So, I'm close to an 80 yo aunt who's gone to her own pity party with a full dressing gown, set of jewelry and a tiara. EVERY conversation I have with her is about how awful it is she doesn't feel well, that she has to do X amount of things to keep my cousin happy (in whose house she lives; cousin is a nurse and it's no exaggeration that Aunt would likely have died without her due to some complicated and longstanding health issues.) Virtually no credit goes to the cousin for giving up much of her own life to care for aunt of course.
My own mother has bought into this and is encouraging me to feel terribly for the aunt, telling me I should encourage her to call and dump on me, etc. They have a codependent relationship, have for years, so now I'm dealing with it on two fronts. It's starting to really get me down, calling for a therapist today in fact.
I don't think I can confront my own mom without getting a whole bunch of defensiveness about how I "don't understand how it is to be old and sick" so what are my options here? Stop answering the phone? Put distance and tell them both why? Move 1000 miles away in any direction, which I'd increasingly like to do? (I'm only about half serious with this last, I would if I could.)