Ok. So I am my parents only living child. And their marriage has been on the rocks pretty much since my sister got sick with cancer more than 20 years ago. My dad actually bought a second house to have some place to go to get away from my mother nearly 10 years ago. He spends about 3 to 4 days of the week at the “other” house.
Today I took my mother to the doctors -she wanted me to come instead of my father. My parents have been fighting (nothing new) so I got hear all the way to the doctor and in the waiting room what a lousy person my father is. My dad picked up my daughter from her homeschool classes and met us at the hospital -then left to go to the “other” house.
After her appointment we went back to my parents’ house and I stayed for a while and got hear about what a lousy person my father is for several hours except when Dancing with the Stars was on. Then I only had to listen to it during the commercials.
My mother has too much pride to discuss these things with anyone else -including her only family who all live out of state. So I half listen (it’s the same thing over and over and over) and offer it up since she is lonely and has no one else to talk to.
The things is all the things she complains about are are reflection of what she did to me as a teenager. To back track after my sister died my mom pretty much lost it. She became a very cruel, nasty, unhappy person. I left as soon as I could (got married at 18) but my dad has had to live with her all these years.
He is endured things such as being called a Nazi because he is from Germany (my mother is Italian), she’s blamed him for my sister’s death because some how my sister having terminal cancer was his fault, insults his family because he grew up on a farm instead of in a classy city like she did, his job wasn’t a real job because he was just a pencil pusher (a senior engineer for Chrysler) etc. So after years of tolerating these attacks, my dad is no longer very nice to her. I see that -he’s not abusive just does what he wants, doesn’t really care what she thinks, comes and goes as he pleases. She doesn’t drive more than a few blocks from home so she gets stuck at home when he leaves to go to the other house.
She complains about feeling trapped, how he controls her, criticizes her the list goes on -the things he says to her are nearly verbatim of what she said to me as a teenager. A small part of me thinks what comes around goes around, you reap what you sow -which makes me feel guilty because I don’t want my mother to be miserable. She’s nearly 80 now, she lives with so much regret, so much unhappiness and the thing is she’ll probably die that way.
You can’t give her any kind of advice, she just wants marriage counselors to “fix” my dad -as in make him do what she wants, she embraces the martyr role -no one has suffered as much as she has etc. Anytime I try to give her encouragement as far as options to improve she says she’s too old if she was younger it would be different. She misses her family and the"good life" they lead. She’s so into material things as is most of her family. I got to hear how she thought she’d end up in a mansion by marrying an engineer. Instead of “this” as she looks around in distain. “This” is a nice 3 bedroom ranch, in a good neighborhood.
I live in a mobile home and my husband works a factory job and doesn’t make a quarter of what my dad made before he retired. I could care less about material things and I’m proud of my husband.
Sometimes I just so frustrated with my mother because she can’t see the good around her. I repeated about sixteen times today “The only person you can change is yourself.” I get the “wait until your my age”, “you can’t understand, you haven’t suffered like I have” etc.
So anyway, that was my lovely evening. I don’t expect anything to change. I pray for my mom (and dad), there’s always hope ofcourse. There’s still that tiny part of me that remembers the countless days I spent locked in the bathroon sobbing because of her cruelty- feeling alone, trapped and unloved and I that tiny part sees some justice in her circumstances. That ofcourse makes me feel guilty. It is what it is I guess.