My mother has always been the most important person in her world. She let me know at a very young age that she DID NOT want a girl, and when I was born, she cried for 3 days. I had no siblings, so I became my mother's "whipping boy". When I would come home from school, I was expected to clean the house; I was not allowed to go outside, nor was I allowed any pets. My world became food and TV. If I dared to contradict her, I would either get slapped to the other side of the room, or she would cry and carry on, laying a massive guilt trip on me. My father turned more and more to the bottle, emotionally and physically withdrawing, dying at 52 from alcoholism.
I am now 61, divorced, and have been my mother's caregiver/servant for the past ten years. My world now consists of my dogs and alcohol. Trying to find a decent therapist in my area is a joke. I'm to the point where I just don't care anymore. I used to paint and work with glass....I don't even want to do that anymore. She has treated me like crap for most of my life, a master of passive aggressive manipulation. I just keep trying to figure out why I've gone along with this twisted dance for most of my life to the point where I just don't want to wake up in the morning.

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First of all (((((((((hugs)))))). I have a mentally ill mother and my father was a alcoholic too and I have been divorced. It makes life very hard. Fortunately the bottle was never a option for me. It just doesn't do anything for me.

Then I echo Jeanne - "Why?" You do not have to look after her - you choose to. You DO have choices.

Why have you gone along with it? I think that those of us with mentally ill parents are trained from birth to believe that we are there to serve that parent and that our needs are not important. Our parent sees us as an extension of themselves not as a separate person. It requires hard work to develop our sense of self esteem, our own identity, and so on, in the face of the demands of such a parent. But it can be done and there are many here fighting that battle. I have little first hand knowledge of what "normal" is in family relationships, but struggle my way through establishing healthy relationships in my own life.

Nothing will work out well until/unless you stop using alcohol to, I presume, deaden the pain. AA has worked for many who want to stop drinking. My daughter has been sober now for over 20 years.

To recover from all of this it is necessary to face and feel your pain. You need the pain to spur you into action on your own behalf - to take steps for your survival and towards a better life. In order to do this, you need to detach from your mother emotionally and distance yourself from her physically.

You don't say how incapacitated your mother is, how much help she needs. But there are alternatives to you being the one to care for her. Pauline Boss, a psychologist, recommends that those who have been abused as children do not do hands on caregiving for the abuser, but, if anything, oversee care at arm's length. Will your mother like it if you stop caregiving and make other arrangements? No. Will your mother get angry? Likely. What's new? But your life and needs matter at least as much as hers and it is time that you had a break and put yourself and your needs first.

I agree that you haven't given up entirely or you would not be here. You are most definitely worth it. You will find support here as many of us with aging narcissistic, controlling, angry parents have come here for just that. My own mother is 103, Borderline Personality Disorder, narcissistic and now has vascular dementia to add to the mix. I have never done hands on care - never would - and let her know that from very early on, as it would destroy my life. I am now 78 and her POA, so quite involved, and the stress of that has affected my health. I have needed to detach and distance more for my own sake.

Please take steps to get out of this very unhealthy situation and start looking after you and let us know what you are doing to improve your life.
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My heart goes out to you, Cyndie. It sounds like you're giving up on yourself, but at least you're reaching out to this group, good for you! When I was in therapy, the therapist suggested that I write a letter to my mother - never to be delivered, never to be seen by anyone but myself. I resisted the exercise, thinking it was futile. However, in desperation at one point, I gritted my teeth, sat down and wrote my mother a long, long letter, telling her all my fears, frustration and anxiety, resentment, etc. It was quite liberating and, oddly enough, when I was finished (tears flowing, bottle of wine beside me), I felt sadness towards my mother, and a sense of having closed a door behind me. It wasn't an overnight cure, but it went a long way to helping me establish healthier boundaries between the two of us. Coincidentally, I also chose that year to stop drinking. I'm not sure the two things were connected (was I trying to hurt my mother by becoming an alcoholic like her father was?), but I'm glad I took the therapist's advice. Writing can be very therapeutic, and this gives you an outlet to be honest without repercussions. Just a suggestion... and hang in there, you're worth a lot more than you realize right now.
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I want to cheer you on as well ..... To whatever you want to do that makes your heart have wasted time. Cannot get it back. Start today do not wasted anymore, put down the bottle go to AA, AND MAKE THE NEXT 30 days only about you. Remove yourself from mom, focus on you.
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WHY, why, do you "have to" care for this mentally-ill abusive person? Why?

That is the question that immediately jumps into my mind when I read a post like this.

But I have learned, by reading on this site for years, that the "why" is deeply ingrained patterns, a whole series of guilt buttons that your mother installed and so knows expertly how to push. It is not a simple situation. And it is Not Your Fault.

Many others here have been there, done that, and have lots of insights. I'm certain you'll get lots of advice about books to read, small steps to take, large goals to set, and practical advice. Listen to it. Take it to heart. Because, in spite of what a sick/evil woman has tried to make you believe, You Are Worth It. You deserve a decent chance at a happy life.

I don't have experience in this area; others do and will help. I just want to cheer you on.
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