I am an only child. My parents moved down the street from me 15 years ago. I wasn't real happy about that but my parents were cool and independent. After a few years they began having a lot of arguments and I ended up getting pulled into the drama as a marriage counselor of sorts, trying to keep the peace. Well, fast-forward a decade and dad ends up with dementia and now is in a care home. Keep in mind, this is all before they even turned 80, so not talking about super-aged here. Dad is now in memory care and mom leans on me too much for emotional support. My parents have lived in this small town for over 40 years and she has no friends (doesn't want any), no hobbies, no church or other group affiliation, no family, just me. I am only 52, have a husband and a more-than-full-time job. My life is more than busy and full. My husband is very social and we have a big group of friends. The pressure to be responsible for my mother's happiness weighs heavily. She is a real Debbie-downer personality to begin with, always has been. I'm stuck, probably for many, many years into the future. I feel guilty any time I am doing something for myself or having fun. I always have a dark cloud looming over my shoulder :( When I was a teenager I suffered from depression. After I got out on my own, that went away and I believe it was due to getting out of the depressed household of my parents. Now I feel those shackles back on me. I want to run away. Moving myself is not an option and she's threatened suicide if I try to move her to a senior apartment or anywhere at all.
She threatens SUICIDE if you set a boundary with her?
Back to square one.
YOU are not responsible for your mother's happiness. SHE is
She is responsible for her financial upkeep.
You can help her find resources but are not responsible for hands on care or emotional upkeep.
Read up on Fear, Obligation and Guilt. That's what is in play here.
There is nothing for you to feel guilty for. Your mom had her time now it is your turn. If you have to remind yourself this every time you are out having fun or you are simply sitting home with a good book or watching a movie. This is your time; your life!
Here are some Life Rules:
1) We can not control other people, we only have control over ourselves. Which beings me to my next rule.
2) The only person we can make happy is ourselves. We are responsible for our own happiness.
3) GUILT, if you did nothing wrong; did nothing to hurt your mom or anyone else there is nothing to feel guilty about. So stop feeling guilty your mom choose to live this way.
4) You can't help people who don't want to help themselves.
Just my 2 cents!
If it makes you feel any better, there is rarely a day that goes by where I don't find myself saying I want to RUN AWAY and leave no forwarding address. That's the sad truth. I'm not going anywhere, but I do feel your pain, my friend.
Best of luck. It's not easy, is it?
My parents were awesome while I was growing up, although they (mostly she) smothered me, overprotective, yada yada. A lot is heaped upon the only child :(
Now this friend does have medical problems that make her homebound. But she is homebound because of choices she has made. She also has unreal expectations about people. Because she has said or done something she is estranged from one son. The other keeps in touch but lives far enough away he doesn't visit much. Do you feel when you walk into a house where there are friends gathered that they all should clammer to say Hi. She does. (I was in the same group and didn't feel that way) Because of her expectations, she is unhappy. Right now I am waiting for an apology for a phone call she made excusing me of not informing her about a lunch she was not invited to. First, misinformation, there was no lunch. And second, I am not responsible for her social calender. She knows the truth now, but hasn't called me.
You will never make Mom happy. Especially if she has been this way all her life. Tell her she needs to move where there are activities and transporation. You cannot be there all the time. You have a job and a social life. Sorry, but DH is ur priority.
Please don't feel bad you are enjoying life. Mom has made choices that now she is paying for.
It's bs that she is manipulating you with the threat of suicide, don't buy into it. She is right where she wants to be and the saying that misery loves company is oh so true. You don't have to be that company, take those shackles off and live your life.
She has done it her way and wants to continue to. Which is fine, as long as she does it and doesn't strap you down with her hatefulness and expect you to give her "independence".
You responded to another poster that she calls when you are out and pulls her poor me, I have no friends. I would not answer the phone or if you feel compelled to, you can always say, well, I am not you and if you don't stop this you won't have me either.
Sometimes we need to shock their system and then let them stew and chew on it a few days and reiterate as often as needed.
Everything you describe is from personal choices, she is the only one that should be paying those prices. Having a life and being happy is nothing to feel guilty about, she chose how she would live her life, she doesn't get to choose how you live yours. She's overstepping and you can set the boundaries to keep her from making your life like hers.
You can do it!
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