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Advice Needed - Issues with Mother who also had the surgery



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Sorry if this is hard to understand, I am in actual tears and I just don’t know what to do. I desperately need advice or comfort or just something from people who may understand what I am going through and maybe know why I am feeling this way.

My mom and I had the bariatric sleeve surgery done 2 weeks ago and the experience with her that I have had has been mostly miserable and upsetting. I am extremely obese and have always had a very difficult time keeping the weight off. Long story short I went for a doctors visit and my doctor recommended that I get the bariatric sleeve to help me, since with certain medical issues such as PCOS it can be hard to lose the weight without help. My mother begged me to do it and said that she wanted me to be able to live past her and my dad, and then she went and said that she would do it with me. Now, to some this would seem like a thing of encouragement, and while I do believe that may be part of it, I truly do not believe that that is the true underlying reason.

You see, my mom is an alcoholic (she is viciously mean when she is drunk), and I believe that she is very self-absorbed. Not in the way that she thinks she is the greatest thing to walk the planet, but in the way that she always needs to be the center of attention. We haven’t always had the best relationship, as she has said and done many things that have really hurt me, and every time that we have tried to talk about these issues (when she wasn’t drunk) she always has some excuse, or blames everything on her past trauma, or how she just wants to let loose and have fun. A spitting example is how she once told me when she was drunk that she was just wanting to let loose, since she lost some of her twenties -aka the party years- due to having me. Almost every hurtful thing and word that she has said has stuck with me for a long time, and when my family tried to go to family therapy, my mom decided to stop since the therapist “kept saying that everything was her fault.” Another key thing is that she is also overweight, but not nearly as big as me, and she has tried hundreds of diets and pills and has never stuck to any of them for very long. Anyway, I tell you all of this so that maybe you understand why I think she mostly wanted me to do the surgery since I am clearly at more of a health risk and part of her wouldn’t feel right doing it without me. This of course could all be in my head.

So no, on to the real problem at hand. Ever since we have been released from the hospital she has not been doing well -I am a college student and came home for the recovery process but plan to move back to campus as soon as possible. At first it was just minor things that bugged me a little bit, such as every time a food commercial came on the television, she would moan about how the food looks so good and yadda yadda. This was minor, but it still bugged me since I too had gone through the surgery and did not need to hear her constant moaning about how good something looked on the tv. This coupled with the constants complaining about how much she was hurt, and how much she hates the blood thinner shots that we must give ourselves, slowly started to drive me up the walls. I HATE needles, but just recently I have been able to give blood and receive shots without crying, while she has literally been fine and delt with needles for years, but all the sudden she claims that she hates needles (which I mean who doesn’t, but come on). After I got annoyed enough, I watched her do the shot and saw that she had been doing it in a way other than the nurses had showed us, and when I tried to point it out to her, she waved me off and said that she was doing it the way that she was showed. Another thing with her complaining about her constant pain. The first night we got home, - 2 days post op- we both slept on the recliner couch. The next night she tried to sleep in bed, even though I had warned her against it. She tried for a few days, each day complaining about pain, while I suggested that she try sleeping on the couch again. I sleep on our recliner couch for nearly the two whole weeks that we have been home. I have finally been able to sleep in bed for the past two nights, and my pain is almost gone, while she claims to still have pretty bad pain. And guess where she has been sleeping the past few days. The couch.

Now comes the parts that have really been getting to me. She has not been following the diet plan that our Doctor gave us. First it was her not drinking enough Fluid, which I constantly had to tell her to do. Then, it was the incident that occurred a few days ago. Our doctor has us on full liquids right now, which consists of things like sugar free pudding, low-fat yogurt, chicken broth, and instant mashed potatoes. Well, a few days ago she went to the store with my brother, I cannot remember why I did not go, but I did not. When she came home, I went into the kitchen and saw a bag of open potato wedges and I instantly knew that she had some. So, I went and asked her, and she said that she did and that she made sure to chew them up well and that her stomach tolerated them just fine. Then I found the little foil covering of sour cream and knew that she had some of that as well. And while sure, potatoes mashed in your mouth is similar to mashed potatoes, the things that get me are: 1. They’re fried, which is an absolute no no as of right now, and 2. They aren’t on our list of approved foods so why even chance it. Anyway, I tried to move past that one and dropped it. Then tonight came. My mom made my dad and brother biscuits and gravy and eggs for dinner. I had some of the scrambled eggs because those have been approved by our doctor, and apparently, she had more than just eggs. Then, just a few moments ago, she came into the living room with a small bowl of chili. We are not supposed to be having chili for another day. And again, I understand that its only one day, but that fact that she cannot follow simple doctors’ orders has driven me mad. Now here’s the real kicker. Not only did she have the chili before she was technically allowed to; she put Fritos Scoops chips in it. Now I know for sure that we are NOT supposed to be having those. And then the smell of it and the anger drove me crazy, and I excused myself from the room, claiming that I had to go charge my phone.

Well, after I did not return for a few minutes she came looking for me and knew I was upset. I told her I didn’t want to talk about it and that it didn’t matter -I said this because my opinions and feelings have never ever felt like they mattered to her, especially when we are in conflict. She came and sat down and kept pushing asking me why I was mad and said things like “so you’re mad because I had chili one day early?” and then she used the, “I have already lost weight” which I replied I wasn’t talking about her weight and that didn’t matter. She also said that it should not matter since she didn’t make me eat it. I then told her I didn’t want to talk about it now and she finally left.

I know that I shouldn’t worry about it, and that I should just focus on myself, but it kind of feels undermining to me. She did not need this surgery as much as I did, but even still I feel like she doesn’t really care or understand how much effort this is. I honestly believe that she thinks she just going to get skinny and not have to do anything. She doesn’t exercise and clearly, she doesn’t have the willpower to not eat something if it looks or smells good, not to mention that fact that she never watched the hour long lecture the doctor wanted us to watch and just asked me what it was about and told me that she would watch it that night at work. Heck, she didn’t even know what the bariatric sleeve surgery really even was until a few days before the surgery when I mentioned that part of our stomach was going to be removed. I am just getting really upset at this point and I don’t know what to do. I don’t want to have to lie to the doctor or listen to her lie to the doctor again -she has lied about her alcoholism, tobacco usage, and what she has been eating before the surgery- when we have our first post-op appointment. And I don’t even want to bring these things up to her, because she gets very combative when she gets defensive and is never able to see things past her own perspective. My dad says that it wasn’t me who needed her support in this, but that he thinks she needed mine, but at this point I don’t even know what to do. How am I supposed to support her when she cant even follow simple rules and restrain herself from eating things that she is not supposed to be eating? How am I supposed to look at that and make my own progress when she is making it seem like its fine to just go back to eating whatever I want whenever -which I know is not true. I know I have more willpower and restraint than she does; that fact has been made abundantly clear to me. I am just at a loss. I know her surgery is going to be pointless and she is going to complain when she plateaus or even gains the weight back. How do I keep myself from getting so upset over this? Am I just crazy? Am I acting selfishly? Please help. I am sure I did not include some of the information or things that have happened, but I know this has already been a lot to read.

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Children of alcoholic parents often get stuck in a care giving role of responsibility for the parent. They end up being thrust into a parental like role, which is enabling and unhealthy. You are NOT responsible for your mom, for her decisions, for her lies to the doctor, for her weight loss or lack there of, or for her long term success or failure. You are only responsible for YOU. For heavens sake, go to your OWN follow up appointments and let her go to hers. You are each on your own journeys in this. She is not going to stop drinking or smoking because of this surgery, and she may well develop complications because of that. You are not responsible for that - SHE is. She has you wrapped around her little finger. You can love your mom and wish the best for her, but you cannot live her life for her. You have one big job right now and that is to take care of YOU! Get yourself out of the house and back to college. You are putting your own success at risk by trying so hard to ensure your mom's success - but that is HER journey, not yours.

I strongly suggest you get to some Alanon meetings and learn how to be supportive without enabling, and how to take care of yourself. Please do this, or get some kind of counselling. Alcoholism is not a benign disorder. It deeply affects all members of a family in profound and damaging ways, You are on a whole new path now - a path to a healthy, long, happy life. You will be making many dietary and lifestyle changes, and I can tell you are determined to do this well and be successful. I truly believe you will achieve your goals in this. Be warned that your mom is probably going to try to undermine you, as her own progress slows down because of her compromises. You need to be as far away as possible so you can disconnect yourself from her issues. Your own life is complicated enough, and a responsible young lady like you does not need to be looking out for Mom. She is a grown up and can look out for herself and make her own choices. Please use this time to get healthy in every way - including mentally and psychologically. Some counselling regarding the alcoholic influence will be very helpful. Very best wishes to you.

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5 hours ago, AZhiker said:

You can love your mom and wish the best for her, but you cannot live her life for her. You have one big job right now and that is to take care of YOU! Get yourself out of the house and back to college. You are putting your own success at risk by trying so hard to ensure your mom's success - but that is HER journey, not yours.

This.

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7 hours ago, Basle said:

I know that I shouldn’t worry about it, and that I should just focus on myself,

Definitely.

7 hours ago, Basle said:

How am I supposed to support her

If you cannot support her that's ok too. That's does not have to be your job.

Good Luck ♥️

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I believe in therapy and have used it whenever something comes up in my life that is hard (i.e losing my husband, closure of a large plant that I worked at and my Mom). Mother daughter relationships can be complicated and once you add addiction to the mix it gets downright hard. I highly suggest Al-Anon because of your Mom's addiction but I also think OA wouldn't hurt. Try a few meetings. I also think that food addiction is part of the reason I am the weight I am. One therapist said to me "If someone pushes your buttons......move your buttons" Whenever I was going through a particularly hard time with my Mother I distanced myself, not as a punishment for her but as survival mode for me. Through the years I discovered that my Mom had NPD (Narcissistic Personality Disorder) and this helped tremendously. Although she was never diagnosed by a Doctor I worked with my Doctor to see how I could still love my Mom yet work on myself. Your work is your work and her work is her work and we are all at different levels of maturity (not age) but emotional maturity. Do your own work. Focus on yourself and hopefully you will be out of the house soon. When things get tough inside the house............go outside for a walk....go visit a friend...go walking with a friend.

I wish you success on your journey

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Maybe go back to campus ASAP and go through the first couple months post-op there. You can concentrate on YOU (and your studies) without the distraction of Mom. The first few weeks is generally the hardest and you don't need anything more that is necessary on your plate. ❤️

6 hours ago, AZhiker said:

For heavens sake, go to your OWN follow up appointments and let her go to hers.

+1

Edited by ms.sss

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I really appreciate all of the kind words and advice that everyone has given me. I am definitely going to get out of here within the next few days, and I know that there is a counselor on campus, so that might be a good idea for me to look into. I feel a lot better now and certainly feel less bad about focusing on my own success. Everyone here is very kind and supportive and I am really happy to have found these forums. I may end up deleting this post later on since it is fairly specific to us and I do not want her to find it and then try to start a fight. And for a small update; As of right now, she is throwing a pity party, and when I spoke to her to try to keep things calm between us she just gave me a short response in a sad voice.

Again thank you to everyone who posted with advice, it was really needed and it was good to hear it from the perspective of people who really know what wls is like. I hope everyone has a wonderful day and a wonderful week!

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Both of you are adults but you can only control the way you act. It's not your job or responsibility to make sure your mother acts like one. Go back to campus ASAP (you can do this on your own) and get on with YOUR life. Unfortunately not every parent-child relationship is heathy. You may have to distance yourself from your mother for your emotional health. If you choose to distance yourself from her, it doesn't mean you don't love your mother. It means you have learned to love yourself!

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On 10/20/2020 at 2:46 AM, AZhiker said:

Children of alcoholic parents often get stuck in a care giving role of responsibility for the parent. They end up being thrust into a parental like role, which is enabling and unhealthy. You are NOT responsible for your mom, for her decisions, for her lies to the doctor, for her weight loss or lack there of, or for her long term success or failure. You are only responsible for YOU. For heavens sake, go to your OWN follow up appointments and let her go to hers. You are each on your own journeys in this. She is not going to stop drinking or smoking because of this surgery, and she may well develop complications because of that. You are not responsible for that - SHE is. She has you wrapped around her little finger. You can love your mom and wish the best for her, but you cannot live her life for her. You have one big job right now and that is to take care of YOU! Get yourself out of the house and back to college. You are putting your own success at risk by trying so hard to ensure your mom's success - but that is HER journey, not yours.

I strongly suggest you get to some Alanon meetings and learn how to be supportive without enabling, and how to take care of yourself. Please do this, or get some kind of counselling. Alcoholism is not a benign disorder. It deeply affects all members of a family in profound and damaging ways, You are on a whole new path now - a path to a healthy, long, happy life. You will be making many dietary and lifestyle changes, and I can tell you are determined to do this well and be successful. I truly believe you will achieve your goals in this. Be warned that your mom is probably going to try to undermine you, as her own progress slows down because of her compromises. You need to be as far away as possible so you can disconnect yourself from her issues. Your own life is complicated enough, and a responsible young lady like you does not need to be looking out for Mom. She is a grown up and can look out for herself and make her own choices. Please use this time to get healthy in every way - including mentally and psychologically. Some counselling regarding the alcoholic influence will be very helpful. Very best wishes to you.

This! ^^ I hope you made it back to campus or some other safe(r) place.

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