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poisonous relations

Community Member

Hi all,

is it just me or does it appear to others that everything seems to be against you when you are battling this disease. You make a conscious decision to address one or more of your triggers, and then Wham! something happens to start it all over again.

As you all know  I have spent many many hours with my psych working out my triggers and how to deal with the demons that come with them. I have recently decided to severely limit my interaction with my family and in particular with my mother and one sister.

I almost felt I was getting to a place where the hurt wasn't quiet as raw, and the rejection didn't make my anxiety peak until yesterday. I received a text early in the morning from one sister advising me our mother had been taken to hospital in an unconscious state ( she resides permanently in a nursing home).

So of course instant panic and I prepare to drop everything to rush to her side( 2 hour drive). I was aware I had a psych appointment in the afternoon and desperately wanted to keep it as I need that regular support. I waited till lunch time and when my sister let me know my mother was stable I decided to go to psych.

the battle I had going on inside me about whether I had made the right decision or not had me in quiet a state by the time I arrived for appointment. My psych was proud of me for resisting the urge to once again try and gain 'brownie points' or be the best daughter by rushing there.

My resolve was slipping though and despite the sensible side of me knowing it would not enhance my relationship with my mother to go I was sorely doubting my decision. I said to my psych over and over that it didn't matter what she had done to me, she was my mother and I should be there. His concern as always was that the constant rejection and disdain my mother showed me would ultimately  break me.

my other trigger is my need to be needed. I have always been the family organiser, the go to sibling. I organise all family events , almost to a manic level. I am obsessed with the need to keep the family together as much as possible. I am currently exploring the reasons behind this too, and have consciously dropped out and not done any organising- the result being no-one else does it.

Anyway half way through my session I received a phone call from my uncle to let me know my last living aunt had passed away. OMG ! it was like someone had flipped a switch. Straight away I was telling my uncle don't worry I will be over asap , I will help organise things and I will let all of my sibs know. I then advised him that my mother was in hospital and maybe shouldn't tell her, blah, blah .

When I hung up my psych was just staring at me . there I was receiving therapy for major, control issue among other things and in one moment I had forgot everything. It's not like there isn't anyone else who can do these things, it's just that I think it has to be me- obviously these behaviours stem from the issues in my childhood which I won't go into .

I need to get this balance right. I need to accept my mother is never going to give me what I want , she will never change and I am destroying and wasting my life hoping otherwise. My previously fractured relationship with one sister is beyond repair and the hurt is so painful at times it's physical.

I have at the moment decided not to jump in car and race down to see mother, right or wrong I don't know. I think I am going to hurt either way. It is just so hard to cut family out of my life, even though it seems that most if not all of my issues stem from these poisonous relationships.

My husband supports my decision because although he doesn't know the extent of my problems he has seen the rejection and the hurt it causes me. I don't know how long I am going to be able to stay strong though as I know the guilt I would feel should she pass away without me seeing her would be devastating.

I know a lot of my friends here on BB are facing similar issues so maybe can see something I maybe missing.

thanks for listening


34 Replies 34

Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Stressless,

Firstly can I say that I hope you mum will be okay, you know even though you have been through so much heartache in the years your mum is still your mum.  And I know that I would most likely drive 2 hrs to see my mum as well. But I am glad that you didn't rush off straight away and you still got to have your psych session, that is control - well done.

You and me!! OMG

I am exactly like you in doing all the family stuff, organising christmas, easter, get togethers it WAS always me.  But since all my abuse stuff came out 4 yrs ago that has changed.

And like you I still have this thing that I have to prove to my mum and dad that I am a good daughter.  But they don't act or behave in a way that I so much want them to.

You know Stressless, the more I read about you and your family the more I can see myself and my family.  And it hurts, it hurts so damn much.

I am feeling for you so much Stressless that I am sending you a big warm hug.

At the moment I have the same dilemma - talk to my parents or not talk to them or accept the way they are.  But I will write this in a new post; not on here.

Strressless, take care, I am thinking of you

Jo xxx

Community Member

Hi Jo,

thanks for your response .

not sure what to do. I am guilt ridden, but angry as well

I am hurt and sad .

be kind to yourself


dear Stressless, I am sorry about your mother, and being in a nursing home is she capable of knowing what is going on with herself at the moment.

What you have to do is to balance up what has happened with this relationship over the past and how much damage it has caused you, and whether by going to see her, it is going to change anything between either of you.

What you have said is 'my mother is never going to give me what I want', so basically you have answered your own question, and if this what you believe then her condition would make no difference.

You may feel upset that she is unconscious and at hospital, but the balance isn't even now, as she has made no effort to contact you in your own time while in depression. L Geoff. x

Community Member

Dear Stressless;

Really great post that you’ve provided – with so many heartfelt thoughts shared.

You ARE doing the right thing.  Separating yourself from people who continually cause you stress and bring you down (Jo, I hope you’re reading this as well).  These people are toxic to you and let’s face it, they don’t care about you (which is awfully tough and please forgive me for saying it – whoops, I’ve already said it), but they don’t.  If they did, you wouldn’t be faced with these dilemmas that you’re now having to confront.

I put this question to you (and I think you already know the answer, as I believe it’s already happened to you) and the question is:  “What if you were to be admitted to hospital?  And say you’re there for a period of time – between 3-5 days or so – WOULD you get a visit from your mother?   Sister?”  I’m pretty sure the answer is a definite, “No” – they wouldn’t go and visit you.  Then WHY do you feel compelled to visit them?  To be there for them? 

Now before you say, “But I’m not them – I’m a caring person who loves them as relations should” – and you know what, I 100% agree with you in most situations, but NOT this.  Why?   Because of the background here – if you had a ‘normal’ parent/daughter relationship’ (I put that in quotes because who knows what normal really is) – then YES you should be there, as they would be there for you.

But in this case Stressless, I guess my advice is to abandon (not have anything to do with mother/sister) this avenue of your life (but only after you’ve read my last paragraph).  I know it’s so easy for an outsider to come and say, but I do have ‘some’ experience in this – as in, I do have a brother (by blood) who I have removed from my life – despite massive arguings from my mum about this, but he had to go – he was toxic to MY health and I’ve felt so much better for doing this.  It’s been over 6 years now and that’s one stressor that I was able to take care of.

You know, taking that call when you had your psych session I thought was really good – it gave your psych the perfect insight to just how you are and how you respond to things like these when they crop up.  That would have given your psyche plenty of good pointers to work on addressing.

Ok, you’ve now got some major factors to weigh up – but just before I get to that you’ve mentioned:  that you will be hurt either way, if you do go see her, you’ll be no doubt facing immediate hurt by the fact that she won’t acknowledge you or something along those lines (but that is her hurting you to a degree – although my psyche would argue, that it is still you hurting yourself with how you react to the situation – as in you could go there and feel “ok” that you’ve been there to see her and if she ignores you, then that’s her problem – not yours and if you don’t let it affect you, then you’ve had a major win)  Boy oh boy, I hope that hasn’t confused you at all.

I think that I’ve just then answered my “other suggestion” that I was going to propose to you – and that is in response to you wondering whether you should go and see her.  I believe that you should – go and visit her because as you’ve suggested if something awful was to happen, then it’d be devastating for you and if something did happen, well, there’s no other option for you then - there's no turning back and all you'll be left with is the old "if only".  But now you have the option – go visit, with no expectations, but also that you’ll be strongly aware that things will no doubt still be the same – but as long as you’re aware of that, that should be ok.  But by visiting her, this will then put you in a much stronger position to move forward without having any possible guilt feelings looming over you in the future.

Stressless, I’ve re-read my post and it all seems to be highly pointed and “telling” you this and “telling” you that – as opposed to providing you with suggestions and possibilities etc.  So please accept my apologies for being too blunt here – and rearrange things so that they are suggestions that you might wish to consider.

Kind regards


Dear Neil, Geoff

thanks so much for your support once again and I will respond but I would like to read through again first.

I would like to share something with you first. Something I only have ever told my psych

It is something that has left me conflicted for 15 years and with Mothers Day approaching I know I am in for a torrid time.

I was very lucky that my mother in law was the exact opposite to my mother. She welcomed me into the family as a daughter and we enjoyed a very close relationship. She was warm, affectionate, caring and loved her grandchildren to bits. 

Unfortunately she had several bouts of cancer and her health was poor. One day my kids came home from school and found her on the floor. She had tripped over and as we soon found out she had broken her hip.

In hospital they prepared to operate, but on opening her up found she was riddled with cancer, stomach and bowel. there was no point operating. we were devastated.

She quickly declined and was unconscious most of the time. It was the Saturday before Mothers Day and I was managing a ladies boutique at the time and we were hugely busy and I was exhausted. I thought about going straight home but then something made me visit my m.i.l in hospital.

When I entered her room she was sitting up in bed, bright as a button fully conscious and aware. I was astounded and quickly called all the family to come in and see her. I was able to have some precious time with her alone before everyone came.

She held my hand and told me how much she loved me and how happy I had made her and her son. Having never been told I was loved by either of my parents I was overcome with emotion, but realized I had been given an awesome opportunity that most people never get .

so I told her how much I loved her and would miss her so much. I told her I loved her more than my mother and I wished she had been in my life longer.  She told me she would always be part of my life.

All the family were able to say goodbye that day while she was still conscious. The next day was Mothers Day. She did not regain consciousness, but I know she willed herself not to pass on this day or the  next which was my son's birthday.

Two days after Mothers day she passed away. I thought my heart would break. that was 15 years ago and even writing this now the tears are streaming down my face. Come mothers Day I do all the right things for my mum, buy present , organise a visit or lunch or something but my heart isn't in it.

I find it hard to find a suitable card as most of them express thanks for things I never had and my words to my mother in law on her death bed, that I loved her more than my own mum always rings in my ears and I am disgusted with what an awful daughter I am. This guilt threatens to consume me.

sorry I just needed to share


Hi Stressless, 

I just wanted to say you are in my thoughts. Thankyou for sharing that precious story with us. It must have felt like puling teeth writing it, but if I could give you a big hug right now i would. Family can be a real pain sometimes, as seems to be a theme around here lately. 

Fortunately so etimes family, the ones choose to keep and the ones we create, two legged or four can give us the greatest joy.


Blue Voices Member
Blue Voices Member

Hi Stressless

Thanks for sharing that special story.  I can just imagine how hard this must have been to type.  I understand what you're saying, where you're coming from.

Family - they are so difficult sometimes (no most of the times).

Sending you a big hug, thinking of you my friend

Take care

Jo xxx

Hey GA,

I appreciate your comforting words as always.

yes it was very hard to post my story as I really struggle with so many mixed emotions about my relationships - past and present.

Take care and

be Kind to yourself


Community Member

Hey Jo,

I appreciate your thoughts but you really should just look after yourself. I read your last post and you don't seem to be coping well.

So I am returning your hug and adding another. Jo there must be a way for us to live in peace, and be at peace with our choices.

Geoff and Neil have given me lots to think about and most of it applies to you too,

How do we know if we are making the right decision?

Be kind to yourself