Crazy Mothers Club V

Today is my mom’s birthday and I’m burning a candle for her.

Ever since she died nine years ago, I’ve had a much better relationship with her. I read somewhere that the relationship you have with your mom is in your head, not in any temporal or objective reality. So now that she’s gone, I finally feel loved by her. I feel tenderness toward her, instead of fear or anger. I forgive her.

When my mom was diagnosed with cancer, she was told she had six months to live. My sister and I got hospice care for her, because she wanted to die in her own bed.

A couple of times, she asked me to help kill her. Each time, I explained that I just couldn’t consider it. I did what I could to provide comfort. My sister and I often spent the night with her, and we tried to conceal our anxiety and grief. She declined over the six months, becoming delusional at times and suspecting us of hiring fake rabbis or switching her drinking glass. Near the end, I chewed up food for her and fed it to her like a baby bird.

Finally, the last morning arrived and her beautiful Jamaican nurse called us to hurry over to say goodbye. Her death throes were terrifying and unbearable to watch, but we had to bear it. My sister and I each held one of her hands as she died. The nurse recited the Lord’s Prayer. My sister sobbed hysterically throughout.

Afterwards, we sat in my mom’s bedroom, paralyzed with shock.   Other family members arrived. I turned around in my chair and opened a drawer, not really thinking about what I was doing. In the drawer was her will, and nothing else.

I picked up the will and read the first line aloud. “I, _________, being of sound mind, hereby exclude my two daughters from this will. I do so deliberately, and should they contest it, they will receive not more than one dollar each.”

Mom, you were a funny one. Happy birthday.

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69 Responses to Crazy Mothers Club V

  1. Cassiopeia says:

    I’m always so saddened by how in awe I am of families where the parents are good and unconditionally loving to their children, and families where the siblings have a genuine and stable bond with each other. Like this is some kind of rarity! Its precious, possibly the most precious thing in the world, it’s just hopelessly sad that its so alien to me (and plenty of others, from what I hear amongst some friends) so it gets put on this pedestal of unobtainability. It’s sad that some people have to get through life without a good family to fall back on. Or never get that chance to be there and prove their love for their family by being there for them. I always find myself attracted to men with good solid loving families, it says a great deal about someone’s character when they have a close family bond. This makes me feel awfully rubbish and guilty for failing so much with mine but I console myself with the promise that MY family, my new family which I will create out of pure love with whoever I finally settle down with, will be so totally different and perfectly accepting and offer the kind of unconditional love I admire in other people that nothing else matters. That, and the idea that if my father refuses to say he loves his future grandchildren, like he’s never said he loves me, then he just damn well wont get to meet them!
    It sounds like you had a tough time with your mum, but I hope you can safely console yourself knowing that you did things differently with your own family. You express so much love and pride for your family it brings me to tears. Its so, so sad that part of your family has gone now, but I hope you can find happiness in knowing that you fully appreciated your son while he was here, what more could you do.
    I will keep trying with my family, I hope I never give up with them, but it is hard receiving continual rejection from them for no justifiable reason. I guess some people don’t suit family life, and some people just excel at it.

  2. votum says:

    I love reading you blog. I feel like I know you. I love your honesty, you pull out your heart and upload it on the internet. You write so well.

  3. Your mum was a beauty.
    My mum and I have a great relationship, until I try to express a feeling of anger, hurt or irrational sadness. The other day I discovered one of my best friends had excluded me from an event in favour of my ex-boyfriend. Naturally I was upset, but when I told my mum she told me that that’s life and I needed to stop being sad because it made other people feel guilty and upset and just get over myself.
    She doesn’t get on very well with her mum.

  4. MJ says:

    Bet you totally wish you had hired a fake rabbi now!

    Yeah, my mom is nutty but my greatgrandmother on dad’s side pulled the disinheritance trick after pitting sets of grandchildren against each other for decades. Not cool.

  5. hoochiegucci says:

    Wow…I’ve never seen that picture before…She was absolutely gorgeous.

  6. Rosa says:

    My mother is crazy too. My relationship with her was recently shot to hell. Which is kind of funny because it means I don’t have one with either of my parents now.
    I’d been my mother’s confidant since the age of 11. She wanted to divorce my father, hated him, told me many things about him that she had no right to, and emphasized that he was stupid, idiotic, mean. I used to love the shit out of my dad, but she brainwashed me into hating him. And I hated him immensely for years.

    As I’ve told Sister Wolf before, I became depressed when I got a bit older, and as a reaction to the depression experienced obsessive suicidal thoughts – always envisioning a way out. Tried to tell my mother who said it was a horrible thing to say, left me on my own with it. Even then I hated my father faithfully, ended friendships that my mother didn’t approve of (which was most of them, actually), stayed as antisocial as she wanted me to be. Seeking psychological help was something else that my mother had always taught me was shameful and degrading, so I struggled with depression for years before seeking help. It was, like people say, a black hole that just consumes you. I can’t remember much from that time, other than pain, and feeling nothingness.

    Until recently, I had never mentioned it to my mother, and remained in her favour. But I could see her starting to use my younger siblings in negative ways that harmed and stressed them, pitting them against their father and using them in her financial fights with him, burdening them with all her stresses about money. Telling my siblings she blames my father and myself for bad financial decisions. (As it is, my parent’s made post-divorce real estate investments together that consumed all their money and left them in debt and reliant on social security for an income. I refused to have anything to do with it at 17, so now my mother blames me for this. The funny thing is, they refused to sell anything to fix this until recently, or to work for an income – they both live in delusions of grandeur and have enlarged senses of entitlement.)

    By now I’d seen how my fiance’s family operated, how his parents own a business but never burden or blame their children when it declines (a bad year leaves them with less than nothing). How they love their children unconditionally. It gave me the courage to challenge my mother about how she uses the kids for financial influence over my dad and as scapegoats for the stresses of money. (My siblings are all underweight, so terrified of wasting her money that they don’t eat much, and never ask for anything anymore. To the point where I buy medication for one of my sisters, because mum decided she “didn’t really need it” – even though my mum gets ALL of this sister’s Youth Allowance, so my sis has nothing.) I’d realised that my father is a kind person, and a tolerant one – never said a word against my mother, even when she calls him a “stupid shit” in front their children.

    Anyway, I’ve fallen out with her as a result of all this, but I forced her to think about how the whole thing and her way of handling it affects the kids. (See although having joint financial investments and mortgage, my parents can’t even talk about their financial situation/plan together, let alone determine a course of action. It’s fucking insane.) Also forced her to stop turning them against their father. I say forced, because she believes I’m wrong in all of this and reverts to her old ways from time to time. I hear about it when she does though, and say something if needed.

    Wow, sorry that was sooooo long! I’ve actually become really sick as a result of the stress from all this, stuck at home from uni this week as a result so it’s been on my mind a lot. The best part is my mother expects my fiance and I to parent my youngest two siblings next year so she can move away and have a stab at finding employment (local jobs are far below her, of course.) She knows I love them more than anything, enough even to ruin my relationship with her to protect them. So I guess she figures I wouldn’t not care for them if she leaves them.

    The worst part is she doesn’t give a fuck if leaving her kids behind might make them feel unloved, or abandoned. Or whether my fiance and I would even want to take that responsibility on (both studying seriously at uni, so it’s not like we’ve got spare time or money.) Or what their father thinks. Or what the kids think.

    What am I meant to do? I really don’t know what to do.

    Crazy Mothers. There’s no easy answer, is there?

  7. Sister Wolf says:

    Rosa – This is too much for you to handle without assistance. Can you get social services to help? I understand that you want to protect the kids, but you will need a strong support system to undertake this. You mother sounds like a mentally ill person who uses people for her own crazy ends. She seems unable to put her children before her own neurotic needs.

    Rosa, I think you need to fist take care of yourself before you can take on the mess your mum has made of her life. Take your meds if you’re on them, get enough sleep, exercise and talk to a counselor at the university. Maybe the fiance’s family can be a good resource, since they don’t seem nuts.

    When your mother can stop actively fucking you up, maybe you can start to feel compassion for her. Until then though, your priority is to take good care of yourself and don’t fall into the usual traps.

    You need to survive. Make sure you remember that! You’re not here to be a human sacrifice to your mother. Let me know if I can help by doing research into what services you can get, or whatever.

    Hang in there. Don’t make any big decisions until you’ve looked into all the alternatives.

  8. Erika says:

    This was my diary entry when I lived with my mom briefly two years ago:

    Fuck You
    And other heart-warming affirmations from the mouth of Mom

    I have been thrown headlong into the abyss of horror known as living with mom. For a couple of days we laughed and we even cried. Very heartwarming indeed. I should have known when the steak was pulled out that it was a fattening for the kill. Within days I heard my first “ you’re a failure “ – I felt like a rabbit in headlights. The car is coming fast but you can’t get out of the way. I wanted to stick my thumb in my mouth. “ I am not , I am not, I am not “ oh shit I’m 12 again and mommy is mad at me. The mental inventory builds . “She’s right, I’m a loser. Why do I need her ? I’ll never measure up. I should just drown”. Defense after defense, insult after insult. We circle each other like a cage match. After the first day I realized I couldn’t win this. Mom would take the day no matter what. As she already explained to me, she’s a biter. Yes, this came down to sharper teeth and it’s her house too.

    The great part about all this, besides all the comedy that goes along with my loser plaque, is the regression to those lovely days of youth and the opportunity to realize that it’s not me. It never was. My mother will never find me satisfactory unless I am who she wants me to be. I will never be who she wants me to be. It’s not possible. I am myself. I can now proudly stand on a table and declare that “hey mom, I may be a loser but at least I am my own loser ”

    And in that way , I win. Suck it mom!

  9. Dru says:

    Erika- shit, that could have been my diary entry too. From exactly around that period of time. Though I wouldn’t have been as articulate about it, the sense of failure being hung over my head is something only my parents (and specifically, Mum) can drive into me, and it’s easier for her to do it on her turf.

    Suck it, Mom is pretty much the only sentiment that gets me through this shit.

  10. Rosa says:

    Thanks so much for your advice Sister, and also just for listening. I’ll definitely take all of that on board.

    Found out today my thyroid is fucked, so at least that’s something that can be treated.

    It’s been hard to find what to do in this situation, as I don’t have anyone outside my fiance’s family to talk to. And every time I’ve tried mediating, my mother turns it on me and makes it seem I’m in the wrong. For a very long time I was convinced it was all normal, parents can have that godlike power over their children, can make them believe anything…

    Thank you deeply for even listening, let alone offering to help. I will definitely look into all those suggestions and get some more support for us all.
    You are a good person SW, with a beautiful soul.

  11. Ma says:

    Suebob said it right: life IS super weird.
    I don’t feel comfortable enough to comment on your relationship with your mom because I don’t know you and can not relate to it. However, it is clear to me that you’re an admirable person. You broke the cycle and became a wonderful mom. Really few people are strong enough to do that.

  12. Sister Wolf says:

    Erika and Dru – If being around your mother makes you feel bad, she’s doing something wrong. If she can’t see you as precious, exactly as you are, she’s fucked up for reasons you may or may not come to understand. It doesn’t excuse her behavior, just explains it.

    I wish I could adopt all of you who need and deserve to feel loved. xoxo

  13. Annika says:

    Reading this was like several intense therapy sessions. Brave words, everyone. I’m still coming to terms with the fact that my mother has tendencies towards being emotionally abusive and manipulative and still tries to control my life to an extent though I am now 23.

  14. Dru says:

    Annika- take it from a 25-year-old, emotionally manipulative, controlling mothers generally don’t respect your age, or the fact that you’re legally an adult. I keep telling myself that I shouldn’t feel ashamed about my mother’s tendencies to want to run my life and make me feel like dirt, it’s her behavior and not mine, and I hope it helps you a little if I tell you that too.

    Sister- thank you, I kind of wish you could adopt me too, your words (and those of so many of the other commenters) are more of a comfort to me than you will ever know.

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  16. GHD Sale says:

    I guess you inverted the very best with the worst. 😉

  17. Angelica says:

    I could have writen this myself. Amazing. We don’t have the market cornered on asshole moms, but it is still stinging and hurtful for us. I think you are smart to write about it and I should do it too. So many people have told me to write. It is cathartic. Cheers to you.

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  19. You obviously know a bit about this. You make some quite good points.

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