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


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6 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

We no longer have COVID restrictions over here, so from what I heard, everything is back to "normal". 

I don't have a car myself, so I had to rely on public transportation. Waiting 45 minutes for a cab when I live in the city center is unheard of. I often use cabs to get places including the airport at all hours of the day or night and the longest wait time ever experienced was 20 minutes. 

I spent a lot of money on the flights and hotel, so while I was reluctant to go on this trip, losing money is not something I'm willing to do voluntarily (i.e.: by missing a flight). I'm quite conservative with my finances in general, so this write-off is quite a pain. 

I'm not going to lie, I feel a bit relieved I didn't fly today, but the financial write-off is not great (even if I didn't voluntarily miss the flight). 

We didn't have covid restrictions either. But all over there are now staff shortages with taxis, uber, etc because of covid. I'd be shocked if that's not true by you.  Again my guess is if you google how long to give to get to a flight by you they're recommending leaving earlier.  I know you're relieved. I will be too.  You'll spend tons more on therapy and comfort food if you go than the price of the hotel.

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Just now, Batya33 said:

We didn't have covid restrictions either. But all over there are now staff shortages with taxis, uber, etc because of covid. I'd be shocked if that's not true by you.  Again my guess is if you google how long to give to get to a flight by you they're recommending leaving earlier.  I know you're relieved. I will be too.  You'll spend tons more on therapy and comfort food if you go than the price of the hotel.

I definitely think you're right. There must be staff shortages because the wait was really unusual. I certainly should have allocated more time. I used my previous experiences as my benchmark. Not a great idea.

I'm hoping I will be able to get to therapy soon enough because I'm absolutely exhausted mentally and I can't make any sound decisions anymore. 

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Like I said before, you wouldn't have that money in your account if you went on the trip. You'll just be gaining more headaches, anxiety, guilt and upset.

It seems you desperately want your mother's approval and love. Understandable. But she's just not going to give it without exacting a high price, namely your peace of mind and mental and emotional health. And even then she will continue to withhold and find fault.

I'm sorry you feel you need to put yourself through this. I hope you can get some support when you return.

Edited by boltnrun
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To give you life updates on my trip. 

I made it to her house. I knocked on the door and walked in. Understandably, I felt uncomfortable. The house had changed completely, it had a cold and dark atmosphere and my dad was not there, so I was very quiet. I kept my coat and sat on the side of the sofa (honestly, I just felt very uncomfortable because there was something off). Then, 5 minutes later, she started crying and I asked what's wrong. She said: "I don't know what happened to my family, your dad died and left your siblings orphans, and you're so skinny and quiet, what has become of you". 

I'm not skinny, I'm my own natural shape and I was quiet because I woke up at 3am to catch a flight and only arrived at 3pm, plus it's not like she's my best friend. I told her point blank I didn't appreciate her crying over "what has become" of me as if I'm some kind of charity case (I'm perfectly fine). She said she feels sorry for me because I got so thin (again, last time she saw me was 6 years ago and I was in my early twenties - different diet). 

Anyway, she talks and of course, I talk about my pain and she brushes it off. She even went as far as saying my dad say he'd die of a heart attack because I went no contact for so long (now, she's blaming me in some kind of indirect way).Then, she asked if I could stay longer (I told her I can't and said I need to focus on the paperwork I was looking at, but we could discuss later). 

Fast forward, she goes and says my brother doesn't handle any paperwork. All he does is sleep. Then, I politely told her he's 25 and needs to start learning these things because people his age have full-time jobs and children for me. Well, hold and behold, she ratted me out to my brother when he got back. They both went into the kitchen and spoke in a really low voice but I could hear the whisper and my brother looked at her and then looked at me with such an evil stare, it was scary. I specifically overheard her saying she wants to start with the small stuff and not throw in the complicated stuff. 

I honestly looked at what they have and aside from the mortgage, everything else is up to date. I don't know what she's on about, but I don't appreciate her not seeing me in 6 years and suddenly gossiping about me with my brother within 2 hours of me being there. I didn't even say anything wrong - just something sensible - he's 25 and needs to step up. I didn't even use the term "step-up", I said "learn". 

Then she asked whether I wanted to eat something, I said no, I was tired but maybe some other time. Then she threw in the guilt trip as in "I thought we could all have dinner together". Honestly, the house made me feel uneasy and I woke up at 3am, so I just wanted to sleep. 

I kept repeating I was just really tired (the reality is she made me feel uncomfortable and the more quiet I was, the more she was staring at me with such a strange stare, it was unsettling). I sat by the door and refused to penetrate into the rest of the house and she took offense. I told her I didn't feel comfortable because it's been so long and my dad is not there, so she needs to give me time, but she kept starring at me probably thinking I was snobbish. 

To be honest, as soon as I got into the door, I spoke to her a little bit, but started working on the paperwork right away (to avoid any awkward conversation) and she took offense in that too saying she doesn't understand why I'm in such a hurry (well, I'm only there for 2.5 days and the paperwork is the reason why I showed up). 

God, it's awful. I think she took offense, because I tried to call her now and she's not answering when she usually does or calls back right away (quite unusual for her that she doesn't pick up). 

I was trying to set some boundaries by limiting proximity and I think I came on too strong (all while remaining polite though) and she realizes I'm not the person I once was (meaning, the kid / young adult she used to beat and I would then try to seek validation afterwards). 

 

Edited by RuedeRivoli
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16 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

I was trying to set some boundaries by limiting proximity and I think I came on too strong (all while remaining polite though) and she realizes I'm not the person I once was (meaning, the kid / young adult she used to beat and I would then try to seek validation afterwards). 

You are still seeking validation, that's apparent. I'm sure she knows this and uses it to push your buttons.

You didn't come on too strong. This is again you seeking validation and taking the blame for whatever she chooses to accuse you of.

You only have another day and a half, correct? I recommend you don't go to the house anymore. You have seen proof she doesn't want you to have any pleasant reunion time with your siblings. She will just sabotage any efforts you make. Just meet up with her and your brother at the bank. And if you want to share a meal, suggest meeting at a restaurant.

Limit your contact, then get out of there as soon as you can.

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3 minutes ago, boltnrun said:

You are still seeking validation, that's apparent. I'm sure she knows this and uses it to push your buttons.

You didn't come on too strong. This is again you seeking validation and taking the blame for whatever she chooses to accuse you of.

You only have another day and a half, correct? I recommend you don't go to the house anymore. You have seen proof she doesn't want you to have any pleasant reunion time with your siblings. She will just sabotage any efforts you make. Just meet up with her and your brother at the bank. And if you want to share a meal, suggest meeting at a restaurant.

Limit your contact, then get out of there as soon as you can.

Yes, that's correct. 

Yes, the plan is to take the paperwork to my Airbnb and work on it from here. What is left, I will take home with me and sort them out remotely. 

The atmosphere was very unsettling and I think she now feels a sense of power because when I had issues with her in the past, my dad would always act as a referee and I would avail of his protection. Now, she knows she has the upper hand because my dad is gone and my brother supports her in everything she says even it's unreasonable and would be ready to vilify me. 

I notice she started doing the same to my youngest sister who complained about her in front of me. She says she always feels as though my mother is constantly trying to vilify or pick fights with her. I saw the scene and realized she has a pattern going on. With me being gone, my youngest sister became her new prey. 

I think she also expected me to say that I will handle all debts my dad left behind after going through them and I didn't. My brother is 25 and spends his days sleeping, so it's not fair I have to absorb it all on my own.

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How about inviting your sister out to lunch or dinner? Say you want some "sister time". Is she old enough not to need your mother's permission?

Your mom will probably try to invite herself but just repeat that you want sister time. 

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Just now, boltnrun said:

How about inviting your sister out to lunch or dinner? Say you want some "sister time". Is she old enough not to need your mother's permission?

Your mom will probably try to invite herself but just repeat that you want sister time. 

I would but my sister is refusing to get vaccinated, so she's not allowed anywhere near restaurants (my mom doesn't want anyone vaccinated - only my other sister is vaccinated and myself of course). Both my sisters are above 18, so definitely old enough. 

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5 minutes ago, RuedeRivoli said:

I would but my sister is refusing to get vaccinated, so she's not allowed anywhere near restaurants (my mom doesn't want anyone vaccinated - only my other sister is vaccinated and myself of course). Both my sisters are above 18, so definitely old enough. 

Well, that's too bad. 

Anyway, I would stick to the plan of getting out of there asap. And engage with your mother as little as possible. And don't let her guilt you into staying longer.

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She DOESNT have the upper hand. You say FO and you walk away. For decades I wanted my abusive a$$ father to love me. Didn’t happen not even when I visited him before he died. Wasted 5 decades of my life. Now that he is gone I am just alternating between grieving and angry. 
Don’t set yourself up for abuse. 

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