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To miss my abusive mother?

(15 Posts)
Clairesafatgirlsname Sun 05-Oct-14 05:52:28

My mother is an alcoholic, my brother and I had a terrible upbringing due to this. Many times I witnessed him save her from suicide. Growing up we had a lot of 'things' things my mum thought constituted a good upbringing, money, schools, cars, holidays etc. but it was always tainted and we we're always on edge, waiting for the next binge. We have a younger sister, too. Over time and many dramatic events, my brother and sister cut contact with her. I never blamed them and would never, ever try to convince them otherwise. As a result, my mother took all her frustrations out on me, she blamed me for my brother and sister not wanting to talk to her. I put up with some really horrible words and actions from her. I put up with it for too long. Over time (about 6 years) my brother forgave my mum and trusted her with his children, who at this point were 6 and 3. For a while it was good, we thought she was on the wagon. Then she did something awful. She put my nephews life at risk. She was arrested and prosecuted for the related charge.
She called me after she was released from custody and told me it was a mistake on the polices part, I knew it was a lie and I cut contact there and then. That was two years ago. I understand that she is an addict, but how much longer can I make excuses for her? If she had told me, my husband or brother that she was struggling with sobriety, we'd have helped her. Anyway, the Aibu comes in here, we're talking about power of attorney for my in laws.i mentioned that if my mother were to become ill, I would want to look after her. My husband thinks I'm crazy, after everything she's put me through to ever have contact with her again. I may be blinded by my love for my mum. I understand that she can't be in my life, I understand that she can't get better without wanting to (which she doesn't) but if she were Ill? Aibu to miss her/ wish I had a 'normal' mum? I thought DH would be more compassionate . Sorry if this was long. I'd appreciate any perspective, or even similar stories.

Clairesafatgirlsname Sun 05-Oct-14 05:53:35

Sorry if it's hard to read, I posted on my iPad so no paragraphs! Sorry!

UncleT Sun 05-Oct-14 06:39:56

You're clearly under no obligation to look after her, and it sounds like it has been a dreadfully tough ride for all of you. Nobody, however, has the right to tell you how to feel about your own mother and how you relate to her. It shows you to be a person of compassion and care. While not everyone will understand your wishes, that's just kind of tough - they need to understand why they don't understand - and that's because it's not their parent and not their feelings.

gentlehoney Sun 05-Oct-14 07:40:14

She is your mum so of course you love her despite the awful things. She is ill. Nobody chooses to be an alcoholic. Continue to be as supportive as you can be, while keeping yourself and your family safe.
Recovery is possible and I hope your mum manages it one day.

CarbeDiem Sun 05-Oct-14 08:28:04

No yanbu to miss her or wish you had a 'normal' mum. Nor for feeling like you would want to help her if she was ill. Even ill -she wouldn't change though, she'd still be the same person.
You sound like a lovely person for still thinking about being there for your mum after everything you've through because of her.
If it ever happened and you still felt the same then protect yourself and your family as much as possible from her damage and only offer, in terms of support, what you can emotionally give - no more.

I don't think that you husband is BU either. He can only go on what he's been told or witnessed for himself and obviously his opinion is based on that. I suppose he could try and imagine IF it was HIS mum etc..... but I personally wouldn't be as sympathetic as you, no matter who.

Iggly Sun 05-Oct-14 08:33:21

Your DH is seeing this more logically than you. He's not BU.

Neither are you but I'm not sure I would look after my mother if she was like yours. I don't even think I will now - my mum is a (recovered) alcoholic but we never had that mother/daughter relationship others talk about.

hormonalandneedingcheese Sun 05-Oct-14 09:55:18

You can't help loving her OP, she's your mum. But it sounds like the loving relationship you want- a proper parental one- is never going to happen, because of your mum. It's her choice and sadly she made it long ago. YANU to want a good relationship though, nor to feel guilty- it's natural. You shouldn't feel guilty or obliged though, it sounds like she's been an abuser, not a mother all her life and has no intentions of changing. You have to accept the relationship you yearn for will never happen, because of her, because it's her choice.

Your DH is definite not being unreasonable though. Please don't see him as not compassionate, he just chooses to place his compassion with you- not your abuser (given what you've descried above the word does fit). He's seeing more clearly without emotional ties and hard as it is to hear, you do need to listen. Not only because he's right in his words but because you looking after your mum will impact on him (DC too if you have them). And that's not fair. To bring someone so toxic into the loving family you've made, he's probably terrified. He's seen her wreck you and your siblings lives and now you want to give her the chance to wreck some more. Even if you looked after her in her own home, he'd see her grind and wear you down again and sometimes that hurts more then getting the abuse yourself- to be frustrated and unable to help and watch when someone you loves gets hurt.

I'm presuming you don't have DC because you don't mention them, if you did in no way should you consider having you mother near them after what she did to all of you and your nephew.

UncleT Sun 05-Oct-14 10:03:59

I actually think he is being a bit unreasonable, albeit for the right reasons. To say he thinks you're 'crazy' - well, of course he's probably motivated by concern for your well-being and love for you, but on the other hand it shouldn't be too big a leap of imagination to understand that emotional relationships with our closest relatives aren't always the most rational or rational the things. I suppose it all comes down to how strongly he disapproves and how he demonstrates it. If he offers concern but supports your wishes ultimately, that's a different matter. If he's being genuinely critical though, I would find that a bit rubbish.

UncleT Sun 05-Oct-14 10:04:26

*rational or logical

backbystealth Sun 05-Oct-14 10:09:02

I'm so sorry OP thanks.

What a sad, sad situation.

You know, it might well be that you love your mother despite all the terrible things she's put you all through.

But it might well be that it's not love, more a mixture of guilt, misplaced duty, a desperate desire for her to be the parent you want(ed) and need(ed).

Get a really, really good counsellor and work through these feelings.

My honest feeling is that your husband is right actually. I think you are probably better to remain estranged even if she becomes terminally ill which is very likely given her alcoholism.

You have a duty to yourself and your own mental health and well being.

We don't choose our parents. You got a shit one - yes she's ill, but she was also a mother and had options as we all do.


Topaz25 Sun 05-Oct-14 10:54:27

I don't think your DH is BU. It's your choice if you want to look after your mother but it does affect your DH. Your mother was prosecuted for endangering the life of your nephew so it's not a big stretch to think that inviting her back into your life would endanger your family, if you have children or want them one day. You taking care of her would also cost your husband, both financially and in terms of time spent with you. And when she inevitably hurts you again he will have to pick up the pieces. I don't understand some people on here who are acting as if it's nothing to do with him. He shouldn't have called you crazy and of course he can't stop you seeing your mother, he can only express an opinion but I can understand why he is upset.

bobbyjo Sun 05-Oct-14 13:00:48

My advice is just do whatever you feel you can at the time. It may be she becomes ill and you feel at the time you can take on helping her to a certain extent. It doesn't have to be all (having her live at yours with you doing 24-hr care) or nothing. Do what is right for you if/when the situation presents itself.

Until then don't talk about it as you won't know what you'll feel like until the time arrives. I would say if you deny your feelings and go along with what your DH wants you might live to regret it so do what you want regarding this, but look after yourself. It sounds like you know if you turned your back on her completely - which no one could blame you for - you would regret it and it would be against your character (which sounds kind and emotionally advanced and aware).

P.S. I've been in the same situation. I withdrew after he died but I don't feel guilty. I did what I could and what I felt able to. You do the same.

Clairesafatgirlsname Sun 02-Nov-14 22:50:38

I'm so sorry I wrote this post and then couldn't find it! I fail at mumsnet. Thank you so much for all your kind words and advice. Of course DH wasn't being unreasonable, I do get emotional about the situation with my mum and he is far more logical about it and we both know she'll hurt me again. I shared this thread with DH and we've agreed to leave it 'open' he'll support me if I want to see my mum, but I don't want to right now. Thanks again for all the kind words, I really needed this.

OhFFSWhatsWrongNow Sun 02-Nov-14 23:05:32

Oh op- I couldn't read and run. I understand what you're going through sad

My mum was an alcoholic too and I had a very unstable upbringing. Heard things no child should hear, saw things child should see. My mum also had bipolar. When I was about 12 all my brothers and sisters had left home (I'm the youngest, they are a lot older than me) and my parents separated it was just me and my mum.

Her highs and lows made me terrified and having to deal with it alone made me feel isolated. Our relationship was, to say the least, strained, and I acted out as a result.

She eventually died when I was 18 and I miss her terribly and feel sad and guilty that she suffered. She was my mum and I loved her so much. Just like you love your mum despite the past.

I think it's normal to feel this way, well it's normal for me anyway. Just want you to know you are not alone op, and honestly I am glad I am not the only person who feels this way, it's a bit of a relief. I hope that doesn't sound awful or offensive I just mean I feel less alone.

I'm so sorry for all you've been through op. I think it's so so difficult to stop loving a parent, even in dire circumstances.

Good luck and all the best thanks

Clairesafatgirlsname Sun 02-Nov-14 23:21:04

OfFFS... I'm so sorry for all you've been through. My mother is also bipolar, but back then it was called 'manic depressive' extreme highs and lows and lots of medication. I do sometimes feel that if I could make my mum better and change her behaviour I can erase the past, mine and my brother's hurt. My little sister was saved by her dad, thankfully and I am grateful to have had my brother. I hope you're ok, here to talk if you need x

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