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  1. #1
    sodunzo Guest

    Default Am I a Bad Person If

    I walk way from a relationship with my mother?

    Back story, mom was off her rocker throughout my childhood and teenage years. Dad did the best he could but finally walked away. Unfortunately that meant myself and one of my siblings ended up having to take care of mom for the last 8 years. Best guess is she is bi-polar, and she also has a substance abuse problem. She is relatively functional, but also extremely dysfunctional and highly abusive.

    About a month ago the Sh!t Hit The Fan like it never had. I separated myself as I am tired of the cycle of drama and have no sympathy left. Today several family members had an intervention, which I did not attend. She agreed to go into an in-patient facility for psychiatric care and substance abuse rehab.

    Frankly I don't give a crap, and don't want anything to do with her or the situation. I have a young family and my thoughts and energy needs to be with my children. After a lifetime of this, I am tired of her drama casting a shadow on my life.

    I really have no interest in maintaining a relationship with her, even after she is out. So, dear COTHers, am I totally cold-hearted?



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jul. 24, 2008
    Posts
    3,202

    Default

    Nope. Life is too short to not be happy.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May. 5, 2006
    Posts
    2,899

    Default

    No, you are not being cold hearted. You can wish her the best, and still not involve yourself.
    Sheilah


    3 members found this post helpful.

  4. #4
    sodunzo Guest

    Default

    Super. Thanks. A few family members are thinking I should still be invested in this situation "because she's my mom" but I disagree.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    May. 23, 2005
    Posts
    476

    Default

    Move on. Period. Stress kills and you have to think of yourself now.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Dec. 5, 2004
    Location
    Lexington, KY
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    1,236

    Default

    Well, I will disagree a little. Is this the first attempt at rehab? Maybe since she is agreeing to go, you could give it one more try with her when she is sober....then if it doesn't work you can then walk away.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 28, 2003
    Location
    Hollywood, but not the one where they have the Oscars!
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    7,333

    Default

    Living that right now...dreading all this week and especially sunday. I will say that since I cut off all contact with my mother I have not been sick...not once.
    "You can't really debate with someone who has a prescient invisible friend"
    carolprudm



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr. 8, 2010
    Location
    Ocala, FL
    Posts
    1,588

    Default

    Nope. I did the same thing. Do I wish I had a close relationship with my mom, sure. But it's never going to happen. My mother was never happy unless she was making someone miserable.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 4, 2005
    Location
    washington state
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    8,502

    Default

    I have to. Much healthier way to be! There are always going to be some who go on and on about how your relationship with your mother is important, etc, well, easy for them as they don't have an emotionally draining, sociopathic, manipulative, hostile and aggressive mother.

    I think forgiveness is so important (I'm a Christian, just to underline just how important forgiveness is to me). I have forgiven her but it is also very important to recognize that forgiveness does not mean repeatedly subjecting yourself to abuse, etc.

    Hope that helps. Stay strong and you are absolutely correct in feeling the importance of being a good mother/wife/partner to your young family above all else.
    The Knotted Pony

    Proud and upstanding member of the Snort and Blow Clique.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Chapel Hill, NC
    Posts
    1,751

    Default

    OP, I've been there.

    I grew up the only child of an emotionally abusive drunk. We were POOR until she got remarried when I was 9, then I had an abusive drunk mother and an enabling stepfather. We climbed up to lower middle class, though.

    I had to grow up fast. I had to pick up my drunk parents at the bar at least once a week. I had to make sure my step sister and brother made their school busses in the morning. I had to make remind my parents about groceries and school obligations. I had to call the ambulance when she tried to commit suicide or got alcohol poisoning "by accident".

    I left the area when I turned 18 and put myself through college, grad and vet schools with no help. I was made to feel guilty by my step-sibs for "leaving them" and neither of them graduated high school. I was made to feel guilty by my mother because I "got out" and now thought I was "better than them" (oh, and "rich"--because my starting salary of $35K was so awesome with rent, horse, car payment, and 12 years of school loans...)

    When I realized that it was ME always calling them and visiting them with no return gesture one day (and that those calls and visits made me miserable), I sent my mother a note saying I wanted us to have a better relationship, and that she needed to step up. She replied that I had always been a disappointment to her and not sure it was worth the effort.

    So I sought counseling, grappling with this very issue (and tremendous guilt along with my resentment). One of the best things the counselor did was recommend this book:
    http://www.amazon.com/Toxic-Parents-.../dp/0553284347
    It even has exercises in it to complete. It changed my life. I haven't spoken to anyone in my family since 2003, they have no idea that I have a child (and they have a grandchild) and I like it that way. Her toxicity almost ruined my life and I will protect my young from that. The best part is that I don't miss them, I feel unburdened, and I feel guilt-free.

    You can't choose your family, and when it's bad, I don't think its AT ALL selfish to put yourself first.
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.


    7 members found this post helpful.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan. 31, 2003
    Posts
    18,472

    Default

    Ponyfixer basically told my story. I havent talked to any of my family members in over 20 years now except for my father. No regrets. Get some therapy, OP, and figure out what to do. Quite frankly it wasnt that hard once I knew what I needed to do. My children have never met my mother and I hope they never do, it will literally be over my dead body.
    "Kindness is free" ~ Eurofoal
    ---
    The CoTH CYA - please consult w/your veterinarian under any and all circumstances.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2004
    Posts
    2,844

    Default NOPE

    Been there, done it, never regretted it. I didn't do it because I was angry or hurt, but because the relationship was not healthy for me. My mother did not have the skills to care for herself, much less her children. You are NOT a bad person, it's self protection.
    "You can't blame other people. You can't always say what happened wasn't my fault, and you know what? Even if you have an excuse, shut up. "Bruce Davidson Sr.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Nov. 2, 2001
    Location
    Packing my bags
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    32,634

    Default

    the jerk in me always says 'hell yes' to a question like this...


    However...
    About 7, going on 8 years ago the poop hit the proverbial fan between my sister and me. Even my harmony seeking mom told me that after her passing I was not to keep contact with my sister...to which I happily replied I would not bother waiting that long.

    Some relationships just are too toxic to keep up.

    However, I would suggest to seek counceling for yourself: When my sister got diagnosed with breast cancer and subsequently died from it it was a really hard blow, as a friend put it, all the hopes and dreams of 'maybe it could be' or 'why didn't it' died along with her.

    My best wishes to you. Having to confront the fact you will never have a 'normal' thing going with a close relative is devastating.
    Last edited by Alagirl; May. 2, 2011 at 10:36 PM. Reason: spelling, what else...



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jun. 24, 2005
    Location
    Alabama
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    8,797

    Default

    I agree with all of the other posters here. Just because someone gave birth to you doesn't obligate you to be used and abused by them. After no contact for about 20 years with my parents or older brothers(apparently being born a girl was a crime in my family) my one brother tracked me down and called. He wanted money, because apparently mom and dad shut the piggy bank. I told him to take a hike, and I feel fine with that. You can make a family of your own with people who treasure you the way you deserve. Don't make yourself miserable by associating with people who don't care about you if that's what you need to do. Life is too short to be made miserable by selfish people who don't care about you. You need to decide what you can live with, and what makes you happy.
    You can't fix stupid-Ron White


    2 members found this post helpful.

  15. #15
    sodunzo Guest

    Default

    Thanks for all the responses and I appreciate the stories and different perspectives. I've become fiercely protective of my children and I do not want them to have the kind of tumultuous upbringing I had. That includes subjecting them to her in any way shape or form. It also includes not letting her drag me down and draining me of energy, time, finances and thus short changing my family in the process. I hate her for her selfishness and I still have moments of being intensely sad that she has missed out on major moments of my life and my siblings' lives because she is too crazy/drunk/high. Mostly though at this point I am just angry.

    I will absolutely seek counseling for myself as I don't want any hint of her dysfunction impacting my life or my kids' lives.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 14, 2000
    Location
    Rochester,NY,USA
    Posts
    7,492

    Default

    Some families are dysfunctional.

    Many years ago my aunt coined an expression about her son and it's stuck:

    "I love you because you are my son but I don't like you as a person."

    I feel the same way about my brother - I love him but I don't like him. He lives in Huntsville AL. I called him last wk the day before the tornadoes hit because of the storm warnings and told him to call me in the morning so I knew he was OK. I talked to him over the weekend and found out he didn't have any electricity (therefore no radio or TV)so I called him this AM to tell him about bin laden. Guess I love him but I'm glad he's down south and I'm up north.
    Sue
    Back in my day, we didn't have as many warning labels because people weren't so dang stupid!



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2005
    Location
    New Zealand
    Posts
    517

    Default

    http://narcissists-suck.blogspot.com...ists-suck.html

    Have a read of this blog on Narcissistic Personality Disorder. Its written from the perspective of a daughter with an NPD mother. This may not be your mother but still you might find something in common with the author's perspective. Having an unhealthy family is bad enough, but its the worst if its the mother in my opinion.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Aug. 4, 2006
    Location
    Branson, Missouri
    Posts
    380

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by sodunzo View Post
    Thanks for all the responses and I appreciate the stories and different perspectives. I've become fiercely protective of my children and I do not want them to have the kind of tumultuous upbringing I had. That includes subjecting them to her in any way shape or form. It also includes not letting her drag me down and draining me of energy, time, finances and thus short changing my family in the process. I hate her for her selfishness and I still have moments of being intensely sad that she has missed out on major moments of my life and my siblings' lives because she is too crazy/drunk/high. Mostly though at this point I am just angry.

    I will absolutely seek counseling for myself as I don't want any hint of her dysfunction impacting my life or my kids' lives.
    No you are not a bad person. I cut ties with my mother 2 years ago. Being a parent, and subjecting my children to her was the breaking point for me. I was never strong enough to sever the relationship for me, but...having children changed that.

    My mother has problems with substance abuse, narcissist personality and I believe she is an undiagnosed sociopath. I also recommend the Toxic Parents book. Painful to read, but extremely helpful.

    I haven't regretted my decision for a minute. You have to take care of yourself and your children first and foremost.

    I sat down with my children and asked them. At 9 and 8 they were old enough to tell me they felt uncomfortable around her. I am not sure how old your children are, but the older they get the harder it is to explain her behavior.

    You are not cold-hearted at all. You are being a good mother to your children.

    (Hugs) It isn't an easy path.
    "I'm an idealist. I don't know where I'm going, but I'm on my way."



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Oct. 29, 2007
    Location
    TN
    Posts
    1,870

    Default

    We have a saying in my family: Don't borrow crazy.

    My mother is very generous, and as a result gets used like nothing else by her brothers and their families. She gets dragged into their drama of substance abuse, substance abuse-induced stroke, nasty divorce, custody battles, you name it. They've always treated her like shit, and now that they know she's such a sucker they take advantage of her like crazy. Last time she was in town, she skipped seeing her daughter (my sister) and granddaughter in favor of her brother because "his family pays no attention to him." Maybe it's because he ^%*&ed them over and is a general asshat who doesn't care about anyone but himself?

    Moral of the story: it's never made her happy, and has just made my sisters and I angry at her for putting up with it.
    "Things turn out best for the people who make the best of the way things turn out." ~John Wooden

    Phoenix Animal Rescue



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Dec. 1, 2002
    Location
    New Westminster, BC
    Posts
    103

    Default

    To the OP...
    I find myself in a similar situation with my mother...although she has yet to agree to seek help.
    I also have many friends that are either dual diagnosis (recovering addicts with emotional/mental disorders) as well as friends that have been in relationships with those that are dual diagnosed. The best advice I have been given with respect to my own situation is to take a big step back and focus on what I can control which is how I choose to react to people, places and things. Focus on your immediate family and yourself. Give yourself permission to step back and let her go through her stuff. If she's entering a program then she will have all the support she needs...from them.
    I know that one of the hardest things for people in recovery is the realization that simply being in recovery is not enough to gain back the loving, open embrace of family and friends that you've put through hell with your actions. The fact that she's entering a program does not mean that you are obligated to continue participating in a relationship that is unhealthy for you. Give yourself permission to walk away. You might also look into spending some time with a support group as I know that for myself, I have years of resentment to deal with.
    Don't talk unless you can improve the silence.



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