I'm new here, and I found this place as I'm not sure I can find someone to vent with in my circle of friends. My therapist who I've seen for years doesn't seem to take into account the context of things and just suggests me to throw my mom out of the house and let her find her way. She's 70 with glaucome, arthritis, hypertension and heart issues...
She's a kind woman when she wants to be, and mostly to put up a front with others. She's never been abusive and when I was a child and teen she gave me a lot of freedom to do as I wished.
However, I've always felt suffocated by her. She's always been very codependent of me and I all I know is I've wanted to get away from her since I was 5. Mind you I had both parents married, no divorce until much later.
Long story short: parents split, she sold everything they owned and went to live and take care of her mother even though they are 13 siblings. Fast forward a few years, my grandmother dies, I get a scholarship, I was ready to go but everyone in her family chose to sell the house and so she was left without a home. I had to give up my scholarship for my MA, and start working to provide for both of us. I have been doing so since I was 25, I'm now 33.
She's fully functional, but nothing that I do is good enough. She always finds something to complain and victimize herself with, always making it my responsibility or fault. I pay for our house and yet it seems everything has to be her way, even the most trivial things like... Type of soap we have in the bathrooms. I try to go along but in the end it's my house! Why shouldn't I be able to say how I want things to look or be like?
I haven't dated in years because I hate not even being able to bring my dates home, I sacrificed my career and now I just work on anything that at least covers my bills. I've kicked her out of the house 3 times after her behavior drives me insane but she doesn't leave and just finds a way to be martyr about it.
I've come to resent her a lot. People tell me how much of a good daughter I am, and they tell her she should be grateful to have a daughter like me, but she's anything but grateful. Sometimes I have to remind her I'm the one paying for everything, and that I'm an adult so she needs to stay out of my decisions whatever they are, but I honestly feel like running away and never returning, just like my dad did.
I feel awful saying this but I just want her to be gone, so I can start my life as I need to.
Edit: BTW, I also have Ehler-Danlos Syndrome type 3 and arthritis, plus a heart condition, so I'm in constant pain and tired but can't seem to take a break as I'm the only one who keeps things running!
If you think mom wasn't abusive to you growing up, you're wrong. There are many kinds of abuse. If you wanted to get away from her since you were a little kid there's reasons. Mom's martyrdom, victimization, and health crises (whether real or fabricated) are the tools she uses to abuse with.
A friend of mine who's psychologist explained to be about people who are self-imposed victims. My mother is one. So is yours from what you say. They're always martyrs too.
Anyway, these people are addicted to sympathy and pity. It's like drugs to them. They will even escalate horrific blow-up fight with the people closest to them who take care of them just so they can perform and have the person they're actually victimizing feel sorry for them and apologize. This kind of attention is their high.
It's always this CIRCLE with these people.
VICTIM (they're always the victim). VILLAIN (there must be a villain who does the victimizing and is the catalyst that sets the cycle off. You're almost always the villain. If you're not actually involved in the scenario, mother will tailor the story to make you fit in some way). Then there's the HERO (the hero is who rescues the victim from all the cruelty. They also supply the drugs (pity and sympathy). The roles of Villain and Hero are interchangeable. Sometimes I'm sure you're the Hero too. Sometimes your role may change mid scenario depending on the 'victim's' mood and attention needs.
You are her emotional dumping ground. You are the person she gaslights and "takes it out on". You have always been this for her. Even if you think she gave you all kinds of freedom and all when you were young. If you really think honestly about it, she always used you in this way.
Seriously, you need to try therapy. Then insist that your mother do so as well. One of you will have to move out of the house. The two of you cannot live together. Maybe after years of both of you working hard in therapy that may be possible, but it isn't now.
Since it's your place, mother should be the one leaving.
Have her served with a formal eviction from the court if it has to come to that. If you flounder and back down she will never stop. The resentment now will grow into hate of her and you won't even be able to be in the same room with her. Yet by this time she'll be elderly and you'll be her caregiver. Please don't let this happen.
She has ruined your life so far. If continue living with her and allowing her abuse she will ruin the rest of it too.
What's more important to you. The sh*t she will talk about you to others to get the pity she craves, or your own life and health?
You're more important, my friend.
Get away from her. Good luck.
She’s not going to change her behavior so change yours. You’ve been dutiful. Love her from afar.
Blessings to you,
And it still evaporates a few hours / week.
Those of you in long-term care situations are losing years.
I don't have an answer for you but it's a helluva price to pay.
Sounds like that time for your Mom is now.
Your therapist is right. Throw her out of the house and let her find her own way. Formally evict her if need be. She's only 70, she can get a job and pay her own way in life.
You and your mother have a co relationship in which one enables the other.
It takes great courage to make goals for yourself. You are used to the way you are living after so many years. While it may make you unhappy and cause you to complain it is a habit that is "known" and the "unknown " takes a great deal of courage to face.
I wish you good luck. Continue to work with your therapist. Try to increasingly set some boundaries for yourself and your Mom.
You are in your 30s and losing your life to your 70 yr old mom.
The only person in your life who has your back (that we know about) is your therapist. You are discounting her advice.
Listen to your therapist or find one you will listen to.
Is your mother seeing a therapist? If not. Make that a condition of her living with you for now. She needs support in moving forward.
Perhaps you also need to see a family therapist where you both go? Someone who can mediate yiur discussions and help you both truly hear the other.
The soap is the least of your problems but is a good indicator that your mom has consumed your life totally. It sounds like she has made you her surrogate husband in a dysfunctional relationship. One where you as the breadwinner can never make her happy. The plot of many books and movies and never ends well.
Why not have a great life? You certainly deserve it.
And please do come here often as we will have your back as well. But warning, we are most likely going to patch you up and send you right back into the ring until you win your freedom. You can do it.
You must consider your own health and well-being. We are called to do what we can do, when a family member needs help, yet there is no sustainable plan for caregiving in situations where the patient is sucking the lifeblood from the caregiver.
My husband’s mother needed nursing home care, then my parents did, and now my husband does. In each situation, legal assistance was obtained to protect modest assets for their survivor(s). With varying state regulations, Medicaid is available for nursing home care in situations where the patient’s assets fall under a specific threshold.
Your mental health therapist can help you navigate the conflicting emotions and the other relationships which are impacting these nursing home decisions for you. Being a caregiver doesn’t end when your loved one transitions to a residential facility. The caregiving role becomes more manageable, and that gives you an opportunity to have a life. Otherwise, you will need a caregiver for yourself, in order to maintain your well-being as your parent’s caregiver.
Sending you many hugs and prayers. I now am nearing the end of Year 1 as my husband’s full-time caregiver. He’s not at home with me anymore, yet we both know I am still trying to learn how to manage my own healthcare needs with as much priority as I give to his.
On most days, we talk by phone several times. He says, repeatedly, “Why am I here?”, and I tell him, “You need the 24/7 caregiving you receive there, which we could not afford for you here at home with me.” Then, he replies delusionally, “But they *don’t* take care of me here.” This ongoing circular conversation is one of the reasons why I say my caregiving role does not end simply because he is not living with me. Yet, I have an opportunity to actually live, this way. Had he continued to be at hone with me, the stress would have killed me; my health had begun to decline significantly in just a few months of being at home with him full-time.
Welcome to the forum.
I am so sorry to hear about your situation.
It breaks my heart to hear that you gave up your scholarship. That is a huge sacrifice. I have two daughters and I would not want them to be burdened with caring for me.
It’s really hard to have two women in a home, especially mother and daughter.
I did it too. My mom lived with us for 15 years, then with my brother for 14 months and she is now in a hospice house.
Just like you, I soon found myself in over my head when mom lived with me.
We had the best of intentions to help our moms but we didn’t have an accurate picture of how hard it would be. Am I right?
Our moms wish to still be the mom. They want us to be the obedient daughter to their every desire.
Of course, most moms are nicer to others. They either feel safe with us, or they know that they have to be kind to others to keep them on the hook.
Yes, as a primary caregiver we do feel robbed of our freedom.
We can recognize and honor our feelings of resentment and frustration.
Afterwards, though we have to start inquiring about other options.
You have a really tough situation and it’s more than a temporary disruption in your life.
Tell us about what services are available in your area that could help with your mom. Is there anything at all?
Or start by telling us what would happen to your mom if you were not able to help her.
You can’t continue keeping up this pace with your mom. You have your own health issues.
You are young and deserve your own life.
Your mom isn’t terribly old. She may live for many more years.
Please keep us posted and tell us more about your situation.
I do hope there is a viable solution for you and your mother.
It seem you carry some anger regarding the lost scholarship opportunity & being forced to take employment instead. You may feel really cheated. I get that. You did what you felt you must at that time... taking on the responsibility. But maybe you have become stuck. Now need some help to move forward again.
Is getting unstuck what you want & need? To restart your life plans? Study? Date?
I think blaming your family, Mother or life circumstances will only get you so far. Then action is required if you want real change. This can be really really hard & but usually worth the struggle! (This is where therapy may help gain new perspectives).
Tell us, where you live it is expected family care for their elders themselves?
What if this is actually impossible? (due to lack of family, illness, distance?)
If no such other accommodation is available or acceptable to you then I suppose you will need to make peace with living with your Mother. Many do. But this does not have to rule out having your own life too. Just allow for her needs as well as yours 😃😃
In order for you to meet YOUR needs - to work, study, date, socialise, travel you obviously cannot be a 24/7 caregiver.
So if Mother can mostly look after herself, great! If not, or as she ages, you will need to hire care eg a daily maid/aide.
So. In summary;
Is Mother living with you unnegotiable?
If No - find alternatives.
If Yes - how to proceed? Are you going to spend your time & labour looking after her yourself or spend her's & your money to hire help?
Your therapist is correct in that you should consider asking her to move out. This does not mean 'throwing her out on the street' but asking her to find her own place to live within a certain time frame. She can even rent a room in someone else's home if she cannot afford an apartment of her own. Like I said, I'll be 64 in July and would NEVER impose myself on any one of my children because they have their own lives to live and I have mine.
You also have worse health conditions to deal with than your 70 y/o mother and should take those into consideration when making your decision. You do not 'have to' house your mother any longer, so don't tell yourself it's a necessity to do so. You've done enough and now it's your turn to live YOUR life as every 30-something young woman SHOULD. It's okay to have your own life!
Allow your mother to move on with her life now, too. That old adage holds true: Give a man a fish & feed him for a day.
Teach a man to fish & feed him for life.
You may be doing your mom a big favor by forcing her to live on her own. She's capable of it, she just may not realize it since you've been taking care of her for so long!
Wishing you the best of luck!
Install a different soap dish in the shower and by the sink for your different soaps.
Unless, Mom objects because she requires an unscented hypoallergenic soap.
Even then, you can choose your own unscented hypoallergenic soap.
When any two people reside in the same house, there will be differences, and sometimes conflict.
When each of those two people have age related needs, or a challenging disability, or medical condition, they can often assist each other in their lives.
However, if the giving is all going one way, there will be problems.
Problems like you are pointing out here. You are not your Mother's slave.
Can you separate your living spaces more to give yourself some space?
I know that won't solve everything, but it is a start.
You have a real challenge with your condition, especially the chronic pain.
Have you had the outside support and counseling needed to live an independent life? Do you know about independent supportive housing, if you were to move out?
I am a firm believer in where's there a will, there is a way. I know you don't live here in the US, but there has to be a way for you to get her out if you really want to. Do you not want to get married and have a family someday? If you're in your mid-thirties, then time is definitely ticking away on having children.(that's assuming you're a female)
And perhaps if she won't leave, then you must leave, and start your life over on your own. You deserve that much. And quit letting her suck you back into her dysfunction. You both need to learn how to live independently from each other. I wish you well.
Why doesn't your mother have the ability to support herself? Did she not get a settlement from the divorce? Didn't she get a share of gm's home sale?
Why can't you say "no, mom, this is my house. I pay the bills and I'll buy what soap I want"?
She could live another 30 years. Consider the implications of that on your life.
I'm an only child and everyone in her family lives abroad, but mind you they have never ever expressed the minimum interest in helping us in any way... I even told her she could go back to our home country and I'll send her money as it is a lot cheaper than where we live, but... Guess what? Thats a no for her.
Are you in the U.S.? There are many social programs that will help your mom if she doesn't have the means to pay for her own housing, food, and medical.
It's hard to infer everything from this one post. Are you wavering and hesitating on dictating your own needs because of a sense of family duty? That would make sense. You have to put your own oxygen mask on first. You have to prioritize your own needs and not allow someone you love to obstruct them long term. You will only grow even more resentful.