My mom is nm. Never diagnosed. Recently I went to a therapist for the
umteenth time and this therapist said she (mom) sounded like one. I
often wind up with a therapist as I cannot cope with my family and
that spilled over to the rest of my life.
My nm was quite verbally abusive to all of us. Six kids. She was the
cruelest to my oldest sister. Second cruelest to my younger sister who
is a sweet and sensitive redhead. Let me lay family out for you.
Children will be lettered to make this easy. The only boy is the B.
Here they are and year of birth.
A 1942 disabled schizophrenic. I have been conservator for her since
1988. She was homeless then.
B 1947 only male. Gay concert pianist.
C 1951. Myself
D 1955 red haired child
F 1958. Nm clone and staunch defender
Nm born 1921
Deceased f 1917
All our life this woman made our life hell in more ways than you could
count. When we were young they put up a large en in the back yard
Many of us were bedwetters til preteen years. We weren't allowed to shower in the morning so we
went to school and were smelly. We had to deal with the sheets on our
own. However we managed to fix the bed to get dry was our problem. D was a headbanger and every night banged her head on the mattress til she fell asleep. NM
told us all the time she didn't ask for us putting us into the
position of having to defend our own birth. She took great delight
humiliating us. She could pass gas like a trooper. And this she did at
the most opportune times for maximum humiliation. She always had some
messed us dog that pooped on the floor. She would let it stay there.
It was so hard to have friends as there was such intense shame of our
entire homelife. The only way to tell you about our family is to tell you tidbits and this should give you the idea of what it was. I have put the year of the event as closely as I could remember in come cases.
1970 I left home and went to Texas where I met a Russian sailor who was 15 years my senior and I married him without going home to introduce him.
1971 ish D had a very good friend (S) through her high school
years. S had dry textured hair. S's older brother had married and was
expecting a baby in a month when his wife suddenly lost the baby and
died herself. S was with my sister when that news came. She needed a
ride home so my mother took the very distraught S home. On the ride nm
unleashed a tirade of fury on S. To sum it up: S had to have been the
bastard child of a nigger because of her hair. (NM words, NOT mine) And she was no real
friend to D. D's humiliation traumatized her. S stopped being D's
friend. Nm had a way of assaulting all/any friends we ever had. We had
no friends. Our friends really didn't like us.
1972 ish Youngest sister F developed Rheumatoid arthritis and was never taken to a Dr. She withered away to almost nothing. My mother let her stay in a dark bedroom and F eventually became so emaciated and weak that she used a bedpan but never left the room. I don’t know where the school system was but I saw that the girl was dying and so I got into a GIGANTIC fight with NM and told her I would report her as the girl was dying. She was weighing only in the 60’s. My NM DID take her to the childrens hospital after that and became very busy with this child at the childrens hospital. Believe me, there had to be something in it for her for her to be so busy there. F lived at the hospital until she became and adult.
1975 I had to have a hysterectomy. I was 24.
1977 NM’s father died and she was clearing all the stuff out of his house. She took everything of value and then told us we could have this or that of the leftovers that were going into the dumpster. I only took a small rocking chair. It had a plywood seat nailed on and a rag back where the original caning had rotted away. I worked for a year in the basement when I got home from work on this chair, carefully removing the old finishes. I finally got it all stripped down and it was time to recane. The upper left portion of the chair was too rotted to recane so that had to be replaced, which I had to do with a woodworker, who matched the type of wood beautifully. Then I had it recaned. All this took just over a year and in that time everyone had forgotten about it. I invited my mother, my grandmother and an aunt for dinner and the chair was in a corner of the living room. We had dinner, and I waited like a kid before Christmas for them to notice it. No one did. I was very disappointed that I had to point the chair out to them, but when I did I was horrifically disappointed with their reactions. It was like having 3 cats in my living room. One was saying,”you never should have given this chair away!”. Granma was saying that she never would have given it away if she knew it could look like this”, and the all time prize winner: MY NM: “Well you gave it to me so it’s mine! “ I threw every one of their asses out. NM refused to talk to me and so it was quiet for over a year. I came home from work one day and the chair was gone. I called Husband to ask where the chair was and he said that he was sick of NM and myself not talking over it so he gave it to her. Did that F…… think that would repair the relationship. I left him a couple months later. He and I were so done. He was tremendously abusive anyway. He was an alcoholic and he had guns. That is a very bad combo. When we lived in the country, he used to wake me up in the middle of the night with a loaded gun at my temple and tell me to get out of his sight. I would go outside in what ever I had on or didn’t have on. Like I said, it was country and I never would see anyone out there, so even in the coldest weather, I’d be out there looking for a place to hide, like some sort of war game. When we moved to an apt complex that was heavily populated, he pulled the gun out for the first time that we were there, and I sat on the edge of my bed in my state of undress and cried. I remember putting my face in my hands and sobbing. I told him this time he would have to pull the trigger because I wasn’t’ going outside like that. He put the gun away and never did that again. But who knew that was all it would take to make him stop. ? WTF! Anyway, as awful as he was to me he was the total opposite to my mother. When I left him I asked my M if I could move into a Room at the back of the house. I told her I would pay to put a bathroom there and that would benefit her ultimately. She said no, but she liked the idea I had so she promptly gave that offer to H, but he didn’t take her up on it. Probably because my father was still alive and my mother really pitted them against each other. She used H to get F to do things. She was constantly saying to F, That’s ok, if you don’t want to do XYZ, I will just have exH do it. She manipulated F til the day he dropped dead in the back yard. By the way, he did drop doing yard work, and she didn’t call for help right away because she said, he didn’t want to be resuscitated. After F died, I heard a rumor that H was coming to live with her. It never materialized, but they were very close and she really needed someone then. I never knew if those two slept together, I just know what it looked like to me.
1983 – I had had a very messy breakup with a man after H . We’ll call him J. He was some sort of crazy. He took me out to dinner on my 30th birthday and dumped me in a restaurant 70 miles from my home and refused to take me home until he ate. I developed an eating disorder at this time. I lost weight down to 80 pounds and was hospitalized in 1982 and this time 1983. NOW, NM was the most secretive person I have EVER known. She never told any of her business. BUT for whatever reason, she chose to tell my neighbors that I was in a mental institution and so that made my life very uncomfortable when I came home that time. I felt as though everyone thought I was going to whip out a gun and start shooting. I never got that , why she did that.
1989 Sought out oldest sister, A to help her. She was undiagnosed schizophrenic and was living out in the woods like an animal. I went to court and became her conservator and got her diagnosed and into a group home. I take care of her to this day.
1992 I did go to the pound and get a rescue. I never wanted a dog, after all the dog poop from when I was a kid, but I got one, that one had separation anxiety and so was advised to get a second which I did. These two dogs were the best thing that EVER happened to me. I really was walking dead before they came into my life. They were everything to me.
2000 F died. NM got unbelievably needy and demanding. She had a huge 2 acre lot and a massive home to take care of and her plan was for us to pick up the ball. I had my own home and yard to care for and by then. But I would go down on the weekends and mow and trim and clean her house and whatever. This went on for about 2-3 months, when one Saturday, her mower died and so I went home to get a brand new mower I had just bought for myself, but it was a second one. She never offered to buy one or anything. It was MY PROBLEM. So I took the mower and mowed and went back on Sunday to finish but that trip to my house on Saturday slowed me down and so I didn’t finish that weekend. When I was leaving, she let me know how angry she was that I didn’t finish. By the way: 2 things: 1.She wouldn’t let me bring my dogs, even though they were real good dogs. 2. I had gained weight and she wouldn’t give me any food, because she said I was fat enough and I could work off my fat. This thinking she imposed on my oldest sister A and took great delight telling what a disgusting fat pig she was and now I am.
Anyway, the next weekend, I went down to mow, and she was still angry from the weekend before. Now, I’m going to tell you something that she did ALL the time to us. Here is a great example. She started ranting that I didn’t do anything for her ever. Then I made fatal error, I said “who does your yardwork for you every weekend? This played perfectly into her hands. She replied: Matthew. (My nephew, and believe me, he NEVER did yard work) I exploded, and left. I never talked to her until last year. She made several attempts to talk to me, phone and mail, but I just sent it back. I should have stayed like that. Anyway, my sisters called and made me feel like a schmuck because they said she was sickly and would love to see me.
Anyway, it’s been all the low key abusiveness. A couple of weeks ago I went into her garage to check out the riding mower that she won’t let anyone use (purchased one year before dad died brand new) so she hires this poor kid that she can beat up on and makes him use a push mower. I was there 4th of July and he worked from 11:30 straight through til 8 and that was when we went down to the garage. I showed him the rider and he was quite surprised. He didn’t know she had it. Poor kid. Anyway, I had told her that being the 4th of July she should give him a little extra. So he came in and told her the bill was 40 for the mowing (two acres????) and 40 because he had to repair the trimmer for her and do all the trim work. She wrote a check for 70 and said “how’s that?” She is a major embarrassment. When I tried to shut the garage door, it would just reopen, no matter what I did. I looked in the track to see if something was blocking and she started shrieking at me how stupid I was and she doesn’t know how I got this far in life… blah, blah blah…
Today she called me because no one was visiting her, but I traveled for work this week and was tired and one of my dogs was sick at the kennel and had to take him to the vet yesterday, and they said he was dehydrated and put fluids under his skin and then told me to keep him quiet until Monday and unless he got worse, they would take it from there. Some anxiety colitis they said. Anyway, I haven’t even finished unpacking and cleaning out the car and she wants me to be down there. (30 miles down) When I told her I was tired, hadn’t unpacked, my dog was sick, she started that “you all have me right where you want me” and no one does anything for her and …… She still is in the big house with the big yard and that is her choice, so I don’t know what she’s talking about, we have her right where we want her. She refuses to go to the cheap senior housing where there would be someone always to check on her. She has never once shown any interest in my life. I have moved to another city and another home since she was last up here. She has no interest in seeing it. A funny thing though, but I remember what happened when I was bulimic, she said she didn’t even have any of my neighbors phone numbers. Yeah, that could happen. I do have great neighbors now and she is very aware of this as they have phoned me for things while I was at her house. She knows they are extremely considerate of me and I know that makes her nuts.
I will only bore you with a couple of small anecdotes.
As I said, I had a hysterectomy when I was 24. One day when I was about 40, she saw that I had Premarin tablets. She asked why I took them. I told her I had a hysterectomy when I was 24 and she said, to the effect that SHE had a hysterectomy when she was only 18. She almost makes my head explode.
She has never given me back my chair. I refuse to call it anything but that. I feel that the way she interfered with my marriage, she has betrayed me with that chair and my husband. I really loved her right up to the point where she said that chair was hers.
I am terrified that I am like her. People do not seem to bond with me. I don’t bond with them. I can on a very superficial level. I am in a bonsai club. I am ok with them, but I don’t get very involved. What do you suppose it is in me that repels people? I really try. I am considerate and I try to be a good listener, however, I know that my mother is a topic other people don’t “get” and so I think I can never talk about family with the folks I work with. (I am in Federal law enforcement and believe me, most of those folks had good families, college, tons of love and support and just cannot imagine life any other way.
What can I respond to her with to diffuse all that sadistic babble that she spews at me?
How involved should / can I be with her now at this time when I feel she really is so close to passing?
Will reading and the online support help enough to help me with this? I fall in and out of therapy as it adds up$$,. My current copay has gone to $25.
Is there a step book to guide a person to not being like NM?
I want my chair back. Should I just go get it or wait for that miserable old bag to die? Sorry I am so disrespectful, but let’s face it, there is no love really. I just feel pity for her.
Well, that is my story. I hope to get my life back someday at least before I retire, because after the plants and the dogs, I really am walking dead.