Guilt Guilt Guilt!

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A couple years ago my mother invited herself to move in with me. She left Assisted Living because they wanted to take her to the doctor. After a year she was diagnosed with cancer and had a mastectomy. She was to go to an oncologist but never did. I did not force her to go. At the time she was alert and was able to decide for herself. Something developed near her surgical wound and wouldn't heal. I told her that she needed to go to the doctor because it had taken too long for the wound to heal. Meanwhile living with this woman is not an easy thing to do. She really made a mess of my home. I'd clean up and then she'd have to do something to really make the place dirty. She insulted me for cleaning. She was also verbally abusive. When I had therapy back in 2006 my therapist made that comment and I really found in to be a relief that maybe I wasn't so terrible. Anyway I was not allowed to disagree with my mother on anything or she'd hit the ceiling. This was even before she got old. If I mentioned I wanted to do something (like take a trip to somewhere someday or leave the state I currently live in because I don't care for it) she tells me why I can't do it. She also criticized me, the music I listen to, that I'm fat that my cooking isn't any good that I don't sent up the kitchen, etc. Meanwhile she put on a very cheerful phasod for people outside. People tell me what a postive cheerful person my mother is and yet I've never known anyone to be as pessimistic (except me). I'd cook dinner and as I was taking it out of the oven at 5:46 p.m. she'd go to bed because it was too late to eat. Her slob of a daughter wouldn't feed her. One night she fell when I was away so the EMTs got her and took her to the hospital where it was discovered she has metastatic cancer. She is now receiving hospice care at a nursing home. Anyway here I'm making her sound like a monster when she's been very generous at times. I imagining meeting God and He says to me, "What do you mean your mother was verbally abusive when she did all this stuff for you? She is such a wonderful person and she will be with Me in Heaven while you are going directly to Hell.


Ha! I sympathize totally. Sounds like your mother has narcissistic personality disorder like mine. And of course it worsens with age. I go through the same things- her acting like an angel with others but once they're gone, reverting back to her miserable self, constant criticism (and like you, she has said I have a mental "problem" because I want the house we live in to be clean- she was hinting that I have OCD, which I might have, but I have to clean up after myself and her in a big house). She has always been a narcissist, but now that she depends on me for care it's harder to ignore. Google narcissistic personality disorder when you have time.
Earthquake: You put a roof over your mom's head and you tried to help her. Your mom did not want to face her cancer or take the necessary steps to keep it in remission. That was her choice, not yours. I'm glad that there were times she was generous to you, but don't let that become a weapon you use against yourself. You did what you could for her. I suggest you go back to therapy and get some help with your sadness and guilt. You are a very good person. You don't need to be perfect. None of us are.
Hi earthy,
There are many blogs and sites for offspring of the Narcissist-- here and elsewhere. You are her scapegoat. Guilt is manmade by manipulators forcing you to believe their BS, (if I may say that to a complete stranger.)
I was happy for you when I got to the end of your question and you stated she is now in a nursing home. Whew. Now it can be more about You, Babe!
Yes, it will be interesting to see how God deals with abusers. It can't be all about how the abused bounce back and work their entire life to try to achieve normalcy and peace. Think about that. Go have a massage and a pedicure; enjoy yourself, earthquake. You are a Good Daughter:)
Your mother sounds like my sister. My therapist told me she has a borderline personality disorder. They hate to be criticized or disagreed with. My sister is vicious & has created havoc in my life. I have POA & my husband & I are caring for my dad in our home. She has threatened to sue me. You can't win. You are a loving & caring daughter. Therapy can be very helpful. Take care.
Thank you for your comments. You might be interested that my mother was once a psych nurse and then later became an oncology nurse. I remember that night when the EMTs came and got her and they couldn't believe that a retired oncology nurse didn't have the sense to see the oncologist.
Earthquake, it could be that your mother knew her cancer had spread, or was likely to spread and didn't want to chase it around her body with radiation or chemo. She could've known that it was a lost cause, so why bother. Like you said, she's educated in that arena. As far as the rest, since God is omniscient, omnipresent and knows our puny thoughts, I'm pretty sure He's had your mother figured out long ago. Don't sweat the stuff you can't change. And lose the useless guilt.
Earthquake: I agree with naheaton. Most people, especially an oncology nurse, would know the consequences of not following up with the oncologist. My guess was that your mom knew what was coming and didn't want to do all the chemo and ongoing treatment. That was her choice. Again, you did your best to help her. It's hard to understand why a parent says and does what they do, but it comes from them, not you. Take care.
Naheaton and cattails I do understand that in her 80s she wouldn't want to be going through chemotherapy.She was really uncomfortable with an apparent infection that turned out to be cancer. The EMTs were really surprised that an oncology nurse wouldn't see the doctor.
EarthQuake64, those with experience with borderline personalities or with Narcissists seem to understand, but I'm an outsider and I'm having a hard time wrapping my mind around this. What, specifically, do you feel guilty for? Can you make a list? And not only guilty, but so terrible that God would send you to hell. Oh my. I really can't grasp this. What did you ever do to your mother that would earn you this much pain?

I hope you are not taking on blame for things over which you have no control. You did not cause your mother to have the personality she does. You did not give her cancer. You did not make her choices about how to deal with her diagnosis. You did not cause her to be in end stage and needing hospice. These were all things totally outside of your control.

So, you haven't earned your way to hell over the big things. What else are you feeling guilty about? That your taste in music didn't match your mother's taste? That you wanted a clean home? That you sometimes served dinner later than your mother wanted it? That you are overweight? Maybe there are things you haven't wanted to tell us, but from what you have said, I just don't get it.

Sadness that you never had the kind of mother-daughter relationship that would have been satisfying and nurturing? Sure. Sadness that your mother is dying? I get that. So sadness I can understand. But Guilt, Guilt, Guilt? I'm lost on that one.
Earthquake: You did mention that you were the only person as pessimistic as your mom. Jennegibbs is asking you to consider that she can understand your sadness, but not that you are guilty of anything beyond doing your best and being a mere mortal. I think her suggestion to make a list of your failings is a good one. Let me also suggest that when you make the list you examine it closely and ask yourself if this is a pessimist speaking or your heart. I think you know there is another person inside you, separate from the pessimist, that wants to live too. Look at your list the next day and makes some notes next to the items you list. Let your heart and the pessimist answer, maybe in two different columns. Then decide who is telling the truth. Maybe a bit of both, but I'm hoping you will follow the heart of you that wants a happier life. Good luck and stay in touch.

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