(Closed) Moral obligation to take care of abusive mother? *RANT/LONG*

posted 6 years ago in Emotional
Post # 3
10366 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2010

I think that you should definitely see a counselor to help you get perspective on your relationship with your mom. I had a really similar situation with mine, and it really just made it to where I could let it all go, and move on with zero guilt.

You do not have a moral obligation to drown yourself emotionally through her. At all.

Post # 4
2065 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

I would ignore the people telling you to be a better daughter or whatever crap they’re feeding you. Unless these people are you or your mother, they have no idea what goes on in your relationship and should never interfere. If someone asked me to give my daughter guilt over not visiting me more often, I would politely tell them I wasn’t getting in the middle of their personal affairs. I can’t believe other people are trying to get involved!

Crayfish had some great advice. I’m also of the opinion that you don’t have a moral obligation to destroy your mental/emotional well being over someone who doesn’t give a shit about it, even if they are family.

Post # 5
1297 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 1999

Wow. Talk about people not minding their own damn business. I’m sure they mean well, but they have no idea what your mother is like when they aren’t around. While my mother hasn’t quite gone off as far as yours, she acts similarly, and it’s terrible. Tell the guilt-trippers firmly that you understand that they are trying to help, but they simply do not comprehend that your mother has violated you beyond the hope of repairing the relationship. Say that you support and care for her as you are able, and that the topic of yours and your mother’s relationship is closed. Refuse to engage with them on it.

Post # 6
1274 posts
Bumble bee

I’m really sorry you are going through all of this. I cannot imagine how emotionally draining all of this is, even before the phone calls from others. Which, to be honest, is absolutely NONE of their business. 

Unfortunately because someone gets sick, doesn’t mean they change as a person. Your mother can and will continue to treat you in the same way and though from time to time you may FEEL obligated emotionally, you are not obligated at all to “make amends” or to behave differently towards her because she has cancer. I want to say to you that if you haven’t, I would certainly look into speaking with a counsellor on a regular basis to begin your recovery from being raised by a toxic parent and the feelings of guilt that accompany this. It is NOT your fault. Please keep your emotional health as first priority, always. You have to be healthy to help others – if this is what you choose to do. 

As for calls and communication from others, I think a simple line might just solve it…something like, “I appreciate your concern for my mother’s wellbeing. I’ll take your advice under advisement” or “Thanks for your concern, however my relationship with my mother is a private matter.” Any person who hears that in response to what they say, would normally back off talking about it any more I would hope! 

One more thing I want to add is that the hoidays seem to bring issues to light even more than any other time of year. The anticipation is often worse then the event or holiday itself. Talk to your Fiance, ask him to support you and help you put on your strong face to see your mother at Christmas for a few hours and then go an celebrate with your other family members that you truly want to spend tiem with. Best of luck OP, I know it’s hard. PM me if you ever need to chat. ๐Ÿ™‚


Post # 7
9887 posts
Buzzing Beekeeper
  • Wedding: September 2012

@bella128:  I feel your pain, only in my case it’s my father who’s the abusive parent.  No matter what I’ve ever done for him it was never enough to stop him being one of the most hurtful and toxic people I’ve ever known.  Every time I talked to him I ended up crying and with my stomach in knots.  I finally decided enough was enough and I no longer have a relationship with him.

I’m to the point where I ignore those who try to “guilt” me about my father (like my aunt, for example).  I know what he did to me and would continue to do if I allowed him in my life.  I don’t owe him anything.  I learned to stop beating my head against a wall hoping and praying he would change.  I don’t wish him any harm but my life is peaceful, calm and consistently happy without him being part of it now.

I wish you all the best.  Just because someone is your physical parent doesn’t give them the right to damage your life forever.  You’re an adult now, walk away and let it go.  You deserve some peace and healing. 

Post # 8
944 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

@Sunfire:  See my previous posts, I have a similar non-relationship with my father – I disinvited him from my wedding next year. I got tired of him telling me what a disappointment and a B-ch I was because I had the nerve to say “no” to him where other people don’t. I don’t even get static from relatives anymore because unfortunately my father has pushed away anyone who ever cared about him – including his 4 kids, his sisters, nieces/nephews…he’s the meanest man I’ve ever known and I’m relieved he’s not going to be at my wedding. He doesn’t deserve to.

@bella128:  Don’t respond to anyone who pushes back regarding your mother – and please don’t invite them to your wedding either. Guilt will eat you alive if you let it. You have to live your life with your husband, that’s what matters.

Post # 9
1853 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: May 2013

@bella128:  My grandmother was a wonderfull mother and grandmother. But in her old age-she’s become a horrible evil woman.

I get that she’s old, that happens. But why our whole family seems to think it’s OK to put up with her abuseive language and actions I have no idea.

Being old isn’t a free pass to be a bitchy person. I stop visiting her until she appologizes. You teach people how to treat you.

You can do it! Stand up for yourself!

Post # 10
3692 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: December 2011

Just because she’s dying does not mean you have to accept abuse from her.  Those other people don’t know your situation.  If they want to pester you about being a lousy daughter, just tell them that’s between you and her.  

As a PP said, people don’t change just because they get sick.  Clearly your mother hasn’t.  She’s trying to milk her illness for all it’s worth rather than trying to fix her relationship with you before she goes.  

Do what you have to in order to take care of yourself.  She’s a lost cause.  

Post # 11
7977 posts
Bumble Beekeeper
  • Wedding: July 2013 - UK

I get this. Truly, I get it. People who are not in this situation will just say “*** your Mum” but they don’t realise how you’ve come to be the parent and she has come to be the child… how you feel you need to look after her simply because she cannot look after herself… how you can’t justify your need to care for her logically, but you just do…

The reason some people’s comments hurt is because, deep inside, you have a voice which says “I should look after her more, because she needs me”. This voice is at war with your logical voice. Logical voice says “she was a ***** before she got sick, and she’s still a ***** now. I owe her **** all. In fact, she owes me”.

I’m not saying I have an answer. You just have to muddle through as best you can. But I feel for you, and I think I get where you’re coming from. You’re definitely not alone!

Post # 12
1830 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: January 2013

bella128 I grew up in a very neglected home, both my parents were herion addicts, my father OD from herion in our home the day before my 9th birthday, I was spending the  night at my grandmothers house for an early bithday present, my older sister of 11 found my father that night. After that my mothers drug use got even worse, we had pimps and prostitues living in our home, as children we would get locked out of the house while my mother and her friends did drugs, we hardly every had utilities so needles to say we were dirty from not being able to take baths, our clothes were dirty, and we were alwasy HUNGRY, since drugs came first in my mothers life. If I had a nickel for every time I walked in my mom or her friends doing drugs or passed out with a needle hanging out of their arm I’d be RICH. My older sister actually stabbed one of my moms guy friends in the hand when she was 12 becasue he was high and scaring us. It was the only thing she thought she could do at the time to get him to leave the house, we had no home phone so calling 911 was not an option, he left the house with the knife still in his hand. We use to find un used needles in a box and throw them on our second floor roof thinking that if we threw the needles out my mom could not use drugs. Not realizing ofcourse that she still would, and we are probably part to blame in her now having AIDS, since as children we threw out hundreds of clean un used needles over the years.

Finally after years of negelect DHS finally took us away from our mother and we went into Foster Care. My two sisters and I all ended up with one family, and our foster mom was 100% mentally and verbally abusive, we went from one bad home to another, and spent 8 years with our mentally and verbally abusive foster mom, and DHS did not care. To them we were better off with our foster parents than my mother. From an outsiders point of view they never saw the abuse that our foster mother put us through, we all had our own rooms, new clothes, cable TV in our rooms, etc etc. My foster mom has never changed, I moved out at 18 while still in high school beause I could not longer take her abuse and never looked back. I have slowly cut all ties with my foster mom and no longer speak to her. I WOULD NOT TAKE CARE OF MY FOSTER MOTHER IN HER TIME OF NEED, and neither will my sisers or her biological daughter, who is MY SISTER. Us girls are all we have.


My real mother has been clean from drugs for the past 15 years after 25 years of herion use, and finally accomplished this after the passing of her father which was my grandfather under the Methodone program. I have forgiven my mother, and plan to help take care of her when the time comes.


Some of you may ask how do I forgive my mother and not my foster mother, and the answer is simple, my mother loves me. My foster mother only loves herself and only took foster children on for a PAYCHECK and MAID SERVICE, and enjoyed verbally and mentally abusing us, she enjoyed it because SHE COULD NOT GET CAUGHT, there were no PHYSICAL BRUISES. My foster mom only looked out for #1 which was herself, even her own childs needs meant nothing compared to her own.


Only you can decide to forgive your mother, and if you never do, I for one would UNDERSTAND! You do not have to answer to any of these people with regards to your behavior, let them think what they want to think.

HUGS to you from mishagirls79.

Post # 15
2143 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

You don’t owe anything to an abusive parent, go live your own life and stay away from toxic people as much as you can.

Post # 16
335 posts
Helper bee

Tell her your opinion of her treatment of you, and cart her butt to a nursing home?

Disclaimer: I’m not really for putting parents in nursing homes, I mean, even though my father hasn’t been the greatest, quite frankly, I look forward to when it comes time to choose whether he gets to go to a nursing home, or not.  Because I will have my parents live with me, and I will let them know that they’re in my house, now, and the rules are mine.  I will get a level of pleasure from that.  However, I also, genuinely, believe that I do owe my parents the same courtesies and necessities they provided for me, unless I am completely unable to take care of them (such as if they develop extreme Alzheimer’s).  My older daughter was talking to me about how sad it was when she went to sing at a nursing home with her school choir.  Short of it being an absolute necessity, I could never have the heart to put my parents in one of those places.  Many of those people rarely get visitors.  I remember playing music at such a nursing home when I was in Catholic grade school, for the people, and I swore after seeing how much of a light it was to those people, that I would never put my parents in one.

But, hey, it’s an option?

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