How do you grieve the death of a relationship with a parent? - Mothering Forums

  • 1 Post By CliffRose
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#1 of 5 Old 05-05-2014, 11:31 AM - Thread Starter
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I have decided to end my relationship with my mother. I love her, but I can't take it anymore. I think that she is bipolar, but she denies it. She was diagnosed years ago, but then was undiagnosed by a second doctor. She is deeply out of touch with reality, lies to herself and believes herself, and I believe that she lied to the second doctor. I have done a lot of research on this, and she has all the signs/symptoms. She is also extremely manipulative, has been victimizing herself since childhood, and has anger issues. She has never sustained a healthy relationship in her life, including with her siblings. I don't think she has any real friends.

I am not going to use this forum to rant, I have spoken to enough emotionally healthy people to confirm that she is indeed toxic. I have been afraid of her for as long as I can remember.


By cutting her from my life, I am losing my mother, but also my grandmother. Mother will manipulate her to think that I am horrible person.


I need to grieve the loss of my mother, and I don't know how to do that because she is still alive. I feel like my heart is being ripped into pieces. It hurts so bad. I don't know what to do.


On top of it, she recently bought the house I live in, and is here visiting. I feel unsafe in my home, and don't know where to go untill she leaves.

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#2 of 5 Old 05-07-2014, 09:47 PM
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You have not gottan any replies and I saw your post in personal health.
Gosh that is hard and I really don't have any advice.
My mother is mentally ill and has been my whole life only it was my norm growing up. It is a very strained relationship , I love her but it's like her energy penetrates me to the soul and sometimes I have to take long breaks from her. When I was 19 I was determined to never speak with her but got convinced not to go that route. I dunno, I dunno how to grieve when someone is alive.
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#3 of 5 Old 05-15-2014, 01:15 PM
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I have been in this situation and still am in a way. I have let my mother go a couple of times. Through counseling we now have a very tentative relationship and I hold her at arm's length, but we are not that close. It's sad, but for my own good. My mom lives about 45 minutes away but I only see her about ever 3 months, and usually we meet in a public place. Sometimes I go to her house for holidays but there is a crowd so she's on good behavior.


Is there a way to just hold her at arm's length? Be there but not really there all the time? Make it controlled? Work with a counselor to set boundaries (either with her there or on your own)?

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#4 of 5 Old 07-04-2014, 11:38 AM
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I am sorry that you feel the need to post this. I noticed you posted long before Mothers' Day.

Thirty-four years ago I was pregnant with my first child. This would be the first grandchild for my parents. I was overjoyed.

While I was pregnant, my maternal grandparents died. My mother inherited their $ and underwent an unnecessary but highly desireable plastic surgery procedure. The results needed to be adjusted two months later. Then she developed a huge infection and had to have the procedure repeated, but her surgeon died suddenly. She found herself in need of a re-do and in need of a new surgeon. Months later, she borrowed the money from ME to get it done.

I had my first child at a joyous homebirth. I was overjoyed and so was my husband. My mother told me that she simply could not enjoy being a grandmother. She told me she hated the sight of my child. She threw a hot iron at my husband's face during our last visit to my family home; he ducked just in time.

She divorced my father and took off with a has-been actor.

She lied to all my friends and told them I was a substance abuser - I never was. I was terribly depressed, but never an abuser of substances. Friends who saw me after a time were surprised and told me what my mom was saying and were happy to see me doing well.

It took me four more years to decide to excise this toxic person from my life; I had two more homebirths in the meantime, and it took me that long to realize that nothing would change her and my children deserve better. I told them my mother was sick in the head and that we needed to live healthy lives mentally and emotionally. She is only 15 miles away and has never seen my other children. This was a long mourning period - a death of a relationship with a manipulative, emotionally sick person.

I moved back to the family home with my middle children while they were in high school to take care of my Father since he was old, alone and had fallen many times and was found delirious on the floor after a few days. When my Father died, I was not told of the funeral arrangements since they were made by my mother and deliberately excluded me.

It is hard. My mother has never presented herself to a doctor for diagnosis. She will put on a good show and people believe she has a lot on the ball. but she is rude, manipulative, and has no friends, but there she is. I owe her nothing, I own everything I have, and have not spoken to her in over 30 yrs.

Traditional Jews have a funeral - they "sit shiva" - for family members that are no longer considered part of the community. You may want to do a celebration of life for your mom - a kind of celebration of relationship - and then cut it off, permanently with her. It is confusing to your children to have your mom in and out of their lives ... believe me, my mom did that w/ hers. The only time she latched on to her parents for good was at the end of their lives to make sure she got all their $.

When she dies, it will be a second mourning, but she is dead to me now and forever.
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Last edited by applejuice; 11-23-2014 at 05:53 PM.
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#5 of 5 Old 09-17-2014, 06:53 PM
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I really don't know but wanted to say I know how hard it is, unfortunately. My mother told me on January 1, 2013 that my children & I are a package deal for her. Either I have the kind of relationship that she wants with me (she has only ever seen me as an obligation, she never had an emotional relationship or any connection to me whatsoever) or she won't have a relationship with any of us. So, we haven't seen her since my grandmother died (her step mother of 45ish years). She didn't like that I told her I wasn't happy with some things she'd done to me & that I didn't look on the bright side with how my sociopathic brother treats me & others. So, rather than work on our issues, she was done with all of us. She too doesn't have any/many friends, she's never dealt with an emotion of hers or anyone else's & lots of other stuff. She isn't healthy at all.

Have you considered seeing a therapist, possibly one who specializes in grief and/or family relationships?

(((hugs))) to you & your children. You all deserve better.

Best wishes,
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