My parents are dying (Caution: possible abuse triggers) - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 04:27 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I am one of four children who were neglected and brutally abused by our parents, primarily our mother. It would take a book to describe everything that was done to us (and the emotional abuse that continues to this day), but probably it's enough to tell you that two of my siblings are pretty insane, they have all the abuses: self, spousal, drug, child, one is a self-professed gold-digger and plastic surgery junkie, the other is a con-man drug addict.

My other sister and I seemed able to keep our minds and stopped the cycle of abuse with our children, but our bodies are broken and we have many, many health problems. We are very close and talk often (something our mother would be furious about if she knew.)

Seems either the mind or the body broke, you can't go through that kind of stress from the time you are an infant and not be impacted in a profound way. One example is I go to a physiotherapist for my back problems which are a direct consequence of the severe beatings in my childhood. My mother is an extreme narcissist with absolutely no empathy; she has every single symptom of psychopathy.

My parents have always been healthy, my father is now 86 and my mother is 84 (I am 50). But now their caregivers say they are not doing well. Of course, at those ages you are dying but it looks like this is really the beginning of the end.

Most of me feels like there will be a huge relief when they are dead, my abusers will be gone and they cannot try to hurt me any more. I grieved years ago about the fact that I will never, ever know what it's like to have a loving parent in my life. But now that teeny-tiny little spark of hope that someday maybe they will change, that little bit of hope is going, too. I think that's the loss I'm feeling. It's hard to know because I'm feeling so many things.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this here, but thank you for reading this far. I guess I'm looking for other kindred spirits who understand. So many emotions going on it's almost overwhelming.
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#2 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 04:50 PM
 
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#3 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 04:58 PM
 
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#4 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 05:55 PM
 
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My mom just went through this with her parents. They were both very abusive (her dad very physically, her mom emotionally) and it continued her whole life. She moved away from them when she was in her late teens but never cut contact. Each time she would visit them there would be just more and more abuse. So for many years, she did not see them. then she came to where you are...her parents were dying. She felt so torn between 1) Wanting to make peace with them before they died. 2)Wanting them to be dead so that she could finally close that chapter in her life. She also had a really hard time making sure they were taken care of. They lived in another state so when she would go back to visit them she got very sad seeing the way they were being taken care of. She has 5 brothers and they all just couldn't keep up with all of the needs that their parents had. She cried a lot during this time. She struggled between wanting to take care of them and seeing "what goes around comes around". She was as involved as she could be until her mother died...wich was really hard on her. Then there was only her dad left. She tried through a couple of visits to make peace with him, but it never did come the way she wanted. He was put into a nursing home where he eventually wasted away over the next year. She wasn't worried about making it to his funeral, but she did come the day after to be with her family. He has been dead since the beginning of this year and she is glad that it is all over, although she is still dealing with her own issues.

That may have been too much info, I just wanted to share what she has gone through.
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#5 of 11 Old 06-01-2009, 06:16 PM
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"Someday I won't be here and you will regret being so 'mean' to me" has been the chorus of manipulation from my mom for years. "What if she dies, won't you feel bad??" had been the chorus of well-intentioned friends who clearly don't know what it was like growing up abused.

I have to make my peace with the fact that yes, she is going to die someday (she is nearly 70 and in not great health). No, she probably won't have changed. I have to come to the peace that yes, I will mourn her, but mostly I will mourn what I wanted from her that she could or would never give me -- something I have been doing for years anyway.

You probably will have some confusing/upsetting/back-and-forth-conflicting feelings for a while when they die, and that is okay. It is okay to not have it all figured out yet.

Peace to you mama.
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#6 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 04:13 AM
 
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Just sending a and .

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#7 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 06:48 AM
 
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I was not abused as a child but have had many issues with my parents. The main problem with my father being that he abandoned me and my sisters when my parents got divorced. I had thirty years with a lot of sorrow, anger, and hope.

Well, he suddenly got sick and died three months ago, 68 years old. I'm very glad I got to see him and talk to him before he died. I didn't try to talk to him about all the sadness he has put me through and all the anger that I have felt towards him, and I don't think that is really necessary to make peace.

For me it was good simply to see that my impression of him was right, that he was the man that he had always been, for good and bad. I don't know if that makes any sense to you? He was a great dad when we were little, and it was good to feel that the contact we had then, was still there. At the same time it was good for me to see that he actually had all those negative sides, I hadn't imagined it, and it wasn't my fault. He was a coward and an immature, selfish man who blamed others for everything and refused to take responsibility for anything, and that is what lead to his abandoning us.

The reason why it was so good for me to have seen him a lot just before he died, is that even though the man is gone, MY FEELINGS ARE THE SAME. I hadn't expected that at all! The only thing that is gone, is the hope that he will come back. The sorrow, the anger, and the feeling of being unloved is exactly the same. Therefore it helps me to know that it was because of him that things turned out as they did, not because of me.

All those years I was hoping and trying to find out how I could get him back, and all along there was nothing at all I could have done.

I don't know if my story helps you at all, but I hope you find a way to make peace with the past and heal. I bought and read a book that I feel helped me a bit: "Forgiveness - how to make peace with your past and get on with your life" by Sidney and Suzanne Simon. Maybe this could help you a bit too.

It sounds like you have had a really hard time, and I hope the best for you in the future.
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#8 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 10:57 AM
 
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My abusive alcoholic father died 2 1/2 years ago. I had written him a letter (after not speaking to him for a long time) outlining every one of the abuses. He responded that I was lying, perhaps mentally ill and was furious. It was SO hard. He and his wife began writting me and my 3 siblings (along with some other people including my Mother) lots of letters and emails detailing how terrible I was, explaining that it must have been the money that I owed them, why else would every one of his children stop talking to him? I must have poisoned them against him.

SO, I was the only child of this man to call him out, all of my siblings have serious problems with his death. My brother is the only one who kept contact. I never saw him or spoke to him or his wife before he died, my Son did, he told me that even in his death bed his wife was feeding him alcohol through a straw. Co-dependant is such an understatement. I had no problems with his death, had no regrets, no pain as I had cried a lot over him before I wrote that letter. I lost him before he died. He was a narcissist, I have to watch myself because I can see myself going down that road sometimes and hate it. This is very disjointed and I apologize! I have small children playing at my feet (happily) but am distracted!

My brother made excuses for me for not talking to my Dad, he said because I had kids (I have a 19 y/o and 17 y/o as well as 2 little ones) he understood that I needed to protect them. Well, I had to also protect myself.

It was important for me to communicate what I felt to him before he died, not so important to forgive him. A lot of people would say forgivenes is important, I don't. I feel pretty good about how it all went down and continues to.

Hopefully this post makes sense, I'm working on very little sleep and a crazy life right now. It's a really good life though because I feel like I can do pretty much anything I want regarding relationships. That's really important to me.

Oh, and I have had some serious issues with my Mom, our work isn't done but at least she's willing to go there with me.

Laura
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#9 of 11 Old 06-02-2009, 11:36 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Green Eyes View Post
I am one of four children who were neglected and brutally abused by our parents, primarily our mother. It would take a book to describe everything that was done to us (and the emotional abuse that continues to this day), but probably it's enough to tell you that two of my siblings are pretty insane, they have all the abuses: self, spousal, drug, child, one is a self-professed gold-digger and plastic surgery junkie, the other is a con-man drug addict.

My other sister and I seemed able to keep our minds and stopped the cycle of abuse with our children, but our bodies are broken and we have many, many health problems. We are very close and talk often (something our mother would be furious about if she knew.)

Seems either the mind or the body broke, you can't go through that kind of stress from the time you are an infant and not be impacted in a profound way. One example is I go to a physiotherapist for my back problems which are a direct consequence of the severe beatings in my childhood. My mother is an extreme narcissist with absolutely no empathy; she has every single symptom of psychopathy.

My parents have always been healthy, my father is now 86 and my mother is 84 (I am 50). But now their caregivers say they are not doing well. Of course, at those ages you are dying but it looks like this is really the beginning of the end.

Most of me feels like there will be a huge relief when they are dead, my abusers will be gone and they cannot try to hurt me any more. I grieved years ago about the fact that I will never, ever know what it's like to have a loving parent in my life. But now that teeny-tiny little spark of hope that someday maybe they will change, that little bit of hope is going, too. I think that's the loss I'm feeling. It's hard to know because I'm feeling so many things.

I'm not sure why I'm writing this here, but thank you for reading this far. I guess I'm looking for other kindred spirits who understand. So many emotions going on it's almost overwhelming.
You summed up my feelings perfectly. I stopped speaking to my mother when I was 21. I saw her briefly at my brother's wedding and never again. She died last summer when I was 35 and I never cried, our relationship was gone long before that. Looking back on my life, I'm not sure we ever had one, even as a small child. I felt relief hearing that she was dead. Relief that she would never cross my path again, relieved that my dad (a wonderful man) outlived her. There's just so much that hurt for so long, I just couldn't care anymore.

I'm sorry you're dealing with this, but something that always helped me to respect my feelings was to remember that I was the child. I was not the one who was supposed to "fix" it. I look at my 8 year old and it's not his job to be the perfect child, the best friend to me, to never have his own opinions. It's my job to insure those things for him. I was the child, it's not my fault.
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#10 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 01:07 AM
 
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Quoteriginally Posted by SamI'mNotSamantha : : : Bi/Crunchy/WOH/Single/Student Mama to my skinny-mini SuperMunchkin : (11/2004)! "I will not take 'but' for an answer." - Langston Hughes
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#11 of 11 Old 06-03-2009, 01:45 AM
 
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Neither of my parents were abusive, but my grandmother was very emotionally abusive. I got years and years of the "you'll miss her when she's gone" and similar comments from people when I'd be in turmoil over her latest antics.

She died when I was...19 or 20? I can't remember which. When my mom called and told me, my only reaction was relief. It's been almost 20 years, and I'm still just glad she's not around, messing with people's lives, anymore. It's become tempered with a bit of pity - I can't imagine how unhappy she must have been to spread so much misery - but that's about it. I don't grieve her death. I grieve her life.

My mom? Pretty much the same thing. She told me once that her only regret about her mother's death was that now there was no hope, however tiny, that they could ever resolve anything between them. She found that hard. I can't imagine what it must be like to not even care that one's own mother has died, but I'm sure it happens more often than most people would ever want to acknowledge.

OP: I'm so sorry that the only emotion you anticipate feeling is the loss of little bit of hope...but I've seen it before. It sucks.


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