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How do i cope after losing mum?


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Hi everybody. I'm new to this forum but decided to become involved as i am continuing to struggle after losing my amazing mother almost five years ago, when i was 19.

my mum was, like many mothers are, the glue that held my family together. i never really realised it until losing her, when everything started to unravel. now it is my father younger sister and i, but it feels that way on paper only. i feel completely alone. like i USED to have a family.

for the last few years (from a couple of years before losing mum suddenly) my sister and i started to drift apart. she was 16 when mum died. we were close growing up in the sense that i was always the bossy older sister and i think she resented that a little, but i would have done anything for her. she and i now have quite a difficult relationship with her, fraught with difficulties. i really struggle with the way she lives ... she is what i would call a no-hoper. she does drugs and drinks all the time and has no interest in making a life for herself, choosing instead to work in a deadend job that she often doesnt show up for as she is hungover. i find this upsetting because she is incredibly smart, despite leaving mainstream school at 13 because of anxiety problems, and i feel like it is in a way dishonouring mum who always taught us to be quite ambitious - she never got to travel or go to uni, although she would have loved to, as she came from a very poor family and had to go into work after leaving school. last christmas was the first time i organised everything for my dad, sister and myself at my flat - we couldnt go away to spend it with family as they live quite far away and both of them had to work. my sister texted me about 12pm, just when i texted her to ask if she would be far away as lunch was almost ready, to say she was not coming. she chose to spend the day with her loser partner instead.

my relationship with my father is similarly a struggle. i see him as quite a selfish person, and he seems to have completely forgotten my mother. he has been dating a woman for the last two years who i have refused to meet - sounds very immature of me, doesnt it, but theres quite a complicated backstory there. basically it is that my father never treated my mother very well yet he lavishes this woman with gifts and attention and everything (my own mum, two days before dying of heart failure, refused to ask my dad for money to go to the doctor to get checked out for what she thought was her indigestion, because she lived paycheck to paycheck on a minimum wage job while my father, who earns very very good money, refused to lend her even $20) and has done a number of things to make my sister and i both feel like neither we nor our mother is important the way this woman is (probably the only thing my sister and i can agree on these days).

i was really close to my mother and we spoke a lot. when she died i was finally of an age where we were starting to become friends rather than adversaries and i hate that i didnt get much time of being in that kind of relationship. she was stolen far too soon.

now i feel like i am not a priority for either my sister or father. my father has gone overseas for month-long holidays with his girlfriend, without even telling me he has left the country (i kid you not). i feel very resentful towards him and it does not help that he goes off his nut at me because i refuse to meet her. there are lots of instances that have made me feel like i dont matter as much and i wont bore you with them (we would be here all day!).

i just wondered if any of you had any advice for me - how do i stop myself from being so hurt all the time? i had to go to my father's house today when he was at work to pick up some mail, and seeing all of her stuff there like shes moved in - clothing, pictures of the two of them and nothing of my mother - honestly felt like i had been punched in the gut. i hate seeing her belongings there, in the house that my mothers substantial life insurance policy paid for.

i feel like i am treading water. i am living with my boyfriend of three years and his family at the moment (we have shifted in to save some money before we move overseas in a few months) and it makes me feel quite bitter seeing his close-knit family. that sounds awful doesnt it? i hate feeling this way. but i cant seem to stop being upset, and just be happy again?

all i want in the world is to have my mother back and unfortunately that can never happen. but it doesnt stop me wishing.

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I am so very sorry about the loss of your mother and your family struggles. Unfortunately, many families suffer these kinds of problems after a profound loss.

Have you tried counseling? What about a self help group? Either of these suggestions may help you.

Your sister is obviously having a difficult time, too. Have you tried to talk about the issues? Have either of you sat down and talked about your mom and the impact her loss has had on you?

At some point, you will have to deal with your father's girlfriend. Unfortunately, he may have learned through the loss of your mother how valuable a person can be, which could account for his behavior change. Why don't you try to talk to him about how you feel? What would happen if you did?

Have you ever given his girlfriend a chance? What happened?

We will be here for you Alana as you sort through your issues.


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Thanks for your reply

Modkonnie ... Appreciate the help. I forgot to mention, I've tried both one-on-one conversations and family counseling with both dad and my sister. I feel like I've tried everything I can think of, to no avail.

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