Struggling with my mother's lupus diagnosis

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New Member

Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 11/28/2015 10:35 AM (GMT -6)   
I've never posted on one of these before and I figured it might be helpful.

Summary: my mother and I have not had a relationship for the past three years due to her emotion and psychological abuse. We recently began emailing in attempts to re-establish communication and we got a little bit into why we haven't had a relationship. I told her that it was the only way I could protect myself from her abusive behavior, and her response was that she behaved that way because of her lupus. Does lupus make you abusive? I have a degree in human biology and I understand the psychological affects lupus can have on the brain and I'm not trying to ignore the symptoms and how it affects those who suffer from lupus, but does it make 5 years of abuse acceptable?

I feel like this is her excuse for everything she says and does and honestly it's not fair. I could write a ten page essay on all of the abusive things she's said/done, but I'll spare those details for the sake of time. I'm really struggling with her justifications for the way she treated me. In the past, she's had a history of self diagnosing herself, which started with rheumatoid arthritis. Once doctors told her that she didn't have RA, she told us it was a similar autoimmune disease (which is possible - I am not doubting this). A couple of months later, she got a really bad infection and was admitted to the hospital and claimed she was septic. She kept insisting that there was something really wrong but the doctors could't find anything. She was friends with two doctors at the time and they came by to check on her and give their two cents, and they said they couldn't figure out what it could be and that they think she has Munchausen's disease? Then after this, she self diagnosed herself with breast cancer and that she would need everybody's support in going to chemo with her, and it turned out she never had breast cancer. Due to this pattern with her, I'm scared to suggest that maybe it's something psychological with her, and not physical. I know that it's very frustrating for lupus patients to feel like their family members don't believe them or understand so I don't want to come off that way, but I can't help but ignore her past with incorrectly self diagnosing her own illnesses. I really don't know how to have a relationship with her if the reasoning for her abusive behavior is because she has lupus. Our family has tried to have her check into a mental health facility and she refuses. I feel lost.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined May 2005
Total Posts : 7669
   Posted 11/28/2015 11:35 AM (GMT -6)   
It sounds like your mother does have something going on, although I wouldn't want to guess what.

Lupus, OR ANY OTHER DISEASE, does not make a person abusive. Sounds like she is looking for any and all excuses for her behavior.

Lupus can sometimes appear to make us selfish, just because we don't have much energy and need to put our own needs first. But that is a far, far cry from being abusive.

Probably the best thing you can do is check into getting a therapist FOR YOURSELF - an expert who can help you determine how you want to behave in the face of your mother's behavior.
Lynnwood, Lupus & Sjogren's Moderator, Dx: 2002
"Life is far too important to be taken seriously." - Oscar Wilde

Post Edited (Lynnwood) : 12/2/2015 9:53:24 AM (GMT-7)

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2014
Total Posts : 360
   Posted 11/29/2015 10:59 AM (GMT -6)   
I am sorry you have to deal with these conflicting emotions with your mother. My first marriage was abusive and my then husband was very controlling and emotionally abusive. I had to enter a woman's shelter with my children to break free from his mind games.

I agree with Lynnwood 100%. The best thing you can do is get yourself into therapy. I did for two years and learned to recognize the signs of abuse, enforcing healthy boundaries and the self confidence to advocate for my own rights. We cannot change how others act, we can only change how we react. Abusers can be very manipulative and people with good hearts tend to be taken advantage of because we are caring people.

I have UCTD and I would never hurt or manipulate my children, friends or loved ones. If anything I feel tremendous guilt over the affects my disease has had on my family. They are awesome and helpful and I don't know what I'd do without them. When I have a headache I don't seek to punch someone else in the head. Your mother's justification and excuse for her bad behavior and choices is pure nonsense. You have every right to keep her at arms length for your own safety and sanity. You can cut off contact completely if you must. You make the rules. You look out for yourself.

New Member

Date Joined Nov 2015
Total Posts : 2
   Posted 12/1/2015 1:47 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you for your replies, it's greatly appreciated!

Good news is, I started therapy this week - yay!

Bad news is, I'm thinking a lot more about my mom lately and it's making me feel angry, constantly. Not to the point where my whole day is ruined, but I feel a tad on edge. I think the trigger for these feelings is her reaching out to me through email and leaving voicemails, on top of the pressure I'm receiving from friends and family to re establish a relationship because I'm getting married next year. I just want to tell everyone to F off!!! Ahhh it makes me crazy that they don't understand what I've been through. I don't know if I should email my mom back and tell her how I feel and that if she doesn't seek mental health treatment (maybe she already is and it just isn't working) to not even contact me? And tell family members and friends convos about my mom are off limits?
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