I'm making myself sick. She got out of hospital last week. And I'm sitting here waiting for a visiting nurse to call. Feeling like it's my fault if she doesnt come today. I think i feel more responcibility for mom than i should. Between my husbands comments. He feels I should take care of mom and my own feelings. I sort of felt like i had to help her since i was in my late teens. I bought birthday cards for dad to sign from him to mom. And bought gifts for him to give her. Since he was not good at that sort of thing and birthdays were important to mom. I took over grosery shopping at 16. Mom couldnt drive. Dad worked long hours. I did the ironing.


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Accept that others are responsible for their own choices
Anger –deal with it in a healthy way
Blame –don’t blame and don’t accept blame
Consequences – face them and see that others experience them
Decide what you are willing to do and what you are not willing to do
Detachment is not a feeling so much as a choice of behaviors, though the feelings should follow the behaviors. Detachment means you can maintain positive behaviors towards to others –kindness, compassion,
Don’t enable the unhealthy behaviors of others
Focus on yourself
Forgive, but don’t forget the need to protect yourself
Grieve the relationship as it was, the hopes that you had, the mistreatment you received,
Refuse to be manipulated e.g, emotional blackmail
Respond, don’t react
Separate yourself - physically, emotionally, spiritually, mentally, socially from others behaviors/feelings
Set boundaries
Say “No”
Space –create it between you and them
Try not to take the behaviors personally
Treat others and yourself with love and dignity
You can only control /change yourself – your emotions, your behaviors –do not take responsibility for the others feelings or behaviors
Realize it is a process and that you will make mistakes and get “sucked” in, but that you can learn from your mistakes.
#1 Look after yourself. You have a lot of issues and need time and energy and space to deal with them
#2 Detach emotionally - counselling may be helpful for that - also a book and workbook about Walking on Eggshells" is good and other resources for those with narcissistic parents like various websites -google narcissistic mothers
#3 Set up the boundaries according to what you think is right, and what you want to or can do and let her know clearly - maybe putting it in writing would be helpful - you do NOT have to do it all for her. Look after her needs, if yu choose to, but not necessarily her wants.
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Lots of good advice here. Your name says it all "hadnuff". Time for you to make some changes as others won't. My quote for today is "Givers have to set limits...because takers rarely do."

Counselling will help you a lot.
A co dependent group should too.

Decide what you can/want to do and what you can't/don't want to do and start making the necessary changes. E.g you do not have to answer every phone call.

You are entitled to your own life separate from your mother. You are responsible for your happiness, but not for her happiness or unhappiness.

She has obviously groomed you from an early age to serve her. This is very unhealthy narcissistic behaviour on her part and you owe it to yourself to get healthier so you can emotionally separate/detach from her.

I think counselling with your husband would help him to be more supportive of you. It is appropriate to be supportive to your mother to a degree, if you want to be, It is your choice and how you do it, if you decide to continue, is not written in stone.

You count here, you matter, your feelings are important, not just everyone else's. Many of us here have been brought up by a narcissistic mother and have learned how to draw boundaries and get emotionally healthier.

Do not under any circumstances take her in to live with you. I gather from other threads that she lives 1 1/2 hrs from you and does not have dementia but is stubborn. You say your brother has a personality disorder, perhaps your mother does too. A personality disorder is a serious mental illness and you need ti protect yourself from them. I have a mother and a sib both with personality disorders and I have drastically reduced contact for my own health.

Set yourself as a priority, start looking after your own health and detach, detach, detach! I will post separately some notes I have made on detaching. Good luck and let us know how you are.
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"Have to...."
These words are just as much chains on a person as metal fetters.

The feeling of obligation is programmed in from birth. You have to please, fill in the gaps, make up for others' inadequacies, keep it all going. Otherwise...

Well no you do not.

The hardest lesson to learn is that other people are responsible for their own feelings about any & everything. You don't control their feelings any more than you can control the birds in the sky. Anyone who wants you to believe their feelings, reactions, and state of mind are up to you is a manipulator. Emotional blackmailer.

When these people become elders, it doesn't go away, get better, or disappear. Often it becomes worse. The greater their dependency on others, the more obnoxious they are. More abusive. More demanding.

It does not need to be like this. This is not normal and you should demand better. Feels weird to demand or expect anything.

Part of being your own person and having a life is to stop being the care giver. Stop being "on demand". This is not easy to do because the dependent parent will make it ugly.

Move out. Find a therapist. Get into a support group. You are 100% worth it.
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Don't fall prey to emotional blackmail. I've said this to many individuals in this forum before, and I'll say it again: Our children are NOT an investment for old age or part of some sort of pension plan. If they want give us a hand here and there because they feel it's the right thing to do or it comes from their heart, that's up to them. But we should never condition them from an early age to feel obligated. We should never bring children to the world, charge them for it, and make them feel guilty when they don't want to pay the bill.

If this doesn't apply to you let it fly, but don't let yourself be manipulated and used to the point your spirit is broken. There are options out there to provide Mom with the care she needs. Explore them.
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Chicago, I've been tempted, but I'm afraid that somehow my activity will show up to others! I don't want ANYone to see.
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I just joined a Facebook page about Daughters of Narcissitic Mothers.
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Doing things to help others like you describe can sometimes turn into a pervading belief that you're responsible for their happiness, for their lives running smoothly all the time.
It's good that you're at a point where you're realizing it's an unreasonable belief, and not something you can provide.
To distance yourself emotionally, it helps to talk to a professional, but the first thing you can do is stop being as available physically. Don't jump to answer every phone call, don't visit quite as often or stay quite as long.
And, if you have the habit of apologizing for things that you had nothing to do with, become more aware of this, and stop doing it! It'll feel so strange not to jump in with an apology and a frantic attempt to "fix", but try to say nothing more than "That's too bad." And then let it be. Get past the discomfort and awkwardness, and let us know how it's going in a week or so. Good luck :)
Helpful Answer (5)

A lot of people on here are in the process of putting some emotional distance between them and a parent, or have successfully done so. You came to the right place!

To help us be more specific, can you provide some background?

How old are you? How old is Mom?

I take it that Dad is no longer in the picture? Did he die? When?

Why was Mom in the hospital? Does she live with you? Are you her caregiver? What are her impairments and what kind of help does she need?

Do you have children?

Most teens do have household chores. Grocery shopping and ironing are not the most typical ones, but that doesn't seem to me to be out of line. And I think that helping your dad remember your mother's birthday was sweet. Many secretaries play that role -- why not a daughter? But it does help give a picture of feeling responsible for Mom's happiness.

Please provide some additional information. Lots of good folks on this forum with share their experiences and ideas.
Helpful Answer (1)

Your profile doesn't say anything about you or your mom. Do you live with your mom?

What are her ailments?

Are you her full-time caregiver?

How long have you been her caregiver?

If a pattern developed when you were a teenager where you became co-dependent upon your mom I'm sure that pattern is firmly in place today.

Do you not want to be your mom's caregiver and are having trouble getting out of it?

Boundaries are the key. You need to set boundaries. However it's difficult for us to help you when we don't know what your situation is. If you could describe in more detail your job as a caregiver I think it would help us help you.
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