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mother near hate, brother rage, imperfect relationships


kimblanchard

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hi everyone

my dad died on march 3. at the moment i am calm. but this is unusual.

while my father was ill, my brother downright REFUSED to believe in his decline. my dad would ask him for help or for more company and my brother wouldn't do much more than go to his house once a week on laundry day (my brother dose't have a washing machine in his aprt)... my brother would say that my father had entered the "helpless zone," that he "refused to do anything for himself." i tried to explain to keith that dad wasn't pretending, and that he realy needed more but anytime i would say anything about dad's condition which was not optimistic i would get VITRIOL and RAGE from keith. he just refused. and he always accused me of being an idiot and making more about anything than what was real. IDIOT. I know he was having a most difficult time coping but ............. well..........and well, now that my dad is gone it SO pains me that keith was so freaken in denail and well this hurt my father. i did as much as I could living in DC (my dad lived in Queens NY) as far as calling everyonight at 730 pm and I visited once a month (now wish I did MORE).....and of course moving to NY to care for him for last six weeks of his life.

Now that Dad is gone, my brother refuses to accept any of my phone calls. he emails me here and there, mostly about practical matters that need to be taken care of with house, etc.... i yearn to connect with him but this is not happeneing. i guess what is true in life is also true in death and it just adds to my grief.

as far as my mother goes, she and dad have been divorced for about 10 years. i had asked her to help daddy some when he was ill and she refused, saying coldly that she didnt' want a relationship with him. i was pissed off but tried to undersatnd that she had gone on with a new life and didn't want to get into the vortex of his illness. well when i arrived in new york on january 29 to begin to care for him during his final life's journey, she started to come to visit and visited about six times before he died. i beilieve this was good for them both and i was thankful but i still remain angry that her heart is so small that she was unable to come to him sooner. my father actually wrote her a note in december i think it was telling her how sad it made him that she hadn't offered to help him during this illness, and that had the situation been reversed, he would certainly have come to help her. I know this would have been true.

my mother is a good person but emotionally clueless. often i sort of hate her. i have really tried to forgive her for her seemignly unintentional hurting and neglect of me over the yeras but she keeps reopenign the wound. she was a pretty crappy mother, more concerned with her self than with us... anyway, i told her this many yeras ago and finally she agreed that she was negligent. but then when i was taking care of my father during the last six weeks, she really wan't there fo rme. yes she would make phone calls and try to help me find home health care aides, and she hooked me up with an elder law attorney to try to resolve some aspects of dad's estate and she brought me some nice smelling gardenia soap one day, but i needed MORE help. i was caring for dad alone for six weeks and I know compared to others this is not a long time but it was the end and it was VERY intense and demanding, plus i was not in my home (DC) but in NY alone and well at the edge everyday... and she didn't bring me food or come and clean or anything! when she came she just spent time with dad. oh and she's retired so it's not like she can't make more time. she just choosse not to.

i feel this would have been the perfect opportunity for her to "atone" for her neglect of me in the past.. but she failed. and each time she fails in loving me, i love her less... and i know that one day when she died i will feel guilty. i have tried to forvgie her but she is SO clueless. Like on teh day dad died, she needed her live-in-boyfriend to advise her to call my brother, as he shouldn't be alone.. she is SOOOOOOOOOOOOO clueless.. i mean it's ridivudlous. I try to think of my mother as handicapped and still love her but i am so blocked. anyway, she wrote me yesterday and said

Lori, I totally understand what you are going through, and it's

understandable, because you grew very close to Daddy those last 6 weeks. I

just hope that gradually you'll do whatever you can to help yourself -

If there is anything I can do for you, I want you to tell me. Whatever

------

Love, Mom

so you see, she'll offer to help. but where was she all those weeks when I was with dad. and before? and how can I forgive her for being so CLUELESS??

one more thing, the day before dad died, she came over to see him. and when she came in she said, something like, wow, i'm so glad i could come. it was MITCH's IDEA. he's So wonderful!" NOW she wsas downstairs and dad was upstairs and it's unlikely that dad would have heard her but DAD dosen't know about mitch and i was FURIOUS that she would be so STUPID as to say that in dad's house! i mean for goodness sake, if anytime would have been right to tell dad about mitch, NOW was not the time. And I TOLD her SHUT UP MOM.

anyway

i know this is long, thanks for reading. wondering if others can relate in any way

love

lori

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Hi Lori,

Yes, I can relate in some ways to your post. My mother and I had no relationship. She would call and check on my husband but she had never been there for me my entire life. I was able to replace her with my mother in law so I had a emotional achor so I didn't feel so bad about my mom's lack of interest in me or my family. I never really held it against her but my sister did and for years had a lot of anger and frustration towards her. And I can tell you it was very nonproductive. It just made my sister unhappy. I guess that what I am saying is you can't change the way your mother is or the past. I wish now that I had taken a more active roll in keeping a relationship with my mother since I knew she would not be the one to do that. It is too late now because she died 6

days before my husband. If I could go back I would definetly go to her instead of waiting for her to come to me.

I am sorry your brother was in denial but I can relate to that too. When my husbands father was dx. with lung cancer 15 years ago, we were in total denial about it and that Mom was out of her mind feeding him and doing everything for him because we just didn't belive he was that sick. How stupid of us!!! It is a huge regret, but again it is in the past and nothing can be done about it now.

Hang in there and try not to let the anger posion your relationships. I know that is a lot easier said than done!!

CathyW

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Lori,

Go for counseling. You have some unresolved issues to deal with, along with grief over your father's death.

As for your mother not wanting to take care of your dad, hey, give her a break. They are divorced. I'm divorced and married to a divorced man with grown kids. My husband would not want to be approached by his grown children to help "take care of Mom", nor would I want to help out my ex-husband. If there were still positive relationship areas, the two of us would still be married to our first spouses. It's not right to pressure two people together who have decided they are better off apart. I do not wish my ex-husband dead, but his life is now his own and the only part I share in is custody of a 13 y/o boy.

You need to resolve your anger at your mother from childhood. You state she was a terrible mother, yet her note to you says that you need to do what you can to take care of yourself. Since you are a grown up, I think that is pretty insightful. The ONLY person who can truly help you get through what is going on is yourself. A counselor/therapist can help you work through it, but you are the one who will be doing all the work.

Siblings never change. My brother and I have grown farther apart since we have grown and had families. I know if one of my parents were ill, the care would fall on me. I live a whole 256 feet closer to my parents than he does.

Don't beat yourself up about the visiting schedule. You did what you could and your father knows that. Everyone deals with grief differently and I am sure that your mother is grieving for your father, as well. Not the same as if they were actively and happily married, but still sorry to see someone go that she had spent part of her life with.

Take care of yourself, Lori. Be kind and gentle to yourself - and find someone to talk to that can help you get through this. The more you work on going around it instead of dealing with it, the bigger it will appear.

Counseling has helped me - one of the things that is repeated is that you cannot change other people. Other people have to facilitate their own change and that is something you have to accept. If they don't want to change, they won't.

All my best,

Becky

*Editted to correct grammatical errors.

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Lori, I am so sorry you are in so much emotional pain. As is suggested here, you need someone to help you work through the issues you have -- someone you trust. Threatening illness has a crazy effect on family members, and we all do foolish and unhelpful things. The word that comes to my mind is "forgiveness". You need to forgive your brother and your mother. You also need to give them time to work through their own pain and emotions. Everyone acts differently to crisis, even in one family. It is difficult for us to judge another if we have not walked in their particular shoes, and understand them better. But forgiveness we can do because it is a decision, an act. Even if we don't feel like it, we can say, "I want to forgive{, say it out loud, and, with God's help, live into it, and give it time. I pray for you inner peace and love, and after a time, even joy. Blessings. Don

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Lori, I do understand. We had different issues but issues just the same. In the end, they are who they are. You are who you are. The only one you can make choices for is yourself.

First of all, anger is a part of grief. So is deniel, regret, being dumb, all that stuff. This is no time to make any big decisions about anything. It is way too soon. You are hurting so much over what has happened, you need to do the thing that make you feel better and let the rest go until you are more healed. Counselling is good for anybody. If you are not up to it right now, understandable, just try to avoid situations that make you feel worse for right now. Get through today. Try not to say or do anything permenent in regard to the other problems. Wait a while.

As for them - take them or leave them but don't expect them to be what they are not. But that is for the future. For now, if it is upsetting, let it go. Take care of business, work on your own healing, deal with all those things later, from more of a distance from the terrible strain of the last weeks and the weeks to come.

You did right, you know you did. That is all that is in your power.

I wish you peace, Margaret

(PS One of my husband's brothers didn't help, didn't visit, didn't even call for the whole year we fought the cancer. He lives 15 miles away. Nothing. He did come to the funeral, looking all sad. That's it. I just write him off. There are plenty of others who genuinely do care to fill my thoughts and my time.)

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thank you so much for writing. i want to forgive my mother and really love her but i just have not been able to as she keeps reinjuring me..... and i just yearn for closer relationships with the only 2 members of my family. i guess this is part of my grieving. thanks. if anyone else wants to write, i welcome your words. thanks.lori

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I had someone in my family that visited my dad only once during his 11 month 21 day illness. Then he came to the hospital drunk when my dad was admitted the very last time---I'm not kidding...he had a Big Gulp cup full of Rum and Coke and he DROVE himself!

He managed to make it thru the funeral and I haven't seen him since. He doesn't call or visit my mom or any of us.

I do see un-identified flowers at the grave sometimes and an old girlfriend of his told us he vists the grave a few times a week...which is so ironic --because NOW he talks and visits my dad's headstone????----and he never came while he had the chance and dad was ALIVE......arghh....!!

It is frustrating when we can't figure people out. this person didn't "go away" because there was a fight or hard feelings...he just doesn't associate with us for whatever personal demons he has.... I was so angry at first- wondered "why" all the time and had such hard feelings towards him and how he treated my dad and now my mom.

What everyone else says is true...we can't always understand where someone else is coming from and the only thing we can control is us and how we deal with a situation.

I don't associate with this person and I don't lose sleep over it. In fact, I feel sorry for him because of all the things he missed in the past when my dad was alive and all the things he is missing now with all of us and our children and my mom. I let go of all the anger and hurt, and concentrate only on my family, my mom , and the siblings that I have that do care. I forgive him for the person that he is. I accept things the way that they are, and my life goes on smoothly....without him.

I hope things get better for you. The advice you've gotten so far is really good. Give yourself time before you re-vist the hurt you feel because of your mom and brother. Get the help and support and healing that you need for you... then you can see if there is anything salvagable between you and them. If anything, you can forgive and move on, or work towards a better relationship once enough time has passed and some healing has occured.

Good luck, I'm keeping you in my prayers.

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Lori, I am so sorry you are having such a very tough time. I think almost every family has experienced some of the same types of things during a family crisis. Maybe your brother was in denial while your father was ill. I know it was very hard for two of my sons to accept that their father was going to die. My oldest son, who I am very close to, even accused me of being over dramatic when I tried to relate the things to him that the oncologist had said. I remember when he finally accompanied us for a doctor visit and heard this with his own ears, he almost hit the floor. He turned so very pale and the wall he was leaning on was all that was keeping him on his two feet. My youngest son had a very hard time being around his father because he had a hard time seeing his dad in such pain. He would make the drive over to visit and then spend time every where except at home with us. At the time, it made me very angry but now I realize he just couldn't handle seeing the suffering. My oldest son is still having a very hard time dealing with his fataher's death, as he now feels he didn't say everything he should have said to his dad. He got very plastered a few months ago and cried like a baby, questioning whether his dad knew how very much he loved him. I assured him that he did know and understood. People just handle pain and suffering differently. Maybe you should try and see this from your brothers view. Remember, men and women are made very differently emotionally. I really hope you can mend fences with your mother. Like Becky suggested, go get some counseling. Most insurance companies cover counseling. It's certainly nothing to be ashamed of and it can do a world of good!!!!

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HI Lori,

well I agree that maybe some help to work through your anger may be good, and foriving those who aren't as strong as you may be a start. Everyone deals with things differently and anger is a huge part of it.

That being said, my Mother was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN MY LIFE, but I wasn't there for her physically for the time she was sick. I had lost my job and what at the time seemed like my career the same month my Mom was diagnosed with her cancer, and I was close to 60 grand in debt.

Keep that in mind, I don't get a long with my step father, in fact he has never liked me and has said some really rather crappy things to me in my life and especially about my mom being sick. So if I was to go to AZ to be with her, I had no place to stay and I had no money and no job. (Pathetic at 32? well that was just where I was)

so I wasn't there with her, but I talked to her every day on the phone and I was there to support her, but if you were to ask my sister, she would tell a different story all together.

Last year, in Sept 2003, the cancer spread to my Mom's spine, I had been out of work for about 2 years (I work in 2D, hand drawn animation) and had like 60 dollars to my name. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and was searching desperatly for work, and I stayed in CA because in animation when work comes it goes to who is there. Anyhow, Mom went into hospital and we thought she may die. My stepfather told me to get my selfish *ss out to AZ because him and my sister had jobs to go to and I didn't. He refused to help me, and I didn't have enough money for gas even. He told me to stay in a hotel. (see when I was workig at Disney etc, I had a lot of money and always stayed in hotels and resorts when I visited them). I told him I didn't have enough money for gas and begged him to help me. He hung up on me calling me selfish. My sister pretty much did the same. She was a bit nicer and I could have stayed with her, but she has a cat and I am really, really , realy allergic to cats, and I had not enough money for gas even. They made me feel so bad and like a terrible daughter, everything. I wanted to die. I thought about it, and considered killing myself, honestly, if it weren't for those on this board (which mysister and stepfather don't even come on) I don't know how I would have survived it. Well Mom came out and was okay, and I got a job back at Disney in Oct and it seemed like all was going to be fine. Then in March, she got real sick again, I was moving overseas to work on a film, I had signed the contract, and had no choice because there was no work in LA, and Mom and I had talked about it so much, and I asked her over and over, "are you sure it isokay if I go to Europe? I can stay here and look for work" Things were looking up for me. Well Mom being stroong didn't want me to give up my life, and she siad she would disown me if I dropped everything and came there.

Well the week before I moved here, she went into hospital and they didn't tell me how bad it was, until she was almost gone. Then they kept telling me to get out there and I needed to move home to AZ (still with no place to stay) to take care of her, because I was a selfish witch. (my stepfather, not my sister)

well I moved everything into storage in one day, left Disney with like 1 hrs notice and went to AZ. I spent one night with Mom in hospital and then she died.

My stepfather called me a unreasonable, selfish witch and my sister has also played the guilt game with me. Niether of them has ever asked me how I feel about it. They refuse to talk about it, or her. although my sister is better.

The point is, I don't know your brother, but you may not have the whole picture, and your Mom probably doesn't know how to deal with your pain.

Familys are tricky.

I feel bad every single day that I was out of work all the time she was sick and I couldn't be there for her. Really, I would have ended up homeless, but I still feel bad. I will never get over this guilt.

Sorry to make this about me, but I just think that people need to see every side of each story, and it sucks and it is hard, but a wise friend of mine, once said, there at three sides to every story, yours,mine and the truth.

So I know you are grieving and we are here for you! Vent, scream, yell, hit a racketball or whatever.

I wish I could make it better and I wish your family was there for you the way you need them to be, but I can't change it, I just hope that maybe my experience will help you see, there may be a side you can't see.

bigggest hugs,

Steph

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I can add another perspective as well...when my Mother-in-Law was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, I packed up the kids and went to stay the weekend with my in-laws, hubby couldn't go because of work obligations that he didn't want to reschedule. I ended up in the ER the next night because I was coughing up massive amounts of blood - dx pnuemonia and heavily medicated so that I couldn't drive home. Hubby refused to come get me and the kids so my sister-in-law had to drive me and my car home and then my Father-in-law had to come get her and take her back to their house - why? because hubby could not bear to see his mom when he was still upset - he thought he needed to be able to control his emotions and be strong before he saw her.

Skip forward a year - MIL only had a month or so left and I was talking with SIL and she actually said - Matt needs to accept facts and not have such a rosy outlook on things - Mom is going to die and soon. I realized that she had no clue where he was coming from or that for the past couple of weeks he had been really suffering AND he was having to deal with 2 kids that understood that their Nonna was going to die and that there was nothing we could do about it. He just didn't talk to her about it - he talked to me and his Dad - NOBODY else.

As Stephanie pointed out, there are multiple versions of stories. In your grief, you may not be seeing the whole picture - doesn't make anyone right or wrong, just different. Different people grieve differently. It took my SIL a year to acknowledge that her husband and I both lost someone we loved when my MIL passed away. She maintained that there was no way we could possibly understand what she was going through (which we didn't to some extent) and so we had no right to be upset.

Lori, you have gotten good advice above from others far more wise than I so I can only repeat what they have said, take care of what you can control and when you are ready, get someone to help you work through everything else.

I will be thinking of you!

Much Love,

Amy

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hi steph and everyone,

thansk so much for writing. i am really sorry to hear of your torment with your family.. it's really horrible, i feel for you!!!! truly, truly truly..

with my brother, you are so right in that there are reaosns i cannot undersatnd as to why he behaved as he did. I know that he ADORES my father, my father was his HERO and I know that with my brother the reason he wasn't there for me was becuase he could NOT tolerate the pain.. it's cowardly (may i judge) that he was unable to step outside his own pain to reach out to me and my dad and help us. i think it's a bit selfish really... thing is, I FEEL for my brother, i really do, because I know how tremendous tremendous monumental this loss is for him.. I really feel for him... but sometimes I am so angry too.. i know all these crazy mixed up feelings are "normal" for grieving...... i don't know what else to say.

still i appreciated the time you took to write and sharing your story.. i am really sorry that you were so horribly supported or not supported. it makes things SO hard dsosen't it.... i am sad for you and hope that in time you will be able to forgive youself of the guilt you are torturing youself with.. hoenstly it sounds like if you COULD HAVE been there you WOULD hAVE, but you coudn't so please don't blame yourself!! we grivers have enough to deal with without throwing guilt on ourselves... you know? i know, easier said than done... xooxoxo take care steph, Lori

HI Lori,

well I agree that maybe some help to work through your anger may be good, and foriving those who aren't as strong as you may be a start. Everyone deals with things differently and anger is a huge part of it.

That being said, my Mother was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN MY LIFE, but I wasn't there for her physically for the time she was sick. I had lost my job and what at the time seemed like my career the same month my Mom was diagnosed with her cancer, and I was close to 60 grand in debt.

Keep that in mind, I don't get a long with my step father, in fact he has never liked me and has said some really rather crappy things to me in my life and especially about my mom being sick. So if I was to go to AZ to be with her, I had no place to stay and I had no money and no job. (Pathetic at 32? well that was just where I was)

so I wasn't there with her, but I talked to her every day on the phone and I was there to support her, but if you were to ask my sister, she would tell a different story all together.

Last year, in Sept 2003, the cancer spread to my Mom's spine, I had been out of work for about 2 years (I work in 2D, hand drawn animation) and had like 60 dollars to my name. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and was searching desperatly for work, and I stayed in CA because in animation when work comes it goes to who is there. Anyhow, Mom went into hospital and we thought she may die. My stepfather told me to get my selfish *ss out to AZ because him and my sister had jobs to go to and I didn't. He refused to help me, and I didn't have enough money for gas even. He told me to stay in a hotel. (see when I was workig at Disney etc, I had a lot of money and always stayed in hotels and resorts when I visited them). I told him I didn't have enough money for gas and begged him to help me. He hung up on me calling me selfish. My sister pretty much did the same. She was a bit nicer and I could have stayed with her, but she has a cat and I am really, really , realy allergic to cats, and I had not enough money for gas even. They made me feel so bad and like a terrible daughter, everything. I wanted to die. I thought about it, and considered killing myself, honestly, if it weren't for those on this board (which mysister and stepfather don't even come on) I don't know how I would have survived it. Well Mom came out and was okay, and I got a job back at Disney in Oct and it seemed like all was going to be fine. Then in March, she got real sick again, I was moving overseas to work on a film, I had signed the contract, and had no choice because there was no work in LA, and Mom and I had talked about it so much, and I asked her over and over, "are you sure it isokay if I go to Europe? I can stay here and look for work" Things were looking up for me. Well Mom being stroong didn't want me to give up my life, and she siad she would disown me if I dropped everything and came there.

Well the week before I moved here, she went into hospital and they didn't tell me how bad it was, until she was almost gone. Then they kept telling me to get out there and I needed to move home to AZ (still with no place to stay) to take care of her, because I was a selfish bi***. (my stepfather, not my sister)

well I moved everything into storage in one day, left Disney with like 1 hrs notice and went to AZ. I spent one night with Mom in hospital and then she died.

My stepfather called me a unreasonable, selfish bi*** and my sister has also played the guilt game with me. Niether of them has ever asked me how I feel about it. They refuse to talk about it, or her. although my sister is better.

The point is, I don't know your brother, but you may not have the whole picture, and your Mom probably doesn't know how to deal with your pain.

Familys are tricky.

I feel bad every single day that I was out of work all the time she was sick and I couldn't be there for her. Really, I would have ended up homeless, but I still feel bad. I will never get over this guilt.

Sorry to make this about me, but I just think that people need to see every side of each story, and it sucks and it is hard, but a wise friend of mine, once said, there at three sides to every story, yours,mine and the truth.

So I know you are grieving and we are here for you! Vent, scream, yell, hit a racketball or whatever.

I wish I could make it better and I wish your family was there for you the way you need them to be, but I can't change it, I just hope that maybe my experience will help you see, there may be a side you can't see.

bigggest hugs,

Steph

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hi steph and everyone,

thansk so much for writing. i am really sorry to hear of your torment with your family.. it's really horrible, i feel for you!!!! truly, truly truly..

with my brother, you are so right in that there are reaosns i cannot undersatnd as to why he behaved as he did. I know that he ADORES my father, my father was his HERO and I know that with my brother the reason he wasn't there for me was becuase he could NOT tolerate the pain.. it's cowardly (may i judge) that he was unable to step outside his own pain to reach out to me and my dad and help us. i think it's a bit selfish really... thing is, I FEEL for my brother, i really do, because I know how tremendous tremendous monumental this loss is for him.. I really feel for him... but sometimes I am so angry too.. i know all these crazy mixed up feelings are "normal" for grieving...... i don't know what else to say.

still i appreciated the time you took to write and sharing your story.. i am really sorry that you were so horribly supported or not supported. it makes things SO hard dsosen't it.... i am sad for you and hope that in time you will be able to forgive youself of the guilt you are torturing youself with.. hoenstly it sounds like if you COULD HAVE been there you WOULD hAVE, but you coudn't so please don't blame yourself!! we grivers have enough to deal with without throwing guilt on ourselves... you know? i know, easier said than done... xooxoxo take care steph, Lori

HI Lori,

well I agree that maybe some help to work through your anger may be good, and foriving those who aren't as strong as you may be a start. Everyone deals with things differently and anger is a huge part of it.

That being said, my Mother was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN MY LIFE, but I wasn't there for her physically for the time she was sick. I had lost my job and what at the time seemed like my career the same month my Mom was diagnosed with her cancer, and I was close to 60 grand in debt.

Keep that in mind, I don't get a long with my step father, in fact he has never liked me and has said some really rather crappy things to me in my life and especially about my mom being sick. So if I was to go to AZ to be with her, I had no place to stay and I had no money and no job. (Pathetic at 32? well that was just where I was)

so I wasn't there with her, but I talked to her every day on the phone and I was there to support her, but if you were to ask my sister, she would tell a different story all together.

Last year, in Sept 2003, the cancer spread to my Mom's spine, I had been out of work for about 2 years (I work in 2D, hand drawn animation) and had like 60 dollars to my name. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and was searching desperatly for work, and I stayed in CA because in animation when work comes it goes to who is there. Anyhow, Mom went into hospital and we thought she may die. My stepfather told me to get my selfish *ss out to AZ because him and my sister had jobs to go to and I didn't. He refused to help me, and I didn't have enough money for gas even. He told me to stay in a hotel. (see when I was workig at Disney etc, I had a lot of money and always stayed in hotels and resorts when I visited them). I told him I didn't have enough money for gas and begged him to help me. He hung up on me calling me selfish. My sister pretty much did the same. She was a bit nicer and I could have stayed with her, but she has a cat and I am really, really , realy allergic to cats, and I had not enough money for gas even. They made me feel so bad and like a terrible daughter, everything. I wanted to die. I thought about it, and considered killing myself, honestly, if it weren't for those on this board (which mysister and stepfather don't even come on) I don't know how I would have survived it. Well Mom came out and was okay, and I got a job back at Disney in Oct and it seemed like all was going to be fine. Then in March, she got real sick again, I was moving overseas to work on a film, I had signed the contract, and had no choice because there was no work in LA, and Mom and I had talked about it so much, and I asked her over and over, "are you sure it isokay if I go to Europe? I can stay here and look for work" Things were looking up for me. Well Mom being stroong didn't want me to give up my life, and she siad she would disown me if I dropped everything and came there.

Well the week before I moved here, she went into hospital and they didn't tell me how bad it was, until she was almost gone. Then they kept telling me to get out there and I needed to move home to AZ (still with no place to stay) to take care of her, because I was a selfish bi***. (my stepfather, not my sister)

well I moved everything into storage in one day, left Disney with like 1 hrs notice and went to AZ. I spent one night with Mom in hospital and then she died.

My stepfather called me a unreasonable, selfish bi*** and my sister has also played the guilt game with me. Niether of them has ever asked me how I feel about it. They refuse to talk about it, or her. although my sister is better.

The point is, I don't know your brother, but you may not have the whole picture, and your Mom probably doesn't know how to deal with your pain.

Familys are tricky.

I feel bad every single day that I was out of work all the time she was sick and I couldn't be there for her. Really, I would have ended up homeless, but I still feel bad. I will never get over this guilt.

Sorry to make this about me, but I just think that people need to see every side of each story, and it sucks and it is hard, but a wise friend of mine, once said, there at three sides to every story, yours,mine and the truth.

So I know you are grieving and we are here for you! Vent, scream, yell, hit a racketball or whatever.

I wish I could make it better and I wish your family was there for you the way you need them to be, but I can't change it, I just hope that maybe my experience will help you see, there may be a side you can't see.

bigggest hugs,

Steph

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hi steph and everyone,

thansk so much for writing. i am really sorry to hear of your torment with your family.. it's really horrible, i feel for you!!!! truly, truly truly..

with my brother, you are so right in that there are reaosns i cannot undersatnd as to why he behaved as he did. I know that he ADORES my father, my father was his HERO and I know that with my brother the reason he wasn't there for me was becuase he could NOT tolerate the pain.. it's cowardly (may i judge) that he was unable to step outside his own pain to reach out to me and my dad and help us. i think it's a bit selfish really... thing is, I FEEL for my brother, i really do, because I know how tremendous tremendous monumental this loss is for him.. I really feel for him... but sometimes I am so angry too.. i know all these crazy mixed up feelings are "normal" for grieving...... i don't know what else to say.

still i appreciated the time you took to write and sharing your story.. i am really sorry that you were so horribly supported or not supported. it makes things SO hard dsosen't it.... i am sad for you and hope that in time you will be able to forgive youself of the guilt you are torturing youself with.. hoenstly it sounds like if you COULD HAVE been there you WOULD hAVE, but you coudn't so please don't blame yourself!! we grivers have enough to deal with without throwing guilt on ourselves... you know? i know, easier said than done... xooxoxo take care steph, Lori

HI Lori,

well I agree that maybe some help to work through your anger may be good, and foriving those who aren't as strong as you may be a start. Everyone deals with things differently and anger is a huge part of it.

That being said, my Mother was the MOST IMPORTANT PERSON IN MY LIFE, but I wasn't there for her physically for the time she was sick. I had lost my job and what at the time seemed like my career the same month my Mom was diagnosed with her cancer, and I was close to 60 grand in debt.

Keep that in mind, I don't get a long with my step father, in fact he has never liked me and has said some really rather crappy things to me in my life and especially about my mom being sick. So if I was to go to AZ to be with her, I had no place to stay and I had no money and no job. (Pathetic at 32? well that was just where I was)

so I wasn't there with her, but I talked to her every day on the phone and I was there to support her, but if you were to ask my sister, she would tell a different story all together.

Last year, in Sept 2003, the cancer spread to my Mom's spine, I had been out of work for about 2 years (I work in 2D, hand drawn animation) and had like 60 dollars to my name. I was sharing an apartment with a friend and was searching desperatly for work, and I stayed in CA because in animation when work comes it goes to who is there. Anyhow, Mom went into hospital and we thought she may die. My stepfather told me to get my selfish *ss out to AZ because him and my sister had jobs to go to and I didn't. He refused to help me, and I didn't have enough money for gas even. He told me to stay in a hotel. (see when I was workig at Disney etc, I had a lot of money and always stayed in hotels and resorts when I visited them). I told him I didn't have enough money for gas and begged him to help me. He hung up on me calling me selfish. My sister pretty much did the same. She was a bit nicer and I could have stayed with her, but she has a cat and I am really, really , realy allergic to cats, and I had not enough money for gas even. They made me feel so bad and like a terrible daughter, everything. I wanted to die. I thought about it, and considered killing myself, honestly, if it weren't for those on this board (which mysister and stepfather don't even come on) I don't know how I would have survived it. Well Mom came out and was okay, and I got a job back at Disney in Oct and it seemed like all was going to be fine. Then in March, she got real sick again, I was moving overseas to work on a film, I had signed the contract, and had no choice because there was no work in LA, and Mom and I had talked about it so much, and I asked her over and over, "are you sure it isokay if I go to Europe? I can stay here and look for work" Things were looking up for me. Well Mom being stroong didn't want me to give up my life, and she siad she would disown me if I dropped everything and came there.

Well the week before I moved here, she went into hospital and they didn't tell me how bad it was, until she was almost gone. Then they kept telling me to get out there and I needed to move home to AZ (still with no place to stay) to take care of her, because I was a selfish bi***. (my stepfather, not my sister)

well I moved everything into storage in one day, left Disney with like 1 hrs notice and went to AZ. I spent one night with Mom in hospital and then she died.

My stepfather called me a unreasonable, selfish bi*** and my sister has also played the guilt game with me. Niether of them has ever asked me how I feel about it. They refuse to talk about it, or her. although my sister is better.

The point is, I don't know your brother, but you may not have the whole picture, and your Mom probably doesn't know how to deal with your pain.

Familys are tricky.

I feel bad every single day that I was out of work all the time she was sick and I couldn't be there for her. Really, I would have ended up homeless, but I still feel bad. I will never get over this guilt.

Sorry to make this about me, but I just think that people need to see every side of each story, and it sucks and it is hard, but a wise friend of mine, once said, there at three sides to every story, yours,mine and the truth.

So I know you are grieving and we are here for you! Vent, scream, yell, hit a racketball or whatever.

I wish I could make it better and I wish your family was there for you the way you need them to be, but I can't change it, I just hope that maybe my experience will help you see, there may be a side you can't see.

bigggest hugs,

Steph

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