Mum struggling since Dad's death

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Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby mysticaljt » Mon Jan 18, 2010 3:00 pm

My dad died two months ago and he and mum were extremely close, to the point of excluding all others so needless to say she is devastated. I have been there as much as I can (I have three chidlren and two step children and a husband and a full time job which keep me busy).
My brother who has no job, spends every day sitting with my Mum so she has some company when friends and family cannot visit her.
My problem is every time I go over to see her, she constantly snipes at me and my husband and implies that other members of her family don't care, for example. I have offered help at every turn, spent days on the phone changing everything into her name for her, sorting out pensions and doing all the dreaded paperwork, was there for her in the first couple of weeks after she lost dad (I stayed with her) and have helped with planning the funeral etc.
its just that now I have returned to work and back to my own home and life, she takes everything out on me. I offered to take some of my dad's clothes (which she had bagged up) to the Cancer charity shop and she implied that I would just dump it rather than carrying out her wishes. It seems like a silly thing but its just one of a whole catalogue of different things and I am getting to the point where I feel like I need some counselling to enable me to even carry on going over to see her.
She is not like this with anyone else and I am glad my husband is seeing it too or I would think I was going mad. I feel so depressed (as I know she does too - I am not taking away her grief or trying to be selfish), I just want someone to tell me I am ok and that I am not being a selfish cow.
God, reading it through it seems so trivial but its really getting me down. I have done nothing wrong and am trying to be there for her but cant stand this constant sniping!
Any input would be greatly appreciated.
Many thanks
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Re: Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Jan 18, 2010 4:55 pm

Well my mother in law lost her husband in Spetmebr and she too targets my husband to take out her frustration when he does most stuff for her (or I do) and visits her the most.

I think it's just that she is in the angry stage of grief and you have become her target

Has she sought any conselling herself

I think you need to point out that your finding it toughtdealing with her being so negative towards you and that she will psuh you away if she continues

Tell her too that you are helping and remind her how. Tell her if she doesn't trust you to carry out things then simply don't ask or accept offers.

I think sometimes they forget that you are greiving too

I would also encourage her to get out and join some clus abd make a new socail lufe. My mother in law has got a part time job in a shop and it really has helped. getting out of the house with all the memories seems to make a massive difference to her too

She has bad days still but she is slowly getting better. She did get some conselling too.
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Re: Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby peecee » Wed Jan 20, 2010 9:21 pm

Oh, sweetheart, how on earth can you say any of your post seems trivial???? I’m so sorry about your dad. Was it expected? Whether it was or not, you probably don’t know which end is up, and what day it is. It’s an awful time for you, and two months is no time at all.

Bel Bel is right, your mum is in dreadful pain, and so she lashes out at the people she loves most. Subconsciously she knows you can take it. I understand Bel Bel telling you to talk to her about it, and it’s worth a try. I just want to say, I’ve experienced the other side of this – where the talking and reasoning DIDN’T work. I know I should pm you, because I KNOW I’m going to be long-winded – but it’s so difficult to talk about - Bel Bel and I are survivors, but we both cope with it in completely different ways. I’ll look at the length of this when I’m done, and consider moving it to a pm afterwards. :)

Right. I’m dealing with the OTHER side of Bel Bel’s suggestions! Talking didn’t work with my dad, absolutely nothing sank in. The first couple of years after our mum went (suddenly, at 57) were horrible years for us; our three brothers copped out and left my sister and me to it. She lived 50 miles from my dad, I lived 30 miles away, both of us working. And we had to struggle through our own shock and grief as best we could, putting our dad first in everything. Like your mum, my dad hadn’t bothered with anyone else except my mum, so no real friends to call on after she went, although everybody tried to help him for a while. My sister and I ruined our health trying to help our dad, he said awful things to us at times, it’s a time of our life which we can’t bear to think about. Since then, I’ve seen the same thing happen to other friends, and I don’t want it to happen to you.

So, I’m concerned about your mum, but I want to talk about YOU. I know this is your story, not mine, but I really need you to listen, me dear. Our dad didn’t change for years, he simply wasn’t able to. But WE did. We eventually started listening to friends who told us in every tone of voice possible :o that we should stop taking his every word to heart, should start looking after ourselves a bit more, that he wouldn’t change, so WE must. It was a very gradual process, but it eventually made a massive difference to our lives.

I know you already feel guilty because you don’t think you’re doing enough for your mum (you don't, do you!), but please don’t start resenting her or rejecting her – you’ll have a job forgiving yourself later. Instead, start looking after yourself (and this is a hard job too!), so that you can look after her better. For example, next time your mum says “you never ring me!”, say calmly “I phoned you yesterday, mum, don’t you remember?”, then change the subject without getting upset. And every time she says something nasty, answer calmly then change the subject. Inside, you WILL be upset. But I promise you, if you can deal with being calm on the outside, you WILL start coping on the inside. Whether or not your mum changes, you will need to, for your own sake.

You’re not doing anything wrong, me darling. It’s a horrible time for all of you, but I think you’re doing a fantastic job, and I’m proud of you. Please pm me if you want to sound off about anything.

Lots of love

xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
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Re: Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby mysticaljt » Fri Jan 29, 2010 10:26 am

Thanks you both for your very sensitive replies and I am going to re-read them and take on board what you have both said. its got to the stage where I feel like ending it all just to get away (I wont - as I have my own family to leave behind and that would be selfish and unfair). Thanks so much. Its so good to know that other people don't think you are going mad and have been there (not good that you have been there but good to know its a shared experience).
Love to you both and thank you again.
xxx
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Re: Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby Bel Bel » Mon Feb 01, 2010 4:39 pm

You're more than welcome and if it's really getting to you feel free to PM me and rant. I usually only answer in the weekdays though so don't get distressed if I don't respond immediately.
Things have got a bit better with the mother in law the last couple of weeks so I think time will start to help - I know it's a cliche but i do think it's true
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Re: Mum struggling since Dad's death

Postby mysticaljt » Wed Mar 03, 2010 2:29 pm

Thanks again and to be honest Mum has settled down a bit and seems to have stopped blaming me for everything. I seem to be able to go to her house and NOT have her sniping at me which is all good as I only want to help her through this. Here's hoping guys!!!
And thanks very much once again. Hope your situations are good and thigns are looking ok for you too. So easy to get wrapped up in your own world of problems and forget to ask two ways!
Love to all
x
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