When bubbles burst .....

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thought long and hard about posting this ….. but decided on balance it’s worth sharing ….. It’s very personal to my own circumstances but if it gives a glimmer of understanding to anyone then - as always - I lay my soul bare …..

Almost a year ago I posted about being ‘grateful’ for the long goodbye ….. I knew many might find it difficult to understand ….. I could barely understand it myself ….

I’ve had to look back myself at some of what I wrote then ……

How I wish I had had unconditional love from my mum throughout the years. How sad it is that I seemed to have gained, only now, her appreciation of anything I attempt. How sad it is, that only now, because she recognises when lucid, just how vulnerable she is, just what I do for her, that she actually NEEDS me and that I am not just a ‘trophy’ child.

I have spent so much of my life treading on eggshells, trying to please where others find love unconditionally …..to simply gain acceptance.

For a while there I finally had the mother I have always craved ….. lost myself in sweet delusion that I was caring for someone who had ever genuinely cared for me…

Took a big ‘reality hit’ this week - when my mother’s bitterness finally shone through again …. and find myself not weeping for her demise but for what I never had …for what she never did, or what she did to make life more difficult for me …..

Selfish? Yes. Maybe it’s time to be. To cope with a ‘harder heart’, maybe?

Karen, x


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006
Hello Karen, very sorry you are feeling low about your mum. This is hard to say, and probably not very helpful, but try not to judge your mum's feelings or lack of them, harshly. She is ill and can't help herself. There isn't much sunshine in my own mum's day these days, but I try to look for the halo. I mean, when I am with her I try to find a glimmer of her old self and some enjoyment of our time together. It's pretty thin pickings, to be frank, and just seeing her asleep looking so thin and wasted brings tears to my eyes even when I know, rationally, that she must be at least reasonably comfortable to be able to sleep soundly.

It's probably frustration with her condition which makes her react harshly towards you. My mum had me in tears one day when the cup of tea I brought her was rejected forcibly as 'disgusting'. She went on and on about how I ought to know how to make a cup of tea for her by now, shouldn't I? Didn't I know she lives on tea? I'm afraid I lost my cool and answered back quite firmly and pointedly , reminding her that she had some other children and maybe she should ask them to make her a proper cup of tea. ( They are absentee children). Mmmm, yes, I know, not kind, but I think that is called 'home truths and I only resort to them when in extremis. She did calm down.
She's very fussy about her tea. She once threw a cup of ( flasked) tea out of my car when we were driving home from a short break because she deemed it disgusting. :eek:
As it happens, the absent children were always her favourites for years, but I think she does know now where the ongoing care is coming from and very occasionally she grips my hand and calls me by my name mainly I think, from relief that she has put something/one in their right place mentally.

I hope your mum regains some of her former insight and that you are able to think at more of a distance about her condition, and your own. My mum lost her own mum tragically in an accident when she was a toddler, so I make some allowances for her and when she is ratty, try to back off, do something different and treat myself a bit kindly. Not sure if this is helpful at all really, but I do sympathise and hope you feel less vulnerable, if that is the right word, as the days pass. And now, as a proper mum might say, isn't it past your bedtime? Love


Registered User
Dec 1, 2006

Sorry, I didn't mean that last line to be rude, but you might feel better after you've had a good sleep.x


Registered User
Jan 4, 2006
Karen love,
[[[[H U G]]]]
You are one very special person/
Love Helen

Grannie G

Volunteer Moderator
Apr 3, 2006
Dear Karen,

I could have written your post.So sorry you were clinging to straws. Perhaps now you understand the remark I made which caused so much upset.

Don`t harden your heart. Just accept what can`t be changed.

With love
Last edited:


Registered User
Apr 30, 2006
Oh Karen sweetheart.
Big hugs and cuddles.....to you too Deborah and Sylvia.:)
My relationship with my mum over the last 2 years was an emotional rollercoaster.....at times i felt so confused and hurt.
The battle your mum is fighting right now is bound to be directed at you at times but boy does it hurt!
This is not much consolation either but the last 3 months of mums life i finally found the relationship with mum that I craved.......a closeness and love and through that I'm able to cope more with the past.
But I have been where you are now and it hurts.....you, like me will never be hard hearted. I think the turmoil mum endured manifested itself in lashing out at others. At times I saw a mum who wanted to be hated, who wanted to be left alone. At times I felt like running away and leaving her to it!
But I didn't.....
Nor will you......
Think of your dad Karen!!!He would be so proud of you! He understands and we all understand......you're doing your best under very difficult circumstances and your hearts full of love....and always will be
Love Wendy xx

By the way girls.......this thread looks like an advertisement for insomniacs anonymous!!!!;)


Registered User
Jul 2, 2006
Newport, Gwent
Caught ya, I just knew you wouldn’t get to bed and ‘sleep tight’!!

“Selfish? Yes. Maybe it’s time to be. To cope with a ‘harder heart’, maybe?”

Karen honey, selfish no, it called self preservation. “Harder heart” no, its coming to terms with that not all mothers are ‘capable’ of getting it right! It’s not our shortcomings, it’s theirs. You had an insight into ‘what might have been’ and it’s been whipped away again, so you’re deeply hurting, who wouldn’t be.

If you are told something often enough by word, deed or action, you believe it. Don’t, easier said than done, take it from one who knows. Take a look around you, your own family, friends, they all love and respect you, that’s who you are. Give yourself permission to be kind to yourself.

Love and hugs



Registered User
May 14, 2006
Dear Karen,
I have always got on very well with my Mum and as I am an only child, we always included her in all our family activities such as holidays. However, I found it increasingly hard to cope, as she naturally become more dependent on me, first because of her rheumatoid arthritis and then later, although we didn't realise what it was at first, her vascular dementia.
When Mum phoned us at odd times in the night and seemed to say and do the most surprising things, which were quite out of character for her, I found that I was getting increasingly angry and frustrated with her. There was nobody else to share the burden with and Mum started being rather off-hand and unsocial towards other people which made life harder for me and made me feel more isolated.
If I'd known what was causing this behaviour, it would have been easier to cope with and it would have been good to have had support from the social or health services. I felt as though Mum's needs were completely taking over my life and I also felt resentment towards Mum.
For me, having the support of the care or nursing home, with other people taking over and sharing the responsibility, has given me peace of mind and my own life back.
I think your feelings towards your mother are perfectly natural and perhaps now is the time that you need some extra support from somewhere, and guidance about future care, as you do have your own family's needs to take into consideration.
Of course, moving into a care home raises a whole new set of difficult issues, but for my Mum with her physical problems, it seemed the right thing to do at the time. Perhaps there is a different solution for your situation.
I hope you are feeling more positive now.
Best wishes


Registered User
May 19, 2006
Tender Face said:
and find myself not weeping for her demise but for what I never had …for what she never did, or what she did to make life more difficult for me …..

Selfish? Yes. Maybe it’s time to be. To cope with a ‘harder heart’, maybe?

Karen, x
Can't say much that will be useful, Karen, but you wouldn't know how to be hard hearted. Otherwise you wouldn't be so upset now. You love and you care, and you're struggling. It's like getting so far and then having the proverbial gate shut in your face. And it hurts. A lot.

If you're going to be a bit more selfish, don't take that to mean something negative. It's also about looking after yourself, not losing yourself in the battle and the day-to-day struggle. Mum won't come to any harm through your thinking about yourself a bit more. And it might give you a little bit of distance and time to think and deal with other things as well. Easier said than done though, I know.

Big hugs,


Registered User
Apr 10, 2006
Hiya Kaz

I haven't really got anything to say that hasn't already been said, other than..........Hard Hearted?...........not in a million years!!!!!..........we kinda like the wabbit, so don't go chasing it off!:D

Maybe your Mum just doesn't remember what a lucky lady she is!

Sending you a huge {{{{{{{HUG}}}}}}}

Love Alex x


Registered User
Aug 29, 2006
SW Scotland
Tender Face said:
Took a big ‘reality hit’ this week - when my mother’s bitterness finally shone through again …. and find myself not weeping for her demise but for what I never had …for what she never did, or what she did to make life more difficult for me …..

Selfish? Yes. Maybe it’s time to be. To cope with a ‘harder heart’, maybe?
Karen, sorry, just caught up (meeting this morning).

Just want to send you huge hugs, and more apologies that we weren't there for you on Sunday.

Definitely no 'harder heart' -- you can't do it, and you know that. You're stuck with the cute little bunny heart, and none of us, not even you, would have it any other way.

But 'selfish'? I don't think you're capable of that either, but maybe set aside a 'selfish hour' a day? Even a 'selfish half-hour'?

Take some time for yourself, love, you're carrying too many problems. Think of you for a while.



Registered User
Dec 27, 2004
kaz.Its sometimes necessary to build a shell round our hearts, to enable us to cope with all that life throws at us , but that shell can so easily be broken ,That is not being selfish, you would not know how to be .i wish you would be a little selfish ,and take some time out for yourself,not the few minutes you allow yourself to dash on and of TP whilst stretching yourself between mum family and job. i know that is easier said than done , but please try .heres to our next cappuccino.
take care ,

Tender Face

Account Closed
Mar 14, 2006
NW England
Thanks all … I’ve already been selfish sharing this on TP in a sense. It’s taken me a few days to try to ‘get my head round’ stuff that was triggered on Sunday and getting it down and maybe having it ‘validated’ has helped. :)

Cate you sum it up perfectly: You had an insight into ‘what might have been’ and it’s been whipped away again, so you’re deeply hurting, who wouldn’t be. Thank you for that.

No apologies for Sunday, Skye … unless we divulged everything (which I certainly have no intention of doing!) how on earth can we expect people to fully understand?

Perhaps, too, Sylvia you can understand a little more of why I became so upset …. sounds like we have some parallels - but you have grown to the point of acceptance I still need to reach instead of deluding myself and banging the proverbial head like a fool which allows me to come crashing down every now and again :( …. …..and that certain ‘special days’ for me are very meaningful as in ‘twisting the knife’ meaningful …..

Thanks everyone here for some very wise words and encouragement …. Oh, and your concern for my sleeping habits (or not as the case may be!) :D

Much love, Karen, x


Registered User
Feb 24, 2006
Tender Face said:
Thanks all … I’ve already been selfish sharing this on TP in a sense.
I'm sure that you are the only one who thinks you have been selfish Karen. Being able to share the highs and lows is what TP is all about.

Take care


Registered User
May 20, 2006
North East
Hi Karen

Sometimes you go through life and take so much for granted - the biggest ones, that your parents will love you unconditionally and that you will love your children in the same way.

I've obviously been one of the luckier ones - I'm not saying that mum doesn't have her bad points (but then who doesn't:( )

and find myself not weeping for her demise but for what I never had …for what she never did, or what she did to make life more difficult for me
I'm so sorry that you haven't had that Karen, and that your mum now has AD so won't have the opportunity to do it - but she's the one who's missed out - she has one great daughter and she doesn't even know it.

I don't know you Karen, but you have certainly never come across as selfish - reading posts like this where people have opened up has helped me enormously to open up myself.

I quite often find that friends and work colleagues get a bit sick of hearing about AD - and I personally think, that if you don't actually know someone who has AD, then you can't possibly understand what people go through. That's the great thing about TP - someone somewhere has gone through something similar and can totally emphasise.

Keep strong Karen - for yourself - and take care



Registered User
Feb 17, 2006
I had that type of relationship with my mother , I get moment like when, I wake her up for her medication and she say something in a manner that remind me of my childhood , and amazingly after she says sorry , then I realize this is not the past , she really is at my mercy and I hate that feeling so I just forgive , forgetting is harder . you can never forget but I learn to forgive .

So big (((Hugs)) Karen I do undertand xxx


Registered User
Sep 19, 2005
Hi Karen

Hi Karen,
Selfish ------ no, no, no ,not at all.
I am sitting here crying, reading your letter. :) we can only do so much.
Take Care and know that some people DO understand.
Sheila . x


Registered User
Mar 13, 2006
hiya kaz

late as usual:rolleyes: sorry!!
just wanted to send you a big hug,
donna xx



Registered User
Feb 8, 2006
Hello karen,
I am so sorry for your situation.
I havent been on TP for a while, my Mum died at Christmas so our ordeal is now over. I can only relate my sisters situation which might be relevant. She fell out with both my mum and dad in her late teens and had to leave home. She kept in touch and lived a few miles away. She was always treated as 'thick and inferior' very unfairly but when my mum developed dementia, my sister developed a really close relationship with her (she said they were 'joined at the hip'), mum would ring her at all hours and she got thoroughly stressed out with the responsibility. Nevertheless the past was forgotten and she was an absolute rock for my mum for over two years.
My dad who died in 88 would have been so proud of her, she did her absolute best for mum (as we 3 kids all did in our separate ways but I live 70 miles away) and I think you resemble her in some ways.
Its so hard I know and youre doing your best, you have nothing to feel guilty about or reproach yourself for. You sound like a rock too!
Keep smiling and I'm sending you a hug.


Registered User
Apr 19, 2006
Cheshire, UK.

A lot of what you said hit home.....hard....

I`m feeling for you, just wanted to send a HUGE {{{{{ HUG }}}}}

Love & hugs,
Jan. X