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I'm angry at my mom and not sure if I have a right to be or not. Need advice... and sorry for the long post.

Posted by on Jun. 28, 2012 at 4:26 PM
  • 14 Replies

My mom is a hot mess. I don't want to talk bad about her because  it is an understatement to say she truly has a heart of gold and cares more deeply about the well-being of someone's SOUL than anyone I've ever known, but it seems she's all heart and no brains, when it comes to herself. Don't get me wrong, she's an extremely smart woman- she used to be an LPN and seems to have the brains to be a doctor if she wanted to, as she was valedictorian of her nursing class and usually pins what's wrong with ANYONE before a doctor can, if you just mention some symptoms to her... and that's why I get so confused...

She's 66. She has depression. She has degenerative bone disease in her back and it's so painful that every 4-6 mo she goes to get the nerves burned away from her fractured/damaged vertebrae so that she's not in so much pain. She has a "mystery blood disorder" that I strongly feel is a blood cancer but she won't tell me what is going on, and I know she knows what's going on. She has anxiety problems I'm just now learning about. She has a lump in her breast that is probable benign but it's not getting taken care of. (I mean wouldn't you want a definite answer, not a "probable"??) She has a 71 yr old husband who for the past 4 years, went from her husband to a confused, and lately sometimes a violent person she doesn't know due to the horrible disease of alzheimer's/dimentia. She has almost no money and lives S.S. paycheck to S.S. paycheck because of bad choices in the past and is afraid of placing him in the care of a V.A. hospital or nursing home, sadly, because they will take HIS entire S.S. check and she is afraid the money she will have left coming in, she will not be able to live on. She is an expert at bottling all and any bad feelings up and putting on her "happy mask" and pretending everything is just fine so that no one has to worry about her. But I'm SO WORRIED ABOUT HER. I want to help her but what information she insists on holding back when she puts on her "mask" does not allow me to do so. I need ALL the facts so I can help her move on. But she tells half-truths and some stuff just doesn't make sense and it seems she's flat out lying to me in some instances and I just don't know what to believe.

Right now besides her pain and everything, her #1 biggest problem is my dimentia-stricken stepfather. He cannot hold a conversation with you because he cannot understand 90% of the words you're saying to him. I don't know if it's these mini-strokes the docs say he's had, right in the place that affects communication, or the fact that he badly needs a hearing aid and they can't afford it, or if it's his alz/dimentia. He's started to pass the mirror and stop to talk to the guy in the mirror, not realizing it is his own reflection. A year or 2 ago he started calling my mom "mother" like he'd ask me "Where's my mother?". She cannot do anything or go anywhere in the evenings past say, 5pm because he either starts to get grouchy or anxious or he goes to bed. She missed my 4 y/o's first dance recital because of him and it crushed her. She's been "trying" to find a place for my stepdad to live, or something like respite - someplace for him at least to go in the daytime or overnight once or twice a week to give her a break, or even just to give her a chance to run to the grocery store without him running off on her. This has been going on for over a year. First she tried the V.A. She tells me the wait list is so long it's ridiculous, (like YEARS), and he's not on a high priority because when he was in the service, it was during a non-war time and he never got injured. She's tried other respite places or nursing homes - but emotionally she's held back - she always vowed never to "put him in a home" if something went wrong, being an LPN she's seen the abuse that can go in in those places. These places keep SEEMING like something good will happen and give her some relief, but then something falls through because of a stupid decision she made like switching to Advantra and somehow that disqualified her for Medicaid or Medicare, I don't know which one, but the place she was SOOOO close to getting him into said that was a dealbreaker. Then I'm told by everyone else that Advantra is supplemental and can work WITH Medicaid or Medicare and that shouldn't have mattered. (That's the kind of shit that leaves me confused, like she's not telling me the whole truth.) He's starting to get dangerous to be around and aggressive and abusive to her. He hasn't hauled off and punched her (yet), but he has grabbed the steering wheel and almost made them have a head-on collision, he has almost burned down the apartment with his cigarrette lighter, because she can't figure out how to turn on the TV so I guess in his head it makes sense to "light it up" with his lighter so it will turn on, I guess... but he's started pushing her and throwing objects at her, and she won't tell me the story but he's broken 2 of her toes. So she knows she DESPERATELY NEEDS to get him in someplace but I think she's afraid because she'll only have like $400/mo to live on for the rest of her life, and there's that fear that he'll be abused, but more than anything, (and this is where her heart comes in), it crushes her to think of how SCARED he'll be, she is all he knows right now and she feels if she's not there 24/7 like she is now, that he'll be confused and scared and feel she abandoned him. She sobs about that to me.

Now get ready for the next biggie. I'm 35 yrs old and found out 2 yrs ago that I have an older brother I never knew about. She had him as a teen and in those days it was so taboo they made her give him up for adoption. He did some research and found her, and we've been in contact ever since. Last year they came to visit and he and his family are awesome. But because of all my mom's problems, she barely was able to visit with him. She avoids pretty much everyone's calls but mine, and that makes him feel like she doesn't want him in her life. But that's not the case - she's just so overwhelmed with my stepdad it's hard to be on the phone at ANY time. So she tries to wait for my stepdad to go to sleep but by that time she's so exhausted herself she doesn't feel she'll be good conversation. Anyway he's in town again right now and she's bailed on plans to visit with him 2 days in a row. But what pisses me off is she makes ME be the bearer of bad news. It sucks but he's already learning to expect the worst, and hope for the best with her. Because the worst always happens. I'm so mad at her for that. I mean, imagine being 48 yrs old and knowing your WHOLE life you were adopted, then you find your birthmother who NEVER wanted to give you up in the first place, but you can't even get a conversation with her alone, on the phone or in person, to ask all the questions you wanted to ask and 2 yrs later here you are on your SECOND vacation across the country, your #1 goal both times when you come is to see and get to know your MOTHER, but she keeps cancelling plans for what in his eyes must seem like petty reasons... he must feel like she doesn't want him in her life!! So I'm the only one left making him feel welcome and I'm showing him around town, and I'm having a blast, and he's having a blast with me, getting to know his sister, but he YEARNS for that time with my mom and he's spending a LOT of money coming here to see her and to have her cancel like that... it just burns me up!!!! I know she has SO MUCH on her plate but goodness some of the stuff she's saying is making it "not a good day" could have been taken care of LONG BEFORE HE CAME IN. Yesterday she waited all day for a return phone call from the doctor, who never called back. She called to report his abusive behaviors. Makes me wonder if she really called.

Today she cancelled because my stepdad was out of 5 different medicines and she had to go pick them up, but then her car wouldn't start and she had to walk up there, in this record heat. That ENRAGES ME. The car she has currently was GIVEN to her by my aunt, and EVERYONE has NAGGED her about taking care of that car - especially me - but she has a long history of not caring for her things and I bet in almost 3 years she has only had 2 oil changes on that sucker. I don't get it but she'll call me up and it won't start, but she'll try it every day for a week then miraculously it will start one day. That doesn't make any sense. But I guess she doesn't have the $ to care for it, and I live an hour away with 2 kids under 4 yrs old, I can't be holding her hand on every little thing like this. But it seems like it's getting to that point. Even if I kept track on my calendar here and wrote down when she had an oil change, and 3 mo later called her and said "OK now don't forget to get that oil change", she'd say "Oh, yes, thank you for reminding me! I'll make an appointment tomorrow..." and then she'd never do it. I KNOW her. You can't help someone who doesn't want to be helped. But she NEEDS help, she just likes to put on like she doesn't, until it's out of control. She calls me up AFTER THE FACT all the time... like she'll have been nearly out of food for days - eating cheese sandwiches or something, making ICE CREAM out of FROZEN CREAMER for my stepdad because that's the only way he'll take his medicine, if it's mixed in ice cream... and she'll say her car hasn't started... and I ask her "Why didn't you call me sooner??" and she always has some half-assed answer....

She's always been like this, my family says, she waits until something gets to crisis level then she expects everyone to bail her out. I hate to be so insensitive but I hate it when she cries to me about my grandfather's passing... I mean I know you always will need your parents but up until he dies she called him about everything and he gave her a step-by-step "how to" on everything, she never figured out anything for herself. And I guess that's why she's in this predicament... I don't know. I'm so confused.

by on Jun. 28, 2012 at 4:26 PM
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Replies (1-10):
Thelmama
by Thelma on Jun. 28, 2012 at 4:42 PM

I have no idea what to tell you.  Call yourself some senior day centers and see if they can give you advice and arm your self with info instead of expecting her to do it.  Hugs..you are in a tough spot.  I really don't have much advice.  My mother has the beginning stages of dementia but is not as bad as your step father.  Hugs and prayers.

Kodysmommy928
by Jennifer on Jun. 28, 2012 at 7:23 PM

 I went through a similar situation with finding out about a sibling.  In 2007, I got a message on Myspace from a girl claiming that my mother had given her up for adoption when I was 23 months old.  I looked at her pictures and there was no doubt in my mind that this girl was my mother's daughter.  She looked so much like me and exactly like my mother.  She tracked up down by using a private detective.  I asked my mother about her that same day and she told me that it was none of my business and I was never to bring her up again.  It completely broke my sister's heart and I have to admit, it broke mine, too.

Do you think that your mother may be making up excuses because she is scared to be faced with the child she gave up? 

MamaLisa1976
by New Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 12:18 AM

I'm sure that's what it is, however she always says her whole life she searched all the faces she saw in grocery stores, everywhere she went - to see if there was a glimpse that maybe that person was her son. She HATED giving him up but she was 16. She's just got so much on her plate right now it's overwhelming for her to deal with this too... but at the same time she firmly believes my grandfather did this - he passed in 2009 and before he died he promised my mom if he had any say, he'd make sure she'd reunite with her son, and here he is. Weird, I know. So with that said, I don't know why she keeps bailing on him. I mean they chose to spend their family vacation for 2 yrs in a row here, so he could get to know his mother and sister (My other 2 brothers are in different parts of the country), and both times she keeps saying "today's not a good day" and leaves VERY little time to hang out and get to know her... :(

My whole life I remember my mom saying "When you're 21 I have something to tell you..." and when I turned 21 I was like "Well, what is it??" and she said she didn't remember what she was talking about. (Whatever.) SOMEONE in the family must have leaked it because my OTHER brother (I have 2 more that I grew up with) told me over a pitcher of beer in a bar one day many years ago that we have another brother out there somewhere, but he kind of tells tall tales, so I just brushed it off even though it numbed me, and figured if it's true my mom will tell me someday, and she did.

Quoting Kodysmommy928:

 I went through a similar situation with finding out about a sibling.  In 2007, I got a message on Myspace from a girl claiming that my mother had given her up for adoption when I was 23 months old.  I looked at her pictures and there was no doubt in my mind that this girl was my mother's daughter.  She looked so much like me and exactly like my mother.  She tracked up down by using a private detective.  I asked my mother about her that same day and she told me that it was none of my business and I was never to bring her up again.  It completely broke my sister's heart and I have to admit, it broke mine, too.

Do you think that your mother may be making up excuses because she is scared to be faced with the child she gave up? 


MamaLisa1976
by New Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 12:24 AM

Thank you, the senior center is a good idea. It really does suck, I want to help my mom the best I can but she keeps taking our help and turning it around where there's a bad outcome. I'm trying to do the "tough love" thing to an extent and not be an enabler but I can't watch my mom throw her life away because of bad decision after bad decision. I mean she gets stuff handed to her and she doesn't use the tools and resources around her AT ALL and it all just goes to shit.

Most recent example: she for some reason took out $900 out of the bank and split it up into 3 $300 money orders, and I don't really know why. Well she gave ONE to my brother (I have 2 more I grew up with), when she's telling me she can't buy groceries some weeks, and she used another for bills and the other one expired so it was like she just burned that money and it's now just gone. It sickens me, stuff like this happens to her over and over again.

Thank you for your thoughts & prayers.

Quoting Thelmama:

I have no idea what to tell you.  Call yourself some senior day centers and see if they can give you advice and arm your self with info instead of expecting her to do it.  Hugs..you are in a tough spot.  I really don't have much advice.  My mother has the beginning stages of dementia but is not as bad as your step father.  Hugs and prayers.


MomofBoys838
by on Jun. 29, 2012 at 9:52 AM

I am so sorry...it sound like she is under so much stress dealing with your step-dad that she has trouble making some rational decisions, which is understandable.  It seems to me that looking into PA for food stamps might be a help to her, and then she might be able to hire a visiting caregiver to come in a day or two a week....there has to be a way to get her a little break.  She also may not want to worry you with her health stuff, but bits and pieces seem to come out, and you never get the whole picture, then by the time you know stuff she clams up and doesn't want to overwhelm you with more. 

Does your 'new' brother know what's going on?  I'm sure he would understand if you tell him what your mom is dealing with....in the meantime, the time he spends getting to know his sister is NOT wasted time  :).  Enjoy that time...as long as he knows what is going on, he can make decisions about when to visit, etc. 

Remember also, that you can only do so much yourself, and you have your own family to raise.  If you suggest things to your mom and she doesn't want to do anything, then there is not much else you can do.  She has to want to help herself.  So don't beat yourself up about that.  Hugs, Momma...you and your family will be in my prayers  :)

ladybugMarie

the4mutts
by Bronze Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 11:49 AM
It honestly seems like you have no reason to be angry with her. Frustrated, sure. But not angry, or as wound up as you seem to be. Why not let her put your step dad in a "home" close to your house, and let your mom live with you? For 400$ a month SS, she could help you buy groceries, and have money left over.
If you're not willing to fix it, then you don't have a right to be mad. She is 66 yrs old! She's a grown woman and can live her life how she wants. She's not hurting anyone.
Her son hunted HER down, not the other way around. He set himself up for dissapoinment. Your mother was probably curious about him, but might not have actually wanted him in her life again.
You're projecting your feelings, and expecting your mother to react to everything the way YOU would. She is not you.
Be there for her, but don't try to tell her what to do
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Kodysmommy928
by Jennifer on Jun. 29, 2012 at 12:14 PM
1 mom liked this

I really think that the idea of meeting a child that you gave up and actually doing it are two totally different things.  I think you really just have to give her time in space in this one.  You have gotten to meet him, you are getting to include him in your life.  I know that you want her to do the right thing here (believe me, I have been there), but you can't make her do something she isn't ready to do yet.  Just keep continuing to enjoy your brother.

Quoting MamaLisa1976:

I'm sure that's what it is, however she always says her whole life she searched all the faces she saw in grocery stores, everywhere she went - to see if there was a glimpse that maybe that person was her son. She HATED giving him up but she was 16. She's just got so much on her plate right now it's overwhelming for her to deal with this too... but at the same time she firmly believes my grandfather did this - he passed in 2009 and before he died he promised my mom if he had any say, he'd make sure she'd reunite with her son, and here he is. Weird, I know. So with that said, I don't know why she keeps bailing on him. I mean they chose to spend their family vacation for 2 yrs in a row here, so he could get to know his mother and sister (My other 2 brothers are in different parts of the country), and both times she keeps saying "today's not a good day" and leaves VERY little time to hang out and get to know her... :(

My whole life I remember my mom saying "When you're 21 I have something to tell you..." and when I turned 21 I was like "Well, what is it??" and she said she didn't remember what she was talking about. (Whatever.) SOMEONE in the family must have leaked it because my OTHER brother (I have 2 more that I grew up with) told me over a pitcher of beer in a bar one day many years ago that we have another brother out there somewhere, but he kind of tells tall tales, so I just brushed it off even though it numbed me, and figured if it's true my mom will tell me someday, and she did.

Quoting Kodysmommy928:

 I went through a similar situation with finding out about a sibling.  In 2007, I got a message on Myspace from a girl claiming that my mother had given her up for adoption when I was 23 months old.  I looked at her pictures and there was no doubt in my mind that this girl was my mother's daughter.  She looked so much like me and exactly like my mother.  She tracked up down by using a private detective.  I asked my mother about her that same day and she told me that it was none of my business and I was never to bring her up again.  It completely broke my sister's heart and I have to admit, it broke mine, too.

Do you think that your mother may be making up excuses because she is scared to be faced with the child she gave up? 



quita091526
by New Member on Jun. 29, 2012 at 3:03 PM

Wow...this is a lot...however you said it best "You can't help smeone who doesn't want to be helped", because the only thing you get from that situation is stress, and it seems like that is what happened and is still happening. It seems that you have tried everything to help her but to no end. That is where you have to make the decision to keep trying and stressing yourself more, or just simpy be there for moral support w/o getting involved. (Way easier said than done). It seems as if she is taking her vows "until death to us part" literally which is great because so many people would of gave up by now. But when you are married and truly married your spouse comes 1st.

Also, when people get older in age they are set in their ways. You can't tell them anything because it is their way and only their way. When aged they also get lonely, meaning if there was no one to take care of or something to do she wouldn't know what to do. As her daughter you want to scream, and shake her into "common sense" but it's not for us to do because I learned that they are going to do what they want. I know because I have problems with my grandmother for allowing certain situations to stress her, but she always makes excuses for it not being a problem.

The best thing I can tell you is to pray on it and let it go, but continue to be there for her.

For your brother, continue to to what you are doing, it seems as if you are doing a excellent job at trying to build a bond. You can't make your mother get to know him or make her be there for him. It seems as if it were under different circumstances that she would try and be there for him, however that's not the case. It must suck for him, I can't even imagine, but the fact that he met you and his niece/nephew I'm pretty sure lights his heart up.

Ok I've been rambling on and on but I will keep you in my prayers and good luck, but don't kill yourself over stressing over someone else's problem

Jalestra
by on Jun. 29, 2012 at 5:36 PM
1 mom liked this

You should call around yourself and ask and investigate. I mean, the nursing home may not be here "not telling the whole truth" because these places give you the run around like mad. The ONLY reason, thanks to all the ineptitude, we got my mom in one is because a lady we knew worked at one and even then it was 7 hours away. With all that she's dealing with she may not realize that JUST asking them is not going to work. It's not just that, but even on SS and stuff you have to get firm with them. I had to call about my mom's and threaten to take it higher and higher and they FINALLY got their crap together, after almost 6 months of giving the rest of my family the run around. You have to keep calling and asking until you find someone who is willing to give you the answers and the help you need. Talk to other people who have had to do this, investigate, look up information online...it's a process but it can be done.

I would definitely do some tough love in regards to your brother though. Just tell her I am not your messenger, if you want to disappoint him again you'll have to do it yourself. But yeah, I think with all the rest of it, you have every right to be frustrated and angry at her behavior. 

erikadi
by Member on Jun. 30, 2012 at 12:32 AM

Don't be your grandfather for her. She is 66 years old and some things she needs to work out for herself.

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