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My Mother

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by Duckysmom » Sat Aug 05, 2017 12:37 pm

Been struggling with my feelings about my mother for about a week now, since my last tdoc appt when we touched on the anger I have towards her. My mother was very obligatory - food, clothing, a roof over my head. She made a lot of decisions that effected her children greatly. She protected abusers and not her children. She did protect us from the outside world to an what I consider an unhealthy degree. I spent years couped up in my bedroom because she discouraged me from going to friends houses and my dad didn't like friends coming over. Thus, very few friends. She ran a daycare in our house and played with and gave attention to those kids. But not her own. I remember feeling envious of those kids. Still do. 53 and still jealous of those kids.

My mother hugs me now, gives me kisses, tells me she loves me. She's early stage dementia. Can't very well go talk to her about the past now. Besides, she's been denial her entire life that our lives were so damaged, minimized everything, was very nice to the abusers. She's also been severely depressed mostbof her life.

I was well taught to keep the family secrets to a point that I never talked about them in therapy for depression, or the hospital I spent 3 months in at age 15. She always blamed the family problems on the death of my sister. No, Mom, they started before I was even born.

Hard to talk to Bill about this as he loves my mom. I tried and he was a bit put out that I have such negative feelings about the poor old woman. His own mother was mentally ill and he was never angry with her for her illness. She was an acute schizophrenic. In and out of hospitals, his dad had to go to court to become her guardian to make her take her meds. His grandmother practically raised him. A hard life to be sure, but he was never abused. I'm not making light of his experience. But his mother didn't protect someone who abused him and make him keep his mouth shut about it.

The last three days, I've been struggling with this. Bill tells me I should call my mom to see how she's doing. We argue. He just doesn't get it. I love her but I hate her. Since this is early stage dementia, she remembers a lot of history, but not an hour ago, or maybe last week. She'll call to tell me the same thing three times. But if I bring up the past, she denies it or minimizes it. My tdoc says there's no point in a confrontation with her but I have to deal with my feelings about her.
I love her, I hate her, I feel sorry for her, I blame her, I know she had no where to go, I know she feared shame on the family, I think she was abused and carried on the cycle.

So much in my head. Too much. I've been having nightmares again the last three nights. Bill had to stop me from falling off the bed one night. Another night, I was kicking or running (he wasn't sure which) and crying and practically growling. I don't remember these dreams, just him waking me up because my violent responses woke him up and he realized what was happening.

I called my tdoc. We barely touched on the subject of my mother and I find myself obssessing over it. She told me I need to slow myself down, take a benzo, call my pdoc to see if my meds need adjusting because she thinks I'm heading manic. She also said she is going to take the last 10 minutes of every appt to lighten things up a bit or talk coping strategies so I don't walk out of her office so pent up.
She actually said to me, "We agreed to go slow with your PTSD therapy. You seem to be in a hurry to fix everything all at once. You need to give yourself permission to let it go for a while and give yourself a break." I see her in two days and we're supposed to go over coping strategies again and how to slow myself down.

Damn, it took me 53 years to get here. I don't want to give it anymore time in my head or in my broken soul and heart. I want it over.

I actually feel better writing this.

I know I'm not the only one with a love-hate relationship with their mother. I just wish I could let go of the hate. She's old, eventually will not remember anything. Maybe not even me. I know I will be taking care of her at the end. My brothers certainly won't do it. Neither will my living sister. My dad's health is not good and he has mental issues. So that leaves me and I would like to be able to do it with a loving heart and not these negative feelings.

And there I go again thinking way too far ahead. Rushing myself.
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by Pancake » Sat Aug 05, 2017 1:52 pm

Ducky, as great as Bill is, he's going to have his faults and blind spots. I think while you are dealing with the relevant trauma, you need a temporary(?) boundary with him on this issue. Maybe your tdoc can help with getting him to understand your pov, or at least accept that it's what you need for now, and back off?

Neglect in itself is a form of abuse, and Bill's experience having a different outcome, does not make your experience invalid.
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by Duckysmom » Sat Aug 05, 2017 3:19 pm

Thank you, Pan. I needed to hear that. Bill says he never felt neglected. He loved his mom and was not shielded from the fact that she was ill. He had his dad and his grandmother, and his mom during her lucid states. She loved her boys. She was just ill. So he doesn't get that part of my past, that I was neglected and abused and my mother's neglect had a huge impact on me and my siblings. I told him today that I don't want him telling me to call my mom. I do call to check on her, but only when in the right frame of mind. Right now is not that time.
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by Jemane » Sat Aug 05, 2017 7:25 pm

It's great you're working through this with your tdoc but so hard at the same time. I agree bill has had a different life experience so doesn't fully understand what you've been through.
My mum is one of those amazing mums from the outside that everyone envied and wished was their mum. What they didn't know in most cases was that she (and my dad) brought be up in an abusive cult and I find it hard to forgive them for that. I am still angry after all these years as there has never been any acknowledgement of their behalf of how this has affected me.
Mum got breast cancer last year and has had 3 operations and radiotherapy and is said to be in the clear. It's horrible but I didn't feel too sad about it. I guess there's still a lot of anger there.
Sounds like your mum allowed abuse into your life too and it's so hard to forgive and forget even when she's unwell with dementia.
But I agree with your doctor, it's unlikely at this point in her life that you will ever get the acknowledgement you want and so deserve of what you have been through from your mum.
Lots of things to work through with your tdoc.
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by AvantGarde » Sat Aug 05, 2017 10:54 pm

A big hug Ducky
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by AvantGarde » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:28 am

This is a good article on anger... I found it helpful.

The Simple Truth about Anger
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by Duckysmom » Sun Aug 06, 2017 3:55 am

Great article, AG. Saw so much of myself in it. Especially the turning it inward part and how it effects the body and mind. I appreciate you're taking the time to look it upband pass it on.

Thank you. Big hugs.

And to you too, Jemane, for the support and understanding. I'm sorry you went through that. Hugs to you too.
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by Mocha » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:02 am

I love her, I hate her, I feel sorry for her, I blame her

perfectly normal feelings considering everything.....and it's ok to feel that way right now, don't feel guilty about it.

Your post reminded me of my past so I get it somewhat. You can do this Ducky....go ahead and work on those coping skills, take a breath. You're not going to straighten this out as quickly as you would like, but you will work through it in time. Only speaking from experience...... :)


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by AvantGarde » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:12 am

No problem whatsoever, like it says on the top "To share and support one another" :D

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by libellula » Sun Aug 06, 2017 4:39 am

Duck, I'm so sorry for your negative feelings about your mom. The only thing that I feel to tell you if really you are the only one who has to take care of her at the end? My mom began with dementia and now alzheimer...it's hard, really hard because you have to distinguish illness and your feelings as daughter. It' s necessary a kind of distance impossible for daughter especially with that feelings. This is my point of view due to my present experience.
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by Spm24 » Sun Aug 06, 2017 8:15 am

Things can not be corrected in a short time. It took years to get to this point. Have patience.. It is hard to deal with the turmoil that has to do with your mother...
Snowflakes gently floating from the sky just dusting the ground. Then it picks up bigger fatter flakes cascading from space at a faster rate. From a dusting to a trace. Then the deluge comes. Oh what joy. Watching everything slow to a crawl, then a stop. Step outside and even with things moving it is quiet. It is a giant muffler the earth is wearing. Causing everything to be muted.To be calm.
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