I didn't hate my mother, but I was quite afraid of her my entire life. Things went ok after I learned how to behave to keep her happy, though I had panic attacks from childhood through my 20's. Got married just to get away from her. Loved being a mom, always talked tenderly to my kids: to avoid how I grew up. After 24 yrs, I divorced, & mother needed help shortly afterwards. I didn't expect the panic to come back, but she was impossible to please & nasty, (memories of my past flooded in).
Now, 6yrs later, she's dead, & I suddenly feel safe. I did cry for a week during her palliative care, (sorry for her misery). Now I cope by taking the advice of many here: exercising & keeping busy (with the estate for now). But I'm surprised at the relief I feel (& cannot tell my family that stuff). Anyone had similar? Thank you.
Each chapter in the booklet is 2 -3 short pages, and your question is one of many that are treated with wonderful insight.
After the tree on the front cover, there is only 1 other picture illustration in the booklet. It is a diagram of all the bad feelings that can overwhelm a person if they don't admit and (as the title recommends) experience grieving. It is a picture of serious problems that sprout and spout from "denial" of grief.
Your thoughful post points toward the path to healing that all of us need to seek.
It's ok to be relieved. In fact, it's pretty darned healthy. Congratulations on knowing your true emotions.
hugs from New England
All the best.
For years I thought I was the only person who had an emotionally manipulative, emotionally/verbally abusive, controlling, condescending, critical, judgmental, complaining, and rude mother. She had some sort of undiagnosed mental illness(es) - she'd never let us take her to get diagnosed/treated & due to the stigma of mental illness in those days, my dad didn't push it, just pretended it didn't exist - we think she had at a minimum BPD, with lots of anxiety, paranoia, some schizophrenia...and she was most definitely narcissistic.
She was the most awful to me, the oldest, which is not uncommon, but she was pretty hostile to anyone who didn't believe the same things she did, think the same way she did, do what she thought you should in any situation etc. But she'd triangulate between me & my 2 siblings (saying one was badmouthing one of the others etc), which I've also learned is not uncommon. She wasn't happy unless people were fighting with each other, with her at the center of it all. I caught onto her gig first, but eventually my sibs did too & we learned to check with each other before believing any of her crap. Eventually she had no friends of her own left and was at war with everyone in her family. She also managed to drive all my father's friends away as well. It was very sad and isolating for us as kids.
I married the first guy who asked at age 18 just to get the hell away from her (other option that I considered was joining the Army, and almost did before dad talked me out of it). I've always been someone who knows my own mind, very independent, no dummy so I wasn't about to take life advice from someone who'd never gone anywhere or accomplished anything with HER life. She often took sides with my enemies or people who didn't have my best interests at heart. She was incredibly toxic, & later when I had kids I was bound & determined they would have very limited exposure to her (turned out to be good advice because she played the same game with my kids - mean to my daughter, while my son was her favorite).
Naturally, I've wound up being the one caring for her. She's 88 & on hospice care in my home as she has, among other things, severe advanced dementia. I won't even go into how that happened but up until a month ago she still had as much b*tch in her as ever & was driving me nuts. Now she doesn't have long left and I will never be so happy as when she isn't in my life anymore. She never nurtured me - I was never loved for who I was, only to the degree I aligned with her beliefs/opinions - and I was never considered good enough.
I will have to hide my giddiness, especially from my boyfriend, whose mom was also on hospice care at the same time as mine, but who was beloved by many. Her funeral a couple weeks ago looked like a state affair. He was close to her & sorely misses her. To him, my attitude would seem callous even though I've told her what she was like. Most people can't wrap their heads around the notion of terrible moms (Each Mother's Day, finding a card was always a challenge because I never felt anything any of them said). No one will be coming to my mom's funeral except us siblings and maybe a few of the grandkids. My dad was saint to put up with her and probably didn't leave her so we weren't left alone w/her.
As I got older I learned that my mom's mom died when she was young and her older (mean) sister raised her, then there was a custody battle over her between an aunt & her dad, so I had SOME empathy for her. Not much.
So no - you feel what you feel. You should feel NO shame in your situatio
I always ended up going with the "joke" cards, but Mother's Day was always the worst for me. And of course one is always expected to give a card regardless of the fact that she was always abusive to me from a very young age.
My mom is fairly healthy 91, SOB, just like her mother was. Lives alone b/c assisted living places didnt think she would adapt well.
First one, the courtesy lunch. First thing out of her mouth at the table was how many (N-word) work in the kitchen-she didnt want anyone spitting in her food. They asked if she wanted to meet kitchen staff and she gave them the smart mouth " No," She kept it up, the others at her table...dam near went into heart failure! I finally handed her a roll and said PUT THIS IN YOUR MOUTH! She threw it.
I removed her immediately and headed for the door, until I noticed she had urine dripping from the wheel chair. Staff got me clean things and showed me to a bathroom where I cleaned her up. When done, she looked me right in the eye and said "I can keep this up all day, can you!" Drove in silence to her house, she grinned the entire time. Me, I could have done the unthinkable and leave that to a jury to decide my fate. Got her inside, never saying a word-heading for the door I hear
" Have a nice day". I got in the car, out of the parking lot, pulled over and LOST IT! Do you know what at 61 year old tempter tantrum looks like! Im screaming- hitting the car, kicking my feet.....all sorts of crazy crap. Im thinking **it! at this age that SOB still gets to me! This is just one day with her- 3 hrs of my 61 yrs- that took dam near a week to re-group. I remember so many things that has come out of her mouth, things she has done- bills in my name, OMG you dont want to know. Cant take here anywhere-she fakes being blind/ twisted from a stroke, twist her arm, toss her head to the side, tongue hanging out of her mouth/ shake like Parkinson pt/ I heard her tell someone she was paralyzed! I AM SO SICK of this woman getting a pass in life due to age! Her mouth is unbelievable! At home 24/7 she is naked, obese, will sit in a chair and pee, towels soak it up, wont wear diapers or pads-wont wash, stinks, nocturnal, and food obsessed add nasty, vulgar, spiteful, selfish, story twisting liar and you got her. These are the things I think for when the time comes. I brace myself for doing what needs to be done at that time but dont cherish the crap that will come -I have no HCP, POA, no will, bank only in her name, crap from beyond the grave. INSISTS I will cremate her, she wants to be buried. She thinks of cremation as payback. She calls it the "cooker" how vulgar! She has a total of 3 funeral planned NONE paid for. 1 in Fla. & 2 with different funeral directors here, done for attention, all over 20K!!! There is just no end. I will never forget who & what she is, nor can I forget things I had and still have to untangle, even at 61, in my head & heart. The only thing I am sure of now is- it wasnt my issue, it was given to me as a child to drag thru my life and when she is gone, I will do the best I can to bury that with her, no looking back. I dont know if I'd call it peace, relief, solace, or even if there is a name for it. I do know WE deserved better than WE got and if WE dont put a stop to it living in our heads after passing, nothing changes and the cycle may just repeat. Be well my friend, breath. Hugs!