Thank God I'm not alone, or an outright evil person. Thank you all for sharing your stories.
My mother is 68, widowed, a stroke victim (though there are no signs of it), with arthritus of the hip which restricts her mobility (though nowhere to the extent that she would like us to believe). She is socially isolated, aggressive, narsistic, manipulative, totally self-centrered, a liar, a thief and throughly nasty. I'd like to put most of that down to aging, depression and the after-effects of her stoke, but frankly she's been that way all my life. She's had five husbands in the course of her life - all but the last were assholes (my father included) - but then she picked them. She has 7 brothers and sisters - none of who want anything to do with her - she isn't invited to weddings, funerals or family get-togethers - or even told about them (of course, being fair, neither am I - and considering my feelings about the lot of them I'm actially greatful or the fact - but that's a whole other story).
Childwise - I have an older genetic full-brother, who I've never met because she put him up for adoption when he was born. No contact, no relationship. There are step children from two of her marriages, none of whom have anything to do with her. So essentially I'm it. I'm 49 today, degree qualified, an accountant.
I was raised by my matrnal grandparents. Yes, she did live in the same house with me and them until I was nine - if you can using the house as the place you went between dates and men - living there. She was never interested in me, spent no time with me, contributed nothing to my parenting. I don't think that she wanted a child, I think that she thought she was getting a doll. I was three the first time she told me that she wished she'd let Social Welfare take me away. I remember telling her that my Grandmother wouldn't let her do it - even then I guess I knew something.
My mother has never been able to handle the idea of being alone, of having to grow up and take responsibility for anything, of living up to her obligations, of keeping her word, or of dealing with the sheer horror of not getting something that she wants.
I realise that she has spent her entire life in the search for that prince who will sweep her off her feet, and cart her away to her blissful happy ever after, where she can spend her time being waited on hand and foot, doing nothing but look beautiful, and being treated as the goddess she deserves to be. I do understand that having a child, especially back in the 60's, made putting that package together very difficult. I understand her resenting me for existing and doing everyhting possible to palm me off on my Grandparents so that she wouldn't have to cope - and frankly that is the only good thing she has ever done for me.
When I was nine - she took up with a man and moved out. I never even got introduced to him. When that fell apart, she moved back in, and then did it again, and again, and again - ripping my heart out every time. Though it did hurt a little less every time she repeated it. To the point where after enough abuse I no longer cared what happened to her, or where she was, as long as she was no longer near me to hurt me any more.
When I was in my last year at University, my Grandmother had a stroke that disabled her. So that she would not have to leave her own home, I was her caregiver for the next three years until she died. I worked all day, and went home to provide that care the rest of the time. Her children, my Uncles and Aunts, my Mother, gave us no help of any sort. I never got a day off, had no life, no friends, nothing. And for my Grandmother - I would do that again in a heartbeat. So, I am not exactly unexperienced in what is involved in providing care for an elderly relative - been there, done that, brought the tee-shirt!
We won't discuss the year after she died, that I basically spent sitting in a chair, wrapped in a blanket when I wasn't at work, hoping to die. Nor will we discuss the fact that in all that time, not a sinlge one of my relatives, Mother included, thought it necessary to check up on how I was doing. Yes, I still resent that after doing their dirty work for them.
Anyway - moving forward to the topic of this blog. 12 years ago, my Mother harassed me into buying her a house, literally harassed me. For over a year she nagged, and whined incessently. Played the guilt game, played the pity card, never let up - ever. Every contact was some variation on the same point. I never got an evening without at least one phone call (and only getting one was actually relaxing), never had a weekend without multiple personal visits just to drive home what she wanted. Successions of tears, of tantrums - neverending. And get this - she was living rent free in the house that I grew up in, and had to care for my Grandmother in - but it simply wasn't GOOD enough for HER (and incidentally, she'd kicked me out of it some years ago because she had to live there). She actually drove me into a nervous breakdown over that, and when I recovered, I gave in and brought her one. It just wasn't worth it. This is the type of behaviour I am still enduring.
Three years ago, my stepfather (an absolutely fantastic man - I don't to this day know how he coped with her) had a heart attack and died. Ever since, she's become a sinkhole of need and self-pity (actually she always was, but at least she focussed most of it on the man in her life) - all of it directed at me.
I'm supposed to be responsible for her financially, I'm supposed to pay the bills that she doesn't want to (not that she is unable to pay, that she doesn't want to pay). She's spent the last few years harassing me again to buy her another house - because she just can't live in the one I supply her rent-free anymore. I've spent the last two years hearing that I have to sell my house and buy something that we can live in together. I'm terrified of the thought of that - I would literally rather kill myself than be trapped with her.
I'm supposed to run all her errands, at the drop of a hat. I'm supposed to buy her food - which I never get paid back for. I'm supposed to run my entire life arround her. If I'm out when she rings wanting something, I'll be abused for not being contactible 24 hours a day for her convenience, because everything is suppossed to revolve arround her.
There is no support for me, no consideration of my needs. As an example, and I suppose it's a fairly petty one, I have medical conditions of my own that impose some very severe restrictions on my diet - it's literally impossible for me to walk into a restaurant or cafe and eat something. Yet I'm continually harassed to take her places so that she can eat, and I can either sit there hungry and watch her, or be abused for excluding myself and going somehwere else until she's finished. I seriously don't think she believes that anyone other than herself has feelings, or that they matter as long as she gets what she wants.
I'm sorry - I understand that she's afraid of being alone. But I'm sick, and tired and exhausted of being expected to give up everything that gives my life any semblance of worth for the sake of an ungrateful tyrant, who has never deserved the title 'Mother' except in a purely biological sense. I cannot deal with her continual attempts to move into my life, both emotionally and physically. I cannot cope with her self-pity and manipulations. I cannot cope with how miserable I feel every time I have to interact with her. I literally cannot cope anymore with her. I actually hate her.
I do know that some of this is my issue. I am a walking bundle of rejection and abandonment issues. I know that deep down, I want to believe that she cares about me as more than just a means to an end. Somewhere, and quite irrationally, I still believe that it's my fault that she decided to desert me, and if I do what she wants maybe I can buy her affection. I also realise, rationally, that all of that is bullshit!!!!
So, 4 weeks ago, I finally found the strength to walk away from it. We finally had a fight and I told her that she would have to make other arrangements. I won't see her, I won't talk to her, I don't even answer the phone at home in case it's her. I keep a roof over her head, but that has to be end of my involvement for my own sanity.
And I still think that this makes me a bad person!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!