I Refused to Take Care of My Aging Toxic Mother Who Destroyed My Life, and People Judge Me Hard

Family & kids
month ago

A woman, 45, wrote a letter to our editorial, and it was a very loud, emotional cry for help. She’s desperate, because she sincerely feels like she doesn’t owe anything to her elderly mother, who turned her life into an endless nightmare. But other people, including the woman’s family members, judge her and say she must take care of her mother, who now needs help more than anyone. The woman asked us for a piece of advice and gave us the details of her, almost tragic, life with her mom.

A woman wrote to us and she sounded broken and desperate.

A woman named Gloria, 45, wrote a letter to our editorial, and with her story she raised a question that may be torturing the minds of many people, who’re in the same situation.

Gloria began her letter, saying that her relationship with her mother has always been extremely toxic. The woman said, «All of my friends have only the warmest memories from their childhood, but I can’t boast with any of a kind. I was raised by a single mom, and since my childhood, I haven’t heard a single kind word from this woman. I can imagine that mom’s life was tough, as she became a widow so early, my dad passed when I was 4 years old and my younger brother Sam was 2.»

Gloria says that her mom had always been very inconsistent in treating her and her brother. The attitude to the kids was strikingly different. The woman wrote, «Since early childhood, I was treated like garbage, my mother barely noticed me, while my brother Sam had always been a favorite. I could see mom hugging him, kissing him, calling him tender names, and praising him for every single achievement he made.
With me, the situation was totally different. I was ghosted, I was gaslighted, and my achievements were always diminished. Mom used to say that I’m the eldest kid, so Sam was allowed to express his emotions, but I had to be calm and to never cry, even when I was at the age when kids usually cry, have meltdowns, etc.»

With age, the relationship between mother and daughter hasn’t become any better.

Gloria continues her confession, saying, «Now I am a mother myself, and when I track back to my own childhood, I realize how unfair my mom has always been to me. Things have never changed, even when I grew up. I did love her, all the time, and I was doing everything and anything to get her attention. But all we had was a tumultuous relationship. My whole family was all the time incredibly dysfunctional and very toxic, though mom always tried to show it as loving and supportive for other people.»

The woman revealed that she’s been suffering from her mom’s behavior even when she grew older. Gloria said, «My whole life has been defined and influenced by my mother’s bad habits, behavior, and her mental health issues. I constantly got criticized for my life choices, whether it was about the university I chose to study in or a boyfriend I was dating, she always had a nasty word to say.
I was struggling a lot, I was trying to talk to her multiple times, I even tried to invite her to a therapy, but all in vain. In my late 20s, I gave up all my attempts to reanimate this relationship. My brother Sam remained her favorite, and I just left one day, without saying a word.»

Gloria revealed that distancing herself from her toxic mother was heart-wrenching, but at the same time, the woman felt free. She said, «I’ve been living a deeply fulfilling, healthy, positive life since then. I built it on my own, and I feel like I’m recovering from the toxic environment I’d been living in since my childhood.»

Now, Gloria’s mom is in need of help and support, but the woman refuses to even visit her.

Gloria goes on with her story, and reveals, «I’m 45 now and I have a 5-year-old daughter. When I fell pregnant, my mom said that I shouldn’t give birth at 40, she was criticizing me even for this choice. This was the last straw, and I forbade her to even meet her granddaughter after she was born. Sam lives alone and doesn’t have kids, so my daughter is the only grandchild that my mom has.»

Gloria is quite happy, but she feels burdened by her mom’s helplessness, due to her elderly age. The woman wrote, «I live a few thousand miles away from my mother and Sam. I own a house and work full-time. I think my life is wonderful, except for the fact that my mom, who’s now 73, is quickly deteriorating both mentally and physically.
From what I know, her living conditions are awful. She’s kind of a hoarder, and Sam doesn’t provide her with any support. The favorite child barely calls mom, though he lives in the same small town with her. Mom’s house is very dirty, and her bad habits are taking a toll on her health in many ways. Recently, she fell down the stairs in her home, and when she called me, I just said that she should ask Sam for help or call an ambulance. Anyways, I’m too far from her and I physically wasn’t able to help her out.»

The woman doesn’t feel guilty, but people around her don’t think the same and blame her of everything.

Gloria revealed, «Mom is now asking me to move home, and she insists on seeing her granddaughter. But I’ve made it very clear that I won’t do that. Currently, I am very conflicted. All family members, including Sam, are judging me for being so resistant towards my mother, and I don’t feel like I owe her anything.
But now, I also feel this tremendous guilt that I don’t take care of my elderly mother. I feel torn, because I know she needs me, and at the same time I feel like Sam must take care of her now, which he never does.»

The woman concluded, «When I had my daughter, I promised to myself and to her, that she will never grow up in such a toxic family and in such a chaos like I did. I will do my best to protect her from that. I don’t want her to see her granny like this, either.
But at the same time, I feel like I’m sentencing my kid to a different type of damage. I feel like I’m teaching her to stay away from family in their time of need. I’m denying her communication with a grandma who, despite being deeply toxic, loves her. I don’t want that for her either, and I feel bad about everything.»

Advice from Bright Side

We’re extremely grateful to you, dear Gloria, for sharing your extremely painful family story with us. Growing up with a toxic parent can affect a child in many ways, and the consequences can show up in adulthood. We can see that you’re facing a real dilemma in your life now, but we strongly believe that you don’t have to feel guilty about anything.

Having a full-time job and a small daughter, you anyway cannot be there for your mom all the time to make sure she doesn’t fall down the stairs or stop her from that hoarding. We believe you can help her in other way, like giving her information about treatment programs, finding therapists who specialize in her problems. We don’t know your financial situation, but you might hire someone to come in and check on her or clean her house.

You could suggest your mom to move to some place for adults that might be safer as she ages. We advise you to completely let go of your fantasy of saving your mother, you can help her without sacrificing everything in your life, and we do hope you’ll make the right decision.

And here’s a story of a mother, whose relationship with her pregnant daughter reached the peak of tension. The desperate mom kicked her daughter out of the house, together with her 6 kids, and the reason for it is devastating.

Preview photo credit Tadeu Jnr / Unsplash


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