Love them but want to leave them!

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Love them but want to leave them!
16
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 2:03pm

This is just my venting before I explode. DD & DH are unreachable and so hope you don't mind being my sounding board. History - I'm an only child whose father died when I was 18, Mom started dating 6 wks later & married 18 mths after. Mom & Dad had problems due to faults on both their sides. Mom has been an alcoholic & recovering alcoholic since I was at least 6, so for 50 yrs. She is an emotional drinker who can stop with no side effects. It seems that no matter what I do it isn't enough & I'm so tired of doing everything for her. She was the primary caregiving for my Grandmother who was an amazing woman who deserved every attention she got. Gram was 65 when I was born and died 29 yrs later. This remarkable woman raised me and until a yr before her death at 94 was cooking for Mom & doing light housekeeping. Mom worked & found that she had enough to do with working 40 hrs a week, some housework & gardening. Dad did the laundry/ironing & shared cooking with her. My Mom retired at 45. I am 55, work at least 60 hrs a wk, have 3 kids & a grandchild with special needs plus I am primary caregiver for both Mom & her husband, SD. Mom told me today that when she was younger, she didn't have time to write letters to my Gram if she was away visiting her other children. But apparently, I'm supposed to find time to spend a day each week with my Mom and it's perfectly ok to have to take a vacation day to drive her to medical appts where she used to live because she pays her own way. DH just took her to an appt 2 hrs away last week & she did pay for the gas then take him out for lunch. It's the first time she has done this in the last 12 mths & I swear it's because he took her. I pay for everything when I'm doing the running around or she will give me a list of what she needs, then hand me $20 to cover $40 worth of shopping. She isn't stupid or clueless. She is very sharp financially but she is very sneaky. She likely needs the other $20 for alcohol.

12 mths ago Mom & my SD moved into a retirement home as they weren't able to live alone. Mom was having health issues & SD's dementia was becoming more troublesome. They lived 2 hrs away but

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iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 3:38pm
I'm listening. Wish I knew what to say that would actually help....

I thought years ago you should have distanced yourself from her. I can't really judge, though, cause my parents aren't needing much help right now, or at least not help they can't afford. But down the line I'm sure they'll need something. With the way I've been treated, I can totally see myself walking away, though, if push comes to shove.... which is what sounds like you've been dealing with for a long time.

I'm sorry that you feel so guilt ridden that you are pushing you and your DH to ridiculous limits. I bet she'd find a new doctor if you told her you can't take a whole day off. Or that your husband isn't her chaffeuer. (sp?) Just say no. She'll get new doctors. Old people that are used to going to doctors don't just stop. At least that's what I've seen.



You have to take control of your own life. It's slip-sliding away for reasons that don't have to be.


.

 

Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 3:50pm
Have you ever considered going to an Al-Anon meeting? I think they are free, and in the meetings, you can commiserate with individuals who know exactly what you are going through. They might be able to give you some sound advice while giving you an opportunity to share your story, without fear of judgment.
Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 4:10pm
Yep, we have refused to do any doctor appts after my wasted trip last mth & have made her relocate to where the shuttle from the home will take her. However, she broke her wrist while up North with us which required emergency surgery. The surgeon is insisting on seeing her to monitor her progress & his work. Hence my husband's trip & this is supposed to be the last visit this week to remove the cast.

When I walked away before, she had a massive heart attack (not related to my ignoring her) & almost died. She changed her personality & we had a great relationship for about 5 yrs. I keep hoping she will change. My stupidity, I know.

Dee
Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 4:21pm
Yep, tried Al-Anon both in person & online. Feel that it is very good for some but didn't seem to do it for me. May not have been a compatible mix of people in the groups I tried. I found it a very negative experience. Everyone complaining which I know I did here but I don't spend most of my time complaining about her & some of the awful things she has done while drinking. We are moving shortly & I have thought about trying another group in my new area.

I spent a lot of time in counseling where I was told that I'm not my Mother's keeper. She is an adult & until she is mentally unable to make competent decisions then she isn't my problem. I do realize that I'm very much part of this problem between us as I just can't walk away but in I'm making progress in baby steps. I will confront her now & I don't go running to apologize for making her cry. I challenge her when she blames me for things which is why I think she is being sneaky & trying to turn my aunts & uncle against me. I also try to maintain a sense of humour. Today she had my SD call to tell me that she isn't drinking more than 1 glass of wine a day. It's too funny as she tells me he doesn't know what he did 10 mins before but I'm supposed to believe him about this.

Dee
Avatar for cfk_3
iVillage Member
Registered: 05-14-1999
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 5:04pm
I've never been to a meeting, but have heard a lot of good things about the organization. I'm sorry to hear that it wasn't a good fit for you. As far as your ability to laugh at the situation, I could stand to take some notes from you *wink*.

Seriously, I hope your situation with your mom & your extended family improves.
iVillage Member
Registered: 11-13-2009
Sat, 10-01-2011 - 6:28pm
Al-Anon sucks

It's geared for people who are determined to stay and put up with all the b.s.

Wasn't my thing at all.

 

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-14-2004
Sun, 10-02-2011 - 12:00pm

Sorry things are so tough.

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-23-2010
Sun, 10-02-2011 - 3:49pm

I'm in a similar situation...my Mother and I were very close and when my Dad was alive he use to joke that I would get stuck with her if something happened to him....he passed away in 1994 and I was stuck.

Avatar for lizmvr
Community Leader
Registered: 06-06-2001
Mon, 10-03-2011 - 12:07pm

San,

I thought your reply was very thoughtful and relevant.

Liz


Clinical Research Associate


-------------------------------------------------
http://www.

Avatar for deenow17
iVillage Member
Registered: 10-12-2004
Mon, 10-03-2011 - 10:52pm
Thanks everyone for your welcome advice. This has helped continue on my path to keep my contact with Mom to a minimum unless she starts treating me appropriately. I have told her that she comes after DH, my kids, my DGS & myself which made her flip out yesterday.

She is well looked after in the community she lives in, they will contact me if anything happens to her & I will continue to distance myself from her until there is minimal contact or her behaviour changes. I do have to worry about my SD, I am his primary caregiver outside of Mom's day to day care of him. All his medical & financial decisions are my responsibility. So walking totally away isn't an option but limiting my contact is how I have been trying to handle things this last yr. This does result in harassing phone messages when I refuse to answer the phone but DH & I just listen to the beginning of the message & if no one is dying or ill, we delete the rest.

I am better at not letting her play on my emotions but there are times when I get overwhelmed like last Fri/Sat but then most of the reason for the nasty calls was that I was refusing to let her guilt me into going out to take her shopping. I was standing up to her. She called today asking if we could forget the weekend battles & move on. Need to figure if I will respond to this message.

My biggest problem is that in spite of her drinking when I was a child & the parenting mistakes she made, I was a very loved child until my Dad died then my SD wanted nothing to do with me & my Mom accepted this but started to drink even more to deal with losing me. No I don't feel guilty about that. Not my fault she chose a jerk to marry. Then when she almost died 10 yrs ago, the loving Mom of my childhood came back & our relationship was good until about 2 yrs ago when she became totally self absorbed & selfish. Her GP feels that there are some mental issues but the MRI didn't show anything. There may also be problems with her meds & they know she is addicted to sleeping pills she was put on over 25 yrs ago. The GP has said these things may have caused her personality change but I don't believe it. I think she just got tired of being nice as it's more work than being demanding.

Thanks again, everyone. Dee

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