxic mothers" for some great support resources.
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Just a few words on the meaning of "forgiveness" - some years ago I was able to ask a Christian theologian about what Christian forgiveness entailed. His answer sure surprised me! The question I posed involved serious abuse and his answer was "Well we are asked to forgive those who injure us, as we ask God to forgive us our sins. But after you forgive, you need to call the police!" In other words, we do need to forgive and put our hurt in God's healing hands - this is crucial for our own spiritual health, BUT we then need to act in an appropriate way. This might, in some situations, actually involve telling the police; it might involve severing social relations with a dangerous or unreliable person. In other words, forgive but then take reasonable, appropriate actions to safeguard ourselves and others. This is not the same thing as denying the reality of what happened - after all, you can hardly forgive what never happened, if you were seriously injured then that is what actually happened. Don't deny the reality, but don't hang on to resentment.
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I too was raised my an unloving mother, she has a cluster B personality disorder mostly narcissistic, with a dollop of histrionic. I am her carer. It was not something I wanted to do, but I ended up doing so because no one else would do it.
If I had my time over, I'd emigrate and leave social services to deal with her.
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frustrated2, thanks for telling my story, or at least a good part of it...I, like you, was made of 'tuffer stuff' than my sibs.... I march to my own drummer and am so grateful that I am not them. today I can be sad for them... I don't feel sorry for them, but I am sad sometimes when I think how much they hate me and they don't even know me... my freinds on this sight know me better than they do....
And like you, I am grateful to them for all the craziness, it helped me to see how I did not want to be in the world....so again, thank you for sharing your story....
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jeannegibbs, I appreciate your comments. "What doesn't kill you makes you strong", right? So cliche but true. I used to say "Lord, teach me a lesson, just not today!" Ha! I do feel that I have developed a sense of humor if nothing else. I also know that our heavenly Father fills our needs even when humans don't.
You are right about the 'different parents' comment. I look at myself too when I was married to my first husband and looking back would say now that I was pretty much a doormat. NO BODY who knows me now would ever believe that, so I guess it's true that we are all evolving and changing.
I have fairly good relationships that do ebb and flow with most of my siblings. Unfortunately, the Golden Child one I have never had much with and I know that is my parents' doing. I don't think he even realizes that and he's stuck still trying to 'be' them. I have such a great marriage now, such a really wonderful life that I have to be thankful - even to my parents! - for where I am today. Had things not occurred in the order and time they did, I would 'be' someone else. And yes, let's not have to recreate the wheel ourselves when someone else already is bearing the scars of the ruts! Ha!
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frustrated2, thank you for that heart-felt sharing. I hope that dianestory will draw strength from it. Experience is the best teacher -- and someone else's experience is less expensive!

Your siblings probably do not fully understand your situation. In preparation for my father's funeral the 7 of us kids were comparing notes for the eulogy. It became clear that we each had different parents! And we are not even talking about a dysfunctional family here -- just the normal differences as parents become more experienced, as social expectations change, as personalities differ. I hope you can have reasonably cordial relations with your siblings even if they had "different" parents than you did!
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I have experience with a mother like yours. When I went into counseling 22 years ago while my first marriage was falling apart the shrink/counselor said several things to me, one being that I came from an 'incestuous' dynamic and the second, that I would have to come to terms with the fact that my mother would never be able to love me the way I needed her to. All of this was very painful to say the least; at the time I was trying to come to terms with a marriage to a cold, unloving (and I found out, constantly cheating) husband and father of my three kids. I did not expect to be discussing my family, ie, parents (that's how much I knew back then! As if they were miraculously unrelated issues!). Really, discovering the dysfunction of my family was the worst blow. I had always been told by my denial-living dad that she loved me even though none of her actions demonstrated that. Taking for granted that that was true, of course, that meant I was inadequate, bad, unloveable. I married a guy whose affection I felt I had to 'earn' just like I did hers and really, theirs. I also found out that while I had mostly blamed her, he promoted the problems, contributed to them, looked the other way and at times gave himself certain liberties that he shouldn't have. The 'incestuous' remark came more from the fact that in a weird way, I was 'promoted' to the role of sort of surrogate mother/spouse since, being the oldest of 5, I was often the one who cooked dinner, took care of the kids, and even when my mother would be abusive to me, my dad would say things like "Now, GIRLS, come on..." rather than defend me at all. I felt like I was sort of her sister but not the favored one. She had carte blanche to act like a spoiled child yet demanded all of the respect of an adult and mother (to me).
Nothing much has changed in that dynamic and I am now really not in touch with her or my dad. Last year she went crazy when I put some boundaries down with her regarding gossiping about my sister. I know when she does that she is only venting and I am the one she cares least for. If I listen or act in any way sympathetic, before I know it, she turns things around on me and talks badly about me to someone else. My dad, in his lifelong style told me that I had to apologize to her (for what?) or 'this would have a very long tail" and he said he would have to 'stand by his wife'. When I told him I feel as if I am nothing in this family he did not acknowledge my statement or pain. Here I am, almost 60 and I am expected to fall in line like a child, without question or protest. I actually do think what they resent the most about me is that even early on, I developed the skills to care for myself and had little trust in their looking out for my best interest. It is always all about them.
My siblings feel differently. They were treated differently. They don't even believe, I don't think, that what I say happened actually did. I am ostracized. There is no way to 'fight' this, so rather than allow it to ruin my life, I have disengaged. Really, long ago.
I am married to the love of my life, have three grown, fairly successful kids and really, a very blessed existence. I am so glad and grateful that inside me God gave me the fortitude to stand up for myself and finally realize that my mother's view of me, my ex husband's view of me, doesn't have to be mine. I have known this for a long time. I am also a Christian. I turn to prayer and to Christ's example (though I cannot say that I emulate it!) to 'forgive her, for she doesn't really know what she's doing' (mentally ill, I believe). Today they are married 60 years. The rest of my siblings all got together and put all of our family movies on a CD. They asked for a contribution to celebrate this wonderful day for my parents, of $250. They said we could, for that, all have as many copies as we wanted. I opted out. I don't want the copies and I really don't feel like celebrating.
If it were up to me to take care of them, I would make sure they were safe and in a place that could care for them well. I would monitor their care and probably visit them. But they will never again suck the life from me, whether they are elderly or not. I don't hate them, I am trying to love them, and I don't feel the need for revenge but I do not belong to them. My life is mine and so is yours.
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I have experience with a mother like yours. When I went into counseling 22 years ago while my first marriage was falling apart the shrink/counselor said several things to me, one being that I came from an 'incestuous' dynamic and the second, that I would have to come to terms with the fact that my mother would never be able to love me the way I needed her to. All of this was very painful to say the least; at the time I was trying to come to terms with a marriage to a cold, unloving (and I found out, constantly cheating) husband and father of my three kids. I did not expect to be discussing my family, ie, parents (that's how much I knew back then! As if they were miraculously unrelated issues!). Really, discovering the dysfunction of my family was the worst blow. I had always been told by my denial-living dad that she loved me even though none of her actions demonstrated that. Taking for granted that that was true, of course, that meant I was inadequate, bad, unloveable. I married a guy whose affection I felt I had to 'earn' just like I did hers and really, theirs. I also found out that while I had mostly blamed her, he promoted the problems, contributed to them, looked the other way and at times gave himself certain liberties that he shouldn't have. The 'incestuous' remark came more from the fact that in a weird way, I was 'promoted' to the role of sort of surrogate mother/spouse since, being the oldest of 5, I was often the one who cooked dinner, took care of the kids, and even when my mother would be abusive to me, my dad would say things like "Now, GIRLS, come on..." rather than defend me at all. I felt like I was sort of her sister but not the favored one. She had carte blanche to act like a spoiled child yet demanded all of the respect of an adult and mother (to me).
Nothing much has changed in that dynamic and I am now really not in touch with her or my dad. Last year she went crazy when I put some boundaries down with her regarding gossiping about my sister. I know when she does that she is only venting and I am the one she cares least for. If I listen or act in any way sympathetic, before I know it, she turns things around on me and talks badly about me to someone else. My dad, in his lifelong style told me that I had to apologize to her (for what?) or 'this would have a very long tail" and he said he would have to 'stand by his wife'. When I told him I feel as if I am nothing in this family he did not acknowledge my statement or pain. Here I am, almost 60 and I am expected to fall in line like a child, without question or protest. I actually do think what they resent the most about me is that even early on, I developed the skills to care for myself and had little trust in their looking out for my best interest. It is always all about them.
My siblings feel differently. They were treated differently. They don't even believe, I don't think, that what I say happened actually did. I am ostracized. There is no way to 'fight' this, so rather than allow it to ruin my life, I have disengaged. Really, long ago.
I am married to the love of my life, have three grown, fairly successful kids and really, a very blessed existence. I am so glad and grateful that inside me God gave me the fortitude to stand up for myself and finally realize that my mother's view of me, my ex husband's view of me, doesn't have to be mine. I have known this for a long time. I am also a Christian. I turn to prayer and to Christ's example (though I cannot say that I emulate it!) to 'forgive her, for she doesn't really know what she's doing' (mentally ill, I believe). Today they are married 60 years. The rest of my siblings all got together and put all of our family movies on a CD. They asked for a contribution to celebrate this wonderful day for my parents, of $250. They said we could, for that, all have as many copies as we wanted. I opted out. I don't want the copies and I really don't feel like celebrating.
If it were up to me to take care of them, I would make sure they were safe and in a place that could care for them well. I would monitor their care and probably visit them. But they will never again suck the life from me, whether they are elderly or not. I don't hate them, I am trying to love them, and I don't feel the need for revenge but I do not belong to them. My life is mine and so is yours.
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Ditto to jeannegibbs comment
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It is cerainly too bad that you have never had the love of a mother in your life.

So, have you come "home" to live in your mother's house and take care of her?

It sounds like it might be best at this point to place Mother in a nursing home, where she can get 24/7 care. Are your siblings in the area? Could they visit her in the NH? Perhaps it is time for you to go back to your life in California, or to build a new life where you are. I don't think hands-on 24/7 caregiving is your responsibility, but I hope you won't abandon this old woman without seeing that she is in a safe place.
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do you think I'm responsible????
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