She won't let me leave!

Started by

I am 40 and I moved "home" to care for my 80 year old mother a year ago, after I had lost my job and was homeless. Worst mistake ever. She has been abusive to me my entire life and has relied on me to take care of her since I was 3 years old. I am not kidding. My whole life has existed to serve HER- I wasn't allowed friends, she kept family away and wasn't allowed to date until my 20s and even then, she ruined my relationships by her constant interference.

She never worked and managed to blow through close to 300k in inheritances over the years, and that, as with everything else, has been MY fault. She has blamed me for everything (and I do mean everything) my entire life.

She won't see a doctor, won't accept outside help, I have no family, no friends and her constant demands cost me my marriage (she actually gloated with joy how she ended my marriage!).

She stays up all night talking to "jesus", praying to him to make me lose my job so that I know what it's like to suffer and also asking him to hurt me because I deserve it!!!

Now that I am financially getting back on my feet, she won't let me move out! She told me she will call the police and will not let me take any of my belongings, including my cat!!! She says that I will not abandon her because if I do, she will have no one and how will she get to the grocery store?

She rents an apartment and has no savings. She was denied medicaid because her life insurance was too big (5,000 is too much? really?).

If it wasn't for my cat, I would have ended it by now. She needs to know where I am at all times and I can't go anywhere alone except to work. She is always accusing me of meeting men in motels. I tried to go for a walk and she accused me of meeting men in the park. Disgusting.

I can't wait for her to die. I can't take anymore of this. I am a prisoner due to her threats and don't have ANY support! HELP!


Unless you are being held hostage.... you can put your cat in an animal carrying crate, put all your clothes in a back pack, and walk out. Talk to someone at work, maybe you can bunk with them for a few days until you find your own place.

Your Mom will make do, she did just prior to you moving in with her a year ago.
Get up and go. She can't call the cops to make you stay. Go one step ahead of her and ask the cops to stand by while you get your things. They will do this ONCE and expect you never to return. Just go.
Thank you for commenting- I need a reality check and a clearer perspective because I am so stressed out.

I typed this in haste (I'm at work, my only sanctuary since she never leaves the house)... I forgot to add that she'll call the cops and tell them I've stolen from her and that I hit her. I think I'm terrified because she always finds some way to make me into the monster and people believe this sweet old lady with the horrible daughter. When I moved in with my ex-husband 15 years ago, she threw things at me and tried to choke me. I guess I'm still a terrified little kid at my age.
Pack your stuff, take the cat and leave. She has no proof that you stole anything from her, or that you hit her. It might help if you had a friend with you when you make your escape, or you could call the police yourself and ask for an officer to stand by because you're being threatened and you need to extract yourself from a dangerous situation. Good luck.
If your 80 year old mother can't physically stop you from packing up your stuff and the cat, go for it. If she can, call the cops to keep the peace. There are places to go like a shelter, or maybe someone from work. Look for a room in a house you can rent if you can't yet afford a place all to yourself. If you haven't had counseling it might be a good idea to get some support in your break for freedom. Walk out and don't look back, at least for a good long time when you are stronger. Best of Luck.
Can you leave when shes asleep? I am working toward leaving myself..Trust me..if I can can you!! God's got your back!!! Best- sandiw50
I think there is an echo in here ... pack your stuff, grab your cat, and leave.

Courts do not work on how sweet little ol' ladies look. They work on evidence. If you fear that your mother will physically interfere with your move, ask for a police escort.

Find a safe place to land. If you have to, find someone to keep your cat while you get on your feet. Get out, and get working on a more permanent situation for living.

You say, "she won't let me move out." True, she is trying to stop you, and she will be angry when you leave. But you leave everyday for work, right? You can physically leave the house. She doesn't have chain on you, or a gun. You CAN move out whether she "lets" you or not.

I am very, very sorry for the dysfunctional family life you have had. This is hard to overcome on your own. First get out, and then get some counselling to help you understand that your mother's disorder is Not Your Fault, and that mother's happiness is Not Your Responsibility.
Thank you everyone for responding. I am sort of ashamed and the panicked tone of my post yesterday, but I was seriously cracking up. I am 40 and am living like a 5 year old there. And considering she has always acted like a 2 year old, I'm still the mature one! I never thought that moving back home to help would end up being some kind of oath signed in blood...

I had never thought of having the police there to supervise my escape. That is the route I will take, for my safety and so that I have witnesses. I have started from scratch by moving back home and can't afford to start over again if I just pack a cat and a bag. I have zero friends left, so leaving my cat with a friend isn't an option, shelters won't take animals and the shelters around here are dangerous, to say the least.

Strangely, I DO feel better- I have formulated a plan on what I need to be able to get out, marking my Get Out Date on my calendar. In two months, she will be left alone to do whatever she wants and I'm not getting sucked back into her chaos ever again.
My mother would have done that to a certain extent. She had a way of not letting people leave the house, if they came to visit for a few days. I did not allow that personally, though.

You can get out, if you want. Good luck.
I'm still puzzling over a statement that you made in your original post:

"She has been abusive to me my entire life and has relied on me to take care of her since I was 3 years old."

I don't know of many 3 year olds who can care for themselves, let alone a parent.

Keep the conversation going (or start a new one)

Please enter your Comment

Ask a Question

Reach thousands of elder care experts and family caregivers
Get answers in 10 minutes or less
Receive personalized caregiving advice and support