Mourning the Mother's we never had.

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Does anyone else who is caring for an aging Mother find Mother's day leaving you empty and spent?

Often I mourn the Mother I never had. It seems most evident when trying to pick a Mother's Day card. (It was the same with Father's Day too). The thoughtful, "thank you for all the love, support, etc", just doesnt fit. It takes some to find a card appropriate to the situation.

Now that Mom is 87 and seems to be reverted to the hateful and narcisstic days of her youth, it is even harder. All my life I have been made to feel responsible for her happiness, feelings, etc. It had taken an unbelievable toll on my life although I have had much counseling and other help in becoming a happy balanced adult.

And yes, one stinging awful projectile of her hate and jealousy and I am right back to a 5 year old, wondering why my Mother hurts me so.

There are many, many post on these forums about how the parent can be mean and even jealous with their primary care giver. Reading these help but the pain is still there . I wonder sometimes, how do I bring this awful treatment on myself? Detaching is usually the answer to the immediate problem but even that comes back to bite me.

Reading about the lack of filter people with dementia may have is also helpful but the words and actions still pain, especially when trying to do everything possible to help the person.

What is the purpose of my Mother's Day post? Not entirely sure except to share my current pain, which seems to help so much.

A big hug and love and peace sent to all people on this forum experiencing the same today.

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You hit the nail, H2H. My nature is to care about everybody. I need to remind my self that taking care of myself is actually #1 and continue brushing up on codependency.
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What I've found with 'applying' my boundaries is that one day I'll feel really good and then a few days later back to feeling badly or 'guilty'... I think this is typical of good-hearted grown children no matter what, because this is our only parent... But, somewhere/sometime we have to come to terms that we did the best we could (especially when no one else did).
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Yesterday I put up my invisible boundaries with her and tried not to take anything personally. Most of all not to feel responsible for her happiness. It surprised me how many things she was negative about that didnt pertain to me. I came away much less drained than usual. Need to keep it up.
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I suppose there's a chance that like debralee, I too will have regrets when Mom passes. But I've had no choice but to set the boundaries and limit my contact. She's sucked the life out of my sister and I, pulled us away physically and emotionally from our own families with the imperious sense of entitlement. I'll deal with those emotions later. For now, I have to keep myself protected from her increasing anger and attempts to hurt. And I need to continue to be the best mom to my adult kids so that this freakin cycle of mother terror (from my grandmother to my mother to my sister and I) stops here and now. What's frustrating is to most people, our actions look out of whack because everyone adores her.
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Very good point H2H, Love is the answer. It is loving myself through the abuse that is the toughest. I know on many, many levels, that I am a good person and that people do love me, but it is tough when faced with the family nastiness. And despite what I want to believe, I do feel different since I never married and dont have children. I wanted both but couldnt seem to find the right partner. Probably didnt attract the right kind of partner. I dont even know what that is now at my advanced age. :) Thanks for caring.
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Hi Liz... You are right about the repeating patterns... Our generation at least tries to figure out and 'fix' the problem... but, as we know, it's difficult. Somehow we have to know that love is the answer, whether it's said or not said through forgiveness.
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Debralee, While our Moms are still alive we probably keep hoping we will have the relationship we always wanted. After they are gone, that hope is dashed forever. Yes, H2H, it is sad for them too. She was talking about her Mother today, who left she and her sister in an orphanage at ages 2 and 3. She never had the Mom she should have had either. It is sad that the cycle continues. One of the first things my counselor said was there is a history of abandonment in your family. You were abandoned by your Mother. She by her mother and even her mother by her grandmother. Very, very sad. Since I didnt have children we will never know if I could have broken the cycle. I am very close to my nieces. They have healed my heart in many ways. Peace and love to all tonight.
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I was thinking about 'the mother we never had' for the past few days and on the way to work today I thought... of coarse it's very sad... heartbreaking... but, isn't it also the other way around... That it's sad that they will never know the daughter they could have had?... It's a loss on their part also...My heart aches along with all of you and I am sorry for your loss...
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Thank you liz, tex and ash. I never thought I would feel so sad and empty at the loss of my mom. The weight on my shoulders shifted to the weight I feel in my heart. When I lost two of my beloved pets, I felt like my world shattered. Bringing another pet into my life help me grieve the loss of them. It is not so with a mother, you have only one. I will never be able to experience the closeness of a mother/daughter relationship here on earth.
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That's what I grieve for on Mother's Day, what might have been.
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