Just breaking up my post per Bettyg's suggestion. Sorry .... as a fellow chronic lymie with problems reading long text ..... I can't believe I typed this one so badly. Thanks for pointing it out. ------------------------------------------------- Hi there. I haven't been out here lately but today I need to touch base with my guardian angels. I've been off all abx since Feb. when I was hospitalized crappy side-effects from taking 8000 mg of Augmentin XR per day. Since then I've seen a new LLMD .... Dr. C in Mount Kisco, NY. I left Dr. B because he stopped taking Medicare.
So, in between filing for Chap. 13 bankruptcy, I've been fighting with Medicare about getting covered to once again to my IV's at home. Apparently I'm going to have to pull the homebound card .... which is basically the truth ..... I only leave the house to go to DR's and pharmacy. I get help from my son or sister with groceries. Anyway, that's not why I need to talk with you.
My Dad died a little over 4 years ago. And as of 7/6/05, I have entirely cut my mother out of my life ... as she has with me. I have put up with her last 'grudge-filled' fight. What my mother likes to do is take something that pisses her off about me and instead of dealing with it then ... she'll let it fester in her warped brain for a few years and then blast you with it when you least expect it. By then I usually have no idea what she is talking about and then it pisses her off even more when she has to explain it to me.
I'll give you a couple of examples ..... these are pretty minor. My parents once had a cottage on a beautiful lake not too far from their house .... they stayed out there for most of the summer. My sister and I and our kids and our brother used to go there a lot to swim, have barbecues, etc. There was even a guest 'trailer' so any of us could stay for extended lengths of time. Sometimes one or both of my boys would stay up there for a week or so when school was out and I'd come out on the weekends because I had just graduated college and started a new job. We all had great times out there.
One summer my sister, brother and I were very busy and didn't spend as much time out there as we would have liked. That fall/winter my mother told me that they were selling the cottage. When I asked her why, she told me because us kids didn't come out there much any more. I told her that when her and Dad bought the cottage it should have been for their enjoyment and relaxation. A very simple statement ..... no reaction from her ..... why would there be, I just make a comment.
Well two years later we were in the middle of some argument about God-knows-what and that statement I made came back to bite me in the *** . Because she had two years to gnaw on it, it took a life of it's own. She said to me ........ "I can't believe how rude you were when we decided to sell the cottage. To say that we needed you to come up there to entertain us ...." And on and on. Get the picture? And, again, this was just a minor one.
She has also cut off all ties with my two sons and my sisters' daughter and son. She doesn't dare piss off my brother so she tolerates his son, but she dotes on his daughter. My youngest son (in the Navy) is having a baby ....... my first grandbaby ....... my mother's first great-grandchild. She could care less.
Oh .... and the reason she has cut off most of her grandkids is this ..... she kept a notebook for quite a while to keep track of how long it took anybody to say thank you for birthday or Christmas cards/gifts. If you took too long or, God forbid forgot, you were X-ed out of her book and eventually out of her life. There are other examples why most of her grandchildren are cut out, but I don't want to keep rambling on this part.
About a week before our last fight, I spent the entire day and evening at my mother's fixing her computers, reprogramming her TV/VCR/DVD players because she keeps moving her rooms around. It was not an unusual day ..... in fact, I didn't feel any tension in the air. She was showing off her gutted/partially finished kitchen that she was spending between $20,000 and $30.000 having it redesigned.
And I asked her for a favor ....... MY FIRST MISTAKE! I asked her if she could help me file bankruptcy .... I needed $800 for the lawyer. She asked me a couple of questions and then let it go. I approached the subject later in the day and she asked me to explain the procedure and I did. She asked me if I had a lawyer and I told her I had an appointment for a free consult on such and such a day. Well, she never brought it up again that day and neither did I.
A few days later I called her to see if she had made a decision and she asked me to call her back in about a half hour. I called back and she asked if I had seen the attorney ...... I said yes. She said I never really did explain the procedure ...... so I explained it all again.
Then there she said ......... "I have something to get off my chest. Do you remember somebody named Anges? (I wracked my brain .... yes, my old boss when I was living in NH.) Do you remember sending her a letter in April of 2000? (I had no idea and told her so.) The one where you said the best thing you ever did was leave NY and your family and to thank her for making me a part of hers." What the hell was she talking about?
Then I remembered that I had grabbed a couple of old work-related files from my mother's basement the last time I was up there looking for some old tax records and school loan papers. So I grabbed the briefcase by my chair and found this skinny little folder with a letter to Agnes ... my old boss .... in it.
It was a copy of a thank you note I had written her after I was released from the hospital after a serious bout with a bowel-obstruction that luckily corrected itself after almost a week with an NG tube. I was thanking her for going to my apartment and bringing me back books and clothes and for watering my plants. And, yes I did mention leaving my family behind in NY was the best thing for me at that time and I did thank her for making me a part of her family.
My family in this context meant my boys especially my youngest who was out of jail (I had him arrested after finding out he nearly cleared out my bank account with my ATM card and was daily stealing cash out of my purse) ... he was on probation and on his way into college. My oldest pretty much hated me all during his teenage years - we had a very tough time of it. But he had settled down with a girl and was a lower-level manager at a car parts store. Now that they had settled down, I needed a break and both of them encouraged me to take the new job in NH ..... they were settled in here in NY.
As for thanking my boss for making me a part of her family ..... that meant work-related family. That's one of the reasons I joined their company ...... it was family owned and operated and they encouraged that their work staff felt like a part of their family.
So when I tried to explain to my mother that 'my family' meant 'my boys' and Agnes' family meant work-family ...... she didn't want to listen to a word I said. She continued to put her spin on it and the kicker was when she said ......... "If your father was still alive, he would immediately come over there and kill you."
That statement hurt me to the core of my heart as my dad was a very loving man and not hurtful like her. I had nothing more to say ...... there was nothing more to say. After a huge pregnant pause she asked me if I had anything else to say. Since I was so dumbfounded, I just asked her if I should wait a few more days and call again about the bankruptcy. She told me that she had a lot invested in her new kitchen and her car insurance was due (which was bullcrap .... she could pay that ten times over with what she carried in her wallet) so she wasn't going to help me. After another huge pause she asked me if I had any more to say ..... she was trying to draw me back into the letter ...... so I told her to enjoy her life and her kitchen and hung up.
After I hung up, I was in a daze. And then I got pissed and thought "I'll show her ..... pills or knives ..... pills or knives." I even formed a suicide note in my mind. I would say "Ask Mom/Grandma why."
Then I got scared ....... I couldn't get the idea of suicide out of my mind and I was really scaring myself. I had to get out of the house, see someone, talk to someone, but who? It was late ....... 11 PM or so. My sister (who more than understands how warped mother is) had to be up in 4 hours, my best friend was unreachable at work, I couldn't/wouldn't call my son ......... there wasn't anybody. And then I thought of my brother who can do no wrong in mother's eyes and I thought the feeling was mutual between them.
So I called him and I was blubbering so bad he had to almost yell at me to calm down. I asked him when he was going to bed ..... he said in a few minutes. And through tears, snot and blubbering I told him if I didn't get out of the house, I was going to kill myself. He asked me again to try and calm down and tell me why and I said "Mother ...." And he said something I never thought I would ever hear out of his mouth "Deb, I know how she is .... what happened?"
So through all my tears I told him as much as I could. He UNDERSTOOD how she operates! That's what I really needed to hear. He told me that mother once told him that a grudge is only good if you hold onto it long enough. We had a good talk ....... he calmed me down and even offered me money for the bankruptcy. Our talk brought us closer together as brother and sister .... at least one good thing happened that night.
So after all of my rambling here, I would really welcome any feedback you guys might have. I have one friend who says "Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those ....." I think my mother and I are way beyond that point.
I have spent almost 49 years pussy-footing around my mother, trying to be careful and censure everything that I say, being afraid that I said something that will come back to haunt me and not know what it is. Spending all of these years being afraid of her. ENOUGH, ENOUGH, ENOUGH! To tell you the truth, I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off of my shoulders ..... not having to walk on eggshells every day.
What a poor, pathetic life she leads if this is what fills her time ........ at times I almost feel sorry for her. But I am not going to waste any more of my days worrying about her. I'm FREE! It's sad and I still feel guilty ... for what I don't know. Through the rumor mill I have found out that our 'estrangement' was my fault because I hung up the phone on her and "that will be the last time that little ***** will ever get the chance to do it."
Thanks for listening, Deb (Shadow)
I almost forgot the kicker .... on the back of the letter, my mother wrote that she hoped I would read this some day and realize that it was great for them when I moved to NH because they were tired of me being a nosy busybody in their lives. Also she said that with my capabilities, I could have sucked up much better to my boss in my original thank-you note.
[This message has been edited by shadow13 (edited 01 September 2005).]
[ 04. September 2005, 07:41 AM: Message edited by: shadow13 ]
Posts: 830 | From Endicott, NY | Registered: Aug 2001
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Honored Contributor (10K+ posts)
Member # 4117
Whew! Forgive her and maybe mail holiday cards and forget it.
I know that feeling all too well of going through the suicide thing in your mind to the point that it scares the hell out of you. I even found myself in a park one night with a gun in one pocket and the clip in the other when I was herxing last year. Thank god I had the sense not to use it. What led me there?--family issues.
I have a mother in law who sounds very much like your mother. I have chosen not to speak with her for the past 7 years. Thank god my father in law finally left her, so we have a realationship. She was not my flesh and blood though.--the keeping track of thank you note thing--she did that to my kids when they were 5 and 10=-I was sick and husband was out of town for 6 months working. Of course a phone call was inappropriate and I was a bad parent and not teaching my children proper manners.
I cannot tell you what to do, she is your mom and mine has been gone due to MS since I was 17 --she died at 39. I have no siblings and no family at all--my only uncle died last year. I would give anything to have some sort of extended family for support. My kids and husband have compasion burnout, bigtime. My daughter said in responce to the hurricane, "it is not affecting me mom, so why should I want to help?' My husband's remark was, "They live below sea-level, what did they expect?" Me- I want to get in my van and load it up with supplies and help anyway that I can. If I had income and my health I would be gone. I have donated a few bucks and have placed water on several trucks in my neighborhood heading there.--
AND I WONDER WHY I GET NO SUPPORT, EMPATHY OR HELP AROUND HERE???--DUH What I get around here is snide remarks almost daily on how my not working is affecting us fianacially, it is 'coincidental" that there is more tention in the house especially from my husband on my less healthy days or when I forget to make a phone call or take care of some bill etc.and the house is not orderly, laundry done etc
I just finished a run of about a month where I felt better and the house was so harmonious--now relapsing due to inablility to take abx due to a liver condition and chaos is loose and I am crying and thinking of suicide again--same as you can't think of anyone to reach out to. I do have a couple good friends--thank god or I would be in a rubber room with a nice white jacket by now. The lyme has affected my mind tremedously.
Anyway I am getting sidetracked--if her behavior is causing you enormous stress, try and seperate yourself emotionally from her for now--stress makes us worse. Know that it is her behavior you do not like not her you do not love in some way.
I am sorry you have to go bankrupt-been there and done that 8 years ago with an illness of my husbands-foreclosure etc. we now have 4 credit cards and other debt--we are thinking about bankrupsy before the law changes in october ourselves--which means I would have to do it-:0)--------what I do not understand is the cost of bankrupsy--if we had money we would not have to file would we???
This disease sure messes up our lives doesn't it? I had just graduated at age 40 from ultrasound school, started a new and lucrative career that I loved with only the knowlege that I had fibromyalgia and arthritis. six years later, 15,000 in student loans, two denials from ssdi later --our family lives on less than half of what we got used to, we have moved into a lower rent apartment and emotionally we are torn apart as a family--especially as husband and wife.
I hope you get the help you need to file. My prfile allows you to email me if yiou want
Thank you so much for plodding through my very long post. I just realized after rereading it along with your replies that I didn't quite explain why my mother was so angry. When I wrote that it was good for me to have left NY and my family, she took it as a personal assault against her and my dad. "After all that me and your father have done for you ....." and so on.
Treepatrol and Bea - It's very hard to forgive her this time. She went through my personal files ...... found something she could use as ammo ......... and waited for the perfect time to blast me with it. Her b-day is the 12th. I keep flitting back and forth ........ usually I get her a gorgeous bouquet of flowers and a pretty card (because I'm expected to). Now I can't even decide if I can send her a card or not. My shrink thinks it would be best to just cut off all contact as my stress levels, anxiety, and panic attacks have all increased since this crap began. But thank you both for responding ........ you've helped me to see different options.
Griswoldgirl - It sounds like you need a much better support system. And maybe your best solution would be out here. These people have helped me so many times when I'm feeling suicidal. Please try to remember your children when you get to feeling that way. That has stopped me more than once. And come out here ..... tell us how you're feeling and we can help you ..... hopefully make you feel better to have this huge support system all ready to help with the smallest of problems to the big ones (especially suicidal thoughts). It sounds like there is no one in your family to help you emotionally ..... not even your husband. That is such a shame. Lean on us ....... that's what we're here for. And please feel free to email me anytime, OK? Take very good care of YOU, OK?
I would try to forgive her, but that is hard. I am still struggling to forgive those who raised me, after 20 years, for how they unceremoniously dumped me-- leading me to believe I was going on vacation to visit my dad, but secretly having decided they did not want to be 'parents' anymore and sending me off on the 'vacation' followed by a letter a week later saying, don't come back - stay where you are - I was 13. A HUGE shock.
I guess to forgive does NOT mean you have to see her or stay in touch. It is for your own peace, not hers.
She is obviously one unhappy lady who THINKS she gets a buzz from making others unhappy through the illusion of a power trip. (maybe she wants you to hold a grudge to her dying day and beyond so that she will be all alone??? Very strange). Something's made her like that I guess.
It is hard to understand how people can be like that, so hung up on the unimportant things, an weaving something negative - an attack on them - out of insignificant things people say and do - and waste huge amounts of energy on negativity, and in the process cutting themselves out from all they love.
Maybe a form of self-punishment.(??) It has to be, I guess.
All you can do is feel sorry for her I guess. And/or you could write her a last-chance letter pointing out what she's doing (ultimately to herself, chopping herself out of her kids lives). If she doesn't respond, then you've not lost anything from where you're at now I think.
Thanks for your concern Shadow--the incident with the gun was over a year ago and my thoughts of suiside have been further and further apart in the last few months.
I try and post when I can----I sometimes feel that I whine too much and it helps me to feel as if I can help/support someone else.
I sure hope you find a solution, even if temporary, with your mom. I had to severe ties with my dad 14 yrs ago. He has schizophrenia that escaladed since mom died. He was in some fantacy world where he started making advances towards me, telling me that "they" wanted us to be husband and wife now. It was way out there. I made sure he was set up in an apartment in Miami and went my own way. I have not heard from him in over 10 years. I am pretty sure he is probably dead--he smoked real heavily and did not look well the last time I saw him. It was hard but in the end the best thing I could do for myself and my children. I grew up with his episodes of going back to the Korean War in his mind, throwing over the coffe table telling us to get down because we were being fired at. I would retreat to my room and laugh--thank god for my sense of humor. Many years of therapy later--I have truly survived my family issues--just have to deal with the one I have created now.
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 5867
Don'tlikeliver was right. Forgiveness is for your sake not your mother's. To forgive does not mean that you condone her behavior or that you want a relationship with her. I personally find that if I don't work on forgiving someone that I will focus on that person. That is just as stressful as having them in my life. Forgiveness is a process but a worthy one.
Unfortunately, many with chronic illness have discovered at a time when they need family support that they have to separate themselves from family to be emotionally safe. Toxic people will only hurt us emotionally and physically, delaying any recovery of our health.
Forgive and move on, focusing on you and your health.
For those of us chronic lymies, please edit your post using the pencil, and break up your LONG paragraphs into 6-8 lines of text only.
Double space between paragraphs so we can read & comprehend....thanks so much.
Sorry to read about what I was able to read.
I too have cut ties with my 3 brothers; they have given me no support or understanding. Last year was the 1st year I've not gone to our xmas gathering. My feeling, "why be nice to Betty one day per year?"
Frequent Contributor (1K+ posts)
Member # 3216
Hey Shadow. Sorry to hear you have to add crazy family dynamics to illness.
Gonna speak plain here - your mother is a nut. Anyone that keeps a book of her family and how long it takes for them to respond to cards and gifts is simply a nut.....
Your mother will not change and her behavior is damaging. So this is an 'illness' that can be removed from your life....I agree with your therapist - cut ties.
You have done your best to honor your parent, but when a person is evil like your mother, all bets are off in my book. You can take the warm fuzzy approach and forgive - if that helps you fine. But she is sick and that sickness hurts you further, so be rid of it.....
I know this sounds cold, even cruel, but our family also has a family member with similar traits and it came to the point where removing contact from that person brought sanity back to the fold....
I wouldn't worry about how your mother is going to react if you send her a birthday greeting or not - you are damned if you do, damned if you don't. You are an adult now, and don't need your mother's approval to be valued - you are valued by the family members that do love you, like your siblings and children. If you feel like you want to send a polite card, then do just that....
- My god that's awful what your parents did. But hopefully after the anger, grieving and trying to understand ...... that in the long run it made you the strong person that you are now. As for my mother .... forgiving her would have to be a private thing .... for my own peace of mind ....... because there is no way I can foresee us ever speaking again. Believe it or not, I still feel guilty (as I have for the last 48 years) for not meeting her expectations. But NOW I realize that she has set the bar way too high. And you're right - she just wants to control me. As for her actions being a form of self-punishment ....... I don't think so ........ she is way too selfish for that.
Cathy - Please don't ever feel that you whine too much. My god if that were the case, everyone out here would have stopped listening to me years ago. This is the place to come no matter how you are feeling ........ but especially, ESPECIALLY if you are ever feeling suicidal again, OK? It sounds like you handled your father the best way that you could. What would we do without therapy?!? And a good sense of humor ...... the other day I had a DR appt and as I was pointing out all of my painful body parts, he said "Well, at least you still have your sense of humor."
Karen - You said everything perfectly. Forgiveness is for my sake .... do you have any ideas on how to deal with the forgiving process? My mother causes me so much stress and is definitely toxic to me. Every time I spend any time with her, I end up with such horrid headaches and my body feels like it's been through a war.
Bettyg - Thank you for pointing out how long my paragraphs are without a break. I'm sorry about your brothers. My brother will most likely have a picnic on Monday for the family. I think I'm just going to have to explain to him that it's not that I don't want to see and spend time with his family, it's just too soon to deal with mother face-to-face.
Lymeloco - I'm so glad you were able to revive your relationship with your Mom before she died. I've searched my mother's past ..... there's no excuse for her behavior. She was brought up my two wonderful, loving parents who were always there for her. My mother has no excuse for her actions and I can't excuse them and accept her. It's too hard ..... and it's definitely not worth it as she has shown me time and time again. But I'm very happy for you and your mom.
Cootiegirl - Yes, the notebook business is just downright cruel. As for forgiveness, it would only be for my sake and I would be the only one who knew. I think it's the only way I'm going to stop feeling all of this guilt for cutting off the relationship. This guilt is going to be the end of me if I don't get a handle on it. My rational mind knows that SHE is the one at fault, SHE is the one who keeps these so-called grudges hanging around in her mind until just the RIGHT moment to spring them on me, SHE is a selfish, cold fish, SHE is so hateful that no one wants to spend any time with her anymore, and SHE is the one who will die all alone. As far as the birthday card, I'm just going to skip the whole thing. No matter what I send her .... she will find fault with it. I'm going to stick with my original plan on her birthday ........ get some fresh flowers and go spend time at my Dad and brother's graves.
Thank you everyone for helping me out with this 'problem.' And also for taking it as seriously as I feel it is. Take good care, ALL OF YOU.
-------------------- Life isn't about how to survive the storm, but how to dance in the rain. Posts: 830 | From Endicott, NY | Registered: Aug 2001
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