My Mom just passed.....

  1. 12
    My mom was Dx with a very large adrenal tumor last June (5x7in), found out in July it was malignant (stage IV) and had metastasized to her lung. Then in August it was decided that she would go on hospice. They didn't feel it was an option to remove the tumor because they explained that the surgery would incapacitate her so bad she would never leave the hospital alive. I broke down and was very emotional for over a week.

    She was 71 years old, worked full time until her Dx (she was a 2 pack a day smoker); she became worried when she had lost almost 50 lbs, couldn't eat (she was living on Ensure), and when the pain became so severe she couldn't sleep.

    I have only talked to her 2x's, in August and September, then I had to return to school, and as selfish as it sounds, I couldn't call her because I needed to focus on school, myself and my Autistic son (lousy excuse, I know). Now she is dead and I feel like crap. My step sister just called me to tell me.

    There is a background and reasons for being this way, (I am not totally heartless). I come from a very large dysfunctional family, mental illness, and alcoholism/addiction plagues both sides (and my step family). My father-mentally ill/recovered alcoholic/addict (now a dry drunk), Dx with Schizophrenia (he thought he was Jesus and tried to walk the water on his and my moms wedding day, and a few years later he slashed his wrists and ran down Hennepin Ave), his parents both alcoholics (mean drunks); my moms father: alcoholic (suspected suicide at age 55: found in the garage with the car running and garage door shut) not a mean drunk. My moms older sister: alcoholic, Dx mental illness (died in her early 60's in a facility from lung cancer). I have seen things that no child should see, or experience (in the 1960's when I was a 3 or 4 year old child and my father took us all to see a car wreck and explained that the stuff on the floor and on the front seat was brains). My parents divorced when I was 5, after my mom received "the clap" from my dad, and suffered a nervous breakdown (6 kids split up and put in foster homes). My mother believed in the "spare the rod, spoil the child" belief; bruises, a bloody noise were not uncommon, especially when she became a single mother of 6 children.

    I still loved my mom, even though she was unable to show affection, and the years (5-12 yr. old) between my father and step-father were the most happy times of my childhood.

    When I was 12, my mom met my step-father. Very nice in the beginning, and he had 4 daughters around the same ages as us. Cracks in my step-fathers facade appeared within a few months of the marriage. My SF had a mean streak when he was drinking, and would grit his teeth when he yelled, he scared all of us. Anything would set him off. To make things worse he would laugh this weird laugh, but he was not happy. Then fights between my mom and him, huge fights, and we heard how stressed my SF was because he had to take care of us. Then my SF began beating up my older sister. One of my other older sisters tried to commit suicide when she was 14, because she didn't like my SF, but he never laid a finger on her. Time passed and my older sisters moved out, got married and had kids. We moved out to California, and it was there that my SF began abusing me, name calling was his favorite (eg.he called me a ****/wh*** when I was 14, no BF, hadn't even been on a date even), with a few beatings sprinkled in. This went on until I was 16 when he had given me such a beating (it lasted something like 10 minutes), while my mom and little sister watched, that he left me with a black eye and miscellaneous bruising. I went to school the next day and my friends mouths dropped open when they heard what had happened. They dragged me into the Guidance Counselors office, and he tried to get my mom and SF to come in to talk about it. Nothing ever happened and it was not much later I ran away.

    I have struggled for years to get my life straight since then (I am 46) without the help of my mom, or anyone (there has been a lot of problems with my siblings/other family members also) and now I for once am taking care of business, appropriately. I take an SSRI to manage my own depression (for the last 5 years) and finally got the ball rolling in a positive direction. I have overcome a lot, and had to learn many things the hard way (who did I have to teach me, but me) and I SURVIVED!

    Is it bad that I am avoiding dealing with my moms illness and passing like this. I just need to get through one more semester, graduate, and pass the NCLEX, then I feel like I can grieve. I just can't break down now, I go back to school in 3 days, and we hit the ground running this semester, and I have my little boy to care for.

    I also want to add that I have put much of the pain, anger, and resentment I held inside to sleep. I love my family, and I will miss my mom (and the opportunity to share my happiness over my accomplishments with her). I am pushing back tears and emotions as I write this, but I just can't grieve yet. I don't have time.

    FYI: I didn't graduate from HS, but got my GED when I was pregnant at 18. So when I graduate in May, this will be the first time I walk for a diploma in a cap and gown (2 diploma's to boot: AA/liberal arts and AS/RN).

    Thank You all for your time and any advice would be greatly appreciated.
    traumaRUs, sharpeimom, chare, and 9 others like this.
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  3. 30 Comments so far...

  4. 8
    Oh, Angel, I think it is understandable that you have distanced yourself. You and your children needed to survive, and you could not fix your broken family.

    You will run a gamut of emotions in the months to come. That's okay.

    I, too, got on an SSRI in my mid-forties and for the first time in my life experienced normal.

    Give yourself permissin to grieve, for your mother, your lost father, your miserable childhood, all of it. Just get through school while you do it.

    husker_rn, sharpeimom, DogWmn, and 5 others like this.
  5. 1
    I just want to give you a (((hug))) and say that I'm sorry about your mom's death.
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  6. 3
    very sorry to hear of your mother...my mother passes november 15th and it is hard no matter the family situation.....(((((((hugs)))))))
  7. 2
    Sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. Several people reading your post will be able to identify with some of your situation. It hurts when our mothers leave us no matter what the situation. Your mother would want you to finish your schooling and get your RN. She won't mind if you hold up some of your grieving until later. Our condolences and prayers are with you in this sad time.
    sharpeimom and leslie :-D like this.
  8. 1
    Do not feel guilt. You've been living your own life, and that is a healthy thing to do.

    When my mother died last May, I had a hard time forgiving myself for not having done all of the things I might have with her and for her. I spent several months doing that and feeling miserable about it, until I remembered things not done don't matter. We had a great relationship but we had our own lives and priorities. Our priorities often conflicted, but as two people we had no conflict at all (once I got into adulthood, that is!). It is enough that we got along, made each other happy and brightened each others lives a bit. Now I have moved on.

    Let it be enough that you developed your own life and priorities, overcame the past, and didn't make each other miserable in her last year or so. Never mind all the wonderful things you (or she) could or should have done... should have is for s**t. Focus on the positives, and on what was accomplished by both of you. She had demons but she also had achievements. She survived a tumultuous past, too, and that is no small thing.

    Let yourself mourn your mother. Be sad for a while, and then let yourself be happy. It's all connected.
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  9. 1
    I'm so sorry to hear of your Mom's passing. Its okay (especially under the circumstances) to have mixed feelings. Try to set aside some time with a close friend or mentor to talk. I don't think anyone thinks you're heartless, you have done what you needed to emotionally-to survive. I am similar in age and my childhood circumstances were not pleasant. I can't believe how wonderful it was to become a mom myself (unexpectedly) and to have blessing of being able to decide to give my daughter the emotional support she needs. Its like having a second happier childhood.
    Its not easy going through nursing school and juggling parental, school and work responsibilities. I wish you well, try to take care of yourself. Your childhood has given you a perspective that others don't have. You may have unique insights because of it. After many years, I can finally see that some of the most difficult things I went through were blessings in disguise. Sending you hugs and prayers.
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  10. 4
    First of all, I'm very sorry to hear about your mothers passing My mom is still living so I won't even say I know what you're going through, but you will get through it!! Second of all, I'm sooo sorry to hear about your past. You have had to endure a TON of really awful stuff that no one should ever have to go through!!! I always think it's so heartbreaking when children are abused in any way because it's NEVER their fault and I feel like they are always conditioned to feel like they did something wrong, which I hope is not the case with you!!

    People need to grieve their own way, at their own pace and you should never feel bad about this. I don't think you were selfish at all to have handled your business the way you did. Sometimes, we owe it to ourselves to think about US. Often times it's the people that are the closest to you that act as anchors in your life and bring you down, and there is nothing wrong with distancing yourself from those type of situations, even if it is just for a certain amount of time, to focus on YOU. I'll never forget my 3rd year of nursing school I took microbiology over the summer for 8 weeks, almost 5 hours a day, it was awful! I was studying like crazy, and I was preparing for my final exam. The night before my final, my mom called me to let me know my grandfather had died!! I thought, maybe this sounds selfish to some people, but I really can't even think about it right now!! And I knew he would understand. The point is, we all have to deal with our own lives in the way that suits us best, and you shouldn't feel bad about it!!

    You should be extremely proud of yourself!! You have come so far, don't stop now!! Work through your emotions at your own pace, keep your eye on the prize, and everything will fall into place!! Good luck keep us updated!
  11. 1
    (((hugs)))
    Angel@MyTable likes this.
  12. 0
    Quote from pennyaline
    Let it be enough that you developed your own life and priorities, overcame the past, and didn't make each other miserable in her last year or so. Never mind all the wonderful things you (or she) could or should have done... should have is for s**t. Focus on the positives, and on what was accomplished by both of you. She had demons but she also had achievements. She survived a tumultuous past, too, and that is no small thing.

    Let yourself mourn your mother. Be sad for a while, and then let yourself be happy. It's all connected.
    And what is that song lyric... "Sometimes goodbye is a second chance" I feel that there is something like this for you too. :kiss


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