My mother has always been a control freak, liar, hypocrit and master of manipulation. She is unable to feel for others but very sensative to her own pain! I have twins, now 21, born 3 months early. I have pored myself into their care...even homeschooling them beause pulic school...well...stinks! I'm tired. My husband had cancer 4 years ago when he was 40. He lost his bladder and prostate. He now has a urostomy and is tired more than I can describe! But continues to work 12 hour days. I don't think he'll last much longer at his job. I have liver disease and a forward slip in my spine and my hips are killing me. My daughter has cereral palsy. I am almost 50, but I feel 80. My body hurts so much I haw trouble walking sometimes. To make this life more grevious, my parents are now around 70 and will need me as well some day soon. I care for everyone around me but myself. I'm now 100 lbs overweight...and appetite stimulating depression meds helped me get there. I paid my mother to fix meals for my twins while my husband and I were fighting cancer...she didn't. My kids survived on tv dinners I stocked in freezer. My kids needed someone to talk to while we were gone. They were distressed not knowing if their dad would live. My wonderful mother wouldn't comfort them at all nor would she comfort me. I asked her a couple years after he pulled through, why she wouldn't talk to us and she said it was because I am grown and have my own life...yet she calls me to talk for hours about her blood pressure. If I sit within her range at church or other functions, she will lasso the conversation away from me and start talking about herself..usually her bp meds..or her marriage to an alcoholic. She brings these topics up out of the blue. She has always crushed me with criticism, never took me to dentist and rarely to a doctor when I was a kid. She lied and said there was no money, yet she would get new shoes, clothes, RV, etc. She talks about me to my dad and sisters and other relatives...always twisting the story. She is the center of the wheel and we are the spokes. Nobody can have a relationship with each other except with her. We always had to talk to her to communicate with my dad. She turned my sister against me at a young age. She always has to control everyone in our family. My sister moved off. And now it looks like I am the one to care for this woman who has hurt me so much.

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I agree with everyone here. Nowhere is it written that you are obligated in any way to care for your parents in their old age. You are not ethically, morally, nor financially bound to your parents and you are not responsible for them.

You have your own family. Your husband and your daughters. Take care of them. That's who you care for, your family. Not some narcissistic wicked witch and her alcoholic husband.

You are free and clear to do as you please with no guilt. You are not crazy. Sometimes our best thinking gets us into trouble, yes? Well, now you can make more clearheaded decisions knowing that your parents are not your responsibility.

Should've been an "and" between "problem" and "Step".

Wow. Something to really think about. I have really worked myself into a corner emotionally...feeling like their was no way out. But, after reading these posts, I feel like I need to untangle myself from the problem. Step back and look at things for what they really are, stop thinking I'm crazy and work on what really matters. Thanks for reading and commenting.

Even the states with filial responsibility laws generally make exceptions for an abusive parent. And yours was. That kind of treatment as a child was physical and emotional abuse, and you thought it was normal or that you deserved it because you weren't around enough real normal to know better. And she still is narcissistic and abusive. She will say what she needs to say and do what she needs to do to keep you beholden to her and give you just enough hope of getting some shred of approval from her. She wants you underconfident and afraid - afraid to say no to her no matter how unreasonable the request. The first few times you do say no to her it may not be pretty. She will Not Be Pleased.

You know what though? You don't need her approval. You have made yourself into a different kind of person and are struggling valiantly with many things. Give up on her emotionally - there is nothing there, she has nothing to give you. Do what is reasonable to help her without hurting yourself, do what is reasonable to re-contact your sister without her in the picture and see what sorts of things you both remember. Find healing and do what you can not to let her ways keep you all apart. That, I also know something about - I've only recently reconnected with cousins and aunts and uncles on FaceBook after Mom's insecurities kept us out of touch in the old days.

Your mother is mentally ill. That is sad. You can't change it.

Your mother does not love you (because she can't). That is sad. You can't change it.

Nothing you do will change those two facts. Nothing you have done in the past corrected the situation, and nothing you can do in the future will change them.

Maybe some day science will discover ways to change people who have no empathy for other. But that is not possible now.

You need to take care of yourself, your marriage, and to the extent that they need it, your children. You have NO obligation to take care of anyone else. You may feel better about yourself if you help from a distance when the time comes that your parents need care. You certainly do not have to provide hands-on care.

You did not cause your mother's mental illness. It is not your fault. But as you observed, family bonds can be very strong, and the need to have our parents approval is very strong. I urge you to get some counseling to deal with this challenging situation you did not create and do not deserve.

You're right, ba8alou. I guess I feel obligated to do certain things because I live so close. She asked me to drive her to a store...I said yes. My impulse is to appease her. For some reason it is getting harder to tolerate her. I'm having more memories being slapped in the face for "looking at me wrong" when I was only a child....asking to go to a dentist because a molar hurt...only to be told it would stop hurting after a while. I can remember being punched in the face in public, etc. Yet, this woman can be kind. I let my guard down and trust her...then she does something stupid and I wish I could run thousands of miles away from her. I bounce between feeling sorry for her and hating her. I want to weep. Why is it that family bonds are so strong even in the middle of such dysfunction? I will do my best to help them into a nursing home if I survive that long.

And why do you think you have to care for her? Please take care of yourself, your husband and adult children, approximately in that order. When the time comes, you'll see that mom and dad are appropriately placed using their funds and government assistance. Believe me, making those arrangements and coordinating their care is plenty of hard work.

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