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Old 08-31-2007, 10:43 AM   #1
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The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

My mother and I have lived apart for many years. I left "home" when I was 21 first to go to college in NY and then to live in Los Angeles for almost ten years. During that time, I always felt sick coming back "home' (to Florida). My sister always lived here and she had a tumultuous relationship with my mother as did my brother who later in life moved here with his partner to take care of my mother who is sick with a type of blood cancer.

My parents were divorced when I was young. I don't remember much except for my dad drank a lot and my mother would always complain about him and how abusive he was. As a result of my mother's incessant portrayal of what a monster my father was, I was never able to have a relationship with my father. He died two years ago. He died but he was still living with my mother. You see, in spite of their divorce, the fact that my mother had briefly remarried, he never did and wanted to take care of my mother when she got sick. My mother still complained about my dad, even when he was paying her rent.

After my father died, my brother had some sort of falling out with my mother. I was in LA so I never knew exactly what happened.

I recently moved back to Florida and am living with my mother. I have also gotten close to my brother who gave me a book called Toxic Parents to read. He said it was reading this book which made him pull away from my mother. That my mother incessantly instilled guilt in him and that she held onto me in spite of the fact that I was a woman and an adult, she would call me multiple times a day, refused to let me go and he said he couldn't talk to me because I let her manipulate me and I was like her watchdog and jumped to her defense. He said that mother loves being a parent but she doesnt' really love her kids. He reminded me of how she turned us all against dad when they divorced, how she would tell us things that my sister had told her in confidence, and turn us against each other. I am just now feeling this fog lift and realizing just how my mother has not been this wonderful, caring person I always thought she was. I totally understand why my brother put this distance between him and my mother.

I feel physically sick. I want to leave but I feel this horrible guilt inside at the prospect of leaving her when she is so ill. My brother tells me that "mother put it there". HIs partner says that her children are like little dolls that she plays with. I see that now, when I bring up options in my life, she is not encouraging. She wants me to stay here and take care of her.

I don't even know where to begin or how to begin to detach myself from my mother. My mother's cell is on my brother's plan so he has all the cell phone bills. HE says that my mother and I spoke more than 40 hours a month (that doesn't include the time on the ground line on weekends and evenings).

Has anybody experienced this type of relationship with a parent, namely a mother. How did you go about cutting that chord? Forgiving? I love my mother but I have so much resentment, sadness towards her now, I don't know how to go on with my life.

Last edited by TopamaxKillsMe; 08-31-2007 at 11:23 AM.

 
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Old 08-31-2007, 11:02 AM   #2
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

I finally decided that I had enough of my mother's abuse and backstabbing. I had to just stop contacting her. We never really had any kind of relationship. We never did mother-daughter things together. I don't ever remember telling her I loved her. I'm not even sure I like her as a person.

Its OK to not want to contact her anymore. You don't get to pick your relatives but you can choose to do what makes you happy.

I can never forgive her and I would be totally satisfied to never see or speak to her again.

 
Old 08-31-2007, 11:27 AM   #3
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

I am sorry Topa. I think that you should keep posting here so that you can get this clear in your head before you make any decisions. Do you want to tell us more about your relationship with your mom?

 
Old 08-31-2007, 12:30 PM   #4
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

I will start with the fact that I remembered a recurring dream I had when I was a little girl. In it, I was walkign with my mother out of her 70s red maverick and through a parking lot. I was talking to her and she was very somber and refused to respond. We went into a glass elevator and when the door shut, she was on the other side. I saw her walk out through the parking lot, into the maverick and drive away as I slammed on the glass screaming. I had this dream over and over again and my mother would always tell me she couldn't understand why I would have dreams of her abandoning me. She would never do that.

After my parents divorced, my mother remarried briefly and after the divorce was hospitalized for depression. Her ex worked for the phone company and she was convinced that he was tapping her line and listening to her phone conversations. Her paranoia got worse. My brother told me that she was always paranoid. That my father once told him that there weren't enough women for him to cheat with. My mother always accused my dad of cheating with women who he wasn't cheating with. Her paranoia has gone through phases of it being very difficult to deal with but that is another story.

My mother has never wanted to let me go....even when I left, she would call me and I remember when she told me she had cancer, she didn't tell me, she screamed it at me because I was visiting from NY and I wanted to go out with some friends and she was mad that I was leaving her so she yelled "I have cancer!".

I've had friends, lovers who always said that my relationship with my mother was sick and would impair me in life if I didn't break the chord. I told my motehr this, I told therapists this who agreed that I must break the chord but after my dad died, I felt like it was hard to pull away....after all, my brother had and my sister and my mom always had a tumultuous relationship.

Part of me wants to get in my car and drive to New York. I am broke, I have a seizure disorder, no health insurance and I need Keppra but I know I could get a job there. I've lived there before. I also have freinds there. But then there is this heavy guilt, like a box of sand suffocating me. I get so depressed sometimes I think that when my mother is dead, I too will die.

I had a therapist once in LA who died and he told me that what he saw in me was a child that was never allowed to grow up. I remember the last night I saw this therapist, my mother was visiting me in LA. We saw him and my mtoehr went on one of her paranoid rampages. I had told my therapist about my mom but I think that he thought I was exaggerating. I could tell at this one moment when our eyes locked that he knew I was not exaggerating. That my mother was a very sick woman.

That night when I said goodbye to him was the last night I'd see him.

When I told my motehr he died of a heart attack, she was convinced that "they" had killed him because she had convided in him her secret about "them" and how "they" go into her house and follow her and tap her phone. I cried and cried because I was very fond of this man, my therapist but my mother didn't comfort me at all. That was the first time that I wondered if my mother really loved me.

 
Old 08-31-2007, 01:03 PM   #5
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

Hey Topa, what do YOU want to do here?

 
Old 08-31-2007, 04:03 PM   #6
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

I'd just like to say how sad it is that you are going though this. The fog lifting is the start of a long process. (I'm going though the same, but vice versa - I'm the 'normal' mum, my son manipulates/uses/stirs up trouble etc). I wish I had the answers for getting over the guilt, hurt, sadness etc. No contact does make me feel great emotionally........and then coemes the guilt. Vicious circle it seems at times.

 
Old 09-01-2007, 05:35 AM   #7
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

Thank you. I wish there was an easy answer. What do I want to do? Part of me wants to drive far, far away, change my cell number and not look back. But I can't do that. She's sick and I can't just leave w/out a trace. That would destroy her.

I am thinking, however, of leaving...soon. First, I need to work and save enough money to get me there.

I am seeing a counselor on Friday. I hope he's good.

 
Old 09-04-2007, 11:03 AM   #8
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Re: The guilt our parents (or some parents) instill in their children

Hey Topa, I believe that you will make the best decision here (I didn't say perfect because the situation isn't perfect). I am so glad that you are going to therapy. Keep us posted.

Last edited by Sannah; 09-04-2007 at 11:04 AM.

 
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