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Very interesting question...wish I had more time...my mother was verbally and physically abusive; dad died when I was 13, so I just had her through my teen years and beyond and had to deal with her rage. She is a survivor of the Holocaust, so has good reasons for her rage and messed up life, but that didn't make it any easier on her children.

She is now 85 and was diagnosed with Alzheimer's about 4 years ago - I cared for her in my home for a year and now she is with my sister. How did I do it? I did what I've always done, disregarded my own well being and put her first and since then I've had to deal with the consequences of poor health.

[This message has been edited by MIMI427 (edited 06-29-2007).]
Several months ago, I wrote a post regarding toxic parents and how very difficult it is to overcome their destructive legacies. My mom has lived with us for over 20 years now, and in February, we entered hospice. She has end-stage COPD and I had reached the end of my endurance without help. It was the best thing I ever could've done for myself as well as for her.

Mom was alway manipulative and controlling, and would go into bouts of uncalled for temper tantrums. Her life was hell, but most of it was brought on by her own selfishness. My dad couldn't stand to be around her, so my brother and I suffered.

Now, she's just a shell of the woman she once was. It's a long story that I don't want to go into again right now. Suffice it to say, I've had to learn Healing 101 in a very short time. I knew that if I didn't, the anger, bitterness, and resentment would eat me alive, and I would continue to be eaten alive long after she dies.

Healing is perhaps the number one hardest thing to do, especially while the parent is still alive and you are the caregiver. But, trust me, it can be done. The time to start is now. It will take time, but it's imperative to begin the process.

I had to face the demons in myself ... all the horrible memories. I didn't have to face her physically, rather on an internal level. I cried for weeks, remembering the little girl and all the pain. But, once I remembered and faced the pain, I think I was better enabled to face the present and the future. I was even finally able to remember the good things that Mom tried to do for me.

Healing is a long, soul searching process. And even now, something will happen or she'll say something, and the anger and resentment surfaces. But, I also know that her time is limited and she's afraid. At this late stage in her life, she is facing her own demons and is trying to justify her life. I can't help her with that, but I know that she'll be gone one day, I have to live on and be whole.

I know you can do it. The important thing is to start now while your parent is still alive. As hard and as time and energy consuming as caregiving can be, it really does offer us so many opportunities to overcome our own obstacles.

Carpe Diem

Dee
Goodness this is a good one . . .

I personally prefer a different term than 'toxic' not sure what it is yet but yes I had a verbally abusive father who is unbelievably now . . .

My Mom threatened to leave I think once a week and I see so much of that coming into my marriage now in me . . .

I can lose my temper so easily . . if I feel 'threatened' in any way . .

So wow how have I dealt with this?

I think forgiveness of yourself for anything you think you are doing 'wrong' , knowing you're OK . .

Forgiving whomever you're upset with . .

For me to 'trust' that all will be OK is a biggie .. .

I was going to post a message saying that for me my sense of 'time' is off kilter but I think this belongs here . . .

When we/I have a lot on my plate that is mixed in with so many emotions I 'lose track' of what day it is . . . .etc.

Hope that helps!

seba

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