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Mother is terminal .... not understanding her behavior and it HURTS!!

debgirl's picture
debgirl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2013

My mother did not get routine check ups for decades. She was diagnosed with Cervical cancer but unfortunately too late. It is in all her lymph nodes and her lungs. They have given her 1 week to 1 year to live. She has been undergoing radiation therapy for a few weeks. Today she is having surgery to put stents in her kidneys prior to her beginning Chemotherapy. I am the baby of 2. My recent marriage was a disaster and I recently had a child that just turned 2 years old. Due to financial issues I had to move back home with my mother at the age of 40 with my child. She is supporting me and taking care of my son. My ex is not paying child support which outs further strain on things. I have no idea what I am going to do to take care of myself and my child. That alone scares me....but I am posting right now because I am hurt. We had all of those shootings in the DC area where I live and all I wanted to do was go home and hug my mom and my son and tell them that I love them. My mom readily loves and hugs and kisses my son, but when I asked her to hugs me so I could tell her I lover (worried about her surgery today) she phyically pushed me away and told me to leave her alone!! I cried all night. If something happens that is the last memory that I have with her. I understand that she may be scared...I can find several excuses as to why she may have behaved that way ...but it hurts so much! I just wanted to hug her and tell her that I loved her and all she did was push me away and reject me. It is the following day and I am still in tears. I worry that this behavior will get worse. I am not sure I can handle this!!

kat2013's picture
kat2013
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2013

Hi Deb....I know it has to hurt to be rejected. Since I don't know the history of you and your Mom's relationship. it's hard to say why she would do that. I know that dealing with cancer, especially terminal cancer, takes a toll on you emotionally. Your Mother has been told she can die at any time....imagine if you were her. Of course, it's no excuse for being hurtful, but it is a factor. How was your relationship before? Has she always been distant or did she used to beaffectionate? You said she is supporting you and your child....maybe she is stressed out having this horrible disease and facing death, and having to take care of you and your son.  Do you work and contribute financially or help her (like housework, cooking, taking her to the doctor and emotional support for her?) Because the medical bills for cancer treatment are astronomical. Maybe she resents having to support you and your child while dealing with the financial burden of medical bills? I don't know honey....like I said, I don't know how she was before etc.....but still...I know it must hurt you alot. Have you tried just asking her why? Tell her just what you said here...that you love her and just wanted her to know that.She is likely going through a lot psychologically....are you able to have open andhonest conversations with her? 

debgirl's picture
debgirl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2013

First, thank you for replying to me. I work a lot and take care of my son. I don't have many people in my life since my husband left and I let all the associated people go with him.

 

My mom is a private person. She never gets manicures or pedicures because she doesn't like to be touched. My mom and I are pretty close and I am the baby of the two (my sister and her are not close and sisters harbors bad feelings towards her). My sister also kept her children from our mom when they were really little due to the harbored feelings. My mom hugs and kisses my son all day long. She has hugged me in the past but no she is not very affectionate, but I guess I just thought that with so much on the line it wouldn't be a big deal ...guess it was.

 

Yes, I work. I work 50 hours a week 6 days a week trying to handle all of my bills (ex not paying any court ordered child support - whole other source of stress and story). I pay her 600 a month and I help with dishes, cleaning, laundry. My sister is helping her with appts cause she is a stay home mom and has the time to help. I would if I could.

 

We did talk a bit last night. I was going to move out at the request of my sister. I came home and started to pack and she begged me to stay. My mom is concerned that this (losing her) along with everything else I am dealing with will push me over the edge and that I may drown myself in alcohol or drugs. She has a legitimate concern. I promised that I wouldn't let that happen. Told her it is very sad to have a wake up call like this - but that I got it! I can't let my son down. I am all he has. She just worries about me and I understand that but when she pushes me away it hurts and pushes me in the direction she doesn't want me to go. I don't think she realizes that.

kat2013's picture
kat2013
Posts: 7
Joined: Sep 2013

Awww honey.... I know it must be so hard. I hope you didn'tthink I was insinuating you weren't helping. I just didn't know the situation and that was the only reason I could think of to cause her to be like that. I'm glad you talked! That's a first step. She must love you very much, or she would have let you go. She probably has a lot of emotional issues. Some people aren't physically affectionate, but that doesn't mean she doesn't love you. It may be that she's affectionate with your son because he's a child.....but regardless, you need to be strong for him. It's such a hard situation for you to be in. Maybe you could talk to her again the next time she seems relaxed and open to you...and tell her justwhat you said here...about the fact that you need her to show you affection....you need your Mom. Tell her that it pushes you in the wrong direction when she pushes you away. It sounds to me like you need comforting....and you want that from her...but when you don't get it from her, you find it in the wrong places. Tell her that. You are afraid because you may lose her soon. Don't stop trying to hug her. But hon. even if you never get affection back, know that she DOES love you, and move forward. Remember you have your son who needs you just as bad as you are needing your Mom. Don't give up on him or yourself. Things are bad rightnow, but you never know what tomorrow will bring...it WON'T be like this forever. Whatever you do, please don't go the alchohol/drug route. That will only make things worse. Try to stay focused and things will get better. I said a prayer for you last night, and I will continue to do so. I wish you the best, and please stay in touch and update on how you are. (((((((((((((((cyber hugssss))))))))))))))

grandmafay's picture
grandmafay
Posts: 1611
Joined: Aug 2009

It sounds like you are all under a lot of stress. That does things to you. Take a deep breath and then another one. Of course, you are hurt. Try to understand, though, that your mom is probably just angry. She is angry at this disease. She may also be concerned about you and your future. I know when my husband knew he was terminal, his number one concern was me. She has shown her love for you by helping you through a tough time. Right now she is under a lot of pressure and she is probably scared, too. We each deal with these emotions in different ways. Cut both of you some slack. Tell her you love her often. Be strong for her and your son. Let her  know that you want to help any way you can. Hang in there. Fay

debgirl's picture
debgirl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you Fay!!! I hear you!

Alexandra's picture
Alexandra
Posts: 1198
Joined: Jul 2012

I am sorry about your mom's cancer and poor prognosis.

You wrote that she's been supporting you and your child, opened her house to you when you were in distress. All I can say, now is your time to pay your mother back for her kindness and be her rock. Try to focus on making her feel loved, doing nice things for her and treasuring the time you two have left together. Don't smother her. Don't compete with your son for her hugs and attention, he is a baby and you're 40 years old. You wrote that your mother was a private person to begin with; she had radiation, surgery 2 days ago and is scheduled to start chemo. Radiation leaves burns, surgeries and chemo are painful and debilitating, you realize that, right?

Don't complicate the situation by making her second-guess her every move and tip-toe around your hurt feelings. She has enough on her plate, just try to imagine yourself in her place. And if you think that it's an impossibility at your age - I was diagnosed with late stage ovarian cancer at the age of 44 and my prognosis is about as good as your mom's. There are far worse things than your mom not hugging you, you can trust me on that.

If you feel that life is getting too stressful, seek counselling: find a support group for cancer caregivers, talk to a social worker, a psychologist. Drugs and alcohol are not the answer for anyone, especially not for a single mother of a small child.

Best of luck to you,

debgirl's picture
debgirl
Posts: 4
Joined: Sep 2013

Thank you for the perspective Alexandra.  :)

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