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I don't even know where to start.

(53 Posts)
nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 10:47:58

Sorry this is really long, but i don't want to drip feed and need to get this all out.

Maybe i should start here: My parents divorced 20 years ago after a horrible marriage. My dad cheated, she took him back, they hated each other and finally split much to the relief of us kids who were teenagers by then. The divorce was horrible and everyone fell out. I was the only sibling able to maintain a relationship with both parents and siblings but it was horrendous. I grew up in a loveless household and both parents were manipulative. The divorce was the best outcome.

Since then although I don't live nearby or at times even in the same country, I've been my mum's support. She's never gone a day without banging on about how hard done by she was, about how awful my dad was/is and the cheating blah blah blah. I stuck by her. I accepted her new partner as my step dad a few years later, and then helped her through his sudden death a while later. I spoke publicly at his funeral, took her to pray with his body at the morgue. I have been there for her at every turn and defended her to the hilt. There has been a role reversal and I have felt more like her mother than her daughter.

Now she's ill. It's going to be a long drawn out process of mental and physical deterioration. I supported her through a suicide attempt. I have helped her to plan for the future and put support in place to help her keep her independence for as long as possible. I have learned to tolerate her rambling about my cheating father, but it's not easy. Challenged, she flies into a rage, suicide threats, utter devastation. I have learned to manage her in a way by steering the conversation.

Last week she had an old friend from the town we grew up in to visit for a week. Fine. My brother told me is was very cosy and they might be getting together. All very nice.

This week she announces he's moving in to be her carer.

To justify that it's not rushing in, she drops the bomb that they actually had an affair for about a year when she was married to my dad.

So now here I am, feeling very hurt.

How dare she play the victim? How dare she manipulate me in to believing she was the innocent party to my dad's cheating? It's not like the subject of infidelity never came up, she's been banging on about it for years.

I'm so upset I can't speak to her. I feel embarrassed not just that probably people in the town must have known that she was a slut, but that I have defended her to the rest of the family who now get to laugh and point at just what a fool I've been. And believe me they will.

My brother tells me, she wants to ask my opinion on her boyfriend moving in, but that it seems her mind is made up. She is oblivious to the effect her revelation has had, as if it is inconsequential. I haven't spoken to her.

So what do I do now? She's an adult, can do as she pleases, infact if she's found love that's great. I'm happy for her. But how do I move on from the lies and deceit when she's mentally unable to cope with a proper discussion or even to cope with hearing how upset I am without downing a pint of paracetamol tablets. Or what about when he realises she's a complete fruit loop now and changes his mind. Who picks up the pieces?

I'm such an idiot. I want to walk away from all of the family now. This has opened up old wounds about my dad and siblings too and I want out.


My younger brother said the nicest thing to me yesterday when I said I feel such a fool. He said that nobody will think I'm a fool, just that I am a better daughter than she is a mother. sad

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:01:48

Any advice what I should do from here?

hellsbellsmelons Thu 06-Nov-14 11:04:21

Listen to your brother - he is right!
I'm not sure how you move on from this.
Can you have counselling?
Can you afford private or go to your GP to get a referral?
I'm sorry this has happened to you.
You are a good person. Always remember that.

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:06:24

I've had a lifetime of counselling. I know my parents were fuckups. I know this is not my fault. I made a decision to maintain the relationship. I didn't think there were any more skeletons in the cupboard though. How can they keep coming up with shit? It's beyond belief!

Bogeyface Thu 06-Nov-14 11:09:54

Your brother is right.

How are you a fool for not knowing something that no one told you about? All you did was the best you could do with the facts you had, you have been there for her despite what appears to be monumental selfishness self obsession and manipulation. You have nothing to feel foolish about.

However your anger is perfectly justified imo, she lied to you, used your fathers cheating as a way to manipulate you and put herself in the victim category.

What you do from now on is up to you. If you want to go NC then I dont think anyone would blame you because I think its clear that if (when) this relationship ends she will be expecting you to pick up the pieces. Thats not something I would want to do after the way she has behaved.

Does she have money/property? Could the new man take advantage of that? Thats the only thing that would concern me, because if he did rip her off then she wouldnt have the wherewithal to support herself if he leaves her.

Perhaps you should see a counsellor about how all this has affected you, it might help you see through the FOG (Fear, Obligation, Guilt) that you have been in all these years.

heyday Thu 06-Nov-14 11:10:43

I feel for you here. I was made a complete fool of recently by somebody who I loved dearly and whom I believed loved me. This person treated me like a right mug and I got manipulated and made a fool out of along with threats of violence and treated like dirt, but here I am, a few months down the line trying to pick up the pieces, trying to forgive but know I cannot ever forget. I will never be made a mug of again. I am stronger and more assertive now. This person is backin my life now but I have changed and am more guarded.
And you must be too. Your mother obviously has mental health issues which has caused great difficulty in her life.
Not sure if she has home/assets which her new bloke could be after and if so it might be worth getting a proper will drawn up fairly soon.
Other than that, hold your head up high. You have been a loving, wonderful daughter to a mother who hasn't always deserved it.
If people want to tell you what a fool you were, well let them. You know you did the right thing and proved yourself to be a very decent, loyal human being and you should be proud of yourself for that. At the same time, you now need to really cut the ties. She has this new bloke so let him get on with the caring and you get on with your life. She sounds like a very damaged, troubled woman who is no doubt going to be calling on you again soon so take this time to regroup, get your head together and find some inner strength.

dadwood Thu 06-Nov-14 11:10:52

This may or may not be helpful, but there is a recent film I really like which contains historical cheating by both parents and the struggle the children have forgiving them. Is it really trite of me to suggest a film to see?

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:15:05

I am sobbing, fucking sobbing. Thank you.

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:17:05

He may be after her house, what little money she has left for her care as she deteriorates. I don't actually care anymore.

It may be genuine. His wife died a year ago.

dadwood Thu 06-Nov-14 11:18:07

OK I am sorry, I sometimes understand my troubles through books and films with the same theme.

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:20:27

No, the film might not be a bad idea. Books even better. I need to process this new 'truth'. Fuck, she might have fucking made it up to justify the new relationship. I don't know what to think anymore.

dadwood Thu 06-Nov-14 11:23:38

It's called "Stuck in Love" Of course it has a resolving ending, being a film, but the content is there, it's about processing the feelings

lemisscared Thu 06-Nov-14 11:24:11

You called your mother a slut???

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:31:36


nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:34:21

haha, in all of that massive OP, THAT is the bit that you take offense to?

lemisscared Thu 06-Nov-14 11:39:21

Im not offended. I just think in your massive op its a shame that her reputation was something that mattered. Other than that you have my sympathy as I could have written a lot of that myself.

In one respect you could be pleased as it will take a lot of emotional pressure off you. I do question his motives somewhat but if they were involved with each other in the past he probably still loves her?? Which is nice? No?

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:42:49

sure. the affair itself is something i could have moved on from given the information, I did chose to look past it with my dad in order to maintain a relationship.

and the getting a new boyfriend, also, not a problem in itself.

it's the 20 years of manipulation in between, the dishonesty because let's face it, it suited her to have me on her side. that's the bit that really fucking hurts. treating me like a fucking idiot.

dadwood Thu 06-Nov-14 11:43:35

On a practical front, can you be appointed as executor of any estate? She would need to agree I think, if she is capable. That way, you can see how the old friend reacts.

FelicityGubbins Thu 06-Nov-14 11:45:28

I could have written a lot of your post too never, all I can say is that rather than focusing on her behaviour is that you should instead focus on yours. You have proved yourself time and again to be a loyal, supportive, and loving person and that is what's important. If it's the financial implication of him moving in with your mother that is worrying you, then is that something you could talk to her about?

NamesNick Thu 06-Nov-14 11:46:01

have to say I stopped reading at the part you called your mother a slut. sorry

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:48:34

i expect she has the capacity to make her own decisions albeit bad ones for now. we have talked about the house often. in normal circumstances, yes I'd be asking her to protect her finances before getting involved in another relationship so quickly.

I'm not sure i'm in the mood to help her to protect herself though.

lemisscared Thu 06-Nov-14 11:49:56

I understand that yes. I think its shit when parents use their children as pawns. You know you are going to have to let go of this anger don't you? Express it yes but don't let it eat away at you.

dadwood Thu 06-Nov-14 11:51:25

I'm not sure i'm in the mood to help her to protect herself though. nevercackle You would also be protecting yourself from having to pick up the pieces for her care if she was looted.

nevercackle Thu 06-Nov-14 11:52:20

if you think calling her a slut is an overreaction, I can only think that having grown up in the household I did and seen the effects of infidelity, it has left me with a zero tolerance attitude towards it. it's how I feel.

lemisscared Thu 06-Nov-14 11:52:28

To be blunt its not about protecting her. You say she is likely to deteriorate mentally so you or your brother need to have power of attorney. This is irrelevant of the new bf whose motives you aren't clear of.

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