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Yes, thank you, this group does appear to be very gracious and compassionate.

I was raised, as you have read, to be silent and not complain. My brother's wives and children seem to be doing okay, outwardly nice people but also very insular. They were happy with me if I listened or helped with their issues, but once I stopped doing that, the sisters-in-law turned on me. I no longer gave them money or cooked the family holiday dinners at mom's (mom always took the credit and yelled at me all day long, geez), etc. My nephews were beginning to see me as a loser, because I never spoke up as I would disrupt the holiday even more so if I did. It had to end. Sisters didn't step up, in fact they became very angry with me for "being selfish" and upsetting my brothers. My feelings were never discussed. They simply demanded I return to "normal" or I was out. I had slowly detached from my family years before mom died. I had read breaking patterns in a dysfunction family was difficult, but wow, this was torture. Mom told me during her illness that she didn't want me around her at all. She only wanted my brothers, but they as usual did not help her and their wives HAD to. (Mom had already given them most of her money.) They became angry I wouldn't help more. I told them that it was mom's wishes. As a matter of fact mom would hang up on me if I called, or call a brother if I showed up unannounced to help her. She gave the impression my presence upset her, so my older brother told me to stay away. I said I will move in with her and help but she refused, and then told her church-lady friends I was a rotten daughter and never helped. I daily tried and tried but she turned me away. I looked like a horrible daughter, and I was clueless how to get past her manipulation. It was a setup. I knew she was terrified I would bring "it" up, or some one would find out, so diminishing me was her only protection from this falsely perceived danger, and she was a maestro. I was expendable. I was "crazy" and useless. She would not talk to me about it. I even wrote her a letter saying I understood and felt so sorry for all she had been through and I wanted to help her. It didn't work. A few days before she died I came with my little brother. (I had asked him to accompany me many times before, but he never did. He didn't refuse, he just never followed through. He was always "too busy") Mom blurted out "(my name), you came back!" as if I were the prodigal son. Geez! I think that was for my brother's benefit, or she just didn't remember, although she was still sharp as a tac. I stayed until she died, two days latter, in her home as she always wanted. I hugged her and told her how much I loved her, and her little skeletal arm came up and around me and she tried to hug me back. Then she died. Shit! Her funeral was torture for me, as all of the old ladies and her pastor let me have it. Her pastor even said I was a bad daughter in front of her entire congregation. Yet I was there for her and my family all of my life. I was to be the executor of her will until the "confession", then she gave that responsibility to my little brother. I had no voice. Only my little brother stood up for me at that funeral. He said he would build a hedge around me, and kept his arm around me the entire day. But he didn't speak. He said he knew, but he simply could not talk about it.

If I could only get my brothers to understand. Their wives merely said "Your mom got over it, why can't you? Its always all about you, isn't it?" I don't believe mom "got over it". I couldn't believe they said that, because I had bought them cars, found them a house and helped them finance it when they were out of options with three little kids, etc. One said "You are going to die a bitter and lonely woman, and you brought it on yourself". Are they heartless women, or just detached, simple and protective of their family? I think the latter. They both said I no longer have a family. My mother also told my older brother's wife the truth, and she said if I bring it up to him, he will have a heart attack, so I had better back off or she would be forced to take action. I certainly backed off. I can see any more effort on my part will only upset their little families, so I will cease now. It didn't take long to realize how little I meant to them, unless I was giving them something.

Well, look at this, a VERY long vent! I have been lugging that around for quite a while. I needed that. Now I can get on with my day. Thanks for listening.





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