Support from your mother?

As the heading says “Support from your mother” … havent spoke to my mother now for 4 weeks… even writing this, is very upsetting, cant even believe I’m putting pen to paper, but need to get it out. My aunty had MS, passed away now 6 yrs ago, it was my mother’s sister. We went to visit my aunty as we were growing up, but can honestly say, my mother never showed her any form of support and I can honestly say doesnt even know the full extent of how MS affects you. DX 2 years ago now, this May, when I came out of hospital and told my parents what I’d been diagnosed with, she said “I thought so”, but never said when I was suffering and going back and fore drs for 2 years. Yeah probably she didnt want to tempt fate, but this last year she has been getting increasingly cold towards me. When I ring she never answers the phone, if she does she passes phone to my father, if my father answers the phone, I can hear her in the background, but she never speaks or if she knows its me, she puts the phone down and just leaves my father on the line. I have tried numerous times to speak with her, tell her I would like to have her support, her love, her hugs, hugs have never been something she’s done anyway, but would really like them more now. It normally ends up in an argument, whereby she’ll say she cant handle it, the MS and I’ve said, I cant sometimes, but I’ve got no choice and if it was my daughter then I’d try my hardest to help her as much as I can. BUT NOTHING!!!.. I have another aunty, who’s told me that my mother thinks I blame her for the illness, but I dont, I cant, she hasnt got it. The last time I spoke to her 4 wks ago, I said I dont blame you for the illness, I cant, you havent got it and she said not yet, but I might have it in the future, she’s 74.

I know you need your family in times of hardship, but just cant handle the rejection anymore, feel its easier if we dont speak, then there’s no arguments or silent treatment. Had to go drs yday, been having pain on my left hand side, dr says he feels it could be coming from my ovaries. Anyway may have to go for a scan nxt week. My dad rang yday and I told him, it was women things, he’s 83, dont want to discuss it with him or worry him for that matter.

I know this is a cold post and can honestly say its either to put pen to paper on here, could not discuss this with my friends, they’re all close with their mums and dont want to sound horrible, cos I know i’m not.

I know it is hard because there is a bit of a chocolate box picture of all Mums being special and supportive. Truth is they are human like the rest of us and not always as we would like. Sounds like yours doesn’t know what to do and so is shutting it, and you, out. What about writing all this to her in a letter and saying that, for now, could you just meet for coffee without any discussion of the MS? I do understand, my Mum and I are not really close and if anything she wants to fuss too much, I think she enjoys it! Take care of yourself and find that one friend who can really be a support. :slight_smile:

ah anon,

i’m really sorry for you and the problems with your mum.

my aunty had ms in the 1960s when there was very little treatment available.

my mum died 21 years ago but she would never have treated me like yours.

you dont sound cold or horrible, you sound like you are hurting.

i havent got any words of wisdom but please dont blame yourself

carole x

really feel for you,but its quite clear your mum cant handle you having ms,she knew what it did to your aunty,so shes pushing you and the ms away,my mum was supportive,but she couldnt handle me having ms,and tried to ignore it,but as you well know ignoring it doesnt make it go away,does it ?

when i was waiting for my diagnosis after being very ill, she changed the subject if i dare mention it,and all my family thought that if you didnt talk about it,then it wasnt real,i got so upset over this, and quickly leant not to mention my ms,and cut myself off from them,it was easier that way,

when i came back from the hospital,on the day i was told i had ms, i told her,and she just turned away and said ’ i really must crack on making dads dinner’ i felt really hurt,but over the years i learnt that,that was her way of coping,

i lost my husband in 1996 and the first thing she said when she saw me,when i got back home, was ‘do you think these cups needs bleaching,they are stained’ again i felt hurt,

like i said it wasnt that she didnt care,it was just her way,she was the lovliest person ever,we all have our own unique way of dealing with hard things.

i would try and write it all down in a letter,to her,you dont even have to give her it,either,but it might help you too.

jaki xx

Hi Anon,

I agree with Corky yorks. There’s this idealised picture of how we think ALL mums should be, and how we imagine everybody else’s is, but not everyone has this idealised relationship.

My own relationship with my mother has been strained for many years. She’s emotionally manipulative, and can never see the good or positive in anything. Every telephone conversation with her is a catalogue of woes about how awful her life is - even though she has no money worries, has enjoyed good health until the last couple of years, and still isn’t too bad now, for her age (73) - i.e. she can still cook for herself, leave the house unaccompanied, get up two flights of stairs unaided, that sort of thing. But you would think nobody had ever been 73 before, the carry-on she makes. I come off the phone needing a pill, or a stiff drink, or both!

You say your mother has never been any different. Neither has mine. I’m afraid our being diagnosed with MS cannot transform them into different people. Is it realistic that someone in their mid-70s can change their lifelong style of coping and interacting? I don’t think so. Your mum is falling back on the same mechanisms she’s always used to deal with things.

I had to laugh (Sorry!) about her believing she still might get MS, at 74! Snap! We do have MS in the family, but it was on my dad’s side - no blood relative of my mum! But ever since I’ve been diagnosed, if I ever mention my symptoms, it’s always: “Hmmm, yes, I get that!”

She’s added MS to her ever-growing list of imaginary illnesses, and is now more worried she might have it, than that I actually do.

I say: “For goodness sake, Mum! I was pretty slow on the uptake, but even I was diagnosed by 44! The chances of you getting all the way to 73, without noticing you had MS, or anything worse coming of it, are pretty slim.”

I know it’s not completely impossible for someone to be diagnosed late in life, but she doesn’t have a long history of unexplained neuro symptoms. In fact, she’d never mentioned any at all, 'til after I was diagnosed, and she was already past 70! So it’s obviously the power of suggestion, and not something she’s genuinely had for decades.

What can you do? It’s such a shame she’s missing out on all the good things she could still have, even at 73 - with pots of money, and relatively good health - because of her morbid preoccupation with all these horrible things.

Sorry this is a bit of a rant, but I just thought it might help you to know it’s a myth that everyone else’s mum is a shining example of strength and support, and yours is the only one that isn’t. Many people have tense relationships with parents: It’s not all The Waltons, and Little House on the Prairie (If you’re younger than me, you might not remember those).



Jaki has given you a really good reply.

I definately think this is a generation thing. My mum is really good helping me practically if i need any help but there is no emotional support at all. I can’t remember my mum ever telling me that she loved me and i can’t remember her ever giving me a hug either.

Your mum is finding this really difficult to accept and if she is unwilling to discuss it then you may never know the reasons behind her pushing you away. I would think she feels guilty that ms has been ‘passed down’ through her family.

I find my mum a very hard person but she has been through a lot in her life and i think it is her coping mechanism. My dad was killed in an accident when i was 7 years old and i have unanswered questions about this as my memories of it all are limited. My mum refuses to talk about it and its very awkward if i ask anything. She has said “what do you want to rake all that up again for?”

I have never pushed the issue as i know she finds it hard to talk about so i have resigned myself to never knowing the full facts. (it was a road accident). I have however managed to do a little research myself and have gained a little more info.

I find having ms can be very lonely. We need to talk about things but its difficult when no-one wants to listen. My husband seems to have stuck his head in the sand regarding my ms also. I asked him the other day if he thought it would be a good idea if he read a little about ms from the ms publications so he could understand me a little better. (my mood can be up and down a lot). His reply was “i haven’t had the time!”

My response was “i was diagnosed 8 years ago”

That was the end of the conversation!

If it wasn’t for this site i think i may have gone insane!

Best wishes Anon, you are not alone in this.

Hi So many of these replys are so simmilar and not so dissimillar to mine, I think many of us will agree that we go through denial ourselves (I know I did) but our loved ones never seem to come out of denial, maybe it’s because deep down there scared of what might become of us? I know my first thought when diagnosed over 18 yrs ago was omg I’m going to end up in a wheelchair, not necessarly so for some but for others yes, we are all different after all. And I agree the generation thing has a lot to do with it if we dont talk about it, it will go away. As sad as it is I think it’s reality. I’ve got a fairly good relationship with my mum & dad who areboth in there 70’s however when it comes to MS talking it’s taboo. You are deffinatley not alone as you can see, there are many of us in the same boat, all we can do is be here for each other. Take care Sue x

I am so over the moon with all your replies peeps, I cant thank you enough for the support that you’ve shown me, this site is amazing… THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU

Its nice to know that there are others out there and that its not just me feeling like this… hurts like hell, but sometimes easier to just get away from the coldness, rejection, unsupportive person who apparently wanted a daughter so much… Sorry I was such a disappointment to you Mother…

Hi anon When my daughter died on my birthday 21 years ago on Monday, the first person I wanted to talk to was my mum, which was odd because we weren’t close, not that she was horrid, she wasn’t, but she was the only child on an army regimental sergeant major at Edinburgh castle, so stiff upper lip, children should be seen and not heard and all that which left her struggling with emotion. I miss her now she’s not with us. But anyway, I rang her hoping for something and she said “pull yourself together my girl, you’ll have more children, it’s not the end of the world”. I don’t think you’re a disappointment, your mum just can’t deal with the fact that her child is ill. And as other posters have already said, it’s a generation thing, they really struggle to express emotions that our generation freely give out. Xx

I am so sorry to read of your problems and I really do feel for you as we all need loving support behind us at times of need. It is a sad state of affairs though that we aren’t all as strong as we have to be to cope with what life throws at us. You are strong but your mum is obviously finding the situation far more difficult to deal with. From how you have described the situation, I wouldn’t be surprised if she soon reverts back to being on your side. Blood really IS thicker than water. Maybe if you visit and bring a potted plant or something, nothing to do with MS at all, and don’t talk about anything health related. She might just start to realise that the ‘problem’ is only on her side.

Best wishes and good luck,


It’s ashame but her loss not yours. My mother is the same. When I was diagnosed I was devastated and it did’nt help that it came complety out of the blue. I think I cried for two weeks flat. During this period I actually overheard my mother telling her boyfreind what a lazy slob I was sitting around doing nothing all day! She did’nt seem to accept I was still half blind at this point which prevented me doing much else. It’s hard but I try not to take it personally. She can’t cope with it and never has been the caring type although I’m sure she does care in her own screwed up way. It’s sad really as all I really need then was a hug.

guess what your not alone my mum is just the same.everything revolves around her.a daughter with ms just isn,t that important to what i do look after yourself your nearest and dearest and put your mother out of your mind.don,t let her bring you down your stronger then that .

Hi, it is sad to read how so many of us dont have the kind of support from our mums, that we would love and cherish.

I lost my mum (and dad…3 weeks apart) 12 years ago.

Mum was a worrier…she had a few health issues herself, but when any of her 3 daughters had a problem, she seemed to find strength to help us. trouble was she would ring every day and say How has it affected you today?

i went through a period of alopecia. She rang twice a day to ask if anymore hairs had fallen out.

It didnt always help to be asked and reminded of a problem, if I was having a decent day.

If she were here now and could see how badly disabled i am, she would be on the phone all day!

I`d love just one more phonecall with her.

luv Pollx