Single young female taking care of her mother. Very depressed.

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I'm 21 years old and still in college. I am normally very cheerful, optimistic, ambitious & laid back. My mom has always been very depressing & we never had a good relationship until after my father passed away a few years ago. Growing up, I despised her. She would abuse me physically and mentally and until this day, all she ever did was complain. She always makes sure she reminds how she "raised me alone" even though it's not true. My father paid child support and was ALWAYS there for me in any and every way. He was my pride and joy and I miss him SO MUCH. I had a very dark point in my life where I resorted to drugs and alcohol. I'm completely past that now and clean. I know she loves me but she has a different way of showing it. She is very overprotective to the point where I ran away a few years ago because it became unbearable. Anyways, she is losing her job. She expects me to take over all financial aspects and I just CAN'T do it. I go to school full time as well as work full time. I have always helped her with bills, and whatever extra money I have I contribute in any way that I can. On top of it all, she is always "sick". For as long as I remember she has been like this and I just feel like I don't want to be around negative people anymore. I spent so much of my childhood crying and upset and surrounded by plain negativeness. I'm at the point where I just want to run away. I'm so scared that i'm not going to be able to live a normal life and get married & have children like other people my age. People my age just have to worry about school, their job & THEIR OWN BILLS. I have no friends because I have no time to even make any. I would NEVER leave her alone, but it's terrifying thinking that i'm going to have to take care of my mother for the rest of my life and also take over bills that I can not afford. She is financially irresponsible and I feel like i'm paying for her mistakes. I forgot to mention that i'm an only child. Please help me. Any advice helps. : (

Answers 1 to 5 of 5
You are very perceptive. This is not the way for you to live a normal life, do the job you are supposed to be doing at your age (preparing for a career, socializing, figuring out your own values and beliefs, and perhaps finding a life partner).

Where are you living? If you are living in your mother's house, that is the first problem to correct. Live in a dorm. Rent a room in someone's basement (as one of my granddaughtesr is doing). Do not live surrounded by this negativity.

Next, get some counselling. Colleges have counselling services. Take advantage of that great benefit. You have certainly had a tough childhood/adolesence. You deserve some support in breaking the circuit on all those guilt buttons your mother knows how to push.

As you know yourself, it is critical that you act now. We are not talking about a period of several months while your mother's broken limb heals, or a year to get through chemo. This could stretch on for the rest of your mother's life. Not an appealing prospect. You have to establish boundaries now, and learn to enforce them. Counselling can help.

You would NEVER leave your mother alone? Why not? The goal of parenting is to produce a young adult ready to step out on her own, make her own mistakes, create her own joy, grow, and be independent. Daughters are supposed to leave their mothers. Oh, not abandon them and never be in touch or have emotional ties. But go out on their own. And I think it is especially essential that you experience independence before you move into an interdependent relationship. like marriage. Do the job you are supposed to be doing now. Re-think that attitude about never leaving your mother alone.

If your mother truly needs help, the school counsellor can give you lots of sources for her to explore. If she has lost a job, she can look for another. If that isn't possible for various reasons, she needs to look into what help is available to her. You are NOT responsible for her financial upkeep. You are not responsible for making her happy. You are not a dumping ground for negativity.

I am so happy to see each of my grandchildren making their way on their own. This is how life is supposed to move forward. If your mother can't be happy for your independence, take a smile and a hug from me. And find others who are in the same stage of seeking and growing that you are, as well as older adults who approve.

You sound like a very intelligent women with a good head on your shoulders. You will make it through this struggle!

Keep us informed. Many people on this site will be rooting for you!
Top Answer
Sad, my guess is that what you perceive as being 'over protective' is really your mother trying to hold on to you cause she's afraid you're going to leave her. Which is exactly what you should be doing. Let's face it, if you weren't in the picture at all, your mother would find a way to survive on her own. Don't get sucked in.
I hear your cry ... I hear it loud and clear. Such pain, such frustration, such grief. It's not fair is it? It speaks to your character that you are willing to help your mother ... but that doesn't make it easy, does it?

No problem solving here ... just listening, just listening.

Please take care of yourself ... you count!

I'm in a similar situation myself, so I completely understand all of what you wrote.

Let's keep talking, if you want to ...
You sound just like me 20 yrs. ago I have stuck by my Mom and cared for her all these yrs. Don't regret it BUT listen carefully.....YOU are entitled to a life outside of caring for her, A GUILT FREE LIFE!! Time to see a counselor and work on setting up boundries, And just throwing it out there but do an online search on narsasist, (spelled wrong) And children raised by them, not saying she is, but your story sounds very familiar, ever need to vent feel free, you have a long road ahead of you, but you will be stronger for it in the long run, remember you are not alone in this, there are so so so many who have walked your path, good luck sweetie!
I am very sorry for all your going thru at your young age. I am 31, and have a small son, plus caring for my mom, and it is alot to deal with. You didn't really explain what your mom is sick with which might help to detail that some for more advice. When I hear you say you feel like you will never be on your own, and have a family, well it saddens me, but you need to know that isn't true. Your a grown adult, and it may be in YOUR own best interest to just go ahead, and break away from your mom now. Something I wish I had done sooner, because now I am so stuck in a mess. It will not get better the way your explaining things about how she is sick, and lays guilt on you. All the negativity. It's just not a good way to live, and if you don't do something to change life to how you want to live now, she will drag you down, and depression is not something someone your age should be dealing with. You sound very smart with alot of very good goals. Please don't let your mother drag you down.This is your life, not hers. You don't want to look back one day, and be full of regrets of things you missed out on. NOT worth it. I just know I'm kind of close in age with you, and I have been going thru pure hell for 3 years.Dementia has robbed my mom some of her mind, and sometimes it feels like it all has taken over my life. So save now, and somehow get your own apartment. You can still help mom, but live your life at the same time. If your in a clear, and happy mind you'll actually be able to help her more. Way to much is expected from caregivers, and just wanted to offer a little blunt, but hopefully helpful, good advice. Good luck, and take care of you. You deserve to live your life, and chase your dreams. Never let anyone take it from you. Sorry about your dad also.

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