Is it possible...

Discussion in 'The Watercooler' started by tiredmommy, Dec 4, 2009.

  1. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    that I've detached too much from my mother? I'm upset for her that she is dying but I'm not consumed by it as I would expect someone would be when a loved one is diagnosis'd with a terminal illness. I know I'll be sad when she dies and I don't want her to suffer through her last days but I'm not shaken by this. It's making me feel a little guilty and cold-hearted. I've been pretty calm about this and approaching things from a practical standpoint. I'm not close with her, I doubt I ever will be, and I'm not surprised that she's in bad enough health to be dying. It is what it is. husband said that perhaps she has already died to me in many ways and so maybe I can more easily accept her physical death. But not being more upset is upsetting me, Know what I mean??

    Shouldn't I be more upset?
  2. mstang67chic

    mstang67chic Going Green

    Why? Because she's your mother? I don't think so. You said yourself, you're not close and I know there's a history there so why should you feel bad about not feeling like hell? You're not completely disinterested in what's going care but you're not flipping out.

    I'm a believer that just because someone is supposed to be "close" family, it doesn't mean we HAVE to be close. There are reasons why people aren't and I'm under the impression you have a perfectly good one.

    You're the only one who will have to deal with this after she's gone. Do what YOU feel comfortable with and don't let anyone bully or guilt you into making yourself feel more.

  3. witzend

    witzend Well-Known Member

    Mmmm... I think that we obviously wish that things were different. And that maybe given time things might change. The reality of it is that they never were going to change. I think the regret is not for losing her, because you lost her a long time ago. Maybe it's a right of passage that people like you and I will never go through? Of course, most people don't go through what we have, either. Maybe it's more of a regret that we aren't like most everyone else than guilt that we don't have sorrow when we lost them.

    After all, what's to lose? I grieved my parents decades ago.
  4. flutterby

    flutterby Fly away!

    People expect us to feel a certain way over certain events, and when we don't we consume ourselves with guilt.

    Your feelings are true for you. There is nothing to apologize for. You have reasons for feeling the way you do. You've already dealt with your relationship - or lack of one - with your mother. I think had you not, you would be going through all of those emotions now.

    I wanted to say, though, when my mom's mom became ill, she didn't have strong feelings about it. Her mom had lung cancer, went in to have part of her lung removed and never woke up from surgery because of cirrhosis of the liver. My mom had already cut her mom out of her life.

    However, when her mom died she grieved. It wasn't like she would have grieved had she been close to her mom, but she did grieve. And the worst part, was knowing that now she would never be able to have the relationship with her mother that she always wanted. Of course, she had always known that, but I think there is always a bit of hope - or desire - no matter how detached one becomes.
  5. Lothlorien

    Lothlorien Active Member Staff Member

    TM, don't feel guilty. It's okay to have detached that much after the amount of pain she's inflicted over the years. I know you know my situation....I would probably feel even less than you do about my own biomom.

    If you need to talk....
  6. gcvmom

    gcvmom Here we go again!

    TM, there's no rulebook for this part of life. And when you have a difficult child-parent, all bets are off for what's "expected."

    Accept your feelings however they come to you. There is no guilt. There is no shame.

    When I thought my dad was deteriorating earlier this year, I was concerned, but not really upset about his possible ending. I've detached a lot from him over the years, and frankly, I wish for my mother that his end would come sooner rather than later. That might sound heartless to some, but it's really a wish for my mother's quality of life, and to a lesser degree a wish for the end of his psychic suffering here on earth.

    Be gentle with yourself.
  7. SRL

    SRL Active Member

    TM, I understand, as I fully expect to be dealing with this when the time comes for my dad. His life has been such a trainwreck. I chose to get out of the wake long ago, and won't be diving back in.
  8. LittleDudesMom

    LittleDudesMom Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM, you feel what you feel. Don't over analyse it. Don't look around and think that others are judging you based on your level of "sadness".

    Both you and your mother have made your own ways and have been living them for years now. You are a loving and caring person and of course you don't want her to suffer in the end, but I think you did your mourning a long time ago.

    I know you are a strong Christian - pray. I know you will get a level of peace.

  9. slsh

    slsh member since 1999

    TM - I think there are some situations where "should" needs to be a banned word. in my opinion there's no right or wrong emotion. They just are. We all have different emotional makeups, and the lives we've led with the people who are part of our lives affect how we respond to things.

    To me, it sounds like you made peace a long time ago. It was probably the healthiest thing you could do for yourself. You've already done the grieving.

    You are a good woman with a generous heart, TM. It shows clearly in the life you lead. Don't doubt yourself.
  10. timer lady

    timer lady Queen of Hearts

    TM, let your heart guide you. She is your mother; the tweedles have a mother as well ~ there is little love lost between them.

    I would offer that you make a visit or two; attempt what can to heal while she is still alive. I fear that you will regret not being there at some point during this time.

    AND you are feeling what you will feel. If you're terribly concerned see a counselor or talk with your spiritual leader.

    in my humble opinion life is too short to lose connection with family before amends are made. I often say leave your loved ones with loving words - it's very important to me to say that. AND I'm sorry I don't remember you sharing whatever happened between you & your mom - I apologize, I know I should know.

  11. DammitJanet

    DammitJanet Well-Known Member Staff Member

    TM...this is exactly what happened with me and my mom. As you well know, we did NOT have that perfect mother and daughter relationship. It wasnt even close. When I was forced to take care of her for those last few years it was tough. Then she had to go in a nursing home for her last year and I really had to distance myself that last year because I was such an emotional wreck from all that it had taken from me emotionally to care for her the three prior years. I was fully expecting her death because of the alzheimers so it came as no shock. However when the call came it really hit me hard. I didnt expect it to either. I did finally break down one day and cried...I cried for the fact that I would never again have that final chance for my mom to tell me she really did love me. She never again would have that chance to be the mom I wanted to have.
  12. Marcie Mac

    Marcie Mac Just Plain Ole Tired

    I think we all are so programmed into what everyone else's norms are when it comes to what you should feel or not feel about "family". For those of us who have never grew up in a "normal" family, the guilt of not feeling what everone else does when a close family member is going to pass or on their way to passing, well, its definately a strange feeling. I remember how I felt when my father died - there was absolutely no connect there at all. Same when my brother died - but I did send him a note saying how sorry I was that he was ill. He refused to take any calls from me at the time and when he did pass, was hung for a lamb by the rest of the family because I didn't fly 3,000 miles to attend his funeral. I remember being confused and angry (not sad) for being judged over my decision not to go. He had a life that didn't include me, I had a life that didn't include him - and this was over a span of 40 years - why am I the bad guy (again)

    There should be books out there for people who have removed themselves from dysfunctional family situations to save themselves. Sort of am Emily Post rulebook on how one should conduct oneself when there is no emotional connect to immediate family and bad things happen.

  13. Fran

    Fran Former desparate mom

    I would think there are layer upon layer of protection from the destructiveness to your soul that you had to put up. It's how you survived and flourished. You are somewhat numb from her drama. You will feel things with time. It's like the protective armour knows when you are ready to deal with certain levels of emotion. You probably won't ever feel a big hole with her passing because she wasn't a big part of your life for a long time. You made your peace. You chose to move on with your emotional growth.

    You will probably be a much more effective help to your mom and siblings because you are not entwined with her emotionally. You just don't have all that much invested in her.

    Hugs. It's how you feel and it's ok.
  14. klmno

    klmno Active Member

    I can''t add any more to what others have already said. But I think I will be going thru the same thing at some point. I plan to try to do what it takes to live with myself, but I feel certain that I will grieve for what never was or will be...and like the others have said, in many ways I detached a long time ago.
  15. KTMom91

    KTMom91 Well-Known Member

    I have nothing else to add but many hugs and prayers for you.
  16. DaisyFace

    DaisyFace Love me...Love me not


    I think your husband is have already "mourned" for your mother many times. You have already gone through the grieving process over your relationship.

    Don't be too hard on yourself....


  17. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks so much. I really appreciate knowing that there's nothing wrong with I'm feeling or not feeling.
  18. totoro

    totoro Mom? What's a GFG?

    I don't miss my Father now and I honestly don't think I will miss him when he passes.
    I have a harder time explaining it to people like my mother in law and have pretty much just given up at this point in my life.
    Even with my Mother's suicide I was only 9, but we had such a distant and weird relationship that I only missed what I thought a Mom should be.
    That went away soon after and I have not really missed nor mourned her or a "Mom" type figure ever.
    I feel sad that she suffered, I feel sad that she was so sick Mentally. But that is about it.
    I have let go of the guilt and realized I have to let myself have my feelings regardless of if others think they are normal.

    You have a right to feel however you do when ever the feelings come.
    Try not to over analyze them and realize you have valid reasons for however you are feeling.

    Hang in there, this a tough time despite who your Mother has been and is.
  19. Hound dog

    Hound dog Nana's are Beautiful


    No. You shouldn't be. Your relationship with your Mom is what it is. It was a two way street. in my opinion

    My dad is sitting in a nursing home somewhere in Indiana. Do I feel bad about that? Do I feel bad he has no visitors? Nah, not really. I wish him no ill will. But he is the man he is and he never wanted "real" relationships with anyone. In the end, he got exactly what he wanted. I pity him.

    My Mom's health at 72 is beginning to go. There is really no one back home to help her these days. While we will never be close.......she's more like one of those relatives you just can't get rid I still suggested she could come to live in town here. I did not suggest she could come live with me. She did not raise me. I have never had mother/daughter feelings for the woman. Her fault, not mine. She tells me all the surgeries she's been having for her eyes and such and it not so much as phases me emotionally. I can be kind to her as I can anyone. But the emotion just is so not there.

    She asked me just today if I planned on going to her funeral. (I haven't been home in like 13 plus years) I said it would depend on if I had the money/way to get there or not.

    Now that I've managed to come across as a cold hearted * in my opinion, you reap what you sow. A bond was never formed between me and my parents. It's sure not gonna happen at the age of 45. Know what I mean??

  20. tiredmommy

    tiredmommy Site Moderator

    Thanks again. It's really good to know that I'm not alone in this. I want to make sure that I don't have any regrets and give Duckie a chance to say goodbye. Being eight years old she has the capacity to still love and miss her grandmother even though they've only seen each other sporadically. And I want to balance Duckie's need to know her grandmother with protecting Duckie from her. It's going to be a tough balancing act.

    My aunt called last night. She started pushing for me to go to mom's doctor appointments. I had to explain to her that while I agree someone should be there it shouldn't be me. My aunt is afraid is afraid that my mom will miss some crucial information because she doesn't hear when people are talking, but she doesn't hear me either. My brother, sister-in-law or one of her friends would be much better options. It would be pointless for me to go.

    My aunt isn't happy with me, I know, but I won't budge. It is what it is. My aunt has always tried to step in and save my mom. Mom can't be saved, she won't allow it. Never has and never will. So I might as well not make myself crazy.