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need help trying to figure out how to fix this


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sorry if this ends up being long but I'll try my best to keep it short.

    All of my life my mom has drank and when I was younger and she would get drunk, she would change and start yelling and throwing things. My sister and I would try to hide but she would find us and try to beat the crap out of us.

She would also have different husbands, infact she was married 5 times. I was 5 when my sister was born and I think my sister was about 6 months old when my mom left my dad and married this man named steve. Steve pretty much raised my sister so she started calling him dad but I guess she was just confussed because she called him daddy steve and then our real dad she would call dad. Anyway, Steve was allowed to beat us too, just as if we were his own kids. I was beat all over my body until I was black and blue. I just talked to my mom yesterday and she told me that as I was growing up I had everything that I could have ever wanted. yeah right, I told her "what about all of the things that we had that we didn't want, like those nice beatings". That started us into a nice yelling match.

    I needed braces, never got those. I needed medical help, never got that. I remember once, I felt so sick and I kept telling my mom that I was sick and for 4 days she kept just giving me over the counter medication and finally I started throwing up. Well she takes me to the doctors office and he was out to lunch so I laid on the side walk in front of his door waiting for him to come back. About 2 min later when he got back, they carried me inside and took my temp, I was at 104.5, the doctor told her that I had strep throat so bad that if she had waited one more day that I would have died. I was dehydrated so badly that I couldn't even walk.

        To this day I try to hate her but I can't. I wish I could but I just can't do it. I loved my grandparents so much, I can't even explain to you how much I miss them. They passed away years ago. But I remember my grandfather being in diapers, he had alzhiemers. He was getting really bad. Before he had gotten so bad I had gotten married, 3 days after our wedding, my husbands company closed without warning. We was trying to survive, there were no jobs where we lived and we were on food stamps because we had no money. We had to do something so we moved to live with my husbands mom. It was about 2 hours away. We were looking for work and just trying to live ya know. My mother says to this day that I turned my back on my grandfather. She pushes that in my face all the time and it really gets to me. I fucking hate that. I didn't leave him, my grandfather knew that I loved him with all of my heart and he had people there to care for him. my being there had nothing to do with him living or not. Why should I feel bad, I'll see him again. I did see him again before he died. I came back from my husbands moms house.

      My mom just has this way of being so damn evil. One minute she is the nicest thing, all loving and shit and then the next minute, I'm the worst person in the world and we're screaming at each other. Yesterday, she started yelling at me and then when I tried to say something back she said that I was upsetting her and that she wasn't going to let me do it to her and she had to go. I'm thinking in my head "bitch I'll kick your ass for the shit that you've done to me all of my life, I don't even want to hear it"

      Then there is my sister. I started being a topless dancer 7 years ago. I've learned alot along the way. I learned that she started dancing and AS SOON as I found out, I told her that she was going to see alot of drugs. I told her not to even try them, just walk away. I stressed the reasons why also. She didn't listen. She is 23, has 2 kids by 2 different dads has been dancing for 2 years and is addicted to crystal meth.

          I want to help because those kids need help. My mother is clearly not stable enough to be of any help and my sister keeps falling off of the wagon but I live 6 hours away from them. I don't know what to do. My mom needs to see a damn pdoc but can't drive that far without having a panic attack getting there and my sister won't get her ass over there and take her to see one. My sister needs REAL therapy and not some free clinic bullshit but she won't save her money up enough to get a real therapist.

      So here is the bottom line. I'm 28, I'm with the man that I want to marry. I don't have a car yet but I'm working on it. I need 7,000 worth of dental work done but I'm working on it too. Mom keeps yelling at me to have some kids but yeah right, like I'm in any seat to do that right now. So I'm working on do my shit and getting to school, have kids later. I want to have a relationship with my mom but it seems impossible. My sister used to be my very best friend but lately I don't even know who she is. I don't know what to do with this.

        What advice can you give.

Thank you for taking the time to read this.


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I feel silly even giving you advice because I've never had to deal with anything like what you're going/went through, but from an outsider's perspective it sounds to me like you need to cut yourself off from your mother and sister and just focus on your own life. They sound like very troubled, destructive people who don't add anything but misery.

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kalessin, that is very good advice...

Erika, BTDT just with different details but the same effect--a hurting heart.

This is just my experience, but I would like to share a bit with you. Months ago when my parents both got sick, it became my responsibility to take care of them. Reason? I am not gainfully employed...am on disability for depression and for physical problems.

After they basically regained their health, it was increasingly hard to withdraw from being there every day. They had come to expect then demand that I be there. I learned a very hard lesson by caving in...I made myself sicker mentally and physically. I sought help through my former employer's EAP program (was carried as actively employed for a year until it was fact that I would not be returning to full time work).

The therapist I talked with concentrated on caregiver stress. I learned alot from him despite the fact that we did not go very far into family history.

I did learn that they could push buttons--guilt and shame and you-owe-me stuff. Learned that I had *let* them destroy my boundaries. Somehow, I thought because they were sick that they had a right to make these demands. Wrong!

He had me really look hard at what was happening. I wanted so badly to be the good and dutiful daughter, yet knew that I never had that label anyway. It was like it was my last chance to get any appreciation from them.

And he helped me see that I was getting a payoff from my "sacrifices." Not something I wanted to hear, but he was right!

So I began the slow process of fighting the guilt/anger/feeling like sh*t and tried to get my father to get someone in a few days a week--so I could have time for me. His response? "I didn't know we were such a burden to you."  ;)

Well, that had the opposite effect on me (for a change!) and made me more determined to get some me time.

By the time he had finally agreed, he got sick again. He died the end of April.

Back to square one now with my mother. I go there 3 days a week to fix lunch. do her tiny bit of laundry, and cook one evening meal a week. My sister and sil do the other nights.

And once again I am fighting those demons of being the good daughter.

But I have a handy excuse because of my appts with the tdoc and pdoc.

Long story, sorry! But my point is, for me, that I have to keep some space between them and me. Period. It is not healthy for me to have that much contact with them. And yes, I struggle with it daily.

She's 81, not in good health, a new widow adjusting to my father being gone, and I do love her.

It's hard to set and keep those boundaries, but if I am going to have any peace at all...I have to keep them. We're talking about my survival here.

You have a lot on your plate now...do you really need this extra helping of stress?


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Thanks for telling me your story. Just having someone reply at all made me feel better. I was beginning to think I was the only one on the forum anymore.

Well about my mom, I'm starting to think maybe she has PD, I don't really know. I mean if I need to talk to my sister which I still love very much and I still will talk to often if I can, she doesn't upset me at all most of the time. Well at least not by herself. Anyway, if her number has changed and I need to get it from mom, I will go weeks without calling mom to get it, sometimes even months. I dread having to call my mom because I never know which mood is going to answer the phone and I feel guilty if I have to hang up on her.

My mom also likes to play my sister and I against each other, she only told me about the stuff my sister did to piss me off. My mom wants me to call my sister and curse her out.

In the end, I think I will remain close to my sister and remain at a distance from mom until I figure out what is going to happen with her. My step dad is with kellog brown and root and he is Iraq or some shit and will be coming back next year. My mom says that she hopes that he dies so that she can claim on his insurance (great wife huh). She also mentioned filing for divorce when he comes home because they have been married for at least 10 years and she can get his social security. We'll see how that goes. I'll probably use his help to get her some help. I don't know how to get into touch with him though.


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Erika, thank you for "listening" to what I was trying to say--sometimes what is in my heart does not come out right in writing!

Remaining close to your sister and keeping distance from your Mom might be the best thing for you to do for now. It doesn't have to stay that way...just for now until you can feel more comfortable and more in charge.

And I know it's tough!

Today I went down and made a few calls for my mother. And it broke my heart. She is of the generation that the man did it all as far as money, etc.--or that was the way they chose to do it. So now she is lost and needs help. And it is very scary for her...

And this sounds crappy, but I still have to keep some kind of boundary in place. It bothers me 'cause it feels so cold and heartless. Oh yeah, fighting those demons again. But I absolutely have to have those few days that are mine  All Mine! In order to survive.

I decided if I saw that her well-being was in jeopardy, then I would resume daily visits until a companion/sitter could be found for her. And be prepared for any excuses she may have for not wanting this one or that one.

'Course the best laid plans... ;)

but I am trying to remember that there are some things I can control and that it is all right for me to say No, or, sorry but this is what I can/will do.

I love her and would not do anything to harm her. But that does not mean that I have to be her mental punching bag! Whether she means to or not or is even aware of it doesn't matter.

What matters is me taking care of me, one step at a time.

And I sincerely hope, Erika, that you will too.


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Oh I so understand the "what-ifs"  what if I do this? what if I don't do that?

For me, I had to do what was good for me...does it always work out...NO ;)

but I remain hopeful that I will find that balancing act.

Erika, sometimes, I have to just let go of it for awhile. Even for a few days, 'cause if I don't I get "analysis paralysis" where I am chasing my tail trying to make something work/be better. If I step back then I can see things a bit more clearly.

And I am sorry if I sound weird or something, but I wanted to share what has worked for me many times. Doesn't work all the time, but enough that I know it's a viable option for me.

Good luck in whatever you decide to do! Please know you are in my thoughts.


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no you don't sound wierd. I totally understand what you are saying. I've been doing what you are saying for years. I'm just tired of backing away. I'm to the point of wanting to shove my finger in her face and tell her shut the fuck up and that it's my turn to talk for a change.

I'm not trying to be mean about it but I'm just tired of hiding from her. But I know that it the best thing to do.


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Erika, something just hit me...the age difference.

I'm dealing with elderly parents--well, right now it's my mother since my father has died. You are dealing with a mother about my age, right? (58)  so that would make a big difference. In many ways it's too late for me to do some things. At her age and condition, it would be of no use and would only serve to hurt her.

That is why I talk so much about taking care of you...

If I were younger, I think I would confront them and stand up for myself. I just was not in a place (in my mind) where I could do it then. But you may be where this is what you can/should do. Gotta be your call based on your comfort level.

Can you zero in on your expectations of what may change? And accept that your expectations may not be met/understood/etc. ?

'Course the most important thing might just be your doing it...the act itself, not any expectations of anything changing. That can be freeing...


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I'm not sure how to start. I feel angry, ;) so take what I write with a grain of salt.

Your mother seems to have lost all right to your respect and love. :)

I think she has a low self esteem issue and needed to be "secure" by having any husband that would fill this need. Her insecurity caused her to feel the need to control what she could in her life and children were about the only thing she could boss around. Just my take on your upbringing.

I'm not sure why your sister dosen't call you. Why is she forcing you to call your mother? Is it part of your mothers games?

I realize that your parents are important to you, however I think you should, for a year or two, sever all contact with them. She has to learn how to live her life without putting you in the role of parent.

At 54 she is way to young to be suffering from so many medical problems. (I think there is a cultural steriotype about this kind of mother.) Possiably, if she is diabetic or has other inherited major disease, she might need some tests, however let her and the doctor work that out, not you.

<hopefully appropriate hijack>

A few months ago I had an antidepressant (Cymbalta) phased in to my meds. After adjusting (another story)  to that I found that about 60 seconds after I stood up I had the nastyest near-fainting spell that would last for about 1 or 2 minutes. After that I would feel somewhat better but not up to normal.

My little gray cells kicked in after parinoid thoughts for deveral weeks that I was seriously ill.

I did Jerrod's drug interaction test, thanks Jerrod, and found that the diuretic (HydroChloroThiazide (HCT)) that I had been taking for high blood pressure interacted with my other blood pressure medications and almost every other of the numerious medications I was on causing Orthostatic Hypotension. OH causes dizzy spells of the kind described above by causing your blood pressure to drop way low when you get up. I stopped the HCT and returned to normal operating conditions for a disabled 59 year old diabetic.

I would bet your mother has a similar easily solved problem.

<end hijack>

All of us are here to try and help you. Hopefully we have.


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