This is my first post...my father passed about a year and a half ago - it was unexpected (3 weeks from diagnosis to death) and I was completely devastated. My dad and I had always been close, mostly because my mom is a bully with a sweet face. She fools everyone how wonderfully kind she is, but if you lived with her, it's a different story. My dad modeled enabling kinds of behavior, and, dealing with this all of my life, that is what I learned to do, too. Until I met my wonderful husband and I learned that there are different (healthier) ways of interacting. I distanced myself emotionally from my mother, but remained close with my father. None of us are perfect, and I'm sure I do things wrong, but I am much more like my dad - we "got" each other. Her bullying of him never stopped, and when he became ill, she checked out (no visits, no phone calls) - thank goodness I was there with him or he would have died alone. The man did EVERYTHING for and with her - cooked, cleaned, checked her blood sugar, exercised with her (the only way she would do it), bought her whatever she wanted...and I've pretty much assumed his role.
I had hoped that mom and I could learn to lean on each other at this point in our lives - despite the dysfunction, my parents loved each other and I am sensitive to her feelings of loss, loneliness, fear (and probably so much more). I see her - she suffers from depression, intense feelings of inadequacy/inferiority (what manifests in bully behavior), inability to cope and narcissism. Her somewhat frail health declined quickly, so I moved her with me. My brother (her favorite) died in his 20's, so I have no other family (a blessing and a curse, I think).
Now, she wallows in misery all day and literally invents things to be angry about. She is raking my father's memory through the mud and is now involving his friends and former colleagues. It's devastating. I have tried EVERYTHING to get her mind occupied in doing something else besides facebook and texting/emailing people demanding to the know truth about my father's (imagined) misdeeds. She refuses counseling or even getting out of the house.
Her hostility toward me (and my deceased father) has increased significantly in the last month; she sneaks food she shouldn't eat (via well-intentioned "friends" and her caregiver) and now has herself in a medical pickle. She fights me every step of the way, then gets herself into trouble and pleads for me to help her (which I always do, because I promised my father I would). We had an honest (I thought) discussion and agreement about food, and, hours later, she went completely against it. When I asked, "Mommy, I thought we had talked about this?" she looked at me and said, "Oh, come onnnnnn - f*ck yooouuu!"
So I suppose it's time for boundaries, but its very hard for me because I feel so guilty and like I'm failing my father. My logical mind gets caught up with my emotional mind. I feel in emotional turmoil all the time (worry about her health, the abusive behavior, her spending...) and I feel like I'm kind of losing it. I can't really continue this way - it isn't fair to my (saintly!) husband. I exercise a lot, and that helps, but these worries are always lurking in the back of my mind, exhausting me.
Thank you for reading this - maybe I just needed to vent, and maybe hear from people in a similar situation as it helps to not feel quite so alone.