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Coming to realise the truth

(10 Posts)
KerSnoozy Tue 23-Feb-16 16:08:21

Hi, reading through some of the posts on this site really resonate with me. My mother is still alive, I am an adult, have two married sons, three grandsons and one granddaughter. I have had a "strained" relationship with my mother for most of my life and just thought that we were opposites and sometimes relationships are like that. She was always quite controlling i.e. I WOULD take my 11+, I WOULD train to become a secretary and I WOULD NOT marry my boyfriend who is now my husband of 40 years.
When our sons reached middle school age we decided to move abroad - I don't know what pushed me to move away but I guess I was feeling that this was the only way I'd be able to make decisions on my own.
Since moving away she has insisted I phone her on a weekly basis - even when we were trying to make a new life and money was getting short, I obeyed her orders.
I have lately begun to realise that she has perhaps just never loved me. For her, and she tells me often even though now she has Alzheimers, a daughter is born to care for her parents in their old age. A son (my brother) can live his life and do as he wants and she has nothing to say about anything he does - although she has rubbed his nose in my success over the years which has resulted in me having no contact with him since the death of my father 5 years ago. He is also of the opinion that I should never have moved away and that I should be there to look after her. He got a Power of Attorney over her financial affairs just after Dad died without my knowledge - I only found out by doing a search of the Office of the Public Guardian. He has recently been diagnosed with Prostate Cancer, I wrote him an email (on the advice of his daughter as she said she wasn't sure he'd talk to me on the phone) saying how sorry I was to hear the news and there has been absolutely no response.
My quandary is this - fight or flight. Do I continue to ring her and listen to her nastiness (she still lives at home and my brother's daughter is caring for her) or do I say to hell with it and cut off all ties and live the rest of my life in peace. I have thought practically of nothing else since my Dad died (we were very much alike and had the same points of view). It is clear I am not wanted by either of them (mum or brother) and I feel like I jut want to live my life as though they weren't there.
I know this is long and if you have managed to reach the end, I thank you for reading and if you have any guidance to offer I would so love to hear it.

tingon Tue 23-Feb-16 16:48:41

I have no contact with my family and didn't even attend my brother's funeral two years ago. It doesn't matter, I want nothing from them and I give nothing to them. I feel no guilt, no worry, it's fine.

As I get older it becomes more and more obvious that life's too short to waste it on the wrong people. I don't spread myself thin, I love and treasure the people who love me, and I'm content with my decisions.

You are the only person who can make yourself feel guilty, so don't.

Shoveyergrannyaffabus Tue 23-Feb-16 16:53:15

I would stay free and don't give them a second thought. I am NC with my parents as it was such a harmful, toxic relationship. It's sad but not all families are like the Waltons. Look after yourself.

RatherBeRiding Tue 23-Feb-16 17:10:18

You do know that you don't have to obey her "order" to phone her, don't you? What do you imagine would happen if you didn't?

Just leave it. Your brother has PoA - let him get on with it. She appears to have found a carer after all, so what's the point of continuing to phone her just to hear her moan and complain. What do you get out of it? Nothing. There's your answer.

She doesn't value you or her relationship with you. Neither does your brother.

You know the answer to your question - you just need the courage of your convictions.

FellOutOfBedTwice Tue 23-Feb-16 17:13:39

This sounds a lot like my mums relationship with my grandmother, which has deteriorated since my grandad died five years ago.

She's a very dislikeable woman, only interested in anyone for what she can gain from them. My mum does see her- minimally- but absolutely admits that her reasons for seeing her are selfish because her conscience nags of she doesn't (she had a big "thing" about how my grandad would be ashamed of her if he could see her not taking care of her in her old age and that maybe he can... She was very close to him and I think that the idea of letting him down is what haunts her more than anything). My mum says that if she could break free of the guilt she feels she knows that her life would be better for going no contact.

I would say if you can go NC then do. You're gaining nothing from this relationship.

MoominPie22 Tue 23-Feb-16 17:36:54

I would also go NC in your position. Don't continue with the charade solely out of duty. U aren't emotionally close to her and it seems she has no affection for u. It's more that she still feels she must exert her power over u, but don't give her that power! U owe her nothing. Same goes for your brother.
I would end this pointless exercise.

KerSnoozy Thu 25-Feb-16 11:04:03

Hi to you all, thank you so much for all your lovely replies and advice, you are true champions!! It is comforting to know that I am not alone and that there are others out there with a similar problem. FellOutOfBedTwice I can relate to your Mum and her feelings. I'd hate to think my Dad was watching from somewhere if I did go NC, but then I can almost hear him telling me "don't bother with them mate."
Your advice seems to be unanimous - I have a trip planned over there to see my husbands family (mainly) and may just go and test the water with her and see how I am received, I think that will be the point that the decision will be obvious.
Thank you so much again all of you ♥♥

LidikaLikes Thu 25-Feb-16 12:33:59

Also. My own experience with toxic relatives like this are that they are very one-sided: things you must do/must not do, whereas they seem to be able to shift goalposts when it suits them.

In my own example with a toxic grandmother my parents stopped ringing her and dancing to her tune of when they had to call her. She never called them, never once. Yet complained constantly to whomever would listen about how abandoned she was.

It seemed she wanted their calls for the sake of having them call her at her insistence, but not because she was in any way interested or invested in our lives as people.

KerSnoozy Thu 25-Feb-16 15:48:53

Yes, this sounds very similar LidikaLikes - she was never interested in anything I had to say when I rang before she was diagnosed with Alzheimers. My husband always makes the joke, "Oh you're gonna ring your mother to listen to her news for half an hour", we could have been on holiday and had lots to tell her but it was always all about her. I can't believe it has taken me so long to realise what's going on here, convinced my brother has some kind of "masterplan" too, the fact that he has the PoA - I'm so damn naïve it's annoying :-(

ImperialBlether Thu 25-Feb-16 15:54:01

Can you see online who has POA?

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