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I have a sixth sense about my mother. All this week (and especially last night), I have been tossing and turning–somewhere between sleeping and awake, dreaming and thinking about her. It was like she was tormenting me, and I couldn’t make her stop.

Well, when I woke up today, it wasn’t a dream. After going “no contact” with her recently, she left me another snarly message on my phone. (See my post “It’s Over–I’ve Had It” for the background on all this.) I had immediately had my cell phone number changed, when we became estranged, but my husband was hesitant to change our long time home phone, because it was such a great number. He said he didn’t believe she would call it, and I said I didn’t believe she wouldn’t. Unfortunately, I was right.

She started whining and complaining about needing her credit cards, and checkbook. She had given them to me when she was in the nursing home, because we were afraid they would be stolen, and she had no need for them there. About 2 weeks ago, (or however long it’s been since we became estranged) I gathered all her belongings that I still had, and gave them to my DH to give to her. He and the bookkeeper were working on getting all her bills paid, and her finances in order (so that he could turn everything back over to her at the end of the month, when she moved back to her house.) We have been doing her bills for the 4 1/2 months that she has been in the nursing home.  We were also getting all the Assisted Living purchases figured out, and deciding what we could keep and pay for, and what she would have to pay for, since she wouldn’t be staying. There was absolutely nothing malicious going on. My husband is a Christian attorney, and we don’t want or need her money. He had given her some cash a week ago, and all she had to do was contact him if she needed anymore, until everything was turned back over to her. Everything is paid for where she is, and I don’t think my brother takes her out much. I was always the only one who did.

She has been in AL for a little over 2 weeks, and the first week she was in her permanent room, she decided that she was going home. And Golden Boy decided that he would  enable her. (After all the work we had done getting her moved in, and the place decorated.) She was where she needed to be, as she has developed serious dementia after a series of falls, broken bones, and hip surgery. She cannot possibly give herself her insulin or medications consistently like she once did. She is an insulin dependent diabetic (taking insulin 4 times a day) and she also takes many other drugs, including Oxycontin–quite a high dosage for rheumatoid arthritis. One mistake with either of those drugs, and it’s over for good. At the Assisted Living, she would be checked on every 2 hours, have assistance getting in and out of the shower, and have her drugs supervised and given on schedule. She LOVED the food there, and it was beautiful.  

Anyway, today in her lovely message she seemed to imply that I intended to leave “them” in a fix. She said that she knew she had NOT done anything wrong, and she didn’t understand why I would go to these extremes.

While I had written an email to my brother (which he let her read) and to my only other 2 relatives that have any interest or concern with this, I had not written anything to her after our last conversation. I thought that her treatment of me spoke for itself. But since she was in denial about everything, I decided to communicate with her through the written word one last time. Not because I thought she would admit to any wrong doing, but because it would do me good to finally address my issues with her. So I did. I am going to include most of the letter in this post.  I hope this will be my final communication with her, and I have asked my husband to now change our home phone number. Since I have always shared my feelings openly here, and my entire journey with her, I will also share this. Why not? I am a transparent person, with nothing to hide. For too long there have been too many secrets in our family. I have to get this out. Here’s the letter-(sorry for the formatting problems when I copied and pasted:)

I gave your wallet and your credit cards, and anything else that I had to
Rob long ago. I asked him to be sure and put it in a safe place, until he was
ready to return it to you. I told him to give you your checkbook, and everything
else that you needed. I wasn’t trying to keep anything from you. I would have no
reason to do that. Why do you automatically assume the worst of me? I have
always loved you, and been devoted to you. But once again, your tone in the
phone message was angry and hateful towards me–wanting to blame me for
everything that is wrong in your life.

Your argument is with Rob about that–not me. I even told him to be sure and do
whatever was necessary to revoke the Power of Attorney as well. He and the
bookkeeper were trying to get all your bills paid, and all the finances up to
date, to turn over to you at the end of this month. They were going over the
lists of purchases for the Assisted Living, and trying to determine what you
would be paying for, and what we would. We were trying to eliminate every
possible cost to you.

He said that he needed to keep the Power of Attorney, just until he had
finished filing the Medicaid claim for the month of October. He said that both
you and Tony were aware of that. Then he would see that it was revoked. (It
can’t be revoked quickly enough for me, as I want no responsibility for your
choices.)

He also said that he gave you some cash the last time he saw you, and that you
could have called him at any time, if you needed more. I told him to turn it all
over to you as soon as possible, and that was (and is) his intention. The
checkbook was always at the office, where you bills were paid. I’ve never had it
for any length of time, unless you needed it. We have certainly never wanted (or
needed) your money.

The reason I have walked away from you, is because I can never please you, or do
anything right. Your emotional abuse of me is affecting my health and sanity.
During our last conversation, you called me, “Mean, Bitchy, and Jealous.” (Don’t
act like you don’t remember that.) I said, “I’m so glad that you said that,
because now I am gone from your life.”

You taunted me with, “Oh yeah?—- Yeah, yeah, yeah…”

I said, “You just watch me.”

I decided that if that is the way you view me, there was no need to go on with
this relationship. I have nearly killed myself to make sure that you were well
taken care of. When I mentioned that no one could have taken as good of care of
you, as I did (since Sam died) you said, “Not always. Not always–You’re mean,
bitchy, and jealous.”  How could you possibly say a thing like that, after all
that I have done for you? I think you were describing yourself! Whenever I try
to talk to you about anything, you won’t listen. You lash out at me, and it’s
hopeless to discuss anything.

My whole life I feel like I’ve been the mother. I never received the mothering
or nurturing that I needed. You’ve never had any empathy for me about anything
that was going on in my life. It’s always about you. When I tried to share with
you how desperate I felt about the situation with Chelsea many years ago, you
said you didn’t understand, and you offered no compassion or support. I checked
myself into the mental health unit (feeling suicidal) after that conversation
with you. I have only stood up to you 2 or 3 times in my life, at great cost to
my health and well being.

I was always walking on eggshells, afraid that something would make you angry. I
tried to keep that from happening at all costs. (I lived in fear of your
disapproval.) When I was only 7 years old, you told me that if I didn’t accept
Sam, you would kill yourself. The next time he came to the door, I ran into his
arms, buried my face in his jacket, and prayed that you wouldn’t kill yourself.
What kind of mother would say something like that to a little girl? It was
beyond cruel. (I thought that you and I would have some time together in
Atlanta. But immediately there were two men in your life.) I was just a little
girl, snatched away from the only place I’ve ever felt secure. (Note to blog readers: We lived with my grandparents until I was 7. My parents divorced when I was 2.)  You were supposed
to be the adult! (I understand that you said I would never realize you were my
mom, if you didn’t take me away.) But why couldn’t you have spent a little time
(just with me) getting me settled in, and making me feel safe? I was told not to
tell anyone at school that Sam stayed overnight often. It was not a good
situation for a little girl.

But after you threatened to kill yourself, I constantly lived in fear of making
you angry or disappointed.

Since Sam died, I’ve treated you with kindness and compassion–more than I was
even capable of. You know that is true. I was patient, loving, and most of all
faithful to care for you for 3 1/2 years. I took you to all your doctor
appointments, errands, pharmacy runs, bank, hair appointments, shopping, etc. I
often bought you clothes, and gave you money. I bought all your meals when we
were out, and treated you better than I treated myself. I often missed my own
doctor appointments, trying to take care of you.

I visited you every other day (unless I was sick) and sometimes every day, while
you were in the nursing home. I took you on picnics to the Atrium, cooked food
for you, and was a good advocate for you with the doctors and nurses. I did it
because I truly love you. It is not your overwhelming care needs that caused me
to be estranged from you. It is your treatment of me. Nothing is ever enough,
and when you called me names-“mean, bitchy, and jealous”–that was the last
straw for me. I will not allow you to emotionally abuse me anymore. Life is too
short.

Whatever time I have left on this earth, I intend to find some peace and
happiness. I hope you find the same. I will always love you, but I can’t take
this anymore.

I felt that you were in the best place possible for all your needs to be met. It
was beautiful, and afforded you some independence and privacy. I was so happy
that the food was good. We could have had many happy times there together. But
you are never satisfied. You are not capable of monitoring all your meds and
insulin anymore. It’s not safe, because of your memory problems and confusion.
You were supposed to have around the clock care if you went home, and you said
that you would run away if that happened. You also said that you didn’t want to
go back to living with Brandon and Tony again, as you knew they would mess up
the house, and you would be overwhelmed with all their laundry, cleaning, and
cooking. YOU chose assisted living given the three possibilities that were
presented to you by the nursing home staff. (A private room at the nursing home,
going home with 24/7 care, or the assisted living.) It was clearly the best
choice. You had housekeeping, meals, and medical supervision. You were to be
checked on every 2 hours. You would have assistance getting in and out of the
shower. Your medications would be monitored properly, and given to you on
schedule.

You said that I was thinking of only what I wanted, when I decorated the room.
That was a lie. I was trying to duplicate that room you had (and loved) when you
were younger. But it was painted red, with white woodwork. I knew deep red would
be too dark for a small apartment, so I had them paint it off white, and decided
to do red accents everywhere. I told you that after I finished with the basics,
I would take you to the house, and you could get your pictures, and any
belongings that would make it feel like home to you. Do you have any idea how
much work was put into moving you, and the decorating? No-you don’t, because
even as we worked long into the night, you called me and left irate messages
about when we were going to show you the room–if ever. I felt the same pressure
then, as I have felt from you all my life.

I lovingly decorated, unpacked your clothes, hung pictures, and tried to
anticipate your every need. When I knew the time to leave was nearing, I kissed
your blouse, and said, “I’ll always love you.” I blew a kiss into the room as I
left, wondering why I was never worthy of your unconditional love and
acceptance. It seems that I could never dance fast enough for you, but I can’t 
dance anymore.

I hope life treats you kind, and I ask your forgiveness for any hurt that I have
caused you. I also forgive you. But there is a time when it is not healthy
anymore to continue on in a relationship. It’s time for me to save my life now.

End

So that’s it. I wish she would just leave me alone. She has made her choices. I imagine she is starting to realize just how much I did for her. My brother will never do half as much. She did tell my husband this evening that she does not plan to have any care when she gets home. That is going against all the advice and admonitions of the nursing home staff. We were told she must have 24 hour care, if she went home. I blame my brother for this also. He has enabled her, and he has disrespected my efforts (as her primary caregiver) to get her in a safe place. I suspect that he also has ulterior motives for getting the house, when she is gone. (He has always wanted it, and it is our only inheritance.) So I am sure that he didn’t want to see that money eaten up by Assisted Living. I only want my mother to be provided for now, and to be safe, and well taken care of.  In spite of my differences with my her, I do still care about her, and what’s in her best interest, and this clearly isn’t. It will turn out badly. But they will not listen to anyone.

So there you have it. I will get my home phone changed as quickly as possible, but I wouldn’t be surprised to find her on my doorstep next–tormenting me. It is her nature to be in denial about any wrongdoing. That will never change, and I have no expectations. I just want some peace in my life.

Thanks for listening, and being a part of this miserable, hurtful journey. Will it ever end? And if so, how? All I know for sure, is there is One who never lets go of me…

Please see other articles that I have written here:

http://www.associatedcontent.com/user/109497/lonnette_harrell.html

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7 Comments

  1. Sparkle. Be strong. Stay strong and determined. Of course you love your mother – she is your mother. But, like all of us, she is human and has made many mistakes. If she does not want to admit to those mistakes, you have no control over that – you only have control over your own choices and your own behaviors and your journey is God’s doing. You are a Christian…a true Christian. Your brother may very well be motivated by other things but remember also, he is the victim of your mother’s “mothering” also. I know you know that – it is really sad this dynamic in your family. But, it exists in mine too. That isn’t told to you to try to make you feel better. Just know you are not alone – besides God, you have others that are on the same journey as you…by your side, who truly understand. Give yourself LOTS of credit! You deserve credit. I hope your sleep issues get better as you fully embrace the peace of your choice to remove yourself from the person that causes you so much hurt and pain. If you ever feel “guilty” keep remembering to come here and ask others for guidance, ask God for guidance. Stay strong Sparkle. You are a good person.

    Hugs~

  2. I’m glad you wrote that letter. It was perfect. I also worry about my father showing up at my house with my brother (the goldenchild) to have an “intervention” of some sort to straighten me out now that I won’t do the scapegoat role any more. I have a German Shepherd who doesn’t know my father (how could he? He’s never been here to visit since I’ve owned the dog) and the dog will not allow either one of them to step out of the vehicle. I love my dog.

  3. Hi Lonnette, I kind of read backwards from todays post to here. You certainly have been going through a lot. I wish I could give you the strength to accept that the only person that can make the break from your mother complete, is you. But, unfortunately humans need to go through all that we do, to get to the point of doing it and leaving it behind.

    I think that woman should have a turkey smacked at her that was left over from Thanksgiving!!

    Want me to come and do it? Gotta get it done with her. God, she would drive me crazy. I think you really need to change the home phone number. Numbers are numbers–your friends and your husband will get used to a new number especially since there is speed dial now!!

    Take it easy–I hope your next post tells us you have a break and feel less frustrated.
    My best to you,
    Frank

  4. Hi Frank: So good to hear from you! You made me laugh out loud at the turkey slap! I needed that!!! I DID change my home phone number also. I think my husband will refuse to move though! LOL! (Hopefully, that won’t be necessary.)

    The break is a complete one. We are merely seeing her through the move from the AL back home, in a couple of weeks. I will not be involved in that (on her end anyway)–my husband and a man we hired to move her things in, will likely move them all out. Then we will have to assimilate the new things we can use into our home, and the rest will go with her. I have not talked to her, or seen her since that last phone conversation, nor do I intend to. She just left a message on my phone. I just felt like the letter to her would do ME good, and it did. At least she can’t act like she has no idea why I’ve gone to “such extremes.” That is the final word to her from me.

    My brother can take it from here. My mom told my husband the other night, when he dropped by an itemized list of our purchases for her (and gave her the requested money), that they did not intend to get ANY in home care for her. She has moderate dementia now,(since her hip surgery) and there is no way that she will be safe giving herself the insulin 4x a day, or Oxycontin and the rest of her medications. My brother is CRAZY to do that, but my hands are tied, unless she is declared mentally incompetent. I will notify her doctor of my brother’s plans, so that they know her living conditions, and then I believe that I have done all that I can do for her. (There are none so blind as those who will not see.)

    Yes, I’m hoping that as I move into the month of December, there will be less focus on my mom and brother, and that I can begin to start my new life. We are going away (just my husband and I) for Christmas, and I don’t care where it is, it will be a much needed change.

    I was so sorry to hear of your mother’s passing, and I am sure it is total shock not to have her there to care for. I hope that you have been getting some much needed rest and sleep. You are in my thoughts and prayers-Lonnette

  5. You might appreciate the recent poem I posted on my website.
    http://flourishingincrisis.wordpress.com/
    Grace

  6. Thank you Grace. Can’t wait to read more of your website, particularly your writings on narcissists, and how to flourish in spite of them. I do feel that a new day is coming, when all of this is behind me, and I can finally live. (Just starting at 56 seems strange, but it’s never to late to be what you were created to be, when all the shackles are broken.) See you on your site, and thanks again! Hugs-Sparkle

  7. Hi Sparkle!
    How delightful to hear from you and thanks for visiting my site. I will be
    visiting here often too. HUG***

    I am at work on a poetry book about narcissists, at the same time that the 2 N’s in my family are attacking me. They just give me extra resolve to help educate people about the narcissists.

    I too learned in my 50’s.. never too late huh!!! Imagine all the people who don’t “get” it. It is tragic.

    The innocent ones are used up like fuel, and often die young, not to mention the suicides.

    Living with an N is at the top of this planet’s hellish experiences.

    I hope that after this life, their souls are demolished.

    As far as I am concerned, they had their chance this time to learn to be nicer and failed.

    Anyone know an N who came around, opened their heart and learned to love?

    I’d be surprised.


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