Not sure what to do


Do I give up on a family member that has finally pushed it too far? My mom has always had problems but now she has really done it! My aunt died last Friday and instead of calling me (last time we spoke she hung up on me) she just left me totally out of the loop. When my sister asked if I had been told, she said, “I am not speaking to her, she hung up on me.” Then she said, “Your brother talked to her and he knows.” Great!!! She is mixing lies with a little truth! I talked to my brother on Thursday night (Aunt died Friday). My sister called me on Sunday wondering if I was coming to the funeral or if I even knew…she knows better than to trust mom thank God. Anyway, as you can imagine, I was furious!

First, I don’t care if we are speaking or not, she should have called or made arrangements for another sibling to call me if she wouldn’t. Second, I DIDN’T hang up on her, she hung up on me when I told her that she was going to hear my side of an arguement if she was going to listen to everyone elses side. About a year ago my oldest sister and I had an argument that she drug all my other siblings into (5 of us kids in all). Since then, my oldest sister and my one brother have not spoken to either my sister or myself, but our youngest brother managed to escape judgement and was able to remain friends with all of us.

There have been many squabbles over the years but this one kind of settled it for me and my one sister, we decided that our mom, oldest sister and one of the brothers were too mentally unstable to let our children around them without supervision. Since then, my sister has had to leave 3 family events because one of these family members has said or done something she found unacceptable in front of her kids. I don’t have this problem since I live too far away to make it to these painful ordeals anyway.

Well anyway, my mom really crossed a line when she wouldn’t tell me about my aunt. At first I planned to call her up and tell her what an evil person I thought she was, but my sister asked me not to do anything until the day after the funeral because she had to see them there and she was afraid they would make her life miserable over it. I agreed to this because I knew she was right, they would. In any event, I found out about my aunt on Sunday afternoon and the viewing was monday night and funeral was Tuesday morning. I had already committed myself to driving my step daughter home (Springfield IL) on Monday, but if I had left straight from there I would have gotten to PA either too late for the funeral on Tues or just made it if I even knew the streets well enough to find the church.

I know why my mom didn’t want me to know, it is because for years she has told all kinds of stories about me and she doesn’t want my cousins to fnd out what a liar she is. Part of this I take the blame for, I suspected she had done this but I didn’t do anything to correct it because I was hurt that people would believe her lies. My sister did confirm this when I asked her about it she said, “Our cousin asked me about you because mom told her you were different.” OK these are my nice words, my cousin was under the impression that I was whacked out and mentally ill.

I am still really mad at my mom, but I am not sure that confronting her would do any good since she will use it as an excuse to tell my brothers and oldest sister what a bad daughter I am yet again. But if I do nothing, her bad behavior continues…

What would you do?



Second, do nothing while you are enraged, it is the worse possible time to make good judgement decisions.

Third, pray. Pray for grace. Pray for wisdom. Pray for the spirit of forgiveness.

“forgive us our sins as we forgive those who sin against us.” We are offered forgiveness under no other circumstance. :frowning: A sobering thought. Pray for grace again. And again.

This is your cross. Pick it up and follow Him. And pray for grace.:gopray2:


since you are asking this question on a Christian forum I presume you are looking for the Christian answer. Christ’s teaching on forgiveness comes to mind. If we are unable to forgive those who hurt us, neither will God forgive us our sins. Forgiveness, however, does not imply approval, toleration or acceptance of bad behavior, nor does it require that we continue in a relationship with the offender, or in a state of co-dependency.


Been praying… not sure if it was to get over the anger or praying I don’t do something to get arrested (kidding) That is why I haven’t called mom yet. I don’t trust myself just yet to make a proper reply.


Sounds like you and mommy-dearest could use a little vacation from each other’s lives. Not out of spite, anger, punishment, etc. But just a cooling down period. Don’t call, don’t answer her calls for a few weeks while you let the dust and emotions settle.

After you’ve allowed yourself some emotional space, give her a call–and make sure it lasts only about 5 minutes. Don’t try and confront her with her bad behaviour or how it made you feel–she is too self-absorbed to acknowlede any problem, much less undertake the work it would require to change her bad habits. Hit the high points of in terms of updating her about you, the kids, etc. Make a few inquiries about her life and end on a positive note.

Detach yourself from the expectation that you have mother who can offer you stable, reliable emotional support and reasonable interaction. Scale back your emotional investment in her–it will diminish her ability to use your personal information to hurt you. Once you are not so entangled with your mom–it will be far easier to shrug off her bad/manipulative/spitful behaviour-- without engaging in all the emotional turmoil and conflict.


Island Oak…you just described my relationship with her for the past 20 years…blow up, cool down, ignore the problem and talk nice…superficial but nice… Then wait for the next time she does something bad. Granted, it is not usually as bad as this time but always the same pattern. The big joke in my family among the siblings is “OK, who ruined mom’s Christmas this year?” No lie, she always has to accuse someone of ruining her Christmas (insert any holiday here). I just don’t think this is working anymore. She still reverts back to bad behavior very soon after each time I start talking to her again. I feel like I have been orphaned yet one more time. I want to either settle the problem or accept that mom will never change and cut my losses before my kids get more hurt by this than they have. She pumps them for info when I won’t tell her what she wants to know or she makes little snippy comments about me in front of the kids.

Agreed!!! I have to get over the idea of having a mom that could actually act like a mom or even act like a normal person… For the most part I only talk to her one or two times a month but I dread holidays and times when we actually have to interact more often.


1.) Follow puzzleannie’s advice.
2.) Send flowers, a Mass card if your aunt was Catholic, and a sympathy note to your cousins and, if he’s still alive, your aunt’s husband (uncle). WITHOUT TEARING YOUR MOM DOWN IN ANY WAY, SHAPE OR FORM, OR EVEN MENTIONING HER, simply state you would have been there, but you did not find out until Sunday, making it impossible for you to be there.


Well, IMOHO, it sounds to me like your mother could use what my old Grandmama used to call “a good dose of lettin’ alone”.


I agree with Puzzleannie and the others. Take the high road, act the adult even though the others in your family are acting like five year olds.

I have a crazy mom, too. My sympathy to you. One thing that helped me get perspective on it was this excercise my therapist had me do.

She had me write three letters to my mom, one a day, but not send them, just write letters as if I were talking to her. This helps you vent, helps you get past the negativity, etc. The letters should change as you write each one. Anyway, if you can do this, write them, and then wait a week and go back and read them again. It helps you see it more clearly. You never send the letters. Ever. Won’t help.

In my case, the first one was full of hurt and anger, but the last one was kind of interesting…


I too think you should take the high road, make Miss Manners proud and set a good example for your own mom (all the while acknowledging that she’s not going to change):

Be gracious, attend the funeral, be polite and force yourself to act like you only assumed the best about the whole scenario. Stop talking about it with everyone (just in case you are :slight_smile: ). Ask Mary what she would have done. (Okay, so her mom’s literally a saint…maybe her mother in law was hard to deal with?:wink: )


I think there’s a psychobabble term that applies here. You have what is termed a ‘toxic family’, from the sounds of it. It’s a family that was and continues to be destructive to you. Your mother sounds very disturbed. Sometimes it’s okay to steer clear and work on forgiveness from a distance. It’s not your fault, you were the little kid and she was the toxic parent. Try and take care of your family now. You can heal by being the parent you never had.


All parties are Catholic. You are so right Annie! I am in a much better frame of mind now, and it seems quite obvious without all the anger in my way. I still mourn the fact that it has become impossible to remain a part of a family that acts like this. I think part of it is still wanting a mom who is capable of loving and caring about me. That is the part that hurts…that i have never felt her approval with anything I have ever done. Just once, I keep telling myself…and then the rejection and bad behavior happens yet again. Well, I just feel like saying, “Yes mom, I will forgive you in so much as I believe you are mentally ill, but I won’t be the punching bag anymore. Please don’t call when you know I’m not home to pump my kids for information, and please don’t tell my brothers and sisters all you have done for me when you haven’t, just leave me out of conversation.” But of course I won’t say anything of the sort because it will just start a whole new war and that is not my intention. I need to just trust that God can handle this mess just fine without my intervention…OMGosh!!! The thought!!! I feel like I have cheated my kids out of a grandmother, but truly, do I really want them to hear about how she takes only one sisters kids out or watches them and excludes their favorite cousins? Thankfully we are too far away for them to see all this up close like their cousins have seen. They think grandma is cool because she woke them up at 2:30 in the morning just to see if they wanted ice cream, and mom would never do that.

Well here’s to forgiving but not forgetting…:thumbsup:
but most of all, here’s to friends that are willing to tell me when i need to be more forgiving!!!:clapping:


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