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Old 06-25-2011, 06:28 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 25,568,057 times
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My mom's cancer has returned after 18 years. It's supposed to be in Stage IV now.

she lives alone in a paid for house, dad passed away 3 years ago. my brother and his wife live 8 miles from her in the Atlanta suburbs, I am in NY, late 40's, never married

. my folks, me and brother are originally from NY. the reason i stayed behind here in NY is that i just never saw eye to eye with my parents, tho we still had a cordial relationship with a few fights but nothing different than the average run of the mill situation.

my mom has always been EXTREMELY CONTROLLING, growing up, i was kind of like the black sheep, while my brother was the favorite, tho we still basically got along. because of my mom's tendency of twisting everything i say to her advantage (or simply trashing anything that she didn't like) I made a pact with myself to always try to see the good in mom, but to never live with her or let her interfere with me because she was just too destructive.

anyway, my mom and brother and wife have been quarreling increasingly over how they raise their son(they want to homechool him right thru high school and mom hates the idea), she thinks his wife has turned my brother against her, thinks my brother is spineless and spoiled (all of a sudden mom realizes that the meekness and quietness she hated in me years ago is now a STRENGTH)

my sister in law has agreed to take mom to cancer treatments because mom is intimidated to drive on the freeways and feels ill (understandably) from the treatments, but sister in law runs errands while taking mom and mom hates the idea because she gets home late. i told mom she may have to compromise but she won't have it at all. she hasn't spoken to them in a month and wants my brother to apologize to her for saying she is "in need of a therapist" and "other terrible things"

i suggested a therapist to mom, or family therapy with all of them or a cancer therapist for mom but she claims she doesn't have time and claims
"no one understands what this is like and they never will".

mom has changed the will beneficiaries she is so aggravated with them and is angry at my deceased dad for supposedly spoiling my brother(as if she didn't realize it before)

i have agreed to talk to mom on a weekly basis to take the burden off my brother and it seems to work, tho mom claims that venting to me does not make her feel any better, unfortunatly

she does not have alzheimers, does not have dementia, is as clear as a bell on the phone with me and in her e mails. she calls herself "a sick old lady" but in actuality she sounds the way she always has, just complains non stop

she is totally resistant to any kind of flexibility with her daughter in law, does not realize and will not acknowledge the need for professional help ( if for nothing else, just to vent)

there is another side to the story where mom claims they have come to her several times for $$$ for several things and she's tired of it

my feeling is that she thinks their habits should change because she gave them $$$. she never comes out and says it but i think she sees inheritance and other $$$ as justification for them to do things her way

any ideas?
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:20 PM
 
Location: In a house
13,263 posts, read 31,740,993 times
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I'm not understanding why you put this in the health and wellness forum. It sounds more like a relationship issue to me.
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Old 06-25-2011, 09:21 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 25,568,057 times
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Default yes i was just going to explain that.

can i move this over there to relationships?
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Old 06-25-2011, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Southern California
3,115 posts, read 6,488,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rlrl View Post
my mom has always been EXTREMELY CONTROLLING,
Quote:
Originally Posted by rlrl View Post
my feeling is that she thinks their habits should change because she gave them $$$. she never comes out and says it but i think she sees inheritance and other $$$ as justification for them to do things her way

any ideas?
I don't really have any ideas for you, but I do have sympathy. People who think their way is the only way, and try to force the people around them to do it their way are hard to deal with. You want to tell them to relax, and let everyone else just be - but they can't even hear you - all they can see is that they know the right way, and everyone else is doing it wrong, and they HAVE to makes sure it's done right. Completely exhausting to live with...

Like I said, I have no advice - but I do feel for you and your brother and his family. Good luck!
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Old 06-26-2011, 05:14 AM
 
Location: state of procrastination
3,487 posts, read 5,691,085 times
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IMO she should spend the inheritance (it is her right) and enjoy her last days. Get a paid driver to take her to appointments instead of having to wait for your SIL to run errands. Get some paid help around the house. If they did indeed take money from her in the past they should treat her with more respect. They should know that nothing is for free.

It is sad that her last days are gonna be bitter but I guess it is not unexpected from what you have said....
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:15 AM
 
Location: Earth
24,639 posts, read 22,328,599 times
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All I can say is that if she's in Stage 4, she's actively dying.

Make your peace with her, for you.
It will serve you well.
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Old 06-26-2011, 07:58 AM
 
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Yes, stage 4 is the end. I agree with miyu. She should spend her money to take care of herself, whatever it takes.
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Old 06-26-2011, 08:24 AM
 
2,596 posts, read 4,298,780 times
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This sounds like a temporary issue, if she's truly Stage IV. It's unfortunate that your mother's relationship with your brother (and you, to some extent) is deteriorating in her final years, but that's not uncommon. I'm still sorry.

At this point, I would try to help everyone get through this in the most painless way feasible. Her money is hers to spend. I wouldn't even think of it as inheritance or worry about what's in the will. If she decides to give it all away, that's her choice. For the time being, though, I think that money should be used to make things easier on the situation. Your SIL shouldn't have to drive her around if she's rude to her. Your mother's money can be used to hire someone to do that, to hire someone to care for her right now. I'm not sure what to tell you about the counseling. If your mother had 10 years ahead of her, that would be one thing. But if she's Stage IV, we're not talking that long. In that case, it might merely serve as an annoyance to your mother and be virtually ineffective. Therapy takes time to work.

I'm very sorry.
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Old 06-26-2011, 06:01 PM
 
12,120 posts, read 25,568,057 times
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Default you're right

mom really appreciates me now and our relationship is probably closer now than it ever has been. it shouldn't be like that just because she is, for the first time in her life, on bad terms with my brother, but that's just the way the chips fall

what bothers me is that i always avoided commitment for fears of precisely these things happening in a marriage, and even when i was growing up and even in college i never saw eye to eye with my mother. i, unlike my brother, learned to distance myself and depend on her as little as possible. i could never tell her anything about my male friends or potential girlfriends that was ever good enough or believable to her. one day i just told myself to face reality, that we would never see eye to eye. i moved out, still didn't date much, am single now and my brother, who didn't have my problems with her at all, is now going thru what i did with her in the 70's and 80's.

and the day will come when i will no longer have any parents, and am frightened of losing a job, having hardly any place to go if i get evicted, wondering if i will spend the rest of my life alone or even live as long as my parents did...

and tho i feel sad and depressed, suicide does not ever enter the picture and i hope it never does
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Old 06-27-2011, 10:56 AM
 
921 posts, read 1,567,705 times
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It sounds like your mother treated you like an object when you were growing up. Being neglected like that by a parent really sucks. I'm sorry that happened to you. You deserved better.

People become controlling because of fear. The thinking is, "If this gets even a little out of hand, the world will fall apart. And I CAN'T LET THAT HAPPEN!" Her arguing about money now is partly about regaining some control over her situation. She's been in charge for years, and now she's not. Not over her cancer. Not over her mobility. And not over your brother. The venting doesn't help because it doesn't address the fear and powerlessness it sounds like she's feeling.

Your best move--the move that serves you best--is not to get in the middle. Let your mom decide whether to call you to vent. If your mom wants to complain about her health, how she's feeling physically, by all means listen. But if she wants to complain about your brother/SIL, don't get involved. Whether they homeschool, whether your SIL should run errands, who gets what in the will, etc., are not your business, so don't make them your business. It will only escalate things, and could damage your relationship with your brother permanently.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rlrl View Post
mom really appreciates me now and our relationship is probably closer now than it ever has been. it shouldn't be like that just because she is, for the first time in her life, on bad terms with my brother, but that's just the way the chips fall

what bothers me is that i always avoided commitment for fears of precisely these things happening in a marriage, and even when i was growing up and even in college i never saw eye to eye with my mother. i, unlike my brother, learned to distance myself and depend on her as little as possible. i could never tell her anything about my male friends or potential girlfriends that was ever good enough or believable to her. one day i just told myself to face reality, that we would never see eye to eye. i moved out, still didn't date much, am single now and my brother, who didn't have my problems with her at all, is now going thru what i did with her in the 70's and 80's.

and the day will come when i will no longer have any parents, and am frightened of losing a job, having hardly any place to go if i get evicted, wondering if i will spend the rest of my life alone or even live as long as my parents did...

and tho i feel sad and depressed, suicide does not ever enter the picture and i hope it never does
Then it's even more important that you not get in the middle. The day will also come when your mother has passed away, and you have to decide whether/how to pick up the pieces of your relationship with your brother and SIL.

How did your brother handle your mother's demands over the years?
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