After everything that has happened since Tuesday night, loads of phonecalls yesterday and a whirlwind going around in my head which just won't stop - and is causing lack of sleep, I think I have come to a few conclusions, and I basically have two options.
1. Take the questioning, the answering, the guilt laying, the 'you should have', and all that comes with it.
2. Walk away from it all
I phoned mum yesterday morning, afterall, she did tell me the night before she was going to kill herself. I am not the cold hearted uncaring person I am sure she and my brother percieve me to be. She was ok, but full of questions wanting answers.
The basic upshot of it all is:
She can't bear to be in the same room as my hubby. She brought up an incident 11 years ago when hubby and I first got together. It was Christmas and we'd all gone to my brothers house. Hubby (unknown to me at the time) is what's known as a binge drinker alcoholic. He didn't drink during the week, but when he was off work for any time, he would drink to excess every evening. He IS an alcoholic, but has now been t-total for 5 and a half years. Hubby decided in his drunken state to tell my mum what he thought of her and how she'd treated me. It didn't go down well obviously and everyone ended up in a state. She brought this up yesterday and told me I was wrong for not standing up for her at the time. This had all been discussed and (I thought) solved years ago.
Various other incidents were brought up which all involved hubby's alcoholism and how he abused me. Again, since he stopped drinking none of this happens anymore. That has all been dealt with over the years and threat of divorce etc due to his drinking. He is a different person sober and has changed so much for the better. Sleeping dogs will not lie however and now Mum and my youngest brother have both said they can't stand him for what he's done over the years and don't want him in the same room. A nice position for me to be in eh? considering it's a 3 hour drive to visit mum... one that I can't drive alone for various reasons (including medical)... which, according to my brother (I've since found out) are just excuses and I'm a whinger.
All through the phone call I was being asked 'why didn't you do...?' or told 'you should have done this...' I can only do what I can do based on my judgement and situation at the time. All the time she was telling me that she was seriously ill for 4 years. I am fully aware of that. She had a mental breakdown.. was treated, told she was bipolar, told she wasn't, but now insists she is again. Either way, whatever it is, I supported her the best I could. Considered her as much as possible. My actions are now being questioned. When I asked if she needed me to come over, no, she couldn't cope with anyone there, especially a child under 5. I didn't go. She had dr's and nurses visiting, my brother, my aunt and various other people, I thought there were enough people to care for her. Now it seems that I should have rented a flat near her house for a month or so, just so she knew I was near if she needed me. I should have over-ruled her decision for me not to go and gone anyway. WHAT?
She has gaping holes in her memory of the last 4 years, which I can understand. When you suffer a breakdown, one day rolls into another and you don't remember things or situations. I have suffered with depression on and off for over 20 years. I have fibromyalgia which can immobalise me at times. I am an emotional wreck and am currently on medication for anxiety and depression. I am not a coper, especially when it comes to me having to justify myself. But when I said this, it was met with, but that's nothing to what I've gone through. Nowhere near. Maybe it's not. As far as I'm concerned, it's not a competition as to who has been the worst medically. I was trying to explain that things can be difficult for me too because of medical reasons. To which the reply was, when you were sick as a single parent with two young children I came straight over to help. Where were you when I needed help?
Oh it went on and on, I tried to fill in some of the gaping voids and explaining situations that she had no recollection of or had got totally wrong in her head, and that decisions had been made with her being foremost in the decision making to ensure things were the least stressful for her.
But I now feel that I can't justify myself and my decisions over the last however many years of my life any longer. My life and my decisions have been mine. Rightly or wrongly made they were made for a reason at the time and I dealt with the consequences. I feel that now my mum is trying to go through a big therapy session to solve her life through, in particular, me and my middle brother, or more.. his wife. It isn't just me this is happening to. My sister in law has just had mum over for the weekend and told her a few truths. This led to the killing herself phone call from mum. My elder daughter is also involved in this. But what mum can't see, is that she is the common denominator in all this. All her immediate family are involved. We all feel the same way, we're all being put through the mill because my mum has decided that things need discussing. I know that there are still more things she wants to discuss.. it's looming over me but I can't take any more of it. It is taking over me. It's all I can think about and it's not fair. My hubby's point of view? Why are we all still pandering to her like we always have? She's no longer depressed by her own admission. She's trying to sort herself out and she has a cuckoo land idea of what her family should be. And it's not the way she wants it to be so she's trying to change it.
She is behaving like a spoiled brat stomping her feet because she's not getting her own way. But for me there is no happy medium. I'm not prepared to do the 3 hour each way drive once a month and stay for the weekend without my hubby because that's what my mum wants. But if I remain in contact with her, I will constantly be told she needs to see me. She even said we can stay in a hotel somewhere for the weekend just so that we can spend time together.. her, me and Isabelle. She said she's not making me choose between her and my hubby, but she's made it clear that he's not welcome in anything that involves her and myself.
I need to write to mum to say a few things. I can't think quick enough on the phone. I don't like confrontation. And having had at least 4 confrontational phone calls with her, I really can't deal with any more. But how do I write without being accusing and saying it's her fault, even by implication? I don't want to upset her, especially when her emotions are all over the place. But in the interim, she has no idea what I'm having to deal with. And even when I did say I was struggling to cope with it all, she said 'Well I've had to deal with it for years and I'm trying to sort everything out now.'
Having written all this to try and get it out of my head and sort some kind of sense, it's becoming more and more clear what my only option is. I just need to work out a way to go about it. I don't like hurting or upsetting people, I put other peoples feelings first.. to a fault.. but I'm not prepared to live with a whirlwind in my head and my self esteem plummeting lower than it already is.. if that's possible.