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Hi Tready water . I'm new to this site and your post could have been written by me except it's my dad. I just read your post is from 2011. Don't know if you're still on here. I am so overwhelmed and guilt ridden . My dad is the exact way. My brother is the main care giver for my dad. My brother has had it with my dad. The verbal abuse, being unappreciated pretty much what you described. No one wants to be around him. I am so torn. Why is my dad so mean to the only person who is there for him? It's sad.
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Keep her away from gatherings for awhile. Absence makes the heart grow fonder. You mom needs a good taste of her own medicine. Make her regret her bad choices of treating you bad as children. When you make bad choices you have to be held accountable with conquences. When you make bad choices you don't get to control the conquences, something she must get by getting a taste of her own medicine.
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My mother is so miserable now that she even practically drove my brother - the golden child! - out of her home when he dared ask why she was so unhappy in her AL and what she would like to do about it. She moans endlessly but won't discuss anything rationally, and gets defensive with us if we try. She claims she's been 'abandoned' and doesn't see anyone when in fact she sees more people in a week now than she did in her last years in her own home, and criticizes most of them anyway! We are sure she is depressed or maybe has early dementia but she won't se a doctor, so what can we do? It is making us three miserable and even ill too - I've had acute depression before and don't want to go back there.
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I'm new to this forum and can see I'm clearly not alone in having a selfish narcissistic mother! I've had to be the parent all my life - she left when I was 15, remarried and has always put her own needs and wants before anyone else's. I am an only child and have had no one to share the burden with. She's now elderly and has been living with us since being widowed 10 years ago. She spent the first 5 years making so many demands on me that I became ill, she did nothing to help me get better and when my father died last year and offered no support in my bereavement. After being ill I realised I needed to stop doing everything for her and that she needed to take on some responsibilities of her own. She was furious about this but I refused to let her make me ill again. After dad died I sought counselling and this helped me to realise I'm not responsible for her happiness and that I have to put my own basic needs first. It has given me permission to look after myself, to expect to be treated with respect, to do activities that make me happy, all whilst ensuring my mother's basic needs (home, security, food in the house and general safety) are all taken care of. She is mobile and perfectly capable of looking after the rest of her needs and wants, but if she chooses not to, it is up to her. I would urge anyone on this forum to not feel guilty about putting themselves higher up in the list of priorities- your parent may well be relying on your guilt to get you to do everything for them. I now feel less exhausted and can see that before I changed how I was doing things I was a virtual prisoner in the house, just doing housework and caring all day while my mother went out shopping all the time! Hope this helps some of you.
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Don't feel guilty!! She's in a good place that will take care of her. There is no law that says you have to have her for ANY holiday...or that you have to visit. ..if someone complains that grandma isn't there, they can go visit her. My mom was the same as your mom. Controlling everything. It wrecked our relationship. My sister and I are her caregivers. There is so much resentment, but we treat her with kindness and loving care through all her nastiness. She never wants for anything. Dr and nurses say she'd be gone now if it wasn't for all the good care she is getting. When she's gone, it will be a relief for the whole family. I'm sure she will be relieved as well because she feels we've never lived up to her expectations anyway.. We have NEVER been thanked or ever told that she loves us. I'm 67years old!
Like I say..she's in a good place. Live your life the way you want and DON'T look back. Time is too short. Live it like today is your last day. That's what I'm going to do!
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Hi All. What the heck do you do when your elder refuses to be seen by a primary care doc who gives the referral and then the geriatric specialist who can asses her dementia! She gets really angry, says there's nothing wrong with her, says she sleeps fine, etc. One of her issues is she believes there are three of me. She repeatedly asks about the other Susan's. For my brother she asks about Richard, my father, and George, my Dad's brother. My Dad passed already and we never see George due to family estrangement. I would like to hear from anyone else that has to deal with this Capgras Syndrome or Imposters Syndrome as I believe it's also called.
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Susan,
There is an article on here about caring for your loved one with capgrass syndrome. Write that in the questions search box. My Mother thought there were 2 of me for awhile in mid stage Alzheimer's. She also would see people in her house occasionally that were not there. This stage passed after maybe 4 or 5 months for her. She is on year 11 now and still walks, talks and eats just fine. Her diagnosis is Alzheimer's with mixed demtia. Maybe a little Lewy in there too. It's a crazy ride.
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Hi Treading Water...I'm new here & I know your post is s few yrs old, but if you still come here for support...oh how you are not alone. My mother has always made a target...all my life. I never understood why she had kids. I guess my dad wanted children. She's been a victim since my dad died many years ago. We feel she's always had a personality disorder...undiagnosed though. She's an ace at ruining every family gathering, holiday, etc....with her constant complaining & pity party regarding her endless & unbearable pain !! All of her issues are directly caused by her. She did nothing but SIT & watch TV for the last 10 years. She's barely mobile with a Rollator & falls way to much. She's headed for a Nursing Home & tells anyone who will listen that it's me that's putting her there !! I do the absolute most for her & she treats me like a punching bag. She lashes out at me whenever she feels like she's being ignored & not the center of attention. I've told her repeatedly that this must stop but to no avail. She never speaks to my sister or my sister-in-law...or anyone like she does me. She's incredibly manipulative & fully cognitive...no apparent issues. She's just miserable & hateful. I've got to save myself. There are others to pick-up my slack. I'll never understand why she hates me so much. My sister seems not to come to my defense at all with her...I guess it's more important to be the "Good Daughter"...& not to be involved in the crazy.

I know there are so many others out three in my shoes. To all of you I say...Save Yourselves !! We have so many more years left. I need to choice happy....We all deserve better. We've do our duty...we've done our best. None of this is our fault.
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Hi Aleta1961, sounds like your mother is a bully and you are the target. It took me years to realise this with my own mother. It does look like you recognize this and are looking to distance yourself from the abuse and the burden of care. There are other people in your family as well as health professionals who can help, it's not all your responsibility. Put yourself first, think about your own needs and wants, take some time out to do things that make you happy and don't feel guilty about it. Bullies tend to look for another target when their chosen victim is no longer available for abuse.
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Oh, Aleta1961, we could be twins! I'm so sorry you are experiencing this struggle too. My mother is just like yours, only we think she has cognitive decline as well now, probably caused by sitting around doing nothing but feel sorry for herself for three years. Unlike you, we are too cowardly to tell my mother she shouldn't treat us this way, as we fear even more unpleasantness if we do, and as she acts OK for the medics and objects to paying for care, there isn't really any obvious way for us to get out of the trap we unwittingly fell into. I hate being a Jekyll and Hyde - the apparently docile, caring daughter who screams with frustration and resentment as soon as she's out of mother's earshot!
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Hi helenb63....Thanks for responding. I know I'm not alone....its just stuns me how many of us there are in this same toxic boat. We need to save ourselves. Mothers like ours only care about themselves....why have children? My only brother passed a little over 5 years ago. The only boy & the baby. He was a good man & left us far too soon. He could handle her...but she wasn't so awful back then. I've always been her target but have ways done the most for her. I was so afraid she would do something heinous at my son's very expensive & wonderful wedding in Charleston SC...2 years this April. She didn't..
Thank God ! But she was a killjoy the whole time. Everything must always be about her...centered on her. It's utterly insane !! Last nite I was driving back from my son's birthday...dark...in the rain...85 miles. I've done it a million times...expressways & Interstates all the way. But...this time I literally snapped on bluetooth with her. I lost my mind on her !! It was scary...but needed. She had to be nasty & sarcastic & hateful when she called my son...to not say Happy Birthday but to take him over the coals for not calling her enough !!! I had had all I could take. Never loose your mind driving 70 miles mph on a busy Interstate. Makes for a scary drive home. That was my breaking point. You will reach yours. It's had a mentally jarring effect on me....but I'll get over it. You have all my sympathy :)
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Hi All,
I have learned to walk away from the situation- literally- I WALKED AWAY- never look back, never went back. The freedom is awesome and I can not tell you what its like to breath again. Sure, she rips me up one side and down the other- fills my voice mails with these long story's about how much she hates me and 15 good reasons why-but there isnt anything I can do when she calls the home phone- I have blocked the cell #.
That said, here the point of my post. I did my home work dealing with her and that meant dealing with me. Who knew at 62 yrs old I had absolutely no clue who the hell I was. I discovered I was raised by someone who was delusional and found my life written on several articles/books/etc about people who are delusional. Now THAT was a stunner. No wonder it was disaster. Look into it, see if you find yourself wandering the pages of being raised by a delusional mind. Weird as it was, now that there is a name to it- it was easier to realize staying away is the right thing to do. I cant help her mind-if she will not allow help. I was just about broke- emotionally and financially trying to find this womans happy button and as much as I knew as such a young child, i wasnt the adult and a lot of this crap wasnt mine to haul around-but i did exactly that. I just picked up whatever garbage she threw and carted it around for decades. To be blunt- now that I know she is delusional I can be done. I look at it as a diagnosis and someone has refused treatment. Her PCP said she can not be forced nor can she be medicated to help, because she has refused. Instead of getting meds on board, she told her PCP I wanted her drugged and out of the picture. Check for yourself- if this helps, happy to share.
Best to all of us
xo
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Struggling,

Good for you! It is better to walk away from pain. No sense in sticking around. Even for those of us who tried and tried. It’s on them. Not us. No one has the power to change anyone else.
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It seems to me, from all of these recent posts, that our mothers have spent a lifetime making us believe we are at fault in many ways. This is crushing. I'm in my mid fifties and its taken me until now to realise this and to see that her behaviour is not normal for a mother. I too am now rejecting this notion of being at fault all the time. I am now choosing to give love, kindness and compassion to the people in my life who give it back to me, rather than waste my time on someone who is full of spite and poison. Once again I would urge fellow sufferers to take an honest look at where they are right now and to see if they can start to take even tiny steps towards looking after themselves more. Think about who in your circle of friends/family will be supportive to you, let them know of your problems and see how they can help you. A coffee with a friend or a shopping trip together can help take you out of the bad situation so that you can take a look at your life from another angle. We all deserve love and respect for who we are and to help banish a lifetime of feeling bad about ourselves because of our cruel mothers.
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I believe mental illness is at play in my circumstance...undiagnosed & untreated. My sister agrees. She was on the receiving end of our mother's issues when she was a child. She's older than me & remembers these things better than me. When she left home I became her target...never my brother. I've read that these types of issues become amplified with old age. It's so true. The incident that caused me to walk away & cut-off all communication was on 02/24/2020....my son's 35th birthday....so I'll always be reminded. My sister has talked to her about this at length last nite...she has absolutely no remorse...takes zero responsibility & is completely indignant. It was a "Come to Jesus Meeting". She laid it all out for her...the years of treating me so badly...like an employee...worse than. Making me her punching bag...but still expecting all of her needs to be met. Anyone who doesn't meet her ridiculous expectations in her timeframe will be met with her nasty unappreciative attitude. I pray she doesn't make my sister her next victim. For anyone taking part in this forum.....please stop & think about how you can walk away from this abuse !!! I'd there is a way out....please try to make it happen. Save yourself....we all gave many years left to try & reclaim our lives. It's not easy...but it will save YOUR life & allow you to find happiness. LET THE GUILT GO !!! I'm here for anyone who needs to talk about this. My sympathy goes out to all :)
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I would love to walk away but don't think my mum's behaviour is fully bad enough yet to justify it. And she hates paying for care so the guilt would be massive. Plus my husband is her blue-eyed boy/replacement husband, so he doesn't have the problems with her that I do. It would look rather odd if I stopped seeing her and he kept going round.

It's awful but I keep praying that the burden will be lifted somehow, but it's unlikely until she dies, and it seems wrong to ask for that! A care home is a possibility, as she seems to be losing some cognitive abilities - didn't recall how an answerphone works, for example - but she would hate that even more than living in her own flat, and we would still have to visit and put up with the corrosive negativity and nastiness.
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I've written about my narcissistic mother here a lot, and looks like I will be hanging around this thread, because after two years of her living next to me I am at the end of my rope.

Lately I've been obsessing about how I can get out of this. My mom was diagnosed with dementia a year ago. It made her furious and she refuses to acknowledge any of her issues or help herself in any way. She lives alone next to me, and isn't ready for a care home, which she would refuse anyway. Her plan is to live in her condo and rely on me on her terms only.

I'm devising a plan in my mind. As much as I HATE to confront her, I'm gearing up to have a major talk with her. I'm going to tell her she either starts cooperating with me, or I am washing my hands of this entire situation. I have actually talked to my husband about selling OUR place and getting out of here. It's THAT bad. My mental health can not take YEARS of this, and it's shaping up to look like it will be years. I can't do it.

I feel for everyone who has posted on this thread who found themselves in a similar situation.
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Oh wow. How did I miss this thread? I can see why this thread goes back to 2011. So many of us in the same situation. My 95 1/2 year old mother lives alone and is competent. She has her mind but can only walk hanging on to people or with a walker. That being said, she won’t bathe, wash her hair, change her clothes, is a gambling addict who literally gambled all of my fathers money away, AND she is a hoarder like that tv show hoarders. She won’t let anyone in the house except me. She refused assisted living. She won’t even let me help her do anything except take out the trash and mail her bills. She takes call a bus to get her groceries. I haven’t gone no contact yet but I have backed off and see her once a week. I don’t go running over there every time she calls. I don’t go running up to the hospital every time she has a panic attack which was 5 times this month!! I had to step back and tell her NO!!! Save yourself!!! Nobody can do it for you!!! You have to do it for yourself!!You deserve it!!! I don’t even go to the doctors with her anymore, she takes call a bus. The last time I took her to the foot doctor, she handed me an old apt card from 2016 on it. I thought she was giving it to me to throw out, so I threw it out. No she screamed at me to get it out of the garbage. How dare I throw it out!!! She wouldn’t speak to me the rest of the day. Yeah, that was the last time taking her anywhere in my car.
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I forgot to add on my last post that I called APS on my mother. They told me there was nothing they can do because she is “competent.” She can live any way she wants because she still has her mind. I use to take her out to restaurants every Saturday evening but I don’t anymore since she acted up like a 2 year old in the restaurant. I stopped taking her anywhere back in November. She doesn’t treat her grandchildren or my brother like shit. Only me. Save yourself. Don’t feel guilty putting a LO in a facility. You don’t have to take care of your parents!!! Live your life!! We only have one life to live. That life is NOW!!
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Elaine I'm glad your backing off some because I know your mom is a handful and you have recently been through A LOT. I shudder to think of my mom living well into the 90's. In fact that is one reason I know I need to change my situation. My mom is only 76. This could go on for a very long time.

I think of where I was three years ago, and I'm a shell of that person. The only good thing is I am finally to the point that I will take action. Last year I just felt paralyzed.

Has this affected your relationships with others? Just curious because I'm also realizing this constant state of negativity and opening of old wounds has made me isolate. I shield my adult son but he's in another state right now so thankfully I don't think he's been affected. But I don't go out much. My husband is probably sick of having a depressed wife. I don't really talk to my friends about this because they all have normal families and I don't want to complain anyway.

I just need things to change.
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Elaine that competency thing is BS. Your mom is not in her right mind living the way she does, all that unsafe discharge stuff you went through was awful. I would even call it traumatizing.

Keep limiting your contact.

BTW- my mom also acts like an ass in restaurants. She's demanding and always has an attitude with the staff. It's embarrassing. I too stopped going.
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Reading these last few threads since I posted my last one, I’m nodding in agreement with many of the examples of poor behaviour and the effects they have on us. I stopped inviting my mother to restaurants after suffering years of having to read out the menu in great detail, several times over, because she wouldn’t just use her glasses. This ruined the experience for me as by the time the waiter arrived I’d never had time to decide what I wanted and would just order anything. This all started as soon as I had a baby (basically as soon as someone else needed my attention) so the stress of trying to settle a baby in a restaurant was made 10 times harder because of her attention seeking behaviour. The baby turns 18 next week but in the intervening years my mother has tried to get anyone and everyone who ever came out with us for dinner and who was sitting next to her to read the menu for her - even young children! She would then go through each item in turn and ask for a long description of it before rejecting it and moving on to the next item - so very self centred and ruining the night for everyone else. A few years ago I decided “no more” and she has not been invited out with us since. The liberation I felt was wonderful and although I felt guilty at first, I now know that her behaviour was selfish and unacceptable, not just for me but for everyone else too. Now we can go out and spend time socialising with our friends and family rather than being drawn into focusing solely on one selfish person.
I was also interested to read ExhaustedPiper finding that she goes out less now and spends a lot more time at home. I too found this was happening. I felt a prisoner in my own home but often lacked the energy to make the effort and go out. This was due to feeling overwhelmed and anxious, all brought on by years of my mother’s bad behaviour. I knew I needed to tackle this and so I made a long list of things I enjoy doing or feel a sense of achievement doing (some big, some small, some taking 5 minutes, some several days). Whenever I’m feeling low I pick off something on this list and go and do it, regardless of my mother’s latest demands or behaviour. It might just be a coffee outside, or a 10 minute walk, or seeing a friend, but it does help. I also keep telling myself it’s important and OK to put my own needs ahead of the selfish wants of a self-absorbed person. Remember that whatever you do for a person like this will never be enough, so all you will do is make yourself ill. Put your own needs and health first. Remember that you are a nice, good person who deserves a life of their own and you’re not the villain your mother might have spent years brainwashing you into thinking that’s what you are.
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Exhausted piper. I know what you mean about the competent thing. But as APS explained to me , just because someone makes bad decisions such as hoarding or gambling this doesn’t make them incompetent. My mother has been a hoarder and gambling addict for 20 years. It’s nothing new. But i know she has an undiagnosed, untreated mental illness such as borderline personality disorder, bipolar, or narcissistic disorder. But she is an evil genius and scored high on the mocca competency test. She gets her own food, cooks her own food in microwave, pays her own bills, takes call a bus for her groceries, calls 911 all by herself for help. So in the eyes of the law, she is competent. Chriscat, I am so sorry everything you have gone through also.
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Exhausted Piper, I use to keep everything inside and not tell anyone anything. But recently I have opened up to a couple of coworkers and I told my Aunt. It was very liberating!! I also told her family doctor everything!! I told APS everything. It hasn’t changed anything as far as her leaving that house, BUT it has changed me and how I respond to her. I don’t run over there all the time. I don’t run up to the hospital all the time. I actually would rather be at work than go over to my mothers house. I have FMLA and have acquired 880 hours of sick time so I do get paid every time I have to go to my mothers instead of work. But lately I would rather be at work, so I choose to go to work instead.
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My mother ruined many many holidays because of her outbursts. One time many years ago we were going to my aunt and uncles house for Thanksgiving. My husband and I drove our own car and my parent drove their car. I don’t even think we had kids yet. She walks in the door and starts screaming at my father be at SHE forgot the pictures she was going to show my aunt and uncle. SHE forgot the pictures BUT it was my FATHERS fault!! He was blamed for EVERYTHING!!!!! He was the brunt of her abusive the whole time he was alive. My aunt and uncle lived an hour away so she couldn’t just leave and get the pictures. No we had to listen to her rant and rave for hours while my aunt and uncle calmed her down.
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Elaine,

My husband’s grandma was the opposite of mine. Mine was a doll. She was a witch. She ruined holidays for everyone, especially her husband. He was sweet. Oh, how everyone wished he had divorced her!

My MIL got screwed twice! Her mom and her MIL were awful. She did have a wonderful grandmother. Her mom’s mom who lived to be just shy of 102 was a sweetheart.
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needhelpwithmon, there is no rhyme or reason why some mothers or grandmother’s are so nice and why some aren’t. Especially in the same family. My mother’s mother was a sweetheart. I just don’t get it.
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It's really sad to know there are this many caring, kind, decent people on this forum experiencing so many of the same issues. Never in my life have I mistreated anyone...screamed at anyone...& generally made another person's life miserable. I'm not perfect...but I try to be very aware of how I treat others. How did Mother's not see how they behave...or do & think it's fine to abuse their daughters. My sister calls her diabolical...I've seen this behave since Jan 1st....& it's shocking to me. Her serious lack of mobility will put her in a Nursing Home...& it's her own fault. My sister sees how a long afternoon can be with her...after a recent Drs Appt. Since I've cut-off all contact it will fall on her. She understands why I've had to do this. But...I know I'll eventually had to step back in...in a much more limited way...just to help my sister...NOT to be my Mother's unpaid employee / Punching Bag...never again. Right now....I'm just adjusting to a different life without all the crazy. Guilt creeps in a little...it's only been a few days since I walked away so I know the decompressing from it's still new.

I hope everyone in this situation can find a way to escape it...its like being in prison...without the bars & armed guards. AND...it's our own mothers doing this to us. We probably all need therapy to cope with it. My good thoughts are with all of you.
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Thank you struggling for sharing your story. It sounds like my mom.
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Aleta it IS mind blowing that we have all this suffering because of our own mothers. It's extremely twisted that we are "groomed" to not only put up with their selfish behavior but to take on their problems. My mom has always been like this, since I was a child. Very dysfunctional.

Well my husband jump started the talk I need to have with my mom. He ran into her in the hallway yesterday on his way to the store and she asked him to pick her up some water. Next thing I know she's texting me asking me to come over for coffee since my husband was gone. I replied - no thanks, I'm busy cleaning.

About 30 mins later she texts me again saying she doesn't know why I am mad and we need to talk.

Then my husband comes in the door. Apparently when he dropped off the water she told him she invited me over for coffee and I "ignored" her. (not true) He then told her "You two need to talk". So that is what prompted her second text.

Initially I was angry with him for making the suggestion, but I had to hear him out and I see why he did it. He sees what I am going through every day and I am constantly telling him about my many frustrations. I've been telling him I need to have a talk with her, and I posted the same thing here yesterday morning. I've just been putting it off over fear of her wrath.

So- I'm going over today. I'm going to cover two things. One is her refusal to discuss her diagnosis in any capacity. Twice I've brought it up wanting to discuss the future and both times she flew into a rage. The other is her refusal to help herself socialize with her peers and her reliance on just me and my husband.

Both of those topics will be difficult to discuss because she hates both topics. But I'm sick to death of ignoring the 9000 lb elephant in the living room. And I'm also sick to death of her hijacking my life instead of trying to carve out one of her own.

I imagine in normal mother/daughter relationships this kind of talk would be easy. Actually it wouldn't even be necessary. But not here. I'm expecting that my mother will get very angry because that is her norm. I told my husband that too, and he said well at least you will know you tried. Then when I say I'm done, I won't feel (as) guilty.

I already have that sick feeling in my stomach. The fact that I physically react to the prospect of ANY conflict with her is also very telling and not normal. The thought of my son feeling physically sick because he has to talk to me is so repulsive it makes me realize how severe the dysfunction is and how I am NOT the person who can be her care giver for the next X number of years.
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