I’m in the 5th year of caring for my mom who has cancer. Now that she is on hospice, and death is more imminent, A lot of painful family dynamics are surfacing. I think our mom has raised us all in a way that now causes us to compete, rather than collaborate. None of us has truly received the parental blessing of being loved and accepted unconditionally or been unselfishly cared for. We’ve all had to fight for the blessing. We’ve been manipulated instead of loved, and triangulated instead of embraced and protected. On some level, we’re all still hoping that Mom will unite us as a family, but she won’t, because she needs to get all of her needs met and she needs each one of us to provide something different for her. It would not benefit her if we united under one understanding as siblings. I want her to pass away, so that we can begin to heal. As it is now, we’re all trying to care for her, with resentments and questions about where we stand with her.
I can relate to viewing death as a, or perhaps the only, way to end the suffering.
But I can never relate to wanting a parent to die, especially because of an adult child's feeling that the mother was inadequate in so many ways.
Last Woman, please take this comment as an observation, not a criticism: I have the feeling from your post that all of you expected too much from your mother.
Children bond not only with their parents but with each other. That doesn't seem to have happened. Perhaps your parents had more children than they could care for and weren't able to provide to each child the attention they would have if there were only a few children.
"...we’re all still hoping that Mom will unite us as a family" - accept that she won't, or cant, and that you have to unite yourselves.
It might be time to start taking that approach and begin healing now, rather than seeing her death as the triggering factor for healing to happen.
Mother raised us through threats of suicide to keep us "in line". She played us off each other, had favorites and we all knew it. Suffered from deep depressions many, many times, simply locking herself in her bedroom and demanding meals to be brought to her door--and she'd either eat or throw the tray across the hall....we all grew up with a "different" mother--and now, in her last years, 3 of my 5 living sibs simply want nothing to do with her. Out of sheer force of will I help with her caregiving. I'm trying to have better feelings for her before she dies. She is "better" in some regards, but a lot of stuff--I have to just "get over" it--damaging as it was.
I MISS my sibs. But mother is the 800 lb gorilla in the room. We can't all pull together to do what's best for her, we're not in agreement on much. She still works us one against another, complaining to one about the others--keeping us always a little off balance.
I'm hoping that once she is not a factor in our lives, we can heal as a family.
Isn't that sad? I guess the good to come out of this is that I knew how NOT to mother my kids.