Hi i am looking for some advice, i am the daughter of a rather messy divorce, my dad had an affair behind my mams back when i was 10yrs old, i am 23 now and the after effects can be clearly felt. I will try and keep it short as there is so much too it, my mam is clearly depressed and has never gotten over it. She blames everything that goes wrong in her life on someone else, when she can't blame my dad she often targets the people who care ie her sisters her mam or her kids. I feel like she blames me and my brother for her not being able to start again like my dad did! I want to help her but can't see how. She is currently in a relationship with a violant drunk, yet everytime he hurts her she makes excuses for him, dont't get me wrong shes not totally innocent in all of it but she seems to have lost all her confidence and self worth. During the divorce myself and my brother were used as ammo, constantly used to get at one or the other parent, i have only built up a relationship with my dad in the last 3 years my mam makes me feel guilty constantly, i have to 2 children myself now and would like them to have the chance to know both thier grandparents but feel like i am being disloyal. I am getting married next year and my dad is going to be there at first my mam said she was gonna make it as difficult as she could but she came round to it and said as long as i am happy. Now her relationship is going bad again she says if my dad goes she won't, she is hurting me immensly and just doesn't seem to care, divorce has made her bitter and selfish how can i make her see what she is doing to herself and her family without upsetting her further? she has also overdosed when she has been upset, with her emotional state the way it is i am scared! any advice at all would be greatly appreciated i need some outside advice as all i have had up to now has been biased. Thank you I hope i have come to the right place.
Now, obviously, I don't know the whole story and I am sure it is compicated and there is far more than you could write down. So, that said, some of what I write could be complete garbage, it wouldn't be the first time.
It does sound to me that your mum is suffering from self worth issues. It may be that she is feeling that your dad cheated on her because she couldn't keep him happy. If this is the case, then blaming others may well be because she is trying to protect herself from such feelings. As in, it's not my fault it's theirs.
Also, the fact that she is prepared to put up with a violent drunk as a partner may be her subconciously validating her feelings that she is not worthy of any thing better. It could also be a form of self punishment because your father cheated.
The fact that it has got to the stage where she has overdosed means that professional help is needed in my opinion. The problem will be, how to get her to accept that.
You know your mum and hopefully you will find a way to approach it. All I can suggest is the following:-
* Keep reassuring you mum that you love her no matter what. It will take time but eventually she may start to accept that she has worth to someone.
* Tell her how you feel. You need to be careful with this for obvious reasons but if you take it easy and mix the negatives with positives then this may help her understand the effect she is having on others.
Above all, she must learn again that people care about her and that she does have worth. Also, sometimes no matter how good you are, others just decide to do things. As a person, she is not responsbile for the actions of your dad. He's his own person and made his own decisions, it wasn't her fault. This is an important point for her to understand and accept but by the sound of it, it will be difficult to get her to that stage.
Hi KRT. Some people are destroyed by the divorce process and some never get over it. I call them the lost and the lonely. Its not there fault. Some also get over it but have such poor self asteam that they hook up with people that are in the same boat as them so that it makes them feel safe.
Sorry I dont understand enough about people to offer much help. One thing I can say to you is this. Stand by your mum. She is the one that brought you into this life and she will always be there for you. Its what all mums do. Its there job! So look after her. Mums are normal people but have a special job and like normal people need steering in the right direction from time to time. Mums also have feet of clay like everone else. So they are not perfect like everyone else.
Dont blame her for taking chunks out of you. All people (mums included) can do this and I suspect that she knows what she is doing but cant help it.
Just stick by her. Thats all you can do. Be a good mum to your kids and thats as much as any mum needs to do. Hope all works out OK. Chris.
Amen to that ChrisM. KRT:I find myself wondering if your mum's behaviour arose as a result of the divorce, or whether it was there all the time. People who behave as you describe conform to a certain type or group of personality traits, and circumstances can bring out what was lying there under the surface.
No matter - we are where we are, and you can only stand by her as Chris says. There ought to be a way of asserting your right to make your decisions as well, while supporting her, so as preserve your own independence as well. This could maybe stop the other half of the family being cut off. A counsellor would be a great help in this.
Hi thanx for all your comments i have found them very helpful, although my mam is reluctant to seek help i will try to encourage her to do so. As i was really quite young when all this started i am unsure to how long my mam has been like this, its just hard to grow up and find out your own mother isn't as perfect as she seemed! As Will C said this issue could of just confirmed how she is. I just wish i could have some normality in my life after all these years. On the other hand i will certainly try to understand her a bit more but will no longer be made to feel guilty non of this was my doing. KRT
Everyone else has pretty much said what I was going to write, apart from one thing:
Is she a 'Scorpio' by any chance. (Might seem like a daft question, but I have a vague interest in Star signs).
I think there is an adult/child reversal going on in the dynamic of your relationship with her. I understand why you care, but at this point, she needs 'professional' help.
There's a limit to what you can do to help, if she doesn't want to help herself.
Although I agree with Chris saying you should support her, I also think that when the 'carer' stands aside from being the whipping-boy in blame, they have to look at themselves.
You must make it clear to your mum, that you are HALF herm and half of your dad also. She should not make you feel guilty as a result of you wanting to have friendships with both sides of your parentage. (Regardless of what he did wrong!).
Good luck with the wedding. Keep posting. I think the emotional dealings here are as important as the 'bricks-and-morter' issues.