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My mother is Bipolar and abusive...need advice

Posted by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM
  • 36 Replies

Growing up with my mother was hell. She was physically, mentally and emotionally abusive to me and my younger sister. We lived with multiple famliy members all of our lives. I took the brunt of the majority of the abuse until I grew up and stood up to her. Now I am grown and I am a military wife and mother. My family and I are stationed over seas which leaves my little sister to fend for herself with my mother. My sister is 18 and pregnant (please no bashing). She and her fiance live right next door to my mother. My sister is now enduring the abuse that I endured during my childhood and adolesence. The abuse is so hard to describe...My mother is your best friend when she needs or wants something from you. Thats how she pulls me and my sister in. We think its all going great and then one day she is telling us how horrible we are because we won't go grocery shopping for her, or run her business for her because she won't get out of bed.She tells my sister to F**** off and get out of her life, among other things. I don't know what to do anymore...I have always taken care of my sister...ALWAYS. I have tried my hardest to shield her from this abuse, but now that I am overseas and I have my family to take care of I can't be there to protect her. My sister says she feels guilty for not going over to my moms house to make sure she has food. Mind you, my mother is perfectly capable of taking care of herself! My sister lived with me for about 6 months a couple of years ago and during that time my mom managed to do everything she needed to for herself. If my sister and I don't take care of her she treats us like we should be ashamed of ourselves. I'm sorry if I'm rambling...I just don't know how to put a life time full of hurt and abuse into words. What would you do in my situation...honestly  please really put yourself in my shoes before you respond. What would you do if you were my sister? How should we handle our mother? What is our duty to her as her children? Does it make us bad people for not wanting to be a part of her life? I am open ANY advice...please just give me something...

by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:25 PM
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Replies (1-10):
LilyofPhilly
by Gold Member on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM

There comes a time when you have to put yourself and your own family first. As you said, your mom can take care of herself. And if she can't take care of herself, there are social services available to her.

Would your mother go to therapy with you and your sister? I think you need a mediator.

treehugger823
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:30 PM
It does not make you a bad person. Advice on this is hard to give, though; parent-child relationships are a tricky matter, especially when abuse is involved.
You say your mother is bipolar, is she going to therapy? Would she and your sister be willing to go to family counseling, and do they have the means?
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AdamJsMommy
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:36 PM

to answer the first 2 responses...no my mother will not go to therapy...She went multiple times when we were little. She can't stay commited to any type of therapy. She also has a drug problem and she is in an abusive relationship with a man who is in and out of jail. She will do anything for this man and always puts men before my sister and I. She will not risk losing this man by going into a treatment program. And if by chance she did go, I honestly believe she would go right back to this man and back to the drugs...

lilywitch
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:44 PM

Seeing as how she is your mother, you are always going to feel guilty no matter what you choose to do because she has instilled that response in you. Knowing that she puts an abusive douche over you and your sister should tell you how to deal with her, which is: don't. But, again, she's your mother so you're stuck on the merry-go-round of guilt. You can't protect your sister. She is a grown woman with a family of her own to take care of. Let yourself live, let your sister make her choices, let your mother make her choices and know you are doing whatever is best for your family.

The sad truth of it is no matter what you do, you will beat yourself up about what you could have done differently. I live this every day.

AdamJsMommy
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:47 PM


Quoting lilywitch:

Seeing as how she is your mother, you are always going to feel guilty no matter what you choose to do because she has instilled that response in you. Knowing that she puts an abusive douche over you and your sister should tell you how to deal with her, which is: don't. But, again, she's your mother so you're stuck on the merry-go-round of guilt. You can't protect your sister. She is a grown woman with a family of her own to take care of. Let yourself live, let your sister make her choices, let your mother make her choices and know you are doing whatever is best for your family.

The sad truth of it is no matter what you do, you will beat yourself up about what you could have done differently. I live this every day.


It sounds like you have gone through something similar...I am so sorry. Thank you for your response. I worry all the time that she will hurt herself and I will blame myself for not doing more to help her...I just can't let her ruin my life anymore...

lilywitch
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:52 PM


Quoting AdamJsMommy:


Quoting lilywitch:

Seeing as how she is your mother, you are always going to feel guilty no matter what you choose to do because she has instilled that response in you. Knowing that she puts an abusive douche over you and your sister should tell you how to deal with her, which is: don't. But, again, she's your mother so you're stuck on the merry-go-round of guilt. You can't protect your sister. She is a grown woman with a family of her own to take care of. Let yourself live, let your sister make her choices, let your mother make her choices and know you are doing whatever is best for your family.

The sad truth of it is no matter what you do, you will beat yourself up about what you could have done differently. I live this every day.


It sounds like you have gone through something similar...I am so sorry. Thank you for your response. I worry all the time that she will hurt herself and I will blame myself for not doing more to help her...I just can't let her ruin my life anymore...

I understand. Mine is constantly saying little things about how she is planning the end...and I'll "be sorry when *she's* gone". It's a control game. Since you've lived with it forever, even when she isn't actively playing her games, you're still affected by them and you KNOW they are coming. Walking on eggshells is too emotionally tiring.

"Black holes are where God divided by zero."
- Steven Wright
AdamJsMommy
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:57 PM


Quoting lilywitch:


Quoting AdamJsMommy:


Quoting lilywitch:

Seeing as how she is your mother, you are always going to feel guilty no matter what you choose to do because she has instilled that response in you. Knowing that she puts an abusive douche over you and your sister should tell you how to deal with her, which is: don't. But, again, she's your mother so you're stuck on the merry-go-round of guilt. You can't protect your sister. She is a grown woman with a family of her own to take care of. Let yourself live, let your sister make her choices, let your mother make her choices and know you are doing whatever is best for your family.

The sad truth of it is no matter what you do, you will beat yourself up about what you could have done differently. I live this every day.


It sounds like you have gone through something similar...I am so sorry. Thank you for your response. I worry all the time that she will hurt herself and I will blame myself for not doing more to help her...I just can't let her ruin my life anymore...

I understand. Mine is constantly saying little things about how she is planning the end...and I'll "be sorry when *she's* gone". It's a control game. Since you've lived with it forever, even when she isn't actively playing her games, you're still affected by them and you KNOW they are coming. Walking on eggshells is too emotionally tiring.


very trying... Now she is telling my sister she will buy her a crib and bedding for the baby...After she cussed her out and told her to stay out of her life. The mind games are going to drive my sister and I crazy...

lilywitch
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 2:59 PM


Quoting AdamJsMommy:


very trying... Now she is telling my sister she will buy her a crib and bedding for the baby...After she cussed her out and told her to stay out of her life. The mind games are going to drive my sister and I crazy...

I wouldn't let her buy the baby anything. I would get it myself before she has a chance to and tell her "We didn't know if you would change your mind again and we needed these things so we went and got them." It's a nice way of saying "We don't NEED you or your money, so be nice or be gone."

"Black holes are where God divided by zero."
- Steven Wright
3jaysmama
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 3:02 PM

At this point I think it is time for your sister and you to take care of yourselves, your families and each other.  I think it is time to tell mom that if she can't be a positive influence in your life that she can't be in it.  I realize it won't be easy, but I think it is necessary.

gnr
by on Oct. 24, 2010 at 3:11 PM

Hey hun.  O boy, your situation is almost parallel to mine.  My mom also has Bi-polor disorder and me and my younger sister have been victims of her physical and verbal abuse.  I understand how you feel.  My advice is tell your mom that unless she gets some help you and your sister will have to cut her out of your life.  I know it's hard she's a mother and at times you may feel that her problems aren't really her fault.  She has to learn how to function on her own because there is no guarantee that you or your sister is always going to be there for her and your sister is going to have a child.  Your sister may have to do what's in her child's best interest even if it hurts your mom.  I wish there was a magic wand to make everything go away for you and me.   My sister is moving out of my parents when she turns 16.  If you ever want to talk you can messag me.

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