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Advice on how to deal with formerly estranged mother after father's passing


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8 minutes ago, Seraphim said:

Do the mortgage fly home and change your number.

Yeah, I'm not planning on keeping her emotional vampirism suck the life out of me once the mortgage issue is sorted. Once I'm certain all is fine with it and they'll keep a roof over their head, I'm done. My siblings can ring me at any time if they want, but the cement that was keeping the family together is gone (my dad), so my inclination to reconnect with her has gone from 0 (when we were estranged) to -1000 (now). If I keep going this way, she's going to hold me back and my life won't be mine anymore. 

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Just now, RuedeRivoli said:

Yeah, I'm not planning on keeping her emotional vampirism suck the life out of me once the mortgage issue is sorted. Once I'm certain all is fine with it and they'll keep a roof over their head, I'm done. My siblings can ring me at any time if they want, but the cement that was keeping the family together is gone (my dad), so my inclination to reconnect with her has gone from 0 (when we were estranged) to -1000 (now). If I keep going this way, she's going to hold me back and my life won't be mine anymore. 

So are you going to stay the full week?

If so, just keep in mind guilt is a feeling. It isn't something you have to give into every time.

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17 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Ok, so you feel guilty. That's OK. Those are feelings, not a subpoena.

You'll feel guilty no matter what, so why put yourself through a full week?

You can work on your self-inflicted feelings of guilt with a professional. I can promise you, appeasing your mother's unrealistic and selfish demands will NOT relieve your guilt, but working with a professional can.

You're right. I need to see a therapist. I've been looking for one, but with work being a bit strange these days, I'm being conservative with my finances. Once I get her mortgage sorted, I'll start focusing on my mental health. The way I'm going, I won't make it to the end of 2022 without losing my sanity (or whatever is left of it).

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4 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

So are you going to stay the full week?

If so, just keep in mind guilt is a feeling. It isn't something you have to give into every time.

No, I'll probably stay two-three days max and will book a hotel. I have to break the news to her, which is a problem in itself. Whenever she makes her demands, I just shut down because she's grieving and I don't want to add more "grief". I just need to gather the courage to open my mouth and say I'm not staying a full week + the hotel bit. If she throws a fit like she once used to, I'm cancelling the trip and we're done. 

The flights are booked and I've delayed the trip by another 2 weeks due to my workload and inability to take annual leave now, which has bought me some more time. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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Well, you could just tell her when you get there. Or the day before.

She isn't acting this way because she's grieving. You yourself said she's always been like this. So you changing the length of your trip and staying at a hotel won't affect how she feels.

This fear of your mother is running your life. It can't. Living this way for the next 20 to 30 years is unsustainable.

Edited by boltnrun
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1 hour ago, boltnrun said:

Well, you could just tell her when you get there. Or the day before.

She isn't acting this way because she's grieving. You yourself said she's always been like this. So you changing the length of your trip and staying at a hotel won't affect how she feels.

This fear of your mother is running your life. It can't. Living this way for the next 20 to 30 years is unsustainable.

I'll tell her the day before. If I get there and I don't tell her beforehand, for sure, I won't manage to tell her in person. 

This fear is already ruining my life and I hadn't spoken to her or seen her in 6 years. I thought after such a long time, I'd be able to stand up to her having gained my confidence back away from her, but I find myself reverting back to my old self (the insecure, afraid one). We only got in touch over my dad's passing and I'm already at capacity. No way I'm doing this for another 20-30 years. 

She's already dictating my schedule and is expecting me to take two weeks off during the summer to go and visit my dad at the cemetery. No need for two weeks to visit someone at the grave and I can't take two weeks in any case. She's just imposing her own agenda. She didn't even ask whether I had a partner or children. I haven't spoken or seen her or anyone in my family in 6 years and no one had any visibility over my life (I have no social media aside from LinkedIn) and she didn't even ask whether I had a partner or children. She automatically assumed I was single (which I am, but still, instead of imposing her agenda, she could have at least asked whether I had personal commitments). 

This is why I keep thinking of self-harm day in and day out - to escape her, because the next 20 / 30 years, like this, I won't be able to handle. I was absolutely fine without her in my life and now I'm forced to have her back into my life without my active consent, just because of this unfortunate tragedy. It's too much. I was not prepared. The day I cut her off, I thought it would be forever. I'm still angry at my dad for passing away and leaving me with her and angry at the girl who infringed on my privacy by tracking me down on LinkedIn. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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So let's say you cancel the visit, don't take care of handling the mortgage and cut off your mother. Do you think she'll end up homeless and helpless?

I doubt it.

She can't harm you if you remove yourself from her life. And again, do you really think your father would want you to be going through this turmoil? 

You have to stop allowing guilt to steer your ship. She is taking over your life but you have the power to stop it. Guilt is a feeling. It's not a command or an order or a subpoena. You can acknowledge it, accept it and go on with your life.

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3 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

So let's say you cancel the visit, don't take care of handling the mortgage and cut off your mother. Do you think she'll end up homeless and helpless?

I doubt it.

She can't harm you if you remove yourself from her life. And again, do you really think your father would want you to be going through this turmoil? 

You have to stop allowing guilt to steer your ship. She is taking over your life but you have the power to stop it. Guilt is a feeling. It's not a command or an order or a subpoena. You can acknowledge it, accept it and go on with your life.

Agree 100% . Don’t go. She can handle her own issues and kids. Ruthless cut off needed. 

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7 hours ago, RuedeRivoli said:

You're right, I don't have to stay a full week. Truth be told, I reluctantly agreed to a full week because my mother asked and now I feel guilty saying no. 

Tell her you can come long enough to deal with the bank and then you have to go home to get back to work.  You are tormenting yourself 6 extra days that you obviously dont want to.

Why cant your brother go to the bank with her?

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You do realize the mortgage thing is an excuse for her...the bank will help her step by step.  For my MIL, if it wasn't funerals, it was the dentist, the eye doctor. At one point, it was gardening, or moving her hoard of boxes and boxes to more and store storage units.  If your grown siblings are to be taking over the mortgage, they should be the ones to go with your mom, not you.  I would just cancel your trip.  And let your adult siblings take care of the mortgage - they are old enough to learn, and plenty capable.

You can have your siblings visit you instead.  And change your number, or block her.  I use Call Control app, so it answers, and hangs up for you, so they can't leave a voicemail, and you never have to see that they've called.  It also works in conjunction with QKSMS+, so it can block text messages.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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Good idea, @tattoobunnie My phone has a Google service that screens calls for me. A recording tells the caller I'm using a screening service and to please state their name and the reason for the call. The person usually just hangs up.

But I co-sign 100% to not going. You're going to feel guilty no matter what, so why add a stressful, upsetting trip to your guilty feelings? I promise your mother will survive.

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26 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Good idea, @tattoobunnie My phone has a Google service that screens calls for me. A recording tells the caller I'm using a screening service and to please state their name and the reason for the call. The person usually just hangs up.

But I co-sign 100% to not going. You're going to feel guilty no matter what, so why add a stressful, upsetting trip to your guilty feelings? I promise your mother will survive.

Yup, she will “ suddenly “ figure out what to do at the bank when you don’t show up. 

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Thank you, everyone. 

This mortgage thing is definitely a burden. My brother says he doesn't know what to do and prefers me to handle. In all fairness, he handled everything else. I have two other siblings of 19 and 20, but they're not yet cut for financial conversations. My dad used to do all the paperwork and my mother never touched a single paperwork her entire life, so she has no clue. I'll try again to sort it out remotely before flying. I keep postponing my flights at the moment so. 

I'm sure she will find another excuse to ring me every day once the mortgage is sorted. My brother is 25, not 12 and lives with her, so she needs to start relying on him instead of giving him excuses saying "he's too young to handle this". I moved out at 18 to go to college abroad and I had to fend for myself, so she needs to stop babying him to try and reel me in.  

She keeps trying to manipulate me on the phone saying: "Even when we were estranged, I always prayed for God to keep you happy and safe" when I'm sure she asked my brother to send me a nasty message when I refused to give them money two years ago. My brother sent me a nasty message saying my dad, my mom and the rest of the family were "disappointed" and then he went on a nasty name calling tangent. At the time, I was only in touch with one of my sisters and estranged from the rest of them. They asked me for money through her and I declined because I simply didn't have it. Then my brother proceeded to send me this nasty message, which I assume emanated from my mom in the background because the words he used are words my dad would never ever use. He was not the type to lash out, on the contrary. She was the one with the temper in the family and she'd lash out at me with the same words my brother used in his email which therefore ascertains the fact she did ask him to send me that hurtful message. That was the last interaction before my dad's death.

Imagine the last message you got from a now dead parent was communicated through a sibling and it said: "We're very disappointed". Except, I know my dad would never ever say this about me, I know it. My brother meddled and sent me this nasty message using words my mom would always use and included my dad in the mix. 

I thought of this earlier today and it made me pause for a second. Two years ago, I refused to give money and I was called all sorts of names and dragged through the mud. Suddenly my died dies and I'm the golden child. I'm not buying any of this. She said the other day that my brother and I are now "in charge of the house". I said no, we are 4 children and the other two need to chime in, but she is ultimately the one responsible for the house. She's now putting herself in a "passive" position and is placing an unnecessary burden on me being responsible for something that's not even mine in the first place. 

If it weren't for the pain and stress she inflicted on him, my dad would still be alive. I saw how she behaved with my dad for years. In the last 10-5 years, when my dad was working himself to death 7 days a week with no life aside from work, she engaged in indiscretions and random fights with him every single day. He could be there having lunch and she'd pick up a fight randomly out of nowhere (she did the exact same with me, except she'd beat me as well). There wasn't a day that went by where she didn't pick up a fight with me or my dad. I can safely assume my dad died heartbroken because of her repeated indiscretions and how she tore the family apart with me cut them off as a result. 

I'm open to my siblings visiting me, certainly. I want to keep a relationship with my siblings (provided they respect my life choices the same way I respect theirs). 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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She wants to be passive so she can blame others .Nope the bank and her can figure this out. 
My mom is out there handling everything that need to be changed, insurance and banks and government incomes etc by herself at almost 76 and mobility disabled and mostly deaf. Your mom can handle this too. 

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Mortgages aren't rocket science; like at all...I mean, anyone can figure out a mortage.  I think you want to go there just to show how better off and well you are doing without her.  But trust me, it will ALWAYS be about her.  You could be a multi-millionaire doing a TED talk, and she'd still make it about her.  I would seriously just not go.  Your mental health is 1000% more important, and the mortgage is a way to make you feel guilty to manipulate you to get there, which enables her to think she's won.

Edited by tattoobunnie
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1 hour ago, tattoobunnie said:

Mortgages aren't rocket science; like at all...I mean, anyone can figure out a mortage.  I think you want to go there just to show how better off and well you are doing without her.  But trust me, it will ALWAYS be about her.  You could be a multi-millionaire doing a TED talk, and she'd still make it about her.  I would seriously just not go.  Your mental health is 1000% more important, and the mortgage is a way to make you feel guilty to manipulate you to get there, which enables her to think she's won.

I don't want to prove anything to her at all because I know she's a lost cause. I told her I was working on my driving license (which she barred me from getting it at 18) and she didn't even say "that's great" or anything. She went silent and I then realized she's still the same, jealous, bitter and narcissistic person she's always been. She pretends she wants my success, but every single time I made a positive announcement about any success, she'd always say something bad to tarnish my accomplishment / celebration. 

She found out what I do for a living via my brother's friend who tracked me on LinkedIn to tell me my dad passed, but that's where it stops. I'm planning on keeping a low profile. I'm not talking about my life at all because I don't want her to know anything about it. As you pointed out, I could be the CEO of a fortune 500, a millionaire who performs TED talks and she'd still make it all about her. She's a lost cause. 

She always cries on the phone and says my dad left her "all alone", but I honestly feel zero when she cries. It won't be long before she blames me for dad's passing (she'll say he died of heartbreak because I cut them off). Right now, she's in pain, but I know her. My heart breaks if she tells me about my siblings hurting / crying, but her pain seriously leaves me indifferent. 

I actually told her the other day I need to postpone the trip for a bit because I haven't set foot in that house in 6 years and showing up after six years to see a house without my dad is too much of a shock to handle. I can't. I'll try to sort out the mortgage remotely. My dad isn't even buried over there anyways. I shouldn't have said I'd be flying in the heat of the moment because now she's stuck on it. 

I just wish I could tell my siblings why I cut her off in the first place and how I can't forgive her for what she's done to my dad, me and our family and that's why I want distance from her. The issue is that my brother has forgiven her and my two sisters don't know anything about her unstable behavior. They defend her tooth and nail because they're all oh so "religious" and I'm the odd one out with a completely different mentality. 

My dad died, but it doesn't trigger instant grace for her behavior. Those are two separate matters. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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22 hours ago, boltnrun said:

More reasons to cancel the trip instead of changing the dates.

You cannot move forward in a healthy way if you keep engaging.

I agree. I really thought I had put her and this behind me and this is another blow. 

I didn't feel any guilt when I cut her off the first time because the wounds were fresh, but now I certainly would feel the guilt to kick a person when they're down (although I know deep down, it won't be long before she starts mistreating me). 

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Don't worry about explaining to your siblings.

I am estranged from my father and my younger half brother. I know my brother will not understand if I explain why I'm estranged. I'd love to have a relationship with my brother but I understand why I can't.

And again, you mention guilt. And again, I'll say that feeling guilty is not a subpoena or an order or a command. You can feel the guilt without being obligated to do things (like travel to be with your mother) that will cause you grievous harm. She doesn't seem to mind or feel guilty about kicking you when you're down. So don't feel obligated to jump to do things for her just because she's a widow now. She has your siblings. She'll survive.

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24 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

Don't worry about explaining to your siblings.

I am estranged from my father and my younger half brother. I know my brother will not understand if I explain why I'm estranged. I'd love to have a relationship with my brother but I understand why I can't.

And again, you mention guilt. And again, I'll say that feeling guilty is not a subpoena or an order or a command. You can feel the guilt without being obligated to do things (like travel to be with your mother) that will cause you grievous harm. She doesn't seem to mind or feel guilty about kicking you when you're down. So don't feel obligated to jump to do things for her just because she's a widow now. She has your siblings. She'll survive.

You're right. I actually realize now that even after I cut her off initially, she never felt the guilt at the thought of what she did to me or the family. The fact that she told me she forgives me for cutting her off because I was "young" clearly means she has no remorse and is still fully at peace with what she did. This is the woman who told me I deserved it when I told her some man called me racial slurs while I was walking down the street. She said I deserved it because I'm not as pious as she is and it was God's punishment. If she never felt guilty about the way she treated me, I don't see why I should feel guilty preserving my mental health. 

Sometimes I wonder why I feel the guilt when she's never felt any her entire life. Then I realize the guilt isn't towards her, it's towards my dad. I'm not sure as to how my dad would have felt about me cutting her off now that she's down and also I know my siblings are going to start berating me and send me vile emails if I cut her off. They know now where I work. It's also fear that's preventing me from distancing myself from her, not just guilt. 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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I'm not meaning to sound rude at al, but holy hell you don't need to go sort out the mortgage at the bank!  The bank has mortgage experts and it's their job to know what to do in any given situation with  a customer who's spouse has died and there's a mortgage on the house!  You are setting yourself up for a miserable time if you go.

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8 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

Then I realize the guilt isn't towards her, it's towards my dad. I'm not sure as to how my dad would have felt about me cutting her off now that she's down

Two things:

Do you honestly believe your dad would want you so mentally and emotionally upset that you're considering harming yourself? And what did your dad do during the years your mother was mistreating you to protect and stand up for and defend you?

And finally, as I've said several times, it's OK to FEEL guilty. It doesn't mean you are required to ACT on those feelings.

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