The nightmare of Irresponsible Parents
Sunday, May 19, 2013
I¡¦ll try to keep this short(er) and I know that many people here are around the age of my parents so I think your advice and insight might be worth it. I ask you to forgive me if I come off sounding like a bad child.
My Mom just turned 50 and my Dad is 52 both are working but never have enough to pay their bills (no CCs but always delinquent.) Neither have any retirement nor savings. They are divorced. My Father has tax debt and likely other debt we don¡¦t know about¡ he's bipolar and makes terrible decisions, he is frequently in new relationships and when this happens he totally cuts himself off from my everyone for months at a time. My Dad was very emotionally abusive to me when I was growing up. His health is not good because of years of alcohol abuse but who knows if he has any serious health problems (not the sort to go to the doctor ever.) He doesn¡¦t care about me and I am ok with that. He is under an illusion that should he get sick the tribe will take care of him.
I will not. I will not even spend my own funds to bury this man when he passes.
My Mom is not bipolar but has horribly low self-esteem. She is about 130 pounds overweight for her height. She held a part time job when married to my Dad (who was far better off then in every way) but for the last 8 years she has been in a relationship with another alcoholic abuser. This man binge drinks 3-5 days a week and when drunk is horribly emotionally abusive to her. But she can't leave she cannot afford to live on her own and even though she treats her terribly she often defends his behaviour or says something dismissive like I never hear it!¨ I *hate* this man for being so mean to her accusing her of not working hard enough or being a bad cook or otherwise just being a sexist POS.
My Mom being so overweight is a huge health risk. She already has high blood pressure and recently just suffered gout. Her Mother was very sickly and died young (around 50) of breast cancer a year before I was born. That being said my Mom refuses to go the doctor for anything. She has no insurance or savings of any kind and I fear that age + health she is a ticking time bomb.
What the hell is she (my brother & I) going to do if she gets so sick she cannot work, has no savings and no health insurance? When I ask her she starts literally screaming at me saying she isn't going to live thinking like that.
Today I tried again to talk to her about getting started on better health pathway. I think if she first starts watching what she eats/working out maybe 3x a week she would lose major weight and other good things will fall into place. This is what happened to for me. How does she react? Screaming for me to stop trying to control her life. She calls me a snob and a bitch. She does this a lot.
This bitch ordered flowers and had them sent to her work last week for Mothers Day.
The horrible thing is, I am starting not to care. I am going through a lot now with my job/move.
Alcohol, irresponsibility and this sticking one's head in the sand made my Brother's/my childhood miserable. to I realised a couple of years ago that the only reason things were slightly better when I was a child is likely because my Mom owed a lot of money to my Grandparents.
My Brother has two small kids and works a lot. He is a good man, BUT he NEVER calls her and I am starting to wonder if work is only an excuse.
I am leaving to begin a my dream job soon and some days I just feel like cutting her off completely. I am leaving the country indefinitely and cannot give up my job for anything. I am looking to move into the next phase of my life soon: continued career, perhaps marriage and child in my 30s but how can I have my own family when my parents even try won't take care of themselves?
I want to do what my brother has pretty much done, but the reality is---she has been so mean to me the older we get. I *LOVE* her and want her to be healthy/happy. Some questions advice we could use:
-How can I best approach my Brother about at least calling my Mom more (like once a month) and encouraging her to life healthier? I don¡¦t want him to be mad at me but he isn'¦t being much of son.
-What would happen if my Mom got an illness such as cancer and had no means to pay her medical bills or support herself? Is there an insurance that we should look into? That I should look into for myself (keeping in mind I will be abroad.)
-If you could tell me I am not the only one with circumstances like this, it would be great.
Member Comments About This Blog Post
You can't fix everyone else's problems. Be happy for yourself that you are choosing a good path and be there for your mom if she asks. Other than that: you are not responsible for her decisions.
1526 days ago
It's hard for anyone to see a person they love going down the wrong path . Sometimes a person has to be their own parent ...If you have an dream go for it ! Things always have a way of working out in the long run ! Just live your life and be a good example to your parents .My son is a great role model for me
1526 days ago
My mother was verbally abusive to me. She's in a bad relationship and isn't happy with her job, so she would often take that out on me. Several weeks ago, I moved in with my bf and literally cut off all ties with her (and didn't send anything for Mother's Day either; no mother would treat their child the way she treated me for years, IMHO). I have to say that, for the first time ever in my life, I've never been happier. I, too, started a new job and I've lost weight. I feel I'm happier emotionally and physically since she is no longer in my life. My self-esteem and confidence levels are finally where I feel they should be. I don't think anyone who's in a bad (ie. "toxic") relationship, be it a family member, acquaintance or domestic partner, should stay in that relationship, for their own health and sake. If something happens in regards to her health, that's her responsibility to deal with, not yours. She's an adult, as are you, and each of you will do what it takes to take care of yourselves when the need arises. Her being verbally abusive to you is her "calling your bluff". She thinks because she's your mother and gave birth to you that she has a right to say and do to you what she wants and that you have to take it. You don't! The only way your mother will take responsibility for herself is going to be when she has to. Without you around, she will have no choice. Take your brothers lead and get away while any sense of dignity you have for yourself is still in tact. Take control of your life and the betterment of your health for it. You'll be glad you did and thank yourself later. Best of luck to you.
1526 days ago
Sparkmail me sometime. We can exchange horror stories. The bottom line is YOU ARE NOT ALONE in this. I can also tell you that you need to come to a point of acceptance and let her live her life with her decisions. Definitely easier said than done, so says the woman who is looking for an apartment for, and planning/preparing to move, her own mother. There are options for your mother if she becomes ill such as Title 19, but she would need to apply for it herself or have her Power of Attorney do it for her if she is not capable of doing it.
1526 days ago
feel free to use my mantra: You can't pick your relatives.
also remember you cannot help somebody if they don't want to help themselves.
1526 days ago
Samantha love , I so agree with so much everyone had said . I can't add anymore to it apart from saying that I too had a toxic father .
He was both physically and mentally abusive and I had to cut my ties with him for my own sanity .
We can't choose our parents .
But we can choose to live our lives ..
Go my love . If and when your parents need help, there are charities out there to help .
You are not responsable for them ..
But you are responsible to live your own life .. I hope we have helped ... Much Love Susie
1527 days ago
Comment edited on: 5/19/2013 4:51:15 PM
Your mom sounds a lot like mine. It's okay to put some distance between you two. Just because she's your mom does not mean you have to put up with her. Your brother probably is using the excuse of work because he doesn't want her around his two kids and I don't blame him. He has to think of them first.
Until and unless she asks for help you can not help her. She will choose when it's time. I would just leave it alone until she asks for help. Having that distance will help with that. Just send her cards on the holidays and her birthday, so she can't claim you ignore her which my mother did.
As far as insurance and stuff, there are charities that could help her. If not she made her choice. You have to take care of you.
1527 days ago
Every year at Christmas, Thanksgiving, Mother's & Father's Days, etc, the TV has sappy shows about how families are so wonderful; love brings us back together; yadda, yadda, yadda. Bogus stuff that just makes those of us with less than wonderful family histories feel bad about wanting to opt out. Sadly, we can cut toxic relationships with people we've met, but it's harder with family. Sorry.
1527 days ago
Samantha, you cannot make your brother do anything. He is a grown up and has made his decision to, probably, cut the ties. That is a decision that you can also make for yourself if you choose. His excuse is "work". Maybe not, but that's what he says, perhaps to lessen the impact of his decision on you. Your excuse, should you decide you need one, can be distance. Your Mother is toxic, just like Bameibo says she is. At this point, that will never change. Did you ever think that fate is taking on a big role here? Your dream job fell from your radar a few years ago. Maybe you weren't ready to make the change with your Mom then. Suddenly, it appeared on your horizon and it looks like you've fallen into something you had almost given up hope on. Perhaps NOW you are ready to make the changes in your life that will free you up from the crazy making situation with your Mom. The only person you can change is yourself. Mom, until she makes the conscious decision to eat right, get some exercise and lose that 130 pounds, will remain in the hole she has put herself into. It is not your hole, it is hers. If she should contract cancer, diabetes, develop heart or respiratory problems or become bedridden, will be taken care of by the government. It won't be the best of care or in the nicest of conditions that perhaps some insurance might provide, but that is NOT YOUR PROBLEM. People nowadays seem to have relinquished all sense of self responsibility. She will reap what she has sown. The responsibility you have to yourself is to rise above your growing up circumstances and break the cycle of self abuse and raise a happy and mentally healthy family of your own. Sometimes we have to cut our losses. Though it sounds very blunt and uncaring, I really don't see any hope or change (I HATE that phrase, but it does seem to fit here) in your mother's situation. She has made decisions along the way that have brought her to her current existence. Your job is to make different and better decisions in your own life. Every decision leads to a consequence. She must face hers. 14 years ago, I left my emotionally abusive and uncaring husband of 27 years and moved across the country to start over. It's the best move I ever made. I could have left sooner but the time was never right. When it was right, I made the move. Perhaps your time has come with your new, exciting dream job, to finally break away from the painful past and move on. Believe me, when you finally make the decision you will feel so very empowered. You'll feel like Mary Tyler Moore throwing her hat in the air on that Minneapolis street at the beginning of her TV show! (Maybe you're too young to remember that? Google it, and you'll see her confidence. It was the fist pump of the last century!!) I admire your sense of responsibility, but it is misplaced. You are responsible for yourself. Soldier on my friend. You can do this.
1527 days ago
I just read Susan Nathiel's Daughters of Madness and found a lot of validation and comfort there that I haven't found in other books. Wishing you relief.
1527 days ago
Sometimes for your own health and well being you have to walk away. Are you close to your brother? Maybe he is already cutting ties with them. Sounds terrible but toxic relationships will make you miserable. I've had to do this to a degree with some of my hubby grown sons. I don't host every family event and holiday because I have to limit being around them. Christmas eve is it! I go to my Mom's on Thanksgiving now dad is gone. Heck my own folks wouldn't come back for Christmas with his kids. So then I had to throw a Christmas eve party and Christmas day meal for my folks. Seems that won't be a problem anymore as Mom is moving back to VA this fall. Which really bums me since she was my lifeline of escape from this madness!
I am sorry for your situation but you have paid dearly already for their choices in life! Good luck!
1527 days ago
First of all . I know that this must be very rough for you. I wish I knew what to say to improve things for you/ There are times in a person's life where it is ok to walk away. Some people in our lives are toxic and it seems as if you have two of them. Is there are way you can practice loving detachment? I know it us hard but it might be helpful. IMHO it is time for you to take care of yourself and go to your dream job and not worry about their decisions. Let them take care of themselves. Here is the social worker in me- there are services that your county and state offers to help them with their medical care if the need arises.
1527 days ago
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