Marriage and Murder

scarlett2001February 23, 2009

Sometimes I have posted here in a joking or lighthearted way but this is serious, true and it is eating me alive, so please bear with me today as I get it off my chest.

My mother and father were married 71 years, until his death in Dec. She killed him.

She was just 16, he was 22 when they married. She was too immature for sex and so they did not consummate for quite some time. She married to get even with her parents, who she thought paid more attention to her brother, She was and has remained an extremely immature woman.

When my dad went to WWII, she fell in love with a married man. This affair continued about 20 years. I don't think he ever planned to get a divorce and marry her. I don't know his motives but I can guess. She thinks he was the love of her life. Meanwhile, my dad supported her (she never had to work), he put up with her sexual and emotional frigidity towards him, he worked a rotating shift 47 years and took her back when the affair came to light, forgiving her and swallowing the fact that she had played him for so many years. The other guy finally died of a heart attack.

The whole time I was growing up, all I ever heard from "Mom" was her constant complaining about Dad. He was the source of every trouble she had, real or imagined. In late middle age, she finally inherited a considerable sum of money, so she could have moved out or divorced him, she was financially stable, but no. She made his life hell with her yelling, fighting, bickering, etc. every day.

As for my dad, he had dependency issues, confused love with need and was probably a codependent. Okay, he was not perfect. But he did his duty by her and by all of us and he loved her. Why any man would take that kind of daily abuse is beyond my comprehension.

Last summer, we all realized that he was now very old and she was not able to take care of him anymore. (At age 93, he was not too active and she complained that he "did not do his share of the work" around the house.) He did not want to come and live with any of us "kids" nor did he want to go to assisted living. He wanted to stay in his own home that he had worked so hard for, so we arranged for caregivers to come in.

They almost immediately found that she had been poisioning him with with MiraLax and mineral oil and giving him food that would cause more severe diarrhea. She went to visit my brother out of state for a week and Dad cleared right up. So we confronted her about it (she denied) and we stepped up the caregivers to 24/7 shifts. They caught her shoving him when he was in his walker -he had a few suspicious falls, but he would not say what happened - and making him use the stairs, which was very hard with two arthritic knees. Once he fell and was bleeding and she would not call for help or help him herself.

Fianlly Dad began having pains and so my sister went there to take him to the doctor in person. We found out that he had been diagnosed with prostate cancer five years earlier and my mother had deliberatly NOT told him he had cancer and NOT followed up on what was clearly treatable cancer. He died Dec. 6th. His last words were of love for his murderer.

She was completely dry-eyed at the time and at the funeral. She is now living with my brother, who does not seem to be fazed in the least by all this. Probably because she changed the will to make him the main beneficiary. I do not call or write her. She knowingly killed my dad and she laughed about it the next day.

Okay, this is getting way too long, but bottom line, I thought I could handle it and I can't. She is 87, beginning to be senile, she will never be punished, in this world at least. So I guess you can get away with the murder of an innocent person and end a marriage the hard way.

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this sounds terrible. sorry i don't even know what to say. was your mother this way with children too? this sounds unbelivable. sorry you have to go through this...i wonder if your mother was/is mentally ill. it does not sound normal.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 8:19PM
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So sad that you lost your Dad. With all of the heartache that goes along with your loss there are so many unanswered questions. I do not understand why your siblings shared your concerns during his last years here on earth and no one got together to try and find out what was going on and try to stop it.

Was there an autopsy? Did you order a copy of the report? Did anyone mention their suspicions to the police? (they probably wouldn't get involved because of Dad's age).

How senile could DM have been if she acted out on a plan in a premeditated way? And, did anyone ever come straight out and ask her?

What an uncomfortable way to have to feel. You need to mourn for a very important person in your Life and instead are dealing with these uncomfortable suspicions.

I wish you well.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 9:54PM
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(((Scarlet2001))) I can't even imagine going through something like that... I'm so sorry.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:08PM
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Oh Scarlett, I am so sorry for your loss and really it is the loss of both parents. I am so sad you to deal with this. Your father sounds like a very kind man, and I agree your mother mentally ill. Have you been to any grief groups or counseling? This is so much th wrap your mind around. Hugs to you,-Cat

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 10:29PM
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I really think it will be easier to deal with when you consider and accept that you don't know what transpired between your parents. You were a child and could not process information and perceptions as an adult. So, things you saw and heard were probably just particles and segments of the much bigger picture. More than that, you don't know all that happened, only parts of it, and your dad may have done things you never knew about. I don't think you should concern yourself with your parent's marriage. There is just too much you cannot possibly know, so releasing at least that portion of your concern will lift a great portion of the burden you are carrying. Even if you are entirely accurate in your assessments, their marriage is not your business. Love your father for the father he was to you, not what you think he was to someone else.

If more recently you thought or knew she did things to harm him, I expect what you are more so trying to deal with is your own responsibility in those matters, in that you didn't do more to protect him. But, you're transferring all the blame and responsibility to her.

Displaced adoration for your father. Displaced anger toward your mother. And, displaced burdens you afflict on yourself. Three very good reasons to feel sad and depressed when you cannot do anything about any of it at this point. Please consider seeking counseling so you can sort through your feelings. I hope you feel better soon.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:48PM
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I meant to add that I'm awfully for the loss of your dad.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2009 at 11:57PM
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A terrible burden for you to think about Scarlett, my heart goes out to you. I am sorry for your loss, it is hard when you loose your dad. He was a good man, looking after his family, working hard all those years. He deserved better.

I am a bit confused as to why your mother knew about the cancer but your father did not ? Wouldn't the doctors have told your father ?

You sound bitter about all that has gone on.

Take care.


    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 2:28AM
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Scarlett: You must find a way to find peace in spite of it all, so that this does not haunt you, robbing any good memories you may have, of your parents, and your family.

I cannot think of a more valid reason to seek out a really, really good counselor. A really good counselor will help you find a way to find peace. Many people also find help in spiritual ways. And some will find books that bring healing.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 12:29PM
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Thanks, everybody.
Finedreams and Tenderchichi,, Yes, I know it sounds unbelievable, but it is true. I'm very sure she has some type of mental illness or personalty disorder. Like many people, she is functional enough to carry it off. Remember, she was a small town housewife and not out in the world much where she would have been noticed as weird or crazy by the public. My dad covered for her a lot. Yes, she was that way to all of us chidren and we all moved as far away as possible when we were old enough. And that contributed to us not knowing how bad things really were until the caregivers told us. Her dementia is just now onsetting, she knew exactly what she was doing five years ago. Because of the age difference, she somehow convinced the doctor not to tell my dad he had cancer. That is unethical but they live in a very small town and things are done kind of differently than in a large city. No, there was no autopsy, he died of his prostate cancer. At age 93, there would not be an autopsy unless the next of kin (guess who) or legal authorities wanted one. He did not die of her poisoning because we got that stopped when we found out. Yes, we confronted her. She was just astounded that we would think she did anything wrong. Then she got mad at Dad for "telling us lies". He never said one word.

Thermometer, thanks for your condolences but I feel that you are negating what I know to be true. No, I don't have "displaced adoration" for my father. I said he was not perfect. And my anger toward my mother is very, very direct,I can assure you. The affair lasted 20 years, I was a witness to 18 years of it, and she incorporated me through intimidation as a young girl in helping her cover it up. I know what I heard and saw and I know what happened. The memory of my childhood is waking up in the morning and going to sleep at night with her screaming.

Yes, to all, I am in counseling. Not only grief but anger counseling. I have lost more than my dad. My sister and I are very close but this has just been devastating for her, she is on Prozac now, and also in counseling. It is just going to take some time.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2009 at 4:34PM
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What a terrible secret (or not) for you to carry as a child. I am very sorry you had to go through that. All the same I am glad you can see how things really were.

Your mother has (in my lay opinion) a psychotic personality. A lot of aspects of your story remind me of how my mother has treated my own father but the abuse is mental only, as far as I know. For the longest time I bought into how my mother told us or demonstrated that all bad things were my dad's fault and I was distant from him for many years. Eventually the blinders came off and I also realised my Dad was codependent and need to take some 'blame' for taking it all those years. Low self-esteem perhaps, an attitude "perhaps this is as good as it gets" and I found myself married to a similar woman, feeling also it was as good as I deserved. My kids seemed to buy into her crap as much as I did, she openly undermined me in front of them all the time, worse than my mother ever did.

I did wake up and leave, and have a wonderful marriage now. One daughter eventually saw things as they really are, the other, I haven't spoken to really since 2002. I can only hope she learns. Otherwise she's doomed to personal misery and relationship failure.

On one level in some way you need to 'forgive' or come to terms with it, so it can't keep this hold over you. If it helps in some way, like I say, it's almost certainly an undiagnosed mental illness, remember she married as 'revenge' for a perceived slight by her parents.

Don't let her continue to wield this influence over you. Disempower her, and empower yourself.

    Bookmark   February 26, 2009 at 12:20PM
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pjp999, you are so right on! I have heard that my dad's mother was a very controlling and angry woman so I think he may have become codependent at an early age and married a wife of similar temperament to his mother, only even worse. That seems to happen sometimes, I don't understand why. Maybe somebody out there knows?

As for forgiving her and distancing myself, I went to many years of counseling when I was younger and I really thought I had a good grasp and had dealt with it. But now this has happened and it all came up again, all the junk I really thought was gone. My present counselor compares it to an old monster movie where you think the beast has been slain but then at the end, you see it regenerating from one little piece. He has encouraged me to share my concerns in a place that is constructive, so I have put it on here and I am very, very grateful for those who have responded.

    Bookmark   February 27, 2009 at 12:08PM
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I would think that you are living in a very uncomfortable state. It feels to me that you are struggling in a "double bind" resulting in conflict. I believe that your experiences from childhood are real. I think you have processed the information but the death of your DD is churning it all up again. You seem to me to want to practice integrity with regard to the circumstances leading up to DD's death and feel dishonest and uncomfortable because it has yet to be honestly addressed. I think you also wish that you could "do the right thing" with regard to your dealings with DM but the unresolved unaddressed issues are standing in your way.

This is not an ideal situation to be in. You cannot be true to yourself and honor your DM at the same time. I think it is causing you to feel conflicted.

You have to come to terms with what you feel and make a choice. But, it is difficult to cut DM off because you think of yourself as a good person, daughter, etc.

Sometimes we grow up in families that project an image that does not line up with the dysfunction hidden from outsiders. As children we are manipulated by parents into presenting a happy image. Sometimes a mother or father involve a child in adult situations which are inappropriate. This is sometimes referred to as "emotional incest". It is more damaging if the parent is of the opposite sex. (as your mother did with you with her infidelity). Children are not adults and parents are suppose to rely upon each other for intimacy and companionship. You probably felt responsible when you were a child to cover up for DM to protect your family. How can just a little girl same them?

I think that was very unfair to do to you.

Link to article "emotional incest"

Here is a link that might be useful:

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 1:37AM
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Scarlet -
It might comfort you to see "resolution" as a process rather than an event. Sounds like you have the idea that if you properly deal with something, that it will never again be an issue.

It is likely that you DID properly deal with it at one time, but that certainly new situations bring thoughts and feelings to the forefront again. I think that is normal. When trauma occurs, it is likely to pop up now and again - the good news is that you can learn to consistently "deal" with it appropriately and in a self soothing way.

Again, forgiveness, resolve, etc is a process. Not an event.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2009 at 2:01PM
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