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Guilt Over Mother

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Old 08-20-2007, 11:52 AM   #1
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WhyIsThisMyLife HB User
Guilt Over Mother

I will try to make this short. Today, my mother moved out and I feel very guilty about it. Four years ago, she wanted to retire, because she has back pain, but could not afford to stay in her home. After thought a friend suggested she sell her home, finish my unfinished basement and move in with me. So that's what we did. She put over $20,000.00 finishing my basement. However; the home she sold was both of our homes, I had sold her my share for $5,000.00. This wasn't a fair share, but I did it because she was my mother. When she sold it she received all the equity and I signed my share over to her. Our only agreement was if I were to move, I'd make sure she had the same set up in the new place. Now four years later, I have married and am pregnant with twins. My mother suffers from depression and addictions. She abuses prescription drugs to the point she hallucinates and has set a fire in a trashcan and left things on her stove burning. I've been back and forth to the hospital with her. She is in and out the psych ward (five times). She also has stolen prescription drugs from me after I've had surgery and she lies big time. She also is a smoker. I knew this before she moved in and had researched smoke eaters and had her buy one. It didn't work as well as advertised, so smoke smell is all over the home. I don't like it, but I tolerated it, because I knew about it before she came. After an altercation with my husband over her drug usage, she decided to move out. At the same time, I learned I was pregnant. I really didn't believe she could afford to move, so my husband and I started looking for some place for all of us to move too. She kept saying she was not coming. Finally, I asked her to stay with us to help me out when the babies come, but she said no she wanted to move. We did not do a contract for a new house since she was moving, we decided to stay in the old house. It's big enough if we can also use the basement. She said she was leaving by July. July came and she said she could not move, because she was on a waiting list. We kind of figures this would happen, but we were stuck with having places to move stuff so we can set up a nursery. A couple of weeks ago, I asked her if she knew when she was going to move. I am being placed on bed rest at the end of August and wanted to help get the nursery together. She said she would find someplace to go. In the meantime, both my sister and I finally spoke to her doctors about her drug problems. We learned she had lied to doctors about prescriptions getting stolen so she could obtain more drugs. It caused a big fight. She no longer speaks to me and my sister and she moved out today into a hotel. (My uncle told me.) I feel bad about it. But, to be honest I am also kind of happy. She left almost everything in the basement though and asked if it could stay for a while. I honestly don't want it to stay. I want to replace the carpet and wash down the walls and try to get the smoke smell out of the basement. Her stuff just reeks of cigarette smoke. I don't want to put my stuff down there until the smoke smell is out of there. I feel bad and guilty about her leaving, but I feel I am still in the same situation of needing more space. My sister also feels I should give her the money for finishing my basement. She suggested I refinance my house. I don't feel that is fair to me. I'd get a higher interest rate and right now is not the time for me to have an additional bill. A lot of the things in the basement that she got, I would not have needed (stove, refridg, dishwasher, bookcases, closets all of the plumbing and electrical work. It would not have cost me as much to finish the basement for myself. I would have only needed carpet and drywall. The bathroom was already there. I also feel guilty about that. My husband tells me it is a wash, because the money she used was from money for a house I helped pay for. Still, I did sell my share of that house even if at a loss. I'm wondering if I should ask her to come back. She is living off of her savings that that is not going to last long. She is also very depressed. I'm afraid she is going to overdose and kill herself without someone there to watch her. Her doctors have said the same thing. Then part of me is happy she is gone. I'm sick of the lies, hiding drugs, stealing drugs, lying about drugs. I want to tell her to get her stuff out of here, so I can deal with the cigarette smoke. I've only got two more weeks, before complete bedrest. I feel guilty, but also resent having to deal with this when I am pregnant. Any suggestions or advice?

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Old 08-20-2007, 01:01 PM   #2
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Re: Guilt Over Mother

Honestly, it is time to take care of yourself and your children. It is not a healthy and stable environment to bring children into. I know you feel guilty, but you can't help a person who refuses to see that they need help. Until she sees it for herself there is nothing you can do.

Perhaps you could get yourself into some counselling to help you deal with the guilt and grief that you are feeling. Really, you have done all you can do to help her. Letting her come back is just saying that her actions are okay when they are not.

As far as your sister goes, the deal between you and your mother is your business, not hers. You sold her your portion of the home at a loss and I'm sure that loss is covered in what she spent on the basement. I would say it's even. You are not in a position to refinance your home with twins on the way and being put on bedrest.

I hope everything works out for you and your family. Best of luck with the upcoming arrival on your children. Try to focus on the blessings in your life.

Old 08-20-2007, 02:54 PM   #3
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Re: Guilt Over Mother


Tough situation. Personally, I would give her half of what it cost to finsih the basement. I would have her appliances and belongings put into storage for six months and pay that bill, too, telling her you will pay the storage for the six months to give her time to buy a place. She does need to be out of your home. Absolutley. However, your conscious, as would mine, be overwrought if in any way there were a sense of screwing her over on anyone's part. In doing this, Mom can leave and your conscious can rest easy. Mom needs a LOT of help that you are not able to give because you do not have the expertise to lead an adict out of addiction.

Just my opinion. Good luck.

Old 08-20-2007, 03:04 PM   #4
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Re: Guilt Over Mother

First - Life is too short to hold on to resentments. Remember, you asked your mother to move in with you, even though you were aware of many of her idiosyncracies. You need to own some of the responsibility for the conflict on that level.

Second - Life is too short to hold on to guilt. Your mother's becoming upset and moving out based on your confrontation of her is not your fault. She simply does not want to face her own behavior. Sadly, her behavior is something over which you have no control. As such, you shouldn't feel guilty about the repercussions of her behavior.

Third - Almost any conflict of financial responsibilities can be worked out rationally. Find a friend or relative that can give you a hand, so that any issues that remain between you and your mother are simply emotional, and not burdened by finances. The emotional stuff is complicated enough - get the other stuff out of the way first if you ever want to be healthy.

Good luck from the son of a raving alcoholic mother.
"In Jersey anything's legal as long as you don't get caught" Boo Wilbury

Old 08-20-2007, 03:18 PM   #5
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Re: Guilt Over Mother

I am sorry about what you're going through. I understand how parents and guilt go hand in hand. I agree with what someone said about owning up to the fact that you did invite her to move in with you in spite of the fact that you were aware of her idiosyncracies. I can relate, my family is very dysfunctional, my mom is paranoid, my dad was an alcoholic, my siblings and I don't mix. It's very sad. I wish we could all just be like the Waltons, y'know?

But unfortunately, reality is'nt that way. I think reach out had a good suggestion about paying for half of the basement. That sounds fair. Sometimes, you just have to suck it up to make peace with your family. I"ve had to so many times. Maybe you can try to get an intervention going? Just a suggestion.

I'm sorry again.

Old 08-21-2007, 05:23 AM   #6
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Marirose HB User
Re: Guilt Over Mother

I am so sorry for what you are going through. I am currently facing all the first year "anniversaries" of my brother's final binge and death from alcohol addiction. He and his children lived with me and my family on and off during the last few years of his life. And,yes, I feel guilty that my husband and I finally got hard on him and that he spent the last few weeks of his life away from his family. After a year, I am still only glimpsing that that was HIS choice, not my fault.

If I had the time over again, I don't know what I would do different in terms of my brother, but I do know for certain that I would have moved much more quickly to take custody of his children and to shield my own children from his destructive, unhealthy ways.

I am currently pregnant, and I was pregnant at this time last year also (these two are going to be almost exactly a year a part - practically twins ), so I know how hard it is to be in your shoes.

I don't know what your financial situation is, but I would suggest that what your babies need most is love and a mama (and daddy) who are not distracted and upset by grandma and her addiction. ANY PRICE is worth it to get her out of your home and keep her out and off your mind! Even if it means less material "stuff" for you, DH and precious children, a stable, loving home life will be what they remember and take forward with them.

My DH and I adopted my brother's children before his death last fall, and while my neice, who is very young and the adored only sister in a family of nine, soon to be 10 kids, adjusted very easily, my nephew was another story. But with almost a year of time passed, and, God bless him, patient, loving firmness from DH, my nephew-now-son is finally starting to turn the corner away from fear and distrust and acting out. I tell you this only to illustrate clearly that any addiction quickly becomes the focus of a family unit, whether it is openly discussed or not, and that is not what you, your DH or your babies need. It hurts, as you already know.

So do whatever you need to do, but fight like a tiger and keep those babies safe! I wish I had done that sooner....You're in my prayers, Marirose

Last edited by Marirose; 08-21-2007 at 05:27 AM.

Old 08-21-2007, 06:58 AM   #7
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Re: Guilt Over Mother

Hey, I feel for you and relate to you also. My mom is addicted to various pills. Pills have ruined her life.....or is it her insecurities that have ruined her life? Anyway, I too have 2 children and want to raise them in a much different environment than I grew up in. That means her not being around a lot of the time b/c she's often falling asleep sitting up(even w/a crowd of ppl around her), burning things, chain smoking, etc. She's not only a danger to herself but to others since she has 3 DUI's now. These aren't from alcohol, but she was so messed up on pills that the cops found it necessary to take her off the road, and I don't blame them!

She's now living w/my sister. I live 10 hrs. away which makes me feel for my sister that she has to be burdoned by all my mom's mistakes/choices. I feel so harsh writing this, but most of my mom's mistakes could be avoided if she were focusing on the grandkids or something good that motivated her to put down the drugs. She chooses the drugs. She doesn't even acknowledge her problem or that her actions affect us negatively. We tell her every emotion that her drug use gives us and none of it touches or posesses her to quit.

Anyway, I'm not around it like I wrote, but I was for a long time.....and my sister still I know what a burdon someone that has such selfish actions can be and how guilty your feelings about it all can make you. Especially when you have children to think about now. It's not an easy situation and, I think, that it's the grandmas who should be feeling that the drugs are a burdon and fretting over the whole thing. I don't know about your mom, but mine doesn't see her drug use as a burdon to anyone, when it is to everyone. I've just started to see it this way since having my kids. It pisses me off now when used to it just embarrassed me.

I think you should just make sure you do everything that you know is right. If you know your mom will use money for someplace to live give her what you feel you owe her or what you know she needs. If she will buy drugs or misuse the money maybe you should get together with your mom and y'all go find a place and put the money down yourself. People who are addicted can act like children, so I see how it's hard to hand over thousands of dollars....Y'all talk about it. Ask her what she thinks you owe her. Tell her what you think. She shouldn't live w/you unless she's willing to consider the kids and put down the drugs, smoke outside, things like that. Good luck to you!

Old 08-24-2007, 01:07 PM   #8
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WhyIsThisMyLife HB User
Re: Guilt Over Mother

Thanks everyone for the advice. 1sttimer. Your mother and mine sound a lot alike.

Even if I gave her all of the money she put in the basement it would not be enough for her to get her own place unless she got a trailer, but she said she would not do that. If I could get it to her, she would go through it and then just come back to me broke. She has two wonderful grandchildren (from my sister) who loves her. She is lucky enough to have retired at an early age. Why can't she just be happy? BTW, she did come to me with the smoking, but I was unaware of the pill addictions when she came and they got worse. So, even though I did bring the smoking on myself, I didn't know about it all.

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