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Please dont come and judge me, i genuinely need some advice/help and support regarding my family

(23 Posts)
angryneedsadvice Thu 16-Jul-09 11:23:46

I have namechanged although some of you will recpgnise me from the story Im going to tell.

My father committed suicide in April, it was initially an unsuccessfull attempt and he was kept alive until the doctors decided to withdraw treatment and he slowly died (my mother also took in an old living will he had written years ago).
He was suffering from Parkisnons (?) and also a mild form of demntia. My mother spent the last few years hating him, and at times being quite mean, although I never said anything to her, thinking that I didnt know until I was in that situation myself (although I hope me and dh will never be like that with each other).
Earlier this year she asked me to get her some info on Dignitas, and after a little research and my own personal beliefs I refused. I told her my reasons and also said that she shouldnt be asking me, it should be my father. She eventually said that 'they' thought it wasnt a good idea and left it at that.

Now our relationship has slipped of late, we didnt speak for months last year after a big fall out and my final realisation of what a manipulatiuve woman she is.
When my father died I did everything, despite having 2 children and being pg, I spent days and weeks away from home, (they live up North), sorting out everything funeral, coroner, police, all the bills and paperwork, it was endless.

We have just had another rough few days with her staying, being demanding and generally causing friction etc.
I rang her yesterday and she said how down shes been and that even though she wanted her own space for so long, its not what she thought blahg blah.

So not only am I angry (maybe irrationally) about that, I find it hard to be sympathetic when she moaned about how tiring it was visiting him every day, and after saying for years how much easier it would be if he wasnt here shock
Im also angry because after years of keeping money hidden in stocks/shares and bonds, he has basically left my mother with an 80k mortgage, no life ins and 80k in cash to keep her angry I cant believe that he was so stupid and that she now 'cant be bothered to deal with all with everything else Ive got going on' where the money is concerned. I mean shes not working, has nothing to do, how hard can it be to keep phoning and banging the door about your entitlement to some pension. She seems to think that because she worked part time for most of her life that shes now entitled to sit in her 4 bed detached house and shop at M&S every week, Ive tried to explain that life will need to change but she thinks not.

I am at the end of my tether and have resisted saying anything because none of it will be nice.

Please dont be rude about the way I feel, it may not be the right attitude to have, but its just the way I feel right now

FioFio Thu 16-Jul-09 11:31:23

Message withdrawn

CMOTdibbler Thu 16-Jul-09 11:35:50

I've got sympathy for you both, but it must be really hard for your mum.

My grandmother killed herself after a lifetime of serious mental health issues, and making life hell for all the family. She'd attempted suicide repeatedly over the years, and my dad tells me now that then he'd often wished she would succeed sad

But when she finally died, it was hugely traumatic, there was a lot of guilt in the family, and it was a tough year or so in getting everything sorted. The fact that they had wished it in the past, was actually harder in a lot of ways

TBH, I think you are being tough on your mum. She is a recent widow, for whom a lot of her life has been tied up in your dad, and it can be very hard for people of that generation to deal with all the money things, especially over the phone.

The Citizens Advice bureau will be able to help her, and she might find that a group for widows would be helpful.

DuchessOfAvon Thu 16-Jul-09 11:40:19

You have all been through an emotional time and been under considerable stress - you and your mum. Its understandable to feel the way you do. You've been doing a lot of supporting others during the last few months and now it must feel like you have to carry on with potentially no end in sight.

But you aren't your Mother's mother. She will have to take responsibility for herself once the worst of the bereavement phase has passed. Do you have any siblings who can step up to the plate? Who are the executors of your father's will - can any of them talk with your Mum about her new financial situation? Can you suggest she sees her GP to try and access some counselling?

randomtask Thu 16-Jul-09 11:40:49

Firstly, what a terrible time you've had [big hug emoticom]. I think your Mum was very unfair to leave you to deal with all of that, although I don't know whether that was selfishness or just 'unable to deal with' it.

I can imagine that now she's 'in charge' she doesn't know what to do, but I also suspect she is playing the 'bury your head' game and hoping it'll go away or you'll deal with it like you dealt with his death.

If I was you I'd tell her (or write a letter if you can't speak calmly) that you've struggled to deal with your fathers death and the responsibilities that came to you, and now you are struggling to help her when you have a family to look after too.

Suggest the best solution is to sell her house (or use the money he left to pay off the mortgage), go to the local CAB and they will tell her what she is entitled to and which forms to fill out. If she is young enough to work part time, I'd recommend she does that so she sees people too.

End it by saying you would like to help her but that you can't unless she helps herself. Explain you love her and want the best for her, and also, the best (and happiest grandmother) for your children.

That way you've done all you can and put the ball in her court.

As for the emotional side of it, I can understand why you'd feel like that but I think it'll only bother you. Rant to DH, rant on MN and then breath deeply, try to be calm and the rational thoughts will return with time.

Good luck.

angryneedsadvice Thu 16-Jul-09 11:50:54

what a lovely post random, thank you smile

Duchess, I dont have any siblings, only step sister who didnt even come to the funeral. My mum is the sole executor of the will, and to be honest there isnt much to sort out, as everything was left to her, until she dies, so she has now made another will.
I did get my financial advisor to speak to her, as the one that my parents have used for years I felt was giving the wrong advice (and so did my advisor). My advisor didnt push her into anything, just made suggestions, that were sensible and easy to understand, but she just said that she didnt know what to do. She told me yesterday she is now seeing someone else about it, and I feel like 'well carry on then' I cant do any more.
CMOT i cant see her going down the CAB, it would be 'beneath her'!
I dont feel like her life was tied up with him, she still went on holiday which he paid for, she would still go out and see friends and do some part time work to fill in. It wasnt like he couldnt be left, she would come down here and visit us without him. He just got confused with his meds, which drove her crazy. He was awkward and stubborn and refused any help or input. She had started to put him in respite every 6 weeks so she could have a week at home alone. All of these things now make me angry (again not sure if that right or not to feel like that).

I know she wont deal with any of it, and it will be left to me, although she wont actually ask it will be done in a manipulative way IYKWIM. God she infuriates me, I dread speaking to her sad

randomtask Thu 16-Jul-09 11:57:04

It can't be left to you if you don't let it. Just think what the worse result could be if you don't get involved. Then realise that she can change it, not you. She's not a child and sounds like she's clever/organised enough when she wants to be.

Write the letter, lay it all out (you've already done much more than any reasonable parent would expect), let her get on with it.

If she phones, and it gets too bad, just say you're really sorry but you've got an appointment to go to.

Just sounds like you need a break from her (she should understand, she needed them from your Dad wink).

PinkTulips Thu 16-Jul-09 11:57:13

{hugs}

i'm so sorry all this is happening to you... degenerative illnesses are hideous, they really destroy families, in our family it's alzheimers and it didn't just kill my grandmother but my grandfather too as he wore himself out caring for her, all of which left my dad with a huge financial and emotional mess to clear up so i really do understand how frustrating and upsetting all this must be for you.

she sounds like the type of person who expects other people to look after her and when your father was no longer able to do so she resented him for that... my grandfather was the same, he'd spent his whole life being taken care of by my grandmother that it pretty much killed him to have to look after her for 2 years.

imo, there's no point saying anything to her, it'll only cause yet more unpleasantness and she won't listen anyway. let her find out the hard way that things won't sort themselves out by magic... keep an eye on the situation and intervene if it really looks like she'll end up penniless on the street but otherwise let her hit earth with a bit of a thump... step back and let her realise for herself that she needs to sort her own life out for once

BicycleRider Thu 16-Jul-09 18:22:11

DH's dad is like this only worse. Has always had everything done for him, refuses to look after himself, his house, his finances etc. Has also refused to make a will, but that's another story. DH's mum died some years ago and since then his dad has gone quite Life of Grime.

Your situation doesn't sound as extreme, but I just wanted to say that the only way to deal with it is to let her get on with it. Limit contact and let her do her own thing. Don't expect anything from her but expect to have to help her out when she needs it. She's an adult and you can't make her do anything, no matter how good it is for her.

DH used to get pretty angry but he's just had to step back. When his dad dies it's going to be a hideous mess to sort everything out but we have just accepted that that is how it is.

Sorry you're going through this. <hugs>

angryneedsadvice Tue 21-Jul-09 11:59:08

Please someone come back and talk to me sad. She didnt phone me for a week in some kind of competition mode, I didnt phone her because I really dont want to listen to the shit Ive had to listen to this morning.

She rings and says she didnt know whether anything had happened or not, or if I was better etc, however she didnt ring because she knows Im too busy (Im off sick atm).
Then she starts crying saying that she cant get over whats happened and she needs me to be there, only I will do, she doesnt need anyone else, only me, she needs me to help her make decisions and tell her what to do angry.
I explained that during the time my Dad was dying I was there 24/7, I left my dh and dc's to be with her, despite being in early pregnancy, I would pack a bag at the drop of a hat and organised everything.
Yes she knows all that, but wishes I was there now, she needs me sooo much, she's so alone and only I can make it better by giving her a hug!!!!! ffs angry
It would be better if she just lived round the corner then she could just pop round for tea etc, and Im sorry but at this point, I said 'oh god youre not thinking of moving here are you'? and she said 'oh no I wouldnt do that to you'!!!!

She then starts saying that if I hugged her everything would be ok, she would know I loved her and would feel better. She says Im hard and have no feelings, and she doesnt know where I get it from blah blah.

Sorry I just needed to get all that off my chest, shes ringing back shortly, Im not sure I can cope sad

angryneedsadvice Tue 21-Jul-09 13:12:55

please anyone, I dont know how to deal with this. I feel like Im being mean to her but I just cant be this gushing/weeping mess she would prefer me to be, where we just hold each other and sob for hours on end!

frogthistle Tue 21-Jul-09 13:20:54

Didn't want this to go unanswered. I feel like sending you a very un-mumsnet hug!

Just an impression on reading the thread: yes, it sounds as if she's struggling with coming to terms with being a widow but it also appears that you are expected to be the catalyst by which her life will be improved & measured. She needs to move on & take responsibility for her life/sort out some of the mess. You have supported her through a horrible time at some cost to yourself & you have your own commitments to your family to consider.

It appears that as you have begun to draw a line on the support you have given her in the recent past, she is pulling emotional strings to maintain that support. After all, standing alone is quite scary. Her response is understandable but your action on beginning to limit your detailed involvement is also the correct one for you & for your family (and for her) in the longer term.

This behaviour may get worse in the short term as she tries to 'break' your stance. Holding firm to a level of support you feel able to sustain in the future will allow you to feel equal & respected in the relationship - you stand less chance of resenting her. She may or may not come round to accept that.

Perhaps do some research online for support groups locally to her where she might be able to source some bereavement support/have some company? If she takes you up on it, great, she'll probably gain some support away from you = no bad thing! If she doesn't, well she'll need to find some from somewhere herself as you cannot be the only person on which her life depends. She might need to hear that very clearly several times before it sinks in...

Good luck, I hope this hasn't offended you, just MHO. My father was very very similar a couple of years ago and it began to have an effect on my marriage. Drawing the line & stating what I was prepared to do annoyed him greatly & he has never really forgiven me, but it needed to happen. He was (and is) unrealistic in his expectations.

As an example, I committed to listening to him twice a week for 15 mins. he did just need someone to offload to without any solutions being offered etc. Before I did this, he would phone nightly for over an hour - and it was the same moaning each time! He said this was not enough for him so I had to tell him that I couldn't provide that for him anymore but that I would promise to do it twice a week. It didn't last as he hated being reminded that his time was up/coming to an end. He stopped phoning for that purpose in the end. He also found some proper support to sort out some of his problems so I think it was for the best!

angryneedsadvice Tue 21-Jul-09 13:38:26

thank you frog, Im not offended at all by your post, its nice to hear an outside view on whats going on.
I feel very manipulated by her, her constant crying and inability to help herself makes me very angry, Im just not that sort of person.
She said this morning that shes going out and seeing friends etc regularly 'but none of it compares to you' and things like 'i really need to know you love me and if you could just come up and hug me it would be all better' angry she just drives me further away with comments like this, it makes me feel squirmy if that makes sense.

I have put her in touch with a group that deals with bereavement from suicide, she has spoken briefly to their helpline, and has tried to contact the woman who runs the local support group once hmm I told her she needs to keep trying and arrange to go to a meeting, but once again I feel this is something she expects me to do for her.

sliverchick Tue 21-Jul-09 13:45:44

angryneedsadvice , im so sorry about your poor dad , & it sounds like your mam is very lonely sad , i can also see how all the pressure is being put on you as you are their only child , no advice sorry just hope things will get better for you & your mum soon (((((hug))))

bloodyright Tue 21-Jul-09 14:01:12

angryneedsadvice

I just wanted to say I'm sorry to hear about everything and that you sound like a very good daughter. And that, maybe your mum should realise that you are grieving too and that she is making this process even more difficult for you.

And basically just everything that Frogthistle says makes total sense and good advice.

I hope things get better. Maybe you could do with some bereavment counselling, are you coping with everything, it sounds like you could do with some support, certainly doesn't sound like your going to get it from your mother.

Good luck

neversaydie Tue 21-Jul-09 14:59:54

So sorry to hear of your loss. I do hope that you get a chance to do some mourning on your own behalf.

We had this a bit from MIL after FIL died (not suicide, but unexpectedly and very young). She used to phone in the wee small hours of the morning, sobbing down the phone that she wanted to come and live with us.

Fortunately DH was even more horrified by this than I was (both of us had unpleasant memories of live-in grandmas), and while sympathetic we stood firm and said no. She did eventually settle into a more reasonable pattern of life. It played merry havoc with the time that DH needed to do his own mourning though, and did not help him at all.

It must be hellish hard for both of you at the moment though.

angryneedsadvice Tue 21-Jul-09 20:40:53

bumping, just wondered if any of the evening crew would like to comment?

Many thanks to those of you who have posted, youve all sounded so level and sensible and not at all judgemental, so thank you very much for that smile

frogthistle Wed 22-Jul-09 10:56:28

Hi again, I thought about this again (it rang so many bells for me!).

In your original post, you said you were pg so there will be a natural end to the support you can provide (whether you choose to or not is another matter) when the baby arrives as 3*dc is enough for anyone to juggle, never mind supporting someone else!

Perhaps it might be worth describing your limitations using this? 'Mum, as you know, DC3 is due in X weeks & I need to rest physically & mentally to prepare (or whatever form of words suits you). I understand you feel you need me to support you emotionally etc etc but from X date (your choice), I will no longer be able to do that in the way which has happened until now. I know you will remember just how exhausting a newborn can be & I need to give my time & energy to that in the future. We're looking forward to you meeting the new baby in X time, isn't it lovely that we all have something to anticipate as well?

You've got lots of info on groups & advice & finance & you will be able to use those contacts to help you through this. I will be here to listen to how you're getting on etc etc.. As you know, we live a long way apart so hugs will need to be imagined as we are unable to see each other regularly/daily...'

With the emotional bit perhaps acknowledge her feeling without getting dragged in? In response to 'I really need to know you love me and if you could just come up and hug me it would be all better' say something like 'I understand that you need me to tell you that I love you & that you feel a hug would improve things for you right now'. It protects you from the emotional 'pull' & gives her a little of what she needs/wants. But it keeps you separate & unmanipulated.

Someone mentioned getting some bereavement counselling yourself? Brilliant idea, perhaps it might help you with this situation too? Would certainly give you some space to emote/deal with your own feelings as I don't think you're going to get any support with those from your mum - sorry.

Will stop now! Just look after yourself please? smile

angryneedsadvice Wed 22-Jul-09 11:42:43

Thank you for coming back to thiis thread frog smile
I can honestly say I havent had a good cry yet about his death, I havent had the time or the energy. Im fine as long as I dont have to talk about it with anyone IYKWIM. Maybe Im never going to cry about it, maybe I am as hard as my mum suggests.

I am still very angry about yesterday, and it just seems to fester as I cant confront her about how awful her behaviour was when she came to stay and how I wouldnt care if she never visited again because its too stressful, if I did she would end up crying blaming her behaviour on 'what shes been through' and 'what she saw'.

Right now I would just like to cut contact with her but I know thats not an option. It would make my life much easier though. Its like having another dc at times, only far less rewarding

lal123 Wed 22-Jul-09 11:47:32

IMHO I do think you need to cut her a bit of slack.

angryneedsadvice Wed 22-Jul-09 12:20:35

In what way lal? And at what point do I say 'no Im sorry but I just cant help you anymore'? Im not being critical of your post, just wanted to know your reasons smile

She has been like this for years, its not a new thing, although before my father took the brunt of it, with threatened 'nervous breakdowns' etc. She did go through a period where she was much better and we got on very well but she seems to have reverted to this needy/demanding/childlike persona that drains me

Maveta Wed 22-Jul-09 12:31:04

Wow this post feels like it could be written by me in a few years time and is one of the things I really dread coming about.

My dad has been ill for a long time and their relationship has understandably suffered, they have both found it so hard and it is making them both angry and bitter which is so sad to watch. My mum said the other day that she would mostly feel relief if he died now and she doesn't want to feel like that because she does love him and will miss him etc etc sad

She also has little to no provision re. money if/when he dies but is just avoiding the whole issue.

It is stressful. I have no advice for you but you are not alone and while your mother is grieving and needing time to adjust I really feel for you too. Because I don't think it's as easy as just thinking 'she's an adult, she'll sort it out'. No we are not their mother but we are their daughter and we love and care for them and worry about them like they do for us. All the while slightly resenting the role reversal! Feeling like stamping our feet saying "but I'm the kid, I shouldn't have these worries!!" wink

I am so sorry about your Dad and about the whole situation, it is truly awful x

frogthistle Wed 22-Jul-09 12:55:36

Don't dwell too much on her interpretation of you being 'hard/unfeeling/whatever'. She's bound to say this if you are not unreservedly giving her what she wants and she has been used to getting this from others.

You will grieve eventually, everyone does, but it can be a messy, uncomfortable business when things are unclear & you are expected to be the strong one. You may never cry for him though, everyone is different, or you may break down after the birth of your new baby - circle of life etc.

You sound so angry & weary of all this, what does your DH think of all this? Is he supportive?

The bereavement board here is really great.

I'll let others comment now so not to dominate but you'll be in my thoughts, I wish you all the best.

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