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How Do I Save My Mother?

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  • How Do I Save My Mother?

    This is a long story...

    A little over a year ago, my mom (let's call her Pat) was invited to a reunion at a hospital she used to work at some 20+ years ago (she has been an LPN for 30 years and counting) and was debating whether or not she should attend. My siblings and I pushed her to go, since she normally doesn't go out very often or treat herself to anything; she is an extremely selfless woman, always has been. Anyway, she attended and while at the reunion reconnected with an old flame she dated 25 years ago, before me or any of my siblings were born, and they hit it off. This was strange, since my mother had sworn off dating or remarrying after her divorce from my father (he was an abuser to both her and her children, as was her first husband. Remember this fact.) but after she asked us [her children] for our blessing to start dating this man we had never met, we decided to say 'why not'; nothing too bad could happen, could it?

    Fast forward to the night we meet this man, he is this wrinkled guy who looks like he could be pushing 85+, turns out the dude's only 62, and he's wrinkled from an addiction to smoking and a previous alcohol addiction, among other past dependencies with more aggressive and illegal substances. The first words out of this man's mouth when he lays eyes on me is "you must be the youngest... You look just like your mother. You've got her looks." Now, this comment wouldn't have been weird if he hadn't been standing uncomfortably close to me and looking me up and down like a piece of meat. Our mother walked outside at one point and we had a chance to talk to this guy... Really strange and jumpy. He seemed like he was hiding something, y'know?

    A few months later my mother forces us all to move in together, which was fine but also upsetting, since they had only been dating for about 5 months at the time. We all cram in a house together, my sister and I being forced to share a room in a rickety attic, and my brother in an non-air conditioned sun room. About three months pass and I start watching late-night television out of boredom, and I take an interest in a show called Ru-Paul's Drag Race (this is relevant, I promise) and for the next few nights I'm having a grand ol' time. Well, my mother sits me down one day and tells me I can't watch this show anymore, because it's upsetting Frank. (her boyfriend, not his actual name) I say 'whatever' and continue to watch it in secret, when he isn't around or asleep, on very low volumes. This escalates to the point where he won't speak to anyone; one day, my mother, my sister, myself, and Frank all sit down to discuss why he has such an issue with it. He claims it is 'immoral and wrong', and when we try to explain, he stands up charges towards me and screams 'I don't want this shit on my television. And if you've got a fucking problem with that, then when you're 18 you can get the fuck out of my house'. I was obviously outraged by this, so I fought back verbally, asking him 'who the hell he thought he was' and telling him he had 'ruined everything', which he essentially had.

    He stormed out of the house and my mother chased after him, which was very out of character. Our [my and my siblings] entire life our mother had sworn to us that we were the most important thing to her, that not a thing or anyone could ever be placed above us, and she chases after this man who just threatened to throw her own flesh and blood out on the streets for watching a tv show... This escalates to him saying me and my sister need to get 'shock therapy' and that he doesn't give a shit if we die from it or not, because we are 'f*gs'. He continues to behave this way for months, calling us names and threatening to leave my mother if she doesn't throw us [my sister and I] out of the house, or put in in counseling to 'pray the gay away'. My sister and I are put in counseling, but not before Pat tried to make my sister live with a relative for some time; this counselor we went to only made things worse. She [the counselor] claimed all of our issues stemmed from not having a father around, that we couldn't possibly function or have a normal life without a nuclear household, and she pushed us to try and accept Frank as a father, since he and my mother were now engaged (yes, after everything he did, she still said 'yes').

    We only are able to stomach one meeting with this counselor, as she clearly was on Frank's side, and not ours. Frank begins to develop more and more of an attitude, treating my mother even more poorly; demanding that after she has slaved away at work all day while he sat on the couch (he is unemployed and that is all he has done for the last year.) that she cook him dinner when it is 9pm and he has been sitting there doing nothing all day. They get married and it is a bitter event, clearly no one is happy about the occasion; my eldest half-sister refuses to attend, she does not approved of the marriage, my siblings and I try to refuse but are forced, and after everything, after MONTHS of Frank refusing to speak to us, as Pat and Frank are heading out the door for their 'honeymoon', he has the audacity to refer to my sister and I as 'daughters'.

    Since then, his behavior has only worsened; he openly insults my mother and my siblings, and allows his sons to act the same way. He has no respect for anyone in the house but still demands that everyone worship him because he is 'the man of the house'. He wastes money on needless things, smokes like chimney when my sister suffers from severe asthma, and has on multiple occasions nearly set the house on fire because of his dependency on tank oxygen and cigarettes. He yells at everyone and threatens my mother when he is not given his way, he believes everything in the house to be his property, and walks around naked without any regard for anyone in the house. I am fairly certain he hits my mother, as I have walked past their bedroom during the night and heard the sounds of smacking on multiple occasions, which only ceases if I make it known that I am nearby.

    My mother refuses to listen to anyone, she acts like a spoiled teenage girl when we try to tell her that Frank isn't right for her; crossing her arms and rolling her eyes, and just generally showing that she does not care what we have to say. My mother has changed; she is no longer selfless, strong, and kind, she is selfish, weak, submissive, and aggressive. She is forgetful and distracted, and acts more like a servant than a wife to Frank. He does nothing around the house, constantly tracking in dirt and making messes that he does not clean up; his temper is unbelievable, one wrong word he and he begins to scream at everything in a 10ft radius. My mother describes talking to him as 'walking on eggshells', but does not see why that is a huge problem. She does not see that this man is a toxic person, and wants to take everything she is from her. He insults her weight, even though she has already lost 120 pounds in the last year (though it is in unhealthy ways), telling her she needs to lose another 30 pounds before she can wear certain types of clothing.

    I understand at my mother's age (60) that she is afraid of spending her elderly years alone, and that me and my siblings are growing up and ready to be independent (all of us being 18+) or leave the nest. But it pains me to see her falling for someone who is just like my father (her ex husband) in every sense of the term, the only thing he's missing is the electric wheelchair, which may be already on its way. This man's health is failing, and I think everyone would be surprised if Frank lived for another year or two; and I think my mother knows that. I don't think she realizes that she is losing herself, or that she is being abused. She has a pattern of falling in love with abusers from a lack of self-confidence, and it takes her years (usually decades) before she finally realizes she is being treated wrongly. I want so desperately to help her, to get her away from Frank, but she isn't letting anyone help. My mother is in her 60's and I don't know how much longer she's going to be around (though it looks like at least another 10+ years, she's in good health.) but I'll be damned if I see her abused for the remainder of her life.

    What can I possibly do? Most everyone I have spoken to about this both inside and outside of family seems to agree that this is a bad situation, but can't tell me what to do that I haven't already tried countless times. I'm beginning to believe that I can't save her, but I need to. My mother is so dear to me but I don't think I'm that dear to her; I don't think any of us are anymore.

    TL;DR
    -My mom is married to a man who abuses both her and her children
    -My mom will not listen to reason
    -I don't know how to help her

  • #2
    You probably can't help her. She may be addicted to men who mistreat her. The only thing you can do is get out of the house as soon as it's possible.
    "What lips my lips have kissed and where and why I have forgotten." ~Edna St. Vincent Millay

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    • #3
      How old are you and your sisiter?
      "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

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      • #4
        If there are any children under 18 in the house, you might try contacting Child Protective Services and tell them any physical or verbal abuse, any neglect on the part of your mother, and about them trying to get you to pray the gay away. It might at least shake them up.
        Not at all flirtatious. Why does it say that??

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by phasesofthemoon View Post
          How old are you and your sisiter?
          Originally posted by Preraph View Post
          If there are any children under 18 in the house, you might try contacting Child Protective Services and tell them any physical or verbal abuse, any neglect on the part of your mother, and about them trying to get you to pray the gay away. It might at least shake them up.
          My sister just turned 26 and I am going to be 19 in a few months (my brother is 24, but he isn't the one being targeted as much). I'm currently unemployed and looking for work, my sister has a job that doesn't pay very well.
          As for children under the age of 18 in the house, 'Frank' has a son whom is 17. (18 in April) I would call CPS on them, but Frank treats his son like a king. Frank only treats me, my siblings, and my mother poorly.

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          • #6
            Time_fly. Read up on codependency and caretaking vs caregiving. You are not your mother's keeper. Concentrate on yourself, get yourself to college or a trade school so that you can ear enough money to be out on your own and stop trying to fix everyone around you. Your mother makes her own decisions in her life and now its time you started looking after yourself instead of taking on the problems of everyone else in your rather small world.
            "First off, welcome to the Relationship Forums, You'll come to understand that I don't pull any punches when giving my opinion/advice and I hope you're not so sensitive to what I see as the truth of the matter." Me!

            Comment


            • #7
              Well, it's time to just double down and look for not only one job but two jobs, anything you can get, and then get your own place. There's a reason young adults usually move out of their parents' home and though your situation is more extreme, it is still just a fact that young adults living at home will often have irresolvable conflicts with the parents. A normal step in development is for teens/young adults to pull away from the parents and assert their independence, so it's unnatural to not do it and you need to work hard and get out on your own. Seriously, I am 65 and have had to work two jobs most of my life to get by. One full and one part time. You will too unless you are lucky enough to have parents who will pay for a good education. It's life. Take any job you can get and then keep looking for a better job. it's easier to get new jobs when you are employed. Then maybe you and 3 other people can get a small place together and share rent and make do. Good luck.
              Not at all flirtatious. Why does it say that??

              Comment

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