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Mothering my mother and family dysfunction.

Posted by seldomseen on January 19, 2009, at 13:55:55

I really don't know what has gotten into me lately, but I have just been the boundary WOMAN.

When I was a child, my mother was a shining example of abuse, neglect and out of control behaviour. Basically, my brother and I were left to our own devices, and when we happened to make a mistake, both my mother and/or father was there with a swift kick, slap or beating.

Over Christmas, my mother started behaving in her typical, threatened, hurtful manner and I told her that if she didn't stop it right then I was simply going to punch her in the face.

Okay, I admit, that was a little drastic, but I told her to stop insulting me several times - calling her out each time she did it with no result. Long story short, she stopped.

However, the thing that absolutely confounds me the most is her inability to deal with the slightest of upsets without calling me in to either hold her hand, fix it, or just listen to her endlessly fret about it. Anything less from me means I don't love her. My father reinforces her belief and indicates that it is the job of the daughter to tend to the mother (does anyone else think there is something very very wrong with that belief), but to be honest I just don't think that my father CAN deal with her.

She had a minor surgery on her leg a couple of months ago that literally broke the camels back (with me being the proverbial camel). I spent countless days nurturing that woman and all the while my resentment just grew and grew and grew.

So, my mother was set for a routine yearly medical test today (mammogram), it should be soooo simple, but she simply can not handle it. The calls started last week, until I finally told her that if it bothered her that much, she simply should not have it. She indicated that I just didn't want to have to deal with her and her problems, to which I replied that I shouldn't have to.

Well, she told my father that I told her not to have it done and he called me last night accusing me of making a decision that directly threatened my mother's life.

I had just had enough I guess. I told him to never call me again accusing me of such a thing. To me it was the lowest form of emotional blackmail and I would not tolerate it.
Further, I added that if he were so involved in my mom's preventative care that HE should be the one to field the 20 calls a day, and the one to call the doctor, radiologist, nurse for my mother so she could get the results earlier than any other patient while not appearing as crazy as she actually is.

To my immense surprise, he apologized for blackmailing me and told me that he would handle it. He didn't realize what she was like.

I thanked him for his apology and hung up the phone.

They say setting boundaries means you let go of the outcome - you've decided for yourself what you will or won't do and the other party is left to make their own choice.

Given my recent interactions with my parents, I think that is very true. I was literally drawing a line in the sand that would not be crossed. I will no longer mother my mother and I will no longer tolerate my father's indulgence of her at my expense.

It feels wonderful. I should've done this YEARS ago.

Thanks for reading and letting me share.





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