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A Mother is as a Mother does

SandiT328
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2006

I read so many daughters posting, how their mother breast cancer brought them together, or their mother is their best friend, or this, or that, or the other thing and I just feel like a complete alien.

My mother was never my ally. She was physically and mentally abusive to me as a child. Neglect was her special form of torture. I've always felt like my mother hated me from the moment I was born. She allowed her little brother whom we lived with to beat me to a pulp until I was 18 and got smart, told them I'd call the police if he laid another finger on me. I think the only time she involved herself with my education was to sign me out of school at the beginning of my softmore year of hs. I ended up drowning myself in drugs and alcohol for those 4 years instead. When I decided I wanted to go back to college is the next time she involved herself with my education and that was to go screaming around the house like her hair was on fire, that "how dare" I want to go to college, "she" never went, she was so violently hostile about that, that I put it out of my head. As I matured I became quite physically attractive, she dealt with this by never, ever, being home as opposed to just "never" being home b4.

when I had thyroid cancer at 36 she was busy taking care of her boyfriend and her brothers son, her brother who she treats more like her child than me. she was not there for me at all.
now that she has breast cancer, she's learned this helplessness, refuses to cooperate with me in taking a break from having a 3 year old in the house (her brothers kid) while her white blood cell counts will be low, yet i take care of everything. when i mentioned to her brother to find a back up babysitter for a few months, world war 3 erupted, a slew of sarcastic, insults from him and then his wife as well, though she does it idirectly.

i have a lump in the same breast as my mom. i have a blocked carotid artery which i am going through a battery of tests for, i'm dealing with complications from my cancer surgery last year.

i just feel like i am so hostile towards my mom right now that i can barely talk to her w/o being insensitive. then afterwards i feel so guilty i want to die, and i beat up on myself until i can't take it anymore.

i don't know how to make her understand that her brothers 3 year old kid cannot be in the house. it's too much. i end up taking care of both of them. her brother insists that HIS mother will be taking care of him and this should not interfere with me taking care of my mother, and it is MY JOB to take care of her.

arseim80
Posts: 4
Joined: Feb 2005

I am so sorry about your relationship with your mother. I am very lucky to have had a mother who was wonderful and caring. My advise to you is that you should not pay any attention to any of the negative things that is around you, and let your mother take care of herself. For your own sanity though you have to forgive your mother so you can start healing and take care of yourself. I am sorry I am not sure if I was any help, but I what I can offer you is, if you want to talk, I will be here to listen.
Arseim80

SandiT328
Posts: 2
Joined: Sep 2006

Hi Arseim,

Thanks for writing. You are indeed lucky to have had a wonderful mother. I had neither. Absent father due to her not creating a civil environment for us to see eachother. I'm like red riding hood in so many ways because the wolf that was supposed to be grandma was my grandmother as well. I don't know how I've survived with any sense of a self.

You're right I will let her take care of herself. I just really wanted to be as much a part of it as I could. She won't cooperate with me at all though. I'm so frustrated and I love her in spite of everything and my heart is breaking that she has to go through this. I know what it's like, I've walked the walk, I didn't have chemo, I had radiation. I was petrified of the radiation, I can only imagine what she's feeling. But she won't help me help her. She is making this so much more miserable for me than it has to be. She's always been so selfish and self centered and cancer has only made her disappear completely into the void. I hate this. I hate every minute of this.

Thanks for reading and reply. It feels good just to know that someone cares enough to write back.

-S

soccerfreaks's picture
soccerfreaks
Posts: 2801
Joined: Sep 2006

It's probably too late, and you will probably not read this, but I don't agree with the previous respondent.

You are an enabler. You allow yourself, because of your childhood, perhaps, to accept abuse and to let it manipulate you.

Ergo, your frustrations re your mom and her brother and the youngster apparently in your care.

You need some help that is on-going. There is no stigma in that. You need to be able to talk to a professional who understands what you have gone through and why you feel as you do (understandably so, perhaps).

In the meantime, you will always kick yourself in the ass if you just ignore your mom now. You need to figure out a way to take control of the situation, to be of assistance to this woman (who has some clear issues that come from somewhere too...perhaps your title in this thread is significant for her too?)... and to be the daughter you WANT to be rather than the daughter others have seemingly FORCED you to be.

You will be better for it.

Best wishes.

Cindy54's picture
Cindy54
Posts: 454
Joined: Aug 2006

what a horrible situation to be in. I think you have to do what you feel is best for you. have you ever talked with anyone professionally to help unload some of the guilt you have been carrying around? it might help. I wish I had something to tell you that would make everything better, but I don't. You need to do what you feel comfortable with. I guess the bottom line is..if your Mom passed tomorrow would you feel that you had done what you could and you were at peace about it? All any of us can do is our best. And if you have done that and are at peace with it, then you have done the right thing for you. Cindy

timmythefox
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2006

I'm coming in late here, but I just wanted to say I think it's a bit much to expect a person in your situation to take care of a child other than your own. You are the one who needs care and consideration. Please try to make sure that you get it.

Illness does not always bring out the best in us. My mother was diagnosed with a lung tumor last night. One of the first things she did when she got home was to swat the dog with a catalog for no reason whatsoever. Given the circumstances, I didn't say anything, just took the dog away and comforted it. But there are going to have to be limits, no matter what she's going through.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7874
Joined: Aug 2005

Aw, sorry to hear about mom. Yup, we are all human unfortunately...but there surely ARE limits....
I always suggest to my new cancer patients that the energy should be focused on fighting the beast...NOT fighting the support team!

I had my days of 'pity party". I am a 2 time survivor...rectal cancer followed 3 months later by breast cancer...I got VERY angry at the beast!!!!
I took clues from my mom, tho, also a 2 time survivor (she appologized to me for 'giving' me cancer), she just went forward with the fight...and never has looked back...83 and spunky!

Hugs, Kathi

timmythefox
Posts: 5
Joined: Nov 2006

Thank you and congratulations. I love the word "survivor."

My mother survived breast cancer in the early 1980s, so she's a seasoned scrapper, although naturally it seems really unfair to her that she should have to go through this again in her 80s.

One thing I'll say for her, she hasn't touched a cigarette since she got her diagnosis. As someone who myself has smoked off and on throughout my life I have to respect anybody who can face lung cancer without cigarettes.

KathiM's picture
KathiM
Posts: 7874
Joined: Aug 2005

Here's the cool thing....by American Cancer Society rules...you are a survivor from the day of diagnosis...that REALLY lifted MY spirits, I remember...share THAT with mom...

But, I WILL take the congrats for my NED (No Evidence of Disease) since July 2006 on both cancers...doesn't seem like a long time, but any victory, no matter how small, is a victory against the beast!!!

Hugs, Kathi

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