Selfish Me

I just found out my mother has Cancer at the age of 49. My mother and I never did have a very good relationship. WE were always polite and nice to each other but that's because we never really had to deal with each other on an every day basis. She left me and my father when I was 3, and would come around about once a week, take me for pizza and a movie and drop me back off at my fathers as if she had done her motherly duties for the week.

As I grew older and became a "troubled teen" , she spent less and less time with me. Which wasn't easy. My father did the best he could with raising a hellish teenage girl on his own, but he was bi-polar and fighting depression as well. So he became very verbally abusive around 14. She (knowing this) did nothing about it.

She went on to marry and get pregnant by a man who was even more of a rageaholic then my father. And I felt as if she had started her life over again, and I was left in the dust.

My step father has now been dead for a little over a month and the world is a better place without him. I would like to say I feel guilty for saying or thinking that... but i just don't. My sister is now 13 and has epilepsy & autism. When we found out what she had I felt it was God's way of holding my mother accountable. This child needs 24 hour care, and there was no one there to do it but her. So she couldn't walk out on her like she did me.

Now my mother is sick and needs someone to take care of her as well as my sister. And who is left to do it other than me??? No one that's who!

I'm 26 now,  a single mother of a 6 yr old daughter, and I am struggling to make it on my own. She lives 4 hours away from me. Am i suppose to drop everything for the woman who abandoned me? Do I rearrange my life to make room for a special needs child I barely know and a woman who I hate to love? I would love to just be cold and turn my back on my mother, maybe show her what it felt like, but I could never forgive myself. Even though I don't want to do this, I have to, and I resent her for it. She gets what she needs and what about me???? Do I ever get the closer... do I give her the satisfaction for getting to know me before she dies?

My god, she's dying.... that's the first time I've acknowledged that.


Please feel free to comment... I could use the input

wingedwhisper72 wingedwhisper72
26-30, F
6 Responses Mar 29, 2007

You are a very good person for caring this much for someone who has caused you so much pain. Learn from her mistakes, her biggest mistake is not making you her priority in life. Don't do the same with your daughter, before you take in your dying mother and sick sister ask yourself how this will affect your daughter and you. You have been through enough you don't owe anyone anything and no one has the right to criticize your decisions. Taking a sick kid will take a lot of time and that time will be taken from your daughter. Its a very hard decision with no wrong answer you will not be punished for saying "im sorry I cant"...

Dear WInged Whisper,<br />
<br />
I came on this group after reading your story to specifically respond to you. I hope you are still checking this, that your situation hasn't changed unless for the better;<br />
<br />
I can say that I have experience with how you feel. I won't go into details right now, but trust me I know how it feels to have responsibility you aren't ready for put on you because your parents were not parents but I must tell you honestly, your story, "your responsibility" it is all just too much.<br />
<br />
I think you are too young to take this on. I think there are ways to be there for a dying person but to stand your ground about what you are simply ready and not ready for. You are 26 and if I was in your life I would not let you take on the care of this child. <br />
<br />
Some questions I want to ask you,<br />
<br />
1. Are you positive that your mother has no one else in her life to help you. What about your Father? Has he offered to help you? Sometimes people are taking it for granted that you will be the one to take on these responsibilities but when you show you will not, they are forced to become the adults and take a better look at what resources they have. Like what aunts and uncles do you have? <br />
<br />
2. Do you have a support system at all. Do you see a therapist? I think you should think about the possibility that this experience with your Mom, could possibly help you have peace. Be honest about your feelings, but try to be honest about what you will and won't do. It probably feels like a damned if you do and damned if you don't circumstance, but is it? Do you have any spiritual beliefs?<br />
<br />
3. what are the alternatives for your sister if you don't take her? Are you sure you will give her the best care?

Is the cancer terminal? Many types of cancer are treatable, and your mother may have a few more years to live. But this does not change the facts: whether she dies soon, or a few years from now, you are the one left to take care of her in her final days and your sister. I wish you the strength and wisdom that you'll need in whatever decision you make. Best.

I don't think you're selfish, I think you're a realist. She really doesn't deserve you as a caregiver now. But we both know you'll feel guilty if you don't help out, so I understand fully your dilemma. And I'm guessing here, but has her lifestyle caused her illness? My advice would actually be to hand her over to a charitable organization, and your sister too, and acknowledge that you need to do this for your own health. On balance I think it'll take you less time to recover from the trauma of doing that, than the trauma of watching her die as you resent every moment of it. Not easy for you my dear. Take care.

To keep it simple, the future is more important than the past. Whatever you decide to do about the future, including your relationships is up to you. However, think of it this way. You are probably a better person than your mom was when she left you. And what would the better person do. Maybe you could use this as an opportunity to talk about what happened. Maybe she needs to know so she can make amends. Good luck...I wish you well.

Oh boy thats deep! I can't blame you for the feelings you have and I know it seems so unfair! Do what your heart tells you to do and you will make the right decision. People talk about having a lot on their plate! My lord your plate is full ! I wish I knew what to tell you to do but I can't. My heart goes out to you.