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Spike Is Spiraling Downward

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I did not post this in the family feud because this is not about *them*, it's about me.

Today was my day to do lunch for my mother. Every 3rd Sunday, plus Mondays.

I realize that she is grieving for my father, but she is also very anrgy with him right now. He never told her when he was living how much money they had, how she would be taken care of, where to find the insurance policies, etc.. When my younger sister took over as POA, she kept this information secret also. My mother is now raging...she's old, in bad health, and does not deserve this.

but she is attacking me. I am trying very, very hard not to go to the abyss. she told me how ashamed of me she was for being MI and being open about it, although I have been selective about who I told.

That she hates me for my first suicide attempt at 12 and wished I had died. she said she could have kept the reason for my death a secret.

the rest of the attack was venomous and covered all of my life up to now. she even told me that my Purple Heart (from service in Nam) was not as good or important as my brother's...he was shot whereas I only covered my patient when a grenade went off in the tent and got shrapnel wounds in my back.

I couldn't move, think, or respond at first. I tried to reason with her as she seemed out of her mind. I offered to call her pdoc and she would have hit me if I had not moved.

I left

I'm home and struggling with feeling useless

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go back and read the first couple of paragraphs you wrote: your mom is grieving, she's elderly, she's sick and she has absolutely no clue about her finances and therefore has no sense of security about her future.

so she's lashing out at you, taking it ALL out on you.  it's not you, it's the other stuff.  but since she can't do a damn thing about it, she's attacking the one thing she can control: you.

it's not about you, it's about her.  she's driven, from the inside, by demons from hell and the only relief she can get from them is to lash out on you.  it's wrong.  it's way wrong, but it's her choice, not yours, you didn't make her do it.

she's choosing to purge her pain by causing you harm.

it's not you.  really.  trust me on this.

now repeat that 1000 times, and go and do something rejuvenating for yourself.

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Thanks, but in all honesty...

after reading your post, I feel responsible for her now. if she is in that much pain, I feel that I need to take care of her not me

and I don't want to sound mean, I'm really mixed up. it's like I have the choice of taking care of her and me be damned. that her pain is more important than mine.

and that is the way it's always been

until I thought I was making progress and getting stable and trying to distance myself from the whole biological unit.

now I feel ashamed

of me

and for not understanding where she was coming from--her pain.

damned if I do, damned if I don't

no winners


I do appreciate your reply and effort to help. I really do

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Oy, oy, oy.  No, no, no!  Your mother's stuff is about your mother.  You love her in spite of how she treats you, but you are not responsible for making her better.  You are only responsible for making yourself better.  NavaSurya is exactly right--but I didn't read her post to say you should pity mom.  She's just explaining why mom is behaving the way she is.

You can do this, Spike.  You really can.

But frankly, having gone through a lot of this kind of thing with my parents, I believe you don't even need to understand why she's treating you this way.  The following things are the points I'd like to stress.  I hope you'll read all of them!

1.  Normally a mother would at least try to be supportive.

2.  Normally a mother would at least not be so cruel to a MI son.

3.  This is not a normal situation so you can't expect her support, because she can't handle her own life right now.

4.  You have a serious MI.  Only you (not your family or us) can do things to get better.

5.  And you can only help yourself.  You can't help mom or fix your family.  Especially if you're still struggling with MI.

You are not backsliding.  You are having a situational depression or mixed state.  The good thing is that it's SITUATIONAL and that means it's easier to get out of than your uncontrolled cycling.  It's just damn near impossible to avoid sometimes.  Your job, should you choose to accept it, is to get through this situation and learn from it.   

My advice:  Stay away from your mother until you're feeling better.  Call your therapist and get an emergency appointment or phone appointment.  Call your pdoc if you even think about hurting yourself.  And take this opportunity to work through issues and come up with new strategies.

Hang in there, love.  You've worked too hard to walk away from this work on your MI stuff.

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Spike, I hardly know what to say.  I know how much this attack from your mother is costing you and that just telling her to bug off is not an option for who you are.  You are kind, sensitive and caring to the point of detriment to your own health, both mental and physical.

There is no need for shame, I think you have felt enough inappropriate shame to last you several lifetimes.  Your mother is in pain, but you have NOT caused this.  You have done so much for her in spite of the grief she continues to give you and I am sure a lot of the stuff she lashes out with is because she has learned that you are the one that she can continue to lean on in spite of her words and actions.  The things she said are untrue and given time you will realize that.  Please don't let this episode set you back too far.  Somewhere deep inside her twisted mind she loves you very much, otherwise I doubt she would bother.  My mom is not the same exactly, but like you I am the one she will get nasty with and I think it is just because she can.

I am sorry to disagree with you but you have to come first.  You can be no use to her or anyone else if you don't take care of our beautiful Spike.  And yes you are beautiful, and brave.  We have never spoken in person but I am pretty sure I know a treasure when I find it, and that is you.  I care a lot about you and would be devastated if you give up. Lots of deep breaths, Sulu

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actually spike, i think it quite possibly has nothing to do with you.

your mom is going through massive grief because of your dad's death. and a major stage of grief is anger. it might be that your mom is so angry at your dad that she simply HAS to release that anger. but she can't confront and vent her anger at him because he has passed away so she is venting it at you. and it must be a terrible anger because of what she has said to you.

throughout their lives there were probably any number of times when your mom was significantly hurt by your dad (huge disagreements kind of thing). plus she's recently found out all this recent stuff he wasn't telling her. plus he passed away. your mom can't confront your dad with her anger because he has passed. but you are here right now. and since she knows you so well, she knows what she can say that will hurt you the most. and in venting the anger and rage she feels at your father, she attacks you with words that she knows will hurt you terribly. but i don't think it's the words so much that are important here as the anger. the words are just a way of conveying her anger. and it isn't even anger at you.

i realise that this doesn't make you feel better or anything. but i think it might be a possible explanation.

take care,


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Sulu, thank you for asking.

I'm trying to hold on to what everyone has said, I really am.

But I also feel so very sad

so I am going back to the one step at a time until I don't feel so overwhelmed.

Still battling guilt, anger, responsibility for her *or* me

it's hard to put yourself first when you feel so worthless and confused

and no sleep last night isn't helping. so I plan on a nap/rest later today

I do have a tdoc appt on Wednesday so that is giving me something to hold on to--he is a "straight-shooter." so I can depend on him to help me shovel the sh*t.

Thanks again for asking,


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Spike, you are still there underneath all that crap that you Mom keeps piling up on top of you.  Why is is that your Mom still needs to lash out on you will never be known.  I'm sorry that she feels the need to do so.  Sometimes I think they do this because we MI's tend to somewhat vulnerable and have a soft underbelly.  You, like I have taken and taken and taken whatever it is that has been dished out and politely kept our mouth shut, because after all, she is your mother and you respect that.  Perhaps she would feel better if instead of you, a visiting nurse would come and take care of her when it is your turn.  I don't know if you could say it but it could be like Mom, I don't know why it is that you have the need to put me down, I am here because I love you and want to take care of you.  If you feel the need to put me down for whatever reason in you head, I will choose to walk away and have someone else take care of you.  I have worked very hard to get to the place where I am and I am not going to put myself in jeopardy and allow you to cut me down any more.  I know you are hurting, but lashing out on me is not fair and it is not in my best interest. 

Now Spike, you can tell me to shut my mouth because I am not living in your shoes.  I do however know a little where you are coming from.  The majority of my problems are from my mother.  From a girl at 18 who "reached" out to her mother and said I didn't want to live anymore and wanted to die who responded to her daughter simply by saying let me know when you're going to do it and I'll come with you.  Hmmm, healthy right!  Sounds like you have always been beaten down by her.  Perhaps she has seen your strength and doesn't like the fact that she doesn't have as much control over you as she had.  I also read once that you can't make anyone feel like they do.  They have control over how they react to certain things.  Her being ashamed of you for being MI is simply HER shame, not yours dear!  Try try try to turn your back on this.  Not from her, just from her hateful vindictive words.  Perhaps she sees a lot of your dad in you?  I am a lot like my dad (he passed away 5 years ago), and until a few years ago did not realize just how wonderful that is.  Aside from being MI, I am loving, kind, gentle, compasionate, tender, thoughtful, etc.  Your strength is still with you, try ever so hard to pull it all back together.  Your mom will never change, but you can!  Please keep talking!  Kris.

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Spike...I can understand how hard it is to have MI and have a parent whom you love...but yet is not treating you the way you should be treated.

Your mother obviously has her own issues, and has chosen you, for some reason, to release her grief, anger...out upon, which is NOT right. You do NOT deserve this, nomatter how much you love her, nomatter how much you feel responsible for her welfare.

You said this post was about *you* and your MI, and thats true. Sometimes we have to think about our health or we can risk becoming ill. Sometimes other outside influences, whatever they may be, can effect our health...just as I know that stress or lack of sleep can effect my seizures...this verbal assault and 'venemous' guilt attack by your mother could hurt your health.

Your Mom is going through alot right now, and her life might seem overwhelming , I dont know as I am not clued in...but sometimes people can act very irrational when confronted with the worst of situations...they just lash out at the wrong people, or they dont behave like themselves.

I think Olga's comment about your stregnth says alot...and I will leave it at that...Lisa

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Thanks everyone.

it's been a day of turmoil and dread

but I am trying to listen to the words of support and encouragement and keep them in my heart.

ok, to be honest, they are going through one ear and out the other.

the words I've said to others when they are hurting are biting my butt now. I mean them when I say them, but sure as heck find it hard to put into practice when I'm on the other side

this is not the first time this has happened with my parents--yeah, both of them. and I always think things will get better, I'll be better/good enough/do it right.

a glutton for punishment, I guess.

I think it's almost some kind of weird SI that I'm doing to myself

tdoc is being very insistent that I stop lying to myself and face the truth. I am so not looking forward to seeing him...simply because he calls me on my excuses, will not let me go off on a tangent, makes me stay focused.

I am so tired.

tired of the same damn things happening, and the part I play in them

guilt even about that. not that I'm asking for it, but that I let it happen over and over again and don't put a stop to it by walking away.

time for a nap, I think.

and maybe some food


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oh, i absolutely HAD to add this:  if your response, upon having a live grenade hit your tent, was to throw yourself on top of another human being to protect THEM instead of diving for shelter yourself, you *earned* that Purple Heart..  i can't say it any plainer than that.

i have no clue what branch of the service you were in, but i salute you.

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reddog, thank you

I am leaning toward getting the hell out of there as fast as I can. I just can't--no, I won't be her punching bag any more.

Tiny decision but big one to act on...

this one took too much out of me. period.

I'm too damn old for this stuff. I want something better--me.

Gotta figure out how to get out of this hole I dug for myself and I want to start living. and I know I've done it before, but sometimes it just beats you up.

and I am so very tired of it.

I don't want to do this any more

thank you for the salute. that meant alot to me. Army nurses are the best...


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(clap clap clap clap)

good for you. 

i bet that once A. you feel built back up and not down in a hole, your resiliance will be much improved (it's how it works for me: no emotional stamina when i'm in the abyss, when i'm normal i can easily handle anything) and B. your mom stabilizes (she's just gonna have to work through it, too bad for her, that's the way life goes for everyone) she may not be quite as bad.  maybe.

lord knows its tough when you try to care for family members who are just plain evil.  my Dad said once "I know my mom is the biggest bitch on the planet, but she's my mom."  it's rough.

take care of you, so that you can rebuild your inner fortitude.

(more clapping)

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        Hey Spike, Crsh here and wish I had more encouraging words to you, like you have always given me. But I'm afraid I don't have it in me right now. But what I can say is that my uncle died in Nam, and am very proud of any of our soldiers who have served in the armed forces.

        So no matter what anyone says, and I understand that we don't know each other, but I am proud of you and hope that means something to you, because I hold a special place in my heart for any Veteran, whether in war or not, just let me take this time to thank you for doing your part to protect our country and freedom, so God bless you. Crsh.

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