Difficult Mom

My mom may be unable to stay in her apartment.

This is hard for us, harder for her.
Fortunately, not one of her friends, doctors, nurses, etc., disagrees with us,
which helps to make the decision clear-cut.

Still, is is a huge decision and effort, and we are still gathering the facts,
as she’d be happier in her own little apartment.

I wrote a lot about my mom this week in my journal, as I didn’t do anything
but engage her and medical people and Medicaid… my work went on hold.
Our system is corrupt and we are a cruel country, another story for another time.

The thing is, that I love my mom — the good parts of her —
and would be willing to love the bad parts if they weren’t so bad they aim to destroy.
We are all a mixed bag.
But when the toxic is treacherous you either get eaten or you draw boundaries.
I’ve had boundaries, and now, that boundary is to not speak with her again, maybe ever.  Something is snapping in her… and I am the one she wants to take down with her,
she blames me and though I’ve not had any power nor any part in her troubles, nor has my brother, frankly.  She’s always been worse with women.
My brother is taking over.

She did a lot for me, including keeping me safe, which many parents don’t,
as they are sometimes the ones who a child must be rescued from.
She taught me confidence, how to persevere, gave me a good dose of self-esteem
to help me try for the difficult things I wanted in life, and how to keep myself safe
when I was older.  AND, in this very mixed bag, long ago I  realized that she was a treacherous human being to all us kids once we began to grow up.
Undermining, verbally abusive, and yes, even criminal… especially to her kids.

So I will love the good memories of her,
and assist my brother in the background.

Why share this?  Because there are so many people who have abusive family
members and it is never talked about.  Silence breeds shame and people suffer more.

The wheelchair wheel was a backdrop for a lot of this writing; I’ve shared
just a bit publicly.  Hard to share the really personal things.

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About dkatiepowellart

hollywood baby turned beach gurl turned steel&glass city gurl turned cowgurl turned herb gurl turned green city gurl. . . artist writer photographer. . . cat lover but misses our big dogs, gone to heaven. . . buddhist and interested in the study of spiritual traditions. . . foodie, organic, lover of all things mik, partner in conservation business mpfconservation, consummate blogger, making a dream happen, insomniac who is either reading buddhist teachings or not-so-bloody mysteries or autobio journal thangs early in the morning when i can't sleep
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25 Responses to Difficult Mom

  1. Dan Antion says:

    These are very difficult journeys. I’ll keep a good thought for you, Kate.


    • Thanks Dan. I wish she would go peacefully (I wish that for everyone) so that she didn’t suffer so and frankly scare the crap out of everyone many times a day. She is a stubborn Taurus woman and will go down fighting — and not the good fight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Mary Maness says:

    Dear Kate,  I have such a mother.  She is 91, and still going strong.  You are right about no one understanding, although my husband does, from being on the inside all these years (I am lucky in this). I have only one sister, who is no longer speaking to her, for a year now.  Before I started in on my story, I was writing simply to say thanks. And to commend you on your sharing; it is a very unpopular subject.  It does help to know you are not the only one, even though I would not wish this on anyone. So: Thanks! Mary


  3. Heide says:

    I’m so sorry your family is going through such a rough time. I’m wishing you strength and peace …


  4. I feel for you – sometimes this kind of thing tears us apart…


  5. What an amazing woman you are Kate and what an incredibly brave thing you are doing by sharing this very private story with us. Truly, my heart goes out to you. Your decision was an important and necessary one to take.

    Many of us have similar stories and have been, or maybe still are, crippled by abuse.

    54 years ago, I left England and came to Australia to escape my abusive elder sister. I did this for my own protection, to protect the essence of who I am. We have had no contact since I left but I still love her and continue to send loving thoughts regularly. My few good memories remain safe in my heart to this day. Not at any time have I regretted making that decision.

    You are in a good, sensible place Kate and I wish you peace in your heart.


  6. My heart goes out to you Kate! I agree with your purpose for sharing this and THANK YOU.


  7. kestrelart says:

    Stay safe
    Best wishes to you all


  8. loisajay says:

    I could have written this, too, Kate. I was never good enough, and I still feel that way. I am stronger but getting mentally and emotionally beat up can wear on you. There are more out there than we know. And it seems horrid to say, until you look around and realize you are not alone. Not by a long shot.


  9. hello my sweet friend. I know of what you speak. My father is also a treacherous human being and I had to choose to cut him out of my life after I graduated University. I’m in a better place for the severing of ties. He would have taken pleasure in destroying me eventually. Sometimes we’re dealt stuff that kinda sucks and so many people have trouble understanding our decision to preserve our own life by cutting the ties that bind. If they can’t understand then they’re really not listening to me and if they’re not listening to me then they’re really not my friend. Hugs, keep your spirit. its a hard thing but you will be better and healthier for it.


    • It hasn’t been hard, because it has been a relief. IF spending the time with ehr did her some good I might reconsider, but I am part of her problem, so to speak. True or not, that is so for her. xo


  10. susanissima says:

    Very sad. I’m so sorry it has come to this, Kate, but you’re following your heart, know your boundaries and how best to be an effective support for your troubled mom. Warm wishes for smoother sailing across this new passage.


  11. Nancy Sapp says:

    OMGosh! I almost feel like we have the SAME Mother! At times, my Mom makes ME the scapegoat. And she acts like ALL her problems are caused by OTHER people – including me. However, my Mom DOES have Alzheimer’s Disease so I try to keep that in mind when dealing with her. I have been ordering Mom’s medications, picking UP Mom’s medications, buying her groceries, paying her bills & helping her with everyday problems around her house. She wants NO outsiders coming into her house to help with cleaning or her bathing. I’m just emotionally & physically drained. I hope your life gets better when everything gets straightened out with YOUR Mother. (My Mom doesn’t have a computer so she won’t read this!)


  12. Whew… I totally relate.

    I have the same love-hate relationship with my mom. She was/is an amazingly complex woman filled with intelligence, curiosity, drive, and a hundred other positive things too numerous to list here. But she was/is also a functioning alcoholic, a flip-of-the-switch man-hater, a ferocious child-beater, and delivered the worst emotional/physical/mental abuse I’ve ever suffered at the hands of another human being. She’s so bad that I am now the only family member that remains on speaking terms with her (my brother hasn’t seen or spoken with her in two decades; my sister won’t visit with her and only talks with her rarely; and none of her ex-husbands will communicate except through lawyers).

    My mom is retired and — thankfully — lives far away from me, and we briefly visit once every five years or so; she does not yet need assisted living and is still very capable of taking care of herself. But I dread the day in the future when she does.


    • Oh wow… I am so sorry.
      My mom was a dream compared to that. Not an alcoholic, though it is everywhere else in the family.
      No physical abuse.
      But difficult.
      Of course, I was impossible in my teens, though nothing serious!

      Liked by 1 person

      • No need to be sorry; it just is.

        My mom — for whatever stupid reason — thought I was impossible in my teens. Ha. My “wild child” sister cured her of that narrow view… big time.

        My family just missed the dawning of CPS (Child Protective Services) here in our region; were we of school age today, she would be locked away for the rest of her life due to how she abused us. Truly, it was awful. However, as bad as it was for me, it was much worse for my younger brother and sister, once I left home for design school.

        Nevertheless, I admire and support you for posting something like this; my own experiences — decades in the past — are still too raw and ugly for me to do so.

        Let’s go do art!


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