Re: another bad daughter

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Just popping in
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I'm one of three "bad daughters" watching my 87 year old mother starve herself to death. She lost a child 40 years ago and - not surprizingly - has been depressed ever since. She refuses to help herself, and for the last 26 years has talked about having nothing to live for. (four children, 7 grandchildren and 7 great-grandchildren don't count in her mind). Two years ago she had a similar health crisis - also at holiday time - and my sister and I flew out, met with her, offered all kids of support and after a week, finally conceded that if she doesn't want to live anymore, it's her right to choose. So for the last 2 years she's eaten barely enough to keep herself alive.

Now she's down to 72 pounds, left the hospital against medical advice, and I just wish she'd get it over with..................                 

Are we really bad daughters? We've spent our lives trying to make her feel loved - to no avail. I thought after 6 years of therapy I had a good handle on it, but now that her death is more imminent, I'm a mess. It's hard to accept that she'd rather be dead than be with me or anyone else in the family.  I keep looking for the lessons to be learned.  How do we avoid doing this to our children?   I agree absolutely that we can't be resposible for how someone else thinks... we can love them and care for them but in the end, we each make our own decisions. She cared for us when we were helpless children, and it feels like we should reciprocate - but it IS different.  Adults make choices - to be hostile, beligerent, hurtful, etc. or to compromise.  Just as I'd extract myself from an abusive marriage, I think we should be able to extract ourselves from abusive parents without feeling all this guilt? 

Posted on 2006/12/11 14:42

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