1. Devonmaid

    Devonmaid Registered User

    Sep 23, 2007
    51
    Dartmoor Devon
    Hello again, sorry to once more asking for some guidance but I didnt know where else to turn . When I visited my Mum in hospital yesterday , I had a long chat with the unit manager , she was very kind and asked me to fill her in on Mums background as she said that it was felt that she was having some guilt issues over something . Thing is , my sister and I both suffered abuse by my late Father when we were children . Its something that we ( my sister and I ) have talked about but have never ever discussed it with Mum as she adored my Father even though he was extremely abusive towrds her also and since he died , 40 years ago, Mum has had him on a pedestal . Even though she has been married to our step Father for 30 years , she has never got over our Fathers death and at times its hard for my sister and I to hear her talk about him as he was a cruel and abusive person who ruined our childhoods . Mum always defended him , even when he abused us , she always took his side and I am now wondering if, in her dementia, this has come back to haunt her and if this is the reason for her obvious guilt . I didnt mention it to the unit manager yesterday as it is painful to talk about and requires more than just a ten minute chat but I am now wondering if we should tell them or whether its best to keep it to ourselves . We have long since forgiven our Mother for it all , she is now 87 years old and we dont want to be disloyal but there again, it may throw some light on how she is expressing herself , any advice out there please ?
     
  2. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,340
    Kent
    Dear Devonmaid,

    If an understanding of your mother`s behaviour is likely to affect her care, and you feel comfortable disclosing your abuse to the unit manager, I would.

    There is a saying `truth will out`, and although your mother has never condemned your father for his abuse, and remained loyal to him after his death, it seems she did suffer guilt, and is now being affected by it.

    I hope that gives you and your sister some comfort.

    Take care

    Love xx
     
  3. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Hi Devonmaid

    I'd be asking a few questions before going down that road. You said in a previous post that your mum is very seriously ill, both physically and mentally. I'd want to know why they think she has guilt issues. People with vascular dementia may have delusions, hallucinations, and live in a fantasy world.

    Of course, they may be right, but then I'd want to know if it would help her to bring it all to the surface at this stage. Again, they may be able to convince you that it would, but I'd want to know.

    And then, is it going to help you and your sister to go over it all? You say you've long forgiven your mum, but bringing it to the surface again might also bring up old resentments. Is that worth it, if as you say you think your mum is near the end?

    I can't answer your question, and I wouldn't presume to advise you, knowing so little about your family, but I hope I've given you something to think about.

    Good luck, whatever you decide, you're right, it is a delicate situation. Let us know how it goes.

    Love,
     
  4. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,340
    Kent
    Dear Devonmaid.

    I`m sorry if I did not make myself clear, but I would never suggest for a minute that issues from the past would be raised with your mother. She is in no fit state to discuss the past or the present in a rational manner.

    My suggestion was for you to confide in the Unit Manager, `if you feel comfortable`, to enable the manager to gain more insight, without discussion, into your mother`s anxiety.

    Love xx
     
  5. Devonmaid

    Devonmaid Registered User

    Sep 23, 2007
    51
    Dartmoor Devon
    No, my sister and I would never ever want this to be brought up with our Mum . She is a very old, very sick lady and wouldnt understand what was being said to her and in any case, where she is concerned, its a can of worms best left in the tin . The unit manager and Mums own phsyciatrist have both said that Mum is severely depressed . Mums situation right now means that talking things out with her is not an option but that , in the recent past, she has mentioned feelings of guilt but not expounded further . I just wondered if, by telling them of what had happened long long ago, it would help them to understand her depression and maybe answer a few questions for them , Mum must never be faced with all of this, she is far too poorly , thanks for your replies ,
    Kate
     
  6. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Kate, you're absolutely right. I'm sure it wouldn't help your mum at this stage to bring it to the surface.

    So really, the only question is whether you want to talk about your experiences. I don't think any therapist would bring it up either, so understanding the possible reason for your mum's feelings isn't going to help her.

    All I can suggest is that you tell your mum as often as possible how much you love her, and talk about pleasant experiences from your childhood. This might comfort her and ease her conscience, if that is what's bothering her.

    But again, I don't think anyone can be sure what's going on in her mind.

    Love,
     
  7. Grannie G

    Grannie G Volunteer Moderator

    Apr 3, 2006
    69,340
    Kent
    I think it might.

    Of course.

    xx
     
  8. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Whew it was like reading about my childhood

    Dear Devonmaid,
    I too went through exctly the same in my childhood and I know exactly what you are going through. Those herrendous memories never leave but I have discussed it with Doctors, Social Worker, Case Supporter. I don't know if the following will help but this is my situation. My mother remarried 30 years ago to a wonderful man. Now my Mother has had 4 strokes and because I remember, she has actually disowned me. Sent me a wicked letter and did not want to see me again. Only certain members of my family knew. My mistake was - my step-father who I absolutely adored asked me why I never mentioned my father who had died. So I told him. So that was 20 years ago. They do say with dementia that memories way back come to the present. I think it is something that only you and your sister can decide to tell/or not to tell . I would love to be able to sit with my mother and hold her hands, just to be near her but that unfortunately will never happen. i wish you the very best. Christine
     
  9. janetruth

    janetruth Registered User

    Mar 20, 2007
    563
    nuneaton
    Hello Kate

    I can only give you my opinion, I wouldm't bring 'the past ' up as there is nothing to be gained, beside your Mum might have feelings of guilt about something totally unrelated. I was brought up to be honest but since having my Mum, who has AZ with us, I tell half truths now, that hurt no-one.
    I would comfort our Mum and tell her how much you love her, let her know she is and has been a wonderful Mum.

    I wish you all well
    Janetruth x
     
  10. Devonmaid

    Devonmaid Registered User

    Sep 23, 2007
    51
    Dartmoor Devon
    Yes, I think that you are a brave person too Christine and I am genuinly sad that your honesty has caused such heartbreak for you, so often the victims become the wrong ones dont they and just because they dare to speak the truth . My sister feels like I do , doesnt know what to do and so most likely its best not to say anything right now and if the question of guilt comes up again with carers , be it doctors or nurses, we will have a rethink . Mum is very poorly and I tend to think that the past has caused her some remorseful depression but the most important thing now is that both my sister and I continue to tell her that we love her and that way , if she is worried inside, she may feel more reasurred and feel our unspoken forgiveness .
     
  11. christine_batch

    christine_batch Registered User

    Jul 31, 2007
    3,388
    Buckinghamshire
    Dear Kate,
    I do not often feel envious of anyone (apart from those couples who still have their partner) but the fact that you are able to sit with you Mother I am envious of. But she is one really hard stubborn woman always has been but I have always in being the eldest a dutiful daughter. Studying, working hard for just one well done, a cuddle would not have gone amiss, just to know that she loved me.
    Take care. God Bless. Chrisinte
     
  12. Skye

    Skye Registered User

    Aug 29, 2006
    17,000
    SW Scotland
    Dear Christine, I feel so sorry that you have this sort of relationship with your mother. Thank you for telling us your story, it was very brave of you.

    For many of us, it's a generation thing. My mother never praised me, whatever I did was never good enough. This was supposed to make me try harder! All it did was make me feel inadequate.

    Nowadays we know that this approach is wrong, that children need praise and encouragement, but so many of us are left with the legacy of that wrong approach.

    Your case is different, and I can only imagine what it must feel like to have been abused as a child.

    You and Kate (and Kate's sister) have all my sympathy. By showing such devotion in return is just proving how wrong they were.

    Love,
     
  13. Tender Face

    Tender Face Account Closed

    Mar 14, 2006
    5,379
    NW England
    Kate, sounds to me you have realised for a long time that an indirect victim of any type of abuse is the person or people who subsequently recognise they 'failed to protect' and that they can therefore then see themselves as indirect perpetrators, too. Kate, your mother may well have felt or still be feeling guilt - or may be not - but at this stage, how on earth can anyone know?

    What I am failing to understand is 1) how likely is it someone with dementia would have (or retain) that recognition? and 2) what kind of specific help for someone as ill as your mother could possibly be achieved by a disclosure?

    If someone can affirm that mum is suffering guilt, how sure can they be that it is in anyway connected with events from 40 years ago? There must surely have been a myriad of other 'guilt' feelings passed under the bridge since then ... or even before - of which you and your sister may even have no knowledge ....... I feel rather concerned that professionals should be seeking at this stage to 'pin down' a cause for depression and not simply be focussing on therapeutic help to simply lift mood ......

    Kate, I think you have already recognised the best support for your mother .....

    Absolutely well done!!!!!! It shows not only your love for your mother but your own 'courage to heal',

    Much love, Karen, x
     
  14. Brucie

    Brucie Registered User

    Jan 31, 2004
    12,413
    near London
    Wise words, Karen
     

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