Many people told me that one day I would feel unlivable guilt for what I did or didn’t do for my mother. On November 23, 2020, those words were tested. Yet, guilt is the one emotion that I do not feel. Part of me felt relief, the other anger, and I discovered that I was looking forward to the future with delight. I realized that I finally had the chance to live for myself, I no longer needed to fear my every action because of never had to feed another abuser.
When my “Mommy Dearest” died, at first, I fell into shock until my brother, and his wife’s abuse of me began before her body became cold to distribute the inheritance. Of course, they put all arrangements, cleaning her apartment, selling her car, notifying extraneous organizations/people of her death into (in their words) “in my capable hands.” Her golden child only said one thing when he learned of his beloved mother’s death, “What a bummer.”
Sadly, she spent the last two years with her paid caregivers and my brother’s occasional calls and visits to obtain her money. With a little help from me, my brother learned how she had used him throughout his life. That reality caused him to experience a nervous breakdown, at which time he chose to abandon her. She died alone in a nursing home of a broken heart caused by her golden child’s abandonment. Three days prior to her death, after years of gaslighting me to all that would listen that I was the abuser, she stated that “She did hit me.” She continued the conversation with warnings that I would one day feel great guilt if I did not visit because she was sure that she was dying. I will never know if she committed suicide or not because I chose to let her go with the only person that she cared about. She died alone.
After her death, she was cremated as quickly as possible because no one cared to say goodbye. When the funeral home brought the ashes to my home, I asked that they never touch the inside of my home. No longer was I ever going to allow her toxicity into my life. Today, I feel no guilt because I never totally abandoned her. I knew that was the right decision for me. My heart left her, years before her death, but physically I had to make sure her most primal needs were met because my brother was too busy enjoying his young retirement until his nervous breakdown left him disabled. In addition, his wife resembles my mother in personality, which means that his life is under the control of another narcissist. This one’s toxicity, he will never escape.
Today, I am hurt that she left me with the message that she never loved me. Yet, my tomorrow is bright because I found a place in my recovery that fit my needs, no one else’s. I made myself more important than my abusers by doing what I thought was best. I knew that if I had fully abandoned her, I would never have been able to live without guilt.
Survivors, recovery is rough enough without having to live through additional abuse from people who do not understand that we have to do what is right for us. Some abused me for not being there enough for her. I made sure her needs were met without having a personal relationship with her after she beat me in 2018, killing nerves in my face. Others abused me for not going no contact.
Survivors learn to love themselves enough to be able to do whatever they need to to be happy. The day you entered recovery, you declared yourself more important than anything your abuser may ever need. Please feel free to email me at any time.
Dr. Sandra Speer, Ph.D., CLC, CDRC, Legal Advocate, & Survivor
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Sandra Speer, Ph.D. is a world-renowned Author, Keynote Speaker, and Certified Life Coach and Disaster Recovery Coach who offers Seminars, Group, and Personal Coaching designed to show all how to move beyond their past to live happy and successful lives. Dr. Speer knows from personal experience as a survivor of a lifetime of abuse, that recovery brings happiness and chances for unlimited success. As a Legal Advocate, Dr. Speer strives to ensure that abusers are punished. Nothing makes her happier than watching prosecuting attorneys go to jail, children return to their right parent, and individuals find justice with her assistance. If you need to charge, fight the system, or in need of making a complaint against a doctor, mental health practitioner, corporation, or institution; Dr. Speer has the experience needed to win your case. Her publications include “Terrorism Inside America’s Borders,” “The Remains of Hurricane Katrina” with various articles written as a contributing journalist for educational books and publications, FEMA, and the American Red Cross to help all understand Trauma.