Any advice on dealing with feelings of betrayal upon parent's death?

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My mother passed away in June after a lengthy and painful history of congestive heart failure. As the only daughter, I ended up as her caregiver, albeit that she was in an assisted living facility within a mile of my house because I had a very demanding business I could not give up. I have two older male siblings who did not help at all. During my entire life, I tried constantly to do everything to please and help my mother. She was the most important person in my life. My brothers had little contact with her and refused to assist me when I was desperate for help because of professional demands. I was facing extreme backlash in my professional life and clientele because of my need to be with my mother so much to meet her needs. I have a great husband who was always helping her with me. During the last month of her life, my mother told my brothers that my husband and I were abusing her, which was completely false. My brothers took that and ran. One filed an abuse complaint against me with the AL. The AL backed me up in the end, realizing that this brother was a nut and had never been around. The brother's contested my POA when my mother was desperately in need of nursing home care and hospice . In the end, the physician made the call. I was able to get her into a hospice and she passed away one hour later. The brothers never called to speak with her during her final hospitalization and stay. I had to plan the funeral. The brothers engaged in vicious emails and correspondence, attacking me for how I handled the funeral, despite their not contributing to the service or planning. The funeral was planned according to her wishes, and the other relatives said it was beautiful. One brother did not even show up to the funeral. The attacks were so vicious that I could have handed the emails to the police for disorderly conduct charges. I have since blocked their emails and phone calls. They can only communicate with me through U.S. Mail. As POA, they have threatened me with how I have handled her meager estate. They have also threatened my mother's broker with an SEC complaint. I have done everything exactly as her will specified. I received nothing more than they, despite doing everything for her. I did not expect anything more.


What has hurt me so greatly is that my mother threw me under the bus right before she passed away and brought these attacks against me. Throughout my life, she has done this to a lesser degree to make things easier on her with my brothers. I was always expected to sacrifice for them. She excused their behavior as being that "boys do not know how to do this for others" or that "I had to be the better person". One time, when I said that my work constraints did not allow me to speak all the time with one of my sisters in law when she was having psychological issues, my mother actually said that it would be my fault if she killed my brother. My sister in law never threatened my brother.


Now, I am having serious issues as to her betrayal during the last month of her life and am having difficulty dealing with my grief. I feel such anger with the woman I loved so much. Is this normal? My husband still feels betrayed, too, but not to the degree I do. I realize that dementia may have come into play, but she always made me a sacrificial lamb for my brothers my entire life. She told me she loved me, but this behavior lends some doubt. Has anyone else gone through this?

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Is there a possibility to get a restraining order? Do you have backup documentations of threats and harassment? Might be worth a try
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Reply to MACinCT
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No. Rewind.

If for almost all of your life you believed you had a close relationship with your mother, then you did.

What is different now is that your whole environment has just undergone a total sh1t-storm and *everything* is contaminated.

Plus, this is just a guess, your mother asked you to "make allowances" for your brothers once too often, instead of supporting you? She was old and ill. She was not the same person you'd had your real relationship with. It doesn't count.

To repeat, be angry about the right things and the right people. Don't let this rob you of good things that should be yours to keep.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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Thank you so much, everyone. I have been trying to take it one day at a time. It seems that the pain hits whenever I am in a car, alone, while driving. My cousins have been wonderful, but it has just been a double whammy of losing my entire nuclear family and discovering that the close relationship I thought I had with my mother was one sided. It does a real number on your self worth.
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Reply to TwoWorlds
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My siblings did not behave (anything like) as badly as your brothers have done, but I can sympathise with your situation. It is hard enough handling your mother's end of life care without being sniped at, undermined and slandered by your supposedly "nearest and dearest," and we do sup it up, and we're not in it to win the lion's share of the estate, if any, and it does grate that our siblings play Mary to our Martha, and it does feel altogether unjust and hurtful.

I don't think it meant your mother didn't love you. I don't think it detracts from the true worth of your gift to her of so much time and care.

Your mother's remark about your SIL you should simply overlook, along with any other anxiety that she got out of proportion during the weeks immediately before her death. Although it wasn't known by anyone at the time, you now know that she hadn't long to live, and anything she got wrong then mustn't count. Just don't let it.

But you do have things to feel angry and hurt about. I know the feelings are diffuse, so this is hard, but do try to be angry with the right people and hurt about the right things.

For example. Your mother loved her sons, too; and yet she was constantly in the position of feeling that she needed to make excuses for them. They're boys, what do they know; they lead such busy lives; they *mean* well; they don't have your practical skills or instincts - roll your eyes freely at any of these phrases if they're familiar to you.

Well. When you recognise that her alternative was to accept, and perhaps to acknowledge to you, that her sons were... whatever you objectively conclude they were... You can see why she defended them.

But you no longer have to consider her maternal feelings. You can coolly analyse what you want from your future relationships and take appropriate steps. I personally have found it practical to abandon relationships that benefit nobody, but of course you'll want to explore your options.

Finally. There are still surprising numbers of women who unabashedly favour their sons. I have been stunned into silence on two particular occasions, not knowing whether to be appalled by these ladies' - to me, monstrous - attitudes or impressed by their frankness in declaring their preference; but in any case, having a son and daughters of my own, what I can't do is understand it. I no longer believe it's a cultural issue because I've heard it as an axiom from well-educated, independent, Western women who were nobody's handmaidens. It seems to be some sort of peculiar atavistic instinct, perhaps. Or perhaps it's in the genes, like being gay. Who knows. "There's nowt so queer as folk..."

But. For one thing, there is not a thing you can do about it except not repeat the pattern. And for another, her partiality, if that is what it was, does not mean that she did not love and value you. Truly, it doesn't. Take the love she did have to offer you, even if it wasn't your fair share, as a blessing and do not compare it with what she lavished on her sons. She was imperfect. She still did love you.
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Reply to Countrymouse
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You have had a truly horrible time, with your mother's death, her effective betrayal, and your brothers' appalling behaviour. The only consoling words I can think of are that the pain will fade with time, if you let it. Perhaps eventually you will even be able to return to some love for your mother. Do your best to find things to distract you and provide you with new things to do and think about. Dwelling on this would let the whole thing do you more damage than you have already had to suffer. I do hope that you can find some peace of mind.
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Reply to MargaretMcKen
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My condolences and prayers for you and your husband. You have done a very generous thing and you should stand proud that you took care of your mother in spite of her antiquated notions of the value of men and women, sons and daughters.  I've seen this before. There is really no excuse for such silliness - can't a mother see for herself who is helping and who is doing nothing? Her behavior during her life was cowardly in trying to curry favor with her sons. She was most fortunate that you did not say in effect: "You think they are so great, time to let them help you, but don't be surprised that they turn out to be hollow men."  In my own, much less serious case, I just walked away.  This kind of belief will stop when women refuse to be victims.
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polarbear Sep 10, 2018
rovana, in this case, it was a woman who used and betrayed another woman her whole life. Don't just blame the guys.
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We had dinner yesterday with my husbands cousin. She was telling me that her MIL is dying. Up until a few weeks ago her mind was sharp but not anymore. Same thing happened to her and my husbands Aunt. The last few weeks her mind went. Its probably part of the body shutting down. They have no idea what they were saying. Maybe abuse was the wrong word. I can imagine how you feel. You know what you did. Chalk it up to the Dementia. By the way, as Executor you were entitled to 6% of the estate and then split it among u and ur brothers.
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