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why do people live in denial?

My mom has had mulitple by-pass surgeries, and diabetes, yet she lives in denial and pretends that if she eats good one meal then she is eating healthy all the time. I can't eat with her anymore while she sneaks bad food in to her mouth. Why does having your chest ripped open, coming this close to death, and then a full chest scar not scare the hell out of people?
I don't understand....
I have six siblings, all who tend to carry weight around their middle - this should be a "Hello!" moment this is the path you are going down, do a u-turn now, but instead I have a sister who seems to live like my mom.
Does anyone else have someone like this in their lives, does it drive you insane? How do I help her, and why doesn't she help herself? She eats like nothing ever has been wrong.
It has had the opposite effect on me, it terrifies me to see that scar, to know that I could prevented it, that she caused this. I can't eat without wondering how will this effect my body, does it help or hurt me? When I go jogging I imagine the blood pumping and pushing my arteries clean.
I want to help her, but I can't handle the denial, I think the only way to help her is to not repeat her history, and to ensure my children also take a different path.

Mon. Jul 9, 10:06am

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You cannot change other people's behavior; you can only change your own. Stop trying to get her to change.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 11:49 AM

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I can also not sit by and watch her kill herself anymore.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 12:11 PM

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I don't have quite your mother's issues, but I am an ex-smoker and a former drug user. NO ONE can 'save' someone who isn't ready - I don't care how negative the consequences of the bad behavior are. Any attempts will be resented and will just push the person into being more secretive about their self-destruction. You say you can't sit by and watch, but trust me on this: YOU CAN'T LIVE HER LIFE FOR HER, and she will grow to resent you if you try.

Back off, set a great example and be there for her when she takes positive steps. She's very likely not in as much denial as you think she is. However - that's not the point, the point is she's not committed to changing her life and you can't do it for her no matter how much you want to. Yes, it hurts to watch loved ones slowly destroy themselves - remember this when it comes to parts of your own behavior that aren't healthy that you don't want to change. However she's an adult and she has free will - she needs to make her own choices for her own reasons.

Also remember - "Mom, I love you. I'm so glad you're taking care of yourself - I want my happy, healthy mother around for a long time." is a lot more effective than "Should you be eating that?"

Monday, July 09, 2007, 1:03 PM

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I'm so sorry! I wish you luck in trying to reach her. She's your *mom*. Of course this is hurting you!!

Monday, July 09, 2007, 2:07 PM

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My mom has similar issues, she complains about being fat and unhappy and cant exercise because of her arthritis. She says since she can't exercise she will be fat anyways so why watch what she eats? Odd how different our mindsets can be... Sad part is she is only 53 and she seems determined to die fat.

Monday, July 09, 2007, 2:57 PM

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