Disengaging from Emotional Abuse in the Middle of a Crisis

The most emotionally abusive people in this world have the expertise of making a crisis much worse, sometimes painfully unbearable. Today, I realize that even if I have the best intentions of helping my mother get the best care, I also have to start considering the fate of my child and protect him from this very toxic situation from my hometown that has been going on in my life for the last 30 years.

Two days ago, I had a very honest conversation with my mother about my feelings about this abuse which she sadly perpetuates for the last few decades of my life. I mean, it’s already a handful to accept her cancer diagnosis in the middle of my delicate pregnancy and mental illness.

To be emotionally abused on top of my genuine attempts to help is really overkill. 

Last week, my stepfather called me up and he was livid with rage. The reason? I sent a priest from the cathedral to bless my mom as she goes through cancer. I had labor contractions and a stomachache after his phone call.

What was so bad about requesting healing visit for the sick? He did not even have to do anything because it will only take five minutes for the priest to bless my mom.

He is the husband. If you are actually keen in observing this whole escalated situation, you will wonder where he is in this whole mess. I mean, he is the life partner of the terminally ill, after all. Isn’t he supposed to be the one minding these things so that I can have bed rest in my pregnancy?

Last month, I told him that I am predicting that my mother will need 200,000 soon and I was nagging him to call his OFW brothers to shell out funds to assist me in trying to raise them. He just said that it’s better to wait for my mom to die because he does not have the amount, nor is he willing to work out the means to raise funds to save her if it comes to that. That was the night my labor contractions started.

Hell, my mom is in a critical state. Plus the stress from conversing with him is enough to kill my unborn child.

A day before he attacked me about the priest (and I had dangerous labor contractions from the stress), I was asking for help because in my bedridden state, I cannot process the paper requirements for the PCSO financial assistance program. He was following up eagerly on how much money was donated to my mother’s operation fund drive online. And when it’s time to ask him to do menial tasks like photocopy documents, he complains like it’s the hardest thing to do in the middle of this crisis.

After he attacked me again for some good that I wanted to do to my mom, I decided to block his number from my phones so that he can no longer pester me and harm my child. I texted him that he is supposed to be the one looking for ways to save my mom’s life. He just passively waited for the bedridden and mentally ill to find solutions for the family.

If you have been reading my blog posts, you also already know about the emotionally abusive aunt who is swimming in money but chose this opportune time of crisis to collect my mother’s debt. That’s not even half of the story, in fact. That’s not even the last of her bad deeds to our family. I will keep the ones she has done when I was a teenager in the crypt because I am just looking at their faultfinding things in the face of this present crisis.

That they made our situation worse is an understatement. That they are attacking the one person in the family who is trying to help them is really shamelessly fucked up.

Sometimes I wonder if I am really bipolar or if the people I grew up with are just suckers and opportunists who drained the life and joy out of me? Still, I took the benefit of the doubt and I continue to seek therapy for my mental illness. If they are seriously full of shit and they don’t want to manage it, it’s no longer my responsibility. But I can manage myself. I can choose to step out. It’s a tough choice but I am making it because I am not the only one affected by the emotional abuse. I have a baby inside of me.

As a 30-year-old adult, I am now fully capable of disengaging. It just so happened that my mother is in a life of death situation that I had to step in, make tough calls, and take the extreme crowdfunding measure.

At home, they habitually made fun of me for being weird and for having the mental illness. But how is it that the most mentally ill and the bedridden in a sea of “normal” people in that household was the only one who genuinely looked past differences and issues with my mother to get her some life saving help?  I was not even living there anymore when this happened and none of these “normal” family members had the insight to see the severity of my mom’s situation.

During the two weeks that she visited me before her health deteriorated at an alarming rate, I studied her illness and treatment options, memorized her lab work, stalked doctors online to find the best care. And they usually count on my phone instructions to tell them what to do next. Two weeks, man. They had her for YEARS and MONTHS and what have they done?

Yup, the normal people who can walk, have their own brains, and is with my mom physically everyday failed to take their own initiative to save her life in this crisis. My aunts made side comments about my mom’s shortcomings when in fact it was already time to put our heads together as a family to find that Php 200,000 that she needs. They basically just waited for things to unfold as they read their Bibles or whatever it is that they do. 

If there is anything good that came out of this situation, it’s this: it revealed to me about the strength that I never knew I had.

The saddest thing about the whole event was that my own sick mother, after all the things that I have done online to help raise funds for her operation, covered up for their faults. She took her husband’s side even when her own grandchild’s life hung in the balance from the constant emotional abuse I got from his calls and text messages. And same thing with my aunt. Instead of addressing them directly for betraying her and just lazily waiting for her to die when her Php 300,000 operation was a fighting chance, she blamed ME for her stress.

I know that it may not necessarily be a good time, but I became really frank with my mom in the midst of the painful experiences I had. She is sick but I had to call her out on the unfairness of her assessment of the help that was coming her way. I know she is hurting a lot, but the emotional and psychological abuse from my relatives has to stop as well.

So I told her Mom sorry if my means of fund raising to get you help is stressing you out. But I had no other choice. The people in our family who were supposed to be the grown ups in this situation refused to take charge and were pointing fingers when it came to dealing with your hospital bill. They relied on the mentally ill to take charge and call the shots. I told her that I did what I had to do as a daughter because I refused to just give you up to cancer without giving you a fighting chance. Because a human life deserves a fighting chance. Even if she is not my mom, I value life in general over petty issues and differences.

I told my mom that it’s perfectly OKAY if you love them more than you love me. It’s OKAY if you find faults in me but refuse to find faults in them. My goal is simple: I just want to make things better for you. And it’s true. It does not matter if she loves them more than she loves me or if she does not appreciate the things I’ve done. I just want her to LIVE, extend her lease in life, and see her grandson and do everything in my power to contribute to making that happen.

Sadly, I realized and fully acknowledged that for all the genuine care I have for them, they do not really care about me or my baby. If they did, they would be more responsible and manage these things themselves so that I can protect my baby and get some rest.

I have to take measures this time to protect my child from this kind of situation.

I am turning 31 this Saturday, and even if my relatives are still alive, I already feel like I am an orphan. After I have deposited the last batch of the donation money, I will stop the fund raising drive.

I will focus on my son and begin my 31st year of life minus the baggage and emotional abuse. I will continue to help and provide financially to the extent that I am able because my sister also needs money for college in 2 years’ time.

Considering my bedridden state, I think I have done more than enough. After those exchange of text messages with my mom, I am disengaging and cutting off these abusive people from my life starting today. That’s a charity I am giving to myself, this time around. And it’s not a selfish decision, all things being considered.

As a result of my revealing to the world about the real deal, the kind citizens of the internet somehow informally adopted me as a new member of this large digital family. I may have lost my own family but I gained a new one. My in laws are also super supportive and kind about my plight. My husband and I can finally start over. It’s a decision I have to make for myself.

Despite the ugliness of emotional abuse that went on for decades, the world is still apparently a wonderful and beautiful place. And I need to look forward to THAT. I need to paint happy things in my mind and override their decades of abuse so that the world will not be corrupted in the eyes of my unborn child.

I have done everything I can as a daughter to raise those funds. It’s now up to these “normal” relatives to do the remaining legwork to continue her treatment expenses and other needs. They have no more reason to just wait for her to die and wait for someone to shoulder the bill. Other people came through and gave the funds required.

This is me signing off from the habitual emotional abuse. This is me taking measures to make sure that my past does not define my future. 🙂