did I cause my mum's mental breakdown? - VeggieBoards
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#1 Old 07-06-2009, 02:49 AM
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Thanks very much for taking the time to read this and I hope I can get an answer.

Over the last couple of days, life has been very tough when trying to bond with my family.

Throughout childhood my mom has always overly nurtured my sister and I, tried to keep us out of trouble by sheltering us from the world, shoved her christian values down our throats, told us who's bad and who's good.

Throughout childhood my dad has just been insensitive, never spent quality time with my mom and was overall very rude to her. Not physically abusive, but mentally very non-supportive. He gave conditional love to my sister and I... as long as I rolled to his game, he'd support me all the way.. if i decided to be different, he'd tell me "there's no more father son relationship, you're dead to me".

My sister's boyfriend is some deuschebag... well i just think he's one since he's alcoholic, has a low income job and hates vegetarians.

Anyway, we went to a family reunion couple days ago and I didn't eat any of my mom's cooking as it was 95% meat. I got dissed a lot by everyone there but that's something I wont go into. My mom was going on about her negativity like usual but I guess this time she had a reason to, as she recently had kidney stones removed. But still, I found it annoying as she made this the main conversation and no matter how much i tried to change the subject, she'd bring it back to this.

My dad wasn't trying to comfort her and rather going on about how he's so great and without him, the family would have been nothing...So at that point, my mom said if he doesn't need her, she'll just move away and live with me... her son (me) who needs her and only her.

I then said, "no I'm fine on my own ma... you both just to stay together and work things out.. you wont like my lifestyle anyway"... Mum suddenly started shouting and saying "WELL IF NO ONE NEEDS ME THEN I MIGHT AS WELL BE DEAD!!!! I'LL GO KILL MYSELF!!!!!!!!" and then she brokedown and started crying like i'd never seen in my life. The way someone would cry at a funeral...out of control. I tried to hug her and comfort her but then she hit me several times. My sister tried to hug her too but she pushed my sister away. My dad like usual didn't do a thing.

She then pointed at me and said (while still crying) "I sacrificed my life for you and you hate me. You didn't even eat my food today...*random shout* I'm dying from poor health everyday and no one cares!!!! I'll go commit suicide" I tried to tell her I love her etc. but she fell to the floor in shock. It seemed like a cardiac arrest but was just oxygen depravation. We called the Ambulance, took her to the hospital... she's ok now, and I told her I love her etc. she didn't speak to me today when I picked her up from hospital .

Her two sisters (my aunties) and my grandma all said it was my fault too and that a true son would always be there for his mother, no matter what. I haven't spoken to my dad or sister about it.

I've always tried to make my mom happy by doing well in life, calling her and speaking positive, paying for her private health care (which my power hungry dad gets pissed off about), and buying her gifts etc.

Although I feel sorry for my mum, I don't know how it was my fault.... I wouldn't want her living with me because she hates the vegetarian lifestyle and if she found out that i'm not christian it'd make things worse etc.etc. But it's not that I don't love her or something....

none the less, I want to disappear.... I want to relocate to another country or town and give no record to my family about it. I think it's the only way I can run from these problems.
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#2 Old 07-06-2009, 03:53 AM
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It sounds like your mother may be depressed and it isn't anything you caused. Being seriously ill and finding no support from your father may have pushed her over the edge. I think she does need to find someone that can evaluate her professionally and give her the help she needs.

Your right about not having her live with you. It wouldn't help her with her problems and it would probably just strain your relationship with her even more.

As for your family trying to blame it on you, I think they just don't want to admit that there is a problem and have to deal with it. Its much easier to blame it on you and ignore what is really going on.

I know a lot of people that can relate to wanting to move far from their families, myself included.

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#3 Old 07-06-2009, 06:43 AM
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It sounds like your mom has issues that have absolutely nothing to do with you, and you were just a convenient and "safe" target for her to vent her frustrations on. I have been known to be the whipping boy in my family, so to speak, especially with regards to my mother. In my case, veg*nism isn't an issue within my family, but still, I learned a long time ago that it doesn't matter what I do or say, or how much effort I put forth, I will never be able to do enough to be 'as good' as my siblings. It really sucks, but you have to try your best not to take it personally.

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#4 Old 07-06-2009, 08:04 AM
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First (((big hugs))) What a terrible situation for all of you. I don't think you caused any of this. You obviously care deeply for you mom. She seems to need the care of a professional right now. She sounds very, very depressed and just by saying the things that she did, shows she needs professional care. I hope she is receiving some. If she's not, you could try to persuade her to talk to someone.

Please try not to place this on your own shoulders. You can't personally be responsible for anyone else's happiness. Make sure you mom knows that she is loved, but you do not have to have her move in w/ you. It seems it would make matters worse for both of you.

btw: It's unfair for anyone to judge your foods choices, that just silly and trivial.
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#5 Old 07-06-2009, 09:56 AM
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Her two sisters (my aunties) and my grandma all said it was my fault too and that a true son would always be there for his mother, no matter what. I haven't spoken to my dad or sister about it.

They should not consider themselves the judge and jury. What this whole situation sounds like, according to what I have read, is that there is a deeper issue going on with your mom and the kidney stone thing is her cover. Judging by your Dad's part in this, perhaps it's her marriage which is causing her such emotion. What happens to a lot of mother's as well is that as their children age they find themselves suddenly feeling empty handed. Life before was full of kids and a partner needing her, making her feel important, and now with such comments she probably feels that no one needs her anymore. This is just my guess once again, but perhaps it is part of it?

I have to admit I feel sad for her, and for you. Perhaps you should have a conversation with her about what happened and remind her how much you love her and that you are your own person now, but she still has value and a place in your life.
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#6 Old 07-06-2009, 11:12 AM
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you're not responsible for everyone elses dysfunction. looks like this has had input from all sorts of directions, has been coming for the longest time, and if it wasn't what you said, it'd have been something else someone else said 10 minutes later. don't take it personally.
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#7 Old 07-06-2009, 11:35 AM
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Did you cause your mother's breakdown?

In the most immediate sense, sort of.

Are you blameworthy for this?

Absolutely not.

A lot of parents seem to forget that their kids have a right to grow up. Sacrifice is what you sign onto when you have a kid, but you don't owe your mom your entire life just because she is your parent. You have a right to be a veg*n. She obviously doesn't understand your position, otherwise she wouldn't take it so personally that you didn't eat her cooking. You have a right to live independently of your parents. I get the impression that you are in your 20's or 30's. Most parents WANT their kids to be independent by that point, certainly not still living at home with Mommy.

It sounds like you are in a similar position to my boyfriend actually. The absence of your dad is what makes your mom rely on you for emotional support. That's the job your dad signed up for when he married her. He's really the one to blame (also, your mom sounds a bit unstable to begin with). I can't believe he did nothing when she went through this breakdown. What a callous jerk.

You were there for her. You didn't let anyone down. A true son is always there for his mother; he doesn't have to put up with her pushiness and live with her forever! Especially not at the expense of his values. A true husband emotionally supports his wife. It sounds like you're just the easiest scapegoat because no one understands your vegetarianism and thinks you're being selfish.

I'm sorry you're going through this. I honestly don't know what you can do to repair the situation. It sounds fragile and complicated.
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#8 Old 07-07-2009, 10:50 PM
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Sadly, you can't be responsible for someone else's happiness.
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#9 Old 07-08-2009, 07:51 AM
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Originally Posted by ripvanfish View Post

Sadly, you can't be responsible for someone else's happiness.

This is so true.
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#10 Old 07-08-2009, 12:46 PM
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You didn't cause her mental breakdown. You just happened to be the trigger that she pulled on a gun that everyone else loaded with bullets for the past dozen years. I don't know if that analogy makes sense, but basically no it is not your fault. If anything, this might be a good thing because now you know that she has a problem, something might be done to help her. I can't believe your family would blame it on you. That's just a terrible thing for them to do!

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#11 Old 07-08-2009, 01:02 PM
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I won't even presume to know how you must feel, I would not wish that on anyone.

As others have said, it sounds like you mom has an underlying issue that needs to be addressed. She may feel uneeded/unwanted/unloved. She may even realize it is not ration, but emotionally it could be how she is explaining her feelings.

As for the family blaming you, everyone has an opinion and sadly, they are usually biased in these situations.

I can't tell you what might help or work, I believe you know your family better than I and will make the right decision for you, regardless of the outcome.

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May your pain and sorrow be eased.
May you be at peace.

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#12 Old 07-08-2009, 07:22 PM
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You are most certainly not the cause of you mother's breakdown. Your mother needs a crutch. You should not have to be that crutch. If you are living on your own, able to support yourself without the help of your mother, it means that she has done a good job in raising you to fend for yourself. An adult should not need a mother anymore.

What exactly does she mean by "[She] sacrificed [her] life for you"? I myself am Christian, and the most common meaning of the phrase to me means that someone died to save someone else, like Jesus did. She is obviously alive enough to say she sacrificed her life. With the bits of information you have provided me with, it sounds as though your mother is mostly hot air right now.

Your mother sounds a lot like my dad. She sounds depressed. If your situation is anything like mine, it is NOT your fault. If she is talking about suicide, SEE A DOCTOR RIGHT NOW. Then again, if she is anything like my dad, getting her to the doctor's office will be a whole other problem. A big one. As it is, do your best to explain yourself, about how you do love your mother, but have grown up. If your mother has done the job of a mother, she would no longer be needed once you can support yourself.

Once again, you are not the source of your mother's problems. This did not start today(duh). Do your best to support your mother's well being, explain your side of the story to your family, and get your mother to see a psychiatrist. Suicide is a sin in God's eyes. Let that sink through her Christian skull.
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#13 Old 07-08-2009, 08:22 PM
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Your mother's reaction was disproportionate to your actions. Because of that, I would say that you didn't cause your mother's mental breakdown. Some underlying factor was at fault, and your actions only served to trigger it.
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#14 Old 07-08-2009, 08:52 PM
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So sorry to hear you're going through this. Nobody can really hurt you like your own family.

You are in no way at fault for your mother's reaction, she was projecting her unhappieness onto you...perhaps because she thinks you are the only one with a heart willing to listen.

The others seem to be blaming it on you because they lack the self-awareness to realize their role in her sense of feeling lost. Your Dad sounds like a complete sh^t and perhaps you should be the one to cut it off with him - better no relationship than a toxic one.

Your Mum however, needs help but doesn't seem to want it from you right now. Perhaps putting a little distance between you and your family (while quietly letting your mother know how much you still love her) would be best for now.

Being smothered by such bitterness is bad for your soul.
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#15 Old 07-10-2009, 10:06 AM
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No, AussieShane, you most certainly did not. This might sound callous, and I have no doubt she's legitimately suffering, but there are people who live their lives by trading on guilt and feeling hard-done-by. I have compassion for people like that but at the same time, people who live in that victim mentality (i.e. blaming others for their problems) often thrive on drama because it keeps people feeling sorry for them.

It sounds like your mum has some hard-core resentment and self-esteem issues but you are NOT the cause. In each day of our adult lives we CHOOSE how to react to things. She has chosen to respond with emotional blackmail and catering to that won't do her or you any favours. You have to protect yourself first. By all means offer support, but don't get dragged down into the drama and guilt. She needs professional help.

As for the others, frankly your relationship with your mother is none of their business. I understand it hurts but at the same time one of the kindest things you can do for yourself is to disengage and detach from their opinions. Opinions can't hurt you unless you let them. I speak from experience.

Good luck, I know this stuff isn't easy.
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#16 Old 07-11-2009, 04:38 AM
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You may have somewhat triggered her breakdown but it sounds like it was bound to happen anyway, so you certainly aren't to blame for it. And even if that comment did upset her, you shouldn't have to put aside your independance to accommodate her problems or act as a substitute for your dad. Yes, as her son you should be there for her (so long as it's not a toxic relationship) but she needs to learn to be an autonomous adult for everyone's sake.

I hope that didn't sound harsh, I can understand if/why you're feeling guilty over this. No matter how it's seen objectively, our families can certainly have that kind of hold on us
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