Am I a horrible daughter for not wanting to take in my mom?


My mom is only 58, but has seemed to have lost all common sense. She had a job for 17 years that she felt she was being picked on. I worked there too, it wasn’t that bad and she could have transferred. She chose to throw a fit and quit and then got mad when they wouldn’t let her come back. She plays victim in most areas of her life. Unfortunately, my brother who has lived with her is a junkie and she enables him but would come to me to bail her out financially. Now, she has been evicted and is staying temporarily with my other brother but he is moving because he can’t afford his place after his gf moved out. So he is not taking my mom because she is a mess and brings my junkie brother over when he is not home. I refuse to let my addict brother over to my house. I have a 12 year old to protect. My mom will literally be on the street if I don’t take her. I don’t think she will ever get on her feet, and I know I will be financially supporting her and she will be giving my addict brother money. I am so stressed out, I know I don’t have to take her in but there is so much guilt if I don’t. I know there must be something mentally wrong but I don’t even know where to begin to help her and keep my family safe from the chaos. Thank you for letting me vent, any ideas will be appreciated.



Oy vey, we have a very similar situation! Only I did let mom (age 56) move in with us, and yes I'm regretting it. Sister mooched off of her and made off with most of her savings.

If you are concerned that she may have a mental health problem, or for her safety, I would call social services and speak to a caseworker to see how they can help her. Even if there is nothing wrong mentally, they could probably help her get into a shelter or subsidized housing so she won't end up homeless.

Don't take her in. Your and your family deserve to be safe from the chaos and drama. Don't let her bring it into your home.
Helpful Answer (15)
Reply to FrazzledMama

Don't take her in!

Is does sound like she is at least mildly mentally impaired. I am very sympathetic to people with mental health problems, and I hope they can be helped. But being sympathetic doesn't mean I think putting the mental health of others in jeopardy is a good solution.

Don't take her in!

Does mother have savings? Any income at all? Is she capable of getting/holding a job? Could she pay Other Brother some rent until a better resolution can be put into place?

What is OB's plan when he moves out? Is he just going to walk out and say, "See ya, Ma"? If she has been living with him and she's not on the lease I would think he is responsible for getting her out at the end of the lease. How is he planning to do that? It should be made absolutely and totally clear to him that moving Mom in with you, even for a few days, Is NOT AN OPTION.

Don't take her in!

It seems to me that OB is the one who should get in touch with Adult Protection Services or the county's Human Services department. But if he won't you could do that before the lease is up. Be involved that way, from a distance. NOT with her in your home.

I can understand feeling guilty if your parent is mentally ill and is potentially facing homelessness. Wow! Talk about a guilt trip! Not many of us could be strong enough to do the sensible thing in those circumstances. But here is another way to think of it. Every time you have rescued Mom in the past it has supported your Addicted Brother. You can refuse to take her in and feel guilty about that or you can take her in and feel guilty about enabling AD. Anyway you look at it, you are in a tough situation regarding guilt. I urge you to get some counseling to help you realize that all of this drama is Not Your Fault, and there is no reason to feel guilty to act on your responsibility to your child and yourself.

We don't have excellent safety nets in place for the mildly mentally ill in the US. But I believe (hope) there are options to at least prevent homelessness.

Your mother may need ongoing help for 30 or 40 more years! Don't saddle yourself with her care. You really are not qualified to deal with her impairments, and your first responsibility is to yourself and your child.

Keep us informed about how this unfolds. Someone may have new insights as more details are known.

Stay strong!
Helpful Answer (14)
Reply to jeannegibbs

I agree that your child is your number one priority. Your mom is in a co-dependent relationship with your addicted brother. That is NOT your responsibility. Mentally ill or not, she is 58 years old and an adult, who must be responsible for her own situation. Absolutely DO NOT take her in. The only thing you'd really be helping if you did is helping her sustain her co-dependency.

YOU ARE NOT THE BAD GUY. Please remember that!

I come from a family where addiction has reigned supreme, and affected every single one of us. I got a LOT of help from Al-Anon - the 12 step program for families and friends of alcoholics and addicts. There, I met real people going through the same or similar things to what I was going through, people who had lots of support to offer and lots of ideas to help me. I strongly urge you to find a meeting and get yourself there. You can find a meeting by calling the number for Alcoholics Anonymous in the white pages of your phone book.
Helpful Answer (12)
Reply to Dorianne

Don't take her in. When she starts the nonsense about her and druggie brother being homeless, ask her who's fault is that. You are being a good mom by taking your 12 year old into consideration. Tell her flat out that it's not your responsibility to take care of her and your worthless brother, she is gonna have to figure this out on her own.
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to Evermore99

No Way, DON'T DO IT! Your first responsibility is to your child, no if and or buts. Exposing her to this sort of confusion would scar her for life, and only you can protect her from all of this!

You can escort your Mom to the nearest Social Services office, to get her on every available services possible, Welfare, food stamps, housing, displaced homemakers, but you cannot allow your Mom to have "alone access" to your child, when there is a possibility that she might be exposed to drug abuse and dysfunction, or even worse, exposure to the skeezy elements that drug addicts bring, such as other addicts, child abusers, drug dealers, and the like.

You're a Great Mom for reaching out, Please, take the Good advice, and find alternative arrangements for your Mom, and keep close tabs on that brother of yours, and do not allow hin access to your child in any form possible.

Good Luck, you can do this!
Helpful Answer (11)
Reply to staceyb

Agree, don’t do it! Direct her to county services for subsidized housing. If worse come to worse, she can go to a group home or even a homeless shelter while she awaits housing.
Your daughter is priority #1. If your mom moves in, there goes your daughter’s stable environment that you’ve undoubtedly worked so hard to give her. You need to be her advocate. You don’t want to expose your daughter to the toxic atmosphere of your mother enabling your brother’s addiction. You are inviting chaos.
Stand firm, but don’t take her in your home.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to Shane1124

Be a GOOD MOTHER and protect YOUR daughter from your mother. Your loyalty is to your CHILD.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to CTTN55

Do not take her in, even for one night. She will never leave. Your obligation is to your daughter. She doesn't deserve to be put through this.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to lkdrymom

Don’t let her move in! She needs to see Dept of Human Seevices. They in turn can direct her low income housing, mental health services. She will be assigned a case worker who can assist.
Helpful Answer (8)
Reply to anonymous439773

What is the best thing for mom? Living with you would NOT provide the kind of mental health treatment she needs as well as keeping her away from your addict brother.

Living with you would be harmful for your daughter as others have stated above.

We all think it is pretty obvious that while guilt says "take her in" logic says "she needs more help than i can provide. My daughter needs to be protected. I cannot take her in. We need to find other options".

Good luck!!
Helpful Answer (7)
Reply to Kimber166

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