Abusive mother

As a child I was both mentally and physically abused by my mother. I was told I was ugly, would never have friends etc. My mother was very controlling and, I now realise, very jealous. About 30 years ago she decided it was better to cut ties and I didnt have any contact until 25 years ago when she had a bad fall and rang me for help. After hospital and rehab she wanted to go into a home so I found her a beautiful Home where she spent her last five years. I visited her every week but she was never pleased to see me and was forever finding fault with everything. 18 months ago she threw a mega tantrum and I was ex communicated again. She never got in touch, never asked about me or wanted to see me, even on her deathbed. I have a brother who lives abroad and visited her occasionally and he could do no wrong. When she died and at her funeral I felt no emotion except sorrow for the mother she might have been. I also feel angry that despite all the help my husband and I gave her, selling her house, organising her finances, taking her to hospital for monthly injections etc…she never, ever showed any appreciation just a sense of entitlement to all we did. People who knew said I did more than enough for a very unpopular person, people who didn’t know her can’t understand how I feel and say “but she was your mother, you can’t feel like that”. Is it wrong to feel angry and disappointed?

Hi. Goldie. No, it’s not wrong to feel as you do. There is no right or wrong in it. How can we know what goes on in the mind of another, however close they are. It’s very difficult to understand why some children are favoured above others. Why some parents do have favourites. You said she was very jealous. Of what? Maybe it was your happiness with your husband. Maybe.
But is it necessary to feel anger and disappointment? Anger is very corrosive emotion, and since there’s nothing you can do about what happened, it can go on upsetting you.
The reward for you is knowing you did all you could to help. That in itself is enough. We can only do our best at the time. If those who knew your mother say you did your best, then accept that. Observers often see more than we do, especially if we are emotionally involved.
Being abused as child, either emotionally or physically, can cause so much trouble in later life. So many parents have no idea of the damage they can do psychologically.
It may be that you lost any real feelings for your mother after your childhood experiences. But an important emotion in all this is forgiveness. I know, often so difficult. ‘To err is human, to forgive, divine’. An old saying but true.
Take care. The process of grief is often slow. give it time.

Thank you for your kind words. My mother was always prone to jealousy even as a child, according to her brother. I have forgiven her and I felt sorry for her, in the end she had no friends. I suspect you are right and that the anger will subside over time.

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