Most of my life my mother and I had a horrible relationship. I’ve wondered for years why her and my father adopted me in the first place. I know my father’s motives were honorable. My mother’s however, I am sure was to obtain someone to control and for her own “social” acceptance.
In fact, I moved to the west coast to put as much distance between her and I as possible. When I was three, my mother’s mental health problems were diagnosed. She is a manic depressant, paranoid schizophrenic. As such for as long as I can remember she would take her medication for a few months, think she was cured and stop taking them and have a break with reality that often included her wanting to kill me and making attempts to do so.
What was not diagnosed was the fact that she is also a narcissist and I was her emotional food. She also was always the victim, able to distort reality to fit her need to be the victim, because nothing has been or is ever her fault. Because of this distortion I detested my father until I was in my 30’s because of the “truth” she fed me.
According to her my father came home from work one day, walked past the playpen I was in, walked to their bedroom, packed his suitcase, walked back down the stairs, breaking he favorite lamp in the process, walked past me once more and left. I was angry for him leaving me with her, and for the hell my childhood became. At 30 I drove 16 hours to finally ask him, and it was then I got the full story. Yes he broke her favorite lamp, yes he packed a bag and walked out and did not take me. However, I have to admit if I came home and found my spouse in bed with someone else I would take that as my marriage being over as well. He did not take me because in the sixties single men were never awarded custody of children especially girls. This is very true sadly, regardless of the best parent was, mothers always won.
She later married a second time when I was about ten to a nice man, but again could not remain faithful, and she finally left him. To this day, she only married him because I liked him. Not sure where that was born, but again such is her reality.
I was also expected to be the perfect child to make sure others perceived her as a good mother, provider, etc. Outside of witnesses everything wrong in her life was my doing, so as soon as possible. I enjoyed my life on the west coast and managed to speak to her only about once a week, and had her visit every other year. Which I dreaded.
Then approximately five years ago she broke her hip and my aunt wanted me to come home to help her recover. She at the time was only 61, but do to years of drinking and smoking 5 packs of cigarettes a day and never doing a damn thing any medical professional told her to do. So when he hip was replaced she was told she had the bones of an 80 year old woman. As such, it took her months to recover and I was stuck in Indiana during it all. Once she was out of rehab and back home, I could finally come home and again put distance between her and I.
However, less than two weeks later I was once more driving back to Indiana. Now per my aunt she wasn’t acting right, and she wasn’t sure if her mental problems were acting up or if it was something else. At this point I was surprised no one there considered taking her to the doctor, but they did not so three days driving back and I took her to the emergency room.
It was then determined her blood pressure was dangerously high, as in at one point 238/194, and it went high times, and she was having a series of mini strokes. The doctors said due to the mini strokes her mind was affected, she had to stop smoking etc. she also could no longer live on her own, and he believed she had only a matter of months to live. The affects to her mind was in the area of memory, and as such she was diagnosed with early dementia as well.
Initially, I believed the dementia might actually make her a nicer person, and ease the belief she has that the world owes her something. I was wrong, in fact for the next four plus years that area actually got worse. She demands things of people and truly believes we all owe it to her, regardless of what strain it puts on us emotionally, mentally and financially.
Her nasty mood and verbal abuse of people was so bad, that many times M would make was walk out of the room and away from her in order to stop her verbal assault. You see before I met M, I was guilted into moving her out here, since she had only a matter of months to live. I knew better than to agree to it when I did, but I did and for over five years, I have spent most of it wondering what the doctor meant when he said a few months cause she keeps going and going.
The past few months have not been so bad, she was in the hospital in January and almost died. The smoking has also contributed to her having COPD and heart issues, and despite every doctor telling her what changed she had to make she never did. In fact, the first month after she moved her, she told the home health nurse in front of me, she would do whatever the hell she wanted and if I continued to refuse to let her smoke in my home she would have her name removed from my birth certificate because I was just an adopted kid, not her real child.
That was the breaking point for me. Despite the terrible relationship between us I never once have said she was not my mother because I was adopted. When she said it something clicked in me and emotionally it shut off where she is concerned. I began making sure she was cared for because it was my obligation, not out of some strong mother daughter bond. Sad but true.
Once she nearly died, she has become nicer, and is not smoking. Though I am sure if someone would buy her some, she would. Again out of obligation M and I make sure she has what she needs, and visit her once a week or so. My aunt (also a naraccist) is under the impression she is in “control” because she pays the group home extras and has a POA etc. I let her believe what she wants, because it is easier to let her have her sense of grandeur than the fight with her. The POA was signed after the diagnoses of mother’s dementia and therefore it not legally binding, she also lives in Nevada, and we are on the west coast, as such the doctors call me for decisions etc.
Now, the doctors believe she may have bone cancer on top of it all. The hip replacement needs replaced again but the doctor believes her bones are so deteriorated that it would not hold either. The heart and lung problems continue to be an issue, etc. We will know about the cancer possibility on July 11th.
If in fact she has bone cancer she has stated she doesn’t want chemo etc, but wants to keep the pain management aspect in place. As sad as it sounds she has no quality of life, not if she has cancer it is only going to get worse, so I don’t argue against not having it treated and surprisingly my aunt agrees.
However, unlike my aunt I know what cancer does, at some point her care will require more than the group home can provide, and she is terrified of nursing homes. Therefore at the end she will likely end up here with M and myself, and we will obtain hospice care and home health care for when we are at work. This is where I am sure my aunt will have a fit, but despite my lack of closeness to mother, I can’t fathom sticking her in place that scares her to the point of not being able to function. So, I will hold up my obligation and make sure she is cared for, but it tires me emotionally and mentally.
So BC Mum there’s the reader’s digest condensed version of my mother.