Do I continue to try and help my Mom in 2013?
Monday, December 31, 2012
*My apologies to Native people, who may be slightly offended by this blog*
Good evening everyone,
I am happy to write to you in very good physical health and not from Russia :) I have been home for six days now, and believe it or not it took every single one of those days to get over jet lag---my sleep pattern which is not normally a problem was horrible. Must be a sign I am not in my early twenties anymore :)
In my blog tonight I was going to write about my favourite products/food of 2012 but I need your insight, your words of comfort and support (or criticism) about how to best help or surrender to whatever is going to become of my Mom.
I'll start with the physical health factors: she is going to be 50 in March, is about 5'1 in height and approximately 280+ pounds. Clearly she is not in a healthy BMI. She is on medication for high blood pressure and has been mandated by the state to do a sleep apena study sometime early in 2013 to maintain her special driving licence.
Her average plate? Too much pork or beef and usually a potato. It's difficult to get her to eat other vegetables and she doesn't eat fruit much at all. She rarely eats breakfast and therefore eats too much at lunch....normally leftovers of her boring dinner the night before. Naturally on occassion she eats less than desirable junk food but her huge downfall is a love for the food parents cooked. The pork laden old style Bavarian (German) cooking that simply isn't good for you in this day and age; and frankly the reason why my maternal Grandfathers all died of heart attacks and heart disease.
She has seen how I have drastically changed my eating/exercise habits since August 2010 and dropped 70 pounds. She is there when I groccery shop (which is vegetarian and about 90% clean, mostly produce,) she knows I take vitamins, weigh certain food portions and track my calories. I go out of my way to show her these things....
She said that in the new year it would be cool if I did most her meal planning, groccery shopping---to get her started so that when I leave she will have a better idea of how to manage her exercise and consumption. During those Skype phone calls from Russia I was optomistic that she actually wanted to try this.
....But all of the above does not mention the black cloud, the person who has crushed all of this in the past and perhaps in 2013.
My Mom is currently a bus driver and her seniority means she makes decent money...but no she cannot support a household on her own. She never has---first she was her Father's daughter, then my Father's suffering wife and now miserable for the last six years, on and off with the same miserable man. What's worse? This man is my realtive on my Father's side.
He might as well be my Father: a controlling, alocholic, walking stereotype who I wish would just go back to the rez where that sh*t is tolerated and normal. He spends most of his nights (four since I have been back) getting completely wasted and talking to the television into the early morining. He's blasted his poor brain with so much booze and marajuana (in the past) that at 49 he is showing signs of dementia. He often makes comments (can't tell if they are serious) about wishing/waiting to be dead. I've never liked or respected this man. He might as well be my Dad, my Dad who I have yet to hear from this holiday.
Welcome to the modern Native American family.
He holds the fact that the apartment is in his name over my Mother's head. He knows she has nowhere else to go so he takes his many alocholic rants as an opportunity to insult my Mother and myself.
She tells me in private she wants out but during any sort of arguement automatically sides with him. I know she is scared so I don't blame her too much. Not much gets me to cry these days, but when she told me yesterday that I should not have come back and that things were better without me...when she put me down for having no job to go back to in Russia (and yes she knows I was bought out of my contract) I locked the doors and cried alone for a half hour. The worst part is she gets somewhat violent, throwing plates and small objects.
She's the one who asked me to come back for Christmas and she should know better than anyone else how hard my nose has been to the grindstone to secure a contract in Germany for the last two months (no word on that btw.) She doesn't know I wake up every morning wondering how my students in Russia are getting along without me, she doesn't know I already miss having somewhere to go...
Her family, her brothers quietly worry about her Why this person from a decent close knit German catholic family keeps selecting to live this way...they don't understand.
I know I'll be ok, I have the education, the savings and the ability to go back to Russia even if I have to. But what about her? This might not be the right time to start eating better and exercising. I know she feels stressed and trapped but he body is giving her clear warning signs that she cannot wait much longer. Her mind is doing her in.
Do I try and encourage her further or do I step back? For her partner's sake, he better hope she never loses the weight, gains the self esteem----because like a speeding train she'll be out of here and I'll be cheering her along.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
first sam there are several issues going on here.one being your mothers sense of worth.she is in a abusive situation there weather just mental and or physical it is abusive.trouble is when a person has been ingrained in her that she is useless,can find noone,it is there fault else,etc,etc they start to believe it,they start to believe they deserve it, etc,etc.once you are in this potition of no self worth it is very hard to get out of it.re what your mother said to you about wishing you weren´t there could be one of two things,he has ground it into your mother that you are no good,or she could be afraid,unsure,defenceive even if she feels you are putting her in a corner,she could also feel ashamed and doesn´t like that feeling.there are several ways you can go about this and several have been mentioned.
#you can do what she has asked you todo to set up a food and exercise plan for her
#you can try and get theraphy for her
#you can check out if there is any local selfhelp groups as well as women´s refuges in the area,so that you can give the telephone number and address so that your mother knows where to go in an emergency
#i would also recomend you contact then for advice how toraise this subject with your mother as well as susie has already said your mother is from another era where the common saying was you have made your bed so you have to sleep in it.she will be embarrased,ashames to admit it.and as i said earlier she would have been made to believe it is her fault.
#you can speak to the rest of your mothers family,get them to rally round,let your mother they are there for her so she is not alone and last but not least
#you can show your mom you love her,that you will always be there for her no matter what.you will always respect her ,that is what she needs most some one who believes in her,believes she is someone worth no matter what anyone else might tell her.
i know this is hard for you both,you feel so helples but believe you me you will do an awful lot for her by being there,loving and respectimng and believing in her.my first marriage was a mental torture for me,it took alot to get me to believe in my self again,it wont be easy but making judgement or accusations or blame on your mom wont help her,she does that enough herself without anyone else doing it.be there for her and let her know you are there.
1271 days ago
You're in a difficult situation and your mother is in an emotionally abusive one. What they say about a person riding an out of control horse is true,"they are too scared to stay on and they're too scared to jump off". Like many women, your mom may be afraid to be alone. Would your mom consider therapy ? If she has health benefits, some therapy may be covered. There are support groups out there. Would your mom be willing to go to a support group ? Some times talking with other people who've been where you are can be helpful. She may feel totally alone even though you are there for you.
Don't take her words to heart. She didn't mean them. I'm sure she's thrilled to have you home instead of you're being in Russia.
Do encourage her, but do like we encourage all new members of Spark People. Don't do anything drastic. if she really would like to lose weight and be more healthy, start with the simple things first. Slowly increase her intake of fresh fruit and veggies. start with the ones she likes. If she likes sweet potatoes, you might encourage her to swap her white potato for a sweet potato. That would increase her intake of fiber and vitamin A/C and she'd still get to enjoy her potato.
Show her the simple things she can do to make her day a bit more healthy. This way she won't feel so overwhelmed.
1272 days ago
I think you are answering your own question by completely and honestly dissecting the situation.
I agree with some of the other comments, that you can't change her, but you can continue to be her role model. She knows you love her and is watching you and your success. If she wants what you have, she will eventually do what you do. But it will be her choice. I have had to love my mom from afar. She was so toxic for so many years of my life (57) that I had to let her go and pray for her, forgive her, and let her be. That was 3 years ago. I'm now 60. She has not changed, but I have continued grow and thrive and be fully ready to love and help the ones who truly love and appreciate me.
You will make the right decision for YOU. Trust yourself. You will know what is right.
Know that you are not alone.
Hug and peace,
1273 days ago
Oh, Samantha, I wish I had some pearls of wisdom for you, but I don't. I have kids who drove me to the ToughLove program many years ago and the one thing I learned there, is that the only one you can change is yourself. It was that realization (after many many years), that propelled my divorce as well as my weight loss 10 years later. You can't do it for your Mom. Yes, you can lead the way by example and educating her but ultimately it will have to come from her. Are her sibs any help at all? Like offering her a place to retreat from the bully? Does she have skills to get another similar or better job in another location? She will need a lot of encouragement to make the changes she needs to make and it will be much easier for her if she is away from her current situation. Good luck on this one. It's a sizable undertaking. Blessings on you.
1273 days ago
You seem in a very rough spot. Is there any type of counselors in the area she lives? Maybe she needs to talk to a counselor who might encourage her in a positive manner. Hang in there. Remember sometimes we need to remember we can always help everyone and we do have to put ourselves first.
1274 days ago
I honestly don't know what to advise you ..
You are dammed if you do pack her up and take her away and you are damned if you don't ..
I think at this point in time, you need to focus on getting your life on the right track .
I think the man in her life is not good for her but, he is the man in her life and maybe she is not willing to be without him .
Our Mothers were not as strong as we are .. they were brought up to be a mans slave .. Today, we have freed ourselves of this and it is usually a partnership.
You will need to think long and hard on this ..
Especially if you get work overseas again .. What will become of your Mother if she goes with you now. Remember, if you take on the care of your Mother now she will always need your care ...
1276 days ago
I'd go to her house when he is home, pack her bags for her, put her in the car and drive the hell out of there. She will not leave on her own. She won't lose weight and get healthy because she doesn't believe she is worth it...hence her father, your father and this current man. With that said, you can't always be there for her and she has to do some of the work on her own. I'm sorry you are in this situation
1276 days ago
If I had an answer to your situation, I would have an answer to my own. I kicked my mother's last boyfriend out of her house then mandated that she not have another one. When she lost her house to forecloser, I found her an apartment and moved her. I own her car loan and have been paying it. I also have possession of her checkbook. She continues to overspend, lie about it... Health-wise, she is diabetic and on an insulin pump. She eats whatever she wants and jacks up the insulin to make up for it.
Let me know what you decide. Maybe it will help me.
1276 days ago
I am 57 yr.'s young, and I have had a host of heatlh issues that few could survive. Please don't ever give up hope on your mother. I would love to be her coach/buddy if she would sign up one SP...or I could communicate with her through you. Sometimes, they just won't listen to family. Period. My mother would listen to a complete stranger over me, so I understand your frustration. Take care.
1276 days ago
Disclaimer: Weight loss results will vary from person to person. No individual result should be seen as a typical result of following the SparkPeople program.