I'm leaving my family.
I've posted a couple of times here about my parents - I'm an only child trying to take care of a mother who is likely suffering from the onset of dementia, who is taking care of my father who was diagnosed 4 months ago with terminal lung cancer. I've come back to the US from Asia to start a life here close to my family in order to be a support.
The history with my mother is not a good one - she was the princess of my father's eye and our family revolved around her happiness. Sometimes that included me, as long as I wasn't too much of a bother. I'm over all of that (it has been pretty painful at times), but it's difficult to cope when her aggression towards me continues: Gas-lighting, passive aggressiveness and often just overt aggressiveness. I've been living with them, driving them to doctors appointments, cleaning the house, making repairs, organising important paperwork, etc. etc. On top of this I've been looking for a job, a house and completing a PhD.
Yesterday my mother stormed into the room where I'm staying in the house. I had spilt coffee the morning before in the kitchen, and apparently made a mess all over the place and absolutely did not notice it I was so nervous to get out of the kitchen, and she cleaned it up later. I'll add here that she is a hoarder, and the house is an absolute disaster most of the time but I've tried to respect this while I'm there, whilst cleaning up behind her per my father's secret request (he doesn't want her to know how much the chaos bothers him).
Anyway, when she stormed into the room yesterday, she was insinuating that I made such a mess on purpose. She actually leaned forward at me and I remember asking her if she was about to hit me (which she did a lot of when I was younger - I'm 53 now). I told her I couldn't believe the hatred in her eyes and voice. She yelled an expletive and just said she'd never understood me, that I had to have known that I made such a mess.
It's not about the coffee - I know that. And for some reason I was shocked and hurt by her behaviour even though this is how I grew up. But I left the house and started to drive to another relative's. In the car, I started to have a panic attack - I got hysterical. I then began to lose the feeling in my arms and legs, I could barely hold up my head and I was drooling. I barely speak. I was a complete blubbering mess. So I waited at a gas station until my relatives could pick me up. After a couple of hours I was okay again, but the whole experience really scared me. I was just so frightened by everything.
My father will stand by my mother - he was always her rock and will back up her accusations of me. My mother refuses to get extra help in the house, and only wants to deal with this on her own - she has made this quite clear, although she exclaims on a regular basis what a lifesaver I've been. I have decided to move out of the house this week. I never want to see my mother again. I would like to be there for my father, but I don't think this will be possible.
I just needed to share this. My relatives seem quite worried about me and sometimes I'm just not sure about what to do.